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Dear Texas

February 14, 2008

Dear Texas Democratic primary voters:

So your primary is coming up on March 4th! Exciting! I guess you have a few things to think carefully about between now and then. Like who to vote for. Maybe I can help. Consider the following multiple choice question.

Republicans seem to be nominating a man who can’t even unite the base of his own party. A good strategy for Democratic victory in November would be:

a) Nominate a Democrat who will unite the base of the Republican party for them.

b) Nominate a Democrat who has the genuine potential to increase turnout among young and African-American voters.

c) It depends. I’m studying the fine print of the candidate’s policy statements on (fill in the blank) before I decide.

If you chose answer A then I guess you’re going to vote for senator Clinton. We’ll have a nominee who is divisive, who viscerally turns off even some in her own party, and who will most assuredly motivate tons of Republican voters against her in November.

if you chose answer C then I think I need to issue you a friendly wake-up call. The policy differences between Obama and Clinton are pretty small. There are differences, sure. In fact, I marginally like Clinton’s health care proposals better than Obamas. But I wouldn’t dream of letting that jeopardize a democratic win in November–and neither should you.

If you chose option B then you’re voting for senator Obama, which is exactly how I advise you to vote.

Listen, Texas, I’m glad we had this little chat. We don’t talk enough these days! Let’s get together for coffee or something. You still have my number, right? Cool. Talk to you later!

Scott

PS. Conventional wisdom has it that f Clinton doesn’t win Ohio and Texas on March 4th, her campaign is pretty much finished. Right now Ohio seems like a fairly solid Clinton win, so it’s up to you. Vote Obama, baby!

PPS. Yes, yes! I know that most of the hatred aimed at senator Clinton alluded to in answer A is undeserved and unfair–even sexist. But that doesn’t change the fact that it exists. Think about that please.

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  1. I agree with your analysis with one addition to all the Texas (and remaining primary states) Republicans – if Huckabee pulls out before your primary we know McCain will be the party nominee. If you want a chance for Republican in the White House, vote for Clinton in your primary, since Obama will probably win against McCain. I know it’s hard to declare yourself a Democrat in a primary, but take one for the team and give the Republicans a chance.


  2. I’ve been making the same arguments to people since Edwards dropped out of the race, with a couple of others added in. Even if Clinton wins the presidency (and I’m pretty sure she would), from the moment she took the oath of office, the baying hounds of the right wing noise machine would be after her with the sorts of lies and bullshit that they’re so famous for. We sort of discussed this the other day. I maintain that it would be exponentially worse under a President Clinton than a President Obama. There’s also down-ballot races to consider. Regardless of her merits, Hillary Clinton would be much more of a drag to down-ballot Democrats in Texas than Barack Obama, simply because so many people have that weird irrational hatred of Hillary.

    Again, like you said, none of this is fair, or even sane, but it’s there.

    And you simply cannot believe how amped up people are down here about the Texas primary actually making a difference for a change. Too bad it wasn’t that way in 2004. We had the state practically locked down for Howard Dean.


  3. Real Classy politics there Bill.


  4. Huckleberry isn’t running for anything, except maybe VP or a spot on a Fox News talk show.

    As far as Republicans voting for Clinton in open Democratic primary contests in order to “give Republicans a chance,” I think it won’t work out that way. First of all, Clinton will beat McCain if she’s the nominee. Second, the majority of Republicans voting in Democratic primary races will be what’s called “Obamicans”–Republicans who actually plan to vote for Obama in the general election. Get used to that term. We’ll be discussing it incessantly on November 8th.


  5. I’m not sure where you would get the idea that Republicans might vote for Obama. If you read through his rather massive and all encompassing list of good-feeling promises for eternal happiness and peace, you will find nothing that would appeal to conservatives, or Republicans….nor actual libertarians for that matter. Though he has a spring to his step and a lilt to his voice, he may just be (policy wise)the most divisive politician to ever step to center stage.

    Many conservatives and some republicans are very unhappy with the policy stances taken by John McCain. Many will hold thier noses and vote for left-leaning John. Some will stay home and protest by not voting. I can’t see any reason that they would cut off thier noses to spite thier face and vote Obama. There is one thing that the big O will likely ensure if he wins the general election….he will bring the GOP together like no one since Reagan has done when the voters feel the sting of uber-liberalism hit home.

    So, please tell me what the reasons are for turning all my beliefs on their ear and voting for Obama. I can’t guess but I would be very interested in knowing…..Maybe I missed that page on the BO web site. Enlighten me.


  6. TFG, can you point me to somewhere on the web where it can clearly be seen that the Obama campaign has less detail in its proposals and positions than, say, the Clinton or McCain campaigns? If you can, then I’ll agree to consider that your criticism of him might be true. If you can’t…well, i’d invite you to consider that your criticism of him isn’t true.

    Repblicans for Obama? Here.

    http://www.republicansforobama.org

    Although I have to admit, I think his appeal among moderate Republicans is probably non-ideological. That is to say, they’re drawn more to his optimism and character and his calls for unity than they are to his policies. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, per se. But I think it’s true that a significant portion Obama’s appeal is of this non-ideological type. People are attracted to the man even more than the man’s policy proposals.

    Case in point: I marginally prefer Clinton’s policies, but I by far prefer Obama as a person.

    if he wins the general election….he will bring the GOP together …/i>

    I think you overstate the case. Clearly a Clinton nomination and presidency would do this even more. So what’s your point?


  7. If McCain talked Colin Powell into being his running mate, and that may be an option for him considering their similarities in policies. Social liberal/Pro-Military will pull a lot of swing votes away from Obama.
    In all the match up polls I’ve read I haven’t seen any that put up VP options. Maybe because there are so many? But, I think that is going to be a very critical issue come November.
    Either candidate will solidify the GOP because if they lose the WH they’re going to be first, infighting; second, someone will prevail as the “director”; third, their strategy to discredit the Dem president will be a first priority.
    just my 2


  8. “If you read through (Obama’s) rather massive and all encompassing list of good-feeling promises for eternal happiness and peace, you will find nothing that would appeal to conservatives, or Republicans….nor actual libertarians for that matter.” – The Family Guy

    You are right of coarse, if recent (and even not so recent) years have shown us anything it is that so called conservatives and Republicans have no interest whatsoever in eternal happiness or peace, unless it the eternal happiness and peace that happens after the world and all the people of a religion other than your own or no religion at all, burn like the sin kindling that you view them to be. Happiness on Earth? Save happiness for heaven, the Earth is for cash and killing.

    “Though he has a spring to his step and a lilt to his voice, he may just be (policy wise)the most divisive politician to ever step to center stage. – The Family Guy

    Now you are just being silly, the Republican party has not had anywhere near enough time to paint Senator Obama as the most divisive politician ever to step center stage or I should say to be centered in the GOP’s sights because the most divisive politician to ever step to center stage is whoever the GOP has decided to aim at for the moment but the GOP has been aiming at the Clintons for so long that the image is still burned into their retinas. You will just have to give it time but it depends on who wins the nomination now doesn’t it? Then we will find out who the GOP has decided for the nation is the most divisive politician of all time. We will all just have to be patient.


  9. […] Scott D. Feldstein […]


  10. Sam, you are the kind of liberal that made me conservative. You drip with disdain for anyone who is of an opposing view point or (shudder) who is religious……and your views are based on a set of seemingly juvenile beliefs about those who do not share your opinions.

    You said “so called conservatives and Republicans have no interest whatsoever in eternal happiness or peace, unless it the eternal happiness and peace that happens after the world and all the people of a religion other than your own or no religion at all, burn like the sin kindling that you view them to be. Happiness on Earth? Save happiness for heaven, the Earth is for cash and killing.”

    Now really……do you actually believe that christians, conservatives and republicans feel that way? We have families, jobs, charities that we work for and donate to. I have two small children that my wife and I adopted from overseas….do you think that my hope for them is killing, fighting for a fist full of dollars, and living in a polluted hell? If you actually believe that far-left anti-establishment sociology professor pap that you spewed, then I truly hope that no similar like minded hate-mongers ever grace public office with thier presence.

    Go ahead now, write back and tell me that I am a religious extremist, rip my religious views with some hate (though you don’t actually know what religion I am…hey, what does it matter anyway, we all suck) and then top it off with a cherry by comparing me or my beliefs to the nazis. Go ahead kid….make my day.


  11. […] politics (I think there must be a primary somewhere this week that I should do something about). Scott Feldstein has advice for Texans when they go to vote (Hey, don’t ask me; it’s his blog). Family Guy says, essentially […]


  12. “Sam, you are the kind of liberal that made me conservative.” – The Family Guy

    How can I or anyone else make you conservative? Either you are conservative or you are not but if you mean that you vote Republican then what I say is that I truly wish ones affiliation with the Republican party would automatically mean that they have conservative values but the last seven years have boldly demonstrated that this is not so. And the GOP’s patron saint Reagan spent like a drunken sailor and un-conserved a lot of full time jobs into two times as many part time jobs without benefits but now the “conservatives” are simply sending the jobs to other countries. I think the only things this lot want to conserve are things like the labor laws of the 1800’s. When you got turned conservative was it like on ‘Friends’ when Ross divorced his wife and she only wanted to marry women after that?

    “You drip with disdain for anyone who is of an opposing view point or (shudder) who is religious……and your views are based on a set of seemingly juvenile beliefs about those who do not share your opinions.” – The Family Guy

    John McCain has views that are opposed to mine but I can honestly say that I have in the past considered him to be someone I could possibly vote for. That was before he misplaced his backbone and started pandering to the radical right a few years back (plus I recently learned that he enjoys using some uncomfortable racial language). There have been other Republicans who I have given honest consideration to in the past as well. What a radical lefty I am. Opposing views seem to be all you have. You say that Senator Obama is not going to win or would not be effective or would divide everyone or blah blah blah, but all you offer is a haughty dismissive pessimism without even listing something you disagree with other than what you earlier referred to as good-feeling promises for eternal happiness and peace. So is the reason that you say President Obama would not get anything done because dismissive pessimism is the official mascot of the GOP or is it because marching in lockstep opposition against any and all Democratic Presidents is the MO of the GOP? I drip with disdain for anyone who is pissing on me and telling me its raining. Those are the trickledown economics of this thread. can you dig it daddy O‘?.

    “You said “so called conservatives and Republicans have no interest whatsoever in eternal happiness or peace, unless it the eternal happiness and peace that happens after the world and all the people of a religion other than your own or no religion at all, burn like the sin kindling that you view them to be. Happiness on Earth? Save happiness for heaven, the Earth is for cash and killing.”” – The Family Guy

    They are your own words. If you don’t remember then read your own quote?

    “If you read through [Obama’s] rather massive and all encompassing list of good-feeling promises for eternal happiness and peace, you will find nothing that would appeal to conservatives, or Republicans….nor actual libertarians for that matter.” – You

    “Now really……do you actually believe that christians, conservatives and republicans feel that way?” – TFG

    I believe that some do, or at least they profess to, now I would not be surprised to discover that they are only pandering to superstitious peoples fears to gain power over them and get mind bogglingly wealthy while they are at it (in fact I would be quite relieved) but this is the kind of garbage that they are constantly spewing, did you forget how gays angered god causing him to smite the towers of the WTC?

    The people who say this kooky stuff not only have the current Presidents ear, he considers them to be advisors. These jerks have founded “colleges“ and “law schools” where they churn out Christian activist lawyers in the very realistic hope that they will become Christian activist judges.

    I don’t know if you are a religious extremist or not and I do not know (nor do I care) what religion you are. I have known religious people that I respected, not for their religious beliefs but because they were good and decent people who had no interest in hurting or controlling others and only wanted to lead peaceful lives and help others do the same. I respect people who are more interested in heaven on earth than heaven in heaven no matter what religion they are or are not.

    “fist full of dollars” “make my day”… are you Clint Eastwood?


  13. Scott,
    I checked out Republicans for Obama. 650ish members spread over 19 states (79 in Texas). I’m guessing that not all those folks actually were ever Republicans, but even if they were…….that is hardly a movement. Though interestingly: I checked quickly and found that this tiny group was referenced by the main-stream media at least 50 times in the last 4 months. It seems that RFO is more of a bumper sticker reference for the Obama campaign than an actual movement.


  14. I’m guessing that not all those folks actually were ever Republicans, but even if they were…….that is hardly a movement.

    And I’m guessing that only a very tiny fraction of Republican voters who support Obama actually belong to such a group. The existence of the group is the tip of an iceberg, indicative of the fact that Obama has appeal beyond Democrats, into independents and even some moderate Republicans. Do you say that this isn’t true?

    I don’t think Clinton has that same appeal.


  15. Actually, I would indeed say that it isn’t true. Obama is hardly a moderate. In this campaign, Hillary Clinton is the moderate.

    Obama proposes massive increases in the size and scope of government and the inherent tax increases that will follow. Those tax increases will have the same effect as the bucket of cold water that Jimmy Carter used to give us 13% inflation and a 21% prime interest rate. He wants to immediately withdraw from Iraq….regardless of the outcome of that strategy. He is the very antithesis of what conservatives and Republicans stand for.

    I’m not sure how you could ever paint a scenario where a real Republican (not someone who considered voting for a moderate Republican once, 4 years ago) would vote Obama. His policies and rhetoric are divisive to those who are not “believers in the dream”. My conservative friends truly dislike the man, and my liberal friends are split down the middle and angrily argue over what he represents.

    Obamicans? No, not everyone wants to party like a Barack Star…..with other peoples money.


  16. I would indeed say that it isn’t true. Obama is hardly a moderate.

    The policy differences between them are negligible. And besides, his appeal to independents isn’t primarily ideological left or right: it’s his optimism, his charisma and his steadfast refusal TO make it about the traditional left/right issues.

    Obama proposes massive increases in the size and scope of government

    Man, you’re like a walking RNC talking point!

    My conservative friends truly dislike the man, and my liberal friends are split down the middle and angrily argue over what he represents.

    I don’t know who you’re hangin’ with, but that’s not a very representative view. He, like McCain, is generally well-liked by both sides.


  17. “You’re an angry elf…..he must be a south pole elf” — Will Ferrell

    That a better quote Sam? I commend you on your lengthy rant and the robustness of your run-on sentences…..though you forgot to compare conservatives to Nazis…..no matter

    It would be pointless for me to address your heavily spun faux-history. It is not possible to reason a man out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place. More colloquially: You can’t un-drink the Kool-aid.

    “You sit on a throne of lies” — Will Ferrell in Elf

    Silly movie….but it made me laugh alot. Hmm, the similarities here are amazing, Sam.


  18. Scott. You whitewash over my words with the RNC talking point brush. I simply boiled it down to a generality. Go look on BO’s website for the specifics…..you actually provided me with the link and I have been reading his specifics. To list but a few of his bigger government is better government ideas (and I quote him directly):

    “double federal funding for basic research “, “increase funding for federal workforce training programs”,”create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages “,”double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs”,”comprehensive “Zero to Five” plan will provide critical support to young children…places key emphasis at early care and education for infants”,”will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit”,” make available a new national health plan…employers will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs”,”require that 25 percent of electricity is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal by 2025″,”guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year”.

    Ok, enough….enough! That is just asmattering that I grabbed in 3 minutes. His website is packed with new plans, spending, incentives, and tax-cuts (really rebates, the people targetted already pay no income tax–the top 50% of earners pay 97% of income taxes).

    So, I say with some authority “Obama proposes massive increases in the size and scope of government”. Call it a talking point if you will, but it also a fact.


  19. ““You’re an angry elf…..he must be a south pole elf” — Will Ferrell
    That a better quote Sam?” – TFG

    Better for what? What is your criteria for “better”?

    “I commend you on your lengthy rant and the robustness of your run-on sentences…..” – TFG

    …Thanks? I try.

    “..though you forgot to compare conservatives to Nazis…..no matter”

    No matter? It obviously does matter. That is the second time you have mentioned your dismay that I have failed to accuse you or conservatives of being Nazis. You even said that it would make your day. I suspect that it is because you are happiest when you are in an indignant outrage, lustily proclaiming your non-membership in the Nazi party. I understand. It must be nice every once in a while to believe in one of your own arguments. I get it, you are not a Nazi, how admirable. Way to raise the bar. Keep up the good work. See how short most of these sentences are? J

    “It is not possible to reason a man out of something that he did not reason himself into in the first place. – TFG

    Reason? Yeah your a fount of it. So and so said they will lower taxes and that is your REASON for voting for them, with some organized prayer in public schools sprinkled on top.

    TFG I saw Elf once and I am pretty sure I laughed at it, because Will Ferrell was in it and he is a funny guy. I don’t remember it. But the movie probably did not supply any good reasons for voting republican either.


  20. “See how short most of these sentences are? J”
    J was actually 🙂 I don’t know why the copy and paste turned it into a J but it did.



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