Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I caught this interview on Day to Day yesterday - Madeleine Brand talks to lifelong Democrat Barbara LeBey about why she might vote for McCain instead of Obama in the general election.

I wish I hadn't actually, because it's frustrating to listen to reasonable-sounding people spouting such nonsense. I've seen Hillary commenters online saying that they would vote for McCain, but they were so unhinged it was easy to write them off. This lady sounds like she's actually thought it through and decided that McCain's the better choice.

She begins by saying she doesn't like Obama's economic plan. That we can't afford to raise taxes, it would be bad for the economy, it would hurt small-business owners and cost jobs. I'm thinking how can a lifelong Democrat buy into supply-side economics? Madeleine then points out that there's no difference between Hillary and Obama's economic plan. Barbara says that's true but offers no further explanation.

Then she says he hasn't done anything, he's a blank slate upon whom people are projecting their hopes and dreams, but they don't know anything about him. I guess she hasn't seen his highly-detailed policy papers, examined his voting records, looked at his non-government resume. This inexperienced meme is such a load of BS.

Madeleine asks her if it's a vote for McCain or against Obama. She starts eulogizing McCain, about his economic policy, his immigration plan, his environmentalism and how he's a maverick.

Finally Madeleine asks about abortion, and mentions McCain's awful rating. Barbara sounds resigned and says that since there's already a conservative majority, it doesn't matter who the next two judges are, so she's going to vote on other issues.

What to make of all this? Barbara was a big Hillary fan, and yet she doesn't seem to believe in any of Hillary's policy positions, which are extremely close to Obama's, and antithetical to some of McCain's positions that she now supports. She trusted Hillary, but not enough to heed her call to work for Obama. I think what happened to Barbara is that she got so personally invested in Hillary, which grew to include personal antipathy for Obama, that she can't rationally discuss him anymore. I know some people may accuse her of closet racism, but I don't think so. I don't get the feeling she doesn't like black folks, she just doesn't like Obama. Barbara accuses Obama supporters of being irrational, of projecting our hopes onto him without cause, but I think it's clear that Barbara's the one not thinking straight. Or at least the one who's abandoning principles that she claims to have supported all her life.

I think there are a significant number of Hillary diehards who are in this group with Barbara. It's no longer about policy or the greater good, it's about punishing Obama. However, I really do think that the numbers overall are small and most of Hillary's supporters, especially those who are longtime Democrats, will support Obama.

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Toast said...

She starts eulogizing McCain

Um, McCain's old, but he's not dead.

John Howard said...

I don't understand people like this. If you're so far up someone's ass that you'd rather vote against the person they lost to, even though they're very similar on policy, then you should certainly be invested in them enough to listen to their advice on who to vote for.

If you really believe in what Hillary Clinton is trying to do, then fucking listen to her still, and vote for Obama, it's that simple.

John Howard said...

Oh, and Toast, I was thinking the same thing, but since I would always defer to Chris on any question of language, I looked up eulogize, and it apparently just means to praise highly, death isn't really implied in the definition, just in how it's normally used.

Chris Howard said...

Um, McCain's old, but he's not dead.

As John says (thanks for the kind words, kind of a mini-eulogy :) ), although eulogies are often delivered at funerals, the term refers to any speech delivered in praise of someone.

Barbara LeBey said...

Hello John,
Since you reviewed my NPR interview, I thought it might be of interest for you to know that I did carefully review Obama's record and found it sorely lacking. I don't make hasty or emotional decisions. Hillary's voting record and her list of achievements is not nearly as liberal as the plans Obama has put forth. She is more of a centrist. Obama is an extreme liberal, really more socialist than even liberal. I am not willing to vote for a socialist. Race is irrelevant. I would feel the same way if Obama was 100% white. As for Hillary's endorsement and her request that her supporters transfer their support to Obama, I would have to say I don't follow blindly. Furthermore, if Hillary wants to continue to be an active member of the party and have a future with the party, she is compelled to get on board whether she actually believes in Obama or not. Personally, I'd like to see her run as an Independent--not likely. As a former judge and corporate lawyer, I have learned early on that a slumping economy does not revive with higher taxes, and leaders of rogue nations like Iran and North Korea respect might, not coddling. With enemies who hate us more than they love life, only strong leadership and a ready military will keep them at bay. Obama's plans are completely contrary to what I believe is the right course of action for our nation. So there you have it. The best, Barbara LeBey

maurinsky said...

Based on her comment, I feel confident reporting Barbara LeBey is definitely a Republican. It's possible she was a Clinton supporter, but her whole comment (if that was actually her) is loaded with Republican talking points.