Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 8, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

DIMWITTERY....This afternoon I was trying to remember all of the dimwit stories about Democratic politicians that have somehow made the jump to mainstream media stardom in the past few weeks. I've got five:

  • Nancy Pelosi: the military jet flap

  • John Edwards: the Georgetown house flap, the foul-mouthed blogger flap

  • Barack Obama: the madrassa flap

  • Hillary Clinton: the "evil and bad men" flap

Two questions. First: am I missing any? I'm looking for the really dumb stuff that got picked up widely, not just run-of-the mill hackery. Second: since I admit that dimwit stories about conservative politicians are more likely to fly under my radar, have there been any of those in the past month that I've missed? I can't remember any.

Kevin Drum 7:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (118)

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- Snickers Super Bowl ad flap

Posted by: AngryOne on February 8, 2007 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy Pelosi/minimum wage/Samoa/Starkist

Posted by: adam on February 8, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Re: conservative politicians

it seems like there is aconstant brouhaha over Romneys alleged flip-flopping on abortion. I don't know if that quite qualifies (since it may actually have a kernel of truth, don't care either way myself) but the noise about it is constant on certain rightwing blogs (ahem...redstate I'm looking at youuuuuuuu...)

Posted by: Tlaloc on February 8, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

I am inclined to think that the whole "Mitt Romney is a Mormon" thing is a bit dimwitted. It's much better to focus on the crapheaded job he did as governor here in Massachusetts (example: favoring property taxes because they are "more stable" across economic slumps; example: supporting our (dubious, but we can hope for the best) universal insurance plan, then vetoing its funding (run our government on fairy dust, I guess); example: pissing away half a million dollars on consultants in a lame-duck attempt to de-toll the Massachusetts Turnpike; example: being the reactive (as opposed to proactive) executive "in charge" during (a portion of) the Big Dig. It takes no great intellect to deduce that dropping concrete roof panels on citizens of the commonwealth is a Bad Thing for which Someone Must Be Punished; better, instead, to actually pay attention to how the project is being run before something goes horribly wrong.)

Oh, yes, and how he got to be governor in the first place, doing Jane Swift wrong (I forget the details, but it was not fair to her).

Posted by: dr2chase on February 8, 2007 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

The nitwits likely to make nitwitted comments about Republican politicians (that is, generally, leftwing nitwits) don't get the kind of media exposure that Michelle Malkin and William Donohue and the various other rightwing nitwits pushing nitwitted stories about Democrats do.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: This afternoon I was trying to remember all of the dimwit stories about Democratic politicians that have somehow made the jump to mainstream media stardom in the past few weeks.

How about remembering all the actual stories that somehow didn't make the jump to mainstream media in the past few years?

I'll start:

Bush is a liar.

Bush is a thief.

Bush is a murderer.


Posted by: jayarbee on February 8, 2007 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

The "Biden is a racist" bit pretty clearly qualifies. The "Wes Clark is an anti-Semite" might, although I don't know to what degree that one ever got out of the blogosphere.

I'm not an expert on the whole Big Dig stink, but blaming it substantially on Romney sure seems like a stretch - this has been a mess for about 15 years.

Posted by: Alex on February 8, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

What about the Hillary-Princess Diana connection?

Posted by: MattF on February 8, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah...dont forget about the *tempest in a tea-pot* thing - the Scooter Libby Trial!

Ya KNOW...all that "silliness" about fradulent Niger Uranium information as the basis for a WAR, and the lack of charges in outing a NOC CIA Operative working on WMDs. Nothing to see (or hear) there - keep on walking...move along!

hehehehehe!

Posted by: KarenMcL on February 8, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah...and before I go...how about HOURS more coverage of Anna Nicole Smith an Nowak - as we havent HEARD enough about those issues yet from the MSM!

Posted by: KarenMcL on February 8, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK
-- John Edwards hired two bloggers who hate Catholics and Christians.

Interestingly enough, this comment itself expresses the kind of anti-Catholic attitude popularized by Protestant anti-Catholic bigots; good show in an attempt to criticize someone else's supposed hatred of Catholics.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

All the faux outrage about pretending that Condi Rice had been insulted y Barbara Boxer.

Posted by: lily on February 8, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

I guess we can look forward to constant Swift-Boating as a way of life for the Republicans from now on. Must be Karl Rove and Grover Norquist's strategy for electoral success in 2008.

Posted by: DanM on February 8, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Don't know if this quite qualifies-but the LA Times this morning repeated the false Bill Clinton LAX haircut story.

Posted by: Clary on February 8, 2007 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Filegate.
Fostergate.
Whitewater.

Posted by: Jalmari on February 8, 2007 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Must be Karl Rove and Grover Norquist's strategy for electoral success in 2008.

Speaking of which, this will probably be the most important obstacle for Edwards. (You have to see it to the end). Much worse than Dukakis-in-the-tank or Kerry windsurfing. Can you see the GOP ads?

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Dimwit stories about conservative politicians?

Democrats are more likely to forgive someone for a minor misstatement, so you don't hear as much about it when a radical Republican puts his foot in his mouth.

Posted by: frizb on February 8, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

How widespread was the "Kerry cried" story?

Certainly, the Times did a hack job on him a couple of days ago, with the "Kerry is a loner/loser" story. But maybe one story isn't enough?

Posted by: mary on February 8, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot the “Hillary started the ‘Obama–madrassa flap’ flap.”

Posted by: Erik on February 8, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and then there was the "Barbara Boxer accuses Condoleezza Rice of not having any children" story . . .

Posted by: mary on February 8, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Trying the Edwards link again.

Posted by: JS on February 8, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's comments though they were somewhat legit, just overblown in my view.

It's not out yet, but I'm pretty sure Democrats had something to do with Anna Nicole's death.

Posted by: Fred F. on February 8, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain said, "A vote of no confidence is a vote of no confidence in the men and women who are serving in the military."

Posted by: Roger Ailes on February 8, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans in Congress are livid that Democrats are not behaving in a bi-partisan manner. OH the OUTrage!! (screams mutely into his clinched fist)

I don't know if that's made it to MSM-world yet.

Posted by: Absent Observer on February 8, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

The reason this stuff is going on is simple. It is what the right wing noise machine does best. It is what they did before Republicans gained power 12 years ago. It is what those people think will allow them to regain power. It is why Rush Limbaugh can afford all the best drugs.

It will continue until we bloggers fight back and fight back hard. We have to send the reporters and editors involved emails and faxes with the facts. We have to be insistent. Every single time we have to make a bigger stink about the unfair tactics of the noise machine than the charge from the noise machine. Don't forget, thanks to GWB, there are more of us than there are of them.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 8, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Distinct, but in tandem with the "Madrassa Flap", is the attention given to Obama's middle name.

Posted by: Disputo on February 8, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you left out the "John Edwards has too big a house for someone pretending to be a champion of the underclass" controversy.

Posted by: RT on February 8, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP has build a massive Right Wing Noise Machine which functions as a Scandal Industrial Complex. They work 24/7 to manufacture/hype pseudo scandals.

Democrats cannot rely on the MSM to play fair. MSM is now just a cog in the Right Wing Noise Machine. They amplify the noise/lies/smears. Democrats need to build their own Noise Machine. It is the only way they can refute the lies and offer real balance.

Posted by: Nan on February 8, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of which, this will probably be the most important obstacle for Edwards.

Doubtful, only because that is something that TV news reporters and pundits can deal with all the time and can readily relate to, and so are unlikely to push it since it would also reflect poorly on them.

Posted by: Disputo on February 8, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I think you got the big ones. The only one I can think of is "Nancy Pelosi has failed" before she even got to take the gavel.

Glenn Greenwald documented the silliness, here:
http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.com/2007/01/nancy-pelosi-damaged-goods.html

Posted by: FuzzFinger on February 8, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

you missed the Hillary invented the VCR story.

Hillary stated that Casablanca was her favorite movie in College/Law School and that she saw it "over and over"... Hugh Hewitt (and others), wondered how she could have seen it so often without the use of a VCR.

Apparently they've never heard Art house movie theaters like the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Ma. (20 miles from Wellesley). or Late Show movies on TV.

http://neh.gov/news/humanities/2005-09/casablanca.html

Posted by: san fermin on February 8, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

First: am I missing any?

Well, there are stories about Democrats who have criticized Bush for abandoning the Kyoto Treaty. The gist of such stories is that those Democratic Senators who were in office at the time voted against any treaty (it was a sense of the Senate) that exempted China and India, and that gave the U.S. no credit for its reforestation efforts.

Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty, or introduce a law with its provisions, if they want to.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on February 8, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

You also missed:
Cheney's "Family is off limits"

This is HUGH for our side... if Hillary wins, then they can't talk about Bill because he's "off limits"

Sweet!

Posted by: san fermin on February 8, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Was Molly Ivins a humorist? I thought she was a journalist.

In his piece on the Edwards blogger “crisis” John M Broder of the New York Times describes Molly Ivins as a “humorist”.

Her first posts on the campaign Web site were a biographical essay explaining why she supports Mr. Edwards’s candidacy and the second a tribute to the late humorist Molly Ivins.

(He’s describing Amanda Marcotte’s work for Edwards.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/washington/08cnd-bloggers.html?ei=5094&en=9d1595ac3e8fca1c&hp=&ex=1170997200&adxnnl=1&partner=homepage&adxnnlx=1170984797-I/YmqKaBV9HWRxU4RPW1uQ

Posted by: antiphone on February 8, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

hillary was responsible for the obama madrassa story

wes clark is an anti-semite

biden shoved his foot in his mouth re obama

hillary still hasn't indicated she regrets her vote authorizing the war (read the dailyhowler.com on this -- it's nonsense, and getting lots of play, though maybe just "run-of-the-mill hackery")

poor kerry was left all alone by the troops in iraq

kerry cried when he said he wouldn't run again, because he was so devastated he'd never be president

gore said that it was the whitehouse which was paying scientists to dispute global warming


Posted by: ruttiger on February 8, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

I've been reading the right wing blogs lately and their focus on this dimwit stories is getting scary to say the least.

This is the sore loser syndrome. They still cannot believe how badly they got their asses kicked in November, and this is their futile and sad coping mechanism in action. Some of these blogs no longer write any positive stories about all things conservative; it's all attack the other side all the time.

It's funny too, go and read Wizbang or LGF. You'll laugh at the projections, denials, accusations.

Posted by: Roger Thornhill on February 8, 2007 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Amy Goodman on Molly Ivins:

Ivins was first and foremost a journalist, in the highest and best sense of the word. She spent the time, did the digging. She had a remarkable gift for words, a command of English coupled with her flamboyant Texas wit. She directed her reportorial skill at the powerful, holding to account the elected and the self-appointed. She first questioned authority, then skewered it.

http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0208-24.htm

Posted by: antiphone on February 8, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler: Well, there are stories about Democrats who have criticized Bush for abandoning the Kyoto Treaty. The gist of such stories is that those Democratic Senators who were in office at the time voted against any treaty (it was a sense of the Senate) that exempted China and India, and that gave the U.S. no credit for its reforestation efforts.

Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty, or introduce a law with its provisions, if they want to.

Heads Up . While you were sleeping, we were playing a game of "What meaningless/false political meme got amplified by the MSM." You woke up and started playing "Red Herring" instead.

They are different games, troll.

Posted by: Absent Observer on February 8, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin usually seems like a pretty normal person. I don't know why he keeps pretending the Marcotte controversy was about profanity. It's about extremely bigoted comments relating to Catholicism and misandric -- not to mention completely false and willfully ignorant -- statements about the Duke lacrosse "rape".

Posted by: Homer on February 8, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK
The gist of such stories is that those Democratic Senators who were in office at the time voted against any treaty (it was a sense of the Senate) that exempted China and India, and that gave the U.S. no credit for its reforestation efforts.

So? Even if that was an accurate characterization of the sense of the Senate resolution (it isn't), the people criticizing Bush, by and large, aren't the Democratic Senators that were in office "at the time" (that is, at the time Kyoto was being negotiated) and, furthermore, even if they were, they could legitimately have changed their view in light of new information and progress in other countries (including China's massive commitment to ethanol) that the concerns they had a decade ago were not the right policy today.


Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty

No, the Senate can't ratify a treaty that the President hasn't submitted for ratification, but thanks for playing.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 8, 2007 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

There are some conflicting statements from the Edwards campaign in the piece by John Broder:

Some of their supporters and officials of rival campaigns questioned why it took Mr. Edwards 36 hours to decide how to handle the problem. An Edwards spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Mr. Edwards had wanted to decide the women’s fate without speaking to them personally. “We took 36 hours because were dealing with people’s livelihoods and careers and reputations,” she said…

…In a statement today, Mr. Edwards distanced himself from the bloggers’ most inflammatory statements, especially about religion, which he said “personally offended me.” He said that no one on his campaign would be allowed to use such language, even if intended as satire.
“But I also believe in giving everyone a fair shake,” he said in a statement. “I’ve talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone’s faith, and I take them at their word.”

Edwards says he talked to the bloggers while his spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri says he wanted to decide without talking to them, not a well coordinated response.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/washington/08cnd-bloggers.html?hp&ex=1170997200&en=9d1595ac3e8fca1c&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Posted by: antiphone on February 8, 2007 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You are missing the "Hillary bundlers" that is being hyped by the Washington Post editorial page.

Daily Howler as well as the Plant have commented on it.

http://www.dailyhowler.com/

http://www.tnr.com/blog/theplank?pid=79170

TABLOID JOURNALISM:
It was always evident that Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, for better and (mostly) worse, was going to receive a great deal more scrutiny on the grocery-store-checkout racks than those of her competitors. But I didn't expect The Washington Post editorial page to follow suit.

The lead editorial in the paper today is titled "Sen. Clinton's Bundles: Who are the big-money fundraisers underwriting her campaign?" It begins by describing a recent large-donor event and asking "What are the candidate's plans to release the names of her big bundlers? ... So far--though we've been putting this question to the Clinton campaign since last Friday by telephone and by email--we haven't gotten an answer."

A fair enough question. The editorial then proceeds to note that both Barack Obama and John McCain have promised to release the names of their big bundlers, before continuing, "Mr. Edwards won't say anything except that he'll abide by the law"--which presumably means he won't release the names of his bundlers--and "former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani haven't responded to our inquiries."

So let's get this straight: According to the editorial, of the six candidates they've asked about bundlers, three have declined to respond and one has basically said that he's not planning to release the names. Yet the headline, subhed, and entire first half of the editorial focus exclusively on Clinton, conjuring images of the nefarious, big-money puppeteers secretly underwriting her campaign. By contrast, her co-malefactors--Romney, Giuliani, and Edwards--between them get a couple of sentences farther down.

Classy.

Posted by: Nan on February 8, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Another one; a number of pundits/reporters have claimed that Hillary Clinton webchats were conducted in a "fake livingroom". Some said it was a "Hollywood set". It turns out she is sitting in her own living room.

Posted by: Nan on February 8, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Had a right wing politician hired a blogger whose main claim to fame was savaging blacks or homosexuals you guy would see it quite differently. John Kennedy would not have seen Edwards' judgement your way at all.
Posted by: mhr

Your very spokesman bitching about Marcotte, and presumably speaking for all Catholic wingnuts, has as his claim to fame a history of savaging homosexuals, blacks, and Jews.

I understand, though ... you don't have many non-racist members left in your party, so you use what you've got.

Posted by: Nads on February 8, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty

The Senate cannot ratify a treaty that has not been submitted to it by the President, since the Senate is not empowered to negotiate treaties with foreign governments. So that was not a terribly intelligent thing to say.

Ha ha. Funny joke.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 8, 2007 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty, or introduce a law with its provisions, if they want to.
Posted by: MatthewRMarler

well apparently the mouth-breathing elements comprising a substantial majority of the republicans in Senate, as well as the scientifically illiterate chimpanzee you've been felating these past 6 years, are still somewhat resistant to the realities of global warming.

It would be funny ... if you find anti-science, religious fundamentalist, corporatist obstructionists funny.

Posted by: Nads on February 8, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

"I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith"

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sling shit back hard:

Bush's Impeachable offenses PART 1

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on February 8, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Now, on the other thing: I think a conservative might fairly claim that the "He is now 100% heterosexual" Ted Haggard story is kind of dumb. It was one stupid sentence spoken by another preacher, not by Haggard himself. But he's not really a politician, and there's a fair counterclaim that this line does accurately represent the right-wing evangelical belief that homosexuality is a "curable" condition, and shows how this belief plays out in practice, so it's newsworthy. In any case it's not simply fraudulent, the way the Obama and Pelosi stories were. It's an accurate, real instance of stereotypical conservative evangelical behavior, not an inaccurate made-up legend reflecting people's false stereotypes about liberal behavior, as the Obama and Pelosi stories were.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 8, 2007 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. You missed the Al-Gore-Slandered-the-WhiteHouse routine. ThinkProgress pointed out 'This morning, CNN incorrectly reported that during an appearance in Spain, Al Gore had blamed the White House -- not AEI -- for offering to pay the scientists...'

And here is the think progress item

http://thinkprogress.org/2007/02/07/gore-climate-change/

Thank you for caring.

So anyway, are they only preaching to the 25-30% RW looney contingent?

The tragedy is not merely the political low-brows at Fox or CNN and their sewage, but a semi-reasonable type like Lou Dobbs, when he apparently goes on a super-smear campaign against Pelosi. Will he be fired? Reprimanded? Anything? He is talking to a lot of people well outside the right wing looney bin. (And hence really is damaging our society; institutionalizing the smear effect)

The republic party cheats, and has done so in significant ways for decades. By the way, how do pundits like you take this into account when judging how well Democrats do generally? Many fine people are harmed-- and we are cheated out of their leadership, simply because we do not correct for this massive prejudice of the clique-ish, pro-estabishment, mega-corporation-owned 'news' media. Don't you all think poorer of Gore, Hillary, Kerry, etc., becasue they so relentlessly attack them, with all the huge prejudice the 'mainstream' meadia can bring to bear, from Dobbs to Russert.? How do we clean off the lies?

Posted by: dj on February 8, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRMarler: Part of the joke here is that the Democrats are now in the majority in the Senate, and can ratify the Kyoto treaty, or introduce a law with its provisions, if they want to.

How many votes are needed to override a presidential veto in both the House and Senate?

Nads already explained why overriding Bush's veto won't happen. We're gonna have to kick more Repub bums out of office to effectively address global warming. Sheesh, the obstructionists Senate Repubs won't let a non-binding resolution on Iraq pass when a majority of Americans disapprove of the escalation of the Iraq War and want the troops out.

Out of touch and out of step... the GOP ain't so grand unless we're speaking of grand delusions.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 8, 2007 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith" ....HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2007 at 10:17 PM

Donohue said of [Mel] Gibson, "There's a lot of people who have made comments which are bigoted who are not necessarily bigots," adding that he is "concerned now about piling on." Of those who won't forgive Gibson, Donohue said: "Who gives a damn about those people?" Donohue then asked, "What kind of blood do they want out of this man?
HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 8, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

You forgot about the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Terrorists.

Posted by: Absent Observer on February 8, 2007 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

- John Kerry getting shot at in 'Nam was dishonorable

- In the 2004 debates John Kerry poked fun at Mary Cheney for being a lesbian

- John Kerry despises the troops in Iraq

- The left wants to ban Christmas

- Global warming is a scheme to foist communism on the populace

- Republicans value personal responsibility and merit

Posted by: Sam Spud on February 8, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - Nancy Pelosi's "jet flap" (as you dismissivley call it) seems to be getting worse for Nancy.

PowerLineBlog has some new poll results on Nancy. Her negatives are higher than her positives - which is astonishing, since she SHOULD be enjoying a honeymoon period.

(I watched the CBS Evening News tonite and they played a bizarre video clip of Nancy blaming the "scandal" on the Pentagon. (HUH?) Then the announcer said Pelosi is also speculating that "sexism" may be to blame.)

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on February 8, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

I remember wondering what had become of the press when Clinton first took office and we immediately had major press coverage of his airplane haircut and "Travelgate."

Sounds like they are trying to do the same number on Pelosi -- throw enough crap on someone and see if any of it sticks, or maybe provokes an unexpected outburst or inappropriate response.

Posted by: pj lin jesusland on February 8, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it a given that most republic men are pussies afraid of strong women? Isn't that why they all wet themselves at the thought of HRC and Pelosi?

Sexism may very well be playing a role ... it's just hard for those representing the party of sexism and bigotry to recognize it.

Posted by: Nads on February 8, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Again, Frequency Kenneth, thanks for contributing nothing.

As stated before, we're not playing Red Herring, we're playing Spot the MSM overreaction to a non-story (political version).

What is it about Trolls that they can't follow the rules to the game?

Posted by: Absent Observer on February 8, 2007 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this falls under "Dimwittery" but did anyone see the hearing at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on C-Span?The Mother of one of the Blackwater contractors who was killed in Fallujah and hung from a bridge and burned said:

"When the decision was made to save millions of dollars by not buying armored vehicles, our husbands, fathers and sons were killed. Blackwater gets paid for the number of warm bodies it can put on the ground in certain locations throughout the world. If some are killed, it replaces them at a moments notice. What Blackwater fails to realize is that the commodity it trades in is human life."

California Republican Darrell Issa said "Although I do not think that your testimony today is particularly germane to the oversight of this committee, I am deeply sorry for the losses that youve had."One question I have is, the opening statement, who wrote it?"

Priceless.

Posted by: vbrans on February 8, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nice try Apollo.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Just a few anti-Catholic rants.

To repeat:

"I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith"

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Shills, not suck-ups.

Posted by: Memekiller on February 8, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yellowbellied Chicken on Dems: "The circular firing squad is working overtime."

Talk about the certifiably imbecilic calling the kettle slightly dumb.

Posted by: Kenji on February 8, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

How about David Broder's claim that Dems hate the miltary?

Posted by: Mark on February 8, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Does not this yipping on command of the mainstream media not define corruption? A corruption so ubiquitous the corrupt have no clue?

The idea of the corporation has to be eliminated and rebuilt from the ground up.

Posted by: cld on February 8, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

“…..since I admit that dimwit stories about conservative politicians are more likely to fly under my radar, have there been any of those in the past month that I've missed?”

Actually Kevin, there has been a paucity of stories regarding such stories, and by golly, it is time to redress this egregious imbalance. Here are a few:

Dick Cheney is, well….. how to say it politely, out of his fucking mind.
George Bush is a sociopath.
Sen. Sam Brownback holds beliefs that are antithetical to rational thought.
Mitt Romney is, listen closely, a Mormon. Do you know what Mormons believe?
Rudi Guiliani has a thing for black leather and dirty talk.
Karl Rove had Anna Nichole Smith “put down” for political reasons.
Doug Feith and Richard Perle oversee a Hitler-worship klaven.
Condi Rice is the only black female member of Opus Dei, but the price she has paid is humiliating, and high.
Ollie North deals dope.
“Oral” Roberts is a nickname from his high school days.
Sen. Lott really is the Imperial Wizard.


But you know what is really amazing here? These stories are true. Trust me. Some say it is so. I mean, you can go ahead and call me a liar, but SOME do say this. Who am I to argue? Nobody shows me the intelligence.

Posted by: bobbyp on February 8, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Too many nots not withstanding, you see what I mean.

Posted by: cld on February 8, 2007 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Opus Dei?-Morris Dei's lil' brother?

Posted by: apeman on February 8, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Frequently Know-Nothing: PowerLineBlog has some new poll results on Nancy. Her negatives are higher than her positives - which is astonishing, since she SHOULD be enjoying a honeymoon period.

The Harris Poll is national poll, not a poll of Pelosi's district (CA-8th) where the voters who re-elected her live.

But now that you brought up the latest Harris Poll, let's compare the line of succession, Prez, Veep, and Speaker...

Mr. Bush's approval ratings were [32%] positive and 67% negative....
...Vice President Dick Cheney's job-performance hit an all-time low; 29% of U.S. adults surveyed gave him positive ratings and 67% rated him negatively....
...Nancy Pelosi... 45% rated her negatively versus 38% who gave her positive ratings.
So the diff between Nancy's negative/positive is 7 points in a poll with a margin of error of +/- 3 points. And 17% were "Not Sure." Heck, I wonder how many Americans know who she is?

But the diff between Bush's and Cheney's negative/positive ratings are...? Um? Hint: More than you can count on your fingers and toes.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 8, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

the Jim Webb was rude to President Bush at a White House reception for freshman members of Congress flap

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
article/2006/11/28/AR2006112801582.html

Posted by: llwb on February 8, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Anything Mike K posts...

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 8, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo, what brilliant repartee !

You are just the most clever person. Can I have your autograph ?

Posted by: Mike K on February 8, 2007 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Don't know if this quite qualifies-but the LA Times this morning repeated the false Bill Clinton LAX haircut story.

I don't think it qualifies on this one but it shows the lifespan of pure rumor that's been incorporated into the mainstream media (if I could think of a less cliched way to say that - I would) and shot out as fact. After all this time! Seriously ...I thought I was seeing things.

One step forward..thank you...two steps back.

The "Kerry cried about not running for President" was short-lived but pungently stupid - and it was picked up by the (not so) liberal media.

Posted by: T4TX_T4TN on February 9, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

vbrans --

"One question I have is, the opening statement, who wrote it?"

Did Issa really say that? That certainly seems like something the media ought to cover. He absolutely owes that woman an apology, and that's a disgusting insult far more serious than most of the kerfuffles over the last few weeks.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 9, 2007 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

semi-reasonable type like Lou Dobbs, when he apparently goes on a super-smear campaign against Pelosi. Will he be fired? Reprimanded? Anything?

I have it on good word that Lou Dobbs likes to have sex with small children and big dogs.

Pass it on.

Posted by: Disputo on February 9, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

You'd think Mr. Potato Head could come up with a better fake handle than Sam Spud. Guess Lying Sack of Shit didn't have the right ring to it.

Posted by: Kenji on February 9, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

No problem with Pelosi asking for a bigger plane. Murtha's threatening the military budget was criminal extortion. I hope Pelosi has him tossed. I think he should be thrown out of office and into jail. The cell they are holding for Libby would fit him just fine.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on February 9, 2007 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it a given that most republic men are...

Ha. I'm assuming you use "republic men" in the same way the GOP et all use "democrat party". I wonder if you can make that stick...

Posted by: gq on February 9, 2007 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

I think Steve Clemons comparison of GOP senators who were against debate before they were for it to samurais is a doozy that will probably gain traction.

Posted by: gq on February 9, 2007 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) says the IPCC's report is "a political document, not a scientific report."

Posted by: Nemo on February 9, 2007 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

What's with Scooter Libby going to court in the beginning and Tim Russert going in lately with the CRUTCHES?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 9, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

wow. Lotsa trolls. In chat software some of us were using yesterday during the Libby trial postings at firedoglake, the software became useless because of denial of service attacks by one or more trolls.

It's February 07 and they are in full bore attack mode. I'm thinking this may be a little early--that the media is gonna start tuning them out if they are attacking at this pitch already.

Posted by: jayackroyd on February 9, 2007 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

mattsteinglass: The Senate cannot ratify a treaty that has not been submitted to it by the President, since the Senate is not empowered to negotiate treaties with foreign governments. So that was not a terribly intelligent thing to say.

That was why I added the modification about introducing a law with its provisions. they could even introduce a "sense of the Senate" resolution requesting the president to submit the treaty. The vote in 2000 was only a "sense of the Senate" resolution. The Democrats are working on a Clean Edge Initiative, which is good. It will not attempt anything like the Kyoto provisions. The fact is, even Democrats don't want the Kyoto provision enacted into law.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on February 9, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

Just remembered the Dixie Chicks.

Time Magazine stated, that "Natalie Maines' 15 words can't top George Bush's 16—the ones about uranium in Niger—for political effect."

Now I remember why I don't subscribe to Time. Upside-down priorities over much ado about nothing while playing along with the WH march to war.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on February 9, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

- Republicans value personal responsibility and merit
Posted by: Sam Spud on February 8, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks....i haven't laughed like that in days

Posted by: Albert on February 9, 2007 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a candidate, tho I only saw it on YouTube: Hillary Clinton said about the oil industry's record profits that she wanted to "take those profits and use them to promote alternative fuels," therefore, she's a socialist.

Posted by: Noumenon on February 9, 2007 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

I guess, I would say it's pretty bad for the GOP when lies is all they offer to the public. It’s unfortunate that there are so many stupid, ignorant Americas, but where else would the GOP find its constituency, except in rural, uneducated American?

You have to stupid to be member of the GOP, or corporate lying thug like Bush and company, smiling gleefully over how stupid most voters are, you know the way Bush makes that little smirk of his.

It is unfortunate that there are so many stupid, ignorant Americans, but where else would the GOP find its constituency, except in rural, uneducated American.

Frank Rich was right, Bush thinks Americans are stupid and he is right, members of the Republicans these days are stupid, stupid people.

Posted by: Cheryl on February 9, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

That was why I added the modification about introducing a law with its provisions. - MatthewRMarler

When you make a false statement, then append "or" and a different statement, it does not make the first statement any less false.

Second: a law committing the US to the same emissions reductions as Kyoto is not the same as signing the Kyoto treaty, for basically the same reason that the King saying he is above the law but promises not to murder anyone is not the same as the King agreeing that he is bound by the law just like everyone else.

I will not discuss these questions any further, and I think it shows bad faith on your part to raise these kinds of off-topic red herrings, particularly when they have no merit.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 9, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

There was something buried in the NYT article on the Edwards blogging flap about McCain having a problem with a conservative blogger. I don't remember whether that got big time coverage or not. But that would be an interesting comparison as the situations sounded somewhat similar. Anyone know?

Posted by: john on February 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

how about rudy being before partial-birth abortion before he was against it? no,wait, that's actually about issues. never mind.

Posted by: benjoya on February 9, 2007 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you missed the whole "DNC hired a terror-loving imam to give the invocation at the winter meeting" thing. Never really went big, but Malkin et al were carping about it.

Posted by: mike in dc on February 9, 2007 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

I think Edwards' house was in NC, unless he's building another house in Georgetown that I don't know about.

Posted by: bibliographic specialist on February 9, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

From Frizb: Democrats are more likely to forgive someone for a minor misstatement, so you don't hear as much about it when a radical Republican puts his foot in his mouth.

That's a good one! Funniest damned thing I have read all week!

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 9, 2007 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

It seems the msm is getting an early start using fatuous non-stories to impugn Dem candidates while virtually ignoring the substantive character issues involving the Republicans. For instance, this week there have been all sorts of stories on Rudy. And all of them ignore his substantive character deficits. The msm glosses over Rudy's past and obfuscates his positions by referring to his "social positions".

Posted by: Chrissy on February 9, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

The Edwards blogger story doesn't really fit in with the trivialities, as far as I'm concerned. There was blatant, hate-filled, anti-Catholic bigotry on those websites. If they had been spewing anti-Semitism or racism, they never would have even had a credible enough forum to be hired by Edwards in the first place, let alone re-hired.

Anti-Catholic bigotry is one of the few forms of bigotry you can still get away with, sadly. In fact, in many quarters it's considered fashionable. I'm still undecided about which Presidential candidate I'm going to work for in my community -- but after this, Edwards is out of the running for me.

Posted by: sullijan on February 9, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Right on Obese One - The RePugs never mention ancient history, such as a certain bridge over a creek or a blue dress. They always stay current on Character Issues which, as they try to pound into our retarded tetes, Count.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy: The "stories" about Dems aren't funny and current. They are frivolous and designed to leave a stench without naming any substantive wrong.

Rudy's character is not "old news" now, and will not be "old news" ever. The msm eagerness to gloss over Republican character issues and use euphemisms to hide their defects has left us with a foolish and mean man as president and a brutish and delusional vice president.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 9, 2007 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Five?

.

Posted by: agave on February 9, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

mhr,

I'm sure the "Scootman" will enjoy that when you visit him for conjugal visits at minimumville.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

My guess is that many of the trolls on here are the same person. There are some that have the same writing style and sentence organization.

Posted by: gq on February 9, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

mhr, don't get too upset when you find the jury comes back with a finding that there was a great big something there, and that somebody needs to go to jail for it.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 9, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

It's not out yet, but I'm pretty sure Democrats had something to do with Anna Nicole's death.
Posted by: Fred F. on February 8, 2007 at 8:17 PM

Oh, no, NOBODY has anything to do with her death. It isn't suspicious that both her son and she died within a few months of each other of twin drug overdoses with a large monetary settlement in the works. No need to investigate any of that coincidence.

Voluntary drug overdoses, I am sure. Same kind of drugs, doncha know? I am the daddy of that baby, by the way.

Posted by: Fat Old Grump on February 9, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

mhr wrote: "The original left-wing version had it that someone revealed the undercover status of a person who, in fact, was not undercover at all."

Valerie Plame was in fact undercover. You are a deliberate liar, deliberately repeating a tiresome lie that has been completely and thoroughly exposed as a lie many, many times. So not only are you a deliberate liar, you are a very stupid deliberate liar.

Besides which, that is entirely irrelevant to Libby's trial. Libby is not accused of leaking Valerie Plame's identity. He is accused of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to the FBI.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

You only have four--not five.

Posted by: Jim Montgomery on February 9, 2007 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

FROM DOWD TO HANNITY

From the elite of the quill profession to the sometimes cartoonish talking heads of T.V., as in from Dowd to Hannity, the media of America do scant little to educate the public.

Collectively they behave as if they were youth taking alternating peeps through a hole in the wall of the boys and/or girls gym locker room. Espying a calf or a buttock they clamor and jostle to press their eye to the peephole and set off en masse to repeat gossipy chatter as news. This game, which is passed off as a profession, is today so ingrained that there is little reasoned analysis and the public neither wants nor expects any.

(Then having nothing to offer but vacuous chatter, the columnists have to pen 700 to 950 words. Their's the rub!

Posted by: Craig Johnson on February 9, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK
You only have four--not five.

No, one of those bullet points includes two "dimwit stories about Democratic politicians that have somehow made the jump to mainstream media stardom"; there are five listed.

If you want to argue that one of them should not be listed, well, you should argue that, other than making it look like you have trouble counting.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats won't build their own Noise Machine because we don't play that way. I feel that Dems do try to lend some authentic honesty and fair play to their politics. While I respect that, the GOP is a party of bullies, and a party of weenies who hide behind the bullies, and the Dems are getting their butts kicked and their lunch money stole.

I believe this to be a heretofore unaddressed issue which needs deliberate planning and strategizing on the Dems side; how to play by the rules against people for whom rules seem not to exist. The Republicans have and do make free use of any method that gets them the win, and they throw these dirt bombs from behind the shielding mechanisms of the Dobson Religious Right and the Limbaugh Loyalists and the Hannity Hordes and the Savage Supporthose.
I believe in the Democrat's maintaining fair play, and wonder if there are ways to top the machinations of a party that prefers dirty pool. Can fair play win against cheaters?

Posted by: Zit on February 9, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

The "Loretta Sanchez is a whore" flap!

Posted by: G. Jones on February 9, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK
I believe in the Democrat's maintaining fair play, and wonder if there are ways to top the machinations of a party that prefers dirty pool.

For one thing, don't be afraid to adopt their communication strategies while maintaining a devotion to the truth. If unfairly attacked, don't try to minimize the attack, instead counterattack, with the truth, and discredit the messenger and those associated with them. Don't needlessly surrender the initiative.

Playing fairly and honestly doesn't have to mean playing nice.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's funny that Kevin would post a comment about "dimwittery", since for as long as I've been reading the comment pages here, they have been dominated by an endless cavalcade of dimwittery from a long parade of ignorant, weak-minded neo-brownshirt dittohead mental slaves of the right-wing propaganda machine, regurgitating one dimwitted scripted talking point after another.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

There is also the issue of the small, almost innocuous comment that trails with the inference or connotation of a lie or smear. The most recent Maureen Dowd column (our local paper reprints select NYT columnists on a 1 or 2 day delay--no Times Select for me) about Joe Biden contained early on the comment that Joe was for real, that he meant well even if he sometimes said to much.
She then threw in that Joe wasn't poll-tested in his speech, unlike Hillary Clinton.
This is the kind of crap that also need to be addressed. It is these small lies, repeated again and again, that become almost locked into people's perceptions of the candidates. it's propaganda at its most effective and invidious.

Posted by: TJM on February 9, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Congressman Keith Ellison swearing in on a Koran.

Posted by: scribo on February 9, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think the "energizer bunny" comment by Giuliani's wife shouldn't have made it in the media.

On the Dem side, there have been stupid stories about Obama smoking cigarettes and now trying to quit.

Posted by: Objective Dem on February 9, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

+1 to the Ellison/Koran story.

Posted by: Dave M on February 9, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji -- oh dear, somebody's cranky! What was I lying about? If the 'personal responsibility and merit' remark raised your ire, well, that's too bad. W is unaccomplished, mediocre, and shirks responsibility. This is a matter of debate only in clown world. He recently admitted to mistakes in Iraq, but at this stage of the game no one cares, and rightfully so. Yours has become a party of the grasping wealthy and ignorant country folk. Where do you fit in?

Posted by: Sam Spud on February 9, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney likes bondage and takes it in the ass from Lynne. (not that there is anythign wrong with that)

Posted by: Dick is Kinky on February 10, 2007 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

Based on NYT/WAPO/Russert/ABC, et al, coverage of Dems in the past, I’m sure we'll see the following: Will McCain eschew campaign appearances with his wife because, next to her, he reminds voters that he is a very old man?; Will Rudy behave himself, so as not to distract the press from other issues, during the campaign?; Does Huckabee suffer from bulimia?; Is Brownbeck anti-Christian because he converted to Catholicism?; Did Romney ever have plastic surgery or use Botox? Is Duncan Hunter’s six-bedroom home still described as two-bedroom for tax purposes?

Posted by: Frank on February 10, 2007 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Note to Kevin: The correct term is "buffoonery."

Posted by: scotus on February 11, 2007 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

Anyone mention the Obama thing from Mike Allen where he tries to make a big deal of the fact that Barack has both said that "Barack" is Swahili and that it is Arabic in order to imply that Obama is lying about the origins of his "unusual" name?

That's a load of nonsense that they are using to make him seem untrustworthy and unAmerican.

Posted by: tlb on February 11, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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