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Bloggingheads
03-10-2008, 08:35 AM

Bloggin' Noggin
03-10-2008, 09:07 AM
http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9349?in=00:09:30&out=00:10:00

Funny, I was just thinking about this this morning before I saw this diavlog:
the Clinton team's approach to talking with the media is very, very much like the Bush approach to the Iraq war. Whenever Clinton loses, it isn't really a loss or the loss doesn't count. The spin always seems extremely Orwellian. Somehow Obama's strengths are all really weaknesses, his victories are always really defeats. Reminds me of Cheney's view that when the insurgency in Iraq picked up force, it was obviously a sign that it was in its last throes.

If you liked the Bush approach to telling the public what was going on, I think you'll love Clinton's approach as well. So far, it's just about politics. But if this works for her, why would she stop saying black is white when she tries to drum up support for her foreign or domestic policy?

The campaign provides us with strong evidence about how she'll govern -- not her policies, but her methods will look a lot like those of the last 8 years. For me that seems like an excellent reason to vote against Clinton.

JIM3CH
03-10-2008, 10:11 AM
Jonathan Chait thinks that Hillary will probably vote for McCain in the general election if (when) Obama takes the nomination. His (Chait’s) view is that her only choice, given her blazing desire to be president, is to destroy Obama as a credible threat to McCain.

But, is this consistent with her multiple hints at a Hillary / Obama ticket? I don‘t think so.

I find it doubtful that Hillary is really “friends” with McCain given the hideous joke he told at the Gridiron dinner about Hillary, Chelsea, and Janet Reno several years ago.

otto
03-10-2008, 10:14 AM
Did Matt get through a foreign policy diavlog without pimping his <i>Heads in the Sand</i> forthcoming foreign-policy book? And there's no Amazon link!

What the hell is the point of listening to Bh.tv if the munchkins don't tout their wares?

Joel_Cairo
03-10-2008, 10:25 AM
Props to Chait! In this vlog, he accomplishes a feat never before seen on BHTV: He manages to get a word in edgewise (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9349?in=00:25:36&out=00:25:58) (literally) while talking to Matt Ygelsias.

otto
03-10-2008, 11:42 AM
Chait says he "wouldn't be surprised" if Hillary voted Republican in 2008.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9349?in=00:06:30&out=07:30

thouartgob
03-10-2008, 11:45 AM
If you liked the Bush approach to telling the public what was going on, I think you'll love Clinton's approach as well. So far, it's just about politics. But if this works for her, why would she stop saying black is white when she tries to drum up support for her foreign or domestic policy?

The campaign provides us with strong evidence about how she'll govern -- not her policies, but her methods will look a lot like those of the last 8 years. For me that seems like an excellent reason to vote against Clinton.

I wish this were not so but I half-ta say that if she indeed gets nod, this Orwellian tendency will get reinforced and her administration will suffer for it as will american politics, since it will keep going down the road of who is lying less to me for my own good. The Clintons have 1 big thing in their favor which is they won. We have them to thank for not having to deal with Bush Sr. term 2 or President Dole or the fascinating horror show of president Perot ( although we could have saved plenty of money using prisoners instead of crash dummies and we could have had way more effective torture techniques if allowed to Abu Ghraib through the prison population in :-) ). Few things succeed like success, but hitching a ride on the prevarication express to stay in running and win a few does not really help the cause.

A Hillary Clinton administration would be something of a fitting punishment to the repubs who pulled all manner chicanery during their tenure but in the end we lib/prog/dems will always end up losing to to con/react/repubs when it comes to making the case for 2+2=5.

thouartgob
03-10-2008, 12:08 PM
His (Chait’s) view is that her only choice, given her blazing desire to be president, is to destroy Obama as a credible threat to McCain.

But, is this consistent with her multiple hints at a Hillary / Obama ticket? I don‘t think so.

I find it doubtful that Hillary is really “friends” with McCain given the hideous joke he told at the Gridiron dinner about Hillary, Chelsea, and Janet Reno several years ago.

Hillary's hints at Obama for VP are completely in line since she wants push the meme of Lightweight Obama, no CiC but great 2nd banana (well 3rd behind Bubba ). As for bashing Chelsea I don't think that she takes that personally ( I am sure he apologized, either publicly or privately) since I get the vibe that she respects McCain more than Obama.

aarrgghh
03-10-2008, 01:43 PM
like chait i've been digging the "mcSame" tag. it should become the official mantra of the campaign against him.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 03:40 PM
thouartgob:

You beat me to it. I was just about to say the same thing. HRC trying to lanch the "Obama for VP" meme is purely a tactic. I think her purpose here is at least two-fold. First, as you pointed out, she wants to make him seem not ready for the top job.

I think a second motive is that she's looking ahead to the time when primaries are over, and the nominating process goes to the smoke-filled rooms. At this point, she'll be able to argue against accusations that she's being divisive and putting her own interests ahead of the Party's by pointing out her earlier offer.

The whole idea of the candidate in second place offering the VP slot to the front-runner is hubristic at the very least. If it were someone else, I'd say it was downright delusional; in her case, I think it's rational, in her usual amoral and calculating way.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 03:43 PM
Joel:

I don't think of Matt as a gasbag, in general, but that was a good dingalink.

But as a stickler for precision, I quibble with "literally." Jon did, in fact, manage to get four words in edgewise. ;^)

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 03:43 PM
like chait i've been digging the "mcSame" tag. it should become the official mantra of the campaign against him.

The only thing I don't like about the McSame tag is that I didn't think of it first.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 03:54 PM
Overall, a great diavlog. A couple of quibbles with Jon Chait:

His entire argument for saying McCain isn't a crazy warmonger seems to be based on the idea that he's not as crazy a warmonger as Cheney. Mighty low bar. I thought here, and a couple of other places, that he fit Matt's theory quite well: there is a tendency among the liberal part of the MSM to think John McCain is lying whenever he says something that sounds like a far right talking point, and believe him whenever he puts on his St. Maverick McStraightTalk mask.

One other minor point: I thought Jon's view of John Roberts was jaw-dropping. Roberts may not be a Roy Moore with decades of on-the-record foaming at the mouth, but so far, he seems to be about as conservative a judge as anyone could wish for (presuming one wishes for conservative judges). I am still amazed at Roberts's ability to have left such a faint paper trail. He must have been playing to shoot the moon his entire career.

basman
03-10-2008, 04:00 PM
"At this point, she'll be able to argue against accusations that she's being divisive and putting her own interests ahead of the Party's by pointing out her earlier offer."

This is a great point that I have not seen mentioned before. Hillary reminds me of a litigation lawyer fighting a weak case, but with nerves as strong as steel cords and with a hide tougher than 9 ply canvas as she relentlessly pounds the drumbeat of her predominant position. And in contrast consider this:

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_stump/archive/2008/03/10/pennsylvania.aspx (http://http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_stump/archive/2008/03/10/pennsylvania.aspx)

For her indefagitability, and sheer will, she is impressive, and for others reasons too. Her refusal to bow out and the possibility that she can win is giving Chait a bout of anxiety.

More generally, I liked this diavlog, intelligent, lively and congenial discussion.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 04:02 PM
BN:

Good post. By which I mean I share your view that bitch is the new Orwellian (to misquote Tina Fey).

The other thing your dingalink reminded me of was that I was really impressed with Matt's evident willingness to put in the effort to examine the historical record, especially given the underwhelming attention bringing up such points is guaranteed to get.

And speaking of historical record, Matt did make me wonder why there hasn't been more hammering on Hillary about her refusal to release her papers from her time as First Lady and her tax returns. Her excuse for the latter, especially, seems awfully suspect. I mean, they're already done, right? And sitting on her accountant's hard drive, right? What she really means is that she doesn't have time to whitewash, filter, redact, and otherwise polish them before releasing them, it seems to me.

And speaking of not being a straight shooter, when is John McCain going to release his health records? The man would be the oldest president ever, and he's had numerous cancers.

Okay, that's enough stream of consciousness.

Wonderment
03-10-2008, 04:06 PM
The campaign provides us with strong evidence about how she'll govern -- not her policies, but her methods will look a lot like those of the last 8 years. For me that seems like an excellent reason to vote against Clinton.

There are many good reasons to vote against Clinton, but few good reasons for Obama supporters to bash her in the meantime, as Chait and many others have done.

The "monster" meme is out there, and despite the fact that the latest iteration came from a woman (S. Power), hitting Hillary below the belt (please excuse the male pugilistic metaphor) is widely perceived as offensive to women. You can criticize Hillary, but you'd better not slap her.

This puts the chivalrous Obama (remember him pulling out Hillary's chair for her at their touchy-feely debate?) in a bind. If he caves in to the rampant Hillary-hating among his staunchest supporters, he faces the backlash of outraged women (including super-delegates). If he sticks to the issues and stays cool and polite, he looks like a wuz when she attacks him.

Wonderment
03-10-2008, 04:09 PM
And speaking of historical record, Matt did make me wonder why there hasn't been more hammering on Hillary about her refusal to release her papers from her time as First Lady and her tax returns. Her excuse for the latter, especially, seems awfully suspect. I mean, they're already done, right?

My understanding is that the request is that she release 2006 returns, which were done a year ago.

thouartgob
03-10-2008, 04:23 PM
From Wolfson conference call:

"Senator Clinton will not choose any candidate who has not at the time of choosing passed the national security threshold. But we have a long way to go until Denver, and it's not something she's prepared to rule out at this point."

So Hillary can giveth as well as taketh away the CiC mantle. What a breadth of power she commands :-)

I really don't like bustin' chops since whacking Hillary sometimes ends up in regurgitating Republican talking points ( talking points that usually exit another orifice ) and the word "BITCH" gets thrown about the place like a locker room. Thankfully the B-word that fits is Bullshit.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 04:36 PM
basman:

Your link is broken -- somehow, another "http://" got prepended. Here it is, fixed, for everyone's clicking convenience:

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_stump/archive/2008/03/10/pennsylvania.aspx

basman
03-10-2008, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the hand.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the hand.

y/w.

I meant to add:

As to that post's content, I don't buy it. I don't see Obama not going all-out to win PA. There may be the usual effort to lower expectations going in, but the idea put forth by the WaPo piece that TNR linked to is so stupid that I didn't even bother to read the whole story. It strikes me as the kind of piece that gets written when there is a seven-week period of nothing to write about, yet the news hole must be filled. I wish some of these political reporters would take a break from campaign speculation, and take a look at, say, what Bush is doing while out of the spotlight.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 04:58 PM
basman:

Another thing I meant to respond to (sorry for my especially scatter-brained state today):

For her indefagitability, and sheer will, she is impressive, and for others reasons too. Her refusal to bow out and the possibility that she can win is giving Chait a bout of anxiety.

There is something admirable about HRC, in the sense you offer. I guess I'd be more impressed with a never-say-die attitude if she were using tactics different from a scorched-earth attack. In that light, I am less impressed than I am moved to nausea and the belief that her energy, while admittedly limitless, is all allocated to her own personal climb.

She gives me anxiety, too. I have long thought that she represented the only chance for the Republicans to win the White House this year, and lately, she seems only bent on redoubling that worry in my mind.

Joel_Cairo
03-10-2008, 05:25 PM
I don't think of Matt as a gasbag, in general, but that was a good dingalink.


Me neither, he's one of my faves, but man can that kid talk up a storm. I swear, he's like one of those monks who can chant at two frequencies simultaneously; by the time he's done speaking one word, he's somehow already on the second syllable of the next.

uncle ebeneezer
03-10-2008, 05:51 PM
http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9349?in=00:09:54&out=00:09:59

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 07:28 PM
uncle eb:

I nominate you for dingalink of the week.

Namazu
03-10-2008, 09:10 PM
I wonder if the "McSame" meme was started by the same marketing geniuses who came up with "General Betray Us." If Obama wins the nomination and the DNC wants to play the name game, they should beware of legitimizing turnaround as fair play. Hint: rhymes with "McSane."

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 09:15 PM
I wonder if the "McSame" meme was started by the same marketing geniuses who came up with "General Betray Us." If Obama wins the nomination and the DNC wants to play the name game, they should beware of legitimizing turnaround as fair play. Hint: rhymes with "McSane."

And sounds like INsane.

Thanks for your (right wing) concern (trolling), Namazu, but I think we'll be okay with McSame. Doesn't seem any way to make the target into a blameless victim, as with Betray Us. Which, by the way, I still view as a net gain.

Better get used to it, in any case; that's how I'll be referring to him from now on.

When I'm not saying "St. Maverick McStraightTalk," I mean.

And give me a break on "turnabout." Your side has been saying "Barack Hussein Osama, oops, (*wink*) Obama" for a year now. The problem for you is that "McSame" actually has a lot of substance behind the wordplay.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 09:21 PM
P.S. Having just noted your subject line, if that's your preferred way to refer to your candidate, I'm okay with that, too. I don't think it has as much basis in reality, but hey, since when has that ever stopped the right wing?

Wonderment
03-10-2008, 09:38 PM
The problem for you is that "McSame" actually has a lot of substance behind the wordplay.

I prefer the scare tactic of calling him McBomb. Why? Because he's a warmonger who scares the shit out of me.

Answering the phone at 3 a.m. I would have preferred Romney, Huckabee or Paul. Maybe even Gulliani. The only person with a possibility of becoming president who would be arguably worse in a crisis than McCain is Dick Cheney.

Oddest blessing of the millennium: Thank God GWB survived these eight years. If he had been incapacitated, I think we would have ba-ba-bombed Iran, or green-lighted Olmert to do it.

Namazu
03-10-2008, 09:44 PM
Brendan: since you don't know who my candidate or party are, I think I'll just refer to you as McPresumptuous from now on (unless you'd prefer McSmug).

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 09:53 PM
Namazu:

Sorry if I presumed too much. My memory is that you were one of the conservative stalwarts on this board. If my memory is wrong, please don't hesitate to straighten me out.

Also, you may refer to me in any way that you wish. Please be sure to add "Hussein" in there somewhere, though.

Namazu
03-10-2008, 09:53 PM
Doesn't seem any way to make the target into a blameless victim, as with Betray Us. Which, by the way, I still view as a net gain.
How's that one working out for you? Do you think your view is widely shared within the Democratic Party?

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 10:02 PM
How's that one working out for you? Do you think your view is widely shared within the Democratic Party?

I would say that if the economy hadn't tanked, we'd probably be talking about the ongoing disaster in Iraq a bit more, so I don't think many people in the Democratic Party have thought about the Betray Us issue in months. So in answer to your question, I think if you asked most people in the DP about this, you'd probably get a shrug, if not a blank stare.

But I do think the three-day sturm und drang did two things: it planted another seed about the dishonesty of the Bush Administration regarding reports out of the Middle East, and it contributed to the boost in interest and participation that we have seen during the primaries. To the extent that people remember the episode in a bad light, I'm fairly sure they blame it on MoveOn, and not the candidates, with the possible exception of those people who would never vote Democratic in any case.

uncle ebeneezer
03-10-2008, 11:21 PM
Thanks Brendan, we'll have to check with Hillary/Mark Penn etc., to see if that's within the ever-changing rules of nomination.

Funny, I avoided DLing for the longest time and now I hear opportunities everywhere. Matt's always a great source too because he doesn't shy away from a little hyperbole.

bjkeefe
03-10-2008, 11:27 PM
Wonderment:

I prefer the scare tactic of calling him McBomb.

Yes! And we could follow his lead and re-resurrect the Beach Boys tune, to wit: "John, John, John. John, John McSame."

Namazu
03-11-2008, 08:17 AM
it contributed to the boost in interest and participation that we have seen during the primaries
I think this election could end in McTears for Democrats. You'll recall that '04 was a high-turnout affair in which the opponent was widely accepted to have deceitfully and single-handedly started an unnecessary an unpopular war. Taking that one as your baseline, then add some votes because the winds are blowing their way, but subtract some because the marginal voter prefers McCain to Bush and some more because the Democrats have boxed themselves into choosing between someone that same marginal voter doesn't like (Clinton) and someone they don't trust (Obama). [I think Obama has an opportunity to gain that trust, but (c.f. Shelby Steele) being a cipher may be deeply engrained in his political persona.] Quoting current polls is folly. I'll date myself by disclosing that I was a volunteer for the campaign in which Mike Dukakis saw a 20+-point lead evaporate in a heartbeat. McBrace yourself!

bjkeefe
03-11-2008, 09:06 AM
Namazu:

There's something to your analysis, but I do have a few quibbles.

Regarding "the marginal voter," I think it's a wild over-generalization to say such a hypothetical entity doesn't trust Obama. Some, probably. But there are also many marginal voters who are truly looking for a new type of candidate/president, and these include plenty of crossover voters: the Obamicans we've heard so much about.

Regarding McCain being preferable to Bush: I suppose it depends on how you define marginal voter, but there are sure to be some who would not accept this characterization, whether for reasons of religion, age, general likability, immigration, campaign finance, etc. I know it's hard to believe, but in 2004, there were still lots of people who absolutely adored Bush, and not all of them were strict conservatives. I know moderate people who voted for him because they believed he would be better on terrorism than Kerry, and others who voted for him because they saw Kerry as either a flip-flopper, a bore, or Republican-lite (i.e., might as well vote for the real thing).

Also, comparing Dukakis to Obama is like comparing a bite of Wonderbread to a nine-course meal. I cannot remember anyone ever saying "Dukakis inspires me." Presumably there were some, possibly yourself, but I'd bet that what inspiration was there had almost everything to do with liking the policy positions. Obama, by contrast, hits a lot of people in the gut, in addition to offering good policy.

You are right, of course, about current polls and how much time remains.

uncle ebeneezer
03-11-2008, 11:23 AM
I thought Matt raised a very good question about Hillary's claims of "experience". It is the kindof question that I have been wondering about since...well Day One of her candidacy. For all that the Clinton camp likes to trumpet the idea that we must "vet" Obama by subjecting him to the kinds of attacks that he would likely receive from McCain in the General, that rationale, oddly, doesn't seem to apply to Hillary in their opinions (or many Dems for that matter.) Does anyone think that the GOP is going to go easy on Hillary on her claims of executive experience. Or do you think, perhaps, they might raise the point that much of her foreign policy experience was essentially cheerleading and gives her no greater insight than Laura Bush, Barbara Bush or any other first lady. Not to mention Sinbad and Sheryl Crow (see Bosnia trip.) If we're really serious about "vetting" these candidates to prepare them for the general, why are we all ignoring the elephants in the room by only vetting Obama? Or does anyone think that the GOP will hesitate to bring up the Marc Rich/executive pardon coincidence that still makes even many Dems a little queasy?

Anyways, here's a post from Matt's site that I think is pretty on the mark:

Experience Gap
11 Mar 2008 09:42 am

I've been waiting for the moment when one of the many former Clinton administration national security officials now working for Barack Obama would come out and call Hillary Clinton a liar for exaggerating her level of experience with these issues. Greg Craig who used to direct the State Department's Policy Planning staff comes close in a new memo:

When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have evidence to support that claim. Hillary Clinton’s argument that she has passed “the Commander- in-Chief test” is simply not supported by her record.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton played an important domestic policy role when she was First Lady. It is well known, for example, that she led the failed effort to pass universal health insurance. There is no reason to believe, however, that she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton Administration. She did not sit in on National Security Council meetings. She did not have a security clearance. She did not attend meetings in the Situation Room. She did not manage any part of the national security bureaucracy, nor did she have her own national security staff. She did not do any heavy-lifting with foreign governments, whether they were friendly or not. She never managed a foreign policy crisis, and there is no evidence to suggest that she participated in the decision-making that occurred in connection with any such crisis. As far as the record shows, Senator Clinton never answered the phone either to make a decision on any pressing national security issue – not at 3 AM or at any other time of day.

The memo goes on to debunk some specific assertions she's made about Northern Ireland, Macedonia, etc., but the general point is clear enough. It's not a slam on Clinton to observe that she, like Barack Obama and most presidential contenders, doesn't have much foreign policy experience. But she's been running around the country talking as if she was Madeleine Albright rather than a former First Lady.

Let me (Uncle Eb) just add that I can see the Clinton's trying to use a little "sure she didn't have security clearance, but she was the wife of the president" approach, implying that she was still privy to alot of the details as a spouse is wont to be most of the time. But putting all of Bill's security/confidentiality issues aside, do we really want to start bringing the discussion into the Clinton bedroom or focus on their matrimonial relationship in any way?

Great diavlog. Matt/Jon is a good pairing.

bjkeefe
03-11-2008, 04:21 PM
Excellent post, Uncle Eb. I, too, think that HRC's claims of experience are mostly hogwash, especially in the foreign policy arena. I'll grant that she's probably made some useful contacts as a consequence of her time as First Lady, and there's no doubt that having Bill by her side is a heavy implication in her claims, but if she's going to be such an asshole toward Obama in this regard, it's probably time to start addressing her claims a little more aggressively.

Plus, the bottom line is: she blew the call on the biggest foreign policy decision of her career.

Charlie_B
03-11-2008, 05:56 PM
Guys,

Good discussion, but Jonathan, Susan Rice was NOT Assistant Secretary of State for Africa in 1994 -- she did not start that job until 1997. In 1994, she was working in the NSC as a Director (not Senior Director) for International Organizations and Peacekeeping. Now it could be argued that in that role she may have been involved in discussions on Rwanda, and in 1995 she did become the Senior Director at NSC for Africa, but in fairness, she was not "in that position" during the Rwandan genocide.

jstrummer
03-11-2008, 06:43 PM
From Wikipedia:

"Dr. Rice started her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm, in the early 1990s. From 1993-1995, she was Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping at the National Security Council. Between 1995 and 1997, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC. After that, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997 until 2001. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Dr. Rice served as a foreign policy adviser to John Kerry. She is currently serving as a foreign policy adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama."