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Tilting at Windmills

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January 4, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE FEVER SWAMP....Former Dan Quayle speechwriter Lisa Schiffren is.....what? To be admired for laying her psyche so bare in public? To be pitied for having the psyche she apparently has? I'm not sure. But here she is today at The Corner:

You know what? Deep in my psyche, in the place that kind of misses the toothache I've been prodding at with my tongue, I am having a tiny little pang of missing Hillary. Not her, but hating her. Hating Hillary has been such a central political impulse for so long now — 15 years — and I have had to work so hard to keep it up as she became more appealling looking, less shrill, more human — I don't really know what I will do with that newly freed strand of energy.

As long as we're laying our cards on the table, this is one of the things that keeps me on Hillary's side regardless of anything to do with issues or tactics or rhetoric or anything else. I just hate the idea that the fever swamp has been able to turn a perfectly decent liberal woman into such an object of malign loathing. If she loses, then she loses. But by God, I don't want her to lose because millions of Schiffren's fellow travelers have carried on a 15-year vendetta of sick-minded smears and hatred. Enough's enough.

Kevin Drum 2:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (155)

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To hate someone not for something she's done but for what she seems to represent to the hater, that's heinous.

Whereas Bush hatred is totally justified because of what a shitty mess he has made of this country...

Posted by: Jeff from WI on January 4, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

While I have no problem with Obama as a candidate, Clinton's loss makes me sad from this perspective. Presuming she doesn't win the nomination, I don't know where this leaves women in running for president. My gut level feeling is that it's hard to see how a woman could win without a significant shift in the way Americans view female leaders. If she runs as the establishment candidate she is boring, yet not safe, which is I think what's killing Clinton. But I can't see a woman taking the Obama route either. America doesn't find dynamic, iconoclastic women inspiring in the way it seems to find Obama; rather, it finds them threatening. Makes me sad.

Posted by: NK on January 4, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary may be perfectly decent.

BUT SHE'S NOT A LIBERAL!!!!!

Posted by: danno on January 4, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Not only heinous, Jeff from WI, but pathetic, sad, immature, and stupid. There are too many people like her in politics. When I worked for Legal Aid, Hillary Clinton was seen as almost a hero, given her work in the '70s on behalf of children (she worked for handicapped children to have access to public education, for example). You don't have to love the woman, but my god, to just "hate" her because she's a threat and not what you think a woman should be, that's just ridiculous.

Posted by: Angela on January 4, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I have never understood the Republican hatred of the Clintons. They are conservative-moderate Democrats who agree with most Republicans more than they do with some Democrats. What is the Republicans' problems?

Posted by: freelunch on January 4, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I agree with you 100%. I have been reflexively defending Hillary against all comers for so long that it almost didn't matter to me whether I actually prefered Obama or Edwards. I did not want to see Hillary get beat - I especially wanted to see her overcome the negative press. But maybe that is not a good enough reason to support a candidate.

I feel sure Lisa and Co. will find a target for that 'newly freed strand' of hate energy. They were perfectly able to redirect it to Gore and Kerry when they had to.

Posted by: Dawn on January 4, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

freelunch, I'll assume that's a rhetorical question. ;)

Posted by: Angela on January 4, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

NK: if Hillary doesn't make it this time, we'll just have to keep electing female senators and governors until it's no big deal. We're far behind Europe in terms of the number of women in lesser offices.

In any case, being elected as the wife of a former president is an old route to power that has worked even in Muslim countries (e.g. Benazir Bhutto). It basically amounts to electing the family, and it isn't particularly feminist.

Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, and Segolene Royal (who didn't win) made it on their own, without a spouse leading the way.

Posted by: Joe Buck on January 4, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

"I have never understood the Republican hatred of the Clintons. They are conservative-moderate Democrats who agree with most Republicans more than they do with some Democrats. What is the Republicans' problems?"

What's their problem?

Republican's were supposed to have the White House forever. And the Clintons, while not liberals, are NOT Republicans.

That's all.

Posted by: katiebird on January 4, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

What is the Republicans' problems?

Class, race, and gender insecurity, plus the lingering fear of nookie....

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 4, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

My question is somewhat rhetorical, but it would be nice to find out if there is actually a reason for this. Otherwise, I might have to conclude that they are all insane.

Of course, you might also notice that there are a lot of Republicans who hate Huckabee with the same blinding hatred that they have turned on the Clintons. Is it something about Arkansas? Rockefeller? The idiocy of lying to yourself about taxes?

For some reason, I don't mind their self-destructive hatred of Huckabee nearly as much as their foolish (and at times destructive to our country) hatred and abuse of the Clintons.

Posted by: freelunch on January 4, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Schiffren's hatred of Hillary is completely rational. Hillary is cynical. she says whatever she thinks you want to hear. She is manipulative. She is hypocritical because she support women's rights but is married to Bill Clinton, a adulterous philander. And not only that, but she has a horrible cackle of a laugh, and she couldn't even cover up her breasts when dressed in the Senate. There's really nothing to like about her.

Posted by: Al on January 4, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

As long as we're laying our cards on the table, this is one of the things that keeps me on Hillary's side regardless of anything to do with issues or tactics or rhetoric or anything else...

Me too. I especially don't comprehend the loathing among Democrats. And, to be blunt, am I the only one who thinks Hillary's travails with respect to Bill over the years -- especially while they were in the White House -- actually add to her appeal? I'm talking about the way she dealt with everything. The quiet dignity. The strength. The lack of self pity. The resolve to just get on with it. All that and apparently she did a terrific job raising her kid. She's not warm and fuzzy. She's cold and regal. Her strength and stoicism are exactly the attributes I find most admirable about her.

Posted by: Jasper on January 4, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Al, for letting me know that it is completely loony.

Posted by: freelunch on January 4, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

What does it say about a person whose "central political impulse" is to hate? Who is married to that hate for 15 years, and who bemoans having to "work hard" to keep that hate alive?

There's a pathology there.

It's that last statement that gets to me. I'm no fan of Bush, but I wouldn't gleefully and seriously classify it as "hate". And even if it were "hate", I don't have to "work so hard" to nurture that feeling.

On the few times where Bush has done something right, I'm quite happy -- relieved, in a way -- to give credit where it is due. Whereas Ms. Schiffren would, in Hillary's case, probably become annnoyed because now she would have to work harder at keeping that Hillary hate alive.

Lunacy.

Posted by: Kman on January 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

NK, I share that perspective as well. A lot of the Hillary-hate on the right was due to her stepping out of the traditional first lady role in the first place. Once she was established as hated and "polarizing" it was easy for sexists on the left (oh yes, they are out there) to pile on.

Obama may be able to use youthful enthusiasm and sheer charisma to overcome the racist elements, but as you say, the same dynamics don't work for woemn in this country, at least not yet.

I honestly cannot see another viable Dem woman on the horizon, and that makes me sad too.

Posted by: Dawn on January 4, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Ms. Schiffren's comments are silly, but Sen. Clinton has earned that hatred.

Posted by: Brian on January 4, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Something about politics inspires hatred in some people. Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, the Clintons, GWB. Look at how many people tried to assassinate Charles DeGaulle. The reptilian part of our brain taking over, I guess.

Posted by: Speed on January 4, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck:

Oh, I agree with you (though I think that Clinton is not so much riding her spouse's popularity as riding her spouse's funding, which is an old tactic that has benefited both men and women - Bill's popularity doesn't really seem to have done much for her). My point is not that a woman will never be elected president in the US, but that it's hard to see how it happens in today's environment. I agree, the way to change that environment is in part to build up female leadership at the lower levels as you suggest. But that's a long-term strategy, and it would have been nice to think we were a bit further along than that. After all, while I recognize that issues of representativeness are complicated by the differing percentages of women and blacks in the population at large, certainly people are no more "used" to seeing blacks in high-level positions than they are to seeing women. (Note that this is not a knock on black candidates - I like what Obama's viability says about American's changing views, I'd just like to see the same for women.)

But who knows, maybe Clinton will pull it out and I'll no longer be glum.

Posted by: NK on January 4, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I think that Hillary is both unfairly hated on the right and the worst of the three main Democratic candidates. Both can be true at once. She has limitations of mind and personality that remind me of a male politician, Richard Nixon. That has nothing to do with her sex, it has to do with her as a person. There is such a thing as a political temperament. Obama seems to have it. Bill has it, but Hillary does not.

As for feminism, Joe Buck is right: being elected as a former first lady and current celebrity senator would be a false victory for feminism. Thatcher, Merkel, Royal, Golda Meir, et al. provide far better models.

Posted by: Hal on January 4, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hate is such a useless emotion.

Posted by: Xisithrus on January 4, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Sick-minded smears and hatred" Without these, was does the Republicun Party have? Nothing. Not a thing.

Posted by: CT on January 4, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I don't hate Hillary, I've said before I think she's a good Senator and should take over for Ted Kennedy as the voice of the moderate left in that institution...But ignoring her own personality flaws because she's an abused woman is like ignoring Ted's crimes because he's a Kennedy. What male politician would have survived letting Hugh Rodham lay around on the WH couch for six weeks auctioning pardons to federal prisoners, who could have stonewalled so many issues, i.e. her magically materializing billing records two days after the statute of limitations expired. She's brought most of the dislike on herself, quit apologising for her.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 4, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

freelunch wrote: "I have never understood the Republican hatred of the Clintons."

The Republican hatred of Hillary Clinton was deliberately and carefully manufactured.

Following Bill Clinton's 1992 election, a Republican political operative (whose name I unfortunately don't recall) was quoted saying "Within one year we will make Hillary Clinton the most hated woman in America."

And the well-funded right-wing extremist Republican propaganda machine set out to do exactly that, creating the Cult of Clinton Hatred of which Lisa Schiffren is a card-carrying member.

I think that Lisa Schiffren speaks for many Republicans who fervently wish for Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee, and perhaps even secretly harbor a wish for a Hillary Clinton presidency, so that they can again experience on a daily basis the joy of the "central political impulse" of Clinton Hatred.

So-called "conservatism" in the USA has had no real content other than hatred of "liberals" for a long, long time.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 4, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

"But by God, I don't want her to lose because millions of Schiffren's fellow travelers have carried on a 15-year vendetta of sick-minded smears and hatred. Enough's enough."

Hey Kevin:

At the moment, the only group of people who are in a position of making a loser out of Hillary are your fellow Democrats who don't vote for her. I'm sure you are not labelling all those loyal Democrats who don't support her as being part of "Schiffren's fellow travelers [who] have carried on a 15-year vendetta of sick-minded smears and hatred" against her.

I hope not. Because we, who have carried on the 15 year vendetta against Hillary are quite content to wait until after she gets the nomination before letting the venom fly.


Posted by: Chicounsel on January 4, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

I just hate the idea that the fever swamp has been able to turn a perfectly decent liberal woman into such an object of malign loathing.

I think that on the left side, the sympathy she gets for surviving the fever swamp clouds a lot of people's judgments about her record, her inability to admit even trivial mistakes, etc.

Yes, all of it makes sense when you consider what she's been through. She doesn't dare vote against Bush's wars, surges, threats of war, etc., because she'd be dragged through the fever swamp over it. She doesn't dare admit even a trivial mistake about whether someone in Pakistan is or is not a candidate, because she'd be dragged through the fever swamp over it.

But if she would go to the same extremes as president to avoid the fever swamp, and if in particular she would continue to err on the side of war to avoid appearing weak, then she's not fit to be the Democratic candidate, no matter how unfair it is that the fever swamp is what pushed her to adopt these reactions.

Posted by: bob on January 4, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

As for feminism, Joe Buck is right: being elected as a former first lady and current celebrity senator would be a false victory for feminism.

I have to say I think this line of thought is wrong. If, in fact, HRC was indeed Bill Clinton's most important or most trusted adviser, then discounting her years in the White House simply because she wasn't an "official" member of the cabinet is sexist. If you don't buy the part about her being a critical member of his team, then I guess that's they way you see it. But I think it's pretty obvious her role was substantive, and vital. She just didn't face a Senate confirmation.

Posted by: Jasper on January 4, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel -

The Republicans would feel devastated if the Democrats didn't nominate Sen. Clinton now. They have all of their emotion tied up in her. If she just stays in the Senate, doing a good job, they will feel crushed.

Democrats should never do anything that takes into account the feelings of Republicans.

Posted by: freelunch on January 4, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

She is a shopaholic, she campaigns on her desire to go shopping in the government warehouses.

That is a non-starter to voters of either party.

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

In any case, being elected as the wife of a former president is an old route to power that has worked even in Muslim countries (e.g. Benazir Bhutto). It basically amounts to electing the family, and it isn't particularly feminist.

Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, and Segolene Royal (who didn't win) made it on their own, without a spouse leading the way.

That has much more to do with where we are in history than with Hillary Clinton herself. The women who have come to power without family connections are still the minority. In another...how many?...years, that won't be true.

I wonder if one of the things people have seen as HRC's strength--that she has taken every bit of outrageous crap possible for 15 years and there's nothing new they can throw at her--has also been a weakness in this campaign. There is a certain old-news air about her even outside of the insane Clinton hating. Right now voters are looking for big change, a sense of starting over, and rightly or wrongly, Obama appeals to that impulse. In a few years people may be looking for tested familiarity, and Clinton might have done--or still might do--better in that environment.

I heartily agree, though, that it's sad that we don't have more major women candidates in the pipeline. So much of getting elected is being the right person walking into the right moment, and when only one woman at a time is a viable candidate, she's not going to be ready or the right choice for all the possible twists in the political landscape. When we have a variety of solid women candidates with different platforms, styles and personalities, the chances of landing the presidency--over and over--will be much greater.

Posted by: shortstop on January 4, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, I read Steve Gilliard's blog for years and there was a guy with a LOT of anger issues. Same goes for a lot of blogs, right and left. If you invest that much of your time and energy in being mad at people, it's going to affect your physical and mental health. Doesn't matter what your politics are.

Posted by: Speed on January 4, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Because we, who have carried on the 15 year vendetta against Hillary are quite content to wait until after she gets the nomination before letting the venom fly. Chicounsel

I hear people talk of BDS, seems you have admitted to HDS.

Posted by: Xisithrus on January 4, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I just hate the idea that the fever swamp has been able to turn a perfectly decent liberal woman into such an object of malign loathing.

—Kevin Drum

Amen. And this is exactly what makes all this "reaching across the aisles" nonsense so dangerous. The fever swamp is still there, and Obama or whoever our nominee turns out to be, better understand it before and after the election.

If we do win, with larger majorities in both chambers, let's kick ass while we have the chance.

Screw compromise.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 4, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I hate the fact that Hillary is considered that "liberal."

And, anybody more liberal than Kevin would know that.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

The repugnacans have always hated the Clintons. You would think that neither Bill or Hillary have done anything for the country. That they are 2 of the most despicable folks on the planet.

Yet the repugnacans seem to idolize the Bushes.

Hate for Hillary is like the venom sports fans lavish on their rivals. While politics is more than a game, most Limbagnoids (aka most republicans!) seem to think it's game to trash the "left."

We are in for a long year.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 4, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

While I too would like to have a woman president (and soon!) and while I too wonder about where our next opportunity will come from, is there really anyone here that can claim, even for a moment, that five years ago you thought it even a remote possibility that a black man would be one of the most viable candidates in the race? One with the name Barak HUSSEIN OBAMA?

Yes, mostly politics is a game of this feeding into that, and this result coming from this. But sometimes it's also that moment of the sheer unexpected.

Because more important than a woman president is having a really great one that will be remembered for more than being the first woman.

Posted by: geml on January 4, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "I just hate the idea that the fever swamp has been able to turn a perfectly decent liberal woman into such an object of malign loathing."

What's worse is that the fever swamp has been able to turn a conservative Southern Democrat into a "liberal".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 4, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Why do Republicans hate them? Because Bill would not go for PNAC.That sent Bill the Bloody and his minions in to a fit.And because Hilliary called it what it was A Rightwing Conspiracy against her Husband.It really is that simple.

Posted by: john john on January 4, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Just because Hillary was slandered by a right wing hate machine for 15 years doesn't mean that she should automatically get the Democratic nomination for President.

Nor is it a particular good reason to think that she'd be a better President than either Obama or Edwards.

That's the choice primary voters are making. Not some judgement on the right wing hate campaign.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on January 4, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin are you going to do a Thread on the goofy pocket veto From earlier in the week?

Posted by: john john on January 4, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

OT a little, The R's need to be worried Those numbers from lastnight where awesome 239,000 voting Dems that has to worry R's running for reelection this could be the end of the Republican Party.

Posted by: john john on January 4, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK
….Sen. Clinton has earned that hatred. Brian at 2:35 PM ….She has limitations of mind and personality that remind me of a male politician, Richard Nixon.….Hal at 2:38 PM …. Hugh Rodham lay around on the WH couch for six weeks auctioning pardons to federal prisoners…mr insensitive at 2:40 P.... She is a shopaholic…Matt at 2:48 PM

The above are typical of the unfounded irrational hated one sees. None have any factual basis, but they read their own prejudices into the Clintons. Nixonesque? Rehashing the phony "pardongate" and even more phony "billing records?" Shopoholic like who, Condi?

….before letting the venom fly. … Chicounsel at 2:42 PM

You haven't been paying attention. The venom from the Chris Matthews' and other
Heathers in the bus and even the mindreaders on the nominal left is being expressed constantly. A lot of these are the same people that slimed Gore for everything he did or said.
….If you invest that much of your time and energy in being mad at people…Posted by: Speed on January 4, 2008 at 2:50 PM

If you can watch what the Republicans have been doing and not feel anger, you have far worse problems.

Posted by: Mike on January 4, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

There's really nothing to like about her.
Posted by: Al

Sure there is, scum. She drives a rapist/murderer-defending slimeball like you absolutely nuts.

Posted by: DJ on January 4, 2008 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I agree completely with you Kevin. I've supported Obama from the beginning, but the sheer hatred of the Clintons that you see on the right wing blogs and in the press (I'm looking at you Chris Matthews) has made me use up valuable time defending Hillary on right wing blogs.

Posted by: Teresa on January 4, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

One thing that strikes me in today's postings is this idea that one should find Hillary distasteful because of her positions, but that her lack of passion about any particular topic isn't mentioned much. Then, with regard to Edwards his determined passion to fight corpocracy is called 'anger' and his actual record of fighting it in the courtroom isn't mentioned and his policy positions are dismissed. Meanwhile, Obama has less experience than Clinton or Edwards and claims 'experience' is over-rated and policy and 'hope' are everything. It seems very self-serving.

I rate experience highly. I think both Clinton and Edwards are superior to Obama on that count.

I rate vision highly and on that Edwards seems superior to the others.

I rate policy positions highly and Clinton and Edwards are good on that score. Obama's policies, as I know them, are flawed or weaker.

Most of all, I rate character highly. In Clinton I see a triangulator who suggests agreement with you, but who hedges and fudges to avoid committment. In Obama I see someone who lies to his potential supporters and who steals lines from other candidates and who is too easily led (or pushed) around by the nose. I see Edwards as more visionary, gritty and determined and that this follows naturally from his background.

Aside from campaign money I don't see Clinton or Obama really being able to match Edwards.

Anybody cares to dispute these characterizations?

Posted by: MarkH on January 4, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin...

That is not a fight worth having Kevin…. I understand what you mean, but for god sakes don’t encourage others to fight this fight.

The republican base is ripping itself apart at the roots. The Theo-cons, Neo-cons, Palio-cons, Kstreet-kons are at each other’s throats. No amount of fear mongering, LIBERALS are SHIT and FAGS are taking over our Kindergartens for homo-sexcapades in teacher Unions who sympathize with TERRORISTS to rape our Anti Abortion protesters… Rhetoric is going to work this time.

Its not going to work. Get it?

Nothing is going to this cracked GOP out to vote against the Reagen-esque Obama platform that is reaching out across the isle for an American majority as we speak. Who will unite American in common purpose to deal with the many many many issues we need to deal with.

Repubus have a busted party. Thanks to George Bush’s overreaching with his permanent Repub majority.

This election cycle, there is only ONE thing that could reunite this rag tag bunch of crazies together into one untied party. One thing, Hillary R. Clinton.

There is only one wedge issue that would unite Rebubs for this election. There is only one thing that could get despondent Repubs out of bars, Out of Churches and off their fat FOX news watching asses to vote with HATE in their hearts. And that issue is Hillary Rodman Clinton.

No republican candidate is going to INSPIRE butts in seats for republicans this year. Not one of them. The only thing in all of American politics that could do would be the desire to CRUSH HRC. She would get MILLIONS of Repubs off their fat asses into voting booths. Do you really want to have that fight?

Do you?

PS: For the life of me I don’t know why, Hillary is so polarizing to republicans. There is a lot I don’t understand about republicans. But I can say this with 100% confidence, the only person as polarizing in American politics as George W Bush, is Hillary R Clinton. Like it or not. Understand it or not. Agree with it or not. She is an ANTI-CHRIST for the right wing, as much as GWB is an ANTI-CHRIST for the left.

Are you fighting for what’s right for America? AMERICA? Or for what’s right for the Clintons? Think about it. Is America worth that fight?

And that’s today’s WORD.


Posted by: troll_bait on January 4, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Mike: "If you can watch what the Republicans have been doing and not feel anger, you have far worse problems."

I've been watching the GOP run the country into the ground for decades, and if I had stayed angry about it all that time, I'd be dead by now. The world is full of things you can get angry about, but what does that actually accomplish? You may furiously type away on your keyboard thinking that you're really fighting the good fight, but you're not getting anywhere. I've been there, done that.

Posted by: Speed on January 4, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Kevin, but it seems you have missed Bob Somerby's point, once again. It's not Schiffren and her right-wing fellow travelers that have done the most damage to Hillary; it's the mainstream media's endless trashing of her, abetted by the silence of liberal writers like yourself. Until now, let's hope.

Posted by: suzyqueue on January 4, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of my opposition to Hilbot I preface with "This isn't her fault but..." By that I mean, the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton thing, and the irrational hatred she stirs in the Repugs.
But the fact remains - nominate her, and the Limbaugh wing of the GOP becomes "more powerful than we can possibly imagine." The genelec becomes scarily tighter. And the agenda becomes much narrower.

But that's today. Consider this - what does she gain from a loss? What does she gain from an Obama presidency? How about even more experience? How about, more distance from Clinton 1.0? How about, sitting back and waiting while the Bush/Rove/Limbaugh coalition finishes crumbling?
And can't you see the MSM themline? "Humbled, Wiser, A More Mature Hillary Makes A Second Run."

Posted by: cazart on January 4, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Republican's were supposed to have the White House forever.

That's my opinion too. I don't have any tapes or anything, but my memory of election night when Clinton beat Bush was that the Republican who commented on the record were just flat out pissed. They never got over it. And they knew they had to destroy Hillary on the health care issue or they'd be looking at 16 years of Clintons in the White House.

Posted by: tomeck on January 4, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think old Lisa should just start watching daytime dramas. There, she can find a love-to-hate-her character and a means to expend that energy for decades to come! And, the country won't be wrecked in the process.

Posted by: ajw_93 on January 4, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

"She is hypocritical because she support women's rights but is married to Bill Clinton, a adulterous philander."

Why cant a woman be in favor of women's rights and choose to be with a adulterous philander?

I thought the whole point of being for women's lib is to be able to choose what you want!

Posted by: Sandy on January 4, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Freelunch is right on the money. The Republican hatred of both Clintons was created by a deliberate campaign to smear them once Republicans realized what formidable opponents the Clintons are. It is pathetic how many Democrats also bought this venom. Many, including Obama, seem to think that the Clintons somehow brought this on themselves and overlook the fact that the same smear machine also trashed Gore and Kerry and will do the same to whomever the next Democratic candidate is. And reaching out won't stop them. No one seems to remember that Bill tried this tactic, appointing Republicans to his cabinet. One of them, the "honorable" Louie Freeh, used his post as FBI director to help the right wing push scandal after scandal.
What it harder to understand is the fact that so many in our mainstream media play along with this kind of garbage. It is up to us to make sure it stops. Whenever any Democrat is treated this way by Republicans or the media we need to raise a stink.

Posted by: BernieO on January 4, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tomeck states an overlooked point about the right wing animosity to the Clintons; Repubs felt the tides moving their way after Reagan and genuinely felt robbed [think Bush v Gore in reverse] by Ross Perot giving the WH to Clinton with 42% of the vote.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 4, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Is it really that hard to understand why some Democrats hate her, too? She acted as an enabler for the war on Iraq, which even if W had been the best president in all other respects, would still be the biggest sin our country has committed on the world stage since Vietnam.

Posted by: M1EK on January 4, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

And on the opposite bank along the same fever swamp.

It seems strange to say that Edwards is doomed when Hillary had so much money and fame but Edwards still beat her in Iowa. Or that Huckabee is an empty suit that had this landslide of a victory that was bigger in margins than what Obama won. Maybe establisment Dems are just as silly as establisment Repugs. I guess it's okay to hate Bush and hate Hillary and just move on now and not have to listen to the swamp people at all.

Posted by: me-again on January 4, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a good Democrat, and will of course vote for Clinton if she gets the nomination. She's certainly qualified, and her views are in general congenial to me. But she has no public charm--none at all. And listening to her spout bromides is close painful. You either have it or you don't. When Obama sprouts bromides-- that's music.

Posted by: Matt on January 4, 2008 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with ya, Kevin.

Posted by: Winston Smith on January 4, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I love that old line that Clinton won with only 43% and these same people can't take 100 and divide by 3 (That is 33.3) That means Clinton won with a Majority. 3 divided by 100. That is how it works in a 3 way race Got it ,OK. Oh and Gore never said he invented the internet,If you believe that please show me the quote.

Posted by: john john on January 4, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK
Actually Schiffren's hatred of Hillary is completely rational. Hillary is cynical. she says whatever she thinks you want to hear. She is manipulative. She is hypocritical because she support women's rights but is married to Bill Clinton, a adulterous philander. And not only that, but she has a horrible cackle of a laugh, and she couldn't even cover up her breasts when dressed in the Senate. There's really nothing to like about her.
Hillary-hating is a form of consensual mind-control, self-inflicted as part of the buy-in of the U.S. 1990s-era right-wing canon. I have never heard anyone successfully explain why rationally they hate Hillary. Al brilliantly summarizes the rationalizations (which don't really survive one more layer of digging), but slips at the end and explains that they are reasons to not like Hillary. Dislike is not hatred. Posted by: Bill Arnold on January 4, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Well I guess you've outed yrself as a reactionary Kevin.
This is as lame - especially for someone (mis)labeled as a political animal - as Leninist's defending their various 'deformed workers states'.
Lame, offensive to feminists and political imbecility as usual. Your tech may be upgraded but yr still not improving are you?

Posted by: professor rat on January 4, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

At least Lisa Schiffren attaches her real name to her diatribes against Hillary. You know what her agenda is.

The depressing part of this primary campaign for the last two months has been reading vicious name-calling and attacks on Hillary on so-called liberal blogs, attacks that had nothing to do with policy and, often, everything to do with attacking attributes that I share: older liberal woman with wrinkles. I have no idea who these people really were, but they made me dislike Obama intensely.

Ironically, they may have actually been Karl Rove wannabes trying to disrupt the Democratic primary. If so, they probably succeeded in making this life-long Democrat want to skip the general election for the first time in over 40 years.

Posted by: emmarose on January 4, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, think that Obama's charm will not win him the Presidency if he is nominated. It may turn out in the end that Democrats are probably making a mistake by not nominating Mrs. Clinton, though recently she has been talking more and more like John Kerry, and so it may not ultimately matter at all.

Posted by: gregor on January 4, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

So much is about timing. Yesterday's liberal may be viewed as today's ... what. Truly, one of the sadder parts of this year's primary process is watching newer, younger liberals or progressives almost slash at Hillary. You know, there is a fairly simple--and, objective/factual--way to deal with the degree of Senator Clinton's "liberalness." Look at her voting record, her year by year voting record and place it side by side with Obama's and Edwards'. I say this because you will find that the numerous votes she has cast in her life (the actions she has taken--not just the words) will place her in the 90s on a top scale of 100 liberal scoring. I believe, also, that you will find the overall vote at the same level as Obama and liberally superior to Edwards. Yes, we can all "feel" something about a person. Remember, of course, how so many were enticed to vote on the feeling of wanting to have a beer with George Bush. But, since so many of us purport to be supportive of strong, smart, and capable women ... why do Democrats (of all people) echo Republican smears about laughter being cackles, denigration about dress, imagination about personal motives, etc.? Instead of a Rohrschach test, perhaps we should call it the Hillary test? What are we really so concerned about? Chris

Posted by: christinep on January 4, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Two words: Mark Penn.

No real liberal would ever vote for a candidate who let that guy run their campaign.

Posted by: David on January 4, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Lisa is a pathetic asshole. After she linked approvingly to a blog post that wished that Hillary had married O.J. and I called her on it, she sent me an e-mail apologizing and the NRO edited the offending post rather than leave it up there to reveal to the world what a fucking tool Lisa really is.

Posted by: calipygian on January 4, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

re: john john

Not to be too technical, but majority means 50% plus 1. Thus at 43%, Bill Clinton won a plurality of the popular vote and a majority of the electoral college votes and thus the presidency. The last legitimate president (I guess you could count 2004's election)?


We need more slogan's in this post methinks.

Replugs Un-Unite?

Posted by: Craig Johnson's Brother's Son on January 4, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Also, more on topic.

Fair or no, Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton is a strong argument to me for some other Democrat being the Prez nominee. I think she might make a great VP though, the left's Cheney?

Just some thoughts.

Posted by: Craig Johnson's Brother's Son on January 4, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

... Ross Perot giving the WH to Clinton with 42% of the vote.

I love the assumption built into that statement that every Perot vote was a lost Bush vote. IIRC, the polls at the time showed an even split.

Posted by: Thlayli on January 4, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think a lot of the commenters here hit the nail on the head: Hilary Clinton is not a liberal, although she, like John Kerry, probably was 35 years ago. She panders- and does so obviously. And she does it badly, whether she is putting on a really bad local dialect in a black church on MLK Day in Alabama, or holding herself out as a great friend to Israel and stalwart Zionist when addressing her New York Jewish constituents. My hunch is that if there is still a real person left inside that calculating shell, she is probably a decent human being with good instincts. And if she ever let herself be the person she used to be, she'd have a much better shot of winning votes.

You can't make every voter like who you are by pretending to be someone you're not; so you may as well be the best person you can be and take what comes. Voters sense that about people like Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Dennis Kucinich, and to a lesser extent, Barack Obama. Plastic people like Mitt Romney and Hilary Clinton are repellant to those who want a genuine leader who believes the words coming out of his or her mouth.

Posted by: JamesFinkelstein on January 4, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

"She couldn't even cover up her breasts when dressed in the Senate."

Dude, I realize you're a jobless lunatic with short term memory issues and all, but two words:

Katherine Harris.

Posted by: HeavyJ on January 4, 2008 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin that much of the malignment/loathing of Hillary and others (e.g. President Bush) is unfair and, in extreme cases, borders on sickness. One problem with Hillary, decent liberal woman or not in terms of her politics, is that she really comes across as a "congenital liar," and unlike her husband as recognized by Bob Kerrey, she is not good at it - you know she is lying. To some extent, it goes back to the fact that her introduction to America was her lying about the obvious bribes she received through trading on the futures market. Almost all politicians are phonies, but she is beyond that in terms of calculation and deception.

In any event, unless she destroys Obama somehow, she now will not get the nomination and if she gets the nomination by destroying Obama, she will not be elected president. And absent some scandal/dirt in Obama's past, it is hard to see how any democrat derails him. He is by far the most likeable candidate and best speechmaker, and since there is no real difference between him and others on issues, he seems invulnerable absent a significant scandal or other dirt. Hard to believe how quickly this has happened.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

James Finklestein:
It will be interesting to find out who the real Obama turns out to be. Last night on Charlie Rose, a black commentator said that Obama talks one way to white audiences to reassure them and talks to black audiences "like Stokely Carmichael in 1968." He wondered how Obama was going to bring those two versions together.

Posted by: emmarose on January 4, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Lisa is a pathetic asshole. After she linked approvingly to a blog post that wished that Hillary had married O.J. and I called her on it, she sent me an e-mail apologizing and the NRO edited the offending post rather than leave it up there to reveal to the world what a fucking tool Lisa really is.

I don't suppose she could have asked that the post be edited because she recognized how offensive it was and didn't want to offend?

I suspect you'd have complained as well if the post had been left unchanged.

I have a slightly soft spot for Schiffren, having had a couple of email exchanges with her about her comments on Hillary. In both cases she actually *listened* to what I had to say, acknowledged my points, and indicated that they were leading her to rethink her opinions. In my experience, that's highly uncommon with right-wingers. And I can't be the only liberal to have had this kind of discussion with her.

It seems to me she's been going through some kind of positive process that's taking her to a more rational place, and she ought to get some credit for it.

Posted by: Swift Loris on January 4, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel is right.

It did not occur to me when reading Kevin's post, but Hillary's present problems are not caused by republicans, they are caused by democrats unwilling to support her. To the extent any loathing of her is denying her the nomination, it is the loathing of democrat voters.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is surprising that Republicants loathe Hillary so, when she has always been GOP-lite and even Richard Scaithe, who spent millions trying to bring down her husband, admitted last year that the Clinton presidency wasn't so bad after all.

Singular legislative legacy was welfare reform, insuring single mothers had neither educational opportunities nor job training to fall back on.

Their ineptitude on everything from gays in the military to health care set back both those issues by 20 years.

They managed to make Ed Meese look like Bobby Kennedy with their (Hillary's) pick of Janet Reno, who created the template for the witchburning daycare prosecutions from Little Rascals in Carolina to McMartin in Southern California.

Furthering her devout interest in children, she gassed and incinerated the women and children in Waco as a coup de grace.

Then she returned a small boy to Cuba, at the point of a gun, after his mother had drowned getting him here.

With vindictiveness, secret health care meetings setting the precedent for Cheney's energy cabals, a preference for lies and parsing over veracity, it's always been curious more Republicans didn't embrace the triangulating Clintons.

The bigger mystery is why so many so-called progressives continue to. Astonishing, really. But, then again, Clintonistas are progressive in the manner members of the DLC are.

Posted by: filmex on January 4, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

HDS (or fever swamp) for 99% of the population is a programmed emotional response. The other 1% are actively involved in the programming. If you view the next several years as a crucial battle for America's soul, like I do, then winning big in the next election cycle is a big deal. The dark side has been using no holds bars rules of engagement since 94. We could be defeated if we run a fatally wounded (if deserving) candidate. Those who want a woman president will just have to wait. We've got a country to save.

Posted by: bigTom on January 4, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

This has all been explained before.

Posted by: Kenneth on January 4, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Quayle had some fine specimens of humanity on his staff. Just this woman and the warmonger who revels in deaths of Iraqis and does not mind the deaths of Americans to achieve his ends are enough to suggest that Bush 41's VP was a great judge of character.

Posted by: gregor on January 4, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Reno wasn't AG in the mid 80's when the McMartin insanity erupted. Come to think of it, didn't the Little Rascals witchhunt start in the 80's as well? That societal hysteria, I seem to recall, was an 80's phenomenon. The hysteria of the 90's was black helicopters - but I understand Reno piloted one of those. Hillary, too.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 4, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Don't know how to break this to you Kevin: H. R. Clinton is not now and never has been a liberal. She has been in the fairly remote past, at most, a centrist. She comes from a conservative Republican family and has been steadily drifting back to her roots for at least 25 years now.

Posted by: Helena Montana on January 4, 2008 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Chicounsel is right."

Nonsense. Chicounsel is, as usual, a blithering idiot.

"but Hillary's present problems are not caused by republicans,"

Which "problems" would those be? There are two: a failure to get elected and enduring incessant vile attacks. Guess who's responsible for each.

"they are caused by democrats unwilling to support her."

Selecting another candidate more to your liking is not usually seen as a sign of "hatred" of the other candidates. It's only in Chicounsel's fevered imagination that these are one and the same.

"To the extent any loathing of her is denying her the nomination, it is the loathing of democrat voters."

Complete nonsense, which is why neither you nor Chicounsel can support this bit of silliness.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sen.Clinton is still my first choice. I would imagine that some of that support is based on the treatment she has received. I also do not like the idea of NOT voting for someone because the Republicans dislike that person the most! Can anyone say: "Don't throw me into that briar patch!"? Whose nominee is it supposed to be, anyway? I don't think she is too liberal (whatever that may mean) so as to frighten independents away and those votes are what will determine the 2008 election. I don't think we need worry about any "conservatives".
She has followed the Democratic leadership on foreign policy votes, which is what junior senators do. That she has not spoken out more against this mal-administration's foreign antics is, rightfully, I think, held against her. Yet the question also needs to be asked: what sort of support (in the Democratic party) would she be able to call on had she spent the last five years calling them poltroons and cowards? Do we know what policies she has pushed for in private only to have them rebuffed? Everything I have read about the Senate confirms my view that had she entered that body acting like anything other than a new, junior Senator, she would have been unable to accomplish anything.
And it is fair to argue what she has accomplished; it is also fair to ask the same of Sen. Obama and former Sen. Edwards. It is also fair to remark on the public performances (there really isn't any other word) of the candidates. What I have read about her campaigning for the Senate in New York, she appears to connect (a word I don't like) with voters when she is campaigning. Apparently in Iowa, Sen. Obama "connected" better than she. I don't think there is anyone who has really seen Sen. Clinton campaign nationally in support of programs she wishes to implement. Hopefully, some of that will come out in New Hampshire.
My only hesitation with Sen. Edwards is that, once campaigning began, he would be unable to overcome the MSM/punditocracy/RW noise machine. I don't think Sen. Clinton would have this problem to the same degree.
And my fear of Sen. Obama is that, in his zeal to unite, he will forget that first he has to win and THEN offer a hand for cooperation.
And what many seem to forget, there are 435 seats in the House and 22 or 23 in the Senate up for election in 2008. I really cannot see any of the present top three Democratic candidates blocking progressive legislation originated by either House. How much arm-twisting and log-rolling any of the candidates would employ to pass progressive legislation is a matter of conjecture.
No matter what, in the next several weeks I, and others, will make our decisions in a voting booth and again a few months later in the general election. Hopefully we will be able to support whichever Democratic candidate gets the nomination, because, whoever it is, they're going to need it.

Posted by: Doug on January 4, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB,

I don't understand. How are Hillary's problems in Iowa, and the problems she now faces in future primaries, caused by republicans? Aren't they caused by democrats unwilling to support her?

Hillary actually brags about her past battles with republicans, which must mean she thinks they help her with democratic voters.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

filmex: "[The Clintons] managed to make Ed Meese look like Bobby Kennedy with their (Hillary's) pick of Janet Reno, who created the template for the witchburning daycare prosecutions from Little Rascals in Carolina to McMartin in Southern California."

Mahalo nui loa for single-handedly proving Kevin's point about the irrational hatred of the Clintons in but one single sentence.

The initial investigation of the McMartin Pre-School case began in 1984 in Manhattan Beach, CA and ended with the defendants' acquittals in 1990 after a 2-1/2-yea trial. This, of course, was three years before President Clinton ever took office.

Likewise, the Little Rascals Pre-School case began in April 1989 in Edonton, North Carolina. Janet Reno was District Attorney of Dade County, Florida at that particular time, and did not become U.S. Attorney General until mid-1993.

Further, in both instances, prosecution was instigated and handled by local law enforcement officials, and not by their federal counterparts.

You sound like a complete asshole.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 4, 2008 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

brian: "I don't understand. How are Hillary's problems in Iowa, and the problems she now faces in future primaries, caused by republicans?"

Jesus H. Christ, brian. How do you manage to remain so perpetually obtuse that facts and truth just slough off you like water off a duck's ass?

Suffice for me to say that your innocent little ignoramus act is has worn really fucking thin around here. So, take it somewhere else, clown.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 4, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Donald apparently thinks name calling is the adult response to a reasonable question, or maybe he just has no answer.

Anyone else able to offer an explanation as to how republicans are causing Hillary a problem in the democratic nomination process, especially when she goes around bragging about how he can handle republican attacks.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't understand."

ROFL.... Which makes you either a liar, a troll, or an idiot, or some combination of all of the above.

"How are Hillary's problems in Iowa, and the problems she now faces in future primaries, caused by republicans?"

Dear heart, where in Kevin's original post did he talk about "Hillary's problems in Iowa?" And how on earth did you miss this statement of mine in the post you responded to:

Which "problems" would those be? There are two: a failure to get elected and enduring incessant vile attacks. Guess who's responsible for each. [emphasis added]

It took Chicounsel's blithering idiocy to take Kevin's post and turn it into an indictment of Democrats. And it took your even more idiotic post to pretend that Hillary's loss in Iowa was caused by Democratic "loathing". In short, both you and Chicounsel are idiots.

Posted by: PaulB on January 4, 2008 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

[Trolling from fake IP deleted]

Posted by: section9 on January 4, 2008 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii, why equivocate? Filmex IS a complete asshole.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Because more important than a woman president is having a really great one that will be remembered for more than being the first woman."

Good god. You mean we aren't allowed to have at least one or two mediocre, or even merely good, woman presidents before we come up with a "really great" one? Well I guess we'll never try one then.

I agree with Somerby and some of the posters that Gore hatred was mainly a media driven phenomenon, but Clinton hatred was Republican born and bred. Good reference on the subject: Jeffrey Toobin's "A Vast Conspiracy", and I'm sure there are more. Combine that with the backlash against feminism - the only insult Rush uses with more venom than "liberal" is "feminist" - and you get the roots of the Hillary-hatred on the right, which they have taken great pleasure in nursing and stoking for 15 years, as Shiffren's quote suggests.

At the very least the media's role is to report on it as if being hated is a personality trait of her own ("Hillary is so polarizing"), and at the worst they pile on themselves - you know who you are, Chris Matthews.

I am at a loss to explain the venom from the left, other than, as I said before, once someone is a public object of derision, it is easy to pile on. Plenty of male politicians have all of Hillary's policy faults and political caution that posters here have pointed out, and I don't see them treated with such contempt just because they dare to run for president. Is the cackle really that off-putting?

Dems in Iowa don't live in a soundproof booth. Of course they are influenced by the attitudes of Republicans and the media, and the idea that Hillary might not electable because of her high negatives might have played a role in her defeat. Nothing wrong with that, but to deny it plays a factor is wrong, especially when her opponents made it an issue themselves.


Posted by: Dawn on January 4, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Brian, let me help:

1. The Republican Noise Machine has ceaselessly, remorselessly, unconscionably demonized HRC since 1992. That's a looooooong campaign.
2. This campaign worked just the way any other successful saturation marketing campaign works. It sold the sizzle, not the steak. In other words, it propelled forth a narrative completely independent of fact.
3. Regardless of how sophisticated the consumer, marketing wonks know that it takes an average of only 7 exposures to embed a message in any consumer's brain. Consider the impact of 15 years of total saturation marketing. Republicans, Democrats, independents, liberals, conservatives, moderates, the utterly indifferent, the comatose...we all got the message.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

this is one of the things that keeps me on Hillary's side regardless of anything to do with issues or tactics or rhetoric or anything else.

Are you in seventh grade? You support a politician regardless of anything to do with issues or tactics or rhetoric or anything else because other people hate her? I'm sorry to say it Kevin, but you are no better and just as juvenile as the Bushites out there who use your "reasoning" word for word. They just can't bear that poor Bush -- a fine, upstanding, god-fearing conservative -- is so reviled and hated on the Left, so they blindly support him for that reason alone.

Sorry, this is pathetic.

Posted by: Orson on January 4, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Dawn, you are a wonderful woman.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Orson, that's just plain dopey.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Apples and oranges.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

The wingnuts hate Hillary because one, Goldwater liked her more than them and two, she would make a fantastic Republican President if that were her thing. How can they face up to all that?

Posted by: Bob M on January 4, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bob M...LOL...excellent!

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon,

Your theory is that republican attacks on Hillary since 1992 are causing democrats in significant numbers not to vote for her. I can see that as a possibility, but I don't know how one could ever determine if that is true or not. In the partisan political climate since 1992, it seems less likely that attacks by republicans would cause democrats not to vote for her. Hillary was bragging in Iowa about her ability to beat the "republican attack machine," so she and her advisors seem to think the issue of republican attacks on her helps her with democrats. The attacks on Bill did not seem to hurt him with democrats.

Can you think of other examples where attacks by the other party harmed someone within his/her party? Dan Quayle is the only one I can think of as a possibility.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

What strikes me as interesting...since I'm old enough to draw the comparison...is way the media treated HRC's handling of a personal crisis and humiliation versus the way they treated Jackie Kennedy Onassis' handling of personal crises and humiliations. Jackie O never cracked. She maintained her dignity and privacy. For that she was praised. For the same behaviour, HRC was branded cold, calculating, manipulative. Go figure.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Let me repeat the first comment by Jeff of WI:

"To hate someone not for something she's done but for what she seems to represent to the hater, that's heinous."

"Whereas Bush hatred is totally justified because of what a shitty mess he has made of this country..."

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon,

I don't see the comparison between the conduct and circumstances of Jackie and Hillary. I'm not even sure what is the comparison that you see. The infidelities of Kennedy were not known, while Clinton's were universally known. And Hillary used her situation and relationship with Clinton to advance her political career, while Jackie did nothing like that.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

If Lisa is taking a path toward decency, she is surely taking the longest route possible. I hadn't known she was a speechwriter for Mr. Potatoe Head, but the vast majority of her posts on The Corner make me want to puke. I find them sadly lacking in intelligence and full of partisan BS. So I guess her connection to Quayle is not surprising.

Posted by: Jim on January 4, 2008 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,

It may surprise you to know that most Democrats are not liberal, are not really that tuned in to politics, are pretty lazy and don't really want to work all that hard or read all that much in order to figure out if what they're hearing in the media is valid or not. In other words, Democrats are ordinary Americans. They're impacted just as much by the media as independents, moderates, the indifferent...anyone else in America who watches TV or listens to radio.

I myself was mystified by all the vitriol leveled at HRC. I saw it in '92. At the time, I was just like most of America...poorly informed and completely dependent on the mainstream media for guidance when it came to politics. I thought Maureen Dowd was the bees knees, for heaven's sake.

I was utterly indifferent to the Clintons. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit I voted for Ross Perot. But the viciousness toward Hillary started immediately, really before she had actually done or said anything at all of note. In my gut, I felt there was something sinister in it that went beyond ordinary politics.

Then my brother-in-law insisted I watch a video that claimed Clinton was a drug runner and serial killer. It had high production values, and I was just as confused and anyone else would have been who had grown accustomed to trusting slick production and professional narration. It could have been a 60 Minutes expose.

That was the start of my political awakening. It took a long time and a lot of independent reading to finally figure out what was going on.

I'm mentioning this because I think you underestimate how gullible and ordinary most Democrats are. They're not the politicaholics you imagine. Most Democrats are just Democrats because their parent were. Democrats as easily distracted and bamboozled as anyone else. They've been told for so many years that HRC is cold, manipulative, ruthless, blah, blah, that they can't believe their own lying eyes when they see a woman who has kept her dignity under withering humiliation and attack, who has survived and refused to be destroyed by events, who has reared a wonderful daughter, who has held her marriage together against the odds, who has insisted on defining herself instead of being defined by others, who has triumped and prevailed.

I'm iffy on HRC's politics. I hate the triangulation. I hate the corporatism. I hate the vote on Iraq. But Hillary Rodham Clinton has character, commitment, intelligence, depth. She is a ferocious, focused fighter. We could....and most certainly have....done far worse.

Posted by: Sharn on January 4, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

brian stop being a fucking moron. Your "thesis" that voters choosing someone other than HRC is a sign of hatred by them is stupid even by the incredibly low standards you normally set for yourself on this board.

Nearly one in three Democrats in Iowa chose her. This number far outstrips several candidates and puts her in a near statistical tie with one other one - leaving only one candidate clearly chosen by more voters. This set of facts alone demolishes your idiotic point. Stop posting until you can tell the difference between hating someone and voting for someone else.

Posted by: heavy on January 4, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,

The mainstream media in the Kennedy era was a completely different beast from the Clinton era. Had the Republican Noise Machine dominated the MSM as it does today, you can be sure Kennedy's infidelities would have been lavishly exploited and Jackie's stoicism would have been broadcast as cold calculated indifference.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon, be a dear and tell brian where he can retrieve his genitals. I have long since grown weary of his banality and concern-trolling and rarely engage him at all, and certainly not with the civility you have displayed.

Are you running for anything? I'll volunteer to leaflet neighborhoods, man phone banks, whatever is needed!

I hope like hell you decide to stick around and comment regularly, because your comments are the best of the thread!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 4, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Heavy,

You are sooo cool. All that needs to be said, you have said, "Stop posting until you can tell the difference between hating someone and voting for someone else."

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,

I'm floored! What a wonderful thing to say. I'm just an ordinary 61 year old woman sitting here in New Orleans by myself drinking wine and having a high old time. I rarely get into an active thread so by the time I comment, the discussion is dead and I get no feedback. This is great!

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Blue Girl. Please stick around, Sharon. Your cheerful and intelligent observations are fun to read.

Posted by: Bob M on January 4, 2008 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sweetie, I know from ordinary people, and ordinary you ain't! :)

I raise my brandy snifter to toast you!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 4, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Shucks! I'm blushing. LOL. Thanks again.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

I totally emphathise with Kevin. I support Hillary and (supported her husband) simply because I could not bear to watch the unfair and vicious attacks on them! I see the same thing happening now not just by the media and the rightwingers but also by Obama supporters! My suspicion (based on the foul and childish language often used by them) is that a lot of them on these blogs are younger and, therefore, see the world in binary terms! I started out being equally interested in Obama and Clinton. Then, I decided to look closely at Obama's record and found out that he is just an empty suit, too left wing to win the general election.

The vetting has already started. See the following ABC News video.

http://thepage.time.com/abc-world-news-report-on-the-clinton-campaign/

He is on tape as wanting to overturn Federal mandatory minimum sentencing and is on record as being for single-payer health insurance and now says he is against it. This goes against the core of his arguement that he is a conviction politician. The Republicans will exploit this (and I am sure there are a plenty of other such things) against him in the GE and paint him as another liberal (just as they did to Dukakis).
If he is the nominee, I am afraid that not only will he lose the contest for president, he will also take down a lot of our congressmen and women in swing states with him. The media and self created myth about him is just too good to be true. People don't know enough about his politics, positions, and votes. People think they know a lot because they have read his book. They fail to recognize that book is written by him not by an independent biographer.

This year is our best chance to win the presidency and consolidate our gains in Congress. This guy will be a disaster for us. That doesn't mean he may not be nominated by Democrats. We are well known for our self-destructive tendencies!

Posted by: Jack on January 4, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, Sharon.

Posted by: ppk on January 4, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Jack,

You're scaring me to death. I hope what you've heard/read about Obama is nothing more than sludge from the Republican slime machine. It would be uplifting, energizing to have someone so new, so young, charismatic, articulate to believe in, someone who would bring racial reconciliation to this tortured country. Camelot II. But he is an unknown quantity. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Alright Jack, I looked at the ABC video and I don't see what you see. It only mentions that Obama opposes minimum federal sentencing and at one point favored single-payer insurance. Both are completely legitimate and respectable views. Not cause for hair-on-fire alarm. I don't get the passion in your opposition to Obama. How well do you really know him? Unless you know him a whole lot better than the rest of us, I think your post is a little over the top.

Posted by: Sharon on January 4, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

To Blue Girl, Red State and Donald:

I know EXACTLY when the McMartin case was. I owned Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, where both Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary worked.

The Buckeys and McMartins were customers of ours. We saw up close and personally how their lives were ruined, as were the lives of scores of citizens and other businesses who were drawn peripherally into the affair.

It was only thru the grace of God that one of these hysterical miscreants didn't identify Video Archives as a place where this non-existent molestation went on. Our local grocer, Ray's Market (one block away from Archives) was driven under when one woe-begotten child stated he was molested by Ray Buckey in the produce section there, a total prosecution-induced hallucination.

We in the community lived this for years...saw friends lose their homes and businesses due to skyrocketing legal fees. And we were involved enough trying to help these people survive to be involved in case research.

And EVERYTHING the prosecution used in this malicious prosecution came from the template Janet Reno developed in Florida while State Attorney there...the leading of child witnesses, the use of stuffed animals and puppets to induce false testimony...all of it. If you actually knew about the case, and its origins, you would know how instrumental Janet Reno's prosecutions were in inducing the national witch-hunt.

Reno built her career on the basis of the hoax of SRAs (Satanic Ritual Abuse), and putting innocent people in jail in Florida, some who still remain imprisoned. Don't take my word for it...watch the excellent PBS Frontline documentary series, "Innocence Lost I, II, III", and you will see how all roads lead back to Janet Reno and her Crucible-like activities in Florida.

So keep telling me all about what you don't know. Empirical experience is a lot different than theoretical experience, but as a Clinton defender, you're obviously content with experience via spousal osmosis.

Janet Reno, incinerator of children, was Hillary's pick for AG. Of course, this was her third choice. Her first, Zoe Baird, crashed and burned. Her second, Kimba Wood, crashed and burned.
The one constant to all these picks was not quality or the best person available, but chromosomes. Hillary was intent on getting a woman, even if if meant resorting to the Witchfinder Pursuivant, Janet Reno.

But, by all means Clintonistas, keep correcting us on matters you have no concept of.

Posted by: filmex on January 4, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon,

I hope you don't lose your civility. It is sometimes lacking around here (as you may have noticed).

I'm still skeptical that republican attacks over the years are causing democrats not to vote for Hillary today. Like I said, she has bragged about republican attacks thinking it helps her with democrats. She was way ahead on polls up to a couple weeks ago and, to some extent, even today.

People in Iowa took a look at her, and decided they liked the others better. If she was 20 points ahead in various places two weeks ago, or even yesterday, after 15 years of attacks, how were the republican attacks hurting her?

One thing that hurt her in Iowa were the attacks by Dodd at the debate and Edwards at the debate and after. It is odd that she would have got away with her evasion on driver licenses for illegals if Dodd had not gone the other way on the issue or if Hillary had decided to keep her mouth shut after Dodd disagreed with her. And then Obama gave as bad an answer at the next debate and no one paid much attention to it.

No Heavy, I did not say democrats hating Hillary was the reason for her problem today. I said that to the extent any loathing causes her present problem, it would be democrats loathing her and not voting for her. But I certainly don't think many democrats loathe her or that loathing by democrats is her current problem. I just don't think real people democrats like her very much after they see her. Sharon thinks it is the cumulative effect of 15 years of republican attacks. I'm skeptical as to Sharon's causation analysis.

I agree with with Sharon's view about how how gullible and ordinary most Democrats are, but I think that works to the advantage of the Clinton machine not to the disadvantage of Hillary.

Posted by: brian on January 4, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

And thank you, Sharon, for calling me "a complete asshole".

Coming from a Clitonista, that is the highest of compliments. Now I know I'm on the right track.

Posted by: filmex on January 4, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

The Conservatives continue to get uglier and uglier. For proof, try to watch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c

Posted by: reino on January 5, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Filmex, I apologize for calling you "a complete asshole". Can't even find the comment that prompted it. LOL. Anyway, your long thoughtful comments about Janet Reno and the Buckeys and McMartins is interesting. I remember the furor and thought at the time there was something rotten in Denmark. You're wrong to call me a Clintonista. I am not now nor have ever been. My politics aren't really in sync with the Clintons, but I do admire HRC and would vote for her if she were the nominee.

Brian, I spent nearly 2 years in Houston after Katrina and was subjected to a constant drumbeat of Hillary hatred. Before that I lived in Louisiana where the drumbeat was as steady. It was so pervasive that ordinaray sensible...yes, Democrats...were sucked in with everyone else. Yet no one could ever give a coherent explanation for it or back it up with facts. At least, not any facts that didn't apply to any other politician on planet earth. There was something Lord of the Flies about it. It seemed to me a form of mob madness, a gang bang.

It seemed everyone was piling on the annoying girl in the front of the class who always had her hand up ready to answer the teacher's questions. It was that gut resentment that's always there for the smartest girl in the room. Yikes!

Posted by: Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

brian there is no reason to be polite to someone who walks into your house and shits on the floor. Your faux civility doesn't hide the stink of your dishonesty.

It is quite simple - you keep talking about HRC as if Democrats hate her. There is simply no evidence for this. It is a lie.

Stop lying. If you can't stop lying then stop posting. If you can't stop posting then at least try to be entertaining.

Posted by: heavy on January 5, 2008 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Sharon,

We can't determine if the republican bashing of Hillary helps or hurts her in the democratic primaries. But I will tell you that I just watched her speech tonight in New Hampshire, and she again made a big point of how she has taken the attacks for republicans for 16 years and knows how to beat them. So she must have focus groups or surveys telling her that the issue works in her favor. I realize you make a slightly different point, that it Hillary criticism has made its way into the minds of people generally and that hurt her.

By the way, the Obama people in the 3,000 person audience voiced some form of resistance when she said the issue was who was best ready to be president on day one -- there are conflicting reports as to whether it was actually booing, or people saying Obama or just some groans, but it was not pretty for Hillary. She handled it pretty gracefully, but she was taken back by the reaction.

Posted by: brian on January 5, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

What you see as something cunning I see as making lemonade from lemons.

Posted by: Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

heavy,

I don't like to continue discussion with someone after they become uncivil and disrepectful, but I just want say that I do not keep talking about Hillary as though democrats hate her. As I said, "I certainly don't think many democrats loathe her or that loathing by democrats is her current problem. I just don't think real people democrats like her very much after they see her." I don't think many democrats hate Hillary. I would guess less than 5%. My point was that her current problem is that not enough democrats are voting for her, not republican attacks. Have a nice evening.

Posted by: brian on January 5, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Sharon,

The Republicans will portray the clip on voting to ban federal manadatory minimum sentencing as "soft on crime" and Obama's initally saying he is for a single payer and now saying he is not for that either as "flip flopping" or as being for socialized medicine depending on his reponse. You may think these are reasonable positions. But, they won't play well in the swing states like Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and certainly not in the southern states. My point is that he has taken a lot of very liberal positions as a state senator which won't look good to independents and conservative democrats the people he claims he is going to bring into the fold.

He has great rhetoric, but on his positions, he is a weak candidate. Could he obfuscate these things with his rhetoric? It is possible. But, unlikely! None of our congressmen in swing districts would want to be against federal manadatory minimum sentencing guidelines or be for single payer. That is just the reality! Obama will have to spend the entire fall campaign defending these positions. And if McCain is his opponent remember the media loves McCain even better. It won't be pretty. They are like a pack of vultures.

It is ok to be inspired by his rhetoric and all that. But, it is important also to be realistic. People criticise Clinton for triangulating. But, he had to all that to win the swing states.

Let us look into Obama's record carefully and decide whether he is the strongest nominee for the general election. People in the red states and the swing states will not elect a liberal.

Posted by: Jack on January 5, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Jack, call me a cockeyed optimist, but I have a sense that the word "liberal" has been so overworked and so over-demonized that it's lost a lot of its sting. I get the sense people are just fed up with hearing "liberal" used as a catchall for everything that's wrong with the world. I'm a senior citizen and I've seen things like this get so overworked they lose all meaning. I think that's what is happening to "liberal". I've started bravely calling myself a "liberal" all over Texas and Louisiana and the sky hasn't fallen yet. I wouldn't have done that 5 years ago and expected to remain employed even...and employed in the military-industrial complex at that. But what do I know? LOL

Posted by: Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's potential problem is that he will not be criticized during the democrat primaries for his liberal positions (because democrats pretty much agree with them), but then all of a sudden in the general election he will be heavily criticized for them. It will be a matter of whether his charm, speech making abilities and likeability will cover his liberal sins.

Also in the general, Obama's youth will hurt him two ways. One is that he is too inexperienced and the other is that some voters will conclude that he will be back in 4 or 8 years with more experience, so folks who like him don't need to vote for him now and, as Bill Clinton says, roll the dice.

Posted by: brian on January 5, 2008 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Oh and Gore never said he invented the internet,If you believe that please show me the quote."

http://www.sethf.com/gore/

Anyway...Obama needs executive experience, Clinton needs to prove that she learned something while First Lady by doing something substantive before anyone will give her credit there, and Edwards needs executive experience. On the experience issue, they all pretty much lose. Richardson was the experienced candidate, but he proved he never learned anything by saying we should force Musharraf out of power after Bhutto's assassination. So people arguing about the three should use their policy differences...but the only one I really know about is Hillary's indecisiveness regarding the war. Obama and Clinton have nearly the same Senate record, for one thing. What else IS there?

Posted by: Math_Mage on January 5, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Well said Kevin. Very well said. Sick to death of the Clinton bashing on all sides.

Posted by: Pamela Leavey on January 5, 2008 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

Sharon, you called me a complete asshole by way off a correction of Donald who called me "something of an asshole" for implying Janet Reno had anything to do with McMartin, because she wasn't AG until the 90s.

Of course, as I've explained, she had everything to do with it, as well as the injustices that preceded McMartin and followed it.

In any case, I appreciate the apology. That quality alone would confirm you're not a Clintonista.

What I can't comprehend is the head-scratching amongst Clintonistas as to why such massive numbers of Dems have no use for her.

I was a sizeable financial contributor to Bill Clinton in 1992, to the point where I was invited to the Inaugural Ball. But, after Janet Reno and Clinton's triangulation and co-opting of GOP issues, I threw in the towel.

And, the fact that when he knew the wingnuts were gunning for him, he was willing to squander the dreams of millions of progressives who believed in him, all because he couldn't keep his willy in his pants...that was unforgiveable.

Now Hillary has surrounded herself with the same brain trust. This line from Sat.'s NYT says it all:

"One longtime adviser complained that the campaign’s senior strategist, Mark Penn, realized too late that “change” was a much more powerful message than “experience.” Another adviser said Mr. Penn and Mr. Clinton were consumed with polling data for so long, they did not fully grasp the personality deficit that Mrs. Clinton had with voters."

Consultants, focus groups, theft of campaign themes...same as it ever was.

A page has turned. The Clintonistas have yet to wake up to that fact. The country simply doesn't want a quarter century of uninterrupted Clinton-Bush dynasties.

P.S. Obama would have no trouble answering the mandatory sentencing nonsense. Even the Supreme Court has ruled judges should have the prerogative of determining sentencing. The public no longer believes first-timers should be doing mandated twenty year sentences because of law-and-order hysteria fifteen years ago.

How appropriate that the Clintonistas want to scare the Dems that the GOP are going to swiftboat Obama, in the same way the GOP has used fear to try and win elections by exploiting 9/11. With the GOP, it's the terrorists we have to be scared of. With the Clintonistas, it's the big bad Republicans.

Posted by: filmex on January 5, 2008 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin said: "...perfectly decent liberal...". Pardon my French, but you're fucked in the head. An "aye" vote on Kyl-Lieberman is perhaps the most craven act any Democratic Senator could commit. NOT decent. NOT liberal. NOT even politically smart, unless you see the Zionist/Lieberman/Peretz/Neocon lobby as the be-all end-all of must-get constituencies. What it is, and it pretty much in a nutshell is the problem w/ Hillary: endlessly triangulating, endlessly focus-grouping, endlessly incapable of mustering even a shred of self-respect if doing so would adversely affect her or hers' "political viability" (my word - what sort of ambition/larger agenda must she have been willing to tolerate such a shameless, serial adulterer for? Not that I'm moralizing - I could give a shit about Big Bill's peccadillos. But her standing by him is prima facie evidence that she is inhumanly political - in the worst sense of the word - right to her very core).

Don't get me wrong: If she's the D nominee I'll vote for her gladly. But I desperately don't want her to be the nominee, as dissonant as that sounds. For fuck's sake, just listen to her expectations-gaming post-Iowa rationalization - SHE'S BEEN THE NATIONAL POLL LEADER FROM THE GIT-GO AND WAS THE IOWA POLL LEADER JUST A WEEK OR SO AGO AND SHE TRIES TO SPIN A 3RD-PLACE FINISH AS SOME SORT OF VICTORY AGAINST INSTITUTIONAL BIASES - AS IF SHE WEREN'T "THE" INSTITUTIONALLY-FAVORED CANDIDATE! Sorry for the all-caps, but this "poor Hillary" business is so wrong in so many respects that it makes my head want to explode.

Posted by: El Caballo de Sangre on January 5, 2008 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

There's very little reason to believe that Hillary will lose the Democratic nomination because Republicans hate her.

Posted by: Jimm on January 5, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

Why waste space on your blog defending the candidate who approves crap like this:

"Hillary's aides point to Obama's extremely progressive record as a community organizer, state senator and candidate for Congress, his alliances with "left-wing" intellectuals in Chicago's Hyde Park community, and his liberal voting record on criminal defendants' rights as subjects for examination."

Not liberal. Not decent.

Posted by: Chino Blanco on January 5, 2008 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

First my bona fides: I am a conservative of the real kind--a paleoconservative; the kind you people would hate even more than those Republican liberals you call conservatives if you had any idea we existed. I refused to vote for W. either time (don't worry, I refused to vote for your guys too). I have been opposed to the war since very early on (I was originally taken in, but quickly saw through the charade), and I find the lion's share of Bush's domestic policy atrocious.

That having been said, I agree with you, Kevin, about the treatment of Mrs. Clinton. I do understand the original right-wing reaction to her, as I shared it at the time, but it had more to do with the perception that she and Bill were disingenuous '60's hippies, with all the amoral, leftist baggage that implies, invading the staid and serious halls of the White House than anything else. I also believe, by the way, that she and Bill are guilty of at least a good bit of what they've been accused of vis a vis Little Rock (their White House shenanigans being obvious). Nevertheless, the hatred of Hillary among mainstream Republicans has gone way beyond what's warranted. It mirrors the exaggerated, irrational hatred of W. by so many people on the left. (I'm not noting this as a tit-for-tat thing--as I said, I'm no Bush fan--but because I find the level of vitriol in both cases ridiculous. Neither one is the devil.) On a personal level, at least insofar as it's possible to detect the real Hillary behind all the public posturing, I rather like the woman. I'd never vote for her, but I wouldn't refuse to have her over for dinner and a chat, either.

Posted by: James Newland on January 5, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

And yet time after time I hear Democratic voters say they will not vote for Hillary because "she is too polarizing with Republicans". Their clinical hysteria is her fault, and Democrats accede to this?

She is the first plausible woman candidate in the nation's history, and should not be rejected on these specious grounds. My sense is that the United States has gone out of business before another woman candidate like her rolls around.

Posted by: bob h on January 5, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

When this country was founded, both women and blacks were excluded from partipating. Now, finally, we have two excellent candidates, the first woman and the first african-american with a real shot at winning the Presidency, and both of these politicians have an appeal that transcends their identity.

Now they can't both win the nomination, but the fact that one or the other is going to win is a cause for celebration, in my view.

As far as their electability, I think a case can be made for either and, given that the Republicans have a real split between the social and economic conservatives with no one candidate running who is acceptable to both, I believe the Democrats can win with either Obama or Clinton.

I have not decided for whom I will vote for in the February 5th primary, but the more I read about Obama the more I believe he could make an outstanding President. I have confidence in Clinton as well.

Posted by: PE on January 5, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

"(I'm not noting this as a tit-for-tat thing--as I said, I'm no Bush fan--but because I find the level of vitriol in both cases ridiculous. Neither one is the devil.)"

Well, I'd say Hillary hasn't destroy the reputation of our country by torturing innocents. Started an unjust war by mistake with badly defined objectives handicapping our troops. She hasn't debased our currency with excessive borrowing nor put the lion's share of that responsibility on the backs of the nations poor and middle-class, who are feeling the greatest pinch FROM the debasement. She hasn't attempted to revoke our basic freedoms such as habeus corpus or invaded our private communications with our peers. She hasn't denied the people their oversight of national concerns by classifying nearly every document having to do with her activities in the last seven years. She hasn't saddled future generations with nearly 30,000+ dollars of debt each, and completely ignored the warming globe and all extremely scary implications thereof. Bush has done all that and soooo much more. So yeah, he really is the devil, and any vitriol we throw his way is completely justified. After all, it's not the children of the well-off who will pay so dearly for all this. So it's only plausible that the well-off aren't gonna be that pissed.

Posted by: Aaron on January 5, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Couldn't agree more with Kevin.

I'd love to hear more substantiative debate on the issues and less baseless vitriol from activists. Unfortunately bush fans don't know the difference, delusional Obama / Edwards fans think their respective candidates shit pearls, and the media places every story into a negative frame.

There's very little reason to believe that Hillary will lose the Democratic nomination because Republicans hate her.

Her "electability" and her high negatives are a common argument against her in the primaries.

Posted by: daveB on January 5, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Filmex,

I've been back over the dialog between you and Donald and see that I'm the complete you-know-what. When you brought up Janet Reno's massive errors, I had the same knee-jerk reaction that Donald did, "Now they're blaming the Clintons for the McMartin fiasco. What's next? The tsunami?" And Donald's timeline on the incidents makes sense if you don't go any further. Thank you for the background.

Ironically, after you forced me to read your posts more carefully I realize we're more in sync than not. I'm furious with Hillary for pandering to Republicans and big business. I was furious with Bill when the Lewinsky thing came out. Republicans sharks had been circling him for years and what did he do? Chum the waters. What am imbecile! Every Democrat on the planet probably felt the same sense of chagrin and would have cheerfully slapped his face. Nevertheless, I still feel the Clintons...especially Hillary...have been sinned against than sinning.

For that reason, Kevin's post really resonates with me.

Posted by: Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Aaron. Bush has earned our loathing. There's no comparison between him and Clinton in terms of the damage done to us, our children, our country and our planet. Bush hatred is a rational reaction to outright villainy. The appropriate reaction to Clinton is disappointment, even contempt.

Clinton should and will wear the scarlet letter forever. Bush should and will not be impeached and tried for war crimes.

Posted by: Sharon on January 5, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Well said, Kevin.

Posted by: scritic on January 5, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK
Her "electability" and her high negatives are a common argument against her in the primaries. daveB at 10:03 AM
Perhaps you should re-examine your knowledge: Candidate favorable unfavorables:


Favorable Unfavorable
McCain 53 27
Edwards 49 42
Clinton 48 50
Obama 43 51
Thompson 42 42
Giuliani 40 55
Huckabee 40 47
Romney 38 51

Why should pander-boy McCain rate so high? There's no fool like a Republican kissing every special interest bare arse on the planet.

.... It mirrors the exaggerated, irrational hatred of W. by so many people on the left.....: James Newland at 8:28 AM
Au contraire. When people express their contempt for Bush, they point to specific policies and act e.g. ignoring pre-9/11 warnings, appealing his partisan base instead of seeking consensus and compromise, torture, abuse of power etc.. When people express their contempt for the Clintons, they point to discredited 'scandals' and imagined personality traits.
...."Hillary's aides point to Obama's extremely progressive record as a community organizer....Chino Blanco at 4:17 AM
It would be interesting to have a cite for that. Others have pointed to his use of an homophobic entertainer Donnie McClurkin or his triangulation on progressive issues from the right.


filmex at 3:29 AM:
........she had everything to do with it, as well as the injustices that preceded McMartin and followed it...

Here is a time line of some of the child abuse cases of the 80s and 90s.
Reno shows up in 1984:

August: Preschool children in a Miami daycare accused Frank Fuster and his 17-year-old wife of abusing them. "Allegations included pornography, the drinking of urine, eating of feces," etc. Clinton attorney-General Janet Reno was involved in this case. Frank Fuster is still in prison.

1991: Bobby Fijnje, a 14-year-old boy falsely accused of sexually abusing Sunday School children in Florida, is acquitted of all charges. The primary moving force behind his prosecution was Janet Reno. and

1998: March A federal court frees Grant Snowden (another Janet Reno case) after 12 years in prison. The court finds that the children's testimony is not trustworthy because of the leading and suggestive questioning they were subjected to.

I would say your case is not made

filmex at 3:29 AM:
Hillary has surrounded herself with the same brain trust... "Another adviser said Mr. Penn and Mr. Clinton were consumed with polling data for so long, they did not fully grasp the personality deficit that Mrs. Clinton had with voters."
See the poll referenced above. Polling data reveals that type of deficit extremely well

Consultants, focus groups, theft of campaign themes....
All standard campaign operating procedures. Every election, like every war, people use the template of the last one for their initial actions and messages. Every election, like every war, will be different in unpredictable ways; and, if the campaign doesn't adapt, it loses. If you note, there is a huge influence of independents this year and they are going to Democrats. In 2000, it was independents who turned the tide to McCain in New Hampshire and Michigan. These voters are more moderate and less predictable. This year they are responding to Obama call for something new to replace the partisan gridlock they see blocking government. No one seems to focus on the fact that it is solely Republicans causing that gridlock.

.... the GOP are going to swiftboat Obama, in the same way the GOP has used fear to try and win elections by exploiting 9/11. With the GOP, it's the terrorists we have to be scared of. With the Clintonistas, it's the big bad Republicans.
Swift boat funders are leaning toward McCain as of now. It was planned that the fear&smear issue this year was to have been Iran, but the NIE stymied that for the nonce. If you really follow party policies, you should fear McCain and his call for a hundred year occupation of Iraq and the bombing of Iran. You should really fear Romney for his endorsement of Yoo's interpretation of presidential powers. You should really fear the authoritarian streak that Giuliani has shown. You should really fear the theocratic tendencies of Huckabee and his Christian coalition.

Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the citation for Swift boat funders for McCain [and Romney.]

Janet Reno, incinerator of children,.... filmex at 11:48 PM |
I see that I was too civil to you above. You are repeating an old, discredited canard and that is shameful. It was It was Koreshs' Branch Dividians that killed two ATF agents. It was Koresh that was abusing children. It was the Branch Dividians that started the fire

... "Who fired the first shot on February 28th cannot decisively be resolved given the limited testimony presented to the Subcommittees. It appears more likely, however, that the Davidians fired first as the ATF agents began to enter the residence."
"No shots were fired from the helicopters at the Branch Davidian residence."
"Koresh sexually abused minor females at the residence."
"It also appears certain that Koresh employed severe physical punishments as a means of disciplining the children."
"On April 19th&multiple fires began in different places inside the Branch Davidian residence and that they were deliberately set by the Davidians themselves."
"Some opportunity existed for the Davidians to safely leave the structure had they wanted to do so."...

I remember very well the start of the hearing when Republicans were salivating at the prospect of crucifying Reno and she appeared with a child who testified how David Koresh raped her when she was 10.

Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Let's end this right here and now...Michelle Obama for president!!!!!

Posted by: bobbyp on January 5, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Liberalism used to be called (favorably, I might add) a "fighting faith". It has receded over the years to become a weak and tepid shadow of its former self.

But you still see it bubble up now and then...Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, Ted Kennedy, even John Kerry. Bill Clinton can make you feel it at times when engaged in a stump stemwinder.

Hillary has not ever pulled this off. Lord knows, she's been in public life long enough, but it has never showed....not during her husband's administration, not on her votes on the Iraq disaster...I don't see any anger about the loss of civil liberties. She could have made a lot of hay when Bush tried to privatize Social Security. She didn't. Her vote on Ky-Lieberman speaks volumes. As a Democrat, that is why she will not get my vote in the primary.

She has 'beaten' the wingnuts by hanging in there, working hard, and assiduously trying to demonstrate to centerists and center-right republicans that she is really 'not what the wingnutz make her out to be'. Good for her.

But that's not what I want from the Democratic Party candidate for the presidency of the United States of America in 2008.

Posted by: bobbyp on January 5, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

James Newland, you made a crack about shenanigans by the Clintons and said that they were obvious. They are not. After $100 Million spent investigating everything ever done by both Bill and Hillary the Republican smear machine was left with nothing but a perfectly legal blowjob with which to hang Clinton.

Given those resources I could probably find at least something more interesting about anyone.

No, the criminal behavior under the Clinton Presidency largely resided with the same people is has under Reagan, Bush, and Bush - the Republicans.

Posted by: heavy on January 5, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Sharon was premature, or maybe she was prescient. Filmex truly is a complete asshole. Get your shots updated, dude. You are obviously lagging behind on both rabies and distemper.

I was curious, so I searched your comments, and lo and behold! You showed up yesterday with a chip on your shoulder the size of a sequoia, and immediately started in on people who have spent years developing a reputation and earning credibility on these threads. You are off to a shaky start, Bub - this ain't how you make friends, and the folks here are not easily steamrollered. And word to the wise, the mods aren't likely to tolerate you if you keep it up.

Posted by: Volatile Compound on January 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama's potential problem is that he will not be criticized during the democrat primaries for his liberal positions (because democrats pretty much agree with them), but then all of a sudden in the general election he will be heavily criticized for them."

Dear heart, since those "liberal positions" will be so "heavily criticized" and are so wildly unpopular among the independent voters that will determine this election, it should be easy for you to list them. Care to do so?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm still skeptical that republican attacks over the years are causing democrats not to vote for Hillary today"

Dear heart, can you please get it through your head that nobody, aside from you, has ever claimed they did? It was Chicounsel's first really stupid post that brought up Democratic voters in a pathetic attempt to dodge the subject of Kevin's post. And it was your even dumber followup post that pretended that Democrats loathe her: " To the extent any loathing of her is denying her the nomination, it is the loathing of democrat voters."

Frankly, you're both idiots and you're compounding the damage done to yourself with your even dumber followup posts. Just give it a rest. You said something really stupid and you're getting slammed for it.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
I didn't make it through all the comments but apparently you have a broad range a readers, including several "Clinton haters". Spending your energy hating someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

Posted by: Diane on January 5, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Agree with Hal on January 4, 2008 at 2:38 PM totally.

Hillary's un-electability factor for me (a lifelong Dem) is not about anything to do with the "fever swamp" (whatever that is), I've always supported her. But I won't support her against candidates that I think better represent the way the U.S. needs to go forward (i.e. Obama and Edwards).

Seems like Kevin is adopting Hillary's flaw of blaming others for her troubles.

Posted by: Casey on January 5, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans have always hated popular Democratic Presidents. They absolutely loathed FDR & Eleanor. The least scurrilous attacks on him, still prevalent, assert that FDR knew ahead of time about the attack on Pearl Harbor but let it go ahead because he wanted a justification for entering WWII. That's just another description for treason.

And, although the pundits, when it rarely comes up, dismiss the comparison as an example of aggrandizement by the Hillary campaign, the comparison with Eleanor is strong. She was hated as much as or more than her husband by Republicans. She married a man who she knew had to give up the woman he loved because she was inappropriate. Her husband's lover lived in the White House; his infidelity was one of the heart. Clinton's infidelities appear to have been purely physical. Eleanor also had enormous influence with her husband & was very active behind the scenes. (I read recently somewhere that FDR had to ask her to limit the number of memos she would send him daily.)

As for not being able to be a feminist & be married to a philanderer, that is bunk. Nobody but the Clintons know what has kept them together, but if a Jew and a Catholic can have a successful marriage, a feminist and a philanderer certainly can. (This is an especially specious argument because it assumes that feminists must have one and only one response to sexual infidelity: divorce.)

The Republicans also hated JFK & Jackie, and for much the same reason (although Jackie was abhorred because of her sophistication). Following JFK's death, Republicans engaged in a concerted and, unfortunately, fairly successful campaign to destroy the myth of Camelot and turn JFK, like Bill Clinton, into a satyr.

I may be painting with too broad a brush here, but I think Democrats in general judge Republican Presidents on facts; Republicans judge Democratic Presidents on feelings.

Posted by: LC on January 5, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

"this is one of the things that keeps me on Hillary's side"

Chaitred serves the same function in keeping some on Bush's side.

Posted by: Knemon on January 6, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, have you been reading Daily Kos during the primary season? There's been as much Hillary hatred on that blog as there is on any right-wing blog.

I agree with some of your other commenters that right now in American politics.. I don't see how women overcome this damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't at the moment. She's too cold and unlikable, but if she raises her voice, she's too shrill, if she laughs it's a "cackle," if she's tough she's nurse Ratched.

Posted by: d g on January 7, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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