Stand by Your Wo/Man
“Obama’s Promise,” our February 25 lead editorial, in which we said, “We support Obama for President,” drew a flood of mail, about 80 percent angry. Although we delighted some (one enthusiastic reader was so pleased he sent $100 to the Nation Associates), several subscriptions were canceled. Our decision was called: unfortunate, over-hasty, unwise, short-sighted, stupid, troubling, outrageous, misogynistic, divisive, shocking, shameful, sexist, Clinton-bashing, contrived, disgusting and naïve. Readers said they were startled, furious, dismayed, deeply disappointed, sick, shocked and sad. “For the first time I disagree with The Nation,” said one reader; another was “astounded at the depth of anger I felt.” “Sexism is more rampant in America than racism,” said a third. “Barack in 2016, not now,” said another. And finally: “I am sick of men making all the calls…. It’s just time for a woman. That’s all.” –The Editors
You say Obama has a chance of winning the election and putting together a “progressive coalition.” What has he ever done that causes you to make such an assertion? Hell, he hasn’t been in the league long enough to do anything. You, like Senator John Kerry, anger me with your stupidity. As clean as Kerry was, look what the Republican filth-and-slime machine did to him, as well as to Max Cleland and others. They’ll have a field day with an admitted pot smoker, cocaine user and a dude whose middle name is Hussein. They don’t have any more dirt to throw at Hillary–we’ve heard it all. Your naïveté astounds me. Cancel my subscription.
JOHN T. DEMPSEY
Thank you for your eloquent endorsement of Barack Obama. I have just one quibble: you say Obama is in the middle of the pack regarding his voting record. But according to Keith Poole and Jeff Lewis’s analysis of the 110th Senate (voteview.com/sen110.htm), Obama’s record makes him tied for ninth most liberal Democratic senator and tenth most liberal, period. He is surpassed only by Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown and Jack Reed; he is tied with Joe Biden. (In contrast, Hillary Clinton is tied for twentieth in the 110th Senate, ranked twenty-fifth in the 109th, tied for twenty-first in the 108th and ranked twenty-second in the 107th. That’s the middle of the pack.)
There is no way to quibble with the reasons for your endorsement. Except for the real (and scary) possibility that come November, a vote for Obama will morph into a victory for McCain. (Let us not forget that the Klan mentality is far from extinct.) Yes, Obama has great appeal and can generate considerable support. However, now in my ninetieth year, I long ago learned not to be carried away by even the most inspiring rhetoric. If not Hillary, ultimately it will have to be women who will keep testosterone-crazed men from getting us into one war after another and ultimately blowing up the planet. There is much more at stake than the upcoming election.