Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Some Thoughts On Clinton's New Hampshire Victory(UPDATE)

The spread was pretty consistent throughout the night - never more than four percentage points between Obama and Clinton. I think that, while heartening to her campaign, this hardly means that she can breathe easier now. In fact, I think it means we have a real race on the Democratic side, which is a good thing. Michigan and South Carolina become even more important in the ensuing weeks, giving two states with significant urban centers (Detroit and Charleston) and very different cultural and political and social traditions and structures a chance to speak up. The first four states to vote in the primaries, in other words, are a neat cross-section of the differences that are America.

I want to make clear - I am an Obama supporter in for the long haul. While Clinton is not my favorite candidate, I am not against her, and the reasons are simple, with quotes from various comments sent to Talking Points Memo:
Chris Matthews on Hillary's victory: She's only competitive for the presidency because Bill "messed around."

If I lived in New Hampshire, I would have voted for Sen. Clinton today. I would not allow the talking heads to tell me who to vote for or declare this race over. And I certainly was not going to participate in the sexist bs that has been spewing out the mouths of the likes of Chris Matthews.

I mean this whole weekend we see people like Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews salivating over how the Democrats "rejected the Clintons" and want to puke. I am for Obama not because I am against Clinton (either one), but because I am for Obama. That's it. I think he is the best of the big 3 dem candidates. Would I be happy to vote for Hillary or Edwards in the general? Hell yeah. Did I think Bill Clinton was a great President? Yes. And I think Hillary would probably be pretty good too. This whole media narrative sickened me.(emphasis added)

I have been an Obama supporter since 04, gave money to him this year, own the t-shirt, etc., etc. But the sexist bullsh-t these past days (I am a woman) from the media is making me root for her to win this tonight. The only thing I dread if she wins tonight is the inevitable story from the media that this proves that white america really won't vote for a black man, the resulting made-up defection of Obama's made-up new found black support, etc., etc.

I think that's right, and good. On the Democratic side we have as the two leading candidates a woman, and a baby-boomer woman, who conjures up all sorts of fears of the evil, awful feminist. The other is a mixed-race self-identified African-American, and the white sheets and hoods are already coming out of the closet all over the right in fear of his potential victory. Either way you slice it, a whole bunch of folks on the right are going to unleash their ids in one way or another, no matter who wins.

UPDATE: I think this piece by Yglesias is wrong on just about every level. Let me just site one little bit and explain why it is representative.
Had Bush responded effectively to the challenges of 9-11, one could imagine the GOP regaining Reaganesque levels of dominance. Instead, his policies have failed and created a moment of opportunity for Democrats -- one whose outcome, boring as it is to observe, will depend in part on the quality of their own efforts and in part on events outside their control. Popular (or unpopular) response to contingencies, if sustained, can create not just the appearance of political dominance but the reality as well.

To make the statement concerning Bush's response to the terrorist attacks of 2001 makes the mistake of thinking Bush is some abstract thing, and the Republican Party that he both led and that created him is detached from the historical circumstances and reality of its existence. Bush's responses to the attacks were what they were precisely because he is the person he is, and the Republican Party of which he is a part is the Party it is. I cannot imagine any other response, either from him, or from any other Republican President in office at the time. To venture down the road of such imaginings as Yglesias is doing here is to do political analysis from some angel's point of view, where parties and politicians are not part of historic trends, have real characteristics shaped by events, as well as attempting to shape them. To think for one moment that it might be possible, even abstractly, to picture George Bush responding other than the way he has done is to be a fabulist of the worst sort.

Virtual Tin Cup

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More