Posts Tagged ‘edwards’

The Crowd Thins

Posted: 30 January 2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, Edwards is all set to announce he is dropping out of the democratic race and Ghouliani has withdrawn from the republican side. Of the mainstream democrat candidates, Edwards was the least likely to become corporate lapdog of the year. He had some unfortunate things against him, which made me less than meh about his bid, but I would have preferred him to Clinton or Obama. My prediction is Obama will take it. As for the Republicans, I was terribly wrong about McCain’s prospects. Which evil would be worse? McCain or Romney in the White House? I must say, though, I am so, so glad that Ghouliani was a miserable failure. If he had been made president, the world would have been a much darker place.

Rudy Giuliani (Ghouliani) - EPIC FAIL

At this point, no one is heading to the White House that I support. I refuse to support the lesser of two evils and so will almost certainly be voting Green as a protest.

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I’ve been following the progress of Wonkosphere and talking about it for a while now [here, here, and here].  If you’re not familiar with Wonkosphere, it’s a website that tracks the buzz generated by candidates on political blogs.  It reports buzz as a percentage of the total buzz by conservative, liberal, and independent bloggers.  It also reports the tone of the posts, so you get more than just who is being talked about.  So it appears that the buzz share is a predicter of national polling results According to Kevin Dooley of Wonkosphere, it’s not the total percentage of buzz share that is predictive of polling results, but the change in buzz share that predicts where national numbers are going.  So are blogs affecting politics (as many have suggested) or are they just reflecting social trends?

Kucinich is doing fairly well today with buzz share, coming in at #3 among Democrats.  He spiked a few days ago when his UFO comments incited a conservative love fest of crazy-elf-hippy remarks.  Democracy for America held the 2008 Pulse Poll to gather data about people’s choice for who should be the 2008 Democratic contender.  The results put Kucinich at a fairly decisive #1, beating out the phantom Al Gore (aka Newest Nobel Turd) and John Edwards.  DFA consists primarily of Progressive Democrats, though, so you can’t generalize it to the population at large.  However, these people tend to be rather vocal and active politically, so they may start to rub off.  It’s a daunting task, though, counteracting the media brick-brain effect (i.e. making your brain into a gray brick).

I keep feeling the need to write about the battle of the media-darling corporate stooge warhawks. Everyday I see something about fundraising by this candidate or that (and by this I mean Clinton and by that I mean Obama). And everyday I am troubled. When I start to write about it, my thoughts on the subject lack cohesiveness.

Clinton had someone fundraising for her who turned about to be a fugitive of justice, wanted for grand theft. Norman Hsu used a fundraising tactic called bundling, which combines the contributions of many different donors to give it more weight. What does more weight mean?

Today Clinton’s blog is reporting that she raised $27 million for the third quarter, beating Obama in both gross money raised and number of new donors. Yesterday, the NY Times was going on about Obama’s link to a group of black entrepreneurs who supported him back in Illinois. They bailed his campaign out of hot water and he saw that their agenda got pushed in the state legislature. But it looks like their agenda wasn’t all bad (I certainly don’t know enough details to make that assessment), since he was working to remove some racial inequities they were facing. Or is that he was opening up opportunities? Again I was troubled, by his seeming willingness to take a buck and then turn those dollars into actual legislation.

John Edwards’ campaign sent an email a while back pointing the finger at Hillary over her fundraising practices. She hosted a dinner in DC where several congress people were in attendance. Cost of admission to this event was $2000 per plate, as is typical of these woo-the-rich-people functions (a mainstay of Republicans). So it seems she was trading quasi-political influence (here, look at all these Congressmen and women I can connect you too if you support me) for support. Washington business as usual.

Meanwhile principled men like Dennis Kucinich are struggling to raise dollars, because despite seeming to match the actual beliefs of voters much more closely, they haven’t been tapped by the big corporations and their media mouthpieces as electable. Doesn’t it bother people that the candidates the media has branded as electable are the only ones getting attention?

Well, I didn’t get a chance to listen to Edwards last night on MSNBC, since I apparently can’t work a TV anymore. I thought I was watching MSNBC, it was actually NBC and then after Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island made the Democratic response and there was no John Edwards, I realized my mistake. Thanks to the wonders of the giant tubes that make up the interwebs, I was able to watch his speech:

I was pretty happy about the speech, though it came off as disappointingly weak at the end. He made a convincing, fairly non-aggressive case against prolonging the war, arguing from simple practicality. It seems this approach could possibly be better at persuading conservatives and fence-sitters than saying that Bush and the military are terrorists (ala Rosie O’Donnell). And yes I know she didn’t actually say that. What was weak in Edwards’ speech was the whole “timeline” business. It annoys me whenever I hear it. It’s so open-ended. If by timeline, he means in three weeks, then I can live with that.

Another problem here is that while Edwards has come out on the side of peace, he still voted for the war: a serious failure in judgment. And I don’t even listen to Obama (aka Obomba) when he chastises other candidates for voting for the war. Based on his long history of voting to prolong W’s endless war, I have little doubt that Obama would have been right there with his “aye” raised high when called upon to vote to overthrow a sovereign nation whose leadership we installed.

It returns to the fact that there is only one choice: Dennis Kucinich. Electability is a term invented by the corporate-sponsored media. Real electability is what happens when you actually go out and vote with your mind and heart instead of voting because of what some plastic face on a TV screen tells you to do. Dennis Kucinich is the only one who has opposed this war at every turn, the only one who has a real plan to bring our troops home. Edwards was right when he said the only way to force a political solution between Shiites and Sunnis is for us to get out of there. Kucinich has been saying that all along. We should hold all of these democrats accountable and vote for the only one with the clarity of mind and morals to do what was right from the very beginning and elect Kucinich.