I have been watching with amazement the similarity of passionate liberal Bob Cesca’s and passionate (maverick) conservative Andrew Sullivan’s coverage of the democratic primaries. I can find myself reading articles from either one of them and confuse them, one for the other.
Here is Cesca reacting to HRC’s I’m-conceeding-nuthin speach under the heading It’s Getting scary:
Another indication that the Clinton faction will ultimately split from the Democratic Party. They now have an excuse — however specious — to demonize the party itself. To quote Gandalf: “The board is set and the pieces are moving.”
1) Target the party as misogynists and election thieves.
2) Continue to paint Senator Obama as a weakling McGovern type.
3) Continue to fight and appear, in contrast, “strong”.
4) Split from the party, or conduct an active write-in campaign for November.
5) Pull enough votes away from Senator Obama to give Senator McCain the win.
6) Run again in 2012.
I hope I’m wrong.
And Sullivan in The Clintons Threaten:
Her narcissism requires that she deprive her opponent of a night, or a second, of gratification or attention. And she has now won, in her Bush-like version of reality, 18 million votes. Her invitation for her supporters to email their suggestions to her website is pure theater, a way of keeping herself in the spotlight and maneuvering her delegates to demand a second spot on the ticket. The way she is now doing this – by an implicit threat, backed by McCain, to claim that Obama is an illegitimate nominee if she does not get her way – is designed to humiliate the nominee sufficiently to wound him enough to lose the election.
Either way, she is clearly intent on getting Obama defeated this fall if she is not offered the vice-presidency. And if she gets the veep nod, the way she has gotten it will allow her to argue that a November loss was not her loss. It was his. And she will run again in 2012.
I like Cesca’s direct style and terrific turn of phrase. Sullivan’s writing and political analysis is difficult to beat though I am not a fan of his commentary on foreign affairs.
Matthew Yglesias’s, however, is brilliant on foreign affairs and he is is just as sharp and witty as they say; while his optimism is infectious and he is difficult to ruffle, even he had had enough:
I probably shouldn’t write any more about this woman and her staff. Suffice it to say that I’ve found her behavior over the past couple of months to be utterly unconscionable and this speech is no different. I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who’ve been enabling her behavior, I’d say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain’s most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton’s payroll.
But check this from Al Giordano:
Real quick: I think that Senator Clinton’s speech was fine.
She didn’t concede. (The Field didn’t expect her to.) But nor did she declare that she’s going to go on a Kamikaze mission.
“I will be making no decisions tonight.” Check.
“I will carry your stories and dreams with me.” Check.
“I want to hear from you.” Write a check.
“I will be consulting with party leaders.” Check.
“The best interests of our party and our country.” Check.
She wants to sit down with Obama.
Everything is good. She’s getting out. She just has to negotiate her terms. But she stopped short of starting an internecine Civil War in the Democratic party. And nothing in her tone or words indicated otherwise.
She didn’t even tug your beards as much as I thought she would.
Now the rest of the supers will put the hammer down.
Important Update: 26.5 more superdelegates endorsed Barack Obama in the past five minutes! Here is the list, and their statements, at the jump…
Al Giordano has long ago noticed the way the Clintons have been sucking everyone into their psycho-drama and has been telling people not to take the bait. In this he is on the same wave length of the Obama campaign. Here he is from yesterday:
So, between now and 10:05 p.m. ET, I am declaring this blog a Chicken Little Free Zone. If you come here with nervous declarations, don’t bother posting them. I will delete them (and enjoy it as I do!). If you want to ask a “concern” question, you had better read the last few days of posts and comments here first to see if I’ve already answered that question from someone else. Because if you ask a question that has already been answered, I’ll consider you an inattentive reader, unwilling to do a modicum of research prior to flapping your keypad gums, and I’ll reach for the delete button.
There can be no finer demonstration on the value of patience and the uselessness of anger (and how difficult it is to resist). This is smart punditry following a smart campaign.
Update: In a stunning series of articles Yglesias explains why McCain’s being right about the surge is really a chimera, gives an excellent (the best I have seen) roundup of Obama’s achievements and the view ahead, offers an excellent encapsulation of the dire problems that McCain really must address and reminds of an almost forgotten insight into a critical factor behind Obama’s success, and why (‘its the war, stupid’). As they say, one of the sharpest minds in the blogosphere.
Update II: I think Al has fingered McCain’s greatest problem with that speech: we are seeing a phony John McCain. This chimes with what others have been saying that McCain has real structural problems in trying to bridge independents and the GOP base. The independents like the maverick McCain but McCain has had to try and bury the maverick to appease the GOP base while trying to use his real base (the press) to project maverickness to independents. I think Al is right. McCain is going to have to find some speech writers that cab tune into what is real for him and let folks make up their mind.