Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rhetoric vs. Policy

I've come to believe that the difference between Obama and Clinton is the difference between rhetoric and policy.

The other night I realized something. So I asked my husband, "If Clinton is elected, what would be her first major policy move?" He said health care. Then I asked, "If Obama is elected, what would be his first major policy move?" He couldn't answer. Neither could I.

Obama's power for people is in his ability to motivate people, apparently, in his ability to listen. I cannot tell you how many conservative people I have heard/read say that they feel that although Obama disagrees, they think he will listen to them. And I still can't figure out what that means. Are anti-abortion activists really saying it's okay if Obama supports abortion rights so long as they can go to him and he'll listen to them? Is that really all it takes? "I'm Frasier Crane and I'm listening."

What really freaked me out this past week is the news that former Buffy actress Emma Caulfield plans to vote for Obama. Emma has always been right-wing, and indeed, her December 25, 2007 post to her Myspace indicates that she plans to vote for Ron Paul, racist libertarian candidate. But last week she announced that she had decided to vote for Obama.

Now, who the fuck cares what a H-list actress thinks about the presidential race? Really, it's just that it is symbolic of people who support Obama. They don't really know or care what his policies will be. They *trust* him. And that comes from his rhetorical skills, no? He hasn't done anything in particular to win that trust. In fact, look how close he came to betraying the trust of feminists.

Meanwhile, feminists all around the blogosphere keep holding the feet of Obama and his supporters to the fire. Here's Shakesville, Talk Left, Corrente, and Anglachel. I count myself among those who really cannot read the "top" bloggers any more--Kos, The Person Who Kidnapped Josh Marshall (tm Bob Somerby), or Aravosis.

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