“I’m Gonna Harden My Heart”….

I’m gonna harden my heart

I’m gonna swallow my tears
I’m gonna harden my heart
I’m gonna swallow my tears
Harden my heart…harden my heart…
swallow my tears
I’m gonna harden my heart….

–Quarterflash

This oldie but goodie has been playing in my mind over the last few days. I think I knew I had to go find the lyrics last night, though, as I composed a response to a post I read on another blog.

I can’t vote for Obama if he is the nominee. At this point, it’s become visceral. I won’t go into a detailed explanation right now, because my views have been expressed by many others on many of the blogs on my Blogroll.

Please note, there ARE people I will be voting for in November, so I won’t be a “stay-at-home voter.” I’ll vote for our Senate nominee, Udall, with great enthusiasm. And I will NEVER, NEVER vote McCain!!

But the reality is that my feelings go WAY BEYOND Obama! It’s what the party has been doing over the years…

This top-of-the-ticket issue has been brewing for a long time. But, for an even longer time, the seed has been developing because of the way the Democratic Party leaders have acted for the last 8 years! I’m not talking about “fighting Dems” or the “Out of Iraq” caucus. I’m referring to those 15-20 Senate Democrats who seem to consistently vote with Republicans. I’m talking about Democrats who don’t act like Democrats!!

For months, I watched Harry Reid “bobbing and weaving,” playing out that old, wiley boxer strategy. At least that’s what people kept saying that’s what it was. All too often, though, there was no final punch. We heard a lot of talk, but nothing with follow-through. And then, the Democrats took back the House! Wow, the HOPE METER went way up when Pelosi gave us her list of “things to do.” Well, it didn’t take much time for the HOPE METER to start plummeting.

So this is the background affecting my view of the Presidential contest. From the beginning, I was an Edwards supporter. I didn’t care about his votes (at least he apologized) and my “older” perspective knew damned well most of what he was calling for would probably stall in the Congress. But, for me, AT LEAST HE WAS ARTICULATING A SENSE OF OUTRAGE AND WILLINGNESS TO FIGHT! It was the “willingness” part that grabbed me…the sheer guts of getting out there with things that needed to be said, things that the current crew in DC were loath to touch.

After he was decapitated by the media as well as by the general malaise of the Democratic Party voters and other candidates, I stood back for awhile. I really, from the get go, had decided I would NEVER support Clinton. Just another “corporatist” and there was “that vote” about allowing for military intervention in Iraq. And the “blue dress.” And the conciliatory words/actions of Bill towards Bush I and II. (I could deal with the Katrina buddying with Bush I since I saw the “former Presidents Club” swinging into action. But some of the comments about Iraq? Not happy.) Then there was Obama. I NEVER found him appealing. I felt his early messaging about “unity” and “bipartisanship” was simpering and unrealistic. And, gee, hadn’t we been seeing years of Democrats bending over already?? And exactly WHERE had that gotten us?? And, as I mentioned earlier, I won’t be detailing all the OTHER reasons at this time that have resulted in my very negative opinion of him.

But, what I WILL explain is my hardening sense of why I don’t want to vote for him if he is the nominee, reasons apart from his own campaign! After hanging around since the 60’s, I have just reached the point where I ams SICK AND TIRED of feeling that I MUST vote for people I don’t want to vote for!! I’ve swallowed hard so many times, after being skunked by the Democratic Party over and over again. I feel like I’ve been faked out once too often. I’ve come to believe that once they get to DC, many Democrats, especially Senate “Gang of 14” types, morph into fence leaners at the very least, and very often, very good impersonations of Republicans! Either that, or they become total cowards.

I look at the present day apparent willingness of the DNC to disenfranchise voters in Florida and Michigan and I can’t help seeing as clear as day the similarities between Republicans and Democrats in putting the voters last ! Shame on the DNC!! I’m feeling that. for once and for all, I have to STAND UP to this nonsense. Call it punishment, if you like. I’ve already put my plan into effect by responding to a DNC “survey” with no money and plenty of scathing comments scrawled all over it. Same thing for a phone poll from the Parker Group out of PA last night…it was definitely a DNC poll and I let them have it there, too. (In the latest news, according to Jonathan Alter, “insiders” are offering up the NY governorship as a “consolation prize” for Hillary if she exits the race…if this is actually true, just another example of disdain for voters! See here .)

Which brings me back to what to do with my vote in November. The biased media, the DNC, and the increasing lying from the Obama campaign on issues and his own actions, coupled with the very personal attacks on Hillary Clinton have shoved me over to actually being willing to vote for her if she is the nominee! I’ve come to respect her guts and as a woman, how she’s held onto her dignity. In addition, I figure that if she can bring in some people like Bill brought in to help fix up the first Bush economic mess, then maybe we can get the current Bush economic mess fixed. Anything else that can be accomplished involving foreign policy will be a bonus.

But Obama? He falls into the category of someone that I do not feel I MUST vote for. I don’t want to be pressured into voting for someone that doesn’t meet my minimum standards on experience, not to mention his character issues that will be just as much fodder for the GOP in November as the “blue dress et al.” Obama doesn’t seem very adept at either explaining OR moving off some of these issues, particularly Rezko and Wright and I also have no trust in how much he will fight Republicans if he even gets into to the White House (which I don’t believe will happen if he’s the nominee). He doesn’t have any track record on this at all–he and his campaign just seem to like to take off on Clinton in personal terms, copy some of her words (“play follow the leader”), and also play the race card which a genuflecting media seems to ignore.

The last couple of months have left a very sour taste in my mouth, both for the DNC and Obama. The combination has pushed me over the edge…

So, I’m almost certain to vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. If Obama is the nominee, I will write in Edwards. I’ll vote for Dems down-ticket for the most part, unless I find out things I don’t want to stomach anymore.

And that’s where I stand now. It’s a question of keeping my intellectual honesty.

I’ve finally “hardened my heart.”

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