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August 26, 2008

Comments

Fnck Rush Limbaugh and his dog jokes, Chelsea is hot!

Uh. More on topic, though, did any other network carry Schweitzer? That dude can sure work the room.

Also, I like Hillary's ideas, but she kinda bores me. I got the same vibe in-person when I made it to one of her rallies. She has good lines, but her delivery just doesn't really do it for me.

/ramble

PBS had Schweitzer.

I've not been a fan of Hillary. But that was Terrific. Triple cap the T.

"Also, I like Hillary's ideas, but she kinda bores me. I got the same vibe in-person when I made it to one of her rallies. She has good lines, but her delivery just doesn't really do it for me."

Some people are Obamas, some people are Bill Clintons, some people are Margaret Thatchers. And some people are Paul Krugmans.

Maybe her calling is to have a NY Times op/ed page column.

Schweitzer was great. Hillary delivered what the Obama people hoped she would. All in all, a good antidote to the non-attacking theme of Monday.

I like Schweitzer, but I'm not sure he's ready yet. he relied on the good will of the audience to get people going. Contrast to Dennis.

On Hillary: gawd, she’s synthetic, the constant turning to the side to get that sliming effect, the pointed (but not pointed) finger--the list goes on...

substantively, she failed to do what she needed to do, which was make clear to her McCain leaning feminists that the Democratics have carried the water for women.

but stylistically, I hope Obama invents a way out of these Peggy Noonan anecdotes. Everytime I hear them, I think Reagan.

CNN also covered Schweitzer, but not from the very beginning. It looks like they got most of his speech, though. I thought it was fantastic; he was definitely the highlight of today's convention for me.

Even though it's only been over for ten minutes or so, I've already seen a ton-load of online comment on Hillary's Speech - amazing that so many folks out there (and presumably Democrats, too) can't seem to give Sen. Clinton a break - mostly petty bitching about one point or another - me, I think it was great - self-centered, as usual (Jeez, she IS a Clinton, after all!) - but always bringing the subject back to one of two major themes:
1) Bush sucks (and McCain will suck worse)
2) Electing Barack Obama is THE only way to do something about it.
End.

I like Schweitzer, but I'm not sure he's ready yet. he relied on the good will of the audience to get people going. Contrast to Dennis.

On Hillary: gawd, she’s synthetic, the constant turning to the side to get that sliming effect, the pointed (but not pointed) finger--the list goes on...

substantively, she failed to do what she needed to do, which was make clear to her McCain leaning feminists that the Democratics have carried the water for women.

but stylistically, I hope Obama invents a way out of these Peggy Noonan anecdotes. Everytime I hear them, I think Reagan.

Was your "home run" the line "It's appropriate that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities next week, because it's getting awfully hard to tell the apart"?
That was definitely my best line.

Brian is always great fun, and I'm glad some of y'all got the chance to see him in action. Hillary was absolutely terrific.

yea, that twin cities thing may have been the best line, though as a figure dwarfed by the "keep going" underground railroad trope.

still I agree with those who say we need to emphasize that a McCain presidency would be worse than Bush, not McSame.

I thought the speech was pitch perfect with one small exception: it would have been nice if Hillary had acknowledged that it was a contentious primary but that in the course of it her respect for Obama grew and on all the important issues of the day she and Barack see eye to eye. This would have neutralized some of the ads McCain is running showing Hillary praising McCain's experience and mocking Obama's. But maybe that's just me wanting her to address my hurt feelings from the primary.

Was your "home run" the line "It's appropriate that George Bush and John McCain will be together in the Twin Cities next week, because it's getting awfully hard to tell the apart"?

I thought that was an absolute ball-buster. I do hope the Dems turn that into a meme during the GOP convention. What's Team McCain going to do - change the location? EPIC FAIL.

make clear to her McCain leaning feminists that the Democratics have carried the water for women.

If George Carlin were still with us, he'd have to add "McCain leaning feminists" to "jumbo shrimp" and "military intelligence."

The number of McCain-leaning feminists has always been negligible, except insofar as one wants to call Phyllis Schlafly a "feminist."

I thought Clinton was stunning: generous, eloquent, just great. I particularly liked the 'were you just in it for me?' line, which was exactly the right thing to say to her supporters. Also, Harriet Tubman.

I hope I don't regret saying this, but, here goes.

All is forgiven.

What a speech.

Moved to tears.

I take back what I said before except that the speech was pitch perfect. I need to put the primary behind me.

Loved Schweitzer's line about how drilling here isn't the answer---"even if we drilled in the backyards of all John McCain's houses, even the ones he doesn't know about, we wouldn't have enough oil."

But Hillary's twin cities line was still the line of the night.

Clinton did exactly what she had to do tonight, and she did it more effectively than I could have imagined.

I second hilzoy on the Tubman bit. When I first heard her go into, I let out a groan, but she made it work to my (pleasant) surprise.

Dems should definitely drill the Twin Cities idea, that was a beaut.

Finally, the more I think of the line publius is talking about, the more I like the speech. It was exactly what needed to be said and she said it in perhaps the best way possible. Gotta' admit, though, I'm less and less convinced that there are that many real PUMAs. Hilzoy's earlier post about talking to various delegates just adds more evidence. I've got my fingers crossed that McCain is going to lose big betting on them.


But the one line that really stuck with me was one I quoted above @9:57. It was by far her most intellectually interesting point. She was essentially calling on her supporters' better angels -- she was being their conscience and their voice of reason.

The truth is that even the die-hards -- at least in the beginning -- didn't get involved in the election just because of Hillary. Everyone has their own fundamental issues -- their first principles -- that drive them to enter politics. It's easy for all of us to lose sight of these issues in the passions and excitement of the horse race. But at the end of the day, the individual candidate is secondary to the issues we care about.

This is what I liked best about what I thought was a very, very good speech. Hillary asked us to pull the camera back and look at the broader landscape, to focus less on the who and more on the what and the how.

It was a very skillfull speech to give for a candidate who lost a close nomination contest, because it credited and flattered her supporters while giving them a reason to "keep going, keep going" on behalf of the Democratic nominee.

It was well written and well delivered. We are not going to have a repeat of the scene in with 1976 Jimmy Carter chasing Ted Kennedy across the stage looking for a handshake (which may make the difference in a close election*), and I do wonder whether Teddy may have privately said something to one or both of the Clintons about looking back over the span of his political career and thinking that it would be nice if he could take back that moment, and asking them to consider this present moment in similar terms.

Hillary was classy tonight. She still has a career ahead of her. Bill doesn't, and I pray that he doesn't make a jackass out of himself tomorrow night. The media wolves are still baying for blood, and will seize on the slightest miscue to get back to their breathless Obama-Clinton conflict narrative, which Hillary's speech tonight has at least temporarily put on ice.

*note: if Obama wins a close election, one price which his administration will pay for this speech tonight is that health-care policy will be constructed on Hillary's terms, not his. That was one very subtle undertone which I heard loud and clear. She mentioned "universal healthcare" multiple times in the speech with a very slight emphasis on the universal part. There was a little bit of hardball politics still going on beneath the unity. I don't mind this a bit so long as it doesn't sink the campaign - we are talking about valid policy differences here rather than personalities.

I'm (only slightly) ahead of myself here, but when is the last time you saw a convention with four great highlight speeches?

With that lead-in from Hillary, I doubt Bill will flub his. I know Barack won't.

TLT, it's been fated since Iowa Supre Tuesday that Sen. Clinton is going to write the health care legislation that gets presented for signature, not some appointees to HHS. I can't image that Sen. Obama has cared in the least from then to now, or will from now to then. The question is what can she get through the Senate, assuming, as we must, fewer than 60 votes. The answer is nothing we've seen yet.

Nobody's mentioned my favorite line, the one that got my tears a-welling, to the effect that "my mother was born without the right to vote, and my daughter was able to vote for her mother as President of the U.S."

I hope Nixon's former Assistant Minister of Truth and current Rachel Maddow punching bag, Pat Buchanan, was watching that speech! May the last living PUMA in captivity give that smarmy little man cooties.

Funny thing: my kid sister is my personal political bellwether. She is about Michelle Obama's age, has two young kids, is married to a university professor, went through Andover, Wellesley, and Hopkins on scholarships as the daughter of immigrant parents who never finished high school, and (aside from being white and never having been to Chicago) could hardly be more similar to Michelle, biographically. She got turned on to Obama months earlier than I did, because of Michelle. There was a period, while I was still vacillating, that my sister was savagely denouncing Hillary to me.

Imagine my shock, therefore: my sister hated Michelle's speech last night, and was ecstatically praising Hillary's tonight! Go figure.

-- TP

ThatLeft, it was always clear that whatever got through Congress would likely be more different from either Democratic presidential candidate's plan than the plans were from each other. I think Obama made a mistake in highlighting the differences and then got stuck with that, but has backed off since clinching the nomination.

Fnck Rush Limbaugh and his dog jokes, Chelsea is hot!
Seconded!

Schweitzer was great. He really knows how to work a crowd and the line about even drilling for oil in all the yards of all of McCain's houses wouldn't be enough was great.

Mark Warner had a pretty good speech, but he strikes me as a little bit too DNC for my tastes. Ted Strickland's speech was competent, but unexceptional. Patrick Deval was a little boring and being sandwiched between all the other speakers didn't help.

Hillary Clinton...blargh. PUMAs, James' Carville's 'kicks', Debra Bartoshevich, the 'petition' being circulated at the convention. As someone who ardently supported Howard Dean in '04 I can empathize with how frustrating it can be when your candidate doesn't get the nod. But Christ! It's time to fall in line, unless you want another Brownie at FEMA, war in Iraq until we find a new country of Muslims or Russkies to pick a fight with, and a Supreme Court to the right of Barry Goldwater. And at least it's not like voting for Obama could conceivably be any more repulsive than voting for Kerry.

My frustrations with Hillary Clinton’s dead-end supporters continual prodding of her candidacy into an undying, lurching, shambling corpse of a Fox News talking point not withstanding, I will say that I think her speech tonight made all the right points. I can only hope that her supporters will have the sense to vote with whoever shares their values rather than getting caught up in a high-school level clique of following personalities over policies.

a little bit too DNC for my tastes

You know Howard Dean is head of the DNC, right? Do you maybe mean "DLC"?

And your "blargh" about Hillary Clinton seems to be mostly about stuff she has no control over now (though she definitely created a monster with her endgame), some of which is Republican false flaggery, and all of which has been wildly hyped by the media, especially over the past two days.

I see nobody's bothered to correct my goof upthread. It was 1980 when Jimmy had to chase Teddy around the stage.

I hope Gary is OK, he usually catches these mistakes and corrects them pronto.

Nobody's mentioned my favorite line, the one that got my tears a-welling, to the effect that "my mother was born without the right to vote, and my daughter was able to vote for her mother as President of the U.S."

Well, sorta, yeah. No one is born with the right to vote. Hillary Rodham's mother, though, had the right to vote when she reached voting age, just as I did.

Technically true. There wasn't national suffrage until Dorothy Howell Rodham was one year and a few months old. This is what I consider a major stretch in political speech. She would have done better to reference for example, her maternal grandmother. Who had to wait, it appears, less than a year after her eighteenth birthday to have the right to vote.

She accomplished her two - tough - goals: make people see that the only sensible choice is to get behind Obama, but also to leave them wondering a little wistfully at what might have been.

Her best speech I've ever seen, and one that won't be easy to top this week.

Her husband, however, is worrying me...

Schweitzer is great

Agreed, but what a missed opportunity not to give him a couple of stage six-shooters to fire off.

i think people are misreading the dynamics a bit.

let me first say the speech was fantastic, and shows what she can do when she's cut loose from that alternatingly grating and cloying persona that she had been forced to effect for the primary.

that being said, i think the dynamics are being read all wrong here. the hillary voters we see on TV are the ones that are the "die hards," and i think that the speech will resonate and move many of them. many ardent hillary supporters are more reasonable than we give them credit for. they're just not on television because they're not insane.

the problem is that i'm not sure how many "clinton voters" in these polls are ardent hillary supporters. the "clinton voters" that aren't on television are the ones that may have voted for clinton because they didn't want to vote for obama. if you think that these are the lion share of the clinton voters that are somehow "sticking" in the polls right now, then there's not a damn thing hillary can do about them. we just don't know how many of them there are because they're not out there waving hillary signs and wearing PUMA t shirts.

You know Howard Dean is head of the DNC, right? Do you maybe mean "DLC"?

Thanks for the catch, KCinDC. DLC is what I meant. I don't know anything about Mark Warner, but that was the impression I came away with after listening to his speech.

I think you have to hold Hillary Clinton's campaign at least somewhat accountable for a lot of the people that are still flogging her candidacy. Though she's fully supporting Obama now, the way she ran her campaign from March through May/June used tactics that any semi-aware political operative should know would result in the kind of disunity storylines we are seeing now (even if those storylines are primarily driven by media rather than voters, though I think there is at least some fire to the smoke of this storyline).

So even though Hillary is now supporting Obama, the way she campaigned after Super Tuesday has made the consolidation of the party a more difficult task. I think you have to hold her to account for that. Similarly, Ted Kennedy's refusal to publicly support Carter at one crucial moment didn't help the Democrats in the 1980 election. I just hope this year works out better than that. (It will!)

Good point, Slart -- except for the bit about the 18th birthday. Unless I'm missing something, the relevant birthday would be the 21st, since the 26th Amendment wasn't until 1971.

"I hope Gary is OK, he usually catches these mistakes and corrects them pronto."

Gary still has a huge toothache, and only one hydrocodone left. I did blink at "1976," but figured I'd try playing some Company of Heroes and commenting further later. My whole head is throbbing. I hope to be awake enough tomorrow to see if I can figure out how I can get connected to a local clinic, but we'll see.

gary, as someone who just had an emergency root canal, get in there as soon as you can, even if it stops hurting, becaues that will just mean the nerve is dead and then you run the risk of getting an infection without immediately feeling the effects.

feel better.

"No one is born with the right to vote."

Most people (in this country, since the 26th Amendment, if that's important, which it isn't) are born with the right to vote as of when they achieve the age of 18.

"This is what I consider a major stretch in political speech."

This is what I consider extremely trivial nitpicking for its own sake. It's a trivial stretch, at worst, not a "major" stretch.

The powerful truth is that women only got the right to vote in this country within the lifetime of many still living, and many more who lived during the lifetime of many of the rest of us.

That's appalling.

Picking nits over how this is phrased doesn't make any larger relevant point; it merely serves to distract and detract from the important point.

That women only recently, in living memory, achieved the right to vote should be shocking. It's worth paying attention to, and calling attention to.

The details of someone's birthday: not so much.

"Agreed, but what a missed opportunity not to give him a couple of stage six-shooters to fire off."

Well, if you want to make most everyone in the Mountain Time zone convinced that the Democratic Party is led by idiots who see them as cartoons, sure.

Gary, I commend your taste in video games.

My favorite line was "No way, no how, no McCain." "Four more months!" is my second-favorite.

Senator Clinton's speech.

Text.

Pretty classy.

It’s kind of weird for me. At the start of this campaign I said there was no way I could ever vote for her.

But in defeat she’s shown me a side of her I didn’t know was there. I think it took her too long to come to grips with that defeat, but I can attribute that to her dogged determination. In defeat, she’s shown me that I was wrong about her in many ways. If McCain does win this, I kind of hope she runs again in 2012.

Slartibartfast, one of my key references for political change in the UK is that my great-aunt (who turned 21 early in 1929, and died late in 2001) was one of the first women in the UK who had the vote on the same terms as men: the original 1918 act gave only women over 35 the right to vote.

My great-aunt was a lifelong traditional Tory (which is to say, by the 1990s she wouldn't have voted for the modern Conservative Party for anything) and both myself and my sister were outspoken radical socialists: my great-aunt knew when we turned 18 (1980s) that we wouldn't be voting remotely the same way as her, for any candidate that she'd want to support.

But it mattered to her so much that we voted that until she was sure we were going to remember, we both used to get phone calls from her on election day reminding us to vote. Not who to vote for - just to remember to walk down to the polling station and vote. And it wasn't until I put dates together and realised when my great-aunt got the right to vote that I realised why that would have mattered to her.

Yeah, it would probably be more appropriate, if I were to make a speech about the right to vote, if I talked about my paternal grandmother, who unlike my great-aunt had the experience of watching her husband go to the polls and vote when she was legally barred: but why should I have to invent something to sound more appropriate than my family reality? Why should Hillary Clinton invent something about her maternal grandmother, if the truth of her feeling has always been concerned with her mother being born before women had the right to vote?

Of course, if you're accustomed after 16 years to pick apart everything Hillary Clinton says and look for the holes, because that's what the anti-Hillary campaigners have said you should do and that's sunk in, no doubt you would accuse her of lying if she did talk about her maternal grandmother and it turned out that was a new story that she'd never referred to before. *shrug*

i think that the speech will resonate and move many of them. many ardent hillary supporters are more reasonable than we give them credit for.

this is easy to check.

comments from the latest thread at TalkLeft:

    The only remaining, acceptable "fix" was for Obama to offer the VP position to Hillary. Having failed to do that, he forfeited any right to my Democratic (and democratic) vote.

un-reached. that's from Jeralyn, the "Creator and Principal Author" of TalkLeft.

    I'm on my fifth viewing...of the intro and Hillary's speech.* I can't believe this opportunity was squandered. A lot of "leaders" in the Democratic Party should be ashamed of themselves.

hmm

    I don't believe that Obama is a Democrat. He starts from a position of compromise cloaked in a disguise of "bipartisanship." He betrayed fundamental Constitutional principles with his craven cave-in to the atrocious FISA bill. I appreciate and whole-heartedly agree with what Hillary said about supporting Democratic principles, but I can't connect Barack Obama the candidate to those principles.

dee-duh-dee

et cetera, et cetera, e pluribus venom

"Of course, if you're accustomed after 16 years to pick apart everything Hillary Clinton says and look for the holes, because that's what the anti-Hillary campaigners have said you should do and that's sunk in"

Insisting that people can't think for themselves, and that the only reason they'd do something is because someone else told them to, isn't apt to be a very persuasive argument, and moreover requires a terrific arrogance from one's self, in that it awards one's self exceptionalism in being able to think for one's self in a way one won't grant others can do.

When one thinks so wonderfully of one's self, and so poorly of others around them, it might possibly be time to stop and reconsider.

Or not.

"that's from Jeralyn"

No, it isn't. It's "by FemB4dem on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 01:54:35 AM EST"

Jeralyn's comment:

Yes, it was a great speech (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 01:28:31 AM EST
and it called for unity. Let's move forward please. Hillary has.

Next comment by Jeralyn Merrit in that thread:

Of course (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 01:55:22 AM EST
I disagree with the process or "the rules." But the solution is to fix them, particularly the caucus problems and the absurdity of Michigan and Florida.

To me, doing something wrong means something illegal or that wasn't allowed. The fact that in the end, the Democrats decided under their rules to select Barack Obama removes it from that category.

Overly technical definition of "wrong." Perhaps, but rather than re-start old debates, let's do what Hillary is doing and move forward. Even if it's just to talk about 2012 or 2106. But this year is done and Hillary supports the nominee. So can't you talk about why you will or won't do that, leaving out the accusations and recriminations?

You're completely misrepresenting Jeralyn Merrit, cleek.

No, it isn't.

you're right. wow, i have no idea how i got it that wrong.

too early in the AM, i guess.

You're completely misrepresenting Jeralyn Merrit, cleek.

no, i'm not. settle down. i simply got the flippin attribution wrong.

"no, i'm not."

You did, but now you've corrected it. Good for you.

"settle down."

I'm entirely settled.

cleek,

when i say that a lot of hillary clinton voters are more reasonable than we give them credit for, i mean in a statistical sense. in other words, you don't test that hypothesis by cherry picking comment threads on blogs.

i mean in a statistical sense.

there are statistics ?

Jeeze. That’s really going to help with the arrogance issue. (via memeorandum)

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

Why not go all the way and break out that “seal” again for the podium? Is the campaign staff totally blind to how some of this stuff comes across?

Is the campaign staff totally blind to how some of this stuff comes across?

i doubt it. so, until i actually see it for myself, i'm gonna assume the stage won't be quite as blatantly grandiose as the report describes.

cleek,

if i say that "a lot" of hillary supporters are reasonable, you don't come back wth "see, i have comments on blogs of a lot that seem unreasonable."

first, as a logical matter, "a lot of reasonable hillary supporters" and "a lot of unreasonble hillary supporters" are not mutually exclusive phenomena.

second, i certainly didn't say there weren't a lot of unreasonable hillary supporters.

third, i was making the point that the most visible hillary supporters tend, for obvious reasons, to be the most caricatured. you then sought to disprove that argument by going out and looking for hte most caricatured hillary support you could find on the internets.

nice job.

Good point, Slart -- except for the bit about the 18th birthday. Unless I'm missing something, the relevant birthday would be the 21st, since the 26th Amendment wasn't until 1971.

Thank you, and point taken.

This is what I consider extremely trivial nitpicking for its own sake. It's a trivial stretch, at worst, not a "major" stretch.

Thanks for your opinion, Gary. I didn't say it was an important stretch, just a reach. Whether one is born with rights or not is fairly immaterial, unless one has reaches a point in one's life where one is effectively deprived of equal rights. Her mother probably wouldn't even have a much of a memory of anyone else being deprived of voting rights. The notion that it may have affected her life in any nontrivial way is absurd.

That's appalling.

I don't claim otherwise. I'm just pointing out that claiming that much of a nearness to appallingness is...well, exaggeration. It's typical Hillary-esque look-how-close-to-the-action-I-was grandstanding.

But I agree, it's not of any real importance, in the grand scheme of things.

Insisting that people can't think for themselves, and that the only reason they'd do something is because someone else told them to, isn't apt to be a very persuasive argument, and moreover requires a terrific arrogance from one's self, in that it awards one's self exceptionalism in being able to think for one's self in a way one won't grant others can do.

In this, Gary, we are in complete agreement. Or possibly Jesurgislac is correct, and I've just managed to keep my reflexive, unthinking Hillary-bashing banded up tight until just now. Jesurgislac makes some good points in her comment, but this one that you take issue with is not one of them.

"But in defeat she’s shown me a side of her I didn’t know was there. I think it took her too long to come to grips with that defeat, but I can attribute that to her dogged determination. In defeat, she’s shown me that I was wrong about her in many ways. If McCain does win this, I kind of hope she runs again in 2012."


I think that side you're seeing is called "enlightened self interest"--she's not someone whose ambition is so uncontrollable she was going to have a bitterness-induced meltdown on national television. (We'll see about Bill tonight.) This is the same person who praised McCain's foreign policy experience and questioned Obama's a few months ago, when she thought that it would help her win the nomination and considerations of how this might hurt Obama in the fall should he be the nominee didn't seem to factor into it. Circumstances have changed, and now the only way to keep her Presidential ambitions alive is to play the loyal Democrat working for party unity.

Not that she's worse than other politicians. Barack has been known to throw a principle or two overboard as needed.

As for diehard supporters, Obama would have had to have given the same speech (issues matter more than personalities) if he'd lost.

My diehard supporter remark wasn't part of my response to your remark, OC. That was me going off on a tangent. I'm just commenting on the more general perception (in the press anyway) about diehard Clinton supporters. It seems likely to me that if Clinton had won we might well have a problem with diehard Obama supporters. Not that I know how many people fall into either camp.

Whether one is born with rights or not is fairly immaterial, unless one has reaches a point in one's life where one is effectively deprived of equal rights.

Is that the sound of conservatives everywhere choking on their morning coffee?

i was making the point that the most visible hillary supporters tend, for obvious reasons, to be the most caricatured.

you made a lot of points above, most of which i agree with. but i went after the one that i quoted: many ardent hillary supporters are more reasonable than we give them credit for.

you then sought to disprove that argument by going out and looking for hte most caricatured hillary support you could find on the internets.

actually, i wasn't trying to disprove anything. and if we're going to get pedantic here, how exactly could i disprove a "many/more/unspecified-'we'" argument? i'd have to come up with statistics to counter the statistics you don't have, and then we'd have to agree on what "many", "more reasonable" mean, etc.. so, no. not gonna happen.

instead, i took your assertion (which, while vague, was perfectly understandable, and frankly, probably correct (but again, we can't prove it without data and definitions, etc.)) and used it as a hook on which to hang some quotes from some nutjobs on a site(*) that's popular with Clinton dead-enders. so, no. this is not the argument you think it is.

--

* TalkLeft is hardly the most-caricatured. that title would have to go to either HillaryIs44 or NoQuarter.

Re: the right to vote.

In fact nobody has a federal right to vote for president (or rather presidential electors) in this country, as the Supreme Court explicitly noted in their justifiably infamous Bush v. Gore decision:

The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.

The various constitutional amendments concerning the right to vote--15th, 19th, and 26th--merely spell out grounds on which its unconstitutional to deny particular groups the right to vote (i.e. race, color, and previous condition of servitude; sex; age once 18 has been reached).

If a state wanted to forgo participation in the general presidential election and select its presidential electors by a series of coin flips, that would be entirely constitutional.

It’s kind of weird for me. At the start of this campaign I said there was no way I could ever vote for her. . . .If McCain does win this, I kind of hope she runs again in 2012.

And so, in addition to helping Obama, Clinton's speech also had its intended effect.

i doubt it. so, until i actually see it for myself, i'm gonna assume the stage won't be quite as blatantly grandiose as the report describes.

Picture

Weekly Standard: “The Temple of Obama”

McCain Aide: “Is this from The Onion?”

And that’s just getting started…

Picture

that sucks.

now i'm going to have to assume it's a decoy, and the real stage is being constructed off-site somewhere... :(

Weekly Standard: “The Temple of Obama”

Heard elsewhere on the web:

"It’s a Geek temple in the style known as Dork."

Slarti: Jesurgislac makes some good points in her comment

Thank you.

Republicans ALWAYS attack the production design of the Democratic convention. Old-timers will remember NJ Gov. Tom Kean's Republican convention keynote from 1984, in which he called the Democrats "pastel patriots," a quip that played off the muted color palette of that year's Democratic convention, while not-so-subtly pink baiting them.

It's all part of the most durable post-war conservative meme of them all: Democrats are out of touch elitists who are not like you. Whatever humor value there was in hearing Tom Kean, whose bizarre mid-atlantic accent seemed about as "like you" as Cary Grant's, was reduced by the fact that the appeal apparently worked.

Like attacks on Democrats' "toughness" against crime and/or foreign enemies, these attacks on their "elitism" can only be met by somehow changing the subject (i.e. to the economy...or to John McCain's homes).

Trying to preemptively prevent these attacks by, say, nominating a war hero or designing a convention whose appearance cannot be criticized will never work.

It's all part of the most durable post-war conservative meme of them all: Democrats are out of touch elitists who are not like you.

It’s durable because it works. So try to avoid playing into it.

Current count 3,700,000.

Try that search again in a week…

Now before I’m accused of concern trolling again I’ll drop this and move on.

It's all part of the most durable post-war conservative meme of them all: Democrats are out of touch elitists who are not like you.

It’s durable because it works. So try to avoid playing into it.

Current google count for:
obama arrogant OR ego

3,700,000

Try that search again in a week…

Now before I’m accused of concern trolling again I’ll drop this and move on.

I don't know, it looks fine to me (at least from what I can see in that pic). Columns do not equal "temple", that's just a further attempt to push the "Obama thinks he's god" bullshit. It's a neoclassical stage design, nothing more.

Now if they slap a pediment on top of those columns, I might be inclined to agree that it's grandiose. But what's in the linked picture is fairly standard stuff.

I don't know, it looks fine to me (at least from what I can see in that pic). Columns do not equal "temple", that's just a further attempt to push the "Obama thinks he's god" bullshit. It's a neoclassical stage design, nothing more.

Now if they slap a pediment on top of those columns, I might be inclined to agree that it's grandiose. But what's in the linked picture is fairly standard stuff.

Maybe the columns will come down from above and end up being little miniature columns, like in Spinal Tap.

Glenn Beck is actually evil.

It’s durable because it works. So try to avoid playing into it.

I agree, it works.

But there's simply no way to avoid playing into it. Literally anything the Democrats do can be spun as elitist.

And all the handwringing about avoiding playing into charges of elitism and other GOP memes (like being weak on defense), at best creates unnecessary circular firing squads and at worst leads the Democrats to substantively mimic the GOP (better support bloated defense budgets!).

The Democrats have not--and will not--win campaigns that are focused on such things as law and order, foreign policy toughness, and cultural "elitism."

That was why Clinton's famous byword "it's the economy, stupid" was so on the mark.

Stop worrying about winning elections that are framed by the Republicans. Worry instead about framing an election you can win.

OCSteve: It’s durable because it works. So try to avoid playing into it.

Yeah, right. "I mean, McCain's been there, but he's basically a skirt-chaser, folks. He's a gigolo.... McCain is cheap. Most gigolos are. I think it goes with the, with the definition... What do you consider a fair wage? John McCain considers a fair wage a wife with 500 million. So, he had to find a company that had one. Well, there aren't too many of these companies that have little heiresses running around that are single, have 500 million that some guy can marry into... Because see, George W. Bush's daddy was the President and George W. Bush's daddy worked his way up from wealth and power to wealth and power. I mean, he got more of it than anybody ever dreamed of for having as little to go on. I mean, he's one of those old boys. You know how that worked back then. Then John McCain's daddy is his wives. I mean, he's a gigolo. Everybody knows this. There's nobody in our party really has much respect for this guy and you can see it last night, but I can't say that. I mean, you got sugar daddy wife back then. You got sugar daddy wife now. He worked his way up from a blue blood to a platinum American Express card, and it doesn't have his name on it."

It works so well when the Republicans do it. You'd think they'd try to avoid playing into it.

No?

And typing "McCain arrogant OR ego" into Google nets 1,700,000 hits.

One response to these numbers (OCSteve's and this one) would be to say that Obama's total is more than twice as high as McCain's. Oh, woe!

Another (mine) would be to say that since "Obama as arrogant" is such a common meme, it's kind of surprising that McCain's is even within an order of magnitude of Obama's. And I'm sure we could find phrases that would be equally insulting to either candidate but would reverse the hit numbers.

A corollary to all of it would be: who cares? The level of blather is so high that trying to act so as not to give blathering idiots excuses for blathering would be tantamount to disappearing oneself from the world. But even that wouldn't work to stop the blather... Imagine the accusations then: Cowardice! Pusillanimity! Oh, horrors!

Ben Alpers wrote: Stop worrying about winning elections that are framed by the Republicans. Worry instead about framing an election you can win.

Great formulation.

"Why not go all the way and break out that “seal” again for the podium? Is the campaign staff totally blind to how some of this stuff comes across?"

Right, because conservatives were so upset at Ronald Reagan for that kind of thing.

Are you totally blind to how this sort of double standard comes across?

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

Yes, but will he be riding in a chariot while wearing a loincloth?

There's an opportunity here that someone is missing.

Seriously, all of those conservatives with a "300" fetish? They'd all be voting Obama come November.

Weekly Standard: “The Temple of Obama”

McCain Aide: “Is this from The Onion?”

And that’s just getting started…

Hey, know what? Screw them.

Although the "Temple of Dork" line is pretty damned funny.

Ben Alpers wrote: Stop worrying about winning elections that are framed by the Republicans. Worry instead about framing an election you can win.

Great formulation.

Seconded with bells on.

Re: Hillary --

It was a great speech. Solid, old school liberal red meat. Made my poor wizened political heart beat faster.

She did a great job of taking it to McCain without making it overly nasty or personal.

Clearly, she wants her props, but why the hell not? She's paid her dues.

She lined up solidly behind Obama without kowtowing or fawning. That will make the medicine go down better for her hard core fans.

The woman is a stone cold pro, and I mean that as a complete compliment.

Well done.

Thanks -

OCSteve, I know you have to hold on to a bit of your old political identity for comfort, but perhaps experiment with the idea that Republican attacks don't necessarily depend on the Democratic candidate doing anything in particular. You don't have to wholeheartedly embrace every silly example they throw at you.

As Jes says, the Democrats are no more "elitist" or "arrogant" than the Republicans. It's just that in our media environment, the Republicans can get the pundits talking about actions by a Democrat as if they were something outrageous, but it doesn't work the other way around. And trying to avoid doing anything the Republicans can misrepresent is a waste of time.

Are conservatives actually flipping out because Obama is going to accept the nomination in front of a structure that looks like the Department of Agriculture building in DC? Really?

Look, I know that many people can't afford to visit DC, but, um, every building in the whole city looks like that. I think that a lot more Americans have experience seeing the Dept of Ag building or the Dept of Transportation building in DC or the bank in their local town than have experience seeing the Parthenon in Athens. Which makes me think that the first association normal people will make is with boring DC buildings or possibly boring local banks.

I agree, Turb. I do live in DC, but even before I moved here columns weren't exactly an alien concept to me. If Republicans believe ordinary Americans are awed by columns, that seems condescendingly elitist to me.

Someone needs to put together a video of McCain like the scene in Being John Malkovich where he goes into his own head and inside everyone is John Malkovich and all they say is "Malkovich! Malkovich! Malkovich!", only in McCain's case it would be a bunch of John McCain's saying "POW! POW! POW!"

It's gold Jerry! Gold!

Which makes me think that the first association normal people will make is with boring DC buildings or possibly boring local banks.

the first association is going to be the White House. i've never been to DC, so i don't know what those boring old buildings look like, and Obama isn't trying to win a seat in any of those buildings. he's trying to get the White House. that's what people will think of.

and, i'm obviously not a Republican, but i do think the set is presumptuous.

Are conservatives actually flipping out because Obama is going to accept the nomination in front of a structure that looks like the Department of Agriculture building in DC? Really?

I see it as more like generating widespread chuckles, but...well, I haven't bothered to ask Rush what he thinks of this. Mostly because I don't care.

the first association is going to be the White House

I thought St. Peter's Square, but...ya know, none of this stuff is worth the minute dissection. I see it as mildly funny, and some other people don't. I'm certainly not shocked, outraged, or even mildly concerned by the set.

I think OCSteve is right--in my case, I clicked on the link and started laughing. But that's just me. And possibly several million other people.


Of course it's a double standard and there is something ludicrous about Republicans (not OCSteve or Slarti) complaining about cults of personality. But I don't think that means one should hand them a silly issue ready made for ridicule.

I thought of that set for the Star Trek episode where they ran into Apollo moping in exile on some distant planet. But that's probably going to be a reaction confined to the more geekish portion of the electorate.


Picture
Weekly Standard: “The Temple of Obama”
McCain Aide: “Is this from The Onion?”
And that’s just getting started…

OCSteve,

I’m really, really curious about something. In your opinion, at what point does this stuff become so trivial and nit-picky that it becomes acceptable (from your point of view) to say to the people who think this is in any way a valid reason to vote for or against a candidate: “Shut up you ignorant morons, you don’t deserve to be an American citizen and have the right to vote, if that is how you make serious decisions that will affect the lives of millions of peoples. Shame on you, you disgust me with your childish stupidity”. How much more trivial does it need to get before we’ve reached that point. How much lower can we go, before you say “enough, this is ridiculous!”

Because if the situation were turned around, I would metaphorically die of embarrassment and shame if I was caught making a serious anti-McCain argument based on something a trivial and meaningless as the stage set design at the RNC, as opposed to what the candidate has to say while standing on that stage. But I don’t know if it is fair to turn that around or not.

I understand that there are plenty of voters who haven’t made up their minds between the two candidates.

Some of them simply haven’t been paying much attention yet. I’m cool with that, if they don’t have much of a stake in one of the parties then not paying attention to the primary campaigns is understandable - I don't expect everyone to care as much about politics as I do.

Some of them are genuinely conflicted as they want things from a candidate, either from a policy standpoint or in terms of character and personality, which cause them to see pros- and cons- on both sides which are roughly balanced and so they need to carefully weigh their decision and make the best of a difficult choice.

Others may be waiting on events, or have not yet heard either campaign address serious concerns of theirs.

But I find it hard to imagine any of these three groups making a decision based on a stage set design. Group #1 needs more information, group #2 needs to carefully weigh conflicting priorities, and group #3 should be listening to what each candidate has to say looking for something specific which matters to them.

But what group exists, that the information which they need to make a decision (one which they haven’t made yet) is a comparative stage set design contest? Is there some group out there (apart from people who have less common sense than a sack of turnips), for whom this is what they’ve been waiting for, what they needed, in order to make a decision?

Because if that really is the crucial swing group in this election – people who are so deeply unserious about our elections (and the consequences which results from them) that I think we really need to have a discussion about whether the term “civic responsibility” has any meaning left, and IMHO our democracy is in dire, dire straits, and we have become like toddlers playing with matches.

I would metaphorically die of embarrassment and shame if I was caught making a serious anti-McCain argument based on something a trivial and meaningless as the stage set design at the RNC

Assuming, of course, that OCSteve was actually making a serious anti-Obama argument, I'd be interested in his response.

Unserious, even joking anti-Obama arguments are another matter entirely.

Because if that really is the crucial swing group in this election – people who are so deeply unserious about our elections (and the consequences which results from them) that I think we really need to have a discussion about whether the term “civic responsibility” has any meaning left, and IMHO our democracy is in dire, dire straits, and we have become like toddlers playing with matches.

And deserve McCain as President.

it's not that an individual voter will look at the set and flip one way or the other. it's the fact that the press will (probably) use this set as a plot point in their "Obama is arrogant" narrative - McCain certainly will. and since the press still has eight weeks to obsess over it, this narrative will end up influencing many more voters than the set itself did. IMO.

OCSteve was actually making a serious anti-Obama argument, I'd be interested in his response.

That wasn't how I read OCSteve's comment. I did not take it as "here's why I can't vote for Obama". I took it as "here's another unforced error from Obama, which will cost him more votes which he otherwise might have gotten".

My followup question is "who? who is it, that this will tip their vote one way or the other", and "why should we have any respect for them?".

I mean presumabley there are some people out there who will vote for a candidate because they share the same name, or have the same birthday, or because of what the candidate's favorite color is. That is how children make these sort of decisions, at least until they learn better.

Given that we have the third largest population of any nation on Earth, there are bound to be such people, and they probably number in the thousands if not more.

But why are they not being subject to ridicule, mockery and public shaming - until they get a clue and start using their right to vote as if it was a right which comes with a degree of responsibility?

Republicans used to love to talk all about how rights come with responsibilites, you can't have one without the other. How come the right to vote doesn't qualify?

and another thing. The Republicans are always going on and on and on ad nauseam about patriotism.

Now there are a lot of ways to express one’s love of country. But in a democracy, regarding elections as a serious matter strikes me as one of the most important, especially given that it does not require much in the way of sacrifice – just a little bit of time and attention and effort is all, which is much less than say the risk of getting shot at.

To me, people who are swayed by trivia like this because they can’t be bothered to pay attention to anything more substantive are deeply and profoundly unpatriotic. They are failing miserably at one of their most important civic responsibilities and by doing so demonstrating that they hold their country in contempt.

And I have nothing but contempt to send back to them in return. That is very uncharitable of me and I wish I could be a more forgiving person, but it is what it is.

I think OCSteve is right

I actually think OC is right, too. A lot of folks, from both sides of the aisle, will look at the stage set and wonder what these folks are smoking.

IMO it's just pretentious enough to make the jump from weird to goofy.

And it has nothing to do with what any of the candidates thinks, believes, or with anything any of them will do in office if elected. It's just political theater, and it's there because that's the way we elect people to high federal office these days.

If you look at the colors in the picture in the "The Floor" thread, you'll notice that the blues are actually a kind of garish cyan, and the reds are an equally garish magenta. That's because those colors read blue and red on TV. White just reads as white. So, in real life, we never have political sets that are red white and blue. They're always magenta, white, and cyan, so that they'll *read* as red white and blue on the TV.

Therein lies a metaphor for US political culture.

Yes, the set is comically pretentious. Yes, conservative pundits will get a few day's programming out of making fun of it.

Who cares?

Obama could step onto a bare stage in a pair of bluejeans and a T-shirt and it would be spun as elitist. He could address the nation from a rocking chair on his front porch, ditto. He could sit in the damned bleacher seats at Invesco and accept the nomination over his cell phone.

Doesn't matter. It would be elitist. The narrative is that "Obama is an arrogant, elitist snob", and every fact available will be, somehow, shoehorned into that narrative.

The people who are open to that line of argument are not interested in Obama's policies, his public statements, his written work, his career accomplishments, or anything other than having their petty resentments stoked. It fills their otherwise empty days with something to do, I guess.

I'm tired of having the political discourse of the country dominated by the stupid, petty resentments of stupid, petty people.

I've had enough, haven't you?

So I say screw them. Not in a mean or nasty way, mind you, just plain old screw them. They can talk to the hand. Because the sooner we all ignore them, the sooner they will cease to have any influence on how things are run.

That, my friends, will be an unalloyed good.

Thanks -

More good sense from russell.

*applause*

"Because if that really is the crucial swing group in this election – people who are so deeply unserious about our elections (and the consequences which results from them) that I think we really need to have a discussion about whether the term “civic responsibility” has any meaning left, and IMHO our democracy is in dire, dire straits, and we have become like toddlers playing with matches."

But isn't that how elections normally work? Seriously. I just read "Nixonland" and it didn't exactly boost my confidence in the American political process, then or now. Before that I read the third volume of Caro's LBJ biography, covering the 50's. When was it ever better than it is now? I feel your frustration, but I think it's always been like this.

And not to raise myself up--I think I know something about a few issues, but I'm pretty ignorant on most, and just have ideological predispositions rather than carefully thought out policy views.

And the people who use all of the points that Russell makes are just using them as an excuse to validate their preconceived notions to vote the way they were going to vote anyway.

It's an excuse to not look at the issues. They've always been around but we don't have to pay attention to them.

But I don't think that means one should hand them a silly issue ready made for ridicule.

Again, anything the Democrats do will make them open to ridicule or worse. "Don't do that or you'll be ridiculed by the right," is simply not a coherent piece of advice to deliver to the Democratic Party.

For those who insist that this stage set is a terrible mistake, here's a challenge: describe a setting for the Obama speech that would not be open to ridicule by Republicans and their fanboys in the puditocracy.

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