January 20, 2008

Nevada votes, South Carolina Republicans pick war over Jesus

I 'yam whats I 'yam.

South Carolina Republicans apparently like war more than the prospect of a theocracy and gave John McCain another important win in the state where the Bush minions had previously sunk to truly disgusting depths to smear and defame him.

The right wing skunks came out again this time, trying to suggest that McCain was a traitor and coward during his captivity in North Vietnam, and Rush Limbaugh, Tom Delay, and other right wing loons had been busily trying to smear him, but McCain won despite them.

McCain chalked up what was an important victory for him (well, they all are in his case) and Preacher Mike had to settle for second, not following the script that had all the fundy's in the state giving him a win.

The Nevada primary is done and gone, and it left the pundits spinning their wheels for something to talk about.

About all Chris Matthews could dredge up was his theory that the Clinton's masterfully downplayed their chances before the vote and then appeared victorious. Duh.

Aside from the interesting situation where both Clinton and Obama are claiming victory, due to the fact that the former won the popular vote and (as of this moment) it appears that Obama actually picked up one more delegate than Clinton.

But perhaps the only unexpected result was the extent that Edwards simply tanked in Nevada, barely registering on the radar screen with a stunning 4%.

Fred "Deputy Dawg" Thompson's campaign pulled a fast one on the media by alerting them that Fred would be giving an important announcement momentarily, causing the pundits to leap to the conclusion that he was either going to announce his withdrawal from the race (I was imploring the heavens for that myself) or throwing his endorsement to McCain, thus leaving said pundits panting at the prospect that there'd actually be some news to come out of the day.

So they breathlessly cut into their broadcast to carry Thompson's big speech live. And all it was was some rambling, half-assed campaign speech, poorly delivered, in which he tried to rally his troops and make some sort of inspirational appeal to voters.

It was so bad, that Thompson got to the end of his speech and the audience had no idea it was over. As Thompson grabbed his notes and tried to escape, he noticed the dead silence and repeated his last line, then bellowed, "Stay strong" a couple times and raised his arms as his stunned followers gradually figured out they were supposed to clap now.

It was pathetic.

But the best part was when they cut back to Matthews and Olbermann at MSNBC, there was audible laughter from off camera, and both Olbermann and Matthews had stunned looks on their faces. Someone off camera said loudly, "What the.....?" and Olbermann simply asked, "What was THAT?". It was pretty funny, trust me.

Oh yeah, and Wink Martindale won in Nevada too. He's won a few now, but there's something doomed about old Willard. Just not sure he's got deep enough support for the long haul. But with the Republicans in utter disarray, anything could happen.

All that's left is to wait a week for the Democratic South Carolina primary, and listen to everyone try their mightiest to spin all this as proving that their candidate is on a roll.

About the only think you can count on is that there's no front runner in either party, and it might stay that way for a long time.


At 1/20/2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing to keep in mind about nevada is that it was a caucus with a fifteen percent threshold.

With Edwards polling about 14-15 percent, he was probably viable in many precincts but not in others. Because caucus-goers for non-viable candidates have to commit to someone else, the final percentage for Edwards in the caucus is likely skewed downward. I would predict that the popular vote count after the first "ballot" and before realignment, would indicate a much stronger Edwards contingent than what the final result shows.

I am an Obama supporter, but I definitely don't think Edwards deserves the criticism that he "imploded" or "tanked," etc.


At 1/20/2008 8:41 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

The frontrunner issue will be taken care of as a few more candidates leave the race, specifically in the Republican side.

As for the 'war' issue. This is the one issue that could derail the Democrats.

POTUS elections come down to 2 things only, the rest is just noice - they are, security and people's wallets.

Historically, the Democrats lose on the security issue - and neither Clinton or Obama standout in a one-on-one with any Republican (regardless of the individual Republican), Democrats simply historically lose - as they have always been perceived as doves.

The economic issue may be easier to win with - however as both Clinton and Obama have been in control in the Senate, they would have little to complain about - they have egg on their face as well.

If it is McCain, the Democrat loses on the security issue. If it is not McCain, they will lose on the economic issue, as either Romney or Huckabee do not have Washington-economic-egg on their face.

The November election will be interesting.

At 1/21/2008 9:13 AM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I think it's truly unfair to categorize Thompson's speech as "pathetic".

It would have had to improved @ least 200% just to rise all the way to the level of "Pathetic".

I would score it as "Toxic Waste Dump".

At 1/21/2008 8:29 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


Thanks for that very interesting point. I'd not heard that offered by any of the talking heads on TV, in print, or more surprisingly, from any of the spinners from Edwards or his campaign.

I hadn't considered, as you point out, that the second choice situation that was a factor in Iowa also applied in Nevada.

I was shocked when I saw that Edwards came in with only 4%, and your excellent observation would certainly explain why Edwards' number was so surprisingly low.

At 1/21/2008 8:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I agree that the views you expressed are convential wisdom, but I'm not too sure they'll hold sway this time around.

I think Bush has done so much damage to the "Republicans are best at defense" myth that people aren't too sure anymore.

As a matter of fact, I recall seeing some poll results that showed that people trusted Dems more than Republicans on the defense issue, which was big news since it was the first time that had happened.

Secondly, I don't think the country is in as much of a state of panic as it has been in the past.

The right wing noise machine hasn't been cranking up the fear factor quite as hysterically lately (maybe because Rove is out?) and though it took far too long, I think that you're seeing a real backlash against the politics of fear that the right so shamelessly exploited for all this time. Most of the public is on to these guys. (Perhaps look for a conveniently timed "escalation" of the terror threat pre-election?)

Even if McCain gets the nomination, I'm not sure that constantly thrusting the boogie-man of terrorists in people's faces will be as effective this time. (Look at Saint Rudy of 9-11)

It will always get a lot of votes from people who are inclined to uncritically eat up this comic book notion that there's a shadowy band out there from whom we're in dire peril. (righ wing economic and foreign policies will wreck the country sooner than any terrorist threat.)

So I agree that McCain would pose the most formidable challenge to any Dem nominee, as he could most effectively try the old scare tactics again. (as would Rudy)

But I also believe that Obama, and in particular Clinton, could effectively counter this notion that we need to continue what is clearly a losing and far too costly military attempt to meet this threat.

The county is simply sick of sending an endless supply of billions and lives to be wasted in Iraq. They correctly realize that it's bleeding our country white, and that we simply can't sustain this sort of thing any longer.

In that respect, I'm not sure the Republicans can rely on their trusty "security" card any more. War mongering isn't that popular.

If the Republicans want to have a "more war" vs. "less war, more economic justice" election, I like the Dems chances.

At 1/21/2008 9:48 PM, Anonymous Andrew said...

I'd suggest that you are overthinking this - the fact is that national Security is always an issue - and the American voter, when push comes to shove, does not trust Democrats to act with the strength that is necessary.

You disagree, I understand. But history most definately is on my side. You think that this has now magically changed - we will see.

At 1/21/2008 10:32 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well, you can give it some thought, or you can rely on previous conventional wisdom.

I don't think there's any reason anymore for anyone to believe that Republicans are better on security issues. It's just been proven false too many times, and glaringly so within people's recent memory.

There will always be a segment who respond to any gung-ho "Let's go kill 'em" appeal, but I don't think it's enough to win anymore.

Also, Clinton is anything but meek on security issues and is no dove.

There's no practical difference between the parties other than whether to try to cut our losses and repair the damage done by invading Iraq, or continue to follow the same failed and losing strategy of Bush.

If that's the case, I don't think a candidate who advocates following the same reckless policies stands a chance given that an overwhelming majority of the country feels that Iraq was a mistake and that the current strategy simply won't work.

At 1/22/2008 6:48 AM, Anonymous Andrew said...

No matter what you say, the reality is that the last two Democrat Presidents, do not fill anyone with warm-fuzzies and comfort about them protecting us.

Jimmy Carter is a permanent scar on Democrats. He not only was a dove, he was a dove with a limp wing - and he remains a vocal dove today.

Bill Clinton also falls into the catagory of wanting the world to love us (when the world is far too vast to love us).

That is the overwhelming fault of Dem's (those like you included) - they complain because of the lack of 'love towards the US worldwide.'

Of course Muslum-extremists are not going to love us. Of course, dictators that use the US as the terrible oppressor to rally support are not going to love us.

However, there are more people trying to come to the US - illegally and legally - than trying to leave. About a 1,000:1 ratio. How does this equate to the world hating the US?

Until Dem's understand that not everyone will love us, they will, as a whole, remain doves. And it shows at the polls.

And, yes, Hillary, understands this better than most.

At 1/22/2008 9:30 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah Andrew, you're right.

Why even try, right? Let's just keep dropping bombs on their heads, subverting their governments, hi-jacking their economies and plundering their resources. They'll never like us anyway. Why try.

I'm surprised none of the candidates have adopted your uplifting stance on foreign affairs. It's certainly a winner.

Ever consider for just a moment that maybe people are sick to death (literally) of all the miltaristic bullshit that has been pulled in their names?

Ever consider that maybe, just maybe, your government might exagerate the threats we face just a tiny bit? Ever consider that perhaps while they're getting you all gung-ho and macho about country X that they're utterly ignoreing a much larger threat from country B?

Ever consider who exactly profits from these "wars", now started with no provocation whatsoever just because we think someone "might" be a threat somewhere down the road?

Ever consider just how unproductive, immoral, impractical, costly, and essentially insane these policies just might be?

Just something to consider while you spread your message of hopelessness and aggression.

At 1/22/2008 10:37 AM, Anonymous Andrew said...

Where on earth are you going?

All I have said is that when it comes time to vote in November, the Democrat candidates lose votes as they are perceived (I believe, rightfully so< but regardless) they are perceived by the voting public to not be able to adequately protect the country as well as the Republicans.

I am not wishing to argue philosophy - I am just stating what I believe is a reality that hurts the Democrat candidates.

At 1/22/2008 10:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Despite the Republicans having great success with it, the fact is that simply repeating something over and over and over again doesn't make it so.

I simply disagree with your premise and don't believe it will be a factor anywhere but perhaps places with huge amounts of defense bases and contractors which depend on war for a living, such as South Carolina (though in actuality, our entire country is dependent on the war industry. It's almost the only thing we make that anyone wants anymore.)

End of story.

At 1/24/2008 6:20 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

For some reason, after I read your last comment, I was consumed with the desire to cue up "American Woman" on the ol' IPod....."I don't need your war machine. I don't need your Ghetto scene...bye, bye.."

I believe "American Woman" is not on S.C.'s playlist.

Scatalogical, now breathing into brown paper bag.

Continued Success.

At 1/26/2008 7:59 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Except for the "sparkle someone else's eyes" line, I hope. Egads!

At 1/26/2008 12:02 PM, Anonymous andrew said...

Dope, you certainly identify the reason that Dem's continue to lose POTUS elections...you THINK that no one wants war (and you are right, who on earth wants war?), but you stop thinking after that.

You need to continue with the line of thought and understand that although no one wants war - everyone wants to FEEL PROTECTED. This is where the doves in the Democrat party lose.

But, I thank you all for being unable to understand this - as it keeps the loons out of the White House.

At 1/26/2008 6:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

OK, what about the flip side of your convential wisdom card?

What about the myth that Republican administrations do better with the economy?

Still think voters are going to run to the Republicans on that issue?

I think you're in for a shock come November.


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