…Speaking for me only.
On the question of whether Clinton should drop out, my position continues to be one of indifference. It’s her decision, and I doubt that it matters much either way. I suppose I would prefer that she not attack Obama using GOP talking points now that the nomination has been effectively decided, but even there as Dilan says the effects of this kind of thing are greatly overstated. (Barring a major change in fundamentals, if the election is close enough something so minor could turn the election, I’ve seriously overestimated Obama as a candidate.) I also object to assumptions that Clinton is trying to tear the party apart or sabotage Obama or whatever. I have no doubt that she will strongly support Obama as soon as she concedes. And I think one has to have some empathy here; it can’t be easy to run a race you reasonably expected to win, assemble a very strong coalition of supporters, and fall just short. I can’t really blame her for not quite wanting to concede the inevitable just yet. If staying in is “selfish,” it is only in the sense that anyone running for that kind of office is going to be.
On the other hand, claims that she’s serving some kind of noble ideal by staying in are no more plausible. I’ve seen in some quarters claims that it would undermine democracy or some such to state that Clinton should leave. The thing is, candidates drop out of races they can no longer win all the time without anyone claiming that it undermines democracy. Democracy means that Clinton can stay in until the convention if she chooses, and it also means that anybody can suggest that her staying in is bad for the party, decide to stop giving money to a lost cause, come out for Obama as a superdelegate, etc. McGovern is no more doing anything undemocratic than Clinton is. (Obviously, the argument becomes farcical when anyone who suggests that advising Clinton to drop out violates democratic values also sees nothing objectionable about counting the results of “primaries” that wouldn’t meet Vladimir Putin’s standards of legitimacy.)
In another common move, Ambinder says that it “may well be that Clinton refuses to officially drop out until she is satisfied that the voices of Florida and Michigan are heard.” The thing is, though, that the voices of Florida in Michigan will not be heard in any meaningful way no matter what happens. A fair contest is not going to be held for their delegates. Michigan Democrats do not suddenly become enfranchised if you declare ex post facto that a one-major-candidate straw poll was an ordinary primary. If “hearing their voices” just means seating them at the convention after it’s clear that they won’t be used to try to reverse the outcome of the nomination, then Clinton staying in the race prevents the issue from being resolved.
In essence, this is a trivial issue. Clinton is neither doing significant damage to the party nor acting as some sort of crusader for democracy by staying in although she’s drawing dead.
Dwight Eisenhower, in a letter to the French president Rene Coty, 7 May 1954:
The entire free world has been inspired by the heroism and stamina displayed by the gallant garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Their devotion and the quality of their resistance have been so great that that battle will forever stand as a symbol of the free world’s determination to resist dictatorial aggression and to sustain its right of self-determination and its dedication to the dignity of the human being. France has in the past suffered temporary defeats, but always she has triumphed in the end to continue as one of the world’s leaders in all things that tend to bring greater richness to the lives of men. Those who fought and died and suffered at Dien Bien Phu should know that no sacrifice of theirs has been in vain; that the free world will remain faithful to the causes for which they have so nobly fought.
I realized with a bit of a grimace this morning that I have been neglecting my feminist blogger duties. Not the blogger part. The feminist part. What up with that? Now that I am starting to emerge from the hole that has been law school (t minus 20 pages to go), it’s time for me to bring some of my focus back to feminism.
And with that, to making sure that John McCain sure as hell does not win the White House, for oh so many reasons. Not the least of which is that it would potentially spell disaster for federal protection of abortion rights. Happily, the How Much Time campaign (organized in part by some of the big national reproductive rights organizations I think, though this is nowhere on the website) is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. Here’s an ad from their new campaign:
My initial reaction was that it’s about damn time that someone started framing the issue this way in the mainstream media (though bloggers have been doing this for some time). But part of me is nervous about this tactic. What do you all think?
Redbeard writes in an e-mail:
The F-22 is all over Iron Man. Probably gets as much screen time as the Audi driven by Tony Stark. Wonder if that will get Congress to buy a bunch of them.
I don’t know; the F-22 also got tooled pretty badly by a dude in a homemade metal suit. If I were Congress I’d just buy the suit….
- That the Clinton people need to get used to the fact that Obama is the nominee. All the hyperbolic “he can never win the general” and the “it’s not fair” stuff needs to stop right now unless you want a 100-years-in-Iraq, pro-life, pro-Roberts/Alito Supreme Court, 22% lifetime LCV rating, economic right-winger as President. To spend any time or energy at all nursing your resentments is the most fundamentally selfish thing you can do right now. I hate losing elections, I know how badly you feel, and how hard it is, but there is too much at stake to be selfish right now.
- That all the avid Obama people who have been so obsessed with beating Hillary pat yourself on the back, and then get the hell over it. You’ve won the first round, get ready for round 2 because just winning the primary doesn’t count for anything in the end. Gloating feels great, but it doesn’t help Obama in any way, so put off gloating until he’s actually won the real election. Keep giving to Obama, but help the DNC and VoteVets and other groups that are working on beating McCain, too. And be a big person, and reach a hand of friendship to all the Hillary people who you have been saying mean things to for a year now. We need them.
I know all of this is obvious, so apologies for that and for the preachy tone, too. But I just had to say it. We have a candidate. Now let’s figure out how he wins.
Obvious, yes, but a reminder never hurts.
Also, proposition; if Barack Obama had continued to refer to himself as “Barry”, he never would have won the nomination, because Americans don’t cotton to damn dirty nerds.
I thought I’d seen seen some awful graduation ceremonies in my day, but Jeebus! At Wash U. in St. Louis, Chris Matthews will give the commencement address, and Phyllis “Rape Cannot Exist in the Confines of Marriage” Schlafly will receive an honorary doctorate.
The good news, of course, is that graduation robes are good for smuggling pies.
As Sam said, tonight conveyed no new information. Clinton had pretty much no chance before tonight, and she still doesn’t. They have the same coalitions they’ve had for most of the race, and Obama’s is somewhat but decisively bigger. Clinton was never going to be able to use the vote totals from
North Korea Michigan to go over the top unless you think the superdelegates are mostly complete idiots; after tonight, it’s just that Clinton can’t win even under her campaign’s own silly ad hoc metrics.
What it does seem to change is that the media may give up any pretense that Clinton could win the nomination. And given Clinton’s cancellation of appearances, you have to wonder if she’s finally going to concede the inevitable.
…this seems to confirm my speculation about the media.
I’m guessing Moises Alou isn’t the oldest player ever to steal home (Carew? Cobb?), but I suspect he may have the oldest back and knees…
I continue to regret the fact that my Moises-signed softball glove was lost forever on the swampy University of Washington softball fields.
Normally I leave this sort of thing to my betters at sites like Openleft. I don’t really know much of anything about this stuff. But:
Playing around with the current Indiana vote totals by county….
The vast majority of outstanding votes are in Lake county.
IF all other counties with outstanding precincts continue to vote as they’ve voted so far,
and Lake County turns out in the same volume relative to population and votes for Obama at the same rate as Marion county (Indianapolis), which is a 2:1 margin, Obama will gain in the ballpark of 41,000 votes. Clinton’s current margin is….41,000 votes. The two counties have virtually identical racial democraphics (25% AA), and of course Lake County is part of the Chicago media market.