Thursday, February 14, 2008

On divisiveness and nuance...

Received the following email today from a friend who found it in his spam folder. Running commentary below.

I have noticed that since the Iowa caucuses, the strategy of nuance and divisive politics keeps raising it’s ugly head, again and again. I’m actually old enough to remember the politics of the 1990’s, and it’s devastating effects on the Democratic Party.
I don't know what nuance has to do with divisiveness. Nuance is generally thought of to be a good thing. As for being "old enough to remember the politics of the 1990's" what does that make the author, 25? Old man indeed.
The slash and burn Clinton’s we knew well in the 1990’s, have returned “back from the future,” with a vengeance. Every democrat that remembers this political re-run, has to wonder whether the Clinton’s are trying to re-destroy the new Democratic Party in 2008.
Now I'm never going to defend the Clintons who certainly practice slash and burn but I remember the 90s too and the Dems had a pretty good run there.
The political team that now claims to “embody” “change,” is seemingly very comfortable using their same old strategy of divisive politics to reclaim their throne in the White House. Anyone truly interested in the future of our Democratic Party has to be very alarmed. The Clinton’s political strategy of slash and burn will serve them well now, but the eventual cost to the Democratic Party will be devastating once again.
No argument here. But it has to do more with the perception of Hillary as a manipulative witch among the general electorate than their so-called strategies.
The same strategy of half-truths, nuance, right-winged conspiracies, and divisive ideological battles, that won the Clinton’s the presidency in 1992, and a subsequent New York Senate seat, will cost our national and local party seats in the 2008, upcoming elections. The last time we allowed the Clintons to lead our party, we suffered historical political losses, never seen before in American politics. The net result of the divisive, self-serving Clinton political machine of the 90’s, shrank the Democratic Party base, and cost the party control of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives.
Again with the word nuance. Not sure what this guy means. As far as right-wing conspiracies go, I suppose he's referring to the concocted idea of a right-wing conspiracy that Hillary came up with to deflect the spotlight from her husband's infidelities. A conspiracy theory that way too many Democrats bought hook line and sinker. As for suffering political losses, I suppose it was historical that the Republicans took control of the House for the first time in more than 40 years. But it was bound to happen. You can't control any branch of government indefinitely. What you saw was a reaction from the American people toward balance. George H.W. Bush probably would have been reelected if not for Ross Perot. Americans restored the balance by electing a GOP House and Senate. Similarly , Americans returned control of congress to the Democrats during the Bush administration. These are the ebbs and flows of politics in a two-party system.
The sad result of the Clinton politics, and continuous scandals, eventually empowered George W. Bush past the setting incumbent vice president, Al Gore in the 2000 presidential elections. As a result the republicans have took firm control of the Supreme Court, appointing 7 of the last 9 justices, currently serving. Looking at the complete picture, I don’t believe that the Clinton administration or politics have lead, served, or is currently serving our Democratic Party well in any capacity. We have to understand, that as a democrats, we have yet to fully recover from the political damage of the Clinton administration scandals, investigations, and politics during the “1990’s.
While I understand the sentiment about judicial appointees, it should be noted that some of the most liberal justices on the court were appointed by Republicans.
As a party, if we don’t learn from our past mistakes, and demand a new leadership, we will surely suffer the same devastating consequences in 2008 and beyond. We have to move forward and turn the page of division, if we are going to expand our electorate and chart a stronger, more inclusive future for the Democratic Party.

H. Smith
Obviously an Obama supporter.

From my perspective the ideological battle is never over. To me it's not about one election. If the GOP loses the presidency in November (which I suspect is exactly what's going to happen) I don't expect the world to change significantly. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction in our political landscape. Obama will be a liberal president and one that congress will need to keep in check. That's why we need to concentrate on congressional elections. As for Obama, I don't think he's any kind of Democratic messiah. Is he running a cleaner campaign than the Clintons? Yeah, probably. But once he gets the nomination and all the Democrat insiders get into the campaign they'll revert to the old play book because it's not the Clinton's play book, it's the Democratic play book.

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