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April 16, 2008

Comments

You're absolutely right. However, our millionaire press corps consistently insists that millionaire politicians who propose policies that will help the poor and middle class are "phonies," while millionaire politicians who propose policies that help themselves, their rich pals and powerful corporations are "authentic." Some theory about "honest thieves" in part. It's the old story of exploiting a reactionary breed of social and cultural conservativism to encourage people to vote against their own economic interests. There's nothing honorable about such GOP tactics, but it's not as if they're a surprise. What's consistently disappointing is that the corporate MSM rarely ever calls them on it and says, "this policy will benefit [X]" and so on... but that, too, is not honorable but hardly a surprise.

Time to link to this. “Euphemism and American Violence”. From NYoB. h/t Marty Lederman at Balkinization. Skilled exposition of authoritarian rhetoric and its uses in deception.

"no more corporate welfare"

yeah right. too bad he didn't throw in a "Read My Lips".

I’m not sure – this is so yesterday… (Really – it is old news).

The Post did a nice job here calling a spade a spade.

I keep trying to warn you about that…

I may agree with parts and disagree with others, but we can at least have a honest debate.

Huh?! Snort! Ah, OK…

Come on dude. You have done some great posts, I’ve agreed with you a lot, but this is phoning it in. I really appreciate that you have kept the ship running here. Awesome job. Really, you have grown on me. And I appreciate your post as always. But…

Oh – is that something shiny? Which handle do I pull…?

Snort…

OK Democrats – this revolver really only has 1 bullet in it… I swear…

Christ – Rove was no friggin’ genius…

You guys had this election wrapped up and now you are playing this game of “how can I give this shit away”?

Arrrrgh!!! I thought you guys could actually win given this totally f’d up situation… Do you guys actually need f’n Armageddon to win a f’n election?!?!?

I sided with you guys (D) and you can’t win an election when it is handed to you on a silver platter. ! ! Argh! Christ!


Arrrrgh!!! I thought you guys could actually win given this totally f’d up situation… Do you guys actually need f’n Armageddon to win a f’n election?!?!?

Nah. The Rapture will also do.

McCain isn't interested in an honest debate. If he were, he wouldn't be saying this kind of nonsense. He's pandering, because he's a generic Republican liar. War is his only answer to things, and the rest he just doesn't give a crap about. He buys donuts and makes BBQ for the press, and they slobber all over him. That's all there is to it. Whatever integrity he once had, he's long since sold out.

Publius,

Your really are reaching lately. It's a little pathetic.

FYI, 95% of the people here are voting for Obama no matter what. Obama could come out tomorrow and identify himself with KKK of America people, swindlers and non-gun toting anti-religous rich people and everyone here would still vote for him.

Almost everyone here has bought into him hook, line and sinker. There's no reason for you to make yourself look foolish trying to defend him when there is no reason to do so.

Maybe an open thread wouldn't have generated this much hostility. I asked politely in an email as instructed by Gary, but possibly publius doesn't have access to that?

There really are other things happening in the world besides the U.S. election that I think people here would like to talk about or point to.

OCSteve: I wasn't aware that Publius was in charge of the Democratic Party.

Nell: I understand the feeling of "why aren't they talking about ______" but really, there are other blogs, and some of them are discussing the same things you want to discuss. Also, talking about "this much hostility" on a post that has only 6 other comments, two of which disagreed with Publius, sounds a little like projection.

The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats think people in small town America can be manipulated. Republicans know how to do it.

Hob, I'm not asking publius to post about anything in particular. I'm asking, after more than a week without one, if we could have an open thread.

Two off-the-bat reviews of "phoning it in" and "pathetic" are enough to qualify as a hostile reception to a post. I'm not projecting. just describing.

Publius,

This is definitely elitist in the sense that the Repubs are promising people government money, shiny new toasters, and more advanatages for their corporate friends in high places. It's all a big scam to buy votes, because people think they are voting themselves largesse and happiness. This crony-capitalism is the reason I gave up on the Repubs many years ago. That and their shoddy foreign policy, but that's for another thread.

I wasn't aware that Publius was in charge of the Democratic Party.

Alright. My comments were over the top. I apologize publius. After the first half hour of that debate I was screaming at the television and I guess my anger boiled over to here. And it only got worse from there.

Obama took a beating. A bad beating. Neither one came off very well. The clear winner of that debate last night was McCain.

I mean even if you disagree with everything Republicans stand for, as a party they know how to stay on message and run an election. They come off looking like geniuses compared to this crew.

The clear winner of that debate last night was McCain.

I didn't see the debate, but I will say that I'm starting to try to get my head around the idea of President McCain.

I would never have thought it possible given the circumstances, the pretty good field of candidates the Dems offered this year, and the pretty clownish set presented by the Republicans, but I think the Democrats could actually piss it away.

I'm sure they'll still do well in the House and Senate, but a Republican executive is going to drive this country that much further down the path to hell.

It's depressing.

Thanks -

russell: With the standard caveat that there is still a long time to go…

I can understand the divisiveness among Democrats to some extent. But I can’t understand how it got to the point that 28% of Clinton supporters and 19% of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over the other Democratic candidate.

I mean if that is really true and the election was held next Tuesday McCain would be a shoo-in…

OCSteve,

We should be careful about interpreting that poll result I think. During the primary, tempers are running hot, and no one is defining McCain. But after the primary, the loser will endorse the winner and those primary voters will start getting an earful as to how bad McCain is.

Sometimes people look at polling as if it were a reflection of immutable bedrock beliefs and in some cases, that's OK. But in this case, I think people's opinions are a great deal more flexible than many are assuming. The truth is that both candidates have attracted significant support: I'm not too worried about consolidating democratic support around the nominee.

I would never have thought it possible given the circumstances, the pretty good field of candidates the Dems offered this year, and the pretty clownish set presented by the Republicans, but I think the Democrats could actually piss it away.

I seriously think people, particularly ex-Republicans, have underestimated how much of a boner the press have for Republicans, and how much of a boner they have for beating up Democrats. President Republican-Nominee was always a possibility, regardless of how clownish the candidate or how noble the opposition. Once the Republican nominee was determined, we were guaranteed that -- by some miracle! -- the Republican nominee would suddenly be seen as a beacon of rectitude and paragon of manliness, while the Democratic nominee(s) would be seen as weak, puerile, and, let's face it, womanly... unless they were Hilary Clinton, in which case she'd be (perpetually) viewed as a castrating, ball-busting automaton.

I should add that this is nothing to do with the press corp's individual biases per se; this has to do with the fact that they are, as a class, seriously lazy motherfnckers who are slaves to the meta-narrative imposed by Republican hacks some decades ago. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, everybody knows that Republicans are manly saviors (except when they're seducing young boys, those wacky sodomites) and everybody knows that Democrats are godless sodomites (except when they're seducing young girls, those evil sons-of-bitches). What the Democrats -- what America -- needs now is not a continuation of the primary season, they need a pack of attack dogs to attack the media itself until the meta-narrative regains some proportion and perspective.* Until that happens, you'd damn well better steel yourself to the thought of President Republican-Nominee, because as I said above it's always a possibility.

* In particular, they need to go after Chris Mathews, Tim Russert and David Brooks (or David Broder, they're equally reprehensible in my book) as purveyors of some of the most pernicious "centrism" around. And, of course, FOX News (and Limbaugh et al.) needs to come under ceaseless assault but they're so obviously biased that I don't know whether it's as high a priority.

OCSteve: I mean if that is really true and the election was held next Tuesday McCain would be a shoo-in…

Trivially yes, but that's true of any election where one party is split between two candidates. Turbulence is right, wait until the Democratic nominee has been determined and re-take the temperature then.

[Of course, the single most dangerous thing to the Democrats right now is the belief that what you've just said is correct, or rather what will happen if that belief becomes the CW...]

"But I can’t understand how it got to the point that 28% of Clinton supporters and 19% of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over the other Democratic candidate."

I understand the number for some Obama supporters but I don't get it for Clinton supporters.

My conceptual framework is this:

If your favored candidate doesn't make it out of the primary, you fall back to your general voting behaviour.

For Republicans who looked at Obama as interesting and different, a Clinton win in the primary means that they revert to McCain. (This probably describes me, though I probably just won't vote for President as I can't stand Clinton or McCain.)

For people who don't typically vote, but were inspired by Obama, it means that they will probably go back to not voting.

My theory breaks down with Clinton voters, however, because most of them are otherwise reliable Democratic voters. So I don't fully understand why they would revert to McCain.

The polls suggest a certain animus against the other winner. The odd thing from my perspective is that Clinton voters appear to have more animus than Obama voters.

That strikes me as weird. It seems to me that Clinton has been much harder on Obama than Obama has been on Clinton.

Is it some bleedover against Obama on the idea held by Clinton supporters that the press is harder on her than it is on him? Why would those voters hold that against him if he wins? Since the press loves McCain so much, if you wanted to punish the press wouldn't it make more sense to vote against him?

Sebastian, I have struggled with these same questions and have come to the conclusion that there is a strong thread of "victimhood" within the Clinton camp. It may even be something as silly as, "She stayed with her man, even after all that he did, now she deserves to be President." But I really believe that a number of her supporters see her as a victim, and thus Obama becomes the victimizer. For me, it is the only thing that makes any sense of the 28% of her supporters who say they would vote for McCain.

I think that some HRC supporters share her belief that she is entitled to the nomination. I don't know why she feels entitlted but I think that there is a subgroup of supporters who feel entitled because they think it is a woman's turn to be President.

Why they think this I don't know. It could be a black man's turn after all. Or maybe Richardson should have gooten the nom and was cheated out of it because it was supposed to be a Hispanic person's turn. Nayway there is this big sense that a woman OUGHT to get the nom and therefore HRC and her supporters are victims. Also therefore everything HRC does is rationalized away and Obama is blamed for all of HRC's actions.


Pretty weird. The HRC "victims" of my acqaintance live in view houses in an upscale gated community, have marriages, health insurance, retirement income...doens't stop them frmo feeling very sorry for themsleves.

If you really want to view some Hilbot dememtia check out MyDD, TalkLeft and Taylor Marsh. The current faux victimization fantasy is tht Obama supposedly gave HRC the finger.

The Post did a nice job here calling a spade a spade.

Why does Publius hate black people? And when will Hilzoy come forward and disown his remarks?

( tag added for the slow ones.)

Hm, it even stripped out the snark tag when I used meta characters. I hate software that tries to be smarter than you; it inevitably fails.

That strikes me as weird. It seems to me that Clinton has been much harder on Obama than Obama has been on Clinton.

Are you really interested and suprised, or was this rhetorical?

Clinton and her campaign have mainly tried to present Obama as inexperienced, immature, lots of hot air and nice rethoric but not much action.

Obama and his campaign have tried to present Clinton as Bush-lite, lying, manipulative, "will say anything to get elected". The former will chance with time, the latter is character assasination.

I think the pro-Clinton side (as far as I read them, which is less than the pro-Obama side) is also shocked that their fellow progressives have not only closed their eyes to the sexisms, but have regularly actively repeated them.

What is allowed to be said against other democrats that support Clinton is worse than what was allowed to say against Republicans on this blog. I thought it was really weird when someone on ObWi commented "All Clinton supporters are dumb" and nobody even remarked upon it.
Kos has now even stated that he also doesn't think she is a democrat anymore.

For me the candidates are still much of a muchness (which is enough for the Hilbot label here I think). But those things do irritate the hell out of me - and they're not even my elections.

The Obama campaign--meaning Obama, his staff and his surrogates have never described HRC as By=ush lite, a liar or a manipulator. The Obama campaign is not responsibel for the words of individuals who commento on blogs.

The Clinton campaign meaning HRC herself her staff and her surrogates have compared Obama unfavorably with McCain several times and pushed the smears that we normally think of as rightwing--the flag pin, the Wright faux outrage controversy, even the Bill Ayers bit. It has been a substgantive part of her campaign to demen and belittel Obama--the Tonya harding option.

The conclusion that some people come to based on her behavior is that she is a manipulator who will say anything. it is not character assasination to come to a conclusin based on behavior.

Kos said that she is not campaigning like a Democrat, that instead she is campaigning like a Republican. That's just a fact: she is.

I don't se why there should be some special rule that says thou shalt not demean HRC because she's a woman. Maybe there shpould be a rule that says thou shalt not demean anyone but gher gender shouldn't give her some kind fo special protected status.

Clinton and her campaign have mainly tried to present Obama as inexperienced, immature, lots of hot air and nice rethoric but not much action.

How is calling a very mature individual immature not character assassination?

Obama and his campaign have tried to present Clinton as Bush-lite, lying, manipulative, "will say anything to get elected". The former will chance with time, the latter is character assasination.

Cite please? Specifically, I would like to see a reference to quotes that the campaign staff made that used the phrases you listed. At least one of those quotes should have been uttered by Obama himself. Absent such cites, I don't think your allegations can stand.

Cite please?

I had to google where I read that. Can't find everything (it's late at night here and tomorrow we will go away for the weekend).

Obama: Obama took the criticism head-on yesterday, saying Clinton's stance was identical to President Bush's policy of not meeting with hostile foreign leaders.

"I don't want more Bush-Cheney," he said. "I don't want Bush-Cheney lite. The times are over when talking tough or refusing to talk to your enemies is an emblem of toughness. We will meet and talk and discuss our values and our ideals, because our values and our ideals, when we're true to them, are ideas and values the entire world looks to."

Obama ad:
Obama: "I’m Barack Obama, running for president and I approve this message."

Announcer: "It’s what’s wrong with politics today. Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected. Now she’s making false attacks on Barack Obama.

Does it help if I make a list of things I don't like about Hillary or her campaign? Even if I pick the things where she has a different position than Barack there is quite a list (I'm not wild about either candidate). Penn, clusterbombs, flagburning...

Or maybe I should link to 'endorsements' I like. One for Obama and one for Clinton.

Sebastian: The polls suggest a certain animus against the other winner. The odd thing from my perspective is that Clinton voters appear to have more animus than Obama voters.

That strikes me as weird. It seems to me that Clinton has been much harder on Obama than Obama has been on Clinton.

Is it some bleedover against Obama on the idea held by Clinton supporters that the press is harder on her than it is on him? Why would those voters hold that against him if he wins? Since the press loves McCain so much, if you wanted to punish the press wouldn't it make more sense to vote against him?

I suspect another component of this phenomenon is that each candidates' supporters actually take to heart what their candidate says. Clinton is much nastier toward Obama than Obama is toward Clinton. It makes some sense that he'd have higher negatives among her supporters than the reverse.

I concede that late4ly (and that means very reecently) Obama has been more blunt. However he is finally --FINALLY- responding to the negativity that has been a consitant tactic from jher.

Also the criticsm he offers are true. She is r-lite on foreigh policy. She voted for the war. She voted for the irann Resolution. She failed to show up for the FISA fight. Her policy on Cuba is identical to McCain's . She ahs not challenfed the Republican war on terror framing.

And she will say anything. Here's the latest example of many:

"Moveon.org endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down," Clinton said to a meeting of donors. "We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and It's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me."

That was a speech to a fundraiser. In the recent past she has praised Move on to the skies. Movwe on is of course the oerganization that was founded to help her and Bill. Also notice the claim that Obama people have been intimadating HRC supporters. There is no actual evidence of this happening anywhere. On the contrary Clinton supports at the request of her campaign launched litereally thousands of baseless challenges agsinst Obama delegates in texas and tied up the conventions for hours. Aslo note the stement that party activists disagree with her on defense. What is she talking about? Moveon never formally opposed the invasion of Afganistan. Neithehr did Obama. Is she lying about Moveon and Obama? Or is she secretly not really committed to withdrawal from Iraq? Or is she just saying whatever to get money?

Some other examples: claiming that she has always opposed NAFTA when her support for the NAFTA is one of the few political experiences of the First Lady period tht she can legitamtley claim.

Her recent claim that she criticized the war before Obama did.

Herr shame on you speech which happened after she had been particularly negative and before Obama starting striking back.

I don't think that feminism means having a lower standard for women.

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