On the radio yesterday, I heard Rush Limbaugh bragging that thanks to him (and what he called "Operation Chaos," but which I call "Operation Elect Hillary"), Hillary Clinton is now ahead.

When I distrust someone, I tend to be dismissive of whatever that person says.

Bad logical move. (Even liars sometimes tell the truth.)

Anyway, today I see news confirmation that things are going according to chaos plan:

WASHINGTON - Hillary Rodham Clinton now leads John McCain by 9 points in a head-to-head presidential matchup, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll that bolsters her argument that she is more electable than Democratic rival Barack Obama. Obama and Republican McCain are running about even.

The survey released Monday gives the New York senator and former first lady a fresh talking point as she works to raise much-needed campaign cash and persuade pivotal undecided superdelegates to side with her in the drawn-out Democratic primary fight.

Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with Sen. McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Both Democrats were roughly even with McCain in the previous poll about three weeks ago.

However, within the Democratic Party, Hilllary and Obama are still running neck and neck:
The AP-Ipsos poll found Clinton and Obama about even in the race for the Democratic nomination. Underscoring deep divisions within the Democratic Party -- and a potentially negative longer-term impact -- 30 percent of Clinton supporters and 21 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for McCain in November if their preferred candidate didn't win the nomination.
That's what they say now, when talk is cheap, the chips aren't down, and the Hillary "healing" period hasn't had time to work its vintage Clinton magic.

But then there's this interesting statement, which indicates to me that at least some people in the GOP leadership are beginning to think logically:

Also on Monday, the head of the Republicans' House campaign committee said the party would rather face Obama in November because the GOP believes Clinton would be more of a threat to McCain among moderate voters.

Said Tom Cole, a congressman from Oklahoma: Obama "is by any definition very liberal, to the left of Hillary Clinton, in a center-right country. That is very, very helpful to us."

Does Rush know? Or has he become a NeoRINO? As opposed to the old fashioned RINOs (who were generally opposed to social conservatism but held their nose and voted Republican anyway), the NeoRINOs imagine that they're helping the party by helping ensure its defeat.

This strategy actually predates Ann Coulter's pledge to vote for Hillary. It was Tom DeLay who actually pioneered the meme, when, back in February of 2007, he stated that the Republicans needed Hillary:

Hillary Clinton as president may be the best thing that ever happened to the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
The problem with Obama is that he's making them actually like Hillary, and see her as akin to a savior. Of "conservatism."

In a post a couple of weeks ago, I linked a warning that was going around along the lines of "Be careful what you wish for, Rush."

I think they've been quite careful.

If the Neo-RINOs win and Hillary is president, what are the Paleo-RINOs to do?

(I've been predicting this sort of treachery for so long that words fail me. Honestly, I don't know what to title this post. The three letter title I started out with is beginning to look like understatement, but I'll leave it the way it is in the interest of politeness...)

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and for quoting from this post!

A warm welcome to all. Comments always invited -- agree or disagree.

posted by Eric on 04.29.08 at 08:05 AM


You need to take into account that Recreate '68 is full of Obamatons.

If Hillary gets the nod expect a bloodbath in Denver.

The Ds have got to know this.

Wretchard of The Belmont Club nails it:

So my prediction is that Wright has gamed it this way. He's making a play for the soul of the Democratic Party. He's prepared to lose 2008, knowing that even if Obama loses the general election, Obama in the leftist hagiography, will be even greater than if he had won.

In a very subtle way, it's a putsch.

M. Simon   ·  April 29, 2008 9:03 AM

Eric - Do you honestly believe that Obama would not have self-destructed before Denver absent Operation Chaos?

brian   ·  April 29, 2008 9:24 AM

I am not saying Operation Chaos is solely responsible (although Rush certainly crows about it). However, conservatives are doing a lot of the heavy lifting for Hillary -- stuff she couldn't get away with. (For example, she really can't dwell on Ayers because of her vulnerability on the terrorist pardon issue.)

My complaint is primarily twofold:

1. Hillary has had help from conservatives.

2. Many (not all) of the conservatives that help her are longtime enemies of McCain.

I have a tendency to be paranoid and I'd love to be wrong, but I see this as setting up Hillary to win with help from the angry right.

And I think that because only Obama can unify the GOP and force conservatives to vote for McCain, it's a crying shame to lose him.

I'd say "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" except I they and I already know the answer.

True, it might have happened anyway, but in any case they're getting what they wanted.

Eric Scheie   ·  April 29, 2008 10:51 AM

Fiscal conservatives unfooled by the "zero earmarks" b.s. have exactly no one they can vote for on priciple - and no party that represents them, really - so they might as well just play whatever games they want. Limbaugh's making a point about who he is. He may be right.

So he doesn't qualify for this, but I think that pro-war social conservatives who support Hillary might be onto something real.

Let's assume that they know what the candidates really stand for, vote for. Big assumption. But aside from abortion, Hillary's feminism-derived positions make her the same kind of social-con that "human cockfight" McCain is - a reactionary, temperamental censor, the targets of whose ire can be dictated by activists, via the always-willing media.

And assume these social-cons don't really care about abortion, or that they've realized that the next President can't do much to alter its status, because the likely-retiring Supremes can't be replaced with more pro-abortion ones, and they have good reason to believe that McCain can't be trusted to nominate any kind of conservative for any position at all.

And say, military-wise, they've seen through Hillary's anti-war talk as the base-stroking bull Obama fans rightly (which is odd for them) see it to be. She talks tough, just enough, without McCain's dripping didsain for non-vets (i.e., almost all war-supporters).

Hillary could really be their preferred candidate. They'd see no clear difference between her and McCain, except that she seems to hate them less. And there might be enough of these people to swing a close one, which Hillary/McCain would be. She's solidly winning the old-biddy vote in the primaries, and that might carry over.

Plus, the Huckamaniacs have to go somewhere. Position-by-position (if they bother to check those), Hillary's nearest.

guy on internet   ·  April 29, 2008 4:09 PM

If, (and it seems very likely), Obama loses the nomination, many on the left and the college crowd, will sit out this election. The Democrat party will certainly need "healing", and if we keep that from happening, Hillary won't win. I guess Rush needs to come up with a new plan. How about "Operation Fracture"?

BTW, when Obama loses, be prepared for city riots.


atheling   ·  April 29, 2008 10:22 PM

What happens if it turns out that the entire Obama campaign, including all the crap surrounding his association with Wright, was orchestrated by Hillary to show what a Centrist she is? What effect will Rush's Operation Chaos have then?

Former Lurker   ·  April 30, 2008 7:11 AM

You are getting way too jittery. The simple fact is, Hillary remains very unlikely to get the nomination. Based on that reality, every blow against Obama makes this go on longer and eats up more of their energy.

Obama would have to be much weaker than he is today to lose the nomination. He is basically assured unless he is caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

Yeah, this Wright thing could hurt Obama enough to make him suffer a string of losses. The immediate effect of that will most likely be to give the superdelegates pause. A number of them will probably consider going with Clinton. But they will not be foolish enough to do so in the end, because they know that will destroy their party.

MW   ·  April 30, 2008 10:16 PM

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