Will Obama Fight For The Democratic Party?

By Big Tent Democrat

Steve Soto writes:

[Obama] will not be . . . a nominee who can define differences between the parties. Obama seemingly only mentioned “Republicans” in the context of reaching out to them, while letting their leaders off the hook, as if the last seven years of graft, corruption, and circumvention of the Constitution were bipartisan in origin. Obama aimed his attack not against the party which controlled Washington for the better part of this decade and which controlled Congress for the better part of the 1990’s. Rather, he aimed his critique against both parties and Washington as a whole, as if Democrats are equally culpable for the country’s problems.


If tonight is any guide, Democrats will be getting a nominee who runs just as often against them as Republicans. They will be getting a nominee who shows little stomach for holding the Republican Party in general and John McCain particularly accountable for what they have done to this country. His campaign seemingly has an easier time carving up a female Democratic opponent than they do a Republican standard-bearer who represents Bush’s third term, and who questions Obama’s fitness for office.

. . . My main question Senator Obama is this: with the nomination almost in hand now, when does your message shift from being all about you and the movement towards a call for a Democratic government to right the wrongs from years of GOP harm?

(Emphasis supplied.) I agree with Steve as I have for a while. But what does Obama care what Dems think now? He won without worrying about being a partisan Dem fighting for Dem issues. Now is hardly the time to expect Obama to veer towards Dems. That ship has sailed. And to be fair to Obama, he has won because of NON-Dems, having lost the Dem vote handily in this process. Obama can argue he is representing his consituency.

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    That was the post I sent around last night (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:24:12 AM EST
    to show where I am with this campaign. I don't really disagree with anything Steve writes in it.

    Obama has made it clear (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:02:41 AM EST
    He has said Clinton's supporters will vote for him,
    but his supporters will NOT vote for Clinton.

    He assumes he has my vote.  Kinda arrogant and

    Are you worried about it? (none / 0) (#38)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:16:20 AM EST
    Apparently, Obama isn't.

    Once upon a time (5.00 / 8) (#45)
    by Steve M on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:29:27 AM EST
    we used to call that "taking the base for granted," and the blogosphere used to hate that sort of politics.

    The endpoint of your logic is that we should determine the agenda of the Democratic Party by taking a poll of non-Democrats, because Democrats will vote for the Democratic nominee no matter what.


    Ding ding ding! (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36:55 AM EST
    What you are saying is (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:38:08 AM EST
    though Mark Penn's candidate is losing, Mark Penn's philosophy of politics is winning.

    A post on the subject is in order.

    Thanks for the idea.


    Penn's Philosophy Of Politics (none / 0) (#81)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:37:25 PM EST
    There is the blogosphere's idea of what Penn's philosophy of Politics.

    And then there is Penn's idea of Penn's philosophy of politics.

    I've learned to distrust bloggers when they discuss Mr. Penn.

    He, as much as anyone else, deserves to be taken at face value, and I should hope one take a break and read his very short foreward to "Microtrends" before reinforcing misconceptions that have been passed down over the years on blogs.


    I take him at face value (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:52:11 PM EST
    He stinks.

    I doubt you do (none / 0) (#89)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:10:48 PM EST
    I've never seen a blogger who does.

    Seriously.  I have never seen, "Here is what Mark Penn says, (and then we see a quote) now lets take a look at that.  I think it stinks and here's why."

    What I always see is "Mark Penn believes such and such (ostensibly without any quote or anything to back it up) and it stinks and if you don't think it stinks you must be an idiot."

    If there was ever an analytical discussion on a blog about Mark Penn that began as an open-minded question, I missed it.


    There are no innocent consultants (none / 0) (#120)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:42:16 AM EST
    Robert Gibbs. Do you know who he is? Obama's Communications Director. The man who created the Osama Bin Laden ad attacking Dean in Iowa. A man who specializes in running against Democrats using the vilest sort of Republican character smears and talking points.

    Mark Penn is a pollster. He may be right or wrong about which voters and which issues will decide this election. But his approach does rely on trying to ascertain what voters want and need. The Obama campaign, under Robert Gibbs, on the other hand, has spent much more money on polling than the Clinton campaign -- apparently to explore voters' prejudices and fears and the best communication strategy for exploiting those prejudices and fears.

    This isn't a "new" kind of politics. It's a very old and ugly kind.


    Yep, I increasingly think that (none / 0) (#58)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:45:35 AM EST
    the Dem Party and its platform will not win the White House.  Obama might, but I won't.

    And then the gutting of the party will go forward even faster than it has, and the platform will be ignored even more and probably gutted as well.  And then there won't be reason for me to be Dem anymore.

    As to whether there will be reason to vote, I will do so in my local races, of course.  As for the White House, I have a lot of months to watch and listen.  So far, I'm not hearing from Obama what we need to hear to win the races in between -- the races for Congress, where Supreme Court nominations are won . . . or not.


    Last night (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Steve M on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:28:05 AM EST
    When Obama said "Washington has become the place where good ideas go to die," I heard Ronald Reagan.

    An awful lot of dog-whistles to the Right, really, particularly the stuff about Texas and its entrepreneurial values.

    Stunning. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:37:44 AM EST
    In that moment my 'hopes' for Obama's 'different kind of politics' having any real meaning vanished into thin air.

    Talk about a politician who will "say anything" to get elected...


    All I could think was (none / 0) (#56)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:40:26 AM EST
    that he could have gone there more often, when he was supposed to be casting votes in the Senate -- rather than get one of the worst rankings, because he missed so many votes.

    But it's a line that will pander to his people and will work -- as it has for every pol who pretends not to be one -- since his record is simply not scrutinized.


    I don't get it (none / 0) (#96)
    by Luke D on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:44:07 PM EST
    I thought that line was perfect, as well as his whole discussion of what "hope" means, and that it does not merely mean passive optimism. The line about ideas dying in Washington directly addresses the criticisms I've been seeing here and elsewhere that Obama is too naive, and that he doesn't understand how difficult moving his agenda forward in Washington will be.  YMMV

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Steve M on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:49:36 PM EST
    by identifying the problem as "Washington" rather than "Republican obstructionism" he is, IMO, guilty of shielding the wrongdoers in order to stick to his unity message.

    I don't think it will be a very successful political strategy to campaign against a Congress of your own party.  What is President Obama going to do to get his bills passed, tell Ted Kennedy he's getting a little old?


    I Am Just Flat-Out Confused (5.00 / 7) (#73)
    by xjt on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:12:03 PM EST
    The blogs have left me scratching my head. I have been reading them for years and years and all I hear about are the terrible Democrats who cave in to Republicans, who are Republican-lite and won't stand up for Democratic values. All of the talk at Firedoglake about Joe Lieberman. Lieberman is bad bad bad. Fight against him!

    And now that has all apparently changed. Now we need a "uniter." Now we need someone who will "work with the other side." Now I hear the Democrats are "not without sin."

    It is a complete contradiction. I can only conclude that these "progressives":

    1. Are in a state of identity confusion. Who am I today?

    2. Are sexist and will sell out their values instead of voting for a woman.

    3. Have fallen head-over-heels in love with Preacher Man and have gone temporarily insane.

    What it also means to me is that most of the occupants of the left-wing blogosphere (not including this blog), and very immature and impulsive in their thinking. I am almost fifty years old and have never seen anything like the astounding hypocrisy of the left. It has a very teenage, borderline personality disorder feel to it.

    Well, as Pete Townsend says, I won't get fooled again.

    Here's the thing (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Steve M on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:55:00 PM EST
    What sets Obama apart from Joe Lieberman and all the rest of the sellout Dems is that he is the Democrat who has not really disappointed us YET.

    Good liberals thrive on purity.  Bill Clinton may have done a hundred good things, but his legacy on the left is all about NAFTA and a similar handful of issues where he let us down.  To blog denizens, no amount of good work can overcome the shame of a few missteps.  Heck, when Russ Feingold casts a bad vote, I can find you people at Big Orange calling for a primary opponent.


    agreed (none / 0) (#122)
    by Change101 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 11:35:49 AM EST
    Couldn't have said it better myself.  The thought of Obama as the candidate has made me lose faith in the progressive blogosphere and lose respect for many of my so called smart colleagues.

    I want a Democratic president (5.00 / 4) (#92)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:19:20 PM EST
    who will begin the difficult work of shifting the Overton Window to the left. I think Clinton will do that work on some issues (e.g. healthcare), but not on all the issues I would like her to.

    What bothers me about Obama is that I see no indications from his campaign or political style that he will do anything to shift the Overton Window either. I don't think he believes in the concept at all, and is perfectly happy dwelling well within the confines of the window's current location (far to the right). He may dwell to the left side of the window, but that's simply not progressive enough for me.

    Obama's thinking is typified by comments like Independence33's above (and Talex before that), who accepts the idea that today's center is where it has always been, and that the goal of any Dem politician isn't to change the minds of the public by shifting the window but accepting its location and just fighting to get votes from those unimaginative Window dwellers known as 'independents'.

    The GOP, otoh, has worked tirelessly for that past 30+ years to shift the window well to the right, while Democrats have slept, thus paving the way for the disastrous GWB years. Obama will not change this one bit. His supporters are kidding themselves if they believe otherwise.

    What is so strange (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:50:44 PM EST
    is that polls of Americans clearly show them to be left of center on most issues. So why is our political discourse so skewed to the right? I think it is because Democrats so not do a good job of making it clear what the party stands for and why. They have allowed the Republicans to define what it means to be liberal, to be a Democrat. I don't see Obama helping When was the last time you heard a Democratic leader challenge the Republican lie that tax cuts pay for themselves? I don't so Obama bothering to use his rhetorical skills to build a case for Democratic principles, although he is certainly capable of doing it.

    the hunt for independents (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by christinep on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:52:11 PM EST
    After reading the many comments above, I find myself focusing on what happens if, in the general election, we would have both candidates casting their lot with independents and cross-over potentials.  Obama and McCain are quite alike in that regard. It is so hard to think of myself as "not a Democrat." I've always been a Democrat--doing party tasks, making calls, contributing money and time, etc.  Yet, I've never been in a situation where the frontrunner has effectively ridiculed a strong woman, and where other liberals (yes, I consider myself a liberal) have joined the pummeling by sounding like followers of Rove and Scaife-Mellon.  That hurts; and, being beyond young, I suspect it will hurt for a long time.  Where, I wonder, will Obama turn when it becomes quite obvious that these same independents start taking a second and third look, and return to the "original" maverick, McCain?  What energy will the vanquished, older women have to help? What energy will the "less educated" (read: Reagan Democrats, etc.) have to help him then?  So much depends doesn't it on how a "complicit media" would treat two rivals such as Obama and McCain--i.e., given the media history with each, would either of them be given the special, nice treatment each has enjoyed in the past?  Again: By their very nature, the Independents waiver and move frequently.  Having been one of those that swallowed and voted for Hubert Humphrey during the turmoil of 1968, my own gutcheck tells me that it was easier to get to that point than what I may be asked to smile about this time. The difference for me has been my extreme disappointment at witnessing the so-called "progressive" blogosphere pummel a woman and praise, without question, the newcomer whose claim seems to be largely grounded in that he is a newcomer (and its a classic "throw the bums out" event in American political history.)

    I often (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by sas on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 08:56:40 PM EST
    think of Obama as Republican lite.

    Where does he stand?  Will he compromise the Democratic party values too much?

    What exactly does he value?

    Once you get past, hope , change, yes we can, what exactly is there?

    Is there any there there?

    Pick Up the Knife Barack (none / 0) (#1)
    by BDB on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    I would like a Dem candidate (none / 0) (#3)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:36:01 AM EST
    to demand accountability from
    the GOP who have screwed with my country
    for the past 7 plus years.
    Is there any hope of that?
    Senator Obama, are you listening?
    I'm a voter.  Do you care?

    This is it, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:38:10 AM EST
    goodbye to the Dem agenda.  Now we get dilution and upon election, nothing.  Corporatist America has won, goodbye democracy.  

    Yep, We ought to have a thread (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:50:22 AM EST
    detailing the Democratic platform and discussing which candidate will push to get it done.  Or what will happen to a lot of its planks soon.  Or how many Obama supporters here support the planks?

    What? (none / 0) (#29)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06:29 AM EST
    Corporate America wins if OB is elected?  Give me a break.  

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:07:45 AM EST
    just as ridiculous as saying it is such awin if Hillary is elected.

    Somehow I doubt your objection would be similar.


    Wrong on that account as well (none / 0) (#39)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:20:03 AM EST
    Be careful with the bombs you lob.  She has actually spent a little bit more time on corporate boards that OB has, but the idea that corporate America wins if either HRC or OB wins is absolute folly.  And absolutely hateful if the meme is corporatists win if OB is elected. Dang.  This big tent appears to be getting a lot smaller now that its decision time.  

    My happy apologies to you (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:01:57 PM EST
    You do know about his Wall Street supporters? (none / 0) (#121)
    by esmense on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 11:20:16 AM EST
    And of course, his energy industry supporters?

    I'm a business owner, I actually watch the business shows on cable, read the Wall Street Journal, etc. Perhaps you don't. But if you did, you would know that Wall Street prefers Obama (over Clinton) because they believe he will serve their interests better. Wall Street financial interests have contributed heavily to his campaign, and they like his chief economic advisor -- who is associated with the conservative Chicago School of Economics.

    Obama is not an economic progressive. He is as much a "corporate" politician as anyone. If you are supporting him because you think he is a progressive, then you are supporting him for the wrong reason.  


    Any thought on the topic of the post? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:42:44 AM EST
    Off topic comments go in the Open Thread.

    No one questioned that (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:49:22 AM EST
    The question is are you willing to comment on what is in the post.

    So far, no.


    umm (none / 0) (#17)
    by ajain on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:58:50 AM EST
    I think he does that because they are unpopular. I don't think he is presenting arguments on the basis of ideology because that would hurt him. I mean if there werent many independants and repubs crossing over he may have not won a whole lot

    Thanks for your honesty (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:04:48 AM EST
    I think criticizing the GOP (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:05:24 AM EST
    has not yet been a part of his message.

    Just Bush.


    The GOP (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:10:51 AM EST
    is more than McCain.

    He also spends (none / 0) (#37)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:14:18 AM EST
    a lot of time criticizing the politics of the past, too much partisanship as if the Democrats are equally to blame for not working with Republicans.  That is hardly an indicator that he has any intention of holding Republicans accountable.  The Democrats were hardly an effective minority party in  opposing Bush and have been just as lacking for the last year as the majority in Congress in doing anything to counter Bush.  If Obama can't recognize that I don't expect him to do much to hold Republicans or Bush accountable.  

    I can't wait to see how this new post partisan era he wants to usher in will work if the Republicans in Congress aren't interested.  Anyone see the chance of a repeat of the same Clinton compromises of the 90's that most of the Obama supporters rail against?  


    That (none / 0) (#50)
    by tek on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:37:24 AM EST
    is the rather scary thing about Barack Obama. The Party Elders think they will manipulate and control him, but if he goes in with a large popular mandate (which remains to be seen) they will be hard-pressed to reel him in from the Republican private-sector objectives that seem to be his natural inclination.

    We need a better Party.


    what (none / 0) (#54)
    by tek on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:39:35 AM EST
    evidence? He constantly talks about doing everything through the private sector and letting the corporations decide policy for their industries.

    I changed the end of my post. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:49:39 AM EST

    Change (none / 0) (#10)
    by AF on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:51:54 AM EST
    A "call for a Democratic government to right the wrongs from years of GOP harm" is exactly what change is going to mean in the general election.  Against McCain, who has lashed himself to the Bush legacy and abandoned straight talk in doing so, it will be seamless.

    Will Obama EXPRESSLY say that? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:04:27 AM EST
    Soto's point, and my own, is that he has not done so.

    This is the sort of think he'll say (none / 0) (#78)
    by AF on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:31:36 PM EST
    Now, John McCain is a good man, an American hero, and we honor his half century of service to this nation. But in this campaign, he has made the decision to embrace the failed policies George Bush's Washington.

    He speaks of a hundred year war in Iraq and sees another on the horizon with Iran. He once opposed George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest few who don't need them and didn't ask for them. He said they were too expensive and unwise. And he was absolutely right.

    But somewhere along the line, the wheels came off the Straight Talk Express because he now he supports the very same tax cuts he voted against. . . . The Democratic Party must stand for change.

    Three Ring. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Addison on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:52:14 AM EST
    Very "tight" writing. Well designed to avoid "acrimony." It lasted almost 15 minutes!

    But what does Obama care what Dems think now?

    You mean Barack Obama? The one that is a registered Democrat? The elected Democratic Senator from Illinois? That one? Some people would rather have a positive vision of the future instead of anti-GOP screeds. Some people would rather have a person who shakes hands with Republicans than a knife-wielding berserker. That doesn't make them less of a Democrat, and certainly doesn't mean they don't care about Democrats. Especially when they are a Democrat. And have been. For a while.

    Maybe it makes them less amenable to partisan blogging, though, less fire-breathing activist friendly. But to give this virtual demographic too much importance risks some sort of political solipsism. Let's avoid it.

    It's ironic tht Barack Obama is, at least, equally in tune with Democrats as Clinton -- he has won over vast sections of the Democratic electorate, is ahead in most national polls, small donors, etc. --- but you marginalize him as not even caring what Dems think. Which Dems are these? Why in your opinion are they making such a bad and self-immolating choice by supporting Obama? And are they inside or outside of your tent?

    [Why is this blog still listed as being about the politics of crime?]

    Very tight indeed (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:02:49 AM EST
    Is this acrimonious? I did not think so. It seems the truth to me.

    Let me respond to you civilly and withoit acrimony.

    First, a belated welcome back from your overseas good deeds.

    Second, you write:

    You mean Barack Obama? The one that is a registered Democrat? The elected Democratic Senator from Illinois? That one?

    Let me try using that structure on you for these three examples:

    "You mean Joe Lieberman? The one that is a registered Democrat? The elected Democratic Senator from Connecticut?"

    "You mean Ben Nelson? The one that is a registered Democrat? The elected Democratic Senator from Nebraska?"

    "You mean Mary Landrieau? The one that is a registered Democrat? The elected Democratic Senator from Louisiana?"

    As you can see, I do not think THAT argument carries much weight. Let's consider you other points:

    Some people would rather have a positive vision of the future instead of anti-GOP screeds. Some people would rather have a person who shakes hands with Republicans than a knife-wielding berserker. That doesn't make them less of a Democrat, and certainly doesn't mean they don't care about Democrats. Especially when they are a Democrat. And have been. For a while.

    My retort - Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieau.

    You continue

    It's ironic tht Barack Obama is, at least, equally in tune with Democrats as Clinton -- he has won over vast sections of the Democratic electorate, is ahead in most national polls, small donors, etc. --- but you marginalize him as not even caring what Dems think.

    This is of course false. Clinton has won Democrats handily. But let me be clear, I agree with Obama's professed positions on the issues, even more than I agree with Clintons. That is not the issue as you well know.

    Which Dems are these? Why in your opinion are they making such a bad and self-immolating choice by supporting Obama? And are they inside or outside of your tent?

    Disagreeing with them in what sense? I think Obama the better choice. I DISAGREE with Obama's political style. I do not know if you are familiar with my writings on the subkect. You seem to believe THIS POST is some new whim of mine. I suggest you read my post "What Obama Needs To Learn . . ." for my in depth discussion of the subject.

    You address none of my thinking nor, for that matter, do you address Steve Soto's points.

    I think I have addressed your comment in full. I hope that your reply actually addresses the points made by Soto's post.


    Dangers of using exit poll data for party ID (none / 0) (#40)
    by kjblair on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:20:13 AM EST

    I believe you're making a mistake in using exit poll data to estimate the number of Democrats that voted for Obama and Clinton. (Unless you are making the argument that the subset of Democrats that self-identify as being a Democrat is the true definition of a Democrat.)

    Exit polls rely upon people self-identifying their party affiliation. Registered Democrats often self-identify as independents or even Republicans! This can be seen in the data from closed primaries. I've listed the party ID from 4 closed primaries this year below.

    CT - 80/18/2 (Dem/Ind/Rep)
    NJ - 78/19/3
    NY - 87/12/1
    MD - 84/13/3

    As you can see, anywhere from 13 to 22% of Democrats don't correctly self-identify themselves. Therefore, trying to calculate the number of "Democratic" votes for the two candidates can't be made with a high degree of accuracy. Especially since one would assume that independently-minded Democrats would more likely vote for Obama than Clinton.


    Not sure what you mean (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:26:47 AM EST
    Do you doubt the spread? Do you think Obama Dem supporters are more confused about whether they are Dems or not?

    Yes I do doubt the spread (none / 0) (#68)
    by kjblair on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:01:26 PM EST

    You're trying to use numbers from exit polls to identify Democrats when I've showed you that the exit polls do a very poor job of identifying registered Democrats.

    Given that there's an approximate 20% error in the data, it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty that Clinton has received more "Democratic" votes than Obama. This is especially true since the difference is small when compared to the total number of votes both candidates have received.


    I do not follow your logic (none / 0) (#71)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:02:56 PM EST
    UNLESS you are saying Obama supporting Dems are MORE PRONE to such an error, your logic is folly.

    ARE you saying that?


    Let me try again (none / 0) (#80)
    by kjblair on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    You're using exit poll data to calculate the number of Democrats that voted for Clinton and Obama. I've shown you that 13-22% of registered Democrats don't self-identify themselves as Democrats in exit polls. Therefore, "Democrats" in exit polls DO NOT equal registered Democrats. (They're a subset.)

    Let's take a look at how this error screws things up. I'll use CT as an example. It's a closed primary so only registered Democrats could vote. Obama got 179,349 votes and Clinton got 164,831 votes. (All data is from CNN.) So we know that Obama got more Democratic votes than did Clinton.

    However, only 80% of those Democrats self-identified themselves as "Democrats" in the exit poll. Since that subset of all Democrats tended to vote slightly in favor of Clinton, one could erroneously calculate that 134,628 "Democrats" voted for Obama and 140,238 "Democrats" voted for Clinton.

    So, using exit poll data to estimate the number of Democratic votes for each candidate is problematic. When you add in the errors associated with any type of polling, you're only compounding the situation. Exit polls can be used to identify trends but they weren't designed to try and calculate who got more Democratic votes.


    You avoid the issue (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:53:44 PM EST
    UNLESS the misidentified  are OVERREPRESENTED by OBAMA SUPPORTERS, then the point still stands, MORE DEMS voted for Clinton.

    No, the issue is you can't make the calculation (none / 0) (#97)
    by kjblair on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:44:33 PM EST

    The issue is that the data is flawed and you don't have a factual basis to quantify the difference in registered Democratic support between the two candidates. I've shown you that exit polls do a poor job of identifying registered Democrats. I've also shown you that in instances where one can properly identify registered Democrats (closed primaries) that it may underestimate Obama's registered Democratic support. (I purposely used may, since there are inherent errors in using polling data to make these types of calculations.)

    Now, it would be theoretically possible to take the errors in party self-identification identified in closed primaries and extrapolate that to those states that conducted open primaries. However, that would be adding even more uncertainty to the process and the resulting numbers would be even more of a guess.

    Before I started to look into exit polling data, I would have made the same assumptions that you are making. I now believe that it is nearly impossible to calculate the number of registered Democrats that have voted for either candidate nationally. You can do this for closed primaries and caucuses since you're insured of getting only registered Democrats. But the number of open and semi-open primaries prevents you from doing this nationally.

    I hope this makes sense.


    Nevermid. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Addison on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:55:26 AM EST
    Oh, nevermind, I see now the defense will be that the large numbers Democrats who voted for Obama don't count -- they don't represent themselves as Democrats, they are merely part of a centrist coalition -- because Independents supported him too and put him over the top. No reason to continue the dialogue.

    They do count (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:03:54 AM EST
    You seem to argue that the LARGER number that voted for Clinton do NOT count.

    Bizarre indeed.


    because.. (none / 0) (#25)
    by ajain on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:04:48 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton has won the majority of democratic votes. In the ballpark of 700,000.
    If they were all closed primaries then we would have seen a very different result.

    The (none / 0) (#57)
    by tek on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:41:43 AM EST
    Barack Obama who constantly trashes the best Democratic administration since FDR? The only two-term Democrat since FDR?

    Say what? (none / 0) (#72)
    by kjblair on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:07:29 PM EST
    You are correct that Clinton was the only two term Democratic president since FDR but I wouldn't consider him to be the best. (If you look at legislative accomplishments, Johnson got much more stuff enacted than did Clinton.) Clinton looks good partly because we're comparing him to probably the most incompetent president in modern times.

    why does he care what dems think? (none / 0) (#13)
    by demschmem on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:54:56 AM EST
    cuz he needs the rest of them to vote for him.  

    soto's point is clear and accurate.  winning the anti vote might secure the nomination but he needs the coalition to win the general.  pretty basic stuff.  in fact, i'd say the man's need to do this is particularly great given the states he's lost so far.  the republicans have barely begun to shape his image.  he will need the base.

    Obama (none / 0) (#65)
    by tek on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:58:59 AM EST
    says he doesn't need Dems to win, he says he has the Independents and the Republicans.

    I think it is too late for him to change back to (none / 0) (#15)
    by athyrio on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    being the progressive candidate...Particularly if he is depending on republican voters to send him to the white house (which I think might well be a pipe dream) Obama has never withstood a barage of attacks from media....Now he probably will have to....

    Why veer left to campaign? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Joike on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:01:05 AM EST
    In terms of policy, the two are very similar.

    In terms of campaigning, Clinton comes off as being more willing to brawl with the GOP.

    But campaigning and governing are two different things.

    Fighting for progressive values doesn't mean adopting Rove's 50% + 1 scorched earth approach.

    When Clinton or Obama win in November, they will face a Congress somewhat similar in numbers to what Bill Clinton faced in '92 with one big difference.

    The GOP in '92 was ascending.  Now it is weakening.  Senior members are retiring - getting out while the getting is good.

    A broader, less-partisan style of campaigning can increase majorities in both houses of Congress that can make it easier to actually PASS progressive legislation rather than just FIGHT for it and have 40 plus GOP Senators block everything we hope to accomplish.

    The best part of electing more Democratic Senators (apart from the legislative issue) is the instant marginalization of Lieberman.  He can either join back up with us with his tail between his legs or officially join the losers on their side of the aisle.

    We know the GOP leadership is corrupt and its media allies are only concerned with saying anything that boosts ratings and book sales.

    Why adopt their snarling, unhinged manner?

    If you're concerned that Obama will be too much of a centrist in office and not enough of a progressive, we can share the same concern about Clinton.  Do you believe that Clinton will push hard for gay rights or just pay them lip service and continue the status quo?

    Neither one will be perfect, but if we can get stronger majorities in both Houses, the Dems will have no excuse.  They will have the numbers to pass a progressive agenda.

    If Obama can end the nomination contest in Ohio and Texas, he can set his sights on McCain (between whom there is no love lost).

    If Obama picks Richardson as his running mate, kiss McCain and the GOP goodnight.  They win in an electoral landslide with the demographics positioning the GOP for a long, cold winter.

    Set his sights on the GOP? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:06:50 AM EST
    When does that start? When does the campaign become about DEMOCRATS, not just about Obama and his opponent?

    When one of them wins (none / 0) (#60)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:48:15 AM EST
    or drops out.  Until then, it's only about him v. her.  How is it suppose to be any different?  And since one of the 2 was "inevitable", it does appear that it's going to be a while before either event happens.  

    No excuse? (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:30:09 AM EST
    Begging your pardon, they had no excuse in '93-'94, with large majorities in both houses of congress the first two years of Bill Clinton's term.

    Except for the budget...one tax vote...they pretty much abandoned him and didn't even see the Gingrich revolution coming until it was too late.

    Among the Dems whose leadership undermined Bill Clinton were the 3 Dem senators who drafted Obama to take down Hillary...Daschle, Kerry, Kennedy. Add Dick Durbin and the Daley machine and gee, I wonder who will be taking orders from whom - who will be setting the agenda - who selecting/recommending cabinet applicants?

    They stole the Rs playbook and have executed it brilliantly but that doesn't mean they care about the Democratic Party's agenda.  They each have their own...


    Hi the nail on the head (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by tek on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:02:47 PM EST
    That has been my gripe session with Dick Durbin since 2004. I saw from that correspondence that he doesn't care anything about the liberal agenda, he only cared about pandering to whoever will vote for him and give him perks and donations so he can stay in power. The Dem Elders care only about their own power. That's exactly why they don't want Clinton, the Clintons would implement a truly liberal agenda that would cut out the lobbyists and the pandering.

    Yes. The Clintons are (none / 0) (#91)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:17:55 PM EST
    the insurgents with their own support group but Obama is the establishment candidate.

    This is theatre...with a script, a director and a star.

    "Hey...my uncle has a barn!  Let's put on a show!!"

    Next stop?  Broadway!  (politically, that would be DC on the biggest stage of all...the White House).

    Remember the old joke about the tourist asking for directions in NYC:  "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"  "Practice, baby...practice."


    And Bill Clintion (none / 0) (#21)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:03:12 AM EST
    Triangulated.  Putting aside Democratic concerns in order to get things like NAFTA passed.  This kind of drivel from Clinton's supports is getting tired.  She might not win.  He might not win (although that's looking less likely).  Get use to it.  Either of them are better than McCain and tearing him down ain't gonna do anything good for the Democratic party.

    Ah yes, triangulation (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:56:59 PM EST
    Obama votes for the Peru trade agreement which is a clone of NAFTA and it is bipartisan.

    I meant to add (none / 0) (#22)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:03:39 AM EST
    and yes, I am a member of the Democratic party
    and I would like the nominee to fight for
    the Democratic party.

    I am a longtime loyal Democrat (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by zyx on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:12:29 AM EST
    babyboomer, and I think Obama has some real fence-mending to do with me.  Those Indies and GOP voters who are "finding their inner Democrats" might not be enough for him.  And I love young people, but they might not be there for him for years and years.

    And if he campaigns for a year by bashing the "Washington insiders" who are Congressmen and -women who are mostly senior to him, when he's President and wants a lot of things from them, they are going to remember the nonstop vitriol he used in the campaign about them.  It's NORMAL for a governor to talk the "Washington is broken" line (I still remember you, Mitt!).  But he's going to find some folks on the Hill who don't have "thrills running up their leg" when he meets with them, if he wins the big election.

    I'm tired of the Obama people campaigning by throwing Unity Pony (tm) feces at me.


    Pardon me po (none / 0) (#33)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:08:46 AM EST
    I was not discussing Bill Clinton.  Don't know why you brought him up.

    because it is relevant (none / 0) (#41)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    is probably why i brought it up. if i wanted to limit myself to your views and the points you may or may not have been making, it seems the only outcome acceptable to some here is us not having much of a discussion.  Since the thread seems to be that OB and his crew don't care about good ol' Democratic values, but HRC and her crew do, I thought I'd give us all a throwback to the days of Democratic values under a Clinton WH.  

    But Bill (none / 0) (#63)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:55:28 AM EST
    isn't running.

    nope he's not (none / 0) (#75)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:20:20 PM EST
    but his record is . . . I mean if HRC purportedly has 35 years of experience, then 8 of those years fall during the time she served as First Lady in the Bill Clinton WH.  Sorry.  He (and she) did good; he (and she) did bad; and he (and she) did indifferent.  But he and she did while they were there and that doing is the only reason why she is where she is today.  HRC, without BC, would NEVER have come close to being a front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.  Probably wouldn't have even become a Senator, much less run for a seat.  The post was all "will OB stand up for the Democratic party?"  I find the suggestion that he won't to be nonsense, shortsighted and detrimental to any sane discussion about who the Democratic nominee should or will be.  Now, let's get back to arguing in the vacuum.

    Pres Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by PlayInPeoria on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:39:07 PM EST
    deserves more than the bashing that you are giving him. Hillary sucess IS NOT due to her husband being president. The above post along with......

    Democrats will be getting a nominee who runs just as often against them as Republicans. They will be getting a nominee who shows little stomach for holding the Republican Party in general and John McCain particularly accountable for what they have done to this country.

    ....I now know what is so disturbing about Obama supporters... they use the SAME TACTICS.


    Not bashing (none / 0) (#85)
    by po on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:48:54 PM EST
    Just stated that he triangulated and signed NAFTA.  Both statements are facts; not even opinions.  I actually loved BC.  Felt for him the way many appear to feel for OB.  Me, I'm not on the OB bandwagon.  But I really, really, really don't want to hear 4 to 8 more years of Clinton this or Clinton that.  That line has gotten old and one very good way to do away with it is to move beyond Clinton, HRC or BC.  With 2 good candidates to choose from, I'll pick the one who might actually get things done without a lot of historical distractions.  

    And if Hillary's success is due solely to her own achievements, please start listing them. All I've seen thusfar is SCHIP.  

    And as for your "the same tactics" meme, I can't figure out what you're saying from the quote.  Sorry.  In any event, my tactics are my own.  


    She has (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by PlayInPeoria on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:37:01 PM EST
    sponsored 150 Senate bills. I really do not want to list all of them. None of these bills had WJC's as a co-sponsor. Some co-sponsors were Sen Obama and Sen Ted Kennedy.  Listing all 150 of these would not be useful.

    Here are a few

    S.201 -A bill to establish a grant program for individuals still
     suffering health effects as a result of the September 11, 2001,
    attacks in New York City and at the Pentagon.

    S.301 A bill to provide higher education assistance for nontraditional
     students, and for other purposes.

    S.413  A bill to amend the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 and the
    Revised Statutes of the United States to prohibit financial holding
    companies and national banks from engaging, directly or indirectly,
    in real estate brokerage or real estate management activities, and for
    other purposes.

    S.701 A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a
     temporary oil profit fee and to use the proceeds of the fee collected
    to provide a Strategic Energy Fund and expand certain energy tax incentives,
    and for other purposes.

    S.766 A bill to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more
    effective remedies of victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on
    the basis of sex, and for other purposes.

    S.937 A bill to improve support and services for individuals with autism and  
    their families.

    AS for the ...

    And as for your "the same tactics" meme, I can't figure out what you're saying from the quote

    I have no doubt that you do not see the similar behavior.

    I'm always amazed at the number of people who accept the Obama mantra of "what I meant" but are so quick to judge Presidents and Senators that having tried.

    Sen Obama will need to attrack the Dem core. Many still admire Pres Clinton and Sen Clinton.


    Yep, attacking them is attacking me (none / 0) (#115)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:48:29 PM EST
    and I don't vote for those who attack me.  I can stay home and reminisce about the excesses of the '60s, the successes of the '90s. . . .

    Obama is very simply a very moderate (none / 0) (#49)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:37:12 AM EST
    democrat (fits in with the gang of 14 thinking). He starts from the middle and moves to the right from there. He is a weak Democrat. This is my opinion. Please don't make arguments about what he says now, all politicians say a lot of things when they are campaigning.

    Heh (none / 0) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:38:54 AM EST
    Actually what he is and is not saying is very important.

    Yes and no. (none / 0) (#62)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:51:55 AM EST
    Some of what he and any politician says is BS to get elected, some shows where they are headed. Which is which? Although I said it poorly above, I think to determine that you have to look at the past actions.

    Okay, let's look at the past actions (none / 0) (#64)
    by kmblue on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:57:41 AM EST
    I am not all that familiar with Obama's record.
    What past actions should I look at to know
    whether he means what he says...or not?

    I would suggest you do that on (none / 0) (#76)
    by my opinion on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:21:17 PM EST
    your own. There is tons of information available. If I gave you a list of past actions it would probably be biased towards my opinion.

    The ideal - building a new coalition to pass items (none / 0) (#55)
    by jcsf on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:39:53 AM EST
    There is another strategy here, which you don't seem to acknowledge.

    Obama's rhetoric is designed to be inclusive - to attract weak republicans, independents, and democrats.

    Vengeance, or even righting wrongs in the name of justice, has only a small electorate, here in the United States.

    SHOULD the Republicans get punished for the last 8 years of lies?

    Of course.

    SHOULD the Republicans be humiliated, exposed as charlatans?

    It would be great.

    But that was the campaign that Edwards ran.  


    Repeat after me, BTD.  


    And really, Edwards was an exemplar of that message.  Very tactical, very strategic, very honest.


    Obama, especially given that he IS A black man, has to be more conciliatory.

    His ability to bring in new people, and talk about the United States in a proud, patriotic, and liberal way, that is ATTRACTIVE. People respond.

    They especially respond, after the Republican philosophy has been such a failure over the past 8 years.

    The other thing is, and it isn't allowed in these parts, but Obama really does seem to be a magnificent candidate, in a way that makes it hard for the Republican attack machine to get hold of him.  There has to at least be a grain of truth, for attacks to hold.

    And, as much as I love Bill Clinton (and the majority of the population did), the little sliver of meat that the VRWC had was, his cheating, and his involvement in the tumultuous 60's.

    With Kerry, it was his lack of being a good candidate, and again, his involvement in the Vietnam War protests.

    Those were divisive issues, and even on the wrong side of things, which the VRWC is, THE VRWC THRIVES ON ANY FORM OF DIVISIVENESS.

    My proposition is - my hope? - that Obama will continue with his positive portrayal in the media, and the VRWC simply won't be able to get any traction, or very little.

    By doing so, we, as liberals, enlarge the tent, by getting more people to vote democratic.


    As much as I want the current crooks and liars in office to be kicked out with prejudice, I much more care that positive legislation is passed, to improve millions of lives (and we have to hold Obama's feet to the fire, in regards to health care).

    Sure it did not work (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:00:49 PM EST
    in the Dem primary.

    That does not mean it would not work in the GE or in governance.

    History is on my side on this. See my post on the subject, in particular "What Obama Needs To Learn"


    Hard to see that (none / 0) (#74)
    by jcsf on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:17:26 PM EST
    a Dem calling for justice in the DEM primary, would work BETTER in the GE.

    FYI - found the article you mention (What Barack Obama needs to Learn) not by using the site search to the right - returned nothing, but by using Google Site Search, which meant this was the first article.

    At any rate, a couple of points:

    One key graph is the following:

    "And that is FDR's lesson for Obama. Politics is not a battle for the middle. It is a battle for defining the terms of the political debate. It is a battle to be able to say what is the middle."

    You can make a argument that Obama is doing this.  He votes, and his policies are, standard liberal, but his rhetoric embraces a populism, of all coming together.  His rhetoric is middle, and then he pivots and says his policies naturally stem from that middle.

    Secondly, the points of succesful application AGAINST the paranoid style used, are Lincoln and the 1st Roosevelt.

    What you basically argue for then, is crisis and suffering for the U.S., so that desperation forces a change to a more equitable political arrangement, and the "paranoid style" is beaten back.

    Even if this is correct - and I hope it isn't, as I don't want to see that type of suffering, I'm more of a "gradual improvement" liberal - then your time isn't yet, as the situation is going to have to get much worse.  

    So your conversations all relate to some Clusterf**k Nations future.


    Make the argument (none / 0) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:30:09 PM EST
    Tell me what ISSUES Obama has redefined.

    "Left Talker" another interesting name (none / 0) (#59)
    by xjt on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    "He stands for a new style of politics, one that embraces members of the other party in efforts to acheive (sic) goals that help America.  That is a good thing."

    "The democrats aren't free of sin the past 20 years."

    It doesn't sound very "left" to me.

    Have you been asleep for the past 7 years? This is the "progressive" that guys like Glenn Greenwald are supporting?

    No personal attacks (none / 0) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:59:21 AM EST
    HE gets to pick his screen name.

    Left Talker (none / 0) (#84)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:40:11 PM EST
    was a previously banned poster who keeps trying to get back in using new screen names. He's been deleted, his comments are gone.

    I stand corrected (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:51:18 PM EST

    Lifelong dem that could care less (none / 0) (#79)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:34:20 PM EST
    Is Obama supposed to fight for the democratic party or for the American people and the progressive agenda that they so clearly are yearning for. Whoever wins this primary will not be running for the President of the Democratic party. Its people like this that have kept the republicans in power because its all about getting them back and proving how bad they are. It is painfully evident that the Republicans and Bush have failed miserably so constantly beating that drum is pointless and eventually turns independents off. Its pretty clear that in the past the country has been divided 45% rep. and 45% dem and its that 10% of legit indies that swing elections. He is speaking to them unlike any other Dem nominee has before.

    Independence33 (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by plf1953 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:16:14 PM EST
    This - "speaking to the 10% of legit indies" - is exactly the problem IMO.

    I am a lifelong democrat and want my candidate, at least the one that wants to be the nominee of my party, to speak to and for me.

    Without me and others like me - i.e., the Dem base that Hillary is winning in a landslide - he doesn't stand a chance of winning the presidency.

    Again, IMO, with his current approach, Obama will lose far more of the Dem base than any amount of Indies and Republicans that may temporartily show up for him in November.

    The point of this thread is that he has to begin speaking to and for me if he wants my vote.

    Hasn't happened yet.


    Give me specifics (none / 0) (#93)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    What exactly has Obama done to alienate you? Besides not just slamming Bush and the Republicans ( which he actually has done quite a bit of). His policies are right down the line with Democratic principals. I also have a problem trying to figure out how Clinton is winning Democrats in a landslide by losing ten DEMOCRATIC primaries in a row.

    Well ... (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by plf1953 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:53:30 PM EST
    first of all, I am a competence and experience man ... its how I've lived my life and earned what I've gotten in life ..

    Obama hasn't yet earned anything, IMO.  In fact, I am always turned off by folks trying to win me over based on their good looks and charm.  

    But, more importantly, Obama hasn't earned the right to lead the Democratic party ... he plainly doesn't have a deep or long track record fighting for Democratic causes and ideals.  Heck, his own supporters can't articulate what he has really done to earn their support.  

    And he certainly isn't winning Indies and Repubicans over with talk of his progressiveness.  His kumabya-esque approach is bereft of any real progressive ideas and positions.  If nothing else, he is, at best, "progressive-lite" or at worst, "Lieberman lite."  Isn't this true?

    I will vote for him if/when he comes home to his base and speaks to me about the things that are important to me.

    As for Hillary's lead among self-identified Democrats, this has been diaried here before in the past couple days ... Jeralyn had a whole post on this that indicated that Hillary was leading among Democrats by something like 700,000 votes ... I think Paul Lukasiak was the source for this information.  I think this margin will continue to grow unless/until Obama really reaches out to the Dem base, as Hillary does.

    And for those of us who won't necessarily vote for him just because he has D after his name, this bodes ill for him winning the GE on the backs of the Dem base he is taking for granted.


    I can tell you what alienated me - (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:04:06 PM EST
    the fact that as chair of the very important Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs he never bothered to ONCE call a meeting on any policy issues. (He did have a few routine meetings to rubber stamp ambassador appointments.)For someone with no experience in this area, he was given a golden opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in this important area - not to mention help repair our relationship with our European allies. He could have learned more about NATO issues, met with leaders, etc. as Biden did when he was chair. If he was too busy with his own ambitions to do his job, why didn't he just step down? The House committee that deals with Europe has had many meetings since the Dems took over Congress. We all deserved better than this.

    Ahem. 10 'primaries in a row?' (none / 0) (#94)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:32:12 PM EST


    Did you miss the discussion/thread(s) on the difference between caucuses and primaries?


    So let him win the 10% of Indies you see (none / 0) (#114)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:43:31 PM EST
    and lose the 45% of Dems?  Hello, President McCain.

    steve soto (none / 0) (#82)
    by AnnL on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 12:37:54 PM EST
    I think what everyone is missing here in this post partisan land that Sen. Obama lives in, as he has said repeatedly, "change starts from the bottom".  So, if you don't work hard enough to effect change you know "love your neighbor and treat him like..." oh yeah we've spent nearly 8yrs with that kind of nonsense, it won't be his fault.  Does someone know who he supported in the Conn. primary?  Thanks!

    Up is down. Black is white. (none / 0) (#95)
    by oldpro on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:34:56 PM EST
    Lieberman is a Democrat!

    Obama? Hmmmm.  If elected, we'll find out.


    Post partisan (none / 0) (#108)
    by BernieO on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:10:23 PM EST
    is a pipe dream. There are - and always have been -  substantive disagreements about the role of government, the amount of power it should have, whether it should be involved in things like alleviating poverty, etc. These will not go away, and actually should not. It is healthy for a Democracy to have these kinds of debates. The fact that Republicans have been so dishonest about their positions is another matter. (No, tax cuts do not pay for themselves and the profit motive cannot be trusted to produce what is best for our society as the downer cow problem clearly illustrates.) Democrats can not change what Republicans do, although we could certainly do a better job of calling them on it, as well as articulating our own principles.

    Loyal Democrats (none / 0) (#98)
    by Joike on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 01:46:48 PM EST
    People who profess to be loyal Democrats, yet insist that Obama has to "earn" their vote are either suffering from a case of sour grapes or have just come out of an 8 year coma.

    Elections matter.  You cannot be a good Democrat AND withhold your vote from the Party's nominee just because your preferred candidate lost.

    My first choice was Edwards.  He's toast.  My second choice is Obama.  If he ends up losing, my third choice is Clinton, and I will proudly vote for her in the GE and enthusiastically support her campaign because I think she has what it takes to be President.

    She may be my third choice of the party's candidates, but she's miles ahead of McCain and on another planet from Huckabee.

    The right could run a dream ticket of McCain and Gen. Powell or McCain and Capt. Crunch, but as a former boss loved to say, "That dog don't hunt."

    I think he meant it wouldn't make any difference.  The GOP candidate is simply unacceptable given that McCain professes to adore Alito and Roberts and is willing to wage an endless war in Iraq and perhaps Iran and backtracks on torture.

    If you honestly care about this election and its impact on the country and beginning the process for reclaiming the Constitution, then we all get behind the eventual nominee and push.

    You cannot be a good Democrat (none / 0) (#107)
    by plf1953 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:04:39 PM EST
    I'm sorry.  

    I'm an American first and a Democrat second.

    If that makes me a "bad" Democrat, then so be it.

    I will vote my conscience in the GE ... and, unfotunately, as often happens, that may not necessarily be a vote for party's nominee.

    As I said above, Obama has yet to prove to me he is the kind of Democrat I can be proud to support.

    That said, he can still have my vote, but he needs to convince me first.

    Pandering to Indies and Republicans to win the DEMOCRATIC nomination for president doesn't do it for me ...


    I want to vote for a loyal Democrat (none / 0) (#113)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:41:57 PM EST
    but am not confident that both of our candidates are so.  You subscribe to the interesting theory that we exist to serve them.

    You are one of the ones Obama has been waiting for, but I'm not.  I'm loyal to Dem principles and the Dem platform, and so far, it's looking like he's not.


    Primaries/Caucuses (none / 0) (#105)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:03:35 PM EST
    Well I must admit that I should have been clearer but this whole idea of caucuses versus primaries is ludicrous. The only reason Clinton has had a disadvantage in these caucuses is that she was totally unprepared after Feb. 5th. She allowed her campaign advisors to not worry about after super Tues. because it was all going to be over after that. She didnt organize and get on the ground till to late. Its called under-estimating your opponent and we know what has happened when we as Democrats do that(ie:the last two pres. elections). I dont care if it was a democratic poker game,checkers game,or relay race,he won and convincingly.

    The only reason (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by plf1953 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:23:34 PM EST
    Clinton has had a adisadvantage in these caucuses is that they are inherently undemocratic, engaging mainly party activists and disengaging (or disenfranchising, if you prefer) regular rank and file voters.

    You only need to look at the Washington hybrid caucus / primary model to see this in action ...  Obama won the caucus on Feb 9 by 68 to 31 margin (with 32,000 voers voting) but only won the primary yesterday 50 to 47 (with over 500,00 voters voting) ... yet he walks away with 20+ more delegates than Clinton.  

    Something's terribly wrong with this picture wouldn't you say?


    Once again I dont see specifics (none / 0) (#109)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:14:11 PM EST
    This percieved argument about how he is somehow ridiculing a strong women is nuts. He is running against a strong women. He has not made any arguments to my knowledge that undermines her credibility because she is a woman. He has to draw a contrast to her and this may mirror things that have been said in the past but if there is legit comparisons then he has no choice but to acknowledge them. Tell me specifically what he has done that is not democratic.

    She still didnt win! at least not yet (none / 0) (#112)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 02:38:36 PM EST
    Why is this seen as an advantage for Obama. I agree that pure primaries like the one held in Wisconsin are the best but why is Obama seen as having some advantage here. So they are undemocratic but no one has yet made any kind of argument that makes sense to me as to why Clinton specifically is harmed by this. She said herself that she would feel much better about the Washington caucuses if it was a primary. Her supporters had their chance to make this argument stick for her and still she is losing. Not by the %s that she did in there caucus but a loss is a loss, and depending where those wins for Obama came he could easily get a huge amount of the delegates from this primary anyway.  

    Thank you BernieO (none / 0) (#116)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:22:05 PM EST
    Obamas time spent in the Senate is a legit argument and I appreciate finally hearing something that sounds like a real issue besides all this vague nonsense. I agree that Obama should have been more engaged in congressional issues but the whole premise that we are arguing here is will Obama be good for Democrats. His time in the senate has been brief and not full of accomplishment but the only retort I have for that is to ask what his opponents have done. I think John McCain has more leg to stand on then Hillary in this line of attack. She continually takes credit for SCHIP but we know that was spear-headed by Ted Kennedy. We know her Iraq War vote and cluster bomb vote. What is her big accomplishments in the Senate? McCain at least has campaign and immigration reform. One is utterly unsuccesfull considering from all accounts he wont even be following the rules and the other didnt get passed. I agree with you BernieO but as a Democrat, this is not a disqualifier in my book. Ask John Kerry if all that experience in the senate helped him or hurt him in the general election. Im sure if you asked him now he would have run as a freshman senator and not someone who has a record that can be scrutinized and twisted.

    I'm not convinced Hillary is such a fighter. (none / 0) (#117)
    by dc2008 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 03:58:08 PM EST
    I'm not convinced that Hillary is as much of the fighter as her image suggests.  The reason I am not convinced is that the Bill Clinton presidency in its root architecture, in fact his political career as a whole, was founded on a compromise, a shift rightward to embrace centrist rather than liberal politics.  And rightly or wrongly I very much associate her with the Bill Clinton administration.

    The Clintons did start out fighting in some arenas, I acknowledge, the attempt to lift the ban on gays in the military as well as the attempt Hillary led to get universal healthcare coverage.  The fact that they didn't win either fight does not change the fact that they tried.  But both of those attempts came near the beginning of the first term.  The rest of the two terms were largely about "triangulation," as the term is now, or at least it seems that way to me.  If I'm wrong about that, someone please show me the case.

    A supporting reason for my view is that she has not made an attempt at universal health coverage in the Senate.  Her campaign web site does list some work toward expanding and improving health care, and I'm willing to take the campaign at their word on this.  But there's nothing resembling a plan for universal health coverage.  Undoubtedly such a plan could not have passed the Congress during the time she's been in the Senate, but that isn't a reason not to offer the plan.  Most legislative moves through Congress by virtue of multi-year, often very long-term efforts in which bills are sponsored and serve as rallying points for legislative cosponsors, organizational endorsers, individual supporters, etc.  Hillary has been a Senator for over seven years, and I feel she has waited seven years too long to restart her drive for universal health coverage.

    Admittedly all of the above is predicated on an association of Hillary Clinton with the Bill Clinton presidency -- rightly or wrongly, I believe that a Hillary Clinton presidency would essentially be stamped in the mold of the Bill Clinton presidency.  I don't doubt at all that she is her own person, but I simply see this as the natural course of events, for various reasons.

    The REAL question is - (none / 0) (#119)
    by keylord on Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36:25 PM EST
    If Barack wins the nomination, will HILLARY fight for the Democratic party?! In my opinion, she should seriously consider pulling out of the race, and getting behind him as soon as possible.    Her chances are slim enough right now to make that a viable thought - one wonders if she is staying in strictly out of her her own pride. That, my friends, would not be doing any good for the party.