I will be upfront, I don’t know what I will do Tuesday. I don’t identify with either the Democratic or Republican Party, so am a tad uncomfortable voting in either primary. The chance of me voting for either party in the general is small, so a vote on Tuesday would be strategic at best.
My problem is this, if I don’t vote, the chance of the Democrats sending a corporate toadie to the White House is greater. Just this morning Bill Clinton was whining that Obama has no respect for his legacy. The funny thing is, Obama totally embraces the Clinton legacy, and is actually Clinton on steroids. Every time I see Obama on TV I am reminded of Bill Clinton of 1992 and the disastrous consequences that followed.
The obvious question is how can I see Clinton in Obama, but not Hillary. I think it is important to judge Hillary on her own merits not the Rubinomics of her husband (Rubin is now Obama’s economic adviser). By her own standards, she has a voting record on middle class issues that mirrors Russ Feingold. So, here are my top 5 reasons of if I was to vote in the Democratic primary, why it would be for Hillary.
While both Obama and Hillary voted against the Bankruptcy Bill, Hillary also voted for an amendment that put a 30% cap on interest rates. Obama voted along with the corporate wing of the Democratic Party including the likes of Herb Kohl and John Kerry against on interest rate cap. Clearly, Hillary embraced the DOWN politics and Obama an UP politics.
Hillary has come out with an aggressive plan for dealing with the housing crisis. She wants a moratorium on foreclosure followed by an interest rate freeze. Obama has argued voting against the 30% cap was a procedural vote, yet he attacked Hillary’s interest rate freeze as putting the economy at risk with high inflation. As Krugman has pointed out, an aggressive plan like Hillary’s is needed because there are signs the housing crisis is moving over to other sectors such as student loans and credit cards.
While in all honesty, Hillary’s plan is a little weak, at least it is a universal plan. Obama continues to scam us saying his plan is universal too, except that it does not insure adults. The truth of the matter is we pretty much got Obama’s plan right now with CHIP. Again, as Krugman has pointed out Obama has done half the Republican’s job for them with his attacks on mandates.
When talking of trade, it is easy to hold Hillary accountable for the errors of her husband. Hillary did not vote for NAFTA, but overall has had a so so record on trade. While both Hillary and Obama have similar records up to this point on trade, this Obama site takes Hillary to task for not supporting Colombia, South Korea, and Panama trade agreements. Often it is very telling who the candidates select as their most trusted advisers. While Obama has chosen free trade architect Rubin, Hillary has chosen NAFTA opponent, Dick Gephardt.
Through this primary season Hillary has been able to articulate a DOWN politics. A politics of the down trodden, a politics of the union member, a politics of the working stiff, a politics of one at the periphery, and the politics of the child. Obama, if its his ability to be a walking money machine, or refusing to offer a universal health care plan, or simply being a toadie for the banking industry, has articulated the UP politics. Hillary embodies the everlasting soul of the Democratic Party going back to 1776, whereas, Obama embodies a Pepsi commercial gone astray.