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Destroying the Democratic party

By
April 23, 2008

Hillary Clinton’s win over Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary Tuesday shows the race for the top job in Washington is far from over and may well go to the party’s convention in Denver.

Clinton has come back from media-perceived political grave more times than Dracula and the comparison is not coincidental. Her critics feel she is the chief bloodsucker in a political system dominated by opportunistic vampires.

In a campaign season dominated by extremes, overt passion and outright hate, Clinton is the poster child of political polarization. Her followers offer passionate support without equivocation. Her enemies offer hate in equal measure. Like her husband, Hillary Clinton is the candidate you love to hate.

What is it about the Clintons that draws such venom, passion and bloodlust? Is it their ruthless, driving, take-no-prisoners ambition or their consequences-be-damned, win-at-any-cost approach to politics?

It is that, and more – far more. The Clinton succeed where others fail because they lack shame, conscience or consideration for the rules. Neither Bill nor Hillary give a damn about the party that once revered them and now shudders at the damage their unbridled ambition may have inflicted on once-confident hopes to recapture the White House.

Even with the win in Pennsylvania, Clinton faces a long, hard road to the White House. She may still pull out a victory by cheating and changing the rules but that win may cost Democrats a chance at beating an old man who should be an easy mark in November. Too many Democrats have told us that if the choice is John McCain or Hillary Clinton they will either stay home or hold their nose and vote for McCain.

Or, if Obama holds on and wins the nomination he should have clinched weeks ago, he may come out of the primary season so damaged that McCain can continue the scorched earth policy of the Clintons and finish off the Senator from Illinois.

Obama has not helped his cause. Clinton’s unrelenting attacks have driven him off his campaign platform of change, turning him into a defensive, business-as-usual politician trading barbs with his opponents.

An editorial in today’s New York Times says it best:

The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it.

Voters are getting tired of it; it is demeaning the political process; and it does not work. It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election.

If nothing else, self interest should push her in that direction. Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.

On the eve of this crucial primary, Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad – torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook – evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” the narrator intoned.

If that was supposed to bolster Mrs. Clinton’s argument that she is the better prepared to be president in a dangerous world, she sent the opposite message on Tuesday morning by declaring in an interview on ABC News that if Iran attacked Israel while she were president: “We would be able to totally obliterate them.”

By staying on the attack and not engaging Mr. Obama on the substance of issues like terrorism, the economy and how to organize an orderly exit from Iraq, Mrs. Clinton does more than just turn off voters who don’t like negative campaigning. She undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama is not blameless when it comes to the negative and vapid nature of this campaign. He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics. When she criticized his comments about “bitter” voters, Mr. Obama mocked her as an Annie Oakley wannabe. All that does is remind Americans who are on the fence about his relative youth and inexperience.

If the Democrats had any leaders, they would put a stop to this nonsense before it buries the party. But the party that wants to lead this nation for the next four years is, itself, devoid of leadership.

26 Responses to Destroying the Democratic party

  1. Sandra Price

    April 24, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    old curmudgeon, I am one of those long-time Republicans who has searched for a real Republican and have had no luck. But after 8 years of Bush, I would vote for anyone or anything that would get the neoconservatives out of office. What they have done to the consitution and rights of half the American people (add women and gays) and it is plain to anyone that any political movement has to be a step up.

    I read all the comments on this site and keep reading that the corporations and lobbyists are the problem. But when they had a chance to work against them, they had no voice or vote. Most should be able to remember Perot’s comments on Lobbyists and the sound of American jobs leaving the country. Even Ron Paul has a more rational look at our government by reducing the authority and the power over the people but again the people here and everywhere refused to look into his agenda.

    We can dig up the people who will represent what they want but they turn away from them. It is a losing battle and it should be crystal clear that nobody from the Democratic or Republican party will ever look down from the pedestal and learn what we want.

    I don’t know if Obama is the right choice but I do know he will never mandate his insurance program as Hillary is planning on doing.

    I thought that by 2008, the American people might know what it is they want but they don’t. The Republicans know damn well they have little if any chance at the White House and it seems they chose their scapegoat when they catered to McCain. The RNC does not like or respect McCain. He is the sacrifical goat of this decade.

  2. javajohn7

    April 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Regardless of all else said, I feel the mainstream media and the elites in the Democratic party are biased inexplicably in favor of Barack. Note: Hillary has won almost all the big states and most of the states where the more democratic direct elections have taken place (versus those unruly caucuses).

    I think Barack is a good candidate who takes responsible positions on the issues, but still, I greatly admire Hillary for staying in the race and not giving up the good fight. It’s that toughness of character that would make her a strong president!

    John J.
    Seattle

  3. knockknock

    April 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I agree with everything thus far posted, except javajohn7, who writes of Hillary “It’s that toughness of character that would make her a strong president!”

    Hillary’s not “tough,” she’s mean, unscrupulous and Stepford-like (want me to cry? want me to whine? want me to fight? want me to play the victim? want me to tear down a good man? want me to accuse my opponent of the nasty things I’m doing? Just push the Hillary-do button). All over the place we find evidence of the Clintons’ attitude of entitlement and disrespect of the American people.

    As to “character” — I see no difference between hers and the alligator who promised the mouse a safe journey across the river if it climbed on his back — and then ate the mouse who screamed “But you promised…” to which the alligator replied, “What did you expect? I’m an alligator.”

    It’s not that I don’t want a woman in the White House — just not *this* woman.

    She’s the scariest person of our time. If she gets the nom and, heaven forbid, wins the presidency, she’d better built a bunker in the White House that’s stronger than Hitler’s was.

    Can you imagine Hillary following up on her threat to bomb Iran while her husband interviews comely interns?

    The Dems are practically being handed the presidency on a silver platter — but not for the Clintons. As has been pointed out here, she could well be responsible for another Bush term.

    That we could be so gullible is one of the reasons other nations are giggling behind their hands.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    April 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Well said, knockknock. The words “character” and Hillary are polar opposites. And the thing I don’t get is why so many believe her, after the reign of another pathological liar, Der Chimpenfuhrer. Her voting record and promises don’t seem to be coming from the same person.

    As far as their demographic support bases go, it looks pretty simple to me. Hillary seems to thrive in the cities and large states where the blacks are most hated. A subjective opinion, I know, but I’ve lived all over this country and it seems to mirror my own personal perceptions of American anti-black bias.

  5. javajohn7

    April 23, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    It’s all a matter of opinion of who the “gullible” ones are.

    John J.
    Seattle

  6. 77murphy

    April 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Hillary Clinton reminds me very much of George W. Bush. She has few substantive accomplishments of her own, but instead has a political life keyed to her family’s involvement in politics. Issues in her past-like the magical $1,000 commodities investment that turned into $100,000-are supposed to be understood and forgiven for her just like George Bush’s own marginal business dealings, while she like George Bush attacks others for lesser transgressions. Both George Bush and Hillary Clinton understand that a key to modern mass politics is the same product “branding” approach needed for commercial success, and they both have succeeded in large part in their political campaigning by sucessfully “branding” their opponents with a negative image based on perceptions more than actual facts.

    In her 3 major presidential-related public tasks, Hillary Clinton has scored very poorly. The first, of course, was the health care program failures during the early years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. The second was during the first part of her current presidential campaign where she started out as the “inevitable” Hillary for president (with over $100 million in campaign funds, a 20% plus lead and the support of a very significant portion of her party’s leadership), and then turned this into a very clear second place status. The third is now, during her Hillary as “comeback kid” campaign, where a main result is her weakening of the Democratic Party’s chances for 2008 electoral success by whomever is its nominee because of her campaign tactics and approach and the focus this gives for the Republic campaign against that Democratic nominee.

    While I understand that there is validity to raising concerns about Obama’s character and electability, running a campaign against him based on simply establishing “negative” perceptions about him in any way possible is not something which meets the standards of many Democratic voters. We all rightly condemned the “swift-boating” of John Kerry, and many of us don’t agree that it is alright for a Democrat to do this just because Republicans will do it anyway. In fact, just that kind of approach is one of the major reasons many of us would not vote for any but a very few Republicans. In current times, that tactic belongs to them, and voters increasingly are rejecting them for that reason alone.

    Since Hillary Clinton apparently either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about this, that equally is a good reason not to want to vote for her. More significantly, if she is simply judged on her actual results in her largest public tasks related to becoming president, her own electability is what I would most seriously question.

  7. Stratocaster

    April 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    That evil vampire laugh of hers sends chills up my spine. Please, let the nightmare end.

  8. javajohn7

    April 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    That’s a new one one me, that blacks are hated in big cities. Certainly not true in Seattle! For example, Seattle is in King County and had a crown as it’s logo. Last year the logo was changed to Martin Luther King. In addition, Obama trounced Clinton in the primary here in Seattle, and I mean trounced.

    John J.
    Seattle

  9. Sandra Price

    April 23, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I agree Strato, enough of this viper. I think back to all the great candidates I have met and interviewed who never had a chance at making it this far. My friend Alan was on the radio yesterday with a great man named Gary Nolan who I met when he ran as a Libertarian in Arizona. He backed out to throw his support to another just to rid the party of a real slime ball. He has the spine of Sampson but came with a character to help out the party.

    We have filtered out the good people because of some religious problem and now it looks as if the race card might just weed out another one. Knock Knock spoke for me and I would not mind a woman in the White House, as long as it is not Hillary, a proven manipulator and liar.

    But she could do better against McCain as the GOP has already hit her with their filthy tricks. I hate to think what they would do to Obama. The GOP is run by the most vicious people on earth and they destroy at the drop of a hat all in the name of Jesus Christ. It can’t get any worse than that.

    What would it take to destroy this horrible group? Let’s bring in Barack Obama just to piss them off!

  10. Southerner

    April 23, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    You’re a silly young man, JavaJohn, if you really believe: “That’s a new one one me, that blacks are hated in big cities.” Where in the world did you grow up? Sweden or somewhere? Have you spent any time at all in any large American city, including Seattle? Your comment is terrifically shallow and astonishingly ill-informed. Please be careful if you do go out there on the streets of the real world, anyone as naive as you could get himself hurt.

  11. staunchdem

    April 24, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Despite all of the doom and gloom I really believe that John McCain is toast when the spotlight is turned to him.
    He’s this year’s sacrificial lamb (aka Bob Dole) and his whole platform is to emulate the man with the worst popularity rating of any man since the polls began.
    That being said, the Dems that support the eventual 2nd place finisher need to suck it up, support the nominee and immediately begin to hammer John McCain.
    His weaknesses are many and new Democratic voters are registering and voting in record numbers.
    We’re all adults here and know what needs to be done.
    Vote Democratic or you deserve to roll in the shit that will ensue.

  12. SEAL

    April 24, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Southerner and stauchdem – I agree with both of you.

    But, out of all that has happened, what scares me is the reaction to Hillary being caught in the bald face “sniper fire” lie – nothing happened. It drew less attention than what a rightously predjudiced and angry old black minister that had lived the bad old days of the ‘negroes’ had said at Obama’s church one day.

    This Lady who wants be POTUS deliberately created a lie and then embellished it three times that I know of. That is not “mispoke” (a word only a dishonest polition could create). It happened because I was tired and have to say too many words every day was the excuse she gave us.

    Lying and then adding more color to the lie is not mispeak. If she had not been exposed I have no doubt she would, by this time, be in a foxhole with her designer helmut and better than the troops flak jacket manning the mortar cannon with “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” giving proof through the nite that Hillary is still there playing in the background.

    I just cannot understand how anyone could consider this woman (or any other person) fit to be president after deliberately making up a lie about something that went so directly to her primary contention why you should support her for the job – her experience. What she purported to be running through sniper fire turned out to be a red carpet walk to accept a flower basket and poem from a child. But Hillary and her supporters didn’t even blink or miss a step. As if it never happened. How can this be?

    Obviously, the people consider it OK for a proven outright liar to be their president. They’ve had one for over seven years. Obviously, character is not a factor. Only OUR side is what matters.

    As long as this mentallity exists we will have terribly dishonest government. For a little while longer. However long it takes for the whole thing to come crashing down upon us. I guess we should have saved our confederate money after all. That may be all that’s left for us.

    We don’t know if Obama will be able to effect the change he, and we want, but if we don’t elect Barak Obama POTUS and clean out any remaining repugnants in congress, we have no chance at all.

    One last thing: Porky the Pig could win the November election as a democrap. The voters have been set to vote straight democrap tickets before this primary silliness ever started. Forget all the polls and the rest of the
    MSMs flights of fantasy. This will be a great year for the democrappers.

  13. old_curmudgeon

    April 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

    There are those who keep saying, “Clinton wins the BIG states and Obama doesn’t…therefore Obama can’t win the general election against McCain.”

    Apples and oranges. As SEAL states above the voters are primed for a DEM rout. Just because Clinton wins the BIG states against Obama doesn’t mean that the voters of PA, for example, are going to vote against him in the general against McCain. It doesn’t wash. I’ve met life-long Repubs who have said they will not vote repub again because of what the GOP has done to America over the past 26 years starting with Gingrich et al. The GOP of today is NOT the GOP they used to believe in.

    But I do believe that what Clinton is doing to the democratic party is unconscionable and should be soundly repudiated by the super delegates, if they’ve balls, which I’m not betting on.

    I think that if it comes down to Obama against McCain in the general it’s a rout and that includes all the little GOPers riding McCain’s coattails.

    But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

  14. ekaton

    April 24, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    “old curmudgeon, I am one of those long-time Republicans who has searched for a real Republican and have had no luck.”

    How do you feel about Chuck Hagel? I kind of like the guy.

    — Kent Shaw

  15. javajohn7

    April 24, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Southerner, why the personal attack on someone you do not know? You know nothing about either Sweden or Seattle. And it really shows…

    Jens J.
    Seattle

  16. Sandra Price

    April 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I love Chuck Hagel but he will be quitting politics in disgust. Who can blame him? I also like Jim Webb but he is very green although his agenda sounds like gold to me.

    One out of 4 McCain republicans did not vote for him in Pennsylvania. Ron Paul got 14+% and Huckabee got 11%. So it will be either Clinton or Obama and from my observations, Obama will not force a MANDATED INSURANCE PROGRAM on the American people and Clinton will. That would keep me from voting for her. Mandates are evil!

    Maybe we should be talking about backing out of the Federal Government as we did with England. I don’t want to be an American under Clinton or McCain.

    Karl Rove has already started his racist crap on Obama in N. Carolina. The bastard should be in jail along with Scooter instead of crapping all over these elections!

  17. staunchdem

    April 25, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I agree with Sandra about the sacrificial goat.
    I also think the states that were blue in 2004 will remain blue no matter which Dem is nominated, so all that needs to happen is for one of the purple states to turn blue and it’s game over.
    Lots of the so called red states are purple and lots of those folks are pissed off about what’s happened the last eight years.
    Be adult, be patient and we will prevail.
    The way forward has begun.

  18. km0591

    April 23, 2008 at 9:24 am

    There is no hope……

    If Obama is nominated, the playbook of attack by the Republicans has already been written. They will portray Obama as some kind of secret Eldridge Cleaver to scare the bejesus out of the white folks, remind everyone how “Obama” is close to “Osama,” and that his middle name is even “Hussein!” He doesn’t even wear a flag pin, damnit. What kind of an Americun is he?

    Last week’s odious “debate” set the tone already. In spite of being the worst moderated debate in television history, Gibson and Stephanapolous still have their jobs and are likely to be happily sent out on other attempts to set up a political “Jerry Springer” shows.

    If Clinton is nominated, she will be undermined by the never ending narcissistic rages that her husband throws at media and hapless bystanders, as well as her own ball busting, medacious, craven unlikability.

    Yes, indeed, in 2009 we are going to have an old man with incipient dementia and a bad temper on the nuclear trigger.

    “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!”

  19. JerryG

    April 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

    What I find perplexing about this comment…

    “Neither Bill nor Hillary give a damn about the party that once revered them and now shudders at the damage their unbridled ambition may have inflicted on once-confident hopes to recapture the White House.”

    …is that the women and the over-50 Democrats in Pennsylvania don’t believe one damn word of it. This is the demographic block which propelled Hillary to victory last night. Are they stupid? Ignorant? Are the voters of Pennsylvania so gullible and desperate that they’d cling to a person who, paraphrasing Mr. Thompson, is hell bent on winning and all that matters is winning?

    Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a different set of dynamics at work. Hillary is beginning to connect with voters that she indeed is the better candidate vis-a-vis defeating John McCain. Her constant hammering away at that point is beginning to pay off. Furthermore, I’ve seen a shift in her campaigning such that she is repeatedly, at each campaing stop, focusing solely on two or three key leadership issues, each of which distinguish her from Obama and put her in a more favorable light. Conversely, Obama appears to be invoking the name of John McCain over and over again perhaps forgetting that he isn’t the nominee yet!

    I voted for Obama and he is my candidate of choice. That having been said I must admit that Hillary is beginning to look significantly more composed and sure of herself and is doing a much better job of articulating her ‘qualifications’ than she has in the past. Right now I’d say Hillary is winning the perception battle.

  20. Janice

    April 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I do not see this ongoing campaign as destroying the Democratic party, but then I can admit that maybe I just do not get it. I supported Clinton in my states caucus, but now am leaning towards Obama because of the negativity. Actually, I do not much care which wins the nominatiion because I will vote for either one of them. And, I believe I am not much different than most every other citizen in this country who has had a belly full of the corruption in Washington.

    I do like Senator Clinton’s health plan better than Obama’s, however my vote goes to a more (gasp) socialist health care plan that mirrors Canada, Great Britian, or other countries. We have the framework in place already with Medicare/Medicaid, and it would be a very small step to put us on a universal plan. I say we should let capitalism work it’s magic for the existing insurance companies and allow them to compete in a free market with government run health care. I do not believe that health insurance and care should be for profit. The very premise goes against the public good.

    So, I will vote for whoever the democratic canidate is; just as long as we do not elect another hot-headed corrupt republican to finish the job of destroying our once great country.

  21. Dogma

    April 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Billary are trying to degrade, drag down, butcher, and rip apart the best thing that’s happened to this country in ages. I’m very afraid about Obama going on the attack … he’s really between a rock and a hard place. I just hate to see him get in the gutter with this trailer trash … he’s better than that and it’s a d@mn shame this process couldn’t be run on HIS level instead.

  22. Sandra Price

    April 23, 2008 at 11:39 am

    On a talk show last week, I heard a discussion on the dirty division between the GOP and the Dems and it was blamed on the 104th Congress during Bill Clinton’s first term in office. The neocons were on the march and sent in Newt Gingrich as Speaker to literally destroy the Democratic Party. As a cover he presented the Contract with America that flew in the face of both parties. Running Dole in 1996 was a farce and most of us know it. I attended that Republican convention and Dole made a fool of himself.

    The neocons brought in Bush from Texas and were able to manipulate him knowing he was not smart enough to see what was happening to him. His father has been a neocon from day one and used his idiot son to get back into Iraq for the oil.

    8 years of Bush 43 should be the end of the GOP. The American voters are so determined to get the GOP gone from decision making that the Democrats have allowed both Onama and Clinton to fight it out in public.

    We have seen a weakness in the GOP that is not even mentioned in the Dem. debates. Why isn’t Obama talking about the mess in the Pentagon and the refusal of the GOP to turn over the visitor’s records? Millions of dollars have been spent on the virtual fence that simply does not work.

    From the war’s extenion of commitment to the lying of the Bush Administration should be a talking point for Obama. It is also time Americans realized that no black man will ever see the White House. 15% of the people around me here believe he is a muslim! This information is coming from their churches.

    He needs to stress his backgound in the Constitution and call out what the Bush Administration has done to cut it up. What about Halliburton and Blackwater? Are these vampires using up our defense funding okay with Obama?

    Thank you Doug for bringing the NYTs article here. They have Clinton in their sights even after they endorsed her and we all should read it.

  23. Flapsaddle

    April 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way, was it? Both Clinton and whatever it is that passes for the Democratic leadership grossly underestimated the appeal of Obama, and the Clinton “sure thing” evaporated like a drop of water on a hot stove.

    At the end of the year, the usual talking heads had assured us that the match-up would be Clinton – McCain and that Clinton would bury him; the primaries and the caucuses were just necessary formalities. These were the same talking heads who had, just the summer passed, assured us that McCain was dead and that the GOP must find someone else to sacrifice to the inevitable Clinton triumph.

    But Obama blew the game away! He was just supposed to be a nice, young black politician trying out his new wings, not someone who would seriously interrupt the plantation life of Miz Hillary. Obama was serious about challenging, and the electorate appears to have taken him seriously. Hillary Clinton got it wrong and has paid the price for her arrogance and the incompetence of her planning.

    Now, the fight rages on as she gains just 15 delegates against Obama’s 100+ lead. Like Hitler in his bunker while Berlin burns above, Clinton drives doggedly on, determined to show that a party not beholden to her is better a party in ashes.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  24. bryan mcclellan

    April 23, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I can’t see what all the fuss is about.You cannot destroy something that never existed. It’s all for show as they are lying through their teeth when speaking of differences in policy making and affiliation.

    If threatened they will band together against their common enemy, the American people.

    Put both so called parties in the pot, stir it up and season to taste. Cook it till the moon is blue and you still have shit soup. Nothing will change with whomever sits next at the controls of this nation.

    I’m convinced the politico’s are in it to get rich off the sweat of the commoners, and they will change nothing if it threatens their bottom line. Whichever pack off obstructionists is in the minority they will drag the majority down to their level, so get ready for four more years of the same old same.

  25. Walter F. Wouk

    April 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I tend to agree with Bryan McClellan. The Democratic Party stopped representing “we the people” many years ago and Hillary will render an unintended service to “us” by delivering a well-deserved coup de grace to the party that enabled the Bush Regime.

  26. OldandSlow

    April 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    A Kabuki theater is what it has come down to for me.

    Perhaps, a shameless melodrama is what the commercial media and American public thrive on.

    It’s getting late in the season. I’d rather hear about how the next fearless leader intends to make America competitive again, fully fund Social Security, get our troops out of Iraq and implement universal health care.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt6W3rVTLhw

    Andrew in Austin, TX