March 2, 2014

(Let It Go--Idina Menzel from Frozen (2013))

My choice for Sunday music is two-fold. First, it is Oscars night and this is one of the nominated songs (look for John Amato's predictions coming up later). But it is also the refrain that played in my head over and over as I participated in a week-long discussion with some liberal friends on a listserv as to whether to support a liberal challenger over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. It was inspired by this interview of Adolph Reed by Bill Moyers on the surrender of liberals.

Being a pragmatic person, I don't really see the point of pushing for a Elizabeth Warren or other liberal candidate. Not that I think that Clinton is a great progressive hope (any more than I thought Barack Obama was in 2008), but I just don't see how it helps. Sure, a progressive candidate could potentially move the Overton window and force Hillary Clinton to tack left in the primary. But that's just the primary. And let's be honest, there's NO ONE out there who can come close to breaking the Clinton juggernaut:

There is no alternative to Hillary this cycle. The last time anyone polled the Democratic primary field, Clinton had 73 percent of the vote, Biden 11, and Elizabeth Warren nine. That tells us a couple of things. One, 73 percent is A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE. She is the consensus nominee, and if you disagree, you are objectively in the deep minority. Second of all, there is no one to provide even nominal challenge. Clinton (again, assuming she runs) will have some "challengers", but it'll be a bunch of people auditioning for her VP slot.

To reiterate, leads like 45-25 in 2007 didn't make Hillary "inevitable". Numbers like 73-11 in 2014 absolutely do.

Unfortunately, there's nothing about that situation that will compel Clinton to stay to the left during the general. So what will we do other than frustrate ourselves and feel betrayed again?

Now there are some of my progressive friends who will insist that to give up on our ideals and that we will lose leverage by ceding so early. But I'm not sure that there was leverage to be had there. Instead, I think our leverage is better sought in congressional races and focusing on trying to turn as many seats as we can. It won't be perfect, but I think it's a much better bet for the whole country and think what we can accomplish with a filibuster proof majority.

ABC's "This Week" — Secretary of State John Kerry; Ben Affleck; former Sen. Russell Feingold, special envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Roundtable: Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., CNN “Crossfire” co-host Van Jones, National Review editor Rich Lowry, and ABC News’ Cokie Roberts; ABC News special contributor Nate Silver.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Secretary of State John Kerry; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif. Roundtable: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd, Founder of Women in the World Tina Brown, and Bloomberg View columnist Jeffrey Goldberg.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; Secretary of State John Kerry; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Panel: Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, Danielle Pletka of AEI, David Ignatius of the Washington Post and CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" -- Kellyanne Conway, President & CEO, The Polling Company/WomanTrend; Hayes Brown, ThinkProgress; Elise Jordan, Republican Strategist; Tommy Vietor, Fmr. NSC Spokesman; Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE); Sahil Kapur, Talking Points Memo; Ana Marie Cox, The Guardian; Tom Colicchio, Judge for Bravo's Top Chef and celebrated figure in the culinary world; Brian Thompson, NBC4; Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey Assemblywoman; Goldie Taylor, MSNBC Contributor; Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times.

MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" -- Ari Melber guest hosts. Lisa Bloom, Legal Analyst at of “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It”; Piper Kerman, Author of “Orange is the New Black”; Judith Browne Dianis, Co-Director at the Advancement Project; Judge William “Billy” Murphy, Criminal Defense Attorney / Former Circuit Court Judge for the city of Baltimore; Judge Timothy Lewis, Former Federal Judge appointed by George H.W. Bush / Attorney; Anna Palmer, Senior Washington Correspondent at Politico; Aisha Moodie Mills, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress / Co-Host of Politini; Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University; Peter Suderman, Senior Editor at Reason Magazine and; Shane Bauer, Investigative Journalist / Former Iranian Hostage; Henry Gomez, Politics writer for the Northeast Ohio Media Group, whose work appears in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and at; Sarah Posner, Contributing Writer at Religion Dispatches.

MSNBC's "Disrupt with Karen Finney" -- Jonathan Allen, Bloomberg News; Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, MSNBC Contributor; Joe Madison, Sirius XM Radio; Ami Parnes, The Hill; Kim Serafin, In Touch Weekly.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev; Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.; John Beyrle, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia. Panel: former Obama insider Bill Burton, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; Harvard professor and former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Greg Mankiw.

"Fox News Sunday" — Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI); Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. Panel: George Will; Elise Viebeck, The Hill; Scott Brown, Former Republican Senator from Massachusetts; Evan Bayh, Former Democratic Senator from Indiana.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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