Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
American history suggests that about every 80 years, a civic (or Joshua) generation, emerges to make over the country after a period of upheaval caused by the fervor of an idealist (or Moses) generation. In 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932 and 1968, as members of new generations -- alternately idealist and civic -- began to vote in large numbers, the United States experienced major political shifts. This year, the civic-minded millennials, born between 1982 and 2003, are coming of age and promising to turn the political landscape, currently defined by idealist baby boomers such as Clinton and George W. Bush, upside down.
Reared by indulgent parents and driven by deeply held values as adults, members of idealist generations embroil the nation in heated debates on divisive social issues as they try to enact their own personal morality and causes through the political process. (Remember that boomer-era rallying cry, "The personal is political"?) In the idealist eras that began in 1828 and 1896, the nation divided between the forces of tradition and those advancing a more modern approach to morality. In 1828, Andrew Jackson's Democrats gave rural traditionalism a victory. In 1896, the tables were turned as Mark Hanna, the Karl Rove of his day, guided Republican William McKinley to victory over William Jennings Bryan and his agricultural allies, on behalf of industrial-age companies and their urban workers.
By 1968, however, it was the Republicans' turn to take up the cause of traditional values -- and end an era of dominance by a Democratic Party that seemed increasingly unable to maintain "law and order." Richard Nixon's victory in 1968 began an era of seven Republican presidential victories and firmly established the GOP as a traditionalist, Southern-oriented party.
If I was to vote for Hillary Clinton and see her nominated as the Democratic candidate for President, I have the real risk of being triangulated against, of being ignored, and of seeing the cries of the Broderite media run red. These are real risks, and some can be hedged with more (and better) beer, and others will have real costs in either organizing to defeat getting screwed over or getting screwed over. However I can also assume that Hillary Clinton will be a competent technocratic president as that is her entire her campaign's premise, and will be responsive to pressure and changes in her incentive structure.If I am to vote for Barack Obama and see him nominated for the Democratic candidacy, I face significant and unknown uncertainty. He has intentionally decided to put as little meat on the bones of his decision process and policy process instead choosing to run on his personality and life story. He has consistently produced the third strongest policy proposal as evaluated from a progressive pragmatic perspective, and he does not have a significant case history to see if there are enough predictable points in determining his behavior and judgment with the exception of his superior judgment in 2002/2003 about Iraq; although this superior judgment has led to little deviation from his opponent's record in the Senate.
If the Government is a car setting out to give every one a ride to work, then for 40 years the Republicans have been puncturing the tires, pouring sand in the gas tank, stealing the distributor cap, and, whenever they can get their hands on the wheel, driving it straight into the nearest ditch and then, pointing to the wreckage as the tow truck backs up to it, saying, See, this proves that people were meant to walk. And they do this so that they don't have to chip in on gas.
The shrinks must be having a field day with this one. Hillary Clinton has a real chance to be the first female president, but the perception since
has been that she is running as the first female stand-in for her husband's third term. New Hampshire
The first female president should be elected on her own merits -- because she is the most qualified candidate. Just as she should not be held to a different standard because she is a woman, she should not be treated differently because her husband is out there campaigning with her.
Yet it now appears now that the
are running as a couple -- a team, not a candidate and a spouse. In fact, after Obama's big Clintons win, South Carolina said: "We went there and asked the people to vote for us. They voted for him." Clinton
-- SALLY QUINN
The underlying question of this primary and this election and the next four years is this -- was it the Clintons themselves who aroused the ire of the rightwing to such an extent that the administration they formed was unmercifully harassed from before the inauguration of 1992 to after the 2000 election, or were the Clintons simply the Democrats who happened to be there when the rightwing decided to take over? Everything the rightwing (and the media) latched onto about the Clintons, from Travelgate to the runway haircut to Monica Lewinsky seemed to me at the time to be merely a gambit in a slow-moving coup d'etat that was crowned in 2000 with the Supreme Court selection of the unelected George W, Bush. . . . .It would actually be nice if the Fellow Wehner is telling the truth, that it is the Clintons personally that are the problem, because then the election of Obama would indeed signal a change. But if the goal of the corporatocracy is what it has seemed to be -- the permanent replacement of American democracy with a global imperialist empire and oligarchy of wealth, then Obama doesn't have a chance -- he will either be corrupted or destroyed.
-- JANE SMILEY
The prospect of John McCain as the likely Republican presidential nominee has produced a squall of anger on the right. Normally reserved columnists and usually ebullient talk-radio hosts vie to express their disgust with McCain, and their disdain for the Republicans who are about to nominate him. The conservative movement as a whole appears disgruntled and dyspeptic.
Now I have nothing against a certain amount of disgruntlement and dyspepsia. The ways of the world, and the decisions of our fellow Americans, occasionally warrant such a reaction.
But American politics tends to be unkind to movements that dwell in anger and relish their unhappiness. In the era from Franklin D. Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy, liberals tended to be happy warriors — and that helped their cause. The original civil rights movement succeeded in part because it worked hard to transcend a justifiable bitterness. Liberalism faltered when it became endlessly aggrieved and visibly churlish.-- WILLIAM KRISTOL
The two remaining Democrats in the race for the presidency both have roots in the community-organizing world. Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at
on legendary organizer Saul Alinsky. Barack Obama spent three years as a community organizer in Wellesley College . But it is Obama's campaign that most clearly embodies many of the characteristics of a social movement -- a redemptive calling for a better society, coupling individual and social transformation. This shouldn't be surprising. Obama has enlisted hundreds of seasoned organizers -- including unions, community groups, churches, and environmental groups -- into his campaign. They, in turn, have mobilized thousands of volunteers -- many of them neophytes in electoral politics -- into tightly knit, highly motivated, and efficient teams. This organizing effort has turned out a new group of voters, many of them young people and first-time voters. Chicago
She’s always been outrageous, but when conservative Ann Coulter talked of 9/11 “rag heads” at the 2006 Conservative Political Action Conference and linked the slur “faggot” to Sen. John Edwards in a 2007 speech, CPAC’s organizers decided to cut her from the list of speakers at the February 7-9 conference expected to draw 6,000.