June 20, 2008


Given this --

-- they really should have called this group COUGAR -- Clinton Orbiters United to Gratuitously Attach to Republicans.

March 20, 2008

A McCain-Clinton ticket?

Diabolical, shudder-inducing thought of the day: If John McCain really wants to be president, once Hillary is finally eliminated from the Dem race, he should offer Clinton his VP slot.

From a general-election standpoint, this would virtually guarantee McCain a win. Sure, it would further depress GOP base turnout -- but it would entirely negate Obama's bipartisan/independent/bring-the-country-together-schtick appeal, would peel off most "Reagan Democrats" from Obama, and would induce a fatal swoon in the media to coronate McCain as the Ultimate Straight-Shootin'est Mavericky Independent of All Time. And the race thing? Fatal. Combine all that with the general populations familiarity and comfort with McCain and Clinton (in increasingly troubled times, low-info voters go with the familiar over the risky), the general election wouldn't be a Reagan-Mondale blowout, but it'd would be a rock-solid 56%-44% (now that I look the numbers up, Reagan:Mondale::58.8%:40.4%; that's ballpark) with a Reagan-Mondale Electoral College blowout.

Furthermore, beyond the bipartisan appeal, Clinton and McCain complement one another in ways that any other GOP candidate wouldn't with McCain. Clinton and McCain also respect and like each other as colleagues and individuals. And there's about a centimeter separating them on foreign policy.

Clinton's been laying enough tile in McCain's kitchen (and echoing McCain's criticisms of Obama, and vice versa) that she could entirely credibly accept McCain's offer. And yes, I've phrased that in such a way as to imply that maybe there's been some sort of intent behind her nice-making with McCain; it wouldn't surprise me in the least if there had been exploratory discussions between the two camps.

And while a certain segment of the GOP base would see such a move as a betrayal, I think McCain could successfully pivot this off of the aborted Kerry-McCain-ticket talks in '04 as McCain turning the tables and "topping"/co-opting the Dems.

As for governance ... yes, a McCain-Clinton administration would be an unmitigated disaster -- the absolute worst aspects of Bush-Cheney, but taken to even more ridiculous extremes.

Clinton would surely think that she could Cheney her way into power (which is the biggest reason I think she'd actually accept the offer); while McCain surely thinks he could control her. It would be Bush's militarism, secrecy, and dim-witted ignorance plus Bill Clinton's triangulation/DLC centrism, paternalism, unmanaged staff infighting, and lack of focus married to overly broad ambitions.

But I really don't see a realistic scenario where a McCain-Clinton ticket would lose to Obama-anyone.

March 12, 2008

Is she a monster, or a mummy?

Huh. Well, this:

On Friday, one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors, Samantha Power, resigned after calling Senator Clinton "a monster" during an off-the-record exchange. It was an unfortunate slip, but one that echoed the sentiments of many Clinton apologists like me -- who've watched Hillary's descent into pettiness and fear-mongering with the heartbreak of a child who grows up to realize that his beloved mother has been a terrible person all along.

... would certainly explain this.

March 05, 2008

God to Candidate Huckabee:

In His Almighty Wisdom, the Lord Our God and Savior has declared Mike Huckabee Unworthy of being the President of the United States at this Time. No one knows better than former candidate Huckabee that his failing in the presidential race was indeed "inevitable" in the eyes of Divine Providence. "Providence," as Mark Twain wrote, "don't fire no blank cartridges."

(A side note: I hope that the spelling of the word "heckuva" in the linked news story was cribbed from a Huckabee campaign missive, rather than being a CNN reporter's choice. If not, I feel it should be general policy to depict the candidates' speech in dialect writing.)

February 28, 2008

Wow. Fuck YOU, Matt Gonzalez.

Erstwhile crunchy-left darling Matt Gonzalez will run as Nader's VP candidate. Confirmed by the SF Chron.

Matt just flushed his SF political career down the toilet.

February 14, 2008

This signals the "real" historical end of the Bush Presidency

Fourth mass school shooting in a week?

If the ("real" historical) paranoiacs are taking up arms, we must be under a Democratic reign.

February 13, 2008

February 10, 2008

Oh. My. God.

So, I'm merrily whiling away the day between risings of bread, checking for updates at TPM of Obama's weekend-long explosion and McCain's weekend-long implosion -- especially as regards the WA State GOP shenanigans in declaring the WA GOP caucus for McCain ... with a 1.8% lead and only 87% of precincts counted.

Ennyhoo, reading TPM's item about that last detail, and WA GOP Chair/Cornfed Idiot Luke Esser's role in the decision, Josh Marshall helpfully directs us to the WA GOP's homepage.

Yes, right there at the top is the estimable Mr. Esser. Uh-huh. Well, let's see what other fine folk heel the wards for the Grand Old Party in the Evergreen State ... scrolling down ... scrolling down -- um.

Dear reader, please visit that page, and scroll down to take a gander at Jeff Kent.

Why does that picture make me think of this?

I know, I know, I've let my license to operate a perv detector lapse in the Continental US. I shouldn't even think such thoughts.

But ... he was a member of the Young Republicans.

And he, um, is the, um, owner of, um ... um ... Interlube International, Inc.?

Not to get all FOX News about Hillary, but ...

As the argument went against Kerry in '04 -- and against the Dem candidates last year, in boycotting the FOX-sponsored debate -- "If they can't handle FOX News, how are they going to defend us against Al Qaeda?"

Likewise, if Hillary -- especially with her massive institutional advantage, huge initial funding advantage, and all of politicking to a friendly field of primary voters -- can't stomp Obama like a bug, how in the heck is she going to defend herself against the GOP-media attack machine in the fall?

One of the primary (if often, in the MSM, anyway, sub rosa) arguments in favor of Hillary as the Dem candidate is that she's the Machiavellian streetfighter, the candidate most willing to get her hands dirty (and/or delegate others to get their hands dirty on her behalf) in fighting fire with fire against the Rove machine.

And, to be sure, she, Bill, and their whole team have been more than willing to fight dirty in the primary cycle.

But it's not working.

Which means, potentially, two not-incompatible things: 1. That sort of shit doesn't work anymore (doubtful, but possible). 2. Team Clinton just isn't very good at doing it effectively.

February 04, 2008

January 31, 2008

Race Invaders

This analysis is exACTly the kind of thing we have come to expect from Danes like The Confidence Man.

As a born-and-bred jit, let me say that I'm sensitive to the Canadian invasion of the South. They're playing hockey in Raleigh, North Carolina, for Fred Douglass's sake!

And one final note for all you Uruguayans out there: If you can't stack a jury with foreigners in Texas, you can't do it anywhere.

Gone to Canaan

Apparently, "Canadian" is the new "nigger" in au courant American South/Appalachian Scotch-Irish heritage circles.

While the "real" Canadian experts interviewed by the National Post seem genuinely confoozalated by this novel (?) usage, anyone with an iota of knowledge of American history should be able to suss it out. What Peculiar Institution played a significant role in the economic and social history of the South? And what direction did certain folks have to go to escape the PI? And if you go far enough north from the South, where do you end up (especially if certain states in the American North weren't exactly hospitable to sub rosa immigration)?

Where, in fact, did many folks specifically seek to go?

Remember, these are the same crackers for whom "New Yorker" has a clear racial/cultural/religious connotation.

(Via Andrew Sullivan.)

January 28, 2008

"this election will be decided not by one family"

Yeeeeeeeesh. Now this is gall on a Rovean scale.

TPMElectionCentral has the Clinton campaign's talking points in response to Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama.

One of those talking points:

Regardless of which Kennedy supports which candidate, we are aware that ultimately this election will be decided not by one family but by the voters themselves.

Kee-riminy. I presume the irony -- and the gall -- in the Clintons' camp making this particular statement (and, yes, I have placed that apostrophe precisely where it belongs) is self-evident.

January 25, 2008

Clinton's FL & MI gambit: an opportunity for Obama

I have to say, Hillary Clinton's sleazy attempt to revalidate the Florida and Michigan Democratic Primary Delegates is a brilliant bit of electioneering:
- In what looks to remain a close race up until the convention, every delegate counts
- By taking this action, she once again puts Obama's team on the whining defensive (in terms of public/media perception)
- It also reinforces the optic that Obama isn't willing to fight (Josh Marshall's "bitchslap theory of politics," whereby Dems appear weak when they are attacked by the GOP and they respond not by directly fighting back, but by complaining about the unfairness of the attack)
- While Clinton is taking somewhat of a primary risk, and somewhat less of a general election risk, that she "turns off" people from her candidacy and the Dem ticket and voting in general, those risks, I think, are fairly small in that this is but one datum in a long primary campaign, and is (a) likely to be long forgotten, especially by November, and (b) not really likely to ultimately depress Dem turnout or drive many Dems from voting for her
- Even if this action does depress turnout or voting in the primaries, such turnout is likely to redound to Clinton's favor, as this amounts to a Rovean exploitation of the splitting of the (primary) electorate into a base (working-class white Dems) and an opposition; the opposition (college-educated and black Dems) is (a) unlikely to vote for Hillary anyway, and (b) likelier to be more "engaged" and informed, and therefore likelier to read enough about this action to in fact be turned off by the "dirty pool" aspect of it
- Finally, by defending the principle of re-enfranchisement of FL and MI Dem primary voters, she puts Obama in the position not only of "defending disenfranchisement," but of defending nitpicky/parsing/inside-baseball/ward-heeler/DNC old politics rules

The solution, and opportunity, here for Obama is obvious: he should magnanimously agree with Clinton, assert that, yes, every Democrat's vote should count -- and that he would welcome the seating and counting of the FL and MI delegates at the convention.

Ultimately, it seems, from some preliminary analysis, that FL and MI might not provide enough of a bump to put Hillary over the top, anyway -- especially if Edwards continues to hang in the race as a spoiler/kingmaker.

But aside from the delegate mechanics of conceding on principle, Obama would clearly and massively "win" the optics battle. It would reinforce his overall "new politics" messaging, it would solidify his support among those "turned off" by Hillary's move in the first place (including not only registered Dems, but also independents likely to vote in open Dem primaries and independents and registered Republiocans likely to vote in the general), and it would nullify his current problematic weak/whining positioning.

January 23, 2008

Shut the fuck up, Bill

Contrary to the emerging consensus, I think that Bill Clinton, as a candidate's spouse and as a former POTUS and as a de facto Democratic Party figurehead, is entirely within his rights to speak out in defense of his wife's campaign, and to attack her opponents.

Politics, as the saying goes, ain't beanbag; and the Dems need to be ready and willing to engage in a lot of ugly, bareknuckled fighting to roll back the Rove-Bush-Cheney advances.

However ...

Where the hell has this red-faced, angry, combative Bill Clinton been for the last eight years?

Did Bill get angry and demand that wrongs be righted after the Florida miscount? After Bush v. Gore? After Bush, Cheney, and Rice blew off his concerns about terrorism for 8 months? After Bush's unpreparedness for, inadequate and incomplete response to, and unconscionable exploitation of 9/11? After the unfair media and GOP attacks on Al Gore, Howard Dean, and John Kerry? After Katrina? Plame? The US Attorneys? The "lost" emails? The countless other mistakes and malfeasances of the Bush administration?

Sorry, Bill -- by remaining silent in the face of so many grave catastrophes, you forfeited your right to attack Obama. You forfeited your right to be taken seriously as someone concerned about defending the principles of the Democratic Party -- or of the Constitution, for that matter. You, more than anyone on the entire planet (with perhaps the exception of Colin Powell, who's beholden to neither the Democratic Party nor Hillary Clinton) acquiesced in the American disaster that is the Bush administration by your silence. By your lack of outrage. You could have spoken when it mattered. But you didn't.

And now, by speaking out against Obama, you implicitly argue that he is a greater threat to the Republic and the Democratic Party than anything or anyone over the last 8 years.

So shut the fuck up, Bill.