Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Still Hate Claire McCaskill (JM)

I'll make a deal with all Obama supporters. I will start supporting him if you will join me in drumming Claire McCaskill out of the Democratic Party. Today she claimed the Clintons "keep throwing nails in front of the bus" as a justification for bringing up things like Whitewater and Clinton land deals for which they were long ago exonerated. I mean go negative if you want, I hope everyone enjoys a heaping dose of the "new politics" and "hope" we are getting. But there are two quick things I want to address here:

1. If you cannot beat Hillary and "unify" the Democratic party then how in the world are we supposed to believe that you can "unify" red and blue states. On face such a claim is absurdist, if you have to roll in the mud to beat someone with almost exactly the same positions as you then you are not going win against the GOP in any other way. In fact, if this is what it takes to win then why not nominate Hillary instead, she is much better at it and more competent.

2. I wish Obama supporters would understand the weird, disingenuous nature of phrases like "throwing nails in front of the bus". Essentially, since he won Iowa, his supporters are treating Hillary like a felon for trying to win the nomination. This is the presidency and quite frankly it deserves to be contested, especially between two very strong candidates. This weird notion that Obama's politics and negative campaigning somehow legitimate, but Hillary's is not is actually one of the slimier tactics used by Obama and his supporters.

Anyway, I still hate Claire McCaskill and I definitely hate self-righteousness. We are about to see how genuine is the Obama campaign's commitment to a "new politics". My guess is that they will have surrogates go negative and deny responsibility and when they go negative themselves they will blame Hillary. New politics, just like the old, but looks more like an iPhone.

(Hat tip: Ben Smith)


Tom said...

Once upon a time the Obama and Clinton avoided personal attacks and talked about the issues. Then Clinton failed on Super-tuesday and starting playing old time 1990s divisive Clinton/Rove tactics. I can't blame her really. She was losing and those tactics have proven to be effective in the past. Obama tried to stay above the fray but got tagged with the slime enough to cast doubt. He will now have to manage to return fire with fire, while still claiming to be above the fray. It is true that Clinton dragged him from high ground "hope". It is also true that Republicans will try the same thing. So, he had to fight back to avoid further damage. However, effective as they are I still do not want more of the same politics, and I Clinton is the one that took it there. Bush-Clinton-bush-Clinton is pretty much "more of the same". politicians have been partisan attakers for 18 years. I want a return to problem solving being the goal and not just about killing the other side.

Jonathan said...

Alright Tom, if that is even your real name... let's do this. First of all I will admit Hillary swung first, but Obama's people have been calling Hillary untrustworthy and a Washington insider from the beginning, personal attacks were just as much a part of their campaign as Clinton's. However, the more relevant issue here is what victory entails. Obama winning by using the same tactics as everyone else doesn't change the political landscape. It's not like he destroys Lord Voldemort and now the Muggles are safe. No, it means that the only path to victory is through normal politics because that type of politics will always be around. The seeming reluctance (and I say seeming because I totally don't buy Obama's higher ground as anything more than political positioning) to use Rovian tactics in his campaign doesn't change the landscape even after he's elected. He is no longer morally superior either in reality or symbolically. This takes ethics out of the game and makes the choice about more substantive issues. To me this makes the judgment fall clearly in Hillary's favor, I suppose to others it falls the other way. At this point, however, the higher ground has been ceded to the political reality that politics is inevitably a messy business.