World News Tonight tonight had Jake Tapper acting as if he had a big exclusive investigative report: Hillary Clinton is now rich! And she’s a liberal! Irony? He thinks so. Uh, what about Franklin Roosevelt? John F. Kennedy? John Edwards for that matter? Another nonstory. Another attack on Hillary for the sake of it. It was followed by a softball to Obama. Bias? No, no bias. What makes you say, that, Jeff?
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Jim Wolcott (fellow Hillary voter) dissects the feud — schism, actually — at Daily Kos and within the Democratic Party. Note well that the nasties in this story are the followers of Mr. Getalong.
The rancor was disproportionate in intensity and extravagant in invective, a fervor worthy of ancestral foes. Months-old grievances seethed and erupted as if they had been bubbling for centuries in a lake of bad blood. . . .
What chafed Hillary supporters was how many supposed liberal outposts chimed in with this chorus of abuse, from the op-ed pages of The New York Times (where only Paul Krugman seemed to have a kind word as Maureen Dowd kept reminding readers of Monica Lewinsky’s lipstick traces on the Clinton saga, and Gail Collins seemed to be putting on some sort of puppet show) to the studios of Air America (where hosts Randi Rhodes–who was suspended, then resigned, after calling Clinton a “whore” at a public appearance–and Thom Hartmann kept the hostility percolating), to progressive Internet mother ships such as Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo and the Huffington Post, where even a notable progressive such as Barbara Ehrenreich tried to tar Hillary with fascist associations. (The majority of Huffpo’s high-profile contributors were so over the rainbow about Obama that it was as if they had found rapture in the poppy fields and were rolling around on their backs like ladybugs.)
And quoting Kos himself over the departure/boycott of Hillary voters from his shrine:
“Clinton and her shrinking band of paranoid holdouts wail and scream about all those evil people who have ‘turned’ on Clinton and are no longer ‘honest power brokers’ or ‘respectable voices’ or whatnot, wearing blinders to reality, talking about silly little ‘strikes’ when in reality, Clinton is planning a far more drastic, destructive and debilitating civil war.”
Obama may paint himself as Mr. Nice Guy but he certainly has a nasty bunch of friends.
Tim Hames in the Times of London argues that the superdelegates should make Clinton the nominee:
The chances are that Mr Obama will end the nomination season with more pledged delegates than Mrs Clinton. His admirers argue that it would be profoundly wrong for those who have not been elected as delegates to overturn the will of those who have. It’s a seductive claim, but there are good reasons why the superdelegates should ignore it and instead endorse Mrs Clinton.
The first is, what is the point of the superdelegate system if all they do is follow the majority of pledged delegates? Why bother with them? Why not just allow them to turn up at the convention as mere observers? The Democratic Party created the superdelegate system about 25 years ago because it feared that the party’s most ideological supporters were quite capable of choosing a candidate who many ordinary Democrats would not feel able to back at polling stations. If the primaries and caucuses were to be the gearbox of the nominating procedure, then the superdelegates were designed to serve as the handbrake. That is their role.
Secondly, any advantage that Mr Obama will have among pledged delegates is misleading. Not only will Mrs Clinton have won in most of the largest states but she will probably have secured the bulk of delegates won in primaries – where turnout is comparatively high, while he has romped home in the caucuses – where participation is notoriously feeble.
Furthermore, if all the superdelegates were compelled to vote for the person who won the most votes in their state (which they should not be, but it is an interesting exercise), then Mrs Clinton, who is likely to end the season having triumphed in eight of the most populous ten states (including Florida and Michigan, which had their results discounted by the Democratic National Committee as punishment for scheduling their primaries too early), would benefit hugely.
[via Harry's Place]
: By the way, here’s a list of fellow bloggers who are not “raving Clinton-hating Obamabots.” Says Hillaryslist, on a bit of a roll:
These are the seeds of a new progressive blogosphere in the making. The Obamabots are poisoning the original netroots, transforming what used to be an arena for progressive politics into nothing more than a rabid, mindless He-Man Woman-Haters club. The Democratic Party — or at least the high-visibility Obamabot segment — is morphing into the Young Republicans: all the misogyny and callowness and ignorance and blind hero-worship of the old GOP, but with a self-congratulatory aura of imaginary cool to make the YouTube generation feel at home. And where does that leave the women of America?
Well, I think it’s giving them too much credit for taking over netroots and the internet. Netroots were, since Dean, a self-important clique. But I do think we have not begun to discuss sexism in this campaign.
As Obama chose to run as as black man, I think that Clinton should have chosen to run as a woman. Instead, she ran as a none-of-the-above-demographics, just her. Clinton was well-known enough to do that. But it meant she really couldn’t fight back as a woman. And she lost the opportunity to turn her campaign into a cause: a woman president as change, indeed. Oh well, it’s probably too late.
Media and Obama fans are trying to change the rules and kick Clinton out of the race. It’s no surprise that Obama would try to do that; it’s politics. But that media has accepted this meme is only further demonstration of their Obamalove.
This week’s On the Media is a mash note for Obama if there ever were one. My friend Bob Garfield repeats over and over that Hillary can’t win and then goes on to ask whether media should even be covering her or at least not as much as they are because, after all, he has declared her the loser.
Let’s get this straight (again): Obama, too, is not likely to walk into the convention with enough delegates to win. And then the rules decree that it should be up to the superdelegates. There is no rule that says they must act as a proporational whole or that they all should accede to the wishes of the majority. I’m not saying that would be a bad rule — indeed, I’ve long wanted national or regional primaries that count onlly the popular vote and I’ve long wanted to abandon delegate votes, not to mention the Electoral College, because — we need no better proof than 2000 — it can be gamed. But we are still stuck with our system and so both sides will maneuver within those rules. However, media and Obama think Clinton should not have that right.
Let’s put forward another scenario: Imagine that John Edwards had sparked voters more and that he stayed in the election until the convention, walking in as the kingmaker who could throw his support either way and crown the nominee. I don’t think we’d be insisting that whoever was behind — No. 2 — in the vote should be quitting before the convention. I don’t think we’d be insisting that Edwards had no choice but to throw his support behind the candidate with the most votes (though that candidate might make a wishful try to argue that). No, we’d realize that Edwards would decide where to throw his critical support based on (1) his self-interest, (2) his party’s best interest — which is to say, victory in November, and (3) his own beliefs (not necessarily in that order). We could only hope that those interests would all coincide. But that would be his decision.
Well, the superdelegates are all John Edwards. They have been charged with making this decision at the convention if there is not a nominee thanks to the fucked-up system of popular vote mixed with caucuses mixed with disenfranchising crucial states. The election remains close, not over, and for better or worse, it is going to be in their hands — not to mention the voters who’ve not yet voted. How dare media try to grab it away.
Hey, Obamalovers, the election’s not over yet. In the soon-to-be-immortal word of Bill Clinton: Chill.
: ALSO: Just to show there are no hard feelings with Bob — it’s politics — I’ll embed his masterful commercial for ComcastMustDie, which I see I forgot to embed before. One has nothing to do with the other but I’ll take the excuse to show how Bob and I agree about defeating something: cable companies.
I’m thinking of donating to Clinton’s Pennsylvania campaign. As a journalist that has been a firing offense: the mortal sin of revealing mortal opinions. But I’ve certainly revealed my opinions. I’m a journalist but I don’t work for any such institution. What do you say: venial sin or act of grace?
Webguild has amazing numbers on Barack Obama’s online spending. They report that in February, he spent $1 million on Google vs. Hillary Clinton’s $67,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings. He spent nearly $100,000 on Yahoo ads; she spent about a tenth of that. He spent an additional $58,000 on Yahoo search ads; she spent none. He spent $4,900 on Facebook; she spent none.
Spending money is only one way Obama and company have used the internet — particuarly the social internet — well. But they are spending money smarter.
In today’s NY Times, Paul Krugman says that progressives (nee liberals) voting for Barack Obama are not getting the most progressive candidate:
All in all, the candidates’ positions on the mortgage crisis tell the same tale as their positions on health care: a tale that is seriously at odds with the way they’re often portrayed.
Mr. McCain, we’re told, is a straight-talking maverick. But on domestic policy, he offers neither straight talk nor originality; instead, he panders shamelessly to right-wing ideologues.
Mrs. Clinton, we’re assured by sources right and left, tortures puppies and eats babies. But her policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive.
Finally, Mr. Obama is widely portrayed, not least by himself, as a transformational figure who will usher in a new era. But his actual policy proposals, though liberal, tend to be cautious and relatively orthodox.
I’ve had it with media trying to kick Hillary Clinton out of this race. It is not over. And Barack Obama has not won, not by a long shot.
Obama, just like Clinton, will depend on the super delegates to get the nomination. Obama, just like Clinton, stands virtually no chance of getting to the convention the winner from elected delegates.
Obama and his camp are speaking out of both sides of their mouth about the party’s nominating system. On the one hand, we have Nancy Pelosi and others arguing that Obama should get the lion’s share of the super delegates because he’s ahead in the popular vote — though he has just over 50 percent of it. (And here are big Clinton and Democratic donors protesting Pelosi’s early call of the election before it is over.) But the voting isn’t over yet. And that’s not how the system was designed. If we land at the convention with no clear winner, then the point of the super delegates — the legacy of the smoke-filled back room, the party’s safety valve to prevent another George McGovern — is to do what’s best for the party and to try to get a winner in November. That is the system. Not fair, you whine?
Well, there is nothing fair about disenfranchising the voters of Florida and Michigan. There is nothing fair about Obama himself arguing that, hey, that’s the system and so they shouldn’t come to the convention. There’s nothing smart about this, either, because this will surely alienate voters in two key swing states. But we have Howard (the loser) Dean to thank for that as well as Obama himself.
Go to the CNN delegate calculator and run some scenarios. If Clinton took 60 percent of the remaining vote, she’d come to the convention with 1827 delegates, Obama with 1846. With 60 percent of the super delegates, she’d get 2032, enough to win. Not possible? No, it’s not. So let’s say that Obama gets 60 percent of the votes left — also not possible; he’d get to the convention with 1961 delegates, still not a winner. Let’s be more reasonable. Let’s say Obama gets 55 percent of the remaining vote and 50 percent of the super delegates, which is about his fair share given his current votes; he still lands with 2105 delegates, not enough.
So why do I hear that it’s unfair for Clinton to rely on super delegates when Obama relies on them as well? Because there’s nothing fair in love and war, especially media love.
Why should anyone be calling for Clinton to drop out of the race? Obama hasn’t won. Indeed, the latest Rasmussen poll says equal numbers of voters — 22 percent in each case — say that Clinton and Obama should drop out. And, of course, we have today’s Gallup Poll saying that 28 percent of Clinton voters will switch to McCain if she does not win vs. 19 percent of Obama voters. You could say that’s not fair or it’s sour grapes — or it’s democracy.
It’s an election. Let the voters vote, all of them. It ain’t over till it’s over.
: LATER: I just got scolded in the comments for not disclosing my Clinton affiliation, though I ve done it a score of times and it should be neon-obvious in this post. But fine: I voted for Clinton and hope to have the chance to do so again. There.