Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bill Clinton Needs to Get Over It

Bill Clinton said this today in Denver:

"Suppose for example you're a voter. And you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?"

He went on to say he wasn't talking about the current election but that's probably a lie.

I don't know that Hillary would agree with this idea--she didn't say it after all--but let's take Bill's hypothetical on face value for a minute.

First, the most egregious aspect of what Bill said: According to her husband, Hillary agrees with the majority of Democrats on just half of traditional Democratic issues. Could that be true, or does Bill believe Hillary's even more centrist (read: more right-of-center) than she led us to believe during the primary season? If Bill's right about what his wife thinks, then that essentially confirms what a lot of Obama voters suspected about Hillary. It's nice for me to be validated like that, so thanks Bill. (I personally suspect Hillary's not quite so Republican as her husband does, but we'll move on.)

But I also just want to question the logic behind Bill's "rhetorical" question. In his question, he makes the assumption that the hypothetical voter "knows" that Candidate Y, (Hillary), will be "able to deliver" on the half of the issues she agrees with her party on, and Candidate X (Obama), won't be able to "deliver on anything." The fact is, no voter knows how any candidate will do once in office. All we can do as voters is draw conclusions based on evidence. That's what campaigns are about. We don't know, as Bill does, how well Hillary would be able to deliver on the half of Democratic core issues Hillary actually believes in. Neither do we know how well Obama will do. But when you compare two essentially unknown quantities (and don't possess the ability to see into the future as Bill does), do you pick the candidate who agrees with you on everything, or the one who agrees with the other side on half of the issues?

Well, that's a no-brainer.

So even though Bill meant to undercut his party's nominee for president, he may have inadvertently laid out the case why Obama was always the stronger candidate.

14 comments:

blankfist said...

I wouldn't say Hillary is Republican, or right of center. Just because Dumya (W. Bush) is an interventionist doesn't mean that's a strong Republican attribute. Foreign interventionism and "nation-building" used to be Democratic principles, not Republican. I've had this conversation before, so I'm going to copy and paste most of this...

Have we forgotten about Wilsonian interventionism? Woodrow Wilson believed every man had the right to self-determination and further believed it was America's duty to protect democracy throughout the world. Wilson sent troops to Mexico to proclaim martial law during a revolution. He was quoted saying his efforts were to "teach Latin Americans to elect good men." And, let us not forget his interventionist role in Europe which aided in the Versailles Treaty. We know how that ended for us... hint: Nazis.

What about Franklin Roosevelt? Hey, tell me which right-wing mouthpiece publication is responsible for this quote: "Franklin Roosevelt relished his nation-building" Fox News? Nope. The New York Times did in regards to his interventionist policies in Haiti. FDR even said "I wrote Haiti's Constitution myself, and if I do say it, it was a pretty good little Constitution."

What about Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam? The Vietnam War has been categorized as LBJ's war. But, our involvement with Vietnam started during the cold war, which started to be realized when Harry S. Truman tried to contain communism in Southeast Asia in the 50s. And, hell, JFK was guilty of increasing financial aid and advisory assistance in South Vietnam. He fully adopted the National Security Action Memorandum 52 which was left over from the Eisenhower Administration that read in regards to South Vietnam: "The U.S. objective and concept of operations stated in the report are approved: to prevent communist domination of South Vietnam; to create in that country a viable and increasingly democratic society, and to initiate, on an accelerated basis, a series of mutually supporting actions of a military, political, economic, psychological and covert character designed to achieve this objective."

Obama will continue this terrible trend of nation-building as he's already said he would be prepared to order U.S. troops into Pakistan unilaterally. Thoughts on this, Craney?

blankfist said...

Wait, I forgot this:

--PAPA

Anonymous said...

Brian -

Ok - let's get all of this out in the open for everyone to understand - especially for those right wingers on this list-serv.

First and foremost - the Democratic party is definitely FOR Capitalism just like the Republicanism. They just want the Government to work as an instrument - like a referee to create parity within a system whose entire reason for being is to develop class division and antagonisms. Listening to Hillary last night - she was pretty much saying that the DEMS are the new and improved Imperalist party - they can do what Repubs are doing better (meaning instead of being all about white old men) - they'll now let everyone else get a piece of the pie. Screw the poor people abroad who are suffering for your low prices and our 401K's. Of course, magazines like the ECONOMIST espouse that all of this is good for them. Without us - they'd be living in abject poverty instead of know working 80 hours a week to feed our voracious Western appetites.

Final word on this:

Obama is not a left wing nor a progressive candidate. He is not a socialist nor does he possess a true affinity for the working class. For the right wing to say this - is to expose them as uneducated idiots. Like a preacher who's never read the bible. Boobs.

Actually, Obama polls very low among white blue collar workers. His economic and foreign policy positions are right of center: support for Georgia against Russian invasion and for an American Missle Defense Shield, 2) support for Israel against Palestinian parity in situation, 3) For increase in military focus in Afghanistan and Pakistan not to mention he wants to increase military spending and place more troops on the ground in those regions. He might want to pull the troops out of Iraq - but our embassy and influence will remain in the government - so terrorism will NEVER end. 4) He has voted to allwo more wiretapping and spying on Americans...And selected a VP - Biden who believes Iraq should be partitioned. He is a corporate paid off stooge and originally wanted to partition Iraq (like British Colonialists)!
5)Even more insidious is his calls for a public works job program (via JFK pre-Vietnam)to "enflame" young citizens into public service. Hmmm - is this another way to increase a new kind of patriotism in the new global economy.

This tells me - the national unity stuff is demogaguery for the re-institution of the draft. the ruling class knows what they are doing. In order to rebuild our fractured PR from Bush's B-S, an African-American self-made millionaire is brought in is reminded that the Empire awards its ervants who pretend history and class division doesn't exist. Places the glove back over the first and works through institutions that will set up the world in favor of US interests. Is this change?

BRAND OBAMA to the rescue.

4) His tax program doesn't truly attack corporations (they don't pay and for fear of moving abroad) nor the billionaire's clubs (who fund his campaign) - they hit upper middle class and middle class Americans. Nor has he promised to bring back pensions, nor stop the privitization of social security, his single payer healthcare program is a giveaway to the insurance companies (he doesn't even believe in a national healthcare system, he has never spoken about media consolidation nor about how he will increase the ability to unionize in America with the Taft-Hartley Act still in effect.

Outside of the fact that he is African-American - I see nothing different than John Kerry here...And we know what happened to him last election.

Democrats are screwed. They are scared too move to the left in fear of alienating a business class that rules America. They know they will never win an election. So, they move ever rightward - their populist rhetoric contradicting their pro-business pro war actions. Now - the difference between the two parties is merely cosmetic.

THE US: These are the illusions.

1) Everyone must be an entreprenuer. Every idea must make a buck or it is not useful in our society.

2) There will be no real help from the government (Hurrican Katrina)as this country doesn't have a real history of exploitation, genocide (Native Americans) and slavery (Africans) - everyone will pick themselves up from the bootstraps as everyone was born equal - this is hypocritical given that over 90% of US wealth is inherited. But to Americans - a hand out is against the very nature of this country - except if your part of Wall Street. You get bailed out by public money every day.

3) America has no class issues. There are no rich and poor. Public Schools suck right? Well, then why is the funding tied to property taxes? The richer areas have the best public schools....

4) America can keep growing and growing without a regard to the planet and other people. It can push its way of life to other countries and then build up a bellicose stance like a mobster whenever it feels its turf or profit share being usurped by rival gangs (oops I mean countries). But - that's the American way, right?

Overall - politics in America is a waste. I think Obama is a commercial for a product that has no shelf life and believe you me - will NOT change a thing.

He might help the US save some face with his diplomacy and Machiavellianism - the hip Capitalist will push a new social capitalism to the world. And like fools - people will buy into it!

- PAPA

Anonymous said...

Brian, please, I am getting apoplectic. Your candidate is the nominee.....no more Clinton bashing please..save it for McCain.


Ma

Anonymous said...

A few additional points...

(sorry for all of my grammatical and/or spelling errors as I am doing this from work quickly...)

Speeches thus far:

1) Hillary Clinton: basically conceeded defeat to Obama and asked for party unity in the face of the Republicans...You know - she played the guilt card - don't vote for Obama or you will get 4 more years of Neo-Con travesty. Her narcissism reigned supreme here as she just couldn't resist talking about her own life or campaign - with some obligatory and superficial comments about Obama - still leaving many wondering and worried if the Clintonistas truly support Obama and believe in him to lead.

2) Slick Willy's speech was a perfect political speech. Master oratory - master sophist. This guy is amazing speaker man. He is a true politician. Most importantly -he gave substantive reasons why he believes Obama would be the perfect man for the moment - again the Clinton narcissim came into the fore - comparing Obama to himself (as a young Gov making a run for the White House). One key ingredient to the Clintonista support was Obama's shift to the right (Democratic Leadership Committee) with his choice of the moronic Joe Biden as VP. And Clinton mentioned this in his speech. As if this was the final reason for him to throw his support to this ticket. It goes to show that the Dems are all about winning elections - not taking on the status quo.

3) Finally, Biden's speech was awful. Enough for me to stay home in November and NOT vote. Or vote for the Greens. His "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" mantra was re-engineered Republicanism as weak populism, his advertising of MORE tax cuts! without mentioning where the money for all the new social programs is going to come from, his continued allusions to GOD throughout his speech, his bellicose stance to RUSSIA ~ pushing a new COLD WAR upon us, - his attributing our soldiers to warriors!, his pro-war policies in the Middle East (basically stating that he and Obama can and will run a better long term War than McCain).

The subtext for Biden's speech?

1) Either it was B-S craven opportunism to win over the white blue collar Reagan Democrats who might otherwise vote McCain or stay home.

2) Preparing Americans for more austerity programs at home (how on earth is any administration going to get us out of our current financial mess and push for additional military adventurism abroad is beyond my comprehension).

3) Pushing for this fictitious and dangerous national unity in the face of an inevitable future economic crisis and military engagements. Preparing the US for the new COLD WAR.

Democrats mentioned NOTHING about the working class and the poor in any speeches (outside of Kucinich) -everything was about the Middle Class and the wasting away of the American Dream! That if one works hard enough - they can be middle class or stay middle class. Now, more than ever - the middle class is dissapearing and that seems to be the only worry of these morons.

Tonight - I hope Obama gets more specific about his intended policies and what his approach will be for the first 4 years.

I can't wait to watch the Republican national convention. Where the Democrats are all about this false superficial flimsy HOPE, the Repubs will be about FEAR of the unknown, a glorification of WAR and wealth. This will be like an American Legion convention.


- PAPA

blankfist said...

Crane's silence is answer enough for me.

nathan said...

Obama!!!!!

Crane I want a post on that acceptance speech. It was fucking awesome

Anonymous said...

Dudes! McCain just selected a moderate Republican WOMAN as his VP!

This is going to be the most interesting election...

- PAPA

Harwell said...

Sexist...

Anonymous said...

Shoot! Sorry - Palin is crazed but....(SORRY THIS IS A BIT LONG - BUT BECAUSE OBAMA PEOPLE ARE VICTIMS OF CULTISM - I WILL BE FORCED TO SPELL OUT SOME FACTS THAT I KNOW WILL NOT BE COMMENTED UPON OR DEBATED...BUT - WHAT CAN I DO IT'S MY NATURE TO CARE)...

I am not impressed with Obama and can't for the life of me see how good Democrats are drinking the kool aid.


He didn't mention any of the following things in his speech, his policy papers or speeches...


Obama made no call for an immediate end to the criminal occupation of Iraq - an occupation Obama will clearly continue and which he has long supported in numerous ways both fiscal and rhetorical.


Like McCain, Obama made no mention of the 1.2 million Iraqi's killed by America's wicked invasion - an attack Obama has absurdly attributed to the Bush II administration's supposed noble but excessive commitment to exporting democracy.


Obama had nothing to say about the illegal, immoral, and brazenly imperial, oil-driven nature of "America's" rape of Mesopotamia.


He did not call for an end to the equally illegal occupation of Afghanistan, a bloody imperial incursion Obama hopes to escalate.


He repeated his offensive claim that the U.S. is "a nation at war" - a preposterous way to describe an imperial state that is waging one-sided colonial campaigns on another side of the world. Most Americans go through their daily lives entirely free of "war's" demands and sacrifices while "their" government imposes a veritable Holocaust on Iraq and murders civilians in Afghanistan. Although his calls for national unity and recent bellicose stance against Russia spells possible reinstatement of the draft!


Obama did not call for deep cuts in the U.S. military budget to free up billions and even trillions of dollars for social programs to end poverty and reduce inequality in America. He did not pick up on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to argue that the U.S. should stop spending half of its federal budget on a mammoth "defense" (actually about what the Pentagon calls "forward force projection") system that maintains more than 720 foreign military bases (located across nearly every nation on Earth) and accounts for half the world's military spending.


Obama did not note that this vast and expensive Empire poses a grave threat to the physical and economic security and the political freedom of U.S. citizens by diverting money from social programs, provoking "anti-American" anger and "blowback" around the world and justifying U.S. attacks on civil liberties at home and abroad.


Obama did not join King in observing that a nation reaches "spiritual death" when it spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year on a cancerous military-industrial complex while millions of its own children live in poverty.


He did not call for the introduction of free health care for all, paid for by the federal government.


He did not propose a government guarantee of meaningful, socially useful and decently remunerative employment to everyone who needs a job.


He did not call for massive government housing relief for millions dealing with foreclosure and eviction.


He did not call for a guaranteed national income set at the real cost of a minimally decent living in the U.S.


He did not denounce the grotesque mal-distribution of wealth in the U.S., the world's most unequal industrialized and wealth top-heavy state by far - a nation where the top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the wealth and a probably larger share of its politicians and policymakers. He said that "this country of ours has more wealth than any other nation" without bothering to mention the profoundly regressive way in which that "national wealth" is allotted insides the U.S. He said nothing about the harshly fixed lines of class immobility which ensure that the children of rich parents tend to stay rich (no matter how "personally irresponsible" the Few's progeny may be) while children of poor parents tend to stay poor no matter how "personally responsible" they may be in the U.S.


He did not mention the shocking and growing number of Americans living in poverty and extreme poverty


He did not call for radical changes in the nation's tax and spending policies to fund social uplift and reconstruction.


He did not advance union organizing rights to rebuild and expand the labor movement, the single greatest anti-poverty program in American history.


He did not call for the introduction of participatory and egalitarian labor process and workplaces or for the re-orientation of the nation's core economic activities around social utility and use value, not hierarchy and private profit.


He gave no mention to the deep and persistent problem of institutional racism in American life, a difficulty so great that the median black household's net worth is equivalent to seven cents on the median white household dollar.


He did not call for an end to the racist War on Drugs, which feeds a globally unmatched U.S. prison state that places a million black Americans behind bars and saddles one in three adult black males with the lifelong mark of a felony record.


He did not note the danger that his candidacy and the success of other prominent, upper-class blacks threatens to deepen "post-Civil Rights" America's chronic national blindness to persistent underlying racial oppression while reinforcing white America's toxic habit of explaining racial disparities purely in terms of black Americans' own alleged personal and cultural failures. This is a habit that Obama has furthered on more than one occasion, both directly and indirectly.


Obama did not call for the full public financing of U.S. elections or for other measures to end the wildly disproportionate influence of the privileged and corporate Few on America's "dollar democracy" - the best that money can and did buy.


He did not call for the reform of election laws to open political debate and contest up to progressive non-corporate parties and thereby to create electoral choices that accurately reflect the real spectrum of U.S. public opinion on key policy issues.


He did not call for restricting the right of corporations to draft laws governing their industries.


He did not advocate making it illegal for corporations to use shareholder funds for political purposes.


He did not call for forbidding former high-level politicians from becoming business lobbyists for ten years or more.


He did not advocate forbidding former high-level corporate officers from sitting on commissions with regulatory power over their industries.


He did not call for making it illegal for corporations to try to influence their employees' votes.


He did not call for the repeal of "investor rights" clauses in trade agreements, which let foreign and multinational corporations sue a national government for passing environmental, safety (job and consumer), labor, and/or anti-discrimination laws.


He did not call for the break-up the powerful corporate media monopoly through the vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws and the introduction of strict limits on what percentage of local and national media can be owned by single firms.


He did not call for the expansion of public media and the provision of significant new public subsidies and other resources for alternative and grassroots citizen's media.


He did not call for new corporate charters that redefine big business as a public entity required to serve the public interest and the common good and to be accountable to the broader community.


Blaming America's problems almost entirely on the Republicans, Obama gave no indication of knowing that his own corporate-captive and militantly militaristic party has been fully complicit and centrally involved in crafting and implementing the corporate-neoliberal policies of Empire and Inequality that have done so much interrelated harm at home and abroad. Corporate Democrats remained invisible in his discourse.


Please help me understand - why and how Obama and his staff (all recycled Clintonites for the most part) will be the people to mobilize and empower people to some kind of bottom up grass roots movement or are Democrats hoping he will fight in their corner?



All politicians in a representative system are shills for some higher power structure. They are sock puppets for power. Obama's greatest contributer is Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup! NOW THAT IS CHANGE!



Personally - I would not fear so much a McCain administration. I don't fall into the fearmongering of either party. Apocalypse is bad for business. Can't make any money with a completely wrecked world. All they care about is money. The ruling class keeps smoke and mirrors going - to divert people's attention away from what is important. So far, its working. Bring on the new and improved brand!



Wouldn't it be nice to see McCain and his dunce be saddled with 4 - 8 more years of torment? I believe a fed up public will DO something - at that point there will be no choice. The only significant structural CHANGE you will see - outside a superficial cosmetic and social one (gays marrying or an African-American as President or the preservation of abortion) will be to fight for them. Scary times are ahead - especially when both people running for office are warmongering apologists for imperial power.


Papa

Anonymous said...

...That or we need a serious 3rd party in this country - a strong one uniting both left and right and independent elements that can come to a consensus on a united platform and take on the two Corporatist parties. Otherwise, we will never see any significant change.

- PAPA

- PAPA

Anonymous said...

FACTS:

Glance at the greatest contributors to

John McCain:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?id=N00006424&cycle2=2008&goButt2.x=10&goButt2.y=8


Obama:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?id=N00009638&cycle2=2008&goButt2.x=11&goButt2.y=5

Nearly identical...


Of course, Bob Barr (Libertarian), Nader (Independent) and Cynthia McKinney (Green Party) have all taken money from corporations but not at the level of the 2 other candidates. Why? Because they are mostly using public financing and private donations.

As for Obama (through Moveon.org) he's received nearly $400,000 which is substantial - but this was not enough. In order to defeat the Hillary machine he needed to raise substantially more from the same private industry (financial and banking)...Now, he has to pay back his masters - which is to cut them deals!

How hypocritical for Obama to say that he would relieve the bankruptcy law (when Biden himself is spokesperson for Mastercard and the credit card companies). It's interesting too that Obama has opted out of public financing for his election - opting for a completely privatized run!

Yeah for Democracy!

- PAPA

- PAPA

Anonymous said...

-PIZZA

-PIZZA

blankfist said...

Dead blog.