Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 27, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

DEBATE WRAPUP....Was tonight's debate really the last one? Damn. And I was finally getting to like them.

Just kidding. Seriously, though, can someone please put a sock in Tim Russert? I didn't even see the entire exchange, but his badgering of Obama on the Louis Farrakhan issue was pretty wretched. It was maybe legitimate to bring it up in the first place, but to keep at it well after Obama had made his position crystal clear was beyond the pale.

Nor did Hillary cover herself with glory on this question, with her inane "denounce" vs. "reject" comeback. Obama's response — Fine, if it will make you happy, then I denounce and reject Farrakhan — was dexterous and smooth.

Overall, I thought Clinton did about as well as she could have on the attack front, but it just wasn't enough. Obama seemed the better, more grounded debater tonight. For example, when Hillary made the point that although Obama's 2002 anti-war speech was all well and good, once he was actually in the Senate he ended up voting the same way she did, I was nodding along. It's a legitimate point. But Obama's answer was pretty good:

It was not a matter of, well, here is the initial decision, but since then we've voted the same way. Once we had driven the bus into the ditch, there were only so many ways we could get out. The question is, who's making the decision initially to drive the bus into the ditch? And the fact is that Senator Clinton often says that she is ready on day one, but in fact she was ready to give in to George Bush on day one on this critical issue.

Clinton and Obama are too skilled for either one to ever land a knockout blow in these things, but I'd give tonight's debate to Obama on points. Whether voters who are tuning in for the first time feel the same way, I couldn't say.

Kevin Drum 1:58 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (156)

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Comments

I call shenanigans. Obama could have voted differently.

Some "change" mantra this is, eh?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 27, 2008 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

My favorite part was Senator Clinton's contention that she didn't have time to get her tax returns ready, but she might maybe be able to pull everything together by the general election... or sooner! We'll see! In sharp contrast, Obama's have been available for months.

Either Clinton is stonewalling, or she doesn't have the managerial capability to hire somebody who can use a xerox machine. In either event, she should retain her current position: Senator. On March 5, I pray that she can begin a hunt for a copy machine in earnest. If only those things weren't so damn rare.

Posted by: Dunsel on February 27, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

I had the identical experience with the 2002 speech exchange!

Posted by: doug on February 27, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

I have come to despise the "dogwhistles" that everyone is hearing. Dogwhistle is on my let's shit can this word, the sooner the better, list.

Nevertheless, "Fine, if it will make you happy," is a dogwhistle that Hillary is a bitch, is your wife, is a woman, can never be satisfied, ....

Posted by: jerry on February 27, 2008 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Note: I didn't see the debate, I am just interpreting Kevin's transcript. I note that Jeralyn Merritt and Armando both had different takes on that exchange than Kevin.

Posted by: jerry on February 27, 2008 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

The denounce vs. reject was a beyond silly distinction. Clinton has good, solid moments but so much of her debating style seems like "Let's throw everything at the wall and see what sticks". The problem with that approach is that many of her attacks rebound badly on her. The Farrakhan point was one of them. There was nothing to be gained by that question except the rare chance of a huge flub on Obama's part. It didn't happen. But what did Clinton do? She tried to force it to happen. The result was she sounded like a harpy and gave Obama the opportunity to drive home THAT point.

Posted by: Quinn on February 27, 2008 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

Debating is a skill and there is no evidence that it correlates well with the ability to govern.

Who came up with the idea that face-to-face debates are a good way to pick political leaders? We don't use debates when we pick business CEOs, university presidents, army generals. Why use it in politics?

Posted by: JS on February 27, 2008 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

Jerry-- If you're going to put it in quotes, it should be what was actually said. Here's the part you're alluding to:

OBAMA: Tim, I have to say I don't see a difference between denouncing and rejecting. There's no formal offer of help from Minister Farrakhan that would involve me rejecting it. But if the word "reject" Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word "denounce," then I'm happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce.

The only arguable dog whistle is "feels" instead of "thinks". But Clinton uses the word "feel" to describe thoughts at least three times in this debate (people "feel" invisible, she feels that either candidate will make history, she feels strongly about America). So... no. Obama handled it with grace. It may come across as smarmy in transcript form, but find the clip and you'll see.

Posted by: Dunsel on February 27, 2008 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton's responce on Farrakhan was a huge error. She started out well telling a story about rejecting support from some minor party in NY. This was a good tactic because it was an implicit favorable contrast with Obama's answer but didn't attack him directly. So I thought that she was doing well at that point to make his answer look kind of weak. But then she started in on the denounce vs. reject distinction. I said as soon as she said it that this was a big mistake. It (a) made her look petty, (b) associated her with Russert's dirty smear tactics, (c) gave Obama another chance to answer a bit better. And sure enough, Obama's comeback was a home run. But this didn't take great skill on Obama's part - Clinton set him up perfectly. (It is better to watch this exchange than read the transcript for this one).

Posted by: ikl on February 27, 2008 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Well as I said Dunsel, I didn't see the interaction, I was going by Kevin's "transcript" which I now see wasn't in quotes. So you're probably right.

But that leads me to another question, what is the correct exact quoting of a paraphrased conversation?

My quotes could be correct since I quoted Kevin directly. Or they could be incorrect since they inaccurately make the claim that Obama made that statement.

/shakes fist at long forgotten quotation rules.

Anyway, like I said, I hate the dogwhistle formulations. In this go around it led to a lot of stupidity from people on both sides insisting their candidate didn't say something and the other side insisting they did. Both these candidates are both very good, and both led horrible terribly cowardly campaigns. Given the Senate and an opportunity to lead in 2004 both ran cowardly in the Senate and avoided actually leading in the real events and real discussions of the day. They had perfect platforms and both were too scared to use it, and too scared to actually work for the American People, and both sold us down the river in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 just so they could run for President. Screw them both, I'm not expecting much once they get in office but more of the same.

Posted by: jerry on February 27, 2008 at 3:19 AM | PERMALINK

You know Hillary's campaign is in trouble when she and her followers are reduced to complaining what order she is being asked questions, citing SNL skits as proof of media bias against her, and splitting hairs over definitions of words like denounce and reject.

It should never have come to this. Hillary is well qualified, has excellent experience, a solid command of the issues, is good at non-confrontational debating, and had tremendous advantages in terms of finances, name recognition, endorsements, media attention, campaign infrastructure, and her husband.

Unfortunately for her, her campaign was horribly mismanaged. She wasted $30 on her senate reelection despite being unopposed; she spent about $24 million for a third place finish in Iowa; and was out of cash by Super Tuesday. In fact, it appears as if Hillary's campaign had no true contingency plans in place for how to proceed after Super Tuesday.

Unlike Obama's grass-roots campaign, Clinton ran a very top-down campaign. Her campaign lacked a compelling narrative to capture the imagination of the average voter. Instead, they seemed to view the primaries like a pro forma victory lap for her 'inevitable' nomination.

She relied heavily on big donors to finance her campaigns and premised her victory on carrying the giant blue states that invariably go to the Democrats, like California, New York, and Massachusetts.

When Obama started to make inroads, the Clinton campaign resorted to negative campaigning. It was bad enough that Ted Kennedy intervened to broker a cease fire. With a week, Hillary broke the pledge she made to Kennedy and resumed her attacks on Obama. Kennedy retaliated for her breach of faith by endorsing Obama and helping to narrow his losses in California and Massachusetts enough to keep him in the game for a post-Super Tuesday campaign that he was fully prepared for and that Hillary was completely and totally unprepared for. Obama proceeded to beat Clinton in state after state after state.

It seems almost ironic that the Hillary is now forced to adopt negative campaign tactics against Obama for the outside chance of regaining a lead that she lost in no small part because of negative campaigning. Maybe the term isn't 'ironic' so much as 'fitting'.

Posted by: Augustus on February 27, 2008 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

ikl: But then she started in on the denounce vs. reject distinction. I said as soon as she said it that this was a big mistake. It (a) made her look petty, (b) associated her with Russert's dirty smear tactics, (c) gave Obama another chance to answer a bit better. And sure enough, Obama's comeback was a home run. But this didn't take great skill on Obama's part - Clinton set him up perfectly. (It is better to watch this exchange than read the transcript for this one).

Thought this was worth repeating. I sincerely believe Clinton is comparable to Obama when it comes to civil debates - arguably even better. Her command of the issues is impressive, and allows her to speak comfortably and with great authority.

Hillary is, however, at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to nit-picking or criticizing her opponent. She simply isn't very good at it. Worse, she often comes off as insincere, shrill, and/or petty.

In fact, her attacks during the debate are so bad that you almost have to wonder if she is deliberately inviting ridicule in an attempt to provoke Obama into attacking her. Take her "that's not change you can trust, it's change you can xerox" line from the last debate. Once the crowd booed, a simple question from Obama such as "did you write that line yourself?" would have caused her considerable embarrassment (she either takes ownership of a cheap-shot line that was booed or admits to being a hypocrite by admitting someone else wrote it).

The most likely explanation is that Hillary is simply being forced by circumstance to adopt tactics that she is not good at or comfortable with.

It likely would never have come to this had she maintained the high road in her campaign.

Posted by: Augustus on February 27, 2008 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's the easiest target that America has faced since Gulf War I, and if there's one thing feeble Americans love, it's bashing the shit out of easy targets.

Posted by: bad credit credit cards on February 27, 2008 at 4:21 AM | PERMALINK

Tim Russert is nothing more than a paid shill for the Republican Party and corporate America. He needs to be boycotted.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 27, 2008 at 6:33 AM | PERMALINK

This is the best thing I have ever seen! http://www.spymac.com/details/?2347210

Posted by: Jones Direva on February 27, 2008 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

So Sen. Obama is really concerned about Iraq and how it is creating problems for Afghanistan and it's all Sen. Clintons fault. But he's too busy campaigning to hold any hearings to see how we could improve the situation. This is the guy we're putting our "hopes" on to improve our lives?

Posted by: AnnL on February 27, 2008 at 7:16 AM | PERMALINK

but what did atrios say - like, isn't he a freakin' GENIUS or sometihng? Doesn't the entire progressive front take their marching orders from CIA kos, atrios, and the self proclaimed circle-jerk of links known as "advertise liberally"?

Posted by: little bear on February 27, 2008 at 7:27 AM | PERMALINK

oh - forgot the goddesses at fdl - you know, the all fitzmas all the time blog, you know, the one that never got any of it right?

Important part of that circle-jerk of fake liberals too.

Posted by: little bear on February 27, 2008 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

I think Russert was gunning inexplicably for Clinton. He went beyond the role of a moderator to make the case about Nafta against her and the inexplicably shut her down when she started making a contrast with Sen. Obama. She should have called him out on the fact that a moderater is not supposed to bait the candidate but faciliate discussion. If Clinton IS flip-flopping on Nafta let Obama make the case himself instead of basically doing it for him.

I support Sen. Obama b/c of Iraq primarily and that ditch analogy was powerful and captures my thinking. But as a woman, I was pissed the hell off at MSNBC. Especially given their shameful behavior in the past.

At least CNN was actually impartial and fair in their debate, unlike SNL characterized. Campbell Brown and John King and Jorge Ramos impressed me, the crew at MSNBC and Wolf Blitzer have yet to do so at all.

Posted by: Rhoda on February 27, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK
oh - forgot the goddesses at fdl - you know, the all fitzmas all the time blog, you know, the one that never got any of it right?

Thanks for clearing that up, little bear.
I have wondered for some time whether you're a manure shoveller, and you've answered me conclusively.
I, personally, don't have much use for the comment threads at firedoglake, and think some of the posts are a bit shrill, but Jane, Christy and Marcy, among others, got a lot more right than just about anyone else. Including predictions that everyone, including Libby, would walk.
The sheer volume of research alone entitles them to respect, and to no small amount of deference on the issue of the Bush Administration's blowing the cover of a CIA operative tasked with tracking WMDs and WMD programs.

Posted by: kenga on February 27, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Democracy Now! interviewed Obama advisor Ms. Samantha Power on, among other things, this 'Obama said he was against the war, but has the cast the same votes as Clinton' aguement:

SAMANTHA POWER: I think prior to the election in 2006—and I worked with Obama in the Senate at that time, so I can speak to this a little bit—there’s no way for me to convey to you how impotent one felt with Republicans controlling the House, the Senate and the White House. There was no chance that this president was going to pull out of Iraq, none. And what you had was his intention of going full-throttle on the war and US soldiers who were not getting the equipment, who were not getting veterans’ care, who were not getting, who were not getting, who were not getting. Obama was truly torn between what would have been a symbolic vote, but one also that would have, from his standpoint, basically signaled turning his back on the US soldiers who were not being tended to by the very administration that had put them into harm’s way.

AMY GOODMAN: But then Democrats came into power, and the funding continued.

SAMANTHA POWER: But he came in, and he was put forth a plan with a concrete—he was the first person to come out with a concrete timeline for withdrawal. But when President Bush vetoed that, as soon as he vetoed it on the heels of the 2006 election, Obama then voted against the funding. And I should say that Senator Clinton waited to see how Obama would vote and then, in turn, herself also voted against the funding.
Obviously this is largely spin, but fairly persuasive spin, in my opinion, that the actual conduct of Hon. Sen. Obama was not identical to that of his colleague.

Posted by: jhm on February 27, 2008 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Look, Obama is doing better than HRC largely because she is flat-out *debating*, whereas he is doing something more like discussing the issues. Her primary goal is obviously to score points. Perhaps that's his goal too...but it doesn't seem so. He's willing to pass up opportunities for cheap shots and admit when she is right and seek common ground. He's doing better in these debates largely because he seems more reasonable and civil, and he seems more reasonable and civil largely because he is being more reasonable and civil.

Posted by: Winston Smith on February 27, 2008 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

russert needs to be held accountable for this outrageous behavior. he is vile, and he should be forced to appologize.

Posted by: rigetoni on February 27, 2008 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama has had the kitchen sink thrown at him, throwing out his middle name in a negative way, accompanied by a picture of Obama dressed in Somali garb -- "Got-Cha" politics, which is the worst kind of politics which only tends to divide and incite fear, it's called divide and conquer.

However, Obama can be of use to America by addressing the need of some to sow divisions and exploit our differences, instead of building on that which unites us, and "The world can use him too, with his reach to the Muslim nations and his middle name making it impossible for the US to walk away from one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in history. A restructuring of this overall policy is due after the demolition of the World Trade Towers. Some people think it's cool to be cynical. They deride those who show overt respect, admiration, and optimism. Those who still believe they can make a difference. Those who know they have power. This campaign has proven that cruelty is no longer desired as political style in the United States. The people now have a choice. A choice between magnifying the negatives or using the positives. I will say this. Obama has the potential to be one of the greats, but only if the people participate in molding his leadership. That's the task at hand. He, himself, invites others to recognize his faults not letting them interfere with the work. You can see how the people's support has molded him already in his quick evolution from weak debating events to the beautiful, strong, elegant, debate he delivered last night.." From: Blogger, J.M., Raging Universe
Hillary Clinton, a consumate actress, is the old-time party politics. She likes to Fight while Barack likes to Unite. The Past or the Future, that is our Choice!

Posted by: Angellight on February 27, 2008 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

Angellight sure is excited. Hey. I'll vote for Sen. Obama, too. But I just stomach these Obama supporters here with the North Korean slogan chanting. "The Past or the Future, that is our Choice!" Christ, do you have any idea what tools you sound like?

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Either Clinton is stonewalling, or she doesn't have the managerial capability to hire somebody who can use a xerox machine.

The Xerox motif returns to this campaign...hmmmmm, someone should really check out just how involved that company is behind the scenes, and where its contributions go.

And yes, Russert's conduct on the Farrakhan question was outrageous ("Oh, but let me read these quotes; I don't know how to process a response and switch gears"), but I thought he was just about as bad with his HRC tax returns questioning. It wouldn't be so awful that he's a fucking idiot if he weren't obviously so pleased with his own performance, thinking he's the courageous, cut-through-the-bullshit guy.

Watching him wallow in self-congratulation for some minutes while talking to Olbermann (who completely enabled it) made me want to punch the TV. These guys really do think that they're the news.

Posted by: shortstop on February 27, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

russert needs to be held accountable for this outrageous behavior. he is vile, and he should be forced to apologize.

Agreed.

MSNBC
Mr. Phil Griffin,
Senior Vice President, News
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plz
New York, NY 10112
phil.griffin@nbc.com

Steve Capus,
President, NBC News
steve.capus@nbc.com

MSNBC
letters@msnbc.com
MSNBC/Microsoft-NBC
30 Rockefeller Plz
3rd Fl
New York, NY 10112
(212) 664-4444

Tim Russert
mtp@msnbc.com

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

if Obama answers McCain with the same smug driving bus into ditch equivocation on Iraq McCain will crucify him. Hillary's stuck on Iraq - if she attacks Obama and says what she really wants to say she has no chance in remaining primaries: McCain will not be so constrained. Obama better come up with something other than trite metaphors.

Posted by: orlo on February 27, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

if Obama answers McCain with the same smug driving bus into ditch equivocation on Iraq McCain will crucify him.

But with McCain, Obama has the use of McCain's soundbite of being willing to stay in Iraq for a hundred years. Different rhetorical weapons for different opponents.

Posted by: DJ on February 27, 2008 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

For all you bashers out there. I watched the whole debate. It's the only one I've watched. personally I think either H. Clinton or B. Obama would be a president that would be light years better than the incompetant criminal we have now.
With that being said I don't think either side scored any decisve blows in this debate but Obama came off looking measured,serious,cool headed and eloquent.
I'm not in love with the guy but I think we need someone with just those qualities to run the country now.

Posted by: Gandalf on February 27, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks Lucy, just sent the "man owl" an email...


Russert, dude, get a fucking clue. You are not the story, you are not brave, and you couldn't find the truth if it were stuck to Britney Spears's snatch. You job is much more important than your ego, douchebag. You should quit. America has enough trouble looking respectable these days without your childish self absorbed style of moderating. Do us all a favor and follow Bush out the fucking door...

Posted by: elmo on February 27, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

I don't generally like Russert's questions (or interviews in general), but I think he is probably doing his job as honestly as he can. I think he and Stone want to be tough on the candidates. Hell, I want them to be tough. This effectively counters any criticism from the far-right about "liberal" media loving the dems (give me a break!). Also, being pressed with somewhat extreme questions gives the candidates an opportunity to address the factoids behind the sound bites that are used against them. Doing so in a national media event like this is extremely important to moderate mouth-foaming accusations and speculation in the media (especially the right-wing noise machine) and the public in general.

Posted by: mezon on February 27, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

He won the nomination, and will soon win the Presidency.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

For all of those who continue to criticize Hillary for going negative, I have to ask what other choice she had. The press is so obviously in love with Obama (Matthews' comments on Leno should have disqualified him from commenting on the campaign) that he received absolutely no scrutiny for most of this campaign. Hillary had to question Obama's record and suitability for office because no one else would. And no, Muslim rumor e-mails are not the same thing as press scrutiny. I don't think Obama supporters can appreciate how frustrating it is to see him get a free pass on virtually everything, while watching Hillary get torn to shreds. Obama dictated the framing of the coverage, which I guess is good for him, but it's certainly an easier job when the press takes down all of your dictation.

While Hillary was giving speeches filled with specifics, Obama was engaging in flights of oratorical fancy and refusing to take questions from audiences. Meanwhile, he kept the press as far away from him as possible. When George Bush did these things, we excoriated him for his lack of accountability, and were even harder on the press for allowing themselves to be treated like lapdogs. Now, when the subject of Obama's treatment of the press comes up, I see many Obama supporters applauding him, talking about "going around" the MSM filter, talking about how awful the press is, etc. The ability of his supporters to rationalize away everything this guy does is really annoying.

I support Hillary, but I wish she had done some things differently. I wish she had voted against AUMF(although I'm hardly moved to elect someone President because he made a speech in a park) and I wish she had showed up for the FISA vote. I am truly racking my brains to think of a single instance wher an Obama supporter has conceded that he did something wrong. Evem the Rezko stuff may not be evidence of corruption, but there's no question that it was unseemly at best. Yet there's nothing but knee jerk defenses of his every move.

I think the reaction to Bill's Jesse Jackson comments, which were perfectly defensible, made it clear that the Clinton campaign was on its own when it comes to the press. One thing I will never forgive Obama for is his willingness to let his campaign smear the Clintons as racists, which is the equivalent of child molester in Democratic politics. They're far from perfect, but they've done a lot more for the Democratic Party then Obama ever has, and certainly don't deserve that.

It has become increasingly clear that the press, and many voters, are much more comfortable with sexism than racism. Obama's selctive use of his color played right into the press's liberal guilt, and there was a palpable reluctance to call him on it. You can't get up in front of black audiences and talk about the "okie-doke", or say that the blsck vote will go up 30 percent if you're nominated, then whine that the Clintons are trtying to cast you as the black candidate. Obama's ancestors made him the black candidate, not the Clintons.

I was complaining to a friend about how the press constantly refers to the black vote as one of Obama's core constituencies, but if we mention it we're racist. Her reply was "Oh, we can mention it. It's just Bill Clinton who can't mention it."

So I'll vote for Obama in the general, but I can't bring myself to work for him. And after reading the comments here, and on HuffPo, and TPM, and Firedoglake, my only question for Obama supporters is, what will you do with all of that hate once the election is over?

Posted by: ChrisO on February 27, 2008 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

You guys are missing it entirely.

Posted by: Ls on February 27, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

If you think Obama is getting a pass by the media, then you're not paying attention or you're blinded by rhetoric. They've turned on him in the past week. Look at the "round up" on Real Clear Politics. There's maybe 1 positive Obama story out of every 10 about "all style no substance" and yet just about all the Hillary articles are "don't count her out" in tone. Open your eyes.

Either way, McCain is losing in November.

Posted by: Da5id on February 27, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

One thing that this primary campaign has shown is that Obama definitely is cool and unflappable under fire. With McCain's reputation for being a hothead, the difference in demeanor could make for a very interesting contrast in the general election. Especially if Obama can somehow connect McCain's shooting from the hip with Bush's cowboy image.

Posted by: The Other Ed on February 27, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

I totally would have preferred it if a karate-kicking firefighter at the debate had uncovered a terrorist plot at the debate, and had to fight the terrorist plot to save everybody at the debate, and then Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were like, "Oh no, we can't fight the terrorists, we have to negoitiate with them!!" because you so know that's what they'd be like, 'cause that's just like the movies, and then the firefighter would have to take charge because they'd be too sissy to handle it!!

Yes!!

Posted by: Republican Thinker on February 27, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

The notion that "the press" is an entity with a single thrust(i.e destroy Hillary, praise Barack) is absurd. Media ultimately focuses on the juiciness of this or that, not who they are in the tank for ostensibly.

The reason that Barack Obama is doing well is because he is doing well, not because the media has prismatically reflected this.

As for that "hate" that some of you Hillary folks seem to think we have for Clinton, go to Taylor Marsh and go see what real hate is all about. Ask those whackjobs what they are going to do with theirs. The notion that Obamaites hate Clinton is pure projection.

Posted by: Ron on February 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

The notion that Obamaites hate Clinton is pure projection.

You've got to be fucking kidding, right? Yet another wingnut tactic stolen by Obamazooids...trying to rewrite history right in the middle of it's happening!

Posted by: elmo on February 27, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Mary,

Here's one Obama supporter who doesn't think that Clinton should drop out now. If she has a very strong performance in next week's primaries and closes the delegate gap, then she should definitely stay in.

On the other hand, if she loses one of the two major states and doesn't close the delegate gap, then it may be time to go. It will be over a month till PA and with a diminishing chance to catch up a further devisive campaign for that long is just bad for the party.

Now I could see just suspending her campaign, holding on to her pledged delegates in case the press vetting progress turns up something and is similar to what Romney has done. But further campaigning against Obama after a bad performance next week should end. It will be time to start focusing the Democratic campaign on McCain.

Posted by: The Other Ed on February 27, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Mary -- grow up already. If there's passion among us Obama supporters it's because we cannot and will never forgive Hillary for so cravenly voting for war in Iraq and not even having the guts to say that was a mistake. Frankly, we cannot understand how any Democrat could once again propose that we nominate someone who supported the war, until it went south on them. We tried that in 2004 and look what that got us.

Posted by: Traven on February 27, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

What Mary and ChrisO said. I like Obama, I have hopes that he will be a good President for the entire nation, but I am deeply suspicious of and distrustful of many of his supporters based on their messianic fervor (and usually, lack of command of any facts). I don't have to hold my nose to vote for him but I do when I encounter his most ardent and ignorant supporters.

Take a look upthread if you want to see the type of person and thought that gives long-time Democrats pause. I think we can all pick out the post. Vapid issue- and fact-free adulation is the same thing that brought us Bush and his large coterie of incompetents.

In this race we have 1)people choosing Obama because they think he is the superior candidate 2) the vast majority of AA voters voting on racial lines and 3) the faddists and cultists who vote for him because he's sooooo dreamy. Two out of three of those are wrong, in my opinion.

Posted by: solar on February 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

So Elmo if Obama wins are you going to vote for McCain? If the reverse happens I for one will not vote for McCain.

Posted by: Gandalf on February 27, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Per my "shenanigans" opening thread comment, Jerry and others are right. Both candidates have been largely cowardly senators, but the Obamarama Kool-Aid drinkers refuse to see that.

Between that, and Obama's dissing not just of Nader directly but third-party progressives in general with his "don't deserve one vote" comments... well, this is one vote Obama won't get.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 27, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Whether voters who are tuning in...

These 'debates' are shown on cable TV, not broadcast TV. Many voters are unable to watch them.

Posted by: Brojo on February 27, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Grandalf, I have never voted for a Retardican, and I never will. If Obama wins I will become an Obamazooid right along with the rest of you freaks...

Posted by: elmo on February 27, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Kevin, did you see this post on the Carpetbagger Report yet? It reminds me of you and how naive guys like you are. You probably still think that Russert is an alright guy.

Guys like you could probably sit and watch Tim Russert psychotically carve a swastika into his own forehead with the tip of a hunting knife, while he stares into the camera on national television, and you'd still think he was doing something nice and middle-class. Just because you've seen him on TV interviewing so many famous politicians so many times before.

Hold off on your classism (and your delete button) now-- that last paragraph was sly, in-the-spirit-of-fun humor, not incendiary rhetoric. We don't want to look at things slantedly, now.

Posted by: Swan on February 27, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

I'm honestly baffled by a lot of these "Democrats have fallen" posts. Does it really need to be pointed out that people, liberals and conservatives, are emotional and irrational, prone to ranting and raving, gross simplification and utter ignorance?

Yet for all the anecdotal grumbling, many times people on this website have commented how impressed they have been with all the Democratic candidates, how any one of them is far better than the Republican alternative. The polls indicating Democratic satisfaction with their candidates, and they're willingness to support whoever the nominee is, has mirrored that. By and large Democrats like both Clinton and Obama! So what's with the "I cannot believe this party/candidate anymore" overreactions?

>I am especially dismayed by the contrast between the supposedly high ideals of Obama as a politician and the behavior of his supporters.

Is there anything more than internet ranting to back up this sentiment? I haven't heard stories about supporters or any candidates forming mobs, ransacking headquarters, hurting people, or you know... doing anything that's objectively bad. Have your Obama-supporting friends taunted or ridiculed you?

>When this is over there will be a rift, and it won't be Hillary's fault. It will Kevin Drum's, TPM's and all of the other progressive bloggers who egged on the Hillary bashing in their comments or by posting gleeful articles about every poll showing a closing gap (which always happens when an election date nears). I expected that from the Media but not from other Democrats.

For months people on the comments were moaning that Keven supported Hillary and should just announce it already. Then he endorsed Obama, and some people jumped on him for that. Then he showed some hesitation, and people yelled at him again for waffling. But then if everyone's angry with you, you must be doing something right.

However, citing Kevin's close attention to the polls as unfair treatment of Hillary is absurd. If you think all polls should be ignored, that's an argument that can (and often has been) easily made. But in a campaign where Hillary portrayed herself as inevitable, and signs indicated this was not the case, to ignore that issue makes no sense.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 27, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Elmo I'm glad to see that my daughter's favorite TV character is not completely bereft of his senses.

Posted by: Gandalf on February 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

>Between that, and Obama's dissing not just of Nader directly but third-party progressives in general with his "don't deserve one vote" comments... well, this is one vote Obama won't get.

Why exactly does Nader deserve a vote? He's jumping in at the worst possible time for the progressive cause. Some liberals still blame him for the 2000 election (though I'm not one of them). But someone else on this site made the point that if he wanted to influence the progressive movement he could've added pressure to the Democratic race much earlier when there were more candidates and more radical talking points. I respect his work and some of the things he said, but he is simply not helping anyone. If he, the Green party, or any other third party want to have substantive influence then they should push voting reform so that America can switch to Approval Voting or some other system that makes a third-party possible!

Posted by: Sojourner on February 27, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Angellight:

Stop gushing, please. You're giving the rest of us Obama supporters a bad reputation.

Here are a couple criticisms I have of my chosen candidate:

1. Got too cozy with Tony Rezko. (But that's not really a big deal to me.)

2. Too cozy with the nuclear power industry. (This one is a big deal.)

3. Criticized the very idea of using mandates to create universal health coverage. (I think Obama's incrementalism on this issue is reasonable, though I'd really rather have single-payer, but I wish he had found a better way to defend his incrementalism in the primaries without demonizing mandates. Universal health care may eventually require mandates.)

4. I was originally very uncomfortable with the idea that he would hold talks with the leaders of Iran and North Korea (and now Cuba) without preconditions. I thought that sounded naive. But now I'm on the fence about this one. If he makes clear that access doesn't mean compliance, opening up talks might be the sort of gesture that lets the world know the United States is in a different posture, and begins to repair our standing in the world. I'd have to see how he handles it.

Both campaigns seem to be complaining that the other's candidate is a media darling or that the other campaign is taking cheap shots. Of the two candidates, though, I do think Obama has remained above this for the most part, while Hillary has waded right into it. She should leave that to staffers. It makes her look petty.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's worth remembering that while blogs tend to attract the most passionate, invested backers of various candidates, most of the people who have or soon will vote for either Obama or Clinton are suffering no illusions that their respective candidates are up for sainthood. We all remember the posts that pissed us off, but how many more people here make balanced, fair remarks about the strengths and weaknesses of Clinton and Obama? How many don't comment at all?

And out there in the non-geek world, even more people are declining to drink the Kool-Aid for either HRC or Obama. The vast majority of voters are expressing a preference and that's about it. To assign the conduct of a few to millions and millions of voters nationwide is not particularly reasonable.

This will be over soon and we'll all have a chance to put things back into perspective and let go of idiocies expressed by other candidates' most fervent backers during a heated primary fight. I've had to vote for some lousy candidates in general elections, and I've not been happy about it, but neither am I still fuming about elections gone by. This time we have two very decent candidates, and only the most partisan among us would believe that if one of them gets it, terrible things will befall the nation and the party.

Posted by: shortstop on February 27, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Nor did Hillary cover herself with glory on this question, with her inane "denounce" vs. "reject" comeback. Obama's response — Fine, if it will make you happy, then I denounce and reject Farrakhan — was dexterous and smooth.

Sometimes I just feel like giving up. This comment is beyond stupid.

Look, who was it who originally made out the distinction between "reject" and "denounce"? It was Obama, for Christ's sake.

Let's look at what was said:

Obama: "You know, I have been very clear in my denunciation of Minister Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments. I think they are unacceptable and reprehensible. I did not solicit this support. He expressed pride in an African American who seems to be bringing the country together. I obviously can't censor him, but it is not support that I sought. And we're not doing anything, I assure you, formally or formally with Minister Farrakhan.

Russert: "Do you reject his support?"

Obama: "Well, Tim, I can't say to somebody that he can't say that he thinks I'm a good guy."

What happened here? Russert asks Obama a direct question, do you reject Farrakhan's support? Does Obama simply say, "Yes, didn't you just hear me, I denounced him, obviously I reject his support." No, he does not. What does he do instead? Simply refuse to reject his support, basically by playing word games. Why should it have been in any way difficult for Obama to just come out and reject Farrakhan's support, especially if it was, as he pretended later, and everyone including Kevin is now pretending for him, meaning to Obama the exact same thing as "denouncing"?

So Hillary calls him out on his own distinction, and asks why he doesn't reject Farrakhan's support, because she's rejected similar kinds of support in the past. Suddenly, in the eyes of people like Kevin, it's her supposedly artificial distinction.

It just boggles my mind that people are so easily confused that they can't grasp this obvious logical interpretation of what went on. If you want to blame anyone for this confusion, it's clearly got to be Obama -- yet, as usual, the man gets a complete pass.

And the reality is that there may very well have been a reason that Obama didn't reject Farrakhan's support -- because Farrakhan's support is politically very useful for him at this stage. Farrakhan did manage to assemble a million man march to Washington -- surely beyond the million men who showed up, there are millions of other men who couldn't or didn't who still had great sympathy with him, and millions of women too.

You will note that in Obama's quoted answer in the debate anyway, he denounced Farrakhan's anti-Semitic views, but not the man himself. Clearly, a rejection of his support goes beyond the narrower rejection of his anti-Semitic views. Perhaps elsewhere he denounced the man himself, but he certainly didn't say this in the debate.

Again, if there was no distinction Obama had in mind between his "denunciation" and his "rejection", why did he hesitate? Why didn't he give a direct answer to a direct question?

I gotta tell you, I read comments like this from Kevin and other so-called A-list bloggers, most especially including Josh Marshall, and I wonder how they are in any even small way better than the MSM.

These A-list bloggers are no less biased and no more intelligent.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 27, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, enough. It is over. Obama '08. I do like Hillary a great deal. I also like Obama. But, the masses have spoken. I would have great respect for Hillary if she ends this now or after the March 4th returns. What a powerful and honorable act that would be. She has become a great asset to our country. I look forward to her leading a Democratic majority in the Senate during a Democratic administration. We will then get this country on course for a prosperous future and clean up the messes of yet another ridiculous Republican administration.

Posted by: George on February 27, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Another well-reasoned comment from shortstop. Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

A moment of silence--

A great man passes from view. A great man exits the stage.

Silence, liberals. Decency commands your silence.

William F Buckley has died.

I feel as if a part of me has died, too.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Game. Set. Match.
Barack Obama.

Sweep out the word-spliting and word-spitting trolls. Turn out the lights. It's time to ammo up for McCain.

Ready. Aim. Fire.

Posted by: frankly pissed in Hawaii on February 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Well, apparently in the debate Obama did say "I have been very clear in my denunciations of him and his past statements", so he did in fact denounce Farrakhan himself in the debate -- so I retract that narrow point.

But the remainder of my point stands: for whatever reason it was Obama who intially refused to "reject" Farrakhan's support, when asked a direct question. And he only stepped up to the bar and did so after Hillary called him out on it -- which somehow has been twisted into a terrible thing for Hillary to have done.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 27, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the reasoned comments, Shortstop. This is the kind of stuff that turns tons of people off to the process--the accusations, broad brush painting and anger.

Passion is good so long as it does not cloud judgment and respect.

This country is dying for want of some general civility, respect and leaders with cool judgment. The job is "owed" to no one. It has to be earned. Let us let the voters decide and then leave it at that. For people to suggest that the voters are stooges is to sound too much like the GOP.

Posted by: groundhog on February 27, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Another shrill partisan diatribe from frankly0.

Sounds to me like it was Russert's distinction, first, between denouncing someone's anti-Semitic comments and rejecting his support. Obama made clear that he denounced both Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic record, and then made a joke about the rejection of support that suggested he didn't have any control over whether Farrakhan supported him. That's a good sound bite: it made people laugh, and when they laugh at it they're recognizing that the candidates don't control who supports them, which is a helpful way of distancing Obama from Farrakhan. Then, after some other questioning by Russert, Hillary came back to the distinction and put a lot more weight on it, trying to distinguish herself as stronger for Israel by saying she not only denounced people who were anti-Israel but rejected their support. And Obama again made a sort of mild joke, saying that he didn't see a difference between denouncing and rejecting, because there wasn't really anything to reject, and that he would concede the point. Laughter again. It's sort of the same point as before. If "reject" means "tell him to stop saying I'm a good guy," then Obama can't really do that; if it means "decline an offer of support," well, he can't do that either because there isn't one; so what the hell does it mean that would be importantly different from "denouncing" Farrakhan and his anti-Semitism? It's a non-distinction, and Obama was right to say so.

Geez, why am I wasting time on this? Oh, well, might as well post it. Can't get the time back . . .

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly0, again what does it mean to "reject" someone's support in politics? It's semantics. No matter how emphatically either of them "reject" Farrakhan's support, they can't physically stop Farrakhan from campaigning for them. Rejecting something means doing something to stop it, which is impossible when we're talking about someone supporting a candidate.

It's a dumb distinction.

Posted by: Joe on February 27, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Norman Rodgers

I suggest we take a moment to remember William F. Buckley.


Norman, You say a part of you died when William F. Buckley died. Are you saying that in some way you are like William F. Buckley?

Posted by: corpus juris on February 27, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, what would you guys do without Taylor Marsh? Yes, the comments section at a declared pro-Hillary site are decidedly anti-Obama, and oftentimes rude. How is it that is supposed to balance out the comments on TPM, HuffPo, Kos, and a zillion other sites, that are (or weren't) specifically partisan toward one candidate? I realize this is a debate that's not worth pursuing, but I'm really annoyed by all of these Obama supporters trying to push this fake-conciliatory "both sides do it" idea. When one side has done the vast majority of the piling on, don't be surprised when the other side doesn't exactly go along with this "let's just say we're both guilty" meme.

And I know the press isn't a monolithic entity, but I can't believe anyone would argue that the coverage of Obama and Clinton has been even-handed. Pointing to some critical articles in the last week, now that Obama has the nomination virtually sewed up, is hardly a conclusive argument.

Posted by: ChrisO on February 27, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly0, again what does it mean to "reject" someone's support in politics?

It means, as Obama explained, that you decline any formal or informal (incorrectly appearing as "formally or formally" in the transcript in frankly0's 11:23 a.m. post) offer of campaign help. Farrakhan didn't offer help of any kind--which is rather fortunate for Obama, because he'd be in something of a pickle if that asshole had done so.

This country is dying for want of some general civility, respect and leaders with cool judgment.

I appreciate y'all's kind comments, but I don't want to give the impression that I believe anger and outrage have no place in political discourse. It's just that I think that true anger--reasonable anger, if you will--ought to be directed at the true enemy here: the insanely incompetent, unlawful, unconstitutional and unjust actions of this administration and the entire GOP that even now is falling all over itself to enable it all.

Posted by: shortstop on February 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

This whole thread has been about the Louis Farrakhan moment in last night's debate and how Obama handed Hillary her hat. I have rarely watched anybody hit a home run with more grace than was displayed by Obama. His sunny "if that will make you happy" response was classic.

To me the more important aspect of that part of the debate was Tim Russert's performance. The son of a bitch had to spew his right wing meme all over the stage. Essentially he said, Jews you ought to hate Obama because Farrakhan likes him. Even after Obama very quickly and clearly said that he disapproved of Farrakhan and his odious anti-semitic positions in the strongest possible terms, little Timmy had to keep expanding on his personal message to the Jewish community.

People who say the press favors Obama need to look at Russert's obvious effort to unfairly tar Obama.

I really think that the Shuster suspension has had its desired effect on MSNBC's on air personalities. Except for Olbermann, they are bending over backwards to favor Hillary.

Posted by: Corpus Juris on February 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Very few people deny that Hillary gets a bad rap from the media. Although I agree with corpus that the Shuster suspension chastened msnbc.

Also, bloggers aren't journalists and aren't obligated to be disinterested or non-partisan. So no sympathy there, either.

I am truly racking my brains to think of a single instance where an Obama supporter has conceded that he did something wrong.

Just a few off the top of my head:

Obama surrogate Jackson Jr.'s No Tears for Katrina; spin on Bill Clinton's remarks before SC primary; Rezko; Exelon; rhetoric about nuclear notification bill; energy bill vote; Obama's mailers.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Taylor Marsh's censoring of any comments that aren't pro-Clinton gives progressives a bad name. This comment was deleted this morning:

"One thing that this primary campaign has shown is that Obama definitely is cool and unflappable under fire. With McCain's reputation for being a hothead, the difference in demeanor could make for a very interesting contrast in the general election. Especially if Obama can somehow connect McCain's shooting from the hip with Bush's cowboy image."

Is that anti-Clinton? Is that derisive? C'mon, gimme a break.

At least Kevin Drum let me make the comment here without censorship.

Posted by: The Other Ed on February 27, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

I should clarify that I have read the above criticisms on this and other blogs like "TPM, HuffPo, Kos".

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Just curuous there, Ed, but how frequently do you jump from blog to blog pasting in the same comment?

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

As to who won the debate I really think it is your vantage point. I have personally stopped visiting Huffpost and TPM because of the blatent bias. And I am thoroughly disappointed in the acceptance of sexism and the "progressive white male" overlooking it as an issue in this election. Instead there is a lot of self justification and Hillary deserves it hoopla. So long to actual progressive works.

Another minor point, the progressives supported Ned Lamont, and in the end Lieberman won as an Independent, be careful what you ask for. McCain and the Republican forces should never be underestimated.

Posted by: Ls on February 27, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Another minor point, the progressives supported Ned Lamont, and in the end Lieberman won as an Independent, be careful what you ask for. McCain and the Republican forces should never be underestimated.

Are you suggesting that HRC would run as an independent? If so, that would certainly be...Liebermanesque, with every single thing that word implies.

Posted by: shortstop on February 27, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I am just thanking, thanking, thanking the lucky stars that Obama has a D to the left of his name. He's a great asset to the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party is gonna be fractured for a long time to come. Why? Because it was the Democrat's who took the first step, not just for the first African-American candidate, but for a pragmatic and intelligent candidate after two terms of partisan warfare and incompetence. His governing style, indicative from his history, will serve to linked with Democrats for while to come, and that sort of association will be a political boon in the minds of the voters. We lucked out.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I said, HUSH, liberals.

Stop your kvetching. A great man has passed and you keep prattling on about nothing.

Bill was older than myself, but I always used to tell him that I would go before he did. We sailed quite a few times together, sometimes on his, sometimes on mine, usually on someone else's boat. He had a deft ear for the language but was a better sailor than he was anything else. I was with him on numerous occasions in the 1970s, but as his fortunes faded, it became necessary for me to travel in larger circles of greater importance. It's too bad he was never named Secretary of State. Too bad indeed.

I have an innocent story about the 1976 Republican Convention. Some "working girls" found their way into a suite we were using to entertain delegates and as I was ushering them out, Buckley walked in with a cowboy hat and a stack of newspapers and told me to let the girls hang out. He proceeded to read them "Marmaduke" and "Mark Trail" comics and convinced them to invest the money that they made in stocks and bonds. I don't know what they thought of him, but I know one of the girls went on to shoot a policeman in the groin the next day.

The world's oldest profession should never be discounted for its ability to attract fine, upstanding investors. After all, we are all mere whores for something or other. All my life, I would consider myself a whore for money, something which I should probably get around to regretting, but I probably won't.

Well, I regret not spending time talking to Bill. He was good people.

Now, have some respect and hush.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 27, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
Russert asks Obama a direct question, do you reject Farrakhan's support? Does Obama simply say, "Yes, didn't you just hear me, I denounced him, obviously I reject his support." No, he does not. What does he do instead? Simply refuse to reject his support, basically by playing word games.

The thing is that not only is Obama a lawyer by background, by a Constitutional law professor. He's the kind of person for whom words have meanings that matter. "Reject" is what you do with something offered where you have a choice. Farrakhan didn't offer anything to Obama, there was nothing to reject. He stated his preference for Obama and encouraged other people to support Obama. Obama articulated that understanding of what "rejection" meant, that rejection was meaningless in the context, and went on to both denounce Farrakhan's anti-Semitism and to point to his prior denunciations of Farrakhan.

When Clinton jumped in to attack him, playing world games (specifically, equivocation) by redefining "rejection" as somehow on a contiuum with "denunciation" but more serious, and pretending that it was that kind of "rejection" that Obama had refused, Obama said that, if you want to look at "rejection" that way, he would "reject" Farrakhan as well.

It wasn't Obama that was playing word games. Obama was using words to clearly communicate ideas, rejecting the phrasing of Russert's questions which was a product of fuzzy thinking and had no clear meaning, and present a clear, unambiguous answer. Clinton tried to play word games to change the clear meaning of Obama's answer, and Obama dealt with that quickly, efficiently, and directly.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 27, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

That's it. I'm outie. Now Booring is saying that Obama's governing style will fracture the GOP and burnish the image of the Democratic party for generations to come. Not only has the good Senator never governed anything, he isn't even officially the nominee yet? Is it okay with you Obama cultists if we actually hold the general election and see what happens before we start writing the glorious history of Obama. God are some of you people creepy.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Elmo, read everything I write instead of cherrypicking what I saw as similarities between the lack of self awareness that Clinton supporters exhibit when championing their candidate and denouncing others'. You namecall and then you want to side with the idea Obama folks are full of hate? Next, please.

Chris0, what I see at Taylor Marsh is 10 times worse than what I see at any Obama leaning site in the blogosphere, and as I said often equally devoid of reflection when casting aspersions at Obama supporters. Its a goddamn pileon and you should own up to it, or at least they should. All I am saying is that it's a ridiculous statement to make that "we" need to do something with our hate only. Hell, I dislike alot of Clinton's chicanery but I dont hate her and would vote for her if she were the nominee. That is, unless the DNC seats Michigan and FL without a revote, then the party has truly lost its mind.

Posted by: Ron on February 27, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Pat, let's be honest, you just want his supporters to be creepy, it helps to rationalize your upcoming failure. I'm looking at this through a long-term prospective for the Democratic Party itself, and not through a miracle candidate. If anything, you can blame the creepy for being creepy, and that'll make the electoral outcome for your party more easier to bear somehow.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Dunsel: "My favorite part was Senator Clinton's contention that she didn't have time to get her tax returns ready, but she might maybe be able to pull everything together by the general election ..."

If you're so concerned about this red herring, then by all means, you should review the seven-plus years of detailed financial disclosure statements that she's been required to file as a federal elected official.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 27, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, imagine a Barack Obama (R-Illinois) and you get a clue as to what I'm getting at. If this had been the case, I would have been voting for him in any case and hoping for a restructuring of the Republican Party based upon a more pragmatic and principled ideal. Too bad the Republicans are too bigoted to know otherwise, and as such I am not a Republican (was for one year in 2000, and even voted for Pombo. Went from Independent to Dem soon after, and worked to elect Pombo's Democratic successor Jerry McNerney, and have hitched my wagon to Dems since), and as such the Democrats will gain an advantage politically for quite a while. It won't be the same Democratic Party, but that's the nature of evolution. It's ironic and fittng that the Republican angst over evolution will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

This will be over soon and we'll all have a chance to put things back into perspective and let go of idiocies expressed by other candidates' most fervent backers during a heated primary fight.

And, as if on cue, frankly0 pops in *immediately* after shortstop's comment to castigate Obama for -- what else? -- his crass reliance on that tried & true kingmaker, Louis Farrakhan. Tell us more about what Obama plans to do with the teeming masses that Farrakhan is deploying in his service. Obviously, this whole thing is just another way to push bean pies & copies of The Final Call.

Moments like these make me think that this thing is more sitcom teleplay than comments section.

Posted by: junebug on February 27, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Boorring: "I am just thanking, thanking, thanking the lucky stars that Obama has a D to the left of his name. ... His governing style, indicative from his history, will serve to linked with Democrats for while to come, and that sort of association will be a political boon in the minds of the voters. We lucked out."

C'mon, Pat, that's not "creepy". It's merely the political equivalent of melted Velveeta.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 27, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Moments like these make me think that this thing is more sitcom teleplay than comments section.

I considered remarking on that juxtaposition myself, but felt certain everyone still capable of a little rational thought would catch it. And so they did. :)

Posted by: shortstop on February 27, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"the vast majority of AA voters voting on racial lines and 3) the faddists and cultists who vote for him because he's sooooo dreamy"

Why is it that when 80% of blacks vote for a white candidate, no one calls it racism, but when they vote 80% for a black candidate it's racism?

Posted by: DcNative on February 27, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Donald, here you go:

Grief: Loss of a Loved One

Take care.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and when you respond with the "breaking-out-of-the-cult" link, please go through the courtesy of implementing HTML links to make it easier. Regards.

Posted by: Boorring on February 27, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

To Shortstop:Are you suggesting that HRC would run as an independent? If so, that would certainly be...Liebermanesque, with every single thing that word implies.

It is an obversation Shortstop. I am not on Senator Clintons need to know list. My point is that the hype around Lamont didn't pan out in the general.

Posted by: LS on February 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what ever happened to the story of that picture of Obama in tribal dress over at Drudge's site? Guess Drudge played the Obama supporters and reporters, like Kev here, for fools. I wonder what else Drudge and the Cool Kids have in store for the suckers?

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Mary, are you an African American? Where did you come up with all that nonsense?

Posted by: GOD on February 27, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Mary,

It's interesting to think, and quite possible, that HRC might have been asking the question tactically that way. But I didn't pick up too much reluctance from Obama. And really, focusing on the fact that there's some overlap between Obama's constituency and Farrakhan's just makes me more impressed with the way Obama deflected the question. He managed to say quite clearly that he was rejecting Farrakhan while still seeming respectful of Farrakhan (for instance, consistently referring to him as "Minister Farrakhan").

How do you know we aren't African-American? Or trial lawyers, for that matter?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Right, Mary, Hillary was just trying to cut into the Farrakhan vote. And I thought she was just grandstanding.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't about Farrakhan, it was about Minister Jeremiah Wright.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Mary, you're right. I confess to being Amphibian-American, not African-American. I am, however, one of the most prominent trial lawyers in the Amphibian-American community. So there.

Radix: What are you talking about? You're just wrong.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Toad, am I?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Booring, it's clear you love Senator Obama, but please. Try to maintain your composure. I'm just pointing out that it's just a little early for the gushing prose about the future impact and governing style of a person who 1. Has never governed anything; and 2. Has not yet won an election that is still eight months away.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

When did Obama denounce Wright? He's still a member of Wright's congregation isn't he?

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Radix: Yep. You are.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/02/26/us/politics/20080226_DEBATE_GRAPHIC.html#

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

And just to be clear, I'm not saying Obama denounced (or rejected) Wright. I'm saying no one at the debate asked him to.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Toad, you don't think that the Rethuglicans are going to beat Obama over the head with this? You believe that the some folks aren't going to be put off here? You can't see an argument of political expediency used against Obama? For example, it wasn't until Senator Obama's relationship with Minister Wright became a political liability for the Senator that he started to distance himself from Minister Wright. You don't for see this happening?

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Let's be clear: Obama-Wright-Farrakhan lost Jewish votes in Florida.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Radix: I would answer you, but I feel as if two totally different conversations have been shuffled together like a pack of cards.

We were talking about the debate last night. What are you talking about?

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm talking about the reason for that question even being raised. Ultimately, we're speaking about winning in November. This was a setup, Tim and the gang have their eye on the prize, we should too.

Posted by: Radi on February 27, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

OK, Moderator? Moderator? Can Radix's post at 4:37 please be deleted?

Do we really need to be helping the racist assholes distribute their anti-Obama literature?

Sheesh.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

You gotta love this site. Someone asks that a post by someone else smearing Obama be deleted (presumably instead of being discussed and hopefully scorned) and the retarded moderators actually do it: AT THE SAME TIME THERE IS A DISCUSSION BY KEVIN A COUPLE OF THREADS UP ABOUT THE VERY THING THAT WAS DELETED.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

You can have that post deleted, but we need to have a better solution than that. Because it's about to hit the airwaves big time. Also, while offensive there was nothing overtly racist in that post. Which is also a problem, because we wont be able to make that charge, that particular trump cards already been played.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sheesh, indeed. Be careful there Mr. Toad. Keep this up and someone might come along and decide you are too stupid to vote.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Pat, it's like no one read my 4:31 post.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Pat thinks it's creepy to say Obama wants to help Democrats win a supermajority of seats in Congress that could sideline radical ideologues, but he doesn't seem to think whatever radix said that was so bad the Mod deleted it was creepy.

Creepy.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy, what is it I've said that's creepy, please tell me, I'm dieing to know. All I've done is to point out a rethuglican line of attack, which by the way, was completely accurate. Now the question is, how can we effectively counter it? Prentending it does not exist wont do the trick, think Kerry and the Swiftboaters here.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think we can all agree that Russert was a disgusting disaster and he should never "moderate" another debate in his life. He was an insult to the audience.

A lot of people here and on other sites more or less say the same thing about Hillary's debating skills in general, that she's a really good debater, command of the topic, etc., ... and then there's a "but" closely following in the sentence.

My take is that she is NOT a good debater at all. Since the very first debate to the last one her main problem as I see it is not her lack of knowledge and sharpness, it's simply that she has so much trouble being succinct and to the point. It's as if she is writing an essay final and just wants to get every little nuance in there hoping the teacher will give her extra points for how many facts she knows.

But, in a debate you must be much more focused and to the point, whereas she comes across as rambling and you only get a vague notion of where she's going with it. This is, IMHO, her Achille's heel and why Obama seems to shine relative to her with his more conversational style.

He also seems to remain calm when she's getting agitated, but I won't hold that against her.

- C

Posted by: CB on February 27, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Obama will not be respected for disavowing Farrakhan or Wright or anyone who is African American. Getting him to do so makes him appear less black and less for the people.

I guess mary is out of memes so has no choice but to recycle the old "Obama isn't black enough".

The primaries can't end soon enough for me. Meanwhile, radix is right: If Obama gets the nom Obama-Wright-Farrakhan is going to be a huge pain.

P.S. I see Radix has posted meanwhile. Radix: I have no idea if what you said was creepy--it was deleted before I had an opportunity to read it. I just wanted to make fun of Pat.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy, pumpkin, I realize it's hard to pay attention when you are daydreaming and doodling "Mrs. Lucy Obama" on your notebook in violet ink, but do your best. The point of my comment is that the thread moderator bizarrely deleted a press release someone posted here because some fool claimed it was "racist" at the exact same time Kevin was posting the same press release above for people to discuss (and hopefully condemn). Try to keep up, kay?

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

I-i-i-i-i-it's PAT!

Can I ask ya something, Pat? Was there even a comment in that post, apart from a wholesale reprinting of Republican Party literature?

No, there wasn't. So where's the value added? Especially because, as you point out, it's linked by Kevin above. No need to reprint it in its entirety. That's just viral marketing.

Radix, sorry if my request to the moderator bugged you, though it seems to have bugged only Pat.

You're right that the Tennessee statement's not overtly racist. I didn't say it was, and I wasn't saying what the Obama campaign's response should be. I actually think Obama's very good at defusing this kind of propaganda with a combined response of humor and accurate information. He's learned from John Kerry's mistakes in '04, where Kerry didn't even respond to the Swiftboat stuff for months on end, but Obama also doesn't engage morons at their own level, which would be politically inastute.

A good example of this is the speech he gave to a Jewish group a few days ago. Somebody asked about Jeremiah Wright, and he gave a terrific response that started with a joke about how at least the questioner didn't think he was a Muslim, then said that he considers Wright like an uncle who sometimes says outrageous things, but you don't kick him to the curb because he's your uncle. Throughout, he emphasized that he's a strong supporter of Israel, but he also pointed out that the American Israel lobby can be a bit un-nuanced sometimes, compared to Jews in Israel who actually deal with the situation day to day on a pragmatic level. And in the debate last night he made some similar points and used humor in a similar way.

I find it pretty effective, but then I'm not Jewish or particularly partisan toward Israel, so I'm not the target audience. We'll see how it plays.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on February 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Lucy, misread your post. Here's a link, you'll know it when you see it.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

No, you can't.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Mr Toad, before I pasted that stuff I did say, "It's already started". I thought that in the context of my others posts my meaning for posting was self evident. Also, you did use the term racist in your request to the moderator, although you weren't directing that term at me, but rather the original writers.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

(Radix--thanks for the link).

Ha Pat you make me laugh. I even get your point! But your threshold for creepiness sure is low.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

I just worry about you, Lucy, dear. I understand he's handsome and worldly. But he's going to break your heart. You know all I've ever wanted is the best for you. Oh well .... sigh ... I suppose it's just part of growing up.

Posted by: Pat on February 27, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

""the vast majority of AA voters voting on racial lines and 3) the faddists and cultists who vote for him because he's sooooo dreamy"

Why is it that when 80% of blacks vote for a white candidate, no one calls it racism, but when they vote 80% for a black candidate it's racism?"

This comment is so dense that it could form it's own sun. First, it's not 80% (exit polls show 93% in IL, 88% in GA, 86% in LA, 84% in MD, 90% in VA, amongst others).

Secondly, when 80% of AA voters vote for one candidate in a general election it's called voting for the white Democratic nominee who is running against the white Republican nominee (the usual course of events heretofore). It says nothing about racism, since the voters are selecting someone not of their own race from two candidates not of their own race. Get it? We continue then.

Now, when closer to 90% than 80% of a racial group vote for a candidate of their own race in preference to one of another race, the question of racial voting patterns (yes, even of racism) can be raised. I can assure you if 90% of the white voters in the Democratic primaries had voted for Clinton, Obama supporters would be crying racism, as they do at so many other things. And if that were the case, as it is not, they would finally be right- it would be.

Now one can make the silly argument that AA voters are somehow more perceptive of the wonderfulness of Obama than the rest of the voters and therefore this ESP led them to a superior and thus higher percentage decision for the "right" candidate. Or one can do a little research and find that AA voting as a block for credible AA candidates is not uncommon.

I suppose people who think that AA voters are voting in a color-blind manner don't know any African-Americans nor do they live where there is a large AA population. I do, and am heavily involved in Democratic politics. The peer pressure and even threats of retribution are enormous within the AA community to get in line and vote for the AA candidate. Enforcement of racial voting is endemic.

Witness what happened to Tavis Smalley who mildly criticized Obama for missing his event:


"There's all this talk of hater, sellout and traitor," Smiley said to me in a telephone interview. Smiley even mentioned getting death threats, but wouldn't elaborate. He said his office has been flooded with angry e-mails. "I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It's getting to be crazy," Smiley said."

As a columnist at the Root said:

"Black nationalist ideology is also the source of some dangerous tendencies which are beginning to show up among some Obama supporters. First, several of them are suggesting that to be "authentically black" means that blacks must support Obama. One dangerous feature of black nationalism is that difference of opinion is often suppressed in the name of the twin nationalist shibboleths of authenticity and unity.

A second concern is closely linked to the first. Nationalist campaigns tend to severely limit discussion and dissent. In other words, "we can't criticize the brother, because that would harm the brother." This line of thinking reduces the collective critical discourse about Obama's campaign. And there is much to be critical of."


Posted by: solar on February 27, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Mr. Toad and Joe. How can you stop someone from saying they support you as a candidate? It's a free country and even a slimeball like Farrakhan has the right to say who he would like to see elected.

AND I thought Obama very deftly finished the debate on this issue when he said he "rejects AND deplores." Note he did not say WHAT he rejected and deplored, but if you think about it in context, he meant what Farrakhan said, his anti-Semitism, and not necessarily his "support."

I thought it was really tacky AND stupid for Hillary to quote a SNL skit.

As for her support for the invasion of Iraq, it was pretty clear at the time that she AND Edwards were protecting themselves in future presidential runs by voting FOR the war. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't think she even read the complete National Intelligence Estimate. You know, the one with the caveats?

Well, she was just wrong then, and anyone who even read the papers thoroughly at the time could tell she was wrong. (Unless you read McClatchy or Knight Ridder papers, though, you had to read more than the front page.) Bad judgement, pure and simple, and she should pay a political price for being wrong and helping to create the worst foreign policy disaster in the U.S. in a very, very long time.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 27, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Pat,

I know Obama's a pol. And you know I know. But since it amuses you to pretend otherwise, and you amuse me, cheers!

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Cal Gal, the attacked on Obama wont come from a direct link of him to Farrakhan, rather it will come from his minister Jeremiah Wright and his affiliation with Farrakhan. And it will be very targeted and is only meant to shave a few points from Obama in Florida, if Obama should get the nomination.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, go back to Sesame Street.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 27, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

So about that digby post. We knew this Obama-Wright-Farrakhan stuff was coming, and I'm glad it's out now. If Obama does well in Texas and Ohio despite these controversies it will add to his credibility. Also, if he gets the nom Obama has plenty of time to neutralize smears, and unlike Gore and Kerry, appears to have the savvy to do so. Go ahead cons and chant "Barack Hussein Obama" till the cows come home; my guess is by November it won't have much of an impact.

Meanwhile, the Jewish vote isn't monolithic, and while Obama will surely lose some Jewish votes it's impossible to know how that vote will ultimately break down. The ADL is satisfied with Obama's denunciation of anti-semitism, and many Jewish leaders have come to his defense. (Still, why not get Amy Sullivan to pick off some Evangelicals for the Democrats, just in case!)

There are some high-risk features to Obama, but since I've always been convinced Hillary would lose the general no matter what, he's the go-to guy.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK
You guys don't get this because you are not African American and also not trial lawyers.

Um. I'm quite sure that each of those assumptions is wrong for some of the people you are tarring with that brush. (In my case, its the first.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 27, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo I'm glad to see that my daughter's favorite TV character is not completely bereft of his senses. Posted by: Gandalf on February 27, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Just mostly bereft, right?

Frankly I haven't seen as juvenile behavior from any Obama supporter that compares to Elmo's.

Has anybody use Hillarybot? Obamabot is Elmo's fiercest weapon.

Has any Obama supporter used sock puppets (like Elmo) to mock Hillary supporters? I don't recall any myself.

I respect Donald from Hawaii's objections and opinions because he almost always backs his claims up, is able to graciously concede, and doesn't stoop to name calling.

Elmo, you're a troll.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 27, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

While agree with you Lucy, in general, it's Florida that's the problem, not Texas or Ohio. From my perspective Obama needs a way to validate his relationship with Wright, while also distancing himself from some of Wright's more controversial positions. He just can't throw Wright under the bus because that has it's own problems.

Posted by: Radix on February 27, 2008 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Right, some of what I said above is relevant to Florida, and as Mr. Toad related, Obama had a charming and decent response to concerns about Wright: he considers Wright like an uncle who sometimes says outrageous things, but you don't kick him to the curb because he's your uncle.

In addition, Obama discusses his involvement with Trinity UCC in both Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and it's pretty clear one main attraction for Obama was the church's role in fostering social justice activism. I did read some of that article about Farrakhan by Wright's daughter, but it was so hamfisted that I didn't finish it and never got to the arguments, if there were any, on behalf of Farrakhan's greatness. Farrakhan, even if he is a racist and an anti-Semite, has apparently done a lot of good in the black community in Chicago, and it's obvious why that would be important to Wright.

Of course, the right-wing machine doesn't appeal to nuance, so who knows what the Obama campaign is planning as defense.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Dreams From My Father.

Always found that title counter-intuitive.

Posted by: Lucy on February 27, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus, chill the fuck out asshole. I'm on your side, remember? And I got your "troll" right here.grabs crotch

Obamabot? I would never use a term so lame and unimaginative as that. I call you guys Obamazooids. Get it, Doc? By the way, if Obama wins, I'll wear an Obamazooid t-shirt proudly...

Posted by: elmo on February 27, 2008 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Its a goddamn pileon and you should own up to it...

I started piling on you guys, damn straight. But I bit my fucking tongue till I damn near gnawed it off before I started fucking with Obamazooids. You'll just have to forgive my language, I'm a grunt I can't help it. The sad thing is that you get all worked up over my dumb ass. What in the hell are you going to do when the wingnuts start flinging shit? Sprinkle some pixy dust and tap your heals? You fuckers better get some thicker skin and get it fast...

Posted by: elmo on February 27, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

NBC folks also could not figure out the difference between "Reject" and "Denounce". They along with new anchors may have to go back to school to learn english literature.

I see lot of "Dumb folks" who does not know the real meaning between these 2 words. Here's a bit of education for ya folks.

Denounce is used for "Condemn", "Criticize", "Censure","Accuse", "deplore", "Depreciate" or in simple terms just "point the finger at". The antonym is "Support".

Reject on the other hand is "Refuse", "Rebuff", "Decline", "Snub", "throw out", "discard" , "disallow", "eliminate" etc.

Get is loud and clear that there is a difference and both are not same.

Posted by: jkhan on February 27, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Whether we, as liberals, like it or not, the Farrakhan issue matters to some significant sectors of our society. And, I also beg to disagree with the notion that there isn't a difference between "denounce" and "reject." As my husband (the one with the doctorate in the political science subject of electoral behavior) kept muttering during that segment of the debate when Obama tried to conflate the two: Yep, I'll take your votes...and, um, I'll denounce you or some such thing too. Yet, it really doesn't matter what we think as "high info white liberals" and all that. It matters what those segments of society who feel otherwise think and how they react. As I was reminded the other day by an active Democrat who is a devout Jew...the name of Farrakhan turns his face red and subjects him to a kind of apoplexy. Thats not an understatement. The Jewish community has always been very concerned about Farrakhan. Again--not to analyze--just to state observations.

Posted by: christinep on February 27, 2008 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding jkhan and his/her grasp of "english literature" throughout that post...nah, it's too easy.

elmo: Dr. Morpheus, chill the fuck out asshole. I'm on your side, remember?

I think he just renounced you.

Posted by: shortstop on February 28, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

WTF is wrong with Solar and Mary? This stereotyping and overgeneralizations regarding African Americans is appaling.

Posted by: GOD on February 28, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well GOD, whatever is wrong with me, at least I'm not a moron such as yourself. There is no stereotyping in my post, just a dry recitation of facts and quotes from two African-Americans. I could also claim to know a little bit more about it since I am one, but that would be the same type of racist nonsense being perpetrated by Obama supporters.

Again, if you think support for Obama is not enforced in the AA community, you have no idea at all whereof you speak, and are unworthy of response.

P.S. with fact-free thoughts such as this on offer from above, it is no wonder there are atheists.

Posted by: solar on February 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Solar, after reading your last comment, I know where you are coming from. It's called dunceville.

What utter rubbish. So an evidence from Smiley even if true now means all AA communities everywhere are 'enforcing' voting for Obama.

What's with idiots like you always refering to online usernames to make childish comments? How old are you, 12?

Posted by: GOD on February 28, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

His name is Smalley. I guess the way you spell it is how they spell it in your part of dunceville.

I take it you are not an African-American and the only ones you have anything to do with you see on TV. I am one, and live in what is arguably the most AA city in the United States. As John Lewis can attest, and as the article I quoted from the Root explains, there is in fact tremendous pressure on African-Americans, from other African-Americans, to support Obama and, moreover, to never even criticize him.

As to your straw man argument (all AA communities, everywhere -forgive the redundancy, I'm merely quoting your own sub-literacy) I didn't say it, and have not advanced any such global argument. I did say, and repeat, that the high percentages of AA votes for Obama are based largely on the fact that AA voters are voting along racial lines.

By the way, if you think that the strength of your argument is measured by whether you are more intelligent than your opponent, you will lose every time. Bearing in mind your obvious handicaps, perhaps you might pay more attention to the content of your discourse.

Now if you have a cogent argument to make against this statement "...the high percentages of AA votes for Obama are based largely on the fact that AA voters are voting along racial line" please make it. Otherwise, you are
just another bag of wind, hiding behind an omnipotent name (ALL CAPS, TOO- HOW EXCITING!).

Posted by: solar on February 28, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here, since you are such a mope, and out of touch with my community, let me share a little of what it's like not to support Obama if you are black:


"For some Clinton supporters, the heat has been too much to bear. In recent weeks, two black city councilmen, Robert J. White III and Kevin Conwell, have jumped ship to the Obama campaign, saying they could not take the heckling and the scolding stares. At his weekly community meeting at a local library, Mr. Conwell said, a few people wept when he tried to persuade those present to back Mrs. Clinton.

“They said I was on the wrong side of history,” he recalled. “They said I was getting in the way of an African-American becoming president.”

He was harangued at the barbershop and at the dry cleaner, and calls from the discontented poured into his office.

“I felt like the stepchild of the community,” he said.

Two weeks ago Mr. Conwell gave way.

“Now everyone is patting me on the back,” he said. “It feels good to be loved again.""


"With less than a week before Ohioans go to the polls in the Democratic primary, Mr. Miller and a small group of other black elected officials who are stumping for Mrs. Clinton are nothing if not courageous. Spending eight-hour days talking up his candidate, Mr. Miller finds himself besieged by disbelief, disapproval and at times ridicule from blacks who maintain that he is betraying his race.

“Some people call me an Uncle Tom,” said Mr. Miller, who, up for re-election, faces an opponent next week whose literature includes a picture of Mr. Obama. “There’s a lot of pressure to switch sides. There’s a lot of emotion. All I can say is thank God it’s winter and no one is outside, because there would be more than angry words on the street.”"

"In an interview, Cleaver offered a glimpse of private conversations.

He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him "if it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate? ... Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House? "

"Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) who support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president are pressuring their colleagues backing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), telling them to listen to voters and switch their endorsements. "

Posted by: solar on February 28, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

solar, you are truly a dunce. Just because you can get some anecdotal evidence about your claim doesn't mean you can speak for all African Americans or that your claim generalizes to all African Americans and their communities. There is not just one AA commnunity. Get that into your thick head.

BTW, you idiot, his name is Smiley not Smalley.

Posted by: GOD on February 28, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Again, for someone who cannot focus on the question at hand and whose only argument for their point of view is their omniscience, your stupidity is... troubling.

The new strawman arguments you raise are, sadly, even more things I did not say. I did not claim to speak for all black people. I did not generalize all African-Americans or all discrete communities. A smarter person than yourself (say, a mongoloid) may have noted this because I gave specific examples, citing specific people's experiences, including my own. Your counter-argument? Since you can't concentrate the gnatbrain well enough to make one about what I said (instead of what you wish I had said) you have none.

I get that you have no rhetoric beyond pretty sad insults and laughable claims to being your own gift to Mensa, but how big a fool do you want to make of yourself? I repeat "...if you have a cogent argument to make against this statement "...the high percentages of AA votes for Obama are based largely on the fact that AA voters are voting along racial line" please make it."

None? Just more breast-beating about how clever you are?

Posted by: solar on February 28, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

say, a mongoloid

Well, that pretty much establishes you as being 102 years old.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on February 28, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

You folks don't get out much, do you? From the urban dictionary:


1. mongoloid

A derogatory term for a mentally retarded person.

some of the pertinent synonyms:

mongoloid retard stupid idiot mong moron minger retarded ugly dumbass fugly squinty tard cretin down's syndrome foolish geek gloid ignorant loser sasquatch spazz twat

Also, I think the punk band Devo had a song called Mongoloid in the late 70s.

To sum up- a pretty current insult, which I suppose even you might be able to comprehend.

Posted by: solar on February 28, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

As you no doubt discovered when you frantically looked it up (and then bewilderedly looked up "Devo" based on its appearance in a UD listing), "mongoloid" referred specifically to a person with Down Syndrome, and it finally went out of polite usage in the 1970s, although it had been deemed unacceptable by most audiences long before that. I suppose to a superannuated type, that represents a "pretty current" insult.

Do you now wish to defend your little idea that calling someone a Down Syndrome patient...or even a person with mental retardation, if you insist...is an acceptable and effective insult? We do look forward to that effort.

I'd put big dollars on you being elderly and white.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on February 28, 2008 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

For the record, I call Republicans "Retardicans" and will continue to do so. And I am a cracker who grew up in a black nationhood early in my youth and could give a fuck about color. I also like to pick fights with racists pieces of shit in my spare time. That said...

Hey solar, did you see Hardball tonight? I think you're on to something, unfortunately...

Posted by: elmo on February 28, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

solar, you half educated nit-wit. Here is what you wrote.

"...I suppose people who think that AA voters are voting in a color-blind manner don't know any African-Americans nor do they live where there is a large AA population. I do, and am heavily involved in Democratic politics. The peer pressure and even threats of retribution are enormous within the AA community to get in line and vote for the AA candidate. Enforcement of racial voting is endemic".

Anybody reading that stupid comment can see how that is a stupid overgeneralization not backed up by facts aside of your own stupid opinion and a few quotes you've used.

I noticed that you did not respond to the Smiley vs. Smalley mistake. Very telling.


Posted by: GOD on February 28, 2008 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

GOD, why don't you just tell us all how it really is? I mean...you're GOD...

Posted by: elmo on February 28, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

elmo, it's not easy being GOD and having to respond to a 'serious' request like yours while dealing the someone like solar.

Posted by: GOD on February 28, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Was that a "no"? I know I'm stupid, but I expected much more enlightenment from...GOD...

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Bonds- When you frantically looked that up perhaps you should have noted that the concept of "Down Syndrome patient" doesn't exist in medicine. Sadly, there is no treatment for your mental retardation. If you can't tell who the moron in the room is, it might be you.

And big laugh re: the big dollars. I'd bet big money I could buy and sell you with pocket change.

In re: Devo, their "are we not men?", obviously doesn't apply to dickless uneducated wonders such as yourself.

Your desire that I be either white or elderly doesn't make it so. Would it make you feel better to be overmatched intellectually by a white man? Racist much yourself?

To the person whose overinflated ego forces them to refer to themselves as GOD, I phonetically spelled Smalley as that's how he pronounces his name. I note 59 instances of this on google, so I'm not the only one who can't spell. That really improves your non-argument, halfwit.

And your endless repetiton of the word" stupid" merely reveals your mental age of 12. You can't even comprehend and repeat my side of the argument yet you insist that there's ...something... just beyond your mental grasp.. that you wish to disagree with. You want to disagree with the fact that black Americans are enforcing support for Obama with other black Americans? Yet you present no evidence or even argument that this isn't so (bald assertion is not fact). Which makes you somewhat less than GOD.

I've often wondered about the particular type of internet troll that insists on flaunting the depth of its ignorance in public. Why do you insist on displaying your mental shortcomings like this?

Posted by: solar on February 29, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

I thought I did own it and I just found my Devo album (bought in a NY classic vinyl store). I could lend it to you bonds, but I'm afraid you might break it jamming it into the CD player.

Re: Elmo- I often watch Hardball to see what the enemy is up to, but missed it tonight (I was at an imaginary political meeting filled with imaginary people such as myself). I guess I'll read the transcript.

Posted by: solar on February 29, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

(I was at an imaginary political meeting filled with imaginary people such as myself)

No worries, I'm a little red liberal fury monster...

Posted by: elmo on February 29, 2008 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

HAGA CLIC ESTE ESLABÓN Y VER A MI BEBÉ DULCE!

Posted by: James Ruskus on February 29, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

solar, I wonder how a moron like you would be able to make any sense were it not for GOOGLE.

It's sad. People like you give AAs a bad name. I had to read this thrash twice, I couldn't believe my eyes.

"To the person whose overinflated ego forces them to refer to themselves as GOD, I phonetically spelled Smalley as that's how he pronounces his name. I note 59 instances of this on google, so I'm not the only one who can't spell. That really improves your non-argument, halfwit."

The only thing worse than total ignorance is hald education.

Posted by: GOD on February 29, 2008 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Hald education"?

"Thrash"?

And, of course, the last rhetorical refuge of the racist - "people like you".

It's time for you to stop drooling over the keyboard in mommy's basement.

Posted by: solar on February 29, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Correcting spelling mistakes now are you, Mr 'I can't think on my own, need to use google'.

Keep throwing the word racist around. It only proves my point. No one is buying you BS stereotypes of the African American 'community'.

You claimed I was wrong when I used Smiley, it turned out that I wasn't. Here comes google to the rescue and boy did you twist this one. You can't even accept being wrong on something that simple. It says a lot about you.

Enough said, I'm done with you.

Posted by: GOD on February 29, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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