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March 12, 2008

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For her next trick Clinton will try to appeal to Pennsylvania voters by making her own version of this ad.

I need help with my new web experiment. If you know Robert Ethan, you should hit the link below. If you spend anytime over at the Atlantic websites, you know who he is.

http://robertethanisatool.blogspot.com/

I am hoping to create a database of his amazing comments. He is the most commenter I know. (that is the grammar I intended).

Thanks to all. Please feel free to copy and link elsewhere. Let's build this up!! Don't worry, I am not trying to make any money on this. I just want to spread the gospel of Robert Ethan and his commenting empire to EVERYONE.

And if I were a black man and had wheels, I would be the first black male trolleycar ever, not to mention the first being ever to be both a public transit vehicle and a mammal. Aren't counterfactuals fun?

Brilliant mockery as always, hilzoy.

On a more serious note, though, I find this line of attack particularly rich coming from someone supporting, of all people, Hillary Clinton. If not for her to marriage to Bill, she'd probably be an anonymous corporate lawyer somewhere. Or maybe have gotten elected to the school board somewhere in Illinois, had she decided to run for public office. But to say that she'd be a serious contender for President, much less junior Senator from New York, if she weren't married to a former President, is ludicrous in the extreme. She's not remotely the most qualified person in the Democratic party based on her resume, nor was she remotely the most qualified Democrat to run for President this year. 90% of her candidacy is based on contingencies. Obama being black has undoubtedly helped him, but not as much as being Bill Clinton's wife has helped her.

Fun fact, from commenters at The Field: Obama's margin of victory in MS is about 4000 votes shy of Clinton's in TX.

Hilzoy, that trolleycar comment is pitch perfect. And truly inspired in a wacky 30 Rock sort of way.

The first Ferraro comment was a dog whistle. The one today was the dog attacking the owner. If she does not completely distance herself from this, there will be consequences that Clinton will not be able to control in the weeks ahead.

Referencing my earlier remark, I know that many folks around the web are down on Tina Fey these days, but 30 Rock is still the best show on any TV in this country.

Funny is funny. She is seriously funny. I defend and will never denounce her.

On a more serious note, though, I find this line of attack particularly rich coming from someone supporting, of all people, Hillary Clinton. If not for her to marriage to Bill, she'd probably be an anonymous corporate lawyer somewhere. Or maybe have gotten elected to the school board somewhere in Illinois, had she decided to run for public office. But to say that she'd be a serious contender for President, much less junior Senator from New York, if she weren't married to a former President, is ludicrous in the extreme.

Yuppers. All success is comprised of talent, hard work AND luck. A man who didn't work as hard as Obama would not gotten this far; a woman with less talent than Clinton would not have gotten as far either.

Folks get opportunities in life, and it's up to them to make the most of them. If Obama had fallen on his face in February---and he well could have---we wouldn't be talking about him now.

I should say: the trolleycar comment is a riff off a philosophy joke ("if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolleycar." Told to illustrate certain properties of if/then statements in logic classes.)

Pretty much OT: I note with interest that Donna Rose, an impressive transgender activist, has switched from Clinton to Obama. Wish I knew more of the backstory on that one.

Man, not a very good day for the Clinton campaign. Funny how it's not the end of the world like it was for Obama last Tuesday. Because he's such a media darling.

... I shouldn't be so sarcastic. But the Ferraro comment actually really ticked me off. Well, her second one, anyway. Not pleased.

Now MS is 61/37...

It seems pretty clear that Clinton's race-baiting has been successfull in a way--she got the racist vote in MS. On MyDD of all places there is a poster that explains how much of her support came from Republicans who either can't stand the thought of Obama as President or think that Clinton is the weaker candidate.

I hope to god she doesn't get the noimination. The last thing we need is a candidate who is both unscrupulous and inept.

BTW, probably noted elsewhere, but in the final California count Obama picked up as many delegates as Clinton's small plus last Tuesday.

From CNN:
"Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

She told a FOX News interviewer, "I got up and the question was asked, 'Why do you think Barack Obama is in the place he is today" as the party's delegate front-runner?"

When faced with a hole, you do **NOT** dig it deeper. You especially do **NOT** go on GOP-TV to dig your hole.

Stupid, stupid Geraldine Ferraro.

(BTW, I believe it's statements like these that explains, to a large extent, blacks voting for Obama.)

The Black Male Trolleycar hypothesis was delightful, especially because it hit me afresh, as I didn't remember the antecedent hilzoy explains in the comments.

Mark Schmitt made an interesting suggestion on the Florida/Michigan issue recently: Obama should seat the existing Florida slate, contingent on a Michigan revote. The argument, as I recall, is that the 60-odd net delegates Obama would lose by seating the Florida slate would be at most half to a third of Obama's lead even including announced superdelegates, so he can afford to concede them. A revote in Florida would likely yield a closer margin, but the public - and the superdelegates - would probably see a large swing state, late in the campaign, going for Clinton; and the effect that would have on the narrative and on the undeclared superdelegates could be damaging to Obama. And you'll note that Clinton supporters don't like to talk about Michigan nearly so much as they do about Florida, as Michigan is less of a swing state and the Clinton-only ballots are more obviously indefensible.

Of course, Schmitt's post seemed to be predicated on the idea that some sort of revote or delegate-seating would occur. At present, the officials in both Florida and Michigan seem to be determined to prevent the former, and the latter seems improbable absent a deal. This behavior by the MI and FL officials strikes me as cutting off their noses to spite their faces; still, if it's a choice between Schmitt's proposal and nothing, rather than between Schmitt's proposal and both voting, the argument is weaker.

Assuming that Obama doesn't pick up any more delegates in Texas (as he might), by my count, Clinton gained 6 delegates in all on March 4th, all of which were rendered moot by Mississippi. If I've done the math right, Clinton picked up 203 delegates from the 4th through today, and Obama picked up 205.

I doubt that will be broadcast, or that any of the maps will be re-colored, to show that Obama actually "won" Texas.

If not for her to marriage to Bill, she'd probably be an anonymous corporate lawyer somewhere.

. . . which is, in turn, more or less what Germaine Greer said about her. This is the weirdest primary in my adult life.

If not for her to marriage to Bill, she'd probably be an anonymous corporate lawyer somewhere. Or maybe have gotten elected to the school board somewhere in Illinois, had she decided to run for public office. But to say that she'd be a serious contender for President, much less junior Senator from New York, if she weren't married to a former President, is ludicrous in the extreme.

Well, it's a good thing that sexism is so much more acceptable than racism. Oh, wait, no, this is of course based upon your knowledge of Hillary as a person.

I still rember how angry I was when Hillary had to more or less accept the name Clinton instead of the Rodham she preferred because of the political forces in Arkansas. Because in those days it was not really accepted that she wasn't the loyal little wife that most of the current commenters on ObWi describe her as.

She was quite active in student politics. From the introduction of her speech in 1969:

In addition to inviting Senator Brooke to speak to them this morning, the Class of '69 has expressed a desire to speak to them and for them at this morning's commencement. There was no debate so far as I could ascertain as to who their spokesman was to be -- Miss Hillary Rodham. Member of this graduating class, she is a major in political science and a candidate for the degree with honors. In four years she has combined academic ability with active service to the College, her junior year having served as a Vil Junior, and then as a member of Senate and during the past year as President of College Government and presiding officer of College Senate. She is also cheerful, good humored, good company, and a good friend to all of us and it is a great pleasure to present to this audience Miss Hillary Rodham.

She worked for several organisations that aided children's and women's rights. Children, education and healthcare have always been on her agenda and she has achieved quite a lot for those. She founded ARKANSAS ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES, she did a lot to make HIPPY a succes (which is the kind of program I promote in the Netherlands too, for disadvantaged children).

Here is an article about her time in Arkansas.

At the time, census figures showed that fewer than 11 percent of Arkansans over age 25 had completed four years of college, well below the national average. Charged by her husband with leading a committee on education reform, Hillary Clinton sought to defuse tension over controversial changes and made a point of holding hearings in all 75 counties.

By all accounts, she was a success. "We've done elected the wrong Clinton," Dumas recalled one conservative lawmaker saying, after listening to Hillary Clinton report on the committee's findings. "She became a very popular person in her own right."

Still, there were opponents. Hillary Clinton recommended teacher testing, a proposal that pitted her against a natural ally of the Clintons: the teachers' union. But her approach - her willingness to hear out those with opposing views, ensuring that everyone felt involved in the process - helped her prevail, political observers said. In addition to testing, the Clintons managed to raise teacher salaries and push through new accreditation standards.

"She could have just left it alone," said Janine Parry, an associate professor of political science at the University of Arkansas. "But . . . she took on the toughest challenges that we had."

I think she could have started (or even continued) her own political career much earlier if she hadn't been married to Bill Clinton. I also think that people who say that they are swayed by how honest the Obama campaign is (incorrectly imho) could do better than falling back on repeating every smear, no matter how ludicrous, as long as it is negative for HRC. They would be more believable if they managed to judge both candidates with the same level of scrutiny.

I think that they both have very good qualities and area's where I'm not happy with them. If Obama becomes the nominee (and that seems to be likely) I'd be much happier if I felt that he was a known quantity, to be trusted warts and all. I still have trouble accepting that I can't get that level of intellectual honesty here. But a big portion of the readers here are intelligent and educated women and I am amazed how they not only let sexist remarks slip by, but even repeat them.

If not for her to marriage to Bill, she'd probably be an anonymous corporate lawyer somewhere. Or maybe have gotten elected to the school board somewhere in Illinois, had she decided to run for public office. But to say that she'd be a serious contender for President, much less junior Senator from New York, if she weren't married to a former President, is ludicrous in the extreme.

Well, it's a good thing that sexism is so much more acceptable than racism. Oh, wait, no, this is of course based upon your knowledge of Hillary as a person.

I still rember how angry I was when Hillary had to more or less accept the name Clinton instead of the Rodham she preferred because of the political forces in Arkansas. Because in those days it was not really accepted that she wasn't the loyal little wife that most of the current commenters on ObWi describe her as.

She was quite active in student politics. From the introduction of her speech in 1969:

In addition to inviting Senator Brooke to speak to them this morning, the Class of '69 has expressed a desire to speak to them and for them at this morning's commencement. There was no debate so far as I could ascertain as to who their spokesman was to be -- Miss Hillary Rodham. Member of this graduating class, she is a major in political science and a candidate for the degree with honors. In four years she has combined academic ability with active service to the College, her junior year having served as a Vil Junior, and then as a member of Senate and during the past year as President of College Government and presiding officer of College Senate. She is also cheerful, good humored, good company, and a good friend to all of us and it is a great pleasure to present to this audience Miss Hillary Rodham.

She worked for several organisations that aided children's and women's rights. Children, education and healthcare have always been on her agenda and she has achieved quite a lot for those. She founded ARKANSAS ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES, she did a lot to make HIPPY a succes (which is the kind of program I promote in the Netherlands too, for disadvantaged children).

(have to cut the comment in half, to see if it slips through the filter)

(second half)

Here is an article about her time in Arkansas.

At the time, census figures showed that fewer than 11 percent of Arkansans over age 25 had completed four years of college, well below the national average. Charged by her husband with leading a committee on education reform, Hillary Clinton sought to defuse tension over controversial changes and made a point of holding hearings in all 75 counties.

By all accounts, she was a success. "We've done elected the wrong Clinton," Dumas recalled one conservative lawmaker saying, after listening to Hillary Clinton report on the committee's findings. "She became a very popular person in her own right."

Still, there were opponents. Hillary Clinton recommended teacher testing, a proposal that pitted her against a natural ally of the Clintons: the teachers' union. But her approach - her willingness to hear out those with opposing views, ensuring that everyone felt involved in the process - helped her prevail, political observers said. In addition to testing, the Clintons managed to raise teacher salaries and push through new accreditation standards.

"She could have just left it alone," said Janine Parry, an associate professor of political science at the University of Arkansas. "But . . . she took on the toughest challenges that we had."

I think she could have started (or even continued) her own political career much earlier if she hadn't been married to Bill Clinton. I also think that people who say that they are swayed by how honest the Obama campaign is (incorrectly imho) could do better than falling back on repeating every smear, no matter how ludicrous, as long as it is negative for HRC. They would be more believable if they managed to judge both candidates with the same level of scrutiny.

I think that they both have very good qualities and area's where I'm not happy with them. If Obama becomes the nominee (and that seems to be likely) I'd be much happier if I felt that he was a known quantity, to be trusted warts and all. I still have trouble accepting that I can't get that level of intellectual honesty here. But a big portion of the readers here are intelligent and educated women and I am amazed how they not only let sexist remarks slip by, but even repeat them.

I think she could have started (or even continued) her own political career much earlier if she hadn't been married to Bill Clinton.

but, she did marry Bill Clinton. and it's not sexist to make the obvious observation that her elected political career is due, in large part, to her marriage. political novices just don't parachute into states where they have never lived and win Senate seats - not in NY, at least.

I should say: the trolleycar comment is a riff off a philosophy joke ("if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolleycar." Told to illustrate certain properties of if/then statements in logic classes.)

I learned a slightly different version. If my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

I have no love for Ferraro. If someone said though that the main reason she was chosen as Mondale’s running mate in 84 was because she was a woman, how many people would get this upset or even dispute it? This race has become all about identity politics – in a much more blatant way than I ever thought it could (in a Democratic primary anyway).

I agree with the point you raise, Dutch, but isn't it possible that some of the 'sexism' is driven not by some sort of inherent base impulse, but by anger at the fact that there is a chance for a true Dem realignment and, from some perspectives, HRC is not going to let it happen (Of course, that is arguable, but suppose for a moment that this is the main thought) Now, you can argue that the fact that the anger is expressed in that way means sexism is acceptable in a way that racism is not, but that might not necessarily be the case. Imagine we had a situation where a female candidate was creating the same buzz that Obama was, and someone akin to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson was preventing that from happening. Do you think that the anger might not be expressed as questioning the Sharpton/Jackson's understanding of realities, or that amalgam's true qualifications or suitability to be the presidential candidate? Some of this talk may be driven by some deep seated racism, but a failure to acknowledge the context makes the frame misleading. If my wife, in a fit of anger at my inability to remember to do something, explodes and says 'how can you be so stupid?', must I assume that my wife considers me so? This notion that every angry outburst has to represent something deeply held fails to acknowledge that when people get angry they tend to grab for the first thing that is handy. In that sense, sexism can be viewed not as a set of deeply held feelings, but as things floating around that are deployed because they are handy. This is not to claim that what you argue is totally impossible, it is just to suggest that the truth may be somewhere in the middle.

You go on to suggest that because Obama is not a known quality in the sense that HRC is, we are succumbing to sexism. That seems to be rather simplistic. One of the points that draws me and I think others to Obama is the greater potential, which is part and parcel of this aspect of his candidacy. Just like it is impossible to imagine HRC as a black male, is it possible to imagine an Obama as the same candidate but somehow a known quantity?

I was going to post what Cleek had already said but s/he beat me to it. But just to amplify the point: what type of chutzpah does FERRARO have to say that Obama got where he is because of his race when she (an obscure New York congresswoman at the time) was clearly put on the ticket in 84 because of her gender? (I was around in 84--I remember this!) I'm shocked no one has pointed this irony out yet in the MSM.

And if I were a black man and had wheels, I would be the first black male trolleycar ever, not to mention the first being ever to be both a public transit vehicle and a mammal. Aren't counterfactuals fun?

Brilliant, Hilzoy. Just Brilliant.

briefman -- MSNBC was pointing that out last night. They even had footage of Ferraro saying it about herself.

OCSteve -- I think the reaction to Ferraro's remark is based on her implication that, by being a black man, Obama has been priviledged somehow into a more prominent position than he would otherwise enjoy. As Howard Fineman pointed out, with heavy sarcasm, the advantages enjoyed by black men in American society are evident to all. And I think it was Chris Matthews who said that if Obama was a white man, he'd be JFK.

the trolleycar comment is a riff off a philosophy joke ("if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolleycar." Told to illustrate certain properties of if/then statements in logic classes.)

Maybe, but I'm guessing the first philosopher who told it heard it initially as I did, in Yiddish, from someone well outside the world of academic philosophy.

not to mention the first being ever to be both a public transit vehicle and a mammal.

Is this true? What about horses that pull carriages, or that used to be for rent as transportation?

Other than that, great post.

I think Von just endorsed public transportation. ;)

Hilzoy:

".... the first being ever to be both a public transit vehicle and a mammal."

Camels are now chopped liver? Do rickshaws before, say, 1930 count?

In Manila during the monsoon, the Pasig River would back up chest-deep in front around the building in which I worked, (closing down the nearest beer garden, I regret to report) and I more than once witnessed Manila constabulary and a bus driver or two hoist a lovely Filipina (pretty dress, high heels) onto his shoulders and wade to the second floor of the building.

I would walk around all day in squelchy shoes and chafing pants.


Do rickshaws before, say, 1930 count?

Heck, the wife and I had a wonderful one-armed bicycle rickshaw driver in Old Delhi just a few years back.

Ugh:

Yes, bicycle rickshaws are all over the place.

I meant the kind pulled by the human mammal.

I think Von just endorsed public transportation. ;)

And rightly so: I'm all in favor of public transportation, of the Hilzoyian variety or otherwise.

Dutchmarbel, it's very possible Hillary Rodham could have become a potent political force in her own right. If she had, I think she would be impressive now. But she chose not to do so in order to help her husband in his career. As part of that trade-off she put her career in the background. Like it or not, that was her choice. Now she comes in and, to my ear, demands we honor her sacrafice by giving her what her husband earned. *That* irks me greatly. Nancy Pelosi didn't give up her career to help her husband. She worked her way up. Ditto Condi Rice and Samantha Powers. Same with Oprah Winfrey and Madeline Albright.

I have positive reasons for voting for Obama. I won't vote for HRC because of the dynasty thing (although she gives me more reasons not to vote for her every day). It doesn't have one blessed thing to do with her gender, just her choices.

Hillary would've had a successful political career even without Bill, but New York wouldn't have elected an Arkansas carpetbagger senator if she hadn't been First Lady.

Maybe she'd even know how to run a successful campaign by now if she'd ever personally had a contested one.

Ah, Hilzoy, but the real question is, if you were an African-American male/trolley car, and your breaks had given out, and you were careening towards a group of 5 innocents tied to the tracks, are you morally permitted (or even demanded) to switch to an alternate track where only 1 innocent is tied?! Is it OK to sacrifice the one to save the five?

Yes, I majored in philosophy in college.

Yuppers. All success is comprised of talent, hard work AND luck.

As much as I think I agree with this statement, I look at our current President and wonder where the talent and hard work went....

Well, it's a good thing that sexism is so much more acceptable than racism. Oh, wait, no, this is of course based upon your knowledge of Hillary as a person.

Sexism has nothing to do with it, and frankly I'm a bit offended that you'd leap to that conclusion. Hillary's gender has nothing to do with it - if she were the less glamorous husband of a female political superstar former President, the situation would be exactly - EXACTLY - the same. Much as I dislike her, I will acknowledge that she is an extremely talented and driven woman. The thing is, I know a lot of extremely talented and driven women, none of whom has come close to being a major contender for a major party Presidential nomination. Many of them, I would consider more talented natural politicians than she is - she has her gifts, but charisma and gladhanding ability aren't among them. She may excel in other ways, but she really is a mediocre campaigner, and there's no way she would have become as successful as she has in the political arena without the benefit of her husband's prestige, connections, and political muscle. Period.

femdem:

The interesting counter-factual you suggest above, the what-might-have-been if Hillary had gone her way, instead of hitching herself to her husband's success, has to be viewed throug the lens of the current campaign, no?

That is, there's no way of knowing if she'd be a completely different politician and campaigner had she not married Bill, but we do now have some access to information about what type of politician and campaigner she currently is, and that information doesn't suggest the type of rising political star that would ever be in position to run for Pres, IMO. I mean, really, what in her 8 years in the Senate, run against Lazio or what's-his-name, or in this current campaign, has made you pause for a sec and say, "wow, she's good. She's really really good."

I haven't had a single moment like that. Maybe a couple times during the debates, at cheap little political-point-scoring, but that's pretty much it, and that's not, IMO, enough of a foundation upon which to build a successful political career. Maybe I'm overestimating the American voting population though.

And sure, if she didn't have universal name recognition to coast on and the Bill warm-n-fuzzies memories too, maybe she'd have been forced to develop some more potent skills. But I dunno, I just don't see it. I see someone who started out with every structural advantage: a huge lead from party-insider endorsements, access to local patronage machines for turn-out, universal name recognition, high popularity in the target population, and a near monopoly on the biggest fundraisers. She's managed to turn that all into a string of losses, often embarrassingly bad ones, through sheer incompetence of neglect, as far as I can tell. She has not yet made what I see as a compelling pitch for why she would be a worthy President; to the extent she's made any affirmative pitch at all, it seems to be based on the idea that she'd simply be competent.

I mean, really? That's the stuff of political greatness? "I won't mess up!" is a message that might get you local comptroller or something, but would that message even work for, say, a House seat?

One of the things that really bothers me about Ferraro's remark is that it takes a very narrow view: it focusses on the question: does Obama gain anything by being black in this particular race? (there the answer is, I would think, probably not: the novelty factor etc. is probably washed out by racism; but I think this has to be what F. means), while ignoring the many, many ways in which being a black man simply does not count as "lucky" on the whole. So she can focus on the media's "heavens, a serious black candidate" stuff while ignoring all the things that made it so hard for him to get into that position in the first place.

It's like looking at someone who, because of a serious and crushing physical disability, lands a part in a movie playing someone else with a serious and crushing physical disability, and saying: he's so lucky to be disabled! It's only even arguably true if you focus very, very narrowly on getting that part, and disregard everything else there is.

I think that saying "Clinton is only where she is because she married Bill" has a similarly narrow focus, and is similarly objectionable (at least, if it means something like: she wouldn't have won the Senate race without being his wife, as opposed to something like: her gifts would not have developed in the same ways without being challenged and enriched by his over the course of a lifetime, and that would have made her a worse candidate, or something similarly global.)

She's a very smart person, diligent, dedicated, and ambitious (which I don't mean in a bad sense.) She might have done any number of things, and done them well, had she not married Bill. In particular, she might have run for President, and might have won.

Also, the whole "ready-from-day-1" message (which I interpret as "I won't screw up!", I think rightly so) has to be viewed in the context that on the 2 biggest issues in the race (foreign policy: iraq, domestic policy: healthcare), she already has screwed up at least once each...well, it's a message that's not only weak, but also discordant with her record.

most of the outstanding precincts are in Obama-friendly areas

Is there another term for those areas?

Imagine we had a situation where a female candidate was creating the same buzz that Obama was, and someone akin to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson was preventing that from happening.

I assume that is how some of Clinton's supporters are feeling.

And to be fair, some people call sexism without it really being there. The whole discussion about BO's use of 'periodically' was idiotic, as are some of the 'they play the race card' accusations in his camp. I was rather shocked to read that his campaign had a memo about which instances could be used to spin as such.

I wish there was more substantial and honest discussion about the candidates. There are still people who can look relatively objective at both and make good comparisons, but they are scarse.

This notion that every angry outburst has to represent something deeply held fails to acknowledge that when people get angry they tend to grab for the first thing that is handy.

But I don't react to very angry outburst. If there is a repetetive theme I actually hope that one of the pro-Obama folks provide the proper facts or proper reaction. But that doesn't happen at all. Everything seems to be permitted as long as it is negative for Clinton or positive for Obama. And you cannot compare that to your wife saying "you are so stupid" when she is angry at you - unless you feel that you are in a group that is often characterized wrongly as dumb.

In particular, she might have run for President, and might have won.

Perhaps, but I don't think it's sexist to be skeptical of this assertion. I can think of a lot of female public figures with both more impressive credentials and more pure political talent than Hillary (Christie Whitman, Jennifer Granholm, Kathleen Sebelius, Janet Napolitano, Ann Richards, etc.), none of whom was/is a serious Presidential candidate.

unless you feel that you are in a group that is often characterized wrongly as dumb

Of course husbands are often characterized as dumb. Are Dutch TV commercials and sitcoms that different?

As much as I think I agree with this statement, I look at our current President and wonder where the talent and hard work went....

Well, it's not necessarily HIS....

I realize his book is about surviving cancer, but I still find it amazing that Arlen Specter, of all people, used the title Never Give In. What's next? Bill Clinton's Big Book of Keeping Your Pants On?

It doesn't have one blessed thing to do with her gender, just her choices.

I am definately NOT saying that not voting for her means you are sexist, or that you betray your gender by voting for a man. All I protest is the sexism directed against her. If people say that she didn't do anything but pick the silverware when she was first lady, they repeat a sexist untruth. Pointing that out doesn't mean that I endorse her, or that you should vote for her.

If those same people later state that they are afraid for Bill's influence if Clinton would become president, they actually say that the position *is* influential for an engaged spouse - and it implies that she is too weak to set her own course.

I think that saying "Clinton is only where she is because she married Bill" has a similarly narrow focus, and is similarly objectionable

Indeed. I objected ;)

I think it is great that Obama inspires so many people. I am impressed with some of the things he has accomplished and some of his plans. There are plenty of reasons to vote for him - so why the need to show support by trashing the other candidate? Why the need to apply different standards?

Are Dutch TV commercials and sitcoms that different?

I hardly ever watch, but from what I see the dumbness is evenly spread ;)

Sorry, have to go now, duty calls.

But I don't react to very angry outburst.

But what I am trying to point out is that the level of anger is, imho, palpable. And a deep, seething anger (which is kept right at 100C by what has happened the past 7 years) is going to generate those same sorts of things that you suggest are the result of deep seated sexism, which you have made clear is inside the commenters at ObWi who support Obama. I'm not suggesting that I or anyone else is completely free of sexism or racism, but I don't think anyone believes that this election is not a make or break choice. Sure, if it were a race between HRC and McCain, the commenters you are singling out would not choose McCain over HRC. But I don't believe anyone feels that either would do equally as well precisely because things are in the toilet right now.

There are still people who can look relatively objective at both and make good comparisons, but they are scarse.

Again, this implies that our decision has been made because we are unobjective and can't see all the wonderful good that HRC would do. I'm open to the notion that I am missing something, but if it were out there, it should be a lot easier to bring that than to have people tell me I'm sexist for preferring Obama to HRC. Supporting someone because they are an unknown rather than a known quantity is not necessarily an 'unobjective' decision. It happens all the time in cards, where you toss the card you know because you want a card you don't know because you believe that you have a better chance with that unknown card. It can be a blind stab, but it can also be a carefully thought out determination of the odds.

I am definately NOT saying that not voting for her means you are sexist, or that you betray your gender by voting for a man. All I protest is the sexism directed against her.

Maybe this is just a question of tone, but a statement like
I still have trouble accepting that I can't get that level of intellectual honesty here. is not protesting sexism, it is suggesting that we are not being honest about the sexism that it is implied we carry around.

As for the argument that because the group I am in (clueless foreign husbands living in Japan, for those of you keeping score at home) is not characterized as being dumb (though it is, I've seem some of the boards my wife visits), obviously my wife saying that has no meaning, this creates a strange relationship between prejudices held by others and internal beliefs, in that I get blamed for prejudicial beliefs that other people hold, while my wife can't possible get blamed. (there's a riff on political correctness there, but I will leave that for another time) Regardless of whether I am really angry at the state of the country. Which I am, in case you were wondering.

"In addition to inviting Senator Brooke to speak to them this morning, the Class of '69 has expressed a desire to speak to them and for them at this morning's commencement. There was no debate so far as I could ascertain as to who their spokesman was to be -- Miss Hillary Rodham. Member of this graduating class, she is a major in political science and a candidate for the degree with honors. In four years she has combined academic ability with active service to the College, her junior year having served as a Vil Junior, and then as a member of Senate and during the past year as President of College Government and presiding officer of College Senate."

This could be said of at the very least one person at every college every single year in the United States. So even if we restrict ourselves to the decade surrounding 1969, we are talking about more than 5,000 people who have those distinctions (and that is assuming there is only one per college while I would assume there are at least 10 per college putting the number at closer to 50,000).

She attended Yale Law School, which is a distinction, but one shared by 2,000 people that decade. And that is one of two things she did independent from Bill that would cause you to suspect she had some remote chance of being a successful politician (the other was being involved in the Watergate matter as an aide).

Her trajectory is much more consonant with becoming a highish-level mid-to-high-powered corporate lawyer. There are thousands of women who work as harder, are just as smart and aren't married to Bill Clinton who could NEVER have plopped into New York state and less than a year later been NY Senator. And if Clinton had not been married to Bill she wouldn't have had a chance either. It isn't sexist to note all that.

In a counter-factual world where she never married Bill, could a woman like her have theoretically developed talents other than the ones she actually developed? Sure. But that doesn't mean that the Clinton we see today, with the talents she actually developed, with her underdeveloped charisma and with her apparent dislike of the mechanics of actual campaigning could be in the position of being a front runner in the presidential arena.

Two much more plausible woman candidates (if we don't give Bill a large portion of credit) would be Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Feinstein is much more personable and charismatic than Clinton and has a much deeper political resume. Boxer is no less personable and charismatic than Clinton, and also has a much deeper political resume. Both are Senators from a state every bit as important as New York.

"I think it is great that Obama inspires so many people. I am impressed with some of the things he has accomplished and some of his plans. There are plenty of reasons to vote for him - so why the need to show support by trashing the other candidate? Why the need to apply different standards?"

This strikes me as a deeply odd statement. It isn't trashing anyone to notice the above. And what in the world do you mean by applying different standards? Clinton is the one employing trashing as a major tool of her current campaign. What was her comment about how McCain is ready to be President while Obama isn't? What was the super-trivializing Jesse Jackson comparison from Bill? (And if you aren't going to count that because it didn't come straight from her mouth, I'm going to have trouble understanding what you mean since none of the milder attacks against Clinton have come from Obama's). What is her constant talk about Obama being naive?

There isn't a double standard here. Clinton is definitely playing dirtier politics here--hell that is half her appeal. She explicitly says that you need to be willing to play hardball to win against Republicans.

("if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a trolleycar." Told to illustrate certain properties of if/then statements in logic classes.)

Actually, it's a sanitized version of an old Yiddish saying "Az der bubbe vot gehat baytzim vot zie geven mein zayde," which translates as "if my grandma had testicles, she'd be my grandfather."

I am definately NOT saying that not voting for her means you are sexist

Then I am a very poor reader, because to my eyes this is the clear implication, if not the intended point, of much of what you've posted here during this primary season.

There's another aspect to Geraldine Ferraro's comments (in addition to the obvious ones ably covered by others in this thread) which I find offensive, not so much in what she said as in the underlying assumption behind her remarks that:

the point of this process is to be fair to the candidate(s)

No - I don't think so! Democratic elections are for the purpose of choosing public servants, not rulers. As in somebody who will use their talent, experience and luck to serve us (the public) by administrating wisely, pursuing appropriate policies, etc. The whole language of "it isn't fair to X" has a dynastic quality to it, as if we were evaluating the claims to priority of inheritance amongst the children of a royal family to decide who gets to be King

[insert Monty Python & the Holy Grail video clip here: How'd you get to be King then, eh? - I didn't vote for you?].

Geraldine Ferraro seems to have lost sight of the idea that the voting public is choosing the best tool for the job of running the US for the next four years. When a carpenter goes to the toolbox to pick out a saw or a hammer, do they worry about whether the saw or the hammer is getting a fair chance? Or do they concern themselves with which tool is best suited to the task at hand.

I think this is a generation gap issue. It appears that at least some of Hillary's supporters have been in politics so long that they've forgotten who they are supposed to be serving.

To unpack it a little bit more: I'm not saying that issues of fairness have no place in an election. In fact they are crucial - the legitimacy of an electoral system is vitally dependent on fairness.

My key point is that it is fairness to the voters which must be safeguarded. Fairness to the candidates themselves (as individual persons) matters only insofar as the candidates are symbolic proxies for groups of voters. If you are going to say "X is not fair to candidate Y", you had better mean "X is not fair to the voters who support candidate Y".

Someone who does not agree with this translation, who thinks that fairness to the individual person of candidate X is what really matters, is using the logic of "L’estat, c’est moi".

I strongly suspect the latter is what Geraldine Ferraro was thinking. If on the other hand what she really meant was fairness regarding voters rather than regarding candidates, then her statement amounts to a ludicrous claim that African American voters are being given an unfair advantage, a statement which is even more offensive. To say that she is on the wrong side of history here is putting it mildly, no matter which way you parse her statement.

> Geraldine Ferraro's idiotic comment that Obama is lucky to be black

I would have thought any proud African American could say that. I'm not entirely clear what he difference is between that and saying "I'm lucky to have long eyelashes" or "I'm lucky to have a pretty mother" unless it isnt really a comment about your 'luckiness' and is instead a hidden attempt to discount the chances of people of other races to become president (which it might be of course).

> the novelty factor etc. is probably washed out by racism

If you start at birth and consider the risks of him no even getting into politics or being pulled too far left then maybe, or if he was a republican candidate. But surely one has to have their eyes closed to think that his race hasn't helped in the primaries - Clinton's name recognition was a huge hurdle to overcome and a candidate without something special like the first black president bit, would almost certainly have failed.

I just wanted to pop by and add nothing of substance. I don't generally read comments, but I'm completely amazed by the quality of discussion here. That, and the lack of anger.

LeftTurn, that's a very interesting angle to look at this from, and is an important thing to keep in mind about elections in general. Thanks for the perspective.

But her approach - her willingness to hear out those with opposing views, ensuring that everyone felt involved in the process - helped her prevail, political observers said.

That was then, this is now -- and this what observers are **currently** saying about Obama, and not at all about Clinton.

so why the need to show support by trashing the other candidate?

One might ask Clinton (endorsing McCain over Obama, etc) the same question.

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

Geraldine Ferraro seems to have lost sight of the idea that the voting public is choosing the best tool for the job of running the US for the next four years.

I think the biggest tool is McCain, but he's the exact opposite of best.

I don't think anyone has pointed out that had Hillary's trajectory gone differently, she likely would have remained a Republican. A white, wheel-less Republican.

I confess, I'm disappointed not to have had some superdelegate endorsements today in reaction to Ferraro's spouting. It seems no one wants to risk offending the racist wing of the Democratic party. Guess what? You're not getting them in November. Might as well have the angry Clinton explosion sooner, with more time to heal.

The other reason I am now really wishing Supers would end this: this blog post carrying a point I've seen recurring at Ben Smith and Ambinder: she's getting a 10 point jump from Republicans. Or from people who say they voted for her, but that she's not qualified and they don't like or trust her.

Now, with two races going on, I don't worry about crossovers: most people won't waste their vote messing with the Rs when they care about who gets the D nod, or vv, and a lot of such votes inevitably cancel as people's theories about how the other side and independents will vote contradict each other. But with the Rs done, and some either seeking to help McCain or blaming the Ds for McCain and figuring that means they should give us Hillary....I figured it would be 1 or 2 % of the vote, nothing to breath too hard over. But if she starts getting 10 point boosts from R crossovers (this includes closed primaries, since there's still time to register)....for the first time I'm worried she could pull closer. Not enough to tie him, but enough to make it falsely close.

I've enjoyed reading the perspectives here.

My perspective: I don't like to see Democrats engaging in a 'sensitivity' contest, in which the candidates (or their surrogates) compete to be offended.

I suspect that this reinforces negative stereotypes about the Democratic party, and hurts Dem chances in the general.

Being offended is a 'weak' response; taking action to redress the offense is 'strong'; ignoring the offense may be stronger still.

I think either Democratic candidate would do well to avoid posturing as being offended, because in the fall it is certainly true that 'being offended' will be a poor response to Republican attacks.

I like how Obama has had the ability to either let offense slide off him, or to ably counterpunch on the spot. This signals strength to voters, in my opinion (as versus complaining to some imagined authority.)

Interestingly, the right-wing has adopted this 'offended' posture as a stock-in-trade (for example, posing Christmas as being victimized by militant atheists.) I hope this serves to help bring them down.

I say all this as someone with a strong libertarian/conservative streak, who might have been a Republican in another life, if they had any decency.

I am not claiming that various things that various people have said are or aren't offensive, or that other people should or shouldn't be offended; I am saying that simply claiming offense is a weak psychological tactic.

Strength and self-confidence are very attractive; in my mind, many liberals have trouble absorbing this.

(Should the right-wing have a monopoly on the psychology of strength?)

I sure am ready for this primary season to be over ...

Oh by the way couldn't an elephant or a donkey be both a public transit vehicle and a mammal?

By LeftTurn Geraldine Ferraro seems to have lost sight of the idea that the voting public is choosing the best tool for the job of running the US for the next four years. When a carpenter goes to the toolbox to pick out a saw or a hammer, do they worry about whether the saw or the hammer is getting a fair chance? Or do they concern themselves with which tool is best suited to the task at hand.

I think this gets to the loyalty argument I keep seeing, overwhelmingly from older dems who support Clinton. Loyalty is not a bad thing per se, but when it's the only criterion for a choice, that's getting a bit ridiculous. And as a younger voter, I can't help thinking of Smith getting the promotion on seniority, even though most of the office thinks Smith is a dinosaur and Jones has done twice as much to grow the company--it's not Jones's turn.

Thus Ted Kennedy was supposed to endorse the Clintons because in the nineties they campaigned for him, and they've vacationed in MA, and they have a long relationship. New factors, such as a better-qualified candidate and Bill going off the rails in SC, shouldn't matter. If the hammer has been there for you, and you've chosen the hammer before, then what business do you have going with a saw just because this job looks like cutting a tree branch? How ungrateful. (Another word I see directed at non-Clinton supporters.)

Ferraro's comments and Clinton's handling of them are reminding me of Jesse Helms in 1990.

Ferraro's comments and Clinton's handling of them are reminding me of Jesse Helms in 1990.

they remind me (thanks to Sullivan) of the Limbaugh v. McNabb episode.

LJ:
those same sorts of things that you suggest are the result of deep seated sexism, which you have made clear is inside the commenters at ObWi who support Obama.

No, that is not what I said. I keep seeying people accusing the Clinton campaign of making racist remarks. I disagree, but even if I agreed: Is there anybody seriously assuming that they have suddenly become racist?

Again, this implies that our decision has been made because we are unobjective and can't see all the wonderful good that HRC would do. I'm open to the notion that I am missing something, but if it were out there, it should be a lot easier to bring that than to have people tell me I'm sexist for preferring Obama to HRC.

But that is not what I said. I can't put it more literally than writing "I am definately NOT saying that not voting for her means you are sexist".

"I still have trouble accepting that I can't get that level of intellectual honesty here." is not protesting sexism, it is suggesting that we are not being honest about the sexism that it is implied we carry around.

The intellectual honesty remark was about applying the same level of scrutiny to both candidates. It feels as if every wrong remark by Clinton supporter or someone who works for her campaign is ascribed to Clinton's devious manipulation skills whilst all wrong remarks made by people within Obama's campaign are ascribed to those persons and not ill-intended and should definately not be held against Obama.

Sebastian:
What was her comment about how McCain is ready to be President while Obama isn't? What was the super-trivializing Jesse Jackson comparison from Bill? (And if you aren't going to count that because it didn't come straight from her mouth, I'm going to have trouble understanding what you mean since none of the milder attacks against Clinton have come from Obama's). What is her constant talk about Obama being naive?

The comment about McCain wasn't that he was ready to be president and Obama isn't. She has repeatedly said that both she and obama would make much better presidents than McCain. It still was a pretty stupid comment to make btw, very bad timing. But she has repeatedly said that she would enthousiastically support Obama if he became the nominee instead of her. I believe her, I even think (but that is just a gut feeling and in fact more of a reason to hope Obama wins) that she would be better about it than Obama if the roles were reversed. Remember what happened after Lieberman (whom they both endorsed) didn't become the Democratic candidate?

The reaction to the Jesse Jackson comment has always suprised me, but that may be because I'm less sensitive to "American code". But saying that a state with many black voters is likely to go to a black candidate doesn't strike me as racist. I'm not agreeing with the viewpoint that blacks are voting racist either btw, even if 80-90% vote for Obama, because I think there are plenty of good reasons to vote for Obama and if you like both candidates it makes sense to vote for the one you'd identify with most. Which is better and more eloquently explained in another thread at ObWi, about prudential votes.


Joel Hanes:
Then I am a very poor reader, because to my eyes this is the clear implication, if not the intended point, of much of what you've posted here during this primary season.

I don't know you well enough to assess your reading skills, but I am perfectly willing to assume that communication errors are due to my English. Are you saying that my comments on ObWi these last months imply that I think the ObWi commenters are all sexists? In that case I think I might choose to blame your reading skills though.

LJ: this creates a strange relationship between prejudices held by others and internal beliefs, in that I get blamed for prejudicial beliefs that other people hold, while my wife can't possible get blamed. (there's a riff on political correctness there, but I will leave that for another time) Regardless of whether I am really angry at the state of the country. Which I am, in case you were wondering.

I am not sure I understand you entirely. To clarify: if I, in anger, say to my husband (dumb foreign husband living in the Netherlands for those who keep score) that he is "so dumb", it wouldn't bother him much. He knows he is not dumb, or perceived as dumb by either me or others. And yes, there are plenty of boards and groups where I can vent about dumb husbands and be met with understanding and jokes. We all have those moments.
However, if I would make a similar comment about his child-rearing capacities (because, you know, men just aren't as good as women in dealing with kids) he would be very very angry. That is a stereotype that offends him and that might be seen as true by folks. Which makes the latter much more offensive than the former and I am well aware of that, even when I am angry.

And yes, I know and understand that you are really angry at the state of the country. I am really angry at the state of your country too, and regularly really angry at the state of my own country. Sometimes it feels as if these are trying times for reasonable folks.
But, as I say to my 7 yo son who has quite a temper: you are fully entitled to your anger. Feelings are not under your control anyway. But behaviour is and you are fully responsible for *what you do* when angry.

Hey dutch,
thanks for replying, and I apologize for any contribution to a pile on that I might be making. It's just that when you say things like lacking "intellectual honesty", I feel like you are not understanding the points we are making. And if intellectual honesty is simply the level of scrutiny, I assume that something must be driving that differential, and you've been pretty clear that you think it is sexism. So there is a connect the dots there that is hard to avoid.

We both probably agree that this may be the most important decision to be made, perhaps in our lifetimes, and it is a decision that we don't completely control, and because we don't completely control it, we tend to express our feelings more strongly. If it were in our ability to make the decision, we wouldn't have to talk about it, we'd just decide.

I keep seeying people accusing the Clinton campaign of making racist remarks. I disagree, but even if I agreed: Is there anybody seriously assuming that they have suddenly become racist?

There is, at least to my mind, a big difference here. We are detecting racist remarks not because we perceive the Clinton campaign as being racist, but because we perceive that they are pandering to elements that are racist. (this previously mentioned attywood post is particularly insightful, I think) This is worse, in the sense that 'bullshit' is worse than lying, because, as the blurb notes

Rather, bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant. Frankfurt concludes that although bullshit can take many innocent forms, excessive indulgence in it can eventually undermine the practitioner's capacity to tell the truth in a way that lying does not. Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

Thus, I think you are accusing us of is different from what we are accusing the Clinton campaign of.

Your last point is good, and I understand that there are 'no-go' areas where you don't raise points because of certain overall impressions. But when that is applied to sexism as it relates to HRC, I'm trying to understand what you think is relevant and what is unfair. I hesitate to discuss law when we have so many lawyers, but there is a notion that if the other side brings up the topic, it then allows questions on that topic. There are innumerable topics that HRC has opened up for discussion, and the continuing escalation of the campaign is an invitation to discuss these things. HRC's campaign takes on the impression of someone who keeps asking you to prove that you respect them. At some point, the very action of demanding that they be respected disqualifies them from that respect.

But saying that a state with many black voters is likely to go to a black candidate doesn't strike me as racist.

Er. . . it might be when one takes into consideration that there is no US state where blacks comprise more than 36% of the state population, and that most are under 20%. And even in those states, I doubt that blacks comprise more than 50% of the voting Democratic population.

And if intellectual honesty is simply the level of scrutiny, I assume that something must be driving that differential, and you've been pretty clear that you think it is sexism. So there is a connect the dots there that is hard to avoid.

No, if that was what I seem to say I apologize. I really mean intellectual honesty as in judging the candidates by the same rules. No more, no less. I do believe there is sexism involved, but that is more as ammunition when coginive dissonance is allready invoked. I just wish people were called on it by the folks in their own camp, not by me as an outstander.

I must admit that all the misinterpretation made me insecure, so I asked my British/Irish husband to read the thread an tell me wether my comments were unclear.

He said that I was quite lucid, but that I should mention that I wouldn't be here, discussing at this level, if I hadn't been married to him and wouldn't have pracised my english more regularly than other Dutch folks. Though there are plenty of Dutch folks more worthy, and with better credentials, than lowly me, they just missed the advantage I had.

We both probably agree that this may be the most important decision to be made, perhaps in our lifetimes, and it is a decision that we don't completely control, and because we don't completely control it, we tend to express our feelings more strongly.

Eh.... nope. Since it is not a decision I can make (I have NO control at all) I am completely out of the equation. Any comment I make here is just for the tiny group of people I regularly exchange opinions with, I don't think it will have any effect on the elections whatsoever.

We are detecting racist remarks not because we perceive the Clinton campaign as being racist, but because we perceive that they are pandering to elements that are racist.

Ah. So you pointing out that a remark linkable to the Clinton campaign is racist is a way of alerting people that the are pandering to elements that are racist. But me pointing out that remarks are sexist is just a blunt attack on all ObWi commenters? Boy, you have a lot less regards for your audience than I have...

I'm trying to understand what you think is relevant and what is unfair. I hesitate to discuss law when we have so many lawyers, but there is a notion that if the other side brings up the topic, it then allows questions on that topic. There are innumerable topics that HRC has opened up for discussion, and the continuing escalation of the campaign is an invitation to discuss these things.

I have seen all the flak (flack?) on Hillary. But suppose she would have contacted the Canadians and would have said that her remarks about revoking Nafta should be seen as political pandering, not as serious arguments. Would it have been as unnoticed here? I suspect we would have seen loads of commenters saying that this is yet another piece of proof of her untrustworthyness.

I don't like being forced into the position of Hillary defender, because I really don't have much of a preference. I was an Edwards-girl who couldn't vote ;)

But I must admit that in the sportsteams I've favoured over the years, most of my friends went for the flashy topscorer whilst I would support the hardworking midfielder. So I get some flashbacks ;)

I think Obama might well win, and I think he would be a good candidate. I also think that your primaries are crazy. Electing people to vote for you is not my style anyway and combined with the weird caucassus and rules in the various states it becomes quite undemocratic. One person, one vote, and everybody's vote carries the same weight; that's more my style.

I like ObWi. It used to be my favourite blog and the only one I frequently commented upon (in? on? at?).

These days however I find myself avoiding ObWi. Not because I have a strong liking for hillary, but because I have a strong dislike for the echo chamber atmosphere. I would feel more secure in my Obama support if all the smart people here had done some thorough research before they endorsed him and declared their unconditional love. I trust him less than I used to do, weirdly enough, because the comments and critisism haven't been properly vetted.

Er. . . it might be when one takes into consideration that there is no US state where blacks comprise more than 36% of the state population, and that most are under 20%. And even in those states, I doubt that blacks comprise more than 50% of the voting Democratic population.

But if you take those figure into account and you assume that based on previous experiences and the current voting population it would have been hard to win, that is not terribly racist is it? This is no snark, the racism present in my country is expressed differently so I just don't recognize the signals. But if you know that a hugh portion of the people voting in your election will vote for a black candidate, is it racist to mention that?

Sorry, have to to to bed now, it is almost an hour past midnight here

DutchMarbel -- I respect your opinion and agree that HRC is an accomplished person, though I believe there is another long list of deficits that could be added to your positive one.

I think the question of dog whistle (and more audible) racism in the U.S. may be something that you aren't as attuned to even though your English is perfect and far better than any second language I have ever tried to master.

I am a white woman, a boomer, who grew up in the American South, mainly in Texas. Where I grew up there were separate water fountains, signs saying "We reserve the right to refuse to serve anybody" and a giant sign stretching across the main street coming into town saying "The blackest land, the whitest people." Even after the '60s theoretically put us into the "post-civil rights era" according to some, I have heard innumerable conversations where no blacks were present in which hideously racist comments were made about blacks, either in general or about specific individuals.

Racism is the elephant in the room in this country. Geraldine Ferraro and the other old-time politicians in Clinton's entourage, and of course the Clintons themselves, are acutely aware of the undercurrents of race that play out in political decision making and in every day life. Is there sexism too? Of course, I have seen it in my own career. But I simply do not believe it is comparable. And the damage that racism has done to African-Americans in this country is so severe and historic and has lasted over such a long time that it is a peculiarly severe sin, in my view, for a so-called liberal political campaign to stoop to any version of it.

I believe that most of the people you read on this forum hear the dogwhistles very clearly, and the whistles are too distant to reach you, not because of any defect in your understanding or in your good intentions, but because you didn't grow up in this kennel.

Meanwhile McCain pulls ahead of both of them in Michigan and even in PA. Sigh.

I have seen all the flak (flack?) on Hillary. But suppose she would have contacted the Canadians and would have said that her remarks about revoking Nafta should be seen as political pandering, not as serious arguments. Would it have been as unnoticed here? I suspect we would have seen loads of commenters saying that this is yet another piece of proof of her untrustworthyness.

Just thought I'd point out that some stories from the original NAFTA-gate source have come out recently suggesting just that...and it's gone completely ignored both here and everywhere else.

Just sayin

Er. . . it might be when one takes into consideration that there is no US state where blacks comprise more than 36% of the state population, and that most are under 20%. And even in those states, I doubt that blacks comprise more than 50% of the voting Democratic population.

Well, there is DC, which is not a state but did have a primary, where the population is 56% black. But even in the states, there are several -- Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, at least -- where blacks are more than half of the Democratic electorate. If the general population is 30% black in a state, for example, it's likely that more than half the Democrats are black, because the vast majority of blacks are Democrats, while whites are more evenly split (and tend to tilt Republican in precisely those states that have a high black population).

But we should also remember that blacks were much more evenly split between Clinton and Obama in earlier polls, before Obama had demonstrated that he could win the votes of whites.

Yes, dutchmarbel, what Michael said.

Dank u wel.
I imagine very few people posting here do not have nagging doubts somewhere on or about their persons. (pun intended.)
Fears tend by nature to be ill=defined. They take active part in motivations remote from reason. By the same token they can be dismissed as bound and bounded by irrationality; thus by a twist they satisfy the desire to avoid examination.
I think Obama is an evangelist for Constitutional democracy. I think Clinton is expecting to step into the Presidency by virtue of her associations. These thoughts bear the weight of conviction gained at a distance, by mediation. It is the way of humanity.
It is also the way of humanity to avert its gaze from dark corners or to place their ownership elsewhere.
The assembly of motives for attachment to one candidate over another is composed of some careful judgments, some calculated risks, some incalculable risks, some unreasoning fears, and some concealed terrors.
As an Obamiste, I see Obama speaking to reasoned hopes and Clinton appealing to unreasoning fear. I read Clinton supporters as convinced Obama speaks to unreasonable utopian hopes and Clinton speaks to a desperate need for wise management.
Convictions on both sides seldom seek reasoned rapprochment and see the forces of chaos in the other. Familiar patterns of public contention adrift from thoughtful caution are our norm.
Thus, the exceptional nature of this site, and thus your accustomed pleasure, and mine, in its companionship, and thus your discomfort in finding its admirable nature evidently distorted by unexamined assumptions.
I hope you are able to take comfort in the recognition that imperfection is part of the dialectical process, and that invocations of faulty reasoning and the influence of unreasoned fears continue to be worth struggling with, teasing out, and clarifying.

So don’t despair, and keep pushing.

Though actually it wasn't ignored here, just elsewhere.

Lighter side of the dog whistle.

Goodness. I have been staying out of the threads because I already shot my bolt on this in another thread. I too have no stake whatsoever in the US elections beyond the general European hope that you will not elect yet another venial nuthatch.

Somewhere above someone accused HRC of campaigning on being merely competent. Bluntly it seems to me that that would be a major improvement over the current bunch.

I see charisma and the good handshake being cited as important qualities.

No. I know too many gladhanders who do not come down to cases. I am NOT NOT NOT stating that this is my opinion of Mr Obama, but it is not a criterion you should apply so much to choosing a competent leader.

I find Obama wonderfully inspiring, but so was Clinton and so was Reagan for many. Maybe American politics could do with a little less inspiring and charismatic and a little more careful husbandry. Less grand gestures and more attention to real problems and difficult intractable issues.

The reason, rather like Dutch, I get ticked off with ObWi is that I expect a bunch of highly educated intellectuals to crank UP their critical facilities when confronted with the appealing and plausible. I was brought up to put my mental brakes on when someone seemed wonderfully attractive but I had not further information.

Vote for whoever you please and support them as you wish, but keep seeking for the truth on all sides.

Barnabas,

This is growing wearying. If you can point to specific examples where people writing on this site have failed to "crank UP their critical facilities when confronted with the appealing and plausible" then please cite them. Dutchmarbel has made the same accusation and has also consistently failed to cite evidence. Or, rather, I personally have found the evidence that dutch has cited to be consistently weak and unconvincing. Perhaps you can do better than her.

...keep seeking for the truth on all sides.

What makes you say we aren't? Just because the discussion tends to be more favorable to one candidate than the other? Has it occurred to you that given two candidates, there is no reason to believe a priori that they should be equivalently good or bad? That it might be normal for many people to evaluate one candidate as clearly better than the other? Has it occurred to you that one candidate may appear better than another to a given demographic so consistently that a large fraction of that demographic agrees that one candidate is superior?


There is this bizarre fetishization of treating candidates equally that I simply don't understand. Once you've made a judgment, there is no point in pretending that your judgment doesn't exist and that all candidates are completely equivalent. So I'm sorry for refusing to join your "all candidates are equal and must be criticized equally no matter what" campaign but I think I'll continue using my judgment to decide which candidate is better.

they remind me (thanks to Sullivan) of the Limbaugh v. McNabb episode.

To be fair to Ferraro, Limbaugh's comments were worse. Unlike politics, in which subjective judgment and intangibles like racial preferences do matter, success in sports is pretty clearly determined on merocratic grounds. Whether Obama's race is the primary factor in his electoral success is highly debatable, but it's at least plausible. But for Limbaugh to claim that McNabb was not actually a good quarterback despite the fact that A.)he was objectively successful on the field, and B.)that success could be quantified via statistics, winning percentage, etc., was pure lunacy.

Meanwhile McCain pulls ahead of both of them in Michigan and even in PA. Sigh.

I swear McCain is leading a charmed life of late. First Romney and Huckabee split the "anybody but McCain" vote, allowing him to win the Republican nomination with only one leg of the Republican stool firmly underneath him, now his two Democratic rivals go into a cannibalistic, party destroying, media dominating feeding frenzy just when he needs to lay low, catch up on fundraising, and get some of the more noxious elements of the GOP behind him without alienating moderates. I'm starting to think that he not only might win the general election, but might win it by a surprisingly large margin.

Somewhere above someone accused HRC of campaigning on being merely competent. Bluntly it seems to me that that would be a major improvement over the current bunch.

You should read more closely. The original commenter suggested that Clinton did not appear to have substantial political gifts since her campaign message appeared to be "I'm merely competent" and this message seems quite unusual and unlikely to resonate with voters in the US. But perhaps I'm "failing to seek the truth on ALL sides" so maybe you can enlighten me: can you point to any elected Presidents or Prime Ministers whose central campaign theme consisted of "I'm merely competent"?

I see charisma and the good handshake being cited as important qualities.

Again, I think you need to look more closely. These things were cited specifically in the context of discussing how successful a politician Clinton would have been in the absence of her marriage to a President. I'm not sure why you find this so distasteful, but in the US, as in most democracies, elected leaders are expected to interact with the citizenry, to listen to their concerns and empathize, to converse with people very different from themselves while behaving like a normal human being. Consequently, politicians in the US often have some charisma or ability to shake hands and babies well; the fact that Clinton is...lacking in this area bolsters the claim that she would never have been a credible candidate for the Presidency in the absence of being married to a President.

I think Sebastian was quite clear on this point; I don't see how one can read his comment and conclude that charisma and handshaking ability are vital requirements for a candidate in office.

May I suggest that OW will seem more reasonable on this issue if you pay closer attention to the individual arguments? After all, when a large and diverse group of allegedly highly intelligent people achieve a rough consensus that seems crazy to you, it is possible that they all became crazy or stupid at the same moment in time because they lack your, um, insights. But really, the more likely explanation is that they or as sane and intelligent as they were before.

Dutch
Ah. So you pointing out that a remark linkable to the Clinton campaign is racist is a way of alerting people that the are pandering to elements that are racist. But me pointing out that remarks are sexist is just a blunt attack on all ObWi commenters? Boy, you have a lot less regards for your audience than I have...

Well, I haven't been flagging things that I think were racist coming from the Clinton campaign. I think my strongest protest was about the 'commander in chief threshold' and I didn't suggest that this was racist. But if you mean the collective here, no, when people note racist comments, I believe that they are drawing the conclusion that HRC feels her winning is more important than the Democratic party winning. Anger at that gets expressed in the form you see. Yet it seems that any discussion of her sense of entitlement and inheritance is taken by you as an indication of sexism. Given that you feel the atmosphere is akin to an echo chamber in here (which can't be regarding an audience very highly), I am trying to suggest that there are reasons for these opinions and it is not unexamined sexism. It is also trying to understand what is driving HRC. I could be fooling myself and be completely oblivious to what you as an outsider are seeing, but I've really tried to examine my heart in this, so I tend to agree with what others have pointed out.

Just thought I'd point out that some stories from the original NAFTA-gate source have come out recently suggesting just that...and it's gone completely ignored both here and everywhere else.

I read the piece you and KC linked to, will you read mine? And I'm sorry, but "Austan Goolsbee — not a staffer, but an unpaid academic adviser" does not make me feel as if the author aims for objective statements of facts.

Bemused: I was a child in the sixties and may well be more tuned to sexism than racism. Though I find some of the 'sexism' accusations of the Clinton supporters contrived too, so maybe I'm just not good in deciphering subtle ;). But I think if Jesse Jackson himself doesn't think it is racist it is safe to assume it isn't a matter of me not picking up the signs.

Here is someone who states that the 3.a.m. ad is racist.

Why a bedroom in the middle of the night? Why only women and children? Where is daddy? Are men not also threatened by terrorist attacks? Aren't black Americans? Come on, Wilentz. Anti-American terrorists wanting to do harm to America do not steal up in the dead of night and attack women and children. Bad local men do. Domestic enemies of law and order, which in a state such as Texas, especially to older, less educated white voters, usually means one kind of men. You don't use, especially in the deep South, images of terrified women and children in darkened bedrooms when a black man is your opponent,

Apart from the fact that I miss the racism I've looked at it (I'm not linking in hopes of passing the spamfilter and it is easy to find on youtube). And I see mainly children, one sleeping women (with a head on the pillow next to here, which in the US implies a man) and someone opening the door in the end who is as far as I can see a white man.

The person attacked by the author wrote an article too. It's called How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton. Is it racist to think the latter makes more sense?

LJ: Yet it seems that any discussion of her sense of entitlement and inheritance is taken by you as an indication of sexism. Given that you feel the atmosphere is akin to an echo chamber in here (which can't be regarding an audience very highly), I am trying to suggest that there are reasons for these opinions and it is not unexamined sexism.

If I had no high regard for the audience I wouldn't be bothered by it.

Why do you say that I take any discussion as an indication of sexism? I responded to a particular comment and pointed to one strain of thought. To quote Hilzoy: "I think that saying "Clinton is only where she is because she married Bill" has a similarly narrow focus, and is similarly objectionable" accept that I said it was sexist.

I did not say that all critisism on Clinton was sexist, I did not say that preferring Obama was sexist, I did not say that whomever made the comment was sexist and I did not say that the commentariat here was sexist.

Your first reply to me was "I agree with the point you raise, Dutch, but isn't it possible that some of the 'sexism' is driven not by some sort of inherent base impulse, but by anger at the fact that there is a chance for a true Dem realignment". So you agree but try to explain the cause, anger, as if it is a mitigating circumstance.

In your next reply you say that the anger "is going to generate those same sorts of things that you suggest are the result of deep seated sexism, which you have made clear is inside the commenters at ObWi who support Obama." I didn't suggest deep seated sexism and I have never said that the Obama supporters here at ObWi were. But the discussion has moved from my "you shouldn't use that argument because it is sexist" to the accusation that I suggest you all suffer from deep seated sexism.

One reply later you say: "I assume that something must be driving that differential, and you've been pretty clear that you think it is sexism.". No, I have not said that that is sexism, I have not made any comments about what motivates the differential. Instead I have repeatedly said that I don't think preferring Obama is sexist.

When I compare and say that that some of Clintons remarks are seen as racist but that I don't think anybody thinks that SHE is racist, you say "We are detecting racist remarks not because we perceive the Clinton campaign as being racist, but because we perceive that they are pandering to elements that are racist.
Thus, I think you are accusing us of is different from what we are accusing the Clinton campaign of."
You again extrapolate about the *why* when I discuss the *what*. I tried to find an example of the difference between saying that argument X is bad and saying that everybody who uses argument X is bad.


Why do you say that I take any discussion as an indication of sexism?

I didn't say 'any discussion', I said "discussion of entitlement and inheritance". Also, you suggested a comment in an earlier thread where I said that my feeling about HRC was akin to Shelby Foote's observation that certain Civil War generals would be effective at one level, but when promoted above it, were completely ineffective, was motivated by sexism.

Also, my agreement was with the fact that the comments were not dealing with the heart of the matter, not that anger somehow made it ok to voice sexist comments. This notion that everything that emits from people's keybords represents their deepest beliefs is, on a little consideration, not supported by observation.

And your examples from tnr would be on point if any of them were cited with approval by the commentators here. In fact, they seem to have arisen out of a back and forth of competing posts. Thinking that those kinds of debates, where the interlocuters are struggling to 'win' rhetorically can be taken as indicative of some deeper truth is problematic. The last link to TNR that I remember was in this thread, and it was pretty much debunked. This isn't to attempt to claim that because that article was wrong, the ones you mention are, but using TNR web posts to present examples of problems in the notion of racism as it applies to Obama (which somehow connects to sexism and HRC in a way that I don't see) doesn't seem like very strong argumentation.

And maybe I'm glossing over them, but I am not sure which comments or posts you have in mind when you say that people here are have been noting that Clinton remarks are racist. I don't think I have done that, and the examples that I have read are ones where people try to explain why a particular comment is problematic. Again, I may be skipping over things, but I think your argument would be a lot stronger if you cited particular comments as examples which we could then discuss. Turbulence's 4:22 addresses some of the things you point out after multiple exchanges, that you seem to think indicate that we were not treating HRC fairly, such as someone saying she was 'merely competent' or noting that the notions of charisma is important to a presidential campaign, and he placed them in what seems to me to be a perfectly acceptable light.

Finally, I'm a bit addled by the talk of 'why' versus 'what', and can't find the examples of the differences that you gave, so I'm not following you at all. I'd try to restate it to try and figure out what is at issue, but I really don't know where to start. Sorry.

Can we talk about something substantial for a change, dutchmarbel?

Like HRC voting for the AUMF, thus being partner in a crime that led to the death of hundreds of thousands innocent people and wrecked the lives of a few million, and to this day she is unwilling to call it a even a 'mistake' - while Obama at the same time strongly expressed his opposition to taking such action.

Have you scrutinized your preferred candidate's judgment sufficiently in this regard? Should she really be rewarded for this gross error with the presidency? Does it not matter anymore, forgive and forget?

And as far as sexism is concerned, yes there is sexism,, just as there is racism, and both will be with us for the foreseeable future. Whining about it at every opportunity is not very clever, the best tactic is to take the high road and ignore it unless absolutely necessary, just like Angela Merkel and most other successful woman candidates have done.

Marbel: On Obama-NAFTA, just for the record, I noted that I thought it was Obama’s first serious misstep in the campaign. I also noted how important trade with Canada is to Ohio and I thought it was stupid for both candidates to talk about renegotiating it. I also fully believe that Obama’s campaign was aware and involved in the backdoor communications to Canada. So Obama gets a bad mark (I initially typed “black mark”, but then the PC filter kicked in…) on that from me. I’ll also agree with you that it was somewhat down-played here. I also criticized Obama for his “bad press” week when I thought he totally failed to properly handle the press. If you go back further you’ll see I repeatedly asked “where’s the beef” concerning Obama’s proposed policies. When I got a better handle on his policy statements I said Obama’s economic policy was going to be a disaster if enacted. Heck I even criticized his wife’s ridiculous gaffs… I’ve certainly offered plenty of criticism of Obama, at least as much as I have on Clinton. Yet given the alternatives of HRC and McCain, Obama becomes the default for me. Someone said something yesterday I agree with (can’t remember where). To paraphrase it: I’ll take the known unknowns (Obama) over the known knowns (the other two).

But I think if Jesse Jackson himself doesn't think it is racist it is safe to assume it isn't a matter of me not picking up the signs.

Sorry, but what Jesse Jackson thinks is or is not racist depends 100% on what is best for Jesse Jackson at that particular moment.

On the rest: I can definitely understand your take on this where Clinton is concerned and how it might look like an echo chamber in here. I disagree with you though that no serious research has been done. Hilzoy heroically wrestled the THOMAS database to compile Obama’s Senate record. I’ve spent considerable time double checking my impressions that Clinton has used NY as nothing more than a launching pad for this run. I also spent a lot of time on the site you sent me to (lost the link) that ranks the candidates for you based on the questionnaire.

There is definitely an emotional component in play, coming from a couple of different angles. There are people (guilty) who have been anti-Clinton for more than 15 years. We’re just kind of smug and in “told you so” mode (paging Andrew Sullivan). But then you have people who were die-hard Clinton supporters for all those years who have had their eyes opened during this primary: “Holy sh*t! The VRWC was right about them!” I’ve lost track of how many opinion pieces and blog posts I’ve read along those lines. There is an emotional back-blast coming from some of these people – the sense I get is that they feel betrayed as they now realize that the Clintons really do put their personal goals above the party. And of course there are many others somewhere between those two extremes.

(The meat-world calls so I may not be able to respond to anything before the weekend.)

There is definitely an emotional component in play, coming from a couple of different angles. There are people (guilty) who have been anti-Clinton for more than 15 years.

I'll go you one better than that - I was too young and politically unformed when Clinton was first elected to really have much of an opinion about him or the scandals/accomplishments of the first part of his Presidency, and by the time Lewinsky rolled around I thought that while he was a scumbag in his personal life, he was a pretty effective President.

My regard for his Presidency took a dive after 9/11 when I realized that his personal vanity and lack of discipline and self-control had A.)prevented him from acting more forcefully against Osama bin Laden after the 1998 Embassy bombings because he was too busy quibbling about what "is" means, and B.)foisted George W. Bush on us (Lewinskygate was "the BJ that launched 1,000 ships", as one of my snarky college friends said). Hillary, I always found a bit dour and charmless, but I can't say I ever really hated her.

Anger and disappointment toward Bill and uninspired indifference toward Hillary have slowly morphed into Andrew Sullivan-esque loathing for them both over the course of the primary campaign, however, this despite the fact that Hillary, as a centrist Democrat, is probably the closest to my own preferences in terms of policy positions of the three remaining candidates on a plurality of issues. This is because I've watched them cynically manipulate the ignorance of the American electorate, the bigotry of older Americans, the psychosocial obsessions of the Baby Boomer generation, the media, and the political process itself in the most shameless ways possibles to try to achieve their ends. They've gone so far as to openly speculate about overturning the democratic process if it doesn't turn out to their liking, while at the same time wheedling self-righteously about disenfranchisement. They've bitched and moaned about unfair media coverage because reporters have had the temerity to point out that some of the things Hillary says aren't true. They've castigated the media for failing to look into what are pretty insubstantial scandal rumors surrounding Obama while at the same time keeping the door to their own skeleton-packed closet tightly locked. They've shamelessly appealed to prejudice against both blacks and Muslims. And they've outright lied. Obama's had his bad moments (NAFTAgate, the pandering to various hackish Democratic interest groups), and some of the criticism against the Clintons has been in my view unfair (I think the red phone ad was totally inbounds, for example). But for the most part, I think Obama has run a pretty clean, uplifting, message-oriented campaign, while Hillary has run a divide-and-conquer Nixonian war of attrition. My preference for one candidate over the other, partially emotional though it may be, is, in fact, based on a series of rational judgments. I have no problem with Hillary because she's a woman - actually, I think electing the first female President would be the one GOOD thing about her winning the election. I have a problem with her because her actions lead me to believe she's an arrogant, self-centered, power-hungry, cynical, and ruthless woman, and I don't want an arrogant, self-centered, power-hungry, cynical, and ruthless person of either gender in the Oval Office.

As one poster said, it's sort of ironic that the fact that a lot of sexist idiots would call the first serious female candidate for President a (female dog) no matter who she was distracts from the fact that the first female candidate for President is, in fact, a (female dog).

As one poster said, it's sort of ironic that the fact that a lot of sexist idiots would call the first serious female candidate for President a (female dog) no matter who she was distracts from the fact that the first female candidate for President is, in fact, a (female dog)

As I've explained repeatedly to my wife and (female) boss, I don't think it is a good idea to ever refer to someone as a bitch. I'm fine with calling people by all sorts of non-gendered profane insults, including in the workplace, but the term bitch is often taken to mean "woman who is acting uppity" or "woman who is doing her job" or "woman who is acting like any man would". I'm sure you didn't mean it like that. Its just...if you think Clinton is an ass, call her an ass and if you think she's a sociopath, call her a sociopath.

We are blessed to speak a language that offers many, many wonderful options for creatively insulting people in a non-gendered fashion!

I think the red phone ad was totally inbounds, for example

I don't think it was out of bounds. I just think it was shortsighted. She shouldn't be running a McCain ad. He's already thanked her for doing it, and he's right.

I think the people finding racist undertones in it are really reaching (and Ann Althouse's analysis is loony).

The TNR piece you link isn't particularly good. Anyone who can seriously write that Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson wasn't a seriously problematic racial comment is tone deaf on race politics in the US. (And I understand that you aren't from the US so that makes sense). I have 3 very close black female friends and 2 similar acquaintances. All five of them were strong Clinton supporters (and the two I've known for more than 8 years have been supporters of both Clintons for more than a decade). All five of them were still strong Clinton supporters the day before that comment, though two of them were insulted by the drug dealing charges but they decided it wasn't an official part of the campaign). All five them were outraged by Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson comment. Every single one of them thought it was an attempt to trivialize Obama on the basis of his race. And they were right. Bill Clinton is from the South. That was not a mistake and it was not misinterpreted by the racists it was intended to appeal to nor by the black people who were offended by it. That the TNR writer think it can be dismissed with the "good candidate" cover is ridiculous. His whole point was not that Obama was a good candidate in general, but that he ran a good campaign similar to JESSE JACKSON. Which is to say, a candidate whose appeal is largely because he is black and who couldn't possibly be elected to the general public. It was a way of dismissing Obama's win in South Carolina--even politically hopeless Jesse Jackson had won there.

The TNR writer is also particularly bad on the drug dealer incident from Shaheen. He writes:

In mid-December 2007, one of the Clinton campaign's co-chairs in New Hampshire, Bill Shaheen, remarked entirely on his own on how the Republicans might make mischievous and damaging political use of Obama's admitted use of marijuana and cocaine during his youth. The observation was not especially astute: Since George W. Bush, both the electorate and the press have seemed to be forgiving of a candidate's youthful substance abuse, so long as says he has reformed himself. Nor had the Clinton campaign prompted Shaheen to make his comment. But it was not a harebrained remark, given how the Republicans had once tried to exploit the cocaine addiction of Bill Clinton's brother, Roger, and even manufactured lurid falsehoods about Clinton himself as the member of a cocaine smuggling ring during his years as governor in Arkansas. And it was not in the least a racist comment, as cocaine abuse has afflicted Americans of all colors as well as classes.

This makes me think that the writer might be intentionally misleading. The shocking thing wasn't raising the drug use. It wasn't alluding to cocaine *use* or *abuse* that was the problem. It was suggesting, for no reason whatsoever, that Obama might have been *dealing* drugs that put the comment out of bounds. Acting as if the comment was all about use, completely hides the issue that sounded racist. The popular image of a drug *dealer* plays into the scary black man stereotypes. That is why people thought it was raising racial issues. For the TNR author to ignore the 'dealer' part of the charge and dismiss the incident by saying that talking about drug *abuse* didn't mention race at all suggests a complete lack of understanding about race in the US.

And I'm by no means an expert at picking up subtle racial cues. That one wasn't subtle.

I agree however that the 3AM ad doesn't have any racist overtones that I can detect.

What Seb said.

Also, fwiw: I didn't write much about Goolsbee because I was waiting to see what the story was. Since then, my view is that while it was an incredibly damaging flap, it should not have been, given what actually happened. (See here.)

I also haven't written about Ferraro much, mostly because I just find it sad, and because I am tired of writing about the Clinton campaign's attempts to inject race into this. I find it incredibly dispiriting that any serious Democratic candidate would do this.

I don't feel that I have been unwilling to do research, or to subject Obama to scrutiny. One of my main frustrations, in fact, has been the failure of the media to subject all sorts of claims about experience and inexperience to scrutiny. Several times, I have decided to try to answer some quite general claim about Clinton and Obama (ranging from 'where do they stand on TG issues? to the examination of their Senate records) just because I didn't know the answer, and I thought: well, more information will produce less bias.

Warning, I am a bit wordy with this one.

dutchmarbel: I have been pondering your comments here and composing answers to them in my mind. This morning on NPR (Morning Edition), Hillary put the icing on why I am opposed to her candidacy. In the interview, she contended that the Michigan delegation should be seated without any redo. She claimed that the primary was fair, that it was Obama's "choice" not to participate and completely glossed over the agreement that all the candidates had made not to do so with the DNC. Both Obama and Edwards did the honorable thing and removed their names from the ballot. That she elected to leave her name on, hoping for some advantage, was her choice, but it is one that I find unscrupulous and self-serving.

I will also note that I began this primary process as a supporter of Hillary. And I thought that a Clinton/Obama ticket would be a dream team, giving him time to develop experience in the role of VP. But, as I listened to him, I was persuaded to look at Obama as a fresh new breeze, badly needed in Washington. I have done my research and learned what I can, and have found my support of him growing stronger.

There are certainly areas to attack Clinton effectively, but Obama has chosen not to cross that line. The Republicans will not hesitate, however, and she is vulnerable in a lot of areas. Their financial dealings are certainly to be questioned, and Bill is an Albatross around her neck that will come back to haunt, probably in some underhanded way. There is an Ann Coulter article already out tying the latest political sex scandal to the Clinton WH years.

Now there is an elephant in the room and it is the economy. We are going to be faced with some really hard, hard choices in the next few years. This Republican administration has bankrupted the country, and more tax-cuts, military spending, reduced regulation is not going to be the answer. We are desperately going to need a persuasive President, one who will be able to articulate and persuade the populace to accept some of the hard choices to be made. And this will have to be done at some personal political risk. I simply cannot see Senator Clinton being effective in that role. So watching her try to demolish what appears to me to be the most effective Democratic candidate is hard to stomach.

Yes, sexism is alive and well in this country, but I don't think it holds a candle to racism. Our jails are not full of women, white or black, but black men. At the risk of being accused of reverse discrimination, I think an additional plus of electing Obama President is the potential he has for demonstrating to the younger black community the hope for a better future.

Incidentally, I am a woman, pushing 70, and have been a feminist for many years. Clinton is not the first woman I want to see elected as President, for I think she would be a disaster, and harm the chance of another more qualified woman being elected in the future. I see too many similarities to the current President in her style and attitudes.

OT,I would like to recommend a reading of the link below:

http://www.tomdispatch.com:80/post/174905/the_eight_inside_the_beltway_fundamentals_of_the_iraq_war

Thanks to Gary, this is actually a link! ;-)

@LJ: I didn't say 'any discussion', I said "discussion of entitlement and inheritance". Also, you suggested a comment in an earlier thread where I said that my feeling about HRC was akin to Shelby Foote's observation that certain Civil War generals would be effective at one level, but when promoted above it, were completely ineffective, was motivated by sexism.

I searched, but found only two threads in obwi where Shelby Foote is mentioned and I am in neither. (http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/09/surprise_.html and http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2006/06/this_is_your_op.html). So I cannot respond.

Turbulence's 4:22 addresses some of the things you point out after multiple exchanges
Turbulence is not adressing me in that post.

Finally, I'm a bit addled by the talk of 'why' versus 'what', and can't find the examples of the differences that you gave, so I'm not following you at all. Than we are at an impasse, since I cannot explain it more clearly ;)

@novakant: why do you think Hillary is my preferred candidate? Because I said that someone's argument was sexist? Or because I said that I felt ObWi was not objective? Even the centralists I read feel the occasional need to remark upon the way most progressive blogs treat Hillary. It matters to me because I really really really want a democratic president of the USA and I think the polarisation and anger might prevent that.

I think I made some comments about her vote earlier this year, but I don't have the time to do substantial arguing about what I like and dislike about each candidate. If I had more time I'd probably still not be inclined to do the arguing here. I only remarked that a certain comment was sexist and look at this thread. I can assure you that comments about her vote are not sexist though.

If you have specific questions I'm willing to try to answer them if you are willing to really listen to them. But since it is not worth the effort to convince me to prefer a candidate (since I can't vote) and in view of how open-minded I think the current audience is you might better stay with questions that are favourable for Obama. I can find plenty of nice things to say about him ;)

And as far as sexism is concerned, yes there is sexism,, just as there is racism, and both will be with us for the foreseeable future. Whining about it at every opportunity is not very clever, the best tactic is to take the high road and ignore it unless absolutely necessary, just like Angela Merkel and most other successful woman candidates have done.

I happen to dislike both sexism and racism. I am inclined to comment about it when it is expressed and not challenged. Are you saying that people who prefer Obama or are working in his behalf should refrain from commenting about racism?

@OCSteve: congratulations. How does it feel to be on the other side of the pile-on for a change ?

I can definitely understand your take on this where Clinton is concerned and how it might look like an echo chamber in here. I disagree with you though that no serious research has been done.

I didn't say no serious research, I said same level of scrutiny. I have some serious questions about Obama but I can't as them here because I can't trust the answers. The sites that are really pro-Clinton are also not likely to provide trustworthy answers, so I keep harbouring these doubts. That doesn't mean that I can't trust the well researched positive points about Obama.

the sense I get is that they feel betrayed as they now realize that the Clintons really do put their personal goals above the party.
I don't think they do, at least not more that almost any politician. Some of my reservations about Obama are about his dedication to the party. This will probably lead to another pile on, so I'll pretend it's just ment for you ;). But Hillary has stated many times that she would wholeheartedly support Obama if he becomes the nominee, and that she will urge her supporters to vote for him too. Obama seems reluctant. He finally http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x103905”>said that he would support her, but immediately said that he had no such signs from the Clinton camp. That is weird. I am no close follower of the elections and I've seen her say that many times. He also has said a few times that his supporters might well decide not to vote for Hillary, even in rally's *for* his supporters.

It reminds me of (as I said elsewhere) what happened when they both endorsed Lieberman but Lamont became the democratic nominee. Hillary wasn't happy, but offered http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/11/14/122820/27”>real support, whilst Obama avoided the place and did the bare minimum. That was not in the interest of the party.

(The meat-world calls so I may not be able to respond to anything before the weekend.)
I try to do this in between normal things, but it takes a lot of time. I am not always sure when I can answer again.

@Turbulence: but the term bitch is often taken to mean "woman who is acting uppity" or "woman who is doing her job" or "woman who is acting like any man would".

Darn, I was told it stood for “Babe In Yotal Control of Herself”

@sebastian: It was suggesting, for no reason whatsoever, that Obama might have been *dealing* drugs that put the comment out of bounds.
I have totally missed that and I think I've seen video and transcripts. Could you point it out? (no snark intended)

@Hilzoy: Even in the piece you link the originally mentioned name was Clinton, not Obama. Obama's campaign denied contact, but had to retract that after the memo. That the memo was incorrectly phrased may well be and that it harmed Obama is correct too I think.

I don't feel that I have been unwilling to do research, or to subject Obama to scrutiny. One of my main frustrations, in fact, has been the failure of the media to subject all sorts of claims about experience and inexperience to scrutiny.

In that case I am sorry. You've been better than most, but I still think that you can write your criticism of Obama on the inside of one of my hands – and I don't have particularly big ones.

@jwo: your're the last comment on my current page and I'm not going to refresh till after I posted this and have had dinner. So I have to be short and will do the reading later.
There are certainly areas to attack Clinton effectively, but Obama has chosen not to cross that line. Hmmmm... is the discussion about 'attack' or about 'effectively' and do the people supporting Clinton count as part of Obama's team the way they seem to do with Clinton?

So watching her try to demolish what appears to me to be the most effective Democratic candidate is hard to stomach.
It is always hard to have the person you think is really best contested that hard. I think that goes on both sides.

Incidentally, I am a woman, pushing 70, and have been a feminist for many years. Clinton is not the first woman I want to see elected as President, for I think she would be a disaster

I am definitely not saying that you should vote for her just because you are a woman. I am not even saying that you should vote for her, come to that ;). I hate single subject parties and voters and one of the major female politicians in my own country is utterly despicable. I have no problem with people saying that they prefer Obama or that they do not like Hillary. I hate sexist remarks and I hate groupthink and look where that got me ;)

wauw, that went through unchallenged. It felt like a novel. What do you mean 'wordy' ;)

dutchmarbel,

Feel free to address the points made in my earlier comments to Barnabas; they mostly apply to you as well I should think.

@JWO; I've read your linked article. I agree with most of it actually. Iraq is really depressing. I am glad that it points to the real crux in Poers comments. The 'she called her monster' thing was stupid and she has made very eloquent excuses (have you seen them on youtube?) about her misstep there. I feel that she should just continue to work for Obama to be honest. But I do want see the more of a realistic comparison on the troop-withdrawel and wether the candidates really differ there.

Dutch,
Just in the interests of reference, the comment I made is here and your reply is here.

I'm assuming that the search function doesn't search wild cards, so because it was 'Shelby Foote's', it didn't register.

Feel free to address the points made in my earlier comments to Barnabas; they mostly apply to you as well I should think.

I put considerable effort in my answers and try to link them accordingly. So far you have said "Or, rather, I personally have found the evidence that dutch has cited to be consistently weak and unconvincing. Perhaps you can do better than her.".

I can lead the reader to facts, but I cannot make him think. It is not worth my time to try to convince to be honest.

Oh, apologies for getting your points and Barnabas' confused, I should have scrolled up to double check.

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