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VAL 2016 | Det känns nästan som ett helgerån att rada upp alla argument som talar mot Hillary Clinton som USA:s nästa president.

Cartoon

Men det kan behövas lite mer fokus på Hillary Clinton med tanke på att republikanernas freakshow verkar suga upp allt syret i bevakningen kring partiernas interna kamp om vem som skall bli deras presidentkandidat.

“And those of us who would sooner leap into an active, bubbling volcano than vote for Mr Trump will have to try to convince ourselves that really, she’s not that bad. Is she?”, skriver Christopher Buckley.

Well…även om allt kan se normalt ut i jämförelse med Donald Trump finns det trots alla en hel det att säga om Hillary.

Christopher Buckley, tidigare talskrivare åt George H. W. Bush, har skrivit en lång rad roliga böcker med politiska teman (t.ex. The White House Mess och They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?) som gör honom lämplig att ta sig an Hillary.

Hon har vid det här laget hunnit bli USA:s längsta politiska följetong. Och med så många år på den politiska scenen har hon också hunnit samla på sig en hel del ”bagage”.

Only last summer, her goose seemed all but cooked. Every day she offered another Hillary-ous explanation for why as Secretary of State she required two Blackberries linked to unclassified servers. Eventually this babbling brook of prevarication became so tedious that even her Marxist challenger, Comrade Bernie Sanders of the Vermont Soviet, was moved to thump the debate podium and proclaim: ‘I’m sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!’ (He has since backtracked, declaring himself now deeply interested in her damn emails.)

[…]

The presumptive next president of the United States is viewed as ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy’ by less than 40 per cent of the electorate. Call us naive, but some Americans stubbornly cling to the notion that our leaders shouldn’t always look as though they’re thinking: ‘Which lie did I tell?’ Nor do we like to be played for fools, although this may seem a questionable assertion in the era of Trump Ascendant. Still, when someone who wades hip-deep in Wall Street money — $3 million in speeches, $17 million in campaign contributions — tells us that she will have no truck with the evil barons of finance, it’s hard to keep a straight face.

But never mind us — how does she manage? When you and your husband have banked $125 million in speaking fees from the odious malefactors of wealth, and you insist that you feel the pain of the middle class. How do you maintain the deadpan after you’ve cashed $300,000 for a half-hour speech at a state university — which fee comes from student dues — and then declaim against crippling student loans?

Small lies are often more revealing, especially when there was no need for them. Claiming, say, that you were named after Sir Edmund Hillary when you were born six years before he became a household name; or that you sought to enlist in the US Marines after years of protesting against the Vietnam War, graduating from Yale Law School and working on the campaigns of Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern; or that you dodged sniper fire on the tarmac in Bosnia, when TV footage shows you strolling across it, smiling.

And what — hello? — about that tweet last September about how ‘Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.’ Does that include the women who say they were groped by your husband, and the one who says she was raped? Pace Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman: ‘Every word she [says] is a lie, including “and” and “the”.’

[…]

Mrs Clinton’s flip-flop closet has reached Imelda Marcos levels. There’s the Iraq War vote flip-flop; the gay marriage flip-flop; the Keystone Pipeline flip-flop; the legalising marijuana flip-flop; and most recently, the Trans-Pacific Partnership flip-flop.

[…]

When the latest version of Hillary was rolled out like a new product by her campaign apparatus, she was rebranded as a doting granny. What’s more ‘likeable’ than a granny? Unfortunately for her, the meme didn’t stick. But then it’s hard to look like a cooing old sweetie when you’re swatting away snarling congressmen on Benghazi and explaining that you’re suddenly against a trade treaty you promoted for years. None of this does much for the likeability or honesty factor.

Bild: Henry Payne. Fler teckningar på hans hemsida.

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President Harry Truman, his daughter Margaret, and his wife Bess

President Harry Truman, med sin dotter Margaret och sin fru Bess i en vallokal i Independence, Missouri vid valet 1948.

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VAL 2016 | ”Disintermediation” är ett uttryck som vi måste lära oss om framöver vi vill kunna förstå och tolka amerikanskt väljarbeteende.

Time January 18 2016

Enligt David Von Drehle på tidskriften Time är detta förklaringen till både Donald Trumps framgångar hos republikanerna och Bernie Sanders hos demokraterna.

Disintermediation betyder helt enkelt att väljarna har tröttnat på att låta partiernas toppar, media och olika ekonomiska intressen tolka och lägga tillrätta vad de skall tro och tänka. Man vill nu ha det politiska budskapet direkt från källan – utan mellanhänder, spin och försköningar.

Disintermediation är med andra ord en del av den nya tidsandan.

Von Drehle skriver:

Big Money, the supposed superpower of post–Citizens United politics, is a dud so far. Super-PAC bets by various billionaires have done nothing to fire up such candidates as former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Bush has filled screens in key states with millions of dollars in both positive and negative ads. The result: falling poll numbers. Touted as a front runner a year ago, Bush is mired in single digits and rang in the new year by announcing that he was scrapping a round of ads in favor of more ground troops in early-voting states.

Big Media too has been brought low. The collapse of Trump was predicted so often, so erroneously, in so many outlets that the spectacle was almost comic, like a soap opera that keeps killing off the same deathless character.

[…]

What if all of these groundswells are part of the same tsunami? By coming to grips with Trump, Republicans might begin grasping the future of presidential politics, as the digital forces that have upended commerce and communications in recent years begin to shake the bedrock of civic life.

Disintermediation is a long word for a seemingly simple idea: dumping the middleman. It came into use a half-century ago to describe changes in the banking business.

[…]

Donald Trump is history’s most disintermediated presidential front runner. He has sidestepped the traditional middlemen–party, press, pollsters and pooh-bahs–to sell his candidacy directly to voters, building on a relationship he has nurtured with the public from project to project across decades.

[…]

This can explain why Trump is unscathed by apparent gaffes and blunders that would kill an ordinary candidate. His followers feel that they already know him. When outraged middlemen wail in disgust on cable news programs and in op-ed columns, they only highlight their irrelevance to the Trumpiverse.

Indeed, the psychology of disintermediation adds another layer of protection to a figure like Trump. For members of an online network, the death of the middlemen is not some sad side effect of this tidal shift; it is a crusade. Early adopters of Netflix relished the fate of brick-and-mortar video stores, just as Trump voters rejoice in the idea of life without the “lamestream” media. Trump gets this: mocking abuse of his traveling press corps is a staple of his campaign speeches.

[…]

With disintermediation, the power to set the campaign agenda shifts from the middlemen to the online networks, and those networks, this year, are very angry. Here, again, Trump is far outrunning his rivals in seizing the momentum. Americans are unhappy about an economy that punishes workers, according to opinion polls and conversations with voters. They are tired of politicians who don’t deliver on their promises.

[…]

These voters don’t want someone to feel their pain; they want someone to mirror their mood. Woe to the candidate who can’t growl on cue. Perhaps nothing has hurt the Bush campaign–whose money and endorsements, lavished by middlemen, have fizzled on the launchpad–more than Trump’s observation that the former Florida governor is “low energy.” Translation: he’s not ticked off. Voter anger in this sour season is less a data point than table stakes.

[…]

But if Trump voters are angry, that doesn’t mean they’re crazy. You meet more state representatives and business owners at his rallies than tinfoil-hat conspiracy buffs. In ways, they are a vanguard, catching sight of a new style of politics and deciding early to throw out the old rules. Their radical democracy helps account for Trump’s uncanny resilience: the less he honors the conventions of politics, the more his supporters like him. They aren’t buying what the political process is selling. They want to buy direct from the source.

Tidskriftsomslag: Time, 18 januari 2016.

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VAL | Labour har valt Jeremy Corbyn till ny partiledare. Politiskt kan detta liknas vid att Socialdemokraterna valt en H. C. Hermansson till partiledare.

Labourval till partiledare 2015

Många gör sig lustiga över den freak show som brukar utspela sig hos republikanerna i USA innan man äntligen valt sin presidentkandidat.

Men medan Donald Trump fortfarande förväntas förlora mot någon mer seriös kandidat lyckades Corbyn vinna partiledarskapet i Labour.

Labour i Storbritannien har plötsligt blivit ett parti långt ut på vänsterkanten. Corbyn har mer gemensamt med Syriza i Grekland än med Tony Blair i New Labour.

Det är bara en tidsfråga innan Jonas Sjöstedt och Vänsterpartiet börjar referera till Corbyns politik för att kunna legitimera sin egen.

Det är uppenbart att Corbyn lyckas entusiasmera många, speciellt unga, vänsterväljare under sin kampanj.

Övriga kandidater framstod som ganska bleka i jämförelse. Dessutom föll övriga på eget grepp eftersom ingen ville hoppa av och öka chanserna för någon i mitten av den ideologiska vänsterskalan..

Corbyn var en tydlig vänsterkandidat medan Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper och Liz Kendall var bleka alternativ till höger om Corbyn.

Ingen av dessa tre kandidater lyckades någon gång under valkampanjen ta ledningen i någon opinionsmätning.

Och när ingen av dessa kandidater ville lämna fältet fritt för någon av de andra till höger om Corbyn kom medlemmarnas röster att fördelas på fyra istället på två. Vilket gynnade Corbyn.

Corbyn vann en övertygande seger med 60 procent av rösterna vilket tyder på att han kanske hade vunnit oavsett vad övriga kandidater gjort.

Gladast vid sidan om Corbyns anhängare är nog de konservativa som nu ser en stor möjlighet att vinna även nästa val.

Kanske t.o.m. det nästan utplånade Liberal Democrats har en chans att nu börja plocka hem en del mittenväljare från Labour.

Även om strategerna inom Conservative Party firar Corbyns seger med champagne är det många som oroar sig över att partiet riskerar att falla på eget grepp om man nu tar chansen att driva politiken alltför mycket åt höger.

En konservativ ledarsida i Storbritannien skrev redan i juli så här:

Jeremy Corbyn […]produced a brief economic pamphlet that breezily suggested the Government should raise another £120 billion a year in tax, increasing the overall tax burden by almost a fifth. The document aroused no obvious controversy in Labour circles, and Mr Corbyn’s bandwagon rolled on. Such is the current state of the Labour Party.

Instead, it fell to Tony Blair to warn against a return to the Left-wing tax-and-spend agenda that made Labour an unelectable anathema to British business for a generation. Whatever his numerous other flaws and failings, he was right.

The most striking thing about Mr Blair’s warning is that it falls to him to issue it. More than ten years since he last contested an election, he remains the party’s most eloquent advocate of a more sensible approach to business and wealth. Labour’s leftward drift began when he left office in 2007, and continues still.

Consider the conduct of the putative front-runners in the leadership race, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper. Both owe their careers to Mr Blair’s election victories, and are surely astute enough to see the sense in his words. Yet neither acts on it, each preferring to limp along in Mr Corbyn’s wake in the hope of being the second choice of his supporters. This is unedifying, to say the least.

At the general election, this newspaper recommended a Conservative government, since that was, and is, in the national interest. But Britain also needs a grown-up opposition prepared to debate the issues of the day, not a populist rabble interested only in echoing the wealth-hating delusions of the disaffected Left. It is quite possible to wish for a better Labour Party without wishing that party to be in power.

Instead of pandering to Mr Corbyn and his misguided supporters, those who aspire to be serious leaders of the Labour Party should confront him, reject his half-baked ideas and explain to those supporters that his path would lead the party to ruin. If that means some candidates dropping out of the race to offer Labour a single Stop Corbyn candidate, so be it.

If Mr Burnham and Ms Cooper are not prepared to take on Mr Corbyn, they do not deserve to lead their party, let alone the country. And if Labour does not resist the temptation to indulge in Mr Corbyn’s fantasy politics, it will deservedly pay a heavy price. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Läs mer: The five pillars of Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to run Britain” kartlägger bl.a. Jeremy Corbyns allierade. 

Bild: The Telegraph.

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Clement Attlee election 1950

Valet 1950 blev det jämnaste på 100 år. Labour vann och Clement Attlee (i mitten av bilden) behöll makten.

Här ett bra exempel på ett kostnadseffektivt sätt att hushålla med kampanjkassan. Yngre valarbetare har dekorerat ramarna med affischer och ekrarna med, får man anta, partifärgerna. För en minimal kostnad uppnår man maximal rörlighet och synlighet.

Valet 1950 var det första där valresultatet rapporterades i tv

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John Major

Bild: The Independent. Se och läs mer här och här.

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STRATEGI | Det finns få negativa saker inom politiken som inte kan vändas till en fördel. Det gäller bara att lyfta fram styrkorna på bekostnad av svagheterna.

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, March 10, 2015.  Clinton conceded that she should have used a government email to conduct business as secretary of state, saying her decision was simply a matter of "convenience." (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Hillary Clinton har fått mycket kritik för de första stapplande stegen i sin valkampanj och sättet hon har försökt krishantera.

Peter Beinart i The Atlantic har dock en lite annorlunda vinkling på temat. Hans poäng är att Clinton har gjort precis det hon är bäst på.

Hennes styrka har aldrig varit de stora visionerna. Däremot älskar hon att tala om sakfrågor. Hon är, precis som sin man, en riktig politisk geek.

Visioner är annars standardingrediensen i amerikanska politikers arsenal. Visioner är ett bra sätt att slippa bli alltför konkret i sin politik. Samtidigt låter det visionära som om man tänkt både länge och väl kring de stora utmaningar landet står inför.

Visioner har också den fördelen att man inte behöver vara speciellt konkret. På så sätt unviker man att öppna upp sig för motståndarnas attacker.

Beinart konstaterar att Clinton gjort precis tvärt emot vad många andra politiker gör när de drar igång sin presidentvalskampanj.

Soaring rhetoric and grand themes have never been Hillary’s strengths. That’s one reason so many liberals found her so much less inspirational than Barack Obama in 2008. And it’s a problem with deep roots. In his biography, A Woman in Charge, Carl Bernstein describes Hillary, then in law school, struggling to articulate her generation’s perspective in an address to the League of Women Voters. “If she was speaking about a clearly defined subject,” Bernstein writes, “her thoughts would be well organized, finely articulated, and delivered in almost perfect outline form. But before the League audience, she again and again lapsed into sweeping abstractions.”

Team Clinton appears to understand this. And so it has done something shrewd. Instead of talking vision, Hillary is talking policy, which she does really well.

[…]

Hillary’s handlers have played to this strength. On April 29, she devoted the first major speech of her campaign not to her vision for America, but to something more specific: race and crime.

[…]

The speech was not merely substantive. It was authentic. It showcased the real Hillary Clinton: A woman who, whatever her faults, hates injustice and knows what she’s talking about when it comes to government.

[…]

She’s at her best talking about America not abstractly, but concretely. She’s most inspiring when talking not about what she believes, but about what she wants to do. And she most effectively humanizes herself by being true to who she is: knowledgeable, passionate, and vaguely obsessive about making government work. Against Rubio, or any other likely Republican challenger, that identity should provide an excellent contrast.

Bild: Seth Wenig/AP Photo. Hillary Clinton talar med reportrar vid FN:s högkvarter den 10 mars 2015.

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