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Archive for the ‘Democrat’ Category

For the last midterm elections, I had the very good fortune of being in Washington DC, for the Rally to Restore Sanity. After looking at the American thoughtscape over the intervening years, I can pretty decisively say that the Rally’s objective has not been realized, and sanity is all too rare a commodity in America. We now approach another midterm election, with the projected results looking rather bleak for Democrats.

In one of his first looks at the Senate races ahead, Nate Silver says that there is a reasonable chance that the Republicans could pick up six seats (plus or minus five), and the Democrats have reacted by simultaneously disagreeing with their chances, and asking people to donate in part because of the analysis as posted. As such, Nate Silver is shocked, SHOCKED, that there is hypocrisy in politics.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com says that it’s hypocritical to criticize his analysis that says that the Dems may lose control of the Senate, while asking people to donate because of what the analysis shows right now. I don’t really begrudge the DSCC that they are raising money off of the statistical analysis and simultaneously raising money off of it. Showing someone some numbers and asking for money is not a complete endorsement of those numbers – indeed, the Dems are right in saying that 538 got several Senatorial calls wrong last election, most notably Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

Neither is Mr Silver’s analysis an end all and be all of the election – there is still a campaign to run, remember. They have candidates to recruit, they have money to raise, and there still have yet to dig through everything the Republican candidates have ever said (or wait for them to say something) that may swing the vote. The statistical analysis is based on the best information available at the time, with models that build in historical trends, but does not anticipate such things as the “legitimate rape” comments of the last cycle.

As a Canadian, I’ve watched the polls in the last several of our elections, and I have been flabbergasted as to the ability of polling numbers to move by staggering proportions during the active campaign period. In British Columbia, Liberals came back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit to win a majority. In Alberta, the Wildrose rose and fell in spectacular fashion. Federally, the province of Quebec underwent an orange-flavoured sea-change within the course of a week. And in Quebec, (my now growing skepticism of polling in Canada notwithstanding) the Liberals appear to have made massive strides towards a majority government against their separatist opponents. In Canada, this short, active campaign is clearly delineated by the writ period. In America the period is somewhat more nebulous, but the fall campaigning season, after Labour Day, is a reasonable analogue. Within it, large and somewhat unexpected shifts can happen.

It makes the fundraising appeals by the Democratic Party all the more essential, and understandable. A week is an eternity in politics. There are a number of eternities to go until November.

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I would think that it would be difficult to find apart that is that much more dysfunctional than the current Liberal Party (although things seem to be improving). However, it turns out all I had to do was look a couple of miles to the south, where we have the Democrats.

Now, the Liberal leadership race got nasty at some points, but never as bad as what is happening in America right now. That said, it seems to be winding down, and it’s about damn time. I am, frankly, amazed that these candidates and their staffs are still alive at this point. Elections are taxing things, and I am impressed that these people have managed to not only stay alive, but also seem to be keeping relatively healthy.

Now, I support Hillary Clinton. I support her because I have faith in experience, I feel that her health care plan is better, and that she has a better chance to win in the fall. However, while she is an incredible number of things: qualified, capable, committed, dedicated, passionate and more, there is one thing that she is not, and that is a potential presidential nominee.

Had the order of the primaries been different, had the Clinton campaign taken their heads out of their asses, had Clinton assumed a full campaign schedule earlier, there might have been a different outcome, one that would have led to a better nation and a better North America. This, however, did not happen, and the Democratic nominee will be, barring calamity, Barack Obama.

It should really be noted that in the event that the aforementioned calamity comes to pass, it probably won’t matter who the Democratic nominee will be, because the winner will be John McCain.

Anyways, hope, for the Clinton campaign, is all that there is left. And, contrary to some previous statements by Obama, there is false hope, and that is what the Clinton camp has. Or not…

I think Hillary Clinton is smarter than that. I think she may have made a decision a number of weeks ago which could make the convention an exciting one. I, like sixty six percent of American Democrats, support an Obama-Clinton ticket, but how would we get one? Barack doesn’t seem to want her on the ticket, but it may not be his choice to make. The Vice Presidency is nominated at the convention, by the delegates, and neither is going to have the lock on pledged delegates that would allow the candidate to dictate his running mate. If Hillary stays in the race, she could conceivably take the VP spot. A more in depth analysis of this scenario is here.

ObamaGirl had it right when she asked Hillary to stop the attacks. It is damaging to the Democratic Party, and creates an election fatigue that will hurt them in the fall. But, if America is going to get the VP it deserves, a tough fighter and dedicated politician – kind of a non-evil, Democrat Dick Cheney. So, stay in the race, and be ready for the people who continue to decry you – it’ll be better for everyone in the end if you decide to take up the mantle and keep fighting the good fight.

Go Hillary Go.

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Democra-who?

The Democrats are choosing who will, god willing, become the next President of the United States. And, even thought my blog, currently a mere (blank space) in the TTLB Ecosystem (We’re working on that – we have no idea what’s wrong), I feel like I can lend its considerable political weight to a Democratic Primary Candidate.

But who?

I hate to say it, but I just don’t know about Barak Obama. I am filled with meh. A je-ne-sais-quoi. An indifference. It’s not like I disagree with what he stands for, or his approach to governance, or really anything, but I just can’t seem to get behind him. He seems to be political pablum – easy to swallow. I am reserving judgment as it stands, but I just don’t see myself getting behind the Junior Senator from Illinois.

Hillary Clinton I do like, althought there is something there that nags at me. I really wish I knew what it was, because it is bothersome. While I disagree with some of her positions, she seems eminently capable. Additionally, had she gotten us into a war in Iraq, I’m pretty damn sure that she would have had a … I don’t know … plan. I will be watching her as the race unfolds. I don’t think she has the propensity to make such gaffes as has happened in the past, but its a possibility. I worry that she could appear Kerry-esque, but this won’t be a problem if she’s as media savvy as I think she is.

Two candidates who are not running (yet) and I do really like are Al Gore (Gore – Klobuchar 2008!) and Wesley Clark. But, seeing as how they aren’t running, I’m not weighing in at the moment. (Run, Gore, Run… PLEASE!) Biden, Dodd, Gravel, Kuchnich… These are the also rans, the Maurizio Bevilacquas of the Primary Vote. Although, I do like that the Chris Dodd podcast is called the Dodd Pod. As for Bill Richardson, well, his wikipedia profile lists him as the 44th President already. Which really just annoys me.

Finally, John Edwards. He’s who I’m leaning towards at the moment, but am still undecided. I think Corey may have some thoughts on this guy, so I’ll leave it to him.

Any thoughts any of you have would be great – I’d love to hear anything.

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