The Switzerland of the Candidate Wars

There are very few progressive websites where one can escape the candidate wars between the Clinton and Obama camps (and their supporters). The war of words has become stupid, vicious, and destructive on so many levels. ASZ strives to be a neutral site in the Dem candidate wars – simply because all of us have bigger fish to fry (and indict) once a Dem president is sworn in, whoever he or she may be.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Swiss FlagJust as a refresher, I’m the blogmaster at ASZ.

On quite a few occasions, I’ve intimated that All Spin Zone will remain neutral in the candidate wars between the Obama and Clinton campaigns, and avoid the vitriol that’s being passed between supporters of either candidate. In fact, I’m exercising a pretty strong editorial hand in ensuring that we’re able to retain a modicum of neutrality. The bottom line remains that there is a true evil among us, and this evil doesn’t carry the surname of Clinton or Obama.

Early on in the Democratic Party nominating process, the contributors to ASZ agreed to endorse Sen. John Edwards, and I’d like to think that we continue to espouse the ideals that he brought to the table, even though he’s long departed the race.

How many times can it be said that either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama are head and shoulders above what the GOP is offering in John McCain? Over the past few months, I’ve watched as the progressive blogosphere has turned itself upside down – friendships and alliances have been torn apart – and it’s all to air grievances (to the delight of the GOP, I might add) that, in the big scheme of things, are truly minimalist. Here are a few examples of the parity between the candidates on issues that matter:

Both Obama and Clinton see the need for dramatic changes to healthcare provision in the U.S.

Check.

Both Clinton and Obama want to find an honorable (and short term) way out of the quagmire in Iraq.

Check.

Both Obama and Clinton recognize that working class Americans (irrespective of race) are being squeezed by the mortgage and credit crisis that was largely brought on by a corporatist GOP.

Check.

Both Clinton and Obama understand the necessity of increasing education opportunities for all Americans, and have pledged to increase educational funding, government supported grants, and a reduction in debt load for graduating students.

Check.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of agreement between the two candidates. I am personally conflicted that the issues which bring progressives together as a voting block can be absolutely destroyed by what I perceive (and flame me for this if you must) as petty bickering over absolute nonsense.

The GOP has taken an insider’s track this year in trying to blow up the Democratic Party nominating process. A moment’s worth of critical analysis would easily lead just about any clear thinking progressive to the conclusion that much of the discontent that is being fomented within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has Rovian fingerprints all over it.

You say you don’t want politics as usual? Well, that’s exactly what hyperpartisanship plays into. Think about it.

I mean, there was a time in the not too distant past where I was on the fence about supporting Ron Paul. And why? Simply because Dr. Paul represented a total step change in thinking about how the country is being run. This doesn’t mean that I support the vast majority of Ron Paul’s views – to the contrary – it’s just that we can not afford another four years of congressional gridlock, internecine political in-fighting, and stagnation in addressing the core issues that confront this country.

You want real change? Someone like Ron Paul represents real change. You might not agree with him on the issues, but you have to agree that President Ron Paul would turn things upside down inside the I-495 beltway. The three candidates remaining in the major party races will not. So, don’t tell me that if you support Hillary, you support “change”. Or if you support Barack, that he’s the best change agent around. Neither is the case. Both Clinton and Obama would work within the framework of what they know: Washington politics. Both Obama and Clinton would try to bridge an unbridgable chasm between the left and right. And in the end, the proposals that both of them are backing do not ultimately represent a complete paradigm shift in the political status quo.

That being said, I’m willing to concede that either Clinton or Obama would at least get the rock moving in an uphill direction. But “change agents”? Nah. Neither of them. The real change agent would come out and say:

“I’m not thinking in terms of eight years. I’ll be lucky to finish four. There’s simply too much to repair after decades of mismanagement by a corporate sponsored Republican Party. I’m not naive enough to believe that those who oppose me in either the Democratic or Republican parties are going to be happy with my leadership. But lead, I will. And by God, I will stay true to my personal values whether popular or not, and goddamit, things are going to change. Here’s how…”

I’ve seen neither the Obama or Clinton campaign express this level of fire in the belly. Whichever candidate comes out of the nominating process as the Democratic standard bearer, they’d better be ready to adopt this radical approach. Because if they don’t, John McCain will be the next President of the United States. Hell, Dems might not even retain control of congress in such a scenario.

ASZ is not a pro-Obama or pro-Clinton site, and I’ve made that clear privately to all of the contributors to these pages, and now I’m making it publicly crystal clear to our readers. ASZ is a site dedicated to exposure of a criminal, corporatist-owned, war mongering, sexually hypocritical Grand Old Party, and the advancement of a progressive agenda. Quite simply, this means winning: beating any Republican at the ballot box, from local dog catcher all the way up the ticket to President of the United States.

Anyone not behind this single-minded cause, regardless of who the Dem nominee happens to be, deserves whatever they get on the back end.

Cripes, I don’t even want to think about it.

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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