Bad Memories

Not all memories of the 90’s are objectively good. They just seem that way in the era of Bush. Much as I like Scott Lemieux, digamma has him here:

No one on the left ever dreamed that Clinton would create a major progressive domestic policy shift. The most they ever hoped for was that he wouldn’t actively push conservative policies. And he fell well short of that goal.

The Telecommunications Act? Communications Decency? Antiterrorism? Welfare reform? These were all passed with Clinton’s signature and, with the POSSIBLE exception of welfare reform (on which he waffled repeatedly), with his enthusiastic support. You can’t blame the Constitution for that.

(digamma, who has always had a batty neoliberal streak, predictably neglects to mention NAFTA.)

Any liberal president so soon after the Reagan Era had but one duty: stop the wingnut counter-revolution against the New Deal and Great Society. Clinton failed a relatively easy job. As Scott frequently reminds us (though we chafed Jeffersonian radicals never forget it), the government operates under a Madisonian institutional framework. It is objectively conservative in the sense that it favors inertia and the status quo. Scott’s right that Clinton had little hope of pushing progress; but he could have stopped decline. All Clinton had to do was stand athwart the counter-revolution yelling “veto.” He didn’t. Scott’s Naderite friends are right, in spirit.

Incidentally, while I’m blathering here, I might as well go on a tangent. The Iraq War is hard to stop because it is now the status quo. Likewise, Vietnam was hard to stop once it got going. But neither Vietnam nor the Iraq War were all that hard to start. Why? Because the Executive branch has long outgrown Madisonian constraints vis-a-vis war powers. Clinton couldn’t get health care done; he refused to stop welfare reform; but it was no sweat for him to bomb Sudan and Iraq — an act of far greater moral consequence. Liberals like to pretend the system isn’t broken in this way; but it is. It’s just that it only looks “normally” unbroken because the unholy spectacle of reactionary Presidents like Nixon and Reagan and crypto-fascist executive teams like Bush-Cheney successfully exploiting and enlarging the breach. I’ll concede that some patching was done post-Watergate, but it was just a patch. The problem won’t go away in Jan., 2009 even if Dennis Kucinich is sworn in on that day. The problem is structural. We’ll get another patch with the next Dem president, but then some goddamned fucking future wingnut president (enabled by Sensible Liberals then, too; mark my words, everyone who wants me to forgive poor Matty, Ezra, Boo-Boo Kitty Fuck, Peter, Tommy Friedman, et al.) will just tear it off again and go farther, and we’ll look upon Bush-Cheney then like we look on Nixon and Reagan now.

Someone push the Constitutional reset button!

“No,” cry the Madisonian liberals, “the wingnuts will just take our freedoms away then!” As if they haven’t done a great job of that already, with war’s effect on domestic political climate being the usual means of most Great Freedom Heists. In the end it’s not the wingnuts but rather the Liberals who’d ultimately stop a move to a truly democratic parliamentary system in this country. Bleh, it’s only 6 AM here and I’m already thinking about stealing one of Peggy Loonan’s bottles of Bushmills and pouring a tall one.


Comments: 53



This is very interesting. Some of it is somewhat opaque to me.

1. What do you mean by the “Constitutional Reset Button”? Would that be some kind of radical governmental rollback a la Ron Paul?
2. What would a “truly democratic parliamentary system in this country” look like, in your opinion? Like Canada? Like Italy? Or like something not seen yet?


It is objectively conservative in the sense that it favors inertia and the status quo.

Yep, and until we got Roberts and Scalito, the courts — the Supremes, anyway — used stare decisis to practice what the legal scholars call “incrementalism.” That’s why Roberts seems so shocking. “Precedent? Fuck it!” The legislature moves more slowly than the president can. But the courts? Grindingly slow … until now. And I suspect they’ll pick up the pace, what with fears of a Democratic president who might (although I doubt it) stop packing the federal courts with wingnuts in the name of “triangulation” (as went on throughout the Clinton presidency).

I love your posts, btw.


So what are you gonna do if Hillary buys the primary? It looks like that’s gonna happen. President Clinton 2.0 is going to be be surrounded by people who want her to blood herself somewhere early on to shake any doubts about where she stands as a “serious” foreign policy person. I just cracked open a beer at 8 a.m. thinking about this, that’s as far I’ve gotten.

Incontinentia Buttocks

In the case of war powers, a (small-scale) Constitutional reset would be the impeachment and conviction of a president purely for stepping on Congress’s Article I powers to declare war.

A large-scale Constitutional reset would invole a Constitutional Convention, called under Article V by 2/3 of the state legislatures. This has, of course, never happened. And given the general tenor of our political class today, I don’t long for one of these. If we were to have one, my guess is that the minority GOP delegation would gut the 1st and 14th Amendments with the support of a handful of Democrats. The leadership of the majority Democratic delegation would decide that it wasn’t worth their while to mount a real opposition to these proposals. And Scott Lemieux would blame the Greens, who of course would have no delegates whatsoever.


So what are you gonna do if Hillary buys the primary?

That’s when S,N! goes on a HTML Mencken suicide watch. We have enough momentum now that if we elect a decent liberal (Edwards, Kucinich, Gravel — at this point, I’m thinking Dodd of all people isn’t bad, especially compared to Hillary and Obama) some things can really get done on the domestic front and the war might be ended for the most part. It won’t fix the structural problem I describe in the post, but it’s something.

That’s if we elect one of the above. If it’s Hillary or Obama, forget it. It’s perpetual Iraq then, and probably bomb Iran time, too, not to mention triangulation on domestic affairs.

All I can say is if it happens and I blow my head off, watch the Sensible Liberals cheer the war and triangulations and remember that I told you so.


In the end it’s not the wingnuts but rather the Liberals who’d ultimately stop a move to a truly democratic parliamentary system in this country.

To take it a step further, pretend we did have a parliamentary system. In those governments when the left actually starts making progress the “social democratic” party will inevitably side with economic neo-liberalism and partner up with the conservatives to keep the actual left out of power. At least that way what’s going on would be a bit more clear, but that nut hasn’t been cracked outside of (arguably) Venezuela.


I believe he means constitutional convention. It won’t happen, and even if it did, it would present other problems.

* The people running the country now would be doing the writing.
* The people running the country now would be roughly as disposed to ignore whatever is good in the new constitution as they are with the current constitution.

The current parody of the ideals of 1787, such as it is, retains the ability to effect progressive change (albeit very slowly). Not certain that I want to give the current powers-that-be the opportunity to realize the ideals of 1214 to perfection.

Wars are easy to start because having a large standing army is the status quo, and has been since Truman. The trick is to reduce the army so that we reduce the temptation to go it alone. We are farther along than one might think toward meeting this goal. Most of the Scoop Jackson happy cold warrior types have left the Democratic Party, are past their sell-by date (cf. Murtha), or can be persuaded otherwise by continued success at the polls (nothing, after all, succeeds like success).


Hey, for what it’s worth, I think Obama is bullshitting with a lot of what he’s been saying. I’ve met him a few times and talked with him, his instincts are good. He was either bullshitting me or bullshitting at the debates. Probably bullshitting me, but he knew what to say to make me feel better on foreign policy, used the word “imperialism” correctly. I wouldn’t cap myself instantly if he gets in.


On the Democratic side, Gravel or Kucinich wouldn’t upset me much at all, especially Gravel. I don’t know much about Richardson but he doesn’t sound much different from the top 3. I’m libertarian/anarchist (Spooner variety) and this post and the replies seem pretty on target to me.
As long as a new war isn’t started, the country will probably survive, whoever gets in in January 09.


Draft Gore, people.

He has the executive branch experience. He seems to care about some of the same things I care about. He has already been through the wingnut wringer–is there anything else they can find out about him?


OK, a new constitutional convention. That makes much more sense as a ‘Constitutional reset button’. Thanks to Incontinentia Buttocks and Ploeg, for pointing that out along with all the ins and outs. And yes an impeachment would be great, on a smaller scale, thought it does seem unlikely now.

Now the question is, what kind of parliamentary system is hoped for? What would be ‘truly democratic’?


Would you go on suicide watch if it were Gore?


If Gore 2.0 (the post-election one) is the real deal and Gore 1.0 (the guy who made the decisions back when he had power) is fake, Gore should have went on suicide watch back in the 90’s.


Better not go on suicide watch for anyone or anything that happens in our incredibly corrupt political system, y’all.

If you stake your life on what a bunch of underhanded, stupid yet Machiavellian, crazy yet cowardly, crypto-fascist, motherfuckers in our government do, then you are just setting yourself up. Better to cultivate a layer of detatchment as you place your resources and use your own work to try and make a positive change.

When you run for office yourself, like Cindy Sheehan is now doing, then maybe you cannot help putting yourself totally into it.


Bush/Cheney crypto-fascist? I don’t think so. Remember when Gore Vidal called William F. Buckley a crypto-Nazi on TV? Mort Sahl later said that it was the hypenation that upset Buckley.


Thanks for the link. I didn’t mention NAFTA because that was before the Republican congress. I did mention welfare reform, and back in 1996 all true neoliberals thought that was the coolest thing since Odelay.

HTML, can you go into detail as to why you favor Edwards over Obama? I don’t think you’ve explained it in a previous post and I honestly don’t get it. Did they release some wildly different policy platforms that I’ve missed?


When you run for office yourself, like Cindy Sheehan is now doing, then maybe you cannot help putting yourself totally into it.

I started to say I think she’s too dumb to be elected, but then I started thinking about the rest of them and realized that was a moot point.

Either way, Marcos sucks ass.


I started to say I think she’s too dumb to be elected

Sheehan seems stupid to you? Interesting, I don’t see her that way. You must at least admit that, if we are to go purely on effectiveness, she has done more than any other identifiable individual to popularize dissent against our occupation of Iraq.


“So what are you gonna do if Hillary buys the primary? It looks like that’s gonna happen.”

Maybe I’m all pie-in-the-sky here but I just don’t see it. The base is who votes in primaries and that’s exactly the contingent that knows Hillary for what she is – a Republican. I know I sure hope I’m right.


Sheehan seems stupid to you?

While Israel is indeed crazy policy-wise and while Chavez is far from da debbow, the Palestinian- and Chavez-snuggling with which she sidetracked definitely couldn’t be called politically brilliant maneuvers…

Johnny Coelacanth

“Any liberal president so soon after the Reagan Era had but one duty: stop the wingnut counter-revolution against the New Deal and Great Society. Clinton failed a relatively easy job.”

Clinton didn’t fail. You said “any -liberal- president.” Clinton was never a “liberal.” Freeptards will tell you that Bill and Hillary were/are “arch liberals” but that’s just a conservative canard.


One reason to favor Edwards: Look at the people who are desperately trying to torpedo his campaign.

Seems to me they are not as worried about Obama or Hillary.


The base is who votes in primaries and that’s exactly the contingent that knows Hillary for what she is – a Republican.

Depends strongly on how ABB runs this year. Hillary will win the Iowa caucus. Has nothing to do with “the base” as you are thinking of it. “The base” in the precincts will be packed with the old Clinton guard, they don’t see anything wrong with Hillary Clinton as a Republican, they largely saw Bill Clinton as heir to the Reagan legacy.

Once they come in, the attitude of the rest of the voters is the key. If that establishes inevitability and that’s “our guy”. I think the tribal sort of base Democrat is going to swing her way. She’s not a Republican in that she’ll appoint corporatist, judges to the supreme court but they will be skeptical about cultural issues. Depending on your priorities that may make the candle worth the game.


the Palestinian- and Chavez-snuggling with which she sidetracked definitely couldn’t be called politically brilliant maneuvers…

Sure, but look at it this way- her political aim is not the usual one. She’s not trying to triangulate, or position herself to that no person can attack her.

She is trying, successfully so far, to invigorate a social movement, and raise awareness about something. She is not trying to please everyone, or even anyone. She is not trying to become a politician in the standard sense.


Bottom line: war is too easy, and we won’t long survive as even a shell of a republic if we continue to allow it to be so.

I find it bitterly ironic that the stanchest defenders of the 2nd Amendment are now also the biggest Giant Military wankers. The whole fucking point to giving the populace the right to bear arms was that a citizen militia that could be called up quickly (but not too quickly) was seen as the only realistic alternative to the the inevitable tyranny, coersion, and foreign adventurism that comes from giving the national government a standing army.

Instead, we get the Gun Counter Gomers of the world cheering on the war machine while pretending that dad’s deer rifle would somehow ward of the Hellfire missles if that machine were ever turned on them.

Is it too early to start drinking?


I’m baffled how we could “have” me, since his response is a transparent non-sequitur. I specifically said that there were many legitimate progressive objections to Clinton; it’s just that his failure to get major progressive legislation through a reactionary Congress isn’t one of them. The (indisputably true) fact that Clinton signed some odious legislation does nothing to contradict my actual point. I’m not the one moving the goalposts here.


I think Scott is the one playing by the rules that most of us are used to playing by.


Things that need to be done:

End the fiction of corporate personhood.
Restore the fairness doctrine.

Add to that the huge task of uprooting the incestuous relationship of congress and corporate America and exposing the Bush mafia family.


Plus make cows crap chocolate ice cream. Imperative.


Too late. It’s inevitable. This is a viciously militarized country with a non-sustainable economy. A trillion dollar military. Non-functioning education system. No manufacturing base. No resources of value (i.e. oil). A technology base in decline. A strictly service/consumer economy funded by military contracts and (until recently) home building.

“The troops” are sacrosanct. Talking about it is taboo. Whoever wins the presidency will quickly come to understand how bad things really are. The only way to maintain the lie, to keep the sheep in the pasture, as it were, is to demonize some other population and go to war against them. Iran WILL happen. After that, be afraid, because most of the rest of the likely “enemies of freedom” have real offensive capabilities.

There are only two possible outcomes. One, the US completely falls apart into a kind of collapsed/failed state/civil war, in which case the world breaths a sigh of relief, the states form vaious confederacies and align themselves with various nations for aid and a new century of peace and prosperity breaks out until the climate gets so bad that agriculture and water are the resources the world is fighting over. Then, America is a target. Or two, the world decides they’ve had enough of this rogue superpower and begins to take economic and diplomatic action to marginalize the US and begin to reduce the threat we pose to international peace and trade. Sure, the US would lash out using the military (when all you have is a hammer…), but that would of course be completely unsustainable with the economy in collapse and foreign bases and ports being made unavailable.

Are you familiar with the Drake equation? It’s a way of trying to determine the likelihood of other intelligent societies in the universe. The last variable in the equation is the lifespan of a technological society. I find this a fascinating concept. When a society can develop the ability to destroy itself AND destroy its home planet’s ability to sustain life on a large scale, it seems fairly likely that it will do so, almost inadvertently and quite inevitably. And with wars, weapons, constrained resources and a blind, pig-headed leadership, along with millennial theology and desperation, I’d say it’s about 200 years.

Either way, I look into the murky future, I see the end. Ten years? Twenty? Fifty? How long can we get by on bluster and threat? Who knows, but you can do it without me, kids…



We have enough momentum now that if we elect a decent liberal (Edwards, Kucinich, Gravel — at this point, I’m thinking Dodd of all people isn’t bad, especially compared to Hillary and Obama) some things can really get done

Wow. How did someone so misinformed get to be a contributor to this site?
HTML Mencken, I suggest you spend some more time (at least a few minutes) researching the history and voting records of the candidates.

Incontinentia Buttocks

I’m baffled how we could “have” me, since his response is a transparent non-sequitur. I specifically said that there were many legitimate progressive objections to Clinton; it’s just that his failure to get major progressive legislation through a reactionary Congress isn’t one of them.

As I’ve pointed out in comments over at LGM, the problem with Scott’s initial post is that its built around a strawman. Nobody (so far as I know) criticizes Clinton for failing to get major progressive legislation through a reactionary Congress. People (presumably including Scott’s “Naderite friends”) criticize him for not supporting progressive legislation in the first place, and for working with that reactionary Congress to pass center-right legislation that he easily could have stopped.

Perhaps not surprisingly, seeing as how these conversations tend to go over on LGM, Scott’s argument in comments is slowly morphing into “Nader is teh suxxxorr!!1!!,” which, especially in this case, seems pretty irrelevant to me.


(Though accurate.)

a different brad

How’s about criticizing Clinton for failing to work with Congress when his party held both Houses of it, helping to set the stage for Newt’s Contract on America?
I agree that Hillary is a nightmare waiting to happen, but I don’t know where the Obama loathing is coming from.
Yeah, he’s playin like a centrist. But he’s also the only of the big three who was against the war from the beginning. And he’s the only one who can do what no major Dem, save maybe Cuomo in a smaller setting, has done in my lifetime; speak to our better natures. Edwards arguably has better rhetoric now, but he failed his chance, to my mind. Yeahyeah, he said he was wrong. Still failed.
Obama’s playing the game now, but who really cares about the poses? Bush pretended he cared about other humans back in 2000, but everyone with half a brain knew basically what he was, if not how extreme it’d end up being. I don’t mean to buy into any cult of personality, and his seeming betrayal on the first end the war vote, waiting until it was dead to vote for it, does raise the question of how he would have voted in 2000 if he felt his political career was at stake.
But….. I still feel that if Gore doesn’t run, Obama is the only real hope for change. Not revolutionary, massive change like we all agree would be the just ideal, but effective change.
And, while it’s a small, non-decisive point, the simple act of electing Obama would be an incredibly effective step towards rebuilding our nation’s standing in the world. Arguably more effective than ending the war, tho if he were able to make that his first real act in office…..
And finally, tho I’d be shocked to hear the issue ever raised in the campaign, is there any candidate more likely to try and finally end our nation’s war on black men? Not Hillary. If Bill was any guide, she’d make a big show of having great race relations, while building yet more prisons and upping mandatory mins to seem tough on crime.


Have to ask: who’s “Boo-Boo Kitty Fuck”?


Of the “big three”, I think it’s apparent (at least to me) that only edwards would have any tendency at all to end America’s military-driven foreign policy. Gore would quite probably roll back America’s militarism and reduce military spending, but I betcha he’d get creamed in 2012 by a tough talking republican, because the American people are too invested in militarism.

Hillary and Obama would expand America’s wars. Edwards won’t completely end America’s military expansion, and he WILL continue the costly fiction that the military is the primary bulwark against terrorism. So while he may resist the calls to start new wars, he likely WILL increase military spending and the growth of “Lilly Pad” bases around the world.

But long-term, Gore might be the greatest disaster by allowing the most agressive warhawks to take power in four years. So Edwards is likely going to be the best choice.

But barring some public meltdown, only Hillary and Barrack have a shot at the Democratic party nomination at this point…



Either way, I look into the murky future, I see the end. Ten years? Twenty? Fifty? How long can we get by on bluster and threat? Who knows, but you can do it without me, kids…

Sheesh, you’re a frickin’ barrel of laughs today, Mikey. Who shit in your punchbowl? I fall victim to this “End is Near” shit more often than I should, but try to remember that the country has survived a lot worse in its lifetime, despite all the doomsaying and hairshirt-rending.

Peak Oil is a bitch, there’s no doubt about that. The fallout from that is not going to be pretty, but believe me, whatever happens here, the rest of the world is going to have it worse. China? Come on – 1.3 billion people means 1.3 billion breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day, on a base of arable land polluted with cadmium and mercury. India? They have 12 languages on every bill printed in the country; they’re a bad curry fart from descending into multi-sided civil war, with Pakistan added for extra spice. Europe can’t figure out whether they want to be one big Euro open to immigrants, a welfare-nanny state or back to the Balkan model. Brazil has enough problems just trying to keep the Bolivian coke from setting off a total firestorm in the favelas, and the Russian bear is busily gnawing its own guts out from the internal corruption and Russian mafia. So much for the bright future for the “BRIC” that all the emerging market snakeoil salesmen are peddling.

Take a walk in the park. Check out all the energy of the younger kids. It ain’t that bad … unless maybe the labels on the prescriptions all got mixed up…

(this goes for you, too HTML)

a different brad

mikey, and HTML, why are you so sure Obama has been assimilated?
I don’t mean that snarkily, I honestly feel as if I must’ve missed something. The vote was bad, yeah, and he’s not being a firebrand. But if you’re hanging your lack of belief in his character on when he cast a vote, well…. that’s a bit much.
And mikey, I think you underestimate the people. If Gore made sure the folk who lost jobs to weapons factory closings found new jobs in, I dunno, solar panel factories, all that warmongering rhetoric would be a lot less effective. At any rate it’s not hard to see a Gore Admin having a very positive effect on the economy, and that’s the core of how Clinton made 96 so easy.
Plus, if he had any balls, he’d form a war profiteering commission in congress, and take back half a trillion or so. That’d be one hell of a surplus.
It’s wishcasting, perhaps, but one of the real virtues of Gore 2.0 is that he seems to have recognized the uselessness of DNC style campaigning.
My problem with Edwards is that for all his words now, he voted for the war. So either he was a fool, or he compromised everything he claims to believe in for political expediency. I know you feel differently from me on this mikey, but hasn’t Edwards shown that at the toughest times he doesn’t lead, but follow?


Obama’s whole fucking schtick is triangulation. Tip-toe. Do nothing radical. Don’t piss off the wingnuts. It’s called “healing”. Why people think he’s another Russ Feingold is beyond me. Read the NYRB piece and read the subtext of Tomasky’s excusals of Obama’s corporate-whoring. Read one of his campaign goons’ condescending piece in Slate on the Michael Moore movie and tell me again how he’s not Clintonoid. Taibbi has him pegged, I think: Obama is a fantastic bullshit artist but very ideologically timid — another Bill, which is what really gets Hillary’s goat about him. His rhetoric on Iran is disturbing for what he won’t say. He’s not earned Marty Peretz’s endorsement for no reason.

I’ll eventually do a “Primary Primer” on who I like and don’t like and why and why not.


It’s not that I don’t have faith in the people so much, but rather I have utter faith in their indoctrination. America is a nation built on a warrior ethos, and we’ve somehow beat that horse to the point where we’ve gone from honoring our history in warfare to worshiping war. Any politician who tries to find a way to build down the military to a posture suitable for todays realities will be terribly vulnerable to attack from the right. And the people will be terribly vulnerable to that rhetoric. It would only take a few incidents, terror or overseas military aggressiveness for the warhawks to begin to effectively blame the peace party for everything, and I’m sorry, I think enough people will buy it.

I’ll believe that things have a slim hope of changing when the dialog isn’t “managed”, when our national conversation doesn’t have fences around it, where talking about what our true role in the world is, what the future of our economy and the growth of entitlements is, how it can be sustained, what our true vulnerabilities are, what an appropriate level of military spending and military usage might be, until the taboos are removed from the dialog, I’m sorry, we’re doomed. Seems simple and obvious to me.

Brad, when Obama told an Israeli newspaper interviewer that under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to develop nuclear technology, it was obvious to me that he was willing to use American “hard power” in an inappropriate and stupid fashion, and his foreign policy would be based on the same “power projection” and American exceptionalism that has increasingly characterized American foreign policy since at least Kennedy. This is a path where the errors in judgment and knee-jerk aggressiveness are increasingly leading us to a bad end.

America is a major contributor to global instability today. America could be a major contributor to peace and prosperity. Pull back from most of the overseas bases, build down the strategic forces, put some kind of effort into living WITH our neighbors rather than dominating or manipulating them, and maybe there’s a future. But think, really think about where the current path leads, and listen to the things our politicians feel they’re allowed to talk about, and tell me how there is optimism…


a different brad

I guess, HTML, that I’ve seen enough him to forgive some bending to reality. Triangulation worked for Bill, and by being better at it than Hillary Obama has done a hell of a lot to deflate her chances.
And he doesn’t have to work for our votes, face it. Edwards sounds good right now because he’s got the worst chance of the big three, meaning he has to play to the base. Hillary and Obama, for better or worse, are looking past the primaries, to the general election. If Obama were being more radical…. well, then we wouldn’t have to look at how Sharpton was treated to find the lingering racism in the MSM.
I know this probably makes no sense, but Obama’s campaign makes me think of how Ali beat Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. Tire em out, then strike. Use their own strength against em. I see a man with a plan, a man who was against the war at a time when it could have crushed his then tiny political career. Edwards and Hillary voted for the war.
I’m not saying I love Obama n he’s gonna save the world. But short of Gore entering the picture, I think he’s the best choice. Edwards is a salesman.

a different brad

mikey, all I can say is, so what. If I were running for president today, with the stakes involved, I’d say shit I didn’t believe to keep the path clear to having a chance to do something real. Words mean shite all. I’d tell an Israeli paper something just like that, then be sure to make a show of believing their claims to only be working on nuclear power plants once in office.
Politicians have to pander, and Obama is doing something no African-American man has ever done before. Telling special interest groups what they want to hear is a necessary part of a filthy trade. It doesn’t, however, mean you have to follow up those words with deeds.


How is Edwards a salesman, adb? He is a successful tort lawyer who made his money helping little people beat giants. He grew up legitimately poor. He is the only candidate talking about poverty.

Yes, he voted for the war. That’s a big deal to me, too. On the other hand, the war isn’t the only issue I’m concerned about. I’m a single parent, and I care as much about health care and education as I do about Iraq, and it’s obvious we won’t have the money for the social programs I care about if we don’t quit spending on militarism. I don’t like it that Obama (and I’ve seen him a couple of times) is rather cavalier about health care. He also doesn’t seem to seriously consider cutting military spending. He flatly dismissed it out of hand at that town hall. Also, the man is just icky slick. The first time I went to one of his town halls, a couple of months ago, a lot of the audience questions really sounded like plants. i didn’t get that vibe from Edwards at all. I really liked Obama until I went to that first town hall. Nothing I’ve seen since impressed me in the least.

Also, Edwards has Elizabeth. Elizabeth alone would be good for a lot of votes. It’s hard not to love her. It’s like the Clinton team but with a faithful marriage and without Hillary’s abrasiveness.


I’ve thought about that. After bush made his claims about “compassionate conservatism” and “a humble foreign policy” and then turned out to be this horrific criminal, that’s not an acceptable part of the game anymore. If you can’t be honest in your political rhetoric, if you’re willing to tell us what you’ll do and why you’ll do it, well fuck you.

Yeah, I get “political realities”. But that’s what I’m talking about. The “game” is what’s killing us. Do I think it’s gonna change? Nope. I think you’re right. For that matter, there’s no good reason for me to believe John Edwards’ rhetoric, because you’re right, lies are how one gets elected.

But on the gripping hand, one has to base one’s political choices on something. So I’m sceptical. I’m suspicious. But I have to find a way to make a practical decision. I think Hillary and Barrack don’t believe in sacrificing their polictical careers to start to change the dialog. I think Edwards and Gore might be willing to have that kind of courage. So there it is…


a different brad

That’s an enviable ability to see them firsthand you got there, Candy. And I was probably being too hyperbolic to call Edwards a salesman. But I do think that if he had a stronger position his words would be much more cautious, and playing to the base seems, to me, to be a good indication of a willingness to betray them later on. I don’t have anything against Edwards, and obviously prefer him to Hillary, but maybe I’m still so pissed that ABB became Kerry it’s bleeding into how I see Edwards.
As for Obama, I can’t match your personal exposure to him, like I can’t read the NYRB piece HTML cited cause I don’t have the issue or access to their archives. I did read the New Yorker piece on him, and it seems like right now it’s all about not being labelled a liberal, for his campaign. That’s what’s so Clintoniod about him. But the article also emphasized a key difference between Obama and Bill; a need to be liked. Bill doesn’t want to be called a liberal because it would push people away from him, Obama, I think, because he’s calculating and fears a liberal pigeonhole.
I don’t mean I agree with this move. I think Bush has made it possible to be a liberal again, and the Dems have to realize it soon or a third party is going to fuck them again. But I think that Obama, unlike Clinton, is trying to avoid the liberal tag because he is one.
But I also recognize how many “I think”s are in there, and that I’m quite capable of being wrong

a different brad

mikey, I feel your pain. It pains me to basically be arguing that my guts says Obama is for real. I don’t know, and don’t pretend to know.
But George Carlin won’t run, and Bill Hicks is dead.
You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want.


Mikey, you’re really on fire lately. Good stuff.

Brad, you may be right. I dunno. Truth be told I hate this Primary crap, especially so early.

Anyway, if by some chance Edwards gets the nomination he will be subject to the biggest dirty tricks campaign of all time. Yeah, sure, any Dem will get that treatment, you say, and you’d be right. But Edwards’s will be worst of all. The ‘two Americas’ thing scares the shit out of the Wealthy Criminal Class, and because of that, so-called Liberals will be in on the smear campaign too. It’s gonna get ugly regardless. But it’s gonna get really ugly against Edwards.


downunder girl said,
July 14, 2007 at 23:32

Have to ask: who’s “Boo-Boo Kitty Fuck”?

Yes, please reveal. You’re a little more opaque than usual. Can’t tell if that’s because you need more Bushmill’s or less.


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