Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Dumb Logic (and Intellectual Dishonesty) of the Clinton Arguments

Jerome Armstrong, a fierce Clinton supporter and general white-backlash asshole, writes over at MyDD on tonight's West Virginia blowout:

Obama may not even break 30 percent, despite being practically anointed with the nomination?!?! Look, this is a partisan blog. Nearly everyone will come around to supporting the nominee here, but if Obama doesn't recognize the serious problem this presents in the world offline, and his supporters as well, I am speechless (which may not be a bad thing considering).


Very poor logic at play here. First, like so many brazen Clinton folks, he decides that winning a state's primary has some relavance to winning it in the general election. This is simply not the case, and has been shown to not be the case by multiple major news organizations and political blogs and analysts.

Second, he seems to say: Why can't he close the deal, or why isn't anyone more indignant or frustrated with Obama about this?

Well, first of all, the pundits ARE describing his "white blue-collar" problem, so people ARE paying attention. But what Jerome (who has outrageously defended, for instance, Geraldine Ferraro's disgraceful behavior throughout this campaign) has consistently refused to do is consider the fact that voting for someone in a primary does NOT mean you will not support them in the fall.

But many of HRC's West Virginia supporters won't support Obama. Of course, it is unfair to say "this is because WVA is racist." Such generalizations are unhelpful and generally offensive. But race is certainly a big factor in this poor, uneducated white state. Why is Jerome unwilling to even consider that?

The broader point is that the HRC-ites out there are basically saying: this is a racist country and we had better appease it. They point to Reverend Wright and say "why can't Obama close the deal?" That is a substantial chunk of their argument for her overturning the will of the people via superdelegates, and the Clinton folks' intellectual dishonesty (that it has something to do with "Big States" or "Reagan Democrats" more abstractly) is pretty outrageous.

Perhaps more practically important, though, is that Jerome and others are creatures of the past. They cannot understand why voters don't give a shit about Wright (see this great ABC News/Wash. Post poll showing Obama romping McCain and people finding association with Bush far worse than association with Wright). They also don't like the idea that someone can put new states in play (Obama makes Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada all competitive according to multiple polls) rather than pleading for poor white blue-collar folks to come back over.

This can sound elitist and condescending, but the broader point is that we should not be appealing to the worst in Americans, but the best. That's what Ted Kennedy meant the other day when he said we should not choose for Obama a VP like Hillary who fails to appeal to our "nobler" aspirations. He's absolutely right. Choose someone who appeals to the best in us, and choose someone (in Obama himself) who can both do that feel-good stuff, AND win. Winning is good, too. Obama will do that.

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