There has been some interesting dialog here regarding the presidential elections. What’s intriguing about the Democratic primary is that there really is no predictability as to who is falling in line where. That became evident when Joe Leiberman endorsed a Republican. Usually the endorsement phase of a primary is about as exciting as watching a cow chew cud. This year it’s been like “Just one more cow, baby.”
Even HuffPo seems torn down the middle. Interesting posts recently by two of my favorite progressive pundits.
First is Cenk Uyger. I’ve mentioned Cenk before, and if Imus wasn’t back I’d probabbly listen to him more. But I never miss his writing. He’s right up there with Taibbi on my “try not to miss” list.
In his most recent column, Uyger suggests the real problem is that now with Richardson out of the race, the remaining candidates all have the albatross of Senate complicity hanging around their neck.
First, Clinton gets it:
She claims that George W. Bush is the worst president we’ve ever had. Yet in her entire time in the Senate she has never led one successful fight against him. She has either lost every legislative battle on Iraq, or worse yet, been complicit. The vote to authorize the war was one thing, but how about all of the votes to continue and support Bush’s war for all of the remaining years? Let alone every other issue on which Bush got exactly what he wanted, up to and including this year, when the Democrats and Senator Clinton were theoretically in charge.
I understand that leaders are supposed to lead. Yet, I have never seen Senator Clinton lead her fellow Democrats in a successful challenge of President Bush. Never. That’s a pretty awful record.
But Obama and Edwards don’t get out unscathed.
That’s the real criticism that should be leveled against Hillary Clinton. Yet I have almost never seen anyone make this point on TV. Part of the reason for that, of course, is because her opponents, Barack Obama and John Edwards did no better in their time in the Senate. So, they are embarrassed into an awkward silence on the matter.
And if that wasn’t damaging enough, Barbara Ehrenreich brilliantly asserts that Clinton can’t be “the agent of change” if she doesn’t understand how change is made.
She gives Health Care as an example…
She could have gone about things differently, in a way that wouldn’t have left 47 million Americans uninsured today. She could have started by realizing that no real change would come about without a mobilization of the ordinary people who wanted it. Instead of sequestering herself with economists and business consultants, she might have met with representatives of nurses’ organizations, doctors’ groups, health workers’ unions, and patient advocates. Then she could have gone to the public and said: I’m working for a major change in the way we do things and it’s going to run into heavy resistance, so I’ll need your support in every possible way.
But she did it her way, and ended up with a 1300 page plan that no one, on either side of the aisle, liked or could even comprehend – proving that historical change isn’t made by the smartest girl in the room, even if she shares a bed with the president. Similarly, she ignored the anti-war movement of this decade and alienated untold numbers of Democratic voters, feminists included.
President Clinton, in his first acceptance speech, quoted Proverbs: “Without a vision the people shall perish.” And that’s been the Democrat’s biggest problem to this point.
Everybody is claiming to be the agent of change but they’re having problem’s articulating exactly what they would change.
Or how they would change it.