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Bloggingheads
06-03-2008, 11:44 PM

uncle ebeneezer
06-03-2008, 11:56 PM
The first 2 minutes of this diavlog show how a great intellectual thinker and dispenser of visionary wisdom can be reduced to a juvenile, babbling idiot, by a dog.

It's ok Bob, my cat has the same effect on me.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 12:00 AM
The first 2 minutes of this diavlog show how a great intellectual thinker and dispenser of visionary wisdom can be reduced to a juvenile, babbling idiot, by a dog.

It's ok Bob, my cat has the same effect on me.

Haha. That was cute. I loved Mickey's question about "characterological defects."

Also: Yeehaw. I was hoping Bob and Mickey would do a special election night edition of BHTV.

What's with Hillary? That woman actually delivered a victory speech tonight. She's out of her mind.

Best blog post I've seen so far tonight from Andrew Sullivan:

The Audacity of Now

Something has already been done, hasn't it? A reader writes:

"Tomorrow I will go to the African American cemetery outside of Chicago where my great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, and my mother and father are buried. And I will tell them that they were right -- that if we studied hard, worked hard, kept the faith, fought for justice, prayed, that this day would come."

And it has.

Baltimoron
06-04-2008, 12:32 AM
Someone has to tell Mr. Wright it's not the Teddy Roosevelt administration press room. Public officials don't jabe privacy, and rightly so.Can he honestly paint an appealing picture of print and TV journalism by which in comparison bloggers (alas, I cannot use that egregious coinage for bloggers, that sounds like some Stalinist job title) seem slimier? Again, I offer The Wire, Season 5. Although the portrait of the Baltimore Sun was less realistic than the representations of the corners and police force, critics still pointed out that the problem was not accuracy but about 10 years. It's anyone's guess how putrid newspaper journalism is now.

graz
06-04-2008, 12:52 AM
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:06:07&out=00:06:48
Hmmm... Reminds me of a certain column by a certain Democrat (cough) - oh, he's referring to Purdum at Vanity Fair - my bad.

Happy Hominid
06-04-2008, 01:12 AM
Air Whores One?

Is that the play on Air Force One, in regards to Bill's jet?

interstices
06-04-2008, 01:23 AM
Love the Yuban comment!

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:31 AM
Air Whores One?

Is that the play on Air Force One, in regards to Bill's jet?

That would have been more creative; but it is called (by some Burkle assistants) "Air F!*k One."

Epicurus
06-04-2008, 01:37 AM
I think the ratings of Bob/Mickey diavlogs will soar because of the addition of Frasier.

The visceral "I love America because it is my country" is the stupid America. Why should you automatically love a country because of the accident of your birth. You should value certain principles and ideas.

Patriotism and Nationalism are stupid.

Happy Hominid
06-04-2008, 01:41 AM
Got it... thanks TwinSwords. Inquiring minds, etc.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:42 AM
I think the ratings of Bob/Mickey diavlogs will soar because of the addition of Frasier.

The visceral "I love America because it is my country" is the stupid America. Why should you automatically love a country because of the accident of your birth. You should value certain principles and ideas.

Patriotism and Nationalism are stupid.

I basically agree, but loving the home of one's family and friends is more than just stupid, even if you live in a police state.

Your whole life is tied up with the land you live in; it would be hard not to love it, at least at some level, wouldn't it?

As for America, I think we all have another entire set of reasons to love our country for purely philosophical reasons.

Epicurus
06-04-2008, 01:45 AM
Yes the philosophical reasons.

The ideas like freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of/from religion.

These are things you should value globally.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:49 AM
Got it... thanks TwinSwords. Inquiring minds, etc.

I thought the Purdum article was pretty pathetic, although I admit I quit reading it when I got to this part:

I first really met him on New Year’s Eve 1994, when he shook my hand on the beach at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and let his eyes travel ever so subtly to the newly issued White House press pass hanging around my neck, so that he could know to say, “I’m glad you’re here, Todd.”

That's just stupid. Even my 9 year old nephew knows you should address people by their names, and the whole reason we have name tags is to facilitate this practice. I guess it takes a fancy NTY reporter to think this anecdote reveals something about Clinton's character.

It's just such a petty observation, and 14 years old. It sounds like Purdum didn't feel sufficiently loved and admired by Clinton, and he's still upset about it.

Mickey speculated about why Purdum was angry; I think it might be because he spent all this time and effort trying to find dirt on Clinton and came up with nothing.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:51 AM
Yes the philosophical reasons.

The ideas like freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of/from religion.

These are things you should value globally.

I agree.

I also have a strong attachment to the land I grew up in. This is where I met all my friends, where all of my life experiences unfolded, where I went to school. I think it's just natural to develop an emotional connection to your home. Maybe it's not rational, but I think it's human.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:59 AM
Bob made this excellent observation (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:35:41&out=00:36:25), about Bill Clinton's paranoid belief that Obama was behind the slimy Purdum piece.

It was when I heard Bill make those remarks that I realized the Clintons would not go gracefully into the night. If that's the level of suspicion and animosity they feel towards Obama, the prospects for a rapid and peaceful conclusion to this fight seem very dim indeed.

Everyone has been giving her the benefit of the doubt and making excuses for her refusal to exit the race. ("She just needs breathing room"; "she just needs time to reflect"; "she just wants to finish the primary battles"; "she's trying to secure a strong position from which she can negotiate"; and on and on.)

Some of these theories might even be right. But as the clock keeps ticking with her refusal to concede — the woman was introduced as the next president of the United States tonight, for Christ's sake — I'm really beginning to wonder if she plans to dynamite the Democratic Party out of spite. Both she and Bill seem increasingly deranged.

So many of us spent so many years defending the Clintons. It's kind of weird suddenly realizing there might be substantial truth to the core critique of the Clintons as power-mad.

Happy Hominid
06-04-2008, 02:00 AM
Is when Mickey tries to talk about the comments. He just doesn't know how to deal with something fascinating. Well, there's always the Salvadoran guy who is taking the job Mickey wanted at the Chinese restaurant in his neighborhood. Oh, or the sex that some candidate might be having with someone he isn't married to. Or a passionate defense of Ann Coulter.

Epicurus
06-04-2008, 02:02 AM
I agree.

I also have a strong attachment to the land I grew up in. This is where I met all my friends, where all of my life experiences unfolded, where I went to school. I think it's just natural to develop an emotional connection to your home. Maybe it's not rational, but I think it's human.

Yes. To be human is to sometimes be irrational. You have to work at being rational.

jfarmer
06-04-2008, 02:07 AM
This is only a minor point in terms of the entire diavlog, but when Mickey mentioned Reverend Wright's accusation of government-created HIV, and Bob responded that it was in the context of the Tuskegee Experiment, he described the experiment as when the government "intentionally infected blacks with syphilis." As morally reprehensible as the Tuskegee Experiment was, nobody was intentionally infected. Instead, researchers withheld known treatments in order to study the course and progression of the disease in already-infected patients. The reality of the Tuskegee Experiment is bad enough without having to elevate it to Josef Mengele levels of mad science.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 02:08 AM
Also from Andrew Sullivan's blog:

A reader writes:

My grandfather, 86 years old and a veteran of WWII, just gave me a call. He was calling all of his grandchildren to let them know what an important night this was in the history of our country.

Grandpa drove a truck for over 50 years, and he told the story of how he drove with a team of drivers, 2 white (including him), and 4 black. When they stopped at the truck stops, the black drivers had to use seperate restrooms and showers, and had to eat in a small room in the back of the kitchen. Grandpa and his co-driver would eat in the back with the rest of the team, and while they didn't speak of it at the time, they knew it was wrong yet felt powerless to change it, and believed that it would never change.

Tonight, he told me, we have come full-circle. Many people, especially the younger generation who supported Obama, will never fully realize the historical import of what happened tonight. But he wanted his grandchildren to know this story that he had never told us, and it was the second time in my 33 years that I have heard my grandpa cry.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Yes. To be human is to sometimes be irrational. You have to work at being rational.

Yeah, fair enough. I was just saying patriotism is perfectly natural.

graz
06-04-2008, 03:16 AM
Bob made this excellent observation (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:35:41&out=00:36:25), about Bill Clinton's paranoid belief that Obama was behind the slimy Purdum piece.

When I heard Bill say that yesterday, I felt ill. If that's the level of suspicion and animosity the Clintons feel towards Obama, the prospects for Hillary's graceful exit from the race, or for her being VP, seem very dim.


So many of us spent so many years defending the Clintons. It's kind of weird suddenly realizing there might be substantial truth to the core critique of the Clintons as power-mad.

What wasn't clear to Bob was crystal to me. The reading is unambiguous. Bill was insinuating Obama crafted the Preacher (not Purdum) incident and then conveniently quit the church. He would know how to work that sort of angle. The true Clinton colors in full display.

You posted all the clips from Sullivan so you are not new to the idea of the power - mad meme. It's a fascinating study. More than just politics as usual.

I don't believe that her motives or intentions should be guessed at - stick to the record. Tonight, she was introduced by McAuliffe as the next President. She again made the case for the popular vote and attributed to her success a referendum on who "should be" the nominee. Both power and mad are in the mix, but don't leave out delusional and disruptive. She could have leveraged her supporters while still conceding on such an historic night. But no - because in her mind she didn't lose. And she said that she has an obligation to all the "invisible ones." It's not dead people she sees - its a living nightmare that she refuses to accept.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 03:27 AM
What wasn't clear to Bob was crystal to me. The reading is unambiguous. Bill was insinuating Obama crafted the Preacher (not Purdum) incident and then conveniently quit the church. He would know how to work that sort of angle. The true Clinton colors in full display.

You posted all the clips from Sullivan so you are not new to the idea of the power - mad meme. It's a fascinating study. More than just politics as usual.

I don't believe that her motives or intentions should be guessed at - stick to the record. Tonight, she was introduced by McAuliffe as the next President. She again made the case for the popular vote and attributed to her success a referendum on who "should be" the nominee. Both power and mad are in the mix, but don't leave out delusional and disruptive. She could have leveraged her supporters while still conceding on such an historic night. But no - because in her mind she didn't lose. And she said that she has an obligation to all the "invisible ones." It's not dead people she sees - its a living nightmare that she refuses to accept.

Yeah, it's scary, thinking of what Hillary might yet do. It looks to me like she has every intention to take this to the convention. I can't read minds, but my guess is that she doesn't give a shit if she destroys the party and elects McCain.

You are correct that I've been aware of Sullivan's hate for Hillary for a long time, but I have never really shared it. But my feelings were summed up nicely by another commenter over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money, who said:

...my long struggle not to hate Hillary ended abruptly at "not making any decisions tonight".

I've been giving her the benefit of the doubt (and then some) for a long time. But I'm really beginning to believe that she's going to shoot the hostage in the head before she turns the gun on herself.

artoad
06-04-2008, 03:31 AM
Yes the philosophical reasons.

The ideas like freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of/from religion.

These are things you should value globally.

Epicurus You can value those rights globally but you need an identifiable jurisdiction to enforce those rights. For the foreseeable future that jurisdiction is going to be the nation state.I'm glad about that. Where people have human rights is where a certain people have enough love of their country and their fellow citizens to at least abide by the minimal requirements of a civil society. Most of the human rights talk at the international level is a pretty empty sham. This is a bit of a non sequitur, but I'm reminded of an anecdote illustrating the sad lengths to which patriotism can be carried. A German Jewish veteran of WW I found refuge in Switzerland during WW II. When a questioner asked about the refugee's reaction to the defeat of Nazi Germany he was surprised to find dismay instead of joy as the Jew felt he could never be happy about an enemy defeat of his homeland.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 03:36 AM
I'm with that LGM commenter.

MoDo (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/opinion/04dowd.html) had a good line, too:

Whoever said that after denial comes acceptance hadn’t met the Clintons.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 03:51 AM
What wasn't clear to Bob was crystal to me.

Why do you say it wasn't clear to Bob? It was clear to Bob. He's the one who pointed it out — and the only person I've seen to point this out, anywhere. I think your characterization of this as "not clear" to Bob is 180 degrees reversed from the truth. If anybody doesn't get it in this segment, it's Mickey, who seems to have totally missed the significance of the point that Bob is making.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 03:55 AM
I'm with that LGM commenter.

MoDo (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/opinion/04dowd.html) had a good line, too:

Yeah, that was a good line. I wish she would refrain from calling him "Bambi" and "Barry," but that's just too much to ask, I guess.

artoad
06-04-2008, 03:58 AM
Let me take issue with Bob and Mickey's letting of Wright and Pfleger off the hook. Bob, Wright wasn't offering a cool policy analysis about blowback. He was glorying in if not enjoying those chickens coming home to roost. Mickey, Pfleger's delivery and attitude were pretty repulsive (also juvenile). Somehow I don't think What Would Jesus Do is the guiding principle for either of these characters. Also, at the risk of alienating the bhtv viewers, let me trot out another Wright scandal reeking of that sexism we've been hearing about of late. I'm surprised it never got any mention when he referred to Condi Rice as Condaskeezer Rice. Shouldn't he have been basted in Don Imus sauce.

razib
06-04-2008, 04:06 AM
two words: frasier ROX!!!

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 04:27 AM
Yeah, that was a good line. I wish she would refrain from calling him "Bambi" and "Barry," but that's just too much to ask, I guess.

Yeah. Well ... MoDo. You know.

graz
06-04-2008, 04:43 AM
Why do you say it wasn't clear to Bob? It was clear to Bob. He's the one who pointed it out — and the only person I've seen to point this out, anywhere. I think your characterization of this as "not clear" to Bob is 180 degrees reversed from the truth. If anybody doesn't get it in this segment, it's Mickey, who seems to have totally missed the significance of the point that Bob is making.

I meant no disrespect to my hero Bob. My reference to his not being crystal was as follows:
Bob was asking clueless (journalist/blogger) Mickey if Clinton was referring to Obama or Purdum/Vanity Fair vis a vis the Preacher. To the best of my recollection (a la John Mitchell) at least. Bob was suggesting that that should be the lede.
Mickey wasn't sure, but if true, dismissed Bob's reasoning and justified Bill Clinton's counter attack as sound strategy.
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:35:42&out=00:40:16

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 04:48 AM
Yeah, it's scary, thinking of what Hillary might yet do.

Along that line of thought, here's Rosa Brooks (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/xxfactor/archive/2008/06/03/hillary-for-veep.aspx):

Congratulations, Barack Obama! And bye-bye, Hillary.

But don't be sad, die-hard Hillary supporters—you've still got a presumptive presidential nominee who values Hillary's experience and her contributions to his campaign, who's willing to take Hillary at her word and rely on her judgment, who's eager to enlist her in his campaign to get to the White House.

That would be John McCain, of course.

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 04:56 AM
Not only did Clinton suggest that Obama was behind calling Hillary a "white racist," he made matters worse in the follow-up by only apologizing for his language (the word "scumbag").

In other words, he stood behind his critique of the article AND, by implication, his theory of Obama as the mastermind of the alleged "white racist" charges against Hillary.

By the way, did anyone in the church actually call Hillary a "white racist?" The priest, Phleger, certainly didn't.

To clarify what Bob correctly described:

They had all these people standing up in this church cheering, calling Hillary a white racist, and he [OBAMA] didn't do anything about it. The first day he [OBAMA] said 'Ah, ah, ah well.' Because that's what they do – he [OBAMA] gets other people to slime her.

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 05:27 AM
Bob raises an interesting question of journalistic ethics.

Fowler has twice broken major national stories in her role as an undercover journalist.

Her quasi-credentialed status allowed her to do unconventional (rogue?) reporting that in both cases reported news we would otherwise not have known.

She gave us raw stories on Obama and Bill Clinton before either had the chance to spin and finesse them into banalities.

Fair or not fair? I think she reported fairly. Neither Clinton nor Obama had any reasonable expectation of privacy.

Bob makes the point that the NYT wouldn't countenance such a breach of journalistic ethics. But is it ethics or merely etiquette? Maybe "citizen journalists" have no particular reason to abide by all the NYT standards. Maybe -- like Michael Moore -- they can contribute to a freer press by pushing the envelope a little.

If anyone got a raw deal from a journalist it might have been Samantha Power, who tried to retract her "monster" comment about Hillary by claiming it was "off the record" two seconds after she had uttered it, as opposed to two seconds prior to uttering it. That was sketchier to me.

graz
06-04-2008, 05:51 AM
Fair or not fair? I think she reported fairly. Neither Clinton nor Obama had any reasonable expectation of privacy.


I agree and begrudgingly concede that Mickey made this point in the diavlog.
He even won me over a little today with his humorous sign off.
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:50:17&out=00:51:39

harkin
06-04-2008, 07:14 AM
Good job Bob, rescued critters make the best pets.

Dog looks nervous. We expect updates as he settles in.

And extra credit for thinking Smokin' Joe and not some head-case shrink when you heard 'Frazier'.

Nice Yuban smack, Mickey.

Eastwest
06-04-2008, 07:37 AM
Yeah, it's scary, thinking of what Hillary might yet do.

If you're hunting around looking for something "scary," consider this:

Ever since Iowa, BHO and his supporters have been acidly dismissive, derisive, and insulting of HRC and anyone not a BO true believer, and no, those who were merely "skeptics" were not spared any of this liberally-distributed bile.

The consequence: HRC supporters and BO skeptics will simply stay home in droves, probably not bothering to vote at all.

Guess what? People don't like being insulted and having their intelligence not just questioned but out-and-out derided for month on end.

So what's scary is NOT what HRC herself will do, but what 8 million pissed-off recipients of such condescension and derision won't do.

Jeffrey Toobin pulled a nice one tonight. Rather than just give HRC a little space to absorb the implications and figure out a way to play nice, he sneeringly referred to the Clintons on national television as "deranged narcissists." I think BO acolytes fail to recognize every time they do that, they're not bruising HRC (who's used to it by now), they're actually telling fully half of the Democratic electorate to go "F" themselves because they're cretins.

This will "come home to roost" for BHO. I can assure you I'm not alone in reflecting: "You know, you guys are so damn nasty, I don't think I even want to waste a stamp on my mail-in ballot. Good luck BHO with your election thing cuz, far as I'm concerned, you can just go do it on your own."

Now I'm not even a particulary avid HRC supporter. (In fact, I could spend about half a dozen hours criticizing BOTH HRC and BHO for what I know neither of them has the "intestinal fortitude" to deliver in the way of "big-vision" improvements to a severely-crippled and generally rather savage political culture.) It's just that I can't help sympathizing with the underdog when mobs of intoxicated thugs gather round and apply the "boot-heel in the face" therapy night-after-night and month-after-month. I don't want anything to do with it. It's mob tribalism, it's mean-spirited, and it's un-American.

Now multiply that sentiment by about 8 million Democratic non-voters and see what your prospects look like in November.

Good night and good luck.

EW

(BTW, consider reviewing the Cass Sunstein "echo-chamber" analysis. It's definitely operative on this site.)

harkin
06-04-2008, 08:32 AM
Bob,

Your Woody Allen memory I'm pretty sure is incorrect. Grammy Hall is definitely portrayed (at least in Alvie's mind) as a 'classic Jew-hater' (he appears momentarily as she ponders him with Hassidic/orthodox beard and barb) but the 'did you eat?', 'no, Jew?' is at another moment in the film with Tony Roberts and it's relayed second-hand.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 08:48 AM
By the way, did anyone in the church actually call Hillary a "white racist?" The priest, Phleger, certainly didn't.

Good point! Fleger is another example of how these things get exagerated beyond any reasonable interpretation of the actual remarks. Same thing that happened with Wright. While Fleger may have said one thing that was very mildly objectionable, the rest of it was just dumb, over the top punditry. (Brendan said it best when he said he was doing a bad Shock Jock impression.) The one semi-regrettable thing Fleger said, I think, was the "I'm white! I'm entitled!" While I disagree that Hillary believes her whiteness entitles her to the presidency, this remark hardly justifies the massive outrage.

Of course, we all know the outrage is fake.

Conservatives like to put on their fainting shows and pretend they are so very sensitive and easily offended, but I think everyone understands it's just an act. I remember when I was four and my sister was five, she would sometimes fake a crying fit so she could go to our mom and get a favorable ruling on some dispute. This is what the Republican Party now does on the national stage. They have entire media arms and public relations branches set up just to decide when to start howling and for how long. They have decided that the role of the wounded toddler suits them best when attempting to appeal to the public and advance their party's interests.

This is one reason Democrats will never be able to compete with Republicans: we simply have too much respect for ourselves to behave that way. ;-D

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 08:58 AM
Bob,

Your Woody Allen memory I'm pretty sure is incorrect. Grammy Hall is definitely portrayed (at least in Alvie's mind) as a 'classic Jew-hater' (he appears momentarily as she ponders him with Hassidic/orthodox beard and barb) but the 'did you eat?', 'no, Jew?' is at another moment in the film with Tony Roberts and it's relayed second-hand.

And if there is anyone reading these comments who has not seen the movie in question, Annie Hall, they should definitely make a point of watching it. It's one of the great cinematic works of our time.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075686/

dzman49
06-04-2008, 09:41 AM
I'm with that LGM commenter.

MoDo (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/opinion/04dowd.html) had a good line, too:

Before "acceptance" comes "bargaining". On the other hand, they've already been through anger, denial, etc.

laura
06-04-2008, 10:08 AM
We should prefer "vertebra of the week", since Bob is adding one bone at a time. Vertebra is first declension so vertebrae would be more than one.

Thus Spoke Elvis
06-04-2008, 11:24 AM
The visceral "I love America because it is my country" is the stupid America. Why should you automatically love a country because of the accident of your birth. You should value certain principles and ideas.


The point could just as easily be made that it's stupid to love your family.

I love my life, and I would not be who I am if I wasn't born in the United States. Isn't that sufficient reason to love my country? It seems to me to be no less rational a reason to love than anything else.

EDIT: I should read other posts before I reply. TwinSwords already said almost the exact same thing.

JIM3CH
06-04-2008, 11:28 AM
She still has one more card to play..., divorce?

Thus Spoke Elvis
06-04-2008, 11:45 AM
Yes. To be human is to sometimes be irrational. You have to work at being rational.

Why is it not sufficient to say I love the experiences/people that have brought value and happiness to my life, and I therefore value them more than things that have not brought me value or happiness?

Objectively speaking, there are many people in the world who share similar qualities as my parents, siblings, friends, spouse, etc. The only difference is that I have not had the same interactions with these other persons. Does that therefore make my love and preference for my immediate friends and family "irrational"? And if you believe such love is irrational, are you saying that it is therefore illegitimate?

If you aren't making this argument, then I fail to see how you could believe that a person's love for his country -- the place that shaped his life -- is unjustifiable.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 11:47 AM
The point could just as easily be made that it's stupid to love your family.

I love my life, and I would not be who I am if I wasn't born in the United States. Isn't that sufficient reason to love my country? It seems to me to be no less rational a reason to love than anything else.

EDIT: I should read other posts before I reply. TwinSwords already said almost the exact same thing.

But I think you added a couple of useful points, first about the "rationality" of loving your family, and second about how your country has defined to a significant extend who you are as a person. Not to say you wouldn't be a fully realized human being if you lived in another 1st world nation, but you likely would not be the same fully realized human being.

A lot of people rail against various things that I just think are human nature and which it is fruitless to rail against. Like, loving your country, or believing in God. I'm basically an atheist, but I don't get all worked up about religion per se because (a) religion is not inherently evil, and (b) believing in God is obviously integral to human nature. Hating people who believe in god is sort of like hating human beings. None of this is to say that religion cannot exert a negative influence; it certainly can, and has. But even then, I blame the people, not the religion. The religion (in those cases) is just an excuse for a lot of the evil that people choose to do.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 12:02 PM
EW:

I don't think you have a case. The race for the nomination is over, and all Clinton is doing now by refusing to concede gracefully is aggravating the divisiveness.

I think you're overgeneralizing about Obama's supporters and dead wrong about the candidate himself. Obama, and all of his campaign spokespeople, have been nothing but courteous and gracious down the homestretch. The overwhelming majority of the big pro-Obama blogs have adopted a "let's let the primaries play out" attitude. It's a mistake to hear a few talking heads say something and claim that the same attitude applies to every single person who supports Obama. It's also a mistake to think that Clinton should be immune from criticism for her, and her campaign's, conduct.

Finally, as far as an echo chamber goes, I think you're wrong about that, too. This board has been noticeably free of Clinton bashing for weeks now. It's ridiculous of you to expect that there won't be anything said, but if you want to see a real difference, head on over to, say, NoQuarter and compare their comments section with this one.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 12:07 PM
We should prefer "vertebra of the week", since Bob is adding one bone at a time. Vertebra is first declension so vertebrae would be more than one.

I'm with you, Laura.

Nitpickers unite!

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 12:16 PM
Patriotism and Nationalism are stupid.

This thread reminded me of a poem:

Sir Walter Scott. 1771–1832

Patriotism

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 12:29 PM
Along that line of thought, here's Rosa Brooks (http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/xxfactor/archive/2008/06/03/hillary-for-veep.aspx):

Haha! That's hilarious. I missed this post earlier today for some reason. (They all got marked "read" when I responded to the first one. I've got to get in the habit of avoiding that problem.)

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 12:37 PM
Wonderment:

Bob raises an interesting question of journalistic ethics.

You raise some of the same questions I had. I'm glad Bob and Mickey explored this situation, and I'd like to hear more discussion about it.

As I understand it, Fowler did not identify herself as a reporter before speaking to Bill Clinton. Having been raised by a career newspaperwoman, I find it impossible not to think she was wrong to do that. If Fowler had a right to expect that Clinton knew who she was, this would undercut my feeling that she was being unethical.

On the Obama "bitter" case, I don't know the details. If she was standing well away from him when she recorded his remarks, that seems like fair game -- he was speaking in a semi-public environment, it seems to me. If she was in a close group right near him, then I'm a little more skeptical, especially if she baited him into saying what she recorded.

She gave us raw stories on Obama and Bill Clinton before either had the chance to spin and finesse them into banalities.

For what it's worth, I think these things were banalities and got magnified way out of proportion. I'm not sure what it adds to quote a line or two, when you know that opponents of that person will try to say that such a quote represents the whole person. Maybe there is a little bit of positive information revealed to show that Obama is a little out of touch with certain kinds of people or that Bill Clinton has a short fuse, but the way these things play out, the out-of-touch or bad temper aspects are so distorted that it seems like a net loss -- more disinformation than information.

Bob makes the point that the NYT wouldn't countenance such a breach of journalistic ethics. But is it ethics or merely etiquette? Maybe "citizen journalists" have no particular reason to abide by all the NYT standards. Maybe -- like Michael Moore -- they can contribute to a freer press by pushing the envelope a little.

There's something to this, which is why I think the issue of whether "citizen journalists" should adhere to the same set of standards should be discussed more. My immediate sense is this: If bloggers want to be treated like journalists as time marches on; e.g., getting press passes and access and being covered by shield laws, it seems to me that they'd do better to accept the same ground rules.

But there is something to be said for getting a little more truth out there.

If anyone got a raw deal from a journalist it might have been Samantha Power, who tried to retract her "monster" comment about Hillary by claiming it was "off the record" two seconds after she had uttered it, as opposed to two seconds prior to uttering it. That was sketchier to me.

I think Power didn't get a raw deal by having the "monster" comment quoted. She knew she was on the record. (The reaction, and her being forced to resign, did seem ridiculous.)

This case strikes me as a conflict between "letter of the law" and "spirit of the law." I think the reporter had the right, under journalistic guidelines, to refuse the requested retraction, but I also think the reporter could have given Power a chance to rephrase. Thomas Boswell, a great sports reporter and columnist, talked about this in one of his books. He said that when he was on the record with someone who said something and then asked that it not be quoted, his thoughts were these (paraphrasing): The rules say: you knew you were on the record, so if you said it, I can quote it. But really, in the grand scheme of things, what does one line matter, especially when the interviewee immediately wishes it hadn't been said? I usually say, well, maybe there's some other way you could express the same thought?

With the implication that the same question had better be answered with the same essential point, or the original quote may be used at his discretion.

I think that there's a tension that will always be present in this regard. Every reporter wants to have the scoop. Dishy anecdotes sell well. So there is a lot of careerism at work here, on the part of journalists, "citizen" or not.

I never wanted to follow in my mother's footsteps, because the thought of being pushy and making people uncomfortable with my questions is just not something I can stomach, unless I'm predisposed to dislike the person and have an agenda to get him or her. Therefore, I might be the wrong person to opine on where the boundaries lie for cases such as these.. That said, those are my thoughts.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 01:03 PM
First of all, I think Brendan's response to your post is excellent and I would sign on to everything he said. Despite that, however, I will now contradict myself a bit below:

If you're hunting around looking for something "scary," consider this:

Ever since Iowa, BHO and his supporters have been acidly dismissive, derisive, and insulting of HRC and anyone not a BO true believer, and no, those who were merely "skeptics" were not spared any of this liberally-distributed bile.

The consequence: HRC supporters and BO skeptics will simply stay home in droves, probably not bothering to vote at all.

Guess what? People don't like being insulted and having their intelligence not just questioned but out-and-out derided for month on end.
I guess it's possible that the BO people really have been so acidly dismissive; maybe I've just missed it because I never identified myself as a Hillary partisan. If I had so identified myself, then it's possible I'd be as sensitive as you are to the slights and insults you have so keenly felt.

I was never a BO booster. I was a Democratic Party booster. I learned a long time ago that your preferred primary candidate rarely prevails. Developing an emotional attachment to one candidate early in the process when there is a large field of contenders is a prescription for frustration. So I don't do it anymore. Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Biden, or any of the others would make excellent candidates. Point being: I don't think I've missed all the insults and slights that have stung you so severely simply because I was a BO partisan. But I will grant the possibility you have picked up on something that I have not noticed. If that's the case, I regret that you (and others) have been mistreated and disrespected.




So what's scary is NOT what HRC herself will do, but what 8 million pissed-off recipients of such condescension and derision won't do.
Yeah, what those 8,000,000 angry voters won't do is scary, too, but Hillary can still do a lot of damage by herself. There are now two possibilities:

(1) She's playing a game of chicken, perhaps to secure more power and influence for herself, but plans to yank the wheel away at the last minute and avoid wrecking the party. Instead, she will eventually unite the party, heal the rift, support the nominee, and help win the election.

(2) She's playing a game of chicken but won't turn the wheel away, preferring a head on collision in Denver over a graceful concession that would heal the party and secure a Democratic victory in November.

I have NO IDEA which of these she plans.

Eastwest: If it was up to you, which course of action would you recommend for Hillary? Which course is in the best interest of the nation, and the world? At TalkLeft and No Quarter, they want Hillary to take it to Denver. They are also praying for a damaging tape to surface that can be used to destroy Obama.



Jeffrey Toobin pulled a nice one tonight. Rather than just give HRC a little space to absorb the implications and figure out a way to play nice, he sneeringly referred to the Clintons on national television as "deranged narcissists." I think BO acolytes fail to recognize every time they do that, they're not bruising HRC (who's used to it by now), they're actually telling fully half of the Democratic electorate to go "F" themselves because they're cretins.
You have a point. It's amazing to me that there are still so many people behind her, when it's evident she lost the race. I think many of them are low information voters and they don't realize she has effectively no chance to prevail without a superdelegate coup. (Of course, this does not include you, and I in no way mean to suggest you are a low-information voter or that lack of information explains your position; likewise, there are low information Obama supporters at least as numerous as low information Hillary supporters. I'm just trying to understand why so many Democrats stay behind her AFTER it became evident she could not win.)




This will "come home to roost" for BHO. I can assure you I'm not alone in reflecting: "You know, you guys are so damn nasty, I don't think I even want to waste a stamp on my mail-in ballot. Good luck BHO with your election thing cuz, far as I'm concerned, you can just go do it on your own."
I wish Hillary Democrats would make better use of their time than threatening the party and holding the world and the nation hostage to their own preferences. I understand they are outraged.

But Brendan found some excellent data from Ruy Teixera (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/06/03/roundtable/print.html) that he posted on No Quarter (http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/06/03/17-s-dakota-county-commissioners-do-not-endorse-the-presumptive-nominee/):

Salon: One of the concerns that our readers have, as it looks like we’re nearing the end of [the nominating] process, though we’ve often thought that before, is the poll numbers that show the supporters of one candidate who will not support the other. I wondered if those statistics seemed at all unusual to any of you in relation to any other election cycle.

Teixeira: The answer to that is no! We’ve got that one, we’ve got that one nailed, thanks to Gary Langer of ABC News who compiled these data. Check out these data: In February 1992, only 63 percent of Democrats who didn’t support Bill Clinton said they’d vote for him; in 1996, 66 percent of the Republicans who didn’t support Bob Dole said they’d vote for him in the general election; in 2000, 64 percent of the people who supported Bill Bradley said they’d vote for Al Gore. And what is it today? It’s 64 percent of the people who support Clinton say they’ll support Obama. Exactly the same. Historical norms.




Now I'm not even a particulary avid HRC supporter. (In fact, I could spend about half a dozen hours criticizing BOTH HRC and BHO for what I know neither of them has the "intestinal fortitude" to deliver in the way of "big-vision" improvements to a severely-crippled and generally rather savage political culture.) It's just that I can't help sympathizing with the underdog when mobs of intoxicated thugs gather round and apply the "boot-heel in the face" therapy night-after-night and month-after-month. I don't want anything to do with it. It's mob tribalism, it's mean-spirited, and it's un-American.

Now multiply that sentiment by about 8 million Democratic non-voters and see what your prospects look like in November.
I just don't understand that level of alienation and hostility. If the "boot in the face" has really been so bad, I'm amazed I haven't noticed it.

Still, I wonder what practical, rational course you would recommend for Barack and Hillary, assuming all the personal feelings and emotions could be drained away. If we were planning our next steps strictly on the basis of wise decision-making rather than festering outrage, what would be the right course of action?

JerseyBoy
06-04-2008, 01:21 PM
Bob, please. The U.S. government did not intentionally infect blacks in the Tuskeegee experiment. They were already infected on their own, and the government failed to treat them. Still outrageous of course, but let's be clear.

ohcomeon
06-04-2008, 01:45 PM
But by not explaining the nature and cause of their illness, and by keeping them untreated, their wives and children were also infected. In fact, the government still provides free treatment to the children of this experiment. This went on for 40 years and the government only apologized in 1997. I can certainly see why black people feel the government has no limits on what it might do to them.
http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/jul/tuskegee/

Sgt Schultz
06-04-2008, 01:56 PM
The first 2 minutes of this diavlog show how a great intellectual thinker and dispenser of visionary wisdom can be reduced to a juvenile, babbling idiot, by a dog.
Yeah, and then @ about 13:00 Bob misleads the viewership to the POV that Wiki provides a "comprehensive view of [a] person" - yuck, eewwww.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 02:10 PM
Yeah, and then @ about 13:00 Bob misleads the viewership to the POV that Wiki provides a "comprehensive view of [a] person" - yuck, eewwww.

Yeah, I think you missed his point. You might want to watch that again.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 02:14 PM
Hillary Clinton, today:

I know Senator Obama understands what is at stake here. It has been an honor to contest primaries with him. It is an honor to call him my friend. And let me be very clear: I know that Senator Obama will be a good friend to Israel.

From TalkLeft (http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/6/4/125154/2725).

Updated: Video of Hillary's remarks (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBOjQqLcBv8&eurl=http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/hillary_obama_will_be_a_good_f.php).

look
06-04-2008, 02:37 PM
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11598?in=00:47:24&out=47:38

jh in sd
06-04-2008, 03:01 PM
Quoting Epicurus-"You have to work at being rational."

Sometimes you have to work harder at being human.

handle
06-04-2008, 03:02 PM
What's with Hillary? That woman actually delivered a victory speech tonight. She's out of her mind.
:

What are you a sore winner? you guys are supposed to be on cloud nine, uniters not dividers, remember? She wants the veep spot and she's playing her cards close to her chest.
She is a very good politician, who's destroyed his supporters bent that he was a slam dunk for the nomination.
Obama's followers need to play it like Obama right now: cool... 'cause without the rest of the party and many more votes, the slam-dunk-for-the-whitehouse bent might just go away too.
Don't forget the Dems are 0 and 2 for the millennium so far....

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 03:14 PM
She still has one more card to play..., divorce?

I don't think Hilary will divorce Bill. They are a classically codependent couple.
I anything I would say that they are the kind of married couple that will die within days or even hours of each other in old age.

Nobody knows what goes on in a marriage but I suspect that Hilary and Bill actually love each other in their own way.

I'm not a Clinton supporter I didn't vote for either of them. I just think that they are a couple to stay.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 03:32 PM
What are you a sore winner? you guys are supposed to be on cloud nine, uniters not dividers, remember? She wants the veep spot and she's playing her cards close to her chest.
She is a very good politician, who's destroyed his supporters bent that he was a slam dunk for the nomination.
Obama's followers need to play it like Obama right now: cool... 'cause without the rest of the party and many more votes, the slam-dunk-for-the-whitehouse bent might just go away too.
Don't forget the Dems are 0 and 2 for the millennium so far....

Good points. You're right about much of what you said. The only exception I would take is that you are speculating about her motives ("she wants the VP spot and she's playing her cards close to her chest").

If you're right about that, and I think there's a good chance you are, then I will stand corrected and properly chastened.

What I'm worried about is the other speculation: She wants the P spot and she's going to take it to Denver, damaging Obama as much as possible en route.

I pray you're right. Speculation aside, everything you said is wise.

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 03:41 PM
As I understand it, Fowler did not identify herself as a reporter before speaking to Bill Clinton. Having been raised by a career newspaperwoman, I find it impossible not to think she was wrong to do that.

Well, maybe it's the anachronistically-clueless Clinton here: he doesn't understand that new-fadangled Internet thang. I mean, you or I would assume everything we said or did at a public event could be You-tubed and go viral within an hour.

But I don't buy the myth of the out-of-touch old guy. I think it's more likely that Clinton -- who, after all, hangs out with Bill Gates -- is not that ignorant.

The parsimonious explanation has its advantages: He just loses it sometimes and says shit he shouldn't. Loose cannon.

On the Obama "bitter" case, I don't know the details.

My understanding is that Obama's handlers said, "No press allowed," and all the sheep media obeyed. Fowler got creative, bought her own ticket and blogged. Her only ethical lapse was that she waited a couple of days, because she was a heartfelt Obama fan.

For what it's worth, I think these things were banalities and got magnified way out of proportion.

Well, we can disagree about that. I'm not saying she deserves a Pulitzer Prize. But we can imagine other circumstances where a Fowler type journalist would make huge news. Hypothetical example: Fake Journalist: "Hi Barack. I'm a friend of John Smith, a guy you briefly dated in college. Barack: "Oh, do tell John I send my love. I wish I could give him a call, but the homophobic press would ruin me now."

If bloggers want to be treated like journalists as time marches on; e.g., getting press passes and access and being covered by shield laws, it seems to me that they'd do better to accept the same ground rules.

That's a good point, and the ones who want the credentials may have to play by the rules of etiquette. But do the rules of etiquette always have a firm grounding in ethics?

Public figures like Clinton looking for privacy shouldn't have to row out to the middle of a lake and whisper, as Bob imagines, but they neither should they assume they won't be quoted on ropelines or when giving fundraising speeches.

JIM3CH
06-04-2008, 03:48 PM
I suspect that their marriage has been more about political expediency than anything else. Given that they are both consummate political strategists, and will go to extremes to win, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to me that divorce might be a mutually agreeable tactic that they could employ to assure that she gets a place on the ticket.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 03:53 PM
I suspect that their marriage has been more about political expediency than anything else. Given that they are both consummate political strategists, and will go to extremes to win, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to me that divorce might be a mutually agreeable tactic that they could employ to assure that she gets a place on the ticket.

Oh brother.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 03:56 PM
I don't agree, at least not completely. While there are exceptions, treatment of Clinton by the overwhelming majority of Obama supporters has been quite civil over the last month of the campaign. It is now to the point where Obama has won under the rules of the process, and Clinton is refusing to concede. She keeps making statements to the effect that she's all about unity and will do everything in her power to help Obama win, but her actions completely belie that.

It's not as though last night was a complete shocker -- the math has been inarguable for weeks. She stayed close, but she wasn't ever able to regain the lead after March. It's like being down 20 in the fourth quarter, making up 18 points with a furious close, having the final whistle blow, and refusing to leave the court.

It's a crock to try to put this all on the head of Obama and his supporters. It is not his or our responsibility to indulge Clinton's irrationality and self-centeredness until the convention. It's time for us to focus on winning the election, and all Clinton is doing is hurting that effort.

If the claim is that she's trying to bull her way on the ticket, well, that's politics and the struggle for power, I suppose. I grant it wouldn't be the first time such an effort was made. However, if someone is truly committed to the good of the party and the good of the country, as Clinton claims to be, it's the wrong approach. If Obama wants to pick her, or if she wants to put pressure on privately, that's fine (although not my hope). But what she should be doing, publicly, is two-fold: First, make a clear statement that she conceded, or at least, pull a Romney and make a clear statement that she has suspended her campaign. Second, start talking to her die-hard supporters in unambiguous language to remind them that their enemy is John McCain, not Barack Obama.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 04:10 PM
Wonderment:

I guess we just see things a little differently here. I grant that a reality of modern life is that it is a public figure's responsibility to be perpetually aware of the possibility that somewhere, a recording device is live. Nonetheless, I think there are principles to which those who want to call themselves responsible journalists should adhere.

My understanding is that Obama's handlers said, "No press allowed," and all the sheep media obeyed. Fowler got creative, bought her own ticket and blogged. Her only ethical lapse was that she waited a couple of days, because she was a heartfelt Obama fan.

Of that's what happened, I'd say it was slimy. At best, it follows the "rules" guiding a gossip columnist. Were I Fowler's editor, I would not have used her recording, and I truly do not say that because Obama was the one who was hurt. People should be allowed to let their hair down in private. If the event was closed to the media, it was closed to the media.

Now, had there been something of real importance, like Obama proclaiming plans for a nasty trick to be played, or admitting to something criminal, or acting bizarrely, then I'd say the story/recording could be run. Just recording idle chit-chat that contained a turn of phrase that some people could conceivably be offended by, though? No. I wouldn't have.

But do the rules of etiquette always have a firm grounding in ethics?

Not necessarily, and I'd even go along with "rarely."

However, what constitutes proper journalistic behavior seems to me to go well beyond "etiquette." I think it's more a case of an agreed-upon set of conventions, or ground rules, or guidelines that have long been understood. And I do think that breaking these, whatever you want to call them, is an ethical lapse.

handle
06-04-2008, 04:22 PM
I don't agree, at least not completely. While there are exceptions, treatment of Clinton by the overwhelming majority of Obama supporters has been quite civil over the last month of the campaign. It is now to the point where Obama has won under the rules of the process, and Clinton is refusing to concede. She keeps making statements to the effect that she's all about unity and will do everything in her power to help Obama win, but her actions completely belie that.

It's not as though last night was a complete shocker -- the math has been inarguable for weeks. She stayed close, but she wasn't ever able to regain the lead after March. It's like being down 20 in the fourth quarter, making up 18 points with a furious close, having the final whistle blow, and refusing to leave the court.

It's a crock to try to put this all on the head of Obama and his supporters. It is not his or our responsibility to indulge Clinton's irrationality and self-centeredness until the convention. It's time for us to focus on winning the election, and all Clinton is doing is hurting that effort.

If the claim is that she's trying to bull her way on the ticket, well, that's politics and the struggle for power, I suppose. I grant it wouldn't be the first time such an effort was made. However, if someone is truly committed to the good of the party and the good of the country, as Clinton claims to be, it's the wrong approach.

See? you guys are bitter! WTF? Poor you, she didn't see the vision and get out of your way, so it's damaging. I don't agree with your sports analogy since the real whistle doesn't blow till the convention, and if she's not giving away any power till then, I don't see it as particularly "irrational". Just as I don't see vetting Obama's vulnerabilities as bad for the party, as the right wingnuts are going to do much, much, worse. Representing close to 50 percent of the Dems doesn't play as completely self centered to me either. Rather, I see it as the centrist arm of the party is making sure their voice is heard this time, and serving as an inconvenient reminder that the electoral college has historically proved to be a weakness for the Dems.
And whats so bad about helping you understand we need way more votes than both candidates got in the primaries put together?
Smell the flowers while you can Obomniacs! This is just a taste of how ugly American politics can get, and the idea that he had already transcended that has been shattered, and for our own good..

Eastwest
06-04-2008, 04:25 PM
Eastwest: If it was up to you, which course of action would you recommend for Hillary? Which course is in the best interest of the nation, and the world?
...
Still, I wonder what practical, rational course you would recommend for Barack and Hillary, assuming all the personal feelings and emotions could be drained away. If we were planning our next steps strictly on the basis of wise decision-making rather than festering outrage, what would be the right course of action?

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

My recommendation for BHO?: Waste no time in handing the VP pick to HRC and insist that everybody from Michelle on down treat her with great courtesy, valuing the genuine fact that she can deliver what he most definitely does not have and will not otherwise be able to get: universal Democratic-base support in November. (And, believe me, he'll need it.)

As for what HRC should do?: She's got it about right. She has for some time now backed off pointing out BHO's fairly long list of very real faults and deficits. Then, after he reached the magic number yesterday, she was duly complimentary without giving away the power she still retains. Then today she used her unique position to assure the Israel lobby that they should trust BHO.

Having done that, I feel she should just clear her calendar and say nothing. She doesn't owe anybody anything so long as the BHO people haven't climbed down off their imperious arrogance and come to her with a genuine recognition of their now very, very vulnerable General-Election position.

Absent the quick delivery of the VP-slot guarantee from BHO, HRC deserves a nice long vacation to marvelously-enjoyable, luxurious, and soul-soothing tropical locations with a jumbo-jet full of her fundraisers, operatives, and loyalists, departing with a big, wide smile, a wave, and the chuckling comment: "Y'all have fun now!" (Sort of a post-primary party.)

As for me, no, I won't vote for McCain. But, unless BHO gives HRC both respect and the VP slot, I sure as hell won't vote for him either. If BHO and his followers feel fine about flipping off HRC, then, OK, I've had enough of that and I've had enough of him.

If they do unite on the same ticket, then BHO should immediately give her prime responsibility for the health-care issue and segue without delay away from his poor judgment on this matter and accede to HRC's insistence that coverage be genuinely universal.

Even with this "dream ticket" consisting of two very imperfect and vision-impoverished candidates, winning would still not be the least bit assured. But if BHO thinks he can just walk away and expect her to clamber on after like just another groupie, campaigning her heart out for him, he's just plain nuts and deserves to lose as a function of having yet again made a serious judgment error.

EW

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 04:25 PM
I suspect that their marriage has been more about political expediency than anything else. Given that they are both consummate political strategists, and will go to extremes to win, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to me that divorce might be a mutually agreeable tactic that they could employ to assure that she gets a place on the ticket.

Perhaps but I you are correct but I don't think so.
Hilary and Bill have been married a long time and have gone through a lot together. I agree that they are consummate politicians however I sense that their marriage is something more and that they are a team.

Again I didn't vote for either of them (I'm not a Democrat) I just think that there is something more there than politics. I suspect that a lot of Hilary's women supporters are her supporters because they see what I see.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 04:25 PM
I don't agree, at least not completely. While there are exceptions, treatment of Clinton by the overwhelming majority of Obama supporters has been quite civil over the last month of the campaign. It is now to the point where Obama has won under the rules of the process, and Clinton is refusing to concede. She keeps making statements to the effect that she's all about unity and will do everything in her power to help Obama win, but her actions completely belie that.

I probably wasn't as clear as I should have been. I did not mean to suggest I agreed with any claim that Clinton has been mistreated or Obama supporters uncivil. (My detailed answer to this was to Eastwest, earlier, when I said I haven't seen it, but maybe I'm just not perceptive to it since I'm not a Hillary partisan.)

I agree with everything you say above, except that Obama won't actually "win" until he is formally nominated at the convention. It disturbs me that Clinton leaves open the question of whether this will happen without a fight. If Clinton would bow out, we could call Barack the nominee. But unfortunately, I think we will have to wait until the convention before we can say he has actually won the nomination.



It's not as though last night was a complete shocker -- the math has been inarguable for weeks. She stayed close, but she wasn't ever able to regain the lead after March. It's like being down 20 in the fourth quarter, making up 18 points with a furious close, having the final whistle blow, and refusing to leave the court.
Good analogy. Clinton definitely has leverage and she's definitely using it. There are two possibilities:

(1) She's holding out for concessions in negotiations but will ultimately work to heal the rift.
(2) She's planning to detonate a bomb at the heart of the Democratic Party, in August at the convention.

I have no idea what she plans to do. I fear the latter. When I hear Bill's unhinged raving about Obama planting the Catholic priest and the Purdum piece, I fear they are going to blow up the party. But as handle said, the Clintons are crafty politicians and could just be giving us all the scare of our lives to secure more power for themselves.



It's a crock to try to put this all on the head of Obama and his supporters. It is not his or our responsibility to indulge Clinton's irrationality and self-centeredness until the convention. It's time for us to focus on winning the election, and all Clinton is doing is hurting that effort.
I agree with the first sentence. I agree it's not his or our responsibility to appease the Hillary supporters, but I also agree with handle that it would be in our self-interest to open the door and make them feel like part of the team. As you said yesterday on No Quarter: build bridges. The one unpleasant and inescapable fact of this long campaign has been that Hillary was earning 50% of the votes (or more) even long past the point where it was obvious she could not win without a super delegate coup.



If the claim is that she's trying to bull her way on the ticket, well, that's politics and the struggle for power, I suppose. I grant it wouldn't be the first time such an effort was made. However, if someone is truly committed to the good of the party and the good of the country, as Clinton claims to be, it's the wrong approach.
I totally agree. But maybe I'm wrong. I'll admit I've been all over the place with this situation. Sometimes I think this is an ingenious strategy cooked up by both camps to strengthen both candidates, energize voters, keep the media focused on our two winners, and so on. Other times I'm convinced Hillary has lost her mind and is going to take down the party if she doesn't get to be president. The truth is that none of us really knows what Hillary is thinking.

If you think of this in Rovian terms of projecting the aura of a winner, I think you could make an argument that the long campaign has established Hillary and Obama BOTH as winners. If they were to combine forces, I think they would be unstoppable.

Not saying I endorse Hillary as VP; just that it would be a powerful ticket. For balance I will throw in the extra thought that having Hillary as VP could be a major liability for an Obama presidency.

themightypuck
06-04-2008, 04:31 PM
I love Bob Wright but I don't even know where he's coming from here.

handle
06-04-2008, 04:32 PM
Good points. You're right about much of what you said. The only exception I would take is that you are speculating about her motives ("she wants the VP spot and she's playing her cards close to her chest").

If you're right about that, and I think there's a good chance you are, then I will stand corrected and properly chastened.

What I'm worried about is the other speculation: She wants the P spot and she's going to take it to Denver, damaging Obama as much as possible en route.

I pray you're right. Speculation aside, everything you said is wise.

Thanks... it's still Miller time (yuk?) for everybody.. I feel the Clintons may be ruthless, which, in the face of Bushies, I think is a marvelous thing, but they are not as crazy as often portrayed. I HOPE she wants the VP spot, and I HOPE Obama is open to it, because if nothing else, it would prove he really can roll with a lot of class.

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 04:42 PM
Yeah. Well ... MoDo. You know.

Wow Brendan you let MoDo off the hook with "Bambie" and "Barry", how come?

On the other hand MoDo is my favorite NYTimes columnist too so I understand.

handle
06-04-2008, 04:50 PM
Bob,

Your Woody Allen memory I'm pretty sure is incorrect. Grammy Hall is definitely portrayed (at least in Alvie's mind) as a 'classic Jew-hater' (he appears momentarily as she ponders him with Hassidic/orthodox beard and barb) but the 'did you eat?', 'no, Jew?' is at another moment in the film with Tony Roberts and it's relayed second-hand.

Why'd he say that?

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 04:59 PM
However, what constitutes proper journalistic behavior seems to me to go well beyond "etiquette." I think it's more a case of an agreed-upon set of conventions, or ground rules, or guidelines that have long been understood. And I do think that breaking these, whatever you want to call them, is an ethical lapse.

Sure, if you are on staff at the WaPo, undoubtedly you have regular workships on ethics and carefully read the guidelines, and you may have a master's degree from Columbia in journalism, or you interned with Bob Woodward and were mentored by whomever.

But if you're Michael Moore grabbing a camera and hiring some college students to help, or if you're a pretty good writer wiling to pay your own travel expenses get up every morning at 6 a.m. in order to follow Clinton around the country and file your story for HuffPo, why should you be expected to behave like the person who will get fired from the NYT for violating the dress code?

Some journalists like Hunter Thompson/ Tom Wolff/ Norman Mailer/ made up their own rules and invented new forms of journalism back in the 60s and 70s. Moore did it in the 90s with movies. Fowler and hundreds like her are doing it for the wireless 24/7 audio-video Internet/Ipod/Cellphone.

Were the soldiers who took pictures of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghreib photo-journalists? I want soldier-citizen-journalists to document and publish abuses of human rights, even if they violate all the rules.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 05:07 PM
Why'd he say that?

Here's the part of the script where this happened:

EXT. MANHATTAN STREET-DAY

A pretty Manhattan street with sidewalk trees, brownstones, a school; people
mill about, some strolling and carrying bundles, others buried. The screen
shows the whole length of the sidewalk, a street, and part of the sidewalk
beyond. As the following scene ensues, two pedestrians, indistinguishable in
the distance, come closer and closer toward the camera, recognizable, finally,
as Alvy and his best friend, Rob, deep in conversation. They eventually move
past the camera and off screen. Traffic noise is heard in the background.

ALVY
I distinctly heard it. He muttered under
his breath, "Jew."

ROB
You're crazy!

ALVY
No, I'm not. We were walking off the
tennis court, and you know, he was there
and me and his wife, and he looked at her
and then they both looked at me, and under
his breath he said, "Jew."

ROB
Alvy, you're a total paranoid.


ALVY
Wh- How am I a paran-? Well, I pick up on
those kind o' things. You know, I was
having lunch with some guys from NBC, so
I said ... uh, "Did you eat yet or what?"
and Tom Christie said, "No, didchoo?"
Not, did you, didchoo eat? Jew? No, not
did you eat, but Jew eat? Jew. You get it?
Jew eat?

ROB
Ah, Max, you, uh ...


ALVY
Stop calling me Max.

ROB
Why, Max? It's a good name for you. Max,
you see conspiracies in everything.

ALVY
No, I don't! You know, I was in a record
store. Listen to this -so I know there's
this big tall blond crew-cutted guy and
he's lookin' at me in a funny way and
smiling and he's saying, "Yes, we have a
sale this week on Wagner." Wagner, Max,
Wagner-so I know what he's really tryin'
to tell me very significantly Wagner.

piscivorous
06-04-2008, 05:08 PM
Trinity Spends $21K Per Child For Day Care (http://sweetness-light.com/archive/trinity-church-spends-21k-per-child-for-day-care) And the congregation can still afford to buy Reverend Wright a 1.6 million dollar house. At least it avoids middleclassedness and shoots right for the upper crust.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 05:11 PM
Wow Brendan you let MoDo off the hook with "Bambie" and "Barry", how come?

Because I know who she is (she refers to everybody with unflattering nicknames) and because I can understand context. It's clear to anyone who can read at a level beyond just recognizing words that she connotes something quite different by "Barry" from what, say, David Thomson connotes.

That said, I don't completely let her off the hook. I used to like her stuff, but I think she's lost her game over the past few years. Lately, I almost always find her columns to be without insight or humor. I'd like to see her put on sabbatical, if not completely replaced.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 05:21 PM
Wonderment:

A very good rebuttal, and I pretty much can't argue with any of it, particularly since Hunter Thompson is one of my heroes and Mailer, Wolff, and Moore are all people I admire, at least sometimes.

And you're definitely right about the usefulness of breaking out the photos from Abu Ghraib. (One minor quibble about this example: I did say if I were Fowler's editor, and she had crashed the party and recorded something substantial, then I would have run it.)

It would seem that we're moving to a point of agreeing that there is a class of people different from old-school journalists, who nonetheless deserve to be considered reporters of some sort. And maybe it's the case, then, that this group will evolve its own set of guiding principles.

I will repeat one thing, though -- those bloggers and vloggers who want to be treated like the MSM should probably think about the tradeoffs. Maybe it will turn out that they'll be able to demand all of the privileges while also insisting on their own rules. So far, though, that's not working out very well, and those for whom it is working out best do seem to be playing by more of the old rules.

handle
06-04-2008, 05:27 PM
I thought the Purdum article was pretty pathetic, although I admit I quit reading it when I got to this part:



That's just stupid. Even my 9 year old nephew knows you should address people by their names, and the whole reason we have name tags is to facilitate this practice. I guess it takes a fancy NTY reporter to think this anecdote reveals something about Clinton's character.

It's just such a petty observation, and 14 years old. It sounds like Purdum didn't feel sufficiently loved and admired by Clinton, and he's still upset about it.

Mickey speculated about why Purdum was angry; I think it might be because he spent all this time and effort trying to find dirt on Clinton and came up with nothing.
Exactly, I quit reading in 2003, when they portrayed Chalabi as a potential savior of Iraq. Actually, truth be told it was because I couldn't find the articles amongst the ads.

handle
06-04-2008, 05:32 PM
Because I know who she is (she refers to everybody with unflattering nicknames) and because I can understand context. It's clear to anyone who can read at a level beyond just recognizing words that she connotes something quite different by "Barry" from what, say, David Thomson connotes.

That said, I don't completely let her off the hook. I used to like her stuff, but I think she's lost her game over the past few years. Lately, I almost always find her columns to be without insight or humor. I'd like to see her put on sabbatical, if not completely replaced.

I agree, I thought it was just me, and the fact she was drilling Dems and not Bushies, but there seemed to be some of the former snappy wit missing. Not to mention valid criticism.. "Barry" for gods sake.. in the NYT no less.

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 06:10 PM
(One minor quibble about this example: I did say if I were Fowler's editor, and she had crashed the party and recorded something substantial, then I would have run it.)

Quibble acknowledged.

It would seem that we're moving to a point of agreeing that there is a class of people different from old-school journalists, who nonetheless deserve to be considered reporters of some sort. And maybe it's the case, then, that this group will evolve its own set of guiding principles.

Sure. Different culture, different rules and standards.

I will repeat one thing, though -- those bloggers and vloggers who want to be treated like the MSM should probably think about the tradeoffs. Maybe it will turn out that they'll be able to demand all of the privileges while also insisting on their own rules.

I just saw an example of the quintessential rule-abiders on TV. Brian Williams, Katie Couric and whoever does the Evening News on whatever other network still thinks it's important all got special access to Barack today. Private one-on-one interviews. Why? Because Barack knows precisely what all three will and will not have the corporate guts to ask. They play by the rules, get the access and bore the nation and world to tears while being played like a violin by Barack (or McCain, Clinton, Bush, whoever).

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 06:24 PM
Wonderment:

I just saw an example of the quintessential rule-abiders on TV. Brian Williams, Katie Couric and whoever does the Evening News on whatever other network still thinks it's important all got special access to Barack today. Private one-on-one interviews. Why? Because Barack knows precisely what all three will and will not have the corporate guts to ask. They play by the rules, get the access and bore the nation and world to tears while being played like a violin by Barack (or McCain, Clinton, Bush, whoever).

An excellent point. All I can say in response is: This is why I don't watch TV, and this is why I certainly don't get my news from TV.

When I think of old-school journalism versus new school, I think of newspapers, a few magazines, and NPR as the old school. (Sadly, most people do not share this outlook, it hardly needs saying.) So, that's where I've been coming from in this conversation. I should have made that more clear up front, I realize now, but it's just not part of my consciousness to consider TV when I think about journalism.

Eastwest
06-04-2008, 07:09 PM
Having made my point about how HRC is about to teach BHO a little bit about "math" as it applies to the General Election (After her having been scorned for so long about supposedly being too stupid to understand "the Math")...

I can now barely contain my near gleeful anticipation of the media shots of Barack's spindly figure and comically narrow shoulders outfitted in a slightly over-sized battle helmet (all the better to correctly fit the size of his head) and a flak jacket sure to make him look kind of like a weird bobble-head turtle doll standing on anorexic hind legs.

This alone would be ample to make the "Michael Dukakis in a tank" picture look by comparison like Attila the Hun bearing down, eyes bulging, at full gallop, on a battle charger, wildly swinging a mace.

I can see the Republican attack ads now: to the sound of the call to prayer and Islamic supplicatory chanting, twin black and white pics slowly come into focus, the first of Obama in Kenyan tribal dress and the second of Obama looking kind of confused in ill-fitting, goofy-looking military armor whilst McCain and some war-hardened, steroid-pumped machine-gunner smirk a little and mischievously roll their eyes, this all sequeing into footage of a 30-year-old fighter-pilot McCain steam-catapulted off of and then screeching back down onto a carrier deck, climbing out of the cockpit with a High-Five and a big smile (some sort of Fox News patriotic anthem pounding away in the background).

Stir in Bush's carefully timed, deliberately-allowed, late-October suicide bombing of a tourist-filled Statue of Liberty, etc.

Ahhh, "the Race to the White House"! Let the comedy begin.

Cindy can send somebody over to measure for the new White House curtains any time. The deal is as good as done.

EW

(Script is already well into casting phase. East-West Productions (c) June 4, 2008. All rights reserved.)

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 07:19 PM
EW:

Did you sign a contract with Kidneystones Enterprises?

graz
06-04-2008, 07:50 PM
EW:

Did you sign a contract with Kidneystones Enterprises?

It's all a ruse. Eastwest is kidneystones. Evidence the references that kidney makes about his teaching in Japan, against Ew's time in the monastery.
And then there was the back and forth between the two about the Monks - ascetism vs. land holders and married. Ew claiming that they are hermits and KS saying he sent his kids to school and there and that they were monied and secular monks. Posing as competing posters would speak to the similarities as well as contradictions.
And then we have the evidence of ODD syndrome (Obama denial derangement) with them both (maybe a meds issue).
Brendan, as you have the computer skills, can't you do an IP location search on their postings?
Although clearing up this mystery would make the forum less interesting.

cragger
06-04-2008, 08:19 PM
It is possible to consider some of the nastiness of the primary race to be due to the unusual closeness and the heating of emotion that comes from coming so close to achieving something and failing. In that context, a "unity ticket" makes sense, and the Clinton partisans could be considered to have a valid argument for it. Given the general sharing of priorities of the two candidates it would seem reasonable in the abstract. People of course can argue whether the unity gained electorially is on the whole more or less than the burden of picking up a decade and a half of Clinton hatred, and it may well be that the Clinton haters will mostly not vote for any Democratic ticket anyhow.

The question is what such a ticket would mean if the Democrats win and have to govern. Bill was undoubtedly the admission ticket for Hillary's campaign, but seems to have been a pretty mixed blessing once it got rolling. Is the ex Big Dawg likely to gracefully occupy a role of elder statesman who supports a President Obama when asked, and otherwise occupies the mostly silent and invisible role of VP spouse? It seems like a somewhat difficult transition for anyone. Since Bill torpedoed his own presidency with his lack of control over his worst impulses, he doesn't seem right off like a likely candidate to not undermine a potential Obama Presidency in that role.

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 08:21 PM
I agree, I thought it was just me, and the fact she was drilling Dems and not Bushies, but there seemed to be some of the former snappy wit missing. Not to mention valid criticism.. "Barry" for gods sake.. in the NYT no less.

Damn those characteristics are what I like about her!

This is the lady who called the goreacle what he is the reincarnation of Eddie Haskel. Besides I have a soft spot for Smart good looking redheaded ladies and After all we Neanderthals descendants have to stick together. :^)

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 08:36 PM
It's all a ruse. Eastwest is kidneystones.

I must admit that last post had me thinking the same thing!

Also, remember when KS said he had written his last post here, shortly followed by the emergence of EW?

Countervailing evidence: KS is more stylistically entertaining and more paranoic than EW.

As self-proclaimed literary discourse analyst, I am attributing the above "Cindy's curtains" post to the School of Kidneystones.

Wonderment
06-04-2008, 08:47 PM
I agree and begrudgingly concede that Mickey made this point in the diavlog.

He did, but asking Mickey to talk about journalistic ethics is like asking OJ Simpson to discuss spousal abuse.

This is the guy who made up a sex scandal about McCain a couple of BHeads programs ago; promoted for weeks another salacious fairy tale about John Edwards that no journalist with a scintilla of decency would touch with a ten foot pole; and routinely rants xenophobically about the Reconquista of the Southwest by Mexican "illegals."

Richard from Amherst
06-04-2008, 10:08 PM
This alone would be ample to make the "Michael Dukakis in a tank" picture look by comparison like Attila the Hun bearing down, eyes bulging, at full gallop, on a battle charger, wildly swinging a mace.

Eastwest: It does make a nice image but it is not really necessary.

The American electorate does not need Obama in a flak jacket and the hermit let alone the M-1 Tank to get the picture.

Senator Obama in his $1000 suit is quite enough when he is compared to Senator (navel aviator Lt. Commander rtd.) John McCain.

Nobody with any love of this country is going to choose a hippie academic's kid over a former U.S. Naval aviator, war hero son and grandson of admirals, Patriot and long time Senator. Hell the U.S. Navy vote and the pissed off feminists for Hilary are enough to put McCain over the top.

Remember if McCain lands on an aircraft carrier and says "mission accomplished" he will be flying a single place aircraft and the bomb pylons under the wings will be freshly emptied and it won't be the first time he has done the job.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 10:44 PM
Nobody with any love of this country is going to choose a hippie academic's kid over [McSame].

Just wanted to highlight your contention that Democrats do not love America. Obama will get at least 50,000,000 votes; your claim is that none of them love America.

Unfortunately, this is what Republicans and conservatives do. They define themselves not as "conservatives" or "Republicans," but as "America." (Not Americans, but America itself.)

So, for example, if I disagree with torture, it doesn't just mean I disagree with the practice of torture in accordance with long-standing American tradition. It doesn't just mean I disagree with you, or Bush, or the Republicans. It means I hate America itself.

You guys do this constantly, and the funny thing is that I don't think it's merely a tactic. I think you really believe it. What is it that causes you guys to consider yourselves to be the equivalent of America, and anyone else as not America?

There's always a corollary to these insipid arguments, too. So if I disapprove of torture, I not only hate America, but also love "the terrorists." If I disapprove of tax cuts for the rich, I not only hate America, but I hate capitalism. If I think the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, I not only hate America, but I also want us to lose the War on Terror.

Eastwest
06-04-2008, 11:05 PM
(Regarding: "It's all a ruse. Eastwest is kidneystones."

I must admit that last post had me thinking the same thing!

Also, remember when KS said he had written his last post here, shortly followed by the emergence of EW?

Countervailing evidence: KS is more stylistically entertaining and more paranoic than EW.

As self-proclaimed literary discourse analyst, I am attributing the above "Cindy's curtains" post to the School of Kidneystones.

You guys have a lot to learn about literary and political forensics (who'd you all study with? Alberto Gonzales?) and no, it was a bit the other way around: When I started noticing the appearance of the Kidneystones posts and even more so the Thomson right-wing spam posts, I really felt this space had gone to the dogs and so became disinterested in posting much for quite a while, only dropping something in sporadically and perfunctorily to praise particularly intelligent DV pairings (usually against the goofy slander of deranged commenters), largely ignoring the mindless rabble churning around down here "below the fold."

And also, no, I never mentioned anything about living in a monastery in my posts. That was thrown in by somebody else in response to my daring to suggest Tibetans for the most part actually do have a lot of respect for HHDL which isn't solely a function of patriarchal oppression.)

Just felt it kind of necessary this time to swing by on the celebratory occasion of the last primaries (whewww, finally...) and set the Obamaphiles teeth on edge once or twice more before searching around for a site where intelligent discussion was more the norm than the rare, rare exception we find here.

(The BHTV DVs are sometimes worth listening to when doing dishes or some such, and so I suppose there's still some utility in that.)

Cheers,
EW

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 11:09 PM
[...] If I think the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, I not only hate America, but I also want us to lose the War on Terror.

And, don't forget, you also hate the troops.

==================

Richard:

I won't go on at length, since Twin already said much of what I would have said, but I do want to reemphasize the main point: It is incredibly offensive of you to say that those of us on the left do not love America.

You know what it makes me think of when I hear talk like this? That conservatives' claimed love for America is naive and unquestioning, and is focused exclusively on shallow symbols like flag pins and other shiny hardware. And just as I can reduce a five-year old to tears by making fun of his Mommy, I can also make a wingnut have a coronary by daring to be adult and criticizing shortcomings of the country that I love.

If you want to embrace my caricature of conservatives, then, fine. Feel free to to keep talking about how people like me hate America.

If you don't, then maybe you'll reconsider your thoughtless accusation.

It's not your country alone, and you don't get to kick us out of your little clubhouse, just because all the mean liberals won't let you have your way on every freaking issue.

bjkeefe
06-04-2008, 11:18 PM
I now less convinced that Eastwest is on kidneystone's payroll, and more convinced that they're the same person: same unfounded belief in his own superiority, same instinct for pissing wherever a clean carpet is spied, and the same threats (read: empty promises) made to go away and never come back.

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 11:47 PM
You guys have a lot to learn about literary and political forensics (who'd you all study with? Alberto Gonzales?) and no, it was a bit the other way around: When I started noticing the appearance of the Kidneystones posts and even more so the Thomson right-wing spam posts, I really felt this space had gone to the dogs and so became disinterested in posting much for quite a while, only dropping something in sporadically and perfunctorily to praise particularly intelligent DV pairings (usually against the goofy slander of deranged commenters), largely ignoring the mindless rabble churning around down here "below the fold."

And also, no, I never mentioned anything about living in a monastery in my posts. That was thrown in by somebody else in response to my daring to suggest Tibetans for the most part actually do have a lot of respect for HHDL which isn't solely a function of patriarchal oppression.)

Just felt it kind of necessary this time to swing by on the celebratory occasion of the last primaries (whewww, finally...) and set the Obamaphiles teeth on edge once or twice more before searching around for a site where intelligent discussion was more the norm than the rare, rare exception we find here.

(The BHTV DVs are sometimes worth listening to when doing dishes or some such, and so I suppose there's still some utility in that.)

Cheers,
EW

Oh brother; you're waaaay too hard on the people here. This is by far one of the most intelligent forums anywhere on the internets. (Thanks, in part, to you.) Sure, there are raving lunatics, like Thomson, kidneystones, and my personal favorite, Whatfur, but honestly, they provide color. This place is more entertaining with them around. They provide comic relief; a much needed occasional break from serious, thoughtful discussion. I don't know why they aggravate you so much. I find the unhinged lunacy of those three (especially the latter two) to be extremely entertaining.

Maybe you're just using the wrong adjectives. I think what you really want is not an INTELLIGENT forum, but a forum with more people who share your particular viewpoint. But you seem to make the mistake of believing that people cannot be intelligent and disagree with you. This is actually a common belief.

But in fact, there are very smart Nazis, smart Republicans, smart Libertarians, smart communists, etc. Intelligence is not correlated to one particular set of ideas. Personally, I think this is one of the great mysteries of life: that even the smartest people can come to completely different conclusions about the nature of the universe.

(Actually, I guess it's not a mystery; it's a function of human cognition; people draw their conclusions first and then set out to find the arguments to support them. E.g., with respect to Obama's chances in the fall, you could easily construct an argument to support either the thesis that he can't win or that he can't lose, and both arguments have been exhaustively developed by partisans on both sides of the issue. )

TwinSwords
06-04-2008, 11:54 PM
And, don't forget, you also hate the troops.
D'oh! How could I forget!?



I can also make a wingnut have a coronary by daring to be adult and criticizing shortcomings of the country that I love.
The funny thing is that Republicans permit themselves to attack America constantly. Who was the young woman the other day who said FDR was the worst president ever and the New Deal an abomination? They constantly complain that we left Vietnam. They still oppose the civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965. They complain about the "welfare state" and the tax system and the public schools and higher education and the entertainment industry and the media and -- I could go on an on and on.

They permit themselves all these criticisms and we (on the left) would never think to suggest it means they hate America. But when we oppose their policies, we are called unpatriotic.

It's all they have. As an argument, it's an intellectually incoherent mess. In this respect, it suits them perfectly.

uncle ebeneezer
06-05-2008, 12:00 AM
If I were a soundbite reporter the headline would be "Twinswords calls Nazis 'smart people'." Wow that was easy! I could be a Newsweek reporter!

Does anyone here really believe EW's claims that he might vote for Obama if HRC is on the ticket? I think Obama has a better chance of convincing David Thomson to vote for him.

TwinSwords
06-05-2008, 12:08 AM
If I were a soundbite reporter the headline would be "Twinswords calls Nazis 'smart people'." Wow that was easy! I could be a Newsweek reporter!

Yeesh! You're not kidding. I have to be more careful. It's a good thing I'm not planning to run for president, or this would be fodder for 8 solid weeks of "reporting" in the pathetic American media. (But that would not be enough for some people, who would contend that the 8 weeks of coverage came too late and was too sympathetic.)


Does anyone here really believe EW's claims that he might vote for Obama if HRC is on the ticket? I think Obama has a better chance of convincing David Thomson to vote for him.
I thought it was funny that he not only said he would only vote for Obama if Hillary was the VP pick, but also a long list of other demands, such as that she be put in charge of health care, etc.

Still: I appreciate Eastwest's contributions enormously. He's one of the smartest and most insightful posters on this board, even if he is insufferably arrogant. I think he's harder to appreciate since he became a Hillary partisan, but that's just Election Season Madness, which I think affects all of us to some extent. If you go back before the campaign season go going full steam, he was a lot more dispassionate. And I expect he'll go back to normal once the election passes.....

Time will tell.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 12:25 AM
Twin:

The funny thing is that Republicans permit themselves to attack America constantly. Who was the young woman the other day who said FDR was the worst president ever and the New Deal an abomination? They constantly complain that we left Vietnam. They still oppose the civil rights act of 1964 and voting rights act of 1965. They complain about the "welfare state" and the tax system and the public schools and higher education and the entertainment industry and the media and -- I could go on an on and on.

They permit themselves all these criticisms and we (on the left) would never think to suggest it means they hate America. But when we oppose their policies, we are called unpatriotic.

Well, that's just it. To the (stereotypically simplistic) conservative way of looking at things, the New Deal was un-American because it created a welfare state, robbed people of initiative, made them dependent on the government, took away money from successful, hard-working people, or some combination of those.

Civil and voting rights acts are seen as un-American under the thinking that we don't need more laws, which means more bureaucracy, when it already says in the Constitution that everybody is entitled to equal rights. And, once you start making laws like that, you open the door to affirmative action, and it's definitely un-American to mandate equal outcomes. Carried to an extreme by some, it's also seen as people not knowing their place, especially women.

The welfare state and the tax system are seen as taking away money from people who earned it and giving it to those who didn't. Again -- un-American. It's punishing initiative and entrepreneurship, and rewarding sloth and mendicancy.

Public schools and Hollywood are un-American because they teach kids more un-American ideas and cause them to abandon American values. And the liberal media is un-American for reinforcing this pattern, not to mention its fetish for diversity and its obsession with reporting only bad news.

The thing is, there are grains of truth in most of these beliefs, so it's not completely crazy to take them as a basis for an outlook on life. They also have the advantage of being easy to state, and make it easy to see when someone else isn't embracing them. Very binary. No messy nuances or gray areas. And if you reject the axiom* that I am fond of stating -- that you can measure the degree of advancement of a society by how well it takes care of its less fortunate -- then you're off to the races.

In the abstract, I can buy a lot of this thinking. In fact, I used to be much more sympathetic to such thinking, especially the parts about self-reliance, free markets for everything, and not letting the government make all of your decisions for you. The problem is, it's too easy to profess the above as a creed and then carry it way too far. In real life, in a complicated world, you get in-group/out-group thinking, you get a huge split between the haves and the have-nots, and as can be seen by a look at the movement Conservatives today, you get a persistent quest for purity that causes you to brand more and more of your own as apostates.

Guess I'm not really saying anything you don't know, so I'll knock it off here. Must've just felt like typing.

===============
* Swiped from Arthur C. Clarke, of course.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 01:07 AM
Some related thoughts here (http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/9645.html), from HTML Mencken.

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 02:41 AM
(Responding to UB's: "Does anyone here really believe EW's claims that he might vote for Obama if HRC is on the ticket? I think Obama has a better chance of convincing David Thomson to vote for him.")

I thought it was funny that he not only said he would only vote for Obama if Hillary was the VP pick, but also a long list of other demands, such as that she be put in charge of health care, etc.

TS: This comment of yours makes me ask myself yet again whether commenters here do much more than simply "skim" the posts before pulling the trigger on personal POV responses to merely-imputed questions of their own creation having but little to do with the post to which they are ostensibly replying.

Please note: my suggestion vis-a-vis health care was a direct response to a direct question as to what I would recommend in the event that BHO, against all odds, somehow summoned the manhood to give HRC the Veep slot. But, no, you've got to characterize that as "a long list of demands." (Rather MSM of you, don't you think?...)

Now as for UB's question: Yes, given the two-fer ticket, I'd vote for it happily and without batting an eye, period, and I can assure you there are legions of disaffected Dems like me who would do the same, but otherwise will stay home, and no, they are NOT just older white women disappointed at not getting the first woman president. (For now, I'm just aiming to vote for a veto-proof Dem majority in House and Senate, leaving the Presidential ticket blank, so my "staying home" is really a matter of with-holding about a half-inch of ball-point pen ink on my mail-in ballot... and, no, I don't live in Oregon.)

Now, as a secondary point, I notice a tendency here to smoothly, but still condescendingly characterize Obama skeptics and the above cohort of disaffected Dems as info-deficient political illiterates and those who are, against all reason, simply emotionally attached to a loser (with the labeling as "unintelligent," and "uneducated" implicitly included).

Well, guess what?: This is a circumstance wherein the precedents cited by BJ about irritated losers finally coming around by election day simply do not apply. A lot of us really see BHO as not really a liberal at all and we have no reason to think he won't just sell out to get along. (For which please listen closely to the fine DV of the wonderfully congenial Hamsher and the marvelously-articulate and intelligent but mildly soul-stunted Lindsey wherein it is pointed out that BHO is really just a centrist cipher with no genuine liberal credentials.)

The seemingly unreasonable obsession with HRC for veep is really more a function of wanting insurance we won't be conned by yet another slickster promising but not delivering reform, a complete flip-flop artist every bit the equal of Romney who, when push comes to shove, will renounce anything just to get along, even perhaps (per the "Puppies" DV), his own blackness. At least with Hillary as Veep there's a much more enhanced possibility that we'll at least get genuine health-care reform as opposed to the ersatz model proposed by Barack-the-Compromiser Obama.

Absent the good-faith guarantee (but still fairly certain to have very strong Dem majorities in Congress), many of us don't see anything all that compelling about bothering to vote for Obama and friends who, after all, just finished spending six months flipping us the bird every night and perhaps arguably only pulled off a win through college-kid intimidations in caucus states.

At this point, being an unapologetic old-school liberal, I almost feel like NOT voting for Obama, given the way he got what he got, and given the fact that he's really just political vapor-ware, is in fact a matter of Liberal conscience.

The system as it stands is corrupt to the core. I see almost nobody either in office or running to enter office (and this includes BHO) who is not finally going to end up being just another special-interest termite eating away at any manifestations of universal fairness for the general good, perpetuating a system which will never reform itself. I don't feel any obligation to simply install another empty figure-head on an immense K-Street corruption scheme which hypnotizes the gullible voter with metronomic alternations between "R" and then "D," "R" and then "D," "R" and then "D," never being able to rise even to the minimal civilized-society priorities of a European-Union democracy.

Now, if you wanna know what I really think...

Cheers,
EW

Wonderment
06-05-2008, 03:09 AM
Remember if McCain lands on an aircraft carrier and says "mission accomplished" he will be flying a single place aircraft and the bomb pylons under the wings will be freshly emptied and it won't be the first time he has done the job.

That's grotesque.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 03:17 AM
Remember if McCain lands on an aircraft carrier ...

... we will know that Cindy bought him another plane (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/us/politics/27plane.html).

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 03:18 AM
That's grotesque.

Yeah. And Richard didn't even get around to mentioning the codpiece.

graz
06-05-2008, 03:35 AM
EW:
Much like Bill Clinton before me: I feel your pain.
And I would call it conflict and contradiction.

No mention of Iraq. Is your venerable Hillary going to undo what she did as a matter of conscience?

So you trust no one, yet would offer that half inch of ink so as to countervail the cipher. Because of some irrational attraction to Hillary. As an old-school liberal, you can't really abide her politics?

I wonder how it is that you allow MSM imagery to effect you so deeply. Otherwise where do you receive all the ill will and bird flippin'?
Maybe in your fertile imagination?
You are certainly tough and smart - how can you take umbrage so easily from sources that you find inferior?
You are happy in your pessimism, but haven't you put yourself in the position of not allowing for the possibility of positive outcomes?
Lastly, why are you so assured about the disaffection that will amount to droves?

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 06:10 AM
EW:
Much like Bill Clinton before me: I feel your pain.
And I would call it conflict and contradiction.

No mention of Iraq. Is your venerable Hillary going to undo what she did as a matter of conscience?
As a Veep, she'd have no real power except the power to draw attention to when BHO is not keeping his word. To me, that's valuable. Barack needs more spine. If he finds he's backed into her stiletto, he might realize it's time to stand his ground. As for the Iraq thing, as HRC so nicely put it, that's all Barack has to offer: a speech he made in 2002 (wherein he had no skin in the game, anyway. Wow, what a hero. Just thinking of all the courage it took for him to make that speech, it just makes you wanna weep, doesn't it? (Insert sarcasm here.)

So you trust no one, yet would offer that half inch of ink so as to countervail the cipher. Because of some irrational attraction to Hillary. As an old-school liberal, you can't really abide her politics?

You failed to get what I've said many times: HRC is no angel. She's a sometimes moderately-duplicitous street-fighter (essential in the tool-kit of any political survivor). I'm not personally attracted to her. She's an expedient device for getting a few very important things done, that's all.

I wonder how it is that you allow MSM imagery to effect you so deeply. Otherwise where do you receive all the ill will and bird flippin'?
Maybe in your fertile imagination?

I actually read the posts here. I don't just skim them. Without intending to refer to you specifically, but rather to the general tenor of the commenters on this site (except for weird birds like Thomson and Kidneystones), I have to say that the fact that you can ask that question is analogous to a deep-south cop obliviously wondering why blacks get upset over the commonplace fact that every third word out his mouth is "******." Sneering tonalities and implicit judgments about character, intelligence, motivation, etc. are often most tellingly betrayed through the chosen phrasing rather than by resort to low-brow gutter language. And, frankly, one doesn't in the least need to go hunting in the deep forest of the implicit to come up with beastly prizes. People here aren't subtle at all about their tribalist dehumanization of anyone not a "true believer."

You are certainly tough and smart - how can you take umbrage so easily from sources that you find inferior?

I don't have time to actually bother with getting irritated. Perhaps I sound like I "take umbrage" simply because of a tendency to lean towards intensity in writing. More often, though, I simply feel pity for the benighted, roll my eyes, and return to more worthwhile endeavors, like, say, lunch. I don't forget easily though, and when it comes time to return a favor, I do the math.

You are happy in your pessimism, but haven't you put yourself in the position of not allowing for the possibility of positive outcomes?

My view of history is not just the last fifty years or so in this one country. Rather it encompasses the history of the last several thousand years in India, China, and the West. "Positive outcomes" are sort of like that occasional light breeze on a spring morning where you pick up the transporting scent of a daphne eudora, and then it's gone.... That's what the last sixty years have been like for many of we who are so much more fortunate in this country, but now it's going, going, as good as gone...

Of course there will be more marvelous and poignantly fragrant spring breezes, just probably not in my lifetime, and frankly, probably not in yours either. I'm predicting an intervening catastrophic global-warming summer, followed by a nuclear winter. I'm sure at least the cockroaches will survive to smell the next blooming of the daphne. So much for the brief flourishing of "intelligent life." (Insert sarcasm here.)

The testimony of history indicts any remaining optimism at this point and justifiably convicts it of being fantasy-ridden foolishness.

We do not learn very well from history.

Lastly, why are you so assured about the disaffection that will amount to droves?

I've observed how incredibly long people carry grudges for being slighted, even over very small things. Part of this digital age is that its images, textual aural, and graphic, come in a hyper-accelerated ultra-intensified stream, deeply imprinting the mind. (That's why, for instance, one can achieve the effect of society-wide post-traumatic stress syndrome simply by the periodic replay of the jets exploding into the Twin Towers and the hundreds of burning victims slowly peeling away and sailing like ants down onto the street below.)

So the short answer to that is: "You just wait." Of 8 million utterly-dissed Democrats, some will forget, but I believe many more won't unless BHO does something really radical to give them a compelling reason not to just hate him right along with his arrogant disciples. Absent that, I'm confident they'll turn their backs on him as really being no "friend" in any meaningful sense of the term. Add to that the famous and often personally-observed phenomenon of "Hell hath no wrath like a ... (phrase deleted in the interests of self-preservation)."

EW

deebee
06-05-2008, 08:10 AM
East West: I think BO acolytes fail to recognize every time they do that, they're not bruising HRC (who's used to it by now), they're actually telling fully half of the Democratic electorate to go "F" themselves because they're cretins.


Good Post! Another option to the staying home approach is emerging as a Democrats for McCain movement and their motto is "and you thought we were bitter before!"

Whatfur
06-05-2008, 08:25 AM
This thread reminded me of a poem:

Sir Walter Scott. 1771–1832

Patriotism

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.


Thank you! Very nice.

deebee
06-05-2008, 08:26 AM
To: East West

Just went back and read all of your comments in this Diavlog and must say that I really appreciate your moxie and communication skills. In other words, I couldn't have said it better.

deebee

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 08:30 AM
To: East West

Just went back and read all of your comments in this Diavlog and must say that I really appreciate your moxie and communication skills. In other words, I couldn't have said it better.

deebee

Glad at least there's somebody who doesn't conflate my writing with Kidneystones and Thomson.

Cheers (And gosh, this sure is going to be a fun train-wreck to watch. Get out the popcorn.)

EW

deebee
06-05-2008, 09:59 AM
To East West:

If I can muster up the stomach for it. Sometimes I just want it to all go away....

db

deebee
06-05-2008, 10:12 AM
Razib: Frasier ROX


I agree, that is a seriously cute dog! I always knew that Bob was sweet and compassionate enough to save a life.

My question though is: What is the correct spelling? Bob compared him to "Smokin Joe" (Frazier) but you refer to him as that Kelsey Grammer character (Frasier).

Which is it?

Bloggin' Noggin
06-05-2008, 11:09 AM
EW,
If HRC was a weak candidate to begin with, then why is it necessary for BHO to give her the VP slot?
Clearly there were lots of people who preferred Clinton to Obama -- white Appalachian voters and women. But if you are right that Clinton wasn't such a strong candidate in the first place, then it seems plausible that most of these voters would have voted for someone else in preference to Clinton if they'd had the chance. Why not pick that person (Webb for Appalachia or a female red state governor for the women) as VP?
Why, if you are not such a strong Hillary supporter, do you feel it all comes down to Hillary personally? Why must respecting Hillary's voters come down to "respecting" Hillary so much that Obama takes her as VP? Why would it be "disrespect" even to Hillary not to take her as VP? There are obvious and fairly strong political reasons for Obama not to select her -- why aren't those reasons an adequate excuse (if any "excuse" were needed)?
I think Ed Rendell was right: the nominee has to choose the Vice President he thinks is best for him. No one is owed the VP slot, and you can't bargain for it.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 12:15 PM
EW:

Sneering tonalities and implicit judgments about character, intelligence, motivation, etc. are often most tellingly betrayed through the chosen phrasing rather than by resort to low-brow gutter language. And, frankly, one doesn't in the least need to go hunting in the deep forest of the implicit to come up with beastly prizes. People here aren't subtle at all about their tribalist dehumanization of anyone not a "true believer."

You might consider your own tone and how you express your own judgments when you speak against Obama. Perhaps it's less that those support Obama are bent on "dehumanizing" anyone not a "true believer," and more just that they're reacting in kind to you (and others who are equally disparaging).

I know that I am provoked by the extreme nature of your comments, and similar ones made by others. It seems that you all take for granted that you can say anything negative that you like, as harshly as you like, but when anyone speaks up in defense, we're immediately labeled by you as "cultists" or "in the tank" or "tribalist" or whatever. It seems as though you are unable to bear in mind that the impression of a candidate, whether positive or negative, is largely subjective, and instead you convey a tone that you think you're "right" about something factual.

graz
06-05-2008, 01:38 PM
Glad at least there's somebody who doesn't conflate my writing with Kidneystones and Thomson.

Cheers (And gosh, this sure is going to be a fun train-wreck to watch. Get out the popcorn.)

EW
I"m sorry if the joking about the kidneystones - not DT - connection would dissuade you from continuing to participate.
Although like k. you have threatened leaving - only to return. For this I'm grateful. As deebee mentioned, your posts are always a welcome addition. And as you have mentioned, fits of pique and animosity usually pass quickly on this board. But I also align myself with Brendan's reminder of the relentless disparagement of BO supporters by a few select few. The basis for the criticism is couched in reason but reads like an attack on judgement and character.
I'm thick skinned enough to let it pass, but what fun would that be. So I'll join you in the popcorn.
Also, off topic: Thanks for the guzheng and erhu links. If memory serves, the use of the guzheng as a weapon in the fantastic "Kung Fu Hustle" was an eye and ear-opener for me.

deebee
06-05-2008, 02:29 PM
Graz: The basis for the criticism is couched in reason but reads like an attack on judgement and character.

In the interest of offering a more objective view of why Clinton supporters are balking at supporting Obama, Washington Post's Ruth Marcus cited Obama's tactical blunder of unnecessarily sticking his thumb in Clinton's eye by taking the four extra Michigan votes that Obama really didn't need. A magnanimous gesture at that point would have gone a long way to heal the rift. Her other examples of How Not to Unify the Party in the waning days were:

"The Clinton campaign has fumed that it has not been given enough credit for the outpouring of new Democratic voters. It was annoyed that the Obama campaign kept pounding on Clinton's ill-advised remark about Robert F. Kennedy -- even after she apologized. It was even more steamed that Obama did not apologize to Clinton herself after she had been ridiculed by the Rev. Michael Pfleger in an appearance May 25 at Obama's (now former) church."

I personally believe that these moves were incredibly crude, small minded and just plain dumb and deeply offended Hillary supporters. They are sure to hamper his way going forward but hey, I'm just being overly sensitive.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 02:47 PM
deebee:

In the interest of offering a more objective view of why Clinton supporters are balking at supporting Obama, Washington Post's Ruth Marcus cited Obama's tactical blunder of unnecessarily sticking his thumb in Clinton's eye by taking the four extra Michigan votes that Obama really didn't need.

That's one way to look at it. Another is as follows. First, Obama had the votes on the committee to force a decision even more in his favor. Second, conceding too much to the Clinton camp's demands could be used against him in the general -- the "if he's too weak to stand up to Clinton, how can we trust him to stand up to [fill in evildoer here]?" meme.

And zeroth: Everyone in the campaign had agreed long beforehand that FL and MI wouldn't count at all. There is a good case to be made that Clinton is entirely to blame for trying to change the rules in the middle of the game, and that this whole battle over the two states' delegates shouldn't have happened in the first place.

(As a side note, let me say that the punishment inflicted by the national committee on the states struck me as dumb at the time. I would have preferred something less harsh; e.g., count them as half-delegates or something like that. That said, it was what it was, and all parties signed off on it.)

Now, political realities are what they are, and I cannot completely fault Clinton for trying everything she could in pursuit of winning. By the same token, I cannot fault Obama for not entirely acquiescing to her requests. And there's a longer-term worry, too -- if the Democratic National Party lets states duck their sanctions, how will we prevent similar misbehaving in the next campaign?

I do hope you and other Clinton supporters bear some of this in mind. The obsession over the four delegates really does come off as a search for something to be offended by. Ditto continuing to be resentful over it, considering how changing four delegates doesn't change the outcome.

I'll also point out that there is no shortage of things that have been said by Clinton, her campaign, and her supporters about Obama. Consider the idea, repeatedly floated by her and by Bill, that McCain would make a better president than Obama. Consider the disrespect shown by "he has what? One speech?" statements. Consider the piling on regarding the Muslim issues ("I mean, as far as I know"). Consider the hinted appeals to racial uncertainties ("hard-working white Americans"). I could go on all day, but I hope you take my point.

... but hey, I'm just being overly sensitive.

To a degree, yes, I honestly think you are. I can understand the disappointment, and all I can say is that I hope it eases with time. I also hope you and other Clinton supporters can separate out what Obama has actually said and done from what his more zealous supporters have said. I also hope you will eventually come to realize that the things that Obama himself actually said or did were all part of the dirty game of politics, and he was not the only one employing such tactics. And finally, I hope you will be able to realize that he's no more perfect than any other human being -- he has made mistakes and apologized for them and maybe the apologies were themselves imperfect -- and keep this in perspective when you come to consider the remaining choice -- him or McCain.

look
06-05-2008, 03:03 PM
At this point, being an unapologetic old-school liberal, I almost feel like NOT voting for Obama, given the way he got what he got, and given the fact that he's really just political vapor-ware, is in fact a matter of Liberal conscience.

The system as it stands is corrupt to the core. I see almost nobody either in office or running to enter office (and this includes BHO) who is not finally going to end up being just another special-interest termite eating away at any manifestations of universal fairness for the general good, perpetuating a system which will never reform itself. I don't feel any obligation to simply install another empty figure-head on an immense K-Street corruption scheme which hypnotizes the gullible voter with metronomic alternations between "R" and then "D," "R" and then "D," "R" and then "D," never being able to rise even to the minimal civilized-society priorities of a European-Union democracy.

Keeping in mind that Nader's run siphoned off potential Gore votes, and that not voting for Obama will increase McCain's margin, will you please give your thoughts on the possibility of you not voting at all? Even if you feel that both choices blow, aren't you failing in your duty to at least choose the lesser of two evils?

handle
06-05-2008, 03:10 PM
It is possible to consider some of the nastiness of the primary race to be due to the unusual closeness and the heating of emotion that comes from coming so close to achieving something and failing. In that context, a "unity ticket" makes sense, and the Clinton partisans could be considered to have a valid argument for it. Given the general sharing of priorities of the two candidates it would seem reasonable in the abstract. People of course can argue whether the unity gained electorially is on the whole more or less than the burden of picking up a decade and a half of Clinton hatred, and it may well be that the Clinton haters will mostly not vote for any Democratic ticket anyhow.

The question is what such a ticket would mean if the Democrats win and have to govern. Bill was undoubtedly the admission ticket for Hillary's campaign, but seems to have been a pretty mixed blessing once it got rolling. Is the ex Big Dawg likely to gracefully occupy a role of elder statesman who supports a President Obama when asked, and otherwise occupies the mostly silent and invisible role of VP spouse? It seems like a somewhat difficult transition for anyone. Since Bill torpedoed his own presidency with his lack of control over his worst impulses, he doesn't seem right off like a likely candidate to not undermine a potential Obama Presidency in that role.

I agree on your points, but I would add that the Clintons, in spite of the "haters" had a very high approval rating even toward the end of Bill's term.
In my ideal scenario, I see Obama as doing the smart thing and playing to Bills proven strengths, and give him a diplomatic position, because of his unparalleled track record waging peace in the middle east. Even the haters cant argue with success can they? Oh yea, that's what they do....
Also, I would point out that many of those who helped facilitate the torpedoing of his position, have now been shown to have done the same and in some cases even worse...

graz
06-05-2008, 03:54 PM
In the interest of offering a more objective view of why Clinton supporters are balking at supporting Obama.

So do you take your next cue from Hillary?
As much as I would like to offer a truce, first I need to understand the problem.
I am hearing a request for validation of hurt feelings and bruised egos. Also a catch 22: "In spite of best efforts, I will reserve the right not to forgive and forget."

Politics 101 - What are you trying to achieve? How are you likely to get it? Let us ask Hillary.

If she strikes all the right notes on Saturday, and asks her supporters to transfer their unconditional love (vote) to Obama, will they be O.K.? Where does policy and programs fit in this scheme?

Is it conditional on her future role? What if she continues to play politics with the "what does Hillary want" bit?

Aren't you aligning yourself with EW in suggesting that you are willing to spite yourself to engage in returning the slights - legit or otherwise? Are you willing to move on or not?

I am not insensitive to your position, but it does require some clarity. Back to politics 101 - What do you want? How can you get it?
The marbles are in Hillary's hand... let's hope she has good aim.

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 04:39 PM
Keeping in mind that Nader's run siphoned off potential Gore votes, and that not voting for Obama will increase McCain's margin, will you please give your thoughts on the possibility of you not voting at all? Even if you feel that both choices blow, aren't you failing in your duty to at least choose the lesser of two evils?

First, my own voting or not voting won't affect any outcomes (even grandiosity has its limits).

It's the aggregation of people who feel like I do which may or may not deny BHO the White House. BHO has a lot of work to do to make us feel the least bit compelled to even care.

The evidence: Right now, a candidate known only as "Generic Democrat" would beat McCain no problem, but BHO on the other hand, would lose. (This per most recent polls.) So BHO has a whole lot of negative freight he'd better figure out how to lose or he's as good as toast in November.

I (and other disaffected Dems who are for the most part the reason for this poll result) feel both BHO and his supporters need to "earn" my vote. They are, after all, simply "job applicants" applying for a position which seems to become available every four years.

My perception so far is that this job applicant and a gang of white-bread college thugs has burst into my office, spit all over me and my furniture and my co-workers (i.e. like-minded friends), and then stomped out, making a point of sneering at us and flipping us off as they left.

So, can you really wonder why I'm not in the mood to do much "hiring" right now?

And then add this: Bush and company have so messed things up, I gotta kinda wonder if making them try to deal with their own mess isn't a preferable option (especially when having to operate against strongly Democratic majorities in both House and Senate).

Any Dem entering the White House will have an almost insurmountable task in trying to produce anything remotely resembling "success" either internationally or domestically in merely four years. I would almost rather Dems were not "set up" by being put in the position of trying to clean up Bush's mess. In many respects, I've got to wonder if it isn't better to stand back and watch McCain do a complete blow-out mess-up job trying to fix things across the next four years. Then, in 2012, somebody with a brain (like say Biden) could waltz on in and, with staggering Democratic majorities in Congress, maybe even usher in something resembling the minimal social priorities (Health Care, etc.) of a typical European Union democracy.

So, no, it doesn't bother me in the least to tell BHO and his friends to please get the hell out of my office as I saw enough of them in the primaries, thank you, and, no, I don't give a damn if I ever see the man or any of his supporters ever again.

Amen.

EW

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 04:44 PM
EW,
If HRC was a weak candidate to begin with, then why is it necessary for BHO to give her the VP slot?

Excuse me: Where have you been? How could you fail to notice HRC just finished splitting the popular vote and only lost the delegate count because of failure to anticipate the massive intimidating of elder voters like myself in caucus states.

So, even throwing out the whole ugly delegate issue, your characterization of HRC as a "weak candidate" is problematic to say the least (assuming you will recognize that one out of every two Democrats just finished voting for her).

Also, not wanting to rub it in, but you really might consider noticing that Obama just finished losing the majority of the last 16 primaries and, if the election were held today, he would lose to McCain.

So, now tell me again: Who is the "weak candidate"?

The rest of your question rests on the HRC as "weak candidate" characterization and, as such, is hereby refuted.
(Free bandaids and crying kleenex at the front counter... Next!)

Cheers,
EW

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 04:54 PM
EW:

I (and other disaffected Dems who are for the most part the reason for this poll result) feel both BHO and his supporters need to "earn" my vote.

How should he/we do that? Do you have specific demands/requests? Are there stances on the issues that you want changed, or is it all personality problems?

And then add this: Bush and company have so messed things up, I gotta kinda wonder if making them try to deal with their own mess isn't a preferable option (especially when having to operate against strongly Democratic majorities in both House and Senate).

Okay, this seems like idealism carried to a fault. Yeah, I know it can be an effective form of punishment and rehabilitation to make taggers paint over their own graffiti, or vandals to re-glaze the windows they broke, but politicians who have gone astray have a record of fixing their own mistakes that's so sparse I can't even come up with a bluff example. Putting McSame into office will -- at best -- lead to gridlock, and more likely, lead to further steps down the same bad road, if possibly more slowly.

Hard to believe a smart guy like you would even throw that out there.

Eastwest
06-05-2008, 05:23 PM
EW:
Hard to believe a smart guy like you would even throw that out there.

Actually, I'm serious. Unless BHO offers HRC serious respect in a concretely perceptible fashion that is not just a pro-forma brush-off at the primary-to-general junction, he's just another "smooth operator" to me and I'll never vote for him.

Another Republican administration will have its hands so full and demonstrate its incompetency so completely across the next four years that they won't stand a chance in any elective office in 2012 or anytime in the following 20 years, either.

(And that's about how long it'll take to really clean things up if they're even fixable at all, and, no, I don't really think there's much of any prospect that they can be fixed at all. I seriously doubt that this civilization will escape the rapid advance in quick succession of first universal and continuous global warming disasters and then nuclear winter. It will be a fine day for the cockroaches.)

Meanwhile, having stayed home for the General Election, we'll have the satisfaction of having taught BHO and his supporters a little lesson about: a) courtesy; and b) arithmetic. (Kind of a sweet prospect, that "arithmetic" lesson.)

EW

graz
06-05-2008, 05:32 PM
Actually, I'm serious. Unless BHO offers HRC serious respect in a concretely perceptible fashion that is not just a pro-forma brush-off at the primary-to-general junction, he's just another "smooth operator" to me and I'll never vote for him.

Another Republican administration will have its hands so full and demonstrate its incompetency so completely across the next four years that they won't stand a chance in any elective office in 2012 or anytime in the following 20 years, either.

(And that's about how long it'll take to really clean things up if they're even fixable at all, and, no, I don't really think there's much of any prospect that they can be fixed at all. I seriously doubt that this civilization will escape the rapid advance in quick succession of first universal and continuous global warming disasters and then nuclear winter. It will be a fine day for the cockroaches.)

Meanwhile, having stayed home for the General Election, we'll have the satisfaction of having taught BHO and his supporters a little lesson about: a) courtesy; and b) arithmetic. (Kind of a sweet prospect, that "arithmetic" lesson.)

EW
Does she have to comport herself in any particular way to enable him to take the proper next step in the dance. Isn't her Friday/Saturday soiree critical in the real world of political expediency? Come on - say it - you will not vote for him no matter what. Repeat after me... Just say no.

look
06-05-2008, 05:38 PM
Meanwhile, having stayed home for the General Election, we'll have the satisfaction of having taught BHO and his supporters a little lesson about: a) courtesy; and b) arithmetic. (Kind of a sweet prospect, that "arithmetic" lesson.)
If you think a McCain presidency would encourage a better government down the road, why not vote for him to help secure an Obama loss?

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 06:01 PM
EW:

Another Republican administration will have its hands so full and demonstrate its incompetency so completely across the next four years that they won't stand a chance in any elective office in 2012 or anytime in the following 20 years, either.

Okay, I guess I can see where you're coming from. On the other hand, I thought the demonstrated incompetency was clear in 2004, and that didn't seem to work, as far as cluing in the voters. Instead, we gave the Reps four more years to make matters worse.

Meanwhile, having stayed home for the General Election, we'll have the satisfaction of having taught BHO and his supporters a little lesson about: a) courtesy; and b) arithmetic. (Kind of a sweet prospect, that "arithmetic" lesson.)

I won't argue at length about the courtesy issue. I'll just state, for the recrod, that a thoughtful person ought to be able to see that Obama, his campaign, and his supporters were hardly alone in shortcomings in this area.

And the arithmetic lesson that he needs to learn is ...? Seems to me he understood arithmetic way better than did the Clinton campaign -- delegates are what matter, like it or not.

If you're talking about Clinton's popular vote, well, whatever. I seriously doubt there are that many who are going to nurse their grudges through November. The huffers and puffers just need to finish venting, that's all. Most of them will come back to reality and realize what McCain represents.

Pardon the out-of-sequence quoting, but I wanted to end with this, since you seem to have overlooked my earlier question:

Unless BHO offers HRC serious respect in a concretely perceptible fashion that is not just a pro-forma brush-off at the primary-to-general junction, he's just another "smooth operator" to me and I'll never vote for him.

What, specifically, do you want to see? In vague terms, Obama has been nothing but respectful towards Clinton lately. Read any of his speeches over the past few weeks -- he gives her props every single time. So, unless you're so far around the bend that you can't even acknowledge this, you must want something more. So, what is it?

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 06:23 PM
EW:

Regarding the courtesy issue, does this (http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/06/04/2100/clinton_supporters_wowed_with_warm_reception_at_ob ama_rally) help?

(h/t: Carpetbagger Report (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15772.html))

graz
06-05-2008, 06:51 PM
EW:

Regarding the courtesy issue, does this (http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/06/04/2100/clinton_supporters_wowed_with_warm_reception_at_ob ama_rally) help?

(h/t: Carpetbagger Report (http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/15772.html))

My College Interviewer supports HRC & I made her cry
by RemarkablyChanel
Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:29:53 AM PDT

I interviewed with an advisor at Mills College in Oakland, Ca on last Tuesday at 4:30, to be considered for early entry into their Master's program.

RemarkablyChanel's diary :: ::
I got to the office relatively early and wandered through a few halls and I happened upon my interviewer's office. It was locked but I could see in and hanging on the wall was a framed picture of whom I assumed to be her and none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton. She also had HRC paraphernalia sitting on her desk. I damn near died.

While I professionally opted out of wearing any of my colorful Obama t-shirts, buttons or tote bags to the interview, I DID have on my tasteful little sterling silver charm bracelet with a little O B A M A 08 dangling from it. I thought about taking it off right up until 4:29. And then I thought about what I have stood for throughout this entire campaign and I decided I have nothing to hide, nothing to fear and nothing to gain by packing away my beautiful trinket.

My interview began promptly at 4:30 and I automatically found her to be a witty, intelligent and down to earth woman. I liked her. We vibed. We laughed. We talked about various issues that specifically revolved around my college major and many things that did not. She asked me a few questions about my educational experiences and goals, and ventured into pieces of her own history with Mills College. The actual interview lasted approximately 40 minutes and I was close to making my exit when I saw her eyes float to my bracelet. She eyed it. I shifted and smiled. I usually giggle when im nervous but I was able to stifle the giggle and merely smiled.

She sighed and leaned back in her seat and made the following statement:

"This isn't a typical interview question and forgive me if you find this unprofessional and of course you can completely disregard the question and I won't take it personal, but i've been wanting to ask an Obama supporter personally what makes him so much more ready than Hillary?"

I looked down at my bracelet and briefly thought about how to tastefully answer this question. I thought about many Dkos diaries & comments i've read, many of my own blogs, emails, and listserve comments about what makes Obama the best. I thought about Obama's campaign and how he has managed to not only take the high road, but has begun to re-pave it with his own brand of class, integrity and charm.

And I summed up my answer by saying that for me, it hasn't been about anyone being more ready than the other. No one can be 100% ready to run a country. Kinda like no one is ready for motherhood until it actually happens. I told her that Obama has painted himself in humble strokes that has allowed me to realize that he knows he is not perfect. He knows that every word out of his mouth may not always be the most profound, and that every move he makes may not turn out to be the best, and in that I take comfort. I take comfort knowing that I might be able to help elect a President who recognizes his flaws which makes him willing to embrace his supporters ideas towards bettering our country. I told her that I feel as if an Obama presidency would include ME and MY opinions and needs, instead of acting solely on behalf of $$$ and political dirty-dealings. I told her that i'm inspired by his relationship with his family, his devotion towards being an excellent father and the passion he has for his wife. I told her that my loyalty towards his campaign never stemmed from a hatred of Hillary or any type of disregard for her political contributions, but has developed from an urgency to get as far away as possible from old politics. And I felt as if Barack fit that bill to carry us into a new era. I told her that as a young woman of color, he has supplied me with more restored Hope, Faith and admiration for 2 key role models (himself and Michelle)that I have been actively seeking for and have now found.

My mini stump speech (lol) lasted about 5 minutes and when I was done, she was teary eyed. She nodded and apologized for being an "emotional wreck" but she has also fought hard for Hillary and this whole ordeal has wiped her out. She said she admired the passion I have for Barack's campaign and that respect should always be given where it's due. I wholeheartedly agreed. We shook hands. And I left.

This morning I received an email from her granting my application into the program and wishing me the best of luck in my endeavors, along with all of her contact information which she insisted I use whenever I need to once I matriculate into the college.

And her email signature read:

My primary battle may have been lost, but i'm now FIRED UP and armed for the UNITED war.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 08:02 PM
graz:

Nice find. Thanks for sharing.

Whatfur
06-05-2008, 08:19 PM
"This isn't the <insert name here (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iQRxkYTsoPZU4eCBGiXoTgkGtScAD913KDM80)> I knew..."

handle
06-05-2008, 08:30 PM
"This isn't the <insert name here (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iQRxkYTsoPZU4eCBGiXoTgkGtScAD913KDM80)> I knew..."

Scott Mcclellen?

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 08:36 PM
I'd give that a zing.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 08:46 PM
Oops. Sorry. I forget back-patting makes some people angry.

I take it back: !GNIZ

Richard from Amherst
06-05-2008, 09:01 PM
... we will know that Cindy bought him another plane (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/us/politics/27plane.html).

Presumably Cindy pays taxes so yes she I agree that Cindy will help him buy the aircraft. But then so will you and I and it will be money well spent.

Richard from Amherst
06-05-2008, 09:08 PM
That's grotesque.

I'm pleased you like it. It was written with you in mind.

Seriously however, I don't think that we can deal with the likes of "I am a dinner Jacket" (to quote MoDo) any other way.

AemJeff
06-05-2008, 09:36 PM
EW, I might agree with a fair part of your reasoning. Particularly. I like the idea of a Republican president taking political responsibility for the current administration's mess. But what's at stake is the Federal Judiciary and Supreme Court. The possibility that a Republican, one who might feel the need to demonstrate his bona fides to the Christian Right (and McCain's antipathy to abortion rights is pretty evident), will be making appointments for the next four years, for me at least, trumps every other consideration. Appointments to SCOTUS over the next four years are very likely to determine the ideologiczal makeup of that body for several decades. That, again IMHO, is a critical aspect of what's at stake in this election.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 10:11 PM
"This isn't the <insert name here> I knew..."

Please insert: Dick Cheney (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11645?in=05:27&out=05:33)

Eastwest
06-06-2008, 02:48 AM
Does she have to comport herself in any particular way? ... Come on - say it - you will not vote for him no matter what. Repeat after me... Just say no.

Actually, that I would never vote for Obama is not true. I have no allegiance and certainly no deep personal fondness for HRC as she is, after all, primarily a politician and politicians are, by definition, a pretty weird species.

If she were to go sufficiently weird on Saturday, I'd say Obama would be justified in just gently tip-toeing away and then I'd still have to ruminate on whether I should vote for him but could then very well go ahead and do so if I ever thought I saw a real man emerge from where so far I've only been able to see a cardboard cut-out of a man. But I don't think HRC will do anything that isn't sort of normal for her. She actually knows how to be genuinely diplomatic and sincere and I trust she'll probably bring that to the fore yet again. She is not so two-faced that her presenting persona and where she's actually coming from personally are all that different.

Which of course gets us to the essence of your question: Why am I so "unimpressed" by Obama personally even when he's so careful to present himself in such nicely saran-wrapped PR packaging?

Well, it's in large part precisely because he's so careful to present himself so "artfully." (As you know, this term has dual connotations.)

Now, you may not be able to relate to the following. It involves a state of mind most people don't explore, but you still might want to vicariously sample the headspace through my narration as a psychic experiment. (You could justify it under the rubric of "An exercise in Contemporary American Urban Anthropology"):

The biggest problem for me with Obama is that, to use an old Sixties term, he manifests to me as "plastic." (This refers to a relatively deep mind state where people entering your presence appear so psychically exposed that, if they are "shining you on," it's readily apparent and there's no way they can fool you with an artfully arranged string of linguistic initials medials and finals [Read "they can't just 'BS' their way out of it."]. Although dullards and the lazy would have to use something like psilocybin or LSD in an attempt to get to a mere analogue of this mind state [btw, I don't either recommend, endorse, approve of, or personally use of any form of drugs or intoxicants], the much more stable, reliable, clear, and deeply penetrating level of perception occurs through consecutive days of doing nothing but deep meditation. In that state, the inherent beauty and sacredness of all life shimmers in every moment and even the most mundane actions like say having a sip of water manifest as transportingly ecstatic. In this state, the truth or falseness of whatever or whoever appears before your eyes lays itself before you with stunning clarity.)

Anyway, having watched and listened closely to Obama many times now, I'm convinced he's psychically scared of the political consequences of being real. He's still clearly, in psychic terms, "wearing a mask." It's really so egregiously obvious to me that I feel like he could just put up a cardboard cut-out of himself at any given political rally and play any one of about 10 different tape-loops he's developed as part of his "shtick" and meanwhile his "true self" might as well be somewhere backstage laughing and having a drink with his buds, joking about the suckers out in the crowd watching the "play," congratulating himself that he's now got such a great series of "clips" that every now and then he manages to get a few of the babes to swoon and faint like rock-star groupies.

So the bit about wanting to see him be genuine in bringing HRC on board in some very meaningful way is for me sort of an "acid test" to see whether he's actually finally able to be real or whether he's going to just keep shining us on. Barack does not lack for ego strength. I know if he can do this in a way that's really genuine, then he'll have to do a bit of an "ego climb down" in the process. In certain respects, he'll be forced to get down off his false-front high horse and "get real." Of course the timing would need to be his own (after all, he's "the man" now, right?) and he'll need to do his own ruminations on the matter and make a decision that isn't just "splitting the baby" on 30 different opinions from 10 different courtiers.

If Obama takes the other option of just doing a canned pro-forma outwardly-courteous but inwardly-false "unity" brush-off, then that will tell me he just wants to keep doing his same-old, same-old, figuring Hill's partisans themselves will have to, out of their own self-interest, fall into line behind the pied piper with rest of the marching band. That's fine. But I've never been one for marching bands. When parades like that go by, I'd just as soon go meditate under a tree.

So, I can't speak for other disaffected Dems. But the reasons I'm not voting for him at this point boil down to my perceptions that he's a deeply split character with moderately decent intentions who is shining on even himself. If I were to see a truly changed man who finally dared to be real (instead of just running canned tape loops behind a cardboard image), then I'd vote for him.

In short, to earn my vote, Obama has to do something which for some is very easy and for many others is very, very difficult: He has to finally be willing to become a truth-teller.

He set the bar high claiming he was operating according to a "higher standard." OK, fine. What a nice fit. I happen to be a guy who demands a higher standard. So, now, Barack, I'm going to hold you to your own words.

Obviously your mileage may vary.

Enough on this topic for me.

EW

graz
06-06-2008, 03:23 AM
EW:
Since my post yesterday, your Hillary predictions seem to have come to pass.

Thanks for crystallizing your Obama critique. It's certainly a lot more palatable. I'll now be forced to look for signs to corroborate your thesis. I think I understand your assessment, but have to test it over time... it is interesting. I'll respect your last word for now. Maybe it will all become clear as the process unfolds.

Eastwest
06-06-2008, 05:11 AM
EW, I might agree with a fair part of your reasoning. Particularly. I like the idea of a Republican president taking political responsibility for the current administration's mess. But what's at stake is the Federal Judiciary and Supreme Court.

Lots of very scary Supreme Court issues hanging fire, I agree, but guess what?:

While I do believe in separation of church and state, I do reserve the right to vote my conscience or not vote at all as a statement of my beliefs. (See my reply to Graz immediately above on the issue of why I might either abstain from voting for president completely or might actually go ahead and vote for Obama.)

Although I rated out on the political profile quiz as -8.8 Economic (very Left) and -5.85 Social (decently Libertarian), I really do believe (as is the case for all Buddhists adhering to the Buddha's pronouncements on the matter) that abortion is morally wrong, so my Supreme Court panic threshholds are tuned differently than those of most Dems.

(And, no, please don't ask me to go into an abortion discussion with you, as I won't do it. It's way too divisive and counterproductive and I'd have to drag you into some pretty arcane territory you've never experienced involving what one actually sees in deep meditation [ghosts, past lives, etc], and you'll just end up angry and concluding I'm either a liar or a nutcase or [most likely] both.)

Enough said on that.

EW

TwinSwords
06-06-2008, 07:43 AM
"This isn't the Paul O'Neill (http://www.amazon.com/Price-Loyalty-George-Education-ONeill/dp/0743255461) I knew..."

Whatfur
06-06-2008, 07:49 AM
Please insert: Dick Cheney (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11645?in=05:27&out=05:33)


I had not listened to that full diavlog yet, but I did expand your times (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11645?in=05:15&out=05:33)above enough to gather they were actually talking about a change associated with his heart surgery. Classy, Brendan, real classy.

So, at least compared to the "zing", your attempt is a little limp. To both though I can remind that unless I am mistaken the Bush/Cheney ticket is not on the ballot this year.

In any case, as long as you are comfortable with my picture of you being a catty, little girl; I am comfortable with your back patting.

AemJeff
06-06-2008, 09:02 AM
(And, no, please don't ask me to go into an abortion discussion with you, as I won't do it. It's way too divisive and counterproductive ...)

No fear - I used the particular issue for its value as a lodestone, not as a wedge into a debate.

I will say (and I note you've signed off on this issue so I won't hammer it) that in your post to graz, you seem to be holding Obama responsible for doing well what nearly every successful politician has to do.

Whatfur
06-06-2008, 10:01 AM
"This isn't the Paul O'Neill (http://www.amazon.com/Price-Loyalty-George-Education-ONeill/dp/0743255461) I knew..."
Oh, I'm sorry I missed you, let me rephrase...
...
So, at least compared to the "zing", your attempts are a little limp. To all who wish to dismiss Rezko by deflection though I can remind that... unless I am mistaken; the Bush/Cheney ticket is not on the ballot this year.

In any case, as long as y'all are comfortable with my picture of you being a catty, little girls; I am comfortable with your back patting and attempts to pile on.

Actually was hoping for some meaningful arguments as to why this relationship doesn't matter and some convincing retorts as to why...

"A prominent fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted of fraud, money laundering and bribery Wednesday after a trial that exposed a corrupt culture of payoffs and campaign finance abuses plaguing Illinois politics."

and the fact that...

"Rezko has known Obama since he entered politics, raised money for his Illinois campaigns and was involved in a 2005 real estate deal with him."

should not in any way be a reflection on him. But I guess I set myself up for disappointment. It is enlightening to know, if not somewhat disturbing, that the Obama fans are so entrenched that they would rather run interference than actually examine a problematic issue.

Bloggin' Noggin
06-06-2008, 10:04 AM
Excuse me, EW, but I thought you yourself had a lot of problems with Hillary -- I was going on what you said before. I wasn't saying "weak in comparison with Obama" -- I was conceding your view that they were both fairly weak. But never mind.
But I still don't understand why Obama can't show respect to Hillary without giving her the VP slot -- he has reapeatedly shown her respect. I require that people respect me, but I hardly think that means they should promote me to second in command.
Nor do I see why respecting Hillary's supporters amounts to "respecting" Hillary's personal ambitions. Those were the questions I was raising last time. Why are Hillary's supporters so closely identified with Hillary rather than with her ISSUES?
HRC and her supporters (including you) have been at least as disrespectful of Obama and especially of his supporters as vice versa, yet I would have no trouble voting for Hillary in the general election if she had gotten most delegates. Even if she'd somehow managed to pull strings and get all the superdelegates to support her, I'd still prefer her on the issues to McCain.
I think some of Hillary's supporters ought to recollect that they are not Hillary.

Whatfur
06-06-2008, 10:22 AM
...
But I guess I set myself up for disappointment. It is enlightening to know, if not somewhat disturbing, that the Obama fans are so entrenched that they would rather run interference than actually examine a problematic issue.


...or at least I would have hoped that the retorts were more on point..you know where the deflection actually pointed fingers at say suspicious Republican fundrasing...say like Jack Abramoff or someone...oh wait sorry bad example...Obama secured 6 figures when fundraising with Jack...never mind.

deebee
06-06-2008, 12:00 PM
bjkeefe: I'll also point out that there is no shortage of things that have been said by Clinton, her campaign, and her supporters about Obama. AND I also hope you will eventually come to realize that the things that Obama himself said or did were all part of the dirty game of politics, and he was not the only one employing such tactics.

As a political junkie, I'm fully aware of the Machiavellian nature of the sport and believe that its fully appropriate in that arena ala "render unto Caesar whatever is his". So I fully agree that both parties have been guilty of "insensitivity", which is as it should be.

My point is that if you try to play that game artfully, you have to know when to allow an opponent a graceful exit. Obama's group did not do that which rubbed salt into already raw wounds. He is also particularly vulnerable by this delight in, as EW aptly put it, "flipping us the bird" because one of the main justifications for his candidacy is "BRINGING US TOGETHER" & "A NEW KIND OF POLITICS". So each time he fails to do so, which has been pretty much all of the time, he begins to look like a hollow Elmer Gantry figure -- a poseur (or EW's plastic), if you will... I know that's how they do it in Chicago (having once lived there) but that kind of crude arrogance doesn't play way over the long haul.

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 12:42 PM
Whatfur:

Actually was hoping for some meaningful arguments as to why this relationship doesn't matter and some convincing retorts as to why...

Your hopes are masked by the tone of your comments.

As I have said before, you're likely to get back whatever you put out -- if you sound respectful, you'll get respect in return. If you insist on mixing in insults in nearly every post, well, you see what happens.

graz
06-06-2008, 12:46 PM
...or at least I would have hoped that the retorts were more on point..you know where the deflection actually pointed fingers at say suspicious Republican fundrasing...say like Jack Abramoff or someone...oh wait sorry bad example...Obama secured 6 figures when fundraising with Jack...never mind.

Handle: Quote:
"Seriously whut, I like you and I like this forum 'cause among other things,it shines the light of day on how guys like you will believe anything to keep a good thing going. And you think you are just fine. Hell, you think you are gods own logical debater. A master debater you may be, but I think most of us see you as devils advocate."

I would like to rejoin the "little girls" team and remind you that mention of REZCO or Jack offAbram will not receive the response you solicit. So consider your pursuit a form of one-hand clapping or master-debating.

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 12:51 PM
... My point is that if you try to play that game artfully, you have to know when to allow an opponent a graceful exit. Obama's group did not do that which rubbed salt into already raw wounds. He is also particularly vulnerable by this delight in, as EW aptly put it, "flipping us the bird" because one of the main justifications for his candidacy is "BRINGING US TOGETHER" & "A NEW KIND OF POLITICS". So each time he fails to do so, which has been pretty much all of the time, he begins to look like a hollow Elmer Gantry figure -- a poseur (or EW's plastic), if you will... I know that's how they do it in Chicago (having once lived there) but that kind of crude arrogance doesn't play way over the long haul.

I can sort of see where you're coming from, deebee. All I can say in response is that I don't share your impression. I don't think that Obama has been arrogant or that he has been rubbing salt into wounds. I think he has bent over backwards to be respectful of Clinton. He said repeatedly throughout the home stretch of the primary race that he had not yet sewn up the nomination and that Clinton was perfectly entitled to continue running. As the end drew near, and even after he had mathematically clinched the nomination, he featured praise for Clinton in every speech I saw or read about. He has never called for her to drop out, nor have any of his official campaign spokespeople, as far as I am aware.

If you have some other reason for feeling the way you do, then I apologize for not being aware of it, but at the moment, it seems to me that you're conflating what others have said (Chris Matthews is sort of a canonical example) with what Obama has said.

deebee
06-06-2008, 12:59 PM
Graz: So do you take your next cue from Hillary?
What do you want? How can you get it?
The marbles are in Hillary's hand..let's hope she has good aim.

I feel that there are some who have deified Hillary and that she has inadvertently started a movement of her own. But speaking for myself this whole melodrama really has little to do with this individual person anymore, nor are her marbles that relevant. Frankly I believe that the genie is out of the bottle, impressions are fixed and anything that is done to repair the breach will be difficult if not impossible.

Still, in "The other 18 million" (Joan Walsh, Salon.com) offers these suggestions for "the self-described "hope-monger" and his followers: "Don't call them racist. Or old and irrelevant. And don't say Hillary Clinton has to do all the work to heal the breach [i.e. the marbles are NOT in her court]. Obama has plenty he can do himself."

On your side, I personally cringe whenever I hear people refer to your man as "Barry" or "Bambi" because its obviously meant to demean and civility would be most welcome here as well. But as Walsh further explains, "the sexist disrespect faced by Clinton, and her female supporters has been deplorable. But maybe worse has been the willful denial by much of the media and many Obama supporters that it even exists, or if it does that it matters."

Once again, speaking for myself, I would strongly recommend that Obamians, other politicians and the media also cease and desist when it comes to implying that this disaffection is typical of a difficult race and that "they will get over it by November". A much better response might be "we understand the grievances of many and will try our best to address them in the days to come" . Would that be asking too much? Unfortunately I think that it would be and that it might prove to be too little too late anyways...

And don't forget all of those other bitter workin folk out there who have been pretty much ignored by Obama in the primary after Pennsylvania and have been written off by his minions as unworthy of consideration. That's a whole lot of votes.

Peace......

graz
06-06-2008, 01:29 PM
I feel that there are some who have deified Hillary and that she has inadvertently started a movement of her own. But speaking for myself this whole melodrama really has little to do with this individual person anymore, nor are her marbles that relevant. Frankly I believe that the genie is out of the bottle, impressions are fixed and anything that is done to repair the breach will be difficult if not impossible.

Still, in "The other 18 million" (Joan Walsh, Salon.com) offers these suggestions for "the self-described "hope-monger" and his followers: "Don't call them racist. Or old and irrelevant. And don't say Hillary Clinton has to do all the work to heal the breach [i.e. the marbles are NOT in her court]. Obama has plenty he can do himself."

On your side, I personally cringe whenever I hear people refer to your man as "Barry" or "Bambi" because its obviously meant to demean and civility would be most welcome here as well. But as Walsh further explains, "the sexist disrespect faced by Clinton, and her female supporters has been deplorable. But maybe worse has been the willful denial by much of the media and many Obama supporters that it even exists, or if it does that it matters."

Once again, speaking for myself, I would strongly recommend that Obamians, other politicians and the media also cease and desist when it comes to implying that this disaffection is typical of a difficult race and that "they will get over it by November". A much better response might be "we understand the grievances of many and will try our best to address them in the days to come" . Would that be asking too much? Unfortunately I think that it would be and that it might prove to be too little too late anyways...

And don't forget all of those other bitter workin folk out there who have been pretty much ignored by Obama in the primary after Pennsylvania and have been written off by his minions as unworthy of consideration. That's a whole lot of votes.

Peace......

I hear ya but I fear ya. You have expressed very clearly the legitimate concerns of many disappointed voters. And again you confirmed my point that there will be no satisfying some. We can only carry on and wait and see.
Peace...

deebee
06-06-2008, 01:29 PM
BJ Keefe: As the end drew near, and even after he had mathematically clinched the nomination, he featured praise for Clinton in every speech I saw or read about. He has never called for her to drop out, nor have any of his official campaign spokespeople, as far as I am aware.


I would never have expected him to personally call for her to quit. That was left up to surrogates such as Dodd, Leahy, and I think Kerry (not sure of that one). Also based on the negative reaction to those guys, it became abundantly clear that to do so himself would constitute political suicide. So at times he said the right words, but actions speak louder and I really feel that the way he played the endgame was fatally flawed -- especially since Hillary either won or tied the popular vote and continued to win so many of the later primaries as he seemed at times to falter.

David Broder who is definitely not a Clinton fan, described it this way:" But for all his achievements and advantages, Obama limped into the nomination as a vulnerable and somewhat diminished politician. After winning 11 primaries and caucuses in a row in February, his magic touch seemed to depart him." He goes on to describe how he lost much of the Democratic coalition white, Hispanic, middle-aged or older who wanted more substance that the "sweeping, reformist generalizations".

I believe that Obama's actions at the end were at least as important as Clinton's have been made out to be and I feel that he did not comport himself very well despite all of his attempts at sweet talk.

Whatfur
06-06-2008, 01:39 PM
Handle: Quote:
"Seriously whut, I like you and I like this forum 'cause among other things,it shines the light of day on how guys like you will believe anything to keep a good thing going. And you think you are just fine. Hell, you think you are gods own logical debater. A master debater you may be, but I think most of us see you as devils advocate."

I would like to rejoin the "little girls" team and remind you that mention of REZCO or Jack offAbram will not receive the response you solicit. So consider your pursuit a form of one-hand clapping or master-debating.

OMG graz...using a handle quote, what?... nothing from Jefferson or Socrates?
You certainly never left the team.

As usual, I am not looking to do anything but inform. No, one-handed clap, or back pat needed. You can just close your eyes though (in the real sense, not the usual one) and imagine that it was McCain who had the association with Rezko.

look
06-06-2008, 01:39 PM
While I professionally opted out of wearing any of my colorful Obama t-shirts, buttons or tote bags to the interview, I DID have on my tasteful little sterling silver charm bracelet with a little O B A M A 08 dangling from it. I thought about taking it off right up until 4:29. And then I thought about what I have stood for throughout this entire campaign and I decided I have nothing to hide, nothing to fear and nothing to gain by packing away my beautiful trinket.An interesting find, graz. The way she phrases her decision to keep the bracelet on reminds me of a Christian keeping his religious symbol on, rather than betray Jesus.

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 02:04 PM
deebee:

That [calling for her to drop out] was left up to surrogates such as Dodd, Leahy, and I think Kerry (not sure of that one).

I don't think it's fair to call these guys surrogates, at least not without evidence. I think that it's more accurate to say that they are/were just supporters, and it's reasonable to take them at their word: that they wanted to move on to the general election and not risk further dividing the party.

I do think they were wrong to do call for her to drop out when they did -- even though Clinton did not appear to have a way to win, there was no reason not to let the rest of the primary play out. On the other hand, it was obvious that her last available strategy was to try to convince enough superdelegates that she was the better candidate, to overcome Obama's lead in pledged delegates. This amounted, until the final couple of weeks, almost exclusively to trying to diminish Obama, sometimes to the extent that she and her husband suggested that McCain would be a better choice. Therefore, it seems legitimate for senior Dems to have been worried about the long term effects of such a strategy. I note the RNC has already put out at least one attack ad on Obama that features video of Clinton disparaging him.

You're right that Obama did not finish in convincing fashion, and that Clinton continued to stay right with him in terms of states won down the stretch and the popular vote overall. Nonetheless, the only score that matters is the number of delegates won, and it has been clear for at least a month, and arguably since early March, that she could not overcome Obama's lead. So, while she had a right to stay in the race, and was technically correct to say that she could still win, the way she carried herself was damaging to Democratic Party interests.

As with her unflattering comparisons of Obama with McCain, her push to get MI and FL back into play was particularly deplorable. Even if you think the DNC screwed this up early on (and I'd be with you on this), she did agree to their decision when it was handed down. When it became apparent that her earlier campaign strategy had not worked, she tried to change the rules in the middle of the game, and did so using a cynical, dishonest, and faux-populist approach. She tried to make it look like Obama was somehow cheating her, or cheating the voters of those two states, when all he did was the same thing she did -- agree to abide by the DNC's decision. Further, when he did what he was not required to do -- attempt to reach a new settlement -- she and her campaign spokespeople used the final compromise that they themselves agreed to as more gasoline for the fire.

Reflecting something that you said in response to graz: I agree that there was no shortage of sexism at play in the media and online. On the other hand, I also think Clinton is not without blame here -- to my mind she has played the victim card for all it was worth, and one consequence of that is that she has riled up millions of people who are making her defeat, and any criticism of her, into a stand-in for every injustice that women have ever faced. I am not saying she had no right to complain. I am saying that she also was skilled at making lemonade out of the lemons at hand, and given her refusal to acknowledge that she could not win except by destroying Obama, I continue to hold this against her as well.

One final gripe: her speech on Tuesday night, after the last primaries had been held, was sorely lacking in class. She should have acknowledged reality, at least to the extent of congratulating Obama for having won a majority of the delegates. Instead, she did her level best to present herself as still in contention.

I believe that Obama's actions at the end were at least as important as Clinton's have been made out to be and I feel that he did not comport himself very well despite all of his attempts at sweet talk.

Again, you keep saying things like this, but you don't offer any concrete examples. All of your examples reflect what other people, not connected with the campaign, have done or said, and your labeling of them as "surrogates" is not backed up by any evidence.

Whatfur
06-06-2008, 02:05 PM
Whatfur:

Your hopes are masked by the tone of your comments.

As I have said before, you're likely to get back whatever you put out -- if you sound respectful, you'll get respect in return. If you insist on mixing in insults in nearly every post, well, you see what happens.

Pretty sure, Brendan, my friend, that I started this with a simple link with a simple play on the fact that Obama certainly seems to have a closet full of skeletons. My comments were directed at no one...and as usual you and yours followed with the "zing"ers and you in particular threw in the little jab directed at me. You then say something like the above as if you are somehow above the fray. Hypocritical?

graz
06-06-2008, 03:25 PM
An interesting find, graz. The way she phrases her decision to keep the bracelet on reminds me of a Christian keeping his religious symbol on, rather than betray Jesus.

Do you tend towards admiring this, or is it creepy?

To my mind, I would be selfish and hide the bracelet, so as to not risk my objective. Of course I would never wear it in the first place, nor do I sport bumper stickers or knock on neighbors doors to ask for support. There clearly are many who raise their allegiance to a party or candidate beyond the bounds of reason.
This is why I find my attraction to Obama curious. My level of anticipation for potential positive outcomes has been raised by his candidacy. Mind you, not the politician. But what he seems to represent to many. That is, a renewal (excluding first-timers) of the idea of participatory democracy. I want my neighbors (metaphorically) to participate as citizens.
I bet you want to know why I think this candidate has provided the spark?
I have to say that it isn't just as a result of his eloquence or prescience. It is a recognition due to his entrance into the mix, that before now I haven't allowed myself to participate in the process beyond pulling a lever.
Maybe it also has to do with my sons coming of age, so as to force me to recognize that I have an obligation to lead by example and inspire... not just talk.

Obama is a good talker. But I also view him as a man of action. He is attempting to meet the challenge that present day politics offers.
Will he rise to the task? I don't know.
Will the alternative even attempt to challenge us to participate and risk failure? No. As McCain made clear in his green-screen speech:
Fear change... status quo is good.

P.S. I forgot the policies and programs etc...

Wonderment
06-06-2008, 03:45 PM
Article on Mayhill Fowler (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-fowler7-2008jun07,0,7012425.story) in today's LA Times

graz
06-06-2008, 03:54 PM
Article on Mayhill Fowler (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-fowler7-2008jun07,0,7012425.story) in today's LA Times

McCain better mind his P's & Q's, she is on his trail. Good for her. Good for us.

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 04:11 PM
Article on Mayhill Fowler (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-fowler7-2008jun07,0,7012425.story) in today's LA Times

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing the link.

Especially relevant to our discussion (emph. added):

Fowler attributed her success to persistence, serendipity and an acknowledged flouting of the old rules of mainstream journalism.

"Of course he had no idea I was a journalist," Fowler said by phone from her Oakland, Calif., home, recalling her close encounter with Clinton as a "citizen journalist" for the Huffington Post website. "He just thought we were all average, ordinary Americans who had come out to see him. And, of course, in one sense, that is what I am."

[...]

Fowler's mind flashed to the Vanity Fair profile she had just read, which accused Clinton of dirtying his legacy by running with unsavory friends and business associates.

"Mr. President," Fowler asked, "what do you think of that hatchet job somebody did on you in Vanity Fair?" She would say later the question represented her true feelings, even if it lacked the dispassion of mainstream journalism.

[...]

Jay Carson, a Clinton spokesman, noted that traditional reporters would have identified themselves before asking a question. But politicians, he agreed, now must recognize that "everything is on the record and will be on YouTube in two seconds."

[...]

Unlike traditional journalists, who try to shroud their political preferences, she openly reported her preference for Obama (even as she occasionally tweaked him for arrogance or elitism).


Good parts and bad parts, from my old-fogey point of view. I like that she is upfront about her candidate preference, and I admire her persistence and dedication.

I am coming around to the idea that the class of citizen journalists should be allowed to define for themselves a set of guidelines different from the existing ones that the press plays by. Given that at least some political operatives have already accepted this as a new reality, I guess that helps me in coming around.

Still, though, the more people do what she does, the worse it will get with people trying to sandbag politicians, and the more the politicians will become robots who never go off message. Let's just say I remain less than thrilled about some of these prospects.

handle
06-06-2008, 04:28 PM
OMG graz...using a handle quote, what?... nothing from Jefferson or Socrates?
You certainly never left the team.

As usual, I am not looking to do anything but inform. No, one-handed clap, or back pat needed. You can just close your eyes though (in the real sense, not the usual one) and imagine that it was McCain who had the association with Rezko.

One handed informing
wHO'S QUOTING YOU?

handle
06-06-2008, 04:35 PM
Pretty sure, Brendan, my friend, that I started this with a simple link with a simple play on the fact that Obama certainly seems to have a closet full of skeletons. My comments were directed at no one...and as usual you and yours followed with the "zing"ers and you in particular threw in the little jab directed at me. You then say something like the above as if you are somehow above the fray. Hypocritical?

Bullies cry loudest, "insert here" is an open invitation, so you got what you get.
Weve followed enough of your links to not waste anymore time on them. So you set a clever little girlie trap! Got me again! Oh the pain ...FUR! MAKE IT STOP!!!

any ideas on who gets the first pardon? Mcclellen jumped first so he's covered..

handle
06-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Bullies cry loudest, "insert here" is an open invitation, so you got what you get.
Weve followed enough of your links to not waste anymore time on them. So you set a clever little girlie trap! Got me again! Oh the pain ...FUR! MAKE IT STOP!!!

any ideas on who gets the first pardon? Mcclellen jumped first so he's covered..

Sorry, take back the "we've" insert an "I've". I'm only one girl after all...
I feel the need to explain why I got zinger status for that one. In case you don't get the Neocon talking points in your inbox, all the wingnuts were on the tube last week saying "this isn't the S.M. we knew". It might behoove you to get on the list.

Wonderment
06-06-2008, 05:22 PM
Still, though, the more people do what she does, the worse it will get with people trying to sandbag politicians, and the more the politicians will become robots who never go off message. Let's just say I remain less than thrilled about some of these prospects.

I look at it the other way around: journalists like Fowler invent new ways to get at what pols are really thinking because the pols are already robotic. If Clinton weren't a bot, there'd be no need to catch him in a spontaneous moment; he'd have non-robotic moments on his own, like the rest of us human beings do.

It seems somewhat clear to me (though not easy) where to draw the lines. Fowler (in both the Obama and Clinton cases) reported real political news: a) Obama may think the hillbillies are duped into clinging to church and guns (reader, judge for yourself) and b) Clinton may believe Barack Obama is behind allegations that Hillary is a "white racist" (again, reader, judge for yourself).

This is not the paparazzi stalking Chelsea, nor is it a hack like Mickey spreading salacious lies in order to discredit candidates like Edwards whom he doesn't like, or to win points just in case one of the outlandish rumors turn out to be true and he can claim he reported it first (i.e., his "prediction" that there would soon be another McCain sex scandal).

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 05:52 PM
Wonderment:

Let me just repeat that (upon further reflection since we started this thread) I don't have much of a problem with Fowler's actions in these two cases; it's more that I worry about what the next steps will be once we fully accept that what she did broke no rules.

However, I mostly bow before your rebuttal. In particular, I can't argue at all with your observation that politicians are already so robot-like that it's a good thing that people like Fowler are finding new ways to open them up for examination.

TwinSwords
06-06-2008, 06:07 PM
You then say something like the above as if you are somehow above the fray. Hypocritical?
No, he didn't say he was above the fray, he said you will be treated the way you treat others. Sounds like he has been perfectly consistent, wouldn't you agree?

bjkeefe
06-06-2008, 06:08 PM
Pretty sure, Brendan, my friend ...

An interesting choice of words, especially given your tone in the PM and the email that you recently sent to me. I guess you're being sarcastic?

... that I started this with a simple link with a simple play ...

Nice try to make it all about one post. Sorry, but it won't work. I'm talking about your overall behavior on this board. And as far as this one post goes, I'll just restate what handle observed: it was a snarky -- if not intentionally mean-spirited -- post, and the responses, once again, were in kind. You reap what you sow, to coin a phrase.

[...] My comments were directed at no one...

When you post in a public forum, your comments are directed at everyone.

[...] You then say something like the above as if you are somehow above the fray. Hypocritical?

If it makes you feel better to reach for this stale accusation of last resort, by all means.

However, I don't claim to be above the fray. In fact, I claim just the opposite. Reread my previous post -- I am at the level of the fray.

This means that if the discourse is considered and polite, that's how I'm inclined to respond. If it's filled with gutter-sniping, as the overwhelming majority of your posts are, then I'll sometimes go down there. I'm not proud of that, but I'm not particularly ashamed of it, either -- sometimes it's the only way to deal with people like you.

While I await your next threatening email, I feel compelled to warn you that your home email address is not masked, even when you send through this site. Also, be aware that I will consider it fully within my rights to publish anything you do send from now on.

Eastwest
06-06-2008, 07:06 PM
Excuse me, EW, but I thought you yourself had a lot of problems with Hillary -- I was going on what you said before. I wasn't saying "weak in comparison with Obama" -- I was conceding your view that they were both fairly weak. But never mind.
But I still don't understand why Obama can't show respect to Hillary without giving her the VP slot -- he has reapeatedly shown her respect. I require that people respect me, but I hardly think that means they should promote me to second in command.

BN:

I was distracted and short on sleep and so misread your intent. Sorry.

Yeah, Obama can genuinely do the olive branch thing with HRC without giving her the Veep slot. I sort of wonder why she'd want to even go there anyway when she can probably be more effective and esteemed in the Senate. Wouldn't be all bad for Obama to consider using Bill in specific, well-defined diplomatic missions or some such where his talents can be put to use without his developing foibles (incipient alcoholism?) becoming an in-house liability. But, in any case, BHO has certainly got to do something that goes way the hell beyond merely perfunctory scripted comments. Otherwise a lot of crucial voters will just not buy it and will just see it as yet more of the same now-famous BHO two-dimensionality (at least as viewed by a huge number of skeptics like myself).

Truth is, if Obama could get Biden as veep, IMHO, that would probably be best as that could possibly patch his huge "national security weakness" vulnerability at least as it is so widely held to exist by a lot of swing voters and HRC loyalists.

(Frankly, I thought Biden was the best choice for Dem Presidential Candidate before the media so early pushed everything into HRC and Obama incessant boosterism so much so that the whole rest of the field was largely ignored and of course failed as a result to survive in the primaries.)

On this board, sure, there's been sniping back and forth. I think it's still fair play to question qualities of candidates, but get a little less enchanted over implicitly or explicitly calling somebody on the other side of a thread POV an out and out lame-brained idiot, if you know what I mean. I know my tendency to be intensely direct or tongue-in-cheek without the appropriate smiley probably doesn't help matters.

As noted in my initial post on this thread, my biggest disenchantment has been with a half-year's largely unjustified personal attacks on the character of HRC by nearly everyone in media, in the DV pairings, and, frankly, on this board.

As noted, my taking exception to that was not because I thought Hillary couldn't handle it, (like I said she's long since used to it), but because Obama boosters were not realizing I think how that makes for such a large population (up to 18 million?) of HRC voters being unnecessarily alienated and in a high percentage of cases more-or-less left holding a grudge against Obama as a result.

That simmering rage that was so unnecessarily promoted was largely due not so much to specific statements by Obama (though he certainly played a larger part in it through tacit approval of surrogates and a goodly number of acid and bivalent comments of his own), but rather to actions and statements of a large, very-avid, and sometimes nearly rabid following in MSM, in the blogosphere, and in virtually every town and village in this country.

To me the Toobin comment about HRC's supposed "Deranged Narcissism" was such a perfect summation of the Obama supporter self-righteous indignation attitude even with a split popular vote, with BHO losing the majority of the last 16 primaries, and her needing a day or two to get her bearings that I figured it really was justifiable to go off on it here.

As for me, I'm just waiting. Will the third dimension really emerge? Does somebody have a black and white photo of BHO snorting up a huge line of coke? Will he get conned into a McCain hosted guided tour of Iraq? What's left in the closet?

So there's still plenty of time for things to get better or go very far south. I'm actually kind of disgusted with such an absurdly long media and blogosphere circus just to get a decent president. Seems completely insane and I find myself wanting to tune the whole damn thing out.

Cheers,
EW

graz
06-06-2008, 07:21 PM
While I await your next threatening email, I feel compelled to warn you that your home email address is not masked, even when you send through this site. Also, be aware that I will consider it fully within my rights to publish anything you do send from now on.

Oh do tell...

handle
06-06-2008, 07:35 PM
Oh do tell...

Spill the beans! You know how us girls like to gossip

graz
06-06-2008, 07:40 PM
As noted in my initial post on this thread, my biggest disenchantment has been with a half-year's largely unjustified personal attacks on the character of HRC by nearly everyone in media, in the DV pairings, and, frankly, on this board.



What I find very difficult to separate is the "personal" from the political in criticism of HRC:

To borrow a quote to highlight my point. Here you could argue that the political is wholly personal. Her actions are perceived by many to be personally suspect. She cannot have it both ways. And it seems that you have been of both minds on this - Maybe your moniker fits here - in seeming to cut her slack for her style - after all she is a politician. But also calling the charges attacks.

Quote:
"I do think they were wrong to do call for her to drop out when they did -- even though Clinton did not appear to have a way to win, there was no reason not to let the rest of the primary play out. On the other hand, it was obvious that her last available strategy was to try to convince enough superdelegates that she was the better candidate, to overcome Obama's lead in pledged delegates. This amounted, until the final couple of weeks, almost exclusively to trying to diminish Obama, sometimes to the extent that she and her husband suggested that McCain would be a better choice. Therefore, it seems legitimate for senior Dems to have been worried about the long term effects of such a strategy. I note the RNC has already put out at least one attack ad on Obama that features video of Clinton disparaging him.

You're right that Obama did not finish in convincing fashion, and that Clinton continued to stay right with him in terms of states won down the stretch and the popular vote overall. Nonetheless, the only score that matters is the number of delegates won, and it has been clear for at least a month, and arguably since early March, that she could not overcome Obama's lead. So, while she had a right to stay in the race, and was technically correct to say that she could still win, the way she carried herself was damaging to Democratic Party interests.

As with her unflattering comparisons of Obama with McCain, her push to get MI and FL back into play was particularly deplorable. Even if you think the DNC screwed this up early on (and I'd be with you on this), she did agree to their decision when it was handed down. When it became apparent that her earlier campaign strategy had not worked, she tried to change the rules in the middle of the game, and did so using a cynical, dishonest, and faux-populist approach. She tried to make it look like Obama was somehow cheating her, or cheating the voters of those two states, when all he did was the same thing she did -- agree to abide by the DNC's decision. Further, when he did what he was not required to do -- attempt to reach a new settlement -- she and her campaign spokespeople used the final compromise that they themselves agreed to as more gasoline for the fire.

Reflecting something that you said in response to graz: I agree that there was no shortage of sexism at play in the media and online. On the other hand, I also think Clinton is not without blame here -- to my mind she has played the victim card for all it was worth, and one consequence of that is that she has riled up millions of people who are making her defeat, and any criticism of her, into a stand-in for every injustice that women have ever faced. I am not saying she had no right to complain. I am saying that she also was skilled at making lemonade out of the lemons at hand, and given her refusal to acknowledge that she could not win except by destroying Obama, I continue to hold this against her as well.

One final gripe: her speech on Tuesday night, after the last primaries had been held, was sorely lacking in class. She should have acknowledged reality, at least to the extent of congratulating Obama for having won a majority of the delegates. Instead, she did her level best to present herself as still in contention."

I only persist with this because I am really trying to understand this real gulf between the two camps. I'm not asking you to be a spokesperson either, but maybe you can offer perspective on this particular puzzle.

Eastwest
06-07-2008, 02:12 AM
What I find very difficult to separate is the "personal" from the political in criticism of HRC:

To borrow a quote [from BJKeefe's reply to Deebee] to highlight my point:

"When it became apparent that her earlier campaign strategy had not worked, she tried to change the rules in the middle of the game, and did so using a cynical, dishonest, and faux-populist approach.

**** ...
Clinton is not without blame here -- to my mind she has played the victim card for all it was worth, and one consequence of that is that she has riled up millions of people who are making her defeat, and any criticism of her, into a stand-in for every injustice that women have ever faced.
....
she could not win except by destroying Obama, I continue to hold this against her as well.

One final gripe: her speech ... was sorely lacking in class. ......"
****

[EW Editorial note: Graz's concluding rationale in pulling up this cat-carcass for re-inspection]: "I only persist with this because I am really trying to understand this real gulf between the two camps. I'm not asking you to be a spokesperson either, but maybe you can offer perspective on this particular puzzle."

Graz:

Aside from cutting out a few phrases to illustrate a couple points (see the boldface immediately above), I really can't trouble to go through the above BJ quote you adduce point-by-point not least because it is so suffused with specious reality-denying Obama partisan spin as to be not worth the trouble and it would put people to sleep in any case as the counter-arguments are obvious if your perspective is anywhere close to that of a "neutral" observer.

This quote from BJ is probably as good as any for illustrating the sub rosa demonization and dehumanization of HRC which has gone on in even its rather "mild" manifestations. (And, yes, this one is, comparatively speaking, "very mild," kind of like Green Tabasco) But, face it, it only demonstrates what has been apparent for a long time:

BJ (along with probably, what, two-thirds? of the Obama fan club) is a hardcore, die-hard Hillary hater who will always see that woman as an inherently dishonest and evil human being. He will never ever be able to actually place himself in the shoes of either HRC or her 18 million "riled" supporters who, excuse me, were riled up not by Hillary herself, but simply by off-the-wall ad hominem characterizations precisely like those uttered across the course of the entire primary season by media-hosted Obama pundit partisans just like Jeffrey Toobin, Maureen Dowd, and Arianna Huffington, by Obama culture partisans like the recently ostracized priest-friend of Obama visiting Obama's church, and by blogosphere Obama partisans just like BJ.

That's what got them riled up, and I dare say justifiably riled up. She was continuously and gratuitously ridiculed and reviled by Obama partisans from Iowa on forward even though she was neck-in-neck in the race all the way to June third. To claim this justifiable grudge-bearing which has emerged among HRC's supporters is somehow a result of Hillary's "riling them up" is out and out bovine excreta, period.

I can predict the critical response would be I'm just the mirror image of what I herein criticize. OK, go ahead, remain in denial, and say that. It's a convenient way of dodging reality.

I've waxed and waned on Obama himself (though have been fairly consistently critical and even acidly critical of the tenor of his followers which I've always seen as "out of bounds" in their demonization and ridicule rhetoric clearly aimed at driving HRC out of the race), but still come back to a fairly mild and I think justifiable "the guy hasn't truly leveled with us yet and hence I remain skeptical."

Having started to feel potentially fairly conciliatory up to a few minutes ago, reading this apologetic by BJ again, even after Obama barely crawled across the finish line with only a numeric-technicality finish which was so weak by virtue of revelations about his past bad judgments, thank you, and not because of Hillary's regularly demonstrating her superior competency, intelligence, and genuine (non-BHO-vaporware) speaking ability, I'm right back to wanting exactly nothing to do with Obama or any of his rottweilers.

To BJ and the rest who have to nourish their grudges even in victory, I have only this to say:

This is great. Keep it up. It's exactly the stuff which will keep people like me in our houses on November 4th, utterly disinterested in going to the polls. And, no, sorry to puncture your illusions: This disaffection has nothing to do with HRC's tactics as she had the very admirable chutzpa to force Obama to prove he could actually deliver a real victory at all of the polling places. This kind of ongoing blame-Hillary rhetoric itself will be one of several very important factors in guaranteeing McCain's entry into the White House.

(As for the others, they include but are not limited to: BHO's complete lack of experience, justifiable doubts about his National Security credentials, his proven inability to work with Congress when actually finally in Congress, and a long list of instances of poor judgment in his personal life and in his personal associations, his prioritizing strategic "political social climbing" over genuine personal ethics, his previous use of hard drugs like cocaine, his apparent inability to just be straight instead of always maintaining a faux-cool mask, his involvement with shady types like Rezco and Ayers, the fact that he's such a provincial hick he's hardly ever traveled beyond the borders of the United States, etc.)

"Good job, BJ."

With that, I am through with this thread. (Which means, BJ and friends: You're now free to turn lose the dogs, knowing full-well you can play heroic while still being "safe" in the assurance I won't plug them in their tracks.)

Amen.

EW

graz
06-07-2008, 02:41 AM
EW:

In fairness, I used his quote because it captured my complaint as well. I don't pretend to speak for him. I appreciate your response. While I had slim hope for a resolution, I guess we are back where we started. I think you have offered enough for now. I don't have any thing else. Well, except that I am interested to see how Saturday's speech and Obama's handling of the unfolding situation plays out.
Popcorn for all.

P.S. After re-reading I have to mention fwiw that I had no visceral sense of the post Iowa attacks or their effect. What I was aware intellectually I attributed to politics. I really hope to read an objective historical account of the campaign at some future remove. Till then...

bjkeefe
06-07-2008, 03:14 AM
[Mamas, don't let your babies read the original]

Shorter Eastwest:

My opinions are true facts and I could prove it if I wanted to, but I don't want to.

If you make fun of me, I'll stay in my house on November 4th. Bow down before my superior hypersensitivity! Bow down!

I went to Home Depot and bought five kitchen sinks just to throw at Obama. Therefore, Obama supporters are deranged.

And don't wear shoes.

Winning the majority of the delegates in accordance with party rules is a technicality.

Demonization of Hillary "has been apparent for a long time." That's why I called it "sub rosa (http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3A&q=sub+rosa)."

Wonderment
06-07-2008, 03:17 AM
(Mercifully) Shorter Eastwest

deebee
06-07-2008, 06:37 AM
BJ Keefe: I do think they were wrong to call for her to drop out when they did -- even though Clinton did not appear to have a way to win, there was no reason not to let the rest of the primary play out.


I'm also glad that it played out to the finish because it gave us all an opportunity to know Obama a lot better and draw our own conclusions regarding his tempermant and qualifications to become Leader of the Free World.

Since we all view reality through different lenses, I base my personal conclusions on a close observation of the candidate himself as well as those who surround him and who speak for and/or about him. I agree that it is difficult to discern who exactly has a direct line to his campaign and how much these things are coordinated, but that is always true.

Regarding my "sweet talk" remark, that has also come from my reaction to him -- sorry but that's the way I sees it. (Maybe I should have said "sweetie talk" -- I know, I know that's petty, but I just couldn't resist.)

In reference to Hillary's Tuesday speech, I believe that the media reaction to it was overblown, especially since others, such as John Edwards, did not immediately endorse Kerry when he went over the top. Instead he went home for a week to mull over his next move. After all, she did have an upset victory in SD, even though all of the Big Wigs in that small state were pining for Obama to win. Methinks this just points to another example of double standardizing.

bjkeefe
06-07-2008, 08:39 AM
Regarding my "sweet talk" remark, that has also come from my reaction to him -- sorry but that's the way I sees it. (Maybe I should have said "sweetie talk" -- I know, I know that's petty, but I just couldn't resist.)

I will never understand how this became an issue and why anyone would want to hang on to it. It's a common way for people in lots of areas of the US to address each other. I grant that it can be seen as pejorative if said by a man to a woman in a certain context, say, if he's her boss. In this case, however, it was in the middle of the hurly-burly of Obama getting ready to speak, he was addressed by the reporter while he was preoccupied, and he said it as part of an attempt to explain why he wasn't going to answer her question then. I watched the video of it -- it seemed unambiguous that he was trying to be friendly. And, Obama apologized afterwards when he realized offense had been taken, both for saying "sweetie" and for not answering the question. What more can you ask? And, it was a one-off occurrence, so why is it such a big deal?

And, none of this had anything to do with Clinton.

You're entitled to your own perceptions, but I think you're just wrong about this. Unless you have some other specific examples of Obama being sexist, I can't really respect this aspect of your perception of him. It just seems too imagined.

To repeat what I said in my earlier post, I think you're conflating things like this single moment with what others -- who have nothing to do with the campaign and almost all of whom are media figures (or random people online) -- have said about Clinton, and you're concluding somehow that Obama is a sexist or putting all the nasty things that the others said on his head. If not you specifically, then I withdraw that surmise, and plead excessive exposure to others who have said this explicitly, elsewhere.

Finally, I would also say that your use of "sweet talk" belittles the many respectful things that Obama said about Clinton down the stretch, including during his victory speech.

In reference to Hillary's Tuesday speech, I believe that the media reaction to it was overblown, especially since others, such as John Edwards, did not immediately endorse Kerry when he went over the top. Instead he went home for a week to mull over his next move.

The part about Edwards is not correct. Maybe you're mixing memories of the 2004 and 2008 campaigns together? Edwards did go in limbo in 2008, IIRC, but here's what happened in 2004: Kerry pretty much ran the table on Super Tuesday, 2 March 2004. He did not win enough delegates to clinch, but he jumped way ahead.

Late Super Tuesday night, CNN posted this lede (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/02/elec04.prez.analysts.quotes/index.html):

Sen. John Kerry all but wrapped up the Democratic Party's presidential nomination on Super Tuesday, as aides to his main rival, Sen. John Edwards, announced that the North Carolina senator plans to drop out of the race Wednesday.

The next day, the following appeared in the NY Times (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E2D6153FF930A35750C0A9629C8B 63):

Mr. Edwards, in his own phone call to Mr. Kerry, said he wanted to sit down with him to unify the party.

[...] ... he [Kerry] praised a ''remarkably gracious'' statement by Mr. Edwards ...

At risk of belaboring the point, another difference is that Obama had mathematically clinched the nomination when Clinton made the speech to which you say the media's reaction was overblown.

I'm not going to argue about the media's characterization of the speech -- as I have already made clear, I thought there was nothing too harsh that could have been said in reaction to what she said and didn't say that night.

One thing, though: you might be interested in a more sympathetic piece (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/hendrikhertzberg/2008/06/the-lady-doesnt.html) written by someone who was there in person, Hendrik Hertzberg, who was surprised by how "everyone else" in the media who wasn't in attendance seemed to have reacted when he caught the news the next day. Be aware that Herzberg is an Obama supporter, but if you filter out a couple of sentences, I think it comes off as a pretty even-handed piece.

After all, she did have an upset victory in SD, even though all of the Big Wigs in that small state were pining for Obama to win. Methinks this just points to another example of double standardizing.

I don't agree. I think the dynamic at work was that party leaders wanted the race to be over, knew Obama was going to win the nomination no matter what happened in SD, and wanted him to finish with a sweep, to move into the general election with that extra bit of momentum.

I should temper that somewhat -- it's probably true that some of those pulling for Obama in SD genuinely preferred him to Clinton, independent of the dynamics. You can say this is a double standard. I would say it's the same as in any contest -- everyone chooses his or her preferred candidate.

deebee
06-07-2008, 10:05 AM
BJ Keefe: And, Obama apologized afterwards when he realized offense had been taken, both for saying "sweetie" and for not answering the question. What more can you ask? And, it was a one-off occurrence, so why is it such a big deal?

Actually I don't think it's a very big deal either but sometimes these small, seemingly insignificant things offer indelible clues about a person's character. I really don't want to rehash all of the other demeaning things that were said or done by him (i.e. her claws come out, shoulder flicking etc.) but taken together they offer a composite sketch to some.

As for the Edwards concession, I could be wrong there and your research seems diligent. I know that I read it in some article recently but can't remember where, so I'll give you that one.

Finally BJ, I have to say that I admire your passion and prolific commentary on BHTV and believe that we would agree on a lot of issues, but on this one, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Doubt that either one of us will ever come around.

graz
06-07-2008, 11:47 AM
Doubt that either one of us will ever come around.
Sadly, like Tuesday's speech - no concession here.
With all due respect to the sentiments (accent on feelings) most clearly expressed by deebee as well as EW, I have not been persuaded by their case.

There must be some wisdom in the adage about avoiding politics and religion.
At least between friends or family. Thankfully, not on the forum.

I value their offers here which have helped me to gain some perspective on this intriguing race. But it was a political race. Race and Sexism are transcendent issues, that deserve their own platform. Yet they were linked to this campaign in ways that complicate the simple requirements of a final tally.
The rules were clear, the politics were typical and the results are in.

I single out deebee and EW only because they have been willing to participate in the fray. What neither has addressed is the case for McCain, which is implied in their rejection of Obama.

piscivorous
06-07-2008, 12:21 PM
... What neither has addressed is the case for McCain, which is implied in their rejection of Obama.It could imply a rejection of both and therefore a refusal to participate. This refusal, to participate, is not determinative of who will win the election in November. It merely removes one vote of support for Senator Obama, which is only half as bad, from the lefts perspective not necessarily mine, as would participation if it resulted in an actual vote for Senator McCain. It seems that your argument is the presumptive nominee is such a week contender that this non participation insures his defeat; so perhaps it is Senator Obama's supporters that need to reevaluate their position.

graz
06-07-2008, 12:45 PM
It could imply a rejection of both and therefore a refusal to participate. This refusal, to participate, is not determinative of who will win the election in November. It merely removes one vote of support for Senator Obama, which is only half as bad, from the lefts perspective not necessarily mine, as would participation if it resulted in an actual vote for Senator McCain. It seems that your argument is the presumptive nominee is such a week contender that this non participation insures his defeat; so perhaps it is Senator Obama's supporters that need to reevaluate their position.

All points heard. I didn't intend to fully address the macro implications. But you assume too much. deebee lives in your fine state of Florida. You all, left or right (wrong) are likely to hand the state to McCain anyway. As for the strength of the candidate: I don't see this rift as a referendum on his value. As for electability... we'll see.

piscivorous
06-07-2008, 12:49 PM
I prefer to see it as not handing the state to the greater of two evils.

Wonderment
06-07-2008, 02:50 PM
Here's where I think it manifests:

People believe -- I mean, really believe -- that if Hillary did not marry Bill Clinton and pass through Arkansas, the White House and the US Senate -- she would never be where she is today.

Of course, we don't have a time machine, but the real non-sexist respect for HRC is to respect her enough to acknowledge that she well may have been POTUS without ever having met Bill Clinton.

That's the kind of respect Hillary wants to see in American voters, and she doesn't get it, even from the intelligentsia.

This attitude is the equivalent to the racism inherent in dismissing Obama as an affirmative action baby (He's only the darling of the left because he's black).

graz
06-07-2008, 04:01 PM
I agree with your contention - really.
But how do you measure it against a vote or preference.
Common story: Both of my parents were Clinton supporters thru the nineties. They voted for Hillary alone in NY. They preferred Obama since the start of this race. They are loyal Dems but felt no particular allegiance to Hillary when they moved to NC. They conveyed to me a visceral negative reaction that increased over the course of the primary. The finger pointing was decidedly one-way.
I don't think you can separate out the sexism you referred to, but how far can a voter go towards addressing it other than moving forward as Hillary asked of her supporters.
The struggle for equality and justice is timeless. The length of a campaign is finite and incapable of resolving such over-arching issues. I have little sympathy for whiners from any camp - Whether it is the "He didn't say we would stay for one-hundred years" to the "He didn't say we would negotiate without pre-conditions."
Must we now pay for the sins of Dick-head Chris Matthews who stated - exactly along the lines you described - that Hillary would not be where she is without her husband's philandering etc... And all the other similar slights from the punditry or citizenry at large.
It is the worst aspect of identity politics, to allow yourself to be subsumed by legitimate grievance. Many of her supporters - feminists or not - are willing to focus on the next step. Many of them will rise to the challenge that Hillary eloquently put forth today: Acknowledge that the struggle continues, but move to action to beat it, by doing what is right. She didn't ask her supporters to follow her blindly - she respects them more than that. But she did paint a clear distinction between the choices at hand.

Wonderment
06-07-2008, 04:18 PM
Must we now pay for the sins of Dick-head Chris Matthews who stated - exactly along the lines you described - that Hillary would not be where she is without her husband's philandering etc... And all the other similar slights from the punditry or citizenry at large.

I'm just saying that Chris Matthews doesn't get to this day -- even after he apologized -- why his comment was wrong. He gets why Hillary would find it insulting and disrespectful, but he doesn't think he said anything that's false. He just thinks it was not PC.


But how do you measure it against a vote or preference?

You vote on the candidate's positions on the issues. I rejected Hillary and support Barack because of the divergence of their views on the Iraq War. I think he was right and she was wrong. That's my Number 1 issue, and it determined my degree of acceptance and rejection of all the candidates: Kucinich, Dodd, Edwards, Clinton, McCain, Guliani, Paul, etc.

The sexism and racism in the campaigns are important subjects of inquiry and criticism, but at the end of the day you have to vote on the issues.

Eastwest
06-07-2008, 04:23 PM
Shorter Eastwest: ....

BJ,

Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that, as an exercise in intellectual dishonesty, you would jump on the opportunity to place statements in my mouth I never uttered, distort what I said, and then set your distortion forth for mockery. So, allow me to clarify through my own condensation:

1) Eschewing the same old points of contention, in order to emblematically illustrate a character-attacking and derisiveness pattern in media, pundit class, and blogosphere, I chose direct quotes from you corroborating your own inveterate Hillary-hatred and grudge-bearing, and your emblematic but baseless assertion that Obama's loss of 9 of the last 14 primaries was due to:

[HRC's] ... using a cynical, dishonest ... approach.
She has played the victim card for all it was worth, ... she has riled up millions of people who are making her defeat and any criticism of her, into a stand-in for every injustice that women have ever faced.
...she could not win except by destroying Obama, I continue to hold this against her....

2) I asserted that the "riling up" of HRC supporters was not done by HRC herself as you would contend, but rather by the manifestation of the above described pattern.

3) I asserted in essence that the long history of this Hillary-bashing pattern has created an unprecedented level of alienation in a high percentage of 18 million Hillary-supporting Democratic voters and that continued nurturing of this same level of grievance against HRC (the "victimhood even in victory" syndrome) would make many of those 18 million Democratic voters disdain the opportunity to vote for Obama.

4) I listed only a partial set of the attack points which the Republican attack machine would start using against Obama as the other factors which, together with the unnecessary alienation of half the Dem base, would very likely result in Obama's defeat.

EW

PS: I'm not sure how much reading you do BJ, but current fairly standard use of the term sub-rosa derive from its original "secret, confidential" meaning and are descriptive of circumstances where a shared agenda is carried on in a manner whereby it is kept "implicit," i.e. "not explicitly stated in so many words," this because explicit statements would be unacceptable and would be roundly criticized. Such statements as they apply to this case might include: "She's a bitch"; "She's a deeply flawed, duplicitous racist"; "She's an inherently pathologically narcissist whose supposed caring for the general welfare is just a ruse conveniently set forth to enable her insatiable power-lust," etc. All of these are thought terrains with which I imagine you're at least passingly familiar.

Perhaps when you graduate from middle school remedial reading, you can get your parents to buy you a good dictionary and, who knows, maybe with your rhetorical skills you could even get a "columnist" position on the High School paper.

graz
06-07-2008, 04:47 PM
I'm just saying that Chris Matthews doesn't get to this day -- even after he apologized -- why his comment was wrong. He gets why Hillary would find it insulting and disrespectful, but he doesn't think he said anything that's false. He just thinks it was not PC.


He really pisses me off too. It isn't as simple as tuning out either... the meme spreads. It is really about framing, and he sets the agenda. Another example would be his fact-free speculation as to her Vice-Presidential aspirations. He is not alone in this approach either, just a handy example.
The frame: Will she honor and respect the man in power? Can she be subservient? My cringing at that must pale in relation to most women who allow it to effect them. And I guess your point is that one can't help but be affected to some degree. Make no mistake, he would pose the same asinine perspective on a male contender. But he is tone-deaf to the greater implications for a woman and her supporters (male and female alike). Confirmed. He is an @#$%! I look forward to the day when that sexist framing is not in play. In the mean time, that attitude and language should be resisted and challenged.

bjkeefe
06-07-2008, 05:01 PM
deebee:

But as Walsh further explains, "the sexist disrespect faced by Clinton, and her female supporters has been deplorable. But maybe worse has been the willful denial by much of the media and many Obama supporters that it even exists, or if it does that it matters."

This last bit from Walsh is particularly unhelpful. It strikes me as an unfounded over-generalization.

It is certainly true that some in the media and elsewhere have been completely bull-headed about the existence of sexism or its importance during this race, but I think overwhelmingly many more have acknowledged these realities and continue to do so, even the most Obamabotic among us.

Part of the problem, I believe, is that most political observers, amateur or professional, Obama supporters or not, do not think sexism is the only reason that Clinton didn't win. There are a myriad of other factors that contributed -- Obama's own appeal, Clinton's initial stance on Iraq, early resentment by the netroots of her "inevitable" image put forth by the MSM and her campaign, a general desire to move away from the politics of the old, lefties viewing Clinton as too centrist, a nervousness about the monarchical succession image of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton, bad campaign strategy and tactics epitomized by Mark Penn, Bill Clinton's baggage and gaffes, the fact that Hillary has had "negatives" of at least 40% since 1992, and so forth. It seems that to say so, however, provokes a overreaction among some, like Walsh, who hear it only as the statement "sexism didn't matter."

The whole thing reminds me of discussing Israel: If one makes any sort of critical remark at all of Israeli government policy, there are some whose inevitable reaction is, "You're anti-Semitic!"

As you noted elsewhere, you're unlikely to budge on this, and you have proposed that we agree to disagree, but I did want to register my irritation with this statement by Walsh.

graz
06-07-2008, 05:02 PM
Quote:
[HRC's] ... using a cynical, dishonest ... approach.
She has played the victim card for all it was worth, ... she has riled up millions of people who are making her defeat and any criticism of her, into a stand-in for every injustice that women have ever faced.
...she could not win except by destroying Obama, I continue to hold this against her...

Notwithstanding your explanation to Brendan as to why you highlighted these points. Why aren't they reason enough to question her tactics, motives and electability. Her dirty politics failed in the end. Her 17+ million were not duped, they just were willing to accept the rules of political contest. But, now seem to want to rationalize the defeat. Why bother?

bjkeefe
06-07-2008, 05:03 PM
deebee:

I really don't want to rehash all of the other demeaning things that were said or done by him (i.e. her claws come out, shoulder flicking etc.) ...

One way to read this would be: You would just like to be able to throw such examples out and not have them be challenged.

But, okay. You have said you're not going to budge, and I have just posted another reply to you along the same lines elsewhere on this page, so I'll let it go.

bjkeefe
06-07-2008, 05:26 PM
EW:

Yes, of course my "translation" was intellectually dishonest. It was an over-simplification, it was hyperbolic, it distorted, it cherry-picked and it quote-mined.

These are typical elements involved in what is known by others as "satire." Sorry if I am telling you what you might already know, but it seems to me that your pomposity has smothered your sense of humor.

You have treated my views on the campaign and the candidates as utterly without merit. You claim that I am deranged for supporting Obama, and you are reasonable for disliking him. You display no compunction in attacking me rather than my arguments -- rather than addressing them, you feel entitled to dismiss them out of hand:

... I really can't trouble to go through the above BJ quote you adduce point-by-point not least because it is so suffused with specious reality-denying Obama partisan spin as to be not worth the trouble ...

You convey the attitude that only you are correct and that these are matters of fact, when in reality, they're highly subjective issues. You add to this your usual tone of impatient superiority.

If you're going to place yourself on a pedestal, you should not be surprised when people look to knock you off. Since you have stated that you can't be bothered to argue the merits, you should not be surprised when responses are likewise framed.

In other words: Lighten up, Francis.

pod2
06-08-2008, 12:34 AM
Graz:

This is great. Keep it up. It's exactly the stuff which will keep people like me in our houses on November 4th, utterly disinterested in going to the polls. And, no, sorry to puncture your illusions: This disaffection has nothing to do with HRC's tactics as she had the very admirable chutzpa to force Obama to prove he could actually deliver a real victory at all of the polling places. This kind of ongoing blame-Hillary rhetoric itself will be one of several very important factors in guaranteeing McCain's entry into the White House.
EW

I'm personally curious about your feelings about the Nader campaign, and of those who chose to vote for him in 2000. Specifically,

1) Do you believe that Nader represented a clear, sharply different policy approach to the US executive than either Bush or Gore? (For example, his proposals for universal health care, drastic reduction in military expenditures, drastic increase in corporate and investor class taxes, drastic reduction in subsidies and 'corporate welfare' expenditures, an end to the WTO and NAFTA to name a few of the more terse items.)

2) Do you believe that Obama and Clinton's policy proposals differ much less than the Nader and Gore proposals did?

3) Do you think that voters were justified in voting for Nader because he represented a significantly different and saner approach to the presidency, even though it may have had the effect of leading to the Bush Presidency?

4) Do you think that Nader voters, due to the significant, even fundamental political disagreements they had with Gore, were more justified in voting for Nader than those pro-choice Clinton supporters who decide they'd rather have McCain than Obama?

THanks in advance for your thoughts.

Wonderment
06-08-2008, 01:00 AM
3) Do you think that voters were justified in voting for Nader because he represented a significantly different and saner approach to the presidency, even though it may have had the effect of leading to the Bush Presidency?

This question only makes sense for voters in close swing states, like Florida and New Mexico. People in California, New York, Mississippi and Texas, for example, could vote confidently for Nader with no risk of costing Gore the election.

Even in Florida, there were lots of good reasons to vote for Nader in spite of the risks, and I think it's a huge mistake to blame Nader voters for Gore's "defeat." Blame Bush voters.

pod2
06-08-2008, 01:20 AM
This question only makes sense for voters in close swing states, like Florida and New Mexico. People in California, New York, Mississippi and Texas, for example, could vote confidently for Nader with no risk of costing Gore the election.

Even in Florida, there were lots of good reasons to vote for Nader in spite of the risks, and I think it's a huge mistake to blame Nader voters for Gore's "defeat." Blame Bush voters.

I couldn't agree more. I just want to hear what EW thinks of the 'blame Nader' arguments, given his/her stated aim to 'sit out' this election as a Clinton supporter.

I personally think that the exact tactical calculus you allude to (swing states vs. locked up ones) is powerful. Voting for Gore in New York, for example (my state), was a wasted vote, while a Nader vote actually transmitted useful information into the power dynamics.

I also think, however, that this support was squandered as Nader once again disappeared into the woodwork post-2000 without attempting to continue building third-party viability, or at least building on the organizations formed for the election. USPIRG is great, but it's not what voters had in mind when they supported his candidacy in 2000. Many of them were eager to build a movement that exerted pressure even during years that the Olympics don't run.

Eastwest
06-08-2008, 09:11 AM
I'm personally curious about your feelings about the Nader campaign, and of those who chose to vote for him in 2000. Specifically,

1) Do you believe that Nader represented a clear, sharply different policy approach to the US executive than either Bush or Gore? (For example, his proposals for universal health care, drastic reduction in military expenditures, drastic increase in corporate and investor class taxes, drastic reduction in subsidies and 'corporate welfare' expenditures, an end to the WTO and NAFTA to name a few of the more terse items.)

2) Do you believe that Obama and Clinton's policy proposals differ much less than the Nader and Gore proposals did?

3) Do you think that voters were justified in voting for Nader because he represented a significantly different and saner approach to the presidency, even though it may have had the effect of leading to the Bush Presidency?

4) Do you think that Nader voters, due to the significant, even fundamental political disagreements they had with Gore, were more justified in voting for Nader than those pro-choice Clinton supporters who decide they'd rather have McCain than Obama?

THanks in advance for your thoughts.

1) Yes.

2) Yes.

3) Only if they lived in a "safe" state which wouldn't throw it to Bush.

4) I don't think there's any basis at all for comparing the failure to vote Democratic on the part of the Nader voters (they were treated with some degree of fairness and civility, after all) and the current situation with HRC supporters and here's why:

I think HRC supporters are justified in doing whatever for the reasons stated in full in my post #175, distorted by BJ in #177 (so that he wouldn't have to admit his original position was as I noted earlier "bovine excreta"), and then clarified and distilled by me again in #189.

I make a point of saying HRC supporters are justified in doing whatever because of the uniquely poisonous means used to take down HRC by Obama supporters, Obama himself, the blogosphere, and most egregiously of all by far: the media. (I was particularly nauseated to see Arianna Huffington fawning so sweetly over HRC on Larry King after having just spent six months trashing the beejeezus out of her in every way possible. I nearly puked.)

For HRC supporters to have anything to do with Obama at all is of course a personal choice, but it will take a real doozer of Stockholm Syndrome amnesia for them to cave in and vote for him under even the most absurd summer-of-lovefest circumstances.

(HRC was plenty gracious and I think genuinely so in her speech on Saturday which I hope shamed a sizeable segment of intellectual low-life who took her down, but there were a lot of very angry people in that hall. They were cheering for Hillary's genuinely heroic struggle to finish all of the primaries, beating Obama in 9 of the last 14 even against a constant barrage of ad hominem bias and a long cruel and concerted campaign to drive her out of the race. They were cheering for the abstract concept of party unity, but, let me tell you, they were not happy and I think most of them still feel very, very aggrieved. If you were really listening and watching, there were lots of people booing and refraining from clapping at anything to do with Obama.)

I wouldn't blame them at all for staying home just as a statement of principle that, no, thank you so much, but we will NOT cooperate with people whose behavior was qualitatively no different from terrorists and who were deliberately being bald-faced liars and hate-filled distortionists.

If they stay home or, even worse, vote for McCain, it will of course be mostly against their own pragmatic interests, but I think its just fine for them to say in effect: "Hell with you. I'm not going to reward you for complete abandonment of ethics. You think you can just buy me off by wagging your finger at me about the consequences, but, no, I'm not a whore and so won't be bought. You think you're so damn special, let's see what you can do without 18 million Democratic voters, wise guy."

My own rationale is somewhat different and is probably a level of idiosyncracy that is almost entirely unique. If you're not already bored to tears, you could review that in post #140.

Due to the difficulties with this (tonality-starved) digital medium, folks here a lot of times misinterpret my posts as angry. Not so: It's just a very, very deep level of disgust with the whole process and the categories of participants I've already dealt with in extenso earlier. Like I said, the whole thing nauseates me.

Cheers,
EW

look
06-08-2008, 10:53 AM
Do you tend towards admiring this, or is it creepy?

I find it unsettling, but forgiveable in the very young.

To my mind, I would be selfish and hide the bracelet, so as to not risk my objective. Of course I would never wear it in the first place, nor do I sport bumper stickers or knock on neighbors doors to ask for support. There clearly are many who raise their allegiance to a party or candidate beyond the bounds of reason.

The amusing thing to me is that the Obama campaign would sell a 'tasteful' silver bracelet...talk about marketing.

This is why I find my attraction to Obama curious. My level of anticipation for potential positive outcomes has been raised by his candidacy. Mind you, not the politician. But what he seems to represent to many.

But can we separate 'the politician' from his candidacy? He is his candicacy, as far as I can tell. His rare charasmatic charm is what is selling.

That is, a renewal (excluding first-timers) of the idea of participatory democracy. I want my neighbors (metaphorically) to participate as citizens.
I bet you want to know why I think this candidate has provided the spark?
I have to say that it isn't just as a result of his eloquence or prescience. It is a recognition due to his entrance into the mix, that before now I haven't allowed myself to participate in the process beyond pulling a lever.
Maybe it also has to do with my sons coming of age, so as to force me to recognize that I have an obligation to lead by example and inspire... not just talk.

The fascinating thing about his run is the way he is taking complete advantage of the Web. It will be fascinating to see how this all plays out with regard to the funds raised, the activation of his network in the General, the question of will he continue to interact with his contributors if elected, and if so, how the emails will be sent out, how will the grassroots interact with their individual representatives, etc. This is uncharted territory.

Obama is a good talker. But I also view him as a man of action. He is attempting to meet the challenge that present day politics offers.
Will he rise to the task? I don't know.
Will the alternative even attempt to challenge us to participate and risk failure? No. As McCain made clear in his green-screen speech:
Fear change... status quo is good.

P.S. I forgot the policies and programs etc...

We'll see. Appearances can be deceiving.

Eastwest
06-08-2008, 11:33 AM
EW:
You have treated my views on the campaign and the candidates as utterly without merit.

As indeed, for the most part, I do believe they are. (At least the ones I've bothered to read since I usually find them such a cause for yawning that I habitually pass over them entirely.)

You claim that I am deranged for supporting Obama, and you are reasonable for disliking him. You display no compunction in attacking me rather than my arguments -- rather than addressing them, you feel entitled to dismiss them out of hand.

"Deranged" is a little strong. I think I'd prefer to describe them more as "child-like" in their naivety. And besides, I mostly don't "claim" that anymore. I figure it's abundantly self-evident, so why bore the other commenters by repeating myself?

Excuse me, I really do base my responses to your posts on their content. For instance, I think where this all started was when I noticed early on, BJ, that when I was just new to this group of commenters, you took some pleasure in perseverating on trivia such as my use of Boldface to call attention to particular passages or phrases, etc. as a means of dishing out really amazingly dismissive character judgments yourself.

So, right away, I concluded from the very content of your posts that I must be dealing with a petty intellect. (If this is a representation of the emblematic "highly-educated Obama supporter," like, wow, now I finally understand: Things must have really gone down hill in American education since I was in grad school.)

So, what, you think I won't at least go toe-to-toe with you on your ideology when, after all, that appears to me to be more the product of obsessively trolling the Internet than the product of deep reflection or, heaven forbid, reading?

Since you have stated that you can't be bothered to argue the merits, you should not be surprised when responses are likewise framed. [At which point BJ siezes on this as an example]: "EW: ... I really can't trouble to go through the above BJ quote you adduce point-by-point not least because it is so suffused with specious reality-denying Obama partisan spin as to be not worth the trouble ..."

So sorry, BJ, I meant to finish that as "not worth the trouble and would be futile to boot given the fact that BJ's responsiveness to ideas is about like styrofoam's to water."

What, you want me to write a 5,000 word post when a 20-volume exegesis would never get you to change your mind on thing one? My post was already clearly challenging your sound-byte mentality. (Why else would you have felt the need to condense it? Perhaps to quickly distract other people from actually reading it?)

I was focusing on your hatefulness and admitted grudge-bearing toward HRC through direct and immediately proximate quotes from you only as an emblematic example in the larger point of an argument in which you were just an incidentally small part, anyway, sort of like a mere teaspoon of mortar in the Great Wall of China, or perhaps more aptly, sort of like a little bit of drivel in a huge tidal wave of sustained misogyny attempting to crush Hillary in her tracks before she could make clear what she finally made quite embarrassingly clear to Obama by winning 9 of the last 14 primaries.

In other words: Lighten up, Francis.

Let me guess: This is your way of "coming out" to the blogosphere?

The reason I asked is I just Googled your little squirt of cuteness and the quote from some movie or TV show or something popped right up. (Wouldn't know myself as I've never kept a TV in my house in my adult life and quit bothering with movies when they all started turning to low-brow trash in the late 80's):

"My real name is Francis. But if any one of you homos calls me Francis...I'll kill you."
"Lighten up, Francis."

Actually, I'm having a really good time here. The opportunity to respond to your post cheered me immensely.

Y'all have fun.

EW

graz
06-08-2008, 02:04 PM
We'll see. Appearances can be deceiving.

I respect your skepticism. I think your highlighted portions point to the "leap of faith" aspect of Obama. The doubts have been highlighted by others as well.
I think that to say that we ever enter into the polling booth with assurances of outcomes based on our choice is suspect. Case in point GWB: We knew his record, the criticisms were well aired, his track record was not stellar. Well, only one team can win. Did we pick him or was it more of the Republican party scoring a victory?
If I may? Your point about the bracelet seems to underscore the root of your skepticism. Only mindless followers or youthful innocents would dare. You don't want to be duped. Who does? Well maybe there are a few GWB defenders here, but you get my point.
In another thread a reference to McCain's website offers golfers some accessories or trinkets - think bracelet. http://wonkette.com/400231/mccain-peddles-elitist-hobby-equipment-on-web-site
Sadly for many, choosing a President is no more than aligning yourself with your favorite team (R's or D's).

graz
06-08-2008, 02:20 PM
I think HRC supporters are justified in doing whatever for the reasons stated in full in my post #175, distorted by BJ in #177 (so that he wouldn't have to admit his original position was as I noted earlier "bovine excreta"), and then clarified and distilled by me again in #189.

I make a point of saying HRC supporters are justified in doing whatever because of the uniquely poisonous means used to take down HRC by Obama supporters, Obama himself, the blogosphere, and most egregiously of all by far: the media. (I was particularly nauseated to see Arianna Huffington fawning so sweetly over HRC on Larry King after having just spent six months trashing the beejeezus out of her in every way possible. I nearly puked.)

For HRC supporters to have anything to do with Obama at all is of course a personal choice, but it will take a real doozer of Stockholm Syndrome amnesia for them to cave in and vote for him under even the most absurd summer-of-lovefest circumstances.

(HRC was plenty gracious and I think genuinely so in her speech on Saturday which I hope shamed a sizeable segment of intellectual low-life who took her down, but there were a lot of very angry people in that hall. They were cheering for Hillary's genuinely heroic struggle to finish all of the primaries, beating Obama in 9 of the last 14 even against a constant barrage of ad hominem bias and a long cruel and concerted campaign to drive her out of the race. They were cheering for the abstract concept of party unity, but, let me tell you, they were not happy and I think most of them still feel very, very aggrieved. If you were really listening and watching, there were lots of people booing and refraining from clapping at anything to do with Obama.)

I wouldn't blame them at all for staying home just as a statement of principle that, no, thank you so much, but we will NOT cooperate with people whose behavior was qualitatively no different from terrorists and who were deliberately being bald-faced liars and hate-filled distortionists.



You are really blinded by your prejudice.
With as much respect as I can convey: How can you fail to flip this complaint on its head and allow for the same case to be made by Obamanauts? It really is a hollow victory if most Democrats can't unite.
And you so over-blow the depth and range of the disillusionment of HRC supporters.
As one well aware of the Yin-Yang principle of complementary forces, why are you unwilling to concede the negative (dark) force of the HRC campaign?
Your multiple posts on this subject contain many interesting points, until you try to defend the indefensible. Namely: HRC"s campaign = good. BHO campaign = bad. All black and white, no shading.
You still haven't made the case. All we know are your feelings. Because your mind is playing tricks.

bjkeefe
06-08-2008, 04:39 PM
Eastwest:

I hope you feel better for having gotten that out of your system.

I have my doubts about this, though. Every time you cut loose with one of these screeds, whose theme inevitably devolves into My Opinions Are Unquestionably Superior And I Will Now Demonstrate This By Method Of Personal Attack, you seem to pass another milestone on the descent into utter self-parody. You're becoming your own echo chamber, it appears.

Your attempts to extrapolate your personal dislike for me into a representation of all Obama supporters does not speak well to your self-proclaimed intellect. Ditto your inability to tolerate any criticism of Clinton as a candidate without immediately hearing it as misogyny. You're sounding ever more like one of the poor souls who post on NoQuarter.

The thing that epitomizes your state of mind, I think, is your unfamiliarity with the phrase "Lighten up, Francis" and your consequent reaction. Hey, no problem if Stripes wasn't to your taste, but you weirdly attempt to turn this minor gap in your awareness of pop culture memes into another "proof" of how much better you are than everybody else. This speaks volumes about how much you've embraced your own narrow-mindedness.

If this is making you happy, then by all means, carry on. But really, more than anything else, it sounds sad.

Hasta la vista, baby.

Oh, wait. You won't know that one, either, will you? Allow me (http://www.google.com/search?q=Hasta+la+vista%2C+baby).

Eastwest
06-08-2008, 05:17 PM
BJ:

OK, having given you the space of a nap to hopefully cruise by and get a whiff of that last post I dumped in your lap, I'm hereby advising you that the the "intellect-rating" digs at you (from roughly post #175 on forward) were a spoof to hopefully make you "get" what I suspect you and a fair number of your co-religionists really didn't seem to be getting, namely:

When not just one person, but rather virtually everyone in media, in punditry, in the blogosphere, and in your own political party attack you and all your friends in what seems like a very personal way and do it every time you turn on the TV, log on to some blog, or go to Huffington Post, or other popular media--

When you feel like (in the case of HRC's female supporters) they are unjustifiably doing so with only thinly masked denigrating language towards you and everyone else who is a woman--

When you feel (as in the case of many pretty damn intelligent and often very highly educated people) that they are attacking you as "intellectually-deficient," "intellectually-dishonest," uneducated, even "mentally ill" (as in the case of Toobin's now-famous "deranged narcissism" remark)--

When this is all done without all these people really personally knowing you or your friends or your candidate-of-choice and is done in a gratuitous way without their really caring whether they ever do know you, i.e. in an egregiously dismissive way--

And when this is done night-after-night when you come home tired and blown out from work-stress and economic-stress, and then week-after-week, month-after-month for a full five months (the misogynist piling on really started in earnest with HRC's "tearing-up" in New Hampshire and the off-the-wall comments about it being staged)--

Then, if you're a normal woman, or highly educated and intelligent professional, or economically-struggling ex-factory worker, etc., you're going to feel not just "a bit irritated" in a way that will simply blow over in a few days, but rather you are going to feel very deeply wounded and unjustifiably trashed in a way you're not going to be able to "just forget" for a very long time.

Then when, to top it all off, the barely victorious cohort which succeeded only through such concerted nasty tactics and did so only by the skin of their teeth has the chutzpa to jump right on top of your latest upset win (SD) and scream at you: "GET OFF THE STAGE, BITCH! CELEBRATE OBAMA NOW!!!" and don't want to even give you a little time to compose and deliver a truly classy oration (such as HRC delivered Saturday in throwing her support to Obama and in justifiably celebrating something truly historic in the struggle for women's equality)--

Then HRC supporters are not going to be all that thrilled about these demands to "Enthusiastically Support the Chosen Candidate" ("or else.") That's going to just sound like yet another Maoist Cultural Revolution slogan. (Not sure you were born yet then [mid-70's].)

They're going to feel that this is like somebody who's been physically pistol-whipping them for five months suddenly holstering their weapon, wiping their brow, handing them a bandaid, some bottled water, and a daisy, and then saying, "I didn't really mean it. You really do love me, don't ya? I can be really charming. See? Watch me dance. I've got all these young folks and "highly-educated Prius drivers" who've all known this ever since I proved I could talk at your last convention. Excuse me, ma'am, you're still glaring at me. Don't you think I'm 'sincere'?"

So, I don't know if this little spoof successfully got you to not just mentally brush off but actually feel maybe a little sliver of how those HRC loyalists are feeling, but I gave it my best shot.

BJ: As for you (and this goes for your fellow Obama supporters as well), your political analyses, your intelligence, education, or quality of intellect-- I don't think I care to make any ultimate judgments about them as, after all, I don't feel like I have any genuinely reliable basis for doing so and really finally wouldn't care to do so in any case.

The circumstantial evidence from your posts points towards a fairly typical supporter of Barack Obama. That's about all I really care to say on that.

Hope you don't have any hard feelings over this little exercise in trying to get you and yours to feel a little bit of empathy for the Democrats who now still feel very much like they have been unjustifiably defecated upon for five months now and who, consequently will still be a very tough sell for Obama and friends.

Peace,
EW

bjkeefe
06-08-2008, 07:20 PM
EW:

I am inclined to say:

Shorter Eastwest: Having had my blinkered point of view called out for what it was, I now claim to have been kidding all along. I am, however, unable to refrain from coloring my back-pedaling with more personal insults and the same sweeping and exaggerated generalizations.

and leave it at that.

However, there is some worth in what you went on to say, so I will address that part more seriously.

Yes, I can feel some empathy for those Clinton supporters who feel that she was unfairly attacked and/or who feel personally belittled. It was a long, hard race, and our society appears to have accepted an increased level of coarseness when discussing anything. Further, the nature of both candidates pushing against glass ceilings meant that a lot of poorly buried prejudices were allowed to bubble to the surface. The length of the campaign and the size of the news hole meant isolated incidents that reflected some individuals' distasteful feelings were given entirely too much play, and this aggravated practically everybody's emotions.

I was thinking this morning of the old chestnut about disputes in academia: The arguments are so fierce because the stakes are so low. I think there is a close parallel here -- probably the biggest problem of this primary season besides its length was that there was no real way to choose based on issues. Thus, the arguments became fierce because the differences were so small.

So, again, yes. Certainly I can feel empathy. Clinton would have made a fine nominee, and I would have supported her for the next five months and voted for her in November. I can appreciate the disappointment -- I've been on the losing side of things I've believed in far more often than the winning side, in political contests and otherwise. And I can certainly understand (though don't agree with) the worry in some voters' minds that this might be the only chance to see a woman in the White House.

What I don't have is any more patience for people such as yourself who insist on picking at scabs. Instead of swallowing hard and acknowledging reality, you, among others, continue to obsess over finding reasons to hate Obama and everyone who supports him. You continue to seek out reasons, or to repeat ad nauseam old ones, to stoke your anger and nurse your grudges. You make up outright falsehoods (Obama stole the election, Obama is a Marxist/secret Muslim/rapist/coke addict). You refuse to see the unpleasant aspects of the past five months as anything but one-sided, and you appear to be unconcerned, or even gleeful, about the possibility that John McCain could ride your waves of self-pity into the White House.

I'm sorry, but I cannot respect anyone unable to be mature enough to admit that life all too often comes down to choosing between limited options, however less than ideal the choice might seem.

[Eight paragraphs redacted]

I have just deleted a long list of specifics that support my belief that you, and others like you, are being ridiculous. I will supply them on request, or we can just leave it there.

Peace to you, too.

graz
06-08-2008, 08:25 PM
[Eight paragraphs redacted]

I have just deleted a long list of specifics that support my belief that you, and others like you, are being ridiculous. I will supply them on request, or we can just leave it there.

Peace to you, too.

Was that an open invitation? As no trees will be felled in the offering - would you mind?

bjkeefe
06-08-2008, 08:59 PM
Was that an open invitation? As no trees will be felled in the offering - would you mind?

Argh. I should have thought more carefully about the way that offer would come across.

I'm going to decline to post the reasons unless EW asks, since this was a bit of a personal squabble between the two of is, and I did want to try to offer an olive branch. Evidently, my instinct was to ease off on hammering Clinton and her supporters, and since my instinct was therefore to suppress these supporting paragraphs, I realize in retrospect that I should have said nothing, and just silently deleted that material.

Besides, I'm sure there isn't anything among the deleted material that you haven't heard before.

If you're dying to read them, enable PMs for your account and I'll send them to you. For the time being, though, I don't think I need to sprinkle any more salt.

graz
06-08-2008, 09:17 PM
Argh. I should have thought more carefully the way that offer would come across.

I'm going to decline to post unless EW asks, since this was a bit of a personal squabble between the two of is, and I did want to try to offer an olive branch. Evidently, my instinct was to ease off on hammering Clinton and her supporters, and since my instinct was therefore to suppress these supporting paragraphs, I realize in retrospect that I should have said nothing, and just silently deleted that material.

Besides, I'm sure there isn't anything among the deleted material that you haven't heard before. If you're dying to read them, enable PMs for your account and I'll send them to you. For the time being, though, I don't think I need to sprinkle any more salt.

Cool, understood. I have mixed feelings about continuing to examine the record. But not as a justification or a cudgel. As much as my goal is to be part of a coalition that intends to support Obama and beat McCain, I think that there could be value in debating historical aspects of the campaign. How else would one begin to attract the detractors? Let's leave that as rhetorical. Discretion is in order, but sweeping away the record won't heal the rifts. Of course, I am not implying that you are suggesting that.

Thanks.

P.S. I will enable the PM's

pod2
06-08-2008, 11:19 PM
1)
I wouldn't blame them at all for staying home just as a statement of principle that, no, thank you so much, but we will NOT cooperate with people whose behavior was qualitatively no different from terrorists and who were deliberately being bald-faced liars and hate-filled distortionists.

If they stay home or, even worse, vote for McCain, it will of course be mostly against their own pragmatic interests, but I think its just fine for them to say in effect: "Hell with you. I'm not going to reward you for complete abandonment of ethics. You think you can just buy me off by wagging your finger at me about the consequences, but, no, I'm not a whore and so won't be bought. You think you're so damn special, let's see what you can do without 18 million Democratic voters, wise guy."

First of all, I thank you for your point by point response to my questions.

I'm curious about what 'statement of principle' staying home would demonstrate. Is the principle in question 'I don't care about ANY of the issues that Clinton has dedicated her life to upholding and advocating for, I will not vote in support of these issues because she personally was subject to sexist and unfair criticism by MSNBC'

That kind of 'principled' stand seems a bit reminiscent of those Bush worshipers who, like my in laws, bought into the sentiment that 'I don't care about any specific issues or policies, but Bush is our President and is a man of faith, and I support him as a devout Christian.'

To me, politicians are only powerful or useful, or worth supporting, if they promise a means of getting important stuff done. Believing in politicians outside of the issues, causes, or principles they espouse seems like it's closer to how people treat monarchs or emperors, whose authorities are divine.

I'm just curious about the specific mindset of those who would do what they could to elect McCain and ensure that the Supreme Court had two more judges in the Alito/Scalia mold (as McCain himself has proposed). Hillary Clinton would do everything in her power to STOP this from coming to pass, and I don't know why her supporters would work to make it happen and invalidate Clinton's life's work.

bjkeefe
06-09-2008, 03:36 AM
Further discussion of Fowler in the NYT's Week In Review: For New Journalists, All Bets, but Not Mikes, Are Off (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/weekinreview/08steinberg.html). B'Heads Jonathan Alter and Jane Hamsher are quoted.

You'll be unshocked by what they have to say, but they both say it pretty well. Jane's got a good sound bite:

It’s hurting America that journalists consider their first loyalty to be to their subjects, and not to the people they’re reporting for.

Still, I remain on the fence on this one.

h/t: Roger Ailes (http://rogerailes.blogspot.com/2008/06/jacques-sniffing-jane-hamsher-is.html). (No, not that Roger Ailes.)

Wonderment
06-09-2008, 03:49 AM
Good article. They should have interviewed us though. We covered all these points last week. :)

Ms. Fowler, who has worked as a teacher and written fiction, had no experience as a professional journalist before joining the campaign trail a year ago.

My God! Arrest that woman for writing without a license.

bjkeefe
06-09-2008, 05:09 AM
Good article. They should have interviewed us though. We covered all these points last week. :)

Yeah. I should have linked to our discussion. Since I'm pretty sure the NYT keeps a close eye on my blog, I mean. ;^)

My God! Arrest that woman for writing without a license.

I take your point, but I think that was a useful piece of information in context.

And again, it's not so much Fowler specifically. It's the thought of all those other people who wake up one morning and proclaim themselves "citizen journalists" or whatever. I mean, at what point does the thought of every dork with an iPod or a Flip (http://theflip.com/products_flip_ultra.shtml) badgering you to answer questions start to feel like an unreasonable amount of harassment?

Of course, this ambush journalism thing can sometimes backfire (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/06/why-its-never-good-idea-to-poke-lion.html).

bjkeefe
06-09-2008, 05:17 AM
And speaking of Moyers, not to mention new media, this is good (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y0r71L7cojE).

look
06-09-2008, 10:02 AM
?
If I may? Your point about the bracelet seems to underscore the root of your skepticism. Only mindless followers or youthful innocents would dare. You don't want to be duped. Who does?Well, as I alluded to elsewhere, I already feel duped for having voted for him, with regard to the late break of the Wright tapes, etc. To briefly beat a dead horse, my very first thought was, 'how could an intellectual listen to that bs for 20 years?' And of course, we all know the back and forth arguments that follow...'he was bonding with his fellow black Americans,' etc. So now because of this and other issues I have to explore (for example, does he play nicely with others? I'd read something about interaction problems in the Senate). And of course, I must compare him to McCain. (I'm Independent.) So it's by no means certain who I'll vote for. Sorry to be so disjointed, must dash.

graz
06-09-2008, 01:27 PM
And speaking of Moyers, not to mention new media, this is good (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Y0r71L7cojE).

Thanks for "Tellin' it."

bjkeefe
06-09-2008, 01:47 PM
look:

To briefly beat a dead horse, my very first thought was, 'how could an intellectual listen to that bs for 20 years?' And of course, we all know the back and forth arguments that follow...'he was bonding with his fellow black Americans,' etc.

What about the idea that Obama, as with so many churchgoers, could have been in a position where he liked most -- but not all -- of what he heard from Wright?

I think, for example, of my mother, who was a pretty devout Catholic, to the point of becoming an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist later in life. She talked happily about her Catholic faith, her belonging to a church, and many other aspects that come along with such a belonging. On the other hand, it would set her teach on edge, say, to hear readings from, or sermons based upon, the letters of Paul, because of his blatant misogyny. She also thoroughly disliked the official Church positions on any number of issues; e.g., women's rights in general, the blanket ban on birth control, and, late in life, grew to dislike their uncompromising anti-choice attitude. She did not, however, ever even contemplate leaving the Church, nor would she make remarks critical of the Church unless asked directly about something specific.

Another, slightly different example, is my father. He goes to church regularly and frequently, but says almost nothing one way or the other about any of it. Even when asked directly about things one knows he doesn't like, he'll mostly just shrug or answer monosyllabically.

By all accounts, the few phrases uttered by Wright that caused all the furor represent a very small fraction of what the man was all about. (I think this claim is beyond dispute by now, since we keep seeing the same few clips.)

So, if you agree with that, what say you to the notion that someone could have stayed with a church for 20 years, while just turning his BS filter up from time to time?

graz
06-09-2008, 03:17 PM
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=06&year=2008&base_name=consequences_1
This is a good sign.

piscivorous
06-09-2008, 03:48 PM
As with everything Ezra he field to mention an important detail that both camps have declined the offer.

bjkeefe
06-09-2008, 03:59 PM
As with everything Ezra he field to mention an important detail that both camps have declined the offer.

Except, of course, for these bits (http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=06&year=2008&base_name=consequences_1):

Both campaigns responded with a swift smackdown. The McCain camp says, ... The Obama camp goes even further: ...

Jack McCullough
06-10-2008, 09:54 PM
Actually, I had a comment that isn't about puppies, but it is about language.

Mickey several times says that Obama's critics are thinking of him as "cosmopolitan". Isn't that the tag that anti-Semites use?

bjkeefe
06-10-2008, 10:48 PM
Actually, I had a comment that isn't about puppies, but it is about language.

Mickey several times says that Obama's critics are thinking of him as "cosmopolitan". Isn't that the tag that anti-Semites use?

I can't think of when I heard that last. Probably not since I was in school. To my ears, "cosmopolitan" has entirely positive connotations.

I was going to say I'd never heard it before, but the Google does remind me of one (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootless_cosmopolitan) case (http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/egorov.htm).

I forget the context of Mickey's usage. Was he trying to say that whoever is using this as a slur against Obama is just trying to say that Obama can't relate to rural and small town people? Or was it more along the lines of Stalin's old "rootless cosmopolitan" = "anti-patriotic?"

Wonderment
06-11-2008, 01:56 AM
Isn't that the tag that anti-Semites use?

Indubitably. (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/)