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Bloggingheads
01-19-2008, 04:50 PM

ohcomeon
01-19-2008, 07:03 PM
whack-a-mole, circular firing squad, hanging separately - it's all good!

ohcomeon
01-19-2008, 07:08 PM
I also want to point out that it looks like Romney won Nevada on the strength of the Mormon turn out. And Ron Paul is in 2nd place.....Hahahaha! Don't worry Republicans Tim Russert is on MSNBC saying Rudy is still a front runner.

Bloggin' Noggin
01-20-2008, 11:04 AM
Very good discussion.
I know Russert is one of Conn's heroes, but I think Yglesias's attack on him was richly, richly deserved -- and it goes considerably beyond the one specific debate question Conn mentions.
Matthews just seems like a total fool, and I simply have no idea why he's on broadcast television rather than cable public access or some unintellectual version of bloggingheads -- BloggingAsses.tv, maybe.

I was particularly interested by Conn's explanation of Stoller's outburst at Obama, which had struck me as simply a stupid misreading by a hyperpartisan lamebrain. Now I see that it may have been a correct reading by a hyperpartisan lamebrain. In other words, Obama's desire to put the old arguments over the 60s and 70s to rest (and seize on a fairly pro-government consensus in the country to bring about attainable progressive change) upsets Stoller and other lefty warriors because they'd rather have a fight than their reforms they want to fight for.

Some, like Krugman, seem to hear Obama as some kind of centrist lamebrain of the David Broder type: if the political debate is between Eisenhower Republicans and Nazis, then take the midpoint between the two and that will be right. I admit that Broder is far more of a lamebrain than Stoller, but I think it's clear Obama doesn't mean to be a Broderist. The left (including the Netroots) have long been saying that, apart from the labels "liberal" and "conservative", the country agrees with them rather than with the Tom Delays of the world. Obama thinks so too, and his campaign is all about dumping the old culture war frame in favor of real progressive change. If the country really is with the left, then getting beyond the left and right labels can only help (because most of the country still like to think of themselves as conservatives).

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 11:44 AM
My nomination for dingalink of the week: A new guiding principle for diavloggers? (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8161?in=00:35:23&out=00:35:28)


Outstanding bit of dry humor, Conn!

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 11:54 AM
Also quite good: Bill gives "advice" to Republicans (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8161?in=00:38:33&out=00:38:42)

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 12:04 PM
ohc:

Unusually snarky for you. I like it!

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 12:11 PM
BN:

... BloggingAsses.tv, maybe.

That presumes Chris Matthews can write. Maybe TalkingAsses.tv would be better. Or TalkingOutOfTheirAsses.tv.

I think you're right about Obama, both regarding his message and his plan, especially when you point out that the country really does agree more often than not with much of the "leftist" policy program. It may be a way we could get moving on some of these things. This is why I like Obama, certainly.

As much as I think it's important to stop trying to meet the right halfway, since they never budge and it just means the Democrats look like Republican-lite, I think we've established over the past four presidential terms that hyper-partisanship isn't getting a whole lot accomplished. Might be time to try some honey in place of vinegar.

brucds
01-20-2008, 12:38 PM
The irony of the Clintons attack on Obama over his Reagan comments is that one of the most defining statements Bill Clinton made during his presidency was in his 1996 State of the Union address: "The era of big government is over."

So Bill, who was nothing but a stereotypical DLCer running against the "excesses" of liberalism and ideologically hobbled by Reagan's political success a decade and a half after the old coot's ascendancy, is the last person in the world who could dispute Obama's evaluation of Reagan's political success and creation of a new "conventional wisdom." He's the embodiment of Obama's point. Bill Clinton inhaled Reagan's "new political paradigm" and ran on his own tweaked tepid-liberal version of it. He didn't do a damned thing to revitalize the Demcratic Party ideologically - he succumbed, like the rest of the DLC crowd, to the success of Reagan and swam in his wake, playing defense to an aggressive GOP. It's a remarkable display of dishonesty and/or supreme lack of self-awareness, that he now, pathetically, attempts to dispute Obama's candid and incisive observation in service of his wife's "restorationist" attempt to regain access to the Oval Office for the mediocre duo. I'm underwhelmed. In fact, Bill Clinton looks more and more like a big bag of hot air the more this campaign unravels.

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 12:50 PM
brucds:

I'm rooting for Obama, as you probably know, and am also more than a little embarrassed by Bill Clinton lately, but I do have to disagree with your characterization of him as president. I accept that he did little to push hard-core liberal ideas, but I never thought of him as completely tepid or hobbled as president. My view of him was that he was a realistic and canny operator, whose guiding principle was always: "Politics is the art of the possible."

I'll always admire him for recognizing when some things were inevitable, and grabbing the initiative and credit away from the Republicans when he had no other choice. I didn't like welfare reform, for example, but it was clear that something was going to happen along that line, and he ended up taking away a victory from the Republicans.

I'll also always think fondly of him for making the Democrats into the party of fiscal responsibility. The True Believers on the right won't yet admit this, but a lot of people no longer think of the Democrats as profligate.

He wasn't a great president, but he was pretty good, under the circumstances. I do share with you distaste at his behavior lately, though.

brucds
01-20-2008, 04:21 PM
But my main point isn't about whether he was a tactical genius or a skilled politico or a guy who did the best he could under the circumstances - it's that as his "The era of big government is over" rhetoric, along with his "end welfare as we know it" approach and even his successful targeting of federal deficits, make it clear the "Clintonism" was a "hobbled" reincarnation of liberalism IN REAGAN'S SHADOW. I don't think this is, as a general point, even arguable. And the Clintons attempt to spin Obama's recognition of the relative historical importance and political success of the respective presidencies is some combination of dishonesty and blindness to what mediocre hacks they are. Clinton may have been a tactical genius, but aside from the fact that he obviously opened the door to the Bush presidency and the disasters of the past seven years with his personal narcissism and self-indulgence, the Clintons have done nothing to revive progressivism. In fact, progressives are in the difficult position of cleaning up after the Clintons (her incompetence and arrogance sank universal healthcare as a viable political issue for at least a dozen years).

It's time for liberals and progressives to get past these people. They are about themselves and not revitalizing a grassroots Democratic party or a progressive movement. If you think that Mark Penn, Terry McCauliffe and their black billionaire best friend Robert Johnson are the faces you want to see on our party, vote for Hillary. Frankly, these elitist assholes surrounding the Clinton campaign disgust me. They're baggage and the sooner we're done with them as the party "leadership" the better.

Wonderment
01-20-2008, 04:46 PM
Clinton may have been a tactical genius, but aside from the fact that he obviously opened the door to the Bush presidency and the disasters of the past seven years with his personal narcissism and self-indulgence, the Clintons have done nothing to revive progressivism. In fact, progressives are in the difficult position of cleaning up after the Clintons (her incompetence and arrogance sank universal healthcare as a viable political issue for at least a dozen years).

Much as I dislike Clinton for the same reasons you do, I think it's a huge stretch to blame the Bush presidency on him, unless by "opening the door," you simply mean existing.

The Bush presidency was the result of a Murphy's Law set of circumstances -- everything that could go wrong did go wrong: Nader ran a too successful campaign; Gore ran a shitty one; the Republicans cheated in Florida, the Supreme Court flip-flopped, exposing the dark Republican heart of their majority; Bush and Cheney managed to conceal from the American public just how friggin' nuts and dysfunctional they are.

But you are certainly right to underscore the fact that Clinton was no progressive. The danger for Dem. primary voters is that they think Hillary will turn out to be more progressive than Bill was, or that they engage in too much revisionist fantasizing about what a wonderful, peaceful, just nation we had in the Clinton 90s.

There are a lot of good reasons for holding one's nose and voting for Hillary in the national election over the field of Republican war hawks, global warming deniers, religious nuts, torture advocates, xenophobes and homophobes. But being a progressive is not one of them.

brucds
01-20-2008, 05:01 PM
"By 'opening the door,' you simply mean existing."

No, I meant specifically by being so stupid, self-indulgent and narcissistic in his personal behavior and the resultant absurd scandal and political brouhaha that he put a cloud over what would have been a guaranteed succession by Al Gore. You can blame Gore for lots of mistakes, etc. but Bill Clinton screwed up badly and turned the final years of his presidency into an embarrassment. It was pathetic...

TwinSwords
01-20-2008, 06:10 PM
"By 'opening the door,' you simply mean existing."

No, I meant specifically by being so stupid, self-indulgent and narcissistic in his personal behavior and the resultant absurd scandal and political brouhaha that he put a cloud over what would have been a guaranteed succession by Al Gore. You can blame Gore for lots of mistakes, etc. but Bill Clinton screwed up badly and turned the final years of his presidency into an embarrassment. It was pathetic...

I can't reject out of hand your assertion that Clinton's affair with Lewinsky led to the George Bush presidency, but you'd have a hard time proving it. Consider:

(1) Clinton's approval ratings reached their peak during impeachment.

(2) Americans punished the Republicans in the 1998 mid-term elections.

(3) Gore won the popular vote in 2000.

The American people were appauled by the Republicans' investigations and impeachment. So, I'm not sure how can you conclude that Clinton's affair hurt Gore. If anything, I think it was Gore's refusal to use Clinton in his campaign that hurt Gore, as well as the "perfect storm" described by Wonderment.

brucds
01-20-2008, 06:48 PM
I wouildn't have a hard time proving it at all. It, among other things, led Gore to keep Clinton at arms length - which may have been a mistake, but it happened because of Lewinsky and only because of Lewinsky, and also explains the sodden choice of Holy Joe as a running mate. Anyone who thinks that Gore wouldn't have been a shoo-in had he not been saddled with the complexities and hangover of the Lewinsky scandal by Big Dog is living in a fog. If you want to blame Gore for the way he played the cards he was dealt, I think that's an act of avoidance. And noting that Gore won the electoral vote will get you on the Subway if you've also got $2.00. The race was far closer than it could possibly have been if not for Bill's stupid affair - so stupid it almost seems like an impulse to self-destruction.

TwinSwords
01-20-2008, 08:46 PM
I wouildn't have a hard time proving it at all. It, among other things, led Gore to keep Clinton at arms length - which may have been a mistake, but it happened because of Lewinsky and only because of Lewinsky, and also explains the sodden choice of Holy Joe as a running mate. Anyone who thinks that Gore wouldn't have been a shoo-in had he not been saddled with the complexities and hangover of the Lewinsky scandal by Big Dog is living in a fog. If you want to blame Gore for the way he played the cards he was dealt, I think that's an act of avoidance. And noting that Gore won the electoral vote will get you on the Subway if you've also got $2.00. The race was far closer than it could possibly have been if not for Bill's stupid affair - so stupid it almost seems like an impulse to self-destruction.

Well, you're right that Gore was dumb to keep Clinton at arm's length, and I also agre that the choice of Lieberman was disasterously stupid, and may well have contributed to Gore's loss. Those are strong points.

Imagine the catastophe that could have been averted if we'd elected Gore.

jmcnulty
01-20-2008, 09:35 PM
Yes, it is a shame that we did not elect Bore, I mean Gore. Just think, we could have achieved defeat in Iraq, higher taxes, and compact flourescent bulbs years sooner, not to mention the presteige of having the head of the "global warming" scam as out commander-in-chief.

Wonderment
01-20-2008, 10:00 PM
Yes, it is a shame that we did not elect Bore, I mean Gore. Just think, we could have achieved defeat in Iraq, higher taxes, and compact flourescent bulbs years sooner, not to mention the presteige of having the head of the "global warming" scam as out commander-in-chief.

Patriots like you JM, might give a thought or two to the nearly 4,000 dead US soldiers who would probably have preferred the tax increase over the casket.

TwinSwords
01-20-2008, 10:55 PM
we could have achieved defeat in Iraq

(1) We already have achieved defeat in Iraq, under Bush.

(2) We never would have been in Iraq in the first place, if Gore had been president.

bjkeefe
01-20-2008, 11:10 PM
jm:

... Bore, I mean Gore.

Witty. For a second-grader.

David_PA
01-21-2008, 04:17 AM
It's time for liberals and progressives to get past these people. Hmmm ... if *you* were past them [Clintons], you'd save your vitriol for the repubs and use your insight to help Obama.

brucds
01-21-2008, 09:56 AM
"save your vitriol for the repubs and use your insight to help..."

Somebody tell Big Dog...

jmcnulty
01-21-2008, 10:27 AM
You said:

"(1) We already have achieved defeat in Iraq, under Bush.

"(2) We never would have been in Iraq in the first place, if Gore had been president."

Probably not, but he might have convinced Saddam Hussein to switch to compact flourescent bulbs.

Like Harry Reid, you are committed to defeat in Iraq, whatever the facts. The ultimate was the recent McClatchy Newspapers headline (I paraphrase): "Decline in Violence Causes Depression in Iraqi Funeral Industry."

Saddam Hussein was "in his box." All Gore would have done is change that the a "lock box."

Besides, why should Al Gore WANT to be President. It would be a step down. Today he is the worldwide pope of the "global warming" hoax.

Sorrry, I have to leave now to warm up his private jet.

bjkeefe
01-21-2008, 10:28 AM
I gotta go along with you there, brucds. The first step is to win the nomination and there is no question that the Clintons are ready to play rough. I hope it doesn't get really petty and result in a Pyrrhic victory, though, even as I know that's probably an unrealistic wish.

David_PA
01-21-2008, 01:47 PM
"save your vitriol for the repubs and use your insight to help..."

Somebody tell Big Dog.

Ok, so "he started it" is the operative. The attacks you're mounting brucds sound a lot like the 'vast right wing conspiracy' talking points that (admittedly) the Clintons had a big part inviting.

Obama's counters to Bill are more effective, I think. Parsing what Bill says and picking out the errors or manipulation.

brucds
01-21-2008, 02:51 PM
I've been making an argument based on looking at history dispassionately (re: Reagan and Clinton's respective political sucesses) and Bill Clinton's campaign and governance strategies. That's hardly the stuff of the VRWC. More like stuff you just don't want to hear. As for who's unhinged in their attacks, IMHO Big Dog gets the bone. I'm an amateur.

TwinSwords
01-21-2008, 04:43 PM
You said:

"(1) We already have achieved defeat in Iraq, under Bush.

"(2) We never would have been in Iraq in the first place, if Gore had been president."

Probably not, but he might have convinced Saddam Hussein to switch to compact flourescent bulbs.

Like Harry Reid, you are committed to defeat in Iraq, whatever the facts. The ultimate was the recent McClatchy Newspapers headline (I paraphrase): "Decline in Violence Causes Depression in Iraqi Funeral Industry."

Saddam Hussein was "in his box." All Gore would have done is change that the a "lock box."

Besides, why should Al Gore WANT to be President. It would be a step down. Today he is the worldwide pope of the "global warming" hoax.

Sorrry, I have to leave now to warm up his private jet.


Shouldn't you be listening to Mark Levin? Or Bob Grant?

Also: I have some questions for you:

(1) Just what the heck do you mean by "compact fluorescent bulbs?'

(2) What do you mean by "the pope" of the global warming hoax?

(3) Who do you think is in on the hoax?

(4) What is the motive for perpetuating the hoax?

(5) Have you ever been offered a chance to join the global warming conspiracy?

(6) Why do you believe Harry Reid is committed to defeat in Iraq?