Tuesday, March 04, 2008

MY TWO CENTS, WHICH ARE WORTH EXACTLY 1/2 OF A CENT

I AGREE WITH BILL SCHER'S FOOLISH PREDICTIONS, though it is not a happy agreement.

Obama's message since Wisconsin has been that the delegate math proves that OBAMA IS INEVITABLE, and that message has consistently annoyed voters in this primary.

AN ALTERNATE, and better story might have been that the delegate math proves that, unless Obama is the clear nominee, there WILL BE a brokered convention.

FOR, AS I HAVE NOTED BEFORE, the voters have consistently rejected the notion that this election be decided by super delegates, the press, or anyone who is not them.

ALL DEMOCRATS and all voters instinctively loathe the idea of the brokered convention.

AND A BROKERED CONVENTION WILL HAPPEN if Clinton wins both OH and TX, or maybe even just OH, as she is unlikely to step aside EVER.

I TRUST OBAMA has been concentrating on his ground game, as that produced large wins in what had seemed like close races, as in Wisconsin. I hope that's what happens here.

BUT IF HE LOSES EITHER OH OR TX, I think it will be because of this rhetorical error.

(And also, I think, because of the insidious, Limbaugh-esque pigeonholing of his supporters as latte-swilling liberal freaks. Far more than the empty-suit-plagiarist-crypto-muslim-weak-baby smears that have gotten all the attention, I think THAT is what's really driving working class Democrats to Clinton in Ohio. AND I DON'T JUST SAY THAT BECAUSE I AM A LATTE-SWILLING LIBERAL FREAK)

AND IF OBAMA LOSES BOTH OH AND TX, I think it's over. Because at that point the nomination will go to whomever wants it enough to destroy the party over it, and I think that person is Hillary Clinton.

AND NOT THAT IT SHOULD MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU, but if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I'm leaving the party.

I MAKE THIS PROMISE TO YOU, in internet writing.

That is all.

15 comments:

BarryMcBride said...

This life-long Ohio Republican will cast a vote for a Democratic presidential candidate today: Barack Obama.

Obama has a reasonable chance to win me over in November. Clinton has NONE.

These are FACTS.

Comment ENDS NOW.

Kate said...

Dear John Hodgman,

I feel as you do, and I am trying to be HOPEFUL that Obama's ground game has been misunderestimated, so to speak.

If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I will not leave the party, but I will vote against her, precisely for the GOOD of the party. Four years of Hillary will do far more damage to the party than four years of McCain would do to the country. We must continue to reject the Clinton approach through every avenue available to us.
[cry]

Lex Friedman said...

John,

I'm a big fan of yours, and have read your blog quietly for a long time.

Should Hillary win the nomination, why would you leave the party? Why is your dislike for her so strong?

Curiously yours,
Lex

Kelly Hills said...

AND NOT THAT IT SHOULD MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU, but if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I'm leaving the party.
While I certainly respect everyone's right to their own opinion, this is the sort of attitude that's going to destroy the party - not one politician wanting it more than another, but the attitude of "if I don't get my way, I'm taking my toys and going home."

After all, if Clinton supporters did that, do you honestly believe Obama could win in a general election? I don't - just like I don't believe Clinton could win without the Obama supporters.

And, it's not so much the latte-swilling liberal freaks rap that is a problem. It's statements like this, and the fact that people are focusing more on the cult of personality, a single individual, than the party itself. Would you really and honestly rather have another four to eight years of a Republican in office than a Democrat, regardless of who that Democrat is? Is the personality really so important, rather than the values of the personality as a whole?

Yes, everyone would obviously rather their candidate than the other(s), but when it comes down to it, it does need to be about more than just the candidate - it needs to be about the party. While I can understand conservative Democrats or true neutrals being tossed in the air by a choice between Clinton and McCain or Huckabee, conservative Democrats aren't the ones supporting Obama. And as such, it's just not a logical proposition, to walk away from the party and the election, rather than help any Democrat possible get in office.

Aaron Kangas said...

I like lattes, although "swilling" might be a bit of a derogatory term for how I drink them.

R.A. Porter said...

And the blackmail begins. I've been waiting patiently for the Obama supporters to say they'll all take their balls and go home if their man doesn't get to be captain of the team. It's been pretty clear from their attitude that the words were brewing beneath the surface; I'm happy to see them in the light of day.

My preferred candidates - Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd - have been out of the race for months. Yet I didn't take my ball and go home. I calmly and rationally perused the narrowed field and selected the next best candidate, the one in whom I have faith and confidence: Hillary Clinton.

Should Barack Obama - whom I believe has decent policy positions - garner the nomination, he will almost certainly get my vote in November, regardless of my personal preference. His policies are close enough to palatable that I'm willing to put aside my many misgivings about him. It's all about the policies. Would that the Obama supporters could view the election the same.

There's a sort of Pascal's Wager to this election. If someone believes in Clinton and votes for her, s/he must worry that the Obamamaniacs will opt out of the election in November. So Clinton supporters instead should feel encouraged to follow the mob and vote for Obama so at least the mob will vote.

terrence said...

Regarding Hillary, I feel the same way, for people who don't understand why I can explain my exact trigger. For the past 5 or 6 years I have been increasingly disheartened by President Bush using fear to win votes for the Republican party. Vote Republican or the terrorists win, vote Republican because we can keep you safe(but we'd like a few of your freedoms in exchange thank you). So when Hillary started doing the same thing all of my fondness for her disappeared. It's not a question of whether Hillary would be better than McCain for the country, there are just some things that I can't support.

The Curiously Dull Mint said...

Well, as an independent who is an Obama supporter, I can't say that I would leave any party if Clinton gets the nomination. I'm not yet sure who I'll vote for if Clinton wins the nomination because Republicans scare me more than clowns or hobos. But for me, personality has a lot to do with my preference for Obama (after policies, of course). Sitting by and watching Clinton taking an attack stance on someone within her own party on an almost daily basis makes me wonder how she would react to criticism if she were to become President. Of course, the press has a lot to do with how this campaign is being perceived, but since we're going to have to work very hard to re-establish strong, healthy relationships with a lot of nations that have given up on us, I would rather it be someone who seems to me to be more inclined to listening and compromising (when need be) rather than the same old "my way or the highway" attitude or allowing distorted views of opponents to be fed the the public. Maybe I just need to move to Canada. Or Denmark. Denmark is nice, right?

hodg-man said...

Hello, RA--

It's not blackmail, for indeed, I made it clear that it SHOULD NOT MATTER TO YOU. I am not suggesting that my personal decision should have any leverage over yours or anyone else's.

I wrote it because it was something I had been considering for some time, and I felt now was the day to make a decision, a final one, one that I would have to own and not back down from. So I wrote it down in internet ink.

Please also note what I did NOT write: I did not write who I would be voting for, as I think my new post clarifies.

That is all.

R.A. Porter said...

John, while I would never impugn you by assuming you would vote or campaign for any one person in particular should Obama fail to get the nod, it does still impact my choices, and the choices of other Democrats to know that you would not vote for the candidate of the Democratic party were it Hillary Clinton. Should yours be, as I believe it is, a common feeling among Obama supporters, it is akin to blackmail.

In your case, it would be -1 vote for Clinton. In some others, it might even be -1 for Clinton, +1 for McCain for a two-vote swing. That's of obvious concern to anyone who wants to ensure a Democratic victory in November, and clearly must come into the voting calculus for today's primary and caucus voters.

Knowing that this year's extremely high turnouts - which bode well for the Democrats - might shrivel in the general election because of such strong antipathy for Clinton must give Clinton supporters pause. I voted a month ago, and even then I worried that Obama was more "electable" (a curse of candidates in years past) because of his supporters' strong feelings of mistrust for my candidate. I paused for just a moment before casting my vote. With each public proclamation of abandonment of the party, or refusal to support the candidate, Obama backers apply more and more pressure against Clinton.

Mind you, this is an election campaign, so gloves are off. I'm not hurt or disillusioned by the public protestations of abandonment. I'm just pointing out that in the end they do add up to a sort of blackmail: vote for mine, or lose my vote.

RedCircleLine said...

Mr.Hodg-man, is your distaste for Ms. Clinton because of the dirty tricks her campaign has played to which you've drawn our attention, or was it caused by other things? such as her horrible hairstyle?
that's a mullet you've got there, Hil. Mullet.

hodg-man said...

Hello, RA--

I respect and appreciate what you're saying. But I really would ask you to stop accusing me of blackmail.

I am telling you about a personal decision I will make based on an outcome that has yet to be decided, and over which I have no power or influence other than my one vote, and those I might sway by speaking or writing to them.

In that regard, I am a member of a huge, competitive chorus which includes the candidates themselves and you.

Even if you argue that I have a disproportionate influence because I have a blog or have been in a television commercial, etc., the plain fact remains that I am not threatening you. I am not trying to force you or anyone to change your mind against your will.

Indeed, I encourage you to follow your own intellect and conscience as you make your own decision, as I expect you to leave me to mine. I will respect you and thank you for your comments either way.

I get where you're coming from. But it's a bad choice of words. Let's put it behind us.

That is all.

R.A. Porter said...

Agreed, John.

One other thing on which I believe we can all agree is that the "huge competitive chorus" is louder and more cacophonous this year than any in recent memory, certainly more than any I can recall in my not too brief life. And that makes me insanely happy, to hope that our little republic might remember how to engage in civil civic discourse.

Thanks for being willing to put your opinions and views out there for everyone, and being willing to debate them.

hodg-man said...

RA--

And thank you for your comments as well.

That is all.

R said...

Just as a way of trying to understand your feelings on this, I wonder if your stance of wanting to leave the Democratic Party if Obama were not the nominee would be based on Clinton winning due to superdelegates, or if your stance would be the same even if she were by some miracle to beat Obama in pledged delegates.