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That's a statement that doesn't say as much as it seems to. Is she even half the scheming mastermind? If not, is she still the person to lead the country? Is "scheming mastermind" really the prescription for countering the annihilationist views you point to? Or is this mainly an annoyed reaction against certain leading opinion makers?

I'm here via Avedon, who I'm even more puzzled by. I'm as flabbergasted as the commenter was at my blog when he wrote, "It frankly amazes me how many Democrats who are so strongly anti-Iraq war are still on the fence between Hillary and Obama and refuse to hold Hillary accountable for her vote on the Iraq war AND her refusal to concede that her vote was a BIG mistake."

Yes, I know the replies: Obama's votes have been little different from hers since he became a US Senator. I'm not happy about that. But (a) that's hardly a point in Hillary's favor, and more importantly (b) it really is important that he wouldn't have got us into this mess, because there will plenty of future messes to get into. Avedon says well, he had an easy district. Yes -- but he also wanted to go places, and as far as he knew maybe he'd just guaranteed he'd never go beyond Springfield.

Meanwhile, Clinton is getting a pass by now on the most consequential vote of her career, one she engaged in an undiligent, what do my advisors like Ken Pollack tell me kind of way. If she'd done her homework -- even to the limited tune of supporting the Levin Amendment -- she might have carried other Dems with her. She failed then, and I don't think she deserves an even bigger stage to fail on.

Meanwhile, for what little it's worth at this point (in what's verging on a rant, sorry), I think she's been running a reprehensible, scorched-earth campaign designed to make Obama's task harder should he win the nomination, and designed to advance the "be afraid" and "President Daddy/Mommy's job is to keep you safe by blowing things up" notions that are a large part of why we are where we are.

You know I know Obama's not perfect by a long shot. But I also think he's distinctly better.

Hey Thomas,

Or is this mainly an annoyed reaction against certain leading opinion makers?

Yes.

I really don't like either of them. When I sit down and think about which one to vote for, I find that I am forced to give each the benefit to a far greater degree than I feel comfortable. At that point I ask myself why can't I guess that Hillary will be the Eleanor Roosevelt she idolizes? It's as reasonable as hoping that Obama will emerge as a progressive lion when he spends every free minute letting us know that he won't and that what we're hearing now is campaign rhetoric.

As for making it hard for the other to win in the general, neither one has run the sort of campaign that Obama gets credit for running. But if Obama is to be the nominee, I especially want his road to be as difficult as it possibly can be b/c he's trading on change and optimism and si se puede, which means something to me. I want him never to take the left for granted because I've seen what happens when leaders do.

The very last thing I worry about is how what any Dem says during the primary will be used by the GOP in the general. They will sink to depths that will amaze us all - including what I would hope would be unthinkable but frankly can't be when it comes to that bunch. Pointing out that Hillary said something about Obama in March, April or May, isn't going to break through with the average voter. If it does, it will be seen as the stunt it is and shrugged off. Of course, if whoever is not the nominee campaigns like crazy for the one who is, this issue disappears completely. Most voters live in the now.

I think we're in a bloggy bubble - hyper-informed and disconnected from how the campaigns sound to most voters. I've seen some focus group results and nobody is talking about racism or sexism. Nobody is talking about how dirty HRC's scorched earth campaign is. Nobody wants the primary to be over. They are starved for more policy details from both candidates, responding coldly to hopeful rhetoric of any sort b/c they considered it empty. When they like Hillary, which is most of the time, they like her experience and say that it will be needed to fix the mess we're in. She's seen the same results - why wouldn't she use them on the trail and in her ads? Why wouldn't we appreciate that she is in the fight of her life and wants to win. Why wouldn't we want someone like that in the White House fighting for us?

Why wouldn't we want someone like that in the White House fighting for us?

Because she won't be fighting for us. She will, like Bill, be fighting to keep us off her back while she gets the corporations what they want. In that sense, she's likely to be a copy of Bill, and you can expect a lot of populist rhetoric followed by kowtowing to conservatives with stuff like welfare "reform" and NAFTA. Plus, she's a deeper, truer hawk than Bill ever was. Regardless of what she says on the campaign trail, Iraq will drag on of she's Pres because she doesn't really want to end it.

Like you, I'm not impressed by the argument that she ought to go down because of dirty campaigning. In some ways, much as I hate her resemblance to Tricky Dick, it would be nice to have a Dem willing to get down-in-the-mud and slug it out with the Pubs. But that isn't what she's going to do, and she couldn't have made that plainer than she has.

Like Thomas, I'd be leaning toward Obama if I wasn't convinced his rhetoric is meaningless because he sold out to the PTB years ago to get where he is, and if he hadn't made it so obvious that he belongs to Corporate America.

I've said it a couple of times and I'll probably go on saying it until the election is over: neither one of these conservative show dogs is worth wasting energy on. You might as well round up voters for McCain or Ron Paul and be done with it.

There's going to be a lot of disappointment in Mudville come March and April when it finally dawns on the Left that nothing has or is likely to change as long as either is in office.

Yeah, it's going to be pretty bad. But we're not going to go from where we are now to FDR overnight.

That's not the issue. The issue is that we're not going to get there at all if we keep supporting conservative, corporate-friendly Dems like Obama and Clinton. We have to break the chain or they'll continue to ignore us.

Why Mick, are you talking about a third party? One may be able to get traction in the coming ruins of the U.S. economy. Of course, it may look more like the Minute Men and the less totally dawesome aspects of Ron Paul than anything you'd probably want to see come along. Devil you know??

Why Mick, are you talking about a third party?

Not necessarily, but it's an option people are too quick to throw overboard. I'm going to be developing that argument at Witness this week. I'm not unaware of the pitfalls but...

Devil you know??

...I think we're way past worrying about that. The Devil we know is an Enemy. We need to be looking for Friends. I think there's an opening (the one you mentioned is a big part of it) to be exploited that could echo the success of the Greens in Europe. But if we waste a lot of time propping up people who aren't really on our side and wallowing in meaningless political theater, we'll waste time and energy on a losing battle.

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