Re: By request.

1

Edwards is unfortunately suffering from the post-Obama speech slot. Clinton was probably wise to just release a statement and not even try to give a speech.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:36 PM
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DOESN'T COUNT, TOO BLACK
MY IMAGINARY FLORIDA FRIENDS STILL LIKE ME


Posted by: OPINIONATED CLINTON | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:37 PM
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Why do I keep having to see Bill Bennett's giant, stupid head on my TV?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:39 PM
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Oh, she's just going to give a 40 minute stump speech in Tennessee. That's kind of a waste of the spotlight. Oof.

The Clintons really are tranparently angling for Florida now.

Wow, this was a great way to round off the tail of a hangover.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:42 PM
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3: Change the channel, apo.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:43 PM
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It would just be Chris Matthews' giant, stupid head then.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:44 PM
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Intriguing hypothetical: if the SCOTUS hadn't stolen the 2000 election, would Joe Lieberman be in the political fight of his life right now?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:47 PM
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6: If you switch to Univision it could be Don Francisco's giant, stupid head instead.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:49 PM
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Take a look at the county map.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:50 PM
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7: Nah, some GOP fucker would be running for his second term after recently invading Iraq.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:51 PM
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6: There's got to be another channel that's covering the primary.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:52 PM
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7: Not intriguing. Sickening on too many levels to count. You should know better.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:52 PM
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Intriguing hypothetical: if the SCOTUS hadn't stolen the 2000 election, would Joe Lieberman be in the political fight of his life right now?

Interesting. I can't imagine Lieberman improving much on his disastrous 2004 campaign, even as VP.

I imagine that Hillary would still be running, but Clinton-Gore-Clinton would really drive people insane.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:52 PM
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11: I've no interest whatsoever in Brit Hume's giant, stupid head.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:53 PM
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11: PRIMARIA GIGANTE


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:54 PM
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I wonder how much Joe Lieberman would be the Lieberman he is today. It really does amaze me how much seems to have changed in the past 8 years.

I think things would also look much less exciting on the Democrat side. It would probably be Clinton vs. Lieberman, because things almost certainly would not have gotten as bad. Without the major problems of the past several years, the civil rights violations, the lopsided tax cuts, the war and massive deficit spending, I just couldn't see the same degree of political interest and intense desire for change that has driven the careers of younger relative outsiders like Dean, Edwards and Obama.

Things may not have gotten as bad, but I would also bet that things would not have the chance to get as good.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:54 PM
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14: What do you have against anorexic basset hounds?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:55 PM
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I dunno, I didn't have much trouble identifying Lieberman as a loathesome toad even back then.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:56 PM
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17: It's a goy thing. You wouldn't understand.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:56 PM
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Umm, with 1% of the black vote in SC, Edwards becoming a compromise candidate of the convention is looking unlikely. Whyever did I listen to Petey?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:56 PM
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No, wait. I mean a gay thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:57 PM
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18: Agreed. Orthodox Jew scold. Just what the nation needed. Why anyone thought that would play in Peoria is beyond me. Or even in West Palm Beach.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:59 PM
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Carolina Kennedy has also come out for Obama.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:59 PM
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19, 21: I thought that was supposed to be Thursday.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 7:59 PM
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18: I can believe it. I didn't follow politics well enough to know anything about Lieberman, being 14-15 at the time. I dunno, I still feel somehow that he must have moved a little more obviously right in the past few years. And there certainly has been a much more powerful group on the left that's arisen, which is what gives me the most hope.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:00 PM
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I'm freelancing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:01 PM
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Do you mean freestylin'?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:01 PM
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Because you're not. That I can tell.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:02 PM
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I still dream of Edwards dropping out before Tuesday and Obama announcing the black/cracker ticket. Utter nonsense, I know.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:04 PM
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Ethnicity aside, Lieberman reminds me of your annoying uncle who's really perfectly nice but you just wish he'd shut up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:05 PM
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You mean my annoying uncle? Because if so, you're dead on.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:06 PM
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I have more than one of those uncles.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:08 PM
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Orthodox Jew scolds? I'm genuinely sorry. No wonder you're such an anti-Semite.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:09 PM
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I'm happy, but more than a little confused: what were those things behind Obama on his victory lap?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:10 PM
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80% of the voters said they'd be happy with the other candidate. (I don't know if Edwards was included). It's not like black women hate Hillary, they just like Obama. Etc.

And AFAIK, the 20% were just saying that they'd sort of grumblingly vote for the other candidate (like me for all candidates anywhere anytime). Not that they'd sit the election out or vote Republican.

But the electoral process, the number-crunchers, and the media find these statistical cleavages which they puff up into unmanageable differences and diametrical oppositions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:10 PM
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I'm kind of pleased that I don't have any. None of the B. relatives are "perfectly nice"; either they're enjoyable cranks, or they're smug assholes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:11 PM
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Orthodox Jew scolds?

100% true: one of them did convert to Judaism to marry. But not Orthodox, just Air Force.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:11 PM
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34: Some kind of Star Wars motif?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:12 PM
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Orthodox Jew scolds?

Don't make me link to myself again, Ari. It'd be uncouth.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:12 PM
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None of the B. relatives are "perfectly nice"; either they're enjoyable cranks, or they're smug assholes.

This explains so much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:12 PM
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38: But why would he want to surround himself with Vaders?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:13 PM
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Teo, snark! Congratulations.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:13 PM
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I know. They're illegal immigrants! With a few terrorists among them!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:14 PM
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I was only intending about 35% snark. But, you know, intentional fallacy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:14 PM
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The Terrorists have embraced The Dark Side? Might as well anoint Guiliani then, because we're fucked.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:17 PM
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I confess that while I'm not crazy about Obama, I was sort of pleased with the result.

And maybe he wasn't kidding when he said that the Clinton attacks toughened him up to deal with Republican attacks. It makes sense.

Tomorrow I'll be grumpy again, forget I said this.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:17 PM
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No, no, I was genuinely pleased. Good job.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:17 PM
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29:It is very much the political consensus that Edwards is helping Obama by staying in the race. In addition as long as Edwards remains around 15% there is a strong chance that his delegates can be used to put either one of the two leaders over the top.

Hoodwinked & Bamboozled ...This was fun. Via trickster over at ObsWi


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:19 PM
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Thanks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:19 PM
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Snark will help you in your love life, Teo, up to a point. You have been snark-deficient to date.

You're not at risk of reaching my toxic level.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:19 PM
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46: Bill Clinton carries more authority and goodwill than any Republican in the country. You're probably right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:20 PM
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Anyway, almost all of my relatives are like that. Perfectly nice, but a little goes a long way. Excluding my mom and sister there are only a couple of relatives that I like being around for extended periods of time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:21 PM
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Snark will help you in your love life, Teo, up to a point. You have been snark-deficient to date.

This may well be true.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:21 PM
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Edwards is helping Obama by staying in the race

My guess is that many of his delegates are more friendly to Obama than many of his voters. But it's only a guess.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:22 PM
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My guess is that many of his delegates are more friendly to Obama than many of his voters.

This is quite possible, and it underscores the point that the delegates are actual people with a certain amount of free will in their choices.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:24 PM
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The delegate divison: Obama 25, Clinton 11, Edwards 5.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:26 PM
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That still leaves 4 committed delegates unassigned yet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:27 PM
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What are the best that this is all effectively over on Feb 5? I say yes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:28 PM
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58: I can't even begin to do a state-by-state prediction.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:30 PM
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Let's broker this bitch!


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:32 PM
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54:edwards Helps Obama Matt Yglesias, Jan 18


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:33 PM
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No fuckin clue.

I do suspect that most of the super-delegates, being career Democrats, will vote to put the frontrunner over the top, if it's possible for them to do so.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:34 PM
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59: A week away? HRC's going to clock him.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:34 PM
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59: I bet Obama wins Georgia and Alabama.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:35 PM
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It will also be interesting to see whether McCain can land a knockout blow on Feb 5 in the Republican contest. Because of the large number of winner-takes-all contests, he could rack up a prohibitive lead if he continues to take a plurality against divided opposition.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:37 PM
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I'd bet on him in Illinois and Massachusetts, too. If he places reasonably close in NY and CA, it's still too close to call.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:39 PM
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I'm praying for Romney. Not that my prayers are recognized as valid.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:40 PM
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HRC's going to clock him.

You really think so? I'm guessing SC brings out a lot of those "invisible" voters, the kind who aren't currently factored into polls of any sort. (Obama was supposed to win SC, but not nearly so definitively.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:40 PM
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65: It's weird, because the GOP weights state delegations according to how strongly Republican they are, GA has almost as many delegates as NY.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:42 PM
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I'd bet on him in Illinois and Massachusetts, too. If he places reasonably close in NY and CA, it's still too close to call.

Illinois, yeah. I don't know about Massachusetts, though. I really doubt he comes close in NY or CA, and honestly I don't see a whole lot of other states where he has a reasonable shot.

Surely there's some poll data out there for these states.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:44 PM
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His unexpectedly big win in SC might change things in some states, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:45 PM
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Here are the votes for Obama from non-blacks in the South Carolina primary by age:
18-29 - 52%
30-44 - 25%
45-59 - 23%
60+ - 15%

Here are the votes by income for Edwards:
Under $15,000 - 14%
$15,000-$30,000 - 15%
$30,000-$50,000 - 16%
$50,000-$75,000 - 22%
$75,000-$100,000 - 26%
$100,000-$150,000 - 24%
$150,000-$200,000 - not enough data
$200,000 or more - 29%


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:45 PM
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Yay! Goooooooobama!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:47 PM
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california is 370 delegates. Average polling over the last 10 days is 43-31, which equates to 159-114. That's reasonably close in my book.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:48 PM
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I'd bet on him in Illinois and Massachusetts, too.

I wish that were so, but the last Massachusetts poll I saw showed Hillary with a commanding lead.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:48 PM
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Obama has the black Muslim vote in NY, if signs in Halal stores are any indication. I saw a new ten or so just today.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:49 PM
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As of yesterday, Clinton had a 12 point lead over Obama in CA. I saw this on the news, otherwise I'd link to it. I think teo's right though: we need to see how things shake up in the next few days before deciding anything. SC may've propelled him into the White House, for all we know. (Esp. given how tough the media's being on HRC about Michigan and Florida. That could -- crosses fingers -- backfire massively.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:49 PM
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72:The age differential is a killer. So radical a drop from 20s to 30/40s.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:49 PM
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62: Clinton currently has the superdelegate advantage.


Posted by: J— | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:50 PM
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AP ran a story a few days ago saying that mathematically it's very unlikely that Feb 5 will be decisive. But that must have been based on polling numbers as of back then.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:52 PM
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72a -- That's the game. BHO is going to have to improve the older white voter numbers.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:53 PM
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california is 370 delegates. Average polling over the last 10 days is 43-31, which equates to 159-114. That's reasonably close in my book.

Huh, yeah, that's not so far (although there's a lot of variation among the individual polls). I was thinking it was more like the NY and NJ polling.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:54 PM
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81:I am seeing Howard Fineman say the most recent polls show HRC leading Obama 4-1 among Hispanics in the high-Hispanic states.

4-1. Sorry. I hate this year. No fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:55 PM
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Which of the Super Tuesday states are not winner-take-all? Any?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:56 PM
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He certainly deserves some damn momentum from this one. She won NH by 2 percentage points & Nevada by what, 6? And does Democratic turnout usually exceed GOP turnout in the S.C. primary? Okay, granted, it's never counted quite this much before, but still.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:57 PM
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Ouch, no kidding. Maybe Tim's right.

mathematically it's very unlikely

Mathematically, it's impossible I think.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:57 PM
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79: Marty Chavez is an at-large superdelegate? Christ.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:58 PM
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84: No Dem primaries are winner take all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:58 PM
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Clinton currently has the superdelegate advantage

Superdelegates are uncommitted. They don't actually cast their votes until the convention, and can change their alignment at any time until then, and if the momentum - or the committed delegates - swings Obama's way, they'll probably end up in his column.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:58 PM
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88.---Good.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 8:58 PM
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Nearly all of the Super Tuesday GOP primaries are WTA or some modified form thereof.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:00 PM
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81: He had better results among old white people in Iowa and New Hampshire. He also had higher approvals than Clinton (83% versus 77% would be satisfied with Obama or Clinton as the candidate, 61% versus 40% would be "very satisfied"). Something tells me even old white people like him enough.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:02 PM
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Final SC delegate count is 25-12-8.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:02 PM
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Old white southerners are very different from old white everyone-else. SC old people are a peculiar kind.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:03 PM
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89: Yes, that's a tabulation of endorsements as they currently stand. Thanks for the clarification.


Posted by: J— | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:04 PM
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South Carolina is peculiar even within the South.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:04 PM
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Nearly all of the Super Tuesday GOP primaries are WTA or some modified form thereof.

It's easy to see which party cares about inequality.


Posted by: layman | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:04 PM
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Super Tuesday Polls. Note that many of these states haven't been polled in several months.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:05 PM
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92: Here's the approval data that I pulled from.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:05 PM
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I do like seeing this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:08 PM
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Old white southerners are very different from old white everyone-else.

Not that different. There was an interesting interview on Fresh Air (I don't care; I like it) with a black actor/director associated with The Wire (Clark Johnson?) a couple of days ago. His grandfather, a New Yorker, apparently played an important role in integrating the Armed Forces and long supported the Civil Rights movement. Never spoke to his beloved daughter again after she married Johnson's black father. Admittedly, that's one generation off, but I think that--while old people change--it's hard to change, especially as you get older.

But I'm OK with that. HRC will be fine.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:11 PM
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100:

McCain embedded producer, Malini Bawa contributed to this report.

Jesus, is this a military operation now? Is Malini in camo an wearing a helmet?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:13 PM
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102: Look at the URL.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:14 PM
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101: That's the old "Yes, but would you want your daughter to marry one?" exception that used to be an argument-winner until as late as the 1970s, or 1980s in some places.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:15 PM
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Jesus. Those guys are nuts.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:15 PM
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I need to read more. But Apo's 74 is both key and right. And those numbers will, barring something unexpected, likely tighten. Hillary has had this state wrapped up for months. But Obama supposedly is really going to a full-court press starting tomorrow. So here's where we see if Hillary has a ceiling because she's already so well know and Obama has more upside. Fascinating.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:16 PM
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Do Republicans actually think bitchery about who's more hawkish still makes them look leaderly? Seems impossible that all this "VOW TO BE IN IRAQ FOREVER OR ELSE THERE WILL BE GENOCIDE AND BLOOD FLOWING IN THE STREETS" still gets a rise out of Romney. "Nuh-uh! I wanna be in Iraq forever, too, okay? I promise!"

Is there anyone who isn't directly profiting from the war who thinks we haven't been there long enough to start thinking about leaving?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:18 PM
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South Carolina is peculiar even within the South.

I had a bizarre encounter when I was in high school with a cop from Greenwood, SC, who, thinking me a racist like himself (I'm white, so why wouldn't I be?) showed me his KKK hood.

I harbor more general ill will against South Carolina than any other state.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:18 PM
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Is there anyone who isn't directly profiting from the war who thinks we haven't been there long enough to start thinking about leaving?

There are apparently quite a few such people, and they all vote in Republican primaries.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:19 PM
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In Iowa, Clinton beat Obama 34-21 among voters 60-64, and 45-18 among voters over 65.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:21 PM
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Great Van Susteren has the goods on the Embed Producers blog.

[T]hese are the producers who are traveling with the candidates and blogging the INSIDE story - the "stuff" you don't get to see on TV....the Embed collective blog (click below) makes you feel like you are there..pics, video, inside stories etc...you name it!


Posted by: J— | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:21 PM
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the "stuff" you don't get to see on TV

Interesting use of quotation marks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:22 PM
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McCain embedded producer

I thought pretty much all journalists were embedded in McCain.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:22 PM
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110, I've said it before: Logan's Run wasn't all wrong.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:23 PM
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I thought pretty much all journalists were embedded in McCain.

No, he's embedded in some of them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:23 PM
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SC really is the worst, KR. Charleston history is pretty fascinating on this issue---it was really the entry point for the most major slave-trading, and the bastion of extremely wealthy urban slave-holders in the South. Some of the most extreme lynching incidents were right outside Charleston, and they have preserved the downtown slave market as a sort of craft fair spot for Sea Islands basket-weavers. It's all marketed like, "Get a little history after lunch! And buy a sweetgrass basket in the old slave market!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:24 PM
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115: you were going for the fellatio metaphor, and I for the head up the ass metaphor. Both are apt.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:25 PM
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Charleston history is pretty fascinating on this issue---it was really the entry point for the most major slave-trading

In more than one direction, at different times.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:27 PM
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Both are apt.

Comity!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:27 PM
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"Obama Weathers Attacks to Win"

Headline from the Times. That's very good press for Obama.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:29 PM
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That's very good press for Obama.

Not going to be enough, and, given their endorsement, it's clear which way the NYT thinks the wind is blowing.

I find that repeating "HRC's going to win, and she'll be fine," is very soothing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:31 PM
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From MyDD: 500,000 voted in the SC Dem primary, exceeding the most optimistic forecasts.

Obama's vote total alone today has now officially exceeded all votes cast in the 2004 Dem primary. He's now about 294,000. And MSNBC just announced that 155,000 more black voters voted today than voted in 2004. 445,000 people voted in last weekend's Republican primary. Democratic turnout outpaced Republican turnout in South Carolina? Amazing.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:33 PM
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121: No, she won't be. If the Democrats can't pick Edwards or Obama in a year like this, when the conditions are ripe for a big push and permanent shift in the nation's government role, the Democrats don't deserve my vote. Fuck 'em if they think it can be taken for granted.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:36 PM
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I sometimes think we're all a little Mark Penn-ish with the internal demographics. White people won't vote for him? In Iowa they did. Low income people won't for him? In South Carolina they did. Women won't vote for him? In Iowa they will. Rural white people won't vote for him? In Nevada they did. In Illinois, I like his chances with any demographic group you can name. In NY I hate his chances most of the same demographic groups. He's obviously going to need really really great turnout from his supporters & some serious improvement across all segments of the country to stay close enough on Feb. 5. Where that comes from, who knows. Security moms, waitress moms, old white people, latinos, whatever. Votes are votes. When you win, your coalition looks great, when you lose it looks crappy, but it's not because some regions or demographic groups are more equal than others. Voters are voters. There are a hell of a lot more of them in NY & California & all the rest of the Feb. 5 states than Iowa or South Carolina, & there's not much time, so yes, it'll be tough.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:37 PM
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I find that repeating "HRC's going to win, and she'll be fine," is very soothing.

Agreed. On both counts. But it's really not over yet. I still think Hillary's the favorite. And yet, Obama faced withering attacks, pulled thousands of new voters to the polls, won by 30 points, and now controls the news cycle.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:37 PM
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HRC's going to win, and she'll be fine

I don't think she's good for the Democratic Party's long-term health, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:37 PM
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I don't think she's good for the Democratic Party's long-term health, though.

Yes, but you also think Obama would lose the general. So.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:40 PM
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Nor mine.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:40 PM
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128 to 126.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:40 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election, instead of foisting another unambitious candidate on the country who will be fought every step of the way in her very modest attempts at progressivism.

The massive long-term good that can be done by one president, with the right amount of support at the right time, makes it vital to take advantage of every one of those opportunities. If we throw it away, let the passion that's fired the left wing of the Democrats for the past two elections dim, then no one wins apart from the party powers who remain entrenched as kingmakers. Nothing permanent or major will change, cosmetic changes to law pushed by a timid and rebuked White House with poor popular support will easily be rolled back by future administrations, and a whole lot of us will be far less inclined to care about the party any more after it kicked us while down.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:44 PM
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I'm just worried about the general. I don't know what to think. I'm not sure we've ever had a candidate who combines Obama's raw charisma and almost total lack of political and governmental experience. Closest would be Kennedy, I guess, and he's not that encouraging a parallel. (Since he barely won the general while pandering like crazy in every direction...lousy President too, but that's another issue).

Obama's an opportunist, flat out -- he made a splash in 04, looked around him, said "fuck this, I can beat all these charisma-challenged mediocrities...have you heard me speak lately?", ran, and now he just might do it. Thing is, both McCain and Romney have way more impressive resumes than he does to your average suburban middle class undecided...when you combine that with the weirdo Hussein black quasi-Muslim factor I just can't quite see it.

Love to be wrong though.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:46 PM
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I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election

How much longer will John Paul Stevens live? Romney's not evidently insane, but he's already said that he's going to appoint another 19-year-old Federalist Society stooge with good genes to ensure right-wing control of the Supreme Court until I'm gumming my Lipitor in the rest home.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:48 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election, instead of foisting another unambitious candidate on the country who will be fought every step of the way in her very modest attempts at progressivism.

When exactly is this progressive landslide supposed to happen? This country has elected exactly two kinds of presidents in the last 30 years - crazed Republicans and moderate Democrats.

If eight years of Bush didn't heighten the contradictions enough, it ain't never gonna happen.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:49 PM
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and now controls the news cycle.

Until the beast turns its attention to Florida.

And the Embed Producers will be there!


Posted by: J— | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:49 PM
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130 is an interesting comment. Bide your time for the next FDR, huh?

You have to wonder what a Dem Congress continuing to roll over for a Rep President would do to the party brand though. Unless we end up with a third party that replaces the Dems (wildly unlikely) the whole party needs a shakeup. You need a President for that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:50 PM
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Juxtaposing 130 and 131 is really fascinating. The country is poised for change, and so we shouldn't waste the moment. The country will never change, so we shouldn't gamble. I'd love to know PMP's and PGD's ages, as I'm guessing that reveals all.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:51 PM
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Ok, I was too strong in 130. I do fear the damage that McCain or Guiliani could do in office, since I believe the former would have terrifyingly bad policies in nearly every conceivable area while the latter would continue the most distressing and difficult to reverse pattern of the Bush era: the expansion of Executive Privilege and successful side-stepping of nearly all oversight. So if either of those two were the nominee, I would fear the damage they could do to the country too much to really feel happy with them taking the office.

Romney, though, he's odd. I don't think he'd do anything too scary. I don't think he's daring enough to do anything too terrible and fundamental to our government structures or law, and I don't think he has the raw power lust that would cause him to expand upon the worst of Bush's excesses in the way he governs. He seems like he would be 4 years of unpleasant medicine, just enough heat to keep the left wing of the Democratic party simmering, and enough years out of power that the rest are willing to give a real progressive candidate a try.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:52 PM
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137 makes things a lot less interesting. Drat your pragmatism, PMP, you've ruined a perfectly good theory.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:53 PM
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I'd love to know PMP's and PGD's ages, as I'm guessing that reveals all.

He be young and I be old. Well, I'm middle-aged.

Guessing that's the opposite of your assumptions...but I've seen too many elections pass with the "we'll get 'em next time, and it will be the GRAND REALIGNMENT" excuse.

I basically agree with Gabriel in 133. It's not going to be a grand FDR thing. It's going to be gradually demonstrating, over a decade or so, that the Democrats can use government to actually help you.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:54 PM
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I don't think he has the raw power lust

But he's a Republican. So if not that, then why is he running? To bring more power to LDS? To make himself even richer?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:55 PM
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"HRC's going to win, and she'll be fine,"

Too bad neither of these things is true.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:55 PM
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Romney, though, he's odd. I don't think he'd do anything too scary.

Right. He wouldn't sit there and sign whatever legislation the Rs want to put through. Not.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:56 PM
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139: No, totally in line with my expectations.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:56 PM
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131 - Kennedy did pretty much singlehandedly prevent a nuclear war over Cuba. That goes a fair distance in my book. Obviously, his rhetoric was generally more impressive than the reality of the policies he implemented, but I think the anti-Kennedy backlash that seems so hip these days has gone as far wrong in the one direction as Kennedy lionization did in the other.

As to lack of experience, Bush II was the governor of a state with the weakest governorship in the country; Carter was a one term governor of Georgia with no experience on the national stage. Eisenhower had no political experience whatever, although obviously being Supreme Allied Commander twice might qualify as governmental experience. Hoover was never elected to anything prior to 1928, although, again, he had a great deal of administrative experience. Wilson had been governor of New Jersey for two years.

Losing candidates tend to have lots of experience - John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, George Bush I, Mondale, Ford, Humphrey, Nixon, Dewey...I think if you add up the total experience of losing presidential candidates and compare it to that of winners, you'll find the losers are far superior in that department.

Also, why is Mitt Romney so much more experienced than Obama? He was a one term governor of Massachusetts, with no previous political experience except an unsuccessful Senate run in 1994.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:56 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election,

Mistake.

If you're really worried, try and sort out a Dem coalition that could kick HRC's legs out from under her and support it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:57 PM
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The young have more time to bide, obv!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:57 PM
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"I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election"

Leaving aside the "ZOMG the Supreme Court!!!!" factor, that's a big if. Why increase the likelihood of something very bad happening for the next 4 years, in return for a very uncertain future gain? None of us are psychic, or have any real idea what 2012 looks like.

Of course, by the same token, there's no reason at all to be having depressing conversations about Nov. on a night like tonight. I was really trying hard to keep my head down & work away on the issues & not get swept up into projecting my hopes onto a presidential candidate who might not be worthy of them & would probably lose anyway. But in the face of Obama's political skills this is apparently as much use as my husband saying he's given up on the NY Jets once and for all. Can you imagine how great election night in November could be? I can.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:58 PM
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Bide your time for the next FDR, huh?

At this point, I'd settle for another Nixon. At least he had the balls to create OSHA and the EPA before everyone found out what a paranoid bastard he was. And I'd even say that, on the balance, his foreign policy was probably even on the better side of average, though split between amazing lasting triumphs and horrendous warcrime lows.

Blargh. The thought of Hillary selling the whole damn country out in '04 and then coming to get the nomination handed to her on a silver platter when she finally feels like it just angers up my blood, as has come up in past threads.

(now if only Obama got elected and went back toward his early musings of single-payer health care. mmm... that'll be pleasant dreaming tonight)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 9:59 PM
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Is it completely negligible that Obama is a professor of constitutional law? It's not political experience, but it is, actually, like, knowledge of how the country works, of which Bush seemed to have exactly zero. Why don't they bring this up? Too fancy-sounding?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:02 PM
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Romney, though, he's odd. I don't think he'd do anything too scary.

That reaction is why I worry about Romney vs. HRC.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:02 PM
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150 is right. So, so right.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:04 PM
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I'm sure why some people are relatively soft on Romney. He's run an utterly repellent campaign. I agree that it's probably insincere, which is better than the alternative, but that doesn't exactly inspire great confidence either. I think he's less of a nutty hawk than McCain, but McCain has actual flashes of decency that Romney seems to entirely lack.

The thing about the whole "experience" knock on Obama is that Hillary Clinton doesn't actually have all that much more of a track record. Her Senate record is fairly lame. She's a very smart woman who knows a lot about policy & understands in intimate detail what she'll be up against, but as far as actually having the policy judgment & priorities & the political skill to do what the country needs, I really do have more confidence in him.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:05 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election

Why would the election of a crazed Republican lead to a landslide for "actual progressives," whatever those might be? This country followed up eight years of corrupt, middling center-right Clintonism with eight years of George W. Bush - about as crazed a Republican as you could ask for - and instead of any progressive landslide, we're being presented with... more corrupt, middling center-right Clintonism. Why, it's almost as if there's no institutional support for actual progressivism in the Democratic Party, landslide or no!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:05 PM
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Blargh. The thought of Hillary selling the whole damn country out in '04 and then coming to get the nomination handed to her on a silver platter when she finally feels like it just angers up my blood, as has come up in past threads.

I think a lot of people feel like that. Not anywhere near enough to get Obama the nomination, though. Coalitions are a pain in the ass, and sometimes you get stuck with other people's preferences.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:07 PM
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Yeah, batshit Republicans do not make for brave progressive liberal Democrats. They make for scared, careful, shit-eating Democrats. What evidence do you have to the contrary, PMP?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:07 PM
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Why, it's almost as if there's no institutional support for actual progressivism in the Democratic Party, landslide or no!

Or public interest in actual progressivism in the American electorate, by all indications.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:08 PM
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151: Yes, and it's another reason why people stupidly thinking they're voting for the individual rather than the party is so annoying.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:09 PM
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144: true, Kennedy restrained the kookier generals on Cuba...but it's hard to see Eisenhauer or even Nixon vaporizing the world. And: the "missile gap", Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, the Castro assasination attempts, letting the CIA go, etc. But whatever, I'm not too committed to anything beyond the view that Kennedy is overrated.

why is Mitt Romney so much more experienced than Obama?

Even one term as governor counts for a lot, and I think the business experience will impress people too. Obama has had no executive management experience of any kind running any kind of large organization, ever. That's rare. The campaign itself is the largest operation he has ever managed. So far he is doing a great job of it though.

I agree with you that experience is not necessarily that important -- basically there is no experience that prepares you to be President anyway -- but hitting the ground running is critical, and that requires rapidly setting up executive management in the White House.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:10 PM
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154: Tim, don't you think there's a real chance that Obama can create a new coalition? A coalition in which younger and urban -- used here in both the coded and uncoded sense -- voters show up at the polls in absolutely huge numbers? Isn't that something to hope for. Particularly since, for the first time in my adult life, it could actually happen.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:11 PM
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That reaction is why I worry about Romney vs. HRC.

Tim, you should be worried about anybody versus HRC. The GOP could run a dead raccoon against Clinton and it'd still get all the red states and at least 45% of the vote in Florida.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:11 PM
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If you're really worried, try and sort out a Dem coalition that could kick HRC's legs out from under her and support it.

I do! I keep sending mash notes to Edwards that go on about top-up funding for poor rural and urban school districts, expanded unemployment insurance and an expanded EITC, signed "Barry O" with the little afro on the O. And I'm now working on one from "John Edwards" to Obama that discusses auctioning methods for carbon emission permits, strategies for bringing Iran and the UN into Iraq to help broker peace accords and be more open to trade & inspections in exchange for help developing civilian nuclear power and reduced sanctions, and a special section listing his favorite parts of Spike Lee movies.

I already had great success with my Barry O letter to Dennis that said "You'll always be the Secretary of Peace in my heart" and dotted all the i's with little hearts and peace signs.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:11 PM
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Obama has had no executive management experience of any kind running any kind of large organization, ever.

Neither has HRC, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:11 PM
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Tim, you should be worried about anybody versus HRC. The GOP could run a dead raccoon against Clinton and it'd still get all the red states and at least 45% of the vote in Florida.

Yeah, but a dead raccoon wouldn't be on record as supporting another 100 years in Iraq. Not much room for the Republican nominee to pivot on that, especially if it's McCain.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:13 PM
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The thing about the whole "experience" knock on Obama is that Hillary Clinton doesn't actually have all that much more of a track record.

Now, that is wrong. She was basically co-President with Bill. Before that she was co-governor of Arkansas. For better or worse, she's incredibly experienced at executive management. The equivalent of Nixon at least in experience.

Is it completely negligible that Obama is a professor of constitutional law?

"I can run things -- I'm a college professor!" is an argument that would only fly among the Unfogged demographic.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:14 PM
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162: not so much Edwards, either. The best experience candidate was Richardson.

I know this isn't really a good predictor of governing, but his campaign organization is damn, damn impressive.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:15 PM
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163: For the moment, the press has neutralized Iraq as an issue. It's not right that this has happened; it's horrible, sickening even. But there it is. Will this still be the case in the fall? I have no idea. If it is, though, Iraq isn't going to be a slam-dunk issue for the Democrats after all. Hard to belive, but probably true. Unless I'm wrong.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:15 PM
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165: But his desk is messy. No sale.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:16 PM
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Tim, you should be worried about anybody versus HRC.

I don't think so. I think HRC beats Neocon John, though it'll be close. I suspect Obama would lose to him, and beat Romney.

She was basically co-President with Bill.

That's not true. She explicitly pulled back after healthcare reform and the '94 elections.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:17 PM
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166 strikes me as correct, and I can hardly believe it either. Apparently all that is necessary to render the public quiescent is to make some progress toward pacifying a rebellious province


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:18 PM
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164: Was she really? Impressive how she co-managed foreign policy without a security clearance or ever being in the room. On domestic policy, I'm sure she had some role, but the only specific thing I can point to is the health care thing. She'll have done much else behind the scenes, of course, & I'm sure she gets how D.C. works much better now than she did then, but you know, I would like some f***ing specifics, not "she is half responsible for everything good during the Clinton administration & not responsible for anything bad" and a bunch of handwaving. She gave me no specifics in the Senate.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:19 PM
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153, 155: There is legitimate support for candidates running on platforms of more progressive taxation, more open foreign policy that strives to engage with foreign leaders even if we disagree with them, and especially publically-funded health care for the masses. People are actually talking about the safety net for those at the bottom instead of just the "middle class". I don't remember seeing much support for those things in 2000 or in 1996.

Success doesn't breed ambition in the Democrats. Those who play it safe and centrist and then get elected take it as proof that they should remain safe and centrist in all future elections. Hell, even Reagan's years of success led to the more mild Bush Sr. years. Success makes people soft, you can only hope for big changes at the change times.

Only when a party's been out of power for ages are they willing to try something radical and to take power in a substantial way (see New Labour, and to a lesser extent, what's going on in the Tory party at the moment, though the US Democrats would have to move in the opposite direction since they started out as centrist pantwetters).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:19 PM
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she's incredibly experienced at executive management.

Gah. Health care policy fiasco. No thanks.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:19 PM
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163: Right, because the American electorate is so well-known for being issue-oriented and fact-based when it comes to picking their presidents, especially with the help of a responsible news media that holds political figures like John McCain to account for shit like that.

Most Republicans who want to end the war have been voting for McCain in the primaries. Most Democrats who want to end the war have been voting for Clinton. I don't mean to say Americans are dumb as shit, but Americans are dumb as shit, and if the plan is to beat the eventual Republican nominee with facts, you'd better get another plan.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:20 PM
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That's not true. She explicitly pulled back after healthcare reform and the '94 elections.

In her public role, yes. But do you really think she didn't remain a top advisor, as she had been to Bill throughout his public career? "Co-President" is a little strong, but her experience at least bears comparison to being a White House chief of staff or other top managerial position.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:21 PM
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Tim, don't you think there's a real chance that Obama can create a new coalition?

That was my hope: a Northern-urban (uncoded) coalition, with tendrils reaching out into the soft South. Now I think it was just too soon. It would be nice to have a strong bulwark against the Southern Conservatives. Someday.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:22 PM
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I don't mean to say Americans are dumb as shit, but Americans are dumb as shit

Stras, you should totally run for office. With that as your campaign slogan, you can't lose.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:22 PM
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Most Democrats who want to end the war have been voting for Clinton. I don't mean to say Americans are dumb as shit, but Americans are dumb as shit

You know, it's remotely possible that people are voting for the person they think is the likely D candidate on the grounds that the Ds are the party that's most likely to end the war one way or another. And that at least some of the folks voting for McCain are doing so because he's the only fucking R candidate who's anti-torture.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:25 PM
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I think HRC beats Neocon John, though it'll be close.

You have lead a terribly sheltered life. McCain is the crazy right-winger that liberals irrationally believe is trustworthy; Clinton is the moderate conservative that moderates and conservatives irrationally believe is a psychopath. If you don't think this dynamic will dominate the campaign to the exclusion of everything else - McCain's age, craziness, record of support for deranged policies, etc. - you are terribly naive.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:25 PM
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158: And Khrushchev got what he wanted from Kennedy: the withdrawal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey and a promise not to invade Cuba.


Posted by: J— | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:26 PM
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175: But the number of people voting in the primaries is staggering. Sure, a lot of that is anti-Bush, but not all of it. It seems like Obama is really moving people. Enough people? I don't know. The Clinton machine is just awesome to behold. They're so good at the game. But I'm not giving up yet. I'm with Katherine. And I won't rest until you're with us, too.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:27 PM
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You know, it's remotely possible that people are voting for the person they think is the likely D candidate on the grounds that the Ds are the party that's most likely to end the war one way or another.

B, if any of these people had actually read Clinton's statements on "ending the war," they would know that she plans to have troops in Iraq when she leaves office in 2017.

And that at least some of the folks voting for McCain are doing so because he's the only fucking R candidate who's anti-torture.

The exit polls in question didn't ask about torture. They asked about ending the war. And most of the Republicans in favor of ending the war were voting for the guy who wanted to keep it going for another hundred years.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:29 PM
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McCain's age, craziness, record of support for deranged policies, etc. - you are terribly naive.

Have faith in our discomfort with the old, stras. Revel in the fact that by the time Oct./Nov. rolls around, age will have whittled McCain down to HRC's physical size.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:29 PM
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Success doesn't breed ambition in the Democrats. Those who play it safe and centrist and then get elected take it as proof that they should remain safe and centrist in all future elections.

You aren't old enough to remember the 80s. Clintonism came as a reaction to failure -- the lesson the party drew from failure was the need to move to the right (in certain ways I think that was correct at the time). Same thing happened after the 94 elections. The Democrats badly need something to move them out of their defensive cringe. I'm not sure whether success will do it, but failure hasn't seemed to in the past.

Gah. Health care policy fiasco. No thanks.

yeah, that was a disaster, and her management style was one of the most important contributing factors. One of the many good reasons to be worried about her. I think in some sense she has bad management instincts at base, she's too controlling. But she's also smart enough to have learned a lot from her mistakes. Certainly as a Senator she's been very competent in a managerial and political sense, much more open, although far too cautious.

I would like some f***ing specifics, not "she is half responsible for everything good during the Clinton administration & not responsible for anything bad"

The bullshit spin is annoying, but the underlying fact of her presence and significance remain true.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:29 PM
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PGD: you know, my husband's an economist. I talk to him quite a lot about his job, & his colleagues too, & occasionally give him useful advice on his research, and yet I can't read a supply curve to save my life, let alone run a regression. Obviously, Hillary Clinton's & Bill Clinton's intellectual & professional interests/background overlap quite a lot more than mine & his, & I'm sure she KNEW as much as anyone but him about his presidency. But talking to your husband about something, intimately & in detail, just isn't quite the same thing as actually doing it.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:30 PM
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169 - It's a case, once again, of the Democrats being spectacularly, probably irredeemably clueless about how to play the media game. They had to know that the Bushies were going to spin any decline in American casualties as proof that the surge worked, and that dastards, enablers, and media whores like Michael O'Hanlon were going to work to help them. But instead of laying the groundwork of an explanation for the American people of why the surge failed to actually accomplish its goal (or, God forbid, making a case that hey, we pacified things, let's come home now), they censured MoveOn. Losers. It's like rooting for the Washington Generals.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:30 PM
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Most Republicans who want to end the war have been voting for McCain in the primaries. Most Democrats who want to end the war have been voting for Clinton.

Yes, but there aren't any Democrats who don't claim to want to end the war, and there aren't any Republicans who do want to end it, aside from Paul. In the general election there should be a real contrast that even the media and the voters can see.

I don't mean to say Americans are dumb as shit, but Americans are dumb as shit, and if the plan is to beat the eventual Republican nominee with facts, you'd better get another plan.

Who said anything about facts? I'm hoping for a giant glossy ad campaign caricaturing McCain as a crazy old man who loves to start wars. The fact that McCain actually *is* a crazy old man who likes to start wars is just a happy coincidence.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:31 PM
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181: My point is perhaps some people are voting for the party, not the candidate.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:31 PM
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Yes, and it's another reason why people stupidly thinking they're voting for the individual rather than the party is so annoying.

Hey, all I have to communicate with the party in any meaningful way are my contributions, my primary votes, and my general election votes. I'm already putting all of the first two toward my chosen candidate.

I'm voting for the candidate that is approved by the highest number of people voting in the party primaries. If they'd rather spit in my eye because old white people love Hillary a little more than Obama, that's fine. Hopefully there'll be more old white people who love her than the Republican come November, because I certainly won't give a shit and probably neither will millions of other people under 30.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:32 PM
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But the number of people voting in the primaries is staggering. Sure, a lot of that is anti-Bush, but not all of it. It seems like Obama is really moving people.

I suspected Obama was going to hit the reality wall with his strategies. But, results matter, and Iowa and SC suggests he's on to something. Definitely made me see him in a better light.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:32 PM
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let alone run a regression

You just say that to shirk that particular chore.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:34 PM
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"Certainly as a Senator she's been very competent in a managerial and political sense"

See, I don't think so. Not unless you define "political competence" as "being in power & having decent approval ratings"--which is what D.C. Democrats do, and is PRECISELY why they disappoint us over, and over, and over, and over again.

What does she have to show for six years in the Senate? A strong re-election victory, good approval ratings throughout the state, some more lines on her resume for a presidential run, but as far as policy accomplishments? I understand that she's very diligent w/ constituent services & good at securing funding for her state. That's nice, as far as it goes, but Al D'Amato was good at securing funding for his state. I swear to God, I prefer Obama's accomplishments in the Illinois legislature, I really do.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:34 PM
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My point is perhaps some people are voting for the party, not the candidate.

Which gets us back to "Americans are dumb as shit."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:35 PM
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169 - It's a case, once again, of the Democrats being spectacularly, probably irredeemably clueless about how to play the media game.

Unfortunately, it's also a case of the Democrats being not quite sure that they really do oppose the occupation of Iraq. It's hard to exaggerate how fundamentally militaristic the DC establishment is (not hte entire Democratic party, but the infection is enough that it weakens any opposition).


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:36 PM
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192: Which gets us to most people don't follow politics very well, but no; it doesn't get us to "most americans are dumb as shit."

Personally, I think that Clinton's the only candidate who is telling the truth about what's likely to happen with Iraq; I'll be surprised as hell if Obama just pulls us out entirely. I simply don't think it's going to happen.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:37 PM
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Hopefully there'll be more old white people who love her than the Republican come November, because I certainly won't give a shit and probably neither will millions of other people under 30.

On the plus side, "old white people" is a problem that solves itself. Not this year, but still.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:38 PM
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That was my hope: a Northern-urban (uncoded) coalition, with tendrils reaching out into the soft South.

That's not good enough; you would need the West too. It's possible (basically the 1864–1928 Republican coalition), but I don't know if we're there yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:39 PM
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189: I was for Obama from day one. For all kinds of nebulous reasons, none of which are good enough to use in an argument. But now this is *the* reason I'm for him.

192: Stras: I came for the progressive politics; I stayed for the electability. Now, if only you were a con law prof.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:39 PM
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Only when a party's been out of power for ages are they willing to try something radical and to take power in a substantial way (see New Labour, and to a lesser extent, what's going on in the Tory party at the moment, though the US Democrats would have to move in the opposite direction since they started out as centrist pantwetters).

Yeah, but look what New Labour actually was -- a crap, not-even-social-democratic bunch of pantswetters. I mean, Gordon Brown's about the best of the lot, and he's still crap, especially compared to Wilson or Callaghan. Next to Maxton, he's a sad joke.

Also: stras, maybe the American people aren't stupid, just using different metrics to measure how-good-candidates-are-on-ending-the-war. Like, maybe they think that Clinton's more likely to be able to get a good end-state, which Obama won't have the will/experience to do?

That's not, actually, a dumb-as-shit idea.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:39 PM
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191: we don't necessarily disagree, either about Hilary or the DC establishment. A great argument for Obama is that if he can get elected he won't be infected by that old DLC defensive mentality.

But I do think that Hilary has pretty consciously been playing smallball, building up what she sees as her centrist credibility in preparation for this Presidential run, and if she wins she will cash in a lot of chips to try something fairly ambitious on health care in particular.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:41 PM
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Clintonism came as a reaction to failure -- the lesson the party drew from failure was the need to move to the right (in certain ways I think that was correct at the time).

I know that Clinton wasn't a model of left-wing improvements, but he was a much newer face in '92. He actually had a good shot at bringing in a new coalition, especially compared to fuckin' Dukakis and Mondale. He was new, exciting, and ran in '92 with the intention of introducing publically funded health care which seems like it should have been pretty radical at the time. Now, he and his wife of course botched it quite badly, and upon being massively rebuked in the '94 midterms they proceeded to kowtow to the Republicans for fear of more bad publicity following more gridlock. But at the beginning, I think there was promise and the willingness to try something new after 12 years out of office.

That's what we need again. That initial burst of promise when big things can happen, and hopefully this time it will be more successful. Better than aiming for the failure of underweening ambition from the get-go.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:41 PM
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195's not entirely a joke (unlike my earlier snark about Logan's Run). Demographics are changing and with them the politics of race. Again, this might not be the year. But just wait. The change can't come fast enough for me.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:42 PM
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193 - Unlike FISA or more sharply progressive taxation, I really believe that a majority, probably a large majority, of Dems in Congress want to do the right thing. They're just cowardly and stupid. I don't resent their failure to get anything done -- with the Senate still at 50R + Lieberman + Cheney, and Congress still unwilling to throw Bush under the bus, it's not going to happen. I mostly resent their failure to make political hay with this, to keep reinforcing the message that Republicans want American men and women to die overseas for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. Instead, I got some sort of reverse filibuster dreamed up by Harry Reid that even I, someone who reads the newspaper and political blogs, couldn't understand. They sure cracked the whip at that "Betray-us" ad, though, boy howdy!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:42 PM
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That's not good enough; you would need the West too. It's possible (basically the 1864-1928 Republican coalition), but I don't know if we're there yet.

Yeah, sorry, I meant that. Put the old band together, etc.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:42 PM
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197: I was never excited about Obama, but I have to admit the way he's performing in the primaries is kind of changing that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:43 PM
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Now, if only you were a con law prof.

How do you know he isn't?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:44 PM
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Like, maybe they think that Clinton's more likely to be able to get a good end-state, which Obama won't have the will/experience to do?

That's not, actually, a dumb-as-shit idea.

I think it really is a dumb-as-shit idea. I really do. Although I suppose the argument really hinges on what you mean by a "good end-state."


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:44 PM
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I'll go along with 202.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:45 PM
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Yeah, but look what New Labour actually was

The Democrats right now are basically New Labour. For them to make a similar radical change and embrace a fresh new face, they'd have to shift to the left. The important trait of a slightly desparate party isn't the direction it will move, but its willingness to move and ride the coattails of a charismatic politician to a large majority and at least a couple years of nigh impunity in legislation.

Clinton plays and has consistantly played smallball, as PGD said. I don't have any faith that will change after she gets into office. Her proposals are no more ambitious than those of the other Democrats, and in many cases are less ambitious. And to top it all off, I doubt she could win anywhere near as many marginal Congress seats as a party head. Because who really cares that much about her as a candidate?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:47 PM
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I actually think that Keir's explanation holds a lot of water. But I do think that most folks who are anti-the war are voting Clinton because she's the presumed Democratic candidate and they think the Dems are going to end the war a hell of a lot sooner than the Republicans, so they're voting for the person that seems to have the backing of the party.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:47 PM
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Unlike FISA or more sharply progressive taxation, I really believe that a majority, probably a large majority, of Dems in Congress want to do the right thing.

What evidence do we have for this? Really, I want to believe it. But why should I?

They're just cowardly and stupid.

Now this we have evidence for.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:49 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd rather have 4 years of Mitt Romney or some other crazed Republican if it would lead to an actual progressive landslide for Democrats in the next election

Uh-uh. There's keeping the powder dry, there's strategy, and then there's arguing yourself into a circle where you're better off not having power because once the other side runs the country into the ground enough, you might have a better chance at winning. Doesn't work due to the whole country having to go further to shit bit.

Plus, what Katherine said about the Supreme Court. I don't care who they nominate. The Republicans don't get to play with the crayons again until they learn to color within the constitutional lines.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:50 PM
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Clinton plays and has consistantly played smallball

Except for with the universal health care thing, which got everyone up in arms and blew up in her face. And, for instance, with keeping her name for as long as she did, until it blew up in her face. And with holding the line on making Plan B available over the counter--which might be smallball, sure, but no one else in fucking congress was willing to do it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:50 PM
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Demographics are changing and with them the politics of race. Again, this might not be the year. But just wait. The change can't come fast enough for me.

I agree, and it can't come fast enough for me either. But I have no idea who is going to get us there. Even if HRC wins, there were a lot of good things seen of late. Obama, Sibileus, Napolitano. The times, they are a changing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:50 PM
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I doubt she could win anywhere near as many marginal Congress seats as a party head. Because who really cares that much about her as a candidate?

Don't take it from PMP; take it from Obama's red-state endorsers. They believe he'll have coattails.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:50 PM
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Personally, I think that Clinton's the only candidate who is telling the truth about what's likely to happen with Iraq

I like how "what's likely to happen" here stands in for "what she, Clinton, is going to do." And no, she's not telling the truth about it; she's trying to spin it as "ending the war," when her policy people and various other surrogates have made clear to outlets like the New York Times that she doesn't intend on any such thing.

If you've actually been paying attention to this, B, you know that each candidate has marked out differences in what troops they intend to withdraw when, and the size of the mission they'll leave for those troops. Clinton has explicitly described leaving behind the largest set of troops with the most sweeping set of missions, while Obama and Edwards have described more limited missions and quicker troop drawdowns. I take it you think this is all crap - that all three of them have Clinton's exact policy, while claiming otherwise? It must be nice to know that the area where your candidate has the worst record simply doesn't count, because everyone else is secretly just as bad.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:50 PM
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The Republicans don't get to play with the crayons again until they learn to color within the constitutional lines.

Cala, your line? Just want to know who I'll be stealing from.

209: I still don't buy Keir's explanation. But I do think, as you say, that huge numbers of Democrats are voting for Hillary because they see her as the party's choice.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:54 PM
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What evidence do we have for this? Really, I want to believe it. But why should I?

If I had proof, I wouldn't need faith.

212 - By "no one else", do you mean "no else except Patty Murray"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:54 PM
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Thanks Sras, but as I've said repeatedly, Clinton isn't, in fact, "my" candidate.

I've been paying attention. Not as much as a lot of you, but hopefully enough that you won't count me among the Americans who are as dumb as shit. And I think that once the Democratic president takes office, that the specifics of what they've marked out now will change. I don't think that *Clinton's* exact policy will be her exact policy, let alone anyone else's. I do think, however, that despite wishful thinking that we'll elect someone who will "end the war," the facts are that the United States is not going to walk away from Iraq, and if we start a withdrawal and things go to shit in a way that isn't to our liking, we'll find that policies will change.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:55 PM
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217.2: Yes. And Barbara Boxer. What I meant was "no one else who is currently running for president."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:56 PM
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216: Completely my line.
218: On the other hand, there's something to be said for the attitude going in. If you're inclined to see nails, you'll be reaching for hammers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:58 PM
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If you're inclined to see nails, you'll be reaching for hammers.

This one yours too?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 10:59 PM
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Nope, that's mine. I loaned it to her for the evening. And I want it back.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:01 PM
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Dude, I said I'd have the toolbox tomorrow.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:01 PM
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Really, Po-Mo Polymath. If Obama wins the nomination, wins the general, serves two terms, & is the best President of my lifetime, I'm STILL not sure it would outweigh the disasters of the last seven years years--and it's important not to think of that in the abstract. I mean: actual people, whose lives were destroyed.

The Democratic Congress is disappointing in a thousand different ways, but it is at least possible that the midterm election result scared the administration enough to prevent a war with Iran. That's worth it all by itself. And a Democrat in the White House would make more difference than that. I do think that long term, we're all screwed if we're not occasionally willing to roll the dice & vote based on our hopes instead of our fears. But to vote to make things worse for the next 4 years based on a remote, probably illusory hope that they might get better after 2012? That's just not responsible.

I really do understand the temptation. I voted for Nader in 2000--in Mass. but I regretted it from the next day onward. But I think what drives the temptation is the belief that only a presidential candidate riding in on his white steed can make things better. That's not the way it works (ironically, it's Obama's apparent understanding of that which I find so appealing). Politicians are very skittish, & public opinion matters even between elections.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:01 PM
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white steed

Racist.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:03 PM
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"And with holding the line on making Plan B available over the counter--which might be smallball, sure, but no one else in fucking congress was willing to do it."

This really is impressive, & important, & I'm too prone to forget it. PGD is probably also right about her intention to build up chits--I think she'd be a better president than she's been a Senator. In general, I trust her more than her husband, let alone her advisors (& really wish he would shut! up!).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:04 PM
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But to vote to make things worse for the next 4 years based on a remote, probably illusory hope that they might get better after 2012? That's just not responsible, with all respect, PMP, really fucking dumb, like beating yourself up so the bully won't hit you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:04 PM
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Politicians are very skittish, & public opinion matters even between elections.

Which is one reason to think HRC might be less bad than people have assumed.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:05 PM
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AWB likes her some big black stallions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:05 PM
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I voted for Nader in 2000--in Mass.

It's the caveat that kept me from renouncing my newfound fealty to Katherine. A close shave, I tell you.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:06 PM
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Which is, as we've learned, an allegory for sex. With Man O'War. In the desert.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:06 PM
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||
Holy fucking shit. 55% to 27%?
|>


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:07 PM
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231 to 223


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:08 PM
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Didn't PMP take back what he said? Like, four or five comments after the original? I'm too lazy to look, of course, but I think I'm right. Still, carry on with the brutaility.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:08 PM
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Unlike FISA or more sharply progressive taxation, I really believe that a majority, probably a large majority, of Dems in Congress want to do the right thing. [on Iraq]

A lot of Dems have an inchoate desire to do this, but they take their cue from the foreign policy establishment. And a lot of establishment types, even those who disagreed with the war in the first place, have their doubts about a complete withdrawal. "Would leave the Persian Gulf in chaos!", etc.

I do think, however, that despite wishful thinking that we'll elect someone who will "end the war," the facts are that the United States is not going to walk away from Iraq, and if we start a withdrawal and things go to shit in a way that isn't to our liking, we'll find that policies will change.

You can see that even some Unfogged commenters have their doubts about whether it is wise or even possible to withdraw from Iraq. If that's B, imagine DC.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:08 PM
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220.2: This is a good point. Though really, do you guys truly think that we're going to pull out and let the chips fall where they may in Iraq??

I think she'd be a better president than she's been a Senator.

I do too. But her building up chits really has muddied the waters, and I can understand why people don't want to vote for her. I do think, however, that the belief that there's some vast difference between her and Obama is based mostly on rhetoric and wishful thinking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:08 PM
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wooooo! for wishful thinking!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:09 PM
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It's kind of funny: if people start yelling at me about how I better be prepared to fall in line in November I get wild-eyed & mutinous, but ask me to talk down a wayward lefty & all of a sudden I'm the cautious voice of reaon. I see what AA means about helping other people get sober as an antidote to relapses.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:10 PM
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Though really, do you guys truly think that we're going to pull out and let the chips fall where they may in Iraq?

I, for one, have absolutely no idea what our Iraq policy is going to look like a year from now no matter who gets elected.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:11 PM
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231: You've lost me here. But, given your earlier bon mots, I'm sure this is genius as well.

232: Yeah, he creamed her. A lot.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:12 PM
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"I do think, however, that the belief that there's some vast difference between her and Obama is based mostly on rhetoric and wishful thinking."

On foreign policy? There's certainly some wishful thinking but it's not just rhetoric. It's also very much advisors & voting records.

(Also, presidential campaigns are mostly rhetoric. Why do you support Edwards over Obama? I bet it's not their voting records in office.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:12 PM
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235: Exactly.

That said, of course, if *I* were running, I'd say, let's withdraw and spend all the money we've been spending on the war on solar-powered rapid transit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:12 PM
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231 to 240


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:12 PM
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Which is, as we've learned, an allegory for sex. With Man O'War. In the desert.

That's definitely not the edition of Clue™ I grew up playing.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:15 PM
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I could use some sunshine, let alone solar power. I don't mind seasons or cold, but this lack of daylight bullshit has to go. AND YES I KNOW IT'S AFTER MIDNIGHT. I'm just saying. In general.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:15 PM
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That's definitely not the edition of Clue™ I grew up playing.

Boy did you ever miss out. Whoo-eee!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:15 PM
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240.1: Read the archives, Lazybones.
241: Fair enough.
238: I know what you mean.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:16 PM
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That said, of course, if *I* were running, I'd say, let's withdraw and spend all the money we've been spending on the war on solar-powered rapid transit.

A B/Stras ticket. For America!


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:16 PM
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Dear lord, Ari, you're trying to get me killed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:17 PM
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231 to 248


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:18 PM
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And a lot of establishment types, even those who disagreed with the war in the first place, have their doubts about a complete withdrawal. "Would leave the Persian Gulf in chaos!", etc.

For non-crazy reasons. But judgment matters, as do advisors, and, from all evidence, HRC sucks on both scores.

The problem, in part, is that the progressive movement--whatever that is--doesn't have the ability to punish Administration apparatchicks. From any Administration.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:18 PM
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teo's cracking me up!
(TO 231!)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:19 PM
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211: Well, that "the country going further to shit" bit is why I made the exception of Guiliani and McCain, because, as I explained, I could see them doing enough lasting damage to cancel out many of the positive effects of the bigger victory and greater accomplishments when the Democrats finally get desperate enough to put someone with charisma and unembarrassed vision up for election.

I understand the Supreme Court issues, but I still almost have a hard time seeing how we could get much more fucked on that in one term. I think that major battle was lost in 04, not this year. Roberts seemed to be showing his influence on the court last I heard, though others here would be much more aware.

But mostly, if the Democrats are always going to be stuck in a defensive posture, putting up mediocre candidates who pander to the stupidest forms of centrism out there and whose greatest ambition is to nominate judges that won't take away our god damn rights that this nation was founded upon... If Hillary is as good as it gets; if she's the most daring candidate people will put up in a year when we have a historical opportunity coming from the pendulum swing after 8 years of a Republican president that alienated the populace and 12 years of a Republican Congress that people are just realizing stopped government for most of the 90s and sold us up the river for all of the 00s... Well, then the nation is irredeemably fucked in my eyes.

These sorts of election opportunities only come every decade or two, maybe. And our lifespans aren't long enough yet to waste too many of those. If this country and the Democrats keeps insisting on wasting them, I can hang around and just ignore politics until the country becomes unbearable from years of creeping Republican authoritarianism and insufficient Democratic rollback. Then I take advantage of being a dual citizen with a very general-use, international skill set and move to whichever EU country strikes my fancy.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:19 PM
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I understand the Supreme Court issues, but I still almost have a hard time seeing how we could get much more fucked on that in one term.

There are at least a couple of them in their eighties.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:21 PM
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Then I take advantage of being a dual citizen with a very general-use, international skill set and move to whichever EU country strikes my fancy.

Right, but the point is there are an awful lot of people who don't have that opportunity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:21 PM
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on whether withdrawal from Iraq is feasible: I think people should keep in mind what we're talking about here with continued occupation. I don't think there's much of a middle ground between all or nothing here. This would mean a puppet government dependent on the U.S., 10-20 more years with 100,000+ troops there, etc.

The argument now in DC, and the hope, is that the place is pacified so we can just sit there and it will fade off the public radar, like South Korea from 1955 on. But I'm not sure a Christian country can occupy and just about annex a Muslim one and have it be that easy.

Either you think it's a strategic and moral error to be there or you don't. If you do, then the "well, it's a mistake but we really can't leave" stance is just not available to you. Although many in the DC establishment would like it to be.

Maybe I'm wrong about all this -- maybe the "small advisory force" with a "training mission" and a U.S.-friendly government that actually has popular support are all possible. But I have a hard time seeing it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:22 PM
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Right, but the point is there are an awful lot of people who don't have that opportunity.

Virtually everyone, in fact.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:22 PM
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"10-20 years" s/b "at least 10-20 years"


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:23 PM
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224: Then I don't think you and I have the same understanding of what a successful presidency does.

Introducing National Health Care successfully would bringing a fundamental change to the country on par with Social Security or Welfare that would would save millions of lives both literally and emotionally. And that's just one domestic policy.

Nixon's opening of trade relations with China is probably the main reason that over 600 million people have moved from complete destitution to actually having food to eat, housing to live in, and the prospect of a much better future for their children. These are numbers and effects that boggle the mind, they're incomprehensible. Good foreign policy like that produces enough amazing good to cancel out even the ruinous effects of dozens of Iraq-sized countries falling apart.

The power of an American president with a united Congress, who gets to set the national and international agendas with State of the Union and UN address, who exercises soft power in a responsible way, who is willing to take some risks and actually use his position to improve the lot of Americans and the poor across the world is fucking ginormous. It's bigger than Bush, who becomes just another pathetically bad ruler who fucked up and ended thousands of lives. We've had a few of them, we'll have some more in our time. But the good ones... They make it all worthwhile and more. They build the structures and the precedents that become part of decent American life forevermore.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:30 PM
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And sorry Katherine, in 259 I didn't mean "understanding" to say "I understand, and you don't". Bad word choice.

I meant it more like, umm... nothing really comes to mind to express it well. Maybe just that we could have very different ways of assessing and measuring the good one person can do against the horrors that another can do?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:33 PM
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Whooo-hooo! Hook 'em!

Sorry, I haven't read all the comments, I've just come back from the celebration. There were hundreds--thousands?--of people there? Eh. I dunno. I do know that the fire marshals stopped admitting people to a convention center designed to hold thousands. It was fucking chaos around there. It was insane. I've never seen anything like that and I saw Clinton on the Capitol steps in '92.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:34 PM
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"I understand the Supreme Court issues, but I still almost have a hard time seeing how we could get much more fucked on that in one term."

If you don't see that you're just not close to paying attention. Would you rather the swing justice be Anthony Kennedy or Roberts/Alito? I think it'll make a rather large difference in the Guantanamo cases; one more GOP appointee & the Rasul coalition is a minority. I'm marginally involved in a case that's going before the Supreme Court this term--a habeas case involving a death sentence-- and it's very very simple: as it stands now, we very well might lose--I'd say more likely than not but I'm generally pessimistic about this stuff. If Stevens, or Ginsburg were gone & replaced with someone like Roberts? We're very likely to lose. If both of them were gone? We'd definitely lose.

And, of course, the Supreme Court is not the only federal court that matters. Ask someone who's litigated before the D.C. Circuit whether there's a noticeable difference between Democratic & Republican judicial appointments.

I'm well aware of what a good President can do. But you know, Hillary Clinton might surprise us, and Obama might disappoint us. I doubt it, but you're not psychic, & unless you are, your strategy makes no damn sense.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:35 PM
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"who fucked up and ended thousands of lives. "

hundreds of thousands, at least. I like Obama's chances of getting health care passed better than Clinton's but to act as if he'll definitely get it passed, and it'll stay adequately funded, and she doesn't have a chance...you don't know that.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:39 PM
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255, 257: Then those people should have even more reason to try and elect a Democrat who's actually willing to stand up and make sweeping changes, who's willing to use a united Congress just as strongly as Bush has in the past.

Because of my privilege, I can afford to say "fuck it" when Democrats play smallball time and time again, and let the Republicans slowly and surely take more and more ground through actually having a plan and ambition during their stints in office. I can leave when it causes everything to go to hell. That's why I'll be ok with Hillary taking the nomination, and with whoever becomes president in January 09. But that's what makes everyone else's willingness to accept this kind of weaksauce bullshit from the Democrats even more confusing. They're all stuck with the consequences, so why am I the one so sad at seeing the chances of greatness being pissed away?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:40 PM
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(& of course you're also assuming: President Romney or whoever won't irrevocably fuck up Iraq, Iran, or the Constitution; but things will stay crappy enough that the Democrats will have the same sort of opportunities in 2012 they do know; Obama or someone like him will win the nomination in 2012....)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:41 PM
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I don't disagree with you at all, as far as the primary, so it's probably pointless to continue this.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:42 PM
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The Democrats right now are basically New Labour.

They could be worse though.

It's like saltationist evolution -- sure, you might go from tyrannosaurus rex to an ostrich in one jump, but you're much more likely to end up with a quivering lump of feathers with internal organs sticking out the ear than anything else.

The same with forcing a political party to change policies massively. They might go from pseudo-Reaganites to nice social-democrats, but it's pretty unlikely. You're far more likely to end up with actual Reaganites.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-26-08 11:44 PM
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266: Agreed. And I think, if you're a pessimist, that could explain part of our fundamental disagreement. I'm an optimist, and will always see the good of a great leap forward as much greater and more important than the tragedies and setbacks of even the worst policy.

Giving up on greatness seems a much sadder fate to me than courting risk of disaster. We're a resiliant bunch of fuckers, very good at surviving disasters as a nation and species. But once we give up on taking a shot at major leaps forward, improving what we consider to be the basics of a comfortable and humane existance, and extending our considerable resources toward helping other nations and helping ourselves in the process, well, we've basically given up on the reasons for hope and the very reasons this whole shebang is worthwhile.

And the scary thing is that this is much shorter than the response I had written earlier. *sigh*


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:01 AM
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Crikey. You know, I'm not mcmanus; I'm fairly starry eyed myself; have spent half this month trying to talk people into voting Obama for exactly this reason; and am frankly a little offended at this tone.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:06 AM
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They might go from pseudo-Reaganites to nice social-democrats, but it's pretty unlikely. You're far more likely to end up with actual Reaganites.

Do you honestly think there's any room for the Democratic party to move to the right from the Clinton/Lieberman DNC spectrum (and I know that Clinton's not as bad a Lieberman by a long shot, but they at least seem to agree on disturbing amounts and share infuriating rhetoric and compromises)? They've pretty much got nowhere to go but left unless Democratic primary voters just decide the hell with it and choose a moderate Republican for the nomination. Hell, even if they chose Bloomberg (not GOP anymore technically, yes, yes, but you know what I'm getting at), he'd still be to the left of Lieberman and probably to the left of Clinton.

And with that, I should bow out and possibly sleep. Sorry for basically writing half this comment thread, but I really do feel like I'm being kicked in the crotch everytime something good happens for Obama and people start talking about Clinton's inevitability as if it's true and even remotely acceptable.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:08 AM
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269: Sorry about that, I really don't mean to offend you. I've felt nothing but respect for your political opinions in these threads, and really love that you're willing to actually put in the relatively thankless litigation work that makes this country incrementally better in ways Congress and the Executive branch couldn't manage. People like you are the reason that common law works, and it takes optimism and ambition to take on agents of the government and force them to submit to oversight.

I'm not even going to try and reconcile this with the rest of my comments, I'll just let its truth stand on its own. G'night, Katherine.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:14 AM
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Do you honestly think there's any room for the Democratic party to move to the right from the Clinton/Lieberman DNC spectrum

Yes. Clinton could become the left-wing, and the GOP shuffle even further to the right, and a new group of `Democrats' who're more like current left-wing-GOPers.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:29 AM
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I'm curious to see what happens with the candidates and Monday's FISA vote. Of the 4 not voting last Thursday, 3 were Clinton, McCain, and Obama. (The 4th was Lindsey Graham - don't know what his excuse was.) Since it got 60 votes, they couldn't have changed anything by voting against, but Monday's vote might look different. I imagine there's maneuvering going on behind the scenes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:33 AM
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The 4th was Lindsey Graham - don't know what his excuse was.

He's from South Carolina. You never know what those folks are up to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:36 AM
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You know, I'm not mcmanus; I'm fairly starry eyed myself

Crikey indeed. I have never been anything but an enthusiastic and optimistic supporter of John Edwards with an optimistic projection of what Edwards could do for the country.

That my support of Edwards is not instantly and easuly transferable to Obama is apparently ythe problem people have my with attitude, but on evidence, there are important differences, the confrontational stance of Edwards and the conciliation of Obama, that accord with a judgement of what style I believe will best advance progressive, rather than moderate, policies.

That I am skeptical about Obama...oh never mind, even the slightest skepticism about Obama is unforgivable around here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:43 AM
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We Have Seen the Enemy and It Isn't Us

Australian John Quiggin assesses the American political circumstances and apparently agrees with me more than he would agree with whatever I can determine about Obama's understanding of the opposition.

Maybe I am just crazed with hate and and have a completely mistaken view of the need for confrontation. I know I am not alone. As far as I can tell, only Obama and Obama's Republican admirers think comity is the nation's greatest need.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:59 AM
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I should have inserted this link from von at ObsWi into the bolded words at 276. von who established a site to complain that Bush wasn't hawkish enough in Iraq

"I'm a McCain guy. Have been for a long time (since '00" ...von

"I don't want a fighter as my president -- from either party. You don't either" ...von

"If I can't have my preferred leader [fucking McCain], I'll take the best from the other side.

"Will you please wake up, Democrats?" ...von

It puts knots in my stomach. von & I are so far apart that I really can't vote for von's 2nd candidate, after McCain, without just a trace of skepticism. von opposes every progressive policy I can concieve of. One of us must be crazy. I suppose it's me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:15 AM
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"As it sits right now, I'd vote for Obama over McCain (explanations to follow at a later date). Clinton." ...sebastian of ObsWi

I know these people. They are stubborn ideologues on many issues. I simply cannot enthusiastically support their preferred candidate. Excuse the fuck outa me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:25 AM
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von who established a site to complain that Bush wasn't hawkish enough in Iraq

Um, isn't that your position as well?


Posted by: WillieStyle | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:31 AM
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Bob, who are you arguing with? Everyone's asleep. Even me.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:31 AM
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the confrontational stance of Edwards and the conciliation of Obama, that accord with a judgement of what style I believe will best advance progressive, rather than moderate, policies.

Bob, to advance progressive policies, a candidate has to get elected first. We've been seeing the much vaunted Clinton "bloodsport politics" all week. Boy did that work well. She got her ass handed to her.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:39 AM
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A commenter over at Saiselgy's brings the funny.

Shorter Bill Clinton: "Obama is a Negro. Just like Jesse Jackson. And there are a lot of Negroes in South Carolina. You do the math. Oh, and by the way, I think it is shameful how the press is injecting race into this campaign. You should be focusing on the real issue here, which is Obama's Jesse-Jackson blackness and how that will hurt him outside of the deep, black South."

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:49 AM
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282:I get tired of this. I am in no way supporting, defending, or promoting Clinton. I may go into 2009 an Edwards supporter, and write his name in to waste a vote. You can blame me personally for bad justices.

I am trying to explain why I am not an enthusiastic Obama supporter, and why I don't feel he will enact progressive policies or govern as progressively as I would like, or anywhere near as progressive as what will be actually possible.

Would Clinton be better? I doubt it. Is the fact that Republicans hate her a point in her favor? Not much. Republicans hate Edwards because of his policies and confrontational style.

I don't think I can pull the switch for a candidate that Kathryn Lopez thinks is the bomb. Bad Bob.

(I actually think all these Republicans are lying, think that beating Obama will be easy, and beating Clinton very difficult. von & sebastian really really suck folks.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:03 AM
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Hey,

I`m a final year student of journalism and i am doing a research on Bloggers and the New Media.

As you are a blog writer, i would like you to fill up a questionnaire for me which would help me in my project work.

You may visit the link at :-

http://fs10.formsite.com/shwetas/form360352923/index.html

and submit your answers therein.

OR

You can get in touch with me through email and i`ll mail you the questionnaire in .doc format.

Thanks,
Shweta


Posted by: Shweta | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:37 AM
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Bob, one thing I figured out is that the American people disagree with me about everything. Even when they don't really know what they think, the effectively disagree with me because I'm the last person they'll listen to. So I'm resigned to lesser-evils.

For anything to change, there'd have to be an independent media reaching everyone the way blogs reach wired people. Radio, TV, cable, newspaper. That wouldn't be a sure thing, but it's a minimum requirement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:47 AM
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The comments are even more hilarious than the post. What a bunch of idiots.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:55 AM
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158 - true, Kennedy restrained the kookier generals on Cuba...but it's hard to see Eisenhauer or even Nixon vaporizing the world. And: the "missile gap", Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, the Castro assasination attempts, letting the CIA go, etc. But whatever, I'm not too committed to anything beyond the view that Kennedy is overrated.

It wasn't just the "kookier generals" - it was everybody in the administration - Dean Rusk and Bob McNamara and McGeorge Bundy and Dean Acheson were all saying Kennedy needed to bomb the missile sites. The Soviet advisors in Cuba had orders to use tactical nukes if there was an American attack. Things would have escalated from there, especially since there wasn't yet a "red telephone" to help prevent miscommunications. Maybe Eisenhower and Nixon wouldn't have gotten into a nuclear war, either - I don't really know. I can say for fairly sure that if LBJ had been president, there would have been a nuclear war - he didn't have the confidence to argue with his foreign policy advisors, as shown in Vietnam. Kennedy did, and he may very well have saved the world.

As to the rest - yes, the Missile Gap was a sleazy campaign tactic, although it didn't have any policy consequences. Kennedy's record on Vietnam is not terribly great, but there has been considerable evidence that before he died Kennedy was moving towards the opinion that we needed to get the hell out.

I don't think his involvement with dubious and immoral CIA escapades makes him any worse than any other Cold War president, except maybe Carter.

As far as other achievements, his domestic policy achievements were obviously pretty limited, although he did introduce (eventually) the Civil Rights Act, which got through the House Judiciary Committee while he was alive. He wasn't a great civil rights president, like Johnson, but his (eventual) support for it, and his rhetorical aid to the cause makes him a significantly better civil rights president than Eisenhower, I think.

Kennedy wasn't a great president, but I don't think he was at all a bad one. Obviously, Johnson was able to do more for a liberal domestic policy agenda (thanks to the landslide victory he won in 1964, which was due in large part to Kennedy's martyrdom), but he also gave us a disastrous foreign policy that we have some reason to think Kennedy might have avoided. It seems like kind of a wash to me - I tend to think civil rights would probably have happened even if Kennedy hadn't died, although it might have had to wait for 1965. I'm less sure about Medicare - but the Dems would've gotten a big boost out of Barry Goldwater as the Republican candidate, regardless of whether Kennedy died. Vietnam might still have happened with Kennedy in office, too, but it seems, at the least, less likely.

179 - And Khrushchev got what he wanted from Kennedy: the withdrawal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey and a promise not to invade Cuba.

The Soviets didn't exactly see it that way - Khrushchev's fall had a lot to do with how the fallout from the Cuban Missile Crisis appeared to be a Soviet humiliation. The basic issue is that Kennedy bucked advisors who wanted him to do things which would have made a nuclear war very likely, was willing to compromise with the Soviets to prevent a war, and somehow did so while winning the PR battle and making it seem like a US victory.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:00 AM
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Hey question for te Obamabots?

Has there ever been a Democratic President or Candidate in the history of the US, who in his era, has had the kind of wonderful swooning and mash-notes from public Republicans that Obama is getting?

Wilson?
FDR 1932? FDR 1944? Truman 1948?
JFK? LBJ?
Did the Nationall Review or Chicago Tribune love on Jimmy Carter and say:"Now there is a great Democrat" in 1976?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:49 AM
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Bob, that's a specious line of argument even for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:50 AM
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Khrushchev got what he wanted from Kennedy: the withdrawal of Jupiter missiles from Turkey

This statement illustrates the folly of zero-sum thinking in these matters. Krushchev wanted it, so it must have been a loss for the U.S.

Militarily, the Jupiters were already obsolete by 1961, as lower-maintenance, faster launching solid-fueled propulsion systems were supplanting liquid-fueled rockets.

Strategically, the Jupiters offered no advantage over long range ICBMs, and they were destabilizing to boot (because their shorter flight time would force the USSR into shorter reaction times in a crisis; also, they were a tempting target).

Kennedy wanted to get the Jupiters out of Turkey anyway, and he managed to use them as a bargaining chip to secure a real US security interest.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:51 AM
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Has there ever been a Democratic President or Candidate in the history of the US, who in his era, has had the kind of wonderful swooning and mash-notes from public Republicans that Obama is getting?

Let's turn that around. Has there ever been a Republican who got swooning mash notes from Democrats? Why yes, and his name was George W. Bush, and he ran for President in 2000. Which just goes to show you that conciliatory campaign rhetoric cannot be taken at face value.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:53 AM
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That I am skeptical about Obama...oh never mind, even the slightest skepticism about Obama is unforgivable around here.

This is a bit much, Bob. Plenty of us are skeptical about Obama.

(Go Edwards!)


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 8:54 AM
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oh never mind, even the slightest skepticism about Obama is unforgivable around here

Bob, you're not skeptical about Obama. I'm skeptical about Obama. You think he's Secret Muslim Reagan come to wage dhimminomics on the middle class.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:04 AM
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Another note: Obama's coalition looks a bit like Dean & Bradley's in NH and Iowa. But in S.C. it looks like the civil rights movement. Black support, young whites, educated liberal whites....Dean (who I still think is great, & trust a bit more than Obama) got 13,815 votes in South Carolina in 2004.

I really would like to see what his get out the vote operation can do in the general.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:05 AM
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Well Shoot

Ask and you recieve. Here at Obsidian Wings katherine & hilzoy are dialoguing with the Republicans in warmth, hope, & comity.

It's because Obama really listens. Realy listens and respects them.

All that stuff on taxes and torture and abortion and evolution and war and drugs goes up in a wisp of smoke because Obama listen.

hilzoy and katherine are buying it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:06 AM
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Obama's against abortion now?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:08 AM
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You'd think, based on the sequence of the comments, that 292 pwned 293, but no. Stras for the win!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:12 AM
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All that stuff on taxes and torture and abortion and evolution and war and drugs goes up in a wisp of smoke because Obama listen.

As opposed to HRC, who voted for the war, tried to ban flag burning, and uses language now that echoes someone:

"The fact that you have these suicide bombers now, wreaking such hatred and violence while people pray, is to me, an indication of their failure," Clinton said.

You were one of those pro-LBJ hippies in '68, weren't you? At least a pretty credible case could have been made for that. This is just at ludicrous odds with your claimed positions.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:13 AM
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"it's odd that so many conservative pundits (commenters, etc.) find Obama so much preferable to Clinton. On everything from national security to trade to domestic economics, I suspect a Clinton administration would be far more to their liking than an Obama one."

Goddamn that Obama and his supporters!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:14 AM
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296:He is pro-life? Just kidding.

But fanatically pro-life Republicans think Obama is really neat because he listens. Sebastian, who I think might cut off a limb before giving up ground on late-term abortion, is going to vote for Obama.

But I am crazy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:14 AM
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298: Why are you looking for reason in the place where reason goes to die?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:15 AM
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I really would like to see what his get out the vote operation can do in the general.

I have been on the fence between Obama and Edwards for a long time, but I'm pretty certain that I will pull the lever for Obama now. Part of it is that he has solidified his position as the anti-Hillary, but the bigger part of it is that he seems genuinely capable of inspiring new voters to go to the polls in massive numbers, as opposed to winning the presidency by appealing to a slightly larger slice of the elusive swing voters.

Crucially, he is not attempting to awaken the disillusioned masses with an unapologetically progressive message--a strategy that has been shown time and time again to be fruitless. Instead, he packages basically progressive instincts in a rhetoric that people can identify with even if they don't self-identify as liberal (or even if they flinch from the liberal label).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:16 AM
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The fact that I don't respond "yeah, well fuck you" when von & Sebastian express support for my preferred candidate (though von still prefers McCain, of course) doesn't actually mean that they now tell me what to think about torture. Maybe I told Holsclaw what to think...more likely he knows a disaster when he sees one, & I don't require a signed recantation before he votes for the candidate I want to win.

You know, I get why health care wonks are greatly skeptical & prefer Edwards. But Obama actually has the best record in office of any major candidate on human rights/civil liberties issues. The videotaping bill in Illinois; the opposition to Iraq; the willingness to stick his neck out just a bit on immigration; the cluster bomb ban; the "material support to a terrorist organization" thing; the fact that I and a couple other bloggers got him to be an early co-sponsor of an anti-rendition bill in 2005 & he mentions that in his stump speeches; the fact that he's a lttle more willing than most to talk about prisons & the drug war.....He hasn't shown nearly the political courage I would prefer on those issues since he got to the Senate. But I do actually follow them closely--more closely, I would guess, than you!--& I think he actually has the best record.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:19 AM
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302 was me


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:19 AM
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All the well-informed young people's knowedge of political history apparently goes all the way back to 1992.

The Enemy, and it is the same Enemy, loathed Harry Truman in 1948. Yet they love Obama.

I suspect, besides ignorance of history, and despite the experience of the last 16 years, the Obamabots think these Republicans for Obama are different.

They aren't.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:21 AM
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303: He does, and I think your analysis is right. Plus, it's a very dumb argument not to vote for someone because he's liberal based on his record, has managed to get out the youth vote (even if bob is staying just shy of calling it jungle fever) and actually has swing voter appeal. Christ, what a horrible candidate.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:24 AM
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293 - I'm going to steal 'dhimminomics'.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:24 AM
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303:Fine. Holsclaw has become a liberal, or is being fooled.

I am where rationality goes to die.

Hopeless.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:25 AM
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For fuck's sake. You are a fucking IDIOT & utterly ignorant of history if you think that this is the first time that disreputable people supported a Democratic candidate. How many racist, racist, racist Southern conservatives voted for the Democratic party for how many years because Lincoln was a Republican? LBJ was right to give up those votes to pass the civil rights act, but I don't regret their support for the New Deal, or thinks that it proves social security was secretly a racist plot.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:25 AM
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Re #298: I thought the quote was from something more recent, but apparently it's from 2005. My mistake.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:26 AM
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LBJ was right to give up those votes to pass the civil rights act, but I don't regret their support for the New Deal, or thinks that it proves social security was secretly a racist plot.

You're assuming mcmanus thinks the New Deal was a good thing, rather than something that saved teh Kapitalists from the rightful wrath of the proletariat. Or something.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:29 AM
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Katherine, bob is not rational, and for weeks has been pissed off because Obama won Iowa, Becks and some commenters were excited about it, and something about "Islamic third-way economics". He's basing his vote on how which anonymous Internet commenters that he doesn't like, plan to vote. Don't let it bother you.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:30 AM
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I feel like there are other avenues where I could employ this argument; "I like product A, but crazy idiot C also likes product A, so I must therefore assume that crazy idiot C knows something I don't, and loathe product A."

It could totally fit somewhere into the whole Apple vs. Microsoft idiocy. Or, ooh, vegetarianism. Or, wait, wait, this is it: 9/11 conspiracy theories! Oh fuck yeah:

"I do not believe an elaborate conspiracy blew up the twin towers with explosives, because it is ridiculously impractical and perhaps the grandest violation of Occam's Razor ever devised. However, some wingnut jackass does not believe an elaborate conspiracy blew up the towers with explosives because he hates Muslims. Therefore, an elaborate conspiracy brought down the twin towers with explosives!"

Socrates you ain't, Bob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:30 AM
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Further to 309, you can generalize the principle that the only way to secure a governing majority in this country, with its multiple intersecting political fault lines, is to assemble and maintain a coalition that contains some glaring contradictions. The New Deal coalition could not have existed without the votes of racist southerners. The Reagan coalition and its successors could not survive without keeping pro-choice rich people and anti-abortion protectionists in the same tent. Bob's heuristic (don't trust anyone who has any support from people I disagree with) is a recipe for permanent minority status.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:33 AM
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Knecht is on fire this morning.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:36 AM
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Speaking of 9/11 conspiracy theorists, I met someone last week who handed me two business cards: one describing himself as a "nautical raconteur, maritime storyteller, & wooden boat builder", & one showing how based on his naval background the rubble at the WTC site could only have been created by U.S.-manufactured explosives.

My husband looked at this when I got home and noted: "you should have asked him to explain the difference between being a nautical racounteur & maritime storyteller."

I wonder who he's voting for. If it's not Mike Gravel, the guy really can't catch a break....


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:37 AM
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So how were the maritime stories?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:39 AM
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Or, ooh, vegetarianism

I was going to give up meat, but then I remembered the lessons of the '32 German elections. I didn't want to start hating Jews, so I put a steak on the grill right away.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:41 AM
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315: *blushes*

So when's the interview, Cala?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:44 AM
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I'll agree with the Unfogged hivemind this time around that it's a mistake to put too much weight on whatever differences there are between Hillary and Obama, and that the differences between either of them and all of the Republicans is significant.

America will remain imperial, but will perhaps go into a period of military recuperation. I have no idea what will happen in Iraq.

I expect progress in domestic policy, though I don't trust either of them to be aggressive enough in rooting out and knocking down Republican resistance. I may be wrong, though, and maybe an election disaster will demoralize the Republicans for a few years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:47 AM
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317: Didn't follow up, alas.

This was at an anti-Blackwater thing at a church in Virginia for these people, who were arrested at BW headquarters last year. There was a pretty amusing Q & A.

audience member: (alluding to the Supreme Court's denial of cert. of the Khaled el-Masri case): "how can they just tell him you were tortured but the courts don't care? Is there anything we can do?"

Me: mumble mumble terrible result, mumble mumble, lobby Congress about State Secrets privilege, mumble mumble

Defendant: or, we can take to the streets! The courts have failed us! The laws have failed us! It was against the law for Jesus to throw the money changers out of the temple!

me: [pause] um, okay, next question?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:49 AM
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Bob's heuristic (don't trust anyone who has any support from people I disagree with)

People I disagree with? I'll link to Quiggin again.

Quiggin

"Now we can see them minute-to-minute and it's obvious that the idea of treating them as part of a legitimate discussion is absurd.

Moreover, where it was once possible to treat occasional public manifestations of Freeperism as aberrations, it's now obvious that this is how the Republican base really thinks. So, any Republican advocate or politician, no matter how superficially reasonable, must be regarded as either someone who shares Freeper/LGF views or someone who is willing to exploit the holders of such views in the pursuit of a personal or class interest." ...JQ

Remember who we are talking about here.

I might have agreed with the racist Southern Democratic on economic issues. That is not the case with any, any Republican. There is no ideological overlap.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:49 AM
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319: Wednesday.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:52 AM
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Cala has an interview? As in a flyout, or is she leaving the academy as long dreamed?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:53 AM
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I think that Sebastian may have been worn down after five years of trying to make the Republicans look sane. I've seen that elsewhere around the internet. No one completely renounces their right-wing ideas, but they just abandon the Republican Party. It's happening in both directions, too. The anti-immigration anti-abortion protectionists are unhappy, and so are the little-government free trade libertarians. When a coalition breaks up (stops being able to make plausible promises) it explodes in every direction.

I said in 2000 that Kerry was the liberal candidate, the moderate candidate, and the conservative candidate, whereas Bush was the Armageddonist pork barrel warmonger candidate. No one believed me then, but maybe now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:54 AM
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Somewhere in between. Mostly trying my hand at interviewing in the business world (for an internship) so that my options are all open when I finish this fall or next spring.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:56 AM
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Ron Paul unites both unhappy wings of the Republicans, oddly enough.

And I could add, a few of the Christians have started to figure out they've been used, and Obama can talk to them.

No promises, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:57 AM
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You're rather twisting Quiggin's post, I think. He's not talking about Republicans who have a soft spot for Obama, at all.

My sense of the Republicans who kind of like Obama is that it's a lot like the Democrats who kind of like McCain. It is mostly about personality, and Obama's evident charisma, and pretty much not at all about Obama's policies. Just as McCain once (and perhaps again) gave many Democrats the impression that he was a decent guy, someone who could be reasoned with, etc., so Obama does with Republicans. The Republicans who like Obama don't do so because they think he'll be better on the issues, but because he is charming and charismatic. I don't think there's much to conclude from it beyond that.

I also think that Obama's bipartisanship has been getting ripped because people have been confusing it with the sort of "bipartisanship" that involves Republicans and Joe Lieberman - i.e., bipartisanship where Democrats join Republicans to pass Republican initiatives. If anything, Obama is attempting to do the reverse - to create a kind of bipartisanship that works towards getting liberal* priorities passed. It might not work, but I don't think there's any reason to think that Obama is Joe Lieberman in disguise.

*I refuse to use the term "Progressive" except to refer to Teddy Roosevelt era figures. It's one of my least favorite terms in political discourse.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:58 AM
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One would add that the ridiculous weakness of the Republican candidates also probably helps make Obama look good to Republicans.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:01 AM
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I don't trust either of them to be aggressive enough in rooting out and knocking down Republican resistance

So here's something I've been wondering about. The Bush/Cheney administration has relentlessly barded the bureaucracy with movement conservatives (e.g. graduates of Regent University Law School in the Justice Department). No small number of them are in civil service positions that will survive into future administrations. The GOP is playing a long game here, akin to the "long march through the institutions" that the 1968 generation undertook.

Let's say that a President HRC or President BHO wants to root these folks out. What concrete tactics can the cabinet secretaries employ? Are there sufficiently demoralizing duties they can be assigned to? Create a unit devoted to prosecuting trespasses by abortion clinic protestors and assign them all to duty there? Can you box them into sections of the department where they can't do any damage? With run-of-the-mill Republicans, I would say that you simply wait for the allure of the private sector to entice them away, but I have a feeling that lobbying shops and industry associations won't exactly be falling over themselves to hire the Regent grads.

What should the Dems do? Underhanded tactics welcome!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:05 AM
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"The Republicans who like Obama don't do so because they think he'll be better on the issues, but because he is charming and charismatic."

Republicans have never been, and are not now, like this.

Some hate Huckabee because of his economic policies, some don't trust McCain, some don't trust Romney. All on reasons of issues or loyalty.

Republicans are fiercely ideological and issue oriented & partisan, and I see no evidence from their own primary race that they have changed a whit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:07 AM
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[mcmanus is] rather twisting Quiggin's post, I think.

I find that hard to believe.

What should the Dems do? Underhanded tactics welcome!

Same as the Republicans just did. Given a relatively hostile environment, some of them will just leave. But Red rot is going to be a problem for a long, long time.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:09 AM
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330 - I think you're underestimating the allure of the private sector. The civil service has been primarily Democratic because the kind of people who want to go into the civil service are primarily Democrats. I don't think this will change, and I think these guys aren't going to particularly like being in the government if there's a Democratic president.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:09 AM
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I'll avoid the political discussion, for fear of jinxing it.

Best of luck, Cala.

Oh, hell, who am I kidding: John, Republican demoralization can't ever last long -- there's too much money at stake for the big boys.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:11 AM
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330: That's the very thing I've been worrying about. That's what Goodling and the others were doing, putting political appointees in civil service positions.

My only suggestion is that the incoming Attorney General should transfer them all to a new Division of Sumps, Ditches, and Vacant Lots headquartered in Omaha, and supervise them very strictly with one 15-minute bathroom break every 4 hours.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:11 AM
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A lot of the people Goodling placed were underqualified for their positions, and they won't be able to jump to the private sector, since the Republicans with money want them to stay in the civil service.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:12 AM
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Knecht, the pay disparity is so great that once the wheels at Justice are no longer advancing the movement, scads of people will head for the door. There's enough money sloshing around on the right for everyone to find something.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:14 AM
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John Edwards for AG. Spread the word.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:15 AM
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Republicans didn't, and don't love Ronald Reagan because he was an inspirational leader. They liked his policies, or the myth of Ronald Reagan's policies, and his effectiveness in promoting those policies

OTOH, a lot of Democrats still have affection for JFK.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:15 AM
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336 -- I disagree about the jump. Regardless of qualifications just out of school, after a couple of years at Justice, these folks will be able to get private practice position back home. Or corporate jobs, sure to be the preferred alternative (after all the minority staff positions are taken).


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:17 AM
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I think you're underestimating the allure of the private sector.

I think you're overestimating the qualifications of these folks for private sector jobs. As Emerson notes above, many of these folks are real rubes whose only qualification for the job was unquestioning loyalty to George W. Bush. This can only have been deliberate strategy. See for example the analysis that showed how the average law school rankings of DOJ lawyers plummeted under Bush. This can only have been deliberate strategy.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:19 AM
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Anyone who uses the suffix "bot" to refer to supporters of Sen. Obama has thereby marked him/her-self unworthy of response.

And now I really am done.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:19 AM
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Republicans are fiercely ideological and issue oriented & partisan, and I see no evidence from their own primary race that they have changed a whit.

Which is why none of them (except explicitly disillusioned ex-Republicans like Sullivan) is actually supporting Obama. They just kind of like him better than Hillary. Look at, first instance, K Lo's corner post about Obama - she says she was almost ready to support him because of his good speech, until she remembered that she disagrees with him about all the issues.

Similarly, Ross Douthat says that he likes Obama, and thinks he's interesting, but can't vote for him.

Are you actually suggesting that Republicans who are saying they'd vote for Obama over (say) Romney, are doing this because of his superior positions on the issues? On what issues, exactly, will Obama be better than even Hillary for Republicans? They like Obama better than Hillary because they really really hate the Clintons.

With regard to the Regents' people - the national Republican party will not be demoralized by the defeat for long. Individual regents' university grads in civil service positions will be demoralized. These are people who have no interest in public service as such, or any belief that government is a worthy career which can help people. I can't imagine most of them will last too long, even if particularly good job opportunities in the private sector aren't available.

Some push in the right direction would be useful, but I don't think it will be all that difficult.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:20 AM
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I hope Napi is right in 337, but I fear he is wrong. Karl Rove grasped one of the essential laws of patronage politics, which is that you get loyalty by giving people a job they feel grateful for, because their alternatives are so much worse. The conventional Democratic staffing strategy is to rely on the noblest instincts of people who could get "better" jobs but choose to sacrifice something to work in the public sector. Rove was handing out $70-90K jobs to people who wouldn't have seen that kind of money for another 20 years, if ever. I see them sticking around for a long time.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:25 AM
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340 - yes indeed.

What the hell is McManus's point, anyway? Are we to believe that Conservatives are lying when they say they like Obama, or that they are telling the truth, because Obama is actually a better candidate for rich people than Mitt Romney?


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:25 AM
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These are people who have no interest in public service as such, or any belief that government is a worthy career which can help people

If you believe that the government is being held hostage by secular liberals, and that it's God's will for good Christians to recapture it, that might be good for some intrinsic motivation.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:29 AM
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Didn't one of the Corner people, maybe Lopez, say that they'd miss Hillary when she was gone? Wingers and Republicans are not happy campers these days, and they're swinging pretty wildly.

I know why they don't like McCain, but that seems so insane to me. McCain is plenty right-wing and more militaristic than anyone whatsoever. But I'm glad they're insane. (It may be that they don't really want an Iraq hawk any more, though, but just don't dare say so. Knowing that McCain is a real hawk, they prefer a known fake like Romney, and make up silly reasons to oppose McCain.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:30 AM
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But in a Democratic administration, they'll feel that they're being co-opted, being used to carry out policies they dislike, rather than to undermine those policies from within. I don't think these people can work as independent agents, without direction from above. They'll be like a bee hive after the queen dies - they no longer have any purpose, and will gradually leave.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:31 AM
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they'll feel that they're being co-opted, being used to carry out policies they dislike, rather than to undermine those policies from within.

Well, I certainly hope you're right about that. OTOH, I predict that Fox News will publish a lot of juicy scoops based on leaks from a network of sources inside the cabinet departments in the first 180 days of the next Democratic administration.

If HRC is President, I also predict that she will maintain all of the gag orders that Bush put in place to crack down on such leaks.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:35 AM
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I know why they don't like McCain, but that seems so insane to me.

They hate McCain for the same reason they hate Clinton. It has more to do with identity and voicing the right shibboleths than it has to do with actual policies, and McCain spent a little too long making (empty, symbolic) protests against the GOP line.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:35 AM
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345:"...or that they are telling the truth, because Obama is actually a better candidate for rich people than Mitt Romney?"

This, actually. Although the first could be true, I believe the Republicans believe that Obama Democrat is the only one that could slash entitlements and destroy the integrity of the SS Trust Fund by moving it onto Wall Street. Mitt Romney couldn't do it. It will take a Democrat.

They look at Obama and see fatter bank accounts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:39 AM
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At the very minimum, the new AG should have a list of the Bush civil-service hires on his desk and give them every encouragement to seek other opportunities elsewhere.

There's various sorts of sabotage and espionage these insiders can do, though.

I suppose that one way to handle them would be to give them very explicit orders to do things that they completely disagree with, and then fire them if they refuse. On the other hand, they're probablty capable of accepting an assignment and then deliberately botching it.

I think that the new AG should prosecute as many of the old AG's staff as they can make a good case against.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:46 AM
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Obama isn't for privatization, bob. For the ten thousandth time. He isn't after your precious Social Security and Republicans are interested in him because their own field has, let's see: a charismatic but ultimately crackpot preacher, a guy who might as well tattoo 9/11 on his forehead, an alleged straightshooter who is a gazillion years old, and a guy who flip-flops madly and wants to let the dogs out, yo.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:49 AM
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This, actually. Although the first could be true, I believe the Republicans believe that Obama Democrat is the only one that could slash entitlements and destroy the integrity of the SS Trust Fund by moving it onto Wall Street. Mitt Romney couldn't do it. It will take a Democrat.

Yes, this is the plan that he first devised as an anti-poverty community activist in Chicago.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:56 AM
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There's no point arguing with Bob, folks. Over the course of a single thread, his rationale for opposing Obama can change from "he's a secret privatizer" to "he's a secret Muslim" to "he's antiwar and we should love the war because war will magically grow the welfare state" to "Clinton's way worse and let's heighten the contradictions." And of course none of this is grounded in anything more substantive than quotes from random conservative ObWi commenters who like Obama's rhetorical style. I don't think Bob understands why Bob hates Obama so much.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 10:59 AM
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353:As the economy crashes, and Bernanke and Paulsen and his Goldman Sachs contributors offer Obama the limited menu of options and an intransigent opposition, Obama will make compromises to "save the country." They will not be net progressive egalitarian compromises.

"my precious Social Security" I am ten years away, and very likely to be dead. But there are millions of more vulnerable people you are being condescending towards. This callous contempt for the old & infirm and disabled tells me much about your generation.

SS is far from the only probable victim.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:01 AM
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This may be the most successful troll ever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:03 AM
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354:Yes, this is the plan that he first devised as an anti-poverty community activist in Chicago.

Oh? What programs did community activist Obama work on in those whole two years?

Stras, fuck you and your racist implications.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:04 AM
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But tell us, Bob, how Barack's secret adherence to sharia law will affect his secret plan to force us into mandatory health savings accounts.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:05 AM
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Looks like Ted Kennedy is going to endorse Obama.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:20 AM
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On the topic of forking threads to talk about my dating life, all you douchebags were totally wrong -- my policy of not hitting on waitresses or bartenders is absolutely correct.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:32 AM
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Get a little piss in your soup, Kotsko?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:34 AM
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360: holy crap. That's huge. I knew he was an Obama guy behind-the-scenes but I didn't think he'd endorse anybody.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:41 AM
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Of course, Teddy Kennedy worked with GWB on No Child Left Behind, so he clearly is a cryptofacscist and not to be trusted. Tancredo it is!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:41 AM
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On the topic of forking threads to talk about my dating life, standing someone up is really rude.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:42 AM
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365: then why'd you do it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:43 AM
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You shouldn't do it, then, Ben. Jeez.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:44 AM
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FUCK, TWEETY.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:44 AM
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. But there are millions of more vulnerable people you are being condescending towards. This callous contempt for the old & infirm and disabled tells me much about your generation.

Oh, fuck off. Our generation is getting our asses to the polls, are interested in politics and aren't voting for a candidate who wants privatize Social Security. Which is the key point which you seem to be missing.

I realize I have to give you a little credit since you do manage to be reading pretty well for someone with his head so far up his ass.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:44 AM
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364:Word, except Edwards instead of Tancredo.

NCLB sucks on paper and in implementation precisely because it was a bipartisan compromise. Check out how Yglesias after a few years, now feels about NCLB.

I haven't liked Teddy since 1980.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:47 AM
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Wow! Bob, you can not be parodied. Teddy Kennedy is the single most effictive legislator the left has had in like twenty years? Easy? Yes, he got outmanuevered that one time, but, wow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:49 AM
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361, 365: Adam, stop hitting on Ben while he's working. Ben, don't lead Adam on if you're not going to show up. Problems solved!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:53 AM
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I'm beginning to believe that there is some merit to the McManus heuristic of trusting or not trusting politicians based on whether they are liked by people whose views you find objectionable.

Specifically, the fact that Bob dislikes Obama is making me like Obama more, and the fact that Bob prefers Hillary causes me to question any positive feelings I have for her.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:55 AM
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standing someone up is really rude.

especially when you paid them to be there


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:55 AM
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372:tweety, what exactly has Teddy gotten the left in the last twenty years? I am old and my memory is failing, but I can't seem to remember those many great progressive initiatives rammed through the Senate. Stuff on a scale of the New Deal or Great Society. Help me out here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:56 AM
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Oh, yes, because it takes "stuff on a scale of the New Deal or Great Society" to be the most efficient legislator on the left for the last twenty years.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:58 AM
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standing someone up is really rude

especially when they wanted to continue sitting down.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 11:58 AM
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375: okay I'll dig around if, first, you explain how to get that stuff passed with Republicans holding either the Presidency or majorities in either house of Congress. Maybe there's some parliamentary trick I'm not aware of that lets you utterly subvert the ideology of the other party in a divided government in a grand, massively public, society changing way without them knowing? Something involving bathroom breaks, or speaking pig latin, maybe?

But wait! Politics isn't about compromise or, you know, politics. It's about taking to the streets in grand fashion, just like those ol' hippies who -- whatever else you might say about them -- completely destroyed conservatism and enacted lasting change on every issue of importance to them without once compromising. I forgot. We need Hillary, for sure, to carry that particular flag.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:01 PM
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To get back to McManus's annoying argument that Republicans like Obama because they somehow know he will sell out the left, while, apparently, Hillary will not, this is complete balderdash.

If Republicans liked Democrats who sold out the left, they would have liked the Clintons in the 90s. Who, you know, repeatedly sold out the left. But, in fact, Republicans hate the Clintons, and have always hated them.

Furthermore, this record on the part of Bill Clinton in the 90s gives fairly good reason to think that Obama certainly won't be any worse than Clinton on the "selling out the left" front.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:01 PM
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I will say, though, Bob, that I remain in awe of your ability to troll; I knew! I totally knew! And yet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:01 PM
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376:Ok, fine. Give me a few things on a lesser scale. More than 5 bills I can be excited about.
What does "most effective legislator" mean? Impress me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:02 PM
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380 - word. But responding to aged ex-hippies' trolling is so much more appealing than working on my dissertation...


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:02 PM
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BTW, my sense of Kennedy's legislative record is that there's a lot of unglamorous little things he's gotten through - more funding for this or that - rather than any tremendously exciting legislation.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:04 PM
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i'm not a strong partisan for either Ob or Hill, but FWIW one thing that pushes me towards Hillary is that I don't want the Republicans to have any control or input, at all. The Democrats aren't saints, but the Republicans have been bad beyond belief for my entire politically cognizant life. I don't want to reach out to them. Further, I think one of the greatest weaknesses of the Dems has always been that they don't go on attack enough. They don't heighten the differences, and they don't push stores of Republican incompetence.

Obama wants to reach out, and he doesn't want to attack. Hillary, maybe, just maybe, would do better.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:04 PM
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Impress me.

DAYS OF RAGE!

BRING THE WAR HOME!

SMASH MONOGAMY!

ICE THE PIGS!

KILL YOUR PARENTS?

Impressed, you coot?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:06 PM
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383: exactly correct. I am given to understand this is a good place to start if you want to get a sense for what he's accomplished.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:07 PM
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Michael, this is crazy. The Clintons' whole career has been based around co-opting Republican positions. Maybe it doesn't involve actually having a dialogue with Republicans, but it doesn't involve fighting courageously for liberal ideals, either.

Anyone who votes for Clinton because they think she'll be a better advocate for liberalism than Obama is mad. Hillary will sell out on all the liberal policy positions she's been taking in the primaries at the first opportunity.

Obama might get Republican votes for liberal policy measures, so he's anathema. Better to have Hillary, who will assume Republican policy positions on every issue, but will also say meaner things about Republicans.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:08 PM
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384:AHHHhhhhh...that felt good.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:10 PM
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383 - Isn't that guy a major league asshole?


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:12 PM
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Urp - 389 to 386


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:13 PM
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389: Big time.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:16 PM
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387:Anyone who votes for Clinton because they think she'll be a better advocate for liberalism

Wasn't really Michael's point.

I don't want to reach out to them

You are not going to get decent progressive policies, or a better America, or less dead babies overseas, until the ENEMY is destroyed. They will stop you. This is not complicated or subtle. You will never have the Senate votes.

First, and really only, the Republican Party must attacked until it is dead. And then a stake driven thru its heart.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:17 PM
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i'm not a strong partisan for either Ob or Hill, but FWIW one thing that pushes me towards Hillary is that I don't want the Republicans to have any control or input, at all.

Then it totally makes sense to support the machine candidate of the Rollover wing of the Democratic party. Go back and count the number of years in which you no longer think it's worth criticizing Dem behavior about now that you've decided that wing of the party is the correct (dare I say "right") wing to support. Then stick to it. It'll be good practice for the next four years.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:18 PM
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Why do I hate Obama?

Because he sucks up to scum.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:19 PM
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As I said, it's crazy to care much about the small differences between Obama and Clinton, and it's crazy to hope for too much from either of them. Obama is more likely to surprise us, but he could surprise us in either direction.

I'm impressed with Obama's abilities as a campaigner.

On Obama, despite what Stra and others keep saying, I think that Krugman may have a point.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:22 PM
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one thing that pushes me towards Hillary is that I don't want the Republicans to have any control or input, at all

That's right, because Republicans had no influence whatsoever on the first Clinton administration... except of course for the guy who ran Bill Clinton's domestic policy for most of his first term. I'm sorry you apparently spent the nineties cryogenically frozen in a tube, but now that you've thawed, would you mind reading up on the histories of the candidates before you start voting for them?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:26 PM
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The Clintons' whole career has been based around co-opting Republican positions.

Are you conflating Bill and Hillary, here? I think Hillary is more liberal than Bill.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:27 PM
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As I said, it's crazy to care much about the small differences between Obama and Clinton,

For the war vs. against the war, machine history of rolling over that the blogosphere spent the first four years of its existence criticizing vs. an absence of the same, etc. Trivial. I don't know how people are even distinguishing between the two.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:28 PM
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On Obama, despite what Stra and others keep saying, I think that Krugman may have a point.

I think Krugman's main point is that Obama bit off Krugman's foot years ago while he was whaling in the south seas, and now he is doomed to chase him around the horn and around the Norway maelstrom and around perdition's flames before he'll give him up.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:28 PM
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395 - Do you really think Hillary is less likely to "surprise" us in the "selling out to Republicans" direction than Obama?

Certainly, Obama might sell out to Republicans, but no matter what Hillary's expressed policies now are, I'm fairly certain she's going to sell out to Republicans.

Both will obviously be better presidents than, say, Mitt Romney, if only because of appointments and that kind of thing, but Hillary seems just about sure to disappoint, whereas Obama at least presents the possibility of not being a total disappointment (from a liberal perspective).


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:30 PM
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Are you conflating Bill and Hillary, here?

Bill and Hillary are conflating Bill and Hillary. In case you haven't noticed, it's the entire premise of their campaign.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:30 PM
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"Absence of the same" = not much record. Obama was verbally opposed to the war when not in the Senate. He's been pretty cagy about what he proposes in Iraq.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:30 PM
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Are you conflating Bill and Hillary, here? I think Hillary is more liberal than Bill.

Based on what? And how does that affect our understanding of her political ability as "co-president" if Bill still rolled her for eight (or at least six) years? Or her grand reputation with Republicans while in the Senate?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:31 PM
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397 also to 396.

Also, Hillary plays nice when she thinks she has to or that it's advantageous, but I don't think she's forgotten that they impeached her husband.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:31 PM
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397 - on what basis? (Hillary) Clinton's record in the public sphere shows nothing much better than "cautious centrism".


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:32 PM
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Based on what?

damnit, i knew someone was going to ask this. it's based on something, bits i've read here and there. i'm not sure i'll be able to find it right now. i need a sandwich.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:34 PM
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Damn, pwned by 403.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:34 PM
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402: So given clear evidence on one side and (let's say for the moment) no evidence in either direction on the other, you choose--against what evidence there is. Enjoy your Pinto; I hear it's a great ride.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:35 PM
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it's crazy to care much about the small differences between Obama and Clinton

The war in Iraq is not a small difference. Advocacy of torture and extraordinary rendition is not a small difference. Liberal internationalism versus neocon-lite is not a small difference.

There's been a concerted effort on the part of various parties to minimize these differences. The candidates don't want to play up these differences because there's an institutional fear of foreign policy talk within the Democratic Party elite. Professional liberal pundits want to minimize these differences because they're afraid of going too harsh on the eventual nominee in a way that could derail their careers. So you end up with lots of arguments about incredibly trivial, incredibly superficial stuff - electability, "theories of change," etc. - when actual differences on substantial issues do exist. And you also get a lot of bullshit statements from a lot of mainstream liberal pundits to the effect that "well of course I'd be happy with all of them, they're all wonderful candidates."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:37 PM
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SCMT, you just love black people.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:38 PM
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399:Unbelievable. Progressives have had no better advocate over the last six years, and now they are turning on Krugman.

Krugman doesn't merely have a point, he has profound understanding of current American politics. YOU CANNOT WORK WITH THE ASSHOLES.

In 2006, I told the newly elected Democratic Congress to just go home, or to their opponent's distritcs, and campaign campaign, because they were not going to get anything done.

One year later, anything that has gotten done is net negative, with a public perception of Democratic failure. Preview of Obama administration. Nothing net good will get done.

President Edwards would not get anything done either, but he would make damn bloody sure the right people got blamed. He would build an actual progressive movement.

Obama is not capable of doing even that, without destroying the entire rationale for his presidency. Whatever movement Obama builds, it will not be progressive.

Fuck Hillary Clinton. I simply don't think much about her.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:39 PM
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The candidates don't want to play up these differences because there's an institutional fear of foreign policy talk within the Democratic Party elite.

That's why I don't think the differences are very large.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:40 PM
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Fuck Hillary Clinton. I simply don't think much about her.

In real life, you'll probably be able to play the "Don't Blame Me; I Vote For The Other Person" role. But, please, spare us. You buy it, you own it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:43 PM
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338: WANT.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:44 PM
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338, 414: Not Secretary of Labor, which is what I was thinking?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:46 PM
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415: I think I reach for AG because I have much less of a clear idea what the other cabinet secretaries do. Edwards being in charge of the NLRB strikes me as a good idea too though, if the Sec. of Labor does that.

I wonder if Gore would want the EPA? Fantasy Democratic Cabinet is better than fantasy baseball!

Frankly, Krugman has earned the right to get all Capt. Ahab (or pick what literary metaphor you like) at the first sign of Democratic wishy-washiness on health care & social security; it's not a bad thing to make Dem. candidates afraid to do that. But I don't think he's fair to Obama, either.

Even my mother has lightened up on him today; she apparently values Ted Kennedy's rumored endorsement more than mine. Grr. Also, she never especially liked Bill Clinton & would like him to shut up.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:49 PM
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The Clintons' whole career has been based around co-opting Republican positions. Maybe it doesn't involve actually having a dialogue with Republicans, but it doesn't involve fighting courageously for liberal ideals, either.

All right, this is bullshit and I'm getting sort of tired of hearing it around the blogsphere. The Clintons have a very particular history of being dedicated liberals over a period (1980-2000) when the Republican machine was gaining power and consolidating its hold over American politics. This experience has shaped them in complicated ways that may have messed up their instincts for our current moment, possibly making them less "trustworthy", but it is very far from making them Republicans.

At the key moments in their political career, they stepped out and took all kinds of risks to try to move the country to the left. They then got flattened by the Republican counterattack, and "triangulated" to survive. This happened in Arkansas in 1978-82, and then again in DC in 1992-94. Both times, they advanced major, ambitious liberal agendas but almost lost power permanently due to the Republican backlash.

Even with that, they achieved major victories for a liberal domestic agenda in both cases. In the 90s, HIPAA and SCHIP were significant wins in health policy, and the EITC expansion and an increase in taxes on the rich were major victories on fiscal policy. These were not built on because Gore lost in 2000, but had he won he would have been very well set up for further, more significant progressive gains by what the Clintons had achieved in the 90s.

Obviously, they still have plenty of problems from a progressive perspective...one issue is that while they clearly care very deeply about health, education, and income redistribution, they have shown much less committment and courage on foreign/military policy and on civil liberties. These latter two are obviously pretty critical right now, and given Hillary's (lousy) record on Iraq and on the Armed Services committee it's more than fair to question their ideology there. There's also a more complicated critique, that they are big government liberals who have not understood the need to e.g. strengthen the labor movement to create a mass liberal constituency outside of government. Finally, one can say that the times call for a different strategy than the bob and weave, triangulation-type strategy that their whole career has taught them is what works.

But it's just unfair to claim they are some sort of crypto Republicans. Hillary's defense of her own experience and record as a fighter for liberal causes has some real truth to it. (Though it has certainly been tarnished by Iraq).


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:52 PM
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Irreverently, highlights of the thread so far:

"balderdash": excellent!

"aged ex-hippies'": obnoxious

"I think Hillary is more liberal than Bill": puzzling.

So Bob trolled the thread to dubious advantage (cut it out, guys, it's simply unknowable whether Obama is a tool of the establishment -- or the extent to which he is).

The generational snottiness Bob has inflamed is ugly. Nobody comes out looking very pretty in that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:55 PM
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Fuck Hillary Clinton. I simply don't think much about her.

Sometimes Bob doesn't think much about Hillary Clinton, and sometimes she is clearly the more progressive alternative to Barack Obama based on unspecified economic grounds. And sometimes Hillary Clinton is clearly the most reactionary candidate in the race, and that's why Bob says we should vote for her, because it will heighten the contradictions and hasten The Revolution. And sometimes Hillary Clinton is the only thing standing between America and Barack Obama's secret Muslofascist takeover. I believe the usual euphemism for this involves "containing multitudes." As in, "Sidewalk Joe isn't schizophrenic, he just contains multitudes."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:57 PM
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P.S. to 417: Also, on civil liberties: Clinton had a bad record on this as President. It clearly was not something he prioritized fighting for.

It might just be that we need a new generation in office who has not been pounded on by the Reps for decades, is less intimidated and has a greater sense of possibility. But the Clintons were the most successful liberals of their generation.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:57 PM
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Look. Obama is going to hit the wall instantly, where he has to hit the country in full hate-Republican mode or make huge concessions.

Republicans are not going to make concessions. Ever. On anything. Any of them. Snow has never bucked her party, and never will. They know four years of failure with Obama taking the blame will get them what they want.

Can Obama handle our domestic terrorists, in a recession or depression while losing a war? He has given me no reason to think so.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 12:57 PM
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I think I reach for AG because I have much less of a clear idea what the other cabinet secretaries do. Edwards being in charge of the NLRB strikes me as a good idea too though

Mark Kleiman makes the case (and the case against Edwards as AG. Nickel version: he's to nice to root out the Regents grads as ruthlessly as needs to be done.).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:00 PM
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You know, Hillary Clinton never had a serious chance of getting my vote in the primaries, but I don't have much quarrel with 417.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:00 PM
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I agree with 411. That's why I'm going to vote for Edwards in my primary, despite it coming something like ten weeks after Super Tuesday. Any chance of him being the kingmaker is good news.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:02 PM
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There's also a more complicated critique, that they are big government liberals who have not understood the need to e.g. strengthen the labor movement to create a mass liberal constituency outside of government. Finally, one can say that the times call for a different strategy than the bob and weave, triangulation-type strategy that their whole career has taught them is what works.

Thanks. PGD gets it right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:04 PM
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Bob has a point, in that the hard core of the Republican machine *cannot* be compromised with. So if you think Obama is really serious about his rhetoric, that should make you legitimately worried. There is nothing at all crazy about that. In fact, Stras is more "schizophrenic" in that he alternates ranting and raving at the slightest hint of compromise among liberals with fulminating against anyone who opposes the liberal candidate who talks the most about compromise with the right.

Personally, I'm coming round to the belief that Obama's rhetoric of reconciliation is a brilliant tactic to try to change the game, to expose the actual inability of the right to compromise on anything and thus open up new ground for liberals to retake the center. In other words, he has no illusions and understands the dangers. But this could well be pure wishful thinking on my part.

Bob's support for Hillary makes sense, in that Hillary, more than anyone, understands the radical right enemy in her bones and has evolved a set of strategies that permit survival and some gains against them. Those strategies may involve too much caution and playing defense, but at least they work in the sense of tactical survival. But with so much to roll back now, is that enough?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:05 PM
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426: You don't need to convince the hard core, just a few that aren't wedded to them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:06 PM
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417 - perhaps I'm being overly harsh on the Clintons, but certainly from an intra-party standpoint, they don't come off as particularly liberal. And certainly there was a great deal of triangulation going on in 1992 - welfare reform didn't just appear out of the 94 defeats, and all that Sister Souljah/Ricky Ray Rector business was distasteful. The big achievements of the 93-94 Congress were NAFTA and balancing the budget.

418 - my words were ill-chosen. I have disrespect only for McManus, not for other aged ex-hippies, who may very well be fine and right-thinking people. Please forgive me.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:11 PM
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Oddly, I don't worry about Obama being too naive & idealistic or not understanding how politics works. I worry about him being too cynical. Not in a "plotting to sell out social security way," in an "actually a lot more cautious & realistic than he's given credit for" way.

His campaign is an interesting mix of a quasi-mass movement & a very, very professional operation. His speech last night? Inspiring--but also very carefully did exactly what he needed to do for Feb. 5. And take a look at this article.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:11 PM
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The Clintons have a very particular history of being dedicated liberals

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. The Clintons cut nine million women and children from the welfare rolls with a plan they knew would not in any way act as a "transition to the workforce," but effectively enlist them as members of a permanent class of wage slaves for various Clinton donor corporations. No provisions were made to give these people job training, health care benefits, day care or a living wage. The goal of the '96 welfare reform bill wasn't to help the poor, it was to cut the welfare rolls, period, and the Clinton administration did that by fighting against its own party and with the help of eager Republicans who'd been wanting to stick it to the poor since the Reagan years.

Today upper-middle-class liberals look back on the bill with mild distaste and sniff that it "took the issue off the table," and count it as a political victory. Bull fucking shit. You win political victories as a liberal by moving the country to the left, not by retreating to the right. But this was always Clinton's instinct, whether it was on welfare or crime (where he vastly increased the number of nonviolent drug offenders in prison) or civil liberties (where he signed DOMA and ran ads on Christian radio to brag about it) or foreign policy (where he was always happy to bomb a third world country to show how tough he was). If the nineties are your idea of liberalism, you're a conservative.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:11 PM
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also very carefully did exactly what he needed to do for Feb. 5

Boy, did it! That was awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:12 PM
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427: right. Hillary is completely identified with the current partisan frame, where everyone has chosen sides in a stale and bitter struggle that most people are sick of. She is a superb tactical fighter within that game. Obama wants to break the frame in a way that gets independents and people loosely affiliated with the right to reconsider their position. It could work. But honestly, I wish he was a white guy named Joe, he's taking on so much at once.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:13 PM
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Hey Massachusetts people, how many of you think that Romney will win the Republican primary in Massachusetts?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:20 PM
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Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. The Clintons cut nine million women and children from the welfare rolls with a plan they knew would not in any way act as a "transition to the workforce," but effectively enlist them as members of a permanent class of wage slaves for various Clinton donor corporations.

Conspiracy theory garbage. The Clintons practically destroyed their Presidency by prioritizing health care reform over welfare reform, despite the fact that welfare reform was the simpler and more popular issue. They were unwilling to do anything on it until the Republican Congress jammed it down their throats. Then Clinton refused to veto it, which was a wise political move.

Today upper-middle-class liberals look back on the bill with mild distaste and sniff that it "took the issue off the table," and count it as a political victory.

And today's upper middle class liberals are correct and you are wrong. "Welfare reform" got rid of AFDC -- the worst, most humiliating, stingiest welfare program in the entire Western world, a misbegotten mess that had been an anchor chain around the Democratic party for decades. The total amount of money channeled to poor single mothers INCREASED under the Clinton administration -- the reduction in AFDC was dwarfed by the increases in the EITC, the minimum wage, and the expansions in Medicaid eligibility for working poor families with kids (which went far beyond SCIP). By ditching AFDC and strengthening more work-oriented programs, the U.S. moved closer to the European model of public benefits tied to work participation, and positioned the Democratic party as a working and middle class party instead of the party of the non-working poor, which was a hopeless position. Now we have to build on that.

As I said above, I agree with you re: the Clintons on civil liberties and defense policy.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:22 PM
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She is a superb tactical fighter within that game.

Again, this is based on what?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:22 PM
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435 - She has said several times that she is.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:25 PM
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432: but isn't exciting to watch him try? I don't think this campaign would work if he were a white guy named Joe. Rather than "quasi-mass movement". I'd say: a combination of an audacious gamble on the better angels of the U.S. electorate & a professional political operation.

I'm not convinced she is so tactically superb, either. She could be, but she's been so cautious since she took office that in a lot of ways she's as untested as Obama. I think the Clintons are grossly overrated as far as political skills, unless your sole measure is "staying in power in the face of extreme hostility". I think he's wonderfully charismatic & good at counterpunching, but also an unimaginative, unambitious strategist who makes a lot of unforced errors--and is completely out of touch with the way things work today. She's a hell of lot more disciplined & will probably make fewer dumb mistakes, but she doesn't have his charisma.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:25 PM
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They were unwilling to do anything on it until the Republican Congress jammed it down their throats. Then Clinton refused to veto it, which was a wise political move.

This is completely and utterly ahistorical. The '96 plan was a product of Dick Morris and the Clinton White House, and the White House was very proud of it at the time. You either don't remember what happened or you're being incredibly, incredibly disingenuous, to say the least.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:25 PM
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and thus open up new ground for liberals to retake the center

This is really it, isn't it? It's painful to acknowledge that that's the best we can hope for, but there it is.

428:

perhaps I'm being overly harsh on the Clintons, but certainly from an intra-party standpoint, they don't come off as particularly liberal.

The meaning of "liberal" has shifted; it no longer means anything progressive.

432:

Obama wants to break the frame in a way that gets independents and people loosely affiliated with the right to reconsider their position. It could work. But honestly, I wish he was a white guy named Joe, he's taking on so much at once.

Obama's non-whiteness may actually contribute to the seductiveness of his breaking the frame. (Dare you!)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:26 PM
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And the notion that Clinton should've started with welfare reform first, and then moved on to health care reform, has long been an article of faith for the farthest-right wing of the neoliberal branch of the Democratic Party. This isn't even a GOP talking point; it's a Mickey Kaus talking point. Clinton's biggest mistake with regards to health care and priorities - and this has long been conventional wisdom among former Clintonites and labor liberals alike - is that he should've started out with health care first instead of blowing all his political capital on the budget act and NAFTA.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:29 PM
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439 - "Progressive" is just a term people use because they were shamed out of using "liberal" by Ronald Reagan and George Bush the elder. It has irritating Marxist connotations, combined with irritating paternalist/Teddy Roosevelt/Woodrow Wilson connotations.

And what exactly is this supposed no meaning of "liberal"? In public opinion surveys, they still ask people if they're liberal, moderate, or conservative. This is an annoying frame, as there's obviously much that is to the left of liberalism. But I'm not sure what liberalism is supposed to mean if it's not the leftier portion of the Democratic Party.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:30 PM
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435: yeah, it's a matter of opinion and inevitably subjective. If you think the Clintons could have achieved much more than they did, then their ability to maintain popularity and get a couple of real gains will be less impressive.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:30 PM
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Finally, one can say that the times call for a different strategy than the bob and weave, triangulation-type strategy that their whole career has taught them is what works.

I can sign on in agreement to all of 417. I think this question is key, and I don't know the answer.

There are two interesting aspects of this question: One is a matter of campaign strategy; the other is a matter of governance strategy. I think we'll have the answer to the campaign strategy question soon enough.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:31 PM
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362: I was not only drunk enough to hit on her, I was drunk enough to be sincerely heartbroken when I learned she had a boyfriend. But I should probably be blaming my friends who were actually present, egging me on, rather than imaginary people whose opinions I don't take seriously, whether drunk or sober.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:33 PM
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I don't think you can blame her profession for her having a boyfriend.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:35 PM
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the notion that Clinton should've started with welfare reform first, and then moved on to health care reform, has long been an article of faith for the farthest-right wing of the neoliberal branch of the Democratic Party.

Well, I agree completely with this notion, which I guess makes me the farthest-right whatever of whatever. AFDC was a horrible, outdated program that had to go anyway. He would have gotten a much better welfare reform under the Democratic Congress. And it would have pumped up his popularity to take on the single biggest domestic policy reform since at least Medicare, maybe since the New Deal. It's a no-lose so far as I can see.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:35 PM
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But I should probably be blaming my friends who were actually present

That's why you should stay home and drink alone.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:36 PM
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I really think she was The One. It's all downhill from here.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:36 PM
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By ditching AFDC and strengthening more work-oriented programs, the U.S. moved closer to the European model of public benefits tied to work participation

This is still bullshit. Those "work-oriented programs" you mentioned all require you to have a job. There was no consideration for those who couldn't find a job, or those whose family obligations kept them from working, or those whose "workfare" programs provided far too little to actually get by. And the "increased benefits" you mention came with far more stringent requirements that drastically reduced the number of eligible recipients while subjecting those recipients to humiliating scrutiny by state officials.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:38 PM
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Why not go to the park and drink alone?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:39 PM
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AFDC was a horrible, outdated program that had to go anyway.

And it was replaced with something even worse.

He would have gotten a much better welfare reform under the Democratic Congress.

But he didn't. And so he pushed for a deal with a GOP Congress that cut nine million women and children from the welfare rolls and left them to work or starve.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:41 PM
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442: At a minimum, it would be nice if there were some sort of key as to when to disaggregate the Clintons and when not to do so. People seem to assume that a new Clinton Administration would have her (presumed) more liberal policy view--and to be fair to Michael, I seem to remember a fair bit of gossip to this end during his Administration, though it was rarely policy specific--and his political skills. It could just as easily be the other way around.

That said, if all goes well, we're going to get a chance to find out.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:41 PM
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450: None of the parks near my house have benches, and I'd be embarrassed to pass out right on the ground.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:41 PM
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She only told you she had a boyfriend to see if you really loved her. A real man would have kept begging.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:41 PM
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You're right, though. By most standards you life should be over now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:43 PM
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Katherine's 437 is a great comment that gives a totally valid alternative perspective to mine, in fact I find it rather convincing. How good you think the Clintons are depends on what you think an alternative person could have achieved in the alternate reality where they did not exist, and that is hard to know.

Obama's non-whiteness may actually contribute to the seductiveness of his breaking the frame. (Dare you!)

Yeah, Katherine said this in 437 too. I think it contributes for an upper-middle class liberal demographic, sure. I'm not so sure for others. Hopefully I'm underestimating the "better angels of the electorate". He has to win to pull this off, and if the combo of his race and, probably more important, his general foreign-exoticness stops him from winning that will suck.

Forget being a white guy named Joe -- how about someone with a Colin Powell-esque background? That would have been better. Obama is just so wildly off the charts in terms of stereotypical Presidential backgrounds.

OK, no more politics...it's all about Kotsko's love life now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:47 PM
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453: what? Why? Passing out on god's green earth is how your ancestors did it; what's to be ashamed of?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:49 PM
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if the combo of his race and, probably more important, his general foreign-exoticness stops him from winning that will suck.

Eh. If he can't do it yet, he can't do it yet. Things are still getting better.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:49 PM
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I think it's charmingly naive to suppose that Obama's race could be a net plus for him, politically.

Naive among his supporters, I mean. I saw Brit Hume saying the same thing on TV this morning, and I didn't find it at all charming, nor did I find it naive.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:53 PM
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Those "work-oriented programs" you mentioned all require you to have a job.

This is true. Having a job is the standard societal expectation for women with children now, as it was not when AFDC took shape in the 1930s. AFDC was an obsolete program that no longer fit societal expectations. Hence the replacement of AFDC with a "make work pay" strategy.

There was no consideration for those who couldn't find a job, or those whose family obligations kept them from working, or those whose "workfare" programs provided far too little to actually get by.

Disabled people who cannot work should be on disability (disability rolls increased significantly after welfare reform). Able-bodied people had up to two years to find a job. As I said above the family obligation keeps you from working argument no longer fit with broader societal expectations. Workfare was punitive nonsense, the point is the increase in benefits and take-home pay for low wage jobs that was created by EITC/min wage/Medicaid coverage expansion.

If you think family obligations should allow people to opt out of work, then push for broad family leave policies that would also include and benefit the white working and middle classes.

And the "increased benefits" you mention came with far more stringent requirements that drastically reduced the number of eligible recipients while subjecting those recipients to humiliating scrutiny by state officials.

Not true at all -- EITC/Medicaid/min wage were all yours by virtue of having a job, had fewer bureaucratic requirements than AFDC and far less "humiliating scrutiny". They were much closer to being true entitlements.

Not sure what "increased benefits" you were referring to.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:57 PM
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Well, it's certainly been a net plus in the primary--I don't just mean in South Carolina. And he's a lot better at navigating the race minefield than Clinton is at navigating the gender minefield.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 1:58 PM
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452:One of the few certainties of November is honestly the most important to me:we will have a more Democratic Congress. And I think that Democratic Congress wtill be more liberal than the Congress of 1992, although as we gain the ever larger majority, the limit to where the marginal Congressperson or Senator is the the right of the caucus will increase. We will just be adding bluedogs, there are not ten more Feingolds waiting to be found.

Of course, that more liberal Congress will empower Clinton and could restrain Obama, unless Obama found the blue dogs + Republicans to enact an agenda to the right of the Democratic majority.

I hope for the health of people I have had a lifetime of respect for, like Conyers and Rangel and Waters, so that Obamism can be resisted by those invulnerable to the Obama stealth attack.

And there is always the filibuster.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:01 PM
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457: I passed out on the grass once and woke up at 6 the next morning. My face was all scraped up because I had been leaning against a brick wall before passing out. I had no fucking idea what had happened.

Thankfully, the parks don't have a ton of brick walls, either. And I have to correct that -- they have benches, but just no tables.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:02 PM
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It's too late bob! He's gotten to Conyers!!!! ZOMG brainwashing!


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:04 PM
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463: You're in Chicago, aren't you? It's too cold to pass out in the park.

And waitresses/barmaids are probably hard to date if they're cute, as you have a lot of competition.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:09 PM
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Waitresses and barmaids universally have a weak spot for guys who pass out drunk in parks. Wait till about April, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:10 PM
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My impression is the same as PGD's; that welfare reform led to a net gain in the amount of money distributed to the poor. My impression is based on fairly weak evidence (I looked up the budget figures once), but I would be curious if anyone knows of a more authoritative source.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:12 PM
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You guys are pissing me off, making me be the reasonable one.

To me it's much more important that everyone get behind whoever is nominated than it is that the right one is nominated. The media built up the gender-race feud the most they possibly could, and if they get winf of the split between Stras and McManus they'll make a big deal out of that too.

Two more or less centrist emocrats who aren't tipping their hands much.

We're still probably doomed, but any Democrat is better than any Republican, and I right now don't believe in "the worse the better".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:14 PM
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465: So you're saying I should focus on ugly bartenders. Counter-intuitive, but probably workable -- I'll report back.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:17 PM
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Of course, that more liberal Congress will empower Clinton and could restrain Obama, unless Obama found the blue dogs + Republicans to enact an agenda to the right of the Democratic majority.

I know I shouldn't, but...come on. What are you talking about? This is insane. What is the domestic policy initiative where Obama is going to rely on blue dogs + Republicans? This is completely absurd.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:19 PM
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is honestly the most important to me

With all the meaning, coherence, and fidelity that implies.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:19 PM
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So you're saying I should focus on ugly bartenders.

No, I'm saying you should focus on people you have independent reasons to like, who will have indepedent reasons to like you. Don't get me wrong, maybe you really connected with the bartender, and she has an interest in theology.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:24 PM
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To me it's much more important that everyone get behind whoever is nominated than it is that the right one is nominated.

I probably just need to save the link to this comment and post the link every time I'm tempted to discuss the Democratic nomination process here. This contains pretty much anything useful I have to say on the subject.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:30 PM
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470:Ok, I know it's tough, but try to follow.

1) Obama says he will work with Republicans, and listen to their ideas.

2) If that means "but only if they follow my agenda 100%" he might as well not say it, or its bullshit

3) Republicans never ever make concessions or compromise

4) So "working with Republicans" means making concessions to Republicans

5) Now most issues in Congress, like taxes, torture, or abortion are so polarized that you rarely find large caucus support across party lines. There are very few hardcore anti-choice Democrats. Very seldom, as we have seen in 2007, is a bill passable that will gather both significant Democratic and Republican support. Republicans have filibustered, had 40 votes, on hundreds of Democratic initiative in the last Congress. There is no common ground. Reid would love to have "worked with Republicans." It proved impossible.

6) So "working with Republicans" actually means passing Republican bills. There is no other meaning.

7)In order to pass Republican bills, Obama will need the 40 Republicans, 10-15 bluedogs, and a Democratic Senate without a spine that will not invoke cloture.

7) is considerably more likely than getting a Democratic Bill past the Republican filibuster.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:31 PM
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474 is hilarious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:35 PM
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He might as well not say it, or its bullshit

For it to be bullshit would not be historically unusual.

I grant that the recent statement by Sen. Warner that he intends to form a "moderate" Senate Dem caucus is pretty chilling. As far as I know he's not coordinating specifically with Obama, though. Hillary is a moderate too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:35 PM
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474. I fail to see why you are disregarding the idea that his claims to value Republicans' ideas are bullshit. He has to say things like that as part of his current campaign strategy. He's not an idiot, he knows what Republicans are up to.

And therefore the rest of your syllogisms fall apart.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:35 PM
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Don't get me wrong, maybe you really connected with the bartender, and she has an interest in theology.

The so-called angel's share can be his in!

I found a way to transmute the painful experience of yesterday (which, evidently, no one cares about, since I'm not as lovable as Kotsko or teo) into Pure Art, thereby making life bearable as an aesthetic phenomenon. I give you the opening sentence of my next Modern Love column:

The word bus comes from the Latin omnibus, the dative plural of omnis, because it's a means of transportation "for all"—but when a date I had never even met was crushed beneath one's wheels en route to our rendezvous, I began to think that, on the journey that is life and love, I would never be able to take the carpool lane.
The ending is yet to be written, laydeez. It's not too late to be the one who shows me a new life.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:35 PM
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If that means "but only if they follow my agenda 100%" he might as well not say it, or it's bullshit

That wouldn't be without precedent, now would it? I seem to recall this Texan guy who talked a good game about how he would reach across the aisle and be a uniter, not a divider. That lasted about as long as it took to get 271 electoral votes.

And what makes you think Democratic committee chairs and a Dem Senate majority leader are going to let anything come to a vote that commands the support of 40 Republicans and only 15 Democrats?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:38 PM
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Ben, I think you have to start out as some sort of fatally charming rich and/or narcissistic asshole for anyone to care about your personal transformation into a likeable romantic lead.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:40 PM
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That people are still willing to argue with bob as if he possesses a quantum of reason is kind of impressive.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:40 PM
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Okay people, I know that bob hangs around here a lot, so we don't treat him as a regular troll. He's no Troll of Sorrows. That said, his current coments are --whether intentionally or not-- exceedingly trollish. I started reading some of them so that I could follow other people's responses to them, but really I think it's better that we try not to engage mcmanus today.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:40 PM
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Narcissistic asshole I can do.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:41 PM
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Or did you mean fatally charming narcissistic asshole? That'd be harder.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:41 PM
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You have to be both fatally charming and narcissistic (or f.c. and rich) in order to arouse the interest of the Modern Love readers and hope that you can be tamed by a good woman.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:43 PM
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472: I would never date any woman whose main attraction to me was her interest in theology.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:43 PM
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474:On my good days, there are about ten Senators I have respect for, and I don't respect those without reservations.

I know!! Lets talk about appointments to the Cabinet, SCOTUS, etc and how wonderfully Democrats have resisted Bush flunkies, henchmen, and troglodytes. Cause we gotta have hope.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:43 PM
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We've finally isolated a weak point in bob's logic! The question now is: will he give up internet commentary for good? Collapse into a puddle of sobs? Start a 527 organization dedicated to the Obama campaign?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:44 PM
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when a date I had never even met was crushed beneath one's wheels en route to our rendezvous

Bonus mega-props for creativity in rationalization! I would have been stuck at "Her lips were too thin and her laugh gives the the willies and I really never wanted to go out with her anyway."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:44 PM
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"and hope" s/b "and make them hope"

or possible "and their hope"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:45 PM
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It would be hard to go that route, Knecht, since I have in fact never met the woman in question, and I really did want to meet her. Also, credit for the creativity should go to the creator; in this case B.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:46 PM
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Ben w-lfs-n: men want to be him, women think they can change him.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:46 PM
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478: Ben, it was a blind date? Don't you know those are doomed earlier or later? Not that that helps. Anyway, you don't need any hand-holding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:49 PM
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Hillary is a moderate too.

Gee, ya think? Cripes, it's like the last seven years never happened.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:50 PM
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481, 482: Gee I can take a hint.

There is a part of me laughing at all this, you know. It is a kinda performance art thing. I don't want to be so good at trolling that I actually convince or damage people, but I don't want the irony to become so obvious that it stops being trolling. I also don't want to be so entertaining or amusing that people believe that to be the purpose.

But I will leave. I know when I'm not wanted. Whirlpool-eyed geeks, goodbye.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:50 PM
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It was a date mediated by craigslist, and I honestly was hopeful; the fact that I got a serious response to an ad that consisted of a single very long sentence, also a lipogram in "i" (with clinamen!), from someone who saw fit to slip in a quotation from Nabokov, would tend to make, at any rate, me think there was a chance of things not being doomed until later. How foolish I was.

Anyway, you don't need any hand-holding.

It would be amusing to consider what evidence you could possibly adduce for this claim. How many dates do you think I've had in the past year?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:52 PM
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493: I don't think that meeting someone through online dating is quite a blind date -- don't you have to be set up by mutual friends for the classical blind date? That is, doesn't the very concept of a blind date imply that you have not made the selection yourself, on any level?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:53 PM
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Don't you know those are doomed earlier or later?

He does now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:54 PM
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It seems like ganging up on McManus has become the new fad. If I do it will I be cool?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:55 PM
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You know, I think it's terrible politics for the Democrats as a whole, but you have to admire the Potteresque gamesmanship of HRC, who is now going to violate her pledge and campaign in Florida.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:55 PM
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He does now.

Indeed; vide 478 supra.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:56 PM
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499: I dunno what the standards are for 'cool' around here -- low, certainly. All the stuff Bob worries about with Obama (all right, maybe not all. But the broad outlines) worries me too. But Clinton worries me as much or more. But being better than Clinton isn't a reason not to worry about Obama.

Possibly if I cower under my desk with my fingers in my ears singing "Lalalalala, I can't hear anything anyone is saying about politics," I'll worry less. I should try that, once I get these counterclaims drafted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:59 PM
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McManus's argument is, basically, that since Obama says he's going to work with Republicans, then Obama expects he can do that. Neither Reid nor Pelosi have been able to do that; Clinton had little success doing that. It just doesn't seem to be a very good strategy. So McManus doesn't see much hope for the Obama administration.

OK, I understand why Obama people don't like that, but is it crazy? What's the normal result of what happens when Dems try to play nice with Republicans?

The reply by a few people that Obama's just a big liar and lying to everyone but is secretly a big old liberal and just you wait and see...ok, I mean, I can't say it's impossible. But I really, really don't see how it's any easier to believe than McManus's theory.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 2:59 PM
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Are those the counterclaims that ate Manhattan?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:01 PM
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Goodness, the madness is contagious.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:02 PM
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478: but when a date I had never even met was crushed beneath one's wheels en route to our rendezvous

At least she died doing what she loved best, huffing exhaust fumes at the Greyhound terminal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:03 PM
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FWIW, i find what's easiest to believe somewhere in the middle. Obama's plainly good at talking and mediating. But it's only going to go so far. I'm not convinced that he'll do better than Hillary. Come to that, I'm not really convinced Hillary will do better than him. eh.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:03 PM
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Crazy as he is, Bob does have a point. Obama has made a number of troubling statements.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:03 PM
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It would be amusing to consider what evidence you could possibly adduce for this claim. How many dates do you think I've had in the past year?

Evidence is my having met you: w-lfs-n, you're an interesting, attractive guy. How many dates you've been on: well, dates are overrated.

Being stood up after the email interaction you describe does indeed suck. Next time try to have a phone conversation or two. And what the hell is a lipogram?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:04 PM
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the madness is contagious.

I have a hard time not reading this as norm-enforcing. Conformity or you're mad?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:05 PM
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What's the normal result of what happens when Dems try to play nice with Republicans?

They eat our lunch, following by scrubbing our faces in the playground dirt. At least, since I've been an adult that's how it's worked.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:05 PM
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And what the hell is a lipogram?

A piece of prose lacking one letter -- like that novel with no 'e's in it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:06 PM
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Look, no one here has said anything like The reply by a few people that Obama's just a big liar and lying to everyone but is secretly a big old liberal and just you wait and see. Not even close.

I am not norm-enforcing. Feel free to respond to people actually talking to you. Just, you know, read what they write.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:09 PM
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As an example, 512 holds no tokens of the letter pronounced the way the second-person pronoun gets pronounced among anglophones, and the comment you read currently has no tokens of the letter used for avowals made of oneself.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:12 PM
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ok, Cala, it might be that no one has said both of those at the same time. But people have proposed the belief that Obama doesn't mean any of his bipartisan talk.

The second belief I attributed, that Obama's tacked right but is the more liberal of the candidates...do I need to defend that? Do any Obama supporters not believe this?


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:13 PM
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Oh, and I thank you for the compliment, parsimon, but it's small consolation to have these nice relational properties without a relationship, if you will.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:14 PM
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514: Gawd, no wonder she threw herself in front of that bus.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:14 PM
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I'm not sure why I felt the need to be so circumlocutious about "u" in 514.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:16 PM
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464: Damn. Pre-pwned.

Bob, do you think Obama's going to be worse on foreign policy than Clinton?


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:17 PM
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is "Obama is the most liberal of the candidates and not actually committed to his bipartisan talk" not a popular position of Obama supporters? I honestly thought it was.


Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:18 PM
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I don't think he's tacked right. He appeals to people, and his rhetoric has not been about how much he hates Republicans, but that's not quite the same thing. His policies have stayed in the same place. So far, it looks to me not like Lieberman's routine of getting in on every piece of Republican legislation.

I'm not sure how much of it will matter in the end, because I think unity rhetoric can only go so far. (Gosh, you mean I'm not googly-eyed and mad with lust and optimism and I don't think we're going to get puppies with the election? Gee!) I refer you to Katherine's very concise 303 for some reasons to think it might go farther than we can think.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:19 PM
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It seems like ganging up on McManus has become the new fad.

Interesting take on it.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:22 PM
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517: Gawd, no wonder she threw herself in front of that bus.

"'The person you see her before you' cannot go on!" were her last words.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:23 PM
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Can we all agree that vague, think-positive dating advice is useless to someone who is actually worried about their dating prospects?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:23 PM
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503 - McManus went further than this to argue, not that Obama wouldn't be successful in getting legislation passed, but that in order to be successful in getting legislation passed, he would pass legislation supported only by Republicans and blue dogs. This is pretty clearly absurd. Furthermore, he argued that this would be a contrast to Clinton, who would be working for Democratic legislation. This is a totally bizarre way of looking at the world.

520 - I don't think that's quite right. I think the idea is that Obama's version of "bipartisanship" is the flip side of the current kind of bipartisanship whereby Democrats give in to republicans (i.e. Liebermanism). Obama seemingly wants to turn this around, and make bipartisanship into a matter of Republicans voting for Democratic policies. This may not work, but I don't think it's either a) libermanism; or b) insincere bullshit to pander to independent voters.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:24 PM
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516: Nonetheless. It's apparently necessary that you be made aware of these nice relational properties. Lest you wring your hands overly much in thinking about the future.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:24 PM
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It seems like ganging up on McManus has become the new fad been an Unfogged tradition for years and years.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:25 PM
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w-lfs-n has Cambridge changes!

Do I read correctly that you had only communicated with your blind date via e-mail?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:27 PM
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524: It's frequently effective in a malicious way. You can trust no one, Adam.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:28 PM
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You do. I don't see the significance of that, really; if contact is first made by email it seems oddly overcautious to think that a phone conversation must intervene before meeting in person is fit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:29 PM
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If enough Republicans lose, it might be possible to split off some of the survivors and cripple the Republican leadership.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:30 PM
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519:Have I actually been invited back? Someone send an email. That's a joke.

Foreign policy?

"Only the dead can know the end of war."

I m going to start attributing that to Andrew Olmsted, I think. The other guy can sue me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:30 PM
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Have I actually been invited back?

While I think you're largely a complete loon, I'd hate to see you go. But that's just me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:32 PM
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530: I was thinking that it's possible, if she did not have your phone number, that there was a miscommunication and no way to reach you. Probably wishful thinking, but I had a mix-up happen like that once on a non-blind date.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:34 PM
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I don't want McManus to go either. I made my comment, because I thought that the argument was getting too heated and that it was no longer productive. I was just hoping that we could all cool our jets a bit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:35 PM
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McManus's argument is, basically, that since Obama says he's going to work with Republicans, then Obama expects he can do that.

What you're leaving out is that mcmanus has spent years arguing that Dems have moved continually right and that the DLC has been a particularly pernicious cause of that move. And now his choice: the DLC candidate. It's not that mcmanus is wrong about appropriate policy, it's that he's incoherent. HRC is an understandable first or second choice for lots of people. Just not mcmanus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:35 PM
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It seems like ganging up on McManus DLC hacks like the Bull Moose has become the new fad been an Unfogged tradition for years and years.

It's just that it now applies to mcmanus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:39 PM
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if contact is first made by email it seems oddly overcautious to think that a phone conversation must intervene before meeting in person is fit.

Not that it's unfit; just that phone conversations introduce dimensions unknown via email. Cut down on the nerves involved in meeting in person, if nothing else. It's really a good idea.

This thread is becoming too creakily long to keep refreshing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:40 PM
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I've got to say, I'm pretty fed up with "oh he's so naive the republicans will eat him they're so much smarter oh no oh no." It seems glaringly obvious to me that he's trying to run a strategy of appealing to REPUBLICAN AND INDEPENDENT VOTERS to get as large a mandate as possible. This may or may not work, but it's a perfectly rational thing for a presidential candidate to do, and not the same thing as "being afraid every time Dick Cheney says boo & voting for whatever crap bill he wants so he won't run negative ads about us." I have plenty of doubts about Obama's being overly conciliatory, overly cautious, too unwilling to use his rhetorical talents to advocate for liberal policies, etc. But people's objections are going beyond that and beyond what I find defensible. And this kind of the talk seems like a symptom of Democratic voters being too traumatized & fearful to ever think straight or actually try to change things for the better. It's superficially very different from people's knocks on the Dean campaign--the opposite, even--but it has a lot in common with it. Dean might've been unelectable, but concluding that he's unelectable simply because he opposed the war? That's just sheer fear talking, & you're conceding defeat. Obama might be a big disappointment, but concluding you should vote against him because independents seem to like him too much? That's just sheer fear talking, & you're conceding defeat. That's what drives me insane about primary campaigns: Democratic voters complain for years about politicians being too scared of the GOP to risk anything, but when it comes to primary season we act like a bunch of scared little bunnies. There's no chance we won't pass up.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:42 PM
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Just that phone conversations introduce dimensions unknown via email.

Telephone haters might as well stay celibate. I can't stand talking on the phone, except to family members far away.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:42 PM
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Katherine rules.

This comment applies in perpetuity.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:47 PM
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It's Only the Dead have seen the end of war and it might as well be attributed to Andrew Olmsted.

Better than MacArthur. Santayana was ok. Olmsted apparently used MacArthur's misattribution to Plato.

"Peace. Peace. There is no peace." ...Isaiah. And I'll stand by that.

On anything other than the Empire/War stuff, I don't all excited about wonkish foreign policy. Proliferation bad. Remove Cuba sanctions? Sure. Turkey in EU? Whatever. I/P? Don't want to talk about it, thank you very much.

Will Obama be better than Clinton? Not better enough.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:47 PM
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Gov. Sibelius (KS) endorsed Obama, as did Sen. McCaskill (MO.) Both border states.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:47 PM
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537 made me laugh out loud, and why I stick around. stras and tim have me pegged as Lieberman or sumpin.

It's true.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:50 PM
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Don't go, Bob! Your utter craziness makes our irrationality seem less raging.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:50 PM
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532: No, I wasn't inviting you back, since at the time I was commenting I hadn't read the messages inviting you to leave. I'm not inviting you back now either--I think having some sort of cooling-off period would be good.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:51 PM
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It's Only the Dead have seen the end of war

Poor ol' Jerry died before it even started, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:52 PM
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"And now his choice: the DLC candidate"

Dammit, tim, I have not been quiet about my Edwards preference, who is still in the frigging race.
Many have switched from their 1st choice, Edwards, to their 2nd choice, Obama because they don't think Edwards can be elected. See Katherine at 3:42. I still have hopes that the convention ascends into mass cannabalism. and all that are left alive are Edwards delegates.

Clinton is not my 2nd choice, and I will not vote for her.

My 2nd choice is guillotines.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:55 PM
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On domestic policy, maybe, but do you really think guillotines can handle complex trade negotiations?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:56 PM
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549: it is a far far greater CAFTA that I sign now, than I have ever signed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:57 PM
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At least they'd make for shorter negotiations.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:58 PM
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Also, I believe that in the Internet Communication Code of Conduct there's a rule that the words "Dammit, Tim" may only be followed with some variation of "I'm a doctor, not a stonemason."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:58 PM
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At least they'd make for shorter negotiations.

By a head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:59 PM
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And Obama could still get my vote, after the primaries or before the general , with a policy proposal that makes Sullivan froth and sebastian dry heave and von go LaRouche.

But that is what it will take. Something that attracts me and alienates my enemies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 3:59 PM
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Wow, that came out a lot snippier than I intended. You realize that there is essentially no chance that Clinton would lift Cuba sanctions, right? (See here: www.cfr.org/publication/14758/ )

Also, they have rather different teams of FP advisors.

Of course, if you just want to troll, then there's no point in actually trying to discuss this.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:00 PM
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Edwards wasn't my first choice; I kept leaning Obama but just when I was about to jump in fully he'd piss me off or I'd otherwise get cold feet. This was a fear-of-heartbreak thing, mainly: I did not think he could win, & I wanted a campaign like Dean's where I could think when he lost, "well, no regrets, at least he was an important voice on the issues." So it actually started being between Obama & Dodd for a while. But it was always close enough between Obama & Edwards that I figured on jump on one of their bandwagons in January-- the December poll movement had me almost sure it'd be Obama; a friend I hung out w/ over new years' going to canvass for him for a week gave me another shove; & Iowa sealed it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:00 PM
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Yeah, and I don't think any of the candidates in the US presidential race have a particularly meaningful policy on the EU's expansion to include Turkey.

Bob's point was that on foreign policy he really doesn't have a worked out program, beyond the broad `peace good! war bad!' type of thing.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:05 PM
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The Other Paul, using phrases like "You do realize that [ ], right?" is still kind of snippy.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:08 PM
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Bob's point was that

This immediately makes me suspicious of you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:08 PM
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558: I suppose so.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:12 PM
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||
No more masturbating to Suharto.
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:17 PM
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argument was getting too heated obscure with historical references and that it was no longer productive.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:20 PM
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I'm horrified at the indifference here to the Turkey-in-NATO question.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:22 PM
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I was thinking that it's possible, if she did not have your phone number, that there was a miscommunication and no way to reach you.

You'd think that by now, since she does have my email address, if that were the case I might know about it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:25 PM
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I have here with me today two impartial commentators on the question of whether Turkey should be admitted into NATO: let's welcome Mr. Papadopolous and Mr Bagdasarian.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:25 PM
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About 434: "The Clintons practically destroyed their Presidency by prioritizing health care reform over welfare reform, despite the fact that welfare reform was the simpler and more popular issue."

There was a reason for at least trying to do it in this order. Welfare reform would have been much, much easier to do well had health care already been taken care of. If it had been, there would have been no need to worry about how to phase down Medicaid eligibility, and a whole host of problems would have been simpler. A lot simpler.


Posted by: hilzoy | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:30 PM
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563 - er, NATO? Turkey's been in NATO for 50 years.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:31 PM
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568

Whoops, Common Market. Ruined the joke.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:33 PM
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Could you expand on #559, please?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:33 PM
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That is, "EU".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:33 PM
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Whoah, hilzoy! Hilzoy I worry about you getting sucked in here, but I guess you can probably handle it, can't you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:35 PM
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564: Maybe you never heard back because she searched for your name on google and found out that, not only are you really hated by some people named Adam Kotsko and BitchPhD, but you're also this guy.

(Both images ridiculously NSFW. Don't click them, people.)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:35 PM
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Victimless crime.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:37 PM
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569: not.... no, on balance, I don't think. See every comment he's made about the election over the past twelve weeks or so; I wish I could come up with something meaningful to say to you to explain it, but his incomprehensibility makes my brain broken.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:39 PM
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572 - Wow, that was horrifying. Thanks.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:40 PM
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Katherine's 539 is right. Does anyone think that when David Broder talks about bipartisanship, he actually favors bipartisanship? What Broder favors is that one political party stop bitching about stuff and lose without complaint.

Obama is pretty clearly trying to take advantage of Broder's bogus political narrative. Gifted politicians often do this.

Edwards tried to change the narrative. That would have been my preference, but that approach hasn't worked out too well for him.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:40 PM
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572: I'm at work, so I can't click, but are those the chicken/crab pictures? Because I still wish I hadn't seen those.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:41 PM
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565: It is no doubt best to take a centrist approach on this, and compromise between their two positions.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:43 PM
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One is the chicken picture, another is the lovable Mr Goatse.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:43 PM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:44 PM
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Fair enough to 574, not the intervening imagery.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:45 PM
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I thought 559 was an example of pedantry.


Posted by: ¡EL TESTÍCULO GIGANTE! | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:48 PM
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582: technically, no, TESTÍCULO.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 4:50 PM
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Turkey IS in NATO. Isn't it?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:12 PM
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BTW, with respect to Google hits on "Ben w-lfs-n,"

this is pretty awesome.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:13 PM
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I found a way to transmute the painful experience of yesterday (which, evidently, no one cares about, since I'm not as lovable as Kotsko or teo) into Pure Art,

I don't know the backstory here, but if she never even met w-lfs-n then it's not about him, almost by definition. It's whatever other shit is going on in her life. Maybe some other guy just got to her first. Has no idea what she's missing with w-lfs-n.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:13 PM
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584 MEET 567


Posted by: ¡EL TESTÍCULO GIGANTE! | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:13 PM
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oops, pwned. I am pro-letting Turkey into the EU if it meets the human rights etc. standards--unfortunately I think several EU countries don't want them in in any case, which is not doing much to encourage Turkey to get its act together & stop prosecuting people for mentioning the Armenian genocide etc.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:14 PM
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585: see the "About Ben w-lfs-n" page on this very blog.

586: in this day, and in this age, one can interact with a person without ever having met him or her.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:15 PM
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I am pro letting the EU into Turkey; as Turkey is already in NATO, you would then have a NATurope, which, like the related Turducken, sounds fresh and delicious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:16 PM
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589 - damn it, pwned! Unsurprising, I guess.


Posted by: John | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:19 PM
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588: Mr. Papadopolous and Mr Bagdasarian will be speaking to you about this opinion of yours.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 5:26 PM
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DO NOT MAKE MCMANUS FEEL UNWELCOME. The crazy uncle commenters are one of the best parts of any blog. And the most informative. The crazy have wisdom that the sensible know nothing of.

It drives me crazy when people fault commenters for being too crazy or vehement or whatever. Is this the fucking internet, or isn't it?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 6:56 PM
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What 593 said. And besides, John Emerson is teh awesome in his 'ageless voice of reason' role.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 7:03 PM
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Don't you motherfuckers make me do this again. I'm back to my normal persona now.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 7:11 PM
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468: Two more or less centrist emocrats

This is either a great new term of disparagement, or a most felicitous typo.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 7:19 PM
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Is this the fucking internet

No, PGD, wrong door. This is the not-fucking internet.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 7:27 PM
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This is the fucking internet, but not the underwater fucking internet.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 7:45 PM
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How will this news affect the debate over Obama's antichrist status?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-27-08 9:02 PM
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Interesting--this same Boomer vs. Gen X/Y debate is being played out in the letters at Salon (or at least in the Editors' Choice; I don't have the patience to weed through the whole batch). I had assumed this fissure was idiosyncratic to Unfogged.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 12:24 AM
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600: What are you, on crack? That argument happens everywhere. Because the Boomers suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 12:52 AM
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I am a moderate on this issue. I feel that the Boomers merely slurp.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 1:45 AM
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601 seconded.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 2:56 AM
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601-603: GET OFF MY LAWN !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 7:30 AM
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Geopolitics and Hegemony

Ok kids. This is what I just spent two hours reading.
One point being that the important American agents in the next generation will be like the assistant under-secretary of State based in Kazakhistan gaining influence and working trade deals. Mostly independent from Washington.

Now can the President, thru hires and appointments 2-3 levels down, really do a good job of choosing that woman? Would it be better for the interested industries and Wall Street firms to make the choice?
Should it be a friendly Pakistani?

Do I have the means of knowing if Clinton or Obama are better for globalization managing...which is a fact and not about us...or if that choice really doesn't matter at all?

The key fact about the modern world is that nobody is in control. Who decides whether we keep bases in Iraq? The US President. And the Iraqis and the Saudis and the Chinese and Halliburton and the Turks and the Pentagon & Iran...


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:01 AM
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The crazy have wisdom that the sensible know nothing of.

Words to live by. Much better than "Hey! Watch this!"


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:15 AM
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601: Yeah, and the funny thing is that "young people" seems to extend to "anyone under 50." I had a weird realization the other day that I count as the married white woman demographic now. Eek.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:16 AM
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607. This is because the generations below the boomers are in even worse denial about their mortality, but it's rude to point this out.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:21 AM
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605: good link.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:38 AM
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My brother, age 47, is the last boomer. Mostly just because he hung around with his older brothers. Everyone younger than him is a complete idiot.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:39 AM
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605: Yeah, read that last night. It certainly makes so much of the US political rhetoric and dialogue seem hopelessly provincial.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 8:43 AM
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About Bob's and Michael's opinion of Obama, I think the problem with Bob's argument in 474 is that the premise in his line 3, "Republicans never ever make concessions or compromise," is probably not correct at all, so the argument falls apart.

Am I saying that Republicans might make compromises after all? OK, I realize that sounds crazy, so I'll back up a bit.

392: First, and really only, the Republican Party must attacked until it is dead. And then a stake driven thru its heart.

Bob's problem seems to be that he's conflating elected politicians and professional strategists and organizers, call them "professional Republicans", with voters who happen to self-identify with the previous group, call them "Republican voters". He's right about professional Republicans, but he's just wrong about most Republican voters. I have as little respect for Republicans as anyone here as any sane Democrat, but it's simply true. They may be wrong or stupid, but a good chunk of the 62,040,620 Americans who voted for Bush in 2004 are not literally delusional sociopaths.

But the professional Republicans actually are delusional or sociopaths, or are opportunistic enough to follow the lead of people who are that it makes no difference. That group really does need to have a stake driven through its heart. So how? We could try to do it literally, but there are a lot of major problems with that approach. It's unlikely to succeed, Reigns of Terror often backfire, and so on.

Or we could drive a stake through the heart of professional Republicans figuratively, by cutting them off from the Republican voters. The obvious way to do this seems to be to move to the right on the issues, but that just means giving up on what we want to accomplish. And it doesn't even work, judging by 2002 and the Clintons and so on. So how else could we do it? Given people sane enough to recognize what today's problems are, but who emotionally identify with Reagan and feel icky about the idea of placing their faith in Social Security, how could we get them to support the solutions that we think are, in the long run, correct? Hmmm, I wonder...

Bob, if you can provide an example of professional Republicans warming up to Obama, not just Republican voters, you might have a point. And I can't read minds; maybe Obama actually is too willing to compromise with professional Republicans. But every conciliatory gesture Obama has made towards Republican voters could be genuine and still be consistent with trying to marginalize professional Republicans.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 10:36 AM
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Obama better fucking win the nomination because this is absolute bullshit. Deportation IS the legal process. That's how it works. Even fucking Giuliani was willing to educate the electorate on this. Come on, Clinton.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 10:53 AM
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Bob, if you can provide an example of professional Republicans warming up to Obama

Sullivan, George Will, Kathryn Lopez, even Jonah Goldberg have had very nice things to say, and only that "Obama would be hard to beat". That's off the top of my head. These are just pundits, but they do have a closer connection to the establishment Oh yeah, Rush Limbaugh very favorably compared Obama to Edwards & Clinton.

As far as the voters, I have been pretty closely watching at least four at Obsidian Wings for about five years, reading tens of thousands of words. Those posters & commenters are not completely typical of average Republicans, but they were all banned from RedState, so they are no means extremists. I have a little background in quality control, so that reasonably random sample of 4-40 is not completely useless.

And I find them intolerable.

You might get different judgements from Katherine or hilzoy, as to their representiveness or their ideologies or whatever, but those two are still talking to Republicans. I am liberated from the chains of comity.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 11:23 AM
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Addendum:I need to say that most interpersonal standards, the Republicans at ObsWi are very nice people. Especially Andrew Olmsted, but by no means only he.

But I consider issues like abortion and taxes/welfare state partial dealbreakers for a personal relationship, and in combination...well, I haven't broken bread with a Republican family member for decades.

Now shunning may not work, but comity & conversation haven't worked for thirty years. Let's try shunning.

Obviously, my differences with Obamism are deep & personal. and not whimsical or thoughtless.

Lastly, I will point to Iraq, where Sunni & Shia lived side-by-side for centuries, until an opportunity arose... Or Rwanda. Or Kosovo. Or Nazi Germany.

You just think you can be friends with conservatives. I think given sanction, von would slit my throat.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 11:40 AM
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Sullivan, George Will, Kathryn Lopez, even Jonah Goldberg

bob, I think you're missing the patent insincerity of these people (with the exception of Sullivan, who is merely incoherent.)

These conservative opinion-maker types get to show off their non-racism - and, indeed, to accuse Democrats of racism - by engaging in high-visibility praise of Obama. Do you think that George Will would support Obama over any potential Republican nominee? Of course not - but Will will say that unlike Democrats, he's not a racist, he just has honest policy differences.

bob, if you have a flaw as a political analyst, it's that you don't know when Republicans are lying. Hint: It's when they open their mouths.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 11:47 AM
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Glancing at the top and bottom of this thread, 20 is really funny.

On another matter, I know there was that Bob Novak column I didn't read about how Edwards wants A.G., but I haven't seen anyone speculating that he wants what Earl Warren got for his delegates. I now so speculate.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 11:57 AM
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"Republicans never ever make concessions or compromise"

I think that if the Republicans in Congress suffer severe losses, some of the survivors will either abondon their leadership or elect new leadership. Until that point, if it comes, McManus is correct.

I think that "working with Republicans" only means official Republicans. As far as Republican voters go, "working with them" means trying to wedge them away from the Republican Party.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 12:11 PM
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Sullivan, George Will, Kathryn Lopez, even Jonah Goldberg have had very nice things to say, and only that "Obama would be hard to beat". That's off the top of my head. These are just pundits, but they do have a closer connection to the establishment Oh yeah, Rush Limbaugh very favorably compared Obama to Edwards & Clinton.

I hate to defend Sullivan due to his Clinton Derangement Syndrome, Bell Curve fandom, and other frequent episodes of wingnutism, but he endorsed and voted for Kerry in 2004. Calling him a "professional Republican" is a stretch. And it's hard to imagine any fainter praise than Limbaugh comparing someone favorably to Clinton.

Politicalfootball is right; merely "warming up to" isn't enough to prove anything. (Am I moving the goalposts? Sorry.) Have George Will, Kathryn Jean Lopez or Jonah Goldberg said that they would vote for or contribute to Obama over Romney or McCain? If they have, that's a definite data point in your favor. Not proof, and saying isn't the same thing as doing, but definitely evidence. Or have they merely said "I tell you, he almost had me tonight until he talked about the war that shouldn't have been authorized and reminded me there are real policy issues at stake in this election!"


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-28-08 12:15 PM
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