Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Like Obama. Hillary Has Won the Nomination. If You'd Like to Support Hillary, Turn to Page 47. If You'd Like to Support McCain, Turn to Page 60.

I've made a promise to myself (likely the only person who cares) to have my post about why I support Obama up by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. And when it appears, it will not mention Hillary Clinton. I'll have plenty to say about her below and in the days and weeks to come, but I'd like at least one post to focus solely on the positive reasons to want a President Obama, since I wanted that long before Hillary managed to make me like her even less.

Yesterday, Megan McArdle wrote that "Obama's supporters probably won't vote for McCain if Hillary is the nominee, but they might well stay home if they think that she slimed her way into the nomination." A string of commenters -- including yours truly -- responded thus:
Um, I'm an Obama backer and will likely vote for McCain if Hillary is the nominee. Don't know how many like me there are, but I'm right here.
Posted by dave.s.

Hmm. As a data point, I'm an Obama supporter who might well vote for McCain if Clinton is the nominee. Among other things, I dislike her divisive, pessimistic, Rovian style.
Posted by Creamy Goodness

I chuckle at folks who think they know what Obama supporters will do if he loses. ... The one thing I do know about Obama voters is they will not vote for HRC. She (they) epitomizes all they hate about politics which is what draws them to Obama to begin with.
Posted by G Davis

I'm an Obama supporter and Hillary's behavior has absolutely guaranteed that I won't vote for her in the general. In fact, if it is Hillary vs. McCain I will vote against her with great satisfaction.
Posted by Patrick

I'm an Obama supporter, and I would absolutely vote for McCain if Hillary is the nominee.
Posted by JMW
Yes, one of those commenters was named "Creamy Goodness." Let's move on.

The eye-catching thing to me, as an independent (the only viable candidates whose presidencies I would fear are Giuliani and Huckabee), is how remarkably resilient the Democrats are in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. This whole thing's far from over, and Hillary may very well win the White House, but can anyone envision a scenario in which her election isn't a squeaker? She seems built to win -- at best -- 50.1% of any given vote. Meanwhile, the Republicans, in disarray and on the ropes, without a thoroughly appealing horse in the stable, still seem on the verge of making the right decision for their party's chances. As Andrew Sullivan wrote today:
McCain makes all the right people on the right angry. McCain represents a chance to remake the GOP on reformist lines, just as Obama represents a chance for the Democrats to escape the sleaze and cynicism of the Clintons. Maybe the Republicans, unlike, it appears, the Democrats, have the courage to choose the future over the past, to break a dynasty rather than entrench one. I sure hope they do.


Anonymous Dezmond said...

There is a real struggle in both parties right now. The moderates and sane people on the Republican side all know that McCain is their best bet, but he has to navigate through the insane, frothing at the mouth, primary voters first before getting to a more moderate general election. I swear the people in my party are so stupid. The diehards hate McCain, but if they nominate anyone else they are handing the election to (probably) Hillary. I like Giuliani too, but his "wait until Florida" strategy has bitten him in the ass, so I bet he's out of the race before long. Huckabee is an idiot. Ron Paul is a clown (our Dennis Kucinich). Romney is a smart guy, and I wouldn't be crushed if he were president, but I do not think he can beat Hillary or Obama in a general election. Also, I do not agree with Romney on some fundamental issues. Anyway, if we moderate Republicans can just get McCain through the damn primaries, we'll have our best shot.

On the other side, I think you Dems are crazy not to go with Obama. So many people HATE Hillary (and her and Bill's behavior during these primaries sure hasn't improved their reputation). The best way to make sure the Republicans come out in force to the voting booth this election is to let them vote against Hillary. With McCain, many of the Right Wingers might otherwise stay home on election day, but against Hillary? A ticket of Satan-Judas '08 would have a chance against Hillary. But Obama? As much as I love McCain, I would still have to really think about who I wanted to vote for. Even though Obama's leftwing views bother me and the pussy, defeatist attitude the Dems have regarding Iraq is treasonous, I am still intrigued by Obama, respect his intelligence, and think he could make some real change (as tired as that word is becoming) for the good. And let me tell you, I've got several usually Republican friends who have said the same thing. If you go with Obama, you democrats have the White House. Simple as that. If you go with Hillary, you will have a dogfight on your hands.

Funny thing, when this whole thing started, I had decided to wipe the slate clean with Hillary. I have been a Hillary-basher for years, but I decided to give her a chance and to listen to what she had to say. Also, in some ways, she was one of the more moderate candidates the Dems had to offer. But her behavior, as well as her husband's, during this campaign has been absolutely reprehensible. Now my disgust with the Clintons is back with a vengeance, and many others feel the same. I know that in political campaigns it is somewhat standard practice to take your opponent's statements and use them against him. But, there is a line that should not be crossed, and that line is blatantly lying about what what he said. The Clintons have done this time and time again. One of the things that has impressed me about Obama is that he is a nuanced thinker. To really appreciate Obama, you need to listen to his entire statement or interview. He doesn't do the meaningless soundbites as well. I saw the interview where Obama was talking about the Reagan and Republican legacy. In no way was Obama praising it, he was just acknowledging the FACT that Reagan really changed the political landscape in some fundamental ways. But Bill f*cking Clinton goes out and cherry picks a phrase out of Obama's entire interview and twists it to try and tell people that "Obama really admires Reagan, Obama thinks that what the Republicans have done in the last 15 years is great!" F*ck you, Clinton!! F*ck you!! That is so NOT what Obama was getting at. Does he really think people are that malleable? Well, he does think that. And it looks like it might be working. Clinton is not stupid, so he KNOWS that is not what Obama meant. Yet he goes out there with his Bubba-charm and spreads slimey lies. If you democrats nominate Clinton over Obama, then you really are the party of defeat, in more ways than one.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Henry said...

As a major Obama backer, I couldn't agree more. Originally, I planned to just not vote if he didn't get the nomination, since there is no way I want a repeat of the gridlocked and partisan 1990s, but increasingly McCain is looking like a viable alternative.
Regardless of what he says during the primary season (as dezmond says, he has to appeal to fringe primary voters who aren't really representative of his views or the electorate), he has a proven history of bipartisanship and bucking the system when he needs to.
Also, his platform of lowering the defecit and promoting domestic renewable energy production is something I can get behind.
By the sound of it, I'm not alone in this assessment.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a son who in eight years can be drafted. No, I don't want this war. I don't think it's necessary at all. Obama is a great speaker and has the quality of bringing people together, but that's not what I like about him. I have heard him on Google talk about how he would negotiate with our friends and foes and he has new ideas that could work. When it comes to foreign policy, I think Romney is Barack's equal. He too, has said a lot of things that make good sense to me. These two candidates seem to be the most intelligent that I can see. The sad thing is, I don't think either of these guys is going to get in. I think it will be eight more years of war mongering McCain. What a bummer.

7:50 AM  

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