There’s not much going on right now in primary land. It’s a little bit sleepy, except for the poo flinging. Things won’t really start picking up until the NY Primary.
Is it me or does the Clinton campaign still seem “off” from 2008? Hillary gave an interview to Glen Thrush at Politico the other day where she, once again, diminished her own political gifts compared to her husband and Barack Obama. The time that I saw her in person in 2007 and got to ask her a question, I noticed a couple of things. She was wary when she came into the room. She sized us up, looking like she was trying to decide if we were threats. But then someone asked her first question and she was fine. She was confident and conversational and completely fluid and likeable. So, I don’t know where this self-assessment is coming from. In the Politico article, it’s implied that her campaign advisors told her about her lack of skills. I think this was a mistake. She grew into being quite an effective campaigner in 2008. The more adversity she faced, the better she got. That’s not to say she needs more adversity.
It’s a given that the unforgiving purity police on the left would always be her adversaries. The media has never liked her because all of their friends don’t like her. Nevermind where they got the idea that Hillary has cooties. Does it matter? They’re unshakeable. I sometimes wonder what the media thinks is going to happen this year. Are they planning on a deus ex machina come September? And who would that be?
Hillary herself did not help her case when she said “Never Ever” with respect to revisiting single payer. (Note: there are many different ways to address the health care crisis. Single payer is only one of many possibilities but all the successful developing countries require cost controls which the US can’t seem to do) As I’ve said before, the people who love Obamacare the most are the people least likely to ever need it. I can remember having a heated conversation with an independent insurance broker about a year ago about the ACA. First, to insurance brokers: never tell someone who is working on a short term contract that it is their responsibility to shell out $500/month for a policy with a $3000 deductible. When income instability is a real ongoing issue and the premiums take up an unacceptably large chunk of that precarious income, attempting to make someone feel guilty about shopping for food in a grocery store so that you can cash in big on a policy you just wrote is not a good idea.
The guilt thing piled on top of the precariat is unbelievable. I was so angry. I shouted at her in the frozen food aisle, “Don’t you think someone should have taken care of the long term unemployment problem BEFORE they asked for a year long commitment to a health care policy that’s neither affordable or useable???”
So, when Hillary said “Never Ever” she drove a lot of people away from her.
Plus, it just seemed like she had finally given in.
I sometimes get the feeling that her advisors have focus groups where the thing that voters really want is carefully kept out of the choices. Like, who really believes that voters would prefer profit sharing over a steady job with benefits? Profit sharing is so easily gamed. The cut can be biased in so many ways. Management vs rank and file, exempt vs non-exempt, contractors vs regular FTE. But having more regular full time jobs vs contracting jobs would make people feel a bit more secure about their future, causing them to spend more, invest more, save more. That would lead to a healthier, more resilient economy. What’s not to like about that? So, who *are* these people pushing profit sharing? Are they the start-up gurus, floating vaporware that Dan Lyons wrote about recently in Disrupted or the kind of start ups trying to get early stage new drug entities passed vulture capitalists? You know, the companies that only young males between the ages of 22 and 35 can afford to work at? Are these “titans of the gig economy” really the best people to give advice?
Anyway, I digress. She is still the best presidential candidate that we have. I just wish she hadn’t listened to people who want her, and us, to be assimilated.
I had an unfortunate disagreement on Twitter with Lance Mannion last night. I’m sure it will pass. Go visit his blog at Lance Mannion. Lance is a loyal Democrat. He was a Clinton supporter in 2008 but swtiched to Obama for the General. But he is also characteristic of a party guy who either didn’t pay attention to the primaries/convention or is in serious denial.
Does anyone really think I enjoy bringing this up again? I know what you’re all thinking. Why can’t she just let it gooooooo?
It’s because voters are reacting to the reality that they don’t really have much say in the matter of who gets the nomination in spite of their donations and primary votes. Think of the millions and billions of dollars that will have been spent before the nominations. Think of all the states that are spending taxpayer dollars on primaries that can be nullified by the sweep of a superdelegate’s carefully manicured hand.
We have been there.
I still can’t believe that there are party people out there who swallowed the story that Obama was just much farther ahead than Clinton and that’s why he won. Seriously?? I thought everyone knew what went on at the convention and had just conspired with each other to tell lies about it.
Ok, here’s the ultimate question for those people who will not admit that there was something gravely wrong with the Democratic primary season of 2008.
Let’s assume that Hillary was Ok with Obama having the nomination in the end, what was the harm of having a legitimate first ballot roll call vote including all of the states BEFORE she called for acclamation?
This question seems like a no-brainer to me, which makes me think that the people who are singing “la-la-la, I can’t HEAR you!” have not been using their brains.
Oh, but they will say it’s just hardball politics. Lighten up, get over it.
Except to those of us who watched it, it looked like political rape of a woman who stubbornly refused to gracefully step aside like they expected her to.
The danger in not taking voters seriously is that it will come back to bite you in the end. Hillary will probably win the nomination this year and as far as we can tell, there hasn’t been anything irregular about the primary season. But the people who supported Obama in 2008 and were burned by him because, Surprise! Surprise! he was NOT the Liberal Messiah they were looking for, and who are now supporting Sanders, seem to think that it is Ok to do in 2016 what they did eight years ago. They are so determined to throw a fit to get what they want that they will use right wing smear tactics and delegitimize Hillary voters again. I’m not talking about all Sanders supporters who were very put off about the Never Ever comment (see above) or who want a more European style social democracy. I’m talking about the hard core Clinton haters who for some reason forget that there have been 16 year since the Clintons were in office. Their insistence that everything bad that has happened to America has had nothing to do with 8 tragic years of George Bush followed by 8 feckless years of Barack Obama is fantastic. As in, it’s a fantasy.
But getting back to the illegitimacy of the Hillary voter, let’s go back to Anglachel, one of the best bloggers of the 2008 primary season. In this post, she lays out the 2008 season and forecasts 2016. Just substitute Sanders for Obama in the following:
All around Left Blogistan, Obamacans are reveling in the seeming victory of the RBC ruling and are disdainfully telling Hillary and her supporters that they need to fall in line, get with the program, and otherwise show that we’re worthy of being part of Whole Foods Nation. Ezra Klein pompously warns Hillary: “[There is an] authentic, deep anger among Clinton supporters. And that’s not a problem the Rules Committee can resolve. This one is up to Clinton herself.”
The way in which a candidate or faction handles a victory tells us important things about how they will govern. At present, the parallels between Obama’s claim of a nomination victory and George W. Bush’s claim of victory in Florida are shocking. The onus for unifying the country was placed on Gore and specifically for Gore to capitulate before a full and final vote count was performed. Gore’s behavior was held up to ridicule and criticism for having the audacity to defend his win against a background of corruption and intimidation. No one so much as hinted that the legitimacy of Bush’s win was contingent upon his behavior in victory. He acted as though he had won by a landslide with an enormous popular mandate, instead of by suppressing votes in Florida.
The deep problem of Obama’s campaign is that he and his supporters do not want to face the political reality of their own conflicting desires. They both want to sweep to victory in November and they want to purge the party of anything connected to the Clintons, which includes all of the voting constituencies represented by that amazing and talented duo. The failure of the Unity Pony stems directly from that fantasy of majority status without majority support and the political work and compromises that go with cultivating that support. Thus, their model for unity is unanimity through elimination, purging the ranks of the unclean and unbelievers.
They will not acknowledge that Hillary is a legitimate political actor and reduce her to an inhuman monster and enemy. They will not acknowledge that her supporters have sound, rational reasons for our support, and reduce us to mindless fools and spoils of war. They shift blame for their own choices and actions onto us and expect that we will cater to their whims.
Voters’ loyalties are not fungible just because a party makes a unilateral decision. It’s unlikely that Hillary can persuade the hardcore Sanders supporter to her column this year. They seem determined to kill her politically just like they did in 2008. But in this case, they are rebels without a cause. The vote is clean and unless they want to claim that Wyoming and the other caucus states are more important than the big states that are still remaining, an argument that defied all logic but still won the day in 2008, it looks like voters’ preferences are clear this year. They want Hillary. That’s what pledged delegate counts mean and this year there are no demotions to half strength or helpful reapportionments to make one candidate look like they have a lead which they do not have, to the detriment of the candidate who actually won the delegates. In other words, this is a legitimate, by the book, primary season. Sanders people can sit it out in November or only vote down ticket, but the second attempt at delegitimizing Hillary’s voters by these same guys is beyond infuriating.
It’s time to stop dehumanizing Hillary Clinton. It’s unjust, hyperbolic and damaging to women in general. And the longer Bernie Bots go on behaving this way, the less likely Sanders will make any inroads with Clintonistas. You have to wonder why a guy who sincerely seems to want to be president would be so careless as to antagonize his opponents’ supporters, acting like they don’t matter and that all he needs to do is buy or harass some superdelegates and everyone will fall into line.
Well, it worked so well eight years ago and who benefitted from that? College students with massive debt? Homeowners who lost equity? People in middle age who lost their careers and were unemployed for years? Contractors forced to by exchange policies? Black people gunned down in the street? Seriously, who benefitted? I’d like to know. I mean, other than bankers who didn’t need to go to jail for wrecking our lives and arrogant libertarian silicon valley types who would like to make us all independent contractors. And Republicans. Can’t forget them. Other than that, who benefitted?
Who knows what lies ahead? Maybe things will turn out all right in the end. But this year should make both parties nervous. The days of taking voters for granted, paternalistically directing them towards one person regardless of voter preferences, may finally be coming to an end.