Re: Phantoms

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I'm sure they must exist, but I likewise don't know anyone who is a Hillary supporter. And I know Bush supporters, so it's not like I don't get out much.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:57 AM
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Hillary draws a lot of her support from African-Americans and working-class whites. Does this help?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:59 AM
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Why do they keep on including Al Gore? That's really annoying.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:01 AM
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I'm wondering (I have no real reason to think this is true) whether Hillary supporters run somewhat less politically engaged than other Democrats -- that the wonky types who spend a lot of time talking about politics aren't the ones voting for her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:02 AM
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I know people supporting Hillary.

I am not thrilled with her, but I have accepted the fact that I will be voting for her. I realized that she was going to get the nod when Mark Warner decided not to run. She has done her homework.

The Republicans will smear her, but not very mention facts. As Democrats, we will have to shift the discussion back to facts. What specifically do you not like about her? That she stayed with her husband? That is a bad thing in your mind? Whitewater? Have you read any actual facts about Whitewater?

Not liberal enough? And your other option is?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:05 AM
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I knew there were tens of millions of people in America who know nothing about policy or current events and who hate Hillary and will always hate her. The liberal media didn't tell me that there were a lot of people under the radar who like her as well.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:06 AM
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Whispers:"Not here, Cmon back down the alley and under the overpass...I like her."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:10 AM
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Let's ask an objective observer about Hillary.

Anyone seen Dick Morris?

You cannot ask him any question without him responding with a way to blame Hillary.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:11 AM
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I just send a quick poll to my family, aunts, uncles, etc. asking who their favorite candidate was. All professional Jews. I bet I get one or two Hillarys. I'm curious to see who my Uncle Marvin goes for. I'm guessing Giuliani.

I was wondering "why haven't I done this before"? And then I realized, it's because the last time we had a family email discussion about politics, it was shortly after 9-11 and it didn't go so well.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:13 AM
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I am a terminal optimist, but I actually think that having Hillary represent the right wing of the Democratic party speaks relatively well of the health of the thing.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:15 AM
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I took some online quiz to see which candidate I most agreed with, and Hillary tied w/ Richardson, w/ Obama right behind.

Richardson's not going to get the nomination. I have doubts about Obama's ability to win in the general election, due to his youth. Leaving me with Hillary.

But yes, I can see where dyed-in-the-wool liberals wouldn't know any Hillary supporters. So it *is* a Kael thing.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:18 AM
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I think for most people, Hillary is more of a symbol than a person. For the conservative right, she's the Two-Minute Hatred of the past two decades. It is a mystery why they hate her (totally annoyingly moderate) social and economic positions so much more than any other Dem candidates'. For the people supporting her, I think she's little more than a symbol of the 90's, back when my dad had a steady job and houses didn't cost so much. But yeah, for those of us actually looking at her (extremely moderate) positions on things, getting worked up in the name of Hillary is very difficult to do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:20 AM
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My parents support Hillary. I mean, I don't know how emphatically or what they think of the other major Dems, but they'd definitely at least consider voting for her in the primary. To my shame, when I tried to argue that she was not as liberal as they think, I couldn't think of any examples except for the Iraq war and her stance on stupid stuff like video game violence. I know there are plenty of examples out there of her being the most right-wing major Democratic candidate, but nothing definite came to mind.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:21 AM
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extremely moderate

I don't think that means for you what it means for me. Unless it means, 'basically right-wing but not totally into the idea of killing brown people'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:22 AM
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ttaM, if she crossed the Atlantic she'd be Gordon's Home Sec. Not your kind of moderate or mine, but mainstream.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:26 AM
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Most of my family, other than me and my sister, would never vote for Hillary in a billion years. My mom might be the exception, but she would likely never tell anyone.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:28 AM
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14: Of course she's right-wing by UK standards. Stop rubbing our noses in it!

So interestingly, not only is Hillary a complete non-liberal who is seen by Republicans as the scariest liberal ever, but she is supported mostly by the lower-income Democrats while Republicans see her as the embodiment of...well, whatever the target of their populist resentment strategy is. "Limousine liberal", I guess.

Time to follow the Sifu Tweety strategy of not trying to predict what other people will think.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:28 AM
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I'm the same--I don't know anyone voting for HRC--but I've come to believe it is a Kael effect. I think that there are a fair number of women down the SES scale who support HRC because she's a woman, and they do so for totally understandable reasons: down the SES scale (I assume), the effects of sexism are much more manifest and much more prevalent, and having a female President is a risk-shorting strategy. I'll be curious to see the white woman/non-white woman (and subgroups) split in the primaries. I don't even have any strong suspicions about it anymore, and that's probably a good thing.

Beyond that, you're going to get Republicans and near-Republicans, as well as institutional voter support.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:29 AM
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re: 15

Yeah, but, like many people, I think of the current Labour lot as right-wing. Essentially in the same place as the left wing of the Tory party.

Not as nuts as the Republicans, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:29 AM
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Cyrus, I refer you to apo comment.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:29 AM
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The Hillary supporters I know are white union Democrats.

Unions have a strong tradition of political realism and are reluctant to support insurgent or issue-based candidates. Getting someone elected trumps everything else.

But also, a LOT of ordinary Americans really liked Bill a LOT. For liberals and left-liberals he was a big disappointment, but for a lot of loyal Democrats he was like God.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:29 AM
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I think by "moderate" I mean that she will not commit to any position that smacks of liberal politics, though everyone assumes she holds liberal positions secretly and is just playing it safe. She gleefully commits to conservative positions all the time. Why conservatives think she's The Very Face of the outraged queer baby-abortin' Hollywood Left, I have no idea.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:29 AM
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But why Kotsko?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:32 AM
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I'd agree that her support comes largely from 90's nostalgia.

Back to 'why do people not support her', which is more fun or at least more contentious, there's everything linked in 20, there's sexism, which I agree with B. is a real factor, but there's also irritation with the constant drumbeat of how inevitable she is. I wish people would tone that down -- she's basically tied with Obama on anything objective, and predictions on any other basis rely on guessing how a literally unprecedented situation is going to turn out.

I'm not crazed with opposition (I was when I thought she was the only Democrat planning to leave a residual force in Iraq. Now, it appears to be all of them. Bleah.) but I find it really annoying talking about her as if she's already won the primaries -- it seems to dismiss everyone to her left as a self-evident political irrelevance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:35 AM
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arent they?

I wish it werent so, but it sure seems like it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:37 AM
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"I think by "moderate" I mean that she will not commit to any position that smacks of liberal politics...gleefully commits to conservative positions all the time."

Yeah, I realise that that's increasingly how moderate is used these days.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:38 AM
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25: No. I think that's LB's point. Keep in mind that VA voters are probably a bit to the right of the (a) the base, and (b) the voters who will vote for a Dem in a state the Dems are likely to win.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:38 AM
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But also, a LOT of ordinary Americans really liked Bill a LOT. For liberals and left-liberals he was a big disappointment, but for a lot of loyal Democrats he was like God.

This is pretty true. Bill was a disappointment -- smarts heavily outweighing principles -- and I can see Hillary being the same. But Clinton-level disappointment is, like, fucking Paradise compared to the present joker, and probably compared to any of the joker's would-be Republican heirs.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:40 AM
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politicalfootball-spouse advises that I am not permitted to vote for anyone but Hillary.

PF-S has political opinions similar to mine, but fits the description of the less politically engaged, as in LB's 4. I think a lot of Hillary's co-genderists root for her because of the shoddy way she has been treated in the public sphere.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:44 AM
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Not perfectly germane but I like Royko's quote:

"Anybody who would reform Chicago's Democratic Party by dropping the white ethnic would probably begin a diet by shooting himself in the stomach."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:44 AM
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The one thing that Bill was awesome at, which I think we tend to take for granted in politicians, was his uncanny way of making friends of political leaders around the world. He didn't just have awkward "meetings"; he joked with them, knew their kids' names, learned things about their countries. Even if we lived with a president who held all of Bush's stupid-ass domestic social and economic positions, we'd be a thousand times better off with someone who is not an offensive dolt when dealing with world political leaders. When the only other world leader who can stand your stupid ass is Putin, you're in trouble.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:47 AM
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And I should add that the only candidates I can see creating that kind of warmth with other countries are HRC and Obama, esp Obama. People just fucking love that guy, and he's got that WJC quickness, the easy smile, etc.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:49 AM
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28: I liked Bill a lot as a President (not unexpected as I'm not all that liberal), and the vast majority of the time, I've liked ("trusted" may be a better word here) HRC as a person much more than I've liked Bill. But Bill was a different--read "much better at the natural stuff"--politician than HRC, the time when he was first elected was a very different time from this, and both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party at the time were different than they are today.

Bill was Barry Sanders. You can make a lot of formally wrong moves and have a relatively crap line when you're that naturally talented. Expecting the same from anyone else is harebrained.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:50 AM
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Wow the Pauline Kael link so gave me a flashback to 1968 you wouldn't believe. Doin the comparison & contrast. No serious anti-war candidates. What are the charismatics between Bobby & Barack, if BO is the inspirational candidate? Ideologically, tho lacking the institutional and machine support, which says it all, the closest to Hubert is John Edwards.

So I guess that does make HRC the "New Nixon," although nowhere near as interesting & fun as Tricksy Dick.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:50 AM
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23: They're died-in-the-wool Republicans. My mom is leaning more liberal since she just finished college, in a second-career type of thing.

I actually don't know how my dad's side of the family votes -- they're all Catholic, which would seem to indicate Democratic, but who knows nowadays? Anyway, my dad's a Republican because he's a fundamentalist, in the last analysis. With my mom's side of the family, it's more of a heritage thing.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:51 AM
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I think a lot of Hillary's co-genderists root for her because of the shoddy way she has been treated in the public sphere.

I'm certainly tempted to on this basis -- not just as a woman responding to sexism, but as a "Suck it, Clinton-hating-maniacs!" gesture. I didn't think much of Bill policy-wise, but the way he and Hillary were treated in public discourse was freakish and wrong, and it would be nice for that to have been entirely ineffective in the long run.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:51 AM
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Family poll is getting results! My uncle the millionaire tax lawyer says Giuliani for the Repubs, Hillary for the Dems. I'm guessing he goes R in a matchup, but I'm not certain. I'm guessing his sons, roughly my age and older, go the same way.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:52 AM
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Bob, I thought the Kael story was from '72, to emphasize the contrast between elite and popular opinion. '68 was 3way, and close.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:53 AM
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My sister's family are fundies, whomever the Republican for them. My brother doesn't vote, his wife will probably vote D, for Hillary as like as anyone. I can't read his kids or their spouses, but probably R.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:58 AM
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There's this parallel to 1968, though: the war isn't really the issue. Nobody now running a serious campaign is going to pull us out. So if you set the war aside, who do you like?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:59 AM
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40: "Mrs. Lincoln? The play? No, seriously, we put a lot of hard work into it, and we REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU LIKED THE PLAY!!"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:00 AM
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38:72 is pretty far from relevant to our present circumstances, while 68 may be.

A couple years ago I expected a revolution within the Demorat Party if HRC looked inevitable, a true insurgency candidate. We have a hapless economic insurgent, but no real dove. It's very disappointing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:03 AM
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HRC exudes competence. I won't vote for her in the primary, and probably won't knock on doors for her in the general, but I think she'll do a good job if elected. The other Democratic heavyweights are closer to my politics, and maybe have a better chance at greatness, but they also might fail miserably.

For what it's worth, most of my Dem relatives are likely to vote for HRC in the primary (if they vote). They tend to be moderate liberals who aren't remotely wonkish.


Posted by: zwichenzug | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:03 AM
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Are you saying that all domestic issues are trumped by the war, even though the Dems and Reps differ infinitely more on domestic issues than they do on the war?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:03 AM
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But Clinton-level disappointment is, like, fucking Paradise compared to the present joker, and probably compared to any of the joker's would-be Republican heirs.

Here's the thing: Clinton came on after Bush the first, when the worst he had to deal with was a recession. Clinton II would be coming on after Bush II and right in the middle of the worst foreign policy in American history, to say nothing of an ongoing project to gradually turn the U.S. into a dictatorship. And the Clintons have been especially disappointing on foreign policy and civil liberties, where their collective record runs from, at best, "benign fuck-up" to "amoral accessory to catastrophe" to "war criminal." The job Clinton did was to be a passably mediocre president while maintaining (limited) prosperity and (illusory) peace. The next president's job will have to be to undo the damage of the last eight years. We can't afford "disappointing," because "disappointing" in this context amounts to "letting things get worse."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:03 AM
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I think Clinton has a pretty deep well of relatively quiet support from people like my mother - middle class, professional women about HRC's age.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:04 AM
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44 to 41.

A couple years ago I expected a revolution within the Demorat Party if HRC looked inevitable, a true insurgency candidate. We have a hapless economic insurgent, but no real dove. It's very disappointing.

No Feingold.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:04 AM
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It's equal parts entertaining and disturbing to hear my wingnut parents hate on Hillary. The entertaining part is obvious, but it's disturbing because their image is so contra reality - they're convinced she's a big ol' commie who going to throw all our nukes into the sea and make everybody eat tofu. I can say until I'm blue in the face that she's the most conservative of the dem candidates, and it does no good.

To my great surprise, some of my younger family members -- still Republican by basic orientation -- have turned onto Obama. Even though Hillary would probably be closer to their positions, they can't get past the style. It amazes me.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:04 AM
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Another thing to remember with Hillary is that polls measure the popular vote, and the popular vote does not get you elected.

I live in Mississippi, where of course Hillary is deeply hated. Maybe 70% of the voters would vote against her. So that's all 6 electoral votes, whoopee. But states like that tilt the national polls out of proportion to their say in the electoral college.

I would be interested to see a polling project based on state polls, b/c I suspect that Hillary can win in the states where she needs to win, while being despised in the states she doesn't need. Hell, she could pull a Bush 2000 and win the electoral w/out the popular vote -- wouldn't wish that on her, but it would be pretty g.d. funny.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:04 AM
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My dad, who is a lifelong conservative Republican, is looking forward to voting for Hillary. He thinks she's competent, even though I wouldn't say he likes her.

His neighbor, who I would guess is a moderate Republican, is going to vote for Hillary, because he thinks all the Republican candidates are an embarassment to his party.

My mother, who was independent until 2004 (now Dem), will happily vote for Hillary. Hillary is probably her perfect candidate. My sister, politically apathetic but registered Democrat, will vote for Hillary.

My brother-in-law, former marine, former cop, is horrified by the idea, but I think he's going to sit this one out.

My brother and I, the liberals in the family, are probably the least enthusiastic. But once the primaries are over, I'll vote for whoever the Dem is, and so will he.

I think Hillary is going to get the huge groundswell of people who don't really care or pay attention to politics, but just want the '90s back. And some of those people will be Republicans.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:06 AM
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http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0108-27.htm

While some statistics talk to us, others virtually scream out for interpretation. Let's contemplate, for a moment, the Mississippi vote, where White women and non-White** women voted in an exact mirror image of each other. A jaw-dropping 89 percent of White women in the state voted for Dubya, while 89 percent of Black women voted for Kerry.

I would like to see HRC versus Giuliani just so this statistic could become 100% and 100%.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:07 AM
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45: We can't afford "disappointing," because "disappointing" in this context amounts to "letting things get worse.

See, I read the same facts very differently. I don't count on HRC for much, but I think that little things like "outlawing torture" and "habeas corpus" might be relatively easy sells for her ... and that would be a big improvement right there.

I do worry however that even after being elected, she'll overcompensate from fears of being pegged as the softie girl-President. But then, even Obama can't get the guts to rail on drug sentencing. So no one's perfect.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:08 AM
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My fiancee is a Democrat who doesn't pay attention to politics. She basically hates every Republican on earth except Giuliani. Fortunately I can get her to read articles that will change her mind.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:09 AM
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50: There's a ton of estranged Republicans who made a lot of noises about voting for Obama, too, though. Look, electability isn't the issue. Clinton is plenty electable. The problem is that she's genuinely hawkish on foreign policy, has a horrifying record on civil liberties, has no sensible judgment on how America should be interacting with the rest of the world, and ultimately believes that the problem with Bush's policies isn't the policies themselves, but the competence with which they've been executed. That is, Hillary Clinton is a conservative candidate. If you didn't like the Bush, why sign up for Bush-lite?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:12 AM
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I'm suspicious of people said to exude competence.

Dick Cheney.

I think my core attitude in general, which spills into politics which I know is a literal confidence game, is that the more you know the less confident you often appear, and confidence is a lot of what people mean by competence. I learned to project for the benefit of clients, who need reassurance, but I hate knowingness in all its forms. Women who need it from men are best avoided, although ime all respond to it to some degree.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:13 AM
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middle class, professional women about HRC's age.

I could see that. I think that the set of women mostly likely to have been hammered for long periods of time for being women in their lives are more pro-Clinton than other primary voters. Thinking about it, my mom might be an HRC supporter. I could see homemakers, esp. older homemakers, skewing Clinton as well. I think I tend to underestimate the size of that group because I don't run into them with the frequency I run into other women. So, Kael problem for me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:13 AM
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45:"...she'll overcompensate from fears of being pegged as the softie girl-President."

I am already always getting very tired of this. LBJ, according to the myth, was scared of being of being pegged a softy. I worry if those using this line have some vision of the True Dove America hidden by a thin veneer of male chauvinism. It don't exist.

And I really won't be able to handle 8 years of:"Why did Hillary bomb Teheren? Oh why did she attack Syria? It's teh Sexism made her do it."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:16 AM
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we REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU LIKED THE PLAY!!

Not quite what I'm saying. Nobody will run on an end to the war. But which of the candidates will react best to the probable crisis in Iraq that may at last occasion a withdrawal?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:16 AM
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I think that little things like "outlawing torture" and "habeas corpus" might be relatively easy sells for her

Totally disagree. Maybe torture. But we started rendition under Clinton I, IIRC.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:17 AM
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Yeah, Tim's right. Hillary's not going to be the President who gives you your civil liberties back. But she probably won't abuse them so readily or gleefully either.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:19 AM
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Do we really project Edwards or Obama having a less hawkish foreign policy if they had been in Bill Clinton's shoes? Conversely, do we project HRC as having a MORE hawkish foreign policy than Bill Clinton did?

A huge amount of what our foreign policy ends up being depends on Congress too.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:19 AM
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A huge amount of what our foreign policy ends up being depends on Congress too.

It hasn't been true for at least forty years.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:21 AM
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I don't count on HRC for much, but I think that little things like "outlawing torture" and "habeas corpus" might be relatively easy sells for her ... and that would be a big improvement right there.

I don't know how many times I have to say this, but I'll say it again: her husband had people tortured. In fact, he started the program of having the CIA outsource torture to friendly dictatorships. The Clintons have no principled opposition to torture. In fact, HRC has already endorsed it for "ticking bomb" scenarios.

Now, they're certainly aware that the Democratic base wants torture to be illegal, to shut down Guantanamo, etc., so you can be sure that a Clinton II administration would make a big show of closing Gitmo and so forth. But the torture would continue - it would just move underground. And Clinton knows perfectly well that she wouldn't get as much heat as Bush did, as long as she let the Saudis do the dirty work, and given that the GOP has worked its way into a pro-torture position while plenty of congressional Dems are party hacks who wouldn't take potshots at their own party leader over this (I'm looking at you, Senator Schumer).


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:22 AM
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44: I was just being an ass.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:23 AM
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Congress pressured Clinton to do all sorts of things he didn't want to do, Tim. Remember Jesse Helms?

Don't have time to find written examples now.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:23 AM
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Foreign policy doesn't just consist of who we do and don't attack. Helms prevented all kinds of useful diplomacy from happening.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:25 AM
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65: Presidents can almost always get the wars (or warlettes, really) that they want. If Congress is more bellicose than the President, then I can imagine an effect. That's not something I look to which I'm looking forward.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:26 AM
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40 I think asked about my preferences.

1) Emigration. Anybody got a couple hundred g's to spare?

2) I can never set the war aside. Aside from the obvious, war & foreign policy is inextricable from domestic economics and politics anyway. Lose that war, lose Congress in 2010, for instance.

2) Edwards, because of his economic agenda, which is why he hasn't a chance. I sent a little money, I'll vote for him in the primary.

3) HRC, in desperation and sorrow. Decent, but not great on feminism & the war, but I think horrible on economics. Welfare reform, bankruptcy bill. HRC will make a deal with Wall Street on Medicare and SS.

4)Obama. Since I don't watch any TV news or politics, I am unimpaired by exposure to the blissful waves of Charisma, Universal Peace and Love. I put on Roddy Piper's special sunglasses, took PKD's prescription, and I see the truth. Obama is a Martian. Tentacles and stuff. Trust me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:31 AM
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Am I the only hippie reading this thread who finds the Hillary thing an uncomfortable case of the hereditary principle, like the "Congressman's widow appointed to serve the remainder of his term" thing writ overlarge? Isn't Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton something to be avoided and, in fact, deplored?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:32 AM
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Regarding foreign policy, a lot of the Democrats' function is to get at least tacit popular support for positions already decided upon. The campaign has nothing to do with the deliberative process.

Not quite on topic, but regardless of which Democrat is elected president, while they try to clean up Bush's messes they will be attacked mercilessly by the very people who made the mess. Every American death and every Iraqi massacre will be the Democrat's fault. A really fierce counterattack has to be ready. It's a frightening prospect, because so far the media have been in the Republican bag and they may amplify the Republican lies.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:32 AM
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69: This irritates me from anyone who wasn't independently upset by having a President's son run for office in 2000.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:33 AM
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68: Emigration. Anybody got a couple hundred g's to spare?

No, but if I give you fifty bucks will you go whine somewhere else?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:35 AM
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3) HRC, in desperation and sorrow. Decent, but not great on feminism & the war, but I think horrible on economics. Welfare reform, bankruptcy bill. HRC will make a deal with Wall Street on Medicare and SS.

Absolutely. This is why I don't like HRC. Not because of foreign policy.

I was just going to say that on foreign policy that is also economic policy, she's terrible. My question is, does the candidate think that globalization is not just inevitable but a force for good wherever it hits? I feel that HRC believes so, as well as Biden and Richardson. Whereas Edwards and Obama don't.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:35 AM
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71: I was.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:35 AM
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What really bothers me about the "Clinton inevitability" meme is how it's gotten a lot of liberals and Democrats who ought to know better to soften their attitudes towards her as they slowly talk themselves into believing that maybe she won't be so bad. Markos Moulitsas stands out as the most obvious offender here, but you even start to get this stuff from Ezra Klein, who knows that Clinton has a horrible track record on the issues he cares most about (health care, worker's rights, inequality, etc.) but ends up grasping at straws to find nice things to say about her like "she has an impressive command of the issues" and "she looks very presidential."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:35 AM
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75: What choice do we have? B told me point blank yesterday it was a done deal, and if that's true, I'd better get used to it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:39 AM
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70:I am not bothered. Elite subgroups can lessen internal dissension and competition by settling on symbolic figureheads/leaders chosen for apparently arbitrary reasons. Hereditary succession was the way nation-states got formed. Depends on the nature of the faction whether you like the succession ot not, I suppose.

I would not have minded forty years of Kennedys. Would have been weird, but what matters is the policy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:40 AM
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This irritates me from anyone who wasn't independently upset by having a President's son run for office in 2000.

One term, two term, and GHWB wasn't the big dog of the Republican Party that Bill Clinton is/was of the Democratic Party. Reagan was. And, as I recall, there were early articles about how Reaganite, rather than GHWB-ite, the people he brought in were (though I think the articles might have overstated it).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:41 AM
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I would not have minded forty years of Kennedys. Would have been weird, but what matters is the policy.

Are there any states that had the same governor for 30 or 40 years, like happens all the time in the Senate?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:41 AM
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But it's really not a done deal, and your stating disagreement with her about stuff won't have a bit of effect on her electability. (Running with personal attacks, not that you would, maybe more -- I would see staying away from "She's the most personally evil human being on the face of the planet" if you thought you might want the people you're addressing to vote for her later.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:41 AM
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68- Emigration
Where are you going?

42- the Demorat Party
Ok, now you're just trolling, Rush.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:42 AM
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69, 71: This was part of what drove me nuts in 2000. The unspoken premise of the Bush II campaign was "my dad's buying me the White House, so he can vicariously feel like he's president again." The unspoken premise of the Clinton II campaign is "my husband and his friends are buying me the White House, so he can vicariously feel like he's president again." So once again the Oval Office is a shiny bauble to be passed from one royal house to another.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:43 AM
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69: I've got no problem with Congressmen's widows being appointed to fill their term. I have no problem with W on hereditary grounds, and no problem with Hillary in that fashion.

In fact, the key problem with W is that he is more the heir of Reagan - or Nixon - than his own father.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:44 AM
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54: HRC ... has a horrifying record on civil liberties

Okay, I'm going to need this one explained to me.

57: LBJ, according to the myth, was scared of being of being pegged a softy.

It's not a myth. Read a book about him.

59: IIRC, rendition under Clinton wasn't delivering people up to be tortured, though I know that Mike Scheuer has claimed otherwise. I don't always trust him on the subject, since he's eminently indictable.

I don't hold any brief for Hillary -- I'll vote for whoever the Democrat is -- but the antipathy to her seems to amount to "she's not a true liberal," which is correct. America is not a liberal country, either. It's a mix, and so is Hillary.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:46 AM
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77: Gawddamit bob, I am not becoming a crazy old man.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:47 AM
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69- The final Clinton does give it a certain symmetry. Although that would suggest another R victory in 2012.
The problem is the insanity that is required to win the Republican nomination as a result of GWB's policies- if you don't support the party (Double Gitmo!!!), you're a just fringe whacko like Ron Paul. Regardless of HRC's poor positions on health care or even civil rights, I think most people are comfortable that she's not totally crazy- the opposite, in fact, since the usual charge is that she's too calculating. If the general is crazy vs. not crazy, I think you have to vote for her.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:48 AM
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America is not a liberal country, either. It's a mix, and so is Hillary.

I can dimly remember reading something, somewhere, about great leaders in war and peace doing more than reflecting the hodgepodge of prejudice, habit and covetousness that make up the average citizen-subject.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:49 AM
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I won't vote for HRC, because her health proposals rely too much on employers.

I like Edwards' plan best, but Obama's is preferable to HRC's. There are other considerations which might make me prefer Obama to Edwards, but I won't vote for her in a primary.

Were Joe Biden to get the nomination, I'd stay home in the general.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:49 AM
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84: Why do people always buy into this narrative that America is "naturally" conservative? The Republicans were able to drive the debate to the right -- why is it in principle impossible for it to be driven at least somewhat to the left? I feel like I have an answer to that question, but I'd like other people to make their answer explicit. Where has the "natural conservatism" of the US come from?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:50 AM
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Hereditary succession was the way nation-states got formed.

Yeah - several thousand fucking years ago. They also opposed regular bathing and thought the sun circled the earth. I'll take parliamentary Canada over Lower Egypt, thanks.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:50 AM
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IIRC, rendition under Clinton wasn't delivering people up to be tortured,

You've got to be kidding me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:52 AM
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87: That would be preferable, sure, but is there one of those for sale in this election?

On Clinton & x-renditions, see this from the Wikipedia discussion page:

... this program originated for the purpose of sending these people back to countries where they had committed crimes and where there were existing charges against them, rather than transferring them to the US where no charges existed and even up until 2005, where laws were insufficient to charge them with anything. No mention whatsoever for the genesis of this program.

Both Clarke and Scheuer have commented on this as the driving reason this system was employed in print and in TV documentaries ...

If the argument is that no such suspect should ever be extradited to Egypt (e.g.), b/c they often torture such suspects, then I can understand that position, but please say so.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:53 AM
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America is not a liberal country, either.

This is correct. We ought to occasionally remember that a true progressive administration might have a really hard time getting its agenda enacted. A moderate with better chances of success is, in light of this, not so bad.

Also, Bush-lite? A clever talking point for Obama, but way off.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:53 AM
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Why do people always buy into this narrative that America is "naturally" conservative?

Pick: (a) "conservative" isn't a particularly good description of anything, so a bad question yields a bad answer, (b) it's true in swing states, and the rest of us don't/didn't care, (c) people believing this are morons, (d) all of the above.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:55 AM
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Ah damn, forgot the tag problem ... the "Both Clarke" sentence at 92 is part of the quote.

SCMT & Stras, I am willing to be enlightened, if you've got some links. It's not like I can't imagine Clinton & Tenet doing such a thing, after all. I just hadn't heard that we sent people to be tortured, rather than b/c they were wanted in those countries but not in ours.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:55 AM
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On what Americans believe.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:56 AM
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94: We're not naturally conservative *or* liberal. We want it all! No hard choices! Less filling, tastes great!

--Off to lunch, & looking forward to learning all about the Bill Clinton torture files after I get back.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:56 AM
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Also, Bush-lite? A clever talking point for Obama, but way off.

Yah. The anti-Hillary brief is pretty persuasive to me, but the inability of some voters to recognize important distinctions between Gore and Bush in 2000 was part of the reason we got Bush in the first place. Hillary and Edwards are pretty different in outlook, but they are much closer than, say, Hillary and Rudy. Hillary is much more Edwards-lite than Bush-lite.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:58 AM
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95: My claim is that we used the same rough guarantee against torture: "You won't torture them, right? OK then." I'd be astonished if we didn't get information from the govts. to whom we rendered people. But I don't think a policy of "do this for us" was nearly explicit, as it is for this Administration. Which makes it better. But not actually a defense against torture.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 10:59 AM
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69,71: The very first thing that annoyed me about Clinton's campaign, once I finally came to believe she was actually going to run (which was rather late) is that I don't see how she'd be a serious candidate were it not for Bill. And it's not that I think she's not a smart, competent person - she clearly is. It's just that, if you suddenly took away her history as first lady, then nobody would be taking her seriously as a presidential candidate. And this is *exactly* what first annoyed me about the Bush campaign: I took one look at W and thought, "people are really gonna try to make this clown president? Because they liked his daddy?!" In fact, it was that very thing that finally drove a clue into my head and made me de-Republicanize once and for all.

The thing is, though, I'm not pissed at these candidates, but at us and how our entire political conversation works. I mean, it's totally coocoo that both W and Hillary became "inevitable" so early in their races, based on the qualifications they brought. God, the crazy of it all just kills me.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:00 AM
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HRC ... has a horrifying record on civil liberties

Okay, I'm going to need this one explained to me.

Extraordinary rendition. Echelon. The Clinton crime bill. Support for capital punishment and continued opposition to a moratorium on the death penalty. Opposition to censuring Bush for illegal warrantless domestic spying. Support for both the Patriot Act and the Patriot Act renewal/expansion. Support for banning flag-burning. Bizarre obsession with censoring video games. Support for giving federal agents "limited authority" to torture in "extreme" circumstances, like the mythical "ticking time bomb" scenario. At best, this is someone who doesn't really care about civil liberties; at worst, this is someone who sees civil liberties as obstacles to be overcome.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:01 AM
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99 sounds right. The way I thought it was:

In 1997 the US government would arrest people who were wanted by the Egyptian government, and render them back to Egypt for trial/punishment which likely includes torture.

In 2007 the US governmet arrests people around the globe for reasons no other country understands, and renders them to Egypt, requesting that they be tortured.

Sounds like two completely different scenarios which happen to go by the same name.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:01 AM
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But I don't think a policy of "do this for us" was nearly explicit, as it is for this Administration.

This isn't the Bush administration policy. The policy has always been to send prisoners/kidnap victims to a country where it was understood that they would be tortured, and then, in order to comply with the law, ask the country holding them, "Now, are you going to torture them? No? Right then," with the wink-wink-nudge-nudge understanding that America wanted them tortured. This has been the policy under Bush and under Clinton. The difference was that Bush made much, much more extensive use of the technique. The fundamentals remained the same.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:06 AM
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100: I don't see why we should dismiss experience as a first lady. If you're a smart, engaged person, as she surely was, I really can't think of any better preparation a candidate could have.

I'm not, on the whole, big on "experience" as the measure of a candidate, but she really does have a fantastic amount of experience.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:07 AM
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The key difference is that when he thought about the torture victims, Clinton bit his lip while looking whistfully into the distance, whereas Bush jerked off under his desk.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:08 AM
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It's just that, if you suddenly took away her history as first lady, then nobody would be taking her seriously as a presidential candidate.

On the contrary, compared to Edwards or Obama, Hillary has quite a bit more experience in politics and government. Among the top three Democrats at least, Hillary objectively wins on the experience issue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:10 AM
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If you're a smart, engaged person, as she surely was, I really can't think of any better preparation a candidate could have.

I don't even know what to say to that. So on this account, Nancy Reagan should be a credible Republican candidate? Or would be were she younger? We disagree.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:11 AM
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107 makes no sense. If Nancy Reagan had had ambitions of her own and had paid attention to how the government works during her 8 years as first lady, then that would be 8 years of valuable experience. She didn't, Hillary did.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:13 AM
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And it's not that I think she's not a smart, competent person - she clearly is.

How is she competent? She clearly exudes an aura of competence and authority, a skill which she had to hone over years of serving as First Lady of the U.S. and of Arkansas, to say nothing of her law practice. But what makes us assume that she's actually competent to serve as president of the United States? The most important decision of her Senate career she got horribly, disastrously wrong, and she stands by that decision to this day. That isn't competence.

This is sort of like that thread the other week when we were discussing how voters are very bad judges of political character. People look at Clinton and they see a stern, well-poised professional who recites talking points forcefully and with an air of authority, and they think, "well, she must be competent." But competence isn't a function of how you look. It's a function of what you do. And what Clinton has done so far is help the United States shit all over the world.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:14 AM
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She didn't, Hillary did.

Based on what, exactly? Her fuck-up on healthcare, after which she pretty publicly retreated to the standard Tour of Many Nations? And we know, via various biographies, that Reagan depended on Nancy a lot, inc. on policy matters. So Nancy's back in the race.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:18 AM
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104: That's just absurd. Clinton's only official position during her time as first lady was when she was put in charge of the health care task force, which was a catastrophe. Beyond that she had some utterly symbolic meetings with a handful of world leaders and managed the easter egg roll. This outweighs Obama's experience of actually doing valuable things in the Illinois state senate how?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:18 AM
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109: Vaguely apropos, "competence" never seems the right word to throw at politicians, Bush, Clinton or undifferentiated other, with respect to their past decisions. A butcher, baker, candlestick maker or FEMA director may be competent or not, but there ought to be a better word for W and Hillary.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:19 AM
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111, it doesn't outweigh it, but it's not nothing. She was there, watching how things get done, finding out how things get done. It may also be possible that her husband, who has relevant experience, could occasionally give her advice in her political life.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:21 AM
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112: The right standard, I think, should be what policies they advocate. And the word that describes the policies both Clinton and Bush have promoted is "destructive."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:22 AM
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113: Holy shit, it's 2000 all over again. You realize that's the "vote for GWB" argument with the names swapped out, right?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:23 AM
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with the names swapped out

And with the parties swapped too. Which makes a difference.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:28 AM
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114: The only policy that you can trust a politician to be wholly committed to, beyond mere words, is the policy of keeping himself or herself in power. There is no EZ-Bake way to judge a candidate and what he or she is likely to do in power. Most people probably--and quite reasonably--look at power base, enunciated policies, and character. The easiest of the three to change to fit the particular necessities of the moment is "enunciated policies."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:29 AM
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stras:

The difference was that Bush made much, much more extensive use of the technique.

And Kotsko:

Clinton bit his lip while looking whistfully into the distance, whereas Bush jerked off under his desk.

These sorts of distinctions are huge, huge, huge to me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:30 AM
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Clinton bit his lip while looking whistfully into the distance, whereas Bush jerked off under his desk.

Can't blame Clinton, that would be my reaction, too. Worst handover of the presidency ever.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:34 AM
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It would have been valid for GWB as well, if he hadn't been intellectually lazy with no interest in policy.

What do you think the word "experience" means?

I'm not saying this is the best reason to vote for somebody, just that voting against HRC is ridiculous if experience is your criterion. Fire your arrows at Edwards first, please.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:37 AM
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118: The difference was also in the context. Clinton made less extensive use of torture, but remember that he didn't have a publicly-sanctioned Terror War to fight, so he didn't really have that many people to torture. That he still found people to torture in a time of "peace and prosperity" is pretty fucking disturbing, especially when it looks like Hillary shares most of his views on the need for an expansive and unchecked executive branch, and a similar belief in the power of brute force to accomplish complex goals.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:40 AM
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What do you think the word "experience" means?

"Experience" is useless if you don't learn anything from it, and Clinton gives no sign that she's learned anything over the last decade and a half except how to cover her ass. Edwards, on the other hand, seems to have learned quite a bit since his own idiotic vote for the war, improving his foreign policy ideas substantially over the last four years. Clinton, on the other hand, has dug in deep and refused to apologize for the most catastrophic mistake of her career, and has instead resorted to parsing and reparsing her own words to make them appear like anything other than a years-long endorsement of a war crime, while ratcheting up the hawk-talk on everything from Iran to the use of nuclear weapons.

To turn back to Bush again: Bush's "experience" proved meaningless because Bush was a bloodthirsty, simple-minded zealot who wasn't going to learn anything from his experience anyway. Clinton hasn't learned anything meaningful from her experience, either, because she's a bloodthirsty, amoral coward, like her husband.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:48 AM
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Holy shit, it's 2000 all over again. You realize that's the "vote for GWB" argument with the names swapped out, right?

Or, without much hyperbole, an argument for an aristocracy.

HRC has a lot of advantages because her husband was President: everyone central in the party owing their careers to him, exposure, name-recognition, an awareness of the spotlight. But none of those really matter to her qualifications (which aren't all that bad, or at least not worse than her competitors.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:00 PM
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Jesus Christ, people, of course Clinton would be better on torture than Bush. Is being actually against torture, rather than just less-pro-torture, such a high bar these days? So much so that, in a comfortably liberal forum, when looking at the primary and not the general, half the fucking commenters can't stand a whiff of criticism of Clinton?

If a bunch of liberal elites can't manage to take a principled stand that "Presidents should be actually against torturing people," when they have nothing at stake, who the fuck is ever going to stop this shit? I mean, seriously, if our class of people don't put even the mildest of pressure on the politicians to stop doing literally inhuman things to people in the black of night, who the hell is going to do it?

Can we at least save the mealy-mouthed, "Oh, well, it's so much better for our President to look conflicted while ordering the systematic destruction of another human's psyche than to be gleefully enjoying it" for the fucking general election? Please? Can we have at least the next year or so to actually have some principles?


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:07 PM
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Sorry, folks, I just don't see any compelling similarity between "Z is wanted for terrorism in Egypt, so let's nab him & send him there" and "Z might be a terrorist, so let's send him to Syria and have them torture him until he *admits* he's a terrorist." Unless, as I suggested above, we're just *never* going to extradite *anyone* to countries that use torture -- but if that's what you want to argue for, then say so.

A better objection might be that, whatever Bill had in mind, the CIA fudged the distinction in practice. Wouldn't surprise me one bit.

As for HRC & civil liberties, if one of your items for "terrible on civil liberties" is that she's not opposed to the death penalty on principle ... well, then a large majority of Americans are terrible on civil liberties, too.

Gotta distinguish "my policy wish-list" from politics, the art of the possible.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:10 PM
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when looking at the primary and not the general

Sure. Except yesterday, when I asked which of the candidates had taken a serious stand on behalf of civil liberties, I got told, "Ron Paul."


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:10 PM
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half the fucking commenters can't stand a whiff of criticism of Clinton?

You mean, here? Please tell me who "can't stand a whiff of criticism of Clinton."

Not me, certainly. I have plenty of criticisms of her myself. It's just that some of the ones I'm seeing look overblown at best, and Naderite at worst.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:12 PM
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123: That's a much better way of putting it. The "experience" thread got drawn out by the assertion that being first lady was, in and of itself, valuable prior experience for a president to have.

124: This is what I mean when I talk about liberals already talking themselves into voting for Clinton. For god's sake, we're months away from the first primary. We don't have to pretend to like this person.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:14 PM
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122: I don't think that the Slickster and the Ol' Ball and Chain are any more bloodthirsty than the average Democrat (yes, I know, Christopher Hitchens and America's depressed shut-ins beg to disagree), and certainly not to an extent matching Commander Cuckoobananas and his own private Somme fantasies, though I'll give you "amoral" and "coward."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:15 PM
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Put it like this: if Hillary is the President-Elect in November 2008, I will weep tears of joy. Just like if it's Obama, or Edwards, or Ralph, the Democratic dog-catcher who lives down the street from here.

So, my only concern about *which* Democrat gets the nomination is, "who will pull another Kerry?" Kerry's running mate springs immediately to mind. Whatever else I might think of Hillary, I don't see her getting Swift-Boated and keeping her mouth shut for an entire fucking month about it.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:16 PM
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111: I don't think having an "official position" is a necessary criterion for experience. Being that close to power for that long if you're, as I said, a smart and engaged person - I don't know much about Nancy Reagan, but I don't think it would be controversial to claim that Hillary is more intelligent - would be a great source for experience regardless of what you're made to do with it at the time.

With that said, this debate is a little silly since no one here, myself included, seems to value experience very highly.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:17 PM
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This is what I mean when I talk about liberals already talking themselves into voting for Clinton. For god's sake, we're months away from the first primary. We don't have to pretend to like this person.

Reading about the '72 campaign made me realize that this is true. The McGovern supporters made no secret that they had no respect for Humphrey at all, and right up to the convention they were steadfastly saying that they'd stay home in November rather than choose between Humphrey and Nixon.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:17 PM
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Unless, as I suggested above, we're just *never* going to extradite *anyone* to countries that use torture -- but if that's what you want to argue for, then say so.

You're aware that this is already the law, right?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:18 PM
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127: Yeah, you. You, and foolishmortal in 119, and political football in 118, and others.

Nobody's asking you to cross Clinton's name off your dance card, just stop apologizing for her support of one of the worst crimes ever invented by our race of puffed-up monkeys. Seriously, can you just say, "Clinton's conditional support for torture is a real problem?" Without a bunch of qualifications and support and intonations of "Of course, the Republicans are worse"?


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:18 PM
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Whatever else I might think of Hillary, I don't see her getting Swift-Boated and keeping her mouth shut for an entire fucking month about it.

OTOH, her negatives range from the low forties to the high forties. If you believe Nyhan, you cannot really decrease the negative number for election day. And I think we've all said that we'll all vote for HRC if she's the nominee.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:19 PM
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So, my only concern about *which* Democrat gets the nomination is, "who will pull another Kerry?" Kerry's running mate springs immediately to mind. Whatever else I might think of Hillary, I don't see her getting Swift-Boated and keeping her mouth shut for an entire fucking month about it.

I don't think we can predict electability at all, Anderson. One might have said that Edwards was green and untested and when subjected to the Republicans' lies and derision he would fold, while Kerry had decades of experience, was good under pressure, and was a respected figure with the press so he would know how to nullify things in the media. The Republicans will conduct a campaign of nothing but lies and derision against whoever we choose.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:20 PM
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Kerry's running mate springs immediately to mind. Whatever else I might think of Hillary, I don't see her getting Swift-Boated and keeping her mouth shut for an entire fucking month about it.

Yeah, because as we all know, John Edwards was running the Kerry campaign.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:20 PM
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I've got nothing against HRC, really.

As I've said before, it is certain that Republicans will discover a new passion for civil liberties, and for limits on executive power, at the dawn of an HRC administration. So I think there will be solid majorities on both issues.

You know, if the other side had a potential candidate that made our side sputteringly unhinged -- as HRC does to the 'wingers -- they'd be falling all over themselves to nominate him/her. This may well be a significant part of the Guiliani appeal. I'm not one for adopting their casts of mind, but maybe it's worth it to stick a finger in their eye. Well, no, but it's a fine bonus.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:20 PM
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And I think we've all said that we'll all vote for HRC if she's the nominee.

I'm not going to vote for another Clinton. I'll write in Kucinich.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:21 PM
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You know, if the other side had a potential candidate that made our side sputteringly unhinged -- as HRC does to the 'wingers -- they'd be falling all over themselves to nominate him/her.

Really? You mean a candidate with a 49% disapproval rating?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:23 PM
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if the other side had a potential candidate that made our side sputteringly unhinged -- as HRC does to the 'wingers -- they'd be falling all over themselves to nominate him/her.

Sadly, GWB can't run again. But maybe you're right, and Jeb will jump in.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:26 PM
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CharleyCarp is part of the New York Sun's Draft Cheney movement.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:27 PM
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Yeah, because as we all know, John Edwards was running the Kerry campaign.

Edwards committed his own errors in the debate with Cheney.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:27 PM
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As I've said before, it is certain that Republicans will discover a new passion for civil liberties, and for limits on executive power, at the dawn of an HRC administration.

Limits on executive power, certainly, but there hasn't been a time since the Ford administration when Congress was able to force substantial limits on the executive branch. As for a "new passion for civil liberties," I'll remind you of the last Clinton administration, when Republicans found they had enough in common with the Clinton administration to jump on board with increased mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, "three strikes and you're out," etc. Feverish right-wing loathing of Clinton also didn't stop the GOP from helping Clinton gut welfare, either. When you elect a Democratic president who adopts long-held Republican policies, don't expect Republicans to abandon those policies just because they hate Democrats. And over the last six and a half years, torture and domestic spying have become embraced by the right wing. A Clintonite embrace of these policies wouldn't be met with a newfound GOP love of civil liberties; it would be met with "I told you so."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:29 PM
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Seriously, can you just say, "Clinton's conditional support for torture is a real problem?"

My understanding of "conditional support of torture" in this context means that Clinton permitted extradition to countries that a.) torture and b.) have valid extradition treaties with th U.S.

I'm not aware of Clinton supporting torture in some sense that is distinct from that of other presidents, or viable Democratic presidential candidates. This could be due to ignorance, however. Perphaps you can enlighten me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:30 PM
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Edwards committed his own errors in the debate with Cheney.

And yet the majority of viewers thought Edwards won that debate.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:30 PM
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134: Hey, don't drag me into this. I was just trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to make a dumb joke.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:30 PM
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I'm not going to vote for another Clinton. I'll write in Kucinich.

So much for the importance of torture as an issue, eh? Betcha Kucinich votes for Clinton, if it comes to that.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:32 PM
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But dragged I am:
145: It's sad to say, and I don't have a link on me, but Bill Clinton was the first to use "extraordinary rendition" in its modern sense.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:32 PM
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145: Jesus Christ. You're aware that that's exactly the defense the White House uses to deny that it actually outsources torture at all, right? "We may have sent Prisoner X to Torturing Country Y, and Torturing Country Y may have sent us back a report after interrogating Prisoner Y, and Amnesty International may have all this evidence that Prisoner Y was tortured, but we certainly didn't have him tortured! My goodness, no!"

I predict we're going to be hearing lots and lots of this from nominal liberals over the course of a hypothetical Clinton II administration.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:33 PM
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In other news, Padilla guilty on all counts, doubtless because HRC was the jury foreman.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:34 PM
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So much for the importance of torture as an issue, eh? Betcha Kucinich votes for Clinton, if it comes to that.

Kucinich votes in a state that matters.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:37 PM
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Okay, Stras, if you don't live in Florida or Ohio, vote for Natalie Portman if you want, & no hard feelings.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:38 PM
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Look: I'm really fucking tired of "lesser evil" elections. And while I have no illusions that Obama and Edwards are some kind of liberal saints, Bill and Hillary Clinton aren't even liberals. At some point, if American liberalism is going to survive, the nominal party of liberalism has to claw its way out from under the conservative political machine that's currently running it.

And actual liberals have to vote in this election with some guiding factor other than "anybody but Republican X," because the identity of the actual Democrat who ends up in the actual White House really does matter. The absolute catastrophe of the last several years has obscured the inconvenient fact that Bill Clinton was a disaster for American liberalism, and putting a Clinton back in the White House at a time when we need robust progressivism to pull us out of the myriad shitstorms we're currently in the midst of would simply be courting disaster. Yes, I'd much rather have her as president than Romney or Giuliani, but that's a fantastically fucking low bar, and that's not good enough for me anymore.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:48 PM
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154: That's the negative feedback loop that got us here. "Ain't a dime's worth of difference between that Clinton protege Al Gore and George W. I'm voting for Nader."

So the Nader vote gets its predictable result, and eight years later we say: "Things are so much worse than in 2000. We can't afford the lesser of two evils."

And we get Giuliani, but at least we don't have to soil our hands voting for a Democrat.

Kucinich is a great American and a great Democrat who has the right idea. If you want liberalism to govern, you have to move the Democratic party - it's the only available vehicle.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 12:58 PM
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151 made me cry. Balkinization was moving on Padilla this week.

155:Get local is my only real answer. Elect a bunch of hardcore progressive Congresspersons.


Posted by: 1 | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:07 PM
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Look: I'm really fucking tired of "lesser evil" elections.

I agree, we should have at least five candidates, and an instant runoff system rather than first-past-the-post.

Get local is my only real answer. Elect a bunch of hardcore progressive Congresspersons.

That's the answer. Or run for county council yourself.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:08 PM
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145: Ticking bomb scenario, too, plus what 149 and 150 said.

Foolishmortal: Sorry for tarring you with that brush. I was seeing red, and the joke just passed me by entirely.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:08 PM
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155: Angry Democrats - myself included - have always misunderstood the Naderites. Nader was trying to sabotage Gore's campaign deliberately out of spite, but he attracted so much support because plenty on the left were justifiably pissed at a Democratic party that claimed to represent liberalism while at the same time gutting welfare, passing DOMA, throwing more and more nonviolent offenders into prison, etc. I don't think there was a real attempt to build a viable third party there, just a desire to punish a party that had betrayed the people it depended on the most, and just assumed they'd just keep going back every two years to vote for them.

(The LGM people always get this wrong. Scott Lemieux is always quick to point out that Al Gore couldn't have picked up any more votes by running to the left, but that's not the point: the point is that if Clinton had governed to the left, there wouldn't have been a Nader campaign to threaten Gore in the first place - or at least, not any one to speak of.)

In essence, this is blowback theory, but with politics. There's only so much you can do to piss off and alienate your base before they actively hit back at you, and that's what 2000 was about. The lesson to people like us is not to elect more Clintons, because you'll only get more Naders.

As for this:

Kucinich is a great American and a great Democrat who has the right idea.

The very fact that Kucinich, while being right on basically everything, is treated like a joke by the Democratic establishment, says a lot about the how truly fucked the Democratic party is right now.

If you want liberalism to govern, you have to move the Democratic party - it's the only available vehicle.

Bingo! And that's why, in order to move the Democratic Party, you have to elect Democrats that are actually liberals - in other words, not Bill and Hillary Clinton.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:15 PM
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And you have to do it in elections where you're in a strong position, like right now. There was a good excuse for electing Bill in 1992; he was running against a not unpopular incumbent, the heir to a wildly popular president, and times weren't that bad. We needed the insane Clinton charisma to get anyone left of Bush I in. This election, we could get a real liberal elected, and there's no good reason not to try.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:18 PM
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The very fact that Kucinich, while being right on basically everything, is treated like a joke by the Democratic establishment, says a lot about the how truly fucked the Democratic party is right now.

Yeah, that it wants to win. I like that in political party.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:20 PM
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Get local is my only real answer. Elect a bunch of hardcore progressive Congresspersons.

This is probably really the only real answer, but even there the party is seriously fucked. Here in Rhode Island, Democrats have a veto-proof majority at the state house, but they're almost all neolibs, and have, for example, flushed hundreds of millions of dollars over the last ten years on tax cuts for the richest citizens in the state - dollars that are being made up now by things like trying minors as adults, because the adult prison is cheaper to run. Most of these state-level people are more or less in office for life, so replacing them with strong progressives would take a lot of time, energy and money - and this is in one of the bluest states in the country. To call "going local" a long-term plan is putting it mildly.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:22 PM
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160: Also, neoliberals weren't entirely wrong in their criticisms of the Democratic coalition. But now a big part of the Democratic Party--inc., I suspect, people like E. Klein, who would deny it--are neolib-ish.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:23 PM
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"Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?"

If we win by electing people who are still doing bad stuff, what's the point?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:23 PM
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Yeah, that it wants to win. I like that in political party.

And yet, if they wanted to win, you wouldn't think they'd be throwing so many resources behind the candidate with the highest negatives and the least popular position on the most highly-charged issue of the day.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:24 PM
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The very fact that Kucinich, while being right on basically everything, is treated like a joke by the Democratic establishment, says a lot about the how truly fucked the Democratic party is right now.

This is, of course, why Paul Hackett endorsed his primary opponent. I mean, come on, "right on basically everything"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:26 PM
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Has anyone in this thread said "Edwards"? I haven't read the whole thing so I'm not sure.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:26 PM
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165: Coalitions are tricky things. There are parts of the Democratic Party that are not so different from Rockefeller Republicans. They want Clinton to win. As, it appears, do Northern Republicans: witness the spate of essays from such finding that HRC is "not that bad." (Funny little commonality there.)

What are you gonna do? You have live in the world you have, not the one you want.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:28 PM
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167: Generally that would be me, and I haven't. I still prefer him to Obama, but he seems to be dropping out of contention.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:30 PM
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Steve Taylor, the only Christian musician I still have any respect for, had a song called "Since I gave up hope, I feel a lot better." Does anyone know if that really works?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:33 PM
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This is, of course, why Paul Hackett endorsed his primary opponent. I mean, come on, "right on basically everything"?

Is "Argument by Paul Hacket" a new one now? Seriously, there are only three objections to Kucinich's policies that are ever commonly voiced by liberals, and they are:

1. objections to the Department of Peace, which mostly consist of sniggering at the very suggestion of a "Department of Peace" without actually understanding what it's supposed to be,

2. pointing out his opposition to invading Afghanistan, which, I'm sorry to say, is looking smarter and smarter every day, and

3. pointing out his former anti-choice views. I don't know why this is really a deal-breaker, since they're his former views, and since plenty of respectable liberals, including Al Gore, used to be anti-choice before turning around.

As far as everything he gets basically right, try his views on Iraq, on terror, on Israel/Palestine, on foreign policy, on the drug war, on impeaching Cheney, just to start. The weird little parallel universe in which it's possible for Kucinich to get elected is a much happier place.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:34 PM
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Bob McManus said both that Edwards is this election's analog to Hubert Humphrey, and that Edwards couldn't get the nomination because of his economic agenda.

He's been mentioned by others too.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:37 PM
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all the way back to 109:

But what makes us assume that she's actually competent to serve as president of the United States?

That's exactly what I was trying to say. I assume she's smart and competent in a general way, as in, she wasn't just a prop for Bill's campaign and presidency, she doesn't pick her nose on teevee, etc. In contrast to Bush. But I also wasn't trying to make an argument that she *isn't* competent and experienced enough to be the president; the truth is, I don't know if she is, and I don't care, because I have other reasons for not wanting to vote for her. My point was that simply by being a somewhat known quantity because of her first lady days, she comes to the race with this huge advantage. Here she is, seeming like the nearly-inevitable candidate, without there ever having been much public discussion at all, that I've heard anyway, about what her actual experience/competencies actually are. It's a crazy way to elect a king.

and 160 is exactly why this election is promising to break my heart even worse than 2004.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:38 PM
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171: I find him kind of personally silly, which doesn't help -- the hobbity looks and new agey religion are both unserious. But you're absolutely right about his policies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:38 PM
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Edwards has my tentative support now, with Obama close behind (although that's mainly based on vague tea-leaf reading regarding foreign policy pandering and lack thereof).


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:39 PM
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Does anyone know if that really works?

Yes and yes. Come to the Dark Side, Kotsko.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:39 PM
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167: yeah, why is that, anyway? I feel like the press kind of decided right up front that they were bored with Edwards.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:39 PM
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174: I've no idea why new agey religion should be less serious than the religion(s) espoused by Edwards, Clinton, and Obama. As far as "looks funny," I couldn't give two shits about that anymore - that goes in the trash along with "presidential" and "guy you'd rather have a beer with."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:41 PM
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Those aren't policies, they're positions. They're lovely positions! I would love to have a president who was unabashedly in favor of peace, equal rights, and the many other delightful things that Kucinich favors. However (and we've had this argument before), I do not think it is only those positions that put Kucinich out of the mainstream of credible presidential candidacy. I will say that it is probably true that anyone else who spoke as forthrightly about the aforementioned lovely positions would also be considered obviously out of the running, and that is sad.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:43 PM
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177: I think that there are probably a lot of people, both in and out of the press, who feel like if you're the VP candidate of a national election, and you lose, then you're a loser and don't deserve consideration from that point on.

Not everyone, not even a particularly large minority, but I could see that kind of mentality giving enough of a marginal disadvantage to Edwards to cause his campaign to stall out.

Personally, I don't like him because my (doubtless uninformed) impression is that he basically wants to ignore everything besides social safety net programs -- and, even if I didn't think that social safety net programs were basically not very useful, I'd certainly think that they should be lower priority than reversing the militarism and civil liberties infringement of the Bush years. A President should be focused on actively changing course in those areas.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:45 PM
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177: The press, favoring simple narratives and with limited resources to spend covering candidates, has a bias towards two-person races. As soon as Obama was in the race, it was a question of Clinton vs. Obama. There's the additional problem that each of those candidates has a simple enough hook, MSM-wise (Hillary: like Bill with tits! Obama: he's black!), but Edwards's shtick is based around a crusade against poverty, which makes the press corps feel all squicky and weird, like they're supposed to care about something.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:45 PM
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One of the legion of Talking Points Memo people has linked to some stories in which political reporters express their dislike for Edwards, and (surprise surprise) the bullshit "he's a rich phoney" storyline being promoted starting about last December has borne its poison fruit.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:49 PM
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Edwards's shtick is based around a crusade against poverty

Oh, it's not just around poverty. IIRC, he's from the...where was that again?

I've no idea why new agey religion should be less serious than the religion(s) espoused by Edwards, Clinton, and Obama. As far as "looks funny," I couldn't give two shits about that anymore - that goes in the trash along with "presidential" and "guy you'd rather have a beer with."

Yes, but most of us want a Democratic President much more than we want to remain pure till our wedding night.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:49 PM
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Fuck waiting till the wedding night. 75% of couples don't manage to have sex on their wedding nights anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:51 PM
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183: If you actually bother to read my comment, Tim, you'll see that I'm responding to LB's own objections to Kucinich, which were not couched as "electability" concerns, but as simple objections to Kucinich. I concede that Kucinich isn't electable (see, for example, the last line of 171).


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:54 PM
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Oh, it's not just around poverty. IIRC, he's from the...where was that again?

Besides Neil Sinhababu, has anyone really been making that big a deal of Edwards's southernness?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:55 PM
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Yeah, god, the "rich phoney" thing is so dumb. I really hate the press.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:57 PM
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160: If it seems like I am arguing in favor of supporting Hillary in the primary, I am not. She is no approximately my third choice.

In fact, I've yet to see an actual Hillary supporter on this thread. Is there one?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:58 PM
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I feel like the press kind of decided right up front that they were bored with Edwards

Two words: "Poverty ... yawn." Who wants to write about poor people? Isn't it more fun to discuss Hillary's breasts?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 1:59 PM
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In fact, I've yet to see an actual Hillary supporter on this thread. Is there one?

Me, maybe ... I'm not sure about Obama yet.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:00 PM
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The press is full of rich non-phoneys who advocate for the rich.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:00 PM
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Stras (or whoever else is interested in answering): The lesson of Presidential politics post-1968 to me seems to be that it's hard for a liberal Democrat to be elected President. The last liberal to do well was Humphrey. McGovern was crushed. Carter was not a liberal. Mondale was a liberal and was crushed. Dukakis was less liberal than Mondale but more liberal than Clinton, and did mediocrely. Clinton was not a liberal, and won. I don't know how to interpret the evidence other than the fact that if you want to keep the Republicans out of the White House, you're going to end up voting for a right-wing Democrat.

The two worst things ever to happen to American liberalism were the election of Reagan in 1980, and the election of Bush in 2000. If Carter had won, the conservative movement would be a footnote in the history books. If Gore had won, the right-wing of the Republican party would have been discredited, and the Republicans would have started tacking leftward.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:03 PM
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If Carter had won, the conservative movement would be a footnote in the history books.

John Anderson, linchpin of history.

If Gore had won, the right-wing of the Republican party would have been discredited, and the Republicans would have started tacking leftward.

Sandra Day O'Connor, linchpin of history.

I really wish things weren't so random.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:06 PM
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Those aren't policies, they're positions

Exactly. The problem with Kucinich is, as much as I hate to say this, that he isn't willing to look like a serious presidential candidate. I don't just mean this in a "he looks like a hobbit" kind of way but that he doesn't project the ego and confidence that you need to be president. One of the lessons that I took from What it Takes was that Dukakis was never willing to make himself into an icon, and that cost him in the campaign. It's the whole, "walk in like you belong" argument, to be president you have to behave as if you have enormous personal authority and that people should do what you say, not because it's a good idea but because you say it.

Put another way, I happen to like my own positions on every issue but I know that if I were magically elected president that I would be a terrible president, because I couldn't get anything done, and I'd get killed by the opposition.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:06 PM
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In fact, I've yet to see an actual Hillary supporter on this thread. Is there one?

I won't vote for her in the primary, period, but I confess to not being completely unhappy about the fact that she's the favorite right now. I think the 2004 primary suffered a little bit from the fact that there was no favorite to knock off, and I feel like if either Edwards or Obama can knock out Clinton they will have accomplished something that would make me feel better about their political skills. If they don't manage to beat Clinton, than I think she's the best we've got, and stack her up against the presidential candidates from either party from the last 30 years, and she's not bad.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:13 PM
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stack her up against the presidential candidates from either party from the last 30 years, and she's not bad.
???
Not so bad candidate-wise, or not so bad policy-wise? Either way, she doesn't stack up well against her husband, for one.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:28 PM
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The lesson of Presidential politics post-1968 to me seems to be that it's hard for a liberal Democrat to be elected President. ... Mondale was a liberal and was crushed. Dukakis was less liberal than Mondale but more liberal than Clinton, and did mediocrely.

Both of these candidates were also fantastically uncharismatic. If you had an example of a liberal democrat who was actually telegenic and a good campaigner who got crushed, then I might agree with you. But the real lesson, such as it is, is that the modern Democratic primary structure isn't favorable to the nomination of non-establishment Democrats, where a lot of the most promising campaigners - and quite a few of the more liberal candidates - are found.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:34 PM
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I confess to not being completely unhappy about the fact that she's the favorite right now. ... If they don't manage to beat Clinton, than I think she's the best we've got

195: That's ridiculous. Frontrunners are rarely frontrunners because of raw political skill; rather, frontrunners have historically been picked for their establishment connections. Clinton isn't the savviest politician of the bunch, or the brightest, or the most telegenic - she just has the most name recognition and the most connections. Significantly, they aren't really even her connections - they're her husband's connections. In a super-compressed primary system that favors well-heeled, big name candidates over the most charismatic campaigner or the most inspiring speaker, the machine politician will win, whether or not they're actually all that good of a politician. As it is, Clinton's status as frontrunner tells us nothing about her electability; it just speaks to how the party is structured to favor candidates with close ties to its leadership.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:42 PM
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Not so bad candidate-wise, or not so bad policy-wise? Either way, she doesn't stack up well against her husband, for one.

I'd be happy to put her behind Bill and still say that she stacks up well. Bill, after all, was the only democrat to win two elections since Truman, which has to count for something.

Here's the list

Dukakis
GHWB
Bill Clinton
Bob Dole
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
GWB
John Kerry

Limiting it to just democrats, but including a semi-random selection of serious primary contenders you have

Dukakis
Gary Hart
Bill Clinton
Paul Tsongas
Al Gore
Bill Bradley
John Kerry
Howard Dean
John Edwards

Assuming that she beats Edwards in the primary, who would you rather have running other than Bill?

Maybe Dukakis, maybe Gary Hart (but, really?), maybe Bill Bradley if you think he could win a race for the presidency, he wasn't really tested enough to have a sense for that. Al Gore?

So, probably 3rd on the list behind Bill and your choice of Dukakis or Gore. If that's the "fallback option", that doesn't seem so bad.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:48 PM
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who would you rather have running other than Bill?

Zombie Paul Tsongas would be entertaining, anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:51 PM
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Frontrunners are rarely frontrunners because of raw political skill; rather, frontrunners have historically been picked for their establishment connections. Clinton isn't the savviest politician of the bunch, or the brightest, or the most telegenic - she just has the most name recognition and the most connections.

You miss my point. I'm saying that frontrunners can and do lose in primaries, particularly when they aren't a sitting president or VP. I'm not saying that the fact that HRC is the frontrunner tells us something important about HRC, I'm saying that if neither Edwards or Obama can beat her that tells us something about Edwards and Obama.

The fact that Bill Clinton could emerge from a crowded field in '92 told us something about his ability as a candidate, the fact that Al Gore was terrible in the primaries in '88 and '92 said something about his ability at that point in time.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:51 PM
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Zombie Paul Tsongas would be entertaining, anyhow.

Draft Tsongas!


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:52 PM
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200: if I didn't know so many people who were close to him, I'd have a terrific joke right now. You'll just have to imagine what it would have been.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:53 PM
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199: Wait, are we living in the same universe here?

Let's be clear: the only reason electability isn't an issue for Clinton is because any Democrat is going into an advantage against any Republican after eight years of Bush. Given that, there is no reason whatsoever not to do everything we can to get the most progressive nominee possible.

This is just about the only election where Hillary Clinton could win the presidency, but it's also an election where just about any credibly electable Democrat can win the presidency. Stop talking about Clinton. Start talking about Edwards and Obama. Start trying to get an actual fucking liberal to the nomination, for fuck's sake.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:54 PM
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Fuck electability!

That's what I say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:56 PM
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170, see 172


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:56 PM
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I believe that past performance is very little guarantee of future results.

The demonstrated politics of the candidates are worse guides to what they'll do than:

a. the state of Congress
b. the state of social movements

A progressive Congress and an energized Dem base will push a Hillary to the left and will create space for an Edwards to do what he wants to do. In the absence of those conditions, I don't think either one will govern much differently.

We get the presidents we organize for.

(That said, there are no contested Congressional races where I live, and it's really fun to talk about presidential candidates. It's also much more comprehensible to talk about one position that can go seven different ways than about all the permutations of 535 seats.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 2:57 PM
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A progressive Congress and an energized Dem base will push a Hillary to the left and will create space for an Edwards to do what he wants to do.

You might then ask yourself which Dem seems to best at energizing the base.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:00 PM
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I'm saying that if neither Edwards or Obama can beat her that tells us something about Edwards and Obama.

It tells us that they're not superhuman. Whoever takes out Clinton is going to have to take out the entire DC machine that's lined up behind her husband over the last decade and a half. The inability to single-handedly overthrow the Democratic beltway consensus isn't some fatal flaw that exposes Edwards and Obama as weak general election candidates. In fact, every general election matchup poll indicates that they would be far stronger candidates than Clinton would. Clinton's frontrunner status says nothing about her or her rivals. All it says is that the establishment in charge of the Democratic Party is very deeply entrenched - so deeply entrenched that it will, once again, nominate a comparatively weak general election candidate.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:00 PM
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Stop talking about Clinton. Start talking about Edwards and Obama. Start trying to get an actual fucking liberal to the nomination, for fuck's sake.

I refer you to my previous statement "I won't vote for her in the primary, period."

If your objection is just that I'm talking about her, that seems silly since she's clearly a major story of the primaries.

If you're trying to disagree with my statement about her being an pretty good "fallback option" than tell me who from that list you like better. Tell me who makes you think, "if only this were 2000 again and we could have a candidate the quality of Bill Bradley running in the primary."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:01 PM
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210, see 75. Hell. see everything else I've posted here.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:03 PM
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All it says is that the establishment in charge of the Democratic Party is very deeply entrenched - so deeply entrenched that it will, once again, nominate a comparatively weak general election candidate.

Weak compared to whom? Compared to the other plausible competitors, or compared to Kucinich? The candidates that have been nominated have not generally been my favorite candidates, but I think have been generally the strongest general election candidate. I happen to think that Kerry was the strongest general election candidate in 2004 and, while I think that's a close argument, I think Al Gore was clearly a stronger general election candidate than Bradly, Bill Clinton was clearly a stronger general election candidate than anyone else running in '92 and that Dukakis was the strongest general election candidate in '88 (who do you like better? Gephardt? Biden? Hart?)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:08 PM
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Dukakis was the strongest general election candidate in '88 (who do you like better? Gephardt? Biden? Hart?)

Gore? Cuomo?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:11 PM
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210, see 75. Hell. see everything else I've posted here.

That's not entirely satisfying. I have a friend with whom I frequently have this argument. She tells me how terrible the candidates are, and I ask her, "compared to whom?"

My position is only that I'm not willing to demonize democratic candidates unless you can show me a candidate of approximately similar stature that you like better. You've argued that you like Edwards and Obama better than Clinton and, in fact, so do I.

My defense of Clinton was just that, as much as I hoped she wouldn't run this year, I think there are advantages to a Clinton/Obama/Edwards race compared to an Obama/Edwards race and, furthermore, I'll take the Petey/SCMT position and say that part of why Obama and Edwards look liberal is because they both know that there isn't space to run against Clinton as a moderate. If HRC had stayed out of this election it wouldn't have been Obama/Edwards/Kucinich, it would have been Obama/Edwards/[DLC candidate] with someone else stepping up as the DLC candidate.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:14 PM
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Weak compared to whom?

Weak compared to Obama and Edwards, each of whom have much lower negatives and do better than Clinton in head-to-head matchup polls.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:14 PM
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Explain to me what, exactly, you think the point of disagreement is between us.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:17 PM
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I basically agree entirely with strasmangelo jones, despite, I think, being way, way, way to the right of him.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:17 PM
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Whoever takes out Clinton is going to have to take out the entire DC machine that's lined up behind her husband over the last decade and a half.

It's not a DC machine that the other candidates have to worry about; it's that HRC is tremendously popular among single women and African-Americans. This is, in my mind, hugely unfortunate (for the primaries, at least), but it's not an insiders vs. grassroots conspiracy; when you get away from online (mostly white and well-educated) news junkies and look at less informed voters, there are tremendous stores of goodwill for her.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:19 PM
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Which neatly brings us back around to the nominal subject of this post.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:20 PM
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I think there are advantages to a Clinton/Obama/Edwards race compared to an Obama/Edwards race and, furthermore, I'll take the Petey/SCMT position and say that part of why Obama and Edwards look liberal is because they both know that there isn't space to run against Clinton as a moderate. If HRC had stayed out of this election it wouldn't have been Obama/Edwards/Kucinich, it would have been Obama/Edwards/[DLC candidate] with someone else stepping up as the DLC candidate.

But that DLC candidate wouldn't have had the backing of a former president and the Democratic establishment behind him. Clinton isn't being anointed because of her ideology; she's being anointed because of her husband's connections. The difference between a campaign with Clinton and a campaign without Clinton - but with, say, Mark Warner as the DLC stand-in - is that Mark Warner isn't automatically the frontrunner. And if there was a Warner/Obama/Edwards race, I seriously doubt you'd see so many nominal liberals falling over themselves to find some excuse to feel good about Warner five months before Iowa.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:21 PM
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If HRC had stayed out of this election it wouldn't have been Obama/Edwards/Kucinich, it would have been Obama/Edwards/[DLC candidate] with someone else stepping up as the DLC candidate.

With Obama and Edwards as the two front-runners, and Biden or Evan Bayh or somebody carrying the DLC banner with 7% of the vote.

It's not a DC machine that the other candidates have to worry about; it's that HRC is tremendously popular among single women and African-Americans.

And no other DLC candidate would be popular at all among single women and African-Americans. Who was the DLC candidate in 2004? Lieberman? Vilsack?

218 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:23 PM
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strasmangelp jpwned.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:24 PM
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It's not a DC machine that the other candidates have to worry about; it's that HRC is tremendously popular among single women and African-Americans.

But these are actually fairly related. It's not that Clinton has some magical rapport with low-income women and black voters, it's that the establishment candidate always does better with low-information voters, and low-income groups - like poor minorities and single women - don't often have access to the kinds of policy minutiae that could be used to judge various Democratic primary candidates. But given that women and minorities do vote Democratic in large numbers, they're likely to vote in Democratic primaries, but also likely to take their cues from various indicators of establishment support (name recognition, local candidate endorsements, etc.).

In 2000, these groups went for Al Gore; in 2004, they went for John Kerry. This didn't really have anything to do with Gore's and Kerry's personal connections with black and single women voters, either.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:34 PM
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Explain to me what, exactly, you think the point of disagreement is between us.

You seem to see the Clinton campaign and want to say, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad." I see the Clinton campaign and say, "We can do much, much better, and there's no need to put up with this at all."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:39 PM
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And I think we've all said that we'll all vote for HRC if she's the nominee.

I'd probably vote for romney, Paul, Huckabee, maybe osome others over HRC.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:45 PM
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225: I'd probably have a hard time deciding about Ron Paul v. HRC. On the one hand, I certainly agree with Paul more. On the other hand, I feel like the only thing that would communicate to the Republican Party just how much they need to drop Bush's policies is to have his presidency mean at least a decade out of power for them. On the other other hand, maybe the message would be better communicated by pandering to a wing of their party rather than to the Democrats.

However, since I live here on Earth, that's not a problem I'm going to ever face in reality. I'd vote for Clinton over Romney in a second.


Posted by: Epoch | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:51 PM
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I'd probably vote for romney, Paul, Huckabee, maybe osome others over HRC.

Are you a Republican?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 3:52 PM
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I see the Clinton campaign and say, "We can do much, much better, and there's no need to put up with this at all."

Let me just ask you this, do you have any fear that either Edwards or Obabma will turn out to be "flash in the pan" candidates, who are attractive but, for some reason, not good enough to win the presidency? I do. I worry about HRC as well, but since I'm not planning on voting for her in the primary that's less of a concern.

Let me put it this way, if you gave me the choice between going through the next year and a half up to the election and seeing who wins in 2008, or just being told that Hillary will be president, I would take the second option. I think the marginal benefit that Obama or Edwards offers above HRC wouldn't be worth the 1/4 or 1/3 chance that the republicans manage to win in 08. We don't have that choice, and I'll happily vote for whoever of Obama or Edwards looks more able to win the nomination, but I am willing to "put up with" HRC for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I still want to see more from both Obama and Edwards, and I don't think that amounts to asking them to be "superman."

If you feel absolutely confident that if Edwards or Obama were to be nominated today, that they wouldn't self destruct in the general, you have more confidence than I do. And, while HRC certainly could self-destruct, at this moment, I think HRC has the lowest ceiling of general election potential of the three, but also has the lowest chance of just self-destructing.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:09 PM
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It's not that Clinton has some magical rapport with low-income women and black voters...

Except I kind of think she does, because they loved Ol' Bill. She seems to have a genuine base of support in a way that Kerry, at least, didn't.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:17 PM
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229 cheers me.

For some reason we hear a lot from the low-knowledge Republican base in the media, but not the low-knowledge Democratic base.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:20 PM
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Okay, one last attempt to clarify my position.

I think that given a choice of two possible worlds, one in which Edwards or Obama wins the nomination by defeating HRC, and one in which either Edwards or Obama wins the nomination without defeating HRC (because she doesn't exist or didn't run), that I think the former world is preferable, for a variety of reasons, and that I'm willing to believe it's sufficiently preferable to be worth the chance of HRC winning the nomination.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:20 PM
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Yoyo is seemingly very young.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:20 PM
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227: i think i am actually still registered as a republican, from back in 1998 when i first voted, and having not voted any primaries since b/c i've always been absentee. But, what you were really asking: no, i am probably probably more leftist then the unfogged median.

But what is the difference between HRC and Romney, once they quit pandering to their primaries? Very little. I don't see being out of power as something that will moderate republicans. A sane president would. I think it matters what sort of people control the parties; I do'nt think parties 'learn' from losses that are just based on ephemeral conditions.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:22 PM
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But what is the difference between HRC and Romney, once they quit pandering to their primaries? Very little.

Remember that the president determines who will fill thousands and thousands of jobs in the executive branch. Bush appointed incompetent people and/or corporate lobbyists and/or religious fanatics and/or people whose principles support ultimate executive power to all those jobs, in order to make the government more incompetent and more likely to increase the Republican vote total.

The identity of, say, the Secretary of Labor, or the justices of the Supreme Court, is somewhat important.

The idea that "all else being equal I'll vote for the more (random adjective) guy" is destructive. All else is not equal.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:26 PM
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Except I kind of think she does, because they loved Ol' Bill. She seems to have a genuine base of support in a way that Kerry, at least, didn't.

See, here's why that reasoning doesn't work. A rapport doesn't work by proxy. If voters like Bill Clinton and then associate Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton, that's one thing. But it doesn't demonstrate that they're followers of Hillary Clinton; it demonstrates that they're followers of Bill Clinton's wife, which is, once again, the root of her support.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:26 PM
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235: Right, but that's different from being a direct result of being the establishment candidate. The two may (and indeed, I believe do) spring from the same source, but the one isn't necessarily caused by the other.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:31 PM
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I think the absolute incompetence of the Bush administration isn't something that all of the GOP contenders would continue. Corporate types, yes: But i think HRC would appoint corporate types to lots of jobs too. I don't think Romney etc. would appoint horse judges to stuff, or the sort of Politics Uber Alles approach of the Bush administration.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:32 PM
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do you have any fear that either Edwards or Obabma will turn out to be "flash in the pan" candidates, who are attractive but, for some reason, not good enough to win the presidency?

No. Of the three of them - Edwards, Clinton, and Obama - Edwards is actually the only candidate who's ever won a closely-contested general election. He's certainly the only one who's won an election on enemy territory. So if I was going to start picking at candidates' electoral experience, I wouldn't start with him.

Do you have any fear that the driving force behind Hillary Clinton's candidacy is so obviously the fact that people like her husband, but not necessarily her, and the only thing that's preventing people from recognizing that they're about to nominate someone who's greatest achievement during the 90s was leading the White House Easter Egg Hunt is the fact that the national media feels weirdly squeamish about pointing this out?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:35 PM
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Edwards is actually the only candidate who's ever won a closely-contested general election.

That's also the only election he's won in his life, and it came against a generally acknowledged moron.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:38 PM
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you say 'moron' as though that makes someone less likely to win an election


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:45 PM
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239: And Clinton has only won two elections, both against unpopular ciphers. And Obama has only won one statewide election, against Alan Keyes. What's your point?

Here's my point, anyway: people are giving Clinton a free pass on "experience" - a free pass that isn't warranted. She didn't run her husband's campaigns in '92 and '96, and by all accounts she was sidelined after the health care debacle. People only assume she has more experience because she's been in the public eye for longer than Obama and Edwards have. But she was in the public eye doing things that were utterly meaningless. So don't cite the limited, "flash in the pan" experience of Obama and Edwards as strikes against them in the context of discussing Clinton. She doesn't have any meaningful political experience that significantly outweighs theirs.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:46 PM
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That's also the only election he's won in his life, and it came against a generally acknowledged moron.

An incumbent moron, who had himself won against an incumbent in the past election. That's not unimpressive.

I'm a bit disturbed that Edwards didn't hold any office before or since becoming a Senator. But only a bit.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:51 PM
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HRC put a huge amount of work into running for her first Senate race. She wasn't treating it as an easy win, until Giuliani dropped out because of his cancer.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:54 PM
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"because of his cancer" s/b "because of unflattering revelations about his marital behavior", right? Or am I remembering the 2000 timeline incorrectly?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 6:18 PM
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228: Let me put it this way, if you gave me the choice between going through the next year and a half up to the election and seeing who wins in 2008, or just being told that Hillary will be president, I would take the second option.

I think this catches the exact difference of opinion between NickS and stras.

I'm with Nick here; I'm no Hillary fan, but I am very impressed by the dangers of another Republican administration.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:08 PM
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An incumbent moron, who had himself won against an incumbent in the past election.

And who had the weight of the Jesse Helms machine behind him. Which was no small thing, believe me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 11:27 PM
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245: Yeah, but 228 assumes a false choice between Clinton and a Republican. We don't have that. Clinton isn't the nominee yet. Iowa is five months away. Yes, we could do worse than Clinton - we could get an actual Republican. But we could do much, much, much better - we could get an actual liberal. Nothing indicates that Clinton would be a stronger general election candidate than Edwards or Obama; in fact, all the available polling indicates she'd be a weaker candidate than either of them. Why is the Democratic party considering nominating a weaker candidate who is also a much more conservative candidate?

Again, this election cycle is going to be very favorable to Democrats. Republicans are polling terribly, everyone hates Bush, and the GOP nominee is going to be unable to escape Bush's legacy. Those are huge advantages. This is the best chance we've had to put a real liberal in the White House in decades. This is a no-brainer here. Nominating Clinton isn't just settling for a lesser evil; it's blowing an historical opportunity to move the country to the left and change the political landscape for the better.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 12:08 AM
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Aside from mcmanus back at #68, I've seen no one advocating for someone specific. I like Obama, but it's for vague reasons, including reading his latest book and knodding often in agreement. So I don't have much to add to these political threads, but I'd rather they focus on whom to pick and why.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 12:14 AM
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Obama is awesome. That's why.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 12:16 AM
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248: I listed my choices as Edwards and Obama, in that order, earlier in the thread.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 5:44 AM
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193: Anthony Kennedy, more like. Breyer said that if they'd had more time he thought he could have swung Kennedy. O'Connor never wavered.


Posted by: Mr. F | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 11:12 PM
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Why is the Democratic party considering nominating a weaker candidate who is also a much more conservative candidate?

Because the Democratic Party has a long tradition of only stopping the formation of circular firing squads long enough to eat their young.

I've seen no one advocating for someone specific.

I've advocated Edwards for some time, but I try not to belabor the point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-17-07 11:22 PM
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the Mississippi vote ... 89 percent of Black women voted for Kerry

This is actually a huge Democratic underperformance compared to the national average for balck women, which is around 98%.

Maybe some of that 50-state strategy mojo will make a few down-ticket races competitive, after all.


Posted by: aretino | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 11:12 AM
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Um, Stras, the woman's a two-term senator with a fair bit of legal experience and a lot of time on the international stage. Saying that her greatest achievement in the 90s was the WH Easter egg hunt is just appallingly, appallingly sexist. It's also wrong.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 11:17 AM
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The final Clinton does give it a certain symmetry. Although that would suggest another R victory in 2012.

Actually, symmetry would require Clinton to give way for a different Democrat in 2012 (a two-term Democrat, no less).


Posted by: aretino | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 11:20 AM
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138: Yeah, I never liked the Clintons at all until I figured out how intensely Republicans hated them.


Posted by: aretino | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 11:47 AM
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254: Has it ever been thus? It reminds me of 2004, when Moseley-Braun's full term in the Senate was as nothing compared to John Edwards' almost full term.


Posted by: aretino | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 12:03 PM
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257: Ayup.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 12:17 PM
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when Moseley-Braun's full term in the Senate was as nothing compared to John Edwards' almost full term

Sorry, buzzer sound. As someone "represented" by Moseley-Braun on-and-off from the late seventies, I'm going to insist that she can't be a valid example of anything. My wife, more politically active than I, would come over and more-or-less grind her heal into the foot of women who tried to "sexist" me for expressing skepticism when M-B was the surprise winner of the primary after the Thomas hearings. Magnificent to watch.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 12:42 PM
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If they were being compared on the basis of competence or whatever, I don't know that much about Braun, but you were represented by her and have strong opinions, so that's okay and not sexist. But if they're explicitly being compared on the basis of experience, then calling her inexperienced and him not when she has more experience than he does is sexist regardless of what a loser she may be. (I don't remember the comparisons, but if they were talking about experience specifically, my point stands.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 12:47 PM
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Was "aretino" you?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:08 PM
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Nope, why?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:08 PM
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Because of 257. Had you made the same point upthread?

I realize that had you been the commentator at 257, I'd have known where you were coming from and wouldn't have responded.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:13 PM
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Nope, I was just agreeing with arentino, who I don't know.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:15 PM
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Saying that her greatest achievement in the 90s was the WH Easter egg hunt is just appallingly, appallingly sexist. It's also wrong.

What's the specific claim here, B? That covering kids was HRC's idea, that she has a magic time machine that somehow allowed Senator Clinton to go back in time and vote during 1997, or that stras didn't give due credit to the importance of It Takes A Village?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:49 PM
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Here's someone who hates her blaming her for SCHIP, if that helps.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:53 PM
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And another.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 1:54 PM
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Yeah, I saw that myself. But I don't actually take that sort of evidence as dispositive, for roughly the same reasons that I don't blame godless liberals for 9/11 even though D'Souza says it's so.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:00 PM
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Yeah, Tim, I'm totally claiming that HRC has a time machine *and* that It Takes a Village was the most important work of the 20th century.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:02 PM
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Okay, but it does appear that SCHIP is a program modeled on part of the HillaryCare plan, that made it through the Senate in the 1990s. While she didn't vote for it, if the plan originally came out of her task force, doesn't she get some of the credit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:02 PM
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The existence of It Takes a Village is definitive proof that Hilary lacks a time machine.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:10 PM
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I've seen no one advocating for someone specific.

I have a teeny little tshirt with Barack Obama's head printed across the chest. It gets me a lot of...commentary from random men on the street.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:20 PM
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270: No. My recollection is that there were a lot of healthcare plans floating around, and many had been in desk drawers for a while. The closest quick and dirty I could find that accords with my memory is this:

By the end of the Congressional debates, 27 different legislative proposals were advanced, which in turn were identified in the media by 110 different names.
I don't clearly recall much of this, but (a) I seem to recall that Save the Kids! was in there, and (b) I know that Save the Kids! is basically the default minimalist plan in any area(which is why Dean proposed the same re: healthcare, IIRC). I don't have any reason to believe that HRC's committee was responsible for the specific contours of SCHIP, and--on the basis of less than a glance and the HHS website--beyond expansion of healthcare (which was a broad goal shared by many), it doesn't share any of the features that I remember as being important to Clintoncare.

OTOH, looking at a couple of articles reminds me how quick Congressional Dems were to turn on the Clintons, both on healthcare and more generally. HRC fucked up some stuff, but it's unfair to lay responsibility for healthcare reform failure solely at her feet, which is a charge that I've often either made or essentially made by omission. (And Congressional Dems probably needed to get their asses handed to them in 1994.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:34 PM
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272 was me.

The wierd part about getting hit on while wearing a candidate tshirt is that I feel sort of compelled to be nice to the schmucks, since in some minor way, during that momentary encounter, I'm representing the campaign. It's a little unnerving.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 2:35 PM
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