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April 02, 2008

Comments

Nice to see the folks from Schadenfreude getting some play.

As for repugnant pieces of HRC-logic, I'm glad that people are beginning to question why political chits and loyalty owed to her husband are therefore owed to her.

childish

I honestly think that the over-the-top reaction from the Clintons and their surrogates is beginning to call into question whether they and their organization would be fit to be brought in to run this government. Take this reaction to this Richardson tempest-in-a-teapot. What's the big deal? Why are they having such trouble letting go? What importance is the damned endorsement anyway?

We'd expect this kind of intemperate reaction to a perceived disloyalty from GWB and this White House. But that's part of what most people despise about this administration: just how unbalanced its values have become.

Ara - that's the one argument that makes perfect sense. He's calling the chits in on her behalf, with imperfect success.

I saw that Kos had it up too. Of course back in Januari it was the ultimate Iowa and New Hampshire pander:

Winning is important. The last thing we can afford as a country is another 4-8 years of continued Republican rule. If nothing else, Justice Stevens is not long on the bench, and losing his vote in the Supreme Court would inflict the nation with a solid conservative majority for generations. So who is doing everything possible to win?

Hillary Clinton, by far. She's not limiting her campaign's ability to raise money (nor her supporters' to give it) by accepting public financing. Obama has opted out for the primary, but has said he'd accept it for the general if the Republican did so as well. Why give Republicans veto power over what the Democrats do? Given our better ability to raise money this cycle, why would Obama willingly surrender that advantage to the Republicans? That's not playing to win. Edwards is the opposite, saying he could opt out of public financing for the general, but already opted in for the primary. That means that unless he's opposite a similarly limited Republican (i.e. McCain), he'll be at a gross disadvantage all summer as he has less than $20 million left to spend until September.

What's more, Clinton was the only top-tier candidate to refuse the ultimate Iowa and New Hampshire pander by removing her name from the Michigan ballot. That makes her essentially the de facto winner since Edwards and Obama, caving to the cry babies in Iowa and New Hampshire, took their name off Michigan's ballot. Sure, the DNC has stripped Michigan of its delegates, but that won't last through the convention. The last thing Democrats can afford is to alienate swing states like Michigan and Florida by refusing to seat their delegates.

So while Obama and Edwards kneecap their chances of winning, Clinton is single-mindedly focused on the goal.


So while Obama and Edwards kneecap their chances of winning, Clinton is single-mindedly focused on the goal.

The "winning" in this refers to the presidential election, not the primaries. And in hindsight, the fact that Obama is continuing to use public financing actually provides a very nice moral high ground from McCain's antics. And given that Kos has posted something that is perhaps precisely the the same point as made above, you are stretching to use what he wrote in January to support your argument.

LJ: That's why I started with "I see Kos had it up too". You hadn't realized I ment the video? Nor that I referred to the Michigan and Florida situation but didn't want to cut in a quote? I thought just quoting the last paragraph might be seen as quoting out of context.

I read this article about Michigan and Florida with interest.

In other news: have you allready seen Joe Lieberman attacking Obama? (youtube)

"I read this article about Michigan and Florida with interest."

I gave up when it left this solar system here, myself: ",,,is rooted in the collapse of the effort to redo Michigan and Florida. The theory is that she should quit because there is no way she can win, and that there is no way she can win because two states she could win, at least one of which she actually did win, will not be counted until she gets out."

Sure, sure, she "won" a race that didn't happen, but it should count. Anyone who enjoys lying with tautologies such as this, well, I suppose it's interesting in some way or another.

(I've been reading Barrett since he was with the Village Voice when I was a kid, fwiw.)

Also, right on time, the most predictable thing ever.

Thanks for spending millions to advertise for John McCain, Senator Clinton.

After reading all the various potential do overs, I came to the conclusion that a do over would be impossible if, for no other reason, that it would be unfair. For one thing, the original ballots had at least three additional D candidates that are now out of the race. Moreover, the potential for Republican "gaming" is much higher, now that the R nomination is over.

My preferred solution would be to seat exactly half of the pledged delegates (which would remove any possible R gotcha advertising, since this is what Rs are doing) and none of the supers who publicly advocated or voted for an early primary in contravention of the rules (Yes, Jennifer Granholm, I'm looking at you). This probably won't be acceptable to one or both of the candidates, but it would impose a suitable punishment while recognizing the legitimacy of representation.

Apologies, dutch, I missed that. But I'm not sure why it is necessary to point out that Kos has changed his opinion over the past 4 months. (though I'm not an avid reader of Kos because of the Scoop interface)

OT, but imagine if a Democrat had said this.

My battle to make sure the DC Democrats followed the rules in allocating convention delegates (giving both PLEO slots to Obama, who won 76% of the vote, rather than unjustifiably splitting them between Obama and Clinton) made the Washington City Paper's blog.

"My battle to make sure the DC Democrats followed the rules in allocating convention delegates (giving both PLEO slots to Obama, who won 76% of the vote, rather than unjustifiably splitting them between Obama and Clinton) made the Washington City Paper's blog."

Good job, K.

Thanks, Gary. I'm sure it would have been fixed eventually, but I'm glad we got it addressed before today's selection meeting. They were living in a fantasy world to think they'd get away with it, since as soon as DC announced an 11-4 split of pledged delegates rather than the 12-3 everyone expects, it would have been all over the blogs that are obsessing about delegates. I'm surprised the Obama campaign didn't get involved earlier.

But I'm not sure why it is necessary to point out that Kos has changed his opinion over the past 4 months.

Because it still is the same incident and happened around that same time. If you do something and I say 'good for you, you are much better than the others for doing it' and in 4 months I say 'look at how stupid LJ did that, everybody could have known that he shouldn't have done it that way, it just shows how immature he is', wouldn't that strike you as weird? Suppose Gary would suddenly write that everybody smart understood that invading Iraq was dumb?

Then again, maybe these days it wouldn't matter to anyone. I must admit that I don't really know what to expect anymore. I do know that I've been here for years, had immense respect for quite a lot of the ObWi commenters - and that it hurts to gradually loose that. Maybe I should take a few months off.

HC: I actually disagree with the legitimacy of that. Here's why.

I think it's uncontroversial that there are some limits to political reciprocity. The only question here is: where do those limits stand?

What's being done here is that political reciprocity is being used to create a dynastic situation. It's just creepy to me. He's lending the political favors owed to him to his wife. No less creepy than if he used that same loyalty to try to get his cousin elected. Or his brother. Or his son.

I think it would be very different thing if Clinton were asking for reciprocity on behalf of a candidate with a little more distance from himself.

When you hear people talk about this, you hear them talk about Richardson's disloyalty to the Clintons (as a collective). I haven't read anyone formulate it like this: Richardson was disloyal to Bill and Bill only. But Hillary herself has no bone to pick with him.

I think there is a very real difference between being the beneficiary of loyalty because that loyalty is owed to you and being the beneficiary of loyalty because that loyalty is owed to another and exercised on your behalf.

"I do know that I've been here for years, had immense respect for quite a lot of the ObWi commenters - and that it hurts to gradually loose that. "

I only suggest it as a possibility, but have you considered the possibility that the reason you have been coming to some conclusions that are different from a number of us might conceivably be that some of us perhaps might have a slightly better grasp of the facts and context of our political system, and various claims, and thus have a context that enables us to know that certain claims you find plausible are, in fact, not?

Alternatively, it's entirely possible that you are far better placed to better understand and put in context the various political arguments of the current political cycle of the U.S., and are thus far more likely to be correct than those of us who have found various problems with many of the arguments and alleged facts put forward by the Clinton campaign and many of its supporters.

I do want to say that I, for one, greatly value your input and opinions here, Dutchmarbel, and would hope that some differences of opinion and different evaluations of some matters are not so large as to cause you to either leave, or to conclude that those of us who have concluded that Obama is the far superior and more desirable candidate than Senator Clinton are such annoying and blind idiots that you can't stand to be around our views until after Denver convention.

But, of course, you should do whatever seems best for your comfort level, so if you do take a break, please be aware that I'll look forward to your earliest possible return whenever that feels right to you.

I do know that I've been here for years, had immense respect for quite a lot of the ObWi commenters - and that it hurts to gradually loose that.

Is Kos a commenter here? Has anyone who is changed their opinion similarly? Did anyone who is link approvingly to Kos' first piece, but has since done a 180? Otherwise, I'm not sure how what you quoted reflects badly on the commentariat at ObWi.

For whatever little it's worth, and not meaning to pile on, DM, I have absolutely no idea what point you intend by the Kos quote.

But I've pretty much never read Kos, either.

Is your point that he once praised Clinton, but later did not?

Or...?

LJ: That's why I started with "I see Kos had it up too". You hadn't realized I ment the video? Nor that I referred to the Michigan and Florida situation but didn't want to cut in a quote? I thought just quoting the last paragraph might be seen as quoting out of context.
Similarly, and it may just be my lack of sleep, I can't tell what you're trying to say here.

At all.

I understand the words, but I have no idea what any of the sentences as a whole mean, or are intended to mean. Not a clue.

It's probably just me. But as a datapoint.

What was/is it you're trying to say?

For the record, something like 80% of your comments on the election over the past several months I've found equally completely literally incomprehensible, which is why I've not been arguing with you, because I haven't understood many of your comments in the slightest -- not in the sense that I'd argue with them, but in the sense that I've not been deriving meaning from most of the sentences.

Mostly I've scratched my head, and said "what does that mean?" to myself, and then after a bit, given up, and read something else.

Apologies. But I might agree with you more if I had a clue more often what it is you're intending to say, other than that Clinton should be elected, and that you object to some things somebody somewhere said about her sometime, or... something.

Let me state again that your English is generally quite good and better than that of a number of Americans I've known. I apologize for being probably over-blunt in this comment, but I mention it since you clearly feel that not enough people have been understanding your POV and agreeing with you, so I thought I might finally mention why I've not been understanding and agreeing with you. I mean no offense whatever, nor do I in any way want to discourage you from commenting or arguing on ObWi: entirely the reverse!

I understand the words, but I have no idea what any of the sentences as a whole mean, or are intended to mean. Not a clue.

It's probably just me. But as a datapoint.

No, it's not just you. I didn't understand it either.

FWIW dutchmarbel, I have understood most of your other posts over the last few months. I suspect you were trying to something perfectly simple but you didn't have enough time so you skipped a bunch of steps in a larger argument.

I'm with Barbara, FWIW. I don't understand how a do-over would work, while still respecting the open primary nature of Michigan's situation.

I also don't understand how Clinton supporters can consider an election fair when neither candidate campaigned in the state (at least openly). If we wanted a name-recognition contest, of course Clinton wins. Obama has consistently done better the more time he spends in each state.

Most of all, I don't understand the calls of "disenfranchisment" coming from the Clinton camp. That's the most dishonest of the arguments.

Of course, all of this points to the need for better rules on primary scheduling. I've criticized Lieberman to no end, but I remember him discussing a bill to create 4 super primary dates with a rotating order for each presidential election. 4 may not be the best number (I'd prefer 5 or 6 with a much smaller set of states on the first election each year).

Sujal

I do know that I've been here for years, had immense respect for quite a lot of the ObWi commenters - and that it hurts to gradually loose that.

The feeling is mutual. While I share Gary's wish that you rejoin us whenever you feel you can, it's a difficult struggle not to lose respect for someone who repeatedly implies that those of us who don't share her belief in the wonderfulness of Hillary Clinton are sexist or intellectually dishonest. I hope that things will improve once the Democratic nomination contest is resolved.

KCinDC: It's a difficult struggle not to lose respect for someone who repeatedly implies that those of us who don't share her belief in the wonderfulness of Hillary Clinton are sexist or intellectually dishonest.

I'm actually not seeing where Marbel wrote anything about "the wonderfulness of Hillary Clinton". Not on this thread.

What Marbel pointed out was the intellectual dishonesty of the people who were praising Hillary Clinton for doing one thing four months ago... and attacking her, viciously, for the very same thing now. Without any reference to the fact that their opinions had undergone a 100% swerve. I agree.

I think we have both noted that attacks on Hillary Clinton are often more sexist than substantive.

It is difficult not to lose respect for commentators who react to this by accusing one of being a Clinton worshipper.

I think that this election pre-run is making all the people involved in it a little distracted and losing sight of the main goal - which is to beat McCain and bring in a sweeping Democratic victory. Compared to the horror of having a Republican President, or a Republican majority (or even a large minority) in both Houses, the choice between Clinton or Obama is not worth getting so worked up about.

Obviously, people want their candidate to win, and have serious substantive reasons for wanting either Obama or Clinton to win. Positive campaigning for your candidate? Everybody wins. Negative campaigning against the other candidate - and everybody loses.

It's easy to campaign negatively against Clinton: the media and the Republican party will help you, because they think that Obama will be easier to beat in November. Whether they're right or wrong about that - and I don't much care, because I think either candidate could be more popular with voters in November than any trashy, stale, rubbishy Republican - why play their game? What's wrong with sticking to campaigning positively for your preferred candidate, and ignoring the negativity and distortions and lies being fed to you by the mainstream media and the Republican party?

Because it still is the same incident and happened around that same time. If you do something and I say 'good for you, you are much better than the others for doing it' and in 4 months I say 'look at how stupid LJ did that, everybody could have known that he shouldn't have done it that way, it just shows how immature he is', wouldn't that strike you as weird? Suppose Gary would suddenly write that everybody smart understood that invading Iraq was dumb?

I'm going to take a stab at this, not because I'm wanting to pile on, but because I think that by trying to get at the heart of the matter, it would help clarify some things.

I originally didn't understand that you were pointing out that Kos had changed his mind, and so, I thought that you were holding up evidence for HRC's dogged determination to suggest that we should rethink our views of this. Now knowing that you were specifically pointing out how Kos had changed, I am guessing that you feel Kos quoting of the video is evidence that he is climbing on the same bandwagon that we are, and what has been done has been to encourage HRC to go full out and then pull the rug from under, a sort of classic maneuver of sexists and you were pointing out the double standard. 'You go girl!' followed shortly by 'Where does she get the nerve?'

That's fine, if you want to limit it to Kos, but I get the feeling that it is not just Kos you are criticizing, but anyone who supports Obama, specifically the commentariat here.

There are two defenses. The first is, as Larv points out, that Kos is not a participant here, so it's not fair to point out his changes and attach them here. That defense is fine, as far as it goes, but it doesn't seem to deal with the nub of the matter, which is (I'm guessing) that you feel we have done the same thing as Kos has.

Dealing with just the question of this, no, I don't recall anyone making a hearty defense of HRC based on her handling of the Michigan/Florida problem. But arguing that point won't get us very far, because it is just one small piece of evidence that is disconfirmed, leaving the larger fabric intact.

Now, I don't think there is room to deal with the whole cloth, and dealing with this fairly would require some sort of participation from you to note what you think is evidence of this, and then we would have to discuss it and find a way to agree on what would constitute acceptance or rejection. But I think that is the problem we are dealing with.

I think this is a good and important discussion to have, but it could be exhausting, especially if it ends up demanding that you deal with everyone else and their comments and questions. So I'll stop here and ask if I've gotten it right, and if so, how far do you want to go with it. I really would like you to understand why I think that it is not sexism that is driving this decision and why I don't feel it is driving others, but making all these points explicit will take time and perhaps a longer view of a comment section than what is the norm.

Again, if I am wrong about any of this, my sincerest apologies. I am not trying to 'win' the argument, but to reach a point where we are understanding each other, so if any of what I have said seems like I am puttig words in your mouth or being unfair, please let me know.

" Compared to the horror of having a Republican President, or a Republican majority (or even a large minority) in both Houses, the choice between Clinton or Obama is not worth getting so worked up about."

Similarly, Tony Blair seemed quite superior to the various Conservative leaders during his time in office.

And?

"... the negativity and distortions and lies being fed to you by the mainstream media and the Republican party?."

Sure, because if someone doesn't favor Clinton, it can only be because we're credulous about negativity and distortions and lies being fed to us by the mainstream media and the Republican party.

It sure is good we have objective Europeans around to explain our politics and media to us.

Alas, many credulous Americans continue to be duped, and wrong on the internet.

Woe. The negativity is simply tragic.

Boy, Tony Blair sure was better than most Conservatives. I just hope no right-thinking person has ever expressed any negativity about him. Getting worked up about any arguably bad decisions by New Labor would be so pointless, you know. Everybody would lose.

Jes, are you saying you think that Dutchmarbel's loss of respect for ObWi commenters comes from just this thread, rather than from a long series of these discussions? I suppose it's possible, but I'd be surprised if that's true.

While there are plenty of lies and distortions about Clinton, we are actually capable of hearing the words that she and those in her campaign say on our own, and I for one am not going to ignore it when she says something outrageous. She doesn't get a free pass simply because some people have been unfair to her.

I definitely far prefer her to McCain, but I don't consider the difference between Clinton and Obama not worth worrying about. I want a clear break from the way the Bush administration has operated, in both foreign policy and governing style, and I think we're much less likely to get that with a Clinton administration. I also feel that electing Obama can lead to a stronger Democratic Party to stand up against Republicans in the future. This struggle is about more than one election. And I'm certainly going to be critical of Clinton's smears of the person most likely to be the Democratic candidate, because those hurt our chances of defeating McCain.

KCinDC: Jes, are you saying you think that Dutchmarbel's loss of respect for ObWi commenters comes from just this thread, rather than from a long series of these discussions?

I don't believe I said that, and I certainly didn't intend to. You claimed that Marbel was talking about the "wonderfulness of Clinton" - I could recall nothing of this from previous threads, and saw no sign at all of this - which you were specifically attacking her about on this thread. If you were referencing some past discussion in which Marbel did indeed rave about the wonderfulness of Clinton, which I missed, it would be helpful to mention which one/when. It did, however, appear that you were merely reacting to anyone defending Clinton against intellectually dishonest/sexist attacks with accusations of your own.

While there are plenty of lies and distortions about Clinton, we are actually capable of hearing the words that she and those in her campaign say on our own, and I for one am not going to ignore it when she says something outrageous.

Good. Unfortunately, I too have a memory, and I recall lots of people - including Hilzoy, sadly - joining the mass media pile-on only a short while ago, claiming that a mistaken memory from 12 years earlier about a flight into Bosnia was "something outrageous". Which it wasn't: it was pure media-manufactured fakery, an "outrage!" response of a kind similiar to the pile-ons for Al Gore.

No one seemed to notice this then: have you now realized you were conned into playing the Republican/mass media game? Or do you still think that you got worked up over this all on your own, and not at all because you were being told repetitatively by people in the mainstream media who hate Clinton that this was outrageous, who succeeded in whipping the left blogosphere into the kind of hysteria that the right reserve for war criminals like Eason Jordon?

Jes -- speaking for myself, I think Clinton's "misrememberings" were worthy of the attention and, yes, mockery that they received.

We're not talking about a one-time misstatement about something like the menu at a state dinner (coffee cake, not blueberry pie!) that is completely tangential to the candidate's argument, to pull something from thin air.

We're talking about someone who repeatedly misrepresented an incident (and that misrepresentation became more and more colorful over time) that was being used to directly bolster the case she was trying to make for her candidacy. I don't know if this indicates her unconcern for veracity or lack of connection with reality, but neither option is one I'm comfortable with after the last 7 years.

"Unfortunately, I too have a memory, and I recall lots of people - including Hilzoy, sadly - joining the mass media pile-on only a short while ago, claiming that a mistaken memory from 12 years earlier about a flight into Bosnia was 'something outrageous'. Which it wasn't: it was pure media-manufactured fakery, an 'outrage!' response of a kind similiar to the pile-ons for Al Gore."

Yep. Clearly there's no difference. Whatever could that sexist dupe Hilzoy be thinking?

"... have you now realized you were conned into playing the Republican/mass media game? "

I'm sure that if you explain it a few more times, we'll eventually realize how correct you are. If only we weren't all so stupid and gullible. Because only our sexism, and our inability to think for ourselves, could explain that.

Fortutunately, you are here to explain to us how we should think for ourselves, which is to say that we must draw your conclusions, else we're letting someone else do our thinking for us.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Naturally, this is just more dumbass distortion from that Farber twit; pay no attention to me, until I learn to properly think for myself.

Hmmm Gary you are right. Europeans should definately not presume to comment on US presidential elections. I assume that you will also be refraining from commenting on political situations outside your borders from now on?

Though I have currently personally acquired a slight preference for Obama, largely because of his truly statesmanlike recent speech on race.I find myself utterly in agreement with Jes.

Barnabas -- I don't believe it is the commenting that people are feeling somewhat irked about; the more the merrier. Rather, it is the implication that somehow those of us who are in the US are incapable of forming reasonable judgements based on the information available.

It is often the case that people can be too close to a situation to see clearly. To suggest, however, that a number of the commenters here, as well as one of the proprietors, are all foolishly led astray by unreasonable mass-media attacks on a particular candidate, because deep down they are sexist and wish her to fail for that reason alone, is insulting. Senator Clinton has indeed faced criticisms that a male candidate would not have, and that has been acknowledged by those here who do not favor her. Several who support Senator Obama have laid out their reasons for doing so in great detail, and I appreciate the thoughtful exchanges in earlier threads. One does tire of seeing reflexive accusations of sexism, rather than specific engagement on points of disagreement, when much care has been taken to respond to those charges in the past.

Unfortunately, I too have a memory, and I recall lots of people - including Hilzoy, sadly - joining the mass media pile-on only a short while ago, claiming that a mistaken memory from 12 years earlier about a flight into Bosnia was "something outrageous". Which it wasn't: it was pure media-manufactured fakery, an "outrage!" response of a kind similiar to the pile-ons for Al Gore.

No, she "misspoke" (Bush-ese for "lied") about something that was weasily checked (as she did with Rwanda, and several other things), then changed her story when she was called on it. No-one is saying that she didn't go to a dangerous place (but McCain went to a Baghdad market, right?), but that she greatly exagerated the danger of that specific trip.

How do you refute her handling of Michigan, in view of the parable, and how is the video "sexist"?

"Hmmm Gary you are right. Europeans should definately not presume to comment on US presidential elections. "

If you could quote where I ever suggested that, it might be helpful. Thanks!

Otherwise, I have to disagree with your assertion, let alone your attributing it to me for some unknown reason.

Perhaps you found my sarcasm confusing. If so, apologies.

Gary: OT, but imagine if a Democrat had said this.

Remember: for a certain slice of Wingnuttia, New York City exists only to justify their outrage. Actual residents are immaterial.

Which it wasn't: it was pure media-manufactured fakery, an "outrage!" response of a kind similiar to the pile-ons for Al Gore.

Wait, what? She said something manifestly untrue that spoke directly to her purported qualifications for president. How is that a media-manufactured fakery? I mean, it's not at the level of a family values Republican smoking pole in a public bathroom, but it's of the same genre.

Also, although I'm a fairly irregular Kos reader, I'm fairly sure he has explicitly noted (and even explained IIRC) his changing support from Clinton to Obama. What relevance this has to Obsidian Wings remains opaque to me, though.

She said something manifestly untrue that spoke directly to her purported qualifications for president.

If you choose to treat a woman like any other person, it's sexist. If you choose to cut her some slack because she's a woman, that's not sexist.

I think that's the rule, anyway.

If you could quote where I ever suggested that, it might be helpful. Thanks! (Gary Farber, 4/3, 4:19pm)

Here you go. Same thread even. I only suggest it as a possibility, but perhaps I have a slightly better grasp of the facts and context...? ;)

Personally, I don't think it's that hard to figure out dutchmarbel's drift; see Jesurgislac or liberal japonicus above. Y'all need to get out more; this place can sometimes seem like the "Obama has Wings" (And Why Don't You See That) cheering section. I like him better than Clinton, too, but he's not the second coming of Jesus Christ -- even if he got Iraq right lo these many years ago. Nor does Hillary's continued campaign make her the devil incarnate -- even if she's wrong about Michigan and Florida. (Yes, none of you said precisely those precise things. There, there.)

Hey! Maybe I'm the voice of moderation! I wouldn't go so far as to say I've actually SEIZED the conversation...

Honestly, getting out more does not mean that I get more information about the state of American politics. It does mean that I have to try and explain the political scene to Japanese people, which is why it is a lot safer inside ;^)

HRC is a monster:

"There is no such thing as a pledged delegate," Clinton said at a news conference in California.

If I got this right, HRCs argument is that if she wins the popular vote, then the pledged delegates need to respect the will of the people, but if she doesn't, they they have to look long and hard at who the best candidate is.

HRCs argument is that if she wins the popular vote, then the pledged delegates need to respect the will of the people, but if she doesn't, they they have to look long and hard at who the best candidate is.

Ara, how dare you be so sexist!

Why does she think freeing up the pledged delegates works to her advantage, anyway? Is this her rationale for raking Richardson over the coals (and risking making herself look petty and vindictive in the process)?

"'There is no such thing as a pledged delegate,' Clinton said at a news conference in California."

I've pointed out several times before, in comments at ObWi, that there is, in fact, no longer any rule whatever stating that Democratic Party delegates are bound to vote in any particular way as regards the choice of nominee, whether on the first ballot at the convention, prior to that, or subsequent to that.

Such a rule existed in the past, but not any more.

Noticing that wouldn't seem to make anyone a "monster," so far as I can tell. It merely tends to suggest that they're observant, unllike confused people with no clue as to what the rules of the Democratic Party are or not.

If you'd like a cite on this, I'll be happy to provide it.

But as an issue of fact, it is absolutely true that no delegates are bound by anything whatever other than their own intentions, and their willingness to be frowned at by people who don't know the rules, or don't care about the rules.

People are, of course, free to disapprove all they like.

Saying that there's no rule binding pledged delegates to vote for a certain candidate is not the same as saying there's no such thing as a pledged delegate. There's still rule 12.J: "Delegates elected to the national convention pledged to a presidential candidate shall in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them." If Clinton is saying there's no difference between pledged delegates and unpledged delegates, she's saying pledged delegates should feel free to ignore that rule. Yes, there's no penalty other than societal disapproval, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

At this point, I hope her pledged delegates do recognize that she's released them and feel free to vote for anyone they like.

Tonight the DC Democratic State Committee selected DC's two add-on delegates (Yvette Alexander and Harry Thomas Jr) and two pledged PLEO delegates (Vincent Gray and Kwame Brown). All four are members of the city council, and three are Obama supporters (the PLEOs had to be, as I demonstrated). The remaining one, Thomas, has supported Clinton in the past but is rumored to be changing his mind, perhaps because his ward went 83% for Obama. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's not in fear of being denounced as a Judas by James Carville.

Gary Farber: But as an issue of fact, it is absolutely true that no delegates are bound by anything whatever other than their own intentions, and their willingness to be frowned at by people who don't know the rules, or don't care about the rules.

There's no formal penalty for ditching one's fiance at the altar. Does that mean there is in fact no such thing as a fiance, or that engagement doesn't have any significance for people who care about the rules? Clinton is (presumably) trying to tell the delegates that they have no moral obligation to vote for the candidate to whom they have promised their vote. Which is pretty ironic, given recent allegations her campaign has made against a certain Governor of New Mexico.


No one seemed to notice this then: have you now realized you were conned into playing the Republican/mass media game? Or do you still think that you got worked up over this all on your own, and not at all because you were being told repetitatively by people in the mainstream media who hate Clinton that this was outrageous, who succeeded in whipping the left blogosphere into the kind of hysteria that the right reserve for war criminals like Eason Jordon?

Jes,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to me this sounds like an argument based on the idea of "false consciousness", namely the notion that we cannot be trusted to know if our opinions are really our own or simply something we've been brainwashed into believing by a more powerful outside force ("those aren't the droids you're looking for"), so we need a more objective and neutral observer (which in this case would be you, self-appointed) to tell us which of our opinions and observations are really our own and which are not.

I'm not saying that this sort of thing never happens. Certainly there are plenty of examples of powerful propaganda and other forms of persuasion being used to dupe people into believing things they otherwise would not have thought.

But once you open this Pandora's Box in a discussion of this kind there is simply no longer any basis for having a discussion at all. There is no way to have a discussion with someone else who claims an arbitrary and unproved authority to judge the validity or non-validity of other people's thoughts. Which means that this rhetorical tactic must be reserved for the most extreme circumstances where there is overwhelming evidence to support the proposition that one of the participants in the conversation has been duped, or else there is no point in us talking to each other.

Which leads me to ask, what is your evidence for the massive and obvious gullibility on the part of those commentators here who you think cannot be trusted to understand their own thought processes?

May we please see your proofs?

And if you cannot provide any proof, could you please show some respect for the other commentators here by dropping this line of argument and finding some other basis for making your point?

"Noticing that wouldn't seem to make anyone a "monster," so far as I can tell. It merely tends to suggest that they're observant, unllike confused people with no clue as to what the rules of the Democratic Party are or not."

This assumes that politicians publicly take notice of things for no reason whatsoever instead of taking public notice of things for a reason.

Do you really assume that?

"Which leads me to ask, what is your evidence for the massive and obvious gullibility on the part of those commentators here who you think cannot be trusted to understand their own thought processes?"

You may have missed the fact that we are disagreeing with Jesurgislac. Doesn't that automatically suggest that we are massively gullible?

ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to me this sounds like an argument based on the idea of "false consciousness", namely the notion that we cannot be trusted to know if our opinions are really our own or simply something we've been brainwashed into believing by a more powerful outside force ("those aren't the droids you're looking for"), so we need a more objective and neutral observer (which in this case would be you, self-appointed) to tell us which of our opinions and observations are really our own and which are not.

Whst can I say?

I have heard politicians tell lies - to get elected, and while in office - that were both outrageously untrue and of extreme importance.

That Clinton said she remembered, 12 years ago, being told to duck and run for shelter when she got out of the plane in Bosnia, when what actually happened was that she and Chelsea got moved up to the armored front of the plane and put in flak jackets, was neither. It wasn't outrageously untrue because it's exactly the kind of thing that happens, to everyone once in a while: you recall something the details of which are based on what you felt about it. Clinton did go to Bosnia: she was in an unanticipated amount of danger on arrival. (The opening chapter of Samuel R. Delany's autobiography, The Motion of Light In Water, discusses a similar "outrageous untruth" about the death of his father that he had told, without examining it, for years - until he was forced to date-check it and realised it was not true.)

But calling this outrageously untrue fits in with the media/Republican narrative that the Clintons are liars. Okay.

The second factor: did this matter? A lot of people seem to be saying that it does matter: but I can't see how. Except, again, that dwelling on it, talking up, shouting about it, matters to the media/Republicans who want it to be Obama who faces McCain in November, because they think McCain is more likely to be able to beat Obama, and do you care about them? Because I don't.

I don't think anyone could observe the past 15-16 years in American politics, in which incidents like this - particularly with regard to Hillary Clinton - get cried up as if they were important/outrageous, and suddenly everyone's talking as if they were - and not believe in the idea of "false consciousness", instilled by the US media, that some things are important when an objective observer would say they are not. (Al Franken did a lovely debunking of some of the things that the media/Republicans had made many Americans believe were important/true, in Lies And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them.)

I don't think I am the right neutral observer to discuss this. I'm a European who wants a Democrat to win the election in November and get into the White House: I am a partisan in this discussion, not a neutral observer, but I am partisan somewhat differently from almost everyone else in this fight: I don't care if it's Obama or Clinton, and as a non-Democrat/non-American I don't think it's my business to care which: but I shall care profoundly if, as a result of being tricked into negative campaigning against the Democrat, enough people stay away from the polls in November to make it easy for the Republicans to rig the election for McCain. Remember what they fear most is a landslide against him.

I stepped in because it seemed to me that Marbel was getting unjustly attacked by several different people, who were setting up for her things that she patently had not said, and those people were claiming that they could not understand how Marbel could be losing respect for them. I thought I might be better at explaining this, but it looks like I was wrong.

Gary Farber: Somehow I don't believe that she said this in the context of a disinterested exegesis on the bylaws of the nomination process.

I'd also prefer not to ever hear her blather on about disenfranchisement if she is going to pursue this approach to the nomination.

She is disgusting me. This little affair, the obnoxious reaction to Richardson that stank a Cheyney-esque siege mentality, the legal opportunism, the equivocations on what disenfranchisement is, on whose votes and which states ought to count.

I. Don't. Want. Her.

I must admit I had given up on this particular meme, which is why I have stayed away from ObWi for a while.

Sebastian, in failing to respond with any seriousness to what Jesurgislac is saying in a pretty careful manner, you diminish the value of your own arguments.

As a foreigner who does get to enjoy America's enlightend foreign policies but not vote for anyone that makes them I too regret seeing the Republicans succeed in mobilizing Democrats to do their dirty work.

I cannot concieve that anything Hillary Clinton does is anything like as egregious as your current administration, please nobody pipe up with "I did not elect him".

I am personally mildly pro-Obama, suspicious of it because I am perhaps swayed by his considerable charisma but I see no reason for those supporting him to demonize HRC. He will win on his merits, or your system is profundly broken. That may be of course be the case, I cannot judge.

Ara. Get a grip.

Barnabas,
Suffice it to say that there is some history involved here. You could trawl thru the archives, but I think you might just want to take it on faith.

This is not to dismiss your points, just to suggest that you might modify them a bit with different information.

As far as piling on Dutch, I apologize unreservedly if anything I said was harsh or an unjust attack.

Barnabas - liberal japonicus is right about the history between myself and Sebastian, with which regular ObWing commentators will read his comments to me (and mine to him, of course!), but otherwise, yes.

Next November 13th ObWi will be 5. Founder Moe started it with two fellow posters, stating that he wanted it to be a centrist blog with him for the right wing and two more people to his left. “While I carry my Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy card with pride, my fellow-bloggers do not. They aren't froth-at-the-mouth Bush-haters, mind you - which will probably disqualify them as being on the Left for a very small yet vocal group of people - but they are most assuredly not Republicans. I look forward to their insights and challenges to my own ideological leanings.”

Poster number two, Katherine, quotes Camus to show that there should be discussion between different sides: "In this way the Right abandoned the monopoly of the moral reflex to the Left, which yielded to it the monopoly of the patriotic reflex. The country suffered doubly. “.

The third poster, Von, puts it more explicitly when he describes a blog he no longer likes: “It is now a place where the like-minded gather to chat about like-minded things, or to analyse exactly how stupid the unlike-minded are. Consequently, the unlike-minded seldom go there, and the quality of debate has declined” and “But I do lament the loss of something special in DKos. It used to contain that rarest of blogosphere attributes: actual, honest, fair-sided debate among all members of the political spectrum. No longer.”

One of the things ObWi has always tried to achieve was 'civil discourse'. People with different viewpoints talking to each other, because fair-sided debate and challenges to your own ideological leanings are good and broaden the mind. I came here (from that first post) to be better informed, to read about issues from various angles and because people tended to limit each other to the facts. The 'blogfather' of ObWi used to run a place like that, but imho it had become too one-sided due to the elections, so I was happy with the new venture.

No, you don't need objective Europeans around to explain your politics and your media to you. Any objective person would do, but those are hard to find – it is easier to go for option two, smart people who disagree. Some blogs prefer option three, 'if they disagree they are not smart', but I found that option two had better results.

As a European I would not want to explain your politics to you at all. I have difficulty explaining the mechanisms to fellow Europeans who don't follow it closely. Most Dutch folks don't even realize that Americans don't actually vote for their candidates and they think I am pulling their leg when I explain caucuses . Understanding Texan primaries I've given up on myself.

About the Michigan and Florida situation: I wondered what actually was going on. Is it true that Republicans were responsible for the punishable change in dates? Is it true that the Floridian democrats had to vote in favour because that was necessary to get paper-trail votes? Is it true that normal punishment would be taking away half the delegates but some obama-suporters (Donna Brasil?) went for the unusual punishment of disempowering all delegates? Is it just party politics and if so whose party?

I would like some objective Americans to explain all of that to ME, but I can't find objective Americans anywhere. I read the pro-Hillary blogs too, as a workaround to my option two, but if both sides just echo emotional statements it is much harder to find out what actually goes on. Since the results of your elections will have an impact on MY country too and I have a strong preference for a democratic president (and I don't much care whether that is Hillary or Barack) I would like that same objective American to explain and investigate why it doesn't matter/isn't true/has no consequences/is just bad luck that two million democratic voters feel robbed of their votes. Some Floridians on the other blogs feel really angry about that and surprisingly enough they are rather sensitive about having their votes counted.

There used to be a time where I could follow those discussions here and gain new insights, learn new things. But now even my own comments get distorted. In this thread people have said that I believed that Hillary Clinton is wonderful or that I intending to say that Clinton should be elected. People implied that I called people who disagreed with her sexist or that the act of criticising her was sexist. All I have ever said (several times) about Clinton and Obama is that I don't have a real preference and that neither is perfect. In another thread about the elections I have said that one specific kind of argument against Clinton was sexist and that there were plenty of non-sexist arguments available so people shouldn't use the sexist ones.

Either my views are misrepresented on purpose, which I don't hope or assume, or people really translate my carefully worded comments like that. Though I am perfectly willing to blame my English for being misunderstood it does make me suspicious when my comprehensibility seems to depend on the partisanship of the reader.

I thought I might be better at explaining this, but it looks like I was wrong.
I thought you were rather eloquent ;)

As far as piling on Dutch, I apologize unreservedly if anything I said was harsh or an unjust attack.
Oh, I have known you long enough to take you seriously and don't feel like it is a pile on. I just don't understand why I cannot seem to come through ;)

Thanks, Marbel.

With regard to the primaries, caucuses, etc: yes, I've about given up trying to find an objective summary of how this works and what all the debate is about and why Michigan and Florida are such bafflefields. Sometime in 2010 Al Franken will publish a book about it, if we're all spared, and then I'll be able to understand what the argument is about. ;-)

I just don't understand why I cannot seem to come through ;)

Well, don't worry, my wife says the same thing from time to time.

But I do think that the topic is one that requires a longer view than a blog post, because it requires time to digest.

Certainly, the idea that we should only engage in Obama praising and not HRC deriding is good in theory, but, in order to convince my faculty colleagues that one option is better than another, I cannot simply say how good my plan is, but I have to point out the deficiencies in the plan that they propose. I do believe that every problem in human relations cannot be isolated to one person or one cause, so I do think that HRC is doing some of the things she is doing as a reflex against some of the criticism she is receiving and some of that criticism is unfair. But I don't accept that this means that somehow Obama is being unfairly advantaged. But that is a much larger cloth than the individual events that a blog post revolves around and I'm not sure how we can get at the larger canvas. I'm willing to try, but if it means making feelings rawer than they are now, I'd have to wonder if it would be worth the effort.

Anyway, that's all, until later, when there may be more.

but, in order to convince my faculty colleagues that one option is better than another, I cannot simply say how good my plan is, but I have to point out the deficiencies in the plan that they propose.

But what gets better results: pointing out the deficiencies in the plan or trashing the author of the other plan? And if you do want to discredit the author of the plan you didn't like because you felt more at ease with the other autor, would it actually work to judge the authors by different standards? Would it make sense to scrutinize one plan and scan the other plan? Would a balanced opinion make your conclusion less worthy or more worthy?

Dutch, some of us Americans take our moral responsibilities seriously. We believe that there must be consequences for the fact that Clinton failed to do her job by reading the classified NIE, and that because of her failure, a million Iraqis died. Now, obviously she was not entirely responsible for all those deaths, but she bears some responsibility. We might look past that issue if she was the only choice against McCain, but she is not the only choice.

I know that Clinton's depraved indifference to human life, her negligence at the time don't mean much to you: you've already admitted that you believed a bunch of obvious lies about Iraq and that you don't think senators have any responsibility for educating themselves before committing the nation to war, even if the education takes only an hour or two. You were scared and misinformed at the time, which makes me seriously question your judgment now.

But you must understand the consequences: Americans like me now look at people like you with moral revulsion. You've done a good job convincing me that you are not at ethical person, certainly not so ethical person that you should be instructing anyone else on how to vote. Obviously, you're much better than Bush, but that's not really saying much now is it?

I'm sure as a dutch person with your nation's long legacy of vicious colonialism, it might be a little easier to not count the deaths of Iraqis. My family is from the middle east and I find it quite difficult to ignore those one million deaths. I've tried to explain this to you without success.

There must be consequences for such heinous negligence.

That's very harsh towards dutchmarbel, turbulence. I don't know if she's said some or all the things you remember-- the portions about imperialism and our foreign policy don't really fit into my somewhat vague recollections of what she has said. Maybe you're confusing her with someone else? Or maybe I'm confused.

I agree with you about Clinton (both of them, actually).

DJ is right. That was way over the top and completely unnecessary, Turbulence.

It would be fair if dutch actually took those positions, I guess, but I was really confused reading what you wrote, turb, because it doesn't fit at all with what I think I remember about her positions.

I don't agree with her defense of the Clintons, but that doesn't imply anything about her foreign policy positions. Look at Jes. Jes is over on the far left when it comes to US foreign policy, but she's very, um, pragmatic when it comes to American presidential politics (a little too pragmatic for my tastes). Side with the Democrat and don't say anything bad about either one of them, because the Republican is worse. I think dutch's position is the same.

DJ and Gromit,

I'm quite sure it was dutch. We had a long discussion two or three months ago on a dying thread where we both kept returning for about a week, long after everyone else had left. I'd urge you to read our exchange, but I'm afraid you might die of boredom. Reasonable entry points are here and here.

I'm sorry to be harsh, but I grow weary of this never ending moral sanctimony. If dutch (& Barnabas and Jes) had better judgment and ethics, I wouldn't mind, but she doesn't.

Donald: Look at Jes. Jes is over on the far left when it comes to US foreign policy, but she's very, um, pragmatic when it comes to American presidential politics (a little too pragmatic for my tastes).

Actually, I do have moments of preferring one candidate over the rest. I always have had. It varies which one, and I try not to talk about it, because my reasons are completely out-there most of the time. Pragmatically, it's not my business which one you guys choose to be Presidential nominee: but it will affect me enormously, along with the rest of the world, whether it's a Democrat or McCain gets to be President because of interparty squabbling.

I don't pretend to have no preference in this primary. I dislike both of the Clintons and have since 1991. My reasons are the usual ones for anyone on the left -- which have been confirmed and intensified over the years.

I'm an Obama supporter by default. To the extent that I have any enthusiasm at all, it's due to the potential positive impact his candidacy will have on party-building (bringing in young and independent voters). His lead in delegates came as a huge relief to me because of the prospect that we might avoid what I most feared: nominating someone who supported the war on Iraq for the second time since it began.

I'm part of the demographic featured in an article in the Nation last year about Sen. Clinton's "woman problem": left-wing women. We're a pretty tiny slice of the electorate. Our opposition has nothing -- nothing -- to do with sexism, and any suggestion that it does would be irritatingly insulting if it weren't so laughable.

I've got no illusions about Sen. Obama. He's no change at all when it comes to many of the issues I care about: Palestine/Israel and military spending, to name a few important ones. His positions have changed to conform to the consensus required in order to raise money and be seen as serious, sound, respectable, etc. in national politics. This consensus reflects the concentrated power of money and media access far more than it does the views of the U.S. voting population. But that's how things are in this shining city on a hill.

I've tried to stay out of candidate threads for the most part. I haven't even read many of them.

But I've read enough to have the impression that dutchmarbel has commented throughout the last six weeks or so as a committed supporter of Sen. Clinton. Her arguments have been no more consistent or fair than those of Obama partisans. They're not simply motivated by more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger disappointment at what's happened to ObWi commenters.

I responded just once, recently, when she made an equivalence that seemed to me outrageous -- uncharacteristic of dutchmarbel's discussion of other issues in the past, but explicable as motivated by partisanship.

The experience saddened me. Bad enough that so many U.S. voters get caught up in the minutiae of this rigged game, losing some of our sense of proportion and fairness in the process -- but apparently the syndrome affects anyone able to read about it as well.

Jes,

I appreciate your concerns that McCain might win because of interparty squabbling. That would indeed be a disaster, plain and simple. But the reason this "squabble" is going on is that as a party, we have not achieved consensus on who can win in November. I understand your impatience, but making a hasty yet incorrect decision so that we can rush to November and lose would be...a poor idea.


Nell,

I'm not in your demographic, but in a lot of ways, your comment speaks for me. I certainly don't think Obama is perfect and I don't think that he's going to "fix" everything. There are a bunch of areas where I think his positions are wrong, but those tend to be areas where no candidate can be right due to structural factors right now.

Many of the Obama enthusiasts that I talk with are like that. Yet somehow we all get labeled as crazy syncophants who believe that Obama has superpowers or blinkered partisans who can't see the plain truth.

Turb, I read your first link and it seemed to me that dutch was agreeing with you that Saddam didn't pose a threat and felt that way at the time, but was defending Clinton on the grounds that many people at the time felt differently. I think dutch is wrong to defend Clinton and that Clinton showed her lack of character at the time, though if she gets the nomination I still think she's less dangerous than McCain, and would vote for her if I had to, though I despise her.

Nell speaks for me--Obama doesn't excite me either, though I prefer him to Clinton. And yes, there are pressures that force candidates to take what I think are bad positions on some issues, but that's also why I refuse to be emotionally caught up in some enthusiasm for a candidate--that emotional energy and passion should be saved for the issues themselves. But I won't argue the point. Back to lurking.


Whst can I say?

I have heard politicians tell lies - to get elected, and while in office - that were both outrageously untrue and of extreme importance.

Jes,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment.

I think the best way to address a situation where you see what you think are serious and demonstrable lies or false conclusions (based on some combination of media bias, distortions, or a lack of context and perspective) circulating in the commentariat is to make arguments on the merits of those falsehoods, rather than by going “meta” and attacking the credulity of those who choose to interpret the same data in a way which differs from yours.

The "neutral observer" problem is one that I think thoughtful people here will probably agree has no solution. There is in fact no "neutral observer" and attempts to create one by fiat are inherently counterproductive if having a conversation, especially one that includes diverse viewpoints, is our goal. At best we can try to use an overall consensus of the larger group as a pointer in that direction, and even this approach is fraught with peril (group-think, etc.).

That is why I do not like to see "false consciousness" used as an argument, because it leads the conversation nowhere except to a dead end, because false consciousness claims are inherently not falsifiable.

So please feel free to point out areas where you think that Hillary is not getting a fair shake, important information is missing, that a broader context needs to be used, stories in non-USA media contradict claims being made in the USA, etc., etc., but don't try to trump counter arguments using charges of gullibility. None of us have the power to step outside of our informational environment and see it from a god's-eye point of view, but we need to extend to each other the presumption of an commonly shared introspective capacity or there is no point in trying to have this discussion.

Thanks! - LeftTurn

ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I think the best way for me to deal with the US election right now is to try to avoid all US-electoral threads - at least, all of those which are merely on the "Obama or Clinton" argument. I've been thinking this for some time, and I am trying to do so.

However;

I think the best way to address a situation where you see what you think are serious and demonstrable lies or false conclusions (based on some combination of media bias, distortions, or a lack of context and perspective) circulating in the commentariat is to make arguments on the merits of those falsehoods, rather than by going “meta” and attacking the credulity of those who choose to interpret the same data in a way which differs from yours.

Where this is a one-off problem, yes. Even where it's a once-in-a-while problem.

Where people have a consistent, long-term credulity problem, no: the credulity problem has become a problem in itself, and needs to be addressed.

I have acknowledged (as, incidentally, has Dutchmarbel) that there are serious, substantive criticisms to be made of Hillary Clinton, as there are of Barack Obama. I wish I saw them being addressed here on Obsidian Wings, but I don't: I see only the predigested media packaging being spooned up and discussed. If that's how Americans prefer it, there is really not a hell of a lot that non-Americans can do about it, ...unless we can afford to buy one of your media companies. Unfortunately, the kind of person who can afford to do that is the kind of person who's going to support the Republican party. C'est la vie.

dutchmarbel: About the Michigan and Florida situation: I wondered what actually was going on. Is it true that Republicans were responsible for the punishable change in dates? Is it true that the Floridian democrats had to vote in favour because that was necessary to get paper-trail votes? Is it true that normal punishment would be taking away half the delegates but some obama-suporters (Donna Brasil?) went for the unusual punishment of disempowering all delegates? Is it just party politics and if so whose party?

Allowing for my biases, which are pretty clearly laid out above, I think the answers to your most of your questions with respect to Florida are in the wikipedia entry on the subject, which contains links to news coverage with more detail.

In this country, the two major parties are given control over the nomination process. In the past, this was mainly conducted via separate party-run caucuses and conventions. Only a small percentage of voters participated.

As state parties moved to publicly funded regular primary elections to determine delegates (in the 1960s and 1970s), the process de facto began to involve more inter-party cooperation and more public debate -- and the relationship between state and national parties and elected representatives became much more complex.

The national parties set the fundamental ground rules within which the state parties operate (one significant example: Republicans mandate winner-take-all processes, while Democrats require a system of proportional delegate representation). The national parties have the right and responsibility to try to balance the competing interests of states to achieve a primary/caucus/delegate selection schedule that will both express voter preferences and serve the national-party interest in having an early consensus on the nominee.

I don't pretend that this byzantine conglomeration of competing interests is a festival of small-d democracy. I do believe that under Howard Dean, who was elected DNC chair with strong support from state party chairs (as opposed to DNC members whose base of support is DC-based or national -- corporations, unions, interest groups) and with a mandate to build the party in all states, state parties have been given much more of a voice than they have had in the last fifteen years in these questions.

The Republicans in the Florida state legislature introduced a bill for an early primary, knowing of the Democratic National Committee's publicly announced stance that no delegates selected in a pre-February 5 primary would be seated at the 2008 Democratic convention. [The national Republican party had a similar policy againt early primaries, with an announced punishment of removal of half the delegates. They followed through: Florida will send only half its usual delegates to the 2008 Republican convention.]

To make it difficult for Florida Democratic state legislators to oppose the bill, the Republicans included in the bill a provision requiring voter-verifiable paper trails in elections. Given the experiences of the 2000 election, this did create a very uncomfortable situation for Florida Democrats. DNC chair Dean and other national party functionaries made clear before the vote on the bill that they intended to enforce the agreements on primary sequence. And, in a decision taken after the Florida bill passed, they reiterated that stand.

I have no idea what role Donna Brazile or any other individual Democratic functionary took in those deliberations, and I don't know at what point Brazile became an Obama supporter. Many pols assumed that Clinton was the inevitable nominee and behaved accordingly until the caucuses and primaries were actually underway.

Obama and Clinton supporters and operatives were on the national Dem committee that approved the decision to strip Florida delegates. The major candidates pledged not to campaign in Florida.

There was a strong element, on the part of both Florida and Michigan Democrats, of bad faith -- lobbying and making decisions on the basis of the assumption that, if it came down to it, the national party would not enforce its sanctions because of the size and swing-vote nature of both states' electorates in the general election.

I have to go fold programs for a party event -- a dinner launching a scholarship fund named in honor of the 92-year-old treasurer of our county party, a black woman who will be retiring after this election year. She started out supporting Sen. Clinton, but switched to Sen. Obama after the South Carolina primary. She's looking forward to our prospects no matter which of them is nominated.

Thanks for the explanation about Florida, Nell: that's very clear. Did the same thing happen with Michigan?

"Noticing that wouldn't seem to make anyone a "monster," so far as I can tell. It merely tends to suggest that they're observant, unllike confused people with no clue as to what the rules of the Democratic Party are or not."

This assumes that politicians publicly take notice of things for no reason whatsoever instead of taking public notice of things for a reason.

Sebastian, if I might direct you to reread the actual words that I wrote, you will, I hope, notice that I wrote not one word about any politician, let alone included any assumptions about any politician whatsoever.

"Do you really assume that?"

Since I wrote nothing whatever about any politician, it should be obvious that I made no assumptions about any politicians, which should answer your peculiar question.

Whatever it is you think I really meant, I in fact meant only what I wrote. It might make our conversations more productive if you'd respond to what I wrote, not what you imagine I might really mean, or implied, or however it is you got to some kind of reading in which I said something, anything, anything at all, about any politician.

Or did you have something someone else said in mind, perhaps?

Wait, I immediately apologize, Sebastian, and withdraw my whole snarky previous comment.

I should have reread what I wrote more carefully. "anyone" there indeed implicitly referred to Clinton, and thus my entire previous comment was wrong, and I utterly apologize for lecturing you when it was me who was carelessly misreading myself. Ho, call me a twit.

Rather, I merely meant no other or further implication about Clinton, and prefer to minimize, as a rule, speculation about people's motivations, myself. And I'll just leave it there, while again apologizing for my intemperate previous response, which you utterly didn't deserve. Sorry for my hasty and inappropriate response.

I see only the predigested media packaging being spooned up and discussed.

Jes,

The problem I have when you write this is that you have no standing to make that statement without also claiming a superior degree of objectivity.

Packaged up inside this statement that we are regurgitating predigested media bias is a bold claim that those of us in the USA who disagree with you have no understanding of media criticism, no access to other points of view, and no capacity for introspection regarding our own epistemological condition.

In which case we return once again to: May we please see your proofs?

You can't just claim superior authority to judge the informational biases of others without making an evidentiary argument, and expect an intelligent person to take your arguments seriously.

Non-falsifiable arguments are not arguments at all, they are simply an attempt to truncate the discussion on the basis of authority, that is my point. If you want to try to make that claim on moral grounds (e.g., "you Americans are evil people, look at all the harm you've done, so now you just need to shut up and listen to me for a while until all the damage you've done has been atoned for") then please do so, but at least be open about it rather than trying to dress it up in media criticism clothing.

@Turbulence
I have read the above arguments and followed both your links. Nowhere do I see Dutchmarbel instructing anyone on how to vote. Nowhere do I see an indication of indifference to Iraqi suffering. I find it disturbing that you are so eager to place responsibility for Iraqi deaths with citizens of countries that did not initiate the conflict.

I think that "Americans like you" should spend more time looking carefully themselves, how well they handle opposing points of view and how they treat others.
Your moral revulsion is both unfounded and suspect.

I have experienced you "getting tired" of reasoned argument before. Take a nap cranky.

Barnabas, I have a grip.

If George Bush were doing the things HRC were doing, leftists would be speaking of him as a threat to our system of government.

I'm increasingly coming to think that many of the Dems around me (not thinking of anyone on this blog by the way, but actual folks I know in the meatspace) who decried every awful thing the Bush admin did and are willing to give HRC a pass because they just trust her more than they trusted Bush are hypocrites of the worst sort.

I've seen two kinds of hypocrites: Tartuffean hypocrites who are really more like con men and self-righteous hypocrites who have no idea what they really are. The second is worse by far.

Actually Ara you caught the wrong side of me there, rather a heated thread, my apologies. I genuinely carry no torch for HRC but have something of a kneejerk reflex when anything, even Mr Obama, is flavour of the month.

Given my impression was that Mr Bush has done some pretty ghastly things, including violations of the Geneva convention, an unfounded war of choice, numberous examples of using government powers to influence the media etc etc... Even if HRC is pretty darn evil she has quite simply not had and may never have the clout to come close.

I value the reference to Tartuffe but I am more of a Falstaff temperament myself.

"About the Michigan and Florida situation: I wondered what actually was going on. Is it true that Republicans were responsible for the punishable change in dates?"

My answer is that the question is totally irrelevant, and that anyone who doesn't realize that has been snookered.

All that's relevant is that the campaigns agreed with full knowledge and forethought that those states were holding invalid elections, and swore an oath to abide by the rules of the Democratic Party, and most specifically that there would be no attempts to circumvent those rules, and most specifically that there would be no delegates seated from Michigan or Florida due to the lack of a valid election.

This was an absolutely critical part of our election process.

Contesting the right of the Democratic Party to make such rules is an attack on the Party itself, let alone going back on your solemn agreement to abide by such rules, having had months to make any objections before needing to agree or disagree. There was a deadline, and it passed long before those non-elections.

Anyone trying to break their word on this in the slightest, let alone make a linchpin of this, is someone I could never, ever, trust to keep their word in any way ever again.

Period, end of story, or just the beginning.

That's not going into the fact that the Clinton campaign has made their endless lies on this, and other equally crucial matters, the remaining bedrock of their campaign, the linchpin hope that is all that remains.

In my eyes, I now no longer trust Senator Clinton -- and this is a complete revision of my opinion of her as of six, or even four, months ago -- one iota more than I trusted Richard Nixon, or would trust George W. Bush, Karl Rove, or anyone they hired.

There's a ton of additional context to this, of course, but that's my short and most relevant response on this point.

And I do have a considerable amount of confidence in my knowledge of the American political system, and how to evaluate our politicans, for better or worse.

As regards the rest of your comment, I found it entirely clear and admirable, but I offer no further comment, beyond my apologies for any and all of my misreadings or misunderstanding of you. I don't know if this perspective is of any value to you, but here it is.

I thank you muchly for yours, and hope to continue to be able to avail myself of your insights and perspective, which I greatly value, dutchmarbel.

I have read the above arguments and followed both your links. Nowhere do I see Dutchmarbel instructing anyone on how to vote.

Um, that's great. Good for you! Can you tell me where I accused her of instructing people how to vote?

There seems to be this strange idea that not explicitly telling people how to vote is a sort of talisman that wards off incorrectness. I don't care if someone tells me how to vote; I care that they get their analysis right. In any event, when dutch writes about how disappointed she is in our continuing insistence on saying negative things about Clinton, she is exerting an influence on how we vote and how we think about the election. Especially since she's done this again and again and again. Apparently her disappointment knows no bounds. This doesn't bother me since I don't mind people telling me how they think I should vote.

Nowhere do I see an indication of indifference to Iraqi suffering. I find it disturbing that you are so eager to place responsibility for Iraqi deaths with citizens of countries that did not initiate the conflict.

Perhaps I misread then. But I believe dutch did say very clearly that she supported the inspections even after the inspections were publicly shown to be a bad faith exercise that had been infiltrated by US intelligence sources. She claimed to support the inspection regime even though it was widely known that the inspections were being used as a prop to support the sanctions regime which was doing incredible damage to the people of Iraq. She had no coherent basis for supporting the bad faith inspections regime and she had no credible defense for (Bill) Clinton's "regime change at any cost" policy (as opposed to a "let's negotiate with Iraq and get what we want" policy).

The Iraqi people were living under siege in the hopes that if only enough suffering and death could be imposed on them, they might eliminate their leadership. The lynchpin on which this siege depended was the sham inspections process. And Dutch advocated for more inspections under threat of war. Surprise, surprise! We got a war!

I think that "Americans like you" should spend more time looking carefully themselves, how well they handle opposing points of view and how they treat others.
Your moral revulsion is both unfounded and suspect.

Well, I try. If you don't find my arguments persuasive, I hope you'll be better able to reflect on how unpersuasive many of us find your arguments.

I have experienced you "getting tired" of reasoned argument before. Take a nap cranky.

Excellent idea! How long do I have to nap before Clinton's share of the million corpses come back to life?

Besides calling me cranky, do you have anything of substance to contribute? Perhaps you could wax poetic about how shameful it us that not everyone can be blessed with the great wisdom you and Dutch possess that allows you to see through the fog of media lies and perceive the truth. Others have had great success with that line of argument and I'm sure you will as well.

Sometime in 2010 Al Franken will publish a book about it, if we're all spared,"

I really hope that Senator Franken will be in office, and have no time for writing a book, myself.

Have Glenn Greenwald, or someone without a Senate vote write the book, okay?

Turbulence, as one of the proprieters of this blog I'm asking you to tone it down with respect to dutchmarbel.

We can disagree without attacking each other. Please review the posting rules. We try (and often fail, but we try) to have sharp political differences without allowing them to become personalized attacks.

"But what gets better results: pointing out the deficiencies in the plan or trashing the author of the other plan?"

If the new information is that one person reveals oneself to be amoral in that they'll lie, cheat, and try to steal, while your opinion of the alternative person simply remains higher and higher, it's difficult to only mention positive information, and make a point that makes the faintest degree of sense.

If you could suggest how I could positively state that it has become clear that there's only one candidate that I trust to not lie about what color the sky is if it's in her interest to say "plaid," I'd certainly give all possible consideration to adopting any positive way of stating such a view, I assure you.

I'll still work for Senator Clinton's election if she's the nominee.

But this isn't a matter of slight policy differences, or minor differences of character/personality/history, any more, in my eyes.

Not at all.

There's a point where there is right, and there is wrong, and there's no longer a grey areas in between.

Senator Clinton has jumped the shark into "can never be trusted again in the slightest, ever" for me.

There's no going back from that. There's no recall. There's no shade to be had.

She's chosen to use the Dark Side of the Force.

That it's so she can gain power to Do Good means as much as it does that Anakin was motivated by, he thought, love.

(Pray forgive juvenile analogy. Or not.)

I'm never going to be dishonest about what I think, if I think people's lives depend on the issue -- which I utterly do, in this case -- simply because the ends are crucial.

I will not give my silence or my consent to any means, in pursuit of any goal.

And that is why I cannot simply be utterly positive about the two candidates in this "race," any more.

I'm not happy about it. But there's nothing I can do to change Senator Clinton's choices, or what I think of them.

Would that there were.

Does anyone actually have a rebuttal to the critique offered in the parable? Some of the others in the series are a bit weaker, but this one seems unassailable to me, for the reasons Gary outlined above.

Does anyone actually have a rebuttal to the critique offered in the parable? Some of the others in the series are a bit weaker, but this one seems unassailable to me, for the reasons Gary outlined above.

Heartily second Gary's of 1:13.

I had some thoughts that may address Dutchmarbel's question about Kos' change on this topic. (I should say I have not read his site consistently, so cannot point to or comment on the full evolution of his opinion.) It seems to me that the initial anger/disappointment with Obama's tactics vs. H. Clinton's was based on a perception that the only way to beat the Republicans was to fight them on their terms, in the gutter. There is a lot of frustration at how ineffectual the Dems have been vs. the Repubs, and many saw the solution as an unwillingness to fight dirty enough, and devil take the hindmost.

What I believe we have seen through Obama's campaign is a slow realization from a lot of people that it is possible to win while retaining the high ground. Winning by drawing people to one's side rather than ripping them to shreds may not be viscerally satisfying when one has felt shredded by the other side in the past, but it does seem to actually produce policies that more people are happy with. The perception was that Obama was not strong enough to do "what it took" to win, when in fact he'd decided to play by an entirely different paradigm.

Oops! Sorry, I got a message that the first didn't go through, and like a fool I believed it.

ThatLeftTurn: You can't just claim superior authority to judge the informational biases of others without making an evidentiary argument, and expect an intelligent person to take your arguments seriously.

1. I don't claim superior authority to judge informational biases in general. I just say that outsiders to this fight are better at seeing informational bias than people all wrapped up in it.

2. I read Snopes (or used to: it's now posting, unexamined and uncritical, Republican smear e-mails), I read Al Franken, and a few times just for the hell of it I picked up a right-wing blogosphere thing and tracked it all down and found out where they got it from originally, and my goodness that was educational. Whoever said there's no smoke without fire? That was before the Internet, where there can be any amount of smoke just from a right-wing blogger rubbing two dicks together.

"...and many saw the PROBLEM as an unwillingness to fight dirty enough..."

Barnabas, I don't think she's *as bad* either. She is more cunning than ignorant, and that eases the mind a bit. I should have rephrased my analogy to confine it to the scope of Bush's first election season.

Obviously, comparing the long, inquitous chronicle of Bushean infamy to HRCs unstomachable campaign posturings is like -- I dunno -- comparing a few Sappho fragments to Paradise Lost.

"Can you tell me where I accused her of instructing people how to vote?"

Yes I can.

"But you must understand the consequences: Americans like me now look at people like you with moral revulsion. You've done a good job convincing me that you are not at ethical person, certainly not so ethical person that you should be instructing anyone else on how to vote. Obviously, you're much better than Bush, but that's not really saying much now is it?"

Umm, arguing for more inspections does not actually force the United States to declare war. I hope. But you are right. I have nothing of substance to say to you and shall not engage with you any further.

The programs are not yet ready at the printer, so I'm free to goof off for a little while longer.

Important correction to my primary-process post: As of June 2007, when the Florida legislature passed the bill establishing the January primary, the DNC sanctions for early primaries were two-part: removal of half the delegates for holding an early primary, removal of all delegates pledged to a candidate if that candidate campaigned in the state. In the event, the major candidates pledged not to campaign. They more-or-less held to that pledge.

I don't know the details of the sanctions that were reaffirmed (or decided in their final form) at the August 2007 meeting of the relevant DNC committee. It's possible that at that meeting the sanctions were upped to total loss of delegates. Someone who's followed it more closely than me will have to say; the links at the wiki page may answer that question.

@Jes: A similar, not exactly the same, thing happened in Michigan, which is that the bill to establish an earlier-than-Feb.5 primary was introduced by Republican state legislators. I don't believe it contained a voter-verified paper trail sweetener to make Dem opposition difficult, but it may have had other non-primary-related measures added for the same purpose. I just don't know. I didn't hear anything about such additional measures when the Michigan Congressional delegation lobbied the DNC to waive sanctions; it seemed to me that their case was largely, "You don't want to piss us off." The whole Michigan legislative process took place after the national party stood firm in the face of the Florida passage of an early-primary bill.

Another significant difference from Florida is the ballot itself.

In Florida voters could vote for any of the candidates, none of whom (except Gravel) openly campaigned. It is therefore not unreasonable to say that Florida voters did have the opportunity to express their preference. (Though it's also impossible to dismiss voters who stayed home thinking that there would be some future "real", i.e. delegate-determining, process.)

In Michigan, Edwards and Obama had their names removed from the ballot; Clinton did not. So Michigan voters who did not support Clinton found it impossible to express their preference. I believe, but do not know for sure, that turnout rates were far lower than they were for the Florida primary. However, even if I had those numbers to hand, they wouldn't be enough for a fair evaluation of the turnout -- which would involve comparisons with past MI primaries, comparing similar Michigan and Florida primaries, etc.

Democrats in the Michigan State Senate had the ability to stop the early primary bill but did not. Governor Granholm, a Democrat, could have vetoed it; she did not. It's not hard to understand her decision: The economy of the state is in the toilet, due to factors beyond her control, and she is facing a steep uphill battle for re-election. It would take a superhuman commitment to national party procedure for her to expend political capital on an issue that is an internal party battle. I personally blame Dems in the state senate for not killing this before it reached her desk. And Republicans for introducing it, of course, but it's a given that they are going to do things that they can see will sharpen intraparty conflicts within the opposition.

It is also regrettable that Clinton did not remove her name from the ballot. Had she done so, I believe there would now be broad support for some sort of do-over in Michigan, funded from outside the state. It would also be easier for everyone involved to get past their disagreements and unite for the general election.

Another political wrinkle: At this moment, the political situation in southeastern Detroit is more than usually racially toxic, thanks to the scandal in which the mayor of Detroit has embroiled himself, and the way the media are celebrating it.

Downriver would always be Clinton-land in a choice between Obama and Clinton, and the city conversely would be pro-Obama. But Detroit white media, including especially radio, has whipped up the level of nastiness in a way that can only gladden the hearts of those supporting McCain in November, assuming that he will be running against Obama.

I just say that outsiders to this fight are better at seeing informational bias than people all wrapped up in it.
Jes, you may be an outsider in the sense that you aren't a US citizen, but you're hardly a dispassionate observer of our politics. You're a regular (and highly partisan) commenter on a blog which is mostly about that very subject. In what way are you less "wrapped up in it" than most of the rest of us?

Barnabas,

Like I said, I have no problem with someone telling me how to vote. However, like I also said, if someone does tell me how to vote, I do expect them to say truthful things. If they can't hold to a reasonable standard of veracity, then I don't feel compelled to listen to them. I don't think this behavior is unique to me.

Umm, arguing for more inspections does not actually force the United States to declare war. I hope.

I agree. Arguments by people not in the government cannot force the US to declare war. The issue I was trying to get at was whether it was possible for an informed person (which I think Dutch claimed to be) to hold a good faith belief that more inspections in 2002-2003 would help avoid a war, rather than help start a war. I don't think it was. Perhaps you disagree. But I do think it is legitimate to consider the fact that I think dutch got this horribly horribly wrong when assessing her suggestions for how I should vote and for how biased I am.

But you are right. I have nothing of substance to say to you and shall not engage with you any further.

That is unfortunate. I hope you will reconsider at a later date, perhaps after the primary or on other topics.

@tubulence: I know that Clinton's depraved indifference to human life, her negligence at the time don't mean much to you: you've already admitted that you believed a bunch of obvious lies about Iraq and that you don't think senators have any responsibility for educating themselves before committing the nation to war, even if the education takes only an hour or two. You were scared and misinformed at the time, which makes me seriously question your judgment now.

Reading skills are not really your strong suit are they?

Americans like me now look at people like you with moral revulsion. You've done a good job convincing me that you are not at ethical person, certainly not so ethical person that you should be instructing anyone else on how to vote.

So who are the 'people like me' who seem to instigate all this 'moral revulsion'? And where have I ever instructed you on how to vote? Oh, wait, reading skills were not your strong suit.

I'm sure as a dutch person with your nation's long legacy of vicious colonialism, it might be a little easier to not count the deaths of Iraqis. My family is from the middle east and I find it quite difficult to ignore those one million deaths. I've tried to explain this to you without success.

yeah, vicious colonialist, that's really me. Especially in the middle east. I'm glad you know me so well, I'd hate to jump to the conclusion that you apparently feel free to invent your own facts.

Just for my curiosity: how often have you voted before?
[full disclosure: I'm about to bet a bottle of really nice beer on it]

@nell: But I've read enough to have the impression that dutchmarbel has commented throughout the last six weeks or so as a committed supporter of Sen. Clinton. Her arguments have been no more consistent or fair than those of Obama partisans. They're not simply motivated by more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger disappointment at what's happened to ObWi commenters.

I am surprised and have looked at it myself. I started at February 6th, since that is the thread Turb points to to prove how morally repulsive I am. And I'm limiting myself to election/nominee threads, all the threads in between I do not count (There are several, but I didn't comment in them, not even the one about sexism against Hillary. I did find comment about ME I didn't know about though):

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/02/democrats-and-u.html#comment-100988278”>Feb 6th:

You do realize that I'm only an innocent bystander though? I'll have to make do with whomever you elect. For the sake of the ObWi readership I hope your guy wins, everybody seems to be terribly dissapointed if that doesn't happen. I just expressed my suprise at the Hillary-bashing and the Obama-bias. It is toe-curling when people you hold in high regard disappoint like that.

I'm not wedded to Hillary either and will freely admit to the things I don't like about her. I just thing that both candidates have flaws and both have things that worry me slightly. But both are good candidates and I am amazed that the bias in a lot of people is so strong that they cannot perceive that. I don't think that is good for the Democratic party either - and I prefer Democrats to Republicans in the USA.

February 8th we had a thread in which http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/02/strange-days-op.html#comments”>I mentioned a silly Dutch poll, where older than 70 would leave you unelectable but responded to Hilzoy putting up a bad Hillary ad first:

1/ I think the add is awfull. Boring, slow and not funny. I doubt the targetgroup will respond much better.

2/ I find the 'weight' of the pimp-comment hard to judge, but have read in several places that Shuster is probabely sacrificed instaed of Matthews.

3/ Ann also referred to Obama as “the least dangerous Hussein” I know and said that she might vote for McCain if he chooses Romney as a VP.

On http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/02/more-news-about.html#comments”>february 11th I reply to Wonkie who says that HRC should have voted like a real democrat. I replied:

She wouuld have thhe nomination ssewnn up now if shhe hhad voted like a real Deomcrat back when
we needed her.

You mean 'present'? Or by pushing the wrong button when it is politically more convenient?
(if it *is* Barack who will be the nominee, these are the things they will attack on)

March follows in post 2, the spamfilter stopped me.

We move on to March.

The http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/tomorrow-in-tex.html”>other March 5th thread:

For SF fans (Gaiman):
I am I am a Dire Wolf

And rest assured: it's even pro-Obama ;)

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/lets-do-the-mat.html”>March 5th:

Seeing how close the candidates are and how ... eh... varied the election process is I think you should go for a real American solution; let HRC and BHO play a game of poker to determine who will win the nomination.

March 5th, which turned into a real discussion about colouring ads:

Hillary Clinton has been throwing everything she can think of at Barack Obama, from pictures of him in Somali clothing

I just read about that. It came from the freepers. Aren't you supposed to switch to the accusations that the Clinton campaign darkened Obama's skin in a new ad?

I do want to say: those stories are out there. I have heard some of them
Me too! Didn't she kill Vince Foster?

March 5th still, I had a demography of voters for both candidates:

I found an interesting summary of which voters voted for whom
[cut]
Are any one of them COMPETENT enough to be a Buffy Big Bad?
McCain could just make an Adam. 'Nuff said ;)

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/fallon-resigns.html”>March 12th:

(which goes on towards jounalists imprisoned)Clinton had access to a classified NIE that proved that the Iraq WMD case was garbage.

That's not what I read.
(U) Conclusion 1. Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/quick-links-pol.html”>March 12th, I think my most pro-Hillary post so far (but still saying that Obama is a good candidate too), made mainly when I felt there was unjust sexims in the arguments. The thread goes on about foreigners and their impact on national policies:

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.

My comment near the end:

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 ;)

spamfilter makes me go to a post number three now.

March 16th is about elections but not specifically Obaoma/clinton:

Oh, and just because it is nice to agree with the majority: if Joe Lieberman had been in MY party I would have voted to tar him, feather him and drive him out of the village on a pony.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/obama-and-wrigh.html”>March 14th I comment about the Wright issue, but mostly about Hilzoy's parabel:

I agree with almost everything you wrote Hilzoy. Though I can't be to bothered with someone in Obamas cycle being a bit radical. I actually had more of a problem with the anti-gay guy earlier in the campaign. But Obamas views are clear and differ from the pastors.

But I disagree with your example " Suppose I say something snippy to you, which causes you to pull out your Uzi and kill me and everyone else who happens to be around. ". To a lot of folks the USA is responsible for more that 'being snippy'. Comparisons for them might feel more like 'suppose I regularly transport violent pedosexuals to your neighbourhood and one of those abused and killed your little kid'.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/preachers-and-p.html”>March 17th again a Wright comment: I still agree with the people who think Wrightgate is not that important. I think it may serve as an excuse for those who allready were very reluctant to vote for Obama. But I think publius' comparison is not entirely right. Obama *did* give Wright a position in his advisory committee, did he not? That goes beyond just attending his church.

I have no idea why, but spamfilter wants me to cut again. Nell, I blame you for making me insert all these links!


http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/thats-why-i-say.html”>March 18th I link to Bill Clintons speech about race:

The speech was very good and inspiring. I can't believe it will not have a good effect for Obama and I hope it will stop most people from attributing Obama with some of Wrights ideas (some fanatics will never stop of course).

But this one wasn't bad either:

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/double-standard.html”>March 21th I said:

I don't think Obama feels like Wright does, and agree with his pragmatic explanation. Though I think it will mainly provide an excuse for people who don't really want to vote for him I also think it makes him vulnerable for things like this video.

I responded just once, recently, when she made an equivalence that seemed to me outrageous -- uncharacteristic of dutchmarbel's discussion of other issues in the past, but explicable as motivated by partisanship.

I think you mean the above incident, where I actually linked to a rightwing blog that thrashed the video I ment, because in the comments you say: “Right, dutchmarbel, because a creepy, secretive right-wing religious organization that recruits among the already powerful is just like a large and very public church.
[and]
And thanks so much for helping spread a right-wing-produced attack video (whose authors will not own up to it publicly).”

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/getting-past-th.html”>On March 25th we have a thread about implicit and explicit racism and sexism:

I changed the 'isms in the quotes. Not because I disagree with what is said, au contraire, but because it is nice to test these explanations in uncharted waters. Personally I think that anybody who would vote McCain over the democratic nominee (whomever that will be) should not be allowed to call himself or herself progressive and/or democrat.
. The thread is quite long and goes on about the 'isms and their weigh in the elections. I later comment
I am not saying that all the things that are said are wrong - she has plenty of weak points and we all have different priorities to judge candidates by. But the amount of vitriol that is thrown in HRC's direction is unjustified. It is worse than the rightwingers used to do. It is so bad that some of those who never had anything good to say about her in the 5-7 years I read blogs now feel a need to occassionally defend her - against her fellow democrats. And then they blame her for it. That is really weird to see, from my outsiders point of view.

That is it, all the threads I commented in. 4 threads in February and 8 in March, where I usually say that afaiac both candidates are fine. If I am the most committed supporter of Sen. Clinton you encounter, whilst about half of the democratic party votes for her, you should start scratching your head.

"The issue I was trying to get at was whether it was possible for an informed person (which I think Dutch claimed to be) to hold a good faith belief that more inspections in 2002-2003 would help avoid a war, rather than help start a war. I don't think it was. Perhaps you disagree"

I disagree.

(This may rest on reaching a mutual definition of sufficiently "informed" for the purpose of this sentence, or it may not. Further exploration must await the future, as I'm late, late, late in getting out the door now.)

g. farber: "All that's relevant is that the campaigns agreed with full knowledge and forethought that those states were holding invalid elections, and swore an oath to abide by the rules of the Democratic Party, and most specifically that there would be no attempts to circumvent those rules, and most specifically that there would be no delegates seated from Michigan or Florida due to the lack of a valid election."

Gary, don't take this as a personal attack, but as a criticism of your distorted focus on the issue of what the candidates promised in regard to the Florida and Michigan campaigns. You made the same misrepresentation about what the candidates promised in a mid-April post on this blog, whereupon I pointed out that the only thing they pledged was NOT to campaign or advertise in those states.

Again, for the second time, here's the wording of the pledge they signed:

THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as "campaigning" is defined by the rules and regulations of the DNC.

And again, as pointed out earlier, the DNC rules weren't set in stone: the DNC changed the calendar dates with respect to the New Hampshire primary, which they allowed to be moved up, CONTRARY to the DNC Selection rules.

Again: the pledge they signed doesn't prohibit candidates from asking for a revote, or to overrule the original rule change after the primaries. Nor do the DNC rulebooks prohibit candidates from appealing the results of the primary dates rule changes -- in fact the DNC rulebooks contain numerous procedures to appeal almost anything and everything.

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