19 May 2008

Political Experience

Main Entry: ex.pe.ri.ence

Pronunciation: \ik-spir-e--n(t)s\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin experientia act of trying, from experient-, experiens, present participle of experiri to try, from ex- + -periri (akin to periculum attempt) — more at fear
Date: 14th century

1 a: direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge b: the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation

2 a: practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity b: the length of such participation experience
in the job>

3 a: the conscious events that make up an individual life b: the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally

4: something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through

5: the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality.

Last night I watched part of this segment on Bill Moyers Journal. The hook was plausible; two politicos, married to one another, each supporting a different candidate. In this instance -mercifully - it was not Mary Matalin and James Carville but Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste. He supports Obama, she Clinton. I found the segment infuriating and eventually had to close my eyes and go to sleep. I am sick to death of hearing Clinton and her supporters go on and on about her putative "experience" and how that gives her an edge over Obama. It is even more tiresome that no on asks what in the world they are talking about. Here is a bit from the transcript:

MARIA ECHAVESTE: There ought to be a way in which you can challenge lack of experience, which I think is hugely important, one of the reasons that I chose Hillary Clinton, not just because I've known her for many years, but because I've seen how tough the job is, having worked as President Clinton's deputy chief of staff.

It's like what the next President is facing is gonna require such a set of skills and experience and strength of character that I just felt Senator Obama, who I do admire and I do think that he can be a great leader. I just felt, "How do you challenge that lack of experience without it being seen through this racial ... lens"

Now, I do not think that everyone who opposes Obama is racist. Clearly, however, some are and that is how the Moyers segment was motivated (a set of remarks by voters in West Virginia.) Nor, on the other hand, do I think Obama represents the second coming, one in whom hope and unity and progress will magically converge. I have made it clear here why I've supported him. Not much enthusiasm on my part. I have never liked Hilary Clinton; not because, as right-wingers would have it, she is some sort of ultra-liberal harpy but because she, like her husband, is a DLC republican wannabe. It may well be, as Echaveste complains, that the media have not treated Clinton "fairly." But remember that there were half a dozen other candidates in the Democratic primaries who never got the time of day from the media early on because Clinton was the presumed nominee. So what is fair?

What I simply do not get is why Clinton supporters can't just say - 'I am voting for her because she is a woman.' Echaveste makes something like that point: "But we shouldn't deny and sort of ignore that we also have the first female candidate who has really shown that a woman could run for President and do so and be very viable. Remember, this race is very close." I agree. This is an historical opportunity.

But what is all this bullshit about her "experience?" What precisely has Hilary Clinton actually done that affords her any edge in experience over Obama? Maybe she has seen things - as in witnessed or observed - but has she participated in them? What has she done? What am I missing? Why is no one calling Clinton and her various mouthpieces on this?

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Anonymous Dawei_in_Beijing said...

Clinton's experience has not resulted in sound judgment, that's for sure. It blows my mind that she refuses to bow out of the race, and worse, press the issue of FL and MI. She's now going as far as trying to insinuate that Obama's camp is out to disenfranchise Floridians, inciting resentment in said voters, and, essentially, guaranteeing those states for McCain. She is really a low life POS. She's acting like if she doesn't get the nomination, she'll be damned if another democrat gets it. This is why the democrats are a bunch of losers.

21 May, 2008 16:44  

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