"Call for Unity" versus "Call for Policy"
Hillary's speech is being covered as "Call for Unity."
But if you listened to her, it was just as much a "Call for Policy."
Unfortunately, Obama hasn't necessarily committed to any of those policies -- and, I would argue, can't, because the post-partisan schtick and the "big table" concept preclude any commitment to outcomes. The only commitment Obama makes is to turn the sausage-making machine on; there's no commitment to the kind of sausage that comes out, or even if there will be sausage. There will, however, be the hope for sausage.
This was clearly true in the case of universal health care. That awkward topic was conspicuously absent in the earlier speeches; but each time Hillary brought it up, her language got more forceful. I'd like to hear the same commitment from Obama ("And we get?"), and I'd like to have it stand up under parsing. (Let's remember that "Hillary would be on anybody's short list" turned out -- in violation of syllogistic logic -- not to mean "Hillary is on my short list.") The case is even more clear for "gay rights."
And what breaks my heart, as well as making me pound my forehead on the desk, is that none of this should be hard for someone willing to exercise leadership instead of talking about exercising leadership. 80% of America says the country is on the wrong track, and I'd bet most of them are in fear. And along with fear of losing your job, and fear of losing your house, fear of losing health care ranks right up there, and a lot of times, the loss of any one of them is the loss of the other two. Not only is universal health care (single payer; Medicare for all) the right thing to do, morally and in policy terms; it should be a political winner too, and on the FDR scale.
I'd like to be at a loss to understand why the Ds don't get this, and stop crapping around. But I'm working on the assumption that the D leadership gets this completely, and has written off the people who actually need government to work because the campaign contributions aren't there, and new funding is required, and they either believe that money's not there, or it's too much trouble to get it, so things net out badly for them. (The hate for the old now being happily manufactured by Obama's base will be very useful for framing such issues, in future. Well done.)
Hence, the D leadership writes off that portion of the party's base, and moves right to the evangelicals, the (much cheaper) youth, and the corporations -- all of whom, for their various reasons, find a message of hopey change deeply resonant.
It's not the difference between half a shit sandwich and a whole shit sandwich; I've been wrong, wrong, wrong for all these years. It's the difference between bullshit and horseshit. And no doubt there is a difference, but discerning the difference will take several tasting flights, and will include modeling which kind of shit I may be expected to eat, in future.
NOTE Of course, real unequivocal (not rumored) policy commitments on universal health care and gay rights could change the taste of D shit in a hurry, for all the reasons I give above why it will never happen. Perhaps Thursday?