Tag Archives: Democrats

How Would the Republicans Have Treated Hillary if She Were the Nominee?

Okay, really quick:  If you think the Democratic Primaries were sexist, just think how the Republican’s would have been if Hillary did get the nomination.  Does anyone remember how the Republicans treated Hillary in the past?  Please think of that before you jettison the Democratic Party for their supposed sexism.  And I don’t think I need to mention all the issues in which the Republicans stand on the wrong side of equality.

Please think about this before you try to convince yourself that McCain is an independent.  He’s not. 

Hopefully, that’ll be the last I’ll say on the issue (although I highly, highly doubt it).



Superdelegates: It is Now Time to Save Your Party

Superdelegates, I know you’ve probably been waiting to let this process “play itself out” and only make your endorsement only after all the Primaries are held.  Well, you’ve allowed the Party to become more and more split by your non-action, and in the past few days, we now have events like this: Florida delegates file lawsuit to get delegation seated.  If you care one iota about keeping your Party together, if you have any inkling of a desire to win in November, it’s time to finally act to end this nonsense that is doing nothing but angering both sides.

Plus, if you act now, maybe all the delegates from Florida and Michigan could be seated as is anyway.


Clinton Backer Harvey Weinstein Turns to Threats, Tantrums and… Extortion?

Sources: Clinton supporter pressures Pelosi

Hillary Clinton supporter Harvey Weinstein threatened to cut off contributions to congressional Democrats unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced his plan to finance revotes in Florida and Michigan…

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton has promised that he will hold his breath until the superdelegates choose his wife as the nominee, and Chelsea Clinton has threatened to give the superdelegates the silent treatment if they don’t choose Hillary.

That would explain Bill’s red face during Hillary’s Indiana speech, at least…

But seriously, using threats of money, essentially reverse-bribery, to influence election decisions?  It doesn’t get much dirtier than that.  Extortion, anyone?


Leading Us Off a Cliff With a Gas Tax Holiday

Before I get into the main bit, a quick thought/link.  Because the media actually thinks Clinton stands a reasonable chance to take the nomination, I’ve been considering doing a reanalysis of the figures (more of a restatement, since we all apparently need to be reminded of such things).  As often happens, however, Slate.com preempts me.  As such:

Hillary Clinton, Fairy Princess
Can we please stop pretending she has a plausible chance to win the nomination?

Here’s a rule I would like every political reporter, campaign official, TV talking head, and politician in the United States to follow. Go ahead and say, if you like, that Hillary Clinton retains a serious chance of winning the Democratic nomination. If you say this, however, you must describe a set of circumstances whereby this could happen. Try not to make it sound like a fairy tale…

OK, let’s see how Hillary can get close enough to call it a tie. If she gets within about 30, that’s pretty close, right? To do that, she needs to win, on average, 65 percent of the vote in every remaining contest. That’s still in the realm of extreme improbability. How about 60 percent? That’s a difference of 74 delegates, which is starting to sound like too many to justify throwing up your hands and declaring, “Close enough for government work.” And, anyway, that’s still too improbable to take very seriously. Do I hear 55 percent?* Which is to say: What if she wins every remaining contest, on average, by the 10-point spread she achieved in Pennsylvania? (It was really 9 points, but everybody thinks it was 10, so let’s say 10.) OK, that’s possible. Difficult to achieve, but possible. But that puts Obama 115 delegates ahead of Clinton. That is definitely too large a plurality to shrug off as a virtual tie.

The rest of the article discusses many of the other metrics of the race, including the superdelegates, and how she simply can’t win.

Anyway, on to the main topic of this post.  I cannot help but comment on Clinton’s support of the gas-tax relief.  Much has already been said about this, that making any comment would be repeating what’s already been said.  Economists unanimously denounce the plan, for good reason.  Once the “relief” is put into action, the price of gasoline will undoubtedly rise as a function of supply and demand.  As such, any savings people would receive would disappear immediately.  Instead of the money going to much needed government transportation programs, the money would go to the oil companies who are already making record profits.  And what happens when the gas tax is reinstated?  The prices would already be unnaturally high, and putting the gas tax back into place will be extremely damaging to everyone, even those Clinton is supposedly trying to “help” with this program.

What’s most disturbing about this plan is that while it promises much damage for little, if any, benefit, Clinton is still using it to win over those who apparently don’t think about things too much.  As far as I can tell, such politicking goes against everything Clinton supposedly stood for. 

For instance, her main defense of her proposed mandatory health care plan is that we all need to make sacrifices for the greater good.  Unfortunately, with her health care plan, that individual sacrifice is large in order to get a meager benefit for all.  With the gas tax, the sacrifice for all is great due to lost transportation dollars, but the benefit is miniscule, if even existent, to the individual.

She even defend the plan today, when asked about the fact that no economist thinks that the gas-tax holiday is anything but an awful idea, by saying that she didn’t understand why they jumped all over her plan, whereas no one criticized it when the government “bailed-out” Bear Stearns: “I didn’t hear people talking about it being pandering. I think it’s time we didn’t just bail out Wall Street. What about bailing out Main Street?” (Washington Post).

First of all, it would be silly to call it “pandering” since the people who managed the Bear Stearns deal weren’t running for office, nor were they advocating such a thing despite the fact that every expert thinks it’s a bad idea.  Quite the contrary, the Bear Stearns deal very likely saved our economy.  Not only that, the “bail-out” of Bear Stearns was not a meaningless handout, it was a loan, a loan to save the economy.  Loans get paid-back, whereas handouts do not.  For her to criticize the Bear Stearns deal, it makes one wonder what type of judgment she would have, and what would happen to the economy, if she was President.

And yet, Clinton touts the gas-tax holiday even though she cannot site even a single economist in support of her plan, and uses it to win over people who like the concept of handouts, but don’t think through the consequences. 

I thought it was the Democrats who were supposed to think about the consequences and advocate a reasonable financial strategy, and it was the Republicans who were all about lower taxes and free handouts with little to no care for what it would do to the country.  We’ve been complaining for years that the Republicans and the Bush Administration ignore experts and instead act against their advise, we certainly don’t need 4-8 more years of that.  From John Dickerson:

Embracing intellectual obtuseness and deflecting criticism with charges of elitism is a tactic George Bush often deployed while campaigning. It’s striking to see Clinton do it because she has been a regular and harsh critic of Bush’s blindness to expert opinion. It’s even more striking to hear her aides actually sound like Bush administration officials.  When I asked Communications Director Howard Wolfson if the Clinton team could offer any intellectual ballast for the gas-tax vacation, given that so many policymakers had criticized it, he said, “The presidency requires leadership. … There are times when the president does something that the group of experts, quote unquote, does not agree with. Presidents get advice and then act, and that is what Senator Clinton is doing.” Or, as George Bush used to put it: A leader leads. Even if off a cliff.

I used to think my only issue with Clinton was the way she went about doing things (or that she’s willing to destroy the Democratic Party and the ideals for which she stands in order to become President), not her policies.  But with her vote on the Iraq war and her refusal to admit it was a mistake, with a mandatory health care plan that’s “mandatory” and not “universal,” and with her push of this terrible gas-tax holiday idea, I’m starting to have serious misgivings about what sort of leader she will be.  Apparently, it’s going to be someone who cares about her short-term numbers, and not someone who cares about the tough, long-term fixes this country needs.

And with this gas-tax holiday pandering, it’s starting to be clear that she will lead according to what she believes will be popular, no matter how damaging it will be to the country, and not lead according to what needs to be done to ensure a decent future.


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 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.” 




New York Times: Clinton Is Hurting Democrats

From the New York Times:


The Low Road To Victory

It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the campaign’s negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.


Coming from the New York Times, this is rather shocking.  Not only have they endorsed her, but Clinton favoritism has even seeped into their generally fair coverage.  It’s about time for the media to start reporting on this instead of slinking away from it in fear of appearing “biased”. 

Of course, this is only an op-ed…