True ... I don't think it's a bad thing that all the Democratic candidates are calling for ending the war (with somewhat of an exception in Hillary). But I do think it's bad that there isn't any other forum for activism to try to end the war earlier. With the Internet being such a great vehicle for organizing, seems like there should be other outlets with some sort of semi-official connection ...
I think one unfortunate thing is that all "official" Democratic activism is being pushed by and toward the Presidential campaigns. So you get Obama introducing legislation and saying, "Like it? Then come and work for me." Rather than, "Like it? Then let's put pressure on it to pass." This is not in any way a slam on Obama ... that's the way it goes when you are running for President. But I think what we need is some mechanism around which to build activism directly related to the problem at hand, rather than a campaign.
The reason I don't think it'll happen is the media's obsession with crowning a "winner" of every phase. No matter what happens, pundits feel the need to say, with certainty, who "won" a primary or series of primaries. They'll choose a winner of the first round, shower them with attention, and that person will grab the bulk of the delegates on February 5th.
If there really is no way to call a winner, they'll declare how "muddled" the situation is, no one will get a bounce, and national name ID and money will determine the results on February 5th. In which case it'll be Clinton or Obama, whoever was ahead going into the primaries. So, either way, you'll have a winner by February 6th. The days of regional strength based on political networks are mostly over in the primary process, imo.
I despise this primary calendar, mostly because I think it'll clearly mark a winner extremely early. The only possible way it won't, imo, is if someone like Richardson does well in the first four, but not conclusively so. That way he gets enough of a boost to take a good chunk of delegates, but not enough to sweep the field, while Hillary and Obama split the remainder. Then you might have a situation ... a plausible scenario, but sort of threading the needle ... if either Hillary or Obama win NH, it's all over.
Yeah, I'm not a rabidly anti-establishment guy ... I was just saying that Clinton's record seemed to be exactly what I expected, not a surprise at all.
I have to confess that I'm bewildered by what the people of this country believe right now. Well, at least how those beliefs translate into their votes. Could Barack Obama's beliefs be successfully portrayed as radical when the man himself seems so reasonable? I'm not sure if it could stick, I really don't. And I don't say that to express doubt that it would ... I really have no idea.
We're in an exceedingly strange and delicate political moment right now, with a nearly content-free information stream being consumed by voters increasingly agitated and confused. Iraq is pretty much the only touchstone for people ... and they hate it. If Iraq is still a mess in 2008 (and it will be), does anything else really matter?
I'm not really sure what surprised you about Hillary's positions ... they seem perfectly in sync with an establishment Democrat in the GOP era. Not horrible, but glaring gaps and a lack of consistency.
The eye-opener for me in this diary was Obama. He's a guy I previously have dismissed for the "meta" nature of his message and his inexperience in federal government. But the consistency of his record and his coherent world-view is starting to push me to reevaluate my thoughts on him. I may even read his book ...
I think he's probably out, too ... let's face it, he garners A TON of publicity for his cause by being coy. Just look at that clip from the Oscars ... it got posted because of the announcement joke, but I also saw the "Oscars are green/we can all do things to help" message.
Gore's no dummy; he knows how to grab the spotlight. The mere fact that he's being coy is sort of neither here nor there to me. It does leave the door open, but that may not be the reason for it ...
That said ... it's possible. I don't think so but until he explicitly says "no," it's possible.
In fact, if he does defect, that might actually increase Democratic power, since an actual Democrat will become chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee
Is this true? Are the chairs of the committees named in the organizing resolution? I remember when everyone was yelling at Reid to strip Lieberman of his committee assignments, it was pointed out that he couldn't do that without another organizing resolution ... can Reid name another chair without one?
Still, though, I'd much rather Lieberman switch. He's a pox, let him go all Benedict Arnold on us. Arnold found his life in England to be rather cold and friendless, after all.
Richardson? Stuffing? HA! He doesn't have a web operation going, yet, that could stuff a poll in a rural weekly.
I think Richardson's "pro-gun, Western Governor" image is really popular among moderate conservatives ... I've noticed it time and again. IMO, if Richardson were running against Rudy, about the only people who would be solid for Rudy would be the 30% of people that think Iraq is a good thing ...
Boy, Giuliani may be a map-changer, but not in the way they think. Imagine if he's running against anyone other than Hillary ... whew. He couldn't even contest the West against Richardson (I'd call AZ, NM, and CO for Richardson already), Edwards would cruise in OH and at the very least contest border states like VA with social conservatives disheartened, Obama ... who knows what Obama would do against him?
It's not just abortion, but guns, civil unions ... absolutely everything the GOP uses to turn out their troops would be gone. If Giuliani runs against Richardson, the NRA would be in a very awkward position. And that leaves aside any actual campaign pointing out all his weirdness and general distastefulness.
I suppose maybe he could contest California in some GOP fever dream, but I still just don't see it (he doesn't touch any Democrat in NY ... Hillary crushes him). If Arnold runs in an open election for his first race, I don't think he wins. And Arnold had all sorts of advantages over Rudy ...
If Rudy runs and Iraq is still raging (and it will be), the Democrats win running away, I think.
If the GOP chooses Rudy, they're basically giving up and saying that being tough-sounding is their one and only electoral strategy.
I'm just joking ... I dunno about the Veep thing. Outside of Edwards, most recent VP choices haven't come from the ranks of Presidential rivals. I think it's mostly a way to dismiss their campaigns. Richardson would be on the short list of any VP process without going through the BS of a Presidential campaign, anyway.
I don't think I criticized Hillary for going after Obama on that. I'm not a fan of Hillary's campaign, at all, but Geffen went after her big-time, so I'm not sure she was out of bounds calling on Obama to live up to his promises about a new kind of politics.
As for Richardson, he's stated over and over that he's running a positive campaign and has called on all other Democrats to renounce personal attacks. So he's being consistent (personally, I would've stayed out of the specific fight, but that's just me). Whether or not he'd be doing the same thing if he were the front-runner is sort of unknowable. I would if I were the frontrunner, though. Really, it costs a second-tier person more to renounce attacks than it does someone who already gets all the attention they need.
I'd never really thought of it until I wrote that post, but I think it's more than ironic. I actually think there's something very telling in that fact, a statement about our current political discourse.
It's also probably why my choice came down to Edwards and Richardson, two guys running campaigns based on clearly defined issue mixes (economic populism and global leadership on peace and environment, respectively). I'm not really big on "meta" ... to me, it's just so much pundit-drive bs. I actually like Obama the man, but his campaign has so far left me rather cold.
But we can judge candidates on the ground they stake out. Obama's whole campaign is a meta statement on the tone of politics and how we have to change that tone. So, it's entirely fair to comment on whether or not he's living up to his rhetoric or not. If he wanted to base his campaign on, say, foreign policy or health care, then it wouldn't be fair to criticize him for stuff like this. But he's not, so it is, imo.