Note: Please see The Confluence for exciting PUMA updates all day long. Riverdaughter and other Conflucians will be live-blogging from Denver! And click here for a video of Hillary’s historic speech last night.
Last night, Mark Warner, not Hillary Clinton, delivered the keynote address. It’s hard to remember that, given that the night was All About Hillary!!!111!!! But I actually did listen to some of Warner’s speech, and it told me all I need to know about last night’s theme. It was supposed to be “Renewing America’s Promise,” but it was, in reality, “Non-Transferable.”
Mark Warner, from all reports, was a very good, and popular, Governor of Virginia. (His successor, Tim Kaine, who was thisclose to being Obama’s VP pick? Not so much.) He is almost assuredly going to be the next Senator from Virginia as well, meaning that in 2008 Virginia will have a Democratic Governor and two Democratic Senators, in large part due to the accomplishments of Mr. Warner himself.
As I listened to this very successful Democrat speaking, I was proud of all he had been able to do for Virginia. But it made me wonder – how does this relate to Barack Obama? Where is the list of everything he has done for Illinois? For his country? In a laughable bit of verbal slight-of-hand, Governor Warner would say “And so does Barack Obama” every few minutes, to make it seem that somehow, some way, Senator Obama was just as accomplished as he is.
But it didn’t work, because accomplishments are non-transferable.
When Hillary first walked onto the Convention floor, my heart was ripped in half. I could not contain my tears. It was almost too painful to watch this amazing woman stride onto that stage, as her husband and daughter looked on so proudly; this woman who, through the machinations of a Chicago thug and his DNC enablers, has been denied the nomination that 18 million Americans wanted her to have. How could she stand it? How could she live up to the challenge of this moment? A lesser human being would have quailed before this task, especially after having unexpectedly and tragically lost two dear friends (Bill Gwatney and Stephanie Tubbs Jones) within the last two weeks.
But Hillary is Hillary, and what she did last night was incredible. She defined herself as the ultimate FDR Democrat, she supported Senator Obama, she made a strong case against McCain without demonizing him, and she gave shout-outs to PUMAs by directly quoting Riverdaughter’s astonishing post from November of last year (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit“) and saying the following:
My mother was born before women could vote, my daughter got to vote for her mother for President. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the underground railroad.
On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice:
‘If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If they’re shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.’
And even in the darkest moments. That is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.
Pat Buchanan, bloviating on MSNBC last night, stated that our love for Hillary was “non-transferable.” But why do we love her so? Hillary had, once again, reminded us of the reason: It’s because of her 35 years of unwavering commitment to the Democratic Party platform in the face of overwhelming Party resistance and 16 years of the most vicious right-wing assaults imaginable. Hillary’s adherence to principle is inspiring, and her strength is unassailable.
Yet, despite our love and support for this extraordinary, dedicated Democrat, she will not convince us to vote for Senator Obama, because principles are non-transferable.
The Democratic Party, despite the struggling factions beneath its Big Tent, has, in my lifetime at least, always nominated qualified, accomplished, traditional Democrats to the Presidency. That is why I have always voted Democratic without question.
But this year, they are refusing to do the right thing, to take the only winning course in November. They are handing the nomination to an unqualified, unaccomplished junior Senator who has spent his entire life making people see him as they want to see him, while giving few hints of the real agenda behind the charming persona. That Senator is not deserving of my vote, which, thanks to the shocks and bruises and awakenings of this incredible primary season, I have finally realized is mine to give, and mine to take away.
This year, my vote…is non-transferable.