Monthly Archives: April 2008

Daily Kos: Why Can’t Clinton Close the Deal

From The Daily Kos (found via LoomisNews), Why can’t Clinton close the deal?:

If Barack is such a bad candidate, and he is so unelectable, and it is such a bad idea to have him as the Democratic nominee, why can’t Hillary beat him?

And the rest of the post is fantastic too.  I do urge you to read it.

Because IF Obama wasn’t black, and IF millions of people weren’t supporting him, and IF he didn’t raise all that money, and IF his campaign hadn’t been run better than hers, and IF Red states hadn’t had the gall to vote, and IF those damn activists didn’t disagree with her on war in Iraq and nuking Iran…



One Reason Why Clinton Should Have Dropped Out (and still should)

Heated Campaign Souring Democrats On Rival Candidates

To all those Clinton backers who a month ago asked why she should drop out even though it was mathematically impossible for her to win the majority of pledged delegates, here’s your answer.


Whether It’s Ineptitude or Bias, the Media is Keeping the Democratic Race Going

Over the past few days I’ve really been asking myself why I continue to post about the Democratic race.  Clearly, Obama has an insurmountable lead in delegates, and it would be nearly impossible for Clinton to overcome him overall even with the Superdelegates killing their party by overturning the pledged delegates.  I’ve even posted here that I was done writing about the Democratic race.

I’ve figured out, however, why I keep writing about it.  It’s not that Clinton has any realistic chance, and it’s not like the truly rational are buying her “Big State,” and “Popular Vote” arguments.  However, with the current state of the media, it’s become nearly impossible to not post.  When it’s a big thing when Clinton wins states she is expected to win and a small thing when Obama wins states he is expected to win; when Obama is criticized as vulnerable because doesn’t win the majority of blue collar voters in a number of states, yet still gets a reasonable portion of such voters in those states and actually has gotten the majority of them in a few states, against a fellow Democrat, while Clinton fails to come even close to win over a lot of other demographics (especially African Americans, younger voters, college educated, independents, Republicans); when “Obama can’t close the deal” matters more than “Obama has an insurmountable lead” or “Clinton can’t win”; when Clinton relentlessly attacks Obama, Obama responds by calling it negative politics, and Obama’s tactics are therefore equal to Clinton’s; when Clinton’s “Popular Vote” and “Big State” arguments are met by the media, not with the derision such nonsense deserves, but with view that there’s a “debate” on these issues (much like there’s a “debate” over evolution, apparently); when lapel pins rather than policies dominate the headlines; when Obama’s vague associations with people who have questionable views matter more than Clinton’s clear ties to people with worse than questionable views;  when the state of politics in the media is as such, there is no choice but to weigh in.

Unless the Superdelegates go to Clinton en masse, which is extremely improbable even ignoring that it would possibly destroy the Democratic Party, Obama will be the nominee.  This is a fact which cannot be ignored, and yet oddly is.  Because of this I would love to ignore further Clinton antics and return my aim to Republicans, but because of the extreme ineptitude of the media (I’m coming this close to finally calling it bias), I cannot.


Whose Supporters Won’t Vote in November?

A comment posted in The Fray by Lulabelle:

If Obama’s voters didn’t support Clinton, they would most likely stay home. If Clinton’s supporters didn’t support Obama, they would be more likely to vote for McCain. They may be more centrist, and they are the demographics most likely to vote, based on past experience. So which eventuality if worse for the Democrats in November? In the end, for the record, if Clinton is the nominee, I think the vast majority of Obama’s supporters will come around — particularly African-Americans, who know the Clintons’ hearts (better than most white people do) and know there’s not a racist bone in either of their bodies. The Clinton Administration record — not just their words — is unbelievably strong for people of color — indeed, for all minorities.

The following is a bit rambly, but bear with me:

I very much disagree.  If Clinton is the nominee, the independents, the young voters, and likely the African-Americans will, at minimum, stay home.  This is even more salient when one considers that the superdelegates would have to overturn the pledged delegates, which would inevitably lead to strong resentment amongst these groups.

On the other hand, it would be irrational for Clinton supporters to not support Obama.  Clinton and Obama do share similar policy positions, but the major difference here is that he would have won fairly.  We’re talking about entrenched Democrats here.

The polls are misleading on this point.  Clinton supporters tend to be entrenched Democrats.  Both sides are currently bitter (yeah, I said “bitter”) over the campaign.  However, once everything is settled, sooner rather than later hopefully, it’ll become clear that Republican opposition is far more important than being bitter over their candidate losing.  If Obama wins, he will have done so fair and square.  Clinton supporters have little reason to complain.  If Clinton wins, however, it will have to be done through the superdelegates overturning the pledged delegates.  Obama supporters, who are to a far lesser extent entrenched Democrats.  It’s all the more reason for them not to vote for Clinton in November.  For Clinton supporters, who tend to be entrenched Democrats, will not vote for McCain.  They will vote for Obama.

Furthermore, the polls to which Lulabelle refers do not ask the proper question.  They ask who such people would vote for if their candidate didn’t win, there was no “not vote” option.  As such, Obama supports picked Clinton in far more numbers than is probably true.

Clearly the Democrats do not want to lose the independents, the young, and the African-Americans, but this will happen if Obama loses unfairly.  This is especially the case with African-Americans, who will undoubtedly view a superdelegate overturn as ratifying the racism in the process.

If Obama wins, it was a fair result.  So while Obama supporters not only have Clinton’s dirty politics, her self-interest over those of the party, and the willingness to do anything to win no matter what rules she breaks as reason not to vote for her come November, they would also have the nomination stolen from them by the Superdelegates.  Clinton supporters, on the other hand, have… have… what?  That he’s “inexperienced”?  The difference-in-experience debate aside, even if it were true, it’s crazy to choose a person with a completely opposite ideology, as McCain, as President simply because that person is more experienced, especially when Obama would be surrounded by extremely qualified cabinet members and advisors.  It wasn’t Bush’s inexperience that caused his disastrous presidency, it was his ideology.  

Because of a lack of a rational reason for Clinton supporters to vote McCain in the general instead of Obama, and it would be irrational and foolish for Clinton supporters to not vote for him.  If Clinton wins, it will be a fair result, and it is more than rational for Obama supporters to not vote for Clinton.  Finally, independents and the young have been drawn to Obama not just for his policies, but for his promise of a change in tone in politics.  Clinton does not offer that.


The “Possibly Related Posts” Feature

WordPress has added a new “feature” to its service that you might have noticed by now.  It’s called “Possibly Related Posts,” and it adds links to other weblogs’ posts to the bottom of all WordPress blog posts.  I personally learned this when people started frequenting a February 21st entry on my political blog, even though that post wasn’t completely relevant to the current political situation.  I clicked on the referrer link, and found a post rather the opposite of my political viewpoint.  On top of that, my post didn’t seem at all related to the content of that entry, except that both entries discussed Clinton.


One of the main reasons I switched from my previous blogging tool was because it would place Google ads on my site, many of which were for political groups with the exact opposite opinions as mine.  As such, I was essentially promoting the opposition’s viewpoint. 


And now WordPress is doing something very similar with the “Possibly Related Posts.”  I like the feature to the extent that it increased traffic to my blog, but I dislike the feature because it’s promoting opposite viewpoints, and because it’s just ugly.  Don’t get me wrong, I welcome opposing views on my site, but only when someone took the time to comment, not just when someone posts something to their own site.  After all, with comments I can respond, with links to opposing weblog entries, I cannot.


Because of this I find myself in quite a dilemma.  On the one hand, I have no problems with promoting other blog posts, so long as they’re not completely opposite my viewpoint, and it’s done in a decent fashion.  Additionally, I appreciate the increase in traffic to my site.  On the other hand, it is ugly and it essentially makes me promote arguments which I disagree with. 


If the “feature” allowed me to eliminate certain links, I think I would keep it.  As it is, however, it’s way too close to the reason why I dropped my previous blogging tool.


For the immediate future, I will leave it on to see if I get any more increased traffic (although, I’m a little perturbed that all the increased traffic is to an old post of mine that isn’t very relevant anymore), and to see if the links become too objectionable.  If it becomes too objectionable, or too worthless, I’ll remove it.


In case you’d like to disable the “Possibly Related Posts” “feature” for your own blog and don’t know how, follow these instructions (taken from Possibly an Announcement):


If you want to remove the related posts from your blog entirely, just go to Design > Extras and check the box to do so. But if you remove related posts from your blog we’ll remove you from other people’s blogs, so you won’t get traffic from that.

As far as my non-political blog, I cannot see good reason to remove it just yet.  Although, again, it is pretty darn ugly.


Superdelegates Ratifying Racism?

Very interesting thought by John Dickerson in today’s Slate Political Gabfest:  “Let’s say they didn’t play the race card, but Hillary Clinton continues to win these contests because she has this advantage among white voters, do superdelegates, if they were to give her the nomination, are they then kind of ratifying the racism in the system?”


While I think Clinton’s advantage among white voters is incredibly overblown, this is a very important question.




The Media Are Doing Keg Stands on the Kool-Aid Tap

It started awhile ago, when the math against Clinton became clear and yet the media refused to acknowledge that she was in a dire situation.  The usually reasonable Gary Eichten of MPR actually called the race “virtually tied” on multiple occasions, even ignoring that Clinton just can’t overcome Obama in the popular vote or pledged delegates.


After some time, the media finally did come around to the fact that Clinton can’t win, and in reaction, started exploiting the Wright and “Bitter” “scandals” in order to keep a narrative going.  I’m not saying the media is biased, I’m saying that they’re inept.


And the ineptitude continues.  After Clinton won Pennsylvania, even though there is no significant change in the race, and certainly none in the delegate count, the media continues to pound the message that Obama is in trouble.  He’s in trouble because he can’t win a certain demographic.  Let’s not forget that Clinton can’t win over far more demographics, but that wouldn’t keep the narrative going, would it?  Let’s also not forget that the majority of that demographic would still vote for Obama in the general.  But again, that would mean the story would be over.


At least Obama supporters aren’t the only people who recognize such things.  It’s hard to find any such stories in the media of late, they’re probably afraid of appearing “biased” against Clinton by reporting the truth, as they have been attacked of all election, but they do exist.  Perhaps my favorite of late is from Slate’s Trailhead Blog:


Right now, the Clinton Kool-Aid is on tap, and the media are doing keg stands. The same writers who once said Clinton was doomed are now ignoring the fact that the math is even more oppressive for Clinton. Obama will likely need to convince 25 percent to 35 percent of the about 300 uncommitted superdelegates to support him, and he will reach the 2,024 delegates needed to become the nominee. Put another way, Clinton needs to convince 65 percent to 75 percent of them to vote for her. That’s 200 elected officials and party bigwigs she needs to convince not to support the guy who has the most pledged delegates.

It’s still nearly impossible for Clinton to win without superdelegates, and is completely impossible for her to overcome Obama in voters.  And yet, listening to the media, you’d think that they were “virtually tied.”