Saturday, July 05, 2008

Obama, abortion and illusions (by Suzie)

      I was leisurely catching up on Shakesville last night when I saw people commenting on how feminist blogs are failing to discuss Obama's recent comments on abortion. Tsk, tsk, I thought. Then: Oh, damn, that's me. 
      I hope no one thought that I had the automated system replace "serious issues" with "Chihuahuas" yesterday. Automation was involved, however. I often write my posts in advance and schedule them for Friday, my usual blogging day.
     I can't keep up with the progressive (and I mean that in two senses of the word) disappointments over Obama. (See this NYT editorial.) Clinton supporters understood that she is a politician, and we knew her positions. But a lot of progressives thought that Obama was different, that he was above partisan politics, that he shared their views. 
     Some thought the same of Bill Clinton before he was elected president, and they ended up feeling angry and betrayed by some of his policies and actions. This colored some people's reaction to Hillary's race for the nomination. Now the cycle is repeating itself with Obama.
      I wish we could break free from the media game of building up people and then tearing them down. I don't mean that we shouldn't discuss Obama's faults, or problems with his policies. I mean that people shouldn't have turned him into the next American idol because that guaranteed disappointment would follow.
      I also see parallels with people hoping that Michelle will straighten out Barack on certain issues. Who knows. Is she a feminist?
"You know, I'm not that into labels," Michelle Obama said in the interview. "So probably, if you laid out a feminist agenda, I would probably agree with a large portion of it," she said. "I wouldn't identify as a feminist just like I probably wouldn't identify as a liberal or a progressive." 
          As an adult, I've always been to the left of our presidents. For me, this election is like many others: I'll vote for a person who can win and who comes closest to my views, knowing that I need to keep working on other issues that he won't support.
        For interesting comments on Obama and abortion, Shakesville has a good discussion. You also may enjoy this post on faith-based organizations at Pam's House Blend. I'm looking forward to a fundamental Christian group training a pagan nonprofit to run a preschool program.