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Posted by on May 9, 2008 in At TMV | 44 comments

The Fall of Hillary Clinton: Why It Wasn’t Enough To Merely Master A Man’s Game

01aa-hillary-annoounce_1.jpgOn the 492nd day of Hillary Clinton’s quest to become the first woman president, one inevitability was rudely replaced by another.

That was the number of days that elapsed from January 20, 2007 when Clinton (photo) announced that “I’m in. And I’m in it to win,” something that few observers could seriously doubt, and Tuesday past when voters in North Carolina and Indiana delivered another message: Her defeat at the hands of Barack Obama in the political cage match of the young millennium was no longer a probability but an inevitability.

Sure signs of this seismic shift are the uproar from the hardest of Clinton’s hardcore supporters and flurry of kamikazee analogies from pundits shaking their heads over her stubborn refusal to bow to that inevitability.

These supporters declare that Obama is unelectable although more Americans may vote for him in November than any presidential candidate in history. And that Clinton should be gifted the Democratic nomination although she trails Obama in popular votes, pledged delegate votes, opinion-poll positives, contributions and endorsements, and any second in superdelegates, as well.

The hardcore ranges from big-time bloggers like Taylor Marsh, who will now have to return that lovely dress she bought months ago to wear to the inaugural balls (but at least is making noises about possibly embracing Obama) to some really pissed-off feminists (who are demonizing Marsh for seeing the light).

I’m going to focus on the Hell Hath No Fury Like a Feminist Scorned crowd, which is shaping up to be a bunch of especially poor losers.

These feminists are, of course, blaming everyone except Hillary and Bill Clinton, who in an historic series of arrogant miscalculations took what was once pretty close to a sure thing and squandered it. This took some effort because it required surrounding themselves with sycophantic staffers who determinedly ignored the mood of the electorate and engaged in a Rovian slash-and-burn campaign that alienated practically everyone except blue-collar bubbas and white women who are eligible — or soon will be eligible — for senior-citizen discounts.

The Clintons even managed to crap all over their legacy of attracting black support not because Barack was blacker than Bill but because Hill and Bill were revealed to be cynical frauds to many blacks.

No less a light than George McGovern is taking it on the chin in the wake of Hillary’s Terrible Tuesday because he violated feminist orthodoxy by calling not Hill but Bill the day after to explain that while he probably was the last person in South Dakota to do so, he was changing his support from Clinton to Obama.

In a series of blog exchanges elsewhere, I suggested that these hard hearts try understand that McGovern, who has been eligible for senior-citizen discounts for 25 years, is a kind and gentle soul who opposed the Vietnam War early on, was a model of ethical probity in the Senate and a trailblazer in removing Democratic Party politics from the smoke-filled rooms of yore.

All I got for my efforts was being labeled a “douchebag” and “jerkoff” by two self-described feminists and a “blowhard” by an anonymoose.

Name calling aside, I feel their pain.

The seeds of the election of the first woman president were planted in the halcyon days of the late 1960s and finally seemed well within the realm of possibilities after four hard decades of educating and organizing.

But Hillary Clinton and her sisters only had one rule book to use as they toiled over the years to elect woman state legislators, governors and U.S. senators and representatives. Today there are a record 13 women in the Senate and 61 women in the House of Representatives as a result of their labors.

That rule book was the one that Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes and of course Bill Clinton himself used, but a funny thing happened on the way through the glass ceiling to 2008.

The old rules fell into disrepair and then disrepute and it simply was not enough for Hillary to be better at this man’s game than her own husband and the other men who came before her. Alas, she and her sisters didn’t understand that they needed to change the rules if they were to attract a restive electorate.

That is why the next president will not be the wife of a certain ex-president but a man who has changed the rules, energizing the Democratic Party as no candidate has been able to do in my lifetime. And, irony of ironies, is paving the way for the eventual election of the first woman president. Who will have to wait her turn for a few more years because Hillary Clinton blew it.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • I read anger, hatred, stereotypes, gloating, sexism and generalizations in this critique. I hope it’s not intended to attract supporters because all it does is alienate. This is one of the most unappealing things I’ve read recently.

    I also hope that Barack Obama himself absolutely never, ever ever describes any voter this way, or the campaign as a “man’s game” – I’m going to assume you just wanted to be provocative and vent your feelings. Or something.

  • Neocon

    Obama has run an outstanding race. He has focused on the rules and he has run a grass roots campaign that had confronted an unusually powerful and polarizing front runner and come away with not so much as a victory but as a tie.

    In hindsight, Hillary’s downfall is perfectly within the framework of political expectations not only by Democrats but all of America. Hillary has been elevated to coronation status for 16 years. America and more specifically the secular humanists within the democratic party who felt betrayed by the Clintons once they were in office.

    Because you have essentially secular humanists running this campaign and driving its dynamics the process has become about people. What is more defining about people then race?

    This democratic nomination process has been about nothing but race. What are the Blacks doing. What are the Whites doing. What are the Hispanics doing. No where is it more evident to me then in this democratic primary season.

    Within both parties are a closet full of skeletons. The democrats are going to make the fatal and flawed mistake of finger pointing instead of trying to fix what is wrong and in the process a party that is not powerfully FOR anything but has chosen to simply be for what the GOP is not has led it to the brink of internal chaos of its own accord.

  • shaun


    Let’s take something public that I have spoken to you about privately — your willful naivete.

    Do you really suggest that politics has not been a man’s game in this country?

    Do you really suggest that Bill Clinton did not have an outsized role in his wife’s campaign?

    Do you really suggest that the polarization and divisiveness that the Clinton campaign worked so hard to sew did not hurt them?

    Do you really suggest that the race baiting — which continues through this week with some extraordinarily ham-handed comments from the candidate and her chief strategist — hasn’t alienated blacks?

    Do you really suggest that what my post is about is demonization while you ignore my salutatory remarks regarding how hard feminists — AND THIS MAN, AS WELL — have worked over the last four decades to empower women in the workplace and in politics?

    Do you really suggest that Obama is not leaving Clinton in the dust because he picked up on and ran hard with the electorate’s thirst for change while Clinton played by the old rules?

    What is it that you’re doing except stooping to the very name calling that I noted in my post?


  • JoyP

    Jill – I didn’t read any of those things in Shaun’s comments and I’m an old feminist. He mentioned the progress women have made – not enough for me of course, but there has been progress. She could have been the first woman president but let’s face it. She and her campaign blew it. For me it’s not about race or gender. It’s about change in America. She didn’t represent change. I thought she did at first and supported her, but later it became the same old politics. She didn’t have to do this – she is smart, articulate, and despite her recent comments, truly believes in America. It’s unfortunate she chose to run her campaign this way.

  • runasim

    If Jill’s comment is representative of naivete, then I say Long live Naivete.”

    It certainly is more clear sighted than anything in this post.
    Hint: being blinded by antipaty is not anything remotely close to sophistication.

  • Shaun – I chose my words carefully. They represent what I read in what you wrote. Obviously not everyone read it that way or will read it that way. And that’s fine. I stand by what I wrote. I didn’t call you a single name. And I won’t. Except Shaun.

  • Neocon

    Jill wrote: (Incidently why doesn’t this obviously well laid out, well designed and superb blog not have a quote feature or other posting tools?)

    No Jill Didn’t write that. She wrote this:

    I also hope that Barack Obama himself absolutely never, ever ever describes any voter this way,

    Shaun I think Jill addressed your entire post with these words. You tend to be describing anyone who would dare support Hillary as some sort of hoodlum with a gun in a knife fight.

    Also you say that she played by the rules but that was wrong. That she needed to change the rules to win. Strange concept. In general while my opinion is meaningless I do sense a lot of anger towards Hillary. But not only are you addressing your anger at Hillary but to the millions who have supported her and continue to do so.

    I will never forget reading an opinion page from a paper in France the day Bush was elected to a second term. “What are those Idiots thinking?” That has always stuck with me and it seems to have become the overwhelming theme of politics within America today.

    If you do not agree with me and my candidate then the philosophy seems to have become:

    “What are those Idiots thinking?”

  • runasim


    Shaun expressed the same basic sentiments at the very start of the campign, before Hillary had a chance to do anything right or anything wrong.

    Overall, the whole anti-Clinton campaign looks and smells more like an obsession instead of analysis

  • shaun


    “I read ANGER, HATRED, STEREOTYPES, GLOATING, SEXISM and generalizations in this critique. I hope it’s not intended to attract supporters because all it does is alienate. This is one of the most unappealing things I’ve read recently.”


  • But Shaun, that is what I read in what you wrote. Only you can say “I’m not angry, I don’t hate, I don’t lump together, I am trying to be humble, this race isn’t being won or lost on gender and I don’t clump as though they are one single category.”

    That is what I read. I accept that it may say more about me than about anything else. And I held back on my keyboard before publishing – but I felt it was important to leave that feeling here because what you describe SO isn’t my experience and I SO don’t like to be lumped and I SO don’t want to be represented and seen as being monolithic as you describe.

    I mean, isn’t NOT being monolithic part of what Obama is supposed to be all about? So the way you describe things here seems completely antithetical to me as representative of the best of what Obama is supposedly offering that is new.

    In the fight to win in November, how do you think more voters will be won over – from wherever they are sitting on the spectrum? By backing them into a corner and demanding that they see what you see or else they’re naive, or showing them what is attractive that they can recognize and relate to?

    I just feel like the discourse around analyzing what has happened and is going on could be so much more constructive. I feel that what you wrote in this post is very destructive – it doesn’t engender a desire to shift support.

    And that’s what will be necessary for Obama to win.

  • shaun

    Meanwhile, Susan Faludi offers a different but not incompatible perspective in today’s NYTimes in writing that when there is a woman president it will, in part, be because “Hillary Clinton got down with the boys” in 2008.


  • Joy – I don’t see that being a feminist of any era has anything to do with liking or not liking the tenor of what Shaun wrote. He could say the exact same thing without labels, stereotypes and generalizations.

    By the way – what about all the men who voted for Clinton? Where do they fit in? I mean, there have been a lot of them. I actually haven’t read anything about them now that I think of it – that’s kind of weird. Has anyone else?

  • Ha. Thanks for that link, Shaun. See – I thought that we were trying to move away from the bazillion labels Faludi uses – I could swear I’ve heard Obama support that notion. But I may be wrong – maybe he likes the labels as much as Faludi and others. Personally, I don’t know what to make of stigma anymore.

    But I digress. lol sorry

    As you might imagine, I don’t see the role of a presidential candidate as going into the basement to fight amongst themselves. And I don’t think Obama talks as though he does either – he talks about taking it to a higher place, of expecting better and more. And in fact some criticisms have been lobbed at him for not fighting enough.

    So Faludi’s whole premise doesn’t resonate for me. But, again, that’s is just moi.

  • Oooo – I don’t really know what it means or how it works, but my disquis number thingy just went down for the first time ever! Uh oh.

  • Yeah, “Man’s Game” is really problematic. You should think about it, dude.

    To be specific, it’s not feminists who are pissed off. It’s feminists who are over 65 who are pissed off. These first wavers, who admittedly fought the hard battles that made it easier for me, remind me a lot of HRC herself. They’re tough, determined, and tireless in pursuit of their goal to put a woman in the White House. Unfortunately, I see a lot of these supporters exhibiting some of olde style feminism/HRC’s, er, less productive traits.

    First, there is the focus on the middle class white woman as the prime unit of feminism. Part of the reason that there are so many off-shoots of feminism (e.g. Black Feminism which argues that forms of feminism that strive to overcome sexism and class oppression but ignore or minimize race can perpetuate racism and thereby contribute to the oppression of many people, including women) is that there’s always been this tactical myopia on some women’s problems. A good example: earning the power to work outside of the home was not an accomplishment for black feminists; they had been working all along. Acknowledgment of the problems facing more types of women could have expanded her base.

    Second, and most disturbing, is the willingness to sell out your ideals to get what you want. I’ve seen far too many women try to hold the nomination hostage by promising to vote for McCain. This is a man who has had a 0% rating from NARAL for as long as I’ve been checking. He votes against fair pay acts for women. He would do everything in his power to minimize/eradicate choice in this country. The man opposes funding for family planning programs and regularly votes against requiring insurance coverage of birth control. He would undo much that women have achieved over the past 40 years and some “feminists” would help him into office. Why hurt their daughters and granddaughters and undo their own legacies like that?

  • hillaryhaslost


    How I read your posts is that you have failed to communicate your ideas effectively. You write as a disgruntled Hillary supporter who is doomed to lose.

  • shaun


    Thank you for picking up and moving the dialog along. Good points all, especially the historic perspective.

    • Aw, shucks.

      I’m trying (and often failing) to build a reputation for productiveness and evenhandedness during the primaries because when the focus turns to McCain, I expect you’ll see me in full-on, mistyping, all-caps, white knuckle rage!!1!

  • I agree with Shaun 100% re: Janinedm’s comment.

  • Um – Hillaryhaslost – I almost never write about Hillary and I never write about her as a supporter. So – you know – you might want to provide links or something.

  • GeorgeSorwell


    Everyone knows what Shaun is like when it comes to Clinton.

  • hillaryhaslost


    I chose my words carefully. They represent what I read in what you wrote. Obviously not everyone read it that way or will read it that way. And that’s fine. I stand by what I wrote.

  • No seriously Janinedm – I’ve been schooled and am schooling myself in a major way as a result of going to something called WAM!2008 about WOC and POC and black feminism and the whole thing. It’s really been an epiphany so I knew exactly what you were talking about. You are right on. Thank you.

  • oh! I’m back up a point in that disqus thingy! lol

    Hillaryhaslost – whatever. Thanks for reading TMV. With or without back-up. 🙂

  • Neocon, every political position can be characterized as being “against” something rather than “for” something. The Republicans, for example, are “against” big government, taxes, regulation and “secular humanists.” So what are Democrats “for”? This Democrat is for, and I believe Obama represents this, a fundamental change of direction by government toward what I believe good government is about.

    Good government manages public resources for the public good, not for private gain. Obama has said he is for, and I believe him, honesty, accountability and transparency in our federal government. He is for return to the values of average Americans, who deplore torture and spying on Americans, lying by public officials and selling out to campaign donors. Obama has done something truly extraordinary. He has financed his campaign through over 1.5 million small donations from “ordinary” Americans who yearn to have our government work for us for a change.

    Since the beginning of the Reagan era, we have pursued a policy of coddling the rich at the expense of the other 90% of us, handing over the reins of power to corporate donors and ignoring our responsibility to our children and grandchildren to maintain and build the infrastructure of America, protect the environment, communities and workers.

    I will be charitable and say that most Republicans truly believe that by cutting taxes we have been “letting people keep their own money.” But the truth is, we are borrowing a half trillion dollars a year and giving that money away as “tax cuts”, with no intention of paying it back but rather, handing in on with interest to our children and grandchildren. We borrow $1 billion a day from China alone, and we give around 80% of it back buying Chinese products. We have made China our banker and our manufacturing sector, and failed to run our country in a businesslike way. So much for America’s “first MBA president.”

    In what I believe was a cynical attempt to create a permanent American aristocracy, the Republicans demonized the estate tax as a “death tax”, while creating a “birth tax” (the national debt) that is now about $31,000 for every infant born in America. That infant owes over $250 a month in interest alone [figure edited after checking my sources]. Think about it: the “credit card Republicans” while talking about cutting taxes, have added $325 a month to your tax rate, every one of you, every one of us, every month, forever.

    We have been headed down the path of passing on to future generations a mountain of debt and a degraded planet. So, are we against that? Well, I am! I’m for making this country a model of responsible and innovative action toward a sustainable future, a beacon of democracy and freedom, not of torture and “preemptive” war. And the subject of the Iraq war is germane here. Yes, we’re “against it” but that means we are “for” peace and we’re for using our resources to rebuild the American infrastructure, not the Iraqi infrastructure, and for using our resources to free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, rather than fighting wars in the Middle East at immense cost in blood and treasure in an attempt to control a resource that we should be moving away from for many good reasons. Anyway, any “against” is also a “for,” Neocon, and I think Obama supporters know what we’re for.

    Jill wrote: (Incidently why doesn’t this obviously well laid out, well designed and superb blog not have a quote feature or other posting tools?)

    Actually, Jill (if she did write that), it is possible, just not easy. I use the ScribeFire extension to Firefox to compose comments. Using their code view, I paste the html into the comment box and most of it works. Strikethrough doesn’t, unfortunately, because it’s so fun for snarky side comments.

  • hillaryhaslost


    All of your talk has been inconsequential. You will eventually have to acknowledge that Shaun’s comments are even handed and correct. You have taken on an antagonistic approach that is unappreciated. Hopefully, you will soon see that instead of clinging to buzzwords such as “man’s game,” you will appreciate the logic of the argument.

    It is not discussion of these topics that causes conflict. It is not the use of certain terminology. Instead, conflict is caused by people who look for division instead of seeking understanding. Unfortunately, people who microanalyze will always cause division. It is up to the rest to stay above the fray.

  • Hillaryhaslost – no – actually – I won’t ever have to “admit” that Shaun’s comments are even-handed and correct. What I have written to Shaun in an email exchange that he initiatied (to his credit) is that I haven’t argued with the content.

    What you and others will have to “admit” is that if people who support Obama AND want to win in November, they cannot continue to write comments with the one and tenor such as this one written by Shaun.

    Follow Obama’s lead. Raise the level of discourse. Let Clinton do herself in as she has done. Then, get universal – that is the only way to reach people who right now are saying that they will never support Obama.

    Unless someone wants to make an argument that not a single person who voted for Clinton is needed to win, or is needed to be recognized once Obama wins. That, of course, would be a tragic mistake in judgment that would ensure defeat. Not to mention, very unkind and very un-Obama-like.

  • Jill, I agree with you about the tone of comments, at least from within the Obama campaign. Of course, Sean or anyone is welcome to say what they wish here. I believe we will see Obama and his campaign reaching out to Clinton voters on the subject of the issues that I believe all Democrats support, some of which I have detailed in my comments above.

    So let me toss this meaningless olive branch to you and any other Clinton supporters: my support for Obama was never an anti-Hillary or an antifeminist or an anti-woman choice. As you know from my many comments here, my focus is primarily environmental and oriented toward sustainability; financial, environmental and social. I will confess to some discomfort with the seeming coziness between Hillary and her big donors. The grassroots financing of Obama’s campaign, I believe, leaves him in a better position than any candidate in recent history to be independent of the influences that have driven decision making in this country for the last 20 years or so.

  • I hope you are right in this belief: “The grassroots financing of Obama’s campaign, I believe, leaves him in a better position than any candidate in recent history to be independent of the influences that have driven decision making in this country for the last 20 years or so.” I know he’s got plenty of establishment support too but relative to Clinton, I understand.

    I really don’t know how to make this any more clear but in my world, because I exercised my right to vote and I voted for Clinton, this does not make me a supporter. I wouldn’t NOT vote, but at the time I voted, that’s what I did. I stand by it. This inclination to call every single person who pulled the lever a “supporter” really does a disservice to people who really ARE “supporters” in the real sense of that word, to me. Now – I will acknowledge – I am an incredibly picky person when it comes to my choice of words about pretty much anything – check with my family and friends. But seriously – I think this thing about labeling every single person a support based on a primary vote – because as I said, I wasn’t going to not vote, just is counterproductive – well, to me. 🙂

  • hillaryhaslost


    It is truly sad that you continue to cling to the belief that anyone who uses a vernacular to which you are unaccustomed is somehow racist, sexist or gloating.

    It is allso sad that you do not understand the definition of “supporter.” A supporter is one who promotes the interest or cause of someone or something. That is what you did when you voted for Clinton. You may feel regrets about it now. Any imperfect person has regrets from time to time. However, you did support Hillary Clinton at one time. If you feel otherwise, perhaps you should run for office. You would be an expert at doublespeak. 😉

    Only when you can acknowledge your actions can you learn from them.

  • shaun

    Publius, the great Obsidian Wings blogger, offers a fascinating and convincing alternative take on why Clinton lost: Iraq.


  • my goodness, there was no hidden meaning in my talking about Clinton supporters. Let me amend that to Clinton voters. I just mean that Obama will reach out for party unity and he certainly has much to offer those who like Clinton’s politics, since their positions are virtually identical on most issues.

  • hillaryhaslost

    Jill is the only one I know who doesn’t call a “voter” a “supporter.” It appears she has no shame in saying she voted for Clinton, but she would be ashamed of supporting Clinton. Ha ha.

  • I’d be ashamed to align with someone how laughs at other people, Hillaryhaslost. Again, I pray to God that Obama rejects that manifestation of “support” for him.


  • hillaryhaslost

    I will not vote for your willful naivete, nor will I support it. But I will “laugh” at it. Then, again, that depends on how you define the word laugh. 🙂

  • Neocon

    Green dreams

    Once again as an obvious staunch democrat you are forced to go into a long narrative to describe what it is that democrats stand for.

    Americans have short attention spans. This has been the downfall of the Democratic party and the liberal notion of life in general. When once this world took on the million miles a minute life style a political philosophy needed to be trimmed down to simple terms to meet up with people’s revolving door day to day life.

    That does not mean a long and winded narrative of what democrats are about.

    Republicans are against higher taxes. Democrats are for tax breaks for the middle classe, with exceptions to the death tax and we want to tax soo and soo and this and that and in some cases tax breaks are good but overall we would like to see a more fair and equitable……blah…blah…..blah

    See my point. They are simply against something rather then defining what they are for.

    Republicans its simple. Less taxes. For Democrats they cant say MORE taxes so they have to simply go into a song and dance.

    Republicans. Right to bear arms. Democrats…..yeah sorta, kinda but with all kinds of laws. Lets ban assault rifles and this and that. Lets have registration and laws for when and where and how you can buy a gun and on and on.

    Republicans. Smaller government. Democrats…….I think you see where we are going.

    Democrats cannot define themselves in simple terms that make choices easy. One must decipher what they mean this time around.

  • shaun


    We know what Republicans stand for. Just look at the last seven-plus years train wreck.

    I would personally like to thank you for that, and you no doubt blush with pride at the mere thought of the fiscal, social and literal carnage that your beloved GOP has wrought.

    End of discussion. And don’t let the door hit you and Hillaryhaslost in the ass on the way out.

  • Hillaryhaslost: in the context you are using laugh, I think of the book “The Day God Laughed” which I remember being in my house as I was growing up. That title certainly used the word “laughed” in a way so as to convey several different meanings.

    Few things have one absolute meaning. And mostly, I believe, that’s a good thing. The trick is for the writer and the reader to be aware of that or acknowledge it when a meaning you didn’t intend – either as an inference or an implication – is brought to your attention. That’s what my first comment was intended to do. And look at this great conversation?

    That’s what blogs are for, imo.

  • Greendreams – no I didn’t write that re: the quote feature thing. My young teen child has taught me a few things but I actually learned a little html all by ma’self. 🙂 Thanks for the tip though – it is not something obvious unless you do write your own blog or read them a lot, I think.

  • Neocon

    Shaun fyi

    Im a democrat who supports Hillary Clinton but who will most likely vote for Barak Obama over McCain.

    However if there was no Iraq in the picture I might find it in my heart to vote for a Moderate McCain.

    Ease your pain Shaun. They have pills for that.

  • Shaun – I’m not one who really thought about stances on Iraq as being a deciding thing between Obama and Clinton because when I first heard Obama speak in person in Cleveland and he talked about Iraq, I thought (and wrote on my blog), “Oh no – but he wasn’t similarly situated (because he wasn’t in office at that time” and I wrote about how I thought it could be a very dicey thing, to attack someone for what they did when you yourself weren’t operating under the same circumstances.

    And I’ve wondered about how it is that Iraq became such a drag on Clinton.

    That Obsidian Wings post does an EXCELLENT job identifying how Obama turned his angle on Iraq into a big plus and Clinton failed to neutralize it as a liability – which it was and is, agreed.

    The only thing I would add to the thoughts at that post is that a bit of fairness needs to be added in in this sense: who wouldn’t be stymied by what happened – by being duped and so on?

    But then, playing devil’s advocate against myself and not lingering too long in that thought of being stymied I also believe: as an elected political leader in the congress, a rep or senator is charged with NOT being stymied but with acting.

    And that post is arguing that she failed to act, or act enough, or act in line with what was needed and so on.

    That’s a fair critique of how Iraq became a lethal liability for Clinton.

    Thanks for pointing out the post.

  • hillaryhaslost



    You are not a writer. You are an apologist. And you do an excellent job of one thing: obfuscating truth. Instead of admitting that you supported Clinton at one time, you attempt to change the definition of support.

    As long as ignorance exists, there will always be fodder for your written works. An audience with discernment makes your material irrelevant.

  • hillaryhaslost, the above comment is nothing but an ad hominem attack. It adds nothing to a rational dialogue and says more about you than it does about Jill. Oh, by the way, where’s the body of YOUR writing?

    Neocon, I am indeed a staunch Democrat now, but was once a Republican, when the party stood for fiscal responsibility, states rights, individual rights including the right to privacy, and the rule of law.

    And, I am not “forced to go into a long narrative” but rather, to paraphrase Pascal, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one. However, I did give you the soundbite version: “Good government manages public resources for the public good, not for private gain.”

    Now ordinarily, I would determine not to engage with someone, and there are a few here, who just spout Republican talking points at me. But your surprise admission that you may be voting for Obama gives me hope that dialoguing with you may be worthwhile.

    Your assertion that Republicans “are against higher taxes” may be true on a philosophical basis, but the effect of Republican rule is the opposite. For everyone in our country the portion of our taxes dedicated to paying interest on the Reagan/Bush contributions to the national debt is over $250 per month (relying on memory, I exaggerated this figure above, but you’ll find the citation HERE). And that’s for the entire population, not just for taxpayers, so for a family of four the two income earning parents pay twice that each or $1,000 a month for the family. That’s the interest on the credit card Republicans‘ debt. What that means in terms of everyday financial outlay is the first several months of every year, all of our payroll taxes go toward paying interest for money borrowed primarily for the Reagan/Bush tax cuts and the Iraq war.

    So yes, I see your point that the simplistic mantra of “less taxes” works for many Americans, obviously. But it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and that has become obvious to most as the earning power and spending power of the middle class and lower has declined, while that of millionaires has skyrocketed. I don’t get your point on guns, as the Democratic Party position is supported by the mayors of every major city in America and of every major law enforcement agency in America. Hunting rifles? Fine. Assault rifles? No way. Handguns? OK, with registration, a background check to see that we’re not putting handguns in the hands of felons, and a cooling off period to prevent crimes of passion.

    So, for the voters to whom you refer, here’s the simple difference:

    Republicans, more war in Iraq and probably Iran.
    Democrats, no more war in Iraq nor Iran.

    Republicans, more right wing judges who believe in an imperial presidency, the denial of a woman’s right to choose, torture, extraordinary rendition, no right to face your accuser, see the evidence or know with what you are charged, etc. I think you see where this is going.
    Democrats, none of that.

    Republicans, smaller government. Hahahahaha, yeah right!

    Republicans, total fiscal irresponsibility, massive debt, huge deficits, miserable trade balance, falling dollar. Any questions?

  • Neocon

    I was simply trying to point out that the GOP is a simple party with few planks in their platform but what planks they have are short and simple. No new taxes. Smaller government. Less regulation. etc. Simple, straight forward and too the point.

    Democrats on the other hand have a hard time stating their positions because they are complex. This makes it hard for casual voters to grasp democrats positions as opposed to republicans position. Thus to define themselves they end up being for what the republicans are not or so it is packaged and perceived by the general public. Even John Kerry presented himself with “Im not Bush.”

    In a fast paced world in which about 90 percent of America could give a hoot about politics except during their time to vote this makes it harder for the democrats to get their message across.

    Even your short version has me scratching my head wondering just which one of a million interpretations you can put on this:

    “Good government manages public resources for the public good, not for private gain.”

    Define public good. Whose good? Abortion is for the public good. According to the GOP. Abortion is not good for the public good according to the democrats. Hand guns? Public good? GWB thought that going to war in Iraq was for the public good.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade but this is precisely what I mean by the democrats inability to simply and straight forwardly define themselves in a clear and concise manner.

    No even this is an entire concept that while rolling off your tongue might sound decent it is so open to interpretations as to be the theme for a research grant by the Brookings institute.

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