Counting Delegates

Not including Florida and Michigan, I’m looking at the following totals, barring last minute surprises, based on the latest polling:

Clinton ~1000 delegates
Obama ~700 delegates

That resolves nothing. In fact, going at that pace, it would likely be April before anything is decided. There are some late surges for Obama, but they are coming a bit too early, and they aren’t surges from, say, 50 to 70, but rather, even ’em ups. It reminds me of New Hampshire.

There are good arguments for getting this over with, and good arguments for letting these two battle-test each other for a while. Obama could wrap this up with if he can keep that surge going and add Edwards and Richardson’s endorsements.

I don’t think a MoveOn endorsement will help him. Activist liberals have already sided with him (non-activist liberals and self-identified “very liberal” folks have not, however) and MoveOn is perfect GOP bait.

So, it’s not looking like Super Tuesday will resolve anything delegate wise on the Dem side, and Obama seems to have plenty of money.

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It's Over.

The only scenarios where Obama stays competitive is as follows:

Edwards endorses Obama before 2/5 and
Richardson endorses Obama before 2/5 and
Hillary makes a big mistake before 2/5.

-or-

Al Gore endorses Obama before 2/5

Otherwise, on the strength of her Latino and women’s support, and that of the people who actually vote (i.e. older voters) she runs away with this on Super Tuesday, and cleans up enough for the majority in the next couple of weeks, with Maryland or Virginia putting her over the top.

This is going to leave a lot of people with their dicks in the wind. For all of the complaints of dynasty against Clinton, no one even pointed out that the Kennedys’ endorsement of Obama comes from a dynasty. Sibelius’s chance at advancement is over, and the Daschlites will have to continue to be pussies in the Senate.

I’m not sorry for them in the slightest.

The Failed Presidency; Hillary Haters

Once again, the Clinton haters are pushing me to love them even more. I was, at first, a skeptic of Bill Clinton’s presidency. I supported Jerry Brown in the 92 primary, and honestly didn’t feel that George Bush I was a terrible president.

It’s hard to think about 1992–which might as well be an eon ago. The Democratic left was even more pervaded by identity politics than it is today, and the party’s coalition itself was falling apart. The Republican ascendancy, based on libertarian ideas but powered by evangelical voters, was one of the best acts of leger-de-main in political history.

It left people like me with no where to go. But, sure enough, Clinton won me over, slowly but surely. And the single largest factor was how he stood up to relentless criticism accusing him of everything from being the antichrist to simply not belonging in Washington. He was able to govern effectively and win political battles in the trenches against the best-funded most aggressive political demons in our history.

The Democrats that have come after him have failed miserably. That spineless pussified bunch of “decent” men–the pre-2001 Al Gore, Tom Daschle, Richard Gephardt, John Kerry–did not have the balls to fight the Republicans and their messiah, Bush II. This group rose like a pink phoenix from the ashes of the pre-Clinton Democrats who were similarly cowed and ineffective in the face of Ronald Reagan.

And now that same party is in a pitched battle, between one whose message is one of conciliation and unilateral disarmament towards an enemy that cuts off every hand offered in peace and turns every extended olive branch into pulp.

The other? She offers a purely political, tough as nails alternative. Though she may not offer policies that liberals love, she offers the spine that Democrats desire.

And the more they hate Hillary, the more I love her. It means she’s doing something right. It was the same with Bill. For all of his failings, for all of the things that did go wrong in his administration, he held the line against the vicious enemies that were storming the gates.

Can you imagine if Paul Tsongas was president when Gingrich came to power? To this day, we might have a prime minister instead of a president.

Chances are this whole thing will be resolved in one week and we can quit fussing. Whichever way it goes, I’m in until the end. Go Dems.

This has to be the least significant SOTU in my memory. The news coverage was ample, but miniscule compared to past norms. The media, if by nothing else, has realized that the interest shown in the primary elections reflects a desire to be rid of Bush, which they have failed to notice despite his terrible approval ratings.

No matter who is elected in November, the story of my generation will not be the story of what happened on September 11, 2001. Instead, it will be what happened on December 12, 2000.

On that day, the Supreme Court chose to ignore democracy. On that day, the trajectory of our national history was changed forever. Instead of continuing to move forward from the firewall that Clinton held against the barbarians, the barbarians looted the country. And we will spend the rest of our lives trying to get back to December 12, 2000. We may never succeed.

Sibelius to Endorse Obama

She’s the logical choice for his “unity” center-right idea, and, as much as Hillary probably needs a black man on her ticket, Obama needs a white woman.

So, the prophecy is fulfilled. Of course, I’m not going to read too much into Obama’s win in South Carolina.

If you seriously think that Bill Clinton is losing his mind and doesn’t know what he’s doing, then you can join the likes of Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Bob Livingston, Paul Tsongas, Henry Hyde, Ross Perot, and George Bush I, all of whom he pwned.

Sure, he sounds strident, but then Hillary gets to play good cop. Plus, I know we’re all infused with our liberal guilt, but to pretend that blacks aren’t voting for Obama on the basis of his race in large numbers is just plain ignorant. They are and they admit it.

So, unless the rest of America sees South Carolina, a place that can’t decide to take down the confederate flag, as its leading edge, then I don’t think this changes the race much. We’ll see the post-South Carolina polls in the 2/5 states.

We Drink Iraq's Milkshake

Motivation is divined from results. Stated reasons for actions are often obtuse or false. Even the intent a man convinces himself he is acting on can just be mental gymnastics. Outcome reveals purpose.

Supposedly, the slog is better in Iraq — somehow, the two dead several wounded per day is salutary now — and the war has fallen from public attention. If the change of tactics have revealed better battlefield results, they have not clarified America’s purpose for invading and remaining in Iraq.

Explanations for our presence in Iraq are like claws on a snow crab. One grows and gains pinching relevance only to be torn off and thrown into a vat of seasoned boiling water, and then another metastisizes in its place. The Saddam/OBL subterfuge was the greatest scam in American history and an utter failure of our collective critical thinking skills. The “freedom ringing” prose was a pose. The result of the Patreus puppet show was a promise to just stay, just stay. Even snarky lefty ruminations don’t bear out. If Iraq II was an Oedipal desire for Generalissimo Bush to complete Papi’s business, then mission truly accomplished. If it was just to kill Saddam, then no need to hang further.

The most obvious and meticulous result of the occupation has been to put an American petro-corporate presence in Iraq’s oil fields. Even when the war is over our bases will likely remain vigilant watch over the crude gold. In this measure, and in this measure alone, has the Iraq misdaventure been effective. Even Alan Greenspan has said so in plain language.

I’m sure you will agree that many key figures in the Bush junta are oil men (and women) through and through. Is Iraq War II the ultimate Daniel Plainview exercise – a viscious resource grab just because commeupence is the only catharsis for festered venom? The tactics seem the brainchild of a score of Plainviews, but the mental gymnastics are more utilitarian. Oil may or may not be peaking, but I posit that the days of simple and affordable oil are over. Crude is ever harder to extract and ever more in demand due to the fast industrialization of China and India. If Iraq’s oil is earmarked for America into the future, then America can maintain more of the cheap (compared to everywhere else) oil that has been the starstuff of our growth and empire over the last century. Perhaps, the Bush junta, in its surreal deluded idealism, sees oil as so important that securing more of it is worth any deceit, any amount of death, and any squandered treasure. Of course, that this all profits the industry that incubated the Bush junta is proof positive of its purity.

Iraq War II is a tactic. It addresses a genuine problem but is the wrong tool for the job. We cannot bomb our way out of our sustainable energy problem. We can only invent a path through it. This is much more difficult than either side of the American polity seems ready to admit. Sorry Enviros, but sticking wind turbines and solar panels everywhere will help a tad, but it won’t magically solve everything. The ethanol consensus is more of a perversion from Iowa’s kick off caucuses than a solution. All that is for certain is that, if you were going to spend a trillion dollars on the sustainable energy problem then RD&D and bold experimentation is an infinitely wiser outlay than Iraq War II.

The Conservatron nominee will surely hype how things are “better” in Iraq and appeal to every tribe’s reflex of not wanting to lose a war. If the pathetic Bush Patsy and Iraq dead ender John McCain beats out Mittens and Hucksterbee this may be the centerpiece of the campaign. Whoever the Democratic nominee is, he or she must be ready to state the truth: Iraq War II is a battle for energy. It doesn’t matter how “well” it may be going now; our soldiers are valiant, but no army can win an Energy War. Bring them home and fund Representative Jay Inslee’s “Manhattan Project for Renewable Energy” instead.

War Crimes

So, say there’s a Palestinian state — if they declare war on Israel (almost a certainty that they will at some point)–is Israel obligated to keep their infrastructure working?

That seems to be the world opinion on this matter. Israel always has to justify its existence and its actions–meanwhile, the rest of the world (the United States included) operates on a much lower level of culpability.

This is not to say that Israel is a squeaky clean operator. Some of the actions perpetrated in its name have been quite horrendous. But after the shit this country pulled after 9/11 — which is something that Israelis just live with — it’s hypocrtical to always demand that they behave perfectly.

Both left and right have serious consistency problems with their views on the Middle East.