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Who's best on policy?

The policy differences between all the Democrats really are tiny to irrelevant, since none of their plans will survive first contact with Congress. In fact, I'd rather these candidates shoot for the sky and give us a vision of what their ideal society would look like, rather than "compromise" with themselves right off the gate. Why is single payer off the agenda for most of these candidates? They want to talk about what's "realistic", but what's "realistic" really depends on what Congress looks like, and what the American people are demanding when any given legislation hits the docket.


Who's showing leadership?

Outside of Chris Dodd, who sadly never gained traction, we have a whole field of candidates who like to TALK about leadership, but none that have shown us what that leadership might look like. Too bad. That would've been a great way to help winnow the field. Lucky for them all, none of the top candidates have given us a demonstration in leadership. Unlucky for us. The country could've used some real leadership in 2007.


Who is playing to win?

Winning is important. The last thing we can afford as a country is another 4-8 years of continued Republican rule. If nothing else, Justice Stevens is not long on the bench, and losing his vote in the Supreme Court would inflict the nation with a solid conservative majority for generations. So who is doing everything possible to win?

Hillary Clinton, by far. She's not limiting her campaign's ability to raise money (nor her supporters' to give it) by accepting public financing. Obama has opted out for the primary, but has said he'd accept it for the general if the Republican did so as well. Why give Republicans veto power over what the Democrats do? Given our better ability to raise money this cycle, why would Obama willingly surrender that advantage to the Republicans? That's not playing to win. Edwards is the opposite, saying he could opt out of public financing for the general, but already opted in for the primary. That means that unless he's opposite a similarly limited Republican (i.e. McCain), he'll be at a gross disadvantage all summer as he has less than $20 million left to spend until September.

What's more, Clinton was the only top-tier candidate to refuse the ultimate Iowa and New Hampshire pander by removing her name from the Michigan ballot. That makes her essentially the de facto winner since Edwards and Obama, caving to the cry babies in Iowa and New Hampshire, took their name off Michigan's ballot. Sure, the DNC has stripped Michigan of its delegates, but that won't last through the convention. The last thing Democrats can afford is to alienate swing states like Michigan and Florida by refusing to seat their delegates.

So while Obama and Edwards kneecap their chances of winning, Clinton is single-mindedly focused on the goal.


Who is tested against the Right Wing smear machine?

Clinton, by far. No one has taken more shit from the VRWC, not by a long shot. Edwards earned valuable campaign experience in 2004. It makes me wonder why he'd go through it all again a second time, but still, it's something. Obama has never had a competitive race against a Republican. His best experiences comes from winning primaries. But he's never been in the crossfires of the GOP. Maybe that's why he can pretend that he can move beyond partisanship. Because he's never had to run a partisan race.


Who is the best defender of progressive ideals?

Edwards, by a landslide. Not the 2004 edition, but the new and improved 2008 model. From a rhetorical standpoint, no one has come close to articulating the nation's ills and why progressive solutions are the best salve. This is important -- Democrats have been poor at branding their ideology, thus ceding that ground to demonizing conservatives. Long term, our movement cannot survive another Bill Clinton -- someone more interested in making David Broder and Joe Klein happy with triangulating rhetoric that undermines rather than bolsters progressive values and policies.

Clinton isn't horrible on this front, but Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on. People think I was being ticky tack with the Gore thing, and in isolation it would've been but a minor non-event. But it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back for me, yet another in a pattern of attacks against Democrats and their constituencies. He is the return of Bill Clinton-style triangulating personified. Now I'm willing to consider that this is all a front, and that he'd govern as progressively as Bush governed conservatively after his 2000 bullshit about being a "uniter" and "compassionate". He can even pull a Bush, I suppose, and claim a "mandate" on policies he blurred or ignored on the campaign. But we've seen how a lack of true mandate has crushed Bush's presidency and made him the most unpopular and least effective president in history. I'd rather have our candidate elected promising progressive reform, especially in a year where the American people seem to crave such solutions.

Then again, I do like that Obama has frozen out Fox "News" (as has Edwards, I think). I wish Clinton would do so as well, but her weird flirtation with Rupert Murdoch apparently precludes that.


The "Story" and likability?

I actually like all the candidates, even Hillary. I don't like the people she surrounds herself with, like the union-busting Mark Penn, but I like her personally. And I like Obama and his story, and I like Edwards and his story. I like the fact that being a white male puts Edwards at a disadvantage. It shows we're progressing and that people are craving a more tangible symbol of that progress -- a woman or African American president. As a Latino, I was desperately hoping I could get behind Bill Richardson's campaign, but that one came up short in so many different areas that it wasn't to be. But I like Richardson as well. Politicians rarely get this high by being public assholes, at least on the Democratic side.

In other words, I'd have a beer with any of them. But I do love the idea of breaking a new barrier this year, whether it's by having a woman president or an African American one.


Bottom line?

Given the minor differences in policy, and the vast gap between them and the chamber of horrors the GOP has put forth, I'll be satisfied with any of these candidates as my nominee. None of them rock my world, there are no true people-powered candidates in our field (the only one is Ron Paul, on the other side). So what's the fault line? The desire to win (important) and the ability and willingness to unapologetically articulate progressive solutions to our nation's problems. Hillary wins the former, and Edwards the latter. I'd love to see a barrier broken, to provide a tangible sign of our progress as a society (even Pakistan has had a woman prime minister).

With all those factors in play, with no obvious gate-crashing people-powered candidate, and with what really is solid field, I'm left firmly in the undecided camp. And I don't mind being there since, thankfully, I don't have to cast a vote on Thursday.

Update: While McCain has qualified for federal matching funds, apparently he hasn't officially accepted them.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hillary and writer's union (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    ultrageek, akeitz
    Hidden by:
    shpilk

    and her appearance on Letterman tonight.  

  •  Bravo, Kos! (34+ / 0-)

    That was one of the most sensible things you've written in a long time.  
    Hillary is more progressive than you make her out to be but Edwards would get my vote as a runner-up.  
    Well done.

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:04:44 PM PST

    •  Hillary is in it to win it (12+ / 0-)

      I hate Hillary's team too but I respect Hillary's fighting attitude. I just wish she would have the courage to stand up in Congress against Bush instead of supporting Kyl-Lieberman and AUMF.

      Hillary has solid domestic policies, but she has played hawk on foreign policy too many times to get much support here. Kyl- Lieberman showed poor judgment.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just wish she was playing a better game (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DelRPCV, jethropalerobber

        I don't mind her sticking knives in Obama's back.  I DO mind that she keeps cutting herself up even worse in the process.  And interestingly, it's one of the things I like about Obama... that he's quite good at going negative without looking like he's going negative.  Edwards is too much of a goody-two-shoes to pull it off.

        The company you keep says a lot about the person you are.

        by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:27:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Beg pardon? (4+ / 0-)

          "Edwards is too much of a goody-two-shoes to pull it off."

          Have you been paying attention to him lately?  He's by far the most aggressive candidate out there. Nothing "goody two shoes" about him.  I think you need to update your perspective.

        •  Goody two shoes? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sara seattle, JamieG from Md

          You mean the two-Clinton-bashing diaries-a day guy?
          They've been hacking on Clinton's throat since the Tweety and Russert show.
          They've effectively villified her to young voters.

          •  I'm not counting diaries (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chaulkner

            Admittedly, I find Edwards supporters by far the most irritating of the candidate-fanatics, but my point is that Edwards himself works so hard to cultivate an IMAGE of niceness that he can't really afford the subtle stabs without getting called out on them.  Obama is much slicker at it, using his bipartisan centrist framing to hide the knives.  

            Imagine if, for example, Edwards had been the first candidate to cold-shoulder FOX News... with his leftist rhetoric, it would have been called out as merely partisan.  But Obama got away with it, because he keeps throwing bones to the Broderistas.  I find that trait very admirable in Obama... man, I wouldn't want to be his enemy.

            And to some extent, this is about how you fight the other Democrats, not how you fight the Republicans.  By positioning so strongly partisan against the Right, Edwards can't afford to be too openly mean against Democrats, or he can be written off as merely mean.  Obama's willingness to beat on the dirty fucking hippies actually allows him to hit HARDER to the right without getting labeled a dirty fucking hippy himself.

            This subtlety is unfortunately lost on the Edwards fans, and I wish kos would notice too.

            The company you keep says a lot about the person you are.

            by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:21:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Politics of Parsing ring any bells? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Kyl-Lieberman was a risky gamble (8+ / 0-)

        I think her team thought you would see through it as a toothless "opinion" that Cheney would disregard even if it didn't pass.  She needed to vote yes in order to prevent the GOP from throwing the "soft on terrorism" thing at her.  
        The campaign must have calculated that it could withstand the negative fallout.  I guess they didn't count on how much heat she was going to take for it from her own side and just how willing people were to believe she wanted to bomb Iran.  
        It remains to be seen whether her bet was correct.  If not for that, I think she would be way ahead by now.

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:33:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, how could people believe (0+ / 0-)

          that Hillary wanted to bomb Iran? She only voted for it and also voted to invade Iraq and bomb them back to the stone age. People are so strange.

          On the other hand it is very good that Hillary will now be safe from Republican attacks that she is soft on trrrism... Hmmm or maybe she still have to urge the US to bomb, well let's say Costa Rica, to prove to the toughest of republicans that she is really REALLY tough on national security.

          Hillary Clinton/Laura Bush 2008 - save the Washington monarchy!

          by Zagatzz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:19:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  In the end, no one votes for "Electability" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingOneEye, Empower Ink

        The only reason to vote for Clinton is she is electable; she is in it to win.  Kerry won the primary for similar reasons.  But this only works in the primary; electability doesn't win any votes in the general election.  In the end, only Edwards and Obama have a good story and reason to vote for them.

        We also want someone who can take advantage of the disintegration of the Republican coalition.  If there is one thing all in that coalition agree on, it is that they don't like the Clintons.  Edwards is running an Us vs Them campaign that seems designed to get 50%+1 votes.  

        Only Obama looks to actually expand the liberal coalition and add new Democrats.

        •  "Electability" is a sure loser (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mlle Orignalmale, offgrid

          Trying to predict the electability of a candidate is folly. Let's just vote our principles!

          And as for "Freezing out Fox..." Edwards was not only first, but firmest in his opposition to Murdoch and media consolidation:

          "I am not particularly interested in seeing Rupert Murdoch own every newspaper in America."

          "It’s time for all Democrats, including those running for president, to stand up and speak out against this [News Corp./Dow Jones] merger and other forms of media consolidation."

          "The basis of a strong democracy begins and ends with a strong, unbiased and fair media — all qualities which are pretty hard to subscribe to Fox News and News Corp."

          • Blog This: News Corpse
          • The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay.

          by KingOneEye on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:20:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Edwards isn't shooting for 50% + 1 ... (0+ / 0-)

          What in the world makes you think he is? .. just because you are blinded by Obama?

      •  Good points Fish (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mlle Orignalmale

        I agree, you said exactly what I was thinking.

        Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

        by wishingwell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:01:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Clintons play for keeps. (6+ / 0-)

        After being swiftboated for two presidential elections in a row, it would sure be nice to have some leg-breakers on our side. If Hillary doesn't win the nomination, the best thing she could do for the nominee would be to loan out use of the Clinton rapid response team for the duration.

        May God help me resist the temptation to hold Obama's supporters against him.

        by phenry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:36:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Worst Phrase Ever (0+ / 0-)

        All the candidates are "in it to win it".  It's a stupid, meaningless thing to say.

    •  Makes me feel better about No Freakin Clue, (14+ / 0-)

      still my candidate of choice.

      Now, go spread some peace, love and understanding. Use force if necessary. - Phil N DeBlanc

      by lineatus on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:24:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  At the same time that some of the flaws with (5+ / 0-)

      other candidates have become apparent-

      but Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on.

      and HRC's beltwayista brigades, Edwards has actually started to look better--as has the 'second tier'. The next two weeks are going to verrrrry interesting.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:28:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But has Hillary succeeded at blunting attacks? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zagatzz, admill

      It seems to me that Hillary has sort of internalized the attacks rather than defusing them.  I am not comfortable with the entire Hillary is Satan industry.  Okay, a lot of that is reflected anger against Bill Clinton.  But the fact remains that she appears to start with more animus than any of the other candidates.

      Maybe she could overcome it, but I'd rather put my money on Obama or Edwards, who have less of an industry ready to attack them.  I'd rather have them fight new battles, than Hillary refight old ones.  I personally don't think we have the time and energy to waste on that.  I want a candidate with less baggage.  I don't think it is unreasonable to ask.

      •  The primary reason for the animus, IMHO... (10+ / 0-)

        ...is that the media started thumping on the idea that she was  'inevitable'.  One of the reasons I didn't want to support her at first is that I didn't like the aura of inevitability.  It reminded me too much of the Lamont-Lieberman race where the primary was essentially nullified.  
        But if a candidate was sub-par he/she wouldn't have lasted so long as the frontrunner while being pounded relentlessly by the Limbaughs and the Tweetys.  So, I had to ask myself, why hasn't she crumpled yet?  
        It's because a.) she really knows her S^&* and b.) she worked really hard in the run up to the campaign to pick the best team, fill her coffers, line up her media and create coalitions.  
        But no one likes to be told they have no choice and that's why the inevitability thing was so effective in knocking down her lead.  It made voters feel like they are powerless and they start getting defiant.  
        In most election years, I don't think Obama would have lasted too long.  He's WAY too green and not all that progressive.  But he was an alternative who had enough money to win it.  So, he went up.  
        But she's still in it.  And you don't stay at the top for that long unless you have the skills and the discipline to pull it off.  She's no longer inevitable.  Now, she's earned it.  

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:43:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  why do I always agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          goldberry, souvarine, JamieG from Md

          with what you say.  I too believe the Her Royal thang was a big factor in causing alot of Dems to demonize her.  You know the authoritarians on the other side love to have a front runner that they all just line up against.  We don't think that way.  We want to hash out consensus.

          And because the MSM have to do the tweedle dee tweedle dum thing, they don't know how to cover campaigns with out a clear front runner.  Its been kinda funny watching them scramble for authority on these races.

          "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

          by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:19:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You have that backwards (8+ / 0-)

        The smear industry is itching to flex its creative muscle by targeting someone new, like Edwards or Obama.  If it's Hillary, they will be deflated because the public is going to be like, been there done that shut up already, SOS, who cares?

        •  The other part of course is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          heartofblue, JamieG from Md

          that with Hillary the MEDA is soon going to be tired of the same attack lines against her.

          They can only repeat the same lines so many times -- but with both Edwards and Obama - they are fresh meat - and the MEDA will soon be going after them full force.

          Trust me - the sad part is that Obama especially is going to have a tough time - as Kos says he has not been tested by the GOP -- ask Hillary how that feels.  

          See how charitable Omana is going to be then-- this let us all work together crap - that is a tough line to keep up when the GOP has their boot on his throat.

          Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

          by sara seattle on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not that they won't try (0+ / 0-)

            to come up with new anti-Hillary stuff.  The reason it ain't gonna work is that there will be nothing left that they can even pretend has impropriety connected with it.  Suicide of close advisor?  Been there, done that.  Got kinda rich?  Been there, done that.  Lesbian friends?  Socialist medicine?  Bill's sexcapades?  Yawn.

            There's nothing left (I admit this is a guess because they would have tried it already if it was out there) and the RW has got to be crying a little inside about the fact.

            See how charitable Omana is going to be then-- this let us all work together crap - that is a tough line to keep up when the GOP has their boot on his throat.

            Totally agree.  In fact I know they are going to try some underhanded stuff about him being from a "mixed marriage."  Also the cocaine.  (Leaving aside that their own guy is/was an addict, an alcoholic with an arrest record.  They are nothing if not hypocritical.)  Using the dog-whistle system, of course.

            All that said, if Obama's the nominee, I'll be up there defending him from this crap if anyone dares to say it around me.

        •  2006 elections (0+ / 0-)

          The GOP tried to make Pelosi to the 2006 elections what gay marriage was in 2004 - scare the right wing children to come out and vote, or Pelosi will become Speaker.

          Well, it didn't work, because Pelosi was new to most people, and their attacks didn't stick.  The same is going to happen with Obama or Edwards - if they are Satan incarnate, why wasn't the GOP going after them full bore before 2008?

          Hillary wont be so lucky.  She was demonized for 8 years while her husband was in the Oval Office, so new shit they throw at her will stick much more so than with the other top candidates.

          •  There is no new shit (0+ / 0-)

            or they would have been slinging it already.  Sure, they will make shit up, but that won't help because without at least something to base it on - e.g., Kerry did actually protest the Vietnam War and said that American soldiers killed innocent Vietnamese and he did actually say "I voted for it before I voted against it," making him a sitting duck in some ways.  For Hillary, it's all out there.  Also, they have been after her even while she's been in the Senate, so she has been demonized nonstop since 1992.

            Whereas they are going to have a field day with the stuff like the "madrassa" that Obama supposedly attended.  Again, they will lie and claim Obama was indoctrinated as a terrorist or some such shit, and it will stick for awhile because Obama did indeed attend a Muslim school.  He and his campaign will have to waste time explaining the situation.

            if they are Satan incarnate, why wasn't the GOP going after them full bore before 2008?

            Because they haven't done anything (yet) to attract the full-fore attention of the RW.  Having the chutzpah to run for president against a Rethug... that'll bring out the vampires.  For now, the RW's interest is in getting the potential sitting duck to get the nomination.  They don't all agree in lockstep about who that is, but they are trying to game the Dem nomination.  You'll believe it when you see it, although I hope you will never learn, because I think Hillary is probably the best choice to win and to govern.

            •  no new shit? (0+ / 0-)

              Mr. Burns is standing by to unleash the hounds if she wins the nomination.

              He and his campaign will have to waste time explaining the situation.

              Not that much time.  Especially when this "issue" was put to bed a long time ago.

              You'll believe it when you see it, although I hope you will never learn, because I think Hillary is probably the best choice to win and to govern.

              Hardly.  The effort it will take to defend her from right wing attacks and get some of her agenda passed could be used to gain us a larger majority with a President Obama or Edwards.  And she will have to fight the Republicans in Congress every inch of the way - any Republican who doesn't vote against her consistently leaves him open to being primaried in 2010 with charges that "he likes working with Hillary Clinton."  They've done worse for less.

              •  Nah (0+ / 0-)

                Especially when this "issue" was put to bed a long time ago.

                Only for the Dem nomination campaign.  Most people have still never heard of it or paid attention.  It'll be nice fresh poop for the general election.  

                Mr. Burns is standing by, yes, for any Dem candidate.  If you think the Republican machine will step aside and genuflect as Edwards or Obama walks by, you've got some learning to do.  Obama has already shown himself to be thin-skinned.  Edwards... less so.  He might do okay and he's partially vetted.

                Also, I've got another newsflash for you - plenty of even winger Repugs have already been working with HRC as well as liberal firebrands like Feingold and even that guy they hate with a deep, dark passion - Ted Kennedy.

      •  Yes Arthura (0+ / 0-)

        You hit the nail on the head for how I am feeling about the whole Hillary vs Obama or Edwards. I would still prefer Obama or Edwards to be the nominee over Hillary because of her strong negatives and dozens of other reasons. But then I realize that perhaps I will be Ok with Hillary as the nominee if she is able to make her case. But I am more comfortable and more enthusiastic about Obama or Edwards. Time will tell, for me as to how things shake out in the next few weeks.

        Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

        by wishingwell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:04:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes she has blunted the attacks (0+ / 0-)

        only evil no good hippie liburals attack her now.

        Hillary Clinton/Laura Bush 2008 - save the Washington monarchy!

        by Zagatzz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:21:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree,, great post Kos, thanks much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      goldberry, JamieG from Md

      and the very best New Year wishes for you and the family.

    •  Kos (0+ / 0-)

      It's pretty obvious that Kos was personally insulted by a Obama campaign staffer in some way. He switched his endorsement so abruptly, you have to believe this was personal. Probably someone didn't return his call or promise to donate money to his favorite cause or something. Oh well - typical DC Democratic establishment behavior.

  •  C'mon Kos, don't puss out.. (8+ / 0-)

    you know who like.. tell us!

    ;)

    •  Definitely (4+ / 0-)

      thankfully, I don't have to cast a vote on Thursday.

      You think the only way YOU vote is by stepping into the ballot box?  

      You vote every time you weigh in because we believe in you, Kos.  

      Get behind your gut.

      And then give it to Obama because it's so amazing he's even in this thing with a name and a background like his.  He must be smart or something.

      "These were my friends, and they were made out of gin boxes." "I'm a war president." -GWB 2/8/04

      by Deadicated Marxist on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:22:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)

        What was the point of this diary?  

        On the eve of the Iowa caucus, kos posts a diary titled "Factors in making my choice."   The confluence of timing and title led me (and I'm sure many others) to believe that kos was going to announce his choice.

        Instead, he produces a laundry list of tests, indicates which candidates are passing/failing those tests, and then concludes with "I haven't decided yet."

        So again...what was the point of this diary?

        Cuckoo for Coco Puffs

        by happiness cat on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:20:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "The dirty fucking hippies..." (6+ / 0-)

    Kinda like the "women's studies set," Kos?

    Your hypocrisy is showing.

    "It's the CONSTITUTION, stupid!"

    by DaveV on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:05:12 PM PST

  •  Hillary it is then! (7+ / 0-)

    I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

    by Salo on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:05:26 PM PST

  •  Sounds reasonable (25+ / 0-)

    I won't take the bait by arguing with you over your perceived negatives about my candidate.  

    I'll just note that, being in a March state, I'm voting strategically.  Which ever non-Hillary has the most delegates after Feb 5 -- and therefore has the best chance of preventing her from getting the nomination -- will get my vote.

    And then, come the general, the Dem -- any Dem -- will have my full, unqualified support.  

    Come the general election, I'll probably forgive you for having been an ass this year.

    by cardinal on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:06:19 PM PST

  •  I'm glad to see you say some positives on Hillary (37+ / 0-)

    given the predominance of anti-Hillary sentiment on this site.  All three of our leading candidates bring considerable strengths and positive qualities to the race.  I would be proud to cast a general-election vote for any of them.

  •  thank you (12+ / 0-)

    for not issuing an Olympian pronouncement.

    And your conclusion, it seems to me, is a wise one. Given this field, "undecided" is still the most prudent option . . . for those of us not yet absolutely forced to decide.

  •  I'm not sure Ron Paul knows what "side" he is on (13+ / 0-)

    The gentleman is the veritable definition of loose cannon imo.

    I hope he runs independent and plays Nader for Team Red.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:08:02 PM PST

  •  Policy: Kucinich (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct

    C'mon

    They want to talk about what's "realistic"

    Except of course for everybody's favorite policy-elf, Dennis Kucinich. I believe you meant that as a derogatory, preemptive-compromise-and-surrender-is-bad comment about their so-called "realistic" policies. So yeah, screw "realistic" let's go for "good" and "better" policies.

    1. Election Reform 2. Richardson 3. Edwards 4. Obama

    by bolson on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:08:09 PM PST

  •  One point in Hillary's favor (34+ / 0-)

    Her sheer ruthlessness and the killer instinct of her staff is a match for any Republican. God help us if the Republican nominee is Rudy. We may want to take a long vacation.

  •  Just an example (24+ / 0-)

    Just an example of why the commentators yesterday were right and Markos is such a terrible political analyst and is losing his mojo:  he just summarized everything I have been thinking about the Democratic President field for a year in a few hundred precise, concise words.

    Terrible, just awful.  Can't you get a real job dude?

    sPh

  •  that's funny (7+ / 0-)

    Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left

    isn't that what Kos and others in the blogosphere do every time there is a major antiwar protest?

    i am human.
    -6.63, -5.95

    by missreporter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:08:31 PM PST

  •  All brilliantly thought out. Thank, Kos! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RevJoe, tabbycat in tenn, Luetta
  •  Kos!!! (6+ / 0-)

    Why is this true:

    The policy differences between all the Democrats really are tiny to irrelevant, since none of their plans will survive first contact with Congress.

    Do you imagine Republicans winning back Congress?  If our Democratic president's policies are square with Democratic values, why should we expect Congress to be obstructionist?

  •  Obama has only been tested against joke candidate (8+ / 0-)

    Alan Keyes. I could have beat Alan Keyes. So Obama hasn't really been battle tested. Nor has his family been in the line of fire, but they will be if Obama gets the nomination. Geraldine Ferraro knows how that game is played and protecting his family from public scrutiny was the main reason Colin Powell decided to stay out of politics. Perhaps Obama will be able to withstand the flak, but I'm not sure how his family will fare.

    •  It is worth noting (4+ / 0-)

      That Obama had only one tough campaign opponent - Bobby Rush in the 2000 primary - and he got his ass handed to him. Obama's belief is that campaign isn't representative and that he does better outside largely black districts, but it is true that Obama has not been "battle-tested."

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:17:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  check the facts please, i.e., the IL primary (9+ / 0-)

      Barack wasnt even a footnote in the (D) primary field with 12 candidates.  he beat them all, pretty handily as well.

      The world is so cold and the rhythm is your blanket, wrap yourself up in it, if you love it then you'll thank it.

      by Ajax the Greater on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:21:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is being tested right now (14+ / 0-)

      against some pretty strong candidates.  You can't have it both ways.  You can't say Obama shouldn't win because he hasn't been tested the way Clinton has but then deny he will have been tested by beating her.

      Absolute Horror: The Best in Bad Horror Movies

      by dansac on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:24:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Primaries are not true tests because (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, SaneSoutherner, JamieG from Md

        they are more like family squabbles. No one will risk alienating any faction of the party when they will need their support in the election. There's just not a lot of time for fence mending after the convention and before the election. The losers will whole-heartedly endorse the party choice and will unite behind the party candidate. Any attacks we see in the primaries will be nothing compared to what happens in the actual election.

        And I am not saying that Obama should not win because he has not been tested, although he may be at a disadvantage having less political experience when it comes to a fire fight. Obama's real advantage now is that he is a fresh face untainted by Washington politics and any record of support for the war. But he's not had to deal very long with the pressures of being a Washington insider and what it takes to pass meaningful legislation in a town full of big egos and conflicted loyalties. While others have to defend or explain their record, Obama doesn't have much history to account for. Nor has he been on anyone's radar screen very long like Hillary has been. If he wins the Democratic nomination, that will all change as he becomes the focus of the Republican smear machine. That will be his real test.

        •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itsbenj, Builderman

          In states that are likely to elect a Democrat (Illinois), primaries are often considered the "real" election and are extraordinarily tough. The primary Obama ran in saw an opponent of his outspend him by $25 million, and he still won with 50+% of the vote in a 12 way field. Sorry, that's tested, big time. Far bigger than Hillary who ran against an underfunded stand in candidate in '06 and against a last minute sub-par Congressman in 2000 (Rick Lazio).

          •  As I recall Obama replaced a Republican Senator (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uberbah, JamieG from Md

            by the name of Fitzgerald, who decided not to run again, and might have been in for a tough race against Jack Ryan, had the Illinois Republican Party not self-destructed and wound up importing the completely incompetent Keyes when Ryan's divorce scandal became public. Illinois, which had not had a Democratic governor since 1977, and whose Republican State Treasurer was running against the then unelected Democrat Rod Blagoevich when Obama ran, could hardly be called a Democratic stronghold. Blair Hull was also leading Obama in the primaries, thanks to spending $29 million of his own money, but faded when it came out that his ex-wife had accused him of physical and verbal abuse in their divorce filing. Obama benefited from two messy divorce cases. Certainly fortuitous for him, but definitely not proof that he is a strong campaigner.

            •  The Illinois GOP had imploded by 2004 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoenix Woman

              Ex. Gov. George Ryan was looking at federal prison time. There was very little chance of that seat going to a Republican, which is why 12 Democrats ran...Obama beat all of them, and got 50+% of the vote in a 12 way race. Maryland Senator Ben Cardin only managed 43% of the primary vote in a 4 way primary...

              •  You underestimate GOP strength outside Chicago (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Phoenix Woman

                The collar counties are Republican bastions along with much of downstate. Had the Republicans not been so disorganized and run a viable candidate, they might have mounted a serious challenge to Obama.

                But aside from that, eleven candidates entered the Democratic Senate primary, one of them a downstate Republican mayor turned Democrat for this race. Three of those candidates dropped out. Of the eight left, only Obama, Blair Hull. and Dan Hynes could be considered to have any chance of winning. Hull was the front-runner until the last three weeks or so of the campaign until the bottom dropped out of his campaign with reports of a restraining order placed on him by his ex-wife. Hull's millions could not save him and he finished with about 10 percent of the vote to Obama's 53 and Hyne's 23. Hynes, heir to one of Illinois' political dynasties, relied on the Chicago machine to deliver votes, which never came. Many campaigns turn on a series of events, fortuitous for some and disastrous for others. Obama's campaign has been implicated in Hull's demise by leaking the details of his messy divorce. It seems some campaigns make their own luck. But these sort of tactics sometimes backfire as Jack Ryan's tactics in the Senate race did before he, too, was done in by a messy divorce being publicized.

                Obama now actually faces some worthy opponents in the Democratic primary. While the primary may be tough, it is unlikely to become as bloody as the battle against whoever is the Republican nominee. I could be wrong. Perhaps Karl Rove has really retired and the Republicans will take the high road in the race for the White House. I really doubt it though. Will Obama be up to it if he gets the nomination? That remains to be seen. He's only been sparring until now. We'll see what happens when he gets into the ring.  

  •  We need a win above all else. (8+ / 0-)

    My own calculus is who has the best chance to win.

    If you believe, as I do, that Republican rule is an evil, then ending it becomes an imperative.

    The candidate who convinces me they can win above all else will get my vote from the current field.

    This is not Machiavellian.  I can live with any of them and will vote for any of them.  But if Hillary has high negatives and Edwards is slipping then I'm moving toward Obama.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:10:02 PM PST

    •  Yes. And this is what bothers me. (8+ / 0-)

      I'm not seeing enough punches being thrown at and landed on Republicans. The squabbling between the candidates should stop anyway, but it seems to me that the best way to show you could beat the Republicans is to start landing punches on the whole "conservative" movement.

      Edwards, with his populist rhetoric, is the only one who is doing that so far. I want to see how well Clinton and Obama can make their cases against Republicans, not just against other Democrats.

      This primary process should be an audition for November, not stupid gotcha politics against fellow Democrats. Because the person the Democratic nominee will be up against in November 2008 will be a Bush-supporting Republican, not a Democrat.

      In short, the way for a Democrat can show that s/he can represent me is to show that s/he can kick Republican ass. Because what I want to see in November is a goddamn landslide.

      "It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price." --Steve Gilliard

      by expatjourno on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Listen to Hillary's speeches (4+ / 0-)

        she is going against the Republicans. Talks all the time about how they have ruined our country and we need to take it back.  

        Hillary Clinton 2008 - Less sizzle, more steak.

        by SaneSoutherner on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:59:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's good to hear. She's my least favorite, (0+ / 0-)

          and I'm opposed to her nepotistic candidacy on principal, but if I see her landing more punches of Republicans than Edwards does, she's got my enthusiastic vote.

          "It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price." --Steve Gilliard

          by expatjourno on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:42:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  When HRC (4+ / 0-)

        talked issues only against the Republicans in the early debates the MSM came out and said she was acting as if she already had the nomination.  That drove me crazy.  No she was articulating why her policy positions are needed for the next administration.  Attacking each other never worked this go round.  Well it might have worked for Edwards a little.

        "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

        by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:43:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Money is overated. (7+ / 0-)

    Unless it's all you've got.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate (Wisconsin 2012)
    Court certified Marijuana Expert

    by ben masel on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:10:15 PM PST

  •  Edwards HAS shown leadership on (23+ / 0-)

    many fronts especially in articulating progressive ideals and having the other candidates respond or adopt them.  

    And he does want to win.  He wants to win in a way that makes it clear who is in charge.  He will NOT be owned nor will he owe any Washington insiders anything.  He can work with them all to implement his agenda

    It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    by pioneer111 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:10:28 PM PST

    •  Yeah, I think people kind of ignore... (3+ / 0-)

      ...comments that question whether or not he wants to win.

      They focus on WHAT he wants to win.

      Also, if they are really concerned about winning, they look at the polls, which show clearly he's the most likely to win.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I support Johnny Reid Edwards!

      by JedReport on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:23:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People vs. Corporations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rick, Sandy on Signal, quotemstr

      "The fundamental question is whether the sovereign power of this nation rests with the people or the corporations."

      It's not candidate vs. candidate, or Dems vs. Repugs, it's citizens vs. the 1% ruling elite and their corporate power.  John Edwards has redefined what this campaign is all about and he's pretty much by himself although other candidates give a little smooch to this idea.  

      The oil companies are taking their subsidies and buying back their own stock likes there's no tomorrow.  How's that for laughing in our faces?  And you think you can sit down and negotiate with these people?  Or incrementalize their power away?   Or work out a nice little compromise?  

      Democracy isn't something you have, it's something you do! "Granny D"

      by chuck in NH on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:58:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and in polling vs particular Republican candidate (0+ / 0-)

      Edwards polls the best when the poll is Edwards vs any of the Republicans.

      I was pleasantly surprised that Edwards does far better one on one against all the Republican frontrunners. Hillary was any of the Republican nominees in that same poll did not fare as well as Edwards or Obama. That was surprising.

      Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

      by wishingwell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:16:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Any chance Edward's will renege on his public (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater

    financing pledge? Can he even do so at this late of a date?

    I agree on Hillary, I don't hate her, but some of the people she swims with are corporatist shills.

    "The history of liberty is a history of resistance." - Woodrow Wilson

    by Windowdog on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:10:29 PM PST

  •  Kucinich best fits all (0+ / 0-)

    but points 3 & 4.

  •  Hillary will win in the end... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigso, Pris from LA

    ...even though a large part of me wishes that the victor would be Edwards

    •  Not necessarily (7+ / 0-)

      No one can predict the future.  It's very much a butterfly effect kind of thing.  But I suspect the candidate who works the hardest and prepares the most will win out.  

      -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

      by goldberry on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:12:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, no, nothing is certain... (7+ / 0-)

        ...that is the only definite, that all is in flux.

        She needs every vote and for every supporter to bust his/her butt and get things done.

        This is my educated guess based on her support down the line, and what I think will happen before Super Tuesday.

        There is almost no conceivable way that Hillary will lose Florida. That victory will 'solidify' her before Feb 5. I have a very difficult time believing she will lose all 3 states before FLA, but even if she does, Florida will 'right' her before the voting on Super Tue.

        Just my $0.02

    •  Obama may get some bounce if he wins... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, quotemstr, lily15

      ...in Iowa, but he will likely lose NH and will have a fight for SC and will get crushed in Florida.

      So, at worst, Hillary is likely to be 2-2 with Obama before Super Tuedsay, where her enormous national advantage should kick-in and finish-off The Cult of Obama -- if it still exists by then -- pretty much for good.

      And none too soon, either. This absurd celebrity politics + GOP pandering junk has gone much too far.

      Not a good reflection on the party, IMO.

      We can, and must, do better than Barack Obama and his message of GOP 'compromise.'

      •  Pretty much any kind of bounce (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal, chewie333

        in NH would take Obama past Clinton there.

      •  It depends where Hillary finishes in Iowa (0+ / 0-)

        and If Edwards or Obama wins Iowa as to who has the momentum going into NH and SC. I think Obama could beat Hillary in IA, NH and SC if he does better than her in Iowa tomorrow....even if Edwards squeaks by Obama for the win in Iowa.

        I think a lot depends on who finishes 3rd tomorrow and the margin between first, second and third.
        We will know more soon.

        Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

        by wishingwell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:21:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have resisted bashing Hillary (4+ / 0-)

      for some time, even though one or two of her supporters have gotten under my skin.  The truth is, HRC would be so vastly superior to any Republican contender that I will probably be able to gin up actual enthusiasm for her candidacy, should she be the nominee.  She can take McCain or Romney, and  Giuliani will not make it through the primaries.  I worry greatly about an HRC-Huckster race.  Obama would likely do better against Huckabee.  

      In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

      by ivorybill on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:19:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, much as I despise Hillary AND Bill... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        naderhader

        ...there's a good chance that the number of Republican aneurisms that would burst if she got the nomination would be enough to decimate the Republican base.

        "It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price." --Steve Gilliard

        by expatjourno on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:27:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good points from you both... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaneSoutherner, JamieG from Md

          ...I have to say that an Obama-McCain contest concerns me.

          The one huge advantage Obama would have is that he is much more youthful than is McCain.

          However, McCain still has his appeal and the media will fawn over him unlike almost anyone else, including Obama, IMO.

          Plus, the GOPers are desperate. As much as they despise McCain (or many of them do), if they think he is their best hope then all of that Bush-hugging and GOP pandering McCain has done since 2000 will pay large dividends for the ex-POW.

      •  good points ivory (0+ / 0-)

        I think a lot has to do with who the GOP nominee is.

        I think Obama vs Huckabee gives Democrats a better chance because Obama can speak quite easily and freely and comfortably about what are true religious values and give Huck a run for his money on that issue and other issues.

        I think Edwards could beat Romney or Mccain and I think Hillary is the one to take on Rudy.

        But I may be dead wrong.

        Impeachment is not a Constitutional Crisis. Impeachment is the Cure for a Constitutional Crisis.-John Nichols

        by wishingwell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:23:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think Huckabee stands much of a chance (0+ / 0-)

        Though it is a small population, no Jews will vote for him. That will make a big difference in Florida. Even though Jews usually vote democratic, there is a significant percentage that always votes republican. Not with Huckabee as the candidate.

        I doubt any Muslims will vote for him either.

  •  Playing to win is all about money? (5+ / 0-)

    I don't think so.  Money is important but it is not the be all/end all of elections.

    Edwards is playing to win BY accepting public money because he probably couldn't win the nomination without going that route.  

    Obama is playing to win by making friends with the more conservative parts of our country with his rhetoric.

    Clinton is playing to win by raising money.

    Bleh.

    •  All three of them have been on the ground 24/7 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SaneSoutherner, JamieG from Md

      lately in Iowa and NH, playing to win by attempting to connect with the voters.  Clinton has done a lot more than just "raise money" in the past year.  So has Obama.  

      And it does take serious money -- on the level that Obama and Clinton have been raising -- to win an American presidential election in these times.  Simple fact of life.  

  •  One more question, Kos? (15+ / 0-)

    Who can make change happen?  

    Plot each of the candidates on two axes -- X axis, "desirability of policy changes proposed", and on the Y axis, "likelihood of getting policy changes implemented."  Figure out which candidate yields the largest volume.

    On that, I think the answer is clear.

    •  I like your typology (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DelRPCV, snout

      Anyone who uses it gets bonus points if their answer to #2 shows some recognition of the accumulated scholarly wisdom as to what makes for an effective president.  (Hint: "I'm gonna kick Congress' ass and take names" probably won't cut it)

      Come the general election, I'll probably forgive you for having been an ass this year.

      by cardinal on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:13:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do believe I might be starting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B

      to agree with you.

      Read this comment.

      The fence I'm on is putting a groove in my bum. We'll see.

      Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

      by bumblebums on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:45:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You take it on faith (6+ / 0-)

      that Obama can "change" things. I see a lot of tinkerers, but I don't think any of these candidates can "out- change" any of the others. I don't see a TRUE change candidate on our side.

      •  It's not faith. (9+ / 0-)

        I don't take Obama's abilities on "faith" -- I see what he did in Illinois on the police interrogations, and in Washington on lobbying and ethics reform.  He took on the police unions, he took on Mitch McConnell, and he got it done.  Hell, he even beat Chuck Schumer on the bundling stuff.

        On "TRUE change," I'm not sure what that is other than single-payer or death penalty abolition.  We haven't seen a Democrat pull it off in our lifetimes -- LBJ was the last one.  

        The lesson that I take from the Clinton/health care debacle is that we've got to deal with the House and Senate that exist, and not pretend they'll just wither once you say "fight".  (Remember Rahm's quote about how they didn't need Moynihan's support in advance?)

        [And as we've seen over the past two years, they're about as risk-averse a group of folks as you can find, and yes, even the Dems will suck up to corporate interests pretty damn often.]

        I started with the X-axis, Y-axis thing, but really, like the DEAD POET'S SOCIETY example from which I borrowed it, it's kinda false.  It's more of a gut-check thing: who do you want to see lead?  Are you inspired by any of them?  

        Voters don't decide based on checklists of issues; they vote for people.

    •  Interesting that you want to do an integral (0+ / 0-)

      calculation on two vary important variables and there relationship is?  Hard to tell.

      I think I put this in Political Science catagorie.  And frankly I don't think that field has broken much ground in time to actually be useful.

      We should design a experiment along Taguchi lines and plug in the polls and voila, we know who wins.

      "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

      by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:51:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I love this site. I know it's Kos' site... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal

      and all but I think his ego is getting the best of him lately.  Next he'll be endorsing Ugg boots and giving away gifts to the studio audience.

      Has Kos forgot about the biggest US foreign policy mistake in decades?  Seriously, who here would have voted to go to war with Iraq?  I'm sorry.  I can't vote for anyone who voted for the Iraq war.

    •  Kos has already responded to this (0+ / 0-)

      He doesn't want someone to run as something he's not -- if nothing else, for the simple reason that a candidate needs a clear mandate to do what he/she wants to do without getting into massive Bush-style trouble.  FDR had that mandate in 1932.

      Obama's been pulling a 1992 Clinton, bashing progs much harder than cons in the name of 'bipartisanship' -- a bipartisanship that Americans are increasingly rejecting in favor of sweeping, radical change.  If it's act, then he's flying under false colors.  If it's NOT an act, then he's essentially Lieberman with charisma -- which would explain why people like David Brooks love him.

  •  "Given the minor differences in policy . . . " (13+ / 0-)

    Exactly.  Can we all repeat this mantra until we all understand it, and stop acting like this is an epic battle between good and evil.

    Oprah? Nah, I'm voting however Jerry Springer tells me to.

    by Barry in MIA on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:11:16 PM PST

    •  I disagree that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uberbah, spencerh

      all the differences are minor. Sure they are all better than the GOP side but I don't think I can call the difference between Obama health care and Edwards health care minor.

      •  You make my point. Thx. eom (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larry Bailey, dogheaven

        Oprah? Nah, I'm voting however Jerry Springer tells me to.

        by Barry in MIA on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:22:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No I don't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, Uberbah

          It may not be an epic battle between good and evil but it is a battle between how to proceed forward. There are some very fundamental differences and we don't do ourselves any favors by pretending otherwise.

          Right now, I am in the Democratic camp but I am there because we have veered so dramatically right that I can't see how we survive without a course correction. That said, I am not even the least bit surprised that a third party is being discussed and I wouldn't be surprised to see that third party become viable if there isn't a course correction soon and Democrats don't start acting like Democrats are concerned and interested in addressing the problems Americans are facing. This site has stated that the GOP brand is in trouble. I'm not going to deny that. What I don't see it addressing is that many people are apathetic because they equally believe that the Democrats are part of the problem.

  •  But, but... Obama SHOWED us leadership (0+ / 0-)

    when he talked about opposing Iraq, and then he didn't have to VOTE on it!

  •  This was a well reasoned post. (22+ / 0-)

    While I disagree with you a bit about public financing and a few other things, I still recognize that this was a fair, interesting, and well reasoned post.

    While I am no happy with the thing last week, I do believe you have been fair with respect to allowing al voices to be heard, which is not always easy.

    As for losing the right to uprate comments, I disagree that I deserved it.  Nonetheless, I have to admit that things have improved and troll ratings are down.  If losing that right is the price that must be paid, grudgingly, it's okay with me.

    The most important thing has been that all voices can be heard here.  I firmly nbeleive that pluralism is the only way to arrive at some measure of reasoned "truth."  For that I sincerely compliment you.      

    "They're going to give their power away when we take their power away." John Edwards

    by TomP on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:11:29 PM PST

  •  I like Edwards, but the Murdoch thing is stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Luetta, JamieG from Md

    to bring up.

    Okay, so she takes the old fucker's money?  Why not?

    If anyone thinks that a couple million dollars, not even the price of a nice home on a coast, can totally buy off a president, then I have a bridge to sell ya.

    Mrs. Clinton will lose Iowa and the nomination because she got too cute by half...running a general election campaign in a primary, e.g., Kyl/Lieberman, etc.

    by BoyBlue on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:11:43 PM PST

    •  murdoch (6+ / 0-)

      So your argument is that its ok because her limit is 3 million for full ownership...

      I can't stand HRC, but I dont think Murdoc is buying her off. He wants her to win the nomination because he wants a victory in the general election. If things go bad and he needs a little help with the FCC, thats just icing on the cake.

      The MIC and Healthcare Insurance industry, etc. etc. are a completely different story. She's already shown her colors there. Even Michael Moore doesn't trust her anymore.  Who Would MM vote for

      For myself, I want Kuccinich to win, but I'll vote for Edwards if Hilliary starts to come out on top.

      The one thing history teaches us is that every true Patriot complains about their government at one time or another.

      by fizzy on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:26:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If winning the GE is your top priority (6+ / 0-)

    The polling data to date is pretty consistent about who does best in the GE.  Hint--it's not HRC.

    As to policy differences being "tiny to irrelevant," voting for K-L isn't tiny or irrelevant.  Having the most aggressive w/drawal strategy from Iraq of the 3 leading candidates wouldn't be tiny or irrelevant to the soldiers who were w/drawn.

    The post raises legitimate points, but it ignores some critical ones.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:11:48 PM PST

    •  Not true (9+ / 0-)

      The polling data is pretty clear that any of the three win, and some do better in some states than others. Edwards doesn't have the best numbers across the board. In some states, Hillary actually does better than Obama or Edwards.

      I've blogged the numbers before. It's amazing how this b.s. line of argumentation persists.

      •  It's like the negatives thing. (5+ / 0-)

        There has been at least one recent poll  showing Obama with negatives just as high as hers.  Once any Dem candidate starts taking heat in the press, those go up. It happens every time.  Gore's did, Kerry's did.  The big difference with Hillary is that hers are already there, because she started getting hit 15 years ago.  If she can make a case for herself like she did in NY, they will go down, not up.

        Also, I have one old neanderthal moderate conservative male relative who does not LIKE Hillary at all.  But he is not stupid.  He has very grudgingly admitted to me that he will likely vote for her because she has the chops and the smarts to pull the country out of the ditch, financially and otherwise.

        He's one of the "yeah, I don't much care for her liberal femi-nazi ass, but she's damn competent" crowd.  There are actually quite a few of those in the Indy/ Moderate Repug sector.

        Hillary Clinton 2008 - Less sizzle, more steak.

        by SaneSoutherner on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:21:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I scrolled back on all of your diaries to 11/26 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman

        I think I even double-checked your Open Threads in that time frame.  It's a total of 150 posts.  I didn't see a diary of yours in that time frame that addressed comparative polling of the 3 top tier Dem candidates against top tier Goopers.

        Perhaps you addressed this earlier than that, or maybe I missed a diary in the 150 that I scanned.  If there's one I missed, please let me know.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:23:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md

      that what YOU feel is critical or essential is not necessarily so for anyone?  

      I know it p*sses some people here off, but for me Kyl Lieberman is not the worst thing on earth. I do not agree that it was "permission" to go to war.

      And I have purposely, while I am visiting this holiday season, asked all my left leaning dem relatives and friends what issues are most important to them, and guess what: HEALTH CARE AND THE ECONOMY ARE WAY UP ABOVE THE WAR; IRAN IS NOT EVEN ON THE RADAR FOR MOST.

      I do believe most voters want the war to end, but most are really worried about health care and will vote on that issue more than others.

  •  Damn! Get out of my head, kos! (8+ / 0-)

    I'm stuck too for the same reasons and I see the same things. That's why I'll be waiting until March 4th (Texas primary) to make my decision.

    Man I wish Dodd could have picked up more support.

    * sigh *

    -6.88 -6.31

    "They're all crazy. They're all crazy except you and me. Sometimes I have me doubts about you." -- Garrett Fort

    by Spathiphyllum on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:12:11 PM PST

  •  Holy smokes!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md

    I want to add my 2 cents here:Obama can unite the country. If...

    And before you all jump on my comment about the unions choosing the most likely winner, I just ask that you consider my health care discussion here as a possible explanation of why the unions are supporting Hillary or Edwards instead of Obama.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:12:24 PM PST

  •  Bush, Obama, and the "uniter" meme (5+ / 0-)

    Most of this is quite sensible, but I don't think this should slide without comment:

    He can even pull a Bush, I suppose, and claim a "mandate" on policies he blurred or ignored on the campaign. But we've seen how a lack of true mandate has crushed Bush's presidency and made him the most unpopular and least effective president in history.

    Does anyone seriously want to argue that Bush's problem is the lack of a mandate - as opposed to a boatload of unpopular, disastrous policies?

    •  Absolutely, I think Bush pretty much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, DelRPCV

      got everything he wanted thru in 01,02 and 03, some of it with the help of John Edwards.

      If the democrats could be as effective in pushing thru their programs in 09,10,11 that would be wonderful and take a compliant majority in congress.

      And there is no doubt in my mind that Obama on the ballot gives us the biggest mandate in congress.

  •  What choice? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman

    Seems to me like you punted.

  •  Barack is the people-powered candidate! (16+ / 0-)

    I supported Dean in 2004, and I believe the people-powered torch has been passed to Barack in 2008!

    In fact, there's so much people-power supporting Barack that we had to use a panaramic lens to take this photo at our Texas rally.  If you've ever wondered what 21,841 Texans looks like, then here you go...

    Photobucket

    After Barack wins the nomination, I hope all the cynics out there will give him a second chance.  It's OK to believe in hope!

  •  I'm firmly undecided too, but (6+ / 0-)

    You were totally and completely wrong to say that Obama is using right-wing frames to attack Edwards' health care plan - a plan that is anti-progressive.

    Edwards' insistence on mandates is what prevents me from supporting him. Obama's almost total lack of details and my skepticism of his desire to unite the nation stops me from backing him as well. Clinton is right-wing, so there's no chance I'll support her. Kucinich isn't interested in building a movement, so not him either.

    I'll vote on Feb 5 for the candidate most likely to beat Clinton, and return to my other political work. This primary isn't actually as important as people are making it out to be.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:13:49 PM PST

  •  kos, you should be going Gravel. (15+ / 0-)

    Your choice in the presidential race has been a death knell. You've decided to kill Undecided this time. But I think you should pick Mike because it would be hilarious to see some front page posts extolling the benefits of a Gravel presidency.

  •  Personal judgment is a factor for me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, mp, mayim

    in addition to the others. It's hard to assess and compare the judgment of the candidates, but this is a factor at or near the top of my list.

    Also critical to me is the candidate's attitude toward executive power and the rule of law.

    If I had a vote to cast at this stage, I'm pretty certain it would go to Dodd. He is an imperfect candidate - aren't they all - but he's a stronger leader than the others and not afraid to dig in for a fight. That matters a lot to me.

  •  Wild overstatement (16+ / 0-)

    Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on.

    Meanwhile, back on planet Earth...

    Kos, this is such a wild overstatement it almost sounds paranoid. Please get a grip.

    •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

      It sounds like snark, its so overstated.  Barack Obama attacking social security, and Gore and Kerry?  That's so wrong, being "nit picky" is not the phrase for it.

      I know I am new around here (as a commenter at least), and I do respect Kos and what he has built here, AND I acknowledge that I am biased toward Obama, BUT....I have to say I have been disappointed with the depth and objectivity of Kos' analysis, like this piece.

    •  adding (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonecone, itsbenj, Hprof, Grass

      aside from the fact that BHO hasn't actually been "attacking" any of these people/things listed, i would also point out that none of them are closely associated with the dirty f-ing hippies, except for his shrillness krugman (the gore2000 campaign was establishment all the way).

      regarding krugman, all BHO did was respond to criticism rapidly, directly, and forcefully. or as kos might say, "playing to win".

      Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

      by jethropalerobber on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:52:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Playing to win... (4+ / 0-)

    this isn't a game..she is hungry for the power, for sure, and is playing with the big boys of corporate power to show it, but big deal. I want a FIGHTER, not a PLAYER...Edwards it is for me. Hillary is a deep, deep dissappointment to me on so many levels...and in general, I'm over the back and forth Clinton/Bush power pass. Seriously, enough of that! It's anti-American already, this oligarchy absurdity.

    And tested against the right wing smear machine? Really? Her husband didn't survive the absurd and ridiculous smears, enough to get that impeachment fiasco occur...so he survived in popularity, fine, but will she really today, when she's again associated with Rupert and Penn, and will have the whole MSM salivating to discuss all the Clinton issues of times past, plus some fresh ones, made believe and not? I don't think so Kos...not thinkin too clearly there buddy. Talk about a way to be sure the valid issues are totally going to be ignored as the MSM would rehash ad naseum their garbage.

    Latina female over here, btw, I don't need a woman or person of color to represent me and America. I need an AMERICAN, not in cahoots with corporate power, but who fights for the Constitution, period. All the way, calling it like it is.

    Again..Edwards is my man. Godspeed Edwards!
    That's my $.02...

  •  So you're sticking with (7+ / 2-)

    your bullshit make believe story and then using it as a stick to beat the guy you never liked in the first place.  Classy.

    There's a term for people who create stories out of whole cloth and then spread them throughout the media.  They are commenly called hacks, shills, operatives, pundits, talking heads, etc.  I prefer to call them fucking liars.  Welcome to their gutter.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - A. Einstein

    by clonecone on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:15:04 PM PST

  •  Re Desire to win (8+ / 0-)

    Edwards is a fighter, but Hillary is a killer. You will not see swiftboat attacks go unanswered. You will not see her out-dirty tricked. Do I want to see another brutal fight? No. But she will not roll over and her staff know how be get dirty.

  •  I agree on being undecided, We'll know... (5+ / 0-)

    more in a week.  But, the top three have to stay in the race in order for us Feb. 5 people to have a voice in the outcome.  I think they will.

  •  Let's see if I understand this... (13+ / 0-)

    Obama is a Clinton triangulator personified...

    But Clinton herself isn't?

    Hm.  Gonna have to chew on that one awhile.

    For future reference: My name is not actually William.

    by wmtriallawyer on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:15:39 PM PST

  •  i thought you were going with edwards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct

    from what all you said in this piece. you should pick one ;-)

    Keep Religion in Church

    by titotitotito on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:15:56 PM PST

  •  Speaking of straws that broke the camel's back (5+ / 0-)

    The "ticky-tack" Gore business yesterday pretty much rendered Kos's opinion meaningless to me.  In isolation it wouldn't have been a big deal, but as yet another in a pattern of selective and careless broadsides...I just kind of lost interest in what the owner of this site might have to say about anything.

    Screw the "sphere"

    by snout on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:11 PM PST

  •  BTW - there goes your gig on Oprah! (3+ / 0-)

    Oprah? Nah, I'm voting however Jerry Springer tells me to.

    by Barry in MIA on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM PST

  •  Not only would it be a pleasure (16+ / 0-)

    to have a drink with any of these candidates, but I can also count on them not to puke in the back seat while I drive them home afterward.

    No offense, Mr. President.  Just sayin'.

    "Deforestation can never be stopped as long as trees are worth more dead than alive" - Mark Lynas

    by Bob Love on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:19 PM PST

  •  "attacking the dirty fucking hippies" (5+ / 0-)

    Only Gravel, Dodd, and Kuciniuch are willing to stop putting us in prison.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate (Wisconsin 2012)
    Court certified Marijuana Expert

    by ben masel on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:41 PM PST

  •  undecided?? Based on this diary it seems you pick (4+ / 0-)

    Hillary.

    "Embarrassing, embarrassing. No Wonder why we're going down the tubes." Larry Craig's arresting officer.

    by Chamonix on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:16:56 PM PST

  •  You.. you... ARRRRRRGH! (0+ / 0-)

    You write this whole huge thing talking about your decision in the primaries... and then you don't MAKE one?

    GET OFF THE FRIGGIN' FENCE ALREADY!

    Really, it's OKAY to say "I support CandidateX." You can even say "I support CandidateX, but Y or Z would be great too," if you want. Try it. You'll like it.

    •  Why? (6+ / 0-)

      There's this trend here lately of "goddamnit, people, just pick somebody!"

      Well, you know, it's my vote. I'll pick somebody when somebody gives me a really solid reason to pick them, by my standards, not yours.

      Same goes for markos.

      •  I agree for all of us (5+ / 0-)

        I have bones to pick with all the top tiers, but I want to win in November no matter who our nominee is. I can pick those bones with whomever wins out, but since I don't have to vote yet either, there's been no point in choosing just to choose. My primary vote will not even count (FL) so though I'll vote, I'm technically "sitting it out."

        Still, I'm with Kos that there are no clear frontrunners in my boat. He's listed the major plusses, minuses, and neutrals regarding leadership, change, the media, and who will best be ready to deal with the right-wing machine. And I'm in that same place.

        If I have a primary vote by the time the end of January comes around, I'll exercise it and I'll be happy to tell you for whom it was exercised. But for now, I'm gonna sit back and look and listen and observe.

        "Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --George W. Bush

        by RevJoe on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:19:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Endorse my fucking candidate, Kos! (12+ / 0-)

    Now pardon me as I get my popcorn and watch the true believers descend in rage. Surely, XYZ is teh onlyz Progrezzive in teh race, etc.

    "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch." ~- Jack Nicholson

    by MBNYC on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:17:37 PM PST

  •  Because it's a progressive ideal, you dweeb. (0+ / 0-)

    Why give Republicans veto power over what the Democrats do? Given our better ability to raise money this cycle, why would Obama willingly surrender that advantage to the Republicans?

    Maybe he actually believes in government ethics and campaign finance reform.  

    Or are those only progressive issues when Democrats are raising less money than Republicans?  

  •  Edwards was the first to freeze out Fox. NT (15+ / 0-)

    I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I support Johnny Reid Edwards!

    by JedReport on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:17:48 PM PST

    •  True dat. (8+ / 0-)

      And the first to release a truly universal health care plan.

      And the first to come out against accepting lobbyist/PAC money.

      And the first to freeze out lobbyists from his White House.

      The list goes on.

    •  that is the most annoyiny part of this diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      queen, wishingwell, JedReport

      I hate when someone else gets credit for something Edwards did. It reminds me of the way my mom left this world still believing it was my little sister who did certain things that I did... she didn't. The injustice of it drives me crazy.. especially this Fox thing because that was a great example of how Edwards framed democratic debates... Fox is a propaganda-pushing network. It's not news. The others followed his lead; but he was the one to jump out on a limb and say he wouldn't debate on that network, now he's giving that credit to Obama who waited to see how that bold move would be accepted by the masses before he joined him. Edwards pushed the others to come up with health care plans too. If he can frame the democratic debate like he has done, it shows me that he can do that in the general better than any of those who followed Edwards' lead in this primary.

  •  I am with kos (9+ / 0-)

    With all those factors in play, with no obvious gate-crashing people-powered candidate, and with what really is solid field, I'm left firmly in the undecided camp. And I don't mind being there since, thankfully, I don't have to cast a vote on Thursday.

    I appreciate his thoughts, though.  It helps a lot.  I will vote in Michigan on the 15th.  I always vote, no matter what.  I am still going to vote for Dodd and see if some strength shown would get him a VP chance.

    I will vote for the Democratic Candidate in November no matter who it is.  

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat Wednesday evenings 8 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:17:49 PM PST

  •  I like your fairness kos (5+ / 0-)

    I agree wholeheartedly with the "differences are tiny" pronouncement.  I have said here and other places that for me, ALL of the dems have the same goals, and that what differs is their how to reach those goals.

    I am definitely supporting Hillary but I could easily support and campaign for anyone in the GE.  However, some of the Obama supporters here and their hateful diatribes have really dampened my enthusiam for him.

    •  All the candidates (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, wishingwell, Miss Blue

      Have supporters who post hateful diatribes. And all candidates have supporters who post exciting and/or respectful diatribes. Politics brings out our best and our worst sides.

      It's not an Edwards, Obama, or Hillary thing. Assholes are not a constituency that cleaves along neat political lines (Ron Paul supporters are, of course, excepted).

      •  On this particular blog (0+ / 0-)

        my feelings are what they are.  I would like to think that across the net it all evens out.

        •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaneSoutherner

          Although I've had plenty of accusations of being a "cultist" and suffering from "hero worship" hurled my way during this season. These sorts of shallow comments (from all sides) betray a surprising lack of empathy and inability to deal with true ideological diversity.

          The key to remaining civil and not turning into an asshole, I think, is constantly reminding ourselves that we're all on the same side and that good people, acting in good faith, and with deliberate action, will weigh their options and still choose to support other candidates.

          But then again, my snarky, pithy, and sarcastic comments tend to get higher ratings than my long and well incubated comments, so perhaps all hope is lost. :)

  •  On Playing to win.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, wishingwell

    We need to win 1-2 new states.
    I'm not sure Hillary or Obama are going to make that happen.
    The south and west are not going to swing our way with either of them as the nominee. Not my personal feelings, I'm OK with Obama and would hold my nose and vote for Corporate Clinton.

    I'm as Mad as Hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!

    by UndercoverRxer on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:18:41 PM PST

  •  So, you're endorsing Hillary, right?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethropalerobber, diplomatic

    I make my own time, I make my own terms. I cannot see how God or Nature can ever get the start of me -- Thoreau

    by robokos on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:18:43 PM PST

  •  Very Well-Written (4+ / 0-)

    ...and I think that this analysis is dead on.

  •  I'd say Obama has a mighty impressive (13+ / 0-)

    people-powered campaign.  From nothing to the top of the heap, powered by an impressive grassroots people-powered movement.  Unprecedented numbers of people have donated, volunteered and appeared at each and every appearance----many times in the tens of thousands.  I'd say that's a people-powered political campaign----a following that is electrified and excited and enthused. It's an historical one, actually----it's all there staring you in the face if you care to look.

    •  "If You Care To Look" (6+ / 0-)

      The problem with Obama supporters is that they don't "care to look." They ignore; they deny; they fervently defend. But they don't look.

      When was the last time your read any blogs that contain any information about Barack Obama that wasn't part of his 'charm offensive?'

      Like when did you discover that Obama voted with Joe Lieberman on CAFA, when the Democratic caucus, unions, environmentalists and civil rights activists strongly opposed it, and even Hillary Clinton voted against it?

      http://dir.salon.com/...

      When did you discover that Barack Obama requested Joe Lieberman as his "mentor" when he first arrived at the Senate?

      http://www.counterpunch.org:80/...

      Just sayin'

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

      by SignalSuzie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:26:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  His campaign can't control (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DelRPCV, dotster

        whether ostensible gatekeepers will report accurately on a bona fide grassroots movement which along with leading on everything else, leads the number donations from former Dean supporters.

      •  Um....not quite (8+ / 0-)

        From the counterpunch article:

        Hence his press man, Vietor's, sensitivity to my allusion in that last to Obama's "mentor" being Senator Joe Lieberman. As a freshman senator, Vietor insisted, Obama had been assigned Lieberman as "mentor". Read the Hartford Courant and you'll find Lieberman boasting that Obama picked him.

        Obama "picked" lieberman only according to Lieberman's ego.

        Oh, wait, am I under the influence of the cult of personality again?  Shame on me.

        "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

        by bawbie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:30:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lieberman as mentor? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pd, Existentialist, Tybalt

        Hell, the entire Democratic party chose him as their Vice-F'ing-President.

        Pushing him back to the distance of 'mentor' makes Obama look smarter than Gore.  Which isn't possible, but even making the comparison is a compliment to Barack.

      •  Of Course! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj

        Obama supporters like myself are zombies. Blind to reality in our devotion to the rock-star cult-leading candidate. I can't possibly honestly believe that Obama is simultaneously the most progressive and viable candidate. Because people who have different opinions than you must be fools or idiots.  

        Obaaaammmmmaaaa.....obaammmmmmaaa.....braaaaiiinnnss...obaaammma

        Just sayin'

      •  Just sayin' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tybalt, clambake

        Any comment that starts with, "The problem with ______ supporters" isn't worth reading, reccing, or usually even trolling.

        Just sayin'.

      •  Okay new rule. (0+ / 0-)

        And I have been one of the worst offenders.  But can we quit sayin "Just Sayin" when we are trying to make a point that might seem contrary the current?  Just say it. and we don't need to say we are Just sayin it.

        "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

        by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:35:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The netroots is against people power now (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonecone, itsbenj, DelRPCV, citizenx, dotster

      Didn't you get the memo?

      Screw the "sphere"

      by snout on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:26:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's only people powered (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, jethropalerobber, dotster

      if kos says it's people powered.

      It's like condemning Obama for saying he didn't become a trial lawyer while ignoring the fact that kos's golden boy, Rick Noreiga, has been slamming trial lawyers.

      Noriega's wife, in speaking about her husband's trial lawyer primary opponent said this:

      Rick has a voting record, and I do, too. We have done our best to serve honorably and feel priviliged to have done so. We have worked hard and supported things we believe in, sacrificed family time and been terrified for weeks on end that we would never see each other again.

      Mikal Watts has sued people.

      Repectfully submitted,

      Melissa Noriega

      What's the difference between Obama's and Noriega's comments?  Noriega actually slammed trial lawyers and Obama didn't.  What's the difference between Noriega and Obama?  Obama is condemned by kos for what he calls right wing framing (even though he never said anything bad about trial lawyers) and Noriega is a netroots hero.  

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - A. Einstein

      by clonecone on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:18:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  great comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj

        although i think you do have to allow somewhat for fact that they are running before different electorates.

        then again, since BHO never in fact attacked trial lawyers the whole comparison is indeed pointless.

        Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

        by jethropalerobber on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:44:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you knew anything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tybalt, dogheaven

        at all about the history of Mikal Watts legal career, Melissa's statement is perfectly in bounds in this instance.

        His most famous case here in Texas involved cronyism, jury tampering, collusion, and witness tampering in order to get big money for the prominent family of one of his very well-connected friends.  

        John Edwards, on the other hand, fought for real people who had been harmed and had nowhere to turn and no money to fight.

        Hillary Clinton 2008 - Less sizzle, more steak.

        by SaneSoutherner on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:45:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bull. (0+ / 0-)

        Noriega's wife stated that her husband had a record of service superior to Watts'.

        That's a fucking long way from "Noriega slammed trial lawyers".

        Especially considering Noriega himself didn't say it. Or did that minor detail escape you?

        Joe Lieberman likes to be called an "Independent Democrat". I like being called a "sexual dynamo".

        by Arjun Jaikumar on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 11:55:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Campaign surrogates speak for the campaign (0+ / 0-)

          Any idiot knows that.

          It's a double standard and I'm not shocked to see you defending it.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. - A. Einstein

          by clonecone on Thu Jan 03, 2008 at 09:11:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  You make a case...for Clinton...for you. (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting when you add up your pluses and minuses you vote for Clinton though it sounds like you'd end up voting for Edwards.

    And stop chickening out.

    If you had to vote tomorrow in Iowa, who would you vote for?  Now's the time to belly up to the bar with a choice before anyone has won a vote.

    Thought following was your most interesting comment, that you see two "editions".

    "Edwards, by a landslide. Not the 2004 edition, but the new and improved 2008 model."

    •  Two Editions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, Tuscany

      And that's why I have such a hard time taking Edwards seriously.

      Personally, I think he's completely sincere when talking about poverty.  But talking about Iraq, or foreign policy?  All I see is a wet finger in the breeze, and a lot of people giving him a pass on his horrendous 2002/2003 judgement because he's saying the right things NOW.

      I'll note that Edwards' position on poverty and other domestic issues basically hasn't changed since his last run.  It's Iraq that's the flip-flop, and that's just pandering then and now, imho.

      The company you keep says a lot about the person you are.

      by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:25:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "Two Edtions" is my problem also (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, dogheaven

        It's not just on Iraq but that to me is the show stopper...just no way we elect one of the sponsors of the Iraq war...plus I think he'd get eaten alive for flip flopping on Iraq as Kerry did in 2004.

        He's gotten out of hand with it now demanding US withdraw in a couple months...he's as big a disaster getting out as he was going in...total pandering at risk of US national security.

        A courageous stand by Edwards would be to say he made a mistake but admit it will take a while to fix his mistake.

        He's a different "edition" on trade, nuclear storage, health care, bankruptcy.

        And does his time and investment with Fortress Hedge fund count as a "3rd Edition"...the ultimate corporate insider and special interest group.

        Anyway...perceptive comment by Kos who favors Edwards yet sees the multiple and recent editions problem.

      •  so what's your point exactly? (0+ / 0-)

        That he shouldn't have apologized?  There is just a bit of a difference between 2002 and 2008 - back then no one knew what a cluster fuck the occupation would be with Rusmfield's incompetence.  Now we do know.

  •  I also like all top 3 (4+ / 0-)

    but I prefer Hillary, despite negatives Hillary will fight to win, and I think she will do well in swing states.  I like her domestic policies and mos F.P.  I liked the analysis Kos

  •  And is Markos showing leadership? (0+ / 0-)

    Yeesh.  He'd make a great congressman in this congress, with (non)action like that.

    Speak truth to power, it's a sin to tell a lie.

    by queen on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:20:12 PM PST

  •  Long-Term Our Movement Needs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    Somebody that can broaden appeal without compromising on principles. That's Obama. Period. End of story.

    Go with Clinton, and we're doomed to getting 48% at the polls again. And even if she wins, we're doomed to be thrown under the bus again and again (may I remind you: Iran, Iraq, NAFTA, health care mandates, DOMA, don't ask don't tell, DOMA, welfare reform, and the list goes on). The only someone else like Bill Clinton in this election shares his last name. And you know it...

  •  This is a great post. (9+ / 0-)

    And this point specifically needs to be drilled into the brains of every Dem in Congress, and every candidate:

    Who's best on policy?

    The policy differences between all the Democrats really are tiny to irrelevant, since none of their plans will survive first contact with Congress. In fact, I'd rather these candidates shoot for the sky and give us a vision of what their ideal society would look like, rather than "compromise" with themselves right off the gate. Why is single payer off the agenda for most of these candidates? They want to talk about what's "realistic", but what's "realistic" really depends on what Congress looks like, and what the American people are demanding when any given legislation hits the docket.

    Bush's 87 billion dollar tax cut right out of the gate was wildly unrealistic . . . until he asked for 200 billion.  Then all of the sudden the narrative changed on a dime and everyone, instead of talking about how to use the surplus, was talking about how big the cut should be.   An object lesson in the worthlessness of "realism" on matters of policy.

  •  I Still Like Hillary (0+ / 0-)

    God, I wish she would just be a bit more Edwards-esque.  I think she is missing a great opportunity for talking to people about the good that she intends to do for Americans.  She just can't seem to phrase it the right way.

    I am a retired candidate diarist.

    by bink on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:21:17 PM PST

  •  why Bush failed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DelRPCV, gloryous1, echatwa

    Bush isn't the most unpopular candidate in history because he didn't have a mandate.  Rather, it's because he used what mandate he had for wildly unpopular things.  I think a Democrat could actually GOVERN well to the left of a centrist campaign, while remaining very popular - because peace and health care and education and fiscal responsibility are POPULAR.

    The company you keep says a lot about the person you are.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:21:40 PM PST

  •  Dem. Hillary Clinton v. Rep. Barack Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, skidrow

    I started out supporting John Edwards; I'm now supporting Hillary Clinton. But my 'dog in this fight' as it were is not about any candidate but Barack Obama.

    If DKos partisans want to 'crash the gate' by voting for Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Kucinich, Richardson--GREAT. Fantastic.

    I say, more power to you. I'll be happy.

    But the fact that so many have foolishly bought into the Barack Obama 'charm machine' is really shocking to me. He is a JOE LIEBERMAN CLONE. He will not be supportive of progressives.

    So, think about it. This guy is NOT friendly to you. He voted with Joe Lieberman on CAFA--against everyone in the Democratic Caucus, including Hillary Clinton. He has said, on the record, that he would keep the option to bomb Iran on the table. He is not a progressive. And, he never was.

    You really don't want to 'go there.'

    Democrat Hillary Clinton v. Republican Barack Obama:

    The partisan Democratic bloggers have always been suspicious of Obama for the same reasons as Paul Krugman: his resistance to partisan confrontation, and his willingness to go after his rivals from the right on domestic policy.

    His pokes at labor-backed 527s, his suggestion that trial lawyer is a dirty word, and his apparent shots at Al Gore and John Kerry have pushed a bunch of bloggers off the fence in the last two days, and — though it’s not going to move a whole lot of caucus-goers — it’s worth noticing.

    Among others, Kos backed away from him, and Atrios, Jane Hamsher, Crooks & Liars, TalkLeft, and Ezra Klein pile on."

    "...as Ezra Klein writes, Obama represents the "old politics of centrist caution and status quo bias."

    Blockquote from:
    http://www.hillaryis44.org/

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

    by SignalSuzie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:21:46 PM PST

    •  Obama is NOT a Republican (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, ShaunMcDonnell, SYuguri

      and is fucking insulting and frankly troll-worthy for you to say so.

      Obama, Clinton and Edwards are all solid Democrats working to expand and promote the Democratic party.

      "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

      by bawbie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:58:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  trolling for something? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

      by jethropalerobber on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:17:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you mean CAFTA? (0+ / 0-)

      If you do, Obama voted no, Clinton voted yes.

      And all of the so-called top 3 have said that all options are on the table in regards to Iran, so why single Obama out, since your current candidate, Clinton, is at the same place?

      As for the blockquote, it seems to be lifted from Hillary supporter Ben Smith at Politico, who used those so definitive words like "pokes", "suggestion", and "apparent" to try to make a case.

      And now to Gore and Kerry - as if most if not all those who frequent Kos don't think they bear a lot of responsibility for their losses in 2000 and 2004.  

      First, Gore, who couldn't even win his home state of Tennessee, which if he had would have meant that there would still have been all those problems in Florida that would have had to be addressed and fixed, but it would have been done with a Democratic president to lead the way.  So, Gore gets no sympathy from me (and I'd think just his choice of Lieberman as his VP candidate would still have you seeing red).  And on top of that, after he finally conceded, what did Gore do?  Stick around and act like the winner he was and become the leader of the Democratic party and the "loyal" opposition?  No, of course not, he virtually disappeared.  And left the Democratic Party with what, but Bill Clinton still the titular head of the party, so nobody could actually move on. And here we are 8 years later with Bill and Hill and the whole DLC and establishment crowd everyone here so loaths still running things.

      And then there's Kerry, whose first decision in putting a together a campaign that had to defeat an incumbant president in war time was to to do what?  After touting his national security and foreign policy experience as evidence of his being able to run a war, end a war, and protect the American people, did he select a VP who the American people actually believed could also do all of that if something happened to Kerry?  No, he selected John Edwards, someone the voters had already decided wasn't ready to be president. And he didn't fight back against the Swiftboaters, and he went windsurfing, and when he lost, he didn't fight back either.

      And, as for Paul Krugman, this is the same deficit hawk pre-12/06 we're talking about, right?  The same Paul Krugman who was part of the Reagan administration for awhle, right?  The same Paul Krugman who once sat on an advisory board for Enron, right?  One of those oh-so-smart ones, kind of like Tom Friedman, who can be oh-so-clever with words and  too-cute by half a lot of the time, because he has never and probably never will actually go beyond telling all of us below his level of "genius" what needs to be done and what should be done and how easy it is to do, and go out and stand for election and then actually show us all how easy it is.

      So, Kos, and all the rest of you who buy into this it's all so easy to do so just go do it, glad to know you're all so happy with the Karl Rove 50+1 to win strategy that you want to repeat it again in 2008, and the hell with a governing majority, because you all seem to think that all we need is a Democratic president and it will no longer matter if we're short of 60 votes in the Senate on everything, because after all, we can say we won.  From a liberal (who refuses to use the wuss word "progressive") who lives in the real world of the red state of North Dakota, I prefer to get the things done that need to be done to just being able to say "I won".    

  •  I'm sure I don't need to (7+ / 0-)

    point out the obvious objection to Obama's so-called "cottage industry" "pattern of attacks" against "Democrats."

    One person's crashing the gates is another's "right-wing framing."

    But I would like to ask a question, and I don't want to hear from any clowns.  What about Obama's campaign, supported by nearly half a million donors, with a viral internet-based kickstart, is not people-powered?

    •  As for "attacking Democrats" (3+ / 0-)

      I'd like to say "Joe Lieberman".

      Sure Obama is not Lieberman, but you can "reach out" without slapping other Democrats of note - and Gore?  You don't win my vote by slapping the most popular Democrat in town.

      If I had to vote for a blatant partisan over a populist who can't win without attacking his own party, thank you, I'll take the blatant partisan.  

      No more lies - IMPEACH!

      by Fabian on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:26:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't slap anybody (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, Annalize5, clambake

        He said he didn't want to enter the elections with half of the country hating his party.  But I said I didn't want to hear from people participating in the circus.  Sorry Fabian.

        •  If he had an ounce of sense (0+ / 0-)

          he'd be sucking up to Gore.  Gore has popular R.E.S.P.E.C.T.  Even people who don't necessarily like Gore respect him.

          I'm sure each and every candidate has asked Gore for his endorsement because it's worth a chunk of politcal capital.  Trust me, if Gore endorsed Obama, it would be instantly diaried multiple times.  If Gore endorsed anyone, ditto.

          No more lies - IMPEACH!

          by Fabian on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:36:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you know whether and how he has (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            itsbenj, clambake

            or has not interacted with Gore?  Are you so enamored of the blogosphere that you'd sit back and listen to a ridiculous characterization of a plain, unoffensive statement and repeat it as gospel truth?  Or do you think the site is better served with people willing to call bs on bs?

            Dean said he was sick of Democrats giving up half the country as unwinnable and that we needed to create a presence in every single damn state, no matter how red.  He was applauded.  Obama says he's sick of us going into these damn elections with half the country already declaring they won't cast a vote for us, like we went into the 2000 and 2004 elections.  He magically "slapped Gore."

            I'm sorry Fabian, this shit is circus-like.

        •  of course it was a slap (0+ / 0-)

          Did Shaheen actually accuse Obama of selling drugs?  Of course not.  Does that mean that his "Republicans will ask if Obama sold drugs" was not a slap on Obama?  Of course it was a slap.  Or, as Kos pointed out:

          and I'm not referring to Obama since apparently you have to specifically mention a person's name to refer to them these days

    •  Easy (6+ / 0-)

      Obama didn't kiss the rings of the blogsphere elites.

      Screw the "sphere"

      by snout on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:28:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos is a major drama queen (0+ / 0-)

    And I'm tired of it. He cranks up the hyperbole, probably out of his desperation for something earth-shattering to happen.

    •  Obviously you haven't read the candidate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, gsenski

      diaries.  

      Drama queen central!  

      No more lies - IMPEACH!

      by Fabian on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:33:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He needs to generate the mindshare. (0+ / 0-)

      Keep those eyeballs coming back, hits and page refreshes all.   More eyeballs = more ad money = more ducats for Kos.  I don't blame him for it - he's an enterpreneur running a media enterprise, even if its an entirely digital one.  He's got kids to feed and mortgage payments to make.

      I will give him credit for not announcing his choice.  He'd just get slammed for attempting to play a role of "kingmaker" if he did.  Better to stay the neutral pundit, while occassionally throwing out bon mots that will rile up one group and engender an equal counter-rile response from another group.

      Eyeballs, and hits, and page refreshes oh my.

      Liberals drive me crazy. Unfortunately, conservatives are even worse.

      by goblue72 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:50:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I go with you on credit (0+ / 0-)

        for not making his choice on the site.  But I go with you no further. No further at all.

        Kos keep it in your pocket but keep the analysis coming.

        "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

        by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:54:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My overwhelming choice for our nominee (6+ / 0-)

    (and it's not even close, and anyone who disagrees with me is not a real Democrat IMO), is:

    Whoever wins the damn thing--period!

    0101011101100101 010101000110100001100101 010100000110010101101111011100000110110001100101

    by kovie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:22:37 PM PST

  •  I want a candidate who cares about worker rights (8+ / 0-)

    My bottom line -- there's a war on American workers and we need somebody who will push back against those who treat workers like commodities, working them to exhaustion and burnout without a safety net to fall back upon when the economy tanks.

    There's far too many of us cowering in fear because employers have the upper hand and there's not a damn thing you can do about it right now as the government looks the other way in the most blatant of violations.

    At the heart of fixing things IMO are two things -- decouple health insurance from your job and make college and retraining more affordable.

  •  anyone but obama. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Existentialist

    republicans will kill him in the general election.  my preference is hillary, but i'll vote for whomever is the nominee.  as long as it's not BO.  

  •  Thank you for not telling us your choice. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tabbycat in tenn, dogheaven

    Since we are all Democrats and obligated to support the choice of the primaries for nomination, it is not necessary.  Especially, when not one caucus or primary has taken place yet.  The in-fighting here has been vicious and not worthy of Democratic activists.  Save your vitriol for the general election, when we will really need to stand up to the rethug attacks.
    Attacking and belittling our candidates makes no sense at all.

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all - JFK- 5/18/63-Vanderbilt Univ.

    by oibme on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:23:39 PM PST

  •  this eminently well analysed sensible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tabbycat in tenn

    overview reminds me of why i keep coming back to DailyKos for a wide spectrum of farout opinions.  This is what I want from a strictly political analytic site and to get it i am prepared to be outrage once a day.

  •  you forgot the only one that matters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, Existentialist, gsenski

    Who looks best on TV?

    Who has the best soundbytes?

    Who knows how to play the media rather than setting themselves up to be played?

  •  sometimes they need it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, kkjohnson

    Sometimes Democratic party constituencies need to have a good kick in the butt.  I have been to numerous meetings and gatherings where I've been stuck in a room with lefty activist types who were saying stuff that was was at best just downright silly and at worst completely offensive / obnoxious to half (or more) of the population.  The sort of rhetoric that wouldn't convince even the believers to get on board with them, let alone someone who is on the other side of the issue.

    I'm a huge believer that if you are not having success, you need to get your own house in order before you attack the other side.  There are a lot of folks on the left who are completely unwilling to take a look at how they are doing business and why it might not be selling with the public.  There is a lot of blaming the people who "just don't get it" and not a lot of looking at your own message / tactics and thinking about how it turns people off and isn't productive.  This is one of the causes of polorization within the electorate... you have too many people screeming at each other and not enough listening to people.  People feel alienated.

    Party activists and institutions should be held up to a very high standard and should be open to criticism from within.  I get so tired of going to events where there is a heavy labor contingency and you can't say anything critical of labor at all.  It is taboo.  That's rediculous.  And it's across the board... SEIU, etc. are some of the worst offenders in this respect.  

  •  "Symbolic" victories mean as much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Existentialist

    as "symbolic" statements passed by Congress, and as much as symbolic meals mean to a starving person.

    So, while Hillary or Obama would make a really nice statement, bottom line is they are both eager to maintain the Empire's status quo abroad and Corporate hegemony at home. Though either will be better than any Republican, neither will be good enough for America's real needs, imo.

    I find it impossible to believe that either one will challenge the anti-human drift of our political establishment, though they both might toss out a progressive bone here and there. As long as it doesn't discomfort their investors so much.

    So then, Edwards it is.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:27:11 PM PST

  •  Well played, Mr. Moulitas, well played.....nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    janetle, Fabian

    Hillary Clinton, ready to go on day one!

    by Rumarhazzit on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:28:32 PM PST

  •  Effectiveness (5+ / 0-)

    But we've seen how a lack of true mandate has crushed Bush's presidency and made him the most unpopular and least effective president in history. I'd rather have our candidate elected promising progressive reform, especially in a year where the American people seem to crave such solutions.

    W is not effective???  I'd say he is one of the most effective presidents in recent history.  He started a new era of imperialism, created the conditions leading to the first great genocide of the 21st century, successfully overturned huge chunks of the constitution, set up a supreme court of rich young reactionaries, sent a huge gift to the pharmacy industry that democrats now campaign on replicating for the hmo industry, started a huge military buildup that no major democrat is campaigning against, ...the list goes on.  And he did every single thing with at least some Democratic support. Even Reagan who was very effective at getting his agenda rammed through Congress had limited effectiveness after his terms ended since Bush 41 softened some of his policies.  Effectiveness is certainly not the problem with W.

    •  true (0+ / 0-)

      Bush is simultaneously a complete failure, and incredibly successful.  He's a failure simply because he was never mentally up to the challenge of leading the country.  He was never mentally up to the challenge of running a baseball team in the first place...

      but he has massively succeeded beyond what anyone could have predicted, and for one reason and one reason only.  he fights endlessly for what he believes in.  his beliefs are wrong and idiotic, but he fights for them and believes in them wholeheartedly, and he tells everyone who tries to stop him to fuck off and die.

      I would rather the Dems not pursue this same path from the other direction, though.  I think in our current state of affairs it will have to be just the opposite.  We need someone who believes strongly in progressive ideals and fights for them, and we need that person to specifically NOT act like George Bush while doing it.  we need to succeed, to steal the mantle of fiscal responsibility and foreign policy expertise.  a successful Dem candidate will shoot to achieve those things.

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:59:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I totally get that. (0+ / 0-)

      Just like I hated the "incompetance" label.  He was very competant.  Its just that what he is good at, he neither cops to nor acknowleges.  He wanted Haliburton to get all that money.  He wanted to gut the constitution and have an imperial presidency.  he wanted alot of these things.  And don't think he was'nt a little tickled at the suffering at the Dome in New Orleans.

      "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

      by dogheaven on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:59:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you underestimate Obama's appeal. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, DelRPCV, kubrick2008

    With your focus on Michigan's role as a swing state, and the individual decisions in the primary, you oversimplify the argument about who can win.  I really believe that Obama could represent a generational shift.  My hope for him is that he could shake up the political map by appealing to a larger segment of society that is dissatisfied with our political process.

    I totally agree with you that any of our candidates are leagues better on policy and progress than any Republican running.  I will gladly back and vote for our nominee.

    -Yuguri, in Mendocino

  •  I've settled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    on Edwards, for now. While I'll gladly vote in November for whoever our nominee is, Edwards comes the closest to my point of view while still having a chance of "electability" (Sorry, Rep. Kucinich)

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:31:52 PM PST

  •  very nicely put (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, janetle

    I agree with 95% of what you have written.  I may have lower standards:  the "new and improved" Sen Edwards actually does "rock my world" (at least the political part of it), so, by a slim margin, he's my candidate.

    But, I would be okay with anyone running in the Democratic party right now and wish those who support particular candidates would stop bashing ther others, or those who support the others, since it is destructive to no useful end.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

    by Barth on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:34:00 PM PST

  •  Who dropped a rock in a pond? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sanuk




    ````
    peace

  •  Kos, what about whether they hawked the War? (3+ / 0-)

    Did that not make your list?  Are you comfortable giving the most powerful job in the free world to someone who facillitated end championed the fraud that deceived our citizens, humiliated our nation, took hundreds of thousands of lives, wasted hundreds of billions of dollars, and is widely seen as the biggest strategic mistake in American history?

    Those who sold us the war did so out of ignorance, incompetence, blind ambition, or some combination of the three.  Those are all fatal flaws in my book, and electing a President with those characteristics is outright dangerous.

    •  ... (0+ / 0-)

      What about if they voted to fund it? Did Obama vote to fund it, and continue it???

      •  Is this the flip side of the "Support the Troops" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, wishingwell, dogheaven

        meme??  Do you guys really believe selling the war and subsequently funding it are the same?  Or is it is just some kind of talking point Edwards supporters use against Obama?  Would you have some other kind of attack against the anti-war credentials of Gore or Feingold if they were running?

        Seriously, I really don't the focus on voting to fund the war, and I hope it is "just" a political tactic you guys are using and nobody really believes voting for funding after it started is the same as hawking it beforehand.  What our elected officials did before the war, when there was still time to stop it is 1000% more important to me.  

        Just a small example: de-funding the war won't undo Abu Ghraib...

    •  Throwing out the baby with the bath water (0+ / 0-)

      In response, I can only say that "if" we got rid of everyone that voted for the war we would be left with only a few democrats left.

      The issue many miss in this rush to judgement is that this administration hid the truth from Congress until AFTER the Iraq War vote! I can't blame anyone for voting on something where they weren't told the TRUTH!

      Telling it like I see it,
      Wynter

      "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

      by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:02:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Policy differences do count. (0+ / 0-)

    Congress doesn't drive policy in the agencies and they are going to require a lot of work - a serious house cleaning and reallignment to start with.  The Executive Branch is pretty freakin' big.  To say that policy doesn't matter because of Congress is to ignore all we have learned about the extensive power of the Executive Branch to direct agencies to do their bidding.

  •  I agree that "The last thing Democrats can afford (0+ / 0-)

    is to alienate swing states like Michigan and Florida by refusing to seat their delegates."

    Especially if the Republicans seat their delegates.

    We need both those states in November.
    Hopefully the votes to take away their delegates can eventually be undone.

  •  The idea that Edwards isn't out to win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noodles

    is a disagreement with tactics, not a true analysis of the candidate's dedication to winning. Elizabeth Edwards has made it clear: A vote for Edwards is a vote for Dean's 50 state strategy in the General. Edwards believes in publicly financed elections, it would be hypocritical of him to not go that route and have it be  one of his core issues...

    If we extend the argument of "Do anything to win" to the rest of his policy.. not just campaign tactics, why then, he should shut up about taking down Halliburton and Enron and Blackwater and CIGNA and Murdoch and on and on... basically a big "fuck you" to the most powerful interests in America isn't exactly a good strategy for "doing whatever it takes to win," if you think about it.

    That is why the issue of "doing anything to win" will never be found in the same person as he who "best articulates progressive issues" Because all the powerful interests out there are invested in retarding and preventing progress. It is not an issue of which candidate best possess these two qualities, it is an issue of mutually exclusive philosophy.

    Maybe that's why you're having trouble making up your mind Markos.. not because of the candidates, but your inability to decide which philosophy is best:

    Tell it like is and fight for the hearts and minds of the people, or do and say anything to win at any cost.

  •  That's cool (5+ / 0-)

    WRT Obama, if I can summarize, you like him as a person, you like his story, you like his platform/policies, you like his record, you like his chances in the general, but you're not supporting him because of four or five comments that he's made over the course of the last few weeks, mostly taken out of context, that demonstrate that he's insufficiently wedded to the progressive party line?

    None of his comments were attacks.

    1. Unions. Obama never said anything about unions. He criticized "527's", which are unregulated entities that can funnel donations from extremely rich and anonymous donors to influence the outcome of elections. It happens that the 527 in question in Iowa was ostensibly representing national unions (thus the characterization of his comments as an attack on unions), but was in fact funded mostly by a $500,000 donation from a private party.
    1. Krugman. Let's remind ourselves that it was Krugman who attacked Obama, first for once using the word "crisis" in reference to social security and then over the issue of mandating the purchase of health care insurance. I happen to agree with you that his campaign's initial response of pointing out the inconsistencies in Krugman's attacks because of his previous support for Obama's health care plan was out of line, but in the end, Obama himself addressed the substance of the issue by proposing a fine to discourage those who would game the system.
    1. Gore and Kerry. Obama made a statement of fact: Gore and Kerry each began their campaign with high negative ratings amongst the general electorate and Clinton would be in the same position if she gets the nod. Obama would not face that kind of an obstacle. I don't see how that is an attack on anyone, it's just true. Doesn't end the debate about who's the best candidate, but it's nonetheless true.
    1. Social Security: Krugman and anyone else who thinks they know with 100% certainty that there is no problem with social security is full of it. Nobody can know for sure what the social security fund will look like in 30 years -- there are just too many variables. But by most estimates, it is projected to come up short at some point in the future. That concerns many people and Obama has suggested a fundamentally progressive way of addressing that concern: require the affluent to contribute a bit more to the system. For this he's pilloried by supposed "progressives"?

    But more important beyond these particulars is the general sense that we as progressives will only support a candidate who proverbially kisses our asses with his rhetoric. Obama has dedicated his entire life to bringing about progressive change and has a demonstrated ability to make it happen.

    The most important thing that his campaign can do right now is to change the political calculus in favor of a more progressive alignment. In the general election that will be done by energizing the Democratic base, registering new voters, and converting Republicans and Independents to our side. Nobody will do those three things better than Obama.

    Barack Obama -- The Time is Now

    by pragprogress on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:39:44 PM PST

  •  Better to have said nothing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic

    When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to everybody.  I can't wait for April.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:40:48 PM PST

  •  I wholeheartedly endorse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadTexan, Pork Sword

    the 2008 Democratic Party nominee for the office of President of the United States.

    Otherwise, your thoughts echo mine.

  •  My problem with Obama? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heartofblue, Noodles, Pork Sword

    I think he'd be the least progressive of the top 3.  He seems more interested in "uniting" than implementing progressive policies like UHC.  Despite the rhetoric, do people really think repugs will ever unite around ANY progressive policies? NOO!!

  •  to those bitching about kos's indecision.. (7+ / 0-)

    cut the man some slack. He's a fucking blogger for god's sake. You don't neeeeed his endorsement.

    Make up your own minds.

  •  I like Hillary too, but (0+ / 0-)

    I would rule her out for a primary if I had one based on her excessive caution regarding foreign policy. I understand why, being female, she might think she has to bend over backwards to appear hawkish, but that pressure, real or imagined, will not go away while she is in office. Right now the world very badly needs the USA to totally revamp its approach to the world and I do not think that she can or will do it. Edwards or Obama or Dodd just might.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:42:05 PM PST

    •  What the hell? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat

      So you are essentially saying that since she is a woman she can't handle foreign policy or commander-in-chief situations? I'm sorry, but that is so chauvanistic and I'm a guy!

      Wynter

      "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

      by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:46:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh please, I suppose you think she just (0+ / 0-)

      stay in the kitchen and bake cookies.  You sound almost as neanderthal as Huckabee.

      •  Badly put perhaps, but (0+ / 0-)

        what I am saying is that she has voted for war time after time probably less out of conviction than out of calculation that voters fear that a woman President will not be militaristic. In fact the males that feel that way are almost all Republicans anyway -- she should have voted against the Iraq war and against the go-to-war-with-Iran-if-you-want resolution from Lieberman. Without calculating everything she would have been freer to change foreign policy than she is now. I want a female President, very much, but one that is not trapped in the image of being a foreign policy hawk.

        We have only just begun and none too soon.

        by global citizen on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:42:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Obama Supporter Strongly Agrees re: MI & FL (0+ / 0-)

    Obama & Edwards were crazy to take thier names off the Florida & Michigan ballots. This is just seen as disrespect to the voters.  And yes, Florida matters -- has everyone forgotten 2000?

    Ain't no time to hate.

    by howardpark on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:42:25 PM PST

  •  Telling it like I see it.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    Kos says...

    Who's showing leadership?

    Outside of Chris Dodd, who sadly never gained traction, we have a whole field of candidates who like to TALK about leadership, but none that have shown us what that leadership might look like. Too bad. That would've been a great way to help winnow the field. Lucky for them all, none of the top candidates have given us a demonstration in leadership. Unlucky for us. The country could've used some real leadership in 2007.

    I would caveat this by stating that the Democratic Leadership was in the driver's seat, in name only, this year on the Hill. If this were any other year I would have expected more out of the Democrats in Congress. But with the Bush Administration not even acknowledging Congressional Power and those Republicans in Congress walking lockstep with the president not much could be gained this year. I wish that they would have shutdown the government or in some small fashion revolted against this administration. But it was clear to the leadership that this was going to be a long fight and I don't mean in Iraq. I mean our own "Revolutionary War" to bring down King George from office and bring back real democracy to the United States.

    Kos says...

    Long term, our movement cannot survive another Bill Clinton -- someone more interested in making David Broder and Joe Klein happy with triangulating rhetoric that undermines rather than bolsters progressive values and policies.

    Here I disagree with Kos, people keep mislabeling Bill Clinton as some devious triangulator that would backstab you as much as look at you. I understand the pain of not getting everything you want can be. But Bill Clinton did the best he could with what he had. He was quite good at understanding the environment he was in and was apt at resolving any problems that kept progress at a standstill. Simply, he got things done. Sometimes it wasn't exactly what everyone wanted, but it accommodated the situation everyone was facing at the moment. He was more moderate than most of us wanted. But in Washington there are two sides to deal with. Unless you have a Democratic Congress with broad support and a Democratic President you are not going to get it all. I would rank Bill Clinton as one of the best presidents in our modern times.

    Telling it like I see it,
    Wynter
    Loudon, NH

    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

    by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:43:21 PM PST

  •  Edwards' Rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj

    I give him ZERO points for speaking left-wing-it was his ONLY option this time out.  He had to run to the left of Hillary.  So his rhetoric is a matter or tactical convenience.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:44:46 PM PST

  •  Vote Hillary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic, Rich in PA

    Hillbot Model Number 76928492

    by Rhoda Mae on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:45:45 PM PST

  •  Kos, you overestimate $, underestimate message (3+ / 0-)

    Message is why I am supporting Edwards. It's been a LONG time since we had a candidate unapologetically articulate a winning Democratic MESSAGE (over 4 decades in fact).

    The money can be made up in other ways -- e.g. coordinated and uncoordinated expenditures by the DNC. Plus with the FEC unable to certify matching funds, Edwards would have every right to pull out of the deal (he could easily raise enough $ to pay off the loans if he wins the nomination).

    All the $ in the world won't help a candidate without a message (other than "elect me"). We tried that last time around. Or worse, one whose message is to run away from the "dirty fucking hippies" and cede rhetorical ground to the Republicans....

    "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

    by Jim in Chicago on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:45:59 PM PST

    •  Edwards Funding isn't Enough (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with Kos on this fact. Edwards just won't have enough funds to run in the general election and if he goes matching funding I doubt the GOP candidate will do the same.

      Sometimes we cannot have everything we want, but usually we get what we need when we need it.

      Telling it like I see it,
      Wynter

      "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

      by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:56:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money can be made up, lack of message cannot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        The system has loopholes you could drive a truck through. The most damaging ads against Kerry were from 527s. But the reason Kerry lost had nothing to do with money, all to do with his lack of a compelling message for why he should be President and inability to withstand attack because of the same.

        Do you REALLY want to go through that again?!

        "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

        by Jim in Chicago on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:13:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who is going to be the most effective? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveGA, itsbenj, TrueBlueMajority

    Edwards or Clinton would be really easy to villify.  And that means theyre going to be really easy to fight.  Not just come november (in the unlikely event either wins the nom.) but throughout their presidency.

    Say what you want about Obama, but the worst thing theyve had to throw at him thus far is his middle name and the ideological leanings of his kindergarten teacher.  

    Obama is smart enough to know that confrontation plays right into the republican's strengths.  Hillary and Edwards apparently are not (nothing against them i believe they both mean well.)

    Example: The major difference in their healthcare proposals: Hillary and Edwards mandate coverage, Barack doesnt.  

    Now, i dont have a problem with socialism in some contexts, neither did the founding fathers (unalienable right to life = free medical treatment in my opinion,) but some people do have a problem with it.

    These people are generally not that smart (or good looking,) and if youre smooth about it, you can ease beneficial changes through incrementally.  If you get in their faces and confront them, they get scared, they fight back, and states start turning red again.

    We need a leader who can lead the "UNITED states of america"  Emphasis Barack's, not mine.

  •  I've met her, I've met him. (6+ / 0-)

    I've had to deal with Hillary years ago, and did not find that a pleasant task. Demanding, rude, and totally incapable of dealing with the reality of the situation.

    I've met Obama. Frankly, I never thought he would be a candidate for president. But he was polite, professional, friendly and sharp.

    just on my personal experience, I far prefer him to her. She is NOT likable in person, not when something or someone is perceived to stand in her way. Perhaps that egotistical attribute is necessary in a president, but I think not. Rather, She has alienated 50% of the electorate already. She is bound to increase that number as the general election approaches.

    In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

    by agnostic on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:46:50 PM PST

  •  Buck-buck-bucawwwwkkk!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darthstar

    Kos chickens out.

    Oh well, let the fun continue.  The Republicans can't pick a candidate and stick with them for 24 hours.. and the Dems are gnawing at the bones of anyone who dares choose another candidate than their own personal Golden Child.

    Let me toss out a clue.  It doesn't matter.

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      No, that isn't a choice, ours isn't until Feb (CA), in the meantime, it does seem like the United States of Iowa - that's the ultimate wimp out, let THEM decide it for us. I gotta agree, so many good choices on the one hand and none on the other:)

  •  I feel this would have read (0+ / 0-)

    a little more balanced a couple of hit diaries ago.

    Ceiling cat watches over whey of teh rhytchus, whey of wickid getz pwnt.

    by arielle on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:47:05 PM PST

  •  Obama:GOP slime machine :: lamb:slaughter n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    goodlittlesquid

    "It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price." --Steve Gilliard

    by expatjourno on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:48:26 PM PST

    •  Obama would be eaten alive by the GOP n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, 123Mary123

      "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

      by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:51:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's seemed to done fine with the Clinton (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, expatjourno

      slime machine.

      He has a certain teflon-ness, an affability and ability to turn attacks both around at the other person and into a joke at the same time, so I'm not worried at all.  

      "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

      by bawbie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:55:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not even close... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno

        to the same thing. He lacks any experience in dealing with this machine. And based on his track record in his freshman year in congress he hasn't grown a "set" yet.

        Telling it like I see it,
        Wynter

        "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

        by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:58:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I'm telling it like I see it (3+ / 0-)

          Some politicians attract fire, and some deflect it.

          Obama has that teflon quality.  Edwards and Clinton don't.

          "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

          by bawbie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:01:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Simply... TILISI (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            expatjourno

            So far Obama has been on the receiving end of other Democrats. What do you think the Republicans will do? Throw him a party? They will hit him much harder on his ...

            - Lack of experience - Willingness to talk to hostile nations - Muslim parentage of his father - His name will become a mantra "Osama.. Obama"

            It's scary what low shots these GOP loons will do to demonize people. With Clinton we already know what they say. What other slime will the GOP bring out?

            To put it bluntly, we don't know "how" Obama will respond to these attacks. And based on his experience in ducking confrontation on the Hill I doubt he would fight them in Congress if he was president.

            Simply... telling it like I see it (no offense intended!),
            Wynter

            "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

            by Wynter on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:10:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And I think you are flat wrong (4+ / 0-)

              We do know how he'll react.  He'll flip it around, make it a joke and attack the Republicans with it.  He won't stand for any whisper, smear campaigns, he'll address them loudly.  He'll respond to everything quickly.

              And if you think you know what will be thrown at Hillary, I'd say guess again.  The Republicans are very good at coming up with new unimaginable attacks.

              Also, Hillary has never had to respond to those attacks herself.  only Bill has.  So it is still a bit of mystery how she will respond when she is front and center and being attacks, and frankly, I don't think she's done especially well with it over the last month or so (the teflon pantsuit line was seriously lame).

              "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

              by bawbie on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:15:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like to see you match your "set" (0+ / 0-)

          up against the political machine on the South Side of Chicago.

          an older and more powerful machine than the Clinton machine or the VRWC.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:21:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So did Reagan n/t (0+ / 0-)

        WWYTR? Voting, contributing, supporting, and electing Democrats

        by PaintyKat on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:31:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  America may be ready for a black president (0+ / 0-)

      but I'm deeply concerned for the swiftboating feast the GOP will have with linking Obama to a Muslim background and admitted drug use as a young man.  They will take his own autobiography and bury him with it, motivating the ignorant voter like never before.

      Regardless of what Edwards supports, they will slather him as a well heeled ambulance chaser.  

      One candidate has been standing in the fire for almost twenty years.  She's not going to flinch.

  •  'fess up, Kos...you're just waiting for the right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bring democracy to america

    bandwagon to pass by so you can hop on the 'right' campaign and not have to change your support later.  It's okay...noone's really looking to see who you support anyway (except 150,000 or so people who hang out here on a regular basis)...

    Personally, I believe you're secretly hoping Kucinich flies to the top of the crowd tomorrow, sweeps the rest of the January primaries, and then slam-dunks the national primary on Feb 5...and that's okay, because I have the same dream.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 02:53:43 PM PST

  •  Intestesting, but not convIncing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnamj

    It's been a while since I checked in here, so I may be off by all these breezey opinions. But this commentary is too facile for me. Democracy is messy, and voting by a few self-selected citizens (very few, in the primaries), that I suppose these stream of consciousness views are typical of the way many informed voters think. And it leaves me thinking that we're expecting too much of our democratic system to give us competent leaders. If we do happen to elect someone wise and capable leader, we're extremely fortunate.

  •  Kos Sucking Up To Clinton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kubrick2008

    Hoping for a cushy job?

  •  Wow Kos (0+ / 0-)

    I thought you were vehemently anti-Clinton. I'm impressed that you're torn between her and Edwards.

    I'm with you on Obama though for different reasons. I think his whole rap is naive, as impressive as he is personally.

  •  Better late than never. :) (0+ / 0-)

    But, I think Obama freezes out Fox because he's got the entire establishment media on his side.  Hillary actually fairs better on Fox.

  •  Let's remem who was on the ground for Ned Lamont (5+ / 0-)

    and who came up to New Haven for a 'bloggers only' press conference?

    Obama was stumping for Lieberman at the time.

    Secretary, Connecticut for Lieberman Party

    by Sprinkles on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:01:46 PM PST

    •  Obama supported Lamont AND gave him money (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, dgb, irishamerican

      http://www.cbsnews.com/...

      Lieberman was his Senate-appointed mentor (Obama didn;t choose him) and O did support him at the beginning of the campaign before Lamont became a serious factor.  But O dumped Lieberman like a hot potato and did the right thing when it mattered.

      Obama traveled all over the country supporting Dem candidates in 2006.  I wish he had done more for Lamont too, but he couldn;t be everywhere.  Edwards was unemployed at the time and had no restrictions on his schedule--hw many candidates did JRE stump for in 2006?

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:15:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  zombie lie (0+ / 0-)

      begone!

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:47:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  oh come on kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeckingOrder

    just endorse Edwards and be done with it!

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:03:53 PM PST

  •  Howard Dean (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicta, tabbycat in tenn, darthstar

    I'm reading a diary, local news is on in the background.  Local... well, Philadelphia news.  So to report to me what is happening is Iowa at the moment, they felt the need to show the Dean scream.   Okay, so now I'm up to date.  WTF?

    I wish everyone here a Healthy and Happy New Year!

    by gooderservice on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:05:16 PM PST

  •  and speaking as a dirty f#cking hippie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, jethropalerobber

    I have never felt attacked by anything Obama has said.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:05:33 PM PST

    •  no kidding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj, TrueBlueMajority

      as an early and relatively active war opponent, BHO has also been my default candidate, obviously.

      what the hell is eating at kos anyway?

      Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

      by jethropalerobber on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:45:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  word (0+ / 0-)

      its just pure bullshit.  not even an ill-formed opinion, its a deliberate falsehood.

      and on the point of Hillary being 'vetted', again, its a false argument in the first place.  yes, the right wing has spent a lot of time hurling bullshit attacks against her.  that is not her fault.  but they always work, she will be very, very easy to create mass-dislike for, if such a condition isn't already generally in effect.

      personally, I've felt repeatedly attacked by the Clinton camp as a true "dirty fucking hippie", the only thing Obama did that insulted me was the Donnie McLurkin thing.

      real progressives don't need self-important centrists to defend us from the big, bad Obama.   he understands where we're coming from far more than some prominent bloggers...

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:46:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hilliary is tested? (0+ / 0-)

    The Rights hatred of Hillary is built on false accusations and a billion dollar marketing campaign.
    Watch c-span sometime. The hatred of Hillary is juvenile but its in their toes. She will motivate a demoralized Republican to go vote. I want the right to get pounded everywhere.
     Dodd or Biden could still make VP. How can you not love Dennis?

    The pen is mightier than the sword

    by ghett on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:05:50 PM PST

  •  So your impressed with HRC's money (0+ / 0-)

    wonderful! Now let's get behind the real progressive democrat running in this race (John Edwards), or what's the use of this site and others that tout progressive ideals yet continuously turn from them to engage in wildly dispersed MSM talking points?

    Who is the best defender of progressive ideals?

    Edwards, by a landslide.

    Kos-1/2/08

    We have a plain and tested device for keeping tabs on the government when it's keeping tabs on Americans. It is our Constitution~~Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

    by PeckingOrder on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:06:35 PM PST

  •  The Racial Left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JOSHBinPG

    Kos said: "I like the fact that being a white male puts Edwards at a disadvantage."

    I like to judge people by their positions, not their color.

    There are 100 million white men in the country and 40 million Latinos -- and that's after 40 years of mostly non-white immigration. Should we have judged FDR & JFK because of their skin color? The racial left practices it's own form of racism.  

    The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence. - John F. Kennedy.

    by Pork Sword on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:08:25 PM PST

  •  Let us know by Feb. 5, okay? (0+ / 0-)

    Cheers, thanks.

    Question authoritarianism.

    by m00nchild on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:10:44 PM PST

  •  I'm still for Obama but I can understand (0+ / 0-)

    Kos' deep disappointment and his harsh words for him. I would accept an Edwards candidacy but not a Hillary candidacy.

    I think the problem is politics even within a party has become so polarizing that candidates are paralyzed. They can't really say what they think and what they stand for because if they do they stand to lose large swaths of votes from on constituency or another.

    "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed."   —Marvin, The Paranoid Android

    by londubh on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:11:12 PM PST

  •  I think Obama is honest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, kubrick2008

    I don't know if Obama is triangulating. Isn't it possible that he doesn't like, say, Trial Lawyers? I'm not sure that we need to give our kneejerk support to every Democratic constituency.

    Granted, I'm from his old IL Senate district, so maybe I'm biased.

    •  no, I don't think it (0+ / 0-)

      is possible that Obama doesn't like trial lawyers.  Obama is a lawyer.  all he did was saying that he chose not to become one, because he wanted to do other things that would be less lucrative because he thought they were the best thing for him to do instead.  that is ALL he said.

      and people like Kos and Atrios turn that into Obama "repeating right wing talking points", for no valid reason.  yes, those damn right-wing community organizers and their damn good deeds!!!  we can't be rid of them quickly enough!

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:41:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do us a favor, please. (3+ / 0-)

    Stop leaving Kucinich out of the equation.  You may not like him, or his politics, but he has done the following:

    "[shot] for the sky and [given] us a vision of what their ideal society would look like", specifically with his health care legislation (HR 676).

    Led in the House of Representatives by forcing impeachment into debate using the rules of the chamber.  Those articles of impeachment -- against Dick Cheney -- are now being fought for by other members of the House including three members of the House Judiciary Committee.

    The problem with your point,

    Winning is important. The last thing we can afford as a country is another 4-8 years of continued Republican rule.

    is that you're missing a vital part of the equation.  It is not enough to elect Democrats to large majorities in Congress, and the presidency.  We have to elect the right Democrats -- progressive ones.  This is the lesson we all should have learned in the wake of the electoral disaster in 2004, and especially having witnessed the result of this failure to learn in 2007.  We elected Democrats to the majority in both chambers of Congress, yet nothing has really changed for the better.  Bush is still getting his way on pretty much everything.  The war in Iraq goes on.  Progressive legislation is stalled.  And holding the criminals now occupying the halls of power accountable for their crimes isn't even on the radar.  Indeed, the opposite is true: Congress is fully prepared to let them get away with their crimes and treason.  If you think to dismiss this point as the rambling of a "purity" troll, you're not thinking.  Period.

    Step away from the misguided partisanship for a moment, and consider what we should have learned.  Of the eight candidates for the Democratic nomination, only four have shown anything close to leadership and progressive values:  Kucinich, Edwards, Dodd and Gravel.  And of those four, only two have used their positions to demonstrate leadership: Kucinich and Dodd.

    I understand you don't think Kucinich has a chance.  That doesn't make it right to leave him out of the equation as though he weren't even running.  He is.  And it is misguided at best -- dishonest at worst -- to dismiss him.  It's also misguided to act as though it's more important to win than to run a campaign based on what really matters to the base, which is vital for winning any election.  The seeds are obviously planted within you, but you need to let them grow.

    •  Kos is a moderate, and will lean toward the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fivefouranonymous

      more centrist candidates in the presidential race (though 'centrist' today usually means 'leans to the right just a little less than McCain').  Kucinich is the only true progressive candidate in the field, but he doesn't get a lot of money, and that is the true other 'factor' in kos' decision making.

      Quite frankly, I believe this 11th hour diary (one day before Iowa) is Kos' way of having hinted at his support for Ms. Inevitable (which means he believes she'll be the candidate), though it's vague enough that he could easily support anyone else who comes out in front.

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

      by darthstar on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:40:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  you're upset about "attacks" on dirty hippies? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, TrueBlueMajority, diplomatic

    aren't you that one who said you never went to anti-war rallies because they're pointless and laugh when you see bumper stickers that say "visualize world peace."? also, i couldn't help but notice that none of the alledged victims on your list - apart from krugman - are actually, you know, associated with the dirty hippy caucus.

    anyway, here's a summary of things i've learned from dkos of late:

    * BHO must respond forcefully to attacks, unless they come from sainted columnists.
    * we need a 50 state strategy, unless BHO suggests it.
    * lifting the cap on SS is good, unless BHO suggests it.

    i'll grant that BHO's statement about "outside groups" was ill advised, but the rest of your list is a lot of nothing. kos, i think you ought to give a little more thought to exactly what it is about BHO recently that you don't like. your post is pretty sloppy in that regard.

    Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

    by jethropalerobber on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:15:49 PM PST

  •  Kos, how can you say "tiny" differences? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman

    JE is strongly supportive of labor, traditionally the heart of the party, would fight both globalism and corporate domination, and has the ONLY UHC with a PATHWAY to
    single payer.
    Also, your opinion on the money thing is just that, and
    it's unqualified. It assumes that YOU know more about campaign financing than the professionals. Highly doubtful.
    Why don't you just support the viable candidate with the best platform, JOHN EDWARDS?

  •  Clinton (4+ / 0-)

    How is a win for her not a signal to any Democrat in the future that they should vote for any war, no matter how wrong that vote is?  How can somebody like Kos, who made his name fighting against that war be so supportive of a candidate that not only voted for the war (and that's what she did) but has refused to repudiate that vote.  I'm sorry, but a victory by Clinton would suggest to any Democrat that there's no penalty for supporting an illegal and immoral war - how could it not?  Honestly, I think the logic of the post and the conclusion are weak.  I can understand reasonable people differing on Obama vs. Edwards (who did repudiate his vote and has been taking strong liberal positions), but Clinton is exactly the kind of Democrat this community has been fighting against all along and I'm very disappointed in what seems like an attempt to keep everyone happy.

  •  did my heart just stop? and did hell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    heartofblue

    just freeze over?

    A Kos post 3/4 postive about Clinton with little negative?

  •  Man Kos is brutal with Obama. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, irishamerican

    To each his own but I seriously think Kos underestimates Obama's impact on the race.  He has been advocating solutions equally as progressive as Edwards and has more fire in the belly than Clinton.

    Obama '08.

    •  Clinton is a Fake (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry but Obama has great ideas, was ahead of the game on Iraq and other issues.  

      I can't wait until Friday morning when Iowa will have been settled and we can go from there.

      •  Is HC a Fake?? (0+ / 0-)

        No she is just eaten up by the Washington talk. Let's be honest. This should have been Al Gore's year to run- not because of 2000- as in a perfect world he would not have run then and Bill Clinton would have been running in 2000.

        The truth is that the one real heavyweight and most true to the fundamentals of the principles of the Democratic Party should have been President in the 90's and that is Mario Cuomo. Only Edwards comes close to those principles and his 2 America's is straight from "A Tale of Two Cities" (1984 keynote) Running away from those principles and whether it be immigration, health care, the wars of George Bush- has muddled the middle and left us with a whitewashed HC and Obama =still trying to play to the middle. Why is it that we don't like Lieberman- time to wake up. Too bad Mario is not 12 years younger.

        How nice it would be to have a candidate that could be as forceful and DIRECT as he always has been. And please, let me keep my dreams for a day or two.

        TBB

    •  he's also (0+ / 0-)

      simply making stuff up about Obama in the first place.  Kos is too much in love with the narratives he comes up with to be able to tell if they're wrong.  

      in this case he ceased to be merely 'wrong' a while ago and is now being deliberately mendacious.

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:37:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  no one cares. nt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darthstar
  •  If Obama wins... (0+ / 0-)

    Then things will get better, much better, and maybe there will be no need for sites like this.  

    I like this site but aren't we trying to vote for the best candidate (qualities, positions, "electability", record)?

    Obama may cause the traffic on Dailykos to go down in 2009... Less advertising...

  •  I'm used to my vote not counting... (0+ / 0-)

    ...so I get to vote my conscience.  Chris Dodd is the one guy who has been working for Americans while asking for their votes.  There's just something to standing up for the Constitution that resonates with me.

    That said.

    If my vote does count... if it comes down to 2/5... and it's close... and it matters.... I think I'm going to have to cast a vote for Edwards.  Ask me, a woman from Chicago, how it's gonna feel voting against the first viable woman candidate, and a neighbor, to vote for some white guy from the South... but, he is, without any question whatsoever, the most solid progressive in the field, and he has the highest electability numbers.

    So.

    Dodd-Dodd-Dodd... unless it matters... sorry, Chris!

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:34:10 PM PST

  •  To go on the record (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itsbenj, irishamerican

    This is way down thread and will never be read, but I have to say it...

    Clinton isn't horrible on this front, but Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on.

    'Kos, you are completely full of shit.  

    That felt good.  Now I'll get back to ignoring such things.

    --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

    by sterno on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:36:38 PM PST

    •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

      that is some completely full of shit bullshit.

      there is simply nothing true about it, Kos is completely unhinged here.  sad.

      Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

      by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:35:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I gave up on Edwards a long time ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveGA

    When I discovered he voted to give Bush authority to invade Iraq, I gave up on Edwards. I emailed then Senator Edwards and told him I'd never vote for him for president.

    I've always seen him as a bullshitter who's saying what he feels he has to in order to get votes.

    4 years after my discovery, am I wrong?

  •  Kos Your an Idiot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hope08

    You frame this entire thing into a neat little box that contradicts the basis of your entire argument.
    One of your candidates is DLC to the core, so progressive values and "Crashing the Gates" is nothing more than a talking point to you, and a coveniant lede to sell books. You come down on the side of the equation that means nothing changes, in fact, as far as the Democratic Party and growing it goes, you are making a decision that will once again kill any progress that has been made on progressive power. When you want to grow the party, what the hell do you mean? You think we need more Lobbyists and corruption of the process? You want to increase the stature of corporate personhood? You think we need another progressive hero like Sandra Day O'Conner on the Supreme Court? Because that is the kind of Justice nominee you will get with your "right wing tested" fear candidate.
    You dismiss Obama as not crashing the gates? That is an idiotic statement to make considering the reality of his entire canidacy. If anything, Barack Obama is people driven politics at it's best. The fact is, you don't like the people that are driving his canidacy, and you have become so entrenched in the echo chamber of the "top tier" progressive bloggers that you can't allow yourself to in fact actually BE progressive in your own thinking. Your stuck.
    As far as your other Candidate that you claim is the "best defender of progressive ideals", once again you are either lying to us, or you are buying a pig in a poke. Look at the Record in his only elective office and once again tell us what a great defender of progressive ideals he is. Once again, you come down on the side of a DLC democrat who has no backbone whatsoever when it comes to "defending progressive ideals" whenever he actually has had to defend those very ideals in real life.
    You have lost any credibility with me that I ever had for you in the past. You have become all that you loathe in the MSM. Nothing more than another wind me up pundit that will defend whatever everyone else is defending in your particular "weight class" in the new MSM Punditry of "new media".

    I don't care that you don't support Obama. What I care about regarding you is the dishonesty of your arguments in order to sell your own place of belonging in the new media talking heads of you, Hamsher, Atrios, etc.....
    What a joke.

    Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ..John F. Kennedy

    by irishamerican on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:37:45 PM PST

    •  Geez. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chaulkner

      For the first time in a while, I'm sad I lost the ability to troll rate. Name calling sucks.

      Get over to the Green Mountain Daily! What are you still reading this sig for?

      by odum on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:49:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I paid $100.00 (0+ / 0-)

        For the right to call Kos names if I want to, and to insure you have a forum to register your disaproval with my choice of words to describe Kos's logic of late.
        TR me if you think my words should be hidden from the world.

        Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ..John F. Kennedy

        by irishamerican on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:54:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See below (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itsbenj

          I don't think we need to call Kos an idiot on his own thread, but I echo your criticism of the analysis of this primary.

        •  Funny, I also paid $100 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishamerican

          ...but I cannot remember anyone saying that it gave me a free pass to make ad hominen comments about anyone, least of all about Kos himself. It just got me a nice note and the chance to switch off ads. Nothing more nor, as it was a donation without conditions, do I expect more.

          Maybe long-term support of the site allows me to have an odd "Celtic" moment or two of not behaving  too well without being censored too heavily and so I hope, my Celtic brother, it does you.

          For sure, St Patrick ( born in Wales ;) did say:

          "I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul's desire."

          Yet, I expect even St P accepted that there were limits to the degree of imperfection allowed in letting the world know his heart.

        •  Real quick.. (0+ / 0-)

          What's it like to be annoying as hell?

          big gulps huh? welp... see ya later!

          by ShaunMcDonnell on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:57:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The language is harsh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj, irishamerican

        considering he's talking to the guy paying our bandwidth, but I echo many of the sentiments:

        I've been talking all day (1+ / 0-)
        about the carnival/circus like atmosphere right now in which one would think we were selecting clowns and not the next President.  

        Edwards, as he stands now, is pretty much on par with Obama ideologically IMO.  Obama is my candidate because he knows how to get things done.  The media painted Clinton as inevitable?  He created his own sensations for the lazy buffoonish media to gush over.  He didn't stamp his feet and whine.  

        Clinton had a fundraising advantage because she's taking money from traditional establishment sources?  Obama created his own innovative fundraising and as another commenter pointed out, has more donors than his closest competitors combined.  Half a million fucking people donating to one damn campaign, 90% small donors and not a word of congratulations from the "gatekeepers."  No acknowledgement that he doesn't just talk about it, he is about it.

        And now this same man is saying to straight up knuckle-dragging mouth breathers: "you'll vote for a liberal, because you're good like that."  And they're saying, "okay."  And the people with the biggest problem with by far the MOST phenominal candidate seen in decades are who?

        Some "progressives" who are so serious about ending the war they'd rather put its original supporters right into the presidency [snip]

        I'm sorry, but I ask again how a campaign with half a million donors, to which the largest number of Dean supporters donated, and which relied on a loose grouping of college kids, myspace, and old guard organizers is somehow NOT grassroots.

        •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, irishamerican, Hope08, SYuguri

          Calling Kos an idiot is not helpful, he is obviously not an idiot.

          But some very, very bad myopia has set it, and it is affecting the quality of the analyses being put forth, and minus the insults, I completely agree with that rant.  People have decided, with zero actual evidence, that Obama is a right-winger.  His truly progressive stances and accomplishments are cast aside because he isn't serving up red meat to the angry masses rhetorically.  Which would of course be the easiest thing in the world for him to do.  He's giving out more of a roasted fish dinner with a green salad instead.  

          People here inhabit some strange planet where in America a black man could run for Pres. as a straightforward, fire-breathing liberal populist!  Whether he takes the nom. or not, a lot of prominent people from this time period are going to look back at this childish crap and say "I was wrong about Obama".  Oh well.

          Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

          by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:31:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's sad to say (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GN1927, irishamerican

            But I think people were more comfortable with Obama when they thought he couldn't win.  Now that he's actually running at the top of the pack it's become an hysterical backlash.  If kos can pick HRC as a choice it just shows me where I should put any opinion he puts forward in the future.  

            "Don't vote your fears, vote your aspirations." Deval Patrick

            by Hope08 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:41:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think a white man can either (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            itsbenj, irishamerican, SYuguri

            People think Edwards is going to shame these knuckle-draggers into voting for him.  I truly like Edwards' ideas and would work my ass off for him, but Obama has by far the better strategy.  I mean it's not even close.

            IMO, the people who put us into this mess want out and they don't want to take any kind of pyschic responsibility for it, because they don't do that whole personal responsibility thing unless it's a fun little ego booster wagging a finger at the desperate poor.

            That's why they're responding to Obama.  He's giving them a way out: "we would have voted for liberals like you if the others weren't so meeean."  Crock of shit, and obviously infuriating to a nice portion of this website.  But it is also the reality of the kind of dynamics we are working with in this country and how we can push through a progressive change with them, rather than despite them.

            How in the world did the blogosphere miss this?  Half a million donors didn't.

            •  yeah, to me its a simple (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GN1927, irishamerican, SYuguri

              question of strategy.  I don't disagree with Edwards' rhetoric, but I think Obama has a strategy that he could replicate with similar results, pretty much anywhere in the country.  Edwards will have to tailor his somewhat from area to area, which will open him up to idiotic, but still probably damaging, criticism.  anger at corporations varies substantially from region to region. not just from the Cons, but the media as well.  it is a sad thing, the media is very inclined to dislike Edwards in a similar way they did Dean.  Obama does seem to have more of an ability to stay out in front of media coverage with his message.

              Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

              by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:07:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's an excellent point (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                itsbenj, irishamerican, SYuguri

                I think post-nomination, the red meat which the blogosphere is lapping up from Edwards right now isn't sustainable.  Particularly if the GOP nominee presents a populist message with a softer edge.  The difference would be of course that Edwards means what he says, but as you noted, his inability to really deal with the media's shenanigans could prove harmful.  And the media would give those refusing responsibility for the Bush years more of the excuse they need to ignore the "mean elitist liberals."

                Letting go of some of my visceral reaction seeing Obama attacked, I guess I can kind of understand that people thought that after Bush, the Dem nominee is a shoe-in and it's finally time to see our ideas screamed from the rooftops and the GOP demonized daily.  Obama is not able to give them that, at all, because this just isn't his strategy; he's looking to make big and permanent changes.

                Both good men, but I think Obama's strategy gives his ideas the best chances of being enacted.

  •  Kos, stop wimping out man! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry, I have to say it. At this most seminal of moments thus far in the election cycle, you as one of our most respected opinion leaders above all else have a responsibility to state a preference.

    This should not be about whether you are casting a vote in Iowa, it's about the thousands and millions of people who read and participate in this blog and the political process at the least, and about the very future of this country at the most. It is much bigger than you personally or than any one of us.

    We all know it's your blog, but in a real sense it is ours as well. Thousands of people far less politically engaged than you will have to make that decision on Thursday. You have the tools and information to make an informed choice. I mean if you you, then whom?

    Your failure to articulate a preference is not an act of indecision and certainly not one of prudence, for someone in your position it is in a very real sense an act of cowardice.

    Please stop yanking our respective chains and do your duty!

  •  Before a President can fix government (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BrooklynBoy

    he or she must openly acknowledge the problems that prevent it from accomplishing the goals set for it.  Based on my own observations from inside government, the greatest obstacle government faces is corruption.  Thus, when Edwards said "the government is corrupt," without qualification, he made what I consider the most important statement (thus far) in the campaign.

    Speak the truth, but ride a fast horse.

    by Deep Harm on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 03:51:49 PM PST

  •  Choosing A Candidate (0+ / 0-)

    I knew there was a reason I follow and read Kos every day. What's said above I've said over and over in every comment I've made, except that I don't really think every Democratic candidate is acceptable. But bottom line is, in the end,I'd probably vote for any Democratic candidate with the exception of Obama, who I consider the most right wing Democrat bashing Democratic candidate it has ever been my displeasure to see/hear. He's the biggest phoney I've ever seen and my guess is he's a Republican plant(ha-ha). I'd even vote in the end for Hillary, while I held my nose, but most of me believes that with the exception of Edwards they are all, big time, the lesser of two evils; and voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil! We will never change the Democratic party as long as we remain in their hip pockets.

  •  HC is not a fakee, but (0+ / 0-)

    No she is just eaten up by the Washington talk. Let's be honest. This should have been Al Gore's year to run- not because of 2000- as in a perfect world he would not have run then and Bill Clinton would have been running in 2000.

    The truth is that the one real heavyweight and most true to the fundamentals of the principles of the Democratic Party should have been President in the 90's and that is Mario Cuomo. Only Edwards comes close to those principles and his 2 America's is straight from "A Tale of Two Cities" (1984 keynote) Running away from those principles and whether it be immigration, health care, the wars of George Bush- has muddled the middle and left us with a whitewashed HC and Obama =still trying to play to the middle. Why is it that we don't like Lieberman- time to wake up. Too bad Mario is not 12 years younger.

    How nice it would be to have a candidate that could be as forceful and DIRECT as he always has been. And please, let me keep my dreams for a day or two.

    TBB

  •  Unbelievable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J

    I haven't really agreed with you on a lot, but this is one area where I agree completely.  There are only two choices left and its Edwards and Clinton. They both have bad points and both good ones.

    In addition to your comments on having a diverse President, I would add my feeling as a father with two daughters that the completely sexist attitude of other candidates (Republican and Democratic) and the press to Clinton makes we want to vote for her just because I want my statement about "you can be anything you want, even President" to come true while my daughters are still relatively young (ages 20 and 23).  I'm sick to death of hearing her called Mrs. Clinton.  I sick to death of hearing her referred to as Hillary.  I'm tired of all the double entendre intended to imply that a President should be a man.  Sick, Sick, Sick.  She's a fricking sitting US Senator.  Wish she'd just say it.

    Frankly, I think Fred Thompson asked the best question when he asked "Which guy would you rather have sitting across the negotiating table with our enemies."  For me, that "guy" is a two-term sitting US Senator who has 8 years experience in the heart of the White House and knows how that works.  For me that "guy" is Senator Clinton.

    That said, John Edwards is impressive.  My choice 4 years ago.  The first Democrat to whom I ever donated.  In my view a leg up on electability, even if the polls don't show it.

    What to do.  It'll all be over soon and I won't have a voice but either of those two is OK for me.

  •  I don't buy the basic (0+ / 0-)

    premise most of this analysis is based on.  you use weird, unmeasurable criteria, select a 'winner', and offer just your personal opinions about why it's the case.  doesn't do much for me.  Edwards as best defender of progressive ideals?  not based on track record!  again, you afford way, way too much meaning to easy promises and slogans.  watch how fast he backs away from the unrealistic promises he's making, it won't be pretty.  

    Hillary most in it to win?  I don't see it.  Haven't heard anything from her in pretty much a month, and everything I heard before that was utter BS, with the occasional correct stance thrown in.

    I give them all "leadership" points in a sense, because that is WHY they're running for President.  "Why aren't you doing anything to lead us out of our current state?"  "Well, what about the fact that I'm running for president?  That's how I intend to lead!"

    Oh, oh yeah.  That.  Glad Dodd helped kill the FISA stuff, for sure, he gets a slight lead.  But if he had been in the 'top tier', he wouldn't have had the time to bother either.

    Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

    by itsbenj on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:22:34 PM PST

  •  With some minor differences (0+ / 0-)

    that is just about exactly where I am. I'd vote for Dodd in the primary but he isn't on the ballot in New York.

    I'd love to break the color barrier and vote for Obama but I have serious doubts about this whole 'bi-partisan" bullshit. I don't want any bi-partisan action with Republicans until they come back to reality and get rid of the nutcases that are running their party. There is nothing about them I want my party bi-ing into at this point.

    I'd love to break the gender barrier and Hillary Clinton is far better than her reputation but it is also true that she not a friend of the grassroots lets alone the netroots and has made absolutely no attempts to be. I'd rather have a friend in the White House.

    What I am finding highlighted for me is what Kos highlighted at the top... lack of true leadership in our candidates. He also hinted at something else I am thinking when he talked about agendas not surviving contact with Congress.

    I want more and better... specificaly better... Democrats in Congress.

    We are going to pick up seats this year and since I am struggling to get excited about our Presidential candidates and my state is likely not going to be anywhere near in play... I think I'm going to concentrate my efforts on getting a stronger progressive caucus in congress.

    It is disappointing to me that the largest caucus in the Democratic Party, the progressive caucus, is also apparently the weakest politically.

    That needs fixing. It needs strong leadership. It needs organization. It someone to start stepping up and kicking some ass.

    Peace,

    Andrew

    "Parlimentary inquiry Mr. Speaker... does whining come out of my time?"

    by Andrew C White on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 04:45:11 PM PST

  •  How is Hillary tested (0+ / 0-)

      against the right wing smear machine more than Edwards or the others? She's survived certainly, but that doesn't mean she beat them. All it is is proof of how much they hate her. Big freakin deal...the GOP hates Hillary. They hate all Democrats!!

  •  Jesus, at least admit that you're anti-Obama and (0+ / 0-)

    that you've eliminated him in your mind. It's so blinking obvious from your post. Not one positive thing to say about Obama, and lots of positive things to say about Clinton (especially) and Edwards. You're not in the "undecided" column about Obama at all.

  •  Dirty Fucking Hippies (0+ / 0-)

    Do Kos and Atrios (who, let's face it, practically trademarked the term) realize that only liberal bloggers use that term? It's a self-loathing reference with zero basis in reality. Obama implied nothing of the sort.

    It's amazing to me that kos, like many others, don't care at all about a person's consistency over time. Edwards - the one that wins many of these points "in a landslide" - is to the left of Howard Dean in this election, where he was to the right of Clinton (or even Lieberman) in the last one. He voted for the fucking bankruptcy bill! He VOTED FOR IRAQ! Wonderful of so many to forgive him and believe his born-again populist rhetoric.

  •  none of the above (0+ / 0-)

    The best leader has sadly backed away.

    The guy who has spoken out in defense of the Constitution, restoring balance to the power relationship within the Beltway. The one who has made no bones about mentioning corporations and how they have broken through the firewall in an unholy alliance with government.

    The Inconvenient Truth is that he's not running.

    That one. Not perfect, so spare me all the details which I have heard a thousand times before.

    I'm still writing him in, in NH.
    Period.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone.
    If you want to go far, go together.
    We have to go far, quickly."

    by shpilk on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:28:12 PM PST

  •  Brief Discourse on When It's OK Not to Vote (0+ / 0-)

    If you think they're all more or less equally good candidates, and you really don't have a preference, it's reputable not to vote for any of them.  Everybody (subject to the usual qualifications) is entitled to a preference, expressed as a vote...but it's rational and ethical to say that your preference is either nonexistent, or that it doesn't rise to the level of a vote.  I'm moved to these comments by Kos's observations, all of which (as individual musings) resonate with me.  If his primary date rolls around and he decides that one consideration trumps the others, it makes sense for him to go with the candidate who wins in that regard.  But if he decides that it's all a wash--e.g. that Obama represents a great new hope, Edwards represents the most progressive ideology, and Clinton is the most effective electoral asset, and that all of these things are of equal value--then it's not an abdication to stay home on primary day.  Casting a vote based on a coin flip isn't good political citizenship.

    "What you're saying is so understandable. And really, your only crime was violating U.S. law." Marge Simpson.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 05:41:03 PM PST

  •  fantastic analysis (0+ / 0-)

    debunks all those that hooted you were a loony lately Kos.

  •  Dissapointing write up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SYuguri

    There is a people powered candidate . .  its Obama! I am actually surprised at this statement, because I remember reading a write up here about Barack's "camp obama" strategy . .. The guy helping Obama with this is an organizing genius. It's all about bottom up politics and this is a huge part of what Obama is about.

    And this whole "fighter" fantasy . . . are we on the left falling for the "macho male" fantasy the right uses in picking its candidates?
    What we need is a candidate that can get results, progressive results, not one that is a "fighter", whatever that means!

  •  Hey Kos (0+ / 0-)

    You really stirred up a hornets nest! :) People are so freaked because the great Oz has spoken, and they didn't like what he said!. Blasphemy! Apparently even Democrats have a more "fundamentalist" wing to the party -people who can't just accept someones opinion for what it is, whether they agree with it or not, without getting all stirred up with name calling and such. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
    Very Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulterish. Thanks for holding the mirror up to some of the flock.  Sort of like trigger therapy in massage!. Let them release all their rage at once, so they can come back to some sort of civility in discussions.

  •  Umm...no. (0+ / 0-)

    But we've seen how a lack of true mandate has crushed Bush's presidency and made him the most unpopular and least effective president in history.

    Gee, and all this time I thought Bush was the worst president in history because of the 3589748 scandals and Iraq. Now I know that it was just because he didn't get enough beyond 50+1.

    http://misdirectionplay.blogspot.com/ My Blog for the Post-November 3, 2004 world.

    by mld530 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 06:13:54 PM PST

  •  Give me a break (0+ / 0-)

    "but Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on."

    This is the dumbest BS I've heard in a long time.

    1. Obama defended himself against 527s. If he doesn't have the right to do that, then what can he do???? Just applaud their attacks on him? What does that have to do with policies that favor labor? Absolutely nothing.
    1. Dirty hippies? What? that's just hyperbole and completely invented out of thin air.
    1. Social security - I'll give Kos this one, even though he's completely ignorant. Social security is a winning issue for Dems. We should bring it up OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER and make Republicans support privatization and scare the shit out of seniors. Kos is like an ostrich with his head in the sand living in 2005 when the GOP controlled teh White House, Senate, and House.
    1. Paul Krugman? Who cares. He's a liberal who is supporting another Democratic candidate. And Obama had a fairly civil argument with him.
    1. Gore and Kerry? Kos knows this is bullshit. He knows it. And he doesn't care. This is a smear on Obama...
  •  Ahem Kos, Don't you remember Iraq and Hilary? (0+ / 0-)

    Geez, how soon we forget. All the candidates share the same values?  Are you insane? The main reason to be against Hilary is she voted for the Iraq war. She has never renounced the vote like Edwards did. She also foolishly voted to give Bush the legal authority to attack Iran by naming one of their military arms a terrorist unit.

    I agree, Obama does not have a killer instinct. All he has to do is keep saying Hilary voted for the Iraq war. Hilary voted for the Iraq war. Hilary voted for the Iraq war.  Keep reminding people like Kos that there is a difference between their judgements. It is crazy how short the attention span is in this country.

  •  Don't lose (0+ / 0-)

    H. Clinton:
    -Disliked by liberals for being a hawkish war supporter and a triangulator instead of an actual liberal.
    -Hated like no other by the right, for reasons they can't really specify anymore if they ever could (not staying in her place as First Ornament?) People will come out of the woodwork just to vote against her, people that wouldn't otherwise have voted.
    -Distrusted and generally disliked by the nonaligned for reasons they can't quite put their finger on, something about her... (perhaps the right's hate sends out influencing negative vibes?).

    Let's put her up there and see how she does!

    I think a woman president would be a great step too, but this one is just asking to lose it for us at a time we can't afford to lose it. She's election poison. Run awayyy!

    Obama:
    I think a non-white president would be a great step, too. And you'd think that if we'd elect a coke-snorting, fall-down drunken simpleton and lifelong failure, then Obama's youthful sins in his autobiography wouldn't torpedo his campaign, but the right is much better at destroying people with that stuff that we are. And the down home folks don't see him as "one of theirs" in a way that would let them forgive him like they did the turnip.

    The hypothetical head to head polls show him beating all the major Repubs except McCain now, but the mud hasn't been slung yet and is being held in reserve in case he gets the nod. Could still win it using his lofty tone, but could easily lose it once they tar him as a hood and an amateur. Too risky on that alone.

    Edwards:
    Of the majors, Edwards seems to be the only one that gives us a real chance. Go Edwards. The money can be and will have to be gotten around creatively.

    I'm a Kucinich man in a red state. I don't want to put up the most electable person. I want to put up the kind of person we actually want. But we can't afford 4-8 more years of this hellish freefall. Whoever we put up will get my vote, but put please don't put up a big fat target.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -F.D.

    by Your Brother on Wed Jan 02, 2008 at 08:00:18 PM PST

  •  tested against the Right Wing smear machine? (0+ / 0-)

    To pass this test you have to fight their BS, and do it with a reasonable track record of success.  Hillary has not done this by any stretch of the imagination.

  •  Paid smears? (0+ / 0-)

    Says Kos: "Who is the best defender of progressive ideals?  Edwards, by a landslide... Clinton isn't horrible on this front, but Obama has made a cottage industry out of attacking the dirty fucking hippies on the left, from labor unions, to Paul Krugman, to Gore and Kerry, to social security, and so on."

    Right.  The guy who co-sponsored the original Iraq War resolution with Lieberman, and then voted for the final Iraq War resolution, and who continued to defend that as the "right decision" thru 2004, is the most "progressive" democrat... because he says so, over and over.    

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the one and only top-tier democrat who had the courage and good judgment to speak out against a criminal but politically popular war before it began, is horribly anti-progressive (this despite getting ratings by progressive interest groups that are higher than either Clinton or Edwards).  

    The trial-lawyer (there, I said it!) who lip serves populism from a sprawling multi-million dollar McMansion is the "fighting progressive", while the community organizer and pro-bono civil-rights attorney is horribly anti-progressive.

    The guy who talks a lot about taking on corporations, but who voted for the bankruptcy bill, is the most progressive, "by a land-slide".  But the guy who audaciously, as a junior Senator, brought legislation to restrict gifts to members of congress from corporate lobbyists... well he's horribly anti-progressive.

    Not only that, but Kos implies that Obama is Bush-like in his rabid anti-progressivism.

    What's next?  Morphing Obama's face into Osama?

    I can't even believe we as democrats are actually contemplating ponying-up yet another candidate who voted for and enabled the Iraq War.  Again.  All because that candidate now labels himself more "progressive" in 2008 than he was in 2004 (which of course is not a calculated campaign ploy - nooooo).  

    Kos, why don't you just come out and tell us how much money the Clintonistas are giving you to desperately and transparently slime Obama, while talking up Edwards.  You're obviously not a dumb guy, so there has to be a good reason for these mindless, misleading, swift-boat-style drive-by smears you keep posting.  Come on - how much is she paying you?

  •  Single payer is alive and well (0+ / 0-)

    all three leading Democratic candidates include the option of a single payer plan in their proposals.  It is buried, I'll admit and the press has completely missed it, because, let's face it, health policy is complex.

    But it is there in every one of the plans.  They call the option "a public plan like Medicare."  What many Americans don't realize is that Medicare is a single payer plan.  It always has been and still is despite the best efforts of the Bush administration to turn the program over to commercial health plans.  80% of the elderly still get their health care under the traditional Medicare single payer program.

    In all of the plans there is a "pool."  And in that pool there are two major options:

    1. the choice of private managed care plans like members of Congress get, modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)

    and

    1. the option to enroll in a public plan like Medicare (aka a single payer plan.

    I have modeled the effect of offering Californians the option of a single payer plan that operates along side the existing system.  And the results were incredible.  I used the Lewin Group and their Health Benefits Simulation Model.

    Within one year of offering Californians the option of a single payer plan in addition to their current options, the model predicted that 70% of the California population would enroll in the single payer plan.  This is because more of the health care dollar is spent on medical care and less on administrative costs.  This makes the plan more affordable, the benefit package much richer, and people can go to any doctor or  hospital they want without any restrictions being imposed on them by an insurance company,

    The point is - don't mourn the single payer plan quite yet.

    An approach like Kucinich, that would put the insurance companies out of business over night is not likely viable.

    What is exciting about these new proposals is that the market would have to compete with a single payer plan and frankly, it can't.  The democratic candidates' plans would enable a voluntary transition to single payer.  And most Americans it turns out, would prefer single payer to what they have now.

  •  Your application of criteria is flawed (0+ / 0-)

    I have several comments about your post.

    First, with regard to financing during the general election campaign Obama has not yet made any decision and, as it is doubtful that the GOP nominee will accept public financing this is a non-issue with Obama.

    Second this notion that Obama's comment on the 2000 and 2004 election somehow disses Gore and Kerry is preposterous.  Gore admits he's not a good politician.  Gore ran a strategically flawed campaign that failed to emphasize the good domestic policy of the Clinton administration and failed to distance himself from Clinton's personal problems.  He deserves blame for the way he ran that campaign as Gore is supremely intelligent in most areas.  Kerry as well ran a poor campaign, not strategically but tactically: he failed to articulate his message effectively.  I respect both men.  These are not personal attacks and for you and Taylor Marsh to suggest that they are constitutes a fabrication of a controversy that is not there.  The same goes for Social Security: Obama opposed privatization vehemently and eloquently.   He supports raising the cap above $97,500.  The fact he believes we should do something to address its long-term solvency now is wise not scaremongering.  Small steps now can eliminate the need for bigger ones later that would be more painful.  To suggest that because he relies on the position that the SS system needs fixing is similar to what the GOP used to prop up privatization makes him a closet Republican is tantamount to suggesting that, if someone claims that terrorism is a threat to our safety and hence, we need to improve our defenses at home that that is scandalous because the threat of terrorism was used by Republicans to prop up the argument for invading Iraq.  What is baffling is that an apparently intelligent person like yourself falls for these specious arguments.  The whole "GOP talking points" thing has gotten way out of control.      

  •  Kos - you're the Cokie Roberts of the Internet... (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for bringing the Dems to the Net...but you're just about the worst strategist/tactician since Custer at Big Horn.

  •  Too early to count out Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

    At this early juncture, I wish you would give more consideration to Kucinich. He's an experienced progressive who has shown true leadership, and has a great life story.

    His only problem is that the MSM ignore him, and you're doing the same thing.

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