March 25, 2008

What will Hillary Clinton put us through for that 5% chance she has of winning the nomination?

David Brooks writes:
For another three months, we’ll have the Carvilles likening the Obamaites to Judas and former generals accusing Clintonites of McCarthyism. For three months, we’ll have the daily round of résumé padding and sulfurous conference calls. We’ll have campaign aides blurting “blue dress” and only-because-he’s-black references as they let slip their private contempt.

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery when the contest touches upon race, gender or patriotism. The policy debates between the two have been long exhausted, so the only way to get the public really engaged is by poking some raw national wound....

When you step back and think about it, she is amazing. She possesses the audacity of hopelessness.
Brooks must have thought that last line was too clever not to use, but it's actually only a childish flipping of a phrase to its opposite, and, worse, it's not even true. She has the audacity of hope. By calling hope hopelessness, Brooks enables himself to ask why she goes on and to pretend there isn't the obvious answer: she has hope of winning.
Why does she go on like this? Does Clinton privately believe that Obama is so incompetent that only she can deliver the policies they both support? Is she simply selfish...?
How is what's she's doing any different from what every other candidate does as long as there's a chance? To say it's "selfish" or "narcissistic" to think you're special is to criticize everyone who has what it takes to campaign for the presidency.

Brooks reviles Clinton for "her relentlessly political life... encased in the apparatus of political celebrity," with an "impersonal" campaign that's "like a machine for the production of politics" that "plows ahead... following its own iron logic." So... she's a politician with a campaign. That's special because.... ?

Brooks challenges her to step outside her own machine and stop it, to "surprise everybody with a display of self-sacrifice." Why? Why should she behave differently from every other politician?

Her opponent is wounded by a problem of his own making. Brooks would have you think the Clinton campaign is chewing away at him with scurrilous, pointless attacks, but Obama's problem with Jeremiah Wright is something important about him that we need to think through. Meanwhile, she's reaped some important victories in key states and stands to win big in Pennsylvania — which will be a test of how deeply the Wright controversy has hurt Obama. For her to stay in now is not bizarrely robotic behavior. It utterly normal.

Or does it just seem wrong coming from a woman? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the lady displayed self-sacrifice?

ADDED: Ed Morrissey writes about the Brooks column. Bottom line:
[T]he Hillary-must-quit contingent seem to forget one thing: she’s still winning states, and people still want to vote for her. Obama hasn’t won the nomination, nor will he win it in the primaries. Why should she quit under those circumstances? By all indications, Hillary will likely win almost all of the upcoming contests, with just North Carolina as a potential exception.

The same people who dreamed up the superdelegate structure and who made it impossible for the primaries to select between two evenly-matched candidates want to be let off of the hook for the disaster they created.
I'm not convinced the superdelegate structure is a disaster. It's a structural safeguard. I don't buy the argument that "democracy" must prevail when you're talking about voting (or, worse, caucusing) to pick a candidate for an election that takes place up to 10 months later. A candidate who's popular in February may look weak by the end of the summer. New information emerges, world events change, different issues come to the foreground, and the other party commits to its nominee. The superdelegates have the power to save their party from a disastrous candidate.

Jeralyn Merritt frames the facts to show that the candidates are about even:
So, Hillary's ahead in popular vote and electoral votes, in the big states and the states most likely to go Democratic in November. She's ahead in the big states that are critical for Dems in November. Obama's got a small lead in overall pledged delegates and has won more Republican states that have a slim to no chance of going blue in November.

The superdelegates need to consider who will bring it home for Democrats in November. The results so far indicate that person is Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama.

91 comments:

John Z. said...

Brooks seems to be sipping the Obama kool-aid. See this post for a different perspective:

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/3/24/154226/008

rhhardin said...

Math is hard.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Aiming to win by tearing down your opponent is not hopeful. It is hateful.

rhhardin said...

Brooks would see a Thatcher as okay, so it's not exactly sexism.

It's typical woman ism.

rhhardin said...

con't

That is, Hillary is given a pass because she's a woman, for indulging herself in a death-of-the-world match.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Only after Obama has unified the party by Hillary giving up can he go on to unify the nation by conservatives shutting up.

Chris said...

More like 20%.

Middle Class Guy said...

Maureen Dowd was just as good Sunday:
“It’s impossible to imagine The Terminator, as a former aide calls her, giving up. Unless every circuit is out, she’ll regenerate enough to claw her way out of the grave, crawl through the Rezko Memorial Lawn and up Obama’s wall, hurl her torso into the house and brutally haunt his dreams.”

Maguro said...

It is now considered hateful to oppose Obama. Step aside, haters, the Messiah has arrived!

PatHMV said...

Regarding the wisdom and merits of the superdelegate structure, I agree with you, Ann, that it makes some sense, for the reasons it was adopted in the first place.

However, I don't think it makes any sense in today's Democratic Party, which has made a fetish out of "pure," unfettered popular democracy. The Democrats argued against the 2000 election not just on the grounds of the Florida recount but on the fact that, even with a narrow Bush win in Florida, Gore had more popular votes across the nation. They argued forcefully for abolishing the electoral college. All of those arguments are entirely incompatible with the notion of superdelegates acting as a check on "the people" who voted and caucused in the Democratic nomination process.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Hillary's ahead in popular vote and electoral votes, in the big states and the states most likely to go Democratic in November.

Um. That's redundant. All this means is she's won "the big states" as Hillary defines "the Big States". The whole point is that Obama has won big states that Hillary won't likely win, like Washington, Virginia, Missouri, and Iowa. Those are not Republican states unlikely to flip. They are states Obama can get that Hillary cannot. This is totally disingenuous.

Simon said...

It's hard to know how to respond to a column that takes, as a starting assumption, that "Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects." I have no idea what planet Brooks is living on if he believes that. Nor is it entirely clear to me that the dimming of prospects for a revote in Michigan and Fla. hurt the Clinton campaign, and it seems to me might actually help it. 5%? 10%? I'd have put it at 60% and growing, but I guess we should listen to these professional journalists - after all, they've been right about everything else so far this primary season. They sure called New Hampshire, after all.

AJ Lynch said...

I agree with Ann . Hillary is persistent and has the Audacity of Hope even though she has only a slim chance for the nomination. And there is a chance more Obama skeletons will be found before the convention. So she'd be dumb to quit now.

Realistically, if there was little risk to the Dems of losing Obama's voter base in November, the Dems would give the nomination to Hillary because Obama has turned off too many independents and Reagan Dems with his pastor links.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

I think Obama hurt his general election chances but (due to the current delegate tallies) Wright did not damage Obama's NOMINATION chances much. If the Wright tapes had come out earlier in the primary season, then you'd be right.

ballyfager said...

I live in Pennsylvania. I just found out that I can't vote against this hateful woman unless I register as a Democrat. I'd rather be known as an axe murderer.

It is beyond my understanding why anyone with a three digit IQ would support the Clintons having had sixteen years to experience them nationally.

They're just a couple of parasites on the make.

ricpic said...

Aiming to tear down your opponent is not hopeful. It is hateful.

Can we give hate and hateful a rest? It's perfectly legitimate to "tear down" your opponent. It's called criticism. And while we're at it can we leave "fair" behind? Enough with kindergarten, already!

Slim999 said...

"Why should she behave differently from every other politician?"

The answer, of course, is because she's lost so many elections to Obama. She's lost so many caucuses. She's lost the overall Democrat vote. She's lost a majority of the states.

Of course she has a chance. Obama could die of a heart attack any moment now. There's even whispered "concern" over his safety (hint, hint, wink, wink).

To get the nomination, Hillary is going to have to destroy Obama. It's the only hope she has of convincing the superdelegates to do what she knows they want to do anyway - which is to not nominate a black guy even though he's defeated Hillary at the polls.

She knows the Party's heart.

She'll stick it out to the end, knowing that the political elite (the Superdelegates) aren't going to nominate Kwame Kilpat ... wait, no ... Marion Bar ... wait, no, Vernon Jord ... wait, no ... Jesse Jacks ... wait, no Osama bin Obama ... wait, no.

What's that guys name again?

Pastafarian said...

If "every politician" would stay in the fight until the bitter end, despite the damage that might be done to their party in the process, then what does this say about the character of Mitt Romney?

(Not that I think that Clinton should bow out -- I agree that she's actually the stronger of the two Dems at this point).

I'm just pointing out that we really missed our opportunity to elect a great man when we lost Romney.

Pogo said...

She's ruthless, but so was Bobby Kennedy.

She likes to tussle, but so did Nixon.

She likes to bully her opponents, but so did FDR. And LBJ.

I can't stand the woman, and I think she is wrong, but she's no different than most politicians who saw themselves occupying the White House. And clearly the Dem party rules permit her to actually receive the nomination despite Obama's victories.

But why this doesn't scare the shit out of people who believe the government can fulfill the promise of 'national health care' is beyond me.

Pastor_Jeff said...

As Pat mentioned, this sounds a lot like the arguments over the 2000 Presidential election. Keep counting those votes untl you get the count you want, and as soon as you get there, stop! Will Brooks be so sure of Hillary's losing if she carries PA decisively?

That Brooks can look at what's essentially a 51-49 race and say Hillary's got a 5% chance of winning says a lot about Brooks -- not so much about Hillary.

As far as my preferred outcome, I'm still holding hope that they both lose.

rhhardin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

It is beyond my understanding why anyone with a three digit IQ would support the Clintons having had sixteen years to experience them nationally.

My understanding is that it's not support so much as mortification by the other guy, on each side.

I'm certainly enjoying it all.

How over the top can it go before the nation notices something's wrong, is the fascinating question.

Can it have to do with the demographic of the audience that supports the media, as a business plan matter?

Anything that doesn't whet their appetites dies like a wave below the plasma frequency, to use an excellent analogy.

George said...

Sen. Obama's a charismatic leader. He fits the classic definition as developed by the German political scientist Max Weber.

In brief, the charismatic leader is a rare type. He seems possessed of nearly divine authority which reveals itself in his electric magnetism, calmness, unconventional behavior, and oratorical skills.

Narcissistic and unpredictable, he inspires slavish devotion among his followers (and an equally powerful utter revulsion among his opponents). His downfall usually arises from his narcissism and sense of specialness, which lead him to think he is not bound by the rules that govern others.

His leadership accompanies upheavals of a political, cultural, or religious nature. Sometimes the charismatic leader ushers in a positive visionary transformation. Just as often, a charismatic leader causes catastrophes, either resulting in his own death or disgrace or much worse outcomes.

In summary, the only person who can probably stop Sen. Obama is Sen. Obama himself. The more he is attacked from the outside the stronger he becomes. That is, until he comes to believe that he is invincible. At that point, he will pull the walls down around himself.

Have a nice day.

SteveR said...

The "superdelegate structure" may not be a disaster in the sense Brooks describes but the potential for the safeguard to insure the nomination of the better candidate in July at the cost of the needed support of a crucial voting block, makes it risky scenario to fall back on.

Kerry won PA by 2.5% (approx 150,000 votes). He had a 400,000+ marigin in Philadelphia alone. The superdelegates may do the right thing but at what cost?

rhhardin said...

Sen. Obama's a charismatic leader. He fits the classic definition as developed by the German political scientist Max Weber.

The reaction of Germans, when Hitler won the election, was roughly, ``Okay, now how crazy is he?''

Just to suggest how you'll be feeling in November, as a thought experiment.

ricpic said...

Many of the superdelegates are up for election themselves in November. Since they know that giving Hillary the nod will mean that many blacks will sit out the election, voting for neither Hillary nor them, that alone may put them in the Obama camp. Survival first.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Two months ago the GOP had only a tiny chance of winning.

Now John "endless war" McCain, the economic ignoramous, has the potential to keep the country in bizarro land for another four years.

As a Republican, our best hope is to lose so sane people can retake the party.

MadisonMan said...

As a Republican, our best hope is to lose so sane people can retake the party.

If Hillary! is the nominee, that's also the best hope for Democrats.

P. Rich said...

Who but the Duh Dems would create a system that selects its presidential candidate through the machinations of what is in reality an elite, fractious committee?

Wiki:

- Under the original Hunt plan, superdelegates were 30% of all delegates, but when it was finally implemented in 1984, they were 14%. The number has steadily increased, and today they are approximately 20%.

- About half of the superdelegates are white men, compared to 28% of the Democratic primary electorate.

- Superdelegates are more likely to prefer candidates with Washington experience than outsider candidates.

Simon said...

aj lynch said...
"I think Obama hurt his general election chances but (due to the current delegate tallies) Wright did not damage Obama's NOMINATION chances much. If the Wright tapes had come out earlier in the primary season, then you'd be right."

I disagree: as I see it, the superdelegates aren't going to install a nominee who's DOA. If Wright hurts Obama in the fall (more accurately, if he's perceived as being a problem for the fall), that'll hurt Obama among superdelegates, and thus his chances of the nomination.

Fen said...

Now John "endless war" McCain

Thats a lie.

"Obama's other talking point is that McCain has said the U.S. should remain in Iraq for 100 years if necessary. Obama knowingly misconstrues this statement to mean that McCain favors 100 years of fighting in Iraq, whereas McCain actually is referring to idea that, following the end of hostilities in Iraq, the U.S. will maintain a long-term military presence there, as it has done in countries like Germany and Japan."

And Obama agrees with McCain:

"...a key military adviser to Obama, General Tony McPeak, has said of Iraq, "We’ll be there a century, hopefully, if it works right." McPeak explicitly invoked our experience in Germany, Japan, and South Korea."

/via Powerline

As a Republican, our best hope -

You are not a Republican.

Trooper York said...

Max Jacob Flatow Jr alias Frost: I have nothing against our current President... that's like running against my own grandfather. I mean, what do you ask a 60-year-old man? - You ask him if he wants his wheelchair FACING the sun, or facing AWAY from the sun. But running the country? FORGET IT, babies!
(Wild in the Streets, 1968)

Melinda said...

Brooks must have thought that last line was too clever not to use, but it's actually only a childish flipping of a phrase to its opposite

Oh, dang! And I was going to use it as the new mission statement for my blog.

rhhardin said...

but it's actually only a childish flipping of a phrase to its opposite

The thesaurus traces the quickest path from hope to hopelessness

hope
anticipation
apprehension
anxiety
desperation
hopelessness

A term in the middle might be better, to avoid a childish flipping.

The audacity of anxiety

Zeb Quinn said...

Obviously Hillary believes that she can still win this. From her point of view there are just too many variables out there still up in the air to say that Obama has it won. And I agree with her. The Obama phenomena could implode in an instant.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

I believe the Wright relationship will still be a big problem for Obama in the fall (convention is in August I believe).

Wher you and I disagree is I don't think the super-delegates have the cojones to bestow the nomination on Hillary due to Obama's Wright problem.

Tim said...

"The superdelegates have the power to save their party from a disastrous candidate."

Uh, that ain't gonna happen, as both are disastrous candidates.

They can only pick which candidate loses (which they know) and tear the Party apart as they do it (which they also know, which is why they don't want to to it...).

The grifters are doomed.

rhhardin said...

Uh, that ain't gonna happen, as both are disastrous candidates.

They could pick Lieberman, and keep voting until everybody agrees.

Wear down the TV audience until the last cable coverage ends.

Then it's McCain vs Lieberman and they might win.

Tim said...

"I don't think the super-delegates have the cojones to bestow the nomination on Hillary due to Obama's Wright problem."

Yeah, that's about right. The prospective violence veto forces the superdelegates to nominate Obama, as Hillary!'s delegates are hardly likely to reprise Chicago '68 on the streets of Denver. Oh-Bah-Muh's supporters? Well, do you think the superdelegates want to take the chance?

Hillary!'s only hope is for Obama to become so obviously unelectable that the Oh-Bah-Mi begin to publicly defect.

That won't likely happen, as cultists usually need an intervention.

Interventions usually aren't a covered benefit in health insurance, although they might in public employee benefit packages...

Hillary! is doomed.

And so too are the grifters in '08.

Fen said...

It all comes down to whether Obama's racism will destroy his candicacy before Hillary runs out of money.

And Hillary isn't doing herself any favours with the Sniper Lie, shifting the media cycle away from Obama's racism.

Tim said...

"They could pick Lieberman, and keep voting until everybody agrees."

No. The Children of the Corn at Daily Kos would go all "WTO in Seattle" in Denver.

Not gonna happen.

The Grand Mufti of Global Warmism, The Algore, is the natural default compromise candidate for the grifters in '08, with Obama as his VP (prospectively - I haven't drilled down into Gore's VP needs yet...).

He's the only one who can take the nomination without utterly destroying the Party, triggering identity politics riots on the streets of Denver, and who might actually win.

But I'm not thinking Theresa LePore will be invited...

downtownlad said...

Great post. As one of your readers states, she has a 20% of getting the nomination according to the political markets, not 5%. Why in the world should she give up?

And you know what - when she wins all of these forthcoming contests, the same people who said that she had no chance are going to be the same people talking about Obama's collapse.

America has shown that it won't elect a black candidate (unfortunately). If the superdelegates are smart, they will recognize that and nominate Hilary instead.

downtownlad said...

Even if Hilary doesn't get the nomination, all of the delegates are probably enough to get her the VP slot if she wants it - and I strongly think she would take it.

Simon said...

AJ: clarification - you don't think they'll bestow the nomination on Hillary, period, or you think that if they do, they'll feel the need to rest the decision on something else?

MadisonMan said...

Hillary isn't doing herself any favours with the Sniper Lie, shifting the media cycle away from Obama's racism

Obama the racist isn't gonna sell papers for more than two days. If it wasn't the Sniper thing, it would be something else.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"America has shown that it won't elect a black candidate."

This is like the old saw about Hillary that America wasn't ready for a woman. Americans are ready to elect a female President, a black President, or even a black female President. It just isn't going to elect Hillary or Obama, and despite Obama's best efforts to make it about race, the reasons for that have nothing to do with race. Race doesn't explain or justify what his pastor believes or Obama's association with him.

downtownlad said...

You're wrong Simon. American has disqualified Obama simply because he belongs to a black Church, along with 90% of black Americans. That's pretty disgusting if you ask me - disenfranchising an entire segment of America.

It's no different than a Jewish candidate running for Prime Minister of Italy, and then having the other party run against him by talking about the horrors of circumcision.

If it wasn't Reverand Wright, then they would have found somebody else to tie him to.

But they'll never do that to a white candidate.

Obama is through because America is racist. I'm not surprised.

downtownlad said...

And let's be honest here. The first smear was to say that Obama was unelectable because he was a Muslim since his middle name was Hussein. That worked, but only a little. So then they came out with the Obama is a black separatist smear because of his pastor.

That smear worked.

But I'm sure we'll have more. Can't talk about the issues now can we . . .

Fen said...

American has disqualified Obama simply because he belongs to a black Church

No. If America disqualifies Obama over that, it will be because he belongs to racist Church.

Zeb Quinn said...

And Hillary isn't doing herself any favours with the Sniper Lie

She can't help herself. This is the kind of lie that Dem pols love to tell to puff themselves up. Bill used to "walk the streets of Harlem" as a student, a few years after he watched black churches burn in Arkansas. Kerry Christmased over in Cambodia in 1968. Al Gore was a real treasure trove, what with Love Story, Love Canal, and inventing that internet thingie. Speaking of Gore, there are those who still have him waiting in the wings to snatch the nomination from both Hillie and Barry at the right convention moment.

downtownlad said...

OK Fen - Name me one black church in this entire country that doesn't have someone like Rev. Wright in its membership.

Just one.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"You're wrong Simon. American has disqualified Obama simply because he belongs to a black Church, along with 90% of black Americans. That's pretty disgusting if you ask me - disenfranchising an entire segment of America ... Obama is through because America is racist. I'm not surprised."

Nope - it's got nothing to do with race. Race only comes into it to the extent that it's proffered as some kind of explanation or justification for Wright's remarks, which of course it doesn't. It has to do with what Wright says, what he believes, and what that says about Obama that he associates with such a person. People who are emotionally invested in Obama - who are, ipso facto, used to projection - are looking for some way to make it be about race, because if they can make it about race, Obama's implosion doesn't implicate their own judgment. But psychological savings clauses can't bootstrap this into being something it's not.


"If it wasn't Reverand Wright, then they would have found somebody else to tie him to."

He tied himself to Wright, DTL. That's one of the realities that Obama and his partisans need to recognize before they can move on.

"But they'll never do that to a white candidate."

Sure they would. If you had a white candidate who had the sort of relationship with Fred Phelps or David Duke that Obama has with Wright, they'd be crucified by the media and totally rejected by the public.

Your problem, DTL, is that you see the world through bigotry-colored glasses. Everyone's a bigot, to your assessment, so it comes as no surprise at all to anyone here when you look around and pronounce that Obama imploded because of bigotry. The funniest thing of all is that you probably think Obama is a bigot, too, because he doesn't share your views on gay rights down to the last micron.

downtownlad said...

And George W. Bush's church is a hell of a lot more offensive than Obama's.

Bush belongs to a hate mongering church - but the media doesn't want to write about that.

Simon said...

downtownlad said...
"OK Fen - Name me one black church in this entire country that doesn't have someone like Rev. Wright in its membership."

Red herring. The issue is Obama, not Wright. Wright is only relevant to the extent that he throws light on Obama.

Fen said...

enough to get her the VP slot if she wants it - and I strongly think she would take it.

Offering Hillary the VP slot is one step away from being placed on "suicide" watch.

Smilin' Jack said...

For three more months (maybe more!) the campaign will proceed along in its Verdun-like pattern. There will be a steady rifle fire of character assassination from the underlings, interrupted by the occasional firestorm of artillery....

What will Hillary Clinton put us through for that 5% chance she has of winning the nomination?


Uh, heaven? Bring it on, Hillary, and don't forget the poison gas!

downtownlad said...

You're a bigot Simon. You've made that painfully clear to everyone. But you're in denial about it.

Why just Phelps? What about Falwell and Dobson? What about the Family Research Council? What about Laura Schlessinger. They are 100 times worse that Wright. But Republicans are never held to task for that, even though they are locked arm and arm with each other.

Why is that? I know why? Because when we have a white candidate, we judge them based on what THEY THEMSELVES say, not on what their acquaintances say. But not with a black candidate. A black candidate is responsible for everything that anyone he has ever associated with has ever said.

And that Simon - makes you a racist.

Paul said...

It's not just Wright's racism, it's his Marxism and anti-Americanism. People like DTL can't feel it because they're anti-American useful idiots of the highest order, but loons like him are thankfully a minority, if an overly clamorous and obnoxious one.

If Obama wasn't associated with Wright, Bill Ayers, Frank Marshall Davis, and if his wife wasn't a Marxist harpie (whole lotta ifs!)he would likely be the next President. He's finished, and good riddance, because if you scratch beneath the surface he's just another blame America first pomo tranzi socialist who has no business anywhere near the levers of power.

former law student said...

pastafarian is right: romney had states, he had the money to fight on, but when he saw that he could never catch up so he folded up his tent, and classily turned his candidates over to McCain.

In contrast, except for Richardson's tardy endorsement, the Dems have all hung on to their candidacies and delegates like a kid in bed with the mumps irrationally holding on to tickets to an All-Star Game two days hence. When is Edwards gonna fold, is what I want to know, or is he going to present himself at the convention as a compromise candidate?

Pogo said...

Does DTL offer any other argument than you're a bigot?
Chrsit, but that Marxist worldview is boring and predictable.

Seriouslty, DTL, why not just bot your posts, leaving you free to do important things you've been putting off, like reading outside of Chomsky and Gramsci.

former law student said...

if you scratch beneath the surface he's just another blame America first pomo tranzi socialist who has no business anywhere near the levers of power.

What do you guys take to make you talk like that, because I'd like to try some, under medical supervision of course? Here in the real world we must cite facts to back up our off-the-wall assertions.

Simon said...

DTL, I'm not sure how much of an insult it is to be called a bigot and a racist by someone who looks at the world and sees bigotry and racism lurking not only behind every mailbox and around every corner, but in fact in plain view, everywhere. I find it funny, frankly, that people who insist on looking past race and decline to take it into account in evaluating people are accused of racism. It's a self-defeating argument.

If it makes you feel better about yourself to convince yourself that I'm such things, knock yourself out. I'm concerned about what Ann thinks of me; I'm somewhat concerned about what many of the regulars here think about me; I'm not in the slightest bit interested in your myopically intolerant hyperventilation about anyone who disagrees with you in the slightest.

As to "Falwell and Dobson? What about the Family Research Council? What about Laura Schlessinger. They are 100 times worse that Wright." Well, we have to separate them somewhat. None of them are any worse than Wright. Falwell may (at least arguably) have been in the same ballpark, but no serious candidate had the sort of relationship with him that Obama had with Wright. As to Dobson and FRC - there's no serious argument to put them into the ballpark of Wright. They may be wrong, and they may have positions that rest on debatable interpretations of scripture, but Wright's problematic views have nothing at all to do with scripture. Dr. Laura - I know practically nothing about her, but so far as I know, no one's accused her of saying anything that would put her on the same plane as Wright.

Fen said...

You're a bigot Simon. You've made that painfully clear to everyone. But you're in denial about it... And that Simon - makes you a racist.

Damn. Very stupid of me to give 3-1 odds on dtl. What was I thinking?[sigh]

Okay, everyone form a line to the right. I'll pay out until the cash box runs dry. Yes Simon, I know you had the Trifecta. Are 10s and 20s okay?

Simon said...

Fen - I think we're all winners when he continues to so publicly make such a total clod of himself.

ricpic said...

I mean, what do you ask a 60 year old man? You ask him if he wants his wheelchair FACING the sun, or facing AWAY from the sun. But running the country? FORGET IT, babies!


I'll have you know that a 60 year old man with the leonine look that comes with that age, and having finally shed the callowness that afflicts his younger rivals, is catnip to the ladies. Running the country? Who has the time or energy, after servicing his pride?!

EnigmatiCore said...

"simply because he belongs to a black Church"

Only if you define 'black church' as 'a church that spews vile shit like Rev. Wright does.'

If that is truly the definition of what a black church is, then I do reject him simply because of it.

But, of course, that is not what the definition of a black church is, which makes your comment as mendacious as ever.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
It's no different than a Jewish candidate running for Prime Minister of Italy, and then having the other party run against him by talking about the horrors of circumcision.

It is all about "dick" with you isn't it? You are pathetic.

downtownlad said...
OK Fen - Name me one black church in this entire country that doesn't have someone like Rev. Wright in its membership.

Name me one church in this entire country that doesn't have someone like Reverend Wright in its membership.

Just like there are plenty of closet queens, there are plenty of closet racists and America haters; people who you would never guess are.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon:

I meant "period". The Supes will not take it from Obama unless a second big issue (like this hatemonger Rev. Wright) rears up.

Paul said...

Forgive me failed law student for believing you were less ignorant than you apparently are.

Post modernism is a philosophical school of thought. Look it up and start reading. It's dense, convoluted, irrational, and counterintuitive. In short it informs and shapes the left's perspective.

Transnational progressivism is a political movement which also defines and informs the modern left. Look that up too, because it's good to know one's own pedigree rather just being a pimp for someone or some movement who doesn't have one's own or one's nations best interest at heart.

PJ said...

Obama the racist isn't gonna sell papers for more than two days.

That comment has a lot of explanatory power. The media built up Obama when he was running behind -- to make a race and sell papers. They turned on him when he went ahead -- to make a race and sell papers. If the media companies have their way, we're going to a brokered convention. (I'm sure they wanted the same on the Republican side, but they couldn't do the 180 fast enough in the face of their boy McCain's catastrophic success.)

Obama is through because America is racist. I'm not surprised.

Yeah, but I still feel bad for you because I know you were hoping to save that bon mot for the general, and you've gone and spent it prematurely. Now go wash your hands.

Are there any Obama supporters here who can honestly say that if the pledged delegate totals were reversed they'd be calling on Obama to concede the nomination for the good of the party? It's hard for me to imagine that people really think that way about their own preferred candidates. I tend to think the best thing for the good of the party is having the best candidate, but that just gets us back to our disagreement about who's the best candidate.

reader_iam said...

One of the things I find interesting about the way the delegate system is set up is that, for example, while Texas has a larger population than New York state, it has 228 delegates (including 35 superdelegates) to send to the Democratic Convention, whereas New York has 281 (including 45 superdelegates).

Can someone who knows more about this topic and the system than I explain why this is, and how it came to be? This is a sincere question, and if anyone knows the answer, and/or the best sources for reading up on this, I'd appreciate it.

Trooper York said...

"Name me one church in this entire country that doesn't have someone like Reverend Wright in its membership."

The Church of What's Happening Now!

John Stodder said...

The idea that "90 percent of black Americans" belong to a church where the pastors tell them HIV and crack are a white government conspiracy to kill them is the grossest whiteboy racist fantasy I've read in some time. I'm not saying Wright is the only such minister, but his views are not nearly so prevalent within the African-American community as DTL seems to think. Shame on him for buying into and regurgitating that bigoted slander.

Joe said...

The phrase "audacity of hopelessness" is actually quite accurate. Knowing you're going to lose gives you a license for brashness you otherwise wouldn't seriously contemplate. It's the proverbial hail Mary pass or the thirteen laterals. Think of the cornered animal lashing out in a desperate attempt to survive, or when you've been under the water just a little too long and are trying to surface; hope is no longer in the equation.

What about the point just beyond that? When the loss is sure. At that point, hopelessness can lead to the attitude that if I'm going down, I'm taking you with me. (It also may be that Hillary genuinely believes that however flawed, McCain would make a better president than Obama.)

John Stodder said...

It's hard to know how to respond to a column that takes, as a starting assumption, that "Obama weathered the Rev. Jeremiah Wright affair without serious damage to his nomination prospects." I have no idea what planet Brooks is living on if he believes that.

I was initially taken aback by that statement, too, but parse it carefully. Brooks is talking about Obama's nomination prospects, not his electability in the fall.

The fact is, the Rev. Wright matter has caused none of Obama's supporters to defect. He gained one of the most prized endorsements in the race, that of Bill Richardson, in the aftermath -- in fact as a direct result.

Most white Democratic party hacks, the ones who have never actually set foot in a black church, have the same racist, ignorant opinion of black pastoral leaders that DTL has: "Oh they all say that stuff." So they aren't particularly moved by it.

Obama has dropped in the polls, but not so much that his numerical position with regard to the delegate count is changed. Maybe his momentum is slowed, slightly. But that seemed to be happening before the Wright story broke.

If Hillary is going to pull this off, the mountain is still steep and it is still in front of her.

Paul said...

John Stodder

"The idea that "90 percent of black Americans" belong to a church where the pastors tell them HIV and crack are a white government conspiracy to kill them is the grossest whiteboy racist fantasy I've read in some time."

Not necessarily disputing you, but on what evidence do you base this statement? Are you involved or immersed in the Black community?

former law student said...

reader: From what I remember reading, I think NYS has more delegates than TX because it has more Democrats. This may point you in the right direction.

reader_iam said...

Well, that makes sense. (Duh, on me.) Especially given that the primary season is about selecting nominees for parties.

Thanks. I'll see if Googling along the direction you suggest gets me better quality hits.

John Stodder said...

"Immersed?" No. I used to work for an elected official who happened to be black, and have worked for or with African Americans throughout my career. Like anybody in a big city like LA. I'm no expert, but I know enough to know that DTL's "90 percent" figure is a deranged insult.

I would certainly agree that a bigger percentage of my black friends and colleagues over the years were regular church-goers than my white or Latino friends. But from what I could tell, and from my visits to predominately black churches, the messages are extremely uplifting.

I recognize that the black experience changes perspectives on lots of issues. A lot of my black friends were willing to give OJ the benefit of the doubt because they are far more suspicious of the police than I was. But police dishonesty is a well-founded concern, even if the conclusion in that case was something I couldn't agree with.

But I can't think of a single black person I've known well who would not recognize "HIV is a racist government plot" as sheer craziness. In particular, they would not want their children hearing something like that. Something so toxic to the soul, something so defeatist.

Middle Class Guy said...

What will Hillary Clinton put us through for that 5% chance she has of winning the nomination?


Depending on your point of view, a lot of angry issue oreinted people or a good deal of entertainment.

Middle Class Guy said...

downtownlad said...
And George W. Bush's church is a hell of a lot more offensive than Obama's.

Bush belongs to a hate mongering church - but the media doesn't want to write about that.


You are really deranged. Bush is a Methodist, the same religion as Saint Hillary.


If you could ever get past your own bigotry, you may learn something important. The world is not viewed through a narrow tube full of shit.

Revenant said...

The whole point is that Obama has won big states that Hillary won't likely win, like Washington, Virginia, Missouri, and Iowa. Those are not Republican states unlikely to flip.

First of all -- "big states"? The biggest state on that list, Virginia, contains about 2.5% of the country's population. Iowa contains 1%.

Secondly, Washington is a Democratic safe state, so it doesn't matter if Obama can win it.

The other three are potential swing states, yes, but among the swing states Clinton is still doing much better than Clinton. Obama's got a good shot at swinging Virginia, but that won't make up for losing Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Revenant said...

I think a lot of people are missing the fact that Hillary's two best shots at becoming President are:

(1): Winning the nomination this year.
(2): For Obama to lose the election, so she can run in 2012.

If Obama wins the election he'll run again in 2012. If he wins, his VP will likely have a lock on 2016, and even if he loses the VP will still be a powerful opponent for the 2016 nomination. Plus, by 2016 the Clinton years will be a distant enough memory that the "elect Hillary and you get Bill too" factor will have diminished.

Yes, obviously it would be good for the party for Hillary to back off, but the Clintons have been putting their own interests ahead of the party for 16 years now. From a purely selfish perspective, Clinton's behavior is win/win: either she gets the nomination, or she loses but weakens Obama in the process.

John Stodder said...

I don't know...this 10 percent/5 percent meme is dying out if you ask me. It doesn't hold up.

Yes, Hillary is selfish, the whole Clinton machine is selfish. Yes, she's run a terrible campaign. Indeed, yes, I don't like her!

However, this rush to condemn her to Kucinich status leaves out other facts that aren't in dispute, such as:

The superdelegates can do what they want.

The superdelegates can do what they want, whenever they want to.

The superdelegates are, generally speaking, mostly concerned about winning, not loyalty to either candidate. (The Clintons don't own "selfish.")

Obama's lead is not enormous, and there are lots of fancy ways to analyze it down to almost no lead at all.

Much as nobody wants to admit it, the Rev. Wright stuff just might make him unelectable. Polls show it's hurting him.

So, if you're a selfish, pragmatic superdelegate, why would you feel it was your responsibility to do anything but wait and see? If you don't have to decide now, why decide now when so many things still could happen?

Let Hillary run the table, if she can. See how Obama fights back, if he can. No reason to call the game off now, it's only the seventh inning.

Hillary has a 40-50 percent chance as of now, not 10 percent.

But the Democrats have big problems either way!

vnjagvet said...

Is there any precedent for a candidate giving up at this stage of the nominating process while having the number of delegates that the R[ed]W[itch]has earned?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any.

Roger said...

I have no idea what Hillary's chances of winning are--it seems to me, however, she should stay in the race because I think there are going to be many other shoes dropping on Senator Obama. Obama's black liberation schtick isnt going to play in PA very well--HRC, if she can keep her and her advisor's mouths shut for three weeks could win big in PA.
Me? I love this watching this shit--the reductio ad absurdum of identity politics--couldnt happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I love this watching this shit--the reductio ad absurdum of identity politics--couldnt happen to a nicer bunch of people.

I work with a couple of people who are devout Democrats. Over lunch last week one co-worker said she couldn't understand how Bill's Jesse Jackson and Ferraro's statements could be construed as racist.

She further could not understand why I couldn't stop laughing.

lurker2209 said...

Reader--

You may have already figured this out via google, but I think the delegates are assigned based on the number of people who voted in the last presidential primary. I know this is done on the local level in many states to assign the relative weight of each precinct. But there may be other factors at the national level to compensate for the disparity in turnout between states that voted on or before super Tuesday and states that voted after.

Middle Class Guy said...

I think there are going to be many other shoes dropping on Senator Obama...



Yes, many other shoes. Those shoes will fit only one foot. The foot inside the pantyhose underneath the pants suit worn by Hillary Clinton.

Jonathan said...

I think the comments you linked to as evidence that one can frame the race between Clinton and Obama so that it looks even are tendentious. So what does linking to them prove other than that people say all kinds of zany things. Will any superdelegate who is genuinely on the fence be swayed by the argument that *Michigan* should count in HRC's popular vote total? Will any such superdelegate be swayed by the argument that HRC has won the states with the most electoral votes? And why link to someone who maintains that North Carolina is the only remaining state that Obama has a good chance of winning? Whoever blogs over there hasn't done his or her homework. What about Oregon? Or Indiana? I think HRC can win and need not drop out, but let's keep it simple: she can win if Obama's campaign implodes over Wright or something else. They're not neck and neck.

Meade said...

Obama: Bill Clinton 'would not have been my spouse'