Time to Get a Killer Instinct Against Clinton

by: Matt Stoller

Tue Apr 29, 2008 at 19:44

I'm aware that Moveon and all of us have endorsed Obama and denounced Clinton for all sorts of reasons.  Clinton has become more conservative of late, throwing away her policy-integrity just to pick off a few more older white voters with a gas holiday scam.  Here's Paul Krugman:

I've been on the road (actually doing a public dialog with Barney Frank on financial reform), so I'm just catching up. Anyway, John McCain has a really bad idea on gasoline, Hillary Clinton is emulating him (but with a twist that makes her plan pointless rather than evil), and Barack Obama, to his credit, says no.

I actually think her plan could easily be turned into one that is evil through political machinations, ie. a gas tax holiday goes through while the oil company profits tax is stripped out, but the point is that Clinton is running as a full-blown conservative.  And why shouldn't she do that and go on O'Reilly?  We have rejected her, so she has to find her votes somewhere.  Nevertheless, it's time to recognize that she is an opponent of liberals, and act that way.

Moveon and SEIU are probably the only groups with the capacity to do this, but basically, the Bosnia sniper fire lie needs to be replayed over and over in Indiana, and then spliced with this tax scam and the quote that her plan will lose 300,000 highway jobs because she will say anything to get elected.  Clinton needs to be called out as a liar who is a weak candidate, and it is Obama-supporting Moveon members that could do this.  Obviously the group would have trouble since many of its members do like Clinton, but honestly, we need a killer instinct here and not more praise of Obama.

Alternatively, SEIU could do it, but they run into a similar institutional hurdle of having ties to Clinton.  Maybe the only group that could do it would be a savvy group of wealthy Obama backers who could form a 527 and just get this done.

Clinton is very weak, she's come after liberals, and we should just put her away.  And if we can't, let's figure out how to fix this institutional lack of a killer instinct.

Matt Stoller :: Time to Get a Killer Instinct Against Clinton

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I don't know .. (0.00 / 0)
if this is the right way or not ... but Obama is losing steam in the NC polls .. but if he looses NC and IN .. you can stick a fork in him ... because the TradMed will .. and they'll repeat it ad nauseam .. he needs to kick it up a notch or two .. pick it up down the homestretch

Losing steam? (0.00 / 0)
Well, his lead has come down to about 10 points in NC, but there are polls that came out yesterday and today that show him winning in IN.  We'll see how the latest Wright flare up affects things, but it looks like Obama has a few days to concentrate on sealing the deal.

[ Parent ]
Just saw the SUSA poll... (0.00 / 0)
...hopefully, he bounces off this Wright stuff and builds the momentum back up.

[ Parent ]
SUSA ... (0.00 / 0)
concerns me ... because they've been among the more accurate of the polls so far ... not perfect obviously ... but they also have the NC race the tightest ... though I think there are too few Undecideds in their NC and IN polls

[ Parent ]
Excuse me for butting in to post Krugman's own update (0.00 / 0)

Add: Just to be clear: I don't regard this as a major issue. It's a one-time thing, not a matter of principle, especially because everyone knows the gas-tax holiday isn't actually going to happen. Health care reform, on the other hand, could happen, and is very much a long-term issue - so poisoning the well by in effect running against universality, as Obama has, is a much more serious breach.

Kruugman added this to his blog post on the gas tax.  I think that was my point further down thread as well.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Full blown conservative? (2.33 / 12)
Are you completely fucking nuts?  Put down the kool-aid and get over yourself.  On a wide range of issues, Sen Clinton is the more liberal candidate and you should know it.  It's positively disgusting to see this bullshit play out.

Ah, someone else who hasn't been following the campaign! N/T (4.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
Oh, and I suppose.... (0.00 / 0)
...putting a "nuclear umbrella" over the Middle East isn't a liberal idea.


[ Parent ]
Actually, come to think of it (0.00 / 0)
She is being pretty liberal with how we could use our nuclear arsenal. To obliterate a country is a pretty selfless act, you know how much that costs?

[ Parent ]
Was JFK A Liberal? (4.00 / 1)
He sure had an umbrella over the USSR.

Doves only lose Presidential elections. Check your high school history textbooks

[ Parent ]
Yes. It's not the cold war, anymore. nt. (4.00 / 2)

[ Parent ]
Right. (4.00 / 1)
But the concept of deterrence is still the same.  

[ Parent ]
Interesting (0.00 / 0)
we were both citing deterrence at the same time. At least we understand what others don't.

[ Parent ]
That's just silly (4.00 / 1)
For every hypothetical nuclear warhead that Iran and Syria may or may not build one day, Israel already has 50 in storage. Why on earth does a candidate for president need to talk about obliterating another country?

To be honest though, this is not as much an argument of right versus wrong from my point of view as it is an argument of right versus left. It is a neoconservative argument and one that can be argued to death. I would not focus on proving that Hillary is wrong on saying what she said or even on bombing other countries, I would just note that she's not one of us... but then again we knew that already, didn't we? She already said so herself.

[ Parent ]
Really? (0.00 / 0)
What kind of war would you call it when other countries are trying to nuclear arm themselves in the most strategic energy region of the world.

You may want to play semantics which is what people do when they have no grasp on national security but I happen to agree with protecting our national interests and therefore our economy.

I also believe in deterrence as it is wiser to stop something dead in it's tracks before it becomes a problem, not after it is a problem.

[ Parent ]
No, he didn't (4.00 / 2)
A nuclear umbrella does what you think an umbrella should do, it is a shield.  The nuclear umbrella was over Western Europe, with nukes placed in West Germany as well as ICBMs in the US. It was a deterrent shield against Soviet nukes.  The US placing a nuclear umbrella over the USSR would have been a bit counterintuitive.  I hate to quibble, but you should know what a nuclear umbrella is if you're going to comment about one.

That being said, there is no need for a nuclear umbrella in the Persian Gulf. Israel has its own nuclear deterrent, and they are the only nuclear power in the region.  That, and threatening obliteration against a country that is not a  credible threat, in the world's most unstable region is pretty bad diplomacy and not responsible.

[ Parent ]
The liberal in this race is still Hillary (4.00 / 7)
Yes the gas tax holiday seems wrong but harmless as Krugman said...But where was the outrage over the enormous harm Obama did with his healthcare plan, his lying Harry and Louise ads putting forward right wing talking points on THE MOST IMPORTANT DOMESTIC POLICY issue....healthcare?  Where was the killer instinct or the defense instinct...the desire to preserve an absolutely crucial Democratic party value...universal healthcare.  Krugman was outraged and horrified at the damage. He knew how much more important this was than a 3 month gas tax holiday.  How can you use him to justify an over the top reaction ot this petty pander ....which by the way will die in this administration anyway.

But if you can imagine the harm that compromising in Congress would do this proposal...there would be even greater harm done to the compomised Obama healthcare plan in Congress...like reducing the subsidies to a number low enough to absolutely insure that the Democratic party will carry the stigma of a healthcare plan that only made the problem worse.

The weakness you are seeing in Obama should be examined to tell you something about how he would govern.

Go back and really read the Chris Wallace transcript to see the genuine credit he gives to right wing ideas and proposals.  He actually seems to think voluntary cmpliance is sufficient to protect the environment.  See how easily he compromises and ask yourself whether this is reasonable coming together or a weak will in terms of governing and getting done what needs to be done to have progressive legislation.

Hillary is willing to fight for universal healthcare in the a general elelction campaign...Barack Obama is not willing to engage in that fight

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Hillary is bad for the middle class. (4.00 / 2)
    Hillary does not want to raise the capital gains tax to the level that working Americans pay on their own wages.  Obama does.  Hillary thinks that raising the payroll cap above   ~$120,000 will hurt "firefighters and teachers."  No teacher or firefighter (especially firefighter!) makes that much money.  Hillary has become one big right-wing talking point.  That got lost in the debate.  It seems no one wants to talk about her actual responses to substantive questions in the ABC debate.  She would much rather talk about hunting in Scranton and the Weather Underground.  She would rather pretend that she's doing us a favor by co-opting character attacks from the extreme right-wing on the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.  
   Obama tells us how he would fund his health care plan (previously mentioned proposals help).  I'm still waiting for Hillary to explain in public how she will enforce these health care mandates.  So far she has managed to avoid this question.  She won't even describe her own health care plan.  She's too afraid.  If she won't stand behind her own policies now, how do I know she'll get Congress to pass her plan in full?

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
this is a rant not reasoned argument (0.00 / 0)
she would pay for it the way Obama would. Same mechaism....let Bush tac cuts lapse and end the war.

Everyone berated Obama for once more turning Social Security into that right wing frame ...a crisis

Obama would punish people who show up at emergency rooms with no health insurance thereby being a burden on the system,by making them pay 2-3 times whoat it would have cost if they had it before they got sick or injured...Perversely harming people when they're the weakest and doing absolutly nothing to make health inusrnce cheaper for everyone up front.

And which capital gains tax number do you mean...the 28% he said before he went on Fox or the 20% he told Wallace was just fine with him?  Odd as that was what Hillary called for.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
No. (0.00 / 0)
  Obama said definitively he would raise it to 28%.  Hillary said she would raise it 20%.  She still thinks the wealthy need not pay the same tax rates as wage-earners.  I realize that you don't want to talk about the payroll tax comment.  Pretending that tax increases affect the middle class when they actually don't is a classic GOP strategy.
 Obama's health care plan does make insurance cheaper.  The elimination of the Bush tax cuts won't pay for completely universal health care.  For all this talk of Hillary being vetted, her policies haven't been vetted in the least.  The right-wing is going to jump all over mandates, and I have yet to hear her mention how she will enforce these mandates.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
His plan is more expensive to start with because it's not universal (0.00 / 0)
So his subsidies which are barely more than hers do not lower it to what hers would start off at because universality lowers the base cost so much.

He changed his mind on capital gains.

Social Security doesn't need fixing so it's very dangerous to even bring it up because it legitimates the R's going after the most successful Democratic program ever...the program which is the foundation of the progressivism in America.

You misunderstand me...they both intend to fund their health plan from the same sources....criticize hers you are criticizing his.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Obama caved on 28% (0.00 / 0)
On FOX Obama caved from 28% to 20%.  You may have thought you heard him say 28% in the Pennsylvania debate (because he did) but now he's saying he said he would take it back to no higher than the Reagan era, which is 20%.  He couldn't stand the heat of raising it higher than Clinton was willing to do.  Such a leader.  

[ Parent ]
Perhaps you should have followed "The One" (2.00 / 2)
over to his interview on Fox, where he stated that he thought it should be 20% ("what she said!"). He then clarified his point and said that it should go no higher than it was under Reagan. You know, Republican Reagan? I realize that the 86 in cilerder86 may well reflect the year of your birth, but take it from me, Reagan was a big, old right-winger who did an enormous amount of damage to this country. And Obama considers him a political role model.  

[ Parent ]
Hillary is bad for the middle class? (0.00 / 0)
Then why do so many of them continue to vote for her? Oh, right, I forgot -- they're all low-information voters, they don't know any better!

If you think Hillary hasn't explained her proposals or is "too afraid" to speak about them in public, then perhaps your candidate should ask her about it during the next debate...

[ Parent ]
OK. (0.00 / 0)
   Give me Stephanoupolis' job.  At this rate I'll be overemployed!  Hillary's policy proposals have not been vetted.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Hillay will fight alright (4.00 / 5)
For her nomination and presidency, and nothing else. If she gets both, she will then fight to keep them. Many of us (perhaps not you) complained about Bill Clinton's triangulation as a supposedly Democratic president, but after the twists and turns we've seen from Hillary in this campaign, Bill seems like quite the liberal.

Middle class and economy aside however, I commented on several blogs back in October and November that my biggest fear of Hillary was her hawkish foreign policy. Some said she had to act and play tough to be credible as a woman but I questioned how things would be any different if she were elected as president, wouldn't she have to play and act tough with international leaders? She has proven me right in my fears with her recent foreign policy statements.

While you may worry about the expenses our country would incur from those who chose not to purchase health insurance, I worry about the lives of relatives I have in countries we just may decide to obliterate.

[ Parent ]
None (4.00 / 1)
There are no liberals left in the race.

[ Parent ]
Were there any before? (4.00 / 1)
Edwards was the most progressive and even in the larger field, Hillary was second.....as Krugman himself always said.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
DLC (4.00 / 3)
Hillary is a prominent member of the conservative DLC. She's NOT a liberal. Not even close. Liberals don't co-sponsor anti-flag burning bills. Liberals don't advocate for closer lobbying ties between Democrats and big business, as the DLC does. The DLC regularly bad mouths liberals in the party.

[ Parent ]
You are suffering from what I call the progressive PROCESS fallacy (4.00 / 1)
You have elevated process over policy.  You have decided that what denotes a liberal is the process and not the policy.  Process is a means to an end...i.e. policy....not an end in and of itelf.

It is a very common problem among modern day lefties.  I don't adhere to it...I think policy is more important and more telling....On policy she is by far more liberal than he is.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Name one issue other than mandates n/t (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
wrong wrong wrong (4.00 / 1)
The difference between liberalism and conservatism is as much a matter of process as policy. What determines the difference between a liberal and a conservative tax policy? Is it the capital gains rate? Or is it the process that arrives at that rate? It is clearly the process. A truly democratic process where citizens choose their representatives based on a clear understanding of the issues and the candidates' policy positions enabled by a diverse and democratic media is clearly a liberal process. It's the process that makes the result truly liberal. Our problem is the lack of such a truly liberal process.


[ Parent ]
No it's not the process that defines liberal or conservative (4.00 / 1)
The process fallacy is that some arbitrarily "good" process will somehow assure a good outcome.  It does not at all.

Look at the disaster that the progressive era reforms of the turn of th century gave us....in Ca. the referenda and proposition and recall process are an absolutley perfect example of a process that has been turned onits head...A process reform that was meant to guarentee that th evoice of the people had an outlet has been almost totally hijacked by money and special intersts.  It is now rarely used for a good pupose and massive amounts of money and energy must be expended in California to keep right wing politicians from buying the political process.

One then becomes more attached to the process which was meant to assure certain good outcomes than the outcomes themselves.

The DNC nominating rules themselves are a perfect example of a process run amuck in such a way that it undermines the initial purpose....to win the White House.  So many reforms were instituted for fairness that have validated the saying "No good deed goes unpunished"  Proportional voting  in the internet fundraising age ia an almost certain guarentee that there will be no definitive nominee.  Without superdelelgates there are only about 3200 other delegates and winning the standard 2208 means the winner would need almost 3/4 of the number to win....an impossibility unless everyone drops out at the beginning.

Process is a means not a goal.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
I completely disagree with you. (0.00 / 0)
And your comment is thoroughly unpersuasive. Pointing out the flaws in various processes does not at all make a case for the irrelevance of process.


[ Parent ]
No. (4.00 / 1)
You argue against those who believe in some mythical mistake known as the "process fallacy" which argues that "some arbitrarily 'good' process will somehow assure a good outcome".

That's a straw man argument, and a pretty crude one at that - I've never heard or read that argument.

Anyways, of course process matters. Process can be both a means and a goal; policy can be both a means and a goal. There is nothing wrong with trying very hard to improve both.

I think it matters that Senators face direct election. I don't think it automatically assures a good outcome - that would be an idiotic position - but I do think it makes a difference. Do you?

[ Parent ]
"arbitrarily 'good'" (0.00 / 0)
The process fallacy is that some arbitrarily "good" process will somehow assure a good outcome.

What kind of straw man nonsense is that? Who believes that a process is desirable or undesirable for "arbitrary" reasons? You may disagree with the reason or reasons, but no one holds reasons that they believe are "arbitrary." Please try to explain this nonsense, or retract it.


[ Parent ]
Process is critical (4.00 / 1)
At this time process may be as important as policy. How much energy and money is wasted each time Democrats get triangulated by the Clintons? Obama engages in these tactics as well, but not so brazenly. Building some cohesion and self-discipline in the Democratic Party is a sisyphean task, but unless it is done, meaningful Liberal policy debates are going to remain just a quaint memory.

[ Parent ]
Hillary is more liberal on heath insurance mandates, that's it (4.00 / 2)
Look at their foreign policies, their plans to take on lobbyists, their telecom policies, and climate change policies.

And I know that Hillary has a good climate plan on her website, but her gas tax pandering shows that she is not very serious about climate change.

That, and look at the right wing memes she uses against Obama: commander-in-chief threshold, elitist, Americanness etc. Obama has attacked her from the right on the health care issue, that's it.

[ Parent ]
Please (0.00 / 0)
The gas tax policy is utterly meaningless as a policy.  A 3-month tax holiday won't even budge demand.  It's only import is political.

Hillary is a wonk.  She understands that perfectly well.  When she wanted to pander, she picked something harmless.  It shows nothing at all about her seriousness about climate change.  She's far too intelligent not to take climate change seriously.

[ Parent ]
Paul Krugman's addenda to his blog post on gas tax (0.00 / 0)
Add: Just to be clear: I don't regard this as a major issue. It's a one-time thing, not a matter of principle, especially because everyone knows the gas-tax holiday isn't actually going to happen. Health care reform, on the other hand, could happen, and is very much a long-term issue - so poisoning the well by in effect running against universality, as Obama has, is a much more serious breach.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Maybe he is? (0.00 / 0)
I don't read this blog much and now I know why.  How does someone run a blog called OpenLeft and write about politics all day and still make these kinds of asinine statements about a Democrat.

[ Parent ]
Isn't is absurd? (0.00 / 0)
It's almost like running for the Democratic nomination and saying that the Republican nominee has passed the threshold to be commander-in-chief, while implying that the other Democratic nominee hasn't.

I said almost, but I really meant light-years far from and short of.

[ Parent ]
so now we like Obama (4.00 / 3)
sorry, but you guys have been completely unfocused this week. now you are suddenly worried about Clinton. this is precisely while the carrying on about Fox and then Chris's completely unfounded criticism today were so misplaced. its good to see practically finally rising back to the surface.

I disagree that we need only a killer instinct on Hillary, Obama following this weekend needs a lot of help rebuilding up his image, and he needs it before Indiana, because if he doesn't blow out NC and keep Indiana under 3 points this will go to the convention and we may even get Hillary.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

I second this comment (4.00 / 1)
I am sorry, but what has been posted here lately, particularly the Faux post on Sunday, has really disappointed me.

And as far as the convention and getting Hillary - it might have been because people did not stand on principle of what we need in a candidate for President.

Barack isn't the only person that has been saddened.

If not NOW, when?

[ Parent ]
Obama does not need to win NC by ten or keep IN to 3 (4.00 / 2)
That is just the kind of crap that the Clinton campaign and GOP are shilling.  Obama need to avoid losing NC and IN by 25.  Anything closer than that, and the media can blow chunks all it wants, but under proportional voting, Hillary will still be 75-100 behind in pledged delegates, and will lose the nomination.  But Obama will win NC by 10+ and will win IN by 3.  PS - Obama lost PA by 9.3, not 10.  And Clinton was once ahead by 25, and needed to win by 25.  The media blows, and her supporters are delusional.  She can't win.  

[ Parent ]
Easy on Will! (0.00 / 0)
I like Will, but he seems a bit over-nervous. I think it would be bad for Obama to lose NC. Other than that, he's fine. And he won't lose NC.

By the way, assuming he wins the nom (which is 90%+), I continue to maintain that all of this is good for Obama.

He's defeating a candidate whom independents don't like, and he's finishing off a political dynasty. He'll get the "winner" treatment soon enough, and his campaign is patient enough to understand this... which is why they're not doing stupid things like attacking her too much personally or proposing quick-fix gas tax cuts six months before the general.  

Long-term, all of it makes him more attractive to the low-info independent voter - the only voter who can make John McCain president.  

[ Parent ]
It may be mathematical crap (0.00 / 0)
but the wild card is overall public perception of the trajectory of each campaign and how the super delegates react to it. This weekend was an unmitigated disaster for Obama. If his numbers slide through June, and his margins of victory get smaller and smaller, I believe Hillary's chances of winning the nomination will go up substantially.  

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
Will has been one of the more rational of the commenters on this site, IMHO. nt (4.00 / 1)

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
That's a pretty high bar IMO (0.00 / 0)
I think the chances of this NOT going to the convention are pretty low due to the logic of Clinton's position. She's trapped by her argument that the only vote that really counts is the one that takes place at the convention. She isn't likely to leave unless she gets whooped in NC and loses IN by 5+. And then she'd only be getting out because the money would dry up and the super Ds would quickly announce for Obama; in other words, not because she thought it was time but rather because she had no choice.

So what he really needs is to keep the tide from turning, which shouldn't be that tough given his significant lead. Win in NC and keep it close in IN, roughly.

[ Parent ]
political axes to grind (4.00 / 3)
Clinton is running as a full-blown conservative.

I don't know about this. There are many political axes: there's the conservative-liberal axis; the authoritarian-libertarian axis. And then there is the sensible-stupid axis.

The gas holiday strikes me as being pretty far down the stupid end of the political spectrum.

It's sad. (4.00 / 3)
   I think she knows the real consequences of this tax moratorium.  She wants to pander anyway.  Yuck, the only thing worse than coming up with your own right-wing policy proposal is doing a "me-too!" to a McCain right-wing policy proposal.  I'm proud of Obama for not taking the bait.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Too Funny (0.00 / 0)
Since when is middle-class tax relief a conservative thing to do?

So people on this thread are not even thinking. Because Matt says it's right-wing doesn't make it so. Tax cuts for the middle-class have always been a Democratic string suit.

What's funny is that hardly anyone here sees that it is McCain who is leaning left so he can be the every mans president.

[ Parent ]
Tax cuts for the middle-class (0.00 / 0)
Tax cuts for the middle-class that strengthen our economy are liberal. Tax cuts for the middle-class that hurt our economy and put more money in the pockets of corporate billionaires are conservative.


[ Parent ]
First of all (0.00 / 0)
We all know those gas tax cuts will never come to being while Bush is in office. Even my 9 year old niece can figure that out.

So one has to ask why propose them? Simple, it's part of appealing to middle class voters. Clinton is doing that - Obama is not. Clinton's says every penny counts for the middle class - Obama is essentially saying nonsense.

You tell me who as the better message to those voters.

Hint: It is Obama's

Why: Clinton is offering something. Obama isn't even offering a counter proposal.

How dumb is that.

Finally the real Obama stand up naked to the world and his supporters are freaking out.

[ Parent ]
"So one has to ask why propose them?" (0.00 / 0)
Because she thinks middle class voters are stupid.


[ Parent ]
What a none answer from you (0.00 / 0)
Let me ask you something. How long have you been following politics? Not long enough to see this type of successful tactic before?

Again, Clinton is offering something. Obama is not.

All the wonkishness going on on the blogs about this issue means nothing to the average voter who works all day instead of blogging all day. What they see is Clinton thinking about their financial struggles. All they see Obama doing is saying Clinton is wrong on this.

And you are not capable of seeing the difference between the two?

[ Parent ]
You think middle class voters are idiots. (4.00 / 1)
Admit it. You think middle class voters are not as savvy as your 9 year old niece. If you think elections should be won by lying to middle class voters, why don't you become a Republican. I guess being a Clinton supporter is the next best thing.


[ Parent ]
Go back to kos (0.00 / 0)
with your personal attacks. If you can't understand 'expedient policy proposals' during the heat of an election you belong at kos with the other yellers because you have no grip on the history of elections.

Additionally you fail to recognize that Obama has done the exactly the same thing with 'expedient policy proposals'.

See ya - go back to the orange satan - named such because of the tone and rancor of those there.

[ Parent ]
Who should bounce? (4.00 / 2)
You've been here for all of a few weeks and you're telling folks where to go?   Keep the debate going but please save the traffic regulation for other sites.

If HRC or Obama is tossing out ideas just for pandering purposes, ideas they know will never get traction and never have consequences - anyone should be able to point that out.

[ Parent ]
You're really showing your ass. (0.00 / 0)
You believe in deceiving the middle class to win elections. I get it.

I happen to actually believe in democracy and liberal principles, so I hold to the belief that a well-informed and empowered populace is the best way to govern.

You do understand that your endorsement of bullshitting the middle class is a conservative trait, right?


[ Parent ]
Tax Cuts for the Middle Class (4.00 / 2)
that do little for the middle class, a lot for OPEC and Big Oil, and display a lack of seriousness on climate change are not progressive.

[ Parent ]
Off the rails (4.00 / 7)
Matt, I think you've gone off the rails.

I agree (0.00 / 0)
What's the sudden urgency?

I guess it's time to make sure Obama wins the nomination so he can get crushed in the general election.    

[ Parent ]
Disturbing terms (4.00 / 4)
"killer instinct" "put her away"?

First, I find the terms disturbing, violent in their overtones.

Second, i've stopped visit Kos because the intra-party partisanship just got to be too bumming. OpenLeft has till now seemed capable of endorsing without becoming rabid.

I've generally agreed with Digby's points about the value in letting the process play out, the structural factors favoring a democratic Presidential win, and the key issue being maintaining a framework that enables the eventual candidate/president to include progressive values and issues.

Right now, both candidates are look desperate and untrustworthy. Matt, I don't think your post helps.  

[ Parent ]
As for that primary in Oregon... (4.00 / 12)
By the way, how many Democrats who vote on environmental issues are going to look at this gas tax holiday idea and draw the obvious conclusion: there is absolutely zero chance Clinton would spend political capital to do anything about global warming?

Indeed. (4.00 / 1)
   Everything she does now is what is most politically expedient for her.  She does not have the country's best interests in mind.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Obama won't spend political capital on anything (4.00 / 1)
He'll search out consensus by compromise.  His health care proposal is already a profile in cowardice.  Imagine after he gets through compromising on it so we can be more "unified."

[ Parent ]
Baseless trolling throughout this post from SPMinOH n/t (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Hey, this is a teachable moment -- the ad (4.00 / 4)
(Serious Voice over with flags around a gas station) "Gas Taxes, Federal and State are dedicated taxes.  They fund the Interstate, Federal Highway and State Highway systems.  You can describe the impact of taking money out of that dedicated revenue base by counting construction jobs lost -- but you can do it another way too" -- thus my suggestion for an ad.

First Frame: 35W Bridge collapsing or collapsed over the Mississippi last summer.  Probable cause of collapse, underdesign in the early 1960's for current traffic loads.  

Second Frame: Experts study failure -- orders go out to inspect and re-inspect all bridges.

Third Frame: Headline statement, Minnesota finds three more Mississippi River Bridges present serious danger.

Fourth Frame: Picture of Route 23 Bridge over Mississippi in St. Cloud, with big CLOSED signs and barriers.  Voice over, it will be taken down this summer and contracts let for its replacement. (same design faults as suspected in the 35W Collapse)

Fifth Frame: Lowry Avenue Bridge between North and North East Minneapolis, over Mississippi.  Picture of big CLOSED sign at end of bridge.  Voice over explains the County will have to pay to rebuild this one, problem is a 1905 river pier is migrating out from under the bridge. The Lowry Bridge is one of the designated detours around the fallen 35W site.

Sixth Frame: Hastings Minnesota, Steel Arch Bridge over Mississippi, just south of St. Paul.  Not Closed but scheduled for temporary repair this summer, and replacement in perhaps two years. Carries Federal Highway 61 which goes from the Canadian Border to the Gulf of Mexico over the confluence of the St. Croix and the Mississippi.  Major weight limits. Department of Transportation had lied about inspection reports on sad condition of bridge for nearly a decade.  

Final Frame -- how do we finance Bridge and Highway Repairs, Replacement and reconstruction -- With the Gas Tax.  

How much is half a tank of gas worth to you?  Or, would you rather play Russian Roulette everytime you drive across a Bridge?  If Minnesota has one bridge collapse, and then inspections result in CLOSING two more, and has hopes that temp repairs on another will keep it around for two more years, what do you think is the truth in other places where Gas Taxes are dedicated?  

Now -- if someone wants to throw in a bit of humor at the end of the ad -- end with a still picture of a Canoe, and some sort of poster advertising the Republican Convention in St. Paul.  Voice Over -- "Minnesota Democrats passed a new Gas Tax this year to replace and restore our bridges and highways over the veto of Pawlenty, our Republican Governor, but in the meantime -- We have a special offer for Republicans coming to Convention and staying West of the River, (such as in Bloomington or downtown Minneapolis), the loan of a canoe so they can get to their Convention. (Use Map Visual -- Hotels, Convention Site and Mississippi).   We will even rent you a paddle should you think that necessary, and put Republican rental fees into our Bridge Fund in lieu of Gas Taxes."  

I realize Hillary is everyone's focus -- but Gas Tax Holiday is a McCain wedgie idea, and it is Republicans who oppose the Gas Tax all over the country. So stick an Obama Flag somewhere on an ad like this -- and run it.  And yes, please use the humor ending.  


[ Parent ]
Obama is going the opposite way (4.00 / 1)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, attempting to regain his momentum after losing the Pennsylvania primary, promised to shun negative campaigning as his race drags on against Hillary Clinton.


Today, Obama said he realized his campaign had strayed in recent weeks.

``I told this to my team, you know, we are starting to sound like other folks, we are starting to run the same negative stuff,'' Obama told a crowd of about 5,000 in Wilmington, North Carolina. ``It shows that none of us are immune from this kind of politics. But the problem is that it doesn't help you.''

and has decided, apparently, to listen to Karl Rove.

Dear Senator Obama  by Karl Rove

Even liberal commentators who adore you warn you can't win with a McGovern coalition of college students and white-wine sippers from the party's left wing.


5. Stop the attacks. They undermine your claim to a post-partisan new politics. You soared when you seemed above politics, lost altitude when you did what you criticize. Attacks are momentarily satisfying but ultimately corrode your appeal.

Really. (0.00 / 0)
   You can do better than that.  It was Hillary's own former campaign manager who admitted proudly to using Rovian tactics.
See for yourself: http://blog.washingtonpost.com...

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
How about addressing the issue (4.00 / 1)
instead of just crying "Hillary does it too".  It's getting pretty old.  Hypocrisy doesn't become you.

[ Parent ]
No. (0.00 / 0)
  Because Obama is not following Rove's advice.  Some random Rove column has not affected the direction of his campaign.  Only a conspiracy theorist would think that.  But Hillary's former campaign adviser said that she was using Rove's tactics to a reporter.  I actually don't care much about Rovian tactics.  Most of his strategy had to do with mundane turnout operations.  I just thought that the irony in your attack was funny.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Every Obama Supporter (4.00 / 1)
Should read Rove's entire piece because it is just a preview of how they would gut him in November.

Heck already they are Swifboating him and he isn't fighting back at all. None. Nada. Zip. He is letting them define him just like Kerry. You wouldn't see Clinton taking this sitting down.

The guy peaked a few months ago and he is falling like a used up rocket. Pray for Clinton if you want the WH folks.

As for Rove I see he picked up on the same thing I did regarding Obama's 'bluffing'.

[ Parent ]
It seems like Matt touched a nerve with the MyDD community (0.00 / 0)
Baseless assertions and ridiculous post mortems based no evidence at all!  Very juvenile.

The states have played out exactly as the leaked Plouffe memo said they would on Feb. 6, with the exception that Obama has done better than expected.

Glad to see you and Karl Rove are seeing eye-to-eye.  He's someone worth citing to back up your point on a progressive blog.

[ Parent ]
Nice Try (4.00 / 1)
My point was clear. Rove gives a preview of how they are going to gut Obama. In fact they already are.

Only a foolish voter ignores the obvious ESPECIALLY when it is coming from the enemy. But then there are those like you who stick their heads in the sand and think clever blog posts are going to change reality.

[ Parent ]
I am still trying to figure out the Clinton strategy re: right-wing media (4.00 / 1)
Everyone always says that Clinton would fight right-wing attacks and wouldn't let Swiftboating occur, but I haven't seen any of this supposed fight in the nominating process.  Is she just holding her punches until the general?  Her approach to the media thus far has been to complain about how unfair it is and that is it.  Is 'fighting' defined as going just as negative as your opponent?

Obama has positioned himself into a potentially weak defense with his whole approach, but I still don't see from Clinton any rhyme or reason on how she will deal with the expected attacks in a general.  In some ways she has been lucky that Obama has largely gone without launching major negative attacks.  Her campaign seems to get bogged down pretty easily when thrown a curve, what happens when the rights comes at her from ten different angles over a month leading up to the election?  I just don't see her putting out fires effectively.  Obama can at least hope by staying above the fray he can take on all the attacks at once by saying this is politics as usual and all the attacks are just the dying throes of the old guard.  I am not sure if it will work, but just because Clinton supposedly fights doesn't mean she can do it effectively.

[ Parent ]
SIEU and MoveOn won't (0.00 / 0)
Why don't you Matt? You'll get donations. Mike is a smart guy and can help you set up a 527. You'll get donations and get it on the air. No time to waste.

Hillary is going on Bill O to score Republican votes who won't vote for her in the GE in Indiana. It's a fully open primary and Rush's switching operation is going to win the primary for her. She is going on Bill O to put herself over the top with diehard Republicans.

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

I might be able to help get cheap ad space (4.00 / 1)
on a very well known liberal nation radio network. no promises, but there is a good chance. Matt contact me if you do pursue this route and want to try and get radio or internet spots at a good price.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
I actually love... (4.00 / 1)
this diary. I really do.

I wouldn't say it but I'm glad you did. You're better then me for calling for a real offensive to be put on her. She deserves it.

Paul Krugman. (4.00 / 1)
   That man cannot write a single nice thing about Obama if it isn't countered by something else not so nice.  You can actually see the point in his columns when the cognitive dissonance switch gets turned on.
  I'm with you on this one.  

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

Let's see (0.00 / 0)
if you can write a single nice thing about Clinton that isn't counter by something else not so nice.

[ Parent ]
OK, I will under one condition. (0.00 / 0)
  Give me a column on the NY Times Op-Ed page.  

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Not that it's in my power to give... (0.00 / 0)
but somehow I doubt that's what you'd do with it.

[ Parent ]
You're right. (0.00 / 0)
   I would not write like a health care one-issue voter.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
I've done it frequently (4.00 / 2)
I think Clinton has a marginally better health care plan. I've given her credit on that.  On most every other issue, I side more with Obama.

Krugman has not said anything nice about Obama in an unqualified way in a year.  Even today's grudging compliment was begrudged by the unrelated health care mandates issue.

[ Parent ]
As I have said before (4.00 / 2)
I will vote for the Democratic winner no matter who it is although I support Clinton, but the idea that she running as a conservative is insupportable. Man this historic primary fight has emotions high. Fingers crossed in November as always.  

Two separate issues ... (0.00 / 0)
On the gas tax, right on: a clearly policy difference where she's taking the "Republican lite" route with a plan that's got serious consequences.

On emphasizing the Bosnia story, how do you see this working with the going positive direction the Obama campaign's just discussed?

the blogs are trying to work more with Obama's talking points (0.00 / 0)
(see an earlier post to get the sarcasm)

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
The same thought had occurred to me ... (0.00 / 0)
in a similarly sarcastic way :-)

[ Parent ]
One Mo thing... (4.00 / 1)
After too many years of this war in Iraq and the losing of lives, many these past few days, why is it that we have contend with headliners on the blogs that read:

Take On
Time to get a Killer

and those words are used within the same party.

Seems even the blogs have become belligerent.

If not NOW, when?

No (4.00 / 4)
Matt, you're wrong.  She's not running as a full blown conservative.  She's not running as a conservative at all.  In fact, she's far more progressive than Obama.  

However, the blogs that don't support her have already gone scorched-earth with the character assassination attacks, calling her a liar, everything you advocate now.  Obama-supporting people have been doing this very thing all over the net since last year.  You just can't stomp your feet any louder.

It's ironic that you're openly advocating the use of the "she'll do/say anything to get elected" smear which was started by the right wing in the 90's.  Some liberal you are, happy to use Rush Limbaugh talking points against a solid Democrat because you want things your way.

Gas Tax. (4.00 / 1)
    Hillary's opportunity to pander!  If it's not a pander, then defend her position.  
  I only see one issue on which Hillary is more progressive: health care.  On every other issue Obama is the more progressive candidate.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
Easy (0.00 / 0)
Gas is expensive at the pump. Middle-class people and lower income levels are really being pressed, and this will get worse this summer.

The temporary decrease in paying at the pump will easy that pressure on family budgets.  The windfall profits tax will prevent job loss or infrastructure weakening.

That wasn't hard.

[ Parent ]
gas holiday (4.00 / 2)
Won't oil companies charge whatever the market will bear? What's to prevent them from just raising prices even more to capture the difference for themselves? It just seems likely to be a straight transfer of money from the treasury into the bank accounts of big oil, with consumers paying the same as they would without it. It's just a cynical bet that voters are too stupid to recognize a costly gimmick.


[ Parent ]
That's where you are wrong (0.00 / 0)
If they raise the prices, then they will have to pay higher taxes. Sort of removes their advantage over there. They definitely won't be making the huge profits they are now. The higher taxes they pay can be passed on to the consumer. Not the best solution, but it's a start. At least she has a temporary solution to go with her long-term energy solution. Obama has none though.

[ Parent ]
Not sure about that... (0.00 / 0)
It seems that the companies raise prices the minute the barrel price of oil goes up, months before that inventory would hit their tanks.       I'd guess they raise the price as soon as there is something to read in the paper for consumers to digest.

When the barrel price lowers, don't they wait for the higher priced inventory to clear before lowering gas prices?

Taxes don't seem to worry the gas companies much, don't they owe us a ton of dough in back taxes or refunded subsidies or something?

[ Parent ]
Do the math people... (4.00 / 1)
Let's say an average family uses 100 gallons of gas/month.  We use far less - more like 50, but we have reasonably efficient cars.  So I think this is a generous estimate.  At $.18/gallon savings, as McCain suggests this saves each family a whopping - ready for this...$18/month for 3-4 months?

WOW - I can hardly wait for that extra $18 in June.  What a brilliant idea to give "tax breaks to the middle class".

Really?  Those who support this- what are you smoking?  This is a joke of a tax break - it would have virtually no effect - except that it would encourage people to keep driving, giving profits to Big Oil and helping climate change continue on.

This is one of the stupidest ideas I've heard in a long time.  I don't always agree with Obama, and I'm glad he didn't join the chorus on this one.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. -- Martin Luther King, Jr

[ Parent ]
That's an optimistic (0.00 / 0)
There's nothing stopping Big Oil from just raising prices to cover the gap (see Krugman's post).  People will pay it.  It probably has zero net effect, other than further fattening the pockets of Big Oil and Persian Gulf regimes.

[ Parent ]
The more "Progressive" candidate? (4.00 / 3)
Obama: the guy who said he would endanger abortion rights to reach across the aisle to the Republicans.
Obama: the guy who thought/thinks Roberts makes just a fine Chief Justice.
Obama: who thinks deregulation is just fine and polluters can police themselves.
Oh he is just so progressive.  
Clinton ain't no lefty, but she is definitely more liberal than he is, gas tax and sniper fire notwithstanding.

And as a woman, and I wonder how many of you commenting on this blog are, I will have hard time voting for someone who has said "He TRUSTS women to make a PRAYERFUL decision about abortion."  And I have a really hard time believing those words can come out of the mouth of a true liberal, forget progressive.  

[ Parent ]
Roberts (0.00 / 0)
Obama voted not to confirm Roberts.


[ Parent ]
He considered voting for him (0.00 / 0)
Until his aide talked him out of him by saying that it would be held agaisnt him in a presidiential primary race.!

2. He defended the Democrats who did in his last Dkos diary of 2005.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
If you're going to make assertions, please cite them (4.00 / 1)
There's no basis for your first point.

He did defend Dems who voted for Roberts in 2005. I disagreed with that move.

Has Hillary Clinton ever posted a diary anywhere in the Netroots.

[ Parent ]
He voted for cheney's energy bill. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
That is a valid criticism. (0.00 / 0)
I am not one to argue that Obama can do no wrong.


[ Parent ]
He also has a 100% rating from NARAL n/t (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
As far as I can tell, your research is one interview on Fox news... (0.00 / 0)
and you are basically falling for the trap that Obama sets for Republicans with his rhetoric.  He introduces an issue in a way that makes conservatives think he is at least somewhat on their side, but then shows how this apparently more conservative approach actually justifies progressive reforms w/rt a particular issue.  he does this with education all the time.  

But, in terms of the particular issues that you raise:

Note that when he talked about regulation, he introduced a general principle and then applied it to a potential cap and trade emissions plan -- one of the boldest and most progressive platforms he, or any other candidate, has proposed this year.  Bolder than Clinton's.  

On abortion, he said that the deciding factor for him w/ late term abortions was the exception for the health of the mother.  this exception basically enables late term abortions to be performed, with relatively little hassle, since doctors will say that the health of the mother is at stake in most cases.  for this reason, anti-choice activists have been fighting hard against this exception, meaning that Obama was clearly staking out the position that liberals need to stake out at the moment on the abortion debate.  His record is very solid on reproductive rights, as well as on women's health more broadly.

He voted against Roberts, and has criticized his judicial philosophy, as well as the application of this philosophy in particular decisions.

[ Parent ]
He used the term partial birth abortion (4.00 / 3)
he validated their right wing and made up frame

As I said there is a defonitive story where he considered voting for him because he was smart and his aide talked him out of it because it would be bad for a presidential run.

He defended the Dems who voted for Roberts in his Dkos diary and he sounds still angry at those who criticized him for this idea.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
This is a far cry from thinking Roberts is a great judge... (0.00 / 0)
even if the story is true.

And again, saying the phrase "partial birth abortion" is a far cry from caving on reproductive rights as a way to gain wingnut support.  

We are basically quibbling over details, but the overall thrust of the above comments was, I hope you will agree, untrue.

On the other hand, I certainly would like Obama to be more progressive on a whole host of issues.

[ Parent ]
Social Security (4.00 / 1)
Obama also repeated GOP frames on Social Security after the Democrats worked hard to convince everyone that drastic fixes like privatization weren't needed.  Wasn't that Krugman's first beef with him?

The bigger point which some of us keep trying to make is that by blurring these "details," Obama doesn't present himself as an unabashed, unashamed progressive.  By running as he is, he will not be able to claim a mandate as a progressive when he wins in November.


[ Parent ]
"Social security crisis" (0.00 / 0)
Obama does use this rhetoric with some regularity, attacking Clinton for not taking aggressive action to forestall the "crisis."  This I find bothersome, because this is the kind of issue that sets the stage for everything else (because it sucks up so much money).

[ Parent ]
so you basically completely misrepresented every one of those (4.00 / 3)
1) Obama favored limits on 3rd trimester abortions, with focus on women's health. and he absolutely supports a woman's right to choose in the first two trimesters.

2) as someone else has already pointed out, he voted against Roberts.

3) (IIRC and IUC) Obama favors general pollution limits and credits marketplace and letting companies figure out how they can meet those limits rather than trying to mandate operational specifics or technology specifics.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
3. that's what's wrong (0.00 / 0)
Just another word for voluntary compliance.

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
you have no idea what you are talking about (4.00 / 3)
all the candidates support a cap and trade program

europe uses a cap and trade

the US has cap and trade for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides

only Ralph Nader is pushing carbon tax, which admittedly would be better, but thats not really the issue here is it? unless you are planning to vote for Nader.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
I will still support whichever wins the nomination (4.00 / 1)
This is nothing new (0.00 / 0)
Same with "experience."
Same with "commander in chief threshold"

[ Parent ]
Now what if it were Obama you were threatening with violence... (4.00 / 1)
Clinton is very weak, she's come after liberals, and we should just put her away.

Wow. The Hillary Haters just can't quit with the violent imagery and Hillary Clinton, can you? And coming so soon after Keith Olbermann's superdelegate murder fantasy, you'd think that might have heightened awareness of the issue, but I guess not.  

Calling for Hillary's death is so jejeune (4.00 / 4)
I mean, Ken Rubin, Keith Olberman, thousands of Cheetohs-stained typists at The Obama 527 The Used To Be Daily Kos... They're all doing it.

Can't you come up with something more original? It's sad, really.

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

My point exactly. (4.00 / 4)
Cheetohs-stained typists at The Obama 527 The Used To Be Daily Kos

Is that why it's orange?

[ Parent ]
If you are the lambert as Corrente (0.00 / 0)
Everytime I click into your site it disappears with an error message....

Would love to know what's been said on your site but it kkeps disappearing

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"

[ Parent ]
Should be fine now. (0.00 / 0)
I think yesterday their ISP was hit with a denial of service attack -- but I think it's okay now.  

[ Parent ]
You mean latte-drinking prius-driving liberals? N/T (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I think it's now (0.00 / 0)
chablis drinking limousine liberals.  

[ Parent ]
I do have to say, this place feels rather schizophrenic lately... nt. (4.00 / 2)

Reading this site is starting to make me feel personally schizophrenic. nt (0.00 / 0)

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
Such Irony (4.00 / 4)
When Obama went on Fox, the so called 'liberal' blogs said lets wait and see what he does before we judge him. And before Clinton even went on Fox, she's a conservative.

Clinton apologized for her sniper fire, Obama, from Rezko to Wright, said he doesn't know anything only to say he was more involved with them when more facts came out. Clinton is a liar. Obama.. still a saint.

On the oil tax, Clinton's plan is different from Mc Cain but yet somehow to the liberals: Clinton=Mc Cain. Meanwhile Obama still offer no solution other than unity and hope.

I could rant on and on on policy differences but the facts are clear. Hillary is much more progressive and most importantly get things done. Obama, his resume is too little to tell. But the fact is that if the liberal 'bias' kept on accusing Clinton for how 'evil' and how they intend to 'take over the world' type of thing, you will not only alienate hardcore Clinton supporters who felt is ok to betray their base since they got betrayed as well, you are certainly forcing Clinton to sway to the right and then blame her for doing so. So for the policies of Clinton is more to the left than of Obama, but yet i don't see any of you all ranting about that. Wait till there is no more Clinton for you all to hate, i wonder would the hate then spill over to Obama to support Mc Cain? You know with all the elections now being tight races, even a 10% defect by the supporters of whichever side will tilt the tide of the race. And we are already reaching the end of the primary season, and the pro-Obamabots still intend to spread more Clinton hate? Shouldn't it be time to start the unity theme so we can be seen and feel welcome among each other? The Obamabots can choose to spew hate or embrace unity but if you all do indeed choose to continue the hate, don't blame us for feeling bitter in the future. Like what Sen. Barbara Boxer said "Election has consequences."

What a well-thought out comment (0.00 / 0)
Thank you, we need more Clinton supporters like you.

I'm sure we "Obamabots" will find subtle hints in your comment that will reverse our "liberal bias" and push us towards the "unity theme".

Matt, could you give this guy access to post on the front page?

[ Parent ]
it would be idiocy for SEIU to go nuclear on Hillary (4.00 / 1)
First, many of their own members prefer Hillary to Obama.

Second, I am not convinced that Obama would be any better on issues of importance to organized labor than Hillary would.

But ultimately, this discussion is irrelevant, because if the SEIU endorsed Bush dog Boswell against the clearly more progressive Fallon in the IA-03 primary, you know they're not going to go hard negative on Hillary, who is much less conservative than Boswell.

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

Looks like the left blogs completely lost (4.00 / 3)
it after Obama betrayed them and as usual, they go after Clinton for any wrong done to them no matter who wronged them. This is the domestic policy that is right leaning from Clinton (also if you combine this with her long-term plan for energy, it doesn't matter), but as Krugman said, it is "pointless", not evil. And ofcourse, something has to be done to give temporary relief from these prices, for which Obama doesn't have ANY plan though. Note that Clinton has a long term energy plan along with this.
 Here is the same Krugman on Clinton and Obama
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.

This quote accurately describes Matt's post.

There really is something perverse going on here. (2.67 / 3)
I don't want to play armchair psychoanalyst. But it does really seem like some people in the progressive blogosphere just take out on Hillary every grievance they have about this election not proceeding exactly in the manner of their dreams.  Obama will be our nominee, but people need to seriously get a grip and come to terms with three facts.  

1. Obama is no more progressive or liberal a candidate than Hillary.  In the end, his program is a pretty standard one for democratic party candidates at this point in time.  It doesn't represent a significant progressive departure, above and beyond the entire party getting a bit more progressive in the last five years.

2. Obama has some huge weaknesses in the general.  He's still a favorite but only a small one over McCain and we are certainly very unlikely to see any kind of realignment election or formation of a left leaning super majority.

3. Neither points 1 nor 2 are Hillary's fault.

John McCain: Health insurance for low income children represents an "unfunded liability."

[ Parent ]
Yes. (0.00 / 0)
I disagree with #1, but only slightly. If #2 is true it's certainly not Hillary Clinton's fault.

Most of us are just too damn impatient. There's my armchair psychoanalyst.


[ Parent ]
The problem is where the arguments are coming from... (4.00 / 1)
Point 1 is a given.  Neither candidate is very progressive from where I stand.  But each side acts like when the other does or says something that tilts to the right, that it makes them completely to the right.  From a policy standpoint, neither of these candidates excites me, but they aren't raving wingnuts either.

Point 2 is probably the bigger point of argument at this point.  Clinton fans act like since point 2 is true, it by proxy make Clinton free of these problems.  The reality is that both candidates have huge weaknesses in the general.  

On point 3, I agree that point 1 isn't Hillary's fault (though I could argue that as the initial front runner she was going to establish the starting point on what would be mainstream policy positions and she came up woefully short in my opinion, but then I can't blame her for running a centrist campaign either).  

Point 2 I do think Hillary's campaign bears some responsibility for creating some of Obama's weaknesses.  In a partisan election Obama could have used his message of a change in politics to quell some of the attacks, which seemed to be the case earlier on in the primary process.  But the attacks have come from within the party and therefore the attacks from the right can come with the disclaimer that they were raised by Democrats first so why can't they be raised again.  The rightwing slime machine has had its reputation weakened, but the Clintons have done their work for them and have given them cover for the general.

[ Parent ]
Let me expand on that a bit (0.00 / 0)
"Point 2 is probably the bigger point of argument at this point.  Clinton fans act like since point 2 is true, it by proxy make Clinton free of these problems.  The reality is that both candidates have huge weaknesses in the general."

I agree completely.  I wasn't trying to make a relative electability argument.  Both candidates certainly have weaknesses.

"Point 2 I do think Hillary's campaign bears some responsibility for creating some of Obama's weaknesses.  In a partisan election Obama could have used his message of a change in politics to quell some of the attacks, which seemed to be the case earlier on in the primary process.  But the attacks have come from within the party and therefore the attacks from the right can come with the disclaimer that they were raised by Democrats first so why can't they be raised again."

Its a tricky issue.  Certainly the primary campaign has damaged Obama and camp Clinton has not acquitted themselves honorably on many occasions.  On the other hand, in the grand scheme of things I don't think it has done that much harm that wouldn't have happened anyway.  Frankly, Obama's biggest weaknesses - that he's relatively unexperienced, black (or half black) in a country that is still racist, and has had questionable ties to people like Wright - have nothing to do with the primary campaign.  The favorability spread he enjoyed in the early stages was never going to last.  He was never going to be this transcendent figure that united a really wide swath of the electorate and the change message alone was never going to have enough steam to carry him to the oval office.  I'm not absolving HRC of blame.  But its important to recognize that a lot of Obama coming back to earth is just the natural gravitational pull of American politics, given who he is as a candidate.  Its also important to acknowledge that many people in the blogosphere really had unrealistic expectations about his candidacy, talking up his ability to win 60% of the vote in the general and all sorts of nonsense.

And in the end, what's done is done.  We're in for a fight next fall and the overriding question has to concern what is the appropriate strategic move now.  Obama will need every Clinton supporter he can get to win in the fall - both as voters and as activists - and having Obama partisans slam HRC in a reactionary way at every turn is simply not productive.  People like Matt have the opportunity to show some leadership in that respect, but some posts here over the last few days make me question whether he really gets it.

John McCain: Health insurance for low income children represents an "unfunded liability."

[ Parent ]
Geez, who lit the Roman Candles? (4.00 / 1)
Obama will win NC and gain delegates on May 6. It's still nearly impossible for him to lose the nomination. For many reasons - preservation of the Brand Unity (tm) perhaps being the most important - it is a mistake to go too negative on Clinton.  


Why divert energy from McCain? (4.00 / 1)
McCain's currently getting a free ride with no significant opposition.

Why do you think we'd be better served by having 2 of the most important progressive organizations in the country spend (more) resources in the primary rather than laying the groundwork for the general?

John McCain thinks we haven't spent enough time in Iraq

Because Obama is being badly damaged from being hit from both sites. n/t (0.00 / 0)

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
it wouldn't help (0.00 / 0)
Clinton (and the MSM) would love nothing more than for Moveon.org to start running ads against her on sniperfire. That would be an even greater gift to her than Rev. Wright losing his mind the last few days has been to Obama. I don't like Clinton at all, but I don't see why Matt is getting so upset about the gas tax. That's idiotic policy to be sure, but it's just routine political pandering not some devastating cave in to conservatism. If we want to help Obama, we need to take on Clinton on policy grounds not engage in negative attacks on her character. Only Obama himself can successfully pull off those kinds of criticisms in a way that can help his campaign. Run ads linking Clinton's vote to invade Iraq to the rise in gas prices instead.  

Matt, WTF? are ya thinking? (4.00 / 2)
Do you really believe it helps to say we "should put her away"? What kind of a democrat are you? That statement so disappoints me in you and in Open Left.

Just because you endorsed, you think it makes sense to make enemy's of pro Hillary people. Don't you remember there were quite a few of us unconvinced by Obama during the voting on endorsement, remember how you delayed due to that . I did not realize we were voting for exclusion of progressive democrats

Your guy is the guy who doesn't get the deal closed. But your comments are intended to be offensive. Why, what does this accomplish?  I quit visiting KOS, completely.

Maybe it is time I quit listening to people who do not want to influence such a large number of progressive democrats?

don't feed the trolls (3.00 / 4)
also posted as a separate diary:

Matt had an interesting post advocating that Obama should show some killer instinct and finish off Hillary now.  It raised some interesting issues, among them:
1.  Given that Obama's tried so hard to run a positive campaign, would that move lose him on one flank what he gains on the other?

2.  Should he do it directly, or through 527's?  Or the blogosphere?

3.  Would such heightened attacks give ammunition to Hillary to distinguish herself from that flaming Bolshevik Obama?  MoveOn baiting, etc?

But with 127 comments and counting, the thread turned into another Obama vs. Hillary slugfest.  You suck!  No, you suck!  You suck even more!  No I don't!  Your momma sucks!  Your dog sucks!

Snore, yawn, grumble.

I note 10 Hillary partisans:

daria g

... with SayItLoud, Iphie, debcoop and SPMinOH functioning as trolls.

Check the recommendations.  The trolls are operating as a bloc.

I'm not knocking Hillary supporters in general.  At one point, I was one.  There are several other Hillary supporters who actually engaged Matt appropriately on-topic.  Okay, the trolls do what they do, and we should be no madder at them than the frog at the scorpion.

But I'm disturbed at how easily Obama supporters get sucked into this.  If this is what they're into, they should go to the nearest hog farm, tear off their shirts, and issue a challenge from the deepest mudhole.  The problem is that Matt's point -- which deserves serious discussion -- was effectively derailed.

That's how trolls work.  The cure for trolldom is to stay on-topic and only engage the trolls within the parameters of the topic.

I hate to have to be restating the ABC's of troll-fighting, but 127 comments, yeesh!

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

I agree 99% (0.00 / 0)
the problem is if we don't respond to them then they crap all over these threads and up-rate eachothers posts and if someone was reading the comment section of this site they might actually think that most readers of this site agree with these sentiments because they are so pervasive.  

End this war. Stop John McCain. Cindy McCain is filthy rich.

[ Parent ]
they only have one thing to say (4.00 / 2)
And every time we reply, they have another chance to repeat it.  They up-rate each other's posts anyway.  The biggest problem is that they divert what we are thinking and writing about.

Full Court Press!  http://www.openleft.com/showDi...

[ Parent ]
agreed (0.00 / 0)
and see my response in jeffroby's thread for a suggestion.

[ Parent ]
Selective reading (0.00 / 0)
Matt's post may, in your view, raise some interesting issues regarding Obama's strategy.  Frankly, if Obama and his allies have been spending $50 million month after month to finish off Clinton, and can't do it, I doubt that a 527 or a negative ad this late in the cycle is going to suddenly stop people from voting for her.  Hence, I don't think Matt's ideas are interesting, so much as a denial of the basic dynamics of the race, which is that certain demographic groups prefer Clinton to Obama, and that it is likely those groups will continue to do so regardless of the delegate count or endgame strategic maneuvers. Like probably everyone on both sides, he wishes there were an easier out, but dreaming isn't going to make it so.

But Matt said other things: that Clinton is a "full blown conservative" and an enemy of liberals.  These are factually indefensible comments, as has been pointed out by a number of posters.  Ridiculous, over the top statements like that are guaranteed to turn the thread into a Clinton v. Obama discussion.

Where you find "interesting" ideas, I see gratutious and unjustified bashing.  If Matt wants to encourage the first, he should knock off the second.

[ Parent ]
The "Tuzla Tigress" Video (4.00 / 1)
Ask and ye shall receive. The video has already been made. Now who will pay to put it on the air?

Trying to make sense of this. (0.00 / 0)
If I understand correctly, Obama is winning.  He has a modest and insurromountable pledged delegate lead.  He is also picking up more superdelegates than Clinton.

Some people have declared the race over.  Here, posters claim Obama is already the nominee.  Slate has a "Hillary Deathwatch" that is updated daily.

Now, as he finishes this contest, and prepares his bid in the general, you want Obama or his allies to adopt a drastic and risky change in tone and strategy, not as part of crafting a strategy against McCain, but simply to put away an opponent who you already believe is a corpse, just because she's sounding too Republican?

Am I missing something?

Gas Tax Holiday Scam (0.00 / 0)
Obama - a hypocrite?  Say it isn't so!



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