For decades of me paying attention to national politics, I’ve been a great admirer of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders:
I was never the biggest fan of Bill Clinton: His administration’s tack to the center was always harmful. It was certainly better than Bush or Dole, but it seemed at the time that he could do better. Still, there were people in the administration who pushed it to the left. Hillary Clinton was one of those people. The most important frame for me was her speech on the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women (video). And I think that, both the specifics and the fact that she — the First Lady — said it were important.
Also, her willingness to call out the bullshit thrown against her impressed me. Her use of the phrase “a vast right-wing conspiracy” was important at a time when so many liberals were unwilling to defend the administration from that sort of thing. When a lot of lefties pretended that Whitewater was probably a thing and just laughed when people said they were drug dealing murderers. It was important to be able to have a phrase that described what was going on. Given that these were people who drove a good friend of hers to suicide and then pretended that she’d murdered him, given that these were the same people who accused her of hanging crack vials on the White House Christmas tree, given that these were the people who impeached a president, it had to be called out, and it was the right wording.
All right, but rhetoric is one thing. Wasn’t she a conservative Democrat with her votes when she got to the Senate? No. (h/t) Certainly the Iraq war vote was bad. It wasn’t the only problem. But that’s typical of any Senator. She was a consistently liberal voice. One of the most liberal Democrats in the Senate.
But there’s a lot of room in this country to the left of a fairly liberal Democrat. And I’ve always admired Sanders’ voice as a socialist in the House and Senate. I’ve always admired that he has been able to make that push happen without being a vanity candidate or throwing seats to the Republicans. I’ve always admired that he wears his passion on his sleeve. And I’ve admired that, at least in Burlington, he has left a legacy after he left office, with Socialists still able to keep control after he was elected to Congress by running the town well.
So I’ve been neutral up to now. But the Washington caucuses are coming up this Saturday. You can get more info, including finding your location here. My plan is to go in as undecided, so I can keep thinking about it up to the last possible moment, as if knowing about both of them since the early 1990’s isn’t enough time. If there are enough votes for undecided to get a delegate, great! Otherwise, I’ll have to pick.
So feel free to use this as a discussion thread of your plans for caucusing. It’s this Saturday at 10:00 for Democrats, and at I can’t be bothered to look it up for Republicans.
Or if you want to try to convince an actual swing voter (me) for your candidate, go for it. For what it’s worth, negative stuff about fake Clinton scandals or nonsense like Sanders isn’t electable won’t help your cause at least with me.