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The Big Issue: Competing Theories of Change

By Big Tent Democrat

You may not be aware of this, but some issues were discussed in last night's debate. Two issues dominated a good part of the night. The economy and health care. It used to be thought that a debate dominated by discussions of the economy and health care made for a good Clinton debate. And as I live blogged it, I thought she, yes, whupped up on Obama pretty good. And I thought one of the most important differences was the differing theories of change articulated by Obama and Clinton. But maybe my eyes and ears deceived me. So let's review the transcript on the flip.

NOTE - This thread is now closed.

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

The question people are going to have to ask is: How do we get it done? And it is my strong belief that the changes are only going to come about if we're able to form a working coalition for change. Because people who were benefiting from the current tax code are going to resist. The special interests and lobbyists are going to resist.

And I think it has to be a priority for whoever the next president is to be able to overcome the dominance of the special interests in Washington, to bring about the kinds of economic changes that I'm talking about.

A working coalition with who? This is always the nub of the question for me with Senator Obama's theory of change. Surely he does not expect cooperation from Republicans?

Obama also said:

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

I'm running for president to start doing something about that suffering, and so are the people who are behind my campaign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just believe that we've got to look hard at the difficult challenges we face, especially after George Bush leaves the White House. The world will breathe a sigh of relief once he is gone. We all know that.

But then we've got to do the hard work of not just bringing the country together, but overcoming a lot of the entrenched opposition to the very ideas that both of us believe in, and for some of us have been fighting for, for a very long time. You know, when I took on universal health care back in '93 and '94, it was against a firestorm of special interest opposition. I was more than happy to do that, because I believe passionately in getting quality affordable health care to every American.

I don't want to leave anybody out. I see the results of leaving people out. I am tired of health insurance companies deciding who will live or die in America.

. . .

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

But the question is do they really believe a President Obama will be able to wave a magic wand and make the Republicans play nice? And if not, how exactly do they expect a President Obama to achieve change?

This was the big issue of last night's debate, even though no one noticed.

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  • healthcare? (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:19:04 AM EST
    if Obama is the nominee I dont think we will get to that point because the republicans will show the Obamans what an "attack" is.  they think Hillary has  "attacked" him.  what a laugh.
    I believe if he is the nominee we will lose.

    Hillarys statement at the end (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:32:53 AM EST
    was very interesting.  it seemd she knows she is not going anywhere.  it seemed to me that she believes, as I do, that if Obama is the nominee we will lose.  she wants to be there in 2012.
    I dont expect many fireworks from here on out.  either she wins or she doesnt and she probably becomes the senate majority leader and becomes what Teddy Kennedy was to Jimmy Carter.

    I'd (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:24:48 AM EST
    like to know where you get that notion. Hillary is the fartherest thing from Ted Kennedy that we have in the Senate. Do you not understand that Ted Kennedy is a spoiled frat-rat P. C. who thinks his brother's "legacy" gives him some kind of power over other Congresspeople? Hillary purposely avoided that route and won the admiration of some of the most hard-shell men in the Senate.

    Parent
    And also, (5.00 / 4) (#124)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:28:41 AM EST
    on the closing for Hillary. I think she forced him to shake her hand in front of that huge televised audience to make clear that she has reached out to him in the past (THE SNUB) and been rebuffed by his smallness. She was showing everyone in the country that she is the gracious candidate, graciousness comes from confidence and self-respect. She was proving that she is not the negative candidate. I noticed that he was quite uncomfortable with the whole speech. He was writing notes! What, was he going to rebuff her personal thoughts about her own life?! LOL

    Parent
    Graceful Surrender (none / 0) (#176)
    by 1jane on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:00:54 AM EST
    After a quick spin around blogs big and small, the common line of thinking reveals Clinton's ending remarks were the beginning of her concession.

    Parent
    I am sure (5.00 / 1) (#197)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:18:09 AM EST
    This is a completely unbiased view. :)

    Parent
    I am sure (none / 0) (#198)
    by Marvin42 on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:18:30 AM EST
    This is a completely unbiased view. :)

    Parent
    I don't understand why Clinton doesn't take ... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:40:25 AM EST
    this approach?

    Ask him to explain this "working coalition."

    "How do you create it?

    You give a powerful speech and they just fall into line?  You horse trade with them?  Do have some magic words?  I just don't follow your logic."

    In other words, force him to explain the unexplainable.  Make Obama show the ridiculousness in his own proposition.

    Too late now (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:43:04 AM EST
    But for two weeks, it would be great to see Clinton become John Edwards.

    Parent
    Maybe ... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:51:26 AM EST
    it's too late.  But she could always build that into the question.

    Something about patiently waiting for specifics, and now realizing that maybe he's afraid Americans won't like him as much when they find out what he's actually proposing.

    Parent

    what will HRC's magic words be? (none / 0) (#66)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:48:19 AM EST
    I don't think he is talking about (none / 0) (#180)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:04:54 AM EST
    a working coalition of Senators. He is talking about an activated voting public. I think it is pretty clear from his rhetoric that Obama believes that, on some level, our representatives are still interested in their constituents, and that a public demanding action will be rewarded with action. He also clearly believes that this kind of action is made much more difficult by lobbyists who fund Congress and have cozy access to Congress.

    Now, I can think of at least three reasonable criticisms of this approach:

    1. Will Obama really be able to get the voting public deeply involved and active in politics? Historically, this has been pretty rare, although recent trends in regard to certain issues (like global warming) suggest it might be possible. Breaking the stranglehold of corporate interests will be much more difficult, but Obama clearly believes this is the first step to any real change (he actually draws a lot from Lawrence Lessig's work here).

    2. Will Republicans actually respond to public pressure, or is their 30 percenter base so solid, and Congress so gerrymandered, that they will basically feel safe to ignore strong public pressure.

    3. Does Obama have a backup plan if Republicans refuse to cave? To what extent will he use his considerable speaking skills to go directly after calcitrant members of Congress? He has attacked McCain on some occasions, but it isn't clear the extent to which those attacks signal his willingness to really go after Republican congresspeople who won't support his agenda.

    I think it is quite possible to have a civil debate on this, which is why I come here in the first place.

    Parent
    I think that's probably what he means too (none / 0) (#199)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:21:53 AM EST
    But he's never said it.  And I'd like to hear him explain it.  Will he use the contact list from the election?  Will he make speeches?

    As you state, this process has almost never worked in the past.  And usually the times it works best is to stop legislation, not pass it.

    But, again, I wish this was the discussion we were having in this campaign.

    Parent

    I think he is explicitly (none / 0) (#212)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    having this discussion. He constantly talks about the first step in any change being reducing the influence of lobbyists. He has repeatedly said that all the major changes in this country have been driven, at least in part, by social movements. He has explicitly said that he views his campaign as a movement for change, and implied that his mandate for getting things done will be dependent on how loudly and strongly his supporters call for action.

    I don't think he has done a very good job of addressing some of the potential downsides - how, for example, does one reduce the interests of lobbyists exactly? Obama knows how hard this is, his most significant political successes have been on ethics reform (in the Senate and in Illinois), and even with all these reforms the oil and gas companies still write energy legislation, the telcos still write bills for their own immunity. Yes, Obama has said it will be hard, but he hasn't particularly laid out any new approaches to break the power of corporate lobbyists.

    But I don't think you can fairly say he hasn't initiated this discussion.

    Parent

    I think that's probably what he means too (none / 0) (#203)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:23:04 AM EST
    But he's never said it.  And I'd like to hear him explain it.  Will he use the contact list from the election?  Will he make speeches?

    As you state, this process has almost never worked in the past.  And usually the times it works best is to stop legislation, not pass it.

    But, again, I wish this was the discussion we were having in this campaign.

    Parent

    But, thus far, we've got some drug use in his yout (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:45:53 AM EST
    I am from a family of elected democrats in the blue collar midwest.  I have been getting a steady stream of emails from them on all sorts of things.  
    from his somewhat creepy church to his nation of Islam campaign workers.
    trust me.  there is an ocean of things out there for the republicans to pick up and run with.
    and the worst thing is lots of those middle of the road democrats wont have much of a problem voting for McCain.

    It's verboten to say it on dem blogs (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:04:51 AM EST
    but Obama's admitted cocaine use is a huge liability---perhaps even a fatal one.


    Parent
    Well, I said it (none / 0) (#89)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:10:04 AM EST
    And my thought it, whatever.  W did it too, he just finds it difficult to admit.  BC claimed to have smoked a joint, but didn't inhale . . . whatever.

    It will be interesting to to see how he handles it in a debate with McC (or whomever the GOP selects).  My thought is he can't do worse than yes, i tried it but i didn't snort it.

    Parent

    W.s' team went into overdrive (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:11:17 AM EST
    to keep stories of his cocaine use at a minimum.
    Had he admitted it, he would never have been elected President. His example proves my point.

    Parent
    No... (none / 0) (#94)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:15:21 AM EST
    ... it really isn't.

    I believe that he has liabilities.  His honesty about his cocaine use isn't one of them.

    Parent

    No, the honesty is not the problem-- (5.00 / 0) (#99)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:18:20 AM EST
    the drug use is.. obviously.
    The only poll I have seen suggests that 75% of voters think cocaine use is enough of a factor to change votes.
    Cocaine is not pot.. big difference in the reality and also in people's perceptions.


    Parent
    more to the point... (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by p lukasiak on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:25:56 AM EST
    ...the right wing smear machine will morph "cocaine" into "crack cocaine" in viral emails, and Obama will be left with saying "I didn't do crack, just cocaine", putting him in the position of minimizing his cocaine use.

    this is how the right-wing smear machine works... and why its so effective.   Take something a candidate did in the past that would be perceived as a negative, twist it just enough to make it a big negative, then force the candidate to rebut the twisted allegation...

    Parent

    Sounds like hope (none / 0) (#182)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:05:33 AM EST
    Sounds like you hope that people care about Obama using cocaine decades ago. How about a closer look at Mena and how cocaine got into the country? Maybe that'll be a big issue too, if people talk about it.

    Parent
    Well, he spent money for his pleasure (none / 0) (#187)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:10:14 AM EST
    that went to murderous thugs in South America.
    Isn't that a significant moral lapse?
    I'm sure some people will think so.
    Do you really think the cocaine use makes no difference at all, or that Republicans will not play it up? Of course they will! It doesn't help that Obama has hedged about when he last used cocaine.
    The latest I read is that Axelrod said Obama was doing cocaine when he was 20, which is not "teens" by my book.


    Parent
    McCain's tack will probably be (none / 0) (#202)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:23:03 AM EST
    To contrast what Sen. Obama was doing in his youth to McCain's youth spent as a prisoner of war. (Actually, he won't have to draw the contrast; he can stay positive and talk about his own experiences and his surrogates will fill in the other side.) I don't care about Sen. Obama's behavior in his youth, which seems relatively mild, but it will be a contrast and not one we will be happy defending.

    This kind of strategy didn't work when John Kerry contrasted himself to George Bush on their war service, because it didn't fit the narrative that people already had in their minds about the patriotism of liberals and conservatives. Maybe Obama can break the narrative, but I doubt it.

    Parent

    Go to (none / 0) (#218)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:41:36 AM EST
    Down With Tyranny! this morning and read what McCain was doing in his youth.

    And don't forget Mena. That was a major entry port for cocaine importation during the Clinton years there. Barry Seal didn't just decide to fly into that corner of Arkansas. Seal used to carry around a "get-out-of-jail" letter signed by Bill Clinton and showed it to his friends.

    And Asa Hutchinson was the federal prosecutor there, too. True bipartisanship.

    If anyone here wants to keep inserting cocaine into this debate they have to keep the debate simplistic and ugly. Since I keep hearing it here at TalkLeft, home of Clinton supporters, I've got to believe that they, too, want to make it an issue. Not wise, but certainly lowdown.

    Parent

    So did our CIA under Reagan and Bush (none / 0) (#205)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:23:52 AM EST
    Didn't hurt them much did it.  Start talking about what a joke the "War on Drugs" is (heck, pick any "War" our elected officials are talking about today) and we'll all be better off.

    Parent
    The above comment came from (none / 0) (#209)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:26:14 AM EST
    a friend, btw.. it was his opinion about Obama's cocaine use.
    I don't see how your answer plays at all  in our domestic political arena.

    Parent
    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:05:38 AM EST
    Thanks for the brilliant analysis.  This is exactly what is missing whenever other blogs or the MSM write about the two candidates.  You boiled it down to the core issues.  

    you can't simply rely on playing to your own base (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:15:53 AM EST
    you know, I hear this over and over.
    btw
    I am pretty new here myself having been chased out of some other blogs with name calling and harrasment.
    for this point I would only have two words.

    George Bush

    Obama resembles Reagan in nothing. (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:19:50 AM EST

    not so sure.
    I was around for Reagan too.  he suckered a lot of democrats into voting for him by making them think he was something he was not.
    I will just leave it there.

    yes, Obama suckers Democrats too (none / 0) (#111)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:21:16 AM EST
    Both (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:30:05 AM EST
    of them are just actors, and in my opinion Obama is not even a very good actor. If you look at clips where the original speakers are saying the lines he stole, then look at his delivery, it's just flat in comparison.

    Parent
    Reagan argued for change (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:27:13 AM EST
    Reagan argued for change in vague optimistic language.

    exactly.  change that never happened.


    That's false (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:32:38 AM EST
    Reagan argued for REPUBLICAN change. And he delivered it.

    Parent
    umm... (none / 0) (#133)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:34:16 AM EST
    ... whether you like it or not, change did happen.  

    I don't like the change that happened, but the political landscape changed.

    Parent

    Don't over argue the Reagan coalition ... (none / 0) (#162)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:51:27 AM EST
    Nixon southern strategy created this coalition in '72.  Reagan merely reconstructed it.

    In 1972, Nixon took 49 states.  In 1980, Reagan did slightly less well, taking 46 states.  But he repeated Nixon's performance in 1984, taking 49 states.

    Parent

    43 states in 1980 (none / 0) (#178)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:02:44 AM EST
    reconstructed... (none / 0) (#181)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:04:59 AM EST
    Doesn't reconstructed mean changed?

    Parent
    No ... (none / 0) (#190)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:12:30 AM EST
    it means to build something that was already there.

    Parent
    Change, what Change? (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by PennProgressive on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:58:25 AM EST
    BTD, thanks for a woderful post. You are absolutely right about the two comepeting philosophies of change. Racial differences sre important---there is no doubt about it.  But does not derail progressive agenda--nor does the regional differences. However, not so much religious differences but attitudes toward religion may have a role to play. But the group that works against a progressive agenda is by and large the  Republicans. It seems that Obama does not understand that but Clinton does and talks about it. That may not be selling well this elction cycle where the main operating theme is, "can't we all get along?". I want someone to fight for the progressive agenda--in my opinion Clinton will but Obama will not. On a related matter, I think she should have said that more often last night--that she will fight for us. It is not the experience but standing up for something and fighting for it.

    thanks BTD (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:09:41 AM EST
    I would like to say that too.  to you and this blog for being an island of sanity in a sea of Obama blog hysteria.

    Parent
    I want to thank everyone (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:01:36 AM EST
    in this thread, but especially the Obama supporters, who helped us prove that a civil intelligent and SPIRITED discussion can be had without rancor.

    We are an example to all the blogs this morning.

    Have a good day everyone.

    Dittos (none / 0) (#191)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:12:36 AM EST
    From an anti-dittohead

    Parent
    with the exceptions of (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by cpinva on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:15:32 AM EST
    reproductive choice and gay rights (arguably religious/regional issues), everything else comes down to cash: health care, jobs, inflation, budget deficits, reduced taxes for the rich, iraq/afghanistan, etc. these issues transcend all religious and regional boundaries.

    clearly, sen. obama hasn't a clue how things get done in wash. D.C., circa 2008. he'd know that the republicans will happily make nice with you, as long as they get what they want. otherwise, not so much.

    a current example would be the tantrum thrown by pres. bush and his congressional cohorts regarding telecom immunity; they took their ball and went home. that he appears to truly believe his presence alone in the oval office will change this speaks of great hubris or stupidity, you make the call.

    he is the democrat's "not ready for prime time" candidate. the official republican campaign organ, along with the right-wing smear machine, will shred sen. obama, should he end up (shudder!) as the democratic nominee. we'll be watching pres. mccain take the oath of office in jan. 2009.

    For me (4.88 / 9) (#9)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:15:23 AM EST
    When Hillary Clinton said "I am tired of health insurance companies deciding who will live or die in America" that was a line that spoke to me and that should resonate with all of us. It is such a sad state of affairs that a thing like that could be true in a country like ours. Money trumps people.

    And "fighting" for the American People doesn't necessarily mean finding the nearest Republican and clouting them over the head. Fighting means keeping at an issue and working for it until you convince enough people to see things your way or perhaps make them see that their way may not be to their advantage politically. There are lots of ways to fight other than wrestlemania or whatever the heck it's called.

    Fighting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:16:24 AM EST
    Yes, apparently physical fighting is all some can imagine.

    Parent
    Just (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:44:25 AM EST
    looked at the MSM. Hillary's quip that Obama's change is "change you can Xerox" is all over the media. No highlights from him mentioned.

    Parent
    I agree (none / 0) (#219)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:44:12 AM EST
    The line about health insurance companies deciding who lives or dies is a great line. I've heard it before, though. Maybe Edwards.

    Parent
    Some have paid attention! (4.85 / 7) (#25)
    by lambert on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:29:12 AM EST
    Krugman identified exactly this problem early on, and was savaged by the OFB for pointing it out. And at Corrente see Obama Strategy of Conciliation Considered Harmful, and  the tagged links.

    So, not nobody!

    It's not enough to write the word "Change!" on a piece of paper, xerox it, and then run it through the teleprompter in rock and roll-sized arenas.

    If only things were that easy!

    You know what I mean (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:32:23 AM EST
    Corrente, TalkLeft and Krugman have been lonely in our chorus.

    Parent
    The loneliness of being a Cassandra (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by lambert on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:42:08 AM EST
    ... makes me yell all the louder!

    Also, the sense of being marginalized... Again... Just like Iraq, there are days when I feel that all I can do is lay down the markers and set the record straight for whenthe inevitable happens. I just don't know how many chances the country has, though. We're less resilient, more vulnerable to shock...

    Parent

    We are the anti-Obama DFHs? (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:45:06 AM EST
    That is a funny image.

    Parent
    A profound difference indeed (4.85 / 7) (#32)
    by vigkat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:34:22 AM EST
    I've never been able to fully grasp Obama's ideas, but his "plan" appears to be premised upon first creating a "working coalition for change" (whatever that might mean), which apparently will arise out of inspiring people (an unidentified "them") to move beyond various deeply entrenched cultural divisions.

    I don't have a lot of confidence in his position because it appears to rely almost solely upon his own vaunted ability to inspire and bring people together.  I'm not clear on what he thinks will be happening in the meantime.

    Hillary, on the other hand, premises her plan on the kind of hard work in which she always has been engaged.  She clearly knows how difficult it will be to get her program through Congress, but intends to roll up her sleeves and get the job done through skill and determination, and of course, at least a modicum of inspiration.

    Hillary is the meat and potatoes candidate; Obama is the souffle.  

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:37:18 AM EST
    This is the nub of the issue for me.

    Has been for 3 years with Obama.

    Parent

    Hope is not a plan n/t (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by lambert on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:39:17 AM EST
    Watching (5.00 / 6) (#101)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:19:10 AM EST
    this debate I just cannot see why Hillary isn't the runaway front-runner. (Is that redundant)? She is far and away the best candidate. Makes me really angry that the Democratic Establishment is pushing so hard for Obama. I mean, what does that tell you? It tells me they want things to stay exactly the same in D. C.

    Parent
    Open primaries n/t (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by MaxUS on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:26:23 AM EST
    Obama's answer is that when (4.80 / 5) (#1)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 07:56:15 AM EST
     the people have a strong enough voice, sensible decisions will be made.
    First of all, I think that's ludicrous on its face: leaders choose a direction and convince people to follow, not the other way around.
    The other problem is that it's simply not possible to get a level playing field so that "the people"
    can be heard.
    He's demagoguing, but without even having a point, except his own election.

    The most hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:15:59 AM EST
    comment to me so far is from Obama people who just realized during this debate that Barack Obama is NOT supporting Democratic positions. I've been saying for a year, this guy IS A REPUBLICAN! If he's the candidate, we'll have a choice of a black and a white Republican.

    Parent
    Look at his economic advisers: (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:19:39 AM EST
    They have hard core Republican values.
    One of them says that high health care costs are good!

    Parent
    Yup... (none / 0) (#114)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:23:02 AM EST
    ... I am sure that there are a lot of Republicans rank that as one of the most progressive/liberal Senators by almost every group that does such rankings.  

    Stop the Republican line.  It is more than dishonest, and you know it.

    Shoot... if you want to continue to use the Republican line, then you should use it for Clinton also, as she herself as said that her and Obama's policies are very similar.

    Parent

    wow (none / 0) (#86)
    by mindfulmission on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:08:43 AM EST
    leaders choose a direction and convince people to follow, not the other way around.
    Interesting.

    Of course... almost every major social movement would prove this theory wrong, but I guess that is beside the point.

    Leaders can't lead if the people are not there.

    The best leadership comes from the people and is chosen by the people.  The best leadership allows the people to set the agenda.

    Parent

    IT is not black and white (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:09:41 AM EST
    You certainly overstate the case as did MarkL.

    Parent
    The public would not have come up (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:13:00 AM EST
    with SS by itself, nor would it be able to find a solution to global warming.


    Parent
    Right, but Presidents can enact (none / 0) (#170)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:57:48 AM EST
    significant change.

    Parent
    Ugh. Democracy. So passe (none / 0) (#220)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:47:53 AM EST
    "leaders choose a direction and convince people to follow, not the other way around"

    You could be describing the Stalinist USSR, or Mussolini's Italy. You sound like you have no faith in the concept of democracy.

    Good luck in your following, MarkL.

    Parent

    Comparing nothing with oranges (4.80 / 5) (#51)
    by koshembos on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:41:34 AM EST
    Comparing the two approaches to change tilts, by definition, towards Obama. It assumes that his change talk has substance, an assumption I strongly object to. For Obama, change is an empty slogan that led him to where he is. He has not a single once of change in his political history.

    As things stand now, we need to take over a filibuster proof senate and, sadly, we have to revive the progressive movement that largely is now born again Obama centrist (or whatever this conman is). If the Nation supports Obama, progressives have reached frightening lows.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:43:41 AM EST
    The Nation is quite something now ain't it?

    Parent
    Please (none / 0) (#214)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:31:40 AM EST
    G.R.O.W. U.P.

    For those of you who think that all those Red States don't matter, well, they do. The more of those states that send another Dem Senator or Representative to Congress, the more likely that any healthcare plan will pass. Who's got longer coattails? Obama.

    On "day one" no one will be able to declare his or her healthcare plan law. That's cult-like fantasy thinking. The President will have to go to Congress and negotiate. If Obama wins the Presidency, he will be negotiating with H. Clinton, among others.

    The more Dems who are in Congress, the farther left they, and Republicans, will venture. And just a handful of Republicans who sniff the wind and decide to go along can make that difference. That's why you shouldn't think that negotiating, working towards a consensus and other strategies should be necessarily rejected.

    The SDS started out preaching to what Carl Oglesby called "the radical middle," those common sense solutions that were recognizable to what used to be called the working class. When Bernadine Dorhn and her clique took over the organization they lost their connection with "non-revolutionary" people and mortally wounded the anti-war movement at the end of the 60s. That war pretty much crashed to the ground of its own accord.

    Half of the country dislikes H. Clinton. She can't win the nomination now without an ugly battle over delegates at the convention, and that will snatch defeat from victory for the Dems.


    Parent

    Of course she'll negotiate (none / 0) (#217)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:37:38 AM EST
    It is not true that Clinton rejects negotiation. She seems to believe that you negotiate when you have to, but you don't give away the store before you've even sat down at the table.


    Parent
    the Obamabots will have to (4.66 / 3) (#7)
    by glennmcgahee on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:13:38 AM EST
    continue to work to not only get a their candidate elected, but will have to work to get more Democrats elected to Congress all across the country. Right now, the "youth movement" is having alot of fun blogging and playing Facebook, etc. They were all of 12 or 13 when the Clintons were fighting the special interests. Words and hope are not going to get it. They will have to continue to work for the Party. Can they pay attention long enough? Its very tiring work. Its got alot of disappointment. They will be surprised when all of a sudden, they start seeing the Republicans sliming their candidate. I'm not sure they will be able to take it.

    Obama does not think so (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:15:40 AM EST
    and does not say so so why would Obama supporters think it is important to elect Democrats?

    Parent
    come on, BTD (none / 0) (#148)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:44:30 AM EST
    What makes you think Obama doesn't want to elect Democrats?

    Do you have any evidence you can point to?

    Parent

    Doesn't his line of thinking suggest (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by lilburro on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:23:31 AM EST
    that it doesn't matter if we have Republicans (especially if they're moderates) or Democrats in Congress as he can make whomever is in there work together?  He never presses the point that as he has a Democratic agenda, he will need more DEMOCRATS in Congress to help him push it through.  Which to me is part of the point of his campaign - he seems almost purposefully trying to assuage people that he is not going for a Democratic takeover.  As if people were paranoid of Democrats controlling the government.

    Parent
    I think he wants Republicans to vote for him (none / 0) (#216)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:34:36 AM EST
    so obviously he doesn't spend a lot of time calling out Republicans generally. He does spend a lot of time attacking Bush and McCain, and the Bush/McCain policies. I see this as smart politics, but I realize there can be disagreements on this.

    What I will say is this: as far as I can recall, both Obama and Clinton have made statements during debates along the lines of: "we both agree on this, Democrats are right on this issue, and there is a huge difference between either of us and our Republican opponents/John McCain." And neither of them has explicitly said in order to bring about change, we need to elect more Democrats to Congress. Now, maybe someone has a quote to prove me wrong on this, I'm going based on memory here.

    Parent

    Why would you mischaracterize my (none / 0) (#161)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:51:26 AM EST
    statement?

    I said NOTHING OBAMA SAYS would lead anyone to believe he is interested in electing more Democrats.

    I believe he wishes the Congress was 100% Democrat. But there is nothing in what he says that supports that view.

    Parent

    well (none / 0) (#200)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:22:06 AM EST
    You seemed to be implying that Obama did not think his supporters would have to work to elect more Democrats. The title of your comment was "Obama does not think so."

    I'm sorry if I misinterpreted you, but it sure sounded like you were saying that you thought Obama did not think his supporters should work to elect more Democrats.

    Parent

    You are 100% on the mark (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by kenosharick on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:24:35 AM EST
    I have been worried about this for some time; and have even heard from the politilly ignorant that McCain "will not play dirty." He is a repulican, right? The 527's and their millions are a major concern as well.

    Parent
    Better metaphor than family dinner is football (4.66 / 3) (#69)
    by lambert on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:51:08 AM EST
    This is your metaphor:

    A change of names on the cards at the table so that it's not like the family reunion at thankgiving when all the old issues resurface to cloud what otherwise could be a happy time.

    But this is mine:

    A long football game, very physical, very close. The Bad Team has been ahead for most of the game. But the Good Team has finally pulled even and is about go ahead.

    Remarkably, the Good Team turns out to have been in better shape and more resilient than the Bad Team (strong bench), and so the Bad Team is physically exhausted, and the Good Team is finally able to start pushing them around.

    Two minutes to go. The Good Guys are inside the 10 with the ball. What do you do?

    1. Coach Hillary wants to take the ball in for the touchdown and beat the Bad Team.

    2. Coach Obama wants to call a "time out" -- rather like in day care... -- because the game has gotten too physical.

    Who do you want for coach?

    And what's the more appropriate metaphor for how politics is and should be practiced? A family dinner? Or a football game?

    NOTE I hope there's no question that the Republicans really are a Bad Team?


    Republicans aren't bad, (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:24:33 AM EST
    their ideas are.  Many sincerely feel they have the best intentions for this country in mind.  They're wrong not evil.

    Parent
    Do you understand how the the senate works? (3.00 / 2) (#2)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:00:45 AM EST
    The Democrats curently have a one member majority and are expected to pick up 3-4 if they're lucky.  To prevent a filibuster at least some people are going to need to cross-over.  How is a "fighter" going to make that happen better?  Is she going to physically attack people and hold them in a headlock til they vote her way?

    Hilarious (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:11:08 AM EST
    So no progressive change will be effected then according to you.

    Cuz Mitch McConnell don't believe in Kumbaya.

    Parent

    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:15:59 AM EST
    off topic but question for BTD (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by g8grl on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:30:19 AM EST
    No one else has been able to answer me this:  Why don't Democrats threaten the nuclear option and at least pretend to want to do away with the filebuster?  Seems to me that the threat worked pretty well for Republicans and if they don't like the threat, maybe they'll come to an understanding about how repulsive they were when they were the majority.

    Parent
    at the moment (none / 0) (#185)
    by Nasarius on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:07:33 AM EST
    Bush's veto power. I'm sure things will get interesting in 2009.

    Parent
    not sure (none / 0) (#207)
    by jstrick on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:24:18 AM EST
    if that's it. The current Sentate leadership doesn't seem to be intent on really doing anything that could be considered remotely controversial regardless of how much sense it would make.

    Parent
    He's all about the Kumbaya (none / 0) (#17)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:21:35 AM EST
    when he's in church.  If not a headlock what "fighting" move do you suggest?

    Parent
    Contrast (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:23:54 AM EST
    Dems are for Social Security, health care and fairness.

    Republicans are not.

    I suggest helping DEMS win.

    How about you?

    Parent

    Even though I'm not a Democrat (none / 0) (#24)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:28:15 AM EST
    I would love to see a 60% majority in congress.  Maybe Clinton can wave her magic wand and make that happen.

    Parent
    She can't (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:35:27 AM EST
    You probably do not believe this but I am for Obama BECAUSE he could make Dem values a 60% position IF he fought for them!!!

    Parent
    Big (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:20:36 AM EST
    "IF" don't you think?

    Parent
    You're for Obama? (none / 0) (#65)
    by seand on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:47:51 AM EST
    That's interesting- I didn't realize that.

    Parent
    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:49:25 AM EST
    No one believes it.

    Sometimes I do not believe it.

    Parent

    Me too, about you (none / 0) (#83)
    by kenoshaMarge on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:06:39 AM EST
    Ah, I see progress here. (none / 0) (#152)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:46:30 AM EST
    Like Edwards, you would be most effective if you endorsed now.

    Parent
    Does (none / 0) (#34)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:35:08 AM EST
    redistribution of wealth count as fairness?

    Parent
    Very much so (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:36:07 AM EST
    For Republicans of course, it is unfairness.

    For most Americans, it is fairness.

    Parent

    Please send a (none / 0) (#40)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:37:57 AM EST
    check.  I am sure this union worker make a lot less than you.  

    Parent
    Let the government sort it out (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:38:28 AM EST
    Or the common (none / 0) (#50)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:41:19 AM EST
    good, correct?

    Parent
    The government (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:46:21 AM EST
    can represent the Common Good. Especially when Dems are at the helm.

    Parent
    Please (none / 0) (#38)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:36:59 AM EST
    point out the republicans who are against social security.

    Parent
    George Bush (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:38:08 AM EST
    link please. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:40:54 AM EST
    Or do you count allowing workers to voluntarily invest on their own some small percentage of their forced contributions as meaning against social security?

    Parent
    I do (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:45:49 AM EST
    You are a big gov't guy. (none / 0) (#188)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:11:11 AM EST
    Got a link?

    Parent
    Fuzz ball (none / 0) (#73)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:53:34 AM EST

    This looks like the same kind of fuzzy, feel good language that you ding BHO for.

    Dems are for Social Security, health care and fairness.
    Republicans are not.

    First of all EVERYONE is all in favor of "fairness."  Can you point to any pol or party that has stood up and said they stood for more unfairness?

    No.

    This is just cheap rhetoric that lets the speaker and supporter feel sooooo morally superior.  It lets you call anything you don't agree with unfair.

    And of course GWB has been using the military to close medical schools, burn down hospitals and clinics, shoot doctors and nurses, and prohibit research, development, and production of medicine.  Republicans not for health care!  What a whooper!!

    Hillary wants to restrict choice in health care to only options she approves, and charge a 25 year old the same as a 55 year old.  There can be honest disagreement on that being a good thing or a bad thing.  Likewise, since that bit of age descrimination is a good deal for me, but a bad deal for my daughter, calling it fair is a stretch.


    Parent

    And Republicans want to restrict medical choice (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:49:03 AM EST
    to doctors, procedures and medical centers your insurance company chooses and approves.

    You have no real say in your insurance company. Generally it is whoever your employer chooses. You do have a voice in your government- you can participate by voting.

    You do realize in the Canadian system medical providers do not work for the Canadian  government? You do realize their health care statistics are better than ours? That they get as good or better care than we do at less cost?

    Parent

    That's fuzzy? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:56:41 AM EST
    Ok. Thanks for the laugh.

    Parent
    reaching across... (none / 0) (#78)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:02:45 AM EST
    The fact is that Obama teamed with Tom Coburn, as hard-core RW guy you will ever find, to pass the financial disclosure legislation.  He teamed with Lugar to write and pass a major non-proliferation bill.

    It is possible to find some common ground with some of the GOP guys some of the time.

    Further, it has to be done so long as there are 40 or more GOP Senators.

    Mere mention of being able to reach across does not deserved to be dismissed with "Kumbaya" comments.


    Parent

    Oh, so Tom Coburn (none / 0) (#84)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:06:52 AM EST
    is going to help us pass Universal Healthcare? Do you know anything about Tom Coburn?

    Parent
    I was giving an example (none / 0) (#112)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:21:33 AM EST
    of reaching across the isle.

    Look, 40 GOP Senators can stop anything.  So unless you reach across to peel some off, no Dem pres is going to accomplish anything.

    Obama's done it before.  Clinton has done it before.  What's the problem here?

    Parent

    Name the Senate Republicans (none / 0) (#116)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:24:18 AM EST
    who will "come together" for Universal Healthcare.

    If we get it, it will be bundled in an omnibus reconciliation package that would pass with a bare majority. I would even expect to lose a couple of Democrats.

    It is YOU who does not understand how the Senate works.

    Parent

    I do understand how the Senate works, thank you (none / 0) (#125)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:29:06 AM EST
    and the bottom line is that 40 GOP Senators can stop pretty much anything.

    Parent
    You haven't answered my question (none / 0) (#130)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:32:01 AM EST
    Probably because you know that there isn't a single Republican who would cross the aisle for universal healthcare.

    The best we can do is outmaneuver them so that 60 votes aren't required. And even that would be a very tall order.

    Parent

    so it's a "tall order" either way? (none / 0) (#144)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:42:36 AM EST
    it seems we both agree on that.

    So why are we acting so harsh towards one another?

    I don't know which GOP Senators might defect, but if there's enough public pressure, a few might.  Change has to come, in part, from the public, too.

    Let me give a different example.  Who would have thought that the GOP would support a drug plan?  It came about because Dems campaigned for it, it captured the public's imagination, and the GOP realized they had better get on board with it.

    (Of course, the GOP being in controll of all three branches at that time, produced a boondoggle-sop to the medical industry.  But had the Dems been in control of all three branches, there would have been a different, and better, result).

    I can easily see the same thing happening with health care.  Eventually the public will demand it, because it's too good of an idea to ignore.  As to which particular Senators will get on board?  I don't know. Just because I can't name any doesn't mean it's an impossible task. Just a "tall order."  And you already agree that your method is a "tall order", too.

    Yes, there's a difference in approaches.  Yes, reasonable people can disagree.

    But I sure wish the disagreements themselves can be reasonable.

    Parent

    The reason yours is more difficult (none / 0) (#155)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:48:58 AM EST
    is that, under my theory, the Republican just have to not fight as hard as they usually do. They can probably be intimidated into that.

    Your plan requires that they actively participate. And that is pure fantasy.

    Parent

    a few will actively participate (none / 0) (#173)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:59:24 AM EST
    if the public demands that they do.

    I think how the GOP turned around on Drug Plans, and, indeed, they did a 180 on that, is proof that it is possible.

    Not likely.  Just a "tall order".  Which is a better place to  be than "impossible" and "fantasy"

    Parent

    Financial disclosure!! (none / 0) (#87)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:08:52 AM EST
    Richard Lugar!!

    Yes, that is representative of the big fights.

    Suuure.

    Believe what you want as you surely seem determined to do.

    Parent

    You negotiate, BTD (none / 0) (#223)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:54:50 AM EST
    Maybe you've been too impressed by the Bush Administration's management style.

    When you negotiate you give your opposition a way to save face even when they're saying "Uncle!"

    Does anyone here really want to say that H. Clinton as President won't negotiate with Republicans? Can't anyone here remember that NAFTA, etc., passed with B. Clinton's guidance, nearly unanimous Republican support and a couple of Blue Dogs? Now you claim that H. Clinton can do it all and will do it from the farthest left on the scale without talking to the opposition that her husband embraced for eight years (to his own peril)?

    Parent

    I have been saying for awhile (none / 0) (#143)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:42:03 AM EST
    It doesn't matter in the end who is elected, if we don't elect more and better Democrats to congress.

    You can argue which candidate would be best for that purpose, but a compromiser can't succeed with the GOP being unwilling to compromise, so better not to have to compromise. A fighter can't succeed, if the GOP has enough votes to legislation.


    Parent

    Too (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:06:36 AM EST
    bad there will be no constitutional test for socialized health care.

    Your complaint is what? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:50:40 AM EST
    Institutional Design (none / 0) (#4)
    by solon on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:09:03 AM EST
    Universal Health Care is for the legislative branch, not the executive. Any proposed plan by the executive branch, regardless of who it is, will need someone to take charge of the legislation in Congress to make sure it will get out of committee (where compromises will most likely occur to avoid its death) and then pass in the House.

    Senator Clinton is an excellent Senator. She knows how the Senate works and has done an excellent job in New York, for both Western, Upstate, and Downstate, which is incredibly tough to do). Last night during the first part of the debate, she did an excellent job discussing policy and showed why the Senate needs her and her knowledge to help pass legislation. (I would prefer a stronger legislative branch than executive.)

    If Universal Health care were to pass, it seems best that Senator Clinton would work it through in the Senate and the House, while Senator Obama (if he were nominated and elected) would use the "bully pulpit" to persuade the people to support its cause. This would play to both of their strengths and help the cause.

    Funny (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:12:14 AM EST
    That not how Medicare, Social Security and S-Chip happened.

    But I thank you for honestly saying Obama will do nothing about health care.

    Parent

    He's not doing it now (5.00 / 4) (#98)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:17:51 AM EST
    He has the pulpit right now and he's not arguing for universal health care. Since he is such a new-style politician who would surely never lie to us, I conclude he does not believe in it.

    Parent
    I noticed (none / 0) (#8)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:14:18 AM EST


    Republicans (none / 0) (#12)
    by BlueMainer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:16:17 AM EST
    Where in HRC's statement does she mention working with republicans?

    She doesn't (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:16:52 AM EST
    Do you believe she should?

    Parent
    options (none / 0) (#16)
    by BlueMainer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:20:55 AM EST
    Does she really have a choice? If the dems can't get a filibuster proof majority, she'll need some of the reds.

    Parent
    You think so? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:22:40 AM EST
    You think Republicans will filibuster healthcare? They didn't filibuster S-CHiP.

    Let them run on doing that in 2010 then.

    This is the point. Contrast is what is needed.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#30)
    by BlueMainer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:33:31 AM EST
    I think the repubs will do whatever it takes to prevent the dems from achieving such a historic victory - on the scale social security or medicare.

    Parent
    Then we must beat them (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:34:31 AM EST
    in an election.

    Surely you do not think they will provide Obama the victory you say they will deny Dems?

    Parent

    No, I don't. (none / 0) (#37)
    by BlueMainer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:36:31 AM EST
    I don't think they will provide any dem such a victory, and, yes, we must defeat them at the polls.

    Parent
    Isn't some of her experience (none / 0) (#18)
    by solon on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:21:45 AM EST
    based on the notion that she learned how to get legislation through the Senate with the support of Republicans?

    If her experience matters, then she may need to work with the Republicans.

    Parent

    No (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:25:10 AM EST
    Her experience is knowing how to fight the GOP in the legislative trenches to get it done, not singing Kumbaya with them.

    But truth be told, she can't do it.

    I am for Obama because he might, IF  he learns to fight.

    Parent

    Well said! Even though I vehemently disagree (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by lambert on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:38:01 AM EST
    This is what I love about this site. No Kool-Aid. A clear-eyed appraisal.

    Now, I'm against Obama because I don't think he will learn to fight, or wants to -- at least not for me. (He seems to be doing just fine fighting for himself.)

    Obama's chance to make a game-changing difference by fighting was on FISA, where as a professor of Constitutional law, and an orator, and as a Senator, he absolutely could have made a huge, nationally televised, game-changing difference. But he chose not to. Buh-bye.

    I think Obama's function will be to put a smiling face on the "hard choices" that have to be made whenever the next Naomi Klein-style "shock" hits the United States. And we're all waiting for what that shock will be, eh? That's why his dogwhistling on Social Security, his backtracking on universal health care, and his right wing talking points generally scare me so much. Because it boils down to throwing people like me over the side. (That's the flip side of "unity" -- not holding the people who got us into this mess accountable.)

    Parent

    I accept that (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:41:56 AM EST
    my Politics of Hope with Obama is now becoming forlorn.

    And let me tell you, I place some blame on our blogging brethren who once were the champions of the Politics of Contrast/Fighting Dems and now have drunk the Kumbaya Kool Aid.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#194)
    by andrewwm on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:15:03 AM EST
    because Clinton couldn't even be bothered to show up to vote on it. Can't be much of a fighter if you don't even get in the ring for the big fights.

    Parent
    To what degree (none / 0) (#26)
    by solon on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:30:51 AM EST
    do you think that his fight against the Clinton campaign is helping him learn to fight?

    His attacks seem more subtle. For Example, the body of his South Carolina speech is an argument against the "Clinton Style" in Washington. Senator Obama has certainly developed his fighting stance during the campaign and has attempted to remain "above" the fight.

    Parent

    Not at all (none / 0) (#31)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:33:44 AM EST
    His bad instincts are being richly rewarded. This campaign is the worst thing that could have happened.

    IF he had faced some pushback against Kumbaya and had responded by showing some fight against Republicans, that would be one thing.

    But THAT did not happen.

    Parent

    Is it safe to say... (none / 0) (#43)
    by solon on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:38:11 AM EST
    that you think that by employing a unity or consensus strategy that he will fail to rally the base and fail to draw independents in the general. This then would be reflective of how his presidency would work, tying the hands of Democrats for 4 years.

    If he rallied the base and attacked on a partisan level, he would at least have some support for legislative gains (though any nominee that used this would need overwhelming majorities to accomplish Health Care, Global Warming, etc...)

    Parent

    I do not like your phrasing (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:40:22 AM EST
    What I want is to fight for Dem values and issues and to contrast them to GOP values and issues.

    Make the case for DEMOCRATS!!

    So then you can garner the mandate for Progressive change.

    If Reagan is Obama's model for transformative change, then EMULATE Reagan. Obama does not.

    Parent

    I am not (none / 0) (#63)
    by solon on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:47:17 AM EST
    trying to mischaracterize; just employing a good faith effort.

    IMO, here is what I expect: his stance now is to differentiate himself form Senator Clinton for the nomination. He is entering a transitionary phase where he will focus on the base, (but he needs the nomination first.) At this point, he ought to slightly alter his approach to appease the base.

    However, he will also appropriate the middle to cut-off the right. His strategy of consensus, which of course is on his terms, will work to brand the Republicans as anti-democratic, disinterested in debate, and showing no concern for the people on topics such as health care, etc.

    Finally, his strategy of consensus is to take advantage of the middle who seems to be tired of partisanship. If he can move these people, then the Democrats will be able to accomplish their legislative goals.

    Parent

    I did not say you did (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:48:29 AM EST
    I was just noting that I did not like your phrasing and employed my own.

    Parent
    So it's a leap of faith? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:20:07 AM EST
    I am trying to understand your optimism about Obama, you think he might if he learns how to fight.  Do you think we have the time for on the job training? Or do you think he has some special skill or knack for doing it?  So two big conditions, that I guess I am not willing to take  a chance.  

    Parent
    I think we have little choice now (none / 0) (#138)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:37:21 AM EST
    But I think Obama can learn and can do more than Clinton IF he learns.

    Parent
    I guess that is the difference. (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:41:02 AM EST
    I don't believe Obama has the makings of learning, frankly, what worries me, is that when he will be tested, he will not have the stamina.  

    Parent
    which Clinton backers do you (none / 0) (#211)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:27:49 AM EST
    think will jump on the Obama bandwagon should what you're saying occur?  He has completely alienated the most popular living democratic president by basically calling him a sham.

    Parent
    not true (none / 0) (#79)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:03:40 AM EST
    she said it in last night's debate.  She touted her working with a GOP Senator on one of her bills.

    Parent
    Ah well (none / 0) (#85)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:07:28 AM EST
    She must be a triangulating sellout.

    DLC and all that. Isn't that how it works?

    Unity Obama =Good and pure.

    Working with particular Republicans who agree with you by Hillary = Evil Trinagulation.

    Parent

    No. And I didn't say that. (none / 0) (#102)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:19:36 AM EST
    She must be a triangulating sellout.

    No.  And I didn't say that.

    DLC and all that. Isn't that how it works?

    No.  And I didn't say that.

    Unity Obama =Good and pure.

    No.  And I didn't say that.

    Working with particular Republicans who agree with you by Hillary = Evil Trinagulation.

    No.  And I didn't say that.

    Why are you so snarky towards me.  Have you ever heard me say a single negative word about Clinton?

    I'm trying to have a civil discussion.

    Parent

    I have heard it very often (none / 0) (#137)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:36:40 AM EST
    I do not think my snark was directed at your comment per se, but to a more generalized approach that is prevalent.

    Or do you pretend it does not exist?

    Parent

    I loved (none / 0) (#23)
    by BernieO on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:27:18 AM EST
    the "high broderism" crack! It was spot on. Discussions of health care rarely make me laugh so thanks.

    Corrente, TalkLeft and Krugman have been lonely in (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:33:25 AM EST
    MYDD has been pretty good

    I've never been able to fully grasp Obama's ideas (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:38:18 AM EST
    I dont know, it seems to me he has dog whistled in enough ways to send some pretty clear signals.
    starting with Donnie McKlurkin but not ending there.
    LIEberman WAS his mentor.  
    if he ever did become president the space under the bus would become very crowed.

    Ah (none / 0) (#52)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:41:41 AM EST
    Re:  "But the question is do they really believe a President Obama will be able to wave a magic wand and make the Republicans play nice?"

    there are no magic wands.  what i think some of those who support OB may be thinking is that with HRC it's almost a given that the GOP will not play nice.  All the old will be new again.  A different angle to investigate and rail on through pundit tv.  

    But, with OB, perhaps it won't be quite like that.  Sure, it'll be nasty at times.  Politics and the WH usually are.  But, thus far, we've got some drug use in his youth (which could prove interesting no doubt) and a client of the law firm he worked for being less than savory (whatever).  Both seems pretty trivial to me (and apparently a lot of other folks).  So maybe, just maybe, with OB in the WH, a less baggage moving (back) in, moderate Republicans will find themselves able to break to the Left rather than moderate Democrats breaking to the Right.

    Perhaps that's part of the politics of change.  A change of names on the cards at the table so that it's not like the family reunion at thankgiving when all the old issues resurface to cloud what otherwise could be a happy time.

    Perhaps it won't be like that? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:44:21 AM EST
    Oy.

    Parent
    No doubt (none / 0) (#77)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:02:32 AM EST
    It's the future so no one knows.  But, given how things have played out this year, I'm betting my thoughts on what might happen if HRC and BC move back into the WH unfortunately are likely to come to pass.  Sucks, but I don't run any media outlet nor do I understand what makes the vast majority of my fellow countrymen and women tick.  

    Parent
    To me (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:05:36 AM EST
    Obama's problems do not relate to Hillary Clinton and, in fact, I worry greatly that once Obama is NOT running against Clinton his Media love will fade.

    I think you need to start thinking about Obama NOT as compared to Clinton.

    Can you, as a progressive, hold his feet to the fire? The evidence is that progressives, especially blogs, have not been able to.

    It worries me.

    Parent

    What I want (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    is Gitmo closed.  Troops out of Iraq.  Habeas restored.  A change in US foreign policy towards almost every region in the world.  A return to what I believe are American values in dealing with other people and nations.  Immigration and healthcare legislation passed that actually fixes some (if I have my wish list all) of the problems.  Sensible fiscal policies.  An end to recreational drug prohibition and and end to the American prison system as we know it.  I'm sure there is more, but that's just off the top of me head.

    If he can't give me at least some of that (we're fooling ourselves if we think we'll get everything we want -- it is politics after all), a pox on those who prevent it.  If it's him, so be it.  I don't care.  I expect and demand that if a Democrat gets elected to the WH, and Democrats control the House and the Senate that THINGS CHANGE.  If that can't happen, Thomas Jefferson's adage about each generation needing its own revolution will have germinated crystal clear for me.

    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#135)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:35:20 AM EST
    the first set will happen when Bush leaves.

    The second likely will not THOSE are the issues that will require fighting.

    Parent

    I admire your certainty (none / 0) (#142)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:41:31 AM EST
    on this and many other things, but I don't believe the first set is a done deal.  And that opinion does not change depending on which of the 3 front runners becomes the next Unitary Executive.  Congress is leaving a lot of power on the table.  "tis human (and very political) nature to exploit (fully) that which you have.

    Parent
    To build a working coalition (none / 0) (#61)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:46:11 AM EST
    will likely require some serious "mano a mano."  To postulate that Obama has no sense of this is to declare, yet again, that he is simply too naive to be a real progressive.

    Why would anyone believe at this late date that Obama is naive? That he is learning all the time, and effectively putting new knowledge to use, seems undeniable. How else could he be where he is today?

    Also, why continue to speak of the Dem Party as one monolithic block? The fact that Obama  has so much support from both the right and the left of his own party shows he has already begun building this working coalition.

    Why? (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:47:30 AM EST
    Because I have watched what he says for 3 years.

    I believe my eyes and ears.

    Parent

    So how to explain his (none / 0) (#70)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:51:18 AM EST
    accomplishments? Luck?

    Parent
    His personal accomplishments (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by andgarden on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:01:48 AM EST
    do not transfer to the Democratic party, or Democratic goals, by the shear will of "change."

    Parent
    Ahhh (none / 0) (#74)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:55:09 AM EST
    His accomplishments.

    His POLITICAL accomplishments are nonexistent. Unless winning elections is what you mean.

    But frankly, no DEMOCRAT in Washington has accomplished anything for the last 7 years. So that is not fair.

    What we are talking about is our views of whether his approach CAN accomplish something should he become President?

    Parent

    Unless you are against transparency in Govt. (none / 0) (#184)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:06:26 AM EST
    The FFAT Act of 2006 is a politcal accomplishment.  Say you want to compare the earmarks discussed last night? Now you can

    Lots of Democrats have had accomplishments in the last 7 years, major policy changes no.  But even with a Republican majority, Bush wasn't able to effect much... NCLB, a temporary tax cut, and a botched war.

    Parent

    it would be great to see Clinton become John Edwa (none / 0) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 08:53:28 AM EST
    it would be even better to see Edwards become John Edwards and endorse her

    Frankly I think he's out to Reagan the Republicans (none / 0) (#90)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:10:36 AM EST
    I'm an older guy and I remember when Ronald Reagan swept into the White House so many years ago.  I also recall some key democrats getting upset in the Senate...people like Senator Magnusson of Washington State.  I recall the fear in the minds of Democrats.  What ultimately happened?  The Democrats resisted and Ronnie went to the public and the public responded with pressure. This is essentially Barack's game plan.  The economic and social turmoil created by the Iraq War and Bush's profligate use of tax cuts, and huge deficit spending creates an opportunity to rile up the public and put pressure on Washington DC.  

    To do this, you can't simply throw bombs at people who voted GOP, and you can't simply rely on playing to your own base.  What you have to do is create a movement one that will scare the elected.  

    Is this naive?  I for one don't think so.  It is a matter of execution.  So far the first plank has been done, that is getting new voters and independents excited about the candidate.  The second plank is securing the nomination and exciting the base about the possibilities.  

    I think that is what Barack Obama is trying to do.  So far I think he's been pretty successful.  He's gotten the young people to stick around and ante up...

    By the way this is my first post in here.  I've been lurking for a long time.

    You are forgetting (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by kmblue on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:15:26 AM EST
    that Reagan did not "unity" his way into the White House (yes, I was around then).
    He got down and dirty and fought his way into the White House.
    He fought for the GOP, and won.  Two terms.

    Parent
    Your memory fails you (none / 0) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:14:50 AM EST
    Ronald Reagan ran hard, nasty and partisan against Democrats in 1980 and insisted that the problem was not just Jimmy Carter, but ALL Democrats and Democratic ideas and governance.

    He did not argue for unity. He argued for REPUBLICANISM.

    And in 1980, Reagan had coattails and he swept many Republicans into the Congress with him, including enough to take the Senate.

    Of course, Republicans suffered electoral losses in 1982 and 1986 so that in 1988, things were sort of back where they were

    But for 8 years, Reagan governed as a conservative Republican and changed the political discourse in this country.

    Obama resembles Reagan in nothing.

    Parent

    Obama has attacked McCain plenty (none / 0) (#189)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    I'm not sure what you mean to imply here, but I certainly think that Obama has gone after McCain, and gone after the Bush/McCain platform.

    He may not attack Republicans generically very much, but I think there is an obvious electoral reason not too: for the first time in a long time, a reasonable number of Republicans are fed up with their own party. But because people tend to vote based on identity as much as anything, attacking Republicans is just going to push those people towards McCain. If Obama is really aiming high, he needs to create a class of Obama Republicans -- people who self-identify as Republicans or Independents, but reliably vote for Democrats.

    Now, you may disagree with this strategy, and think it will either not work or is naive or whatever. But clearly Obama does have a reason for this particular tactic.

    Parent

    This whole discussion ignores (none / 0) (#100)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:19:02 AM EST
    foreign policy.  Obama represents a far sharper contrast to the Republicans there.  He is bolder, more aggressive, and sure of his foreign policy vision than Hillary is.  On Iraq, meeting with foreign leaders, opening travel and remittances to Cuba, going after  Al Qaeda in Pakistan: Barack has repeatedly taken risky positions that Hillary has shied away from.  And it is hard to avoid the impression that Hillary's instincts on foreign policy are guided by domestic political concerns rather than a clear vision of what America's role in the world should be.  

    On foreign policy, Obama represents bolder change and there's nothing the Republicans can do about it.

     

    You really think so? Foreign policy is (none / 0) (#110)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:20:46 AM EST
    where I see no significant difference between Hillary and Obama, although I regard Obama as marginally more hawkish.
    Domestic policy is where the key differences lie.

    Parent
    Are you kidding? (none / 0) (#115)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:24:01 AM EST
    The single most significant policy difference between them is that TO THIS DAY Hillary asserts that authorizing the Iraq war was the correct decision based on what she knew at the time.  In other words, she has no objection in principle to invading sovereign nations, against the wishes of the international community, to address highly attenuated and speculative "threats" to US interests.  

    Parent
    Obama has no objection to invading (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by MarkL on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:26:56 AM EST
    sovereign nations against the wishes of the international community either.
    What is your point?
    Obama has also threated to bomb Iran.

    Parent
    That is certainly a false characterization (none / 0) (#128)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:30:45 AM EST
    She says Bush should NOT have invaded Iraq.

    But the rest of your post is very interesting. You write:

    In other words, she has no objection in principle to invading sovereign nations, against the wishes of the international community, to address . . . "threats" to US interests.

    I left out your "highly attenuated and speculative" characterizations because of course you know you are falsely characterizing Clinton's position. As I state it, do you think Obama disagrees?

    The good judgment Obama demonstrated in 2002 was not based on being against wars that might upset the international community, it was based on the fats that the Iraq War was DAMAGING to US interests.

    He is no "give peace a chance" pacifist. He rightly judged that the IRaq War was a huge blunder.

    That is a judgment, not a philosophy. If he believed that Saddam Hussein was going to give nuclear weapons to Al Qaida, I am confident he would have supported military action. He rightly judged that that was incredibly unlikely and that the consequences of this blunder would be disastrous to this country.

    As Obama himself says it, the Iraq issue demonstrates his better judgment, not that he has a large difference on foreign policy principles with Clinton.    

    Parent

    How is this falsely characterizing (none / 0) (#134)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:35:16 AM EST
    Clinton's position?  In 2002 Obama said he opposed the Iraq war because:

    But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors...and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

    It was undisputed (or at least undisputable) at the time that Saddam posed no imminent or direct threat.  The arguument was that there was a long-term threat that his presumed WMD's might fall into the wrong hands, and that, given that he was a terrible dictator and overthrowing him would be easy, the war was worth waging all things considered.  

    Parent

    That is Obama's position (none / 0) (#154)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:48:41 AM EST
    one I shared with him at the time.

    But that was NOT Clinton's perspective. You have falsely characterize her views and it is either from ignorance or malice. And indeed if you QUOTE HER SPEECH from 2002, you would know that you are falsely characterizing her view.

    In addition, she has explained her position repeatedly in the debates.

    Look, the record is sufficiently favorable to highlighting Obama's superior JUDGMENT on Iraq that you have no need to falsify Clinton's.

    You must stop it now. At least at THIS SITE.

    Parent

    Taking aside his oposition to Iraq (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:22:37 AM EST
    in 2002, in what way is Obama "is bolder, more aggressive, and sure of his foreign policy vision than Hillary is."

    You write:

    On Iraq, meeting with foreign leaders, opening travel and remittances to Cuba, going after  Al Qaeda in Pakistan: Barack has repeatedly taken risky positions that Hillary has shied away from.

    On Iraq NOW, they are the same.

    On opening travel and remittances to Cuba, I do not see that Obama is bolder at all. Did you hear his answer last night?

    On going after Al Qaida in Pakistan, a position I vehemently defended Obama about, his position is the GOP position, and indeed the bipartisan position. The tumult about it was much ado about nothing.

    I deny your arguments and submit there is no substance to them.  

    Parent

    The issue with Iraq (none / 0) (#122)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:27:44 AM EST
    isn't just how we get out of the mess we should never have got ourselves into.  The issue is what principles guide the decision as to whether to go to war.  The fact that Hillary voted to authorize the Iraq war shows that she has no objection in principle to unilaterally invading sovereign nations without the agreement of the international community based on perceived threats that even at the time could not be seen as anything but speculative and attenuated.  

    Parent
    See my comment in response to yours below (none / 0) (#129)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:31:58 AM EST
    I believe you completely misunderstand Obama on this. I think that if Obama DID believe what you say, it would worry me greatly.

    Parent
    It would worry you (none / 0) (#145)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:43:17 AM EST
    If Obama believed we shouldn't invade sovereign nations without international approval when there no imminent and direct threat to US security?

    Parent
    No (none / 0) (#149)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:45:10 AM EST
    It would worry me if he did not WHEN he believed trhere was an imminent threat to us.

    you are positing that that is his philosophy. I am defending Obama from your false characterizations.

    Parent

    I am positing (none / 0) (#164)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:52:44 AM EST
    that Obama's philosophy is that we MAY invade without international approval when there IS an imminent THREAT but we SHOULD NOT when there IS NOT an imminent threat.  

    Based on Hillary's vote to authorize the Iraq war and continuing defense of that vote, either that is NOT her philosophy or she has appalling ability to judge threats.  Even a complete idiot could see prior to the Iraq war that any threat to US security was not imminent.

    Parent

    Appalling ability to judge threats (none / 0) (#175)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:59:46 AM EST
    is the right answer.

    and if you had saids that originally, we could have avoided this long pointless discussion.

    Parent

    I disagree (none / 0) (#183)
    by AF on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:05:56 AM EST
    I see it not as a simple matter of judgment but also of principle, which of course are intertwined in foreign policy.  Hillary's floor speech is subtle and nuanced, but there is no clear statement that Iraq represents an imminent threat to US security or that in the absence of such a threat we should not invade without international approval.  But I will leave it at that.  

    Parent
    Cuba (none / 0) (#193)
    by tsackton on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:14:54 AM EST
    Last night Obama said he would open up travel and remittances for family members. Clinton would not. That seems pretty cut and dried to me.

    Parent
    No my memory doesn't fail me your frame fails (none / 0) (#106)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:20:18 AM EST
    Ronald Reagan ran toward the Reagan democrats.  He cut away at part of the democratic coalition by speaking to them almost directly.  Reagan argued for change in vague optimistic language.  Barack's strategy is the same strategy designed to carve out a different part of the GOP coalition.  Independents and moderate republicans.  As for the proposals that Obama is making they are red meat democratic proposals, pretty much the same proposals that Clinton is pushing.

    It's the same roadmap created for a new polity and fashioned by a democrat.  

    My "frame" fails? (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:24:44 AM EST
    Lakoff in the house!!!

    Reagan took "Reagan Democrats" by what tactic do you think? By demonizing parts of the Democratic base, especially African-Americans.

    Reagans wins were of the paranoid style variety but he argued substantively for REPUBLICANS and Republcian idea.

    Yes your memory utterly fails you, imo of course.

    Parent

    This (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by tek on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:32:30 AM EST
    reminds me of an article I saw yesterday that Obama is doing better because he's read George Lakoff, i.e., his "framing" is better. How sad that our elections have come down to how well a candidate can manipulate information and use PR to, dare I say it? BAMBOOZLE people. That's what Obama is doing.

    Parent
    And he delivered it. (none / 0) (#136)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:35:54 AM EST
    well, yeah
    I just meant it not the change most democrats thought they were voting for.

    Why are you taking it so personally? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:39:21 AM EST
    I believe your example are symptomatic of a search for a belief that is not supported by the evidence.

    I found your examples to be ludicrously inapt.

    I must say you are certainly one who looks to be offended.

    Is that the "party line" in your circle?

    Actually it was change that did happen (none / 0) (#140)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:40:38 AM EST
    It happened.  He drove down tax rates, it shoved racial minorities to the back corner, these were the type of things the Reagan Democrats wanted.  What Reagan did was speak to a particular segment of the democratic coalition and it worked.  Obama is speaking to the remaining part of the Republican coalition that is worried about Bush Republicanism.  They exist, they may not be a huge number but they are in significant numbers to fashion a durable coalition until such time the rest of the Republican party steps back from the brink.

    It's a masterful strategy

    No Democrats wanted that (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:43:39 AM EST
    Southern "Democrats" were Republicans.

    Phil Gramm, Trent Lott, Strom Thurmond, etc.

    And you really ignore the fact that Obama does NOT champion Democrats and Democrstic values and issues.

    You say he is speaking to disillusioned Republicans. Perhaps, but he is NOT selling them Democratic ideas.

    Reagan sold Republicanism. Obama does not sell Democratic ideas.

    Parent

    Nice theory, (none / 0) (#158)
    by kmblue on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:50:14 AM EST
    but my theoryis that at the same time, Obama is alienating Democrats he might want to support him in the General Election.

    So there you go.

    Parent

    most democrats thought they were voting for (none / 0) (#150)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:45:20 AM EST
    I can speak to this with some authority having been one of those democrats.
    1980 was the first election I voted in and to my everlasting shame I voted for Reagan.
    it taught me a valuable lesson though.  a lesson I suspect many may learn this cycle.


    Lakoff? (none / 0) (#151)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:45:24 AM EST
    I don't even know who Lakoff is.  At the time Reagan came to power I was the head of a campus chapter of the ACLU.  I saw what Reagan was doing.  I knew what Reagan was doing and spoke out against it.

    When I say your frame is wrong I was talking about that you were missing what I was talking about.  To suggest that Barack Obama isn't pitching democratic party ideas is strange.  He is.  Just as Reagan was pushing Republican ideas.  What they both did was make the ideas not so scary to segments of the other side who are disgruntled.  

    Let me put it this way.  If I were someone who voted for Bush and all the other side was offering was ridicule "re: rethug" and abuse...why in the world would I join that coalition...even though there were saying things that I agree with?  

    Off course he's selling them democratic ideas (none / 0) (#157)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:49:19 AM EST
    For example, the notion of getting out of Iraq is an idea pushed by the democratic party.  The idea of transparency of government is a democratic idea, the notion of a chief executive with limited constitutional powers are democratic ideas, infrastructure investment is a democratic idea, pro choice positions are democratic ideas, to say that Barack is not advocating democratic ideas is folly.  More to the point, he's rejecting the idea that being a democrat means that you hate this country.  He's pulling the themes back from the Republican propagandists...  Again masterfully.  He's making people exciting about government again, a decidedly democratic notion.

    Again masterfully...

    You are not listening, Rigelian, so (none / 0) (#163)
    by kmblue on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:51:31 AM EST
    good luck with that.

    Parent
    Perhaps you're the one not listening (none / 0) (#172)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:58:42 AM EST
    I happen to agree that OB is pushing Democratic ideas.  I'm not hearing 100 years.  I'm not hearing no expansion of children's health care.  I'm not hearing, no universal health care.  I'm not hearing, let's torture til the cows come home.  I'm not hearing bus them all back to where they came from.  I'm not hearing a lot of things I hear from McCain's side of things.  So, if we've got a 2 party system and OB is not pushing the Right side of life, what is OB pushing . . .

    Parent
    Outside of Iraq and transparency (none / 0) (#165)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:53:46 AM EST
    Obama is selling none of that. None of it.

    Parent
    why in the world would I join that coalition (none / 0) (#159)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:50:26 AM EST
    because, IMHO of course, by November, if Obama is the nominee he will have a very very different image than the one he has now.

    You're starting to see the themes of What (none / 0) (#167)
    by Rigelian on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:55:44 AM EST
    Obama will be.  Look how he's framing his attacks on McCain.  That is what you're going to be seeing.  McCain represents the policies of the past (George W. Bush), McCain is part of the problem of the ways of Washington, McCain wants us stuck in Iraq for 100 years while we bankrupt our country.  I see what he's going to do.  

    I had doubts about Obama's toughness in the beginning.  But those doubts faded soon after he announced when John Howard, took a shot at him and got zinged.  He knows how to counter-punch.  Kerry didn't, Gore didn't.  Senator Clinton does.  It's why I think we have two good candidates.  I think Obama's strategy works better though.

    Parent

    Change Is Only Going To Come (none / 0) (#166)
    by bob h on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:55:14 AM EST
    from bigger Democratic majorities in the Congress, particularly the Senate.  Perhaps we should invest some of the energy we are now dissipating on the primaries on the Congressional races, helping the Democrats to larger majorities.

    "Change" requires 60 Senate votes (none / 0) (#196)
    by mike in dc on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:17:20 AM EST
    ...and we will gain seats there, but we won't have 60.  Anyone want to explain to me how we're going to pass legislation without ANY Republican votes there, when they have no problem using the filibuster 100 times or more in a two year period?

    You can fight and fight and fight, but if you don't have the votes, you're not going to win.

    But if you have a popular president pushing a popular agenda, and you reach out to a few GOPers like Snowe or Specter on a few major bills, you'll get that agenda passed.  If the Republicans believe they will pay no penalty for opposing you, they will always do so.

    So, to me, it really boils down to who, first of all, will have a better down ticket effect for us in the Senate races(in order to reduce the number of Republicans we need to "woo"), and who will do a better job of selling the policy to the American people and persuading a handful of Republicans to get on board.  

    If we have 56 or more seats in the Senate(not counting Lieberman), it's not that hard to get 2 to 4 moderate Republican senators from blue states to get on board, particularly in early 2009 when they may be shell-shocked and disorganized.

    It's all about "what's the best strategy to break the filibuster problem?" to me.  I think maxing out the number of seats gained, and having the best possible "salesperson for change" in office is the way to go.  

    Of course we need Republican votes (none / 0) (#213)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:31:33 AM EST
    So Obama's agenda would be popular but Clinton's would not be? Obama, if he were elected, would start out popular, but Clinton, if she were elected, would not?

    I think you have a very narrow view of what it means to fight for one's agenda. You seem to believe that if elected, Clinton will appear on the Senate floor and start throwing mud pies at moderate Republicans.

    I understand the downticket strategy, but fail to understand why people think that Independents and Republicans who might vote for Obama will necessarily vote for Dems down ticket.  That seems far from certain.

    Parent

    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#222)
    by po on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:49:30 AM EST
    Change could take place if the current Democratic leadership in the Senate would simply stop bringing bad bills to the floor for a vote.  Not enacting bad law would be a welcomed change, wouldn't it?

    Parent
    we'll be watching pres. mccain take the oath (none / 0) (#201)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:22:10 AM EST
    I said something to this effect before, possibly a bit to acerbically and I think it was deleted.
    fair enough. I will try again.
    if, god forbid, that happens maybe it will, at least, bring us back to our senses for 2012.
    hope springs eternal.

    may I also just say (none / 0) (#206)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:24:12 AM EST
    that if Obama should win and Hillary becomes Majority Leader I think it would be pretty cool to have an African American and two women leading the country.
    that alone should send the Limpbaugh listeners over the edge.

    The thread is now closed. (none / 0) (#221)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:49:05 AM EST


    You've always had this wrong (none / 0) (#224)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 12:46:27 PM EST
    The coalition isn't with Republicans in Washington - it's a grassroots coalition of people who want something done to remedy a particular problem, like no health insurance. He means to swarm them - to organize a community of citizens to storm the citadel with their torches and pitchforks. I didn't see it for a long time either, but now I do, and I have no doubts he's going to make a great president.

    The race and geographical points - they've always been used to distract Americans from class consciousness. Something big is going to be awakened if that stops happening. I would add religion to the list of things that have been used to divide, but he's not going to go there explicitly, but I think he'll use that as well, through its historical connections with social justice.

    It's not Broderism at all. You've got it wrong. It's community organization and mobilization to reach a goal that he's got in mind.