Unstoppable momentum is now a gale force wind propelling Barack Obama towards the Democratic nomination. That same wind is blowing stiffly in the face of Hillary Clinton and even more so (when it comes to the presidential election) John McCain.
Grass roots will carry the banner for the first time since McGovern in 1972. Barack Obama will win the Democratic nomination and go on to beat McCain in the presidential election of 2008.
The reason, believe it or not, is an attitude change about “walking away”.
This might sound strange so let’s start with a recap of what I said in Moral Obligations Of Walking Away.
National Referendum On Walking Away
Most don’t realize it but there is currently a national referendum on walking away that is page one news every single day. I am talking about decision 2008, the presidential election.
Will we walk away from Iraq or not?
- A vote for John McCain is a vote for the status quo of wasting trillions more dollars and countless more lives in Iraq.
- A Vote for Obama is a vote for exiting that hellhole and having discussions with Iran.
- A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for wishy washiness, political expediency, and the same stubborn unwillingness to admit mistakes that we see in Bush.
For the record, I voted for none of the above in the primary. I voted for Ron Paul. But like it or not, barring some sort of miracle one of the above is going to win the presidency.
The moral obligations of walking away from Iraq
- Do we have a moral obligation to spend money in Iraq after we blew it to smithereens?
- Do we have a moral obligation to admit mistakes and stop wasting lives of soldiers?
- Do we have a moral obligation to repair the decaying infrastructure of the US instead of attempting to be the world’s policeman?
- Do we have a moral obligation to the Citizens of the US to get out of the region, given that being in the region dramatically escalates the risk of terrorism against the US?
- Do we have a moral obligation to stop wasting billions of dollars in jet fuel flying needless missions all over the world when crude oil prices are so high?
- Is there a moral obligation to let Europe and Japan defend themselves rather than depending on US overseas bases and US taxpayer dollars to defend them?
- Is there a moral obligation for the US to walks away from Europe and Japan with so many suffering here?
Where people “draw the line” on walking away is going to play a major role in determining the next president of the United States.
Fortune Magazine interviewed me last week about “Walking Away” in regards to housing. As important as walking away is to the housing market, I told them to look ahead to what “Walking Away” from Iraq means politically and economically and that it would decide the next election. Two days later I found this.
Poll: Leaving Iraq will help economy
The public has decided (and they are correct) that It Is Time To Leave Iraq. What’s really interesting is that leaving Iraq is the number one choice to help the economy. Let’s take a look.
AP Poll: Stimulus Checks Welcome, but to Really Help the Economy US Should Leave Iraq.
The heck with Congress’ big stimulus bill. The way to get the country out of recession — and most people think we’re in one — is to get the country out of Iraq, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.
Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they’ll spend the economy into recovery.
The $168 billion economic rescue package Congress rushed to approval this week includes rebates of $600 to $1,200 for most taxpayers, the hope being that they will spend the money and help revive ailing businesses. President Bush is expected to sign the measure next week. Poor wage-earners, as well as seniors and veterans who live almost entirely off Social Security and disability benefits, would get $300 checks.
However, just 19 percent of the people surveyed said they planned to go out and spend the money; 45 percent said they’d use it to pay bills. And nearly half said what the government really should do is get out of Iraq.
Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country’s economic problems “a great deal,” and an additional 20 percent said it would help at least somewhat. Some 43 percent said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36 percent said cutting taxes.
“Let’s stop paying for this war,” said Hilda Sanchez, 44, of Waterford, Calif. “There are a lot of people who are struggling. We can use the money to pay for medical care and help people who were put out of their homes.”
People Sick Of War For Economic Reasons
The public has finally had enough of this war, not because of the lack of progress, the constant bickering, or sadly to say even the needless killing. Rather the public has lost support for this war for economic reasons. And they are right on that score. Our defense budget is a national disgrace.
Please consider Bush’s Proposed $3.1 Trillion Budget.
President Bush submitted a federal budget of $3.1 trillion on Monday, declaring that the spending plan would keep the United States safe and prosperous and, despite its record size, would adhere to his principle of letting Americans keep as much of their own money as possible.
“Thanks to the hard work of the American people and spending discipline in Washington, we are now on a path to balance the budget by 2012,” the president said in an introductory message.
We Can No Longer Afford To Be The World’s Policeman
The public has decided the budget is preposterous. It is not only preposterous, Bush’s statements are a blatant lie. You cannot balance the budget by spending more than you take in, year after year after year.
We are spending ourselves to death. That irresponsible spending is reflected in the sinking dollar and the rise of gold. All the needless military missions are reflected in the price of oil. The US military is the largest user of oil in the world. People have finally figured this out.
“The Pentagon’s proposed budget is $515.4 billion, an increase of 7.5 percent over this year, meaning that military spending would be the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II.”
Where were the fiscal conservatives? The only one you can find in either party is Ron Paul. I voted for Ron Paul in the primary. I am proud of that vote. It was a vote for honesty, dignity, smaller government, fiscal prudence, and a vote against mindless governmental meddling. Ron Paul is far and away the best candidate from either party, but it simply is not his day.
The above chart from GlobalIssues.Org
What Hath War Bought?
Let’s reflect on what we have gotten for all of our military spending. Over $4 trillion dollars (yes, that’s trillion) has been spent on defense over the past seven years could not even catch one man, Osama Bin Laden. We blew Iraq to smithereens and have noting to show for that but lost lives, less oil flowing now than before the war, and increased risk of terrorism. The kicker is we drove Iraq towards the Shia fundamentalists that are now ruling Iran.
The world was behind us after 911. They are not behind us now. We lost a golden opportunity to lead the way.
Lost in the wreckage of all this waste is the fact that our own CIA trained Bin Laden. It was probably the best training mission in the history of the CIA, a “job well done” for sure.
Finally! At long last, the public is deciding we cannot afford to be the world’s policeman. It takes a long time to change attitudes but attitudes have clearly changed. Campaign 2008 is exactly about attitudes, especially arrogant attitudes.
The Great Divider
Bush ran on a campaign of being “The Great Uniter”. Does anyone remember that? Even Republicans are distancing themselves from the arrogant attitude of Bush who has been as stubborn about everything as he has been wrong about everything.
Internally the US has not been more divided since the Vietnam War. However Bush was partially correct. One of his legacies will be that he will be the first president in history to single handedly unite most of the world against us.
Why Hillary Will Fail To Win The Nomination
- Hillary will fail because she is as stubborn as Bush.
- Hillary will fail because she is as arrogant as Bush.
- Hillary will fail because she cannot admit a mistake.
- Hillary will fail because she supported the war.
- Hillary will fail because she continues to lie about why she supported the war.
- Hillary will fail because people do not trust here to exit Iraq.
- Hillary will fail because she is an insider representing the status quo.
- Hillary will fail because she too is a divider.
Why Obama Will Be The Next President
- Obama is a uniter who will exit Iraq and talk with our enemies instead of attempting to bomb them into an attitude change.
The public is sick of this war for economic reasons. Polls show the single most important thing we can do economically is leave Iraq. That’s all you need to know. There are plenty of reason to vote against Obama. I for one, will not like many of the programs he will support.
But there is one powerful reason to vote for him. That one reason is enough.
Obama is smart enough to understand you cannot bomb enemies into an attitude change and it is a waste of money to even try.
Can Super Delegates Save The Day For Hillary?
Please consider What role for Democratic ‘super-delegates’?
It’s called the Democratic Party, but one aspect of the party’s nominating process is at odds with grass-roots democracy.
Voters don’t choose the 842 unpledged “super-delegates” who comprise nearly 40 percent of the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.
The category includes Democratic governors and members of Congress, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former vice president Al Gore, retired congressional leaders such as Dick Gephardt, and all Democratic National Committee members, some of whom are appointed by party chairman Howard Dean.
In early 1970’s, the party’s rules were reformed to open the process to grass-roots activists, women, and ethnic minorities. Sen. George McGovern, the leading anti-Vietnam war liberal, won the 1972 nomination. McGovern turned out to be a disaster as a presidential candidate, winning only one state and the District of Columbia.
So without reverting to the days of party bosses like Buckley, the Democrats decided to guarantee that elected officials would have a bigger voice in the nomination.
There were, Mayer says, two motives in giving elected officials a big voice in the nomination.
“One was not to get (ideologically) extreme candidates; the other was to avoid the Jimmy Carter phenomenon — where you had a guy who was not very experienced and not very well regarded by most of his fellow governors, but nevertheless managed to win the party’s nomination,” Mayer said.
But “it is very difficult to argue” that the super-delegate system “has consequences, unintended or intended,” said Mayer.
The only year when they may have an impact was in 1984, he said. The loyalty of Democratic elected officials probably helped Walter Mondale survive an unexpectedly strong challenge from Sen. Gary Hart who had beaten Mondale in New Hampshire and other primaries.
“The super-delegates clearly gave him his majority and helped him wrap up the nomination earlier,” Mayer said.
“Do the super-delegates have the capacity to resist the choice of the overwhelming majority of primary voters and caucus participants? The answer, I think, is a clear ‘No,’” said Mayer.
Nevertheless, there’s a romantic streak in some political junkies who fantasize about a scenario in which the nomination could still be in doubt at the end of the primary season.
That hasn’t happened in either party in 30 years.
Political Hacks and Warmongers Support Hillary
There is little doubt that political hacks and warmongers support Hillary. But as I said at the very beginning of this post: The groundswell of public support is wind at the back of Obama. So is momentum, and so is fund raising.
Obama has succeded where McGovern failed. Obama has united those sick of war for any reason with those convinced that leaving Iraq is the single most important thing economically we can do for the country. That is a powerful union!
In contrast, McCain has split the Republican party in pieces and his support for the war in Iraq has the country united against him.
Look back. McGovern, the last grass roots candidate, lost the election because the morality of the war and the hundreds of thousands dead simply were not as important as the economy. McGovern failed to unite a war-torn country around an economic cause.
McCain stands for more economic waste, more war, and more divisiveness. Hillary stands for more wishywashyness on Iraq and pompous arrogance elsewhere else. Hillary, like McCain are lightning rods. The country is sick of lighting rods.
Obama has managed to do what McCain and Hillary have not: Unite the country with a simple three word message conveying a positive attitude about change.
Yes We Can
The Huffington Post is writing Why “Yes We Can” Inspires.
This election is shaping up to be the first where technology will be both a medium and a message for the election. The last four years have seen technology and the web weave themselves into politics and allow regular people to produce and distribute content that would have been unimaginable just an election ago.
The Black Eyed Peas and Jesse Dylan (son of Bob) may not count as ordinary voters, but their new music video “Yes We Can” is a model for the types of things that people can do today in this first campaign of the information age that never would have been possible before.
The new video overlays Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech after the New Hampshire primary with music and accompaniment from stars like John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Common, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Scarlett Johansson, Tatyana Ali and Nick Cannon. It’s a perfect example of the types of content that never would have seen the light of day just four years ago-where could you have bought enough TV airtime to air a 4:30 television ad? How could you possibly have gotten enough nationwide exposure to make it possible?
“I’m blown away by how many people wanted to come and be a part of it in a short amount of time. It was all out of love and hope for change and really representing America and looking at the world,” will.i.am told ABCNews on Friday.
The video, which just hit the web this weekend, has already begun to go viral in a big way. I’ve had friends send it to me on both Twitter and Facebook already and video views on YouTube are rising by the hour. Plus, who knows how many times the original video has been viewed on YesWeCanSong.com?
This video also speaks to another unique facet of “the First Campaign”: Creativity moves people and thus votes. For decades, media consultants could be assured that their ads would be viewed on television because there weren’t other options. Now with the rise of TiVos and DVRs, commercials are a button press away from disappearing and the traditional advertising roadblock doesn’t work.
On the web, unless something makes you stop and say “That’s fascinating” you won’t pass it along to someone else. Going viral means creating great content and it should be instructive to all candidates that we’re seeing the voters go the extra mile to help boost their candidate of choice — as Howard Dean said four years ago, “You have the power to change this country,” both through voting and creating viral content.
And it’s in that final sentiment that one can see why the new “Yes We Can” song is so powerful. That simple theme of “We Can” perfectly sums up the hope of an insurgent campaign — it’s not a front-runner’s slogan.
Politics should be all about doing the impossible. As Joe Trippi used to tell us on the Dean campaign, “You gotta believe!”
Destiny: Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States of America.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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