Gray Flannel Dwarf


In the Chips.

If anyone doubts the continued relevance of Bob Dylan, one only needs to consider the following words of wisdom, circa 1963.

Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote,
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note.
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple,
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people.
He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins

–Bob Dylan, “I Shall Be Free”

Last week there were a few raised eyebrows concerning this exchange between Hillary Clinton and someone on the campaign trail, at a stop in Las Vegas:

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

“No woman is illegal,” Clinton said, to cheers.

However, that misses the meatier bits in the article. Shrewdly identified, but somewhat awkwardly referenced over here at Daily Kos, it seems to have slipped the radar by a lot of people.

The quote in question:

“We treat these problems as if one is guacamole and one is chips, when … they both go together,” she said.

This statement, given the fact that, according to the article…

Clinton hugged Kihuen around the shoulders and asked about his family, and then the two began knocking on doors, the same doors Kihuen knocked on nearly two years ago in his first campaign. Clinton spent more than an hour in the predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood.

…comes across as sheer, unadulterated pandering, and it’s disgusting.

Now some will come to Clinton’s defence on this one. They’ll say that she was at a Mexican restaurant. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. In fact it comes across as even more sycophancy and equally pathetic.

Dylan’s not the only pertinent poet this time around, though: It’s Dante, whom in his Inferno, reserves the Malebolge, the eighth circle in Hell, for the fraudulent, the malicious, and the panderers.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 10:36 am



…that’s the sound you hear from the Hillary campaign’s chances in South Carolina after this little statement hits the mainstream media:

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton said. “It took a president to get it done.”

Intended or (most likely) not, it comes across as just a bit of a slight, no?

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 5:05 pm


The Audacity of Dopes

It would be remiss of me to write the following words without prefacing or making some sort of disclaimer that Obama is my candidate of choice. But it should be noted that I haven’t been too sure of this one for too awful long, and in fact had serious doubts, until recently. Lest any further doubts of your own linger, I was holding out hope for another Wes Clark run at it in 2008, and when that didn’t happen, I certainly was quite disappointed that he decided to align so quickly with the Clinton camp.

So, kos, apparently much chagrined at Obama, for a purported statement that, “I don’t want to go into the next election starting off with half the country already not wanting to vote for Democrats — we’ve done that in 2004, 2000,” fires off one of his own:

Psst, Barack, slamming John Kerry and Al Gore is what Republicans do. Not Democrats.

Psst Markos — since when do Democrats find themselves peering down the long barrel of some Reaganesque “11th commandment” of their own?

It is true that the Dems seem to eat their own, whereas the GOP tends to be lockstep — something that’s both an asset and a liability to the party, breeding diversity while also running the risk of causing animosity. You’re well aware of this, and you called out these this splintering in Crashing the Gate. But it’s apparently wrong to call out the failures of past campaigns and candidates — something else you also did in the book?

Markos, we know that you are, amongst other things, a sports fan, so you’re probably well aware that, often times, in close games, controversial (and sometimes bad) calls are made which may very will change the outcome and drastically change the end result. And just as often as people will whine that game was lost due to poor refereeing, cooler heads — often times those of the coaches themselves — prevail and the age-old truth is known: you can’t blame a game on a single call. If your team was good enough, they’d have won decisively, and that single call wouldn’t have affected the result — if it would have even occurred at all.

So now, in an odd bout of revisionism, you’re suggesting that Gore won (he didn’t, semantics and political systems be damned) and that Obama is somehow running to the right in order to win (he’s not).

A lot of people, wrongly or not, thought Gore2K was boring and wooden. The marketing sucked, the end result was both devastating and sobering. So what happened in 2004? Kerry won Iowa, and the Democrats, frothing and ready to take on GWB, buck the general historical trend concerning Iowa caucuses and eventual winners and latch on to Kerry, ignoring his fatal flaws, showering him with support, and run with him all the way through to the doubly-damning 2004 election result.

And Obama is somehow wrong for saying that the Dems need a candidate who doesn’t have a groundswell of opposition from the onset? We can ignore Gore’s buffed and polished weaknesses, but yet ignore the obvious issues a Hillary candidacy will entail? The Hillary campaign may seem like a juggernaut, but maybe that hulking mass is little more than a disguised 800-lb gorilla that everyone seems to be ignoring.

You and I both know the real paradox here — Hillary is the most centrist of the Democratic candidates and yet is the most despised by those on the right. I’m sure the Obama campaign is well-aware of this as well. I don’t know how Obama can be perceived as embracing “right-wing talking points”, either politically or rhetorically. I know you continually discount Hillary “electability” issues by citing national poll after national poll, but national polling did a fat lot of good in 2004.

I find my own anecdotal evidence to be a whole lot more revealing — real people to whom I’ve spoken, not anonymous polling numbers and not merely “centrists”, but those with right-leaning tendencies — people who are publicly or privately fed up with GWB and are looking very earnestly at candidates on the left. They tend to like, and sometimes even admire the likes of Edwards, or Biden, or Obama.

But the paradox lives on and these same people will not, in any way, shape or means, vote for Hillary.

Democrats want a landslide victory in 2008. In 2006 a near tidal-wave of change hit Congress and the Senate, and 2008 could be a repeat of epic proportions if the voters have the right choices. But that choice does not, however fortunately or unfortunately one wants to consider it, include Hillary at the helm. That Obama is recognizant of this does not make him a partisan or someone looking to the right for support. Rather, having seen what has occurred in 2000 and 2004, and what risks the Dems entail if HRC were to get the nomination, I’d say he’s a realist.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 3:16 pm


Interesting dream

So, right about that time when I was supposed to be waking up this morning, I had this crazy dream going on.

In the dream, there were a bunch of journalists invited over to the Clinton house for some event — like a “behind the scenes” sort of campaign event, or an informal party, or something — but it was a strictly off-the-record event — no notebooks, no cameras, etc.

Event took place, and shortly thereafter, an anonymous story was published in a newspaper, highlighting a discovery that Hillary was seen somewhat cozy with this guy that wasn’t Bill — holding hands, etc. Furthermore, a photo was somehow taken which corroborated this charge. It was further claimed that there were actually secret divorce/pre-divorce filings going on in the background between the Clintons, but that things were on the down-low for now, and Bill was helping with Hillary’s political ambitions first.

Meanwhile, this was all over the TV — for example, Chris Matthews, or someone, was talking to a journalist trying to identify the author. One of the journalists (or other attendees?) eventually revealed his thoughts as to whom he guessed the author was — some writer for one of the more gossipy newsrags — but for the most part, no one was talking. At the same time people, after the story had broken, these same journalists were also backing up the assertions — they’d seen the same thing.

Kind of a crazy dream. It was fantastically lucid. I guess the funniest part about it all was the fact that it did seem real — and in fact, in the dream itself, I found myself doing a google news search for info about this.

More and more, I find this the case, though. Rather than having a dream that seems completely outlandish, and then waking up to know it’s just that… I find myself waking up and thinking there is a shred of truth to it — because, after all, I searched Google News, right? It’s another layer of surreality to peel away in the mornings.

Of course, in the real world, there must be some Hillary desperation going on somewhere, what with this joke of a press release. I mean, come on, it looks like something out of The Onion.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:31 am


Leading is Fundamental!

Insomuch as one might be able to swallow something published by Mother Jones w/o a little bit of salt, here’s an interesting article on Hillary Clinton’s evangelical connections.

They do turn an interesting angle on Tillich and Niebuhr, in this one. Kind of curious, over all.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 12:37 am


Open note to the DNC

Dear Dr. Howard Dean, et al
During these last miserable six+ years, I have changed quite a bit. After years of staunch, “independence”, expressing dissatisfaction with both parties, I was fed up with the current POTUS. I supported Wes Clark early on, and after the primaries were over, I winced slightly and voted for Kerry in 2004, the first time I voted for a major party in a Presidential election, and one of only a very small handful of votes I’d ever made in state or federal elections where I did such.

The results in 2004 were less than admirable, but I continued to support the Democrats. In September of 2005, I officially registered as a Democrat. I also began contributing monthly via the Democracy Bonds programme in order to help the Democrats make gains.

This bond is kind of what’s on my mind right now.

You see, I like to invest, on the side, and like most investors, I will invest in companies which I feel will bring good results. Likewise, when I question a business strategy, I will be more hesitant, and may very well sell.

Certainly, the Democrats made great strides in 2006, and I feel the accomplishments were numerous and great. I’m hoping we continue to see great things happen in the name of progress… So let it be known that if Hillary Clinton ends up getting the nod from Democratic delegates around this country for a 2008 run, please be well-advised that you’ll see my support dry up. Just as I don’t invest in floundering companies, nor will I invest in a political organisation which nominates unelectable candidates. The Democrats have been out of the White House for eight years by the time the next inauguration rolls around, and I certainly don’t want to see another four.

This is not an issue of “fair weather fan” syndrome.  Rather, it’s more like stark reality. That you’re hearing this from me, a registered Democrat, is probably all the more indicative of what the many unaffiliated, independents who are still out there, whose votes will probably be of greater importance this year than any election in recent history, are thinking. Ms. Clinton may be popular amongst a large plurality of the party, but any attempt to convince those beyond party lines is little more than a fool’s errand.

Yes, the primary season is democratic, too. Emboldened Democrats will vote for the candidate they feel should represent the party — and country — in 2008, and I guess, in the end, you haven’t any control over that. Democracy is terrific in that sense.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that I’m not the only one out here thinking thoughts such as these. It might behoove the Democratic party to take that into consideration as things ramp up heading towards 2008. This is not a matter of petty special interests groups or necessarily personal bias. Rather, it’s about common sense. It’s been a drought the past two elections… and Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the hard rain that these parched crops are looking for. Any nomination of Hillary Clinton would be construed by me, and many others, as more irrational idealism that, quite frankly, neither this party nor this country can ill afford.


No mo’ Warner in 2008

So, Mark Warner won’t be running in 2008… when rumours of this first started coming out today, I joked that

  • Warner’s a moderate Democrat
  • He’s used to working with an otherwise divisive, Republican legislature

Therefore, he’s got such confidence that the Dems will regain the House and Senate that he wouldn’t know how to handle it!

As it turns out, he’s doing it to spend time w/ his family:

I have decided not to run for President.This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my Dad’s 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter Madison to start looking at colleges.I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I’d been thinking about for many weeks—that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge—at this point, I want to have a real life.

And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn’t move forward unless I’m willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner.

This has been a difficult decision, but for me, it’s the right decision.

Now, while that’s a statement that you normally hear from disgraced polticians who resign due to some scandal, Warner is neither a) currently in office nor b) a corrupt politician. In fact, he’s one of the most honest, down-to-earth figures I’ve seen.

So who’s left? Of the current leaders of the pack, I think they’re all seriously flawed. Edwards? A one-term Senator and failed VP candidate? No thanks… and certainly no Hillary! Kerry is said to be considering it again, and I might have to hold my nose and vote him again if he were to get the nod — although the Dems have a habit of eating their own, especially those who lose Presidential elections.

Once again — and even moreso — hoping that the Dems get smart and nominate Wes Clark. Doubt we’ll see it happen though.