Shocking Turn of Events
By Dan | June 8, 2008 - 9:37 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Clinton

Well, you win some and you lose some. Apparently I overestimated Hillary Clinton’s capacity to endure ostracism and campaign debts. I was certain she would not bow out, and yet she did. I will say this, though: in her “concession speech” she referred to herself a total of 108 times. She referred to Barack Obama 19 times.

Is Hillary really really endorsing Barack Obama? It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

Do you recall, back in the heady days of inevitability, Hillary deigned to allow the peasants to pick her campaign song? Perhaps her post-campaign theme should be the Beatles, “When I’m 64.” (Hillary Clinton will be 64 in 2012). To wit:

When I get older, I’m running again
Just four years from now
Will you still be voting for me then next time?
More campaigning with blue collar swine.

If the phone rings at quarter to three
Who should answer more?
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four?

I’ll be in Denver too
And if you say the word
I will stay in view

I could pretend, mending this feud
But when the results are in
You will hear me swearing that “I told you so”
On Sunday morning political shows

I’ll stay in the Senate,
Passing the years
I will wait four more
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four?

Over the summer, we’ll hear reportage
On his Reverend Wright, I won’t disappear

For him I will campaign
But under baited breath
I’ll root for John McCain

Send me a postcard drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely wasting away

Give me an answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me
Will you elect me
When I’m sixty four

Hillary’s End Game
By Dan | June 4, 2008 - 4:42 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Clinton

I have noted before that Hillary does not want the V.P. spot on Barack Obama’s presidential ticket. She wants, more than anything, the nomination for herself. Failing that, she wants Obama to fail miserably, either in November so she can challenge President McCain or, less ideally, as president, so she can challenge Obama for the nomination (ala Reagan v. Ford). In any case, joining the ticket aligns her with him, and you don’t tie yourself to your opponent voluntarily.

So, what is her end game? I continue to believe she will take the nomination fight to the convention. She still has her ploy in “making every vote count” in Florida and Michigan (she mentioned suffrage and disenfranchisement three times in her speech last night). Now, she can add the V.P. stakes as another reason to take the fight to Denver and prolong the battle (and thereby weaken Obama). Here’s how:

Hillary will spend the next few weeks (there are about 12 weeks until the convention begins) privately and not-so privately through surrogates, coercing Obama to offer her the V.P. spot. If he offers her the spot (which will make him appear weak and will tarnish his “Change” message), she will haggle over details or make unacceptable conditions, dragging out the process as long as possible. In the end, she will either make him look impossibly weak or continue the fight to the convention.

If he refuses, or even more inflammatory, if Obama dares to pick his own running mate, she will continue to press her supporters to “draft Hillary” as V.P. She will (behind the scenes) arrange for a floor vote on the Vice Presidential nomination (and, depending on how offensive his pick is, possibly contest the presidential nomination as well). (Maureen Dowd has already reported that Clinton has requested a roll call vote, which the Obama camp rejects as a possible trick!). As Bob Beckel pointed out, if she forces a vote for V.P., a lot of superdelegates will have to vote for her, even if they went for Obama at first. She only needs about 10% defections to pull it off.

Assuming Hillary wins the V.P. floor vote, she will, magnanimously decline to serve as V.P. “Barack Obama is our nominee for president,” she will screech over boos from her own supporters, “and he clearly does not want me to serve in his administration. In the interest of party unity, I therefore decline the nomination for Vice President.”

Barack Obama then goes on to get hammered by the Reagan Democrats who see him as rejecting their candidate. President McCain is sworn in and we get four more years of lower taxes and dead terrorists. Hillary can then jump back in for the 2012 cycle, which will begin in just three short years.

Hillary Won’t Quit
By Dan | May 30, 2008 - 11:40 am - Posted in Politics & Policy, Op Ed, Clinton, Edukashun

I find it mildly amusing that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean have all come out in the past two days promising to bring an end to the Democratic presidential campaign next week. While it is true that the party “leaders” can apply pressure to the unaligned super delegates, they cannot apply pressure to Hillary herself. What is needed to end this race is a concession speech from the runner-up. Does anyone really think that is forthcoming?

Let’s look at the carrots and sticks that the Democrats have over Hillary Clinton. First, the sticks:

  • Campaign Debt. Hillary has amassed about $11 million dollars worth of campaign debt that, under McCain-Feingold, she must repay before the nominee is selected at the convention. $11 million is a lot of money, even to the Clintons, but most of it is owed to small suppliers. Has anyone ever accused the Clintons of looking out for the little guy?
  • Obama’s Inevitability. The argument goes: once enough super delegates come to Obama, Hillary will have no choice but to concede to Obama. This argument is so utterly unhinged from the past 4 months, it borders on parody. Hillary Clinton has been mathematically eliminated since just after Super Tuesday. No one reasonably expected Hillary to be able to pull this out without a tremendous Yankees-lose-four-straight-to Boston style collapse by Obama. Once she lost those 10 straight primaries, the end was inevitable. Nothing has changed, and it won’t.
  • Hillary’s Future In the Party. To think that Reid, Pelosi or Dean could threaten the Clintons with any plausible political damage is laughable. Half the time, Reid and Pelosi can’t even get their own colleagues to get behind legislation they themselves are backing. And trust me, Hillary Clinton covets this nomination far more than some farm subsidy.

And now the carrots. Ask yourself, what is it that Hillary Clinton is asking for:

  • Florida and Michigan. If you think this is anything but a cynical ploy, you’re doing it wrong. Hillary does not care one iota about the voters or delegates of Florida and Michigan. How do I know? Before it mattered, her delegates to the DNC voted unanimously to strip both states of their delegates. The only reason Hillary cares about these delegates is that it gives her a reason to take the fight to the convention.
  • The Vice Presidency. As I have mentioned before, Hillary does not want Obama to win. She wants him to fail miserably so that she and Bill can say “We told you so,” in 2012. If that is her strategy, she wants to stay off the ticket to avoid blame, while paying lip service to a united party. She will campaign for Obama, she may even hedge her bets by requesting a Supreme Court spot, a cabinet role or a choice ambassadorship, but she will not join the ticket.
  • A speaking role at the convention. Try and deny her this. This is not even negotiable for Hillary. She will speak at the convention, whether Pelosi, Reid and Dean like it or not. With almost exactly half of the delegates on the floor being Hillary supporters, can you imagine the pandemonium if she is denied a prominent role? Moreover, the media, even with it’s pro-Obama drunken stupor, would have to cover Hillary’s competing press conference(s) and other distractions.

In my opinion, there is just no leverage to force Hillary out of the race. Hillary truly believes that Obama will be exposed before November as the Chicago political operative he is (she would know), and she has faith that McCain will not run for two terms. No matter the numbers, no matter the odds, Hillary will drag this out to the convention. She will make a big speech, a thinly veiled warning to those who vote for Obama. She will force a vote (maybe even several platform votes to embarrass Obama). She will set the stage for four years hence, when her new campaign theme will be “I told you so.”

Why Obama Should Avoid A Do-Over In Florida And Michigan
By Dan | March 17, 2008 - 12:33 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Clinton

Don’t you just love election years? They’re full of pandering to special interests, saying one thing and meaning another and, especially if a Republican is in office, negative talk about the economy. Don’t get me wrong, things are getting bad out there, but the press almost seems happy about it. It’s as if the positive news coming out of Iraq is too depressing for them, so they need to get their fix with a weak dollar and the long overdue housing bubble bursting.

But the real joy is in the Democratic primary. Barrack Obama is starting to show signs of mortality. His once teflon exterior is starting to melt away in the sunlight of some (still gentle) media scrutiny. There are still far too many unanswered (and some still unasked) questions about his dealings with Mr. Rezko and his connections to extremists like William Ayers. Now, questions are even being raised against his passionately anti-American pastor of 20 years. From all reports, it may have been better politically for Mr. Obama to have stayed Muslim. At least Islam is a religion of peace.

Florida & Michigan
The other thorn in Mr. Obama’s side is the twin-headed monster of Florida and Michigan. Hillary Clinton is and will be very much alive at the DNC convention in August, and she will continue to harp on three things: (1) “Obama is unelectable (beacause I’ve made him so)”; (2) “I’ve won all the big, important states”; and (3) “I’ve got the momentum to lead this party into the general election.”

The first argument is the modus operandi for the Clintons. Why build when you can destroy? They’re the political equivalent of Bizzarro Superman.

The second argument is also classic Clinton: self-serving, illogical and yet oddly effective. Clinton has been arguing that she has won all the big states needed to win the general election. This is clearly specious in Democratic enclaves like the People’s Republics of California, Massachusetts and New York. It’s not as if those states are going to swing Republican because Hillary is not the nominee. It’s patently ridiculous in Texas, which hasn’t gone Democratic since it went for Carter in 76. I think they learned their lesson.

The argument, however, is slightly more seductive, however, in places like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These are the swing states that actually decide who becomes president. Of course, the fact that Hillary wins a Democratic party beauty contest in these states does not, necessarily mean she will win the general election there. After all, McCain won those states by an even larger margin. But, and this is the grain of truth in the ridiculous, it does mean she has better ground troops there. It means, arguably, her organization is better positioned to fight in those states. On balance, however, I think whatever advantage she has over Obama in those states will not survive Hillary Hatred or the new McCain Democrats.

On the momentum issue, here is where it gets tricky for Mr. Obama. Hillary can show momentum by continuing to win big states and by keeping the popular vote close, or even passing him. In delegates, Obama leads Clinton by about 10%, and neither Obama nor Hillary have a realistic chance of sealing the deal before the convention. But Obama currently leads the popular by about 13.3 million to Hillary’s 12.6 million; if you include Florida, that lead nearly halves from 700,000 to 400,000. Both will need “super” delegates to win.

Hillary will probably win Pennsylvania by the same 10% or so she won in Ohio. This will do little to help her in delegate count, but it will put a dent in Obama’s popular vote lead. With the stakes being so high and such a long lead up to Pennsylvania (still five weeks away), look for high turnout, which I believe will favor Hillary. Also look for voter fraud, but that’s par for the course in PA, especially with a Clinton running.

As for Florida and Michigan, only the kind of person who feints at political rallies believes Obama has a chance of winning Florida. Hillary is sure to win and, given that this election will actually count, turnout is going to be better than it was in January. (Meaning a Hillary win will bring the popular vote even closer). If there is a revote, especially so close to the convention, Hillary will have another big state win, a jump in her popular vote count and Obama will have proven himself unable to win in any big state (other than his native Illinois).

Obama’s best bet is to mathematically allocate the Florida delegates and take the wind out of Hillary’s sails. The same is true for Obama in Michigan, although he may play better in Muslim regions where his middle name is an asset, not a racial slur, as he now claims. Even if he applies the 60/40 split of the January votes in Florida and Michigan (which is the best mathematical split Clinton could reasonably hope for), he will only lose a handful of meaningless delegates. He will also be able to paint himself as reasonable and generous in giving up those delegates and Hillary Clinton as mean and petty when she inevitably demands that the popular votes count as well. A small price to pay to show the world the obvious.

The Fear Card
By Dan | March 7, 2008 - 7:10 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Foreign Affairs, 9/11, Clinton, Business Section

There’s an interesting argument developing on the Left.  Having Hillary’s Attack Machine up against the Audacity of Hope Machine has been very enlightening for some Democrats. First, Hillary supporters are now seeing first hand what it’s like to be called racist, simply because you don’t vote for a candidate who is Black.  Of course, there may still be some people who won’t vote for a Black person only because they’re Black, but the syllogism falls apart when you say if you don’t vote for Obama, you must be racist. It’s also telling that Obama’s supporters cannot image why anyone would want to vote for anyone other Obama, even Hillary. There’s nothing scarier than the devout who accept a leader without questioning or comparing alternatives.

Obama’s supporters are also finding out what it’s like to suffer violent personal attacks in response to policy arguments. Welcome to our world, folks. The funny thing is that, somewhere, Ken Starr is wondering “What the hell? All I did was ask about their finances, too.

The real interesting development, however, is the growing “fear mongering” complaints. Obama’s supporters are complaining about Hillary’s 3 a.m. ad, which questioned Obama’s ability to deal with a crisis. Of course, the unspoken threat is terrorism.  Obama’s supporters are also, ironically, complaining about Hillary scaring people with losing their jobs.  (Look for Hillary’s camp to make similar complaints about Obama’s NAFTA rhetoric.)

The interesting thing is that Democrats are finally realizing that the “Republican tactic” of reminding people that it’s a dangerous world out there is just as “unfair” when you play to people’s fears about their jobs as when you remind them of the ever present threat of terrorism. Personally, I have never thought that this argument is unfair at all. If you’re running for President of the United States, you should be able to allay people’s fear of the unknown. You should be able to defend your policies and convince the people who elect you that you are capable of keeping them safe.

The argument is slightly less valid, however, when you play to people’s fears of losing their job. The president has direct control over the military and the national security assets that keep us safe. No one is infallible, and attacks will happen. The question is, what will you do to keep us safe? The president has no direct effect on jobs, however. (Of course, some Democrats are still hoping for a worker’s paradise where the government is the only game in town.) The president can advocate tax cuts, can suggest legal reforms and some regulations, but the president doesn’t close the factory. Claiming that electing the old so-and-so will cost you your job is more inflammatory than claiming he or she won’t keep you safe.

Of course, accepting responsibility for your actions is not one of the Left’s strong suits.

1 Comment
Gloria Steinem and the Growing Irrelevance of Identity Politics
By Dan | March 3, 2008 - 8:23 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Liberals, Op Ed, Clinton, Stars & Stripes

Gloria Steinem continues, in futility, to try to make herself relevant. Over the weekend, she made two comments that illustrate the intellectual dishonesty and moral equivalence that permeates the Left.
The Victim Card
First, not because it is more important, but rather more easily dealt with, is her assertion that women are and have been more oppressed than Blacks, and therefore women who do not support Hillary Clinton are betraying their own kind. This is pitiful indeed. Who a person votes for should not be determined by their sympathy for the type of person the candidate represents. If that were the case, the mentally retarded and maimed animals would win elections handily. I accept, of course, that many mentally retarded individuals have won elections by large margins, and this explains why Congress is what it is and has a 20% approval rating. Nonetheless, the weakest argument a candidate can make is “Vote for me because I’ve been tortured the longest.” Were that a valid argument, we could swear in John McCain tomorrow, notwithstanding what Mrs. Steinem says, referred to below.

McCain Slander
Second, Gloria Steinem actually mocked the torture Senator McCain received at the hands of the North Vietnamese. Torture that left him physically (and I would presume emotionally) scarred for life. She also noted that being tortured for eight years doesn’t qualify Mr. McCain to be president. There is an obvious emotional reaction to this for anyone with any common decency. There is also a strong temptation to further demean the whole political process and point out that, while Mrs. Steinem was getting groped at the Playboy Club before going home to a warm and cozy apartment, John McCain was being beaten every two hours because he wouldn’t say a bad word about the country for which he served.

Putting the emotions aside, this is clearly another intellectually feeble argument from the Left. First, the single most important quality in a President should be that person’s character. Character is the ability, not only to know right from wrong, but to summon the will to do what is right. John McCain could have, at any time, allowed the North Vietnamese to use him and his family connections for propaganda. (Propaganda that, it should go without saying, Steinem and her friends gave freely without coercion). John McCain’s time as a POW is one of the primary reasons so many Americans have such a deep and abiding respect for him. It shows strong moral character, determination and a willingness to sacrifice his personal comfort for the greater good, even when, most people would have given their capitulation.

Second, what is it about Mrs. Clinton’s experience that makes her qualified for office? Is staying married to a serial rapist and chronic liar suddenly a crucible through which good leadership is formed? Are shading real estate investments and cattle future windfalls the test of a born leader? Perhaps interning for the Black Panthers and cajoling the release of Puerto Rican terrorists is the mark of a President in the making?

As you would expect, upon public outcry, Senator Clinton’s campaign distanced itself, saying that Steinem’s comments “do not represent Senator Clinton’s thinking in any way.” Indeed. Nor do the comments represent that Gloria Steinem is thinking in any way, either.

On the wikipedia page for Mrs. Steinem, there appears a quote for which, I assume, she is famous: “Evil is obvious only in retrospect.”  How telling a philosophy.  I suppose, if that were true, you could get away with anything if you wrote the history books.

Hillary Launches Anti-Discrimination Campaign
By Dan | February 21, 2008 - 1:35 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Clinton, Edukashun

In a desperate attempt to save her faltering campaign, Hillary Clinton (D-Your State Here!) has launched an anti-discrimination campaign. The campaign was launched with the Delegate Count website, As the site notes, Hillary’s official campaign position is that “Pledged delegates and [superdelegates] are the same - they each count for one vote!” The blurring of the line between pledged delegates and what the site calls “automatic” delegates is a Clintonian masterstroke, similar to the renaming of rogue states to “states of concern.”

“This is the essential function of the anti-discrimination campaign,” notes one Hillary watcher. “If you can blur the line between democratically elected delegates and politcal hacks picked for their loyalty to the establishment, you can start to make people doubt their hold on reality.”

The campaign will make the effort to blur the line between several crucial primary topics, including:

  • Race & Gender: “There’s no difference between a Black man from Hawaii/Kenya/Chicago and a white woman from Chicago/Arkansas/New York/Dixie, they’re both among the most liberal senators in Congress!”
  • Florida & Michigan: “There’s no difference between states where Obama was on the ballot and where he wasn’t, Hillary should have won them all!”
  • Primaries & General Election: “There’s no difference between primary election results and general results, if Hillary can win all the Democrats in Florida without even campaigning, she’s a shoe-in for the general election in November!”
  • Healthcare: “There’s no difference between government healthcare and private healthcare, either way you die in the end!”
  • Abortion: “There’s no difference between a 3-month old fetus and a 9-month old fetus, they can both be terminated by a simple procedure!”
Words That Have Impact
By Dan | February 20, 2008 - 12:32 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Best Of, Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been on the offensive against Senator Barack Obama. In an effort to bolster her argument that words have had little or no effect on national and international affairs, Mrs. Clinton has managed to explain away much of what her ideological opposites have said over the course of history:

  • Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” According to Mrs. Clinton, this was merely a neighborly request, aimed at increasing “curb appeal” in central Europe. After all, rising house prices benefit the whole neighborhood!
  • There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.” This, according to Mrs. Clinton, was nothing more than a tautology meant to rationalize a hurt and shocked public.
  • I have a dream today. That one day, men will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” This was merely a call for psychoanalysis and dream interpretation. People are clearly meant to be judge by their propensity for shady real estate dealings and their ability to profit from cattle futures.
  • I hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Nothing more than a mic check.
  • I know not course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Nothing more than a statement of preference.
  • I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” An admission of guilt to the crime of speeding.

No quote-a-thon would be complete, of course, without a historic quote appropriately referring to a modern politician. In this case, Abraham Lincoln referring to Barack Obama: “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”

Hillary To Criminalize Poverty
By Dan | February 4, 2008 - 5:31 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Government, Clinton, Taxes, Adoptions

October 10, 2011
The Clinton administration, in an effort to the “Health Insurance for All” program, is looking into the criminalization of poverty.  “Garnishment of wages is just not working, and we still have a significant number of uninsured in this country,” noted one administration official. 

The Department of Garnishment Redistribution and Administration of Benefits has noted that many workers are simply not cooperating with the mandatory insurance enrollment program.  “If people aren’t going to cooperate by earning enough money, we’re going to have to get more aggressive,” noted Hahn Dowt, a GRAB administrator.  “I think there are a number of mechanisms that are possible, including arresting those who refuse to make enough money to pay for their own healthcare.”

Clintonian Contradiction
By Dan | January 29, 2008 - 12:13 pm - Posted in Politics & Policy, Op Ed, Clinton

The interesting thing about the Clinton’s past and present is the dichotomy of scandalism.  Hillary and Bill created their empire by drudging up dirt and slinging it as hard and as fast as they could to destroy anyone who said or did anything that could possibly impede their ambitions.  (One side irony here is that Hillary especially has been the pot calling the kettle black with her “vast right wing conspiracy” and “politics of personal destruction” bitching.)

The irony is completed with Bill’s own presidency.  He set the scandal bar so low that, especially in Democratic presidential politics, there is no scandal that can sink a candidate.  Think of it, this is a man who not only got a blow job from an intern in the oval office, but lied under oath about and, not only wasn’t impeached, but remained in office.  Many Democrats still revere this guy, and he was disbarred by Arkansas.  ARKANSAS!

Once Hillary lost her lead and the “air of inveitability” the Clinton media machine spewed on everyone, the only way she could defeat Obama was to undermine him.  Clinton’s don’t win on their merits, they make the other person a greater evil.  It’s their modus operandi.  No rational person thinks that Hillary Clinton can win a popularity contest, especially not with the “smooth, silky sounds” of Obama.  All she has is mud slinging.

Hillary’s only option is to smear Obama with a juicy, Titanic-sinking-iceberg sized scandal.  There’s the rub.  Can you think of any scandal bigger than anything the Clinton’s have already gotten away with? 

Financial scandal?  Whitewater anyone.

Sex scandal?  Come one, Clinton has more skeletons under the sheets than Jeffrey Dahmer.

Misuse of government authority?  Pardongate, Travelgate. 

Even murder?  Vince Foster.

There is nothing the Clintons could (plausibly or not) pin on Obama that would sink his campaign, at least not without sinking Hillary’s in the process.  The Clintons have managed to lower the bar so far that the one thing that they’re good at has been rendered moot.  If it wasn’t sad and pathetic, it would be poetic.