Hillary Clinton, in the interests of party unity, has finally offered to concede, if Obama will too.
Much of the joy and new hope I expected to feel last night -- with the blessed lifting of some part of a lifelong shame about America's perpetually broken promise -- was spoiled, of course, as it was for many others, by the characteristic spectacle of Senator Clinton both refusing to concede to the presumptive nominee and, at the same time, letting it be known that she would be willing to do him the favor of accepting the second spot on his ticket.
If Obama can't deal with this particular 3 AM call, this potentially fatal threat to the hope and promise of his noble and inspiring campaign and his great message of change, then he may not be strong or experienced enough to be president.
As with so many others who felt victory turning to ashes at the prospect of this nightmare ticket, I've been asking myself if I could in good conscience still vote for this great man if that means also casting a vote for her.
I've decided that I can, but only if she can put my mind at ease by taking the following steps:
1. She must apologize for her war authorization vote (& for voting against the Levin Amendment; and for not reading the NIE first). She doesn't have to explain. I've heard her explanation, and it is not as good as mine; but I'm willing to move on. All she has to do is apologize.
2. She must apologize for saying that McCain is more qualified to be Commander-in-Chief than Obama (even though McCain never actually served as First Lady).
3. She must apologize for her Iran war authorization vote (Kyl-Lieberman Amendment) and for threatening to "obliterate" Iran.
4. She must apologize for her hypocrisy about the Michigan and Florida votes (you know, for Most Admired Woman--celebrities always win).
5. She must apologize for her nakedly racist plea, often repeated, that she is more "electable" than Obama, especially in states with a lot of poor WHITE working people who just won't vote for him, bless their hearts.
6. She must apologize in general for her husband's behavior and promise to keep him out of Obama's way, by divorce and a restraining order, if necessary.
7. She and her husband must give solemn promises that there are no smoking guns in his post-presidency behavior that will allow McCain and the contemptible Republican swiftboatmen to distract the voters and damage Obama in the general election.
8. She must solemnly promise that she will never triangulate again: she will always tell the truth, as calmly and clearly as she can; and as close to spinless truth as she can manage; and that her position and message will be exactly the same whatever crowd or person she is addressing.
9. She must apologize for her alternately lying, crowing, and whining campaign, for Mark Penn, Howard Woolfson, Harold Ickes, Terry McAuliffe, James Carville, Lanny Davis, and Geraldine Ferraro, and especially for blaming her inevitable plunge from "inevitability" on "sexism."
10. She must apologize for all her insinuations (i. e., "as far as I know") and her pandering (i.e., using different accents in different states, bragging about her long history of duck hinting, knocking one back with the poor WHITE guys who love her so much, jumping aboard McCain's out-of-gas gas-tax-moratorium bandwagon, etc., etc., etc.).
I'd also like her to repudiate the Schumer-Feinstein centrist wing of her party, those fully responsible for giving us a fascist Attorney General, but that's a larger question; and besides, how can she turn her back on such a strong part of her base?
Is that enough?
She can't do any of this, you know. She doesn't apologize, can't do it. She just talks faster and orates in a sing-song and whines and changes the subject. She thinks she is a lot smarter than anybody else and can talk her way out of anything, so why should she have to apologize, even if she ever made a mistake, which she never does.
But I'll be fair: if Obama selects her as his running mate and she fulfills these few simple conditions, I'll vote Obama/Clinton '08.
Otherwise, I don't think so. I decided about the time of the Schumer-Feinstein Mukasey vote that I was no longer going to vote for the lesser of two evils. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Barack Obama has the opportunity to establish a new progressive Democratic Party. With Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, he may be able to work the miracles of restoring our democracy, restoring our reputation, ending the war, protecting the poor from the vicious rich, saving the world, and even maybe saving the planet. I've been so hoping that I would get to vote for him. I'm still hoping.