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For The Defense

[ 72 ] May 24, 2008 |

To play against recent type somewhat, and since they seem to have been the final straw for a lot of people, I should probably say that I don’t actually think that the RFK comments are a big deal at all. The example was poorly chosen, but I think the point she was trying to make is obvious enough: primaries going to June isn’t an especially big deal. Granted, while I’m sympathetic to the point the example on the merits is stupid and illogical; you can’t compare primaries in 2008 to years in which they started much later on a more spread-out schedule, and in the case of force majeure I’m confident that Clinton has already won enough delegates to prevent Dodd or Kucinich from taking the nomination if she drops out tomorrow.

But illogic pretty much comes with the territory when you’re coming up with rationales for a campaign that has no reasonable chance of succeeding. I find her comparisons of trying ex post facto to count votes no rational individual could think even approach a minimally acceptable measure of voter intent to abolitionism and the fight to enfranchise African-Americans under apartheid infinitely more objectionable.

Comments (72)

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  1. aimai says:

    Digby has a stunning column up today about the dangers of hero worship and the love affair that we are all encouraged to have with our candidate of choice–and conversley with the way we are encouraged to believe that the other’s candidates are filthy, dirty, evil and beyond the pale. I suggest you all go over and look at it and be reminded that it is as dangerous to imagine that any political figure can satisfy all our desires as to imagine that there is no politician worthy of our support in a given election. Nihilism and defeatism result from the purity bug that magnifies politicians human failings. But anger and hysterical backlash awaits voters who overidentify with their chosen savior and imagine that he is the only one who will never dissapoint them. I tend towards the “moyenne sensuel” in politics. I’m thrilled with Obama, and pleased with specific things but I’m under no illusions that he is the first perfect or honest politician of my life. He’s neither. He’s a smart guy who wants power to do some stuff I agree with, and possibly a lot of stuff I don’t agree with. I’ll cheer him on and support him when he does what I want, and send money to opposition groups when he does stuff I don’t. But I won’t recoil in shock and horror and declare him persona non grata when he says or does something stupid in office or while trying to stay in office.
    aimai

  2. SnarkyShark says:

    Not to mention the DLC has had it’s eyes on Obama for years for a good reasons.
    Do you even have any self-awareness?
    Hillary and friends are the DLC.
    You have descended into parody.

  3. SnarkyShark says:

    I’ll cheer him on and support him when he does what I want, and send money to opposition groups when he does stuff I don’t. But I won’t recoil in shock and horror and declare him persona non grata when he says or does something stupid in office or while trying to stay in office.
    Agreed. The main reason I came to really like Obama is because he talks to us like we are adults. As long as he does this, I am OK with him. He is opposed to my policy of sending all registered Republicans to Gitmo, but I am willing to see it his way as long as he keeps being straight up.
    Unlike the Tigress of Tuzla who morphs into another entity depending on what state she wants to suck up to next.
    I am not about to attach unreasonable expectations on any candidate.
    Being better than the current crop of idiots is all I’m asking.
    Not too unreasonable I think.

  4. naked lunch says:

    Do you even have any self-awareness?
    Hillary and friends are the DLC

    Correct. Did I say otherwise Champ?

  5. aimai says:

    SnarkyShark,
    the flip side of this is that, oddly enough, not only is Obama not the second coming of christ but Hillary isn’t Satan. They’re both just pols trying to get over.
    aimai

  6. SnarkyShark says:

    Correct. Did I say otherwise Champ?
    Well, since this was intended as a put down-
    Not to mention the DLC has had it’s eyes on Obama for years for a good reasons.
    I would have thought the Irony to be obvious.
    Apparently not.
    They’re both just pols trying to get over.
    I disagree. I think Obama truly want’s to accomplish something.
    I think having to be half white and half black and having to take shit from both sides makes him unique.
    Maybe I haven’t become as cynical as you yet.
    Give me time.

  7. Jon H says:

    aimai wrote: ” Because taking back control of the presidency by whatever imperfect means we can, as a party and a people, is more important than who actually ends up there.”
    That’s probably what the (sane) Republicans were thinking when they voted for Bush in 2000.
    Who ended up there was in fact very important.

  8. Dan Da Man says:

    I don’t think she screwed up at all with this. There has been a ton of talk lately about her being VP and that she deserves the offer and that if Obama doesn’t offer it, it would be justification for her and many of her large number of supporters in going to Denver.
    She just guaranteed he wouldn’t offer it. Risky, true. But look at how somplaint Dem party leaders have been so far.

  9. phil says:

    Clinton does not deserve any benefit of the doubt anymore.

  10. Van says:

    Thank god Hilary’s here to play the role of Hubert Humphrey should anything happen to Obama.

  11. gmack says:

    Come on aimai. You’ve got to know that my candidate is here to redeem all of our sins.
    And your candidate sucks and I’ll move to Canada if s/he wins.
    On a serious note: we may really like some political leaders. We may find them really inspiring. But as adults we might also want to keep a healthy fear of them in spite of (or rather because of) this.
    And to reiterate aimai’s basic point: politics is not a realm where the ideas of good and evil (or, for that matter, “purity”) are particularly helpful.

  12. DocAmazing says:

    As bad as Clinton is (and I think she’s pretty bad), she’s a plain-vanilla centrist Dem.
    As is Barack Obama.
    Not a huge amount of difference between ‘em, in the final analysis.

  13. commie atheist says:

    That’s probably what the (sane) Republicans were thinking when they voted for Bush in 2000.
    Sane Republicans? I’m sorry, but that’s a species I’m unfamiliar with. Would you mind providing some examples?

  14. commie atheist says:

    As bad as Clinton is (and I think she’s pretty bad), she’s a plain-vanilla centrist Dem.
    As is Barack Obama.
    Not a huge amount of difference between ‘em, in the final analysis

    Precisely. Which is why I find all the vitriol directed at both of them from each other’s supporters mystifying. I can totally understand Republicans calling both of them communist fifth columnists and Rosicrucian scum but to hear the sexism and racism crap get flung around by progressives is inexplicable to me.

  15. Mike says:

    Thing is, 1968 is a big deal for people of her generation. Obama was a kid, McCain was too old for it to be formative.
    I’d guess that McCain’s memories of 1968 are also influenced by the fact that he spent it undergoing frequent torture in a POW camp.

  16. read the full transcript says:

    Clinton mentions many of the other races that went to the convention.
    She used 1992 and 1968 to focus on their being contested primaries in June.
    EB: The reports this morning and overnight were that your campaign had made certain contacts or overtures to Mr. Obama’s campaign just in the past 24 hours and were working on some sort of deal for your exit.
    CLINTON: That’s flatly untrue. Flatly, completely untrue.
    EB: No discussions at all.
    CLINTON: No discussions at all. At all. Now I can’t speak for the 17 million people who voted for me, and I have a lot of supporters. But it is flatly untrue, and it is not anything that I am entertaining. It is nothing I have planned. It is nothing that I am prepared to engage in. I am still vigorously campaigning. I am happy to be here. Looking forward to campaigning here. Going to Puerto Rice tomorrow and I expect to be back here before the election. But this is part of an ongoing effort to end this before it’s over. I am very heartened by the strong support that I’ve shown in Kentucky and West Virginia just in the last two weeks. They sure don’t think it’s over. I don’t think the people who are here in South Dakota looking forward to vote think it’s over and I sure don’t think it’s over. Neither of us has the number of delegates needed to be the nominee and every time they declare it, doesn’t make it so. Neither of us do. I’ve never seen anything like this. I have, perhaps, a long enough memory that many people who finished a rather distant second behind nominees went all the way to the convention. I remember very well 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, where some who had contested in the primaries were determined to carry their case to the convention. I’m ahead in the popular vote. Less than 200 delegates separate us out of 4,400. Michigan and Florida are not resolved. No one has the nomination, so I would look to the camp of my opponent for the source of those stories.
    EB: Well, I was just going to ask, one presumes that’s where it originates.
    CLINTON: I would think so. But that’s been the pattern for quite some time now. Honestly, I just believe that this is the most important job in the world, it’s the toughest job in the world. You should be willing to campaign for every vote. You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere. I think it’s an interesting juxtaposition where we find ourselves. I have been willing to do all of that during the entire process and people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.
    EB: Why?
    CLINTON: I don’t know. I don’t know. I find it curious because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it. Between my opponent and his camp and some in the media there has been this urgency to end this. Historically, that makes no sense, so I find it a bit of a mystery.
    EB: You don’t buy the party unity argument?
    CLINTON: I don’t because, again, I’ve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nominatio

  17. read the full transcript says:

    continued
    CLINTON: I don’t because, again, I’ve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just don’t understand it and there’s lot of speculation about why it is, but . . .
    EB: What’s your speculation?
    CLINTON: You know, I don’t know, I find it curious and I don’t want to attribute motives or strategies to people because I don’t really know, but it’s a historical curiosity to me.
    EB: Does it have anything to do with gender?
    CLINTON: I don’t know that either.

  18. chuckling says:

    Well, no matter how you spin it, she’s definitely hoping something bad happens to Obama. The fact that she keeps saying it out loud, in one form or another, demonstrates that she is a sad, sick, sociopath.
    Personally, I like that about her. But like it or not, one would have to be delusional to deny the fact of it.

  19. Grendel72 says:

    She used 1992 and 1968 to focus on their being contested primaries in June.
    Right, because what better way to demonstrate that late primaries are not a bad thing than bringing up one that involved riots and ended with losing to Nixon. It all makes perfect sense now.

  20. Grendel72 says:

    And as for the two candidates being so supposedly close to each other on the issues, tell that to the families of the people who’ve died in Iraq thanks to Clinton’s vote that she still has yet to apologize for.

  21. Grendel72 is dumb and angry says:

    yeah there were riots because the contest went into June. What a maroon.
    All those people Obama is going to leave sick and uninsured agree with you.

  22. LC says:

    Thanks to “read the full transcript” for furnishing the context. This makes pretty clear the remark was not made with malign intent. (I say this as someone who voted for Obama in a primary earlier this year.)
    On a historical note,I do find it a bit strange in reading through this thread quickly to see no one (or at least no one that I recall) mentioning that it was Eugene McCarthy who forced LBJ to withdraw in March 68 by doing much better in the NH primary than anyone thought possible. RFK got in (I forget the precise date of his announcement) only after McCarthy had shown that LBJ was vulnerable. McCarthy in later years of course went a bit off the deep end politically, but that shouldn’t detract from what he achieved in 68.

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