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Why Hillary still gets my vote

Policy.

Hillary's health plan is better. Health care policy has life-altering consequences for people I know. U.S. citizens should have universal health care as a matter of right, like every other industrialized nation does. Not only does universal coverage cost less, it leads to better care, earlier. Hillary's plan is a lot closer to the ideal than Obama's; that's why Elizabeth Edwards says Hillary's plan is better. What Obama has done, instead of fixing his broken plan, is run Harry & Louise ads and demagogue the issue by claiming his plan is universal, when everybody but him says it's not. Worse, after Obama, with his "cling to" gaffe, dissed the very same working people who are at risk of losing their jobs and their homes by getting sick, he had a perfect opportunity to ask for their votes by fixing his plan. Leaders lead. Obama didn't. Instead, he ran more Harry & Louise ads. That should also tell you he's not going to shift left, either, since his youthful constituency doesn't care about the issue (they don't really need it yet), and the netroots contingent foolishly gave their allegiance to him without getting any commitments from Obama at all. So, if you want to move toward universal health care, vote for Hillary.

Experience.

Obama's just not ready. Really, is a Democrat, a Democrat, who says that nobody could have predicted 9/11, ready for high office? The blogs -- back in the day when we had a media critique, and cared about evidence -- spent a good deal of time setting the record straight on this one; plenty of people predicted it. And, back in the day, the blogs would have been all over any candidate who made an absurd statement like that. Now? Not so much. Which points to the larger problem that Obama's supporters in the "creative class" and elsewhere have: They seem incapable of being critical of their candidate. That does him a disservice, because if they think Hillary's throwing the kitchen sink at him, they ain't seen nothin yet. For example, what other candidate could get away with claiming, in a debate, that he made a speech against Iraq "in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign" when he gave the speech in October 2002 and didn't declare for the Senate until January 2003? Obama's supporters gave him a free pass** on this one, as did the press, but McCain won't. And re-recording the speech with added applause won't help matters. McCain's going to mention that, too. And that Obama could make a claim so contrary to fact, and even leave it up on his web site, argues for a disturbing degree of over-confidence that travelling inside a bubble can only reinforce. Hubris doesn't make you ready. Quite the reverse.

What the Bataan death march shows.

The nature of the campaigns. I've never felt comfortable with the Unity schtick that was the basis of Obama's appeal; it's clear, when you think about it, that, when implementing policies like universal health care, things like, oh, money and power are at stake, and so conflict would have to happen. (Heck, in our Constitutional system of checks and balances, conflict is a feature, not a bug.)

But as the primary wore on, a bitter irony appeared: the Obama campaign turned out, itself, to be extremely divisive: It's the Obama campaign that smeared the Clintons as racist, not the other way round. And it's the Obama campaign that's struck a constant theme of misogyny, not the other way round. It's the Obama campaign, with the "cling to" remark, that dissed Democrat working class voters, by denying them the same "complex" and "nuanced" choices that Obama, and his "creative class" supporters, are all too aware of having themselves. And it's Obama's online supporters who don't consider Hillary a real Democrat. What happened to the Unity? Apparently, "unity" only applies to Obama supporters. Aren't we all too familiar, already, with what happens when whoever's in the White House has an attitude of "You're with us or against us?" And if the Obama campaign and the creative class think they can win in November by dissing half the base, they're delusional.

When I think of Hillary, I think of a President who wants to make government work again.

When I think of Obama, I think of a brilliant campaigner.

Which'd you rather?

NOTE * I am all too aware of Hillary's imperfections; it's that, on balance, I think she's better.

NOTE ** How free is Obama's free pass? Compare the coverage about Obama lying on that speech -- and that single fucking speech is a huge part of Obama's appeal -- with the whole Bosnia flap. What does that tell you about the level of scrutiny Obama's getting? Or his over-confidence?

UPDATE Dammit, some joker's dyed the water in the fountain at Philly's Love Park the exact same color as lime Kool-Aid. Why is that?

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... Obama's anti-war speech, the one he miraculously made in the midst of a hotly-contested U.S. Senate race, despite:

1. His not declaring as a candidate until months after he made the speech
2. That campaign, per "Audacity," being a cakewalk against weak/wounded opposition

Can anyone point me to a press report about his speech from the week when he made it?

Radiowalla's picture
Submitted by Radiowalla on

Your post mirrors my own thinking 100%, especially the part about the "unity schtick."

Submitted by lambert on

that it's not even mentioned in the press release announcing his Senate candidacy in January 2003, almost three months after he gave the speech in October 2002. See here for links.

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

RedSox04's picture
Submitted by RedSox04 on

Obama (and his supporters) regularly claim that the 90s sucked for people. Wrong.

I think I've finally hit on the theory that best explains why some people support Obama and some people support Hillary.

People who support Obama are those who didn't experience any economic harm in the transition from Clinton to Bush: young people and rich people. For them Clinton sucked, because he was surrounded by (faux) scandal, and Bush was worse. They want CHANGE, because for them Clinton was almost as bad as Bush.

People who support Hillary are those who did experience economic harm during the Bush administration: the middle and working classes, primarily. They remember the Clinton years fondly, because despite all the (faux) scandals, times were good, good-paying jobs were plentiful, and people were hopeful that they could rise up the economic ladder.*

*Of course there's a racial component as well. But i don't see anything to suggest that black voters would abandon Hillary en masse should she win; only the rich and the young are talking that way.

This is why Obama talks so much about change, and the crappy Clinton years. It's also why I'm increasingly convinced he can't win in a national election: his candidacy neutralizes the economic issue, which is the single biggest advantage the Democratic Party has in this election, and tosses off the tens of millions of voters that will be voting their pocketbooks this year.

Submitted by lambert on

I already "voted" in a caucus...

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

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

Would that more interested parties could relay their reasons for choosing a candidate as thoughtfully as this post does.

++++

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

where both candidates were treated equally by the media throughout this campaign.

Equally nice, or equally harsh, either way. Is there any way that Barack Obama is still running in that scenario?

Especially if the media were equally harsh?

His campaign would not have made it out of Iowa in the latter scenario, and either way he wouldn't have made it past Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, John Edwards couldn't get any attention from the media until he quit. He gets more attention now by the media asking who he will endorse. There was a similar blackout of Dodd and Biden, two legitimate contenders.

For some reason the media decided Obama was the one they wanted. The pushed him, bashed Hillary, and ignored the rest.

------------------------------------------------
"Real ponies don't oink" - Patrick McManus

leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

And disconcertingly persuasive for someone who voted for Obama.

About those Clinton years, we should also note the reason the general prosperity that followed on the Bush recession was more equally distributed than during the Reagan recovery, for instance, had a lot to do with specific policies put in place by the Clinton administration. The increase in college loan availability for middle and working class students, Americorp, which allowed students to pay for much of their college by giving service, the extension of the negative income tax, and yes, even welfare reform was not the disaster for those on the AFDC rolls as predicted, largely because of the way the Clinton administration, working with the states, administered the changes. This is not to say that I don't wish that Clinton had held out for an even better bill, and Clinton himself recognizes that there is a current danger that there are families with children that remain outside any sort of help despite their need, because the inadequacies of the bill he signed off on were never corrected.

Actually, the welfare issue deserves a separate post; I happen to know a great deal about it, unlike most people who talk about it, because I spent years working with woman who had to raise their children on AFDC, and too many of the critics, though not all, to be sure, simply had insufficient knowledge to know just how poorly the program they wanted to preserve served the needs of the clients it was supposed to be helping.

I'm not suggesting that Clinton was able to do anything about the inequitable distribution of accumulated wealth resulting from decades of Republican rule which has made us a plutocracy; eight years of any administration wouldn't be enough time for that, especially facing a Republican congress as Clinton was for six of his eight years. But there were no rolling recessions during the economic boom years of the Clinton administration, as there was during the Reagan and the four Bush pere years, and, of course, the last seven years.

Submitted by jawbone on

the things the MCMers wanted to use against him--the infamous 4H's-hair, house, hedge, and hypocrisy.

The MCM campaign against Edwards was extremely unfair--and devastatingly successful.

Against Clinton? Succeeding, but Obama has not closed the deal yet.

What will the MCM do in a McSame-Obama matchup? Will depend on whether the Corporate of the MCM wants McSame installed. In a McSame-Clinton race? Katie, bar the door!

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

Gravel!!!!!!

And I give him credit for following his principles and jumping the DNC ship.

Wish he hadn't, but hell.

Submitted by jawbone on

Stopped in at Eschaton this morning and Atrios has finally said he will vote for Obama (not much of a surprise), but he did not bash Clinton. Actually didn't give a reason, just said that at one point he would have voted for either.

A bit of irony bcz his links to Krugman's pieces about Obama's lack of mandates meaning his plan would not work as well as Clinton's and Obama's ReThug lite take on SocSec lead me to begin to really trying to find out what the Change would be. Had to dig more bcz my guy, Edwards, dropped out.

The more I read, the less I could even imagine supporting a candidate who dared to tell voters they would see a light, have an epiphany, and would be forced to vote for him. The more I read about Clinton, whom I thought I knew pretty well, the more I realized she would be a good president and a far better one than Obama.

Now, I am one nervous Democrat--nothing I can do--except make small donation to help the Clinton campaign. (My 25% health insurance increase, effective this month, takes a huge bite out my resources--$1500/month now--but Aetna's execs do need to be about the hold their heads up in the rarefied world of mega-earners. Grrrrr. But I will donate something.)

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

in the campaign. The last few months Edwards was a ghost in the news coverage. The only time he was mentioned was in a list of names "Also participating were Edwards, Dodd, Biden, Gravel, Kucinich and Richardson."

------------------------------------------------
"Real ponies don't oink" - Patrick McManus

Becki Jayne's picture
Submitted by Becki Jayne on

When I think of Hillary, I think of a President who wants to make government work again.

M'yeah. And all that Lambert wrote. Oh, m'yeah.

captainjohnbrown's picture
Submitted by captainjohnbrown on

Your my hero! Hero! Hero!

Echo! Echo! Echo!

I love how your links give the impression that your Obama smears are well documented. I click on your accusation that Obama plays the race card and I see something by the Clinton hatchet-man Sean Wilentz. I click on your misogyny link and I find a blog post by Clinto hatchet-man Lambert. Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. Would you and your fellow SPWODS (? So-called Progressives With Obama Derangement Syndrome) please stop smearing our candidate?

Much obliged,

Cap'n John Brown

Submitted by lambert on

Now, wipe your chin, wouldja?

NOTE You know, Captain, when you get your own blog, and develop, as I'm sure you will, a significant body of work over time, you'll discover that it's often useful to link to past posts, so you don't have to fucking repeat yourself for every lame troll that blunders into the area. See? As for Wilentz, just because you disagree with his conclusions, as apparently you do, is not enough to call him a hatchet man. Why don't you go over to Big Orange? They've got plenty of your sort there.

UPDATE I just noticed the typo in the headline: "Caption" for "Captain." But maybe I should leave it. After all, for this guy, a Caption Contest might be appropriate.

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