On current politics, part one of ?

First of all, I really should belatedly thank all of you who sent email notes and left phone messages long ago when John Edwards dropped out of the democratic race for president. I’m sorry I ignored you – I was too busy forecasting what a total debacle the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would become. I am nothing if not a prophet. Anyway.

I haven’t written much about the primary race here, partly because the post I wrote some time ago about Hillary Clinton and reasons you shouldn’t give to not vote for her received so many cruel, hateful comments from non-regular readers that I wanted to get in bed, pull the covers over my head and forget such people exist altogether. Sure, I could have just deleted the post and been done with it, but I don’t know…this blog is my own little corner of the world, and I don’t want to delete it. I believe what I wrote. And it’s probably good for me to remember there are people who see nothing wrong with calling women horrible names and don’t think they could run the country because , you know, they get their periods. My single, unresearched post on Hillary Clinton is the one post I delete at least one comment a week from, and I wrote it ages ago.

Since the Hillary post and John Edwards dropping out of the race I haven’t written much about the primary, nor have I spoken about it with many people besides my parents and S. That’s not because I’m not interested but more because I am extraordinarily confused. On the one hand, I think the longer this race goes on, the worse it will be for my party in the long run, but on the other I agree with Howard Dean when he says there is absolutely nothing wrong with a fifty-state primary and, in fact, it’s wonderful every state can be counted. Well, except for Michigan and Florida, but you know.

But for the most part, the reason I haven’t written much and the reason I listen to the news and read the paper with trepidation harkens back to my childhood, when the only television show D. and I were allowed to watch was “Sesame Street.” As my mom recalls, she would put me in front of the show and all would be well until Bert and Ernie came on. I would grow extraordinarily upset because I couldn’t stand to see anyone fight, especially people/characters who were supposed to love one another, and I would turn the television off, much to the relief of D. who would do the same if I didn’t beat him to the punch when Oscar the Grouch came on because there was, to my brother, nothing scarier than a mean something-or-other who lived in a garbage can. In retrospect, I wonder how we learned our numbers and rudimentary Spanish?

That’s what this race reminds me of, and since I almost just ended this sentence in a preposition, let me elaborate further. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama = Bert and Ernie. In every other time period but this race, they are bunk mates. They should get along. They should not be fighting with one another because as democratic candidates they are working towards a shared goal, which is to bring our country back from the absolutely devastating presidency of George Bush. The ugliness and cruelty they display towards one another, though, thus brings out the ugliness and cruelty that rests in the hearts of average Americans, and since I am the kind of person who likes to pretend racism and sexism no longer exist – tra la la – I’m finding this race very hard to take. Questions like “Is America ready for a black president?” or “Is America ready for a female president?” posed by television pundits are enough to send me crawling for the celebrity gossip sights because, while the coverage of our political candidates and our movie stars is remarkably similar, at least I don’t feel the fate of our country depends on George Clooney.

So, I’m going to try something new on here. I’ve noticed the quality of my posts has been decreasing lately. Some of this, I think, because of the move – it hasn’t yet been two months since I left Michigan, and so I cut myself some slack for that. Another reason is my novel is sucking most of my creative energy away – I find it incredibly difficult to both write my novel well and blog well, and so I cut myself some slack there, too. But mostly, I think the quality is slipping because lately I have Big Things on my mind…things like politics and why I left Michigan and marriage and working and the possibility I’m losing my feminism and since I can’t write about any of these subjects in one whole post I turn instead to my recipe for oatmeal blueberry muffins and think “hey, I’ll post about these, today.” One of my biggest hurdles is how absolutely linear my mind works…S. and I were talking of this just the other day when trying to understand how come we don’t get along so well on the phone. I think (and he agreed) it’s because I think in a straight line, and don’t like to move from one subject until I’m comfortable with the first, whereas he is continually reminded of one thing and then another. This focus has always been my proverbial blessing/curse…for instance, in college, I could study for hours without moving, so long as it was only one subject I had to study. But, to switch from Shakespeare to American History? No dice. Once my concentration shifts, it tends to be shot for the rest of the day.

I’ve decided, then, to write about the democratic primary until, well, I’m done writing about the democratic primary. I don’t know how many posts this will be…possibly only one more. Possibly fifty more. I honestly have no idea. But for the next week, at least. I also think I’m going to tackle other subjects in a similar manner and honestly, I feel so relieved now, sitting here early on a Monday morning, hot coffee by my side, finally feeling like I’m blogging again. Things I hope to address in the coming days include Defining Moments, media coverage, John McCain (whom I previously considered comparing to Oscar the Grouch…ie the harmless and sort of lovable character who wouldn’t be oh-so-terrible as president but then I read more and realized hold on, he is NOT okay -), Michelle Obama and, for the fun of it, throw in my take on the Kwame Kilpatrick disaster and what public versus private really means. And just so there isn’t any confusion, I’ll state for the record I am now supporting Barack Obama so it’s possible these posts will be tilted favorably towards him which I can do since I am not a journalist but one of those annoying bloggers busy ruining the hierarchy of criticism and unbiased reporting. Would I had so much power. Anyway.

Wow. I just looked up Kwame Kilpatrick to spell check his name and my Tigers are really sucking it up. It can’t possibly be true they are out of world series contention already, can it? I mean, baseball is barely a week old! They’ll pull together. My baseball season can’t be over already…

A-hem. So now we have a plan, readers. For the next few days – politics. Then I’ll break up all the seriousness with some book reviews, some recipes and some memes. Then a series on working. Then more reviews/memes/recipes. Then feminism. And etcetera until I feel the need to shake up my approach again.

And in the meantime, I leave Friday for San Diego for work for a week – any restaurant recommendations you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. I am within walking distance of the gaslamp district. I won’t have much time during the day to see the sights but if you can recommend a fabulous place to end each day, perhaps with a slight emphasis on seafood/sushi/Italian/Vietnamese…in other words, not places priding themselves on huge portions of meat and potatoes, that would be great!

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13 Responses to On current politics, part one of ?

  1. kimhaasdesign says:

    Ooohhh, I can’t wait to read more. I love the novel-writing Courtney but I’ve missed the blogging Courtney. It’s tough to balance it all. BTW, I loved that Hillary post.

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    I’m looking forward to these posts too. I recognize the ambivalence about the primary you’re describing — I HATE to see the fighting, it really makes me a little ill, but I believe in the process too (although I’m afraid the process will be made meaningless in the end by superdelegates who will make decisions for us …).

  3. Stefanie says:

    So which one is Bert and which one is Ernie? 🙂 I wish I could recommend some good places to eat in San Diego since I grew up in El Cajon, one of its burbs, but it has been so long since I eaten out there and my parents when they go out don’t go for fish, well…There are some good places along the bay If I recall the Embarcadero is one of them but I think it is on the high price end, but you get a good view.

  4. lilalia says:

    Very much looking forward to your notions about the primaries, work, feminism, etc. I just hope that those idjits leaving nasty comments in the past have found other pastures to poop in.

  5. I admit that I’ve tuned most of it out. I was so excited about the election and when it got down to Bert and Ernie, and the infighting grew so much worse, I shut down. It’s probably not the wisest way to handle it, but it’s so frustrating. I am looking forward to your thoughts, however, on the primaries very much.

  6. SFP says:

    I carefully did not use the Big Dog’s name when I posted a photo from the campus rally last week so that I wouldn’t attract the crazies, though I suppose if I’d mentioned that I was still supporting Obama (as I assume all the people sitting around me sporting Obama buttons intend to do), some of the regulars might have posted “nice shot” or something. 😉

    Looking forward to your continued election coverage. McCain is definitely not harmless and loveable and I wish the press would quit covering for him.

  7. Cam says:

    I’m so glad to hear that someone else didn’t like Bert & Ernie’s arguing. Sesame Street was not aired locally when I was a child, but as a parent, when my son watched it, I found it tedious. However, I knew that the show was having a positive effect on him when he he told me, out of frustration over my not remembering who was Bert and who was Ernie, that B-E-R-T was T-A-L-L both 4 letters and E-R-N-I-E was S-H-O-R-T, 5 letters. If he was learning the value of mnemonics, it could not have been so bad.

    Of course this has nothing to do with your post. I do look forward to reading some of your thoughts on where we are now in the election cycle. And recipes, of course.

  8. Litlove says:

    I was hoping that the Americans would conduct their procedures for candidate selection with more grace than we do here. Alas, the battle between Obama and Clinton now ressembles ever UK election I’ve ever seen! When will politicians learn that dirty fights just upset the populace and remove credibility from the party? Some kind of tunnel vision must take over.

    Courtney, don’t worry in the least about having a break in blogging – we all need to every now and then to refresh ourselves. You only come back stronger every time.

  9. I’ve been very turned off by the in-party fighting as well; I mean I’ll still vote against a Republican in the fall, but still…disappointing.

    Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts (and that novel!) 🙂

  10. Courtney says:

    Kim – it is a tough, tough balance choosing where to put my time…and it really does seem as though I can’t do both well!

    Dorothy – don’t EVEN get me started on the superdelegates. Perhaps they will be my first post…

    Stefanie – good question! I guess Barack would be Bert since he’s taller?

    Lilalia – so far, so good – no nasty comments yet!

    Lit Fel – it’s easy to tune out, and much harder to force oneself to pay attention…

    SFP – I KNOW!! The press is just letting him ride his way to this nomination without any challenge at all – it’s infuriating.

    Cam – recipes really always are helpful, aren’t they ?

    Litlove – what a sweet comment. I find striking a balance from work, novel writing, blogging and all the other things I like to do nearly impossible, but that doesn’t keep my from trying, every day…

    Bleeding espresso – welcome! I think I’d rather risk Fata Morgana’s wrath than pay much more attention to the primary…

  11. Emily Barton says:

    Oooh, well this was well worth the wait to find out how Clinton and Obama are like Bert and Ernie. I couldn’t agree more with everything you have to say here about the election. Looking forward to reading more. Meanwhile, when you start tackling feminism, don’t forget to post over at What We Said. She’s feeling kind of neglected these days. I keep meaning to post there, but quite obviously have more important things, like silly memes, to write about. Oh, and now I’m waiting for some more great recipes from you the way I was waiting for the Clinton/Obama Bert/Ernie comparison.

  12. Noble Savage says:

    I like the idea of blogging about one subject until you run out of things to say or become bored with it. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the Democratic nominees, John McCain, et al.

  13. Mark Persons says:

    Wouldn’t you know it? Bert and Ernie have now debated Obama vs. Hilary!!

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