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January 20, 2007

Comments

Won't the most important thing any potential Democratic President in '08 (as opposed to the next Democratic President in general) will need to do is orchestrate a withdrawal from Iraq that gets as few people, either ours or friendly Iraqis who would be shot as 'collaborators' killed as possible? I.E, not like Saigon?

Just a thought.

OK, true enough. Will update accordingly.

Thanks.

"Who is the one Democratic candidate, of those currently under discussion, whose personal baggage makes her the least likely either to attempt to do this, or to succeed should she make the attempt?"

Umm, Clark? Since he's going to be a foreign-policy guy first? Or Edwards, since he's got that trial-lawyer background? Or Obama, since he's going to be busy whacking "some" on the left?

Obama is discomfited by those on the left who, in his view, minimize the threat of terrorism. In his recent book, he even scolds those who put the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and the improvement of relations with America’s allies, ahead of national-security concerns. “The objectives favored by liberals have merit,” he writes. “But they hardly constitute a coherent national security policy.” He adds that “the threats facing the United States today are real, multiple, and potentially devastating.” But when he writes that it’s “useful to remind ourselves, then, that Osama bin Laden is not Ho Chi Minh,” it’s hard to imagine who would confuse the two.
?

How in the world could we know? But maybe someone who thought it was the first thing to try to tackle 14 years ago would be a good person to have in the WH.

Sigh. I was much too cranky on the last thread, but I confess not finding much to this objection either.

If Hillary can't spin this as, "we tried -- Big Health stopped us -- but now we have to try again" -- so that her past failure actually gives her the experience necessary to attempt the task ...

... then she deserves to lose, sure, if she's that dumb. But I'm not going to assume her stupidity up front!

Lord knows, Hillary's not my ideal Democratic candidate. However, there are no ideal candidates.

Theoretically Health Care can be fixed cost-free, but the practicalities of what you will get out of Congress will be very expensive. There are many other expenses coming u very soon that put the budget under stress, and make mist new programs impossible. There may be a peace dividend someday, but short-term withdrawal or redeployment and demobilization will be very expensive

My number one priority is raising taxes. Massively. If the 94 Health Care attempt is a debit, the fact that the Clinton Dynasty maged to raise taxes and survive and get re-elected is a credit. Edwards has said he will go for capital gains taxes, but looks a little scared and that isn't enough. I want about 5 percent of GDP, reaching deep into the low six figure pockets.

5% percent of GDP. You will not imagine the heat. Bernanke and Wall Street will probably manpulate the economy in resistance.

In return theose middle-class professionals will get some security from health terrors.
But I really think the key to successful liberalism is not what goodies you give, but what shared sacrifice you can sell. Even Pelosi and Reid would rather talk about paygo than tazes, and I expect both of those rich folk representing rich folk to resist Hillary every step of the way.
...
PS:I also think Hillary is the only one who can pull out of the Middle East and handle the heat. The heat will not come only from the Right but from the MSM:Katie Couric is going to have film for an interview where she asks:"100,000 Iraqi women were raped and murdered by Shiite death squads last year. President X, are you really proud of your decision?" Edwards and Obama will dissolve.

Bob: Capital gains taxes in say somewhere like California already rises pretty quickly to about %40 (state + federal). I'm not usually anti-tax. But just how much higher are you going to raise them before there is no point whatsoever to investing in the stock market (or any other market)? Of course the real capital gains tax is even higher than that, since cap gains goes at a nominal rate, meaning you pay taxes on a gain that you didn't really realize owing to inflation. It would lead to divestment from the stock market, far less liquidity on those markets (speculators do help make markets liquid), and greater foreign of American firms. Really? This is a good idea? A better idea than trying to reduce medical costs??

Bernanke is going to cut liquidity and tank the economy no matter which Democrat gets elected or what policies they go for.

What I want? A real repudiation of this admin in terms that are unmistakable, which is why I'm not as horrified by the HRC candidacy as Hilzoy. I don't want us 30 years from now, having idiotic debates how we would have won had had we only given budgetary support to Maliki or had the Dems not demanded the hanging of Saddam. In the ways that HRC represents a triangulation, I'm not so happy, but in the ways that she would represent 180 degree change, I'm all for her.

Having a nominee who comes pre-demonized is bad enough.

Is "pre-demonization" really such a handicap? I would think there might actually be an advantage to having most of your dirt out there, on the table, already thoroughly picked over. The press wants fresh dirt, not Travelgate (which wasn't terribly exciting even when it was news), and after weathering those storms, Sen. Clinton ends up looking like a battle-tested political survivor. Couldn't this be a case of "whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger"?

I am thoroughly unexcited by her as a candidate, of course, with her Iraq War Resolution vote topping my list of complaints, and I think she has a major likability problem, but I see this as a separate matter from the way she's been demonized by the right wing.

Al Gore and his history on the environment: baggage or evidence of genuine passion and knowledge? Same hopeful caution should apply to HRC and health care.

After 6 years of Bush, I'd rather have an expert who couldn't rally enough political will than an idealogue who may not know enough about the intricacies of the health care industry and lead to passage of faulty laws (too many examples to list, but NoChildLeftBehind and Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act leap to mind).

The bankruptcy bill is not an example of the work of Congressional ideologues unschooled in the intricacies. It's a bill written by the finance lobby that the lobby's been trying to get through for a decade. They just succeeded in bribing enough members to get it through.

I wouldn't agree that NCLB fits your characterization, either, but it's more arguable.

"A better idea than trying to reduce medical costs??"

Nice framing, but a little vague.

The capital gains idea is Edwards, not me. Think of me as a pro-corporate conservative.
No business taxes, or corporate taxes.Let's return to the 50s, only better!

A steeply progressive personal income tax that takes federal revenues equal to 25% of GDP, and Dow back down at 1000. Let business build factories instead of buying each other, and motivate management to spend their lives at one company, and leave CEO's dependent on the company's survival because they actually need the health-care and pension.


@Nell, good point that industry lobby is the cause of many bad bills; but my focus was not on Congress, but on the Executive. If Bush administration, as it professed, was concerned about reforming the schools and bankruptcy laws, a president more schooled in the innerworkings of that industry would strive to get provisions that met his objectives. The point is that neither NCLB and BAPCPA met even the republican goals due to bad wording and insufficient scrutiny by the bill's proponents in the administration. With HRC (and probably BHO) such worry is minimal.

I think a rise in capital gains taxes is a pretty bum idea, truth be told. But then again I always prefer income taxes to capital taxes, because I think willingness-to-work at higher income brackets is less sensitive to income tax change than investment decisions are to capital tax changes. Any conservatives with me? Any liberals?

Bob: you are a pro-corporate conservative who wants to use tax policy to meddle with structure of corporate management to peel it back to 1950??

What about an Obama-Clinton ticket? Or Obama-Edwards? Not, I think, Clinton-Obama; not Clinton-Edwards. I'd like to see Obama in there. Maybe Hillary as VP? Would she go for it? Maybe not. But it would be interesting.

"Bob: you are a pro-corporate conservative"

It was a joke. I think. And I shouldn't jack this thread into economic policy.

Bush revealed or leaked his Health Care plan today! Lowers costs, lowers taxes, increases freedom and choice. But doesn't deserve a link, cause it's evil.

How about Clinton/Gore 2008, Remember Peace and Prosperity?

There are some things which might tempt Gore to enter the race.

Being offered the VP spot is not one of them.

How about a new cabinet-level position as climate crisis czar?

Obviously Gore/Clinton, then.

Well, I'd certainly enjoy seeing Gore get elected again.

The Atlantic on HRC.

I've got more of a structural question: why do we keep nominating Senators, and why can't we stop? The three leading candidates for the Democratic nomination are Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and ex-Senator Edwards. All of them are probably fine people, but there's no particular reason to think that being a Senator is relevant experience to being President.

Is this just because a Presidential candidate has to be nationally known, and the gatekeeper to being nationally known is the Washington press corps, and the Washington press corps doesn't know how to write about anyone but Senators? I'm afraid it probably is that simple, but I'm sorry the whole country has to pay for a few dozen reporters' lack of imagination.

Yes, Matt, it is about that simple.

For me, this is easy: If Sen. Clinton is in the race, I have to work on someone else's campaign, early.

Matt, one reason is that the election laws allow senators to raise money ostensibly for their Senate campaigns and then transfer it to presidential campaigns. You think HRC needed the millions she raised for her senatorial election blowout this time? Governors can't make such transfers, because governor isn't a federal office.

Hilzoy: ?Q: What is the single most important domestic policy issue the next Democratic President will need to do , other than dealing with unforeseen catastrophes?

Electoral reform. With that, all else becomes possible: without that, nothing is possible.

The demonization that any Democratic nominee will face will be primarily personal rather than policy-based. There is a single prefabricated caricature of Democratic policy that will be imputed to any nominee regardless of their specific stands or proposals. It will not be Hillary the socializer of medicine; it will be Hillary the b!tch, first and foremost, and then secondarily Hillary the cartoon Democrat, who would not differ at all from Edwards the cartoon Democrat, or Obama the cartoon Democrat, or [fill-in-the-name] the cartoon Democrat.

The probelm (oner of them) with Clinton isn't that she is predemonized: it's that the demonizatin has been so effective and is already so widely believed. All of the others have some aspect they cn be demonized about )Obama went to a Madrassa school! The Horror!), but the mischaracterization hasn't been cemented into the public consciousness to the extent Hilary's has.
It is a measure of her Beltway insider bubbleness that she thnks she can win the Presidency.
In my opinion the issue is global warming and global environmental degredation. Everthing else pales compared to that. But in the short run the candidate needs to be someone who can repair our mess in the Middle East and pursue and evenhanded mediator approach with the Isrealis and Palestinians.

BTW I went to the Clinton site and submitted on the comments thread they had created for supportive comments a nice little essay about why I didn't support her candidacy. I was polite but hit on her inexplicable vote for authorization, her too-little-too late repudiation of the vote, her pattern of waiting until it was VERY clear which way the parade was going before running around to the front, her lack of appeal to independent voters, and her selfishness in hoarding millions of campaign dollars when underfinanced Democrats in close races could have won with only a few thousand of her millions.
She needs the feedback. I hope others will politely register their non-support on her site, too.

My number one priority is raising taxes. Massively.

Number one GOP ad, aired coast to coast for weeks:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you.

"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

If it were me, I’d show a picture of Marx over the text.

There is no way she can run on a platform of tax increases. I fully believe she will raise taxes, and massively. But she certainly won’t run on that.

lily: "It is a measure of her Beltway insider bubbleness that she thnks she can win the Presidency."

Yes, only my candidate X is pure enough and electable enough, and I am politically smarter than Bill Clinton.

"her inexplicable vote for authorization"

See the other thread.

"She needs the feedback."

I'm sure she'll appreciate learning that some Democrats don't like her.

OCSteve, I have an idea for a Democratic ad:

Image: Our armed forces: the men and women in uniform, the vehicles that carry and protect them, the bases that shelter them.

Voice-over: "All good Americans agree that we need the best armed forces in the world...."

Image: Exhausted and wounded troops, a shattered Humvee, troops having to buy their own armor - with newspaperish headlines about "3rd Deployment," "No Armor Available," and so on.

Voice-over: "But some Americans think tax cuts are more important than our men and women in uniform..."

Image: Wounded troops waiting in a crowded room for medical attention, families of troops unable to pay their bills, a Mom and Dad staring at a bill for transporting their wounded child home.

Voice-over: "... and are more important than their families..."

Image: Montage of every Republican/Wingnut who said "They knew what they were signing up for," and who voted to cut veterans' benefits, and who accused wounded troops of goldbricking.

Voice-over: "If you agree that tax cuts are more important than keeping America safe, then vote for Republicans."

Image: Democrats voting to restore and raise veterans' benefits;

Voice-over: "If you don't, vote Democratic."

Image: Democrats voting to restore and raise veterans' benefits

Strictly speaking tongue in cheek, what would that look like?

What does Marx have to do with tax increases?


Massive sounds awfully big. I suppose we could see a return to the top marginal rates of @91% we saw in the early 1950s when the country was in the throes of massive growth, but who would want that?

CaseyL: I didn’t mention anything about tax cuts – just saying that there is no way she can run on a platform of raising taxes. I think Mondale was the last to try and it resulted in the worst Democratic defeat in history.

Strictly speaking tongue in cheek, what would that look like?

Not so tongue in cheek: Stock footage of a House and/or Senate vote, with an image of a bill superimposed, pertinent text highlighted. Depending on which bills have been offered, I'd make do with an example-by-negation, using a bill to cut veterans' benefits and the vote that passed it.

Depending on which bills have been offered, I'd make do with an example-by-negation, using a bill to cut veterans' benefits and the vote that passed it.

Erm - what I mean is, a bill offered by the GOP and passed by the GOP.

JT:What does Marx have to do with tax increases?

It’s that one particular line: “We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Straight out of the Communist Manifesto. It’s a ready made sound-bite for a GOP ad. I have no doubt at all they will use it if she wins the nomination.

rilkefan: Yes, only my candidate X is pure enough and electable enough...

No offense, but I didn't see Lily endorse a candidate here.

...and I am politically smarter than Bill Clinton.

There's a vast difference between getting elected and doing good things once one is elected, as the past six years have shown. Not to mention a vast difference between Bill Clinton trying to get elected and Hillary Clinton trying to get elected.

Straight out of the Communist Manifesto.

Alternatively, straight out of every government that has ever existed in the history of humanity.

"No offense, but I didn't see Lily endorse a candidate here."

Fair enough. But it's the same tone.

"There's a vast difference"

This I don't get. The "she obviously is too blinded and can't win" case depends on Bill being an idiot.

Rilkefan's unpleasant response to a civil, substantial post helps me keep my promise to myself: stay the hell off presidential election threads until, at a minimum, a year out. Life's too short.

Andrew: Strictly speaking tongue in cheek, what would that [Dems voting to restore and raise veterans' benefits] look like?

Your basic C-SPAN screen capture of a vote result, with this as the bill in question. Just for example.

Thanks, Casey and Nell. It just seemed like such a static event I had trouble visualizing how to put it into an ad quickly and effectively.

The "she obviously is too blinded and can't win" case depends on Bill being an idiot.

Not to my eye, it doesn't. It depends on her -- not Bill, unless you think Hillary's some kind of weak-willed puppet -- being wrong, which is a separate consideration entirely.

Put it this way: if Bill decided to run again, not that I can imagine he would, I'd be convinced that he could win the election for much the reasons that you're describing. Hillary, though, is too much a cipher with too many existing negatives (both deserved and undeserved) and, what is more, an at-best unproven ability to gauge her message, popularity and electability on a national scale. [And arguably proven failures in that regard, given the DLC company she keeps.] To my eye they're completely different candidates, despite being married, and any attempt to transfer traits from one to the other seems hopelessly riddled with unwarranted assumptions.

Which reminds me: wtf is up with this antagonism towards "Only my candidate X is pure enough and electable enough" anyway? Isn't that the entire point of primaries and, for that matter, elections? I don't think any of the liberals or progressives are planning to defect to the Republicans should Hillary (or any other Democratic candidate) be nominated, so unless people are actively smearing a candidate -- which I haven't seen thus far on ObWi -- I don't get the point of your repeated asides.

[For my part, I think Hillary, though better than pretty much any Republican, was wrong on far too many issues for me to support her in the primaries and is too damaged and triangulating a candidate to win in the general election; and you're damn right I'm going to bring this up as appropriate.]

Anarch: Good points all.

Rilkefan, if you're going to trot out that line every time someone expresses an opinion about potential presidential nominees, it's going to be a long year on ObWi.

What is the single most important domestic policy issue the next Democratic President will need to do

16% of Americans lack health insurance. That’s a pretty bad number I agree. But I don’t agree it is the single most pressing domestic issue. (Admittedly I might feel differently if I was one of the 16%.)

I think the most important domestic issue the next president (period) should address is energy policy. Whether the topic is global warming or “peak oil” or the Middle East, it all comes back to oil. I’m a GW skeptic, but I’ll sign on to further the cause of energy independence.

I believe we need a “Manhattan Project” type program to develop alternative energy sources. In the short term, increase the federal tax on gasoline (double the price) to both discourage consumption and fund development programs. (Yes, I am for a tax increase in this case.) Exempt those in the lower income brackets who can prove they need to drive to work (no public transportation available).

Pipe dream. I would vote for a Democrat who ran on this platform. I’d have to do some serious soul searching to say I could vote for HRC even in this case. I seriously might. It’s irrelevant because anyone running on, “Vote for me and I’ll double the price of gas” is obviously doomed.

OCSteve, don't forget that probably most of those who do have health insurance aren't feeling very secure about it. For most people health insurance is linked to their employment, so when they lose their job they lose their insurance. And people who develop health problems may end up staying at jobs they'd prefer to leave simply because they won't be able to get insurance otherwise. So there are a huge number of people who are one layoff or one cancer diagnosis away from not having health coverage.

On energy, combating global warming and advancing energy independence don't always point in the same direction. Consider "clean coal" and domestic oil.

OCSteve: moreover, the number of people who lack health insurance at some point during any 12 month period normally runs almost twice the number who are unemployed at any given instance. These are people whose health insurance is uncertain, and having health insurance with gaps is a real problem for people with chronic diseases that need to be managed (and, of course, for those who get a medical problem during one of the gaps.)

I, for instance, would suddenly find myself facing prescription bills of well over $100/month (compared to maybe $20/month copay) if I lost health insurance. Plus, of course, my annual checkup, during which my doctor monitors things. Luckily for me, I could swing this. If I couldn't, what are now perfectly manageable medical problems that require only that I take some pills every day, and that have no other effects at all, would in all probability turn into problems that did huge damage to my life.

(See here (after the first section) if you want the gory details.)

If I couldn't, what are now perfectly manageable medical problems that require only that I take some pills every day, and that have no other effects at all, would in all probability turn into problems that did huge damage to my life.

There's a lot that's strikingly stupid about the conservative/libertarian/GOP/whatever attitude towards healthcare-for-all, but this point has to rank right up there at the top: people who can't afford medical care, and who have chronic conditions which are disabling without healthcare, can't work. Can't work to their fullest earning capacity, can't work full-time, can't hold a job permanently.

They wind up relying on disability, Social Security, Medicare, foodstamps, other forms of public assistance, the kindness of strangers... all because this country is too damned stingy to make sure they have what they need, medically, to be productive and self-supporting.

don't forget that probably most of those who do have health insurance aren't feeling very secure about it.

Count me among them. My current plan is not great, it is adequate. If I lose my job tomorrow (the older I get the more likely that becomes) I will have to pay about $1300/month to get the same coverage for my wife and myself. That pretty much demolishes any thoughts we might have of ever retiring.

But I’ll deal with that to do something about the looming issues around energy.

CaseyL: In my own case, knowing my own financial history as I do, I can say with absolute certainty that to the extent that government subsidies for health insurance have played a role in my being insured, I have more than repaid those subsidies through taxes. More by at least an order of magnitude. So even if we assume that the entirety of my working life has no other benefits to anyone, it was a good deal.

“We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

has anyone ever tried to make the draft sound like a heavy-handed socialist dictat ?

i ask because of all the things the government can take away "on the behalf of the common good", your life would seem like the one most worth getting antsy about. the ability to help pay for things that make your life better ? a little bit farther down the scale.

The Atlantic article that Rilkefan linked is quite good.

I didn't endorse a candidate, but I will now: Obama.
I don't require ideological purity and didn't criticize Clinton on that basis. I crticized her for voting for an unnecessary war.
. I have no idea how Bill Clinton influences Hillary Clinton's political actions. Somebody has been lacking in judgement over the years since she got into the Senate, either him or her or both together.

Cleek: has anyone ever tried to make the draft sound like a heavy-handed socialist dictat ?
i ask because of all the things the government can take away "on the behalf of the common good", your life would seem like the one most worth getting antsy about. the ability to help pay for things that make your life better ? a little bit farther down the scale.

A good observation; and I’d agree with it to some extent. However, I’d like to decide what I need to make my life better, not depend on the government for that. I’d also like to decide when I wish to volunteer my life for the sake of my country (not government mind you).

She said:
“We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

I heard:
“We (the ruling elite) know much better how to spend your money than you do. It may hurt a bit at first, but trust us to spend your money the right way. After all, you might just use it to go to a NASCAR race or some such nonsense.”

OCSteve: the point Anarch made earlier is right: every government on earth has raised some amount of money and spent it. That's what we do for the national defense, for public health, for everything we choose to spend money on.

And in a lot of cases it's not because anyone thinks they know better than the people; it's because, as in both the cases I mentioned, what the money is being spent on is a public good: something that is not the sum of a bunch of individual purchases, but has to be purchased for a whole bunch of people at once. In theory a private benefactor could pay for the defense of the whole country, but each citizen could not decide for him- or herself whether his or her own land/condo/whatever would be defended. Same for public health, the Securities and Exchange Commission (we can't decide individually whether or not to have regulations on publicly traded stocks), etc.

Nell: "Rilkefan's unpleasant response to a civil, substantial post"

"It is a measure of her Beltway insider bubbleness that she thnks she can win the Presidency."

This isn't substantial - it's 99.94% pure fantasy. HRC will face difficult hurdles to win, but who won't? Pretty-boy trial lawyer no-impact-last-time Edwards? Two-year senator madrassa-trained Osama-oops-Obama, whose melanin level triggers certain reactions in certain of our fellow citizens? Clark (my candidate) who's late saddling up again and supports a flag-burning amendment? The old and pandering, adulterous, careening-away-from-tolerance, or plain wingnuts plus Huckabee (whoever he is) on the right?

For "civil", see the rest.

"She needs the feedback"

By all accounts HRC is a very sharp person with a lot of experience in politics and the perhaps smartest political mind of his generation at her side. She's in, and can't change her "inexplicable" vote. Does she "need the feedback"? I'm sure lily wrote her a polite and informed comment, and I'm sure whatever intern reads the website clicked the "increment polite Obama fan non-you fan counter" button.

Anarch: "To my eye they're completely different candidates, despite being married, and any attempt to transfer traits from one to the other seems hopelessly riddled with unwarranted assumptions."

Perhaps I'm being dense, but do you really think that Bill would be pushing her candidacy if he thought that "[i]t is a measure of her Beltway insider bubbleness that she thnks she can win the Presidency"?


KCinDC: "Rilkefan, if you're going to trot out that line every time someone expresses an opinion about potential presidential nominees"

As long as people make substantive points and non-hectoring claims about people who have a good chance of being our (apologies to the other side, the same applies in the mirror world) nominee for president - stuff that we as non-insiders and non-professional observers can know or guess at - comments that take into account political realities and human fallibility - then I won't be trotting out any lines. I think the serious nominees on my side deserve a minimum of respect, and in my view lily's comments don't meet that test. Apologies to all concerned if my unfortunate terse sarcasm made that unclear.

MY on internalizing.

Clemons on Richardson. Very respectful, very hard-hitting.

OCSteve, I agree that it was a stupid thing to say, but really, do most of the people described by "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you" spend a lot of time at Nascar?

I believe we need a “Manhattan Project” type program to develop alternative energy sources.

OCS, see if you can't get into a room with the Governor of Montana. He's of the same view, and has some ideas.

It’s that one particular line: “We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Straight out of the Communist Manifesto.

No, it isn't. There's nothing remotely like that in the Communist Manifesto. Go away and read it.

Ajay, I think OCSteve is confusing this with the Conservative Manifesto, which says "We're going to take things away from you to profit the very rich and big corporations - the bigger the better, the richer the better."

This is the Communist Manifesto. 1848.

Ajay, I think OCSteve is confusing this with the Conservative Manifesto, which says "We're going to take things away from you to profit the very rich and big corporations - the bigger the better, the richer the better."

This is the Communist Manifesto. 1848.

In theory a private benefactor could pay for the defense of the whole country, but each citizen could not decide for him- or herself whether his or her own land/condo/whatever would be defended.[hilzoy]
That would bring the latter days of the Roman Republic back (if they are not here already).
As the biggest money-man of then, Crassus, said: Nobody shall call himself rich lest he can pay an army out of his own pocket.

The ad proposed above could of course backfire with certain groups (though those would not vote Dem anyway). For the real hardcore crowd increased spending on the military would be fine, if "waste" like social services etc. would be cut in exchange. I believe during the balanced- budget debate under Clinton some on the right saw it mainly as a tool to shift money from social to defense combined with cuts to the latter.
I think one of the really important tasks of a future president will be to reign in the run-away "defense" budget (that, as we know now will not even pay for war expenses) by slashing the pork, reorganizing the whole thing to deal with the real world etc.
The chances are slim though.
Other priorities:
electoral reform on the constitution level
Finding ways to prevent executive power grabs in the future (esp. killing the pardon option for the culprits)

but do you really think that Bill would be pushing her candidacy if he thought that "[i]t is a measure of her Beltway insider bubbleness that she thnks she can win the Presidency"

I can't quite parse your intention here; is the hypothetical that Bill is aware of Hillary's bubbleness or that he personally buys into it? And for that matter, from whence the notion that Bill is the primogenitor of Hillary's run for President? Wouldn't an equally plausible scenario -- in fact, a more likely one -- be that Hillary made the decision to run and Bill is supporting her as a loyal husband, albeit an politically astute one?

Oh, and thanks OCSteve :)

I really have no idea why Rilkefan has decided to get offened. Blogs are conversations. It is ok to assume that the other participants in the conversation are aware of what others have said. Therefore I don't have to provide substance for the "Beltway insiderness" which has already been referred to, although not in those exact words, at previous points in the conversation on this thread and the previoous one.

The preception that she is too polished, too close to the out-of-date campaign techniques of the DCCC, and unwilling to take an unsafe position (which is a requirement for leadership) is well documented in many places. Hilzoy provided some quotes on her previous thread. MyDD has been tracking this sort of thing for months. There's a post periferal to this subject over there right now.
I don't knnow why the use of "inexplicable" to describe her vote is so offensive. I was beinng polite and giving her thhe benefit of the doubt. I could have use an adjective that implied an explanation: cowardly, or irresponisble, or naive, for example.
Clinton has lots of connnections to big money people who live in big cities and have a self-reinforcing circle of agreement withh each otherr. This isn't a moral failing and it isn't a unique phenomenon. Everybody has a bubble of some sort if they donn't actively try to expose themselves to contrary views. Her bubble is reinnforced by the media which chose her for our candidate months ago. Her campaign has absorbed this sense of her already being our choice to the extent that Obama's campaign was greeted with annoyance and an offended sense of entitlment ( as someone pointed out in a previouus part of this conversation). So yes, she needs the feedback.
My remarks weren't any different than anyone else's. If I can handle your implication that Obama isn't loyal to liberals than you can handle my statement that Clinton lives in a bubble and shouldn't havevoted for the war.
And no, I don't think that we need to have a rule about speaking in a way that yu consider to be appropriate when writing about Democratic candidates. We need to stay within posting rules, but that's all. If you want to limit your own speech, well go for it.

"is the hypothetical that Bill is aware of Hillary's bubbleness or that he personally buys into it?"

The claim is that a) Hillary has 0% chance of winning (and this is obvious enough that random blog commenters can confidently assert it tout court) b) Hillary is smart and not a monster c) Bill ditto d) Bill is unaware of point a or has told her and she's running anyway and he couldn't stop her (ditto everybody else in the bubble, e.g. everybody she listens to - the right people, says Prof. DeLong's "word"). So either we have to abandon a) or we have to tie ourselves in knots over d) or we have to examine b) or c) to our detriment.

lily, more exasperated than offended. If you've read the last thread and this, you'll know I've been arguing for less of a cri de coeur reaction and linking to some data. I think your comments had a problem with reasonableness and with tone and ("Her bubble is reinnforced by the media which chose her for our candidate months ago") with following the conversation here. (And really, a lot of your objections to Clinton could be quoted against Obama with hardly a tweak.)

Anyway, I'm sure I'll continue to read your comments here with interest, and [last para of my 10:56].

Wow, talking about HRC makes things nasty even when conservatives aren't particularly involved in the conversation.

Talk about relevance - this month's Mother Jones cover story (thankfully available online): Harpy,">http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2007/01/harpy_hero_heretic_hillary.html">Harpy, Hero, Heretic: Hillary
Why she stokes our deepest fears and darkest hatreds.

(If the Hive Mind is taking requests, I'd appreciate it if someone with posting privileges 'bumped' this topic back to the top to discuss the article. Merci.)

The claim is that a) Hillary has 0% chance of winning (and this is obvious enough that random blog commenters can confidently assert it tout court)

I don't think that anyone asserts that Hillary has a 0% chance, it is that she has less of a chance than [insert name here] And one of the reasons why this is such a big deal is that the random blog commentators feel, apres Bush, that it is essential that a Democrat win. Or at least a non-Republican, based on the fact that no one within the Republican party stood up to the administration on any matter of substance. This is why the debate is so heated. If you only had enough money to buy one meal, you would get the same sort of arguments over chicken versus fish.

Okeydoke, Rilkefan. No hard feelings. (If this is a repeat, sorry. I tried to post this earlier, but I don'T think it stuck.)

lily: "No hard feelings."

Appreciated.

Inside baseball at Digby's.

On the other hand, There Is Much Rejoicing.

Disclaimer -- No minstrels are harmed in the attached link.

Thanks the FSM that this guy isn't running.

Never mind about Hagel.

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