Wednesday :: Jul 30, 2008

Politics as Comedy

by eriposte

Time for another brief hibernation-interrupt according to this article in the NYT by Adam Nagourney (via Taylor), titled:

Chance of an Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Seen as Increasingly Unlikely

No wonder TNR's Marty Peretz - an Establishment smear merchant + bigot and architect of the destruction of the journalistic integrity of TNR - is thrilled (you see HRC once "snubbed" him - poor Marty!).

Now, it is unclear exactly when the chance of an Obama-Clinton ticket was considered likely, and I've completely stayed away from this topic to-date because at the end of the day it is up to Sen. Obama to decide whom he wants on the VP ticket. That said, the article offers some Brilliant arguments from anonymous people in Sen. Obama's "inner circle" as to why having Sen. Clinton on the ticket is a no-no - so, I couldn't resist mentioning them.

Those arguments have not held much sway with Mr. Obama or his inner circle. They have indicated that any political benefits gained by putting Mrs. Clinton on the ticket would be outweighed by the costs.

Mr. Obama’s advisers say that a central message of his campaign — that he would represent a break from the way politics are conducted in Washington — would be tarnished by the simple act of linking himself to the family that has dominated Democratic politics since Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992.

Well, I can certainly understand why voting for warrantless spying and dutifully seeking post-partisanship all the time is definitely a "break from the way politics are conducted in Washington" whereas doing largely the opposite is the very embodiment of Beltway mentality. In fact, this line of argument Perfectly Explains the wisdom of Sen. Obama seriously considering some of the other VP nominees (no, I'm not talking about Ann Veneman). Let's take a look, for example, at Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who according to the Washington Post is in "serious talks with Obama" for the VP slot. Melissa at Shakesville says:

Suffice it to say I am as decidedly unthrilled as I am (unfortunately) totally unsurprised that the Obama campaign is even considering putting a gay-baiting DINO war hawk whose personal "views on abortion are roughly in line with those of George W. Bush" on the ticket.

I started this campaign season looking at the Democratic field and thinking I couldn't possibly be disappointed. LOL.

Poor Melissa. She is clearly unaware that Gov. Kaine represents a "break from the way politics are conducted in Washington"! You can be doubly sure of this by listening to Obama supporter Lowell Feld who was one of the most well known and energetic supporters of Kaine, who worked hard to ensure Kaine's election as Governor, even using a Virginia blog called "Raising Kaine" (now known as "RK") in order to do that. As Feld noted in a comment (h/t Corrente):

Actually, as we've explained a million times...that was just the culmination of a long series of profound disagreements we've had with Gov. Kaine over issues ranging from repeal of the estate tax (cost to state: $140 million per year), offshore drilling, the Wise County coal-fired power plant, Dominion Power reregulation, the no-bid/"aerial option" Metro to Dulles project, the transportation monstrosity (with abuser fees and balkanized regional authorities, now declared unconstitutional), his opposition to embryonic stem cell research, etc. etc. Is that enough?

GreyHavens at RK says:

Three years into the Kaine Administration, Virginia Progressives stand aghast at what it has become. From his repeal of the estate tax to his abandoned plan for universal Pre-K, to his opposition to embryonic stem cells, from his failed transportation plans to cozy relationship to Dominion Power and his reprehensible support of the Wise Coal Plant, the Kaine administration has fulfilled our every early fear and never failed to disappoint progressive Virginia.


In light of these shining examples, where is Tim Kaine? In what way has Tim Kaine embodied progressive ideals? In what way has Tim Kaine lead or stood up for the critical issues of the day? Where has Tim Kaine emerged victorious and thus strengthened the Progressive movement, the Democratic party, and the Commonwealth? Long on plans and short on accomplishments, Kaine has consistently proven that he will not stand up for principle and will not listen to reason. When Kaine eviscerates progressive taxation, champions a massive new coal plant, or works against the commonsense underground solution to the Rail to Dulles project, he isn't just throwing the baby out with the bathwater, he's lingering by the window to set fire to the drapes.

(Another interesting tidbit from Feld).

Is that enough of a "break from the way politics are conducted in Washington" dear reader? If not, let's talk about the other great VP candidate - the generally likable Joe Biden (D-Bank of America). Jeralyn at Talk Left discusses some of the ways in which Sen. Biden is the very embodiment of a "break from the way politics are conducted in Washington":

Problem: If Joe Biden is the nominee, count me out. I couldn't even clap for the ticket.

Other reasons: His saying we may need to rethink the military draft. His inability to cure rampant injustices in his own state, where one of every four prisoners who died in prison since 2000 died of AIDS-related diseases and the states' prisons suffer from an atrocious lack of medical care.

I'm just warming up. I so hope Obama doesn't pick Biden. He is the antithesis of change and the embodiment of your father's Oldsmobile. [More...]

Update: I forgot to add his most recent transgression: introducing his latest crime bill, S. 2237, in October, 2007, just in time for him to campaign as your toughest law and order Democrat. He proposes spending billions on 1,000 new FBI agents, 500 new DEA agents, and 50,000 more police officers, increasing prison sentences and locking up more disadvantaged youths by branding them gang members. (While it has some prevention funding and equalizes crack and powder penalties at the current powder ratio, he ties the reduction to increased salaries for drug prosecutors and agents and the bill expressly provides it is not retroactive and won't apply to the 19,000 already serving draconian crack sentences.(See Section 5110).

There are better crack-powder bills and on the whole, Biden's bill should be strongly opposed. Even the title is objectionable and tells you where he's at: The Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act of 2007.

Then there's his voting record:

  • Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Rated 60% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
  • Rated 36% by NARAL, indicating a mixed voting record on abortion. (Dec 2003)

On a lighter but equally telling note, there's this doozy (bill here):

Breaking this law--even if it's to share music by your own garage band--could land you in prison for up to five years. And that's not counting the civil penalties of up to $25,000 per offense.

Of course, Jeralyn forgot to mention his egregious support for the Bankruptcy Bill.

Should we go down the list? Evan Bayh, anyone?

Anyway, back to the NYT article:

In addition, a campaign marked by tight control and few displays of infighting (a structure that Mr. Obama’s advisers would like to replicate in the White House should he win) would, some of Mr. Obama’s associates said, be undermined by trying to merge with the Clintons. Several of his associates said they were particularly wary of trying to manage a campaign that included Mr. Clinton.

Well, I can certainly understand that the most popular Democratic President (for that matter one of the most popular Presidents) in modern times is a definite liability.

P.S. If Sen. Obama doesn't want to pick Sen. Clinton as the VP candidate, so be it. But these kinds of comments are not particularly helpful, unless this is part of some secret strategy to feed the PUMAs.

eriposte :: 6:47 AM :: Comments (38) :: Digg It!