Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Death is lighter than a feather"

She's not quitting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Her money drained and her options dwindling, a resolute Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed Wednesday to press on with her presidential bid even as she and top advisers were hard-pressed to describe a realistic path for her to wrest the nomination from Barack Obama. ...

"I'm so happy to be here in West Virginia and excited about the next week as we campaign here in this beautiful state about our country's future," Clinton told an audience at Shepherd University.

She planned to return to the state Thursday, then fly to South Dakota and Oregon, which also have upcoming contests. Also Wednesday, aides disclosed that Clinton had lent her campaign $6.4 million since mid-April, on top of a separate $5 million loan in February. She contributed $5 million on April 11, $1 million on May 1 and $425,000 on May 5.

"Heike Tenno Banzai!"

Hillary's campaign has transformed the politics of this nomination from a contest between individual candidates to a contest between the coalition partners of the Democratic Party. The downside of Hillary's efforts to portray Obama as the "Black Candidate", helped along not a little by Obama himself and Jeremiah Wright means that he is the Black Candidate now.

For that reason Obama will be almost invulnerable to personal criticism among the factions which supports him. After decades of loyally supporting a liberal white candidate, the emergence of a viable "Black Candidate" means a significant bloc of the Democratic Party now feels entitled to take their turn. Hillary's people have no standing in selecting who this bloc candidate is going to be. Any objection that Obama, at 46 can wait his turn, misses the point. It's not Obama's turn. It is the Black Voter bloc's turn. The Faustian bargain has come due. And Hillary is welshing.

This might have been a good thing if Barack Obama were a moderate Democrat. But in addition to being the Black voter's candidate, he is also the chosen representative of the Party's Left. They too feel it is "their turn".

Hillary's campaign was one of those classic cases where the political past was used to predict the future. What worked in the past would work again. This time, though, the Clintons came across a discontinuity. A literal Black Swan. Past trends no longer held. The quiescent Black votes bloc has surged to the front of the bus and demanded their seat from the liberal white party elite.

Ironically John McCain may be the moderate Democrat that the Hillary, in other times, might have been. This means the year 2008 will see two transfers of power. The first involving the Presidency; the second involving the coalition blocs of the Democratic Party.

What ship is the Hillary Kamikaze crashing? It is the vessel of their old coalition.




The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.

84 Comments:

Blogger Lucky Pierre said...

Obama will be under pressure now to accept Hillary as his running mate, and Hillary will be under pressure to accept the number two spot, otherwise a large fraction of her superfans will defect to McCain. Clinton already set this defection up when she implictly endorsed McCain's foreign policy qualifications over Obama's.

As the price for her acquiescence, she might demand a smooth, pre-arranged process of swapping with President Obama for the top spot in 2012. If he refuses to agree to this, she would pull the trigger now and explicitly endorse McCain, hoping to sabotage Obama on this round and clear the field for 2012. And it would actually work, because the Democrats are so divided.

Even better for Clinton would be if President Obama grows to love his power too much and refuses to step aside in 2012 as arranged. Then Vice-President Clinton could run against the imcumbent President, using Air Force Two and the perks of her office, without alienating half of the Democrats.

5/07/2008 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So is Bill also a Kamikaze, crashing into the ship of the neo-Democratic Party? Or is he merely shackled to the cannonball and helpless to free himself?

For two REALLY smart and well-educated people, they do seem to have wrapped themselves up in an inescapable gordian knot.

5/07/2008 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Clinton's next move may be to prolong the path to nomination
---
"We cannot win with egg heads and African-Americans."
-
Paul Begala, from last night, on Obama's grand coaltion .
(HT:
Jennifer Rubin).

Hewitt

5/07/2008 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Norman Podhoretz argues that Obama can win with his current voter profile.

Between them, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have generated more than 30 million primary votes. To say there has never been anything like this is to understate the case. In 2000, when George W. Bush and John McCain were fighting it out for the Republican nomination, a total of 20 million votes was cast. The Democrats in 2008 have bested that by 50 percent. What this means is that, even if a third of Hillary’s voters absolutely refuse to vote for Obama in November, that will leave him with a probable 30 million votes in the bank. In May. Six months before the November election.

Now, surely those 30 million votes would have turned out for Obama in November anyway, even if Hillary had dropped out of the race in Iowa. But that is not the significance of this number. It means something because Obama will not have to spend a nickel to get their vote. Instead, he will only have to spend money to get another 30 million or so votes, and he will have more money than anyone else has ever had before to do so.

It is important for conservatives and Republicans, who have comforted themselves with the thought that Obama cannot possibly win because no one as far to the Left as he is can win the presidency in the United States, to understand the nature of the challenge he poses.


I don't think the Republicans anticipated facing Obama either. Given the lukewarm support among conservatives for John McCain, the question is whether he can leak a lukewarm base against a fanatical Obama crowd. Maybe he can. But it's no sure thing.

5/07/2008 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

W: Given the lukewarm support among conservatives for John McCain, the question is whether he can leak a lukewarm base against a fanatical Obama crowd. Maybe he can. But it's no sure thing.

McCain's challenge is money. He's going to resort to the federal election financing system with its hard limits, while Obama is going to bypass it altogether and rely on the little $100 donations from that 30 million people you mentioned. You could see five Obama ads for every McCain one. Obama will have enough resources to flood red states just for the intimidation factor while McCain will have to budget for air time in just the purple swing states. McCain, however, has a big head start. He can just run remakes of all the Clinton ads.

5/07/2008 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger shivermetimbers said...

lucky pierre

I don't disagree with you, and I heard William Kristol echo that Obama/Hillary would be a formidable team - probably unbeatable.

But, would Hillary want this? lets say she does wind up VP. This means she must bide her time until 2016. Would she be this patient. Not to mention the possibility of being booted off of the ticket in 2012.

I wonder what her calculations really are right now.

5/07/2008 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

In my humble opinion, Hillary would have been an undistinguished but competent President. As President, her impact would have been somewhere between Bill Clinton and LBJ. However I find it inconceivable that Barack Hussein can be anything other than an utter disaster. When I see Hussein, I find myself thinking of Alcibiades.

I believe that Hillary despite being a socialist is also a patriot (the two are not necessarily incompatible). Hillary is sufficiently intelligent and well educated that she sees Hussein for what he really is. She's not going to accept a VP slot because that would be selling out to the devil (besides, who wants to be first mate on the Titanic?). Hillary is flirting with political suicide to inflict maximum damage on a dangerous demagogue. She is already despised by the moonbats/MSM but future historians will praise her.

5/07/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger deepinjuncountry said...

Hilliary's already spent 8 years as VP. Besides, the knife fights between Michelle and her would have the halls in the WH running red.

She also has the biggest stones among the dems, which earns my admiration, but I'm not sure whether it's sociopathy or ambition or, as eggplant says, self-sacrificing altruism. Personally, I don't underestimate the narcissism it takes to be blind to the needs of the democratic party when they conflict with hers.

As for Obama, I don't see him winning. He can't remain invisible forever. The cipher will be solved before November.

5/07/2008 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard, with all due respect you can't understand the dynamics here on how elections are won. In the middle, based on middle class panders.

If Obama is a Black Swan, he's the one that destroys the Dem Party and coalitions. Podhoretz is wrong.

Obama is a disaster. Begala is quite right, you can't win with Blacks and Yuppies/College kids. What Hillary's collapse shows, is that White Voters have moved to Reps.

We're likely to see a landslide. For McCain.

Here's why:

Obama's soft-on-crime pandering which Blacks and Yuppies like, hits homeowners and elderly and middle aged people the most, because they are in different ways the most vulnerable to crime.

Obama's high tax strategy in a recession, leaves him unable to counter McCain tax-cutting panders, making a basic pocketbook question easy.

Dems can't sell taxes unless they do a complete middle class pander and tell their Black coalition to shut up. Which Obama can't and won't. Taxes for Welfare in a Recession/Depression are non-starters.

Obama's hard Left stuff is poison in the general election: his flag disdain, Ayers' stomping the flag and his defense of Ayers, Wright, Trinity United, Guns (and his record), Rezko scandals, ties to Farrakhan, hugs for Iran, etc. all make him weak weak weak. Which let's face it he is.

Personally and stylistically, Obama is weak and ineffectual. Americans don't like that, preferring harder men who won't take nonsense. Even Naomi Wolfe the idiot got that right with Al Gore.

Dems have tried to stitch together since 1968 the Black-Radicals coalition, with rich whites, "plus" some other group. Mostly they've failed. "Reagan Dems" reliably vote Republican unless there's a third populist guy: George Wallace, Ross Perot. Or a huge Scandal (Watergate).

They do this for sound economic reasons first: Affirmative Action hurts whites, so they hate it. Crime, high taxes, and disdain for their symbols and traditions are also core economic issues as well.

Obama's fund-raising abilities from rich whites is if anything, a weakness. His pseudo-Communist hip and trendy message will turn off the core middle and middle/working class voters which elections are won and lost on. Most people go to Dunkin Donuts not Starbucks. As the recession takes hold, the latter is in trouble and the former holding up.

5/07/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Obama may be defeated. But it will require work. He won't collapse under the weight of his own negatives. But whatever role he personally played in his campaign, the forces behind him are a powerhouse. They just sank not just one, but both Clintons.

And just as when the IJN sank the Repulse and the Prince of Wales in an hour off Malaya there comes a moment when one must say, "this is an opponent that can kill me". It's necessary to throw away any complacency. If McCain beats him it will take everything the Republican Party has got. It is suicidal to assume it will be a walkover.

5/07/2008 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Think of Hillary's psychological profile. She spent the Clinton governorship and presidency treated like a rented mule by horndog Billy. But she kept up the charade so she could one day be the Queen of the May.
Now the Democrat electorate is Bill and the fat chick in the Beret morphed into a skinny Black hipster.Hillary is still riding the pine as the last dance starts. What does she have to look forward to; replacing Teddy Kennedy as irrelevant buffoon of the Senate?
Quitting before they drag her kicking and screaming off the podium is like repudiating her whole adult life. Ain't gonna happen.

5/07/2008 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

bill,

You're absolutely right. Quitting now will be like death to Hillary. But consider, if Hillary had it in her power to avoid being in this fix she would have put forth already. She's not in this predicament of her own free will.

She's in a hole despite her efforts, which like it or not, have been herculean. She's not holding back. A combination of her mistakes, Obama's skill, the efforts of her political enemies, etc have her right at the edge of where -- you are perfectly right --she doesn't want to be.

But she's performed one major service for the conservatives. She's measured the strength of Obama. She's been hurt by him and has hurt him. He's tough, but not invincible. Hillary has drawn blood. But she counterattacked too little and too late to make a difference. Obama's strength should no longer surprise conservatives.

He can be beaten. And the first duty was to find the best man to beat him. The Republican Party picked John McCain, who I think is underrated, though unpopular. That was the most important decision the Republican Party made vis a vis Obama. Can we win with those cards? November will show whether they can.

5/07/2008 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Yes Wretchard it will require work.

But, with all due respect, you don't understand how hated the Clintons were by Dems during their Presidency, and after. You make too much of their dismissal -- something that Dems have had in the works for over 8 years now.

The true believers, the hard left, the Moveons, Code Pinks, the ANSWERs etc. who now control the Democratic Party, the money, and the Media, hated the Clintons with a passion. I was taken aback at the time by the hate, and found it inexplicable during the 2000's.

Marc Cooper, to give a Pajamas Example, plugged into the Hollywood-Media network of the "Landless Gentry" has written extensively about his Clinton hate (back in 2003) and how "Progressives" should erase both from the Party History (ala Stalin's airbrushing).

Obama is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since George McGovern or Eugene McCarthy.

The Progressives wanted to get rid of the Clintons, and the NEED to compromise with middle class, working class, white voters.

They now have their pure Black-Left play. Purely Black Nationalist and Hard Leftist. Wright and Ayers.

Offering the recipes of 1968 in pale re-run of 1932.

Look at the Gas Tax. Hillary's right -- Obama is a DISASTER. People now want to have relief in their wallets. They know that Hillary and McCain want to give them some relief and Obama thinks it's "pandering."

It's NEVER pandering when it's your wallet.

The Late Paul Tsongas used to derisively refer to Bill Clinton as "Pander Bear" in JUST THE SAME TERMS as Obama does with Hillary and McCain's proposal. Guess who won the Presidency, twice, with economic "panders?"

Obama is not the IJN, tough professionals who before WWI, had won astonishing victories. He beat Alan Keyes, and before that was an undistinguished IL State Senator owned by the Daley Machine. He's never beaten tough Republicans in Republican states.

His very "hip/trendy" youth, and media fawning will alienate personally (and has already) the voters he needs but thinks he can dismiss. Already "Progressives" are saying "So Long White Boy" (the title of a Democratic Obama Strategist Article in the Atlantic).

In other words, Wretchard, IMHO you are unaware of the huge divide in America. Between Beer and Wine drinkers. Habitues of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts (WSJ had an article on Dunkin management -- their own internal surveys had their customers HATING Starbucks and anything associated with it decor or music wise). Hip/Trendy singletons in urban lofts and family people in suburban houses.

Obama is one big Apple Computer Ad. With the hip and trendy cool young guy making fun of the fat older man. Except there's far more fat older men than hip young cool guys. Something Obama's too incompetent and limited by his background to understand.

Yes work will be required, the way it took Nixon to defeat McGovern. But Obama is not all that -- he's mostly weakness with very few strengths. [McCain is an awful candidate, one too enamored of Press love and not enough of criticizing those gaping Obama weaknesses.]

5/08/2008 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

It will come down to the Vice President picks. Hillary will not take it and Obama will not offer it. Obama will probably pick someone like Jim Webb (to put Virginia in play and give him military cred) or Rendell (to shore up Pennslyvania and put Ohio and the rest of the MidWest into play). McCain's pick is the wild card. The hail mary would be Colin Powell, though the far right would howl. But that pick would instantly make Barry O look like he was still wearing diapers, and remind everyone what a truly qualified Presidential candidate looks like. More likely McCain might pick someone like Romney for the cred on economic issues.
Bottomline, McCain doesn''t have to win big. Keep the 2004 Red states red and he's President.

5/08/2008 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

wretchard:

I think the spearhead for John McCain's campaign won't be Republicans at all, but Democrats who are fed up with the Obama wing of their party. In this election, "Democrats for McCain" may actually outnumber Republican activists. If only John McCain would notice.

I think a McCain administration will by necessity be a coalition government, with Republicans sharing power with McCain Democrats. Republicans may feel demoralized for this election, but those Democrats who are utterly opposed to Barack Obama are only getting started. Revolution and pyromania may be fashionable in some quarters, but there are those who have no patience for those who would burn our cities down.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And it doesn't mean you will.

5/08/2008 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger Starling said...

Alexis said "I think the spearhead for John McCain's campaign won't be Republicans at all, but Democrats who are fed up with the Obama wing of their party. In this election, "Democrats for McCain" may actually outnumber Republican activists. If only John McCain would notice."

I was thinking along the same lines. Specifically, I wondered whether Bill Clinton may count himself among them. Should she not get the nomination, Hillary has said she'd work her heart out for Obama. But will Bill? Somehow I can't see that. I can, however, see him undercutting Obama at any and every chance and doing everything short of explicitly endorsing McCain.

5/08/2008 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

OK, I want this to be a Hollywood ending. The monster we think is dead comes back to life long enough to attack the second monster that's about to devour us! And then, before the "briefly resurrected but poor and frumpy she-monster which manages to lend itself millions of dollars" can be crushed by the "healthy-wealthy, clean and articulate metro-sexual commie monster with billions to spend on attack ads," the rest of us escape! And we all contribute to the other guy's campaign!

Now, I am not comparing Hillary and Barak to monsters. OK, I am. But I mean "monster" in a good way -- like monster truck. But in this example a monster truck that is coming right at you! And you need another monster truck to come out of nowhere and smash it! So you can escape! And contribute to the other guy, what's his face's, campaign!

5/08/2008 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

Monster trucks!! Man, I've seen 'em drive right over cars and stuff. Over each other!! So that's what this campaign's about.!!

5/08/2008 04:43:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

The resurrection of hard and violent men like Ayers, as a "main stream" average Joe in the minds of so many is a feat of media manipulation only bested by the "red scare" victimization of Stalin's own. Yet with repetition they turned the lie on its head, repeatedly. Who knows but the massive numbers of members of your federal state and local governments unions think, as do the rank file of teachers unionist, that is as it should be. The numbers of average blue collar "joes" is shrunk, the numbers of white collar union members is huge and their influence is underestimated.

This is going to get ugly. The heart and soul of the country lay in the balance.

5/08/2008 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...

Is it possible that we've missed out on the fundamental reason Hillary has fought so hard? That's she knows these people through and through -- the hard left. She used to be that.

And she knows they are an absolute disaster. There's no way in hell I think she joins that ticket. She knows they are going to come close to killing that political party.

I may be idiotic on this next point, but would James Webb accept the offer of V.P. to a man from a black liberation theology church who simply doesn't know how to respect the military -- or the military culture?

I don't think so.

I think Alexis has nailed it and whiskey_199 is mighty close to nailing it, too.

5/08/2008 05:14:00 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've seen information in the news that Hillary's advisors are telling her that she needs to exit gracefully. Not likely! She's always been incapable of accepting defeat.

I don't believe that she will be able to psychologically adjust to being Obama's VP. Furthermore, I doubt that he'd choose her as his running mate.

5/08/2008 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Podhoretz tells us to beware and that the sky is falling, because the Dem's have brought in enough million votes between them to win the election if those same voters vote Democrat again.

Which sounds really scarifying until you stop to wonder how many of those people voted for Obama while he was still being Messianic and before his preacher of hate swam to the forefront ... and whether all of those people who voted for Obama pre-Wright would do so again.

Oh, and I think the more Michelle campaigns for him, the stinkier an albatross around his neck *she* becomes, too.

5/08/2008 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I think the core assumptions expressed by the majority of this thread are fundamentally incorrect, which is why I've bookmarked it for later reference.

I'm an Obama supporter, which according to Clinton supporters means that I'm deluded, mesmerized, an elitist, a yuppie and probably not a patriot. According to Republicans, it means I'm all of those things, plus probably a communist and a traitor and a limp-wristed Francophile.

Well, nobody ever said this was going to be easy.

What makes me optimistic about this election is that it's the first chance we've had in years to defeat the basic assumptions expressed here: That certain candidates are not viable by virtue of race; that pandering is more important than principle; that big donors are more powerful than an Army of Davids; that the media will force everyone to cowtow to the politics of trivia and personal destruction; that what matters are flag pins and proxy issues; and foremost, That You Can't Fight City Hall.

Y'all have had your run of dominance, and like the Jim Wright Democrats before you, you've blown it. All the assumptions in this thread work only if those swing voters you're so confident will back McCain still believe your central myths. But your staunch support (well, from 2000-2006, anyway) of GWB is making that a tough sell in 2008. Which is why you're going to split your vote between McCain and Barr this fall.

Bush-Cheney et al blew your credibility by strutting around like smart-ass bullies. The wise people in the GOP know this, and they understand they're going to have to rebuild the party. Which is good, because we need two viable parties. And you'll be back, someday, wiser and less wacked-out than you've become. I hope so, because I've never been entirely comfortable with the Democratic Party, either. But that doesn't mean I'll trust you again this cycle, or even the next.

So we're gonna put Obama on a stage with McCain this fall and people are going to decide. I think Obama will win, and that you'll have to reconsider some of your basic assumptions about his supporters and about America as a result. The country has changed, and many conservatives have failed to notice. The future of the Republican Party depends on how you adapt to that change.

We've gotta fix Washington, and that's gotta start with someone like Obama and with principled campaigns like Lawrence Lessig's Change Congress organization.

Once we get that done, we'll have some good news in this country again. Americans can do anything. We're out to prove that.

5/08/2008 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Lucky Pierre said...

El Rushbo says he launched Operation Chaos because he didn't see McCain going after Obama, and he put it down to McCain being afraid of charges of racism. So he mobilized the Dittoheads to close up the race so Hillary would draw blood on her opponent. But Obama seems to have survived it, and McCain gives no indication of wanting to turn nasty in the general campaign season.

5/08/2008 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger herb said...

I think Hillary has a kitchen sink somewhere, or knows of one. She's not hanging on out of a sense of entitlement or expectation. The Injun said she shows her guts and toughness and she's recently put her money where her mouth is.
She's got something she can use. she's demonstrated her willingness to engage in serious fights so she will use it. I think she's demonstrating her viability as an alternative.

5/08/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

I'll wager that after an Obama victory nothing changes in Washington. Not the lobbyists. Not the lawyers, not anything. Except that Washington itself will get bigger.

If anyone wants to see a preview of Washington under Obama, and the cast of characters that will inhabit it, look at Chicago. That's not a hypothetical, it's an actual.

If the Republicans are wiped out in 2008, the temptation will be to rebuild in the image of the Democrats: identity politics but with different identities. If Balkanization works to gain power, then why not join the fun? I think Obama presages not a crisis for the Republican party, but for both political parties. Not in himself, but insofar as he represents underlying trends.

And even if Obama loses, there'll be another one down the track. A nation that will glorify William Ayers and entrust him with educating the youth will sooner or later elect a Barack Obama. There are enough voters who want what Ayers, Wright and Obama want. Truly want it. And conservatives can't go on "saving" them from themselves. One of these days they're going to seize the glass and drink the stuff they've been longing to drink.

What happens after that is anybody's guess.

5/08/2008 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger El Jefe Maximo said...

Off topic a little -- I'll talk about the tape.

Gives me the heebie-jeebies, watching the kamikaze go into those ships, of a quality different than other live war films.

Once the irrational decision to continue with the war past the end of the Solomons Campaign (and the crazy decision to make war on America to begin with) is accepted, given the personnel/equipment situation the Japanese were in in late 1944, the Kamikaze program makes weird sense. They had plenty of munitions, and aircraft, but because of their faulty personnel policies prewar and early in the conflict, could not train the pilots. Assuming you can find young men wrought up enough to do that (which they could) it was the most efficient means they had of putting weapons on target.

And I'm not totally sure the crazed resistance across the Pacific didn't get them something, politically at least. Although they lost...Japan, politically speaking, got better peace terms than the Germans did. The surrender in 45 was anything but unconditional -- the Japanese government was never actually dissolved. Not that it was worth millions of dead and the complete devastation of Japan, much of China, the Philippines and lots of other places, but politicians ain't logical.

Anyway, around to my point. Maybe George Streptococcus is right, and Hillary's banzai kamikaze campaign is "negotiating" -- maybe she really is after the VP job, or maybe as I've argued elsewhere, she's trying to damage Obama's flattop bad enough to make him easy meat for McCain so she can do a comeback in 2012. The Clintons, like the Japanese WWII leadership, are about that self-centered.

5/08/2008 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Daniel,

"...certain candidates are not viable by virtue of race..."

Ummm, who's saying that here? Did you somehow miss the mention of Colin Powell above? Or Wretchard's reference to Chicago as a reality check? The great hostility toward Obama that you perceive here is because of his politics.

5/08/2008 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

I really is all about voting for the "less wacket-out" ticket. Ms. Pelosi's democrats ran on "change" and "most ethical congress" promises. How is that working out? Unfortunately, we are left with no choice but to make assumptions concerning those that do not clearly state their values, intentions or beliefs.
The Obama's statements regarding government providing the solutions to the bitterness and oppression of the working class bring to mind this quote:

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

~Thomas Jefferson~

5/08/2008 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Scott said...

Hillary's calculations are simple.
She wants to be President. She can be President in 2008 or 2012. 2016 is too long to wait. She'll be old. She can't be President in 2008 if Obama is the nominee. She can't be President in 2012 if Obama wins in 2008. The conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader.

5/08/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: If the Republicans are wiped out in 2008, the temptation will be to rebuild in the image of the Democrats: identity politics but with different identities.

You're right, but it won't be a strategy, it will be a matter of having no other choice. There's no figure like Reagan on the horizon. The evangelicals are already making common cause with the enviros. The economic populist, isolationist Buchanan wing is falling away from the interventionalist, cheap labor, open borders country club wing.

5/08/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger El Jefe Maximo said...

Teresita is onto something about the Republicans and the decline of their coalition...and this also shows the way forward for Obama. Obama needs a third party to win. Must have it in fact, to bleed off Republicans, "Independents" and pro-Hillary irreconcilables.

Not even Bill Clinton, in every way a much more "conventional" politician than Obama -- could win without Perot. Obama must have a third party too.

5/08/2008 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Wadeusa, Hate to nitpick but calling Ayers a "hard and violent man" got in my craw. Violent yes, although the violence of the Weather freaks was almost more cartoonish than serious. Hard and violent men are the late Zarqawi,Mugniah,etc.
Ayers and his crew were anything but hard. When the acid wore off and they realized they had no following they surfaced to cash in their trust funds and be heroes on campus to a new generation of know nothings.

5/08/2008 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doc99 said...

The best Democrat in the race is John McCain.

5/08/2008 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger jeyi said...

Wretchard... Close but no cigar on the linked Podhoretz citation in Commentary online. It was actually by John Podhoretz, son of Norman. Podoretz Sr was editor of Commentary --the acknowledged Neocon house organ--for decades, Podhoretz Jr. is due to take over the reins there early next year.

5/08/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

To a guy like Whiskey - the state of America is all about the state of his own envy. Which he translates into a politics of resentiment - But he's got no horse in this race so I'm not sure why he's so UP…...

I’m wary of gloating myself. Still – it was a strangely lifting experience to watch the commentators on Fox News - Kondracke, Kristol, Barnes et al - late night on Tuesday. Confronted with the undeniable presence of an "unashamedly" black American pol who incarnates hope for a more perfect union - They looked GLUM. And their mentor Norman Podhoretz isn’t sounding too chirpy either. The Pod’s Great Fear of Obama is about what I would’ve expected – I remember how he made himself famous in the early 60’s BEFORE he turned all the way right by coming out about his hatred/fear of black people. (Check his early essay “My Negro Problem.”) And this wasn’t in the Age of the Panthers – this was during the EARLY black-and-white-sweetness-and-light phase of the Movement.

Since Americans have been ruled since the Age of Reagan/Clinton by the principles (?) of Podhoretz/Buckley – i.e. it's Good to be the King - I suppose Wade is right to suggest that Obama's rise hints the "heart and soul of the country lie in the balance." I think it means that sympathy, pity, solidarity and union will no longer be dirty words. Fo’give me Wade – but I think it’s flat-out wrong to imagine the Black Cat's dance will lead to the resurrection of Hard Men like Bill Ayers. In fact, it's about their End. In order to get what Ayers wanted at his softer, most human moments (and there have been a few along the way)- wannabe tough guys on the Left like him will have to recognize that they're part of the problem. Not the solution. Ayers (and others) might never get there. But, just so’s you know, he's been a pretty harmless soul for decades. Maybe even a more useful citizen than some Clubbers. He's spent a lot of time working with kids in the Juve Justice system. And he's not making anti-Americans or young firebrands - just reaching out to (at risk) kids- trying to keep them OUT of the joint, out of gangs and in school, Pretty standard Big Brother (and I don't mean Orwellian) stuff...And, as for "resurrection," - don't mean to re-up on an earlier post but Ayers gets VERY little play - and in fact has been treated rudely - by dim academic leftists whose daily "work" NOW is much less USEFUL than his...Obama, himself, doesn’t have to trash Ayers personally (though he has properly expressed his utter disdain for A.’s propaganda-by-deed). The whole force of O’s campaign promises to further marginalize the ideology (if not the good works) of "unrepentant" anti-Americans of every stripe. (Jesus - just think of what's happened to Wright. One reason the guy was SO pissed at O was he just lost "respectable" lines on his resume. I've heard W. was scheduled to get a Hon Degree from Northwestern. No go now.) Times are changing not just for Old cons and neos but for Old New Leftists as well. That don't mean, though, this has to get "ugly" (to use Wade's term). Unless the folks who are locked on the past on both the Right AND Left get their way…

Here's a post from Sullivan's blog that may be on point to all those Clubbers who have allowed (occasionally) that Obama's words spoke to them...

A reader writes:

My dad's been a hardcore Republican for decades. I grew up in a Mississippi household that worshipped Reagan in the 80's and despised Clinton in the 90's. I strayed from that pretty early on, but maybe not as far as I thought. I got this email from my dad last night:

"I have to say, Obama is a great speaker. He is extremely charismatic and likeable, and I like him so much I can almost forget he had the most liberal voting record in the Senate, is weak on national security, wants universal healthcare, will raise taxes and is pro choice. Other than that, I could vote for him. All kidding aside, I like him and won't be upset if he beats McCain. Disappointed but not upset."

5/08/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

The one Obama supporter here showed all the symptoms of starry-eyed, wishful-thinking 'do-gooders'. With the single POTUS, they are going to CHANGE the world.

Who said the following phrase?
'The road to hell is paved with good intentions.'

I fully expect Obama will be a one term disaster. Worse than Carter (at least Jimmah can relinquish the worst POTUS title afterwards), at the worst possible timing imaginable.

The Black voting bloc will never accept another candidate now, I understand that. What's up with the 'affluent highly-educated' voting bloc? I assume 'Daniel' to be one of those freshly graduated, first time voters.

5/08/2008 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Ali Asghari, a member of the conservative Hezbollah faction in parliament, told the president not to link the management of the country to the imam. 'Ahmadinejad would do better to worry about social problems like inflation ... and other terrestrial affairs.'

5/08/2008 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

The Bush family is in bed with the bin Laden family, but no, we're worried about Obama having a pastor for 17 years, who in turn hired Louis Farrakhan's people to provide security once, and everyone knows that Farrakhan is, you know, a Muslim.

5/08/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger jeyi said...

Oh lucky us, Benj is back on the scene with his voluble, if generally empty postings!

Again, I'd note that the linked article was by John not Norman Podhoretz, and the latter's "My Negro Problem" was largely about his Brooklyn childhood; regulalrly getting beaten and shaken down by black teenage psychopaths.

Also, regarding Wright's disinvitation for a honorary Northwestern U. doctorate, I'd venture that the Obamatron had very little to do with that.

More likely is the loads of nasty publicity recently accruing Northwestern, wondering just how it was that Mrs. Bill Ayers, Prof. Bernadine Dohrn, somehow received a prestigious appointment as a Northwestern U. law prof when, due to her time in the joint for contempt of court (!), she would never even get admitted to the Illlinois bar.

Perhaps Dohrn's injudicious professorship was somehow due to her father-in-law's position at the time on the Northwestern U. Board of Directors (Ayers Sr. having formerly been head of Commonwealth Edison, the main Chicago area electric utility)?

5/08/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Daniel said:

"I'm an Obama supporter, which according to Clinton supporters means that I'm deluded, mesmerized, an elitist, a yuppie and probably not a patriot. According to Republicans, it means I'm all of those things, plus probably a communist and a traitor and a limp-wristed Francophile."

You're only mildly deluded and mesmerized. No idea from your writing whether you're an elitist or yuppie. I see nothing wrong with your patriotism, I doubt you're a commie or traitor. You most definitely ARE a limp-wristed Francophile.

Hope that helps.

I'm an independent, though, not a Repub. The minute you pick a party, that party goes off the deep end and you just have to re-register as an independent again.

5/08/2008 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ken said...

A couple of posts in particular got me signing "Won't Get Fooled Again". I think you have to have blinders on, or perhaps just barely old enough to vote, to see Obama as a new direction of change to fix politics in D.C.

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

5/08/2008 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

I'm beginning to think that the democrats are realizing what situation they have built.

Two candidates that are unacceptable for different reasons. Obama has huge downsides, and could end up with 46%. Clinton can win only when people aren't looking at her.

Yet they have seemingly unlimited money, excellent organisation.

They are sitting on a powder keg that could blow the party apart. Far leftists didn't win 2 years ago, moderate blue dog democrats did. Yet they are running far left, with a far left radical candidate.

Interestingly, the debate within the party has only started. It should have happened 18 months ago.

Very interesting. I live in a province where politics is a contact sport, and enjoy watching. This one is worth a front row seat.

Derek

5/08/2008 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

As per Jeji - "My Negro Problem" was largely about his Brooklyn childhood; regulalrly getting beaten and shaken down by black teenage psychopaths."

What Pod did in "My Negro Prob" was flip the case made for moral complexity by HIS mentors like Lionel Trilling. (Try Trilling's story "The Other Margaret" and you'll see where Pod was coming from.) What Trill (and others) tried to do was teach genteel 50's bien pensants that it was positively INHUMAN to project all goodness on to the oppressed, on to the "Others." Victims weren't always virtuous. And often they became victimizers...But Pod turned that lesson upside down - brutalized it you might say. Better to think of the oppressed as "psychopaths" - Kill that impulse toward sympathy/solidarity/pity/ Get Real... Get UGLY...

Direct line from "My Negro Problem" to Reagan in Philly Mississippi in 1980 - the town where those three civil rights workers were killed and where Pod's hero announced his 1980 campaign w/ a shout-out to "States Rights"...REad about all that At Wiki - Here's a good link from their summary... http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13herbert.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

5/08/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Daniel, the problem for Obama and his supporters are this:

1. FEC data shows the donors are mostly CEOs, lawyers, Wall Street financiers, etc. The rich.

2. His electoral coalition is Blacks and College Kids and rich CEOs and such. That is both fragile and reaction provoking.

3. Obama offers nothing for middle class voters. Where the votes are. Other than getting an imaginary hip black friend as President. That doesn't fill the need of 1932. Of 1968 maybe. But it's not 1968.

Essentially, Obama is a luxury good being bought by kids with disposable income and no responsibilities. Catholics, Union Households, White Voters, no college, etc. all bought Brand Hillary 60-40 over Obama.

More to the point, should Obama win, you'd see Identity Politics spread overtly to to the overwhelming majority, which is white and working/middle class.

They are already excluded and told they are "not hip/trendy enough" by Obama and his supporters. "So Long White Boy" is the name of the Atlantic Democratic strategy. It is possible perhaps this could win, temporarily.

But the outcome would be more tribalism. And the Black-College-CEO class would not like it much if a true Jacksonian coalition, a Jim Webb/McCain grouping identifying it's own tribal grouping and rewarding it's friends and punishing it's enemies resulted.

Which it would, because the fundamental interests of the Black-College-CEO tribes are in fundamental conflict with the interests of the majority.

Take for example Affirmative Action. Benefits Blacks. And CEOs (less upward competition from talented but unconnected whites, creating social networks that exclude). Particularly in a recession, this is going to be a huge sore point with White Voters who are ...

THE MAJORITY. Tribalism has two edges to it's sword.

I'll note that the White College Kids who back Obama don't socialize at all with their "hip Black friends." Because race relations are possibly the most segregated (by Black Nationalism and exclusion) in recent years. So their commitment to Obama is a fad.

As for Benji -- well I think it pretty obvious that White Voters are sick of being lectured about White Racism when Blacks are as racist as the Average Klansmen. The moral preening of a rich, pampered, and spoiled Bill Ayers is a luxury. Times are hard and White Voters will not tolerate double standards or the same BS of 1968 that speaks to nearly half a century ago.

5/08/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"And even if Obama loses, there'll be another one down the track. A nation that will glorify William Ayers and entrust him with educating the youth will sooner or later elect a Barack Obama."

The business about Ayers is disgraceful However Wrechard's comment about Barack Hussein brings up something that I mentioned before, i.e. the need for McCain to have a black VP.

Hussein is a viable candidate mainly because he's black and we've never previously had a black President. It's evident the only way we'll become immune from Hussein's sort of demagoguery is through electing a black President (preferably a conservative patriot).

Case in point, one of the many reasons why Hillary lost is because Hussein surrounded himself with race based booby traps. If Hillary or any of her operatives set off a booby trap then Hussein could cry "racism" and immediately have has comments echoed by a sympathetic MSM. Consequently Hillary was always pulling her punches. McCain will have the same problem.

Now this brings up the point that there is still considerable racism in the US. I have relatives who keep forwarding me these noxious e-mails making racist attacks against Hussein. Apparently these e-mails are widely circulating through various church related discussion threads. No doubt McCain is aware of this under-current. McCain's dilemma is whether he should be "race neutral" and allow Hussein's mine field to remain operative. McCain would have to continue skirting the mine field like Hillary did. However the political cost in doing so would be offset by racists on their own accord voting against Hussein. The opposite strategy for McCain would be to select a black running mate and then plow into Hussein's mine field directly. However the political cost here is America's racists would see no difference between McCain and Hussein. The racists would stay at home and not vote.

Judging the number of racists in America is extremely difficult to do. People tend to lie about racism when taking opinion polls, i.e. the so-called "Brady effect". Also the ethics of harnassing racism is highly questionable. Hussein can do it because he's a demagogue but McCain should play to a higher standard. Of course there is the "higher ethics argument", i.e. is it more ethical to refrain from racism and risk a dangerous demagogue being elected President or should racism be employed and stop Hussein in his tracks? Looking at this cynically, the issue has me confused. However my gut tells me that McCain should have a black VP.

5/08/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Ken: Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around me

Pick up my guitar and play; Just like yesterday

Then I'll get on my knees and pray: We don't get fooled again


I've always mis-understood that last line to be the singer referring to the conditions before the revolution. Since he smiles and grins at the revolution, that means he's in favor of the change. But what the song really means is that revolution itself is a big pain in the ass, and it changes nothing, so he gets on his knees to pray the people aren't misled into another revolution to put things back.

5/08/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Aren't pro-Obama followers just the cutest little dickens you ever did see, though? Like a fluffy little puppy with a wildly wagging tail and great big innocent eyes.

Reminds me of all those flower-power hippies back in the 60's poking daisies in soldiers guns, blissfully convinced that no one would ever actually pull the trigger, and that all we had to do was "give peace a chance" and people like Saddam would see the error of their ways and immediately turn over a new leaf.

Until Kent State.

5/08/2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Won't Get Fooled was probably the Who's strongest track - but I never liked it. For sentimental reasons but also because Daltry was a pretty empty singer - Compared to, say, Jagger who offered some high cynicism of his own (Try "Salt of the Earth" sometime.) But at least there was mind inside those lips...

Here's an account (by the great Charles O'Brien) of the bridge in Aretha Franklin’s 1966 recording of “Think." Maybe a little more punctual than the Who?...

"Aretha sings “Freedom!” Now up to this point, the lyric has said essentially, Don’t play with my love, think about what you’re doing. This cry for freedom doesn’t seem to follow. But it is not the song, “Think,” subject of a copyright, somebody’s private property, that engenders this cry. Rather the song’s (and Aretha’s) historical setting does that. Where she might have less exceptionally filled that bridge with an oo-whee, Aretha felt it just as natural to sing of freedom, as if oo-whee and freedom were interchangeable words, hitting on the truth that they probably are."

Aretha’s (and O’Brien’s) truth hit me all over again after Barack Obama spoke in Washington Square Park last fall. Music played as folks filed out or stayed inside the Park, hanging on to Obama’s final riff which he’d lifted (with acknowledgements) from a grassrootsy Southern Sister: “Fired Up!—Ready to go? Fired Up!—Ready to Go?” I hung out for a few minutes and then stepped off, but just as I reached the street there was a voice and song that turned me around. Aretha was singing “Think.” FREEDOM!!!

5/08/2008 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Quick response re Whisk - "I'll note that the White College Kids who back Obama don't socialize at all with their 'hip Black friends.' Because race relations are possibly the most segregated (by Black Nationalism and exclusion) in recent years.white college kids not socializing with "hip black friends" - FYI - the Obama rallies I've attended in NYC have been the most unself-consciously integrated public gatherings I've ever attended. No comparison on this front to, say, 60's rallies...That's just a fact. Though it's not the only one that matters - it's also true that I saw very few working class people in the crowds...Still - I wonder why you are so convinced that race relations are "possibly the most segregated (by Black Nationalism and exclusion) in recent years." MORE segregated now? I don't know what country you're living in...but it's not America.

5/08/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Shropshirelad said...

"Freedom," if you will permit a middle aged white man to observe, "is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted all else follows..."

...

I certainly feel awful about admitting it, but I have never been to an Obama rally. I must confess, I have not yet come to Obama, not as so many else have.

And, since I seem to be among friends here, I must further confess that when I see those silk screen posters of Obama with red light rays beaming from the back of his head, the photographic halo effects on Rolling Stone, the video of his faithful, fainting, euphoric fans, I doubt I ever shall come to Obama.

I can't help myself, you see. I have tried believing, I really have. But I can't help wondering what sort of hope and change Obama will bring not to Washington, but mathematics.

You see, I live on planet Earth. And I would rather let 2 + 2 = 4 as long as possible. And I am not sure that in Obama world my hopes will be given equal weight as the hopes and dreams of others.

5/08/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Oh, your hopes and dreams will be given equal weight, lad, it's just you'll be at the end of the line, paying the ticket price for those ahead of you.

5/08/2008 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/08/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Barack Obama cheated his way into the Illinois Legislature. And he cheated his list of accomplishments from other legislators once he got there. A man who cheats his way into power cannot be trusted.

In much of America, Obama supporters are City Hall. In much of America, Obama supporters are an army of Goliaths, rich men, powerful men, men who have the rest of us by the throat. Why is it, when rich people have so much to lose, do they relish the thought of revolution while poor people dig in their heels to oppose it? That’s because rich people can break things and buy replacements, while poor people must do without if they drop anything. Those who live in glass houses are the most likely to throw stones.

It may seem intoxicating to think that America can be turned into an entirely different country. It may seem exhilarating to feel change in the air. Yet, not all change is good. Some change is evil. Revolutions must be embarked upon only in the most dire of conditions. And all too often, men with thoughts of revolution are like men who drink alcohol in the middle of a cold hard blizzard.

Is Barack Obama a revolutionary? Yes. Barack Obama promises revolution and he is already delivering on that promise. But it won’t be a revolution that makes America a better place to live. It won’t make us more safe. It won’t make us more free.

Barack Obama is a bully. Yes, he may dress well. Yes, he may seem moderate. Yes, his words may be smooth. He is still a bully. If Barack Obama fixes anything, he fixes an election for himself.

If only Harold Ford Jr. had run for President this year. Instead, we get Obama.

5/08/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Shropshirelad said...

I have always felt that people tend to get the goverment they deserve...

But it does seem unfair of Chicago to try and foist a fraud like Obama on the rest of us.

This is carrying things too far.

5/08/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I believe that observing the company that a man keeps provides a much clearer window to his soul than hanging on the words coming from his mouth.

5/08/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

They say the times are changing but I just don't know....

Have never been to an Obama rally and I never will. And I don't care what song they play there. My point of if Obama is elected, in the end we'll probably be signing "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss" still stands. Think about that. Though in truth I think he'd be worse than the old boss. And I'll be repeating R.L. Burnside, "That lazy mf stole my check."

I guess time will tell what happens. But it'll never tell what would have happened.

5/08/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

To the ironic Shropshire lad - FYI - no euphoria or fainting at the NYC rallies - O's speeches are rarely cathartic - He's more lecturer (for better and worse) than preacher.

Your worry re your own dreams reminds me of a great line in Obama's race speech... “Your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams.” It was a young cat named Ben Kessler who pointed me to that line - Kessler didn't vote for O when he had a chance...but after the race speech he allowed he's more than a little, ah, hopeful. Here's the ender of his commentary at http://www.firstofthemonth.org/archives/2008/04/stuff_white_peo.html - Maybe it will take you through the looking glass...

"Empathy, when it’s real, isn’t far from epiphany. There should be a shock of recognition in it that gives it a kick. Identity politics as it’s understood in contemporary American media/academia, however, is practiced from behind the mirror. From that privileged position, the 'smart' set delivers its judgments on fairness, history, and social justice. Obama’s speech probably could have done more to underscore the political sophistication of the unprivileged…but if the last 50 years (at least) of pop music hasn’t demonstrated that, then what will?

One line in the speech in particular got to me: “Your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams.” Democracy’s contradictions made Dean flip out and Kerry flip-flop, but Obama seems to quaff them. He drinks them in so deep, they’re even in his dreams. I wouldn’t classify what I’ve got as “Obama fever,” exactly, but I’m more than a little hopeful that we’re witnessing the beginning of a new phase of identity politics, one that dispenses with the pseudo-scholarly shibboleths in favor of the following principle:

Either everyone’s pain matters to you, or no one’s does."

RE - J-rod's line on "the company you keep" - Obama IS an intellectual with the rare capacity to comprehend/engage a wide range of American lives. It's in his DNA as he said recently. But it's also in his history. He can hang with the homies and play poker with those republican state legislators in Illinois. That's not because he's a hustler - it's because he's is an All-American imaginer. If you have the capacity to connect - it's a BORE to get locked into a purified identity (or one group!) To grasp how far he is from Norman Pod -(who made a career out of running off on the page from a few childhood bullies) - think on the classic response of one (staunchly anti-communist!) New York Intellectual after he visited the h eartland - How was your trip across America, he was asked? His reply: "There are SO MANY of them." Bad night in SF notwithstanding - Obama won't go there...

5/08/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Insight said...

In all the posts on this campaign I have yet to read about the way the Wall Street hedge funds and their Federal Reserve bankers have turned American industrial capitalism into a speculative financial capitalism with bail outs for the "too big to fail" commercial and even investment banks. The financial economists have created an academic support group for these super rich even though the economists are paid a tiny fraction of what the successful hedgers make per year while paying (legally) capital gains taxes on their protected risk earnings. The math models are supposed to provide adequate insurance but when their false assumptions belly up the government out of induced fear that the system will collapse injects massive liquidity (money) into the system that is becoming more an more fragile.
We may see hyper inflation in a year to two and present real inflation is growing while real incomes are not for most of us.
The left wants to spend more from an over extended Federal government and the right does not want to admit the real economic problems.
Given the racialism and identify politics that we are in where many middle class folks are silently angry and afraid (the go together) we headed for political disaster that will go global.

5/08/2008 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

“Your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams.”

Somebody's got to pay for those 'dreams', and it'll be lad and me. I've paid enough, already.

5/08/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Benj, you a blinded volunteer for the Messiah, or are you a paid operative? My bet is paid, and it's your job description to skip through the blogosphere spreading pro-Obama daisies and arguments, trying to open the eyes of the unbelievers.

Tough crowd here for you as well as many of the rest of normal non-CodePink groups. MUCH tougher than you'd find on the MSM or blog-sites for the NY Times or the LA Times.

5/08/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Darren Duvall said...

Re: The VP choices

The bigger Hail Mary than Colin Powell is Joe Lieberman. If you want a poster child for the conservative Democrat that was not only abandoned but attacked by the left wing of his own party, it doesn't get any better than Joe. Asking someone nominally from another party to be your VP is a substantial 'change' and an indication that McCain would not be a business-as-usual GOP President.

It does not shore up McCain with the anti-abortion folks, but for appeal to the independent middle it's hard to think of a better choice, at least for me. Joe runs the risk of losing his Senate committee positions, but that's a calculated risk. Lieberman and McCain do seem to genuinely appreciate and respect each other, and if you need a Dem who agrees with McCain on the WoT it's hard to find one more sympatico than Joe Lieberman.

McCain picking a black VP candidate would seem like a "me-too" stunt that pretty much nobody would buy, IMO. Condi Rice is whip-smart but picking Bush's national security advisor does lend some credence to the "four more years of Bush!" charge, which will probably be the most damaging thing for McCain's chances in the fall.

Obama would do well to pick Webb. He's a bulldog and he has national security cred that Obama does not. Obama makes a lot out of the AUMF vote that he didn't cast, had he been in the Senate at the time the vote would have passed 76-24. And given his non-entity status in his first three years, it's hard to believe he would have drawn any more support to his position than people who actually do things in the Senate, like Russ Feingold, Ron Wyden or the late Paul Wellstone. Seems like if you're going to present yourself as an agent of Hope and Change, you would have changed something before you ran for President. Like maybe, your church affiliation.

Interesting times.

5/08/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

He can hang with GodDamnnAmericaWright, he can hang with Rezko, he can hang with the black muzzies, man, the dude can hang out. He can also throw 'em overboard, when the need arises. What a fraud. The guy can jive, though, that's a fact.

Raise taxes. That's his program.

5/08/2008 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Thomas Sowell would make a good black President.

5/08/2008 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Seems Barry O has put a lot of sweetener in his Kool-Aid and Benji has come back for a double helping. Time for a reality check, my friend. Whom a future President counts amoung his friends matters. Expect to hear alot of the following:

What do Barrack Obama and Osama bin Laden have in common? They both have friends that bombed the Pentagon.

The Democrats are about get a rude awakening that flag and country are things that the voters expect their Presidents wear on their sleeve. Standing with your hands folded at your waist during the National Anthem is not the way to show pride in country. What is tragically funny is how Obama "ran" to the flag whenever he got in trouble during the campaing (sixteen flags behind him during the Philly race speech). Voters like myself pick up on things like that and cause us to take out the big black marker and cross that politician's name off the list.

5/08/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Bobal said:

"Thomas Sowell would make a good black President."

I just read the Wikipedia article about Sowell. Looks like Sowell would be a good choice for VP. Keep in mind that McCain is old and may die in office. His VP could easily become President.

5/08/2008 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Darren Duvall said...

Sowell tells the truth, clearly and plainly.

I think he'd be a superb person in the position, but do you really think we could stand a politician like that? I'm pretty sure (the left) half of the population would say, "no".

5/08/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Darren Duvall said:

"Sowell tells the truth, clearly and plainly. ... do you really think we could stand a politician like that?"

Imagine a 4-way unscripted debate with Hussein, his VP, McCain and Sowell on one stage. McCain would only need to stand there, assume a Presidential pose while Sowell ripped Hussein to pieces.

It would be most entertaining to watch.

5/08/2008 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Bill, sorry, I really did mean to write "hard left and violent", but time overran me.

Wretchard, if there is a wipeout I think the republicans will resist the temptation of ID-PC. But splits will occur.

Benj, Either "O" is lying to the Dems or he is lying to the rest of us. You are trying to convince us that O is like a liberal republican in conservative democrat clothing. And I'll grant there are certain aspects to "O"s vision that appeal. However if he defines that vision he loses a lot of democrat support right now, as long as he does not he cannot pretend a claim to mine and if he cannot or will not define it, then he has no business trying to foist such lip service to change without expecting to be called on it.

You are correct, I think, in your interpretation of the Wright/Obama delimma, but not in what the statement says about Obama. Wright's antics let folks know what Obama was not. That Obama would allow folks to believe he stands one way, without indication that he stands another. That is duplicitous, a measure of character that registers a positive result in the smell test for sleaze.

As for Ayers, if his work were undertaken from a sense of shame or in an attempt to right the things he's screwed up and was screwed up from, I would be tempted to accept his work as some sort of restitution. But it wasn't, he doesn't and the fact that he is even allowed to work with youth given his past leaves me to doubt the sagacity of the University of Chicago in particular, the entirety of Chicago in general. The true irony is that President Lincoln, a noted able Illinois politician whose vision enabled real and lasting change, would have squashed Ayers without prejudice. Because of what he did. Because it is the right thing to do.
I do not trust people who do not believe in the constitution. I do not trust people who seek relief in expedient and extra legal solutions. Oh and it is not just Ayers I find contemptible, there are many from that era who do not deserve, IMO, have not even minimally earned the second chance our nation granted them.

And there are many men whose work is equally and probably more effective and less problematical than Mr. Ayers or Mr. Obama's. There are men whose set of beliefs are more defined and whose achievements are supported by a core set of beliefs. I am still trying to figure out what "O" believes in beyond sleight of hand.

You would have us entrust the nation to him? Why?
Because he "stands for change"?

Come on, I'm not stupid, don't expect me to vote stupid, and I won't wear the stupid Tee Shirt, nor the one claiming to be with Stupid, either.

5/08/2008 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Do stupid people understand that they're stupid, or do they believe everyone else is as the same level they are at because they can't imagine anything different.

5/08/2008 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

nahncee,

I for one can't imagine what your talking about. :-)

5/08/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Wade, you're so cute when you're being coy. :-)

5/08/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

"I suppose Wade is right to suggest that Obama's rise hints the "heart and soul of the country lie in the balance."

Actually it has little to do with "O", it is a fact that the political effect of NEA and Afscme are huge. Fighting them for the heart and soul of the country will get ugly.

"I think it means that sympathy, pity, solidarity and union will no longer be dirty words." But what about compassion, patriotism, virtue or r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Fo’give me Wade – but I think it’s flat-out wrong to imagine the Black Cat's dance will lead to the resurrection of Hard Men like Bill Ayers. In fact, it's about their End. I think it is flat out wrong to characterize Senator Obama's campaign as "the Black Cat's dance" especially since "the Black Cat's dance" has not a thing to do with resurrecting anything-- its after the fact.

I'll mark it up to your "Narrow reading" light. This time, you are forgiven, LOL.

5/08/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Well, where to start?

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Dan. Allons enfants de la Patrie...

And then there's "Always right," who is clearly familiar with the concept of irony:

I assume 'Daniel' to be one of those freshly graduated, first time voters.

Of course, these are The Interwebs, so I could be literally anyone. But isn't it more fun to believe that I'm some stupid kid with stars in his eyes and mush for brains and not some 45-year-old white Southern guy who went to college on the GI Bill who is now putting two kids through college by saving every penny he can pocket. So let's just believe that, because, you know, we can't have people who think differently be afforded legitimacy or respect. Gotta make them either infantile or evil... or both!

But one of you is a truly special case...

1. FEC data shows the donors are mostly CEOs, lawyers, Wall Street financiers, etc. The rich.

Isn't it pretty to think so? WARNING! INCOMING REALITY! Here's an analysis of Obama's
"...1.5-million-strong army of campaign contributors. Dozens of Associated Press interviews with donors, and an AP financial analysis show how contributions that make only a soft ka-ching by themselves, arriving in increments of $10, $15 and $50, have collectively swelled into a financial roar that has helped propel Obama toward the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Altogether, Obama's campaign has taken in an unprecedented $226 million, most of it contributed online. His donor base is larger than the one the Democratic National Committee had for the 2000 election.

"These are hardly political fat cats. Ninety percent of his donors give $100 or less, and 41 percent have given $25 or less, according to the Obama campaign. Overall, he has raised 45 percent of his money in small contributions. Hillary Rodham Clinton's figure is 30 percent, Republican John McCain's is 23 percent.


In other words, Whiskey 199, basically 180 degrees from the bizarre media meme you just confidently stated as fact.

2. His electoral coalition is Blacks and College Kids and rich CEOs and such. That is both fragile and reaction provoking.

You're right about the blacks, and yes, college kids like him. Oh, and then there are middle-class, middle-age, Southern whites like me. And then there's my stepfather, a North Carolina Republican who was an officer in his county GOP. He's voting for Obama, too, because he recognizes that the modern GOP has put the foxes in charge of the henhouse.

Now: I'll acknowledge that there are all sorts of numbers in this primary and that Obama doesn't own all of them. But make no mistake: The Obama coalition is broader than you obviously care to believe.

. Obama offers nothing for middle class voters. Where the votes are. Other than getting an imaginary hip black friend as President. That doesn't fill the need of 1932. Of 1968 maybe. But it's not 1968.

Let's just talk about all the wonderful things you conservatives have to offer the middle class. No progress on health care. Disastrous bankruptcy "reform" written by the credit card companies. A war that you're charging against our children's futures. The subprime fiasco (which, in fairness, Clinton set in motion -- y'all just whipped it into an unregulated pirate feeding frenzy). Tax cuts for the rich. Corporate welfare for oil companies. Oh, and let's not forget general incompetence, cronyism and corruption. Why, it's a middle class dad's wet dream! Where do I sign me up for some more of that?

More to the point, should Obama win, you'd see Identity Politics spread overtly to to the overwhelming majority, which is white and working/middle class.

See, in all seriousness, at some point you really need to check your fears and preconceived notions against outside feedback. Obama is, quite literally, the first Democrat in my lifetime to be able to work effectively to END identity politics. I HATE identity politics. And in the same way that in took Nixon to open up China, it's going to take a "black" candidate to end that divisive "identity" framing.

That's his message. Try getting your head out of the echo chamber occasionally.

They are already excluded and told they are "not hip/trendy enough" by Obama and his supporters. "So Long White Boy" is the name of the Atlantic Democratic strategy.

Um... is that really the level on which you do your thinking? Really?

Anyway, enough. Thank you for having me on your board, and if I came across as trollish, I apologize to the author. I'll be returning to my world now, and leaving you to frolic here in yours. Bon voyage, mes soldats!"

5/08/2008 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger peterike said...

Benj, dude you gotta take your self-stroking grad school lit major trying too hard to be clever schtick and toss it. No doubt you smile in glee at how witty you think yourself every time you hit "publish," but what you are is unreadable. You are the first poster ever on Belmont that I routinely skip. That's an accomplishment of sorts, I suppose. Try writing a sentence without using your Spirograph and maybe I'll read you again.

In any case, I think the dark side of the force may be coalescing just enough to put Obaloney over the top. And it's all about the disinformation.

Check this. In the past two weeks, three people have made the following random comment to me, not even during any kind of political discussion: "McCain wants us to stay in Iraq for a hundred years."

You see? I would bet that about 70% of the voting public thinks this is true. It's one of those lies that simply becomes fact, like that we went to war for oil. At the same time, I doubt as much as 20% of the public knows who Bill Ayers is, and half of those who do think he's a pretty rad dude.

You simply cannot overestimate the distortion field that the media creates. Voting for a Republican post-Bush is not only considered evil, it's -- much much worse -- a violation of taste.

Obama is going to be the black Mayor Lindsey, inflated to Presidential size, yet equally full of noxious gas. For those of us who remember New York City under Lindsey, the prospects are not good. But I think even the Democrats -- enough of them -- will revolt from him if he really lets his Left out. But he can still do a lot of damage.

And just imagine the judges he'll pick.

5/08/2008 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Wade - RE: "Either "O" is lying to the Dems or he is lying to the rest of us. You are trying to convince us that O is like a liberal republican in conservative democrat clothing." - Scratching my head here - I 'm surely NOT trying to convince you that Obama fits neatly (or slickly) into previous party templates. Not sure if it was me or Wretch who equated O with the Black Swan first - but...

O is used to being an exception - And he revels in that. He ain't lying to anyone. Check what he told Daily Kos types back in 2005 in a diary posting on Tone and Democracy and Supreme Court Nominations...

"I am not arguing that the Democrats should trim their sails and be more "centrist." In fact, I think the whole "centrist" versus "liberal" labels that continue to characterize the debate within the Democratic Party misses the mark. Too often, the "centrist" label seems to mean compromise for compromise sake, whereas on issues like health care, energy, education and tackling poverty, I don't think Democrats have been bold enough. But I do think that being bold involves more than just putting more money into existing programs and will instead require us to admit that some existing programs and policies don't work very well. And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).

Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of "framing," although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It's a matter of actually having faith in the American people's ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter.

Finally, I am not arguing that we "unilaterally disarm" in the face of Republican attacks, or bite our tongue when this Administration screws up. Whenever they are wrong, inept, or dishonest, we should say so clearly and repeatedly; and whenever they gear up their attack machine, we should respond quickly and forcefully. I am suggesting that the tone we take matters, and that truth, as best we know it, be the hallmark of our response.

My dear friend Paul Simon used to consistently win the votes of much more conservative voters in Southern Illinois because he had mastered the art of "disagreeing without being disagreeable," and they trusted him to tell the truth. Similarly, one of Paul Wellstone's greatest strengths was his ability to deliver a scathing rebuke of the Republicans without ever losing his sense of humor and affability. In fact, I would argue that the most powerful voices of change in the country, from Lincoln to King, have been those who can speak with the utmost conviction about the great issues of the day without ever belittling those who opposed them, and without denying the limits of their own perspectives.

In that spirit, let me end by saying I don't pretend to have all the answers to the challenges we face, and I look forward to periodic conversations with all of you in the months and years to come. I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up. And I, in turn, will always try and show you the respect and candor one owes his friends and allies."

You can read the whole thing here - http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/30/102745/165

You're not going to Agree w/ him (now)on the issue that provided the occasion for his post - The Roberts Nomination - but maybe you'll sense why his HIS tone matters and why it's intrinsic to his politics...You might even pick up on one of the truths about Obama's "difference" - My 84 year old Mom got it. "He's a pretty conservative guy," she said. (And that's NOT something that would normally make her heart rise!) But he's pretty radical too. Not to worry - That don't mean his skitzo - just full of...negative capability. Obama may not have a mind so fine no idea could violate it. But he does understand that no ideologue (and no hack) has all the, ah, solutions...

One more exemplary hit from his 2005 Kos post:
"According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists - a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog - we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in "appeasing" the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda. The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.

I think this perspective misreads the American people. From traveling throughout Illinois and more recently around the country, I can tell you that Americans are suspicious of labels and suspicious of jargon. They don't think George Bush is mean-spirited or prejudiced, but have become aware that his administration is irresponsible and often incompetent. They don't think that corporations are inherently evil (a lot of them work in corporations), but they recognize that big business, unchecked, can fix the game to the detriment of working people and small entrepreneurs. They don't think America is an imperialist brute, but are angry that the case to invade Iraq was exaggerated, are worried that we have unnecessarily alienated existing and potential allies around the world, and are ashamed by events like those at Abu Ghraib which violate our ideals as a country."

Obama has radical ideals - But he's not an ideologue. He's American to the bone-bone-bone...

5/08/2008 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

After Daniel's whipping post I'm beginning to wonder if Whiskey is actually Jerry Quarry... b.

5/08/2008 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Starling said...

Daniel said: "...so I could be literally anyone. But isn't it more fun to believe that I'm some stupid kid with stars in his eyes and mush for brains and not some 45-year-old white Southern guy who went to college on the GI Bill..."

Starling: Daniel, if you have indeed served the nation in uniform, you have my unqualified respect and admiration. Thank you.

Daniel: "So let's just believe that, because, you know, we can't have people who think differently be afforded legitimacy or respect."

Starling: There is a decided and definite distinction to be made between thinking differently and thinking correctly. There are some things in life that are not arguable, basic algebra is one of them. Please note what follows.

Daniel (quoting Whiskey): "1. FEC data shows the donors are mostly CEOs, lawyers, Wall Street financiers, etc. The rich."

Daniel: Isn't it pretty to think so? WARNING! INCOMING REALITY!"

Starling: Daniel, the minute you condescended to using CAPS with EXCLAMATION POINTS! I strongly suspected there'd be a problem with your logic. Figures of Pathos like these, by definition, all but preclude the possibility of reasoned discourse or rational calculation. What they are is a warning sign saying "Skewed perspective ahead." You should avoid this kind of language if you want your ideas to be taken seriously by thinking people.


Daniel: Here's an analysis of Obama's "...1.5-million-strong army of campaign contributors. ... an AP financial analysis show how contributions that make only a soft ka-ching by themselves, arriving in increments of $10, $15 and $50, have collectively (helped the) Obama campaign (take) in an unprecedented $226 million, most of it contributed online. ... "These are hardly political fat cats. Ninety percent of his donors give $100 or less, and 41 percent have given $25 or less, according to the Obama campaign. Overall, he has raised 45 percent of his money in small contributions. Hillary Rodham Clinton's figure is 30 percent, Republican John McCain's is 23 percent."

Starling: You don't even have to work the numbers to discern the AP's agenda-driven and misleading analysis. Please take note as this is an object lesson liars, damn liars, and statisticians.

To recap the facts you presented via the AP:

*Number of donors to the Obama campaign = 1.5 Million

*Dollar total of donations to the Obama campaign = $ 226 Million

* 90% of donors give less than $100

* 41% of donors give less than $25

* the most common increments of donations (may be) $10, 25, and $50.


Do you see it now? If not, here are some basic calculations:

- 41% of 1.5 Million = 615K donors giving less than $25. If donations are equally distributed between $10 and $25 then they average $17.5.

- 615K donors * $17.5 = $10.8 M
and at most 615K * $25 =$15.4 M

That leaves another 50% of the donor base giving between $25-100.
Let's say they average $75, which I am sure is too high, that's 750K people donating $75 = $56.3M. At most it could be $75 Million.

Thus, at very best, 90% of Obama's donors gave just 90 of his $226 Million. A more conservative estimate is $72-75 Million. Either number is far less than half the total.

The lower number ($75 Million) is approximately a third, meaning that the top 10% of Obama donors gave 2/3 of the money.

Ten percent of 15 million donors = 150K donors.

Two-thirds of 226 million = 150 Million dollars.

That works out to $1000 on average from the top 10% of donors.

Now we also know that the maximum allowable individual donation is $2300 but we have no data on that. (surprised?)

Now a question for you Daniel. Who, other than "CEO's, (trial) lawyers, Wall Street financiers, i.e. the rich" do you think make up this 10% of $1000 donors?

Daniel: Overall, he has raised 45 percent of his money in small contributions. Hillary Rodham Clinton's figure is 30 percent, Republican John McCain's is 23 percent.


Starling: if true, then what you can argue is that Obama gets more small money donors than the others. In which case I say, good for him. But that's a relative claim, not an absolute one. All three get the bulk of their money from a small number of people... and we know who those people are Daniel- people with lots of money to give.

Daniel: In other words, Whiskey 199, basically 180 degrees from the bizarre media meme you just confidently stated as fact.

Starling: Not so fast, Daniel. Clearly, like all major candidates, Obama has a greater number of small donors than large ones. It looks as if his percentage is significantly higher, and again, I say good for him. But all that Whiskey's original statement lacks to be strictly accurate is the qualifying adjective "BIG", i.e

"FEC data shows the (BIG) donors are mostly CEOs, lawyers, Wall Street financiers, etc. The rich."


But what we don't know is whether Obama's donations are heavily skewed on the big end, i.e. if he has a greater proportion of $2300 donors. I suspect that he does and I further suspect that this may be what Whiskey was saying. Either way, the AP should be ashamed for omitting this fact. I wonder now if they are concealing the fact that Obama has a much greater percentage of big ($2300) donors. That doesn't fit well with his narrative or the AP's.

Either way, had you recognized it this, you could have simply pointed it out without all the drama about repeating "bizarre media meme."

thoughtfully
starling

PS: In my experience, very few people at the Belmont Club have a chip on their shoulder, as you would seem to suggest. I for one would appreciate if you did hang out here, provided you drop some of the pretense and like all of us, allow your opinions to be corrected when warranted by empirical facts or more compelling logic. If you write to me directly, I'll gladly provide you with links to some interesting titles on behavioral decision theory and quantitative logic.

5/08/2008 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

All sound byte, no substance.

Specifics? From "O"s diary,
"Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of "framing," although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It's a matter of actually having faith in the American people's ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter."

I am still waiting to hear authentic debate about what matters to issue from "O". He is still framing, getting the notes to the right pitch, feeling for the "tone". Because he is not yet ready for the clash of ideas?

If that is indeed the case then you do your party and Obama a disservice promoting his elevation to presidential consideration. He doesn't know what he wants to do, only the tone he wants to set. The few policies he promotes are more of the same stuff that doesn't work. Well, no wonder Reverend Wright was "confused" about the "Black Cat's dance".

Time to put up.

5/09/2008 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

Wade - I hear you re time to Put Up...And I doubt O will do enough for me, much less you, on that front before the election. But it's also time to realize that Obama has been clear from the top about his desire to transcend received political ideas/categories and tones...He hasn't been pretending - or lying (to use your word) - to anyone who was listening...I do think you have to create the conditions for a democratic conversation - Kind of hard to imagine having such a policy debate when it's clear the other side is chiefly interested in Gotcha games. That's where it was at with Clinton(s). Hope it goes better with McCain - But - what the hey - O is an American pol. Not a parliamentary system, right? Persona & "culture" matter bigtime here. My guess is the policy debates that count most won't really occur unless O WINS.

But in the meantime - let me underscore Daniel's point re Identity politics. Obama is killing that noise. And while we're waiting - isn't his presence already encouraging the clash of ideas. Think on our exchanges (or the one above between Daniel and Starling). You checked out the FIRST OF THE MONTH website, no? And you directed me to that piece about the flag-assault in Boston. Trust me, John Kerry or Al Gore would not have moved me to mix it up with you (and other Clubbers)...When we're arguing - and not snarking (as I did when I mocked Whiskey above) we're living in O-world. It's a new one. And it makes ideologues NNNNNNERVOUS but, as James Brown would say. THERE IT IS.

5/09/2008 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

From Daniel, ...some 45-year-old white Southern guy who went to college on the GI Bill who is now putting two kids through college by saving every penny he can pocket...

Me trying to be funny aside, I have one question Obama supporters have not been able to answer.

Your candidate ran the Great Uniter theme for this election cycle. Nothing in his speech and policy proposals (so far, what little we have as of now) offer anything sweet for this old conservative. How is that uniting?

5/09/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

You either care about everybody's pain, or you care about nobody's? What kind of middle-school dichotomy is that, Benj? The thing about modern America is that it isn't Obama who makes it what it is (that is, a largely post-race nation); Obama is simply stepping forward at a good time to take advantage of the passage of time and the fruits of classical liberal ideals (combined with pseudo-liberal guilt over past wrongs, which can never be effectively recompensed).

We have three possible candidates: a freshman Senator with no legislative record, a near-freshman Senator and former First Spouse with a record of ill-advised ideas and little else, and an elderly Senator with demonstrated personal bravery and convictions whose social-conservative bona fides are troublingly inconsistent for the conservative base. If there were a governor, any governor, running, I'd be mightily inclined to consider the person with executive experience. No such luck, however...

Race and gender don't enter this equation; experience, record, and stated policy positions are all I need.

5/09/2008 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Always Right - Obama is a man of the left - however much he's messing with party paradigms - so you're not exactly his target audience. He belives in American Unity but his democratic faith has its utitliy too. He's not going to lie to you and he's not going to trash you (or your kind) personally but he's not after the Always Right - it's the tweeners (and always leftists) and disengaged that he's hunting. So - for real - He may not have that much on offer for you personally. Unless you can see that it's good for American conservatives to have a morally worthy opponent...Particularly one whose very presence offers millions of your fellow citizens a reason to fully identify with this country NOW notwithstanding the weight of the past...

Re Jamie - you've got an angle on all this that can't be dismissed - but - what can I say - given American history it's pretty impossible for me not to bring race into the equation precisely because it's NOT determiniative in this instance. Obama began getting 90 percent of black votes only after he proved he could get white ones. Sharpton finished third in S.C. last time around, no? But - since you're beyond the call of History - might consider this. Obama has run an extraordinary campaign simply at the level of organization. He's not all the way there yet - but he's in the process of setting up a parallel structure of fundraising/mobilizaton that may very well marginalize not just Clinton's Old Guard but the Kos-ites and established single issue orgs on the left (not to mention the farther out leftists). Always good to keep your bullshit-detector in working order. It's good to Call Obama on the wind beneath the wings of his Change meme. But it might be wise to avoid getting too locked on you're own skepticism. If you check into what Obama et al. seem to be accomplishing when it comes to their organization, I think you might be somewhat less inclined to diminish the significance of his campaign...This guy and his, yup, movement are different in more ways than one...

5/09/2008 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger always right said...

benj, you don't make any sense. To a normal person's thinking, in order to be a Uniter, Obama is expected to "make comprise(s)". Which principle(s) will Obama be willing to sacrifice to bring the country together?

Unless I change my ways AND my thinking, people like me are not his targeted audience for the "Great Uniter" banner?

We (at least I) will be regarded as the extreme rightwing bitter TWP clinging to my guns and religion, not worth the messiah's saving?

5/12/2008 08:52:00 AM  

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