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How Hillary hit a nerve

Sunday, January 13, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named hillary.jpgShe may or may not have been acting, but either way, when she sighed in New Hampshire and almost broke out in tears, and said how she feared that our country was heading from a bad place to a much worse place, she came close to expressing how many of us feel. Close but not quite there, because unlike the rest of us, she has a chance of being able to do something about it. The rest of us, Republican or Democrat, are going to have to sit by, and hope (there's Obama's word) that someone else can straighten out the mess, and really means it when they say that's what they want to do. Permalink to this paragraph

Meanwhile... Permalink to this paragraph

On Twitter, a reminder from Republican diehards from the south, of the supposed discourse we've had over the last five years. Permalink to this paragraph

"Cut and run." Permalink to this paragraph

"Micromanage." Permalink to this paragraph

It's all positioning, appealing to fear. Of course I don't want to cut and run. Nor do I want to micromanage.  Permalink to this paragraph

Can we macromanage, or do we have to shut up and watch? Permalink to this paragraph

Our president used the term World War III, he actually spoke the words, as an optional American-started thing. This is the horror that makes us feel like HIllary did that day in New Hampshire. Permalink to this paragraph

In the sixties, the hardhats used to yell "America love it or leave it" to protestors. They had no clue about the country they were defending. Its strength is that you can love it, disagree with the people who run it, and not leave it. Even better, come Election Day, you can overthrow them, in a bloodless coup, and march down Pennsyvlania Avenue to celebrate. It's all right there in the Constitution. (But you don't get to hang the guy you overthrew.) Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named ronpaul.jpgWatching the Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, SC on Thurs night, the loutness of the Republicans was striking. First, the way they shouted down Ron Paul, who like HIllary, raised questions that most of us have. Why are we in Iraq? They laughed when he asked. Not only didn't any of them answer it, but none of them had the presence to realize that the majority of Americans who wonder the same thing might be offended by their laughter. I certainly was. When did dismissing an opinion you don't like become a proper response for someone seeking our vote? Any one of them could have said "I may not agree with Ron Paul, but please let him speak, and let him have our respect." Any of the others could have closed the deal in that moment. None of them had the guts to do it.  Permalink to this paragraph

I also was struck by the gungho rhetoric about going to war with Iran. It was like one of those war movies where the young guys rush to sign up wanting to teach the Kaiser a lesson, or the Commies or whoever the demon du jour is. The movies almost always teach that war is hell, by the time the war is actually underway everyone wishes it were over. The way wars start is with spit and vinegar, vim and vigor, talk of pride and honor, but they quickly devolve to misery, futility, death, devastation. My generation learned that early-on, with Vietnam. I don't remember anyone thinking we should be there. I missed being drafted by luck. I thought for sure that my generation would never choose to go to war. I was wrong. But I didn't imagine that, after creating such a quagmire in Iraq, which we still haven't extracted ourselves from, we would be so quick to conjure up another futile war. Permalink to this paragraph

War with Iran is a crazy, crazy idea. All evidence is that Iran has actually been trying to work with us since 9/11. Even if they weren't, as Ron Paul says, they're a third world country, no threat to us. That the Republicans would contemplate war with Iran, with such colorful gunghoisms (gates of hell, introduce them to their virgins), this is where HIllary hit the nerve. Could we be in for another four years of lunacy? Will those who object be called unpatriotic?  Permalink to this paragraph

Could a Republican actually win this year? Who thought Bush could actually be re-elected at this time in 2004?  Permalink to this paragraph

I heard on one of the Sunday talk shows that the reason Republicans don't like Ron Paul is they think he's anti-American. I've listened to him, if you take him at face-value, which I do, his ideas seem radical, unimplementable, but un-American? He's fervently pro-American. He says we should fix our own house, it's falling apart, instead of trying to control others (which doesn't work). How would we feel if our country were occupied by foreign troops? Would we do everything we can to expel them? (Of course.) Why should we expect any other country to be different? I've been saying the same thing since our invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ron Paul has the guts to say the madness is mad. He's the only one in either party who does that, though Obama comes close, and in her New Hampshire moment Hillary did too.  Permalink to this paragraph

I want someone to win my vote by telling me how good I am, not how bad the other guy is. I see through it, I know the Dems don't want to micromanage, they don't wake up in the morning looking for ways to lose. I know they're not cowards. All this sloganeering has done is make us weary of ourselves. I want to get started fixing things, if not now -- when? That's the nerve that Hillary hit. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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