Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Clip Show

The piece that has the chattering classes chattering this week: Is Hillary Clinton Too Conservative To Become President? True, that headline is designed to pull ya in, but the tl;dr v ersion is: Hillary's positions have been frozen in time circa June 2008, due to the above the domestic fray nature of the State Department, and she has some catching up to do (see: this week's endorsement of marriage equality).

As an Iowa activist I can say this much: it's impossible to overstate how big a deal Clinton's vote for the Iraq War, and her refusal to distance herself from that vote, was to the Democratic base during 2007. Don't forget she came in third, behind the not yet disgraced John Edwards, in Iowa. True, a lot has happened since, and she remains the one to beat. But that's what we said in March of 2005, too.

The real question is not "Is Hillary Clinton Too Conservative To Become President?" It's 'Is Are the Republicans Too Conservative To Become President?" That seems to be a yes, at least according to Andrew Kohut at Pew:

In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today.

The outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the GOP what supporters of Gene McCarthy and George McGovern did to the Democratic Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s — radicalizing its image and standing in the way of its revitalization.
That does a disservice to the memory of McGovern, a far more serious figure that, say, a Palin or a Santorum. But to an extent it's true that the supporters, rather than the elected leaders, were a big part of the Democrats' "sixties problem" that we didn't completely electorally recover from till Obama. Difference is, with the present day Republicans it's boith teh supporters AND the electeds that are fueling the problem.

Case in point: Rick "Oops" Perry. National Journal argues that The Platypus could, by his base driven refusal to accept federal funds for Obamacare, hasten the inevitable, demographic-driven drift of Texas from red to blue.

As for Obamacare, a term Democrats learned to embrace last year, the Kaiser Foundation quantifies what we've known since about November 2010: "Obamacare’s most popular provisions are its least well known." And conversely, the best known provison, the individual mandate, is the least popular.

Finally, in the glossary of neato political terms from other countries, in Australia a leadership challenge is called, for some reason, a "spill."

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