Saturday, December 29, 2007
Clinton or Obama
Who would be less bad?
Who should I root against?
Obama is a better choice overall than Clinton. Plus, Jesse Jackson and colleagues have done little to move the black community forward. So much so, that we're far past issues of learned helplessness to near-permanent underclass status. Perhaps Obama can shake things up a little in that regard. The conservative in me recognizes the need for this kind of shake up from an economic perspective (e.g., impact on labor and productivity). The liberal in me believes this is possible. And then there was reality.
Posted by: David Hallowell | Saturday, December 29, 2007
Personally, I'm rooting FOR Clinton (so perhaps that can help you decide who to root against?) because I feel she can simultaneously socialize health care (our country being one of few that still runs health care like a business) AND nudge the Democratic party back towards the middle, back towards serving the working classes.
On a less serious note, I'm terrified that each is backed by two of my least favorite, misinformation-spreading, wearing-their-charity-work-with-a-sense-of-entitlement celebrities: Oprah and Barbra. Can't even decide on the lesser of two evils there.
Posted by: fl | Saturday, December 29, 2007
The return of the Clintons to the White House would be a disaster. I say this after observing how Bill has handled himself on the campaign trail, he obviously has a serial aversion to staying on message about her and most of the time seems to bring the discussion back to being about him. Imagine him in the White House with her. What would happen if they take opposing views on a situation, like say nuclear weapons in N. Korea or a rebellion in Uzbekistan? Would he work to undermine her through the party or the base of support (which by the way, she has no base, except for the most rabid of anti-Bush voters who want to pursue their own 8 years of political warfare against the GOP by any means) she has in the Congress? Would he inadvertently undercut her policies by his actions and words? How would he undermine or overshadow her Vice President and other key staff members?
Also, considering the pathetic state of America at this point, can we please consider whether 20 years of Bush/Clinton/Bush policies and politics had something to do with that? And how would 4-8 years of that work for us?
Clinton also is a seriously polarizing figure who would be hard-pressed even in a state of emergency to unite the country and be trusted by most Americans. Her election would ensure 4-8 more years of the type of political nonsense we've dealt with for the past 16.
Obama? An unknown quantity for sure. We know he's quite liberal, we know he's got some conservative views as well (school choice, merit pay, the future of Social Security and other government entitlement programs, religion's role in the public arena). We also know he's very good at achieving consensus through compromise, a trait probably very necessary for needed reforms and programs to go through in the next 3-4 years. Most of all, I detect no hint of seething resentment towards him from other Republicans. I don't see them harboring the kind of pathological dislike and distrust they have with Clinton. I believe an Obama Presidency could get things done. I believe an Obama campaign on the Democratic side would be good for that party, giving it a campaign focused on the future, not the past 16 years of political blood sport.
(There is little to no chance of an Obama/McCain ticket. That would be too good for the country to ever be possible.)
Posted by: Eddie | Saturday, December 29, 2007
The rub is, I think I'm closer in policies to Hillary. She seems like a Republican who just happens to have an extremely antagonist relationship with the party. The Bush-Clinton-Bush legacy has been pretty good (pace Eddie), and she has been smart on health care recently (as fl mentioned).
But her style is... so awful, that is surely will be bad for the country. So it's a substance v. style debate for me, I think, with style holding real weight.
David's right on the damage that the southern clique has done to the country. I don't think they'll go away just because a son of an African immigrant is President.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, December 29, 2007
I'll add my vote for Obama. The only major real difference I can see policy-wise is that Obama is more likely to withdraw from Iraq in a timely manner and less likely to bomb Iran.
Posted by: Adam | Saturday, December 29, 2007
I'm close to Dan's thinking. A while back I had made peace with my self with the idea of a H. Clinton presidency, based primarily on the fact that the is in fact the most conservative of the democratic field. I do think Eddie makes a good point in that there is no seething hate on Obama or that unlike Clinton, Obama doesn't make me like him less when I hear him talk (despite what I just wrote above). However, I really feel that Obama is unexperienced. He hasn't really made much a mark in either the IL state congress or the US senate. (though, arguably, the same could have been said of Lincoln). Plus, Obama is way more leftist than he lets on, despite the fact that I feel that he is essentially a really good person. (unlike Carter, whom I see as his political antecedant). I have to say, I'm really torn.
I'd also like to comment on Eddie's throw-away line about the 'pathetic' state of America. Compared to the seventies, by every measure America is a much better, richer place; for everyone. For instance, despite unprecedented oil prices, the average American spends much less on energy (and gas) costs then 30 years ago. Violence is way down (Chicago and NYC just had a record low year in homicides), teenage pregnancy is way down. Despite low approval ratings for the President and Congress, people believe in the government. Things are not nearly as contentious as they were in the late seventies. At the margin, we are also still benefiting from two important events in the nineties, welfare reform and NAFTA. Both of these legislative events have had a profound effect on the country. The first has begun the end of dependence in the inner city (something I can see everyday here in Chicago), the latter laid the seeds for real economic reform in Mexico which will eventually make the current arguments about immigration moot.
There is certainly plenty to worry and fret about these days, but we certainly live in better times now than our parents experienced in the near past.
[I almost forgot to mention the one big thing over everyone's head back then: The Soviet Union and the threat of nuclear war. Poof! It's gone and practically forgotten, it's even hard to explain, in hindsight. ]
Posted by: ElamBend | Saturday, December 29, 2007
ElamBend brings the Gen X perspective to light and does so with authority. There's a lot to be said for children not going to bed and having nightmares about nuclear obliteration. I speak from personal experience.
This "pathetic state" that America is in bears no comparison to not so recent history as far as I'm concerned. The Cold War might be a figment of history for some but for others it entailed much more than a backboard for geo-political critical thought.
Posted by: Jay@Soob | Saturday, December 29, 2007
Obama. He seems at the same time more idealistic about his goals, less machiavellian about tactics, and more likely to learn from experience. He probably wouldn't accomplish all that much in terms of immediate policies, while pushing people to move beyond the reflexive partisanship. He might even lead people to give some real thought to what we really believe and want, and that could improve the debate for everyone.
Posted by: Dan McIntosh | Sunday, December 30, 2007
I'm not allowed by Kos and Stoller to talk about 'electibility' but my political leanings have always been informed by what I see as reason, though TDAXP, being brought up on the other side of the fence, sees reason in the opposite sides of most viewpoints. I just don't see either candidate going from the nomination to the Oath of Office. I think a lot of idealists are saying "YES! A woman/black President! Finally!" and throwing their weight behind them, not considering that there's a marginally likely chance they aren't exactly electable.
I'll let the blogjockeys run the numbers here, but IIRC a generic Democrat against a specific Republican candidate scores more favorably than Clinton/Obama vs specific Republican candidate.
What does that tell us? We could likely throw away the nomination in our liberal zeal for false progressiveness. I don't think either Clinton or Obama would be a disaster Presidency. However, my concern is that both of them could easily be a non-occurring Presidency. I guess, as frequently is the case, the Independents and those willing to cross party lines will be a deciding factor.
So I think Edwards is the more electable of the group. Maybe we could do some kind of Edwards/Paul combination to really pull the rug out from the career politicos. But as anyone who heard my Kerry/McCain or Kerry/Armstrong dream combos back in the day know, I have a tendency to dream big.
Just think, a Democrat who is for the middle class and against corporate welfare paired with a Republican who is essentially for the middle class and outspokenly against corporate welfare. We can finally have trickle-both-ways-economics, as the other two models have arguably failed :) However, I'm not sure how they'd square on all their other points, so it's a non-starter.
But in either case, I'll be disappointed again this year when Gore doesn't step up and suck all the air out of the room. Much like post-election Kerry, post-post-election Gore is dynamic, thought-provoking, and much more of a candidate than intra-campaign.
Your mileage and agreement will vary.
I don't know that I agree with Eddie about Clinton having no base but anti-Bush folk. I think a lot of the most anti-Bush folk are more pro-Obama than pro-Clinton, seeing Clinton as perhaps an extension of waffly war stances, etc. There's a real feel on this side of the fence that Clinton has momentum and support, and her numbers can't be solely coming from MoveOn and the like. I've seen too many Clinton08 stickers or Hillary08 stickers on soccer-mom vans and non-VW cars to think I may be correct.
Posted by: aaron | Sunday, December 30, 2007
Re: my previous post
In truly a Clinton fashion, when I say 'correct' I mean 'incorrect'
Posted by: aaron | Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thank you. This has been informative.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, January 03, 2008