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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

February 4, 2008

 

A New Blog Worthy of a Visit

I have set up a new blog at http://www.usmediacorps.org/nj/. To blog, you need to log on using the Login Form on the front page. Click "Blog" on the main menu, then "New." It's very much like adding a published letter.

Note that you can set your post's "Published" state to "Published" to have your blog entry appear right away.

 

-Eddie-Konczal



Super Tuesday
(The "Other" Super)


It isn't the general, just remember that. There is no winner-take-all where, if one candidate gets one vote more than his (or her) opponent, they take all of the delegates in that state. There is, however, perception and bragging rights.

Today the Super Tuesday states vote to nominate their two respective parties' candidates for President of the United States. What was supposed to be a cake-walk for Senator Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has turned into a race.

And when it appeared that the Democratic race had narrowed to make it, well, a race; and the Republicans were so congested that everyone thought it would go down to the convention to name a candidate, things changed. The Democratic race shaped up like this:

John Edwards had been running since losing the VP bid in 2004. The only thing that could stop him, it appeared, would be a charismatic newcomer who could created new voters or anyone named "Clinton". He is now out of the race along with otherwise good candidates such as Senator Joe Biden, Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Chris Dodd.

As soon as Hillary through her hat into the ring, she became the Democratic favorite, and she ran with that mantle and everybody else was going down - until, that is, Senator Barack Obama joined the fray. Obama brought something new to the table - he brought a fired up group of voters who: (A) taken for granted by the Democratic Party, and; (B) never voted in the numbers which the Democrats had wished. That group of voters in the under-30 crowd, and although they represented 17 percent of the vote in 2004 (with an additional 20 percent of them voting), it was the same 17 percent of the vote they made up in 2000. (There was an increase of 20 percent in the general election from 2000 to 2004.)

Obama is also bringing more African American voters out. They represent another group whose vote had been taken for granted by the Democrats, noting their 91 percent to nine percent (Kerry-to-Bush) vote in 2004. The problem was that they didn't show up in the numbers hoped for. Obama has galvanized the African American community even more than Bill Clinton did in 1992. His ability to get the young/ college vote in to the polls and get the Southern Black community involved (as noted by his win in South Carolina) may not only put him over the top on the Democratic side of the nominating process, but may give him the Presidency.

On the GOP side of the equation, we have Senator John McCain rising from the ashes. It almost seemed as if "The Maverick", who has been tamed (broken?) by the Bush policies of endless war, no health care for all and policies that mimic the Bush administration's so closely you wonder just what made him "The Maverick" in the first place. In a pre-2006 field of possible candidates who included soon-to-be-defeated Senators Rick Santorum and George Allen Jr., and soon-to-retire Senator Bill Frist, McCain appeared to be the guy who no Republican, Kool-Aid drinking Bushie would vote for. The best thing that happened to McCain was the Democrats taking both houses of Congress. When the field whittled down to him and Rudy, the far right voters had no one to vote for who would push their cause of diminished freedoms. And as Rudy tried to move further and further to the Right, no one on the Right bought it.

Enter Mitt Romney, whose resume looked a lot like Rudy's only in reverse. Romney came from a wealthy family (his father, George, was a front-running presidential candidate in 1968 before he blew it); who went into the business arena (another guy born on third and thinking he hit a triple); went into politics; then decided to run for the Oval Office. Rudy came from nothing and bullied his way into the national spotlight using the worst tragedy in US history as a spring-board - the 911 terrorist attacks. Giuliani today boasts of the millions he is making with his firm, Giuliani Partners and million dollar speaking engagements. But, where Romney's real millions are keeping him in the race, Rudy's millions of mistakes have removed his name from contention.

And then there's Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson. Thompson, the old guy with the hot wife, blew whatever chance he had when he said, "I will run for the Presidency." It seems that he was a better candidate when he wasn't a candidate. Reverend/ Governor Mike Huckabee, who lost 100 pounds, became the Religious Right Wing darling when it turned out that he was the guy making the same promise that George Bush made when he ran in 2000 - to end abortion. Today he is the fly in the ointment who is still holding the Religious Right's water.

We all know by now that McCain was left for dead just a couple of months ago. But with Giuliani's not bothering with Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina left him as the man with the loaded chamber at his temple and about to pull the trigger, there was room for McCain to make a move. Today, the senior Senator from Arizona is the de facto nominee and growing stronger. And although Romney has all the cash he needs to make real strides, it still may not be enough.

Today, Super Tuesday, McCain will emerge even stronger and the Democrats will be, still, too close to call. The delegate count at the end of the day will see Hillary Clinton in the lead with over one-thousand of the 2,025 delegates needed for the nomination, with Barack Obama just over 100 delegates behind her.

We could very well see a Hillary-Obama McCain-Huckabee battle come November. Only time will tell.

-Noah Greenberg



In response to Super Bowl Madman, Norma writes:

This is classic imperialism - competitive sports done for money! - and as distraction from our horrors. indicating your problem understanding democracy. You don't get democracy in a materially dis-equal state.

Democracy would mean we'd get time to play, too, instead of have largely only to watch people play.

Violence arises out of the inequalities, the material inequalities, the constant call of the Owners to serve them instead of serve our pleasures and needs.

They own the jobs; our labor and Earth, which they rape by legal mandate, capitalism.


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-Noah Greenberg