Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CLINTON vs. McCAIN....Jon Chait comments on Hillary Clinton's now-brighter prospects for winning the Democratic nomination:

The odds of a Republican presidency suddenly got a lot higher. There's really only one potential matchup that would give the GOP a better than even chance of winning: John McCain versus Hillary Clinton. McCain is a popular personality who can attract the support of voters who aren't inclined to support his party. Clinton is an unpopular personality who loses the support of voters who are otherwise inclined to support her party. If she wins the nomination, it will be because she's a polarizing figure who rallies Democrats as the object of Republican attacks.

I think this considerably overstates McCain's appeal. It's true that recent matchup polls show McCain doing well against Hillary, but honestly, does anybody think those polls are even remotely meaningful nine months before the election? I don't. Two months ago those same polls showed Hillary trouncing McCain.

There are two things that keep me from being worried about a Clinton vs. McCain matchup. The first is that this simply looks to be a Democratic year. Tick off the reasons: Americans don't like to keep a single political party in the White House for more than eight years (it's only happened once in the postwar era). The war in Iraq is unpopular. The economy is sinking. The 9/11 effect has worn off. Conservatives are tired and plainly lack new ideas.

Second, I don't think McCain is nearly as attractive a candidate as a lot of people think. Again, tick off the reasons: He's 71 years old. He's a dead-ender for the war. (Do you think "a million years in Iraq" will play well with moderates in November?) A lot of his independent cred has been shredded over the past couple of years. He'll get evangelical votes, but he won't get their enthusiastic support, the way George Bush did. Ditto for nativist votes. He's got a long, very conservative voting record that's never really been exposed to a national audience. The Keating Five scandal will get revisited. Press ardor for McCain will likely diminish as his campaign becomes less open, as it's bound to do.

Sure, Obama can get some independent votes that Hillary can't. On the other hand, Hillary can get some women's votes that Obama can't. The same is true for McCain. He might get some independent votes that, say, Rudy Giuliani can't. But Giuliani might be able to appeal to social moderates better than McCain. Every candidate has strengths and weaknesses.

So far, though, no one is paying much attention to McCain's weaknesses. But he has plenty of them, and once the national campaign really starts up they're going to become very, very public. He's just not nearly as strong a nominee as a lot of Beltway folks think he is.

Bottom line: Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can beat McCain. They'd have a Democratic tailwind at their backs and a Republican opponent with plenty of negatives — and both of them are smart enough to run campaigns that make the most of those negatives. Nine months is a long time and anything can happen, but I'm not afraid of McCain. He's eminently beatable.

Kevin Drum 3:13 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (162)

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Comments

Ah, predictions. How did they work out in New Hampshire?

Mark my words - somebody will be president.

Posted by: alex on January 9, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Um, can we see that photo of McCain hugging Bush again?

Posted by: Rachel on January 9, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK


Speaking of Obama, his national campaign co-chair has just driven my regard for Obama down through the floor.

If you watch this video:

http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2008/01/obama_campaign_cochair_questions_hillarys_tears.php

you'll see Jacksons' attack. Jackson's attack is a transparent, cheap lie. He claims that Clinton's tears-moment was her crying about her appearance. That is utter BS.

If you watch the tape of Hillary's moment of emotion on Sunday, you'll see that her emotion comes through as she talks about the opportunities this country has given her, and her concern that opportunities may slip away for many Americans if we don't get back the country back on track.

Jackson lies and says she was crying about her appearance, misogynistically trying to turn it into some demeaning "girl crisis".

This is dishonest gutter politics of the lowest sort, and Jackson knocks Obama back nearly to square one in my mind. His campaign advisor spouts here a cheap lie about Clinton, and plays the race card against some fabricated gender card.

This puts an asterisk on everything I have liked about Obama so far, because now everything good, inspiring thing about him seems potentially phony.

Posted by: McCord on January 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

and umm, how many wives has McCain had?? not all at once, but separately :-)

Posted by: scotty on January 9, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Then isn't the question to ask, which one will make the most effective president? That's the question I've asked all along, and the answer keeps coming up Obama.

Posted by: KathyF on January 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Um, can we see that photo of McCain hugging Bush again?

Got a rather nice Andy Warhol version on Daily Kos

Posted by: ArkPanda on January 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

All true, Kevin, but this is probably the only match-up where the GOP has ANY shot. Let them think it'll be a cake-walk. It'll breed complacency. I do fear McCain/Clinton, but not with the same intensity as Bush/Kerry. That could change if Hillary won the nomination and did the unthinkable: bring Obama onto the ticket. It may be a pipe dream, but I can't help but feel that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be like the climax of the second Lord of the Rings where Gandolph appears on a hillside emblazoned in white and just plows through the Orcs. Still, I'm pulling for Obama.

Posted by: JZ on January 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

The CNN poll had Clinton at 51% McCain 49% this morning if they went head to head today... and that's usually considered a 'liberal' sampling.

Posted by: buford on January 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

I respect your opinion, Kathy, but based on what, may I ask?

Posted by: Pat on January 9, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

You need to get off this "Hillary can get women's votes" routine. Of course she can -- but she can also get votes of grownups (particularly those of a "certain age" who are most likely to show up at the polls when the youngsters have lost interest and moved on to something else).

There's also the little matter of Hillary having shown she's tough enough to stick it out through the worst the Villagers can throw at her -- do you know for a fact that Obama could withstand all that?

And there's also the fact that Hillary long since earned her advanced degree in surviving swiftboaters -- hell, Obama hasn't yet experienced a little show over the bow from that bunch.

Frankly, I've been backing HRC for a long time because I believe she's the only Democrat able to withstand the shit likely to be piled on the Democratic nominee by a hostile press and the evil Right. Much as I'd like to see Obama as national cheerleader, I really haven't seen anything to convince me there's steel behind his silvery tongue.


Posted by: K on January 9, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Bottom line: Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama can beat McCain. They'd have a Democratic tailwind at their backs and a Republican opponent with plenty of negatives — and both of them are smart enough to run campaigns that make the most of those negatives. Nine months is a long time and anything can happen, but I'm not afraid of McCain. He's eminently beatable."

That's funny Kevin, because I feel the exact same way about Hillary (who I believe cannot win) and Obama (who I believe will not win) against any of the leading GOPers; even McCain, who I despise with a passion because of his positions on campaign finance and amnesty for illegals.

Posted by: Chicounsel on January 9, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Um, can we see that photo of McCain hugging Bush again?

For Democrats, that picture is worth ten million votes.

Look at it carefully. It isn't just a hug. It's an expression of abject subservience. McCain might as well be wearing a leather truss with a red ball in his mouth.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Not to mention that there are a lot of republicans like me that would never vote for McCain. Might even vote for Hillary if He's nominated.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on January 9, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Look what I came across over at the FreeRepublic.com: "I told you, ask Jim Robinson. He’ll tell you it’s true. The facts are sometimes a little hard to find on the internet. But the fact that John McCain was brought up before the Congressional ethics committee on charges of having raped the wife of another former POW are a matter of Congressional record. Dig a little deeper.
Like I said, nothing came of the charges because McCain claimed that the woman was drunk and initiated the sex, but the woman was a non-drinker, didn’t touch alcohol or drugs."

Posted by: Raoul on January 9, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think Clinton's message against McCain is pretty simple:

Clinton = Change
McCain = Bush's 3rd term

That's what needs to be on the white board in the War Room.

Clinton will more easily run as the change candidate when she is up against the Republicans. All of these Republicans are vulnerable to the Change vs. More of the same arguments, and all the Democrats can easily make that argument. The Republicans trip over themselves talking about change because they are simply unable to distance themselves from George Bush (except on immigration, but that only appeals to their base...).

The key to winning in 2008 is to keep this that simple.

Posted by: G Spot1 on January 9, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Here is another damning photo...montage.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary is the nominee, I will vote for her, but I will be holding my nose. Her voice drives me insane and I think her "leave Iraq the right way" schtick means we will be in Iraq for the next 10-20 years if we vote for her. It's "peace with honor" all over again.

To summarize: I am a liberal who has always voted for a Democratic president and I can barely stand the thought of 4 years of a president who is essentially a poll driven screech owl. I think it may actually turn me off politics having to listen to her screech for four years nonstop.

AND I AM A LIBERAL WHO ALWAYS VOTES FOR A DEMOCRAT.

The American people don't like Bush and his policies, but then, they were stupid enough to vote for him ... TWICE ... because he sounded like an amiable sheriff from Hee Haw. And you think they are going to vote for Hillary because of policy concerns?

They absolutely WILL vote for McCain, because the American People are NUTS enough to vote for Bush ... TWICE ... so you people think LONG AND HARD about who you want on the Supreme Court when you think about voting for Hillary. If Hillary wins the nomination, it's another 4 years of right-wing conservative nominations. It's that serious.

The only chance we have of beating the Republicans and people who vote for Presidents based on beer preferences is to vote for someone who doesn't make Americans hair stand on end.

Don't fall for this crap again. Not again.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 9, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Another picture to show: McCain sucking up to Jerry Falwell (a waste of time, as it turned out).

Posted by: K on January 9, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I've been backing HRC for a long time because I believe she's the only Democrat able to withstand the shit likely to be piled on the Democratic nominee by a hostile press and the evil Right.

Honestly, is that a good enough reason to back a candidate? And, if so, who's to say that Obama or Edwards wouldn't 'withstand' similarly? (especially Edwards, who's gotten quite a bit of flack this past year)

In spite of who's going to get the nod, the press and Rightists will all jump to the occasion to bash the nominee. It's their national sport.

Posted by: Zap Rowsdower on January 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "... no one is paying much attention to McCain's weaknesses. But he has plenty of them, and once the national campaign really starts up they're going to become very, very public."

The corporate media will pay no more attention to McCain's weaknesses than they did to George W. Bush's weaknesses -- let alone his career of white collar crime -- in the 2000 campaign. Meanwhile the corporate media will invent nonexistent weaknesses for the Democratic nominee.

You really should read Bob Somerby some time.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

If it's Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain in the presidential election, Clinton and the Democrats will trounce McCain and the Republicans from the national level on down ... if the election is fair.

I'm a Democrat who would be comfortable voting for any of the Democratic contenders. I worry far more about the second if than the first.

If there is any rationality left in the Republican Party, they must be planning either (a) to hand over a bankrupt and dysfunctional nation to the Democrats or (b) to steal the election and keep running the nation into the ground.

Posted by: Boolaboola on January 9, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNrlSn7ndAA&feature=user

Posted by: obamahype on January 9, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

kevin, I think you underestimate the "president named either Bush or Clinton for 28 years" turn-off factor. Republicans who don't like Mcain will hold their nose and vote for him, particularly if the Washington media's crush on him manifests itself in their coverage of his campaign, (which it surely will) negating or underemphasizing many of the problems you raise for his candidacy. Obama (or Edwards, my guy) might not get those folks, but they might stay home if there isn't someone to vote against. similarly, some younger folks who've been dominated by these two families for their entire lives are alot less likely to bother to go vote for her. Hell, i'm 42, and i know i'll vote for her if she's the nominee, but i have a hard time working up too much wonder or enthusiasm for it.

Please understand that i'm not equivocating the two families. the clintons gained what wealth and power they have in this generation. the Bush's are a longstanding wealthy political dynasty. But this won't make much of a difference to many.

and, as an aside, reading your pre-NH post on Hillary and the "fever swamp" has made me wonder if you don't attach too much importance to this election as a chance to make a bunch of right wing assholes eat crow about their demonization of the Clintons in the 90s. yes, it was bad, but there are bigger issues on the table than that, and tho she isn't the hateful caricature that they made of her, her suffering at their hands doesn't make her innocent of her own ethical and political failures.

Posted by: URK on January 9, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I've voted for every Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and there's no way that I will vote for Hillary (with the possible exception of against Giuliani). Watching Hillary and Bill campaign has convinced me that re-electing them would be a complete disaster, and one that I will have no part in bringing about.

Posted by: Kevin on January 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

The strand I see that connects Republicans who want tax cuts for the rich with Republicans who want to bomb as many Muslims as possible with Republicans who want to force women with unwanted pregnancies to go to term is judgment of other people. Anti-empathy. A feeling that other people, less virtuous than oneself, deserve bad consequences they get.

That's why it plays to Republicans' strengths when voters feel cornered by fears of terrorism and crime. That's why I think Republicans want to inflate the threat from Al Qaeda to World War Two and Cold War levels. That's why Giuliani was able to garner (for a time, anyway) social conservative support -- he really wanted to kill and torture Muslims.

I think McCain lacks a certain fire on this score: the opposition to torture, the recognition that immigrants, even illegal ones, are actually human beings. Not that it makes him a loser -- he'll still be tough to beat -- but he's going to lack a certain ugly id appeal that Republicans have worked in many national elections.

Posted by: honestpartisan on January 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

won't get their enthusiastic support, the way George Bush did. Ditto for nativist votes. He's got a long, very conservative voting record that's never really been exposed to a national audience.

Now presenting Orrin Hatch 2.0.

Revised press interface, completely re-written biography module, but under the hood, a lot of legacy code, and no major changes in the basic spec -- a maintenance release, not a breakthrough. (Marketing insisted on a name-change, though, and "John McCain tested well.)

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I join several others here in seeing no reason to believe that the mainstream media will even begin to cover McCain's many weaknesses. On what precedent of the last 15 years would this confident pronouncement be based?

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

As far as McCain goes, the media is just leapin to another one of its mindless horse race conclusions when it acts as if McCain is now strong again.

The reality is that McCain has regained his popularity because every other Republican candidate has turned to even more disgusting shit.

When McCain enters the general, all the things that rendered McCain so unpopular for so long on the Republican circuit are going to come to the fore again.

McCain is just the last turd standing.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

If McCain is nominated it will be Bob Dole redux.

Posted by: Needles on January 9, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

GSpot1: "Clinton = Change; McCain = Bush's 3rd term"

Which of these looks like change?

1) Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton
2) Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, McCain

If Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, I honestly don't know what I will do. I will be so angry. I can't imagine voting for a Republican, but I can't imagine voting for four more Clinton years either. The nation has endured seven years under Bush. We would survive four years of McCain. He wouldn't be as incompetent as Bushco nor as polarizing as Clinton.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Know what's cool? Nine more months of Maureen Dowd psychoanalyzing Hillary Clinton. Every. Column.

Posted by: HeavyJ on January 9, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

If it's McCain vs. Hillary, McCain wins, for the simple reason that there are lots of Democrats like me who will not vote for Evita Clinton. Ever. I will just stay home, but others will flock to McCain.

Posted by: Traven on January 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum is a learned simpleton.

Here's why:

Hillary Clinton can't even tear-up without it becoming a national cat fight.

She is a divider not a uniter.

The way you and I feel about Bush is exactly the same way every Republican feels about Hillary.

They will line up in a rain storm to cast their ballots to defeat her.

And I don't blame them a bit...


Posted by: ROTFLMAO on January 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's much too early to be speculating about the November Match-up.

McCain is able.

As in able to SCARE us all into perpetuawar.

We're there already.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

A Hillary vs. McCain election would doom us. Bad and worse for President, when we need spectacular or else. Hillary is disliked by many Democrats for her Republican lite proclivities.

And let me say this about her tears. They were as fake as that planted "how do you do it?" sycophant question. The answer is, she became like Rove. That is how she did it. The same way Bush handles his great troop loss sorrows. I am very disappointed with many folks on this board. Hillary threatened us with terror attacks if Obama won, said we would stay in Iraq, and has compromised away any credibility on health care by taking the big dollars for the health care shills.
I see the GOP trolls are now Hillary fans, and it makes me sick. Again I ask, what progressive could support Hillary? She stands for very little that used to define us as a party.

Posted by: Sparko on January 9, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Even though I really, really don't want to vote for her -- Gore v. Bush taught me, that I'm going to be forced to vote for HRC if she is the nominee.

However, my girlfriend, who is less politically inclined, after Obama's loss, said she'd rather vote for McCain. I had no desire to argue against that.

Posted by: Jor on January 9, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I generally do not succumb to something as trite and superficial as visual impressions, but most of the Republican field looks old and tired. No one, except maybe Thompson, looks any more tired and old than McCain.

This is important at a time when Movement Conservatism is sounding tired and old. I think McCainagainst either of the top three Democrats will suffer by comparison.

one other thing. As a fifty-something man, I can appreciate an older man enjoying a young "trophy" in his second (third or fourth) marriage. But there is just something unseemly about Mac, Fred and Rudy with their "hot young wives". Again, I know that is superficial, but it seems to feed into a narrative about the Republican party.

Don't the marriages of Clinton, Obama and Edwards seem real and authentic? For all their foibles, does anyone doubt the deep connection between Bill and Hillary. And by the way, I am an anti-Hillary (anti-DLC) person.

Posted by: Catfish on January 9, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

I see the downside of Hillary winning the nomination in three parts:

1) She will galvanize and unite the currently splintered GOP against her.

2) She will lower the enthusiasm level considerably for lifelong Dems such as myself.

3) She will lose the "independent" part of the electorate that will not vote for a Clinton or a Bush.

And yes, she would make a good president.

Posted by: LurkeyTurkey on January 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

If HRC brings out women disproportionately like in NH, McCain wouldnt' be a problem

Obama would IMO handily beat McCain on the strength of future vs. past.

McCain has base troubles even in NH - see TPM today. He is not that strong.

Posted by: frank C on January 9, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton is a terrible general election candidate. She is the one factor that can unite all Republicans, despite many forces tearing the party apart this year. She has exactly ZERO cross-party appeal, precious little appeal to Independents, and she is disliked by a fair proportion of Democrats. (Last poll I saw had her at 45% negative opinion among Democrats.) What are the chances that people will change their minds about someone they've known for years? People have crystallized views on her.

She is an awful candidate, given all this baggage. She may "still be standing" after everything the GOP attack machine has thrown at her, but she is deeply damaged goods. She may be knowledgable about policy and she may be personally talented. But she has massive electability problems, given the stereotypes and hardened opinions that the American electorate holds about her.

Although it's difficult for me to figure out what red state would go blue for her, the best we could hope for from Hillary is to eke out an electoral college victory. And I can only imagine that happening because of a whole host of other factors that favor Democrats this year: probable recession, struggling economy, historically unpopular president, and a tired party that has been in power for 8 years.

But Democrats are nothing if not experts in losing elections. Our party establishment is just saddling us with another weak candidate. Perhaps, like Kerry, Hillary will listen to the excellent advice of our Democratic consultants and fail to mention any of the failures of the Bush administration at our national convention later this year.

Posted by: FLee on January 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

The head to head matchups are at realclearpolitics.com

The empiricists among us can peruse them. The rest can continue to talk about their feelings.

Posted by: Adam on January 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is too old and too ill.

His age and the form of cancer he suffers from must be taken into account.

Notice how--and this seems recent--his left eye seems to close when he smiles.

Who will serve as VP? Will he/she be up to serving for long periods in the event of chemo/radiation?

Will he make a suitable president if McCain has to step down?

I'm surprised no one is discussing this.

t

Posted by: y on January 9, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

The empiricists among us can peruse them. The rest can continue to talk about their feelings.

Empiricists know how polls change over times.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

What FLee said. A candidiate that begins with Clinton's high negatives is almost impossible to elect. I suspect McCain would beat her in several close states that went for Kerry last time and that she would not pick up single red state. If "change" is this year's mantra (as opposed to this week's mantra, as I suspect),I don't think it comes trippingly off Clinton's tongue.

Posted by: JMouser on January 9, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think McCain would probably beat any Democratic candidate, almost certainly Clinton (who would certainly beat any other Republican except possibly Huckabee). Kevin, it is not so much whether you think that McCain is an inherently popular candidate, but both you and Chait (for reasons I will let your bete noir Bob Somerby explore) fail to mention why he will be a popular candidate come November: he is the candidate of the MSM. And they despise Clinton. The tone of press coverage of a McCain-Clinton campaign would make the 2000 coverage look like it favored Gore.

Posted by: Marlowe on January 9, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, didn't McCain say something about only serving one term if he were elected President?

If that's true, wouldn't that be a pretty important factor in voting for him?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 9, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is not a terrible general election candidate, not at all. And the points she hit on last night in her speech: health care, predatory student loan lenders, the mortgage crisis, energy costs, Iraq, really speak to the concerns of a middle class in trouble, one that has certainly proven to be invisible to this administration.

John McCain may be seen as strong on national security, but people want OUT of the war, not in forever. Plus, the evangelicals will not show up for him. Despite the media fluffing, I think old man McCain, with his "let's stay in Iraq for another 100 years" line has some serious flaws.

You can repeat the "she can't win" meme all you like, but I think it's an outdated one, given the current importance of domestic issues and a middle class that has been screwed by the Republicans for the last 8 years.

Posted by: chrisss on January 9, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you think McCain's weaknesses will be exposed? How will the media ever drum up the independence to question him?

Posted by: MNPundit on January 9, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

"They were as fake as that planted "how do you do it?" sycophant question."

Actually, I heard on MSNBC that the woman who asked the question ended up voting for Obama.

Kevin, why on earth would you treat Judis' predictions seriously when he confidently said Hillary was toast just a few days earlier?

I think McCain and Thompson are the only GOP candidates who could reliably beat Hillary. Any Republican candidate will beat Obama.

Posted by: Cal on January 9, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops. I meant McCain and Thompson could *conceiveably* beat Clinton, not reliably.

Posted by: Cal on January 9, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

I don't much care for Hillary Clinton, and clearly in a Clinton-McCain contest the press would massively favor McCain. But if last night is any indication, it seems likely that the blatant favoritism and open Hillary-hate would be likely to cause a backlash. After all, despite the near-unanimous loathing of the press in mid-1998 and the effort, not only by the Republicans but also by the Washington press corps to eliminate Bill Clinton, his public support stayed in the mid-60s.

So I do think that Clinton would beat McCain, though narrowly.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 9, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Just purely anectodal, but I've been through 9 Presidential election cycles, fervently voting for a Democrat each time. I will not vote for Hillary, though, I just won't. Either I won't vote (unlikely) or I'll vote GOP (with nose held). I have never felt so negatively about a Democratic candidate in my life and I'm sure I'm not alone. With her we will be in the same soup we're in now, total divisiveness and centrist policies (meaning nothing significant will be accomplished). Plus, she can't get a succinct thought out of her mouth if her life depended on it.

Posted by: CB on January 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know who can win, honestly. Whether it's Obama or Clinton, the conservatives will come out in droves to vote against them. On the other hand, lots of conservatives dislike McCain.

And those of us who dislike Bush desperately want a Democrat in the WH. But there is going to be a big fight to see who the nominee will be.

Anything can happen. How's that for a prediction?

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain is a good man. I like him alot. He has one big problem: He's caught in the Republican-Plan-For-Endless-War Monkeytrap. He's toast. End of Story.

Sorry, John

Posted by: CT on January 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Cal: Well why did she attend a late Clinton rally and ask the biggest softball question of 2008? And there is no way to prove she voted for anyone. Honestly, that question provided a plausible narrative for the profoundly questionable doings yesterday.
If Democrats despise her in high numbers, how is she electable again? She is a buzzkill. Sigh!!!

Posted by: Sparko on January 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

I am currently undecided and will vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is but I am certainly enjoying all the Republicans proclaiming that Hillary is unelectable because Republicans don't like her.

What about the un-talked about racist element of the Republican party? Which is stronger with them? Racism, or sexism?

And for those Democrats upset that she is not 'left' enough - look what happened when you voted for Nader. Ugh.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

sparko,

If Democrats despise her in high numbers, how is she electable again?

That is a simple question. Because we despise Bush (and with him the Republican party) even more!

Sorry dude, but y'all embraced Bush and now you can hang on as he drags you all the way down.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp. Nice. Undecided indeed. Look, if Hillary is nominated, I think this might be the year for a real Third party. Repuicans hate her, almost half of the democrats do. She cannot win a free and fair election. She is wildly unpopular. For good reason. Unless you liked the last eight years.

Posted by: Sparko on January 9, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

PTate: If Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, I honestly don't know what I will do. I will be so angry. I can't imagine voting for a Republican, but I can't imagine voting for four more Clinton years either. The nation has endured seven years under Bush. We would survive four years of McCain. He wouldn't be as incompetent as Bushco nor as polarizing as Clinton.

No, he wouldn't be as incompetent as Bushco. Perhaps he wouldn't be as polarizing as Clinton. But he will keep Bush's insane foreign policy intact. He will keep us in Iraq forever. His counterproductive version of a "war on terror" exacerbates terrorism and will further erode our international standing. He will push further irresponsible tax cuts. He will continue to pay lip service to environmentalism while looking the other way on enforcement. He wants Roe v. Wade overturned and promises to further pack the court to make that and other irreversible-for-a-generation decisions possible. That's just off the top of my head.

No, he's not a member of the Bush or Clinton families. He's got that going for him. But he could do incalculable damage, even if we could be assured of "only four years."

I understand your frustration. Everyone's gotta do what they've gotta do. But I will never understand how anyone who truly believes in and supports progressive values could vote for McCain.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

I want to add my voice to the vast number of comments scolding Drum for underestimating Hillary's negatives (and only attacking the pro-McCain view). I would vote for her if it came to that but I sincerely doubt she would be able to win the general unless the GOP picks Romney the Robot. I have friends, hard core lifetime GOP friends who have already told me they'll support Obama (which is totally unbelievable to me) but would vote for any GOPer over Hillary. While anecdotal, the stories are starting to add up and become a trend.

Let's also remember that within the "Hillary winning the women's vote" argument has so far ommitted the fact that Hillary won DEMOCRATIC women who would vote for Barack in the general anyway. There is NO evidence to suggest that she can win GOP or Independent women. Barack can. Ironically, the electability issue, from where I'm sitting, has totally turned Barack's way.

Finally, I would like to suggest that the ONLY Dem candidate that would have the kitchen sink thrown at them would be Hillary. People talk about her being the only candidate strong enough to stand up to the GOP propaganda machine but the intensity of hatred for her from that machine is totally uncomparable to their feelings for Barack. They don't want a Dem president, but all indications are, they could live with President Obama. They couldn't live with President Clinton before and I don't think they've suddenly gotten softer on that issue. The "Hillary is tough" argument, to me, is a red herring.

Finally, I don't think McCain is going to be the nominee but if he was, that would marginally scare me. The Dems should win anyway this cycle, but McCain, for reasons I will never understand, is generally loved by both the media and large segments of the country. He would, at the least, make the election rather (uncomfortably) close against Obama and might even win against Hillary.

Posted by: Nobcentral on January 9, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Not one Republican in the country scares me.

They are frightening animals capable of endless butchery, but personally they are always wussies. Politically they are dog shit.

They have nothing, they are nothing.

Posted by: paradox on January 9, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is the strongest candidate the Republicans could field this cycle. His greatest liability in the general election is his age and health, in my opinion. Conservatives definitely don't like his immigration stand, but none of the Democratic candidates can use that against him, so that issue would be off the table- immigration hurts him in the primaries, and could still end up preventing him from getting the nomination, but if he does get it, Republicans will vote for him, especially if the alternative is Hillary Clinton. Will Clinton's negatives inspire Republicans enough to negate the Democrats' obvious enthusiasm for getting Republicans out of the presidency? Maybe.

The election will be closer than Drum seems to think, no matter who the nominees are.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 9, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 writes:

Empiricists know how polls change over times.

As the NH results showed, there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and polls.

Posted by: Andy on January 9, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

What concerns me is HRC's effect on downticket races. If she's the nominee, the crazies will come out of the woodwork to vote against her - maybe not in numbers big enough to deny her the White House, but perhaps enough to sink Democratic House and Senate hopefuls in tight races. Obama, meanwhile, brings non-voters in (at least he did in Iowa, and may have in NH as well), which helps Dem chances if they don't split their tickets. McCain might have the same effect on the other side, which could slim a potentially-big Democratic majority.

Posted by: Robsalk on January 9, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary is so unelectable, how come she won yesterday in a state largely considered conservative? And those individuals who claim to be democrats but would vote republican, do you mind sharing whom you voted for the last 4 elections? I am supposed to believe you will vote for John "Iraq forever" McCain or Mike Huckabee, the Babtist minister? You must have your priorities meessed up if you allow a media narrative determine your vote.

Posted by: Raoul on January 9, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Lies, damned lies, and American voting machines. The polls were wrong only about the only race that mattered.

Posted by: Sparko on January 9, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sparky,

Obviously I meant undecided among the Democratic candidates. And feelings can change. Polls can change. Don't put too much faith in either. The future is as yet unwritten.

But by golly the past nightmare that was Bush has nearly made me a Democrat for life. Ugh. I'm starting to understand how some of the Clinton haters felt.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey: You keep pretending that immigration is McCain's only weak spot issue-wise. I understand your John Cleese-like disinclination to talk about the war, but his million-year plan for Iraq is going to be a disaster for him with independents.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

We would survive four years of McCain.

Sure we would. But what about the neighbors kids? Not the well-heeled ones, but the ones without economic advantage? His woody for perpetual-war makes that statement seem, to me, utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Raoul, NH has changed. Since the Great Migration of the late 80's and 90's, it's enjoyed an influx of well-educated and affluent (i.e., liberal / moderate) migrants from NYC and Boston. It's a purple state that is waxing blue.

Posted by: CT on January 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

God, Democrats are such fraidy-cats.

I'm not for Clinton -- I'm for Edwards still; Obama if I'm convinced it's inexorably him or Hillary -- but any Democrat is going to win this year. By a significant margin. The Bush administration has left his party with the worst record in half a century. By election time, we'll be deep in recession. And I'll bet anything this "the surge is working" nonsense will be seen for the myth it is.

Yeah, McCain. The guy who wants to be in Iraq for 50 years will win over the electorate that wants out of there yesterday.

It's amazing to me how little history people know. Reagan was "unelectable" -- until he won by a wide margin because the Democratic incumbent had failed miserably. This year is that situation in reverse. People may resist and squawk -- they did in 1980, not giving Reagan a poll lead till about ten days out. But they'll always vote against failure. Any Dem, easily.

Posted by: demtom on January 9, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

1. There are certainly some people who might vote for another Democrat but who are turned off by Hillary for reasons that date back to the 1990's. How many of them, I don't know. But they exist.

2. There are people who think, as I do, that Hillary Clinton is too much of a hawk and that her election will lead to more warfare and ensuing deaths of hundreds if not thousands of troops, as well as terrorist blowback, and that it will also validate the choice of many Democrats to err on the side of hawkishness in the future. Personally, I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton unless she promises to remove all the troops from Iraq within a specified, short timeframe, with no BS about training missions, fighting terrorists, or the rest.

Voters in #2 might be tempered by fears of a redux of Nader in 2000.

My guess is that Kevin is wrong and that Hillary is less electable than Obama. On the other hand, my guess is that Kevin is correct that the tailwind behind Democrats is enough to elect her anyway. She would still, however, win with less of a mandate than Obama would in such a scenario.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: I am a Democrat for life so long as we don't represent GOP values. The Goldwater girl, and the curious incident of the polls barking in the night have me spitting fire. Republicans loved last night. I supported Hillary until about 2002 when she became one with Rove and GOP disasters.
Republicans are playing feminist outrage like a freaking violin too.

Posted by: Sparko on January 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, your analysis assumes that the subset of "swing voters" you identified will care about McCain's actual record. They won't. Anyone capable of swinging between McCain and the democratic nominee is surely one of these "I vote for the candidate not the party" idiots. Those folks either have have already made up their minds, or will, based on the (mis)impression from the mainstream media that McCain is the straight-talking maverick. Which, of course, he isn't.

Also, the notion that Hillary will get some women that Obama won't is simply wrong. I can't imagine there's one Hillary supporter alive who would either stay home or vote republican if she's not the nominee.

Look, I like Hillary best, but her negatives are huge and intractable. Against any other republican nominee, she wins for many of the reasons you stated. But combined with McCain's ability to attract ignorant independents, those negatives are a huge cause for concern.

Posted by: Tom in Houston on January 9, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

The nation has endured seven years under Bush. We would survive four years of McCain. He wouldn't be as incompetent as Bushco nor as polarizing as Clinton.

Adding to shortstop's comments, I'd simply say that if Democrats can't exploit this opportunity to retrieve the presidency, then we're not fit to govern ourselves, much less the rest of the country. Worse, if Democrats *won't* exploit this opportunity to retrieve the presidency, then we forfeit our right to bitch about the inexorable Republican march toward soft fascism (and, no, I don't use the word lightly).

Posted by: junebug on January 9, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh. Tie McCain to Bush and he will lose to any Democrat. Bush's numbers are abysmal.

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

As I explained on the other thread, Iraq is a liability for any Republican nominee, even a nominee who might advocate withdrawing the troops quickly. Of the Republican candidates, McCain is actually the one who makes the most common sense on Iraq. Democrats like yourself don't understand this because you have always been adamantly opposed to the war from the beginning, but a majority of Americans were not, and they don't want to see the sacrifices to be completely wasted by a hasty retreat. It is the reason McCain has surged to into a potentially winning position in the Republican party, even though a sizeable fraction of Republicans now admit the invasion was ill-advised.

I don't doubt that a solid majority of Americans want to find a way to extricate ourselves from Iraq, but if a Democratic candidate runs a campaign in the general election promising a quick withdrawl from Iraq, McCain will win the election if he is the opponent. I found it very interesting how Clinton herself describes what she might intend for Iraq, and how she distinquishes herself from Edwards and Obama on the issue. She clearly recognizes the danger. How she finesses this issue going forward will heavily influence the outcome.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 9, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

She has already stood up to everything the GOP has thrown at her? HAHAHA. She won twice in New York against absurdly weak competition, i.e. she ain't seen nothin' yet. And ask yourself why she ran for the senate in NY and not Arkansas.

We will destroy her in the swing states (Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, even Pennsylvania) with ease. The Swift Boat effort will look entirely tame to the forces brought to bear in the swing states if Clinton is the Dem nominee, and there won't be a Ross Perot on the ballot to help her (unlike her husband).

Posted by: win on January 9, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Pat: Based on the fact I see Clinton as a very effective legislator, but not a very effective commander in chief. She's a wonk, and a very knowledgeable one, but a wonk isn't nearly as persuasive when it comes to convincing a majority of the American people to rally around a health care plan, an energy plan, etc.

Anyone with the brains can do wonkery, but truly effective leaders need more than that. They need to be very good salespeople, negotiators, and persuaders. Everything I've seen (and read) tells me Obama is much better at this than Hillary, who failed pretty spectacularly in '93 with her health care plan.

Bill Clinton had his moments, but he chose his battles pretty parsimoniously, repeatedly backing down when he didn't feel he could persuade the public to his side. I don't think he was very convinced of his own talents.

Posted by: KathyF on January 9, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Plus, Pat, if you want a much more in depth argument, I made one here.

Posted by: KathyF on January 9, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

McCain has also to answer for having turned into George W.'s dog in recent years. He has flip-flopped on things like taxes, and might be vulnerable to Romnification. How authentic is he really?

Posted by: bob h on January 9, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Nobcentral and Tom in Houston -- just because a bunch of white women picked Hillary over Obama doesn't mean they wouldn't pick Obama over McCain. Just like I would pick filet mignon over ribeye and pick ribeye over dog crap.

Like I said in another thread this morning, call me when Hillary wins a state that is less than 85% white. Obviously polls only tell you so much (or little), but the problem I see with Hillary in the fall is that usually presidential nominees have low poll numbers because no one knows them. Can anyone really argue that the american public has not by and large made up her mind about her? Against Hillary, the GOP nominee already has 45% -- McCain starts out with Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania before the campaign even gets going. All these national polls mean nothing b/c it's about the electoral college. My barometer for Hillary is to look at what Huckabee does in S.C. and Florida, if he wins those, it means the GOP is energized and that they are getting people out to vote that do not normally do so. Say what you want about conservative evangelicals in politics, but many of them do stay home on election day (my wife is a perfect example) -- the Huckster will get them out to vote the South, and so will Hillary in November if we nominate her. Mrs. Blue Moon would crawl through glass and stand in a hurricane to vote against Hillary.

Posted by: Blue Moon on January 9, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

I am a Democrat for 34 years now. I have worked on many campaigns, including campaigns for women candidates on the state and local level. I wish I could be excited about Senator Clinton, but I just can't. Because I'm sometimes in her state, I have met officials who have met her personally and they each talk of how they don't find her cold and how qualified she is, but my problem is that everytime I listen to her I just hear talking points. I can never remember a time where she engaged me, where she inspired me. When she cried the other day, she just moved towards her talking point about how some of us are ready on day one and some are not. Watching that video, I didn't have a clue about what was real and what was not.

I have tried to listen to her and will try again, but right now I really don't want the Clintons to return to the White House. I just don't. Both of the Clintons are just too jaded at this point. If you ask them any question, even a legitimate question, they'll treat it as if it was a right wing attack.

This country is bigger than the Clintons. The Democratic Party is bigger than the Clintons. They had their eight years. Yes, I want a woman President just like I want more women governors and senators, but does it really have to be Hillary Clinton? Do we have to choose her to be the nominee just because the right wing hates her?

Posted by: PE on January 9, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kathy. I'll give it a read!

Posted by: Pat on January 9, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Which of these looks like change?

1) Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton
2) Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, McCain

Which of these looks like change?
1) Man, man, man, man, man, man
2) man, man, man, man, man, woman

Posted by: applestooranges on January 9, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s remarks -- I can't believe Obama has appointed Jesse Jackson, Jr. to co-chair his campaign in the first place... Jackson MAY be an absolutely great campaign chair, but a lot of people just don't take his father seriously. I'd worry that people would draw the same conclusion about Jr.

Posted by: pol on January 9, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

The media hates HRC and loves loves loves McCain. That dynamic will play out in the General. Also, the Repubs won't have to do much to send her negatives through the roof-a lot of people in the middle are lukewarm to her at best.

It will be 2000 Bush/Gore all over again. Moreover, HRC probably stifles Dem gains in Congress that an Obama candidacy would likely bring. Hillary is the only thing that can keep us from winning the WH this year. I swear some in our Party would pick Michael Dukakis over JFK if given the chance. And that might be exactly what we're doing.

Posted by: Dresden on January 9, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

McCain V. Clinton? McCain by 10 points, minimum.

Here is why:

Republicans are either going to sit this out, or vote for the Republican candidate -- period. (Only people who call themselves Democrats cross party lines.)

Republicans are right now voting for candidates that are pro-war, anti-middle class, anti-universal health care, anti-U.S. Constitution, anti-privacy, pro-big government power but anti-government everything else. None, none, will vote for a Democrat.

Half of Democratic supporters want change, half want "a winner". If Clinton wins, half of the party's supporters will have to be seriously convinced to even get out of bed to vote for Clinton.

Independents? They will all vote for McCain. Why? Because an Independent is by definition someone who doesn't give a shit about anything. They voted for George Bush ... twice.

Tweety will tell them McCain is their guy and they will vote for him. Fox News is tell them Clinton is a communist and they will vote McCain.

Clinton has a chance against anybody else the Republicans put up -- but no chance in hell against McCain.

Obama, on the other hand, is supposedly more electable, right? Well, give me a break. What is your impression of America? Is it a country that believes in equality, one where the populous is color blind? or is America a racist, sexist country, bent on war, always trying to push down the little guy, always willing to see someone lose their job if it means saving two dollars on their next pair of jeans? Which country do you live in?

Posted by: Dicksknee on January 9, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary was running ahead of all the Republicans, including McCain, throughout the Fall. She fell behind McCain in the last month when her campaign started to founder and his got better. She had all the same problems (high negatives, independents don't like her, the left doesn't like her, etc.) then that she has now. Maybe she's turned it around after NH, or maybe not. Maybe McCain will drop off. The best candidate in terms of electability is clearly John Edwards, but he has no hope.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on January 9, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

"And there is no way to prove she voted for anyone."

But she wasn't a plant. Reporters, who clearly suspected such a possibility, found her and checked with her.

So maybe she lied to them and voted for Clinton. But she wasn't a plant.

And if your standard is that you can't believe anyone without actually seeing them vote, then I sure hope you aren't taking all these comments too seriously.

As to most of the rest of you: you are seriously goofy if you think Obama's got a better chance than Clinton against any Republican. He's a lightweight ex-radical who hasn't done a thing. No way do independents vote for him before McCain.

Posted by: Cal on January 9, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ some of you people are just plain dull.

You think people hated the Clinton years? You think she's 'polarizing'? You don't like the way she talks?

Fuck, it's like you have completely internalized the GOP spin for 15 long years and you don't even know it. What Americans hate, and have hated for years now, is the Republican party. They despise them. Their standard bearer polls at 30 something percent and has been since 2005. Their candidates reek of carrion and death.

Independents in NH sure seemed to like her. They voted her in. They could have voted for St. McCain and they didn't. And so the eeeeee-villll Clinton won again.

Here's another thing: Upstate NY is a pretty conservative place. Note that she's done extremely well there over the years. Was it magic? No. It was hard work and smarts.

And yes, I completely understand hating her for her war votes. But you guys are just out of your fucking minds if you think that McCain is better on the issue.

I'm not a Hillary supporter yet, but my Christ. The logic some of you are using to vote for a warmongering relic like McCain is just lunatic.

Posted by: Jay B. on January 9, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with Hillary is she's not anti-war enough, notwithstanding recent remarks.

Her policy position on Iraq is so nuanced that you get the impression that she could be another Nixon, who prolonged LBJ's war for 6 or 7 long additional years.

Obama should just keep forcing her to answer basic questions about troop withdrawals, residual forces, etc.

And yes, McCain is positively ancient, but if you have Hillary running against him, then you have Kerry all over again.

The Dems don't need another Kerry. What they need is someone that was against the war from day one, and will end the war ASAP.

Posted by: bebimbob on January 9, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

NH dem votes cast 286,000

NH rep votes cast 238,000

Folks, remember, NH is a conservative state.

Democratic candidate, whomever it is, beats Repub candidate in November, whomever it is.

Posted by: mattski on January 9, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

My guess is that Hillary is not better than 50/50 and probably a likely loser against anyone, especially since her path to the nomination now requires trashing Obama. The way she could enhance her chance is to persuade Obama to be her running mate (which he should put aside his feeling and accept).

But it is inconsistent for Kevin to totally discount current polls, then analyze the race based on his current views. I agree that polls today are not terribly meaningful, but neither are Kevin and others guesses as to what the election looks like ten months from now. Kevin also underestimates the favorable view of McCain among the American people, which will almost certainly be more favorable than the view of Hillary.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Tom,

Let me introduce you to my wife. She's a Chamber of Commerce Republican, she's met Barack Obama, and she'd vote for Hillary Clinton over any Republican and at least some of the Republicans over Obama. I think you need a better imagination.

I can't imagine there's one Hillary supporter alive who would either stay home or vote republican if she's not the nominee.
Posted by: Tom in Houston on January 9, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Honestly, I don't understand the fixation with HRC's perceived negatives, and I really don't understand the "we're tired of Bush and Clinton" theme.

For the former, demtom at 4:53 already pointed out that Ronald Reagan was largely seen as unelectable until stagflation and the Iran hostage crisis crippled the Carter presidency... and all of a sudden "Ronald Ray-gun" was the winner in a landslide.

For the latter, isn't this just an update of the stupid "Clinton fatigue" argument? George W. Bush isn't George H. W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't William Jefferson Clinton. It's obvious that W has departed from his father's policies in numerous (and largely disastrous) ways. I think it's all but certain that Bill Clinton's wife (like his former vice-president) would put together an a presidency quite different from his.

Posted by: keith on January 9, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

What are the big differences in the Clinton and Obama plans for getting us out of Iraq? I've concluded that neither have any interest in being pinned down any more that absolutely necessary. They both promise to take steps immediately assuming office.

I don't really blame them. The election is a long way off and who knows what may change. I currently trust both of them to make every effort to get us out as quickly as possible. Hope that's not a foolish trust.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK
My guess is that Hillary is not better than 50/50 and probably a likely loser against anyone

I agree that polls today are not terribly meaningful, but neither are ... guesses as to what the election looks like ten months from now

You're a trip, brian!

Posted by: mattski on January 9, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, remember, NH is a conservative state.

Democratic candidate, whomever it is, beats Repub candidate in November, whomever it is.

Yeah. Okay.

I guess we're all a little prone to jump at any loud noise, after 2000 and 2004 and all. At least I am.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

I guess we're all a little prone to jump at any loud noise, after 2000 and 2004 and all. At least I am.

And it's not like I'm blaming you!

I'm just sayin'.

Going to be OK.

Posted by: mattski on January 9, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

brian is a die-hard Republican (like Yancey) who is obviously engaged in wishful thinking. No candidate has been more thouroughly vetted as has Mrs. Clinton; eight years and $100 Million to demonstrate that she was as clean as they come.

Republicans simply can't face the fact that the Clintons have demonstrated a level of competence and ethics so far above any of their crappy candidates - from the mayor of 9/11 and the ever-changing Mittster to Johnny McWarforever.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, remember, NH is a conservative state.

Why are they considered conservative when they voted for Kerry in 2004?

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on January 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Mmmm, that was soothing. This primary season is getting to me. I'm going for a run...

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

One good reason to get national health insurance: we could afford group therapy for all the people who hate Hillary Clinton because of her "screechy" voice.

In the meantime, can someone please explain this to me? I can run a hundred video clips on U-tube and her voice is always the same: a slow, untrained and mundane female alto with no projection. She couldn't pass first audition at a community theater, let alone screech at someone.

That teary video bit the Clintophobe pundits are squawking about actually shows her at her best: speaking reasonably and personally to a small group. A good chunk of the population can agree with her sentiments about getting some actual issues discussed in the campaign.

If millions of people are hearing screechy voices in their heads when they hear Senator Clinton talk, does this mean Dick Cheney has taken control of the orbital mind control lasers?

Posted by: Berken on January 9, 2008 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

And ask yourself why she ran for the senate in NY and not Arkansas.

Yes, why on earth would somebody prefer to live in New York when they could live in Arkansas instead....

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2008 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans simply can't face the fact that the Clintons have demonstrated a level of competence and ethics so far above any of their crappy candidates

Competence I can buy, but ETHICS? You MUST be kidding! Remember Johnny Chung's statement about the Clinton White House: "it's like a subway turnstyle, you have to put your money the slot to get in".

Or let's just remember pardoning a fugitive multi-millionaire whose ex-wife just happened to be a big contributor and friend of Bill.

Look, a lot of the scandals of the Clinton White House were surely ginned up by the Republican scandal machine. But a lot of other ones weren't. I can certainly accept that Bill Clinton competently governed the country for 8 years (which makes him immensely preferable to his incompetent senator). But let's not, as they say in Arkansas, put lipstick on a pig, shall we?

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

E Henry Thripshaw

You ask, "Why are they considered conservative when they voted for Kerry in 2004?"

1. Kerry won New Hampshire with 50.2% of the vote.

2. They have two Republican Senators (although their governor is a Dem, as are their two Congressmen).

Posted by: adlsad on January 9, 2008 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Keith at 6:30, I'm glad I'm wrong. But I think that being off by one isn't being wrong by much. I'm still sticking to my figurative guns on that point. I am curious as to why your wife supports Hillary, however.

Posted by: Tom in Houston on January 9, 2008 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

I would be a little worried if Hillary faced McCain. I run into people all the time who pay relatively very little attention to politics, but who love McCain and hate Hillary. Most of these people are Republican voters, but I would be concerned about the low-attention independent voters who buy into the "independent" image of McCain, while getting caught up in the frequent Hillary slander from those who really hate her and never pass on an opportunity to pass that on to those not paying as much attention.

On the flip side, I've heard die hard women Republican voters tell me they would vote for Hillary, mainly because she's a woman and would do a better job.

Posted by: Jimm on January 9, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

I should amend that from "die hard" women Republican votes to "low-attention, young, otherwise" Republican women voters, the kind who voted for Bush but don't otherwise have any political party fetishization.

Posted by: Jimm on January 9, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan Esper - remember, I was comparing them to the party of Dick "Halliburton" Cheney, George "Eminent Domain" Bush, and John "Keating Five" McCain.

Add to the fiscal improprieties the Republican abuse of power: impeachment, treason by outing a spy, and firing USAs for being insufficiently partisan.

Yes, ethically the Clintons have demonstrated themselves to be far above the Republicans.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and as for the Marc Rich pardon? Give me a break. Read the facts about the case and note that his lawyer was none other than I. "traitor" Libby. The circumstances regarding his conviction make the case far less clear cut than you seem to be remembering. His criminal acts were less clear than those of Richard Cheney who used shell companies to trade with our ostensible enemies.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan Esper - remember, I was comparing them to the party of Dick "Halliburton" Cheney, George "Eminent Domain" Bush, and John "Keating Five" McCain.

You are right about Bush and Cheney-- as I noted, Bill Clinton looks good in comparison. McCain's involvement with the Keating Five is a much more tenuous scandal; he was the least involved of the 5, and has repented numerous times for it.

But I don't think you can say that Bill Clinton's ethics are far above "the Republicans" as a group. Bill Clinton's ethics were pretty much in the sewer. And there are such things as ethical Republicans; you just have to look elsewhere than in the White House to find them.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

I really have no faith in my ability to predict the outcome should Clinton and McCain face off. Like others, 2004 shook my confidence in the American voting public. I will say that reading all the highly charged opinions of people on this site either pro/anti Clinton/Obama has given me a more relaxed perspective on whichever candidate surfaces. As BGRS said on another thread -- we've got a deep bench.

I have been somewhat anti-Clinton during the whole primary season. My choice has remained Edwards (after begrudgingly accepting that Richardson does not stand a chance). But over the last few weeks I have come to appreciate that all the candidates are comparatively worthy. I just don't think anyone can say with any accuracy how the any of them will fare. Am I confident? When I look at the R lineup, and then look at the D lineup – yes. But when I see Bush, and realize we elected him…twice, I do feel a bit sketchy. Or possibly, queasy.

I also tend to believe that people want them (the R’s) out more than they cringe at all-things-Hillary. There is a huge amount of negativity that is piped through all the media. The media machine has poured anti-Hillary sentiment at every opportunity. This shit effects a lot of people without them even knowing it. I have a good friend who is liberal, but who really hates Hillary. The next time she comes up in conversation (and she will), I am going try like all get out to chill his ass out get him to at least commit to spreading the meme that all the Dem candidates will be electable and worth supporting if given the nomination. And that’s the thing, for me. I will not just hold my nose and vote for [insert your undesired Dem candidate here], I am going to support the bloody hell out of them.

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on January 9, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan Esper - remember, I was comparing them to the party of Dick "Halliburton" Cheney, George "Eminent Domain" Bush, and John "Keating Five" McCain. Add to the fiscal improprieties the Republican abuse of power: impeachment, treason by outing a spy, and firing USAs for being insufficiently partisan. Yes, ethically the Clintons have demonstrated themselves to be far above the Republicans.

Absolutely. The Bush regime has used the country as a giant ATM for its business cronies for the last seven years, going so far as to endanger the lives of our fighting men and women in order to fatten the purses of Halliburton, Blackwater and the other mercenary companies. The GOP has proven itself to be nothing more than a giant criminal conspiracy, a collection of mafiosi engaged in a gigantic scheme to rip off the American taxpayer.

Posted by: Stefan on January 9, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and as for the Marc Rich pardon? Give me a break. Read the facts about the case and note that his lawyer was none other than I. "traitor" Libby. The circumstances regarding his conviction make the case far less clear cut than you seem to be remembering.

heavy:

1. He was a FUGITIVE. You should NEVER pardon a fugitive. It sets the precedent that anyone with enough money can just skip justice and work from abroad to get the conviction erased. Recognizing the legitimacy of the system should be a prerequisite for a pardon.

2. You shouldn't defend the actions of plutocrats who get convicted of financial crimes. Marc Rich had his hands in all sorts of cookie jars, he happened to get caught with his hands in a particular one, and it was completely just that he was sentenced to jail for it.

3. You are changing the subject. Bill Clinton, after all, didn't pardon Marc Rich because he felt a deep burning sense of injustice that he never felt towards all the black people that his Justice Department imprisoned for drug dealing or the mentally retarded man he executed in Arkansas. He pardoned him becuase Marc Rich had connected lawyers (including Mr. Libby) and his ex-wife was a big contributor and personal friend. That's called corruption.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

This silliness about Clinton's ethics being in the sewer is just false. If there were any evidence of it then something would have come of the $100 Million spent over eight years trying to remove him. Nothing did.

As Stefan points out, the scandals of Bush - none of which have been repudiated by a single one of the Republican candidates - are simply the result of being Republican business as usual.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan Esper, your claims don't stand up to scrutiny. The first has no legal weight, the second assumes that plutocrats can't be wrongfully convicted and the third is based entirely on your psychic ability to determine the reason for the pardon.

I am not convinced.

None of which, by the way, demonstrates that Clinton's ethics are worse than the guys who support the wholesale slaughter of people who are not, and are unlikely to ever be, a threat to our national security.

We can live with corrupt pardons. It isn't good, but it is certainly a hell of a lot better than the unprovoked assault on innocent people. Your morality may differ, but I doubt there are many on this board who would disagree with me - lives trump money. That's called morality.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin? ugh. your post reads like something almost guaranteed to look wildly, embarrassingly wrong in Jan. 2009.

the press worships at the shrine of mccain, the voting public--not known for its critical scrutiny--davining right there next to chris matthews. there's no reason to think your argument that shining a light on the unsavoriness of mccain's actual politics will happen or would change public opinion.

mccain's politics are worse than romney's. with il duce's campaign in tatters, mccain is the next worst GOP candidate. and given many of the elite's opinion of him, I'd say he's the most likely to be able to beat a dem. especially clinton, who mobilizes the rightwing base like nobody else.

so your scenario has the democratic nominee best-positioned to increase GOP turnout matched up against the GOP nominee most likely to win independents. but you still work your way to "it wouldn't be so bad?"

Posted by: mencken on January 9, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

This silliness about Clinton's ethics being in the sewer is just false. If there were any evidence of it then something would have come of the $100 Million spent over eight years trying to remove him. Nothing did.

Well, he was impeached! And remember, the reason he was impeached is because he told a story, which his supporters all believed and parroted, and it turned out there was indisputable evidence that it was false.

That should give you a hint about the guy's ethics, whatever you think of Ken Starr.

But if you want some more examples, we have: (1) the Marc Rich pardon; (2) the pardon of an Argentine drug dealer in Los Angeles who had connections to Antonio Villaraigosa; (3) the Rose Law Firm billing records mysteriously turning up; (4) all the campaign contributions, which were a clear attempt to circumvent the campaign finance laws through soft money (which WAS illegal, even then, if coordinated by the candidate); and (5) the reversal of the China policy that Johnny Chung and others indicated that the campaign contributions bought (which, by the way, cost us the only opportunity we had to force China to play by the rules of international competition).

Of course, I am sure you can post answers received from the Clinton campaign as to each one of these, as you have with Marc Rich. But THAT's where the Lewinsky thing is relevant. You see, Bill Clinton didn't always tell the truth about these things. If he had, he would have never been impeached.

Now, let's specifically address Marc Rich.

Dilan Esper, your claims don't stand up to scrutiny. The first has no legal weight, the second assumes that plutocrats can't be wrongfully convicted and the third is based entirely on your psychic ability to determine the reason for the pardon.

1. "No legal weight"? Look, NOTHING has anly legal weight with respect to a pardon. A pardon that is bought and paid for is still legally effective. The President's power-- including to pardon the ex-husbands of campaign contributors and friends-- is absolute under the Constitution.

But as a matter of policy, pardoning rich fugitives-- and it will always be rich fugitives-- is TERRIBLE policy, because it creates an incentive for people to go on the lam and then fight their cases from overseas rather than respecting the results of our justice system.

2. I didn't say plutocrats can't be wrongfully convicted. I said that Marc Rich did a lot of things that certainly DESERVED jail time, not just this one thing. So it doesn't matter if the Hillary Clinton campaign can supply talking points as to why the specific offense was allegedly not committed; Marc Rich deserved his jail sentence. You don't need to go far to discover that he was an extremely shady character.

3. You yourself said that Scooter Libby's representation of Rich had something to do with his pardon. So you can read minds to that extent.

In any event, there are thousands of compelling cases for pardons that came before Clinton and which were denied. This particular case wasn't particularly compelling but involved personal lobbying by Denise Rich, who had tight connections with Bill Clinton. Only an extremely obtuse person would think that this was anything other than power and influence buying an escape from justice.

The point is, Bill Clinton's ethics record stunk. That doesn't mean Bush and Cheney weren't worse, but please don't hold Clinton up as any sort of standard of rectitude. There's plenty of evidence that he was and is a deeply dishonest man.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Why are they considered conservative when they voted for Kerry in 2004?

Well, here's a couple of things:

*"Live Free or Die"
*No sales tax.
*Manchester Union Leader, "has influenced presidential campaigns as much as any paper in the country... For 129 years, the newspaper has been known as one of the most conservative in the country. Its owner called the first George Bush 'a liberal'"
*Since WWII, by my count, NH has sent 2 Democrats to the US Senate, as against 12 Republicans.

I could go on, but I think I'll eat ice cream instead.

Posted by: mattski on January 9, 2008 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think the ethics of the Clinton's are bad, but they have survived the problems politically and no one is paying much attention to the history of ethical problems.

Consider, this is a woman whose president husband was getting oral sex from a 21 [?] year old intern in room next to the oval office and then he lied about it with her support to keep his job, now the two of them campaign together trying to recapture the presidency. I suppose the history might cost her a few percentage points in the election that could lose her the presidency, but in a general sense, they have thrived despite their lack of ethics.

I assume even the folks on this site recognize that the cattle futures stuff was a bribe of the Clintons and was not Hillary as a twenty something year old with no experience investing and making $100k in one of the most speculative markets? I realize no one cares about it anymore, but it was plainly the illegal channeling of money to the Clinton's.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Look, a lot of the scandals of the Clinton White House were surely ginned up by the Republican scandal machine. But a lot of other ones weren't. I can certainly accept that Bill Clinton competently governed the country for 8 years (which makes him immensely preferable to his incompetent senator). But let's not, as they say in Arkansas, put lipstick on a pig, shall we?

What a fucking joke--the lipstick on a pig to which you refer? That's just one of twelve or thirteen major fuckups by the Bush administration.

This is a hilarious performance, DE--of a fucking wingnut out of his mind. You play the part well. You try to be reasonable and all--but what a fucking joke.

Let me pose one simple question, with regards to the Clinton Administration: What is it about peace and prosperity that you don't understand?

Eight years of Bush and we have what? Endless war, an American city washed away, the Constitution flushed down the toilet, privacy rights gone the way of the dinosaur, cheap suit peons running the Justice Department, CIA assets being outed to hide the lies told to get us into a war we didn't have to fight, Habeus Corpus hanging upside down in a cage at Gitmo and human beings being tortured in the name of the United States of America.

When they throw around terms like incompetence, disaster, fecklessness, indifference to death, suffering and neglect, the first thing that comes to mind is not Bill Clinton talking about who he did or did not have sexual relations with.

I tend to think that the massive, steaming pile of dead bodies is going to sit on the legacy of the most recent President. So a blowjob vs all those dead people? Please.

And McCain gets blown out like Goldwater against any Democrat. He's a tempermental freakshow of a man, universally disliked by everyone except the press corps. He's a stark raving mad asshole, and the American people are just a wee bit tired of the one we have; they're not going to go down that road again.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Poor little brian--you can assume that last post from me is directed at you, too.

A blowjob! Oh my! It's the end of the Republic! Waaaaaah!

If you and your little wingnut friends just go on down to the bingo hall and pay some old lady fifty bucks to take care of your little urges, perhaps we'd be spared your shimmering intellect on this subject.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Pale:

I think I was clear. Bill Clinton's presidency was much better than George W. Bush's, in all sorts of ways. (Although, again, I would quibble with the "peace" part of your "peace and prosperity" description-- there were way too many bombing campaigns for my taste and Clinton did try and start a shooting war with Iraq in 1998.)

I think that Clinton's ethics, such as they were, were still better than Bush's. I conceded that point to heavy.

What I object to is saying that Clinton was ethical, or saying that his ethics were better than "the Republicans" as a group. He wasn't and they weren't.

I am a left-wing Democrat. The fact that I was and am appalled by some of Bill Clinton's actions does not make me a member of the right wing noise machine. I am also appalled that Hillary Clinton ruled out single payer health care from the get-go, and that Bill Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. My problems with the Clntons stem from the fact that I find them to be conservative, not liberal.

So don't lump me in with people who were upset that Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Let me second Pale Rider. For cryin' out loud, I wish these wingnuts had been dateable in high school! Please - either get (or give) a blowjob and see what all the fuss is about, then get back to us. Until then, just shut the fuck up.

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Put it this way - what do you prefer, a president who gets a little head, or one who fucks the entire country?

For my money, make giving the president a daily blowjob a cabinet level position if it will keep us out of debt to China and out of needless wars.

Mary Carey wants to get into politics - honey, here's a job just tailor-made for you!

Idiots. PR, we are surrounded by idiots.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl:

As far as I am concerned, if Bill Clinton wants to get oral sex from other women, that is between him and Hillary.

But the issue here is his ethics. And he lied and had his supporters fan out all over the media swearing up and down that he didn't do anything with Monica, and that Monica was a stalker and all the rest. It turned out it was all true.

The blowjob says nothing about his ethics except that, like a substantial number of politicians, he cheats on his wife. The lying and dragging the country through 6 months of repeated false statements rather than just fessing up and moving on said plenty about his ethics.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

What I object to is saying that Clinton was ethical, or saying that his ethics were better than "the Republicans" as a group. He wasn't and they weren't.

What you fundamentally lack is any kind of "perspective" on what constitutes ethical behavior.

If they lied, stole, cheated, and robbed people and made millionaires out of themselves, you have to concede that a large part of why they did so was because their goddamned legal bills were sky high. (Thanks again, Ken Starr.)

No reasonable person would argue they were perfect. But, goddamn, dude--What Part of Peace and Prosperity do you not fucking understand?

Every single one of their crimes, whatever they may be, put in a big pile, does not compare even remotely to, for example starting a war with a country that was no threat to the United States, lying about it repeatedly, leaving our troops there for over four years, killing over 3900 of them, wounding over 30,000 of them, and spending nearly a trillion dollars in the process.

Jesus fucking Christ on a Pogo Stick. We're not "surrounded" by idiots. The Pale Rider and like minded souls are never surrounded, because the likes of you couldn't surround a donut with your massive ass without screwing it up. I am content to watch you squirm in the muck and look like assholes. YOUR issues are not mine, and I have no qualms about calling bullshit on your boggle-eyed insanity.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

But the issue here is his ethics. And he lied and had his supporters fan out all over the media swearing up and down that he didn't do anything with Monica, and that Monica was a stalker and all the rest. It turned out it was all true.

Does your lip quivver when you write that shit?

Right now, the newly-elected President of France has the ankles of a former supermodel behind her ears as he tries to figure out how to divorce whatever shrew he doesn't want to have to deal with anymore.

Oh, to live in a country of grownups.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

People are entitled to their own opinions regarding the importance, morality or patheticness of Bill Clinton getting oral sex from the intern.

The more important issue is that the president of the United States, when afraid that he would lose his job over the oral sex, stuck his finger in the face of the American people and lied in what turned out to be a successful effort to keep his job. I think that is a bad thing. Electing his wife would make it worse -- his lie not only succeeded in protecting his job, but ultimately got his wife elected president.

If he would have done the honorable thing and resigned, it would have been better for the country, and for the democratic party. Gore likely would have been elected in his own right in 2000 and you guys would not have had George Bush to hate all these years. I'm always surpirsed that more people, even highly partisan ones, don't recognize both the unethical nature of his lying to save his job and the adverse effect on the democratic party.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Every single one of their crimes, whatever they may be, put in a big pile, does not compare even remotely to, for example starting a war with a country that was no threat to the United States, lying about it repeatedly, leaving our troops there for over four years, killing over 3900 of them, wounding over 30,000 of them, and spending nearly a trillion dollars in the process.

Pale, I think I said that.

I might add, though, that Hillary Clinton used the power granted to her as a member of Congress by the United States Constitution to start that war. And Bill Clinton attempted to start that war in 1998 and was only stopped because Sandy Berger and Madeline Albright faced massive demonstrations when they went around the country to promote it.

If you want to talk about prosperity, fine. But Bill Clinton was far from the peace President, and Hillary Clinton is directly responsible for the Iraq War and all the needless death it caused.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

If he would have done the honorable thing and resigned, it would have been better for the country, and for the democratic party.

Why? He was popular, he was competent, and he was doing a great job. Can Bush say the same thing?

By your logic, Bush should resign. He's botched the job, ruined the chances of the Republican Party, and can't buy an ounce of respect.

I might add, though, that Hillary Clinton used the power granted to her as a member of Congress by the United States Constitution to start that war. And Bill Clinton attempted to start that war in 1998 and was only stopped because Sandy Berger and Madeline Albright faced massive demonstrations when they went around the country to promote it.

???

Dude, I was in uniform when they tried to start that war. My unit barely noticed. I think we might have done an extra round of NBC training that month. Operation Desert Fox was an attempt to start a war? Fuck you, asshole--you have no idea WHAT you're talking about. It was a limited, surgical round of strikes against targets and nothing more. We did not execute the invasion plan at that time--Bush executed it in 2003. We maintained the No-Fly zones, during the 1990s as an extension of the Bush I policy, set forth by Colin Powell and Dick Cheney. NONE of what went on was a creation of Clintons--he was simply carrying on the policies of the first Bush administration, trying to work through the UN to ensure that Iraq did not reconstitute any kind of WMD program. It turns out, they did NOT do anything more than play a shell game to keep the Iranians from guessing what they had left in their stockpiles. (Which was next to nothing)

If you want to talk about prosperity, fine. But Bill Clinton was far from the peace President, and Hillary Clinton is directly responsible for the Iraq War and all the needless death it caused.

I'll take Clintons warmongering over Bush's any day.

And just so you know, if Clinton indeed ordered our troops to invade Iraq, that's news to me.

You can try to make the Democrats responsible for starting the war in Iraq all you want, but it ain't gonna fly. I know what you really want is someone's grandma bobbing up and down on your lap while your righteous indignation flares up and makes little beads of panic sweat burst out of your forehead, but it ain't happening here.

Clinton started the war in Iraq, now? Wow. How fucking pathetic is that for an attempt to duck responsibility. Next thing you'll know, you'll make the case that "Bin Laden Determined to Strike America" was written by Hillary on a cocktail napkin and faxed to Crawford on August 6th with a little mash note that said "For Reals, Ya'll!"

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

And just so you know, if Clinton indeed ordered our troops to invade Iraq, that's news to me.

Pale, according to Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, Hillary Clinton had the power along with her colleagues to send this country to war. And she exercised that power. The Iraq War is her fault, and the fault of every other member of Congress who voted for it.

As for the military preparedness in 1998, the importance thing was that Bill Clinton tried to move from an air war to a shooting war. He started the policy of favoring regime change in Iraq, and he was only stopped because of courageous left-wing demonstrators who met Berger and Albright with protests.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Dilan Esper, your mention of impeachment gives you away as a sorry joke (the less said about the idiot Republican brian the better). The impeachment demonstrated two things:

  1. The Republicans had nothing, otherwise they would have created articles of impeachment that reflected actual High Crimes or Misdemeanors
  2. The Republicans have no respect for the rule of law and have cheapened "impeachment" to the point where it simply means that the opposition party has enough votes to constitute a majority in the House
Now, your ranting about Marc Rich may mean that you are indeed a far-left nutcase who thinks that being guilty of something means you should be convicted on any charge available but the truth is that our system requires that you be convicted of crimes you've actually committed. The evidence is far from clear that this was the case. However, your ability to ignore the massive corruption that is the heart and soul of the Republican Party and pretend that Clinton's ethics don't outstrip every single member of The Order of the Giant Shoes and Red Ball Noses running argues against that interpretation.

Oh, and finally, while HRC's vote for the war was a bad one and her rationale isn't particularly convincing, she didn't authorize the war and she didn't start it. The AUMF she voted for had specific conditions that were not met. There was never any evidence that Saddam Hussein was a threat to our national security or that he had anything to do with terrorism against the United States. The only person to blame for the unprovoked assault on the Iraqi people is George W. Bush.

It is important to note that I don't care who wins the Democratic Primary. The Republican Party is so vile and murderous that it is impossible to vote for any of them.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Pale, according to Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, Hillary Clinton had the power along with her colleagues to send this country to war.

So war was declared?

That's news to me as well.

As for the military preparedness in 1998, the importance thing was that Bill Clinton tried to move from an air war to a shooting war.

You do that by sending troops to the theater. He sent parts of the Third Infantry Division. I know this because a friend of mine told me that, in Kuwait, all the officers in the division were rumored to be carrying live rounds because they were afraid of being fragged--don't know if it's true or not.

You don't start a shooting war without people who can actually shoot. There was no massive buildup of forces in the region. There was no attempt to send tens of thousands of troops into Iraq. There was an attempt to enforce UN sanctions and resolutions--something Bush II completely fucked up and couldn't figure out how to do.

If you draw a line from Bush I to Bush II, you couldn't find a greater deviation in actual policies and philosophies. Bush II is the original warmongering presidency--even Teddy Roosevelt stopped after getting his war with Spain.

Millions protested the Iraq war in 2003--didn't stop anyone.

Dentures in or dentures out? Because that's more information than I want to have.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton sent my husband to war, and he sent him prepared and equipped and trained, and so were the men in his command. We lost not one American soul.

Can't say any of those things about the frothing fuckwit in the oval now.

Dilan, you are so far out of your depth here, you would be well served to back out now.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans had nothing, otherwise they would have created articles of impeachment that reflected actual High Crimes or Misdemeanors
The Republicans have no respect for the rule of law and have cheapened "impeachment" to the point where it simply means that the opposition party has enough votes to constitute a majority in the House

1. Perjury and obstruction of justice are high crimes and misdemeanors.

2. Impeachment has always meant whatever a majority of the House wants it to mean.

Now, your ranting about Marc Rich may mean that you are indeed a far-left nutcase who thinks that being guilty of something means you should be convicted on any charge available but the truth is that our system requires that you be convicted of crimes you've actually committed.

That's not really what I said. Let's put it this way. They got Al Capone for tax evasion. Personally, I don't think that it should be prosecutable tax evasion when you don't report income that would result in the government being able to find out that you committed other crimes. I think that should be found a violation of 5th Amendment rights.

But if a President PARDONED Al Capone, I would say that the President was doing something crappy, despite my dubious view towards the tax evasion conviction. And if it turned out the President pardoned Capone because his ex-wife was a friend of the President, I would say that was an abomination.

Well, Marc Rich isn't Al Capone, but he's pretty bad. He didn't deserve a pardon-- and looking very technically at the specific crime he was convicted of doesn't really rebut this.

Oh, and finally, while HRC's vote for the war was a bad one and her rationale isn't particularly convincing, she didn't authorize the war and she didn't start it. The AUMF she voted for had specific conditions that were not met.

That's another Hillary Clinton campaign talking point. In fact, I read the AUMF. The grant of power is UNCONDITIONAL. It DOES contain a bunch of "purpose" clauses, but such clauses have no legal effect. Indeed, they are ONLY in there to give people like you arguments to make after the fact.

So war was declared?

An AUMF is clearly an exercise of the Congressional war power. The only other possibility is that Hillary Clinton flagrantly violated the Constitution by voting for something that didn't declare war but authorized force. That position doesn't get you anywhere either.

You don't start a shooting war without people who can actually shoot. There was no massive buildup of forces in the region. There was no attempt to send tens of thousands of troops into Iraq. There was an attempt to enforce UN sanctions and resolutions--something Bush II completely [censored] up and couldn't figure out how to do.

He was already enforcing the UN resolutions. That is why we were bombing. He tried to start the shooting war because he changed the policy and announced his intention to change the regime. He was trying to do exactly what Bush ultimately did, only more on the cheap. It would have been a disaster if the brave protesters hadn't stood up to his advisors and stopped it.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton sent my husband to war, and he sent him prepared and equipped and trained, and so were the men in his command. We lost not one American soul.

Bluegirl, again, that makes him better than Bush. But how many innocent Iraqis did he kill? And how many Sudanese didn't get their medicines and died because Clinton bombed and destroyed a pharmaceutical plant?

Bombing campaigns aren't as bad as shooting wars, but they are bad too. And Clinton did those because he believed in projecting American power and dominating the world, just like Bush did.

I know all about the Clinton administration, Blue Girl. Don't condescend to me.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

My husband was an intelligence officer on active duty in 1998. He is reading over my shoulder and laughing his ass off at you, Dilan. Lemme guess, you are a cargo-pants-and-birkenstocks-wearin' college student. I bet you have a scraggly goatee, too.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan, you aren't convincable. maybe when you have some more years on your odometer, you will reread this thread and wince. I can only hope.

And as for condecention? That's about all I can muster. Sorry.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

My husband was an intelligence officer on active duty in 1998. He is reading over my shoulder and laughing his ass off at you, Dilan. Lemme guess, you are a cargo-pants-and-birkenstocks-wearin' college student. I bet you have a scraggly goatee, too.

Your husband deserves credit for serving his country and our thanks.

Nonetheless, if he is giggling, he shouldn't be. The fact of the matter is that we need a more dovish foreign policy, and we must not let Bush and Cheney's excesses blind us to the fact that Bill Clinton was way too militaristic too.

And bluegirl, while your husband may be giggling, he didn't answer my question. Just how many Sudanese did Bill Clinton kill by bombing that pharmaceutical plant, which he claimed contained chemical weapons but where we never allowed an independent entity to see our soil samples?

And just how many innocent Iraqis did Clinton kill with his bombing campaigns?

Being married to a brave man who served his country does not make your arguments correct, bluegirl. We need a different approach to foreign policy in this country, one where war is avoided, not sought out.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK
... A pardon that is bought and paid for.... Dilan Esperat 7:56 PM
Too bad that wasn't the case . But, hey, rehashing tired old discredited "scandals" is the essence of talk radio fans.
I am a left-wing Democrat..... Dilan Esper at 8:59 PM
Yet, you never talk policy but yammer on about your touching concern about your partisan definition of 'ethics.'
....But the issue here is his ethics...Dilan Esper at 9:07 PM
No matter his former private ethics, they were private. Despite Republicans expending 100,000,000 in dozens of highly partisan investigations, no violation of public ethics was found. Bill Clinton is not on the ballot, but it's great to see how you obsess over the Might Clentis (tm)
....lied in what turned out to be a successful effort to keep his job. I think that is a bad thing.... brian at 9:13 PM
If that is a bad thing, then does finally admitting the private act and suffering the consequences makes up for it? There is no morality like Republican morality. It is the most awesome example of moral relativity one can find in the Christian world. Just check out candidate Giuliani and the treatment of whorehounds like Gingrich, Hastert, Burton to name a few.
.... Hillary Clinton is directly responsible for the Iraq War.... Dilan Esperat 9:13 PM
Life must be fascinating in your fantasy world. It was George Bush and only George Bush that launched the Iraq war. It was George Bush who lied to the American people. It was George Bush who promised to get the second UN resolution to have the Security Council authorize his action and reneged. No senator, including Edwards, and no Representative is the C-in-C. The goes back to '98

...The three made clear the U.S. goal in Iraq is to have its leadership comply with its obligations to allow U.N. inspectors unfettered access to any and all suspected chemical and biological weapons sites. "The United States does not challenge Iraq's territorial integrity, nor do we want to see the Iraqi people suffer any further," Albright said. "Our problem and the world's problem is with Iraq's leaders. And today those leaders have a choice. They can allow U.N. inspections to proceed on the world's terms, or they can invite serious military strikes on ours."....


Posted by: Mike on January 9, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

An AUMF is clearly an exercise of the Congressional war power.

But wait--you cited:

Article I Section 8 of the Constitution

And then you try to say that the AUMF is the same thing? It isn't. This is where I think your whole performance as a parody artist here goes off the rails and lands in the swamp--anyone who knows anything about how things works understands that the Democrats got backed into a corner in 2002 by an administration that was actively lying about the case for war and was also positioning itself to improve Republican control over the House and Senate. The AUMF was nothing more than a decision, made by the White House, to use the existing goodwill of the first anniversary of Sept 11th, to push Democrats into a corner and get them to vote for the war. It was voted upon on October 11, 2002--one month after the anniversary and about three and a half weeks before the midterm election. Coinkydink? Fuck no. It's the kind of political posturing that cost people like Max Cleland their job. It was not about "defending America" or "doing the right thing." It was just more insane Republican Party posturing. And it sure has bitten them in the ass, hasn't it? Because that war is theirs, it's George Bush's war, and those dead bodies are on his watch. The war in Iraq is a Republican War, and no amount of moving the goal posts is going to change that, ya fucking moron.

Bombing campaigns aren't as bad as shooting wars, but they are bad too.

You have a grasp of the absurd that a duck wearing a tuxedo couldn't improve upon.

Really, now. Could you please go more in depth on your mastery of military planning and procedures? I'm learning so much from you.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, I talk policy all the time. The subject was Clinton's ethics. That's why I am talking about it.

And if you will notice, I was just talking foreign policy immediately above your post.

I don't care how many times you claimed it was explicable, the Marc Rich pardon stunk. There is NO WAY IN THE WORLD that someone in the same situation but whose ex-wife wasn't Denise Rich would have gotten a pardon. Indeed, Clinton turned down THOUSANDS of more compelling pardon applications and only granted a relatively small number, and this was one of them. AND he bypassed the Pardon Attorney in the Department of Justice to do it.

Come on guys, I know that Hillary's campaign gives you talking points, but at some point you are just being silly.

No matter his former private ethics, they were private. Despite Republicans expending 100,000,000 in dozens of highly partisan investigations, no violation of public ethics was found.

Mike, another Hillary talking point. I listed at least 5 in my 7:56 post, in addition to Lewinsky, which involved LYING TO THE PUBLIC and PERJURY AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE, and therefore were not private ethics either. The blowjob was. The lying wasn't.

By the way, if you concede that Clinton's PRIVATE ethics are crappy, as you apparently do, how are you able to be so sure that he is pure with respect to public ethics?

Life must be fascinating in your fantasy world. It was George Bush and only George Bush that launched the Iraq war

Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, Mike. Hillary had the constitutional power to decide whether to take this country to war. And she decided to do so.

Why don't you guys stop defending the indefensible? Don't you realize that if Hillary had been out there leading the protests rather than ANSWER, we might have stopped the thing? But that would have required that Hillary be something other than the hawk she actually is.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

Neither charge managed to get even a majority of votes in the Senate they were so weak. There was simply no evidence of Obstruction of Justice and the facts made it clear that any lie he told did not meet the standard of Perjury.

There were no High Crimes or Misdemeanors in the bill of charges against Bill Clinton. Simple fact. Just as the case against Clinton which was at the root of the impeachment was summarily dismissed by a conservative judge, so too were the charges against him by the Republican Party wholly without merit.

And, once again, your re-writing of history to make Bill Clinton responsible for George W. Bush's assault on the Iraqi people demonstrates that you are either a complete fucking moron like brian or you are a Republican like brian. Either way, your opinion of the Clintons is of no value except to the small portion of the population so stupid that they will vote to continue the misgovernance of the Republican Party.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

So you won't be voting for Hillary then?

Fine, I'm leaving it at that. Have a good semester.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is where I think your whole performance as a parody artist here goes off the rails and lands in the swamp--anyone who knows anything about how things works understands that the Democrats got backed into a corner in 2002 by an administration that was actively lying about the case for war and was also positioning itself to improve Republican control over the House and Senate.

Pale, 19 senators apparently didn't feel they were backed into that corner.

In any event, I have ZERO sympathy for people who send brave soldiers to die because they don't want to make tough decisions or face the voters. Those soldiers' lives were more important than anyone's political careers.

If your argument is that Hillary voted for the war because she didn't have the guts to stand up and try and save lives, that makes her an even worse person than I thought she was.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Neither charge managed to get even a majority of votes in the Senate they were so weak. There was simply no evidence of Obstruction of Justice and the facts made it clear that any lie he told did not meet the standard of Perjury.

Heavy, he wasn't convicted because it was a partisan vote. That's why I noted above that impeachment is whatever the Congress says it is.

I am a lawyer (and by the way, bluegirl, you should take note of that). He clearly deliberately perjured himself several times in his testimony. Indeed, Judge Susan Wright and the Arkansas state bar, applying the law, so found and sanctioned him.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

I'm afraid Clinton admitted his lie only because he was caught - remember the blue dress? So "admitting" it does not do much in terms of making up for it.

On the subject of Clinton's moral and ethical shortcomings, I don't see why it is so hard for you folks just to acknowledge them. You can still think he was better than Bush and that, shortcomings and all, we would be better off with the Clintons back in the White House. To me, it isn't even close. If we are going to have a democrat in the White House, it should be the guy who, as far as we know, is smart, honest and ethical - Obama.

Posted by: brian on January 9, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

I already have a lawyer. he and Pale Rider and I are why those letters supporting Libby were released to the public. But congrats on the accomplishment.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

heavy:

I don't think you understand. You seem to think that the only people who don't think much of Clinton are right-wingers. That's what Hillary would have you believe. But it has never been true.

You need to go back to 1992 and remember what part of the Democratic Party Bill Clinton came out of, and why he was nominated. Since then, mostly in the shadows, the left-wingers in the base of the party have tried to move the party back to the left after he moved it to the right. We also don't like the militarism, as noted above. And we also don't like that Clinton's political touch has generally only benefitted himself and his wife-- in 1994, we suffered huge losses in Congress because of him; in 2000, we couldn't get Gore elected in part because of his scandals, and in 2002, his wife helped send the country to a disasterous war.

We want our party back. Paul Wellstone used to talk about us-- the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Then Howard Dean picked it up. This year, our loyalties have been more divided; some of us like Edwards, some Obama, a few support Kucinich.

But you should understand there are a lot of us out there. And your paradigm where anyone who thinks that Bill Clinton did a lot of crappy things must be a right winger doesn't account for us.

You really might want to get out more. Come out to San Francisco, or New York, or West Hollywood. We are out there, and there are more of us than you might think. People who really don't think the Clintons are heroes. People who want our party to come back to us.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan: give it a rest. Hillary is going to be the next president.

Posted by: Troonby on January 9, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

No Dilan Esper, you have now descended into pure lying. He did not "clearly deliberately [perjure] himself," nor was he sanctioned for doing so. He was sanctioned for "misleading" the court being that such behavior was not acceptable for a member of the bar. As a lawyer you should know that simply lying isn't enough for a perjury conviction. Unless, like the claim to be a Democrat, that's simply another lie.

Once again you reveal yourself as the Republican you are by claiming the acquittal was a "partisan" issue. As with the Jones trial, there was no evidence to back up the laughable charges of the partisan impeachment. That you are a Republican is obvious from your reversal of where partisanship occurred. A local prosecutor would have been embarrassed to bring either of the charges. The Republican Party, having no shame and no ethics, not so much.

As for impeachment having always been whatever a majority in the House wants, that's simply another one of your re-writings of history. The Constitution says "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," not "whenever the Congress hates the President." The Democrats had, up until that time, used the power judiciously and only held hearings when it was obvious that Nixon held the Rule of Law in contempt. Their cowardice now in the face of someone whose contempt for our entire system of governance is, however, despicable.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK
.... McCain is actually the one who makes the most common sense on Iraq. ...Yancey Ward at 5:13 PM
Yup, nothing says common sense like wanting to say in Iraq for a thousand years and blatantly lying about his market photo op.
....McCain by 10 points, minimum..... Dicksknee at 5:50 PM
McCain's record will discourage some Republican voters, and his support for the Iraq war will encourage Democratic ones. McCain would be one of the easier opponents.
....The point is, Bill Clinton's ethics record stunk.... Dilan Esper at 7:56 PM
Historically, the Clinton White house was one of the more ethical. There were only two individuals who had trouble: Hubble, for acts back in Arkansas, and Cisneros who lied his payments to a mistress, neither related to White House activities.
....On the subject of Clinton's moral and ethical shortcomings.... brian at 10:16 PM
The joke is that you are condemning the wife for the husband.
.... he wasn't convicted because it was a partisan vote.... Dilan Esper at 10:15 PM
Actually, the house vote was the partisan vote. There never were the votes in the Senate because of the weakness of the case. If you're a lawyer, you would know that there was no legal perjury , but hey, talking points are talking points. Posted by: Mike on January 9, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

No Dilan Esper, you have now descended into pure lying. He did not "clearly deliberately [perjure] himself," nor was he sanctioned for doing so. He was sanctioned for "misleading" the court being that such behavior was not acceptable for a member of the bar. As a lawyer you should know that simply lying isn't enough for a perjury conviction. Unless, like the claim to be a Democrat, that's simply another lie.

Heavy, I am not going to bore you with all the details, but suffice to say, he (1) intentionally (2) lied (3) under oath (4) in a court proceeding (5) on an issue ruled material to the case.

Those are the elements of a perjury charge. Anyone interested can easily find the supporting material for each of those elements.

As for impeachment having always been whatever a majority in the House wants, that's simply another one of your re-writings of history. The Constitution says "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," not "whenever the Congress hates the President"

I know that, but in reality, heavy, impeachment is political. The Republicans won't impeach a Republican president, and the Democrats won't impeach a Democrat. My point was you can't point to the partisan vote in the Senate and say that showed that they didn't prove the charge.

Their cowardice now in the face of someone whose contempt for our entire system of governance is, however, despicable.

Well, you know, Hillary is in the Senate. She could call for hearings.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't your claims that Clinton wasn't perfect that make you a Republican. It is your recitation of right-wing talking points - most of which are simply false - that make you a Republican.

I had a lot of problems with the Clinton Administration. But to compare their ethics unfavorably with any of the soulless mother fuckers whose eagerness to continue the brutalization of the Iraqi people, the police state of America, and the use of torture the official policy of the United States of America is beyond the pale. That can only come from a Republican.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't your claims that Clinton wasn't perfect that make you a Republican. It is your recitation of right-wing talking points - most of which are simply false - that make you a Republican.

Let's be clear here. There are a lot of false or misleading Republican talking points about the Clintons, such as the claim that the 1993 tax increase was "the largest in history".

But just because a Republican says something, or even repeats it, doesn't mean it is false. The fact is that in fact, the perjury case against Clinton was clear-cut. Yes, some Democratic lawyers put out THEIR OWN talking points about how it wasn't so, but trust me, they are wrong about this and I am right.

Since now two people have claimed this, I am afraid I have to get graphic. Oral sex was arguably not within the defintion of "sexual relations" in the Paula Jones deposition. But placing fingers or cigars in Monica's vagina WAS, because it constituted contact with her genitals for the purpose of arousal. And he lied and said he never did those things. That was ruled material to the Paula Jones case, because Judge Wright was specifically asked to disallow inquiries into Clinton's sex life and held that it could yield information about Clinton's prior propensity to proposition women. This was relevant under a Federal Rules of Evidence amendment that Clinton himself sponsored.

So, you have intent, you have a lie, it was under oath, it was in a court proceeding, and it was material. The perjury case was open and shut.

I am sorry but just because the Republicans bought that argument and not the Democrats doesn't make it wrong.

I had a lot of problems with the Clinton Administration. But to compare their ethics unfavorably with any of the soulless mother fuckers whose eagerness to continue the brutalization of the Iraqi people, the police state of America, and the use of torture the official policy of the United States of America is beyond the pale. That can only come from a Republican.

Heavy, is it your contention that Hillary Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war, is more ethical than Republican Lincoln Chafee, who voted against it?

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Dilan Esper, you are quite simply lying. There was no question on which all five of your points is true. In particular, materiality was never established. In her dismissal the judge made it clear that any affair by Clinton had no bearing on the Jones case. As to the joke Grand Jury, which is what made it out of the House, it was a mere fishing expedition in an blatant attempt to convert consensual sex into a felony; there Clinton's narrow parsing of a badly worded question - his answer being the infamous "it depends on what the meaning of is, is" (better stated, it depends on whether the questioner can be allowed to use the present tense of the verb "to be" in order to elicit information in the past tense) prevented his statement from being factually untrue.

As for your apologia for the Republican impeachment, cute. Stupid. Ahistorical. A helping hand to those who would destroy our nation for political gain. But cute.

But thanks for the Republican perspective on the Clintons. I'm afraid we've all heard it and been bored by better trolls than you. Good luck convincing others with your concern troll act.

Posted by: heavy on January 9, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

So now Dilan Esper and Obama are leading the Democratic wing of the party on to glorious victory.
Last week you were telling progressives to go fuck themselves. This week you were chastising Edwards voters to get on the Obama bandwagon or forever be branded as Naderites. Were you getting the right memos from HQ or just freelancing? You are one phony douche bag either way.

Posted by: the angry left on January 9, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

We want our party back. Paul Wellstone used to talk about us-- the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Paul's name in your mouth is an obscenity.

You can fuck off back to your cut-rate little law firm--yeah, it took all of a minute to find out what a lying, conniving little Internet-bot you are--and quit playing your over-wrought and over-thought little game.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

In particular, materiality was never established. In her dismissal the judge made it clear that any affair by Clinton had no bearing on the Jones case.

Heavy, that's not the standard for materiality. Judge Wright did not rule the evidence INADMISSIBLE; she simply held that Jones had not established the legal basis for her claim.

If you (and the Clintons) were correct, it would mean you could never have a perjury prosecution unless the person lost the lawsuit. In fact, the crucial materiality determination was made earlier, when Clinton tried to prevent inquiry into these matters on the ground, inter alia, of relevance, and the judge ruled them discoverable.

Further, "material" does not mean that it will ultimately be used to prove the claim or the claim cannot be proven without it. It just means that it has to be within the scope of the issues in the litigation, such that a reasonable person would know he was obligated to tell the truth. These questions clearly qualified.

Indeed, Judge Wright's sanction order found the statements to be material.

the angry left:

I have never told liberals (I don't use the meaningless term "progressives") off. I never told Edwards voters to get on the Obama bandwagon. I don't think much of Edwards, but every voter has the right to vote for their candidate of choice. I never used the term Naderites. Your comment is completely without foundation.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

[I'm turning the comments off on this thread. You can do your raging against Hillary Clinton at your own site. You are not going to do it here any longer.]

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 9, 2008 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider, when someone sees this thread, they will see me making reasoned arguments and you engaging in constant name calling and insults. It will speak for itself.

That's exactly what they're going to do, Poindexter.

That was you, lurching up Wilshire Boulevard, wasn't it? Carrying your righteous indignation in one hand and your sanctimonious lack of irony in the other, right?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 9, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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