I admit it: I’m a bad political blogger. Not only did I write snarky posts about the major party conventions, I took in most of my information about them via Youtube clips.
In my defense, I did try to listen to the actual speeches on the opening evening of each convention. Neither opening night offered anything significant enough to make me want to pay closer attention to the ones that followed. The most enlightened thought I had during either opening night was wondering why Michelle Obama isn’t the first lady at the top of the Democratic ticket.
Last week, I quickly tired of hearing why Republicans think we’re living in some post-apocalyptic hell-scape that only Trump can fix. This week I grew equally tired of hearing why Clinton is the better role model and how important it is to break that final glass ceiling. Myself, I don’t think either major party candidate is that awesome a role model.
I’m even thinking we should strike the phrase role model from our political conversation in entirety until this campaign is over. Further, if this is what breaking the glass ceiling looks like, I’m okay with keeping it intact for another four years.
During my Youtube research, I was intrigued by a clip of Stephen Colbert showing some of the front page print coverage of Clinton’s nomination. He showed 6 major newspaper outlets with headlines referring to Hillary Clinton’s historic nomination followed by pictures of her husband, not her.
The clip got me to thinking that former President Bill Clinton is like an ex that some Americans simply can’t get over. That love affair they wish had never ended. The eight best years of their lives.
I don’t get it. The thought of Bill and Hillary and their “conversation” returning to the White House makes me shudder, and I’m talking about policy, not personal conduct. We’re still trying to clean up the messes from the last time they were having their conversation at the White House.
Remember our recent Great Recession and the bursting of the subprime mortgage market bubble? It was foreshadowed back in 1999 when The New York Times ran an article about mortgage underwriter Fannie Mae easing credit requirements. The article explained the organization’s reasoning for doing so:
Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits. (Steven A. Holmes, NYT)
Then came the foreshadowing:
But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s. (Steven A. Holmes, NYT)
The Nation ran an article in February of this year that goes through the fallout from other Clinton-era policies step by step — from the push for mass incarceration to “ending welfare as we know it.” It’s a must read for anyone who has a nagging feeling in the back of their mind that our discourse about the Clintons today is glossing over some pretty serious backstory.
And that’s what I feel like the conventions were really all about: creating a candidate backstory that meets the two parties’ perceived needs of the moment. The Democrats glossed over decades of controversies and questionable policies to turn the Clinton camp into the perfect picture of leadership to have during an almost perfect time. Any sentence about everything Republicans have glossed over to embrace Trump as their savior for our hellish times would be redundant.
Both conventions and their respective candidates leave me wondering if it’s appropriate to say that I am starting to “feel the Johnson.” It’s an election cycle that has one major party candidate who has talked about the size of his hands and other body parts and another who is offering political aloe to all the Sanders supporters who got burned while “feeling the Bern.”
“Feeling the Johnson” seems like a relatively tame way to say I’ll be taking a good, long, hard look at the Johnson/Weld ticket between now and November.
I don’t necessarily buy into the crap that a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for Trump; a vote for Clinton is a vote for Clinton.
A vote for Johnson might just be a vote for Johnson and a vote against the broken two party system that nominated such unfavorable candidates.