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May 20, 2008

Comments

Obviously we need a counterexample to analyze: A state that is overwhelmingly Republican in name, but most of them are really unruly union loving Democrats.

When you find an example, let me know. I'm stumped.

There are 2 things that worry me about Kentucky, Clinton and the coverage last night:

1. The so-called experts have an excuse to talk about how Obama has trouble with white people - a trope that would be off limits otherwise. They hammer this home, strangely enough, after spending months yapping about Rev. Wright in order to make Obama appear blacker and thus give him a problem with white people - at least the ignorant ones.

2. Either Hillary Clinton is a stupid woman spending millions of her own money in a Quixotic quest for an unachievable goal, or there are powerful and wealthy forces within the Democratic Party that want to deny Obama the nomination. I simply do not believe she is stupid, and the only reason to attempt to steal the nomination from Obama is that they cannot trust him to continue the Reagan/Bush/DLC policies that enrich the few at the expense of the many.

Probably many of these Kentucky Democrats are "dixiecrats" who registered as Democrats before the civil rights revolution of the 60's, after which most whites started voting Republican in the south. Is there any age data on registered Democrats vs. Republicans in Kentucky, or other southern and border states?

I quite the Democratic Party over a decade ago because I thought that [Bill] Clinton was taking the party far too far to the right and I could no longer agree with the policy positions being taken by the party leadership. That's still the case and I haven't gone back. That said, this post smacks of the "Republican in Name Only" crap that the GOP was spreading around about its moderates not that long ago. The people you're talking about aren't Republicans, they're Democrats who are pretty conservative. I'm not comfortable with defining them out of the party, which is, after all, a way to avoid dealing with them.

The inbreds who populate Kentucky can't think their way around which fast food palace to gather sustenance let alone make rational political choices. Those idiots should lock themselves in their respective garages and turn on the car.

Thank you thank you thank you.

I lived in Louisiana for years and it's similar. Half these "Democrats" remain so just to vote for County Sheriff.

After "supporting" Hillary yesterday, half these "supporters" would buy into the next rumor that she was a lesbian Wiccan, then vote for the white guy in November.

John: that is an absurd and insulting thing to say about the inhabitants of an entire state.

Regrettably, I can't find anything in the posting rules that your comment violates. Possibly we should revise them, since wishing that the entire population of a state would kill themselves is pretty offensive, in my book.

"The inbreds who populate Kentucky can't think their way around which fast food palace to gather sustenance let alone make rational political choices. Those idiots should lock themselves in their respective garages and turn on the car."

How thoughtful; your mother must be very proud.

Dear Publius,

In a single post, you manage to reference the Civil War, Ulysses Grant, the New Deal, the institutional "spoils" infrastructure, Massachusetts Governors, West Virginians, Mississippians, Baptists, Methodists, and George Bush. Whew. Yet, you leave out a recent President who happens to share the same last name as a current primary candidate. Not impressed.

"Calls for the assassination of any politician will be subject to immediate banning."

It could be argued that there was an implicit corollary there forbidding calling for the deaths of any humans, but if that's a stretch, I suggest modifying or expanding this to make it explicit: "Calls for the deaths of any human beings will be subject to immediate banning."

Supporters of capital punishment might object, to be sure. In which case, "calls for the deaths of any human beings, without due process of law, will be subject to immediate banning," would cover it.

I grew up in Kentucky. One thing to keep in mind is that they have always been a "swing state." I think that in every election since WWII (or maybe since Eisenhower first was elected)that whoever won the general election won Kentucky, regardless of party. The truth is, Kentucky is quite conservative on some issues, and quite liberal on others, to the point where neither party is a good fit. When I registered to vote in 1994, I registered Democrat for pragmatic reasons. At the time, most local races, and even several statewide races (including govenor) were determined in the Democratic primary. It did begin to shift soon after that, and because of that several are switching parties.

The one thing that I think has been forgotten in this primary is that Bill Clinton owned Kentucky in 92 and 96. I think that's a big reason why Hillary did so well.

"Yet, you leave out a recent President who happens to share the same last name as a current primary candidate. Not impressed."

Might I suggest that you use your mighty power to post comments here to write what you think someone should write about President Clinton, rather than criticizing someone else for not writing your comment for you? Your keyboard does seem to be working. So what do you think should be said about President Clinton in this context?

Impress us.

hilzoy -- depends how you cut the cake, but "John's" comment might be considered to violate the "be reasonably civil" rule. Or could be seen to be calling for mass self-assassination.

To Eric B:

Clinton didn't "own" Kentucky in 1996. He beat Dole by only 13,000 votes (45.8-44.9 percent with Perot getting 8.7).

Another topic: Why isn't the media questioning Hillary's chances of winning Oregon in a general election after getting wiped out by 16 points?

What's upsetting to me is that none of the analysis that I've read thus far includes any references to Jefferson and Fayette counties in Kentucky; both of which Obama won substantially.

Obama didn't win a single county in West Vir. Hoewever, the progressive democrats in the cities of Louisville and Lexington showed why they deserve to be set apart from the rest of the state's conservative dems who still refuse to vote for a minority.

It's kinda like Paul Wolfowitz, who is a registered Democrat but is more aligned to the Republicans ideologically (to put it mildly).

"...I can’t overstate just how divorced policy and ideology are from party affiliation."

Very well put. And how different from the Republicans--even their "moderates" (quick: name an effective Republican liberal!) are pressured to frequently toe the right-wing line.

After 2006, the Republicans became even more homogenous and dogmatic. We'll see the exact opposite in the Dems, as they keep picking up unexpectedly competitive "red" seats...

...which will lead to ideological stresses in the party, as conservatives, moderates and liberals all try to take credit for the 2008 victory and make their demands.

Peabo, the reason that the GOP became more homogeneous is that they ran the moderates out of Congress and put the fear of G-d into those remaining. I live in rural NY state, having been in Amo Houghton's district and then was redistricted into Sherwood Boehlert's. Both those guys were done in by their own party, and that happened in other districts and other states as well.

I think ideological diversity makes for a stronger party, assuming that nobody confuses negotiation and diplomacy with appeasement.

I get your point about the nature of KY Dems (more culturally conservative, historical affiliations, etc.), but I agree with Melinda: your commentary smacks of the RINO nonsense.

The party members decide what the party is, and in KY the party is more conservative than it is in other states because KY is more conservative than other states. Shall we now purge Blue Dogs on grounds of ideological purity? Might as well disband the party in a few states if that's the case. Besides, what makes one a real Democrat? Is a pro-life union activist more or less of a Democrat than a pro-choice free trader?

One final point: I'm an Obama supporter, and have been very critical of Clinton, but to say that KY Dems voting for Clinton is proof that KY Dems are actually Republicans is a little off base, in my opinion.

I think ideological diversity makes for a stronger party, assuming that nobody confuses negotiation and diplomacy with appeasement.

In the case of Congress v. the President, I'm not sure there is a difference any more. And that's a very, very bad thing.

The "Democrats" of kentucky may or may not be "Republicans", but Clinton claiming that the Democratic rules committee should throw out what everyone had understood and agreed to as to what constitutes "winning" (ie, more delegates") because she won in Kentucky is fool-hardy. I'm guessing well over 75% of the white, lower-educated, lower-income Kentuckians would vote for McCain no matter what he did or said rather than her or Obama.

Far better to reach ot to moderate Independents (Libertarians, do you really want 4 more years of McSame?) and Republicans than court those who will not vote for you anyhow.

This argument was laughed at when Mark Penn made it in other states. Why would you make it now?

Carl: I don't think he's saying the delegates shouldn't count, just that it doesn't demonstrate some huge Obama weakness that requires overruling the pledged delegates.

Hmm, your argument to keep the results of the KY primary "in perspective" would make more sense to me if there was exit polling out there showing that those voting for Senator Clinton in the primary would vote for Senator McCain in the general even if she were the Democratic nominee.

I think that one big reason she's still in the race is that she's working to get Democrats to ask themselves a key question; which group of Democrats, supporters of Senator Clinton or supporters of Senator Obama, are more likely to cross over to the side of the eventual Democratic nominee come the general.

The longer she stays in, the more opportunity she has to prove that 1) she has a strong block of support among voters that Senator Obama has not shown success at reaching and 2) that Senator Obama's supporters are more likely to cross-over to her than her supporters are to cross-over to him.

Given what I've seen on the tube, I'd say that answer is still up in the air. But, if I had to bet my house today, I'd bet on Senator Obama's supporters being more willing to vote for Senator Clinton over Senator McCain than the opposite.

Too bad about that. So basically that segment of Hillary supporters is trying to hold the Dem party hostage so they can get their nominee? Doesn't seem very mature to throw away four more years just because you can't get your way...

Melinda upthread wrote exactly what I wanted to write upon reading this post.

Conservative Southern Democrats who have virtually no progressive values are as much Democrats as any other party member.

They and their representatives in Congress (including the House's infamous "Blue Dogs") have a lot to do with how the Bush administration was able to cut taxes for the wealthy and gain authorization to invade Iraq while the Senate was in Democratic hands.

This is your party.

Deal with it.

Just to clarify, Melinda's comment with which I was agreeing was this one.

crionna from 5-21-08/7:31 pm

Agree completely.

I concur that Clinton's victory in Kentucky -- not to mention such places as Pennsylvania and Ohio, two key, key swing states -- gives her a better chance to win the GE.

Been trying to make that point for two weeks now on this blog. But gave up.

Obsidian Wings and its most influencial bloggers, if you will, are extremely pro-Obama.

So, go ahead, and blog away: Maybe you can deliver a more successful argument than I have.

"This post smacks of the 'Republican in Name Only' crap the GOP was spreading around about its moderates not that long ago. The people you're talking about aren't Republicans, they're Democrats who are pretty conservative. I'm not comfortable with defining them out of the party which is, after all, a way to avoid dealing with them."
---Melinda from 5-21-08/12:36 pm

First time I have been able long on since dinnertime Monday.

Find it revealing that none of the many pro-Obama folks who inhabit this blog have challenged/refuted/disagreed w/ your statement.

The pro-Obama folks will tell you that he makes a better GE candidate and they will quickly tell you that his 50-state strategy is a big reason why.

Hah!

That 50-state strategy is a fraud.

Witness the way his campaign totally wrote off West Virginia and Kentucky.

Once Obama lost Pennsylvania badly -- lost the "common" folk, the blue-collar voters, the bowling crowd (lost whoever the hell he lost) -- it seems as if he had no patience whatsoever for their brethren in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Just as he had no patience for a re-vote in Michigan or Florida.

Granted, those states broke the almighty, godforsaken, how-dare-you-not-follow-them Rules.

But the counter to that is Sen. Clinton would be ahead in the delegate count -- and the popular vote -- had those two states (again, key swing states in the GE) been allowed to participate in the process.

OK, Obama supporters. I know you disagree. Let's here why.

"Kentucky Primary -- Not Exactly the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Pary"

That headline is one of the reasons I call Obsidian Wings pro-Obama.

Hillary Clinton wins a state by 35 points and her victory is written off as a primary whose state is "not exactly the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."

Glad I don't live in Kentucky because, as a lifelong Democratic voter, I would be (1) insulted; (2) wonder what's wrong with me and my vote and (3) why am I always being told that my state is "inbred."

Obama loses a Democratic primary by 35 points and instead of writing a post about what challenges he will have w/ Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and New Hampshire in the General Election -- we get this.

"I concur that Clinton's victory in Kentucky -- not to mention such places as Pennsylvania and Ohio, two key, key swing states -- gives her a better chance to win the GE."

Perhaps you could explain why, or what you are talking about?

"Find it revealing that none of the many pro-Obama folks who inhabit this blog have challenged/refuted/disagreed w/ your statement."

Really? Why? I've been away from the internet most of the day; for you to draw any conclusion from what I do or don't respond to, especially when I'm not around to read something would make no sense at all. It's the classic fallacy of "if you don't blog about something, it therefore means [X]," when, of course, it means absolutely nothing of the kind other than that the observer is unable to tell the difference between when drawing an inference makes sense, and when an infinite number of things could alternatively explain the non-comment.

That 50-state strategy is a fraud.

Witness the way his campaign totally wrote off West Virginia and Kentucky.

What's the "fraud" part?

"Obama loses a Democratic primary by 35 points and instead of writing a post about what challenges he will have"

I'm unaware that Barack Obama blogs here.

I'm also unaware of what connection you are drawing between who wins a primary election and who wins a general connection; there's no such historical connection, so in short: what are you talking about?

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