Sexist Bitch

Regardless of whether one agrees with Melissa McEwan that criticism of Clinton’s laugh is sexist, or one agrees with Ann Althouse that making fun of politicians is part of the debate we have in this country, I hope that they can at last find the humor in Eric’s take on the whole debate at Classical Values. Some might question if Eric is practicing cruelty to animals. (As for the title–please do not take offense. I’m referring to Eric’s female dog which is apparent if you follow the link.)

More seriously, while I’m sure there is some sexism at play, I’m more sympathetic to Althouse on the general argument. Cries of sexism have too often been used to dismiss very valid criticism of a very flawed candidate. There’s also something sexist about backing someone such as Hillary Clinton solely because she is female when she is ethically unfit to be president, has displayed remarkably poor judgment throughout her career and, despite all her spin, is far less qualified than Obama. My objections to Hillary Clinton have nothing to do with her sex. I wouldn’t vote for Bill for most of the same reasons I would not vote for Hillary.

Hillary Clinton vs. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

I suspect that most of the readers here don’t read Hot Air or QandO and therefore missed this post from Ed Morrissey:

Jon Henke at QandO wonders why this particular Hillary Clinton quote from last September hasn’t received much attention:

“We can talk all we want about freedom and opportunity, about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but what does all that mean to a mother or father who can’t take a sick child to the doctor?” she asked.

I just finished watching the excellent HBO series John Adams last Sunday. It tells the story of our nation’s birth and the sacrifice many of our founders made to create a free nation. They wanted a nation with government limited to just enough power to keep the peace and defend the nation. They didn’t conceive of the idea that a free people would trade their fortunes and freedom to create a government that would dictate choices to them in a manner far more egregious than George III.

Of course, this quote comes as a piece with another Hillary winner, from 2004:

“We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”

Sure we could find some things to disagree about. The Federalists were hardly small government types, and it is hard to compare government in Adams’ era to the present. The founding fathers were intelligent men who would have recognized the differences between the early 1800’s and the present, even if many conservatives do not.

More importantly, we could comment on the many Republican abuses of power and violations of civil liberties which the founding fathers would disapprove of but which the conservative blogosphere supports. While they often engage in rhetoric supporting freedom, which is preferable to Clinton’s rhetoric in opposition, the modern conservative movement represents a radical repudiation of the actual ideals of the founding fathers. They reject the views of the founding fathers on issues ranging from presidential power to separation of church and state. I’m not sure how conservatives believe that the founding fathers would universally oppose economic programs which benefit the common good but approve of Republican corporate welfare.

In considering our disagreements, we shouldn’t ignore the areas of agreement. They might be right in wondering why Clinton’s quote from last September didn’t receive enough attention, but they shouldn’t assume that this is necessarily a left versus right issue. I’ve criticized Clinton for that specific quote and have often noted that if the Democrats allow the election to be framed as an anti-freedom Democrat versus a pro-freedom Republican most likely the Republicans will win. As is Ed, I’ve often been critical of Clinton’s nanny state philosophy.

There are segments of both the left and the right which hold anti-freedom views. Ed and I would agree in finding this a problem with the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. Unfortunately I don’t think he would agree with me in finding this to be an even greater problem with the current Republican Party.

Quote of the Day: John McCain on North Carolina Republicans Being out of Touch with Reality

“They’re not listening to me because they’re out of touch with reality and the Republican Party. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan and this kind of campaigning is unacceptable. I’ve done everything that I can to repudiate and to see that this kind of campaigning does not continue.”

John McCain on the Today Show on the refusal of North Carolina’s Republican Party to cancel an attack ad aimed at Barack Obama.

I’m glad to see McCain recognize that portions of the Republican Party are out of touch with reality. Hopefully we will see him stick to this standard throughout the campaign. Of course it won’t mean much unless he is able to get his supporters, including the Republican Party and the 527’s to also stick to a high standard. At the very least, McCain is coming out ahead of Hillary Clinton.

Fiscal Irresponsibility and Voting Decisions

We are bound to hear criticism of the Democratic candidate over the fact that the plans either advocates cannot be paid for with the limited tax increases they support. The criticism is valid. As I noted yesterday, even Congressional Democrats realize this.

What must be kept in mind is that John McCain’s proposed tax cuts present even greater problems. The Washington Post looks at the proposals from all the candidates and finds that they don’t add up–with John McCain being the worst offender. They conclude:

While both Democratic candidates would spend far more on new programs than Mr. McCain would, the Republican’s proposals for new tax cuts dwarf the Democrats’ plans. The Democrats are clearer than Mr. McCain — though that’s a relative term — about how they would foot the bill. Still, no one’s winning any awards this campaign season for fiscal responsibility.

This is one reason I vote largely based upon values issues as opposed to the fine print of each candidate’s economic proposals. We can never be certain as to what a candidate will do in office. We saw George Bush morph from a compassionate conservative who opposed nation building to a far right wing ideologue who has devoted his presidency to an attempt at nation building.

Despite the difficulties in predicting what a president will do, there is strong reason to believe that the values held by Barack Obama will lead to a president doing less that I object to than social conservatives such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Obama’s experience in Constitutional law and his stronger support for civil liberties should make a difference. There is also a far less chance that Obama would support a blunder like Iraq as both Clinton and McCain did. As for economic policy, it is very difficult to predict which proposals and which tax cuts will actually make it thorough Congress. I’m far less likely to vote based upon this great unknown.

Protesting Dirty Politics

Noting in the previous post that another Clinton supporter has stopped backing Clinton due to the negative tone of the campaign raises another point. When Republicans used these tactics they were condemned as being part of a “vast right wing conspiracy” by Clinton supporters. However, not only do they have no qualms about using the same type of tactics but when Obama supporters criticize the tactics this is spun as a sign of weakness.

Of course this is all Clinton spin. Protesting such tactics is not a matter of strength. It is a matter of principle. The question is not whether you can handle this type of tactics but whether you are ethical enough to oppose it and want to see an end to the dirty style of politics practiced by the Clintons.

Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon, who I mentioned in the previous post, was only one example of a protest against the tone of the Clinton campaign. James E. Clyburn also spoke out against Clinton, saying that blacks are “incensed”  over some of his statements. he also told The New York Times that, “there appeared to be an almost unanimous view among African-Americans that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton were committed to doing everything they possibly could to damage Mr. Obama to a point that he could never win in the general election.”

Top Clinton Fund Raiser Defects to Obama

Now that it is mathematically very unlikely for Clinton to win the nomination we can expect to see some Clinton supporters defect to Obama. Today Clinton lost a major fund raiser. First Read reports:

NBC News has learned that a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, former Amb. to Chile Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon is leaving the campaign to join up Barack Obama’s campaign. Officially dubbed a “Hillraiser,” Guerra-Mondragon raised nearly $500,000 for Clinton’s campaign, according to some estimates. He has been informing people inside Clintonworld this week in what’s been described as some tough conversations. A formal announcement of a role for Guerra-Mondragon on Obama’s national finance committee will be made next week. Guerra-Mondragon was appointed Amb. to Chile by Pres. Clinton in ’94 and served until ’98.

Among the reasons for Guerra-Mondragon to defect, according to one informed source, was he was uneasy with the tone of the Clinton campaign and was beginning to worry about what this would mean for the general election.

It is notable that this is yet more person who stopped supporting Clinton due to the type of campaign she has run. This defection might also help Obama receive the support of more Hispanics.

Update: Protesting Dirty Politics

Sex For Net Neutrality

Tania Derveaux, who previously made what was probably the best campaign promise ever to get votes as a candidate for Senate in Belgium, is now working for net neutrality.  She is offering to make love to every virgin who backs net neutrality:

I’m using sex in a positive way to spread awareness. The reason why only virgins can apply is because I don’t want to make this promise to such a large amount of people that I’ll have to turn some down.

Net neutrality is paramount to safeguard free speech and innovation on the Internet. With only one arguably negative side-effect: an unusual amount of today’s Internet users are virgin. That’s a problem I intend to solve. In history, man has always waged war for freedom. Now it’s time to obtain our freedom with love.

Sex is all over the net and yet it’s still a big taboo for many. Using sex to spread awareness will be yet another big step to sexual freedom. This is just another great example of what’s possible thanks to net neutrality.

Here are the terms:

  • applicants must be 18yrs old or above
  • condom must be used, except if the applicant prefers to release his semen upon Tania’s body without any oral or vaginal contact
  • Anal sex is negotiable, although Tania will cease the performance immediately if any form of ‘surprise buttsex’ occurs
  • multiple participants are not allowed, but applicants are entitled to have an audience observe the performance
  • if anywhere along the process, it becomes clear that the applicant is not a virgin, Tania reserves the right to terminate all activity
  • applicant must be able to provide sufficient evidence that clearly shows he has been defending net neutrality (eg. a print-out of a forum post, a link to a vlog)
  • applicant agrees that in the event of the applicant infringing upon Terms of Service during the process of the act, Tania is not responsible for any genital injury that the applicant may suffer
  • Tania may deny service for hygiene reasons

Allegations of Clinton Push-Polling in North Carolina

The Clinton campaign has been suspected of push-polling before the California and South Carolina primaries. There are new allegations that they are push-polling in North Carolina. The following is a portion of the recorded phone call:

I’m going to read you a few criticisms opponents might make about Barack Obama. For each one please tell me if they give you very major doubts, fairly major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts about supporting Barack Obama for president. At a time when we need leaders who are clear, strong and decisive, Obama has been inconsistent, saying he would remove all troops, but then indicating that he might not, and pledging to renegotiate NAFTA, but then sending signals that he would not actually do so as president. He supported George W. Bush’s 2005 energy bill which payed six billion dollars in subsidies to the oil and gas industry, nine billion dollars in subsidies to the coal industry and twelve billion dollars in subsidies to the nuclear power industry. It was called ‘a piñata of perks’ and ‘the best energy bill corporations could buy. Would that leave you with major doubts, some doubts or no real doubts?

Martin Sheen Backs Obama

Martin Sheen, who played President Bartlett on The West Wing has endorsed Barack Obama. While this endorsement will not have any more impact than any of the other endorsements either candidate has received, this is at least a small symbolic victory. Bill Clinton was a big fan of the show and both camps were seeking Sheen’s endorsement. The BBC reports:

“Both Obama and Clinton came to me for support,” Sheen said in a BBC interview with Graham Norton.

“I haven’t said this publicly before but I’m an Obama supporter,” the 67-year-old said.

Sheen played idealised Democrat president Josiah Bartlet for seven seasons of hit drama The West Wing, which counted former presidents among its fans.

“Bill Clinton loved The West Wing and still calls me the president, so I have to be careful,” the Apocalypse Now actor revealed.

Krugman’s Confusion

If you do not understand why the Democratic Party has been a minority party in recent years, or if you want to see the path which risks returning them to the minority, read today’s column by Paul Krugman. In many ways it presents the exact opposite view of the Democratic Party as I presented in the previous post. Krugman returns to his usual course of Obama-bashing. He ignores the actual reasons as to why Obama lost in Pennsylvania and provides his view:

Let me offer an alternative suggestion: maybe his transformational campaign isn’t winning over working-class voters because transformation isn’t what they’re looking for.

From the beginning, I wondered what Mr. Obama’s soaring rhetoric, his talk of a new politics and declarations that “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” (waiting for to do what, exactly?) would mean to families troubled by lagging wages, insecure jobs and fear of losing health coverage. The answer, from Ohio and Pennsylvania, seems pretty clear: not much. Mrs. Clinton has been able to stay in the race, against heavy odds, largely because her no-nonsense style, her obvious interest in the wonkish details of policy, resonate with many voters in a way that Mr. Obama’s eloquence does not.

Yes, I know that there are lots of policy proposals on the Obama campaign’s Web site. But addressing the real concerns of working Americans isn’t the campaign’s central theme.

He goes on to complain once again about how Obama’s health care plan isn’t good enough because he doesn’t force everyone to join, showing the attitude which leads many to oppose the Democratic Party. In dismissing Obama on economics you would think that we are dealing with the difference between John Edwards and George Bush. Those who consider Barack Obama to be too conservative on economic policy are living in a different universe than at least three quarters of American voters.

In reality Obama does address the concerns of working Americans. He also shows understanding of the concerns of affluent professionals. Instead of playing class warfare, Obama is seeking to propose economic solutions which are best for the nation. He believes that helping the poor and working class does not require attacking the affluent. Krugman sees economic populism as a viable political strategy. As I argued in the previous post, and as Norm Scheiber also leans towards in the selection I quoted, this course will limit the Democrats to those who voted for them when they were a minority party. The Democratic Party as envisioned by Paul Krugman and Hillary Clinton is not a party I, or many other independents, will vote for. The Democrats must either be a big tent which can accommodate the views of Obama and his supporters or we will see another generation of Republican rule.

The column ends with the announcement that “David Brooks is off today.” The strange thing about the last few months is that I’d now rather read Brooks than Krugman. Sometimes I find something of value in what Brooks writes, and occasionally I even agree with him. It has become hard to find anything of either value or that I agree with when reading Krugman since he turned into a proponent of far left populism and endless Obama-bashing.