Re: The Campaign

1

I am for Obama, but what does "corporate feminism" mean?


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:06 PM
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In the course of Hillary Clinton's historic run for the White House ... she has been likened to Lorena Bobbitt (by Tucker Carlson); a "hellish housewife" (Leon Wieseltier); and described as "witchy," a "she-devil," "anti-male" and "a stripteaser" (Chris Matthews).

And bossy (by ogged).


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:18 PM
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Not the point of the article but this:
As comedian Chris Rock quipped, Bush "fucked up so bad that he's made it hard for a white man to run for President."

is great.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:18 PM
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Chris Rock is our foremost political commentator.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:20 PM
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3- He did address the Racism vs. Sexism issue directly by saying he's never seen a 'No White Women' sign. Brilliant.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:23 PM
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Actually, I thought that one was oversimplified. I did really like his defense of Wright though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:25 PM
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I really liked this piece.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:40 PM
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The idea that black folks could be engaged in the process of being rulers over not just black folks but over the nation as a whole struck me as very powerful.

Bob was right! Also, keep repeating this if you want John McCain to win.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:43 PM
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The Wright, Farrakhan and Ayers controversies have been fueled by a craven media, and ABC's performance in the debate has rightly been condemned. But given that Clinton is the one who is running for President and who purports to represent liberal ideals, her complicity in such attempts to establish guilt by association is far more troubling.

Very good article. My major disagreement is that I think Reed gets some of the cause/effect stuff backwards. Clinton is the way she is because ABC is the way it is, not vice versa.

(And yes, that's oversimple. Obviously there are feedback loops in this.)

That said, this seems correct to me:

"It is such a distressing, ugly period. Clinton has manipulated ideas about race, but Obama has not manipulated similar ideas about gender."

That's true. Obama's hands are quite clean.

Hillary people often defend her (as I did above) by saying that she is willing to do what it takes to get elected. The implicit Obama response - the correct response - is, well, she isn't getting elected, is she ?

My primary reason for supporting Edwards, then Obama, is that I see them as game-changers. If the game wasn't going to change, I would have taken some consolation in my general election vote for a Democrat who at least knew how to play the game.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:47 PM
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The color of Obama's skin is not totally irrelevant to the success of his campaign. No, he is not the "Black Candidate" in the sense of the candidate of and for blacks but he is black. Yes blacks will vote against black candidates, and blacks will vote for white candidates, but all else being equal, will be more likely to vote for the black candidate over the white, and there is nothing wrong with that.

While I was walking the dogs today, I worked on a list of necessary and contingent conditions for the success of Obama in defeating Clinton. I think the necessary contingencies of a political season are interesting.

The Clintons have never had much trouble gettig black support or votes, and much of my doubt about Edwards a year ago was believing that he couldn't win Southern states against Clinton in view of her historical black support. Granted there are many other reasons Obama was an attractive candidate, granted great organization & campaign, yet still only a black candidate could have defeated Clinton this year. Yet that wasn't determinative or the perhaps most important contingency.

So 1) Black

2) anti-war.

One could imagine Colin Powell switching parties and running against Clinton. Wouldn't have worked, because much of the Obama coalition would have found Powell unacceptable. (Parenthetical...my personal opinion is that the antiwar position is the least contingent, least sincere, most calculated part of the Obama platform)

But black & anti-war would not have been enough. Rangel or Holmes-Norton again wouldn't have gotten the granola crowd's fervent worship. so

3) Young, intellectual, waycool, yuppiefied. This is the swing bloc, not enough in their enthusiasm and committment to win the election by themselves but I think determinative. Feminists-against-the-war.

4) From Illinois? There would have been disadvantages for Obama if he had been from NYC or LA or the Deep South. It probably helped Obama in Iowa, and having the large early Illinois victory granted him momentum & credibility.

5) Bi-partisanship and ties to UoC? The admiration of Sullivan et al help create the narrative of the anti-Clinton, and helped a little in the caucus states and open primaries. Contingent or calculated?

6) Orator, attractive

7) Good government type?

Now I know it is absolute evil to mention any of these items as factors, and all Obama voters simply studied his platform before they were offended by the racist evil Clintons who they always loved before blah blah.

But it is fascinating to me that I really can't imagine Clinton being defeated by a primary opponent without these characteristics, and yet these characteristics are contingencies.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 3:59 PM
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Hillary people often defend her (as I did above) by saying that she is willing to do what it takes to get elected.

The problem with this sort of thought is (obviously, I'm not being original here) that it's not as if opportunities for compromise will just dry up if she is elected.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:03 PM
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Good to be reminded what a goddamned tool Richard Cohen is.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:07 PM
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12 may be the wrongest thing ever said in the history of Unfogged.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:09 PM
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One can imagine, black or not, an anti-war candidate closer to in rhetoric to Edwards:class-war populism. Kucinic? Obviously wouldn't have worked, the beltway would have turned against such a candidate as they turned against Edwards.

Yet I believe the moderate-liberal economic position of Obama is sincere, from his history of contacts with the Universiy of Chicago, i.e, a contingency.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:10 PM
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Alma Powell was so concerned that her husband would be assassinated that she forbade him to run for President. I wonder what she thinks of Obama's run. Think of the fun we would be having if the race were Powell vs. Clinton in the general election. I think Jesse Jackson's head would melt if it were Powell vs. Obama.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:13 PM
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Hillary people often defend her (as I did above) by saying that she is willing to do what it takes to get elected.

Yes, but that's mostly due to the general Internet tendency -- left, right and center -- to pretend to be Sergeant-Major Colossal Badass, M.D., who sees through the veils of society to what has to be done, vae victis, in the lantern-jawed certainty that history will vindicate the moral compromises of today, and smile wistfully at the qualms of the white-livered herd.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:19 PM
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The article linked, of course, is pernicious propaganda.

Clinton must feel like she was hit by a truck. That all the necessary factors for her defeat could appear embodied should astonish the rest of us. She should feel like Job.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:19 PM
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15:But that is my point. Colin Powell ws never, and could never be a viable Presidential Candidate. He doesn't have a Party. If you think Powell could have gotten the Republican nomination, you just need to check with the Republican Black Congressional Caucus.

Could a "hawk" get the Democratic nomination? Well, not this year, and not a black socially conservative hawk.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:24 PM
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I don't know, Bob. There was a very funny SNL skit just after GWI where a joint session of Congress was wildly cheering the General, including VP Quayle (MJ Fox). GHWB (Dana Carvey) is clearly reconsidering his running mate for the coming election.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:30 PM
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Clinton must feel like she was hit by a truck. That all the necessary factors for her defeat could appear embodied should astonish the rest of us.

Because a good candidate being beaten by a better candidate has never, ever happened before.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:30 PM
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Now if you want to disagree, you can try to come up with a white anti-war candidate who could have prevented the Clinton strategy from working. We can assume that Clinton expected anti-war opposition, but knew her justifiably expected minority support would lead to massive wins on Super-Tuesday and lock-up the nomination.

Which is why she didn't have a strong white anti-war opponent.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:33 PM
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That all the necessary factors for her defeat could appear embodied should astonish the rest of us.

The appearance of those necessary -- but insufficient -- factors are merely surprising, not astonishing.

What's astonishing is that she could be so unable to adapt to the facts on the ground that she's losing the nomination.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:34 PM
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20 doesn't say much, since it doesn't go into what makes a good candidate good or better, in a particular year.

It is like saying that a Vietnam hawk could have won the Democratic nomination in 1972, had she had McGovern's grassroots organization. I beg to differ.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:40 PM
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19: If I'm quick on the trigger, I'll beat bob in pointing out that there is a reason this was an SNL skit, and not reality.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:43 PM
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are merely surprising, not astonishing.

Oh c'mon. The thread below discussed how unusual it was to have a successful anti-war candidacy in time of war.

And we are combining that with the first successful black candidacy? Astonishing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:45 PM
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It's a very good article that seems slightly off, somehow. I continue to think this primary is primarily about coalitions, both at the national level and within the elite superstructure in DC. The article seems to suggest that, by indicating that HRC's campaign has used race and gender without claiming that the campaign itself believes or is committed to any odious beliefs.

I think it's a bit funny that HRC's all-but-express reason to continue running--"he can't win but I can"--sits in direct opposition to Steinem's thesis. I wouldn't have minded seeing that in a parenthetical phrase.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:45 PM
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It is certainly not outside the realm of possibility that a popular general of a popular war be considered as a good candidate for the Presidency, especially if he serves some time as Vice President.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:48 PM
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I don't even know that it should be that surprising. Hillary didn't run in '04 because she thought she'd be stronger and the Republican candidate would be weaker in '08. But everyone else with a brain knew that this was going to be the best chance in a long time for a Democrat to get elected president and prepared for the opportunity as well. What would have gotten the nomination in normal times just didn't cut it.

I should also say that I'm overjoyed that it looks like we'll have an actual presidential candidate who is too young to have to answer questions about what he did or felt during the Vietnam War. Our long national nightmare is at an end.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:50 PM
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Steinem's thesis

What was Steinem's thesis?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:51 PM
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29: At the highest levels--to wit, in a race for the presidency--a black man will be able to win while a woman won't, because, at those levels, sexism is more of an obstacle than racism.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:54 PM
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It's really really hard to knock off as strong a frontrunner as HRC, & Obama seems to have done it, but I don't know that you can say that ALL those characteristics were necessary because Obama's coalition is not the only conceivable one. Give Edwards a no vote on Iraq, no antiwar competition, & Obama's rhetorical talents & I think he has a pretty decent shot. It may be that there was no other actual existing candidate who could've done it, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any conceivable candidate.

On another note, apropos of the last thread: McCain calls for the formation of a League of Nations.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:54 PM
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I don't think it's contingent as all that, like Katherine says, and I don't think this primary would still be going on if Obama were a white guy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 4:55 PM
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So, in sum: 1) Clinton has had a hard row to hoe, but 2) Has nevertheless hoed it badly*, running a campaign so much sleazier than her opponent that it calls her very liberalism into question, while 3) Corporate feminism has so thoroughly lost touch with its egalitarian and progressive roots as to be okay with that, and 4) Many who would otherwise have supported her, including young feminists, are now saying "WTF? No thanks." Aside from the article's brief implicit endorsement of the whirlyeyed Obamabots meme, sounds about right.

(* Sexist!)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:02 PM
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I was always skeptical that Clinton would take the nomination, precisely because of the Iraq vote. If you take away that, she probably would have coasted to the nomination. And it has to be just killing her inside, since it was supposed to be the vote that showed she was hairy-chested enough to be president.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:02 PM
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. Give Edwards a no vote on Iraq, no antiwar competition, & Obama's rhetorical talents & I think he has a pretty decent shot.

I think that all you needed was an anti-war vote, originally, by Edwards. While I don't doubt his sincere concern about poverty, I think the vote for war forced him farther off the neoliberal track--which I think is the dominant one, by a lot, among the party movers and shakers--than he would otherwise have wanted to go. Absent that lacking (or those two lackings), Edwards was pretty much brewed from the political flack's fantasies: white southern male with working class background who is great looking without being effeminate, who spoke really, really well, and who excited his partisans. He looked like Obama in '04, but without the (very important) anti-war cred.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:03 PM
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34 is right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:04 PM
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a black man will be able to win while a woman won't, because, at those levels, sexism is more of an obstacle than racism

I guess she thinks she was proved fucking right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:06 PM
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I guess she thinks she was proved fucking right.

Ah, but I'm not arguing otherwise. I'm arguing that the HRC campaign is now arguing that she's wrong. That's the intended significance of all these stories claiming that the campaign continues because it is sure that Obama can't win (and HRC can).

And 34 is right.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:09 PM
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30: That seems manifestly untrue; a Hillary Clinton running against someone other than a Barack Obama could win; a woman with similar positives and fewer of Clinton's negatives could win the nomination against a Barack Obama.

I think this primary demonstrates pretty clearly that, at the highest levels -- t.w.i.a.r.f.t.p. -- the characteristics of individual politicians and the particular circumstances of any given US presidential election can matter more than either gender or race to the electorate.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:10 PM
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I guess she thinks she was proved fucking right.

Which is of course, wrong. Senator Clinton's particular baggage is not the same as say Speaker Pelosi's. And it is not because of their plumbing.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:11 PM
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or, pwnd.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:12 PM
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You can also look at it from the opposite angle, & conclude not that Obama is the laboratory designed perfect candidate to beat HRC, but that 2008 is the laboratory designed perfect year for someone like Obama to actually have a really good shot at getting elected.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:19 PM
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In dorm-room conversations long before either CLinton or Obama were presidential candidates, I've been persuaded and subsequently argued that sexism would outlast racism in presidential politics. Whatever the particulars vis-a-vis 39, I think it's telling that black women swung overwhelmingly to Obama. (Though they say Oprah's ratings are down! Did I read that here?)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:20 PM
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but that 2008 is the laboratory designed perfect year for someone like Obama to actually have a really good shot at getting elected.

That's what I think.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:20 PM
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42 pwned by 3.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:23 PM
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How does the second sentence of 43 relate to the first?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:24 PM
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(I have said in the past--in 2004--that Obama was the political equivalent of the robot girl in Weird Science for me: as if he was designed specifically to appeal to me. But (1) he then pissed me off often enough in the Senate that he became only my second favorite Illinois Senator & I didn't jump on the presidential bandwagon until after Iowa (2) appealing to me is generally a very lousy predictor of political success, even in Democratic primaries. It's not just that I supported Bradley in 2000 & Dean in 2004--I believe I wrote a handwritten letter offering to volunteer for Tom Harkin while babysitting one night in 1992, though I'm not sure I actually sent it.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:25 PM
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18

"But that is my point. Colin Powell ws never, and could never be a viable Presidential Candidate. He doesn't have a Party. If you think Powell could have gotten the Republican nomination, you just need to check with the Republican Black Congressional Caucus."

I don't think this is correct, Powell would have had a shot in a weak divided field. Like McCain.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:28 PM
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46: Racial solidarity has proven stronger than gender solidarity. There are some missing thoughts in between.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:30 PM
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47: Now we know why Harkin didn't go far. He needed you, Katherine. You let him down.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:33 PM
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Hey, Harkin won Iowa. Better than some other candidates I've supported.

This was when I got most of my political views from my parents' Nation magazines & War Resister's League newsletters, before I married an economist & got all "reasonable liberal"ish.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:36 PM
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49: Racial solidarity has proven stronger than gender solidarity.

So does that mean that sexism has outlasted race, or the reverse?

On the one hand, racial solidarity has always been stronger than gender solidarity, which is something that black feminists are constantly telling their white counterparts to little apparent effect. Race and class make for enough of a difference between the experiences of the groups involved that gender has never automatically bridged the gap.

On the other hand, Obama's winning the black vote was no foregone conclusion. The doubts among black Americans that the son of African immigrant could really be an African-American were real. Obama had to woo aggressively and get an assist from Clinton's aggressive sleaziness to dominate that demographic as he now is.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:46 PM
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Hey Katherine, I bet you've covered this before, but what in particular has pissed you off about what Obama's done (or not done) in the Senate? I always feel pretty bad about my lack of knowledge on those sorts of particulars regarding the less-heralded actions of our legislators.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 5:57 PM
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It is indeed an excellent article, not least because it manages *both* to object to Clinton and her campaign in strong terms *and* to do so in a way that not only isn't misogynist, but recognizes that a lot of shit about Clinton's "tone" and "likability" is, indeed, misogynist, as well as to acknowledge the gender issues involved in her hawkishness.

Wish more people could do that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:00 PM
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54: It also doesn't conflate Clinton's Democratic detractors with Chris Matthews and doesn't bring up the gender issues as an excuse, which is a nice change of pace.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:05 PM
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72-16 in Iowa and 78-19 in South Carolina, but sure the black vote was always up or grabs and the sleaze probably cost HRC 2-3% of the black thereafter. Some moved to Obama when they saw him a winner. What's more interesting is how many white votes the sleaze cost Clinton, all those anti-war types who would have voted for her but the Jesse Jackson remark just totally disilusioned them.

An honest accounting of this election will be hard to come by.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:07 PM
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55: Who present has conflated D. critics with Matthews or used the gender issues as an excuse?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:08 PM
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56 to 52

I'm outa here.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:09 PM
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An honest accounting of this election will be hard to come by.

Especially from you.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:09 PM
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57: Oh, pretty much nobody, just like nobody present takes "tone" and "likability" criticisms seriously. We're all just talking here.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:12 PM
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Clinton was drawing anti-war support? Huh.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:12 PM
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59

52:Obama had to woo aggressively and get an assist from Clinton's aggressive sleaziness to dominate that demographic as he now is.

Like I said 72-16 in Iowa and 78-19 in SC and up thereafter. I think the facts support me rather than your bullshit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:13 PM
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60: Maybe I'm overly sensitive, but I think there are people who sincerely hate her. And that makes me extremely uncomfortable.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:17 PM
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they say Oprah's ratings are down!
never thought about it before
would Oprah ever run for presidency?
maybe she could win i guess if she runs


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:25 PM
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Oh, yawn. There's nothing Democrats like better than a Jesuitical parsing of the particulars of "racism" or "sexism". People are both intrigued by and suspicious of difference, that's normal and natural and mainly problematic when it morphs into hatred. People weren't supposed to notice, for better and for worse, that Obama is the half-African son of an absent Kenyan father who grew up in Indochina and Hawaii? When they normally notice how tall a Presidential candidate is, their hairstyle, the tone of their voice, or in Kerry's case, that their face kind of reminds you of a horse? Whatever.

Hillary has dealt with more raw misogyny in this campaign than Obama has dealt with raw race hatred. Although that raw hatred is out there among the electorate, Obama has received generally respectful coverage while some have barely been able to conceal a misogynistic hatred for Hillary. The main impact of racism in this campaign has been some mild reluctance to fully recognize that yes, blacks get a full vote, not 3-5ths of one, and dominating the black vote is as legit a way to win primaries as any others.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:27 PM
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63: I don't hate her, but earlier in the campaign I could say that I'd happily vote for either candidate. I can no longer say that. I'd vote for her, but I'd have to hold my metaphorical nose. Which is tougher to reach than my regular one.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:28 PM
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Indonesia. A very telling error. No more needs to be said.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:29 PM
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62: Clinton had a 26-point lead among black voters in late 2007 before caucusing began. The big shift of black voters toward Obama took place
after Iowa, when people began to believe he had a shot at winning, and (probably not coincidentally) when bickering over race began to infect the campaign. I may be over-weighting the sleaze factor, but no, it was not a foregone conclusion that Clinton would lose the black vote.

63: Yes, when people feel badly betrayed by a person, some of them will come to genuinely despise them. That's sort of the way these things go and has nothing particularly to do with Tweetyism.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:32 PM
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I long for the good old days of U.S. imperialist domination over Indochina. I believe there was Jim Crow back then too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:32 PM
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How much misogyny did Margaret Thatcher encounter? More or less than Hillary Clinton? And what was the source of any differential treatment misogyny wise?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:35 PM
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Both are true, however. H. Clinton has massive flaws, since she's an unreconstructed DLC Democrat who still works with Penn. (Gore and Dean are reconstructed DLC Dems who've learned a lot since 1988, whereas Hillary and Penn are still replaying the same old tape).

But Hillary-hatred has a personal, venomous edge to it, and some of it comes from people who don't have any real problems with the DLC, and some of the liberal Hillary-haters are unjustifiably intense.

As I've said, the problem is that Hillary is not just a powerful woman, but also the wrong kind of powerful woman. It's comparable to the unfair treatment of Dukakis and Gore because of unimportant personal quirks, but it's more intense.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:37 PM
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68

"... it was not a foregone conclusion that Clinton would lose the black vote."

I think it more or less was given a competitive black candidate.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:37 PM
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We've covered it before, but the British seem to be much more accepting of smarty-pants women. There's a whole strong of Oxford-Cambridge lady dons who were professionally respected and very sharp tongued: Mary Douglas, Joan Robinson, and perhaps a dozen philosophers and novelists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:39 PM
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given a competitive black candidate

Kinda begs the question, doesn't it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:40 PM
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I think the facts support me rather than your bullshit.

Reread #58, four comments up, and written just four minutes prior, before you start talking about bullshit and honest accounting.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:41 PM
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71: Some of the Hillary-hatred conforms to a personally venomous misogynistic pattern, some of it doesn't. I'm pretty much in line with stras at this point, and I don't think it's especially "personal" or "venomous" to despise sleaze, warmongering (gender-motivated or not) and recklessly disregard for the fortunes of your own party and country for the sake of personal power.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:42 PM
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I think it more or less was given a competitive black candidate.

...defined as a candidate to whom Hillary would lose the black vote.

I mean, I think a candidate like Obama -- who has political and leadership skills that are flat-out superior to Hillary in numerous respects, but is black -- is of course going to receive a particularly rapturous reception from the black community. But you know, with good reason. An inferior black candidate? Not so much.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:42 PM
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But Hillary-hatred has a personal, venomous edge to it, and some of it comes from people who don't have any real problems with the DLC, and some of the liberal Hillary-haters are unjustifiably intense.

I'd have loved to see what Ann Richards could have done in this environment.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:43 PM
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pwned by 74. Gotta move fast on the logic errors around here.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:43 PM
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to receive a particularly rapturous reception from the black community

...post Iowa. What made Obama's campaign work among black people is that they found out that white people would vote for him. And that only happened because he was the cleanest anti-war candidate.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:44 PM
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68.1:Barack Obama and the Reverse Bradley Effect


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:45 PM
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80: right. Blacks have given civil rights candidates a polite but not overwhelming reception in the Dem primaries. Obama is the first candidate who just *happens to be* minority, that's not the justification for his candidacy. (And it's vital that it not be). But it was in the cards that working-class blacks were going to be more receptive to his message than working-class whites.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:49 PM
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I should also say that I'm overjoyed that it looks like we'll have an actual presidential candidate who is too young to have to answer questions about what he did or felt during the Vietnam War.

I fully expect Obama's associations with Wright and Ayers to be used as a ridiculous proxy for this cluster of issues; incessant attack ads with quotations from them, etc. They are going to make him into an aging Yippie-by-association.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:49 PM
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75:Ok, everybody who swears to leave a thread and doesn't immediately is banned. Anyone who promises not to comment yet does is banned. Anyone who tries to take a break from posting and fails is banned

But as usual this has become about me rather than arguments.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:51 PM
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But Hillary-hatred has a personal, venomous edge to it, and some of it comes from people who don't have any real problems with the DLC, and some of the liberal Hillary-haters are unjustifiably intense.

Yes. Again, I don't have a problem with people not liking her as a candidate, but the level of venom has truly shocked me. Admittedly, I haven't been here for many elections, but I've never seen Democrats speak of another Democratic candidate with such hatred and contempt. Indeed, while many are quick to protest that it's the Clintons or Clintonism to which they object, I don't see anything comparable directed toward Bill.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:52 PM
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I don't see anything comparable directed toward Bill.

Well, Bill's not running.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:54 PM
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I don't see anything comparable directed toward Bill.

He's not running, and the come-to-Jesus moment for a lot of otherwise DLC-philic neolibs was Iraq.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:55 PM
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Hillary has dealt with more raw misogyny in this campaign than Obama has dealt with raw race hatred. Although that raw hatred is out there among the electorate, Obama has received generally respectful coverage while some have barely been able to conceal a misogynistic hatred for Hillary

Yes. To the extent that asking the question whether sexism or racism is currently stronger in this country has any value, it pans out now in terms of which people are more likely to hide, which is least publicly acceptable. In the case at hand it's been much more acceptable to engage in sexist language against Hillary.

That means only that the public at large is more ashamed of racism than it is of sexism, but I'm not sure what it says about the relative strength of the two, as these go unspoken.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:55 PM
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88.2: The far right (now the GOP base) mocks Hillary as a silly nagging woman, and speculates that BarackHusseinObama may be the literal spawn of Satan. I think that hints at the relative strength of the two.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 6:59 PM
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84: Hell, bob, I ban myself for failing or refusing to keep up with threads.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:00 PM
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has nothing particularly to do with Tweetyism.

By which presumably you mean "Chris Matthews is a misogynist, but people I know and like aren't." I just do not buy that it's that simple. Yes, Matthews is a real grade-A asshole, and most people who hate Clinton do not have the obvious problems with all women that Matthews has. No doubt many of them are, by and large, quite decent non-sexist human beings. Nonetheless.

Oh, yawn.

This topic genuinely pains me. Sorry that bores you.

Hillary has dealt with more raw misogyny in this campaign than Obama has dealt with raw race hatred.

I don't know that I agree, and I do know that I think the comparison is completely unhelpful and beside the point.

70: You can't really expect questions that broad to be answered here to your satisfaction, or that sexism and misogyny can be measured on some satisfactory numerical scale to demonstrate "more" or "less." That said, *of course* Thatcher dealt with sexism and misogyny. But the electoral system in the UK is very different than it is here, just as that country's particular issues with sex and gender are different in some ways than ours are; moreover, Thatcher and Clinton, despite both being women! are not, in fact, the same person. In short, the proposed comparison only goes so far.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:04 PM
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speculates that BarackHusseinObama may be the literal spawn of Satan.

That's about his foreignness more than his blackness. And it emanates from the wacked-out religious types.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:04 PM
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I've never seen Democrats speak of another Democratic candidate with such hatred and contempt

And how many Democratic candidates have race-baited their opponents? Granted, not many have had to run against a black candidate, but that was completely over the line for me. I hope Bill and Hillary burn in hell, but not so long ago, I was being more considerate.

(All this isn't to say that there isn't a lot of free-floating sexism that's found a target in GW Clinton, but she deserves whatever she gets.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:05 PM
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89: Not sure I understand. Is the idea that it's worse to be dubbed the spawn of Satan? (Actually I didn't know the far right calls Hillary just a silly nagging woman, and not something worse.)

I realize you're making somewhat of a rhetorical point, but whatever the far right is saying isn't the only measure of sexism vs. racism I'd want to consider. I'm honestly not sure there's any value in the question overall any more. I did once.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:06 PM
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I don't see anything comparable directed toward Bill.

Really? Because a lot of what I see talks about "the Clintons," plural. Back when Bill was running, that sort of move was the far right, and it was clearly misogynist. Now that Hillary's running, the left does it just as often, and somehow it magically isn't misogynist.

Well, Bill's not running.

And yet there's that "Clintons," plural, thing I just mentioned above. Hmm.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:06 PM
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94's "I did once" s/b "I did think there was once"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:07 PM
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I have restricted my hatred mostly to Carville and Penn so far. I don't have to fake it. But in reality, Hillary isn't far different than them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:08 PM
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Okay, I'm going to have to bow out for a while, because I find this "GW Clinton" and "she deserves what she gets" crap really offensive and upsetting.

And plenty of Democratic candidates have used race-baiting when they haven't frankly ignored black Democrats and taken them for granted. Which is *completely not okay*, and no one is saying it is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:09 PM
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Really? Because a lot of what I see talks about "the Clintons," plural. Back when Bill was running, that sort of move was the far right, and it was clearly misogynist. Now that Hillary's running, the left does it just as often, and somehow it magically isn't misogynist.

When Bill was president, his spouse hadn't been president for 8 years and he hadn't had policy roles in those previous administrations. There is a difference.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:09 PM
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74 79

Ok define competitive as capable of getting 35-40% of the votes of non-black Democrats in a two person race. In other words black voters will likely overwhelmingly prefer a black candidate but may be reluctant to waste their vote if they see him as having no chance. As soon as Obama passed the credibility threshhold he was likely to grab most of the black vote.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:11 PM
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93: she deserves whatever she gets

Ogged. I know you're into the blood feud thing and all that, but she doesn't deserve whatever she gets. Some things are just dirty pool, if you will.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:12 PM
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And yet there's that "Clintons," plural, thing I just mentioned above. Hmm.

1. Are you pointing at someone in this thread? The only people to use it here have been pro-HRC.

2. Her campaign is based, in part, around that confusion. How is this not obvious? "The Clintons" have been important for sixteen years because he was President, then she was President-in-Waiting. It's like saying "the Tudors."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:13 PM
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Okay, I'm going to have to bow out for a while, because I find this "GW Clinton" and "she deserves what she gets" crap really offensive and upsetting.

Meh, race-baiting candidates don't get a break because they're female.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:13 PM
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91: By which presumably you mean "Chris Matthews is a misogynist, but people I know and like aren't."

No, by which I mean "there are enough valid reasons to dislike Hillary by this point that people should give up trying to conflate such dislike with misogyny." Some people I know and like are misogynists, I'm sure, but no, the Chris Matthews phenomenon does not account for all of Hillary-hatred and we should be past trying to imply that it does.

92: That's about his foreignness more than his blackness.

How quaint. You may have noticed, however, that xenophobia and racism have this tendency to overlap rather heavily. The article under discussion even spends some time talking about this.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:14 PM
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Some things are just dirty pool, if you will.

It's not clear her campaign agrees. That seemed to be one of the points of the article.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:14 PM
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That's about his foreignness more than his blackness.

But his foreignness has in large part insulated him from attacks on his blackness. It's a big part of what makes him viable - he doesn't conform to existing stereotypes.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:17 PM
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All this isn't to say that there isn't a lot of free-floating sexism that's found a target in GW Clinton, but she deserves whatever she gets.

No. A woman might deserve to be criticized/attacked on any number of grounds, but there's no way to justifiy a specifically sexist attack without supporting the sexism of that attack. If there were, say, a black candidate that you really couldn't stand, would you say that this godawful candidate deserved whatever free-floating racism came his or her way? Of course not.

And anyway, sexist attacks on female politicians don't only, and perhaps don't even primarily, harm the politician in question. The "hellish housewife" label, to cite one of all too many examples, is not only a personal insult directed at Clinton, but also, more broadly, an attack on the legitimacy of women in the public sphere.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:20 PM
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I just don't think Hillary has race-baited Obama. Elections in the U.S. are deeply, intensely irrational...a huge amount seems to be about whether voters feel some kind of pre-rational commonality or tribal bond with the candidate. I don't know how much of that is the mass media and U.S. sophistication at marketing manipulation, and how much is politics everywhere, but it's true in every election, very much including when both candidates are white males.

Hillary received her formative political education in rural Arkansas and Obama received his in inner-city Chicago, she's going to be better at appealing to white working class voters than he is, just as he is better at appealing to black voters. Trying to build a common identity with voters is part of contemporary politics. Pointing out difference is just not the same as mobilizing race hatred. Obama is different than rural white working class voters in all kinds of salient ways, and they might trust Hillary more than him. It's fair game for Hillary to build on that, and up to Obama to build the bond in competition with her.

The key has been that Obama is much, much better at appealing to young and educated idealists (of any race), because he's more thoughtful, far more eloquent, newer (hasn't been dinged up by decades of political compromises), promises more of a change in a flawed system, and so forth.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:20 PM
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94: Is the idea that it's worse to be dubbed the spawn of Satan?

I can't of anything more inflammatory to dub someone (if you'll pardon the sort-of pun); the only thing close is Hitler (cf. the "fascist cult" meme that was briefly popular among Clinton supporters). If there's casual sexism re: Hillary that goes this far I have yet to see it. And this sort of thing is, I think, useful as a gauge of the depths of this sentiment, if not its breadth.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:22 PM
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107: ok, ok, I don't mean, or shouldn't say, that she deserves sexist attacks. But if a non-sexist bus wants to hit her, I'm on board.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:22 PM
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91

"... In short, the proposed comparison only goes so far."

But might be illuminating none the less. Two differences between Clinton and Thatcher you didn't mention are Thatcher's husband was not himself a powerful politician and Thatcher was the candidate of the rightwing party. Which is better from the overcoming sexism point of view?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:22 PM
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I just don't think Hillary has race-baited Obama.

And you're alone in that view. I'm ok with that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:25 PM
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she's going to be better at appealing to white working class voters

My recollection is that you can be more specific. I think it's southern white working class voters, where # Southern Baptist churches in a county is used as a proxy for southern-ness. I may not be remembering that properly; I believe I saw that a couple of times on Nyhan's blog.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:25 PM
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B, the two things you quote in 95 are from two different people.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:29 PM
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107

"... If there were, say, a black candidate that you really couldn't stand, would you say that this godawful candidate deserved whatever free-floating racism came his or her way? Of course not."

Well, Clarence Thomas attracts a lot of free-floating racism and it doesn't seem to bother lefties too much.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:29 PM
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I've been around this kind of issue for a long time.

1991--about 1995: Hated Bill Clinton. Hillary was very secondary.

About 1995--2000: Clinton-hatred on hold during impeachment. Realized that most Clinton-haters were winger sick puppies. Defended Bill.

2000--present: Lived in a world where disgusting winger Clinton haters were thick on the ground, but allowed my Clinton-hatred to revive somewhat once impeachment was off the table. Noticed an extremely nasty streak of Hillary hatred right, left, and center.

Recent: tried to control Clinton-hatred.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:31 PM
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Also, how is "GW Clinton" sexist?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:31 PM
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And honestly, to put down the venom directed at Hillary to sexism just pisses me off. If you do that, you really are abetting racism at this point. Republicans are the party of racists, not Democrats. That is the main difference between them and has been for decades now. This is why, I would have presumed, most of us would "never" vote for a Republican. We can't let racism creep into the Democratic party; it's just wrong. And Hillary Clinton is using race to further a quixotic campaign, the point of which is her personal advancement. That is utterly loathesome, and any lament about the sexism she's faced (and she's faced a lot), should be couched in a thousand caveats about what worthless shits she and her husband are.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:32 PM
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sexist attacks on female politicians don't only, and perhaps don't even primarily, harm the politician in question. The "hellish housewife" label, to cite one of all too many examples, is not only a personal insult directed at Clinton, but also, more broadly, an attack on the legitimacy of women in the public sphere.

Exactly.

114: yes, I know. I often respond to more than one thing in a single comment (like this one).


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:33 PM
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One big difference is that the Prime Minister isn't directly elected, but rather is chosen by the ruling coalition of Parliament. I don't really know how nationalized elections actually are in the UK but I can't see how "Don't vote for your local Tory or a woman will be Prime Minister" works nearly as well as "Don't vote for Hillary or a woman will be President" in terms of sexist appeal.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:33 PM
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I wonder if Mary Catherine remembers the infamous Steve Gilliard "blackface" incident with Michael Steele.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:33 PM
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any lament about the sexism she's faced (and she's faced a lot), should be couched in a thousand caveats about what worthless shits she and her husband are.

Well, I for one assume that everyone here knows I am not supporting her and have been increasingly disappointed and angered by her campaign.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:34 PM
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114: yes, I know. I often respond to more than one thing in a single comment (like this one).

It seemed to me that you were trying to juxtapose the two comments to make a point.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:35 PM
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Also, 118 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:35 PM
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109: Fair enough. I don't think the argument (whether sexism or racism is worse in our society) is worth having in its general form. That said, the distinction between the depth and the breadth of these things is helpful: one might suggest that racism runs deep but is not quite as broad (as it once was), while sexism is the reverse.

That's open to a great deal of objection, however, so much so that I fear to even let it stand.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:35 PM
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116: You need to work all 12 steps of the programme, John. Admit that you are powerless over your Clinton-hatred; come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity; and etc.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:36 PM
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We can't let racism creep into the Democratic party; it's just wrong.

This is weird. You think the Democratic party is institutionally innocent of racism? (Not talking about history here, I mean the post-Dixiecrat party). Racism is terrible, but you sound like Hillary was the moment when the Democrats lost their racial innocence.

This is not actually the case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:36 PM
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125: It's a thorny question, no doubt about that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:37 PM
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117: Calling someone out of their name is inherently disrespectful. Folks have *consistently* refused to refer to Clinton as Clinton, and they've offered all sorts of excuses for not doing so. And we all know that while male public figures get referred to by their surnames, women don't, and that implying that women need to somehow prove themselves worthy of that very base-level mark of respect is a serious problem.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:37 PM
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123: I wasn't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:38 PM
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128: DS, maybe we should just go smoke a joint or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:39 PM
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You think the Democratic party is institutionally innocent of racism?

Of course not, but using race as an explicit (not explicit enough for PGD, but explicit in any case) tactic in appeals to the public is something else again. And in a high profile campaign like this one, it seems really damn important to send a message that race-baiting is totally intolerable.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:40 PM
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to put down the venom directed at Hillary to sexism just pisses me off.

Even if someone is spitting venom at Hillary for rationally justified reasons, s/he could still be spitting it in a sexist way. If George W. Bush were a woman, people would be calling her a fucking whore cunt bitch who needs to get raped. Would she deserve it?

(OTOH, "bush is a bitch" actually gets more hits than "clinton is a bitch." On the other hand, none of the top 10 hits for the latter search are referring to Bill, while 3 of the top 10 for the former are referring to Bush's wife or mother.)


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:41 PM
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I am sorry to keep picking on B, but 129: the "GW Clinton" nickname does use her surname.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:41 PM
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I am on board with Parsimon's 125.1 as a starting point for responding to DS's "spawn of Satan" business.

Yes, it is worse to be the spawn of Satan than to have to iron a shirt, but I think the campaign has revealed more shall-we-say generalized ambivalence about women in the public sphere than about black people.

I think it's also telling that the racist attacks on Obama have had to dress themselves up as suspicion of his religion and nationality. Can you imagine the equivalent, in racial terms, of "every man hears an angry wife" or whatever it was? You could, but you'd need George Wallace to say it.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:42 PM
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131: Already am! You, uh, wanna toke?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:42 PM
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I shouldn't get into this, because while I disagree with you that her campaign tactics were fairly describable as race-baiting, I don't know how to have the argument without sounding as if I'm taking the position that nothing she's said has been wrong at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:43 PM
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She really is doing just so terribly among the black vote now--she's getting Republican numbers.

The Wright thing is totally, blatantly connected to race, PGD: Obama isn't a scary angry black man, but he KNOWS ONE. I think that's part of the reason why the Clinton campaign has been relatively restrained about pushing that line of attack compared to their utter inability to pass up every single other cheap shot.

And why is Michelle Obama's college thesis more of a liability to her husband than Cindy McCain's drug whatnot? Race.

Clinton;s campaign lately hasn't been about racebaiting so much as leftbaiting though.

Over all, I'd say that he's faced comparable level of race-based attacks to her gender-based attacks--but he & his campaign have a much cleaner record on refraining from gender-related attacks than she & her campaign do on refraining from race-related attacks.

129: B, I use Hillary & Clinton interchangeably, & her damn bumper stickers say Hillary. No one calls Pelosi Nancy. There is one famous politician in the U.S. named Hillary & two named Clinton. And it is also incredibly common to use disparaging nicknames to disparage politicians people don't like. She gets a lot of sexist crap, but I really don't see it on that one.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:44 PM
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it seems really damn important to send a message that race-baiting is totally intolerable.

It does. And that would be a lot better if people could do it--again, as in the article you linked--without excusing or ignoring sexism, for much the same reason that refusing to tolerate misogyny should be done without excusing or ignoring racism.

134: You know perfectly well what I meant.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:44 PM
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137 to 132.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:44 PM
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135: I think it's also telling that the racist attacks on Obama have had to dress themselves up as suspicion of his religion and nationality.

Well, this is how racism generally dresses itself in the current age; it's not necessarily less virulent for that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:45 PM
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Can you imagine the equivalent, in racial terms, of "every man hears an angry wife" or whatever it was?

I actually agree that Clinton has faced more overt sexism than Obama has racism, but not from him. So there are two issues here: first, the possibly comity-having one of what's more problematic for a candidate in 2008 America, and second, why Hillary Clinton should burn in hell.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:45 PM
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B, I really want to understand where you're coming from, but 129 just seems way over the top to me. I'm with you that referring to Sen. Clinton as "Hillary" has some inherent sexism, but the point of "GW Clinton" is to compare her to the current president because of her recently expressed disdain for the opinions of experts. (Also, it reminds me of this guy, which is hilarious.)

In other words, I don't believe that "disrespect" directed at a woman is necessarily sexist, especially in this case, as it's because of her policies. The criticism here is exactly the same as the criticism of McCain: that they're just like Bush.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:46 PM
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And to continue in a theme, one big difference between the sexism and racism things as pertains to this election: If someone doesn't like the way Clinton is running her campaign, they might take that feeling and express it as a sexist insult. On the other hand, if someone doesn't like Obama because of their feelings about black people, they might express it by saying how his pastor offends them.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:47 PM
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I still say racism is both more pervasive & less socially acceptable.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:47 PM
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Oh meh, pwned by everybody.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:48 PM
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139.2: Well, no, since your objection is irrelevant to the question you were asked, I don't. Since male candidates accrue insulting nicknames all the time, it is not in fact clear why "GW Clinton" is sexist.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:48 PM
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143: Remember MTV's 1992 Clinton/Brown campaign commercials? Of course, it was George vs James. The big drawback to hip-hop stars making their names all cool is that it will be hard to line up that serendipity for the next generation.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:48 PM
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And honestly, to put down the venom directed at Hillary to sexism just pisses me off. If you do that, you really are abetting racism at this point.

Jesus. No! Geez, Ogged, you recommend the Betsy Reed piece, but you seem determined to miss her point about complexity and nuance, if only for rhetorical effect. It is possible to deplore both the sexism and the racism, and to deplore the sexism is not to support the racism, and vice versa. The primaries are a zero-sum game, more or less, but the sexism versus racism sweepstakes is not.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:49 PM
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Even if someone is spitting venom at Hillary for rationally justified reasons, s/he could still be spitting it in a sexist way.

Yeah, that's an important point. "Any tool to hand" is wrong.

while I disagree with you that her campaign tactics were fairly describable as race-baiting,

"Monster," on the other hand....


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:49 PM
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Pwned by 143.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:50 PM
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110: Ogged, when you get on the bus that HRC is to be hit by, you should be sure that it is not a Fuck Bus. That would be a pretty sexist bus.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:52 PM
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On the other hand, if Ogged had George Clinton in mind, then calling her "GW Clinton" is both sexist AND racist!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:52 PM
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Jesus. No!

Sorry, but yes. Because, like I say in 142, there are two levels of analysis: what they face from the public at large, and what they've faced from each other. If both campaigns had been clean, or were equally dirty, you'd be right, but that's not the case: Clinton has played the race card, and it should be very very difficult for people to defend her in polite society, but not everyone seems to understand that yet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:52 PM
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The Wright thing is totally, blatantly connected to race, PGD: Obama isn't a scary angry black man, but he KNOWS ONE.

Obama doesn't just know Wright, Wright was a close friend, a significant mentor, and a major figure in both his personal and political life. If a white politician had been in a similar relationship to James Dobson or Pat Robinson for a chunk of his career, you and most everybody else here would be mentioning it each and every time you commented on that candidate.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:53 PM
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Having endorsed 118, I am now brazenly flip-flopping to endorse 149.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:53 PM
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Except, PGD, that comparing Wright to Dobson and Robertson is way off.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:53 PM
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Fucking bullshit PGD.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:53 PM
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154: Should we therefore read "very very difficult for people to defend her in polite society" as "now very easy for people to vilify her using sexist language"?

"Hallelujah, she's an asshole, I can finally say she's a cunt!"


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:54 PM
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112: Don't forget Se/an Wil/entz!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:55 PM
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"Monster," on the other hand....

Note that I didn't blame Obama for that. I get the impression that every racially charged thing that's been said in the campaign (which there's been plenty of) is being chalked up as Hillary's individual fault, while nothing that didn't come out of Obama's mouth on camera is sticking to him. (By this I mean that Hillary's getting blamed for too much, not that Obama's getting blamed for too little.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:55 PM
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154: Should we therefore read "very very difficult for people to defend her in polite society" as "now very easy for people to vilify her using sexist language"?

No no, I clarified that bit upthread. I still reserve the right to call Ann Althouse a crone, but it's not right to make sexist attacks on Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:56 PM
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The whole Republican Party has a significant relationship to Falwell, Robertson, and a dozen others equally bad.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:56 PM
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And 149 is excellent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:56 PM
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LB, where have Obama's surrogates, rather than the news media, made sexist remarks?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:57 PM
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but you seem determined to miss her point about complexity and nuance, if only for rhetorical effect. It is possible to deplore both the sexism and the racism, and to deplore the sexism is not to support the racism, and vice versa.

The article also made claims about which campaign hewed much closer to that ideal, which it's not clear you acknowledge.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:57 PM
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But 154 makes a good point, too. Now I have to flip-flop again. Shit.

155: You mean, if Clinton was a member of a creepy religious organization that also included people like Rick Santorum, that would really have legs? Strangely, not so much.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:58 PM
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136: God. Do believe I will.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:59 PM
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Obama may have a closer personal association, but Dobson, Fallwell, & a bunch of equally repugnant people actually have influence on GOP policy. Let me know when Obama consults Wright about vetting his Supreme Court justices for sufficient black militancy. Or compare the obsessive coverage of that to the complete non coverage of Justice Sunday, where Senate aides talk about wanting to "impale" judges. I have no idea which of Bush's friends & acquaintances have views like Wright's because white candidates' entire circle of acquaintances are not considered fair game.

A lot of liberals' reactions to the Wright thing have been somewhere on the spectrum from disappointing to shameful. Mike Tomasky, who is normally great, for example, has been totally lame.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:59 PM
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Hillary's getting blamed for too much

But she just hasn't distanced herself from the attacks, all the way back to Robert Johnson talking about Obama's drug use, to Bill bringing up Jesse Jackson, to the implicit argument behind certain states "not counting," etc. etc. At a certain point, she no longer gets the benefit of the doubt and it becomes clear that it's part of her strategy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:59 PM
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165: Well, Powers calling her a 'monster' -- I don't want to attribute that to Obama, but I'm also not crazy about attributing everything Bob Kerrey says to Clinton.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:59 PM
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165: Jesse Jackson Jr. said some idiotic things but the overall record is nowhere comparable.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 7:59 PM
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162: OK. As long as I can call David Johansen a crone, I'm on board too.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:00 PM
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The "monster" thing as sexist remains ludicrous.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:01 PM
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162: OK. As long as I can call David Johansen a crone, I'm on board too.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:01 PM
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Powers calling her a 'monster'

For which she was booted almost immediately.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:02 PM
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The "monster" thing as sexist remains ludicrous.

Thank you, Katherine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:02 PM
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174: Ludicrous? Really? It doesn't at least tickle your whiskers? To me, monstrosity suggests not only excessive savagery, which could be gender-neutral, but also a grotesque departure from the norm. A female body in a man's role is in monstrous. Not the only usage but a significant enough one to register.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:05 PM
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I get the impression that every racially charged thing that's been said in the campaign (which there's been plenty of) is being chalked up as Hillary's individual fault, while nothing that didn't come out of Obama's mouth on camera is sticking to him

What has his campaign said? I don't think they've had the Ferraro moment, the Cuomo moment, or (let's be serious) the picture to Drudge of Obama swaddled up. And those are the first-thought highlights. Maybe I've forgotten something.

At this point, she's all-but-explicitly running on the premise that we won't elect a black guy. And maybe she's right. But what would you call it if Obama's (or, better, Edwards's) premise was that we wouldn't elect a woman, and his campaign was leaking stories to the press to that effect?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:05 PM
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is in monstrous


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:05 PM
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Dear god, not this discussion again. (I don't even have an opinion.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:05 PM
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Jackson Jr., OTOH, did actually say blatantly sexist stuff--some crap about Clinton crying, I don't remember the details. Obama didn't do much about it, I think largely because it did not become a story du jour & he didn't want to gratuitously piss off the Jackson family--it was much worse than the Power comment. Of course, Jackson Jr. also compared Obama to O.J. Simpson at some point.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:06 PM
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What has his campaign said?

"Periodically." And "claws." And he's all uppity swaggering and stuff.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:07 PM
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Jackson Jr. also compared Obama to O.J. Simpson at some point.

??? That's weird.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:08 PM
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184: It was in 1992. He saw Obama playing football, that's all.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:09 PM
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Dear god, not this discussion again.

Fair enough.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:10 PM
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183: I missed that one when it happened. Is it all right if I say "heh"? Probably not.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:11 PM
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170: Oy. This is an argument I want to get into only gingerly, but the Bill/Jesse Jackson remarks and 'these states don't count' arguments aren't squarely race baiting or racist. They're problematic because they're not actually true, but they're not absurd.

Picture a South made up of states with 60% white voters, and 40% black voters, where all the white voters were Republicans and all the black voters were Democrats, and imagine all black Democrats vote for Obama and all white Democrats vote for Hillary. Under those circumstances, Obama would sweep the South with 100% of the primary vote, but it would make perfect sense for anyone worried about the general not to think of the delegates from those states as meaning much, given that the states were a lock for the Republicans in November.

This isn't the real situation, but it's a recognizable enough caricature that I don't think that alluding to it constitutes racism (see, e.g., TalkLeft. I think Merritt's lost her mind a bit, but not in a way that makes her a racist rather than a Clinton loyalist.) Racial voting patterns are real, safe states and hopeless states are real, and talking about them strategically, even in a way that spins racial voting patterns for your candidate, isn't the sort of thing that's inherently unacceptable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:11 PM
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This is an argument I want to get into only gingerly, but the Bill/Jesse Jackson remarks and 'these states don't count' arguments aren't squarely race baiting or racist

Fine. What about the rest?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:13 PM
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link:

"The natural reminder here is O.J. [Simpson]--how does an African-American candidate attack a white woman?"

I forgot about the "periodically" thing. Man, it's been a long campaign.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:13 PM
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Is it more or less settled that Clinton's campaign has floated a number of things to counter Obama's popularity that we consider deeply problematic, and hasn't done enough to deflect or disown any media-driven racist under- or over-tones?

Yes, it is. Good. And it is settled that despite these behaviors on the part of the Clinton campaign, which some may find downright unforgivable, attacking her in sexist terms is not right. Although many people have done it anyway. And should cut it out. Okay, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:14 PM
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183: You know, I'd have to look it up, but I remember the full 'periodically' quote as being sexist. Not that word -- I don't think it was an allusion to menstruation -- but I recall it being a condescending comment on how upsetting Clinton must be finding the campaign.

I'm really not holding this against Obama: I voted for him, and I think he'll be a better president than she would have. But not all the below the belt blows came from her side.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:15 PM
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If everybody was like parsimon, there wouldn't be blogs. Now the only thing to do is correct my underutilization of the subjunctive.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:16 PM
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Yeah, I can completely sign on to 191.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:17 PM
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But not all the below the belt blows came from her side.

But do you think it's close as to which has sinned more?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:17 PM
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The Slate piece in 190 links to this MSNBC piece about an Iowa voter telling John Edwards that he wanted Obama to disavow the black jury that freed O.J. Amazing,


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:18 PM
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LB, unless it's brazen, any given example of race-baiting is going to have some plausible justification besides race--Republicans make straight-faced claims that they're not racist, too. But then you look at the pattern, and you look at the candidate's reaction, and you decide what they're up to. Given the larger context of not-very-subtle surrogates, and Hillary Clinton's failure to forcefully reject them, even the possibly innocuous comments start to look pernicious, which isn't dispositive in any given case, but is, I think, when it comes to the campaign as a whole.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:19 PM
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The full periodically quote.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:20 PM
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Look, the argument isn't whether Wright is better or worse than (pick your least favorite right-wing preacher here). It's whether the Wright-Obama connection was a legitimate campaign issue for voters to be concerned with. I think it was.
The right wing connection with fundamentalists very much is a legitimate and widely publicized campaign issue, and it definitely does affect votes. It doesn't affect them as much as we'd all like, but that's because of the well-known fact that America is not as liberal as we'd all like (even future hog farm fodder like me).

I think if people don't eventually set it aside given Obama's clear repudiation of Wright and the many other influences Obama had in his career, then probably that is about racism. But I understand why people were exercised about it, especially given the fact that Obama was rather a biographical blank slate to most voters. It seems to already be blowing over with voters, and it's much better that this happened now than in October.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:20 PM
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Except that Clinton hasn't argued that Obama is unlikely to take South Carolina in the general (quite true, but....) It's argued that those states, and any state with too high a black population, should influence superdelegates less because those aren't the right sort of voters; white working class "regular Americans" are the voters whose votes matter in November. (Blacks & liberals, I guess, can be taken for granted). It's not specifically racially motivated, because they are equally happy to marginalize antiwar voters, "elitists" (e.g. overly educated voters), and Obama's entire coalition. But they are still actively contributing to the perception that black voters are real, regular voters. Which I thought we all considered noncontroversially gross when Chris Matthews & assorted other pundits did it--Josh Marshall has complained about that phenomenon for years. It's not just racially problematic--deciding that some voters are more equal than others & you should pander to them & screw the rest of the Democratic is Mark Penn's whole stock in trade. But it's absolutely no surprise that black voters don't take kindly to it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:20 PM
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199: Wright's most "offensive" views do not resemble Obama's & will never ever have any effect on policy & this is blatantly obvious. Smearing a candidate based on his fraternizing with the wrong kind of people, when their offensive views aren't much like his & will have exactly zero effect on how he governs, is just McCarthyism. I suppose in the 1960s you would have thought the attacks on Bayard Rustin were a legitimate issue.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:23 PM
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192.1: Oh, LB. If I wasn't laughing I'd be crying.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:23 PM
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The right wing connection with fundamentalists very much is a legitimate and widely publicized campaign issue, and it definitely does affect votes.

Whose? I'd be astonished if it's in double digits.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:24 PM
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197: Okay, but now listen to yourself. What we're talking about now is not 'brazen' and it's really about 'failure to forcefully reject'. And there's some sexism coming from the Obama camp, and he's got more enthusiastic outsiders doing his work for him in that regard -- he can get all the benefits without getting his hands as dirty.

She ran a rough campaign, and it wasn't innocent; I'm sure she was trying to work the race angle, to the extent she could without looking too bad, or crossing whatever her personal moral line was. I'm equally sure he was trying to work the sex angle to the same extent, and conditions were more favorable for him. I'm not happy with reading that as she should burn in hell forever and his ass smells like fresh-baked cookies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:24 PM
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He wasn't trying to work the sex issue, LB; I think you're applying a truly insane double standard. I mean, I know I support Obama, but it's not like it's just me & ogged who think that he's run a cleaner campaign. Every time they ask about this in an exit poll that's the consensus--including in states where Clinton wins & including polls of her supporters.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:26 PM
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his ass smells like fresh-baked cookies

Oh, that's the dental dam.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:26 PM
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I'm not particularly upset with Clinton for the Wright thing (unless I'm forgetting something. Where's Stras to remind me?), but I do remember that she pushed the much more tenuous Farrakhan connection in a debate, and that was preying on the "black candidate must denounce all radical blacks" rule.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:26 PM
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I'm not happy with reading that as she should burn in hell forever and his ass smells like fresh-baked cookies.

Again, do you think the campaigns were close in sinning?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:27 PM
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208: She did say "the same extent." Not buying it even remotely.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:28 PM
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I'm not particularly upset with Clinton on the Wright thing--I'm upset with the media & the consensus among PGD & many other liberals who ought to know better that it was all totally legitimate & had no racial overtones.

Question: is there any chance in hell of Wright having as much influence on Obama's political decisions as Tony Perkins had on Bush's decisions? How many Americans have heard of Jeremiah Wright & his relationship with Obama, & how many ever heard about Tony Perkins & his relationship with Bush?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:29 PM
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LB, it might be true that Obama and his surrogates have to do less explicit work to capitalize on sexism (might be; I'm genuinely unsure), but it wasn't foreordained that he wouldn't try, and apart from a couple of remarks that, interpreted uncharitably, might be sexist, he hasn't. He gets credit for that. And I'm not buying the equivalence between the campaigns at all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:31 PM
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209: Ah, missed that. Wow. And there's your black female suspicion of mainstream feminism.

-I'm upset with the media & the consensus among PGD & many other liberals who ought to know better that it was all totally legitimate & had no racial overtones.

Yeah, that seems right to me. Similarly, I'm actually less irritated by the Clinton campaign on using race-related tactics than by various defenses and all the shut eyes. But still upset with the Clinton campaign.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:31 PM
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Also, I love how Obama is somehow responsible for the media, which he's supposed to be sinisterly using while keeping his hands clean. That is the sort of thing I was talking about in 55.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:31 PM
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127: You think the Democratic party is institutionally innocent of racism?

Thanks, LB, for voicing what was making me uncomfortable about this thread. And to further that: You think most of us supporting Obama are culturally innocent of racism? Hell no.

So I am a bit disturbed at this juncture for folks whose personal "thresholds" for racism were not tripped in this campaign to be high moral grounding it over the part of the party that fell prey. No one here is perfect on this or any other such issue (other than Stras of course). I hate where the Clinton campaign/media/country got to on this, but for me it is but one of a number of tactics and narratives in this campaign that are disheartening (For instance McCain and I, but not Obama, being "qualified" pissed me off more). Fine, Obama ran a cleaner campaign, get over it, and ourselves.

And practically speaking, with significant chunks of the Democratic electorate right now feeling like they are being accused of racism (rather than the campaign) it is a stupid time for a bunch of holier-than-thou condemnations from the winning side.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:32 PM
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208: I haven't been immersed in the coverage enough to argue this successfully on the basis of having a grasp of everything both campaigns have said as a totality. I do think he's Teflon and she's Velcro: this thread has gone from 'he never did a thing wrong' to listing a number of incidents that we're not going to hold against him.

200:Except that Clinton hasn't argued that Obama is unlikely to take South Carolina in the general (quite true, but....) It's argued that those states, and any state with too high a black population, should influence superdelegates less because those aren't the right sort of voters; white working class "regular Americans" are the voters whose votes matter in November.

Do you read TalkLeft? Because the 'quite true' argument is exactly the one Merritt's been making, and that I understand Clinton supporters generally to be making -- that delegates from unwinnable states are unimportant. I don't think it's a good argument, and it can very easily shade into the very wrong argument you refer to, but you can't say that the argument's being made.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:34 PM
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204: Because suggesting that the opponent might have been a drug dealer is somehow comparable to calling the opponent a name most often used for furry children's characters?


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:35 PM
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I come with one actual incident of sexism from an Obama surrogate that I can think of LB. I think that considering the "periodically" & "monster" thing more sexist than the Clinton's Jesse Jackson/that state doesn't matter because of all the black people is racist is just plain nuts. I don't see how you come up with that conclusion w.o setting the sensitivity-to-sexism sensors an order of magnitude higher than the sensitivity-to-racism sensors.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:37 PM
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Eh. If I keep arguing, I'll get cross and take positions I don't actually hold. Go on with your witchburning, everyone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:37 PM
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216....in an off the record interview with an overseas book reviewer that gets the advisor fired within 48 hours.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:37 PM
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Whose? I'd be astonished if it's in double digits.

You don't think there aren't a significant number of people who would be more inclined to vote Republican if they weren't known to be in bed with religious nuts? The otherwise rather conservative gay couple two doors down from me definitely would.

I do remember that she pushed the much more tenuous Farrakhan connection in a debate

Don't remember that, but it would be a legit example of race smearing.

I do think Obama ran a cleaner campaign than Hillary, BTW. But I also think he ran an unusually clean campaign for any American politician, so it doesn't necessarily mean Hillary ran an unusually dirty campaign. In some ways she did Obama a service by prepping him for the much dirtier campaign that will be upcoming in a few months.

All American politics does seem to have an identity politics element. Obama ran basically on his moral superiority to Hillary and her bad old politics, which is kind of in the good government tradition. There's a tendency for that kind of campaign to be class-inflected, with the superiority of the "good government" candidate being taken as haughty and condescending by working class voters. Or as a sign of naivete and weakness. Those are some of the things Hillary tried to play into. But to Obama's credit, he walked his talk, didn't let Hillary pull him down when she went negative, and made the whole package work politically.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:40 PM
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this thread has gone from 'he never did a thing wrong' to listing a number of incidents that we're not going to hold against him.

Because, I think, people being explicitly generous on "monster" and "periodically." Which, fine. (I think it's the same think as allowing that, yes, that shot should have counted, so now it's 20-2, not 20-0. What's the real cost of being generous at that point?)

He doesn't have to be magically good for him to have been much, much better. White women are about 45% of the Dem voters (from 2004 exits), and white men like another 33%. Then come minority women, and then minority men (which, given the numbers, appears to include more than just African-Americans). She could have won without black people; he couldn't win without white proeple, and probably not without white women. (I don't know how big turnout effects the numbers.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:41 PM
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Meanwhile, did you know that Hamas endorsed Obama? McCain said so and by the power of straight talk, it must be true. As bad as some of the Clinton campaign tactics have been, the Republicans still have that other level.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:42 PM
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I haven't read every post on the thread, so maybe someone's made this point already. I'm not sure that I would really call anything that Hillary's done "race baiting," if that term means things like putting Willie Horton ads on TV. But it's hard not to see her entire campaign strategy (at least Obama's post Super Tuesday sweep and the retirement of her inevitability meme) as basically one long argument that a black guy can never be elected President. It's clear that the only chance she's had once Obama got into his mathematical lead was trying to convince superdelegates/the chattering classes that in fact Obama is too black to be President. I mean, that's what "electability" and the focus on the "white working class" from her supporters means, right? I should note I don't think she's insincere about this; I think she genuinely thinks that America won't elect a black person to be president in 2008 and that's why she needs to step in to save the country from John McCain. That's why she gets up in the morning to keep the campaign going.

This isn't at all hidden, by the way -- Armando's posts at Talk Left are all basically an extended argument that a black man can't get elected. Maybe he's right, although I'd bet on "hope."

Who knows if Obama had been in a similar position to Clinton what his campaign might have done, but he certainly hasn't run to date on a "woman can never be President" platform in the same way that Hillary has run explicitly on race.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:42 PM
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219: I think it's generally agreed among journalists and others familiar with "off the record" conventions, that that wasn't off the record.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:43 PM
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Don't remember that

It was the whole "but do you denounce and reject" thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:43 PM
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that that wasn't off the record

True, but it was also clearly something Power didn't intend to introduce into the discourse.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:44 PM
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PGD, when you have to rely on anecdotes about gay Republicans to make your point, it might be time to rethink it.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:44 PM
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Furthermore, as someone who allots DS up to thirty comments a day here, I do consider myself a paragon of racial tolerance.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:45 PM
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that's why she needs to step in to save the country from John McCain

...by explicitly aligning herself with him on several issues. Sigh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:46 PM
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While when she actually made the request I found it not in accord with the best traditions of the blog, I've not only come around to Becks's "keep politics in the politics threads" position, I also think we shouldn't have politics threads for a little while.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:46 PM
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224: but Power thought it was off the record, & the idea that she deliberately was planting sexist attacks in Scottish newspapers in some kind of nefarious strategy to play the gender card on Hillary is so silly that I don't think anyone here believes it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:47 PM
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228: Oh yeah, I'd forgotten that.

No one here is perfect on this or any other such issue (other than Stras and Ogged of course).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:48 PM
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I also think we shouldn't have politics threads for a little while

Racist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:49 PM
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217: I think that considering the "periodically" & "monster" thing more sexist than the Clinton's Jesse Jackson/that state doesn't matter because of all the black people is racist is just plain nuts.

It is nuts. I don't think LB said it. She said, if I understand, that the latter is arguably sound electoral strategy. If being realistic about this country's demographic and racial divides is inherently racist, then we have a problem. And we do.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:52 PM
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231: I don't think Power thought it was off the record, or she wouldn't have said "off the record" in a way that suggest trying to take back something already on record. But I also agree that it was basically a gaffe and not part of an intentional strategy, so I'm going to drop it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:55 PM
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Anyway, I saw the end of Clinton's appearance in WV this morning and all I could think was "Let it go. It's over." I was talking to some people who've done volunteering for the Obama campaign and their hope is that she uses the time that she remains in the race to dial back a lot of the things she's been saying over the past couple of months as kind of a reconciliation strategy.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 8:58 PM
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God, I agree with everything Katherine has said on this thread. I need to go check the mirror to see if my eyes are whirly.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:00 PM
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236: Was not able to pay attention today, any indications on any explicit dialing back? I know there were a couple of "outrages" such as increased white vote % in NC over Virginia. Last night I was worried that there would be a hgue and cry over Gary and Lake County, but that was probably muted by the fact that it did not actually swing the popular vote over to Obama plus the fact that the County as a whole was only 55-45, surprisingly much less of a margin than Indianapolis.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:04 PM
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Rob Halford's 223 is a very good comment. I know thinking along those lines has been a big source of my own questioning of Obama. Basically skeptical not just whether a black guy could get elected -- I think that's not easy but quite possible -- but whether a black guy with Obama's background (name, exoticism, newness to the national political scene) could get elected. I don't know whether you call that racist or not, but Hillary has definitely been playing to those doubts.

I'm upset with the media & the consensus among PGD & many other liberals who ought to know better that it was all totally legitimate & had no racial overtones.

I never said it didn't have racial *overtones*. Part of my point way back in 108 was that politics, especially American, is very much about irrational issues of tribalism/identity. Since communal lines align with race and class, there are going to be those inflections. The legitimacy line for me is when someone goes from "trust me and vote for me because I'm more like you and you feel at home with me", to "vote for me because the other guy is aligned with communities that you should fear, hate, and feel contempt for". For recent examples of that, see 1980 and 1988.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:05 PM
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but Hillary has definitely been playing to those doubts

And does this strike you as inherently racist?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:07 PM
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God, I agree with everything Katherine has said on this thread. I need to go check the mirror to see if my eyes are whirly.

Hmm, from here they look more twirly. Or maybe squirrelly. Oh oh, I know! They're burly.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:08 PM
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Yes, Obama's campaign was much better than Clinton's, and for the most part he has steered very clear of any overt sexism whatsoever. I think "periodically" was fine, "claws" was sexist but probably unintentionally so, "monster" was sexist but clearly unintentional plus she quit blah blah, and that yes, Obama was flipping Clinton off a couple weeks ago (which we've never discussed here but according to my blog commenters it's been discussed everywhere else and I'm an asshole for bringing it up again). The latter might arguably not be sexist, but it's surely dismissive, which does--for better or worse, my friends, just like not using a woman politicians surname--ring the "sexist" bell.

All that said, again, yes, *Clinton was much, much worse and yes, she used a lot of racist coding*. And that should absolutely be condemned.

But whose campaign was better isn't relevant to the issue of whether or not it's offensive, to a lot of women, to say shit like "I hope she burns in hell" or "I hope she gets hit by a bus." You might *very well* say such a thing about a man, but that does not erase the fact that such things are *much more frequently* said about uppity women. And saying that kind of shit is going to offend intelligent women.

The more so as everyone here knows perfectly well that there's been a ton of misogynist crap said about Clinton, and people have said in almost so many words, "oh, but when *they* do it it's misogynist but when I do it it's not"--implying that folks who are pretty fed up with the bullshit are supposed to somehow swallow your wafer-thin mint because after all, it's a *mint*. Really, is it so damn hard to try not to get on people's last nerve?

Moreover, if you didn't know before that folks are not happy with statements like that, you surely know that after this discussion. Whether or not you like it or think it's fair, the fact is that intelligent women--including women who voted for and have been supporting Obama--are going to feel really marginalized by comments about Clinton's "hatefulness." Being poo-pooed, or shifting the ground to "well, but Clinton was horribly racist!" just increases that feeling of being marginalized. And yes, that feels sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:10 PM
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Racist.

Some of my best friends are politics threads.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:11 PM
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but Power thought it was off the record, & the idea that she deliberately was planting sexist attacks in Scottish newspapers in some kind of nefarious strategy to play the gender card on Hillary is so silly that I don't think anyone here believes it.

Well, yes, it really would be silly to attribute to Power some kind of deliberate, nefarious strategy. She got caught off-guard, or was caught up in the moment, or whatever, and she unthinkingly repeated something that was no doubt circulating throughout the campaign ('that woman is a monster!') But then, deliberate nefarious strategy is generally not how the maintenance and further proliferation of sexism or racism or any other of those 'isms' actually works. If you think it is, or is supposed to be, a well-organized conspiracy, then you're not thinking hard enough, is what I believe.

I'm sorry, but it's totally nouveau Stepford (or post-feminist, I guess is what they're calling it) to deny the sexism of "monster" directed toward a female candidate.

Fucketty. I don't even vote. I'm just an innocent bystander with a big mouth.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:11 PM
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PGD, there's a difference between "legitimate" (with respect to how we'd like campaigns to be run now and in the future, to the extent that people can affect that sort of thing) and "in line with how American campaigns have gone historically" (which is a standard to overcome, not to merely live up to).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:13 PM
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I'm sorry, but it's totally nouveau Stepford

I'm sorry, but that's incredibly condescending and incorrect.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:15 PM
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Mary Catherine, you're conflating ambient sexism with campaign strategy again.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:15 PM
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240: Yes it is motherfucking racist! Jesus fucking Christ, of course it is. Go read LB's 127.

I tell you this as one racist motherfucker to another.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:16 PM
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238: In the few minutes I saw, she talked just about economic/social policy issues. Health care, high gas prices (but if she mentioned the gas tax it was earlier), high speed rail, etc. It was pretty subdued, and sort of just a list. I haven't seen it written up, but CNN treated it pretty much like a well-known stump speech without a lot of discussion of the talk itself (as opposed to the campaign in general).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:16 PM
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Now I am totally wishing someone would do an empirical study of who other people say they wish would rot in hell.*

*This sentence sure reads like something that would get a star of unacceptability in a linguistics example, doesn't it?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:19 PM
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B, you aren't actually suggesting the "flipping off" thing is true? There are multiple camera angles revealing that not only was he scratching his face with several fingers, but also that it is a common tic of his to scratch his face while speaking. I know that "flipping off" theory was born on RedState, but I hadn't realized it had found admirers outside of right wing blogs.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:19 PM
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everyone slow down. my refresh command is not fast b/c i have very slow connection


Posted by: a8 | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:21 PM
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251: Two fingers. And yeah, I read it that way, and so did the audience around him. I have no idea if it was an argument being put forth on right wing blogs or not; I came across the story, watched the clip from several angles, and it looked that way to me.

*Lots* of people use a couple fingers with the index finger just partially bent to maintain plausible deniability about giving someone the finger.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:21 PM
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oh, but when *they* do it it's misogynist but when I do it it's not

Anyone saying this would obviously be full of crap, but I haven't read this as being the disagreement. As far as I've seen, the argument here tends to be "No, that's not sexist no matter who says it," which is sometimes defensible and sometimes also full of crap.

Whether or not you like it or think it's fair, the fact is that intelligent women--including women who voted for and have been supporting Obama--are going to feel really marginalized by comments about Clinton's "hatefulness."

This is tough for me, still, because I find a lot of politicians hateful. And though I don't necessarily find HRC hateful, I could imagine that I might. Is hypothetical me sexist?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:22 PM
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I'm sorry, but it's totally nouveau Stepford (or post-feminist, I guess is what they're calling it) to deny the sexism of "monster" directed toward a female candidate.

Okay, fine, Samantha Power is sexist, that monster. Perhaps we could try to distinguish the camp from the candidate. Clinton herself has fed the racism, and even if you allow that "claws" and "periodically" were sexist, which is open to debate, I just don't think there's any comparison.

248: Thanks, Stormcrow, you racist motherfucker. That was my thought exactly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:22 PM
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254: Meh, I'm too lazy to go back and find the comments unles someone really really insists, but I know there have been a couple comments in this very thread to that effect.

254.2: I don't know if the hypothetical you is sexist or not, aside from blah blah we've all got internalized misogyny blah blah. Whether or not I found your hypothetical hatred of HRC, specifically, sexist, would depend very much on how it was expressed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:24 PM
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I saw the finger thing on some Clinton supporting blog. Was not convinced.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:27 PM
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so did the audience around him

No they didn't. They start hooting before he scratches, because he's complaining about the attacks on him during the debate, and saying that she looked "in her element." It's clearly two fingers and anyone who thinks that he would pull the old "give 'em the sneaky finger" thing, given the campaign he's trying to run, is, as the feminists like to say, not thinking hard enough.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:27 PM
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253: And do it several times throughout! While talking about lots of different stuff! To make it extra hard to pin on him! That would be clever. But really, it just seems like like the sort of dark occult signaling that wingnuts are forever deciphering.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:28 PM
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Being poo-pooed, or shifting the ground to "well, but Clinton was horribly racist!" just increases that feeling of being marginalized. And yes, that feels sexist.

I wonder what it feels like to be told that the campaigns have been equivalently bad, if you're black. Given the absence of any African-Americans here, we have to guess. (Sorry, DS; I don't have any idea how "Canadian" works in to all that.) I'm guessing that you realize that some things don't even ring the bell for some people, and that those people are in the majority, so the best you can do is hope and be shocked when things are better (as when Obama wins Iowa).

All that said, as long as the tactics don't work, I don't care that much. Things tend to get better in little pieces, but they pretty clearly get better. Most of this will be forgotten if Obama gets the nomination. It'll take me two weeks, tops, after that to love the Clintons (both Senator Hillary Clinton, who is the candidate, and her husband Bill, who appears to have helped with strategy) again.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:28 PM
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Nouveau stepford? Wow. It's not like I'm even shy about calling sexism where I think it's warranted, but some other examples I really just don't buy it. And I have never have understood many women's alienation from feminism until I received constant comments like that all through this campaign for defending Obama (mainly from my mother).

"yes, Obama was flipping Clinton off a couple weeks ago (which we've never discussed here but according to my blog commenters it's been discussed everywhere else and I'm an asshole for bringing it up again)."

Yeah, it made CNN I think. I can't remember which multi day idiot pseudo controversy it followed, but it was definitely one of the top 25 despair-for-my-country-and-journalism moments of the campaign for me (top 25 doesn't sound that impressive but there's a lot of competition this campaign season). I assume people showed the picture showing that he scratched his face with two fingers, etc. etc. etc.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:29 PM
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you're conflating ambient sexism with campaign strategy again.

Oh, if it's just "ambient sexism,"...well, why didn't you say so in the first place?

Well, fucketty. I'm off to Renfrew Co., where the men have at least earned the right to a mild version of sexism by their ability to shoot at wolves, wolverines, and bears and not miss (or almost never miss, anyhow). What's funny is that these "men's stuff" men are not actually the men who actually hate women...

Anyhoo. Just sayin', as usual.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:30 PM
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And I think that's at least the second time you've called me 'post feminist', Mary Catherine. Not only do I not describe myself that way; I find it actively insulting.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:32 PM
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258: Look, I also find it amazing that he'd do that, but otoh you know, you're high on the adrenalin of the audience, you get a little carried away. The women talking behind him *certainly* seemed to have read it that way.

For the record, I think it was tacky, but not Heinous and Unforgivable.

I wonder what it feels like to be told that the campaigns have been equivalently bad, if you're black.

Again, I have not been saying this. I have, actually, gone very far out of my way--in that very comment, even!--to say, here it is again: *Clinton was much, much worse and yes, she used a lot of racist coding*. And that should absolutely be condemned.

Also, again, trying to dismiss sexism--not, in my mind, Obama's, but rather the sexism of Democratic Clinton-haters in the general public, which is what I, personally, am objecting to--by arguing that Clinton's racism is worse--is beside the point, even if it is, indeed, true that Clinton herself is far more racist than Obama is sexist (which seems to be "not much at all.")


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:33 PM
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I don't know why you would say that shooting stuff earns you a right to be mildly sexist. Also, I think you'll find that there are plentiful helpings of "men's stuff" men, even if not the ones you're thinking of, who are plenty sexist, and several of whom even hate women. What's motivating your chain-yanking here?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:33 PM
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The women talking behind him *certainly* seemed to have read it that way.

What's your evidence for this? He slammed Clinton with his words, and that's what the crowd is reacting to. Not to mention that making a crack and scratching or doing some other little displacement activity while it sinks in is a totally common human behavior.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:36 PM
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242: and people have said in almost so many words, "oh, but when *they* do it it's misogynist but when I do it it's not"

Actually, AFAICS no-one has said this, in any number of words.

Really, is it so damn hard to try not to get on people's last nerve?

For example: suppose there were valid reasons for a long period of time to object to Clinton's conduct (from race-baiting to war-mongering) in the strongest possible terms, but large numbers of mainstream feminists have spent months trying to equate such objection with sexism and fascism and anti-liberalism and misogyny, insultingly and dishonestly lumping together the terrible MSM with people who actually have valid moral and policy reasons for their objections, and even in eleventh hour -- after being forced to admit the level of sleaze and brazen douchebaggery and outright wingnuttery involved -- attempting to bracket off the entirety of the admittedly well-earned "hostility" part of the emotional spectrum as nevertheless signifying enmity to intelligent women. And this latter shit is coming even from otherwise moderate and responsible people who have been relatively good about trying to acknowledge the realities, not just those still trying to sell us on "periodically"-as-sexist-slur. Do you suppose there could come a point where that sort of thing might work certain last nerves?

As far as objecting to genuinely sexist stuff, "crying" this and "she's a nag and a cackler" that, we all should be on the same page, and those who aren't should be chastised (as Ogged admitted). But if you hope to eliminate all future instances of hyperbole viz. Hillary Clinton, may I suggest that is unrealistic of you.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:37 PM
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Mary Catherine was right, way up there, when she said, The primaries are a zero-sum game, more or less, but the sexism versus racism sweepstakes is not. In that sense, B, you're absolutely right that "but Clinton is teh racist!" is not a response to legitimate instances of sexism.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:37 PM
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265: I'm pretty sure MC was joking in an attempt to pour oil on the waters and to engage in the very typical overtly-silly-sexist-stereotypes-as-jocular-bonding that we *often* do here to try to soothe arguments.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:37 PM
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Oh, if it's just "ambient sexism,"...well, why didn't you say so in the first place?

I did, when I made the distinction between sexism or racism that exist in society, and sexist or racist tactics employed by the campaigns. The distinction is relevant to how we feel about the candidates.

Anyhoo. Just sayin', as usual.

Don't do the passive-aggressive thing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:38 PM
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(Sorry, DS; I don't have any idea how "Canadian" works in to all that.)

No worries, I'm just as suspect as Obama. Albeit without the money.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:38 PM
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Jesus Christ, we're talking about Face-Scratching-Gate now? I think I liked it better when the drones were saying he was a sneaky Muslim with a suspiciously black pastor.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:39 PM
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I'm pretty sure MC was joking in an attempt to pour oil on the waters

And I'm pretty sure that MC is really angry.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:40 PM
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Are you a secret Muslim, DS? C'mon, you can tell us.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:42 PM
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272: Yes. It is on precisely the same level as his supposed secret sleeper Mussulman signals.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:43 PM
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Meanwhile:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."
"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:43 PM
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274: Nope, a secret Yezidi. We do everything smaller in Canada.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:44 PM
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I'm a Muslim! And I want to kill you all!

Bay Area meetup!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:44 PM
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One of my favorites was the argument that Obama was referencing Malcolm X by using the words "hoodwink" & "bamboozle" in South Carolina. Only, he also used them in Bangor, Maine, well known for its militant black separatism.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:45 PM
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Hooray, sweet death! I've been waiting so long.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:45 PM
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working, hard-working Americans, white Americans

Wow. That's obnoxious. Guess I'm a Stepford Wife.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:45 PM
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276: So much for reconciliation. Damn. Do you have to be white to work hard?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:46 PM
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"There's a pattern emerging here," she said.

And how.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:46 PM
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(Working, Hard-Working) Racist Honkies for Clinton!!!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:47 PM
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What about lazy white Americans, like me?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:47 PM
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As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again

As opposed to his support among those other Americans, who I guess aren't quite so hard-working.

Then again, there's Samantha Power. So everyone has their problems.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:48 PM
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I'm a Muslim! And I want to kill you all! Bay Area meetup!

Finally, the hour of reckoning is at hand!


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:48 PM
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280: Yes! Ogged -- do me after RFTS.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:48 PM
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285: I think you'll find you're actually black, mrh.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:49 PM
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Ogged is a secret Jesuit. I thought we all knew that. At least everyone on the e-mail list.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:49 PM
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288: And leave that accidentally low-lying fruit be, youse.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:49 PM
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266: I'm sorry, I can't at the moment find the video I have in mind. I'll keep looking and link it when I do.

267: Yes, I do see where that would work some people's last nerves. And I may be unrealistic in hoping to eliminate hyperbole re. Clinton. But neither of those mean that what I'm saying is wrong.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:49 PM
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I've said too much. That was off the record, btw.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:49 PM
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276: Holy crap, she's a nightmare. (Oops—"mare"!) Anyway, if I'm kind of a slacker, does that mean I'm less white? Because that would be cool.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:50 PM
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I think you'll find you're actually black, mrh.

Only where it counts.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:50 PM
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276 is pretty amazing and sad, but really is all that's left of her campaign at this point. I hope for everyone's sake that she realizes how desperately counterproductive continuing a dead-ender campaign based on stoking fears about the nominee really is, and gets out of the race with some class. I think she will, and will do so soon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:50 PM
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289 - Au contraire, he's probably a white college student.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:50 PM
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273: I think she was angry *and* trying to lighten the mood.

Anyhoo, since I sense that y'all are actually getting angry I really am going to go away now unless I find that video for Ogged.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:51 PM
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270: I did, when I made the distinction between sexism or racism that exist in society, and sexist or racist tactics employed by the campaigns

A distinction that is not always that clear cut in a society and political climate with high ambient levels of both*. But as a practical matter would you not agree that right now the important thing to focus on is building an electoral coalition for the general election? And depending upon ones threshold for calling beliefs and behaviors sexist and racist, this will involve garnering the votes of many sexists and racists? (Like me.) or maybe we should stop and fix everyone and society right now?

Edit: 276: Jesus Fucking Christ Hillary, way to stomp all over my point.

*Insert obligatory "Clinton campaign of course much worse on this" here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:51 PM
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276 ctd.:

"Clinton rejected any idea that her emphasis on white voters could be interpreted as racially divisive. "These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election. Everybody knows that."

This is another example of what I mean--it's not specifically racially motivated; the crappy treatment of black voters is a subset of the crappy treatment of the liberal coalition. Your base--whether its highly educated antiwar liberals or black voters--owes you their votes, so you can treat them like crap & insult them constantly & not worry about turnout. But white working class voters, real hard working Americans, beer track voters, security moms, office park dads--THOSE are the voters that matter. She employs Mark Penn because she approves of this approach--which corresponds so neatly with so many pundits'. Well, I hate it, & black voters have even more reason to hate it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:52 PM
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1) I agree that the Clinton campaign has engaged in race-baiting. I actually this this point is incontrovertible.

2) I agree that the Obama campaign, if it has used sexist tropes at all, has done so far less frequently than the Clinton campaign has turned to race.

3) I agree that people outside the Clinton campaign have often relied on implicitly and explicitly misogynistic language when attacking Clinton. This, too, is incontrovertible.

4) I agree that there must be no place at all for racism in the Democratic Party.

5) I think the same has to be true of sexism and misogyny.

And so, because of 5, I sure do wish that Obama at some point in the campaign had at least called out MSNBC and others on their bullshit. I know that would have been hard, and there would have been serious repercussions, but I wish he had done it. Because he benefited from that misogyny; there's no question about that in my mind. And if there's no room for sexism in the Democratic Party, he shouldn't have received those benefits. That said, I'm not sure that I blame him; I just wish that he had spoken about the problem.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:52 PM
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And I think that's at least the second time you've called me 'post feminist', Mary Catherine.

Honestly, I think it's only the first time. But probably I meant to call you 'post feminist' about three or four times before I actually did, so: fair play to you, Katherine.

Also, ever since you accused me of racism for raising questions about the fundamental reliability and veracity of a report from Drudge, well, I have to say that I've felt less than 100 percent confident in either your ability or your willingness to fairly evaluate the sources of the information to which we subscribe. No hard feelings, of course.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:52 PM
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I think 264 pwns me.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:53 PM
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Multiply pwned—because I'm lazy! Good-bye, sunscreen!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:53 PM
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258: is, as the feminists like to say, not thinking hard enough.

Mary Catherine used that last phrase. Please don't make a single speaker into "the feminists."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:53 PM
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292: I guess what I'm getting at is that after all this, both sides of the aisle are probably better off just letting people vent a bit of steam. God knows Clinton's supporters are doing it, and given their level of shock and frustration one might do well to let the crazier episodes pass; I don't think Obama's supporters have earned any less latitude.

295: Crikey, speaking of low-hanging fruit...


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:55 PM
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I agree that the Clinton campaign has engaged in race-baiting. I actually this this point is incontrovertible.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:56 PM
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307: No, it means exactly what I think it means. Although I suppose I should have said: "should be incontrovertible."


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:58 PM
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307: No, that's right. Isn't it?

Dammit, I was so articulate once.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 9:59 PM
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I definitely don't think you're racist, & don't remember ever thinking you were racist, so if I said that it was probably either stupid & unfair or phrased extremely poorly. I've thought: "a lot more sensitive to sexism than to racism" about a lot of people here, probably to include you. But then, I think that's basically inevitable if you're a white feminist; I think I'm more sensitive to sexism than racism--certainly in every situation where we're not comparing sexism directed towards candidates I dislike to racism directed towards candidates I like.

One of the weird things about this whole thing is--it's more socially acceptable to be openly misogynist than openly racist. But, because of this, it's also more socially acceptable to make accusations of sexism than accusations of racism or anything resembling it. Notice, when Obama is asked whether an attack on him is racially motivated--he never says it is. That's "playing the race card", that's a gross insult.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:00 PM
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I still think you're articulate. And also very attractive. I've always held a torch for you, Golda Meir.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:01 PM
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311 to 309. Just to avoid any misunderstandings.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:02 PM
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Please don't make a single speaker into "the feminists."

Jesus, yes. I'm a bit of a loose fish, if not a loose cannon, and never claim to be speaking for 'the feminists.'


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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Damn it, I was flattered for a second.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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Ah, here it is. The reaction of the woman in red in the upper right hand corner of the video certainly suggests, to me, that she reads the gesture the same way I do.

And again, I do not think that this is a Crucial Issue.

both sides of the aisle are probably better off just letting people vent a bit of steam

That's fair enough; what I, personally, was trying to get at is that venting that steam, to people like me who are, in fact! Obama supporters but *are also* feminists who are sensitive about the kinds of things people have said about Clinton, that venting is off-putting. It gives one the acutely uncomfortable feeling of being used.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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308: It's a "Princess Bride" joke ("Inconceivable").


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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273: And I'm pretty sure that MC is really angry.

In light of subsequent remarks by MC, I think we can all attest to ogged's superior emotional intelligence. This is probably because he's gay.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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One of the weird things about this whole thing is--it's more socially acceptable to be openly misogynist than openly racist. But, because of this, it's also more socially acceptable to make accusations of sexism than accusations of racism or anything resembling it. Notice, when Obama is asked whether an attack on him is racially motivated--he never says it is. That's "playing the race card", that's a gross insult.

I think that this is exactly right. Astute, for a post-feminist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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314 to 312.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:03 PM
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Is there any hope for getting rid of the "card" terminology? "Race card" " gender card" (less often used), etc.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:04 PM
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I hate the "card" terminology & try to use it only to disparage it.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:05 PM
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320: Don't play the language card, eb.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:05 PM
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320: Alas, no. But if you want to draw up a petition, I'll sign it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:06 PM
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316: No, I got that. And I even read it in Inigo's voice. But the point was also right: very little in this race has been incontrovertible. And I shouldn't have made such an ironclad claim.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:06 PM
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Sen. Clinton and her campaign have done themselves no favor with her credibility and good will diminishing campaign falsehoods. He's more elitist than she is? She's non-trivially in touch with Appalachian white working class men? Sniper fire and experience with tough decisions? In contrast, his central point -- he's not implicated in the political morasses of either the 90s or early GWB years, is fundamentally sound.

All she's really had for weeks is 'a very significant portion of the country's not ready to vote for a black man -- let me prove it to you.'


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:06 PM
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312: This is all going to end with Sifu murdering Margaret Atwood in a jealous rage while screaming "Damn you, Man-Bot!", and it's all going to be my fault. I feel terrible.

315: I see what you mean, but it presents a bit of a conundrum; where are people going to vent if not among their own cohort?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:07 PM
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314: My love for you is eclipsed only by my love for Golda.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:07 PM
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310.2, meet 88.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:08 PM
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316: Geek.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:08 PM
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310 basically makes sense to me, so: comity!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:08 PM
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the woman in red in the upper right hand corner of the video

The one whose view of his hand is blocked by his face? Ok. QED for you, I guess.

Having seen the whole clip, I realize that it's the one I posted when I wondered if he seemed arrogant. In the comments, you seemed to think he was "attractive."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:09 PM
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As I've been saying for weeks, I haven't heard any supporter of Sen. Clinton tell me anything she can do from the WH that she can't do better from the Senate. Except be first. Which is not nothing, and if we didn't have the other first opportunity that's presented to us this year, might be worth a little more. (Not that much, though: I'd have supported Edwards in a two person race, because as bad as the lectability prospects from Obama might be, I think they are much worse for Clinton.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:09 PM
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330: yay. and it ought to be encouraging that I consider "post feminist" an insult worth holding a grudge over even if I make up the grudge, right?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:09 PM
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I agree that the Clinton campaign has engaged in race-baiting. I actually this this point is incontrovertible.

I'd think an American history guy would have more of a sense of what truly incontrovertible and sustained race-baiting looks like.

And does this strike you as inherently racist?

Not really, it depends how far you push it. But I'm pretty pragmatic about politics. 276 certainly is a naked, desparate appeal to, well, something. There's definitely some kind of white privilege involved -- I'm the same race as the majority of voters in the general election! You have to vote for me! But there's no claim that blacks are inferior or criminal or lazy or scary or any other trope of traditional white racism.

My own doubts about Obama's election viability are not based in race alone, but the combo of inexperience/exoticism/race. Hillary's hit on all of those, and the first two more than the last. At every stage, I've felt "OK, Obama, show me you can handle this, because it's sure as hell gonna be there in the fall".

PGD, there's a difference between "legitimate" (with respect to how we'd like campaigns to be run now and in the future, to the extent that people can affect that sort of thing) and "in line with how American campaigns have gone historically" (which is a standard to overcome, not to merely live up to).

I tried to avoid saying that the standard to hold people to is some kind of average of all previous campaigns, that's obviously not so. And Obama *is* trying to raise the tone of campaigning, and taking risks to do it, which is great. But I also think there's a certain legitimacy to identity and trust appeals in politics, and there can be a certain class inflection to impatience with it. Many people are low-information voters who do feel to an extent beseiged in their daily lives, so they need to rely on trust and a sense of shared identity with politicians. It's easy for us to feel that kind of trust with Obama, because we share a lot of background and assumptions with him.

Many liberals have been very quick to dismiss the post-1968 white ethnic sense of betrayal by liberalism, the loss of trust between liberal politicians and white "Reagan Democrats", as racism and nothing but. Racism is a big part but not all of it, or maybe it's an area where racism can't be so easily distinguished from legitimate issues. An important thing about Obama and a great thing about his first Wright speech is that he understands this and tries to speak to it. He gets that the politics of trust across communities can't be handled simply be dismissing divisions as the result of white racism:

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race.... So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time....

Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze... And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns - this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.



It's legitimate to ask whether Obama can build trust with white voters. He's asking to be their President. And as he says above, the reasons they might not initially feel such trust should not be simply waved away as racism.
Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:13 PM
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But there's no claim that blacks are inferior or criminal or lazy or scary or any other trope of traditional white racism.

"Hard-working Americans, white Americans." Even if you do her the favor of assuming she meant "hard-working white Americans", it's still an appalling thing for a politician of any stripe, much less a Democrat on the national stage, to say and expect to get away with in the year 2008.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:15 PM
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It's legitimate to ask whether Obama can build trust with white voters. He's asking to be their President.

Fixed that for you.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:17 PM
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334: As noted upthread, I should have written "should be incontrovertible." But given your embrace of race baiting as legitimate campaign strategy, I'm not surprised to see you calling me out on my error of emphasis.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:17 PM
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But there's no claim that blacks are inferior or criminal or lazy or scary or any other trope of traditional white racism.

"But it's not actually a gulag!"

And with that, I ban myself for the evening. Please, people of good will, don't let comity break out in this thread.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:18 PM
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326.2: Fair point. It boils down to who's the bigger man, I guess. Which as always is gonna be me.

331: I don't think that woman's view is blocked; she's sitting behind him, on the same side as the hand. But you can be pissy if you want to.

And I do think he's attractive. Once again, I think that the finger thing is NOT A BIG DEAL, and in fact I mentioned it specifically in the context of saying "here are the supposedly sexist things that have come out of the Obama camp, some of which I think weren't sexist, and the others I think were piddly and unimportant." So all we're really quibbling over is who can draw this out longer. Mea culpa.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:18 PM
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335: yeah, OK, that does sound like a dog whistle. In case it wasn't clear from the above, 276 is bullshit and a pretty clear sign Clinton's on her last legs. It might be pragmatically defensible if Obama was 25 points behind McCain in polls, but he's not. He's been hit with the toughest stuff he's probably going to face on race, and he's already bouncing back to a statistical tie with McCain. This is a Democratic year, and Obama's balance, steadiness and composure is going to make him tough to beat.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:19 PM
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276 certainly is a naked, desparate appeal to, well, something

Jesus, Mary, and fucking Joseph. I'll give you a point for loyalty, PGD.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:21 PM
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I think there is confusion here, in that B is referring to the woman in the upper left of the screen, behind Obama right side. Yes?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:22 PM
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Obama's, that is.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:22 PM
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335: Eh, there are charitable readings of it available. You always say "hard-working," she mixed up the order, etc. In some sense, it's good for Obama: things like that make it much harder (I think) for the superdelegates to take it away from him if he's leading in delegates.

OTOH, she's betting African-Americans have to vote, or that she's going to swamp McCain b/c everyone hates the Republicans (in which case, Obama looks pretty good). I am, for the first time, wondering whether her bet about African-Americans is right.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:22 PM
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yeah, OK, that does sound like a dog whistle.

Dude, it sounds like a regular whistle.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:23 PM
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Ha! Tim disagrees. I stand corrected: dog-type it is.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:23 PM
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On the video:

1. Obama giving his opponent the finger is not inherently sexist.

2. Concluding from this video that Obama is giving the finger is nuts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:26 PM
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But given your embrace of race baiting as legitimate campaign strategy, I'm not surprised to see you calling me out on my error of emphasis.

Well, we define race-baiting differently. I'd call your definition closer to "race-mentioning". I suppose one can argue that in a country with plenty of racists it doesn't take much if any mention of your opponent's race difference to be disturbing. But surely you see that there is a distinction between that and what the Republicans engaged in in the 1980s, which I certainly do not embrace or regard as legitimate.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:26 PM
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342: Um, right. Her. Crap. I so suck. Thank you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:26 PM
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Well, kind of. (The point of a dog whistle, after all, is that only dogs can hear it.) Hi, I'm having a little conversation with myself here, don't mind me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:26 PM
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I am, for the first time, wondering whether her bet about African-Americans is right.

Yes, there is the stay-at-home option -- given that voting Republican probably just won't happen


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:26 PM
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342: Um, right. Her. Crap. I so suck. Thank you.

No problem!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:27 PM
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"Don't nominate a black man because white working class Americans won't vote for him in the general & those are the votes that we need" functionally ensures no black person ever gets elected president as surely as "Don't nominate a black man because you can't trust those blacks." It's the "I have no problem serving you but my customers won't allow it" problem. The point is not that it's an excuse for personal racism (it sometimes is, but I'm quite sure it's not in the Clintons' case); it's that the effect is to perpetuate racism regardless of the motivation.

I'm quite confident that Bill & Hillary Clinton aren't personally racist, probably honestly believe this is a straightforward statement of political reality, etc. But a party that treats key members of its coalition like crap is asking for them to leave the coalition. And even if they don't, it's a shitty thing to do.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:27 PM
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339: It boils down to who's the bigger man, I guess. Which as always is gonna be me.

Rest assured, I shall say this about you to anyone who'll listen.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:28 PM
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Ha! Tim disagrees. I stand corrected: dog-type it is.

I was so moved by the MC-Katherine love affair that I've decided to be the very spirit of comity.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:28 PM
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I just suffered an acute attack of semantic satiation for the phrase "no problem". What a weird thing it is to say.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:28 PM
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voting Republican probably just won't happen

I know it's a good idea to hedge this kind of statement, but the "probably" amuses me. Maybe Obama will register as a Republican. In a two party system, he'll have everything locked up!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:28 PM
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348: You don't have to go back to the 90s to see Republicans engaging in a kind of race-baiting that makes Clinton's campaign tactics look mild. I'm thinking of the ads the RNC ran against Harold Ford, of course, among many other examples. Still, there's no doubt in my mind, none whatsoever, that the Clinton camp has been race-baiting. I honestly can't understand how anyone argues otherwise, which is why I used "incontrovertible" above. But apparently your mileage varies.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:30 PM
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Surprisingly, I completely agree with 353, which will probably cause Katherine to reexamine it with concern to see if she accidentally said anything racist.

It might or might not be true that Hillary has a slightly better chance of winning in the general because she's white. But Obama clearly has a good chance. Taking away the nomination over that kind of hairsplitting treats black Democrats like second-class members of the party. So yeah, acting on Hillary's desparate appeal would be racist.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:33 PM
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Race baiting. Or at least a definition that works for me.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:33 PM
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"OTOH, she's betting African-Americans have to vote, or that she's going to swamp McCain b/c everyone hates the Republicans (in which case, Obama looks pretty good). I am, for the first time, wondering whether her bet about African-Americans is right."

I think you can pretty much bank on higher black turnout if Obama is the nominee than if Clinton is. At one point I would have said that almost all of that would be attributable to his superior ground organization & outreach & extra enthusiasm for him--I increasingly wonder if she'd even match Kerry or Gore among black voters. In any case, I'm more confident of higher young & black turnout if he's nominated than I am in her lasting support from white working class men in Appalachia (though there's obviously more danger of Appalachian white men voting Republican as opposed to just staying home).


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:34 PM
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Jesus, PGD, I don't think you're racist either. It takes this primary to turn me into Al Sharpton.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:35 PM
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With the talk of a white ethnic backlash against the Democrats, hasn't there also been a black backlash? I thought turnout among black voters declined in the 1970s-1980s (but it might have since recovered), in no small part due to the Democratic party taking African-American voters for granted.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:36 PM
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I'm quite confident that Bill & Hillary Clinton aren't personally racist

Because his office is in Harlem?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:36 PM
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Because his office is in Harlem?

Because the last time he executed a retarded black guy, he pretended to be real choked up about it.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:38 PM
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I think you're all racists. Except for DS, who is a bigot.

Because his office is in Harlem?

No, but because they have a long history. They really just aren't.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:38 PM
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OTOH, she's betting African-Americans have to vote

I think her bet is that (a) she won't alienate enough of Obama's coalition to lose any of the Kerry states in the general and that (b) she is better placed, given the nature of her coalition, to win Ohio or Florida this time around than Obama is.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:40 PM
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364: Because Belvis wouldn't endorse a racist.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:41 PM
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she is better placed, given the nature of her coalition, to win Ohio or Florida this time around than Obama is.

In both states, I think she would need black votes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:41 PM
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She better be careful what she says about hippy latte drinkers if she wants to hold the Pacific NW, too.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:42 PM
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366: Now I was kidding. Mostly. That Harlem comment was telling. Really, I suppose it depends on what we mean by racist.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:42 PM
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If you look at it in terms of policy, a Republican race-baiting campaign is likely to be tied to a program of continuing trying to pull the kind of shit the Bush Admin has done with the Civil Rights Division in the DOJ (along with trying to put von Spakovsky in the FEC). Unlikely that a Clinton administration would do that. I had a hard time trying to convince an Obama supporter of this a while back, though.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:45 PM
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366: Sou you're saying my kind can't muster full-blown racism, is that it? Pah. Just like a whiteman.

They really just aren't.

Yeah, in a way that's been the truly upsetting thing about the turn the HRC campaign took. The willingness to devolve into increasingly open race-baiting suggests not deeply-held values of even the vile nativist kind, but rather a disturbing sort of venality which is almost as bad.

I also hate the way this whole situation has me writing shit that reminds me of Christopher Hitchens, like the above.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:46 PM
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372 is a really good point. It's still race-baiting, though, even if only in service of getting elected rather than upholding an explicitly white supremacist agenda.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:49 PM
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This acting as if racism(or sexism) is some kind of binary state is really screwing up this whole conversation. (on preview - better in 371, Ari.)

She/they went there. Many of her supporters have gone there. Guess what? We need them back. Does not mean excusing or compromising, but it absolutely means getting off the high moral ground.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:50 PM
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373: You're Christopher Hitchens? Wow, that's a huge letdown. Consider my crush over. And please return those roses I sent.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:51 PM
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In both states, I think she would need black votes.

Right, that was part (a); I don't think I was really disagreeing with you.


Posted by: Moby Ape | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:55 PM
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375 really troubles me. Because I agree that we need them back. This was the point I made earlier today. And also part of the reason that I wish that Obama had condemned the misogyny on display during the race. But I also think that there needs to be a clear line: these tactics won't be tolerated ever again in the Democratic Party.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:56 PM
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375: You might not want to expect people to be ceding the moral high ground until after the primary is actually won/lost.

376: Sorry, I already used the roses to make flower wine, I assumed you didn't need them any more. I should also remind you that Indian-givers are terrorist fascists, just like the Indians and the Muslims.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 10:56 PM
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379: You might not want to expect people to be ceding the moral high ground until after the primary is actually won/lost.

Yes, 276 did make me think that I am probably engaging in premature comity. Sadly, the behavior of the Clinton campaign over the next 2 weeks will go a long way towards shaping the internal dynamics of the Democratic Party for the exit few years (win or lose in the general).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:02 PM
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It's legitimate to ask whether Obama can build trust with white voters.

It gets a little ridiculous, though, when every time the question is answer with 'yes', it's redefined, and the point at which Obama must face the test of whether he can win white voters* keeps getting kicked further and further down the field, because primary X or caucus Y didn't count.

*I mean, seriously. It started out as 'ah, only those college students, he is the wine-track candidate.' Then he could only win the under-30s and highly educated folks. Then wealther folks. Then he started to do really well among black voters. And under 50s. Closing the gap among women. I realize 'white' is largely a social construct and all, but this is a bit nuts. The guy can win white people. If he couldn't, he wouldn't have got out of fucking Iowa.

--
1) I cannot believe a grown man is going to throw away the Presidency to flip his rival the bird. Pull the other one.
2) I am not otherwise getting involved in this debate since we had it, but 223 seems perceptive as well as the observation that this is not actually a zero-sum game, you fucking twits.
3) We finished season 4. shivbunny is not happy about Bodie.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:02 PM
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exit next few years.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:03 PM
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Really, I suppose it depends on what we mean by racist.

Right. Part of my "identity politics" argument above was that that some forms of lack of trust across communities, or preference for one's own community, might be defined as "racist" but are usefully distinguished from incitement to race hatred or mutual hostility.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:05 PM
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It gets a little ridiculous, though, when every time the question is answer with 'yes', it's redefined

Right. He's taken hits, gotten exposure, and proven viable. Enough already. That was part of my point in 359. It seems like the press and public is feeling this too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:08 PM
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381: Only certain white folks count, and those are the white folks who will never vote for BHO, which seem to include uneducated working-class whites, who overlap with two categories who spring to mind: racists, and the sort of voters Republicans know they can fool into thinking they have their best interests at heart. Which of those two groups HRC seems to think is her "base" is really confusing here. Is she pandering to racists? Or is she pandering to Republicans? Both have evidence on display!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 7-08 11:09 PM
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The Democrats have gotten a plurality of the white vote something like once or twice since the Great Depression.

But there's something about Obama that makes me feel that white voters are going to be especially significant to the Democrats this year... I can't place my finger on it exactly though... maybe it's because he isn't a woman?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:27 AM
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Also, Bob McManus: the wild-eyed radical who is terrified by the prospect of one set of moderate liberal technocrats passing power to another set of moderate liberal technocrats with virtually identical policy positions. How can you be ready for blood on the streets when the very idea of a young charismatic Presidential nominee blows your mind?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:51 AM
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It's a bit much to run about the country stoking distrust, and then turn around and say "hey, look at all that distrust."


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 4:50 AM
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All that said, this nomination race was really Sen. Clinton's to lose. And lose it she has, not because of sexism (I'm not saying there isn't any, just that it hasn't made the difference) but through a strategic error of epic proportions. It's as if the inevitability candidate expected to be greeted as a liberator, with candy and flowers. And then was flummoxed when it didn't happen. And her supporters became ever more unhinged, questioning at every turn the bona fides of anyone who doesn't see the merits of their one true one. (I do not mean to suggest that anyone posting above is unhinged. But have you folks -- PGD you too -- looked at the comments to MY's post from the IN/NC results?)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 5:02 AM
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How can you be ready for blood on the streets when the very idea of a young charismatic Presidential nominee blows your mind?

No doubt.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 5:08 AM
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389 is me.


Posted by: Napi | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 5:13 AM
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have you folks -- PGD you too -- looked at the comments to MY's post from the IN/NC results?

Yes, this (and similar) was what I was referring to obliquely, and hopefully not over-charitably, as "venting" in 306.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 5:24 AM
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Southern Baptist churches in a county is used as a proxy for southern-ness

There is a surprising amount of academic literature dealing with how to objectively define "southernness" for sociological purposes. One clever proxy variable I have seen is the ratio of businesses in the yellow pages with the word "Southern" in their name to the number with the word "American".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 5:24 AM
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What was Clinton's response to the interviewer who asked her whether she believed Obama was a closet Muslim? Something like: "well, I haven't seen any basis for that, so far as I know."

And it doesn't seem entirely likely that John McCain has a bastard black daughter, and I'm sure that Mike Dukakis would rather someone not rape his wife.

That was an important opportunity for her to reject, condemn, and denounce the bullshit Islamophobia that's been whispering around Obama. God, if only she could have risen to that. But, no, she tried to play it both ways.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 6:43 AM
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394: Rather a misrepresentation Jackmormon.
Here is the complete exchange:

KROFT: You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?

CLINTON: Of course not. I mean, that's -- you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

KROFT: And you said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim.

CLINTON: Right. Right.

KROFT: You don't believe that he's a Muslim --

CLINTON: No. No. Why would I? There's no --

KROFT: -- or implying, right?

CLINTON: No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know.

KROFT: It's just scurrilous --

CLINTON: Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:07 AM
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I don't know, Stormcrow. I'm still not impressed with her there.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:11 AM
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396: Yea, it is not that great, but also watch the clip and read the Media Matters piece I linked, the really weird element was the repeated quesion by the interviewer. I rate this one on a par with the Obama finger. There are far more clear cut places where Clinton and the campaign went over the line. (She also was unequivocal in other followups, just did not get the coverage.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:16 AM
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396: Wow. You're tough.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:16 AM
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398. Nah, she's right. The first response was OK. After that she needed to close it down. "Don't be silly" would have been appropriate.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:18 AM
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the really weird element was the repeated quesion by the interviewer.

I'm not convinced that any campaign is behind the viral Obama-is-a-closet-muslim emails, but it's an appropriate thing for a journalist to question candidates about---because, seriously, whisper campaigns like that have been conducted in the past and have been proven hideously, invidiously effective.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:23 AM
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I don't recommend reading George Will, and this morning's column is no exception, but he's capable of the occasional nice turn of phrase. Talking about Hillary's decision to stay in the race, he refers to the "audacity of hopelessness."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 7:29 AM
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Having skipped this whole thread (intentionally), I'd just like to say that it provides a measure of comforting certainty to know that (1) Clinton will descend to racism to get her way and (2) that won't beat Obama. I mean, the first point it's at least good to get in the open and the second point is pretty reassuring.

Also, B and PGD are wrong (again, didn't read the thread).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 8:28 AM
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Time Magazine: The Five Mistakes Clinton Made

Clinton picked people for her team primarily for their loyalty to her, instead of their mastery of the game. That became abundantly clear in a strategy session last year, according to two people who were there. As aides looked over the campaign calendar, chief strategist Mark Penn confidently predicted that an early win in California would put her over the top because she would pick up all the state's 370 delegates. It sounded smart, but as every high school civics student now knows, Penn was wrong: Democrats, unlike the Republicans, apportion their delegates according to vote totals, rather than allowing any state to award them winner-take-all. Sitting nearby, veteran Democratic insider Harold M. Ickes, who had helped write those rules, was horrified -- and let Penn know it. "How can it possibly be," Ickes asked, "that the much vaunted chief strategist doesn't understand proportional allocation?" And yet the strategy remained the same, with the campaign making its bet on big-state victories. Even now, it can seem as if they don't get it. Both Bill and Hillary have noted plaintively that if Democrats had the same winner-take-all rules as Republicans, she'd be the nominee.

They paid Penn over $13 million for his services.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 8:30 AM
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403: maybe loyalty over mastery wasn't the problem; maybe they really did think they were Republicans running in the Republican primary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 8:33 AM
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403: I would think that Time might have worked "Voted for the War"somewhere in there. Maybe right near the top.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 8:39 AM
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403: That's pretty shocking. If only they had someone close to the campaign who had been through a presidential primary...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:00 AM
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If only they had someone close to the campaign who had been through a presidential primary.

Penn was Bill Clinton's pollster and advisor for the '96 campaign, which makes it all the more ridiculous.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:06 AM
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How can you be ready for blood on the streets when the very idea of a young charismatic Presidential nominee blows your mind?

I think it's because he's worried that the young charismatic President will lull and soothe the very people who are needed to implement the program of blood in the streets.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:08 AM
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I wish that Obama had condemned the misogyny on display during the race.

Meh, I think this is an instance of over expectations. He doesn't need to be a shining knight on the hill.

I agree with Napi that Clinton's lost the race, and that she's done so because she ran a poor campaign without any real center to it rather than because of sexism. In the end, I suspect the main contribution sexism made to her losing the primary is that she way overreacted to it and tried to overcompensate, which contributed to her campaign's lack of focus. Whether or not sexism would have been a factor in her losing the general, if she'd run a better primary campaign, I dunno.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:09 AM
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I have foresworn horse-race commentary, but that shouldn't stop one of you lot from looking at the charts of "Dem_Nom" and "Pres_WTA" on the Iowa Electronic Markets and drawing some conclusions about "electability".


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:09 AM
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||
I dunno if this piece on Clinton's worst mistakes has already been mentioned elsewhere, but this anecdote in particular is hilarious.
|>


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:11 AM
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403: Yeah, I just saw that at TPM. It's almost impossible to believe that Penn wasn't fired on the spot. Relatedly, I have a recurring conversation with a friend that goes something like this:

Me: "How, given our obvious limitations and misspent youth, did we manage to become even moderately successful?"

He: "Most people are worse at their jobs than we are at ours. We look good by comparison, in other words. Even if we're not. Good, that is."

Me: "That's pretty depressing, don't you think?"

He: "No."

That said, I've always assumed that at the highest levels of any field the people playing the game are pretty damn good. But the mismanagement of the Clinton campaign suggests that I've been totally wrong about that.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:11 AM
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the main contribution sexism made to her losing the primary

...was making her believe she had to vote for the war to prove she was tough. I just don't believe any Democratic candidate wearing that scarlet A was going to be able to win over half of the Democratic voters. That she made it as close a race as she did speaks mostly to the power of celebrity.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:13 AM
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411 meet 403 through 407.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:13 AM
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I dunno if this piece on Clinton's worst mistakes has already been mentioned elsewhere

Yes, eight comments earlier.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:14 AM
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409: It's odd to have a wish construed as any kind of expectation at all. But there you go.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:15 AM
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All subsequent comments meet 230.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:16 AM
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413 works for me.

416: I just mean that even wishing it is a kind of wishing for perfection.

Most people are worse at their jobs than we are at ours. We look good by comparison, in other words. Even if we're not. Good, that is.

You know, I figured this out really really young and yet I have never stopped being amazed at how true it is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:18 AM
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405: Time knows how Time and the rest of the media would have helped Bush crucify an anti-war figure in the national spotlight who had a credible shot at the presidency. Once Obama took national office and actually had to vote on the war, he knew it, too.

Obama even adopted the Republican "support the troops" talking points in explaining his pro-war votes.

I don't much like it, but my best guess is that Obama made the right political calculation here (from the March 2007 article linked above):

Obama has voted for all of the president's war funding requests since coming to the Senate, and is poised to vote in favor of the latest request when it comes to the Senate floor this spring.

Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:20 AM
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I also think we shouldn't have politics threads for a little while.

So don't participate in them, maybe?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:23 AM
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403: That they continued to pay Penn instead of firing him on the spot was a huge lapse of judgment. Policy positions aside, comparing the campaigns is pretty revealing, and has confirmed for me the rightness of my Obama-love. I feel a lot more confident in his ability to put together a competent organization with a coherent, effective strategy than I do in hers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:26 AM
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I can definitely recommend 420 as being deeply satisfying, although the problem is that political threads take so much energy they leave people too tired out to really participate in stupid cock joke threads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:28 AM
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The tale related in 403 makes for the best argument so far that Obama should retire Clinton's campaign debt. Thanks Mark, we couldn't have done it without you!


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:31 AM
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The "he would have voted yes in the Senate" remains as utterly unconvincing as ever. There are twenty odd Democrats who voted yes on funding pretty much whenever Obama did, and yet voted no on the war resolution.

It remains much rarer for a Senator or Senate candidate to actually have attended an antiwar protest, & spoken at it, dirty hippies and all, than to vote no on the use of force resolution. Obama attended & spoke at least one antiwar rally in the week immediately preceding the invasion, when he was a declared Senate candidate. Kind of like he was one of only two Senators to attend the pro-immigration rallies, a few months after my lovely Congressman was telling House Democrats in swing districts to vote for Tom Tancredo's crappy, mean immigration bill. He doesn't have an umambiguously pure liberal record, but I maintain that he gives far more reason for hope than Clinton, & no amount of made up counterfactuals resting on no evidence will convince me otherwise.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:34 AM
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424: Absolutely. His war record was very good until he got into the Senate.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:37 AM
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424: Yes, but can I convince you that LBJ would have won had he run in 1968? Because that's the real issue here.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:37 AM
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Also: opposing the war helped Dean in the primaries. Supporting it hurt Kerry in the primaries. I'm pretty convinced it also hurt him in the general election. Supporting the war hurt Clinton in the primaries. Opposing helped Obama in the primaries. I think it would be helpful in the general election. Maybe things looked different in 2002 inside the Washington bubble. But it was kind of predictable that if it was a disastrous policy mistake, it would be unpopular by the time 2008 rolled around. I know I've said this 100x; I can't imagine why people are STILL arguing that Clinton had no choice.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:39 AM
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I maintain that he gives far more reason for hope than Clinton

I also think this is true (well, maybe not "far" more), and I don't understand what you think I said that even addressed this issue.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:39 AM
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Do y'all really believe the Penn story? Color me skeptical. A lot of people hate that guy (with plenty of justification, apparently), but that really seems like a stretch.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:41 AM
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415: Yes, eight comments earlier.

Sorry, I only read my own comments on Unfogged.


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:41 AM
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429: I dunno. Wasn't there a similar story about their strategy for the Texas primary/caucus?


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:42 AM
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Also, B and PGD are wrong (again, didn't read the thread).

Regulars hardly need to read a thread to know this.

Looks like the prediction of an early June end was accurate:

"It'll be over early June," McAuliffe said. "We've all said we'll be together at the end. If Hillary doesn't win, Hillary, (former) President (Bill) Clinton, myself, we'll be over there helping Senator Obama. And, likewise, Senator Obama will come together to help Hillary if she's the nominee."

McAuliffe is Hillary's campaign chair and a Clintonista if there ever was one. That seems like a fine denouement to me. I wouldn't hold a grudge against her if that's how it plays out.

Agreed on Clinton's strategic incompetence, reminiscent of health care reform, and also the hideousness of Mark Penn, that exrescence on the party. In the end Hillary's strengths in mastery of detail and doggedness and her weaknesses in large-scale management and bold leadership seem to make her a better Senator than executive.

394-396 is the kind of thing that makes me roll my eyes though. What is Hillary supposed to do, start beating the interviewer with a stick? She called the Muslim thing a ridiculous smear, exact words.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:43 AM
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419, 425: You don't see a distinction between voting to authorize the war in the first place, and voting for funding the troops who are already there? I confess to my lack of nuanced understanding of the available options, but would voting against funding have gotten the troops out of Iraq in any semblance of a responsible way?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:43 AM
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427- After all, over 20 Senators did vote against the war.


Posted by: asl` | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:43 AM
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Were I to be named king, I would be the kindest, wisest, most profoundly fair and effective leader this country has ever known. I would declare peace in the middle east, and everybody would listen to me, because my personal charisma and obvious moral virtue would be too great to disdain. I would move us away from oil, completely, in three years, because it's time. I would heal the rifts between cyclists and drivers, both free to enjoy their 100% pollution free vehicles free from the other's molestations. I would herald Boston sports teams to new heights of achievement, and teach the rest of the world to celebrate their success, in the spirit of good-natured bonhomie. I would help the lowly mongoose finally defeat the mighty Borg, and be lauded for it.

Anybody who disagrees with me clearly has an inadequate grasp of the facts pertaining to this counterfactual, and is to be pitied.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:44 AM
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And to be clear: if nothing changes and she does stays in past early June then she really is getting into betraying the party territory. With the news cycle as it is, I think 4-5 months till the election and 10 weeks till the convention with Obama as unquestioned candidate is a solid amount of time. Dean has been pushing this calendar for months now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:46 AM
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The "he would have voted yes in the Senate" remains as utterly unconvincing as ever. There are twenty odd Democrats who voted yes on funding pretty much whenever Obama did, and yet voted no on the war resolution.

For me, it's more to the point that, whatever he might have done, he didn't actually vote for the war. Nominee selection is a blunt instrument. If Clinton loses the nomination, people will rightly say that the war vote cost her the nomination. And Democratic politicians will again be afraid to vote for war, as they were after Vietnam, and as they were afraid to vote against war after the Gulf War. What is in the heart of the candidate--assuming any of them actually have a heart--matters to me very little. Re-instituting the costs of a pro-war vote is what matters to me, and on that score, the choice is pretty straightforward both in the primary and the general. Obama is better than Clinton, who is better than McCain, even if each has the same plan as the others going forward.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:48 AM
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Do y'all really believe the Penn story? Color me skeptical

The Ickes quote seems like a solid verifying detail.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:48 AM
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433: If we're gonna excuse Obama for not voting to cut off Iraq funds when he was a Senator, could we at least stop heaping abuse on the Democratic Congress for doing exactly the same thing? I mean, I know Harry Reid doesn't have Obama's buttery smoothness, good looks, and eloquence, but fair is fair.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:49 AM
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would voting against funding have gotten the troops out of Iraq in any semblance of a responsible way?

Yes. Obama adopted a Republican lie when he suggested otherwise.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:50 AM
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Re-instituting the costs of a pro-war vote is what matters to me

Word. Serious primary challenges would be even better.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:51 AM
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435: Sifu Tweety's secret identity is John McCain. He'd get them all in a room together and tell them to stop the bullshit.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:51 AM
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437 is exactly right.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:53 AM
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Were I to become king, "herald" would mean "shepherd", and vice versa.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:53 AM
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443 to 435.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:54 AM
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429- I do, but likely the incident was born of arrogance rather than stupidity.


Posted by: asl` | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:54 AM
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For me, it's more to the point that, whatever he might have done, he didn't actually vote for the war.

I think this is an excellent and very important point.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:54 AM
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I never understood why the Democrats didn't run through a bill funding the safe return of the troops to the U.S. The Constitution put appropriations in the hands of Congress specifically so that Congress could put a check on the executive, but by now if Congress dared defy the executive they'd be regarded as traitors.

Lethal programs like the police and the military are not part of politics the way other programs are. They're at a whole different, transcendent level, and debates about them tend to be insanely driven by veiled threats.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:56 AM
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It remains much rarer for a Senator or Senate candidate to actually have attended an antiwar protest, & spoken at it, dirty hippies and all, than to vote no on the use of force resolution.

This is very true. In fact, anything done in front of dirty hippies is brave.


Posted by: asl` | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:59 AM
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Yes, I'd like a lesson driven home that voting to authorize stupid, illegal wars—especially one so blatantly designed to enhance Republican poll numbers—will earn you eternal enmity from the party base and absolutely destroy your chances at attaining higher office.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:59 AM
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What Jesus said, Ogged. The Ickes story, coupled with similar claims about Penn's failure to understand the complexities of the Texas primary/caucus, coupled with shilling for Colombia while Clinton was campaigning on an anti-trade platform in PA, all suggest that Penn really is as monumentally incompetent as the haters suggest.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 9:59 AM
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The Ickes quote seems like a solid verifying detail.

Not really, since Ickes wants the story coming out of the Clinton campaign's collapse to be "Mark Penn screwed up and the candidate screwed up by trusting him." So the Ickes quote probably indicates nothing more than that Ickes was the source of that leak.


Posted by: mano negra | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 10:02 AM
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439: We have no choice but to stop heaping abuse on Obama, since all the real anti-war candidate have been laughed out of the race and Obama will be significantly better than McCain. But the other shitasses in Congress have no such protection.

Being abused by the Unfoggetariat is as painful as being licked by a kitten. Congressmen probably use Unfoggetarian abuse like those CDs of rain gently falling or ocean waves that help people fall asleep at night.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 10:03 AM
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What Jesus said, Ogged.

Right, on re-reading, I think the paragraph is a bit misleadingly written--"And yet the strategy remained the same"--which leaves it ambiguous as to whether the strategy remained the same because the truth didn't matter, or because they thought it was a good strategy for sane reasons.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 10:03 AM
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Being abused by the Unfoggetariat is as painful as being licked by a kitten.

We've really got to work on that.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 10:05 AM
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454: By then it was probably too late. They didn't have the money to change. Plus, pathway dependencies, if such a concept can apply to campaign tactics, which I think it probably can.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 10:07 AM
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406 and 407: Are you sure that that's true? I mean that beggars belief.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:08 AM
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Are you sure that that's true?

That he was WJC's pollster in '96? Yes. To be fair, though, Clinton was running as an incumbent with only Lyndon LaRouche as opposition, and so didn't have to pay any attention to the primaries.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 11:24 AM
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93

"... I hope Bill and Hillary burn in hell, ..."

Not content with the criminalization of policy differences ogged takes things to another level by making them heretical.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:53 PM
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203

"Whose? I'd be astonished if it's in double digits."

The Christian orientation of the Republican party puts off Asian voters.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 12:56 PM
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Except, of course, for the more than one-third Asian-Americans who are actually Christian.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:09 PM
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Except, of course, for the more than one-third Asian-Americans who are actually Christian.

Not necessarily. Asian-Americans are underrepresented in the denominations (and the non-denominational megachurches) that are closely aligned with the GOP. While the confessional affiliations of Christian Asian-Americans is as diverse as the group itself, they are prominently represented in some of the more liberal and tolerant denominations, e.g. Korean Presbyterians.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 2:31 PM
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The Christian Chinese-Americans my parents met at some social event back in 2004 were heavily, heavily pro-Bush. I hereby declare that they were a representative sample.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05- 8-08 6:18 PM
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Here's one where the generational split works the other way. Lots of mainline parents whose kids drank the kool-aid in the college Bible study groups.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:20 AM
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BTW, if this is true, who are Bush's so-called base really? Question posed in geniune search for enlightenment.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 3:35 AM
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Conservative Christians, authoritarians, militarist imperialists, bigots, and people who want low taxes.

The book looks tendentious to me. Regardless of the stats, there's no doubt that conservative Christians have been a force, as voters and volunteers and to a much lesser degree as donors, regardless of the stats. Not all of them are evangelicals, and plenty of people drift in and out of churches but listen to them. The backsliding evangelical living in sin might still vote conservative.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:38 AM
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And when I say "regardless of the stats", I mean it. Don't push me on this.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 5:44 AM
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Two links for McManus: Stoller" ; DDay at Digby.

Obama has used the internet very effectively, but he's apparently centralized his entire operation around his own campaign and has done what he could to freeze out the independent blogosphere. He's also apparently freezing out independent issue-oriented groups like Votevets, whom he regards as representing the "old Washington politics".

My reading is diametrically opposite that. The old Washington Democratic politics is oriented entirely toward campaigning every two years and minimizes substantive discussion not keyed to the campaign of the moment, and it thus leaves nothing behind. (This is my criticism of MoveOn too). The Democrats have been feeble at message development and dissemination (whatever you call it), whereas the Republicans have been powerful in that area, very impressively so given that their message is largely fraudulent.

It looks as though Obama really believes his kumbayah "bring us together" centrism, which means that he will end up marginalizing and working against anyone whose message requires moving left or fighting for an issue against opposition.

It sounds very much like the DLC approach. The DLC claims to oppose the left of the party because the left can't win, but they actually oppose the left because they don't want the left to win and are more comfortable taking their chances on a Republican President and Congress. The DLC Democrats batted 50% on the Presidency, lost control of both houses of Congress, and made deals with the Republicans whenever they could.

I still support Obama on my beggars-can't-be-choosers principle, but these two links confirm my worst fears.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 6:48 AM
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469

468: I'm as Obama-skeptical as anyone (except bob), but I think this is unnecessarily gloomy. The old infrastructure - the Clinton-DLC infrastructure - had to be torn down. The question, as you say, is what's going to replace it ?

Tim is better at articulating this than I am, but the identity of Obama's supporters - financial and electoral - is the real key here. The reason Bill Clinton was better than HW Bush is that HW had to answer to a shittier constituency - and HW lost partly because he refused to kowtow completely to that constituency. Obama will likewise have to answer to his constituency - a group that seems like a pretty decent bunch, certainly better than Bill Clinton's supporters.

The coalition Obama is building may well be like the one Reagan built. Sure, Reagan doublecrossed some elements of his own coalition and got away with it, as Obama no doubt will. But in the end, the pro-war, class-war Republicans were able to change the direction of the country in ways that few could have imagined.

Of course, some part of my equanimity about all of this is that I am both less liberal and have lower standards than you. I don't mind so much Obama's centrism, and in places where he'll be too centrist for me, I'll still be very grateful to have him as a president rather than McCain - or even Hillary.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-08 7:38 AM
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