Thursday, February 9, 2006

Chuck Pennacchio's Campaign on Hillary Clinton and the Dem Establishment

As more evidence of what we're up against in trying to transform the Democratic Party, I offer some correspondence I had with Chuck Pennacchio's campaign. For context, look here, here (scroll to the bottom; Ed Rendell is Casey's strongest backer), and (purely for philosophical background) here:

Wed Feb 8 20:39, from Thersites to the Pennacchio campaign:

I'm the host of VichyDems, a progressive Democratic activist blog. We're backing Chuck Pennacchio, and today we did a post about Hillary Clinton's support for Bob Casey. I thought you might be interested in knowing. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Pennacchio campaign back to Thersites:

Thanks for the update, Thersites. We gave up on Mrs. Clinton a long time ago.

Thursday Feb 9, Thersites back to Pennacchio campaign:

Thanks for getting back to me. May I ask: why? Is it just her love for centrism and triangulation, or is something else going on? I just don't get why she'd get involved in the primary unless your candidate was a clear loser.

Pennacchio campaign back to Thersites:

To call Chuck an underdog is to understate the case. By the most common gauge of electoral success, cash in hand, Chuck's odds are challenging. Measured by grassroots support, they are another matter entirely. Mrs. Clinton is a creature of the common wisdom of her Party, which is defined by centrism, triangulation, and, in our view, capitulation. Mr. Casey is the poster boy for all of these tactics, especially when you've moved the notion of the center a hundred yards to the right. Mrs. Clinton gave money for the same reasons any Democrat has given money to Bob Casey: he's the Party's choice to run against Rick Santorum and Rick Santorum must be defeated. We see a flaw in that logic, most notably in the fact that the Party as embodied by its voting citizens has not yet spoken on this matter. To presume their choice, to dictate it, is the sort of hubris we see chipping away at the Republicans right now.

That pretty much nails it, doesn't it?

Donate to Pennacchio at the VichyDems ActBlue link, to the right.

Oh, and P.S.: I'm pretty damned close to putting Hillary in the Vichy camp. If you disagree, tell me soon, and persuasively!


Katherine said...

I'll just re-post my comment from the earlier thread, being Hill's constituent and all...

Hillary's re-election is a sure bet, because she has NO OPPONENT. Everyone the R's try to prop up against her either makes a huge public flub (Jeanne Pirro) or wimps out. The Spitzer race for governor is where Democratic donor money should be going in NY.

I, like many of her constituents, stay up at night praying to a pantheon of gods that she does Not. Run. For. President.

Is she a Vichy? Eh, not so much. She's just all politics and no heart, if you ask me. (Damn wimmin! We elect ya, and we can't even count on ya to be overly emotional.)

Pondite said...

I'm a constituent of HRC, although I don't follow her too much. I'm more interested in the titanic struggle to crush the GOP, and frankly my progressive/dailykos/don't-watch-tv mindset doesn't have her on my radar screen... Which makes be about the least representative voter in the US of A.

BUT, anyway, I think HRC is a long way away from being a Vichy -- even mentioning her dilutes the term too much. I think the term is most effective when reserved for the likes of Lieberman and Cuellar.

I think HRC has been pretty good, all things considered. I mean, she is a sitting US Senator... they can't all be Russ Feingold. HRC got to the right place on the Alito vote, for instance, and has got most of her votes right when the chips were down. Her most annoying trait is making comments like flag burning and being ready militarily for Iran, but that's just "politics" in a way that is forgivable, in contradistinction to Lieberman, who votes wrong.

Even on the political front, she knows the difference between tooting her own horn and undercutting her own party -- notice, e.g., how she had the very good sense to say "NO COMMENT" in that Adam Nagourney/Sheryl Gay Stolberg hit piece on the Dems in the NYT this week...