Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For the record, this working class white Jew is voting for Obama.

As a white, working class voter, I've been pigeonholed like crazy in this election. Yes, I voted for Clinton during the primary, but my objections to Obama were certainly not racial. Rather, they were based on a few things. First of all, I was pissed at Obama for the whole Donnie McClurkin fiasco last year. I was infuriated that Obama would stand on the same stage as a vicious homophobe, and then not apologize and fire McClurkin from his "gospel tour" when McClurkin's hateful views were uncovered.

Beyond that, though, I didn't think Obama had enough gravitas to go with his charisma. I, like a lot of folks, first thought of Obama as an "empty suit" with little to offer but inspiring rhetoric not backed up by the experience necessary to make stuff happen.

And it's not like Clinton was my first choice either. My first choice was Edwards. Then Edwards pissed me off about something. My second choice was Kucinich. Then Kucinich dropped out. My third choice was Edwards again, after I met him when he came to a campaign event in Tulsa. Then he dropped out (the next day). My fourth choice, by process of elimination, was Clinton.

But over the past few months, as Clinton has run a real asshat of a campaign, and Obama has proven he has more than enough gravitas to go with his veritas, I've been more and more convinced that Obama will make a fantastic candidate, not to mention a darned good President. And I will vote for him in November.

Now, I'm not only a white, working-class voter. I'm also a Jewish voter. And I've been pigeonholed against Obama on that front as well, with the wingnuts throwing up scare tactics about Hamas and Farrakhan at me, trying to get me to run screaming into the arms of their man McCain. The truth is that no mainstream American candidate, on either side, will ever say or do anything to imply anything less than full support of the state of Israel, and so voting based on the minute differences in rhetoric between the candidates on that issue is pointless and silly. I would argue that most Jewish voters understand this, and they won't be swayed by Hillary's stupid hawkish "nuke Iran" comments or McCain's "Hamas wants Obama" canard. The Jewish community will vote how it always votes - about 85% Democratic, no matter who the nominee is.

So to you Hillary supporters (and you McCain supporters as well) who want to scream FIRE about Obama's inability to connect with white, working class voters, and Jewish voters, I demand to be counted as one who can see through your shenanigans.

Today I gave my first $18 contribution to the Obama campaign. $18 (and multiples thereof) is a traditionally Jewish amount to donate, because the number 18 is Chai, or Life, in Hebrew. I'm sure I'll give more before November.

Yes we can.

(posted to the Randi Rhodes Show message board)