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May 30, 2008

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...or, (if adverse) Hillary's reaction could be widely perceived as petulant sore-looserdom, in which case the party will unite around Obama.

I think you're spot-on, publius. I will lay down a cautious Andrew Jackson that Clinton is going to do the right thing.

By the way, I've been listening to Paul Waldman while I work on remodeling my daughter's bedroom, and I've gotten a huge kick out of his regular references to the logos/ethos/pathos thing.

You're spot-on about that, too.

It's heartening to hear him praise Obama's words in a book written before the 2006 elections. I'm hopeful that Obama's got the ethos in him, and worried that he'll be advised to talk policy too much.

Due respect, but what makes you think there is any chance her team will not appeal tomorrow's ruling?

The former first lady is demanding she be given all of Michigan's delegates and a portion of Florida's that would reflect her 17-point win there, giving her a net gain of around 80 delegates.

Source.

As we know, the RBC lacks the authority to give her what she's asking for. The best they can offer is the 50% penalty. The only way Michigan and Florida can be seated in full is if she appeals the RBC ruling and takes her fight to the Credientials Committee -- which means a floor fight at the convention is all but guaranteed.

She has every intention of going all the way to Denver. Her campaign has given every indication that that is exactly what they plan to do.

Publius says that Hillary's supporters will follow her lead. That's the fundamental premise of the post. But is it true?

I'm one of those weirdos who is a Democrat first, a Barack supporter second. I have heard all the pundits say that Hillary no longer has a real path to the nomination, so I am primed to feel betrayed by "the Party" should it somehow nominate Hillary. But in that case, would I need Barack to convince me to vote for Hillary in November? No. I am not idiot enough to vote for McCain or stay home, out of some bizarre sense that poor Barack got cheated. The presidency is a job, not a prize -- or an entitlement.

So I am at a loss to understand the Hillary-or-nobody mindset. Is she such a "strong leader" that her supporters will follow her lead no matter what?

-- TP

I hope to be pleasantly surprised by Sen. Clinton's reaction. Or to find out if all the allow-her-a-decent-interval talk was just a mugs game.

I've thought you were wrong all along, publius, about the harm the campaign has been doing. I think it could have been beneficial if Sen. Clinton had run a strongly positive campaign. Instead, since it's been clear for nearly 3 months that she can't win without kneecapping Obama, she's worked at that. And it's worked in certain demographics, where his negatives have gone up.

If the party gives her the nomination based on the flawed elections in MI and FL, and some new preacher scandal, turnout will definitely be depressed. I think she can't win the general if she wins the nomination with (a) shenanigans or (b) backroom racism. On the other hand, there's a core Clinton following that's become unhinged enough that they'll stay home if Obama wins. This too I blame on the choice she already made -- to go kitchen sink when she didn't get the knock-out blows she needed in Ohio and Texas.

She has had inumerable opportunities since March 4 to recognize that she's been beaten, and to take the high road. Instead, at each turn in the road she's doubled down, and taken new whacks at Obama. I see no reason to think her conduct now would be any different.

I'd like to think Hillary's setting the bar high for FL and MI--and knows full well that she won't get what she's asking for.

It's like going to Mexico and buying a blanket or something--bargaining is part of the culture of the thing. I don't like it--I like straightforward people who don't play games with the future of our country like she's been doing--but I'm hoping that's all it is.

Having said that, I'm with Tony P: what's up with supporters who are so invested in their candidate that they can't see the bigger picture?

I like the fact that he's told his people not to be present tomorrow when H's crowd will be protesting outside the meeting.

Tony,

Imagine the large number of people who would feel that Racism had to be the main reason should the nomination be "taken" from Obama at this point. Without a clear lead from Obama, himself, I can't imagine such a result not hurting the party greatly. It's not that everyone is comitted irrevocably to a candidate as opposed to the party, but if the result is widely seen as unfair because of racism or sexism, leadership will be needed to mend the wounds.

I think part of Publius' point is that Hillary, to some extent, has encouraged this kind of attitude and therefore, only she can dissolve it.

Sadly, I agree with CharleyCarp. There have already been a few times throughout the primary when I've thought, "OK, I can't see how she's staying in it now."

The math hasn't worked for months.

The superdelegates have been breaking against her for weeks.

There are practically no elected delegates left to win.

Every major voice that's taken any sort of stand has done so against her, including Dodd, Richardson, and Edwards. No one has switched sides in her favor.

The money situation has been bad for a while and only seems to be getting worse.

Her own advisors are getting more and more off message (Carville, Bill and others agreeing to seat half Michigan's delegation, etc.)

She's continued to drop the ball (e.g. her RFK comments) while Obama hasn't made the screwup she was waiting for, and Obama and McCain are sucking up more and more of the oxygen. She's getting very little press coverage right now, and what she is getting isn't positive.

Most of all, her campaign has taken a strong position on the Michigan and Florida delegates that, as DJA points out, the Rules Committee simply isn't authorized to approve. Her campaign is already ignoring many of the bars it's set for itself that seemed feasible at the time; it seems unlikely to me that they'd concede defeat over this, when they're already setting themselves up to lose over it.

The bottom line is that I don't see why the meeting tomorrow is any more of an opportunity than many she's had over the last few weeks and months; if it is, it's not for any reason that I've seen advanced publicly.

If Hillary intended to bow out gracefully, she wouldn't be demanding that the entire Michigan delegation be seated as-is. She's had every opportunity to go with the previous solutions her campaign's already endorsed, but instead she's standing behind what's essentially a new proposal that's designed to fail. Ickes has to have told her this already; he knows the score here better than anyone. Therefore, this isn't accidental.

By the way, it seems the chair of the Florida Dems has sent out an email saying getting half is what she expects, and it's time to unite and turn our attention to the general. Quotes from the email are over at The Field: https://ruralvotes.com/thefield/

Al Giordano points out that the FDP chair,who is a Clinton supporter, is the one with real decision-making authority in the Florida party. If she's ready to deal, that sends an important message to Clinton supporters, and takes the wind out of the "nuclear" option.

Well, it made me feel better, anyhow.

The more you realize that what a candidate or politician is customarily expected to do in a given situation has no pull on Clinton's decision making (as with Bush before her), the more sense she makes.

This will not end soon.

But the Clinton campaign doesn't have to abide by what either the Florida or Michigan Democratic parties want -- in fact they've already rejected solutions from both. Here's a very long article from HuffPo outlining all the possible elements of a nightmare scenario. Things don't look good to me right now, though I've been wrong before and I hope I'm wrong now.

I just don't see Clinton's reaction making that much of a difference. Yes, it will be a big story. But if Clinton reacts petulantly and irrationally, the only guaranteed victim of her behavior will be the Clintons themselves. Obama might win in November....or he might lose. But unless she plays nice soon and negotiates a seat at the table for herself, Hillary Clinton is going to have much less say in the process than her supporters (or apparently some Obama supporters) currently think.

As for Big Tent Democrat and Taylor Marsh: they may be (your) political family, but they're the kind of family that one doesn't invite over for major holidays. Don't get me wrong. I completely believe that successful political campaigns involve working with people who one might otherwise find distasteful. But the behavior of these two during the campaign was about a lot more than candidate-derangement-syndrome. BTD, in particular, has a long and sordid record of thin-skinned rageaholic online behavior. In the last week, Geraldine Ferraro has given us all yet another lesson in the fact that just because someone is a leading member of one's own political party doesn't mean that he or she is a decent human being. (Full disclosure: I'm a Green, not a Democrat. But this lesson applies in spades to my party, too.)

Dear Publius. I hope you are well.

Frankly, I HOPE the Democrats end up split and disunited. I don't like that party for many reasons. So I won't weep if Hillary Clinton is a sore loser.

Sincerely, Sean

I fear that those who think that Hillary will take the fight on to the Convention are right. I hope I am wrong. But I look for her not getting ALL the Michigan delegates to be the excuse and reason to keep fighting. I just don't think she (and Bill) can overcome their pathos and their absolute, subjective belief, that they are owed this.

But she may be walking a fine line. At some point won't some of her supporters start doubting the credibility of her suicide (or murder/suicide) mission? If she starts to look pathetic, like an embarrassment, like the drunk who won't leave when the party is over, she might start losing the support of some of her following, as the jokes start piling up on late night TV. Maybe Obama will be best off to just leave her to spew and spin her tragic theory of the week without commenting, and let her actions speak for themselves. Democratic leaders and the press may just start ignoring her.

It ought to be obvious by now that if the Democrats win in November, it will most likely only be with Obama. If we don't want McCain, we better start unifying. If the superdelegates were so crazy as to crown Hillary the victor at this point (which they are not), most of the African Americans and younger supporters would bolt from the party for a generation. The Democratic Party would be more mortally wounded than the Republican Party is this year--which would really be saying something.

I don't think the Clintons and their die hard supporters yet comprehend that they likely have lost the majority of African American voters--the most loyal voting block in the Democratic Party--for good. Forever. The bridge is burned. (Heckuva job, Bill!) (This may be one of the really interesting tales of this election in a few decades: how an influential political couple went from having near universal backing of African American voters to near universal hostility in less than two months.)

There is simply no viable path for her to get the nomination, or win the election if she were somehow to get the nomination that I can see. I am sure it is sad for many women who had hoped to see this barrier broken in their lifetimes. I hope they can eventually see, though, that they will get a lot closer to their political objectives with Obama than McCain. Frequently reminding Hillary supporters of the potential consequences to the US Supreme Court if McCain is elected may not be a bad idea either.

Sean: And those of us who see what your preferred choice has done to the prosperity, justice, good government, peace, and harmony of the world will continue to pray that your God softens your heart and opens your eyes as he did for Cyrus when it was time to end the Babylonian captivity. America's been sold into bondage and, to mix my captivities, you didn't even get a mess of pottage for it unless you're in the top 1% or so. But we realize that few Republicans set out to join the devil's party, you got decieved into it, and we hope that you'll join the others who've figured it out so far.

(In case anyone's wondering: no, I'm not being flippant here. Movement conservatism couldn't be more hostile to the explicit words of Jesus and the rest of the Bible's advice on society and government if it were overtly Satanist. That would add a frisson of stagecraft, but not add anything meaningful when it comes to opposing Christ's quite clear instructions about Christian conduct. It's not just the consequences of the movement's policies, it's the lifestyle of perpetual confrontation, willful lying in the service of campaigning, the cultivation of anger, jealousy, and the like, the lying about and closeted indulgence in all kinds of vices, and all the rest. Supporting that movement and trying to be Christian is fully as difficult as trying to be a good Christian Stasi spy would be.)

Looking back at the absurd, specious arguments Clinton and her people have been making for the last few months, I don't see people likely to lose gracefully.

Graceful went out the window a long time ago.

The question is whether they can act honorably, and I'm not very hopeful about that.

In the days ahead, the Clintons have the power either to unite the party going into the fall, or to leave a lasting, poisonous, and potentially-fatal schism. At this point, it’s not clear what path they’ll choose.

Are you kidding? All the evidence points to the latter. It's not even clear the Clintons could gracefully withdraw now - with all the rhetoric about disenfranchisement and staying in for people who don't quit, a withdrawal now would feel like a betrayal to her supporters. She's in blood too far.

I'm off to the R&B Committee meeting. I'd say I'll let you know how it goes, but no doubt you'll all be glued to your TVs watching it.

KCinDC - I don't think I can bear to watch. So any updates/reports would be appreciated, if you can.

If she tries to poison the well I doubt she'll have much love on her return to DC or any chance of doing much of anything politically after that. She is the junior Senator from NY so she's not exactly high up on the food chain but if she expects to chair a committee or something (or even not face a primary challenger in NY) she'd have to bow out gracefully right? However, I haven't seen much instinct of self-preservation coming from the Clinton camp these days though so that might be meaningless to them.

As Jon H suggests, it's hard to imagine a graceful exit for the Clinton campaign now. The Clintons -- and I use the plural intentionally, because it's their campaign now, not solely hers -- have, consistently and explicitly, ramped up the message that their campaign is a fight for nothing less than democracy itself ("every vote counts," etc.). They have actually hardened their position on the Florida and Michigan votes, so that they are now demanding an all-or-nothing restoration of the delegates that even the state parties are not requesting. (Apparently, the Clinton campaign feels it's better qualified to define the correct remedy than the representatives of the "disenfranchised" voters themselves.) These are not the actions of someone seeking a good-faith solution to a difficult and complex problem.

Clinton has -- explicitly -- compared her campaign to the causes of abolition, womens' suffrage and the civil rights movement. How does she quit now, having explicitly established herself as the candidate who can not, must not, will not?

I am sad to say that I don't see this ending well.

One final note -- although the Obama campaign has explicitly asked its supporters not to demonstrate, or even wear campaign shirts, at the RBC meeting, my wife is wearing her Obama shirt today around the house. She said, "I was planning on wearing it until she concedes, but then I realized that's probably not a good idea."

New slogan: Less Drama, More Obama!

Clinton's campaign has been characterized by two things: egotism and shortsightedness. She consistanty does what looks to be advantageous to herself with no awareness of longterm consequences and a lack of unerstanding of people and how they might react to her.

So my thought is that she intends to run in 2012 as the candidate we should have chosen in 2008. She will make a gracious-sounding concesion speach--after having spent the last weeks promoting the myth thaat she was cheated so that the critical one or two percent won't vote for Obama so that he will lose.

that's the only explanation I can think of that explains her promotin of lies about the popular vote and the FL and MIgh elections. Why else promote the myth of victimaization unless she thinks she can exploit it later?

It won't work, however. I mean shemight succeed in defeating Obama but it won't work for her to prtesnt herslef in 2012. She will be totally tainted. But don't count on her or Penn or Wolfson being able to see beyond their arrogance to recognize that.

Over and over we commenters on lefty threads have assumed that she was politically smart and that she would do the right thing if only to save her own career.

She is NOT politically smart.

Harumph, I say!

As the semi-nasty reaction here shows, it's also important how Obama supporters comport themselves - and the comments here are not a good sign. Indeed, neither is the all-too-common "the Clintons" dismissal of Senator Clinton as an individual. The "baddening of the blood" has two distinct authors.

So shoot me, I still prefer the Senator from NY over the Senator from IL - but will happily support Barack Obama. Respectfully, I suggest you all should adopt his tone at some point soon.

Have any journalists asked Clinton why she's not abstaining from the Puerto Rico vote? Given that her people have been telling us for months that electability and swing states are what matter most, I would think they would have no interest in a place that can't vote in November. Unless of course, there is no logical or moral consistency in her campaign's position...

And how does she ever do this? She has been claiming in dramatic manner that she has won the popular vote, that more people have voted for her, and she has made this claim an absolute. How does she ever "unmake" this claim? "Oh, I was just kidding."

Intentionally or not, she has painted herself into a corner. There is no way she can relinquish her claim to the nomination without either looking like a fool or being revealed as a liar.

She has put her party in a bad position. Not will, has.

it's also important how Obama supporters comport themselves... Respectfully, I suggest you all should adopt his tone at some point soon.

or else ?

Tom,
You seem reasonable, & Im glad to hear that you'll support the eventual nominee (whomever it will be). Im curious, though- do you see Clinton's current rhetorical extremes (eg Zimbabwe) as 1)just rhetoric, no big deal 2)more or less accurate 3)over the top,but not unforgivable 4)too far? Do you think that they are improving or reducing our chances in November?

Tom W, I'd hope to be proven wrong about Sen. Clinton. Only she can prove me wrong though. And if she does, I'll happily support her in whatever endeavor that makes sense. I think this is a vast majority sentiment on my side of the aisle on this one.

As for the more unhinged of her supporters -- a tiny but vocal minority, I trust -- you know, sometimes the shoe just fits. Take a scroll through TalkLeft and see how many commenters are saying they'd rather vote for McCain. Do they think he agrees with them on any significant issue? Do they think he wouldn't be "mean" to Sen. Clinton if she were the nominee? I have a hard time believing that either is true for any of them. Instead, they are taking the whole thing personally in a way that nothing I say or do will ever reach them.

Tom W: I don't have a problem with Clinton supporters in general, with your continuing to support her, and so on. I think it's Clinton's tactics that provoke dismay, not her supporters.

If I were affiliated with the campaign, I would absolutely be less snarky than I am. But I'm not. I do try never to say derogatory things about her supporters in general (though particular supporters are of course different; if Taylor Marsh says something idiotic, I see no reason not to say so, as long as I'm clear that I'm talking about her in particular, and not generalizing. Likewise, I have no problem criticizing particular Obama supporters.)

But criticizing her tactics is, I think, fair game.

All this talk of a convention fight is a bit silly. Even if she gets the very best she can hope for she is down by 68 delegates with maybe another 15 net with puerto rico. That means the remaining 200 (plus maybe 30 plus florida and michigan) supers are going to have break 60-40 for Hillary. Barack clearly has a good chunk of them announcing next week which leaves even fewer of them in play. Once the supers commit the whole Florida/Michigan debate will be absolutely moot as there's no way she can come back, something the MSM seems to have ignored.

If Obama gets the nomination, I'm voting for McCain. It is Hillary or nobody as far as Democrats go this time around, for me.

At WaPost's The Fix, Chris Cillizza is live blogging the Rules and Bylaws committee meeting at https://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/?hpid=topnews

msmerlin, is that because you'd like to go to war with Iran and make the Bush tax cuts permanent, or is it the prospect of strengthening the Scalia wing of the Supreme Court that's motivating you? Or is there something else, worth enduring all the above, that you think you can get from McCain?

Mark Brewer, how could you not know the selection rules back to front? Rule 20(c)(5) authorizes the DNC to craft an entirely new delegate plan exactly in this fashion, and the Rule 13 "shall" language is only one of the three factors to be considered. It doesn't require direct votes. You should know that.

Otherwise, though, Brewed was good, and Levin has been solid so far.

How astonishing -- the Michigan primary was and their allocation is way less legitimate than Florida's, but based on the speakers I'm highly in support of Michigan's proposal, and Florida can stuff it.

Of course, part of the issue here is that Michigan was actually acting in good faith, as Levin is saying. The Florida Democrats acting totally without class when they moved their election date.

Msmerlin: You will voluntarily, deliberately choose to prolong the war in Iraq, the budget deficit, our alienation from the rest of the world in diplomatic matters, our worsening health care crisis, the falling prospects of everyone but the top 1%, the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity, pandering to the religious right, and the prospect of handing over the Supreme Court to extreme reactionaries for the next half century over Obama? What, exactly, makes him worse than all that?

My opposition to Clinton is simple enough. I want the end of our occupation in Iraq, as (I believe) a necessary precursor to useful social change at home, and I want an administration where competence holds a higher priority than personal loyalty. I don't see that Clinton is much improvement over McCain on those fronts, which is why I didn't vote for her in primary season. But if she were to get the nomination, I'd vote for her because I can see that she is still materially better than McCain on many other issues, even if I think she'd be horrible for the country on some crucial points. I am really dumbfounded at the idea that any Democrat could see McCain as a net gain for the country over Obama.

Levin is totally making sense.

My opposition to Clinton is simple enough. I want the end of our occupation in Iraq, as (I believe) a necessary precursor to useful social change at home, and I want an administration where competence holds a higher priority than personal loyalty.

Hm. I don't see any sexism there. Do you?

I'd never be so foolish as to say that I have no sexist impulses, but I have done a lot of self-examination to see what objections I have to Clinton seem fairly and truly independent of her gender and to focus on those.

I am really dumbfounded at the idea that any Democrat could see McCain as a net gain for the country over Obama.

but remember, Obama supporters are the cult. Clinton supporters just really like KoolAid.

gwangung, I don't understand what you're saying. (Or implying.) If you mean to imply that there is sexism in the passage you quote, where is it? The loyalty comment could be applied to Bush as surely as to Hillary (which is how I assumed Bruce meant it), so....???

Or was your comment intended to be straightforward and not snarky? Sometimes I can't tell a joke if it's wearing a sign, so it would be no surprise if at this point I also can't tell a serious comment ditto.

I am really dumbfounded at the idea that any Democrat could see McCain as a net gain for the country over Obama.

Me too. Yet I do hear extreme anger from Clinton supporters, and at best only the most grudging acknowledgement that Obama is superior to McCain.

I have heard people who dislike Bush as much as anyone say they will consider McCain. Some of this is because of Clinton. (Some, like it or not, because of Wright). I personally think Obama needs not just a graceful exit, but vigorous support from Clinton to win in November.

She has a chance to be a hero. I hope she takes it.

msmerlin: If Obama gets the nomination, I'm voting for McCain. It is Hillary or nobody as far as Democrats go this time around, for me.

Wow. I’m a life-long conservative (xRepub) and I won’t vote for McCain. So… Wow.

Wow. I’m a life-long conservative (xRepub) and I won’t vote for McCain. So… Wow.

That's OK. Something tells me that msmerlin is a life-long conservative too.

Or was your comment intended to be straightforward and not snarky? Sometimes I can't tell a joke if it's wearing a sign, so it would be no surprise if at this point I also can't tell a serious comment ditto.

Serious and straightforward.

Yes, I do have a day job.

On the other hand, this whole society has degenerated to the point where gratuitous accusations of racism and persecution (perhaps deliberately and cynically) have been tossed out there to muddy the waters and lessen our ability to discern true oppression.

The "Christian" Right...I'm looking at you.

gwangung, thanks for the clarification.

I'm with you on the 3:03 comment as well.

This dKos liveblog is very funny. Sample:

"Update 45 - Woman is speaking. She is bitter. She's a believer! It's Obama's fault! He withheld his name! He was CLEARLY in favor of not winning. Bad, Obama! How dare you think the rules committee would do what it said it would! She is deeply troubled. She is enslaved, like Ickes, by the unfairness of it all. Oh the humanity.

Update 46 - Why is everyone troubled? Are they losing sleep? During the conference call for Clintonites, was this a code word for something else? Does anyone know that the outcome of this won't have a huge impact on the nomination?

Update 47- Bonior says, "Whateva. You can't know what people are thinking? Do you have your own psychic network?"

Woman: BUT I AM TROUBLED."

Hillary should be the nominee. More democrats voted for her than for Obama. What right does he have to the nomination? Sure, he has more delegates, but he hasn't got enough to pledged to clinch the nomination. So it's up to each campaign to convince enough superdeleages (who can change from Obama to Clinton) to back them. Hillary will say that more democrats voted for her than for any other candidate in the party's history AND that polls conclusively show that she's far stronger than Obama in swing states. Obama will say...what? That no, he didn't get more votes than Clinton, but somehow he ended up with more delegates. It's just bizarre. I think our country is the only true democracies in the world where candidates who gets fewer votes than their opponents often win elections...

Hillary should be the nominee.

Hilzoy should be the nominee. Oh, to dream…

I see there being a fundamental conflict here.

In any negotiation, both sides tend to ask for the moon, hoping that the invietable compromise is close to their ideal.

So opening negotiations tend to be full of sound and fury, the taking of extreme and outlandish principles solely so each side can "conceed" ground without actually giving away anything important. (Indeed, failure to realize this has been a critical component of Democratic Congressional failures for years.).

So Hillary Clinton asks for Florida and Michigan to be seated in full, as is, and to not only gain the delegates she won in Michigan, but half the uncommitted ones to boot.

Obama asks for....the rules to be followed. (In all fairness, he really can't ask for more. His position really limits him from, for example, demanding Michigan and Florida be punished further -- how can they be?).

Hillary Clinton doesn't expect to get what she's demanding. Obama doesn't expect to have the rules followed as originally written.

Where the problem lies is that in her sound and fury, in her asking for the moon, she has stirred her supporters to do the same. And many of them do NOT see that position as merely a negotiation point, designed to be sacrificed. Hillary has drummed them up, had them echo her most outlandish demands.

Hillary Clinton knows they are positions to be sacrificed. Not all of her supporters do. Her short-term negotiation techniques are resulting in some segment of her voters being unable to be satisified with any compromise -- even if Hillary is delighted with it.

In the end, I can't see what she's after. These negotiations could have been done behind the scenes for pretty much the same results. Doing them publically, with all the sound and fury, does not change the math for her at all.

I can only come up with a handful of possibilities:

1) She stirs up her supporters because she wishes them to continue donating, out of anger and betrayal, to pay off her debts. That would be the ultimate sandbagging of the party for personal gain.

2) She stirs them up because she honestly believes she can win -- in which case she is fundamentally insane.

3) She stirs them up because she is angry, in which case this is pure revenge for being beaten.

4) She honestly believes in the unfairness of the rules, and coincidentally only came to this conclusion in the wake of Super Tuesday -- in which case, she should bloody well conceed which would allow full seating of the delegates without tarnishing them by making it look like a crass political move.

Obama will say...

that with a united party he can win, that his coalition looks to the future, that if it turns out that delegates abandon Obama because of perceived racism of the voters, a large number of people he brought into the process with become disillusioned -- not just now, but in the future, and that awarding her the nomination for going back on her position re MI and FL validates the RW critique that she's unprincipled and power hungry.

Everyone's just guessing about electability, but I have to say this: if Sen. Clinton's supporters think she and they've been on the bad side of a negative campaign up to now, just what on earth do they think is going to happen when someone not hoping for their support in the fall steps up.

I think our country is the only true democracies in the world where candidates who gets fewer votes than their opponents often win elections...

the rules of the election were known before the election started. the time to change them was before, not during.

I'm a hard core Clinton supporter, but will not follow her lead if she quits, and I've never voted Republican in my life, not even for a dog catcher. The issue is that Obama is a racist, sexist and arrogant jerk. He is inexperienced and naive and unacceptable. Hillary's supporters have other choices, and one of them, John McCain, will be the one I vote for if she's not nominated. Obama's people are dreaming if they think we will unite with them. He took the nomination from women. We'll take it from him.

Does anyone else read screeds like Tina5959's and wonder how many people like that are actually democrats and how many are republican rat-fsckers? I mean, if that sort of thing was written by someone who had been commenting here for a year or two, I wouldn't question their authenticity, but when you see random newbies with such, um, extremely strong opinions that might be, um, lacking in factual support, I do wonder...

Turb: You read my mind.

Obama's people are dreaming if they think we will unite with them. He took the nomination from women. We'll take it from him.

nope, nothing sexist about that. nope. not at all.

I mean, if that sort of thing was written by someone who had been commenting here for a year or two, I wouldn't question their authenticity

the thing is, you can find scores of identical comments by well-known liberal bloggers at places like TalkLeft, CorrenteWire, Taylor Marsh, etc.. even delegates to state conventions are getting in on the insanity.

there might be Republican trolls having fun, but they fit in perfectly with actual Clinton supporters.

It really boils down to who is the lesser of 2 evils. Aparently these folks (rebublican OR democrat) prefer McCain over Obama. Some may be racist, others may fear that Obama is way too "out there" for them, what with the racist preachers and all. The latter are not evil or stupid, they're just voting for someone other than McCain.The former are ignorant (and possibly evil) miscreants that the party has little or no use for anyway. So all's good.

The idea that McCain would be an improvement over Obama when it comes to the status and treatment of women is...boggling.

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to try circulating the meme "If you can't vote Democrat, don't vote" or something of the sort.

I continue to be surprised by the amazement of friends who are Obama supporters when I tell them I don't care for Obama and will not vote for him if he gets the nomination. They simply can't believe that I don't think he's the be-all and end-all. Typically the immediate question I get is "Why don't you like him? Because he's black?!" This I don't dignify with a response. I try to explain that I think he is inexperienced and that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he is not the "unifying" politician he claims to be. This all falls on deaf ears. Explaining that he is more liberal than most Americans (including me, a moderate) are comfortable with is another argument that doesn't get very far. Pointing out his slim record in the Senate and questionable judgment (another one of his claims to being "different") likewise fail to convince these folks. Right around then, I get accused of "being negative about Barack" and being a secret Republican and/or a racist. Oh, and don't ever mention to these people the laundry list of things Obama has decreed we can't ask him or talk about. If McCain or any Republican (or really, anyone besides Obama) were trying to impose these conditions, these very same people would be shrieking and screaming.
Sigh. Now I finally understand what my more conservative friends mean when they talk about liberals.

I continue to be surprised by the amazement of friends who are Obama supporters when I tell them I don't care for Obama and will not vote for him if he gets the nomination. They simply can't believe that I don't think he's the be-all and end-all. Typically the immediate question I get is "Why don't you like him? Because he's black?!" This I don't dignify with a response. I try to explain that I think he is inexperienced and that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that he is not the "unifying" politician he claims to be. This all falls on deaf ears. Explaining that he is more liberal than most Americans (including me, a moderate) are comfortable with is another argument that doesn't get very far. Pointing out his slim record in the Senate and questionable judgment (another one of his claims to being "different") likewise fail to convince these folks. Right around then, I get accused of "being negative about Barack" and being a secret Republican and/or a racist. Oh, and don't ever mention to these people the laundry list of things Obama has decreed we can't ask him or talk about. If McCain or any Republican (or really, anyone besides Obama) were trying to impose these conditions, these very same people would be shrieking and screaming.
Sigh. Now I finally understand what my more conservative friends mean when they talk about liberals.

Right around then, I get accused of "being negative about Barack" and being a secret Republican and/or a racist.

Given this blog's research on Obama, I think the trolls are out tonight...

CC: "I continue to be surprised by the amazement of friends who are Obama supporters when I tell them I don't care for Obama and will not vote for him if he gets the nomination. They simply can't believe that I don't think he's the be-all and end-all."

I don't have any difficulty understanding not thinking Obama is the be-all and end-all. It's the not voting for him over McCain part that would amaze me, if you are a Democrat.

Well, it's now post-RBC meeting, and it looks as though she's gonna keep it ugly. Sigh.

One thing that people keep forgetting about Hillary: she's a Senator. If she loses the nomination AND makes a stink about it, she'll go back to a Senate with a Democratic leadship that's angry with her. She will lose her power in the Senate, she can forget about chairing committees, she can forget about posts to important committees. At the moment, with 200+ superdelegates still uncommitted, it's still mathematically possible that she would win. But one day soon (say, next Wednesday), it will no longer be mathematically possible unless lots of superdelegates change sides. At that point, she can gracefully concede, keep her promise to fight until the end, and point out to her supporters that she lost fair and square.

THAT is what is needed - a way that she can say that the race is OVER, and she lost.

On today's decisions, the only thing she can legitimately complain about is the loss of 4 pledged delegates in Michigan. If that ends up making the difference, then it really IS too close to call.

a very active wehnsite for hillary supporters is

HIllary is our choice

https://www.hillaryisourchoice.com

Cranky Centrist: I'm a barely-left-of-center Democrat, and I supported Edwards when the process started. I'm not nearly as comfortable with Obama as I wish I were, but I can't see voting for McCain. And I can't see sitting it out, either, since I think a McCain presidency would drive the nation further into ruin. You might end up seeing the election, as almost all are, the lesser of two evils. But still, vote for the lesser. Remember, all that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Chredon, do you mind my asking what about Edwards appealed to you as a first choice? I like comparing notes with folks who don't fit the cliche of a supporter of this candidate or that.

A couple of thoughts about this. 1)I am amazed by how blindly supporters of both sides are for there candidate, that being said young voters give the democratic party a look at a long term majority, so score for the Obama camp there, as opposed to Hillary who will probably alienate both the young and the black vote, two big democratic staples. Dean knows it and obviously so does Fowler, but heres the tricky thing, if Obama is the nominee then the firt family isn't the once shiny Clintons, and that might be the worst blow to both Hillary and Bills ego. Of course none of this matters if the Superdelegates had gotten off their asses and endorsed before now, instea of being the spineless cowards they are.

Explaining that he is more liberal than most Americans (including me, a moderate)...

Odd- were you a Hillary supporter? Because I thought the operating meme from that camp was that Obama wasn't liberal enough (eg health care plan). What about Obama is so far left that you, a self-proclaimed moderate, cannot abide him? Who was your choice from the Dem field?

And Ill admit it, I completely think you're a secret (and not particularly subtle) Republican, or GOP-leaning independent. The people whose votes were actually up for grabs usually have less-nebulous reasons for their choices- comes from having actually thought about them.
That last bit isn't intended as an insult per se- if you're firmly in one camp, then there may not be a lot of necessity to figure out which folks from the other camp you detest least. For example, I have no serious thoughts on which of Giuliani or Huckabee would have been less terrible. But if you were genuinely choosing, Id expect the artifacts of that process to come to more than the general embrace of right-wing memes.

She will lose her power in the Senate, she can forget about chairing committees, she can forget about posts to important committees.

Are we thinking about the same Senate? The one where Harry Reid says Lieberman will keep his committee chair even after endorsing the Republican presidential candidate?

"Her supporters will follow her lead. "

Don't mistake the feminist contingent for the bulk of Clinton's support. A good many Clintonites are simply supporting her as the only acceptable Democratic option. If she's not the nominee, they won't vote for Obama, who is an empty suit with a nice speaking voice--and what there is of him is way too far to the left.

Don't kid yourself. Obama's supporters are the Koolaid drinkers, but they'd never vote for a Republican. Clinton's half of the party might be quieter, but they're more ready to vote for Republicans. Especially McCain.

Don't Be A Good Democrat

This is a serious request, to Clinton supporters.

I have a few issues not up for discussion where I simply am going to disagree with Clinton - on military action in the Middle East, on management style, and on mandates for health care. (This last is based on my experience as a disabled person with mandatory at-time-of-service fees and various forms of compensation. I can expand if anyone cares, or we can just take it as a point of disagreement.) Oh, and I think that tactical assessment of the American electorate favors Obama over Clinton. You're not going to persuade me on those issues.

But then those aren't the only issues.

Acknowledging those disagreements, what else in Clinton's portfolio do you think I and others like me should be giving more heed to? Hilzoy did a great endorsement post for Obama months back listing stances and styles in Obama's campaign that she found distinctively deserving of praise, and I agree with pretty much all of it. What's comparable for Clinton? Some years back, Clinton pushed to put (among others) friends of mine out of business thanks to censorship schemes. Has she improved on that? Has she backed away from flag burning toward a robust defense of religious pluralism in public life? Is she now in favor of improved citizen access to proposed laws and other official information? Is there good stuff in her approach to education, the environment, support for scientific research? What are the ideas that you think Obama supporters should look at in hopes of changing our minds?

I mean all this seriously, I repeat. I would much rather change my mind in the face of new evidence than stick to an old stance just because I held it in the past, and I know I'm not alone in that. Please, sell us Clinton policies, if you would.

Its alright, plenty of time for a big chunk of her elderly, angry women supportrs to slip off the mortal coil before november - and plenty more new voters turn 18! Double whammy for Obammy.

That's in appallingly bad taste, Richard, and I hope you will come to your senses and apologize. You're talking about, among others, neighbors of my Mom and friends and colleagues of mine, and I'd rather have them alive than not.

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