Re: The Narrative

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There's also the "he's a black Muslim" line.

which will carry the day, sadly.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:51 AM
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There is a certain amount of hysteria, but, as I said before, I don't think it's very different in percentage from the adulation for Dean. It's not more than the adulation that attended Reagan's trip to the Presidency. I just think it gets thrown in sharp relief because no one's positively exited by HRC.

The "cult" comment was, IIRC, made by an Obama supporter.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:55 AM
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McManus better start asking for royalties.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:06 AM
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I actually think the people 'positively excited' about Hillary, in my experience, have the built in credibility (within a lefty population) of being hard fighting second wave feminist types. I will never begrudge such persons genuine and sometimes hysterical enthusiasm for Hillary. The Obama excitement seems to come from groups that are more easily marginalized, as the piece demonstrates.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:10 AM
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Whatever. "People are too enthusiastic about you" is a good problem to have.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:11 AM
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Pre-pwned by 3. Clever of McManus to start rocking this weeks ago.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:11 AM
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have the built in credibility (within a lefty population) of being hard fighting second wave feminist types.

For a DLC candidate? Mmm, I doubt it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:12 AM
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What does DLC stand for?


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:13 AM
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Democratic Leadership Council. I'm quibbling with "lefty."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:19 AM
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I will just link to this again, for now:

Weber on Authority

A system that is dependent on the wisdom of its rulers is broken.

(Much deleted.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:22 AM
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Your quibbling with my claim that lefty populations exist, and that within them second wave feminists have credibility? I didn't call her a lefty candidate.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:23 AM
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3: Seriously. Now we just need reasonable people telling me that it is a cult and I'm just too naive to see it, and we can recap all those threads at once.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:24 AM
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That DLC second wave feminists are well regarded in "lefty" populations. Hey, I guess it could be true. I understand Starbucks has little sayings printed on the cups now.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:25 AM
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I confess that one of the factors that caused me to hesitate in throwing my (much-coveted) support behind Obama is that his supporters kind of weird me out.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:27 AM
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13: The argument is that real, hardcore lefty, second wave feminists are often supporters of Hillary despite the fact that she's not a hardcore lefty. And that her hardcore lefty supporters have credibility among other lefties, even though they're supporting someone who isn't a hardcore lefty. This doesn't sound even a little unlikely to me -- it's not as if there's a significantly leftier candidate to support.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:28 AM
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IIRC, Obama's been doing more than just getting naive college kids to vote for him. I realize this would require the NYT to look at the voting breakdown, but if this candidacy were just about naive college kids, he wouldn't have gotten out of Iowa. "He can't appeal to the working class" seems to ignore the actual election returns, unless we're defining 'young' as 'under 50' and 'college-educated' as 'didn't vote for Clinton.' His strongest source of support is young educated types, but that's different than only.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:28 AM
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his supporters kind of weird me out.

I've photoshopped my face on to all the pictures of Obama I have on my wall.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:31 AM
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I confess that one of the factors that caused me to hesitate in throwing my (much-coveted) support behind Obama is that his supporters kind of weird me out.

I completely understand this impulse, but it's kinda like being luke-warm on opposing the war because of A.N.S.W.E.R. and the puppeteers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:32 AM
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I was discussing Obama with my mom, she reluctantly supports Hillary (experience argument). My grandmother also supports Hillary, but I was surprised to receive this in an email from my mom:
"One word of caution: Do not discuss politics with your grandmother. She gets a nasty tone in her voice when she talks about Osama, I mean Obama. She says he is just rehashing other people's speeches and anyone who speaks well can convince you of anything."
It was surprising because I thought my grandmother was actually pretty progressive- part of that group of Jews who supported the civil rights movement and social justice, entered the workforce when mothers didn't usually do that, voluntarily signed up one of her kids for a busing program.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:32 AM
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I completely understand this impulse, but it's kinda like being luke-warm on opposing the war because of A.N.S.W.E.R. and the puppeteers.

Agreed. Still, the "Barack will change EVERYTHING!!!" people need to chill out.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:33 AM
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15: I think the problem, for me, is going to be that I have no idea what, in the end, "lefty" means other than "bought the bag, bought the shoes, loved the show." I can sort of make sense of it when it refers to a large constellation of positions. It's harder to do so when it refers to only one issue. And--perhaps because the large event in the background when I was growing up was Vietnam--I take anti-war to be as close to sine qua non of lefty-ism as there is. I don't have much of a justification for that, though.

But I'm not a "lefty."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:34 AM
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There's this crazy guy who works in our office sometimes. Last time he was in, about a month ago, he had forwarded everybody an email telling them not to vote for Obama the Black Muslim -- including a link to Snopes in support of the Black Muslim thing. So we sat him down in front of the Internet and showed him that the linked page said the opposite of what he thought it did when you actually read it.

He was in on Tuesday and was back to the Black Muslim thing. "Well, some people say it's not true, but I'm just worried. He had affiliations."

Luckily, I have a fairly dark sense of humor.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:35 AM
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the "Barack will change EVERYTHING!!!" people need to chill out

Good luck getting them to chill. They're in for bucketfuls of disappointment soon enough, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:35 AM
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I was talking to a friend of mine who is a dyed-in-the-wool Obama supporter, active in state politics, brimming over with idealism, and he said, "If Obama turns out to be a disappointment, I'm quitting politics and going to work for Goldman Sachs."


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:38 AM
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Still, the "Barack will change EVERYTHING!!!" people need to chill out.

Everywhere you look, someone somewhere is saying something dumb. You can either pay attention to that, or keep your eye on the ball.

But then, I'm still "young" apparently, and so my views can be discounted.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:38 AM
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But then, I'm still "young" apparently, and so my views can be discounted.

I'm unclear to whom this is directed.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:39 AM
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Seriously though, I've been to maybe a half dozen Obama events over the last year and at none of them was the enthusiasm even half as over the top as the average football game. I don't have any doubt that some people do think that Obama will change everything, but then some people paint themselves to stand outside and cheer their team, too.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:39 AM
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I wonder if the whole small donor trend (Dean, Obama) is partially a cause. Once you've invested money in something, you're more committed to it and become less objective- for example, see the Yahoo stock message boards.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:40 AM
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I only discount your opinions at 20%, Napi. Hardly at all, really.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:41 AM
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I have a fairly dark sense of humor

Racist. Or anti-racist. I'm not sure.

My ex eye-rollingly forwarded me an email from her halfwit sister-in-law all about how Obama refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance or put his hand on his heart during it, etc. I gave her the appropriate link (here, and lord what a butchering of the national anthem) to debunk it, which she sent to everybody included in the blast email. I believe it's important to do that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:41 AM
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Hell, I'm probably better off reading This today. I skimmed the first section on how Bonaparte rose out of the French Revolution to get to the sectons on Schmitt & Arendt.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:41 AM
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Part of it is I'm sure that Clinton isn't as personally exciting as a candidate. I know people that like her and support her, but the reasons seem to be a mix of 'would be cool to have a female president', 'would be cool to have Bill back in the White House', and 'she's more experienced than Obama.' Compared to that, saying something as mild as 'wow, that was a good speech' counts as overly emotional involvement.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:42 AM
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Everywhere you look, someone somewhere is saying something dumb. You can either pay attention to that, or keep your eye on the ball.

Wise words.

Like Populuxe implies, this is just the media spin. It is easy to repeat and fits into the narrative.

The media should be called on this crap.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:43 AM
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I will never begrudge such persons genuine and sometimes hysterical enthusiasm for Hillary.

I'll do it for you.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:43 AM
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Like Populuxe implies, this is just the media spin.

Actually, no, this is what I'm denying. It may be the media spin, but it's not just the media spin.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:45 AM
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Actually, no, this is what I'm denying. It may be the media spin, but it's not just the media spin.

Don't make us send Obamites to your front door to re-educate you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:47 AM
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When I hear someone talking about The Political I reach for my gun. Even Arendt.

I'm working on the theory that Strauss is a mouthpiece for Schmitt. I know it's not exactly true, but the unitary presidency above the law sounds pretty Schmittian to me, and if it wasn't a Straussian, I have no idea who the conduit was.

By making extra-legal political action (state of exception, martial law, etc.) part of the definition of the executive, Schmittian thinking justifies acting illegally "just to show that we can" -- as a matter of principle. It seems to be the exact opposite of the checks and balances and divided government that we've been taught is the essence of American constitutionalism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:47 AM
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part of that group of Jews who supported the civil rights movement and social justice

Because too much popular history gets morphed into biography, the 60s social movements have been distorted.

There were no anti-war leaders, and RFK was despised as an opportunist by the hardcore. MLK at the time was considered ony slightly more important than about 10-20+ other blacks and a few whites to the civil rights movement.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:49 AM
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21: "Lefty", while a loose term, doesn't seem too hard to understand to me. Someone who's serious about politics, and generally finds themselves in a position of critiquing mainstream Democratic officeholders from the left.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:50 AM
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In the sentence, "a handsome, cocky president who thinks he can learn on the job", it's obvious enough that the last four words are bogstandard Hilarian talking points. But am I being oversensitive to think the first four are a deeply coded race dig?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:51 AM
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40: I don't think you can analyze that sort of deeply coded dig, if it is one, in units of one sentence. In a whole lot more context, I'd guess that it would either look much more definitely bad, or harmless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:53 AM
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Maybe, Alex, but they also would describe Bill Clinton rather well.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:54 AM
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What I'm saying is that I haven't encountered excessive levels of ronpaulism at the Obama events that I've attended or among the people I know who support him. I probably saw more of that stuff during Dean's campaign. I don't doubt that there are such supporters, especially among young people for whom Obama may be the first candidate they've really believed in, but to characterize his entire campaign that way is just media spin.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:54 AM
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MLK at the time was considered ony slightly more important than about 10-20+ other blacks and a few whites to the civil rights movement.

Yeah Bob, they were all getting audiences with LBJ, Nobel Peace Prizes, etc.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:56 AM
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37:John, as I read that book, which is pretty favorable to Schmitt, Schmitt was saying that a combination of process liberalism and a strong executive will in times of crisis almost inevitably lead to dictatorship, Very much descrptive rather than prescriptive.

Arendt was interested in the extreme of totalitarianism, and thought run-of-the-mill dictatorships uually endurable. But basically she said the problem was the direct emotional connection between people and Leader unmediated by law and process.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:58 AM
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Yeah Bob, they were all getting audiences with LBJ, Nobel Peace Prizes, etc.

Yeah, yeah the Establishment loves to reinforce the meme that politics is about leadership. No shit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:00 AM
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"If Obama turns out to be a disappointment, I'm quitting politics and going to work for Goldman Sachs."

Although I might not agree with the particulars (Entry-level at Goldman Sachs? Who the hell wants to work that many hours?), I definitely understand the sentiment. If you really feel that Obama is the one chance to shift the entire US political discourse a step to the left (which I do, admittedly) and create a lasting liberal base to build upon, and you see that go down the shitter, there's a very strong temptation to say "Fuck it, I'm watching my own back now. Maybe if I get rich enough, I'll be able to try and fix things myself."

The second of those two sentiments is optional, but I'd grant it to the guy you're talking about provided he's as idealistic as you say.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:02 AM
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39: As I said, I can make sense of it as a constellation of views. I just don't know how important "anti-war" is to it. So, for example, is Hitchens still considered a lefty? That doesn't seem to be how he's treated; people seem to see a sea change in his thinking. (I have always thought that he was fucking useless ponce who must many pictures of many people, so I could well be missing something here.) Does it seem credible to imagine a group called "Lefties for LBJ" in '68? It seems entirely understandable that such a group should exist: yes, major blame for a much worse war, but major credit for a lot of good, left legislation getting through. Yet it seems incredible, at the same time, that such a group could have existed: when I mention LBJ positively to only mildly lefty people I know, and who were alive in '68, they start shaking with rage.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:04 AM
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Yeah Bob, they were all getting audiences with LBJ, Nobel Peace Prizes, etc.

And also The Establishment vastly preferred MLK to Malcolm X or Stokely Carmichael or Frantz Fanon or the Cubans or even the simple idea that an individual or community on the streets could take action without direction or heirarchical systems of control.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:05 AM
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Maybe, Alex, but they also would describe Bill Clinton rather well.

He was the first black president, after all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:05 AM
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Oops, 47 was me, in case it wasn't obvious.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:07 AM
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||
The suit I ordered via eBay came with some beads and an evangelical tract.
|>


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:08 AM
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48: I'm missing a couple steps in your confusion. Are you saying that lefties supporting Hillary is as weird as "Lefties for LBJ", because they're both warmongers? I don't think that works -- LBJ was perceived, and I think rightly, as having much more responsibility for Vietnam than Hillary has for Iraq. (She shouldn't have voted to authorize it, and that's why I'm voting against her. But there's a not incoherent possible belief that she only voted to authorize it because of overwhelming political pressure, and that as President she won't be vulnerable to being pressured the same way. I don't think this is a good argument, but I think it's one that would allow a sincerely anti-war leftist to vote for her.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:10 AM
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The suit I ordered via eBay came with some beads and an evangelical tract.

The beads I get, but was the tract sewn into the lining?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:10 AM
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even the simple idea that an individual or community on the streets could take action without direction or heirarchical systems of control.

They can, but not very often. Leadership matters. It's not some invention of the Establishment.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:11 AM
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54: No, just lovingly paperclipped to the packaging. The beads are made of tiny seashells.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:12 AM
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There was this poetic comment about Obama's over at MY's that I can't find today, but it ended something like:

Obama's rhetoric isn't to afflict the comfortable or to comfort the afflicted but to comfort the comfortable.

People need to read MLK's late socialistic and anti-war speeches to see what Obama is doing. It ain't revolution.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:13 AM
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My reading of Schmitt was that he stacked his methodological cards in such a way that you could only come to authoritarian conclusions. I didn't see any regret; Schmitt seemed most opposed to the idea that the populace has rights that the government is obliged by law to respect, or the idea that there are necessary legal restraints on executive power. He had no trouble joining the Nazi party, though he was miffed that they didn't seem to recognize his importance.

It struck me as bizarre that in 1932 Schmitt and Strauss could agree that, with Hitler coming to power, what the world really needed was a more powerful critique of liberalism.

My reading is that Germany very grudgingly and half-heartedly accepted liberalism, and that the illiberal forces (R & L) were in the majority almost from the beginning. I don't know about Strauss and Schmitt's pre-1932 political history, but it sounded as though the enemies of liberalism were deliberately destroying it, giving as their pretext the fact that it was weak enough to be destroyed -- and weakness is bad. Patriotic resentment against the victorious liberal nations seemed to have played a major role, on the right at least.

When Strauss left Germany for France he asked Schmitt for a letter of introduction to Maurras, a right-winger who became a Nazi collaborator and was very lucky to escape hanging at the end of the war. To me that says nothing good about Strauss -- either he was terribly naive or hard-core right wing. (Strauss was puzzled that Schmitt stopped answering his letters after Schmitt became a Nazi).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:16 AM
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When the civil rights movement became respectable, MLK was the acknowledged leader. Before then he was more than one of many, though. He was first among many, I'd say, more militant than the Urban League, etc., but less militant than SNCC and CORE (to say nothing of Malcolm X.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:20 AM
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and I think rightly, as having much more responsibility for Vietnam than Hillary has for Iraq.

I agree, but he also should get much more cred for left-leaning legislation. He gave away his political base; that ought to earn him something. And it's not clear to me that it doesn't net out to leave them as rough equals on some left-right scale.

and that as President she won't be vulnerable to being pressured the same way.

Only if she's promised to serve just one term, which (a) I don't think she's done, and (b) would, itself, be pretty problematic.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:20 AM
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I said this before, but: this is actually functionally very similar to the whole "Edwards is too rich to care about poor people" or "Gore flies on jets, the hypocrite!" shtick. It's also EXTREMELY similar to the "John Kerry is effete & elitist " shtick.

The non-establishment (or LESS establishment) challenger is going to start off with higher support among younger & more highly educated voters. If he doesn't have their enthusiastic support, he's running the Bradley campaign. If he DOES have their enthusiastic support, and some of them are stupid, then ZOMG look at the scary cultists!

Of course, the candidates can contribute to this by talking about their movement all the time & not talking about what it's a movement FOR beyond electing them. Dean didn't do this at the beginning of his campaign, but he started to in mid-summer 2003 and never looked back. Obama tended to do this in his big appearances up until he lost New Hampshire--especially the Iowa caucus speech-- but he has actually been much, much, much better about bringing the specifics since NH, & no worse than either Clinton or Edwards. For one thing he keeps writing DIFFERENT speeches (did people read or see his speech in New Orleans yesterday? Then there was the MLK one, & others besides).

But, the press is relentlessly trivial, & they won't cover substance, & they've settled on a "that was a right pretty speech but it was just a speech" strategy, no matter how substantive the speech is. Well, his legislative record is pretty damn good, but you can bet the press won't cover that. And of course he's giving speeches. That's what presidential candidates do. And being more articulate when you can write & edit or something beforehand is not actually a sign you're a lightweight. And "the United States will not fly people in the dead of night to be tortured in far off countries" is not any less of a substantive policy matter than "I will create a targeted tax credit to help the economy."

I think the way for him to get coverage on substance is: (1) substantive criticism of Clinton's record from the left--but, this is a little tricky, because SHE HAS ALMOST NO RECORD OF ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING IN OFFICE. Her husband has a long one, & I guess he should just go after aspects of that, but I've also been told that's unfair of him. Still, I would like to see him start asking her about her position on various aspects of it. (2) substantive criticism of the Bush administration & John McCain.

The press will only cover substance if it's negative & there's some he said she said angle.

I don't think this is as much of a problem in the general as the primary. In the general he can criticize on substance constantly--he's more convincing on the war than McCain and he has a clear advantage on domestic policy, economic issues, etc.. But Clinton's current policy positions are an attempt to prevent her opponents from getting to her left, & she has very few prior policy positions because she didn't really do much of anything during her early years in the Senate & her policy role as first lady wasn't public.

I'm not sure how much of a problem this actually is for Obama, because the people he needs to reach aren't so much reading David Brooks & Jake Tapper anyway, and when it comes to actual contact with voters in primary & caucus states his campaign is far, far, far more careful than Dean's about making sure his starry eyed fans don't alienate them. Online, there's not much he can do about it.

Naturally, it annoys the crap out of me to be patronized like this, but it's an almost inevitable stage of any candidacy like this--especially when someone like Mark "some voters are more equal than others" Penn is running your opponent's campaign. I am a little surprised to see people here buying into the MSM's & the Democratic establishments' contempt for Those Embarrassing Activists, though.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:33 AM
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there's a not incoherent possible belief that she only voted to authorize it because of overwhelming political pressure, and that as President she won't be vulnerable to being pressured the same way.

Not incoherent? Sure. Incredibly naive? Absolutely. As Yglesias has argued ad nauseum, the pressures that compel a politician to take a particular stance while campaigning for office don't magically go away once they're in office. Clinton has consistently positioned herself as a hawk on Iraq, on Iran, on Israel/Palestine, on terrorism, and on foreign policy issues in general, and there's every reason to believe the pressures and conditions that have lead her to take those stances will continue to exist if and when she becomes president.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:34 AM
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"there's a not incoherent possible belief that she only voted to authorize it because of overwhelming political pressure, and that as President she won't be vulnerable to being pressured the same way."

It's coherent but not even a tiny bit convincing. IF the 2008 election FORCES you to take terrible, terrible, terrible positions in 2002, how long exactly is that period when you're "forced" to look to the mideterms & your re-election instead of governing supposed to last? Will it end 20 seconds after she's inaugurated, or do we maybe get 100 days?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:40 AM
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btw, you know who is completely awesome at addressing these concerns? Michelle Obama. She really, really, helped him out in South Carolina.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:47 AM
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49: Bob, where are you getting your history of the Civil Rights movement and King? Are your comments cobbled together from what you remember? If so, I certainly won't quibble. Becasue everyone has a right to their own memories.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:50 AM
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The length of 61 demonstrates clearly that Katherine is part of a cult. And too young to realize it. That 61's contents are true is utterly beside the point.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:52 AM
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Obama spent 8 years in Illinois Senate and has been 3 years in the US Senate. HRC has been 6 years in the US Senate. Katherine, it's possible that people might be patronizing when your summary of these facts is "SHE HAS ALMOST NO RECORD OF ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING IN OFFICE." She's held national office twice as long as Obama, and he's held public office for almost twice as long. I understand that her claim of superior experience grates on you. But your statement quoted above isn't the type to make people think, "Boy, Obama supporters sure are calm and reasonable."

[I understand your claim is that she didn't do much her first few years in the Senate - with the implicit contrast that Obama was running things there on Day One - but that's a partisan claim, not an established fact. I read plenty of articles as early as 2002 talking about her hard work in the Senate. Again, there's an argument she could have been/done better, but it's an argument, not an established fact you get to wave around and scream in all caps about]


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:55 AM
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what the world really needed was a more powerful critique of liberalism.

Weber and Schumpeter were also pessimistic about liberalism.

The context for Weber, Schmitt, Schumpeter, hell Keynes, Lippman, Mencken hell Lenin Trotsky Stalin was the anarchism, socialism, communism of the early 20th. One of the best commenters at Mark Thoma's remains a hardcore Maoist.

One problem with Liberalism (Enlightenment) is the reification and fetishism of THE LAW. Weber, IIRC, thought under best circumstances it would lead to drones without initiative.

The fear of anarchy and direct democracy is not exactly new. Plato. The founding fathers and Burke saw the problem as balancing democracy...aw hell, this is all academic.

WoooBammaaaa!!!!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:55 AM
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That Brooks column is just evil. Can we please have him shot now?

On the question of Obamamania: I spent quite a bit of time in the days before I voted trying to get people to explain to me why I should support Obama rather than Clinton. Most of what people--very smart, very informed people--said boiled down to "Obama will change things" and "he's the future of the party." Both of which are great sentiments, but kind of lack actual substance. (Katherine pointed me towards this and, I believe? this, both of which were a lot more convincing than the "change" stuff.)

When you couple the (admirable) idealistic and hopeful rhetoric with things like "SHE HAS ALMOST NO RECORD OF ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING IN OFFICE" (sorry, Katherine)--which immediately compels me, at least, to start listing things that *I know* she's done as a Senator--or comments about how folks support Clinton "just because she's a woman," or that liking Clinton implies that one doesn't care about the war, etc., it does tend to sound awfully my way or the highway.

The facts are that they are both good candidates. Obama is more promising in terms of foreign policy, if you are anti-militaristic. His campaign is emphasizing his inspirational ability over his record, which is probably a winning strategy, especially for the general election. But it is a strategy that some people are going to worry about. What Obama supporters need to do is what folks like Katherine and Hilzoy are doing--show that it's not style over substance, but rather, style *and* substance. Maybe point out that style is probably going to matter more in the general than substance, but make sure that the chattering class doubters know that the substance is there, and what it is.

52: Scary.
32: A little unfair, I think. I honestly do personally like Clinton, and I also don't understand how anyone who actually sees footage of her interacting with people can think she's wooden or shrill or uncharismatic. As a formal speaker, she comes across as serious and forceful, which okay, fine, people might be put off by (because she's a woman, ahem); but all the photos and video I've seen of her actually talking *with* people make her seem utterly charming. Even the pics of her and Obama smiling at each other in the latest debates, come on; she doesn't seem likeable in those photos?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:55 AM
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read plenty of articles as early as 2002 talking about her hard work in the Senate.

So, to be clear, she's pro-children, pro-puppy, and pro-hard work. Wow, you're right, that is an extensive record.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:57 AM
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What did she do in the U.S. Senate? Excellent constitutent services, $ for her state, but as far as getting liberal policies enacted? I ask this question & I get one good response--leadership on Plan B--and nothing else. If people want to impress me with her record "she was in the Senate a short time instead of a really short time" isn't going to cut it--I'd like to hear some specifics. At the time, apart from her excellent choice record (which the war more than outweighs) she seemed primarily concerned about flag burning & violent video games. I could be wrong though--if you know more about her legislative record & it impresses you by all means explain what it was.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:58 AM
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HRC is doomed. Ann Coulter (!) was on the Today show implying that HRC was more conservative than McCain, and would therefore get her vote. Methinks this is a spoiling attack.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 9:59 AM
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I spent quite a bit of time in the days before I voted trying to get people to explain to me why I should support Obama rather than Clinton.

Did anyone mention that she voted for the war?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:02 AM
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She worked hard at getting $ for upstate New York & at getting people to see past the "scary liberal vagithug" thing by cosponsoring noncontroversial measures with Republicans. As far as getting liberal policies enacted--look, I know those were not easy times, but apart from Plan B I don't even know what her serious attempts were. If you do know, enlighten me, but I say his legislative record is clearly better than hers, and when I make this claim, people tend to pull out the "husband's top advisor" card rather than actually give me specifics about her accomplishments in the Senate. But hey, if someone wants to prove me wrong, it would actually reassure me.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:02 AM
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(If I am being unfair on her Senate record, btw, it is not because of Obama kool aide, it was because she was sponsoring hearings on the violence in Grand Theft Auto while I was ineffectually screaming myself hoarse about detainee issues, & I may be so bitter about that that I'm overlooking the actual good stuff. So, okay: what's the actual good stuff?)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:06 AM
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I am so psyched we have months more of these threads to look forward to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:07 AM
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apart from her excellent choice record (which the war more than outweighs) she seemed primarily concerned about flag burning & violent video games

Yep. And defending things like building a wall on the Mexican border, building a wall in the Palestinian territories, the Defense of Marriage Act, the Patriot Act, etc. This all gets pooh-poohed as "she's just positioning herself for a presidential run," but at some point you have to start accepting that she honestly does sign on to big parts of the Republican fear agenda, even if she and the Republicans dislike each other personally.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:08 AM
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75, 75, 75, 75.

F'real.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:09 AM
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68: Not criticism by people who would become Nazis or who admired Maurras, I don't think. All the alternatives to liberalism proposed during the thirties turned out to be worse. I ended up convinced that Strauss and Schmidt were motivated by authoritarian patriotic German ressentiment of the victors, and that despite their learning everyhting that they said should be discounted. (I also discounted Walter Benjamin, who debated them -- "On Violence".) I can't see any possibility of wisdom, left or right, coming from that particularly demented era.

The kinds of ameliorations of liberalism put into effect (e.g. by Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the U.S., or Social Democrats in Sweden and elsewhere) were a good thing, but still liberal. (These are the things that make Goldberg call Roosevelt a fascist. "Classical liberalism" hasn't been in effect anywhere since 1930, so it's back in vogue among silly people who know no history).

The Straussians seemingly have gone from fear of mass democracy to the claim that the unitary executive is the expression of the democratic will of the people.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:11 AM
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78. Absolutely. That, and well, the DLC.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:12 AM
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(Further to 69: I actually agree with the gist of what Katherine's saying in 61, notwithstanding my use of the all-caps bit.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:15 AM
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I RETRACT THE ALL CAPS.

Being patronized makes me a little crazy.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:16 AM
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65:Ari it's memories and an informed attitude.

Like the true story of Rosa Parks and the organization that chose her to put on the bus. Can anybody name those other people?

Like Humphrey, Mansfield, Ralph Abernathy, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall and I know there were multiple levels of people beside them.

It takes hundreds, thousands of people to effect social change. I think bottom up rather than top down, and I am very sensitive to the tendencies to turn history and politics into biography.

It isn't about Reagan or Bush. It isn't about Norquist or Limbaugh. It is about millions of Republicans.

A radical anti-authoritarianism, and I am radical enough to question Reason & Science, almost doesn't believe authority and leadership even exist. Arendt almost said that Hitler and Stalin weren't important or interesting.

Bur I got things to do.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:20 AM
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Some of the Obama kids are goofy, Obama's probably marginally better than Clinton, maybe significantly better, less likely marginally worse, both are better than any Republican and better than McCain, let's not get too excited about the difference, let's support whoever's nominated but not let our hopes run away from us, either candidate would be OK, be excellent to one another, have a good day.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:20 AM
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B, who did you end up deciding to vote for? (Unless you'd rather not say.)


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:25 AM
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Emerson's inner Minnesotan comes bursting out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:26 AM
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Okay, but if no one can produce specifics about Clinton's legislative record (this is not the first thread where that question has been met with silence) & I am going to remain convinced, in lower case letters, that it's quite unimpressive & Obama's is better.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:29 AM
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73: Yeah. So often, in fact, that it rather gives the impression that people are supporting Obama to punish Clinton, which is part of my entire point: that's a shitty way to get folks to support a candidate.

I say his legislative record is clearly better than hers

I agree. I'm just saying that merely *saying* that is different than tossing out a quick list of specifics.

Clinton specifics: I actually think that "excellent constituent services" is a point in her favor. The Plan B thing is extremely important to me--not just because of Plan B itself, but because that was really a line in the sand on the entire issue of reproductive rights, the Bush administration's disdain for science, and actually *using* the power of the Senate to block Bush's bullshit for once. I do not care about the flag-burning bullshit or the grand theft auto nonsense--those are both completely empty symbolic pieces of crap, and while I completely understand the argument that there ought to have been better fucking things to do with her time as a senator, I just can't bring myself to be outraged over empty pandering crap. (Plus, as I argued about GTA before, I continue to think that there is a strong case to be made for using the bully pulpit to acknowledge that a lot of people on *both* sides of the political fence are not happy about pop culture, and that perhaps we, as a nation, might try to focus our energy and money on more constructive ways to support kids, including teenagers.) On that parenthetical point, I think some of the stuff she's said about NCLB is really interesting, and I liked her statement with Harry Reid about abortion.

I think the point is that Clinton is very strong on family and children's issues. And that a *lot* of lefties think that these issues are bullshit, minor issues. Which concedes things that are really very important to a lot of people's every day lives over to the right wing and its "values" crap. I'm a leftie to whom family and children's issues are really very important; and these issues have been traditionally very important to feminists (notwithstanding the popular belief that feminists hate families). The fact that Clinton focuses on this stuff is something I *like*, and when people say "she hasn't done anything" it sounds--reasonably or not--as if they're saying that family issues are unimportant. That feels, in turn, like a dismissal of feminism, and it tends to get my (and I think other people's) backs up.

I get that the war and foreign policy are more important to a lot of people. I get that those things are actually more the purview of the presidency than the kids and family stuff. What I don't get is why really, really smart wonky types don't realize that part of the case for Clinton is that a lot of people think that the US would be a better nation if, in fact, we spent more time, money, and energy on domestic issues and less on macho international bullying, and that for these people, the *fact* that Clinton's focus in the Senate hasn't been on blocking Bush's imperialist agenda but rather on blocking some of his domestic crap, feels--irrationally perhaps, but strongly nonetheless--like a positive thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:33 AM
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the unitary executive is the expression of the democratic will of the people.

I see the blogosphere's overwhelming focus on the Presidency to the exclusion of the arguably much more important Senatorial and Congressional races and I wonder myself sometimes.

One reason I prefer the Econblogs is their focus on issues and the near impossibility of viewing economies as anything controllable by authority or leadership.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:33 AM
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Yeah, the president just controls little things like the justice system, the military, environmental policy, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:37 AM
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GovTrack page on Clinton.

Hillary Clinton has sponsored 352 bills since Jan 22, 2001, of which 305 haven't made it out of committee (Extremely Poor) and 2 were successfully enacted (Average, relative to peers). Clinton has co-sponsored 1713 bills during the same time period (Average, relative to peers).

There's more info at the link. Obama's summary is similar.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:38 AM
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82: Me too, no worries. And I'm sorry for using the argument that "you'd make your case more effectively if you just weren't so shrill about it!!!" which is something people say to me all the time and it drives me utterly fucking batshit. Which is why I wanted to come back and say that in fact I agreed with the substance of what you were saying and was only using the all caps thing as a generalizable example, rather than a specific "you, Katherine, are shrill!" criticism.

84: Agreed. What the hell happened to the Emerson of old, though??

87: That's totally cool, I agree with you that his is better (with the caveats in 88 in place). I'm just saying that stating the fact (without a couple of examples) plays too easily into the "all style, no substance" narrative which is (for a lot of bullshit reasons like media laziness and racism) taking hold and which is something even reasonably educated voters might worry about.

85: I wasn't going to say, because I'm not inclined to hand folks a weapon to bash me with or accuse me of hypocrisy or what have you in later arguments. But what the fuck. I voted for Obama. It was not an easy thing to do.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:39 AM
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That's actually what I think. The Clinton vs. Obama excitement puzzles me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:41 AM
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69: I didn't say "wooden" or "shrill" or "uncharismatic." Just not exciting. What I said also applies to Edwards, Romney, any number of politicians, and is only meant to explain why Katherine (e.g.) saying "Obama has a good record" is interpreted patronizingly as Katherine saying "I heart Obama 'cuz he's cute."

88: Possibly because she is positioning herself as good at the macho, intense bullying.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:45 AM
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90:The President controls what Congress lets him control.

Dammit. We haven't learned a thing from Bush. We just want a more benign dictator.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:45 AM
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(By the way. You want gross? This piece about Obama in NOla, is definitely blowing the racist dogwhistle, if you ask me. Notice, however, that Obama seems to be blowing the sexist one, with that statement about "the claws come out." And yes, I know that the Clintons said some heinous racist crap after South Carolina, too.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:46 AM
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92.last: Although I don't think the decision would have been difficult for me, you've said enough about your though process here and at your place that it's clear that it was difficult for you, and I think I have some sort of feel for why. So thanks, it's hard to get that kind of picture of someone else's though process.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:48 AM
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We live in a country with democracy-like attributes, and candidates have a pretty strong tendency to reflect the will of the people in a meaningful way.

The mood of the country changes, so Hillary decides to reinterpret her pro-war vote and Edwards renounces his. Obama gets to the U.S. Senate, and he suddenly decides that war appropriations are a pretty good idea after all.

All 5 of these positions (Obama's position as a U.S. Senator and both positions by Hillary and Edwards) seem to have been pretty clearly dictated by the politics of the moment. From a perch in the U.S. Senate, could Hillary or Edwards have taken an anti-war position like Obama's without catching a huge amount of flak and disqualifying themselves from consideration for the presidency? I don't think so, but YMMV. Would those considerations have changed Obama's position? I don't know.

Sure, political candidates really are capable of leadership, and the differences between Obama and Hillary really exist, and really do matter. But sometimes I think we look through the wrong end of the telescope when we emphasize the influence of candidates over the public, rather than the reverse. The identity of the next Democrat in the White House matters less than the nature of the public that puts him or her there.

Which, to be clear, is not intended as an argument against anything that anyone has said above. Just an additional thought.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:49 AM
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Other than having no idea what he's doing with the "Dr. Retail"-thing and that it's engaging in a high degree of hyperbole, I think that's a fine Brooks' column. I chortled a couple times, at the cherubs line especially. And I think he's right about the "Yes We Can" video, which I haven't actually been able to watch past the first minute because I find it so annoying.

People need to read MLK's late socialistic and anti-war speeches to see what Obama is doing. It ain't revolution.

Please find the people who think otherwise and inform them of your amazing discovery that this is the Democratic Party primary, and not even the Menshevik, let alone the Bolshevik one.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:49 AM
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I'm a leftie to whom family and children's issues are really very important

Me too, but it's like the "family values" and "faith-based" stuff: when they aren't a thinly-veiled hate agenda, those things are all fine and good, but still not the federal government's business in any way, shape, or form and I guarantee the federal government won't help any more than if my local Soil and Water Commission decided to stress them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:50 AM
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94.1: I know you didn't. But a lot of people have. My point was that whether it's "unexciting" or "wooden," I really do not see it.

94.2: She's positioning herself as tough enough to stand up to other people's bullying. Which I, for one, admire the hell out of.

90: Do you not see that statements like this--even absent the sarcastic tone--just feed right into the "masculine issues are Important, feminine ones petty" narrative that's part of what's underlying a lot of the Clinton support that I was just talking about?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:51 AM
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101: 90 was to 89, not to anything you said.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:53 AM
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97: You're welcome. It often seems as if that "here is my thought process" stuff just infuriates people and/or gives them license to tell me what an asshole I am, so it's really really nice to have someone understand why I do it and that it's (deliberately) trying to get at something beyond the superficial arguments.

100: It's not the federal government's business to ensure that children have health care? Or that women have access to prescription medication if and when licensed medical professionals refuse to dispense it? Or to protect consumers? Come on.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 10:57 AM
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The President controls what Congress lets him control.

Only half true. The President has enormous discretionary powers, especially in military affairs. Only impeachment can stop him from doing certain kinds of thinngs, and maybe not even that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:00 AM
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That's not the kind of stuff I'm talking about, B.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:01 AM
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I don't think Obama is going to be worse on women's issues than Clinton.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:01 AM
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I believe that a President's greatest power is in foreign policy. He or she can set a domestic agenda, but Congress will do what Congress does on domestic issues---and the people and the press pay so much more attention to domestic policy that Congressional politicians feel more pressure to take informed positions. On foreign policy, though, so much happens out of sight and out of oversight, that the President and the Cabinet have an essentially free hand. This tendency has of course been wildly exacerbated by the Bush Administration.

My concern about the unfettered Emperor-President is the primary reason I'm supporting Obama. All along I've liked his FP positions just a bit more than Clinton's, and he's given many indications that his instinctive reaction to FP problems is to attempt to cajole and reconcile. (Whereas H. Clinton, perhaps in the attempt to seem "tough" and "serious," has laid down a number of more hard-line markers.)

Finally, I have this little hope, which to be reasonable I'm trying to smash and kill, that Obama the Con Law scholar will step back from some of the Unitary Executive insanity. It doesn't make all that much sense for him to work so hard to be given so much power that I hope he'll use wisely, and then give some of it up voluntarily and in the face of what would surely be ferocious condemnation--but, hell, that's the kaleidoscope-eyed part of my support for him.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:02 AM
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When did people start responding seriously to McManus? Where did we go wrong?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:02 AM
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If Clinton is really much better, legislatively, on domestic issues, doesn't that argue that those issues would be better served by having her continue in the legislature?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:06 AM
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mcmanus is the mad prophet of Unfogged. Two weeks ago, mcmanus was talking about the whirly-eyed Dems who support Obama, and even the mighty NYT is powerless to resist his meme. You ignore mcmanus at your peril.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:07 AM
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Finally, I have this little hope, which to be reasonable I'm trying to smash and kill, that Obama the Con Law scholar will step back from some of the Unitary Executive insanity. It doesn't make all that much sense for him to work so hard to be given so much power that I hope he'll use wisely, and then give some of it up voluntarily and in the face of what would surely be ferocious condemnation--but, hell, that's the kaleidoscope-eyed part of my support for him.

Oh, god. I know I'm insane, but I simply cannot believe that any reasonable President won't return the war powers to Congress where the Constitution placed them. Of course it's not going to happen, but I can't make myself believe it won't happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:08 AM
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105: But it's the kind of stuff *I* was talking about.

106: Inasmuch as he's not going to be anti-abortion or anti-science, I agree. He doesn't, however, have the record she has--and she *does* have it--of proactively making those issues central to his professional identity. Inasmuch as the inspirational change stuff matters, Clinton's focus on those issues matters too.

108: Didn't you actually ask us to be more accepting of dissenting viewpoints?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:08 AM
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She's positioning herself as tough enough to stand up to other people's bullying.

"[P]ositioning herself as" seems me a great deal like "pretending to be." But if by "stand up," you mean "vote for their war/censorship/tax cuts," she's a warrior. A two-fisted bitchkrieg.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:09 AM
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110: Repeating internet memes makes you a prophet?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:09 AM
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109: Perhaps so, but making an argument like that is going to immediately strike any feminist with half a brain as being very like the "oh, but you're so *good* at cleaning the toilet, honey" excuse.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:09 AM
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"I think the point is that Clinton is very strong on family and children's issues."

Can you give a brief list of what besides the Plan B gives you that impression? (Here is my short list of why I trust Obama more on foreign policy/human rights/civil liberties, for instance:

1. Bill Clinton's rather poor record in office on these issues:
--the signing of a very bad 1996 anti-habeas law, AEDPA, & a mean spirited, punitive immigration law, IIRIRA,
--Drastic cuts to legal service agencies during the Clinton administration, esp. those representing the wrong kinds of people.
--The beginning of rendition
--DOMA
--Ricky Ray Rector
etc. etc.
2. 1 would arguably be unfair, but Hillary Clinton has never publicly stated her opposition to any of these policies, Bill Clinton is a major advisor of hers, & Mark Penn & other DLC types are her top political advisors & don't seem to have changed their view of this general approach at all.
3. Obama's successful passage of a bill on taping police interrogations in Chicago--a bill initially thought to be doomed & opposed by the Democratic governor, which eventually passed the Senate 35-0 & was signed into law. This isn't just relevant to the death penalty: there was a local scandal in Chicago about the cops torturing people.
4. Obama frequently talks about the Bush administration's rendition/torture policies in his stump speech & has done so for months. Clinton has an applause line in town hall meetings about how we should deport illegal immigrants "without legal process".
5. Obama's been more active on immigration reform legislation. One of very few Senators--Kennedy says only 2--to speak at the rally opposing the Tancredo bill. Has pledged to take up immigration reform his first year in office; I think she has no intention of doing so.
6. He has said better things about marijuana decriminalization, mandatory minimums & the racial disparity in sentencing--she has taken the standard 1990s-issue "tough on crime" positions.
7. Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. I think his record is clearly better & find efforts to argue otherwise unconvincing if not dishonest. But we've been through that a number of times, so let's leave it aside for now.
8. His statements on Pakistan indicate more sympathy for a genuine emphasis on human rights than hers--or even, for that matter, Chris Dodd's.
9. The Con law professor thing leads me to believe he cares more about the Constitution.
10. I think a public airing of the Bush administration's record on detention is essential if we're going to try to prevent it from repeating. He has a better record on gov't openness & secrecy issues, and can naturally be expected to have less concern about airing dirty laundry from past administrations.
11. Neither of them is good on Israel but she's a bit worse in her statements on, e.g., Jerusalem.
12. His rhetoric on Iran has been less hawkish.
13. He cosponsored a bill on military contractor accountability months before the Nisour Square shooting, & has talked about making sure that a subivision of DOJ has the resources as well as the authority to investigate contractors. (I can has job pls?)
14. I trust his foreign policy advisors much more than hers.
15. He voted for a ban on cluster bombs; she opposed it.
16. We currently have an insanely over-broad def'n of "material support for a terrorist organization" which is leading to the denial of asylum/refugee status to people even though have suffered horrible persecution & remain in danger. It's an obscure issue but it's playing hell with refugee policy in general, & is espeically likely to be a problem for refugees from Iraq. Obama supported an effort to fix this--Clinton opposed it.
17. He has said more generally about the need to protect Iraqi refugees.
18. In general, he seems both more willing to trust voters to make moral arguments in support of these policies instead of assuming "this is political suicide, they'll say I support teh terrorists", & far more effective at doing so.
19. This is vague, but the experience of living abroad & having so many foreign-born family members makes me trust him.

When you add all this together--& this was off the top of my head, I'm certainly forgetting stuff--maybe I'm reading tea leaves, but the tea leaves actually spell out "vote Obama". & a large # of other people who focus on these issues seem to agree with me--80+ GTMO habeas lawyers, hilzoy, Napi, friends from human rights organizations, etc. I do know staunchly anti-Iraq warm anti-torture people who support Clinton but I don't know a single person who supports her because of her record on those things.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:10 AM
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could it be more obvious that 116 was me?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:11 AM
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But it's the kind of stuff *I* was talking about.

Fair enough, then. All that had preceded the quoted statement was pop culture issues, so you see how one might misinterpret.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:12 AM
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116: I already gave that list!

And I voted for Obama, for heaven's sake, because you'd already made your case for what's admirable about him. I wasn't saying "do it in this specific thread"--I was just talking in general terms about why I think that the "Obama supporters are cultists" thing might take root among folks like me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:14 AM
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Has a Hillary supporter even attempted the sort of laundry-list comparison that Katherine does in 116? I wonder if there's a remotely plausible case to be made on Hillary's behalf in this regard.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:15 AM
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It's pretty rich for a Clintonista to call Obama supporters cultists. The cult of personality has been the spine of Hillary's "own" political career, and saved Bad Bill's skin where a politician carrying less of his supporters' emotional baggage wouuld have gotten the hook.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:22 AM
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108: this is what hiating buys you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:22 AM
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The one potential counter-argument I've heard, pf, is that Obama's conciliatory rhetoric is going to mean that he doesn't fully investigate or prosecute Bush administration abuses because it would be "divisive", whereas Clinton is generally tougher & hates Republicans more & is more likely to go after them. If I believed this it would carry a lot of weight with me. I don't believe it--or rather, I do worry quite a lot about his unwillingness to have DOJ launch an official investigation or prosecute, but I think she's LESS likely to do that, not more. Also, in general, I think: (1) both of them will probably leave the details of DOJ clean up & any prosecutions of prior administration officials to their Attorney General, & the U.S. Attorneys in the offices with the relevant files. This is actually appropriate; not great for a President to be getting involved in prosecutorial decisions other than to signal "follow the evidence wherever it leads". So it depends on their appointments & I think he's, if anything, slightly more likely to appoint better people, but it's really kind of a wash. (2) Bush is probably going to issue an awful lot of pardons, which make prosecution impossible but could actually increase pressure to at least declassify stuff & investigate & make public exactly what went on. Like I said, I think Obama is a better bet on that, not least because if these primaries ever fucking end & he gets nominated I intend to nag him mercilessly about it.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:25 AM
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123: That's my fear too. We can't let bygones be bygones. Also, something has to be done with some of the Republican stooges planted in the career civil service. And hopefully the most dishonest, most partisan Republican journalists can be cut off from their sources.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:29 AM
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In Illinois, Obama got a billpassed requiring that interrogations and confessions be taped. He overcame the initial opposition of the police, victims' rights groups, the governor (passing it in the Senate by a vote of 35-0).

It strikes me that HRC would never even attempt something like this. The upside is only in the domain of policy and morality. It isn't like putting yourself out there for unions, planned parenthood, etc. (as much as I believe they are good and important parts of the Democratic coalition). No one is going to write a big check or fund an election ad because of it. The danger of demagoguery is obvious--"Sen. X supported special treatment for child rapists and murders [threating mugshot]"--and would never get past the Mark Penn filter.

Meanwhile, I'm concerned that when HRC needs to do something symbolic she decides to demagogue freedom of expression. It's not like Mom and apple pie will get tired of resolutions extolling them.


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:31 AM
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123: "something has to be done with some of the Republican stooges planted in the career civil service"

Overwhelm them with a tide of starry eyed, fervent young Obama supporters who annoy them so much that they decide to seek higher salaries & greener pastures. (I'm confident of this working at DOJ, at least.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:32 AM
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126: true


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:34 AM
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Bush is probably going to issue an awful lot of pardons

On this subject: I think it's almost certain that most of those pardons are going to be Ford-style, open-ended, cover-anything-that-happened-while-I-was-in-office pardons. I also think it's almost certain that one of the people he'll pardon will be Cheney. But one unasked question is: will Bush attempt to pardon himself?

I ask this for two reasons: first, because Bush has abused every other power at his disposal in the most shameless way possible, so I don't see how he can't have run this by his legal counsel already. And second, because a friend of mine was going to write, at one point, a satire of sorts about a self-pardoning president, but got depressed upon realizing that the current function of satire is to predict rather than mock reality.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:35 AM
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There ARE excellent reasons to be skeptical of Obama--he isn't King or even Feingold, he's a politician, his U.S. Senate term disappointed a lot of people (though at least he focused on relative uncontroversial but extremely important stuff like nuclear non-proliferation, not just playing to Joe & Eileen about video games & flag burning). But there are also plausible reasons for hoping he's really much, much better on this stuff. And God, after the last 5 years, a plausible basis for hoping that your efforts are NOT doomed is a powerful thing. The Iowa results were like seeing an oasis in the desert.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:42 AM
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Okay, fine. Here's an attempt.

1. Plan B.
2. She's showed that she can work with people who disagree with her ideologically--e.g., the Clinton/Reid abortion statement, in which they both *agreed* to work together to *prevent unwanted pregnancy* in the first place--in a way that not only doesn't sacrifice her core principal (abortion rights) but also buttresses a related issue (the importance of birth control and real sex education).
3. She and Reid introduced the Prevention First Act.
4. Related to 2: even fucking Newt Gingrich has said he respects her. If we want the government to actually get shit done and we're sick of the partisan shit-slinging, this is a promising thing.
5. While she initially voted for the Iraq war, she has over time dialed back her support. This suggests that she responds to public opinion (what a nice change that would be). Her "refusal" to apologize or promise immediate withdrawal shows that while she responds to public opinion, she doesn't simply offer meaningless capitulation.
6. Her statement that "all the options are on the table" re. Iraq shows that she understands the complexity of the situation and isn't just going to pander with thoughtless promises that she may or may not be able to deliver.
7. She was the first person in national public life to say that we need universal health care. That issue is now at the center of the Democratic party's agenda.
8. Her failure on this issue was educational, but didn't cause her to give up on it.
9. Despite her failure, she helped get SCHIP started while she was first lady.
10. She worked for the Children's Defense Fund. She started a program in Arkansas to provide parent education to families. She recognizes that government can help the poor help themselves, and that supporting families is about more than just food stamps.
11: She went to the Beijing Women's Conference as first lady; she recognizes that "women's rights are human rights," at home and abroad--that is, that women's rights are not a side issue or special interest.
12: She has, by all reports, been an extremely effective senator for her NY constituents. Again, this suggests that she is responsive to public opinion.
13: She and Boxer sponsored the "Count Every Vote" act in 2005. Some folks have argued that this is at odds with her actions in Nevada, but it suggests to me that she recognizes a difference between using the system we have while we have it, and trying to improve it through legislation. God knows that ensuring things like paper ballots and making election day a national holiday would be major improvements.

How's that? It's not as long a list as Katherine's, but I've deliberately focused on the "pro Clinton" arguments rather than trying to come up with "anti Obama" ones. I'm not saying she's a better candidate; I'm saying that she's not just the "oh, she voted for the war, she sucks" candidate, or the "she hasn't done anything" candidate.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:45 AM
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123: The one potential counter-argument ...

One could argue this any number of ways, if one were so inclined. Maybe one could argue that Hillary's "leadership" theme is superior to Obama's "change" theme. Or something. But that wasn't what I was asking for.

What I'm wondering is: on a granular, issue-by-issue level, is anyone prepared to make the case for Hillary? It doesn't seem possible.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:48 AM
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130: Totally pwned. Thanks, B. That's what I was looking for.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:49 AM
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b, re #5, do you honestly believe that her approach to her former vote to the Iraq war is preferable to Edwards? I mean, for one thing, I don't she's even being honest about it.

They all respond to public opinion. Obama too. They all need to be pushed left & when they're in office we need to be keeping all of them honest. That said, I don't think her willingness to follow public opinion left during the Democratic primaries is going to be a very good predictor of how she responds to it in office.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:51 AM
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She was the first person in national public life to say that we need universal health care.

Really? Before even FDR and Truman?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:53 AM
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Even fucking Newt Gingrich has said he respects her. If we want the government to actually get shit done and we're sick of the partisan shit-slinging, this is a promising thing.

Leave that one off the list. It's a Republican talking-point preceded by a meaningless statement by Gingrich. Gingrich's real opinion is worth nothing , he lies around half the time. We have no idea what he thinks about Hillary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:53 AM
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I really don't think it's possible to positively spin Hillary on Iraq. It's a war that never should have happened, and mincing about what parts you did or didn't support is at best triangulating. At worst it shows a fundamentally flawed view of foreign policy. Which isn't to say Obama is brilliant in this regard, but her foreign policy stance from the ideas she's owned to the advisers she's chosen, are bad news.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:53 AM
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b, re #5, do you honestly believe that her approach to her former vote to the Iraq war is preferable to Edwards? I mean, for one thing, I don't she's even being honest about it.

I tend to stir up a lot of shit when I say this, but I don't think Hillary's reinterpretation of her vote is materially different than Edwards' recantation of his vote. When it was politically expedient, Edwards was pro-war. When it wasn't, he wasn't. One might argue (entirely accurately) that Edwards' recantation is more honest than Hillary's pretending post-hoc that her vote wasn't really a pro-war vote. But personally, that distinction isn't really all that important to me. YMMV.

Certainly I agree that Obama's position on this is substantively different from Hillary's and Edwards'.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:57 AM
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shit, didn't mean for that to be part of a pile on B's list effect. She stated it was just a cut at it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 11:59 AM
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133: Arg. "They all respond to public opinion." Look, that's the kind of dismissive response that is *really* frustrating. You want to know what some of the attractive things about her are, I try to come up with a list. I mean, I don't expect you to be convinced--I wasn't, in the end--but can we at least acknowledge that the woman has *some* qualifications, please?

If she ends up being the candidate, will you guys support her? With some kind of enthusiasm beyond "well, at least she's a Democrat"? If so, what are you going to say about her?

I honestly believe that her refusal to "apologize" for her Iraq vote demonstrates that she will take it on the chin when she makes a mistake, rather than just backing down, and that this is not a bad quality. I honestly believe that her "all options are on the table" remarks mean that she is not going to prematurely make promises that (1) she may not keep; (2) might themselves alter the situation; (3) might end up being distracting political liabilities that would get in the way of actual decisions being made. I honestly believe that she is showing both integrity and wisdom by thoughtfully but cautiously moderating her views on the war.

And I think she's also being politically smart by not falling into the "he voted for it before he was against it" trap that Kerry got into. She may well be setting herself up for accusations that her plans are fuzzy, but I don't think she's going to be able to be accused of lacking a spine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:04 PM
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Good list, B. I can pick apart bits and pieces of it, but first I want to thank you for making it. I would add two things from my dad's* list of reasons that he's supporting Hillary: 1) She understands the diplomatic corps and is likely to put together a very strong team at State. 2) She has a keen grasp of the nomination and confirmation process and won't get caught in silly errors that will bog down her administration. I think 2 speaks to her ready-to-lead-from-the-first-day argument. I tend to dismiss that point when she makes it. But, given that presidents often have tiny windows in which they can actually govern, there's probably something to it.

* A long-time Democratic activist, very high-information voters, and huge fan of Hillary.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:05 PM
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)| Ladies, I need your help again. How snugly should a suit jacket fit? Neither of my jackets are tight or clownishly large, but I'm not sure how they're supposed to hang or nip in at the waist. A nipped waist will accentuate my figure, which might be a bad idea. Are you supposed to look like you have a defined waistline? (I am right in between sizes which sucks.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:06 PM
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I have no desire to have a beer or even dinner with Sen. Clinton. I'd love to hang with Sen. Obama. But I don't trust those feelings either. Give a moving speech and I am checking my pocket. Bore me, and I am checking out. I knwo this makes no sense. And still I have to vote for someone.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:06 PM
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When it was politically expedient, Edwards was pro-war. When it wasn't, he wasn't.

Or you could say that, like the overwhelming majority of Americans, Edwards was in favor of the war in 2002 and had reversed his position by 2005. Maybe he acted entirely out of political calculation, and maybe he didn't. Either way, his position on the war - and his vote on the war - changed along with the public's opinion of the war. Clinton's position - quite notably - didn't. She was defending the war long after it was popular to do so - after Cheney's "last throes" statement, for instance - and she still defends her vote to this day. That indicates, to me, a politician who errs on the side of hawkishness - whether through conviction or through political calculation - even when hawkishness has fallen out of favor with the vast majority of her party and her country.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:06 PM
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You have to combine Hillary's initial support for the Iraq war with her record on the Armed Services Committee, where she has been very reluctant to oppose the massive increases in military spending over the past few years. This is a general problem with Democratic party policy -- they are still scared of being red-baited. Obama has not been very good on this, but Hillary has really been at the center of the problem for years now.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:08 PM
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If she ends up being the candidate, will you guys support her? With some kind of enthusiasm beyond "well, at least she's a Democrat"?

No.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:08 PM
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"very reluctant to oppose" should probably be "supportive of"


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:08 PM
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Obama's position on this is substantively different

Agreed, but he also has the great good luck of not having been in the Senate at the time. He *did* oppose it at the time, and rightly so, but I think it is fair to say that his responsibilities were somewhat different than hers, and that this means that while one can admire his position at the time, it might not be entirely fair to pillory her for hers.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:08 PM
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And B, as to your question about whether I'll support her, I'm as on the record as I can be with a forceful "yes." For all the reasons I've given before, ranging from my joy at the prospect of a woman in the White House to my sense that she won't destroy the country. At least not on purpose.

That said, if she really tries to seat the MI and FL delegates in order to win the nomination, I'm gone. Seriously, she'll lose me. For some reason, I'm willing to forgive the race-baiting (maybe because I'm white), though I deplore it. But the impulse to change the rules of the game after it has started is a bridge too far for me. She needs to back away from those delegates.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:10 PM
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141: Button the jacket. You want the smallest size where buttoning the jacket doesn't make the buttons pull or gap when you move around normally (lift your arms, and so on). A bigger size will look sloppy.

The nipped or non-nipped thing is a matter of jacket-style, not size, and if it looks good on you, either is fine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:11 PM
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And I think she's also being politically smart by not falling into the "he voted for it before he was against it" trap that Kerry got into.

Are you kidding me? She's walking right into that trap. Her position on her war vote is that she assumed that an authorization to invade Iraq wouldn't lead to an invasion of Iraq.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:11 PM
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143: Stras, do you allow for the possibility that Clinton's views on the war have changed but she made a (bad) political calculation that she couldn't reverse herself and win the nomination/get elected? I know there isn't a lot of evidence to support this argument, so I'm not sure why I'm throwing it out there. But I'm curious to hear what you have to say.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:12 PM
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139:

I agree with you about the taking it on the chin part, actually. I just don't agree that `all options being on the table' should include a repetition of the sort of bullshit that started things in Iraq. And she really hasn't come out to say anything like that. Some of the things she did say come too close to being `right war, wrong implementation'. Which is just wrong, and wrong in a very dangerous way.

I think you are correctt that backing up wouldn't help her. Saying that she thought it was right at the time and thinks differently now due to new information would have been infinitely preferable to being waffly about what specifically is wrong and how she might have gone about fixing it. Leaving all options open isn't simply pragmatic, it's a refusal to get pinned down on specifics.

Anyway, didn't want to pile on and thanks for the list. To be fair, my take may be biased by the fact that I never liked her as a candidate and don't like the faction of the party she represents best. Not that I'm a fan of Obama either.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:14 PM
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Okay. I find her refusal to apologize infuriating & her justification of the vote dishonest & the whole thing almost exactly like Kerry's mistakes & basically combined with the vote it guaranteed I would never support her in a primary.

"All options are on the table" is, in general, a cliche they all use to avoid hard foreign policy question, but I do actually prefer Obama's & Clinton's approach to Iraq withdrawal to Richardson, as I've met a couple of people there who, like, might die, & the likelihood of them dying depends on what we do. It's going to be a mess, minimizing the mess & do the decent thing is going to require a willingness to take political risks for foreigners to do the right thing, & I simply trust Obama & his advisors the most on that by far.

I really don't understand why "they all respond to public opinion" is dismissive. My point is: that's what politicians do (though degrees to which they do so vary--& of course, whether it's a good thing depends on the specifics), & that's why it's so important to concentrate on ordinary people moving public opinion between elections. Edwards was even more responsive to public opinion on Iraq, & Obama certainly doesn't get marked down for being right when it wasn't popular, right? So it just doesn't seem like an argument for her.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:14 PM
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I have no desire to have a beer or even dinner with Sen. Clinton.

I think it's really dangerous to try to reach this kind of conclusion based on impressions through TV and media narratives. They don't have a close relationship with the things that most of us use to make these sort of interpersonal judgments.

It could be an incredibly powerful experience hanging out with any of these candidates if they deigned to interact with you in a real way - which strikes me as very unlikely for _any_ of them. Think about the stories that Hillary could tell if she was letting her hair down. I'd be hanging on every word if I had the chance.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:14 PM
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I honestly believe that her refusal to "apologize" for her Iraq vote demonstrates that she will take it on the chin when she makes a mistake, rather than just backing down, and that this is not a bad quality.... I honestly believe that she is showing both integrity and wisdom by thoughtfully but cautiously moderating her views on the war.

I think this is naive, or perhaps a bit of wishful thinking. I'm afraid that her refusal to back down from the vote signals that she has not rethought the militarization of foreign policy signaled by the Iraq war. As I said above, her consistent willingness to play ball with the Pentagon over military spending is also problematic.

The question I have is whether Obama is that different. Like Hillary, he's also calling for increases in military spending that have very little justification I think unless you want to continue some kind of middle east occupation (although I don't think this is his reason).


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:16 PM
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147 continued: and certainly it's unfair to excuse Edwards by saying that like the overwhelming majority of Americans, Edwards was in favor of the war in 2002 and had reversed his position by 2005 without acknowledging that that reversal was, in fact, politically expedient. Edwards got a pass (while he was still running) b/c he basically said "oops." If we're going to give him a pass on his vote, then we can't say things like "she voted for the war!" as if that were self-evidently a strike against her.

144: I think it's very difficult to blame her for increasing military spending in a time of war. The problem is the war and the tax cuts, not the fact that--once you're *in* the thing--you have to spend money on it.

145: See, this is the kind of answer that inclines me to dismiss people's opinions entirely. If she doesn't support *your* position on the war, you don't give a rat's ass about what happens to the Supreme Court at home. That's a pretty clear signal that women's rights don't fucking matter to you at all, which is exactly what I was saying the other day about leftier-than-thou men, and why a lot of feminists are not only going to discount, but will actively get their backs up when some people try to convince them that the only issue that matters is the war.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:16 PM
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while one can admire his position at the time, it might not be entirely fair to pillory her for hers.

Of course it's fair. She was in the Senate; she was voting on a war; she knew that the lives of thousands of people would be affected by what she and her colleagues decided there. And she still voted for that war. Either out of political calculation or genuine desire for war, Clinton enabled and supported mass slaughter in Iraq. It speaks to the moral vacuity of the Democratic Party that anyone who voted for this atrocity and supported it for so long would even be considered for the presidential nomination, much less the frontrunner.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:17 PM
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154: Obama is, by many first-person accounts, a pretty down-to-earth guy. What this has to do with voting for him, I don't know. But there it is. He's really supposed to be a very nice, kind of dorky, con law prof who happens to have mad political skillz. Again, that's not why I like him. It's just what I'm told by people who know and have known him for some time.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:17 PM
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155: It's fair for you to think that's wishful thinking. Just like it's fair for people to think that voting for Obama because he's going to change the country is wishful thinking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:19 PM
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I'm not trying to just be dismissive, but a few points:

If we want the government to actually get shit done and we're sick of the partisan shit-slinging, this is a promising thing.

I think this fundamentally misreads the GOP. Sure they're willing to work with her when they're in the majority moving their legislation. There's no doubt they will obstruct every step of the way when it's her legislation and if the Democrats elected a Jesus/Gandhi ticket, there would still be just as much partisan shitslinging. The fact that she might be bitter about the past 16 years and throw gratuitous elbows out of spite is a point in her favor, for me.

"all the options are on the table" re. Iraq

I don't have the context of that statement so maybe she couched that differently, but for the past seven years, this has been code for "I am willing to drop nukes."

not falling into the "he voted for it before he was against it" trap that Kerry got into

I think that's precisely the trap she's walked into, actually.

With some kind of enthusiasm beyond "well, at least she's a Democrat"?

Sadly, that's about the ceiling of my enthusiasm for her. Yes, better any D than any R, but this is also about what wing of the party will run it for at least the next four years. And god, but I don't want it to be the DLC corporate wing again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:20 PM
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If she ends up being the candidate, will you guys support her? With some kind of enthusiasm beyond "well, at least she's a Democrat"?

I'll vote for her, but that's all. I disagree with her on too many issues to muster much enthusiasm, and the South Carolina stuff made me contemptuous.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:20 PM
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With some kind of enthusiasm beyond "well, at least she's a Democrat"?

I honestly don't see how either of these two have earned much more than that. But maybe that's just me.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:21 PM
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b--I'll support her. The level of enthusiasm depends on stuff like FL/MI, whether she picks someone like Evan Bayh, whether she immediately runs away from the leftish rhetoric in the primaries as soon as she's nominated, etc. etc.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:21 PM
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161: I'm basically right where ogged is, for the same reasons. OTOH, I didn't much like Kerry, and yet I developed a certain enthusiasm for him because he was the Democratic candidate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:22 PM
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That said, if she really tries to seat the MI and FL delegates in order to win the nomination, I'm gone

Sigh. Another argument for months. But HRC cannot seat those delegations, and it is patently unfair to put the onus on her.

It will take the votes of 2000+ independent people to seat MI & FL.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:22 PM
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Stras, do you allow for the possibility that Clinton's views on the war have changed but she made a (bad) political calculation that she couldn't reverse herself and win the nomination/get elected?

I see no evidence of this. Her foreign policy advisers are all hawks, and she's maintained a consistently hawkish line on other areas of foreign policy like Iran, Israel/Palestine, torture, etc. I don't see any evidence of a secret change of heart. As for the notion that she couldn't reverse herself - tons of her supporters were begging her to reverse herself on Iraq. She clearly had the opportunity to back out of supporting the war, politically speaking; she chose not to, and displayed irritation at those who seemed to think a reversal was warranted.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:23 PM
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164: Really, you managed to muster enthusiasm? You're a better Democrat than I am. Such a terrible, terrible campaign. I couldn't even watch, much less feel enthusiastic.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:23 PM
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Since the Florida primary had far more voters this year than ever before, and all the candidates were on the ballot, and nobody actually campaigned, I would not be offended if it counted. Especially if, as I've heard, the date of the Florida primary was set by the state's Republican-controlled government, which the national Democratic party might find it hard to hold accountable.

Michigan, completely different.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:23 PM
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I'll get sentimentally enthusiastic about her because she's a woman, and I'm a team kind of person -- I get enthusiastic about whoever 'my' candidate is. And I'm not much more suspicious of her than I am of Obama, but I'm pretty suspicious of both of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:24 PM
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I think 166 is right. Her whole foreign policy stance is problematic, not just one (or a few) vote.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:24 PM
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On the jacket question, Cala: it depends on the cut. If the jacket is cut fairly squarish, then no, it shouldn't nip at the waist. If it's shaped (which I infer it is, or you wouldn't be asking), then the question of how much it nips at the waist depends entirely on the specifics of the cut. If it nips at the waist without pulling anywhere else, then that's fine.

Obviously you don't want it to be actually *tight*. It shouldn't restrict your movement or pull weirdly when you sit down. But beyond that, the fact is that being on the thin side is a status marker for women, so signalling that with the cut of your jacket--in a work environment where (presumably) the dress code is largely about signalling status in the first place--isn't a bad thing to do, practically speaking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:24 PM
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That's a pretty clear signal that women's rights don't fucking matter to you at all

Not if the "No" was in response to the "with more enthusiasm..." part. It's completely clear that any Democratic president is going to hold the line on abortion and appoint pro-choice justices.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:25 PM
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and nobody actually campaigned there

Where does this come from? I've heard otherwise: Obama had national commercials and Hillary's organization actually worked there, especially when it came to media outreach.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:25 PM
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If she doesn't support *your* position on the war, you don't give a rat's ass about what happens to the Supreme Court at home.

When did Stras say that? Stras probably just agreed that s/he (we really need a neuter third-person pronoun) would only support Hillary because she's a Democrat. Since I'm in a safe Democratic state, I might not even do that if she ends up the nominee, depending on whether she comes out with any even semi-brave positions I like between now and November.

It'll be nice to have at least had a woman leader, but truly unfortunate that we as a nation had to take the cowards way out compared to the UK (and Turkey!) and elect the wife of a former president. A feat so staggeringly progressive, it's only already been done in Israel, India, Argentina, Indonesia, Bangladesh, etc.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:27 PM
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On supporting Clinton if she becomes the candidate:

I pissed Ogged off, I think, in an email telling him I'd voted for Obama and then saying (jokingly, for chrissake) that I expected that my doing so would mean that if Clinton got the nomination, he'd back me and all the other feminists.

That was a joke, but there's a truth behind it that is germane to all you folks saying you'll support her, but tepidly. And that is that even if you don't like her on the war, you sure as shit oughta like her on the question of women's rights and the Supreme Court.

If you honestly can't muster enthusiasm for her on those grounds, that makes it really difficult for me not to feel like you want feminists to be "reasonable" on your issues, but aren't willing to back us on ours.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:28 PM
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Where does this come from? I've heard otherwise: Obama had national commercials and Hillary's organization actually worked there, especially when it came to media outreach.

If HRC tried to get votes there and the others disarmed themselves, as in Michigan, then I retract my statement.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:28 PM
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160, 161 describe me, but I suppose I'll try my best to muster some excitement if that happens.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:29 PM
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I'll get sentimentally enthusiastic about her because she's a woman

This is true for me, too. It'll be a big step for this backward backwater of a country to elect a woman, so I can see doing some work in the weeks before the election, but it will be in spite of who she is as a politician.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:29 PM
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If she doesn't support *your* position on the war, you don't give a rat's ass about what happens to the Supreme Court at home.

You know what I always find persuasive? Being accused of not caring. That's a headturner.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:29 PM
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172: But "any" Democrat didn't dig her heels in over Plan B., and any Democrat didn't introduce legislation with Harry Reid. And any Democrat isn't running: she is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:30 PM
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Ned--"no campaigning" gives a clear advantage to the default, ahead by 30 points in the nat'l polls throught 2007, candidate.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:31 PM
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See, this is the kind of answer that inclines me to dismiss people's opinions entirely. If she doesn't support *your* position on the war, you don't give a rat's ass about what happens to the Supreme Court at home.

Get a grip. You asked if I would support Clinton with more enthusiasm than "at least she's a Democrat," and I said "no." The Supreme Court would be the only reason I'd have to vote for her, because it represents the only taboo the DLC wing of the party is afraid to break. As long as Democratic presidents have to appoint pro-Roe justices, and as long as pro-Roe justices are going to come with a package of beliefs that includes restrictions on the power of the executive branch and adherence to the rule of law, then Democratic presidents will end up being forced to appoint good justices, despite themselves. And that is the most good I trust Clinton to do in office.

And if pro-Clinton people are worried that Democrats won't have that much enthusiasm for Clinton in the general, because she's spent such a long time fucking over Democrats? Maybe that's another reason not to support Clinton in the primary.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:32 PM
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I like her fine on women's issues, but absolutely can't stand her on civil liberties, the issue that is (plausibly selfishly) nearest and dearest to my heart.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:32 PM
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I was seriously thinking about not voting if Clinton is the nominee. I'm fairly sure I'll break down and vote, but I've grown both to loathe her and to feel that the United States after four years of Clintonism will probably be less likely to produce any kind of decent reforms than after four years of another Repug. Seriously, the already-crappy Democratic party will be in shreds, we'll have had probably another four years of The Eternal War in the Middle East, she'll pander to those anti-immigration idiots, and (like Bill) she'll be cutting an incredible number of under-the-radar deals with her corporate buddies. Meanwhile, the anti-Repug energy that's actually pulling the left and the liberals sort of together will have dissipated. Also, we won't get a decent healthcare scheme, but four years of "at least she's a Democrat" will weaken the coalition that wants one.

Normally I don't buy this kind of "let things get awful until the revolution happens" thinking, but she's just so dreadful and I remember how things went during the last Clinton presidency--the liberal middle classes threw the poor to the wolves because hell, we had a Democrat in office and the market was okay. Meanwhile, NAFTA and GATT just sailed right on through Congress, only the late sainted Senator Simon objecting.

This is not to say precisely that I'm an Obama enthusiast, but he's a bit less tightly tied in with the status quo and he's been right on the war from day one.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:32 PM
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backward backwater of a country

Careful. You're just a vistior here. Even if you have "citizenship."


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:34 PM
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b: also, I tend to be extremely bitter about the primaries & then get myself excited about the candidate during the general election. I managed with Kerry, & the fact that Clinton's a more talented politician & would be the first women would help. But, I am more depressed & bitter & jaded & burned out than in 2004, & there's just only so much I can even stand Democratic politics anymore.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:34 PM
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174: No, Stras didn't say that. He said "no," he won't support her. I took that to mean, "at all." Also see 175.

179: Uh huh. But it's okay to accuse Clinton supporters of not caring about the war.

178: Enthusiastic because she's a woman *isn't* "not enthusiastic beyond her being a Democrat," though. Which is to say that 178 is a much better comment than 171, from my point of view.

I'm gonna piss you all off by getting annoyed at the massive double standard in evidence here if I stick around and argue about it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:34 PM
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176: I honestly don't know. I've heard conflicting reports, including what I passed along, and hoped that you had hard information.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:35 PM
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If she doesn't support *your* position on the war, you don't give a rat's ass about what happens to the Supreme Court at home. That's a pretty clear signal that women's rights don't fucking matter to you at all, which is exactly what I was saying the other day about leftier-than-thou men, and why a lot of feminists are not only going to discount, but will actively get their backs up when some people try to convince them that the only issue that matters is the war.

As a leftier-than-thou male, I am not of the opinion that the war is a men's issue and not a women's issue. There are a few issues that are primarily women's issues, and a few that are predominantly gay issues, and a very few that are primarily men's issues, and a tremendous number of issues that affect all genders and sexual identities.

Politics involves coalitions and alliances, and in the nature of things different people are going to prioritize differently. As far as I can tell, the Democrats have always been pretty supportive on gay and women's issues even when they were caving in on economic and military issues. Certainly the Democrats have always been more supportive than the Republican Party and almost every individual Republican.

Meanwhile some of the feminist and gay groups (Log Cabin Republicans, NARAL) have been willing to play ball with the Republicans in order to get their issues through. That's the way politics works. For them, the military and economic issues were less important than the social issues.

By and large, few lefties have actually abandoned pro-choice etc., though Kos and others have talked about de-prioritizing the social issues. Again, that's how politics works.

These differences aren't imaginary, but they aren't lethal either and by and large most people end up on the same page in the end. My guess, though is that over the last 20-25 years more (female) pro-choicers have cut deals with Republicans than (male) liberals and lefties have cut deals with right-to-lifers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:35 PM
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184 is exactly what I think, but not being a woman, I'm afraid to say it around here. Good.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:36 PM
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That's actually what I think. The Clinton vs. Obama excitement puzzles me.

The above, from Emerson, somehow crystalized what drives me absolutely bitchcakes about HRC supporters. (Or difference minimizers, as I believe Emerson prefers Obama.) I don't think Emerson is wrong that there are a lot of commonalities between the two. I don't think he's wrong that either is much preferable to McCain. I prefer Obama for fairly narrow reasons, but I vacillate a lot about whether it would be better for the party for HRC to win or for Obama to win.

But, invariably, I find that the HRC supporters or difference minimizers are precisely the same people to cry most strenuously about the Dems need to find backbone, complain most vigorously about the Democratic congressional leadership's cravenness in not punishing recalcitrant Dems, and buy most fully into Josh Marshall's "bitch slap" theory. And yet--accepting for the argument that there are no significant differences between HRC and Obama--when presented with a viable candidate to support who did not vote for the war, what do they do? Roll over on their tummies and smile coyly over their left shoulder at the candidate who voted for the war. Yeah, it's a real puzzler why Dem politicians don't stand up more, punish more. It couldn't possibly be because they reflect their constituencies better than those constituencies realize. What exactly is it that people want to encourage the others to do?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:36 PM
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B, is it hard to understand that people might find it difficult to get enthusiastic about either of them much beyond being Democrats?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:37 PM
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And I really, really don't get how Clinton earned this much cred on women's issues. I guess if poor women don't count as women, then sure. But welfare reform and the "tough on crime" shit passed in the Clinton I era was disproportionately vile to poor women, and if Clinton's going to count that "experience" as her own, then it sure as hell should count against her.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:37 PM
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I agree with 191. I understood this order of preference:

1. Edwards
2. Obama
3. Clinton.

But for it was always just so, so, so blatantly obvious that the really huge gap was between second place & third place. I find it utterly bizarre that Emerson & LB, who I thought had relatively similar policy priorities to mine, think that the big gap is between Edwards & Obama. I think it must come down to a view of how politics works rather than any difference on issues.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:42 PM
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155: THis may open old wounds, but for the last 20 years or so one wing of the Democratic Party has been openly and sincerely hawkish, and they've worked very hard to marginalize the doves in the party. And Hillary and Bill were part of that branch.

Though his support for increased military spending is one reason I'm only lukewarm about Obama. Even Edwards talked about doing that, I think. Beggars can't be choosers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:43 PM
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Are you supposed to look like you have a defined waistline?

Yes. The feminine waist is practically a secondary sex characteristic in the European ideal. Anne Hollander wrote a whole essay about this.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:44 PM
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195: I think a lot of liberals have forgotten just how much hawkish rhetoric was freely flying around on the left as recently as the late nineties. I remember reading Josh Marshall's 2000 debate coverage and reading him talk about how Gore was so obviously ready to take down Saddam. Looking at those posts now feels like reading alternate history or something, because it feels so disconnected from the anti-war identity the netroots has fashioned for itself. But the fact is that very pro-war, very hawkish wing of the Democratic Party is still there. This has always been a bipartisan disease.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:49 PM
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But "any" Democrat didn't dig her heels in over Plan B

And I give her points for that. But she's starting out at a really huge points deficit on so many other issues that *also* matter deeply to me and, seriously, I don't think she's actually head and shoulders better than the wide majority of the party on women's issues.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:49 PM
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He's really supposed to be a very nice, kind of dorky, con law prof who happens to have mad political skillz.

See, I think you could have gotten a similar description of Hillary from someone who knew her in Arkansas in 1990. Been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and Obama will be a different person in two decades if he actually has to run this country. Though perhaps not as much as Hillary. I think it can be harder to go through all the intensity of the white house without the actual control over what gets done.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:51 PM
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Uh huh. But it's okay to accuse Clinton supporters of not caring about the war.

Not caring enough.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:53 PM
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if . . . we're sick of the partisan shit-slinging

Not me. I'm sick of most of it going -- and all of it sticking -- in only one direction.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:53 PM
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It will take the votes of 2000+ independent people to seat MI & FL.

That number is either far too small, because it should be the number of primary voters and caucus goers Senators Clinton or Obama has to win in order to control who gets on the credentialing committee, or far too large, because the number of people on the credentialing committee is 186.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:54 PM
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199: I really didn't mean to imply anything about Hillary -- this wasn't a he's-nice-and-she's-a bitch-statement -- as I know nobody in her orbit. But, speaking to your broader point, I think you're right. I'm told that Obama has actually been tired and relatively crabby lately.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:56 PM
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Is there any reason to believe Obama would be substansively worse on womans issues that Clinton would? As someone pointed out, her record isn't exactly an unqualified success in that respect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:56 PM
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I think it must come down to a view of how politics works rather than any difference on issues.

Pretty much. The sorts of civil rights issues I understand you to focus on are important, but cheap -- it's not about moving lots of money around. I figure if we get someone who's even close to not actively insane on those issues, and we've got Congress on our side, we can win those back. I'm not certain that we will, but I don't think that we need a whole lot of commitment from the Executive -- just acquiesence or opposition soft enough to bulldoze. No one gets anything from keeping Gitmo open, and continuing to confine those prisoners, now that it's clear that it's insane to do so.

Lunchbox issues, on the other hand, are about money, and need real energized commitment from the Executive. (I don't know what I'm talking about really, but this is what's going on in my head, to put Edwards far ahead of the other two.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:57 PM
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Is there any reason to believe Obama would be substansively worse on womans issues that Clinton would?

I understand he's a Secret Muslim, and those people hate the womenfolk.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:58 PM
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difference minimizers are precisely the same people to cry most strenuously about the Dems need to find backbone

1) There is a conflict between Obama's record and his rhetoric that obviously bothers some of us.

2) As said by Newberry, Clinton looks more conciliatory on foreign policy and more confrontational on economic issues; most recent example the mortgage interest freeze, which is characterized by neo-liberal economists as batshity insane.

Obama more conciliatory on economic issues and confrontational on foreign policy. My impression is that Republicans don''t seen particularly frightened by Obama professed FP positions, but I suppose that is irrelevant.

In any case, it can be a matter of priorities, and different understandings of Republicans. I don't think the vast mass of Republicans are anywhere near as invested in Iraq and torture as they are in taxes and the devolution of the welfare state, and hitting them on economics is hitting them where they hurt.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 12:59 PM
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)|
Problem is basically a size 10 bust with a size 6 waist and shoulders and a size 8 ass. So the size 6 jacket buttons and looks fantastic as along as I don't inhale deeply, but the skirt is a little too tight. The size 8 skirt fits perfectly, but the jacket fits very loosely. (And I had a friend come over who says the jacket is too loose.) Both of the jackets look fine if I leave them unbuttoned, but the smaller skirt only looks fine if the jacket is buttoned.

I hate the corporate uniform.
|>


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:00 PM
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207: I'm mostly convinced that the economic policy of the next administration will be dominated by putting out fires and recession managing. While the specifics may differ a bit between a D and R executive, to some degree hands will be tied.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:02 PM
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No one gets anything from keeping Gitmo open, and continuing to confine those prisoners, now that it's clear that it's insane to do so.

I'm not worried about Gitmo. Anyone smart - including any smart evil fucker - is going to close Gitmo. What worries me is the kind of person who makes a big show of closing Gitmo, but quietly derails any real attempt to throw sunlight onto America's history of torture, while relocating our torture victims to quieter, darker overseas prison camps.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:02 PM
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You can't mix sizes? I've got a suit with an 8 jacket and 10 pants for similar reasons.

But if you can't, you've got to go with the skirt that fits, and maybe get the jacket tailored? Or go look for a different suit where both halves fit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:02 PM
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202:Not certain if the credentialing committee can keep a judgement from the floor, so I should pass, or run over to Bowers.

Ya know, part of my position on MI & FL has to with believing that however he might stand on the issue of seating the present delegations, John Conyers for instance has a local interest in having some sort of Michigan delegation participating in the convention.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:04 PM
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205: oh, Jesus. Yeah, I think that's an absurdly Pollyanna-ish view of the situation on detention/rule of law issues. (Such as: how do we prevent this all from happening again?) Maybe we actually do have different policy priorities.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:04 PM
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212: I'm just repeating my understanding of Bowers.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:04 PM
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As said by Newberry....

I thought you couldn't tell what he was saying.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:05 PM
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210: Yeah. The thing is, and I may be living in a dreamy fantasy world here, while Clinton seems to me to be overly hawkish, she doesn't seem insane like the Bush crew. Maybe no sunlight on the history of torture, but given what's come out already, I can't see her seeing secret torture prisons as serving her interests.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:05 PM
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216: The problem with this is the seeds and initial programs for a lot of the rendition bullshit etc. were planted by her husband, and she's done nothing to distance herself from this. Gitmo has particular visibility, but we don't want anyone in that chair (if we can help it) whose thoughts about all this are: it's useful, but we'll have to keep it quieter.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:08 PM
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Problem is basically a size 10 bust with a size 6 waist and shoulders and a size 8 ass.

That doesn't sound like a problem to me at all, he said, smiling like a pickerel with a toothpaste endorsement.

Seriously, i there no such thing as a woman's made-to-measure suit? Made-to-measure remedied all my old complaints about tight shoulders and short jackets, etc., etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:08 PM
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211: The bad thing about an eBay habit is that there isn't a lot of opportunity for mixing and matching. Off to the tailor! I just wanted to make sure I was right that it was a little too big.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:08 PM
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And what about Bagram? & the attempts to create an administrative detention system? And exactly what happens to those GTMO detainees we can't send back to their home countries? And what about the high value detainees? And why are former Clinton advisors trying to rehabilitate his record on rendition? And whom can we trust to do more to prevent a catastrophe in Iraq? And making the criminal justice system better at home may be relatively cheap, but given that the Clintons have shown less than zero inclination to do so, why is that going to change? And what if Tancredo comes up with another crazy, mean, immigration bill? And while I don't doubt Clinton's commitment to the middle class, what about issues of poverty?

I've got to say, treating human rights/rule of law issues as litmus tests on your character & judgment served me pretty well when it came to evaluating Bush in 2000. The Texas death penalty system was a much better predictor of his performance in office than his education plan.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:10 PM
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What's our best chance at influencing some of the Cabinet picks, regardless of the nominee? Justice, State, Education, HHS, Labor . . . . Having the most progressive, activist appointees possible in these positions could mitigate some of the weaknesses of either Clinton or Obama. (Not that they'd have free rein, etc., etc.) Hell, even some highly competent technocrats could do wonders.

Does anyone know how regular schlubs like us can lobby on this? MoveOn-type petitions? Obama Girl-type video tributes? Bribes?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:11 PM
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Obama Girl-type video tributes?

Sir Kraab and M/tch have the makeup skills for costumes. But, can they dance?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:12 PM
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while Clinton seems to me to be overly hawkish, she doesn't seem insane like the Bush crew.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore don't seem insane, but they were pretty sanguine with the prospect of torture in the nineties. I think this is another one of those underchallenged liberal assumptions: liberals tend to assume at this point that everyone knows that torture is totally crazy and stupid, and no one in a position of power advocates it because they think it works - all those Bush people are just gibbering loons. I would suggest that torture - like preventive war, American exceptionalism, and the permanent war footing - is yet another in a long list of very bad ideas with a not-insubstantial constituency in the American political elite.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:14 PM
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Yes. The feminine waist is practically a secondary sex characteristic in the European ideal. Anne Hollander wrote a whole essay about this.

I've got skinny legs and a broad shoulders, back, and a wide waist. Kind of like that weird model from last night. Tiny waists seem like the epitome of the elusive female mystique to me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:14 PM
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213: I'm persuadable on this stuff, so keep talking. But what I get stuck on is that all the torture/detention crap is so empty and profitless in any practical sense. The Republicans do it for the domestic political boost it gives them, but not because they're either making money or doing anything with a point for the country.

Now, Bill's record has things like AEDPA, and some rendition on it. I'd say AEDPA was for domestic political advantage, and I'm not sure what I think about his renditions, they confuse me. But the domestic political climate has changed -- I don't think there'll be pressure from anyone likely to vote for her to keep up with the torture and detention. And in the absence of that pressure from her voters, I think making it stop won't be that hard.

I could be wrong. Maybe there's a larger torture/detention constituency that's available to HRC than I think there is. But if I'm right, I'm not worried about her pandering to torture fans.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:14 PM
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216: a four year or eight year pause in these policies is not really sufficient. The Bush administration doing all of this & getting away with it is a terrible, terrible precedent, sitting around like a loaded gun. Look at the lesson they learned from Iran Contra. I'm not an "it has to get worse before it gets better" person, but we HAVE to start thinking about politics in increments of longer than four years.

It's not just closing Guantanamo. Failing prosecution--there's all sorts of legislation to pass, DOJ to clean up, & a public accounting is necessary to turn public opinion against this so it doesn't happen again.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:15 PM
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224: Sister. I too am waistless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:16 PM
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The Texas death penalty system was a much better predictor of his performance in office than his education plan.

There are details of Governor Bush's state performance on education, especially the change in the funding mechanism, that we Texans did see as predictive of his performance as President.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:16 PM
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There are details of Governor Bush's state performance on education...that we Texans did see as predictive of his performance as President.

Have I mentioned how flummoxed my students get over fractions? Like finding a common denominator? The apple doesn't fall far from the president.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:18 PM
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225: I don't think you need a big national constituency, you need a constituency among the elite. Bear in mind that torture has never been an information tool, really, it's a tool for control by fear. I'm certain there are, even within the D party, people who will push for it as a tool so long as there isn't a domestic political cost. The US is very, very fond of black (and gray) ops, after all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:19 PM
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I can't see her seeing secret torture prisons as serving her interests.

Hah. Here's a place where our worldviews differ. I assume we keep secret torture prisons (or install new ones) under any scenario. I just think different Administrations will adopt different postures--they're fine/they're bad but necessary/I'm shocked, shocked, and heads will actually roll--toward such prisons.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:20 PM
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"But the domestic political climate has changed -- I don't think there'll be pressure from anyone likely to vote for her to keep up with the torture and detention. And in the absence of that pressure from her voters, I think making it stop won't be that hard"

Mark Penn doesn't care about HER voters. He cares about office park dads, or whatever the hell. What exactly do you think has been going on with the Democrats in Congress since 2001? Public opinion didn't spontaneously shift on these issues, it was pushed, very, very, very hard by a couple civil liberties/human rights organizations and an ad hoc coalition working with practically NO support from the Democratic leadership. It was pushed hard enough for all the Dems to say they want to close GTMO--& now you think there's no problem because GTMO's going to get closed? God. I thought people were not voting based on this because Obama wasn't strong enough, I didn't realize they thought Clinton was just fine & dandy.

And another crappy, mean immigration bill is an obvious danger. And unexpected things happen in office.


Posted by: katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:21 PM
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I can't see her seeing secret torture prisons as serving her interests.

Whoa, this surprised me. I think we'll definitely have secret prisons under Clinton and there's a 97% chance that we'll have them under Obama. That's how America operates and a rookie Dem president is going to have the political capital to tell the CIA its business? I think the best we hope for is an administration that's at least willing to acknowledge the rule of law and human rights, and not practice some of the more egregious violations of those things.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:22 PM
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Following up on Katherine's replies to LB: improving civil liberties may be cheap - in some areas, at least* - but it's fantastically easy to demagogue against. Bill Clinton spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time and money on draconian "tough on crime" measures precisely because of this. Maybe Hillary Clinton has had a secret change of heart here, but again, she's given absolutely no indication that this is the case.

*Any attempt to reform the criminal justice system at this point is going to be met with incredible opposition from what can only be called the prison-industrial complex. Building and maintaining massive jails to contain the ever-expanding prison population in this country has become a huge and lucrative business, and one from which many legislators profit.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:22 PM
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226: Agreed. I see no reason to be sanguiine about Obama in this respect, but agreed. I'm currently depressed about the prospect of a D presidency being a hold-the-line exercise with marginal (and even pyrrhic) victories. At this point, not actively making things worse is hardly something to get very enthusiastic about. On the other hand, if the R's actually win, I'll give up on the place.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:22 PM
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Fractions are easy for you, Ms. Smartypants PhD lady!

There are godlier people than you who have trouble with fractions. Don't tempt Jesus with your worldly pride!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:23 PM
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214:I should be quoting Bowers instead of going from memory, but IIRC one of the factors that reassured him is that Nancy Pelosi will be chairing the floor convention.

I am pretty sure that the floor follows parliamentary rules, and any motion from the floor can be recognized, seconded, and voted upon. Whether "can" equals "must" is different. The committees are just to save time and make, for instance, votes on most platform planks, go quickly.

And motions concerning Michigan & Florida will be raised on the floor. Don't doubt it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:25 PM
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As a Persian, Ogged is biased on the secret-prisons issue. Pay him no heed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:25 PM
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I mean, the Democrats didn't actually need to allow the MCA to pass before the 2006 midterms either; I don't think they benefitted at all; their polls showed that most people didn't care & the ones who did either were voting against the MCA anyway, or opposed it. And yet, it passed thanks to Democratic votes & the brilliant Democratic stratagem of trusting Lindsey Graham to hold the line on torture & habeas. It's easier to simply decline to do these things than to oppose an executive hell bent on doing them. But, christ, if the Dem establishment took the view that "these policies are irrational & not politically necessary & we're not having it" we would not be where we are today.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:26 PM
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234 is a good point. Prisons are rapidly begging to fill the same cancerous[*] socio-economic role that military spending already does.

[*] I mean this in the sense that they will grow to consume all available resources, and are self-directed this way without regard to the larger society (organism)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:27 PM
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pushed, very, very, very hard by a couple civil liberties/human rights organizations and an ad hoc coalition working with practically NO support from the Democratic leadership. It was pushed hard enough for all the Dems to say they want to close GTMO--& now you think there's no problem because GTMO's going to get closed?

I'm not saying there are no problems on this stuff, but listen to yourself. A couple civil liberties/human rights organizations and an ad hoc coalition has made a real difference in the positions elected Democrats are taking, without any support from the Democratic leadership. A small group of passionate people can move the politics here, because there's no money at stake. And Clinton's sane enough that it should be possible to bully her into civilized positions on these issues. It'll be work, but it should be possible.

Something like health care, on the other hand, if the whole party apparatus isn't behind it, simply won't happen. Groups of passionate activists don't have the leverage to overcome the inertia of the incredible amounts of money at stake.

(But I'm digging my heels in because I'm arguing, not because I'm actually sure of myself, so I should drop it. And I did vote for Obama on the war and on these sorts of issues; I'm just not convinced that the difference between them will matter much on these issues.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:28 PM
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Oh, yeah. The Prison-Industrial complex. That's something where there's crazy amounts of money at stake, and we will need committed people at the top to fix it. Of course, it's also largely a state by state problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:30 PM
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I think I'm behind: Cala, do all these wardrobe questions mean you got the job you applied for? Or is this just another interview?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:30 PM
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I think health care is a write off at this point. Which is also depressing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:30 PM
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240: In California the prison guard's union is one of the major political forces. In Oregon, my AFSCME union represented prison guards, and they almost succeeded in getting the union to support a very bad tough-on-crime measure. The cruelty and the crassness of it was boggling -- crime and punishment as a growth industry. (One of the few government expenditures that little-government people support).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:30 PM
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Don't tempt Jesus with your worldly pride!

I tempt Jesus with my forked tongue.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:30 PM
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And your famous ass, no?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:31 PM
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Ooooooh! Jesus has never been tempted by a girl Satan before. You'll have him squealing with delight as he falls of his pedestal. Son of God no more!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:32 PM
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Is there any reason to believe Obama would be substansively worse on womans issues that Clinton would?

I already answered this. See the list I provided above.

I think we'll definitely have secret prisons under Clinton and there's a 97% chance that we'll have them under Obama.

I don't know if I agree re. secret prisons. I'm not inclined to disagree strenuously. But this is pretty much my attitude about whether or not we'll still have troops in Iraq at the end of next year.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:33 PM
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We can get them to SAY the right things during a Democratic primary. That's not the same thing as acting on them in office, let alone acting forcefully enough to prevent the same thing from happening under a Republican administration... A lot of them said good things about torture even as they let the MCA pass. As soon as the primaries are over, what need does she have for us? Jesus F. Christ. Are you watching Mukasey this week? Have you never heard of the "run left in the primaries, right in the general" strategy?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:33 PM
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And your famous ass, no?

It's forked, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:34 PM
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I think health care is a write off at this point. Which is also depressing.

Yes and no, I think. I suspect it's not a write off if things get very, very bad economically. But if things get very, very bad economically, lots of bad things might happen, and I'm not the least bit sure that speedy UHC rather than incremental UHC will be worth it. (Quite the opposite.) On that ground, I won't be depressed if speedy UHC doesn't get done.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:35 PM
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can they dance?

We can swing dance, daddy-o!

M/tch also does a pretty awesome version of the Robot Dancer from Chappelle's Show. (Of whom I could not find a single image. Wtf?)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:37 PM
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Did you all read about the "pimped out" comment? I'm starting to think B may be on to something re: sexism. Probably not, but worth looking into.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:38 PM
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We can swing dance, daddy-o!

Is that what m/tch meant when he asked us to come shag with him?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:40 PM
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drum roll.....

bc I thought he was joking.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:40 PM
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I already answered this. See the list I provided above.

I read that list as being things you found pro Hillary, not thing pro Hillary that Obama was also bad on. Or are you referring to a different list?

Hillary's record on womens issues is mixed, she's (and or her political center in the D party) is bad on poverty and other issues that correlate strongly with some womens issues. I just don't see Obama being a net loss with this, particularly with a couple of core issues being sacred cows for the Democrats.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:40 PM
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I don't support Hillary at all but I agree with B about the sexism. TV is just awful. Digby wrote about it recently. Even Olbermann apparently played along.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:41 PM
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Digby wrote about it recently

You mentioned this yesterday and I couldn't find it (you said she said that lefties in general were doing it). Linky?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:44 PM
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I suspect it's not a write off if things get very, very bad economically. But if things get very, very bad economically, lots of bad things might happen, and I'm not the least bit sure that speedy UHC rather than incremental UHC will be worth it. (Quite the opposite.) On that ground, I won't be depressed if speedy UHC doesn't get done.

I agree mostly --- thing would have to get very, very bad to force a fast change. But I don't share your hope for incremental change, because I think for the most part (but everyone is blowing a lot of air) the proposals we are likely to see will actually make incremental change harder. Which isn't to say it will never happen, but my expectation is a `reform' bill that is a sop to corporate interests and takes it off the table (and unsolved) for a generation. It will take the pressure off slightly, but won't actually fix anything. And nobody will want to touch it again until it gets bad enough to force the issue.

So yes, incremental change, but incremental change in a direction contrary to a real solution, that will make a marginal and short lived improvement. I hope I'm wrong.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:45 PM
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225

"... But the domestic political climate has changed -- I don't think there'll be pressure from anyone likely to vote for her to keep up with the torture and detention. And in the absence of that pressure from her voters, I think making it stop won't be that hard."

This is naive. There aren't that many voters in favor of incompetent public employees but getting rid of them is still very difficult. If most of the relevant career government people support detention and torture getting them to stop is not that easy.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:46 PM
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John, why are you surprised that Olberman is playing along? I find the left's love of Olberman curious. He's a good actor, and, perhaps, smarter than the average bear. But isn't he just a television personality, playing a part? Which isn't to say that I'm not happy to have him play that part, putting Josh Marshall on tv and whatnot. Still, there's no evidence that he's a good person, is there? I'd like to be convinced, by the way.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:48 PM
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"But doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

Hillary equipped her daughter with fancy rims and hydraulics? Totally sweet.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:48 PM
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263: who said that?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:50 PM
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But isn't he just a television personality, playing a part?

And sort of an admitted asshole who came of age at a media company (ESPN) with long-standing and widespread internal sexism issues.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:51 PM
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264: This guy, apparently.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:52 PM
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264: David Shuster.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:53 PM
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Bill Clinton spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time and money on draconian "tough on crime" measures precisely because of this.

My memory is that, modulo drug policy, Clinton's "Crime Bill" was qualitatively different from, say, Rudy Giuliani being "tough on crime."

My sense was that crime dropped in the 90s in a way that helped minority populations, rather than just having the incarceration rates go up, but I'd love it if someone could confirm this sense.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:55 PM
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257: Obama has not introduced legislation with Reid about sex education and birth control. Obama did not block a new FDA appointment until Plan B was available over the counter. Obama did not work for the CDC for a number of years.

The contention that welfare reform was not good for women is perfectly valid. The contention that Clinton supported this while her husband was in office is true. Believing that her support for it is somehow indicative of something other than the reality of a first lady's job is arguable, but not self-evident. It is reasonable to say that welfare reform makes Clinton's record on women's issues less than perfect.

It is not reasonable to say that her record on women's issues is no stronger than Obama's.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:56 PM
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265: Forgetting the Worldwide Leader, it seems that Olbermann himself has a history of teh sexism:

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2007/02/23/everyone_loves_keith_olbermannexcept_me.php

http://feministing.com/archives/005858.html.

Sorry, I don't know how to embed links in comments.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:57 PM
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<a href="http://www.yourlink.com">linked text</a>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 1:58 PM
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270: Yeah, "sexism" is probably the wrong word for what I wrote. IIRC, WWL has had a fair number of problems with sexual harassment. I can't recall if Olbermann was ever implicated, though I don't think so.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:00 PM
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269 thanks.

I wasn't claiming (and don't believe) that Obamas record on womens issues is as strong as Hillarys. What I'm wondering about is if it is realistic to expect in the aggregate an Obama presidency to be weak here. He may well not be focussed on it, but there are those in the party that will pick up that slack, I think. I don't think the same is true of F.P. issues, so I don't really see the two as quite symmetric. I don't see Hillary as particularly focused broadly on womens issues, or her presidency likely to spend its political capitol there especially.

I could be wrong, but I don't see particular reasons to be worried about losing ground on womens issues in an Obama presidency. To be honest, I don't expect either of them to make big inroads here, either.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:04 PM
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Is Ari the most prominent blogger to fail to know how to embed links? Enquiring minds.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:05 PM
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271: Thanks. I'll experiment with this over at my place, so I don't spill things all over your blog.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:05 PM
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274: Not anymore.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:05 PM
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269: And Clinton didn't help raise money to fight the South Dakota abortion ban, but one and only U.S. senator did. We can cherrypick records all day, but I'm not sure what it would prove. Both candidates have perfect records on reproductive rights.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:07 PM
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268: Clinton's crime legislation included harsher mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses - including of course the disparity between sentencing for crack and powder cocaine - and the infamous "three strikes and you're out" law. It dramatically increased the number of African Americans in prison, as well as the number of women in prison, both substantially contributed by the rise in incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders. Later on he had the Effective Death Penalty Act, of course, which was basically designed to limit habeas petitions by prisoners on death row in order to speed their path to the death chamber. As for the drop in crime, I've never seen a convincing argument that traces it to Clinton's "tough on crime" measures.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:08 PM
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Here's a recent summary of some of the sexist crap against Clinton. Be sure and scroll down to the last paragraph, which has 19 examples linked in it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:13 PM
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277, 278: Again, I am not saying that Obama is not an excellent candidate. I voted for him myself. All I am doing is responding to specific questions in comments and trying to make the case that there are actual reasons to support Clinton, since you guys seem to think there aren't any.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:15 PM
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if it is realistic to expect in the aggregate an Obama presidency to be weak here

No, it is not. No one has said it is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:16 PM
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274: I also don't know how to delete without a Wordpress toolbar, or I could have fixed your incorrect use of "prominent."


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:17 PM
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I already made this point over in the other thread, but the picture Ogged posted is one very good reason to support Clinton. You may all now shower me with scorn.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:19 PM
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280: I don't think you'll find much support for the proposition that Clinton isn't a good candidate. She's just not the best one.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:20 PM
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I also don't know how to delete without a Wordpress toolbar, or I could have fixed your incorrect use of "prominent."

< s> works much like < a >


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:20 PM
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191: Tim, the fact that you see no important distinction between "difference minimizers" and "Hillary supporters" explains your past unhappiness with me on some issues. For the record, I am an Edward-Obama-Clinton difference minimizer, and Hillary isn't even my second choice of those three. Which candidate one actually supports seems like a key matter when the subject matter under discussion is which candidate one ought to support.

Stras and Frowner, meanwhile, minimize the differences between Democrats and Republicans to the point that a mainstream Republican like McCain doesn't seem much (or any) worse than a mainstream Democrat like Hillary. This view seems really odd to me. I guess I can understand, in real time, why people were indifferent to Nixon vs. Humphrey or Gore vs. Bush. But with the benefit of hindsight, this seems pretty strange to me. And even if the war is your only issue the difference between McCain and Hillary seems huge to me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:22 PM
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283: If she didn't have such big negatives for me, or this stuff would probably dominate my feelings about it all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:23 PM
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No, it is not. No one has said it is.

...except Hillary Clinton's supporters at NOW, and Clinton's campaign people in mailers. (That said, this particular line of attack strikes me as perfectly legitimate elbow-throwing.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:23 PM
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"On Thursday's 'Tucker' on MSNBC, David Shuster, who was serving as guest-host of the program, made a comment about Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton campaign that was irresponsible and inappropriate. Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:23 PM
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288: I'm not responsible for what they say, and I haven't repeated it in this thread.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:26 PM
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259: Digby on Hillary-hatred". It's mostly about Matthews, who's famously demented about Hillary, but Digby says that Gene Robinson, Mike Barnicle, Olbermann, Matthews, and O'Donnell played along.

I like Olbermann and I wrote to Digby, and she say that she thinks that when he's on a team the peer-pressure gets to him. On his own show he's pro-Obama and somewhat anti-Hillary, but she says that his election coverage is worse. (I watch his show but not the elections coverage).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:28 PM
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285: Thanks.

287: I agree entirely. That's why I'm for Obama. But I do think there are powerful reasons to vote for Hillary, ranging from identity politics (sue me) to the Supreme Court (comity).


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:30 PM
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All I am doing is responding to specific questions in comments and trying to make the case that there are actual reasons to support Clinton, since you guys seem to think there aren't any.

There are reasons to support Clinton, but they're the same reasons that would exist to support just about any Democrat. I'd be every bit as hostile to a presidential bid by Schumer, Bayh, or Biden, but I think they'd all appoint solidly pro-Roe and pro-privacy federal judges, veto federal restrictions on reproductive rights, and put sane people in charge of agencies like the FDA, which is the sort of bare minimum standard expected of centrist Democrats on women's issues set by Bill Clinton. I have no reason to believe that the second Clinton administration would do much better than this - certainly not for poor women, who've been screwed over by her wing of the party in the past. So again, I don't see much reason to be enthusiastic for Clinton beyond "I guess she's not a Republican."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:30 PM
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290 - Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were. I was saying that it's a narrative that the Clinton campaign and its supporters seem to be using, as part of their broader line of attack that Obama isn't willing to alienate anyone.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:30 PM
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I'd like someone to run a LEXIS search of transcripts of MSNBC programs for the last couple of months, or possibly a wider sample, for pimp!. I don't want to deny Shuster's comment is sexist (towards Chelsea, not sure about towards Hillary) and stupid, but I'm not sure there's really all that much here.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:32 PM
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I don't think you'll find much support for the proposition that Clinton isn't a good candidate.

Have you read this thread?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:34 PM
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296: I wouldn't call either of them a great candidate. Good, within the bounds of the practical? Sure. But this thread isn't arguing that she isn't a good candidate, but that she's an inferior candidate to Obama. Not the same thing at all.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:36 PM
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I hate the phrase "identity politics". Like only black/female/gay people have identities and vote for people who are superficially like them? Please. We need a word for that, I just wish that wasn't it. Don't get me started on people who group women in the category "minorities".


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:37 PM
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295: You would have to distinguish between usages of 'pimp an object' meaning to decorate it flashily, and 'pimp out' a person. 'Pimp' isn't a lightning-rod word since 'Pimp My Ride', but in context it's pretty out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:38 PM
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262: Someone, maybe Firedoglake, said that Olbermann actually quit a few years ago because he couldn't stand the crap they wanted him to do. For someone to take a break in their career that way is pretty rare. He had no reason to be sure that he could ever come back.

The reason I like Olbermann is that he consistently comes out and says pretty much what I think, and he's the only one on the big time media who does. I'm not completely sure that he's proposed impeachment, but I think that he has.

Even now he has to play the game. At the beginning he did tons of horseshit Britney Spears stuff, but I don't see that any more. He also has to be civil to Chris Matthews, but I believe that he's confronted him at least once. And he puts some pretty good people on.

In this argument I repeatedly, over and over, run into the same dead end. I'll be asking myself, "Who on national TV, radio, and cable is ever either presenting a strong liberal Democratic point of view, OR presenting first rate critical reporting about the Bush administration?" The list is short: Olberman, Air America, Maddow, and one semi-retired NPR guy (his name slips me).

But when I talk to my liberal-left friends about TV, radio, and cable, what they're thinking about is "Would I want to watch that show?" and "Does that guy meet my high standards?" And usually they don't.

A high proportion of Americans, between 30% and 60%, go through their lives without EVER hearing a liberal Democratic point of view. What I call "the ambient political culture" (free and cheap passive media) runs from center-left (just barely left) to very hard right.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:40 PM
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295: Well, there's enough here to piss me off, and I'm not easily pissed off.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:41 PM
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298: Maybe I should have said "gender politics." In fact, I should have, as I also can't stand "identity politics." But mostly because of the way it gets used and by whom.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:41 PM
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"McCain is pimping for endless war" would be something I'd hear as unoffensive and doesn't follow the pimp an object model. I'm trying to think of unoffensive tokens for "pimping" a person. "Miramax is pimping Daniel Day Lewis for best actor," maybe. To be clear, I just made these examples up as plausible uses, not quoting anyone.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:42 PM
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That later usage is consistent with the original, just has a positive spin.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:44 PM
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295 - I got in trouble for saying much the same over at Lawyers Guns and Money -- it's sexist and demeaning to say about Chelsea, but strikes me as just garden-variety insulting about Hillary. Maybe this is because, thanks to Iceberg Slim and 50 Cent, "pimp" is coded for me as a racially-loaded term rather than something that fits into any kind of sexist narrative. Also, what 303 said. (And hey, Pimp My Camino!)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:45 PM
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I'm trying to think of unoffensive tokens for "pimping" a person.

Seriously, why? The remark is offensive. Why should we cast about for reasons to excuse it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:46 PM
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300: Much of what you say here resonates for me. And yet, Olbermann still doesn't impress me. Again, I'm glad he's on tv. And I'm thrilled that he brings on people like Josh Marshall to analyze politics. But I think he's a cretin who plays his role -- progressive voice in the waste wasteland that is cable journalism -- with great skill. Then again, I haven't watched the news since the summer of 2004, so my vote doesn't matter. I only tuned back in for coverage of the debates and primaries/caucuses. All of that said, Maddow, if she's who I think she is, is teh awesome. She needs her own show. Immediately. Make it happen, Big Media Emerson.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:47 PM
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305: It's not garden-variety insulting to imply that a woman is pimping her daughter. It implies that she is a Bad Mother. Being a Bad Mother is supposedly one of the worst things a woman can be.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:47 PM
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308: And also that whoever is doing the pimping is a pimp, meaning sending their daughter out to stroll for Johns (and not the good kind). Not nice.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:50 PM
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308 is fair enough. Although it's not personally convincing to me, I can see how Shakes and B would think that. Shakes other examples struck me as way stronger, though. Huh huh huh, Senator Clinton is Morganna the Kissing Bandit!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:50 PM
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303: I think to make the usage parallel, you need to work with 'pimp out' as applied to a person. And making that one not sound like whoring is going to be tricky.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:51 PM
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311: Oh, it's always going to sound like whoring in usage --- the only question is if it's successfully pushed over to the sort of ha-ha-only-serious usage that people tend to apply to themselves (e.g. I'm whoring myself to $bigcorp until I pay off my student loans). Then people are comfortable with it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:54 PM
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Then people are comfortable with it.

Yeah, but if you think about it, it's sort of like joking about prison rape. (And yes, I've made that sort of joke too.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:55 PM
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I looked at Tom Paine and Feministe, and everything was about the Britney Spears / Paris Hilton coverage. I strongly suspect that something like that was in the package he signed on for, and I don't think that he ever wanted to do it (I've seen him grumbling). "The talent" aren't free agents. The producers et al run the show, and "the talent" sits in the chair. My belief is that as soon as he had clout at MSN he canceled that schtick. I'll keep my eyes open.

But again, the score right now on the national broadcast media is something like

Left 3 -- Center 150 -- Right 300.
I'm not comparing Olbermann to any ideal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 2:58 PM
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313: Of course it is. There is an entire class of jokes like this where part of the `funny' is in-group signaling that you are all somehow insulated from the original meaning, and therefore it's safe to appropriate.

For what it's worth, at one time I knew a lot of whores. And pimps. And people who had probably been at both ends of prison rapes.

Which I guess is most of the reason that I mostly think people sound stupid when they make these sorts of jokes. Which doesn't mean I can't see how it works.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:00 PM
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Maddow is being talked about as a replacement forTucker Carlson preceding Matthews. Tucker has very weak ratings in addition to being a nasty winger twerp. (Matthews' ratings are not strong).

The slot after Olbermann is mediocre too. The guy, forget his name, does seem to be swinging more left recently.

One thing that I think I've noticed, someties buy not always, is that the print people from the Post or Newsweek seem to accomadate themselves to Olbermann's slant a little. Not sure of this. But I think that TV is in the drivers' seat, and that print journalists cater to TV.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:02 PM
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Seriously, why? The remark is offensive.

I don't know who Shuster is, other than an idiot who thinks that a child supporting their mother is "unseemly," but he's either been suspended from or lost his job over the remark and I'm trying to figure out how offensive it is.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:05 PM
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One weird thing about the Chelsea comments is that Chelsea is 27 and has a graduate degree. Shuster seemed to think that she was still 13.

One doubts that Shuster protested when Limbaugh attacked her when she really was 13, of course.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:06 PM
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The remark itself, in isolation, isn't that offensive. In light of the amount of publicity that's been being shed lately on The Media for sexist bullshit (including a protest at Fox News in DC a few days ago), it was a pretty major professional fuckup.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:07 PM
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318: That, and the fact that nobody would even remember her name if it weren't for Bills presidency.

`Womans grown daughter works on her nomination campaign' isn't going to make many headlines.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:08 PM
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314: I think we agree on all but the most fine-grained details of this issue. And we might even agree about those.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:33 PM
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I think it's very difficult to blame her for increasing military spending in a time of war.

I'm talking about the massive expansion of *base* military spending, above and beyond the war costs. Sorry, inside baseball, the press has not covered this as much as they should have (surprise...). Folding on this issue is a party-wide problem, not just Hillary. But her prominence and her position on Armed Services (which in Levin has a pretty liberal Democratic senior member) makes her passivity more disappointing.

It's fair for you to think that's wishful thinking. Just like it's fair for people to think that voting for Obama because he's going to change the country is wishful thinking.

True 'nuff. It takes a heavy dose of wishful thinking to wholeheartedly support just about any politician.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:34 PM
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318: One doubts that Shuster protested when Limbaugh attacked her when she really was 13, of course.

Or John McCain when he did the same when she was a few years older. (In fact there was pretty much a media blackout of his comments.)

And I am right there with John on Olbermann. In a perfect world he is still doing sports somewhere, in this world he is a relative breath of fresh air.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:51 PM
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316

Dan Abrams.

I used to try to get to the gym (with escalators!) by 8 so I could run on the treadmill and watch Countdown because its "Bush inequity of the day" format let me channel my rage constructively. But they've changed their cable package so now it's Sweatin' to Law and Order SVU.


Posted by: ixnaythemetier | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 3:55 PM
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Maybe this is because, thanks to Iceberg Slim and 50 Cent, "pimp" is coded for me as a racially-loaded term rather than something that fits into any kind of sexist narrative.

This really slays me. A pimp is a guy in fancy clothes who gets his money...how?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 4:02 PM
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I just remembered a positive substantive Hillary/Obama contrast. A series of posts about Hillary how seeks out and promotes young women so that they get experience they wouldn't otherwise have.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 4:10 PM
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How Hillary seeks out and promotes young women so that they get experience they wouldn't otherwise have.

Just like her....... oh, never mind.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 4:48 PM
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What's our best chance at influencing some of the Cabinet picks, regardless of the nominee?

Bundle contributions.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 5:04 PM
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A late thought:

One of the really important areas that isn't getting any more attention than it usually does, alas, is preparedness. This is something a good chief executive can do a lot about (and so can a bad one). Obama's pushed legislation on avian flu preparedness, nuclear non-proliferation, and other matters that would help reduce the number of pending crises. The punditocracy doesn't like such things much because (I'm thinking these days) they like the rush of other people in peril, but those of us who actually like life and dignity should be paying attention. If Clinton has a record on that kind of thing, I don't know about it yet - and that's an invitation, not a denunciation, given that her husband was quite good on a lot of these things in his administration.

Some of these issues have strong association with gender, race, class, and the like; others don't. But they add up to quality of life via what doesn't happen and doesn't consume resources that could have gone elsewhere.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 5:46 PM
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Correction for the record: folks didn't protest FOX; they protested MSNBC. Not having cable, I misremembered which network Chris Matthews is on--I was reminded by this article.

Which by the way, of *course* Clinton's folks saying that they might not debate on MSNBC because of the "pimping" remark is a political ploy--they're trying to capitalize on the shitty remark to solidify their feminist support. (It was still a shitty remark, though.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 6:54 PM
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The comment section at Matt Yglesias of the David Shuster thread.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:50 PM
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216: a four year or eight year pause in these policies is not really sufficient. The Bush administration doing all of this & getting away with it is a terrible, terrible precedent, sitting around like a loaded gun.

Just dealing with the FISA stuff is probably going to take at least two terms in the presidency. Part of the surveillance debate that ended this week - but hasn't gotten much attention with the immunity fight coming up next week - was over the sunset provision in the new bill. The republicans + some democrats held the line at 6 years instead of 4.

I suppose Congress could take it up anytime in the future, but almost certainly the next time wiretapping gets discussed it'll be under whoever gets elected in 2012. For most people this is a side issue anyway, so who's going to take the political risk and push for another revision until the law nears expiration?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:53 PM
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Matt gets a lot of crazies.

Olbermann very forcefully condemned Shuster's remark while also saying (as Josh Micah Marshal also did) that Shuster was a good reporter.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:54 PM
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Hilzoy's Post, with comments ...let me try to be scrupulous here

1) 1st subject:Isn't this video really bad? Does no one at the HRC campaign understand today's youth?
2) Shuster
3) Ann Coulter
4) Ethanol

Comments are not all as bad as at Matt's but the night is young


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 8:07 PM
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