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What I Would Tell Democratic Voters In Iowa And New Hampshire

January 21, 2016

This blog has not been shy about calling attention to the fact Hillary Clinton has some chinks in her armor.   I have stated there is a special route the Clinton’s have taken over the decades when it comes to ethics and conducting themselves in the political arena.  That is not a political slam but instead just following the headlines in the newspapers since 1992 and letting facts lead the way.  I strongly suspect that many of my fellow Democrats in states like Iowa and New Hampshire are thinking about the past as they ponder the future and the votes they will soon cast for a presidential nominee.

If I could meet with voters at their home, or more pleasing to me over pie and a hot mug of coffee in a small diner, the plea I would make to them would be very straight forward.   There is only one way to have a Democratic victory in November.    And in their gut, I would remind them, they know the way to achieve that needed goal.

I would readily admit being very peeved over the way Clinton selected which emails to erase from her server or how she made money on the speaking circuit based on past government service–something which I always view as unseemly regardless of who does it.   I know such speeches are a most lucrative undertaking but it is a smarmy way to get richer.

But then I would remind the caucus or primary voter seated in front of me that our country requires something of us that necessities  we place personal feelings and opinions on one side and balance them out with the long-term needs of the nation.   For instance how important do our personal feelings over emails (as in my case) stack up with the need of future nominees to the Supreme Court understanding the Constitution is a living document.  The list of such issues range from health care, climate change to international relations.

As a reader of history it never fails to lead me to one conclusion.   There was never a time when one could just conclude that the national narrative would always unfold with everything more or less working out for the good.   The framers of the Constitution were not at all sure what they produced would last any longer than they might actually live.  Military minds hoped D-Day would prove to a powerful strategy in World War II, but everything looks better on paper.  We read history knowing the outcome.  But those who lived the history we now enjoy in books were living one moment to the next and not sure of what might take place.

And so it is with the decisions we make for our future.

We need to lift ourselves up to the task of making sure that the outcome we actually want to have happen will take place.

Readers know that I was ready to double-somersault had Vice-President Joe Biden entered the race.   It was not that I would be uncomfortable with Clinton sitting in the Oval Office but rather my deep appreciation for Biden’s character and convictions.

I have written words of praise for Martin O’Malley and would be proud to cast a ballot for him.   I have listened to the speeches from Bernie Sanders and pondered how in an ideal world with a congress made up of anyone other than Republicans his views might be shaped into policy.

But Biden decided not to run, O’Malley never could find a way to break through, and Sanders has no way to win in a general election.   An election that I need not remind any real Democrat which must be won by our side.

Therefore thoughtful Democratic caucus and primary voters need to seek out the way to get to our goal of securing the White House for the next four–or more likely if we prevail–eight years.  First time voters, or young voters without political experience might think only of some idealized notion of who to cast a ballot for, not  fully realizing the stakes that are involved at this pivotal time in our history. Mature and seasoned voters know that the stakes are too high to throw the election to the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton is smart, skilled, and capable.  She is the nominee who can keep the White House in Democratic hands.

The question now falls to how smart and politically skilled the voters are.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Cruella de Mon permalink
    January 22, 2016 11:04 AM

    JPMorgan CEO gets a 35 percent pay raise amid cutbacks of 6,761 jobs. The stars are aligning. Ka-ching. I can almost hear the Bernie ballots being dropped into the poll boxes in NH and the chairs clanking to be arranged for the Bernie caucus in Iowa. http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/jpmorgan-ceo-gets-a-35-percent-pay-raise-amid-cutbacks/ar-BBoxMnv?li=BBnbfcL

  2. January 22, 2016 12:30 AM

    I hear what you say but wish to point out that gun violence is much larger issue now than it was in 2000- and there is a heightened interest in doing something to curtail it–gun show loop holes etc. and so there is room for a Dem. candidate to talk about it and work to put coalitions in congress behind certain options. I do take some expectation with your view that “young people, progressives, labor rank and file ” are going to some magic force for turnout. Young people are some of the least involved voters, labor has been gutted in terms of power and money and progressives are not the source of as much power as they claim–we have some Walkers wins in WI to show the limits on such thinking. And if you claim that the Dem candidate was not to their liking so they just could not ante up the interest to vote than it comes back to the last line of my post…..The question now falls to how smart and politically skilled the voters are.

  3. Cruella de Mon permalink
    January 21, 2016 11:13 PM

    and in West Virginia, which the Dems carried in 14 out of 17 elections since 1932, except for the Ike, Nixon and Reagan landslides, Shrub won by 41,000 and Nader had 10,000 votes and wasn’t a factor. Bore would have won with those electoral votes. Or, Bore’s home state of Tennessee, which Shrub won by 80,000 votes and Nader took 19,000+. But to cherry pick one state’s results and blame it on Nader voters in Florida is kinda piss poor and disingenuous analysis. Plus the fact that Buchanan most likely took 17,500 votes from Bush, more than the margin of victory in Florida. But, the people who engineer blah candidates and then tell voters to choose Tweedle Dee or lump it like to deflect responsibility. To put a finer point on it, one of the reasons generally given for Gore losing WV, AR, TN, OH, NH and some others (as well as losing the House and Senate) was the gun control measures implemented during the Clinton terms. And yet one of the main planks in Hillary’s campaign, which she criticizes Bernie for being weak on, (and which Deke advocates) is gun control. Seems like it would help her run up the totals in Dem cities and states, and lose the close states and probably down-ticket races, like Senate. So how would she get the gun control laws or supreme court nominations through? That seems to be a major knock that you and the Hillary crowd have with Bernie’s ideas. The difference is his positions will generate excitement and increased turnout by young people, progressives, labor rank and file and those who are passionately concerned with protecting Medicare and Social Security.

  4. January 21, 2016 10:12 PM

    I add for those who care to know…….In Florida, which Bush carried by 537 votes, Nader received nearly 100,000 votes.

  5. January 21, 2016 10:11 PM

    Check the vote totals in Florida and tell me that Nader did not take the election from the Democrats. Nader voters who turned their back on the Democratic candidate swung both Florida and New Hampshire to Bush in 2000. Those are the facts. I am all for youthful energy and votes, but I am also mindful that pragmatic knowledge about budgeting and how politics are played in Washington when one party does not have all the power means that we need to think beyond being a purist. How will all those young feel about their vote for Bernie if it allows a Republican to win the WH and have the SC revert to an anti-abortion majority. People need to think clearly. I love all those who are short-sighted now and then will complain about how they hate being on the outside looking in when things go downhill after the election.

  6. Cruella de Mon permalink
    January 21, 2016 6:09 PM

    And, as Tommy Thompson noted when Tammy Baldwin excited the young, progressives and the LGBT community, expanded turnout in 1998 for her probably helped Russ Feingold keep his Senate seat. But I guess we don’t need new voters, same ol’ same ol’ will be very exciting.

  7. Cruella de Mon permalink
    January 21, 2016 5:57 PM

    Recall what happened when Albert Gore ran a stable, bland, vanilla, prevent-defense (that’s a football term Deke, you can look it up🙂 don’t rock the boat, I’m the establishment choice, sigh, sigh, sigh at the debates, it’s the lockbox stupid, campaign. How’d that work out for ya? Nader didn’t cost Gore the election, Gore cost Gore the election.

  8. January 21, 2016 4:53 PM

    Recall what happened when Ralph Nader was the flavor of the day.

  9. Cruella de Mon permalink
    January 21, 2016 4:16 PM

    Yes kids you are naïve and unrealistic. The dowagers and curmudgeons will chose the nominee for you, and you will be enthusiastic and turnout in the fall . Until then, keep hope under control, the status quo you can believe in, the fierce urgency of whenever. Meanwhile, the people in the know will polish the crown and warm the anointing oil and open the campaign checks from Wall Street. We’ll let you know when we need you.

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