Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Let's Look at the Big Picture

Here is the man I'd like to see elected the next U.S. president. His detractors, the Billary camp, like to play up his lack of experience as a weakness.

I don't see that as weakness. I see it as a strength. He is a fresh face with fresh ideas. He can be a symbol of a new USA, one committed to better international relations, a greener lifestyle, a healthcare system that doesn't discriminate against the working poor, and any other ideal. Whether he expresses those ideals at the moment is not an issue. It's time the Democrat Party and the US got a clean slate and started to look at issues from a new perspective. To do this, they need a fresh face fronting this movement. Obama is the man.

I've never been a Hillary fan. I liked Bill, thought he was one of the best presidents in modern times -- above the waist. But the Clintons like to play down and dirty. They'll feel your pain but stab someone else in the back. I don't think modern politics has room for that anymore. The issues should take over, and race and gender and experience or lack thereof should take a back seat.

Now, I'll step down from my soapbox and fill you in on the latest in the As the Idiots Turn saga.

First, the cast:

Wakeup: that would be me
Edna*: Friend I made when our daughters became friends at school. Her husband is chairman of the tennis club we belong to.
Mildred*: Friend I've known for the best part of 10 years. Our children are very good friends. I help her out a lot; she sometimes helps me out. We're going skiing at the same resort, but separately.
Gladys: Friend of Mildred's. Mortal enemy of Edna's since she spread a rumour round another tennis club and attributed it to Edna. Edna fell out with a mutual friend because of this rumour. Gladys has glommed on to Mildred bigtime and their families are going skiing together.

*not their real names

So last night Mildred and I went for a drink because we'd both had stressful days and realised we weren't going to make salsa class again. We chatted about my new favourite subject, dogs, a lot because Jake had just shown what a star he is at obedience training.

Mildred then goes all concerned and says, "Are you and Edna going to be all right because you're going skiing with Gladys and me?"

I decided to take the opportunity to tell Mildred that the feud between Edna and Gladys has nothing to do with me and has nothing to with her. I said they both need to draw a line under it and move on or they will never be happy, and that we would be doing our friends a favour telling them that rather than listening to their moans and rants about each other.

Then, Mildred said Gladys was surprised I was going with them skiing because I'm friends with Edna. And she added that people at the tennis club expressed surprise as well that I was going with them.

"How did these people at the tennis club find out where I'm going skiing? Why do they care where I'm going skiing? What business is it of theirs?" I asked in a somewhat vociferous manner. "They need to get a life."

Well, Mildred was immediately on the back foot. As you may recall from a few posts ago, Edna told me another friend told her Gladys was ranting on about me going. I wanted to not believe it, but Mildred pretty much confirmed it without saying it in so many words.

I continued: "These women want to draw everyone into their poisonous feud, and I'm not having it. It's nothing to do with me. They need to grow up. You and I have been friends for 10 years, Mildred, before either of these women entered our lives. I don't want their feud, and I don't care how it started or who started it, affecting our friendship."

Here's Mildred's reply: "I told Gladys that you would be hanging out with your friend who's coming as well anyway so she doesn't need to worry."

Worry? What does she think I'll do, push her off a cliff?

Here's what I wish Mildred had said: "I told Gladys that you and I have been friends for the best part of 10 years and our kids are best friends. Wakeup asked me if I minded her coming along and I said no, so get over it."

I don't like to be labeled or judged by people who barely know me, yet that's exactly what's going on. I don't know how this holiday will turn out. It's awfully expensive to go and have a bad time. I do know I don't ever want to be in a lifeboat with any of these woman. I would be shark bait for sure.


Flowerpot said...

I'm almost speechless, wakeup - and that takes a lot!

mjd said...

I like Barack too.

laurie said...

there's a good piece in the latest new yorker comparing hillary to obama, and examining the different ways they view the presidency.

in a nutshell, obama views it is a place to inspire, surrounding himself with managers he can delegate to.

hillary views it more as a job where the president should roll up his/her sleeves and work hard and figure things out. more as a manager job.

i worry about the first attitude because that is exactly how W viewed it. and look who he surrounded himself with.

frankly, i am not supporting either hillary or obama. there are other candidates out there. but i want someone who is smart, has good values, and who pays attention to what is going on. experience is not a bad thing, either. this "Fresh view" stuff sounds good but i want someone who knows his or her way around the job.

Aoj & The Lurchers said...

I have to confess to not paying too much attention to US politics at the moment. I struggle to understand politics in the UK let alone the US system. I'll pay more attention closer to election time.

As for your friends.......they are a bloody nightmare aren't they!?

J said...

I may be the biggest cynic here. As the child of a politician I say a politician is a politician is a politician. Obama, as a newer face on the scene, hasn't had the same scrutiny, hasn't wholly shown himself. Part of me wants to buy into the fresh vision thing - but then I think the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.

As I said, I'm a cynic on this front.

Can't believe the skiing/friend drama. Does jr. high never end?

Kaycie said...

I have to agree with Laurie. I think the approach to the job is important, and I would really like to see someone in the office who would do the work, and especially, do the thinking required for themselves.

The candidate for the Democrats I was most interested in was actually John Edwards. That is looking like a lost cause at this point.

-Ann said...

Screw them - you just go and have a great time. This is meant to be your holiday. The only person who can make sure you have a good time is you. :)

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

flowerpot: Fortunately, I wasn't, and I think I made a few good points that will be taken away and repeated to Gladys, for whom they are meant. She is a major-league manipulator.

mjd: Glad I'm not the only one.

laurie: Don't you think a combination of the two would be the ideal? And as for Dubya, well, an idiot will surround himself with idiots.

aoj: I am getting very close to washing my hands of the whole lot of them.

j: I think I'm just weary of being a cynic. I want to be inspired, and Hillary doesn't do that for me. And no, for some people junior high just goes on and on.

kaycie: I liked Edwards too, but he's a no-hoper. But I think Billary are courting him for VP.

-ann: You are so right.

Pantheist Mom said...

Wakeup, I'm inspired too. I heard Barack Obama speak at the Democratic convention 4 years ago (I was staying in a hotel in Baltimore while we were there for a Red Sox game). I was exhausted after the game and fell asleep with the TV on. I just happened to wake up when he was speaking and I was so inspired I cried. I've been telling people ever since that I want him to be president.

My friend from Colorado got to see him a couple of times in person today at the Denver arena. She called me very inspired, too.

I, too, am tired of feeling disillusioned and cynical. After these last 8 years, I HAVE to believe that there is something brighter on the horizon. Could be I'm deluding myself, and if I am, don't let me know - I'm happy living in my rosy world for now.

Barack the Vote.

Queeny said...

Billary? I love it. I'm gonna use it.

As for the personal drama: Too much she said, she said going on in that camp.

Sarah said...

oh god why do women have to be so bitchy? It's just like being backat school - ignore it don't let them ruin your holiday. (BTW hello again - I've been hibernating for a while!)

Anonymous said...

Actually, the "new US President" is pretty tasty.

Crystal xx

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

PM: I think the Democratic Party has tunnel vision and believes the only way to get into the White House is through a Clinton. No imagination.

Queeny: I can't take the credit for Billary, but it is good, isn't it. Yep, you're right about the she said/she said.

sarah: Glad you're back. Yeah, men never seem to do this, do they.

CJ: Yeah, and he doesn't have the zipper problem Bill Clinton had/has (as in he's always opening it).

marymaryquitecontrary said...

And the latest news tells us he is Irish! BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT