Monday, February 04, 2008

Super Duper

Well, if yesterday was Super Sunday and tomorrow is Super Tuesday, that must make today Super Monday. And I'm super, thanks for asking. I'm super because the New York Giants won the Super Bowl--but they're really from New Jersey. And so am I. While I detest football, the macho-bullshit subculture, the excruciating pace of a game played seven seconds at a time, the overweight athletes who are paid the equivalent of the gross national product of a third world country for playing what is essentially an organized game of Kill the Guy with the Ball, I was pleased to see the Giants win. Hometown heroes and all that. I didn't watch the game, mind you, but I did check back to catch the score every once in a while and saw the last minutes or so when the Giants scored their final touchdown and extra point. I saw the end game celebrations and imagined the glee both my father and brother must have been experiencing at that moment. And that felt super.

Tomorrow, our "green" mayor will host a ticker-tape parade for the New Jersey team down New York's famed Canyon of Heroes. Do they actually use ticker-tape any more? And if this parade were to happen after the mayors congestion pricing went into affect anyone driving in from New Jersey to attend the parade would have to pay an additional $8 for the pleasure. Once again this begs the question, won't the paper wasted on a ticker-tape parade kind of undo any environmental benefit that would come from congestion pricing? Just asking.

What's also super is that homophobia seemed to be out of the commercials for the most part, unlike last year. But unfortunately, misogyny was back in. It is, sadly, a staple of sporting event advertising. Several of the morning talk shows discussed how many women were offended by the Ugly Betty style Planters commercial which can be seen here.

What wouldn't be super is if the Super Bowl ticker-tape parade keeps people away from the polls tomorrow on Super Tuesday. Which brings me to the question of whom to vote for in the Democratic primaries. I'll admit, I've been going round and round on the subject. Right now I'm leaning toward Obama over my senator, Mrs. Clinton. His Kennedy endorsements, his campaign of hope and change and his ability to motivate an otherwise apathetic electorate are what's swaying me in that direction. Obama also picked up the endorsements of and of my former New Jersey Senator, Bill Bradley recently, which also hold some sway with me.

This is not to poo-poo Hillary Clinton's New York Times endorsement, but then I would expect them to endorse her. Their's is a decision based more on black and white facts of policy and experience than gut-feeling. And I'll admit I continue to be impressed with Hillary when I hear her speak. She knows the issues inside and out, she speaks the facts and her policies are based on her experience of knowing how the system works. Yet I feel her polarizing personality and the baggage of the last Clinton administration will create more of the same congressional grid-lock we've had for almost 16 years. The Republicans may not agree on who they want as their nominee, but one thing they can all agree on is how much they hate the Clintons.

As far as policy, the differences between Obama and Clinton are minute. Both would end the war in Iraq, although I applaud Obama's stance against the war from the very beginning. Unlike Hillary, he spoke his conscience on the matter rather than made a decision he thought would be politically advantageous to him when he was up for re-election or ran for president. Hillary's judgement there and in her choice to use her husband as a political bully during her campaign raise serious questions about her leadership to me.

As for healthcare, while I like Hillary's idea of mandatory health insurance, I fear that to get such legislation passed the concept would be whittled away to nothing but a skelatal program that really wouldn't do those who need it much good. As for Obama's plan of reducing the cost of insurance to make it more affordable to all Americans, I fear that once again, the poor, infirmed and under-educated will still not get the coverage they need simply because they don't have the wherewithal to wade through the already mind-numbing confusion that is our healthcare system in this country. Believe me, I know. I had to go through this harrowing experience myself lately. So for me this issue is a draw.

Finally, on tax cuts and the economy, I have to lean more toward Obama because his tax cuts will benefit middle class Americans across the board. Clinton's plan is to create tax cuts for this, that and the other group many of whom fall in the middle income tax bracket. This to me would create more confusion over new tax laws and is essentially unfair to some Americans. For example, additional tax cuts for people with children or who are saving for college really wouldn't benefit me and is a bit "family-biased" in my opinion. It sends the message that if you are single or not producing children you are worth less to society. That rubs me the wrong way.

All this hair-splitting aside, we have two super candidates either of whom would do super things as president. And that's progress.

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At 4:50 PM, Blogger Matt said...

As much as I've seen, you look NOTHING like Big Gay Al. Dear God - you don't dress like him, do you?????

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Based on your comments, it sounds as though you are voting for with your Obama supporting brother. I love it. One further note about the ticker tape parade, what the hell were they thinking when they decided to have this on FEB 5?!? Its only the biggest political event in this century and we are going to pack the city full of people attempting to catch a glimpse of their football heroes while ordinary citizens are trying to vote for who will save us from the rethugs. Stupid!

At 12:57 PM, Blogger judy said...

Just came back from voting, and I feel SUPER! I'm pretty psyched about the choices on my side of the ballot, but also that for the first time in a Presidential primary in NJ, my vote actually means something!
Be sure to get out and vote, folks. It's great to have power.
Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Red7Eric said...

... we have two super candidates either of whom would do super things as president. And that's progress.

Yup. I love all the passionate progressives in my life, but I wish they'd all end their political opinions the way you did. We gotta stick together this year, folks -- no matter what.


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