Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I'm watching the Indiana results carefully, though I'm pretty confident Hillary will win. I also think the margin in North Carolina will narrow, given the counties that have not yet reported in.

The exit polls in each state reflect the condition of the Democratic primary electorate - Obama gets a super-majority of AA votes which makes up for his weakness with other voters. The "youth" turnout was not that big. The trend that spells out the party's fate in November continues to hold, which is that Hillary is consistently winning white males votes. These are the people who are most likely to defect to McCain in November, and they are already indicating that they don't much care for Obama.

It has come down to race, though not in the way the Blogger Boyz want to admit. It is about the wine track candidate getting a boost from AA voters, not any surge of anti-black racism on the part of working class voters. There may be some white backlash against Obama now, but that is a direct result of the way his campaign hs dissed working class voters by painting them as racists, as well as his own dirty laundry beginning to be aired.

The wine track candidate has been a consistently losing bet for the party since Stevenson. Kennedy barely eked out a victory (and there are reasons to believe he didn't win the vote), and Jimmy Carter was simply an anomaly, though it is telling that he was center-left southern technocrat. Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry were more centrist than the competition, but they hewed to the Yankee technocratic line rather than try to connect to the increasingly disaffected working class. Gore won the popular vote but lost the election because he tried to be more Bill Bradly than Bill Clinton. The "hardcore" wine track competitors - Dean, Bradley, Hart, Tsongas, Brown, Teddy Kennedy - were never seriously competitive even in the primaries because they simply did not appeal to people for whom politics was more than an intellectual enterprise. Candidates who make voters feel both vulnerable and stupid just aren't going to go very far.

There are two reasons why the hardcore winetrack candidate is winning this year. What Obama did to the situation was unify the AA vote behind a single candidate by virtue of his race. Obama is winning because he is black. Aside from that one quality, he would have been polling down with Dennis Kucinich in the primaries. The other reason is because Hillary Clinton is running. If Hillary had not been in the lineup, all the party power brokers would have been behind Edwards and Obama would have been offered a VP slot. He offers nothing of substance on pocketbook issues, doesn't appeal to working class voters in the slightest, and is carrying more incendiary political baggage than you can shake a stick at. Were it not for his AA support, he would not be competitive.

Before anyone spouts off in the comments, let me make it clear that I don't consider AA support of Obama to be pernicious. Electorally frustrating, yes, but, unlike the Hillary Haters who want to attribute the worst possible motives to her supporters, I don't think that is so of the majority Obama's black supporters. They see an opportunity to vote for a candidate who reflects them, and they will do so, no matter the odds. Given my unwavering support of Hillary despite the long nomination odds, I can't really cry foul on someone else's supporters who feel just as strongly as I do. Obama's campaign is certainly doing pernicious race-baiting, but mostly to initimidate critics and shame wavering white voters. I don't think it's earning him more than a few slivers of votes from the AA community, and is probably costing him more votes on the whole when white attrition is counted against black gains.

The problem, of course, is that Obama is having less and less appeal beyond his unique coalition as time goes on. His political baggage is pure gold for Republican ratfucking operations as we already see in their attacks on politicians who endorsed him. He has insulted the working class voters (who are not just white) the party must hold to defeat the Republicans over and over again, his class snobbery on display with some new gaffe almost every week.

So, what now? Local variations will give supporters on either side arguments about relative strength, but the larger picture is that Obama is losing 60% of white voters within his own party, let alone across parties. His scorched earth campaign to claim white racism as the sole and overwhelming cause of his losses puts the party between the Devil and the deep blue sea. He has alienated voters of all ethnicities by forcing the campaign into a black/white racial divide, angering Democrats who are voting against his lack of substantive policies, not his skin color (in truth, at this point, the only things about him that appeal to me are his skin color and his proposed Cuba policy), and antagonizing AAs with his claim that white politicians are conspiring to deny him the nomination, which will make a significant number stay home if he is not the nominee. The political question for me is whether, should he lose the nomination, will he support Hillary? If he does, Democrats win. If he doesn't, Democrats lose.

The party is at a stalemate now. Neither candidate will win with just pledged delegates. Super delegates will break it in favor of one candidate or the other.

Do we want to win in November or not?



lori said...

Have you seen the exit poll numbers on Clinton voters who say they won't vote for Obama should he be the nominee? They are through the roof. I don't remember these kinds of numbers before. Heck, I don't remember these kinds of questions before.

donnadarko said...

I was just going to write that race-baiting or making race an issue is the central strategy of the Obama campaign. He's not post-racial. You're racist if you criticize him/vote against him/criticize the misogyny of his campaign/if the Party doesn't choose him. But the real story is misogyny as 50% of IN and NC Clinton supporters won't vote for him.

Pilar said...

The media continues to be biased as usual in reporting the results.

Pilar said...

THe media continues to be incredibly biased in reporting the results.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

uggghhh ... rough night. I'm still behind Hillary, but it's not as good a night as I had hoped.

If she loses this nomination, I'll be having a bit of a baptism, a re-birth. I've been a Democrat my whole life. I've pulled the Dem lever downticket without ever even questioning who was behind that D-label.


Because the Democratic brand name stood for something: fighting for those too powerless to fight for themselves; taking a risk of making yourself weaker by raising up others and making them stronger.

I can't say what the Democratic party means to women b/c I'm a man. But I can tell you what it means to me. It meant jumping into a fight when you see a couple tough guys pushing around a weaker kid. It means taking a shot in the nose so you can lay a fistful of knuckle into the bullies and pigs of the world who want to hog all the goodies for themselves. It means treating ladies w/ dignity and respect, and realizing it's a new age where sometimes the ladies might lay the beat-down on the bullies to save *your* ass. It meant that no matter how high you climb, you remember that it's another human being who's taking your order at the coffee shop, it's another human being who's cleaning the toilets in your office when you leave home for the night, and it's another human being who changes your bedpans when you're sick. Being a Democrat meant that you feel equally bonded in life to these people, simply because they are human beings which makes you all equal under the eyes of the stars.

To me, being a Democrat meant standing tall and fighting for all these things. Not in an Armani suit, but in a tank-top with fresh BBQ stains.

That image is important. Why? Because injustice doesn't happen when you're suited up and ready for it. It happens when you're in the middle of BBQ'ing, when you're in your car on a cross-country trip, when you're stopping by the hospital to check on a sick relative. What you do in your tank-top is the judge of a man.

This primary has taught me something deeply important about myself. I'm a strong guy w/ deep moral convictions; and I'm a decent guy b/c I stay true, day in and day out, to these convictions. And I've come to realize that I don't need any damn political party to keep on being a strong & decent man.

I'm for Hillary because, goddamit, that woman is a fucking menace to all those bullies I despise. She's a freakin' monster to every fat hog that wants to horde all the goodies of the world to himself.

To *HELL* with the Democratic party. I'm for the woman with true empathy in her heart for the powerless, the grit in her belly to soldier on every goddamn day, and the humility in her throat to sit and break bread w/ the 'foul' working class. This woman is extraordinary.

I'm free of this Democratic collar that's been round my neck my whole life. I can now just live my life by my own code and simply ignore all the politics. And I have this whole primary debacle to thank for my liberation.

Hillary, I'm with *YOU* all the way.

Pilar said...

Thank you Anglachel for confirming my opinion about Obama being an oportunist. My suspicions started when during one of the first debates he said: "I have been against the war from the start." And there he went, repeating and repeating the same mantra for 7 months. Then, when Bill Clinton described his position on the war as a "fairy tale," that's exactly when the Obama's campaign started playing the race card, attacking the Clintons by spinning the whole thing with delusional proportions. Obama has described himself ("The audacity of hope")as a blank slate on which people project whatever they need to see in him. He even acknowledges that in the end many people may feel disappointed. He wants to be a little bit of everything to everybody, wants overall be loved, admired, appreciated, feel the center of attention (he thrives on big rallies). I really feel that this guy never overcame his father's abandonment, and deep down he may feel resentful of his mother and grandparents. Mr Obama needs to go to therapy instead of using the presidential election as an attempt to resolve his midlife crisis.

lakelobos said...

The post didn't mention the massive hate mongering that the Obama campaign has engaged in. Although, the hate was literally targeted at the Clintons (a crime nevertheless), it was actually targeted at all Democrats other than AA. Those of us who believed the Bill Clinton's time was good for the country, were ridiculed and treated as reactionaries and racists.

The whole change nonsense was/is targeted equally against GW Bush and Bill Clinton. This is true both explicitly and implicitly.

Those of us on the left end of social spectrum (the Cesar Chavez Democrats) the Obama campaign is a spit in the face. First you learn that blue collar workers are a non issue. Then you learn that your fellow travels have all deserted and became goons in an Obama mob.

The last nail in the coffin was delivered tonight by Donna Brazile who said that the new Obama party does not need the white blue collar workers.

Sorry, it's not a stalemate anymore. I am out of here.

lakelobos said...

Suddenly it dawned on me that Obama's candidacy is the first time that an independent centrist candidate instead of running as a 3rd party took over one of the two traditional parties.

I cannot vote for him; I am a Democrats.

My Name Is Earl said...

This post and the comments have said just about everything I have been thinking this evening.

If Barry is the nominee, I'm not voting Democratic, or rather for the group that goes by the name Democratic Party. I'll change my status to independent and move along.

I missed most of what Donna B had to say so i want to see that on teevee. If she has said that she
knows not what she's doing. The Hispanic population is/was growing at a faster pace than the AA. If she discounts or throws away the Hispanic and blue-collar, lower-income voter, the Dems will never win another national election.

BTW, be careful about that Cuba thing. It probably does sit well in most of the country, but to mention that in SE FL is a death sentence to a candidate.

Jason said...

I certainly count as a voter who initially would have been willing to support Obama in the fall who has been alienated by his campaign to the point where I almost certainly will not vote for him in the fall should he be the nominee.

I started out enthusiastic about him as my tentative second choice to my tentative first choice Hillary, then he dropped to my *last* choice among the democrats when I learned of his support for nuclear power, but I still would have voted for him and hoped someone changed his mind on this issue. His early campaign made me uneasy, but after Iowa I thought he would probably get the nomination, and read "The Audacity of Hope" in hopes of getting a better feel for him. This caused me to actively dislike him, but I *still* would have voted for him in the fall over a Republican, if he'd run even a Kerry-level campaign.

South Carolina finished this. Portraying two lifelong civil rights supporters as racists was unforgivable, and I made up my mind not to vote for him then. I didn't think it would be a good idea to announce this at the time, because I still thought Hillary would win over the long haul, media bias notwithstanding. I still think she *can*, but I've seen a number of people in blogs tonight who worry that she's conceding, so I figure now is the time to detail my reasons Hillary should stay in for the good of the party that she cares about more than I do(I care about issues, not parties, and have already switched to "decline to state" because I've been pissed off at the dems for years now), and why the superdelegates should start encouraging her instead of trying to chase her off, unless they want a McCain presidency, because I'm not voting for Obama in the fall.

I have a graduate degree and used to work in the entertainment industry, am 42 and male, and consider myself to the left of the democratic party on most things, so I should be in his demographic, but his campaign has appalled me, essentially painting everyone who didn't vote for him as being either low information voters--though both Clinton and her supporters have been a lot better informed and a lot quicker to discuss specific policies than Obama supporters in every online or in-person discussion I've seen--or as racist, even though he has faired even worse among latino and asian voters than among whites.

Combine support for nuclear and coal over solar as alternative energy sources with a deliberately misleading, race-baiting, misogynistic campaign to equal anything Karl Rove ever did, with the way Obama screwed over Alice Palmer, his asinine behavior about not wanting to be photographed with Gavin Newsom at a fundraiser Newsom through for him, and a book in which he repeatedly insults democrats and liberals while praising Republicans, and there's no way I'm voting for this guy.

I don't trust him on reproductive freedom, health care, social security, putting the interests of workers, consumers and small businesses ahead of big corporations, getting the privately funded mercanaries out of Iraq, or telecomm immunity. He's on record as taking a position that appalls me on alternative energy, which I consider to be arguably the single most important issue facing us today--both because of how it impacts humans directly and because of the its impact on the future of the entire planet, voted for the horrible Bush/Cheney energy bill, and is on record saying he had never given environmental issues much thought. Given his history of stabbing people in the back, his campaign's repeated lying and misinformation during this campaign, and that his supporters basically deliberately cheated at a whole bunch of caucuses in a way that should have had the whole democratic party screaming bloody murder and a whole bunch of his supporters in jail, there's nothing he could say to convince me I should trust him on, well, anything. I'd as soon vote for Jay Rockefeller (a devoted supporter of Obama who is the democrats most single-minded supporter of telecomm immunity).

If Obama gets the nomination, I shall devote myself to building grassroots support for particular issues and to trying to build up a third party of some sort.

owenaprhys said...

Amen Brother Turtle! I'm right ther with you!

gendergappers said...

The media conspired to keep the Rev. Wright story either low key or ignored. FOX news was the exception.

Now the news they are trumpeting is that Hillary has cancelled her appearances today. They say she is getting ready to quit.

I cannot believe this. Anyone have better info?

gendergappers said...

Did you hear this exchange between Paul B and Donna B? Paul's point could have come right out of this blog.

"But if her point is that there’s a new Democratic Party that somehow
doesn’t need or want white working-class people and Latinos, well count me out."


jacilyn said...

I'm heartsick - if Hillary is out, then today I am registering as independent. Or maybe tomorrow, since I couldn't sleep at all last night, and stayed up being restless.

And although I was not surprised by Donna Brazile, since it was already known she felt that way, I am nonetheless surprised by how angry I am over it. Democrats built this party just so that Libertarians could steal it?

One of my family members was accused of racism. The fact that he voted for Obama in the primary is irrelevant; he stopped supporting Obama, so he's a racist. Is that insane or what? He was so sad and grieving because he'd been looking forward to this year for so long - when a Democratic President would be in office for the first time in his lifetime. And instead the party is overthrown.

This has gone crazy. I can't even imagine what is going to happen next. It seems like anything could happen. I do hope Hillary stays in, though - I want KY and WV to vote!

Turtle I loved your post.

susan said...

I'm a 50 year old professional lifelong Dem female. Barack Obama will NOT get my vote.

I am going to change my affiliation from "D" to unaffiliated. I am not going to participate in the suicide of the party.

Barack Obama is an elitist snob with a closet full of skeletons and an overweening ambition. He's a good politician but does not appear to have any interest in actually governing.

Since the D leadership has apparently decided to unite behind the guy with the paper-thin resume I guess we better get used to the words "President McCain."

Linda said...

Excellent post Anglachel. And Turtle, I am a woman and your reasons for being a Dem are the same as my reasons. I am greatly saddened that the Democratic Party has declared it does not need me anymore. I am not sure how they plan to win elections, but Brazille's comments were direct. If Obama is the candidate, I will spend the Fall entertained by the Republican attack machine. Anglachel is right, if Hillary was not in the fight, Obama would be looking at the VP slot. Sad to think I wasted 40 years of my adult life supporting a party that does not want me anymore. Oh well, I can use my time and resources in other ways.

DownriverDem said...

A BHO rout in November?

Great. Think Supreme Court Nominees.

We are doomed.

Shainzona said...

Jason...I thought I was reading something I had written as I read your comment.

Every step of your way through this primary has been my step.

I have a feeling many others "got here" the same way.

But we are all in the same place now.

No Obama - ever. I will actively campaign against him. And no, I am not voting for McCain...just never for Obama.

Hey...you can get Nobama bumpers stickers here: http://www.nobama.com/

Does anyone have any history as to whether any other Dem candidate has generated this much dislike and active committment to see him lose?

Sarah said...

Let's be clear people - just because Obama loses 60% of the Demo white vote in primaries does not mean he'll lose that same 60% vs. McCain.

The question is what portion of that bloc can he convince to come to his side?

I think not enough.

But let's stop pretending that losing 60% whites in primaries is going to hold true this fall.

Shainzona said...

Sarah: I think at least 25% of the white vote won't go to Bo in the GE....I'm one, myself and know many others.

Just a hunch. Anyone else care to make a guess?

Sherry said...

DownriverDem, I don't trust Barack Obama on the Supremes. Remember that he would have voted to confirm John Roberts if a political aide hadn't stopped him. He refrained not out of conviction but out of political expediency. He is very iffy on reproductive rights.

Angalchel, thanks as always for sanity.

Turtle & Jason -- you speak for me.

orionATL said...

a solid and sensible analysis.


i'll just add:

there is a blind obediance to simple, small differences in numbers in this election that i regard as extremely foolish, given that we are talking about the presidency of the united states.

obama and clinton are seperated by about 150 delegate votes (not counting superd's).

this is a miniscule number of the ~4500 pledged delegates available to both candidates.

to allow this small difference in pledged delegates to overide a clear difference in experience and in quality of leadership, differences favoring senator clinton by a wide margin, is simply inane,

and with respect to the decisions of the superdelegates,


Chinaberry Turtle said...

I am not a damn Libertarian. Donna Brazille (in the previous link) aptly described what's going on this primary: the Democratic party is morphing into the Libertarian party - a group of wannabe Clint Eastwood individualists who are incapable of recognizing how dependent they are on society and taxes (what the hell do you think makes those street lights work?!).

So here's what the "new" Democratic party Brazille was talking about really means. Have you met the following person?

"I am fiscally conservative but socially liberal."

This is the new Democratic party. But let's decode what this really means:

"I am for equality among all rich folk, be they gay or black. However, the stinking dirty poor people need to be placed in labor camps far from my home. Unless, of course, they are poor but educated artists, in which case they can live in my garage apartment."

I hate these people more than Republicans. At least w/ the Republicans you had honest greed: "I'm rich and wealthy and I favor policies that keep it that way." With this "new" Democratic party you've got basically the same greedy sentiment, but it's now covered up with a disgusting fake gloss of liberal individualism.

Jason said...

Sherry & Shainzona--Thank you. This was my first post here, and of every site I visit this place has some of the best-written comments I've seen--and probably the highest percentage of really excellent comments--so very happy someone noticed me (other than to think I went on too long). It is good to know people I respect share some of the same thoughts.

I reposted the same thing on my own blog w/a somewhat more colorfully phrased addendum and got into a fairly interesting, well-mannered argument w/a couple of friends who are Obama supporters--it's nice to remember that some of the people backing him are *not* nitwits who try to shout down all opposition w/personal smears. (here if ya wanna look:

Also . . . I keep reading all the futility online and hearing it in the media and keep forgetting--

This race isn't over. Hillary can still win--*probably* will still win-- the popular vote, if things go as expected. With that to offset Obama's delegate victory, things will be up to the superdelegates. I realize the appearance of momentum after three landslide victories in the final four races (are there more than four left? and she has a shot at a fourth victory in Oregon) will be hard to get through the media onslaught, but surely it will be noticed by the superdelegates. I think she's a long way from beaten.

Jason said...

Apologies to anglachel for spamming this comment thread, but forgot to answer Shainzona--
I don't recall the 1980 Jimmy Carter/Ted Kennedy convention--I had only just turned 15 then--but I've read it was a really bitter primary season. I dunno if it was this bad.

sonya said...

Excellent post, Anglachel.

It's over for Obama. He is not going to be president, no way, no how. He simply cannot get enough white people to vote for him in the general election. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

Most of my family and friends are voting for him just because he's black. They ignore his lack of accomplishments and his denigration and neglect of the black community in order to experience some short-term emotional gratification without regard to the long-term consequences of throwing unconditional support to an individual who is not qualified and thereby doomed to fail. My brother calls me a hater because I won't support the mediocre Obama.

The Obama supporters are sweating bullets because he's going to be humiliated in West Virginia and Kentucky, as he should be. All they can do is try to force Hillary out, but that ain't gonna happen. If Hillary was a man, nobody would even think to suggest that she drop out.

I don't care what Howard Dean and Donna Brazile say. If Michigan and Florida votes and delegates aren't counted before the nomination is decided, they might as well not bother with running a candidate. There won't be massive demonstrations or anything like that. Instead, a significant number of democrats will quietly withhold their money from the DNC and either vote for John McCain or not vote at all in November. That's how "old white people" riot.

Does the democratic party really want to win?

Do individual democrats want to go down on the sinking U.S.S. Obama come November or will they opt for self-preservation at the convention?

My money is on Hillary Clinton.

carissa said...

Think Supreme Court Nominees.

I used to, and then this morning while I was driving to work I thought, "So what? Bush has already stacked the court. It's already 5-4 and will be for some time. How much worse could it get?"

Nope, the Dems can't hold that one over me any more, and since John Kerry says universal health care is DOA, well, then, what am I sticking my neck out for? They certainly haven't stuck their necks out for us. Habeus Corpus is still DOA, they're probably going to give the telecoms immunity, they give Bush everything he wants, so what's the big deal? At least with a Republican I know what I'm getting and not living under any delusion that will break my heart over and over again.

Anglachel said...

Sarah, actually he very well could lose white votes by 60% or more in the general.

He will not lose 60% of the white Democratic vote. My estimation is that he will get 85% of self-identified white Democrats (an attrition rate of 15%). However, there are more white voters in the Republican Party than in the Democratic, and he will lose 95% of the Republican white vote. Please note that he will lose that percentage not because of his race as much as that he is the opposition.

If 65% of white voters are Republican and 95% of them do not vote for him, that gives us a figure of 58.5% of all white voters. If 45% of white voters are Democratic and 15% of them do not give Obama a vote, that is 6.75% of all white voters. From this we can derive two results. The first is that he will be more appealing to white Democratic voters than to white Republican voters. The second is that 58.5% + 6.75% = 65.25%. And I think I'm giving optomistic numbers here.

What is being ignored big time here is the fact that hispanic and asian voters also do not apepar to vote for him in significant numbers. Thus, the danger for his GE run is that he will lose significant portions of the non-AA Democratic base and that he will fail to appeal greatly to any constituency on the Republican side.

The "landslide" losses of Democratic candidates is not so much when comparing popular vote counts. As we saw in 2000, you can even lose the popular count and (if brazen enough) can still take the Electoral College. A few percentages of popular votes will have amplified effects in the EC.

Most of all, the emphasis on "white" voters is a naked attempt to inject a racial excuse for an inevitable loss - those damn racist whites! That this is the level of support he would get if he himself was white does not seem to get through the skulls of the pundits. The super majorities of AA voters is not an indication of general strength.


debi said...

I am also a lifelong Dem. And in almost 50 years have never voted for anyone without a "D" by there name. But this time, I will be changing and will not vote or Obama. I have watched the media and they seem to think that voters who say this will cahnge there mind. However, I will not. The party has once again set its self up to lose. This is not the first time they will noninate a candidate who cannot win the general. But this time, I refuse to be a part of it. Obama just makes speeches filled with promises that will never happen. At least with McCain, I know exactly what we are getting. After all the things, that have come to light regarding Obama, I cannot vote for him. I think Dem's are sick and tired of having canidates that cannot win the general. They are tired of empty suits and promises of Heath Care. Voters just don't beleive the BS anymore. I am a clinton supporter, but I think Howard Dean and the rest of the superdelagtes will see to it that Obama gets this nonination. If he does not, then it will be said "It was because of his race". And the bigshots in the party do not want that on there shoulders. So even if a canadiate clearly cannot win the general, as long as its polically correct to nominate him they will. Thus, handing the white house over to the Republicains.

cutepeachpanda said...

I don't have time to read everyone's comments so this is just my opinion. I understand where many Democrats like Taylor Marsh or Jeralyn are coming from. They will support Obama because their goal is to get any Democrat in the White House. I personally will not vote for Obama. My mother will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee. I consider myself to be a Democrat and hopefully I will never have to make this choice again. I have thought about voting for McCain and I'm still thinking about helping out the McCain campaign even if I decide to stay home on Election Day. I just can't forgive Obama for what he has done to Clinton and this party. My goal is to do whatever I can to make sure Obama does not win the general election. I am still a Democrat but I just don't consider Obama, Dean, Pelosi, Brazile, and the many other Democrats who have tried to force Clinton out of the race as real Democrats. I can't support people like this even if it means getting a "Democrat" in the White House.