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Tilting at Windmills

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February 29, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA vs. CLINTON....It's late and I don't have time to think of something really insightful to say about this, so I'll just throw it out. It's from the latest Pew poll, and it shows that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are likely to beat John McCain in a general election. What's odd, though, is something we've seen before: Hillary's strength among self-identified Democrats. Obama, as expected, draws a few more Republicans and independents than Hillary does, but Hillary has far fewer defections among Democrats. In all, 89% of Democrats would vote for her while only 81% would vote for Obama. Daniel Larison points out some additional detail:

Most remarkable of all is that Obama is weaker among Democrats in all age groups than Clinton. He is four points weaker, and McCain five points stronger, among Democratic voters aged 18-49 than in a Clinton v. McCain race. The losses are even greater among Democratic voters 50-64 and 65+.

In fact, in a matchup against McCain, the only subgroup of Democrats that supports Obama more than Hillary is African-Americans — and even in their case only by a tiny margin. I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

Kevin Drum 3:19 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (277)

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What's the representative percentage of D/R/I in America, and what is the percentage in terms of those voting?

I have noticed that for presidential approval, Gallop uses about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. So Obama loses 8 percent of democrats, but gains 5 percent of independents and 3 percent of republicans. Say all of these hold true. So he loses 8%*33.3=2.66, and gains 5%*3.33 + 3%*33.3=2.66.

It's a wash.

So, at least this poll shows that all this talk of Obama's amazing support among independents and republicans is really much ado about nothing.

But don't expect press to do math. They are good at feelings, though.

Posted by: ghost2 on February 29, 2008 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

One obvious possibility is that a portion of the Democratic defectors simply can't bring themselves to vote for an African American.

More charitably, it might be that portion of the Democratic party that drinks beer rather than wine (Hillary allegedly being the "beer" candidate of the working class, while Obama allegedly being the "wine" candidate of the educated classes).

One consequence is that Obama might have a better ability to hurt down-ticket Republican candidates. Or not.

Posted by: enplaned on February 29, 2008 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

Democratic registered voter sample: +/- 5.5 percentage points margin of error. These differences you and Daniel Larson think you are pointing out may not even exist.

Posted by: quisxt on February 29, 2008 at 4:08 AM | PERMALINK

enplaned has certainly identified one possibility.

But the possibility that occurred immediately to me are low-information Democrats that consider "experience" very important.

Over the course of a campaign I suspect a lot of those voters will migrate towards Obama as he becomes more familiar to them.

All that said, I'm think quisxt is right. We're probably discussion phantoms here. If the margin of error on the whole thing is +/- 5.5, then the margin of error on the sub-samples is higher -- a lot higher!

Posted by: Callimaco on February 29, 2008 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

I have a bad feeling that if Obama loses, his supporters will vote for McCain or just not vote.

Posted by: merlallen on February 29, 2008 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Doubtless it's a sign of the apocalypse, but I agree with Al's comments. Obama's appeal is more centrist than Hillary's: he attracts more Independents and moderates from both parties than Clinton does. This makes him stronger in a general election than Hillary, since he will secure more Independent and moderate Republicans than Hillary would.

Obama's comparative weakness among Democrats - if it even exists - may be partly attributable to the nature and duration of Hillary's campaign. The Clintons' negative attacks on Obama certainly can't help. Also, Hillary has been on the national spotlight for about 16 years, Obama only about 4 years. The longer you support a politician, the less willing you will be to defect and support a rival.

Nevertheless, Obama's weakness among Democrats will almost certainly shrink if not entirely vanish once he secures the nomination and the party unites behind him.

Posted by: Augustus on February 29, 2008 at 5:04 AM | PERMALINK

disagree. in texas right now. its 2 to one for obama.everywhere , bumpEr stickers, yard signs. stoOD in line to vote around 3 pm in afternoon, , line a half block long. all ages, but conversation was the big "O".

Posted by: lloydcarroll on February 29, 2008 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

If you had asked me last February if I would vote for John Kerry in the general election, I probably would have said no, the hurt from losing was that bad. I think a lot of HRC supporters are hurting right now and blaming Obama for the pain. It's perfectly understandable. It takes several weeks to work through to acceptance that your favorite candidate is not going to be the nominee.

Posted by: KathyF on February 29, 2008 at 5:16 AM | PERMALINK

I have a bad feeling that if Obama loses, his supporters will vote for McCain or just not vote.

It's clear that Hillary is less able to attract Independent voters than Obama, so Clinton would lose votes there.

The Clinton campaign isn't exactly making friends with Obama's supporters. Bill Clinton made racially suggestive remarks about Obama's win in South Carolina. Hillary has ridiculed Obama's supporters as naive, fad-followers, cult-members, and such. She has accused him of plagiarism in the very same speech she gave closing remarks lifted from an Edwards speech. She has compared Obama to Karl Rove and to Bush. Her campaign has been accused of narrow-casting bigoted stories (Obama attending a 'madrassa', Obama wearing 'Muslim' garb, etc.). She has been introduced on the campaign trail by people who ridiculed Obama's supporters as being extreme parodies of ugly right-wing stereotypes of Liberals ('latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing...'). Her campaign systemically insulted the voters of the last 11 states Obama won by dismissing those states as 'insignificant'. She is also trying to seat Florida and Michigan (despite having drafted the rules to remove their delegates, and despite having broken her signed a pledge not to campaign in either state and to remove her name from the ballot in Michigan).

So yeah, it's not hard to imagine that Hillary has alienated a lot of those voters.

Posted by: Augustus on February 29, 2008 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

The difference is that Hillary will attract some of the Lieberman democrats who would otherwise vote for McCain. Obama would not be in the running for their votes anyway. I think that's pretty much it.

Posted by: Ted on February 29, 2008 at 5:41 AM | PERMALINK

I'm confused by some of the comments. Obama is not more centrist than Clinton; his Senate voting record is more liberal than hers. To be fair, it isn't a big distinction; for the most part, their voting records are similar.

Posted by: Susan on February 29, 2008 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK

One important subcategory that Pew DIDN'T mention is how self-proclaimed Southern white Democrats feel about Obama. The fact that he's a lot weaker than Hillary is against McCain among DEMOCRATS as a whole -- but just as strong against McCain as she is among ALL white voters (including Independents and Republicans) as a whole) -- is suggestive, and the state polls I've seen suggest that in the Southern states he does indeed run a lot weaker against McCain than Hillary does, at the same time that he runs STRONGER against McCain than she does in Northern states. One guess as to the reason.

Now add to that the recent NY Times story interviewing Southern white voters and discovering their fondness for calling him "Osama", and the extent to which the "he's really a Moslem" story has taken hold in that region. In short, the country hasn't changed all that much.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on February 29, 2008 at 6:08 AM | PERMALINK

Obama hasn't been trying very hard to get Democrats to vote for him. He's been running the general election all along, taking his base for granted. It may be a winning strategy but it's the strategy we sneer at the Republicans for using. No, it's a strategy we sneer at the radical right wing falling for year after year.

Posted by: Bluegrass Poet on February 29, 2008 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect strategy, that is dishonesty. It is very well known that, when a hopeful becomes the candidate, his or her support jumps up. My guess is that the Democrats for McCain are hard core Clinton supporters who are trying to convince voters via the poll that Obama is not electable.

I am not suggesting that Clinton supporters are less honest in general than Obama supporters, just that, at the moment, their backs are against the wall and they are trying the kitchen sink strategy. By the way, I am neutral.

Of course it is also possible that Obama's talk about bi-partisanship has convinced people that he is a centrist and the presses love of McCain has convinced them that he is a centrist, and so some Democrats have decided they are ideological similar and go for experience. This would require a degree of ignorance that political addicts, like me, find almost unimaginable, but it is possible.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on February 29, 2008 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

We're in the midst of a hotly contested primary in which HRC is regularly charging that Obama is not ready to president. Obama isn't making similar charges about Clinton.

Clinton has enormous credibility with Democrats, and so it's no surprise that her charges about Obama's unreadiness have a lot of good Democrats very nervous.

Once the conflict of the primary contest is past and Democrats begin to compare/contrast the Democratic nominee and John McCain, the Democratic nominee--Obama included--will do just fine among Democrats.

HRC's lack of cross over appeal is pretty terrifying to me. One thing we know about her campaign--amply demonstrated throughout--is that she has a low ceiling of support. Her numbers never do go up.

Posted by: Fran on February 29, 2008 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

Warmongers, racists, and old farts.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'll add my hypothesis. That there is a portion of hard-core Hilary-ites who think that it will help their candidate to say to a pollster that they will not support Obama the election, making his core support look softer than it really is.

Posted by: buckets on February 29, 2008 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary being stronger among self-identified Democrats is a reflection of Obama's strength among the young voters, who haven't established a "brand loyalty" yet.

I have said this before, and I know your job is to try to make sense of politics, but this is an anomalous election year. There are too many undercurrents and subthemes going on this year for polls to be meaningful at this point in the election cycle. Pardon my English, but I say, fuck the polls, lets work like hell to get these goddamn Republicans out of political office!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 29, 2008 at 7:10 AM | PERMALINK

"It's perfectly understandable. It takes several weeks to work through to acceptance that your favorite candidate is not going to be the nominee."

Takes a while to get over being mugged, sometimes you don't.

Posted by: Pat on February 29, 2008 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

Many Hillary supporters (like me) are put out by Obama and Axelrod. This may just reflect sore loser thinking, which in most cases, will recede. Obama's Democratic numbers will go up as Hillary's people rethink their support of McCain.

Posted by: bob h on February 29, 2008 at 7:15 AM | PERMALINK

I think it is simply a result of the passionate Hillary supporters not wanting to say that they will vote for Obama at this point in time.

It's the Taylor Marshes of the world. This will change. Especially if Hillary is VP nominee.


Posted by: Manfred on February 29, 2008 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Mugged, Pat? So you're saying that Hillary was OWED the nomination, even when she chose not to contest over half the states, and the scary black man STOLE it from her? Congratulations, you've managed to be both ignorant and racist in one short sentence.

Give me a friggin' break. Hillary entered this race as the overwhelming favorite; it was hers to lose. If you can point out how she was somehow "cheated" out of it or had it "stolen", please do so. I won't be holding my breath because we both know that isn't what happened. Perhaps you should take out your disppointment on the people who ran her campaign and Hillary herself for accepting their crappy advice.

Posted by: Jennifer on February 29, 2008 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

McCain has similar problems: both he and Obama are seen as compromisers so they have to see who will lock down the base first.

Posted by: Rhoda on February 29, 2008 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be interested in a poll that showed turnout numbers for Obama vs Clinton. I for one won't be voting if Clinton gets the nomination (it's a bit complicated to vote from Colombia) as I don't particularly like her as a candidate and it doesn't seem worth the trouble. But if Obama gets the nomination, I'll do what I have to. Intensity of support is a very important variable that doesn't seem to be measured here.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 29, 2008 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

An aside:
I am Europe right now where John McCain does not exist. You don't see him on the teevee and no one mentions his name. Everyone here thinks Hillary and Obama are running for the presidency right now. One French friend who is a little more politically savvy asked why McCain was not allowed to come to the debates!

Posted by: bellumregio on February 29, 2008 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that McCain's numbers among Democrats have a tremendous downside -- but I don't think it has anything to do with "sore loser" syndrome or a reversal in "racist tendencies" [jesus christ you guys are jerks]. There's a limit to the extrapolations you can make from hysterical blog postings.

McCain's numbers will go down among democrats if they learn more about his politics.

The Clinton supporters who are pissed at Obama and Axelrod are a very small percentage of the electorate. Most Clinton supporters are not paying close attention and if they are angry they're angry at the media or Clinton.

The more likely explanation for the 14% defectors is that McCain has been talked up as an experienced war hero and a reasonable post-partisan moderate maverick for at least a decade. Strong conservatives who pay attention to his image and not his politics are having a hard time supporting him. Democrats who aren't paying attention are behind him.

The whole thing is about feel and image and all three candidates have people supporting them who wouldn't based on policy.

Posted by: B on February 29, 2008 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

It means that there are bigots in the Democratic party too. Bigots who won't vote for a Black (who also is a secret Muslim Terrorist).

Posted by: duffy on February 29, 2008 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

What you should be paying attention to is the strength of preferences. This tells us a little more how volatile the election season might be.

There's a certain amount of support that the candidates have locked up and there are certain number of people who would be fairly happy with both party's candidates. Jon Stewart, for instance, seems to have telegraphed that position concerning Obama and McCain.

Posted by: B on February 29, 2008 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

The difference is McCain and Obama have the same meme, they are the outsider candidates.

McCain does something to Democrats. You talk to a self-identified Obama supporter, a number of them will tell you "McCain is my second choice." These are two guys who agree on nothing policywise. But McCain has the Maverick tag and that's what people care about, in order to win the democrats will need to paint McCain as a loyal Bush-Republican Foot Soldier.

Posted by: Dervin on February 29, 2008 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, it would help we Clinton supporters support Obama if his supporters wouldn't rub our faces in it because we dare to oppose Obama. We are called sore losers, closet racists, low information voters...just on this thread alone.

If Obama wins the nomination, I will be watching to hear how concilatory he is to the Clinton supporters. It should be a no brainer. You don't read 45-48% of your fellow democrats out of the party. But on the other hand, if he doesn't reach out, I am perfectly willing to stay home come next November. I've been voting democratic since '72.

Posted by: BEW on February 29, 2008 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Most remarkable of all is that Obama is weaker among Democrats in all age groups than Clinton. "

I'm really confused gang....isn't BO handing HRC her -ss in just about every demographic in the primaries except maybe elderly white females?....So how does he poll weaker suddenly?...Or am I reading this wrong?

Posted by: Sarah on February 29, 2008 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama wins the nomination, I will be watching to hear how concilatory he is to the Clinton supporters. It should be a no brainer.

Kindly provide an example of Obama dissing Hillary supporters, or not "reaching out" to Democrats.

I look forward to your response.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the results of this poll sure aren't borne out by the election results themselves (see Potomac primaries), which is where the rubber actually meets the road.

Posted by: chuck on February 29, 2008 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Its the SUPREME COURT folks. McCain = Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, John Roberts and Antonin Scalia. One more of those and the court is lost to anyone who truly cares about progressive policies. Nader = a vote for McCain, and you get the same results. I could not permit that in good conscience. We simply MUST have a Dem president elected this fall. Keep your eye on the prize, and care more for your country than any of the personalities involved.

Posted by: Jammer on February 29, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

I believe that Obama is not right and that it will be unfair to the better qualified candidate if he is nominated.

Unfair? Sorry Mary, it's called a democracy. If you could show that Obama broke the rules or did something unethical then maybe you have an arguement. But the fact is that we've got two candidates who are making their case to the voters and one of them is going to win.

I know that we Obama supporters are supposed to be cultists who drank the Kookaid, but when I see statements like I suspect that the huge crossover vote from Independents is the result of conservative efforts to defeat Clinton and Obama has won no large states with Democratic majorities but only red and swing states with smaller constituencies then I have to wonder what you've been drinking.

I caucased in Minnesota. Democrats tripled their previous record number for turnout. They were Democrats. They were young voters who haven't been out before and are in no way going for McCain in November. Obama is solid.

Posted by: tomeck on February 29, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Takes a while to get over being mugged, sometimes you don't.

For me, the sense of entitlement coming from the Clinton Campaign has been their biggest problem.

Posted by: Dagome on February 29, 2008 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

It's true that Obama is just as liberal as Hillary. Maybe moreso, although I put no stock in these "ratings" for most liberal Senators and the like. However, I don't think voting records reflect the perception people have of him and her. Obama is more centrist because that's his message and that's the way the mainstream see him. Reagan was viewed as a "centrist" in 1980 and I think we can all agree that his policies and record didn't reflect that, it was his "centrist" appeal which is strikingly similar to Obama's.

I live in South Carolina and most of my friends are hardcore Republicans. They all of course prefer Obama to Clinton, but what's strange is they seem to at least be considering voting for him, especially since they all seem to inexplicably despise McCain.

It's clear that Obama gets more independents and Republicans. Crystal. Clear. Cite all the voting records and all the polls you want, in the general election he is much stronger against McCain than she is or could ever be.

Posted by: Da5id on February 29, 2008 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, I was disturbed to hear Jon Stewart remark to Madeleine Albright the other night that he's "comfortable" with all three candidates (that could only mean Hillary, Obama, and McCain).

WTF.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with augustus - There is a HUGE laundry lists of insults and slights committed by Hillary herself against Obama and his supporters along with her shenanigans to avoid the party's rules and processes.

If she somehow gets the nomination she will not be able to win many Obama supporters back. Will they vote for her? Probably most will. Will they donate and organize for her? Doubtful. Will she get alot of independents? Unlikely. Will she win in November? No.

Posted by: C.B Todd on February 29, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Jennifer:Congratulations, you've managed to be both ignorant and racist in one short sentence.

Now THAT'S ignorance. If Obama supporters keep that up, they'll have a hard time bringing Clinton supporters into the fold in November.

Posted by: sj on February 29, 2008 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

I am a lifelong Democrat with a Ph.D (not a beer-drinking, working class or uneducated person)

Well, that's the problem right there. You know what Ph.D. stands for, right?

Even I got one of those.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary will attract some of the Lieberman democrats who would otherwise vote for McCain.

There are more "Lieberman democrats" among self-identified Democrats than independents? Sure there are.

Posted by: sj on February 29, 2008 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

I am a lifelong Democrat with a Ph.D (not a beer-drinking, working class or uneducated person) but I cannot vote for a man who supported Joe Liberman, blah blah.

Mary is too noble to vote for Obama on this count, but the Democratic candidate who ran against Independent Joe Lieberman in the 2006 CT Senate race, Ned Lamont, endorsed Barack Obama.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Jennifer:Congratulations, you've managed to be both ignorant and racist in one short sentence.

Now THAT'S ignorance. If Obama supporters keep that up, they'll have a hard time bringing Clinton supporters into the fold in November.

Posted by: sj


sj - oh, screw you.

You think there's no racial overtones to the patently false statement that Hillary was "mugged" by Obama and had the nomination, rightfully hers (by what calculus, pray tell?), stolen by him?

You're an idiot, too.

Posted by: Jennifer on February 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

The Oval Office holds a lot of power. Handing over the keys to a neophyte gives me pause, and I hope that's why all those Democrats are reluctant to vote for him, too. That's why given their similar platforms, I prefer Clinton to Obama. She knows the limits of the White House's power, and she still wants it. That says to me that she will use it responsibly. Obama talks change, and gives people hope that he will sweep away all manner of demons, known and unknown. It's flattering, but hardly grounded. If it should come down to Obama and McCain, the latter is the one I would prefer to have with me in a tight situation. POTUS gets into those!

Posted by: Anonymous on February 29, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Mary: I will be voting for Ralph Nader if Obama gets the nomination. ... it will be unfair to the better qualified candidate if he [Obama] is nominated. ... I am a lifelong Democrat with a Ph.D.

Qualified for what? We're electing a leader. One of the key qualifications has to be an ability to lead, as in get people to follow. The proof is in the pudding: Obama is clearly qualified on that score.

As a Ph.D. myself, I think it would be really cool if democracy was effectively the same as technocracy! I'd have so much more power! But my Ph.D. did little to nothing in conferring leadership abilities. Honestly, though, I think technocracy is a bad idea. A brilliant person can only accomplish so much on their own. Put a genius in charge that has no ability to lead (i.e., get people to follow) and you're looking at an ineffective reign.

Ability to lead is not the only qualification --- I think Obama is strong on others as well --- but it is an absolute requirement. That fact makes Nader supremely unqualified to be president. (He couldn't even bring himself to smile for his campaign literature in 2000! Does he think he's running for scold-in-chief?) Well educated supporters of Nader strike me as vain in the sense that they're pretending that technocracy is a viable form of government.

Posted by: Dagome on February 29, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

I don't buy it. A couple of factors to take into consideration here. One, the Clintons, understandably so, are fondly remembered by many democrats. Obama, for all of his charisma, is still largely unknown to many dems. And two, Obama's ground game hasn't yet gained traction in many states, that could switch a number of dems over.

Needless to say, an overwhelming majority of dems will support either dem candidate in the general election. If they choose to stay home, they get what they deserve.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on February 29, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

I suppose, if I were to mistake the political press' disdain for Sen Clinton and childish impatience with the process for actual material and relevant information, I would find this surprising, too.

Posted by: david on February 29, 2008 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Mary continues: but I cannot vote for a man who supported Joe Liberman, who threw gays under the bus with Donnie McClurkin....

Come on, Mary, be honest.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

bark! bark! bark! . . . bark! bark! bark!

Posted by: asdf on February 29, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Most progressive democrats I know realize that the "so called hard-core democrats" have most times, no loyalty to their party. They are responsbile for getting more Republicans nominated around the country than Republicans, themselves. When I see or hear them pleading a cause, I switch.

In time these "Democrats" will kill the interest of new people wanting to call themselves Dems. We will in time shift to become Independents!.

Posted by: Trevor on February 29, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

If it should come down to Obama and McCain, the latter is the one I would prefer to have with me in a tight situation.

Why some dems trust this ass-kissing, lying, senile, mean-spirited, old clown McCain, I'll never know.

You're going trust an idiot who said he wanted to be in Iraq for a hundred years? Pull your head out of your ass.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz summarizes almost everything else written nicely!

Mary, you and other Nader supporters need to take a step back and consider what is at stake when you consider a protest vote (in the General Election): You weaken the *electable* candidate who supports more of what you agree with than the opposition.

What you are saying is it's OK with you for McCain to nominate the Supremes...and remember, this will likely be 3 or 4 this time!!

Also, the carpetbagger said exactly why he will be fully support whoever is the nominee: McCain as the successor to the current administration!
http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/14602.html

Posted by: mezon on February 29, 2008 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

HAGA CLIC ESTE ESLABÓN Y VER A MI BEBÉ DULCE!

Posted by: James Ruskus on February 29, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I am a lifelong Democrat with a Ph.D (not a beer-drinking, working class or uneducated person) but I cannot vote for a man who supported Joe Liberman, who threw gays under the bus with Donnie McClurkin, who lets Oprah speak for him, who has used sexist references against Clinton and who has done nothing of consequence in the Senate.

So instead you want to vote for a woman who supported Joe Lieberman, who threw gays under the bus with the Defense of Marriage Act (which Obama supports repealing, by the way), whose surrogates have exploited a variety of prejudices in their rhetoric against Obama, and who has done very consequential things in the Senate, such as vote to authorize the Iraq war and to designate part of Iran a terrorist organization.

Can't agree with your police work there, Mary.

despite the enthusiasm at rallies, people in real life are less impressed by Obama.

And in primaries and caucuses, Mary. You know, real life, where the votes are counted?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Pat: Takes a while to get over being mugged, sometimes you don't.

Dagome: For me, the sense of entitlement coming from the Clinton Campaign has been their biggest problem.

My thoughts exactly. Pat's comment is fairly telling in its contempt for the democratic process.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

What it means is stop this crappy back and forth and get a ticket that can beat the pants off ANY REPUG out there so we have half a chance of correcting the direction the "ship of state" has been sailing on since 2001! No, Democrats won't be perfect and will need watching and poking BUT we cannot afford any more REPUG administrations for a LONG, LONG TIME!!! And, yes Ralph Nader does speak to the ISSUES that really concern most regular Americans (those without huge portfolios or who own companies)...it's a shame the candidates don't stand up to our manipulative celebrity driven MEDIA and actually discuss what people care about!!!

Posted by: Dancer on February 29, 2008 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Why some dems trust this ass-kissing, lying, senile, mean-spirited, old clown McCain, I'll never know.

Then why don't you shut up, since that's what this thread is about?

Posted by: Anonymous on February 29, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Before any progressive votes for McCain (or Nader, which is the same thing), they should be damn sure they understand what it means for a Republican president to appoint a replacement for Associate Justice John Paul Stevens (may he live forever).

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

Mary proceeds apace: who lets Oprah speak for him, who has used sexist references against Clinton and who has done nothing of consequence in the Senate. He is too conservative...

You know, I recall Hillary cultivating Oprah's allegiance over time. Do you think Hillary would have rejected Oprah's support in her campaign if offered?

What were Obama's "sexist references"? This question is rhetorical, but feel free to make your case.

What has Senator Clinton done "of consequence" in the Senate? I can think of one thing "of consequence" that Hillary did do: vote in favor of authorizing the president to commit the worst foreign policy blunder in US history.

To call Obama conservative is sheer demagoguery. Put up or shut up.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Er, not unexpected. See Paul Lukasiak here.

And if the primary numbers end up being like these numbers, it could mean that Obama's margin of victory for the Democratic nomination is provided by non-Democrats. That would be bad.

Posted by: Lambert Strether, Philadelphia, PA on February 29, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

I think this poll reflects the fact that we are in the thick of a very intense nomination battle. Once that battle has been over for a few months, and I hope it is over sooner rather than later, you will see more Dems come around for Obama.

Clinton and Obama are both fine candidates, but I think there is a big danger in having two viable candidates after March 4th. If Obama wins Texas and Ohio, he can focus that huge money machine on John McCain. If Clinton wins both states, she will still be way behind in delegates and the fight will drag on for months. Make no mistake, this is very good for John McCain. McCain is not just attacking Obama because he is the front runner, he knows that the Democrats will be much stronger if Obama can lock this thing up early.

This is Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday morning ( emphasis mine):

MR. TODD: Well, you know, John McCain has a bigger problem. I mean, yes, I think he successfully won this battle. But he's got a bigger problem in what's coming, potentially coming at him. If Barack Obama wraps up this nomination on March 4th, he is going to be facing a financial juggernaut that he's not ready for. They are having some problems raising money, even as the presumptive Republican nominee now. A story like this actually slows down the big donor donations for a little bit because you're, you're frozen in time a little bit, you're having to fight this battle over here. If--this, this time between, say, March 5th and the convention, could be a very dangerous time for John McCain. If Barack Obama's raising 40 to 50 million dollars a month now, what's he going to raise if he actually is the Democratic nominee? What's that going to mean for television advertising? You know, this--he won this battle, but I think John McCain is facing a much bigger problem. He need--nobody needs Hillary Clinton to do well on March 4th more than John McCain because he, he's, he's facing a freight train coming at him in Barack Obama.

Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Anonymous:

Yeah, McCain's a man of discretion and judgment.

"Bomb, bomb, bomb,
bomb, bomb Iran . . ."

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

PhD = "pretty hair doctor" = beautician

Posted by: genome on February 29, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Seriously, that was a joke. If that's the best you can come up with, then no wonder some Dems are considering McCain. Look, when the time comes, I'll probably vote for Obama. But it will be half-heartedly (for policy reasons only), and not because I think he would make a good president. Because he won't. He'll bumble, the way all neophyte presidents bumble. American myth-making will inevitably decide differently, but the fact of the matter is, he won't do that much good for Americans. Ideologically, he may even succeed in making conservatism more palatable, as he is hardly selling a liberal world-view. I can't really see him successfully installing a liberal SC justice, can you? He can't even argue for universal health care in a Democratic primary. So, yeah, he's of the left, but is he qualified? No. McCain, on the other hand, is.

Posted by: Anonymous on February 29, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

We place way too much emphasis on polls, but it is compounded by otherwise smart guys like Kevin not understanding what they mean. He says this poll "shows that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are likely to beat John McCain in a general election." It really does not show what is likely to happen in the November general election (after a campaign between the two nominees). It shows what would happen if the election was held in February. Does anyone really think that the February polls accurately forecast the result in November? Heck, the Texas polls from three weeks ago will prove to be remarkably inaccurate come Tuesday.

Kevin's other point about the different levels of support for Clinton and Obama is more interesting, but the numbers probably have a large margin of error and they also are from the February point in time.

Posted by: brian on February 29, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

I am not comfortable with Barack Obama at this point. He reminds me less of JFK than Jimmy Carter. And Carter had the advantage of running a state and successfully building coalitions in that state. Carter taught us all that what works on the state level does not always translate to the national.

Posted by: jen flowers on February 29, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

As a liberal activist I have always liked McCain. For the last several election cycles he has run for president but lost the nomination to someone else. My liberal friends and family are all very familiar with McCain and we all like him. He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president.

I will never vote for Obama and I suspect that some of my liberal friends feel the same way. Nothing is going to change my mind about him. He is unqualified now and will be unqualified in November. His entire campaign has been based upon personality rather than competence. I am a liberal but I am not stupid. Obama is simply not qualified.

Posted by: ken on February 29, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

Two comments:

1) Don't take one poll as gospel - particular the breakouts within the poll. The overall error range might be 3%, but the error range for a breakout is much higher.

2) Both candidates have their weaknesses.

But - from what I've heard from abroad, it's not a contest. They really Obama a heck of a lot more because he doesn't sound like a narrow-minded American. I've heard repeatedly that they really hear when Obama says it wasn't just Iraq - it was the mentality that got us into Iraq.

And they hear that difference in tone on a lot of issues.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 29, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

So, yeah, he's of the left, but is he qualified? No. McCain, on the other hand, is.

Did you even watch McCain at the 04 Republican National Convention, when he abandoned all scruple to suck up to the Bushies who 1) shamelessly slandered him in 00, and 2) who he knew damn well were a disaster for the country he proclaims to love so much? Pretty much the great maverick's substance in a nutshell.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Color me unsurprised about seniors not voting for him.

Posted by: MNPundit on February 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

It could be that the people who vote on "image" prefer Obama > McCain > Hillary or McCain > Obama > Hillary, but the people who vote on "substance" prefer Hillary > Obama > McCain or McCain > none of the above. That would certainly jibe with my personal experience. Since liberals tend to be issues voters, Hillary wins amongst liberals, but as you move farther right, you wind up in image voter land, and Obama competes with McCain for those votes.

Posted by: John on February 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Given the number of variables involved and the public's increasing familiarity with Obama, I don't think this 8% is statistically significant.

Posted by: hollywood on February 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's "qualified" is he, Anonymous (concern troll)? Check out Mr. Toad's comment (two above yours) and come back and say that with a straight face. Qualified to make bad decisions, maybe.

Posted by: David in NY on February 29, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of "qualified" people helped drive the bus into the ditch in Iraq and John McCain was one of the idiots leading the charge. If you are happy with the way things have gone in the last 7 years, then McCain is your man.

Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

It means that Democrats are not as stupid as Republicans.

It means Republicans are screwing up our primaries.

It means Preznit Obama will be a fence straddling Lieberman because he got his damn margin of victory from Republicans. But that's no surprise, cuz that's what he's been doing in the Senate (not that Hill isn't almost as bad in that department).

Posted by: jussumbody on February 29, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

As a liberal activist I have always liked McCain. ... He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president.

Right, like his bud, GWB, the compassionate conservative. Once again, McCain is a nasty, self righteous, lying, bought-and-paid-for repug.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Lambert,
If Obama wins the nomination, will you vote for McCain?

Posted by: bjd on February 29, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president.

Right, McCain is so decent he voted in favor of the Miltary Commissions Act, which conferred upon the King of the United States of America the authority to torture at his pleasure and dispense with such formalities of the rule of law as habeas corpus.

Get real.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or do these Hillary v. Obama comment threads seem to attract more spin-type comments than most? I find it depressing that Dems might be stooping to the type of behavior that always seemed to be the province of the more seedy republican commentators.

Posted by: Susan on February 29, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Second vote for this post being all about Marge Inovair.

Democratic Voters sampled: 456
Plus or minus: 5.5%

Posted by: asdf on February 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

As a liberal activist I have always liked McCain. ... He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president.

Hmmm...what liberal causes were you active in exactly?

Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

I think this one is going to be won on style vs substance.
As Dervin said, "You talk to a self-identified Obama supporter, a number of them will tell you 'McCain is my second choice.'"

Never mind the contrast in policies. People aren't voting on policies here as much as perceptions.

Posted by: ClareA on February 29, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Now add to that the recent NY Times story interviewing Southern white voters and discovering their fondness for calling him "Osama", and the extent to which the "he's really a Moslem" story has taken hold in that region. In short, the country hasn't changed all that much. -Bruce Moomaw

It is precisely these people that need to have their car keys confiscated and not allowed to drive anymore. I have had quite enough of these idiots dominating the political landscape and look forward to them being swept out of earshot in November. Thank God that independent voters are finally coming around to this conclusion and will once again relegate them their deserved minority status.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 29, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Anon.,

Apparently you find it very presidential that McCain thinks it appropriate to make a stupid joke about killing thousands of people and potentially setting off a regional war in the Middle East. Me, I think it's reckless and shows disregard for human life.

But no, that's not the worst I can come up with. McCain's politically convenient swerve to the right on Iraq is a big issue for me. He also wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, which he originally (and correctly) opposed. His environmental and economic policies would be regressive as well, and he would continue the Republican domination of the federal judiciary.

I also am certain that any Republican president, but especially one who feels the need to prove his conservative credentials in order to keep his base together, would put a fifth conservative idealogue on the Supreme Court to replace Stevens. The next twenty years of American law would not be a pretty sight. Google "Lochner v. New York" if you want to know how bad a Supreme Court full of reactionary ideologues can be for progressive policies. Then add the fact that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. I'm not scaremongering. There are four votes on the Supreme Court to overturn it now, and a Republican replacement for Stevens would be the fifth. Five is a majority of nine.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

it doesn't seem worth the trouble

The next president will likely determine the makeup of the Supreme Court for decades. All of the liberal justices are over retirement age (Stevens is 87). Take the trouble.

Posted by: croatoan on February 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Aside: It isn't "true" that HRC has more experience than Obama. It all depends on what and how you count as experience. Big lies get started when little frames stop being questioned.

Back on task: If the 8% is real, I suspect it reflects a mixture of risk-averse people and Clinton's hard-core base. Why would Democrats NOT support a Clinton? Whereas Obama forces us to think outside the box...he may be a once-in-a-lifetime leader or he may be a terrible disappointment. I love Obama, but after seven years of GWB, a lot of Americans can't afford to take any chances.

I've had my period of swearing I would vote for McCain if the other Democrat got the nomination, but in my case the other Dem was Clinton. So I totally get why HRC supporters insist they'll vote for McCain. Both HRC & McCain are war supporters, both are part of the establishment, both seem like seasoned pros. If the Dem nominee is Obama, of course some Clinton supporters will prefer McCain: Some people who find themselves stuck at the bottom of a pit think the best strategy is to keep on digging.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 29, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe running as hard as you can from the word "liberal" doesnit make you "conservative." I don't know. Probably today's resident Oborg would call that "post-partisan" or some such glossy bullshit. Who knows and who cares.

Posted by: Lambert Strether, Philadelphia, PA on February 29, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's more important to lambert strether that the rhetoric be "liberal" than the policy.

And Clinton supporters accuse us of being facile.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

So I totally get why HRC supporters insist they'll vote for McCain.

Whether Obama is the nominee and you're a dem who supports Clinton, or Clinton is the nominee and you're a dem who supports Obama, voting for McCain would be nothing short of traitorous.

Maybe Obama as president won't be able to deliver on all of his promises. Maybe Clinton as president won't bring "enough" change. But either is a godsend compared to a senile old asshole who will spend 4-8 years trying to get his tongue as far up Rush Limbaugh's and corporate America's ass as possible.

Whoever the nominee, they have to drop this bullshit about a war hero who is an expert on defense and terrorism. S/he has to stop mindlessly playing into the false narrative that the MSM has created for this guy.

One can be a war hero and know nothing about how to defend the country -- and be the worst alternative for governing one's country. As St. McCain would say, "My friends, there's no necessary connection between the two."

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

strikes me as almost too obvious? i would never ask like-minded friends (highly educated hipsters) their party affiliation, but i assume they would all identify themselves as independents* (wary as they are of where the twain parties meet), and that they would most likely choose obama. to me, this is the story of the race -- the naderites, the greens, the apathetic trust-fund kids in williamsburg joining blacks in dc and disenchanted conservatives in idaho in backing one candidate.

*i never see my (very aware, active + lefty) demographic at the polls on primary day.

Posted by: ope on February 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

I am not comfortable with Barack Obama at this point. He reminds me less of JFK than Jimmy Carter.

Yeah, that makes virtually no sense. I mean, Carter was a Naval Academy grad, a farmer and a southern governor. Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer who worked as an activist and organizer, a legislator, and now a Senator.

Their backgrounds are about a dissimilar as you can get.

Posted by: Pale Rider on February 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Lucy writes: It's more important to lambert strether that the rhetoric be "liberal" than the policy.

Obama is not particularly liberal, policy-wise. Certainly more liberal than any Republican, but not for a Democrat. I think that it is important not to run away from the "liberal" label, because that gives voters the impression that being liberal is something to be ashamed of, which makes it very easy for Republicans to demonize Democratic policy initiatives.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

In the words of the great Warren Oates playing Sergeant Hulka in the movie Stripes:

Lighten up Francis!

This bickering is tedious and could be harmful.

"You people did this." "My candidate never said that." "You started it." "No you started it." "You are worse." "You are even worse."

For any Democrat contemplating staying at home and not voting in the next election I say "Look at what the Nader voters did in 2000." They said both the Democratic and Republican candidates were identical so they voted for Nader.

The candidates were NOT identical and look at what we got left holding.

It would be great if this was a game of hail Mary passes with wild swings in the score but politics is a game of inches and the Republicans, with the backing of huge money and patience, have been kicking our butts for the last 35 years and I am sick of it!

So everyone just shut your pie holes and when November comes march yourself to the polls and vote Democratic. If you have to hold your nose to do it then by God hold your nose but get the frigging job done!

Posted by: Tripp on February 29, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I am a solid liberal democrat. Neither Clinton nor Obama were to the left enough to me. When I had to choose in my state's primary, I chose Clinton. I believe that there are only so many things that might actually get done in the next four years. Public financing of campaigns or some general "change in the way Washington works" (Obama's planks) isn't one of them.

We might, however, see some withdrawal of troops from Iraq (both), universal health care (Clinton), negotiation on Israel/Palestine (Clinton b/c "only Nixon could go to China"), green jobs and better trade policy (both, but probably better with Clinton), reform of NCLB (Clinton--merit pay for teachers, a Republican and Obama idea, is a very bad idea)--anyway, I came up with Clinton, as between the two.

I live in a deep blue state. If Obama is the nominee, and the polls just before the election show that my state will not go with McCain, I will vote Green, in accordance with my beliefs, and I would tell a pollster that.

So the national polls are a bit meaningless and I expect a number of Clinton/Edwards/Kucinich types in blue states will vote Green or Nader, but it won't matter in the general election, and we won't mean for it to matter.

But I have no illusions that an Obama presidency is going to be the best thing since sliced bread. Something between Carter's ineptitude and Clinton's triangulation would be my bet.

Posted by: allys gift on February 29, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Um, Ken "as a liberal activist I've always liked McCain," what liberals have you supported in past elections that you think have comparable values and policies to McCain? For example, which liberals have you supported whose highest priority is to keep the Bush tax cuts permanent?

As a liberal activist, are you OK with keeping one hundred thousand plus troops in Iraq for a hundred years if it's "necessary?" Who gets to make this determination of necessity? Does the Iraqi government get to determine if it's "necessary?" How long are you and McCain willing to go on accepting troop casualties and high Iraqi casualties caused by U.S. airstrikes before the hundred years of peace starts where no troops are being harmed? Ten years? Twenty-five years? Fifty years? I guess telling would be a timetable, wouldn't it?

Doesn't it bother you that a man who was tortured in Vietnam, along with his fellow soldiers, now goes along with the Bush "it's not torture when Americans do it" doctrine? Why doesn't he want to strengthen rather than trash the Geneva Conventions that afford our troops a modicum of protection from torture?

Posted by: cowalker on February 29, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Obama is not particularly liberal, policy-wise.

Please elaborate.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Whether the Democratic nominee is Hillary or Obama, I think that the strategy against McCain should be an attack on Republicanism, rather than a personal attack on McCain. McCain is personally appealing to many people, being a war hero, a "straight talker", a "maverick", etc. But in spite of his being personally more appealing than Bush, electing McCain will mean a continuation of Bush policies, particularly on war and economics. Demonize those policies, and force McCain to either defend them or renounce them. Either way is a win for progressives; if he defends them, then McCain has to deal with the enormous anti-Bush sentiment in this country. If he renounces them, then he is ceding the point that the country needs progressive (aka "liberal") policies, which is a boon to progressives.

The Republicans are trying to force Obama to make the same choice: he must either defend liberalism, and get labeled a liberal, or renounce it, in which case he is ceding the Republican point that liberalism is something bad.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

It simply means that Senator Obama has pissed off alot of lifelong loyal democratic voters.

I won't vote for him because I simply don't trust him.



Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he would be more willing than Hillary Rodham Clinton to work with Republicans.

"Her natural inclination is to draw a picture of Republicans as people who need to be crushed and defeated," Obama said during a telephone interview from Texas with the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board. "It's not entirely her fault. She's been the target of some unfair attacks in the past."

"I'm not a person who believes any one party has a monopoly on wisdom," Obama said.


It's not "entirely" her fault. What a cretin.

Posted by: mm on February 29, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Right-wing "concern troll" Ken, posing as a "liberal activist", wrote: "My liberal friends and family are all very familiar with McCain and we all like him. He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president."

McCain is a crook and a liar. He claims that he is "the only one the special interests don't give money to" when in fact he is one of the top recipients of corporate bribes in the Senate and his campaign organization is packed with and run by corporate lobbyists. McCain can be absolutely counted on to continue the blatant corruption and criminality of the Cheney/Bush administration.

And McCain is in no way a "moderate conservative." His domestic and foreign policies will continue the right-wing extremist, corporate imperialist policies of the Cheney/Bush administration.

A vote for McCain is a vote for four more years of the Cheney/Bush organized crime dictatorship.

These polls are all very interesting. But the most important challenge facing the Democratic nominee, whether it is Obama or Clinton, will be to prevent the Republicans from stealing a close election through voter disenfranchisement, intimidation and fraud, as they did in 2000 and 2004.

And it will be close, once the corporate-owned media is through with their character assassination of Obama or Clinton, and their deification of the utterly corrupt McCain as the straight-talking foe of the "special interests" who in fact own him as completely as they own the mass media.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

the only subgroup of Democrats that supports Obama more than Hillary is African-Americans — and even in their case only by a tiny margin. I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about."

Maybe this will help clarify:

"“Overall, 20% of white Democratic voters say they would vote for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee. That is twice the percentage of white Democrats who say they would support McCain in a Clinton-McCain matchup."

Now what do you think is the key adjective in that sentence?

Posted by: Peter Principle on February 29, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Lucy,

Two big issues where Obama is not liberal enough for my tastes are (1) health care, and (2) social security. On health care, he seems too hesitant to push for universal health care for all, and he is even repeating Republican talking points about not wanting the government to dictate health insurance decisions. On social security, he has campaigned on the issue of addressing the "social security solvency crisis". It isnt' a crisis, at all. Social security is in good shape (at least compared with Medicare. Calling it a crisis is feeding into Republican propaganda, whose purpose is ultimately to eliminate social security. I'm not saying that Obama is wanting to eliminate social security, but his rhetoric about it aids the Republicans.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on February 29, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

One thing we can surely expect to see a lot of on this site during this election year, is weak-minded ignorant right-wing mental slaves posting comments in which they claim to be "liberal activists" or "life-long Democrats", say that they will under no circumstances vote for Obama/Clinton if he/she is the nominee, and regurgitate inane, RNC-scripted talking-point drivel about how wonderful McCain is.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

ken writes:

As a liberal activist I have always liked McCain. For the last several election cycles he has run for president but lost the nomination to someone else. My liberal friends and family are all very familiar with McCain and we all like him. He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president.

You and your friends are making a big mistake. Whether or not McCain is a decent person is irrelevant---on all the important issues facing America, McCain would mean a continuation of the disastrous Bush policies.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

mhr snuck something civil in. Congrats! Hope he's happy. Maybe he should have some chats with the mothers of the thousands of dead soldiers and the hundereds of thousands of dead civilians in Iraq to solidify his view that this has been a Grand Adventure.

Posted by: David in NY on February 29, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

mm,

That's not Obama being a cretin. That's Obama being a politician trying to win an open primary in a swing state.

Jeez, and they say Obama supporters are sensitive.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK
In fact, in a matchup against McCain, the only subgroup of Democrats that supports Obama more than Hillary is African-Americans — and even in their case only by a tiny margin. I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

I suspect it means that Hillary's supporters tend to be more strongly politically attached and involved partisan Democrats, and therefore are more likely to be consdering how polls impact coverage of campaigns when responding to survey questions. Whether or not they would vote for McCain over Obama, they know that if they say they would vote for McCain over Obama, it helps to create an electability argument for Hillary in the remaining primaries.

(I suppose it is also possible that Hillary is supported by "Democrats" who are more emotionally invested in the idea of a war between the two major parties than in the political ideology or policy prescriptions of either side or even tribal affiliation with one side, and that the expressed preferences are therefore generally honest.)

People often focus on the margin of sampling error in a poll, but when people have an interest in what other people see in the results of the poll that provides a motive to provide dishonest responses, that's a significant potential source of nonsampling error.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Pew reports that the US public now believes the US will succeed in Iraq 53-39. That's good news, isn't it?"

What does "success" mean? Getting back to the status quo ante, in which Iraq was a non-threatening, secular society unconnected to Al Qaeda? Such a deal at only $3 trillion, 4000 dead Americans, perhaps 1 million prematurely dead Iraqis.

Posted by: bob h on February 29, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"As a liberal activist I have always liked McCain. For the last several election cycles he has run for president but lost the nomination to someone else. My liberal friends and family are all very familiar with McCain and we all like him. He really is a decent person who would make a good moderately conservative and sometimes liberal president."

Guess even a "liberal activist" can be an idiot. And probably a liar. SecularAnimist really pegged this one. It's going to be a lousy election season, since the Republicans have no moral scruples about lying to win, and lying seems to be their only hope.

Posted by: David in NY on February 29, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Hillary has far fewer defections among Democrats. In all, 89% of Democrats would vote for her while only 81% would vote for Obama."

"far fewer"?? Good grief, Kevin, try not to write so late at night. This is a distinction without a difference given the MOE of the polling.

Besides all these stupid matchups against McCain are wholly meaningless in the middle of primary season and 8 months from the GE.

Posted by: CB on February 29, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

mhr writes: Here's a poll result liberals will ignore- Pew reports that the US public now believes the US will succeed in Iraq 53-39. That's good news, isn't it?

Why? What does "succeed" even mean at this point? The Iraq war has cost in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars. It has cost over 3000 American lives, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives. It has hobbled the American military, making us unable to respond effectively to actual threats (such as the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan). This war has seriously undermined American strength: economic, military and diplomatic.

So, given the costs, what exactly does "winning" mean, at this point?

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

This is the Bradley effect. Hard hat union Democrats. Proud Democrats. Reagan Democrats. Racist Democrats. These numbers are probably worse than even the poll suggests.

Posted by: do on February 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

If enough other Democrats think like "Ally's gift", I'm afraid we're in for Republican rule for the rest of time. How educated voters can ever think that Hilary will withdraw troops from Iraq (she's a hawk at heart) or push universal healthcare (she already failed - she won't get to try again) is beyond me. I don't pay that much attention to what politicians say on the stump. The reality is if you look at their personal histories and instincts Clinton is far to the right of Obama. Obama is a liberal at heart, Clinton is a centrist.

I assume Ken is a troll not a "liberal activist." If he truly believes himself to be a liberal, he must be one of the most uninformed liberals on the planet. McCain is not a "decent person." He's a philandering spoiled flyboy scion of a military dynasty, and a proven hypocrite. Doesn't that remind you a lot of any recent Presidents?

Posted by: vanya on February 29, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on February 29, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

I've only skimmed comments while turning on MSNBC. Btw, McCain is shown campaigning in Texas--has anyone noticed his left eye (on the side disfigured by surgery) appears droopy and sort of neurologically compromised?

As for the folderol over the poll Kevin shared, during the General, with McCain and Obama running against each other, I can't see Americans--many of them, anyway--choosing the phobocratic, scary-white geezer with an exhausted "experience" message and a record of longtime Washington corruption as usual.

Oh, and I stole phobocrat from Michael Chabon, esteemed Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, who wrote this compelling WaPo op-ed on the eve of the Potomac primaries: Obama vs. the Phobocracy

Obama's not a perfect candidate. But, damn, I'm thinking landslide for the Dems this November.

Posted by: paxr55 on February 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

The Fabulous Mr. Toad,

I hear you. As I said, policy-wise, I'm with Obama (or Clinton, as it were). But more than the question "Who is right on the issues?" there is "Who can deal when the sh*t hits the fan?" Bush, as we all saw, spectacularly couldn't. Clinton, also, was far more reactive in his presidency than many would like to admit. Fact is, his wife is a better, more qualified candidate than he was the first time around. It's like on a boat. Would you want a captain who hasn't learned the ropes to run the ship? Maybe in less turbulent waters... There is a slice of the non-activist electorate who will vote for the person they think can best deal with a difficult war and an impending recession, circumstances in other words that will require agility and knowledge of what it takes to get things done in Washington. This is where experience matters.

Bottom line. If I were a Dem trying to convince an independent voter to support Obama over McCain, I would pound McCain's age, the likelihood of his VP pick becoming president in his stead (and this person's weaknesses) and only secondarily Obama's well-run campaign and inspirational message -- after all, the president is also a figurehead. Pragmatic arguments all. But if McCain runs away from Bush (synonymous with ineptitude), Obama will have an uphill climb for the votes of people who consider him decidedly unappealing in the context of war, recession, and instability in general. In the popularity contest of who would be most reliable, it is not (yet) Obama who wins.

Posted by: Anonymous on February 29, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

mhr,

Believing something is not the same thing as doing something. Some might even call that wishful thinking.

Despite all the Republican talking point rhetoric about how we can create out own reality I hope you know that reality stands apart from belief.

If 80% of the people believed they had above average intelligence or 40% of the people thought they were in the top 10% income earners would that be a good thing?

Now I am sure you will equate my concern and skepticism over a success in Iraq with an actual hope that we will fail but we already know you are dishonest.

Posted by: Tripp on February 29, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's not a very liberal Democrat.

Barack will run a better campaign than Gore or Kerry, though. Barack is not much more conservative then they are. He is what Democrats have settled for, and, in order to prevent the election of someone potentially worse than W. Bush, many will vote for him. I hope he wins and I hope he turns out to be a liberal.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's simply that many Clinton supporters view her as genuinely superior when it comes to the economy. If we can't get her elected, it may be better that McCain win the general, and then come back with a true economic progressive in 2012. And anyway, it's not like Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter would be in the White House. McCain is a moderate, after all, and he may be a steadier hand at the foreign policy wheel than Obama in any event. Sorry, but "making history" with the first black president doesn't justify supporting the further rightward drift of the Democratic party on the economy, or further strengthening the hold on the party of affluent liberals who don't give a fuck about their less well-to-do brothers and sisters.

Posted by: bitter on February 29, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think the discrepancy in the polls is easily explained by the fact that Obama is taking the left wing of the party for granted, and party faithfuls -- like me -- resent him for it.

And I think some Democrats might look at HRC and think, well, at least she's going to be on the offensive against Republicans all the time. None of this bipartisan bullshit for her.

Frankly, I don't really care. I'll vote for either of them. But I'll wish I was voting for an actual liberal (who probably could have gotten elected after the mess the Republicans have made of things).

Posted by: Anna on February 29, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

It is all over Tuesday night. I predict that Obama will win all four primaries. If she really cares about the country (highly doubtful given her performance in Congress to date), Clinton will fold her tent and start campaigning for Obama. Monkeys, my butt, fly out of.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Anon.,

It's true that Obama isn't really courting risk-averse voters. But I think he's shown against Clinton that the message of hope and change holds up pretty well against the message of experience, at least when he delivers it.

McCain can't run away from Bush on any significant issue without looking like a flip-flopper. He's on board with the tax cuts, and the economic conservatives will desert him if he doesn't stay that way. He needs their money. He's on board with the war, and the hawks will desert him if he doesn't stay that way. He needs their votes. He's stuck.

Look at voter turnout in the Democratic primaries versus voter turnout in the Republican primaries. They are just not that excited about McCain.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Not scientific, but I commonly hear from moderate voters that they intensely dislike Hillary.

This seems key to winning the presidency, that you don't start with such high negatives.

Lots of people, especially lots of men, do not like her, period.

Posted by: bebimbob on February 29, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bitter,

We've made lots of arguments in this thread against disappointed Dems voting for McCain in the general, but I don't think "making history" was one of them. Read and consider.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

anna,

I think Obama is an actual liberal, when it comes to his voting record. But if you don't count him, then the problem is we don't have a liberal candidate who can campaign worth a shit.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

higher gas prices, hire inflation, lower housing prices - hey we did this in the 70s with Carter didn't we?

We're doing it now...and you've got "W" to thank. Not higher taxes though, W decided to mortgage our childrens' future instead.

Posted by: ckelly on February 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bitter, 100 years may be 'stable' but it sure as hell isn't a sane foriegn policy/

Get the fuck over your Hillary Hurt. You lost. Support the nominee or leave the party.

Posted by: soullite on February 29, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Not scientific, but I commonly hear from moderate voters that they intensely dislike Hillary. Posted by: bebimbob

I think not. Actually, it's us liberals that intensely dislike Clinton. She's proven herself to be a classic inside the Beltway pol in her short Congressional tenure. She hasn't taken a single liberal position and too often voted for Shrub's agenda.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is a moderate, after all

McCain is not a moderate. He's an opportunistic, deceptive phony. McCain had a strongly conservative record until 2000 and the Straight Talk Express. He then veered to the center for four years, infuriating conservatives. To further his presidential ambitions he made an about-face in 2004 in order to ingratiate himself with the Republican party. McCain has thrown in his lot with the party and policies of George W. Bush, and he will be beholden to the unholy alliance that foisted this terrible administration upon us. Ready for more of the same? Vote for John McCain!

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

But I think he's shown against Clinton that the message of hope and change holds up pretty well against the message of experience, at least when he delivers it.

This is in the context of a Democratic primary in which Obama's win has been far from decisive, assuming he is the eventual nominee. Other than that, I agree with you. I am simply making a case for how one might reasonably hesitate between Obama and McCain. Obama would be a better nominee and a better president if he courted pragmatic voters. If he does eventually win the White House, I hope he doesn't think too much of himself for it and shut out the advice of those who have been around the block a few times. For our sakes.

Posted by: Anonymous on February 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK
.... Obama is a liberal at heart, Clinton is a centrist....vanya at 11:39 AM
Obama is to the right of Clinton as his attacks and triangulation has proven. His healthcare person is a Democrat who worked hard to destroy healthcare in '93. His voting record is not encouraging. He is attacking Clinton by using the old Republican Harry and Louise ads. He is lying about Clinton position on NAFTA instead of seeking common ground. No educated person could take Obama as progressive seriously.
....All good Americans are happy about that, aren't we? meathead republican at 11:44 AM
No one would mistake you for a 'good' American since you entire agenda is death and destruction for Iraq, debt and deficit for America.
....Hildabeast and Hussien - higher taxes, higher gas prices, hire inflation, lower housing prices....How long until we hear of the global ice age.... G. W. Orwell at 11:53 AM
In case you haven't noticed, gas prices are higher, housing prices are falling and deficits (future taxes) are huge, all under Republican rule. That is in addition to the corruption, cronyism and incompetence of your leaders. In case you haven't noticed, this isn't the 70s, and global data, unavailable then, shows drastic global warming. Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is much more dangerous than even W. Bush. McCain is capable of destroying anything and everything. Obama will just disappoint.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is not a "hawk at heart". She has repeatedly and vehemently stated that she will end the war ASAP. She did not vote for the war -- she voted to give Bush leverage to threaten war, not imagining he would invade as he did -- none of us did. Bush is the hawk. Hillary splits hairs and is unwilling to commit to blanket statements that would limit her future options, perhaps a fault but not evidence of war-mongering.

Toad: I dislike Clinton's support of Lieberman but it is more understandable than Obama's. Lieberman is a long-time colleague, a senator from a neighboring state, and takes a position on Israel important to Clinton's NY constituents. Obama has no excuse. That Lamont endorsed Obama is irrelevant. This is about who Obama endorsed, not who Lamont likes.

Obama has tried to backtrack from his McClurkin episode but I don't buy it. He did it again later with a different anti-gay person (forgot who), and he was warned in advance but did it anyway. Actions speak louder than words and his actions stink. Yes, BILL Clinton permitted DOMA (he didn't propose it or encourage it but didn't stop it either), but he had a Republican Congress and you don't waste political capital on something that has no impact on lives (empty hate speech). It does not mean either Clinton is anti-gay. On the other hand, homphobia among African Americans is a social problem affecting gay blacks and Obama did nothing to help their situation, but instead pandered to religious African Americans and white Bible-belt southerners, not just with McClurkin but with that ridiculous flyer he sent out stating that he was called by God to run for President. I'm not comfortable with someone who does that -- I've had enough theocracy, thank you.

And don't get me started on social security.

Obama is so far from my idea of a Democrat that I cannot vote for him. I wouldn't vote for McCain, but I don't see a vote for Nader as a vote for McCain. I see it as a statement that I'm about to buy a plane ticket for someplace else.

Threatening us with bad Supreme Court judges won't wash. Obama doesn't stick up for women's choice either, voting "present" instead of taking a stand. Who cares what is in his heart (attested to by his loyalists but not his actions) when he doesn't make the hard choices? He will sell out women as quickly as he sold out gays and it won't matter what justices he appoints -- they won't represent my concerns.

I only mentioned my Ph.D because people were claiming that all the educated voters support Obama. People keep accusing Clinton of spreading memes about experience, but Obama has been spreading memes about new voters, enthusiasm, educated voters, new politics, JFK's legacy, etc. Hillary is 60 and Obama is 42. Both have been working since early adulthood, for both community and political issues. Who has more experience? Do the math.

SCHIP was Hillary's baby after the failure of her initial health care reform. I think persistence is a good thing in a politician. The person who mentioned NCLB earlier is right about the flaws with merit pay for teachers. It has been tried over and over and doesn't work, but sounds good -- an example of lack of experience and unfamiliarity with the issues -- or perhaps trying to appeal to Independents and conservatives who think that free market approaches are good for schools. To me, this is just another reason why Obama is not a liberal.

Posted by: Mary on February 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is not a "hawk at heart". She has repeatedly and vehemently stated that she will end the war ASAP. She did not vote for the war -- she voted to give Bush leverage to threaten war, not imagining he would invade as he did -- none of us did. Bush is the hawk. Hillary splits hairs and is unwilling to commit to blanket statements that would limit her future options, perhaps a fault but not evidence of war-mongering.

Equivocate all you want, Mary. Clinton watched Dashelle get eaten alive, so she was going to prove that she was just as tough as the Rethugs. Voting for the Iraq debacle in any fashion was wrong. Furthermore, she's only just recently admitted it was a mistake.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jennifer

Your comments are despicable. Many Clinton supporters do feel mugged, both by the media, which has given Obama a free pass, and by the Obama campaign which has used race in a particularly despicable way, and happily branded the Clintons as racists. Construing the use of the word mugged to mean "scary black man" is a case in point of the way Obama's campaign and supporters have played the race card repeatedly, making the discourse in this campaign particualrly poisonous. It's funny howm it's OK to brand someone a racist, but saying a candidate likes Ronald Reagan is "Rovian slime."

I'll vote for Obama, but if his supporters want to know why Clinton voters have such a hard time voting for him, just look in the mirror. Your use of race to brand people who disagree with you is disgusting, and typical on many comment threads.

Posted by: ChrisO on February 29, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is not a "hawk at heart". She has repeatedly and vehemently stated that she will end the war ASAP. She did not vote for the war -- she voted to give Bush leverage to threaten war, not imagining he would invade as he did -- none of us did.

You didn't, apparently; others were more far-seeing.

But let's say Hillary didn't. She certainly then found out that he would. Do you think it was a good illustration of her "experience," then, for her to take a Charlie Brown run at the football again and vote for Kyl-Lieberman? Does it seem like she learned anything from her past mistakes? (And no, I'm really not happy that Obama sidled out of voting altogether on that one--he gets no pass from me on it.)

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is much more dangerous than even W. Bush. McCain is capable of destroying anything and everything. Obama will just disappoint. Posted by: Brojo

I worry that at this point with as fucked-up as this country has become over the last seven years that not even an amalgamation of Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Kennedy could fix all the messes Shrub and Congress have bequeathed to me, my children and perhaps my grandchildren.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Many Clinton supporters do feel mugged, both by the media, which has given Obama a free pass, and by the Obama campaign which has used race in a particularly despicable way, and happily branded the Clintons as racists.

Yes, it's the Obama campaign that brought race into it.

They were the ones who said they believe the fallout from South Carolina had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

No, wait, that was the Clinton campaign.

Posted by: John on February 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Fabulous Mr. Toad:

He's been doing this all damn campaign, not just now suddenly that we're approaching a primary in a swing state. He's been spitting in my face for far too long. You may disagree with me over what it means, but I'm just stating as a fact that I know many lifetime democrats that feel the same way as I do. These "words" he speaks will not be forgotten anytime soon.

I won't vote for him because I don't trust him. I'm not trying to figure out why he's saying these things. I'm not trying to rationalize or speculate why he's spitting on me.

I. Don't. Trust. Him. This is simply a fact.

I would rather have McCain in as president because I know the Democratic congress won't allow him to mess with Social Security. We all know the famous Vulcan proverb. "Only Nixon could go to China." Similarly, only a "post-partisan Democrat" would be able to initiate the process of the destruction of SS.

Posted by: mm on February 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republicans are trying to force Obama to make the same choice: he must either defend liberalism, and get labeled a liberal, or renounce it, in which case he is ceding the Republican point that liberalism is something bad."

Um, that's precisely the choice that Clinton will face, as well. In this instance, there really is no difference.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, you're jumping to a very wrong conclusion about Obama on gay rights. Here's some proof:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/29/115028/791

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/28/171550/360

Bill Clinton didn't just stay neutral on DOMA -- he signed it, and he made speeches in support of it. Obama supports repealing it. Hillary does not.

This clearly is an important issue to you, as it should be. You owe it to yourself to get your facts straight.

Regarding the Supreme Court, respectfully, you obviously don't understand the magnitude of the issue. Five conservative ideologues on the Supreme Court would be enough to overturn Roe v. Wade, outlaw affirmative action and voluntary integration programs once and for all, deny thousands of injured people access to the courts, end the availability of punitive damages for catastrophes like the Exxon Valdez fiasco, eviscerate the Bill of Rights, make it lawful again to execute children and the mentally retarded, and give constitutional authority to all of the excessive power grabs of the Bush administration. If that's what you're after, by all means, vote McCain.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

"I would rather have McCain in as president"

So let's see if I have this straight: you would prefer to have a Republican for president rather than a Democrat who says that he will work with Republicans. You would rather have someone in office that you *know* will disagree with you, who will push policies you disapprove of, and will elect justices that are antithetical to your values, than someone whose only sin seems to be campaign rhetoric you disagree with.

Yeah, that makes sense....

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Threatening us with bad Supreme Court judges won't wash."

That's precisely what people said about Bush vs. Gore. How did that work out for you? Do you approve of those "centrists," Roberts and Alito?

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

We all know the famous Vulcan proverb. "Only Nixon could go to China." Similarly, only a "post-partisan Democrat" would be able to initiate the process of the destruction of SS.

It's really hard to visualize the kind of mind that could come up with this little "analogy" and this unique way of writing it, but no matter--I'm laughing too hard to type, anyway.

Ahem. A moment to stop guffawing. Okay. Look, y'all, there are some people who just aren't as interested in getting a Democrat into the White House, with attendant implications for the Supreme Court, the poor, the uninsured, the military, etc., etc., than they are with feeding their own egos and puffed-up sense of injury. We can try to convince them to do the right thing--I surely have spent my time doing so--but at some point we have to recognize that their priorities just are too fucked up to make them worth worrying about.

Posted by: shortstop on February 29, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Both of the remaining Democratic candidtates are hawks, as are most Democras. They support spending trillions on defense care and billions in military aid for Israel. This is not news and Democrat's militant policies will not change any time soon, nor will most Americans'.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

David in NY: "Republicans have no moral scruples about lying to win, and lying seems to be their only hope."

Lying is not their only hope. They also have cheating and stealing. In the 2000 election for example, lying failed them and Gore won, so they had to cheat and steal to put Bush in the White House.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo,

The United States military budget is about a half-trillion dollars without the war, and about $.7 trillion with the war included. Both Democratic candidates have pledged to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq, which would reduce that spending. So I don't see where you get the idea that they are both hawks who would support spending trillions on the military.

Besides, spending on defense -- if it's actual defense and not aggression or preemptive war -- doesn't make someone a hawk.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

The more I read comments on blogs, the more I understand why so many people don't vote.

Honorable people support Clinton. Honorable people support Obama. Honorable people even support McCain.

This is what Rove has bequeathed to us - a polarization which dictates that those who do not agree with us are evil, stupid, illiterate or all of the preceding.

I was hoping that part of Obama's message of working together was to attempt to get beyond Rove Think.

Posted by: searcy on February 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I dont think the democrats that say they might vote for McCain are Hillary supporters. I think theyre older democrats, and working class whites that are.... anxious about voting for a black liberal, and who find McCain appealing in that hes an regular guy not a stooge for the rich and big business like the republicans normally seem to them. They are the kind of democrats that went for Reagan in the 80s.

Obama will have to make up for those losses by getting more independents. I dont know if thats possible or not because they like McCain too. He could also lose Hispanics to McCain. He's much more of a risky candidate than Hillary is. I think Hillary would at least come close to winning or win. With Obama we really have no idea how it will turn out. He could have a solid win, or I could also imagine him losing in a landslide. Right now my money is on McCain. With everything else I mentioned, I just do not think people will trust Obama as commander in chief.

Posted by: Jonesy on February 29, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

So let's see if I have this straight: you would prefer to have a Republican for president rather than a Democrat who says that he will work with Republicans. Posted by: PaulB

Working with Rethugs is a moot point anyway, as it is likely that the Dems will pick up a few more seats in both the House and Senate.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

The Fabulous Mr. Toad wrote: "I don't see where you get the idea that they are both hawks who would support spending trillions on the military."

As far as I know neither Obama nor Clinton has proposed reducing the military budget. If they continue current levels of spending of about a half-trillion dollars per year (not counting the off-budget "emergency supplemental" spending that has been used by Cheney/Bush to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) then in their first term alone the US will spend two trillion dollars on the military.

And Obama wants to add tens of thousands of more troops to the standing military.

Both Obama and Clinton are militarists. Neither one of them is even rhetorically, let alone substantively, challenging the dominance of the military-corporate complex. Neither one of them is challenging the current governing paradigm of US military domination of the world.

Either one of them will probably be a less reckless, more "responsible" and "competent" militarist, and we may hope will redirect US military policy towards actually protecting the national interest rather than corrupt use of the military as a mercenary army for corrupt purposes of private financial gain for the commander in chief's cronies and financial backers, as Cheney/Bush have done and the corrupt liar McCain would certainly continue to do.

But they are nonetheless militarists.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I think the numbers reflect: Hillary is behind, her supporters think there is something unfair about her being behind and, as a result, her supporters are less inclined at the moment to feel generous and magnanimous about supporting Obama if he gets the nomination. If the candidates' relative fortunes were reversed, it would be Obama supporters who were stating they wouldn't vote for Hillary -- especially if they thought there was something unfair about that situation.

Did anyone poll Giants and Patriots fans during the Super Bowl halftime? Those numbers (IMO) would be about as meaningful as these numbers here.

Posted by: LynnDee on February 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Toad, how is signing DOMA (a bill that does nothing) worse than your campaign hiring and promoting at campaign rallies a homophobic ex-gay preacher who thinks homosexuality is evil and can be "cured" through prayer?

The problem here isn't just Obama's attitude toward gays (I don't think he himself is homophobic) but his pandering to a constituency that is homophobic. Hillary Clinton says where she stands on things, even when it hurts her, because she is fundamentally more honest than Obama. She and Clinton are both religious people who do not believe in gay marriage. She does believe in civil unions and equal rights for gays. Obama may believe in the same things but he is dishonest about it and won't take the heat for ideas when they may be controversial to voters.

I know where Clinton stands on issues, even when I hold a different position than she does, as on Kyl-Liberberman and especially on NAFTA, but I do not know what Obama really believes in his heart and I do not trust his attempts to camouflage himself for different constituencies.

Posted by: Mary on February 29, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Honorable people even support McCain. Posted by: searcy

They may be "honorable," but they're also stupid. Look, approximately 50% of voters in the last two elections voted for Shrub. This means that approximately 50% of Americans who voted in the last two presidential elections are stupid. Their "honor" just doesn't matter. Being honestly stupid is still being stupid.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK
She did not vote for the war -- she voted to give Bush leverage to threaten war, not imagining he would invade as he did -- none of us did.

Oh, really? This is on the level of the Bush/Rice "no one could have imagined" rhetoric, and equally false. In fact, lots of people recognized that Bush planned to invade. That Clinton either lacked the intelligence to recognize that or the values that would lead her to care is not a point in her favor.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB writes: Um, that's precisely the choice that Clinton will face, as well. In this instance, there really is no difference.

I didn't mean to use that as a Clinton versus Obama point. Yes, both Clinton and Obama will face the same pressures to embrace the liberal label or to run from it, and I'm hoping that she/he chooses the first.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I don't quite know what this means, but it's worth thinking about.

You have a macro that inserts this at the end of every post, I'm assuming.

Posted by: mattstan on February 29, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mary,

Maybe this isn't that important an issue to you, because you don't seem interested in correcting your erroneous assumptions about Obama's position. If you do, follow the links. It's not just that Obama's not homophobic, it's that he's been an active promoter of GBLT equality since his days in the Illinois legislature.

As far as campaign speeches are concerned, Obama's speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church on King Day denounced (and, I guess, rejected) homophobia in the Black community, and more recently Obama has issued an open letter to the gay community that is as strong a statement as can reasonably be expected from a presidential candidate.

By the way, DOMA doesn't do "nothing," as you state. It provides that the federal government cannot recognize, for any purpose, same-sex marriages that are sanctioned by a state. So all the same-sex marriages in Massachusetts don't count as marriages for federal tax purposes, Medicaid/Medicare, Social Security survivorship, or any other purpose under any other federal law or program. Bill Clinton signed that law, and Hillary doesn't support repealing it. Obama does.

Please get your facts straight and don't spread falsehoods based on your emotional reaction to one unfortunate episode.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist,

If that's what "militarist" means -- someone who believes the military should be strong and should have a role in our foreign policy -- then I guess I'm a "militarist" too, and so is almost everybody. But I'm not a hawk, because I believe war should be a last resort and should not be used preemptively or imperialistically.

And yeah, I suppose the way you're calculating the spending is what brojo meant, but you can't realistically expect anybody to take office and slash the defense budget in the middle of a war.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II writes:

Look, approximately 50% of voters in the last two elections voted for Shrub. This means that approximately 50% of Americans who voted in the last two presidential elections are stupid.

It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below-average in intelligence.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on February 29, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have the time to address all the misinformation in Mary's posts, so I'll just:

HOWL IN PROTEST

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

James Madison, from "Political Observations," 1795:
"No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

We must focus on beating John McCain, who will bring continuous warfare,
since he is Bush Lite, and still managing personal trauma from Vietnam.

I will rally with the Democratic nominee, be it Barack or Hillary.

I am reminded of what old-timer Hubert Humphrey said:

"The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly, and those who are in the shadows of life--the sick, the needy, the handicapped."

To republicans, the unfortunate of us are simply budget targets...

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 29, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Look, y'all, there are some people who just aren't as interested in getting a Democrat into the White House, with attendant implications for the Supreme Court, the poor, the uninsured, the military, etc., etc...."


Gosh, how can you "choose to demonize" Senator McCain like this? Democrats,Republicans,liberal conservative. It's all an illusion. We're all Americans. I'm quite confident he cares about the poor, the uninsured, the military, etc., etc........ As Senator Obama himself has said, the Republicans have been the party of "ideas".

Posted by: mm on February 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Toad, what you describe as an unfortunate episode was a deliberate action to court homophobic voters. My reaction to it is both emotional and rational. I have never seen either Clinton engage in that kind of dissembling (pretending to be one thing while actually believing something antithetical). If Obama has been a supporter of GLBT issues in Illinois and will be as president, he should not be putting Donnie McClurkins on stage at rallies. No amount of speeches to reaffirm his gay-rights cred can offset that pandering because it is the blatant pandering that bothers me, not his position on gay rights. I would love to see DOMA repealed but I don't consider it the main issue when so few states are offering same-sex marriages (it is moot, which is why I said it does nothing).

I am aware of Obama's statements about gay rights. I am aware of his actions in Illinois. It does not excuse his Donnie McClurkin moment, nor the later one with a country singer (whose name I cannot recall) which came after his church speech (which I heard).

For that matter, I cannot forgive him for putting Oprah on his team. She spreads more destructive false belief (The Secret, Power of Belief garbage) than McClurkin. Obama doesn't care as long as she rakes in votes for him. If Farrakhan's endorsement were not a political liability, I doubt Obama would be denouncing him. How do we know what Obama truly believes (in the sense of standing up for that belief) when he distances himself from his unpopular stands when expedient and takes no principled stand when it might cost him politically (voting "present" and skipping Kyl-Lieberman)? I see no guts, which is consistent with his conciliatory approach. That isn't what we need in this no-holds-barred ultra-partisan environment.

Posted by: Mary on February 29, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it obvious? Obama does better among independents in general election matchups because those are the same people propelling him forward in the *still undecided* primary. Once Obama is the anointed nominee of the Democratic party, the base will rally around him, just like they do in every election.

I'd also like to add that it's silly to put much stock in general election polls this far out.

Posted by: josh zap on February 29, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mary is still spreading the "present votes" meme, even though they represented a fraction of Obama's votes in the Illinois legislature, and even though he voted present at the behest of pro-life groups, and even though the former president of NOW in Chicago defected to Obama after she discovered that the Hilary campaign was circulating the same kind of sleazy misinformation that Mary is now circulating.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mary,

I'm getting it now. You want to support the candidate that you admit is weaker on gay rights, because the stronger candidate has supporters who are homophobic. And you want to view Obama as pandering to those homophobes, even though it doesn't seem to affect the positions he takes on gay rights issues (which are more progressive than Clinton's).

That's fine.

On the Oprah thing, I'll make a deal with you. It's fine by me if Clinton and McCain get all the votes from that massive anti-Oprah demographic. We'll take all the votes from the people who don't mind Oprah. 'Kay?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and on the Supreme Court . . .

Wait, you haven't said anything about the Supreme Court since that ignorantly dismissive remark earlier.

Well, I hope you do a little snooping around on that issue and come to the conclusion that if you can't vote for the Democratic nominee (or cast a protest vote if you live in an ironclad safe state), you'll just stay home rather than voting for McCain. It really does matter.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, anyone on either side who says they will not vote for Obama or Clinton if their favorite doesn't get the nomination has zero credibiilty with me. If you really prefer McCain to either you are an idiot or perhaps a racist or sexist or maybe just a sore loser (and I suppose all three of those are subsets of idiot).

Niether is perfect, neither was my first choice, both will be decent presidents.

Get over it.

Posted by: topher on February 29, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Like it or not, Obama is trying to (and damn near has) beat Clinton at her own game. He's is trying to triangulate just like her, he has mastered the art of denouncing a negative attack on himself while at the same time getting in a few stealth jabs, and so on, and so on...

There is no difference here, people, just vote Democratic across the board and stop bitching.

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy, there were over 100 "present" votes.

Posted by: Mary on February 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK
Mary is still spreading the "present votes" meme.... Lucy at 1:56 PM
Lucy is still trying to alibi Obama's lack of commitment by voting 'present' instead of taking a stand. Sad. But so is Obama's defense of McClurkin Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Those who are assuming that Obama is the nominee may have a shock coming. Neither candidate has sufficient delegates yet. The most destructive meme is the one that assumes this election is over, ought to be over, or that Obama will necessarily win so Clinton should graciously concede. This is a close race that isn't over yet.

Toad, in case you haven't noticed, the court is already messed up. How is having a bigger majority of conservative justices going to change any decision?

Posted by: Mary on February 29, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, is that more or fewer "present" votes than other Illinois legislators used over the same period of time?

Oh, you don't know? OK.

Obama voted over 4000 times during his tenure in the Illinois senate, and he voted "present" fewer than 130 times. It's a common type of vote in Illinois that is used for a variety of reasons.

Here's an article by Abner Mikva explaining Obama's "present" votes. In case you don't know, Ab Mikva was White House Counsel to Bill Clinton. He was also a renowned federal judge, a law professor at the University of Chicago, and (more to the point) a former Illinois senator.

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/mikva-021608/index.html

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Mike, that goes for you, too.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, Obama cast 4000 votes in the Illinois legislature.

You love Hillary, fine. It's your flagrant dishonesty that's so repugnant.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

commentor mm--please note:

"McCain Rated As America’s Worst Senator For Children
Today, the Children’s Defense Fund Action Council released its 2007 Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard. CDF reports some positive news, particularly that average scores for members of Congress “improved from the previous three years with more Members scoring 100 percent than in 2004, 2005 or 2006.”

Many, however, did not fare so well. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) received a 10 percent rating — the worst in the U.S. Senate.

CDF ranked members on 10 votes affecting children:

1. Increase minimum wage (H.R. 2)
2. Increase funding for children with disabilities (S. Con. Res. 21)
3. Protect children from unsafe medications (S. 1082)
4. 2008 Budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 21)
5. SCHIP Reauthorization (H.R. 976)
6. College Cost Reduction and Access Act (H.R. 2669)
7. SCHIP (H.R. 976 - motion to concur)
8. DREAM Act (S. 2205)
9. Funding child health and education (H.R. 3043)
10. Improving Head Start programs (H.R. 1429)

McCain has missed 57 percent of Senate votes this session, being absent or voting “present” for 8 out of 10 children-related votes. McCain voted “yes” to increase the minimum wage; his only other vote was voting “no” on SCHIP reauthorization on Aug. 2, 2007..."

from thinkprogress.org

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 29, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

I see Mr. Toad beat me to it. I'm pretty sure the facts concerning Obama's present votes have been introduced to Mary in the past.

But she would prefer to nurse her sense of injury at the great misogynist conspiracy against Hillary Clinton, at the expense of even token respect for the truth.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Obama can give a good speech when it is written for him or stolen from someone else. But he really is just an empty suit. Really, he is.

Plus he has done his best to destroy the liberal wing of the democratic party and replace it with a cult of personality. I am a liberal. I resent Obama. I will NEVER vote for him. He will be no more qualified in November than he is today.

At least with McCain we will have a capable competent moderate to liberal republican. When it comes to republicans we can't do better than that.

Posted by: ken on February 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK
Mike, that goes for you, too. The Fabulous Mr. Toad at 2:26 PM ....It's your flagrant dishonesty that's so repugnant. Lucy at 2:27 PM
Your flagrant and blatant Obama sycophancy is repellent. Next, you'll be sanctifying the Holy Hanky . Posted by: Mike on February 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Mike,

Impressive command of the facts. Is that how you win voters over to your candidate? How's that workin' for ya?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

"How is having a bigger majority of conservative justices going to change any decision?"

Dear heart, has it not, perchance, occurred to you that a future progressive president might well want a court that remains at a 5-4 balance than one that is even more heavily tilted towards, e.g., a 7-2 balance? That in the former instance, that hypothetical president will need just one justice to tilt the balance the other way and the in the latter instance, that hypothetical president will need three?

Do you really want to wait an additional ten years for the court to be brought back into balance? Because that is quite likely what you're buying with your support for McCain.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"At least with McCain we will have a capable competent moderate to liberal republican. When it comes to republicans we can't do better than that."

That latter sentence may well be true, but the former is clearly false, based on McCain's actual voting record. Both Obama and Clinton are head-and-shoulders above McCain.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ken--

McCain??? Wait til he starts stacking the courts with men like Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Roberts,
as he has promised.
McCain already said he would nominate jurists like these!!

Egads

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 29, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ken,

Maybe it's just me, but whenever someone on a blog claims to be a liberal, then says they're voting for McCain if their chosen Democrat doesn't get the nomination, I figure there are three choices. One, he's lying about being a liberal. Two, he is just reacting emotionally to the agony of defeat and allowing that to override any better judgment about what's at stake in the election. Three, he doesn't know what "liberal" means.

This goes just as much for us Obamamaniacs as it does for you Hillaroids.

Grow up and get behind the nominee, people. McCain is not your friend.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm quite confident he cares about the poor, the uninsured, the military, etc., etc."

Really? Then why does his voting record not show that "care"? He can "care" all he wants, but if he supports and votes for policies that are antithetical to that "care", guess which actually matters in the real world?

We went through this before, remember? Good ol' George's "compassionate conservativism". How did that work out for you?

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below-average in intelligence."

Wrong. It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below the mean intelligence.

Posted by: al3 on February 29, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Working with Rethugs is a moot point anyway, as it is likely that the Dems will pick up a few more seats in both the House and Senate."

Perhaps, but a Republican president still has quite a bit of power, if only the power to block, unless the Democrats gain far more seats than I think they will. I'd much rather have a Democrat in the presidency.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

"How is having a bigger majority of conservative justices going to change any decision?"

Wait, who said that? LOW-INFORMATION VOTER!

Basic primer on the Supreme Court. There are nine justices. Seven of the current ones are Republican appointees, but two of those (Souter and Stevens) are major disappointments to conservatives. They have grown in office, shall we say, to be two of the best liberal justices the Court has ever seen. Stevens, especially.

This created, in many cases, a block of four justices on the left, a block of three or four justices on the right, and, up until O'Connor's retirement, a pragmatist conservative in the middle.

After O'Connor's retirement, Kennedy took over that middle position. He's generally thought to be a bit more conservative than O'Connor; however, he has voted to uphold Roe v. Wade and to ban execution of children and the mentally retarded, and in the integration cases he wrote separately to hold out the possibility that integration programs for elementary schools might sometimes be legal (just not the ones in that case).

O'Connor was replaced with Alito, who is a reliable conservative vote in the mold of Scalia (hence his nickname, "Scalito"). This means there are now four votes to overturn Roe, among other things.

Replacing Stevens with another Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, or Alito would tip the court so that there would be a reliable five-vote majority for the entire conservative agenda. In case you don't follow constitutional law, that agenda means rolling back the clock to 1953, or 1936 in some versions. There is actually a "hit list" of constitutional decisions that conservatives want overruled, and it is a fairly official list because it was compiled by Reagan's Department of Justice. I described many of the issues in an earlier post in this thread.

This issue is very serious. It's a lot more serious than the ego gratification of walking out of a voting booth thinking, "Well, that showed 'em!"

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below-average in intelligence."

Wrong. It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below the mean intelligence.
Posted by: al3

Characterize it however you like, voting for Shrub twice proves that too many voters are too stupid to participate in our indirect democracy.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Right, liberals or democrats shouldn't vote for McCain if they truly are a liberal or a democrat. But voting Green in a deep blue state is a statement that moves the Democrats to the left--a good thing. Voting Green in a Red state is a vote for McCain.

In short, don't decide your general election vote now. Look at the candidates in November, look at how close they are in the polls and the history of your state, and decide then. If my state were to be anywhere close to going with McCain, I'd vote Obama even though I think he'll be a mediocre president. I'd even work for him. But that's so far from likely to happen that I have the luxury of voting outside the party, and I just might do that.

Posted by: ally's gift on February 29, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Right, liberals or democrats shouldn't vote for McCain if they truly are a liberal or a democrat. But voting Green in a deep blue state is a statement that moves the Democrats to the left--a good thing. Voting Green in a Red state is a vote for McCain. Posted by: ally's gift

Yes! Listen up all you Greens and Naderites, if seven years of Shrub haven't painfully demonstrated, contrary to St. Ralph's insistence, that there was no difference between Shrub and Gore, I don't know what is needed to bring you people back to earth. If you want four more years of complete mismanagement, vote for Ralph. But if we have another election like 2000, don't be surprised if otherwise mild-mannered liberals set your lawns on fire.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

voting Green in a deep blue state is a statement that moves the Democrats to the left

No, the bigger the majortity, the greater the mandate and the easier it is for the democtartic president to tack left. This would apply to both Clinton and Obama.

Posted by: bjd on February 29, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Get the fuck over your Hillary Hurt. You lost. Support the nominee or leave the party.

Interesting sentiment, given that Clinton actually leads among Democratic voters by nearly a million votes.

Obama has won caucuses and primaries because of cross-over Republican and independent votes.

You can argue that this is a good thing because it shows Obama's cross-over appeal, but as a life-long Democrat, I would argue that we are letting Republicans select our Democratic nominee.

It's great to have Republicans and independents cross over in the general election but these are supposed to be the Democratic primaries to select our Democratic candidate.

There's something very wrong with the process, and I hope it doesn't bite us in the ass in the fall.

Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

This goes just as much for us Obamamaniacs as it does for you Hillaroids.

Hillaroids! I like it! Makes me sound like a pain in the ass. A perfect complement to my "Obamazooid" references, which was me trying to make y'all sound stupid. (I don't think your stupid, of course, just trying to get your goat is all)

Vote a straight Democratic ticket moonbats!!!

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

don't be surprised if otherwise mild-mannered liberals set your lawns on fire.

Actually, we favor the burning-bag-of-dog-poop approach. There's a reason it remains a classic.

Posted by: mild-mannered liberal on February 29, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I prefer Baracknits and Hillbots. There will be plenty of opportunity to rage against either one's presidency starting about a week after the inauguration.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

There will be plenty of opportunity to rage against either one's presidency starting about a week after the inauguration.

Hear, hear!

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

bjd asks:

If Obama wins the nomination, will you vote for McCain?

No. Flawed as the Democrats are, at least they aren't sociopaths.

I'll vote for any Democrat. However, if Obama wins, I'll work for the policies I think he's going to sell me out on, if he gets the chance: primary universal health care, but also Social Security. (Please don't tell me to check the website, mkay? Thanks in advance.)

Posted by: lambert strether on February 29, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

al3,

"It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below-average in intelligence."

Wrong. It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below the mean intelligence.

Sigh.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

If you are trying to point out that the term 'average' is not precise enough for your tastes you are doing it in a stupid way.

The distribution of IQ is Gaussian and thus half the people are below the mean, half the people are below the median, and half the people are below the mode.

So whatever way you slice it half the people will have below average IQ.

Posted by: Tripp on February 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

lambert stretcher: "However, if Obama wins, I'll work for the policies I think he's going to sell me out on, if he gets the chance: primary universal health care, but also Social Security."

I'd also toss into that pile equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, we favor the burning-bag-of-dog-poop approach. There's a reason it remains a classic.
Posted by: mild-mannered liberal

LOL! Yes. There is something to be said for tradition.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

You might toss that into the pile, Donald, but you'd be wrong.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

"merit pay for teachers, a Republican and Obama idea, is a very bad idea"

Disagree! I've had wonderful teachers, and I've had rotten teachers. The former deserve to be rewarded, and the latter might get pushed out of the profession - where they belong - if there were merit pay.

Posted by: Daydream Believer on February 29, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

it's LEARNING not "knowledge"

AUTHOR: Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
QUOTATION:
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
ATTRIBUTION: Essay on Criticism. Part ii. Line 15

Posted by: genome on February 29, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has won caucuses and primaries because of cross-over Republican and independent votes. Posted by: otherlisa

Perhaps true only for California, Massachusetts, and NY. However, Clinton got her ass handed to her pretty much everywhere else, and looks to be facing the same sort of result on Tuesday. There really are only so many dyed-in-the-wool Dems and Rethugs in the country, with probably 60-70% of those people who vote regularly not tied to either party. Both parties have a base, but beyond that . . .

I'm ready to sign up for doing away with caucuses and the electoral college, but you're grasping at straws and sounding whiny at this point.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes! Listen up all you Greens and Naderites, if seven years of Shrub haven't painfully demonstrated, contrary to St. Ralph's insistence, that there was no difference between Shrub and Gore, I don't know what is needed to bring you people back to earth. If you want four more years of complete mismanagement, vote for Ralph. But if we have another election like 2000, don't be surprised if otherwise mild-mannered liberals set your lawns on fire."

ahh sweet unity

When Edwards or Clinton loses in the primaries, it's their fault, but if Obama loses in the general, it's the fault of voters who went Green Party instead.

What. Utter. Bullshit.

The blame for a McCain victory will lie predominantly at the feet of McCain voters, with a divided Democratic party getting an obvious honorable mention. But if I want to vote something a little more left of center, who the hell are you to tell me not to?

Posted by: mara on February 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

The blame for a McCain victory will lie predominantly at the feet of McCain voters, with a divided Democratic party getting an obvious honorable mention. But if I want to vote something a little more left of center, who the hell are you to tell me not to? Posted by: mara

Don't understand much about electoral politics in this country, do you?

While there are a certain number of idiots like yourself and Mary who would commit the political equivalent of cutting off your noses to spite your faces (but leaving the rest of us to hold the bag that they fall into), I believe 95% of all Dems will back whoever ends up with the nomination, and that a good portion of the 60-70% of the swing vote that decides all presidential election will back the Democratic nominee because the Rethugs have fucked things up so badly over the last seven years and because McCain is a weak candidate.

However, if McCain can get Rove out of retirement and put together a successful Swiftboat-like campaign, then yes, the rest of us would be justified in having murder in our eyes the Wednesday after the election if the smug and myopic Greens and Naderites fuck things up again.

So, in the immortal words of Shrub, either you're with us or . . .

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm "sounding whiny," Jeff? Surprised you didn't say I sounded hysterical.

I also note that you didn't address the issue of Obama's deficit of support among Democrats and that essentially, Republicans and Independents are choosing the Democratic nominee.

This isn't right.

I plan on voting for the Democratic nominee. I'm a Democrat. But I have never felt as disenfranchised by my own party as I have by this primary process.

Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

"The former deserve to be rewarded, and the latter might get pushed out of the profession - where they belong - if there were merit pay."

The real issue with merit pay, and the reason it isn't more widely accepted, is the problem with coming up with an unambiguous set of metrics for determining merit. What it usually comes down to when determining merit, it seems to me, is, "I know it when see it."

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK
Wrong. It's a documented fact that 50% of all Americans are below the mean intelligence.

Actually, that's not a "documented fact", its something that is true by definition. The scoring of IQ tests are adjusted both so that the mean is 100 and the distribution is normal.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 29, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

"I also note that you didn't address the issue of Obama's deficit of support among Democrats and that essentially, Republicans and Independents are choosing the Democratic nominee."

And this is a problem, why, exactly? Personally, I'm quite happy to have independents voting Democratic. Oh, and for the record, you were off by a factor of two above: if you count all the Democratic voters who have participated, Clinton is ahead of Obama by half a million, not a million -- an edge that looks quite likely to be wiped out well before the convention.

"But I have never felt as disenfranchised by my own party as I have by this primary process."

Really? You've been prevented from voting? From speaking out? From having your vote counted? And this has all been orchestrated by "[your] own party?" Tell me, on what planet do you live?

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Another way of putting it - it strikes me as contradictory to insist that Democrats vote lockstep for the party nominee and yet it's okay for Republicans to play such a vital role in the Democratic nominating process.


Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps "disenfranchised" was a poor choice of words. But I've been politically active for a fairly long time (I don't know how old you are, I'm in my 40s). I started the primaries supporting Edwards. When he dropped out, rather to my surprise I found that Clinton's positions were more in line with my own (with the exception of AUMF). I guess that I was naive because I didn't expect the degree of misogyny that has characterized the attacks on Clinton. I didn't expect it from members of my own party in particular. I didn't expect that any questions I raised about Obama would be met by hostility and outrage from the majority of his supporters. You can say "well both sides do it" all you want but I've never seen anything like quite like it.

What planet am I on? Well, I thought I was on the planet where women were full partners with men and could be taken seriously as leaders. Silly me. Obviously I am on the planet where women are, what, 16% of the Congress and where I'm beginning to think we will not see a female president in my lifetime. I'm on the planet where progressives have rushed to support a marginally experienced politician who co-opts right-wing talking points and whose positions on many issues aren't particularly progressive (corn-based ethanol, anyone?).

I'm on the planet where I make a fact-based comment about Obama's and Clinton's support and I'm called all kinds of names for it.

Thanks, guys.

Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

fuck things up again

I am not going to vote for a third party candidate this year, but the people who fucked up the Gore and Kerry campaigns were Gore and Kerry.

I will add that the Democratic hawks, or leopard toadies, who support trillion dollar defense care budgets are not much different than their Republican brothers and sisters and demons. Their support of US militarism will never win the votes of real liberals and leftists unless there is a clear madman running as their opponent.

Due to the probable nomination of McCain, I urge all Americans to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee this year. McCain will be a much worse president than W. Bush.

otherlisa, I agree with you that letting racists and war pigs and other Republican types vote in open Democratic primaries is unwanted competition for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. The solution is to become invloved in your state party, make good arguments about why primaries should be closed, be very persistent and change the rules in your state. Or join the Socialist Equality Party.

Posted by: Brojo on February 29, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Another way of putting it - it strikes me as contradictory to insist that Democrats vote lockstep for the party nominee and yet it's okay for Republicans to play such a vital role in the Democratic nominating process. Posted by: otherlisa

You were whiny before. Now you're being hysterical.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, I agree about local involvement. It's definitely how I plan to spend my political time after this election.


Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for proving my point, Jeff.

Perhaps you could clarify what about my statement is hysterical, given the importance of Republicans and independents to Obama's primary support?

Or, I dunno, you could just keep doing what you're doing, lashing out and calling people names who disagree with you. That seems to be more your speed.

Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

merit pay for teachers, a Republican and Obama idea, is a very bad idea"

Disagree! I've had wonderful teachers, and I've had rotten teachers. The former deserve to be rewarded, and the latter might get pushed out of the profession - where they belong - if there were merit pay.
Posted by: Daydream Believer on February 29, 2008


Isn't this nice. Now in addition to solving the Social Security "crisis", and compromising on universal health care, we're going to throw those "rotten teachers" under the bus. What party was this again? Oh that's right. It's the Barakacan Obamacrats.

That must be one of those great republican "ideas" Senator Obama was praising. Or was he praising them? I can't keep it straight since he subsequently mumbled something about not agreeing with them.

Posted by: mm on February 29, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

ken wrote: "I am a liberal. I resent Obama. I will NEVER vote for him ... At least with McCain we will have a capable competent moderate to liberal republican."

You are not a "liberal". You are a weak-minded, ignorant dumbass, slavishly regurgitating scripted Republican Party talking points.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm on the planet where I make a fact-based comment about Obama's and Clinton's support and I'm called all kinds of names for it.

Unless you've been posting under different names, otherlisa, you've been called a name in this thread exactly once ("whiny"). Where are the rest of the "all kinds"?

Also, that million vote number seems a littel dodgy, as Slate's correspondent points out:

The numbers are hardly perfect. They rely on CNN and MSNBC exit polls, which are inherently rough. (Extrapolating those percentages to estimate exact numbers of voters is going to compound margins of error.) And because caucuses report delegates, not individual turnout, those stats are going to be a little murky, too. I'd also dispute their inclusion of Florida and Michigan in the count. But Clinton’s lead is still large enough to be significant.
Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, Jeff II threw in "hysterical".

So that makes twice.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo wrote: "I am not going to vote for a third party candidate this year ... Due to the probable nomination of McCain, I urge all Americans to vote for the Democratic presidential nominee this year. McCain will be a much worse president than W. Bush."

I am a registered Green Party voter in the state of Maryland. Maryland goes heavily Democratic in presidential elections. If Obama or Clinton is running such a close race with McCain in Maryland that my voting Green could give the state to McCain, then Obama or Clinton will be losing in a national landslide anyway.

So, I plan to vote for the Green Party's presidential nominee in November. Unless it is Ralph Nader, in which case I will cast a protest vote for Obama or Clinton.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Who is Cal Lanier?

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

What the poll that Kevin cites suggests is that Sen. Clinton is better known among long-time Democratic voters and that those voters are, so far, willing to stick by her. Sen. Obama is (was?) less well known to those Democratic voters and much of his support has come from "independents" and new voters. So what else is new?
The big question is, presuming Sen. Obama gets the Democratic nomination, how many of those new/"independent" voters will he bring with him?
And, of course, since the actual campaign for the Presidency hasn't even begun yet, there will be many more polls for us to examine, laud, revile, or just ignore.

Posted by: Doug on February 29, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Jennifer: You think there's no racial overtones to the patently false statement that Hillary was "mugged" by Obama

I think the racial problem is yours, in that you automatically associate a reference to mugging with race. Get over YOUR racism.

Posted by: sj on February 29, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy, any site I've been on and made any negative comments about Obama, I get pretty much the same kinds of responses as here (and I don't even bother commenting at Kos, which is so over the top any more that it's become a parody of itself). And I don't think I'm whiny or hysterical or engaging in name-calling; I just have some serious doubts about Obama, and it's nearly impossible to raise said doubts without getting jumped on, in a very predictable way.

I'm not just talking about my own experiences but about what I've observed happen all too frequently to people who aren't on the Obama bandwagon and have the audacity to question it.

There's very little dialog, very little discussion, just a lot of name-calling and attacks.

So, yeah, I was expressing a frustration that goes wayyy beyond this particular thread or this site. My mistake for sure. I'm just very tired of all and deeply disappointed in how this campaign has developed.

Posted by: otherlisa on February 29, 2008 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you could clarify what about my statement is hysterical, given the importance of Republicans and independents to Obama's primary support? Posted by: otherlisa

If they are supporting Obama, they aren't really Republicans, and "independents" (a name for people who don't really have any political philosophy) swing from election to election anyway.

So again, quit whining about Clinton losing ground to a much better candidate who stands a much better chance of getting elected.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

OK, otherlisa, fair enough, although I assure you it works both ways. You do sound uncannily like Mary.

So, I thought you made an interesting point about Democratic support for Clinton, but the evidence seems pretty suspect. Who is Cal Lanier? Why should I take this "rough" number-crunching seriously, especially since Lanier takes Florida and Michigan into account?

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK
If they are supporting Obama, they aren't really Republicans, and "independents" (a name for people who don't really have any political philosophy) swing from election to election anyway.

Actually, most "independents" (which is a name for people who haven't registered with a particular political party [or in some cases, just for people who haven't registered with one of the big two], who often have just as strong a political philosophy as any Democratic or Republican) are just as reliable Democratic or Republican voters as most registered Democrats and Republicans. Kevin had a piece on this quite a while ago (I want to say sometime in 2006, but that could be way off.)

Political philosophy and party membership aren't, at all, the same thing.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 29, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

You were whiny before. Now you're being hysterical. Posted by: Jeff II

I don't think she is hysterical, but you are sure proving yourself to be a jerk.

feel better now?

Posted by: ghost2 on February 29, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps 'disenfranchised' was a poor choice of words."

No shit.

"But I've been politically active for a fairly long time (I don't know how old you are, I'm in my 40s)."

Irrelevant.

"I guess that I was naive because I didn't expect the degree of misogyny that has characterized the attacks on Clinton."

Just another irrelevant strawman argument, wholly unsupported, particularly on this thread.

"I didn't expect that any questions I raised about Obama would be met by hostility and outrage from the majority of his supporters."

ROFL... Dear heart, when your "questions" are irrelevant, at best, and disingenuous, at worst, why should you be surprised at the reaction?

"You can say 'well both sides do it' all you want but I've never seen anything like quite like it."

Um ... how old did you say you were? Of course "both sides do it," as do Green Party members, Republicans, independents, and so on, ad nauseam.

"What planet am I on?"

Yup, because what you described doesn't match the reality I see on my planet.

"Well, I thought I was on the planet where women were full partners with men and could be taken seriously as leaders."

ROFL.... Nice non sequitur. Go ahead, show me any of my posts, or anyone else's posts here, for that matter, that have claimed otherwise? Man, some of you guys are just really big on strawmen, aren't you? You'd do a lot better if you actually engaged the points that some of us have made instead of whining about arguments we didn't make.

"Silly me."

Yup. I've deleted the paragraph that followed since it was nothing but an appeal to emotion, devoid of logic, reason, or data.

"I'm on the planet where I make a fact-based comment about Obama's and Clinton's support and I'm called all kinds of names for it."

ROFL.... Dear heart, your "fact-based comment" was not only wrong (you were off by half a million votes), but it was stupid and irrelevant, both to the topic at hand, and to the election in general. You have not been able to come up with a single argument as to why your overheated rhetoric and your idiotic talking point should be taken seriously. Instead, you have decided you want to play the victim. Fine with us, but you can hardly expect to be taken seriously.

"Thanks, guys."

Any time, dear. You say stupid things, you get called on them. That's the way it works here. You don't like it? Stop saying stupid things. It's really that simple.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Another way of putting it - it strikes me as contradictory to insist that Democrats vote lockstep for the party nominee"

Dear heart, have you, perchance, looked at the competition? Given McCain's record, given the degree of Republican stupidity and malfeasance of the past seven years, why should we not ask that you vote for the Democratic party nominee, whomever that person is?

And note that most of us are saying that this holds true regardless of whether that nominee is Clinton or Obama. We have two great candidates, both of whom are head and shoulders above McCain. Why should we not ask you to vote for them?

"and yet it's okay for Republicans to play such a vital role in the Democratic nominating process."

Dear heart, you have yet to establish that "Republicans" have played any sort of "vital role" in the Democratic nominating process. Free clue: the site you link to above gives "Republicans", at best, a miniscule role. When you can actually back up your points, we might take you seriously.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

. . . are just as reliable Democratic or Republican voters as most registered Democrats and Republicans. Kevin had a piece on this quite a while ago (I want to say sometime in 2006, but that could be way off.) Posted by: cmdicely

Registered independents make up an a fraction of registered voters, with many states having no such designation. The people who drift from election to election (and therefore can't possibly be seen as having a political philosophy of any kind) comprise upwards of 60% of those who vote. They are also "independents."

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad cmdicely brought up that point about independents often having strong party affiliations. It's not Obama's independent support that worries me, it's the R's (and conservative D's).

Many Republicans are sick of the Iraq debacle and annoyed with Dubya over the deficit and the economy and you name it. But they will balk at Obama's big government programs. They are expensive, and the country is broke. How is Obama going to bankroll all this and pay down the debt? For Republicans it's all about taxes. And John McCain is promising to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

I've been a Democrat forty years, first volunteered at the DNC convention in Atlantic City in 1964, and i think this bringing in dem's for a day that Obama is attracting is awful. I don't know where he stands even on Iraq, I don't see how he can be against occupation if he plans to keep private armies there and keep in force those no-bid Iraqi so called reconstruction contracts. That negates whatever positive he had in being initially against invasion, staying there for business purposes is far worse than Hillary's position initial position, she at least wanted to avert the war by pressing Saddam to allow inspectors in. She hasn't the big ego, she'll take the loss on the chin and move on. If he were able to win Democrats he'd be trying to get my vote. He'll have a big problem beating McCain, who has taken a few things back but hasn't been purposely abstruse in order to fool us. They trust him, to do what?

Posted by: anna shane on February 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know where he stands even on Iraq

Good night, all.

Posted by: Lucy on February 29, 2008 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

It's been fascinating watching otherlisa's arguments evolve:

"Obama has won caucuses and primaries because of cross-over Republican and independent votes."

- Let's ignore, for the moment, that she screwed up and that the actual claimed figure is that Clinton is leading among Democratic voters by 555,334 votes, not "nearly a million".

- Let us even ignore that the numbers include Michigan and Florida which is, at best, problematic.

- Let us even ignore that the numbers are bogus, since they were based entirely on exit polls, which makes specific vote extrapolation highly problematic, not to mention compounding any margin of error, which means that we really don't know whether Clinton is actually leading Obama or not.

- Let us even ignore cmdicely's valid point that most so-called "independent" voters are just as reliable voters for the party of their choice as are registered Democrats and Republicans.

- Let us even ignore that we elect national candidates on the basis of the states they win, not the number of overall primary voters.

Instead, let us examine just why this it's a bad thing that the voter turnout for the Democratic candidates is at all-time highs. ... Well, I'd love to examine just why this is a bad thing but, alas, otherlisa never quite manages to say just why it is.

Then otherlisa's argument shifted to:

"Republicans and Independents are choosing the Democratic nominee."

Really? And those millions of Democratic voters who have participated in this process are what? Chopped liver?

Then she decides that:

"But I have never felt as disenfranchised by my own party as I have by this primary process."

We saw where that silliness led, since obviously she has not even remotely been "disenfranchised", much less by the Democratic Party.

Then the argument morphs to:

"Republicans ... play such a vital role in the Democratic nominating process"

Gee, where did those Independents disappear to? No, no, everyone, it's those nasty Republicans who have elected Obama. Damn them!

And then when it's pointed out to her that her argument is basically shit, she whines about how we're all picking on her and comes up with even sillier strawman arguments rather than deal with the silliness of her original "fact-based comment".

And I'm supposed to take her seriously? The mind boggles.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I've been a Democrat forty years, first volunteered at the DNC convention in Atlantic City in 1964, and i think this bringing in dem's for a day that Obama is attracting is awful."

Yeah, god forbid that he actually broaden the base of the Democratic Party and attract more voters! And how dare he get young people involved! Everyone knows that only older people are supposed to actually care and vote! Oh, and dear heart, your argument would be a lot more persuasive if you could establish that Obama actually is bringing in "dem's [sic] for a day."

"I don't know where he stands even on Iraq"

So let's see, your basic ignorance of Obama's position, spelled out in a number of speeches and on his website is somehow Obama's fault?

"I don't see how he can be against occupation if he plans to keep private armies there and keep in force those no-bid Iraqi so called reconstruction contracts."

I see ... so if you basically make up shit about a candidate's position, that's the candidate's fault? Interesting world you live in.

"She hasn't the big ego"

Dear heart, everyone who runs for president has a big ego. It goes with the territory.

"If he were able to win Democrats he'd be trying to get my vote."

ROFL.... Dear heart, given your statements above, I doubt that Obama can do a damn thing to get your vote.

"He'll have a big problem beating McCain"

Really? The polls say otherwise. But, naturally, you know better, right?

"who has taken a few things back but hasn't been purposely abstruse in order to fool us."

Oh my ... it really is difficult to deal with such depths of ignorance. Free clue: before you spout off about candidates, you might want to do your homework.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Registered independents make up an a fraction of registered voters"

Sorry, but cmdicely's point still stands. He's correct that Kevin blogged about this, in a post that pointed to research that demonstrated that truly "independent" voters, who really did swing back and forth, were only a small percentage of the electorate. Most people who considered themselves "independent," regardless of whether they were officially registered as "Independent" or not, reliably voted for the same party.

Posted by: PaulB on February 29, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

The Fabulous Mr. Toad: "You might toss that into the pile, Donald, but you'd be wrong."

Nice comeback, Toad. I give you the direct testimony of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and his predecessor, former CA Assembly Speaker Willie Brown about how barack Obama didn't even want to be seen at a fundraiser in San Francisco (though he'd gladly take their money), for fear of being seen as Gay-friendly -- and you think you trump both of them with that openly anti-Clinton shill, Mr. Right-Wing Helium Heels himself, Andrew fuckin' Sullivan?

Did you even read the San Francisco Chronicle article I linked? Obviously not, or you would have noted the following quote from former Mayor Brown:

"'I think he has harbored this resentment for years,' Brown said of Newsom, adding that Obama was reluctant to be seen appearing in San Francisco altogether, much less side by side with the gay-marriage mayor. 'I would guess that is part of the rejection of the Obama campaign.'".

Words are cheap, Toad, and like your preferred candidate's recent kerfluffle on NAFTA with the Canadian media, yours are vintage K-Mart "Blue Light Special."

Barack Obama has a documented history as an elected official of consciously seeking to avoid almost anything that smacks of controversy, from abortion to gay rights to gun control or could cause his political ambitions even a hint of unpleasantness -- save for his deals with political patron Tony Rezko (at least while he remained unindicted ...).

Well, you can't vote "present" or duck issues when you're the president.

I'll support Obama if and when he becomes our nominee -- but he better grow a pair, and do it quickly.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 29, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Donald,

Yes, I read the article. I had read it before, in fact. The article says there's a dispute about whether Obama declined to have his picture taken with Gavin Newsome, and implies that this may mean Obama was opposed to gay marriage. Couple points about that. One, it's not clear the alleged snub happened. Two, if it happened, it's not clear why. Gavin Newsome was involved in a scandal at the time and also was causing Democrats grief on a wedge issue in a Presidential election year. (Those marriages weren't going to hold up anyway, because guess what? They violated California law.) So if Obama snubbed him, there could be multiple reasons.

One reason that really isn't plausible, however, is the canard that Obama is anti-gay. That's just bullshit. I linked a couple of Kos diaries above in the thread that document Obama's long history of action for gay rights in Illinois. Obama also favors repealing DOMA, something your candidate, Donald, doesn't (partly because her husband signed it, and partly because she's opposed to gay marriage).

Now. I followed your link and read your article. You followed my link, but dismissed it because it was on Andrew Sullivan's site. Sorry. That was the first Google hit for Obama's open letter to the LGBT community. The letter, in fact, was almost the entire text on the linked page. So I'm not referring you to any opinion of Andrew Sullivan's, but to a document from Obama stating his (quite progressive) views on gay rights. If you can't stand Andrew Sullivan, google it yourself and read it somewhere else.

The fact is, you can't make a substantive response, because Hillary just isn't that progressive on gay rights. Obama is.

As for the "present" votes, you're late to the party on that one too. Above in this thread, I linked an article by Abner Mikva (Bill Clinton's White House Counsel and a former Illinois senator) that explains what "present" votes mean in Illinois. Planned Parenthood of Illinois also has posted an explanation on the web, because many of Obama's "present" votes were part of a conscious legislative strategy orchestrated by PPI. You can look it up. If you really want to understand, instead of recycling talking points from the Clinton campaign.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

...Words are cheap...

I'd like to disagree, Duck. May I call you "Duck"?;)

I once said "s;fdigj;oirdgah;oirgha;oirag;oirgh;oirg!fucka!!!me!"

And trust me...it devastated the Amazon's economy.

Words DO matter...

Posted by: Satan(aka: elmo) on February 29, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

I linked a couple of Kos diaries above...

Dude, that's sooooooo 2007...

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but cmdicely's point still stands. He's correct that Kevin blogged about this, in a post that pointed to research that demonstrated that truly "independent" voters, who really did swing back and forth, were only a small percentage of the electorate.

Nope.

This data proves my point that independent voters, however you want to characterize them, pretty much swing in the wind from election to election.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/independents/data-presidential.html

Also see

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080127/POLITICS/801270332/1022

http://www.america.gov/st/elections08-english/2008/January/20080131130854hmnietsua0.9798853.html

http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10697065

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/02/12/independent-voters-break-for-obama-and-against-mccain/

http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/681127.html

Posted by: Jeff II on February 29, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, help a Toad out. Where are all the cool kids hanging these days? I'm pretty sick of all the pie fights at Kos . . .

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 29, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, help a Toad out. Where are all the cool kids hanging these days? I'm pretty sick of all the pie fights at Kos...

Take a break from now and then, Toadmister. Visit real world sites like...

Blind in Texas is always good. But Butchie Dingo always cracks me up more. How about Smarty...she's real? Oh! How could I forget...Blue Girl! She wont let me get away with bullshit and kicks my ass with thick skin.(very much needed to keep elmo grounded)

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Where are all the cool kids hanging these days?

Well, Toadmister, they are all over the place...

Blind in Texas is always good. But Butchie Dingo always cracks me up more. How about Smarty...she's real? Oh! How could I forget...Blue Girl! She wont let me get away with bullshit and kicks my ass with thick skin.(very much needed to keep elmo grounded)

Posted by: elmo on March 1, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Elmo, help a Toad out.

I'd like to, but Kev's software is too strong. I've tried twice now to post a response to your question...but it looks like it aint gonna happen. Maybe this will work...

http://www.bluegirlredmissouri.blogspot.com/

http://againwiththeblog.blogspot.com/

http://butchdingo.blogspot.com/

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/

Posted by: elmo on March 1, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Elmo, help a Toad out.

I'd like to, but Kev's software is too strong. I've tried thrice now to post a response to your question...but it looks like it aint gonna happen. Maybe this will work...

http://www.bluegirlredmissouri.blogspot.com/

http://againwiththeblog.blogspot.com/

http://butchdingo.blogspot.com/

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/

Posted by: elmo on March 1, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

I tried, Toadmister, but Kev wont let me...

Posted by: elmo on March 1, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

Ok, fuck you Kev, stop playing with me...

Posted by: elmo on March 1, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Seems as if Obama is popular w/ all groups except Latinos.

All the traditional Dems I know are for him.

And a few Republicans and indies, too, yes, at least SAY they are for him. Whether they follow thru with their votes I dunno. They might go McCain at the last minute.

It doesn't seem as if there ARE moderate Republicans any more. Most are so far right wing, hard to imagine they will go for Obama. But if there are any moderates left, yes, some would go for Obama where they would not go w/ Hillary, is my guess.

Posted by: clem on March 1, 2008 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

Question:

What do people think will happen with Edwards? Personally, I liked his message.

As for Hillary, even if she doesn't get the nomination, she has a good future ahead of her. She's still a Senator and will get some position of power within the party I'm sure.

Final question.... how on earth do these candidates go from one place to another, day after day, and not just get incredibly sick? Do they take uppers and downers to make it thru this ridiculous campaign cycle we have?

I just can't imagine how they do it (or why they want to do it). I'm sure a lot of good people don't run for office considering the marathon it is.

Posted by: clem on March 1, 2008 at 4:19 AM | PERMALINK

Who is Cal Lanier? Why should I take this "rough" number-crunching seriously, especially since Lanier takes Florida and Michigan into account?

I'm Cal. And if you take exit polls seriously--which lord knows people seem to do when they talk about any candidate--then you might want to take the number crunching at face value, at least.

http://www.theperfectworld.us/cg/exitpollsum.htm

The top data is from the primaries. However, you could take all the caucus votes, count them as white, and you wouldn't make a dent in the massive lead Clinton has in white Democrats, much less Hispanic Democrats.

I then added in the caucus votes and assumed they were all Democrats. Clinton is ahead in the Democrat vote by 52%. I include Michigan and Florida, which is not a political argument, as I am pretty sure delegates aren't how this race will be decided. If you take out Michigan and Floriday, Clinton is still ahead.

I suspect that Clinton will probably win or at worst tie the Democrat vote on March 4th. Obama may win it slightly in Texas, if he wins the state--but it's certainly possible for him to win the state and lose Dem voters narrowly, as it appears that 25% of the voters will be independents/Republicans. Clinton will win it in Rhode Island , Ohio, be very close in Texas, and might possible win it in Vermont, although I haven't looked closely. This is assuming that the demographics of the race haven't changed--which they show no sign of doing.

Posted by: Cal on March 1, 2008 at 4:52 AM | PERMALINK

Good morning.

I was wondering if Cal Lanier would show up, and now at least someone who claims to be Cal Lanier has shown up. Hello!

Personally, I'm skeptical about exit polls. Why? Because I remember Election night 2004, when exit polls suggested that John Kerry would be the next president of the United States. Oh the grief.

But...being a horse race junkie, I'm still interested in the exit polls, although only insofar as the white Democratic vote might suggest a problem for Obama in November. I've been very annoyed by all the hyperventilating over the white vote. Unless we've gone back to the 3/5 rule, black votes count equally with white votes. As the primary season progresses, Obama makes more and more inroads into Hillary's core constituency. Further, Obama's campaign has proved masterful at playing the delegate map. So, unless white Democratic voters are going to flock to John McCain and tip the election, I'm not concerned about it. That said, I wouldn't be surprised. I watched a little Fox News last night, and a little Washington Journal this morning. Sheesh. It may be the country gets what it deserves.

Also, I'm not a staunch member of the Democratic party. I've left the party several times in disgust. If the base loves Hillary, fine. As has been pointed out many, many times, the delirious partisanship of the blogosphere is a distortion--most Democrats like both frontrunners and would be OK with either. So despite all the sulking I hope Democrats close ranks around the nominee, just like the Republicans always do in order to win elections.

Finally, Cal, you haven't really addressed the criticisms of your methodology.

Clinton is ahead in the Democrat vote by 52%.

You meant to add something there, didn't you?

I include Michigan and Florida, which is not a political argument, as I am pretty sure delegates aren't how this race will be decided.

How do you think this race will be decided?

As for predictions (my record is undistinguished), I think Obama will win Texas and Vermont, Clinton will take Rhode Island, and no guess as to Ohio.

For statistical wizardry, I like this blog:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/

Posted by: Lucy on March 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK
How's that workin' for ya? The Fabulous Mr. Toad at 2:45 PM
While the 'bamabots are working overtime, their hero has been caught lying again

..... CTV is standing by its story and names Obama advisor Austin Goolsbee as the person who assured the Canadians that Obama was merely posturing on NAFTA.... Earlier Thursday, the Obama campaign insisted that no conversations have taken place with any of its senior ranks and representatives of the Canadian government on the NAFTA issue. On Thursday night, CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago.

That's the Chicago School economic adviser, the one who claims that income inequality is a function of education and the destruction of unions and Republican tax policy are not major factors. Yeah, right.

There is another story that again Obama disses Demcrats

... Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he would be more willing than Hillary Rodham Clinton to work with Republicans.
"Her natural inclination is to draw a picture of Republicans as people who need to be crushed and defeated," Obama said during a telephone interview from Texas with the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board. "It's not entirely her fault. She's been the target of some unfair attacks in the past."
"I'm not a person who believes any one party has a monopoly on wisdom," Obama said.

It's nice to see his respect for the Party of Ideas is still operative despite the claims of his supporters. What 'wisdom' do Republicans bring to the American people, Social Security privatization, healthcare savings accounts, vouchers? Seventy-two Republican filibusters in the Senate (so far) seems to be their main accomplishment since 2006. Do people seriously think that is an expression of wisdom? Change, as Doonsbury points out, is the word, but more of the same seems to be the pledge.


Posted by: Mike on March 1, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Obama Will Not 'Rule Out' Private Security Contractors in Iraq

I doubt Clinton, or any other mainstream Democrat, would either. There are many areas where the Democrats are very similar to their Republican demons.

Posted by: Brojo on March 1, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Far be it from me to defend Blackwater, and I want them to be accountable - but reality dictates that any candidate making proclamations about anything before they get the thorough briefings the president elect will start receiving after the election would be an idiot.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on March 1, 2008 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely writes:

Actually, that's not a "documented fact", its something that is true by definition. The scoring of IQ tests are adjusted both so that the mean is 100 and the distribution is normal.

Uh... the comment about 50% of Americans being below average was a joke.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on March 1, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, one way to improve those numbers for Obama is to start making Veep noises. I propose Liz Holtzman, for various reasons, but not the least of which is the people who are scared of Obama's name, or who feel stung by Hillary's imminent loss, or who feel Obama is too far to the right.

Given Holtzman's Feminist's feminist background, her history as super-progressive on most issues, and the fact that she scares rightwingers even more than Hillary does, I think she's a perfect choice. More of my argument here

Posted by: Joshua Whalen on March 1, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

I've never voted for anyone but Democrats. This time may be different. I was originally for Edwards, now Clinton. As a lifelong Democrat, I deeply resent our candidate being picked by Independents and Republicans. As a middle-aged woman who needs health insurance, I resent Obama and his supporters being so willing to blow off people like me to appeal to non-Democrats who also don't care about Democratic principles. If you can't support core Democratic issues and the needs of people, why should I give a s**t about you and who you want for president? I will vote for the Democratic candidate for congress and possibly the MP candidate for Prez. My mother will join me in that vote and possibly others.

Posted by: nene on March 1, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

As a middle-aged woman who needs health insurance, I resent Obama and his supporters being so willing to blow off people like me to appeal to non-Democrats who also don't care about Democratic principles.

Why do you think you're being blown off, nene/otherlisa/mary? Obama would like for you to have health insurance. I'm guessing Obama's gazillion supporters would also like for you to have health insurance. Why do you think Obama doesn't care about "core Democratic issues"? Everybody under the sun acknowledges that Hillary and Obama share a similar agenda.

Why are you so bitter about Obama, doctor?

Posted by: Lucy on March 1, 2008 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

"As a lifelong Democrat, I deeply resent our candidate being picked by Independents and Republicans."

Since "our candidate" is, in fact, being picked by Democrats, I'm not sure what point you think you're making.

"As a middle-aged woman who needs health insurance, I resent Obama and his supporters being so willing to blow off people like me to appeal to non-Democrats who also don't care about Democratic principles."

Since you have no way of knowing who those people are, nor what they care or do not care about, again, you simply don't have a point. If Obama is broadening the appeal of the Democratic Party and bringing in people who would otherwise vote for the other party or stay home, then more power to him. I'm at a loss to see why this could possibly be considered a problem.

"If you can't support core Democratic issues and the needs of people, why should I give a s**t about you and who you want for president?"

Um, because we're all Americans?

"I will vote for the Democratic candidate for congress and possibly the MP candidate for Prez. My mother will join me in that vote and possibly others."

And when your vote helps elect President McCain, who has amply demonstrated that he is more than willing "willing to blow off people like [you]," that he doesn't "care about Democratic principles," that he will not lift one finger to help you get health care, and who doesn't give a shit about you, what will you say then?

Posted by: PaulB on March 1, 2008 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Since "our candidate" is, in fact, being picked by Democrats, I'm not sure what point you think you're making.


Not quite. It may be called the Democratic Primaries, but that's not the only people voting in them. I agree with nene. Having a bunch of last-minute Republicans and independents voting in the Democratic Party for Obama ain't my cup of tea either.

Posted by: Lifelong Democrat on March 2, 2008 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Not quite. It may be called the Democratic Primaries, but that's not the only people voting in them."

So? That's always been the case, just as there are independents and Democrats who vote in some Republican races. There is a very sizable number of swing voters in this country who are not members of either party. Some states allow these voters to participate; other states do not. This is nothing new.

"I agree with nene. Having a bunch of last-minute Republicans and independents voting in the Democratic Party for Obama ain't my cup of tea either."

Let's clear up one thing: there has been only one single race to date where the number of Republican voters was large enough and the margin between the two candidates small enough that the Republican vote actually mattered. That state was Missouri. In all other states, as far as I can tell, the Republican vote was sufficiently small and the margin of victory sufficiently large that declared Republican voters had no effect on the outcome.

So what you're really complaining about is independent voters. Again, they've been participating in primaries for decades; this is just not new nor particularly noteworthy. Moreover, I still have not heard anyone come up with a convincing reason why I should not be happy that Obama is persuading independent voters to vote for a Democratic candidate. Would you be happier if they were voting for McCain? Personally, I welcome them to the party.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2008 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

There is one other thing worth noting. Obama is beating Clinton with a "50-state strategy" and a terrific ground game, two things that have been notably lacking from the Democratic Party, at least until Dean and Emanuel started running things. I want that strategy and that ground game at work for the general election, along with a hell of an outreach program to independent voters, because that's what it will take to win.

If Obama can do it against the Clinton machine, then I like his chances against the Republican machine. Although I think that either of them can beat McCain, I'm not seeing Clinton's path to victory nearly as clearly as I can see Obama's.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2008 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

"And when your vote helps elect President McCain, who has amply demonstrated that he is more than willing "willing to blow off people like [you]," that he doesn't "care about Democratic principles," that he will not lift one finger to help you get health care, and who doesn't give a shit about you, what will you say then?"

It will make no difference to me. Obama has already killed universal health care, with his no-mandate talk, which Obama supporters seem to have no problem with. You offer me nothing more than the Republicans. This matters to a lot of people. Obama supporters don't get it.

Posted by: nene on March 2, 2008 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

neme/otherlisa/mary,

Your fundamentalist conviction that Obama is no better than a [strawman of the week] is unshakeable. You've been plaintive on this score for almost two months now. Rather than make the case for your candidate, despite the wealth of material at your disposal, you prefer to issue melodramatic edicts like "Obama has already killed universal health care". Your dissertation committee can't have been too rigorous.

I can't wait for the primaries to be over.

Posted by: Lucy on March 2, 2008 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

I rarely comment here. I am not one of the others you named. You may think I am being melodramatic, but my vote (and others for whom this is a big issue) counts. Obama has flipped me a big fat bird. He doesn't get my vote for that.

Posted by: nene on March 2, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of low-information and might not vote for an African-American explanations for Democrats preferring to vote for Clinton. How about one that doesn't assume everybody else is stupid and/or racist. Like Democrats think it is important to stand up for Social Security (gee, I remember when that was a core blogging issue only a little while ago), or attempt to actually get universal healthcare (and not adopt right-wing talking points in defending a non-universal plan), or that the candidate has actually served as a Democrat in national elected office for quite some time and done quite a good job by any standard, or that the candidate self-identify as a Democrat and not speak lovingly of Reagan all the time. Throwing Democrats under the bus as part of the bickering problem in Washington when the Rove and Delay machine was in power isn't a good tactic, since this is not how liberal democracy works. If you want political capital, you run on the goals you want to achieve and you win after having put those goals on the table. You don't have to get into a whole lot of policy specifics, but you need to define the winners and the losers.

Obama's rhetoric suggests that we can all be winners, which is (a) false, and (b) detrimental to his ability to achieve anything should he be elected. Clinton suggests the opposite and perhaps this is why Democrats will vote for her.

Posted by: detb on March 2, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"It will make no difference to me."

Really? That's what people said about Bush vs. Gore. How did that work out for you? Of course it will make a difference to you. Only a fool would claim otherwise.

"Obama has already killed universal health care"

Oh, garbage. Drama queen much?

"You offer me nothing more than the Republicans."

LOL... This doesn't even make sense. Perhaps you should turn your brain on before posting again?

"Obama supporters don't get it."

Oh, I think they do. I'm afraid your posts are quite revealing.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama has flipped me a big fat bird."

Complete bullshit, of course, which is why you can't be bothered to even try to support such an assertion. We get it; you're an idiot and you hate Obama. Give it a rest.

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"A lot of low-information and might not vote for an African-American explanations for Democrats preferring to vote for Clinton."

Nice strawman argument. Since nobody here has said anything like that, I'm afraid you don't have a point. Got anything substantive to offer?

"How about one that doesn't assume everybody else is stupid and/or racist."

Like I said: a strawman. This is just dumb.

"Like Democrats think it is important to stand up for Social Security (gee, I remember when that was a core blogging issue only a little while ago)"

Gee, I must have missed Obama's policy to destroy Social Security. Can you point me to that?

"or that the candidate has actually served as a Democrat in national elected office for quite some time and done quite a good job by any standard"

Dear heart, that has never been a criteria for running for President, ever. If it were, we'd be missing half of our historical leaders. Has it escaped your notice, perchance, that Bill Clinton never served in a "national elected office"? Or that serving as First Lady is not even remotely serving in a "national elected office"?

"or that the candidate self-identify as a Democrat"

Gee, I must have missed it where Obama claimed to not be a Democrat. I'm sure you can point me to that little tidbit, as well, right?

"and not speak lovingly of Reagan all the time."

Gee, I've read everything that Obama has said about Reagan and I didn't find a single "loving" comment in the bunch. And then there's the added fact that Obama almost never speaks of Reagan, so I'm afraid that you have some unusual definition of "all the time." What does that mean in your world?

"Throwing Democrats under the bus as part of the bickering problem in Washington when the Rove and Delay machine was in power isn't a good tactic"

Really? Obama is "throwing Democrats under the bus?" Which Democrats would this be?

"since this is not how liberal democracy works."

As with every other statement you've made in this post, this statement is quite wrong since, of course, this is precisely the way that "liberal democracy" works.

"If you want political capital, you run on the goals you want to achieve and you win after having put those goals on the table."

Since that is precisely what Obama is doing, I'm glad to hear that he can now expect your support.

"You don't have to get into a whole lot of policy specifics, but you need to define the winners and the losers."

LOL... Really? And this is what Clinton has done? My, my....

"Obama's rhetoric suggests that we can all be winners"

It's called "politics", sweetie, and Obama is playing the game better than Clinton. In fact, he's playing the game along much the same lines that Bill Clinton did when he first ran. Deal with it.

Thanks for this substance-free post. Sheesh....

Posted by: PaulB on March 2, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Shorter Paul B: I'm right; you're wrong.

Your beloved candidate still probably will not get my vote if he doesn't have any intention of entering office with a mandate for a life or death issue like healthcare.

And if you find this issue tiresome, I'm tired of platitudes. This is the year a Democrat could finally win, and Obama IS blowing off a chunk of Democratic voters. I'm one of them. There are more where I come from. Ignore us at your/your candidates peril.

PS I'm not voting for McCain. I'm considering the Marijuana Party candidate, because I'm a DFH.

PPS I voted for Gore.

Posted by: nene on March 2, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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