Suiting the Action to the Word

As I have been saying for some time, I continue to be baffled by the bitterness and vehemence of the political discourse these days, particularly in the blogosphere. I can understand people having strong feelings about the situation in Iraq and being upset that politicians aren’t honoring their preferences whatever they may be. What I can’t understand is supporting politicians that you’re upset with and angrily denouncing other politicians who take positions that don’t differ a great deal from those being taken by politicians you support. According to the most recent tracking polls a whopping 81% of likely Democratic primary voters support either Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards. None of those three first-tier favor withdrawing all U. S. forces from Iraq in the near future. Indeed, as kos has noticed none of them even want to discuss the subject presumably on the principle of “If we’re very, very careful perhaps no one will notice”.

If it’s just a matter of cheering for your side, why the anger? But if you’re angry about a matter of principle and you sincerely believe that the U. S. must withdraw all of its forces from Iraq immediately, I see no other alternative than supporting Bill Richardson since he actually takes that position and has real qualifications for the job of president (unlike the first-tier candidates, none of whom do IMO).

Electability isn’t a matter of principle, it’s rooting for the home team and the pursuit of power for its own sake. Why do so many likely Democratic primary voters support Hillary Clinton?

5 comments… add one
  • The party that wants out of Iraq wants the candidate least likely to leave.

    The party that wants abortion and gay marriage outlawed wants the guy least likely to do either.

    If you figure out the mind of the voter you’ll be rich.

  • PD Shaw Link

    Dave, do you think Richardson would immediately withdraw troops? I think the netroots suspects that he is as much as anyone a part of the foreign policy establishment that they don’t trust.

  • To be perfectly honest, PD, no, I don’t. I think he’s kidding himself. I think we’re stuck in Iraq for the foreseeable future.

    However, being unwilling to support a part of the “foreign policy establishment that they don’t trust” doesn’t beat a path to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama’s door. It’s a one-way tick to Nader.

    The point of my post is not “Vote for Richardson”, it’s cognitive dissonance.

  • PD Shaw Link

    I think you are right and I think this is a source of great bitterness. None of the top tier candidates are taking the foreign policy position favored by a majority of Democrats. The Democratic candidate that does, probably can’t be believed. And Nader would get a Republican elected.

  • If one is to avoid misery either one must work to achieve what one wants or learn to be happy with what one has. If Democrats insist on voting strategically rather than from conviction, whom should they blame for their success?

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