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Friday, June 03, 2005


Michael Balter

"Isn’t that what progressives always do? Bitch for four years about the “rightward drift “ of the party and then vote for the nominee, whomever it is?"

This is exactly what most (not all) progressives do; then they accuse anyone who advocates an independent political movement of helping the Republicans win the election; then they stump for the lackluster Democratic candidate (Gore, Kerry, take your pick); then the Republican wins anyway; then we start over again. This has been going on all my adult life, and I am talking 40 years here. Anyone for a change of plan?

Robert Fiore

Has a woman ever won a direct election to be head of state in an industrialized country? Isn't this something that's more likely in a parliamentary system?

Gary Johnston

Robert - Mary Robinson in Ireland. And beyond that ... I'm blanking.

Jim Rockford

Hillary is extremely unlikely to get the nomination. She's too centrist for the primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, and too supportive of the Iraq War and pre-emption generally to get the nomination.

Sorry to dissent from you Marc but I think Moveon DOES run the Party. Sure Deano can't raise cash and Celebrity Hillary can, but winning votes of those whose central issue is Iraq and a retreat to pre-9/11?

I'd bet on Gore, Deano himself, or even Kerry getting the nod before Hillary. [Wildcard: Bill Clinton's poor health could affect things in unpredictable ways]

Note that the California Legislature just voted to give illegal aliens drivers licenses, which is like a gift to the Arnold re-election campaign.

Hillary isn't acceptable to most Americans because she's the exact opposite of Bill, shrill, harsh, openly ambitious without the charm. General election she'd be a disaster. Dems would be best situated to pick someone like Norman Schwarzkopf or Tommy Franks, pull an Eisenhower. I'm sadly pessimistic that they'll pick Deano this time.

Gary Johnston

Jim - The only way Howard Dean would run in 2008 is if he presides over huge Democratic victories in 2006 - in which case every Democrat and his brother will smell Republicans' blood in the water and start running for the nomination themselves.

I think the likeliest dark horse candidate is Gen. Wesley Clark. He entered the race like three months before the primaries, was utterly untested and sloppy on the stump, and still won one primary (Oklahoma) and placed second in a few others.

Four more years of grooming and he'd be a serious, media-savvy candidate. And he has real support among Dems. Charles Rangel recently said the party should've nominated him instead of Kerry.

too many steves

Wasn't Bill Clinton too centrist or right leaning for the Democrats too? The Dems rejected Dean for Kerry, in part, because of the he-can-win-calculation. Isn't it possible they would pick Hillary for the same reason? What is different about Dean now versus November 2003? Do losers ever reemerge to win?

2008 is a long way from 1992-1994 and plenty of time for Hillary to recraft her image and, thus, appeal. Which I would argue she is doing deftly, artfully, and effectively.


Jim Rockford: Hillary isn't acceptable to most Americans because she's the exact opposite of Bill, shrill, harsh, openly ambitious without the charm.

Sounds like Theresa Kerry.

Chris Baldwin

Who's the most likely Republican candidate for 2008?

Marc Davidson

MoveOn is not as far left as many people think, although clearly it is positioned well to the left of the Bush administration. Most progressives have taken a very pragmatic approach with regard to national politics, settling for a mere return to sanity even if this means supporting someone less than a dyed-in-the-wool progressive (folks are a little gun shy on the presidential level). I do sense, however, that on the regional and state levels the Democrats are pushing significantly harder. In the long run the local races are more important than the big one.

zoe kentucky

Hillary isn't acceptable to most Americans because she's the exact opposite of Bill, shrill, harsh, openly ambitious without the charm.

I disagree. For one, that is how she was perceived when Clinton was in office by all the people who disliked her for not being a traditional 1st lady. There is strong evidence that as a Senator she has sharpened her skills and won over a lot of people who had reservations about her, that she has come into her own.

Personally for me she does not embody my progressive ideals, however, there is one thing she does have going for her whose relevance is often underestimated-- she's a woman. My own mother, a lifelong democrat in her late 50s, admitted to me several years ago that if Liddy Dole somehow got the GOP nom, she'd *have* to vote for her. A lot of women just feel that strongly about seeing a woman in the oval office, they almost don't care who it is. I feel it too.

Frankly, Hillary has the best shot a woman has ever had at being POTUS. That's why the GOP hasn't stopped complaining about her since 1995.


As a followup to what was an intense discussion here not long ago, if anybody's interested in some varying perspectives on "what next" regarding Iraq, David Gelber's post "Back To The Present" sparked a pretty good string of comments over at TPMCafe. Worth checking out.

One of the most cogent points was that while "Out Now" is a non-starter slogan/policy for Dems, American parents are effectively and overwhelmingly beginning to boycott the war when the question of their own child's military service is on the line. Certainly a bigger issue for an increasingly "incoherent on Iraq" administration than the modest benefits of lingering support from Beltway elites, FOX-addicted couch potatoes, Limbaugh's Legions, Web Warriors and the drunk at the end of the bar. The reassurance by Cheney that the insurgency is waning, coupled with "it might all be over by 2009" isn't going to cut it. Not even when he throws that "if you will" verbal tic in there and goes into his faux-gravitas, scare-the-children mode of delivering a message that merely reminds folks of the total dishonesty and incompetence marking this misadventure from day one.

But a ground-level version of "Out Now" seems to have resonance with parents who want to keep their kids out of the army now.

(My own kid is going into the Navy - he hopes for submarine duty - in three months and I'm proud of him and supported his decision. But I counseled him against joining any infantry battalion under our current civilian leadership. If anybody wants to subject me to abuse on that score, I would appreciate the responses being limited to parents of kids in combat, because those are the only opinions on this issue I will take seriously. No Bill O'Reillys please.)

Also, Kudos to the gang for not taking that last bit of insane bait Rockford threw out there about Democrats believing America deserved 9/11. I was tempted...but I'm trying to kick my habit of wasting too much time on too-easy targets.


I wouldn't vote for her.

richard lo cicero

I rather favor Wesley Clark myself but I must say that any Democrat who who takes advice from mr "Ralph Nader for President" Cooper should be condemned to a year of being trapped with Sean Hannity, Chris Hitchens, Bill O]Reilly and Dave Horowitz! I don't know what the future holds for Hillary but she seems to be doing well in the polls and despite Dick Morris's wet dreams about career ending scandals she's holding up just fine. But I'll let Marc wallow with Sally Quinn in decrying the Clinton's shocking lowering of DC standards.

Lets see, wasn't it just a week or so ago that we were told the left had no ideas. Now they met and we get more of the old BS about ineffectuality. Well that is a mug's game, in the real world parties exist to win elections and the reinigoration of state committees by Dr Dean is having positive results. But who cares since a Dem revival would just give Marc another platform to throw rocks. I'll go to KOS, Atrios, Herold Meyerson or others for political advice thank you. But I do love your writing style - provocative and makes me marshall my arguments so it has a use.

Mavis Beacon

Hillary is a loser. She doesn't actually speak for anyone or excite anyone. She had some chutspa as a first lady (we Dems admire the Eleanor type) but somehow the right convinced people that she was a wacko leftwinger. So she's moved to the center and stakes out clever positions and won't energize anybody or win the election.


So, the Dems thought Kerry was more electable. Long time anti-warrior and one of the most liberal members of the Senate. If this is what they choose as a moderate, the new Hillary wouldn't strictly qualify.

However, I expect the left to vote for her wholesale, and the right to go completely ballistic. If the Repubs can hold Congress, I will likely vote for her; just to watch the show.

Lis Riba

I think it was probably wise of her not to attend.

If she had, then all the media attention would've been on her presidential aspirations, rather than on any of the substance discussed at the conference.


Ok I am getting tired of all the yelling about Dean not mentioning the War. The facts are that even if the majority of the people think this war is not worth it anymore the political reality is that at this moment you start to yell "PULL OUT" the Repugs will have the Dems for lunch. The way to approach this is for people like David Corn to keep up the noise on "PULL OUT", but people like Dean and Harry Reid have to take the middle and keep saying how Bush got us into this MESS and now we have to try our best to fix it. But when that effort starts to look more futile over the next year by 2006 elections they need to come up with a plan that gives specifics on how we need to start disengaging from the country.

The unfortunate part of all this is that the American people still think that their is some small hope we can still fix this problem and we appear to be giving in so early even if they don't think this war was worth it the Repugs will make us look like we can't take a stand and hold it when things get hard. The God awful truth to this is that things have got to get worst before the average Joe on the street especially in those Red states will listen to any Democrat.

Guys you need to remember The effectiveness of your message is dependent not only on what you say but WHEN YOU SAY.

Steve Smith

The last time I bothered to check, there were no real grass-roots political parties in America. There were only campaign vehicles.

And that's a bad thing? American political parties exist to win elections, not to reflect ideologies. The only "grass-roots" organizing the Democratic Party should be concerned with is registering more voters, then getting them to the polls on election day.

too many steves

If the Right are those that consistently vote Republican and the Left those that consistently vote Democrat, then they each make up about 30% of the voting population. That leaves centrists to choose the President. This is the crowd that put Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and GWB in the White House twice each.

Assuming she can get the Democrats to nominate her, Hillary's challenge is to win the center. Most, if not all, of her political moves have been designed to win as many centrists as possible without alienating too many Democrats. The far Left and Right cancel each other out, she wins a majority of the safety and security center and becomes the first female POTUS.

I just don't see Dean doing anything that would position himself to win the Presidency - the nomination of his party, maybe, but the Presidency? Nope.

And, reg, best wishes to your son.


It's, of course, pointless to be guessing at 2008 at this point (I nominate Paris Hilton) but I see a few things in Hillary's favor. One, since day one Republicans have branded Hillary as a opportunistic mega bitch who will trample over anyone to get what she wants. Frankly, that's exactly the kind of person I'd like to see going after terrorists. Two, it really seems that having a candidate that drives the opposing party into fits of hysteria (see Bush 04, or Bill high approval ratings during Lewinsky) is a pathway to success. Joe America sees the opposing party pulling out their hair and says, "I sure don't want to be with those guys."

This last point is dependent on wether a Clinton still has the ability to drive the Republicans batty.

Marc Cooper

A couple of comments. That's right. MoveOn isnt as far left as its right wing critics claim. MoveOn is better described as being lodged up its own rear end, accuratelty reflecting the politics and interests of its base: white, middle-class, university-based activists. doesnt make'em let, just narrow.
To my dear friend Richard Lo Cicero: the wonderful thing about America is that just because two competing cliques of gangsters control national politcs I am not yet compelled by laww to necessarily identify with either one. And sitting here throwing rocks at the Democrats suits me just fine. I have no imminent plans to stop. That's what I do for a living. If you wish to ignore my critique and even my sniping, that is also your right. It seems, anyway, such a more sensible course to continue listening to the Progressive Democrats because so far they have produced so many victories! KOS and Atrios and their combined 48 years on earth just brim with political wisdom! LOL

Regarding the posters who commented on Howard Dean: he will be an asterisk by 2006. He will be as much as disappeared by 2008. Not by anyone's hand per se. But he will inevitably be churned out by the machinery...if he isn't already. Not to mention that Howie has pretty much been a gear in that machinery most of his political life.

jim hitchcock

Too Many asks if losers ever reemerge as winners.

Well, yeah. Reagan was considered a joke in '76, and not just by the folks at SNL. Bill Clinton ran one of the most inartful campaigns imaginable in '88. Not that these two examples reflect at all on the chances of Howie, ya understand.

Agree with Mavis and Achillea's take on Hillary. Might add that these are precisely the reasons the right-wing salivate over the prospects of her candidacy.


Jim, I would add to that Richard M(eglamoniacal) Nixon... lost in '60, humiliated in '62 and President in Jan. '68.

Lot's of folk come back, except perhaps Spencer Tracy in the Last Hurrah!


"MoveOn is better described as being lodged up its own rear end, accuratelty reflecting the politics and interests of its base: white, middle-class, university-based activists. doesnt make'em let, just narrow."

And they are somehow different from you, a man who supports large military budgets *and* social democratic spending on populist ideas like universal health care, day care, etc., public schools, etc?
I'm always amazed at how you attack pwogs for being so mainstream. This coming from a guy who promotes myths about spat on vets as victims just to keep his rightwing friends placated...

richard (lymanlover)

hi steve

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