Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Letter to the Editor - My Analysis of Super Tuesday...

February 5, 2008

Dear Editor;

I am writing to you to offer my common sense analysis of the recent Super Tuesday primaries involving 24 states. This was essentially the first national primary referendum in our country's history.

It never fails to shock me how the high paid pundits of television news can consistently misrepresent and misconstrue the results from elections to suit their preordained narrative and mislead the American people. In my modest opinion their analysis is as often correct as meteorologists are in predicting our daily weather.

To hear the talking heads talk on the evening of the primary, they portrayed this as gigantic win for Senator Barack Obama.

I would posit that the states that Obama won were for the most part all red states that the Democratic party has lost during all the recent Presidential elections and which do not represent the core constituency of the Democratic party. They would not be in play in a November election.

Whereas, Senator Clinton's wins were in states that will lead to a democratic victory in November against any Republican nominee.

Does anyone believe that the Democrats will win a fall campaign in perennial red states such as Utah, Kansas, Idaho, Colorado, Georgia, Delaware, North Dakota, Minnesota, Alabama or Alaska.

The only states that Mr. Obama won which the Democrats can realistically look forward to winning are his home state of Illinois and possibly Connecticut, which would be won by any Democratic candidate.

It should be noted that Connecticut is the same state which elected pro-war and quasi-Republican, Senator Joe Lieberman - John McCain's constant side kick on the campaign trail - over a true progressive Democratic candidate Ned Lamont.

In contrast, the states won with large margins by Senator Clinton were blue states. These are the same states which the Democrats won in the same recent presidential races and are states with sizable populations and large amounts of delegates including California, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. In addition, she won border-line battleground purple states such as Arkansas, Tennessee, New Mexico and Oklahoma, which would secure a Democratic win in November.

In the days leading up to this primary, the Obama campaign and the national media were predicting wins in California and Massachusetts.

To this end, the Obama campaign brought in heavy hitting establishment surrogates such as Senator Teddy Kennedy, former Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Caroline Kennedy, California first lady Maria Shriver and Oprah Winfrey, which ultimately failed to win the states in which they stumped for Obama.

The Obama campaign was also saying that the unstoppable surge of their momentum would prematurely end Hillary Clinton's Presidential chances for this election cycle, but the American people proved otherwise.

The fact is that Senator Clinton won the most delegates, after being declared down for the count by the media. By all credible accounts she also leads in super-delegates by a wide margin.

Mr. Obama is on the wrong side of many long cherished Democratic core principles and has used Republican talking points to frame many of these issues which are of great importance to the average middle class voter.

On education, Mr. Obama has voiced his support for school vouchers, merit pay for teachers and has spoken out in favor of the failed Bush/Kennedy No Child Left Behind Act.

The difference between the health care plans of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could well be the difference between achieving universal health coverage and falling far short, as renowned economist, Princeton University Professor Paul Krugman has often written.

Mr. Obama, has repeatedly said that health reform should be negotiated at a “big table” that would include insurance companies and drug companies (which are essentially the same points backed by conservatives).

I think Obama supporters who feel his much hoped-for and hyped ability to bring us together should realize that this would include the insurance and drug lobbies. He has also sent out a recent mailer which brings back Big Pharma's Harry and Louise ads, which helped sink previous attempts to institute universal heath care for each and every American.

Hillary Clinton's health care plan will provide true universal care for all Americans while Senator Obama's proposed plan will leave over one third (15 million) of America's approximate 47 million uninsured citizens without proper health-care.

I feel in this day and age that it is unconscionable and a disgrace for our wealthy nation to leave so many Americans uninsured and without health insurance.

Mr. Obama has also used Republican talking points on some of the most important social safety nets provided to Americans, such as, the Social Security system. He has bought into the right wings scare-mongering that the system is in crisis and needs to be substantially modified in order to be saved. I would posit that the system is not a big problem and that with minor “tweaking” could be brought into balance and perpetually maintained.

As the Congressional Budget Office, wrote it in a recent article : “The long-term fiscal condition of the United States has been largely misdiagnosed. Despite all the attention paid to demographic challenges, such as the coming retirement of the baby-boom generation, our country’s financial health will in fact be determined primarily by the growth rate of per capita health care costs.”

Conservatives have been using this tactic in an attempt to privatize the system and use this rhetoric to undermine the program. Mr. Obama has basically agreed with the radical right that the system is a huge Ponzi scheme and should be over-hauled and has conceded this vital issue to the conservative movement.

To prove this fact, it should be noted that after the 2005 election, President Bush hit the road to use his new-found “political capital” to push through a combination of privatization and benefit cuts that would, over time, have reduced Social Security to nothing but a giant 401(k).

I dislike the rancor and incivility of partisan politics in Washington, as do most Americans, but I think that Mr. Obama is foolish to think that by reaching across the aisle to the Republicans and holding hands while singing Kumbayah will solve this dismal condition.

I believe it will take a President who knows how to fight the hard fight to put our nation back on the right track. I think it is foolhardy for anyone to believe that by simply offering an olive branch to the radical right wing will achieve the necessary changes for ordinary working families.

In my opinion, anyone who has the false illusion that the right wing will meet Obama half way is either self-deluded, being duped or is miserably misguided. The opposition research that the Republican hate machine will put forth if Obama secures the nomination is likely to be relentlessness and vitriolic. In all likelihood, the Republicans will exacerbate any of his shortcomings and eat Senator Obama alive.

The results of an Obama candidacy could lead to another four to eight years of continued repressive Republican rule. I think in time and with further experience that Senator Obama's day will come, as he is a gifted orator and an honorable man and that he could one day lead our great nation.

To beat the Republicans in November it will take a seasoned cultural warrior and an experienced politician who has fought and won these battles in the past. I believe the only person ready to perform in this capacity from Day One to bring real change and a much needed Democratic administration is Hillary Clinton.

The fact that Hillary Clinton has been well vetted and has weathered the storm over her long career is to her credit and will serve her well as President to benefit ordinary working class Americans.

To paraphrase a well used line from Mr. Obama's stump speech - “Yes She Can..!”

Thank you for allowing me to impart these concerns to my neighbors and fellow citizens.


David M. Quintana