This is breaking my heart. Why is it that we Democrats are incapable of NOT shooting ourselves in the foot (feet even)? In my view (and I'm hardly alone in this) this may be the most critical election of my lifetime. I've written (are you sick of it yet?) about the parallels to 1968 when the refusal of many anti-war voters to show up at the polls and vote for Hubert Humphrey brought us Richard Nixon and a cascade of disaster. That could and most likely will happen again if we don't all pull ourselves together.
I heard a commentator quote -- I thought Jefferson but can't find the source -- "True democracy means acceptance of defeat by one vote." Sounds right, doesn't it? But there is what we wish were true and there is political reality, and the reality this year is that every moment of hesitation by Senator Clinton's supporters puts another barrier between Senator Obama and the White House. My most-respected friend PunditMom has a very smart analysis of where all this antipathy is coming from. And there's a survey of much of the conversation in Lisa Stone's summary at BlogHer.
As I write this I think about the suffragists who won us the right to have this fight in the first place just 88 years ago. What would they think now? They were willing to stand up to those who asked them to halt their campaign until WWI was over. Should women have the same singular focus now -- placing their anger ahead of the outcome of this election? Is the injustice so great that it justifies putting another conservative Republican in the White House?
I think not. Our sisters will do us a disservice that will last a very long time if they continue to stand in the way of an Obama victory or even just sit on their hands, because that will betray women who are at the bottom of the power pile, raising children alone, struggling for childcare, lacking health insurance, vacation or sick leave and any kind of job security. Feminists rightly say that "every issue is a women's issue" and that means that every decision in a McCain administration will have a heavy impact on these women, and on the rest of us.
Beyond that, in my view, the perils of an anti-choice administration that will nominate judges like those who overrode violence against women laws in Virginia and frequently support employers over women seeking redress to sexual harassment or other discrimination, an Administration that will carry on the Bush foreign policy and continue to decimate our constitutional rights -- oh - you know the list -- those perils outweigh any grievance.
So if sisterhood is powerful, let those whose hearts are broken by the Clinton loss recall their sisters who need so much - and consider how little their interests would be served if Barack Obama does not prevail. On this, Women's Equality Day, let them ease their pain with the knowledge that they will help on "every issue" and therefore every "women's issue" if they can move past the pain of their defeat and see to it that our country itself is not defeated too.