Re: How to help: set things on fire

1

The Nation's OK. Hitchens left a long time ago, and the crossword puzzle is my favorite.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:20 AM
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Yeah, but so predictable! and their theology is totally weird.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:22 AM
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We hates the Richard Cohen.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:28 AM
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Why are you playing the race card like this, Labs?!??


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:28 AM
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Ha! But The Nation once, a bunch of years ago now, pulled a hilarious, and related, stunt. Marty Peretz gave some talk where he said predictably racist things about black folks and their impoverished culture, blah blah. So The Nation proceeded to call a bunch of Jewish leaders asking them to denounce Peretz. Some people reacted angrily, others cracked up instantly and said, "Touché."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:29 AM
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Um, guys -- he means the Nation of Islam.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:36 AM
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Which street is that?! I swear, I've been by there.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:38 AM
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5: damn, I think I owe them a big check for doing that.

It's E 74th st, M LeB. My guess is that the Chicago pastor is favorably disposed toward the Minister because of the social programs.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:41 AM
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Try again, Kotsko.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:41 AM
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6: Wow. Are you kidding with that or not?

7: I feel it's in the high 40s, near Farrakhan's house? Not sure though. I just know that when I got a *very* bad parking spot at school, I sometimes had to park up near there. He has groovy crescent windows and crescents worked into his wrought iron gate! I would also smile at the Fruit of Islam out front, just to make them give me the even-stinkier eye.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:41 AM
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4:Word. The Obama race-baiting arrives at Unfogged, and best of all, it is Fontana Labs who threatens all us white people with violence if the black candidate is not nominated. Set things on fire for Obama?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:44 AM
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I knew this was gonna happen years ago. It's the war. War makes Democrats crazy.

Kerry is looking better & better.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:46 AM
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My guess is that the Chicago pastor is favorably disposed toward the Minister because of the social programs.

It's not relevant what the organization actually does or leads people to do. What's relevant is its opinion about entities which don't care about it and which it has no power to affect.

After all, that sentence could be written about Hamas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Except for the words "Chicago", "pastor" and "Minister"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:47 AM
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The last sentence of the post is obviously a reference to the Nation of Islam, yes.

It's not setting things on fire for Obama per se. It's setting things on fire because of the bullshit that a black candidate reveals. One good reason for me to vote for Edwards is that I will not survive the general election if I have to listen to the gender and race baiting. My head will just explode by August at the latest.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:47 AM
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14 gets it right. If the race-baiting from extremely mainstream commenters through November (and beyond!) is going to be as blatant as this, maybe we should trade the media's fickle love of Obama for HRC's undeniably good campaign organization.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:49 AM
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Funny, a blogger we know once compared the Nation to Hamas-- crazy views, some good stuff done locally.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:50 AM
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One good reason for me to vote for Edwards is that I will not survive the general election if I have to listen to the...race baiting.

This--and the fact that Edwards seems unlikely to get the nomination--is more or less why I've come around on an HRC nomination. Once it's clear he's not going to win, I hope Obama rolls up his nomination campaign relatively quickly.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:51 AM
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15: Yesterday, Yglesias really hit on the key point w/r/t Hillary: "frankly, the idea that Clinton would use dishonest political tactics to beat the GOP is, in my view, probably the most appealing thing about her." I agree entirely.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:52 AM
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"Farrakhan's conservative social and economic agenda finds parallels with Larouche's fascist program..." ...Michael Pugliese in CT comments

Hmmm. I wasn't really aware, never fiving Farrakhan a moments thought, but all know I am very worried that Obama is not a progressive. And I am very far from the only one. So the hell with Farrakhan, but I want to know more about Obama's pastor.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:55 AM
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The Obama race-baiting

Wait, you're joking, right? I hope?

One good reason for me to vote for Edwards is that I will not survive the general election if I have to listen to the gender and race baiting sexist and racist bullshit.

Fixed that for you.

Seriously, though, I decided last night that I am going to declare a bitch moratorium on discussing race and gender in the election. Not really, but I wish I could. I am so, so sick of reading about this crap and people letting it get in the way of, you know, like, talking about the fucking candidates themselves. Or acknowledging that the fact of the matter is that *all three candidates are perfectly fine, and in the event of any one of them getting elected, really, the nuances of difference between their individual policy proposals will be erased by the reality of dealing with congress anyway.*

Gah.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:56 AM
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Just a couple of days ago Kaus mentioned that Obama's church could be a source of trouble for him and now Richard Cohen writes this article. Does Cohen get his marching orders from Kaus or are they both getting orders from somone else?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:56 AM
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I have no idea what 20.1 means.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:58 AM
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It's probably race-baiting for me to say that I'm appalled that the Unfogged honkies are saying they hope Obama loses because they don't want to hear the racists talking about the blacks any more.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 9:59 AM
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E 74th st

Really? Huh. I've never been there. Maybe I was dreaming it.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:00 AM
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22: It means that Obama isn't the one doing the race-baiting, and that rejecting the black candidate because people are racist (or, as I have argued before, the woman candidate because people are sexist, i.e., because she's "divisive" or "unelectable") is astonishingly offensive and counterproductive.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:01 AM
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24: Yeah, I was sure I'd seen it, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:02 AM
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23: I'm pretty sure they're saying they hope Obama loses because if he wins, the racists will talk racistly about him and thus cause him to lose to the Republican candidate.

Also, TPM claims Roger Cohen has "signed on with the get-Jews-scared-of-blacks crowd". I think he should consider that Cohen is not one of the spin people but that he is, in fact, one of the Jews who has already been scared by dishonest spin people.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:02 AM
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Continuing 27.1, I look forward to seeing what effect the newly non-veiled racist attacks have on Obama in the primary. Hopefully very little. I could imagine that it will be very little. But it all depends on what the media focuses on, which semi-depends on whether Obama continues to seem like someone the media trusts.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:04 AM
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the nuances of difference between their individual policy proposals will be erased by the reality of dealing with congress anyway.

And I don't think so, as I have said, a landslide "change" President can have a radically effective honeymoon.

The landslide is starting to look less likely now.

Damn MY & EK et al. Edwards is not out of this, inless he is ignored and discounted. MY posted head-to-head matchups yesterday that included Giuliani but not Edwards.

And incidentally, the Clinton & Obama campaigns devouring each other is exactly the scenario that gives us Edwards.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:04 AM
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27.1: A distinction without a fucking difference.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:08 AM
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25:C'mon. one of the "racist remarks" was that Clinton called Obama "naive", meaning childlike like all other blacks.

It is the Obama camp injecting race into the campaign to drive up SC turnout. I always knew that Obama would have to try to alienate the black base from Clinton to win the nomination. Why would HRC want to alienate blacks?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:10 AM
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What, HRC is appealing to the racist wing of the Democratic Party? Gimme a break.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:11 AM
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I'm appalled that the Unfogged honkies are saying they hope Obama loses because they don't want to hear the racists talking about the blacks any more.

Don't look at me--I'm walking my lily-white ass to the voting booth on the 26th and voting for Obama, in spite of all that, and partly, even, because I want to see just who slithers out when all those rocks are turned over.

But if Clinton does win the nomination, I will take comfort in sweet, delicious, booze and the knowledge that #18 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:14 AM
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If the race-baiting from extremely mainstream commenters through November (and beyond!) is going to be as blatant as this

It's going to be way, way more blatant than this. The real pros in this game, the Republicans, have held their fire so far.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:16 AM
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A big ugly debate about race turns people off politics. It deflates the idealistic Obama-balloon. As a tactic, it does redound to HRC's benefit.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:16 AM
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What, HRC is appealing to the racist wing of the Democratic Party? Gimme a break.

No, but she may very likely be dog-whistling to squishy Dems like 14 & 17.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:18 AM
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27.1: A distinction without a fucking difference.

Well, there is a difference, B. You can't wish away racist rhetoric simply by ignoring it. It is and will be a sigificant factor in the general election.

The question is just whether one thinks it's reason enough to oppose Obama's candidacy. And there's no right answer there, simply considerations -- all cogent -- on each side of the question.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:19 AM
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It is and will be a sigificant factor in the general election.

Because it is, even when the Dem candidate is white. And parsimon is exactly right: declaring that it is wrong is an easy call, but it doesn't change the equation any.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:21 AM
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Let's be honest, though. For any African-American to be elected President, we're going to have to have this nauseating, stupid, offensive discussion. Obama is as close to an ideal black first President as we're going to get (from our side, at least). Just about every flaw in him has an obverse that is upside (e.g., not "black" enough? Also not associated with the dismissed-by-whites post-1970 civil rights movement).

So let's just suck it up and deal with the racist bullshit now. I'm not saying anyone has to be pro-Obama for the sake of dealing with this - if he's not your candidate, that's fine. But let's not get into meta-bullshit about wanting to avoid an ugly debate. This debate must come someday; may as well be today.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:23 AM
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Well, there is a difference, B. You can't wish away racist rhetoric simply by ignoring it. It is and will be a sigificant factor in the general election.

The question is just whether one thinks it's reason enough to oppose Obama's candidacy. And there's no right answer there, simply considerations -- all cogent -- on each side of the question.

Maybe this is just my failure of imagination, but I don't understand at all how choosing to oppose the black candidate because of racist rhetoric is anything other than a racist decision -- or at the very least a decision that bolsters the racist rhetoric.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:29 AM
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See, that's the thing, JRoth. It's pretty hard to "suck it up and deal with the racist bullshit," when it's miasmating from nowhere and everywhere all at once. The whole debate creates despair: it'll never go away, the bullshit is too entrenched, hope is naive, might as well vote for compromised Clinton.

I'm pro-Obama, so I'm closing my ears to all of the discussion about who started it; I'm just going to wear my youthful idealism and tell the haters to fuck off.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:30 AM
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Maybe this is just my failure of imagination, but I don't understand at all how choosing to oppose the black candidate because of racist rhetoric is anything other than a racist decision -- or at the very least a decision that bolsters the racist rhetoric.

It could also be a decision based on political expedience. In fact, it is.

Personally I would like to renounce my earlier claims in this thread that the media is likely to be any more unfair to Obama than they would be to any other Democratic candidate. Next week it'll be HRC's turn again.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:32 AM
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Oh god, the ever-expanding net of attributions of racism. Look, I was totally kidding about voting behavior in my original remark; the point is just that it's excruciating to listen to all of this, and apo is right to say that we have seen only the smallest tip of the iceberg.

On the other hand, if you think electability concerns are germane to primary choices (not crazy!) and you think (as an empirical matter) race affects electabilty (not crazy!)...well, you see where the inference leads.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:32 AM
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37: The difference is what, exactly? Oh, we hate racism, but we hope the black man doesn't win so we don't have to listen to racist things. Oh, we're racist, so we hope the black man doesn't win. What, precisely, is the meaningful distinction between those two statements?

And isn't this the same stupid fucking discussion we had about Clinton's candidacy for months on end?

God I hate this fucking country. And everyone in it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:32 AM
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I agree with 39.

I think Clinton's gambit, and the execution of that gambit, have been quite clever (in an evil genius kind of way), and I think Obama's nonconfrontational response was also very smart, purely on a practical level. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:32 AM
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35: A big ugly debate about race turns people off politics. It deflates the idealistic Obama-balloon. As a tactic, it does redound to HRC's benefit.

39: So let's just suck it up and deal with the racist bullshit now.

There's something important to this, I think: Obama's campaign so far has been all about resolutely refusing to talk (directly) about race, as a divisive issue that's beneath the nation's dignity. I'm not sure that's sustainable, or even wise.

Of course, what people are calling "race baiting" is precisely an attempt to make him talk about it. Perhaps on the assumption that he'll screw it up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:33 AM
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Although (and while I certainly can't speak for what Labs meant, the following is what I would have meant had I said the same thing), there are different kinds of wishes -- those you would work to bring about, and those you wouldn't because it would be wrong. I do sincerely wish I didn't have to spend the summer and fall listening to racist/sexist bullshit, or to the almost certain to happen missteps in handling the racist/sexist bullshit. I wouldn't take any action to make the bullshit less likely, because the only immediately effective way to do that is to keep women and blacks out of the public eye, but I'm still engaging in some anticipatory cringing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:33 AM
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29: To have a landslide "change" president, wouldn't you need to have a real "change" candidate in the offing?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:34 AM
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40 was me.

declaring that it is wrong is an easy call, but it doesn't change the equation any

This is where I disagree, and where I think JRoth hit the nail on the head in 39. What "doesn't change the equation" is declaring that of course I think racism is awful, but unfortunately I have to oppose the black candidate because he's black and other people are racists. Good Lord, if this crowd can't stomach the inevitable discussion of race Obama's candidacy engenders, we are further from hope than I'd been led to believe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:35 AM
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choosing to oppose the black candidate because of racist rhetoric

Nobody here has proposed that, or used it to explain their choice of candidates; I believe people are taking Labs' comment more literally than he meant it. My personal belief is that America isn't going to elect a black president until he's been vice president and allowed a critical mass of the waverers on race to get comfortable with seeing it. But I'll still vote for Obama before I vote for Clinton, because he's better on foreign policy, and I'm not recommending anybody base their vote on avoiding the inevitable race-baiting.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:35 AM
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the ever-expanding net of attributions of racism

And (implied) attributions of race-baiting, and so on, and so on....

Yes, the language of America is both racially and sexually coded. The language of politics is racially and sexually coded. That shit is going to be in there. Let's obsess about it, and use it to label the two likely Democratic front-runners as, respectively, racist gender-baiters and sexist race-baiters because, you know, the Republicans are gonna do it!! So we gotta make sure we get there first!!

Urgh.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:36 AM
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It would be nice if the discussion of why people won't vote for a black candidate were conducted by the ostensibly non-racist liberals listening for other people being racist instead of projecting what they might say all the time.

Joel Stein:

Alot of liberals say they're not supporting Barack Obama in the primaries because an African American can't carry the South in the general election -- which is a liberal's clever way of saying that he won't vote for a black person. But, it seems, they're wrong. Because while Iowa and New Hampshire aren't technically in the South, they are full of hicks, which is what rich liberals actually mean when they refer to "the South." You have to live among rich liberals to understand what they're saying. You'll never believe what they mean by "middle class." They mean themselves.

Also, in his predictions column:

Barack Obama wins the general election but does not carry the Northeast, due to New Englanders' increasingly implausible excuse, "It's not that we're racist; it's just that the South would never elect a black person."

Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:37 AM
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Of course, what people are calling "race baiting" is precisely an attempt to make him talk about it. Perhaps on the assumption that he'll screw it up.

Or on the assumption that talking about it can't be done by a black man seeking the presidency. I think this assumption is correct - if Obama takes the bait, Clinton wins. It's pretty clear that Obama thinks so, too.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:37 AM
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Lizard Breath, why don't you and I start looking into yoga retreats together now?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:38 AM
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I enjoy race boating.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:39 AM
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It could also be a decision based on political expedience. In fact, it is.

Of course it is. And if even the progressives continue to concede the idea that buckling in the face of racism rather than confronting it head on is the politically expedient thing to do, we're not getting anywhere.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:40 AM
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Nobody here has proposed that, or used it to explain their choice of candidates; I believe people are taking Labs' comment more literally than he meant it.

No, only B is doing that. And I thought I had dealt with that in 27.1.

It seems clear to me that "A black man is not qualified to be president" is a racist statement. "Someone who knows people who know people who admire Louis Farrakhan" is also a racist statement. "A black man will not be elected president because there are too many racists out there", is not a racist statement, although it might be inaccurate.

There are definitely more people out there susceptible to racist insinuations than there are who respond to anti-woman insinuations in the same way. For one thing, there are more women than men.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:40 AM
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I understand this is a touchy subject with people, but let's remember what we're talking about here. Everybody here has already chosen their preferred candidate. We're not trying to lobby one another (or at least I'm not); we're simply analyzing, like we do every other topic that comes up.

But if y'all are determined to call somebody a racist, then go ahead.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:40 AM
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the South would never elect a black person

Because there are no black people in the south.

Here's a thought: maybe it's not the Clintons who are, you know, making this into a big fat fucking issue. Maybe it's . . . us.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:41 AM
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Obama & Race

Steve Clemons gave Obama's Iowa Victory Speech to a media academic, who says what I thougt as I listened to O's speech.

O:"They said this day would never come."

Who said? Why, the racists of course. The Obama campaign has had race at its center from day one.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:41 AM
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Racist.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:41 AM
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(And, just to make it clear that I'm talking about the whole fucking ball of wax: maybe it's not Obama who's making Clinton's gender into a big fat fucking issue, etc.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:42 AM
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I'm out of here after this, but suppose one believes that, when push comes to shove, Obama won't win because enough people have enough worries about a black man being president. What should one do? On one hand, yes, voting against Obama in the primaries is a sad capitulation to racism. On the other hand is President McCain or Guiliani.

The line taken in 49, e.g., and elsewhere seems to attribute insincerity to the hand-wringing-- which, if true, would be annoying, but I don't see any reason other than straw-man construction to think that people who see race as one among many strategic considerations in voting are being insincere in noting the badness of the sort of choice we might (given plausible empirical claims) face.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:42 AM
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I'm kind of glad to see Obama having to deal with this stuff now because he's going to have to sooner or later and we might as well see how he handles it. But I'm not real impressed by HRC's willingness to burn down the party in order to get her own indispensable ass elected (and any deniability she might have on the race stuff is absent in the Nevada lawsuit). I'll vote for her if it comes to that, but we've seen this show before and it wasn't a lot of fun.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:42 AM
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54: Maybe one that's more about the meditation and less about the stretching? You would not believe how inflexible I am.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:42 AM
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There are definitely more people out there susceptible to racist insinuations than there are who respond to anti-woman insinuations in the same way. For one thing, there are more women than men.

And there are more non-black people than there are men.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:44 AM
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Of course, what people are calling "race baiting" is precisely an attempt to make him talk about it. Perhaps on the assumption that he'll screw it up.

And yet it's also race baiting. The repugnant Robert Johnson's comments can't really be seen any other way -- HRC let an African-American surrogate whack on him, because it's a no-lose situation for her. I think the puerile Mickey Kaus hit is coming from elsewhere, and Richard Cohen is probably dumb enough to be spun rather than spinning.

(The pastor stuff isn't new, either; I remember last year that we were getting told, probably via goat-blowing Kaus, that Obama wasn't a Christian because his UCC chuch was too black.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:44 AM
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suppose one believes that, when push comes to shove, Obama won't win because enough people have enough worries about a black man being president. What should one do?

One should not believe that.

This is not a insincerity issue, this is a wrongness issue.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:45 AM
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64 gets it right.

Here's a thought: maybe it's not the Clintons who are, you know, making this into a big fat fucking issue. Maybe it's . . . us.

No, it's them too. Bob Johnson on their behalf, most recently.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:46 AM
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only B is doing that

if y'all are determined to call somebody a racist

Argh. I'm not calling someone a racist. I'm saying that it is *effectively racist*, yes, to argue that "A black man will not be elected president because there are too many racists out there" because *it is focusing on the candidate's race to the exclusion of everything else about the candidate*.

Just as it is effectively sexist to argue that a woman will not be elected because she's too divisive, since lots of people hate uppity women, etc.

Essentially, we are talking about being defensive about race (and maybe sex). We're letting imaginary racists turn the entire discussion into one about race coding.

By "we" I mean we, the people, okay? Not you, personally. And I do think that the media is, in fact, doing this already, and that to some extent we are reacting to--and thereby enabling/perpetuating it. And it's driving me batshit crazy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:46 AM
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Because there are no black people in the south.

I recommend you examine the demographics of the House districts in the South that are represented by black Congresspeople. Then examine how many black senators and governors are holding office in the South right now. I agree that it's disgraceful, but it still is.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:46 AM
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61 to 6, of course.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:46 AM
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Richard Cohen is probably dumb enough to be spun rather than spinning.

Pwned by 27, amusingly.

Cohen really is a disgrace.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:47 AM
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68: I'm not endorsing the proposition, but you seem convinced that it's clearly false, and I disagree. It seems to me to be at least plausible to believe that there are enough racists, etc. etc.

Ok, must run. Sorry to inflame then disappear.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:47 AM
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70 is exactly right. The media hypotheticals are drowing out any surmised racism, and B is batshit crazy.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:48 AM
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71: I think the point is that black people in the Southern states would contribute to the popular vote, which would go a long way toward a landslide moral victory.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:48 AM
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We're not trying to lobby one another

I think this is correct - until now: I'd argue that Clinton's tactic creates a real issue that should make people, on substantive grounds, more inclined to oppose Clinton and more inclined to favor Obama.

I'm still an Edwards guy, but that's how it plays for me. I'm an Edwards guy in large part because I think he does the most to change the national dialogue in a constructive direction - that he puts issues on the table that wouldn't be there otherwise. Absent Edwards, the things that Clinton is bringing to the table are pretty nasty - and while I agree with JRoth that there's a useful function in bringing these things up, I think it would also be useful if the electorate denounced it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:48 AM
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I'm sure the hand-writing is completely sincere. I'm trying to point out that, with the very best intentions in the entire world!!!, it nonetheless contributes to *the very problem that it thinks it's trying to avoid.*

And with that said, I'm going to go do something else.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:49 AM
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59: Here's a thought: maybe it's not the Clintons who are, you know, making this into a big fat fucking issue. Maybe it's . . . us.

I call bullshit, I'm afraid. Are you saying that if we refuse to take Obama's race into consideration, decline to discuss its ramifications nationally, we'll be okay?

That's just not going to work.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:49 AM
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Meanwhile, the red state Democratic governors all seem to be endorsing Obama. They seem to think he would help increase the number of voters for down-ticket Democratic candidates.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:50 AM
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I recommend you examine the demographics of the House districts in the South that are represented by black Congresspeople. Then examine how many black senators and governors are holding office in the South right now. I agree that it's disgraceful, but it still is.

I'm vaguely sympathetic to the idea that gerrymandered majority-minority districts are an idea whose time has passed, or at least that they're not unambiguously a good thing. But I dunno.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:52 AM
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black people in the Southern states would contribute to the popular vote

Which they already do, every election.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:52 AM
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Something that absolutely drives me insane (and perfectly reasonable people do it because it's conventional usage now, I'm not trying to claim that this is motivated by evil, just that its effects are really bad) is that the same words: race baiting, playing the race card, are used to refer to actively being racist and to talking about other people being racist.

And these are fundamentally different activities. The former is always evil, the latter is generally necessary and important, but might conceivably be honestly mistaken, or recklessly mistaken, or actively malicious. But even if it's actively malicious, it's still a completely different form of malice than racism, and using the same vocabulary for them both muddles up the issue in a very harmful way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:53 AM
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the South would never elect a black person

But Southern Democrats could nominate a black person to be President. Give all the blacks to Obama in the Mississippi Primary, and how many Democrats are left? Three? Obama's path to the nomination was with the young creatives, anti-war voters, blacks, and white guilt.

When I heard the unifying message based on generational warfare, I knew Obama was doing the typical Republican tactic of pre-emptively projecting your own tactics onto the opposition, and that he meant to run a bitter divisive campaign, while attempting to blame his opponents for the divisiveness.

I have seen this, to mention another of the Obama tactics, at ObsWi. Obama loves them Republicans, and the Republicans love Obama. I am just being mean and divisive to object to bi-partianship.

Do you see the pattern? Division between generations, between partisans, and now race. Of course this latest is from Obama. He is running a scorched-earth campaign where the only loyalty left standing will be love for Obama.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:54 AM
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No one that I've read online seems to thinks the statements by HRH are an appeal to the "racist wing of the Democratic party." And I don't think that's credible either. Everyone seems to have grasped that if it's a strategy at all, it's a bank-shot strategy: make Obama's candidacy seem more racially charged, force him to accuse widely respected figures (the Clintons) of racism, drive his squishy "divisiveness" quotient up. But listening to NPR this morning, I noticed that the wider media is playing this much more straight-forwardly e.g. "Is HRC making racist appeals? Is Obama playing "the victim card" ? This is in contrast to how the cable outlets immediately grasped the "Huckabee win = McCain comeback" bank shot narrative.


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:54 AM
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This thread is ably pressing my "electability" buttons. Here's the thing about a possible Obama vote being influenced by the potential racism of others: not only are you letting the racists win, you might be letting them win for no reason. You might, in fact, be helping them win when they would otherwise have lost.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:55 AM
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I agree with everything Bitch and JRoth have said in this thread.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:56 AM
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Also, 86 is completely right.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:57 AM
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"A black man will not be elected president because there are too many racists out there", is not a racist statement, although it might be inaccurate.

I think there are circumstances where it could be, as a cover for a reason why X is just not comfortable voting for a black man. When it's used as reasons for one's own voting in particular.

If it turns out rural white people in the South won't vote for Obama in the primaries, why does that mean I shouldn't vote for him?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:57 AM
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The racist/sexist bullshit is only going to get nastier in the general. I'm really hoping that Romney wins Michigan and Giuliani, Florida (not that either is especially likely); I want the Republican race to be as protracted, contentious and resource-exhausting as it can possibly be before the slime really starts flying after the conventions.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:57 AM
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stras is a uniter, not a divider.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:57 AM
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83: I don't think perfectly reasonable people do it. Anyone who accuses someone of "playing the race card" is muddling the issue regardless of which definition they mean.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:57 AM
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The only thing righter than 86 is 88.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 10:59 AM
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Weighing electability this far away from actual general election conditions is a sucker's game. We don't know who the Republican will be; we don't know what kind of institutional support they'll have; we don't know what kind of popular support they'll have starting out from the electorate at large. Starting out with statements like "run away from the woman/black guy" or "vote for X because they're amoral vampires who'll run a truly disgusting campaign" is truly, truly stupid in a year when, all things being equal, the advantage lies with the Democrats, and Democrats have an actual chance to shift the country to the left, rather than settle for "slightly better than Bush."

I know that out there in the Real World, nobody votes based on issues. But here in the bloggysphere, I'd like to pretend that people are paying attention to what various candidates are saying about how they'll run foreign policy, set up health care, etc., rather than voting on arcane personal theories of electability.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:03 AM
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"No, black people can't eat at this lunch counter. I'm not racist, mind--I have no problem with it. But my customers, they just wouldn't put up with it."


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:09 AM
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94: Amen.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:10 AM
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95: Amen again.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:10 AM
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Dammit, Katherine, you make me look derivative. "It's not that we don't want to hire you, Dr. Tibbs, it's just that our patients would be nervous around a black man."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:11 AM
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I will use my unquestionable moral authority in this area to declare that Apo and FL and others are not racist (or even morally wrong) for worrying about voting for Obama because of the racist stuff might make him easy to beat. I worry about it all the time as well. And as much as I'd love having a black president, not having an insane one is far more important.

P.S.
I have come to despise Bob McManus.


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:11 AM
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Also, enough with the obsession on whether or not Obama or Clinton can "win in the south". Florida is important, but it's not the South, and Kerry and Gore nearly won without it - but for New Hampshire, Gore would've been president without a single southern state; but for Ohio, Kerry would've been president. Both of those candidates ran relatively shitty campaigns, and unless Obama, Edwards and Clinton have spent the last eight years with their heads up their asses, I don't see how they could possibly do worse, especially in a year when the electorate is so hostile to the Republican Party and its policies.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:11 AM
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And amen to everyone complaining about the 'electability' game-playing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:13 AM
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Good point. We should ask whether New Hampshire and Ohio are too racist to elect a black man, even as they blame it on the South.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:14 AM
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102: No, we should not.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:17 AM
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God I hate this fucking country. And everyone in it.

B, this is how I felt until I stopped commenting. Now I'm commenting again, and I hate this fucking country etc. Something to consider.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:18 AM
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SB, are you empathizing, or trying to get rid of me?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:21 AM
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99:"I welcome their hatred" ...Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a politician who could make me proud to be a Democrat. We need more like him. Oops, we have one, John Edwards.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:21 AM
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If it turns out rural white people in the South won't vote for Obama in the primaries

How Democrats vote in the primaries isn't the issue. It's how the country votes in the general. Also, the idea that this is a specifically Southern issue is supremely silly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:27 AM
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"Obama can't talk like Edwards, for fear of being perceived as an angry black man."

Racism. Of course he could have, but he wouldn't beause Obama is not a progressive, and doesn't want to frighten Wall Street.

Progressives don't run "post-partisan" campaigns in 2008.

And I have no doubt that Obama could be elected President. I just don't want him to be elected President.

And when I said Obama was the most dangerous politician in America, well, Rudy Guiliani couldn't lead blacks out of the Democratic Party. If Obama loses, I bet here & now, he runs a third party campaign.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:28 AM
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"How Democrats vote in the primaries isn't the issue"

Of course it is the issue. We are in primary season.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:29 AM
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If Obama loses, I bet here & now, he runs a third party campaign.

I'll take that bet, Bob. Obama isn't going to start burning bridges with this many years of public service in front of him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:30 AM
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Who exactly is Bob quoting in 108?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:30 AM
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Here's goddamn hoping that if Obama's the nominee and loses, we don't all shoot ourselves for having floated a divisive candidate. I can see it now: fucking Democrats, can't keep their eye on the electability ball to save our fucking lives.

versus: Fuck that, no compromise, even if we lose it all. We nonetheless advanced the cause by refusing to play the game.

Look. This is melodramatic. IF Obama's race is going to work against him in the general, then his courting of moneyed interests, and his seeming assurances that he's-not-really-black are exactly the right thing to do.

I hate this fucking country too, but it's the one we have.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:32 AM
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58 to 86.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:35 AM
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107: I agree that it's not just a Southern problem, but that's how it's framed. Me and my Greenwich pals are all enlightened, but no one else is, you see.

Still the idea that 'it's not the Democrats, but the rest of the country' to me seems weak because it seems to be based on the assumption that most racists are Republicans who would vote for either Edwards or Clinton.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:36 AM
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IF Obama's race is going to work against him in the general

This is the thing that drives me crazy. Which states would Obama lose in the general that the Dem would otherwise win if he weren't black?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:37 AM
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111 see 112.3 It is all over the place.

and his seeming assurances that he's-not-really-black are exactly the right thing to do.

Why? If you are going to run a divisive campaign, and Obama is running a divisive campaign, why not run against the bad guys:racists, Republicans, & the rich? Why run against boomers and partisan Democrats?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:37 AM
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"111 see 112.3"

112 doesn't have the quote you used in 108.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:41 AM
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Bob, you're the only person here who thinks that Obama is running against "boomers," let alone "partisan democrats."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:42 AM
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Obama is running a divisive campaign

How so? Obama seems to be going out of his way not to run a divisive campaign. His rhetoric is all about unity and bridging political divides. The only way his campaign seems in any way divisive is that it's a campaign, and he must therefore draw distinctions between himself and his competitors.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:43 AM
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Which states would Obama lose in the general that the Dem would otherwise win if he weren't black?

Well stras, we've enever run a black candidate before so it's impossible to say. But here are the closest states from 2004:
51-48: Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada
51-49: Ohio, Pennsylvania
50-49: Wisconsin, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Iowa


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:45 AM
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I second 119.

I have appreciated Bob's willingness to say things about Obama that were clearly expressions of him struggling to define what it is that he obhjects to him about Obama, but 84 and 108 just confuse and bother me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:48 AM
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113: oh, I know. Just practicing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:49 AM
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How so? Obama seems to be going out of his way not to run a divisive campaign.

Thanks. If we could weed out the "divisive campaign" (as opposed to: possibly divisive candidate) along with the "that's racist" (as opposed to: race is an issue), the inflammation might recede a bit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:50 AM
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His rhetoric is all about unity and bridging political divides.

There are some us that believe the political divides are real, important, and not negotiable. I don't want a compromise that gives half as much as torture as Republicans want, or a Justice that is acceptable to Orrin Hatch.

I feel I am the one Obama is running against. And that is his divisive campaign. You & Sullivan can hug each other.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:51 AM
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The quote in 120 is not from me.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:51 AM
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Bob, you're the only person here who thinks that Obama is running against "boomers," let alone "partisan democrats."

It's important to remember that bob prefers HRC because he cares about redistribution. Argument is futile.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:51 AM
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120: Not Minnesota. They have a black Muslim representative, remember? And on the strength of the primary results, I'm going to say not Iowa, either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:51 AM
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I feel I am the one Obama is running against.

Bobbist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:52 AM
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120: Dude, that was me.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:52 AM
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I don't want a compromise that gives half as much as torture as Republicans want, or a Justice that is acceptable to Orrin Hatch.

Good, neither do I. But there's no evidence whatsoever that an Obama administration would result in this, and you have no evidence to present to us.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:53 AM
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Which states would Obama lose in the general that the Dem would otherwise win if he weren't black?

One could also ask "Which states would Hillary lose in the general that the Dem would otherwise win if she weren't Hillary?" We can play these mind games with ourselves all we want, but I doubt it does us much good. In 2004 we picked the nominee everyone thought was the most electable, despite the fact that nobody was really gung-ho excited about him, and look where that got us. Fuck "electable." Let's go with the candidate that we like, dammit. If we want to argue about who we like the most, fine, that's an argument worth having. But let's cut out all this second-guessing how everyone else might vote bullshit, ok?


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:54 AM
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They have a black Muslim representative

Representatives are not elected statewide.

on the strength of the primary results, I'm going to say not Iowa

1/3 of Democrats voted for Obama and they make up about 1/2 of the voting population. It only has to move 1% for the 2004 results to flip.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:54 AM
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Dude, that was me.

That's the second time I've done that, isn't it? You two quit confusing me already.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:55 AM
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44 is beautiful. This electability game is so frustrating for me. Personally, I'd rather lose with my person than to win with someone I detest. Second, it's such short-sighted thinking. With Clinton as the nominee, win or lose, are we really going to be better off in future elections than to have a revolutionary get smacked down, exposing the country for what it is?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:57 AM
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Oh c'mon.

O:"They said it couldn't be done."

The vague "they" is deliberately divisive. It could have been phrased differently.

Whenever I hear "some people" or "others say" I get suspicious and hostile. Bush & Republicans do it all the time:"Some want us to surrender to the terrorists by pulling out of Iraq."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:57 AM
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Representatives are not elected statewide.

I realize this, but I'm pretty sure that most of the population of Minnesota is heavily concentrated in the twin cities, and actually Minnesotans are pretty reliably liberal (their asshole governor notwithstanding).

1/3 of Democrats voted for Obama and they make up about 1/2 of the voting population. It only has to move 1% for the 2004 results to flip.

I know, but I don't see any reason to assume that Obama is going to lose Iowa, is what I'm saying. Really, I see no reason to assume that his being black is a huge problem at all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:57 AM
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Here's goddamn hoping that if Obama's Obama, Clinton or Edwards is the nominee and loses, we don't all shoot ourselves for having floated a divisive candidate.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:58 AM
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Fuck "electable." Let's go with the candidate that we like, dammit.

Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times, yes.

People tend to be very, very bad judges of what other people will like or not like. We are fairly good judges, however, of what we like. Let's pick someone who at least has won over Democrats so we're halfway there, instead of ending up with someone nobody likes because they're theoretically "electable" according to some formula some blogger worked out on the back of a napkin.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 11:59 AM
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Bob, you're completely full of shit on Obama. Usually you're entertaining and sometimes you're insightful, but this is just nuts.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:02 PM
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Really, I see no reason to assume that his being black is a huge problem at all.

That's just it.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:03 PM
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The vague "they" is deliberately divisive.

Give me a break, Bob. To the extent that there's a "they" in Obama's campaign narrative, the "they" is something like "Washington insiders" and "the old way of doing things." You, however, seem to automatically assume that "they" means Bob McManus and everybody like Bob McManus. I suggest to you that this is not the case, and that you are the only person in the country who believes it to be the case.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:04 PM
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Minnesotans are pretty reliably liberal (their asshole governor notwithstanding)

And half of their Senate delegation. And one of the two chambers of the state legislature. And it was one of the closest states in the country in 2004.

I don't see any reason to assume that Obama is going to lose Iowa

No reason to assume it, no. No reason to assume it isn't possible either, considering it was decided by less than 1% last time around.

I see no reason to assume that his being black is a huge problem at all

Except for the entire history of elections in the United States. Look, Obama can win, though it's going to depend on who the GOP nominates. But to think that being black is anything but a disadvantage in American politics (above the district level) is plum crazy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:04 PM
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Minnesotans are pretty reliably liberal (their asshole governor notwithstanding).

Well, also their asshole senator notwithstanding. In statewide elections, this has not been a good period for Minnesotans.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:04 PM
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apo, I'm operating with the assumption that if the U.S. population at large is too racist to elect a black President, then Obama won't get out of the primaries on the strength of racists who won't vote for a black man alone, even if everyone who is pro-Obama but worried about whether he's electable says 'screw electability' and votes for Obama. It's a tight race already, and if race is going to be the deciding factor, it will happen in the primaries. There are differences between the parties, but at bottom, it's not a separation in racial attitudes that are doing it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:04 PM
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126 is exactly right, except for the argument part. I do think Clinton would be more redistributive than Obama, at least in the direction I would want redistribution to go. I would love to see Obama questioned and pinned down on his economic policies.

Has Obama Hired Larry Lindsay ...pgl at Angrybear on the Obama "stimulus package" consisting of tax cuts.
Quotes Krugman, of course.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:04 PM
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But let's cut out all this second-guessing how everyone else might vote bullshit, ok?

That was my point. Every time I hear someone say, "But Obama can't win in the South," I just want to scream. Democrats don't fucking win in the South in the general election, and haven't for a long time, for Christ's sake.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:05 PM
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Really, I see no reason to assume that his being black is a huge problem at all.

Jebus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:06 PM
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134 and others who want to fuck the electability game altogether: it sounds clever now, but ask yourself how you'd feel with a McCain presidency.

I really can't take this seriously.

Anyway, nobody's saying that either Obama or Clinton is flatly unelectable.

When the metanarrative becomes too ridiculously speculative, back way off and start looking at plain electoral politics, state by state.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:06 PM
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I also keep coming back to Kerry being electable. Snirk. That worked well.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:08 PM
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134 and others who want to fuck the electability game altogether: it sounds clever now, but ask yourself how you'd feel with a McCain presidency.

As stras says, estimating electability is a fool's game. But if we're going to play that game anyway, well, who polls better against McCain, Obama or Clinton?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:08 PM
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And Bob changes the subject again. As far as Obama and economics goes: Bob, essentially you're worried that Obama is a closet Clintonite. And yet the main alternative to Obama is the Clintons themselves. Are you getting why I think you're crazy?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:09 PM
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Democrats don't fucking win in the South in the general election, and haven't for a long time

Clinton beat Dole in Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Against Bush, he took the same states, except swap out Florida for Georgia.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:12 PM
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Sure, the drug-dealing black guy, the castrating bitch, and the oily trial lawyer are all unelectable. I'd still rather have our unelectable candidates than the Republicans'. And history suggests that one of these people will take office next year.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:14 PM
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Here's goddamn hoping that if Obama's is the nominee and loses, we don't all shoot ourselves for having floated a divisive candidate.

but ask yourself how you'd feel with a McCain presidency.

Having Obama, even if he loses, as the nominee is the only way the status quo will change. So Hilliary's winning the nomination after her campaign's race baiting will be better for us Dems?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:14 PM
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Are you getting why I think you're crazy?

I wouldn't feel too unnamed, You're the one arguing with him.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:15 PM
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No reason to assume it isn't possible either

Other than omg he's black, you know, and while I'm okay with that, I just worry...

Look, the only reason to fret over it is to play some stupid second-guessing game. I get *why* you're concerned about it, but honestly, think about it: it's like the only thing we ever talk about on this blog when we talk about Obama is that, you know, he's black! It's ridiculous. (Yes, we talk about other things, but his blackness comes up sooner or later every single time, and the thread then becomes about that.) Like it or not, Unfogged is part of "the blogosphere," and thus part of "the media," and our doing that helps create, albeit in a small way, the very thing we're claiming is a problem. If we want people to focus on the issues, then we should *talk about the issues*. Or about what a nice smart man he is. Or *whatever*.

Jebus

Oh, I'm sorry, am I being too naive about the idea of voting for the freaking candidate *even though* he's black/she's a woman, and not getting wrapped in knots because *everyone else* cares about that, but you don't? My bad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:15 PM
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148: it's precisely because I don't want the GOP win that I say "fuck electability". Introducing poorly understood metaconsiderations into the primary process is exactly and specifically the way to make that process fail to deliver the best candidate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:16 PM
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. So Hilliary's winning the nomination after her campaign's race baiting will be better for us Dems?

Yes. Because the other possibility is a Republican President.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:16 PM
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it's precisely because I don't want the GOP win that I say "fuck electability".

Woot Nader!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:17 PM
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And incidentally, nobody here understands those metaconsiderations, unless somebody here is actually a professional pollster with precinct-by-precinct numbers on all of the potential swing states, in which case they still don't understand them, because we're most of a year away from the election, making polls basically meaningless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:18 PM
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Was Nader on the Democratic ticket? Somehow I missed that.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:18 PM
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Tim, we're not talking about a third party candidate here. We're talking about the Democratic party nominee. Come on.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:18 PM
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Further to 150: Oops. Per Yglesias (who links a CNN poll), Clinton and Obama both have slight leads over McCain, with Clinton's slightly larger. Obama does better against other potential Republican candidates.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:18 PM
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it's precisely because I don't want the GOP win that I say "fuck electability"

Would I be wrong in assuming that most of the commenters here are closer to Kucinich in their political beliefs than they are to any of the other candidates?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:19 PM
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158: Do you seriously think the only possibilities are HRC for D. candidate or a Republican president? That's terrible.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:19 PM
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159: fuck electability in the Democratic primary, goofball. Voting for third party candidates is hopefully deprecated on the left by now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:19 PM
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Yes, we talk about other things, but his blackness comes up sooner or later every single time, and the thread then becomes about that.

I'm really liking B in this thread. I so wish we had more black perspective on this blog. Not saying it's our fault, but....


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:19 PM
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164: you would be wrong when it comes to me; can't speak for everyone else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:20 PM
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This is the last thing I'll say on "electability." Look: 2008 is shaping up to look like the most favorable general conditions for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996 at least. This isn't 2004, when everyone was desperate to get anyone we possibly could to push Bush out of office; this isn't 2000, when we had the last eight years of baggage - good and bad - to deal with. This time we've got an outgoing president from the other party who's hated by more or less everyone in the country and a GOP with tanking ratings. If ever there was a time to vote with your heart, this is it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:21 PM
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136 et seq: I assumed Obama's race would make him a non-starter. Following his Iowa performance, that seems to be clearly not true.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:21 PM
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151:Obviously, as I said & as Paul Krugman says, I think Obama is less economically progressive than Clinton.

And stras, since I never said "Obama was a closet Clintonite" your argument by way of putting words into your opponents mouth, in other words, lying like a Republican, shouldn't work.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:23 PM
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If ever there was a time to vote with your heart, this is it.

And having said everything else above, I'll wholeheartedly agree with this statement. If you think Obama would make the best president of the candidates, then by all means, give him your vote. I like him just fine and I'm not trying to lobby for anybody's vote. I'm talking generally about the state of American politics.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:24 PM
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165: Sigh. So Bob thinks Obama is terrible, Soup thinks Hillary is terrible. It's like the self-loathing olympics around here.

I so wish we had more black perspective on this blog.

I hate to be mean to you after you just complimented me, but you know, saying one wishes "we had more black perspective" is a pretty sure fire way of making actual black people roll their eyes and excuse themselves. IME.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:24 PM
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158: Do you seriously think the only possibilities are HRC for D. candidate or a Republican president? That's terrible.

I think that HRC is basically a lock to win the Dem nomination, and a Pyhrric loss by Obama helps no one. I might be wrong, of course. But I hope that once it becomes clear that I'm right, Obama rolls up his campaign quickly so that the Clintons aren't forced to resort to tactics that make various voters less comfortable with HRC. At the end of the day, I want a Dem President, even HRC.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:24 PM
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Would I be wrong in assuming that most of the commenters here are closer to Kucinich in their political beliefs than they are to any of the other candidates?

Personally, I strongly considered supporting Kucinich, but in the end, I think he's too apolitical to be an effective president. The fact that he's also too apolitical to win the presidency isn't really a factor for me. If "the issues," apart from personal qualities, were the sole consideration, I'd vote Kucinich with no regrets.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:24 PM
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169 would make more sense if there was a progressive in the running, Or for that matter really anyone out of the fairly tight little cluster of clinton/obama/edwards (in any direction)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:26 PM
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I'm also on record as saying that Obama will likely not get the nomination, not because of race but for the same reasons that Tsongas, Dean, Bradley, etc didn't win it. However, my track record on political prognostication is poor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:26 PM
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157: it's precisely because I don't want the GOP win that I say "fuck electability". Introducing poorly understood metaconsiderations into the primary process is exactly and specifically the way to make that process fail to deliver the best candidate.

I understand: there are ways and ways to look at electability, though. The metanarratives we're engaging in here are so many overeducated self-important chumps thinking that the mass of voters actually reads the NYT editorial page.

As I said, electoral politics is state by state, the hard work of funding and outreach.

Ah, and that last is pwned by your 160.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:27 PM
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173: How about this way of putting it? "I wish we had more black people posting here, because every day I see white people posting mindlessly racist and insensitive things, but I feel weird, as yet another whitey, saying anything about it."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:27 PM
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174: It's talk like that (The Ds are so stale it was a done deal for Hillary before the process really got going) that makes me think the country really needs another R president, as it obviously hasn't had its collective ass kicked hard enough to wake the fuck up.

maybe that's just me, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:28 PM
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134 and others who want to fuck the electability game altogether: it sounds clever now, but ask yourself how you'd feel with a McCain presidency.

I'm not saying we should ignore electability altogether. I'd love Kucinich's policies, but the only way he'd ever have a chance in the general election is if the Republicans chose Alan Keyes as their nominee, so I gave up hoping Kucinich would be the Dem nominee long ago. Back in 2004, to be specific. But there is definitely a point of diminishing returns when playing the electability game, and it comes earlier in the game than most people think.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:28 PM
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Are you guys sure Obama's black? I heard he was a Arab.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:30 PM
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"I'm pretty sympathetic to Obama because his media reform proposals are quite good. But the more I hear about his other policies, the less inclined I am to give him credence as a progressive. And while ideology is only one form of identity-creation, it's one that would benefit Obama." ...Matt Stoller, OpenLeft, 1/14/08


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:30 PM
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Bob, your link in 145 doesn't say what you claim it to. It says that Obama has a long term tax cut plan (I don't know what this is) and his top economics adviser said that plan would work as a stimulus. It doesn't say, and Krugman's column specifically notes, that Obama's stimulus plan is a tax cut (it's not). Krugman doesn't think Obama's stimulus plan is as good as Edwards's or Clinton's, DeLong disagrees with this (though he pull quotes the wrong part of Krugman's column).


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:31 PM
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If a set of circumstances arose that could give Kucinich the Democratic nomination, then he could also become president. I'm with stras: Vote your heart (or mind). The possibility for a watershed year exists. (Or existed, anyway. The opportunities seem to be fading.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:32 PM
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If we want people to focus on the issues, then we should *talk about the issues*. Or about what a nice smart man he is. Or *whatever*.

Well, here's the point where I split from B and agree with parsimon. Yeah, it would be great if we could shut up already about the fact that Obama is (OMG!) black, but the truth is we (the people, as a country, etc.) aren't there yet.

I think there is a great deal of value in being open about this -- saying vocally and repeatedly, "I support Obama because I like his position on the issues, and while I know racism has a long history in this country and impacts that are still widely and deeply felt, I have faith that we (the people) have come to a moment in time where we can choose differently I have faith that enough Americans are ready to face their own racism and their own fears of racism that we can see that Obama is black, that we can acknowledge that Obama is black, and that we can then get over it and proceed to focus on the substance."

I think it's important to keep talking about race, to talk about how it's not what matters most in this campaign, because I think it has an effect on our collective psyche to keep hearing people around us say, "Hey, I really think we have a chance of getting beyond race." I think we need to hear other people saying it and they need to hear us saying it so that we don't all just fall back on the assumption that however enlightened each of us is, everyone else out there is secretly racist.

I think.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:33 PM
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When I heard the unifying message based on generational warfare, I knew Obama was doing the typical Republican tactic of pre-emptively projecting your own tactics onto the opposition, and that he meant to run a bitter divisive campaign, while attempting to blame his opponents for the divisiveness.

Snicker.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:33 PM
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169 would make more sense if there was a progressive in the running, Or for that matter really anyone out of the fairly tight little cluster of clinton/obama/edwards (in any direction)

I agree with you that the differences between the candidates on domestic policy has been exaggerated, but on foreign policy there's significant space between Obama/Edwards and Clinton. Given that presidents have the most leeway over foreign policy, I tend to give that a lot of weight; any legislation is going to be a product of the makeup of Congress as much as anything else.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:33 PM
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I feel weird, as yet another whitey, saying anything about it.

Bzzt, lame. If you see people saying racist shit, and it bugs you, then you know, try saying so. Don't be all standing around, emo-like, whining about why don't I have more black friends???!? No one wants to be your token just so that you feel better about the company you keep.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:34 PM
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Although I'm still rooting for Edwards, Bob is making me want to vote for Obama.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:35 PM
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189: I'll be your black friend, stras.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:36 PM
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making actual black people roll their eyes and excuse themselves

So I want to hear what black people think about race issues. Can I say your suggesting as to how they'd react is pretty condescending?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:37 PM
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189: B, you know it's more complicated than that. Especially coming from a member of the Unfogged Shrill Caucus. If I start throwing around stuff like "Damn, X really seems to be obsessed with the blackness of black public figure Y in a way that seems to say more about X than about Y," I will be eaten alive.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:38 PM
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the differences between the candidates on domestic policy has been exaggerated

Platform-wise, yes. But domestic policy is enacted by the executive branch, and appointments and administrative power are much bigger than legislative intentions. I have no doubt that Edwards would empower the Department of Labor. I think Clinton would keep it on a shorter leash (much better than the stu quo of course), and I don't really know what Obama would do.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:39 PM
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191: I've already got a black friend, apo. But you can be my cool white friend who's got all these black friends.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:39 PM
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I'm in no mood to compromise, stras.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:40 PM
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Some of my best friends are stras' black friends.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:42 PM
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Fuck compromise. Comity!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:45 PM
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You'll all rue the day that you ignored electability when the media discovers that Obama is really Mexican.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:45 PM
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198: Mighty black of you, parsimon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:47 PM
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194: That's true. And on trade, there's obviously a lot more of a distinction between Edwards and the others.

171: Bob, to respond to the "closet Clintonite" thing: what's happening is this. People seemed to have had this impression that the candidates were neatly lined up on the ideological spectrum, such that Clinton was farthest to the right, Edwards was farthest to the left, and Obama was right in between. Now, taking a closer look at Obama, people are noticing that he's a lot closer to Clinton economically than he is to Edwards. And so the people who thought Obama was more of a lefty are disappointed to find out he's more of a Clintonite. You react to this, however, by stating that you would prefer Clinton herself. Again, I fail to comprehend this, unless you were asleep during the nineties. It's not like the Clintons don't have a record.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:47 PM
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190:Is an Edwards Surprise Looming in Nevada ...Firedoglake

Stick with Edwards, stras.

One of the commenters at Ezra's, I think, said the Clinton-Obama race kerfuffle was a coordinated effort by the both campaigns to suck all the media away from Edwards.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:47 PM
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Ah, fuck it. Why'd I have to go drop a turd of a big serious comment in the middle of a bunch of funny comments?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:48 PM
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All the stores in my area of Bed-Stuy have Obama '08 signs in the window, if that's any indication of public sentiment.

Come to think of it, I only remember seeing one HRC sign in a private window in NYC. It was on this derelict-looking three-storey brownstone next to a Chinese takeout place on the upper-upper East Side. It seemed very out-of-place.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:49 PM
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There was a serious comment? I missed that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:49 PM
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"Serious" here means "not funny," and "funny" means "thing that was meant to be funny."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:50 PM
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205: It's a white thing. You wouldn't understand.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:51 PM
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Unless you think this so-called race kerfuffle neither hurts nor helps either of them, or that both campaigns very strongly believed it wouldn't help or hurt them, that's crazy. If they did believe it wouldn't help or hurt either of them, it would also be crazy, since presumably they'd try to do something that would.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:51 PM
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Total side issue: Does Hillary get much of an advantage in NY just from being our senator? My guess is that she doesn't -- while she's well liked, and could probably get re-elected forever (well, if this race gets ugly for her, it could screw her senatorial career up too, but other than that she could) she's not the hometown girl in any way that gives her an edge over Obama or Edwards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:52 PM
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193: Oh, right. Yeah, it would really suck to have people be mean to you. Poor boy.

192: More condescending than "I wish there were more black perspective here"?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:53 PM
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Does Hillary get much of an advantage in NY just from being our senator?

In a race this close, probably enough of one to put her over the top. But since only the Republicans have winner-take-all primaries, "winning" a state isn't nearly as big a deal as the media breathlessly make it out to be.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:54 PM
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I know the Clinton record, stras, and I do not like the Clintons.

I think Obama is trying to form a new coalition that is in some ways to the right of the Clintons and in some ways to the left. It will be a new politics and a new economics. I think he really is a change candidate, like FDR or Reagan, and what he enacts in his first term will have little to do with his platform. It is really hard for me to completely understand or explain where Obama is going, but I am a conservative class-war progressive.

I try to look at his followers, like Cala, who don't think SS will survive, or Sullivan, gay-rights + small gov't, because I think they are the new coalition Obama is trying to create & please.

And maybe Islamic "third-way" economics. I don't know. I just feel Obama is a very different kind of Democrat.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 12:56 PM
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192- Yes. Saying that I'd like to see more black people contribute to race discussion here (better wording) is significantly less condescending than saying that black people would roll their eyes upon seeing that comment.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:00 PM
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Moving to the gophonkies: Huckabee drops the reasonable mask.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:00 PM
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is significantly less condescending

It's not my argument any more, but really, guys:

You're more condescending!
No, you are!

That's racist!
It is not, it's just acknowledging race!
That's racist!

etc.

Come on now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:05 PM
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Okay, see, 212 is the kind of comment that convinces me Bob has formed his entire political identity based on random crap from comment threads on the internet. The "Islamic third-way economics" thing at the end is just the incoherent cherry on the gibberish sundae.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:06 PM
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The thing about Obama is that it's genuinely hard to know what he'll do as President. His rise to national prominence has been so rapid that I'm not sure _he_ knows what he'll do as President. I could see Obama re-enacting the final scene of the candidate where he turns to his advisors and says "what now?" So I think Bob has half of a point dwelling on who Obama's advisors are.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:07 PM
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215- Indeed. Let's just go back to that race and electability issue of which we're so qualified.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:13 PM
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217: The thing is, Obama is not some complete cipher without a public record. He was in the Illinois state senate since the mid-nineties, where by all accounts he was pretty progressive. He's shown no indication of actually being the deranged privatizer of Bob's opium dreams. Bob's case basically boils down to: (1) some of his economic advisers are relatively conservative, (2) he talks a lot about "unity," (3) random people on the internet Bob disagrees with like him. This does not add up to a convincing argument. See Ezra Klein's most recent Bloggingheads on this phenomenon; Obama's basically suckering socially liberal, economic conservatives into supporting a more or less standard center-left agenda.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:14 PM
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Obama's basically suckering socially liberal, economic conservatives into supporting a more or less standard center-left agenda.

Brilliant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:18 PM
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And maybe Islamic "third-way" economics.

Hmmm...I wonder what that could be. Maybe outlawing loans with interest? But that sounds like the kind of thing mcmanus would support!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:21 PM
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Wouldn't white people be more qualified than black people to determine if Obama's race hurts him in a national election?


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:22 PM
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Obama's basically suckering socially liberal, economic conservatives into supporting a more or less standard center-left agenda.

Exactly, exactly, exactly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:26 PM
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222: RACIST!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:26 PM
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224: lolz!1


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:28 PM
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Bob may be on to something with Obama's unity platform. Jonah certainly thinks so.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:29 PM
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Yeah, I don't get the Islamic third-way economics thing either.

All I know is that once the election is over, I plan on nodding sagely and saying "I knew it all along." I recommend you do the same.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:29 PM
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In a race this close

What close? Hilly is eating Bobama's lunch in everything I can find, and Edwards has fallen off the map.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:32 PM
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Yeah, I don't get the Islamic third-way economics thing either.

It's a bi-theoretic thing; you wouldn't understand.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:33 PM
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Wouldn't white people be more qualified than black people to determine if Obama's race hurts him in a national election?

Um, no.

See, I'm white, and I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat. These two facts give me, as an individual, absolutely zero insight into how any other individual white voter in America, or any group of white voters, or the diverse electorate as a whole, will take Obama's skin tone into consideration when deciding whether or not to vote for him. All I know is that some would likely vote for him, and some wouldn't. As to the percentage of voters, white or otherwise, who fall into each of those categories, color me clueless.

But I'd vote for him. And that's good enough for me.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:33 PM
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What close?

You do have a point.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:35 PM
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I'm white, and I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat. These two facts give me, as an individual, absolutely zero insight

"Absolutely zero" is very wrong here. I find that a good way to figure out what other people will do is to assume that they are like you, and then try to figure out how correct the initial assumption is. I think this method applies in this case.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:39 PM
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some of his economic advisers are relatively conservative
I've previously asked what it is that his advisers said that Bob found objectionable, and he wasn't sure (which is fine, I sometimes form views and then forget why I formed them without deciding that I was wrong to). The worst thing I found out about Jeffrey Liebman (by reading his wikipedia entry) is that he was in President Clinton's Social Security working group. Goolsbee has a reasonably large public record, since he writes columns for the Times every once in a while, he seems pretty good to me.

in everything I can find
Can you find things besides national polls? For that matter, can you find what the national polls will say after Obama "wins" (incorporating Apo's good point that Dem. primaries aren't winner take all) Nevada and South Carolina?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:42 PM
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I find that a good way to figure out what other people will do is to assume that they are like you

Somehow this one seldom works for me. Stupid other people.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:45 PM
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I find that a good way to figure out what other people will do is to assume that they are like you, and then try to figure out how correct the initial assumption is.

This has not been a very successful predictive method for me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:46 PM
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But JM is like me, and that ain't chopped liver.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:49 PM
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Clinton is way in front in NY


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:50 PM
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Ditto 234 and 235. See, I'm downright weird, and I have learned through hard-won experience that my opinions and thought processes are often quite unlike those of other people I encounter, no mater how demographically similar we may appear to be.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:54 PM
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"I try to look at his followers, like Cala, who don't think SS will survive, or Sullivan, gay-rights + small gov't, because I think they are the new coalition Obama is trying to create & please."

similarly, i decide which medicine to use by looking in my friend's medicine cabinets.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:55 PM
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Yeah, the problem with 232 is Pauline Kael's "How could Nixon have won? No one I know voted for him?" Introspection only tells you something reliable about the electorate if you're reasonably close to 'typical'. I'm not so much typical. Dull, but peculiar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:57 PM
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55: F'ing brilliant. Can I steal that?


Posted by: Greg Greene | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:57 PM
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It's very unfortunate: I will utterly, totally convince myself that "everyone" is starting to come around and think the way I do, and then it's the morning after Election Day and "everyone" is a bunch of nutsoid alien haters. The emotional swing of these disillusionments has made it difficult for me to correct my assumptions in a realistic manner.

That admitted, I'm totally, utterly convinced that Obama will sweep in '08! Go team!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:59 PM
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So I want to hear what black people think about race issues. Can I say your suggesting as to how they'd react is pretty condescending?

Darling, it's a bit condescending to suggest that just because someone's black he won't react in the same way an expert on black people thinks he will.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 1:59 PM
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241: All unfogged bon mots are the property of unfogged, and cannot be reproduced without the express written permission of the management.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:01 PM
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Darling

Mmmm. That's good condescension !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:02 PM
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I kind of think that the "just assume people are like you" thing works pretty well, actually. Not necessarily in the conclusions they reach, but in terms of things like ability to rationalize, sloth, etc.

243: Ned, really: fuck off. Or at least retract your crap about how I'm not a generous enough reader and shouldn't reframe what people say, if you're going to pull shit like this all the damn time, okay?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:03 PM
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242: welcome to 2004.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:04 PM
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i decide which medicine to use by looking in my friend's medicine cabinets

That's how I decide what I'm going to take while I'm partying at their house, anyway.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:06 PM
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248: I'm going to wait for Becks or someone to chime in with an accusation that you stole their anti-depressants or what have you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:07 PM
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Another bold prediction: Obama won't take Kentucky if he kisses a dude there.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:10 PM
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190: Although I'm still rooting for Edwards, Bob is making me want to vote for Obama.

Along these lines, if anybody wants a reason to vote for Hillary, Slate is doing its best to drum up converts on her behalf.

Seriously. If Hitchens hates her, she can't be all bad.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:21 PM
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News! Obama has responded to Cohen's article (decrying antisemitism and Farrakhan etc.), but, surprise, surprise, David Bernstein at Volokh is not satisfied with the response.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:28 PM
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Folks,
Obama here. I am happy to answer any specific questions you have for me. Unfortunately, I have only 1 hour.


Posted by: Barack Obama | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:29 PM
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On the offchance that this isn't someone pulling our leg, aren't you worried that your rejection of mandates in your healthcare plan could be spun by opponents of universal health care to make it harder to pass any effectively universal reform?

(And on the similar offchance, welcome to Unfogged.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:32 PM
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That IP address doesn't match any of the previous ones in the database. Hmm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:38 PM
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What would an Obama administration do about the War on Drugs, specifically as regards medical marijuana and federal mandatory minimums?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:41 PM
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255 - I noted that. But surely Obama is in Nevada and not where this IP resolves to.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:42 PM
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Although it would be totally hilarious if Ogged goes on hiatus and Obama shows up.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:43 PM
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I assume that you would immediately repeal the Global Gag Rule. Am I correct?

What would an Obama administration do about global warming? Specifically.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:44 PM
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What if anything would your administration do to ensure that any detainees are treated in accord with both U.S. and international law, and would you investigate their treatment under the present administration and publish a full accounting?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:44 PM
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Oh, sweet jeebus. It's not him. I don't think you need to check the IP address (though I appreciate the effort).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:44 PM
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What if anything would your administration do to ensure that any detainees are treated in accord with both U.S. and international law, and would you investigate their treatment under the present administration and publish a full accounting?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:44 PM
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Ah, you're quite right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:45 PM
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(Also, are you puttering online because you too just downloaded the new itouch/iphone software and are playing with your, ah, device?)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:45 PM
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Patriots or Packers?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:46 PM
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But it's interesting to see what questions we would all like to ask, n'est-ce pas?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:46 PM
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I do love that all the commenters are at the ready with questions.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:46 PM
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261: But why not risk slight embarrassment by responding as if it is him, or someone working for the campaign?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:47 PM
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I think what SCMT meant by 261 is that he posted the Barack Obama comment.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:48 PM
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Barack:

1. Is it true that you are Mexican, and if so, how do you think that will inform your policy in the Middle East?

2. When you privatize Social Security, will most of the proceeds go to Goldman Sachs? I'd like some advance warning so that I know where to send my resume.

3. Do you plan on closing the secret torture centers in foreign countries. And if so, don't you think that Richard Cohen deserves a "special tour" of them before you close them for good?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:48 PM
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267 is absolutely right. Fuck youtube; the next internet primary debate should be here on Unfogged.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:48 PM
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it would be totally hilarious if Ogged goes on hiatus and Obama shows up

Now that I think about it, I've never seen Ogged and Obama in the same room. Oggedbama!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:49 PM
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I absolutely detest when journalists ask candidates questions rooted in campaign tactics. Yet the thing I find myself most curious about regarding Obama these days is campaign tactics. I want to know if he thinks his can't-we-all-get-along response to Clinton will fly in a general election campaign against a Republican.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:52 PM
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Mr. Obama, what steps can realistically be taken to curtail the "Drug War"?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:53 PM
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In the political climate of the next few years, that is.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:54 PM
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the next internet primary debate should be here on Unfogged

Senator Obama, do you have any black friends?
Senator Clinton, could you summarize your stand on energy independence in sonnet form?
Senator Edwards, what's your plan for insuring that working class Americans have the same access to cock jokes as the rich?
Congressman Kucinich, fuck you clown.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:55 PM
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Senator Obama, do you think you could win if you had prosthetic legs?
Senator Clinton, do you a way to categorize the music ogged says he likes?
Senator Edwards, what tips would you give young teofilo as he tries to woo women?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 2:59 PM
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And if any Obama people read this and do want to set up an online interview (or invite me over for dinner like Edwards did with Ezra Klein and those folks a while back), just email becks / at / unfogged / dot / com. It so can be arranged!


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:00 PM
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277 - OMG, I would pay money to have Edwards take Teo out to a bar and be his wingman with somebody vlogging it. That might could win the internet.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:01 PM
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Senator Obama, do you think you could win if you had prosthetic legs?

Brilliant.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:02 PM
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279: With so many chances at truly first rate entertainment, why is it that `reality tv' univerally sucks?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:03 PM
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Although wasn't Obama the one who publicly apologized for accidentally cockblocking a journalist or something? Which indicates that his wingman skills, or at least sympathies, are useful.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:03 PM
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Senator Edwards, what tips would you give young teofilo as he tries to woo women?

First, make twenty million dollars.


Posted by: John Edwards | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:04 PM
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Senator Obama, when you pick a running mate, do you plan to go to the club together and spit game?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:04 PM
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Obama- Do you think Farrakhan is likable?
Hillary- Would you cry for anyone besides yourself?
Edwards- Would you propose a working-class haircut tax credit?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:10 PM
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282: He apologized on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:10 PM
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Senator Clinton, if Argentina volunteered to cry for you, would you turn them down?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:12 PM
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Senator Clinton, if you could be assured no one would ever find out about it, would you sex Mutombo?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:23 PM
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Senator Obama, if forced to choose, would you appoint John Emerson or BitchPhD to the Supreme Court?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:29 PM
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Senator Clinton, you can take a joke. Why can't B?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:31 PM
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233The worst thing I found out about Jeffrey Liebman

Jeebus. NONPARTISAN SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM PLAN
...Jeffrey Liebman, Maya MacGuineas, and Andrew Samwick

Bruce Webb has been posting this everywhere, and I have posted it here at least once. As Bruce Webb said "I hve read that plan, and I don't want that guy getting his hands anywhere near Social Security"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:35 PM
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All the stores in my area of Bed-Stuy have Obama '08 signs in the window

Jackmormon, you totally need to ask Armsmasher to say "Bedford-Stuyvesant" for you.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:37 PM
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290: Because B knows you people, and familiarty breeds contempt.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:50 PM
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I wasn't kidding about it being a bad thing to have been part of Pres. Clinton's Social Security working group, and it's worse if he still think that the views of that group were correct. I don't think it's correct to take a compromise plan as a statement of what Liebman would do if he didn't have to compromise, but the report does have a number of changes which I'd certainly oppose.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:54 PM
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We are a mighty nation, a unified nation, and we have it within us to answer all of your questions. Republicans or Democrats, black or white, believer or atheist, we are all Americans who worship a mighty God, and He gives us the audacity to hope even the most difficult questions can be answered. Together.


Posted by: Obama | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 3:56 PM
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You don't know me at all, B. Wait, the way you put "you don't know me". It sounds familiar. Hmmm... Oh my God! You sat behind me in 9th grade biology class! Sorry about the frog. How did that braces thing work out, anyway?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 4:25 PM
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When was the last time one of them mentioned George Bush,
who still has a year to dismante the Constitution, murder as many Americans and Iraqis, dig us deeper into recession?


Posted by: redstockinggrandma | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 4:26 PM
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I've noticed the tone slipping in the last few days. While people don't need to agree, I think we need to work on keeping things congenial and listening to each other's points.

This ends my lecture. No need to comment on this -- in fact, I don't want you to. There's nothing more boring than 200 comments on tone. Just please keep this in mind and move on. And please appreciate that monitoring all of the threads is extra-difficult on your bloggers when Ogged's on hiatus so it's especially important for people to be charitable towards one another now and try to disagree productively.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 4:35 PM
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Does he pronounce it stoi-VESS-ant? stoo-EE-ves-ant? I'm trying to imagine how this could go wrong.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 6:32 PM
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It goes wronger than you can ever imagine. Hence: the hilarity.

I can still make Spencer and Yglesias melt into puddles of laughter just by mentioning Bed-Stuy.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 6:34 PM
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French? Bedfwah-Stuyvesahn?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 6:37 PM
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I think we need a sound file to judge it. Luckily, the Flophouse has the technology.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 6:42 PM
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Here's what it sounds like.


Posted by: Unf | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 6:45 PM
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303.---I can't really see how 'Smasher could get "embrace jihad" out of Bedford-Stuyvesant, but then I suppose he is from Texas.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-15-08 7:57 PM
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One more reason not to worry too much about electability: who knows what will happen in late October and early November, or between then and now? We know that a significant fraction of voters makes up their decision in the final days/hours/minutes before casting their votes. We have no idea what will be on the news that day, or what may have happened in the Middle East the week before, or anything like that. We have no basis on which to form any serious judgment about how folks who decide based on such things will break - we can point at factors likely to be present (media manipulation in favor of annointed Republican candidates, for instance), and trends, but that's about it.

Anyone who really thinks that much more detailed prediction is possible is welcome to show how they got the current outcomes guessed right back in, oh, August or so. :)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 01-16-08 2:21 AM
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One more reason not to worry too much about electability: who knows what will happen in late October and early November, or between then and now? We know that a significant fraction of voters makes up their decision in the final days/hours/minutes before casting their votes. We have no idea what will be on the news that day, or what may have happened in the Middle East the week before, or anything like that. We have no basis on which to form any serious judgment about how folks who decide based on such things will break - we can point at factors likely to be present (media manipulation in favor of annointed Republican candidates, for instance), and trends, but that's about it.

Anyone who really thinks that much more detailed prediction is possible is welcome to show how they got the current outcomes guessed right back in, oh, August or so. :)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 01-16-08 2:22 AM
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my husband cracked me up really bad when we had just met by looking at a planning letter/info sheet I had out for my family's upcoming thanksgiving in st. kitts and asking "your grand-father is named stwee-ve-sant?!" I was like, people in NY don't live in Bed-Stwee.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-17-08 8:52 AM
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