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.