Re: Origin

1

I'm chastened, too! Chafed, chastened, soon to be chastised. What a day!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:14 AM
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don't quite see why you feel chastened;
your position, as i recall it, was not dependent on the source of the story.
what does this change about your earlier view?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:14 AM
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You think the daily show writers are on GOP talking points distribution lists?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:14 AM
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1--
and more likely to be chaste than chased.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:15 AM
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Why are you chastened? X can be true even if the RNC uses X to attack a Democratic candidate.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:16 AM
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Quel surprise.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:16 AM
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Why are you chastened?

Because I hadn't been paying enough attention to notice her laugh, and only started talking about it when everyone else was talking about it. Even if her laugh is weird, I still feel played.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:19 AM
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i mean, i agree that in some sense you got played,
and now you find you have been doing the rnc's bidding,
and that's gotta be chagrinning.

but you were not claiming earlier that this was totally totally your own unprompted observation, or anything, right?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:20 AM
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wrote 8 before 7 appeared.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:21 AM
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7: I don't think it matters. The offensive thing about the laugh isn't the laugh itself, but how Clinton uses it as a dodge to avoid discussing past political and policy failures, especially those that show massive errors in judgment (like her vote for the war or the health care task force). When she responds to people's valid concerns about her candidacy - people who are saying, "Look, you've fucked up X, Y, and Z in the past, why should you be president?" - with laughter, it gives the impression that she's humoring them by even responding, that she's in some sense dismissing their concerns, and that she doesn't care all that much about the subject at hand. That she invariably follows up with a rhetorical dodge doesn't help.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:28 AM
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#10 is totally irrelevant because the RNC and therefore the press's line of attack has been "Lulz her laugh is insincere and harsh to my ear", not "She is being condescending and ignoring the issues", which would be a slightly more fair attack although still not as fair as simply looking at people's record.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:29 AM
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although still not as fair as simply looking at people's record

What, we're electing presidents by looking at the issues now? Awesome! Make way for President Kucinich!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:35 AM
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AAAUUUUUGGGHHHHHHHH WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE SEE WHAT I SEE

BUNCH OF RETARDS


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:36 AM
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13--
if you could be *slightly* more specific?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:38 AM
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#10 was pretty much the Daily Show's take on it, which occurred before most of the cackle wave hit the media. I, too, was rather annoyed that the ensuing focus was on the sound of the laughter, rather than the inappropriateness of the dodge. In doing so, they let Hilary off easy....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:38 AM
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how Clinton uses it as a dodge

Bullshit. From what I've seen, she laughs and then *answers the question*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:43 AM
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Bullshit. From what I've seen, she laughs and then *answers the question*.

No, she laughs and then slithers out of answering it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:49 AM
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Is her slithering any different than the slithering of any other candidate? If so, then y'all can talk about the slithering, not the laugh. If not, then you can talk about slithering as a general candidate tactic.

The laugh is clearly an attempt to soften up/ humanize her. If she doesn't laugh, she gets the "robot"/"bitch" criticism. If she laughs, she gets the "cackle" criticism. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:55 AM
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Anyway. It would be nice if we could dismiss the laugh issue much the same way we would dismiss, oh, say, Edwards's hair issue or expensive house issue, or Obama's smoking issue, rather than pulling this "well, it may be a RNC talking point, but..." bullshit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:57 AM
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Is her slithering any different than the slithering of any other candidate?

She does share the unhinged jaw thing with Giuliani.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:57 AM
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7: I didn't instinctively reject as inauthentic the recent "escalating practical jokes" or "Craigslist market value of attractive women" links, as I'm pretty sure you did. It boggles my mind that you could be taken in by that lame piece of crap published in the NYT. As you search for further wisdom, you might reflect on why you find it so easy to accept such a frame regarding Hillary, when you are so savvy elsewhere. (The "played" chain here, by the way, is: NYT gets played by Republicans, ogged gets played by NYT.)

15: This is a pretty odd viewing of the Daily Show take. Jon Stewart was making fun of Hillary's laugh. It's a cheap shot, but hey, that's the business Stewart is in. IIRC, his only "substantive" contributions were his implication that Hillary is a phony who is trying to humanize herself in a calculating fashion, and his remark that the Chris Wallace question really was ludicrous. (The chain of "played" causality here is Stewart getting played by Republican/media stereotypes about Hillary.)

10: In fact, Hillary has had a lot to say about her previous effort at healthcare, and her Iraq War vote. You don't like what she has to say (and neither do I on the War at least) but suggesting that she dismisses these questions - or did on those Sunday shows - by laughing seems to betray a desire to fit Hillary into a preferred narrative. I bet you'd recognize the frame if the NYT was writing about how Gore is boring and effemminate, or how Edwards is pretty and effeminate.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:05 PM
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Is her slithering any different than the slithering of any other candidate?

It's different from her fellow Democrats in that she's dodging on the war. She's gone out of her way - more than any other Dem candidate - to position herself as a hawk, maintaining that her vote for the war was justified, that America is safer post-war than it was pre-war, voting for Lieberman-Kyl, etc. In the GOP field this kind of behavior is de rigueur, because they're all batshit insane; among the Democrats, however, you're inevitably going to get the odd questioner who's not going to be polite enough to pretend that Clinton represents a liberal policy agenda. That means that Clinton has to dodge these questions a lot more than the average candidate, because the people asking these questions aren't just Fox News zombies or primary opponents - they're members of her base who know she's sold them out.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:11 PM
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22: That still doesn't make the 'cackling' story valid. You've got legitimate reasons, and ones which I largely share, to oppose her candidacy, but going along with stories fed by the RNC into the media about how whichever Democrat looks strongest lately is ineffably repulsive in some oh-so-revealing-of-fundamental-character-way is still going to be counterproductive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:16 PM
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What will be interesting to see, by the way, is whether Hillary stops laughing now that the media has decided it isn't permitted. That would be calculating.

Of course, it would also be rightly regarded as a calculated response if she keeps laughing. (As B points out, every now and then other politicians - even Republicans ! - calculate the impact of superficial attributes.)

Still, I hope her calculation leads her to believe that she can override the media on this seemingly frivolous issue. There's no way she is going to get cut any slack by the media on her personal attributes, and an every effort to comply with the simplistic media narrative - rather than change it - damages the national discourse.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:21 PM
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IIRC, the cackle issue wasn't brought up to illustrate how Clinton dodges questions, but to show that she's not the sort of person you could have a beer with and therefore should trust to run the country. In other words, it has about as much substance as Edwards' haircuts or Kerry's ordering green tea at a diner. Whether it also is used to dodge questions is an interesting point, but let's not pretend that's what the substance of the memo was. Haha, HRC has a weird laugh, the terrorists will win and she's probably a wiccan lesbian.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:35 PM
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19. These sideshow issues, i.e., cackles, haircuts, smoking, etc., makes slithering possible. Where's the beef?


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:38 PM
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addition: cleavage.


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:40 PM
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25--
right.
in fact, the popular position here seemed to be
"i don't like her cackle, i cannot explain why, indeed i am affronted at any attempt to explain why, and i'm going to elevate my pavlovian response into a legitimate reason for voting against her."

it's my irrational preference, and instead of questioning it, i'm going to endorse it and base policy on it.

so all this stuff about her dodging questions, bears about the same relation to the original stance as bringing democracy does to finding wmds. post-hoc rationalization.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:40 PM
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22: stras, to the degree that you point out positions clearly taken by Hillary, you are undercutting your claim that she is obscuring her positions. Her narrative on her war vote is arguably a bit nuanced, but the unnuanced version (perhaps the accurate version) is that she voted to support the war and, all things being equal, she'd do so again. She says that. Say what you will about that position, but it doesn't seem obscure.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:48 PM
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post-hoc rationalization

You know, everyone commenting in this thread does so in good faith, I think. It doesn't seem right - it seems patronizing, among other things - to accuse them of post-hoc rationalization. But I gotta say, I have trouble reading this any other way.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:53 PM
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What will be interesting to see, by the way, is whether Hillary stops laughing now that the media has decided it isn't permitted. That would be calculating.

She's smart. She's going to make a joke out of it. Just like it is. The RNC is so desperate. Don't have a plan to stabilize Iraq? Run the general up a pole as a policy-maker and go nuts over a newspaper ad. Don't have a solution for emergency-room primary care for millions? Get all indignant over a fake laugh.

So Hillary's laugh is fake. BFD. When compared to other candidates, who answers questions more directly than her? Only those who have no chance of winning.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:54 PM
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I still maintain that her laugh is perfectly natural and charming.

But the REAL point of this entire comment thread should be to congratulate Ogged for apologizing for something! Congratulations, Ogged!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:04 PM
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30--
yeah, i probably shouldn't go casting asparagus. rationalization is a less severe charge than bad faith, but even that's more than i should allege.
might be different people involved, for instance--maybe
stras always said back then what stras is saying now.
i didn't track the original donnybrook that closely.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:04 PM
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33--
god, i hate it when b. cackles like that.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:05 PM
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A very important element in evaluating candidates, in our system of democracy, is seeing how are mocked on late night television. Back in 2000, the NYT had a good article on the way the formulaic jokes about Bush and Gore effected the outcome of the election. And everyone knows the first Bush lost in 1992 because Dana Carvey was so damn funny.

Things are looking good for team D this season on the mockery front. The cackle won't make a good SNL tag line. But Darryl Hammond is already rolling out a good Fred Thompson impersonation (although it does look a bit like his Dick Cheney impersonation.)

We need to seriously consider how our candidates will play on late night TV. It is worth remembering, that by nominating a woman, we would dodging some of late night's best impressionists.

Am I right, do we have the advantage here?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:11 PM
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my laugh is almost certainly more annoying than Hillary's--it's been described as a cackle by a good friend, unprompted by the RNC.

When did campaign coverage become so relentlessly trivial? Not a rhetorical question--I remember getting pretty annoyed in 2000; was it like this in 1992 or 1996?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:12 PM
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35: No. I give you even money odds that Hillary is going to be impersonated by a man, much as Janet Reno was.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:14 PM
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Fuck, I didn't think of that. And the drag gives you instant funny. That's no good at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:16 PM
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When did campaign coverage become so relentlessly trivial?

1988. 1992 was a small improvement, and then it was back to the crap. 1980 was the last gasp of the old school, where they did that thing called 'reporting'. 1984 was just weird, since about half the reportage concerned image. Not the images themselves, or what people thought of the images, but who was trying to do what with images. Which is not to say that earlier elections did not feature trivial crap.

max
['I am thinking cable news turned the tide.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:21 PM
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If you want "hard to make fun of," it has to be Obama.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:21 PM
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40: Another reason to throw my support behind Barry O.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:23 PM
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As you search for further wisdom, you might reflect on why

Don't make me beat you up, football.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:33 PM
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So far, it seems there is exactly one person who can make fun of Barack Obama.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:38 PM
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43: You forgot Tim.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:05 PM
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Why o why does ogged refuse to credit his sources?

Sexism, that's why.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:11 PM
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As perhaps max does, I think the media watershed year was 1980. Before and during that election cycle, coverage was more substantive. Meta-reporting pre-1980 and during 1980 was an honorable function of the media, and consisted largely of media self-criticism. That changed with Reagan's election.

After Reagan's victory, the media felt the need to explain how this buffoon became president. As Reagan's success peaked, the narrative gradually changed from "here's how he puts one over on people" to "isn't he a great leader for being able to move people the way he does."

The media has always favored the horse-race narrative, but that narrative was, at one time, more grounded in issues. I swear to you, I detect an active preference in the media for bullshit, not mere credulousness.

For example, anybody can make a war hero look like a patriot. What enchants the media is if you can take a war hero and successfully portray him as a coward and traitor. (And if you do it while portraying a coward and fool as a hero and military genius - well, wow, aren't you amazing?) So Swift Boat coverage gets divorced from the underlying facts, and the overall presentation of the Swift Boat Vets becomes favorable.

Successful manipulation of the media is something the media now admires. It didn't used to be that way.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:15 PM
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46: I know what you're talking about. There's something weird & masochistic about it. "Spin me! Manipulate me! Lie to me! Oh Karl, you're so good at what you do..."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:35 PM
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Because I hadn't been paying enough attention to notice her laugh

Weren't you the one who was so insistent that people notice these things whether the media makes hay about them or not?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:27 PM
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Yes, assuming they're watching television news or political coverage, which I haven't been doing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:29 PM
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Um, most people don't watch jack shit about politics, sweetie.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:31 PM
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Most people also don't vote, fatty.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:33 PM
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Yer damn right I'm fat. I'm eating whole milk yogurt for dinner RIGHT NOW.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:34 PM
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Do you know what I simply lurve in my yogurt?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:35 PM
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No idea, but mine is greek style whole milk yogurt *with* added cream. And honey. Damn good for a pathetic dinner.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:36 PM
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Oh, now I get it. Shut up, Stanley.

Though come to think of it I do have some ginger/macademia nut granola (the loose kind, not bars) in the cupboard. But I'd have to get up to get it, so fuck that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:37 PM
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It's damn near 2 and I have nothing to say against Hillary, so she must be a shoe-in. I'm quite sure she's reading this in her bunker, cackling with glee.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:47 PM
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Shoo-in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:48 PM
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LB, please tell us you're commenting from home.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:52 PM
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Etymology?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:52 PM
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Oh yeah, and 58. I'm much more concerned with your sanity than I am with the etymology of shoo-in. Honest.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:54 PM
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7 is in good company. The day after the cackle got mentioned here, it was all over BBC Radio 4 (bloody Justin Webb swallows everything the RNC wants him to), not to mention the main Dutch tv news.



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10- 9-07 1:17 AM
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