I Voted for Clinton. These Were Not My Reasons Why.

Inspired by Ampersand's post that Jeff blogged about earlier--and my own recent call for people to think more critically about the candidates they support--here are ten bad reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Good reasons will come tomorrow (though I shudder to think what that comment thread's gonna look like), along with Amp's good reasons to vote for Obama.

1) Obama has been playing on liberal white guilt, thus getting advantages because he's black, and it's not fair. It's reverse racism or something!

Okay, first, apparently this still needs to be said: There is no such thing as reverse fucking racism. There are some people of color who are prejudiced against white people, but that's not racism; that's individual prejudice. Racism is a system of oppression; jerks are just jerks. Race-based bullshit is quite emphatically not "just as bad" when it happens to white people, because it's not supported by our institutions and culture. Period.

Now, do I think Obama's campaign has been playing on liberal white guilt? Sure. But I also think that's good political strategy--and pretty benign strategy at that--not anything morally suspect. (If enough American men actually felt guilty about sexism, Clinton would no doubt be using that to her advantage.) The fact is, there are still plenty of white people in this country who will not vote for a person of color. In light of that, the fact that some white people want to distance themselves from those blatant racists can hardly be seen as an unfair advantage for a person of color. I mean, come on. Seriously.

2) The obverse of Amp's second point: Clinton's been attacked by sexists throughout this whole campaign, and Obama totally hasn't gotten as much racist shit heaped on him, and/or none of the shit he has gotten has come from the Clinton camp!

Let me be clear, because when Jeff posted about Amp's post, the basic point wasn't clear to everyone. Deploring sexism is a perfectly good reason to vote for Clinton. (It's on my list.) Believing that white women win the Oppression Olympics, however, is a really bad reason. And believing the Clinton camp hasn't taken advantage of racism is delusional.

3) Because she's more progressive than Obama.

On some issues, this is true. On others, it's not. As far as I can tell, neither one is a true progressive--or at least, neither one is able to act as a true progressive in the current political climate (and that won't change when one of them is president). Clinton's better on some things; Obama's better on others. They're both ultimately centrists and will likely be forced to govern from the center, regardless.

4) Because you liked Bill Clinton and really wouldn't mind a return to the '90s, at least when it comes to the economy.

Look, it doesn't matter if it's someone pro-Hillary or anti-Hillary saying it: conflating Hillary with Bill is sexist bullshit. It implies either that a wife automatically holds all the same opinions as her husband or that you think she's only pretend-running in order to give him a third term. Either way, you can fuck right off with that.

5) Because Obama's an elitist who's out of touch with the average American.

Please. This is pure right-wing framing, and it ignores the fact that everyone running for president has infinitely more money, education, power, and privilege than the average American. (That's how they get to run for president.) Whether Obama's recent remarks pose a long-term electability issue is a different question, mind you. But the idea that we will ever see a president who's directly tapped into the experience and concerns of the average working stiff is a fucking pipe dream. The best we can hope for is a president who actually gives a damn about Americans who aren't rich enough to do him or her favors, a president who will actually listen. Both candidates pass that test--unlike the politicians the GOP keeps selling as the ones who are in touch with average Americans.

6) Because any female candidate would be better for women than a man.

Two words: Condoleezza Rice.

I happen to think we've got an excellent female candidate, and that she is somewhat better than the man she's running against for the nomination. And because of that, I absolutely factored her gender into my vote; I really want to see a woman president, and I think she'd do a fine job. There's nothing wrong with that. But not every woman has women's best interests at heart, and not every man wants to keep us down. (Note: I happen to think most of the "feminists" who actually believe any woman is better than any man are of the straw persuasion, but this comes up a lot, so there you go.)

7) Because Obama can't do anything but make good speeches.

You know, I have my concerns about Obama's experience--and about his ability to speak extemporaneously, for that matter--but for Christ's sake, he's not some kind of idiot savant. He's an extremely smart and accomplished man who would be surrounded by extremely smart and accomplished people as president.

It is the job of people running campaigns to distill complex concepts into ear-wormable soundbytes. It's our job as citizens to take those soundbytes with a grain of fucking salt. Simply repeating this one as if it means a President Obama would surely be incompetent is horseshit. Not to mention, the ability to inspire cynical and jaded people actually does come in handy.

8) Because Obama's too young.

If you didn't or wouldn't have voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 because of his youth, you have my blessing to use this argument; being mindful of point 4, I certainly don't want to assume anything. But if you did or would have, and yet you're still walking around saying Obama's too young now? STFU, hypocrite.

9) Because Obama's pastor is racist and anti-American!

Sexist, yes. Racist and anti-American, no. And what does it have to do with anything anyway, considering I can't even tell you the name of Clinton's pastor, because I have no reason to think that affects her candidacy? As with point 5 above, I believe Wright is going to be a challenge to Obama's electability in the general. But that's because the GOP machine is going to make hay out of those videos, not because the shit they'll be saying is true or relevant. Also, see point 1 about "reverse racism."

10) Because you want to see all the bloggers and pundits who've been screaming, "Why won't the stupid bitch quit?!?" forced to eat shit when she takes her boobs and moves into the White House.

Okay, I'm not sure that actually qualifies as a bad reason. But you have to admit it's kind of petty.

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