Democratic Party Candidates for POTUS

Manwë was known for many things, but wisdom and power are two that lead the rest of his attributes. Join the Councils and discuss the more weighty matters of Tolkien Fandom.

Who do you think will be/wish would be the Democratic Party's Nominee for President?

Sen. Joseph Biden
0
No votes
Sen. Hillary Clinton
4
10%
Sen. Chris Dodd
0
No votes
John Edwards
5
12%
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
4
10%
Sen. Barack Obama
25
60%
Gov. Bill Richardson
2
5%
Someone Else
2
5%
 
Total votes : 42

Postby JudyA » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:14 am

Amen to that, Vison! Voting is compulsory over here, so I find the American system really weird in that respect. I also reckon that if you don't vote you can't complain about who wins and what they do to your country (unless you voted for the other guy/girl)!!

PS to Basil: My view about the Australians leaving Iraq is that it's about time. We only signed up to the whole thing because of "reliable" intelligence about WMD that turned out to be a load of bunkum. Saddam was a tyrant, no doubt about it, but we went into the country without the blessing of the UN and for reasons that proved to be false.. Have no idea how the US is going to extricate itself, but that was part of the problem of going in the first place...


It's interesting that the polls should show that the Obama-Edwards ticket is the strongest. I've thought that myself for some time.
I don't see how Obama can really make Clinton his VP - she's said so many negative and unhelpful things about him that McCain would have a field day if she ended up on the ticket. She's scuppered her own chances there, I would have thought.
It's a shame - I was quite keen on the idea of her being the first woman in the WH but as time went on and her situation grew worse she began to sound more and more like a harpy. Bad advice, I reckon, but I would say the damage is done.
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Postby Democritus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:44 am

Once again Hillary had a chance to be classy and once again she backed off from being it with a series of low-class stunts like claiming she won the popular vote (only when filtered through her special form of maths) and asking her supporters to write to her website to write their views on the prospect of her continued candidacy (some of the more fleck spittled anti-Obama replies will no doubt appear in the MSM).

Once again her speech was all about her and I'm not surprised that Obama was a little subdued in the early part of his speech as he no doubt reflected on the import of her continuing narcissim. A shame as it detracted from his moment a little.
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Postby crispycreme » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:13 am

I thought Obama's speech was fantastic. He didn't seem subdued so much as awed by the import of the moment. He looked properly humbled, yet confident. Contrast him to the sickly, pasty McCain (what idiot decided to have him make a speech right before Obama? Good lord he looked terrible!). Obama stood on the very dais where the Republicans will meet later this summer and let it be known that was *his* house. In front of 20,000 raucus people. Incredible craftsmanship, imo. And an emphatic poke in the eye to the GOP. Obama is ready to fight.
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Postby rwhen » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:15 am

Mith, I have to disagree with you a bit. Politics has always been fueled with bitter devotion to candidates, heck back in the 18th century people mobbed down the streets with clubs and torches. Rhetoric has always been heated in any campaign that I have seen in the past 40 years. It isn't something that I particularly like to see as you called it "watching people tearing each other to shreds like mad dogs".

I may be in the minority here but the energy that has brought so many people out to vote in this primary was a good thing. Democrats have been too lazy in past elections, too passive and apathetic. For me this is actually a very exciting time to be alive.

Regarding Clinton. Honestly I don't have words to describe what she is doing or why, it is just something that you don't do. You give your opponent the time to enjoy the victory. Fight like hell to win, but when you have been beaten, be genuously gracious and accord the accolades that are due your worthy opponent. I can only imagine that her credibility will be damaged every day that she does not concede.
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Postby truehobbit » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:15 am

Mith wrote:and Nov. is such a very long ways away.


I was just thinking that the problem is that it's just around the corner... :?


I can't bear the idea of voting being compulsory, but that's because as soon as something is compulsory, I don't want to do it. I'd be kicking and screaming against being dragged to the polls, wereas right now I don't miss an election or vote if I can help it at all, even if I only go to hand in an invalid poll, because there's no acceptable option.

But with the situation in the US, I've at last begun to understand why no one goes to vote there. People must be so tired of all the voting stuff by now that when the actual vote comes round, I find it quite understandable if no one has any interest left when they are asked to go through the whole thing again in a few months.

For the first time in a month or two the news over here is once more reporting on the Democratic mud-wrestle. It has been mentioned that Hillary dropped a hint that she'd accept running for vice-president (not sure if I caught that right, though) - but I think that would be suicide for Barak.
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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:18 am

Hillary's speech was infuriating, and I don't get infuriated very easily.

It's interesting that the polls should show that the Obama-Edwards ticket is the strongest.


I do not believe that polls can accurately capture what is the strongest ticket. An Obama-Edwards ticket is a very bad idea. Two youngish liberal Senators does not a winning ticket make. Clinton-Gore worked, IMO, because Clinton was an Arkansas governor (and hence, Washington outsider), and for consistency, he chose a fresh-faced Senator (against conventional wisdom) and that presented a clear message of change and revitalization, especially for the economy. Won by a landslide.

Obama, as a Senator, needs to choose a fresh-faced, yet competent outsider. My vote is for either Sebelius, or Wes Clark (who while not a pure outsider, is still not a Senator).

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Postby MithLuin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:08 am

Oh, I know that politics has always been a nasty, dishonest business. My opinion of politicians in general is rather low, which is a shame, because I'm sure many of them are decent, hard-working people who make an effort to improve the area where they live/work.

And I'm sure people have supported candidates like sports teams - very passionately - all the time. What I am concerned about now (which might not have been as much of an issue at some times in the past) is the current polarization in politics. Political analysts know exactly which demographics, where their candidates need to win....and we end up with this long term us-vs-them mentality, that is in the long build-up to the election and persists afterwards as well. I can understand not being a fan of the president (any president), but there is something happening now that worries me. I know it's happened in the past. The entire first half of the 19th century in America looked like this. That is what worries me.


I very much like democracy. Government by the people, for the people is a good idea. I think it is great that the US is not like China. I vote (and not haphazardly). I did not vote in the primaries because, as I said, I'm not a member of a political party, so I'm not allowed to. But I will vote in November. When I said we could do things differently, I was talking about tweaking the process, not getting rid of popular elections or altering human nature!

This is why it concerns me when close elections result in the loser inevitably claiming that the winner didn't really win. It calls into question the entire democratic process, and erodes its legitimacy. It is not a good thing if we think that some people somewhere are tweaking things to determine the election (though of course it would be worse if this is true). For democracy to work...we have to have an election system that means people's votes determine who wins. The system has to not only work, but also inspire a high degree of confidence.

Of course we could do things differently. People began campaigning for this election last year, in 2007...for an election that happens in Nov. 2008...for a president who will be installed in Jan. 2009. We could change that time frame, tighten it up, so that the bad blood generated during elections wouldn't have the chance to fester for quite so long. Consider this - no one believes that Clinton and Obama could work together as President and VP at this point in time. There has been too much nastiness for too long. Granted, I know this was an unusually close primary. But we certainly could change how some of it works!

Personally, I think the Electoral College is important precisely because it is a simple enough number of votes to count. But again, if people think it is not representative, we could change the winner-take-all nature of it. Possibly. Election reform is not a non-existent issue.
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Postby Iorlas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:22 am

Gandalf'sMother wrote:Obama, as a Senator, needs to choose a fresh-faced, yet competent outsider. My vote is for either Sebelius, or Wes Clark (who while not a pure outsider, is still not a Senator).


I wonder if Obama could carry Kansas with Sebelius on the ticket? After all, his mother's side of the family is from there too. Is she popular?
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Postby jadeval » Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:51 pm

I don't see why everyone is bagging on Hillary all the time. Don't you just want a little evil every now and then? Sometimes evil is better than good. I mean especially in politics. Evil is practically the best indicator of competence.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:16 pm

Iorlas wrote:I wonder if Obama could carry Kansas with Sebelius on the ticket? After all, his mother's side of the family is from there too. Is she popular?


Does this look like a Vice President of the United States of America?

:)

Image

Photo: AP/Charlie Riedel

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius rides in a combine driven by David Stothers in June as wheat is harvested on the Vance and Louise Ehmke farm near Healy, Kan.

It's up in the air, I think, but I don't believe Kansas will help much in electoral votes.

I'll post more in the veep thread.

BTW, if you wanna know, the wheat around Healy was heavily pummeled by hail last week. The prospects for a good harvest this year don't look too good.

http://www.topix.com/city/healy-ks

Oh here's a good forum topic, "Do you like to sniff farts?"
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Postby Lagniappe » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:27 pm

Regardless of whether of not you like the Clintons, if Obama does not find a way to bring the majority of Clinton supporters on board, he will likely lose this election.

My first choice would not be offering her the VP seat either, but he needs to offer her *something* her supporters consider of value, because if they feel disenfranchized and ignored, they may well vote for McCain or abstain, and that will lose the Dems the election.

Although, I am disgusted that some of her supporters would act like spoiled children (though,to be fair, I heard a lot of Obama supporters voicing the same stubborn refrain earlier on) Obama NEEDS those supporters in his camp.

THAT'S the bottom line folks. Obama supporters can learn to make nice with the Clinton faction, or they can sit back and watch McCain take the White House.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:38 pm

Lagniappe wrote:THAT'S the bottom line folks. Obama supporters can learn to make nice with the Clinton faction, or they can sit back and watch McCain take the White House.


No, there is already a good number of polling work published that shows various combinations of election match-ups with either Obama or Clinton beating McCain.

Obama has been for the past couple of weeks making overtures to the Clintonistas, especially during the RBC meeting last weekend, and there is evidence that the folk who support Clinton are shifting their support to Obama.

If the Obama Summer Campaign is anywhere close to half as good as it was during the primaries, ( and there's no good reason to doubt it would be ) McCain should be easy to beat, even without Hillary's active support.

....
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Postby The Watcher » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:46 pm

Lagniappe wrote:Regardless of whether of not you like the Clintons, if Obama does not find a way to bring the majority of Clinton supporters on board, he will likely lose this election.

My first choice would not be offering her the VP seat either, but he needs to offer her *something* her supporters consider of value, because if they feel disenfranchized and ignored, they may well vote for McCain or abstain, and that will lose the Dems the election.

Although, I am disgusted that some of her supporters would act like spoiled children (though,to be fair, I heard a lot of Obama supporters voicing the same stubborn refrain earlier on) Obama NEEDS those supporters in his camp.

THAT'S the bottom line folks. Obama supporters can learn to make nice with the Clinton faction, or they can sit back and watch McCain take the White House.


To be fair here, Lagniappe, I DO think the Obama camp realizes that they need to get the Clinton camp on board, but what is disappointing to so many of us not highly vested in any one camp or the other is how ungracious the Clinton camp has made themselves out to look. The signals Hillary sent out the last few days were disappointing, to say the least. Hey, I admire her ambition, drive, smarts and connections. Obama would be a fool to discard her as "gone." And we all know now Obama is not a fool.

I really think Hillary thought she had this all sewn up back last year, but, hey, stuff happens. I think it is what she and Bill do now that will make or break the Democratic Party's chances. She certainly can still do so much good if that is what she wants, even if she is not POTUS. Other political figures have made huge impacts on the American public's memory in very positive ways who were not necessarily presidents.

(And, in a way, I am glad that we saw Hillary showing that very carefully crafted public persona go through meltdown - we saw a side of her that I think many people were very much repelled by, and better to see it now than when she might have gotten into office. I for one want no more power hungry overly zealous types in the WH for awhile.)

In a nutshell, I really want both factions of the Democrats to reunite and come together to defeat McCain. The further his campaign continues, the more scary he becomes to me. If we thought what we saw already was bad, it is going to get even uglier.
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Postby Iorlas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:08 pm

Lagniappe wrote:Regardless of whether of not you like the Clintons, if Obama does not find a way to bring the majority of Clinton supporters on board, he will likely lose this election.


See, this is what riles me up. If Obama can't find a way? Excuse me, why is it that Obama must find a way to bring Clinton supporters on board, when it was Clinton who did the most to embitter them against him? I'm sorry, but it's Hillary's job to calm down her die-hards, not Obama's. Obama's job is to win the freaking general election! It is not his job to soothe Hillary's bruised ego and shattered sense of entitlement. It is not his job to appease her nutcase supporters who think he stole the election, and in any case, I doubt he could say anything that would appease them, so far from reality have they strayed.

Nevertheless, I fail to see how he can be any more magnaminous. He has plenty of reasons to be pissed off at Hillary; just yesterday, the RNC already started circulating quotes of Hillary questioning Obama's fitness to be president. And instead of graciously conceding the nomination, she has chosen to continue fighting for no good reason, and keep pushing this popular vote nonsense that gives her supporters more reason to feel cheated.

Is he supposed to be grateful? :roll: But what did he do in his speech last night? He spent the first five minutes praising Hillary up and down! What more do you want him to do?

I agree he should give her something, like a cabinet post, but that is his decision to make; it isn't any excuse for her to hold the party hostage while he decides. Who does she think she is? She needs to concede, like yesterday, and not contingent on any kind of deal from Obama. And SHE needs to tell her supporters to get over it and focus on beating McCain.
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Postby rwhen » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:39 pm

I have to agree with Iorlas here, Lagniappe. It is Clinton who will heal this division with the people who so avidly support her. They are only reacting to her wishes, not his. He was gracious and showed what sort of president he will be. She is not showing this to anyone right now and it is only fueling the already fury filled base of hers. She could end it all and spend the next five months campaigning on behalf of her party. I have said before and I say again, each day that she delays she loses credibility with her peers, forget about the base. If she would like to stay a senator for New York, she will have to listen to those advisors and everyone else who is urging her to do the "right thing".
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Postby Lagniappe » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:10 pm

If Obama can't find a way?


I did not say "can't"...I said "if he does not"... I suspect he will, as he has shown himself to be quite politically savvy.


Excuse me, why is it that Obama must find a way to bring Clinton supporters on board, when it was Clinton who did the most to embitter them against him ? I'm sorry, but it's Hillary's job to calm down her die-hards, not Obama's.


You spend all this time going on about what a heartless, soulless harpy Clinton is, but you are willing to bet the election on HER being the one to calm down her supporters? I suspect she will step up to the plate, but it seem to me Obama supporters (who apparently HATE Clinton) would be putting their faith in their own candidate to make an effort to bring them on board.

Obama's job is to win the freaking general election !


And you don't think that will be much easier to do if he reaches out to Clinton's supporters and own supporters are also willing to make an effort to bring the party together again?


It is not his job to soothe Hillary's bruised ego and shattered sense of entitlement.


Whether you think it is his JOB or not, offering her something she wants and appeasing her supporters will go a long way towards helping assure him of a victory. Can he take on McCain without Hillary's supporters? Maybe. But what he can't do is win if too many of Hillary's supporters abstain or vote for McCain...

I assume you do want him to win?

Is he supposed to be grateful ? But what did he do in his speech last night? He spent the first five minutes praising Hillary up and down! What more do you want him to do?


I said nothing about him being "grateful" and I clearly stated what I felt it would be in his best interests to do.

Frankly, your use of terms like "nutcase supporters" and "crazy supporters" and suggesting you would "question my sanity" do little to make Obama supports appear to be as magnanimous as their candidate. You don't think such sentiments are dangerous to party cohesiveness? Just because I am not willing to label Hillary Clinton an evil *&#^*! from hell, you feel justified in posting insulting personal comments?

And for the record, I am not a Clinton supporter per se.

Actually, my favorite candidate was eliminate fairly early on... but I would have been satisfied with any of the top three. I liked Edwards better than Clinton, and I have a great deal of respect for Obama. Each of the top three had unique qualities I considered strengths and things I considered weaknesses.

However, I also recall that the Clinton administration over saw a time of relative prosperity for most Americans. It is not as though they were an "evil" or "soulless" administration. They were, in fact, quite a popular administration within the democratic party and I think all this painting them as some EVIL regime bent on destroying the Democrats is a bit much to stomach.

Mostly, I blame the media which has decided to focus on trivial, mean spirited non-issues merely for the sake of stirring up negative passions in the people of this country.
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:11 pm

Iorlas wrote:
Gandalf'sMother wrote:Obama, as a Senator, needs to choose a fresh-faced, yet competent outsider. My vote is for either Sebelius, or Wes Clark (who while not a pure outsider, is still not a Senator).


I wonder if Obama could carry Kansas with Sebelius on the ticket? After all, his mother's side of the family is from there too. Is she popular?


I believe so, but Kansas is a long shot. Still, Sebelius' political attraction is that she's been able to win and hold such a red state with such a huge margin (she won re-election with something like 58% of the vote when Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1 in Kansas). She also has the advantage of being female, which might matter given the identity politics-based fight around the primaries.
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Postby The Watcher » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:31 pm

Iorlas and Lord_M -

I do not think Kathleen Sebelius is well known enough in the more populous parts of America to matter at all, I hate to say it, but Kansas is more or less a boondock state, so unless the DNP really plays her up, she would be a sort of a deadweight VP candidate. I am not saying I dislike her, far from it, She just does not have enough public recognition at this point to bring anything to the table.
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Postby Iorlas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:31 pm

Lagniappe wrote:You spend all this time going on about what a heartless, soulless harpy Clinton is, but you are willing to bet the election on HER being the one to calm down her supporters?


No, I agree that if anyone must extend the olive branch, it has to be Obama. I'm just mad about the injustice of it all.

Frankly, your use of terms like "nutcase supporters" and "crazy supporters" and suggesting you would "question my sanity" do little to make Obama supports appear to be as magnanimous as their candidate.


And it isn't MY job to be magnanimous.

You don't think such sentiments are dangerous to party cohesiveness? Just because I am not willing to label Hillary Clinton an evil *&#^*! from hell, you feel justified in posting insulting personal comments?


No, and I don't believe I have made any insulting personal comments towards you specifically.

However, I also recall that the Clinton administration over saw a time of relative prosperity for most Americans. It is not as though they were an "evil" or "soulless" administration. They were, in fact, quite a popular administration within the democratic party and I think all this painting them as some EVIL regime bent on destroying the Democrats is a bit much to stomach.


Clinton was not a great president by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly not a great defender of progressivism. "Relative prospertity", yes, but it was built on shaky foundations, and the bubble burst almost immediately after he left office. Most of his foreign policy ventures were failures, if not quite as expensive as Bush's, and he disgraced the office with his chronic and blatant infidelity. Under his watch (and only two years in), the Republicans took control of congress for the first time in decades. Even his great achievement of balancing the budget was imaginary when you consider his looting of the Social Security surplus to pay for it, and the Republican congress that was a constant barrier to new spending.

But sure, compared to the utter incompetence and criminality of Bush, the guy was a saint. And it's no wonder that many Democrats have fond memories of the Clinton years. The guy was charismatic, not to mention the only winning Democrat in 30 years. But none of that means his wife is entitled to the presidency.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:48 pm

The Watcher wrote:Iorlas and Lord_M -

I do not think Kathleen Sebelius is well known enough in the more populous parts of America to matter at all, I hate to say it, but Kansas is more or less a boondock state, so unless the DNP really plays her up, she would be a sort of a deadweight VP candidate. I am not saying I dislike her, far from it, She just does not have enough public recognition at this point to bring anything to the table.


You mean, "Fly Over", don't you? :)

But on the other points, you're correct, and I've written more about Sebelius in the "veep" thread.

by basil

Long-time and present resident of the Middle of NoWhere USA, furthest from the Bright Spot of the Universe, long-time Democratic Party activist, and though I have never met Sebelius, I know more than several people who know her quite well, including a few Republican state senators and representatives, as well as, obviously, Democratic ones.

:)

...
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Postby Lagniappe » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:51 pm

No, and I don't believe I have made any insulting personal comments towards you specifically.


So suggesting you would question my sanity is not meant to be insulting?

Okay.

And it isn't MY job to be magnanimous.


Hmmmm. Well, I would suggest that if Obama supporters are going to go around calling Clinton supporters "nutjobs" and "crazy" they may well insult the Clinton backers enough that many of them WILL vote for McCain out of spite - and then Obama can thank his non-magnanimous supporters for losing him the election.


Most of his foreign policy ventures were failures, if not quite as expensive as Bush's...


If not *quite* as extensively as Bush's?????

Bush, who managed to squander ALL the post 9-11 good will, lie to foreign governments and get them involved in an unnecessary war, and turn much of the world against us?

Oh boy.

You really DO hate those Clintons, don't you?
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Postby vison » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:57 pm

She's Boromir, Obama is Faramir.

Look, if she actually does care about anything other than her massive ego, she will do the right thing. If she was to stand up right now and say, "Thank you all for your support. We fought the good fight. But now it's time to get going, to support our nominee, to help Sen. Obama win the election in November!" I know that millions of Americans would heave a huge sigh of relief and forgive her instantly. Most of them.

She is the one who chose to make it the kind of fight it was. She is the one who ought to concede and to face reality with dignity. He was so gracious, so decent, in his speech last night! And she, in her bunker with her most fanatic supporters? It was bizarre.

But it's not too late. I hope she does the right thing. If she offers to help, her offer will be gratefully accepted. But the man can't kowtow to her sense of entitlement. She's shown herself for what she is, but she still has value.

She's going to fade into history as a massive failure. Is that what she wants? And to drag everyone down with her?
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:01 pm

The Watcher wrote:Iorlas and Lord_M -

I do not think Kathleen Sebelius is well known enough in the more populous parts of America to matter at all, I hate to say it, but Kansas is more or less a boondock state, so unless the DNP really plays her up, she would be a sort of a deadweight VP candidate. I am not saying I dislike her, far from it, She just does not have enough public recognition at this point to bring anything to the table.


That is true, and selecting her would be a gamble. The gamble, though, is based on the hope that, once she gets exposure outside her home state, she’ll be popular and an asset to the ticket. That’s based on her popularity and success in Kansas.

Still, I'm torn between her and Bill Richardson.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:05 pm

Lagniappe wrote:Bush, who managed to squander ALL the post 9-11 good will, lie to foreign governments and get them involved in an unnecessary war, and turn much of the world against us?

Oh boy.

You really DO hate those Clintons, don't you?


Some folk do, quite a bit. Limbaugh ( who burst upon the national scene and made his fortune through the Clintons ) and his operation Chaos, a whole VRWC that is ready and willing to crank it up all over again.

NAFTA, which even Hillary is trying to distance herself from, Somalia, and let us not forget:

Iorlas wrote:Under his watch (and only two years in), the Republicans took control of congress for the first time in decades.


inventing the DLC, as Howard Dean puts it, "Republican Lite", and the abandoning of all those little bitty, "Fly Over" Red States that don't amount to a hill of beans.

A mixed blessing all in all, and Bill and Hillary both were busy supporting freaks like Joe Lieberman over Ned Lamont in the last elections, and poor Bill out tearing down his "Elder StatesMan" status by indulging in the worst kind of gutter politics.

So much so, a Vanity Faire piece, no fortress of the Wing Nut Propaganda machine, dug up yet another girlfriend.

Don't get the undies in a knot, L.

Chill and work to ensure good government ( or at least much better than that of a McCain regime could bring ).

This is just Soap Opera stuff and not helpful at all.

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Postby Iorlas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:09 pm

Lagniappe wrote:So suggesting you would question my sanity is not meant to be insulting?

Okay.


If you believed she's only staying in because she just wants to help people so bad. Which I don't think you affirmed. At least I hope you didn't, because then, as I said, I would have to question your sanity.

If not *quite* as extensively as Bush's?????

Bush, who managed to squander ALL the post 9-11 good will, lie to foreign governments and get them involved in an unnecessary war, and turn much of the world against us?


Come on Lag, never heard of ironic understatement? Obviously Bush has been far worse, but I see no need to sugarcoat the fact that Clinton wasn't exactly an expert at foreign policy either.

Pulling out of Somalia, ignoring Rwanda, tossing missiles at a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan and some tents in Afghanistan, bombing Iraq from time to time to divert attention from domestic scandals, overseeing failed peace initiatives between Arafat and the Israelis, and (almost most egregious in the long run) a persistent failure to meaningfully engage with Russia's new democratic government; all things I would consider foreign policy failures; but no, not on the scale of Bush's.

You really DO hate those Clintons, don't you?


Not at all. I just don't look back at the Clinton years with starry eyes like so many Democrats. Though I must admit that I've lost a lot of respect that I once had for Bill during this campaign. Either he's totally lost his political instincts, or he was actually trying to sabotage Hillary's campaign. Almost everything he's said has been gaffe-worthy. It's really quite stunning.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:14 pm

Bosnia can be considered a success, but then again, Wes Clark was heading the military.

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Postby Lagniappe » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:25 pm

Come on Lag, never heard of ironic understatement?


Certainly, but nothing in your recent posts strikes me as understated. If anything, I would classify your anti-Clinton reactions as *overstated.*

Like I said, I am bitterly disappointed in many democratic supporters right now. I was really, REALLY hoping that the Dems would take the high road this elections and stay away from the mudslinging and nastiness that seems to permeate so much of politics these days. I wanted to be able to say, "Look. See. We CAN do it with more class...." And although Obama himself has shown a great deal of integrity, I have seen some very hurtful comments from some of his supporters. Nor am I letting Clinton backers off the hook. Some of them have been equally as nasty if not worse. The whole thing just makes me sick.

I wanted to be able to feel proud of my party and vote with my head held high... now I just feel like pulling the covers over my head.
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Postby Iorlas » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:28 pm

basil wrote:Bosnia can be considered a success, but then again, Wes Clark was heading the military.

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It can be considered a success in that the war did eventually end, but NATO and the US waited until tens of thousands were dead and the country was pretty much wrecked to do anything meaningful. The only way peace was achieved was by establishing autonomy for each ethnically cleansed group, a situation which persists to this day.

The same can be said for Kosovo. It took months of bombing and hundreds of thousands of Albanians driven from their homes before NATO "won", all because Clinton was terrified of any casualties, and made sure that American planes flew at high altitudes on their bombing missions (meaning they rarely hit anything). Afterwards, Milosevic remained in power (albeit briefly), and NATO troops were unable to prevent the forcible expulsion of almost all the Serbs in Kosovo by Albanian militias.

In fairness to Clinton, there wasn't much anyone could have done to preserve Bosnia's unity, or to keep two hostile groups living together in Kosovo, but I always scoff when I hear about Clinton's foreign policy "successes" in the former Yugoslavia.

The breakup of Yugoslavia was violent and brutal. Well over a hundred thousand people died and entire ethnic groups were forcibly removed from their homes. Even now, peace is only maintained because of the divisions created by the war. All NATO did was prevent things from being worse, but they didn't achieve any miracles either.
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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:43 pm

basil wrote:Obama has been for the past couple of weeks making overtures to the Clintonistas, especially during the RBC meeting last weekend, and there is evidence that the folk who support Clinton are shifting their support to Obama.


It's not good form to quote oneself, but sometimes, it's just necessary.

http://www.americablog.com/2008/06/top- ... peech.html
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Hilary Rosen is a big deal in town. Some would call her a big scary deal. Hilary has a reputation for being, well, a barracuda. And I say that with a healthy dose of envy. She used to run the Recording Industry Association of America, and is smart as hell.

I first met her back in 1992/93. I was still working for the Republicans, had just come out, and was attending secret gay-agenda meetings at the Human Rights Campaign (Hilary used to chair their board). Hilary has always been good to me - including welcoming me to their meetings in spite of my then-Republican employment. That decision on her part led to my getting involved with the Campaign for Military Service, the effort to lift the military's gay ban, which then led me to get to know, and work for, Ted Kennedy's staff on a variety of gay rights issues. Kennedy then helped get me a job at the Children's Defense Fund, where I learned online advocacy, which is obviously a lot of what I do today. In a very real way, Hilary's decision to let me attend those meetings in the early 90s played a huge role in making me the effective online advocate I hope I am today.

Anyway, my point in saying this is to give you a sense of why what she wrote today on the Huff Post matters. Hilary was a top Clinton surrogate during the campaign. Today she penned a piece endorsing and embracing Barack Obama, but also noting that the other Hillary should have done the same last night. Here's a quick excerpt. What's also interesting about her piece is the fact that top Hillary surrogates are now publicly saying "it's over." Unfortunately, it's the public pressure Hillary will need to put this thing to rest. But it's interesting that it's actually happening. Here is Hilary (one L Hilary):

Senator Clinton's speech last night was a justifiably proud recitation of her accomplishments over the course of this campaign, but it did not end right. But she didn't do what she should have done. As hard and as painful as it might have been, she should have conceded, congratulated, endorsed and committed to Barack Obama. Therefore the next 48 hours are now as important to the future reputation of Hillary Clinton as the last year and a half have been....

I am also so very disappointed at how she has handled this last week. I know she is exhausted and she had pledged to finish the primaries and let every state vote before any final action. But by the time she got on that podium last night, she knew it was over and that she had lost. I am sure I was not alone in privately urging the campaign over the last two weeks to use the moment to take her due, pass the torch and cement her grace. She had an opportunity to soar and unite. She had a chance to surprise her party and the nation after the day-long denials about expecting any concession and send Obama off on the campaign trail of the general election with the best possible platform. I wrote before how she had a chance for her "Al Gore moment"
And if she had done so, the whole country ALL would be talking today about how great she is and give her her due.

Instead "she left her supporters empty", Obama's angry and party leaders trashing her. She said she was stepping back to think about her options. She is waiting to figure out how she would "use" her 18 million voters.


But not my vote. I will enthusiastically support Barack Obama's campaign. Because I am not a bargaining chip. I am a Democrat.

>>EOQ<<

You'll see more and more of this in the days ahead, Rep. Rangel of NY, is saying essentially the same thing. Politics is politics after all, but there is also reputation.

vison wrote:Look, if she actually does care about anything other than her massive ego, she will do the right thing. If she was to stand up right now and say, "Thank you all for your support. We fought the good fight. But now it's time to get going, to support our nominee, to help Sen. Obama win the election in November!" I know that millions of Americans would heave a huge sigh of relief and forgive her instantly. Most of them.


This should be echoed by all good citizens ( even if they support and plan to vote for McCain ). Follow your conscience and vote for the better fellow. It's how America works.

And not voting because your ticket's not running, no doubt about it, is the same as giving your vote to the other party.


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Postby basil » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:55 pm

Iorlas wrote:In fairness to Clinton, there wasn't much anyone could have done to preserve Bosnia's unity, or to keep two hostile groups living together in Kosovo, but I always scoff when I hear about Clinton's foreign policy "successes" in the former Yugoslavia.

The breakup of Yugoslavia was violent and brutal. Well over a hundred thousand people died and entire ethnic groups were forcibly removed from their homes. Even now, peace is only maintained because of the divisions created by the war. All NATO did was prevent things from being worse, but they didn't achieve any miracles either.


But to give WJC credit, at least he did "something". AFAIK, nobody's killing each other now, beyond the normal murder rate.

And given the Republicans then in Congress who obstructed any move by Clinton to resolve the situation, led by my very own "Hatchet Boy" Bob Dole, there wasn't much he could do. Troops on the ground before the cessation of war was not an option for him.

His action in Somalia turned out badly with US forces on the ground, but at least he had the sense to leave. And that happened before Yugoslavia.

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