The World is Watching and Wants More: Clinton-Obama Race Should Go All the Way

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convention twn.jpg
Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton struggling against each other for every superdelegate, every pending state primary, every vote is the best thing America has had going for it in some time on the “global public diplomacy” front.
John McCain’s subtle flirtation with vice presidential possibilities ranging from his former rival Mitt Romney to Mike Huckabee to Michael Bloomberg to Condoleezza Rice — among others — has caught the attention of people in Mumbai, Jakarta, Rio, Riyadh, Beijing, Damascus, and far more.
The world is seeing Americans struggle about who U.S. citizens want in the White House. There is no stacked deck, no automatic succession, no heir apparent — and this political experience of dramatic uncertainty and the pairing of an elder pro-Iraq War POW torture-victim turned leading Senator vs. either the first African-American or female candidate has the feel of a presidential election of a life-time — the kind that won’t be forgotten for a century.
Anyone remember Mondale-Reagan? I didn’t think so. . .
Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can win the Democratic primary through pledged delegates. Now, superdelegates and the candidate’s nuanced strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of party elders could show those around the world another dimension of America’s electoral system that few — even in America — get to see.
The race should go all the way to the Convention.
Dem leaders like Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean should stop trying to end the process. Let it go to its conclusion — and let’s turn the process into something really magnificent to see in its fullest. . . kind of like a total solar eclipse. Totality.
Do the entire thing.
The world is watching, learning. And American popularity in the eyes of global citizens watching us is surging because of the excitement and uncertainty of this fascinating election.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

99 comments on “The World is Watching and Wants More: Clinton-Obama Race Should Go All the Way

  1. David says:

    Latest from my Swiss investment banker friend in Zurich (a self-described Rockefeller Republican) who formerly supported Obama. He now thinks Obama is too liberal, and he fears that America will be stuck with eight more dark, depressing years under a McCain presidency.
    There is no way around the justified anger by Clinton supporters over the unending misogynist treatment by the press of a very qualified candidate, or the justified anger by Obama supporters of Hillary’s suggesting McCain is more qualified than Obama to be C-in-C and Bill’s injection of race.
    Oh, yeah, third time is charm for most of my posts.
    I am more and more convinced at this point that the superdelegates need to meet and state their choices in June, even though I understand why Steve Clemons said what he did. And I think it is a shame that American electoral politics are so tv ad and talking heads driven that candidates cannot have unmediated, sustained campaigns that do serve to help Americans know and understand issues.
    If I remember correctly, JFK and Barry Goldwater wanted to do just that in the ’64 election, and talked to each other about it. But we are where we are, and often sadly we are who we are, and I think Obama is the only candidate who has even the possibility of altering the terms of presidential electoral politics.
    And I think that once the candidate is chosen, the burden falls squarely on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to personally reunite the party. Hillary Clinton is the only person who can convince her supporters to support Obama, not McCain, and vice-versa for Obama. Bill Richardson is the key to that other demographic, which is poised to shape the future of American politics. Surely these are not lost on the Democrats who make things happen in the party.

    Reply

  2. David says:

    Latest from my Swiss investment banker friend in Zurich (a self-described Rockefeller Republican) who formerly supported Obama. He now thinks Obama is too liberal, and he fears that America will be stuck with eight more dark, depressing years under a McCain presidency.
    There is no way around the justified anger by Clinton supporters over the unending misogynist treatment by the press of a very qualified candidate, or the justified anger by Obama supporters of Hillary’s suggesting McCain is more qualified than Obama to be C-in-C and Bill’s injection of race.
    Oh, yeah, third time is charm for most of my posts.
    I am more and more convinced at this point that the superdelegates need to meet and state their choices in June, even though I understand why Steve Clemons said what he did. And I think it is a shame that American electoral politics are so tv ad and talking heads driven that candidates cannot have unmediated, sustained campaigns that do serve to help Americans know and understand issues.
    If I remember correctly, JFK and Barry Goldwater wanted to do just that in the ’64 election, and talked to each other about it. But we are where we are, and often sadly we are who we are, and I think Obama is the only candidate who has even the possibility of altering the terms of presidential electoral politics.
    And I think that once the candidate is chosen, the burden falls squarely on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to personally reunite the party. Hillary Clinton is the only person who can convince her supporters to support Obama, not McCain, and vice-versa for Obama. Bill Richardson is the key to that other demographic, which is poised to shape the future of American politics. Surely these are not lost on the Democrats who make things happen in the party.

    Reply

  3. Steve Clemons says:

    Leo – straight answer to your straight question. The answer is no. I don’t use anyone’s talking points — though i did print in full Obama’s spokesman’s statement today. Perhaps I’m biased?
    best regards,
    Steve 😉

    Reply

  4. Linda says:

    Susan Hart,
    I am an older woman whose first choice has been Obama since he announced. Hillary has always been my third choice with Edwards second. My ordering of candidates was based on what I thought of their policies (all very similar) and what I perceived as their electabllity. I actually probably agree more with Kuchinich but he isn’t electable. He’s the only one of all the candidates who were in Congress is fall 2002 who did not vote to authorize use of military force in Iraq.
    But I have always said that I will vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. So I ask you just two questions: Do you really mean that you will vote for McCain if Hillary isn’t the nominee? Do you realize that McCain will appoint Supreme Court justices that will give the court a majority to overturn Roe v. Wade?
    Please just answer the questions.

    Reply

  5. Robert M says:

    What you want is sheer folly if you support the Democrats. It’s right up there w/ Rumsfield. Look where we are now.
    The shallow argument all the Clintons have done for the party?!! In 1992 Democrats held the White House the Senate and the House. By 1994 they had lost the House in 96 the Senate. Not because of a contract for America but a contract on it because of their personal indiscretions leaving us w/ stained blue dress and the inability to smoke cigars.
    The totality of politics is that it is still about power and the excercise of it. It’s purpose isn’t to give the world jollies or convince them that in internecine war is a good thing because they take years to heal. End this now. Send the Clinton’s to the ashbin of history where they belong.

    Reply

  6. MarkL says:

    Arthur, “citizen”
    You guys are a hoot. What did YOU write about Clinton, and how does that compare with what I wrote about Obama? Who is strident??
    Well, I thought I would venture into the comments here to see if things had improved. They have not.
    Hasta la vista.

    Reply

  7. leo says:

    I’ll ask Steve a straight question, do you get talking points from the Clinton Campaign? Seems more likely to me as time goes by.

    Reply

  8. arthurdecco says:

    Mark L, your stridency is showing. Tug down your skirt.
    And Steve, you’re not paying attention to what’s being said about the difficulties we’re experiencing while trying to post on the Washington Note. You’ve repeated your advice to: back up and try again! twice to my knowledge. I’ve lost posts into the netherworld by following that advice. And you still haven’t explained how we’re supposed to email you about our difficulties when our emails are returned, unread.
    Is this site now designed as a Mandala, where we all endlessly circle back to our beginnings, ad nauseum?
    I guess it keeps us off the streets.

    Reply

  9. citizen says:

    MarkL,
    your post speaks for itself….thank you!

    Reply

  10. MarkL says:

    Citizen,
    Just because you imagine something to be true, does not make it so.
    Comparing Hillary to Clinton makes your insanity all the more obvious.
    Quick quiz:
    1) Which racist Hillary supporter said that Obama runs on the qualifications of race?
    2) Which racist Hillary supporter said something to the effect that at least Obama is not a black candidate who is a victim?
    3) Which racist said his grandmother was a “typical black woman” who didn’t trust whites?
    ..
    Ok, I got that mixed up a little bit. The answers are:
    1) Obama surrogate and campaign godfather John Kerry said that Obama is uniquely qualified because he’s black.
    2) Obama SD and total idiot Claire McCaskill said that she is glad to finally have a black candidate who is not a victim.
    3) Of course you realize I was referring to Obama and his grandmother.
    How can Obama accept the support of racists like Kerry and McCaskill? Has he no shame?
    The only “fairy tale” of this campaign is that Clinton injected race into it; the opposite is true.

    Reply

  11. Brendan Mackie says:

    Yeah, right now I’m teaching in South Korea and not only are people following the primary contest, they are actively debating it. People aren’t just interested–they’re engaged. Here it seems that (the small sample size) I’ve talked to are a little more struck by Clinton’s candidacy, the fact that a woman could possibly become the president of the US. It’s strange, because local elections are taking place here in less than a week, and while everybody knows about my country’s politics, I know nothing about theirs. Which is quite American, I guess.

    Reply

  12. citizen says:

    MarkL,
    I insulted no canidate…my words are mathematical and historical political fact….
    please wikpedia “southern strategy” /wallace and goldwater…the facts paint a clear picture to critical non emotional thinkers….

    Reply

  13. MarkL says:

    Citizen,
    John McCain thanks you for your support.
    Insulting the better, more qualified candidate will not will ANY votes for Obama.

    Reply

  14. citizen says:

    the winner has been clear since wisconsin….numbers are still facts on earth!!! He should offer the clintons an HR BLOCK gift card…..she cant be trusted in the veep or the senate….scotus perhaps, frankly her vile, hate filled campaign deserves what wallace and goldwater got….nothing!

    Reply

  15. bob h says:

    Yes, you are right about this, Steve.
    A Darwinian winnowing is occurring that will produce the best candidate. There is no clear winner at this point.

    Reply

  16. Chicagoan says:

    Dan Kervick has it summed up well. I’d just add that I find the idea that Obama owes the Clinton power structure a deal to be utterly bizarre. The fact is that he would just be playing Hillary-style hardball if he offered a deal along the lines of “drop out now or my congressional allies will make sure you never pass a bill with your name on it and I will personally make sure that no one now working in your campaign ever gets a government job.” The Clinton franchise needs to get past its delusions, realize it’s lost power, and get into damage control mode if it hopes not to be outright excised from the inner circle of the party, which I suspect going to happen at some point if this situation doesn’t change.

    Reply

  17. Susan Hart says:

    Dear Mr. Dean (and Obama super-delegates):
    As the so called ‘referee’ for the Democratic nomination process I would like to discuss my feelings about what you and the Obama supporters are doing to the Democratic party.
    First of all…there are TWO great candidates running for the Democratic nomination…not just Obama!! A fact most women in this country are aware of. And most women are watching you, Leahey, Kerry and Edwards to see how far your misogynist biases will take this party and country down. Women are angry at the way Hillary has been treated by the press and all of my GOP friends understand this as well. So, please don’t play dumb with Clinton supporters. Where were you when Obama was given total favortism by the media and Hillary was being treated with mean-spirited and unfair coverage???
    Where were you when Obama’s fliers came out in the many states where he won 11 in a role…many feeling his negative campaigning was responsible for undecided voters going for BO?
    Where were you when HRC was up 150-200 delegates and superdelegates ahead of BO?? Didn’t you think Obama should have dropped out for the good of the party?? Where were you when Hillary won all those BIG states by double digits, especially Ohio, CA and Tx…which she would have a chance to win in the general election. BUT Obama is behind McCain in OH by 7% pts…while HRC is up by 6% over JM!! She is a BIG win over JM in NJ by 11%, while BO loses by 2% against JM? How is your math Dean??
    Where were you when Obama’s mentor, friend and minister was heard around the world as the hateful, bigoted, anti-semitic, and reverse racist person he is? Yes, quite a few of us democrats understand what this means for the general election. We understand this and Rezko and Exelon (and heaven only knows what else) will be the demise of our chances in Nov. I hope the superdelegates understand this and come to our rescue at the Denver convention and vote for Hillary…the only candidate who can win against JM!!
    Speaking of Denver. Where are you when it comes to the rules made by the DNC? It is now OK to disenfranchise 2 million MI and FL voters b/c Obama won’t agree to a change in the rules. BUT you now want to CHANGE THE RULES TO MAKE THE SUPERDELEGATES VOTE BEFORE THE AUGUST CONVENTION!! MR. DEAN…THAT WOULD BE CHANGING THE RULES NOW WOULDN’T IT? AND IT WOULD BENEFIT OBAMA IF YOU PERSIST IN NOT ALLOWING THE VOTES IN MI AND FL TO COUNT.
    Also, where are you when the Obama supporters are using SEXIST comments or are trying to BULLY Hillary out of the race?? Isn’t it strange the only ones espousing the ‘sky is falling’ are Obama supporters and most of them are coming off as sexist and misogynist losers. Where were they when Hillary had a bigger lead over BO than he has over her now?? Remember. NO HILLARY SUPPORTERS INSISTED BO STEP ASIDE AND QUIT! NO HILLARY VOTERS OR SUPPORTERS HAVE RESORTED TO NAME CALLING. BO SUPPORTS THE MINISTER AND CHURCH WHICH PROMOTE ONLY THE BLACK DOCTRINE AND RACISM TOWARD WHITES!! This won’t bold well for BO in a general election.
    Mr. Dean, not only women will be either voting for John McCane or just sitting this vote out, but many independents and Hillary GOP supporters will switch as well! You better get your BOYS in line. I would suggest we NOT hear ANYMORE male supporters talking down to HRC and trying to demean her when there is possibly only a half of a percent difference between them after all the votes are finally counted. I would suggest you look into the caucus practices by BO’s supporters. I know you will find many problems. But then you might need to do something about it. Please take heed. There is as much at stake by suppressing the ‘womens’ candidate as the ‘black’ candidate. Stop pampering potential differences by HRC and BO as being a ‘racist’ problem without addressing the ‘sexism’ that is rampant. I agree with Chelsea Clinton…I too didn’t realize how much sexism there is in America. We do make up 51-52% of our total population in America. Blacks got their voting rights before women did. SO, it’s best to take a quick sensativity class and understand the toes you and your ‘boys’ continue to step on WILL come back to haunt you. Don’t think for a minute the 28-36% of HRC supporters who say they won’t vote for BO won’t do just that.
    My urge to you is to make the Pat Leahey’s shut up and the Obama’s negative tactics to disappear. This party doesn’t need another narcissistic and arrogant president…this is how many women see BO. America needs someone experienced and who knows how to unify America…HRC proved this in NY!! Put out the facts about HRC and BO…that’s what should have been happening all along. AND if the ‘boys’ are so afraid the party is going to crumble with a hard debated campaign…maybe they should retire if the politics are too hard for them!!

    Reply

  18. citizen says:

    Our rights, our country were founded on the premise of a commonality of purpose to lift the chains of england so we could bask in independence…..
    our minds and souls are corrupted with a message of difference, rather it be a difference of race, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender, income level, planet orientation, different version of god, no matter the wedges exist in our daily culture…. the chains of difference force us to identify the new corporate chains that have shackled our republic….
    until we accept our differences and focus on our common purpose than we will lay dormnant while our elected/stolen criminals run wild throughout the world….
    we will continue to be a picture of a chained republic for the world to witness, until we suck the fat cat money out of politics….bear stearns should not have been bailed out they should have been jailed out. The President who repealed the banking regs for political gain should hang in the town square….
    Until we set aside our differences, giving or receiving, we will continue to chain ourselves and prevent ourselves from perfecting our union which courageous founders started for us centuries ago.
    ps
    not sure if the porn would be as annoying as the posting system

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, the Democratic electoral situation really has begun to clarify itself over the past week, and is not nearly so undecided and even as you are attempting to portray it.
    Obama has now surged to a ten point lead over Clinton (52% – 42%) in the Gallup tracking poll of Democratic voters. That’s the largest lead he has ever had. It looks to me that increasing numbers of Democrats have decided this race is over, and we are now seeing a sizeable rally toward the apparent nominee. The voters are ahead of the curve, and many party leaders who have been reluctant to endorse previously will now see the writing on the wall and quickly catch up to the voters.
    Two polls last week showed Clinton’s approval and favorability have dropped precipitously. Some of this probably has something to do with the Tuzla effect and enduring questions about Clinton’s basic honesty, but I suspect there are several factors at work – including the fact that one hears more and more Democrats expressing simple exasperation at Clinton for dragging out the nomination process and damaging Democratic prospects by negative campaigning against the likely nominee.
    Clinton’s finances are apparently in serious trouble, as reported by Kenneth Vogel in Politico, and they are reportedly keeping up their cash flow by not paying their bills:
    “A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.”
    This suggests her donations are drying up, and she can’t keep up financially with the Obama campaign. The Clintons’ attempts to remain upbeat and paint a transparently implausible picture of an even race are just a desperate attempt to put a brave face on a rapidly deteriorating situation. Also, with the entire nation’s financial house is dangerously poor order, how does it look for an aspiring presidential candidate to be running an operation that can’t, or doesn’t, pay its bills?
    All of the recent endorsements and superdelegate announcements have been trending heavily toward Obama. You say that both Clinton and Obama “have both failed to win a clear and undisputed majority of interests in the party.” Well sure, in one sense that is true. But that’s typical. Rather, in most years that I can recall one candidate simply achieves clear front-runner status – with a clear plurality but not a majority of party support – and a movement then grows to rally behind the apparent victor. The money, support and attention all begin to shift to the apparent nominee and the other candidates are forced to suspend their candidacies, drop out, concede defeat, or at least fall by the wayside and become fairly irrelevant. In most years, this has happened long before the convention – and well before the point we are at currently. Look at McCain. He never really won the support of an undisputed majority of his party. But at some point it became clear he was going to win, and at that point several of these disgruntled interests sucked it up and got behind their candidate.
    It turns out Obama won more delegates from Texas than Clinton, a net margin of five, further reinforcing the delegate arithmetic which already shows a Clinton pledged delegate victory to be a virtual impossibility. You really should take a look at some of the delegate-counting calculators out there, Steve, to see how wild-eyed your Clinton comeback scenario is. I can’t recall any recent campaigns in which so many people attempted to put forth the argument that the clear front-runner and apparent winner was not the front-runner and apparent winner after all, because of the bare mathematical possibility that superdelegates could upset the apple cart at the convention. That is almost always technically true, but not usually considered to be very relevant. Why should this year be special?
    You seem to be suggesting the Obama primary and caucus victory tour doesn’t matter, because of the possibility of some crazy superdelegate nuclear scenario at the convention. But your convention scenario is far-fetched at best. There is no real likelihood that superdelegates are going to overturn the clear result of the voting of millions of Democratic voters. Unless it is revealed that Obama has been having a torrid ten-year love affair with a gay communist polar bear, this race is over. Someone needs to force Clinton to face these facts, and accept defeat graciously and constructively, rather than scrambling on selfishly like a spoiled and undignified high school brat with an unshakeable and unattractive sense of entitlement.
    If they need entertainment in Mumbai and Jakarta, let them be entertained by the Obama-McCain race. That’s the race we are going to have and that most people are anxious to get going. But we’re a bit stalled at the starting gate right now, because the crews still have to clean one broken down entry from the qualifying heat off the track. McCain is out running hard, and Obama is stuck while he waits for Clinton fantasists and dead-enders to let go of their sad dreams of miracle comebacks and the coming of superdelegate messiahs. It’s just not happening. You need to tell your Clinton friends, like Laurie Rubiner, that it is time to give up the ghost.

    Reply

  20. Matt says:

    I for one recognized your essential point and took issue with it ( http://tinyurl.com/395z2q )from the start. I think there is a great lack of evidence in your post and subsequent comment that “this election has captivated the attention and positive interest from many around the world…” How have you measured this? Does any evidence exist for this outside a big American ego that perhaps we all share? And by the way, that subsequent comment you left is shifting your argument a little bit–putting it on unstable ground–since the election will continue to captivate the world’s interest (if in fact that’s really happening) regardless of whether the primary process ends tomorrow, next month, or in late August. So is this imagined global audience captivated by “this election” in general, or are they captivated by an extended primary process where they get to “learn” all about the procedure for selecting a Presidential candidate in the Democratic party of the United States? Surely these things are related, but they are not the same and they do not equally captivate people out there in terra incognita.

    Reply

  21. citizen too says:

    Stu Rothenberg got it wrong in his recent comments on Ferraro’s shameless race baiting and Italian-American vote pandering. If Barack Obama were a white male from Kansas, this race would have been over weeks ago. No doubt about it.
    Concerning the merits of a debilitating, extended mudfight leading up to the DNC convention in August, only the RNC, John McCain and the camp that has based its campaign on lies, smears, race-baiting and a misplaced sense of entitlement to power stands to benefit from such a game. Follow the money.
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/03/in_letter_a_dozen_top_clinton.php
    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=4803
    http://www.newamerica.net/about/leadership_council

    Reply

  22. Carroll says:

    Major money source affecting should Hillary stay or go.
    http://www.forward.com/articles/13040/
    Clinton’s Jewish Backers Divided Over How Long To Stay in the Fight
    By Jennifer Siegel
    snip…………
    “In interviews with the Forward this week, nearly a dozen Clinton supporters displayed a variety of opinions and emotions about the campaign, ranging from concern over the impact of a prolonged primary battle on the party’s chances in November to a steely determination to see Clinton press on through the summer. One of her supporters, who is also a major donor to the party, said he is furious at the Democratic National Committee because of the impasse over delegates from Florida and Michigan — and may express his frustration by keeping his wallet closed come the general election.
    “Chairman Howard Dean needs to be slapped around a little bit,” said Stephen Cloobeck, a Las Vegas real estate entrepreneur who estimates that he has given more than $500,000 to Democratic organizations and candidates. “A lot of high net worth individuals, high end donors, are absolutely disgusted. If we ran our businesses like this, we’d have big problems.”
    OPEN ARMS: DNC Chairman Howard Dean, seen here with presidential contender Hillary Clinton, ‘needs to be slapped around a bit,’ according to one prominent Jewish donor.
    The sharp words in defense of Clinton come..”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    One thing about this selection mess is that one can’t fail to see the “agenda money” that runs our elections and our country.
    We have three way fight going on here…the special interest like 1) the US Israelis and the big biz capitalist corps… 2)the dem establishment…and 3) the people.
    When, if ever, are the people going to realize that this “for, by and of the party” and this money behind the candidates needs to be eliminated before we can even have democratic elections….or an actual democratic country.
    But rant on about the game and the in’s and out’s of “the process”….if you enjoy pissing in the wind.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican Mar 30, 2:56PM – Link
    I type out my monicker, and my email address, at least twice. ArthurDecco, you, Kathleen, and myself are experiencing these posting difficulties.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Me Too.
    Posted by ckrantz Mar 30, 5:19PM – Link
    As a cynical European what I see is a dysfunctional political system and a democratic party split down the middle. Republicans are even more divided which would show if anyone paid attention to them.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ditto
    Posted by Dan Kervick Mar 30, 5:26PM
    I pick Obama, in part because I think he presents a somewhat lower probability of getting my son killed than the other two characters.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ditto
    Posted by David Mar 30, 5:49PM
    Hagel switching to independent and endorsing Obama would be an act of `civic responsibility of the first order. I can see no way Hagel could sign on to a McCain presidency. It would be anathema to what he has fought so fearlessly for. But that endorsement should not occur until the general election. And Hagel in Obama’s cabinet – oh, yeah.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Ditto
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    WHAT we should all be seeing in this nomination circus is why politicans and parties should not be allowed to design the electoral process. That’s the bottom line..so rant about that.

    Reply

  24. Steve Clemons says:

    Greetings all — what a spirited day of comments! I do have some readers who stop in more to see what all of you have written — than what I have written, so thanks for keeping this going.
    I can’t respond to everything above — other than to say that I understand many of you didn’t like what I wrote or thought it was a weak post. Perhaps. But my essential point that this election has captivated the attention and positive interest from many around the world stands. I think that it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a candidate that the Democratic Party as a whole thinks would work for the next presidential contest. But the simple truth of it is that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both failed to win a clear and undisputed majority of interests in the party. It’s going to be interesting to see how this gets sorted out. I am not going to join those calling on one side to bow out. I have called on Obama to offer a “deal” to the Hillary Clinton franchise — and I see none.
    There’s a lot of political immaturity on both sides of this Democratic contest — and as I’ve said before, I see much to applaud in both and muc to be concerned about, but those are my politics — they don’t need to be yours.
    Thanks to POA for making clear that I just don’t bar people from posting. I may go back and delete a post if it goes over the line in an ad homimen attack on someone or gets into obscene or threatening language….but honestly, I rarely, rarely, rarely do this. Last year, I removed perhaps about three posts. I have only blocked a couple of serial abusers of the privileges here.
    What you are experiencing in posting comments is something I do as well — and that is a slightly tougher wall designed not to prevent you from posting — but porn spammers.
    If the security letters that you type in don’t work, just click refresh and do it again. Your post won’t be lost — and a new set of letters should appear for you to fill in.
    If this doesn’t work, or you have problems, just email me — and I’ll check into it as soon as I can.
    But I don’t block anyone — not unless its a highly unusual circumstance.
    Thanks though for the spirited and interesting commentary.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  25. Liz says:

    No Steve, it’s costing too much both in money and people’s interest. Do you ever stop to think how distracting this long campaign season is?
    My personal gripe though is the money…. what a total and absolute waste of millions of dollars….. this much money would solve the healthcare crisis for a year or two… courtesy of corporate America…. and I do not want a Republican President ever again……

    Reply

  26. Tony Foresta says:

    Echoing many great commentaries above, – democrats are only defeating themselves, and providing redmeat the fascists in the Bush government. It is only the DNC leaderships woeful failures, cowardice, or complicity that has allowed McCain to even be in this race.
    A vote for McCain is a vote for the fascists and the unabated perpetuation of the exact same fascist policies, ideologies, and wanton profiteering pimped and practiced by the fascists in the Bush government.
    Any democrat that would squander thier vote for either Hillary, or Barak and vote for the fascists out of spite is an apostate, a traitor, and a betrayer of their party and the American people.
    Democrats need to settle this matter and quickly, and set about the arduous and difficult process of defanging, dethroning, and holding accountable the fascists in the Bush government, including the flip flop flipping parrot and appeaser of the Bush government, McCain.
    At the moment democrats are self immolating, and handing this epic election to the fascists.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  27. philip says:

    This is not a game, unless people are looking to split the Democratic party.
    Let us end this Dem on Dem violence,enough is enough !!!!!!

    Reply

  28. Paul Norheim says:

    citicen:
    We can hear you. No point in SCREAMING!!!
    And please: don`t give medical advices at TWN…

    Reply

  29. ... says:

    i don’t know if the world is watching, but i hope steve clemons reads the posts here.. he could benefit from it..
    poa – citizen reminds me of one of the buffoons we used to have around here..

    Reply

  30. citizen says:

    PoA–
    YOUR brand of hatred is disgusting…all colors carjack, moron…you sound like sean hannity!!!!
    GET HELP!!!

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    “In Texas, we don`t do nuances.” (W).
    Do you happen to be a distant relative of him, POA?

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    When was the last time you had a nieghbor carjacked by an Iranian? We call the Muslims “terrorists”, why not the hundreds of thousands of Mexican gang members?
    Who do you think terrorized the most citizens these last eight years, Mexican gang members, or Muslim immigrants?
    Don’t care much for reality, do you, “citizen”?

    Reply

  33. Paul Norheim says:

    Hey folks,
    I am not a policeman (nor a saint), and don`t want to sound like
    one. But please calm down and stop the personal attacks.
    Steve Clemons is a gracious host, and we should be gracious
    towards the others writing here.
    In my opinion, this is not one of the hosts best posts, but some of
    the discussions on the tread have been interesting. Don`t fuck it
    up, ok?

    Reply

  34. citizen says:

    POA—
    Adopt the bush/clinton strategy of attacking…brilliant.
    equating mexicans to terrorists is balanced? are you lou fucking dobbs in disguise?
    “obama is trojan horse” outstanding…are you Sean fucking Hannity?
    take your meds, retunr to earth and look in the mirror.
    take responsibility for your hate or remain a marganalized, small vile moron like bush!!!
    patriotically yours,
    citizen
    p.s. great vid of W getting booed by 40k people at nationals game…makes me want to sing god bless america….

    Reply

  35. PissedOffCitizen says:

    “Your hate filled rhetoric towards black/brown people is vile, small and disgusting”
    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m a real bigot for being sick of illegal immigration, and for not buying into Obama’s empty resume and optimistic flights of fantasy. Yeah, thats it, I just hate brown people. And women, because off my rhetoric about Hillary. And jews, because of my rhetoric about AIPAC. And old guys, because of my rhetoric about McCain. And white people, because of my rhetoric about Bush. And Muslims, because of my rhetoric about Chalabi. And don’t forget mormons, because I have also pointed out Romney’s lies about Iraq. Did I mention I must hate Catholics because I don’t agree with priests diddlin’ little boys and girls??
    Did I leave anyone out?
    Oh yeah….
    I’m bigoted against assholes too, by the way. After all, I’d hate to leave you out of my unbiased and equal opportunity bigotry.

    Reply

  36. citizen says:

    clinton supporters,
    1. she was eliminated in wisconsin…acceptance is the first step.
    2. she cant pay her bills…
    3. WSJ has a block of Superdelegates uniting behind Obama this week.
    POA,
    1. Your hate filled rhetoric towards black/brown people is vile, small and disgusting.
    2. Your hate talk negates anything else you have to offer.
    3. get back on your fucking meds you disturbed moonie.
    patriotically yours,
    citizen

    Reply

  37. citizen says:

    clinton supporters,
    1. she was eliminated in wisconsin…acceptance is the first step.
    2. she cant pay her bills…
    3. WSJ has a block of Superdelegates uniting behind Obama this week.
    POA,
    1. Your hate filled rhetoric towards black/brown people is vile, small and disgusting.
    2. Your hate talk negates anything else yopu have to offer.
    3. get back on your fucking meds you disturbed moonie.
    patriotically yours,
    citizen

    Reply

  38. arthurdecco says:

    Do you have anything helpful to add to the conversation, carsick?

    Reply

  39. carsick says:

    Heck, you’d think this was a PissedOffAmerican blog instead of a Steve Clemens and co. blog.

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Catherine, your post is such obvious horseshit, that you should be embarrassed for depositing it here.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I would be highly surprised if he ended up supporting the foreign policy of John McCain. He is obviously against bombing Iran”
    Well, I don’t know, Paul. Steve has certainly tended to nurture the premise of Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, while giving little or no mention to the IAEA’s findings that would seem to dispel this notion, (or at least render it highly questionable).
    Steve’s alignment with the RW and Israel’s one sided presentation of this Iranian nuke thing is yet one more of Steve’s positions that I have found inexplicable. He has definitely presented Iran as a threat. Personally, I cannot reconcile that assertion as being founded in fact, if the threat is offered as being military in nature.
    And, in terms of the issue of illegal immigration, Steve seems to be right on board with McCain’s policy plans, exhibited by his ill-fated attempt at giving them blanket amnesty. Make no mistake, should McCain manage to slime his way into the Oval Office, there are a few hundred thousand mexican gangbanger/terrorists that will celebrate with a hit of Meth or two, and another city block of terrorized citizens.
    Just Friday, the Kern County Sheriff’s Department was warning citizens that they needed to be watchful, and if rear ended in traffic, be careful, because they had reports that in the Delano area, Mexican gang members would be rearending civilians, and shooting those civilians as they exited their vehicles.
    Welcome to Bushworld, where the assimilating Iranian immigrants are demonized, and the true terrorists are recieved with open arms, given three hots and a cot, and rewarded with citizenship.
    Did I mention McCain is a willing and enthusiastic resident of Bushworld?
    Well, guess what? So are Hillary and Obama.

    Reply

  42. Catherine says:

    Chairman Dean…
    You have got to put an end to this. It is clear that Clinton cannot win, If she doesn’t step down, she will not only destroy the party, she will destroy the hopes of thousands and thousands of new voters, as well as school children. Those speeches that she claims are just words have sparked hope in elementary and high school students. If she continues, they will be a generation of rebellions. They will hate America. When this thing began, I had convinced my social group of 125 ladies to vote for Hillary. There is nobody left who will vote for her, not even me. She does not care about the party and she does not care about the children. She does not even care that millions of people will vote for McCain. Of course, she voted for the war, so it probably does not matter to her that Republicans will be in the White House once again. I will not vote for her, I will not vote for Nader…I will probably vote for McCain she suddenly ends up the nominee. No matter how you shake it, Many Obama people are prepared to vote for McCain. Even if they say they want to unite the party…I will not be able to believe it. This was a historical election. Now it is something ugly, and the media is not helping. You must stop this thing.

    Reply

  43. Roger says:

    Hillary’s campaign is broke.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/9259.html
    Where’s she getting all the money for ten more weeks of TV ads?
    Maybe Steve will give her a few mil.

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    They’re ALL pawns, MarkL.
    Do you think it a coincidence that there is a letter of endorsement from a whole cadre of retired Admirals and Generals on Hillary’s website? And is she not the AIPAC and defense industry’s darling? Do you think these endorsements come without a price? How many of these fawning retired Generals do you suppose are now lobbyists for the Arms Industry and military supply firms??
    Just like the idiocy of trying to compare their capacity for prefarication, it is idiotic to claim one is the pawn of “outside interests” to a greater degree than the other.
    Its as stupid as claiming McCain does not support earmarks, while ignoring the fact that a huge percentage of his campaign staff are lobbyists for Airbus, or ignoring his shameful treatment of the Navajo and the Hopi so he could give the coal companies a world class blow job.
    I will agree with you, however, that we KNOW we are getting a murderous hawk in Hillary Clinton, because we KNOW where her blood money is coming from. But Obama’s support is far more ethereal, and alarming with the substantial wieght it seems to carry with our treasonous and complicit media. This rock star was purposely jetted to the limelight with no small expenditure, and no qualifying resume. Whats up with that?
    Unlike you and Dan Kervick, I am not so eager to try to dilineate between evil and not quite as evil.
    You still end up with evil.

    Reply

  45. Paul Norheim says:

    POA,
    I don`t suspect Steve Clemons of any “nefarious designs”: I
    would be highly surprised if he ended up supporting the foreign
    policy of John McCain. He is obviously against bombing Iran.
    Sometimes Mr. Clemons describes himself as a “realist”,
    sometimes as a “policy wonk”. Here is a quote from
    worldwidewords.org about the word “policy wonk” – perhaps it
    is relevant here:
    “The clue to its origin may be in that article in Sports Illustrated,
    in which it is explained that in Harvard slang there was a
    tripartite classification of students into wonks, preppies, and
    jocks. It seems that all three terms were around in the 1950s
    (jock possibly even earlier) and that they have moved into
    mainstream use in the decades since. The word was presumably
    taken to Washington by Harvard graduates and formed the basis
    for the modern term policy wonk (…). There it acquired the
    meaning of “a policy expert, especially one who takes an
    obsessive interest in minor details of policy”, with a disparaging
    implication of someone immersed in detail and out of touch
    with the real world.”
    Sometimes Steve Clemons gets the big picture, sometimes he
    seems to be out of touch, more a geek than a “realist”. And I
    would guess that he is chatting with plenty of other policy
    wonks during his days and evenings, not only in Washington
    DC, but also on his frequent visits to the “world”.

    Reply

  46. MarkL says:

    POA,
    this is the closest we have come to agreement in a long time.
    I don’t judge candidates on whether they lie, per se, but clumsy, obvious liars like Obama piss me off. The qualifications issues is the most important to me. W. was not so horrible a President simply because of his political values, but rather because he was totally unprepared for the office. Add to that the incredible arrogance of the man, much like Obama’s, and you have a recipe for disaster.
    And, like Bush, Obama is the pawn of others, who think they can control him if elected. Just like Bush, that won’t turn out so well.
    One last point.. you LOVE pissing matches. Don’t pretend you don’t!
    Ha!

    Reply

  47. arthurdecco says:

    Steve Clemons said: “There is no stacked deck, no automatic succession, no heir apparent…”
    The addendum to Chris Floyd’s latest searing criticism of what we can expect from an Obama presidency, based on his rhetoric:
    “We’ve said it before and no doubt we’ll say it again: an Obama presidency, like a H. Clinton presidency, will mean some measure of genuine mitigation of some of the worst depredations of the Bush Regime. There’s no question about that. But no one who openly embraces the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan and George Bush I, or John F. Kennedy for that matter, is going to change in any substantial way the militarist-corporate machine that has already destroyed our democracy, gutted our Constitution, corrupted our system beyond all measure (and probably beyond all repair), and killed – and keeps on killing – hundreds of thousands of innocent people, decade after decade. Given this fact, every American voter must decide, in his or her own conscience, this question: Should I act to mitigate some small measure of the mass suffering wrought by this machine; or does that action, that participation, merely legitimize the machine, and strengthen it?
    That is the only question at issue in this election. For none of the prospective presidents offer any hope – audacious or otherwise – of any kind of root-and-branch reform of the imperial system, which will continue to grind on — in its traditional, realistic, bipartisan way.”
    http://www.chris-floyd.com/content/view/1471/135/#comments

    Reply

  48. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, MarkL, loath as I am to get into a pissing match about who is the most prolific liar between these two pathetic posturing clowns, Hillary hardly embodies the vision of an honest statesperson.
    Between Obama’s squirming in the Wright affair, his comment about Israel and Islamic radicals, and Hillary’s wild adventures dodging bullets in far off exotic lands, we would be hard pressed to see who is the most proficient at pegging the Bullshit Meter.
    I tend to agree with Dan Kervick, that Obama is the most convincing. And that should scare the shit out of all of us, because it is painfully obvious that the race for the White House long ago became a contest of who can best hoodwink the American public into buying into the most convincing line of bullshit.
    But irregardless, it is a bit comical to see the fans of any of these candidates pointing the finger and muttering “liar”, while ignoring the unadulterated crap emanating out of the corner of their own superstar’s lyin’ maw.

    Reply

  49. MarkL says:

    POA,
    You really are off-base on that. Try to stick to the topic at hand, ok? Domestic policy is the primary area where I prefer Hillary.
    But I know that you do share with me skepticism about Obama—at least you did a few months ago.
    He has certainly kissed the ring on Isreal; there’s no reason to think his policy will deviate at all from Bush’s. In terms of foreign policy I fear Obama’s judgment on Pakistan.. his insouciant belief that a few more troops on the Pakistan border will solve the problem of Al Qaeda. Idiotic.
    Obama is the candidate, who by virtue of his inexperience and arrogance is most likely to lead us into another military disaster—to Iraqify Pakistan, for instance.
    Both Hillary and Obama are quite hawkish, Obama more so on Iran, in fact.
    But in the end, I see little to distinguish them.
    In terms of domestic policy, there are differences between them which seem cosmetic to some, important to others. For example, mandates for insurance. Mandates were the sticking point for Clinton’s plan in 1993: Clinton insisted on them, the insurance companies balked. Obama is taking the side of the insurance companies.. great.
    Also, he constantly uses glib GOP-style talking points: being against “big government”, not believing in the power of government regulation, etc.
    None of these are enough to turn me off to Obama.
    It’s seeing how flat-footed he is without a script, and how shallow his knowledge of policy is, and seeing that his IL record is phony, that turned me against him completely.
    He simply is not qualified (now) and he does not have the disposition to be President.
    It’s so funny to read about how Obama is taking back the party from the party elders, when in fact, Obama is the pawn of the party elders who do not want a powerful President. Durbin and Kerry were the key people tho convinced Obama to run; undoubtedly, they and other party elders gave Obama connections to major donors. His campaign is floated by large donataions, btw.. the smaller ones, though numerous, are the lesser amonnt, by far.
    I would have been happy with Edwards as a candidate, relatively speaking. He’s got some savvy, and maturity. Obama? Ugh.
    The experience factor is something he cannot overcome with voters.
    Finally, his nastiness towards Hillary is just politically stupid. There’s no reason to base his campaign on calling her a liar, evil, etc.
    He needs the Hillary supporters in the fall if he’s the nominee.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And, like any good little Israeli fister, heres MarkL, telling us how ghood Hillary will be for the Unite….er….I mean….Israel.

    Reply

  51. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Although I find Steve’s cheerleading totally inexplicable, I can’t bring myself to suspect him of the nefarious designs that some are accusing him of. Usually, it is I that casts the accusations of naivete, and I hope against hope that I am not being the naive one here.
    Personally, I don’t want to believe that the site difficulties we are experiencing are the result of purposeful malice on Steve’s part, or a backhanded attempt at censorship. Nor do I subscribe to the notion that his cheerleading may be an effort to help McCain slither into the Oval Office.
    However, I hope the site glitches are addressed, and we recieve a bit more concerned of a response than the pat “Well, I have recieved favorable reviews” excuse we were offered when the issue of our posting difficulties was initially raised. I think it should be obvious that there are enough of us experiencing difficulties that it needs to be addressed, and if it isn’t, ArthurDecco’s theory may become far too plausible to deny.
    But, for the most part, Steve has been a gracious host here, and has laudably endured a fair amount of abuse, a good portion of it out of my keyboard.
    I sincerely hope he will expound on his enamoration of a process that the majority of us seem to consider abominational. Perhaps, with further explanation, his slap happy enthusiasm will become slightly less inexplicable.
    And failing that, I hope his passport is in order, and that he catches the first spaceliner home, as his vacation on Pluto seems to have distorted his interpretation of events here on the planet earth.

    Reply

  52. MarkL says:

    As long as we are speaking in mild, reasonable terms about the candidates, hear me out: Obama is an unqualified rusty tomato can who is the mirror image of George W. Bush, and who no more deserves to be President than Rosie O’Donell’.
    His IL Senate resume was padded when the Dem leadership dropped a package of 26 bills to claim as his own, even though he had not done the work on them. Once in the Senate, his attendance record has been abysmal, his work ethic non-existent.
    You want to give the Presidency to someone who thinks that subcommittee work is beneath him? What idiots!!
    What about Wright? Obama’s lies on this subject are too numerous to recount, but when he said that if Wright hadn’t apologized for his remarks (which he never did, btw), Obama would have left the church, he really topped himself. So he’s saying Wright’s future actions influenced Obama in the past??
    This is where he really looks like Bush—how stupid does he think WE are?
    Look, rail against Hillary all you like. I think she’s a fine candidate, but you’re free to oppose her. But Obama???? Just because he’s Brand Y and not Brand X doesn’t mean he’s any good.
    What an embarrassment that the party leaders decided to push such an unprepared, unqualified candidate on the Democrats. Durbin, Daschle, Kerry, Kennedy—THOSE are the Presidential losers behind Obama’s run. You trust their judgment?
    God help you.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    “John McCain’s subtle flirtation with vice presidential
    possibilities ranging from his former rival Mitt Romney to Mike
    Huckabee to Michael Bloomberg to Condoleezza Rice — among
    others — has caught the attention of people in Mumbai,
    Jakarta, Rio, Riyadh, Beijing, Damascus, and far more.” (Steve
    Clemons)
    And if this is correct, why on earth is it such a good thing?
    Because it improves the “image” of the US by helping us to
    forget the not-so-subtle presidential candidate singing “Bomb,
    bomb Iran”?
    Your enthusiasm, Mr. Clemons, is sometimes rather enigmatic.
    And since I speak as a representant from the “world”, I can
    assure you that some of us are more horrified by the prospect
    of a McCain adding more “creative destruction” on the planet,
    than fascinated by his “subtle flirtation with vice presidential
    possibilities”.

    Reply

  54. carsick says:

    Oops, answering the phone while commenting is not recommended. What I meant to say above:
    But will the world be watching as two good people with a combined majority of public support in April lose in the general election in November to Four More Years of near Bush?
    Geez, you’d think we’d depressed the world enough with our actions already.

    Reply

  55. Paul Norheim says:

    When Steve Clemons says that the world is watching, I think he`s
    right, but probably for the wrong reasons: The “world”, just like
    many Americans, sees a black man against a white woman against
    an old warrior.
    For the majority, the issues are gender and race, which, in this
    context, of course is a big distraction from the real issues at
    stake. One of the reasons are that the media in the rest of the
    world to a large extent is just repeating the “issues” that are
    highlighted in the American media, like Obama`s pastor, etc.
    I have no idea wether the world is “learning” anything by watching
    the fight. This implies that the “world” is a an ignorant,
    undemocratic place somewhere outside the USA.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    re Arthurdecco observation on site function above: besides the evident and routine kickouts on captchas, I too have gotten three emails kicked back while attempting to use the provided link; I gave up.

    Reply

  57. carsick says:

    But will the world will watch as two good people with a majority of voter support in April can lose a general election in November to Four More Years of near Bush.
    Geez, you’d think we’d depressed the world with our actions already.

    Reply

  58. koreyel says:

    As a democrat party member I understand the angst expressed above. Here is my take:
    The North Carolina will change the dynamics considerably. She will lose massively there. The math will really become like two enormous cement shoes for her. No one will even pretend to ignore the numbers anymore. After North Carolina they become oppressive.
    Her campaign at the point becomes essentially non-sustainable. The media narrative will also shift after the North Carolina primary. The talking heads will examine her selfishness against the interests of the democratic party. That is a particularly killing narrative for her. No one likes a liar. A party spoiler and a liar? Forget about it. Her negatives will approach that of Bush.
    It will all end fairly soon thereafter.

    Reply

  59. arthurdecco says:

    Steve Clemons said: “There is no stacked deck, no automatic succession, no heir apparent…”
    Reading this, I started to roll my eyes and snort derisively. What a curious thing for a beltway insider to claim.
    I moved to the comments in the hopes of reading something sensible… where POA, as usual was eviscerating the usual suspects with his clear-eyed take on the filth and corruption that defines American politics and where Don Kervic delivered both a tour-de-force and a poignant, personal promise to you Steve – a promise I pledge to join him in bringing to realization if “they” ever do get their mitts on his son:
    “I’m fed up (with your) posturing, Steve. I have a son who is seventeen, and will be eighteen in June. He has to live in this shitty, conflict-ridden world that you and your banquet-hopping, parasitical, thinkerati friends chatter on about when you get together and pretend you really understand anything important, or care about anything but your own careers. I’m delighted you find this so entertaining and amusing. But this is deadly serious business to me – life and death. Hillary Clinton is a cravenly ambitious, lobbyist-fellating, unprincipled tool of Washington power-brokers – the people who have an enduring interest in turning my boy into cannon-fodder. I firmly expect that if she is elected we will be in Iran and Syria, and maybe beyond, before her first year is up. And given the fact that our military is already overextended and broken, that probably means a draft. No offense, but I’ll see you and the rest of Washington’s amoral smart set on the gallows before I let them get their mitts on my son.”
    This paragraph (in 32 point type) should be taped to the wall directly over your desk where you can read it every time you start to feel a fit of willfully ignorant hubris coming on, Steve. Because this simple, eloquent paragraph, bathed in desperate pathos, more than any of the endlessly recycled, meaningless words you’ve published on “Politiks in America” describes and defines the corruption of the politikal klass in America – a politikal klass you bear your share of responsibility for protecting and promulgating from your inside-the-Beltway perspective.
    Get Smart before we start getting even.
    POA said: “It takes me at least two, sometimes three, attempts before my posts are accepted. It will not store my personal info, which means, each post, I type out my moniker, and my email address, at least twice. arthurdecco, you, Kathleen, and myself are experiencing these posting difficulties.
    One hopes that someone isn’t getting paid, or has been paid, for installing these difficulties. Out here, in the real world, we don’t get the luxury of being compensated for producing disappointment and inconvenience.”
    As POA has so eloquently said, nothing has been done to fix what looks to be a purposefully designed-in flaw. NOTHING. In addition, both emails that I’ve sent to you since the slick new page was introduced were returned to me: “returned mail: See transcript for details”.
    The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from our common difficulty is that someone is purposefully slowing access to the Washington Note for those of us who may be less willing than some others to placate your ego when delivering our opinions.
    Consider, “When you hear hoofbeats – think horses not zebras.”

    Reply

  60. David says:

    No, by no stretch of the imagination would the Clintons prefer McCain over Obama, or any Republican over a Democrat in the White House. That is just absurd on its face. I do agree with whoever said Democrats need to quit being afraid. I don’t like some of the things Hillary has done in her whatever-it-takes campaign strategy. In fact, things like suggesting McCain is better prepared to be C-in-C than Obama is just beyond the pale, as is her Nixonian southern strategy. But better both of those come out in the primary. Obama has already demonstrated that he is more than up to the challenge of being swift-boated with the Wright sound bytes.
    I think Steve raises an important possibility, and besides I find the “Democrats are self-destructing” narrative rather two-dimensional and short-sighted. Quit buying this narrative. The biggest problem from my perspective as a 66-year-old Democrat is the Democratic establishment, the old guard, and I applaud the veteran Democrats who have endorsed Obama because he and the people he brings to the party are the future.
    But Hillary has made a couple of legitimate points. One is that both she and Obama are bringing in new people, and she has said that once the nominee is decided, the party will come together. Yes, it is appropriate to criticize in no uncertain terms some of the Clinton campaign’s strategies. But for chrissake let’s keep our eyes on the prize, and quit buying the notion that we are simply going to fail once again. We were not rejected by the voters in 2000, and it is not completely clear that we were rejected in 2004, either.
    The other is the possibility Clinton raised is that this primary battle is strengthening both candidates. And when the nominee gets to go after McCain for real, I think he/she will be able to dismantle the various McCain myths. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is already getting that process started.
    Hagel switching to independent and endorsing Obama would be an act of `civic responsibility of the first order. I can see no way Hagel could sign on to a McCain presidency. It would be anathema to what he has fought so fearlessly for. But that endorsement should no occur until the general election. And Hagel in Obama’s cabinet – oh, yeah.
    Bill Clinton might yet prove correct with his statement that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be unstoppable. I place it in the reverse order, of course.
    Meanwhile, the pundits are an increasingly useless gang of bobble-heads.

    Reply

  61. Dan Kervick says:

    POA,
    Obama made three major policy speeches last week, on both foreign policy and domestic economic policy. Clinton gave some substantive speeches too. In each case, those speeches might have helped to raise the level of campaign discussion and turn some of the media coverage back to policy issues, if the media had focused their coverage on those speeches. No luck. There was some scattered coverage. But the media are much, much more interested right now in whether Obama’s old minister back in Chicago is too loud, angry and black, and in various other horse race issues. (I mean, why cover boring matters like Russia, Iran and unregulated financial fat cats, when one can focus on some scary and entertaining negro histrionics instead?) Of course the campaigns are contributing to the horse race coverage as well, since they are both competing to win and they have both pretty much shot their policy bolts and exhausted the possibilities of achieving any further edge in the policy area.
    The degeneration in coverage is what inevitably happens when a race drags on well past the point where all of the policy positions have been laid out and clarified. Once that happens, all that is left is the horse race and the more obscure corners of personal history, and that’s all the media is going to cover.
    There were 20 Democratic debates, I believe, during this process. That’s an unprecedented number. Everything that is going to be covered in the Democratic policy debate has been covered. There are some other issues that are important but won’t be covered, either because none of the candidates wants to talk about them, or because only a small minority of voters care about them, or both. The nomination race could go on for another two years, but it wouldn’t matter – from now on all we’re going to get is more horse race and personality stuff. The coverage won’t return to policy until we get the Democratic nominee and the Republican nominee squaring off in daily policy debates.
    Health care? It’s been debated endlessly. Position papers have been put out. The mandate issue – the only really significant difference between the two – was discussed backward and forward in several debates. Editorialists and policy specialists have all weighed in. Everyone knows where the candidates stand. What is there left to be clarified about their positions?
    Iraq? We know what Obama’s positions were from 2002 forward. We know what Clinton’s positions were from 2002 forward. We know what they say they are going to do, and what they say they are not going to do. The positions are unsatisfactory to you and me, but they’re not going to change, and it’s not like we’re lacking a lot of information about what those positions are, or about how these candidates think about Iraq and the region.
    A presidential campaign is not really the best occasion for a grand national debate on policy anyway. It’s just a national debate on whom to vote for, and the rationality of policy discussions is inevitably contaminated by partisan strife and special pleading. The policy debates are actually of much higher quality during the periods of time when there is no campaign going on, as anyone who follows blog discussions of national policy knows. During a political campaign, the chief thing is just to find out where the candidates stand, what they seem to value, whose interests they represent, and what they are likely to do. Once that information has been presented, the campaign has accomplished its purpose and it’s time to make your dismal choice.
    This is America – a vast quasi-democratic empire built on wealth and force. We voters only get a few lousy choices representing a fairly narrow spectrum of options. You pick the least bad character and move on. I have written any number of posts and comments over the years where I have simply “decried” how bad things are and how lousy the choices are. I am now an expert in the self-indulgent art of decrying. The decrying doesn’t seem to accomplish much of anything, but sometimes it makes me feel better. I have never felt that any of my “demanding” was particularly effective either, even when I do it here on blogs such as Steve’s, which are allegedly read by various people in positions of actual power. In the end, I still have to pick the least bad candidate and hope for the best, just like every other lowly schmuck in America, and add my tiny voice to the movement for that least bad candidate, hoping it might help marginally in defeating the worse candidates. I pick Obama, in part because I think he presents a somewhat lower probability of getting my son killed than the other two characters.

    Reply

  62. ckrantz says:

    As a cynical European what I see is a dysfunctional political system and a democratic party split down the middle. Republicans are even more divided which would show if anyone paid attention to them.
    While the US financial system had a heart attack, the economy went into recession, NATO’s in deep trouble, china rising, war and regional chaos in the middle east, central asia, and parts of Africa with AQ stronger than ever the two leading presidential candidates are busy having a public food fight. Cheered on by the brain dead US media and political blogs and zealots who seem to think all it takes to govern is to storm the gates and throw out the bums. Yeah, I mean the kossacks and huffingtons. The bums of course being the lobbyists and corrupt politicians.
    Likewise, any candidate selling peace now is lying. It took 7 more years after 1968 to end the Vietnam war. The logistics of moving soldier and materials out of Iraq will probably take a year alone. And that doesn’t deal with the aftermath. Who will resettle the refugees. Can an potential civil war be contained? It will take decades of engagement to bring back a stable middle east. Then there’s Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America.
    Likewise with the current tax-cut and spend policies and the crumbling national infrastructure there’s obviously there’s going to be some very hard choices in the future for Americans. And by extension Europeans, Asian and the rest of the world. And it’s not helped by happy talk or militaristic jingoism. Frankly what Europeans and the rest of the world want to see is a competent realistic manager in the White House. Never again a ideologue, smooth talker or America first president. That would break the global system working since world war 2 completely. Of course that’s not going to happen. Neither candidate seems ready for the White House judging by the current campaign season silliness.
    What the rest of the world see is a broken political system. Yet a system that with Americas global impact will influence every country in the world.

    Reply

  63. citizen says:

    Poa–
    1. You have stated in earlier posts that obama is a “trojan horse” —which planet are you from? Are you implying that he is a farrakhan muslim, a bin laden muslim or a commie brain washed by the harvard elites?
    2. your 3rd paragraph in an earlier post about the msm is spot on—how can you be so delusional in your disregard of obama compared to mcsame/hillbush? please respond in reason, save the verbal hate spewing for your loved ones, but I am genuinely interested in where your fear comes from? How long have you been fooling yourself and why?

    Reply

  64. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A headline on the AIPAC website….
    “U.S. Says Iran May Have Restarted Nuclear Work”
    What Cheney actually said…..
    “We don’t know whether or not they’ve restarted”
    Is anyone else sick of these slimey bastards?
    Have you seen Obama or Hillary say anything that makes you believe that they will be any less subservient to Washington’s master, the Israelis?
    Are you people really so effin’ ignorant that you think Obama and Hillary are substantially different than McCain in regards to the Middle East?
    This inter-party squabbling, as illustrated on this thread, is horseshit, and serves to mask the fact that all three of these candidates will pursue remarkably similiar courses of action in regards to Iraq, Iran, and Israel.
    Another AIPAC headline……..
    “Senior Treasury Official Speaks to AIPAC Leaders”
    Now, what the hell is Kimmit doing pandering to the Israeli firsters while our own economy is tanking, the dollar is collapsing, and our industry is engaged in a mass exodus out of country? Do we pay this piece of shit to ignore our internal travails while pimpimg himself out to the Israelis?
    Where do McCain, Obama, and Hillary stand on the billions we ship to Israel, while Americans are facing unprecedented economic hardship, a failing infrastructure, unbearable fuel costs, rising health care costs, and escalating unemployment?
    “Change”??? A buzzword, insincere posturing, slogan d’jour.

    Reply

  65. tomj says:

    I think that this long primary benefits Democrats in general, and Obama in particular.
    First: if for some strange reason Obama is not the nominee, then some major flaw must have been uncovered before the general. If Hillary discovers some unknown weakness now, she will likely earn lots of good will from Democrats.
    Second: The Pew poll found that 71% of those surveyed had heard about Obama in the recent news, 3% McCain, and 13% Hillary. Obama needs name recognition before anything else. Every story, good or bad, is referencing Obama. It is almost as if he is running as the president, where every story used to require including what the White House thought.
    Third: McCain has to spread his fire across two targets. But he has no good reason to attack Hillary. This elevates Obama, since he gets most of the attacks.
    Fourth: Republicans must use the generic ‘Democrat’ when they support McCain and attack the undetermined challenger. It is harder to pull off a generic attack including Hillary and Obama, considering their different personalities, and slightly different demographics of their most ardent supporters. Also, when you attack the generic ‘Democrat’, you offend a larger number of voters who would vote for either Obama or Clinton, but not both (at the moment).
    Fifth: Attacking the generic Democrat on policies isn’t as helpful as it used to be, it only reminds everyone that McCain is a republican, and supports their policies.
    So, although I am an Obama supporter, and an alternate delegate in WA state, I still think that Clinton is raising Obama’s profile, and giving him the opportunity to learn how to beat an all out attack machine. If Obama can’t pull off the Democratic nomination at this point, it is probably a good thing to know before the general. Whoever wins the primary, they can claim that it was a tough fight. Nobody should get to the presidency without one.

    Reply

  66. Emrys says:

    It’s likely that the Clemons’ scenario will previal. So let me fill in a few intermediate scenarios (likely but not given). First, the last primary/caucus finishes in June and Clinton is yet behind in the popular vote and delegate count. Clinton knows she’s in deep doodoo and decides to go extreme negative, pissing off Obama supporters. Convention rolls around and the Clintons’ call in all IOUs. Clemons (or someone similar) gives an impressive brief on the behalf of Senator Clinton, swaying sufficient super delegate support to Clinton that she squeaks by to win the nomination; near rioting on the convention floor is put down with restrictive rules. Right-wing blog shere and Fox news now drag out all Clintons’ shadowy dealings and scandels. (This happens if Obama should win, but with more racist overtones.) General election: McCain wins as Obama independents switch to McCain and many Pissed-off Obama Democrats don’t vote. Clinton blames debacle on Obama for not kneeling to her earlier; Clemons agrees.

    Reply

  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Dan, I agree 100% with your post……..
    ..except………
    It takes two to tango. I don’t see Obama engaging the pressing issues of the day either. What I see is TWO candidates that are posturing and bickering to the detriment of their party, their constituents, and the nation’s welfare.
    It seems you are using this party division to side with a candidate who is contributing to the division, in lieu of actually decrying the division itself. Neither of these candidates are effectively offering opposition to the status quo, and neither, as far as I can tell, will give us anything more than just more of the same.
    Its time we started demanding attention to pressing problems from EACH candidate, instead of using one or the other’s inattention as an excuse for attack. BOTH candidates are guilty here, and ignoring that fact does absolutely NOTHING to get this circus back on the right track.

    Reply

  68. leo says:

    “No? You jackasses think this horseshit of pitting Dem against Dem is going to bail this country out of its current collision course with disaster?”
    Give me a break, “wise up,” PO’dA. It’s the Clinton campaign that has been unloading it’s cheap and dirty “kitchen sink” strategy for several weeks now, and Obama supporters are responding to the dirty dishes that are flying.
    The Clinton “thugs” (where did I hear this very apt description of Wolfson and Carville) complain that Obama’s people are getting nasty.
    Then yet another Clinton thug will say that if you want to be President you have to survive these attacks… oh, and Hillary has been tested.
    And around comes the next Clinton thug evil men are trying to push Hillary out of the race.
    Then some Clinton thugs, with bucks, try to push around Howard Dean and Nancy Pellosi.
    Then Hillary bleats about “the people’s” votes not being counted in FL and MI (then I see a tape of her saying the exact opposite thing a few months ago).
    Poor PO’dA, poor Clinton thugees, it’s tough being mis-lead by a hypocritical and duplicitous campaign/leader.

    Reply

  69. Dan Kervick says:

    I typed:
    “I’m fed up posturing, Steve.”
    That should have been:
    “I’m fed up your posturing, Steve.”
    I don’t like to posture either, but that’s not what I had in mind here.

    Reply

  70. DonS says:

    As often, “Moon of Alabama” has an interesting take. He gives strong credence to the notion that Hillary ajnd Bill would rather see McCain elected than Obama, for strategic reasons in 2012. And he has some definite opinions about the fat cats-to-Pelosi letter.
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2008/03/why-do-these-do.html

    Reply

  71. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve,
    This is quite an embarrassing post. There isn’t even a pretense of serious argument or critical thinking on display. You just seem to be flinging desperate, half-baked notions off the top of your head.
    First it is quite hilarious to speak as the Post does about a “rush” to get Clinton out of the race. These competing Democratic campaigns were officially launched in the winter of 2007. They started earlier then any campaigns in modern memory, and they have now dragged on tediously, long past the point of positive contribution to substantive debate on domestic and foreign policy, and into the frivolous stage of mere pop cultural entertainment, with endless, voluminous, windy noisemaking about matters of little importance. The campaign finally jumped the shark with the Jeremiah Wright nonsense, and someone now needs to send the cancellation notice. If the Clintons weren’t spoiled, unscrupulous and selfish VIPs, who instill mortal terror in Democratic leaders and apparently have many of them by the balls, they would have been driven out of this race weeks ago.
    Anyone who is paying attention to this race acquired all the knowledge they need, months ago, to make an informed choice. All that’s left now is a cheesy, televised sporting event which is a travesty of public choice. Maybe for “radical centrists”, who ultimately don’t care whether the Republican candidate or Democratic candidate wins this race, this is all very entertaining and exciting, like a solar eclipse – or better yet a hydrogen bomb test on a Pacific atoll. Maybe in Jakarta and Mumbai people are juiced by the sheer spectacle and theatrical excess of the US presidential race, and are consuming it along with their daily doses of Britney Spears, Heath Ledger and Tom Cruise. Global public diplomacy indeed!
    But there is no doubt that for Democrats in the US this campaign has now turned destructive and toxic. Polls show increasing division and demoralization among Democrats, and independent votes and interest that were once captured by the Democrats gradually flowing toward McCain. The longer this goes own, the more bored, disenchanted and nauseated the public will become with both Democratic candidates, and the better McCain’s chances become. Maybe that’s your aim, Steve?
    It is clear given the delegate arithmetic that the only path to Clinton victory would require the total destruction of Barack Obama. It also seems fairly clear to me that to accomplish that destruction, she would have to descend to a level of such vileness and ugliness that in the end she would also destroy her own chances, and turn the race into such a revolting spectacle that only the most frenzied and unbalanced Clinton fans would be enthused about turning out to vote for her. The only thing the prolongation of this race is accomplishing is to boost the chances of a Republican victory.
    Here, I can’t tell whether you are being cryptic, Steve, or just incoherent:
    “Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can win the Democratic primary through pledged delegates. Now, superdelegates and the candidate’s nuanced strengths and weaknesses in the eyes of party elders could show those around the world another dimension of America’s electoral system that few — even in America — get to see.”
    Are you seriously suggesting that this race should go to the convention, where it should then be decided by a small group of superdelegates on the basis of their subjective assessments of the candidates’ “nuanced strengths”, thus nullifying a year’s worth of hard work, organizing and voting by millions of Americans? And are you suggesting that this undemocratic return to rule by bosses would all be worth it because it would present the outside world with a fascinating lesson in the peculiarities and contingencies of the US electoral system?
    I’m fed up posturing, Steve. I have a son who is seventeen, and will be eighteen in June. He has to live in this shitty, conflict-riden world that you and your banquet-hopping, parasitical, thinkerati friends chatter on about when you get together and pretend you really understand anything important, or care about anything but your own careers. I’m delighted you find this so entertaining and amusing. But this is deadly serious business to me – life and death. Hillary Clinton is a cravenly ambitious, lobbyist-fellating, unprincipled tool of Washington power-brokers – the people who have an enduring interest in turning my boy into cannon-fodder. I firmly expect that if she is elected we will be in Iran and Syria, and maybe beyond, before her first year is up. And given the fact that our military is already overextended and broken, that probably means a draft. No offense, but I’ll see you and the rest of Washington’s amoral smart set on the gallows before I let them get their mitts on my son.
    It’s a struggle to understand what makes you tick Steve. Maybe you and that gaggle of extremely comfortable, somnolently relaxed, uniformly white Masters of the Universe in attendance at the recent Brussels snooze you posted about are just so freaked out about the prospects of the dangerously African Obama – he who thinks it is just as important to visit Kenya than to eat boiled filet of beef and kiss flabby old imperial butts in Brussels, Paris and London – that you would prefer that a safe Atlanticist kowtower and war-loving harpie like Hillary Clinton, or even a good old Republican sod like holy warrior John McCain. But for my son’s sake, I can’t afford to indulge your snobbish prejudices and courtly insouciance.

    Reply

  72. JohnH says:

    As I posted months ago, much of the world, particularly the Arab world, regards America as a failed model of democracy. The only thing that will restore their faith in America is a functioning government with a functioning Congress and President who embody our principles.
    A primary campaign where candidates are paid and spend hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly supplied by Fat Cats, is not a particularly exhilarating model of democracy. It does make it painfully clear that we have the best government money can buy.

    Reply

  73. DonS says:

    A demonstration of the “strength” of the American political nominating process is not what is important when the consequence, as has been stated by others, could easily be McCain. And, for the record, since when have brokered conventions been a demonstration of openness and real people power? Hypothetically, if Hillary could cajol enough superdelegates to win because she and Bill fight the dirtiest, that’s supposed to be terrific?
    I am not in the camp of those who say that further deterioration of the system — burn the place down with another fours years of repugs — will make the sheople really crave progressive change. I’m pragmatic and a realist enough to know that the suffering of the populace will only result from that.
    So, for God’s sake let’s stop pretending that any sanity resides in letting the Dems bash each other silly because, you know, the eventual survivor will be strengthened by the process. We already know the media spin: McCain reaps the benefit daily, and they’ll spin that right through the election.

    Reply

  74. otiwa ogede says:

    Steve..i am so sorry, but have you lost the plot?
    “The world is watching, learning. And American popularity in the eyes of global citizens watching us is surging because of the excitement and uncertainty of this fascinating election.”
    This is what “the world” finds so irritating about Americans, always thinking you have something to teach us, you do bad and the world convulses, you do good and we rejoice. Spare me.
    The flying dirt, the anti-muslim hysteria, the coded racism, the obscene amounts of money raised and spent….this the world will also remember. How NOT to be a great democracy.

    Reply

  75. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And, Steve, I’m still having trouble posting and wish you would have your site designer look into this”
    It takes me at least two, sometimes three, attempts before my posts are accepted. It will not store my personal info, which means, each post, I type out my monicker, and my email address, at least twice. ArthurDecco, you, Kathleen, and myself are experiencing these posting difficulties.
    One hopes that someone isn’t getting paid, or has been paid, for installing these difficulties. Out here, in the real world, we don’t get the luxury of being compensated for producing disappointment and inconvenience.
    Perhaps Steve’s site designer could send a resume to the Bush Administration. FEMA is always in the market for incompetence.

    Reply

  76. diddler hussein says:

    Thank you, PissedOffAmerican!
    Will you come to Massachusetts and marry me?

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Sadr has issued a directive for his fighters to cease hostilities, and for Maliki to release uncharged prisoners, as well as put an end to the “raids” into Basra.
    Its interesting that the domestic media here is not reporting Iran’s public statements calling for an end to this fighting, stating, basically, that such hostilities are only prolonging the presence of the “illegal occupiers”.
    Of course, this lying treasonous piece of crap in the Oval office presents us with a different picture, that it is Iran that is fomenting the violence. And, of course, our domestic media is more than willing to nurture this deception.
    And, once again, our two democratic presidential hopefuls are completely absent from any substantial engagement in the policies, events, and deceptions surrounding this unfolding disaster in the Middle East, choosing instead to hamstring themselves into an embarrassing display of inter-party spankings and circle jerks while the “insiders” and “pundits” cheer on the sidelines.
    “Fascinating”, my ass. How many will die today as this despicable electoral circus plays on?

    Reply

  78. OldGuy says:

    The world is watching, but in amazement that we would go through this much trouble picking a national leader. In Parlamentary countries, they announce elections and have it all done with in a couple of months. In other countries, the ruling party disqualifies, imprisons, or kills the opposition (can you spell RUSSIA?). Yes our process is messy. It only takes a long time because everyone rushes to be first (like Florida and Michigan), giving long lag times between first primary and actual election. But then no other democracy in the world has 50 nations bound together into a single super-nation. And that’s why they all watch us so closely, to see if we remain true to our democratic ideals. Let them fight. The Democrat party will be stronger for it, and the election will also be more robust.

    Reply

  79. Linda says:

    It makes sense for the campaign to continue through the remaining primaries, another two months. After that it makes no sense to leave the decision until the conventions unless one is a Republican or journalist, pundit or blogger. It will create a summer of acrimony, backroom politics, and discontent within the Democratic party. It will not show our electorate or the world a very democratic process. The party needs to come together, give the nominee time to select a VP, raise funds, and for the party to heal its divisions this summer.
    Right now we have two quarterbacks, both tired and injured somewhat, limping to finish a long season in two months. No team or coach would force them to spend another three months working at that pace so that one can be declared the team starting quarterback and then immediately need to start the regular season. It’s a formula for losing and giving the election to McCain.
    And, Steve, I’m still having trouble posting and wish you would have your site designer look into this.

    Reply

  80. Wally says:

    Letting the Hillary-Obama fight go to the convention will be about as entertaining as folks in the green zone putting on their flak jackets and helmets and then going outside and yelling “incoming!incoming!”
    Get real Steve.

    Reply

  81. George says:

    Ditto Weldon: “God this is depressing”.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its pathetic that campaign strategies and inter-party rivalry have pushed the epic issues we face to the backseat.
    Most of the commentary surrounding this electoral circus is inconsequential horseshit, as this particular thread demonstrates so clearly.
    Have you all missed Mukasey telling us all that Bush is above the law? Are you not paying attention to this piece of shit Johnson, (of the EPA), telling Congress, (and science), to go screw themselves? Perhaps you haven’t noticed this pathetic monkey Bush blaming the implosion of the “surge” on Iran, while Iran issues statements discouraging Sadr from pursuing violent action?
    No? You jackasses think this horseshit of pitting Dem against Dem is going to bail this country out of its current collision course with disaster?
    You all better drop this divisive inter-party bickering, and start demanding that these candidates start representing our interests, or you are going to get stuck with this asshole McCain, and the only “Democrat” calling the shots in Washington will be this pathetic turncoat Lieberman.
    Wise up.

    Reply

  83. leo says:

    I think we should be forced to watch Hillary reel off her hours and hours of policy opinions (“speculative fiction” let’s say) – give her CSPAN for an entire week, even until the election if that’s her latest demand.
    Post those proposals right here on the Washington Note, page after meaningless page, then allow a rebuttal by each of the hundreds of policy wonks in DC who have a different opinion.
    She still wouldn’t win the nomination, and the whole country would be begging the Democrats to put and end to all of Hillary’s tiring demands.

    Reply

  84. Chicagoan says:

    I find it depressing that smart cats like Steve are falling for the latest Clinton blizzard of nonsense. First the superdelegates were supposed to exercise independent judgment; now that they’re doing so they’re thwarting the will of the voters. Now, we’re supposed to go all the way to the convention so that the credentials committee, which will be controlled by Obama because of his lead in states won, will seat the Florida and Michigan delegations according to the results of their illegitimate contests… which still wouldn’t allow Clinton to catch up.
    Treating Clinton’s arguments as anything other than laughable is the worst sort of fake even-handedness. (“On the one hand, we found no WMD… on the other hand, Norman Podhoretz believes they’re in Syria. Who can tell the difference?”)

    Reply

  85. jc says:

    …and I forgot to mention that I agree with Weldon. The whole thing is depressing. What happened to all of the excitement we Democrats had?
    I’m so sick of the whole thing that I leave my TV off, and avoid many of the political blogs. Just can’t take much more.

    Reply

  86. jc says:

    I see some serious problems with letting it go to the convention.
    To Clinton supporters, it is an appealing idea… she is harmed less by the hostile back & forth than Obama is, and it allows her to continue her fight even though her chances aren’t good.
    The longer this goes on:
    –The more campaign ads the Clintons write for John McCain… and I’m telling you, this alone has turned me off on the Clintons forever.
    –The more Limbaugh listeners participate in our primary in an effort to eliminate Obama. I actually read that Hillary would not have won the popular vote in Texas without Limbaugh voters. Did I hear that Bill was a Limbaugh guest?!
    –More time for Hillary to convince Michigan and Florida voters that Obama wants to disenfranchise them. Hillary’s efforts in this regard are one reason that a re-vote would never be fair, and it will hurt Obama in the general if he is nominated.
    –The contributors to these campaigns don’t have unlimited funds to give. We should be raising money for the general election at this point… McCain may never have a financial advantage, but he sure is getting a head start.

    Reply

  87. weldon berger says:

    God, this is depressing.

    Reply

  88. Matt says:

    It’s quite easy to imagine, I guess, that the whole world is watching the mechanics of this election very closely, but I somehow doubt that assertion. Where’s the proof? Where’s the material evidence? There is nothing but hearsay in your post. Do you maybe mean that the elites in foreign countries are watching us more closely? (But then, wouldn’t they be following any American election closely?) Also, the idea that other countries are “learning” from our democratic practices is starting to get a little dated, Steve. Which countries, for example, are most in need of this “spiritually democratic” message that is supposedly being sent to all four corners of the globe by an extended primary process? And are real people in those countries actually getting this highly abstracted message and then considering it in a positive light? Perhaps the two parties that benefit most from “doing the entire thing” are actually just the American media industry and the Republicans.

    Reply

  89. Chicagoan says:

    “Now, superdelegates and the candidate’s nuanced strengths
    and weaknesses in the eyes of party elders could show those
    around the world another dimension of America’s electoral
    system that few — even in America — get to see.”
    One sentence later:
    “Dem leaders like Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean should
    stop trying to end the process.”
    So if the party elders have decided that they want nothing to do
    with Clinton because of her nuanced weaknesses—including an
    insurmountable deficit in the popular vote and pledged
    delegates, and poll numbers that have gone into the toilet—it’s
    not alright for them to say so now or in June because….?
    You can’t have it both ways. If the election is in the hands of
    superdelegates and party elders, you have to accept it when they
    decide to end things when they think is best. Which is what they
    certainly seem to be doing, now that one candidate has won and
    one has lost.
    No one’s trying to end the process. The process is over. If
    Clinton wants to campaign from now until August, the only
    consequence will be that she’ll be regarded and treated as a
    political leper within her own party. But no one’s going to stop
    her making an ass of herself.

    Reply

  90. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Shreffler……….
    What Lind’s piece DOESN’T address is the domestic ramifications of such a scenario. Rest assured, the full wieght of the Patriot Act would be felt by us “citizens” here on the home front, and all this manuevering for the Oval Office would become moot, as the “national emergency” would surely supercede our need for a general election.
    Now, repeat after me, kiddies……
    “It can’t happen here”.
    Right.
    After all, eight years ago we all knew we would be torturing people, ignoring Congressional subpoenas, occupying a foreign country, flying nukes willy nilly over the homeland, paying four bucks a gallon for gas, and using pliers to yank nipple rings out of the boobs of domestic airline passengers.
    Welcome to Bushworld.

    Reply

  91. Geek, Esq. says:

    And then John McCain gets elected President.
    I know you’re pulling for Senator Clinton, but please don’t pee on our leg and tell us it’s raining.
    A convention fight would be disastrous–any rational person knows this.

    Reply

  92. John Shreffler says:

    Oops, the link didn’t work.
    Hello President McCain, good-bye U.S world position. See Bill Lind’s
    Cassandra piece, http://www.d-n-i.net/dni/2008/03/25/on-war-
    255-operation-cassandra/. While the Dems fiddle, our kinder,
    gentler take on Rome gets ready to burn.

    Reply

  93. John Shreffler says:

    Hello President McCain, good-bye U.S world position. See Bill Lind’s
    Cassandra piece, Cassandra. While the Dems fiddle, our kinder,
    gentler take on Rome gets ready to burn.

    Reply

  94. BillB says:

    I disagree that the Dem contest should go all the way to the convention, unless Hillary Clinton makes dramatic gains in the delegate count and the popular vote by the last primary in June.
    But that seems pretty unlikely; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Obama expand his current lead slightly, if PA comes out close enough.
    Having said that, I’m pretty tired of Dems whining about this or that video clip, campaign ad, or soundbite providing fodder for the Republicans. Quit being afraid, Dems.
    Steve, I’m much more curious to hear your thoughts on Chuck Hagel’s recent comments about the remaining candidates, which have been widely interpreted as favorable to Obama.

    Reply

  95. citizen says:

    1. then we should discuss the race baiting strategy of the “southern strategy ” being employed HRC…..if she didnt believe in it’s power she would have left the race after being eliminated nationally after wisconsin…take some of your rental profits and buy a clue…
    2. your next post should be”the earth is flat” for this is mathematically more probable than a clinton nomination.
    3. save your”this is my blog” whine…you have chosen the internet…take the good and the bad…
    4. stop discounting and dismissing their hate filled strategy…you have chosen to tacitly wrap yourself in their hate filled sheet, now stand in the open and declare yourself a proponent of hate politics…opps you have done that with your last 10 posts…when will david duke be hot tubing with you?

    Reply

  96. JohnH says:

    I frankly doubt that most of the world gives a rip about what is happening to Democrats. When I was in Mexico recently there was no newspaper coverage of events in the United States. Nada. Even Hollywood TV shows were relegated to channels 65-70.
    Yes, Europeans are following the Obama-Clinton race and may even find it entertaining, much as Americans following the battle between the Sadrists and the Badr Corps like to hear about the unexplained violence. But nobody really understands what is going on, because the underlying disagreements are intentionally covered badly. Ironically, they are not that different. Obama’s strength comes from the grass roots, while Hillary’s comes from the Big Money DLC. In Iraq, Al Sadr’s strength comes from the dispossessed masses, while Al-Maliki represents Iraqi Shia elites desperately trying to preserve their privilege, backed by a US government that is notably sympathetic to the interests of Big Money. And in all cases everybody wants to get control over those mysteriously unnameable, but “vital strategic interests.”

    Reply

  97. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The world is watching, learning. And American popularity in the eyes of global citizens watching us is surging because of the excitement and uncertainty of this fascinating election”
    Your enthusiasm is enviable, if only for its optimistic foundation in fantasyland.
    Fascinating??? Well, if you consider the dismal and ill boding quality of our selection of candidates “fascinating”, I would tend to agree.
    And yes, I think the world is watching and waiting. And what they see to this point is an Executive Administration run amok, unbound by any checks and balances, while three woefully inadequate candidates ignore the pressing issues of the day, choosing instead to peck at each other’s backsides in an embarrasing display of insincere political posturing.
    Steve, if you think this circus is elevating us in the eyes of the world community, I suggest you head back to the Sierras for some soul searching and grounding, because your grasp on reality seems to be slipping away at an alarming rate.

    Reply

  98. DonS says:

    Its nice to know the world is getting its jollies, and applauding the fact that at least the U.S. “system” does not encompass the worst of the rest. Wow, what a legacy for what used to be (and still is to shallow politicians and punditry) the “shining city on the hill”.
    Meanwhile, back in the U.S., in the real world, this country is bleeding its way into demise with the fat cats laughing all the way to the bank, albeit in Switzerland, and pitying all us little folk.
    I’d have more to follow about why happy talk about our wonderful system working itself out is only a sideshow to reality, but its pretty OT right here.

    Reply

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