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Hullabaloo


Saturday, July 21, 2007

 
Not That Anyone Cares

by digby

... but I agree with Atrios on this. I certainly don't speak for anyone but myself, but the reason I'm not endorsing a presidential candidate so far is simply because I don't think it matters. I didn't think it mattered in the last round either, even though I "endorsed" Wes Clark (and all 23 of my regular readers at the time were very impressed.) But I did it mostly because it was fun, not because I thought it would make any difference. I also thought Dean was great and I liked Edwards and had always believed Kerry was a good guy.

Some primaries feature an important rift in the party but this election just doesn't feel that way to me. Despite the fact that there is a strong populist wave gathering energy in the grassroots that energy, so far, hasn't manifested itself in a particular candidate. I may change my mind, but right now I'm more interested in watch-dogging the press, fending off the wingnuts and trying to keep all the candidates on the right track than in defending or attacking anyone in particular.

The truth is that I think primaries are vital and necessary. And I also hate them. It goes against my grain to be trashing someone repeatedly and then have to make nice when they get the nomination, which is how the system works. I accept this, and I honestly can't think of a better way to air out all the differences, but it's temperamentally difficult for me to get down and dirty in races where I actually like the opponents and may have to advocate for them in the end. It's a personal weakness. (Good thing I'm not a politician, eh?)

At this point, the relief I'd feel if any of the Dems became president is so profound that I'm honestly not all that concerned about which one it is. I realize that many of you find that distasteful and believe that such rank partisanship is a denigration of our system and that I may very well be enabling a craven Democrat who will sell us down the river etc. But the priorities of all the candidates seem to basically be ok to me and hopefully we can continue to influence them on the issues, the rhetoric and the message, no matter who it is. My personal priority is for the Republicans to be thoroughly repudiated. (And we should not take that for granted. They are as good at campaigning as they are bad at governing. We are about to start playing on their playing field and it's a mistake to underestimate them.)

As far as wanting to be on the "inside" as Bowers suggests is happening to the "short head" bloggers, well, I'm probably not in that elite high traffic group anyway, but if I were, I'm congenitally ill-suited to insiderism. I always have been. People are perfectly free to pitch me, and I'll always be polite to my liberal brethren, but I'm just not much interested in that stuff. (Not that I don't love a good dive bar, mind you.) I will certainly endorse the Democratic candidate when it comes to the general election, but at that point my interest is in winning and shaping the agenda --- and fighting off Republicans, which I consider my solemn duty.

In the end, like Duncan, I have to ask how much it really matters if I "endorse" a candidate. It's what you guys think that matters in presidential primaries and as far as I can tell you are all having no trouble picking your candidates without my direction. I only have one vote on this and I'll happily abide by the will of the Democratic primary voters and march forward with the winners.


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