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Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE BUBBA GAP....Apparently this week's issue of Newsweek was guest edited by Mark Penn. The cover story is blurbed like this: "Barack Obama is a Niebuhr-reading ESPN watcher. The origins of his troubles with the 'other' tag." And the cover photo dramatizes this as arugula vs. beer. Cute!

And on the off chance that you don't quite get the message, the issue also includes pieces by Karl Rove ("President Bush's former senior adviser offers advice for fighting the 'elistist' label"); Jonathan Alter ("Hillary wants to cast Obama as a 'Brother From Another Planet'"); Ellis Cose ("No matter what Obama does or what issue he takes, many voters may vote purely on demographic and racial terms"); and Raina Kelley ("With Barack Obama, it's about much more than just race").

That's an impressive package. I'd say they hit pretty much every latte-sipping talking point in the book. Nice work.

Kevin Drum 11:46 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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Comments

so what do they say when he wins indiana?

Posted by: adam on April 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Clever. I always thought that they would cook up one issue or the other to bring the brother down, but the intensity and ubiquity of their attacks is something that I did not expect.

Posted by: gregor on April 27, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of fucking assholes. I hate them so much.

Posted by: Chris M on April 27, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing about Bolshevism?

Posted by: Brojo on April 27, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Aside from the question of why Newsweek is being such an enabling crock, why is it that "the plain folks" are so arrogant? Yes, them - it's ironically OK to pick on "elites" but the proles are somehow hands off for ever being wrong, out of touch with educated folks, etc. I am sick of this.

Posted by: on April 27, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Given that all the editors and writers at Newsweek, in addition to every single outside contributor to this particular issue, is a coastal elite who undoubtedly enjoys lattes and arugula as much as John Kerry and Mike Dukakis, I have one question: Just how much self-hatred is required to get a job in the establishment press these days? Oh, OK, another question: Do they have clever interview techniques to determine the level of self-hatred among job applicants to Newsweek?


Posted by: pdp on April 27, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

And North Carolina.

Arugula and Beer? Please. Blue collar dems aren't rejecting Obama because his supporters shop at Whole Foods. They don't like him because he's a sharp and ambitious black guy who makes them feel stupid.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on April 27, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Style over substance. How do we get the consumer to buy this new product? It's not what it'll do, it's the feeling it will bring you, and this involves selective perception.

Marketing and Selective Perception: Nothing is of a greater importance for a marketer than perception. How do consumers perceive the brand, the product, how do they perceive competitors - that all determines how successful the product will be on the market. The issue of selective perception has been the core of the marketing dogma: "Know your target market".

The target market is the American voter. Now many Americans want a familiar white masculine face as their national icon. The un-selling of (primarily) Obama and Clinton are simply variations on that theme, which is what makes McCain pure gold and virtually untouchable.

Posted by: Don Bacon on April 27, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is the farthest-left serious presidential aspirant since Wallace in 1948. His beliefs and his associates (Wright, Ayers, Dohrn, many others) are not just left of the American Center, they are left of the center of the Democratic party. Ayers and Dohrn, for example, didn't just oppose America's intervention in the VietNam war, they actively worked to ensure the defeat of Capitalism and the victory of Communism -- and they still oppose capitalism. As his beliefs become more widely known, the full depth and breadth of his respect for the Radical Left, support for him will probably decline in the general public.

Arugula and latte are silly, as silly as Lincoln's axe, but they are emblematic of a much larger disconnect between Obama and most of productive America. He'll get 90% or more of the African-American vote, but not so much of the vote of the immigrants from India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, China, Latin America, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Africa, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and the European Union. These immigrants and their adult children are a larger constituency than are the African-Americans. In Los Angeles they are reportedly 50% of the workforce, and they constitute a large fraction of the workforce of all of America's high-tech economy.

Make fun all you want of arugula and latte, but Obama's candidacy has serious problems. These problems include Obama's chosen close associates of the last two decades.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 27, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

I still support Hillary, but this shit makes me want to puke. You don't have to be an Obama supporter to find the "elitist" stereotype nauseating. Omigod, you mean people actually drive fuel efficient cars and drink coffee with steamed milk? What un-American nutcases!

Posted by: wilder on April 27, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

The real point is that none of this - NONE of the articles - is based on any actual data from actual people who actually live outside of any elite area or culture.

It's all made up in the echo chamber. Some of it might be right, Obama is not god, and not a perfect candidate. Hillery has her points.

But that is accidental at best. Modern elite media is a totally self-absorbed affair that has little contact with ordinary life.

The problem is that after being pounded with this sort of stuff for decades a fraction of the ordinary people believe it and vote accordingly.

Posted by: John on April 27, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

News & politics as crass entertainment...how could folks not find that endearing? Like moths to the flame, they can't help themselves....is that elitist?

Posted by: aguirre on April 27, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Barack Obama is a Niebuhr-reading ESPN watcher.

Um, exactly what the hell is so "elitist" about watching ESPN?

Posted by: DJ on April 27, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

What strikes me is how facile, how juvenile, how just plain dumb the stories that come from our mainstream media are. And how herd-like are the reporters' behavior.

Someone like Jonathan Alter, a Harvard grad, former "media critic" HAS to know better, right? How can he write such drivel?

What's the process that produces crap like Newsweek? Take one dumb-ass audience, which you must flatter and entertain, risk-averse advertisers who do not want to share page space with controversial or unpopular articles, add corporate pressures on publishers, editors, then writers to keep profits up and not undermine, politically or philosophically, the system by which the hyper-rich and powerful benefit, and add time constraints and/or lazy reporters who do little (to no) research, who merely repeat extant narratives which they themselves created.

Posted by: flubber on April 27, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

I love beer and detest arugula.Does that make me an uneducated redneck?

Posted by: Gandalf on April 27, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's not about "race." It's about hypocrites who feel free to use "bubba."

Posted by: Ramus on April 27, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

BO wins IN?
HRC up 16. Prior to PA

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollReport.aspx?g=d8b46eaa-c463-408e-98d2-b830eb122d39

NC BO wins. WV KY, not so much.

Posted by: Sarah on April 27, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Aside from the question of why Newsweek is being such an enabling crock, why is it that "the plain folks" are so arrogant? Yes, them - it's ironically OK to pick on "elites" but the proles are somehow hands off for ever being wrong, out of touch with educated folks, etc. I am sick of this.

Amen. I mean - for fuck's sake - enough of this "I-will-not-elect-anyone-smarter-than-me" meme.

If the election and reign of GWB has shown ANYTHING, it's that we need to raise our standards a bit when it comes to electing the leader of the free world. When I seek a doctor, I seek an elite doctor. When I seek and educator, I seek and elite educator. But for some reason when I'm considering who to choose for the highest office in the land, I'm supposed to choose some phony "aw-shucks-ma'am" mouthbreathing, knuckle-dragging, creationism-spewing, warmongering, slackjawed redneck who never bothers to make a decision based on any kind of evidence.

Enough of that already. Let's choose an intelligent human being for once.

Posted by: chuck on April 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is not about elitism, it is about the best way to hide racism. After that bullshit debate from ABC I see George Snuffalopagus Seemed to have his cameras bob, every time Donna Brazil's head bobbed as she talked this Sunday. As many times as I have seen her speak on TV I have never seen such a lame attempt to distract from what she was saying, it was worse then FOX news always cutting off Juan Williams because of time constraints.

Posted by: JoeSixPack on April 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I bowl on occasion. I drink beer if given the choice. I'm not sure what the hell that leafy thing is next to the beer and I voted for Obama.

Posted by: PE on April 27, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

@Sarah

Every poll since then has shown the race to be within 5%. Most have shown Obama winning.

And Penn has no impact. This long ago stopped being a primary.
Now it is just an exercise in demographics.

Posted by: Adam on April 27, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin is one of those folks who would rather lose in November with Obama than win in November with Clinton.

Posted by: Petey on April 27, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Barack has been smoking two packs of Marlboro Reds a day since college - I think that buys him some street cred with the blue collar folks. Besides, I'm sick of people voting for a fucking below average schmo that they feel would make a good drinking buddy. Look what happened last time we elected a guy we wanted to have beer with, the asshole walked out with our wallet and stuck us with the tab.

Posted by: Ryan on April 27, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

If the pools show a close race in Indiana prior to the vote, she will win by 5 to 7% , as she has done in the last few states. Obama has finally come down to earth. These compliants about dirty politics are groundless. This is how politics works, from school board votes to presidentials.

Obama has a huge problem. He has to exspand beyond his black and upper class white liberal base. This is why he is trying to push Rev. Wright as acceptable, and why he has pivoted to the center in his Fox interview.

The problem for him will be a Hillary win in Indiana, a poor showing in NC, and favorable ruling for Hillary in Florida and Michigan about delegates and vote count.

The second half of this race seems to be going Hillary's way.

They want Hillary to quit because the race will be much tighter
in late May. Obama may be making the same mistake Hillary made in the begiinig of the race. Counting your chickens too soon.

Posted by: tired of the charade on April 27, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I just heard a Newsweek columnists justification for this crap on one of the morning talk shows.

This is a new one for journalism, obviously inspired by the Lady, that news magazines should attack the candidates on the basis of their perception of how the Republicans will attack them in the general election.

Amazing.

No real Democrat can ever win a Presidential election in this kind of environment.

Posted by: gregor on April 27, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Obama IS an elite Person! He has taught law, Constitutionan law. This is a bad thing? What kind of President should our next one be? A Constitution following President is what. Ron Paul, what do you say to that?

Posted by: rollingmyeyes on April 27, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus -- this guy reads Niebuhr?

"Democracy is finding proximate solutions to insoluble problems."

"The sad duty of politics is to establish justice in a sinful world. "

What a flake! Doesn't he know his favorite philosopher has to be Jesus? What's that green crap doing next to my beer? Where's my pills?

Posted by: thersites on April 27, 2008 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Part of what causes this terminal media idiocy is the sheer length of the primary season. It forces the media outlets to fill the ever-yawning news hole with something, and since actual policies are too difficult to analyze and that would not be objective in the modern media sense, all that's left is endless personality/image crap. 24/7 news channels and endless campaigns foster the need for disposable crap to fill the time and space. A national primary may be the only way to find a motivation to put an end to this drivel.

Posted by: jrw on April 27, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is now Bubba? I can't keep up with this stuff. I've still got whiplash from W's transformation into Texas Cowboy from Yale cheerleader.

Posted by: another steve on April 27, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

He'll get 90% or more of the African-American vote, but not so much of the vote of the immigrants from India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, China, Latin America, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Africa, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, and the European Union. These immigrants and their adult children are a larger constituency than are the African-Americans. In Los Angeles they are reportedly 50% of the workforce, and they constitute a large fraction of the workforce of all of America's high-tech economy.

I see. Obama loses because he can't nail down the subcontinental/Southeast Asian/African/Middle Eastern/EU bloc of votes.

Congratulations. You've outdone yourself. This is your stupidest comment yet.

Posted by: junebug on April 27, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Obama scares the hell out of the established order because he doesn't knowingly take campaign contributions from large corporations or PACs and may well take a meat ax to the military-industrial complex, if elected. Obama might even raise (horrors) or let stand the current corporate income tax rates. The powers that be can't have that, even though the vast majority of Americans would benefit from these policies.

They are going to come after him with everything they can throw at him, including this lameass magazine cover, to try to bring him down. I expect an assassination attempt as well, if he continues to enjoy electoral success. Conservatives always try to use violence to solve their problems....

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 27, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

That's an impressive package. I'd say they hit pretty much every latte-sipping talking point in the book. Nice work.

You know, once upon a time, a number of us pointed out that the media, so clearly in the tank for Obama, should not be trusted to stay on his side over time. When they might turn could not be predicted, but the about-face was simply preordained.

Krugman, for example, pointed this out back in February:

And to Obama supporters, just remember: these people are not your friends. After they take down Hillary Clinton, if they can, your man will be next.

Look, Obama has profited like no other politician I can think of from an image puffed up by the media. It wasn't his policies that got him where he is -- it was his image as a new face representing a new politics and "hope" that propelled him to the top, and got the big Mo behind him. That image was every bit as much a contrivance out of little or nothing as any other image a politician projects. For a time, this suited the media and its need for a dominant narrative quite famously.

Now, though, it's dated and boring and not really in keeping with the zeitgeist.

I'm hoping that Obama supporters like Kevin don't really expect this to turn around because of their whining, however loud and poignant. Because that just ain't gonna happen, people, and you should at least try to maintain some of your dignity in the process.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 27, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I never understand what the Wine vs Beer stuff is all about.

What is so bad about preferring one thing over another. Some people like Golf, some like Nascar.

It's only elitist to think you are better because you prefer X.

I'll have my espresso, you have you drip coffee, and we're both happy.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on April 27, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Nice hit job. The RNC can take a vacation between now and the convention. The MSM is doing their job for them. The Bubba Gap? Is that what it has come to? Bubbas rule our country? How is that working out so far? The upper 1% are giggling with glee, while counting their largess knowing they will continue to get their favorite word - - more.

Posted by: Keith Frohreich on April 27, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Great bouncing cherry-flavored gummi Christs. The phrase "hit piece" doesn't even begin to cover it. I mean, seriously: Mark fucking Penn? In what universe does inviting the former campaign strategist for a person's opponent to write a negative article about that person, in an issue filled with other hit pieces on that person, count as anything remotely resembling journalism? If anything, this issue of Newsweek should be regarded as an in-kind contribution to the Clinton campaign.

Posted by: Catsy on April 27, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, if I drink Stella Artois, Heineken, or various microbrews, and I think Pabst, Old Milwaukee, or Bud Light are disgusting, am I still part of the "Beer set?"

Posted by: Tonto Goldstein, last of the great Jewish Indians on April 27, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Obama not "defending himself" against Hillary. How quickly we forget the brilliance of Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope strategy. I'm not saying Obama's consciously doing this, but just for fun, enjoy wikipedia's description of the tactic, substituting "Obama" for Ali and "Hillary" for Foreman.:

"Rope-a-dope is a boxing fighting style used most famously by Muhammad Ali (who coined the term) in the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman. The idea is for the boxer to lie on the ropes of a boxing ring, conserve energy and allow the opponent to strike him repeatedly in hopes of making him tire and open up weaknesses to exploit for an eventual counter-attack.

Rope-a-dope is also commonly used to describe strategies in areas other than boxing, where one party purposely puts itself in what appears to be a losing position, and then becomes the eventual victor. ...

Ali had used the style of leaning on the ropes in a handful of his previous fights, most famously in his first fight with Joe Frazier where Frazier landed heavy blows to Ali. ...

This did not discourage Ali from using this strategy against George Foreman. Foreman was a harder puncher than Frazier, and many felt Ali would have to stay away from Foreman in order to beat him. Ali instead started to lie on the ropes towards the end of the 1st round, and used the ropes throughout the rest of the fight. Foreman's strategy for the fight was to cut off the ring and get Ali to the ropes so that he could hit Ali and try to knock him out, so since Ali was willingly lying on the ropes Foreman would plant himself in front of Ali and punch Ali as hard as he could. Foreman landed constant blows to the body, but had trouble landing punches to the head. Foreman began to tire from all the punches he threw at Ali to no effect, and with the punches he was taking from Ali, Foreman was visibly exhausted by the 5th round. Ali eventually knocked him out in the 8th round. Ali had regained the Heavyweight title with this strategy of lying on the ropes, and allowed one of the hardest punchers of all time to swing away at him."

Posted by: Pieh on April 27, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Still not as bad as *this* Newsweek cover

this Newsweek Cover

If you don't get it the first time, look at the headline on the top left.

Talk about telegraphing John McCain's punches.

Posted by: Boronx on April 27, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK


That image was every bit as much a contrivance out of little or nothing as any other image a politician projects.

Yeah, because when you hear Obama, Clinton, and McCain give a speech they all sound pretty much alike and are equally inspiring.

And the video "Hillary 4 U and me" is just as rocking and not embarrassing as the "Yes we can" mix.

And charisma means nothing.

Posted by: winner on April 27, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Pretty disgusting propaganda from Newsweek.

I hope everyone reads the dailykos post about racist voting patterns in the Appalachians. Extremely interesting.

So does it seem as if people want to attack Obama every which way, no matter how unfairly or how little intellectual consistency there is to the attacks? On the one hand, he's a poor, uppity nigra who probably spends weekends selling crack on the street corners. On the other hand, he's one o' them "elites," and likes to spit on poor white workers, just for fun.

Posted by: Anon on April 27, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the larger problem here that Mark Penn has pretty much been disgraced, so he gets to guest edit Newsweek?

DC, where you fail upward, and succeed yourself out of a job.

Posted by: Memekiller on April 27, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Direct link to the dailykos piece "Racism Could Screw Up the Clinton Exit":

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/4/26/133958/391/499/503927

Posted by: Anon on April 27, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Mark Penn. Note Kevin's "apparently". As in, from the copy you might think this was Penn's work.

Posted by: matt on April 27, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, 'elitism' is bad. That's why Martha Stewart is a gazillionaire. Every Walmart crawling trailer troll's wife secretly wants to know how to make Coquilles St. Jaques, grow arugalla or have chickens that lay 5 different color eggs. The only ones that sneer 'elitist' are the ones who can't pull it off.

I'm educated, well mannered and intelligent. If that makes them green with jealousy and better than them, then that's their problem.

Posted by: Mrs. Peel on April 27, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh. Barack Obama's elitist. Just like John Kerry in 2004. Just like Al Gore in 2000. How original.

And I'm sure Hillary and Mark Penn are rubbing their hands in glee over this, but they're fools if they think she's not going to get slapped with the 'elitist' label should she somehow manage to finagle the nomination.

Of course, George Bush and his enablers have pretty much spent the past 8 years cultivating the beer-drinkin' good ole boy image. So perhaps now the arugla-eating elitist is just the candidate most voters want!

Posted by: David Bailey on April 27, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Given that all the editors and writers at Newsweek, in addition to every single outside contributor to this particular issue, is a coastal elite who undoubtedly enjoys lattes and arugula as much as John Kerry and Mike Dukakis, I have one question: Just how much self-hatred is required to get a job in the establishment press these days? Oh, OK, another question: Do they have clever interview techniques to determine the level of self-hatred among job applicants to Newsweek?"

Posted by: pdp

It's not directly slef-hatred; it's being an unabashed wh*re who will do any perverted act ordered by the publisher.

Posted by: Barry on April 27, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Obama ever espoused eating arugula, he mentioned it as an alternative cash crop one time to some farmers who were complaining about the small profit margin in their farm output.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on April 27, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

"the intensity and ubiquity of their attacks is something that I did not expect."

Big money and power are starting to feel threatened... be prepared for anything.

Posted by: Buford on April 27, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

disconnect between Obama and most of productive America

Many productive Americans are now out of work. They were replaced by lower wage workers in foreign nations. The disconnect is productive Americans have supported political economic policies that encouraged replacing their jobs by off-shoring manufacturing capital and staffing it with lower wage labor inputs. These productive Americans have been fooled into thinking shareholding adds value to products and services, not labor. This thinking has reduced progressive taxation and allowed for the transfer of capital manufacturing wealth to foreign lands without penalty, reducing productive Americans' political and economic power. Productive Americans further increase their humiliation and degradation by accusing the politicians who represent the best available choice for changing policies and institutions of being too elitist. A combination of ignorance and suasion by wealthy corporate power convinces some people to reduce the value of labor and elevate the dominance of the share holder and accumulated wealth.

Posted by: Brojo on April 27, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that he doesn't buy into the Washington consensus, which seems to have jelled into the US should be the bully of the world, has made him into a despised threat. It is more than just the top 1%-ers wanting an ever larger piece of the pie, it is also the ability to use kneejerk flag waving patriotism to justify just about anything that he could threaten.

That said, I have to contrast his style versus hers. He dresses and speaks as if he were interviewing for a CEO spot. Hillary dresses and talks like a somewhat above average working class woman. So Bubba, finds the former threatening (-especially if his race is supposed to be inferior to theirs), and the later non threatening (except to Iran).

It is our national cultivated disdain for those who appear smarter than us, that will be our undoing. The damage of the past seven years has been simply breathtaking, a few more years of the same and it will all be over.

Posted by: bigTom on April 27, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

For months I have been reading comments from Obama supporters on this blog, and other so-called progressive blogs, that anyone who supports Hillary is “dumb, stupid, racist, a low-information voter, uneducated, and, worst of all, old.”

So, why is anyone surprised when these views are confirmed by Obama’s own remarks about blue-collar Pennsylvanians? His comments are a perfect match with the elitist scorn of his supporters towards anyone who doesn’t, unquestioningly, support Obama.

Posted by: emmarose on April 27, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

It is our national cultivated disdain for those who appear smarter than us,

Coupled, oddly enough, with a slavish boot-licking servility for those richer than us (while ignoring the fact that quite often the rich got rich by being smarter). This creates the extremely odd disconnect of, for example, a tweedy college professor making $70,000 a year being derided as an "elitist" while multi-millionaire Wall Street dealmakers and CEOs such as Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes or Mitt Romney aren't (who are, whatever other moral qualities they lack, certainly intelligent).

To say nothing of the irony of Chris Matthews or Tim Russert or other blow-dried NY and DC multi-millionaire pundits wearing $3000 hand-tailored suits with summer mansions on Nantucket tossing around the "elitist" label.....

Posted by: Stefan on April 27, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think you guys are giving too much credit to Newsweek's editors and art department -- they aren't interested in kneecapping Obama so much as just getting you to pick up their rag in the dentist's office... if you saw your job going down the tubes you'd do what you had to do as well. Too bad Britney hasn't freaked out in the last couple of weeks.

Posted by: loki on April 27, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

"Bubba" gap? Doesn't that sound a little...*elitist* on the part of Newsweek?

Posted by: Benson on April 27, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

What is all this whining when Clinton Rules journamalism strikes Obama? You were told. The funny thing is that Newsweek's Richard Wolffe and Jonathan Alter are always on the Olbermann Propaganda Hour indulging themselves in the traditional Clinton rules. So Whine me a river

….Obama pushed back against “top-down, command-and-control” regulation that was popular with the left in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He credited the GOP with pushing market-oriented solutions and cited his support of a cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions.
“I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, you know, what if you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives for businesses, let them figure out how they're going to, for example, reduce pollution. It's a smarter way of doing it,” he said.
On education, Obama said “we should be experimenting with charter schools” and “should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers.” Both positions run counter to those strongly backed by teachers unions, a core segment of the Democratic Party base.
Obama also cited a vote on tort reform that angered trial lawyers — another key segment of the Democratic base. And while he opposed the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, Obama noted that he took to the popular blog DailyKos in defense of colleagues who supported Roberts for chief justice……
Wallace also pressed Obama on comments he made at the last Democratic presidential debate with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton about Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) ….Obama told Wallace that he called Coburn immediately after the debate to make sure he wasn't offended……

Yeah, you sure wouldn't want to offend a Republican whack like Coburn

Posted by: Mike on April 27, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

It was Rove who began that "wine versus beer" thing in the WSJ. What a surprise that the other media ran with it.
Newsweek is part of the Washington Post company. They get the bulk of their revenues from the education company Kaplan which gets most of its revenue from the government. THis is like the media generals scandal writ large.

Posted by: NYT on April 27, 2008 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK
Obama is the farthest-left serious presidential aspirant since Wallace in 1948…. MatthewRmarler at 12:11 PM
If that were remotely true I would support him; however, his appalling performance on FoxNews [linked above @ 7:02]shows that he is playing Republican Lite to McCain's Republican Classic.
Direct link to the dailykos piece "Racism Could Screw Up the Clinton Exit":…. Anon at 2:49 PM
I realize that it is an article of faith among the diehard Obamacans that he's the victim of racism despite his use of the race card, but reality shows otherwise:

Jonathan Tilove of Newhouse News Service has put it together in an article. The issue of race and whether that is what has prevented Barack Obama from cutting into Hillary Clinton's vote totals in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania has been a dicey and toxic question in this primary campaign – and one that's not good (though in different ways) for either candidate.
But what Tilove points out is that at least a very substantial part of what's going is not whites voting against Obama because of race but women, particularly white women, voting for Hillary because of gender. This is something that shows up not only in the breakdown of the white female vote but the turnout of female voters in this year's primaries. Tilove has various data points. But in Pennsylvania, for example, white women went for Clinton 68% - 33%. And they made up 46% of the electorate. Meanwhile, white men went for Clinton 57%-43% and made up only 33% of the electorate….

Of course, there is an element of racism in the election -- after all it's the core value of Conservatives -- just as there is an element of misogyny, e.g. the pervading election coverage of MSNBC.

Posted by: Mike on April 27, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, stop worrying, folks. The average Newsweek subscriber is 77 years old, thinks Anna Quindlen is a first-rate mind, and would vote for Hillary Clinton no matter what kind of green leafy thing is on a magazine cover.

Posted by: lindsay on April 27, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an item on Obama/Ayers from a pro-Clinton web site.

http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/04/26/why-is-obama-hiding-the-truth-about-william-ayers-follow-the-money/


Obama's strength has come in caucuses, whereas Hillary Clinton's strength has come in elections. Even at that, Obama's lead is slight. Since, in the aggregate, caucus participants are even more extreme than primary voters, who are more extreme than the general population, it's a serious question whether Obama's beliefs really appeal to most Democrats. And since Obama is getting 90% of the African-American vote, Clinton leads Obama among everyone else that has shown up to vote in Democratic primaries.

I used to think that Obama had more appeal among swing voters. As the long and deep connections of Obama to Wright, Ayers and other extremes on the left of the Democratic party become more widely known and appreciated, I think that his appeal to swing voters will disappear.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 27, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

JoeSixPack: This is not about elitism, it is about the best way to hide racism.

Perhaps, but Obama has given contradictory answers to simple questions, such as why he doesn't wear a lapel flag pin, or what he thinks about Wright's extremist views. Plus, after attending church with Wright for 20 years, he referred to others as "cling[ing]" to religion out of economic uncertainty. It's no wonder he wants to avoid future debates of every kind. He's tying himself into rhetorical knots.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 27, 2008 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

junebug: I see. Obama loses because he can't nail down the subcontinental/Southeast Asian/African/Middle Eastern/EU bloc of votes.

Immigrants who are naturalized citizens,and their children who are citizens, in the workforce, outnumber African-Americans in the workforce. They have lots more respect for America than Jeremiah Wright, and lots more respect for capitalism than Bill Ayers.

I work for a biotech company in Orange County, CA. About 2/3 of our workforce is immigrants (one team I work on has immigrants from China, Serbia, Great Britain, and Lebanon). In the cafeteria at lunch you can hear spoken: Togolog, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Chinese, besides English. It's only one company, but there are reports that half the work force in LA is immigrants. I think that Obama, if nominated, will come closer to losing California than any Democrat in recent history. If nominated, I expect him to do worse in Ohio than Kerry.

McCain, Clinton and Obama all have serious flaws, but I expect McCain to do better against Obama than against Clinton.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 27, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well marler, you should be reading Newsweek then.

The rest of us, no. Get that shit out of the library. This should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to the media.

Government stimulus checks out tomorrow. That should drop the price of gas. And food. Newsweek is free though.

Posted by: Sparko on April 27, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's about hypocrites who feel free to use "bubba."

And what about the hypocrites who feel free to use "elitist" and "latte-sipper"? That's cool?

We elitists are getting a little tired of being dumped on by mindless media drones, who enjoy the exact same things we do, and by politicians like Hillary Clinton, who would want our votes if she were to steal the nomination.

Posted by: Pug on April 27, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

It's really incredible to read a poster who will give Hillary a pass for voting for the war (and cheerleading it enthusiastically for the first two years), yet jump all over Obama for calling working-class Pennsylvanians "bitter."

The mind reels.

Posted by: chuck on April 27, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRmarler wrote,

"Perhaps, but Obama has given contradictory answers to simple questions, such as why he doesn't wear a lapel flag pin, or what he thinks about Wright's extremist views. Plus, after attending church with Wright for 20 years, he referred to others as "cling[ing]" to religion out of economic uncertainty. It's no wonder he wants to avoid future debates of every kind. He's tying himself into rhetorical knots."
---------------------------------------
Your right he should have said that lapel pins are stupid and where he comes from only gay people wear them as a secret sign to other gay people. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

As far as "clinging", I grew up in rural Michigan which has been struggling since 1982 and people do cling to God to get them through the tough times. They also have been collecting guns at record numbers to protect themselves and their property from those "jack booted gubmint forces" they expect to be coming soon in Black water fashion to keep the peace. The government has had a big hand in giving tax breaks and giving guarantees to corporations for shipping their jobs overseas, after two decades of taking wage and benefit cuts to keep those companies here. So you can bet your ass that they are bitter, they have a real bitter taste in their mouths from federal and state governments.

Whether the threat is real or perceived That is what is going on in rural areas. The fact that the media can not handle the truth is why it was made such a big deal. I do have to ask where are the REAL journalists? When will there be a revolt in the media against these phoney anchor news readers that will read any piece of shit as news?

Now if you want to talk about how Hillary was a champion of NAFTA while she wasn't really, and had her fingers crossed when she made those speeches in favor of NAFTA or how she has rubber stamped everything George W Bush has sent her?

As far as Rev. Wright says, he has right to say anything he wants, and I would give my life to defend his right to free speech.

Posted by: JoeSixPack on April 28, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

When I see material like this it is hard not to suppress a uneasy feeling that the USA will destroy itself in my lifetime through its addiction to facile ideology and the mistakes that it brings.

God save America, cause it looks like they can't do it themselves.

Posted by: Northern Observer on April 28, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

It was Rove who began that "wine versus beer" thing in the WSJ. What a surprise that the other media ran with it.

Here's a question to blow the Newsweek editors' minds: which is more elitist -- a genuine American-grown Napa Valley pinot noir or an imported Belgian wheat beer?

Posted by: Stefan on April 28, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Well, who didn't see this coming? Every Democrat is labeled with "elitist" and "phoney." And a privately educated, elite college graduate from one of the nation's largest urban centers wasn't going to escape the storyline -- even though he is black. The only exception is Bill Clinton -- who got all of those labels plus "Bubba." I mean, even being a white, lower middle class guy from Arkansas couldn't save him from the cliches -- it only added on some new ones which neither the media, the Republicans, nor many voters, seemed to notice or care were ridiculously contradictory.

Obama is getting this treatment now because the the media has declared the primary contest over and declared him the winner. Why Obama supporters didn't see this coming, I don't know. But it would be better for the Obama campaign if Clinton not only was still in the race, but, the media thought she still had some chance of winning.

Posted by: esmense on April 28, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

MatthewRmarler: why he doesn't wear a lapel flag pin

gop bribe taker duke cunningham wore a flag pin..

indicted gop congressman rick renzi wore a flag pin too..

ex gop congressman bob ney wore a flag pin before he went to prison..

what's your point?

Posted by: mr. irony on April 28, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Not so funny when it happens to your guy" -- Jon Stewart

Posted by: Dazir on April 29, 2008 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

wait, i'm confused. obama is a preppy elitist? i thought he was a scary black nationalist who hates america. who knew?

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