Winning isn’t everything

(This started as a comment in a earlier thread but I decided to promote it to the front page)

In recent threads I have argued against the use of certain tactics like political stalking and outsiders butting into state business.

Some people have disagreed with me and their arguments can be summed up as follows:

1. The tactics in question are legal

2. The tactics are effective

3. The other side uses the same tactics.

I do not disagree with any of those arguments but nonetheless I still believe we should not use those tactics. Barack Obama provides an excellent case in point.

Obama won his first election campaign by knocking all his competitors (including Alice Palmer, the incumbent) off the ballot. He was elected to the US Senate by exposing his competitors’ dirty laundry. His followers call that “bare-knuckle” politics.

He won the Democratic nomination for President by, among other things, playing the race card, disenfranchising two states and by getting the Superdelegates to vote for him instead of the top vote winner. At the DNC convention Hillary wasn’t even allowed to receive the votes of the delegates she won, thus disenfranchising millions of voters.

His tactics were legal and effective but Hillary refused to use similar tactics because she understood that using such tactics corrupt the user and damage the political process.

So would you rather be like him, or her?

I could go on but I think you get my point. I’ll let a man far wiser than me have the last word:

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? – Matthew 16:26

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30 Responses to Winning isn’t everything

  1. JeanLouise says:

    Obama’s tactics were not legal. Busing in ‘voters’ from another state to illegally vote in caucuses is clearly illegal. Busing in people from other states to demonstrate is not. If not for demonstrators from other states, in other words, Freedom Riders, Jim Crow laws might still be in place.

    • myiq2xu says:

      So as long as it’s legal you think it’s okay?

      • 1539days says:

        Anything Obama does against Democrats is illegal. Anything he does against evil Republicans is both legal and moral. Or something.

      • Valhalla says:

        That doesn’t follow from what JL is saying. You said Obama’s tactics were legal. They weren’t. It’s a correction, not an assertion or an argument.

        And you haven’t distinguished when it’s ok to cross state lines to protest and when it’s not. It’s not enough to say “when it corrupts the political process” because a) that’s the result, not the principle; and b) you haven’t tied any corrupt result (which you’re claiming Clinton on) to the WI protests.

        And the convention shenanigans pulled by the DNC, while not technically illegal (not against fed voting laws), were against the DNC’s own rules. Same with the RBC.

        Also, I didn’t follow the stalking discussions here very closely, but did anyone actually defend political stalking? That seems pretty straw-person-ish.

        As for the butting in thing, seems that’s largely in the eye of the beholder. What’s butting in? Is it when people use their freedom of speech rights to advocate an opinion you/we/whomever disagree with? But when it’s something you/we/whomever agree with, then it’s “civil rights”, sacrosanct, and permitted borderless expression? Are we talking a topic-based standard? Manipulation of the system? What, exactly?

        • Valhalla says:

          oh crap, I forgot to close my tag.

        • myiq2xu says:

          That doesn’t follow from what JL is saying. You said Obama’s tactics were legal. They weren’t. It’s a correction, not an assertion or an argument.

          The tactics I mentioned were all legal

          I guess you think it would be okay for the national GOP to dump a billion dollars into Wisconsin along with thousands of paid operatives, right?

        • votermom says:

          is that where you wanted the tag closed?

        • votermom says:

          On butting in — I don’t like it in principle, but in Wisconsin, I think (though I am not sure) that the Wis. union asked for outside help , and then Walker asked for help , etc… so I think it the butting-in may be excused since it was asked for. Just imo.

        • Valhalla says:

          reply to myiq (damn nesting!) — I wasn’t clear. JL was referring to the illegal stuff Obama did.

          In WI, the Koch Bros are dumping big wads of cash on the WI Repubs to fight the unions — so you think that is ok as long as they’re from there? As long as the corporate cash unbalancing the playing field is from nearby, then that’s ok? That can’t be right.

          I didn’t say legal = ok. I’m still asking you what your standard is — because as far as I can tell it’s pretty much “segregation or same-sex marriage” = ok, and race card, disenfranchisement, & SD shenanigans = not ok. The former are issues while the latter are tactics. If you’re arguing nasty tactics shouldn’t be allowed, then I agree, but that has nothing to do with whether you’re from a particular state. And nothing to do with protesting or advocacy, neither of which is inherently nasty. Crossing state lines to join in a PROTEST (of whatever) or advocate (for whatever) isn’t playing the race card, has nothing to do with Superdelegates, or disenfranchising voters.

          If you’re arguing it’s all issue-based, then I disagree. That almost always ends up with issues we like = not butting in and issues we don’t = butting in. There’s a reason why constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly can only be limited by content-neutral restrictions.

          votermom — yes! thanks for cleaning up after the mess I made.

    • WMCB says:

      Yes, because Civil rights and Freedom Riders is exactly the same as interfering in another state’s internal budgetary matters, and who they elect to their state offices.

      • 1539days says:

        Union benefits are a right. It’s right there in the Const… well, they’ll figure out something.

      • Mary says:

        Yeah, and Media Matters is not another fluffer for anything Obama and the unions want printed.

        (cough cough)

      • Mary says:

        Not to mention union funding in the multi-millions (way more than Koch brothers) of recalls, affecting the state legislature from outside.

        Isn’t it time unions lose their tax free status?

  2. WMCB says:

    It always struck me as ironic that Hillary got attacked by the right for being an Alinskyite, because she did a college thesis on him.

    But they completely ignored the conclusion of her thesis: That his methods, while they would admittedly be effective, were wrong. That operating by “the ends justifies the means” has implications for a society or political party that go far beyond the temporary victory,

    You may win. But you might not like the person you are or what your society has become after you do.

  3. JeanLouise says:

    Btw, Hillary frequently traveled to other states to work on national political campaigns. Should those be left to the states, too?

  4. 1539days says:

    That’s why things like MM and the MRC exist. The put the spotlight on the foibles of their enemies and then sprinkle in some unrealted facts for “context.”

    You notice how after the election of 2008, Dick said “I” won, but after 2010 he said “we” got thumped?

  5. ralphb says:

    This Sarah post highlighted on c4p could be a wmcb rant. It’s gorgeous.

    If she runs, and I think she will, she’s running against both parties for sure and wants it that way.

    • votermom says:

      As a governor, I had to deal with facts, even unpleasant ones. I dealt with the world as it is, not as I wished it to be. The “elite” political class in this country with their heads in the sand had better face some unpleasant facts about the world as it is.

      grizzly roar

    • DandyTiger says:

      I think there’s never been a better time for an outsider or independent or third party candidate. Both main parties have shown themselves to be worthless, and sadly there’s not a dimes worth of difference between them. Heh.

      But that independent candidate on rare occasions can be from one of the two parties if they are clearly not liked by their party. E.g., Big Dawg. And clearly Hillary would be the same. On the Republican side, I think that’s Palin. But just like with the Clintons, the party will try very hard to not let that happen.

      • 1539days says:

        I think there was the point where the media were treating her as a political figure when they thought she would go thrid party and assure Obama’s reelection.

      • ralphb says:

        One of my favorite bits of Bills from the ’92 campaign was him running as he put it against “the brain dead politics of both parties”. That’s the kind of campaign Hillary should have run and the one that Sarah will, if she runs.

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