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Why does Big Tent Democrat hate the unity pony?

Kudos to TalkLeft for their great debate coverage. Hot, hot, hot! The Blogger Formerly Known as Armando* writes:

The Big Issue: Competing Theories of Change
I thought one of the most important differences was the differing theories of change articulated by Obama and Clinton. But maybe my eyes and ears deceived me.

On the critical question of how to effect change, I found these statements particularly noteworthy. From Obama:

... Changes are only going to come about if we're able to form a working coalition for change.

if we can't inspire the American people to get involved in their government and if we can't inspire them to go beyond the racial divisions and the religious divisions and the regional divisions that have plagued our politics for so long, then we will continue to see the kind of gridlock and nonperformance in Washington that is resulting in families suffering in very real ways.

A working coalition with who? This is always the nub of the question for me with Senator Obama's theory of change.

Is it really racial and regional divisions that block a progressive agenda on Washington? Does Obama REALLY believe that Republicans have nothing to do with it? That it will only take a Kumbaya moment to convince them that progressives are right on the issues?

If Obama were right about the problem of solution, then Joe Lieberman (Obama's mentor) and Tom Daschle (who lost Congress in 2002) would already have been able to accomplish what Obama claims to want to do.

Clinton is more realistic:

Senator Clinton's statements on how to effect change just are more realistic and appealing in my opinion:

CLINTON: It is not enough to say, "Let's come together." We know we're going to have to work hard to overcome the opposition of those who do not want the changes to get to universal health care.

You know, when I proposed a universal health care plan, as did Senator Edwards, we took a big risk, because we know it's politically controversial to say we're going to cover everyone.

And you chose not to do that. You chose to put forth a health care plan that will leave out at least 15 million people. That's a big difference.

When I said we should put a moratorium on home foreclosures, basically your response was, well, that wouldn't work.

And, you know, in the last week, even President Bush has said we have to do something like that.

But then we've got to do the hard work of not just bringing the country together, but overcoming a lot of the entrenched opposition to the very ideas that both of us believe in, and for some of us [heh] have been fighting for, for a very long time.

This is the most profound difference between the candidates in my mind. I noted it last night during my live blog. At this point, strike that, at ANY POINT, no one has paid attention to this difference except to praise Obama to the heaven for his High Broderism. Not one Fighting Dem blogs cares about this theory of change anymore.

Bingo.

And if the Hillary campaign has any sense, they will hammer, hammer, hammer on this point. It's not enough to write the word change on a piece of paper, xerox it, and then run it through the teleprompter in a rock and roll-sized arena. Eh?

NOTE How odd. Another refugee from Axelrod's shop.

NOTE I should clarify that BTD is an Obama supporter. But he still hates the Unity Pony! Remarkable.

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dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

It seems to me that Hillary has tried to approach the point this post covers, and every time she does, her numbers drop another notch or two. Like it or not, Obama is on to something - millions of Americans keep saying they are tired of the partisan bickering, and want nothing more than for the Long National Nightmare to be over so it can be Morning In America again. The mere suggestion that the abuses of the Bush Administration are only the tip of the iceberg causes the average American's mass-media fed brain to go into overload.

It's one thing for a big chunk of the electorate to believe that the problems of the last eight years were half the Democrats' fault. But when the front-running Democratic candidate for President goes around saying the same things, we're in trouble.

...for the rest of us

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

...her numbers generally improve after debates.

But Hillary does need to hone her message better... not only talk about how Obama's plan does include mandates for parents with children -- but pointing out that (IIRC) about 25% of kids who are eligible for SCHIP have no coverage -- that even when you make health care "affordable", a lot of people don't take advantage of it.

And she needs to hit Obama on Iraq....ask him if the real question that was raised at the time of the AUMF -- if Saddam has refused to co-operate with the inspectors, and the intelligence had been correct and he was working on a nuclear weapon, would he have opposed a UN authorized invasion with the kind of broad coalition we had with Kuwait? Would he have opposed military action that had broad international support, but could not get UN approval because China or Russia exercised its veto power, like we did in Kosovo?

OxyCon's picture
Submitted by OxyCon on

Obama better take a really long and hard look at the entire eight years that Bill Clinton was President...you know, the people Obama likes to attack and denigrate in order to build himself up. Because when Obama is President, he can count on being attacked and destroyed on a much grander scale than even what the Repubs did to the Clintons. He and Michelle are going to be Swiftboated on a daily basis, with Michelle becoming more loathed than Hillary as the attacks add up.
Mark my words.
Obama doesn't have a freaking clue what the Repubs have in store for him. They turned a bunch of piddling non issues into the "scandal of the century" against the Clintons. David Axelrod won't be able to save Obama's bacon.

Charles Lemos's picture
Submitted by Charles Lemos on

Having never ever picked a winner in any nomination process (Simon, Tsongas, Bradley, and now Edwards), this truly has been a season of my discontent. Obama strikes me as plainly naive. I am relived that such an honorable Republican like Susan Eisenhower now supports Senator Obama. It is even possible to conceive of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins crossing the aisle and finding some common ground with Obama, but Mitch McConnell? Ted Stevens? Jon Kyl? The DC & NY foreign policy establishment that won't leave Iraq in a vacuum?

Lambert's question of working coalition with whom remains the question to be answered.

Submitted by lambert on

... and that would be that the Conservative Movement doesn't do to Obama what they did to the Clintons.

Why would that happen, do you think?

Oh, and as far as "honorable Republicans" like Olympia Snowe (or Susan Collins, for that matter):

There was a great old Senator from Maine named Margaret Chase Smith who stood up to Joe McCarthy when she made a speech titled "My Declaration of Conscience" (and became Senator for Life in Maine in the process).

If Snowe or Collins were, in fact, honorable Republicans, I would have expected them to take a similar stand on any number of issues, but especially FISA. Didn't happen. Na ga happen.

Tell me again how many "honorable" Republicans there are in the Beltway? Does it take two hands to count them? Or just one?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Charles Lemos's picture
Submitted by Charles Lemos on

and Jacob Javits, Edward Brooke, Charles Mathias and John Anderson. They have all passed from the scene. And with them went most of the honor of the GOP.

No,I agree with you. My point was more that the Senators from Maine are the closest things to honorable in the GOP. And you're right about FISA.
So my answer to your last question is one hand with digits left over. I actually didn't call them honorable, only that I conceived them crossing an aisle here and there.

The Susan Eisenhower comment was sarcasm. Yes, she is a nice person but how important is it really considering that she has never held elective office. I mean she is Ike's granddaughter though I guess she also heads the not trivial Eisenhower Group.

I fear that on the response of the "rabid" right (the Freedom Watch, Freeper, AEI, Heritage, Hudson, Cato etc) will actually far exceed the treatment of the Clintons. Maybe I am wrong but how will the Reverend Jeremiah Wright play in Peoria? I live in SF so he is okay with me, but I doubt that he will come off well in Peoria or Miami Beach or the Upper West Side? And who knows what else is out there. I mean I read one blog you suggested from a voter in Virginia. The comments were beyond belief. Obama " a committed Marxist" and yet she voted for him because it was her one chance to strike out at Clinton. So clearly he is getting a few votes that he won't get in the general election but that's not huge problem because he will get most of Clinton's votes. Most, not all. Not mine. I am writing in John Edwards. Or going Green. At some point I have to take a stand. Why not now?

The system is broken. Obama is a band-aid fix with a lollipop on your way out. Clinton at least puts us in the ER. She doesn't sugar coat things as much. She's not John Edwards on domestic issues nor is she Joe Biden on foreign affairs nor Chris Dodd on the rule of law. But she sure does come close. To complete the metaphor, Edwards would have put us in the ICU.

I like your blog. I've learned a lot from it and I've only been reading it two weeks. Thanks.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

At some point I have to take a stand. Why not now?

Ralph Nader got 97,488 votes in Florida in 2000

if even 10% of those voters had gone with Gore, we wouldn't be in the middle of this nightmare....

(though we would probably be in the middle of another one -- Lieberman running for President as the incumbent VP.... )