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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.”

Erm, no.

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.


20 Responses

  1. I’m not worried about the “never, ever” comment regarding the ACA. The problem that we face is that it is certain that the Republicans will still control the House, probably up until the next census and reapportionment, at least. We can hope to carve some out of their current margin until then. Maybe the Democrats can win the Senate, alhough Sanders’ increasingly adversarial campaign is not helping a bit.

    Hillary knows that if the ACA is dismantled, we will not get any national medical plan to replace it, not until the Democrats control all branches of government. Obama had 55 Democratic senators, and probably an edge of 25 or so in the House, and he barely got the ACA through. Now, it is likely that Hillary would have fought for and gotten a better plan. But she can’t get it now. So she knows that any suggestion of, “let’s get rid of ACA and try again,” would be a dupe on the Republicans’ part, and would thrust everyone back to the days before it, with insurance prices skyrocketing.

    Also, Hillary has been running against a candidate who keeps luring voters in with promises which he could not possibly keep. He will give everyone single-payer. He will put a transaction tax on Wall Street, give everyone free tuition; etc. Since too many people think that just because a candidate says this or that, this means that he will do it, it is like she is at an auction where she keeps being outbid by someone who really does not have the assets to buy anything. So she has to validate her posiition as to why Sanders’ “promise” to give us single-payer is not realistic. I don’t think that there is a chance that any Congress in the foreseeable future is going to do it. Democrats have to win back state legislatures and the Congress to bring about progressive changes. She is running against an outsider socialist who makes illusory promises, and thus she is almost forced into the position of strongly supporting the Obama administration, saying that much good has been done, and that we must build on it. Running as an outsider to an administration whose cabinet she served in, would be unseemly and not credible. If she is elected, she will blossom into the president that she would always have been, in ’08, or even earlier. The only constraints are the intransigence of the Congress which is currently dominated by the right wing. And some of that is Obama’s fault, but some of it is not. And in any case, she has to deal with the political ball as it currently lies.

    • You know, republicans have been pulling this country further and further right to the point where the once unthinkable is now common.
      I WANT a Democrat to be advocating for what Bernie is advocating just do we can pull the country back to where it was back in the 60’s. That’s not too much to ask.
      And the key to any affordable care act is cost controls. You can have nationalized medicine, single payer, private insurance, all different permutations of insurance are possible once cost controls are in place. With cost controls, the cost of service is lower and taxes don’t have to be astronomical.
      I want that. If you have never been on Ocare, don’t be so quick to extol its virtues. Covering people with preconditions was mandatory before the ACA was fully rolled out. Covering children thru CHIP was available before the ACA. It’s not like these things came into being all at once. There’s no reason why they have to disappear all at once.
      The scare tactics aren’t working on me.
      As for everyone else, let them buy into Medicaid until the ACA can be fixed. If it can’t be fixed, then it should be pitched. It costs too much of an individual subscriber’s income because people who have to buy policies on the exchange have no negotiating power. That’s not fair to them.
      I don’t want to hear Democrats saying no anymore on this. They’ve got to fix it and it should be a high priority item as soon as Hillary is inaugurated. No is not an option.

      • RD:
        I greatly appreciate you bringing the importance of the health care problems on our country. It’s strangling the middle class and it’s unaccesible to the lower income and poor.

        Access to good healthcare is only for the very rich.
        In our USA, it ‘s a business, not a social service…and very difficult sale in our capitalist and materialist society.

      • I have never been covered by ACA, so I am sure that those who have, are much closer to its faults and shortcomings. I was torn between wanting the ACA plan not to pass, and thinking that at least it might help some people. I know that my brother, who has some chronic back and neck problems, was seeing his insurance rates become exorbitant, and then was able to get a much more affordable plan after ACA became law. So I guess that there are mixed results.

        I am sure that there is a better way. Hillary, of all people, knows that. But the fact still remains that she will be dealing with a much more reactionary congress than Obama had for two years, before most of the seats were lost back. I don’t see how she can manage to get anything better through this Congress. Obama has baasically given up trying to get anything passed, we have a stalemate at best. Hillary is more resourceful, I think. But we desperately need a Democratic Senate at the very least, then maybe she can marginalize the House right wing radicals. So I want her to win by a large margin, and bring in a Democratic Senate. Then we can see. Right now, we are talking about campaigning. I saw a presentation which President Obama just gave at U Chicago Law School, in which he talked about the Supreme Court and other things. He said he was very proud of ACA; that he believes that America needs universal health care, but that too many people get upset when we do not get exactly what they hope for. Now, we can certainly not agree with him as to what he settled for. But I honestly don’t see how Hillary, with a much more intransigent Congress, can somehow improve this–unless the Congessional makeup can be changed. She could run on replacing it, but it’s an iffy approach, given Obama’s popularity among Democrats. She says, “We will make it better,” but she does not talk about tossing it out at this point.

      • Acutally you’re mistaken on some things. First of all preexisting conditions coverage only applied if you went from one group insurance plan to another within 61 days. So many companies have a 90 day wait period to get benefits that a lot of people ended up having insurance that wouldn’t cover them for their first year of working for a new company.

        CHIP worked for some but it was mostly a state issue. Here in GA there have been long waiting lists for CHIP and then the Republicans basically destroyed the program privatizing it and turning it into Medicaid which also was privatized. Privatization took the money out of the program and handed it to the insurance companies. So more or less it depends on your state as to whether you could get any help.

        That’s great saying people can buy into Medicaid EXCEPT the fact that the supreme court already ruled states don’t have to go along with that kind of thing.

        And yes, you are correct about cost controls but I am not sure exactly how you go about it.

        • And people can buy insurance, except where they can’t afford insurance anymore. I have a small business and remain uninsured because a
          for $500/mo, I can have a plan with a $5000 deductible. This would bleed me dry. This is a new feature of a health care law that put the burden of the high risk pool on the people with low or no subsidy eligibility. It just shifted the uninsured to a slightly higher income bracket. So people like me will not be getting care until we’re really sick and can justify paying $11000 before any insurance money kicks in. And our more expensive treatments when cheaper preventive things may have helped us will be part of the slow downward spiral that is already taking place. And don’t say, but it covers preventive care! No, it covers screening. Preventive care happens when screening finds something. That finding is subject to that deductible.

          My SIL has aggressive breast cancer and is pacing the floor about how she’s going to cover a $5000 deductible 2 years in a row for her cancer treatment.

          This This is not insurance. It’s a nightmare. But it’s the true face of your fluffy Obamacare rainbows and ponies.

          Riverdaughter is right. The programs people sing about were greatly available before Obamacare, including high risk pools. Expanding Medicaid and enhancing benefits for high risk patients would have been reform. What we have right now is a disaster in the making.

          • If you think I’m “fluffing” Obamacare you are sorely mistaken. However the problems you are talking about existed before Obamacare. High deductibles were quite common and I had to basically pay for my own cancer treatment because the company policy we had had a 3K deductible. Statements like yours annoy because you act like it was all sunshine and roses before Obamacare came along. It wasn’t. If you want to critique Obamacare perhaps you should be pointing out the problems it did not solve.

            Again, expanding Medicaid did nothing for the most part. Did you not pay attention to what happened in the Supreme court over that?

  2. RD, you wrote, “where she, once again, diminished her own political gifts compared to her husband and Barack Obama.” She’s saying, “I’m not as good as these two men.” It makes me sick, too, but I believe she is working as best she can against the sexist attributions of her running amok in the US: i.e., confidence equals arrogance when a strong woman demonstrates it and diffidence equals likability–but not too much, or you’re look incompetent.

    I don’t believe if she were dissing Obama, she would have the support of the Dems who threw her under the bus last time.

    I’m hoping she can keep the ACA and drive costs down somehow, perhaps through something like ‘patients may not be charged for an aspirin more than 10% above the fair market value of an aspirin.’ That could be a joint effort with the ethics boards of the AMA, APA, and so on, as what is happening now is very clearly unethical because it is both exploitative and neglectful of individuals’ health. The basic foundation of all health care professions’ ethics codes is to, “protect the welfare of those with whom we work”–above all else, including financial considerations.

    • She doesn’t have to diss him. She just has to stop fluffing his ego in every damn interview. I’m not interested in obama’s pr anymore. I’ve had 8 years of that. I’m interested in what SHE’S going to do. If it’s to be obama’s third term, well, that would be very disappointing indeed. There are many many people who have been inexcusably neglected in the past eight years.

    • Btw, I don’t think she does have the support of the D’s that threw her under the bus in 2008. And just this afternoon Obama said she didn’t mean to be careless about her emails. She didn’t mean any harm. Is he for real?? Sometimes I get this feeling that he is using this investigation to keep her in check. It just hangs out there with no resolution and he yanks on it every now and then to remind her to not step out of line.

      • She will fluff him up until at least she secures the nomination. She is still operating in a country where if women behave like whole people they are demonized. In one way she’s using him to her advantage. She gets to say things like he had a narrower lead in 08 and that she nominated him in Denver and that he took more money from Wall St etc. so it’s a smart strategy, but yes have to agree, tiring. I can only hope things will change in the general

      • The FBI investigation is there for much the same reason that the Clintons bent over backwards during the ’90s to let the OIC operate unimpeded: to demonstrate a dedication to avoiding even the appearance of interfering with a probe, bogus or not.

        As for whether Obama’s coalition will vote for her: Depends on which part of the coalition we’re talking about.

        The core of the Democrats nowadays are people of color and women. They made up the biggest part of Obama’s coalition, and they are firmly with Hillary this time around, something she and they understand.

        And they won’t stand for having their interests blown off as “identity politics”.

        That’s something the Naderite/whiteprog faction of the 2008 Obama coalition who have turned against Obama (most especially the ones who dominate the discussion at Daily Bernie, the place that was supposed to be about electing Democrats) don’t and won’t get. Their core belief is “no struggle but class struggle” and they are wedded to the notion that the rest of their fellow white people will turn leftward if the right set of circumstances obtain (a popular far-lefty candidate, a President Trump/Cruz who wrecks everything and causes white Americans to rise up in revolt, etc.).

        The Naderites’ problem is that they don’t see that most white Americans, especially those with less than college-level educations, don’t vote over economic issues. They vote over religious, racial, or cultural issues. Even on taxes, the thing the GOP has used the Southern Strategy to train them to care about more than anything else, the reason they care is that they don’t want to see their money going to anyone who doesn’t look, act, or think like them – even if they would also benefit.

        Look at Kentucky last fall. Poor white voters put Bevin into the governor’s chair despite his promise to destroy their health care system. Why? Because he glommed onto anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis and made her his running mate in all but name. Those same impoverished white voters that put him in office split their vote between Trump and Cruz a few days ago and they’ll happily vote for the GOP nominee in the general. Contrast this with the POC portion of the Obama coalition, which votes a straight Democratic ticket, grows stronger with each passing day, and which will vote strongly for Hillary because a) she can win, b) she’s qualified out the wazoo, and c) simple fairness: She Got Next.

        • the rest of their fellow white people will turn leftward if the right set of circumstances obtain (a popular far-lefty candidate, a President Trump/Cruz who wrecks everything and causes white Americans to rise up in revolt, etc.<

          Er, what? They want Trump/Cruz? I remember some of them saying something like that in 2000, but I thought 2001 would have cured them….

  3. http://inthesetimes.com/article/18168/guns-heroin-vermont-new-york

    I just learned from this article about how the loose gun ownership laws in Vermont feed its heroin addiction problem while providing guns to those who don’t qualify in states with more restrictive law. Do you think the Jr. Senator from Vermont is aware of this? It’s not only moose who are killed with assault weapons.

  4. I think Clinton’s second term will be a revelation if not a revolution. I just hope I live to see it. She will spend the first term trying to solidify a Democratic Congress and winning down ticket races in the states. The SCOTUS and the federal judiciary will be restocked with people who actually believe in the Constitution. Voting rights will be a priority. The first glimmers of the reinstitution of something like the Fairness Doctrine will occur. Infrastructure spending will increase. She may even go so far as to enhance tax revenues by legalizing reefer. The second term will be the one where health care will be truly addressed, as will income equality. Oh and forget Obama. His retirement will be welcomed by me, though Lame Duck Obama has done pretty well. And yes, the Obots and their ilk stole the nomination and those responsible will never be forgiven by me. They had better hope that Clinton is more forgiving.

  5. Just came across this, which sounds like what Obama told the bots in 2008.

    “[Sanders’s] theory of the case is that voters will overwhelmingly rise to help him pressure Congress into submission.”

  6. That roll call was so freaking depressing and heartbreaking, Why are these dudes in such denial about what actually happened in 08? And why weren’t/aren’t they upset about it? But Bernie deserves a fair roll call and contested floor fight??

  7. Thanks for reminding us,Riverdaughter..of how things played out in ’08. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the story of ’08 and the RBC to Dems and even current /long term Hillary supporters who had no idea how Obama won the primary. I even once had a chance to mention it to Terry McAuliffe ( Sp?) siting 5/31/08 and it took him a minute or two to remember the results of that infamous day.

    Lots of people weren’t paying attention,want to forget or assumed it was Hillary whining or lying. Bill said last time around that the hardest part of winning the presidency,for Hillary ,would be the primaries. True this time,as well..but she’ll get there.
    I,too,have thought that the FBI investigation was a way to insure Hillary stayed “loyal” for as long as possible. And that Comey guy has a lengthy history of hating the Clintons.
    We’ve always heard that the Clintons never forget and I expect there’re a number of people shaking in their boots because they know what’s coming. I expect many of us are going to enjoy savoring that dish best served cold.

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