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January 22, 2008

Comments

Just in case anyone wants to watch Obama's Reagan remarks in their entirety, they are here, starting at about 18:40. (Actually, the whole thing is interesting. I like long conversations with Presidential candidates -- easier to get a feel for someone than by watching teensy snippets. In this case, though, it's a pity many of the questions to him are nearly inaudible.)

"All that said, maybe this is a feature not a bug. If you’ve become even more cynical than me about what it takes to beat a Republican, then maybe this practice is a virtue. and perhaps you’re right. But I’m still naively in the “expect more” stage."

The problem with even that consolation is that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that the lying stops once you beat the Republicans.

Clinton is willing to use race baiting, blatant lying, voter suppression, and the politics of personal destruction against her fellow Democrats. She will use it against anyone who gets in her way at any time.

You can hope that will be mostly Republicans, but I wouldn't count on it.

Barack Obama's Wife's Wal-Mart connection

What, the Clintons? Cynical, manipulative, unscrupulous, and willing to exploit voter ignorance? No way!

I must say, it's sweet music indeed to hear Democrats complain about this. The rest of us realized it back in the 90's.

it's sweet music indeed to hear Democrats complain about this. The rest of us realized it back in the 90's.

"realized it" is not the right phrase here. i think you need something more like "went embarrassingly screeching batsh!t fncking unhinged insane over it". and nobody expects anything different this time around.

What makes you think Democrats didn't complain about this? We just didn't think it rated impeachment.

"they assume their audience is too ignorant to learn the truth."

Unfortunately, a pretty safe assumption.

There's no question that if HRC becomes President, we'll get eight more years of utter corruption and devisiveness in our national politics.

Nobody has more contempt for and anger about the illgality and corruption of the Bush Administration than I do. But until Bush '43 came along, I thought Bubba and his horrible wife were the worst occupants evah in the WH. What we're seeing now from them on the Campaign Trail is a preview how they will govern if given power again: lies, self-dealing, financial corruption of the rankest sort.

Obama provides at least the hope of something better. Our republic certainly deserves better than the likes of Bill and Hillary again. And if anyone takes umbrage at my lumping the two of them together, look at how Bubba is behaving now. Does anyone seriously think he won't be playing a major role if back in the WH?

"went embarrassingly screeching batsh!t fncking unhinged insane over it"

Not me. I didn't support impeaching Clinton. Thought he was a mendacious, unprincipled and self-serving in ways that crippled his presidency? Yeah. Hated him to the point of getting out the pitchfork? No. His DLC brand of Democratic politics is actually fairly close to where I am on the political spectrum and a lot of the things he did (welfare reform, NAFTA, etc.), I agree with. A lot of liberal friends of mine genuinely like the guy, though, which I could never fathom, since in addition to his personal sliminess he really wasn't a very progressive President ideologically.

I hesitate to draw comparisons with Bush, because HRC would be a far better president on an infinite number of levels.

Infinite? Dick Cheney with hair?


They just want the message of “Obama Hearts Reagan” in the minds of people who are too busy to read multiple national newspapers and dozens of blogs.

That’s a strategy that can easily backfire though, at least where Independents are concerned. If I were to believe it (which I don’t) it would be a point in his favor.

at least where Independents are concerned.

Ah yes, but you forget that the Clintons' apparent strategy is "keep it close until the primaries in which only partisan Democrats can vote, to hell with winning in November".

the Clintons' apparent strategy is "keep it close until the primaries in which only partisan Democrats can vote, to hell with winning in November".

i doubt that's her real strategy. she's a lot of things, but she's not stupid.

Last night Obama said this:

When you look at Bush and Cheney and their record, the one good thing they’ve done for us is they have given their party a very bad name.

Will Hillary now start saying he praised the good that Bush and Cheney have done?

They not only assumed voters would never know the difference, they relied on them never knowing the difference.

And, curiously, they relied on the so-called "liberal media" not to make the difference clear...

I think that this phrase sums up my discomfort with the Clinton campaign:

Attacks like these are demonstrably false to the “super-informed,” but the Clinton campaign doesn’t care. They just want the message of "Obama hearts Reagan" in the minds of people who are too busy to read multiple national newspapers and dozens of blogs.

It seems that their approach to campaigning does everything it can to deserve the cynicism with which so many Americans view politics.

Between that and Senator Clinton's triangulation on issues which she voted on in the Senate, I'm very unsure that she'll actually stand up for any Democratic values, if and when she gets to the Oval Office.

In fairness to Obama it would be nice to know how many of his fellow Democrats voted present. Is this a tactic that Illinois Democrats use to overcome or rebuke the opposition when they use parliamentary procedures to push through unacceptable measures? I know, it's inside baseball, but.....
Hillary voted to allow Jackass Bush the power to invade Iraq. If she would admit that was wrong and apologize I would consider voting for her in the primary. I will vote for her in the General if I have to, I guess......

Once again, I come here to read what I've already been thinking.

Thanks, guys.

"You can’t just come out and lie baldly. The press will keep hitting you for that, and the public will take note."

Yeah, right.

In the last week, two different people have informed me that Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden are cousins.

I s**t you not.

I want better than "like Bush only possibly not as bad". I've voted Democrat pretty regularly for 20 years, but it wasn't until I wandered across Legal Fiction lo these 6, 7 years ago that I really started to think about it. Now I think I don't have to settle for the one that makes me least want to upchuck.

Publius keeps saying politicians won't stop using these tactics until they stop working. I hope Americans have come enough to their senses that this happens soon.

Slightly off topic, but both Romney and Giuliani are running spanish language ads in Florida.

Why do I get the feeling that would be a big no no in say Texas or California?

Why is it seemingly OK in Florida?

Obama's calling for a 'new' kind of politics is a more honest version of the 'rube strategy' (because there is no such thing), It's preferable (albeit half-baked), since what he's really talking about is a new coalition, not a new politics, and a new coalition is a screamingly obvious requisite right now. HRC is, like her husband, the personification of mediocrity - humorless and bereft of imagination, political and otherwise. She, not Obama, is the one operating in Reagan's shadow, steeped in the Reagan Ethos: winning isn't everything, it's the only thing; it's fundamentally about *me* and my shoddy ambition. She wraps both her arms around the oldest of 'old' politics because she can't imagine anything else, even in this post-Dubya wasteland; the politics of the Missle Gap.

Can we please just be finished with the Clintons?! Basta!!! They didn't deserve to be treated the way they were in the 90s, but we don't deserve their never-ending presence since then! They're like *herpes*.

In the last week, two different people have informed me that Barack Obama and Osama Bin Laden are cousins.

was this woman one of them ? (language NSFW)

What a load of baloney.

What is factually true is that this post is a mistrepresention of what happened. Perhaps you did not listen to the debate closely enough and did not do any actual research on what Obama actually said.

Bottom line: Hillary Clinton did not misrepresent Obama. But you are misreprsenting Hillary.

Clinton attacked Obama for his praise of republicans as the party of IDEAS in order to garner the endorsment of a conservative editorial board. This is true, he did this and this is what Hillary criticized him for.

Obama responded by saying that even Hillary praised Reagan. This is true but dishonest as that is not what Clinton was criticizing him on.

Hillary shot back that she was criticizing him on praising republican ideas, not on his admiration for Reagan. Hillary was representing the facts actually, Obama was trying to mislead the audience.

You're right, Ginger. Perhaps there's an implied "if you're a Democrat" there.

There are blogs out there where they can acknowledge complexity ...

... on these issues, but this undelightfully doesn't seem to be one.

@cleek:

After person number two shared the news with me yesterday, I scurried off to google to see if I could figure out the source. And found my way to ... that.

I think that poor woman heard it via the email-net (or from someone who had). There's tenure waiting for the Poli Sci or Communications adjunct who applies some scholarship to the "forward-all" phenomenon.

Hey, the title practically writes itself:

"Forward-all: The Influence of Email Networks, Mass Communication, and the Reputation Economy on Post Industrial Political Identity."

Ken, Clinton's attempt to distract by playing games about the distinction between "Republicans" (in the Reagan era) and "Reagan" got off to a good start, but the attack fizzled when Obama responded that he never said the Republican ideas were good ones. When Clinton even said herself that the Republicans had ideas, Obama agreed that they were bad ideas, and Clinton had nowhere to go.

"What makes you think Democrats didn't complain about this? We just didn't think it rated impeachment."

What Democrats did, Mealworm, was praise the Clintons with faint damns. You didn't think "it" rated impeachment, because you were only willing to acknowledge the "it" that that was true of, and nothing else.

Yup, sweet music indeed, even if it's played on a harmonica where a full orchestra is deserved.

If you look at the context of Obama's comments on republican ideas, sitting in front of a conservative editorial board and seeking it's endorsement, there can be no doubt that Obama was saying he had a favorable impression of republican ideas. This is one of the reasons democrats got mad at him.

Any other interpretation is a just an excuse of Obama based on wishful thinking. The facts are clear enough.

This is what Hillary was attacking him on in the debate. Obama tried a dodge to shift the issue to Reagan and Hillary did not let him get away with it.

Watch the tape again. Check out the transcripts. Clinton was right.

Obama partisans may be confused by the timeline. Hillary was criticizing something Obama had said in the past. You may be confusing Obamas statements in the debate with what he actually said to the editorial board.

yes, Rilkefan. Much as I dislike HRC and Bill, the Obama team is kind of amateurish, and this is not the only example; of course they are bound to recieve punches landed by the Clintons in cases like this. The 'Reagan' comments were a botch, and an important one. It was vague and meaningless about what is, in a way, the core issue of this campaign. Too bad we aren't nominating the candidate who was explicitly anti-Reagan...oh well. Maybe Obama will come around.

it's a botch only if he loses the primary. if he gets through, they'll become a major asset, further increasingly his likeability to indies and Rs.

Rilkefan, it would be nice if you gave us a hint about what you find illuminating in those linked discussions.

In your first link for example I find “who went negative first” within the temporal boundaries of the debate to be a rather uninteresting question. Obama used the debate to hit back against lies that the Clinton campaign had been spreading all week long. That strikes me more as ‘spin’ than ‘complexity. Furthermore none of his ‘attacks’ struck me as dishonest or even misleading. Clinton’s attacks have been unambiguously both.

I don’t know what you think is important about the second link. Even if you think that Reagan was atrocious, Obama’s comments on him are historically accurate and made exactly the point he was trying to make. That point only seems confusing if you buy the Clinton spin on it rather than listening to the actual statement.

Your third link pretty much acknowledges the lies but thinks that might be a good thing. Hilzoy has addressed that issue a number of times. My response to that the hardball doesn’t just hit your perceived enemies, it hits Clinton’s perceived enemies. And she has a rather long history of searching for and finding enemies on all sides. It is ironic, though sad, that all of the complaints I usually hear around this blog about Republicans are being played out in a Republican-free environment. We have race baiting, blatant lying about an opponent’s record, and now voter suppression. If that is what it takes to win at all costs, what exactly do you believe you will have left?

And when exactly will Clinton have ‘won’ enough to stop? It seems to me that the parallel to the War on Terrorism is apt. If you are going to give up lots of your previously principled stands on race and lying and electoral cheating, you might want to figure out when it ends. Because I suspect Clinton will find it in her best interest to raise the spectre of an axis of e-vile Republicans no matter how defeated they are. And heaven help us all if she wins a squeaker.

The fourth link is the only new one I find at all interesting. The ‘present’ thing seems weird to me, but it is apparently a normal function of the Illinois legislature and is often used as a an intentional tactic. I find the pretext behind the smears about it rather amusing—Republicans aren’t likely to be raising ‘present’ votes on pro-life bills and crime bills in the way Clinton is using them (a show of insufficient dedication). And if they try, the votes will function as intended—not giving a clear ‘no’ vote. And the Obama rejoinder is obvious anyway—at least he didn’t vote ‘yes’ like Clinton did on the war. A present vote from her would have been much better.

I liked the fifth link. ;)

ken, I've watched the entire interview twice now. I think that your characterization of Obama's remarks is flatly wrong. You're entitled to your opinion, but please keep in mind that it's merely that: an opinion.

Adam, you may be watched a doctored tape.

Here are the facts:

1) In an editorial board meeting with a conservative paper Obama praised both Ronald Reagan and republican ideas.

2) In the debate Hillary Clinton attacked Obama for his praise of repblican ideas.

3) Obama came back and said that even Hillary had good things to say about Reagan.

4) Hillary shot back that she was criticizing him for his praise of the republican ideas and did not mention Reagan.

5) Obama said he was fighting republican ideas when Hillary was on the board of WalMart

6) Hillary said she was fighting republican ideas when Obama was serving the legal interest of an indicted Chicago slum lord.

Ok, I should point out that Rezko, the slum lord in question was not under federal indictment at the time Oboma was representing his interests.

But still, they are very closely connected. Rezko not only helped Obama buy his house but then sold him a slice of land from an ajoining parcel. This occured while Rezko was being investigated for corruption and was widely reported in the Chicago press.

Obama first lied about having any knowledge of this and then finally admitted to knowing about it all along.

ken - you are going to have to do better than your opinion on number 1 above. Give a direct quote from Obama from that interview that praises a specific Republican idea or general idea.

Ken, you complain about Obama's supposedly changing the subject by referring to Reagan rather than Republicans of the Reagan era, but now you're so far away from your original point that it's not even visible any more. In any case, your baseless accusation about the doctored tape makes it clear that there's no point in engaging you further.

I think it is too bad about all the WalMart hate. WalMart has done more to make good things affordable to poor people than your average Democrat.

And I recently saw some links to http://www.walmartfiles.com/barack-obamas-wife-has-wal-mart-as-her-biggest-customer/”>this, see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/13/wobama13.xml”>here which strikes me as unusually silly. Obama’s wife was on a board for a company that has WalMart as its major customer?

NewsFlash to people who don’t know anything about consumer products businesses—There are three types of companies—those who have WalMart their major customer, those who wish WalMart was their major customer, and those that are bankrupt.

ken: I suspect that most people have not watched the entire 49 minute video of the interview. I, however, have. And as best I can tell, Obama was talking about elections that have been truly transformative, in the sense of altering the trajectory of American politics.

He said that the election of JFK was one, and that Reagan was another. He also said that during the 1980s, the Republican party was the "party of ideas", without any suggestion that they were good ideas at all. Having lived through it, I think he was right, and moreover unexceptionally right. (See famous conservative and Reagan admirer Mark Schmitt on this point.)

During the 1980s, I think that Democrats were doing a number of very interesting things. The wonky, down-in-the-weeds policy and activism communities, for instance, were developing a lot of interesting new ideas (the part I'm most familiar with, low-income housing people, spent that decade completely altering their view of the form low-income housing ought to take, and the role government ought to play in it.) This was very, very important stuff, since goal eventually have to be realized, and insights into how best to realize them are of course crucial.

But it did not percolate into general political discourse (which is why, in this instance, liberals still get attacked as though they favored the replication of the huge disastrous housing projects of Chicago's south side on a massive scale), nor were these views really large-bore ideas. (They were not meant to be. I am not criticizing them, any more than I would be criticizing myself if I said I wasn't a particularly good toaster-oven.)

When I saw Obama's interview, I just thought: well, he's right. It never really occurred to me to think that he was praising Republican ideas, as opposed to acknowledging that during that particular period, they had more of them, and that that had something to do with their political appeal. -- I mean, I just cannot see a reading of Clintons remarks that's remotely accurate.

hilzoy, in the context of a university seminar the words may not give the same meaning as they do in the context of one seeking the endorsement of a conservative editorial board.

Obama was seeking the endorsement of conservatives. In that context he clearly meant to praise both Reagan and republican ideas.

He got the endorsement.

Hillary called him on it. And for the first time in his campaign he said something negative about republican ideas. But interestly he was not as negative on the republicans as he was on Hillary.

More Clinton misrepresenntations: an Obama campaign robo call failed to mentionn the Obama campaign ( they mentioned the Obama campaign but eight seconds after the time limit.) The Clinton campaign pounced on this and tried to sell it as campaign fraaud.
Just yesterday the Obama campaign aired an ad which is playing nationally, which means Florida too. Once again the Clintons are screeching about it. Of course thhey don't mention that the Onbama campaign asked for and recieved permission from thhe head of the South Carolina Democratic parrty to run thhe ad.

So annother Rove tactic: deliberately misconstrue annd exaggerate harmless acts of your opponent.

[Obama's Reagan comments are only] a botch only if he loses the primary. if he gets through, they'll become a major asset, further increasingly his likeability to indies and Rs.

I know what you're saying, and I hope right along with you that this is what happens, but I still think it's a larger mistake. Reaganism needs (perhaps without harping on St. Ronnie personally too much) to be reputiated if possible, and it is not only possible, but, IMO, necessary (and high time) in this election. Clintonism is a subset of Reaganism - dimished expectations, small-bore everything - and Obama's comments were either meaningless (my opinion) or a species of Clintonism. The Dems oughtn't be a subset. That it's vitally important *how* this election is won is becoming a cliche, but still terribly true. When Reagan is invoked, it must be done with the greatest care, not with the greatest circumlocuting. Obama futzed it. Maybe he had to do it the way he did, but it's still sorta too bad.

"It’s that Clinton’s attacks illustrate a deep contempt for voters. Call it “the rube strategy” – we’ll say what we want and most people will be too ignorant to ever figure out the difference."

Well, its true isn't it? Hasn't Bush's presidency emphasized how profoundly disinterested and apathetic the general voter is (assuming they vote, most people don't)?

If voters had even the most basic grasp of public policy (an understanding that one could get from a google search), then there would have been significantly more resistance to Bush's agenda. But there wasn't because most people aren't informed, nor care enough to become informed.

Progressives' antipathy to Clinton arises from the Clinton's Machiavellian political strategy. What we are failing to account for or willfully ignoring is that Machiavelli was right.

It seems to me that progressives' objection to Hillary Clinton is a proxy for hating the game, which is a democracy full of voters who know little to nothing about public policy.

WalMart has done more to make good things affordable to poor people than your average Democrat.

The alternative is that Walmart has done more to create poor people than anyone.

Neither statement is true, nor is it inherently dishonest either.

The fact is, when it comes to taking care of it's "associates" Walmart is pretty bad.

And the sad part is they don't have to be to remain profitable. One needn't look further than the employment practices of rival Costco to see that not only are Walmart's labor practices bad publicity, they are most likely bad for the bottom line as well.

Obama was seeking the endorsement of conservatives. In that context he clearly meant to praise both Reagan and republican ideas.

Sorry, I don't get that. Everything I read doesn't give me that impression. And I still don't get it, even after all you've written.

Personally, if a lot of other people are saying that they don't get that impression, perhaps you should reconsider your own impressions. And perhaps not be so condescending in your tone to others; not all of us are idiots.

ken: As I said, I have watched the whole thing. If Obama was trying to disguise his liberalism, he did a pretty bad job of it. Seriously: watch it all, and then tell me you think he was trying to pretend to be conservative.

I'm a progressive and my main objectin to Clinton is thhat she is highly likely to lose in a race againnst McCAin. All this Machiavellian bullshit won't work against the corporate media's annoited..

One hhas to keep inn mind thhat for a large fraction of thhe voting public, the souund mmighht as well be turned off. They vote for what thhey see.

HRC did mispresent Obama's Reagan comments. No one who watches the video could take away the idea that he agreee with Reagan's ideas or ideology.

The HRC talking points about Obama's present votes have been out there for a long time. The drill is that he's all talk, no action or that he "ducks" votes in order to avoid future political discomfort.

Previous posters are right in pointing out that this kind of distortion of a complex legislative record is difficult to respond to in non-complex terms. But, that doesn't mean that responses aren't required.

At this point, I believe HRC repeats the attacks for 2 reasons: First, to reinforce the distortion of Obama's record. I agree with Hilzoy that Obama's best defense is to start emphasizing the truth in polite terms: He has more legislative accomplishments (and longer legislative service) than she does. HRC has gotten some good legislation through for her constituents in NY. I don't think she has had any legislative success of national significance.


The second reason for HRC continuing to repeat misstatements about Obama's record is to needle Obama with the hope that his positive campaign can be derailed. The "slugfest" last night was welcomed by her and by the Clinton campaign. They want to involve him in the mudpie game.

HRC did mispresent Obama's Reagan comments. No one who watches the video could take away the idea that he agreee with Reagan's ideas or ideology.

The HRC talking points about Obama's present votes have been out there for a long time. The drill is that he's all talk, no action or that he "ducks" votes in order to avoid future political discomfort.

Previous posters are right in pointing out that this kind of distortion of a complex legislative record is difficult to respond to in non-complex terms. But, that doesn't mean that responses aren't required.

At this point, I believe HRC repeats the attacks for 2 reasons: First, to reinforce the distortion of Obama's record. I agree with Hilzoy that Obama's best defense is to start emphasizing the truth in polite terms: He has more legislative accomplishments (and longer legislative service) than she does. HRC has gotten some good legislation through for her constituents in NY. I don't think she has had any legislative success of national significance.


The second reason for HRC continuing to repeat misstatements about Obama's record is to needle Obama with the hope that his positive campaign can be derailed. The "slugfest" last night was welcomed by her and by the Clinton campaign. They want to involve him in the mudpie game.

hilzoy, don't distort my words.

I never said he was pretending to be conservative. I said Obama was seeking the endorsement of a conservative editorial board.

In that context, along with the documented fact that he commonly uses right wing talking points to attack democratic ideas on social security and health care reform, a fair reading of his comments regarding republican ideas during his interview can only be interpreted to mean approval.

The editorial board got the message and endorsed him.

Most progressives condemmed him for his approval of republican ideas and for his use of republican talking points.

Hillary called him on it during the debate. He tried to deflect with a phony dodge to Reagan. Hillary prevented him from taking that dodge and for the first time in his campaign he started a very weak attack on republicans.

Now the writer of this post does exactly the same thing Obama did and is just as dishonest. That was my original point.


"hilzoy, don't distort my words"

In context, I say 'heh'.

Most progressives condemmed him for his approval of republican ideas and for his use of republican talking points.

No Ken, the Hillary campaign team along with people who shill their talking points condemn him for it. I've never heard a progressive condemn him for it.

Ken, you don't seem to want to reply to Hilzoy who, like many of us here, watched the entire video and find Hillary's (and your) interpretation of his comments to be disingenuous at best.

But, this is another part of the Bush/Clinton strategy. Keep confusing the truth until most people can't or won't do the research to find out the facts. While you earn the disgust of people who are informed, you leave the majority with the vague impression that you were right.

It's a process which has killed some of the most important checks and balances in this country. As much as I like Hillary on policy points, it's something that has to be ended, even if it means a loss in the general (where I assume Hillary will be our nominee).

ken: sorry. I took you to be saying that because Obama was meeting with a conservative editorial board, he was trying to seem more favorable to conservatives than he actually was. In that context, it does seem relevant that, if you watch the entire interview, you see him being quite openly liberal, in ways it's hard to think that a reference to the GOP in 1980 as "the party of ideas" would somehow outweigh.

Apologies if I misunderstood you, though.

I do wonder about Ken's motivations. Here and at blogs he more frequently graces with his presence his comments are exclusively anti-Obama, not pro-anyone. At least Petey outnumbers his over-the-top condemnations of Obama with his deifications of Edwards

More to the point: if anyone can find the part of that meeting (or any meeting) that makes this statement, by Clinton, accurate, please do let me know:

"The facts are that he has said in the last week that he really liked the ideas of the Republicans over the last 10 to 15 years, and we can give you the exact quote."

Please, someone, give me the exact quote. Because from where I sit, that's just a lie.

Thanks for that link to the video, Hilzoy, it was interesting.

Putting aside whether or not the debate techniques were unfair (which I pretty much agree completely with publius, I felt sick in the stomach after watching the whole thing), do people think the image the debate painted will affect things much? I got the impression that the work Hillary did over the last few weeks to portray herself more warm and "human", if you will, could have been all wrecked after that. People might start talking about cold, calculating Hillary again after she acted the way she did.

Hilzoy,

Thanks for the link. Here is the relevant part of the debate on Hillary's claim:

CLINTON: "It certainly came across in the way that it was presented, as though the Republicans had been standing up against the conventional wisdom with their ideas. I'm just reacting to the fact,yes, they did have ideas, and they were bad ideas."

A fair reading of Obama's comments in context of the setting and his prior statments and campaign cannot possible lead one to conclued he was bringing up the subject of republican ideas in anything but with approval.


Well, Ken's settled it. If Hillary says it, it must be true. Any other reading is unfair. How can we possibly refute that?

Hizroy, Publis,

Your support of Obama has reached hysterical proportions.

Publis,

I remember when you advanced the Iraq war using the same type of arguments:

My conclusion is correct because my opponents said [insert bad thing here]

In fact, it is amazing to me how many pundits who got Iraq wrong are now drawn to Obama and the MSM spin.

Let me name a few, Kevin Drum, Josh Marshal, Matt Yglias, Publis, Ezra...want more

It is also amazing to me how Obama "a vocal opponent of the war" was so silent about the issue when he ran for and won a Senate seat in 2003/2004/2005

...and now Obama wishes to reclaim that title after letting Russell Feingold, D-Wisc.,Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn. and Senator Kennedy do ALL the heavy lifting, while Obama voted line on line with Hillary [source: Talking Points Memo]

ken: "A fair reading of Obama's comments in context of the setting and his prior statments and campaign cannot possible lead one to conclued he was bringing up the subject of republican ideas in anything but with approval."

This is demonstrably false.

Since you claim it's true, the rest of your claims have to be read in that context. Which is to say, there's little reason to pay attention to you.

How about this whopper told by Obama?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAkIidChxic

As much as I want to like Obama every time I hear him tell blatent lies or use right wing talking points my stomach turns.

Your support of Obama has reached hysterical proportions.

Not sure I can even conceive of hilzoy being "hysterical" in anything.

At any rate, an unconsciously ironic posting.

S Brennan: luckily, I don't count as one of the bloggers who got Iraq wrong and are now buying into Obama. It would also be helpful if you said what exactly you think is wrong with publius' arguments.

Ken: I guess two people can see the very same video completely differently. When Obama says that the Republicans were the party of ideas "in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom", (20:15-30), I don't understand what would lead anyone to conclude that he was saying that those ideas were good ideas. I mean: I just don't see it.

I think it's also worth asking: if he was actually praising Reagan when he said that Reagan moved the country onto a different trajectory, don't we have to assume that he was also praising Kennedy (his other example)? And dissing both Nixon and Clinton (who he said had not been similarly transformational)? What views, exactly, do you think would make someone align him- or herself with Reagan and Kennedy, and against Nixon and Clinton, ideologically? I can't see it.

Of course, if one assumes that he was saying that Reagan and Kennedy truly changed political discourse without making any claims about whether the change was good or bad, then that makes perfect sense.

Hizroy, did I name you? No. So what's your point?

...if some bloggers would start posting some of Obama's life history stripped of holography voters would be allowed to make a real choice between real people...

We all know Hillary's Bio and Edwards Bio...

So consider, most of the dirt on Barak "stay in Iraq" Obama* is being held back at this time. *[see senate record]

For example most people don't know his Kenyan birth father was extremely well off...and not some goat herder as Obama pretends.

That is going to come out at some point and Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

His Mother was a heir to the Armour meat packing fortune.

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

He grew up wealthy and went the most exclusive high school in Hawaii.

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

His step-father is an oil man in Indonesia [one of the most corrupt regimes on earth].

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

He was supported by his family until at least 32 years of age.

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

And I haven't even started on his Chicago years...

The issue isn't that Obama's a rich kid, the issue is, he has lied about every aspect of his life. All of this should come out a priori to PRIMARY voting...and none of it has.

...but an awful lot of bloggers got the war wrong because they swallowed dis-information...hook, line and sinker. Obama is like the war...a con job.

I posted this in another thread, but, since it's once again being disputed, here's my transcription of the relevant portion of the Gazette interview:

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. Part of what's different are the times. I do think, for example, that the 1980 election was different. I think that Ronald Reagan changed the 'trajectory' of America, in a way that Richard Nixon did not -- and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.

He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it. I think that they felt like, with all the excesses of the 60s and 70s [he's referring to financial, not cultural, excesses -- this is part of the next clause], government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating -- people tapped into -- he tapped into what people were already feeling, which was, 'we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.'

I think Kennedy, twenty years earlier, [also] moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times. I think we're in one of those times right now, where people feel like things as they are going aren't working, that we're bogged down in the same arguments that we've been having, and they're not useful.

And the Republican approach has, I think, played itself out. I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the 'party of ideas' for a pretty long chunk of time there, for the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now [as in 'nowadays'], you've heard it all before -- you look at the economic policies that are being debated among the [Republican] Presidential candidates, it's all tax cuts. You know, we've done that. We've tried it. That's not really gonna solve, you know, our energy problem, for example.

Emphasis mine, and the square-bracketed phrases are added for tone, so YMMV and feel free to ignore them. Regardless, I simply do not understand how criticizing the GOP's tax-cuts-solve-everything cure-alls can be reasonably interpreted as an endorsement of Republican ideas.

At worst, I can't read the above as anything but neutral, since aside from tax cuts -- which he criticized -- Obama never actually mentioned any particular policies. As I said, I think that everyone's entitled to their opinion, but I really wish that someone would explain the basis of the "pro-Reagan" interpretation more specifically so I could at least understand what in the world they're talking about.

Who's Hizroy?

Want another direct Obama lie:

Regarding Hillary's criticism of Obama voting present instead of taking a stand on a bill to protect the privacy of sexual assault victims here is what he said.

Obama: But let’s just respond to the example that was just thrown out. The bill, with respect to privacy for victims of sexual abuse, is a bill I had actually sponsored, Hillary. I actually sponsored the bill. It got through the senate."

That is what Obama said. Is it true? Or did he resort to a lie in order to deflect the damming fact that Obama would not take a stand?

Well, it was another Obama lie.

According to Hillary's web site:
"The Illinois General Assembly's website lists three state senate sponsors of this bill, Sen. Obama is not one of them. The three sponsors were State Senators Geo-Karis, Shaw, and O'Malley."

S Brennan: but an awful lot of bloggers got the war wrong because they swallowed dis-information...hook, line and sinker

Therefore, we should vote for a candidate who did the same?

Therefore, we should vote for a candidate who did the same?

This is, after, modern day politics. Tear down the opponent, as opposed to building up your candidate.

Hizroy you say:

"It would also be helpful if you said what EXACTLY you think is wrong with publius' arguments."

and yet you think it's fine if Pulis does this:

"But that said, HRC’s attacks are fundamentally very similar to Bush's. The “present” thing in particular consciously plays on voters’ ignorance of Illinois’s unique political system. Still, though, the allegation strikes a perfect balance."

It would also be helpful if you said what EXACTLY you think is wrong with Hillary.

Also, to my knowledge, HRC is not a proper address of a person, it is a crude effort to depersonalize a human being.

WHO THE HELL IS HIZROY?!

For example most people don't know his Kenyan birth father was extremely well off...and not some goat herder as Obama pretends.

you don't have to be poor to herd goats.

He grew up wealthy and went the most exclusive high school in Hawaii.

so what?

His Mother was a heir to the Armour meat packing fortune.

cite?

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

i'm not sure he needs to answer every mischaracterization his opponents throw his way, no matter how many times they say he does.

WHO THE HELL IS HIZROY?!

she's Pulis's evil sidekick.

Cleek,

As I said in my post:

"The issue isn't that Obama's a rich kid, the issue is, he has lied about every aspect of his life. All of this should come out a priori to PRIMARY voting...and none of it has."

A fair reading of Obama's comments in context of the setting and his prior statments and campaign cannot possible lead one to conclued he was bringing up the subject of republican ideas in anything but with approval.

Funny, many of us managed to conclude differently. I, personally, concluded that he was bringing up the subject of capturing the public interest by advancing ideas in approval, and pointing to Reagan as an example of how to do that (which, let's face it, he certainly was).

Given that later within the interview he specifically makes plain that he thought Reagan's ideas themselves were abhorrent, it's almost like your position has no firm ground upon which to stand.

Objecting to "HRC" while managing to come up with both "Hizroy" and "Pulis" is the funniest thing I've seen all day.

Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

Oh, like Edwards "has" to answer the fact that he's rich, despite his empathy for the poor?

Dude, you can do better than this. Those are idiot arguments.

cleek, I don't know much about Obama's propensitity to have lied in the past but if last nights debate is any indication he is pretty much a compulsive liar.

He gave us some beautiful examples of bold faced lying regarding his previous positions on health care and on his voting record in Illinois.

See my above comments for the evidence.

"As much as I want to like Obama every time I hear him tell blatent lies or use right wing talking points my stomach turns."

Fascinating projection: that YouTube clip is one of the most, yes, blatant pieces of dishonest editing I've seen in quite a while. What's astonishing is that only a complete moron couldn't notice that--it--interrupts--every--eight--wo-wo-words.

I mean, it makes Max Headroom look natural in comparison.

"ken" is clearly nothing but an anti-Obama troll, whose trolling doesn't even rise to high school level skill; I suggest simply completely ignoring him henceforth.

I have no doubt that I'm more cynical about this sort of thing than some (I've been on the intertubes for some time), but I'm sure we're only going to see more and more of this sort of time-wasting babble over the next nine months, god help us all.

Again, I know I'm less patient than some -- and more power to you -- but I expect I'm going to be skimming more and more and responding less and less on political threads where most of the content consists simply of fact-free opinion.

There are a number of individuals here whose opinion I respect mostly highly, and others whose opinion I respect quite a bit. Your opinions, which are fact-based, I'll look out for.

The opinions of people who show up and simply post their fantasy translations of what a candidate allegedly said, or who talk only about their impressions: I'll leave that to those who enjoy more than I that sort of discussion, and, again, have fun and best of luck to you.

S Brennan: "Hizroy, did I name you? No. So what's your point?"

Perhaps you mistook the little box you type into for an e-mail link. If not, when you comment in public, you invite response. It's particularly not unusual when one of the people whose blog it is responds.

The only question is why she would bother responding to you, another content-free commenter, save that we know the answer: Hilzoy errs in the direction of being over-polite and over-courteous and giving people the benefit of the doubt past the point of reasonable doubt.

Sadly, I'm a less good person than Hilzoy.

But, overall, life is far too short to spend much time responding to this sort of endless nonsense. Fortunately, most sensible people who normally hang out here can just see right through it, anyway.

And Cleek,

Most Obama people don't know:

his Kenyan birth father was extremely well off...and not some goat herder as Obama pretends.

That is going to come out at some point and Obama will have to answer for his pretences to the contrary.

His Mother was a heir to the Armour meat packing fortune.


He grew up wealthy and went the most exclusive high school in Hawaii.


His step-father is an oil man in Indonesia [one of the most corrupt regimes on earth].


He was supported by his family until at least 32 years of age.

"Dude, you can do better than this."

There's where you went wrong.

Cleek,
As I said in my post:
"The issue isn't that Obama's a rich kid, the issue is, he has lied about every aspect of his life

and as i said in my post: cite?

oh boy. time to crank up the pie factory.

There's where you went wrong.

Damn. I have no comeback for that.

Gary Farber at 03:39 PM

"life is far too short to spend much time responding to this sort of endless nonsense. Fortunately, most sensible people who normally hang out here can just see right through it, anyway."


Gary Farber at 03:41 PM

""Dude, you can do better than this."

There's where you went wrong."

Obama needs supporters who can do a better job of lying

Clinton adducing her '94 health care failure as evidence that she can "stand to lobbyists" is a standard Bush-move: spinning your own abject failures into some kind of success.

and as i said in my post: cite? - Posted by: cleek | January 22, 2008 at 03:43 PM

http://www.barackobama.com/about/

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. His father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, where he grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British.

Barack's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in small-town Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs during the Depression, and then signed up for World War II after Pearl Harbor, where he marched across Europe in Patton's army. Her mother went to work on a bomber assembly line, and after the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved west to Hawaii.

It was there, at the University of Hawaii, where Barack's parents met. His mother was a student there, and his father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams in America.
Learn more about Barack's life, family, and accomplishments.; Barack; Barack Obama; Barack TV; Obama; Speeches; This appears on the "Meet Barack Page" http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid452323111http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=353512430

Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.

WHO THE HELL IS HIZROY?!

she's Pulis's evil sidekick.

Pulis started out as Publis, which was only half as wrong. I think Pulis' evil sidekick is Hiroy, who we've yet to hear of.

Dude, you can do better than this.

There's where you went wrong

Obama needs supporters who can do a better job of lying

OK. I'll stop lying.

You CAN'T do better than this.

hilzoy to ken: As I said, I have watched the whole thing. If Obama was trying to disguise his liberalism, he did a pretty bad job of it. Seriously: watch it all, and then tell me you think he was trying to pretend to be conservative.


I just watched the entire interview at the link, and I came away with two firm conclusions:

1- Obama's ears are too big: I haven't seen such prominent aural appendages in the public arena since Alfred E. Neuman was last featured on the cover of Mad Magazine.

2- He's dropped from my second tier, to third tier choice for Democratic presidential candidate. Hill-Bill first; Edwards second; Obama slipping to a distant third.

For me, the main red flag from the interview wasn't the Reagan remarks (though they indirectly reflect it) but his own admittance there is "a generational aspect" to his candidacy - that he "didn't come to age in the battles of the 60s," and was "therefore not ideologically invested in them…"

Although he was vague about which "battles" he was talking about, the statement is revealing - and reflects the intuitive perception among voters 50 or older who favor Clinton nearly 3 to 1 over Obama in the polls that he's not the candidate to support:

Like his curious remarks about Ronald Reagan changing "the trajectory of America…" and putting " us on a fundamentally different path" his 'generational' gaffs are also vague enough for wiggle room apologetics: but for Democrats who fought many of the battles in the 60s and 70s (increasing Black voter registration, overturning sodomy and miscegenation laws, ensuring the right to legal abortions, etc) it's a red flag of warning that Obama is 'generationally challenged' and needs more time in the pickling jar before he's ready to lead a nation.

"What Democrats did, Mealworm, was praise the Clintons with faint damns."

I suppose that would apply to anyone who didn't think they'd bumped off Vince Foster, and collaborated in arranging the death of anybody who ever died accidentally after meeting Clinton even briefly, or knowing someone who knew him, or living somewhere in Little Rock, Arkansas.

What the Democrats did, actually, was to be all over the map about Clinton, with some lambasting him for not being progressive enough, some praising him for being a really good president, etc., etc. But nothing other than unified Democratic hatred for both Clintons would satisfy certain people.

Gary, your defense of Obama comes down to saying someone doctored his words?

That won't fly.

He said last night he NEVER advocated universal single payor health care. This wasn't a flub. He repeated it several different ways. The video shows him saying he was a PROPONENT of univeral single payor health care.

Why he was lying about this is an interesting point. Is it compulsive that he lies when challenged? Who knows?

But what about his other huge whopper of the night? His blatent in your face lie claiming sponsorship of the bill he refused to vote on protecting the privacy of sexual abuse victims?

Why did he lie about that? It seems obvious that he thought a lie was safer than trying to defend his refusal to take a stand.

If I were inclined to respond to F Grennan, I would say that nothing in his/her last post is in any way contrary to anything else s/he wrote.

But then, as Garry Barber says, some people are best ignored.

Boy, because of F Grennan, ken and Jay Jerome, my admiration of and support for Obama continues to grow.

http://www.barackobama.com/about/

yes, i know all about that.

now where's the part about his mother being an heir to anything, and his father being a wealthy non-goat-herding Kenyan (and you should be sure to demonstrate that his father was always wealthy and never herded a goat), etc..

you made a bunch of specific allegations. now back them up.

He grew up wealthy and went the most exclusive high school in Hawaii.

Pfft. I spent a year at that same school, when my father - a sergeant in the US Army, and very far from being wealthy - was stationed at Ft. Shafter.

Cleek, it's definitely time for pie.

Well, given what's being thrown around, gotta be banana pie.

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