Thoughts on South Carolina and the Democrat’s identity crisis

The moment the Democrats have been waiting for is almost here. It’s the moment where they get to prove themselves in the South and see if they appeal to Southern voters. That’s right, South Carolina primary is here.

This evening the Democrats had an opportunity to debate and that debate was telling in that it revealed what the Democrats see as being the important issues for Southerners: Health Care, Immigration, and the War.

What else is new, it’s whats on everybody’s mind everywhere.

The character I was most surprised about was John Edwards. Whose side is he on? John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain? I don’t even know if he knows.

He just seems to be pandering to everyone these days. During a good portion of the debate he seemed to align to Sen. Clinton in attack Sen Obama and earlier in the week he seemed to endorse McCain as the heir apparent to the Republican nomination. Granted, Edwards endorsement would hurt McCain in the Republican race, but who does Edwards think he is anyways?

Obama gave some interesting answers during the debate. Especially in the area of Health Care in a time when the entire Democratic party is jumping on the Universal Health Care band wagon, Obama is acknowledging the limited resources of our economy, although Mrs. Clinton doesn’t seem to realize this. Clinton said during the debate tonight, “”If you don’t start out trying to get universal health care, we know — and our members of Congress know — you’ll never get there.”

It’s about time someone running says something about the limited resources in our economy, and thank you for Barack Obama for putting the focus on the children.

I am worried that Mrs. Clinton’s with us or against us attitude is what sunk the Children’s Health Care issues in the 90’s and is her problem now.

What seemed to be the most telling aspect of the debate, and the race this evening, is the Democratic party’s crisis of identity. Who exactly do they represent? Is the goal of the Democratic party to be the champion of everybody? Is that a noble goal? Is the endorsement of universal health care for undocumented/illegal immigrants going to take away health care money from legal citizens? Do the Democrats care?

I see Obama caring, but I see Edwards and Clinton getting so caught up in the party line they aren’t able to separate it from reality. The Democrats also seem to be confused over how to represent the working man/woman. I don’t see the Democrats as caring about the working man anymore, instead working on pandering to what they see the working man wanting.

The Democrats have lost touch with the reality of the middle class, especially in regards to the values voters. The race so far has shown clearly how completely the Democrats have sold out the base of their party for the minority interests in the party on values issues and tax issues.

It will be interesting to see who the conservative middle class Southern voters of South Carolina align with in the Democratic party. My bet is the non-confrontational message of Barack Obama. There is something about the observance of Barack Obama to traditional values while working for a change in Washington’s approach to it’s citizenry that I see appealing to South Carolina.

What will this mean for the Democrats?

Well I see it being a hit for John Edwards, who has billed himself as the champion of the middle class and Health care while suing the Health Care workers out of their jobs. I don’t see Edwards lasting for much longer, although I suppose that has been said for a while. Edwards said during the debate, “I also want to know on behalf of voters in South Carolina, how many children are going to get health care because of this? We have got to understand that this is not about us personally.”

My question would be, how many children’s parents had trouble receiving adequate obstetric care in North Carolina due to your practicing malpractice law?

Mrs. Clinton still seems to hold to the party line all the while continuing to attract the women all around the country. I suppose it would be safe to say that Sen. Clinton has a while left in the race, although I don’t see her faring well on Super Tuesday.

Just some thoughts…

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2 Responses to “Thoughts on South Carolina and the Democrat’s identity crisis”


  1. 1 Independent in NJ January 22, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I am an independent who has voted for Republicans and Democrats in the past. I am for Obama this time around, and would like to offer some comments on the debate, which I found informative and, at times, entertaining.

    First, I think that, for the most part, all three candidates were strong performers, depending on the issue. They made more effort to contrast themselves from one another, which is helpful to voters, though (most of) Obama’s critiques are so polite and carefully worded that (at times) he does not score the points he deserves.

    The Clintons must believe in “slash and burn” politics, for Hillary relentlessly makes personal jabs at Obama. She feels quite comfortable in negative campaign mode; and it is clear that she believes that you win by doggedly criticizing the other guy, while dodging the return fire. I, for one, am tired of this and am hopeful that America is as well. At one point in the debate, she said, “we’re just getting started,” suggesting that she likes this type of tit-for-tat.

    Obama clearly does not. He does not like getting bogged down in putting down the other guy or defending himself against personal attacks. It is a necessary evil in his view, i.e., part of the problem of nasty old style politics, not part of the solution. His message of hope strikes the right balance to my mind. I also like the fact that his health plan incorporates an element of choice. I think that he would be fiscally responsible and sensible. For example, his “stimulus” plan included tax rebates for the middle class well before Hillary included that idea. Hillary seems like a “big spender” and having government solve all ills in the economy.

    Edwards did very well in the debate, speaking passionately about his humble roots and problems of poverty and class. On the social issues – race, class, the working poor – he has excellent instincts and handles tough questions well. He also knows how to attack on the issues without making it seem personal. He relentless goes after Hillary and Obama on their financing sources, while asserting his independence from lobbyist money. Good move. Hillary was very defensive in response to a question posed by Edwards as to whether she would not have any lobbyists in her cabinet. Edwards’s problem is that he would be too divisive and radical to be electable in a general election. The fact is that most of Americana do not perceive themselves to be in a Marxian-style class conflict. You cannot get elected by bashing corporate America in my opinion.

    Obama is the best hope to beat the republicans in my view, especially if the election will be determined by moderate independents, like me. If Hillary or Edwards win the election, I will take a good look at the republican nominees if they nominate a moderate, which seems unlikely.

  2. 2 James Cook January 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I agree, I think regardless of who the Republicans nominate, Obama will be the strongest candidate. To believe this I think one would have to agree that racism will not count as large a factor in the election as the other national issues. Obama’s only weakness thus far has been substance, but he seems to do fine when debating his positions on economy and health care against the other candidates. He literally could “wipe the floor” with McCain if he is nominated, with McCain only gathering the “whites-only”, Republicans-only and part of the “America First”, voter segments. I don’t believe a Republican could win on the current, mostly unpopular, Republican policy positions, providing the Democratic candidate is seen as attractive.

    I think the Republican candidates who have said, “Obama is the one.”, are correct.


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