In the meantime, read Patt Morrison’s column in this morning’s LA Times on the distinct disadvantage of voting with a nice, early absentee ballot in this rollercoastering election season (and why she personally loves voting on election day). Here’s the opening:
Now aren’t you sorry?
Two or three weeks ago, maybe even earlier, you zipped through that absentee ballot, check check check, and hustled it off to the mailbox as if you were claiming a lottery prize.
And see what you missed? So much has happened since then that it’s barely the same election it was on Jan. 7. That was the first day you could vote by mail in what is now absurdly called the Feb. 5 primary — absurd because, analysts believe, at least half of California’s voters will have opted to vote by mail before then.
If you marked John Edwards’ or Rudy Giuliani’s name that political eternity ago, you blew your vote. They’ve dropped out. So have Bill Richardson and Fred Thompson. Ditto Dennis Kucinich. At best, you’ll be counted as a protest vote.
The world’s tanking stock markets, the flop-sweat in home sales, the deepening, darkening sub-prime chaos and the candidates’ dueling recovery proposals — forget about it. You voted already.
A lot of people have said they stopped and rethought their choices after Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had a nasty go-round before the South Carolina primary, and after Bill Clinton’s title as “the first black president,” bestowed on him by writer Toni Morrison, was taken away from him — by Toni Morrison.
Did all that change your choice? Too bad, too late.
Casting an absentee ballot so far ahead of election day is like picking a Super Bowl winner based on who’s ahead at halftime. It’s like recommending a book you’ve only halfway read. It’s like getting married on the first date.
Read the rest here.
But since Hillary Clinton has been “totally vetted” over decades, folks who support her would learn nothing of interest about her husband or her in the last days…
(I have no illusions about Obama being slimed mercilessly during the campaign by the GOP, probably most of it that we haven’t seen pumped to the max yet related to Trinity UCC’s controversial pastor and distortions of it’s “Black theology,” but it won’t be any worse than the shitstorm of both recycled and newly generated stuff about Big Dog and his lady, including things like the above that, frankly, I find disturbing as a Democrat who’ll vote for Hillary against any of the GOPers. The impact of this stuff on “Clinton-fatiqued” moderates could easily turn the election to McCain, who will also actually have the advantage in the general of riding on his – unaccountable IMHO – record of being loathed by a lot of the same people who viscerally hate the Clintons. Hillary will be less likely to get the backlash-against-Limbaugh-et-al vote from folks with moderate-to-conservative instincts who get annoyed by the talk-radio and “religious right” gangs. I keep telling myself that McCain can’t win because of the war and his admitted total ignorance of economic policy, but of course he can package himself as a war critic because he made nasty noises about Rumsfeld late in the game and simply bamboozle equally economicaly illiterate folks with dubious claims on a subject that is a snoozer and Bingo! At least 4 more years of William Kristol grinning and flipping us the finger.)
Harold Myerson, American Prospect editor and Washington Post columnist, makes the Obama/Clinton distinction quite well today. Projected on their supporters, the Clintonistas are sclerotic, cynical and locked in the past while the Obamaites are at least capable of optimism, younger (at heart) and forward-looking.
For 40 years now, since 1968, the Democrats have wandered in a political desert. From Nixon to Reagan to the current Bush, it’s been a conservative era, and the genius of Bill Clinton, the most successful Democratic politician of that time, was primarily defensive — devising stratagems as a candidate to keep the Republicans from winning over Democrats on social issues, and then as a president to keep Republicans from abolishing government altogether while conceding that the era of big government was over. The times themselves mandated incrementalism and triangulation, wars without movement fought behind battlements and moats, and no one learned the lessons of that era more brilliantly than Hillary Clinton. In a 51 to 49 nation, she is probably the best the Democrats have to offer.
But can the Democrats ever push beyond the politics of entrenchment?
Now that conservatism is in tatters, can they build a progressive majority that delivers us from an ideology that has led us to invest less and less in the American people? That will take a leader whose genius is not for the defensive wars of the past but for movement, for crafting a new majority, addressing the new, cross-party anxiety over America’s future with a call to a common purpose, convincing us that we are divided against ourselves at our own peril. That leader may be Barack Obama, who already has shown himself more able than any American in a very long time to help us transcend some of our most crippling differences.
Or it may not be Obama, not yet, not ever; his power to persuade may fail to convince his compatriots that the country must change. But he is, at least, as Hillary Clinton cannot be, a leader with that transformative potential. The desert does not claim him; his promise is that he can end its hold on us.
(I, for one, am not so old and/or fucked up and intellectually/morally depressive that I’m going to keep my vision fixed on the rear-view mirror of recycled Clintonism. Having been involved in the Obama campaign is the best thing I’ve done as a political attitude adjustment in years. It’s also, ironically, been interesting in that I’ve bonded with both my more conservative relatives and my equally liberal relatives in Missouri and Minnesota respectively in a sense of possibility generated by the same candidate. “Interesting times” as the Chinese proverb goes.)
I’m voting absentee in general elections from this point forward. Our precinct brings in an area of some rich but stupid people who automatically vote for the Democrats but know nothing, NOTHING, about the people or issues on the ballot.
I’m tired of standing in lines while they look at the sample ballot for the first time and try to figure out non-partisan contests and the amendments. I go in with a sample ballot carefully researched and completed so I can get in and out. I’ve been in long voting lines watching people alredy voting in the booths, went through the line, registered, voted, and saw the same people at the voting booths still struggling as I left. STUPID! It can take two hours to vote whereas there used to never be a line. I’ve got better things to do with my time.
Obviously, this is a scheme by the Democrats to disenfranchise conservative voters–those who have real jobs and have other things to do.
Yeah, of course they’re stupid Woody. They disagree with you! Probably how they got “rich” in the first place.
reg, sounds like you lifted chunks of your comments from misc. articles or blogs you’ve been reading, magpie-like. Sounds so stilted, it’s a giveaway. If you weren’t always so concerned about “sounding smart” you’d feel more comfortable in your own voice. Here, until the last para, the phrasing and vocab (“his compatriots,” “51 to 49 nation” and so on) are so jarringly unnatural and even inconsistent in style with each other, they come off as a polemical tract cobbled together. (C-)
I was quoting Harold Myerson’s op-ed, as I stated…the parenthetical comment at end is mine. Perhaps I should have add “end clip” prior to my own comment.
You’re a total idiot.
Myerson’s four paragraphs as quoted above, incidentally, read far better than any of the crap you grind out here…
Since I don’t preen about my awesome education in my comments, I won’t defend my own hasty comments here as brilliant writing. And I’d be the first to admit they certainly aren’t examples of grammatical excellence. But I don’t consistently embrarrass myself, which is more than you can say.
When Harold is good, Harold is very good indeed.
reg, you’re the one who always feels compelled to make stupid “how stupid you are” comments to others, like a gnat — STFU, and I/ we will continue to actively ignore your rantings and skip thru anyth w your name. (No, you don’t talk about your education and travels except to boast you don’t have any — this is reflected in insular, ignorant rantings of your gen and background. YOU don’t find that embarrassing; it’s who you are. Actually, I’ve heard more about your epiphanies than I need to and don’t give a damn about your own “political attitude adjustment” and life journeys… but I’ve stoically ignored them; it’s you who can’t STFU with your snotty attacks — that part hasn’t changed about your “attitude” and needs major “adjustment.”)
While I don’t have a college education – although I’ve written scripts for award-winning docs – your intimation that I’m “untraveled” is your own assumption and a statement I’ve never made. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about education or “travel” nearly as much as whether a person is able to think critically, make their arguments both fairly and effectively, is steeped in self-regard and/or has an unbelievably crappy, venomous disposition. You fail on all counts.
rlc, one can get rich by having natural talents in sports or in entertainment and still have no intelligence–unless you consider John Rocker smart because he has money.
reg: …whether a person is able to think critically, make their arguments both fairly and effectively, is steeped in self-regard and/or has an unbelievably crappy, venomous disposition.
Oh, did I hear the word “projection” in there?
celeste – I haven’t spoken to Myerson in more than thirty-five years when we were both involved in work around the Ellsberg trial, but he’s a good guy and one of my favorite commentators. Very progressive AND level-headed. I also admire that he’s stuck with the “old left” outposts of Dissent and DSA even as he’s gotten more “establishment liberal” credentials.
Woody, I could probably make it through a beer with you on a good day. Wouldn’t want to be in the same room with this other person for a minute…
reg, you fail on all counts of the criteria you just laid out. You can’t help but notice I pointedly ignore you, the sight of your name viscerally repels me… Your culturally ignorant and fiscally childish views are those which have dragged down this country and city, and I’m counting the years to the collective demise of your brilliant “counter culture” gen. Don’t worry about our having that drink. You never learned a preschool lesson: when you creep someone out, leave them alone. Adieu!