Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Heads & Tails #8

Today's theme is "vote." Election Day and the act of voting make me feel more patriotic, more connected to my fellow citizens, than any other day on the calendar. Unfortunately, today in the Chicagoland area there aren't any races for me to vote on! So instead I'll share quotes about the system I hold so dear …

“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.” Walter H. Judd

“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” Theodore Roosevelt

“Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.” William E. Simon

“Fifty percent of people won't vote, and fifty percent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same fifty percent." Gore Vidal

For more about Heads or Tails, visit Mememistress Skittles.

A word about gender

I watched last week's Democratic debate and thought a fine time was had by all. I didn't see a group of men "piling on" a woman. I saw a collection of candidates -- a group that included a Black and a Hispanic -- nipping at the front runner, who happens to be a woman. I think this is a cause for celebration. The Iowa Caucus is less than 60 days away, and the serious Presidential candidates on the stage reflect America. How cool is that?

None of the men on that stage was condescending to Senator Clinton. Believe me, I would have noticed that. I'm still steaming about an exchange she and Rumsfeld had on C-Span when his voice was so dripping with condescension I had a flashback to most trips I've had to the hardware store. ("Don't worry your head about those other doohickeys and thingamabobs, little lady. Just buy this and be happy with it and be on your way.")

No, Obama and Edwards were just holding Hillary Clinton accountable for her recent decisions, current positions and past statements. And they should. She is asking us to elect her President of the United States. They didn't attack her marriage or her hair or personal finances. They didn't call her a harridan or a hormone hostage. They tried to pin her down on issues.

For her part, I thought she handled it all well. She got defensive and feisty but never shrill. I wasn't surprised. She's been through rough-and-tumble Presidential campaigns before.

There's an old Irish/Democratic saying that's been attributed to everyone from Mayor Daley (King Richard I) to Tip O'Neil: "Politics ain't beanbags." If she wants to win, Senator Clinton has to dish it out, and take it. She shouldn't be given a softer passage because of her gender.

BTW, I know this picture doesn't include Richardson and it probably should, considering the above content. But doesn't Edwards look yummy? I won't vote for him just because he's divine anymore than I'd vote for Clinton for being a woman or Obama for being Black. But this is my blog, after all, and if I want to gaze upon him, so I shall.