Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 31, 2008

MAKING THE CASE FOR A MCCAIN MATCH-UP....Now that Democrats feel confident about which Republican they're going to face in November, the race for the Democratic nomination appears poised to enter a slightly different phase: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will start making the case that they can beat John McCain in a general election, and their rival can't.

To be sure, electability has been a part of the campaign process from the beginning, but it was always more of a broad, general pitch about the candidates' appeal. Now, it's going to get focused -- Dems aren't just talking about taking on a generic Republican opponent anymore; they're talking about a specific, known quantity.

For his part, Obama seized on a perceived opportunity at an event at the University of Denver yesterday.

"It's time for new leadership that understands that the way to win a debate with John McCain is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq," Mr. Obama said, "who agreed with him in voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don't like."

He added, "We need to offer the American people a clear contrast on national security, and when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party, that's exactly what I will do. Talking tough and tallying up your years in Washington is no substitute for judgment, and courage, and clear plans. It's not enough to say you'll be ready from Day One -- you have to be right from Day One."

As it stands, I actually think this is a healthy development. Clinton and Obama agree on most policy issues, and it gets tiresome to hear them argue about peripheral points. Having a GOP rival in mind should help focus the debate between them, with each able to make the case for how and why they can win the election.

As far as I can tell, the basic pitch from Obama's perspective will be: He appeals to more independents and frustrated Republicans than Clinton; he represents a better contrast (old vs. young, new vs. stale); and he unites the left and divides the right, while Clinton divides the left and unites the right.

And the basic pitch from Clinton's perspective will be: She has better support among independents and frustrated Republicans than the conventional wisdom suggests; McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced -- especially on matters regarding the military and national security -- a line he can't use against her; and the right may rally against her, but she knows how to deal with their attacks, persevere, and come out ahead. Can we say the same about Obama?

We'll probably see quite a bit of this at tonight's debate on CNN, the first head-to-head debate of the year. Should be interesting.

Steve Benen 10:18 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (134)

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Comments

Heh - the republican electorate - this cycle's swing group.

Posted by: sherifffruitfly on January 31, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Will anybody in the blogosphere bother to point out that the claim that Hillary "agrees with [McCain] in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don't like" is a simple fabrication?

Didn't think so. Might have been nice if Steve Benen had remarked such a thing, but who expects that sort of honesty anymore?

As we all know, IOIYO.

Of course, if you say Obama was being meanly misrepresented in his talk about Reagan, that would be a very different story. We really can't say too much how malicious an unfair such a distortion might be.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I think the founders were very smart when they designated the three branches of goverment as non-military leaders. At this time in our history, a non-military leader would be the best. Clinton's background on the military committees is impressive, except for the fact that she keeps coming to the wrong conclusions. Sometimes when you're dug in with a particular perspective it's difficult to see the trees, as it were.

I like Obama's line from yesterday, "It's not enough to say you'll be ready from Day One -- you have to be right from Day One."

Posted by: Cyn2 on January 31, 2008 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced -- especially on matters regarding the military and national security -- a line he can't use against her

Hillary Clinton has exactly two more years of national elected experience than Obama has. two fucking years.

Posted by: cleek on January 31, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

"It's not enough to say you'll be ready from Day One -- you have to be right from Day One."

Yes, it makes me feel so comfortable to have a leader who obviously thinks he has been right about everything.

We haven't had firm, intransigent, unerring leadership like that since George W Bush.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Fine, Obama. As soon as you actually start compiling a voting record on Iraq significantly different from Clinton's, let us know.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 31, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton has taken the heat for decades, Obama has gotten a pass for the most part from the bloggers and from the media, I am going for tried and true.

Like them dislike them, the Clintons produced while being constantly attacked. Obama is bit arrogant for me. I think he would make a great VP, don't know if his ego would allow it though.

Posted by: LS on January 31, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

And the basic pitch from Clinton's perspective will be: She has better support independents and frustrated Republicans than the conventional wisdom suggests; McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced -- especially on matters regarding the military and national security -- a line he can't use against her; and the right may rally against her, but she knows how to deal with their attacks, persevere, and come out ahead. Can we say the same about Obama?

A couple of problems: The Clintons' ability to pitch anything is constrained by facts. And voters will have in mind the fact, otoh, of McCain's doddering performances and, otoh, Obama's relative youth, intelligence, and command of the language.

Hillary's team has, in short, had a difficult time contravening facts about Obama, except among its base and the credulous.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

"the right may rally against her, but she knows how to deal with their attacks, persevere, and come out ahead. Can we say the same about Obama?"

That's a crucial point. So far, Obama has been the media's golden boy, but that can't last forever and I'd like to know how if he can take a hit (fair or unfair, especially unfair) in the media without collapsing.

Dean couldn't (fortunately we found out in time) and Kerry couldn't (unfortunately we didn't find out in time).

His reaction to the very mild (all things considered) escalation by the Clintons doesn't make me optimistic.

Posted by: michael farris on January 31, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced -- especially on matters regarding the military and national security --a line he can't use against her"

I've never been clear on this bit of CW: that Clinton has military and national security cred that Obama lacks. I think she's done tremendously well at pushing that idea, which is very much to her credit, but in the reality-based community ... huh?

I understand that many in the BCM believe that wronger = stronger, but still. This is kinda silly.

Posted by: gus on January 31, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that nothing demotivates the GOP base like the prospect of voting for John McCain, and yet nothing motivates to get out the vote more than the words President Hillary Clinton.

Advantage: Obama.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Obama is bit arrogant for me.

Came through loud and clear in his "You're likable enough, Hillary" response. Sometimes, no matter how tightly you glue your mask to your face, it slips.

I've sometimes wondered if there might be some like event on Hillary's side -- some unguarded moment when you see the purported ugliness of her personality shine through. I can only say that I don't ever remember hearing of such a thing. And I can't help but believe that I certainly would have, had it existed.

She's been in the public eye many, many more years than Obama. What does it say if you can't come up with such an episode?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

It's cut and dried that Obama will bring significantly more Democratic voting voters to the general election than Bill/Hill.
He will increase the House and Senate Democratic majorities over a Bill/Hill ticket and interalia, will thus be the superior leader for augmenting change in D.C.("Day One.")
Get down with the down-ticket candidate, Barack Obama.
--craig johnson--

Posted by: cognitorex on January 31, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK
As it stands, I actually think this is a healthy development. Clinton and Obama agree on most policy issues, and it gets tiresome to hear them argue about peripheral points. Having a GOP rival in mind should help focus the debate between them, with each able to make the case for how and why they can win the election.

Right. And the elections should be about who can win the election, not about "peripheral points" on policy that get beyond that abstract outlines of goals that anyone with a pulse will agree with to detailing what individual candidates actually would do to realize those vague outlines.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton says she has appeal to independents and moderate Republicanns? Are you on to her yet Kevin? That's classic Rove--claim for yourself your opponent's stregnth. Next she will be saying that HE has high, solid disapprovals.

!. Hillary hhas a disappproval rating of about 48% and it ti rock solid. Independents and moderate Republicanns hate her.

2. Yes she has stayed alinvethrouugh years of abuse and mudslinnging. But shhe has never won against the Slime Machine. If shhe had won, eithr the machine wouuld stop or thhe slime wouldnn't stick. The machine continues and the slime sticks.

How anyone can expect to get significant change by recycling the same old pliticians is beyond me. In HHillary's case not onnly was shhe a compromiser when we needed her to be strong, but now shhe is behaving exactly like Bush--telling one whopper after another as if lying changed facts.

Kerry frusrtated me but I never disliked him. I am really beginning to dislike Hillary Clinont.

Posted by: wonkie on January 31, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

I've never been clear on this bit of CW: that Clinton has military and national security cred that Obama lacks. I think she's done tremendously well at pushing that idea, which is very much to her credit, but in the reality-based community ... huh?

Precisely, gus. This was kinda what I was saying. It's the "they'll say anything" accusation Obama has been making, no matter how far removed from reality that "anything" is.

The Clintons find a message, theme, a fiction to push (ready on Day One, thirty-five years . . .) and then repeat ad nauseam, hoping repetition makes it so.

I like Dallek's piece today on this "experience" business that puports to work to HC's advantage.

Two problems. She doesn't have much. And experience--even if you actually possess it in the requisite years--is no guarantee of wisdom. It's judgment. It's vision.

Expect Obama to be hitting on this repeatedly.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

"McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced -- especially on matters regarding the military and national security -- a line he can't use against her

Hillary Clinton has exactly two more years of national elected experience than Obama has. two fucking years."
Posted by: cleek on January 31, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Try being factually accurate as well as learning basic math especially when you are claiming something in such a declarative manner as fact when it obviously is not. Obama first wins national officet in 2004, Clinton in 2000. Last time I looked that is 4 years not 2 more on her behalf on the national stage as a elected national politician. Another way of looking at it is Obama has three years on the national stage to Clinton's seven in elected national office.

Posted by: Scotian on January 31, 2008 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

I've never been clear on this bit of CW: that Clinton has military and national security cred that Obama lacks. I think she's done tremendously well at pushing that idea, which is very much to her credit, but in the reality-based community ... huh?

If you have any sincere doubt on that point, I'd think that one way to deal with it is to look at her performance on foreign policy issues in the debates.

Who came across best? Biden. No surprise, given his level of experience. Who came in second? Hillary, without serious question. Who came in dead last? Obama, who floundered about terribly.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

"I've sometimes wondered if there might be some like event on Hillary's side -- some unguarded moment when you see the purported ugliness of her personality shine through. I can only say that I don't ever remember hearing of such a thing. And I can't help but believe that I certainly would have, had it existed.

She's been in the public eye many, many more years than Obama. What does it say if you can't come up with such an episode?

Oh, you've gotta be kidding.

How about her during her "human moment" where the tears flowed before the New Hampshire primary, and she still managed fire a pot shot at Obama, "Some of us are ready, and some of us are not....boohoo...."?

What tripe.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK
Like them dislike them, the Clintons produced while being constantly attacked.

No, Bill Clinton produced while being constantly attacked. Hillary Clinton failed spectacularly and took the luxury of withdrawing from the front lines—a luxury you have when your the wife of a politician who was detailed a temporary policy role rather than someone with the responsibilities of an actual office—and then shopped for a friendly comparatively friendly market to begin her own political career rather than running someplace she had any real roots.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0, you are sounding more and more desperate. Didn't you get enough butt whooping from TPM already?

I just hope you won't commit suicide if Obama wins the nomination.

Posted by: GOD on January 31, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

And another thing! Kevin, we of the leftwing blogshere bitch endlessly abouut how reporters serve as megaphones for the lies of politicians--failing to fact check or to balance lies with facts.

And hhere you just did that very thing. You report thhat Clinontis goinng to sell herself as the canndidate thatcan appeal to inndependents annd Republicanns--annd you don't mention that it just flat isn't true.

Also it contradicts the message of the Clinont's last week--remember how Obamawas supposed to be a closet republicann because hhe said thhe name "reagan" out louud? Are Hillary suupporteres going to scream with horror that thheir canndidate's claim to appeal to Republicanns?

We are righht back in frickin' Orwell times.

And you aren't helpong by being a megaphone for this crap.

Posted by: wonkie on January 31, 2008 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Quinn,

That's all you've got? Seriously?

All I can say is that you are obviously only projecting your own stuff onto that event -- clearly the majority of voters in NH saw it quite differently.

Is there anyone on earth, on the other hand, who can look at the cold, arrogant, dismissiveness of Obama's "You're likable enough, Hillary" response (immediately after she had paid him a fine compliment) without realizing that it showed a very nasty side of the man?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

The snake lady can't beat McCain. To beat the Republicans, the Democrats are going to need every ounce of charm, good looks, and likability they can get. I am not even sure a Barack Obama/John Edwards ticket can get it done. But at least, it will give the D's a fighting chance. The snake lady? She'll get trampled in the dust, along with her mendacious pet dog that pisses on all the furniture, by the so-called Straight-Talk Express.

Posted by: Al's left testicle on January 31, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think Democrats should pick their nominee based on who the Republican candidate turns out to be. That's a defensive, reactive game, which they've been playing and losing for the past couple of decades, it seems.

Pick the candidate you think is best, let the other side react for a change.

Posted by: dob on January 31, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0, you are sounding more and more desperate. Didn't you get enough butt whooping from TPM already?

Oh yeah, I'm so afraid of the crowd at TPM. God only knows how I could possibly defend myself from all the tired, irrelevant Obama talking points being thrown at me by the Children's Crusade there.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly0 -

Clinton's Crying/Sideswipe as Obama fooled a lot of people, including you, apparently. A lot of people did comment on it though, perhaps moreso than Obama's "likeable" remark.

I have no problem with the fact that Clinton and Obama don't like each other, which is very evident. But spare me the notion that Clinton has never, ever let her ugly side out.

"And I can't help but believe that I certainly would have, had it existed."

You're wearing blinders then in regards to your preferred candidate.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK
Who came across best? Biden. No surprise, given his level of experience. Who came in second? Hillary, without serious question.

Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious".

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Is there anyone on earth, be it Hillary supporters or Obama supporters, who can look at the totally out of control, enraged obsession of Franklyo's posts without realizing that this man has traveled far into irrational loco land?

Posted by: Get a Fucking Grip. You're Not Helping Hillary on January 31, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious".

Your usual penetrating criticism, cmdicely.

You might try some day to move beyond ad hominem, though. There are other fallacies you can commit.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I wasn't aware of it before, mainly because I read and post here somewhat infrequently, but I'm rapidly coming to that conclusion.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

:Came through loud and clear in his "You're likable enough, Hillary" response. Sometimes, no matter how tightly you glue your mask to your face, it slips.:

I think about it everytime I see him now. And it doesn't help that I laughed when he said it. I wasn't raised to sneer at people (even privately at home, never mind in such an incredibly public forum) like that. And I can't forgive myself for the laugh, OR him for making the comment.

We've already got a causal-talking-frat-boy presidency. Do I have to live through another one?

Since the "You're likable enough, Hillary" comment he's gone on to snub her at the SOTU address AND in Kansas City a couple of days ago he kept the Democratic Mayor off the stage during his event.

Posted by: katiebird on January 31, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what I found (in the NYT), quoting presidential historians Smith and Dallek after the August 2008 Dem debate. Obama quipped that he'd prepared for the foreign policy debate questions by riding bumper cars at the state fair. Now, this may be just me, but leaders with a sense of humor like this are also reliable (even great) in crises.

The group running for the Democratic and Republican nominations are a mixed bag on the foreign policy front with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Gov. Bill Richardson and Senator John McCain being the most credentialed, while Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of the candidates talking the most about experience, in reality, comes up shorter, says presidential historian Richard Norton Smith, author of "Thomas E. Dewey and His Times" (Simon & Schuster). Unless being first lady counts as a foreign policy credential, Mrs. Clinton does not have that much on her resume.

"There is this osmosis working for her, that she is seen as an extension of the first Clinton presidency," Mr. Smith said. "In lieu of more traditional experience, she benefits as being seen as the third Clinton term. There is an aura of competence about her."

Will any of this matter when the next president takes office? "Look at what's happened with Cheney and Rumsfeld," Mr. Dallek said, citing the well-credentialed vice president and former defense secretary whom historians blame for leading the charge into Iraq. "That's why I'm sympathetic to Obama. Does experience count? What really counts is judgment and what kind of judgment you have."

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"Is there anyone on earth, on the other hand, who can look at the cold, arrogant, dismissiveness of Obama's "You're likable enough, Hillary" response (immediately after she had paid him a fine compliment) without realizing that it showed a very nasty side of the man?"

I can. I read that as dismissive of the premise of the question, not of Hillary. I thought it showed dry wit, not arrogance.

So there you go. Someone on earth who read one exchange differently. Any others you'd like me to interpret?

How about dialing down the hysterics?

Posted by: Trevor J on January 31, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Is there anyone on earth, be it Hillary supporters or Obama supporters, who can look at the totally out of control, enraged obsession of Franklyo's posts without realizing that this man has traveled far into irrational loco land?

And if you think that my arguments are so obviously out-of-control and irrational, don't you think they should be easy to refute?

So why do you resort to ad hominems rather than actual arguments? Cat got your tongue?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Trevor J,

You have refuted me. You are one person on earth who thought Obama was only showing dry wit, and that it was a very positive side of Obama being displayed.

Now I'm wondering if there are two such people on earth.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

McCain will make Obama look young and inexperienced

IF, McCain doesn't come off as bumbling and incoherent-which he will. That would contrast mightily with Obama's youthful intellect, IMO. A good strategy for the Dems (Obama or Clinton), would be to play up a geriatric scenario where the day-to-day work of the Presidency has to be done by "handlers". The voters have seen the results of the lights on, nobody home presidency we've got now.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 31, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'll add something that may not come up at the debate: McCain has proven he will say and do anything to become president. Can Obama say the same thing? I'm pretty sure Hillary can say that (though she may not say it out loud).

Posted by: Dawn on January 31, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

FranklyO,

As your longtime reader and onetime fan who caught your act over at TPM this morning, I agree with your detractors. You've become a legend in your own mind. You got demolished over there.

You don't engage substantively with commenters who gamely refute your rant-arguments, and the sole rhetorical arrow remaining in your quiver is the sneer.

Just stop.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Your usual penetrating criticism, cmdicely.

You might try some day to move beyond ad hominem, though. There are other fallacies you can commit.

Okay, now, that's just laughable and shows how far gone you are, frankly0. Whatever fair criticisms one might make of cmdicely's style and delivery, pretending that his criticism regularly lacks penetration just makes you look more foolish. No fair observer of your posts and his posts on this topic would fail to conclude that you really do attack anyone who disagrees with you on the subject of Clinton vs. Obama as fundamentally unserious. One could produce 100 frankly0 posts on this topic without even trying.

You're just swinging wildly now. Suggest you calm down and wait a while to post; you're making a prize ass of yourself with these hysterics.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

I refuted you on another point, frankly0, but you were too busy putting your fingers in your ears and yelling to notice.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

You might try some day to move beyond ad hominem, though. There are other fallacies you can commit.

That is not what ad hominem means.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Has everyone heard about the interesting vote results from the FL primary? It turns out that in FL Clinton took a vast majority of the 'early' voters (meaning those who voted before the primary itself), but Obama and Clinton were almost tied (50% to 51% respectively) in the primary itself. Also, a recent Gallup poll shows Obama just 6 points behind Clinton now instead of the 20 point spread of a month ago. It looks like Obama is picking up momentum.

Posted by: nepeta on January 31, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

You are one person on earth who thought Obama was only showing dry wit, and that it was a very positive side of Obama being displayed. Now I'm wondering if there are two such people on earth.

Count me #2. I knew how he intended it, but I thought it came off badly. Much like Hillary's MLK comments. Intentional misunderstandings on both sides have been a hallmark of this campaign.

Posted by: Dawn on January 31, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

I can. I read that as dismissive of the premise of the question, not of Hillary. I thought it showed dry wit, not arrogance.

Agree, Trevor. I smiled at this sly, dry line. It underlined my previously unarticulated sense that, yeah, she's just that: likeable enough.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Obama was being generous:
The problem is that she isn't likable enough.

Most people see the snake in her right away.
That's why she is reviled by ALL republicans and HALF the independents and LOTS of democrats.

Such a hated creature has no chance of beating the charismatic, often times charming McCain. Get over your infatuation frankyo. You are backing a loser.


Posted by: No snakes in the White House! on January 31, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Kevin, I should have expressed my exasperation to Steve.

Posted by: wonkie on January 31, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Since the "You're likable enough, Hillary" comment he's gone on to snub her at the SOTU address AND in Kansas City a couple of days ago he kept the Democratic Mayor off the stage during his event.

Er, no. Sen. McCaskill of Missouri has been quoted that the reason Obama "turned his back" on Clinton was that he was turning towards Sen. McCaskill to respond to a question she asked him.

There are plenty of valid criticisms of both Obama and Clinton. Stick to them and avoid the chicken-shit, fabricated ones.

Posted by: DJ on January 31, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever fair criticisms one might make of cmdicely's style and delivery, pretending that his criticism regularly lacks penetration just makes you look more foolish.

Sorry, when it comes to criticizing my own material, cmdicely quite often engages in ad hominem. And that's what I was responding to.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

That is not what ad hominem means.

From Wikipedia:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

Here's cmdicely's response to me: Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious".

Tell me how "ad hominem" does not apply.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Is there anyone on earth, on the other hand, who can look at the cold, arrogant, dismissiveness of Obama's "You're likable enough, Hillary" response (immediately after she had paid him a fine compliment) without realizing that it showed a very nasty side of the man?


Yes I think so. Hillary lapsed into a feigned playground timeframe. As the moment unfolded she role-played the small petty games that take place in grammar school. Barack followed her into that timeframe. He pretended to be on that same playground. Two small children worried about being liked in grammar school. That's how I saw the moment unfold. I thought Hillary was very clever. And I thought Barack had fun with it to. They both showed themselves to be superior to the moment.

I was shocked when I saw that scene being interpreted otherwise at various sites the next day.

Which just goes to show you: Everyone has an agenda to grind. And sometimes, our agendas get in the way of reality.

Posted by: koreyel on January 31, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't Obama explain his 'likeable enough' comment in the debate itself? Wasn't it in response to a question to Hillary about her 'likeability' quotient? Or am I dreaming? I thought it was a brilliant remark in that while Obama was ostensibly defending Hillary as being 'likeable enough' to compete as a serious candidate in the election, it was limited to that particular circumstance and went no further.

Posted by: nepeta on January 31, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The only thing that carries weight is the roadmap for endgame in Iraq. Both Obama and Hillary are vague on the subject, so I don't see a lot of advantage for him here.

Posted by: bob h on January 31, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, when it comes to criticizing my own material, cmdicely quite often engages in ad hominem.

Again, you don't seem to know what ad hominem means. It is when an argument is refuted not by addressing the substance of the claim, but by referring to a personal and often irrelvant characteristic of the person making the claim.

Example:

franklyo can't be trusted on Hillary Clinton becuase franklyo is in the tank for Hillary -- not an ad hominem, because it is getting to the valid issue of whether a partisan for a position can be an objective observer of that position.

franklyo can't be trusted on Hillary Clinton because franklyo is [obviously making this up solely for the purpose of an example] an unemployed redheaded card-sharp -- an ad hominem.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

The New York Post's endorsement of Obama contains a pretty succinct expression of what will likely be angry, old McCain's campaign theme:

His [Obama's] opponent, and her husband, stand for déjà vu all over again -- a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co-presidency. Does America really want to go through all that once again? ... A return to Sen. Clinton's cattle-futures deal, Travelgate, Whitewater, Filegate, the Lincoln Bedroom Fire Sale, Pardongate - and the inevitable replay of the Monica Mess? No, thank you.

Not saying it's right, just that we better expect it if HRC is the nominee.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 31, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

You know, it does seem to me that people here might ask themselves the question, what is it about frankly0's arguments that are so far out of line?

By any objective accounting, the number of vile things said about Hillary on this site and elsewhere in the blogosphere absolutely trumps anything I may have said about Obama. Yes, I most definitely don't like him. I point to examples that make my case. But do I engage in anything like the invective against him that one regularly sees here on Hillary? Why is it so permissible to dump on Hillary on this site with impunity, but heaven forfend that a persistent critic of Obama might show up?

You might think about that -- if you have some real capacity for independent thought. I'm sure there are some here who do, but a lot fewer than I might like.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Heh - the republican electorate - this cycle's swing group.

Yeah, maybe a few Republicans would vote for Hillary, and maybe a few Republicans would vote for Obama, but my bet is that by Election Day Republicans will vote overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate no matter what.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0, did you even read what you copied from wikipedia? How's cmdicely's comment an ad hominem using that definition?

Posted by: GOD on January 31, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me how "ad hominem" does not apply.

That's just snark, an insult, a denigration of your critical reasoning abilities. An insult is not by itself an ad hominem.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

If Hillary is the nominee, I might very well vote for McCain for Pres for two reasons:

1. Hillary will only further hurt the Democratic party long term. The future of the democratic party is not repug-light and being elected using pharma, insurance company, and hedge fund manager money.

2. McCain would further cement the incompetence of the Repug party. He would have to (not) deal with the situation in Iraq & Afghanistan, and he also would (not) deal with the economy with more brain-dead Raygun trickle-down bull puckey.

Vote for McCain and we could have a real progressive democratic majority for decades to come in Congress and beginning with the 2012 Presidency...

Vote for Clinton and we have Bill & Hill stories for 4 years and they get blamed for the economic meltdown and the failure of the terminal 'War on Terror'.

Posted by: Brian L on January 31, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, on the ~playground~ play-acting, which Clinton and Obama both reverted to with intelligence and wit. They were having fun with the notion of likeability (popularity). And making real-world points. Hillary's was the universal lament of the smartest girl in the room, "Can't you see how hard I'm working?" and Obama's reaction, "Yes, we can." Making it look easy.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

It figures that someone calling himself Al's left testicle would call Senator Clinton the "snakelady."

Posted by: Pat on January 31, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

For anyone who has not already seen it, I encourage you to go to McCain's website and look at the short biographical film they have prepared on the Senator. Regardless of who John McCain really is in real life, the image in that film is who the Democrats will be running against in the general (if McCain gets the nomination, which he likely will.) And the guy in that film will kick the living shit out of Barry Hussein Obama. And probably Hillary too.

Posted by: Pat on January 31, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

Here again, is cmdicely's response, which you have simply ignored:

Here's cmdicely's response to me: Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious".

Please explain to me how that is not attempting to undercut my argument, not by any actual evidence, but rather by talking about supposed characteristics of mine. Hint: see how he uses the word "me"? Isn't that a pretty good clue that he's talking about me? And how can anyone deny that he's basically implying that I can't exercise any measure of objectivity? Take away that implication, and what is left of his remark?

I guess you would be another one of those famous people now giving me a "butt whipping", even though your claim is demonstrably false.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

You might think about that -- if you have some real capacity for independent thought. I'm sure there are some here who do, but a lot fewer than I might like.

This might be the most unintentionally funny and cringe-inducing post ever made at PA. Guy, seriously, take a little break and calm down. You'll be glad you did later on.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever, shortstop.

I raised a point, about why outright and consistent Hillary hatred gets a pass here, but consistent criticism of Obama is not tolerated.

Your answer is your usual irrelevant, snarky bullshit.

I'm so surprised.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Brian L,

What the heck. We are supposed to try to do the right thing by the country, not the Democratic party.

John McCain is an ultra right-wing militarist who has consistently sacrificed principle to political expediency.

After the Democratic nominee is chosen, it will be time for a group hug among everyone determined to end Republican rule in this country.

Eyes on the prize.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bite me, Brian.

Like hell will a McCain presidency usher in a progressive majority for decades to come. All it means is four more years of pain for the American people. And if he gets to select one or more Supreme Court justices, the pain may linger for decades.

I hate Democrats who rationalize that voting Republican or 3rd party somehow advances liberal democratic values.

Didn't Nader in Florida in 2000 put an end to this little fantasy? Shouldn't 8 years of Bush have led by now to that progressive nirvana that's always just around the corner?

Jesus, you're clueless.

Posted by: Auto on January 31, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK
Tell me how "ad hominem" does not apply.

How about this: you tell me how "ad hominem" does apply to a response which simply says that your statement is not true unless you redefine the terms so that it is tautological.

Please explain to me how that is not attempting to undercut my argument, not by any actual evidence, but rather by talking about supposed characteristics of mine.

Well, for one thing, it doesn't talk attribute any actual characteristics to you. It simply says that your statement isn't true under the normal definitions of the words.

Hint: see how he uses the word "me"?

The word "me" is part of a definition in quotes. It refers to any hypothetical Clinton supporter who would consider the veracity of the statement.

Isn't that a pretty good clue that he's talking about me?

Well, no. if you wanted a clue I was talking about you, it would be in the "you" that precedes the definition in quotes, though even that was intended in a generic rather than personal sense. Typically, in American English at least, one is regarded as being a bit odd if one uses "one", which would be a bit more precise, for that purpose.

And how can anyone deny that he's basically implying that I can't exercise any measure of objectivity?

I wasn't implying that you can't exercise any measure of objectivity, I was simply stating that there is no reasonable definition of "serious" for which it is true that there is no "serious" debate that Hillary's position on foreign policy in the debates was the second best behind Biden's.

(For that matter, the same goes for the premise, less key to your pro-Hillary advocacy, that Biden's position was indisputably the best.)

Take away that implication, and what is left of his remark?

Since that implication wasn't part of the remark, I'd have to say the entire substance of the remark is left.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

franklyo: Who came across best? Biden. No surprise, given his level of experience. Who came in second? Hillary, without serious question. Who came in dead last? Obama, who floundered about terribly.

Biden? Biden's big foreign policy gambit was the boneheaded imperialist Iraq partition plan that all Iraqis denounced. Couple that with his vociferous support of the bankruptcy bill and it's understandable why he never got any traction and dropped out after IA. The voters rightly decided we don't need Biden's irritated pomposity in the WH. Both he and Hillary are the same kind of politicians trying to sell us their failings as pluses. You do her no favors trying to favorably compare them.

Posted by: markg8 on January 31, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0, we are honored to have a supporter like you. You evince a keen intelligence, bold independence, and critical analysis that is sadly unshared by literally anyone else on any progressive blog. Everyone else, and we do mean everybody but you, is quite simply stupid, sheeplike and too thick to find their way out of a paper bag.

Now would you mind shutting up? You're killing Hillary.

Posted by: Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson on January 31, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

"I hate Democrats who rationalize that voting Republican or 3rd party somehow advances liberal democratic values."

On the other hand, I personally don't care much for the notion that voting for someone you really don't like just because they're a Democrat is advancing liberal democratic values either.

Instead of realizing that the Democratic Party needs to stop offering up names out of its good 'ol boy network, we start bickering and talking about betrayal. Not unlike the way the NOW folks were blasting Kennedy this week for supporting Obama over Clinton.

Candidates EARN my vote. I don't give my vote just because someone has a D next to their name and the cognoscenti claim that they are the "next in line" to be crowned.

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

One angle that isn't being discussed enough is the substantial base of poll data that shows that age is one of the greatest negatives a candidate can have. For better or worse, the public isn't fond of older candidates and McCain is looking increasingly tired and befuddled.

It looks very much like he has crossed the line from "wizened and experienced" into "can barely speak eloquently because he's on the point of exhaustion". This will only get worse as the election nears. Especially when he continues to refuse to commit to 8 years.

This helps both Hillary and Obama. Frankly, I think that the GOP's choice of McCain is going to end in disaster for them if we choose Obama. Hillary, not so much.

Posted by: Nobcentral on January 31, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'll try one more time, franklyO.

You wrote that you "raised a point, about why outright and consistent Hillary hatred gets a pass here, but consistent criticism of Obama is not tolerated.

You assert facts not in evidence here and further assume widespread agreement with your conclusion about PA "Hillary hatred."

My pov is that most of us (not the campaign operatives, obviously) are working out our views in real time and good faith as stuff happens, making our own individual cases for or against the candidates, sometimes sharpening our views as we argue here and elsewhere. You're rants, btw, are bolstering Obama's candidacy.

Being opposed to Hillary Clinton, or to the case being made for her candidacy, is not Hillary hatred.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

If it is a Clinton v McCain show-down in Nov, 2008, I don't know what I'll do. It will almost certainly involve large quantities of alcohol before I head to the polls. For me the election may come down to a choice between gin and rum. Or maybe I'll choose a third candidate, vodka.

frankly0: "I raised a point, about why outright and consistent Hillary hatred gets a pass here, but consistent criticism of Obama is not tolerated."

...the funny thing is that from my perspective WM is a pro-Clinton site: Criticize Clinton at your peril. On the other hand, I've seen lots of criticism of Obama.

Maybe it is the nature of the criticism. People seem to be willing to use all sorts of derogatory language to describe Clinton, language that is specific to being female, and I agree that it is deeply disturbing. But then people who simply want a fair playing field, push back.

It is easier to criticize Obama for inexperience and a rather aloof manner than find equivalent derogatory terms. I don't think the English language has as many derogatory but still publicly acceptable words for someone like Obama, but it clearly has many, many for women.


Posted by: PTate in MN on January 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

in Kansas City a couple of days ago he kept the Democratic Mayor off the stage during his event.
Posted by: katiebird on January 31, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Funkhouser is a Democrat. Who knew?

Folks I am going to stay away from these discussions until the Democratic nominee is selected. Both have strong points. Both have weaknesses. Both have strong supporters. Both have strengths and weaknesses the strong supporters tend to blow up all out of proportion to reality.

Folks, I'll still vote for the winner over any Republican in the field. For me the choice is generational. Can the boomers hold on one more election before they pass the torch? At some point they will. Obama is the best politician I have encountered since Bill Clinton. He represents the younger generation. Hillary is a worthy representative of the older generation, so long as she keeps Bill on the porch. When the debate devolved into Bill v. Barack the last couple of weeks they overshadowed Hillary and she lost.

I will gladly support either Hillary or Barack, but I have a hunch that sooner or later youth will be served.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 31, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Please explain to me how that is not attempting to undercut my argument, not by any actual evidence, but rather by talking about supposed characteristics of mine.

What supposed characteristic? Remember, for an ad hominem it has to be a supposed personal and irrelevant characteristic independent of the substance of the argument. Criticizing your poor choice of words and/or lack of logic is not criticizing any supposed characteristic of yours, it's criticizing your failure to build a convincing argument.

Hint: see how he uses the word "me"? Isn't that a pretty good clue that he's talking about me? And how can anyone deny that he's basically implying that I can't exercise any measure of objectivity? Take away that implication, and what is left of his remark?

Again, observing that an open partisan for a particular candidate cannot reasonably be trusted to exercise impartiality when championing that candidate isn't an ad homimen remark -- it's simply elementary logic. I don't know how to make this any simpler for you.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

And the guy in that film will kick the living shit out of Barry Hussein Obama. And probably Hillary too.
Posted by: Pat

Well, I'm sure McCain has a good media team and all that, but a promotional film is an artifact not a person. It's never going to have to answer questions at debates, for example.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

corpus juris: Funny isn't it. I didn't know either. But he was there, just on the stage.

Posted by: katiebird on January 31, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

(sigh) Just NOT on the stage....

Posted by: katiebird on January 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

All liberal Republicrats.

Posted by: Luther on January 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, I'll still vote for the winner over any Republican in the field. For me the choice is generational. Can the boomers hold on one more election before they pass the torch? At some point they will. Obama is the best politician I have encountered since Bill Clinton. He represents the younger generation. Hillary is a worthy representative of the older generation, so long as she keeps Bill on the porch. When the debate devolved into Bill v. Barack the last couple of weeks they overshadowed Hillary and she lost.

I agree with this broadly, corpus juris, but would quibble about the generational thing, as mr. paxr is a self-described boomer precisely Obama's age, 46.

To the extent that Obama is perceived as not-a-boomer, that's good for his campaign. But the fact remains that he's part of the postwar demographic boom of babies born between, what, 1946 to 1964.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn,

I appreciate what you're saying, so why not ignore party politics and answer a simple question.

Who would be worse for the country--Obama, Hillary, or McCain?

No contest; Obama or Hillary are preferable to an old and sickly mega-hawk who's still fighting the Vietnam War and who caved on torture and habeas corpus by voting Aye on the Military Commissions Act.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK
clearly the majority of voters in NH saw it quite differently.

Even if we assume that every NH voter that voted for Clinton disagreed with the assesment that the assessment that Hillary's "human moment" with its potshot at the rest of the field was arrogant (which is, itself, an invalid assumption, rather than something that is "clear"), that gets you only up to 39% of the voters in the Democratic primary there, which is far short of a majority. Making the no less valid assumption that every voter that voted against Hillary did see that moment the way Quinn describes, you would get an overwhelming majority on the opposite side of the "clear majority" you claim.

Really, though, you can't draw any valid inference about the perception of a single event from those votes, because they aren't a referendum on any single event.


Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK
Obama's relative youth, intelligence, and command of the language..... paxr55 at 10:36 AM
While the ability to read ghosted speeches over a teleprompter is more impressive than Bush's, it hardly shows authenticity. In the meantime, the youth factor will be a huge liability.

McCain: "I was serving America while you were _________ in highschool."

It is hard to recall any Democratic potential nominee with less experience and a skimpier resume than Obama. In fact, his campaign is one of the most content-free in memory.

.... words President Hillary Clinton. Advantage: Obama. Quinn at 10:39 AM

Not necessarily. His ratings aren't all that much better and she has more gravitas.
...It's judgment. It's vision. Expect Obama to be hitting on this repeatedly.paxr55 at 10:49 AM

I expect that to be the case since so many of the 'bamabots seem to be working for the campaign, but judgement? 17 years with Rezko being his main financier even after his illegal activities became known? Don't think so.
.... where the tears flowed .... Quinn at 10:55 AM

Gee, no tears, but there was that SOTU snub of Obama's. There's maturity for you; boorish and childish, but iokiyo. "You're wearing blinders then in regards to your preferred candidate."

....every ounce of charm, good looks, and likability ....Al's left testicle at 11:00 AM
Those all seem to be in the eyes of fans, not the candidate. He comes across as arrogant, entitled and aloof. That shows an uncaring euphonius balonious pol who's in it for his ego.
....but leaders with a sense of humor like this are also reliable (even great) in crises..... paxr55 at 11:13 AM
High praise indeed. Tell it to McCain.
Didn't Obama explain his 'likeable enough' comment in the debate itself? ....nepeta at 11:37 AM
As we have seen repeatedly, explanations from Obama and his army bots, are subject to the Humpty Dumpty standard.
The New York Post's endorsement of Obama .... Econobuzz at 11:42 AM
There's an endorsement that comes with tons of irony. You can be sure, the Murdock media will endorse the person they regard as the weaker. Posted by: Mike on January 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm sure McCain has a good media team and all that, but a promotional film is an artifact not a person. It's never going to have to answer questions at debates, for example.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Point taken. I guess my cynicism is on display, but I don't feel enough voters make their judgements on debate questions vs. image to carry the day. McCain scares me too because he will attract independents and crossover voters. His weakness is (I think) the conservative base. And I think he can right the ship with those guys.

Posted by: Pat on January 31, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely and Stefan,

Since obviously everything has to be explained to you, let me do so.

Why is dicely's remark an ad hominem?

Let's look at it again, OK?

Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious".

For this to be an ad hominem, it would have to be attempting to "refute" a claim by imputing some negative characteristic to me.

Well what is the claim in question?

Obviously this: "Who came in second? Hillary, without serious question."

Now suppose one actually wished to refute that statement. What I would expect is that an argument would be assembled to show that any number of people who had no dog in the fight (eliminating of course either Hillary supporters or Obama supporters) believed that someone other than Hillary or Biden showed the same degree of mastery of foreign policy. The reason I asserted otherwise is that to the best of my knowledge, it was pretty much the consensus of objective people that Hillary was the most knowledgeable of the candidates (perhaps Richardson might have been preferred by some, I suppose -- but mostly that's irrelevant)

Now, you see, THAT is an actual argument.

What do I get from cmdicely instead? Again, "Only if you are using "serious" in the sense that "anyone who disagrees with me is, ipso facto, not serious"." Now that is quite obviously NOT such an argument. It is doing little more than suggesting that my claim can't be true because I lack any objectivity in applying the term "serious". It is trying to refute the claim by appealing to alleged personal characteristics of mine, and nothing more. There is no further logic to the "refutation" than that, because it doesn't even address what the correct definition of "serious" is, and try to show that it's false: it simply disparages my use of it on the basis of my supposed lack of objectivity. Take away that clear imputation and there's nothing left -- not that there was anything important there to begin with.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

It would be useful for people to note that I most certainly did NOT begin the barrage of personal attacks on this thread. As usual, I start criticizing Obama, and personal attacks on me ensue.

Given that people come on this blog all the time and trash Hillary in the nastiest possible terms and with nary a peep from our minders here, one wonders how that dynamic might be explained.

My explanation? The blogosphere and the MSM have simply adopted the mindset that criticism of Obama is pretty much unforgivable, but the vilest vituperation against Hillary is just peachy-keen. And many people on this blog -- who seem to lack the capacity for independent thought -- can't step out of their own mindset long enough see that this is so.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 31, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

paxr55,

Nixon and Kennedy were contemporaries. Both were WWII vets. Nixon was attractive to the older generation and Kennedy attracted the young. Youth won.

I will always remember when Kennedy visited the Truman farm (Truman Corners) all those years ago. The crowd was enormous. Young men and women came out by the thousands to see history. I had never seen so many people.

Both Barack and Hillary attract those kinds of crowds. Barack attracts the young. Hillary attracts the more mature.

That visit to Kansas City katiebird mentioned above took place in an indoor arena filled to overflowing. Right after that event Obama had to make a second appearance before the overflow thousands freezing in the park across the street. Hillary has had similar events. McClain, not so much. The 2008 Presidential Election is next Tuesday. Don't forget to vote.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 31, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I guess my cynicism is on display, but I don't feel enough voters make their judgements on debate questions vs. image to carry the day. McCain scares me too because he will attract independents and crossover voters.

Oh, I think you're right about image being a huge factor in making decisions about candidates, but I think the contrast of Obama with McCain will be one that favors Obama. Take a look at this article by George Lakoff, if you haven't seen it already. It makes some interesting points about how non-wonky types (people other than most everyone on this thread) tend to make decisions about political candidates:

    In Thinking Points, the handbook for progressives that the Rockridge Institute staff and I wrote last year, we began by analyzing Ronald Reagan's strengths as a politician. According to his chief strategist, Richard Wirthlin, Reagan realized that most voters do not vote primarily on the basis of policies, but rather on (1) values, (2) connection, (3) authenticity, (4) trust, and (5) identity. That is, Reagan spoke about his values, and policies for him just exemplified values. He connected viscerally with people. He was perceived as authentic, as really believing what he said. As a result, people trusted him and identified with him.

Now Lakoff of course goes on to say that what Reagan did with this trust wasn't good for the country, but the point about how Reagan was able to connect with the populace is worth considering. I think it reflects well on Obama's chances but you might see it differently.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's big foreign policy gambit was the boneheaded imperialist Iraq partition plan that all Iraqis denounced.

Ok, this is laughable. Iraqis may have denounced it, but guess what? A partitioned country is exactly what they have there now! Like it or. No one wants to admit it, of course. If you see a different picture, you ain't lookn' hard enough...

Posted by: elmo on January 31, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK
It would be useful for people to note that I most certainly did NOT begin the barrage of personal attacks on this thread.

Perhaps not (the first seems to be from "GOD"), but your first attacks weren't directed at anyone who attacked you first in the thread, and once you got out the gate with yours (starting in your 10:59am post), you've been firing them off non-stop in every direction and at everyone who disagrees with any of your posts, whether or not their disagreement included any personal attack.

"Someone else did it first" isn't an excuse, especially when you aren't exclusively targetting the one(s) who did, in fact, do it first.

As usual, I start criticizing Obama, and personal attacks on me ensue.

Actually, the attacks on you began after you (either deliberately or from gross lack of reading comprehension) distorted other poster's posts in order to make ludicrous "rebuttals" of their arguments, starting with your first post in this thread where you respond to an argument about the importance of a candidate being right from day one with an irrelevant emotional bleating based on the harm of a candidate thinking they are right and refusing to consider conflicting information.

Given that people come on this blog all the time and trash Hillary in the nastiest possible terms and with nary a peep from our minders here

What "minders"? If you mean the moderators, no one is being subject to action by them for criticizing Hillary or Obama, so your suggestion of inconsistency appears misplaced because no one has hit by the "minders".

If you mean posters in general, there is vigorous criticism and rebuttal from critics and supporters of each candidate. Sometimes, the same critic for more than one of the candidates, since many of the critics are committed to neither Obama nor Hillary. So, again, your suggestion of inconsistency would appear misplaced.

If by "minders" you mean Hillary critics, yeah, Hillary critics don't generally object to criticism of Hillary categorically, though some Hillary supporters may have nuanced positions and object to particular criticisms of Hillary. So, in that case, your suggestion of inconsistency might be properly placed, but kind of dumb.

My explanation? The blogosphere and the MSM have simply adopted the mindset that criticism of Obama is pretty much unforgivable, but the vilest vituperation against Hillary is just peachy-keen. And many people on this blog -- who seem to lack the capacity for independent thought -- can't step out of their own mindset long enough see that this is so.

In the only sense in which the effect you are trying to describe is arguably true (as discussed above) this explanation is almost entirely unrelated to it. Even if it was true in the sense you seem likely to have meant it (which would seem to be the second one I describe and reject above), it wouldn't justify this explanation, which would need further support of its generality throughout the blogosphere and throughout the MSM to be warranted, and, really, to think that the MSM is universally pro-Obama and anti-Clinton would take as highly selective interpretation of what is "mainstream" as your earlier claim about the debates did about what is "serious".

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon and Kennedy were contemporaries. Both were WWII vets. Nixon was attractive to the older generation and Kennedy attracted the young. Youth won.

Yes. Exactly. And youth will win again, IMHO, against older rivals Clinton and McCain.

My quibble was only that Obama is formally a boomer. Post-culture wars, to be sure. All to the good. But still a boomer.

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
Now suppose one actually wished to refute that statement. What I would expect is that an argument would be assembled to show that any number of people who had no dog in the fight (eliminating of course either Hillary supporters or Obama supporters) believed that someone other than Hillary or Biden showed the same degree of mastery of foreign policy.

Um, no. See, you made the assertion that a broad consensus including all serious commentators exists that Biden was best followed by Hillary. Before evidence is needed to reject it, you need to provide evidence to support it. You've presented no evidence that there is any such consensus in the first place, which would be needed before a rebuttal would need to provide evidence of some dispute with the consensus.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 31, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

wow, exactly what dems need in a general election: a POW vs. the wife of a perceived draft dodger.

how could this not be yet another chapter of boomer angst, relitigating the vietnam war?

hillary clinton is the perfect proxy to dredge up the politics of the '60s; something that has never bred political advantage for the dems. the party doesn't need to abandon its johnson-era achievements, just its '60s tsuris handwringing.

a lot of dems don't realize this now, but I don't think they or the rest of the electorate has the stomach to revisit the fights of the clinton years.

with the bush admin's trainwreck of conservative governance, this is an historic moment to make the case for liberalism, probably the last one for a generation. and what we as a party don't need is nostalgia for clinton's '90s or another bite at trying to convince america we didn't lose vietnam. we need something, someone, new.

Posted by: mencken on January 31, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

New and different. Such as a candidate whose on video tape calling for the decriminalization of pot? That is certanily different.

Posted by: Pat on January 31, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

After reading over this thread, I'v decided that
I already miss Edwards (and Kucinich and Dodd and Richardson and...)

Back to the topic at hand...Election 2008: McCain vs. Clinton and Obama:

McCain now has a narrow advantage over Obama 45% to 43%. Prior to this latest poll, they had been tied at 44%. Both men have now been within four points (the margin of error) of the 45% mark for seven consecutive individual polls. Using a three-poll rolling average, McCain leads Clinton by five percentage points, 47% to 42%.

Maybe y'all (mostly in this thread meaning you, frankly0) should consider focusing on the Dems' likely opponent in the general election than engaging in the heated Clinton versus Obama lovefest that I've been reading in the lefty bloggysphere.

I thought it was the Republicans who were eating their own this election cycle. This bickering serves no good purpose.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 31, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

It is doing little more than suggesting that my claim can't be true because I lack any objectivity in applying the term "serious". It is trying to refute the claim by appealing to alleged personal characteristics of mine, and nothing more.

Jesus -- WHAT PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS???? You've babbled on and on, but beyond repeating this you've yet to point out where cmdicely made any reference whatsover to any supposed personal characteristics of yours. I'll make it simple: the alleged personal characteristic of yours that cmdicely supposedly alleged was....what, exactly? Because without that, you've got no ad hominem.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think a few points are in order here. One, Obama has raised more money in January than McCain has during his entire campaign. McCain is already looking tired, and hasn't even gotten to the general against an energized Obama with loads of money and dedicated, enthusiastic supporters. The Republican base doesn't even like McCain.

I don't see a single advantage to nominating Clinton, thereby motivating Republican voters to the polls, and in the best case continuing dynastic politics. Despite all the naysayers and cynics, Obama has kicked ass and proved the doubters wrong time and again.

Posted by: tractor on January 31, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is beloved by reporters, unlike Hillary and Barack. McCain will say to voters, choose me if you want victory in Iraq; choose him/her if you want defeat and by the way, what do you think of the Clinton wheeling and dealing, i.e. those favors for which Mr. Giustra paid millions, only the most recent of shady deals, or an inexperienced black man if it's Obama. I think that the undecided middle will rally behind O much more than C; I have had enough Clintons in the White House.

Posted by: erewhon on January 31, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is bit arrogant for me.

Can't have dem uppity negroes taunting our white women, can we?

frankly0, the cleaners called -- your sheets are ready for pick-up.

Posted by: Disputo on January 31, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, the cleaners called -- your sheets are ready for pick-up.
Posted by: Disputo

Come on. That kind of snark isn't called for.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, that's uncalled for. He just needs to chill out a bit.

Posted by: GOD on January 31, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta agree with cyntax and GOD, Disputo.

frankly0 hasn't provided any reason to assume that his overwrought, increasingly incoherent and quite irrational hatred of Obama is race-based.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I see that the Rasmussen Reports says that McCain beats both Obama and Clinton. Wow, too bad. What could have been an easy shoo-in to the White House for Democrats this year will fail.

This primary campaign has been sickening. The vicious smearing of Hillary by Obama supporters and the media will not be forgotten by older women like me. If it comes down to McCain v. Obama, I will vote Republican for the first time in 40 years.

I predict that lots of older voters, especially the women who wanted to vote for the first woman president, who have been told to get lost by younger voters will stay home, or vote for the candidate who will best represent the interests of people over 45—McCain. Once again, we will have a Republican president and a weak Democratic Congress with a Republican minority who will be able to block progressive legislation, just like they have done repeatedly for the last year.

This couldn’t have worked out better if Karl Rove had planned it. And, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.


Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting how views of Obama range from "he's coordinated a vicious smear campaign against Hilary and Bill Clinton" to "He's a little porcelain kitten who can't handle the heat from the Clintons".

He's either Machiavelli or he's a hurt little puppy dog.

Which is it?

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose,

Sorry to hear you feel that way. In all fairness the smears can be attributed to both sides though (Bill's remark about Jesse Jackson's victories in SC for example), so I don't think Hillary supporters have an exclusive claim there.

Everything you said about the older woman demographic could also be said by black people who wanted to vote for the first black president. At some level I guess I find the kind of identity politics you are espousing to be reductionist; particularly since they seem to lead you to the zero-sum conclusion that voting for McCain (out of spite?) is the best thing to do if your candidate isn't nominated.

Again, I'm sorry that the vitriol of the primaries has pushed you this far, but it might be worth reconsidering your position. And yes, I will be voting for Hillary if Obama doesn't get the nomination.

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I can't imagine a long-term Democrat having the towering ego and unmitigated self-centeredness to vote for McCain at the expense of all the people whose lives could be vastly improved by Democratic policies. Fuck you, poor people. Screw you, uninsured. Kiss off, soldiers. Emmarose couldn't care less what's at stake for you because she's so mad that she might not get to vote for a female president. So, to show us all, she's voting for a Republican man.

I don't agree with the rationale behind voting for third-party candidates in close races, but I can understand it. What's to understand about voting for Republicans because your candidate didn't get the Democratic nomination? What could underlie that decision other than pure, childish spite?

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Right, shortstop. But emmarose did spell shoo-in correctly.

Now we'll know how to write, "Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, is a shoo-in against John McCain this November."

Or, alternatively, "Hillary Clinton, although hardly a shoo-in against John McCain, should prevail over the Republican nominee this November."

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose: " If it comes down to McCain v. Obama, I will vote Republican for the first time in 40 years."

I have a lot of sympathy with that point of view, for voting for John McCain if the Dems put up a candidate I find repellent, but in my case, the unacceptable candidate is Clinton. So, yeah, maybe McCain is going to win 50% of disgruntled Democrats in November.

But we have to keep our eye on the prize. Here's what works for me. When the anger seizes me, I start humming McCain's favorite tune, "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

I find it a wonderful tonic for the anger that comes with feeling like the Dems are going to screw people like me once more. Bracing really. Gets me back in the fold. I assume other Dems whistle tunes that work for them.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Since it seems hard for some of you to understand my desire to vote for McCain over Obama, I will explain a little more.

In past elections, I have never been emotionally involved in primary campaigns. I always assumed that the wisdom of the crowds would select the best candidate. I only worried about third-party candidates (like Nader) spoiling an election.

I am not angry that I can’t vote for a woman. I am pissed at the way that the woman candidate was treated. Twice my local newspaper has run articles about the disproportionate way that Obama and Hillary have been treated by both the media and the blogosphere. Online she has been called a bitch, a lesbian, and much worse. But, it has been pointed out, no one calls Obama a n****r. Of course not. That would be racist!!

As our local newspaper writer pointed out, a Washington Post columnist suggested that Hillary’s staff should put an electric collar around her neck and give her a shock every time she screeched. No one raised a peep. He went on to say that if that had been written about Obama, the Post would not have had enough staff members to answer the phones the next day.

This is why Obama’s snub of Hillary at the SOTU resonated with so many. It was a signal to his followers that it is perfectly O.K. to treat Hillary rudely.

As for Bill Clinton’s remark about Jesse Jackson after South Carolina, that is not even close to the viciousness of the C.U.N.T. tee shirt that TPM, a supposedly progressive website, featured in an article about Hillary that included an ugly illustration of the concept.

As a woman, this ugliness has hurt in a deep way. I cannot endorse it. No prominent Democrats have decried this demeaning treatment of Hilliary. If women are to be treated like this by the Democratic Party, what chance do the poor, the eldery, and the uninsured, etc., have? (Actually, I think that Obama only uses blacks and the poor anyway.)

Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose,

Obama did not snub Hillary at the SOTU. Read Obama's response to the snub issue. Basically he said that Claire McCaskill had asked him a question at the precise moment Clinton was reaching for Kennedy's hand. He turned to respond to Claire. Claire backs him up on this and calls it 'an unfortunate accident.'

Posted by: nepeta on January 31, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Emmarose, excuse me but you are being quite ridiculous. There is a long history of snubs emanating from Clinton toward Obama that preceded the SOTU, at least from what I have read. In any case, if you actually would vote for McCain simply because Hillary isn't the nominee, you are acting like a child. I admit to having such feelings if Obama isn't the nominee but when I reflect on it, I realize that I am being monumentally deranged and simply stupid. So, hopefully rational thought might pay you a call before you cast a vote for the hundred year war.

Posted by: Manfred on January 31, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

As for Bill Clinton’s remark about Jesse Jackson after South Carolina, that is not even close to the viciousness of the C.U.N.T. tee shirt that TPM, a supposedly progressive website, featured in an article about Hillary that included an ugly illustration of the concept.

Are you insane? TPM ran that story to chastise the Republican operative, Roger Stone, who is distributing that shirt. Is it your argument that TPM was agreeing with the sentiment or that by alerting progressives to what the GOP is doing, TPM was somehow complicit?

As for the rest of your post, all you do is regurgitate your sense of injury and rage, with which I have, incidentally, a lot of sympathy since I too am appalled at the rampant misogyny in this campaign. However, you don't bother to address how voting for McCain is going to make the lives of the poor, the underinsured, the military and others better.

You can't make that argument when you know damn well he'll make them worse. So we're back to your own ego and self-centeredness guiding your vote.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose,

Your blantant misconstrual of the context of TPM reporting on a t-shirt that was being distributed by a Republican operative really calls into question the veracity of your other judgements about the "smears" Hillary has suffered.

What exactly is your beef there? That TPM provided documenation in the form of a picture? Honestly, your objections seem based not any kind of logic but on a predetermined belief that Hillary is being treated unfairly. And if TPM hadn't reported it then you'd be able to call them to task for ignoring another Hillary smear, right?

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Online she has been called a bitch, a lesbian, and much worse.

What's so bad about being a lesbian.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop: Of course, I know that the article was about Roger Stone. But, by illustrating the article with an ad for the tee shirt, they abetted his message and demeaned Hillary. It is like writing an article about a child pornographer and illustrating it with one of his photos of a child being abused.

Once again, if the Democratic Party remains silent about this double-standard in the treatment of Hillary, they just show that they really don’t support the supposed ideals of the party and that they really don’t care about any of the groups you mentioned.

Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, emma, why don't you tell everyone how we can criticize Hillary Clinton, and still remain in your good graces?

Posted by: Quinn on January 31, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

(Actually, I think that Obama only uses blacks and the poor anyway.)

That is grotesque. The man gave years of his life to helping poor black people in Chicago.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

emmarose, Your arguments are beginning to sound too disingenuous by half. You never did respond to one of my orignal points which was that all the same accusations can be made about Hillary using special interest groups for her benefit as you're currently making about Obama.

Once again, if the Democratic Party remains silent about this double-standard in the treatment of Hillary, they just show that they really don’t support the supposed ideals of the party and that they really don’t care about any of the groups you mentioned.

So if you don't denounce each and every "smear" that has been used against Obama, aren't you upholding a double standard that shows you don't really care about any of these groups either?

Perhaps you're this season's version of the "concern troll"--"the offended sensibilities troll."

Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK
relitigating the vietnam war?....mencken at 1:41 PM
Did you not know that McCain has been talking up his war service? Did you not see his Christmas Ad of him as a POW? Did you know he's not a boomer?
....Can't have dem uppity negroes taunting our white women, can we?.... Disputo at 2:24 PM
Did you think that was clever because it's despicable.
.... voting for John McCain if the Dems put up a candidate I find repellent,.... PTate in MN at 4:11 PM
You have said before that you would vote for the war monger and liar McCain rather than a Democratic woman. Is being willing to support opposing positions supposed to make you sound like an issue voter Democrats should care about?
....Obama's response to the snub issue.... Claire McCaskill had asked him a question....nepeta at 4:18 PM
Actually, that's a lie. One of Obama's flacks was on Morning Joe the next morning and said that it was a fault of campaign tension. The McCaskill alibi came out the next day as the snub became an issue. The photos speak for themselves. There was no conversation with McCaskill. You're very good and getting all the 'bama spin down pat. Did you sign up for the email , because your spin is generally in full accord with the latest from the campaign.
....There is a long history of snubs emanating from Clinton toward Obama ..... Manfred at 4:23 PM
That's another fine example of "Clinton did it too." It's difficult to distinguish Obama campaign surrogates from usual Republican trolls. Posted by: Mike on January 31, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn: Gee, emma, why don't you tell everyone how we can criticize Hillary Clinton, and still remain in your good graces?

The answer, of course, is no one can.

Of course, I know that the article was about Roger Stone. But, by illustrating the article with an ad for the tee shirt, they abetted his message and demeaned Hillary. It is like writing an article about a child pornographer and illustrating it with one of his photos of a child being abused.

Emma, are you kidding us? You can't seriously be making this incredibly offensive and irrational analogy.

I'm done arguing with what is clearly either a highly unstable voter or a concern troll.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

I can't remember a single instance when anybody here denied that Hillary gets a very bad rap from the media. It is a mantra, and rightly so.

For that matter, many of the incidents that frankly0 continues to rage about have also been conceded by Obama supporters. The Jackson Jr. remarks were decried. The sex-and-race slugfest was denounced. Yet every day frankly0 bursts on the scene guns blazing to excoriate "'bamabots" for their bad faith.

In addition, Obama supporters are routinely accused of being pathetic zombies drawn to a cult hero who they believe to be "pure" and "infallible", like some progressive version of the Rapture.

Then we have Mike, who has the manners of a pit bull, suddenly become dainty on the subject of Senate etiquette.

Give me a fucking break.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK
...Then we have Mike, who has the manners of a pit bull....Give me a fucking break. Lucy at 5:23 PM
Considering that comes from someone who thinks that Bill Clinton is responsible for Bush's war, that's an unexceptional and typically childish retort from you. "Give me a fucking break" indeed. Sooo ladylike. No wonder people find the twittering of 'bambabots silly: he's filled your ears with faerie fluff.


Posted by: Mike on January 31, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

As you know, I do not think "Bill Clinton is responsible for Bush's war".

You are lying.

Posted by: Lucy on January 31, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sooo ladylike.

rofl. "sooo ladylike?" wayback machine to the eisenhower administration!

every time mike posts, i picture this irascible 90-year-old guy sitting in a nursing home. he's banging away furiously on the communal computer while the other residents beg in vain for five minutes to email their grandkids.

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 31, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mike!

That was the AWESOMEST link to Barack Obama's "Donate" page. I went over right away--your link was a little broken, dunno why (click here to get to the right page, though. THANKS!!).

Anyway, I clicked on the DONATE button, thank goodness, and gave $50 to Obama, thanks to all your awesome comments here. And pretty soon looks like I'll have a call list for my precinct, and my caucus location. I need to be there by 6:30. Oh, and there's a debate-watching party just 2 blocks from my house. I think I'll bring the beer.

Good luck, Mike. And thanks again for all that you do!!

Posted by: paxr55 on January 31, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

As a 60-year-old woman, I have some sympathy with Emma's position. I too have been furious about the media's (and this includes the lefty blogs) treatment of Hillary. Seems to me that treating a woman in a demeaning way ("what do we do about the bitch?") is still acceptable, while we are overly sensitive to anything that might be perceived as racial.

Having said that, thankfully, I'm experienced in state and local politics and I know how high emotions can run in primaries. Friends become enemies; enemies become allies and then it all switches again in the next election.

I'll be disappointed if Barack wins the nomination because I think Hillary has far more to offer (and, yes, it will seem to me that a woman can work her ass off, keep her nose to the grindstone and still be out-shadowed by the new, young, big man on campus). Nevertheless, I would never, ever vote for a Republican. I'll be on board with Obama all the way if he wins.

Posted by: Vicki Williams on January 31, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Vicki: Thanks for your understanding.(You are a bigger person than I am.)

Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I read history for enjoyment as well as trying to understand how we got to where we are now. Quite often a writer will use a president's name adjectivally; Lincolnesque, etc. and I have gotten into the habit of seeing how much present politicians resemble previous ones.
The closest resemblance I could come up with for Sen. Obama was President Woodrow Wilson. Able to write magnificent speeches. And deliver them. A born politician. A firm believer in the Constitution. But definitely not a progressive. Also power hungry and stubborn (at the wrong times). The Senator from Illinois has, to me, anyway, ably demonstrated the first four points. Whether he is capable of the sixth and seventh points, I don't know. Point number five is the sticking point. Wilson was very good at talking "progressively", but not so good for the follow-through. So I wonder: do we really need another eight years of Woodrow Wilson?
But maybe I'm just being a pessimistic progressive. To be frank, right now I'd settle for Grover Cleveland over the present Republican bunch.

Posted by: Doug on January 31, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

"As a woman, this ugliness has hurt in a deep way. I cannot endorse it. No prominent Democrats have decried this demeaning treatment of Hilliary. If women are to be treated like this by the Democratic Party, what chance do the poor, the eldery, and the uninsured, etc., have? (Actually, I think that Obama only uses blacks and the poor anyway.)" Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM

“Once again, if the Democratic Party remains silent about this double-standard in the treatment of Hillary, they just show that they really don’t support the supposed ideals of the party and that they really don’t care about any of the groups you mentioned.” Posted by: emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:43 PM

The entirety of emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM for that matter I cannot disagree with (maybe the TPM point, although he could have simply provided a link instead of showing it himself, but there is an argument to be made either way there so I would have to give the benfit of the doubt to TPM on that one even if I do find it having the effect emmarose described and the appearance of being deliberately intended as she clearly sees it as having been).

“Sorry to hear you feel that way. In all fairness the smears can be attributed to both sides though (Bill's remark about Jesse Jackson's victories in SC for example), so I don't think Hillary supporters have an exclusive claim there” Posted by: cyntax on January 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Cyntax:

I agree that the smears can be attributed to both sides, yet only one side is running a campaign whose central premise is postpartisanship unifying politics and not the old standard politics of division and smears. I have said this all along, that the problem with Obama and what makes him far more vulnerable for the general than many here are willing to admit is that he has gotten an easy ride because of the way the MSM has chosen to gang up on Clinton and that this has allowed him to get away with playing the same kind of politics he decries and claims to be beyond and will take America beyond if elected President. For my trouble I have been mocked by some here and treated like a Clinton partisan despite my not having a horse in this race beyond the party itself winning in November in much the same way I am watching emmarose being mocked for her concerns, concerns which appear to be rooted in a reasonable reading of the available facts even if you do not agree with her conclusions from them (except the voting GOP that is, I can't go that far this time/election around).

He has been able to be effective in this because the media is not high-lighting these Obama attacks as they are the Clinton attacks, and the degree of difference to which the Clinton attacks have been cast in racial terms while the Obama camp has avoided being at all called out by that same media for the clearly sexist appeals within several of these attacks is gaping wide. The tea party comment example being one such case, the idea that she is so weak a woman that Bill will really be in charge (and if you cannot grasp why that is sexist then there is no point going any farther with you) which is a fairly common refrain from the Obama camp, and the portrayal a some sort of stereotypical amoral woman that will say and do anything to manipulate a situation to her advantage (another fairly negative female perceived archetype by many) is also a central theme. Why isn’t there any uproar about the clearly blatant appeals to sexism as there has been to racism, as emmarose rightly (whether Obama supporters want to fae it or not) points out.

Perhaps it is because I am outside of the American media bubble, perhaps it is because I come from a culture that has made far greater strides in reducing both racism and sexism from our public discourse, I don’t know (although we are still working on the political side, same as you Americans). The reason I have been so irritated over this and that it has been a central theme of my comments is because it is incredibly obvious if you don’t allow yourself to be blinded by partisan blinders. While the Clintons have played hardball they have been nowhere near as “race-baiting” as they have been cast by both the MSM and the Obama campaign, yet the Obama campaign instead of correcting the record chooses to use it to its advantage. If the Obama campaign and particularly Obama himself is unaware of the clear sexist undercurrent in a significant amount of Clinton’s coverage by media he is incredibly detached from reality, so I have to assume he is aware of it and yet does nothing to call out the media for destroying such a remarkable woman (which she is whether you aprove of her or not to not give that much credit would be IMHO churlish at the minimum) because it aids his chances of winning the nomination.

Why doesn’t he do these things and then point out that while he has great respect for the Clintons and Hillary in particular it is time for a new approach that he feels he best represents, and that to show exactly what he means by that calling out the unfair (the fair ones of course, the ones without the resorting to sexist imagery and metaphors to characterize HRC don’t need such treatment) attacks against his main opponent while still running against her will be a part of his campaign to elevate the discourse as he will do if elected President. This would be political gold for someone running his kind of campaign because it would not only show how he places his rhetoric in action even against a major competitor/rival, it would show that he practices what he preaches (always hard to believe where any politician is concerned, especially one that seems too good to be true), attack the MSM which has been so hostile to Dems by highlighting their actions in all of this, and the combination of this would show him to be truly what he appears to be and strengthen his and the Democratic Party's position for the general elections by weakening the media's ability to manipulate the races as they have been doing for so many years now.

The fact he has done none of this is a reasonable ground/basis for concern, and I can well understand the reactions of those women that are reacting so negatively even though I am male. Indeed, I would argue that not only does this show his rhetoric is not matched by his actions but that the fact he is not exploiting what is a clearly obvious way to underscore his message that would have obvious political advantages to as well as being simply the right thing to do speaks to having less than stellar judgment/reasoning and character. The inability to practice what he preaches should be a major red flag and something that can and likely will trip him up against a hostile media instead of the friendly one he has had with Clinton. What would be really sad and cruelly ironic is if he would have done this save he believes he needs to let this happen for him to capture the nomination, which would show him to be exactly the kind of political animal he claims to not be and abhors.

I do not understand why this is so hard for so many here and elsewhere that support Obama to grasp. Yes, his rhetoric is inspiring and uplifting, yes he has many good ideas, but where is his living example in this campaign? Remember, I am saying that if he was the “real deal” he would be calling out the unfair sexist attacks on his opponent while continuing to go after her on other grounds than those grounded in sexism. He isn’t, and instead of noticing this many (not all, when I mean all or even most I will say so) Obama supporters call Clinton supporters whiners and having brought this upon themselves by being racists, etc.

Obama will be vulnerable to being exposed as a fraud between his silence on the attacks against HRC that are clearly rooted in sexism (which isn’t all of them of course, there are many lines of attack that have nothing to do with her gender that are used even if they appear drowned out by the sexist ones to those finding the sexism too overwhelming to differentiate) and the fact that he has played much harder hardball than has been really focused on by the media, at least for now.

There is no reason why anyone should not expect that the GOP or even some in the media deciding once he is the nominee that it is time to take a second look at how he won and THEN chronicle how he skillfully used the same politics he was decrying in the Clintons to take HRC out. Once that happens it is only a matter of time before Obama’s ability to convince the people that he is truly a new type politician without the partisanship and the willingness to use smear and deceit against his opposition will fail, which is why I think he is far more vulnerable than the Obama supporters do. Not to mention the potential backlash he is creating within many normally Dem women this time out.

Posted by: Scotian on January 31, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

If I was Obama, I would say this:

"The Republicans are divided. Some like McCain, but a lot don't. If I win this nomination, a lot of them will just stay home.

"However, if you vote for Hillary, the Republicans won't stay home. They will unite. Some may dislike McCain, but they dislike the Clintons more. If you vote for me, they will remain divided and we will win. If you vote for Hillary, they will come together against the Clintons and they will win."

For all you Hillary supporters out there, you really need to come to your senses. Hillary will LOSE. Hillary will unite the Republicans. Hillary WILL LOSE.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 31, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

The entirety of emmarose on January 31, 2008 at 4:11 PM for that matter I cannot disagree with (maybe the TPM point, although he could have simply provided a link instead of showing it himself, but there is an argument to be made either way there so I would have to give the benfit of the doubt to TPM on that one even if I do find it having the effect emmarose described and the appearance of being deliberately intended as she clearly sees it as having been).

Let's be very clear on what this shirt looks like.

Now let's be clear on the fact that this t-shirt is the whole of Stone and his nasty little buddies' campaign. They're not producing printed materials; they're not speaking at schools, civic organizations and other public venues; they don't have a website. The shirt is it. The shirt and Stone's attempts to create a viral medium from it is the story. I don't find compelling the argument that adults engaged in the political process, who are reading and participating every day in discussions about the most lowdown tactics of the opposition (GOP and Democratic), have some sort of right not to be offended with the sight of the word "cunt" and an amateurish and non-explicit graphic. I'm unpersuaded that the concerns of those who find reading the word and viewing the graphic distasteful should supersede the dissemination of straightforward information on what the political opposition is up to, so that such tactics can be fought back against and publicly denounced from the defensible position of actually knowing what one is fighting back against.

And I would argue identically if the shirt in question had been an acronym spelling out "nigger" or something equally denigrating to African Americans.

Nor is there any evidence whatsoever that the blogs--yes, there are quite a few of them--that reproduced this graphic did so with the idea of deliberately attacking Hillary Clinton rather than or in addition to the shirt's producers, who were condemned by each of the blogs in no uncertain terms. I am a little surprised, Scotian, that you would embrace the idea of this appearing to be "deliberately intended" to attack Clinton minus any evidence at all.

I take rather serious exception to emmarose's notion that a woman--any woman, including myself--being referred to as a cunt is even remotely comparable to the repetition of a crime and a deeply harmful act as part of the action of reporting on that crime/act.

It is this truly outrageous comparison, as well as emmarose's bizarre suggestion that Obama is "just using the poor and the black"--again, an assertion made wholly without any support and in direct contradiction to facts in evidence--that leads me to suspect that, despite the many valid concerns she raises about the tenor of this campaign, emmarose is not arguing in good faith.

Posted by: shortstop on January 31, 2008 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

Let's be very clear on what this shirt looks like.

Roger Stone himself responded to the blog post I did on Blue Girl's site, and he responded in such a cavalier way that I was shocked.

I mean, who would hire this asshole? Republicans, I guess.

We linked Stone to Guiliani by way of his contributions and the fact that Stone posted his response from the same city where the Republican Debate was held.

I just can't believe this is the level of discourse. When MoveOn did their Betrayus ad, I thought the Republic was about to collapse in hysterics and outrage.

But it's okay to call HRC the C word?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 31, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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