Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Obama v. Clinton: I'm Starting to Understand

All this time I've thought it was just me. I waffle back and forth in my analysis of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and wonder who really will be the best person to lead the nation.

As I've said before, I was for Kucinich before I was for Edwards, and I was for Edwards, before I was for Clinton, etc.etc.

While waiting on long-anticipated results to start trickling in from Pennsylvania I was doing a bit of research and found this list of superdelegates at the New York Times.

I've noticed a lot of LGBTQ folks are solidly on the Clinton wagon and a lot of LGBTQ-friendly folks are on the Obama wagon. Now don't get me wrong; I love my LGBTQ-friendly buddies with all my heart but it's just possible they have issues higher on the priority list than LGBTQ rights. And that's OK. Even I will admit I'm a bit more concerned about Iraq and the economy right now than I am about my right to marriage equality. (My preference would be to get the government out of the marriage business.)

Honestly, I'm kind of glad the gay rights thing has kept a relatively low profile this cycle. It gets tiring hearing the same wedge hammered over and over. I'd rather have a candidate who stays wishy-washy or silent on the issue while running for office and then comes out strongly for gay rights legislation once elected than a candidate who stakes out a strong gay-rights position and then loses the election amid of flurry of gay-bashing from the religious right.

Let's face it. I would love to live in a society where a candidate could say exactly how they feel about an issue and have that issue NOT be the defining issue in the race. We don't live in such a society. Between the toxic media and the religious right and those easily swayed by both, honesty and openness in a campaign is quite a wish.

Despite the fact it's 2008, if the Democratic nominee were to say, "I am in favor of marriage equality," we'd have another shitstorm in the general election.

And this presents a problem for me because now I have to try and understand what a candidate is thinking vs. what they are saying or not saying. That's not easy and it involves having a level of trust in a candidate. So rather than travel that risky road I thought I'd check out the list of superdelegates. Maybe they know these candidates far better than I do. I started looking for openly LGBTQ superdelegates in each column.

Clinton has Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank. Impressive. Unfortunately most of these delegates I don't know so there could be LGBTQ people in there and I'd have no idea.

However, one thing caught my eye. Loretta Sanchez of California is a Clinton superdelegate. She is listed in Wikipedia as a fiscal conservative and "fairly liberal" on social issues. Her sister, Linda Sanchez of California is in the Obama camp. She has a 100% HRC approval rating (that would be the Human Rights Campaign, not Hillary Rodham Clinton).

No wonder I'm having such a difficult time with this. It's 8:13 EDT. Time to go see what's going on in the Keystone State.

Chris Matthews just referred to Hillary Clinton as a "girl." Here we go!

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