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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 06:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,309

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Animosity between candidate camps is IDIOTIC

There's no better way to put it without resorting to obscenities. I've been on DU since 2003, long enough to have endured repeated spin cycles during primary wars, and we've had some ugly ones here in 2003-4 and 2007-8. And I was right there in the trenches both times gaining a first hand perspective.

My nominee for the stupidest sentiment frequently repeated during candidate wars goes something like this:

"The behavior of supporters of Candidate X have made it difficult if not impossible for me to even consider voting for Candidate X". That's roughly the equivalent of someone saying "Those rowdy teens who hang out in the parking lot of the Seven Eleven in my neighborhood make me very unlikely to support free community college education."

I mean really, WTF? Sure this is much to be learned about a candidate from who s/he surrounds him or her self with - as in their closest advisers, as in their major donors who they become politically indebted to. And it might even be fair to throw in the unruly behavior of some garden variety grass roots activists: if the candidates themselves are actively and openly encouraging and condoning such behavior. But I can't think of a Democrat who is.

To the best of my knowledge none of us here on DU are seriously running for President. How sane and/or likable any of us might be has no bearing on the policies that anyone who actually is running for President will seek to advance once in office. However high profile any of us may become in our online discussion board virtual universe as an advocate for someone running for President - none of us literally represent the candidates unlit their official campaigns says otherwise.

If someone who I think is an asshole says that they support a politician who otherwise seems potentially reasonable to me I would have to be an idiot to rule that candidate out because of it.

Candidate advocates are particularly helpful in pointing those who are interested toward solid information about their candidate. And lord knows I understand from experience that candidate advocates have a legitimate role to play in debunking false information and smears hurled against the candidates we support. To make it personal though is dumb, and counter productive - except for a select few. And that select and relatively rare few intentionally play the role of provocateurs. For every real one of them there probably are a dozen or more sincere impassioned advocates for a candidate being heatedly swept up by the emotions at hand.

I don't waste my time trying to decide who is and isn't sincere since almost everyone is, and simply taking part in witch hunts trying to identify the rare exceptions to that plays right into the hands of any legitimate provocateurs, whose real purpose is to sap our moral and turn us against each other until we turn away from the political process in disgust.

Can't we all save each other some grief and cut right to the chase? Les than once in a blue moon we might get the chance to support a potentially viable candidate for President who we believe in our heart of hearts is the perfect person for that job. Ages ago I felt that way about RFK, and I still believe he was. Sometimes that person ultimately lets us down, which is the experience a number of my friends went through with John Edwards. More often though it simply doesn't play out the way we hoped for. Howard Dean for example fell short in 2004, and Al Gore decided not to run again in 2008 despite the fervent pleas of his enthusiasts.

Yes there will be exceptions, but come August 2016 over 90% of us who are active on this board will ultimately throw our support behind whoever wins the Democratic nomination for President against whoever the Republicans are running. I might guess wrong about some specific individuals, but I'm confident about that figure as a whole. Knowing that is true, can't we just skip the bitter divide theatrics that dominates DU primary wars? Satan isn't running as a Democrat this time around.

If you liked Hillary's IWR vote, you'll LOVE Schumer's Iran vote

Much like with the Iraq War Resolution, when leading Congressional Democrats gave bi-partisan political cover to Bush Administration efforts to start a war with Iraq (even while professing that they weren't actually voting to go to war with Iraq), the presumptive next leader of Democrats in the Senate is already doing the same for Republicans who hope to succeed Obama in the White House. These accounts are just the tip of the iceberg:

Cruz Calls on Schumer to Lead the Charge Against Iran Deal.

On Friday, Republican presidential hopeful and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joined the list, applauding the No. 3 Democratic leader for his “bravery.”

“I think it is fantastic news that Sen. Schumer has come out against the Iranian deal and has done so publicly and early. For several weeks now, I have been saying that I hope we see the re-emergence of Joe Lieberman Democrats, the re-emergence of Scoop Jackson Democrats, the re-emergence of John F. Kennedy Democrats,” Cruz told reporters.

“They have been an endangered species in the United States Congress, and it is my hope that with Sen. Schumer coming out that he will take a significant role leading and encouraging his fellow Democrats to stand together.”

And this:
GOP stars go gaga over Democrat poke of Obama

"Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says he’s impressed by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and grateful for the Democrat’s rejection of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

“Thank God for Sen. Schumer and his opposition to this reckless nuclear deal with Iran,” Huckabee said in a statement. “While I disagree with Sen. Schumer on most things, I applaud him for putting peace in the Middle East above partisan politics. Despite endless arm-twisting and enormous political pressure from the White House, Sen. Schumer chose statesmanship over partisanship.”

The former Arkansas governor said he hopes the decision will inspire other high-ranking Democrats to follow."

And this:
Marco Rubio says more Senate Democrats need to follow Chuck Schumer's lead and oppose the Iran deal.

During an interview Monday on "Fox & Friends," Rubio warned Democrats who support the deal will be casting a vote they "will live with" for the rest of their lives. The 2016 GOP presidential candidate added that those on the Left need to "wake up" and "realize what they're about to sign on to."

"First of all, he's doing the right thing," Rubio said of Schumer. "When someone — even though we may disagree on a lot of issues, we need to recognize that someone has taken the decision here based on statesmanship and not partisanship."

All of the Republican candidates for Presidents oppose the Iran deal, and between now and November 2018 we can count on each and every one of them to loudly praise Chuck Schumer's opposition to it, as they try use it to bloody all of the leading Democratic candidates for President.

Chuck Schumer is now the new neocon designated Democratic spokesperson for war in the Middle East, eclipsing for the moment even Joe Lieberman. Imagine how much more presidential election mileage they will get from Chuck Schumer if Democrats in the Senate are now foolish enough to install him as their leader.

Time for a Draft Durbin Movement

Dick Durbin is actually the Democratic Senator second to Harry Reid in the Senate Democratic leadership. He announced he would stick to his current post in the leadership hierarchy and allow Chuck Schumer to leapfrog past him into the top position after Reid retires. Why? I don't know but everyone knows that Schumer has been hungering to become top Democratic dog in the Senate.

Would Durbin reconsider and respond positively to a draft movement asking him to contest the Senate leadership position? I don't know but it doesn't matter. He is the logical first choice to ask, Senate Democrats have supported him for leadership positions in the past, give him first crack. Even if Durbin won't reconsider, a powerful draft movement asking him to oppose Schumer can still leave its mark and another Democratic Senator could then still step forward to challenge Schumer instead.

Anyone who lives in a State represented by at least one Democratic Senator can put direct pressure on his or her Senator(s) to withdraw support from Schumer in light of his opposing the crucial position regarding Iran backed by our Democratic President and the vast majority of Democratic Senators.

THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF ANOTHER IWR VOTE! We can't allow a Senator who will not give peace a chance to lead the Democratic Party in the Senate. If we start mobilizing now it might even send a timely message to any wavering Democratic Senators that they need to back their President on Iran or face the wrath of rank and file Democrats who will not sit back and allow America to move toward a war potentially much more deadly than the one in Iraq when a negotiated settlement may still be able to prevent it.
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