How well did suing to change an admittedly bogus election scheme work for Al Gore?
What we’ve always tried to do here is challenge a failed liberalism. Failed in the sense that it has failed to win. Most, but not all, of the Democratic Party’s failures over the years stem from packaging less than issues, but they have been dead wrong on a few major issues, as has the liberal intelligentsia.
You see, the political power behind liberal ideas is not proportionate to its support. Why is this? It’s because too many people at the bottom of the economic ladder see liberals spending a lot of energy on interest groups that don’t help them, or so they think. In other words, I think I’ve fully come around to Thomas Frank’s position in What’s The Matter With Kansas.
The fracturing of the New Deal coalition occurred long ago. It’s not an error to correlate that fracture with the inclusion of blacks. The self-spiting enablers of the conservatives see that it’s rough all over, and they aren’t getting any help so why should anyone else? I’ll vote for people who stand up for my church or what property rights I do have.
It’s hard for educated, bookish people to fathom, but the truth is, fancy ideas on both sides of the spectrum will never carry the day–not in a democracy.
In order to realign that political power–the sheer number of people suffering economically–with the majority views requires something major that helps everyone. For a long time, I’ve felt that that should be universal health care.
It would let people work more freely, and let employers off the hook for the responsibility. It would probably also cost a lot less and let employers raise wages. People would see that government can work, and can work for everyone. As the old lady said, don’t let the government meddle with my Medicare.
Medicare is extremely popular and extremely efficient. It would restore the concept of government as a possibility in the minds of many kitchen table voters.
And getting those voters to vote in their own interest again is what it will take for another true realignment.
Because Hillary Clinton has now failed twice to bring us universal health care, Obama must reengineer his faulty health care plan to be truly universal, with subsidies for the poor.
Conservatism is like a cancer. You can cut out the big tumors, like the presidency, or even the control of congress, but as long as the small cells fester throughout the body, the tumors will reappear. It is often only when the body is dying does it accept radical enough treatment to eliminate the smaller cancers.
That means we have to put abortions, identity politics, gay marriage, and even some environmental issues to the side for a moment. If we don’t, we will never prevail on those issues, because the cancer will still exist, and will rise up to stop those issues from progressing again.
But it also means the Republicans must put tax cuts and frivolous wars on the side as well.
All of this may sound a little radical at this point, but if you look at what the economy is about to deliver to us, I have a feeling this won’t sound so strange in 2009.
There was a debate? I didn’t realize the primaries were still going on.
Seriously–we’re down to talking about who supported NAFTA when, and minutia of the Iraq withdrawal. If that’s all you’ve got left, charisma wins. Every. Single. Time. Obama’s healthcare FUD (“Hillary’s
plan will make you buy it even if you can’t afford it is universal”) isn’t doing a damn thing.
NAFTA was a mistake. But it’s easy to forget how good it sounded in the early 90s to most people. First and foremost, it was a reaction, in the post-Cold-War world to the looming economic power of the European Union, and the still lingering fears of Japanese dominance.
Let’s not forget that the only major politician to oppose it was Ross Perot, who, ironically, seemed like it was in his own company’s interest to oppose.
Furthermore, I’m not even sure that NAFTA matters that much. The GATT/WTO etc. agreements are having a much larger effect on our economy (China and India aren’t in NAFTA) and I’m not sure how easy it is to separate the effects of one from the other.
Unfortunately for both Clintons, the verdict on NAFTA was in a long time ago. The empirical results of these trade deals are that they make everybody poorer except multinational shareholders. Sure, on paper in the university, they sound great–something straight out of classical 19th century economics–everything is most efficient when each country produces what it’s most efficient at producing and trades the rest. That’s Ricardo, I think.
But that’s not even close to what these deals are like. My high school U.S. History teacher said, “a free trade deal is one page ‘no tarriffs’ the end. this is 900 pages.” Yup.
We have to hem and haw about environmental and labor protections, but god forbid there aren’t draconian intellectual property laws.
We need international trade. That’s not the problem. The problem is that the system isn’t just “anti-American” it’s anti Americans.
NAFTA is a fair criticism of Clinton, just like the AUMF vote. But what’s interesting to me is that there are so many things that we unquestionably wrong that Clinton did that weren’t only arguably wrong in hindsight. (Yes, yes, I know that a lot people predicted Iraq and NAFTA would be winners–I’m talking about things that aren’t perceived that way.)
Take for example, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which gave us Clear Channel and expanded the Murdoch empire–take the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, done to allow CitiBank to form up into Citigroup, which lead directly to the Enron scandals (and other investment banks promoting “shit” stocks), which were just like the problems in the 20s before the Glass-Steagall Act that broke the House of Morgan. No claim of hindsight required there. There was a precedent.
What about the “Defense of Marriage Act.” Maybe that was something Clinton negotiated, but in 1992 he made agenda item #1 gays in the military. (Obama could score tons of points on this because in the intervening decade the public opinion has changed so much, but it would open him up to the McClurkin issue again.)
There is plenty in the Clinton presidency to use that doesn’t come up.
Oh, and here’s $5 that says Obama won’t repeal NAFTA.
There was never any doubt that the spectre of a black man running for president would bring out the Conservatron crazies. Bush Patsy McCain has to denounce nonsense from talk radio hosts like Cunningham lest he lose any moderate/independent support. Each time he does though he pisses off the KKK-lite wing of the Republican Party.
UPDATE: Cunningham now says that he can no longer support McCain.
Howard Dean used to say that the “perfect is the enemy of the good.”
Obama 322:216 McCain EV
McCain 282: 256 Clinton EV
This is Clinton count is clearly at her apotheosis, and gives McCain Oregon, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, which I don’t believe. Clinton is up 10 in Ohio compared to Obama’s 3, and is only down 6 in Florida to Obama’s 16. Clearly, Clinton is a better candidate in a swing-state strategy. If you give Clinton back the Kerry states, she wins. Too bad for her.
She basically acknowledged last night that she has lost, by refusing not to play nice. Obama also did a good job going after McCain, who is daily becoming more of a disaster as a candidate.
Again, what I find significant about this polling is Obama’s lead in Virginia. If you give Obama only the Kerry states and Ohio, where he has a tie according to SUSA, there is no way the Republicans can win, and they will, again, burn themselves up playing defense in Virginia.
I think if the election was tomorrow, I think Obama wins 325 EVs, Kerry+Ohio+Virginia+Missouri+New Mexico+Colorado+Montana+Nevada+Iowa.
The Western Strategy is interesting, but with Arizona out of play, it’s only going to be worth 22 EVs, or, just a few more than Ohio.
There is nothing quite like the experience of having newspaper articles written about an organziation in which you are involved with to give one a jaundiced view of the whole process. There are exceptions, but by and large reporters are in the infotainment business and therefore pose issues in terms of martial conflict. They often do not understand what they are reporting on well enough to communicate its nuances. They bring substantial prejudices (sometimes left, sometimes right, usually other) to their infotaining. Because they need two sides of a story they will regurgitate nonesense from people with no credibility. Those who cannot do actually don’t teach; they report on what other people are doing.
So given my prejudices the McSCaindal seems like smoke with no fire, though its perfectly possible that he gave Ms. Iseman a Full Reagan.
If you are in an organization that draws public scrutiny — and the US Congress is certainly such an organization — you have to know that you must avoid even the appearance of ethical impropriety. That Bush Patsy McCain’s aides needed to forcibly distance him from Iseman shows a shocking lack of judgement on his part. This same lack of judgement is apparent in his Keating Fiving and overall Bush Patsydom.
This is not a reassuring pattern from the “experienced” candidate.
Barack Obama General Election Test #1:
UPDATE: ignoring whether or not he beat Hillz, Obama gets an A- on my tests at the debate.
OK, Obamaniacs–I will agree that this is bad. A fake 527 to attack Obama? Now I feel like Hillary is disqualified.
Ok, Dr. Dean… time to broker the deal with Reid, Clinton, and Obama where Hillary drops out of the race and gets elected majority leader of the next Congress, and her name goes on her health plan which is S.B. 1.
I understand that people support who support Barack Obama aren’t going to be best friends with Paul Krugman. But show the man some fucking respect, already.
This was the first guy in the MSM with the nuts to criticize BushCo after 9/11. He wrote a book that focuses on how universal health care can bring liberalism back. And so, that’s his #1 issue. So, he doesn’t support someone whose proposal isn’t universal, just like many other can’t support Hillary because she voted for the AUMF, because that’s their #1 issue.
So, I have to wonder what is going on in the liberal Internets when Paul Krugman can become the target of attacks all over.
Again — I have to ask…. where was all of this fervor for the actual liberal candidates in the race: Kucinich, Dodd, Richardson, and Edwards? If it’s not about Obama the man, as in a cult of personality–it must be about his policies, right?
The latest sermon out of the Temple of Obama is that the Superdelegates (who shouldn’t obey the rules, even though Florida and Michigan must) should go with the will of the people.
Team Clinton has managed to eliminate any expectations at all for HRC in Wisconsin. A victory there, even if a close one does not make an iota of difference delegatewise, begins to change the dynamics of the race heading into Texas and Ohio.
HRC has already used two life lines with the lunar reaction to the crying game in New Hampshire and with the $5 million personal fortune infusion that kept her afloat through Tsunami Tuesday. A Wisconsin victory could well be spun as a sign of resurgence by her campaign and the media and serve as a third life line. Do not underestimate the desire of the talking heads to see the drama continue. After all, Bush Patsy McCain is about as interesting as a bushel of baking potatoes.
Since all the talk radio I listen too is an Obama echo chamber, and I’m past believing Hillary can win, and instead am focussed on what Obama needs to do to win and consolidate victory, I will point this out.
Now that I’m completing the phases of grief over Hillary’s inevitable loss, I’ve been able to view Barack Obama much the way I did back in October, when I was still crossing my fingers for an Al Gore run. That is, in a mostly positive light.
The most important state in this year’s general election is Virginia. It is turning blue. Obama won his first important state cross-demographically. (Sorry–I don’t care that he won both Latinos in North Dakota.) This will be a critical point for Obama if he has to appeal to Superdelegates, because those of us who have not yet drunk his Kool-Aid know that his unity rhetoric has utterly failed to be borne out by results in important states. (Never mind the sickeningly naive “post-partisan” rhetoric–he can’t really believe that, can he?)
I fully concede that it looks like through slow attrition or some deal, Obama is going to get the nomination. But, just as it has for years, his rhetoric of hopeful compromise rings hollow with me. Does he really think the Republicans will compromise?
Pop Quiz: Can you, off the top of your head, name any of the presidents between Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt?
One hundred and fifty years from now a similar amnesia will strike people as they try to name any of the presidents that presided between Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama. An HRC victory is infinitely better than a John McCain administration and will be salutary in general. Over the centuries and millenniums to follow, however, it will be just one more boring waste of time adrift in the reactionary stasis between LBJ and Obama or whoever else carries on the gigantic shift in fundamental understanding and experience that Obama represents today and that, should a different candidate win, he or someone else will encompass in 2012, 2016 or whenever.
I loathe Generalissimo Bush and the Conservatrons with every cell in my body. I cannot forgive or forget how he and they destroyed any good that could have come from 9/11/01 (Oh the horrible rotten milk stench of the former skyline being carried over my home!) and turned it into a sarcastic jingoism of hate and purposeless war on 9/11/02. But I have learned through bitter experience in my professional life that, ultimately, fighting and hatred are good for some interests. If they are in a perpetual war, if they have an absolute enemy as their foil, then they do not have to account for their portion of the problem. They do not have to be a part of the solution.
Race is the star stuff of the reactionary pause America has found itself stuck in for the last 40 years. Team Clinton did immeasurable good by holding the Conservatrons at bay for 8 years, but for all of their transgressions the Republicans (even absent the slim minority of Conservatrons — my snarky shorthand for “Movement Conservatives”) are necessary to solve the gigantic problems that America faces in the near future. The enormity of our environmental, energy, and humanitarian crises means they cannot be fixed by being on the winning side of a 51-49 split.
Hillary Clinton was the perfect candidate for 2004. She was the ideal progressive for a knife fight taking place on the terrain forged by the hateful reaction to the legal and official, if not experiential, ethnic equality that resulted from the Revolution of 1960-1968. Whether it is the man himself or just the Fact of Obama, Barack Hussein Obama is a once in a generation opportunity to change the terrain away from the annoying and futile obsession over the long since done upheavals of the 1960s (and 1860s) towards a post-racial America in which these divisions, these divisions that have fueled the Conservatron Hate Machine for so long, don’t mean so much anymore. It is only this America that will be able to lead the world into the humanitarian post-petroleum, sustainable energy age.
Yes We Can!
I’m glad that I finally got to vote in presidential primary election that mattered. I never have before. But, now it’s over.
Just like approximately 71% of Democrats, I’m happy with both of our candidates. I believe either of them will crush John McCain in November. If you saw the speeches last night, that’s all you need to see–he’s a tired, boring old pissbag that is loathed in his own party.
I voted, organized, and raised money for Hillary Clinton, just as I organized for Bill Clinton in 1992 and just as I did for John Kerry in 2004. But I strongly approve of Barack Obama, and probably would have ultimately voted for John Edwards if he were still viable.
My part is done. I will keep my peace until the nominee is clear and then kick it into gear for whoever it is. In the mean time, I will try hard to keep the two sides from eating each other alive.
The media keeps foretelling doom for Clinton, and she keeps standing. We’ll see for sure tomorrow why when they break down the numbers.
Obama = President
Hillary = Chief of Staff
HRC did score some impressive wins in Massachusettes and Tennessee. She will probably be able to kill the clock in California. Make no mistake though, had this election taken place on February 12, it would be an Obama landslide. Given Clinton’s incredible advantage in name recognition (especially in states that had no reason to pay attention during the Iowa and New Hampshire marathon) and her machine, and her early votes when she was the presumptive champ, Obama’s wins in Delaware and Connecticut are remarkable. His blow out vicotries in Minnesota, Colorado and throughout the plains states are even more so.
Clinton has built in advantages throughout the country, but the more he campaigns the better Obama does. As we move into contests that are smaller geographically this augurs well for his victory through the long slog.
I relish an Obama versus McCain showdown. End The War vs. Stay For a Hundred Years = Democratic landslide — especially if Hucksterbee scores a spot on the Conservatron ticket.
I’m a staunch Hillaryist, right? OK, well, if the exit polls below are accurate, then I would encourage her to drop out.
Georgia: Obama 75, Clinton 26
Connecticut: Obama 52, Clinton 45
Illinois: Obama 70, Clinton 29
Alabama: Obama 60, Clinton – 37
Delaware Obama 56, Clinton 42
Massachusetts: Obama 50, Clinton 47
Missouri: Obama 50, Clinton 45
Tennessee: Clinton 52, Obama 41
New York: Clinton 56, Obama 42
New Jersey: Obama 52, Clinton 47
Arkansas: Clinton 71, Obama 26
Oklahoma: Clinton 61, Obama 30
Arizona: Obama 51, Clinton 45
New Mexico: Obama 52, Clinton 46
Utah: Obama 60, Clinton 40
California: Clinton 50, Obama 46
As I pointed out last week, tomorrow is not going to settle anything.
Some people are saying Clinton needs to end up with 200 more delegates than Obama to knock him out. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I also don’t think Obama is going to knock Clinton out.
At some point, this will stop being interesting. And if does end up being the super delegates that decide it — that’s going to stain whoever the winner is.
At this point I would almost be relieved if Obama would just take it so that I can stop hearing all of this 90s revisionism, but there’s a big part of me that just wants to see the Obamabots cry–even if they ultimately win.
And Sibelius was a dud after the State of the Union. I wonder whom else he might pick.
The latest polling still indicates that no one will be knocked out tomorrow on the Democratic side. I’m happy with either candidate, but here’s what I want to see from both of them if they become the nominee:
Prove you can appeal to independents. Prove to younger voters that they have their 90s history all wrong, and that with Congress on your side, you can make sweeping change. You should also probably make efforts to get Obama on the ticket.
Why are you being so cautious on health care? It doesn’t match with your transformational rhetoric. Appealing to the middle is one thing, but you can’t transform politics by compromising on everything. Precise detail of how you are going to implement what you are going to implement.
My wife’s cousin who is fairly well connected to Democratic insiders thinks either Obama or Hilary would win in 2008, but that Obama has set the goalposts so high that he might have trouble getting reelected if he doesn’t deliver on all of his promises.
I won’t pretend to look that far ahead. All I can say is, I’m very surprised that the left has accepted Obama as it’s messianic figure, who is anything but to the left. Howard Dean was more to my tastes.