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Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 11,723
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Hillary Clinton is not Obama's logical successor.
Not for progressives, anyway. And frankly it doesn't matter which candidate Obama personally prefers. She ran to Obama's right in 2008, and is to his right today.
Neither Sanders or Clinton is Obama, or will govern like Obama. Sanders would be a move to Obama's left; Hillary to the right.
I get that Hillary would like to frame the discussion so that the things Obama has done that progressives like should accrue to her, but that doesn't hold together logically. She ran in 2008 the same way she's running now -- accusing the more progressive candidate of being a naive pipe dreamer who couldn't "get things done."
The reason is that polls show most Dems would like a President either more progressive than Obama, or about the same. I think it was 13% who wanted a more conservative Dem in the White House. But that is what Hillary represents.
So this is her core problem. She's once again the more conservative choice, which once again is not what Dems say they want. And she's once again arguing that her more conservative approach is more practical -- which in itself is not a terrible argument.
But she is also again arguing that the more progressive approach is hopelessly naive pipe dreaming, like her "magic wand" speech directed at Obama in 2008.
And on top of that, she would like to argue she represents the best continuation of Obama's most progressive policies?
It's an odd way to go about things, and highly questionable given how it worked out last time.
Posted by DirkGently | Sat Feb 13, 2016, 12:53 PM (2 replies)
Here's what I see
1. To the extent the argument is that Hillary has been more civil and respectful toward Obama, that is untrue. The 2008 campaign is relevant because
a) Hillary took an extremely sharp line against Obama, which many found distasteful, and
b) She made the same arguments against a left-of-her opponent she is now making against Sanders, which calls into question both the accuracy of the "doers vs. dreamers" dichotomy her campaign is pushing, and whether she can win with such a tactic. Last time around neither turned out to be true.
2. To the extent Hillary is arguing to those who most support Obama now that she is the natural choice to replace him and carry on his policies, the fact is she has neither been the "nicest" to him of the two candidates on a personal level, nor is she necessarily closer to Obama politically. She is more conservative than Obama, who is more conservative than Sanders. The candidates are effectively on either side of Obama politically.
Sanders and Clinton represent two directions the Democratic Party can go after Obama. More conservative with Clinton, or more progressive with Sanders.
It's not that Hillary is like Obama and Sanders is not. They are alike and different in different ways. Sanders and Obama agree on Iraq, for example, where Hillary is more hawkish. Sanders and Obama both thought a single-payer or public option healthcare system would be best, but Hillary seems to be saying the ACA is as far as we need to go for now.
And there is this: We picked a left-of-Hillary candidate last time. So the question now is, given the option of Hillary Clinton again, and another left-of-Hillary candidate, which way we go now. Even more to the left than the last time we chose someone else over Clinton, or with her?
Posted by DirkGently | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 05:08 PM (0 replies)
That was where Sanders led, and Clinton seemed to be following. The fact is she is tepid on the idea of Wall Street reform, and doesn't think either single-payer healthcare or universal college tuition are feasible. She is hawkish on the Middle East, and supports the idea of American combat troops going in to clean up ... the results of the last time American combat troops went in. Sanders thinks Social Security should expand, while Clinton thinks it may require "reform" to remain in place.
There are people who agree or disagree either way.
Let's talk about whether we want to stand for Clinton's more conservative, more hawkish, more corporate-friendly take on things, or not. There are people who agree with those positions, and people who do not.
But trying to smash and discredit Sanders as feckless, or to undercut his civil rights record, or claim he is an enemy to the things Obama accomplished that progressives actually liked is fraud.
It makes me think she doesn't want to run on who she is, but rather on who Sanders is or is not. That is no way to convince people of anything.
Posted by DirkGently | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 09:58 AM (1 replies)
clearly would support her in that. What galls is the theme that Clinton would build on Obama's accomplishments, while Sanders would tear them down.
The reality is that they bookend Obama on both the left / right spectrums, and the breadth of the Democratic Party. Sanders is one of the most progressive Dems; Hillary is one of the more conservative ones.
But she's probably read the polling that shows only something like 13% of Dems want to see a President more conservative than Obama, while most either want a more progressive candidate, or to stay right about where Obama has been.
So the question is not which of them would govern differently, or represent a different place on the spectrum than Obama. They both would.
It's a matter of in which direction. Sanders is calling for more economic reform and less war. Hillary stands for the opposite.
It's perfectly fine for all of us to disagree on which is better, but Clinton's framing that somehow she stands for everything Obama got right, and Sanders would tear it all down is facially invalid.
Posted by DirkGently | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 09:28 AM (0 replies)
Tonight's debate made me angry. Hillary Clinton is the candidate who ran the "3 AM phone call" ad against Obama, and consistently argued he was too naive and inexperienced to lead. She gave him the exact same treatment as a wide-eyed, naive dreamer that she is now directing at Sanders, and she was at times extremely unpleasant about it.
I do not care for any of the personal nastiness going on in the primary, and I do not think Hillary Clinton is a terrible person or the worst Democrat in the world or any such thing. I will vote for her without hesitation to try to beat whatever nightmare the Republicans foist on us if she is the nominee. I have said, and continue to think, that she has qualities that could make her a worthwhile President.
But her increasingly feral attacks are disingenuous and unethical -- ugly appeals to substance-free identity politics and some truly wacky attempts to distort facts and history.
Her surrogates were racing around MSNBC tonight with the "meme" that Sanders "doesn't talk about being Jewish enough," for Pete's sake. As if we can't see the grotesque calculation that if they can goad him into emphasizing his religious background more, it will hurt him with bigots. This is below the bottom of the barrel.
She's a better friend to Obama? She and her campaign overtly savaged Obama in '08, complete with racist dogwhistles, like her gleeful claims to owning "the white vote," and her finance chair Ferraro opining that Obama was only succeeding because America was "caught up" in the color of his skin.
Then she tried to beat him by participating in the Michigan primary after pledging not to and arguing those delegates should count in her favor.
Our household stopped supporting her in favor of Obama specifically over the ugly nature of her attacks then. She apparently learned nothing from the failure of that strategy, and is racing down the same road now. And I'm finding I like her less now than I have since '08.
Her people think she should be able to score points by claiming some kind of higher ground regarding the guy who would have been dismissed as a hopeless greenhorn back in 2008 if she'd had her way? By implying her criticisms are substantive and civilized, when her central strategy appears to have become inventing new reasons to hate Sanders, someone running maybe the least offensive campaign any of us has ever seen?
Is she serious?
“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in the interview, citing an article by The Associated Press.
It “found how Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.
Ms. Ferraro, the former congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, told The Daily Breeze, a newspaper in Torrance, Calif.: “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
Posted by DirkGently | Fri Feb 12, 2016, 12:02 AM (103 replies)
And Matthews knows it.There's no free stuff for anyone.
The question has always been how much and for what. We all pay for the wars and the corporate tax subsidies hedge fund loopholes and the no-bid contracts and everything else. We could, if we chose, feed, clothe and educate our people, build our roads; replace our prisons with health and mental health facilities. Take care of the environment.
Our cup runneth over, here in the richest nation on Earth. It's just currently being guzzled by a few people who have grabbed it with both hands and would prefer not to share.
Matthews makes me laugh. He tries to sound scholarly and statesmanlike, but he lapses back into partisan bloviating and comes off silly when he does it.
Posted by DirkGently | Tue Feb 9, 2016, 09:11 PM (0 replies)
First, Dems don't pick our candidates based on the possible trash the worst people in America might come up with against our candidates.
Secondly, no Dem anywhere will be attacked as savagely as Hillary Clinton will. I don't find that a reason not to support her, but there is literally no one Republicans hate more than Hillary.
And lastly, I'm going to assume the thought here was not to use concern trolling and the "heckler's veto" argument as an excuse to simply say vile things about Bernie Sanders, although that is exactly how David Brock used this tactic to call Bernie Sanders a laundry list of despicable names the other day. His desire to simply say filthy things about Sanders could not have been more transparent or flatly evil.
But this wasn't an acceptable argument when Hillary ran against Obama for the nomination, and it is no more acceptable now.
Posted by DirkGently | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 06:24 PM (0 replies)
historical and worldwide terms. Arguments like this lack historical and international perspective in my opinion.
Democrats were shocked and appalled when Ronald Reagan was elected and smacked America into a hard right, government hating, corporations über allies vein. The entire party was humiliated at the way Carter was unfairly blamed for everything from gas prices to the hostage crisis, and practically run out of town on a rail.
THAT was radical. Radical in terms of where America had been; radical in terms of the world stage. Today we are one of the most hawkish, military interventionist nations on earth, with crumbling infrastructure, whisper-thin environmental protections, and an antiquated, irrational health care system shared only with Mexico and Turkey.
There is always a question of how far we can go, and how fast. But you don't get there without pushing for what you want. Obama swept into office on "Hope and Change," and got ... some of it. The question now is whether Democrats are willing to push for more of what we wanted from him, or less.
Regardless of the candidates, though, these trends are cyclical to a degree. Reagan and the neocons have only been with us for 30 years or so. They did not establish either the baseline for American politics and policy, or the inevitable future. They represent a radical blip on the graph, and one we don't have to live with forever.
Look at how people are talking now. Republican corporatism is in shambles. Carly frickin'-Fiorina was trying to talk about helping the middle class. Donald Trump is mumbling his way through some version of universal health care. Almost no one is willing to admit to any plan to bring America into a committed war in Syria.
Center-right America is breathing its last. There's nothing radical or impossible about helping it into its well-deserved place in the ash-heap of history and moving the country back toward where we were and the rest of the civilized world already is, waiting for us.
Posted by DirkGently | Sun Feb 7, 2016, 11:55 AM (1 replies)
Yikes. It's getting thick and deep in here. Reminds me a bit of the savagery I saw back in my 20s on the forums I visited for little hot-rodded import cars -- every post taking the discourse a notch lower; biting a bit harder. And that was just kids arguing about how fast their not-very-fast little Japanese four-bangers were. Then every once in a while, we'd pull back, take a breath, and try to say something from the point of view whoever we were yelling at.
So I'm going to try to say something positive about the candidate I least favor for the Democratic nomination. Hopefully neither overbearingly earnest or seemingly backhanded. If it works, maybe someone else will try something similar, and we can analyze the coming decision with a bit more precision and a bit less hostility. Or maybe not.
If not, well it's Saturday and overcast in Orlando, so I'm inside anyway.
What I Like About Hillary Clinton as the Potential Democratic Nominee for President
-- by DirkGently, a pro-Sanders Duer
1. Experience.: Yes, both candidates have it, but there's no question in my mind that as a part of two previous U.S. administrations and as Sec'y of State, Hillary Clinton has seen it all. All the dirt, all the tricks. All the buttons to push and the arms to twist. I see her as a tough, sharp-elbowed lawyer, a personality I'm familiar with. No one will surprise her if she becomes the leader of the country and the party.
2. Efficacy: For all my support of sweeping change and the independent point of view of those of us shouting from outside the glass, a sophisticated operator of the machinery of power does have the ability not only to get things done, but to fight the inevitable battles from with other side. No one is going to blindside her, and she would be damn hard to outmaneuver politically or diplomatically. She's at the front of the Democratic bench because she has won a million battles already. She can win a few more.
3. The upside of political flexibility: This one has the potential to sound backhanded, but I mean it. I think the momentum we've seen already from the liberal base of the party has the potential to push not only the country, but Hillary herself toward more small "d" democratic principles. The substantive issues I have with what I perceive to be her attitudes on things like Social Security, health care, and foreign policy are subject to adjustment based on public opinion. I think she can be moved in the right directions, and will embrace better policies, as she has in the past, with the right incentives. Presidents lead, but they also follow.
4. She may have broader appeal in a general election: I'm stretching a little here, because I unconvinced that Republicans can more readily smash Sanders as a pinko tax-raiser than they can smash Hillary for being the Democrat they have hated beyond all others for decades. But she seems to be holding on to parts of the Obama coalition, she doesn't frighten upper-middle-class Dems, and I'm sure there are parts of the country that will need a lot more convincing that Sanders isn't some exotic radical here to plunge us into Stalinism or whatever. Of all of these, I think this issue is the most in flux at the moment, but at least to begin with, Hillary is slightly easier to picture as someone who could win enough states to beat whatever candidate the Republicans pick from their box of horrors.
5. General toughness: I have been impressed with my preferred candidate Sanders debate performances and his responses to sharp-edged questioning by the press. But no one's been attacked with more relentlessness and ferocity than Hillary, and as near as I can tell, she laughs off small attacks, and gets lightly angry at larger ones.
SHE WILL FRIGHTEN OUR ENEMIES!
Okay, small joke there, but seriously, no one on Earth thinks they can intimidate Hillary Clinton. That may be true of Sanders as well, but no one knows it for sure yet.
Phew. There we have it. In conclusion, I'm still pulling for the other guy, but Hillary is not the worst candidate, or person, in the world, and I would welcome her Presidency over absolutely any Republican anywhere, never mind the bottom-of-the-barrel collection they are putting forward this time around. I'd like to see Dems focus more on her strengths, and Sanders', and on how we can get one of them to the White House, than on a million ways to inflame and irritate each other on our way to picking one of them.
I would ask, although obviously I have no ability to require, that any responses do not drag things into the current poo-flinging battles. "That's all fine except for all the @#$$! from those #$%*S&! supporting that #$$#*!!!!!" would kind of miss the spirit of the thought here.
Posted by DirkGently | Sat Feb 6, 2016, 02:44 PM (18 replies)
"Mr. Vice President, Mr. Secretary, the missiles are flying. Hallelujah, Hallelujah."
There's note down thread about his dad saying Ted is here to bring about "The End Times."
There is an element of Christianity in America that is essentially an apocalyptic death cult. They look forward to the destruction of the world, beginning with a massive conflagration in the Middle East and think that needs help coming about.
Not the kind of man you want with his hand on the nuclear trigger.
Posted by DirkGently | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 09:40 PM (0 replies)