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May 08, 2008

Comments

I heard HRC speaking on the radio yesterday making the argument that she would be the nominee if the D's had the R's winner-take-all system. The possibility that Bill Clinton may not have been the nominee in '92 in that case immediately lept to mind, in which case Hillary probably wouldn't be running at all right now. Then I pondered all of the other things that might be different in our politics and governement and the course of history over the years if the Democratic Primary system were different. I probably wouldn't even exist.

Can she just get out now? Or, at least, float a few anonymous rumors that she'll drop out after May 20th? Cause, as I've noted elsewhere, she's looking alot to me like Eight Belles. Ran a hard race, came in second, but now she's finished. Except, no one has (yet) shown up to put her out of her misery*, and she's flopping around on the track moaning "I can still win! I can still win!"

*Sadly, the one person with such stature in the Democratic party is Bill, and he can't do because (a) he stands to be back in the white house too; and (b) if he tried she'd ignore him. Maybe a combination of Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Wes Clark, and John Edwards could do it, but they all seem not to be interested.

Omertá. The Black Hand, Bush and Rove, Clinton.

Blocking attention to consequential details is one of the chief constituents of bad management.

Representing something we dearly wish to see cast outside the walls of Washington.

I'm getting pretty annoyed with the superdelegates. If they respect the will of the voters too much to comment on the race & do not want the responsibility of deciding it, to the point that they let it drag out indefinitely when it's clearly harming the party--um, okay, if you respect the will of the voters so much & don't want the responsibility of deciding when the race ends, why don't we just let the primaries decide the nominee?

Obama Veep? Biden? The Dodd? Edwards?

McCain Veep? I got nothin'.

Cause, as I've noted elsewhere, she's looking alot to me like Eight Belles. Ran a hard race, came in second, but now she's finished. Except, no one has (yet) shown up to put her out of her misery*, and she's flopping around on the track moaning "I can still win! I can still win!"

I cannot begin to explain just how distasteful I find this metaphor, and I'm not even a particular fan of Clinton's. It's not even so much this metaphor as it is the multitude of ways in which it is suggested that Clinton's candidacy needs to be killed. There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women.

Aha! This has been bugging me all along - the Clinton campaign has carried on just like they were running a race with winner-takes-all states. And just yesterday, Hillary said that she would already be the winner if we used the same rules as the GOP. Now what kind of argument is that?

Hey, what were the rules in 92 and 96?

"Maybe a combination of Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Wes Clark, and John Edwards could do it, but they all seem not to be interested."

You know, I think it's more like, they know the Clintons too well to try. Carter and Gore are also part of an all male club that she was trying to be the first member of. Wes Clark has the best chance. After that, my money would be on the two senators from California and perhaps Stabenow. Granholm won't do it, she's already stuck her neck out way too far with the MI primary debacle. The most hopeful outcome I've heard projected is that once Obama/Clinton work out the seating of MI/FL delegates, Clinton will be able to state that she resolved the "civil rights violation" against voters in those states that would have occurred had their delegates not been seated. Cover, she needs cover, and any and all creative ideas to provide it are probably more than welcome.

Is there something particularly objectionable to evoking violence against women, as opposed to violence in general, or violence against men?

Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game.

That reminds me of someone.

It's astonishing that Clinton can be running on competence and experience when her entire campaign through Super Tuesday was built on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nomination rules -- rules that her husband successfully negotiated in 1992.

I didn't see Ugh advocating violence against women at all. Anywhere.

Incertus, what in the hell are you talking about?

I guess that last could have been better completed by ...and why do you hate America so much?

But I'm pretty busy just now, and can't think of everything.

"I'm getting pretty annoyed with the superdelegates. If they respect the will of the voters too much to comment on the race & do not want the responsibility of deciding it, to the point that they let it drag out indefinitely"

It seems entirely clear to me that this doesn't describe reality, but that many remaining publically uncommitted superdelegates are waiting until June 4th.

What makes you think many of them wish to delay further? Cite?

"okay, if you respect the will of the voters so much & don't want the responsibility of deciding when the race ends, why don't we just let the primaries decide the nominee?"

Most, though certainly not all, of the superdelegates I've seen comments from have made it clear that they intend to vote for the winner in their state, or of the overall national vote. Do you have reason to believe it's otherwise?

"Is there something particularly objectionable to evoking violence against women, as opposed to violence in general, or violence against men?"

HTH.

"I didn't see Ugh advocating violence against women at all. Anywhere"

He didn't. He used a metaphor of violence to describe Hillary Clinton's present situation. Should we not find metaphors objectionable at any time?

Looking at the comment here, I see, Slart, that Incertus must have been really unclear when writing:

I cannot begin to explain just how distasteful I find this metaphor, and I'm not even a particular fan of Clinton's. It's not even so much this metaphor as it is the multitude of ways in which it is suggested that Clinton's candidacy needs to be killed. There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women.
Possibly the part about metaphors was overly obscure, thus causing your bafflement.

And since you're so puzzled, let me be clear. Ugh wrote:

[...] Cause, as I've noted elsewhere, she's looking alot to me like Eight Belles. Ran a hard race, came in second, but now she's finished. Except, no one has (yet) shown up to put her out of her misery*, and she's flopping around on the track moaning "I can still win! I can still win!"
Ugh metaphorically compared Clinton to a horse who is flopping around on a race track who should be violently killed.

It's that whole "violently killed" part, along with the flopping, that qualifies as the "violent" part of the metaphor.

Eight Belles
:

Eight Belles (2005 – May 3, 2008) was a gray filly Thoroughbred racehorse owned by Fox Hill Farms. She finished second in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, a race run by only thirty-nine fillies in the past[1], but collapsed during her cool-down after the race. She suffered compound fractures of both front ankles and was euthanized immediately following the race because of the nature of the injury.[2][3] Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on-call veterinarian, stated that the filly's injuries were too severe to even attempt to move her off the track.[4]
Possibly you wouldn't regard having compound fractures of two of your limbs, and then being "euthanized," as a form of "violence," but I tend to think it fits the usual definition.

Ugh used a violent metaphor as to how Clinton should be metaphorically killed, and Incertus noted this, and suggested that such violent metaphors be discouraged. No actual violence against a woman was actually advocated, and no one criticized anyone for referring to any actual violence.

Or, to put it another way, what in the hell are you talking about, Slart?

And since you're so puzzled, let me be clear. Ugh wrote:

[...] Cause, as I've noted elsewhere, she's looking alot to me like Eight Belles. Ran a hard race, came in second, but now she's finished. Except, no one has (yet) shown up to put her out of her misery*, and she's flopping around on the track moaning "I can still win! I can still win!"
Ugh metaphorically compared Clinton to a horse who is flopping around on a race track who should be violently killed.

It's that whole "violently killed" part, along with the flopping, that qualifies as the "violent" part of the metaphor.

Eight Belles
:

Eight Belles (2005 – May 3, 2008) was a gray filly Thoroughbred racehorse owned by Fox Hill Farms. She finished second in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, a race run by only thirty-nine fillies in the past[1], but collapsed during her cool-down after the race. She suffered compound fractures of both front ankles and was euthanized immediately following the race because of the nature of the injury.[2][3] Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on-call veterinarian, stated that the filly's injuries were too severe to even attempt to move her off the track.[4]
Possibly you wouldn't regard having compound fractures of two of your limbs, and then being "euthanized," as a form of "violence," but I tend to think it fits the usual definition.

Ugh used a violent metaphor as to how Clinton should be metaphorically killed, and Incertus noted this, and suggested that such violent metaphors be discouraged. No actual violence against a woman was actually advocated, and no one criticized anyone for referring to any actual violence.

Or, to put it another way, what in the hell are you talking about, Slart?

it's time for everyone to take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Momentarily turning the focus away from well-flogged dead filly metaphors, Dan Conley has a must read article up at Salon on how a Clinton concession might play out.

Hey, if you're a crook, you HAVE to value loyalty over competence: A disloyal subordinate can cost you a lot more than just an election. Guess Hillary did learn some important lessons while watching her husband weather the storms.

Right. Because euthanasia is the # 1 instrument of violence against women.

Let's just think of Hillary's campaign as returning to the Mother Spirit.

What Gary said.

As for this:

Is there something particularly objectionable to evoking violence against women, as opposed to violence in general, or violence against men?
Let me ask you--were violent images employed in the same way when John Edwards got out of the race? Mike Huckabee? Mitt Romney? But it's somehow acceptable to do this to the woman. Call me when it's an issue for men, and we can talk about it.

I thought the metaphor was a bit much, just because I found the whole Eight Belle's thing so unfortunate...but I don't see it as sexist.

But it's about Hillary so it must be...

Distasteful? Yep. Sexist? Coincidence.

Um, incertus, they got out on their own when it was clear they couldn't win. I don't recall anybody needing to employ imagery or metaphors at all.

Let me ask you--were violent images employed in the same way when John Edwards got out of the race? Mike Huckabee? Mitt Romney? But it's somehow acceptable to do this to the woman. Call me when it's an issue for men, and we can talk about it.

It certainly would have been acceptable to me if those people were members of the democratic party and if their continued campaigning was increasing the probability that John "I can't wait to start me a war and nuke as many Iranians as possible" McCain becomes President. When Edwards left, the republican nomination had not been sown up and the general campaign wasn't upon us; also, Edwards did not repeatedly use right wing talking points to smear and undermine the presumptive nominee's candidacy.

FWIW, I prefer John Cole's metaphor about Clinton holding the party hostage: 'give me the nomination or I'll help ensure the nominee won't win with a steady drumbeat of attacks'. If Edwards pulled that kind of stunt the metaphors would be most unpleasant indeed.

"If Edwards pulled that kind of stunt the metaphors would be most unpleasant indeed."

They might call him a trial lawyer.

"Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee."

To quote Vo Nguyen Giap, "That is true. But it is also irrelevant."

FWIW, I prefer John Cole's metaphor about Clinton holding the party hostage: 'give me the nomination or I'll help ensure the nominee won't win with a steady drumbeat of attacks'.

And my ultimate point was that there were a number of ways to discuss this--even metaphorically--without resorting to a violent image. Is that such a difficult thing for people to do?

Incertus, if you had said that, without bringing in the unnecessary implication of sexism, I don't think anyone would have complained.

I guess when you work for Republicans at all times and bleed GOP blood like Mark Penn does it's an understandable mistake.

Just as a point of information (drawn from a radio broadcast in Indiana last week) Hillary Clinton--before the Kentucky Derby--told Chelsea to bet on the filly. I was uncomfortable when I heard the report: It seemed to me that Clinton was carrying her gender identity appeal too far by asking Derby fans to think of a horse they might otherwise root for as a surrogate for her candidacy.

When Eight Belles made her magnificent final run and then broke both front ankles, the metaphor seemed all the more unfortunate. Eight Belles was a horse with heart. Her fragile bones, like those of many thoroughbreds who are raced too young, did not bear up under what may have been too heavy a rein by her jockey. In any event, euthanasia was an act of mercy, not an act of violence.

Nothing is to be gained, I think, by continuing the metaphor that Clinton herself evoked. A spirited racehorse, a filly, died this year in the Derby. Clinton's candidacy, whatever else one might say of it at this point, is in a different physical and moral realm. Thus, the metaphor and Eight Belles should be left to rest, in peace, free of negative associations with the Clinton campaign.

Just as a point of information (drawn from a radio broadcast in Indiana last week) Hillary Clinton--before the Kentucky Derby--told Chelsea to bet on the filly. I was uncomfortable when I heard the report: It seemed to me that Clinton was carrying her gender identity appeal too far by asking Derby fans to think of a horse they might otherwise root for as a surrogate for her candidacy.

When Eight Belles made her magnificent final run and then broke both front ankles, the metaphor seemed all the more unfortunate. Eight Belles was a horse with heart. Her fragile bones, like those of many thoroughbreds who are raced too young, did not bear up under what may have been too heavy a rein by her jockey. In any event, euthanasia was an act of mercy, not an act of violence.

Nothing is to be gained, I think, by continuing the metaphor that Clinton herself evoked. A spirited racehorse, a filly, died this year in the Derby. Clinton's candidacy, whatever else one might say of it at this point, is in a different physical and moral realm. Thus, the metaphor and Eight Belles should be left to rest, in peace, free of negative associations with the Clinton campaign.

Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game.

Heckuva job, Penn-y...

Seriously, after the last 7 years, loyalty/ideology over competence should be disqualifying on its own.

Incertus, if you had said that, without bringing in the unnecessary implication of sexism, I don't think anyone would have complained.

Sorry--I didn't realize that violence against women wasn't a problem anymore, and that it doesn't get dismissed on a regular basis by both media and law enforcement as an overblown problem, that it isn't normalized in our entertainment, video and musical and literary. Thanks for bringing me up to date on that.

If you can't see the sexism and the problem in that metaphor, maybe it's because you've gotten so used to it that it's normal now, and that's a problem.

Sorry--I didn't realize that violence against women wasn't a problem anymore, and that it doesn't get dismissed on a regular basis by both media and law enforcement as an overblown problem, that it isn't normalized in our entertainment, video and musical and literary. Thanks for bringing me up to date on that.

That's a nice man of straw you've built up there. Do you mind explaining what it has to do with a euthanised racehorse?

I'm sorry, but there was no sexism in the initial comment. You're about a half-step away from crying, "Wolf! Wolf!" at this point. Sen Clinton's campaign shouldn't be euthanised because she's a woman, but ratehr because she has lost, and can only do further damage by continuing. Unless you ascribe to the theory that ANY attack on a woman *is* sexist, which would take you that extra half-step to, "Wolf!"

@ Ugh 10:55 am:

Obama veep: Bill Richardson.

Oh jeez.

I thought it should have been reasonably clear from my post that what was being metaphorically "put out of its misery" was not Hillary but Hillary's campaign. Yes I used "Hillary", but I would think that adding the ideas that: (a) it should be Bill who should do it; (b) that one reason why it wouldn't work for him to do it is that she would ignore him (i.e., she'd be ignoring his advice that she quit the race, how's she going to ignore being put out of her misery?); (c) some combination of Gore/Carter et. al. should get together and do it; and (d) that it would require some "stature" to do it (not sure what stature is required for putting someone out of their misery) -- would have pushed people off thinking I was metaphorically saying Hillary should be put out of her misery, rather than her campaign.

A number of things, besides the "violent" end state, led me to think of Eight Belles as a comparison to Clinton right now:

1. Female trying to succeed in a field historically exclusively male.
2. Running a strong race but finishing second.
3. Losing to "Big Brown"*
4. Not realizing that any chance of winning in the future is gone.
5. Needing outside intervention to help with 4.

Let me ask you--were violent images employed in the same way when John Edwards got out of the race? Mike Huckabee? Mitt Romney? But it's somehow acceptable to do this to the woman. Call me when it's an issue for men, and we can talk about it.

My point there was, and here I'll admit to not making it clear at all other in my own head in a snit, was that had a similar metaphor been used when, say, Mittens left the race, I doubt anyone would have objected by saying "There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against men."

*I've already been accused of sexism and promoting violence against women, might as go for racist too.

@ kvenlander 10:28 am: what were the [primary delegate] rules in 92 and 96?

Same as they are now. Democrats have not used winner-take-all for many years (if ever; my understanding of pre-1968 rules is hazy).

Incertus, I don't think our society is suffering an epidemic of women being euthanized. I don't like the metaphor, and I wouldn't have used it, but I really don't see any sexism in it, so I guess I'm a hopeless misogynist.

If Obama were in Clinton's position and the same metaphor had been used about him, I would not have viewed it as racist or made some parallel to lynchings or violence by white supremacists, but perhaps that just means I'm a racist as well.

Nell: Richardson.

That would be good, if he can bring over skeptical hispanics in Florida. But I'm thinking it almost has to be a white male (sadly).

"I thought the metaphor was a bit much, just because I found the whole Eight Belle's thing so unfortunate...but I don't see it as sexist."

The first mention in this thread of sexism or something being sexist is your comment. I'm fairly fluent in English, and "There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women" does not, as it happens, mean "[something something] is sexist," in English.

Incertus originally wrote:

I cannot begin to explain just how distasteful I find this metaphor, and I'm not even a particular fan of Clinton's. It's not even so much this metaphor as it is the multitude of ways in which it is suggested that Clinton's candidacy needs to be killed. There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women.
KCinDC: "Incertus, if you had said that, without bringing in the unnecessary implication of sexism, I don't think anyone would have complained."

Let's review. Incertus says "There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women."

No mention whatever of "sexism" is made.

Incertus repeats his comment with a slight paraphrase: "And my ultimate point was that there were a number of ways to discuss this--even metaphorically--without resorting to a violent image. Is that such a difficult thing for people to do?"

No mention whatever of sexism.

"Incertus, if you had said that, without bringing in the unnecessary implication of sexism, I don't think anyone would have complained."

But Incertus never said anything about sexism (until now). So your observation is plainly incorrect, I'm afraid. Incertus said exactly what you requested, and yet the complaint was made.

My only statement on the content of this is that I think it might be more helpful if when someone makes such a request, others didn't start an argument about it, and make up claims that things were said that weren't; it doesn't seem productive, and I don't see what reasonable goal is sought by such requests, even were they not based on obviously false premises.

Is it so hard to nod, and not feel defensive and argumentative about a comment as anodyne as "There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women"? Is that really worth getting in a tizzy about?

If so, YMMustV from mine.

But at the least, I suggest responding to what someone actually wrote, and not to some imaginary version. It's not like the words aren't right there to look back at.

The conventional wisdom I've read seems to be that a VP candidate would have to help out in one or more of the following ways:

1. foreign policy / national security credentials or credibility

2. western

3. Catholic

4. appeal to Appalachian Americans (pc speak for hillbillies), or at least to white working-class voters.

#1 seems by far the most importance given Obama's relatively short time on the national scene.

Richardson fulfils #1-3.

#3 and #4 are almost mutually incompatible, though there may be someone from western PA or NE Ohio or somewhere like that.

As an App-Am myself (not a typical one but born and raised and with plenty of political experience in a sea of typical ones), my advice to the campaign would be not to make any serious trade-offs trying to compensate for Obama's hillbilly problem.

Jim Webb would fulfil #1 and #4, but I have no idea whether he'd be willing to take the job, or what if any kind of relationship he and Obama have. Also, Webb really doesn't care for the mass meet & greet part of campaigning, and a national campaign is grueling even for those who do.

He'd be a superb surrogate, though, in the areas that are tough for Obama. Webb's one of the only pols who doesn't start off every mention of McCain with the fawning homage to his service, because as one of the most-decorated vets of the Viet Nam war, he doesn't have to. He launches right into the attack.

"If you can't see the sexism and the problem in that metaphor, maybe it's because you've gotten so used to it that it's normal now, and that's a problem."

In turn, I have to say that while this may be true of some people, it isn't going to be true of other people, and suggesting it's true of any specific person or set of persons is insulting.

Ugh:

My point there was, and here I'll admit to not making it clear at all other in my own head in a snit, was that had a similar metaphor been used when, say, Mittens left the race, I doubt anyone would have objected by saying "There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against men."
At risk of prolonging what seems like a completely dopey argument, are you contending, ugh, that men and women are in identical power roles, mirror images of each other, and that men and women in our society are equally victimized by (now we'll say the word) sexism?

If not, what are you asserting by your attempt at a mirror flip?

(Low blow: how would that argument differ from Jay Jerome's insistence that prejudice by African-Americans in our society has an equally negative effect as does prejudice by pale people?)

"Same as they are now. Democrats have not used winner-take-all for many years (if ever; my understanding of pre-1968 rules is hazy)."

I'd have to look it up to be sure, and I'm already spending too much time on ObWi today, so I won't, but off the top of my head, my unreliable memory suggests that the major change on proportional representation was made in the 1988 set of revisions in party rules.

As for Veep, I largely share Nell's view. Otherwise, I'd like to see a woman, and I'd like to see someone with strong foreign policy/defense credentials. But it's difficult at the moment to find someone who fits those two characteristics and is sufficiently prominent. But maybe other folks have good suggestions that I'm overlooking for someone who could fill both, rather than just one, of those criteria.

If it's foreign policy/defense, I'd think, among a number of possibilities, of Webb, Richardson, Clark, and Biden.

But I lean towards Chris Dodd.

For a woman, perhaps Kathleen Sebelius.

Or possibly Janet Napolitano.

Gary, the "slight paraphrase" involves leaving out the phrase "against women", which is where the implication of sexism came from, so there's a significant difference. You don't see any mention of sexism there, but I think the further evolution of the conversation indicates that I was correct in seeing that implication, which it's not surprising that Ugh took offense to.

At risk of prolonging what seems like a completely dopey argument, are you contending, ugh, that men and women are in identical power roles, mirror images of each other, and that men and women in our society are equally victimized by (now we'll say the word) sexism?

No. I think my mind was on the fact that crimes of violence against men in the U.S. are 40% higher than crimes of violence against women. At least according the tables here. Despite the obvious differences in power roles/victims of sexism.

"No. I think my mind was on the fact that crimes of violence against men in the U.S. are 40% higher than crimes of violence against women"

You consider that a more relevant statistic than domestic violence stats, in considering gender-based violence, I take it? You believe that all crimes of violence should be taken as gender-based, and that domestic violence stats are less relevant?

"You believe that all crimes of violence should be taken as gender-based, and that domestic violence stats are less relevant?"

Personally, *I* believe a closed head injury can't tell whether the attack was gender based. I'm not sure whether WE should care if attacks are 'gender based', either.

Getting back to the post, I believe that a big reason Democrats lost close races in 2000-2004 is simple organizational incompetence.

In other words, I think the party was beset with consultants, pollsters, organizers, hangers-on etc., who just didn't know how to run a winning campaign. (see Shrum, Bob).

It's easy to demonize Karl Rove, but I suspect that for sometime the Republicans were just better at straightforward legitimate political grunt work - fund-raising, GOTV, etc.

Maybe Penn is part of that problem.

You consider that a more relevant statistic than domestic violence stats, in considering gender-based violence, I take it?

I'm not sure Gary. Considering that I didn't think my original comment had anything to do with gender based violence, much less domestic violence, I don't think I can answer that question.

"There are better ways to discuss this than to resort to metaphors that evoke violence against women" does not, as it happens, mean "[something something] is sexist," in English.

Bull.

Plus Incertus said "it is suggested that Clinton's candidacy needs to be killed" (emphasis mine), indicating that s/he knew that Ugh was referring to the campaign. I didn't know that campaigns have gender.

I am a woman-hater.

All right people, I am greatly disappointed with the lack of Mark Penn bashing in the thread thus far.

How did this guy ever get a rep as the democratic Karl Rove? He really is a total fool with the right connections.

Incertus: And my ultimate point was that there were a number of ways to discuss this--even metaphorically--without resorting to a violent image. Is that such a difficult thing for people to do?

"Campaign" is a martial term. Candidates regularly take beatings at the polls. They try to knock each other out in battleground states. Hillary Clinton herself has made a point lately of casting herself as a "fighter". I'd say yes, it is a difficult thing for people to do.

One of the problems of sexism -- and racism, and all the other 'isms' -- is that they're real, but generally not obvious. Acts or words of racism, sexims, and other 'isms' require greater or lesser degrees of interpretation -- of assumption. Motivations for actions live entirely in the head of the actor -- to claim an act, or a phrase, or a gesture was "ist" of any sort requires us to read their mind.

Or take a good guess, anyways.

This isn't always hard.

If a man in a full WW2-era German soldier's outfit spraypaints a swastika across a synagogue, it's not hard to figure out what's going on in his head. You don't know for certain (he could just be really crazy), but it's a pretty solid guess he's doing it for anti-semetic reasons.

If a man in a white robe and hood burns a cross on the yard of a black family, it's a pretty safe bet they're doing so out of racism.

If a man beats a woman for daring to talk back, well, you don't have to read his mind to see the misogyny.

But other examples are....harder. Requiring more guesswork, more insight into a person's head.

And some are impossible to decide -- was it a poorly chosen phrase, or deeply buried misogyny come to fore? Was the speaker unaware of the roots of a given term, or was it a dog whistle?

I am unhappy at the idea of saying "sexism, racism, and other 'isms'" are in the eyes or ears of the beholder. Not to put too fine a point on it, but just as there are irredeemable "ists" out there, there are those whose experience with those 'ists' has left them seeing it's shadow everywhere, jumping at the slightest noise. And it's not pretty -- especially for those on the left, accusations of sexism, racism, anti-semitism -- those are harsh, deadly, accusations. I have been there, watched it happen, and it is ugly. No good comes of it, and it makes real occurances of sexism and racism easier to overlook.

So when it comes to borderline cases -- I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Because I can't read their minds.

And sure, I undoubtably let sexists and racists slide by because of it. But I feel it's a greater crime to accuse someone falsly of being a misogynist, or a racist, or a anti-semite than to give a REAL racists, sexist, whatever -- the benefit of the doubt. There's enough of all of those out there to ensure we never lack for certain racists and sexists to denounce.

I agree with Fledermaus -- less logic-chopping, more Penn-bashing.

(Unless someone wants to object to the violent nature of the word "bashing". After all, violence against overpaid political consultants is a serious problem in our society, and we certainly wouldn't want to aggravate the problem through the use of problematic language.)

In a sane world Mark Penn would never get another client and would have to go into another line of work. Alas, for some reason the world of Democratic political consultants is not a sane one, so some new sucker will be paying him millions soon.

"In a sane world Mark Penn would never get another client and would have to go into another line of work"

Too late! He already is in another line of work.

(Which raises another question about Clinton's judgement in hiring someone who isn't really committed.)

Hmmm...according to this Dkos diary, Edwards slipped up this morning and said he voted for Obama and would be endorsing the person he voted for "soon."

I'd say it was "another nail in the coffin" but I guess that's off limits.

Looks like Yglesias is evoking violence against women too.

i would like to publicly state that i am opposed to inflicting a "death by a thousand cuts" on a woman. or a man. or any living thing that isn't a vegetable.

it's ok to mince onions, because they don't have any feelings. though they will try to defend themselves with noxious fumes. beware.

Oh my. BarbinMD decides that "another nail in the coffin" is not, in fact, off limits.

Ugh,

Your metaphor invoking the tragic death of Eight Belles was too clever by half.

It was both insensitive to Mrs. Clinton and to the memory of a magnificent horse.

Other than that, you hammered your point home.

:)

Thank you BTFB, insensitive is my middle name, except I spell it with a "g".

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