Hillary

So, I’m pretty much hoping that Hillary gets obliterated by Barack Obama in Michigan on Tuesday.

(Parenthetical note: I can’t believe this is the first blog I’ve written about the election. Watching presidential debates, election returns and analysis on television plays pretty much the same role for me that football season plays for most guys. And election night is like my Superbowl. Except that it only happens every four years, so it’s really more like my World Cup. (Parenthetical note inside the parenthetical note: it really doesn’t matter if Hillary gets obliterated in Michigan on Tuesday, since the delegates aren’t being recognized by the Democratic National Committee. (Tertiary parenthetical note: bravo Howard Dean for standing up to Michigan’s calendar-hoping hubris!)))

In any case, I realized today that I really am hoping that Hillary gets trounced in Michigan on Tuesday, and if not there, in Nevada on Saturday. I’m hoping it with a sort of visceral, nasty hope.

When I realized this, I was surprised- despite it being a popular pastime, I’ve never been a Hillary-basher. I certainly am not put off by the idea of a woman being president. Or a strong-willed, ambitious woman with an edge. Dare one use the “B” word, I habitually end up really liking women who are described by others (or themselves) as bitches. In fact, my favorite of all Hillaries was the pre-domesticated version who, long-hair flowing and eyes flashing, clad in a leather jacket, made a sarcastic apology on the Clinton campaign trail in 1992 for not, “Staying home and baking cookies like the other mothers.”

And yet I have felt strongly anti-Hillary throughout this campaign cycle. Thinking about it, I believe this is why: the candidate, her positions, her money, her voting for the war back when it mattered, issuing press releases that talk about Obama’s grade school essays, all of it, is pretty much part of the machine. You know the one I’m talking about- the machine that has us in Iraq, that wants us to buy a lot between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that depends on us remaining safely sedated in front of our televisions every night. It’s the machine in a woman suit, so it looks a little new and different, but at the end of the day it’s still just the machine.

This time around, though, the Democratic field has someone who not only has a non-machiney whiff about him, but also has an imaginable shot at nomination. I don’t think Barack Obama is the second coming. Compared to Dennis Kucinich, for example, he’s still clearly a pretty conventional candidate. But he’s a few degrees off of conventional enough that he’s worth getting excited about. He won’t be a boulder that crushes the machine, but he might be sand that wears it down.

I, for one, would like to see him pour.

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