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Tilting at Windmills

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March 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

VITRIOL....Atrios:

The campaigns and candidates themselves may not get nasty, but I get the sense that supporters of the various candidates are getting angrier at the other camp. Sure a lot of this is just relatively harmless virtual world internet flaming, but it has real world manifestations too.

This has sort of taken me by surprise too. I'm reminded of the old saying that the smaller the stakes, the more vicious the battle. Obama and Clinton are obviously different in some important ways, but overall there just aren't any huge gaps between them, either in ideology or governing theory. They're both great candidates (as was John Edwards), and I confess that I have a hard time understanding the level of vitriol that the race has produced among supporters on both sides. I sure hope that all the doom and gloom talk is just talk, because anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot.

Kevin Drum 2:37 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (168)

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Kevin, read the post about Hillary being disgraceful, then this post again.

See the connection? Maybe this is why people will sit out the election if she wins the nomination this way. Still idiotic?

Posted by: chumley on March 5, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

There's a yawning gap between the two on good-government and ethics. I was favorably inclined towards Clinton until I saw up-close how she has chosen to wage her campaign.

Posted by: Creamy Goodness on March 5, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

It's not really about the issues. It's at the mythic-symbolic level, where the stakes are the highest. To Obama supporters, Clinton represents a continuation of dynastic politics and the noxious sense of entitlement typical of strident Boomers from both parties - both of which have produced no good results for the country. To Clinton supporters, Obama is a presumptuous bounder who is trying to steal away something that Hillary worked for her entire life, just because he can turn a nice phrase. If that ain't fuel for a barn-burner, I'm not sure what is.

Posted by: robsalk on March 5, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I was listening to CSPAN's election coverage last night and heard that Obama's staff were engaged in questionable practices, including showing up as election observers without the necessary paperwork and talking to people inside the required distance from the polling place. Then this morning I was listening to XM's POTUS channel and heard the conference call in which the Obama lawyer started accusing Clinton's people of complaining after every lost caucus, while Clinton's people described the lawsuit they have filed against Obama's people for violations of caucus procedures in Texas (such as obtaining caucus packets early and putting names on the sign-in sheets at the polling places during the voting).

I think these are signs of the heatedness of the supporters. I also think that Obama people have been claiming they don't do this stuff while accusing Clinton's staff of playing dirty. I want to make it clear that Obama's staff is not the aggrieved party here. Now that they are losing and must deal with their own disappointment and frustration, they are showing the strain.

In various comments sections, I've been seeing complaints that Clinton supporters are being bullied by coworkers into keeping quiet in the workplace. I have encountered that where I work and tried to put a stop to coercion early on, which has kept things relatively quiet. However, I believe that there will be disrupted friendships, family dysfunction and lots of hurt feelings before this is over. I am tempted to say it is on both sides, but I find the Obama folks far more aggressive and I'm not sure why that is -- maybe because they are young and care more.

Posted by: Perry on March 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

So I'm an idiot if I truly believe Obama is underprepared? Wow

Posted by: TSR@HEART on March 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Read the Daily Kos story "27 Reasons I'm Divorcing The Clintons Today" This explains why the Clinton's can't be trusted.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/15/73629/1395/809/456851

"Playing the race card in South Carolina and elsewhere."
"Bill Clinton's fairy tale remark."
"The cactus tears in NH."

Posted by: Al on March 5, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's not rocket science Kevin. Hillary Clinton has had high negatives for a long time.

http://pollingreport.com/C2.htm#Hillary

The fact is a lot of Obama and former Edwards supporters were anti-Clinton first. Not liking Clinton is a legitimate position, shared by half of the country.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Robsalk is correct. Symbolically, the stakes are enormous.

To add the obvious, we are nominating either the first female or first black presidential candidate. In either case, this is a HUGE deal — perhaps an equally huge deal in either case, but not interchangeably so. Many people feel substantially more vested in one of these 'firsts' than the other.

Posted by: Patrick on March 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

It always amazes me that after years of Republican political tactics many Democrats still think that politics IS beanbag. Clinton is running for the nomination. Her opponent is Obama. The policy differences between them are minimal. What, exactly, is she supposed to do to win? Is it perfectly feasible for Obama to continue to hammer her as "old" Washington, part of the existing dysfunctional establishment, a return to the past, that her husband didn't accomplish much, but not ok for her to argue that he is inexperienced? Pretend for just a moment that you are she. What argument WOULD you use?

Posted by: Winston on March 5, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

This all scares me because Democrats have a proven ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Will Democrats really sit out an election which, if we lose, puts John McCain in the White House? Which continues the war and the disastrous domestic and economic policies of the Bush Administration? Does our country really matter less than how much we hate the Democrats we don't love?

Posted by: Qalice on March 5, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton won yesterday's primary by 'Throwing the Kitchen Sink' at Obama, he tried to take the high road and paid the price. Now he will (according to the Washinton Post) be more 'aggressive' in 'defining' Senator Clinton, and he will likely have to spend a lot of $$ to do it. I will tell you if this thing continues on the way it is now, it will get very ugly indeed, interparty fights do not always end in unity (see Republicans 1964) they can tear a party apart. I am very worried that is exactly what we will be seeing in the next weeks. We have a chance in this next election cycle to put America on a new path, but if the Democratic party allows this to continue it is likely an opportunity that will be lost.

Posted by: latimlf on March 5, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

The Obamamaniacs are almost like a self-parody now. KD writes a perfectly sensible post about how the two candidates are really not that far apart in the issues, that, historically, this is a very mild contest between two very strong candidates, and that come November, the overwhelming majority of Democrats will happiily pull the lever for our candidate, even if it's the other one than who we are supporting in the primaries - and they immediately start in with the whining about how evil the Clintons are. Sad.

Posted by: jbk on March 5, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

is being an idiot.

Or perhaps more accurately: is not actually a Democrat.

The wars John McCain wants to launch will kill real, live Americans. If you don't care enough about the welfare of those fellow citizens to hold your nose and vote for his opponent, you are deeply, deeply selfish.

Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

So I'm an idiot if I truly believe Obama is underprepared? Wow

If Obama gets the nomination and you decide to sit it out or vote for McCain or a vanity candidate like Nader instead of him then, yes, you are an idiot.

His platform is 99% indistinguishable from Clinton's. If you'd sit out the election rather than vote for him -- and by extension, almost all the issues Clinton supports -- then yes, you are an idiot.

Posted by: TR on March 5, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'll tell you what, Republicans don't think that they're basically the same. At all.

Posted by: goethean on March 5, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

The vitriol is passed back and forth between probably less than 2 million Americans that read and comment in political blogs. In other words, it is trivial.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on March 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are naive. Check out Jack and Jill Politics. If you think Clinton can win the general election without the black vote, you are dreaming. And she isn't going to be forgiven for racist ads.

Clinton isn't a smart politican. She is a coniving and duplicious one who focuses fiercely on the ruthless attainment of a short term goals without regard to the big picture. To win in Ohio she used racism and fearmongering. To win in New Hampshire she used faux victimization and indentity politics. Between now and Pennsylvannia she will do absolutely anything to defame Obam and his supporters.

And you think we are all going to turn out a support her in Novemeber?

No. She won't be able to keep the support of the new voters that Obama pulled in because they are new and don't have deep roots in our party. Besides a bif element in the excitement over Obama is that he is the people powered candidate. Hillary is just the same old crap.Also she won't get the support of life long Democrats like me who want Democratic candidates to behave like Democrats.. I'll put heart and soul into Congressional races all over the country but I won't vote for a self serving R-lite Rove clone, who, on top of everything else, is unelectable.

Don't dismiss the seriousness of the error she is making. It is not good politics for the candidate to subject the other candidate and all of that candidate's suppporters to the kind of abusive tactics that the Republicans have been using against liberals. Short term smart, maybe, but long term toxic.

Posted by: wonkie on March 5, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Perry, in a previous thread you promised that you won't hang out here any longer, until after the election, because Kevin dissed your candidate. How come you don't keep your promises? Hmm?

Posted by: Kanenas on March 5, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Small differences in policy? Uh, how about foreign policy?

Who's to say that Hillary won't also expand the Middle East war like McCain promises? She's got quite a record of experience: voting for the Iraq War, voting to name Iranians as terrorists. Now, who is the candidate who was against the war from the beginning?

Also, I totally disagree with the idea that Hillary has been a "great candidate." She was, at first, the inevitable candidate who has since proved quite evitable indeed. She had no plan after Super Tuesday. She ran out of money, forcing her to loan herself campaign cash. Her husband pissed away his own legacy as "the first black president" to race-bait. The campaign has tried to change the rules midstream by calling the irrelevant Florida and Michigan primaries "wins" and constantly belittles the contests she did not win (caucuses don't matter, black votes don't matter, small states don't matter).

You're okay with all of this, Kevin? Yeesh.

Posted by: blahblah on March 5, 2008 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Last year, I was still favorably disposed to Sen. Clinton, but I have really soured towards her over the last 2 months or so. I've seen more of her, and I don't like what I see. I actively dislike her now.

This doesn't mean that I'm not going to show up and vote for her if she somehow ends up being the nominee, but I'm probably not going to be moved to contribute to her campaign, put a sticker on my car, or volunteer. I'll just go back to being apolitical.

Posted by: Koneko on March 5, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

and they immediately start in with the whining about how evil the Clintons are. Sad.

I agree that some (maybe alot) of the claims coming out of the anti-Clinton camp are extreme, and delusional. Let's remember though, that lefty blogs were perfectly happy to play host to nonsensical screeds about George Bush and Dick Cheney.

But some of us really, really dislike Hillary Clinton. The fact that she is a strong candidate has nothing to do with it. If it was Dick Gephart, or Joe Biden or Joe Lieberman in her position today, it wouldn't change the fact that to a lot of active democrats, these candidates still suck ass.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

And she isn't going to be forgiven for racist ads

What racist ads are those? Let's play right into Rove's hands, shall we?

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Certainly Hillary Clinton can legitimately argue about Obama's experience. But when she says that she and John McCain are experienced and Obama isn't, that's amazingly stupid, unless she would prefer a McCain victory and a 2012 run to an Obama victory.

I suggest that the candidates compete to see who can most effectively bring down John McCain, instead of the other way around.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 5, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

The differences are largely small, yes, but not always. Consider Israel-Palestine, where HRC has pledged that she wants all of Jerusalem to go to the Israelis. That's a big deal. It's not that HRC is evil - I don't think she is. But I don't think we do them justice by ignoring small but very important differences between the two.

Posted by: Steve W. on March 5, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Really important post.

Both camps have their true believers. Any one who thinks it's better to vote for Nader or not vote at all deserves to get 4 more years of stuff bush43 has jammed down our throats.

Support your candidate certainly, but when the general election rolls around support your team. Any Democratic candidate is so head and shoulders above the fascists running the Republican party these days that there is no excuse not to proudly vote for the Democrat. If you have to, hold your nose & vote.

Posted by: kindness on March 5, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You have, for a long time, been my absolute favorite political blogger whose wisdom, and insights I value above just about anyone one else. I have been reading your posts on a daily basis since the CalPundit days - but I have to say I’ve been completely perplexed by this opinion of yours (and this is, of course, not the first time you’ve expressed it).

PRACTICALLY ALL THE BIG TIME LIBERAL HAWKS ARE IN HER CAMP......THERE’S A REASON FOR THIS.

THE LIBERAL HAWK SENSIBILITY OF HER NATIONAL SECURITY STAFF IS A HUGE, ABSOLUTELY HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM and it will lead to a very different policy toward ,most notably, Iran and Israel then a Obama Administration would most likely pursue.

FOR YEARS YOU, DUNCAN, JOSH AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN RELENTLESS HARPING ON Pollack, O’Hanlon, Peter Beinart, and the other liberal hawks yet have been grossly negligent throughout the primaries in not pointing out and drawing attention to the fact that these people, along with the DLC (which most of your readership also despises) are Hillary’s political tribe.

Posted by: Onslow on March 5, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I would gladly vote for just about any Democrat except for Hillary Clinton. In the highly unlikely even that someone besides Obama or Clinton got the D nomination at a brokered convention I would gleefully vote for that person in November. It isn't about Obama or bust. It is about Hillary not deserving my vote. After eight years of hating on the Bushies for their "win at all costs" philosophy and bullshit talking points it sickens me to see the Clinton campaign doing the same exact things. I'd rather an R take the WH then condone that kind of behavior. If that makes me an idiot then so be it.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

The differences may be minimal from one angle.

But from another, the differences have become vast.

Obama will not get certain voters who have voted for her, including low information voters who are inherently racist (SE Ohio, for example), 'Limbaugh Democrats-for-a-day', and may struggle with Latinos, who might go for McCain.

Clinton will not be energized by the same base Obama is energized by. African Americans will not turn out in numbers, but I don't think she's worried about that. And the younger, avid generation he's kicking up into a furor won't bother for her. I think she thinks they will, but they won't.

Posted by: Eric on March 5, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

because anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot.

From where I sit it looks like you'd have to be an amoral sociopath (or mirror-image of a Bush supporter) to support the kind of tactics Hillary is using.

Yes, Obama and Clinton are very similar in their stand on the issues. If the race was limited to the two of them talking about their stand on the issues, their experience, their vision for the country, then there probably wouldn't be nearly this level of vitriol.

Most of this divisiveness is the creation of the Clinton campaign. When Clinton found herself behind, she decided to go negative and throw the 'kitchen sink' at Obama. You get the impression that the Clintons will do or say anything to get elected. Play the race card. Accuse Obama of plagiarism in the same debate Hillary plagiarizes lines from Edwards. Stand on stage (cf. Bob Jones) with someone who does a hate-filled rant about Obama and his supporters that basically parodies the worst kind of Republican stereotypes of liberals ("Prius-driving, latte drinking, Birkenstock wearing..."), calling Obama's supporters 'cult followers', calling his campaign a 'fad', referring to the last dozen states Obama won as 'insignificant', comparing Obama to Rove and Bush, and so on.

Or more correctly, what kind of sociopathic idiot would you have to be NOT to take offense at that kind of behavior? At this point there doesn't appear to be that much difference between Clinton's supporters and Bush's supporters - they are supporting a candidate who lies, cheats, and smears her opponents. They're fine with a candidate who will do or say anything to win - the ends justify the means.

Some of us would like to get away from the last 20 years of Bush/Clinton divisiveness. Apparently many don't mind the lies, sleaze and scandals if it's their party/candidate who is doing it.

Seriously, how can anyone of good conscience vote in favor of that now or in a general election?

Posted by: Augustus on March 5, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

What racist ads are those?

Clinton has done nothing in this campaign that can even reasonably be construed as racist. As someone who actually works in video production, the idea floating around that the Clinton camp altered Obama to make him look "blacker" is complete and utter bullshit.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm probably repeating here, but I'd like to state that my unwillingness to submit to Hillary the inevitable has nothing to do with her personality nor her policy proposals. It has everything to do with the Bill/Hillary dynamic. I can't imagine Bill staying on the sidelines (as he certainly hasn't in this campaign, decorum to the wind), and I think the resulting confusion would lead to a disastrous presidency. Also, the argument that because she was first lady means she has direct experience of presidential leadership is to me hogwash. I'm a married woman. I couldn't do my husband's job, period. Nor could he do mine. We are two distinct entities.

Obama was not my first choice, nor my second. I like his foreign policy instincts. He seems to me to have good judgment. But, to imply that distaste at an HRC administration is ungrounded is unfounded. I'm sure there are those on Clinton's side with a similar set of objections to Obama.

We'd all like the nomination to be over because we're tired of it. We'd all like to focus on McCain as the chameleon he is, forked tongue and all. Another seven weeks or more really is giving McCain a free pass, though granted for that time only. If Hillary can keep herself (and Bill and all her "unknown" staffers) in line, and run a clean fight, I know I'll feel the better for voting for her in November. If she can't, she's no better than McCain, because she's only in it to win, not for the good of those who elect her. It's the fear of what she may do, what she has hinted she will do, and what she has almost outright promised to do that has wrought this divisiveness in my opinion.

Enough.

Posted by: Underwhelmed on March 5, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Agree with the others who said that the stakes aren't small-- they're about the structure, priorities, breadth, operations, and basic character of the Democratic Party going forward, which is a damned big deal. There's a massive generational shift that is happening sooner rather than later thanks to the corruption of the Bush GOP; the boomers aren't ready to let go (not that they ever will be, but no surprise there), but the long-term loyalty & energy of an even larger group is at risk.

I don't know if there's any way to really make the powerpoint jockeys that seem to form the Democrats' core understand this, but a political party is not just a list of policy proposals. I repeat, a political party is not just a list of policy proposals. Say it five times before every meal until it starts to make sense. Trust me, the GOP knows this perfectly well, and it is the reason they routinely kick our asses electorally, even with their spectacular incompetence and malfeasance.

I swear, if modern Dems somehow traveled back in time & replaced the Founders, we'd still be singing "God Save the Queen" and celebrating having renegotiated Stamp Act revenue allocation as our finest hour.

Posted by: latts on March 5, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Amen Kevin!

Idiots who say they won't support either candidate in the fall are the same idiots who voted for Nader in the last election arguing that it did not matter who won because both Gore and Bush were equally bad.

The stuff going on right now is NOTHING. I think the Obama folks are too young to realize this. Hell, George Bush's campaign accused McCain of having fathered a black child and being a Manchurian candidate in 2000. Now they are hugging like long lost brothers on T.V.

I like Obama and I voted for Obama, but he is a politician just like Hillary. He lost Ohio because he lied about the Nafta stuff and it looks like he has told a few white lies about Rezko. I don't care. I'll still vote for him in the fall, but let's not pretend he isn't a candidate with flaws and if Hillary can take him down with one red phone ad then McCain will chew him up and spit him out.

Posted by: Teresa on March 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

oooooooohhhhhhhhhh Augustus!

I'm an amoral sociopath. Talk like that is sure going to convince me of the superiority of your candidate choice?

Posted by: optical weenie on March 5, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton voted for AUMF and Kyl-Lieberman! They're not just two votes like any other (or one and a half: Obama didn't vote on Kyl-Lieberman).

This is not a difference? Has anyone noticed there's a war going on?

Clinton and her "braintrust" (Holbrooke? Albright? Ross? Pollack?) are unapologetic proponents of neocon foreign policy, just a more "competent" version.

This desire to elide the difference -- the only crucial difference -- between the two candidates feels like a conspiracy against the obvious.

Posted by: brendan on March 5, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'd rather an R take the WH then condone that kind of behavior. If that makes me an idiot then so be it.

Well, you're an idiot. Actually, you're worse: your entire screed said nothing about the substantive policies of McCain, who you would be choosing to put in the Presidency, and whether the country would be better, or worse off, for having him in there. Perhaps you could make the argument that having HRC would be worse. But you haven't made that argument. In other words, you've got your purity, and the country be damned. Well, fuck you and your purity. I hope Obama wins, but if not, I actually give a shit about where this country goes, and under McCain it will continue its 8-year slide into disgrace and disrepute. I can be an adult and try to do what I can to stop that from happening.

Posted by: Glenn on March 5, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be curious to know how much of the hate that's going around is real, and how much is a reaction to the nasty words thrown around by supporters and detractors in the two camps.

I grew up with Hillary Clinton, and have never liked her at all to be honest. Kevin, maybe you should do a poll on the source of the hate. :)

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

massive generational shift that is happening sooner rather than later thanks to the corruption of the Bush GOP

So you throw out anyone in the Dem party with experience? Because the Bush GOP is corrupt?

the boomers aren't ready to let go

Meaning what, exactly. 7 years from retirement age (and I'm at the "old" end of the boomer scale, I've been told) and I'm supposed to "let go?" Of what?

Look. I'll vote for Obama, I'll vote for Clinton, I'll vote for fucking Rin-Tin-Tin before I'll vote for McCain. But spare me the generational venom, please?

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

You know what card Obama could play if he really wanted to play dirty?

The "Clinton did nothing to fight terrorism" card.

It's dirty and right out of the Republican play-book, but it works.

I can already envision the ads showing images of the aftermath of all the various terrorist attacks throughout the 90's and a narrator describing the escalating threat from radical Islam and the Clinton administration's ineffectiveness in combating it, ultimately leading up to 9/11.

It's a card he could play....but won't. Because, unlike Hillary, he's not willing to go into the gutter with Rovian style attacks to get the nomination.

Besides, Hillary's still drawing dead, and cannot catch Obama.

Posted by: Joe on March 5, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're barking up the wrong tree--it's got nothing to do with politics, political activism or the primary season itself. Those of us who have been in primary politics before are baffled by this fringe element that won't support the nominee of the party that represents their values.

Do you know what has changed? The ability of people who normally wouldn't be heard from to demand attention on blog threads and places like Daily Kos. They are usually of a shit-headed mentality that hasn't been winnowed out of the crowd and they tend to be more self-centered and single-issue driven than before.

Where you could once marginalize these people--and not count on them to vote because they're not there to participate and move something forward because they're there to tear something down--now you have to put up with them. And where the tendency at first is to tolerate it, what you end up doing is realizing that these are cranks and self-centered people who are only doing what they're doing because it feeds their need to have influence, power and to be courted.

None of this is about electing the right person President--it's all about them and their need to be the person who decides for everyone else who should be elected.

The voice of the obscure shithead has been amplified in this cycle, and that's all it is. They have always been there. These shitheads were stomping around in 1960, convinced that an inexperienced Jack Kennedy was all wrong and that if the party didn't listen to them and nominate Stevenson for a third and final try because he was their guy, well, they weren't going to vote, period.

Probably better to just keep flaming them and humiliating them. After all, we don't want their shitheadedness to take root.

Posted by: Pale Rider on March 5, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

i'm not sitting this election out if hilary wins. i'm voting for mccain.

i'm not a partisan democrat. i voted for obama in the primary, but if hilary wins, i can vote for mccain. it's not a big deal.

Posted by: justin on March 5, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Really?

Obama supporters have been called: Religious fanatics, naive, irrelevant, enemies of democracy, and republicans. Many people with more activist down-up views have been marginalized, consciously marginalized by the Clinton style.

Differences? A fucking truck load.

Will I vote for HRC.... probably. It's actually less likely than I would have 2 weeks ago. But I sure as hell wouldn't lift a single finger to help bloggers or personalities such as Taylor Marsh or Susanhu over at MyDD.

Posted by: MNPundit on March 5, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Support your candidate certainly, but when the general election rolls around support your team."

You just don't get it. Millions of people who support Obama are doing so precisely because they don't believe they have a team. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats do it for us, and we're sick of the sort of partisan fascism that expects us to just shut up and fall in line like usual.

We're either registered Independent, or we're Democrats who vote independently, and Obama speaks directly to our concerns about the special interests and gridlock in Washington. In Obama, we see a candidate who presents a fresh vision, which is what we've desperately craved for years, that at least tries to go beyond divisive party politics. To us, Clinton is just another Blue-State Democrat who is aligned with the status quo and Democratic special interests. And we're tired of holding our noses and having to vote for that sort of candidate.

We know the country is on fire, but it's not just burning because of the Iraq War and tanking economy. It's also being destroyed by special interests and partisan warfare, and those are issues that only Obama seems willing to address. You may think that Clinton would be better than McCain. But not on the issues that matter most to us. If she's the Democratic nominee, we won't have any voice in the general election (again) and little incentive to vote for anyone in November.

Posted by: ABQkevin on March 5, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 3:42 PM

That was me. Hit "send" too fast


i voted for obama in the primary, but if hilary wins, i can vote for mccain. it's not a big deal.

If it's not a big deal to you, stay home. Personal pique is not a reason to vote.

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

There truly is a big Boomer vs. New Generation thing going on here. It's feeding into Clinton's (and Steinem's, and Billie Jean King's...) enormous sense of entitlement, not to mention utterly egregious things like 'being a white woman is much worse than being a black person' phraseology.

What's been amusing to me, for months now, is that HRC will kill the hopes of a new generation (or two) that still hasn't seen much it likes in politics, in order for it to be 'her turn'. It seems to be her belief that she, as a white woman, has earned it - somehow, when it's not apparent how, if she weren't a Clinton and if her husband hadn't been president, she'd even be close to this race - and that Obama should wait eight years for his chance to run. There's this huge amount of anger toward him and his supporters because of this, which is amazing. THE GALL OF THIS GUY! THE GALL OF THESE PEOPLE! When there isn't much to her at all, beyond failed health care, a bad attitude, and an awful non-NIE-reading vote for the Iraq War.

It's the entitlement, peoplez! Therefore, vote for Hilary!

I can't honestly see anything else to her at this point.

Posted by: Eric on March 5, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Big difference numero uno, and it's a doozy no matter how Clinton's opponents try to spin it, is that Clinton enabled Bush's preemptive war in Iraq and Obama did not.

Ms. Clinton wants to be judged by actions, not speeches. Well, here is a paragraph from her "victory speech" last night, with its substantive subtext included in parentheses.

"We will do what it takes, and we will, once again, make the kind of progress that America deserves (by botching our quest for universal healthcare). We're going to protect our country and preserve our Constitution (by enabling the doctrine of preemptive war, by demonizing nations like Iran rather than engaging them diplomatically, and by failing to vigorously oppose immunity for corporate lawbreakers). We're going to lead with our values (by smearing our opponents with allusions to their past drug use and by exploiting unfounded rumors about their religious beliefs.)"

It is because Clinton's vaunted experience is comprised of "actions" such as these that I supported first Edwards, then Obama. Every presidential campaign eventually comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils. The gap between McCain and Clinton will be depressingly narrow, however.

Come November I will vote for her if she is the nominee, but it will be with a sense of great opportunities lost.

Posted by: zeke on March 5, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I resent when you say:

"because anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot."

You don't think that we have a right to be disillusioned if Clinton gets the nomination? We watched the Democratic Party blow it on a terrible candidate 4 years ago. Some of us were stupid enough, once our disappointment wore off, to put a lot of time and effort into helping the Kerry campaign.

What consitutes sitting out an election? Is my vote enough to avoid your blanket condemnation? Activists like me won't give any money to a Clinton campaign. Nor will we do anything in our activst circles to help her campaign.

This makes rational sense considering she is surrounded by fools like Mark Penn and Terry McCauliffe who would dismantle the 50 state structure that Dean built. It makes rational sense considering the corporate, big money focus of her campaign. It makes rational sense considering this nation needed a dramatic change in leadership and direction; we didn't need another moderate Democrat, nor another dynasty in the Whitehouse.

Sometimes moderation means nothing.


Posted by: Patrick Briggs on March 5, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary wins, I hope Obama leads the states that voted for him in seceding, sparking a new Civil War, and I hope the pro-Obama forces win that war, and hope Obama crushes Hillary to bits under the treads of his tank.

Only then can the politics of hope that Obama represents prevail.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on March 5, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Do any of you like SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts?
How about Alito? What about Scalia?

The next President will likely name TWO Supreme Court Justices. That's because two of the most liberal Justices will probably retire: Stevens & Ginsberg.

Who do you want picking your next Supreme Court Justices, a democrat or a republican? If you are like me and feel that the Roberts Court has led us to a Totalitarian nightmare, you had better think long and hard about not supporting a Democratic ticket in November. Cause if it's McBush picken, we are screwed as a nation.

Posted by: kindness on March 5, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm supposed to "let go?" Of what?

Well, the embarrassingly weak organization that the Democratic Party has become over the past forty years would be a nice start. I'm an Xer & therefore not part of today's youth in any meaningful way, but there's a reason my cohort never got really attached to boomers' version of liberalism. It's basically the same answer I have to HRC's 35-years-of-change claim: you either helped the GOP completely dominate American politics, or failed to stop them. IOW, there aren't that many strong arguments for keeping people like her in charge. Either start cultivating a generation that may be able to do better, or dismiss them out of hand and watch the legacy of failure continue.

(and before people start squawking in outrage, yes, there are many very good, principled boomers like Howard Dean & Al Gore, but it's telling that they've been so often treated with contempt by much of their own cohort)

Posted by: latts on March 5, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops - first line of my last post: "opponents" should read "proponents".

Posted by: zeke on March 5, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, you've got your purity, and the country be damned. Well, fuck you and your purity.

I am not willing to vote for a candidate I have no respect for just because she has a D next to her name. I have waited eight years for a President I respect I can wait another four years.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's the appointments, stupid!

When will we Democrats wake up and realize that what matters is not which individual becomes President. What matters is which party controls the White House, and thus thousands of key appointments all through the executve and judicial branches.

Voting for a Republican (or not voting) just because you have a personal animosity towards the eventual candidate is the height of self-destructive stupidity. No Republican would be that dumb.

Posted by: Virginia on March 5, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

As an Obama supporter, I am not "angry" at Hillary supporters. I was quite cordial and accommodating to the Clinton precinct captain last night at the caucus. I consulted with her on any action that might seem tilting favor to one candidate or the other before we could officially do so, to make sure that the process was fair for all.

Because in my mind, we're all Democrats. Sure, we want our respective candidate to get the nomination, but I ultimately want a Democrat to win in November. If Clinton is the nominee, then I'll vote for her and help as I can. Will I be as enthusiastic as I am about Obama. Probably not. But depending on how the fight with McCain goes, I may be.

I want people to remember me, as an Obama supporter, as one who is for the Democrats as well as my candidate. I was taught by my Obama organizers to comport myself with class and run everything on the up-and-up. So, you won't see me slinging mud -- just talking up why I think Obama is the best choice in a positive way, and countering lies with facts, not 'truthiness'.

Posted by: Bill on March 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

It is about Hillary not deserving my vote.

It's not about you. It's about the Americans who will die in the wars John McCain wants to launch. If you can't overcome personal pique to vote for his Democratic opponent, whoever that is, you are deeply self-centered.

You're supposed to vote in the general with your country's welfare in mind. It's not the time to be punishing the Democratic party for being imperfect in your eyes. In the primaries, OK. Not in the general.

Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

There are great differences between the candidates ...

These differences are not intangible. Check out Berman's piece in the Nation - it speaks to contrasting visions of the Democratic party held by both of the candidates.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080317/berman

Obama's campaign funding based on small donors is a major difference between the candidates. His focus on winning all 50 states rather than just 51% is a major difference between the candidates.

If Obama wins, I'll join the party. Why? - because Obama has the capability to change the party from its current guise of big donor-centric delivery system of focus-grouped Bush-enabling pablum. Clinton doesn't present the same opportunity, despite the candidates rhetorical similarities on policy.


Posted by: jackifus on March 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

The main reason I do not support Clinton is that she epitomizes what is wrong with the Democratic party post-9/11. Iraq, Iran, her ridiculous triangulation on flag burning and equivocations on torture..on and on. If Democrats like her put one-tenth of the energy she has put into destroying Obama into stopping Bush, we wouldn't be in this mess and he would have been impeached 2 years ago. I guess it is easier to blame the GOP for everything, whine and whine, and then enable them all of the way.

Oh, yeah, did I mention that it isn't too smart to put up a nominee that probably 65% of the country HATES before the race even begins?

This doesn't mean Obama is perfect, but if you really think that there is "no real difference" between the two, you are delusional.

Posted by: Orson on March 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

What matters is which party controls the White House, and thus thousands of key appointments all through the executve and judicial branches.

We have tons of Hillary Clinton democrats in Congress, and they suck. They roll over every time because they have no spine are more comfortable screwing over their constituents than acting in a way that would take an ounce of political courage.

As long as there is a chance to put someone in that doesn't fit the jellyfish mold of typical democrats, you shouldn't expect people who want to change to fall in line.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

While I was at work the afternoon of Superbowl Sunday, my husband received a phone call from a Hillary Clinton supporter. She did not have a single thing to say about Hillary Clinton; she just wanted to tell him all the reasons he shouldn't vote for Barak Obama.


I've noticed this attitude a lot--if you don't support Clinton, then the Clinton people *hate* you. On our very Democratic street, only one campaign sign showed up: a Hillary sign two doors down in the yard of a neighbor who we know fairly well. We were going to put a Obama sticker on our car, but felt like it'd be picking a fight with her.

For all the "cult" taunts thrown at Obama people, Hillary supporters are the ones who are far too reminiscent of the time after 9/11 into the Iraq war when you didn't talk politics over lunch at a restaurant because it could turn into an argument with a complete stranger who might overhear you and challenge your love of country.

I've had enough of that. I'll probably vote for her if she gets the nomination, but I won't work for her the way I did for Kerry and would for Obama. And it might kill my interest in politics for good, frankly.

Posted by: tess on March 5, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

From MNPundit:

Will I vote for HRC....probably

Fortunately you won't need to. Yesterday Hillary needed to win BIG and failed to do that. People might think that's spin, but consider this fact:

Hillary only made up a grand total of 8 or 9 delegates in yesterday's races.

Hell, Obama picked up 8 in Hawaii alone a couple of weeks back, and is likely to pick up more than that in Mississippi next week. In terms of delegates, yesterday was a huge disappointment for Hillary, and really was the final nail in the coffin for her campaign despite all the hoopla going on right now.

She's done.

Posted by: Joe on March 5, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

ABQkevin has it exactly right. The core party voters are going to support whomever the candidate is, even if they have to hold their noses to do it. But elections are decided by independants, and lots of them have been voting in the Democratic primary as well. And that's where Obama has a significant edge.

A lot of those voters either stay home or switch to McCain if Hillary is the nominee.

Further, while their policies on many issues are very similar (although I heartily agree with those who think there's a real and large difference on foreign policy), that doesn't mean their electoral prospects are similar. Obama is far more electable than Hillary. If she's the nominee, the press coverage is going to be 2000 all over again, except more so. With endless stupid swipes at her and fawning coverage of McCain that ignores all of his obvious flaws.

Posted by: Doug T on March 5, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I've actually infrequently gotten my preferred choice for the Democratic nomination, but I've always rallied and given money and worked field for the eventual nominee. Obviously, I'll pull the lever whomever is the eventual nominee this year - McCain is simply a crazy person - but, for the first time, I just can't see putting in the work for Clinton this year.

I've always had serious qualms about her "50% + 1" view of politics and her cavalier attitude about authorizing an invasion of another country, but the last few weeks have just turned my stomach. The dishonest slime campaign she has waged against someone whom she knows will be a far better president than McCain is just too much. Couple that with the steady stream of invective from her campaign and her supporters aimed, not at Obama, but at his supporters and I just don't see myself climbing into the foxhole with them in November. I simply despise the people she surrounds herself with and can't imagine working with them.

Posted by: DCM on March 5, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

If Democrats like her put one-tenth of the energy she has put into destroying Obama into stopping Bush, we wouldn't be in this mess

We have a winner. Of course this is clearly all about you so it doesn't count.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Can the people who complain about vitriol by the "Obamaniacs" please develop some self-awareness?

Posted by: The Other Ed on March 5, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

More crap from atrios - the leader of the little circle of links - are you both idiots or do you just need a link today.

Are you denying that the campaign has gotten negative, at least on the part of clinton?

I expect more from this site than mindly parroting the foolishness of a 24/7 snark board that is usually wrong and consists of hundreds of immature insults.

Is this the best you can do - repeat the moronic analysis of atrios? Please give us a break - blaming the negative atmosphere of this campaign on the supporters of each side is just too much BS - even by atrios' low, low standards.

Posted by: little bear on March 5, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

optical weenie: I'm an amoral sociopath. Talk like that is sure going to convince me of the superiority of your candidate choice?

It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of any opposing candidate (there's really not enough difference in two candidates on the issues to get exercised about either way). Rather it has everything to do with supporting Hillary Clinton despite her amoral and unscrupulous behavior and the harm it is causing to the Democratic party and the chances of putting a Democrat in the White House. If you're okay with the Clinton campaign's Rove-light smear tactics then what distinguishes you from a Bush supporter isn't principles but merely a matter of degree.

Posted by: Augustus on March 5, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's not about you. It's about the Americans who will die in the wars John McCain wants to launch. If you can't overcome personal pique to vote for his Democratic opponent, whoever that is, you are deeply self-centered.

If John McCain wins then we will do the best we can to stop him from launching wars that kill thousands of Americans. I have never been moved by people who try to argue the sky will fall if x happens. No one knows what will happen. Maybe a McCain Presidency will lead to a Democratic President being elected in 2012, the likes of FDR. Your chicken little ravings about McCain sound panicky and short sighted. There are very few absolutes in the world. Don't be afraid to do what you think is right.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Look, if Clinton wins legitimately, I would probably end up voting for her despite all my complaints. But it's hard to see that happening.

If she wins by rigging it with super delegates, then she's unfit to lead. Nobody who would defy the a Democratic election can ever be trusted to lead a Democracy. That's more important than the Supreme Court. That's more important than anything else.

Posted by: soullite on March 5, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Good Lord, what a depressing series of responses here. I am prepared to agree with you, Kevin, that too much is made of prenomination feuds, although your 1968 analogy did more to wound your case than bolster it.
Now ... Jesus, people. Sure, there are differences between HRC and BHO. But both are ardent health care reformers, both have at least promised to get the troops home ASAP, and either would save the Supreme Court from tilting so far right it slides into the Atlantic. So suck it up, comrades. If every one of us doesn't show up, we're getting four more years, maybe more, of Katrinas, Gitmos, warmongering and diplomatic-economic erosion.
Now I prefer Obama. For that matter, I prefer Nader. But if Hillary is our best shot at at least slowing the world's drift toward disaster, generations to come will not forgive us for taking it.

Posted by: beejeez on March 5, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

So suck it up, comrades. If every one of us doesn't show up, we're getting four more years, maybe more, of Katrinas, Gitmos, warmongering and diplomatic-economic erosion.

In the end, you're almost certainly correct. It just seems sad that after letting the republicans ruin the country, the democratic party is really not looking to do more than throw a band-aid on the problem. You would think we could set our sights a little higher this time.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's not about you. It's about the Americans who will die in the wars John McCain wants to launch.

There is ample circumstantial evidence that just as many Americans will die in the wars Hillary Clinton wants to launch.

Posted by: Brautigan on March 5, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

latts: yes, there are many very good, principled boomers...

Nice of you to say so. And some of my best friends are X'ers.

It's not an either/or proposition. To say "I'll vote for Hillary if she's the nominee" is not the same as "dismissing a whole generation out of hand." It just means "Hillary isn't my first choice but better her than John 'Hundred Years of War' McCain."

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary should be the chosen one. For example among others she has a lot of experience...
Flipper

Posted by: Flipper on March 5, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

kevin, I don't think I've ever thanked you for a post, but now's the time. Amen.

15 years of Clinton-bashing has had it's toll....

Posted by: Horatio Parker on March 5, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

It’s a free country. Do what you like with your choice at the top of the ticket, but *PLEASE* DO NOT “sit out” the election. Go to the polls and make sure that you use your vote to put deserving Democrats into congressional, state and local office. The only truly idiotic thing would be to stay away from the polls altogether.

We pay entirely too much attention to the presidential race, and forget how much public business gets carried out in congress, and at the state and local level. What would really hurt the party would be to deny all of the candidates at these levels the votes they need to carry their elections. They need you.

If it will really make you feel better, you can symbolically “sit out” the presidential election by leaving that part of the ticket blank, or write in a protest vote (In my first presidential election in 1972, I wrote in Shirley Chisholm). Personally, I will enthusiastically support whoever wins the primary, because Bush has taught me that presidents are important (doh!).

Posted by: Bruce on March 5, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

I.R.A.Q.

If we're ever to have a sane foreign policy again this election absolutely has to be a repudiation of GWB's insanity. Hillary Clinton was and probably still is a supporter of the war and most of her foreign policy advisors are neocons. Electing her would practically be an endorsement of GWB's presidency. For me this is 4 orders of magnitude more important than what they think about mandates for health insurance.

Posted by: gecko1 on March 5, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

To say "I'll vote for Hillary if she's the nominee" is not the same as "dismissing a whole generation out of hand."

Luckily, I don't have to worry about my GE vote-- McCain already has my state. But pissing on the youth, as several people detailed above, *will* haunt Dems in the future, because brand loyalty needs to be formed right now, not after they've been shown who's boss and have decided to take a pass. In the marketplace of ideas, they're eager to buy if offered a good product, but they're free to walk away from the transaction. So we're offering the same product they're desperate to replace... really smart.

Posted by: latts on March 5, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Can the people who complain about vitriol by the 'Obamaniacs' please develop some self-awareness?
Posted by: The Other Ed on March 5, 2008 at 4:11 PM "

Not likely. I've actually had Clinton supporters suggest that Taylor Marsh runs something other than a SmearObama24/7 operation and that Sean Wilentz wrote an insightful analysis of the Obama campaign at TNR. I'm loathe to use the term - since Paul Krugman launched it at us and I find it repugnant - but methinks there's no "personality cult" among Democrats quite as grotesque and beyond reason like the Clinton cult. Given all of the damage that the Clintons have done to the party - from their DLC roots, to "The era of big government is over" GOP-lite governance, to destroying any hope of health care reform for a decade and a half, to Hillary's absolute abdication of leadership when Bush proposed to invade Iraq, to her current legitimatizing of McCain talking points to stay in this race - it's like a battered wife syndrome. Maybe Hillary and Bill are the perfect symbol of folks who are joined at the hip despite past humiliations. I don't understand these folks - in life or in politics - but I know it exists.

I'm preparing myself for President John McCain - not the first time Hillary helped guarantee a GOP victory after a demonstration of hubris (1994) or that a Clinton proved too weak to fight as a Democrat and morphed into a pale imitation of a "Reagan Revolution" GOPer in order to assure personal survival. (Lest we forget in our "shock" at the depths of this Mark Penn-massaged campaign, recall that it was the Clintons who launched Dick Morris into the public purview. There seems to be something about Clintons and sleazebags that are made for each other. Now let's all learn to spell G-I-U-S-T-R-A, because it's about time that Bill gets some more of that spotlight he loves so much. All's fair at this point.)

Posted by: brucds on March 5, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

As a former Edwards supporter who also liked Dodd, I find nothing compelling about either of these candidates. Neither has shown leadership; in their current jobs they both play it safe, haven't taken the lead in any important fight, have always been running for President from day one on Capitol Hill rather than doing the job they were elected to do.

Despite the fact that I doubt either will be a particularly memorable President, I'll gladly pull the lever for either one so that the next SCOTUS opening is filled by a Democrat and so McCain doesn't get to start his wars in Syria and Iran.

BTW, I get a real kick out of the lightweight, intergenerational argument put forward by some Obama supporters. The shorter version seems to be, "Those boomers are sooo self centered. Why don't they just DIE and get out of the way so WE can run everything!?!" Talk about your sense of entitlement...

This "young" boomer will turn 50 this year. I have no intention of dying and getting out of your way anytime soon. If you want to work TOGETHER on making this a better nation, I'm all for it. If you're telling me that your taking over and I should just be quiet, that ain't happening.

BTW, Sen. Obama is all of three years younger than me.

Posted by: howie on March 5, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

No one knows what will happen. Maybe a McCain Presidency will lead to a Democratic President being elected in 2012, the likes of FDR.

Unless you're in the military, it's other people's lives you're gambling with. But so long as you feel pure I guess that's the important thing.

And don't worry, even relatively hawkish Hillary won't launch wars -- the Republicans won't let her. Except for McCain they all became peaceniks under her husband, and would again under her.

Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

The blood-letting in the continuing primaries may cause a few to sit out the elections, come November, but not many, I think. More importantly, the decision will be made based on how the candidates position themselves on policies in their debates with/campaign against McCain. Obama has drawn a lot of independents, who could easily switch over to McCain in November. Many progressives are actually hoping for change - as in a progressive agenda. If the Dem candidate (either one) moves center/center-right (a la Kerry) some number will sit at home or vote for Nader. For example, Obama's actual position on NAFTA is worth scrutiny. And I sure hope the whining faction of the Democrat supporters won't call that unfair.

Posted by: RS on March 5, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Quote: "I'm reminded of the old saying that the smaller the stakes, the more vicious the battle. Obama and Clinton are obviously different in some important ways, but overall there just aren't any huge gaps between them, either in ideology or governing theory."

Heh? You've equated differences between the candidates with the STAKES involved? Why on earth would you do that?

Posted by: LynnDee on March 5, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

The reason you only see a small difference between the two candidates is that you're only looking at the policies, not the people. There is a smaller real-world difference between McCain and Clinton than there is between Obama and Clinton in the kind of people they are. McCain is willing to stake out positions and flop around like a fish depending on the way the wind blows. Same for Hillary. Is there a person alive who doesn't see that her vote for the Iraq war was nothing other than a calculated move to "look tough?" Same with Kyl-Lieberman. Or what about her strong anti-flag burning stance? Or her hesitation in standing up for gay rights (she hasn't uttered a peep because it would be unpopular).

And lets talk lobbyists. Hillary rejoices in their participation and their donations. Same with McCain They both represent, from different policy points, all the things that have made people other than political bloggers hate politics. The smearing. The back-room deals. The dishonesty.

Obama is a very different kind of person. And a very different politician. The fact that he hasn't taken a dollar from lobbyists or PACs is evidence of radically different idea of how government should work. Hillary and McCain both see no other way for government to work. Can't you see the difference there?


Posted by: James Brown on March 5, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Only a tiny fraction of Sen. Clinton's supporters and Sen. Obama's supporters comment on political blogs. At all.

Only a tiny fraction of the Democrats who sometimes comment on political blogs ever make snide comments about their non-favored candidates and their supporters. Unfortunately, that fraction of a fraction is extremely visible and provacative, and repeatedly posts flammage and incitement to riot; most of the rest of us are inclined to remark somewhere, once, "I have no problem with Candidate X, will vote for them in the general, but I prefer Candidate Y."

After that, the tolerant majority stays quiet, and likely becomes dismayed as their favorite political blog's comment section descends into a flame-fest. As Mark Isaak remarked, long ago on Usenet, "Tolerance on the Net consists mostly of posts that people don't make."

The trolls divide us; maybe some of them are doing it on purpose. Last night I looked in on the Left Coaster; some jerk was posting over and over, taunting the Clinton supporters. One guy, but many many sophomoric content-free comments. Made me want to comment with an apology on behalf of Obama supporters in general, and to ask him to STFU.

But all this blog comment flamewar is a tempest in a teapot as far as the general election is concerned. The vast majority of the electorate is blissfully unaware of its existence, and wouldn't care if they knew.

Posted by: joel hanes on March 5, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, Clinton and Obama have taken some similar public positions. The problem is that I honestly don't believe that Clinton will pay any attention to what she said during her campaign if she manages to win the general election. The minute that one of her campaign planks drops below 50% support in the polls, she'll be triangulating away from it so fast it'll make your head spin.

Ergo, IMO, the differences between the two are much more significant than Kevin seems to think.

Posted by: Vlad on March 5, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Quote: "They're both great candidates (as was John Edwards), and I confess that I have a hard time understanding the level of vitriol that the race has produced among supporters on both sides. I sure hope that all the doom and gloom talk is just talk, because anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot."

Does it come from being a parent? To me, there is just something appalling about the notion of rewarding that b!tch Hillary Clinton -- yes, I'm using the b-word now -- for behavior that I wouldn't reward in anyone else. Yes, I know it's cutting off my nose to spite my face to think about not voting if she's the nominee -- and I assume, ultimately, it won't come to that.

But at the moment, I'm quite appalled by her campaign crap and don't want to reward it.

Posted by: LynnDee on March 5, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

You know, the whole, "I voted for Obama because I hate Hillary and I'll switch to McCain in the general" screed is tiresome and childish. It's "I'm gonna take my ball and go home."

In a word, blackmail.

STFU.

Oh, and I'm 51, and I have one vote, just like any twenty or thirty something. I'd prefer to think about what we could do together, what we WILL do together. There's a sea change coming, regardless of which Democrat is elected.

But we must must MUST purge the whole "victim" mentality. Whoever gets the nomination ain't going to have it handed to them on a silver platter, and thats a good thing. We need fighters. The right is not going to suddenly roll over and play dead.

Really, what we need are politicians who can be fighters AND lovers.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on March 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

For me, Hillary represents the DLC and I reject their vision of the future. I will NOT vote republican, but I would reluctanty vote for Clinton. She will receive no money from me and no additional support.

Hillary crossed the line with me with her current attacks on Obama suggesting the Republican nominee is more qualified to be commander in chief.

My guess is that she will NOT get us out of Iraq, and would likely engage militarily with Iran. Hillary's current rhetoric is contrary to her votes in the Senate, and I suggest she will need to prove that a woman can sabre rattle on par with the boys.

My reluctant vote for Clinton would be based on one thing...Supreme Court and other judicial appointments.

Posted by: Rob in IL on March 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is a puffed-up phony. That is the problem.
In a few years, he would be good enough to be President. Now? He's just a marketing product.

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Because the divisions between supporters of BO and HC match up with many other demographic divisions.

Therefore even if the candidates policies aren't terribly different, the factions represented by the candidates are very different.


Posted by: Adam on March 5, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

After being enamored with Obama for almost a year, I fell out of love over a period of reading more profiles on the guy. At the same time, I realized my Hillary aversion was baseless.

I could care less if Clinton has worked for this her entire life, I think she's the better candidate because she seems way more seasoned. Note I did not say she has more years of experience.

Obama symbolizes, and expresses, many things that trouble me about the generation coming of age now - the attitude that elders are clueless and have nothing to contribute, wanting instant gratification, and a slight, smug narcissism. I see this deep-rooted resentment toward baby boomers, well grounded (the boomers drive me insane!) but Obama seems to be bringing on a second wave boomerism mirroring the one he decries.

Michelle Obama's comments, which she read from a scripted speech twice, that she hasn't been proud of her country in her adult life until now, WERE TROUBLING! More narcissism.

From afar people see Hillary as a narcissist, but the more I read about the two of these people, the more it looks like Hillary is just a tenacious person who doesn't bother managing her image, while Obama seems to believe he has a divine calling to be president. Ick.

Posted by: AJ Fish on March 5, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

A puffed-up phony? I can see why you're unwilling to sign your name to crap like that. The phony is Hillary, pretending that being a politician's wife counts for real experience.

You want another failed attempt at health care? Vote for Hillary.

You want another huge loss in Congress for the Dems? Vote for Hillary.

You want lobbyists to control the agenda? Vote for Hillary.

You want any of that to change? Vote for the puffed-up phony. And while you're at it, read his books. Read what being a community organizer in the Chicago slums really is about. And then compare that to Hillary's corporate law career. And them tell me who's being the phony when they say they want to change the lives of ordinary americans. Obama's been involved in that kind of puffed-up phoniness for decades. Hillary's a rich girl who's gotten richer. And who, for all her talk, has ZERO accomplishments. I dare you to name even one.

Posted by: James Brown on March 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I get a real kick out of the lightweight, intergenerational argument put forward by some Obama supporters. The shorter version seems to be, "Those boomers are sooo self centered. Why don't they just DIE and get out of the way so WE can run everything!?!" Talk about your sense of entitlement...

Oh, damn, I guess you saw the kids towing in the ice floe for your final journey...

::sigh::

Look, a new generation is coming up whether you guys like it or not, and instead of welcoming them and understanding their concerns, I'm hearing a bunch of cranky, hidebound complaints from people who seem rather inflexible and, well, old. This new, huge generation is not impressed with the Dem boomer political models at least, because they're staggeringly ineffective (Reagan, Reagan, GHWB, a besieged Clinton, the right-leaning accomodationist Clinton, Gore's destruction, and GWB/Cheney-- you see a pattern of success there?- me neither). Insisting on a diligent and unappealing (not to mention self-serving) wonk because it's just not the kids' turn to have a say yet is both selfish and shortsighted, and if that doesn't make sense to boomers, well... it just confirms a lot of stereotypes.

Then again, building a party for the future would require a lot more foresight & self-discipline than Democrats of any generation are likely to display, so there's no point in being surprised.

Posted by: latts on March 5, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

>>Last year, I was still favorably disposed to Sen. Clinton, but I have really soured towards her over the last 2 months or so. I've seen more of her, and I don't like what I see. I actively dislike her now.

And I feel exactly the same way about Obama. I can't stand his preachery style. It's manipulative and condescending.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: Carolyn Kay on March 5, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wait. Here's an accomplishment: voting to authorize the Iraq war.

Oh wait, here's another: voting to ban flag-burning.

Oh wait, here's another: voting to get tough with Iran.

Oh wait, here's another: voting to make bankruptcy harder for ordinary americans (you know, the ones she want to help so badly) and making it easier for corporations.

Or wait, here's another: willfully and knowingly distorting Obama's position on choice to score political points.

Oh wait, here's another: praising the experience of the republican nominee over her rival's to score political points.

Yeah, there's a whole lot to respect about Hillary.

Posted by: James Brown on March 5, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

How this could possibly have taken Kevin by surprise, I don't know.

But he's just admitted that when it comes to the fundamental fissures and rifts appearing in the democratic primary--he doesn't know what he's talking about!

It will only get worse the longer the primary goes on.

Posted by: Korha on March 5, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

James Brown!

Great stuff. Thanks. I needed that.

Posted by: paxr55 on March 5, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Pity poor Obama if he wins. There's no way he can satisfy the moralistic ideologues who support him now, and when people like that are disillusioned, they turn vicious.

Posted by: mario on March 5, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mario, I'm confused when you lump millions and millions of people under the heading of "moralistic idealogues. What do you mean by that? Do you mean like the people who founded our country? Or do you mean like the immigrants who came searching for a better life? Or do you mean like the kind of person who wants to get into politics to actually help people, like Obama, or the ones
who see it as a way to ride the coattails of power, like Hillary?

Oh wait, I don't think "false hopes" Hillary would really qualify as an idealist. No I think "uninspiring, easy-to-hate opportunist" would be a better tag for her.

Posted by: James Brown on March 5, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

James, I think what Mario was trying to say is, "Point, Blink Blink, Clap. Nod, Nod, Clap, Clap, Point. Clap, Nod, point."

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

I get a real kick out of the lightweight, intergenerational argument put forward by some Obama supporters. The shorter version seems to be, "Those boomers are sooo self centered. Why don't they just DIE and get out of the way so WE can run everything!?!" Talk about your sense of entitlement...

Oh, damn, I guess you saw the kids towing in the ice floe for your final journey...

::sigh::

"Look, a new generation is coming up whether you guys like it or not, and instead of welcoming them and understanding their concerns, I'm hearing a bunch of cranky, hidebound complaints from people who seem rather inflexible and, well, old. This new, huge generation is not impressed with the Dem boomer political models at least, because they're staggeringly ineffective (Reagan, Reagan, GHWB, a besieged Clinton, the right-leaning accomodationist Clinton, Gore's destruction, and GWB/Cheney-- you see a pattern of success there?- me neither). Insisting on a diligent and unappealing (not to mention self-serving) wonk because it's just not the kids' turn to have a say yet is both selfish and shortsighted, and if that doesn't make sense to boomers, well... it just confirms a lot of stereotypes."


..and you don't see the irony of your post?

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Enozihno,

Are you suggesting that Obama's supporters, who tend to be far better educated are really just mindless automatons? Are they the "impressionable elites" that Mark Penn warns about?

So let me get this straight: smart people are stupid and unthinking when they support Obama.

People with less education are smart when they support Hillary.

Wow, it all makes sense now. Thanks.

Posted by: James Brown on March 5, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

If you can convince yourself that Hillary Clinton is responsible for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, then it does not surprise me that you can convince yourself that she is Republican (or Republican lite) and undeserving of your vote.

Posted by: little ole jim on March 5, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

James, not at all. That was a failed, text-only impersonation of Clinton. Sorry for the confusion.

My larger point, which I apparently failed to make, was that it's kind of silly for people to point at Obama supporters (Or Clinton-haters) as being the only ones who are dopes falling for high-minded rhetoric.

Hillary Clinton gives terrible speeches, and is a completely known quantity. If she can point and clap her way to a million dollars a day, Obama people aren't the only ones getting their chains pulled.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Unless you're in the military, it's other people's lives you're gambling with. But so long as you feel pure I guess that's the important thing.

And don't worry, even relatively hawkish Hillary won't launch wars -- the Republicans won't let her. Except for McCain they all became peaceniks under her husband, and would again under her.

I am not worried. I have more faith in the 72 million Democrats who aren't named Hillary Clinton than you do. Save your scare tactics for people as scared as you are. Wow, when did Democrats become cowering pussies scared of their own shadows? Pretend your not scared and do what you think is right my pants pissing friend.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

On the one hand, I'm pretty disenchanted with Hillary and will have a hard time casting a symbolic vote for her in my blue state if she's the nom, but there's no other option. She may not act well, and she's quite hawkish, but she's nowhere near as alarming as McCain.

I tried to dig up this Plank comment at TNR where some guy listed Hillary's impressive accomplishments over the years, but I couldn't find it. It's a good chill pill for infuriated Obamamaniacs. Maybe someone out there has it bookmarked.

Posted by: Lucy on March 5, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wait, here's another: voting to make bankruptcy harder for ordinary americans (you know, the ones she want to help so badly) and making it easier for corporations.

I suggest you do some reading here. The 2001 bill never became law and Hillary was against the 2005 bill (voted to keep it from reaching the floor, voted for amendments increasing consumer protections that the Republicans shot down, and she even gave speeches against it.) She didn't vote at all on the final bill as her husband was getting heart surgery that day. Her vote would not have been the deciding vote. Bring on the vitriol!!

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Only an amoral sociopath would advocate voting for a cat for President!

Blue Neponset, what on earth are you talking about?
Wow, when did Democrats become cowering pussies scared of their own shadows? Clean the dribble of your chin, take your medication, and after it's kicked in, please explain yourself. And no, I am not putting you down for being young. I am putting you down for being a blithering fucking moron.

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Neponset, what on earth are you talking about? Wow, when did Democrats become cowering pussies scared of their own shadows? Clean the dribble of your chin, take your medication, and after it's kicked in, please explain yourself. And no, I am not putting you down for being young. I am putting you down for being a blithering fucking moron.

Clean off your glasses old guy. I wasn't responding to you. I was responding to a comment Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM. (it was the one italicized in my comment) Also if you want me to clarify what I wrote you can fucking ask me nicely.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

"anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot"

Then I'm an idiot. Look, I'm a Democrat, but I believe the label "deceitful c*nt" can be correctly applied to Hillary. I'm simply not going to endorse such under any circumstances. I would feel dirty voting for someone as spiritually dead as she is, sorry.

Am I projecting my shadow onto her and then rejecting both of them? Probably, but everybody does that, not just idiots.

Posted by: TonyT on March 5, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

The bottom line is Clinton supported a war that Democrats have opposed with righteous outrage for the past 5 years. How can Democrats possibly reward her for that by making her the nominee?
People were hurt in a wide variety of ways by this war, and Clinton is partly responsible for that harm. Supporting war is not a feminist thing. Helping to create conditions where the needs of families, children and WOMEN are neglected because of the demands of this war is not FEMINIST. When will the women of this country come to that realization and do the right thing by rejecting Clinton?

Posted by: Varecia on March 5, 2008 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

thersites, blue

Not to get in the middle of here, but I think this post from Open Left has an interesting take on the youth/boomer dynamic.

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4355

I don't really get the generational divide. We were all young once, and knew some really stupid people, and if we didn't, it was probably because we were the biggest dope in the room. But there are plenty dumb boomers as well. The direction this country has been headed down is a testament to that fact.

The young people brought out by Obama a certainly better than the young people playing WOW and posting "2 girls, 1 cup" reactions on You Tube.

But who is Clinton bringing to the table? Is she really bringing boomers that someone else wouldn't? I don't know. I'd like to see some evidence of people she's activating.

Posted by: enozinho on March 5, 2008 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think where some folks and myself are is what the effect a McCain/Republican presidency would have on the country. There is no doubt that it's understandable to vote for him if your position and his position on issues are the same or you think his positions are going to help America, Americans and, in some cases, the rest of the world moreso than positions of HRC, or even OB. If you don't even know, want to know or care to know his positions but will vote for him as a way to realize your unpleasant feelings towards Mrs. Clinton please consider that reality of a McCain Presidency determines a great deal more than your feelings of definitively rejecting someone.

He will get to chose: Sec.'s of Def, Tres., Inter., HHS, Homeland Sec., State, Labor, Education, Energy...Dir. of Intell., Joint Chief, FBI, NASA, UN Ambass., Attorn. Gen., US attor.'s, Supreme and Circuit Court Judges, Heads of the FCC, CDC, FDA, FEC...these appointees will pick the appropriate underlings, and they'll pick two friends and they'll pick two friends, etc...policies and issues like tax, climate change, energy, environment, international law, trade, Guantanamo, Iraq redeployment?, Putins New Russia, Katrina-still, AIDS in Africa, the Middle East-Isr/Pal, Pak., Iran, Afghan., China,etc..

These all matter and greatly affect millions of people (disproportionately negative amongst folks with less voice, power, money, and resources) in the US and the world. Personally, I just ask that folks please care about what actually happens when they to act upon their chance to influence and direct the consequences of millions of strangers lives and few of their neighbors. I think there may be a few who would strongly demand that same thing of HRC...or of any candidate, leader, person in position of power if they saw said leader approach their decisions with their focus of the outcome mainy directed at the safifaction of their personal feelings more than the effect on millions of others.

Oh, yeah, he picks the Vice President too.

Posted by: andrelee on March 5, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's amazing. Boomers cut their teeth on refuting their parents and grandparents, showing the world a new way. And now that a new generation is finally getting out from under them, they're bitching and carrying on about it.

What a bunch of whiners.

I can't wait until your day is done. I thought it was with an HRC loss, but it looks like she'll leave teethmarks all over the presidency before she's gone. You guys did some good for the country but, like Steinam and Billie Jean King and others lately, you're very much embarassing yourselves. New ideas, please.

Posted by: Eric on March 5, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Blue: I was responding to a comment Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM.
Yes, I figured that out. But you said "democrats" so I felt included. And I was responding in kind to your tone. I haven't actually pissed down my leg once, not since I started using Depends!

enozinho: But there are plenty dumb boomers as well.
Certainly. I don't remember saying, or even implying, otherwise. It's the generic boomer-bashing, and being told to get out of the way and die that gets me riled up.

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Goes for you, too, Eric. Does everyone your age think exactly the same way? Neither did we then, or now.

And if you claim Hillary is a deceitful person, Tony T, you might be right. But keep her sex organs out of it.

I'll shut up now. Time to strap on the leg, get into my walker, and go drool on my shirt.

Posted by: thersites on March 5, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I figured that out. But you said "democrats" so I felt included. And I was responding in kind to your tone. I haven't actually pissed down my leg once, not since I started using Depends!

Fair enuff. Ryan and others seem to think no one can stop John McCain from starting a war and/or killing a lot of Americans if he becomes President. They claim that is reason enough to ignore Hillary's antics and vote for her in November. I think that is a scare tactic and is worthy of derision. If anyone is that scared of John McCain then he needs to grow a pair of balls. I too am a Democrat so I probably shouldn't have used such a broad brush when calling people like Ryan scaredy cats. My apologies.

Posted by: Blue Neponset on March 5, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

"As someone who actually works in video production, the idea floating around that the Clinton camp altered Obama to make him look 'blacker' is complete and utter bullshit."


As someone who actually works in video production, I know that the easiest thing in the world to do is to manipulate contrast, luminence and hue to make someone look however unattractive or sinister you want. To assume that this is done routinely in campaign commercials is absurd. To invoke some kind of "professional credibility" to deny that the Clinton team made Obama look lousy in that ad - specifically that the reds were diminished and the contrast/brightness tweaked for whatever reason - is total bullshit and the commenter loses all credibility IMHO. It takes about 60-90 seconds at most to do this stuff and I know it's done all the time.

Posted by: brucds on March 5, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

that should have been "to assume this ISN'T done routinely in campaign commercials is absurd"

Posted by: brucds on March 5, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

TonyT, that's an inexcusably foul comment given the misogyny in this race - I don't think it's why Hillary's losing but that's not to deny its existence. You seem to have the ability to use other ways to express your sentiments; use them.

Posted by: snicker-snack on March 5, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

If the label "lying pr*ck" is a good one for George W Bush (and I think it is), it seems to me that Hillary qualifies for equal treatment.

Posted by: on March 5, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

What a treasure trove is this comment thread.
1) "Not a partisan democrat" - Wake up dude, if you choose a party you are partisan, and you ought to damned well be proud of it!

2) "Obama followers believe that the non-partisan rhetoric empowers them, and further it will do away with lobbyists. Oh Please, grow up! The lobbyists don't mostly waste time lobbying the president, they have a whole congress which actually writes legislation to compromise. And..the congressfolk have to run for election either more frequently, or to maintain much longer careers.

What the dems need, especially in Congress is the re-incarnation of someone(s) like LBJ to get the bluedogs etc in line, and make them and their constituents pay like hell for the trips "off the reservation". Yes that is partisan as hell, and it can't happen soon enough!

HRC or BO, if elected, will face off against the partisan ratf*ckers who have honed their machine for years. Either one better be ready for it and better be ready to bust heads, republican or democrat, to get things done.

Posted by: RickG on March 5, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry it took me so long to get back.
What racist ads? The ones where TV footage of Obama was distorted to make him look darker skinned and broader of nose. Fear the black man! Daily Kos has pictures of the ad. jack and Jill Politics has the reactions of some African American Democrats.

We aren't idiots if we expect out Presidential candidate to maintain reasonable norms of responsible social behavior.

I forgave HRC for supporting the war, voting for the Marriage Act and that stupid flag burning thing, the Iran Resolution, opposing net neurality, her Republican stance on Cuba, the failure to show for the FISA ---I was even willing to vote for her after the lies about Planned Parenthood, Rezko, the Nafta memo, even after the empty suit sneers, the leak about Obama's supposed connection to the Weather Underground--sheesh the list goes on and on.

But to darkern his skin tone in order to make him look more black in hopes that dark skin will turn off voters and turn them toward Hillary?

Forgive that?

If racism is forgivable in our Presidential candidate, then why should I bother being a Democrat?

Posted by: wonkie on March 5, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks wonkie, you said it better than me.

She still is one though :)

Posted by: TonyT on March 5, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

It is desperation, man, with huge, unfathomable stakes. I feel for them both--Obama and Clinton-- and what remains is a deeper crisis of the blustering Republican regime. McCain is no better than Bush, uttering in his own way the words, "bring em on."

Posted by: consider wisely on March 5, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still hoping for Obama, but if Hillary does win, I can only hope that women come out in force to vote and she blows McCain out of the water - despite what the polls may say right now. Anyone have theories on that?

BTW, I'm not suggesting her election should be dependent on women voting only, just that perhaps her winning would propel an unusually high turnout among women.

Posted by: Robert S. on March 5, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

James Brown, that was great!

Posted by: LynnDee on March 5, 2008 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a woman and a feminist and if I vote for her I'll be holding my nose. And thrilled as I would normally be to see a woman President, I'll be damned sorry if it's her.

Posted by: LynnDee on March 5, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I work in post-production and we routinely adjust skin color to match our feelings about a person's value to society. This is routine people and it's been done for a long time. Peter Jennings is a black man. Barry Bonds and Mike Tyson are white. Michael Jackson used to scare us with his dark rhythmic music so we made him black. When he failed to get a girlfriend and began hanging out with Liz Taylor we made him blotchy and took away his nose.

It happens all the time. Get over it.

Posted by: asdf on March 5, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

This is who Hillary Clinton is: I blame her for bringing that Obama/Muslim meme, and I also call her on that advertisement which darkened Obama's skin and widened his nose.

This is who Hillary Clinton is. But I have to ask: who would you have guessed was the party behind those ads, if you had to guess?

She wants to win, because she's been running for President for years, and she'll break the Democratic Party apart until she does. Nice candidate there. Real Proud.

But I understand: this is politics. However, be careful what you wish for: Obama has his hands on the rug where she's standing, and when it's pulled, I don't want to see any fake tears. Remember, just politics.

Posted by: Boorring on March 5, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the label "deceitful c*nt" can be correctly applied to Hillary.

And I believe the label "freakin' misogynist" can correctly be applied to you.

Look, I really am not all that emotionally invested in who wins this nomination. I can cheerfully support either one. But there's this disturbing undercurrent about some - although certainly not all - of the anti-Hillaryism.

Every time I hear "it's not that I wouldn't vote for a woman, it's just that I wouldn't vote for HER" my radar goes off.

I've heard this before - about women running for other offices, about woman bosses, etc. It usually means "yeah, I really DON'T want a woman in charge."

And for the record, I'm a 55 year old professional woman (yes, one of those awful boomers who refuses to go sit in my rocking chair), and I've had quite a bit of experience using that sexist radar.

Posted by: gemini on March 5, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Hilary Clinton is an empty suit. There's not much there.

If she weren't a Clinton and her husband had never been president, these primaries would be over. It'd be completely over, because she has nothing to run on. Also, if she were Clinton's brother or cousin, it'd be over.

She's running on a 'feminist' ticket when her only advantage at all is her husband.

That's it.

Very feminist of her.

Posted by: E. on March 5, 2008 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the same thing to call Hillary a c*nt as to call Bush a prick. For whatever reason, c*nt is a dirtier word. I'm sure there are some feminist psychologists who could explain why, and I would even believe them.

(It makes no sense at all -- why do men use as an insult the name of something they spend their lives trying to get close to?)

I just have anecdotal evidence. When I was a kid, I used the word "prick" and got told to watch my mouth. I used the word "c*nt" and got my ass whooped. I don't understand it.

gemini -- is our shuffleboard date still on? ;-)

Posted by: thersites on March 6, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's not the same thing to call Hillary a c*nt as to call Bush a prick.

Exactly.

Though in British English you could easily call Bush a cunt and when (much) younger I have been known to once or twice yell at my brother and call him said organ.

Posted by: snicker-snack on March 6, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

As a bit of a side note, I'm having trouble squaring the notion that Clinton is so much more seasoned and able to withstand Republican attacks with her campaign's regular retreats to whining about how unfair the media treatment of her has been, and it's so sexist, etc.

Pick a story. Either you're the tough candidate that can handle the heat in the kitchen and give as good as she gets, or you're the poor defenseless female victim of prejudice and a biased media. But don't try to play both sides. (Given that the whining and playing the victim is what's actually happened when she's been challenged, while the toughness is solely a hypothetical, I know which side I believe is the truth.)

Posted by: Doug T on March 6, 2008 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

We can debate perceptions ad nauseum. What I wonder is, what would this discussion sound like if Florida and Michigan had held recognized primaries.

Given Hillary's success in larger states, and in the industrial states, I'm guessing her delegate count would be larger. She has a legitimate gripe: why should Florida's Republican governor, who signed the state's primary date revision bill, have had so much say in the Democratic party's delegate count?

I say find a way to legitimately allocate and seat the Florda and Michigan delegates and let the candidates duke it out fair and square. I would have no problem supporting whichever democratic candidate won.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 6, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Putting the vitriol where it goes.

It's sort of like Josh Marshall's open hatered of Ralph Nader. Why hate Nader when surely all the real vitriol belongs to those nasty voters who enabled Nader, rather than Nader himself.

And there really is a big difference. You have the WMD people on one side, which includes the Bush friendly, pro-preemptive war Clintons - and the no mistaking youth vote for Obama = real change.

Saying there is no difference between these candidates is bull shit. It's too bad the Clintons throw a wrench in the mix, as if the Clintons can't be president, will than no Dem will be president - kind of nasty hostility. How did she do that anyway when that last Ad was such a crowning loser, with more pro-Rovism terror campaign BS.

McCain might well be the only one left standing - depending on how divided the Clintons want to keep things.

Posted by: me-again on March 6, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

I see the extremists still have their knickers twisted to tight.

Clue to you folks - the adversary is the Republican Machine. Barack isn't an empty suit. Hillary is not a republican. Suggesting either is counterproductive and only going to help the bush43 regime get a 3rd term.

Both extremist sides have shit for brains if you don't see what we are all really up against. And the whole intergenerational angst is just plain bigotry. Both sides! Don't pander to being a bigot and say those are Democratic Party values.

Elect a Democrat come November. I think that's more important than anything else.

Posted by: kindness on March 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

It is All about us. We are voters. Elections are about us.

If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with Democracy. Stop trying to bully people into going along with you.

Posted by: soullite on March 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Basically, women think it's ok to say a man is a bad thing, and that their sex organs are bad things, but those same women recoil in horror as if someone called them a 'n*****' if it happens to them.

These same women also think it's ok to darken peoples faces, use racial slurs like 'shuck and jive', use culturally loaded terms like 'spade'; and yet recoil at the word 'periodically'.

Basically, they think nothing can ever be interpreted as bigotry, unless it's targeted toward them.

Posted by: soullite on March 6, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

because anybody who's seriously thinking about sitting out this election if their guy doesn't win is being an idiot.
Also known as a 'Sully'

Posted by: Northern Observer on March 6, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton's Midas Touch

Rezko, who?

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

if Hillary can overcome Obama Menia she can beat McCain hands down.

So she is not perfect, neither is Obama. She has a longer record to be judged by, after all she is in her second term as senator and he has just one halve of his first term. Before that he was in local politics and by all accounts he voted present more often than not.

He does play the race card and the victim card if it helps him too. But such is politics, just don't blame Hillary when she plays hard ball too. In Nov. the nominated candidate better know how to play hard ball, the Republicans will play harder.

Only fools would vote for a candidate they don't believe to be the best for the nation just because they want to spite the best candidate.

Hillary or Obama either one is better than McCain any time.

Posted by: Renate on March 6, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I am an Obama supporter and am very offended by the use of bitch and cunt to describe Hillary. You sound more like Republican trolls than Obama supporters to me.

Posted by: kgb on March 6, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

What Renate said.
Hillary or Obama either one is better than McCain any time.
Can't be said often enough.

Posted by: thersites on March 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

>>Oh wait. Here's an accomplishment: voting to authorize the Iraq war.

If you think Obama is anti-war, I have a surprise for you.

Obama wasn't in the Senate when the vote was taken on the Iraq War resolution, and when running for the Senate in 2004 he made conflicting statements, even telling the New York Times at one point, "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage."
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0407270351jul27,0,3085726.story

Also in 2004:
"When asked about Senators Kerry and Edwards’ votes on the Iraq war, Obama said, 'I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports,' Mr. Obama said. 'What would I have done? I don’t know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.'"
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9407E2DF153DF935A15754C0A9629C8B63

His much-touted 2002 speech wasn't as anti-war as he'd like you to believe. In the speech, he never said "Do not attack Iraq", or "If I were in the Senate right now, I'd vote against any resolution that could in any way be construed as giving the President the authority to send troops to Iraq." That gave him deniability, in case the war went well.
http://www.barackobama.com/2002/10/02/remarks_of_illinois_state_sen.php

In 2003, when the war was popular, he took the speech off his website.
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=491&Itemid=1

His war funding voting record has been exactly the same as Clinton's.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_01/012953.php

He didn't make it back to Washington to vote on the Kyl-Lieberman Iran resolution, even though he'd been notified the vote was imminent.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00349

"[T]hose looking to the Obama campaign as a means of ending American militarism will be sorely disappointed. The Illinois Senator has vowed not to reduce the ballooning US military budget—which consumes an estimated $700 billion annually—but rather to increase it. He has called for the recruitment of another 65,000 soldiers for the Army as well as 27,000 more Marines. He has vowed to put 'more boots on the ground' in the 'war on terror,' the pretext invented by the Bush administration to justify 'preemptive war,' i.e., military aggression aimed at asserting US hegemony over the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia.

"As for Iraq itself, his promises to end the war are belied by his pledge to keep American forces in Iraq to defend 'US interests' and conduct 'counterterrorism operations,' a formula that would see tens of thousands of US soldiers and Marines continuing to occupy Iraq and repress its population for many years to come."
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/feb2008/obam-f14.shtml

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: Carolyn Kay on March 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Clearly this Carolyn Kay is a racist you-know-what who hates young people. (sarcasm)

Posted by: thersites on March 6, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Carolyn Kay,

You seem to be saying that although Clinton's record as an enabler of Bush's war and Kyl-Lieberman's amendment is abysmal, Obama's record can be construed as ambiguous and only marginally better. I'd argue that the differences in their positions are more substantial than that: but when it comes to a decision as momentous as whether or not to plunge the country into an unjustified war, I'll take "marginally better" any day.

Posted by: zeke on March 6, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think this SadlyNo post pretty much says it all.

Posted by: kindness on March 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Listen to yourselves, your trying to convince 60% of those willing to support one candidate in your party, to support the only candidate in your party that CAN lose in November.


Who are you calling an idiot?

Posted by: Bill on March 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

the only candidate in your party that CAN lose in November

thanks for the clarification, Bill.

Posted by: thersites on March 6, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK
"If you think Obama is anti-war, I have a surprise for you." - Carolyn

Your surprise is based on an assumption that wasn't true in the first place, so you're entire energy spent in typing your post was unnecessary.

In any case, in Obama's own words, he isn't against all wars, just "dumb ones". What's the difference, as I'm sure you're eager to know? Here's how he explained it:

"But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars."

Earlier, in that same speech, he outlined the necessary evil of war:

"Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars."

Sounds pretty pragmatic to me.

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK
"His much-touted 2002 speech wasn't as anti-war as he'd like you to believe. In the speech, he never said "Do not attack Iraq", or "If I were in the Senate right now, I'd vote against any resolution that could in any way be construed as giving the President the authority to send troops to Iraq." That gave him deniability, in case the war went well." - Carolyn

Good speculation, on your part. Rendered ineffective, however, when compared against the rhetoric of Hillary in authorizing the Iraq War, in effect. One could say she wanted in on the victory, with enough of a warning in case things went awry:

"My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for uni-lateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose -- all of which carry grave dangers for our nation, for the rule of international law and for the peace and security of people throughout the world."

Further on,

"So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed."

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

It appears that the Huffington crowd has moved over here. I can speak as a lifelong democrat who has participated in 11 presidential cycles. Up to this one, I haven't seen quite as much generational hatred as I have this time. Not everything the baby boomers, as they are stereotypically described here, has been awful. What I am seeing in the Obama supporters is a bunch of snotty nosed kids who possess all the arrogance of youth, with a patina of the mind-numbing MTV consciousness on top. What I've observed of the vitriol against the Clintons has convinced me that the time is well past when we need three parties: the third, a party composed of people who are disgusted with the know-it-alls who trash the Clintons and their generation as they blindly support Obama (who for me, is still an unvetted persona), the independents who are already disgusted with both the other parties, and the disaffected republicans who are sick at what the idiot in chief has done to their party abd their country. Then, perhaps, at least for a little while, we could leave the haters on both sides behind. We need a party of adults in the United States who want to repair the damage of the past seven years and who want to solve the problems that most people wake up to every day. As far as I'm concerned the people who have been trashing the Clintons and many others who served with them (on both sides of the political isle), can take their pollyanna religious fervor and shove it where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: rbe1 on March 6, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

A great speech, but her years of experience "watching my husband deal with serious challenges to our nation" weren't enough to negate this serious error of judgment on her part:

"I never would have given President Bush the authority. It was a sincere vote based on my assessment at the time and what I believed he would do with the authority he was given.

He abused that authority; he misused that authority. I warned at the time it was not authority for a preemptive war. Nevertheless, he went ahead and waged one, which has led to the position we find ourselves in today."


Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Good heavens Gemini, you don't have enough data to conclude I am a misogynist.

Since my wife refers to Hillary with the same label I used, is she a self-hating female?

The label is dirty and offensive, yes. BUT SO IS HILLARY.

Get it?

Posted by: TonyT on March 6, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

(cont'd, from above. The commenting system is strange, so I had to erase a few links)

Unfortunately, her years of experience "watching" her husband from the sidelines could not negate the common sense that was available to the public at large.

Maybe she is just trying to get some anti-war vote, and is campaigning like we know she is. But again, just like your inference, this is speculation. I could be wrong, as she ended up being gullible towards the Bush adminstration's motives.. But, hey, we all make mistakes:

"Russert: But to be clear, you'd like to have your vote back?
Sen. Clinton: Absolutely. I've said that many times."

Or did we? Senator Clinton didn't regret her vote for the Iraq war in 2005

But...she does now. Quite an empty suit.

Finally, Dennis Kucinich, stalwart opponent of the Iraq war, said the following:


“I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice," Kucinich said in a statement. "But in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change.”

Indeed. Now, release the tax returns. Way before Pennsylvania, unless there is something to hide.

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with those who see a big gap between Clinton and Obama on good governance, ideas about executive power, civil liberties, and so on. Clinton strikes me as being at best uninterested in these questions, at worst, actively wrong-headed. I don't look for her to try to reverse any of the powers and capacities that Cheney and others in the current Administration have worked hard to claim for the executive branch. I see no indication at all that Clinton thinks that the process of governance within the executive branch needs to change, or that a renewed commitment to transparency is important. I grant you that the previous Clinton Administration actually took some good steps in that direction, though. But it's different now, and I need to hear it. I'm hearing it from Obama. From Clinton's style of campaigning, I'm *seeing* the opposite.

So I find it pretty irritating when I see someone like Kevin just saying, "Hey, relax, it really doesn't matter very much who gets the nomination." Yes, it matters. For me, it's the difference between resigned acceptance because almost anything is better than what we've had for eight years, and enthusiastic belief in the possibility of comprehensive improvement on the things that matter most to me.

Posted by: Timothy Burke on March 6, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton cannot win the nomination process mathematically, so she's doing what she can to bolster up John McCain and hurt her own party's chances this November, so she can open up an avenue in 2012.

This is who she is.

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

A final thought from TonyT.

Until last week, Hillary Clinton was still a person to me. Although I didn't like her, she was a politician, not a c*nt.

However, after the fake newscast and the ad that darkened Obama's skin color, in my book she stopped being a person and became a desperate, pathetic, deceitful animal.

I stand by my label. Be offended all you want. She is what she is, so go ahead and live in denail, I don't care.

Posted by: TonyT on March 6, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

To me this election is a lot more about process and the direction of the party in general than about the candidates. I think Obama's foreign policy approach will be much better than hers, but otherwise they're fairly interchangeable on policy.

However, since all things are pretty much equal there, I think you've got to look hard at the personality and process stuff. His potential to be our first truly effective salesman of and advocate for liberal and progressive values on a national level since Kennedy is pretty big. HRC could very effectively work with the advantages we have in the short term to get things done, but I think Obama has the potential to turn them into a paradigm-shifting new coalition for the long run. He won't necessarily do it, but there is at least a chance, whereas with HRC I think we know exactly what we are getting. To get any of the really big things done that we want in the next 10-20 years, we're going to need more than just the Democratic Party base. We're going to have to convince independents and moderate Republicans(I'm talking voters here, not the current rhetorically moderate but strategically lockstep Congressmen) to go along with us.

I think Obama can do that, and HRC can't. I also think Obama's nomination will decidedly defeat the DC-based consultant class, big donor, swing-state-only approach to elections, and enshrine the distributed, small-donor, 50-state, approaches that most political bloggers favor. This is a real power struggle within the party between the rank and file activist class and the permanent Beltway class. This is why I'm really surprised that the likes of MyDD are so pro-Clinton. They've fought like crazy to "crash the gates" and change the party from within, and now they want to put many of the same people who they fought for control of the party back in charge? It kind of boggles my mind.

It's not like I think Obama is so amazingly great, but he will be beholden and willing to listen to our constituency, because our work and our approach got him where he is. We'll have to push him, but he will be somewhat push-able, whereas i don't think the Clinton coterie is going to be very responsive to the rank-and-file at all, if past experience is any indication. That's the big difference for me, and I think it may be a big source of the fervor coming from the Obama side of the blogosphere. Perhaps Clinton support feels like sort of a betrayal of all the work of the past 8 years to some? I don't go that far, but it does puzzle me, especially as the rationalizations for how she can still win this thing without causing a huge intraparty fracas get more and more ridiculous.

Posted by: J. Dunn on March 6, 2008 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK
However, after the fake newscast and the ad that darkened Obama's skin color, in my book she stopped being a person and became a desperate, pathetic, deceitful animal. - Tony T.

Contrary to what others will incorrectly predict, I am not a Kool-Aid drinker. Earlier, I also joined in on the fray, blaming her for the darker-than-usual Obama advertisement. Because this campaign is different however, I offer the following analysis from FactCheck.org, which states the charge as "unsubstantiated".

Reading along their analysis, one is inclined to agree with their position, but the following leaves the ultimate answer up to the judgment of the viewer:

"Others will speculate about the Clinton campaign's intentions and motives, as they already have. But without further evidence to the contrary, we see no reason to conclude that this is anything more than a standard attempt to make an attack ad appear sinister, rather than a special effort to exploit racial bias as some Obama supporters are saying."

It's whether or not you trust the Clinton campaign regarding the intention of the advertisement. Given their history with South Carolina, I'm not about to give them any more benefit of the doubt.

Clinton, at times appearing gracious enough to give you the benefit of the doubt, pulls tactics like what she did prior to the vote that make you embarrassed for the olive branch. And when she starts to prop up John McCain, I get shades of Zell Miller.

This nonsense, this crying, this whining, etc, has got to stop now. Barack Obama has his hands on the rug, and it's time for him to pull the wool. She gave him his excuse, anyway.

Posted by: Boorring on March 6, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

When McCain talks about health care -- American system v. European approaches, choice, quality, outcomes, innovation, efficiency, private v. public, etc. -- he proves one of two things: (1) he knows absolutely nothing about this issue, or (2) he's in the pocket of the big-money vested interests.

His talking points on this issue should be enough to drive him screaming into the politcal wilderness, chased by every sane, caring person in this country. He's either a fool or a fraud.

Posted by: DNS on March 6, 2008 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

"So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. A vote for it is not a vote to rush to war; it is a vote that puts awesome responsibility in the hands of our President and we say to him - use these powers wisely and as a last resort. And it is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein - this is your last chance - disarm or be disarmed."

So she said she voted to put awesome responsibility in the hands of George Bush...is anyone sure that wasn't John Yoo disguised as HRC?

Posted by: Varecia on March 7, 2008 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Thersites: "Clearly this Carolyn Kay is a racist you-know-what who hates young people. (sarcasm)"

I hate hope, too. ;-)

Zeke: "You seem to be saying that although Clinton's record as an enabler of Bush's war and Kyl-Lieberman's amendment is abysmal, Obama's record can be construed as ambiguous and only marginally better."

Actually, I think Clinton’s record is marginally better, because it’s not so ambiguous. I don’t like people who try to fool me. What I’m saying is, don’t use the Iraq War as an excuse to vote against Clinton. You’d do better to think of another reason, because that one doesn’t fly.

Boorring: "compared against the rhetoric of Hillary in authorizing the Iraq War, in effect"

I can’t judge, and neither can Obama. Neither of us had the pressures on us when the decision had to be made. He has admitted that he doesn't know what he would have done.

Boorring: "Senator Clinton didn't regret her vote for the Iraq war in 2005. But...she does now. Quite an empty suit."

And Obama gave himself deniability in case the war went well. Remember that in 2003, when the war was popular, he took the so-called anti-war speech off of his website. Now it’s back. Empty suit, indeed.

Timothy Burke: "I don't look for her to try to reverse any of the powers and capacities that Cheney and others in the current Administration have worked hard to claim for the executive branch."

Well, don’t look to Obama to reverse them, either. He taught constitutional law at U of Chicago, but as a senator showed no interest in civil rights whatsoever. Of course, he's been so busy running for president...

TonyT: "the ad that darkened Obama's skin color"

Except that she didn’t. So sorry, but you’ll have to find another reason to hate Clinton.
http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2008/03/factcheck-says.html?csp=34

J. Dunn: "We're going to have to convince independents and moderate Republicans(I'm talking voters here, not the current rhetorically moderate but strategically lockstep Congressmen) to go along with us."

Why do you want people in the party who will pull it EVEN FURTHER TO THE RIGHT? Besides, there’s no guarantee that a lot of these people will actually vote for the Democratic candidate in November.

J. Dunn: "I also think Obama's nomination will decidedly defeat the DC-based consultant class, big donor, swing-state-only approach to elections"

So instead, you’ll have the Chicago-based consultant class beholden to the Daley machine.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/magazine/01axelrod.t.html

In fact, Obama is closely connected to BOTH Illinois political machines.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: Carolyn Kay on March 7, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK
Boorring: "compared against the rhetoric of Hillary in authorizing the Iraq War, in effect"

I can’t judge, and neither can Obama. Neither of us had the pressures on us when the decision had to be made. He has admitted that he doesn't know what he would have done.

Boorring: "Senator Clinton didn't regret her vote for the Iraq war in 2005. But...she does now. Quite an empty suit."

And Obama gave himself deniability in case the war went well. Remember that in 2003, when the war was popular, he took the so-called anti-war speech off of his website. Now it’s back. Empty suit, indeed.

As stated before, more speculation on your part. Your entire premise was that he was anti-war, which he wasn't. Come back harder.

Posted by: Boorring on March 7, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you want people in the party who will pull it EVEN FURTHER TO THE RIGHT? Besides, there’s no guarantee that a lot of these people will actually vote for the Democratic candidate in November.

So we can slowly drag them to the left? I'm not talking about running right or watering things down(and insofar as he does that, he makes me nervous, but it's not like HRC isn't the master of that), I'm talking about persuading. There just aren't enough of us to do big New-Deal sorts of things like national health care or a carbon/renewable energy economy. You need more than 50%+1 to do that, you need a long-term coalition. I think plenty of indies and center-right folks outside the 30% dead-enders can be persuaded on at least some of these things. Reality is going to persuade them sometime in the next 10-15 years, and we might as well be the ones leading them there.

So instead, you’ll have the Chicago-based consultant class beholden to the Daley machine.

Well, these new bums certainly are running a better campaign than the old bums have. Everyone is going to have consultants. I just don't want the same ones who have lost election after election to have a hammerlock on the party and its long-term strategy. I'm a wonk, but the wonk, laundry-list approach doesn't win elections, so I want someone who can sell and understands message and branding and all that. Obama's people seem to. I'm also tired of every election coming down to Ohio and Florida, and with the amazing ground game they've been running and the marketing savvy, I think we can get past the swing state strategy and really compete everywhere but the most solid-red states. Hey, they may not pull it off, but I think it's worth a shot, especially with him not polling any worse in the general than her.

And the Daley machine is pretty much a joke on the national level at this point. You still have to kiss the ring somewhat to get elected out of Illinois, but it's not he's a tool of them, or like they have anywhere near the oomph to come in and take over DC or the party.

Posted by: J. Dunn on March 7, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The fake newscast does just fine, Carolyn. Remeber that?

Posted by: TonyT on March 7, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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