Friday, March 21, 2008

Swift Boating Obama: Can Hillary Still Get the Nomination?

So, the Right Wing has decided to ignore the jab at them in his eloquent speech about endlessly showing clips of Rev. Wright's more egregious moments. Last night I saw Hannity complaining that efforts by Obama to talk about Iraq, the economy, health care, or how the State Department has illegally raided his passport file to be "efforts to distract us from his problems with Reverend Wright," accompanied of course by yet more playing of the obnoxious clips. They seem to have found that this is a chink in Obama's armor that is open and that they can use to swift boat him down to defeat by endless repetition, along with distorted interpretations of his speech.

As for Hillary, the key will not be how she does in upcoming primaries (although losing in PA would really shut her down immediately), but how she stacks up against Obama in the head-to-head polls of each against McCain. As of last weekend, for the first time ever, she was doing better than Obama against McCain. If that develops to be a consistent pattern, then those superdelegates, most of them Dem officeholders worrying about reelection, might well surge to Hillary, her only chance. However, as of yesterday, the most recent Rasmusen tracking poll had McCain slaughtering both of them, but Hillary a bit worse: McCain 51% Hillary 41%, McCain 49% Obama 42%. Ugh.


Robert D Feinman said...

The Obama supporters are not willing to contemplate the possibility of a split government: a GOP executive and a Dem legislative majority.

Things didn't work out the well under Clinton with such a divided arrangement. The net was a lot more conservative than people realized at the time.

Since Dems are more willing to "compromise" or adopt bipartisan solutions the result of divided government always leans conservative. As the present situation shows, when the GOP is in the minority they just filibuster everything and this leads to gridlock. said...


I am not sure what the point of your comment is. I think lots of people are aware that we may well end up with a split government. I would agree that probably most of us, Obama supporters or not, do not sit around "contemplating" at length a split government, but why should we? Are we supposed to favor such an outcome? Do you favor such an outcome? Personally, I think we'll see more of the more progressive parts of the Dem agenda passed if we do not have such an outcome. Of course if it happens, which is quite likely if McCain wins, then we'll have to live with it as well as contemplate it.


Robert D Feinman said...

My point is that preventing McCain from winning should be the primary goal of all Dems and that if this means toning down their bickering then that's what they should do.

Discussing what such a split government would look like now is a good idea for two reasons. First, it might scare/motivate undecided voters into taking a more active roll in preventing this outcome.

Second, the Dems should be preparing for such an outcome so that they aren't caught flat footed if it happens. The total disarray the Dems have demonstrated over the past 14 years does not need to be repeated. On every major issue they were put in a position of responding to initiatives put forward by the GOP, big business and the military.

If they had done some independent planning and had coherent industrial, financial, military and health policies they might have been able to get the public support needed to prevent the worst outcomes of the period.

It's like Katrina, the dangers were known from numerous studies of the levees, but government chose to ignore the risks. This is not how political leadership is supposed to work.

Bruce Webb said...

It is astonishing how certain parts of the Left Blogosphere have simply taken their eye off the ball here. Preventing a McCain victory is literally a matter of life or death, if not for you and me then for a lot of innocent Iranians and probably for hundreds to thousands of American soldiers and marines.

I don't like Hillary's relative hawkishness, I am less than fond of Obama's weak stances on Social Security and Universal Coverage, but really life isn't just about me. Because please oh please can we avoid the trap the Left ALWAYS falls into, letting the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good, and demonstrating that by splintering the Party?

Yes substantial parts of the Democratic Party are too subservient to Corporatism, which doesn't validate Naderism, there is no doubt that a Bush 1 re-election would have had drastically worse outcomes than the half-loaf we got from Clinton, and 100% guarantee that eight years of President Gore would look better than what we got from Bush

I don't see that RDF and Barkley are coming at this from fundamentally different directions, both obviously being in favor of a Democratic outcome. But others particularly at places like DKos and Americablog are losing sight of the real historical differences between the Parties as it relates to the exercise of Executive Power. You get your flawed Democracy vs Authoritarianism with a very dangerous flavor.

Back during the race for Louisiana Governor in 1992 between famously corrupt Dem Edwards and infamously racist Repub David Duke, a popular bumper sticker read "Vote for the Crook. It's Important". Perhaps we need a new batch with "Vote for the (insert hateful epithet). Its important."

It's even worse that lots of us saw this coming. "I Am NOT a Member of an Obama Cult. You however ARE a Hilbot." That sums up the tone of practically any election related thread at DKos and it is profoundly disappointing. The Bush years have been very tough on me, heck the years since Republican takeover in 1994 have been tough. Now the sixties and seventies were no picnic, I remember riots and war and oil crises and a couple of steep recessions, but by God a lot of progressive legislation got pushed through by a whole series of Congresses with strong Democratic majorities. We have the opportunity to do that again but are at risk of losing it to a battle of pique.

Vote for the ( ). It really is important to defeat John McCain and return a strong Democratic majority to a country that is fast losing memory of what America can do and did do under New Deal/Great Society assumptions.

Peter H said...


As Politico points out, the dirty little secret of the campaign is that Hilary has virtually no chance of winning the nomination, unless (1) a huge mass of superdelegates go for Hilary, in which case (2) the Democratic Party would trigger a backlash of historic proportions among African-Americans.

I agree with Bruce Webb & Robert Feinmann that the focus of liberal bloggers should be on beating McCain. I do think the fierce primary competition actually has its advantages, though. For one thing, it's better that this Wright stuff came out in March rather than in, say, September.

Robert D Feinman said...

Perhaps you would like to post this on dailykos as a reminder of what the ultimate goal is. I've given up trying.

Even Markos, himself, is so taken with anti-Clintonism that he seems ready to take down the party establishment to make his point This from a fellow that saw nothing wrong with supporting Jim Webb a former republican and military man. The mission has gone from electing Democrats to electing specific democrats.

This may mean that he is getting more sophisticated as he matures, but his followers are politically naive. I haven't seen any surveys which correlate participants and their preferences with their age or prior political involvement.

I had a similar lack of success on booman tribune this week as well.

Even people like Krugman and Frank Rich seem to get caught up in the passions of the moment. Let's hope sanity returns before the main campaign starts. said...

Peter H

I am not all that big of a fan of kos, but at least some of his current anti-Hillarianism, overdone I would agree in general, is precisely due to your point. She really has no chance of getting the nomination, unless, as I said, polls start consistently showing her doing much better against McCain than Obama, which does not seem to be happening. So, her continuing campaign, especially with its increasingly nasty edge, is just playing into the hands of McCain. Bill Richardson just about all but said that when he just came out for Obama. Of course, the hard core Hillarians have been dismissing him and calling him a "traitor."

Frankly, I have been saying that Hillary was effectively dead once she lost Wisconsin.