Re: Rudy!

1

Giuliani is following a perfectly logical path: empire-on-the-cheap didn't work; let's have a proper, statist empire, and to hell with the republic.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:05 AM
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Caesar!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:08 AM
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Completely agree. Giuliani is terrifying.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:08 AM
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Lots of good bashing of Rudy's fantastically stupid Foreign Affairs piece going on. Jim Henley's take is the best, especially the conclusion: "Many Batman villains, too, can't help themselves from leaving clues where the hero will find them."


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:10 AM
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There are a lot of people who like him for precisely that reason.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:10 AM
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I do not want to live here if Giuliani is president. I can't say that about any other candidate except Brownback and Ron Paul. For them it's because of their misguided and bizarre policies which might make sense if they were proposing to found a model society on a currently-deserted island. For him it's because he is a fascist (the only candidate right now who is a fascist, I think) who is so arrogant that he makes enormous pronouncements about foreign policy without realizing that he knows nothing about it. He'll get us into a nuclear war.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:14 AM
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Which of the major candidates has actually mounted a serious defense of Americans' civil liberties?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:16 AM
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None of them, I don't think. Americans don't want civil liberties. They will when they realize what the lack of them means, though.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:21 AM
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7: Ron Paul.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:23 AM
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I read the New Yorker profile last night and I had a wicked pleasure imagining a terrorist attack a short time before the election causing Rudy to win, and then my college experience being an orgy of 60s-style radicalism.

I hate my desire to participate in the end of times, but I can't help it lately.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:23 AM
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7: Ron Paul.

You noticed I said "major candidates," right?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:25 AM
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3:Is the terror in Rudy as lone gunnut, or is the terror in the millions & millions who would vote for him?

Real crazy men rant at a crowd.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:25 AM
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3:Is the terror in Rudy as lone gunnut, or is the terror in the millions & millions who would vote for him?

I think the former, not the latter. What worries me about Rudy is that he seems to appeal to people who aren't nearly as crazy as he is.

I'm not too worried about him, because I think he loses most of the country for bad reasons: being a loathsome New Yorker, ick ick ptui.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:30 AM
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I'm not too worried about him

Every time I think that, some otherwise normal person says "He really cleaned up New York!! We could use a leader like him. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelette!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:31 AM
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Yeah, I'm just counting on the fact that normal decent Americans hate my kind to knock him down below viability as a candidate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:32 AM
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Is the terror in Rudy as lone gunnut, or is the terror in the millions & millions who would vote for him?

I think it's both of those: he's eager to take advantage of Americans' expressed and unexpressed yearning for a dictator.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:33 AM
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As I look at 16, I'm now wondering if Americans' famous disdain for "the government" is really rooted in the messiness and indecisiveness of democratic government and is at heart a desire for a more authoritarian system. It would certainly make sense of a lot of the conservative reaction to Bush. Hmmm.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:35 AM
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Americans elect people based on image.

Hilary is hated. When you ask them why, they cannot come up with anything other than "she is just a bitch!"

Rudy is seen as strong and tough. When you ask people why, you only get vague answers.

Perception is reality.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:35 AM
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Yeah, I'm just counting on the fact that normal decent Americans hate my kind to knock him down below viability as a candidate.

Normal decent Americans have a pretty spotty record lately.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:36 AM
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I'm now wondering if Americans' famous disdain for "the government" is really rooted in the messiness and indecisiveness of democratic government and is at heart a desire for a more authoritarian system

Absolutely. An authoritarian is viewed as cutting through the red tape. He is going to "cut through the layers of crap."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:37 AM
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I think the former, not the latter.

Totally the latter, I think. The Very Bad Things require agreement or acquiescence by a significant part of the society, and those people live in the world and do their best to make it into one that they like even when they aren't voting for President. Even if Rudy loses, they'll still be there.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:37 AM
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13: Rudy's schtick is selling an image of puffed chest Duce who delivers results, "facts" be damned. We got rid of our crime-ridden slums! Pay no attention to root causes or 10 years of an unprecented economic boom!

We're rebuilding this city! Pay no attention to those toxic fumes!

Of course, he's petulance will come out in due course. Children not speaking to him, etc.


Posted by: Gump | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:39 AM
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Even if Rudy loses, they'll still be there.

So the question is: How do we root out the undesirable elements. Perhaps, with the proper leadership, we could concentrate them in camps ...



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:39 AM
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Where's a link to support the "willing and eager to postpone an election" claim? I mean, yeah, the guy's the only candidate running who has actually postponed an election in the past (the NYC primary election on 9/11) but even I'd give him a pass for that.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:40 AM
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Here, Becks. Although it's not quite "postpone an election," even if it's no better.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:42 AM
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As I recall, he noised it about that he'd like to stay on as mayor beyond the end of his term. As here.

It was only musing aloud, you know.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:42 AM
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Can't link to this one, but it's firmer. New York Post, 10/17/2001:

An effort to postpone next month's election for two weeks was shot down yesterday after the city Board of Elections - voting along party lines - refused to ask the state for an extension.
The board's five Republican commissioners voted to ask the state Legislature to approve the delay, but the five Democrats backed holding the election as scheduled on Nov. 6.
The tie vote killed the delay measure.
Political observers believe Republican mayoral contender Mike Bloomberg could have gotten a boost if he had more time to campaign.
"Republicans clearly think a delay helps a Republican candidate," said Gene Russianoff, senior staff attorney with the New York Public Interest Research Group.
An aide to Mayor Giuliani had told the board on Monday that the mayor would support a postponement if commissioners wanted one.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:46 AM
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Sorry, I was thinking of the term extension.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:46 AM
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If Rudy makes it through the primaries, the evangelicals will probably hold their nose, especially if Hillary is the Dem nominee.

And it's not as though the Democrats can attack him for being pro-choice or dressing in drag. So most of the negatives for the base won't get a lot of play, so you get the Hero of 9/11 and the Man Tough on Crime. I'm increasingly convinced most Americans don't give a shit about civil liberties if it means the Smallville library will never have to give a card to a potential terrorist.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:46 AM
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19: I'm not thinking highly of the American public here. I don't want him elected because he's a fascist crazy man. I feel comfortable believing that he won't get elected because he's a secular and abrasive New Yorker. I'm not happy that those qualities are the ones that make him unelectable, but I'll take what I can get.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:49 AM
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If it comes down to Rudy vs Hilary I am going to have to look at moving out of country, or ramming my head against a wall hard enough that I just don't care anymore.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:49 AM
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Saiselgy weighs in:

But the Hugh Hewitt crowd, the Rush Limbaugh listeners, the Glenn Beck fans, and that whole lot still, in essence, want to see a bloody, bloody, bloody foreign policy.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:51 AM
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If it comes down to Rudy vs Hilary I am going to have to look at moving out of country, or ramming my head against a wall hard enough that I just don't care anymore.

There's a big difference between Rudy and Hillary.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:52 AM
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Could any republican candidate replace "Rudy" in 31 and alter its truth-value?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:52 AM
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22: Oh, he's all about "facts." He wants to take the winning fact-based CompStat strategy to Iraq. An "IraqStat!" (He really did use that term in the New Yorker article.)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:53 AM
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There's a big difference between Rudy and Hillary.

Yes, there is, and I've reconciled myself to pulling the lever for HRC if it comes to it. But her foreign policy proposals are bad, her stance on civil liberties is bad, and her wiffling on issues of sexual liberty is bad, too. In other words, she's probably somewhere to the right of Bill Clinton but without the excuse of actually being a Southerner.

This is letting alone the fact that she's a major reason we don't have national healthcare today.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:54 AM
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Has anybody actually heard the infamous ferret-rant? It's eyebrow-raising, and needs to be widely distributed if he gets the nom.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:56 AM
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Could any republican candidate replace "Rudy" in 31 and alter its truth-value?

Not any of the major ones. I actually might vote for Ron Paul, sorry Ned, since I think that we will have a democratic congress for a while. The policy he could get enacted is policy I am OK with.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:57 AM
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31: I bet that Bloomberg runs if this happens. He's said that he'd only enter if the major party candidates are too highly partisan, which seems like code both for a Rudy/Hill race and for a race in which he could comfortably win with 38% of the vote.

Rudy wins the troglodytes (the 24% Bush loyalists?), Hillary wins the dem partisans, and everyone like CJB is left wondering, "Really? This is the best we can do?" Third party victories only happen in this scenario, Bernie Sanders being the best example imo.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:57 AM
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gah, that's me.


Posted by: Gump | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:57 AM
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the infamous ferret-rant


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:58 AM
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36: That's where I am. I feel sort of icky about it, but waking up to a world filled with dread is just too much for me, so (I think) I've caved. (That's sort of what's icky about it: I can't tell if the arguments in my head that counsel that HRC is not that bad are reasonable ones, or just ones that make me feel better.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 9:58 AM
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The NRA will destroy Bloomberg. He isnt getting in any race.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:00 AM
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I'm not happy about her for all the specific reasons slol gives, but she beats out any possibleRepublican I'm aware of on being unlikely to do deliberately do anything absolutely insane. Which is a big step in her favor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:00 AM
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37: I think calling a kid killed by the police "no altar boy" when he actually was an altar boy wins the execrable Rudy anecdotes prize.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:01 AM
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It might be possible for a third-party religious right candidate to emerge, but that's operating under the assumption that they're actually worshiping a god and not the GOP.

I don't really want to vote for Hillary, but I'd rather the future SCOTUS selections to be from a Democratic president. The Republican party just shouldn't be allowed to play with the crayons any more.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:03 AM
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Yeah, that's the story I come back to as evidence of character. The Dorismond killing was such a horrible, pointless, tragic fuckup, and that Rudy's response was to unseal the guy's juvenile record to point out that he'd been in a fight when he was 13 so he had it coming? Unbelievable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:03 AM
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It might be possible for a third-party religious right candidate to emerge, but that's operating under the assumption that they're actually worshiping a god and not the GOP.

Not with Veep Mike Huckabee on the ticket.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:05 AM
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But those who've contributed to foisting her on us will not be forgiven.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:05 AM
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I don't think Hillary's a bad person. Every single one of her stances has been colored by the "I need to get enough men to vote for me to win" factor. More importantly, I don't think she's a bad person. And Democratic presidents tend to appoint slightly different people than Republican presidents to tens of thousands of vital government positions. We would have a Secretary of Labor who believes labor unions should exist, a MSHA director who is not receiving regular hundred-thousand-dollar "severance pay" checks from mining corporations, etc. Yes, I believe that even though she employs Mark Penn.

Not that she isn't the least liberal Democratic candidate.

Rudy is obviously a bad person in virtually every way, except that he isn't deluded by believing that one religion is right and others are wrong.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:10 AM
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It's interesting. I'm usually out there saying that voting on character is a mistake, the issues are what's important, and so on. But while Rudy's awful on all the issues I care about, what really gets me exercised about him is being convinced that he's a very bad man. I wonder if I can lay claim to consistency because the acts that I'm relying on as evidence of his bad character are things he did as mayor -- gross though it was, I really don't care much about how he treated his wife in the divorce.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:10 AM
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So you know the Karl Rove anecdote where he says, "We will f**k him. Do you hear me? We will f**k him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever f**ked him."
I feel like electing Rudy would be putting someone with that personality in the big chair instead of just standing behind it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:11 AM
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So you know the Karl Rove anecdote

Somehow that one didn't make it into the Atlantic Monthly article.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:13 AM
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52: Nixon?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:14 AM
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45 - That's good, although locating his emergency command center in the WTC is probably more electorally damaging so he could more easily go fuck Judith Nathan there.

In a normal media environment, the perfectly true claims about his term as mayor -- his disregard for emergency preparation and his continual support for the haplessly corrupt Bernie Kerik -- would have killed his candidacy already. I still think a combination of the Judith Nathan thing, his shitty response ("I was more of an emergency responder than the emergency responders, so go fuck yourselves!"), and the genuinely loathing that the media-friendly NY firefighters have for him is going to get the media to stop treating him as Mayor Jesus, but they've proved me wrong before.

And he's terrifying. I said months ago that the only two terrifying candidates to me were John "Endless War" McCain and Il Duce Giuliani. Do any of y'all sophisticated and well-read folk know anything about Lawrence Dennis, the Depression-era intellectual proponent of an American fascism, other than what ran in the Baffler several years ago?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:14 AM
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That's good, although locating his emergency command center in the WTC is probably more electorally damaging so he could more easily go fuck Judith Nathan there.

Good copy-editing, self. "That's good, although locating his emergency command center in the WTC so he could more easily go fuck Judith Nathan there is probably more electorally damaging."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:15 AM
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"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
usually attributed to Sinclair Lewis in the mid-30s

This prophecy will be fulfilled if Rudy becomes president. You can't say that about any other candidate.

As for the "carrying a cross" business, he's certainly capable of the obligatory invocations of that sort of thing, like George HW Bush was.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:17 AM
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Quote from a profile by Ron Suskind from 2003.
Similar to Nixon, I suppose, but with a lot more power having been concentrated in the office.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:17 AM
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I wonder if I can lay claim to consistency because the acts that I'm relying on as evidence of his bad character are things he did as mayor

Or you could just admit that you were wrong. Whichever. Don't most people mean to argue that character will influence policy, and (I think this is where the dispute lies) certain private acts give you information that is likely to be relevant to public acts?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:17 AM
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I don't know that that one is well supported -- while putting it in 7 WTC was stupid, I haven't seen much beyond snark suggesting that convenience as a love nest was a reason.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:18 AM
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Or you could just admit that you were wrong. Whichever.

Did you ever see that episode of Happy Days with Fonzie trying to apologize? It's like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:19 AM
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60 - I hear John Kerry is a French windsurfer who doesn't like his cheesesteak Whiz Wit'.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:19 AM
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45.3:I know a little bit about Owsley, the 30s English fascist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:23 AM
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62: It's not about what's fair, but when they make up shit about our candidates, it gets reported as expressing something deeply true about how people feel about them. When we make up shit about their candidates, we're big liars. Might as well keep the invective on the level, it's not as though there isn't enough true stuff to say about the man.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:23 AM
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60- It was undoubtedly used as a love nest, the question is whether that was a purpose in the planning or an after the fact fringe benefit.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:23 AM
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re: 63

You mean Mosley?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:28 AM
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You mean Mosley?

You mean Spode?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:31 AM
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Was he related to Unity Mitford?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:31 AM
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No, he means Owsley.

Now that I've thought about it a little more, I think that if Giuliani is the Republican candidate the big-money finance types (not those in war-profiteering industries) might switch over to supporting the Democrat. Giuliani is good for the mega-rich when he's running a city, but as president he would quite obviously cause global instability, which they don't want.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:32 AM
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69: His second-biggest campaign theme is pandering to big-money finance types. They like that, and they might be willing to tolerate global instability.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:36 AM
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29: And it's not as though the Democrats can attack him for being pro-choice or dressing in drag.

Like hell they can't. If Rudy is the Republican nominee, Democrats should push this so hard that no conservative voter will be able to hear his name without picturing personally performing a late-term abortion while dressed in drag.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:37 AM
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s/b picturing him


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:38 AM
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70: I think they would like Hillary better. She's never indicated any interest in redistribution of wealth. And she would be much more popular abroad.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:38 AM
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I am closer to Tim, on American political dynamics. Truman & Ike weren't crazies, but we got loyalty oaths & the National Security State. LBJ partly was pushed into Vietnam. I think a homicidal/suicidal 10% of a country can get control, as in Iraq and some Latin American countries, because the other 90% really don't want to die for habeas in the abstract. The 30% wingnut crazies shape American politics to a scarey extent.

But a) I don't know what to do about it, and b) although most of the Germans & Japanese (minus a few million) were the same people in 1936 & 1955, the countries were very different. But I would say the Germans and Japanese have a smaller and more balanced wingnut population, 10% on either end, than America, and a more useful history for suppressing the Right. America has a horrible history.

Camps won't work, but succession from Dixie would reduce some of the resources at the disposal of the millenialists amd militarists.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:39 AM
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"Really? This is the best we can do?" Third party victories only happen in this scenario, Bernie Sanders being the best example imo.

I don't see Sanders as an example of this scenario at all, except maybe when he became mayor of Burlington. He's been hugely popular for years, and he demolished Tarrant in the Senatorial election.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:42 AM
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I believe Lincoln is the best (possibly the only) example of a third-party victory at the presidential level.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:44 AM
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74:secession. Yecch

And I was joking about Mosley.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:45 AM
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45, 47--

rudy stood up for our men in blue.
didn't second-guess the tough calls.

why do you hate the police?

(this just offered, by the way, to remind you that what strikes you as self-evident proof of viciousness will be taken by someone else as proof of sainthood. better start working on your reply.)


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:48 AM
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76: How do you figure he's an example? Whigs had gone out of business, almost wholly incorporated in the Republican Party. There was a third party candidacy that year, John Bell's Union Party. The first victory by a new party—granted that 147 years is a damn long time for that to have been the last time—doesn't a third party make.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:49 AM
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79: Fair enough. He's still the closest to an example.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:52 AM
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71: Democrats should push this so hard that no conservative voter will be able to hear his name without picturing personally performing a late-term abortion while dressed in drag.

Exactly! I, for one, am willing to exploit the living hell out of homophobia to take Rudy out. (By which I mean putting the pictures everywhere to speak for themselves, not adding "Rudy and his Faggy Friends" captions.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:52 AM
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not adding "Rudy and his Faggy Friends" caption

It's important to have principles.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:53 AM
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Damn straight. (Get it?)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:55 AM
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How do we reconcile Rudy's popularity with the public's growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, given that he's a such a strong advocate of it?

Am I delusional for still thinking that Huckabee is going to come out on top? (Or rather, just how deluded am I?)


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:56 AM
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84: The public hates losing, but that doesn't mean they hate war.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:57 AM
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seccession from Dixie

Don't give up on Texas. We're majority-minority now, and we're trending Democratic (thanks in part to Yankee carpetbaggers like me). Also, when our water runs out, we're just going to invade y'all anyway.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 10:57 AM
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The public hates losing, but that doesn't mean they hate war.

I was afraid of that.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:02 AM
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As I look at 16, I'm now wondering if Americans' famous disdain for "the government" is really rooted in the messiness and indecisiveness of democratic government and is at heart a desire for a more authoritarian system. It would certainly make sense of a lot of the conservative reaction to Bush. Hmmm.

This is 100% true. I can point you to relevant political science research if you're interested. I consider it the most salient and misunderstood fact about American politics today. People, even elites, tend to see political conflict as an inefficiency that should be eliminated, not as a natural outcome of disagreement in a plural society. Thus a preference for unitary action and a low tolerance for criticism of it once taken.

Once you start looking for this fallacy, you'll see it everywhere. The pervasiveness of this belief has been one of the major reasons that the executive branch has grown so strong since WWII, in my opinion. It's also at the heart of the lure of "centrism" and the constant calls for bipartisanship and compromise.


Posted by: xyzzy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:03 AM
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81: Yeah, but the most that is going to do is argue for the voter's staying home. And you can't push it any more than 'Rudy is pro-choice and cross-dresses', because a Democrat can't argue that being pro-choice is evil without looking like a dork.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:03 AM
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because a Democrat can't argue that being pro-choice is evil without looking like a dork.

Doesn't have to come directly Dem. Think "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:07 AM
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s/b "directly from a Dem"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:08 AM
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the most that is going to do is argue for the voter's staying home

Yeah, but that can be extremely helpful, especially if the D's run a good GOTV. We'll have to see how the numbers look. Obviously, I wouldn't hinge our chances of victory on Rudy in a dress, but I do think it would hurt him.

Have any of the R candidates been using it against him, even as a stealth campaign? I haven't heard of anything.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:08 AM
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Manhattan Transvestites for Truth.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:08 AM
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Besides, you don't have to argue that it's evil. You can say, "We welcome Mr. Guliani's longtime support on this important issue, including when he did x and said y and z." It's like a lefthanded compliment, except it's a lefthanded attack playing off right-wingnuttery. Or something.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:11 AM
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Brooklyn Fag Hags for Truth.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:13 AM
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We welcome Mr. Guliani's longtime support on this important issue, including when he did x and said y and z.

Now that is how you do it.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:14 AM
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a Democrat can't argue that being pro-choice is evil

The Democrats don't have to argue that it's evil. All they have to do is remind voters at every opportunity that Rudy is pro-choice, so that conservative voters for whom a pro-choice position is a deal breaker will stay away from the polls or throw their votes away on a fringe candidate.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:15 AM
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It's like no one even reads the posts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:17 AM
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Likewise, Democrats don't have to assert that there's anything at all wrong with cross-dressing, but we should make sure that photos of Rudy in drag are at least as ubiquitous as photos of John Kerry windsurfing were in '04.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:19 AM
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It's like no one even reads the posts.

What do you mean, "like"?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:20 AM
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It's like some of us have lives that take us away from the screen every once in a while.

But well said in that post, LB.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:21 AM
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I don't think the photos of Rudy in drag will turn anyone off. Has anyone heard of the concept of a "Halloween costume"?

Actual anecdotes of gay-friendliness are much more damaging.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:21 AM
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Has anyone heard of the concept of a "Halloween costume"?

So he's a Satanist too?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:23 AM
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her foreign policy proposals are bad, her stance on civil liberties is bad, and her wiffling on issues of sexual liberty is bad, too

Yes, yes, and no. I haven't seen evidence of waffling, only evidence that she's trying to acknowledge the moral angst of the issue for a lot of people. If I'm wrong, though, I want to know.

Mark my words, this "Hillary is no better than voting Republican" line is going to come back and bite us, hard, in the ass, people.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:24 AM
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Yeah, I think the actual drag pictures fit into a "Straight men having naughty, mildly misogynistic fun" narrative, and don't read as having much to do with gays in any way -- it might hurt him with someone really, really socially conservative, but not with garden variety homophobes. It's the moving in with a gay couple during his divorce that outs him as personally tolerant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:25 AM
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I don't think the photos of Rudy in drag will turn anyone off.

Not in and of themselves, but if they contribute to diminished enthusiasm for him or cause any voters to have nagging doubts about him they will have served their purpose.

I don't want the Democrats to play dirty. I just want 'em to play hardball.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:27 AM
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we should make sure that photos of Rudy in drag are at least as ubiquitous as photos of John Kerry windsurfing were in '04.

And then we'll get bitched at by the left for abandoning gay rights for politics.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:27 AM
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Mark my words, this "Hillary is no better than voting Republican" line is going to come back and bite us, hard, in the ass, people.

Not if she doesn't get the nomination. There's still time. Remember that it briefly looked like Bush wasn't going to get the nomination in 2000. We're nowhere near that point.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:30 AM
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Not if she doesn't get the nomination.

Agreed. I've thought her nomination was a done deal since I went to an Emily's list luncheon two years ago, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:31 AM
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The very existence of "done deals" contributes to its being revolting, beyond her obvious deficiencies.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:35 AM
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Joe D., our political insider, told us all it was Hillary was a done deal before the elections last fall. On the other hand, he also told us that Democrats weren't going to take the House back.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:41 AM
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110: Well, I'm sorry, but that's how it works. It takes a fuck of a lot of money to run a campaign, and if the major women's fundraising organization is behind a candidate who already has a hell of a lot of insider connections, there's going to be plenty of money.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:44 AM
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Mark my words, this "Hillary is no better than voting Republican" line is going to come back and bite us, hard, in the ass, people.

One of the reasons I won't vote Republican is that I don't like being told what I must and mustn't say in the interest of the party.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 11:58 AM
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113 - Do the Republicans actually do that? I've never seen it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:04 PM
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You never heard of the eleventh commandment?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:06 PM
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10: I hate my desire to participate in the end of times, but I can't help it lately.

It's age-appropriate. Run with it, dude. As long as you don't go bombing anybody, you'll be fine.

I know that's patronizing, but youthful radicalism is often correct and nearly always edifying.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:15 PM
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113: Eh. One of the things that annoys me about the left is its tendency to catastrophize practicality. Being cautious about hyperbolic denunciations of the probable front-runner does not make me a Nazi.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:19 PM
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As if my odds for radicalism weren't high enough anyway because of our political climate, I'm going to a much more conservative and wealthier college than average. Should be fun.

It's the perverse pleasure I feel when experiencing (actually: anticipating) catastrophic events that unsettles me, not the radicalism. It has natural and forgivable causes, I think, but it still freaks me out.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:21 PM
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That reminds me of something I forgot to add to the What Should Labs' Enormous Cock Ought Say To Undergraduates thread: Understand how the college operates as an employer, as a neighbor, in the real world. I got a great liberal arts education, but I also got an education in the economic existence of my university, which led to a pretty good education in labor economics, local politics, social movements and the deindustrialization of the Northeast. It's important to understanding the situations of TAs, dining hall workers and even faculty as distinct from their part in your experience. It may also have the effect of making your radicalism a little less Aux Barricades, Comrades!

But yeah, it's OK to think that the revolution would be more interesting. And it's exciting to think through what it would mean to people other than young, empowered males, who get the biggest charge out of Fighting In The Streets.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:26 PM
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116 is wrong. Some part of me anticipates various catastrophic events with perverse pleasure. It's like watching a lab experiment on a gigantic scale. It's the only way to find out what happens next. Some part of me wanted Bush to win in 2004 just to find out if he really would attack Iran and Syria. Some part of me wants the financial markets to melt down completely just to see what the effect would be.

If I ever become World Dictator, though, I promise only to act in the interests of the people.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:31 PM
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One of the things that annoys me about the left is its tendency to catastrophize practicality.

So arguments that we should work against HRC, not for reasons of policy, but because (a) she has insanely high negatives, (b) her gender may hurt her, (c) her insanely high negatives or her gender may hurt downticket politicians, (d) her absolute lack of charisma makes her more Dukakis than Clinton--these are the arguments you want to see? Or, more broadly, we ought not complain about various forms of mild sexism/racism/etc. because it makes us seem like shrieking PC harridans to the independent white males whom we might move? Color me skeptical.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:35 PM
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Being cautious about hyperbolic denunciations of the probable front-runner

Is your candidate really so weak that a few criticisms left in a comment thread on Unfogged are going to sink her?

And saying she has poor foreign policy proposals (with which you agreed) and poor domestic policy proposals (with which you agreed) and a spectacularly poor record at managing a healthcare reform plan does not a hyperbolic denunciation make.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:36 PM
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115 - I mean rank-and-file Republicans. For politicians, the eleventh commandment is indisputably true. If Democratic politicians would stick to it (i.e. no Clintonian triangulation), the country would be a lot better off.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:39 PM
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120: That is part of it, but it is at least partially age-appropriate. As a non-downtrodden young person it can be hard to remember that right now is not the Most Important Time in History. And then it dovetails with the delusion that I can Do Something.

This is why I often wonder what it is like to be a young conservative. There are some, sure, who believe that liberals are sending the world into a socialist-relativist apocalypse, but what about the plain, boring wealthy ones? Do they feel like young princes, calmly and steadily preparing to guide the world along the right path, as their fathers and their fathers' fathers before them?

I don't really know how a young person can feel special because they'll preserve the world, rather than change it.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:48 PM
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I don't know that she's "my" candidate. And I didn't mean that your denunciations were hyperbolic--which is why I agreed with them. I do think 113 was hyperbolic.

I really like this post and the comments to it, which I think are really illustrative. None of the folks declaring how awful she is are actually talking about substance.

My opinion on Hillary is pretty well summed up by this comment, and this one. I didn't know about the union thing in the second comment, but it doesn't surprise me one iota. My impression is that when she gets down to actual legislation, she tends to be both pragmatic and fair-minded about addressing the concerns of both the folks you'd expect her to and the ones you wouldn't, and that she works pretty damn hard to see the substance behind the rhetoric of her opponents (e.g. in regards to abortion). I think that's a big part of her position on Iraq, and it strikes me as a quality I'd really like to see in the White House.

As I say, I'm not sure yet whether I support her, primarily because I'm not sure what her position on rolling back the current administration's attacks on civil liberties and the separation of powers is. But for instance on the war, I feel like her position as I understand it is a lot more realistic and cautious about the possible nightmare of a simple withdrawal than Obama's or Edwards's are, as I understand them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:50 PM
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125 to 122.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 12:51 PM
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69: Giuliani is good for the mega-rich when he's running a city, but as president he would quite obviously cause global instability, which they don't want.

Like that stopped them with Bush? OK, that's not entirely fair. In 2000 it wasn't obvious just how bad he would be, and in 2004 voting against the incumbent feels like voting for instability even if it wouldn't actually be. Still, though, you seem to be assuming that the mega-rich are more rational, far-sighted individuals than everyone else, which seems very unwarranted to me.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:02 PM
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None of the folks declaring how awful she is are actually talking about substance.

Oh, Jesus, B. Haven't we been through a round of this already? Maybe more than one?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:03 PM
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128: of course we have. And B was totally proved right on every point, sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:06 PM
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128: In the thread I linked. Calm down. I'm not going to be around enough today to get into a big Hillary fight, and I'm not especially interested. Plus I said twice that I'm not backing her myself, even. If you want to rant about her, you're going to have to do it without me today.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:08 PM
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The mega-rich seem to me to matter less in this election (if that is even possible) than the more average conservative base types who feel totally burned by what they see as Bush's betrayal on immigration. To the extent that Rudy can be seen as an enforcer, he appeals to them.

Hilary is our candidate, for sure. I can't even get energized to feel ambivalent about it as it seems so clearly locked up to me.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:09 PM
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If you want to rant about her, you're going to have to do it without me today.

B says, in her 8th comment in 2 hours.

Heck with Hillary. I'm going to rant about Niki Tsongas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:11 PM
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Hilary is our candidate, for sure.

I'm not getting the inevitability. Obama has almost as much money (as much, maybe?) and they're close in the polls. I see a lot of people talking like this, but I don't understand why. (The why may be perfectly obvious, and just be one of those 'everyone understands but me' things, of course.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:13 PM
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SV, I want to say tangentially that I like your new name. Your stuff all reads differently now that I know you're in love with Dorian Gray.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:14 PM
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B says, in her 8th comment in 2 hours.

I really mean it this time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:14 PM
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Actual anecdotes of gay-friendliness are much more damaging.

102: I think the amount of damage caused by this sort of thing is overestimated by lefties. Rudy is scary precisely because there are a lot of Americans out there who talk about being anti-gay or anti-abortion or whatever, but who at heart are really pro-fascist.

Many of these people have gay friends, or friends who have had abortions, and will understand Rudy's human failings in this regard. When Kerry called out Cheney on his gay daughter, it was Kerry who got lambasted in the media and by the public.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:15 PM
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133: Yeah, Obama may surprise us. OTOH, he's quite young. I predict it'll be a Clinton/Obama ticket.

Okay, I really am leaving now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:15 PM
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I think that [seeing the substance behind her opponents' rhetoric] is a big part of her position on Iraq, and it strikes me as a quality I'd really like to see in the White House.

We are talking about the woman who justified her Iraq vote by (loose paraphrase) saying that she voted for it because she felt that intellectual honesty compelled her to give the current executive the powers she would feel her due when she held that office?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:16 PM
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Niki Tsongas: the one true feminist candidate in '08!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:16 PM
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As for Hillary, I share the general disdain on this thread. But I was born when Eisenhower was president, and on balance, I would expect Hillary to be the second best president of my lifetime, behind her husband.

Faint praise, it's true, but I think it's important to have some perspective here.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:20 PM
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snarkout, thanks. Dorian is, right at this moment, both sucking my will to live and threatening my designs of graduating. Ever.

Obama has as much $ and $ matters, for sure. But what I think, based on both instinct and conversations, is that there are a lot of moderate Democrats who feel uneasy about Obama's lack of foreign policy experience. And who feel like Hilary has been a player for a long time, and has credentials, on a face level and otherwise. There is a big portion of the voting public for whom a candidate's knowing-how and willingness-to play the political game is as much of a turn on and it is for me a turn off.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:26 PM
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140: No love for George I or Carter?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:29 PM
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I also think that there are a lot of women like myself, who will vote for her *a lot* because of gender, despite awareness of the intellectual flaws of such an approach. And that is an embarrassing confessions.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:33 PM
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who will vote for her *a lot*

Make sure you vote early and often.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:36 PM
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142: Rating games of this sort are inevitably arbitrary. But given the current clusterfuck, HRC has huge opportunities to do good things, and I think she's basically got an inclination toward, say, re-instituting habeus corpus or going after Osama bin Laden.

I'm cool with Carter and Bush I, on the whole. And LBJ is almost impossible to rate because of his participation in some of the best and worst stuff in recent American history.

I guess what I'm saying is that whenever you reflect on Hillary, a little perspective is required. The Republican Party has been taken over by people who are, at heart, anti-American. Hillary is, at minimum, pro-American, and that's what the next election is about.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:43 PM
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125: This has been another strong opinion from B. Productions.

Even in the face of political pressure and as far as that goes, common sense, Hillary has been very firm about positioning herself at the hawkish wing of the Democratic Party. The others are too hawkish for me, but now matter how bad they get, she will outhawk them. End of story.

When talking to other Democrats, DLC types justify their hawkishness in terms of electoral strategy, but they are sticking to it even now when hawkishness has become a poor electoral strategy. You can say that this means that they're "principled hawks" and that the cynicism is fake, but what it really means is that the Democratic hawks' primary committment is to the foreign policy establishment, and convincing the electorate and the Democrats is the task that the foreign policy team has assigned them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:47 PM
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143: I share the feeling, but thinking about it now, I don't think I hesitate to say so because I'm embarrassed as because I fear that doing so will lead people to automatically discount anything I say about her because "of course you only want to vote for her b/c she's a woman." Which I've seen people do again and again when someone admits that they support Hillary b/c they want to see a woman president. I want to be able to maintain the position that I'm "objective" about her, i.e., that I'm not reacting to her emotionally/as a woman.

Which now that I think about it is fucked up and makes me kinda mad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:49 PM
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This has been another strong opinion from B. Productions.

See what I mean? Now I don't feel bad about the fact that I probably won't get to where you are, John, until 4 pm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:50 PM
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143: I think that the intellectual *merits* of such an approach are worth laying out. I'll vote against Hillary in the primary, but I think having a female chief executive would be really good for this country, in perhaps ineffable but real ways. My personal belief is that the negatives outweigh the positives, but it's worth stating that there are real positives.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:52 PM
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Put another way: the fact that many Democrats and Republicans will vote against her because she's a woman (or, with more nuance, will buy into the most gendered elements of the campaign to vilify her) is an intellectually defensible reason to vote for her because she's a woman.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:54 PM
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150's true, but it's not enough. I think I lean the opposite of 149: in the long run, a woman president who's anything short of a complete disaster is more beneficial to the country than any of the (possibly considerable) potential downsides of a second Clinton presidency.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:58 PM
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There's a big difference between Hillary and Rudy, but she's not the nominee yet. And I'm worried by her authoritarian tendency largely because it seems like she's handicapped by having to prove that she's tough enough take on da boyz of al-Qaeda/Iran/Iraq/Ick. I realize any candidate has to do that, and it's arguably harder for a woman, but if I can vote for someone who doesn't have those tendencies in the primary, I see no reason not to.

And I really see no reason, as someone who isn't actually running a campaign, to refrain from voicing my opinion on this.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:59 PM
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OK, but I hope you are already coffeed up so we can adjourn to a tavern.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 1:59 PM
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I'm not, which is why I'm moving so damn slowly. But I'll grab coffee once I finally get my ass out the door.

she's handicapped by having to prove that she's tough

Agreed, but I think that's not going to change until we've had a woman president. And I hope that that handicap will be less of an issue once she's in office.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:02 PM
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149, 150 - right, you're right. But I feel, and this is probably subjective, like the merits of supporting her because of gender are more nuanced than the merits of opposing her ideologically. and I therefore don't cop to them much, because who has time for nuance in casual conversation, really.

B's take in 147 resonates as true to me; the reason for defensiveness, anyway. Unless you take the time for a lot of protracted nuance everytime you talk about it, admitting you support her because she's a woman is tantamount to admitting that you (and she) are knee jerk emotional voters.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:05 PM
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They (Dem candidates) are all handicapped by having to prove they are tough, at this point.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:08 PM
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151: you know, I actually agree, but I think the value of having a woman in the White House is exceeded (at this point in history) by the value of having a non-white child of immigrants -- who has lived overseas, even -- in the WH.

Which is not to say that I've picked a candidate either (talk about increasingly indefensible positions).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:09 PM
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157 - you may be right. I'm not sure, but you may be, But children of immigrants are not going to vote for him just because, in the way that women are going to vote for her.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:11 PM
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Minorities are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:13 PM
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Well, some of 'em.

I doubt he'll get that many elderly Cubans on his side just because he lived in Indonesia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:13 PM
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151 comes to the opposite conclusion as 150+149, but my main point is that the evidence weighed in both is legitimate evidence, and need not be belittled as "emotional". (Whether "emotional evidence" should be belittled at all is a slightly separate question.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:13 PM
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In any case, my stated position this entire campaign season has been to not try and guess which way other people will vote, and focus instead on who I believe is the best person for the job.

Electability: a crock.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:14 PM
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Whether "emotional evidence" should be belittled at all

Obviously not. Unless you're willing to say that the emotional reactions a leader inspires in people aren't relevant to governance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:16 PM
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All other things being equal, sure, having a female president would be nice. But that is so clearly counterfactual that positions like 151 just confuse me. So increased chances of pointless wars, further union-gutting, and further marginalization of Democratic-wing democrats are all ok, so long as we secure the marginal and symbolic gain of having a female president, rather than a female presidential front-runner? Never mind that the lesson of a Hilary presidency might very well be, "Sure, 3 year old girl, you can grow up to president, just make sure you marry the right guy."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:16 PM
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Being a Texan, and having a woman Senator, I really don't believe electing a woman as President is that big a deal. Golda Meier, Thatcher, Bhutto any changes to come from having a woman at the top, or electing more women to Congress, will be very marginal and incremental. Maybe it would have effects over a century.

Now electing very liberal women would make a difference, but electing very liberal men would also make a difference.

People invest so much in the Presidency. I venture to say that electing Obama would not make a significent lasting difference for blacks either.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:18 PM
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I think it would be great to have a female president, unless the payoff is that her having to look tough means we end up warring Iran.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:18 PM
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151's calculation is that the symbolic gain is not marginal. I happen to think that Hilary is right-wing enough to outweigh those non-marginal gains, but I think it's worth thinking what it would mean to the system that subordinates women in this country to have the Big Boss be a dame.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:20 PM
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165: I'm not worried about blacks, I'm worried about me, should I want to travel elsewhere in the world without being, you know, beheaded or rudely ignored or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:20 PM
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.There is a big portion of the voting public for whom a candidate's knowing-how and willingness-to play the political game is as much of a turn on and it is for me a turn off.

As demonstrated, I gather, by her complete fucking failure on healthcare, in which her obstinance and freakish secrecy more or less killed any willingness of the various important players give her any help when tough times came calling. Great. I look forward to the Bright New Tomorrow.

I could see voting for her because she's a woman. That doesn't seem crazy to me. And, frankly, you're allowed to vote for her for whatever reason you want. If she weren't DLC, I might vote for her only because she's a woman. But she is as she is.

The nomination process may be a good tell about how different subgroups within the Democratic Party prioritize their various interests.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:21 PM
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167: By marginal, I was only contrasting the value of HRC as president to HRC as presidential front-runner, not trying to minimize its absolute value, although 165 makes a certain amount of sense.

That said, I'd like to see the first woman president gain office by virtue of having stellar credentials and political skills, and have her gender be totally irrelevant. Pipe-dream I know, but I can hope.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:27 PM
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JFK broke a "symbolic barrier" for Catholics. I am trying to think of how that made a difference for Catholics, and for the nation.

Basically, if it is possible to elect "x" as President, it means a certain acceptance and assimilation has already occurred. It has little to no relation to what further progress can be made.

O'Connor & Ruth Bader were good for women in their decisions (or not), but I don't see that their selection opened up a world of new possibilities and an age of equality.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:27 PM
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157.1: I actually disagree. I'm of course subject to the "well, you *would* think that" argument, which I concede from the outset might be entirely correct, but I actually think that in terms of being Taken Seriously at the Top, black men have come further than white women. In terms of *collective* power, white women obviously have a lot more than black men (and black women), though.

lesson of a Hilary presidency might very well be, "Sure, 3 year old girl, you can grow up to president, just make sure you marry the right guy."

I've said this before, but there are *very* few examples of women in major positions of power who did not get there in part because of powerful husbands or fathers. Some day this objection will be a good one; right now, it seems a lot more like expecting women to be ten times better than men in order to be considered equal.

166: I don't think she'll go to war with Iran.

her complete fucking failure on healthcare

I cannot take this seriously as an objection to her candidacy. That had as much, if not *far* more, to do with the Clinton administration's moving too quickly, before they'd figured out how to govern, and with her being the first lady (how dare she take an actual role in government!) as it did with any flaws of hers, at least any flaws that still obtain. Also, I give her (and Bill) credit for making healthcare an issue; I don't think we'd be where we are now if they hadn't tried and fucked it up the first time through.

I do think it's possible that her fuckup on the issue might make her too cautious the second time around, though, which is a legitimate concern.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:32 PM
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The problem isn't that Hillary is oin to be forced to act touh for electoral reasons. She's a sincere hawk.

There's somethin to the idea that a woman leader has to be touh: the succesful ones (Golda Meir, Mararet Thatcher, Indira Gandhi) have been hardnosed. To the extent that that dynamic is in effect, frankly, I won't vote for a woman. What we need is an American president for whom toughness is not a need.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:34 PM
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I venture to say that electing Obama would not make a significent lasting difference for blacks either.

Agree with that. In both cases, I think (a) more of the work at the elite level has been done than people realize (though there remains much to do, yada yada), and (b) people might reasonably identity vote for risk-hedging reasons. There are probably some positive beneficial effects in each case, though; I can sort of imagine some negative such effects as well, though, esp. for African-Americans, so it might be a bit of a push.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:35 PM
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That had as much, if not *far* more, to do with the Clinton administration's moving too quickly, before they'd figured out how to govern, and with her being the first lady (how dare she take an actual role in government!) as it did with any flaws of hers,

Bullshit.

Also, I give her (and Bill) credit for making healthcare an issue;

As I recall, Casey (and Carville, I want to say) made it an issue.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:37 PM
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My g key is fucked. My t key too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:37 PM
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I'd like to see the first woman president gain office by virtue of having stellar credentials and political skills, and have her gender be totally irrelevant.

O'Connor & Ruth Bader were good for women in their decisions (or not), but I don't see that their selection opened up a world of new possibilities and an age of equality.

Grr. So women are only legitimate leaders, as women, if they're practically messiahs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:37 PM
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So women are only legitimate leaders, as women, if they're practically messiahs.

What does that even mean?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:39 PM
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To the extent that that dynamic is in effect, frankly, I won't vote for a woman. What we need is an American president for whom toughness is not a need.

Grr again. Sorry, ladies, but you already lost the race a long time ago; might as well just accept that you're perpetually consigned to influence-through-manipulation.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:39 PM
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171.1 -- recall that the Ku Klux Klan started as an anti-Catholic organization nearly as much as a white supremacist one. (Or rather, their whiteness included Protestantism.) The protestations of Bill Donohue aside, that kind of thing isn't really a factor like it was, and it wouldn't be out of line to see Kennedy as a turning point, or as the opportunity for a demographic shift to make itself real.

Let me also throw supportive snaps to B on healthcare and Emerson on hawkishness. Fly, supportive snaps, fly!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:41 PM
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Linda Colley on: Hillary Clinton; Margaret Thatcher.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:41 PM
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177: B, that's a complete misreading of what Tim said. I would imagine he wants those things out of a political candidate of either gender. He was arguing for a version of gender blindness in elections, not that women should be held to a higher standard than men.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:42 PM
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179 gets better if you read it, as all sentences containing the word "ladies" should be read, as a pick-up line.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:43 PM
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On the other hand, it kind of rules that 179 is a product of B procrastinating about actually going to hang out with Emerson. Have fun, kids!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:44 PM
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172: there are *very* few examples of women in major positions of power who did not get there in part because of powerful husbands or fathers

Who sponsored Thatcher? Merkel? Whatsherface from Chile? I'm not asking for a messiah, just someone who isn't quite as demonstrably wrong on almost every issue that matters to me.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:44 PM
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178: What it means is that the quotes I italicized in 177 and 179 basically amount to the kind of unacknowledged sexism that I've argued all along underlies a lot of people's ostensibly non-sexist objections to Hillary. It is *not possible* for women's gender to be irrelevant (including having "toughness" not be an issue) as long as women do not have established records at the highest levels of power. Saying, in effect, that one isn't going to vote for a woman until after her womanness isn't an issue is tatamount to saying one isn't going to vote for a woman, ever. It's setting a bar that does not exist for men, inasmuch as the manliness of men is obviously an (unacknowledged issue) as long as the womanliness of women remains one. You can't have one end of a binary without the other.

Ditto the bit about Ginsburg and O'Connor. Two women on the court hasn't ushered in a world of new possibilities and an age of equality? As opposed to having had how many men on there for the last 230 years?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:44 PM
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B, there are very good reasons why Hillary is a very bad candidate. She's militarist. Yet you seem to be supporting her. I do not actually think she's pretending to be a hawk, as I said. But people are making excuses for her because of some supposed dynamic affecting lady candidates. Well, if that dynamic is there, as other people say, women shouldn't run for President and I won't support for them if they do. What we need is a non-tough president.

I've been worrying about a 30-year war for empire and a police state for several years now, and Hillary is not at all reassuring. It's like you don't live in the same world I do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:45 PM
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In 179 I was baiting you, just as you've been baiting us.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:47 PM
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He was arguing for a version of gender blindness in elections, not that women should be held to a higher standard than men.

And what I'm saying is that arguing for gender blindness *is* holding women to a higher standard, inasmuch as men have *always* held power, and therefore (1) we've learned that one man /= men as a class; (2) even the most gentle of men benefit from the association of manhood with strength/power/aggression.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:48 PM
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Emerson: solve for x, in the following: After x years of worrying about a 30-year war for empire, you can look back, relax, and say, "Well, at least there are only 30-x years left!"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:49 PM
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I'm of course subject to the "well, you *would* think that" argument, which I concede from the outset might be entirely correct, but I actually think that in terms of being Taken Seriously at the Top, black men have come further than white women.

What are you basing this on?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:51 PM
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That's not what you said, though. You said that Tim was arguing that women had to be messiahs to be elected, which he wasn't. I personally think your argument about gender blindness is one of several perfectly valid arguments against gender blindness as a reasonable (or even feasible) thing to hope for, but you didn't make it until 189.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:51 PM
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What we need is a non-tough president.

Agree with this, and I think it's the best argument for voting for someone for President just because she's female (maybe even, when I'm drunk with hope, HRC).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:52 PM
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192 to 189.

191: the NFL, duh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:52 PM
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What are you basing this on?

B's down with the gente.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:53 PM
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the quotes I italicized in 177 and 179 basically amount to the kind of unacknowledged sexism that I've argued all along underlies a lot of people's ostensibly non-sexist objections to Hillary

O RLY? If you're going to argue that people who think that they shouldn't vote for a woman until after her womanness isn't an issue [are] saying [they aren't] going to vote for a woman, ever then maybe you should think twice about quoting one of my comments and excising the bit where I acknowledge it's a "pipe dream." I'm sorry, but that's kind of dishonest, b.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:58 PM
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I think B's argument works better as a rationale for erase our history and replace it with one in which several women have served well as president, thus eliminating skittishness about breaking that boundary, than it does as a rationale for putting an actual non-progressive woman in the actual position of president for four actual years.

Similarly, it's an excuse that could be made equally well for supporting, say, Elizabeth Dole for president. No thanks.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:59 PM
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193: As I keep saying, Hillary is a sincere hawk. Not compensating for being a woman, not shilling for votes. A for-real hawk. What you said is just crazy.

And if it's really true that any female candidate will have to work to prove she's tough, then I won't support any female candidate.

B, I think that you also misunderstand what the issue is with US troops remaining in Iraq.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:59 PM
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"rationale for erasing...replacing"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 2:59 PM
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And if it's really true that any female candidate will have to work to prove she's tough, then I won't support any female candidate.

This is a principled stand. I'd agree with it if I thought the premise was true.

The US government erring on the side of being tough is always a bad thing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:00 PM
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Just as it is possible for Roger Morris to conclude that Robert Gates, as responsible as any person now working for getting us into the mess we're in, starting with covert operations in Afghanistan under Carter, is the last, best hope for avoiding war with Iran, I will say again:

I will support HRC's candidacy, which I will not favor and which I oppose, if she gets the nomination, against any Republican now running, or likely to run. These side benefits, about gender expectations and whatnot, are as likely as not to happen, and we can hope some of them will.

But the most important factors are rationality and that she's a Democrat. Maybe it helps to start with low expectations. We need more of the Congress anyhow, and maybe the push can come from there, as it certainly should.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:00 PM
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And if it's really true that any female candidate will have to work to prove she's tough, then I won't support any female candidate.

This is a principled stand. I'd agree with it if I thought the premise was true.

The US government erring on the side of being tough is always a bad thing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:01 PM
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Of course, if past results are to be considered, the next president will undoubtedly want to extend a regime of imperial control abroad and diminished liberty at home, and his or her success or failure will largely be determined by the relative power of progressive and regressive social movements. Accepting that, it makes sense to vote based purely on the symbolic value of the head of state.

I'm no longer quite that skeptical about partisan differences, but I do think that our power to affect presidential politics is radically disproportionate to the attention we pay to them.



Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:02 PM
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184: I'm on my way now, and John and I can hash this out over beer.

188: I swear to god I have not been baiting a soul in this thread. Until now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:05 PM
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186:"Saying, in effect, that one isn't going to vote for a woman until after her womanness isn't an issue is tatamount to saying one isn't going to vote for a woman, ever."

No, I am saying that, at least in America, if a woman gets elected President or appointed to the Supreme Court, it means her womanness is already not an issue. And for O'Connor and Ginzburg, it really wasn't. You don't break these barriers before they fall of their own accord.
HRC would not be a triumph, but a mere recognition.

I don't think it is an issue for HRC.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:08 PM
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I'll vote for Hillary if she's the candidate. Costs nothing, any Republican will be worse. I will absolutely not support her in the primaries. But I'll start thinking seriously about the Canada option, which is real for me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:08 PM
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I'm not sure how one would measure the relative power and progress of black men compared to white women without seriously begging the question. Moreover, I don't think it's helpful to see the two goals as in competition.

But B's right on this point. Until we have a female president or a black president, whether the candidate is female or black is always going to be a bit of an issue. So arguing that "I'd vote for a woman if it didn't matter that she was a woman" or "I'd vote for a black guy if it didn't matter that he was black" I think ignores the fact that if we do elect a black or female President that it will be a big goddamn deal. Until it happens, it's going to be a big goddamn deal.

(There's a weak parallel with Kennedy in the 60s having to reassure voters that he wouldn't take orders from the Pope... 40 years later and Kerry is having to reassure voters that he is Catholic enough... didn't remember a whole lot of Papacy-related worries.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:10 PM
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Dear god, people.

192: That was implicit in what I was saying. I went on to spell it out because Tim didn't understand my implication, nor did you.

196: Chill. I wasn't sure what you meant by pipe dream, and I was addressing the *statement* *in isolation*, which is why I quoted it in isolation. I did not say "foolishmortal is a sexist." I said "that statement is implicitly sexist" (more or less). If your "pipe dream" meant the same thing I was saying in 179, then it's all good.

198: Okay, on the "straight up hawk," that's not sexist. It's only when you pair it up with "if women have to be hawks, then I won't vote for women" that it sounds like you're saying what I took you to be saying and addressed in 189.

Now shut the fuck up, all of you, so I can get out of this apartment.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:10 PM
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in America, if a woman gets elected President or appointed to the Supreme Court, it means her womanness is already not an issue.

Horse. Shit.

(On the relative achievements of black men and women vis-a-vis token representation at the top vs. the vast disenfranchised middle, I'm basing my comparison solely on a kind of "it seems to be the case to me" thing that I don't have time to try to tease out because I REALLY HAVE TO GO NOW.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:12 PM
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And women candidates & appointees don't have to be Messiahs, but I do ask they be liberal or progressive. I do not think a Senate composed of 100 Hutchinsons & Doles would be at all good for women. I think Thatcher made a liberal woman PM less likely than more likely.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:15 PM
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209:Right back at ya. I can't remember much, if any, opposition to Meirs or Brown on the Circuit, on the basis of their gender.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:18 PM
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I'm at Applebees in the Radisson, remember.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:21 PM
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202: If it were true, you couldn't really do that in good conscience. I mean, given that the need for extra hawkishness would be inherent in the candidate's gender, rather than the candidate's policies, you'd necessarily be voting against her gender. It's a shitty dynamic, but liberalism would demand you set aside issues over which she had no control. So, the correct answer is: do whatever you can to make sure any female candidate will have to work to prove she's tough remains/becomes untrue.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:24 PM
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I'm at Applebees in the Radisson in hell, remember.

Fixed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:29 PM
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HRC would not be a triumph, but a mere recognition.

Agree with that, too. I think that people are radically underestimating the extent to which, quite rightly, women have worked their way into the political structure. One way to get at this is to ask, "If HRC fails, who's next?" And the answer is probably Napolitano or Sebelius. If Grahnholm weren't a naturalized citizen, and MI wasn't having trouble, she'd be thrown in there--George Will did a column to that effect, for gawd's sakes. If Nance hadn't been present at the foundation of the country, you might see her give it a shot. I was looking up figures for this a while ago, and women hold about a quarter of political offices in this country, and on the Dem side, it's a third, and it's up and down the chain. In all seriousness, it's a massive and (to me at least) surprising achievement. It's not that we're on the glide path to equality or anything, but that's a hell of an infrastructure to start with, and I'm pretty impressed that people were able to do it.

Given their strength, women putting HRC in the Presidency seems a reasonable application of their power, and that's the point of power. So it's hard for me to fault someone for saying, "I'm a woman and I want a woman President." What I find irritating is the claim that the fact that she's a woman isn't the best reason, by far, to vote for HRC. (Assuming you're an anti-Iraq War Dem.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:34 PM
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213:I guess I don't get it. HRC is tough. Feinstein is tough, Pelosi, Boxer, name her, if she is a viable candidate for high office, she has to be tough. She probably is not faking it to get past the gender gap.

I haven't seen a successful non-hawkish President in my lifetime, and I don't expect to before I die. A lot of better people than I have been trying to change that for a long time, with little progress.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:38 PM
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And the answer is probably Napolitano or Sebelius.

America is not ready for a never-married president whose sexuality can be tarred. Sebelius, on the other hand, seems like she's a political genius (or someone on her staff is). I could imagine her in national office someday, particularly because of the ways in which governors tend to be able to make the leap.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 3:48 PM
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Bob, in your demented way you're a hawk. Not me. I recognize that our next President will probably be a hawk, but if I have any choice I won't support him or her.

There's also a question as to how much hope I have for the world during the forseeable future.

Yes, it does piss me off to have people saying something like "Well, Armageddon is probably inevitable, but at least we can break the glass ceiling." To me the competence dodge just doesn't cut it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-15-07 4:04 PM
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Manhattan Transvestites for Truth

Try Gays for Guliani


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 4:13 AM
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Everybody here shares two key premises: 1. Hillary ain't close to being the best Democrat available, and 2. It's still a no-brainer to support Hillary over any Republican.

Yet it's a very contentious thread, with statements such as Emerson's 187: It's like you don't live in the same world I do.

I don't live in Emerson World. The wide, bright line for me is between Hillary and the Republicans, not between Hillary and the better Democrats. Hillary is prepared to make some bad choices on foreign policy, but the difference between "bad" and "insane" is a huge, huge difference.

As mcmanus said, I haven't seen a successful non-hawkish President in my lifetime, and I don't expect to before I die.

The U.S. can survive another hawk in the mold of Bill Clinton without too much damage (to the U.S., I mean). A Giuliani or McCain would be a shitstorm for everybody, so in that contest I am not merely a Hillary supporter, I am an enthusiastic Hillary supporter.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:26 AM
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All this Hillary-bashing gives me deja vu regarding Gore bashing. Entirely unrelated to policy positions, there was this general sense that Gore was unlikeable. In the classic formulation, he's not a guy you'd want to have a beer with.

I didn't get that with Al, and I don't get it with Hillary. Again, unrelated to policy positions, they both seem viscerally likeable to me. And Bush was always a smug, inarticulate, annoying prick.

That's not a pro-Hillary argument, or even an anti-Bush one; it's just an observation about personal taste. In this People-magazine world, I'm as far out of the mainstream on personality issues as mcmanus is on political ones.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:35 AM
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Bush was always a smug, inarticulate, annoying prick.

This was blatantly obvious at the time, too. To pretty much anyone, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:37 AM
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Anyone who didn't see things through the lens of the US media.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:40 AM
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I find it hard to be enthusiastic about the choice between bad and insane.

Clinton II will be working in a world prepared for her by Bush II. The hawkishness of Clinton I was pretty insignificant and mostly verbal. One of the big reasons why he's hated by those who hate him. Clinton II will not have the option of a Clinton I foreign policy; she'll face a world in turmoil, and she's committed herself to a more competent version of Bush's foreign policy. To me the competence dodge is phony. but that's Hillary's position.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:40 AM
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I can't remember much, if any, opposition to Meirs or Brown on the Circuit, on the basis of their gender.

That means nothing. First, because few people will out and out say "she's not qualified because she's a woman." Just as Sibyl and I know better than to say "I like her because she's a woman," most people know better than to say "I don't like her because she's a woman" (or "I don't like him because he's black.") But if you look at, say, the way that Condi Rice gets belittled as being in love with Bush, or having a good daughter complex, or how Janet Reno gets the "dyke" label, or how Meirs' being unmarried and having no children got criticized by pro-choice people (possibly including me, I don't remember) as demonstrating her lack of understanding of the abortion issue (not-so-subtle subtext: she's a sexless woman, i.e. an honorary man), all of that is still gendered criticism.

Second, because Meirs (who's Brown?) is an *extremely conservative* woman who put herself in the position of being nominated by a conservative administration *because* she's a woman who is anti-feminist on women's issues, just as Thomas put himself in the position of being nominated because he's a black man who is anti-affirmative action.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:44 AM
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I am guessing Pelosi or Sebelius will be the first woman president. Hillary's fine, but I just think we've seen so much of her in more socially conservative (not politically conservative) times that there's this anxiety that she's not really behind a lot of the issues that matter to me and my community. Did anyone else watch the LOGO forum? It was really great to see the candidates not primarily debating with each other, which can get silly and nitpicky, but each forced to respond really honestly to a panel about gay marriage and health care.

AFAICT, Hillary makes the gay community kinda sad. Melissa Etheridge started off by saying, "We felt so much hope in 1992, but gays were the first thrown under the bus. How do we know you won't throw us under the bus again?" It was harsh, but someone had to say it.

You should watch the Kucinich interview with LOGO, too. For twenty minutes, they ask, "So isn't it awesome that you want everything we want?" and he says, "That's because I love you! I have nothing but love for this world and for everyone in it, and I care about helping loving couples live wonderful lives together! But you're just going to go vote for Clinton or Edwards anyway, aren't you?" At the end, he stands up and hugs himself at everyone.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:49 AM
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Janice Rogers Brown. Famously depicted as Clarence Thomas in drag.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:50 AM
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Bush's likeability, like Reagan's incidently, is mostly propaganda. It's the sort of thing people believe is true without needing to ask themselves whether it is, really, true for them. I believe that most people don't share the viseral dislike, even repugnance for Bush's sort of person that is common to the highly educated. His "success" is an insult to everything such people value.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:50 AM
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The people who got thrown under the bus were labor and the peace Democrats. Women and gays have done OK, considering how reactionary the US has become since 1968; they're the only ones who are better off now than they were 20 or 40 years ago. In part this was because they were willing and able to play with "moderate" Republicans, who are mostly anti-labor and (quiet) hawks -- their moderation is limited to social issues.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:57 AM
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Hmm. I do "get" the Reagan likeability thing. That is to say, I found him likeable in the shallow sense we're talking about.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 8:58 AM
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Hey, I adore Pelosi but didn't y'all bitch about her when she became Speaker? And Sebelius is also teh totally awesome.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:00 AM
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229: This is what doesn't make sense to me, though. Was everyone thrown under the bus? What the hell kind of base did the Dems have beyond labor, peaceniks, women, gays, and (some) minority groups? I think this might be why we've been sucking it for so long, that the Democratic Party has been basically "for" people who are kind of squicked out by neoconservatism. Recently this has been changing, but this is why the Dems with the most experience are not necessarily doing well.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:04 AM
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but didn't y'all bitch about her when she became Speaker?

No. But don't let that slow your roll.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:05 AM
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231: I have never breathed a word against Pelosi, other than that I have often hoped she is gathering strength for a fucking thunderstorm. I know it's shitty to talk about women and personality in politics, as if it's magical for it to be so, but that woman has some major gravitas.

Sebelius kicks ass. Kansas was right about to fall off the face of the planet when she came along.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:06 AM
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This is what doesn't make sense to me, though. Was everyone thrown under the bus? What the hell kind of base did the Dems have beyond labor, peaceniks, women, gays, and (some) minority groups?

The DLC cares primarily about the super-rich, so yes, all those people could theoretically be thrown under the bus by a DLC president.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:07 AM
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234 is true for me as well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:08 AM
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I've never said anything bad about Pelosi, to my knowledge.

Anyone from the Wellstone branch of the party is going to dislike all of the major contenders. The only plausible candidate we've had is Feingold, and he backed out.

Besides being a hawk, Hillary is also a very corporate liberal, and she isn't really better than average on social issues either. If not for her stances, her disapproval rating would be something I wouldn't worry about, but as Yglesias says, she's centrist in policy but is perceived (and hated) as liberal -- the worst of all possible worlds.

Hillary's strength is mostly her strong ties to the big-money movers and shakers in the party and elsewhere (even Murdoch, some say) and no matter how realistic I have to be (granted the weakness of my own political faction) I will never be able to be enthusiastic about her.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:11 AM
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234 is true for me as well.

It's plausible that you kick ass, but I doubt Kansas was about to fall off the face of the planet before you came along.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:14 AM
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Jan Schakowsky is a lady Democrat I can support without reservation.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:14 AM
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237 gets it right.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:14 AM
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I have to confess that I don't have all that much gravitas, either.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:16 AM
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As John points out or at least implies somewhere upthread, the number of "hawks" is staggering.

A great annoyance of mine is that military history buffs, afficianados of technology, are hawks to a man. Exceptions, like me, are apparently very rare. Even in online forums, which usually manage to create like-minded communities where none could have existed before, irl, discussion is ruined by obvious presumptions.

I caught many of my lifelong enthusiasms from my much older brother: football and hockey (they've faded as enthusiams, but actual having played seriously means I can see things many fans can't) cars, guns and military. My brother holds these in much more normal ways than I do: I've had cars completely apart and drive an ancient Honda Civic, he hasn't but drives a Viper; I actually served and know a lot about guns and hardware, but have never owned one, he's got a small arsenal. And of course, he's a hawk.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:17 AM
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I've had cars completely apart

My brain: Completely apart from what? [tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick] Ohhhhhh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:20 AM
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I am also a military history buff of sorts. I have even read and liked two of Victor David Hanson's books, (though he was all wrong in one key respect).

Genghis Khan is my special interest, and I don't find him to be an attractive role model.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:20 AM
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Jan Schakowsky is my congressional rep, and a friend of my wife's. She's a good one all right.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:21 AM
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I saw Feingold at a small house party in L.A. He was great. At the end of the night, a front-row douchebag asked a question like this: "I just want to know, if someone with as strong beliefs and principles as you doesn't run for President, what does it say about our country?"

Feingold's response: "If a 5'6", twice-divorced Jew from Wisconsin doesn't seek the highest office in the land? I think the Republic will survive."


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:23 AM
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Hanson caught John Keegan's disease, so did Stephen Ambrose. The early books of all these guys are good, but they became wingers, if they weren't always. Susceptibility is gender-specific, I'm sad to say. Barbara Tuchman, Barbara Ehrenreich, and whoever wrote The Baroque Arsenal seem completely immune.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-16-07 9:28 AM
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One more thought on the military history/hawk distinction: an impressive exception to the simultaneity of these two things was the late Steve Gilliard. He had wide and insightful reading on the subject, even though quite young and without direct experience. I noticed as soon as I started reading him how excellent his judgment of military affairs was. He had an annoying macho streak of his own, but on those questions he was wonderfully independent.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08-18-07 9:20 PM
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