hillary clinton

Something Other Than Beer

Darcy Burner is running for Dave Reichert’s congressional seat.  That seat is in Washington State, so it’s a bit out of my normal purview, but Burner has been one of the leading figures in promoting the Responsible Plan — I learned about her via Orcinus a while back.  She put up a very good post at OpenLeft last week, on the genuine threat to American democracy posed by mercenary armies like Blackwater, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, etc., which are paid (and paid very well) by our government, ostensibly, to perform supporting duties for American troops.  In actual fact, these “contractors” are carrying out combat operations, and are frequently committing crimes — up to and including rape, murder, and torture — both against Iraqis and against other Americans, including their own coworkers.  On our dime, and in our names.  And because they’re not military personnel, and the US demanded, and the Iraqis had little choice but to accept, that “contractors” not be considered under the jurisdiction of Iraqi law, they operate in a legal vacuum.  They can’t be held to account for crimes they commit.

I’ve called the offices of my Representative and Senators, and asked them to cosponsor (respectively) H.R. 4102 and S. 2398, the House and Senate versions of the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, which would prevent further funding of mercenary armies.  I respectfully ask that the readers I optimistically imagine I might have read the OpenLeft post and the bills, and call or write your Congresspeople, and ask that they consider signing on as cosponsors.

2007-08 Presidential Campaign

It might have seemed from my earlier post “The Problem of ‘Hillary'” that I was a supporter of Senator Clinton for the Democratic nomination. In fact, she was probably my least preferred of the broader field before candidates started dropping out, but I see no contradiction in disagreeing with her policy positions yet finding it repulsive that she’s the target of such egregious misogyny in the media.

I was a strong Edwards supporter until he announced his withdrawal from the race. Now that the Democratic field has narrowed to two, I’ve been struggling with the decision in front of me. There are good reasons to support Clinton, and good reasons as well to support Obama; conversely, there are good reasons to be wary of each of them, especially for a moderate liberal like me.

Many other blogs have been all over the problems with each candidate, so for the moment I’m not going to discuss them at length.  A week ago, in the Massachusetts primary, after a great deal of thought, I voted for Obama, but I’ll be happy to contribute to, vote for, and perhaps volunteer for either Obama or Clinton in the general election.  I think despite their respective failings, either one would be a good president, and each represents important progress toward dismantling some of the biases which are significant problems in our society.

I also think that either Clinton or Obama can win pretty handily in the general election, though they’ll have a tougher time against John McCain, who now seems the likely Republican nominee, either than I think Edwards would have, or than I think they would have against (for example) Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.