by Joyce Marcel
American Reporter Correspondent
February 7, 2008
SUPER TUESDAY BLUES
DUMMERSTON, Vt. -- Super Tuesday has come and gone and I still can't get excited about the upcoming presidential elections.
It's probably a fault in me, not in the process. After all, isn't this the first time in recent memory that we've had a contest like McCain vs. Romney and Huckabee, or Clinton vs. Obama - one where people really care, some to the point of tears, and where they come out in droves to vote and cheer and make emotional videos extolling their candidates?
Hope! Now there's something that's been missing in America for seven years, thank you very much Messrs. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. In fact, the general enthusiasm for this election is a deep reflection on how much the country loathes its current leaders and wants them out of office.
Now we have candidates who are being compared to John F. Kennedy. Candidates, for that matter, who are being compared to Robert Kennedy. Candidates whom themselves have suffered torture - and not only at the hands of Karl Rove. Candidates to whom God Himself speaks. Candidates who are richer than God.
Actually, there's lots of God in these elections, even if there's precious little Jesus when the most Christian candidate of them all supports torture and lifelong imprisonment without a trial.
This electoral outpouring of energy into a depleted and corrupted political system is something we should be proud of, right? Isn't it democracy in action? Isn't it America? Isn't it why those terrorists hate us - for our freedoms?
So why am I so apathetic?
For one thing, even though I have a tiny but soft spot in my heart for Hillary Clinton's operatic trials and tribulations. I would love someday to see a woman take the oath of office. But I can't get around her votes to continue the war, the endless corruption of her money-raising schemes, the cold and calculating old-school Democrats who surround her, and most of all, that big sexy lug who's with her all the time now, but whom she's avoided for the past seven years, keeping him in New York while she works in Washington. She's never been able to put a saddle and bridle on that particular donkey.
In truth, the only way I would vote for Hillary Clinton is if I could sit down and ask her, one-on-one, a few hard questions, and like the answers. What would Bill Clinton's job really be in a Hillary Clinton Administration? How can you talk about the tragedy of American jobs going overseas when that's the direct result of your husband's globalization policies? How can you be against the war when you've voted so many times to support it?
A face-to-face, by the way, is out of the question - she shuns reporters because she doesn't want to have to answer for her past.
Then there's Obama. A black man for president - I love the idea of it. It's not like the white folks have done such a good job lately. And after suffering through years and years of Yale (Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton (and Hillary, too), George W. Bush for graduate school), maybe we should give Harvard a try?
And Obama's not really black - he's half white and half African, so that skips right over the racial question. His forefathers weren't slaves. White folks don't have to feel guilty.
And the hope! I love the way he speaks. I love the emotion he raises in people. I love the way he charges up a crowd.
But have you ever listened to him on the radio trying to answer hard policy questions? He parses every word. He tries to please everyone. He never takes a stand, except with the broadest of generalizations - war is wrong; torture is wrong; we need good education for our children; children are our future, yeah, yeah, yeah. Obama sticks so close to the middle of the road that he disappears into the yellow line.
Talk about triangulation! Triangulate Clinton's policy wonkishness with Obama's ability to unify and electrify us, tell me who you get and I'll vote for him or her in a New York minute. (And speaking of that, we should all thank God that Rudy Giuliani's out of the race.)
In fact, someone said the perfect ticket would be Obama and Edwards - Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards. I'd vote for that one in a heartbeat.
On the Republican side, it hardly matters. McCain sold his soul to the devil and to the Bushes in order to be president, Romney is a good haircut wearing a stuffed shirt, and Huckabee is a danger to democracy - this is not and should not be a Christian country.
A reader recently sent me a parable that sums up my feelings. I'm not sure who wrote it, but it's about a U.S. senator who dies and winds up at the Pearly Gates. Because he was not entirely bad or good, St. Peter gives him a choice of heaven or hell for his eternity.
First the senator tries out Hell, which turns out to be a lush green golf course where all his friends, dressed in their finest, are hanging out, drinking, smoking cigars and trading jokes with the devil. He has a hell of a time, so to speak.
Then he tries out Heaven, which is lovely. People are bouncing from cloud to cloud, but it's certainly not as much fun.
So he chooses Hell. But when he arrives, it's a barren wasteland strewn with garbage, and his friends are wearing rags and picking up garbage, and an endless stream of garbage is falling from the sky.
"What the hell..." he asks the devil, and the Devil grins.
"Yesterday, we were campaigning," the Devil said. "Today you've voted."
Need I say more?
A collection of Joyce Marcel's columns, "A Thousand Words or Less," is available through joycemarcel.com.