Thursday, February 7, 2008


by Joan Wile, Founder, Grandmothers Against the War, and author
"Grandmothers Against the War: Getting off Our Fannies and Standing up for Peace,"
to be published by Citadel Press, April 29, 2008

I'm getting a bit ticked off with all the pundits and polling reports that claim that older women are for Hillary. In my circles, this just isn't true. I can't speak officially for my two organizations, Grandmothers Against the War, and Granny Peace Brigade, because of financing and ethical rules, but I can certainly speak for many individual grandmothers of my acquaintance.

Peace grannies, who have been in the vanguard of the anti-war movement since before Shock and Awe shocked us to our very core with horror, have been consistently opposing Hillary since before the resolution giving Bush authority to start preemptive war was announced. At first, we tried through letters and petitions to get her agreement NOT to vote for the resolution -- I, for instance, was part of a MoveOn team of people who visited with her New York City staff to urge her to oppose the resolution -- but once that failed, we grannies began a number of protests aimed at her, along with Code Pink and others. Many times, we held vigils outside her Third Avenue offices. Many times, we bird dogged her at her fund raisers -- so many of them held here in Manhattan where the big, big money resides.

We have been so angered by her. It wasn't enough that she supported that damned Resolution, she has continually advocated more troops in Iraq. That is, until it became clear to her that such a stance would hurt her Presidential ambitions....very late in the game, it must be said. Then, and only then, did she claim to be opposed to the occupation of Iraq. And, never once has she admitted to making a mistake. She insists that the intelligence was faulty and that it was the correct decision given that intelligence. Excuse me, why is it we old ladies (and so many millions of other people) could see this war would lead only to disaster but she, with all her privileged information, couldn't (or, more to the point, wouldn't?)

Obama had it so right when he deftly punctured the myth she propagates that she is uniquely qualified to be President on "Day One" because of her "35 years of experience" when he said in their L.A. debate, "It isn't enough to have experience on Day One, you have to be RIGHT on Day One." Amen.

And, now that we're on the subject of experience, and specifically her claimed 35 years of experience, never have I heard such blatant false propagandizing in my 76 years of existence. I'm no whiz at mathematics, but even I can add 2 and 2, and I fail to see how a few years in law school, plus some years as a corporate lawyer, many years as the wife of an Arkansas governor and 8 years as the wife (and mostly a disgruntled one) of the President add up to 35 years of preparation for the Presidency. I count 4 years as a Senator and 2 as a part-time Senator while campaigning to reoccupy the White House as the relevant training. That adds up to 4 and 2 part-time years of experience, I believe, unless my arithmetic is out of whack.

On the other hand, I count Obama's approximately 12 years as a community organizer in a large city, his 7 years as a state legislator and his 2 years as a U.S. Senator as somewhere in the vicinity of 21 years of relevant experience to be President. Quite a no-brainer, isn't it?.

I'm thoroughly convinced, therefore, that he will be ready on Day One, and so are many, many other old broads like me. I'm in touch with peace grandmothers all across the nation and I have a pretty sound grasp of where they stand with respect to the candidates. I can authoritatively attest to the fact that there is an enormous pool of un-surveyed older women who enthusiastically support Obama. Not only do we support him, but we will be sorely antagonized if Hillary Hawk is allowed to make her nest in the Oval Office.


Mike Brennan said...

Hey Joan,

I like what you had to say. I did not realize that Hillary's time serving the public was vastly shorter than what she advertises. I would like to know what your take is on Obama's momentum. Do you think it will ever hit the wall? The media seems to be warming up to him and so to people you may never expect like David Brooks of the NY Times and William Kristol. This is my main concern with his campaign. I otherwise am totally for his candidacy and watch it with great interest.

Mattie said...

You really are pathetic. Obama's voted to support the Iraq war since he got into the Senate. Obama didn't stand up for MoveOn over the Betray Us. He is worthless and you make yourself the same as you turn into a cheer leader for a political candidate. How very, very sad.
Even more so when you don't write like you're a Democrat. Is there a reason a non-Democrat is endorsing a Democrat?
Anyone wanting to 'vote' to end the war needs to head over to the Green Party where either Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader will end it.
Anyone wanting to end the war, really end it, will have to offer up something more than garbage about what Hillary and Bill might say in bed.

E.H. said...

Dear Joan:

Thank you so much for your comments. As another grandmother against this outrageous war, it is important for the public to hear that not all older woman support Hillary.

But perhaps most importantly, they need to understand what those "35 years of experience" really are. You've done the math and I hope all who read will begin to look beyond the slogans to the two candidates.

He is the far, far better one - and certainly more prepared. And, I trust his judgment. Can't say the same for hers.

Joan Wile said...

Dear e.h. Thanks for your note. You confirm the wisdom of supporting Obama. We grandmothers know where it's at! We want our grandkids to be free of racism and we want them to live in a country that is looked upon favorably by the rest of the world.