« Department Of Hmmmm... | Main | If We Don't Kill Them All, They Might Commit Suicide »

May 23, 2008

Comments

Kris, if you have no problems with Obama winning the nomination, then you should have a problem with Clinton painting any Obama nomination as illegitimate with comparisons to the Florida recount, Jim Crow, and Zimbabwe and whipping up resentment among her supporters that's going to be difficult to bring them back from.

That's what the latest anger against her is about. We want to win in November, and hurling that sort of toxic sludge at the person most likely to be our nominee is not something any Democrat should be doing.

(And if you really believe the "votes" argument, you might want to look into the details a little more carefully.)

I dunno...talking about RFK and assasinations seem to be in poor taste. Wouldn't be surprised if some folks got angry....

TLT...--
Well, I always hear your name in my head as "Dat Left Toin in Albakoiki", for what it's worth.

JakeB,

Yes, I believe that is the phonetically correct version.

If I had known so much time would be spent on Obama v. Clinton discussions, I might have been tempted to pick a handle referencing Scooby-Doo, since the cartoon version of this contest would come down to the convention where HRC is up on stage and then pulls off her rubber mask revealing Richard Nixon (tanned, rested and ready) underneath, to declare:

"and I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Rut-row.

"As one of Josh Marshall's commentators said in an email that is on the TPM website, she probably believes that she has a legitimate shot at the nomination because she believes she is winning in overall number of votes, and these should be the sole deciding factor for the nomination."

Um, what?

"...she is winning in overall number of votes, and these should be the sole deciding factor for the nomination."

What are you talking about?

" I have no problems with Sen. Obama winning the nomination, but equally well I don't see why Sen. Clinton should give in,"

Because. She. Lost.

And she's hurting the Democratic nominee's chances in the fall.

Could you explain why Senator Clinton is different than any other would-be candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, and why she should act in completely unprecedented fashion? Then we might begin to understand why that might be the case.

Thanks.

"As political campaigns go, she has run a pretty clean and decent campaign, and she is fighting according to whatever rules there are."

Well, no, the fact that the opposite is the case is why so many Democrats are so upset: she's been lying for months about Michigan and Florida, as well as running with themes that say John McCain should be elected ("who do you want in the White House at 3 a.m.? The most experienced voice": that's John McCain).

It has nothing whatever to do with gender. It has to do with violating the unwritten rule that you don't run against a prospective nominee in a way that hurts their chances in November, and refusing to abide by the rules of the Democratic Party as regards Michigan and Florida, and the like.

The RFK comment was in poor taste, at least, but I don't think it's fair to read it as suggesting Obama might be assassinated.

IMO, she was just trying to give an example of a contest for the nomination that ran into June.

Thanks for the advice on YouTube, Gary. I know how to link there, and have successfully used the exact method you describe dozens of times. I checked my code visually both times, and saw the URL, but didn't click through to check. When I came back AND TESTED THE FREAKING LINKS as soon as my rattlebag Net connection would let me -- you do NOT want to know how many freaking times I've failed to load pages this afternoon -- I used TPM for context instead of wrangling with YT.

Re this: Can you explain why this doesn't apply equally to Joe Biden, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich, please?

Can you explain why this didn't apply to Bob Graham, Carol Moseley Braun, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, Wes Clark, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Al Sharpton, and Dennis Kucinich in 2004?

Can you explain why this didn't apply to Bill Bradley in 2000?

Easy. They were nowhere near as close in the delegate count and the popular vote as Clinton is. Yes, I know that the popular vote is not the true measure of the race, but a fair chunk of her supporters think it counts. That fair chunk of supporters could get very stroppy if they perceive her as being forced out of the primaries while she still has a chance. There are still a small number of possible (but deeply unwise, divisive and destructive) ways in which she could attain a majority of delegates. I have seen otherwise intelligent people argue passionately that she MUST finish the primaries because It Could Still Happen.

I don't defend her right to be in the race because I think it would be awfully unfair for her to drop out. I think she should have stayed in the race if she could campaign cleanly because that would benefit Obama and the party more than if she dropped out and made the narrative that a woman was forced out just because she was a woman. She has demonstrated that she cannot campaign cleanly. I hope to hell that today was enough of a shock to her that she gets back on the right track. Bu I'm not placing any bets on that.

Apparently, this isn't her first RFK assassination reference.

Feh.

Via John Cole, the Rude Pundit asks, referring to the RFK comment:

To Clinton's campaign and its supporters, who have been holding out for some gaffe by Obama that would take him down: How's that working out for ya?

I should point out that the argument that she is winning in overall votes tallied is something she and her supporters believe. I really dont know what to make of this argument given the nature of the primaries/caucuses in various states. In any case, the TPM post I was referring to is linked below:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/196523.php

I personally am mostly in agreement with the opinion expressed there.

Gary,
If she has lost, Mr. Obama has not (yet) won, and this is at the heart of this matter. It is also by no means clear to me that her staying in the race is hurting Mr. Obama's chances. This is entirely a matter of opinion and not fact. The simplest counterargument is that by staying in the race, she sucks up the attention of the media which would otherwise be engaged in the worst kind of racist swiftboating of Mr. Obama.
Regarding Michigan and Florida, which is more important: the democratic vote constituencies in the two states or the DNC? I personally think that the "violating Democratic Party rules" line is a fig leaf. Denying the two states their chance in the nomination business is not going to help the democratic nominee in the generals.
If her campaign was dirty, so was Mr. Obama's. He did not exactly play clean when his campaign successfully tarred her and her husband as a bunch of racists. And this nomination process has been remarkable for the sheer amount of misogyny displayed against her, and for the notable silence of the people directly involved in the Obama campaign.
This and the sheer animosity for Ms. Clinton displayed is why I tend to distrust such calls for her to quit. I don't think she is obliged to quit, and clearly I am not alone given how many people are voting for her. Besides, if Mr. Obama is such a phenomenal candidate and the prohibitive favorite, he does not need her to quit to obtain the nomination.

she believes she is winning in overall number of votes, and these should be the sole deciding factor for the nomination.

[a] She's not ahead in the popular votes unless you throw out some states and [b] If she wanted to change the way the nominee was chosen (ie, count popular votes, not delegates), she should have said so BEFORE the race started. Trying to change the rules afterb you've lost is stupid and petty.

I know that the popular vote is not the true measure of the race, but a fair chunk of her supporters think it counts.

Then they're... what's the word... stupid? (Yeah, that's it) and she should correcting them, not encouraging them. A fair chunk of idiots people still believe Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. So?

Denying the two states their chance in the nomination business is not going to help the democratic nominee in the generals.

Which is why Obama has gone to Michigan and Florida and met with actual voters (as opposed to those who would speak for them) and has been very well received (sewe my post re Cuban-Americans above).

Kris, the whole point of talking about the "popular vote" is to claim that it's a better measure of the will of the people than the delegate count is. But the only way you can calculate a popular vote in which Hillary is ahead is if you pretend that there are no Obama supporters in the entire state of Michigan, which is clearly nowhere near an accurate measure of the will of the people, so the whole argument goes out the window.

If you're buying that argument, it's because you haven't paid attention to the details. I'm sure that many of her supporters believe it, because they've been told it's true many times (even at points when adding in the bogus Michigan numbers wasn't enough to make it true), but Hillary Clinton is not stupid. She herself does not believe it.

A lot of reference by the "Hillary get out now!" (or "H-GONe!") contingent to the Democratic Party's primary procedural rules. It would be interesting to know whether anyone can actually point to something in those rules that says HRC is now formally required to get out of the race and endorse the presumptive nominee.

"Then they're... what's the word... stupid? (Yeah, that's it)"

No, it's not. That's a mind-reading slur, unless you can produce IQ tests for specific individuals, or a representative group.

You can assert that a given individual or set of individuals are ignorant of, or unaware of, various facts, if you possess proof that they are, but you're not in a position to claim knowledge of anyone's level of intelligence other than speculatively.

And it isn't terribly courteous or useful to insult people pointlessly.

"It would be interesting to know whether anyone can actually point to something in those rules that says HRC is now formally required to get out of the race and endorse the presumptive nominee."

No, it wouldn't, since no one has made any such claim.

"Note what's missing here: any sense that Clinton herself is a responsible moral agent."

I think what's missing here is an acknowledgment that Hillary helps Obama by continuing her campaign. Obama would have lost West Virginia and Kentucky whether Clinton stayed in or not, and he'll lose Puerto Rico either way, too. Obama doesn't look as bad losing these contents against an opponent.

After getting off work and watching the news regarding Hillary's RFK remarks, I had the following thoughts:

- I don't for even a moment think that Hillary was saying, or thinking that she should continue to campaign because something tragic might happen.

- I'm guessing that the issue of political violence is something she has thought about a lot both because she is taking risks herself, and also because she may feel a need to be prepared to deal with something unexpected in the course of the campaign, not out of anticipation, but out of an obligation to be prepared to deal with anything that might happen.

If the news reports on TV tonight are accurate, she's said something similar to this three times before, once in March and twice in early May, so it appears to me that she has associated what happened to RFK with June primaries, and having made that association in her head she can't seem to get it unstuck, which means that it was liable to come out in any discussion focused on the June time frame.

- Her semi-apology was really bad. She looked exhausted, and she didn't say what she needed to say. I don't know if she doesn't realize how unfortunate her remarks were, or just couldn't muster up the energy to make a decent apology. I think we will hear something better from her over the coming days as the reality of it sinks in.

- To me, the really offensive thing about her original remarks in that SD editoral board meeting is that there are some things you simply don't talk about, not directly, not in public. What happened to RFK is one of them.

There is an old and very non-scientific idea which almost all of us feel at times (while perhaps knowing at an intellectual level that it is not literally true) that words have a sort of magic power to make things happen, that in speaking of something we increase the chance that it may come true. This idea lies behind the notion of jinxes and taboos, for example. We often deal with them using euphemisms and indirect ways of talking about something that we do not want to happen (e.g., such as I am doing in this very comment).

What Hillary did that was wrong was to break a taboo, in the most ancient and literal sense, by speaking a forbidden word which carries the potential to invoke malignant forces beyond her control. That is the real problem with what she said, and not the ridiculous notion that she might want it to actually happen, that thing which she spoke of.

I think Keith Olbermann is going to explode. I rarely watch him, and I'm remembering why. He's just too over the top, though I suppose I'm glad he's out there as long as there's far worse on the right.

I don't think this is a good end to Clinton's run, if that's how it turns out. I hate these ridiculous feeding frenzies around gaffes, like the Kerry's "botched joke" and the Dean "scream", and they're one of the symptoms of the sickness of our politics.

Still, a part of me does recognize the poetic justice in it.

It's interesting, I raised the issue a while ago at TiO, but the difference is that I didn't argue that this was a reason to support Hillary, just a dark fear.

Of course, there are more emotional reasons that obama supporters are so pissed HRC, and I will certainly cop to those reasons. It seems that we are on the cusp of something historical change (and I understand those who feel Obama is simply more of the same, just slicker packaging, but setting that aside) and to see what is necessarily internal bickering undercut that and possibly postpone it makes me furious. Some of that anger gets expressed at HRC and people who support her, try as I might to separate my personal feelings from the actual facts, I'm not always successful. I would also guess that a lot of the ill will stems from trying to weigh the differences between racism and sexism. We each have our own metrics, but being here in Japan, I tend to think that the election of Obama would be more meaningful here than the election of HRC. Again, a selfish reason, but it seems to me that the election of Obama would make more of an impact on the world than the election of HRC.

None of these points should be construed as being anything but my own opinion, but having seen any number of dissections of the feelings of HRC and her supporters, it seems important to acknowledge the emotional reasons that may be separate from the rational reasons for supporting Obama.

I don't think that she wants Obama to be killed. Also I don't think that the firestorm she is facing now comes from people thinking that she wants him killed. The firestorm, as I understand it, is because she was invoking the possiblity that he might be killed as a reason for her to saty in.

If she she mentioned RFK's death once, I would think it was just a innocednt mistake. She has said it at least twice, possilby three times, andn that means it isn't a mistake. It is just another from her bottomless pit of rationalizations for her campaign.

One of the things that I learned about HRC by watching her in action is that she is remarkably tin-eared. She just doesn't get how obvious her spin is. Nor is there any sign that she gets how offensive it is to gtreat the voters as if we are so stupid that we will buy anything she says.

Wonkie, in context the statement has nothing to do with staying in in case Obama for some reason can't be the nominee. She's trying to saying that the campaign hasn't lasted too long because in other years it's lasted through June, and she gives some examples, including the horrible one of RFK and the mostly false one of her husband. (And of course she neglects to mention that the nomination process started in March then, not January.)

Well if all the uproar is just because she mentioned the assascination, then I don't see what the uproar is about. There isn't any reason that I can see why people should get upset just because she mentioned a horrible historica incident. BTW I remember when RFK was killed. I remember the shock and the fear and t he sense that the whole country was falling apart. but I don't think that it si a taboo subject.

I've been reading reactions to this on a whole series of blogs and the general reaction as I understand it is that the offense lies in the hint that she should stick around in case something happens to Obama.

With abashed apologies to Gary I am not going to go searching for the indisputable evidence;
but her first instance of the unmentionable mention was in late March. If memory serves (arguable) that would have been not long after parallels had been drawn between Obama and the Lost One.
If true, the implication is that she’s had The Idea (the unmentionable one) in mind for a bit of a while now. As what? Her out (and in)?
Of course I imagine we all recall such inchoate fears circulating in Obamaphile circles. I experienced them and am pretty sure such fears were mentioned in a thread or two here.
Notwithstanding and nonetheless LeftTurn’s judgment stands.
And the judgment is...tasteless and way over the line.

The lack of concern from Clinton’s supporters, all along, with what others see as grossly transgressive, puzzles me. The inference is that they see the OTT attacks as reasonable and justified, or something else such as ‘Of course. That’s just politics, isn’t it?’
Either way, there’s a really odd disconnect at work.
If the lady’s fans here can explain that, I and others would be ever so much obliged.

I would love to see my growing conviction that she is clinically insane prove unfounded. So far all I get is reinforcement.

Given, I have some familiarity with (mild) paranoid fantasies. Not a conspiracy theorist or anything. But at this point I’m not sure I’d put anything past her.

More’s the pity, I remember being much moved by her grace and nobility at the end of the Texas debate. I thought then that she would be a wonderful Vice-President.

Ah, the good old days.

Wonkie, I agree that the outrage is about "the hint that she should stick around in case something happens to Obama", but I'm saying that the outrage is based on a misrepresentation of her statement, much like the "botched joke" and the "scream". That's what I find frustrating, even though I'm having a hard time working up much sympathy for her after the last couple of days (and a lot of weeks before that).

KCinDC,
You make a fair and good point, that it is rather dishonest to raise the "popular vote" metric post facto, when faced with defeat, and I agree. I also agree with you about the unfortuate remarks about RFK, which I read about recently.
In all honesty, I don't know what to make of the "popular vote" argument (i.e whether she is ahead or not), but my feeling is that she is not ahead in this either. However, in my view, her staying in the race until she is definitively defeated will solidify support for Mr. Obama, since it will not leave her supporters with a reason to question his fitness for the nomination. It seems apparent to me that this nomination fight have awakened much interest among the democratic voters, and I don't think her continuing will hurt this.

There isn't any reason that I can see why people should get upset just because she mentioned a horrible historica incident.

wonkie,

My own sense is that the taboo character of talking explicitly and directly and publically about June 6, 1968 comes very much from the current context. Obviously people talk about all sorts of horrible historical events all the time (say the famines during the British Raj, or the Moscow show trials of the 1930's, or Clay Aiken finishing in 2nd place on American Idol).

What makes something taboo is when there are very strong correspondances between the circumstances of the past event and the present situation such that many people are very anxious that history not repeat itself, and this applies especially if the speaker would (even with the best of intentions and hoping for nothing bad to happen) be one of the few people to directly benefit from the taboo event.

Maybe I'm more superstitious than a lot of people, but this strikes me as a situation where silence is golden (and duct tape is silver), most especially for the presidential candidates and their staffs.

I think fatigue may have overcome Hillary's common sense, or she would have realised that this is a topic that you can think about, and you can talk about it in private, but in public you just don't go there, because nothing good can come from opening this can of worms.


Kris, I agree with you that the contest is energizing Democrats in all states in a way that could be helpful in November. The problem I have is with the way Clinton is running, which seems designed to do exactly the opposite of your "it will not leave her supporters with a reason to question his fitness for the nomination." She's been spelling out the reasons -- fitness earlier, but in the last few days she's concentrated on undermining his legitimacy among her followers. That's a big problem, as far as I'm concerned.

If you're still saying you don't know whether she's ahead or not in the popular vote, then you apparently don't care enough to look into it. If that's the case, I'd at least ask you not to suggest any more that it's a legitimate claim until you've checked into it. It's entirely bogus, and the only question when someone makes the claim is whether they're misinformed or intentionally deceptive.

However, in my view, her staying in the race until she is definitively defeated will solidify support for Mr. Obama, since it will not leave her supporters with a reason to question his fitness for the nomination.

I think many Clinton-supporters are going to feel that Obama stole the nomination. First, a number of her supporters have written about how "its not his turn" -- there is an entitlement mentality at work for some of these people. Secondly, Clinton has been saying repeatedly that she deserves to win: most people are not going to dig into the numbers to fact check her. They'll just assume it is true because surely she wouldn't say something that is completely false. They trust her and they don't trust him (that's why they're her supporters) and the nomination process is confusing and baroque and nonsensical.

I think the damage she does to Obama depends on how she runs her campaign and not whether she drops out. If she drops out tomorrow while harping on how the nomination was stolen from her, she will do much more damage to Obama than if she stays in the race until the convention but tells people that the process played itself out fairly while hammering McCain. I've seen a number of Clinton supporters (yourself and bedtimeforbonzo) grow very angry at the thought that people are forcing Clinton from the race. The defensiveness is weird since many people on this site have said repeatedly that they care about how Clinton conducts herself in the race much more than whether she officially stops campaigning.

Note that many people here have not been calling for her to quit; they've been calling on her to acknowledge the reality that there is no realistic way that she can win now. Her speeches in FL can't get her votes: the FL primary is over. Delegitimizing the nomination process to FL voters gets her zero votes but does hurt Obama's chances of getting elected in November. If Clinton cares about the party, why is she doing that?

Again, this won't impact all of her supporters and probably won't even impact most of them, but if the right subset believes the nomination was stolen from Clinton, we could have a problem.

It seems apparent to me that this nomination fight have awakened much interest among the democratic voters, and I don't think her continuing will hurt this.

It has awakened. Past tense. There is very little interest left to awaken; most states have voted. And no disrespect to PR, but it won't be voting in November and it doesn't even have a Dem party on the ground. What matters now is the GE, and Clinton's recent behavior is counterproductive there.

In my 11:37 I should have said "much of the outrage", not just "the outrage". Some of the outrage comes, as LeftTurn says, from mentioning the event at all in the present context.

Obama would have lost West Virginia and Kentucky whether Clinton stayed in or not, and he'll lose Puerto Rico either way, too.

If that's the criteria, she should have withdrawn in favor of Kusinich. Obama would have CREAMED Dennis!

Or, more likely, no-one would have even noticed those races, just like every other Presidential primary.

Last Turn wrote:"I think fatigue may have overcome Hillary's common sense, or she would have realised that this is a topic that you can think about, and you can talk about it in private, but in public you just don't go there, because nothing good can come from opening this can of worms."

Except she said something similar in March, bringing up 1992 and 1968, including the assassination. And mentioning the assassination doesn't really add to the point. They could just say that RFK won California in June (not that she can look forward to that).

It's almost as if, when she and Bill realized how much trouble they were in, and the crowds he was pulling, they thought: "Well, who knows, maybe he'll get shot?"

kris wrote: "However, in my view, her staying in the race until she is definitively defeated will solidify support for Mr. Obama, since it will not leave her supporters with a reason to question his fitness for the nomination"

Don't be so sure.

There's already ads running on pro-Hillary sites advertising a book or video or something about how Obama and his Wall Street backers 'stole' the election.

She's been making me angry lately & I am impatient for the general, but I think the reaction to this one is kind of unfair & overblown. The 1968 primary race was going strong in June; the reason she, and I remember that--whereas I couldn't tell you when the 1972, 76, 80, etc. primaries ended--is that I know when RFK was killed and I know it was the night he won the California primary. I really think that's why she said it. Because the alternative explanation, that she's saying "I'm staying in the race in case Obama gets shot", is in such poor taste & so obviously alienating to Democratic primary voters & superdelegates that I find it hard to believe she'd make the argument.

I have to say the "I should stay in because something awful might happen to Obama" interpretation didn't even occur to me when I first heard Clinton's comments. It took me a while to even figure out why people were offended.

Could you explain why Senator Clinton is different than any other would-be candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, and why she should act in completely unprecedented fashion?

Gary, IIRC Kennedy took it to the convention in 1980, and in fact tried to get committed delegates released to vote other than for the candidate they were committed to.

Regarding the RFK thing, in context it seems to me that she's just giving examples (however poorly chosen) of candidates who continued their campaigns into June. It was a stupid thing to say, but I really, really don't think she is trying to exploit doubts about Obama's personal safety.

Look, anybody can run as long as they want to and as long as their money lasts. If Hillary wants to take it to the mat at the convention, good luck to her. May the best candidate win.

The issue here is that she's acting like a jerk. She doesn't have the numbers and she's reaching for any available strategy to work around that. She's working the Nixonian 'silent majority' thing, which is only going to divide and hurt the party overall, and she's making herself look unprincipled and grasping.

From what I can tell, she's actually built a pretty good reputation as a Senator. The way she's going, her legacy will be that she handed the Presidency to McCain.

Thanks -

" Because the alternative explanation, that she's saying "I'm staying in the race in case Obama gets shot", is in such poor taste & so obviously alienating to Democratic primary voters & superdelegates that I find it hard to believe she'd make the argument."

And "Hard working Americans, white Americans" isn't?

In any case, you'd think an experienced politician would know better than to mention an assassination when she could easily just say that RFK won California in June. (She actually did say it that way earlier this month.)

Especially when the opponent is a black man, who's already been threatened, and who is rumored to be Muslim, arguably the most loathed minority in America.

They've been using this rationale since at least March - they've had plenty of time to figure this out.

Katherine wrote: "The 1968 primary race was going strong in June; the reason she, and I remember that--whereas I couldn't tell you when the 1972, 76, 80, etc. primaries ended--is that I know when RFK was killed and I know it was the night he won the California primary."

You might be hazy on them - but I bet Bill Clinton, governor of Arkansas 1978-1980, etc has a pretty good recollection, and likely would have followed Kennedy's convention challenge closely. He was probably at the convention in 1980, certainly was in 1984.

The Clintons are kind of stuck. They're supposed to be political geniuses with minds like steel traps. So it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt on things like this, where a normal human could be forgiven for forgetting such things.

I think that the outrage oer this remark is not so much about the remark itself as about her in genreal. Not sexism. Her. Her arrogance, her sense of entitltement, her use of Rove tactis, her lies, her decision to foster resentment of Obama amongst her supporters and to use that resentment as blackmail...I think that lots of people are just sick of her.

Argus

I think Keith Olbermann is going to explode. I rarely watch him, and I'm remembering why. He's just too over the top, though I suppose I'm glad he's out there as long as there's far worse on the right.

I don't think this is a good end to Clinton's run, if that's how it turns out. I hate these ridiculous feeding frenzies around gaffes, like the Kerry's "botched joke" and the Dean "scream", and they're one of the symptoms of the sickness of our politics.

Still, a part of me does recognize the poetic justice in it.

You all are better than I am, because I am LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Her campaign, were the shoe on the other foot, would at this minute be printing up "I am not an assassin" bumperstickers, just like they did for months after Barack's "bitter" remark. To hell with her.

What I want Hillary to say, but she won't, or will say it so late that it leaves sour taste:

Thank you to my family, my supporters and everyone who voted for me.

We did out best, and if we fell short any blame lies with me and me alone

Congratulations to Senator Obama on a well run, hard fought campaign.

Tonight I end my campaign, and will begin working to elect Barack Obama President of the United States.

God Bless America.


Simple, gracious and forthright. Is that really so hard, Senator?

Bravo. This post says it all. One bit of phrasing in the CNN report that crystallizes your point: the Clinton people say "they are talking to the Obama campaign about ways for Senator Clinton to make a graceful exit." By definition, you can't make your own 'graceful exit' dependent on someone else's conduct.

KCinDC/10:24 pm --

Was a mild fan of Keith Olbermann.

Was.

He's become nothing but an ass.

And, yes, way, way, way over the top.

The left-wing version of Bill O'Reilly.

And that's an insult to O'Reilly. Anyone who has watched him lately knows he is much more objective than Keith O, speaking in relative terms, of course.

Asp/12:08 pm

This coming from a Clinton supporter:

Double Bravo!

Butter:

"Monstress"?

Wonderful article, Hilzoy. Thank you for adding to chorus of voices speaking truth to power.

"Nor can I imagine a better demonstration of why some of us who are committed feminists are not happy with her as our standard-bearer."

thank you, thank you, thank you!

to me, her behavior hasn't been rational in a long, long time. it certainly was obvious, at least since TX/OH that she had no chance to win barring a catastrophic implosion by Obama.

So by that point she had a choice: do I stay in but fight hard yet fair, be an example, push my causes, polish my legacy, OR..

Do I race all over the country making increasingly insane and divisive comments and threats, blaming others, holding the party hostage, making arguments that can charitably can be called spin but less charitably outright lies?

Those were HER choices and SHE made them, and I've found it incredibly disconcerting that her supporters of both sexes continually have made excuses or minimized her reprehensible behavior. (ala 'it's Bill's fault')

It's pathetically sad for me to watch both of them in this race, ever diminishing themselves to the point where I'm begging them to just go away. But that was her choice...

I'm a 68 year old white
professional (now retired) woman
from upstate NY
I was reluctant to support Hillary early on
because I do believe the Presidency should be a two family trade-around;
but I didn't feel hostile toward Hillary

However___ her conduct and her inability
to manage her campaign in a way that encourages belief in her administrative abilities has increasingly lessened my respect for her.

My profession life was spent as a therapist in the area of mental health.
I believe pathology IS surfacing
stronger and stonger in recent weeks
in her actions.

I am also the biological mother of two
African-American/Lithuanian/Amerindian sons
who has seen more racist behavior
(yes - in fairly recent times)
than white people not in my circumstances
would believe.

As well, I experienced pathetic incidents of sexism in my pursuit of a career, at a time when there was nowhere to turn about discrimination on the basis of sex.

I believe HRC's behavior impacts negatively on the pursuit of equality for women;
as within the last month or so she has engaged in behavior that reinforces all the most negative sexist stereotypes of women.

It is indeed a sad thing to watch.

Hillary is incapable of admitting defeat or admitting when she is wrong (i.e., her Iraq War Resolution vote). I've seen this, in my mom, who is just a little older than Hillary. I have seen this trait in other women of their generation (not all, but some). It is not an attractive quality, especially when they spend so much time trying to prove that they are right. Or, heaven forbid, have been wronged somehow and it is clear to everyone else around them that they are the cause of the problem. And, then, when the time to be a gracious loser has passed, they spend all their time being obsessive and petulant and wonder why there are all these people who don't like them anymore.

However, when it's on a personal level, that's one thing. The only people really affected are the complainer and those around her. In this case, we've got the future of our country at stake. The time has passed when Clinton could be seen as a good loser, as someone who recognizes that she could have more impact on our country in another role. Instead, the chances are very strong that she will go down in history as a spoiler. The person who weakened the Democratic Party in a year when it should have been triumphant.

For that, I will find it very hard to forgive her.

What I fand to be sexist is the way Hillary has been treated with kid gloves. Just go ahead and treat her like anyone else. Give her the smack down she so sorely deserves right now. How else will women ever be truly equal?

The Dems might have to sacrifice a Presidential election to rid themselves of the Clintons. Unbelievable. The only other person to inspire in me such insipid disregard to the political process is GWBush.

What kid gloves, and from whom, Cynthia? I'm not one of her supporters, but she's been handed an amazing load of sexist junk from the commercial media, and some sectors of blogdom that ought to know better. (Bob Somersby is good at documenting all this.) If you mean the Democratic establishment, that's simply because a lot of them are her personal friends or at least close colleagues, and they'd much rather deal with her than any of her rivals from this primary season, particularly one who's serious about open governance and citizen access to info.

"The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy," she added, referring to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's recent diagnosis of a brain tumor. "I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and in particular the Kennedy family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever.”
From the Denver Post.

I just shook my head when I read this.

Mind, I had just come from Language Log, where there is a usefully insightful analysis of the varieties and significance of forms nominally apologetic.

The bottom line there is that Sen. Clinton’s apology was really nothing of the sort.

It only serves to reinforce the issue of her not taking responsibility for her statements and her campaign.
This is not normally something much admired in a leader, nor desirable in the least.
Nor is evidence of a leader being so wrapped up in an interior fantasy that what most rely on as ‘reality’ seems in the eyes of said leader to be a distant mirage, unworthy of attention.

Bruce, I think there's been sexism and unfair treatment of Clinton in the media, but I think there have also been periods when she's gotten unwarrantedly positive coverage. A lot of it is about crafting an exciting narrative for the nomination contest, in which there are unexpected turnarounds and the lead goes back and forth. Plus there was the acceptance of her inevitability for so many months last year.

With any other candidate, the media would have given a more realistic assessment of the chance of winning the nomination weeks if not months before they did with her. I'm still not sure what it was that caused them to suddenly notice after Indiana and North Carolina.

Anyone who has watched him lately knows he is much more objective than Keith O

I fear your feelings for Clinton are impairing your judgment. As I said, I'm getting tired of Olbermann myself, but comparing him unfavorably to O'Reilly is itself over the top. I'm not aware of anything from Olbermann that compares with O'Reilly's complete disregard for the truth in spewing his propaganda.

"What kid gloves, and from whom, Cynthia?"

I'm not Cynthia, but I'll give ya my .02.

Yes, there were many, many instances of outright sexism among the media in this race. But it must be said that HRC just as skillfully manipulated voters pissed at it to her advantage. (ie. crying in NH, complaining about who got the first question in the Cleveland debate, the response to the digusting aholes in NH that had the 'iron my shirt' sign, etc. And I dunno what was the most sexist comment, but I did see Bill refer to HRC as a 'girl' on the stump...didn't see any HRC supporter have a fit over *that*.)

But in the big picture, she *was* handled with huge kid gloves. Put the shoe on the other foot: Had Obama, or any other candidate, been behind by an overwhelming margin in February they would have been drummed out of the race by the party and the press. You might argue this is conjecture, but it is most certainly not when you consider what type of campaign she's run since then. She's been afforded a level of tolerance and respect and patience that no other candidate would have ever gotten. Had she run out the string like Huckabee, putting her own case forward, acting like a decent human being, etc, no one would have cared how long she stayed in.

She skillfully used the press as an ally in all this. They *knew* she was out in February but the press continued to play along for ratings and network ad revenue. Once the last big media markets in NC and IN were done, they had no interest in continuing to play her little game, although they to this day are still loathe to call her on the most egregious lies and spin. (ie...her comment yesterday that BC didn't clinch until mid June in 1992, for example).

KCinDC --

I said in "relative terms," for a reason, although you will probably disagree w/ that reasoning, too.

Anyhow, while O'Reilly certainly seems to have an agenda -- sometimes more detectable than others -- Olbermann is simply not objective on just about anything (except animal videos or strange Japanese clips that he shows often. How about that bear that fell off the tree --tranquilized "down" -- and hit the trampoline, and bounced up and down and up and down?)

There are times, believe it or not, I have seen O'Reilly conduct a straight interview (watch his interview with Sen. Clinton -- Olbermann would have never conducted an interview even nearly as fairly. And when he interviews Obama, it's nothing but kissing the mans butt.)

Olbermann is clearly pro-Obama, clearly anti-Clinton, has been for months. And now he is simply taking every single chance to bury McCain.

Hey, that's OK, if he's labeling himself as a "commentator." But he's trying to come off as a Serious Journalist.

O'Reilly is more in the vein of "commentator" -- I think most people know that. But even at that, he is more fair than Serious Journalist Olbermann.

To wit:
While Olbermann has given an ass-kissing endorsement to Obama, O'Reilly criticizes Obama and Clinton -- and McCain (often). And I have seen him praise Obama and Clinton and McCain.

Yes, I suppose it is in poor taste for a true-blue Democrat like myself to give O'Reilly a positive review of any sort.

But I am just calling a spade a spade.

And I've watched them both enough over this campaign on an almost nightly basis to give a fair opinion, although I have begun to "tune out" Olbermann lately -- his brand of ass-kissing and dart-throwing gets old when it's done night after night.

Watch one of these guys for a night or a week, and I'd say you may not form a fair opinion. Over the course of time, such as this whole campaign, I say you can.

And perhaps you have.

I just disagree.

KCinDC --

One last thought:

I tend to view O'Reilly as thinking he's doing his job to provoke and entertain and even outrage, the mark of a decent commentator/columnist.

I watch Olbermann as someone who wants to be taken as Mr. Serious Journalist -- heck, he even borrows Murrow's signature "Good night, and good luck" signoff.

KCinDC --

Oh, yes, I realize I am seeing things from a pro-Clinton lense.

But:
I haven't seen too much of the "unwarrantedly positive coverage" on Sen. Clinton and her campaign that you have.

I see a lot of parallels between what has occurred for Clinton supporters and what happened earlier for Republicans. You begin from a reasonable point of view, and are in a system where there are two "teams", roughly evenly matched. We have a media culture of balance, and this dictates equal time. In the case of the GOP, the party lurched drastically off the rails, and the media narrative still hasn't come to grips with it.

In the case of Clinton, I'd contend that there has been a drastic asymmetry in the behavior of her *campaign* and that of Obama; I'm not referring to internet partisans here. When Clinton got blindsided in Iowa she paniced, pure and simple. The campaign thrashed about, and projected some pretty (initially) silly things. This state doesn't count, that state doesn't count, etc. They then recovered in NH, assumed it was just a false alarm, and then again got surprised when "Super Tuesday" was pretty much a draw. They were stunned and incoherent for much of February, then went on an explicitly negative "kitchen sink" strategy aimed at Obama the person - not one based on policies. This allowed a bare recovery in Texas and a decent win in Ohio..which wasn't enough to get back in the delegate game. From then on, the campaign has been in a death spiral: stoking racial resentments ("the black guy can't win" is the most charitable reading possible); seizing on trivial mis-statements and distractions; and projecting a lot of factually dubious nonsense about popular vote totals, electability, past history, you name it.

By comparison the Obama campaign has been remarkably disciplined. By and large they picked a theme, organized, and dealt extremely well with the punches thrown their way. They haven't been covered the same because they haven't been the same.

And another aspect is the consistent dismissiveness - from the campaign down to their internet loyalists - towards Obama and his supporters. Obama supporters had no good reason for supporting him - remember that? They were cultists; Kool-Aid drinkers; deluded naive young fanatics. People critical of Clinton were labelled with "Clinton Derangement Syndrome"; criticism of Clinton was "Clinton Rules"; and in both cases a record of skepticism was used as an excuse to simply ignore messages that people didn't like. Look at Corrente, No Quarter, Confluence, etc.: their attacks on people who criticized Clinton were deeply personal and vicious. As the mistakes piled up the enemies list grew and the insularity deepened. And right down to yesterday there was the complete unwillingness to acknowledge any responsibility, at all, for the state of affairs on the part of the Clinton folks. She couldn't say "I shouldn't have said that." Just like she couldn't say "I made a mistake authorizing the war." Instead, it's "I'm sorry that you misunderstood me", which is an attack, not an apology.

Freaking Josh Marshall as a crazy guy? Hilzoy as suffering from "CDS"? Bill Richardson as Judas? This looks from the outside less like a campaign and more like a paranoid personality cult. The determination to defend every statement, push every talking point, attack every critic...you just don't see the same consistent things happening on the Obama side. Maybe it's because failure is an orphan and all that, but this is sure looking like an epic train wreck of a presidential campaign derailed by a brilliant insurgent campaign.

And they still can't give him credit; they still are maintaining that she really won; they still are trying their hardest to embitter their supporters. The Clintons have destoyed an enormous reservoir of good will and permanently stained their legacy. And the saddest part is that they have no idea why.

btfb: There are times, believe it or not, I have seen O'Reilly conduct a straight interview (watch his interview with Sen. Clinton -- Olbermann would have never conducted an interview even nearly as fairly. And when he interviews Obama, it's nothing but kissing the mans butt.)

Olbermann is clearly pro-Obama, clearly anti-Clinton, has been for months. And now he is simply taking every single chance to bury McCain.

Moving to a slightly larger issue, I think we -- and possibly KCinDC too -- have very different ideas as to what the role of a Serious Journalist should be. To me, the core responsibility of a Serious Journalist isn't just to report what they have seen (or more often been told), it's to also clarify whether what they've been told is true or not and to provide the larger context for this information. Both Clinton and (to a lesser extent) McCain have been, well, BSing pretty heavily in the past few months, so they should be called on it. McCain, in particular, hasn't been called on much of anything by the press, so I think it's right for Serious Journalists to grill him harder until some kind of parity is reached.

To that end, "fair" is a dangerous word to use because it implies that the appropriate metric is how hard someone has been scrutinized. That's not right; what's important is how hard someone gets scrutinized relative to their misconduct (including their shadings of the truth). By those lights, while Clinton has certainly been treated unfairly in a sexist way, her political reportage was surprisingly -- and unfairly -- positively until just recently. [I like jdw's observation on the media markets, though I don't know whether one can justify the claim that it was deliberate.] Mccain, likewise, can and should be grilled on the larger context in which his remarks appear, as well as his newfound (?) willingness to alter/betray his positions on a dime.

That said, I do find Olbermann's support of Obama to be cloying at times, so don't mistake the above for saying that Olbermann is perfect; but I do think he's a damn sight better a Serious Journalist than almost anyone else working on TV today.

[And btw, whatever you might think, O'Reilly damn well presents himself as a Serious Journalist whenever he can get away with it, much like Rush Limbaugh. It's only when he gets into trouble that, like Rush, he retreats into his Commentator/Editorialist pose.]

BFB, you don't think O'Reilly wants to be viewed as a serious journalist?

O'Reilly's "straight" interview with Clinton was entirely consistent with his propaganda goals. First, it allowed yet another round of discussion of Jeremiah Wright. Second, by that point all the right-wingers (remember Scaife?) were helping Clinton however they could in their own variations on Limbaugh's Operation Chaos, because they believed that extending the race would weaken the Democrats.

Sorry; I've been away more or less since posting this.

On whether Clinton has been treated "with kid gloves": I think this is kind of like the question: is Prozac overprescribed? You can have big arguments until you realize that it can be both overprescribed and underprescribed at once: a whole lot of people who don't need it get it, and also a whole lot of people who do need it don't get it.

Likewise here: Clinton has (imho) been subjected to a whole lot of utterly vile commentary (yes, Chris Matthews, I'm thinking of you and your ilk.) But she has also gotten a pass on a lot of things. Most notably, I think that any other candidate who was as far behind as she was would have been asked: why are you staying in the race?, a lot earlier than she was. Also, the whole inevitability thing, early on, was (to me) clearly not right, and yet it was not questioned forever. So I think she was treated much too harshly on some issues, and much too leniently on others.

About the Kennedy thing: I don't imagine she meant it. But there are things you Just Shouldn't Say.

"[I like jdw's observation on the media markets, though I don't know whether one can justify the claim that it was deliberate.] "

Well, something clearly happened the night of IN and NC that was different then the previous contests, even though the metrics hadn't changed much.

Throughout, I've been watching msnbc. After WI, Chuck Todd made it very clear that Obama had built a virtually insurmountable lead. Barring some major disaster, there was no way HRC could catch up. Yet, outside of his analysis of the *math* no talking head would admit she was out of it. However, it was very clear that HRC would need to win Texas and Ohio by 20 points each to make any significant headway.

By the time those two states came around, the Clinton team was able to spin that any 'win' was a 'win', and again on election night Todd was the only one that pointed out she failed to make any progress and was in fact further behind...the math got tougher. So, the media announced 'on to Pennsylvania.'

There, the same thing happened: despite needing to win by overwhelming margins to make a dent in the delegate count and not doing that, the race went on.

IN and NC were the breaking points. But why? I hate to be cynical about it, but nothing had changed since Feb. except that only small state media markets remained(and PR). But finally the talking heads said it was over, including Russert.

So, I'd argue that the media played along with Clinton because it was in their interests to do so. They got ratings and ad revenue. They willingly played along until it didn't suit them, and the Cltinon campaign knew they'd play along and maipulated them and their followers.

I think what happened last night- a reaction to something that was so overblown given the past crap the Clinton team had said and done- was that the press finally reached a breaking point where the shit was piled so high and for so long and was so disgusting they all just snapped.

"Most notably, I think that any other candidate who was as far behind as she was would have been asked: why are you staying in the race?, a lot earlier than she was."

I think that's true of both the press *and* the party bigwigs/superdelegates. Their spineless behavior contributed mightily towards this thing going on as long as it has, and allowing the tone to get so ugly, notwithstanding occassionally voicing weak 'concerns' about the Clinton's disgusting tactics.

No one else would have ever been allowed to get as far as they have.

These arguments are so limp.

Yes, RFK was assassinated in June (and the place where it happened kept this hideous haunted look until a few years ago when it was finally torn down. I used to work next door to it. It made the hotel in the Shining look ... cozy.), but what's the significance?

Is June some magic date? Was the primary calendar similar to this year's primary calendar? Were the nominating rules the same? Was there a clear challenger already established on the Republican side?

She just insults people's intelligence.

Hideous.

jdw:

excellent analysis in all respects, especially re: the media and their agendas. Well done!

ThatLeftTurnInABQ: thank you.

KCinDC,
I did look at the popular vote estimates, and by these Mr. Obama is currently leading. However the picture is not so clear if Michigan and Florida are included. If the difference between her margin and that of "uncommitted" is all assigned to her, she barely tops his estimated lead (including FL). Note that these are estimates (and I am not pushing for the idea that her claim is legitimate, rather just stating what I understand of her argument).
The link I found the data is at:

www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html

bedtimeforbonzo, I love your passive-aggression. :)

Sr. Hillary and her entire crowd of active and passive enablers need to develop an appreciation of this core political fact:

You cannot cash loosers' tickets at the winners' window.

When a harvest disappointed, or when it hadn't rained for a long time, the ancient Aztecs believed that a human sacrifice would appease the god of maize, or the god of the rain. This was accomplished in horrific ways, e.g. drowning a child. But the gods had to be appeased.

The current discussions of "what to do about Hillary" remind me of the Aztecs. Pundits scurry about, wondering how to appease the Hillary-god. Would an offer to be Obama's running mate be a sign of respect? Would a lifetime SCOTUS appointment feed her vanity? How about Chelsea as Secretary of Transportation? Perhaps the Constitution should be amended, or rewritten, to provide for a true co-presidency?

And in the background, we have Beavis and Butthead, repeating over and over, "Put her on the ticket! Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Huhuhuhuh. Huhuhuhuh."

Kris, I think you're misreading something. With MI and FL and estimates for the caucus states that haven't released vote numbers, Clinton is ahead 54,426 according to Real Clear Politics. But "uncommitted" got 237,762 votes in Michigan, and most of those have to be assigned to Obama to even vaguely resemble fairness. So Obama is ahead in the popular vote, by any count that's not obviously unfairly contorted to favor Clinton.

However the picture is not so clear if Michigan and Florida are included.

But if we include Pottsyvania and Fredonia, Obama jumps way, WAY ahead! And that's not counting Outer Slobovia!

Perhaps Hillary Clinton is channeling King Henry II: Who will rid me of this turbulent mulatto?

The great goddess HRc , She Who Must Be Nominated, is going to demand the sacrifice of Obama hmself if she doesn't get her way. Not directly of course. Overtly she will support the Deomcratic ticket. But the purpose fo spreading the lie about havdeig the popular vote is to give her supporters a sense of resentment and a ratinale for feeling cheated so that just enugh of them will stay home in Nov for Obama to lose. She really is that bad.

My 1.33 €cent: Whether Hillary deliberately conjured up a possible assassination of Obama or not, she is also a not unlikely target of something like that. Before Obama entered the stage and Hillary seemed to be the inevitable nominee, I was pretty sure that there would be at least one serious attempt on her life. Obama is "just" a [n-word], but the [b-word, c-word] is believed by some to be the very Antichrist (although why the Antichrist should be so easily dispatchable is beyond me).

Sorry, it's just incorrect that "race is a bigger factor than gender" either in this campaign or in general. I am an Obama supporter, but there has been far more overt misogyny in the press than racism. Just take a stroll through Shakesville's archives or the Daily Howler. And for heaven's sake, the fact that everyone has biological equipment of their gender and knows people of the opposite gender doesn't make us less sexist--on the contrary, it gives us very personal reasons to hang on to our sexism. Nobody talks about Obama needing to be run over by a truck or killed in any other way; there have been plenty of such comments re: Hillary.

Yes, Hillary's hung on too long, and never was a good candidate to begin with. That said, I think it's wise to look at why people might still be supporting her, including some extremely liberal people, and why even those who don't support her are disgusted by media coverage of her.

I don't think she'd make a good Vice either. Though I do think Obama would be well served by choosing a woman for his vice, if he can make it happen.

Hartmut, I don't think it's at all clear that more people think Hillary is the Antichrist than think Obama is.

Desmond, I agree that there's been lots of sexism, but I don't think that all the comments about Hillary having to be taken out like the Terminator or some other unstoppable movie monster are sexist -- in poor taste, perhaps, but not sexist. If Obama or any other candidate were in the same position, hopelessly behind but still attacking the likely nominee, they'd get the same jokes.

Desmond -

Are there large blocs of voters out there that you can identify and classify, who wouldn't vote for a woman qua woman for president? Not that I know of. I am by no means suggesting that there is/has been no sexism in this campaign so far, nor that there aren't men (and probably women) who are disinclined to vote for a woman for pres., nor that there is such a thing as the patriarchy. But the racial divide is rather more obvious. I'm not going to try to compare the two evils and their relative badness or prevelence. My point is that they are different in kind, and therefore different electorally.


The reason I think racism rather than sexism will be/is a bigger voting issue than sexism is that the most potent 'isms' are about hating 'the other'. As a *voting* issue, racial minorities are, for people not members of said minority, ineffably more 'other', politically, than is one's mom, sister, wife, etc.

sorry for the erroneous language. please don't scold me.

"However the picture is not so clear if Michigan and Florida are included."

Real Clear Politics front page numbers:

REAL CLEAR POLITICS ELECTION 2008
Democrats Obama-Clinton Spread
Total Delegates 1970 - 1780 Obama + 190
Super Delegates 312 - 280 Obama + 32
Pledged Delegates 1658 - 1500 Obama + 158
Popular Vote 49.1 - 47.7 Obama +1.4
Popular Vote (w/FL) 48.3 - 47.8 Obama +0.5
Nat'l RCP Average 51.2 - 40.8 Obama +10.4
Which number do you point to to support your statement?

Wait, you want us apparently to here. (How To Link.

Popular Vote Count

State Date Obama Clinton Spread
Popular Vote Total 16,685,941 49.1% 16,227,514 47.7% Obama +458,427 +1.4%

Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA* 17,020,025 49.1% 16,451,376 47.5% Obama +568,649 +1.6%

Popular Vote (w/FL) 17,262,155 48.3% 17,098,500 47.8% Obama +163,655 +0.5%

Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA* 17,596,239 48.3% 17,322,362 47.6% Obama +273,877 +0.7%

Popular Vote (w/FL & MI)** 17,262,155 47.5% 17,426,809 47.9% Clinton +164,654 +0.45%

Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA* 17,596,239 47.6% 17,650,671 47.7% Clinton +54,432 +0.15%

[...]

*(Iowa, Nevada, Washington & Maine Have Not Released Popular Vote Totals. RealClearPolitics has estimated the popular vote totals for Senator Obama and Clinton in these four states. RCP uses the WA Caucus results from February 9 in this estimate because the Caucuses on February 9 were the “official” contest recognized by the DNC to determine delegates to the Democratic convention. The estimate from these four Caucus states where there are not official popular vote numbers increases Senator Obama’s popular vote margin by 110,224. This number would be about 50,000 less if the Washington primary results from February 19th were used instead of the Washington Caucus results.)

**(Senator Obama was not on the Michigan Ballot and thus received zero votes. Uncommitted was on the ballot and received 238,168 votes as compared to 328,309 for Senator Clinton.)

?

Clinton is taking the Ferraro approach and becoming defensive and refusing to apologize. This isn't going to end well.

I'm getting really tired of this tactic of pivoting off of criticism to attack the critics and rally the troops, because "the media is being mean to me".

It seems strangely familiar, like a disturbance in the force, a presence I haven't felt since...


Which was exactly as Richard Nixon intended it: the old jujitsu at work. Johnson saw himself as pouncing on a mistake of Nixon’s. That meant the mark had taken the bait. Johnson presumed the media would amplify his ridicule into one more political obituary of Richard Nixon. Instead he found himself cast as Goliath to Dick Nixon’s David. It went back to old Jerry Voorhis, to the “Pink Lady”, Helen Gahagan Douglas: let them pounce on your “mistake”, then garner pity as you wriggle free by making the enemy look unduly aggressive. Then you inspire a strange sort of protective love among voters whose wounds of resentment grow alongside your performance of being wounded. Your enemies appear to die of their own hand, never of your own. Which makes you stronger.

From Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, p.161 (talking about the back and forth between Nixon and LBJ in the press immediately prior to the 1966 midterm elections).

Hi, I just found Obsidian wings today. Great discussion.

I'm a feminist, 10 years younger than Hillary.

Obama is not my first choice as Democratic nominee, but he is my favorite now. I've been on the anybody-but-Clinton bandwagon since she announced her candidacy.

Why? Because I want a Democrat to win in November. Hillary has too much baggage, primarily her husband - the IMPEACHED former president!

Plus Hillary's own sorry story that she was duped into voting for the Iraq War and her colossal failure in health care, the one big project she led while in the national spotlight. I'm truly amazed that she and her advisers ever seriously thought she could win the general election. I wish that she had chosen not to run.

I've never seen Hillary's run for President as a feminist triumph. If she should win, what would that say to America's little girls? You can grow up to be president, just find and marry a man who will be president first.

When a woman becomes President, I don't want it to be a woman who has attained power by being the first lady.

In the early days of women winning public office, the first female senator or governor was sometimes referred to as 'the first to win in her own right'. Other women had held the position, when appointed to it after the death of their husbands while in office.

If Senator Barbara Mikulski were running and a serious contender, she would be running (and winning!) 100% 'in her own right'. I would indeed see her run as a feminist milestone. Not so much when it comes to Hillary. Though I want to make it clear, I'm not a Hillary hater and think she should be treated fairly.

In the harsh and brutal world of politics, I think she pretty much has been. People have said lots of harsh things -- politics ain't beanbag. I think she's had a harder time because she's a Clinton than because she's a woman.

Senators Clinton and Obama have about the same experience holding public office -- Clinton's years as a U.S. senator and Obama's years as an Illinois state senator/U.S. senator. Yet Clinton is trying to sell herself as the experienced candidate, based on her years as first lady. I've not bought it, myself.

I recognize she has seen and heard a lot by being in the White House and meeting all the world's leaders. But when it comes to experience holding public office and leading the people of a state or nation, she and Obama are pretty similar.

Obama and Clinton have very similar positions on the issues -- both are too pro-military-spending for me. I'm not expecting miracles from Obama.

I am enthusiastic about supporting Obama because he does seem to inspire people to get up and do something -- he has had impressive grassroots volunteer support. Which will certainly be a big help in winning the general election. If he can inspire more and more people to become active, he can precipitate a wave of real change in this country. That's the promise I see of an Obama administration.

KCinDCI don't think it's at all clear that more people think Hillary is the Antichrist than think Obama is.

Although I have heard many bad (and usually ridiculous) things said about Obama (that antisemitic Jewish Muslim Hindu atheist), the claim of being the literal Antichrist was not among them (I'll google that on occasion). Hillary and husband on the other hand have been claimed to be the God-be-with-us (with debates who of them is actually the real one).
Doesn't change my opinion that there are people around that would try to assassinate both Hillary and Obama, if they got the chance (him being the [n-word] would be completely sufficient a reason for those).

I stand corrected. There are more than half a million hits for Obama + Antichrist (529000). Hillary + Antichrist (570000), Clinton + Antichrist (571000) are in the same range.
For comparision: Nixon + Antichrist just 161000 (and the top hits don't claim that he is the Evil One but just have both words in it)

All's I know is that it's bad enuf that Clinton didn't get the nomination knowing damm well she deserved it and she is the best one to be our president out of all three if the candidates. There was prob a rigg in the votes just like with Bush, cuz he def was not supposed to get re-elected, most americans aren't fucking dumb! I don't trust any of the politicians at this point. If Hilary won't be the V.P. then i'm definately not voting for Obama.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad