To Win, and To Win Fairly

Oh, the twists and turns of the Democrats Primary season! Now its Hillary’s turn to feel the heat, after she invoked the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in a discussion over the lengthy nomination process:

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.

The implication from many quarters is that Senator Clinton is hanging in there on the off-chance that Senator Obama is murdered. However, if you watch the YouTube of her interview (with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader) its clear that is not what she is saying. The operative word here is quite obviously ‘June’ and not ‘assassinated’.
Now, I’m an Obama fan, and wish Clinton would drop out of the race. The controversy a few weeks ago surrounding comments from Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor, was ruthlessly exploited by the Clinton campaign. If this comment about Bobby Kennedy sinks her, there would be a real sense of schadenfreud, reap-what-you-sow and (to borrow a phrase from Wright) chickens coming home to roost.
However, Obama is really supposed to be above all that. He is running on the rhetoric of change, to wash the disingenuity from Washington politics. For the knock-out punch to be landed so unfairly would be a shame. It would show that such dirty politics is still legitimate. Victory, for Obama, would be less sweet.
Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party as to whether the Florida and Michigan delegations, previously banned for breaking the DNC’s rules governing primaries, should be seated. Clinton argues that they should, and of course stands to benefit if that happens. Obama argues that they should not, because they broke the rules, and everyone agreed not to campaign there. Currently, Obama has the moral high-ground here, and the consensus is that this view will prevail.
However, a little piece of gossip threatens this claim. It is rumoured that 40 or so Super-Delegates are planning to defect from Hillary Clinton, and endorse Barack Obama. Over at The Field, Al Giordano hints:

Cardoza is one of the leaders of this effort (which includes not only superdelegates, but here’s something that should set off some paranoia in Camp Clinton: there are pledged Clinton delegates in “The Cardoza 40,” too).

Emphasis mine. Obama should not be welcoming other people’s pledged delegates into his fold. These people, unlike the super-delegates, have been awarded their position on the basis of a popular vote in favour of Senator Clinton. To condone her delegates to vote instead for Obama is profoundly undemocratic, and unworthy of the Illinois Senator’s inspiring rhetoric. Let us hope he distances himself from this possibility.
Winning makes history, and confers power. But winning in the right way is just as important, because it generates goodwill and political capital.
All this reminds me of Manchester United’s Champions League victory on Wednesday evening. Yes, they won, and lifted the trophy. But their achievement is sullied by the manner in which it came about. The previous win, in 1999, will be more highly regarded, and will be more fondly remembered.


Via the Dish, xpostfactoid highlights the ways in which Obama has maintained his integrity, and killed Hillary with kindness.

A Protest for Science

Evan Harris et al
Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris, with parliamentary colleagues, at an event in support of the Human Fertility and Embryology Bill, which will protect and extend the right of scientists to perform crucial stem-cell research.

Clegg and the Digital Revolution

At the Social Market Foundation on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat Leadership Candidate Nick Clegg began a speech by outlining the technological context of 21st Century politics. It is a good approximation of my own view. He said:

… the innovations and technological advances that are already shaping and defining the 21st century – Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, YouTube – are about something very different: they are about creating the tools that will enable people to deliver services to each other.
Continue reading “Clegg and the Digital Revolution”

Comments Policy

One interesting quirk of the new Liberal Conspiracy site (at least, for me) is the comments policy.

We believe in free speech but not your right to abuse our space.

In the past few years, I have scrolled through countless online debates about the nature of free-speech versus reasoned debate. I have read innumberable criticisms of Blogistan as a place of visceral name-calling. I think the policy arrived at reads like a conclusion, or at least, a summing up, of all those online debates. To one who is new to online discourse, it might seem surprising. But I am sure that those who have been part of the blog hive mind for a while, would have found themselves nodding, knowingly. Its unapologetic, and pre-emptive tone seems to be very much “of” its time, and the Internet.

Those Daily Mail Readers

I have heard it twice in seven days. Twice, at two very interesting events, run by two very respectable think-tanks: Its those dreaded Daily Mail readers who are to blame.
In both cases, that journal was being used as a convenient short-hand – to signify something right-wing, reactionary, and irrational. The implication is that there are all these subscribers out there who are somehow intractable. A block of voters who can be persuaded of nothing.
Continue reading “Those Daily Mail Readers”