Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 18, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY....Here it is: The Democratic primary has become more a Rorschach test than an actual contest. I suppose this is a banal proposition, but it's been remarkable lately watching so many people — and I include myself here, though I don't always blog about it — so transparently project their own desires and fears onto the top three candidates, often in completely contradictory ways. I don't have any good examples of this right at hand, but maybe I'll try to collect a few over the next few days.

Still, perhaps we can all come together on one thing: if it's going to be a Rorschach test, surely Inkblot is our most electable candidate? He's got a pretty good policy platform, too.

Kevin Drum 4:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (36)

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Yes she does.

Posted by: yep on December 18, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Being that one of the most important things about being a politician is remembering the names of people you rarely meet but who still want to think they are important to you, it's no suprise to me that we, the voters, want to project our desires upon them.

Cats are no exception to this.

Posted by: David W. on December 18, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

And how is that different from other primaries? Wasn't that what the whole "drink a beer with Bush" crap was all about?

Anyway, I just sent $50 to Dodd, and pledged to give him my vote in the CA primary if he keeps up his fight to deny the Telecoms legal immunity. I'll keep that promise, too, and at this point I don't really care any more what Obama and Clinton do--they should have been by Dodd's side, not sending messages of support from far.

That leaves Edwards...let's see now, what can I project on him?

Posted by: Amit Joshi on December 18, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, I have no problem projecting upon candidates who talk about there being a Social Security "crisis". They're Republicans.

Posted by: David W. on December 18, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Readers of Frederick Crews in the New York Review of Books know that Rorschach tests are bogus.

Posted by: Ross Best on December 18, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

But Kevin . . . Since you are Inkblot's slave/pet, you have no choice than to endorse Inkblot.

Then again, it isn't likely Inkblot will stick her foot in her mouth like the rest have.

Go Inkblot! Inkblot for President!

Posted by: bob in fla on December 18, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Can we haul out James R MacLean from the previous thread to tell us how, in its own terms and its own semiotics, his candidate is Inkier than yours or mine?

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on December 18, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Still, perhaps we can all come together on one thing: if it's going to be a Rorschach test, surely Inkblot is our most electable candidate? He's got a pretty good policy platform, too.

Dear god! Kevin, some vapid 15-year-old girl is blogging over your handle!

Posted by: shortstop on December 18, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

My projections upon the top three Democractic candidates reflects cloth coat Republicans.

That is fear.

Posted by: Brojo on December 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot for President!
Labor policy: 20 hours of sleep with mice dreams every day for everyone!
Science policy: Investigate - as intimately as possible - what those big creatures with the "thumbs" are doing!
Health care policy: Lick every reachable inch of your body at seemingly random times!
Foreign policy: Avoid contact with That Black Cat Who I Don't Like And Am Afraid Of!

-----

On Kevin's first point, projection of hopes and fears onto unknowns is common, if not terribly rational. Look at the stock market and its greed and fear motivators. So as the candidates go, the less you know about them, the more "empty canvas" there is to paint your emotions. Hence the one argument against the Clinton candidacy that is most plausible to me is that since she is so well known, if she becomes President, the political dynamics of the 90's return with a vengeance.

Posted by: Greg in FL on December 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Too late. I already had my thought for the day.

Posted by: G.W.B. on December 18, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Sullivan is surely projecting something about Hillary. Not sure what it is, but he is jumping each and every nearby shark these days.

Posted by: Rula Lenska on December 18, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

The Inkblot Platform

Trade policy: Acquire strategic reserves of canned food from humans.
Global warming policy: Intensive study of sunlight patterns coming from the window.
Military policy: Pursue entente with Domino through Red Blanket Diplomacy.
Science policy: Further research of dancing red dot on the carpet from the human's laser pointer needed.

Posted by: Old Hat on December 18, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

What does it say about projection when someone says a candidate is spouting Republican talking points about Social Security and talking about a crisis, when that candidate has specifically said there is no social security crisis and has basically proposed similar tweaks as his opponents?

Posted by: John on December 18, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

You are right Kevin.'sigh'. Its hard not to. I am fully committed come what may to support whatever Dem wins against whichever Repub wins, for the sake of the Supreme Court alone. The heat of the combat doesnt phase me, politics is a rough sport. The projecting part is purely human, which we all are, which may make Inkblot a good candidate at a brokered convention.

Posted by: Jammer on December 18, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Dang, I'm late. But it's what I've been saying all along.


INKBLOT FOR PRESIDENT '08

Posted by: optical weenie on December 18, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah I'll vote for Inkblot over Domino.

Posted by: MNPundit on December 18, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Of course kevin, any good Rorschacher will tell you its not *what* you see but *how* you see that matters...

for the record...this shrink would code the field as follows

Hilary: W+ Ma.FDo 2 P ZA
Obama: W+ Ma.Fro 2 P ZD
Edwards: D+ Mp.m'a.Tfo P ZA

That's good for starters, any other takers out there?


Posted by: shrink in sf on December 18, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Drum: [Inkblot]'s got a pretty good policy platform, too.

Napping in the warm sunshine for everyone? Inkblot so has my vote...

..many people..transparently project their own desires and fears onto the top three candidates, often in completely contradictory ways.

You mean like David Brooks' column today praising Obama? Talk about projection of one's own desires onto a candidate..

Posted by: grape_crush on December 18, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

What does it say about projection when someone says a candidate is spouting Republican talking points about Social Security and talking about a crisis, when that candidate has specifically said there is no social security crisis and has basically proposed similar tweaks as his opponents?

That wouldn't be projection, that would be buying into the media's attempts to misquote Democratic candidates in damaging ways.

Posted by: Boronx on December 18, 2007 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "[S]urely Inkblot is our most electable candidate?"

I'd enter our Annie into the Democratic field, but unfortunately, her feline demeanor is far more elitist than populist, and therefore she'd probably be a better fit as a Republican.

(With the current mediocre GOP field, she'd probably give them a real run for their money, too.)

As far as her platforms are concerned -- well, she prefers my oldest daughter's queen-sized bed in the back bedroom during the mornings, and our bed in the master bedroom for her afternoons. In the evenings, she likes to lay in the oh-so-comfy rattan chair in the living room, so she can keep a watchful simultaneous eye on anyone and everyone who's either watching TV, in the kitchen, or outside on the back porch.

And no, she doesn't require a blanket FISA law exemption for her evening surveillance activities -- she'll continue to do as she damn well pleases, thank you very much.

P.S.: Don't your cats specifically require that you also post a photo of them whenever you blog about them?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 18, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Old Hat on December 18, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Canned!?

Posted by: Zit on December 18, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

{IP reveals a banned troll. Content deleted.]

Posted by: Keith on December 18, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea why anyone would want to be president and be handed Dubyas disasters.

Posted by: Ya Know... on December 18, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously, St. Obama is the best choice.

He has no current character flaws - those are all in his past and were never that bad to begin with.

He is pure good now.

His proposed policies abound in bipartisan smarmony without sacrificing a single progressive principle.

And he's run the cleanest campaign ever! Really!!

God, I love him!

Posted by: Obama Worshiper on December 18, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK
Andrew Sullivan is surely projecting something about Hillary. Not sure what it is, but he is jumping each and every nearby shark these days.

I'm pretty sure that between Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton, Andrew is simply projecting virtually every despicable stereotype about gay men that the gay rights movement has been trying to fight these last 40 years or so. Maybe he'll finally just get himself kicked out of the club.

Posted by: R Johnston on December 18, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

{IP reveals a banned troll. Content deleted.]

Posted by: Keith on December 18, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'll vote for Inkblot! But I worry about the general election. You know what the Republicans will say:

* Inkblot is a Manchurian candidate for space aliens
* Inkblot attended a "hunting skills" madrassa that indoctrinates against snakes and mice
* Inkblot's 20-hour nap labor policy will destroy the economy
* Inkblot wants food handouts for cats who won't work
* Inkblot's "scratch the doctor" health care policy will drive up the cost of insurance

Better get Inkblot a good counterattack web site....

Posted by: Rebecca on December 18, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

Readers of Frederick Crews in the New York Review of Books...

I'm looking forward to a little extra time to finally catch up with the current issue. Thank God the editors give slowpokes like me a chance to catch my breath around holiday time.

Posted by: junebug on December 18, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, what's this been drudged up about an Edwards "love child"? If true, will put a blot on Edwards' ink-lings.

PS: Did Kevin indeed name his cat after a psychological test? What does that mean? ;-)

Posted by: Neil B. on December 18, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama is the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Obama? Or Raymond Shaw?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 18, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Some say Kevin has a feline fixation. We'll have more, right after The Goebbels Report..."

Posted by: FoxNews on December 18, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

Obama? Or Raymond Shaw?

Really. I'm losing track of who is satirizing whom.

Posted by: Disputo on December 18, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot for president!

Posted by: scruncher on December 18, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot is definitely over 35 years old, but I don't think he is a natural born citizen of the United States. Plus, I don't think voters are ready to elect a liquid candidate.

Posted by: polrick on December 18, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Either Kevin's or a literal inkblot would have or do better than the current commandeer-in-cheap.

Posted by: Neil B. on December 19, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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