FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Clinton’s Iowa Flop

 

The real message of the Iowa caucus yesterday was that the long-operative Clintonian/Democratic Leadership Council assumption that the independent or unaffiliated voter bloc is composed of conservative-leaning, dim-witted and easily manipulated people has got it all wrong.

In fact, in Iowa, where unaffiliated voters are free to participate in either a Democratic or Republican caucus, 41 percent of those people voted not for the conservative, tough-talking “centrist” Hillary Clinton. They voted instead for the black, nominally anti-war candidate, Barack Obama. Another significant percentage of independents went for another progressive-sounding candidate, John Edwards. Clinton only got an embarrassing 17 percent of the unaffiliated vote.

The implications of this failure on her part are enormous when it comes to next November’s general election.

If Democratic voters in the upcoming primaries, especially in states like Pennsylvania, where independents are excluded from the voting, end up giving the nomination to Clinton, she will almost certainly end up forfeiting much of the independent vote, just as both Al Gore and John Kerry did in the last two presidential elections.

The reality is that many, if not a majority of unaffiliated voters are not at all conservative (or dim-witted). What they are is cynical about the current state of Tweedle-Dum/Tweedle Dee politics in America. They see both the Democratic and Republican parties as being of, by and for the rich and often they don’t even see the point in voting. (They are, in other words, in many ways more politically savvy than many registered Democratic voters, who refuse to acknowledge this reality!)

Because of the disastrous course of the last seven years under the Bush/Cheney administration, these independents are willing, as they showed in 2006, to give it a shot and vote for Democrats IF (and that word has to be capitalized and put in italics for emphasis) the Democrats will stand for something more than just Republicanism with frills. Exit polls in November 2006 showed that these voters (and a majority of Democratic voters) were looking for Democrats to stand up forcefully for the Constitution, and to put an end to the Iraq War.

They were double-crossed. The Democratic Congressional leadership, under the Clintonesque direction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have done none of those things, choosing instead to simply pretend to be an opposition, while actually doing nothing on either front.

It’s an approach that Hillary Clinton clearly would continue to follow if she were somehow to manage to get herself elected to the presidency: a fawning obeisance to the wishes of corporate America and Wall Street, continued foreign wars and occupations, continued “tough talk” on crime with little or no effort to attack its causes (poverty, drugs, racism and hopelessness).

It’s also an approach that almost certainly would assure us another four to eight years of Republican control of the White House.

The truth is that those independent voters who turned out for Obama and Edwards are simply not going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November ’08. If it were to become a choice between Clinton and McCain, Clinton and Giuliani or Clinton and Huckabee, they will sit the election out-or even vote Republican. And she’s not going to get the other independents either-the ones who really are conservative leaning. If they vote at all, they’ll go Republican, offered the choice between Republican or Republican lite with a few liberal bells and whistles.

Fortunately, Iowa’s Democratic and independent voters have made it clear to the rest of the country that voting for Hillary Clinton is to commit Democratic Party suicide. Her whole campaign has been based upon the notion that she is the most “electable” candidate in the Democratic field-a notion that now stands exposed as a pathetic farce.

If Democratic primary voters in the rest of the country are paying attention, they will quickly send her packing back to New York, where she can continue her role, with colleague Chuck Schumer, of Wall Street lickspittle.

The rest of the Democrats seeking office or seeking re-election next fall should take heed. There is a frustrated, angry and very large bloc of people out there-independent voters-who are looking for progressive candidates who will not just talk in buzzwords, but who will act to restore some semblance of Constitutional government in America, and who will end the damned war in Iraq. If they’re lucky, those voters might giver them one more chance despite the wretched betrayal of November 2006.
___________________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006, and now in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
Vijay Prashad
5.5 Million Women Build Their Wall
Nicky Reid
Lessons From Rojava
Ted Rall
Here is the Progressive Agenda
Robert Koehler
A Green Future is One Without War
Gary Leupp
The Chickens Come Home to Roost….in Northern Syria
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: “The Country Is Watching”
Sam Gordon
Who Are Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists?
Weekend Edition
January 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Richard Moser
Neoliberalism: Free Market Fundamentalism or Corporate Power?
Paul Street
Bordering on Fascism: Scholars Reflect on Dangerous Times
Joseph Majerle III – Matthew Stevenson
Who or What Brought Down Dag Hammarskjöld?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
How Tre Arrow Became America’s Most Wanted Environmental “Terrorist”
Andrew Levine
Dealbreakers: The Democrats, Trump and His Wall
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Que Syria, Syria
Dave Lindorff
A Potentially Tectonic Event Shakes up the Mumia Abu-Jamal Case
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail