The "Same-as-Me" Defense of the Clintons

Due to a spectacular flame-out of my adapter cord, my post from a borrowed computer will have to be brief.  So I'll give merely an observation.  A number of commentators noted again today the peculiar way the Clintons have criticized rivals this campaign cycle.  Instead of defending their weaknesses, they either claim amnesia (on the Telecommunications Act at YearlyKos, on those funny charts of Perot's on NAFTA, etc) or, more often and more tellingly, the case made is that 'they're just like us.'  

Hillary Clinton, for example, has responded to charges that she was taking substantial donations from lobbyists mostly by claiming that her rivals were as well, just less conspicuously.  (We'll get back to that in a minute.)  Chris Bowers called it "the Blurring" here back in May.

Her recent attacks fit this mold.  Clinton's questions about fundraisers sounded particularly ironic to NBC's First Read:

It's also a bit ironic, too, given that the Clintons have had many more problematic donors than Obama (Hsu, Gupta, Chung, Denise Rich, those donations to the Clinton Library).

The tactic is, of course, clear: to try to prove that Obama is just like them.  

The spectacularcrassness of the Clintons' recent fundraising schemes among Washington lobbyists would be hard to imitate: Her "Rural Americans for Hillary" fundraiser at the lobbying headquarters of Monsanto, or her selling defense contractors access to chairmen of the House Defense subcommittees would be two favorite examples.

Clinton's response?  Not to change her behavior, but to find any sort of kink in Obama's shut-out of lobbyists from his campaign --- highlighting a state-registered lobbyist in New Hampshire, for example, one who, obviously, isn't covered by either Obama's or Edwards' ethics policies because they're not, say, Washington defense contractors trying to buy favors with those who hold the purse strings.  I'll leave you to ponder for a couple seconds whether those things are commensurate.

She has taken to mocking ethics reform efforts using lobbyist talking points:

So, to hear Senator Clinton tell the story, the most comprehensive lobbying reform in more than thirty years -- and one of the major accomplishments of the Democrats controlling Congress -- was a joke...

To hear Senator Clinton spin the tale, the law was a meaningless effort because lobbyists can still serve cheese platters and mini-weenies on a toothpick at a stand-up gathering, when just a few months ago they could feed targeted elected officials and their staffs at the finest restaurants in DC and elsewhere. This is an argument against corruption reform straight out of GOP backrooms and the gilded offices of K Street.

Leaving aside that that ethics reform act, championed by Russ Feingold as well as Barack Obama, also drove Trent Lott into early retirement so as to skirt the reinforced provisions that would have prevented him from taking up a plush lobbying position, we're to believe that it had no impact in Washington.  

Her position that you're not really against the war if you have ever voted to fund the troops is almost funny --- funny because it says what exactly about her own work in the Senate and her years of approving funding after approving the war resolution that brought this country into Iraq?  (It's worth noting on the side that a number of the two dozen Senate Democrats who opposed the Iraq war resolution later voted for funding resolutions once troops were deployed, Dick Durbin for example.)  This is apparently a "clever" way of derailing criticism of her own staunch support of the war by deflecting attention away from it.

Forgive if I take the candidate who from the start in 2002 argued against"the cynical attempt by Richard Perles and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne." (Yes, that's a quote.)  Only one of these two candidates stood up at the beginning and expressed their outrage, didn't they?  

The blurring goes on and on...

Update [2008-1-23 16:13:46 by psericks]: Her amnesia over previous telecommunications legislation doesn't of course prevent her from pushing industry-written plans to sell out the progressive goal of expanding broadband access.

Tags: 2008, Barack Obama, ethics reform, Hillary Clinton, lobbying, president, Primaries (all tags)



Obama isn't different, he doesn't transcend squat

Americans need the truth.

Obama has been allowed to skate by saying he is different.  His cheerleaders in the national media has trumpted how different he is.  He is not.

CLinton didn't make him vote to fund the war.

Clinton didn't make him vote against capping c.c. interest.

Clinton didn't make him take money from Rezko or write letters on the mans behalf.

Clinton didn't make him invest in Skyterra.

Clinton didn't make him hire lobbyist to help run his campaign.

Clinton didn't make him heart Ronnie Reagan and the Republicans.

Clinton didn't make him flip flop in heath care.

Obama has done all these things and more and they just simply prove that he is not different.  His shiite stinks like everyone elses.

I think given the false hype he enjoyed is important to get across.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-23 11:04AM | 0 recs
The Clintons are Worthless.

Really, do anyone think HRC can win anything outside of the Democratic Party?  Please, she won't win, period.  Folks are looking at voting Bill Clinton back in office and Independents and Republicans who we NEED to for the General Election will say, NO, to both.

by iamready 2008-01-23 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

If HRC is the candidate, we are in big trouble.  Watching a McCain inauguration will be painful.  Our only hope now is Romney.

by tom32182 2008-01-23 11:13AM | 0 recs
The generic numbers are the #'s to watch

This early that is what matters.

Democrats win the generic ballot by a mile.

Clinton will do very very well with Latinos and the anti-immigrant Republicans will not come close to the mid 30s that Bush pulled in.  That along could throw CO, NV, NM, and the election right there.

Soccor moms - big chunk of indies and possible R crossovers in key states will break on the economy and ending the war.  Both strong suits of our party.

Also Mark Penn seems to right.  Clinton will very well among women.  INDEPENDENT women.  Remember, Clinton scored MORE independent voters in NH than McCain ... Mr. Independent NH ... did.

Clinton has shown in mutiple polls that she puts VA in play and other Dems do not.

Lastly, Clinton or Edwards can win Ohio.  The Ohio GOP is in shambles.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-23 11:13AM | 0 recs
you need to take a look at the latest...

...generic ballot polling.

Democrats are not winning by a mile.

by d 2008-01-23 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

Here we go, iceberslim. Where can Barry win seriously ? If 20-30% of Latinos, Jews, white working class voters do not vote for him in general election, how can he possibly win?

You believe these folks will just autimatically go with anybody democratic party nominates? Laughable.

by prisonbreak 2008-01-23 11:20AM | 0 recs

I'd like to see any kind of evidence that 20-30% of those traditionally Democratic voters wouldn't pull the lever for Obama were he the nominee. There's no more evidence for that than there is that young people and African-Americans wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton if she were the nominee.

On the other hand, there's definitely evidence that Independents would be less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton than for John McCain. And you can't argue that it's not important to get their vote in a GE.

I assume young people, African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, and working class voters will all side with whichever Democrat wins the nomination. Clinton or Obama would do fine with those demographics, as would Edwards.

by HatchInBrooklyn 2008-01-23 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

This is so laughable.  At the end of his second term Bill Clinton had 67% approval ratings.  Obama supporters seems to have selective amnesia, remembering only the bad but magnifying it beyond all reality because they have completely forgotten the good.  Bill's ratings at the end of his second term were even higher than Reagan's.

And who were the 33% who disapproved of Bill?  About 31% were the diehard Republicans that are still supporting George Bush and the other 2% were Naderist purity trolls.

Of course if you have selective amnesia it is a lot easier to believe bad things will happen if Hillary is elected.

by Mike Pridmore 2008-01-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

Bill was for the Iraq War before he was against it.

by ohiomeister 2008-01-23 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

Hilary clinton is not Bill Clinton

by orin76 2008-01-23 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Clintons are Worthless.

Well then Obama can't win either so maybe we shouldn't even run anyone?

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-23 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: All 3 have weaknesses

Well, all people like you seem to be doing is running around saying how you won't vote for Hillary if she's the nom and you'll vote for the GOP. You can't unify people like that. They aren't interested in winning, they're interested in making themselves feel pure. And no candidate can do that. There just in an Obamafog and not facing reality.

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-23 06:05PM | 0 recs

You are demagogue deluxe.  I award you the black star of falsehood.

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: More smears

There you go again!  Your response to substantial allegations about the way the Clintons practice politics?  Throw more mud at Obama.

This is an intellectually bankrupt response that only confirms the point of the original diary.  

I don't know if enough Dems will see through HRC and BC's tactics in time, I do know that we will not achieve change by acting like Republicans.  I do know that the Clintons are doing very real damage to the party.  I do know that if the Republicans are smart enough to nominate McCain, there is a very real chance that all of the Clintons' manipulations will be for not. Imagine John "Straight talk" "War hero" McCain against the Queen of Prevarication and Manipulation.  It is a very ugly vision.

by upper left 2008-01-24 06:28AM | 0 recs
Clinton didn't make him not vote

to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

by nerdoff 2008-01-23 11:05AM | 0 recs

where have you been for the last several years.  Clinton was the one who voted for the war - Obama is against the war - remember this time - tie a string around your finger or something

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

There's some truth to this.  It's an extremely cynical strategy.  But ultimately, his theme is representing a different kind of politics, and it's a fair answer to argue that he represents the same kind of politics.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 11:06AM | 0 recs
For Obama's "new kind of politics,"

this makes a good read.  He laid out in 1995 what he wanted his political career to be about.

by psericks 2008-01-23 11:28AM | 0 recs
thank you

You found and linked to something that I had not seen - which is not easy.  Adam B deserves a big thumbs up!  I agree with Adam B that one of the better arguments for Obama is his consistency.  Consistency reveals something about a person's judgment and character.

by mboehm 2008-01-23 01:10PM | 0 recs
The demagogues and cynics

have been destroying our real progressive candidates in the Democratic party of years.  Eugene McCarthy, Jerry Brown, Howard Dean and now they are attempting to destroy Obama - its sad and I hope they won't be able to do it again.  

Which side are you on?
Status quo or move forward?

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The demagogues and cynics

I see Obama as more of a Bill Bradley than a Howard Dean, to tell you the truth.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: The demagogues and cynics

Jerry Brown? Wow, that shows what planet you come from. Jerry Brown pretty much destroys himself. He comes across as a total flake.

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-23 12:07PM | 0 recs
You just

demonstrated my point - thanks

by Moonwood 2008-01-24 05:29AM | 0 recs
Listen up Georgia triangulater

Jerry Brown is and has always been one of the few progressive movers in the Democratic party.  The fact that you buy into the Republican line about Jerry Brown just shows me how little you know about politics in general and Progressives in particular.

A brief synopsis:

Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees California Secretary of State (1971-1975),  Governor of California (1975-1983), Chair of the California Democratic Party (1989-1991), Mayor of Oakland (1998-2006), and Attorney General of California (2007-present).

Go read up on Mr Brown You'll find out that the only thing "flaky" about him is he has always been about 25 years ahead of everyone else.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-01-24 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Listen up Georgia triangulater

No, I made that decision by myself. I watched him campaign and he came off as a total flake. Sorry you don't agree but that's your right.

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-24 12:37PM | 0 recs

Try to educate yourself on a candidates positions, qualifications and accomplishments instead of "all by yourself" deciding how they "came off".  

Unfortunately people who "decide all by themselves"  without the aid of facts, are the very people who gave us "W",  after all he "came off" like a swell guy, the kind you want to have a beer with.

Stop listening to the MSM pundits and pooh-bahs and do a little fact checking.  If you had know anything  about Jerry Brown other than what some half brain dead pundit had to tell you about him, you could never have believed he was a flake.  PERIOD!!

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-01-24 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Again....

Like I said I made the decision myself. I've seen him on TV claiming that people were in trees outside his house spying on him. Dennis Kucinich can run for office and win too. Doesn't mean that he isn't out there.

by Ga6thDem 2008-01-25 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Again....and again....

It's sad top see how easily you buy into the MSM BS! Maybe you should have seen or listened to the entire statement in it's context with the malathion spraying of the trees infested with Mediterranean fruit flies, but instead you cling to a 30 second piece of edited BS from the MSM.

This is the problem that the Democratic party faces when it's own members choose not to educate themselves.  I hope you enjoy the party when it is dead and gone!

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-01-25 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: The demagogues and cynics

Obama as a "real progressive" is just laughable. Point to me where his (vague) platform is any more progressive than Clinton's or Edwards'.

This bullshit that Obama is some True Liberal Hero is fantasy.

by need some wood 2008-01-23 01:02PM | 0 recs
So would

you be a demagogue or a cynic

by Moonwood 2008-01-24 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

The point is relative commitment to changing the political process:

Campaign finance:  Obama reveals bundlers, doesn't take money from Federal PACs and lobbyist.  Obama has far more small donors. Not perfect, but much better.

Ethics reform:  Obama passed legislation at both the State and Federal level.  Not perfect, but much better.

Positive campaigning:  Obama barely mentioned HRC by name until mid-December.  His criticisms have primarily been to try to defend himself against HRC and BC's misrepresentation of his record and statements.  Not perfect, but much better.

You get the point....

Give Obama substantial credit for trying to do better while trying to win under the rules of a deeply flawed election process.  While Obama is trying to do better, the Clintons are fracturing the party by employing divisive, Rovian tactics.

by upper left 2008-01-24 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has bigger problems to deal with

It is only the political afficianados who worry about fine policy print in this election. The vast majority of voters make their decisions based on much more primal concerns. From the color of a candidates skin, to their gender, their physical attractiveness, the sound of their voice, etc. There is so much waffling by candidates on any given issue, and so much denial of that waffling, followed by claims of "misrepresentation" the track is just too difficult and time consuming for most to follow.

Based on the last debate, however, Obama has two very serious "gut" issues to deal with. First that he may be corrupt, based on the Rezko allegations, and secondly that he is flat out stupid, based on his fuzzy, meandering, debate performance. I was watching it with several people who are casual political observers and hadn't seen a previous debate. They were all shaking their heads over Obama's stuttering, hesitant, and ultimately nonsensical, answers.

by robert ethan 2008-01-23 11:18AM | 0 recs
Most people

I talked with and in the polls I saw - Obama or Edwards won the debate - actually it was Hillary who looked petty and trivial - and nasty.  Obama's problem is that he is so brilliant many people can't get what he is saying until someone explains it to them.  That whole Reagan thing demonstrated how slow most people are.  Unfortunately to a demagogue like Hillary or Bush its a big opening to lie and obfuscate.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-24 05:36AM | 0 recs

"The blurring goes on and on..."

It certainly does. In this instance, the blurring is between where the money comes from, and the stance on the war in Iraq. "Mr. Clean" Obama has raised a ton of money on Wall Street. This is a well-reported fact that, somehow, didn't make it into your post. Why is that?

As for Iraq, "Mr. Anti-War" Obama has been a US Senator for 3 years now, and what, exactly, has he done to end US involvement? Um. . . that would be a big, fat NOTHING. Where was he when Kyl-Lieberman was being voted on? Hiding? Or did he lose his papers on that one?

So, before he was a Senator, he gave a speech against the war. BFD. Talk is cheap. All Obama does is give speeches. Maybe he should be running for Toastmaster General.

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Right On The Money

Bravo, couldn't have said it better myself. Other folks on here seem to be saying that your argument doesn't hold water since Obama argues for a "different kind of politics." But the only people who could possibly buy that are those who haven't listened to him and don't understand what he means by "a different kind of politics." These are the same people who mistakenly see him as an insubstantial candidate with vague policy ideas. Obama's "different politics" have to do with using an inclusive tone and trying your best to represent all Americans, not just the people who voted for you. It's not about being above politics, or incapable of making mistakes, or being some kind of messiah figure.

by HatchInBrooklyn 2008-01-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Right On The Money

Other folks on here seem to be saying that your argument doesn't hold water since Obama argues for a "different kind of politics." But the only people who could possibly buy that are those who haven't listened to him and don't understand what he means by "a different kind of politics."

This one starts off with a passing reference to the reality most of us live in.  Then it flies off to Obamaland, where Barack Obama says things that have magical meanings, meanings which are not subject to interpretation by mere mortals who use the ordinary dictionary definitions of words. In Obamaland these statements magically mean whatever he later needs them to mean.

by Mike Pridmore 2008-01-23 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Right On The Money

"Obama's "different politics" have to do with using an inclusive tone. . . "

Who gives a damn about his "tone?" You want "tone," listen to music.

"It's not about being above politics, or incapable of making mistakes, or being some kind of messiah figure."

It isn't about anything anything at all. It's a soundbite/buzzword designed to appeal to people who know nothing about politics.

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 11:35AM | 0 recs

If you're talking about the Rezko thing, Obama has admitted again and again that the land deal was a mistake.

Why doesn't Clinton admit that voting for the Iraq AUMF was a mistake?

by HatchInBrooklyn 2008-01-23 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Right On The Money

There seems to be an amazing overlap between the people who laud Barack Obama for wanting to "represent all Americans, not just the people who voted for you," and the people who consider Bill Clinton to be a centrist sellout.  Does that even make sense?

I don't want a divided country but I don't really see how you can simultaneously be a progressive President as well as a President who "represents all Americans."  I favor progressive policies because I feel they're better for the nation as a whole, but there are definitely some people who won't be getting their way in the short term.  I don't see any way to reconcile this contradiction that doesn't involve a whole bunch of rhetorical sludge.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 11:45AM | 0 recs
Centrist Sellout

I for one don't think Bill Clinton was a centrist sellout. I also don't think that it would be a mistake for our party to use a centrist message of inclusion as a method for building a large enough majority to actually pass major progressive legislation. I think anyone with a brain who supports Obama understands that this is exactly what he aims to do.

by HatchInBrooklyn 2008-01-23 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Centrist Sellout

I don't see how you can claim the country is ready for major progressive legislation, but not for a progressive message.

I'm sure Obama is a great progressive at heart, but why can't he talk more about why our ideas are right and the other guys' ideas are wrong, rather than preaching an amorphous message of unity that's not aimed at any particular set of solutions?

by Steve M 2008-01-23 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Centrist Sellout

I think his message is progressive. It's all about grassroots power, people uniting as a community and rallying to affect real change from the bottom up. Just because "unity" is part of it doesn't mean he's selling out.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Centrist Sellout

I'd like you to take a look at the argument I made in this diary.  I thought the discussion was illuminating.

When you ask me what it means to be a progressive, I guess it's a complicated question, but I'd say there's certainly a number of liberal policy positions at the heart of it.

But instead what I keep hearing from Obama supporters is that "progressive" doesn't have to refer to any policy positions per se, but is rather about this process-type stuff you mention.  Like somehow we create an open, transparent government and then everything just kind of flows from there.

I'm not sure I can buy it.  I certainly see a lot of people supporting Obama who are completely into this process-based definition of "progressive," but don't seem to act in a way I would consider progressive at all.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Centrist Sellout

Well I understand why issues are important to the definition of "progressive" but I don't see much difference between our Democratic candidates, specifically Edwards and Obama, on the issues now. Yes there are certain areas of disagreements, but I don't view them as make-or-break differences.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 02:30PM | 0 recs
Clinton was right, it's a minor reform

The point she made is that (whether it is the greatest lobbying reform in 30 years or not) in fact it's a minor accomplishment. Here is what she said to Tim Russert:

When Senator Obama was asked, what is your major accomplishment in the Senate, he said it was passing ethics reform and getting legislators to be prohibited from having lunch with lobbyists. And then, you know, Charlie Gibson said, "Well, wait a minute. You can have lunch if you're standing up, not if you're sitting down." So if that's his main claim for legislative accomplishment, people deserve to know that.

It's strange when the truth gets taken hostage by my candidate-ism. I assume the Dkos writer is a major believer in campaign/lobbying reform, and that's great, but let's set our reform sights much higher than no free lunch!

by fairleft 2008-01-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
Bunch of bull

This whole lobbyist thing is such a bunch of bull. Less than 1% of Clinton's fundraising has come from federal lobbyists.

Obama is taking money from exactly the same federal lobbying firms. He's just making the partners "de-register" before donating. Or getting their wives to donate or whatever.

Edwards #1 moneyman, the guy who loaned Edwards his corporate airplane for the last year, was the head of the trial lawyers lobby association in Washington. Hundreds of federal lobbyists worked for him. It's a technicality that he himself was not registered as a lobbyist.

by hwc 2008-01-23 11:32AM | 0 recs

the whole lobbying issue is bogus who cares if Hillary has Murdoch and Monsanto raising money for her.  Lobbying is good for the country.  War helps the economy.  Look how good everything is going now.  You can thank a lobbyist for that.  Have you hugged your lobbyist today.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:42AM | 0 recs
Clinton's Iraq position is about 2009-2013,

the next Presidential term. It's not about getting in a time machine and traveling back to 2002; i.e., the point you make below is funny!

Her position that you're not really against the war if you have ever voted to fund the troops is almost funny

You're against the war/occupation if you vote against funding it. You're for the war/occupation if you vote for funding it, as both Hillary and Obama have consistently done. What is painfully not funny is that Iraqis and Americans continue to die, along America's future, in the sands of Iraq. All the Senators who vote for funding bills are equally responsible for that.

by fairleft 2008-01-23 11:35AM | 0 recs
Awesome diary

The demagoguery of the Clintons has become legend this campaign.  They will trash anyone and take money from anyone (Monsanto, Murdoch) and then obfuscate to a precision that makes Rove proud.  

The Clinton people here will react exactly as the Clintons - they will attack you, they will attack Obama - but they won't answer the question about why she is taking so much money and how that has influenced her voting.  

I am praying for an Obama win.  

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:37AM | 0 recs
taking money

". . why she is taking so much money"

Why is Mr. Clean Obama taking so much money from Wall Street?

"I am praying for an Obama win."

Good for you. Typical Obama supporter self-centeredness. Why should anyone else care what you are "praying" for? You must worship an "awesome" sky wizard.

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

I made a promise some months ago to vote for the eventual Democratic nominee regardless of who it was.  As time, debates, slanders, and falsehoods continue to line up against the Democratic primaries, my resolve to stick to my promise diminishes  exponentially.  

Right at this moment I feel that if we as Democrats are too f'ing stupid to realize who the true Progressive candidate is, if we are too f'ing stupid to believe that HRC can do anything other than win the primaries and then lose the General by uniting  the fractured Republicans against us, then we deserve what we get.

I really hope you enjoy the next fours years of McCain and Republican control of the White House.  You reap what you sew, welcome back to the politics of smoke filled back rooms with no progress on the issues that are destroying our nation.

JRE is the ONLY real candidate who can change the  course of our nation, either as President or as Attorney General in an Obama White House. Elect Hillary as our nominee and kiss your @ss good bye because it will be the end of the democratic party as we know it.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-01-23 11:40AM | 0 recs

you speak my mind.  The Hillary people are incredibly short sighted.

by Moonwood 2008-01-23 11:44AM | 0 recs
This is about Obama, not Clinton

You're missing the point. This is about Obama. This is about his hypocrisy. This is not about Clinton. Everyone knows about the Clinton. We know nothing about Obama and it is troubling to me that many people take his words as 100% truth despite the evidence.

by RJEvans 2008-01-23 11:41AM | 0 recs
Obama has never claimed to be perfect

No politician ever does. I think that there has been a misunderstanding of Obama's message, too. A lot of discussion has come of his statement that we need a "different kind of politics". It seems most people think that this means that there is no negative campaigning, no fighting spirit, in general, no traditional campaign.

But that is not what "a different kind of politics" means. It means grassroots activism, change from the   bottom up, a return to the sense of community that this nation once had. That's what Obama stands for, people having control over their government again, affecting real change. It is a populism not based in the traditional fire-breathing style of Edwards, but a new populism based in the idea of a culture of unity and an attitude of hope upon which that populism can thrive. That is the "different kind of politics" that Obama represents and fights for.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 11:43AM | 0 recs
That says it all very nicely.


by psericks 2008-01-23 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: That says it all very nicely.

Obama's message means many things to many people, which is both a great strength and a weakness, but underneath all of those meanings I think there is this core philosophy of new populism that unites all of them.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has never claimed to be perfect

In short, "it" means whatever New Age gobbledygook fit the moment. Do you think the GOP is going to fall for your "culture of unity and attitude of hope" BS? If Obama can't take the mild criticism that the Clinton campaign is throwing at him, what possible chance would he have against the GOP slime machine?

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama has never claimed to be perfect

Obama's message does mean many things to many people, which is both a strength and a weakness, but this is the philosophical undercurrent of all of those definitions. I was merely trying to explain this.

I have to take issue with your comments about the "mild criticisms" of the Clintons. They're hitting him in any way and every way they can. I have no problem with that, it's how campaigns go, but don't think they're taking it easy on him by any means. He has done a good job dealing with the attacks, and I think (as do the polls) that he could bring a strong fight to whomever the Republicans pick as their nominee.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 12:02PM | 0 recs
Wrong. . .

. . . on every count. Obama's "message" is a croc of shit. And now that the children's hour is over, everyone understands that. It doesn't mean "many things to many people;" it doesn't mean anything at all. It was designed to mean all things to all people, but no one is buying that anymore. Please don't talk to me about "philosophical undercurrent." This is just more New Age BS that means nothing at all, and that most voters couldn't care less about.

And you can "take issue" all you want to, but do you really think the GOP is going to be as nice as the Clintons have been to Obama? They will crucify him if they get the chance. With Hillary, they have already taken all of their best shots and come up empty. Not so with Obama. All of their attacks will be novel, and will draw blood.

Many people seem to be under the misimpression that it is the Clintons who are nasty and overly "partisan." The truth is that it is the Republicans who are nasty and partisan to the nth degree. They hate the Clintons because the Clintons beat them.

The GOP has won every presidential election after 1976, except for the 2 the Clintons won. They have smeared every other Democratic candidate (Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry) and they will do the same to Obama should he get the nomination. And, if Obama were to win the general election anyway, the nastiness and partisanship on the part of the Republicans would not stop. Far from it. No Democratic president will ever be "legitimate" in their eyes. They openly stated this about Bill Clinton. It will be no different with Obama. The Republicans cannot be appeased. You cannot win them over with talk of "inclusiveness" and "unity" and "post-partisanship." They will play Lucy to your Charlie Brown forever.

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong. . .

Clearly people do respond to his message, that's why this race is so close, and why he does so well in match ups against the potential Republican nominees.

Also I don't really understand your logic behind the statement "With Hillary, they have already taken all of their best shots and come up empty. Not so with Obama. All of their attacks will be novel, and will draw blood".

She's never really faced a competitive election outside of the primaries, so it's hard to tell what effects those attacks will have on the nation as a whole. She's just as big a risk as Obama.

Honestly, whoever we put up can and will put up a strong fight.

by RerumNovarum 2008-01-23 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Wrong. . .

More people, lots more, support Hillary than Obama. I don't think the race is "close," I think it's all but over. The generic polls support Hillary by a wide margin and, outside of South Carolina, most of the next States to vote support her over Obama as well.

Hillary was attacked by Kenneth Starr, by the New York Times, and by everybody in between. The dirtbag Republican Congress "investigated" (smeared with no evidence, really) her on "travelgate," "filegate," Whitewater, and the death of Vince Foster. Hillary has also been twice elected as Senator from New York. The first time after driving supposed "tough guy" Rudy Giuliani out of the race pretending that he had "cancer." Do you really think that if the GOP or the Clinton-hating media had anything on her that would stick, it wouldn't have come out by now?

Seriously, where have you been since 1992? From the moment her husband became President (if not before) the GOP slime machine, their shills in the media, their asshole billionaire backers, and their phony "think tanks" have gone after Hillary with every piece of innuendo, hearsay, rumour, and slander that they could lay their dirty, stinking hands on. And they haven't laid a glove on her yet.

Obama ran basically unopposed in his one State-wide race in both the primary and general election. He has never faced national scrutiny before. And, even now, when he is the number 2 contender for the Democratic nomination, he has not been serioulsy investigated by a media that has fawned all over him.

But, should he get the nomination, do you really think the GOP will be so kind? Retzko? Admitted drug use? How do you think they will play that? His total lack of experience? His admitted lack of expertise when it comes to the details of actually governing? Do you think the Republicans will just forget about all this?

by freemansfarm 2008-01-23 01:09PM | 0 recs
Ready on day 1 to finance 2nd term campaign

Is anyone really surprised that Hillary's claim to be ready on day one probably refers to her intention to hit up her corporate and lobbyist cronies as early as January 20, 2009 to finance a campaign for a second term as President?

by bdungan 2008-01-23 12:06PM | 0 recs

Dodd as Majority leader in the Senate and Edwards as President! Imagine what they could do together!?

We need to put our collective knee on the neck of the right wing machine and tell them FU! We have work to get done! We have a Constitution to restore! So you can just sit back, shut the F up and watch how it is supposed to be done for We The People! You bunch of cocksuckers!

sorry... the telecom/reid story at Dkos made me channel Jimmy Carter from the Onion.   :)

by kevin22262 2008-01-23 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

This diary is a little bit loose with the truth in one respect that I want to point out.

According to the diary, Hillary is going around mocking "the most comprehensive lobbying reform in more than thirty years."

However, Hillary has said nothing to mock the ethics reform bill passed by the Democratic Congress.  What she has mocked is Obama's debate answer where he boasted that "I prohibited lobbyists from buying meals for members of Congress."  She is arguing that Obama's meal amendment is rather trivial compared to her record of accomplishment, children's health insurance and all that.

Obama, of course, cannot take credit for the Democratic ethics reform bill because, while he and Sen. Feingold proposed an excellent bill, that bill went nowhere and it was Harry Reid's watered-down version that ended up passing.

Obama has been excellent on the issue of ethics reform, there's no question about that.  But let's not get all hyped up about how Hillary supposedly bashed the Democratic ethics reform bill, when she was mocking only Obama's relatively minor contribution to that bill that he boasted of at the NH debate.

by Steve M 2008-01-23 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

Most Americans don't want to hear about policy details, they want to hear about hope and optimism.  There is a difference b/t a campaign strategy and how you would govern.  

Hillary hardly has any unique ideas and has had strikingly little success actually implementing anything, so her fighting must not work.

Seriously, name some of her policy ideas that aren't basically similar to those of Edwards or Obama.

by ohiomeister 2008-01-23 12:26PM | 0 recs
Are all Hillary supporters angry?

Why does it seem that every hillary supporter is angry and a bully?  I am a life-long 4th generation democrat and never have I seen an angrier group of supporters for 1 candidate.  I support John Edwards because I believe in his progressive message and feel both the other candidates fall short.

I have always been a Hillary supporter and frankly thought I would be voting for her in the primary.  Unfortunately, her views on some things, the leargest being NAFTA leaves me no choice but to support someone else.  She panders to to the American public or slanders her competition by twisting the facts.  I think Hillary would have been the best candidate to run in 2004, but for political reasons elected not to.  

Barack Obama on the other hand seems like a much more genuine candidate and someone I can trust a lot more then Hillary.  The problem with Barack is, he is 8 years before his time.  He also has a very conservative economic policy and caters to Wall street much like hillary.  I think between Barack and Hillary, Barack would clearly have a better chance of winning back the presidency from the Republicans in Nov.

John Edwards on the other hand is by far the best candidate for America.  He is a wealthy man (helping to protect the less fortunate), that never lost site of protecting American workers, their rights, and most importantly, their jobs.  He stands up to corporate lobbyist and PACs and even took Federal money as not to be a hypocrite.   In my opinion, he is the leader of the progressive movement in this country and is willing to fight for all of us.  He is the best candidate to run in a general, but probably wont get the chance.  

If Hillary and Bill Clinton attacked John Edwards like they are Barack Obama, I personally would never forgive them.  This is going to be a huge issue come Novemeber, as Barack Obama supporters do not seem like a fly-by-night kind of group.  I have a terrible feeling as a democrat that the Clinton Machine may just destroy the Democratic party as we know it.  

One has to ask themself, what's more important to the candidates, their party and the people they support or themselves?

by Rational Choice 2008-01-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
Here's a tip

which I shouldn't give you, since we don't share a favorite candidate, and you're a good writer.

Argue FOR your candidate. You've got a frontpage slot to do so once a week. Use it!

by clarkent 2008-01-23 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Here's a tip

That case has been made extensively.  It's also important to point out when others make false, sleazy arguments.

by ohiomeister 2008-01-23 01:04PM | 0 recs
Ready to govern?

Maybe the Dems haven't been out of power long enough, judging from the tone of this thread (Yes I also like music) Sounds like we're not hungry enough to want to be back in power- we'd rather trash each other- and with a surprising edge of moral superiority in the comments. We just love to talk trash- I'm not a great fan of CA A.G. Jerry Brown, but he did get almost 5 million votes in '06 and beat his GOP opponent by over 1.5 million votes(at the same time Arnold was winning big)- so I don't think a Georgia Dem should be talking trash here about him or the writer who cited him.. Look- both Senators Clinton and Obama are pretty much corporate Dems- as are a majority of our Senate Dems. Sen. Edwards comes from the trial lawyers-by dint of that he's less corporate and more willing to help workers organize against corporate power though the other 2 have helped a fair amount on that point as well. But one of them is going to be the nominee and there's less persuasion on here than just trashing and that should stop,

by Skipster 2008-01-23 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me"

You put yourself so high on a pedestal apparently no one else is on be prepared to be called on it when you don't live up to those standards. Ultimately Obama is a politician every bit as much as Clinton is. She is calling him out on it and rightly so.

by Christopher Lib 2008-01-23 12:46PM | 0 recs
Reform, Yes - Unilateral Disarmament, No

I'm all for putting vigorous and effective laws with real teeth on the books to clean up campaign financing.  It's a real problem that hurts our politics badly, and something needs to be done.

What I'm not into is asking our Democratic candidates to unilaterally disarm when no such laws exist.  I don't want my candidate to turn down lobbyist money.  Bottom line: money is money, and it all spends the same.  

You can use a pharmaceutical giant's money to get elected and enact a progressive agenda just as well as you can take Granny's wrinkled $5 bills to do the same thing.  I want my Democrats out there taking all the campaign money it's legal to take, just like the Republicans will.

Unilateral disarmament can backfire and elect Republicans who will make the financing laws worse, not to mention more Supreme Court justices who will rule that spending money is free speech.

by Trickster 2008-01-23 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

Au contraire.

This story had to be told and it was. I congratulate the diarist for his clear exposition of what a Hillary presidency would be: more of the same.

by shergald 2008-01-23 02:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The "Same-as-Me" Defense

Obama's political godfather left people in unheated Chicago housing, in the middle of winter, with Obama knowing Rezko was a slumlord.

That line is a little more blurred with the Clintons.

Secondly, it does raise the question of money laundering, making illegal contributions of taxpayer monies, to Obama, say, obtaining the money under false pretense, telling the federal government you were going to use that cash to provide low income housing, but instead using it to finance certain political candidates, who then sell themselves as pure, the people's candidate, while knowingly leaving the poor to freeze in a Chicago winter.

If I were a republican, that's how I would sell it.

by Marsha1 2008-01-23 02:37PM | 0 recs


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