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Bloggingheads
04-18-2008, 07:41 PM
AFTERTHOUGHT:
Apologies for the abrupt conclusion of this diavlog, we can assure you that a polite conclusion actually occurred, but off-camera....

claymisher
04-18-2008, 08:58 PM
I got as far as "raving racist" before I stopped. Conn Carroll is worse than dumb, he's boring.

David Thomson
04-18-2008, 09:24 PM
One gets the definite impression that Bill Scher fails to comprehend how seriously gun owners take their Second Amendment rights. This issue is a sure loser for “Barry” Obama and the Democratic Party. As matter of fact, this issue alone may guarantee John McCain’s victory in November. And it is also too late for Obama to “evolve to a more advanced and nuanced stance.” The damage has already taken place. A reversal from his original position will simply seem like mealy mouth disingenuousness.

I don't think "Barry" Obama was really ready to run in 2008. This is why he didn't "update" his position regarding the Second Amendment long before this time. Obama was probably stunned that the guilt tripped white liberals living in Iowa would hand him the victory. I would also bet money that he privately thought this was Hillary Clinton’s year and that he was just getting warmed up for 2012 or 2016.

nojp
04-18-2008, 09:43 PM
Are you kidding me con,

You would have rathered they looked into bush more and had John Mac win or a democrat. Ha As if.

The verdict is in on the right, your ideas are as bankrupt as the bad paper
your "free market" "trickle down theory" financiers have produced. i mean it is valid if by trickle down you mean a flushing down the toilet.

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 11:27 PM
On symbols, I know from polling, that character is a legitimate reason for choosing candidates. However, can anyone find polling where Americans actually care about flag lapel pins? It seems this argument, that lapel pins are proxies for the character issue, is just an example of how elitist pundits (sitting in their pajamas in their home offices) arrogantly devise tactics to distract laypeople with limited time from real debate on substantive issues.

I agree, do I waste my time if I listen to Conn Carroll? Or, for that matter, some bhTV pairings and not others? Am I bamboozled by cranial symmetry into believing a 'head is trustworthy and intelligent? I think we need a quick ratings button on the diavlog page, because I'm really becoming torn between bhTV's brand and individual 'heads and pairings. I'm concerned, as the Dem primary season drags, pundits are milking the drama for publication, with questionable value to the electorate. After all, all the candidates need are sartorial sense and accessorizing, right?

look
04-18-2008, 11:28 PM
As Brendan has alluded to, it ain't much of a re-cap, but has turned into a forum for Conn to hold forth. Conn's a bully, but more politically savvy than Scher, as very nice as he is.

I suggest that Conn report on the myterious doings of the top, say, three righty blogs, and Scher the left. Then agree ahead of time what the topics for discussion will be.

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 11:31 PM
I agree! These two have developed a certain chemistry, but that's not the same as having a system.

Conn was more useful when he did the Blog-o-meter. Now, that his personality is more apparent, I just go back to that blog, and whomever is running it now.

David Thomson
04-18-2008, 11:37 PM
Can Bill Scher point to even one example of racism within the pages of the Southern Partisan? This publication may editorially argue that the American Civil War was not primarily fought over slavery---but why is this supposedly a racist position? I might also add that I personally hold the conventional view. The Southern Partisan does not speak for me on the matter. Still, it is not racist to hold this somewhat peculiar position.

Is Martin Luther King, Jr. above criticism? I adamantly contend that he caused much harm by unintentionally opening the door to non-violent radical leftists. Why might this be perceived as racist?

Wonderment
04-18-2008, 11:42 PM
I adamantly contend that he caused much harm by unintentionally opening the door to non-violent radical leftists.

Whoaaaa. Wadafuk does that mean?

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 11:55 PM
Conn is becoming a parody of himself. His whole wide-eyed paraphrase (at around 16:30) of Kos's post about Obama "missing an opportunity" to castigate the Gibson and Stephanopoulos was laughably transparent. He wishes that would have happened, so that he and all his little spin buddies could have spent the next few days yammering about Obama being "abrasive" and "rude" and "ducking questions."

I could go on griping about Conn but what's the point? He's not going to change.

Here's my larger complaint.

Especially after just having listened to Glenn and John, I cannot escape the feeling that this pairing is becoming ever more tedious and pointless. For the past few diavlogs and this one, most people who regularly visit this site have already long since heard whatever these two talk about. I think Bill still tries -- occasionally -- to have an honest debate, but Conn has long since gone fully around the bend. His sole purpose has become to disparage Obama with all the class of a junior high-school wiseass. "Hope-ity hope-ity?" Funny once, lame upon repetition.

This duo has become stale. "This Week In Blog" is fast becoming "This Week in MSM Talking Points." I'm not hearing anything new from either, and I haven't for the past few diavlogs.

Turned this one off early.

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 11:58 PM
look:

You anticipated my latest screed, and said it better and more succinctly.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 12:21 AM
Also, you made constructive suggestions. I bow down.

look
04-19-2008, 12:32 AM
Oh, brother.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 12:33 AM
Aha! A weak spot! (Note to self: look doesn't take compliments well ...)

a Duoist
04-19-2008, 01:20 AM
Why should 'policy positions' be any more salient for the electorate than character issues? If one wants to run for dogcatcher, you get a pass on the personal questions. But if one wants to be the leader of the free world with the largest GDP, you better get a tough skin, quick, because the White House is entirely a glass house.

Character counts. Geniality counts. Psychiatric counseling counts. Associations count. Even whining counts. Certainly crying counts. If any candidate for the U.S. presidency cannot handle the personal questions, THAT is something the electorate will want to know, and will vote accordingly. Character is the premium quality in balancing policy expertise; if any candidate offers only one, that candidate loses.

conncarroll
04-19-2008, 08:42 AM
Sorry if my 'wiseass' lines grate on you. I do agree the 'Hope-ity hope-ity' line has a short shelf life. I'll be sure to retire it. I do have to disagree about your claim that we don't offer anything you haven't already heard through MSM sources.
I do not remember seeing much coverage of Obama's response on the second amendment and I don't remember seeing any coverage of Obama's equating Ayers terrorism with Coburn's pro-life beliefs. These were both big talking points in the conservosphere. ... and thanks to connections like Hannity-Stephanapolous, you will see them again.
I realize that on a sight as pro-Obama as this a conservative like John McWhorter who supports Obama will be more welcomed, I just hope that those who want to challenge their beliefs with opposing points of view will continue to tune in.

Baltimoron
04-19-2008, 09:56 AM
Little stones you have, perhaps, but nothing you say dissuades me you're nothing more than a hired hand looking for a promotion, or a better day job.

Talking points echo chamber in a skin bag!

soibois
04-19-2008, 11:22 AM
Doesn't most of what Conn says indicate bad judgment?

harkin
04-19-2008, 11:57 AM
Great job Conn! You can judge your effectiveness by the amount of people here who are trying to marginalize you with insults instead of substance. You didn't make a parody of yourself, you showed what a parody HRC and BO are. 'Hopity hopity change change' says as much about Obama's policy as everything else he says.

I love that look on Scher's face as you shoot down all the wounded duck excuses and theories that fly so high on the netroot boards.

Whatfur
04-19-2008, 12:40 PM
With due respect for both the "Heads" it was pretty obvious that the only thing that kept Conn from eating Bill's entire lunch was the abrupt ending to the vlog. I actually was feeling sorry for Bill in much the same way one might feel sorry for Obama during the last debate. Especially liked the moments of the discussion surrounding the capital gains where Mr. Carroll tried to let Mr. Scher hang on to some dignity and move on... lest they get into the "weeds"...Bill ignored the suggestion and kept digging leaving Conn having to tack to the "well...he asked for it" mode There were a number of similar situations which made this vlog much like the debate itself, actually.

As I hope I alluded though, Mr. Scher's task here was hardly an enviable one, a day after the further undressing of Obama. I actually commend Conn for his even-headed, and even-handed approach. Whether Bill knew it or not... although the points certainly stung and many left marks...they came from pulled punches.

And there.. there... Mr. BJ Kweefe...once again you are at the table looking like you should have a larger napkin. Sorry BJ...its not your ball. So you can't pick it up and run home to mommy. But maybe you are correct in a way...this one was hardly fair.

My vote would be for much more of both these two.

AemJeff
04-19-2008, 01:09 PM
Wow. It would seem that Brendan hit a nerve.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-19-2008, 01:31 PM
Sorry, Conn -- some of what you fling up there may be new, but I'm afraid it's all completely unserious.
You seem to be preaching to a choir that isn't really here -- or you think the Bloggingheads audience is stupid.
In your Blogometer days, as I recall, you had some conception of nuance and balance, and you didn't add your own hot air to every teapot tempest. In those days you seemed to know that politicians had to pander and "thread the needle a bit, but that some could be more honest than others. I bet you even knew that one's position on Constitutional law might not be explicable in the space of a debate answer. You seemed to be aware then that people whose policies you couldn't support might be decent people, or at least no worse than the people whose policies you did support.

You put our objections to your performance down to the site's being pro-Obama. There's one sense in which I suppose this is true: if Obama were someone we loved to hate, we might well swallow all the nonsense you are feeding us. I don't want to claim that we're any more rational than anyone else. But given that most of us don't hate Obama, we are able to see that your arguments insult our intelligence. And we don't like it.

You might want to see Thus Spoke Elvis's comment above or Charles Fried's diavlog in search of a tone that might work better when you aren't preaching to your own choir. Please consider too that the Bloggingheads audience is more likely to be aware of saner sorts of conservative reaction than you offer: e.g., Charles Murray's reaction to Obama's race speech and Huckabee's reaction to the Wright debacle.
You're probably playing the game just right for a Fox News contributor, but this is a different game. Perhaps if you fed our existing biases we'd overlook the fact that you're trying to play tic-tac-toe in the chess tournament. But that doesn't show that we're blind now.

tomarsaigo
04-19-2008, 01:57 PM
Conn impugns Obama's judgment primarily by questioning his decision to appoint Wright to a supposed 'board of racial unity.' In truth, no such board exists. What I imagine Conn was referring to was Obama's African American Religious Leadership Committee. (see http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/obama/obama120407pr.html).

Now maybe Conn has a problem with any candidate creating such a thing as an African American Religious Leadership Committee. But that's a separate issue. The objectives of this Committee don't seem to have anything to do with "unity". Rather, it seems this body was designed to 1) vouch for Obama's spirituality, 2) vouch for his blackness, and 3) vouch for Obama's committment to "education, health care, and poverty."

Thus the suggestion that Obama appointed Wright to some "board of racial unity" (as though Obama was racking his brain for the 6 or 7 best people to heal the country's racial wounds) is absolute nonesense. As is any suggestion that his decision to "appoint" Wright to this body impugns Obama's judgment. (This "Committee," after all, is comprised of 130 people! - it's not like he was singling Wright out for a special position). In fact, given the likely objectives of this Committee, Wright is probably a totally defensible choice. Either way, I don't think this is grounds for worrying about whether Wright will be occupying a cabinet position. At best, he'll probably get a dinner at the white house. And if so, it won't be his first time!

David Thomson
04-19-2008, 02:19 PM
"You seem to be preaching to a choir that isn't really here -- or you think the Bloggingheads audience is stupid."

I can only speak for myself---and I do indeed believe that much of the Bloggingheads audience is "stupid." The majority of you attended vastly overrated schools like Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, and Columbia where you learned to become left-wing intellectual whores and rent seekers. You have little idea what it is to earn what you get in life. Alas, the Internet has changed everything. You are now receiving long overdue criticism. And you best start getting used to it---things will only get a lot worse. The wealth and power of your corrupt institutions were previously sufficient to protect your security blanket existence. You are now increasingly on your own.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-19-2008, 03:16 PM
Can we please recognize that the problem with the debate questions was not that they were "tough" or that they were "about character".

The problem is that they were unserious "gotcha" questions -- part of a kind of bear-baiting game that the press likes to play. They are on the order of "have you stopped beating your wife?" They are questions the interviewer knows will look bad no matter how the candidate answers. The very first question, not one that seems particularly "tough" or particularly anti-Obama about taking the other as a running mate is a good example. At this point, there is no good answer to that question and the interviewer knows it. (The honest answer is probably something like "if I have to" -- but that would obviously not work.)

If ABC had some good evidence that Obama's relationship with Ayers was very close -- extending perhaps to bomb making in their basements -- then they should have presented that evidence and asked him about it. If it goes no further than the kind of association that EVERY politician probably has with the occasional unsavory but well-connected character, then the very asking of the question gives it a salience that it shouldn't have. Imagine if a journalist were to ask a politician "you masturbate, don't you?" Asking the question implies that somehow this would be disturbing if true and gives it a damaging kind of salience in the public's mind. And the honest answer, "yeah just about every male on the planet has at one time or another -- don't you?" is probably not going to look good.

If jewelry on the lapel were a window on the soul, then the lapel pin question might have made sense, but since it doesn't, this too is a "gotcha" -- one the actual moderators were too embarrassed to ask in propria persona.

The only effect of gotcha questions is to show how well politicians can dance around and evade them. The tendency of the press to ask them simply makes politicians look dishonest or (if they answer honestly) incompetent. James Fallows compares them to the kind of bug eating "challenges" given to Fear Factor contestants. The press offers them up in a cynical pursuit of ratings, and the best outcome available to the politician is to come out looking evasive and dishonest, thus increasing the cynicism of the electorate about politicians. Fortunately, in the audience reactions, we see some evidence that the public have a good idea where to direct their cynicism.

Glaurunge
04-19-2008, 03:28 PM
Can Bill Scher point to even one example of racism within the pages of the Southern Partisan? This publication may editorially argue that the American Civil War was not primarily fought over slavery---but why is this supposedly a racist position? I might also add that I personally hold the conventional view. The Southern Partisan does not speak for me on the matter. Still, it is not racist to hold this somewhat peculiar position.

I would like to ask Conn the same thing about Jeremiah Wright. Can he or you or anyone else point any evidence of his being a 'raving racist'? I know it's probably just received wisdom at this point among conservatives, but it's never actually been established in the first place that he's any kind of racist.

In fact, I wish Obama supporters would cease brining up Hagee or Southern Partisan in an attempt to cancel and neutralize Wright because doing so implicitly concedes the republican talking points on Wright.

David Thomson
04-19-2008, 03:33 PM
"If ABC had some good evidence that Obama's relationship with Ayers was very close..."

Where is a barf bag when I need one? The reality is that left-wing Democrats are not particularly appalled by the past behavior of Bill Ayers. He was only trying to save the country from the reactionaries. The heck with his involvement in a plan that would have murdered a large number of people. You sometimes, after all, have to break a few eggs when making an omelette.

Let's change things around for a moment. Try imagining Bill Ayers as a former member of the KKK who planned on blowing up a black church in the Old South. Would these same people be as forgiving? I don't think so.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-19-2008, 03:34 PM
"You seem to be preaching to a choir that isn't really here -- or you think the Bloggingheads audience is stupid."

I can only speak for myself---and I do indeed believe that much of the Bloggingheads audience is "stupid." The majority of you attended vastly overrated schools like Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, and Columbia where you learned to become left-wing intellectual whores and rent seekers. You have little idea what it is to earn what you get in life. Alas, the Internet has changed everything. You are now receiving long overdue criticism. And you best start getting used to it---things will only get a lot worse. The wealth and power of your corrupt institutions were previously sufficient to protect your security blanket existence. You are now increasingly on your own.

I guess Bob shared his market research data with you?
This is a lovely case of what we might call the "circular ad hominem" fallacy.
If I advance a particular view and you know that I am a carpenter, you dismiss my view on the grounds that I am a carpenter -- that''s how the ad hominem fallacy works. In this case, you don't know who I am or who any of us are, but you know we have views that you wish to dismiss. So you assume that we belong to a group whose views you feel you can dismiss and then dismiss them.
Conn engages in the ad hominem fallacy when he dismisses that economist's argument about capital gains, but I don't think he's so far engaged in the circular ad hominem fallacy. You've reached new heights of illogic -- congratulations!

Bloggin' Noggin
04-19-2008, 03:50 PM
There you go again. The truth is, you know nothing about me. As a matter of fact I think the Weathermen were both idiotic and appalling -- but of course you won't believe me about that, because then I wouldn't be so easy to dismiss.
No doubt partisans would try to gin up fury about vague associations with an unindicted KKK bomber. The question is whether the press should be in the business of doing the partisans' work for them.
But I'm done answering your comments -- until, miracle of miracles, you actually manage to produce a civil and well-reasoned reply. (Though I guess I should be honoredthat you didn't just cut and past your standard "Barry Obama" post in here, but actually wrote something new.)

Glaurunge
04-19-2008, 03:59 PM
Why should 'policy positions' be any more salient for the electorate than character issues? If one wants to run for dogcatcher, you get a pass on the personal questions. But if one wants to be the leader of the free world with the largest GDP, you better get a tough skin, quick, because the White House is entirely a glass house.

Character counts. Geniality counts. Psychiatric counseling counts. Associations count. Even whining counts. Certainly crying counts. If any candidate for the U.S. presidency cannot handle the personal questions, THAT is something the electorate will want to know, and will vote accordingly. Character is the premium quality in balancing policy expertise; if any candidate offers only one, that candidate loses.

Duoist, 'character' as defined by conservatives is so intentionally vague that it's impossible measure or compare it between candidates. What does 'character' even mean? Is it the same as morality? Is it the same as truthfulness and honesty? I don't think it means anything, and it doesn't matter that it's a nonsensical concept because the whole point is to show that Republicans possess some positive quality that Democrats lack.

Whatfur
04-19-2008, 04:02 PM
Ooooh my.... and then Bloggin Noggin becomes the example of the point he tries to refute. Again an Obama supporter attempting to attack Conn with everything except something substantive.

BN got close once actually bringing up:

"bet you even knew that one's position on Constitutional law might not be explicable in the space of a debate answer "

Rather silly comment considering the importance of this position to many voters ...not to forget that Conn refers to this label because of Obama's pleading of ignorance about a subject he should be schooled in.

So Bloggin Noggin seems to try to make two points of it. The first being that all "politicians had to pander and "thread the needle a bit". Ooooh yes lets give Obama a pass because "everyone does it". So if its the job of a politician to dance around positions in an effort to deceive; is it not the job of a political observer/reporter (or for that matter debate questioner) to get the politician to stop dancing and answer the question with clarity? I guess BN prefers darkness to light in this case... for obvious reasons.

Similar in keeping with BNs first point of its ok to "fool some of the people" his second point is that Obama obviously would not be able to explain his highly cerebral position in the time allotted. Yes, how could he possibly bring it down to the level of the american viewers in such a short time. I mean I was watching the debate while cleaning my gun and reading the Bible and I was happy he didn't bother explaining all the different positions he purports as my tooth hurt just listening to him "pander" and back-pedal as it was.

Bottom line is BN, Obama is unraveling and if he has to rely on people like yourself to make excuses for him for the next 7 months; he has bigger problems than just not knowing his own business.

osmium
04-19-2008, 05:30 PM
i will continue to tune in. i don't think the site is a monolith, though, pro-obama or otherwise. that's one of the things that makes it worthwhile.

osmium
04-19-2008, 05:41 PM
i would perhaps revise your third sentence from "vastly overrated" to "extremely utterly vastly overrated," but doesn't this miss the point anyway? shouldn't the goal be to judge individuals as individuals? this is the united states, after all, and we believe in that.

David Thomson
04-19-2008, 06:09 PM
"shouldn't the goal be to judge individuals as individuals?"

Yup, you are absolutely correct. Ivy league graduates do indeed deserve to be treated as individuals. As matter of act, my scorn is normally limited to those who graduated with a liberal arts degree behind their name. I strongly believe that the hard science graduates of these universities are truly among the very best in the world.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-19-2008, 06:25 PM
I have no problem with someone pointing out that Obama was "threading the needle" or being evasive, but Conn acts as though he were born yesterday and had no idea about political reality or human nature. If Obama isn't so perfect that he could never be elected, then "Oh my! the scales have fallen from my eyes, Obama is a LIAR!" It's a rigged game Conn is playing, and (based on what he was like in his Blogometer days) he knows it perfectly well.
The point I'm trying to make is that that rigged game may be fine for the Wingnut blogs Conn likes, but the audience here is different. We would like to learn something rather than hear talking points. I'm happy to hear from conservatives when they aren't just spinning. I'd trust Conn's objections more if it didn't his objections didn't seem so automatic.
Conn is basically shooting himself in the foot on BHtv by not seeming to be aware of the difference between persuading the uncommitted and preaching to the choir.
Byron York, though he spins a good deal, does seem to understand how to approach the BHtv audience. And for what it's worth, I objected strenuously to Bill Scher's spinning of the "Betray us" ad in a past diavlog. My being an Obama supporter doesn't show that I'm incapable of distinguishing between honest and rational disagreement on the one hand and political mudslinging on the other.

jh in sd
04-19-2008, 06:53 PM
Quoting a duoist-"Character counts."

Important point. If Hillary Clinton manages to pull off the nomination, the issue of character will come front and center.

jh in sd
04-19-2008, 07:06 PM
Glaurunge, Character is a nonsensical concept? Are you kidding? Were you raised by wolves?

Whatfur
04-19-2008, 07:34 PM
Bloggin Noggin said...

"I have no problem with someone pointing out that Obama was "threading the needle" "

...which isn't surprising because he was the one who said it. Its good not to have a problem with yourself...albeit a bit pompous to quote oneself. Of course by agreeing with himself in a way that seems like he is answering somebody else he too tries a bit of threading. Nice try.

Are we to take then that BN DOES have a problem with those in the media asking questions of candidates in attempts at isolating the positions on issues or others pointing out obvious shortcomings in the candidates? All right then...no more questions...no more opinion unless it agrees with Obama.

Conn rubs people like BN the wrong way because they do not like the obvious quoted to them by someone on the right who congenially takes their twisted talking points and hands them back to them staightened out. Damn thats irritating.

Maybe what we saw in the discussion and now see in these comments are a bunch of Obama supporters tweaking a bit...getting a bit nervous. They ignorantly invested so much early and now can't stand the fact that the Obama "house-of-cards" is quivering... so they lash out at anyone who dares speak the truth about their defective candidate.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 08:11 PM
Conn:

Thanks for taking the time to check the forums and to respond.

To some of your points:

I do have to disagree about your claim that we don't offer anything you haven't already heard through MSM sources.
I do not remember seeing much coverage of Obama's response on the second amendment and I don't remember seeing any coverage of Obama's equating Ayers terrorism with Coburn's pro-life beliefs. These were both big talking points in the conservosphere.

I'm not sure where I heard the discussion about Obama's muddled remarks on the Second Amendment or the Ayers/Coburn comparison, so it's possible you're right that the MSM did not cover these that heavily. Nonetheless, I was familiar with both, even without having watched the debate, probably from Thursday morning on. It's possible I learned about them from blog coverage, I'll grant. I'll also stipulate that you probably recorded a day earlier than the diavlog aired, so it's possible that talk swelled betweeen those times.

If they were big talking points in the conservosphere, then fine. Reporting this is part of the beat of your regular segment. But really, they're ultimately trivial points, not worthy of spending more than a couple of minutes on. My sense is the earlier, Blogometer you would have handled them this way. Lately, what you've been doing instead is picking up on the right's attack meme of the week and spending the bulk of the diavlog twisting it, extrapolating it, repeating it, and magnifying its importance all out of proportion. The fact that these two items were not addressed in the MSM, if we stipulate your claim, indicates that most political reporters and editors evaluated them as insignificant. And when you think about some of the nonsense that the MSM has obsessed over -- bowling, orange juice, lapel pins, to name but three -- it really suggests that the only people who think these two items were important are those who are looking for anything with which to tar the candidate they hate. I know, I know, the MSM is liberal and biased. Spare me.

I realize that on a sight as pro-Obama as this a conservative like John McWhorter who supports Obama will be more welcomed, I just hope that those who want to challenge their beliefs with opposing points of view will continue to tune in.

Others have already challenged your assertion that this is a heavily pro-Obama site. I'll just note that I, too, dispute this characterization. Compared to, say, RedState, sure, there are a lot of Obama supporters. But there are also significant numbers of pro-Clinton and pro-McCain people, as well as some who have defaulted to Obama as the least objectionable, as well as some who appear either not to like any of the candidates or who don't care. I'll also note that half the country likes Obama, so it should not surprise you to encounter some of his supporters on any site that is not determinedly conservative.

I'll also note that I and others were big fans of John McWhorter before he announced his preference for Obama. The liberals among us likely disagree with him on any number of issues, but we like his thoughtfulness, his manners, his grasp of nuance, and his preference of presenting new thoughts instead of repeating what everyone else is already saying. Same goes for many other conservatives who are liked and respected by the liberals who tune in. Some of my favorites include Reihan Salam, Jim Pinkerton (most times), Byron York, Ross Douthat, David Frum (usually), Eli Lake, Francis Fukuyama, Mickey Kaus (usually), as well as libertarians Will Wilkinson, Kerry Howley, Daniel Drezner, and Brink Lindsey. Most, you'll note, are not Obama supporters, and most are well-liked by many viewers who disagree with them.

The point I'm trying to make is that there's a difference between having one's beliefs challenged, and being subjected to a litany of nearly substance-free attacks that one could get any place else. You used to be a lot better at the former.

Presumably, there are other things being discussed in the blogosphere, even the right half of it, besides the latest reason to hate Obama. It seems to me that your coverage of what was being talked about used to be a lot more broad. I grant that we're in the middle of a campaign, but still, I wish you would tell me what else other people are blogging about.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 08:16 PM
David:

Ivy league graduates do indeed deserve to be treated as individuals. As matter of act, my scorn is normally limited to those who graduated with a liberal arts degree behind their name.

These two sentences directly contradict each other.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 08:32 PM
And there.. there... Mr. BJ Kweefe...once again you are at the table looking like you should have a larger napkin. Sorry BJ...its not your ball. So you can't pick it up and run home to mommy.

This is perfect illustration of what I was objecting to concerning Conn's manner in recent diavlogs: playing on pathological fears and dislikes that serves only to reawaken juvenile behavior.

Is your life so frustrating that anonymously posting insults from grade school is your only outlet?

Baltimoron
04-19-2008, 09:49 PM
Kudos to Brendan for starting this thread.

1. It's not partisan, it's anti-hack: Conn should know better than to make this a pro vs anti (by political party, candidate, ideology). I'm not objecting to labels. I'm objecting to how you and Bill, and many other 'heads perform and do your jobs in general.Your job is not to whore for a party or candidate by taking generalizations, whether of liberal or conservative, and spin them into a slick version that both will appeal to laypeople without time enough to fact-check and deconstruct AND perhaps get yourself an administration job. Your job is to take good arguments, write a faithful, well-constructed, concise version for laypeople without the time and faith to listen to pundits who have revealed themselves only to be hacks, AND possibly (although how a hack would accomplish this, I don't know!!) produce something original.

If I'm not wrong, the 'head founders have had two or three diavlogs on financial events from biz journalists and pundits, but no economists. There have been the interviews where someone plugs a book (bhTV has joined the book circuit). Will also highlight those topics from a libertarian perspective, but he used to do more. The pro economist blogs, from Rodrik, Cowen (who did act as a judge for a cooking contest (?)!), Mankiw, and Boudreaux explain without pandering. Be more like that, Conn, Bill et al.

2. Faux-Populism: It's no surprising fact Americans are fractious. Shelby Foote quipped that The Civil War taught Americans, that we can still disagree, but we can't kill each other (not verbatim). It's OK to hate Californians, or Ohioans, or Harvard. It's OK to despise SF libs, or Sun Belt conservatives. But, it's not OK to take the current SF liberal fad or Heritage Foundation talking point, turn it into gospel, churn up the base, and call it argumentation. It's indolent demagoguery from one's office or armchair. At least, a politician (funding whores, figureheads, etc.) has the stones to make public speeches and brave assassination.

And, really, unless you grew up on a reservation, you're boring middle class! Stop pretending you know what work is, or about living in dangerous situations. You all should disclose your tax records, like a candidate, just so readers know how limited your background is!

3. Hannity-Stepanopoulos? One of the most estimable aspects of living in ROK is, that I don't have to watch US network news. I rely on blogs (and bhTV), and I can filter out the networks. I had hoped bhTV would be more blog-like, or more deconstructive and fast-checking, without the book plugging and hackery. I thought, when Conn Carroll first appeared, "that's good...kind of a weekly magazine of original blogging!" Like Utne Reader! But, Conn's just another 'head! Thankfully, I don't pay money! That would be a crime to give it to hacks who already have all they need or should get.

"All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else." (H. L. Mencken)

For newspapers, substitute Conn et al. Conn et al, you're part of the problem! We need more pundits like this great Baltimoron, H.L. Mencken. We'll all living in Tin Age America now!

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 10:00 PM
Baltimoron:

Thanks for weighing in.

One quibble:

If I'm not wrong, the 'head founders have had two or three diavlogs on financial events from biz journalists and pundits, but no economists.

We've had Tim Harford, Bryan Caplan, Paul Krugman, and Robert Reich on. This is not to say that I don't agree with your desire for more economists and fewer pundits if the topic is to be economics.

Baltimoron
04-19-2008, 10:13 PM
I stand corrected!

But, considering how much debates on the board revolve around fiscal or trade policy, we could all stand a primer when the issues come up. it seems these issues are particularly prone to hackery, perhaps because so few people have the time and patience to eat a textbook. But, too, few pundits display even the supermarket sense most laypeople have. Or, they perhaps edit out that part, because the boss wants more jingle than argument.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 10:25 PM
David:

BlogginNoggin has already responded. I'm going to add my voice in the hopes of correcting your evident misapprehensions and tendency to lump everyone whom you dislike into a monolith of unified conspiracy.

The truth is, most liberals have little idea who David Ayers is. To the extent that they know anything about him or the Weather Underground, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find one in a thousand who thinks his actions back in the '60s were anything but deplorable. From what little I know of him these days, as regards his statements concerning those events in the past, he strikes me as a blowhard, and I suspect most liberals would agree. The overwhelming majority of us attach no more significance to his blathering than we do to right-wing spotlight hogs who call for the execution of the NY Times editorial staff.

None of that is really the point, though. The important thing to consider is what it means that Obama has a passing acquaintance with him. If the extent of his and Obama's relationship is that they sat on the same board of an organization whose goals seem worthy, that doesn't strike me as anything of significance. If Ayers came to Obama's house for some kind of fund-raising party related to that board, same thing: big deal. No one does background checks on every casual associate. No one expects that every person within his sphere shares every value. No one of reason attempts to impose some kind of purity test on everyone whose hand he shakes. Not only would this be impractical, particularly for a politician, it would also be the height of paranoid intolerance. With standards like this, we might as well go back to living in caves.

This attempt by you and people like you to tar Obama with this kind of weak association says something, I suppose. It suggests skewed perceptions, maybe, or an unhealthy eagerness to focus only on cherry-picked trivialities to be used to bolster your obsessions. It doesn't, however, say anything useful.

bjkeefe
04-19-2008, 11:13 PM
kidneystones:

Good to see you back.

The dishonesty of Obama supporters is fucking breathtaking.

I don't suppose you'd care to support this assertion?

Whatfur
04-19-2008, 11:13 PM
Wow BJ, called a juvenile by you puts me in some good company. Any time you want to go point by point on ANYTHING you just let me know. What I object to is what I have seen to be your constant chirping in with NOTHING that emulates a valid point while generally it is you who starts with the insults (just go look at your first post here)...and I haven't been here that long. Even in your paragraphs that begin "The Point I'm trying to make" seldom contain a point and most often contain projection of your own inadequacies.

You try to impress on us that Obama's relationship with Ayers is comparable to the wearing or not of a lapel pin or that, as you say, "Obama's muddled remarks" on the second amendment are trivial. So if the Constitution and its interpretation is trivial and fraternizing with former terrorists is right up there with bowling scores, then why was the lefty blogosphere looking to lynch Stephanopoulos over such trivialities? and/or why does the NRA actually have 4 million members?

Funny how someone who admitted not watching the debate and who admitted "turning this one off early" thinks he has so much to say about both.

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 12:53 AM
Whatfur:

You try to impress on us that Obama's relationship with Ayers is comparable to the wearing or not of a lapel pin or that, as you say, "Obama's muddled remarks" on the second amendment are trivial. So if the Constitution and its interpretation is trivial and fraternizing with former terrorists is right up there with bowling scores, then why was the lefty blogosphere looking to lynch Stephanopoulos over such trivialities? and/or why does the NRA actually have 4 million members?

My thoughts on why Ayres doesn't matter are in another post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=74479&postcount=38) on this same page.

My thoughts about the Second Amendment and whatever Obama might think about it are as follows. I have, over the past few years, softened my rigid anti-gun views. I now accept many of the arguments that pro-gun people make; e.g., that most people who own and use guns do so responsibly, and that however one might choose to parse the words of the Second Amendment, there is a good case to be made that private gun ownership is a Constitutional right.

On the pragmatic side, I also think that gun control on the national level is a dead issue. Even when I was more anti-gun than I am now, I would argue with like-minded people that our political capital would be better spent elsewhere. Also, it doesn't much matter what a president thinks about gun control; any effective controls have to be gotten through Congress, and that is not going to happen. I'm not sure why the members and supporters of the NRA are unable to recognize this, acknowledge that they've already won, and relax. Seems to me the equivalent would be liberals frothing at the mouth about imagined threats to reinstate anti-miscegenation laws. I suppose harping on this part of Wednesday's debate is a way to rally the conservative base, but really, how many people like you are going to vote for Obama no matter what he says about guns?

The lefty blogosphere was outraged with Stephanopoulos (and Gibson) because they wasted so much time playing gotcha instead of asking about issues that people care about (http://www.pollingreport.com/prioriti.htm), like the economy, Iraq, energy, and health care. As hard as it might be for you to admit it, perceptions of these things are not a matter of fact. It is almost entirely subjective how much weight one assigns to such matters. By your own admission, many people were upset by the amount of time spent on these issues. The reason why is precisely because they see them as trivial. You may assign different levels of importance to such matters, but I'm not sure why you're unable to grasp that not everyone shares your views.

Many on the left, especially Obama supporters, were also irritated by the connection between Stephanopolous and Clinton from the previous administration, and the current connection between Stephanopoulos and Sean Hannity, who is nothing more than a mouthpiece and rabblerouser for GOP attacks on all matters liberal or Democratic. This was a debate between two Democratic candidates competing for their own party's nomination, don't forget. Instead of questions that would have provided undecided voters with solid information, it was a seen as game of trying to trip up the candidates, the thousandth rehash of process, and reality-TV-level attempts to bait the candidates into bashing each other. Someone, I've forgotten who, said it seemed as though the entire thing was designed by ABC to generate sound bites for their own future use, which strikes me as an appropriate use of hyperbole.

For a more detailed critique from someone who knows more about this than I do, you might have a listen to On the Media's interview (http://onthemedia.org/transcripts/2008/04/18/01) with Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

To your view of my "constant chirping in with NOTHING that emulates a valid point," I must say you seem awfully exercised. If what I have to say has nothing of substance, why do you spend so much energy reacting to it? I'm sorry you read my initial post as insults. I thought it was criticism, and to me, there's a difference.

To your wish to go "point by point on ANYTHING," I am unlikely to accept until you calm yourself down a little bit. When you can make it through a couple of posts without having a tantrum, then maybe we'll talk. Until then, this will be my last effort to sift through your invective to respond to what little substance you have to offer. Please feel free to respond with both barrels of what I'm sure will be another post filled with sputtering indignation and the sort of name-calling most of us outgrew decades ago. Your words will go unchallenged, and likely, unread.

JLF
04-20-2008, 11:25 AM
So if the Constitution and its interpretation is trivial and fraternizing with former terrorists is right up there with bowling scores, then why was the lefty blogosphere looking to lynch Stephanopoulos over such trivialities? and/or why does the NRA actually have 4 million members?

Perhaps the answer to your question lies in the same area as the answer to why America is so polarized. Pick just about any issue and you'll find advocates justifying their position by pointing in opposite directions. Why the distain from academics for the yahoos who fail to recognize their own economic self-interest and vote Repubican at the waiving of a flag (or a two-digit bowling score)? Why the disgust at the "liberal elite" who preach the glory of a multi-cultural society from their ivory tower islands and gated communities? Why should one's personal belief in the "holocast of abortion" compel another who does not share those values to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term? Why were who vested the Supreme Court with the power to impose the Rule of Five during the Warren years so quick to condem the Rhenquist Court's imposition of George Bush on the country?

You can't negotiate anything without being willing to surrender something. Perhaps that's part of the answer to the question. At some point we lost the ability to leave our neighbor alone to live his own life, as screwed up and disfunctional as it may be. Bush wants to make Iraq into Texas. Osama wants us all to be good little Moslems. And, God knows, let's not get into the issue of which country has the best health care in the world.

johnmarzan
04-20-2008, 11:30 AM
On symbols, I know from polling, that character is a legitimate reason for choosing candidates. However, can anyone find polling where Americans actually care about flag lapel pins?

what was obama's explanation why he made it a point not to wear a flag lapel pin? i don't recall the manufactured controversy.

johnmarzan
04-20-2008, 11:36 AM
and bill is wrong to say that voters don't care about barack's judgment issues, background, and little known leftwing philosophies.

check the latest gallup poll.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/106606/Gallup-Daily-Clinton-46-Obama-45.aspx

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 12:00 PM
First Kweefe, I apologize for throwing in a couple capitalized words as I now realize it causes you to misinterpret my intensity. I do so for accent not volume.

Yes, you did give your take on Ayers above. Like most things I have seen from you they not only lack substance but accuracy. First, its not David Ayers its William Ayers. Which may also account for the lack knowledge on the rest of the facts. It also wasn't some miscellaneous person who happened to show up at an Obama fundraiser. Ayers has been a close personal aquaintence of Obama's for over a decade. They served on a board together in the late ninety's and I believe that is the first indication that the personal and professional relationships began to mingle. Since then they have also served together on a couple acedemic panels. Not only has this former terrorist already donated to the Obama campaign, but this fundraiser was HOSTED by Ayers...not just attended by as you mistakenly allude. Don't feel bad, Scher tried to paint it also that the only relationship there was one of serving on a board together...and this was one of the many areas Conn needed to straighten Bill's facts out on. Now Bill, I am sure, attempted this as spin while you, I am sure, it was ignorance but the net affect to both was increased lack of respect for any points that followed.

Bottom line with Ayers and Obama though is that on 9/11 Ayers was interviewed and not only was he non-repentent concerning his own terrorist activities but said something to the affect that he felt he had not done enough. "Casual acquaintence" it is not. "Bad Judgement" once again by Obama? Most certainly. Lack of knowledge on items you "chirp" in with? Pretty much the norm.

I suggest you go find some video on Obama answering the Ayers question during the debate...stammering like a blind lesbian at a weenie roast.

Second, nobody here gives a ratsass about your position on the second amendment nor does your diatribe really address the main point in this area about his dancing around the issue and his dishonestly when asked about the amendment. Concerning your only non-superfluous question in this area...

"how many people like you are going to vote for Obama no matter what he says about guns?"

Well...if it is not an important issue why is Obama dancing around it...and in the diavlog (if you actually watched, much less listened to it) you might have heard Scher ask a similar question to which Conn responded something to the affect of "Ask Al Gore". I'm guessing you may have still been in Grade School in 2000, but go look up that little issue. You may learn something about the country you live in.

Lastly you say:
"By your own admission, many people were upset by the amount of time spent on these issues. "

Sorry I didn't say anything even close to that. And if you think that the people were upset because of the trivial nature of the questions, I would counter that they were actually upset because the questions once again exposed Obama in a negative light. If he would have gotten through the first half of the debate looking like a star...you would not be seeing the same kind of flack. Funny, the more we learn about Obama and his past the less attractive he becomes. The more we learn the more we realize that his actions make him far from a "uniter", just the opposite. Let the light shine in! What are you afraid of if not the truth.


Like I said, anytime you want to go point by point on ANYTHING...

Bloggin' Noggin
04-20-2008, 01:16 PM
Bloggin Noggin said...

[QUOTE]"I have no problem with someone pointing out that Obama was "threading the needle" "

...which isn't surprising because he was the one who said it. Its good not to have a problem with yourself...albeit a bit pompous to quote oneself. Of course by agreeing with himself in a way that seems like he is answering somebody else he too tries a bit of threading. Nice try.

As a matter of fact, I'm quoting Bill Scher in the diavlog.
You are here engaging in the tactic I deplore in Conn -- turning disagreements about policy and fact into an attack on character.

Are we to take then that BN DOES have a problem with those in the media asking questions of candidates in attempts at isolating the positions on issues or others pointing out obvious shortcomings in the candidates? All right then...no more questions...no more opinion unless it agrees with Obama.

That's silly. Nowhere do I say such a thing. See my post on "gotcha questions" below for my problems with the debate -- and look specifically at my first example, which was a "gotcha" for both candidates. My critique of Conn is not that he's criticizing Obama, but that he disagrees with Obama's policies, but rather making an argument, he engages in character assassination, making overblown and overdramatized accusations that Obama LIED about having read the briefs etc. And I think this shows Conn doesn't understand the Bloggingheads audience very well -- at least those of us who have been here for quite a while and love the way conservatives and liberals can talk here and generate more light than heat.

Conn rubs people like BN the wrong way because they do not like the obvious quoted to them by someone on the right who congenially takes their twisted talking points and hands them back to them staightened out. Damn thats irritating.

Conn doesn't rub me the wrong way -- I have defended him in the past. What rubs me the wrong way is not Conn, whose intelligence I respect (and whose sense of humor I used to respect), but the new Heritage-Foundation-Conn who no longer has any sense of balance or any sense of humor about politics. You may not realize it, but we old-timers remember Conn from his Blogometer days when he would himself have laughed at the drama queen he has become in his Heritage incarnation.
I have also recently defended John McCain (from the charge of being "boring") and have said I think Hillary did face a good deal of sexism in the media coverage. I am not an Obamabot and have given clear evidence that I am not in the history of my comments. I generally enjoy having my views challenged -- in a civil and reasonable way -- as I think the overall history of my comments would show (though I'm sure I've fallen short on many individual occasions). You are new here, so you might not know, but perhaps before you dismiss "people like BN", you should try to find out something about BN. On the other hand, you could just eschew such ad hominem arguments altogether and respond without attempting to psychoanalyze everybody who disagrees with you.

Here in the BHtv comment board, most of us like smart and illuminating commentary from other political perspectives than our own because it helps us to refine our own thinking. We like open-minded commenters and blogging heads who can concede a point to the other side on occasion and criticize their own "side" and who don't turn all policy disagreements into character assassination. Among conservatives, we like Ross Douthat and Charles Fried and (at least in his BHtv persona) Ramesh Ponnuru -- and even the old Conn Carroll before the Heritage pod got to him. My objection to the new Conn is not that he opposes Obama, but that his commentary is no longer very smart or illuminating or independent.

johnmarzan
04-20-2008, 02:10 PM
as for the wright controversy being a non-issue. i have to disagree.

before the wright controversy exploded, the left blogosphere and obama supporters lead by sullivan (http://www.google.com.ph/search?num=20&hl=en&safe=off&q=+site%3Aandrewsullivan.theatlantic.com+hagee+mcc ain+2008&btnG=Search&meta=), josh marshall (http://www.google.com.ph/search?num=20&hl=en&safe=off&q=josh+marshall+john+hagee&btnG=Search&meta=), glenn greenwald and others have been been aggressively pushing the hagee story against mccain, and they were gaining momentum (http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/02/29/hagee/index.html), with MSM picking it up.

but the wright controversy has taken the steam off the hagee story and made those in the blogosphere and the pro-obama MSM who were initially excited re the hagee story lose interest, because they know wright's relationship with obama is deeper and more meaningful and they can't use hagee on mccain without "legitimizing" the wright issue and hurting obama more.

and now they are saying wright is a non issue and a "manufactured issue" against obama. hypocrites.

jh in sd
04-20-2008, 02:16 PM
kidneystones, Please refrain from using the f-bomb; it adds nothing to your argument.

jh in sd
04-20-2008, 03:02 PM
a duoist-I'm all for Obama running for dog catcher!

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 03:09 PM
Bloggin Noggin,

I know/knew where the original quote came from...pretty sure I left your quotation marks in there. What you said was not just a reiteration of Scher. You had already done that once already. Thus it was a reiteration of your own point. Nice try though. Besides, Scher alluded we should not be surprised that a politician uses those tactics. You on the other had certainly seemed to allude that it not only was not surprising but that it was just fine with you. Bill and Conn conceded the politician point, as can I. However, what you missed (or chose to ignore, which is "a tactic I deplore") is my real point; that although maybe fine for a politician to be a politician, it does not seem that you are fine with the media asking questions that attempt to nail down the politician. Thus, when it suits you and your candidate, lets keep the electorate uninformed. Understand Now?

Secondly, you bring up Conn's opinion concerning Obama's pleading of ignorance on a subject of the Second Amendment. Even though, a lawyer...a lawyer with a consitutional law background...a lawyer with a constitutional law background running for President in a country where gun rights are a highly important subject ("Ask Al Gore")...a lawyer with a constitutional law background running for President in a country where gun rights are a highly important subject who just dissed gun right advocates as back-woods ignoramuses...you find it odd that Conn might express doubt in
Obama's ignorance of convenience??? Logic is not your strong suit, is it?

Also being an old-timer in a number of these arenas, I have witnessed time and again where when the left find they are holding the short straw it is their habit to go off-message and attack.

BN, your right...I have only seen Conn a couple times, and both times, here. I cannot dispute you when you say he was kindlier, and gentler to you and yours previously. And maybe you do see a contrast in styles that I am unable to comment on. So I can only comment on what I have seen. What I see is someone who does try to be even-headed and even-handed, while at the same time he is in these discussions to make sure whatever lefty he is opposite from doesn't skate through them just like Obama is trying to skate through the election. His JOB is to make the points that Scher may be missing (intentionally or otherwise). His JOB is to offer his opinion.

Its my opinion that what has gotten you, and Kweefe and the other Obama boys around here so worked up is that you are not able to "handle the truth" in what Conn has/had to say and don't like the fact that even with a cool head approach he kinda schooled Mr. Scher and that made you all a bit anxious and testy. Add to that your anxiety about the candidate, you have so much invested in, starting to unravel and you all get a bit ugly and feel the need to lash out. Sorry, psychoanalyzing again. ;o)

Other than that...did you go look at the Gallop poll posted above. You see these things do matter to the electorate.

I also suggest you go read John Dickerson's column at Slate.
http://www.slate.com//id/2189485
And then come back and complain about Obama's treatment at the debate or by Conn here. Pretty funny stuff.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-20-2008, 03:32 PM
I know/knew where the original quote came from...pretty sure I left your quotation marks in there. What you said was not just a reiteration of Scher. You had already done that once already.

--So I'm not allowed to quote him twice? I'm sorry, this is just incredibly petty and ridiculous. You are just in attack mode. I learn nothing (not even constructive criticism) from these wrangles with you. Spout off as much as you like. I'm not listening any more. Have fun.

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 04:01 PM
Huh??

Attack mode? What my stating the obvious or questioning your logic ability?


Whatever...

When the going gets tough...

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 04:51 PM
Shorter Whatfur:

I accuse you of unfounded assertions with unfounded assertions of my own. Therefore, my logic is superior.

I AM NOT HAVING A TANTRUM!!!11!

I now proceed to demonstrate my maturity by purposely misspelling your name.

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 05:02 PM
Pretty funny stuff.

When the going gets tough...

Whatfur 2
Lefties 0

AemJeff
04-20-2008, 05:12 PM
I've never seen anybody quite as incapable of understanding when they've lost an argument. And this guy is doing it twice, simultaneously. Bravo! This sure beats American Idol.

harkin
04-20-2008, 05:54 PM
If ABC had some good evidence that Obama's relationship with Ayers was very close -- extending perhaps to bomb making in their basements -- then they should have presented that evidence and asked him about it.

This is a great example of the spin by the left after the most recent debate.

There is nothing wrong with anyone asking BO why he chose to continue an association with someone who has stated (printed on 9/11 no less) that he didn't do enough in regards to domestic terrorism. The surface has barely been scratched on this guy (Obama) and the msm and netroots are trying to set the table for the way the general election is framed.

Comparing Tom Coburn to someone who belonged to an organization that bombed the pentagon and killed policemen, and had no regrets about such as recently as seven years ago (this negates the '40 years ago' meme) is just intellectually bankrupt.

Michael Barone On The Ayers Breakthrough (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTFlYWNiN2I1MTQ1OWM2ZTNmNWM4M2U5NmZkMTVmYTg=)

As others have said, imagine if McCain had an event supporting him hosted by a person who had bombed abortion clinics in the 60s and was still unrepentant. Do you really think BlogNog, BJK, Scher and the msm would give him a pass? Please.

BJK says almost every liberal would consider Ayers actions deplorable. I can't help but wonder after seeing an anti-war demonstration in Oregon last year where the V For Vendetta mask was on more than a few faces.

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 06:27 PM
harkin:

BJK says almost every liberal would consider Ayers actions deplorable. I can't help but wonder after seeing an anti-war demonstration in Oregon last year where the V For Vendetta mask was on more than a few faces.

If you think about the tens of millions of liberals/Obama supporters in this country in comparison with the number of those people at that parade, that alone should suggest that you haven't at all disproved my speculation about "almost every." Also, I'm not sure what people acting out at a parade says about their true intent. For example, a common event at such gatherings is hanging someone in effigy. Shall we conclude that all those involved would truly like to lynch the real person?

[Added] I'm not familiar with the Oregon "V for Vendetta" thing, but a quick look at the Google suggests the motivation here had more of a libertarian than liberal bent. Does that strike you as plausible?

The surface has barely been scratched on this guy (Obama) and the msm and netroots are trying to set the table for the way the general election is framed.

This is either nonsense or paranoia, as far as the MSM goes. Recall how they have done wall-to-wall coverage of things like the Wright controversy and Bittergate. And let's not forget the love many among the MSM have for John McCain.

Sure, there are some outlets that lean left. Some of these do so unapologetically. Others, in my view and that of many others, overcompensate. Also, there are plenty of big media groups that lean right; e.g., Fox, Washington Times, and the WSJ.

As for the netroots, sure, we've got our favorite. But there is a rightosphere out there, too. Either you acknowledge the balance or you're forced to admit that they're failing to keep up because their message simply doesn't resonate with as many (Web-connected) people. I'm inclined to think it's the former. Look at the rankings for LGF, Instapundit, and Michelle Malkin, for example.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-20-2008, 07:35 PM
Everybody has glommed onto one single snippet of a post which was meant to establish a general distinction between "tough (fair) questions" and "gotcha questions". The bit that seems to have driven the righties crazy was meant to be an example of this distinction.

I still want to rescue my general point, whatever people think of the example.

My first point is that a "gotcha" question is one which gives the politician the option of (a) evading the question and looking dishonest or (b) telling the truth and looking inept and unelectable -- and this is not because the true answer is particularly bad, but because it is unsayable (e.g,the question about whether Hillary and Barack will take each other as running mates) or because it exposes a necessary evil of campaigning that the journalist knows perfectly well but that the public is presumed to be ignorant of.

A second point is that, whatever Obama's sins in this case, there surely CAN be questions about associations that would be unfair in exactly the way I describe. Suppose you were photographed on the street corner next to Ayers or David Duke and the media know perfectly well that this was just coincidence, but they ask you in a debate why you were standing next to this guy. Surely we can all admit that this would be unfair because the asking of the question implies a greater guilt than there is any evidence for. And an explanation like "it was just a coincidence" is going to look like an evasion in the context where such a question is asked.

Obviously there's a range here from being on the same street corner at the same time to helping assemble the Weatherman bombs,and at some point questions about associates start to be completely fair. Where does that happen? I'll leave that for future discussion, which ought to be conducted with Dem and Rep examples in mind at one time. My concern is with the general point that there's a difference between "tough questioning" or "questions about character" on the one hand and "gotcha questions" on the other.

Baltimoron
04-20-2008, 07:56 PM
I'm not trying to belittle your good argument by offering Jon Stewart for color commentary, but reading transcripts or watching The Daily Show is the only way to make that debate bearable.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=166407&title=indecision-2008-philadelphia

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=166408&title=indecision-2008-philadelphia

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=166409&title=indecision-2008-philadelphia

Baltimoron
04-20-2008, 08:00 PM
I googled this link from 2007:

http://www.breitbart.com/print.php?id=D8S2JKG02&show_article=1

AemJeff
04-20-2008, 08:04 PM
There is nothing wrong with anyone asking BO why he chose to continue an association with someone who has stated (printed on 9/11 no less) that he didn't do enough in regards to domestic terrorism.


Of course there is. First the "association" must be more than merely asserted. Serving on the same board, the only relationship between these men that is supported by evidence, is a pretty thin basis for the kind of accusatory smear that your question represents. While we're at, we probably ought to ask him when he stopped beating Michelle.

Baltimoron
04-20-2008, 08:21 PM
I offer this as someone who is still "on the fence", and who has doubts about all three presidential candidates:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24226501#24226501

Racial Unity: I would argue that racial unity based on a standard of color-blindness is a false start. It's a liberal fantasy that race is not a socially-constructed mental stumbling block to better relations between people. It might be a few switches in the genetic code, but race is a major human hangup. It goes beyond color-blind laws and requires compromise.

What the Rev. Wright episode accomplished was, that hopefully American voters can move beyond the early 60s Civil Rights movement rhetoric and confront the late 60s and early 70s (and then maybe in another decade soak in the 80s) when issues, like busing, university admissions, affirmative action, etc. fragmented local communities into balkanized coalitions based on local, class, and racial factors.

I also return to my original concern about the primary system. Even in a fairer system, Like the American Plan, the campaigns would have moved from retail politics to mass media by now. But the issue of when and how states should order their primaries is still valid. Now that states like California and Pennsylvania are enjoying the inflow of cash and media attention, it's a good time to fix a schedule where small states begin the process, and large states finish it. All 50 states can vet the candidates slowly, and the candidates can build their war chests slowly.

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 08:32 PM
Baltimoron:

Now that states like California and Pennsylvania are enjoying the inflow of cash and media attention ...

California?

jh in sd
04-20-2008, 08:33 PM
Quoting AemJeff-"we probably shoud ask him when he quit beating Michelle." You jumped the hurdles with that one.

Baltimoron
04-20-2008, 08:37 PM
For the first time many more voters are getting a chance to vote in a real primary. And, media outlets and other businesses are getting cash to run all those ads and get follow-on business.

Greed is what politics is about!

AemJeff
04-20-2008, 08:42 PM
You jumped the hurdles with that one.

I really don't think so. In fact that's the point I was trying to make in reverse. The evidence - unless there's something fresher than what I've seen so far - is that Obama and Ayers were both members of the same organization. I'm not ready to tar politicians with the pasts of others without something stronger than that. Harkin suggests that the question is OK - since after all it's just a question - but just like the classic wife-beating query, the question itself carries a subtext. Before that subtext can honorably be inserted into the general discourse, its premise needs better justification.

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 08:57 PM
Jeff!!!

Wow...more than just a peanut gallery comment. Way to go!

Unfortunately, you have not been paying attention very closely and like my new friend Kweefe you seem to have not watched the debate much less read the question posed to Obama...nor did you seemingy actually watch this diavlog. Without once again explaining things to you I suggest you go "Read more about it" before you too start chirping ignorantly.

Note to Kweefe: I assume your published middle name has a few extra letters in it also so I figured you wouldn't mind one from me.

BN,

I actually understood your Gotcha scenerio the first time...and surprise!!!! I agree with the concept. And it certainly seemed by Obama's inept answer about the Ayers question that it WAS a Gotcha question. IMHO, however, the only thing that made it a gotcha question is that it was asked by George S. when Obama was probably expecting more softballs so he was unprepared, taken aback, and answered feebly. You too should watch the video of this...pretty pitifull.

Now I won't accuse you of further spinning because you obviously have trouble handling negative discourse, but your little example trying to make it sound like people are accusing Obama of helping Ayers make bombs is pretty transparent. Like Mr. Carroll already, steadfastly, and correctly retorted Mr. Scher's similar transparent attempt; the association shows "bad judgement", just like his choice in a pastor showed "bad judgement". No more no less. However, a President's judgement is a pretty important quality. Character IS too and because with Obama having pretty much NO resume and NO history and virtually NO experience....his character and judgement better be top notch. We seem to come across something new every couple weeks that cause both to come into question.

One last thing, Mr. Carroll also made the point that the Obama campaign has hyped the concept of him being the big "Uniter". Not only racially but party-wise and these associations with a racist pastor and former, unrepentant, terrorist do not go very far in achieving the hype. Heck his own party seems to be coming apart at the seams.

Baltimoron
04-20-2008, 09:37 PM
I'd ask you to prove the Democratic party is hurting. Show me some polls, or stats that voters are leaving the party, or that donors are fleeing. It seems a few months ago, the GOP was disintegrating at its seams. Conn Carroll himself was none too happy with John McCain.

I think what you mean to say is, that Barack Obama is distracting the media from the GOP's problems. Perhaps, the GOP is just boring, even when it falls apart. Perhaps, Obama and Clinton are better draws, which is helpful for the future. Obama might be a worse debater than speaker, but McCain is just boring. And, Obama, either consciously or inadvertently brings up and tackles tough questions, like race, that benefit the US. McCain is just a place-holder.

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 10:12 PM
Note to Kweefe: I assume your published middle name has a few extra letters in it also so I figured you wouldn't mind one from me.

It's instructive to note how deeply you embrace your immaturity. Thanks for sharing.

Up next: whatfur modifies his signature to read "nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah, nyah."

Whatfur
04-20-2008, 11:11 PM
Your right Baltimoron, I have not seen any polls with hard numbers (as if polls ever really represent hard numbers)...but there has been an undercurrent on the lefty blogs and elsewhere that there are many voters on both sides of the Democratic race whose hatred of the other seems to run pretty deep. There was also the Frank Luntz post-debate focus group that has been mentioned here that when Democratic voters were asked if their candidate were to lose would they vote for McCain...and a surpising number of hands went up. But yea...who knows. And yes McCain's win was/is a disappointment to many Republicans, but we will have had plenty of time to get over it and our other options are obviously not as viable as McCain is to Democrats.

Maybe an impromptu poll here!!!! Hey all you Obama supporters, lets say something comes up ...say from the Tony Rezko trial...that makes everyone realize that Obama is unelectable. Will you vote for Hillary?

bjkeefe
04-20-2008, 11:41 PM
Hey all you Obama supporters, lets say something comes up ...say from the Tony Rezko trial...that makes everyone realize that Obama is unelectable. Will you vote for Hillary?

If Clinton wins the nomination I will vote for her in the general. Unhappily, but of course I will.

I'll add that I think most of the people threatening not to vote for the other Democrat will cool off by November. These polls are just giving people a chance to vent, and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts they're not a good predictor.

The only real group of people who don't budge, I suspect, will be people who live in comfortably blue states, who will withhold their votes on principle. I worry about these people a little bit, because that could hurt the down-ticket vote. But still, "comfortably blue state" may apply all the way down the ballot, so even this is not such a big problem.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-21-2008, 12:02 AM
Excellent, Baltimoron. Loved those! Wish I'd just saved time and posted those. They're unanswerable.

TwinSwords
04-21-2008, 01:29 AM
and bill is wrong to say that voters don't care about barack's judgment issues, background, and little known leftwing philosophies.

check the latest gallup poll.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/106606/Gallup-Daily-Clinton-46-Obama-45.aspx

http://www.gallup.com/poll/106609/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Holds-Slight-47-45-Advantage.aspx

johnmarzan
04-21-2008, 02:03 AM
http://www.gallup.com/poll/106609/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Holds-Slight-47-45-Advantage.aspx

yay! back to a slight 2-pt lead for obama in the national daily poll.

johnmarzan
04-21-2008, 02:10 AM
Sorry if my 'wiseass' lines grate on you. I do agree the 'Hope-ity hope-ity' line has a short shelf life. I'll be sure to retire it. I do have to disagree about your claim that we don't offer anything you haven't already heard through MSM sources.
I do not remember seeing much coverage of Obama's response on the second amendment and I don't remember seeing any coverage of Obama's equating Ayers terrorism with Coburn's pro-life beliefs. These were both big talking points in the conservosphere. ... and thanks to connections like Hannity-Stephanapolous, you will see them again.
I realize that on a sight as pro-Obama as this a conservative like John McWhorter who supports Obama will be more welcomed, I just hope that those who want to challenge their beliefs with opposing points of view will continue to tune in.

i'm surprised conn is even reading the comments here.

the lefties have the homecourt advantage in BHTV, and they have recently gone after pinkerton and "fake democrat" kaus hard too for exposing obama to the public. all of this, it comes with the territory.

bjkeefe
04-21-2008, 02:32 AM
i'm surprised conn is even reading the comments here.

the lefties have the homecourt advantage in BHTV, and they have recently gone after pinkerton and "fake democrat" kaus hard too for exposing obama to the public. all of this, it comes with the territory.

Conservatives sobbing about their victimhood. Man, that never gets old.

johnmarzan
04-21-2008, 03:34 AM
Conservatives sobbing about their victimhood. Man, that never gets old.

don't you know, whining about something is the in thing right now.

bjkeefe
04-21-2008, 03:43 AM
don't you know, whining about something is the in thing right now.

Oops. My bad.

johnmarzan
04-21-2008, 03:58 AM
Oops. My bad.

i'm not joking. there's a recent spike in whining lately.

http://trend.icerocket.com/trend?query1=obama+whining&label1=obama&query2=&label2=&query3=&label3=&days=30

piscivorous
04-21-2008, 07:57 AM
Senator Obama talks an awful lot about being a "uniter" with little proof in the pudding. Senator McCain is often portrayed, from the left side of the spectrum, as the angry individualist. Yet it is Senator McCain that has time after time worked both sides of the isle to get thing done and is actually the uniter as this story McCain and Ifshin (http://www2.nysun.com/article/32880)should make clear even to the the rabid Senator Obama partisans here.

harkin
04-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Of course there is. First the "association" must be more than merely asserted. Serving on the same board, the only relationship between these men that is supported by evidence, is a pretty thin basis for the kind of accusatory smear that your question represents. While we're at, we probably ought to ask him when he stopped beating Michelle.


Ah, the old 'beat the wife' defense. Polluting the discussion with nonsense is your best retort?

How conveniently you forget that Ayers and his fellow terrorist wife hosted an event in support of BO. Regardless, BO should have had nothing to do with this traitorous clown the minute he found out about not only his murderous past but his refusal to show contrition or (as far as I know) seek to pay any form of restitution to the orphans, widows and other family members of Weathermen victims. No, they just sit in their Berkeley-on-the lake home collecting state money and indoctrinating young minds.

To the Obama/Ayers apologists:

Quit dodging the question. If a conservative candidate had associations with someone who not only had bombed abortion clinics and killed innocent people, but also stated years later that he wished he'd 'done more', and this candidate had never condemned him and continued to associate with him....are you seriously saying that this would be a non-issue?


Yeah, right.

AemJeff
04-21-2008, 12:20 PM
Ah, the old 'beat the wife' defense. Polluting the discussion with nonsense is your best retort?

How conveniently you forget that Ayers and his fellow terrorist wife hosted an event in support of BO. Regardless, BO should have had nothing to do with this traitorous clown the minute he found out about not only his murderous past but his refusal to show contrition or (as far as I know) seek to pay any form of restitution to the orphans, widows and other family members of Weathermen victims. No, they just sit in their Berkeley-on-the lake home collecting state money and indoctrinating young minds.

To the Obama/Ayers apologists:

Quit dodging the question. If a conservative candidate had associations with someone who not only had bombed abortion clinics and killed innocent people, but also stated years later that he wished he'd 'done more', and this candidate had never condemned him and continued to associate with him....are you seriously saying that this would be a non-issue?


Yeah, right.

Ayers supports Obama! Good grief!

Now, show us something real. Just because you really, really want to believe something doesn't make it true, even if you click your heels three times. Idiotic hypotheticals ("If a conservative...") and unsupported allegations don't make your case. Ayer's victims only become relevant after you've shown some evidence of a relationship. So far, Obama has nothing to defend.

look
04-21-2008, 01:40 PM
harkin and Jeff, other than some Weatherman members who died accicentally in an explosion, no one was killed.

The question to me is about the fund-raiser for Obama that was held in Ayre's home. How much did Obama know at the time?

AemJeff
04-21-2008, 01:51 PM
look, an activist holds a fund-raiser for a local politician of the same party. This is bread and butter politics. The activist, it turns out, has an unsavory past. This really isn't rare. Obama has presented his version of events.

Until somebody can refute Obama, there's no there there. Every investigative reporter in the country and the entire Republican party oppo research organization is looking for evidence. If something is found, the story becomes fair game. It's certainly not true that the right questions aren't being asked. Public insinuation is another matter.

look
04-21-2008, 01:57 PM
look, an activist holds a fund-raiser for a local politician of the same party. This is bread and butter politics. The activist, it turns out, has an unsavory past. This really isn't rare. Obama has presented his version of events.

Until somebody can refute Obama, there's no there there. Every investigative reporter in the country and the entire Republican party oppo research organization is looking for evidence. If something is found, the story becomes fair game. It's certainly not true that the right questions aren't being asked. Public insinuation is another matter.
I agree completely.

Wonderment
04-21-2008, 04:12 PM
than Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzalez.......et al, ad nauseam.

Unfortunately, Obama tried to make this point in a clumsy way by going after a Senator who only proposed a fascistic law. Senator Coburn, unlike Ayers, didn't commit any crimes.

Had Obama tried an analogy with a real war criminal like Cheney or anyone from the Nixon/Reagan war crimes years, he would have been on far higher moral ground.

jh in sd
04-21-2008, 06:15 PM
Wonder, Nice to know that we can always count on a good leftist to reach for the higher moral ground!

shawnfassett
04-21-2008, 08:30 PM
You can pry my privacy and speech rights from my cold dead hands.

Apparently, those rights conservatives have no problem giving up. Cowards.

Wonderment
04-21-2008, 09:26 PM
Wonder, Nice to know that we can always count on a good leftist to reach for the higher moral ground!

No one in the Democratic Party is going to promote Bill Ayers as a candidate for office or appoint him to a cabinet-level position in government.

The Republicans, on the other hand, routinely adulate major war criminals like Kissinger or the gang of neo-con thugs responsible for the torture, mass murder and illegal warfare of the Bush administration.

jh in sd
04-21-2008, 10:24 PM
Wonder, I am pointing to your use of propagandistic rhetoric as being an example of taking the lower ground in a reasonable discussion. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

jstrummer
04-22-2008, 10:22 AM
When he was at Politico, I sort of like Conn Carroll. But since he's moved to Heritage, he's sort of been an upgraded version of knuckledragging right-wing bloggers.

TwinSwords
04-22-2008, 02:21 PM
When he was at Politico, I sort of like Conn Carroll. But since he's moved to Heritage, he's sort of been an upgraded version of knuckledragging right-wing bloggers.

I can't comment on Conn at Hotline (it was Hotline, not Politico, right?). But I would rather have him in his current form than when he was trying to be an objective journalist doing interviews on BHTV. He tried hard to remain objective in his BHTV interviews, but you could always detect his right wing bias. The eye rolling at various statements made by his liberal guests might have had something to do with it. Now that he is out of the closet and able to be his true self, I don't see him rolling his eyes as much.

But man, in this last diavlog with Bill, Conn was just oozing contempt. He looked like he could barely stand being there, having to suffer through another conversation. Maybe he was just in a bad mood that day.

Boy, the next few months until election day are going to get rough.

TwinSwords
04-22-2008, 02:22 PM
and bill is wrong to say that voters don't care about barack's judgment issues, background, and little known leftwing philosophies.

check the latest gallup poll.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/106606/Gallup-Daily-Clinton-46-Obama-45.aspx

Is Bill still wrong?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/106738/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Maintains-National-Lead.aspx

Bloggin' Noggin
04-22-2008, 02:55 PM
I can't comment on Conn at Hotline (it was Hotline, not Politico, right?). But I would rather have him in his current form than when he was trying to be an objective journalist doing interviews on BHTV. He tried hard to remain objective in his BHTV interviews, but you could always detect his right wing bias. The eye rolling at various statements made by his liberal guests might have had something to do with it. Now that he is out of the closet and able to be his true self, I don't see him rolling his eyes as much.

But man, in this last diavlog with Bill, Conn was just oozing contempt. He looked like he could barely stand being there, having to suffer through another conversation. Maybe he was just in a bad mood that day.

Boy, the next few months until election day are going to get rough.

Yes, Hotline's Blogometer. I still think Conn was better in those days, because he seemed far more aware of the posturing and false outrage on both sides of politics, and he tended to laugh at it. Now he engages in a lot of false outrage himself. And then he seems so much more tetchy these days, like the ginned up outrage is really getting to him. He used to have more of a sense of humor; I don't like to see him become a premature curmudgeon.
I also recall times when he was careful to point out the unfairness of certain attacks against the left (I mean the ones he actually thought were a bit unfair, not the ones he thought were fair) -- he seemed to have an independent point of view.
I also found his interview with McJoan to be pretty respectful and genial.

look
04-22-2008, 03:52 PM
Yes, Hotline's Blogometer. I still think Conn was better in those days, because he seemed far more aware of the posturing and false outrage on both sides of politics, and he tended to laugh at it. Now he engages in a lot of false outrage himself. And then he seems so much more tetchy these days, like the ginned up outrage is really getting to him. He used to have more of a sense of humor; I don't like to see him become a premature curmudgeon.
I also recall times when he was careful to point out the unfairness of certain attacks against the left (I mean the ones he actually thought were a bit unfair, not the ones he thought were fair) -- he seemed to have an independent point of view.
I also found his interview with McJoan to be pretty respectful and genial.

I more or less agree with all of TS's points. Especially:

But man, in this last diavlog with Bill, Conn was just oozing contempt. He looked like he could barely stand being there, having to suffer through another conversation. Maybe he was just in a bad mood that day.

Except I would have said hostility, not contempt. His adorability index suffers greatly when he's cranky. So I give him a provisional pass if he was up late with the kid and then compensated with three cups of joe.

But I do question if the outrage is ginned up. There's a large segment of people, including Hillary supporters, such as EastWest, who are dumbfounded by the adulation Obama receives, they don't find it merited based on his experience, etc., etc., etc.

With however many weeks to prepare, and considering he'd accidentally insulted gun-owners as a bunch of mouth-breathers, could he have been a little more subtle with the gun question? Something inoccuous like, 'well, that's very complicated, and although we can all agree to such bans on guns within school zones, it becomes more complicated when...' And then delivered big on the line that he absolutely agrees to the right of individual gun ownership, playing that up for all it's worth.

And although I called Conn a bully in my first post, I think there is merit to Whatfur's first post which said that essentially Conn ate Bill's lunch. There were responses that Bill made that I could have rebutted just from watching the MSM. And I'd have to re-watch, but is Whatfur correct in saying that Conn actually pulled some punches, especially with the capital gains tax issue?

bjkeefe
04-22-2008, 04:21 PM
look:

And I'd have to re-watch, but is Whatfur correct in saying that Conn actually pulled some punches, especially with the capital gains tax issue?

That wasn't my sense. He said he didn't want to "get into the weeds" on the CG issue, which to me suggested either he'd reached the extent of his understanding, or didn't figure there were more points to be gained by pursuing it.

Or, more charitably, that he knew an extended debate on CG taxes would be more of snoozefest than anything else. It's one of those issues that never admits progress, since 90% of it is comes down to one's axioms (Tax the rich: good or bad? It's double-taxation: yes or no? Earnings from capital gains are just another form of income: yes or no?), and there are plenty of statistics available to show that it either hurts or helps the economy and the budget.

I also don't agree that Conn pulled any punches elsewhere, at least not ones that had any substance to them. Sure, he probably could have tossed some more red meat attack memes to people like Whatfur, but I'd like to think he could already hear a lot of eyeballs rolling from his partisan stridency.

I'll go along with a sense that Bill was a little flustered at times, but I'd account for most of that by saying that a lot of Conn's attacks were more Fox News-style haranguing than substantive, and Bill either can't or doesn't want to play at that level.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-22-2008, 05:56 PM
But I do question if the outrage is ginned up. There's a large segment of people, including Hillary supporters, such as EastWest, who are dumbfounded by the adulation Obama receives, they don't find it merited based on his experience, etc., etc., etc.

Well, not having known EastWest before his/her hostility set in, I can't make many comparisons. I have to say I don't get the anger against Obama from those people either -- nor do I understand why they interpret everyone who favors Obama as giving him "adulation."
In his Blogometer days, as I recall, Conn had a kind of journalist's cynicism about politicians and a light touch about the necessary hypocrisies of running for office. Now he acts all disillusioned with Obama -- as though he'd ever been inclined to believe he (or any politician) was a saint. To me it doesn't compute -- how did he grow back those illusions in time to be all disillusioned now?
Add to that Conn's admission in the comments section of his first or second appearance under the Heritage aegis that he was now more of an advocate, and I think we have our explanation.

With however many weeks to prepare, and considering he'd accidentally insulted gun-owners as a bunch of mouth-breathers, could he have been a little more subtle with the gun question? Something inoccuous like, 'well, that's very complicated, and although we can all agree to such bans on guns within school zones, it becomes more complicated when...' And then delivered big on the line that he absolutely agrees to the right of individual gun ownership, playing that up for all it's worth.

His performance in that debate was not very good -- at least his presentation. A lot of bloggers say that his answers read better than they looked. He definitely wasn't on his game that time, and Clinton is usually a better debater than he is. Fortunately, these "debates" (adversarial press-conferences, might be a better word) have very little to do with the business of actually being president. That has more to do with giving speeches and persuading people in private -- both of which, I think Obama is very good at.
Anyway, I can certainly agree that he did a bad job in the debate, but the whole "Obama is LYING" thing is just way over the top. If "Bush lied us into war" is over the top (as I imagine Conn thinks), then "Obama LIED about whether he'd read the briefs (or about whether that would make a difference)" is in the stratosphere.

And although I called Conn a bully in my first post, I think there is merit to Whatfur's first post which said that essentially Conn ate Bill's lunch. There were responses that Bill made that I could have rebutted just from watching the MSM. And I'd have to re-watch, but is Whatfur correct in saying that Conn actually pulled some punches, especially with the capital gains tax issue?

I said that Conn was playing tic-tac-toe in the chess championship. I almost added, but thought better of it, that he's a better tic-tac-toe player than Bill. In no way were my objections to Conn meant to say that Bill got the better of this debate.
Of course, the whole Cap Gains thing on Charlie Gibson's part was ridiculous. As Brendan points out, the data are more or less a Rorshach blot (as I understand it), and Gibson was in NO position to give any kind of expert economic opinion on a subject where experts are divided. Conn's reply there was essentially ad hominem: "so they found a liberal economist to disagree -- big surprise." Of course, what's Conn going to do when asked to defend the claim. Unless he is an ecomic expert (which I highly doubt), he'd produce a CONSERVATIVE economist. So, no, I don't think Conn pulled any punches there -- I think he avoided being hoist by his own petard.

look
04-22-2008, 08:11 PM
BN:
Anyway, I can certainly agree that he did a bad job in the debate, but the whole "Obama is LYING" thing is just way over the top. If "Bush lied us into war" is over the top (as I imagine Conn thinks), then "Obama LIED about whether he'd read the briefs (or about whether that would make a difference)" is in the stratosphere.
I checked back and made a dingalink, and although he challenged his honesty, calling it equivocation, etc., he never called him a liar.

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10285?in=00:26:33&out=30:41

BN:
So, no, I don't think Conn pulled any punches there -- I think he avoided being hoist by his own petard.

Brendan and BN, yes I checked and it didn't seem he pulled punches. But it is funny how we all tend to see what we already believe. ;-)

pod2
04-22-2008, 11:29 PM
Conn impugns Obama's judgment primarily by questioning his decision to appoint Wright to a supposed 'board of racial unity.' In truth, no such board exists. What I imagine Conn was referring to was Obama's African American Religious Leadership Committee. (see http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/obama/obama120407pr.html).

Now maybe Conn has a problem with any candidate creating such a thing as an African American Religious Leadership Committee. But that's a separate issue. The objectives of this Committee don't seem to have anything to do with "unity". Rather, it seems this body was designed to 1) vouch for Obama's spirituality, 2) vouch for his blackness, and 3) vouch for Obama's committment to "education, health care, and poverty."

I haven't checked these claims yet, but, if true, they would sort of devastate Conn's entire objection to Wright. How would Wright's appointment to a board asserting Obama's faith and membership in an authentic black community count against his judgment? The fact that Conn has pinpointed this appointment in the last several editions makes his position that much more transparent and irrational.

johnmarzan
04-23-2008, 03:06 AM
Is Bill still wrong?

http://www.gallup.com/poll/106738/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Maintains-National-Lead.aspx

yes. edit: this is the only poll that counts for now.

http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/ElectionsInformation.aspx?FunctionID=13&ElectionID=27&OfficeID=1

johnmarzan
04-23-2008, 03:08 AM
I haven't checked these claims yet, but, if true, they would sort of devastate Conn's entire objection to Wright.

uh... maybe conn is conning us! :)

pod2
04-23-2008, 11:23 PM
Wonder, Nice to know that we can always count on a good leftist to reach for the higher moral ground!

i guess I'm a little confused. Do you doubt the existence of "higher moral ground"? Or is this a point about leftists' ontological inability to reach aforesaid ground? Wonderment made a comment that has certain factual claims and premises. E.g. are Nixon, Cheney, Kissinger war criminals by generally accepted international or domestic definitions? If you disagree, challenge to a throwdown and make your case that they are in fact innocent of such scurrilous charges. Wonderment, for her/his part makes tha case that such charges are actually warranted. I can't wait.

Because, it is important whether Ayers is in fact guilty of war crimes.

Wonderment
04-24-2008, 01:02 AM
There's also a disturbing double standard in the posing of such questions to Mr. Ayers. I don't hear any journalists asking Kissinger or Cheney if they "regret" their war crimes (ongoing in the case of Cheney).

It's also a matter of scale.

Just to focus on the criminality of the carpet bombing of Cambodia (a "mere" detail on Kissinger and Nixon's rap sheet) , an estimated 600,000 civilians were murdered in a 14-month binge of illegal bombing.

Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now the right wing is pissed that Ayers, who has never been accused of killing anyone, earned a Ph.D. and a university appointment?