Saturday, January 05, 2008

Iowa's over. Start popping the popcorn.

For the past week, it's been All-Iowa, All the Time on the cable news channels. Mornings, I'd flip on the TV to hear more punditry on Iowa. Le Sweetie would then ask, "When is this all going to be over?"

Iowa has come. Iowa has gone. The netroots denizens are pleased as punch about 2008's new state of Obamarama. La Hill, meanwhile, is scrambling to regain her footing, because--soo-priiiiiize!--her current tactics aren't working.

Some advisers say that the campaign miscalculated in having Mr. Clinton play such a public role, that Mrs. Clinton could not effectively position herself as a change agent, the profile du jour for Democrats, so long as he stood as a reminder that her presidency would be much like his. Other advisers say that Mr. Obama now owns the “change” mantra and that Mrs. Clinton needs a Plan B.

“Hillary says she’ll change things, but then voters see Bill and hear them talk about the 1990s, and it’s clear that the Clintons are not offering change but rather Clinton Part 2,” said one veteran adviser to both Clintons. “That won’t win.”

Beating a sunny, charismatic opponent like Mr. Obama — especially given his embrace by such a cross-section of Iowa voters — is not part of the Clinton experience. When facing political crises, the couple’s modus operandi has been to attack their attackers and question their motives. But Mr. Obama is not Kenneth W. Starr, Newt Gingrich or Paula Jones; a presidential campaign is not a Washington scandal; and the Clinton strategy of attacking Mr. Obama’s readiness for the presidency did not work in Iowa.

I've never been against La Hill, but nothing about her has thrilled me. Not even Merle Haggard's endorsement. And I was concerned President Hillary would be a case of "same-old-shit-different-decade." I always preferred Edwards and Obama--Edwards for his populism, Obama for his "we're-all-in-this-together" message.

In fact, Obama's inclusive vision is the best antidote to the snarling, raving, and general bitchiness, which has poisoned American discourse. It's striking that the best thing movement conservatives can come up with is an attack on Obama's middle name. However, things can and will change.

Glenn Greenwald notes that the righties are already writing stupid crap about Obama, fearing a great public meltdown on the left if Obama becomes the nominee and then loses the election. Yeah, it's more right-wing projection, and Greenwald points to right-wing thuggery and lunacy during the 2000 Florida recount.

Most of those fist-waiving, threatening protesters were actually aides to GOP establishment figures, including Fred Thompson, Tom DeLay, Jim DeMint, and the NRCC, shipped to Miami to create a climate of intimidation and thus prevent pro-Gore votes from being counted.

I'd yawn if the wingnutosphere wasn't so potentially dangerous.

John Cole, meanwhile, shares Greenwald's prediction that the nutcases will whip out their knives if Obama does in fact become the nominee.

We will be regaled with long tales of madrassas, Obama’s first name will become Hussein, and everyone’s pets will be running around frothing from all the dog whistles. Obama is getting a free ride at the moment because of the intense, nutty, and 15 year old hate for the Clagina (in all honesty, I was a hater up until a few years ago when I realized cold and calculating competence is better than willful dishonesty and feckless incompetence). But if and when the queen is vanquished, all that venom will need a target, and that target will be Obama....

I should probably note that the inevitable shift from full-on Clinton hatred to reverse Obamania by our right-wing friends could, quite possibly, be the least interesting political jujitzu they engage in this election year.

No, folks. The most interesting flip-flop of this election cycle could come if Huckabee actually wins the nomination. Then we will get the treat of watching all the establishment right-wingers, who have spent the last few months calling Huckabee a religious nutjob and the like, contort 180 degrees and attack the left-wing for pointing out that he is… a religious nutjob. Which he is.

So many targets, so little time. For all their ulcer-inducing hatred, the Freepers, the Little Green Fruitcakes, Trash Can Ann, and Stalkin' Malkin can only spread so much venom around. Not only do they have to contend with a Clinton and a guy whose middle name is Hussein, but they also have a deluge of Dem candidates running for seats vacated by retiring GOPers.

Oh yeah, and they also have Larry Craig. Who's not running for president but who, nonetheless, won't go away.

They have Mike Huckabee, too.

Really, Huckabee should be their dream candidate. Except that they really don't give a shit about the evangelical voters who are attracted to the Huckster like flies to cow pies. My prediction? The GOP establishment and their lapdogs are going to go all-out to bring down this Hick-a-bee from Arkansas. He's not one of them. They hate him almost as much as they hate the last Arkansas governor to run for president. They'll do all they can to ensure a McCain or Yosemite Mitt nomination.

Only problem. Their obvious pandering to the useful idiots has exploded in their faces. Peggy Noonan can whine all she wants; the wingnutosphere can froth; National Review and Hugh Hewitt can endorse Yosemite Mitt to their little hearts' content. John Cole's response? Too bad.

Look, all you establishment Republicans, I know you weren’t serious about Terri Schiavo. That is why it was so depressing watching you throw the concept of federalism out the window to pander to these guys. But they were deadly serious. The same with all the anti-gay stuff. I know a number of the Republicans I grew up with could not care less about the current ant-gay marriage jihad some want to wage. I know most of my republican friends really aren’t homophobes. But you had to bend over to the religious right, and this was an easy way to get their support. besides, who were the log Cabin Republicans going to vote for anyway? The same with stem cells, abstinence only, etc. Whatever you have to do keep ‘em quiet and keep ‘em voting- you will accept a certain amount of ignorance, religious hokum, and bigotry, just so long as the votes keep coming.

So, with Huckabee, you are getting EXACTLY what you deserved.

Maybe the wingnuts will be too busy turning on their own to spread dumb rumors based on Obama's middle name. I can dream, can't I?