"Clinton Supporters: The Global Warming Deniers of Democratic Politics?"
by MBNYC, Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 07:04:58 AM EDT
As the listing becomes more noticeable and waves begin to wash over the lower decks, a chilling realization is dawning on passengers and crew of the SS Hillary Rodham Clinton: that the iceberg wasn't some passing irritation but a lethal wound, and that their great ship is foundering in the unmarked darkness of the seas.
Something curious is going on, however. As the first-class passengers head for the lifeboats, deep in the bowels of the ship, someone is rat-tat-tatting on the Morse machine that everything is fine, even as icy water gurgles under the door.
Cenk Uygur takes a look, and diagnoses Hillary Clinton Supporters -- The Global Warming Deniers of Democratic Politics?
Hillary Clinton supporters seem to have become the equivalent of global warming deniers in Democratic politics. If facts don't suit your argument, insist on the opposite. And even more importantly, insist that your non-facts get at least 50% of the coverage.
The Clinton team is now trying to make the specious argument that she is winning in the popular vote. The first problem with that argument is that it's not true. Obama still leads by over 500,000 votes. The second problem is that they try to include states like Michigan and Florida where all sides agreed not to campaign or have their delegates counted. Hillary Clinton's flip-flop on these states is even more absurd given that Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan.
Brief aside: Nobody buys the "It's his own fault that he took his name off the ballot" tripe. You can't ask to have a DNC decision you supported overturned, solely to your own benefit, and then add to that the demand that your opponent, the one who went a step further to honor that DNC decision, be penalized for it by losing the race.
But the more fundamental problem with this popular vote argument is that it is the wrong metric. Nobody ever said they were running a campaign for more popular votes. If those were the ground rules, no one would have spent any time in Iowa or New Hampshire. Obama and the others would have been campaigning in California for six months to a year instead of those first primary and caucus states.
This is like saying we're counting only touchdowns in the middle of a basketball game. Well if I knew that was the game we were playing I would have put on a helmet and tackled you a long time ago. Why did I bother scoring all these baskets?
Look, this is absurd. Why is anyone humoring these arguments? Why do we have to cover Hillary Clinton's side as if it has as much validity as Obama's? This isn't about who is the better candidate; this is about facts and reality. She can claim to be better on healthcare, but she can't claim to have a lead in this race. One is subjective, the other is objective.
Attention: here's the key paragraph.
None of her arguments make any sense: She wins the big states - congratulations, go run for president in a country where there are only big states. The popular vote is now the relevant metric in this election - then you're disenfranchising all of the caucus states and changing the rules in the middle of the game. Obama is not electable - really, then why is he kicking your ass in this election?
I love the audacity of someone who is losing to another candidate claiming that candidate is not electable. So, what does that make you?
Yup. Simple observation: Obama runs better in open primaries. Which scenario is closer to a general election: a closed primary like Pennsylvania, or an open primary like Virginia? Who's electable here: the guy who can reach out and win over independents, or the woman who can't capture demographics outside the traditional Democratic base? Chew on that, if you will; but back to Cenk.
You might love Hillary Clinton, you might think she would make a great president and you might even have concerns about her opponent. You have a right to think all these things, but you don't have a right to your own math. Two plus two still equals four and Hillary's team shouldn't get equal time for claiming it equals five for her but only three for Barack.
We have got to stop treating these math deniers as if they have any legitimacy or credibility. They are spinning for their side and the tales they are spinning are comically wrong. And as always, the media is falling prey to the idea that every side of an argument must be presented equally rather than what the facts merit.
Uygur is right. Discourse in a Democratic primary should be at least marginally tethered to observable facts. No, Hillary doesn't get to be the nominee because she polled more votes among registered Democrats - we have open primaries for a reason, and she knew about them. No, Hillary doesn't receive the top spot because she comes close enough to Obama counting un-democratic contests like Michigan that she can then proceed to ask super-delegates to overturn his majority. No, you don't get to claim a popular-vote margin by disenfranchising caucus states and then demanding Michigan count. You don't get a pony - not yours.
And so on and so forth.
To the people making these arguments, from the campaign on down, here's a hint: everyone understands that you need to make them. But if you think that the one remaining audience of any value to you, the super-delegates, lives in your fantasy world, the one where you can massage facts and numbers until they can come out just right, you're kidding yourselves.
The only thing that's happening is that people are taking offense at being thought dim enough to buy your arguments. You are losing. Fine, there's still a tiny chance that you can pull it out, that's entirely accurate. But don't insult the collective intelligence of the nation by pretending that you're actually not losing, but winning.
People are not naturally stupid enough to buy all of this unless they want to believe it. And guess what, dear Clinton campaign and affiliated mongers of talking points, if someone believes this, they're already on your side.