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The left continues to disintegrate

Apparently, this drone issue has become pretty serious among the remaining A-list bloggers of the left.  You can get the full PUMA treatment for even suggesting that the use of drones should be discussed.  I suspect that a no-drone stance will become the new black on the left, with good reason.  At least it’s not dogmatic, although if they’re not careful, it could become a dogmatic issue.  The problem is not that drones drop bombs on innocent people.  It’s that people with unlimited, unaccountable power can drop bombs on people they do not like and, because it is not personally expensive to them, the power will be abused.  You can count on it.  Drones with lethal capacity should be banned. You can’t control power like that.  You need to destroy it before it falls into the hands of the people who, meaning to do good, can ultimately not stop themselves from exercising it for their own purposes.  In a sense, this is the same problem we’ve been dealing with since Magna Carta.  One person has too much power and can use it indiscriminately to the point that no one is safe.

But while the no-droners are getting more than a little sympathy because they have incurred the unfair wrath of the party fanatics, they themselves still think it is unserious that the current president used vote suppression tactics to win the nomination in 2008.  For some reason, that doesn’t seem to bother them, although when Republicans try to invalidate whole populations of voters in PA, lefties have a royal fit.  Throwing a fit *is* the correct response, in case there were any doubts. But it’s no different than what the party did to its voters in 2008.  Inconvenient votes were suppressed, transferred or halved so that one person would have an advantage over another.  To me, it’s just as serious an issue as the drone problem.  Maybe more so.  If you can’t vote out the guy who uses drones, you’re pretty much screwed.

Oh, sure, it all happened four years ago and what does that have to do with today?  Isn’t it obvious?  The party locked itself in with Obama.   I still don’t think the Democrats who are feeling betrayed right now understand what they’re dealing with.  Obama used WALL STREET to get the nomination.   You know, those guys who brought the entire planet to the edge of economic oblivion??  They don’t know limits.  They’re like Enron on crack, PCP and bath salts with a chaser of testosterone. Wall Street culture has permeated the party.  That’s why the partisans are so aggressive.  It’s the way they operate.  They’re smart, they’re driven and they don’t think very far ahead.  They want to win, that much is clear.  But to them, governing is not so important.  What is important is staying in charge, looking out for their own interests and politically obliterating anyone that gets in their way.

So the party faithful decided not to primary Obama this year because that sounded crazy.  Now, some Democrats regret that we didn’t primary him.  I think that just having a concerted effort on the left to discuss it seriously would have been enough to get the DNC’s attention. But at the time it was suggested to push for the only viable alternative to Obama that would have had the Obama Democrats peeing their pants, those of us who could see this day coming were called crazy.

I dunno, maybe you have to be a little bit crazy to see outside the box.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  Maybe the left should stop trying to control everything for fear of losing and do something a little crazy every now and then.

Well, whatever, the left will have plenty of time to think about going a bit mad in 2014.  Let’s make the circular firing squad brief this time, shall we?

BTW, I heard that there’s a new NBC poll that put Obama ahead by a lousy 3 points.

Against Mitt Romney.

Obama should be coasting by now.

This ain’t over yet people and Obama’s no longer historic.  He’s no longer a political cypher either. Now we know the limits of his audacity.

The Republicans are sitting on a wad of cash and they will use it in the last couple of weeks to blame Obama for everything that has happened in the last four years.  He’ll get blamed for everything he did and all of the things he didn’t do. These are not ordinary times.  Real people are hurting and they’re angry.  They voted for a Democrat and they didn’t get one.  Political junkies knew that the Republicans would be obstructive pains in the asses.  That was their plan to return to power.  But that’s no excuse for the poor performance of the past four years.  If Obama had acted like a Democrat and used the power that the voters gave him the first two years and failed, he would have a much stronger case against the Republicans this year.  But you have to at least try to do what voters expect you to do before they cut you any slack and all indications are that he did worse than nothing.  He catered to the very people who got us into this mess.

Elections hinge on motivated voters.  Do you feel motivated?

One piece of advice to the new defectors: don’t let the partisans guilt trip you.  They’re going to say that it will be all your fault if Romney wins.  That’s bullshit.  It’s the party’s responsibility to nominate a candidate that represents your values and the platform of your party. You own your vote.  If the party is playing a game of political chicken with you in order to make you feel like you’re trapped into voting for their guy, remember that their job was to court you, not to take you for granted.  You have issues that are important to you and you shouldn’t always have to sit down and shut up while the candidate goes chasing after voters with whom you have little in common.  You don’t owe him anything.  If the polls get too close, he might start sweet talking you.  And if that happens, make him work for your vote.

Yeah, it will suck if Romney and more Republicans win.  I’m planning to vote D down ticket.  But it will suck worse for the guys who highjacked the party because they will be out of power and power is more addicting than anything else.  They’re going to hate that.

Good.

Welcome new Democrats In Exile.  We’re out of our customary initiation packages.  Grab some popcorn and make yourselves comfortable.

Irony is not dead

Digby seems surprised by the White House’s hubristic gloating and chastisement of union money spent in Arkansas:

Honestly, this is beneath the White House and they need to put a muzzle on it. Primaries are a legitimate part of the democratic process and no president (or his men) should ever, ever dismiss them publicly or imply in any way that members of the rank and file shouldn’t have a voice in these decisions. It’s truly embarrassing and offensive to see the Republicans responding with more class to their crazed teaparties than the White House does to its labor union and netroots allies.

It *almost* feels like the Obama administration has discovered from past experience that primaries don’t count, or that their results can be invalidated, so that the party can operate with impunity and ignore the voters. But that could only happen if the activist base let the party get away with it and failed to hold them accountable. But that would be stoopid because then the activist base would have thoroughly emasculated itself, becoming completely ineffective as a political force. Where would the White House get such a crazy idea?

Drive slow children.

Late Afternoon Developments- Holding Pattern

My curiosity has been piqued by the following interesting developments:

  • Admiral “Fox” Fallon is retiring. Yep, the guy who referred to General Petraeus as “an @$$-kissing, little chicken$hit” is calling it quits. Fallon was the last surviving top military honcho to stand between Dick Cheney and his Iran bombing Viagra. As Jane at FDL points out, retiring means he is free to spill the beans.
  • Eliot Spitzer is not resigning today. He may not resign tomorrow. It is unknown when he will resign. Except that the Republicans in the NY State legislature printed the Articles of Impeachment sometime back in January and it would be a shame to waste them. So, it appears that he may be trying to work out a deal to avoid indictment on some of the charges before he beats a hasty retreat. Oh, and apparently, his NY cheesecake was not cool with Silda.
  • John Boehner is threatening to close up the House if the president and the telecomms don’t get their way with FISA. There is a deal in the works to not give them blanket immunity but instead bring each infraction before a federal judge to determine whether there is a state secret involved. BUT we forget that Republicans have been in charge of nominating federal judges for the past 28 out of 40 years so what are the chances?
  • Pelosi scuttles any chance of a joint Clinton-Obama, Obam-Clinton ticket. Whew! That’s a relief. I guess she knows firsthand what it’s like to be the first female leader in her organization who has a male second in command forced on her who ignores her every word. Well, we’ll see, Nancy. It’s likely you won’t have any say in *this* matter either.

Guys, I don’t have to remind you that 3 out of the 4 items up above are a direct result of Republican skullduggery. They are nasty pieces of work who will scheme right up to the last minute when they are escorted off the premises and just before they leave, someone will give the signal to type “rm *” at the sys admin console while logged in as root at /. (I’ll bet the unix geeks just got a shivver from that)

In the meantime, item 4 shows how much we have let our guard down with respect to the Bushies while Obama has accused Clinton of being the Grand Master of the Chapaqua Branch of the KKK and the Obamaphiles are flipping out over the fact that Hillary says McCain has more national security creds than Barry. And what about the FL and MI delegates, guys? Could you please wrap it up so we can get onto keeping the barbarians from making any further incursions until we can send reinforcements?

Priorities, people!

The Latest on MI and FL: Obama digs deeper

green-eggs-and-ham.gifReaders may remember that on Wednesday, well before Mark Schmitt got the credit (*sigh*, so typical. The guy always gets the credit), The Confluence presented the plan to seat the MI and FL delegates in Look, It’s Very Simple. (There was a followup with A Modest Proposal) The plan was, have both candidates agree to waive the rules and seat the Florida delegates or have the holdout pay for a mail-in primary. For Michigan, the current results would be thrown out, because not all candidate names were on the ballot, and a mail-in primary would be conducted. This was a win-win for both candidates. Hillary gets her delegates, the voters of CA, NY, NJ, OH, TX etc, get their critical mass, Floridians get their votes counted and since Barry will not win Florida anyway, he gets their good will in the unlikely event that he is the nominee. In Michigan, Hillary gets the goodwill of Edwards and Obama supporters by requesting a re-do and Barry has an opportunity to win this state legitimately through a primary, not a caucus.

But it seems that Barry is a little hesitant about this. No doubt, the angel on his left shoulder, Donna Brazile, is urging him to let the RULZ dictate and Howard Dean, who has forgotten his role as the head of the Democratic National Committee, is dithering as well in order to continue his experimentation with the 50 State Strategy. (Um, Howard, that would mean that Obama would have to win at least *some* of those big, Democratic states, like MINE.)

Well, it isn’t looking good for Barry. Passing up his chance to be magnanimous and to unite the voters in November, Barry has decided to go with the self-interest of having the perception of an artificially inflated vote count. James Carville spoke on Clinton’s behalf yesterday and went one further. If Obama insists on a re-do in Florida, thereby becoming the only candidate in primary history to lose the same state twice, Hillary has backers who would offer to foot the bill up to $15M. It’s a little like Sam-I-Am, chasing the hapless seussian around with a plate of Green Eggs and Ham. “Would you eat them on a train, would you eat them on a plane? Would you eat them here or there? Would you eat them anywhere?” So far, Obama is resisting with “Sam, let me be!”

He doesn’t want to be VP. He doesn’t want want to waive the RULZ. He’d rather piss off the voters in Florida. And I’ve heard that there is a new twist to this. Apparently, Gov. Crist in Florida can decertify the Democratic party in Florida if its delegates aren’t seated and the name of our nominee can be left off the ballot in November. (Thanks Boston Boomer for the reference) Obama’s in a tight spot alright. Too bad he isn’t listening to the better angels of his nature and taking the sure thing, even if it results in what could be a temporary loss of frontrunner status. Under these circumstances, it would be stupid for Carville and buddies to not milk the story of Obama, The Great Disenfranchiser, for all it’s worth.

With political acumen like this, he’d be a lousy president.

It’s not about popularity vs numbers. It’s about “hard” vs “easy”.

I’ve heard enough about the delegate numbers and the popular vote. People who go on about these things as if they are meaningful are deliberately ignoring reality and what voters are starting to see. Hillary wins the do-or-die states. They’re difficult and the odds are against her but she still manages to win them. Obama wins the low-hanging fruit. Now, people may legitimately argue that those states count too. But in many of the states he’s won, it has been by overwhelming the traditional regular Democratic voters in a caucus situation. And we have gone over the reasons why caucuses tend not to be representative of Democratic will. They exclude the people most likely to vote for Hillary: the shiftworker, the caretakers, the rushed and hurried mothers who can’t spend several hours at a caucus. Think about that for a sec. Obama is trying to ride to glory on the basis of exclusive caucuses. The young and the DINKs turn out in record numbers. The rest of us can kiss off.

But my point is that primaries in the big D and swing states are not easy to win. Even with all of the loads of cash that Obama has poured into them, he hasn’t been able to swing it. But Hillary has won these difficult states and in several cases, by double digits. If the delegate mathematicians think that has escaped the voters’ attention, they are dreaming. When Hillary won OH and the TX primary, she moved way ahead of Obama in the mental math of most voters. She *is* the presumptive nominee now. The only way Obama can win this is by suppressing voters, either by caucuses or by making sure Florida doesn’t get a seat at the table where it will count for anything. The fact that neither one of them have enough votes to win outright does not change this perception.

She won the tough ones. She’s going to win the other biggies and do well in the remaining *primaries* because people want an end to all of this and they’ll turn out for her to finish it. She’s proven herself and overcome adversity with hard work and grace, She’s the one.

One more thing: It looks like I’m not the only one who thinks Hillary is the one.  Here is a piece from the Timesonline (Britain) that makes essentially the same point.  I’m not saying that Barry can’t make a comeback but the switch in the minds of the remaining voters is probably already thrown for Hillary.

For those of you who are interested, here is the map of the primaries so far from the NYTimes.

electoralcollege2004-large.png

Howard Dean gives CA, NJ, NY, MA, OH, TX, voters the finger

Yup, that’s what it feels like to this New Jersey voter for Clinton. By stubbornly and *selectively* enforcing “the RULZ!” for Florida and MI and no other jump-ahead early voting state, he is removing the critical mass that the rest of the Clinton voters need to put her ahead and help resolve this whole thing. He is suppressing not only Floridians but New Jerseyans and Californians and New Yorkers by artificially inflating Obama’s vote totals.

If you’re in one of these states and you don’t particularly like Howard and Donna putting their thumbs on the scale for Obama, maybe it’s time you made sure they remember you’re out here and you’re still watching. Because if Obama wins the nomination because Howard and Donna managed to negate more than half of the Democratic electorate in a manner that is outrageously reminiscent of the Presidential election of 2000, there will be hell to pay. Denver will be full of very unhappy Bennies and Shoobies being their obnoxious selves and crashing the party with loud abrasive New Jersey and New York accents.

Let your state party know how you feel about Howard and Donna’s voter suppression. As Anglachel says:

The Florida and Michigan delegates are not being seated because they would allow Hillary to win. Period. Unlike the first two issues, which are structural, this one is political. In a pathetic attempt to stack the primary season for John Edwards, the DNC shoved these two, must-win states out in the cold, probably figuring they would fall in line and support the eventual nominee and all damage could be fixed before the convention…. Something I have not seen discussed much in the blogosphere, in great part because voters who support Hillary are not seen as having cast legitimate votes, is that Florida knows it is the king-maker in this convention, and it damn well is not going to revote. In this game of chicken, Howard Dean loses. “The rules” aren’t going to count for squat when Florida demands to be seated. If Obama’s forces refuse to seat Florida for the sole purpose of denying Hillary delegates, he will lose Florida in the general, and probably Michigan, too, and there goes the election. To try to wrangle a win out of a convention that does not seat Florida and Michigan is to lose massive amounts of legitimacy. Do you think my mother-in-law and all her senior female friends who turned out en masse to vote for Hillary in Florida are going to vote for Obama after he denies FL a voice at the convention?

Yes, that’s exactly what it feels like. The “white male graduate student” bloggers and Howard and Donna have decided that votes for Clinton are somehow illegitimate. They decided ahead of time thatEdwards or Barry would be the nominee so we never did count. Was there pressure applied to delegitimize Florida and Michigan last summer? Were they not cut a break? What kind of choices were given that made “The RULZ” what they are?

It reminds me of what happened to me when I was trollstormed off DailyKos. Markos said he would reinstate after the primaries. Like somehow in a rigged game of musical chairs, my chair was removed and I am no longer allowed to play the game. Such is the case with Clinton. Her candidacy is completely irrelevant to them. She merely gets in the way and makes the first round of the game last longer that it should. So, they rigorously enforce the RULZ! so she can’t play anymore. And Markos and the others just assume that the rest of us who lost out in the first round because of their game rigging are going to be cool with the outcome. We’ll join in later after *they’ve* decided. Well, it’s not just MI and FL. There are all of the millions of the rest of us who are not giving up our chair simply because The Precious was able to score in Idaho and Utah.

Well, if this is not a scenario to your liking, why let Jennifer Granholm and the head of the Florida Democratic party go it alone? Call your local powerbrokers and let them know how you feel. Tell them that you want to fire Howard Dean and Donna Brazile. There are more of us Big State voters than there are Big Box Store bloggers and nutty Obamaphiles. In New Jersey and New York, governors Corzine and Spitzer might be a good place to start. In OH, Ted Strickland. In CA, try Diane Feinstein. In MA, Barney Frank. Find your state party chairmen and pound them with email and phone calls and tell them you will not be ignored. Because if Florida and Michigan don’t count, none of US do either.

Edwards-Obama (non)Endorsement watch

Well, it’s after 1:00 EST and still no endorsement. It’s gotta be soon, at least hit the evening news in order to whisper that certain sweet nothing into the ears of the undecided former Edwardians and swing a few working stiffs Obama’s way. Hmmm, We’ll see.

In the meatime, I thought I’d follow up on the idea that states that have a threshhold value of African-American voters have been favorable to Obama but those where the AA population has been diluted go to Hillary or are very close:

State Primaries (to Date) %African-American Winner
Delaware 21.51 Obama
Maryland 30.12 Obama
Virginia 20.65 Obama
South Carolina 29.68 Obama
New Jersey 15.19 Clinton
New York 15.80 Clinton
California 6.1 Clinton
Massachusetts 7.58 Clinton

(Connecticut 10.8 Obama 51%, Clinton 47%; Missouri 11.07%, Obama 49.2%, Clinton 48.0% In both of these states, Edwards captured 2% of the vote.)

This list is not exhaustive, I’m just highlighting the trend. Connecticut is a weird, quirky state. I canvassed there for Lamont and would often find public housing projects cheek by jowl to upper middle class houses. It’s got inner city neighborhoods as well as a well marbled suburban landscape. It’s fiercely independent and I found many African-Americans who were absolutely devoted to Joe Lieberman. That state was going to be a toughy because of the very high number of independent voters. Yes, Obama won it but not by much. (O-51%, C-47%) It has an semi-open primary and unaffiliated voters can re-register days before the primary to declare a party at the polls. We can’t rule out that there were a bunch of Independents and Republicans who decided to make their presence known by voting for Obama.

Now, here are the states that remain:

State % African-Americans Latest poll trends

Wisconsin 6.48 Obama small lead
Ohio 12.66 Clinton large lead
Texas 12.09 Clinton small lead
Pennsylvania 11.20 Clinton large lead

Now, a lot of readers are going to think this is being racist. It is not. In order for a campaign to win, it has to be able to “count the votes” and know who is solidly on their side and who is persuadable so all of the GOTV resources can be targeted to those voters. This is why it was so critical for Obama to alienate the African American vote from Clinton. African -Americans might well have voted for Clinton in large numbers had Obama not entered the race. Bill Clinton is a well respected figure in the African-American community (or was before David Axelrod got involved). For Obama, the whole campaign has been one of perception and turning it into reality. So, I guess he’s got that “just think it’s true and it will materialize” thing going for him. He saw the political landscape and knew that there would be a frontloading of heavily African-American states upon which he could count to propel the sense of unstoppable momentum. And how many of us associate Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as states with large African-American population? Unless you live on the east coast, you might not know that so it looks like an huge win. And it is. He got a lot of the rest of the population to vote for him but the demographic that puts him over the top is the African-American one. He couldn’t do that in New Jersey even though he wasted a lot of money here because we just don’t reach his AA threshhold. AND, like California, we have a growing number of Asians who love Clinton.

So, coming up, Obama is going ot have problems. He can only get so many of the young and single-issue voters (like Matt Stoller who pushed the button for Obama just because Hillary voted for the IWR. So, universal healthcare is significantly less important to Matt than holding one person accountable for the war and letting the other *non-voting* candidate get all the credit for being against it without having lifted a pinky to stopping it, but I digress). Obama has to turn out every single African-American voter in the remaining states and that number is finite and likely not going to convert it for him.

His game now is to continue the perception that he is wildly popular and unstoppable. He used all of his “time-out” endorsements on SuperTuesday and can now only appeal to Edwards and Gore. It doesn’t look like Edwards is going to endorse. And as I mentioned yesterday, Obama needs working class stiffs in the rust belt states coming up. The Edwards supporters were not these people. Edwards supporters were traditional liberals ala Paul Krugman who might well have already gone to Hillary’s column. The persuadable undecideds that are left are low-info voters who will make their minds up in front of the machines based on the last voice they heard.

Obama will probably win in WI but it is going to be close, I think. There’s only so much positive thinking you can do to overcome the vote count.

Add another data point.  As this post by Big Tent Democrat demonstrates, Obama spent well over a million buckaroos in Florida in an attempt to win the primary he claims should count, but only if it doesn’t count (if you get my drift).  African-Americans make up ~16% of the population there.  Hard to say if overt campaigning on Obama’s part would have gotten him the win but it’s not for lack of trying with bundles of cash.  BTW, as I suspected, Hillary has been winning these states on a budget.  Maybe that’s because she blew a lot of it on Iowa and NH but you gotta hand it to her, where she has won, it wasn’t by being a spendthrift.  Hmmmm, maybe it’s her message..,

I’d like to thank the WGA for going on strike

If it hadn’t been for so many people having nothing better to watch on TV, many of them wouldn’t be watching the debates. I walked into my local Starbucks yesterday and people noted my Hillary Clinton campaign button leftover from a couple weeks ago. I could hear snippets of conversation swirling around of a political nature. I accidentally took someone elses tall caramel latte and was really embarrassed but the young woman whose drink it was said, “That’s OK, I forgive you. At least you’re not voting for McCain.”

This is a very red suburb where there isn’t a single Democrat on the Township committee. About 4500 people voted in the precincts in our town just for the Democrats and Hillary edged out Obama by about 100 votes. People are paying attention, ready to work together and motivated. And for that, I would like to thank the WGA.

Now, get back to work on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report before I start to lose my patience!

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