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It’s been some time, but I’m happy to report the writing team is coming back to The Technocrat.
If, as it has been frequently said by both the Clintons and the media, Sen. Obama has to prove his mettle in the primary in order to gain the Democrats’ faith he is ready for the GOP, Sen. Clinton has to prove she can control her husband and reclaim her candidacy if she is to prove she is anything but entirely unelectable.
I found the Clintons’ behavior and comments leading up to their (and I say “their” only because Pres. Clinton said last night in the initial concession speech provided by that campaign following the polls close, “we” lost) 2:1 loss at the hands of the Obama campaign repugnant. There are those that suggest all politics are hardball. There are apparently many in SC who say there is a limit.
As astonishing and disheartening as it might be, surveys have consistently indicated that 40%+ of the voting public will not vote for Sen. Clinton under any circumstance. While I believe general elections can change many minds and polls along with them, there can be no doubt Sen. Clinton will require every last open mind to be made available to her if she is to gain the nomination and win the general election. Putting her husband front and center, under the spurious claim that he is just like any other politician’s spouse, will only give credence to critics that this is, in fact, Bill Clinton’s run for a third term more than her first and sow doubt in that critical slice of undecided voters who could be won over to her side.
And for anyone who doubts that tough primaries create better nominees, I advise a close listen to Sen. Obama’s speech last night. While his message of persistence and optimism was as evident as ever, what was also unmistakable was a message of defiance: If the Clintons plan to continue playing their two-on-one routine, he will push back.
I think I view polls always with an eye toward what I want to happen rather than what will happen. If anything, last night’s results, which were nearly the mirror opposite of what ended up happening, prove that. So, with that, I’m going to hang up the predictions hat for a while… or as long as I can resist.
Alrightee… predictions time, once again.
Barack Obama will win in NV and with some breathing room, a few points, but not more than 4.
Huckabee will win in SC with a similar margin.
According to most reports, turnout hit somewhere in the range of 220k. Review my earlier predictions. It turned out to be a pretty good evening for Sen. Obama. Fire it up!
I was off, however, on the prediction that Clinton would come in second. Off by 7 delegates. Was in the zone, though.
1. I do not have a problem with anyone supporting Ron Paul
2. I suspect many of Ron Paul’s supporters have not investigated his positions in earnest
3. Ron Paul doesn’t belong in today’s Republican party which, as near as I can tell, stands for the following: an endless war in Iraq; profligate spending; violation of a woman’s right to choose
4. It is a testament to how far the Republican party has fallen that many who support Paul view him has their party’s new standard-bearer
5. Simply because a candidate says the exact opposite of many of his party’s supposed front-runners doesn’t necessarily mark him as “brave” or “courageous”
6. Simply because a candidate foolishly suggests we can leave a mess that was started by our current president doesn’t make him correct
7. How can a supposed “libertarian” presume freedom stops at a woman’s body?
8. How can a doctor suggest a woman doesn’t have a right to determine what happens to her body?
9. If all of Paul’s positions were adopted, how would roads be built, our environment be protected, crime be stopped? True libertarians believe in the power of the individual to the detriment of everyone
10. Ron Paul raised $5m yesterday. Americans spent the equivalent amount on lattes, cigarettes, and Viagra over the same period
For some of the more frequently updated, slightly more limited thoughts of The Technocrat(s), check out the new Tumblrblog in the blogroll to the right. –>
The toxicity level in DC has dropped a little bit this week for Boy Genius, the
Architect, Turd Blossom, aka Karl Rove has announced his departure. As expressed in my previous post, I understand and even appreciate politics, which is why I have some respect for Karl Rove. He is a master practitioner of the art of politics however like previous Republican political strategists he has put politics ahead of country and he has practiced politics viciously. Just ask John and Cindy McCain. It’s that vicious style that people most associate with politics without differentiating between Republican or Democratic. For outside the political junkies, all politicians are thought to swim in one dirty pond. So it resonates when Ralph Nadar calls George Bush and Al Gore, Bore and Gush. But Rove is the continuation of the long line of Republican turd blossoms stinking up American politics so that ordinary people can’t stand the stench of it and want no part of it. (Which not coincidental also plays perfectly to their advantage.)
A quick tour of presidential politics in the last 40 years shows Republicans putting politics ahead of country time and time again while they continually wrap themselves in the flag and assail the patriotism of Democrats.
In the summer of 1967, [Kissinger] had acted as one of a series of intermediaries between Washington and Hanoi in a peace initiative codenamed “Pennsylvania”. In the autumn of 1968, he used his contacts with the Johnson Administration to tip-off the Nixon camp about an anticipated breakthrough in the Paris talks, which Nixon feared could cost him the campaign. [link]
William Casey headed up the successful presidential campaign for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and while it has never been proven;
“…in his 1991 book, October Surprise, former NSC staffer Gary Sick alleged that Casey had orchestrated a deal with Iran in 1980 to refrain from releasing the hostages until after the November presidential elections, in order to deny President Carter credit for their possible release. This came to be known as the “October Surprise.” Congress investigated in 1992, but Casey’s role was never thoroughly ascertained since he did not testify, as he had died in 1987.” [link]
After the election, Casey headed up the Reagan transition team. The hostages were released within minutes of Reagan’s inauguration and not a moment before.
In that tradition, it is my contention that we are in Iraq now because Karl Rove saw the political advantage in it after 9/11 provided the opening. I offer no proof. Rove talks to Republican conventions and journalists but not to Congress. He only reveals what he wants us to see so conjecture is the closest we’ll get to the truth.
I believe the reason we are in Iraq right now is because it’s what the neo-con foreign policy people in the admin wanted to do and what the political team thought would win elections. And it took both of those groups to make it happen. Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, and Dick Cheney had wanted to go back to Iraq since Bush 41 had stopped short of Baghdad in 1991. The political apparatus headed by Karl Rove saw it as the way to further rout the Democrats in pursuit of the permanent Republican Majority.
In the wake of 9/11, when some blamed Clinton for failing to get Bin Laden, I informed them that there were open orders to get Bin Laden and obviously it wasn’t that easy or it would have been done. If little ol’ me knew that, you better believe Karl Rove knew it too. And like me, he also knew the deference that American people were going to give Bush in war time. But an uncatchable, nebulous enemy that could disappear into the hills, like they had against the Russians, would only do for so long. So the chance to switch enemies to someone with a country and an army, someone that could be beaten made good political sense to him and he supported it with all the tools as his disposal.
If the policy and political sides hadn’t both lined up so perfectly for our Iraqi misadventure, I don’t believe Bush would have gone forward with it because the only time he’s chosen policy over politics is on immigration. So Rove was let loose with a wartime president to lead the charge in 2002 and 2004. He attacked the patriotism of Democrats, used gay marriage as a wedge issue and won.
But that’s where the success ends. Because the neo-cons pollyanna policy db’s, didn’t bother to learn the difference between Sunni and Shite, didn’t recognize the 1200 years old bloody rift between them, and didn’t appreciate that the Shites would want want revenge after being a repressed majority for 50 years. So instead of a military triumph, we’ve been bogged down in a civil war for 5+ years
So in the desert of Iraq, Karl Rove’s dream of a permanent Republican majority has died. Democrats are now outfundraising and out-polling Republicans on issue after issue and we could be on the verge of a lasting Democratic majority with the WH. And we’ll need it to fix the mess left by the boy genius who elevated an ordinary frat boy with name recognition to an extraordinary office; architect of nothing more than one of the worst Presidential Administrations in the 233 history of our country; polluter of the political waters, Turd Blossom
Stay vigilant though. If history has shown us anything, it’s there’s sure to be another Republican floater coming down the Potomac.
While it didn’t make the comments page, my piece last week did generate some conversation. The righteous indignation crowd responded:
“Just calling it what it is, does nothing and that whole precedent thing is really, really, really starting to bother me a lot. But, hey, itâ€™s only the future of the Republic, who gives a shit.”
Righteous, indignant, and pure. Like good policy.
On the other side, I heard,:
“so long as the dialog in DC remains so relentlessly partisan, the act of voting on and passing the articles in the House and then losing in the Senate would be such a public failure of the democratic leadership that it could not possibly be worth it.”
Cold, calculating, and true. Like good politics.
Everyone loves policy but most disdain politics. Like Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Policy is the meat and politics is the messy, grinding process of transforming policy into law. But without the process, you don’t get any Jimmy Dean on your breakfast plate and you don’t pass laws (or impeach Presidents or VPs.) Put another way, policy is about what one would like done in a perfect world and politics is what is doable in the real world.
I love discussing policy because it’s theoretical and pure. There are no unintended consequences and lives are made better… in theory. In the righteous realm of ideas, the realm of policy, the public has long aligned more closely with the Democratic Party. However, in the calculating world of politics, the Republican Party has dominated the Democrats using cultural wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage and during the cold war and since 9/11, fear. They’ve used that strategy to get the 1% edge they needed but that 1% makes a huge difference. The result has been Republican Congresses for most of the last 14 years, the WH for 27 of the last 39 years, and laws with a decidedly Republican flavor. So having the right ideas doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the political acumen necessary to get elected (and keep getting elected) and turn the policy into law.
The result is voters feel let down by Democrats and they feel violated by politics. So they hate the game and hate the Democrats for not rising above it. But there is no rising above it. The only way to win is to play the game. That means nominating and electing the best politicians, grinding out the best laws we can, doing what’s doable, and not doing what is not doable. And what we cannot do, no matter how much we desire it and not matter how deserving, is impeach Bush or Cheney. There is no possible way we would get 17 Republicans Senators to vote for it.
But we can use their actions to expand our majority in Congress and win the WH in 2008. We just need to keep chipping away at them with a small ax. We need to keep reminding voters of the Constitutional Crisis they have created with WH officials refusing to testify, Alberto Gonzales lying to Congress, political presentations to Executive departments, the DOJ possibly not proceeding on contempt of Congress charges. These things are resonating with the public and are not being perceived as partisan attacks. Democrats are outraising and outpolling Republicans. The main complaint is that Dems are not getting things done quickly enough. We finally have the big “mo” and the thing that could and would short circuit that is impeachment hearings. Because they would insure we get absolutely nothing done for the next 17 months thus feeding the one complaint that resonates. So we get done, what we can get done and we keep our eye on 2008. Because impeachment or not, we will have a new president on January 21, 2009.
Let’s make sure it’s a Democrat.