Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE NOMINATION....Matt predicts that Hillary will win the Democratic nomination. That's still my guess too — though barely, of course. My reasoning is super simplistic: with Super Tuesday over and both candidates essentially tied, the rest of the primary season will be one long stretch of trench warfare. And there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons.

There are, of course, a million and one reasons I could be wrong. The most likely one, in my mind, would be wholesale defections by superdelegates who come to the purely selfish conclusion that they themselves would do better on a ticket headed by Obama. I'm sure you'll let me know about the other million possibilities in comments.

Kevin Drum 1:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (182)

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Nope.

Drawing a blank here.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 9, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus

No, this is how you draw a blank: _______


Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

HRC and BO seem very close on the issues (and not great in my opinion), but I think it would be better for the country to have BO as nominee and president if only to throw the right wingers off their super hate game. THEY want HRC. It will take them a while to build up the hate agst BO, and maybe not as m,any people would follow the leaders. I know Kevin isnt saying he wants HRC, just predicting, but I hope y'r wrong Kevin!

Posted by: Brian in OR on February 9, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I (sadly) agree. Hillary wins the nomination. McCain wins the election.

Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin- Why do you say "there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clinton"? Seems to me they're good at playing defense, and doing a rope-a-dope.
The caucus races seem to be a pretty good example of "trench warfare", and the Obama people seem to do just fine there.

Posted by: mike Portland Oregon on February 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

a vagina

Posted by: corndog on February 9, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I just find the Clinton wins logic flawed. Obama seems pretty likely to win all three contests today, and all three on Tuesday. Hillary's only win is likely to be in Maine. That will create the first case of a real winning streak by either candidate, and will almost certainly give Obama a boost going into Wisconsin. If he wins Wisconsin, even more momentum. Then he just has to come close in Texas and Pennsylvania, which really shouldn't be too difficult, and he will have a clear lead in delegates going into the covention. There is no chance at all that if Obama has a lead in pledged delegates that the superdelegates will take it away from him. It would destroy the party. Moreover, assuming polls remain the way they are showing Obama doing better against McCain, and common sense dictates an Obama nomination.

Posted by: Jim on February 9, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

The way I see it the "Trench Warfare" is what happens next. Right now I can't see either candidate getting to 2000 plus and winning the nomination without "Super" (i.e. unelected) delegates and the other side will cry foul. And should the supers all agree to go with the side that has the most delegates? What if the other side has the most votes?

The DNC has to sponsor a do-over in Michigan and Florida. This had better be settled by real voters and not some "Perrier-filled" Room (no one smokes any more) either before or at Denver. And those "Delegates" awarded in FL and MI? Think that credentials fight wouldn't be the greatest nuclear option? Nope - got to have a new contest.

Posted by: richard locicero on February 9, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Kevin did vote for Obama (or did he?!), I think deep down he wants Hillary to win so he won't have to feel sorry for her.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

1) many remaining states are caucus where obama does better
2) obama has and contimnues to accumulate more money
3) many will come to realize that clinton's down ballot effects are going to be a (relative) disaster; picking up >3 seats in the senate is much more important that winning the white house

Posted by: david mace on February 9, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

4) there are many here (some dems included) in northern NY that hate the bushees will vote for obama but will never vote for hillary clinton
5) mccain still has that pseudo independent thing going so dems need that independent voter appeal

Posted by: david mace on February 9, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Moreover, assuming polls remain the way they are showing Obama doing better against McCain, and common sense dictates an Obama nomination.

The thing about these national polls (even if they are again wildly off the mark) is that they indicate a close race even after 7 years of the one of the most venal and destructive administrations in the history of the republic.

We're in trouble.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Reasons you will be wring:

1. Closer scrutiny of the Clinton's financial dealings which will remind people of Johnny Chu, Norman Hsu, Marc Rich, etc.

2. A new wave of Bimbo eruptions which will remind people of the recurring Clinton drama that the country does not need at this point

Enough already (says the country and the super delegates)!

Posted by: David on February 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama could possibly secure the nomination if he ends up with more delegates.

Posted by: ed on February 9, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

That'd be great if Clinton won the Dem nomination and the presidency. Then we can relive the 90's, without a robust economy. Wonderful.

I'd rather move forward than back to a time that can't be recreated.

Posted by: josef on February 9, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

My scenario: Obama is up by 100 or so pledged delegates, and a contingent of supers goes to Hillary and asks her gently to withdraw or face dividing the party.

She'll either dig in and fight or withdraw gracefully.

Posted by: KathyF on February 9, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Two Scenarios:

1. The first candidate to go down and dirty ugly loses. The only candidate, I think, capable of self destructing in this fashion is Clinton. But it won't be by anything she or Bill says. It'll be some surrogate. And I'm thinking it's gonna be about gender, which is what Clinton's campaign is increasingly about since that's her major base. You can already see it brewing -- the NOW-NY business, Robin Morgan etc.

2. The stalemate continues until the convention. And there's no good solution for the Democrats at that point. And Dean knows this but there's absolutely nothing he can do to stop it or resolve it. There will be blood.

Posted by: Callimaco on February 9, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

If trench warfare means state by state competition, more or less, then advantage Obama, I would think. He was a better ground game for the most part (Clinton's NH team seemed pretty good though) and has an advantage when he gets to spend time in a state and people get to know him better. He lost places like MA, NJ, and TN by significant margins when resources were spread thin on Super Tuesday. I suspect that he can keep most states where he loses pretty close when efforts are focused. On the other hand, focused efforts didn't help Clinton much in SC or Iowa so there is reason to believe that Obama could still have some pretty significant wins in the state by state game.

Also, is there any reason to believe that the Clinton campagin is better run than the Obama campaign at this point? Maybe they are about even, but avantage Clinton seems like a real stretch to me.

Posted by: ikl on February 9, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

As far as how possibilities in the general effect the nomination:

The way people have been touting the head-to-head v. McCain polls, you'd think it was enough for us to go with Obama. But I think there's a fairly clear reason Hillary isn't being asked to drop out by the party apparatus like Romney was by the power-brokers on his side.

Coverage of these polls has been disappointingly simplistic. Even on the Carpetbagger Report- a commentator who should know better, if ever there was one- on posts about this subject, there is no mention of the fact that running either Hillary or Obama as the Dem nomination in the general is novel, it could have an effect on the validity of the polls, specifically on whether the "likely voter" questions, designed to determine whether respondents to the polls are actually likely to vote, are as effective in a Hillary-or-Obama v. McCain situation as they would be if a white man had been the Democratic nominee (the situation we've had in every presidential election so far).

Polls usually try to determine whether a respondent is a likely voter in the election they are being asked about by asking questions like whether the respondent voted in the past one or two elections, and how likely the respondent believes he or she is to vote in the election in question. Based on the results, the answers of some resondents to the poll are thrown out.

If Hillary or Obama runs, however, there is the possibility that people who didn't want to vote before-- who would be weeded out by a likely voter question-- may now want to vote to vote against a black man, or to vote for the first woman president (or to vote against a woman president, and so on). Even a voter who doesn't think it's likely he'll vote in the election when he answers the poll question may all-of-a-sudden discover, when the general is a lot closer, that his pride is really offended that a black man may become the next president of the United States, and he may go out to vote for the first time on election day because of it.

Right now, no one has any way of predicting whether Hillary's effect on bringing in new voters to vote for her, or against her, or Obama's effect on bring voters out for/against him, or either of their ability to make people give up and stay home, is strongest.

But no one's talking about this! This should be the biggest discussion in the Democratic primary race, but instead everyone's just floating around bogus, flawed polls about head-to-head match-ups with McCaim and summarily reporting them as if that were the whole story.

Hopefully Matt or some other smart bloggers will pick up on this soon. Obviously there are a lot of Hillary supporters or undecided people who realize that this dynamic may explain a Barack defeat in the general or a Hillary win there.

Another thing people should be focusing on is this "Bradley Effect." That, of course, makes it easier for a general election against Barack Obama to be stolen, because there would be a perfect excuse for exit and entrance polls to be way off. People used to be very concerned about whether elections could be stolen and whether electronic voting machines that don't produce a voter-verified paper ballot (I know there is a lot of legislation against them, but I don't think they have all been replaced yet) could be hacked, and if those people still think that those concerns are legitimate, we should all be talking about whether Barack Obama is a viable general election candidate for that reason.

Posted by: Swan on February 9, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

As some others have mentioned, the real issue is very likely to be what happens with the delegates in MI and FL. Under the most likely scenarios I've seen, they appear to be the tie-breakers, and will very likely break the tie in Hillary's favor.

Because of this, I think we can expect a million strained arguments from the Obama side to refuse to seat these delegates, or, at minimum, to arrange for methods of deciding how they will be allocated that will greatly favor Obama. In particular, I expect them to try to force the delegates to be chosen by caucuses rather than elections, even though to the minds of most voters elections are vastly fairer and more democratic.

The irony of that presumed Obama campaign position -- which seems inevitable, given the underlying numbers -- is that it was they, and their media mouthpieces like Josh Marshall -- who couldn't stop talking about "voter suppression" and "voter disenfranchisement" in Nevada. I have a feeling they are going to be made to regret having taken up that battle cry.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the other Brian from Oregon.

I think the Democratic party will ensure that Hillary squeaks out a victory for the democratic nomination.

I also agree she will lose to McCain in the general election.

The bright side of this is that the country is entering an economic crisis that McCain thinks he is going to solve with more 'War' spending coupled with permanent tax cuts for the wealthy.

McCain will be the last Republican before we enter a new era of progressive leadership in America.

Of course, the bad news is the Supreme Court...

Posted by: Brian L on February 9, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Yglesias/D. Brooks thesis, that HRC will win because of support from lower-income, lower-education working class voters, doesn't hold an ounce of water.

Just look at the primary map: Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado. All those states have huge populations of low-income, low-education, working class rural voters.

And how did Obama do in them? Blowouts: 2 to 1, 3 to 1, even 4 to 1 blowouts.

Now of course Obama has local ties to Illinois. And to Kansas (but ask J. Edwards about how much value a family connection has.)

But the other states simply don't fit.

In fact, they pretty much blow the Brooks/Yglesias thesis out of the water.

Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about Hillary winning....

The primary season seems perfectly setup for Obama (of course today and tomorrow can make that statement look awfully bad), but, you got to think Obama wins the Louisiana primary (based on what happened in Alabama and Georgia), and he should have decent shots at Nebraska and Washington, since they're both caucuses, and he seems to do well in caucuses, and Kansas may prove to be a good indicator of how Nebraska goes.

Then tomorrow is Maine, which is also a caucus, and if he sweeps today, there might be enough momentum generated for him to take Maine (though I imagine that will be a tougher go).

Then, next week is the Maryland and Virginia primaries (I'd think Obama would do well in Maryland....not sure about Virginia), followed by the Hawaii caucus, and Wisconsin primary. Obama has ties to Hawaii, so I'd think he'd do well there, and if Wisconsin goes the way Minnesota (or any of the neighboring states sans Michigan) did, Obama takes that as well.

After that is a big 2 week break....

Obviously, delegates are awarded proportionally, but if Obama wins by decent margins in 6 of the 9 states in play over the next two weeks (which is definitely possible), he'll have big momentum, and Hillary will be on the ropes. And she will need to win convincingly in Ohio and Texas just to stay in this thing.

So, basically, Hillary needs to survive the next two weeks, and then hope to rebound with big wins in March.

But every big win Obama has until then makes it tougher for her to rebound....

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy wrote: "The thing about these national polls (even if they are again wildly off the mark) is that they indicate a close race even after 7 years of the one of the most venal and destructive administrations in the history of the republic. We're in trouble."

Especially since the Republicans don't need to actually win -- they only need to get close enough to steal the election as they did in 2000 and 2004.

I expect that McCain will choose Huckabee as his running mate, thereby reuniting the fractured Republican coalition (ie. the ultra-rich capitalist-imperialist corporate ruling class and the right-wing religious extremists), and will get close enough to steal the election if they don't actually win.

I have no idea whether Obama or Clinton will be more "electable" or have the better chance to win by a theft-proof margin. As far as I can tell, everything everybody has to say on that subject is guesswork and/or wishful thinking on behalf of their preferred candidate. And everything everybody has to say about which of them would be better able to actually implement any of their plans if elected is likewise guesswork.

And since there is very little substantive difference between Obama and Clinton, I don't have any real preference between them, so I'm perfectly comfortable to be a registered Green and ineligible to vote in the Maryland Democratic primary on Tuesday.

It does seem, though, that the sooner the Democratic Party establishes who the nominee is, the better for that candidate's chances in the general election.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary better at trench warfare? Hmm, not based on my personal experience. I campaigned a few times for Kerry last season so the local party has my name and number. This week I got two phone calls from Obama organizers reminding me where to go to caucus. Not a single phone call from the Clinton organizers.

GOTV is trench warfare. I see no sign of one side. Maybe they are still busy digging in while the other side is firing shots and gaining ground.

Posted by: rational on February 9, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yglesias may be right. If so, McCain wins the general election and we are well and truly fucked. We may as well begin planning the state funeral today, cuz that old coot does not have four good years in him - especially in the most stressful job on earth...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 9, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Before frankly0 goes on a tear about true democracy and the depravity of Obama supporters, MyDD offers a handy guide:

How would the Florida and Michigan delegates actually be seated?

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

lampwick,

Did you not notice that many of the cases of Obama's "blowout" wins in states were states that held caucuses, not elections? Does anybody doubt that caucuses are a far less fair representation of voter sentiment than is an election? If not, why don't we choose to do general elections using caucuses? Those cases are hardly convincing examples of Obama winning over working class voters.

While you throw up all kinds of smoke on the subject, virtually every exit poll and every poll before the exits, and every demographic breakdown of actual votes by town or district shows that working class voters favor Hillary greatly, and Obama gets the latte sipping elite.

In my state of Massachusetts, I need only take a look at a map of the town by town breakdown of the vote, and, because of my own great familiarity with which towns are the pricey ones, and which are the low income ones, the demographics just jumps out of me. Starbucks goes Obama, Dunkin Donuts goes Hillary, regular as clockwork.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

My scenario: Obama is up by 100 or so pledged delegates, and a contingent of supers goes to Hillary and asks her gently to withdraw or face dividing the party.

She'll either dig in and fight or withdraw gracefully.

I'm voting for Obama, but I hope nobody pressures Clinton to withdraw. Each has a right and obligation (to their supporters) to stay and put up a fair fight. I wouldn't think less of Clinton as long as she fights fair. However, if she continues to push to change rules by lobbying for Mi/Fl delegates to be added in her favor, that would be putting up an unfair fight.

Posted by: rational on February 9, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

If the superdelegates conclude that Obama has longer coattails than Clinton, as the conventional wisdom and polls seem to suggest, who exactly is being "selfish" in that scenario?

Posted by: Jim on February 9, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I predict that over the next 60-90 days neither BO nor HRC will manage to build a convincing lead over the other.

Instead, we will see lots of analyses purporting to show why one of the other is the more viable candidate against McCain.

It'll be BO's many lopsided caucus victories in red states where Dems have traditionally not run well in versus HRC's narrow primary victories in blue states that we need to hold to win the White House.

The outcome of this debate to shape the conventional wisdom will determine which way the super-delegates jump.

Posted by: Auto on February 9, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Your assumptions are simplistic and maybe even lazy. What evidence have we seen to date to validate the claim that Clinton is better at trench warfare? And why do you think that will be the deciding factor? The nomination will be won on the basis of a combination of results and perception. Over the last 30 days, Obama has proved himself to be a formidable candidate and has pulled into a dead heat in national polls; is neck-and-neck in both popular vote and pledged delegates to date; and has signficantly surpassed Clinton in fundraising. Obama will do well in the next few races to come and should begin to build a small lead in pledged delegates. Ironically, the nomination will be determined by whether Obama is able to translate the upcoming victories into a persuasive narrative that he has so much momentum that he is the inevitable winner. If he can claim the mantle of solid frontrunner by the time we get to Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he will be able to cut her margins in those states to the point that he has a small -- but clear -- lead. At that point, the superdelegates follow the trend and shift allegiance to Obama and the nomination is in the bag.

Posted by: Spike3905 on February 9, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I am only one person, but the MSM and members of Congress might consider these risks of supporting Obama:

1. When my local newspaper in a purple state endorsed Obama before Super Tuesday, even though we were not having a primary, I called and cancelled my subscription. This has got to hurt them for two reasons: (a) I have subscribed for decades and young people are not reading newspapers at all; and (b) I write letters to the editor that actually get printed, probably over 25 in all and one just last month.

2. When MoveOn.org endorsed Obama, I immediately unsubscribed from their organization. I never contributed to the organization and can only assume that I was a member, because I signed some petition against the war years ago. I got emails from them for years that I never read, but let them include me in their membership count because I wanted to support their causes. But, when they decided to support one candidate over another, based on the vote of a fraction of their membership, I didn’t want to be any part of them.

3. When my Congressman endorsed Obama the weekend before Super Tuesday, I emailed him and told him to take my name off of his mailing and phone lists. I told him that my days of voting a straight Democratic ticket were over. (I am one of those older voters who always votes.)


Now, I read the paper if I can find one for free left by someone at a coffee house. Also, I went to the local library the other day, wondering if I could get to the paper first after the doors opened. There was no problem. Everyone else rushed to sign up for a computer.

If the newspaper thought they were making a bet on the future by endorsing Obama in the hopes of attracting younger readers, I think they just lost that bet. And, if the letters to the editor I read after their endorsement is any indication, I am probably not the only reader they lost.

Posted by: emmarose on February 9, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy,

The little problem with the set of procedures mentioned in the link is the real nightmare is not seriously addressed.

What is that real nightmare? That, excluding FL and MI, Obama has the majority of delegates, but including them, it would be Hillary who would have a majority of the delegates. Yet, because the current set of rules allow only those delegates outside of FL and MI to decide whether and how the MI and FL delegates would be seated, the Obama side could force the obviously anti-democratic solution of simply excluding the expressed wishes of millions of voters in FL and MI.

That is when cries of "voter suppression" and "voter disenfranchisement" will reach to the skies -- as well they might. Nothing could be more obviously anti-democratic than that decision.

Let's just see the Obama campaign try to justify THAT decision to the larger American public. It would be an cheat a thousand times more obvious and disgusting than anything that Bush pulled off in Florida himself.

Let's see what kind of reputation for "hope" and "new politics" the man can possibly get anyone to believe after trying a stunt like that.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0 - Caucus goers are obviously better motivated than primary goers. And thus they are a fair representation of voter sentiment, in that they reward people who are actually interested in politics, and in contributing to the common good and the good of the party by volunteering.

But what are you saying? That the high school gymnasiums of Idaho or Kansas or Iowa were full of well-manicured, latte-sipping elites? Did you watch the footage and the photos of, say, the Iowa caucuses? Is that what you saw?

The popular vote right now is split 49.9/50.1 in favor of Hillary. Does having one-tenth of one-percent less than half of all primary voters make one a member of the 'elite'? If you say so.


Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

1. Closer scrutiny of the Clinton's financial dealings which will remind people of Johnny Chu, Norman Hsu, Marc Rich, etc.

2. A new wave of Bimbo eruptions which will remind people of the recurring Clinton drama that the country does not need at this point

Those may happen, but they won't prove Kevin wrong because they won't happen before the nomination.

Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

From: frankly0

the Obama side could force the obviously anti-democratic solution of simply excluding the expressed wishes of millions of voters in FL and MI
...
Let's just see the Obama campaign try to justify THAT decision to the larger American public.It would be an cheat a thousand times more obvious and disgusting than anything that Bush pulled off in Florida himself.
Let's see what kind of reputation for "hope" and "new politics" the man can possibly get anyone to believe after trying a stunt like that.

You do realize that before the primary season began, ALL the candidates agreed with the decision not to campaign in Florida or Michigan or seat their delegates, right?

It was a smart move by Clinton to be the only candidate to leave her name on the ballot in Michigan, but it was also bullshit. Same with Florida...and now to try and argue that those delegates should be seated is beyond ridiculous.

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0 -

As a Democratic voter in Michigan, I can tell you that we already lost our chance to express our wishes. The primary was meaningless. Many Democrats, realizing that, stayed home or switched over to vote in the Republican primary since that one was at least somewhat meaningful, but would gladly have voted for Obama or Edwards if they had had the chance. (It's a heavily union state with the country's worst economy - should have been a good state for Edwards). The vote here was a sham, and it shouldn't count for anything. If the DNC wants to give us a do-over, that's fine, but that's another matter.

Posted by: Ted on February 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, you are spinning the results of "the expressed wishes of millions of voters in FL and MI". How many voters sat out these primaries because their delegates had been stripped? Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.

Actually, I agree with you that Michigan and Florida voters should not be disenfranchised just because their state parties or legislatures screwed up, and that re-votes should be scheduled.

Fat chance, though.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot believe that HRC's supporters actually think that it is fair to seat the delegates from MI and FL. As an Obama supporter, I know that if Obama had won those states that I would not be advocating for their inclusion, even if they would be decisive for him.

Party officials in both states were warned in advance that they would lose their delegates, and they chose unilaterally to break party rules and go forward with elections anyway.

All the candidates signed off on a pledge not to campaign there, including HRC, who had not one negative word about the arrangement until the results came in.

HRC supporters: don't you understand that when candidates are not allowed to campaign that the candidate with more name recognition almost always wins? Don't you see why it's totally unfair to change the rules in the middle and seat those delegates? What ever happened to basic rules of fair play: you play by the rules you agree to at the beginning?!?

Posted by: Fran on February 9, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Caucus goers are obviously better motivated than primary goers. And thus they are a fair representation of voter sentiment,

Excuse me, do we ordinarily demand that only the "better motivated" voters get a vote? Is it OK to impose severe tests on people before they are allowed to vote, so that only the "better motivated" get representation? Isn't that ordinarily called "voter suppression", in fact?

Whatever you're describing, democracy it ain't.

Even in primaries, I should think that bedrock principles of democracy must be adhered to. It's hard to see how most caucuses, with their absurdly high bar for participation, just in terms of time, as well as the intrusive kinds of social pressures that can be exerted, can possibly be said to be good representations of such bedrock principles. Certainly, elections seem a much, much better representation of the voice of the people.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

You do realize that before the primary season began, ALL the candidates agreed with the decision not to campaign in Florida or Michigan or seat their delegates, right?

You do realize that one party who was NOT involved in that decision was the people of FL and MI themselves, don't you?

So, your argument is that those millions of voters should be denied a voice because of a spat between Democratic Party officials?

I'm not seeing a lot of love for democracy in you.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly - the Constitution makes no provision for the existence of parties, much less primaries and caucuses and party rules. The Democratic party is a large organization which serves the public good but is independent of the government and privately run. It sets the rules: and so it says, we will have caucuses here and primaries there. It says, we want states to have their primaries in a certain order, and if our state affiliates break those rules, then there will be consequences.

The party sets the rules, and the people who vote abide by them. If they don't like the rules, they should get involved and change them before events occur that they don't like. End of discussion.

Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

HRC supporters: don't you understand that when candidates are not allowed to campaign that the candidate with more name recognition almost always wins? Don't you see why it's totally unfair to change the rules in the middle and seat those delegates? What ever happened to basic rules of fair play: you play by the rules you agree to at the beginning?!?

Look, this is hardly an election in which it's fair to say that Obama, the challenger, suffers in any important way from lack of name recognition. Nothing is more obvious than just how much voters are paying attention to this primary process, and to the candidates. "Lack of name recognition" just is NOT a plausible excuse anymore for Obama's poor performance in states such as FL and MI.

From my point of view, the best solution would be simply to hold a further election in FL and MI, and take those results instead. Failing that, though, I think the fairest backup is to go with the results of the elections already held in FL and MI. In MI, perhaps the best way to get a fair delegate allocation is to base the results on exit polls. As impure as those results might be, they are vastly preferable to simply denying the clear intent of millions of voters in those states -- that would be voter suppression in its most despicable form. And I also see secret vote elections as being a far fairer representation of the voice of the people than is any typical caucus.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I cannot believe that HRC's supporters actually think that it is fair to seat the delegates from MI and FL.

They don't. They think it would help them.

Posted by: blah on February 9, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

And there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons.

This is part of my wariness of a Hillary administration. The Clintons are the Democrats' Maginot Line.

Posted by: ao on February 9, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone knows what will happen, but here's my guess. Obama wins 6 or 7 of the next 7 contests (Maine may go Clinton). The delegate count, while still close, flips over to Obama's advantage with Wisconsin. Obama will have momentum, money, wins and time to campaign extensively in Texas and Ohio. Both of those states are tossups and don't give Clinton the numbers she is hoping for. The superdelegates start to lean Obama as the fear of a brokered convention and the downticket considerations become more evident. None of the remaining primaries (even PA) change the equation considerably and Obama takes a lead, but not the nomination, into the convention.

Then all hell breaks loose over Michigan and Florida. The one who controls the party committees will win the nomination. If, as I suspect, that candidate is Clinton, there will be a HUGE job to put the party back together before November because the Obama support is not nearly as transferrable to Clinton. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: danimal on February 9, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

And there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons.
And that's why they will lose..Their trench warfare tactics plays straight into Obama's hand that the American people are are tired of 'the old politics of fear'...Hear is an example from Hillary's healthcare speech in Tacoma yesterday. Hillary:

My opponent's plan would leave out at least 50 million people, 750,000 right here in the state of Washington.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on February 9, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

The party sets the rules, and the people who vote abide by them. If they don't like the rules, they should get involved and change them before events occur that they don't like. End of discussion.

I'm sure that you do want discussion to end like that. All those with anti-democratic impulses do just want such discussions to end in an invocation of rules, and not in a discussion of how democracy itself is best served.

In the end, political parties have to abide by not just their arcane and arbitrary rules, but by principles that derive from democracy. Caucuses are considered by most voters to be a very, very poor representation of the voice of the people, which is why elections in primaries are so much more common than caucuses these days. And it also because voters feel that their voice must be heard that it is now considered to be a very bad thing to have nominations decided by brokered deals in a backroom.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed with lampwick, but there's the other side, and the more important issue: only a legitimately democratic solution is going to command the respect of voters. Otherwise it's just Florida 2000 all over again.

- If this thing is decided in a backroom against the popular vote (as represented by pledged delegates), it's a disaster. Kennedy and Kerry should be backing Clinton, or rather, since I presume many superdelegates don't represent a voting populace, the superdelegates need to make sure their vote mirrors the popular vote.
- If this thing is decided because of downticket considerations against the popular vote, it's a disaster.
- If this thing is decided by counting votes from MI where BHO wasn't even on the ballot, it's a disaster. Same for Florida. You either do a revote (a primary, not a caucus), or you abide by the original agreement to leave them out. I would think a revote is greatly preferable.

There has to be legitimacy. I'm a registered independent, I hate what the Republicans are doing, I'll support either HRC or BHO in the general provided that they don't get there by illegitimate means. Otherwise I'll vote McCain (or hopefully Bloomberg). Bank on it. Getting back to following the fucking rules, playing fair, is way more important than any particular issue. Period.

And frankly0, by overdoing your partisan hitman thing you're not doing HRC any favors.


Posted by: andrew on February 9, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

To clarify: I don't hope that Bloomberg enters the race; I would like to see either HRC or BHO in the White House. But only if her/his path to the nomination is legitimate. And if it is not legitimate, the damage to the Democratic party would be so great that I think Bloomberg would have to reconsider running, and I would hope he'd do so.

Posted by: andrew on February 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Did you not notice that many of the cases of Obama's "blowout" wins in states were states that held caucuses, not elections? Does anybody doubt that caucuses are a far less fair representation of voter sentiment than is an election? If not, why don't we choose to do general elections using caucuses? Those cases are hardly convincing examples of Obama winning over working class voters.

Funny. I thought the point was to win over the most voters -- not the most voters of a particular stripe.

Look, you can make a case that the process of caucusing isn't as democratic as the process of a primary, insofar as it's not a secret ballot, it's not one person-one vote, and i discriminates against people who are unable to participate in the narrow time frame in which these caucuses take place. But imperfect as it is, the caucus system is an established fact of the Democratic primary. And the bottom line is that Clinton isn't losing these caucuses because they are inherently less democratic than primaries. She's losing them because her team isn't as good at organizing for them. Complaining now about the nature of the nominating process simply because your preferred candidate seems to be struggling with certain aspects of it is silly.

Posted by: junebug on February 9, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

Even if Kevin did vote for Obama (or did he?!), I think deep down he wants Hillary to win so he won't have to feel sorry for her.

Posted by: Crankyo on February 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Just one other point about the claim that Obama suffered from "lack of name recognition" in FL and MI.

Given that the size of the turnout in those states was, apparently, many times that of previous primaries, how do you make out the case that not enough people knew about the candidates' names and policies? This was clearly NOT a case in which people just came out to vote out of some impulse to perform some routine civic duty, and pulled the lever for the name they happened to know. They came out in huge numbers because they had been interested enough and excited enough about the contest that they wanted to make their voice heard. Indeed, they felt that need so urgently that they voted even though they had been told their vote wouldn't count.

And now, I see, a good number of Obama supporters seem to think that denying a voice even to such voters is just peachy-keen because some power brokers in the Democratic Party decided that's a punishment they'd like to exact on state party officials.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Obama is losing the expectations game. If he doesn't run the table this week, somehow he will be thought to be underperforming. If he doesn't win every caucus, he's underperforming. If he doesn't go into the convention ahead by at least 100 delegates, he loses.

I see a million ways in which he loses, all of which most of the people here seem to be fine with, and only one way he wins, which seems unlikely.

The fact that it's this close, and a relative unknown is going up against someone named Clinton...The fact that he's facing around a third of all democrats in the entire country, not just a bunch of white people in Iowa and New Hampshire, and that he's been able make up ground daily, says that Obama is the better campaigner.

It reminds me of 2004, when, based on polling, it was said that Kerry would have defeated Bush if the election was held three months later. Clinton is likely to win, because time and pedigree are on her side, not because she's better at trench warfare.

Posted by: enozinho on February 9, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

Even if Kevin did vote for Obama (or did he?!), I think deep down he wants Hillary to win so he won't have to feel sorry for her.

Oops. I meant to say: Well said!

Posted by: crankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, I want to see one post by frankly0 from before the Michigan and Florida primaries where he comes off as a hunka hunka burning love for democracy and decries the unfairness and hypocrisy of the M/F situation.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

(Thanks, crankly!)

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Democracy without the rule of law (or the rule of rules) is only democracy in name, as one can see by looking at Iraq, or Bush's signing statements.

The next president cannot afford to been chosen by his or her party by dubious means.

I support having a do-over election in MI and FL and counting their delegates.

Anything else would simply be illegitimate.

Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, lampwick.

Posted by: andrew on February 9, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Agreed, lampwick. Otherwise it's Florida 2000 all over again. How quickly did the anger from that one dissipate?

(answer: not yet)

Posted by: danimal on February 9, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

And there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

If the Saint Obama has been annointed as such for the right reasons, he should open a church somewhere and leave politics to the bad guys and girls. And, conversely, if he is capable of playing with the big nasty players, there are no special reasons to support him.

I have no special feelings for Mrs. Clinton's candidacy apart from the fact that I would not want to see another eight years of a Republican Presidency, but I am too cynical, perhaps due to my age, or superior intelligence, or both, to be moved by the inordinate amount of emotional baggage that is riding on the Obama train.

Posted by: gregor on February 9, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the Clintons are so good at Trench Warfare and Politics Generally, why is Obama still around?

I think it's interesting that whenever someone is confused about the outcome, they just default to the Clintons.

I guess that is the definition and privilege of being the Establishment Candidate.

"Uhhhh ... I am confused, so uhhh ... I think it will be Hillary!"

Again, if the Clintons are so good at Trench Warfare and Politics Generally, why is Obama still around? This has always been the nonsubstantive criticism against Obama ... he can't beat the Clintons.

Except he can. And he does.

So why don't we put this lazy mental nugget to bed, shall we?

Posted by: BombIranforChrist on February 9, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

From frankly0:

You do realize that one party who was NOT involved in that decision was the people of FL and MI themselves, don't you?
So, your argument is that those millions of voters should be denied a voice because of a spat between Democratic Party officials?
I'm not seeing a lot of love for democracy in you.

What about the supporters of Obama in Michigan that would have voted for him if his name was on the ballot? Is it fair to count Michigan voters when Hillary's only opponent was Undecided? Hell, she only beat out Undecided 55% to 40%....yet you want to call that the will of the people, and democracy?

That's a joke. I agree that Michigan and Florida votes got screwed, but Obama supporters in those states would be doubly screwed if suddenly the winner of those non-elections suddenly counted.

Now if you were calling for a re-do, fine, let's do it, that'd be fair. But nope, you want to count the results of elections where the voters knew in advance that the election would not count, and therefore were not motivated to participate, and, in Michigan's case, only Hillary's name was on the ballot.

Your "love for democracy" is very telling...

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Any vote cast for Hillary clearly comes from the salt of the earth and should be counted. Anyone in Michigan who wanted to vote for Obama is wine-sipping scum and needs ignoring.

Posted by: wankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and viva cluster bombs.

Posted by: wankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

I claim without evidence that
- caucuses reward a strong political "ground game" -- boots on the ground, retail politics, Dean's 50-state strategy writ small.
- primaries reward big media buys, sound-bite and gotcha politics, going negative, and appeals to low-information voters.

Regardless of which is more democratic, I know which one I think is better for the nation.

Posted by: joel hanes on February 9, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't they just average the results from FL and MI with the the final polling data in those states at the end of the primary calendar? Of course in MI you would have to negotiate what percentage of the "uncommitted" would go to Obama. But it seems at least reasonably fair. Hillary would still get more votes, but not in the icky way she's trying to now.

Posted by: enozinho on February 9, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK
.... he wants Hillary to win so he won't have to feel sorry for her. Lucy at 1:24 PM... Well said! crankly0 at 2:46 PM
Imputing shallow motives shows shallow thinking.
here are many here (some dems included) in northern NY....will vote for obama but will never vote for hillary clinton.... david mace at 1:28 PM
That's interesting because Clinton did quite well upstate New York in her senate campaigns.
1. Closer scrutiny of the Clinton's financial dealings.... David at 1:29 PM
Whereas a Republicans have nothing on Obama and Rezko. Nope, a 17 year relationship during which Rezko was Obama main money man will never be noticed. If the mighty Clentis ™ gets us 8 years like the 90's, I'd volunteer you.
....I also agree she will lose to McCain in the general election..... Brian L at 1:44 PM
While polls this far out are meaningless, McCain will be tougher against Obama. He will use his war record, his experience and his greater gravitas.
....Caucus goers are obviously better motivated than primary goers.... lampwick at 2:08 PM
Indeed, it's a lot harder and more time consuming to attend a caucus. Not a lot of working people can manage to do it.
...ALL the candidates agreed with the decision not to campaign in Florida or Michigan or seat their delegates,.... Dan at 2:13 PM Fran at 2:17 PM
Yes, they did but some didn't.

Why did Obama campaign run ads in Florida?
They pledged not to run ads in Florida but they did. What's worse is that they ran ads in a state where they claim it is "irrelevant".

Posted by: Mike on February 9, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I too am confused by this trench warfare statement.

It seems to me that Obama has proven better at the trench warfare so far.

The Clinton's remind me more of Mondale 2002 or Dean 2004.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Without expressing support for anyone - let me make that clear right now - a couple of observations:

Again, if the Clintons are so good at Trench Warfare and Politics Generally, why is Obama still around?

Ever watch a cat play with a mouse?

As to the states with delegates not seated, the Republican state lege set the date in Florida, not the state Democratic organization. I don't know the particulars, but I have a hard time getting my head around a state party agreeing to no seated delegates in exchange for the other guys only giving up half or their. WTF?

And Michigan voters and legislators are pissed that they didn't even have all the candidates on the ballot to choose from, so they are talking about legislation that would prevent candidates from removing their names from the ballot if such a situation were to arise again.

I ask myself who benefits from disenfranchising those two states, and I come up with a short list. Democrats of any stripe or capacity aren't on it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 9, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

They pledged not to run ads in Florida but they did. What's worse is that they ran ads in a state where they claim it is "irrelevant".

And another observation: Dismissing it as part of a national buy doesn't really pass the smell test. Was he the only candidate with advisers clever enough to think about purchasing ads nationally? Other Democrats managed to have their ads blocked out in Florida after the debate.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on February 9, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I voted for Obama on 2/5, but I'm not an Obama cultist. I'll tell you this: It will be easier to get a black elected than a woman, all else being equal. Sexism runs far deeper and wider than racism. What's more, racism gets called out more quickly, making it all the easier for Republicans to play the gender card. Making this election a feminist cause celebre is about the stupidest thing we could do and live to regret.

My prediction: If Hillary's nominated, John McCain will be elected. He'll die before finishing his first term. Say hello to president Mitt Romney!

Posted by: bob on February 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Was he the only candidate with advisers clever enough to think about purchasing ads nationally?

Seems more likely he was the only one with the money to go national, you know, ahead of Super Tuesday. He can turn water into wine after all.

The really clever bit was for Clinton to just happen to show up in FL on the day she won. Talk about serendipity!

Posted by: enozinho on February 9, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK
While polls this far out are meaningless, McCain will be tougher against Obama. He will use his war record, his experience and his greater gravitas.

This makes zero sense to me. With Clinton, you start from a point where a large number of the population will never vote for you. Even worse, a lot of McCain haters on the right who would have stayed home will be motivated to come out and vote for him (Their hate for Hillary trumps their hate for McCain).

Clinton has zero appeal to independents and moderate Republicans, whereas Obama would at least split the independents and moderates with McCain.

Plus, how is Clinton going to distinguish herself from McCain on Iraq? She voted for it, and can't argue from a position of strength (I believe we saw this movie before with Kerry). Nope we'll be left with domestic issues for Hillary to win, where the over-under on the number of times we'll hear the term "Hillary-care" is 1 billion. The right is salivating at the thought of Hillary as the opponent because she's such an easy target, and the only candidate that gives McCain a chance.

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Now if you were calling for a re-do, fine, let's do it, that'd be fair. But nope, you want to count the results of elections where the voters knew in advance that the election would not count, and therefore were not motivated to participate, and, in Michigan's case, only Hillary's name was on the ballot.

Look at my posts above. I clearly indicate that a re-do, if those re-dos are elections, is by my lights the fairest way out. If a new election is not possible, then one might take the results from exit polls from MI describing the voters' real preferences as a substitute. I think the results of a caucus would only be worse, because they are so obviously skewed in their representation of voter sentiment. I choose those methods in that order because, in my view, they achieve the purest representation of voter sentiment, in that order.

A little reading comprehension goes a long way, buddy.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

And another observation: Dismissing it as part of a national buy doesn't really pass the smell test. Was he the only candidate with advisers clever enough to think about purchasing ads nationally? Other Democrats managed to have their ads blocked out in Florida after the debate.
Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State

Sorry BG, I gotta head down the other path on that one. There's a pretty extensive thread on this subject over at DKos and after reading through the whole thing, it strikes me as a non-issue. But y'all can check the link and reach your own conclusions.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

And there's no one better at trench warfare than the Clintons.

Blech. Kevin underlines one of the primary reasons I don't want to see President Hillary Clinton: This continued belief that they are somehow the lynchpins of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Quinn on February 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democratic Party is dumb enough to nominate Hillary Clinton and she goes on to lose to McCain, I'm moving to Slobovia. Obama is a once-in-lifetime phenom of a politician. To fail to recognize that is criminally stupid.

Posted by: guido sarducci on February 9, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Lampwick said Iowa and Minnesota have low education.

They are always in the top five in K-12 rankings and the Twin Cities have been a high tech hub for decades. Health care institutions are way above average too. In spite of the cold(a not inconsiderable factor) upper Midwest communities usually rank very high for quality of life.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on February 9, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary should have been less wonky and detailed about policy less often, and more demagogic and energizing. It's not that her discussion of policy hurts her when all else is equal. It's that she's running against charisma, and when you face charisma against anything else and place them both in front of your average groups of people, charisma tends to win in the average people's eyes. It's not that charisma is necessarily better, or that only certain people can do it, either. It's just that you have to be ready to talk to people the best way they want to hear things when that's what your opponent is laying out.

The Democratic primary supporters who supported Obama probably made a big mistake for our party. It's not that he's not great, but just not the right guy and not quite good enough. If Obama is the nomineem then expect a fun general campaign when you're dealing with Obama events and a lot of painful disappointments in the mainstream media.

Posted by: Swan on February 9, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

The degree to which the USA is dependent upon outside financial support, the more likely that its independence is influenced by other countries. Two of the largest influences come from China imports and the purchase of foreign oil. The USA has the ability today to change its dependence upon oil and China imports.

I would disagree with you on Clinton winning. I think that regardless of current superdelegate count leaning Clinton that this is about winning the General Election.

Obama is the fresh candidate with the least baggage and is drawing record numbers to vote across all party lines.

http://mynonprofitwebsite.com/blog/category/emo-cartoon/

Posted by: robert guinto on February 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Michael - I stand happily corrected - and I should have known better - the upper midwest and west certainly does not belong among the lower tier of education-level for its citizens.

Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

From frankly0:

Look at my posts above. I clearly indicate that a re-do, if those re-dos are elections, is by my lights the fairest way out.

But knowing that a re-do will not happen, you're only too happy to accept the bogus results from those non-elections while crying "Obama disenfranchises voters" all the way to the convention.

You're arguing in bad faith "buddy".

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

swan:

Right now, no one has any way of predicting whether Hillary's effect on bringing in new voters to vote for her, or against her, or Obama's effect on bring voters out for/against him, or either of their ability to make people give up and stay home, is strongest.

A great, well-reasoned post, swan..

Posted by: Andy on February 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Swan at 3:55.

Parody or not?

I'm stumped.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 said: If a new election is not possible, then one might take the results from exit polls from MI describing the voters' real preferences as a substitute.

Say it with me, real clear now, like many of us have been saying for eight years:

You count the fucking votes.

Anything else is a horseshit, illegitimate, Stalinist, Bushist, Cheneyist, Scalia-and-Thomas-ist, and whatever that fucking judge's name in Florida was-ist proxy to oligarchy.

Polls are not votes. Your idea is evidently that these particular polls reflect the bullshit conditions in MI and FL at the time of the primaries there, so they'll work for your purposes, screw democracy. Good for you.

Posted by: andrew on February 9, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Barack Obama will be the nominee...using history as a guide to which "first" is more nationally acceptable first...the date of the 15th amendment: 1870. Women's suffrage ..1920.

Posted by: blue on February 9, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Swan at 3:55.
Parody or not?
I'm stumped.
Posted by: Lucy

The sound of one hand clapping on a comments thread?

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

The reason Kevin is right|wrong is obvious. Americans--I mean real progressive, forward-thinking Americans who don't hate America and love George W. Bush--skew heavily towards Clinton|Obama. Oh, sure, Obama|Clinton has the entrenched interests on his|her side, plus more than his|her share of scandal-tainted figures (you know the ones I mean). And those wins in NH|SC plus half of the Super Tuesday states can be easily explained away by the massive bamboozling ad blitz that he|she inflicted on voters in the carefully-chosen states that he|she won. (Did you see those ads?! You'd think Obama|Clinton was the second coming of Jesus! But curiously no mention of his madrassa education|her assassination of Vince Foster!)

Besides, Democratic voters aren't suicidal. It's all well and good to cast the occasional protest vote, but we all know perfectly well that even McCain would make mincemeat of someone of that... you know... persuasion. Americans are more than ready for a female|black president, but NO ONE thinks they're going to pull the lever for someone who looks like he'd be a pretty great basketball player|sits when she pees, if you know what I mean.

Jeez, I can't believe how many liberal websites I have to post this on lately! And yet it's SO OBVIOUS.

Posted by: Matt on February 9, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

"If the Democratic Party is dumb enough to nominate Hillary Clinton and she goes on to lose to McCain, I'm moving to Slobovia. Obama is a once-in-lifetime phenom of a politician. To fail to recognize that is criminally stupid."

2008 is not "once in a lifetime" for Obama. If Hillary loses, he runs in 2012. If she wins, then she was **a** correct choice (and he still is in his mid 50's for 2016).

They are simply not far enough apart on policy issues for the "I'm going to take my toys and go home" squalling we hear from the Obama supporters to be a sensible response, given how awful the Republicans are. It is worth noting that you don't hear any of that kind of nonsense from the Clinton supporters.

Posted by: divF on February 9, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

When I read through the comments section on this blog I find myself dismayed and even puzzled at the sheer brazen disingenuousness and apparent ignorance of Obama supporters. Both the MI primaries and the FLA primaries were done in accordance to state law. In fact, the date of the Fla primary was dictated by the state legislature. And for those of you new to our political system primaries are some of the most important races there is. Voters don't just stay home because their preferred presidential candidate hasn't campaigned in their state or takes his name off the ballot. Many, many important races are decided on primary day from county clerk, to congress critters, to state supreme court judges, county attorney's etc. Primaries are real elections. Caucuses are not. In many cases, the primary is the real election as the winner of the primary often goes unopposed in the general election as neither party can field candidates for every position. As a result, primaries are not easily gamed while caucuses are. The controversy to me is that the democratic party thought it wise to try to dictate law to a state government. The democratic party is not bigger than the Fla government and the laws of Florida. To think otherwise is simply stupid. Those delegates need to be seated and they need to be counted. Otherwise, it is a slap in the face to the voters and taxpayers in those two states. If I were either state I'd sue the democratic party. Having a do-over would also be ridiculous, expensive and blatently undemocratic especially if they were caucuses instead of primaries. The democratic party just needs to abide by Florida's and Michigans election laws. Also, Obama and Edwards took their names off the ballots in Michigan. Bad judgement. Should be a disqualifier for president, among other things. They were just playing games hoping for a scenario where Clinton's delegates wouldn't be counted.

As for the electibility of Obama or Clinton I am highly dubious about either persons ability to get elected but especially Obama. What we need during the next 4 years is an extremely partisan president and legislature that can undue much of the damage done during the last 7 years. We don't need another capitulator which I am positive he would be. I also don't think he has a snowballs chance in hell at winning the general election. For goodness sakes, in 2004 he gave a speech where he wanted to legalize drugs. That is a huge disqualifier in my book. Huge. Do you guys really think that these crossover republicans are going to continue to support this guy? He'll be portrayed as an elite, far left wing liberal and they'll abandon him in droves. Also, traditional democrats such as myself will never vote for him either. Really, republicanism isn't that bad to me. I own all of my property outright except my wife's new VW. I am white, well educated and have a decent job and we have insurance. Will a democratic president make my life in Texas better? No, but it would make a lot of other people's lives better. That is why I always vote for a democrat; however, by hand picking Obama the democratic establishment crapped all over the agenda they say they support. You guys keep saying that Hillary would hurt the down ticket guys. Why do you believe that? If Obama is nominated, I might just vote a straight republican ticket instead of the straight democratic ticket I've voted in every election since the late 80's. As a teacher, I could never, ever support someone who has ever supported legalizing drugs. The whole concept is insane. Your candidate is insane. The man has no solutions, very little experience and is going to get reamed over his ties to criminal organizations and the appearance of getting kickbacks for favors. Add it all up and he is the worst candidate from either party in my lifetime. You can rationalize things however you want but the truth will hit you hard in January when McCain is inaugurated as president, the democratic party will be in shambles and all of us who believe in the core principles of liberalism will have to start over.

Posted by: Gregoryp on February 9, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is there any chance we could have a moratorium on comments like "I live in (name of state) and I can tell you that everyone is going to vote for Obama"? Especially when it's followed up with "I don't know a single person who is going to vote for Hillary." This applies to similar comments from Clinton supporters, as well.

Saying you know what the outcome of the vote in a state will be because you live there is beyond silly. I guess instead of spending all of that money on polling, they should just find one of you yahoos in each state and ask you what's going to happen. After all, you live there.

Posted by: ChrisO on February 9, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Blue, if you think Blacks got the right to vote with the 15th Ammendment, you must be fairly unfamiliar with the civil rights movement.

They were *Supposed* to have gotten that right in 1870. They didn't actually get that right until 1968, so I think you might want to reassess that time line.

Posted by: soullite on February 9, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

In light of Gregoryp's post right after mine, I will amend my last statement to read

"It is worth noting that you don't hear **nearly as much** of that kind of nonsense from the Clinton supporters."

Posted by: divF on February 9, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

They are simply not far enough apart on policy issues for the "I'm going to take my toys and go home" squalling we hear from the Obama supporters to be a sensible response, given how awful the Republicans are. It is worth noting that you don't hear any of that kind of nonsense from the Clinton supporters.
Posted by: divF

Actually checkout emmarose upthread and on other threads here at Political Animal. That's exactly what she's been saying. Now I'm not in anyway saying she's representative of all Clinton supporters, she's not, not in anyway that any of the sour grapes Obama supporters are representative of that group as a whole.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Re: emmarose:

Strictly speaking, she only said that she has cancelled her subscription to her newspaper. Nothing about how she will vote in the GE.

Posted by: divF on February 9, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why are the clintons viewed as being good at trench warfare?

Bill never won a majority of the popular vote - he won only because of Perot. He was also a disaster for the downticket races. HC has been unable match Obama's broad fundraising apparatus. The clinton campaign has made all sorts of stupid tactical errors - like unleashing Bill to play hatchet man.

The Clintons are nasty, attack politicians. But they aren't very successful.

Also -- why does everybody talk about how Hillary Clinton is a subtle master of the political process. I have never seen any evidence of this! Period.

Her one big initative, the healthcare plan, failed because she utterly mismanaged the relationship with congress.

She told congressional democrats to support the plan or she would "demonise" them (see old post by Kevin). Now that sounds a lot like the Hillary we have seen in this campaign (dissing MLK, anybody?), but not a lot like somebody with a good grasp of how the legislative process works.

Posted by: Adam on February 9, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Correction to my 2:33 pm comment. Hillary said in her speech yesterday that 15 million people not 50 million, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, and 250 thousand people (not 750 thousand) in the state of Washingon would be left out in her opponent's plan..after listening to the Komo Radio Seattle pod cast of her Tacoma speech..a big difference.

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on February 9, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"It is worth noting that you don't hear **nearly as much** of that kind of nonsense from the Clinton supporters."

Depends on which blogs you read, I think.
I am familiar with several Clinton-endorsing blogs where many of the commenters furiously impute ill-faith, bad breeding, stupidity, trollism, etc. to anyone who advocates Obama's candidacy.

I think that the essential word omitted from the most offensive comments is "some".

The sentence "All the Obama|Clinton supporters make rabidly-hateful comments" is wrong; it can be disproved with a single counter-example; it thus serves to inflame rather than inform.
The sentence "Some Obama|Clinton supporters make rabidly-hateful comments" can be supported with a single example, and might lead to less escalation.

Posted by: joel hanes on February 9, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

What about Edwards' delegates?

Posted by: ppk on February 9, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Strictly speaking, she only said that she has cancelled her subscription to her newspaper. Nothing about how she will vote in the GE.
Posted by: divF

Strictly speaking I said here and other threads, like this one:

If it comes down to McCain v. Obama, I will vote Republican for the first time in 40 years.
[snip]...
Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Archived here.

Posted by: cyntax on February 9, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to hear nasty Clinton supporters go to the NYtimes online.

I remember two posters in particular: One said she wasn't voting for Obama because he "talked ghetto" and the other chided young people to "wait their turn". As well as the usual "I don't know if other people would be willing to vote for a black person".

Of course, like everything else in this primary campaign, the number of Clinton supporters on a thread depends on the demographics of the thread.

The more supporters, the more likely a truly nasty one will show up. Also the more likely the other people on the thread will turn a blind eye.

Posted by: Adam on February 9, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

From GregoryP:

And for those of you new to our political system primaries are some of the most important races there is. Voters don't just stay home because their preferred presidential candidate hasn't campaigned in their state or takes his name off the ballot.

That's Bullshit. Sure other things are decided, but the turnout is determined by the Presidential contest. I live in CA, outside of the Obama vs Hillary, there were some measures on Indian casinos.....I don't think 99% of the voters who turned out, would have turned out to simply vote on Indian casinos.

If you don't think Obama not having his name on the ballot, and people knowing that their votes for the nominee would not be counted, had a HUGE impact in the turnout of voters, you're ignoring reality.

He'll be portrayed as an elite, far left wing liberal and they'll abandon him in droves. Also, traditional democrats such as myself will never vote for him either. Really, republicanism isn't that bad to me. I own all of my property outright except my wife's new VW. I am white, well educated and have a decent job and we have insurance. Will a democratic president make my life in Texas better? No, but it would make a lot of other people's lives better. That is why I always vote for a democrat; however, by hand picking Obama the democratic establishment crapped all over the agenda they say they support.

There's so many contradictions in the above statement, it's tough to figure where to start.

You say Republican-ism isn't that bad for you and might vote a straight Republican ticket if Obama is the nominee, but earlier you were calling for an "extremely partisan President and legislature", presumably an extremely liberal one....Putting aside for the moment, that these statements seem to contradict each other, you do know that Obama, despite his cross-over appeal, is actually more liberal than Hillary, right? Though, from your comment I can't tell if that's a plus or minus for you.

And Obama has a lot less to worry about when it comes to attacks from the right. Limbaugh and his clones owe their careers to being able to attack Hillary and Bill effectively, and they are chomping at the bit to let loose on them again.

If Obama is nominated, I might just vote a straight republican ticket instead of the straight democratic ticket I've voted in every election since the late 80's. As a teacher, I could never, ever support someone who has ever supported legalizing drugs. The whole concept is insane. Your candidate is insane.

If you want to argue that Hillary is better or more qualified, great, do so, but calling Obama "insane"??? Just....wow. Your not on any legal or illegal drugs, are you?

As for legalizing Marijuana, it really doesn't rank on the list of issues I care about, but what's your problem with it? I've never really understood why folks who are fine with alcohol and cigarettes being legal, cringe at the thought of legalizing pot. I mean, you're ok with the mind-altering affects of alcohol, you're ok with the smoking part of cigarettes....but combine the two and you go into hysterics....why?

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

A great, well-reasoned post, swan..

Thanks. I've been bending over backwards to try and reform my brand.

Posted by: sock puppet on February 9, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

We could build a drinking game around frankly0's inane posting.

ignores valid criticism: 1 drink

repeats an argument that's been shot down at least twice before: 2 drinks

runs from an argument once it's clear he's lost: 3 maybe?

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

To argue that the results in Florida weren't fair because the candidates couldn't campaign there and Hillary only won because of name recognition is INSULTING to the people of Florida.

Do you really think the voters in Florida are so stupid that they don't read newspapers, watch TV, debates, study candidates online? What you're trying to claim is that voters went in to vote and said "Oh, gee, I've heard Hillary's name before and not this Barock feller, so I'm going to vote for the person whose name I've heard before." You are basically calling Floridians dumb!

If Obama tries to say that the voters in Florida don't matter, he is in trouble. I won't vote for him in November.

Posted by: Bobby on February 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Everything is talk until the results are in.

Posted by: Boorring on February 9, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

@ doug

Agreed. That creature is unwashed.
The way for it to come clean is just say what is really dominating it's reptile brain:

I want a redo in Florida because it favors my candidate. Never mind any of the reasons for the agreement to forgo the state. They aren't valid. What matter is my candidate's advantage.

Frankly, if the creature would just cut out the illogic bullshit behind it's midget-Machiavellian forebrain and go straight to the selfish core of of its hypothalamus.... we might respect the snake a little more.

Posted by: creeplyO on February 9, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

If things are to the point that you're building up resentments because of what a supporter of candidate X says, or because of what s/he's going to do with that single, solitary -- and as far as blog comments go, anonymous -- vote, then you've got a problem. Shovel your sidewalk. Read a book. Spend time with your friends. Your spouse. Your chirren. Whatever you do, for God's sake, get a grip. It'll add years to your life.

Posted by: junebug on February 9, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bobby, the reason people campaign is because it makes a difference. If the result was just the same, there'd be no state-by-state campaign.

Saying that name recognition makes a difference is not the same as calling someone dumb. Name recognition makes a difference in my vote, and i am not dumb- it's just psychology, and it applies to everyone.

The fl votes are definitely a problem. The votes certainly matter, but they can't be counted as if they were the same as votes anywhere else, because they're not.

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Here's My prediction:

Whoever has the most pleged delegates at the end will win (not counting MI and FL, sorry but the rules are the rules and you can't change them halfway through the game because you are losing).

This will be evident prior to the convention and the party will not want a brokered convention. If Clinton wins Obama is VP, nit the first time someone didn't pick their best friend as a running mate and the dems can't afford not to have him on the ticket against McCain.

If Obama wins Clinton will not be VP but could get cabinet post or possibly brokered deal to make her Senate majority Leader.

Posted by: DP on February 9, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Bobby

I'm arguing that the results in Florida weren't fair because everyone in Florida knew that the results wouldn't count, which no doubt, lead a lot of people who otherwise would have voted, to stay home.

On top of that, it wasn't fair to the candidates either, as they didn't have the chance to campaign there and build support.

It's simply ridiculous of the Clintons to try and get the Florida or Michigan delegates seated.

It sucks for the voters of Florida and Michigan that they don't count this time around, but it would even be more unfair to legitimatize the results of those bogus election.

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

DP, Hope you're right. In the most politically expedient case, hillary will have a reasonable lead among pledged delegates, allowing the super delegates to support her overwhelmingly, and then mi and fl might be seated with little backlash. Even better is obama on the vp, as you say, because it will minimize hard feelings.

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

still, what are democratic voters basing their votes on since its clear from this post http://www2.washingtonmonthly.com/mt/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=13085 that noone knows where hillary or obama stand on important issues. even the bloggers who spend hours every day don't even know, and mostly assume hillary will follow bills' stands and can only guess obama's.

this is absolutely ridiculous for anyone to make a vote or endorsement when their stands on issues are so unclear.

these bloggers should demand the candidates take a stand on the issues. the candidates on the right had to do it.

Posted by: Mark on February 9, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Couple of comments:

1.) The MI/FL delegate issue is a no-brainer. It was agreed upon before the primaries that they would not count. End of story. They were not campaigned upon or voted in as if they were meaningful primaries. If the Fla/Mich voters got shafted, too bad, go take it up with the Democratic organization. Of course a "do over" would be OK, but it isn't going to happen.

2.) Regarding primaries vs causcuses. I think the more balanced of the posters got it right, these are two different methods, each with their strengths and weaknesses. It is disengenious for the Clinton supporters to dis caucuses because Obama is doing better in them. That is how Republicans operate. We are better than that.

A point I have not see expressed in comments is that Republicans get to vote in primaries, but not in caucuses. This is a Democratic primary and is supposed to show support for the candidate that the voter wants to see win, not lose. I am not sure this isn't a reason Clinton is doing better in primaries.

3.) I live in St Louis, Missouri went to Obama by 1%. I looked at county map on the front of the newspaper Feb6, every county was Clinton, except St Louis, Columbia, Kansas City and St Joe. ALL OF THE OUT STATE COUNTIES WENT CLINTON!!!???. In a normal MO election this split is normal, urban=Dem, rural=Repub, but this is a primary, not an election. Even in tight elections like Talent/McCaskill, there were several out state counties that went Dem. I could only think of one explanation, race. This is a very scary result, and bodes very badly if Obama gets the nomination.

BG, you have any other explanation?

4.) Frankly0, used to respect your posts, but after this primary season, you have reduced yourself to troll status. Might as well drop that handle after the nomination, it is damaged beyond repair.

5.) BG, do you know the real reason Blunt is not running?

Posted by: says you on February 9, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

In Kansas you could register at the caucus as a democrat and participate. I'd guess we registered nearly half the 900+ who participated.

And I'm guessing we lost 1000 to the sleet.

Posted by: katiebird on February 9, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

I just got back from my caucus in an upper-middle class suburb just north of Seattle. Turnout was huge (3-4 times 2004 turnout). Final vote in our precinct was 76-17 Obama (6-1 in delegates), with four people changing from Hillary to Obama after the speeches.

Posted by: mfw13 on February 9, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's way ahead of you folks. The logic here is that only a real Goldwater Girl would want to get the nomination on a technicality. But by doing so, she triggers recognition in the wingnuts, they vote for her, and thus she beats McCain easily.

Posted by: Bob M on February 9, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

“Frankly0 - Caucus goers are obviously better motivated than primary goers. And thus they are a fair representation of voter sentiment, in that they reward people who are actually interested in politics, and in contributing to the common good and the good of the party by volunteering” Posted by: lampwick on February 9, 2008 at 2:08 PM

What the hell kind of argument is that??? Caucus goers are a fair representation of voter sentiment more than those voters actually voting in primaries?!? This is delusional thinking if I ever saw it. While yes caucuses are good for measuring intensity they are NOT good at measuring actual State-wide support levels for a general election. Your argument might have worked if the general election was done by caucuses, but it isn’t, it is done by secret ballot exactly like primaries. You are clearly so far in the bag for Obama winning that you will make any argument no matter how logically deficient it is just as you have here.

General:

BTW, this argument about how unfair it is to Obama to not have his name on the Michigan ballot and therefore that vote is inherently corrupt is male bovine excrement. He took it off by his own choice so as to help him in Iowa, since this stripping of delegate status was done to protect Iowa’s first in the nation status and may well have helped him do as well as he did there, so should Iowa be redone to make it truly fair if Michigan is? As to Florida, everyone was on the ballot, there was high turnout, and there is no question that Obama by this point had as high a level of name recognition as HRC, especially after the media waves for him between Iowa and NH and then following SC and the Kennedy/Kerry endorsements, and yet he lost in a primary that followed the laws governing primaries, as was also the case in Michigan.

It is clear that those arguing this are doing so not from principles but because it would hurt their candidate Obama, while there is a principle involved in every vote mattering in democracies, especially in Florida post the 2000 debacle. If there must be a do-over it has to be as a primary since that is the system both States operate under, trying to turn it into a caucus would be a slap in the face of every voter that turned out in Michigan and Florida regardless of who they voted for the first time around, and anyone that cannot see this is clearly too blinded by partisanship to recognize just how much they are violating the core principle of all elections in democracies, that they are a secret ballot in which every voter (and not just ones that have hours free on one day to caucus) casts their vote to be heard. Voter intensity is not what you measure when in an election, especially the general election, it is voter participation and their choices when all are heard from that does, that *IS* a basic principle of democracy, except it appears for Obama supporters here arguing otherwise.

Oh yes, didn’t Obama state in Florida last year that he felt the choice of the voters should be seated, that he disagreed with the stripping of their status? I seem to recall that I read that somewhere, I would ask any of the HRC supporters here to link to that article if they can find it. I know it is connected to the Florida fundraiser he did and then had a presser despite having promised to not hold press conferences in Florida in accordance to the DNC’s requirements. So it would appear that Obama may have been for seating the delegates from Florida's primary before he was against it because he was unable to be the victor.

Bottom line, I see three basic options, either there are do-over primaries in both States (which the DNC should pay for since it is their decision that would require this), the results from the ones they had apportion their delegates accordingly as the voters decided, or they are not counted at all which I think will hurt the Dem candidate in the general whoever it is and possibly for longer than that. I see no other ethical/moral option than those three, anything else would clearly be gaming the system to force an outcome to suit not the voters will but the candidates/party leaders, hardly something a party that claims to want every vote and voter counted for should want to have attached to them. Anyone not blinded by partisanship/preference of outcome should see this for themselves, that is if principles matter to them, especially core principles regarding democracy and how it works more than a specific outcome from this nomination fight.

Posted by: Scotian on February 9, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

fwiw, The Stranger has some interesting reports, pictures, & comment sections related to today's caucusing in & around Seattle. Not sure that you can extrapolate too much from from what you'll find at the link (Seattle, in general, and Stranger readers, in particular, probably skew towards Obama), but it's pretty interesting.

Posted by: junebug on February 9, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on February 9, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Any person that would rather let John McCain win rather than vote of Hillary Clinton doesn't really care about
1) Getting universal health care,
2) Bringing troops home from Iraq,
3) Having any hope of bringing justice to any of the BushCo criminals, and
4) Allowing McCain to appoint ultra-right justices to the Supreme Court
cannot be called a Democrat, a progressive, or a liberal.

Full stop.

I am sick to death of the sour-grapes whining and threatening of "If my guy doesn't win, I'll stay home" And don't try the "its not ME, but people I know." Bullshit. They aren't Democrats, they are Republicans who are fucking with your mind.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 9, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

this is all a wasted discussion. the candidates have not been properly vetted as to where they stand on important issues.

Posted by: Mark on February 9, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

....anything else would clearly be gaming the system

Right. The reason why FL and MI got left in the cold is because they tried to game the system. Now you want to game it back to favor your candidate of choice. Chump... quit playing us for chumps.

Posted by: Scotian0 on February 9, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

He took it off by his own choice

Obama, Edwards, Richardson and Biden all took their names off the Michigan ballot because they signed a pledge not to campaign in that state.

Hillary didn't, arguing that it depends on the meaning of "campaign" and keeping her name on the ballot in order to try to get people to vote for her was not "campaigning". And now in keeping with the principle that a fish rots from the head down, you have Hillary supporters arguing that a vote based on a ballot that had only Hillary's name on it reflects the true will of the voters in that state.

Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans were licking their chops when Hillary first ran for the US Senate in NY, but they were unable to demonize her. Hillary won the NY Senate seat twice. She was able to connect with the Republican-leaning voters upstate, just as she is able to connect with working-class voters nationally. She spoke to these voters, demonstrated that she understood their issues and problems, and convinced them she was the one who would do the most to help them.
This primary season, many of us seem to have forgotten how much better the country was during the Clinton Administration. Remember when the economy was running a surplus instead of a humongous deficit? I've read on blogs that the Clintons did nothing for working people. Guess they forgot about the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Family Leave Act.
If Hillary is the Democrat who faces McCain, she will win; if Obama is the candidate, he will win. They are both excellent candidates. In Hillary's case, many women will come out to elect the first woman President. And in a contest against McCain, Iraq won't be as big a problem as her opponents would have us think. She does not need to endlessly explain past votes. It's simple: He's the candidate of war- stay in Iraq as long as it takes, 100 years if necessary; he's even promised there will be more wars (Iran?); she's the candidate who will begin withdrawing troops from Iraq immediately and believes force is a last resort.
Imo, Hillary is getting more grief from members of her own party that she will get from the Republicans. She has publicly stated during the debate in California that Democrats (herself included) will unite behind whoever is the candidate; her opponent and his campaign have not made this committment. I believe that they should.

Posted by: myrna on February 9, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Et tu Scotian?

I thought you were a Canadian with an impartial view on American politics.

Getting pretty worked up on the behalf of those Michigan and Florida voters.

Doth protest too much.

Democratic party wasn't this concerned about disenfranchising those voters.

Posted by: Brutus on February 9, 2008 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

doctor jay,

1) why is universal healthcare the number one issue? while important, foreign policy and economy are fundamental and hrc/ob have very little to say on them. universal healthcare is dangerous. if it reduces incentives for drug companies there will be less new drug R&D. other countries with universal healthcare are 'free-riders' using the drugs that are made in america where there is incentive to make them. Also, gov't has never been able to undertake something like this without costing a massive amount of money and always at low quality. think of healthcare turning into the quality of public education (a few public schools are really good, but a lot are terrible)

2)bringing them home is a great objective, but how do you do it. what is the policy in dealing with iraq during the process and after. this is important and unanswered.

3)just sour grapes

4) what is hrc/ob stand on appointing judges? are they going to be centrist, liberal? you should be demanding answers to this from hrc/ob

Posted by: Mark on February 9, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

This primary season, many of us seem to have forgotten how much better the country was during the Clinton Administration.

meh.

1993: Blatant nepotism. Bill gives Gore's desk to Hillary and the job of reforming health care. The country goes bonkers over this. Hillary's efforts are dead on arrival. Health care reform is set back 14 years or more.

1994: Bill and Hill lose Congress for the Dems. This is the first time in 40 years.

1995: The internet bubble begins. It won't collapse until 2001.

1996-1998: Monica Gate and blatant coverup and lying.

2000: Gore loses the election because he can't run using Bill as an asset.

Given the history of the Clintons's here is what I want to know: What job are they going to give Chelsea? Where will her desk be?

To hell with nepotism. To hell with oligarchs. To hell with dynastic families.

Posted by: No apologies on February 9, 2008 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I worry about HRC beating McCain in the general. Recent polls show show Obama beating McCain while Clinton lags.

Kevin--do these polls (Obama vs McCain) factor in the "NH/Dunkins polling errors?" I.e Peoople say there going to vote for a Black candidate to a poler but don't follow through in the election booth.)

Posted by: Dr Wu on February 9, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Any person that would rather let John McCain win rather than vote of Hillary Clinton doesn't really care about
1) Getting universal health care,

Only if you believe that Hillary is going to do a better job this time than last time. If she does like last time, she'll set back the cause of health care reform by another fifteen years. And what makes you think she's learned any lessons?

2) Bringing troops home from Iraq,

Hillary has talked about keeping a substantial number of troops in Iraq, indefinitely. Look, I understand why hawkish democrats like Hillary, but I don't understand how progressive democrats manage to turn a blind eye to Hillary's support for neo-con foreign policy. How long ago was it that she was praising the surge by adopting Bush's definition-du-jour of "success," when without that semantic sleight of hand you can't seriously support that particular bit of neo-con lunacy?

Again, if neo-con lunacy floats your boat, then fine. But if not, don't just pretend that these things she says don't tell you something about how she'll conduct foreign policy.

3) Having any hope of bringing justice to any of the BushCo criminals, and

I don't believe Hillary will do anything about it, either.

4) Allowing McCain to appoint ultra-right justices to the Supreme Court

This is one valid point. But nominating Hillary maximizes the chances of ending up with McCain anyway, and getting those ultra-right justices (pretending for the moment that McCain wouldn't love to poke a finger in the eyes of the wingnuts he despises by nominating a moderate justice).

So how does a gen-you-wine liberal progressive justify nominating a candidate who will energize the wingnut base and maximize McCain's chances of also taking a big chunk of the moderate/independent vote, thus maximizing the chances of getting no health care reform, conservative SC justices, etc?

Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Blue, if you think Blacks got the right to vote with the 15th Ammendment, you must be fairly unfamiliar with the civil rights movement.

They were *Supposed* to have gotten that right in 1870. They didn't actually get that right until 1968, so I think you might want to reassess that time line.

Posted by: soullite at 4:20 PM

Not really correct either. Blacks, everywhere but in the south, were voting and formed a major part of the FDR coalition. Black politicians like Adam Clayton Powell, representing Harlem, came up in the time period. The National Voting Rights Act, intended to crack down on disenfranchisement in the South as seen by its requirement for preclearance of voting law changes in nine southern states, was passed in 1965.

Posted by: sj on February 9, 2008 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

the reason why democrats are in this situation is because hrc/ob have not been properly vetted on where they stand on important issues that are controversial. the only things that are agreeable are univeral healthcare, green, bringing troops home, and reversing tax cuts to the rich. they have not taken a stand on important issues raised by MattYglesias. thats why hrc/ob are being voted on based on superficial reasons like gender/race/speaking abilities/ability to win.

Posted by: Mark on February 9, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

[hillary] believes force is a last resort.

Her votes and pre-campaign rhetoric say the opposite.


Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

From Scotian:

BTW, this argument about how unfair it is to Obama to not have his name on the Michigan ballot and therefore that vote is inherently corrupt is male bovine excrement. He took it off by his own choice so as to help him in Iowa, since this stripping of delegate status was done to protect Iowa’s first in the nation status and may well have helped him do as well as he did there, so should Iowa be redone to make it truly fair if Michigan is?

What amazing bullshit that was...Iowa was first either way. People in Iowa couldn't care less about which candidate would be on a ballot for a primary scheduled 2 weeks after their caucus.

The twisted logic by some commenters is pretty amazing.

You're actually trying to make Clinton's leaving her name on the ballot in Michigan look like some sort of noble gesture she took on behalf of democracy that cost her Iowa....

Well it wasn't a noble gesture, and it had absolutely no effect on Iowa. It was the act of a shrewd politician looking for any edge she could get.

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

The idea that there is something right and proper about allowing New Hampshire and Iowa to go first every time is what was at issue. Michigan filed a complaint several years ago and although the DNC promised to consider the protest, it did nothing. Michigan's Democrats pointed out that NH and Iowa are disproportionately white and rural compared to the majority of the population of the U.S. Moreover, nobody ever explicitly elected NH to go first, they just took it. Michigan and Florida thought they were calling the DNC's bluff. Now the DNC is caught in a real trap and will have to find some way to extricate itself. Let's hope that the NH hegemony ends this time around.

Posted by: Bob G on February 9, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Et tu Scotian?

I thought you were a Canadian with an impartial view on American politics.

Getting pretty worked up on the behalf of those Michigan and Florida voters.

Doth protest too much.

Democratic party wasn't this concerned about disenfranchising those voters." Posted by: Brutus on February 9, 2008 at 6:17 PM

I guess the idea that I happen to think the idea of the one person-one vote secret ballot is a cornerstone of democracy never occurred to you. I've done vote counting in elections in my city in the past, counting by hand each ballot and recording it, so I take the mechanism of how this works rather seriously. I'm sorry if for you that must mean I am somehow lying about my position, but not to put too fine a point on it you are smearing because you don't like what I am saying, hardly a principled action. Methinks thou dost protest too much regarding anyone that may dare to contradict the wishes of those that place their partisanship before their principles especially when it comes to the fundamentals of democracy itself, the integrity and honesty of the voting mechanism. As to the Democratic Party I thought it was a bad decision from the outset, especially in the case of Florida given it was the GOP that did this combined with the history of 2000. Which btw is why I said it should be the DNC that pays for the re-vote using the same primary process that these States used the first time around and not change the rules by using a caucus which does dienfranchise all those that came out in both Michigan and Florida that would not be able to attend a caucus if that is the choice taken.

Dan:

No, I am saying that he took his name off in Michigan by his own choice, he was *NOT* required to do so by the DNC, none of the candidates were. The fact that he did was seen at the time to be a means of trying to curry favour with Iowa voters, which if you had a shred of honesty in you you would acknowledge. I'm saying that everyone is responsible for their own actions/decisions in this, and I notice that both you and Brutus appear to completely ignore what my principles tell me are the only three viable outcomes, seating according to the vote, revoting in primaries, or not seating delegates at all, each has it's drawbacks to deal with but they are the only feasible options I see. Perhaps you might want to spend less time trying to discredit the messenger and more time trying to attack the message, I am getting more than a little tired of being attacked personally for what I am saying instead of having people show why the content of what I am saying is wrong.

I am not saying Clinton made a noble gesture to keep her name on the Michigan ballot, and I challenge you to prove where I have. I said it was Obama's decision to pull his name to curry favour with Iowa caucus goers who clearly jealously prize their first in the nation status while Clinton left hers on willing to take the hit for it in Iowa. At no time did I say it was somehow a principled or moral position for her to take and for Obama not to, both were cold political calculations IMHO. You are the one reading in all this extra meaning to it. In case it escapes you I look at both HRC and Obama and see cold calculating politicians, the big difference is that only one of them is trying to pretend he isn't while the other doesn't. So try grasping that concept before you start attributing all kinds of motives and hidden meanings to my writings, as I think I know better what I am saying/thinking than you do, the arrogance you display by acting otherwise is more than a little offensive, especially someone supporting the candidate of doing things differently.

General:

If Obama cannot show how his new kind of post-partisan politics works to beat his Dem rival, how does he do it in the general and how do his supporters know it will work? If he cannot inspire his supporters to use this new kind of politics instead of the standard old negative attacks and smears of the old why then should anyone believe it truly exists? For all the attacks I have had since I started commenting on this topic here at PA few have been on the substance of my comments and the vast majority of been aimed at me personally in one manner or another. That looks, smells, tastes and feels like the same old partisan politics to me. So where is the substance of the Obama promise in both his own actions and in those of his supporters? That is a question that strikes to the heart of why I think the Obama message is fantasy and not substantial, and that it is more of a cult of personality than a movement since it is all about him and not about the principles he supposedly stands for which would be the case if this was a true political movement.

Posted by: Scotian on February 9, 2008 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK
Michigan and Florida thought they were calling the DNC's bluff.

That's not correct. The Florida Republican dominated state legislature can be thanked for moving Florida's primary up to January 29.

Posted by: jackohearts on February 9, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, am I pissed. I was just watching Tim Russert on NBC (I know, I know...but I was trying to find primary caucus results), and it was announced that following Russert there would be a one-hour special Hillary Clinton biography. This was not listed in the TV Guide so 'Deadly Encounter' got knocked off (gr). So...was this NBC's payoff to Clinton for Schuster using the word 'pimp?' Who made the 'biography'? NBC couldn't have whipped it up in 3 days. Is this a Hillary production? Oops - phone call.

Posted by: nepeta on February 9, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

"If he cannot inspire his supporters to use this new kind of politics instead of the standard old negative attacks and smears of the old why then should anyone believe it truly exists?"

Did you think that obama's goal was to eliminate all negative attacks made by everyone? I don't think this is the case. We can argue about whether there is a valid distinction between the candidates with respect to negative campaigning, but it's a straw man to argue against perfectly apolitical campaign, as you seem to be trying to do.

It's clear that his position on "new politics" is largely political - it's obviously just an approach to attempt to gain concensus, it's not a new religion. I'd expect obama to be able to go on the offensive just like anyone else if he's a capable politician.

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

No apologies: "To hell with nepotism. To hell with oligarchs. To hell with dynastic families."

Damn right. All you people need to start listening to people who know all about such things, like the Kennedys.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Damn right. All you people need to start listening to people who know all about such things, like the Kennedys."

Humorous irony aside, don't you think there's a valid distinction between being endorsemed by a member of a political dynasty, and being a member of a political dynasty?

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta: "Boy, am I pissed . ... Who made the 'biography'? NBC couldn't have whipped it up in 3 days."

Save your umbrage. That particular show about Mrs. Clinton has been run repeatedly on MSNBC for many years now, albeit with occasional updates tacked onto the end to make it appear current. They also have one about Sen. Obama (first broadcast in '04) and Sen. McCain, as well.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

No, I am saying that he took his name off in Michigan by his own choice, he was *NOT* required to do so by the DNC, none of the candidates were.

They signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan primary. You're playing word games and you know it.

Posted by: bobb on February 9, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Here's why Drum is mistaken.
Who has the most expertise, the most incentive and capacity to become informed, as to how the primaries and caucuses are likely to come out?
Answer: the candidates and their staffs.

What have they concluded?
That Obama is likely to come out ahead.

The evidence:
Obama and his people say that the superdelegates should vote as do a majority of the elected and caucus delegates. Clinton and her people say that the superdelegates should vote as they judge best, independently of the views of the elected and caucus delegates.

Drum then is implying either that the most expert of the experts know less than does he, or that the superdelegates will decide to overrule the decision of the people expressed in primaries and caucuses.

I doubt if Drum knows more than the experts. And I doubt if the Democratic superdelegates will act undemocratically.

Posted by: Gotitfigured on February 9, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

I am getting more than a little tired of being attacked personally for what I am saying instead of having people show why the content of what I am saying is wrong.

Let me get this straight. You routinely accuse Obama supporters of being "naive" and uncritical cultists drawn to an "insubstantial" candidate, despite the many rational actors here who have laboriously explained the reasons for their support, and you complain that people are not responding to the "content" of what you are saying?

If the "content" of what you are saying is oblivious to the discussion around you, and insulting to boot, what would you consider an appropriate response?

This tactic of repeating some fanciful notion until it gains currency has been deployed quite a bit lately. Now I notice people introducing their remarks by saying, "I'm an Obama supporter. But I'm not a cultist!"

Sad.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

doug: "Humorous irony aside, don't you think there's a valid distinction between being endorsemed by a member of a political dynasty, and being a member of a political dynasty?"

Not really. I think both smack of political opportunism, and having worked in the political biz for many years, I find nothing wrong with either. What I detest is the application of double standards.

Political dynasties have been part of this country since its founding. Hell, Wikipedia alone lists 578 families that qualify under the definition. Some members of those families have served this country extraordinarily well, the current White House occupant notably excepted, of course.

Singling one particular family out for a personal expression of consternation over the practice is at once a laughably blatant and ridiculous double standard, as it speaks more to the personal motives of the one expressing that supposed consternation than to the particular qualifications of the family member running for political office.

If one was to invalidate the candidacy of a particular person, simply because that person was related to someone that some people find patently offensive -- well, Hillary Clinton isn't the Democratic presidential candidate who's a distant cousin to Dick Cheney, is she?

See what I mean? ;-)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary can't win in a trench war. She doesn't have the organization or the money to compete with Obama long term - his appeal is just too broad. A large following of old women (DVL's) just won't do it for her. In the 90's she drew in those women while her husband drew in the men - the deciding factor was the minority vote primarily blacks and hispancs - which went to the Clintons. That isn't the case anymore, Obama has the black vote, as well as men, enough women, and the majority of voters under 40. He'll win, she'll lose - and that's the end of it. Clinton may try and play the hand whereby she asks him to be her running mate as VP in order to preserve her Presidential aspitrations - but he doesn't need to do that. She needs him to win, he doesn't need her at all. Any result brokering her as the nominee will destroy the Democratic party in 2008 and insure Grandpa Al gets the White House. Hillary will go away I think she knows she won't be able to govern....What we're seeing here is the last egotistical vestiges of that disgrace of a former president trying to hang onto his influence peddling ways, and his co-dependant wife thinking we owe her the presidency.

Posted by: yermaal on February 9, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy: "Let me get this straight."

(Sigh!) If only you could ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

(Sigh!) If only you could ...

This from the guy who tossed off a "Sieg Heil" to me earlier.

Tell us again how your mother taught you the power of words.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

From Scotian:

No, I am saying that he took his name off in Michigan by his own choice, he was *NOT* required to do so by the DNC, none of the candidates were. The fact that he did was seen at the time to be a means of trying to curry favour with Iowa voters, which if you had a shred of honesty in you you would acknowledge.

Once again, explain to me why someone caucusing in Iowa on Jan 3rd would care about what candidates appear on a ballot for a Jan 15th primary. It makes absolutely NO sense.

Now, if you had said Nevada or South Carolina, you may have a point. But you chose Iowa, and made it seem like the names on the Michigan ballot affected how Clinton did in Iowa...

I'm saying that everyone is responsible for their own actions/decisions in this, and I notice that both you and Brutus appear to completely ignore what my principles tell me are the only three viable outcomes, seating according to the vote, revoting in primaries, or not seating delegates at all, each has it's drawbacks to deal with but they are the only feasible options I see.

Well, I only see two viable outcomes, revoting the primaries, or not seating the delegates. Legitimizing the results of those bogus elections is not a valid option.

I said it was Obama's decision to pull his name to curry favour with Iowa caucus goers who clearly jealously prize their first in the nation status while Clinton left hers on willing to take the hit for it in Iowa.

Again, Iowa was on Jan 3rd, why would they care who's on what ballot on Jan 15th? If anything it would be the Nevada or South Carolina voters who would be upset, but I don't believe they were anyway.

In case it escapes you I look at both HRC and Obama and see cold calculating politicians, the big difference is that only one of them is trying to pretend he isn't while the other doesn't.

Yet one is trying to seat delegates that shouldn't be seated. Of course they're both calculating, you have to be in order to get elected, but Clinton trying to legitimize Florida and Michigan is ridiculous.

So try grasping that concept before you start attributing all kinds of motives and hidden meanings to my writings, as I think I know better what I am saying/thinking than you do, the arrogance you display by acting otherwise is more than a little offensive, especially someone supporting the candidate of doing things differently.

It's a little hard to not read anything into a post that claims Hillary took a hit in Iowa for leaving her name on the ballot in Michigan....saying so attempts to diminish Obama's victory there, especially since it makes no sense.

And then to say that seating the delegates according to those bogus elections is a viable option...well...let's just say, my spidey sense is tingling.

If Obama cannot show how his new kind of post-partisan politics works to beat his Dem rival, how does he do it in the general and how do his supporters know it will work? If he cannot inspire his supporters to use this new kind of politics instead of the standard old negative attacks and smears of the old why then should anyone believe it truly exists? For all the attacks I have had since I started commenting on this topic here at PA few have been on the substance of my comments and the vast majority of been aimed at me personally in one manner or another. That looks, smells, tastes and feels like the same old partisan politics to me. So where is the substance of the Obama promise in both his own actions and in those of his supporters? That is a question that strikes to the heart of why I think the Obama message is fantasy and not substantial, and that it is more of a cult of personality than a movement since it is all about him and not about the principles he supposedly stands for which would be the case if this was a true political movement.

Grow a thicker skin, I didn't attack you personally or insult you, just said the logic of your argument about Hillary leaving her name on the Michigan ballot hurting her in Iowa makes no sense. The only reason I could see that you would say that is to diminish Obama's win there, and to paint it as honorable act by Hillary when it was anything but....and I don't think I am wrong for thinking that.


Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Once again, explain to me why someone caucusing in Iowa on Jan 3rd would care about what candidates appear on a ballot for a Jan 15th primary. It makes absolutely NO sense."

Not quite "NO sense," but I would agree that the assertion is unsupported.

The thinking is actually not as far-fetched as you are making it seem. Both Iowa and New Hampshire are extremely defensive about their "first-in-the-nation" status and have gone to great lengths to defend this. Even if a state doesn't compete directly with either of them, moving sufficiently close could quite easily water down their impact; e.g., if Iowa is on Tuesday and California is on Wednesday, guess which state would get most of the attention?

Now, was the Michigan primary sufficiently close so as to make the Iowa voters nervous? And is there any evidence that Obama was thinking about Iowa when he removed his name from the Michigan ballot? Absent such evidence, I would argue that the point has not been made.

Posted by: PaulB on February 9, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

My wife and I just got back from the Democratic party caucus in our local district in Western Washington.

Overflow crowds at the local elementary school! We had a big combined gym and assembly hall - probably about 3/4 as big as a football field. We got there 10 minutes before the opening of the doors and there was a line close to 100 yards long and 2-3 people wide out front. People were just streaming in and heading for their local precinct tables. Lots of oofing, grunting, apologies, and cordial laughter as people sucked in stomaches, climbed on to chairs, scanned around the auditorium to help people find their tables. (Hint - tall people are a valuable resource in these things...)

We hit the occupation limit on the gym/auditorium about 20 minutes before the doors were to be closed so they had to open up a whole bunch of extra rooms for the individual precincts to spread out a bit. Even so, it was elbow to elbow around the tables.

Incredibly high energy and one incredible rainbow of people on the turnout. About 3/4 of the people at our precinct table (including my wife and I) had never been to a caucus before. A lot of local Indian and Pakistani naturalized citizens were out for their first foray into retail politics. (I think most of them liked it.) Our recorder and secretary were appointed on the run up, both Indian, and wound up being from our neighborhood - so we were comparing streets to figure out where we were (within 1/2 a mile radius as it turns out).

Lots of back and forth - the rules allowed 1 minute per person to present their case FOR their candidate and appeal to others to change their initial votes. Strict rule - you had to make a positive case for your candidate - no tearing down of any opposing candidate. Some very passionate presentations for both Obama and Hillary and no trashing.

A number of folks on both camps said that it was great to be able to choose between good candidates. F@&k the pundits - this close race on the Dem side means people are engaged. The votes still count!

Posted by: Butch on February 9, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy: "This from the guy who tossed off a 'Sieg Heil' to me earlier. Tell us again how your mother taught you the power of words."

Well, those words do work. After all, I seem to have gotten your attention with them, didn't I?

You simply ask for it, when you continually come here and insult and / or verbally abuse people like Scotian and Mike, just because they happen to disagree with you and / or support another candidate. If you can't take the heat of rebuttal, then take a hike.

Or better yet, go walk your precinct for Sen. Obama. Certainly, you would be of far better use to your candidate doing that, rather than camping out at this site and alienating those potential supporters he'll need should he garner our party's nomination.

Auf Wiedershehen, Fräulein.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

the trouble with this conventional wisdom is that for someone whose so seasoned at campaigning and a pro at it, theyre not doing so hot against an apparent and often labeled "amateur"... if the best in the business is tied, and looking at a number of consecutive losses against an unskilled noob at the game, then maybe they should pack it in, because apparently what theyre selling, people arent buyin.

Posted by: paul p on February 9, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Butch: "A number of folks on both camps said that it was great to be able to choose between good candidates. F@&k the pundits - this close race on the Dem side means people are engaged. The votes still count!"

Amen to that. I'm not a big fan of political caucuses, but one advantage to them is that people in the community actually get to interact with each other. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the experience.

Well, time to go to work -- I'm tending bar tonight. I have but one ironclad rule there -- no talk of politics or religion. It's a toxic mix with cocktails.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 9, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well, those words do work. After all, I seem to have gotten your attention with them, didn't I?

That's your excuse for resorting to the cheapest trick in the book? OK, you're on record.

You simply ask for it, when you continually come here and insult and / or verbally abuse people like Scotian and Mike, just because they happen to disagree with you and / or support another candidate. If you can't take the heat of rebuttal, then take a hike.

Please. You are exposing your double standard. And note, this is not about my ability to take the heat. It's about your willingness to resort to gutter tactics.

Or better yet, go walk your precinct for Sen. Obama.

You know nothing about what I have or haven't done for Senator Obama, so don't lecture me on this subject.

Posted by: Lucy on February 9, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the thing PaulB, it was announced well in advance that the Michigan delegates would not be seated. Shouldn't that have been enough to assuage Iowa voter's fear that they were still "first in the nation"?

Maybe I give the Iowans more credit than they deserve, I just don't think they care whose name is on a ballot for a primary that occurs 2 weeks later.

Even supposing Iowans were the most superficial voters on earth and did care about being "first in the nation" above all else, shouldn't the fact that Hillary publicly declared that she wouldn't campaign in Michigan put that issue to bed?

Or were the voters of Iowa so superficial, that not counting the delegates, and not campaigning in Michigan wasn't enough?

In that case we're basically saying that the winner in Iowa was the candidate who did the most to distance themselves from the Michigan primary.

I'm not buying it.


Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii

My grandmother on my father's side was born on the Big Island (Scottish missionaries, but too late to steal the land - that had already been taken care of), my grandfather moved from Scotland to work as a steam engineer for the sugar companies. My father was born in Papaaloa up the coast from Hilo.

It was a great place to grow up.

Regards,
Butch (formerly from Hawaii)

Posted by: butch on February 9, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

you still think there's gonna be an election?


hahaha

You haven't been paying attention to all the signing statements, executive orders and, oh yes, the concentration camps built with YOUR money by Helliburton.

Either the pending world economic collapse or another convenient "Pearl Harbor" will result in this country being placed under martial law.

Cheney hasn't amassed the power of the "UNITARY EXECUTIVE" (our own Amurrikan fuehrer!) only to turn it over to ANYONE else.

Get real.
Getaclue

Posted by: getaclue on February 9, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Moving closer toward universal health care, which both Clinton and Obama support.
It will be a lot easier now than when Hillary made her failed attempt. The public will no longer be fooled by a Harry and Louise worrying that with government health care we won't be able to choose our doctors. Who except the very rich and seniors on medicare can go to any doctor they wish? Those of us with health insurance are limited to the doctors on the lists of our insurance companies- the doctors who participate in their ppos and hmos. And if our doctor drops out or our employer changes insurance companies, we must choose a new doctor or pay sky-high fees. This time round the public will be open to change. And Mc Cain will not be rocking the Republican boat on this. Reforming health care is not one of his issues.

Posted by: myrna on February 9, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

After what Bill and Hill put their only child through during their long corrupt and public sexual abuse by Bill. RICH for them to act so hurt, so angered, momma protecting her cub.

If they really cared about Chelsea they would not subject her to more of this… Monica, Jennifer, allegations of rape, consistent corruption, impeachment, blow jobs for Dad by an intern under his employ, perjury, impeachment.

What narcissists, and they jumped on this, thin weak story for their own advantage.

The real story here is not Schuster’s comment. “Pimping” no longer has any serious connotation to sex. It is a reference to marketing. That “sucks” not longer refers to cock sucking. The Brits and “bloody”… never understood the taboo with that one…. Menstruation?

The real story is that Hillary and Bill are now so desperate and narcissistic that they are exploiting Chelsea, turning her into one of their own victims with this bullshit story.
Disgusting, but hardly surprising from these two.


Posted by: doug on February 9, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Congratulations to Barack Obama, for winning both caucuses and the PRIMARY. The demographics of the turnout again show the political redrawing capability of an Obama campaign, as well as his ability to effectively manage a political campaign against a well-entrenched and capable competitor. Congratulations, and on to the next bout.

Posted by: Boorring on February 9, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK
Boy, am I pissed.

You made me laugh nepeta (no really, not in a bad way). You are rooting so hard for your candidate.

But seriously, what do you think about Florida? We had record participation in the Democratic primary. Democrats have been assured by the Florida Democratic Party, from day one, that our votes would count. All candidates were on the ballot. The only advertising was by Obama (his "national" ad buy played in Florida for several days leading up to the primary, then stopped). We never agreed with anybody that our votes would not count. The Floriday primary was moved to January 29 by the Florida state legislature which is controlled by Republicans.

Ain't that a bitch?

And, BTW, my understanding is that the candidates only agreed not to campaign or advertise in Florida. But some keep saying that they also agreed not to seat the Florida delegates. That seems far fetched to me, not likely at all. They have no such power and it would be politially foolish. Anybody know any differently? Was any such agreement written down?

Posted by: little ole jim on February 9, 2008 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Here you go little ole jim:

DNC Strips Florida Of 2008 Delegates
No Convention Slots Unless Later Primary Is Set

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2007; Page A01

The Democratic National Committee sought to seize control of its unraveling nominating process yesterday, rejecting pleas from state party leaders and cracking down on Florida for scheduling a Jan. 29 presidential primary.

The DNC's rules and bylaws committee, which enforces party rules, voted yesterday morning to strip Florida of all its delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver -- the harshest penalty at its disposal.

The penalty will not take effect for 30 days, and rules committee members urged officials from the nation's fourth-most-populous state to use the time to schedule a later statewide caucus and thus regain its delegates.

By making an object lesson of Florida, Democrats hope to squelch other states' efforts to move their voting earlier, which have created chaos in the primary structure that the national party has established. But the decision to sanction such a pivotal, vote-rich state has risks.

The party punished Delaware in 1996 for similar rules violations. But Florida, a mega-state that has played a pivotal role in the past two presidential elections, is different. The clash leaves the presidential candidates in limbo about how to campaign there.

Asked what Hillary Rodham Clinton's plans are for the state, Harold Ickes, a DNC member and adviser to the New York senator, said, "I don't think anyone's going to answer that question, or cross that bridge, until we see what happens in the next 30 days."

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), said, "Hopefully, in the next 30 days, Florida and the DNC can reach agreement so Florida's delegates can contribute to the nomination contest."

Florida's state party chair, Karen L. Thurman, showed no signs of backing down yesterday. The former congresswoman said she will consult with state Democrats but added that she expects all the presidential candidates to ignore the national party's edict and campaign vigorously in advance of the Sunshine State's primary.

"Whether you get a delegate or don't get a delegate, a vote is a vote," a defiant Thurman said. "That is what Floridians are going to say is important."

The DNC rules stipulate that states that have not been granted a special waiver must schedule presidential nominating contests after Feb. 5.

"Rules are rules," said DNC member Garry S. Shays, of California, at the meeting. "California abided by them, and Florida should, as well. To ignore them would open the door to chaos."

Donna Brazile, a member of the rules committee who argued for a swift and harsh punishment for Florida, said states' desire to be more relevant in the nominating process does not excuse violations of rules intended to make the system fair for everyone.

"I understand how states crave to be first. I understand that they're envious of the role that Iowa and New Hampshire have traditionally played," said Brazile, who was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000. "The truth is, we had a process. . . . We're going to back these rules."

Though the DNC's action was well-telegraphed, it came after emotional pleas from state party leaders, who blamed the initial selection of the date on Republicans who control the legislature. Thurman said she and her staff spent "countless hours" trying to persuade the legislature to pick another date.

Jon Ausman, a DNC member from Florida, begged his colleagues to make an exception for Florida because of those efforts.

"We're asking you for mercy, not judgment," Ausman said.

The rules committee was largely unmoved; only one member -- Florida's Allan Katz -- voted against imposing the sanctions.

Under the caucus alternative proposed yesterday, voters could still go to the polls on Jan. 29 to express their preferences for a presidential nominee, but the results would be ceremonial, much like the results of the Republican straw poll held in Ames, Iowa, this month.

"It's essentially a beauty contest. . . . There are no delegates now," said Alexis Herman, co-chair of the rules committee.

Thurman and other state leaders said there are several problems with the caucus suggestion.

She said a caucus could cost the state party as much as $8 million -- money she said the party and its benefactors do not have. She said a caucus in a state the size of Florida would be impractical and would have the effect of allowing far fewer people to participate.

State party officials also said they prefer to keep the official voting on Jan. 29 because a property tax initiative they hope to defeat will be on the ballot that day. Turning the Democratic presidential primary into a meaningless event would probably mean lower turnout among the party's faithful and make it harder to defeat the initiative, they said.

"Defeating a horrible referendum on Jan. 29 . . . is a top priority for every constituent group I am aware of," said Terrie Brady, a DNC member and former chair of the Florida state party.

Thurman declined to say whether she or state officials are likely to file a lawsuit against the national party, as was suggested by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) during a conference call Friday.

"Yeah, this is emotional for me, and it should be," she said. Asked whether she thought Florida had been treated fairly, she said, "We'll see in 30 days."

Both political parties have struggled over the years to determine how best to nominate their presidential candidates.

Iowa and New Hampshire have dominated that process since the late 1960s, in part by arguing that their relatively small size allows candidates to have more personal contact with voters. But in recent years, larger states and those with more ethnic diversity have argued that they should be at the front of the process, too. This year, those pressures have pushed presidential voting earlier than ever.

"I think this whole system is goofy. It's all out of kilter," Ickes said. "I think we start way too early."

Alice Germond, a West Virginia member of the DNC, said that "the process is still a mess."

The national parties face the prospect of further confrontations: South Carolina Republicans have moved their primary to Jan. 19, a decision that may force New Hampshire and Iowa to vote earlier in January. And Michigan's legislature is on the verge of approving a Jan. 15 date -- a move that would violate the same Democratic rule that Florida faces punishment for breaking.

The Michigan Republican State Committee voted yesterday to endorse the new date.

"Moving up the primary will make Michigan the first major industrial state to hold a presidential primary and will give our voters a chance to educate the next president of the United States about Michigan and its specific issues," state GOP Chairman Saulius "Saul" Anuzis said in a statement.

Posted by: Dan on February 9, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

I have a 19 year old who is cynical and dark about everything. If Barack Obama isn't the nominee I can pretty much guarantee that she and her friends (who I know well) will not bother to vote. I myself have thought about voting for McCain. I voted for him in New Hampshire in 2000. Admittedly my mother would turn over in her grave, butsomebody needs to give me a reason to vote for Hillary in the fall. If she wins she will crush the Obama people and they won't go to her in the fall. I see the democrats, once again, blowing the sure thing for the ideologically pure candidate who has sucked up to everybody she needs to. This is what is wrong with politics in this country. It won't win. How sad. And what is really sad is I dont know that Hillary won't condemn all forms of torture, that she won't condemn executive privilege and signing statements, that she won't condemn discrimination against my gay brothers and sisters out of hand. Obama will do these things. Is there anything else more important in sustaining the republic? I don't think so. We can change the future, but this is the moment and we have to decide to do it. That's where I am.

Posted by: Tim Osburn on February 9, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

You simply ask for it, when you continually come here and insult and / or verbally abuse people like Scotian and Mike, just because they happen to disagree with you and / or support another candidate.

Hmm... this perception thing is very interesting. My impression has been of a Lucy largely playing defense (and ably so).

And that I've really enjoyed her posts. Dare I say it? I love Lucy! (which is not to say that I don't enjoy Donald's posts as well) Of course, I write this as a naif, gullible and easily swayed by empty rhetoric.

Posted by: snicker-snack (cultist for the empty suit) on February 9, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

btw, from Carol Gimbalvo's Cult Information and Recovery site.

What Are Some Characteristics of a Cult?

* Authoritarian in their power structure
* Totalitarian in their control of the behavior of their members
* Pyramidal structure
* Uses thought reform techniques
* Isolation of members (physical and/or psychological isolation) from society
* Uses deception in recruiting and/or fund raising
* Promotes dependence of the members on the group
* Totalitarian in their world view
* Uses mind altering techniques (chanting, meditation, hypnosis and various forms of repetitive actions) to stop normal critical thinking
* Appear exclusive and innovative
* Charismatic or messianic leader who is self-appointed and has a special mission in life
* Controls the flow of information
* Instills a fear of leaving the group

I'll leave it to others to detail how aptly these points describe those who after consideration would opt for BO as the Democratic candidate of choice.

Posted by: snicker-snack (cultist) on February 9, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Question:

Given that Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania become all important for Clinton, by how much does she have to win those states? The margins Obama won by tonight have got to be cause for some concern on her side.

Posted by: Quinn on February 9, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

@Scotian

You suffer acute logorrhea.

More frequent paragraphs are indicated.

Posted by: Adam on February 9, 2008 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm not buying it."

I'm not going to disagree with you. Scotian pretty clearly didn't support the assertion. I was just noting that it didn't come quite as far out in left field as you were making it seem.

Posted by: PaulB on February 9, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

little ole jim,

Glad I made you laugh. Reading my comment makes me laugh too! Oh, well. Honestly, though, it does seem strange that the biography bumped an already scheduled program, don't you think?

Posted by: nepeta on February 9, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

"After what Bill and Hill put their only child through..." [The remainder of the silly rant deleted.]

Man, what can you say to (or about) someone so wholly deluded? So totally ignorant? All you can do is shake your head in pity.

Posted by: PaulB on February 9, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, not to continue beating this dead horse but here was Scotian's quote:

BTW, this argument about how unfair it is to Obama to not have his name on the Michigan ballot and therefore that vote is inherently corrupt is male bovine excrement. He took it off by his own choice so as to help him in Iowa, since this stripping of delegate status was done to protect Iowa’s first in the nation status and may well have helped him do as well as he did there, so should Iowa be redone to make it truly fair if Michigan is?

Evidently Scotian believes that if we were to give Michigan a re-do, to be truly fair, we'd also have to re-do Iowa, because apparently Hillary keeping her name on the ballot Michigan had a significant impact on the outcome in Iowa....

Seriously, can anyone interpret what he (or she?) wrote any differently? And is that not ridiculous?

Posted by: Dan on February 10, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Dan, some posters have already caught on to their gimmick, and just ignore it.

Posted by: Providence on February 10, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack-- Callooh! Callay!

Posted by: Lucy on February 10, 2008 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Evidently Scotian believes that if we were to give Michigan a re-do, to be truly fair, we'd also have to re-do Iowa, because apparently Hillary keeping her name on the ballot Michigan had a significant impact on the outcome in Iowa....

Seriously, can anyone interpret what he (or she?) wrote any differently? And is that not ridiculous?" Posted by: Dan on February 10, 2008 at 12:14 AM

Evidently you are an ass, because that was not the point of what I said there, but then you don't appear interested in actually trying to find out what I am saying and are far more intent on trying to mock any point I may have about Obama, in this case regarding Michigan and do-over because of his name not being on that ballot by his own choice, and more broadly any point that may point to a flaw in your candidate's ability to win in the GE. The actual point of what you quoted was that to complain about Obama's name not being on the Michigan ballot because he voluntarily took it off (with the apparent intent to curry favour with the Iowan caucus goer, which there is nothing wrong with btw, that's politics) meant there wasn't a proper decision is the same kind of reasoning someone could use to want a do-over in Iowa because of how it helped him and hurt Clinton because her name stayed on the Michigan ballot.

My point was regarding do-overs themselves and the double standard of giving Obama a chance to have it both ways with Michigan, not to actually re-do Iowa specifically, because I keep hearing about how unfair it would be to seat Michigan delegates because his name wasn't there, which if it wasn’t his choice to pull it off would have been another matter than what actually happened. She took the political hit with Iowa caucus goers and Obama profited from it, again that’s politics, but now Obama and his supporters want it both ways so I showed how that could be used by Clinton supporters to call for redoing Iowa by the same logic/reasoning, not that I actually thought it should be done. I guess that was too difficult for you to grasp, either that or you are spinning me to further try and attack my credibility (And yes, I do have some left contrary to what you Dan and certain of the other Obama supporters here think/claim, otherwise why bother responding so much to me and instead ignoring me because my vote doesn't factor in?) by attributing whatever you can to like you just did.

Yet you think I am the one being ridiculous while you are acting in such a dishonest fashion, likely because you are far more interested in trying to destroy than to understand, thank you for showing that you are another one of the Obama supporters that cannot be argued with in a rational fashion. Why not try asking first to see whether something like that was what was meant and then ridiculing it if/when it is confirmed to be that only possible interpretation that you think it is before mocking it? As you can see there is another intrepretation there but you were too busy making fun of me to be bothered to see that. Or is honesty too much for you to handle? Either way, I am one step away from being done with you, and personally I am not too impressed with people trying to run me off just because they don't like what I say. For a bunch of people raised in a nation founded on free political speech certain folks are clearly very unwilling to allow dissent (and no, this is not a sweeping generalization of all the Obama supporters here, I have had constructive exchanges with nepata for example, and I know nepata is a strong Obama supporter) here regarding their preferred candidate. Well guess what, it isn't going to happen, and if you don't like reading what I am saying, then don't read it, I have always been the same long winded tedious writer from the first time I showed up at PA in late 03-early-04 and it isn't going to change anytime soon.

Posted by: Scotian on February 10, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian, please get off your high horse already. Enough with the lectures and the appearance of even-handedness whenever you discuss Obama and his supporters. You aways seem to come down with some 'superior' analyses against Obama or his campaign. Of course, you always add some CYA caveat for whatever you posit.

Initially, I thought you were a casual and impartial observer. It's obvious now, that may not be the case. Maybe you can convince some of us here if you start provinding the same types of analyses wrt Clinton. God knows there are enough arguments that reasonable people can make against her candidacy. From her experience, votes, judgements and policy proposals, all the way to issues around her electability.

Posted by: GOD on February 10, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

GOD:

Someone using the alias you do calling someone else out for being on a high horse is ironic beyond belief.

There is another explanation you know, I actually see Obama as the far easier to beat candidate of the two because of his narrow demographic appeal, the fact that the bulk of his delegates are coming from States traditionally non-competitive for the Dems, that much of his support comes from caucuses which are NOT reliable indicators of the Statewide level of support, etc. I never said I was impartial, I am very partial when it comes to winning in November, what I said was I was non-partisan between Obama and Clinton as on policy grounds I don't see enough of a difference for me to care about. Besides, there was already more than enough people here slicing into why a Clinton candidacy was a bad choice, so I why should I repeat that effort, especially when it is Obama I see as the more defeatable candidate?

Get of your own high horse "GOD", you aren't my higher power, that is my reason/intellect.

Posted by: Scotian on February 10, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian, interesting reference to my GOD 'name'

You may not remember it now, but your theme initally was along the lines of being an impartial observer from Canada, regardless of what you now claim about policy vs. electability.

The funny thing is that electability is the harder one to base a preference on. It's highly subjective at best notwithstanding what the polls say. IMHO, a lot of arguments around this is clouded by the individual's preferences and biases coated with some generic evidence or observations as evidence.

In any case, it's good to know where you stand now wrt to electability and all that. At least now I know where you are coming from now when I read your comments. You argue this is because you are for the democrats winning in November. That we can all agree on.

Posted by: GOD on February 10, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii - No i'm not sure I do. I don't think family should disqualify anybody from office, but i'll admit that the tendency to elect from bush/clinton families worries me. Now in this campaign Hillary has completely proven herself to me, so i'd be proud to vote for her. Still, it seems like a valid concern, even if a relatively minor one.

In this case it's a matter of degree, clearly many polticians have a lineage, but we're talking about putting the same 2 families in charge for a couple decades. Now i wouldn't base a whole decision on that and i think Hillary is good enough to transcend those concerns, but still...

Maybe you agree and it's just the "i'll never vote for a clinton" folks you're objecting to - That argument is way overblown as far as i'm concerned, but not totally baseless.

Posted by: doug on February 11, 2008 at 3:42 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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