Thursday, February 21, 2008


Obama vs. Clinton, from the GOoPer Perspective:

or, Why We Dems, Shan't Pick a Candidate Based on whom we Think will Also Appeal to GOoPers

I know I've been more than guilty of trying to engage in electoral calculus, but ya know, it just don't work.

I would have thought that Obama would have more cross-over appeal to a certain kind of conservative:

(1) religious, socially conservative, yet rather moderate on economic issues and liberal/libertarian on "security" issues
(2) highly educated
(3) yet low information (e.g. thinks McCain has a moderate and balanced view on ME issues)
(4) in part because s/he finds politics distasteful

I thought that Obama's pitch would appeal to the religious and disaffected with politics, while lower information voters would be poisoned against HRC by the right wing noise machine and also that people who are social conservatives/economic moderates/security libertarians would say "HRC has all the 'bad' social liberal stances of Democrats and none of the redeeming qualities" (i.e. due to her pro-war stances and big-business ties).

And yet, now, suddenly, these voters have decided that HRC, being more moderate (how have they just came to this conclusion now? isn't that, as the Church Lady would say, convenient?) would be better than Obama who is oh-so-left-wing and now "has all the 'bad' social liberal stances of Democrats and none of the redeeming qualities".

So what exactly is it that is sooooo bad about Obama, besides he is "inexperienced" (and yet these people voted for GW Bush over Gore and over Kerry), lurves him some gay married people having abortions and wants to get out of Iraq (and when did these people start supporting the Iraq war?)?

I suspect that, if HRC were the front runner, these same people would magically be saying "Obama would have been ok, but HRC is teh evil left-winger".

Of course, this is why Dems. can't try to have an "electable" candidate, because even all those people who tell pollers "I'm a lifelong Republican, but I'm so fed up that I'd vote for a Democrat over a Republican" will, when faced with the actual Democratic candidate, suddenly decide, "oh Sen. X is way tooooo liberal [no matter which Democrat it is, the response will be the same] while, even though I thought McCain was the devil, I am now warming up to him".

Meanwhile, c.f. the NH results, McCain wins Obama in the race for independents (pace what others have said, it is really McCain and Obama, not McCain and HRC that are using the same book of talking poitns) while HRC is a deeply flawed candidate. Unlike others, I am not excited about the Dem. candidates. Isn't there someone better who could run? To the extent that a lot of people think that way, an independent run could gain a lot of support from low information voters ...


In other news, I still have Raffi songs stuck in my head from my last visit to see my new family!

Update: the music's been purged! The Wagoner's Lad (a good feminist song) has replaced it ...

I wouldn't put too much stock in New Hampshire independents, they include a large percentage of those self-selected as being unwilling to pay for services they expect to get. People who used to live in surrounding states that try to provide services, in other words. But, then I'm from Maine.

I've never gotten to vote for a candidate I really liked except George McGovern. And it was clear he had no chance to be elected. And I'm afraid that Tom Allen, running against Susan Collins is running the same kind of non-campaign as his predecessor Tom Andrews (the best congressman I've ever had) lost to the total paleo-plutocrat Longley. While there are many important aspects to electoral politics, the one of being able to win the most votes is crucial. Without that the best program in the history of the universe won't make it into law.

Obama is almost certainly going to be the nominee, he has to be supported if McCain is to be stopped from starting yet another illegal and self-destructive late-stage imperial war.
Of course, the question is how can we even manage to know who will win the most votes.

Interestingly, I've noticed a new rhetorical trend: GOoPers who "hate the Washington DC ethos" have now decided that "if you wanna be an effective president, you need to be able to work in Washington, and Obama just hasn't been in Washington long enough to learn the ropes". How Rovian is that jujitsu?

I should hope Dem. strategists are aware that the GOP noise machine is starting to float trial balloons of running McCain not as an "outsider" (in case Obama does have more success in the "outsider" slot) but as a Washington DC insider who knows how to get stuff done. So the Dem. machine needs to be careful in how they attack McCain as an "insider" 'cause by the time they can do that, McCain's insider status will suddenly be "old news" and "not a bug but a feature".

Of course, asking the Dem. leadership/strategists to be able to be ready to respond to the GOP seems to be asking for way too much, alas.
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