Obama makes especially good use of the insidious tactic of not making anything up.
Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. – Oscar Wilde
Obama makes especially good use of the insidious tactic of not making anything up.
…and then you thought about it for a few seconds and, oh, crap.
Or maybe not. Mitt Romney is a skilled liar, something which seems to be the primary byproduct, besides his $200+ million fortune, of his years at Bain Capital. He doesn’t walk in the room and sour the deal with inconvenient truths. He sees what the script for the deal is, walks in the room, and says it. When people ask questions, his goal isn’t to educate them. It’s to get the deal done. Period. It’s more complicated than selling Sham-Wow or unnecessary home remodeling, but it’s essentially the same task. I’ve had sales experience and felt forever dirtied by it, because of what I was told, over and over again: If they ask a question, the answer is yes, we can do it. We’ll figure it out later.
And so Mitt Romney will figure out how to be president later. That’s not on his radar yet. His job is to close that deal. The American people are just customers. He doesn’t care if they walk away from one of his speeches more or less informed, enlightened, or edified. He needs them to a) believe a gigantic pile of horseshit about President Obama and b) believe a gigantic pile of horseshit about himself. He piles it on higher and higher, thinking that even if many people distrust him, if they only believe half of what he says it’ll amount to so much horseshit that it’ll tip the scales to the desired 50.1% that he strives for.
And so it’s extremely useful to see this breakdown that makes it a little clearer that believing anything Mitt Romney says is foolish.
I’d cut and paste but each point on the list is accompanied by links, so please click through and soak it up yourself.
Apr 25, 2012 in Election crap
Okay, so the new smartass Beltway vomit is that, even though everybody knows Mitt Romney has reversed every position he’s ever held and landed on “severely conservative,” the Obama campaign must either attack him for being a flip flopper without attacking his policy promises, or they must attack the policy promises and never call him a flip flopper.
The Washington elite seems to have a pretty easy time with their view that Romney may be a serial liar, but that’s a good thing since the horrible things he’s saying won’t really matter. This is a pretty remarkable contortion, isn’t it? Isn’t the fact that he flip flopped into a pile of dog crap doubly incriminating? Why should anybody running against him expect to leave out half the story?
Are we to see a repeat of 2004, where the Republican is given carte blanche to lie freely while the Democrats were scolded for telling the truth? I suspect that Romney’s anti-charisma will eventually make this conceit unsustainable, but as long as Jake Tapper or Mark Halperin collect paychecks, and as long as Politico exists and the Washington Post editorial board is run by wanker Fred Hiatt, bullshit like this will continue to pass as common wisdom among the Very Serious People. Oh, wait, this came from Huffington Post. Thanks, Arianna.
Oh, pretty please! Countdown begins until the first rightwinger writes an article telling Democrats they’re afraid of Santorum.
UPDATE: GO SANTORUM!
Close to brilliant. Santorum is clueless in so many ways, but this race sure has proven how easy it is to kick Mitt Romney in the balls.
In which Russ Feingold offers impeccable moral reasoning as to why Obama should walk into cannon fire armed with a bow and arrow.
Under Obama’s recovery the elite financial operators sitting on a trillion dollars of capital, and for thanks many plan to use some of that stockpile to fund the campaign against Obama. Yes, he was uber-corporate friendly in policy, but he hurt their feelings on occasion, so, you know. While many are begrudgingly giving support, it doesn’t take a very large share of a trillion to overload a presidential campaign with cash.
Romney offers complete fealty to and worship of Wall Street, since that’s how he rolls, so regardless of how little voters like him he will assemble gigantic coffers of cash that will pay for a lot of lying.
Citizens United needs to be overturned by constitutional amendment ASAP, and public financing needs to instituted to clean up elections. I’ve always believed this. But it’s suicidal to expect any candidate to surrender the money war under current campaign law. There are enough respectable Democrats with money out there to neutralize the Republican machine, so it should be done.
Santorum wins Iowa by 34 votes and it’s declared a draw?
So somebody neutralized those 34 votes.
Who has that power? I’d like to know, and why. What is the limit?
Oct 20, 2011 in Election crap
Rick Perry dusts off the old Kerry flip-flopper ads from 2004 and finds they apply even better to Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney is very certain he wants to be president, I’ll give him that.
These debates are great, watching every single Republican candidate get mortally wounded, so it’s hard to single out a particular moment. But I thought this summed up an important undercurrent of the debate quality:
“Governor Perry, the 14th Amendment allows anybody — a child of illegal immigrants who is born here is automatically an American citizen,” Cooper said. “Should that change?”
“Well, let me address Herman’s issue that he just talked about,” Perry said. “Actually, I’d rather you answer that question,” Cooper told him. “I understand that. You get to ask the questions, I get to answer like I want to,” Perry said, prompting boos from the audience. “And Herman talked about –”
“That’s actually a response,” Cooper corrected. “That’s not an answer, but go ahead.”
The Republicans have problems because things like reason don’t really fly with the base. And so Republican politicians end up competing to see who can bluster the most, resulting in something more like a poorly scripted WWE Royal Rumble. The press is always suspect, easily dismissed, and so the seat-belt is unbuckled, glory to be found in FREEDOM. If Rick Perry doesn’t like your question, then screw you. If Herman Cain wants to jammer about apples and oranges and the whats-its of Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan-stan, then that’s what he’s going to say. It’s called “word salad,” and it means you string together the soundbites and buzzwords until your time is up.
The audience booed Perry, and they deserve some credit for that. But please, anybody who thought logic was invited to tonight’s debate in the first place is a bit naive at this point in history. They were mad that Perry was giving away the technique.
Oct 14, 2011 in Election crap
It only took him his entire life. Rush Limbaugh has come out and stated plainly what absolutely everybody knows about Romney: He has absolutely no core principles, unless you permit, “I love America!”
Now let’s not forget, Republicans have few principles, but they at least lurch right most of the time whenever Obama has tried to compromise by using Republican policy ideas to meet Democratic goals, e.g. health care reform. But oh, do they lurch!
Since President Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, Republicans have reversed their stances on many different policies and beliefs. Here are 24 of them.
1. Health Care Mandates) Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act by Democrats, Republicans widely supported the idea of an individual health care insurance mandate, Newt Gingrich being perhaps the chief supporter. Republicans have always preached about how people need to take responsibility for themselves, and now that a law exists that makes people take responsibility, the GOP is rejecting it simply on the grounds that President Obama and the Democrats passed it.
2. The Nuclear START Treaty) Republicans shamelessly filibustered the ratification of the Obama START Treaty for quite a period of time and criticized it tremendously and continue to try and find ways to circumvent the treaty today. What Republicans conveniently forget is that Ronald Reagan, the man that Republicans worship like a God, negotiated the very first START Treaty which was signed by yet another Republican, George H. W. Bush in 1991. That treaty expired in 2009 so President Obama negotiated a new one to continue the Reagan legacy. But since President Obama negotiated this treaty, Republicans retreated from Reagan’s policy faster than the decade it took to create the START Treaty in the first place.
3. Dream Act) Immigration reform has been touted by Republicans for decades now. Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the 1980?s. Most recently, Republicans worked on immigration reform under the Bush Administration and failed. President Bush and Senator John McCain both supported immigration reform and were willing to cross the aisle to work with Democrats, most notably Edward Kennedy. All of that work and bipartisanship ceased after the 2008 Election. Staunchly opposed to President Obama and anything his administration supports, Republicans turned their backs on immigration reform in favor of militarizing the border and laws that violate the civil rights of Hispanics. Obama’s Dream Act would do much that Reagan would approve of, but Republicans refuse hear anything of it.
Out of the twenty-four, I’d say the author does a clean and clear job on about twenty-two. Two, not so much. One always has to be careful who one casually compares to Hitler, as Hank Williams and Megan Fox know. But the verdict is unmistakable: The Democrats are trying to hold onto stances that used to be considered bipartisan (and typically poll well with majorities), the Republicans are the people we used to rightly regard as goonish Birchers, Confederates, and Klansmen.
But then there’s Romney, a man with no mooring or no compass. One can only wonder how easily circumstance could lead him to run as a Democrat if he thought it would get him more votes. Romney must vex Limbaugh so, because the only Republican with a fighting chance against Obama is the one trying most to avoid sounding like a genuine teabagger. He panders for their votes whenever possible, of course, accumulating a decent-sized pile of horse manure in the process, but everybody knows he’s a panderer, including Mitt. There’s no mystery. Faced with the choice of trying to carry water for Romney for the next thirteen months, Limbaugh, a famous water-carrier, is crying uncle. It’s one hell of a Hail Mary, fishing for some great mythical Republican candidate to come along who can give the teabaggers what they want and win an election, but it’s kind of like wishing for a good, smart, kind woman who will also be a dirty whore in the bedroom. They may exist, somewhere out there, but in general you end up getting one or the other. Romney’s just the gold-digger who will take Republicans to town in divorce court.
And that’s one thing Rush Limbaugh knows a lot about, divorce. That and pill addiction. And sex tourism. And decorating his home like a French fop of a poseur. But I digress…
Another comical effort from a GOP candidate to retaliate against brutal remarks from the Obama administration:
““What we’re getting from this administration in response to the tanking economy are deflections and diversions from what really matters, which is President Obama’s failure to create jobs,” said Romney spokesperson Ryan Williams. “President Obama has turned America into an economic disaster zone. The only question is whether we can make it to the election of 2012 before Obama takes us all the way back to 1929.””
So let’s see…:
a. Accusing of “deflections and diversions” while deflecting and diverting from the substance of Axelrod pointing out what everybody knows, that Romney will say absolutely whatever he thinks will get him a vote, regardless of whether he said the opposite yesterday.
b. Making up shit and pretending that the Obama administration actually made the economy worse, actively. Nearly everything Obama’s gotten past Republicans and idiot Blue Dog Democrats (corporatists who check in to see what Republicans think before articulating any positions) has been beneficial, but actively harmful? No, Romney, for that you have to go to the Tea Party House for doing everything it could to destabilize the economy via debt ceiling threat. And the stimulus running out doesn’t count as active harm, but rather proof that Obama’s been doing a lot more for the economy than he gets credit for.
Mitt Romney really does set a new bar for I WILL SAY ANYTHING SIR!-methods of acquiring public office. Taking that as a given, regarding any bit of huffiness from his campaign as anything other than more unintentional comedy is entirely warrantless. Now he is trying to balance Crazy Tea Party people with the general election campaign he wants to run, but that’s just testament to the fact that Romney’s no dummy, and when he tells a lie he quite surely knows he’s lying. He’s just trying to tell the base that he doesn’t want to badmouth them, but that when it comes to the general election, he’ll give Obama the toughest fight.
Except, as we can see already, Mitt Romney is a glass-jawed hair-dye salesman who obviously can’t take a punch from the Obama team without wetting his pants. He should be thankful his Republican opponents are too afraid of him being the general election candidate to truly take him to task, but he’d better be prepared for the big time if he makes it through the gauntlet of “Anybody but Romney!”-Republicans.
Sep 27, 2011 in Election crap
Remember those Diebold voting machines sold to us by Republicans that were ridiculously easy to hack? Nothing’s changed, except that it’s now easier.
On knowing that whatever jobs program Obama proposes is DOA in the Republican-controlled House (and that Republicans will gladly turn around and blame Obama for not doing anything about jobs):
The Republicans are going to deride whatever he does as Son of Stimulus, the right-wing propaganda apparatus will put a fatwa on the head of any wavering House member or senator, and no plan with “Obama” in its name is going to clear the Senate, let alone the House, and that will be that. We know this.
This is why it’s so chillingly disheartening to read quotes like Carney’s and Earnest’s. The plan can be bold. The plan can be modest. The point is that he has to fight like hell for it. But he won’t. He is the anti-Broder on this front. Remember how the late David Broder wrote all those columns lamenting partisan gridlock, carefully blaming both sides, pointedly ignoring the mountains of evidence that it was chiefly Republicans driving the divide? Well, Obama, rather than blaming both sides, blames neither. He speaks of ending partisan gridlock in a disembodied and remote way, and he talks about it as if it’s an act of God that has descended on the capital, like Irene did—and one that can be overcome if we all just put our shoulders to the wheel.
But the truth is that our gridlock is an act of man—or men. Particular men. They even have names. They are McConnell, Boehner, and Cantor. God forbid the president criticize them. It’s two more syllables than “Martin, Barton, and Fish,” the trio of Republican obstructionists FDR famously called out (read this for a little background on how Obama could be behaving differently), but the president’s an articulate fellow; he could handle it.
President Obama seems to be dipping into the crazy juice when he still talks about how Washington is going to come together and work to solve our problems. Yes, that’s what’s necessary, but it isn’t going to happen, and he needs to acknowledge that and choose how he’s going to spend the final year of his first term. There’s a terrific case to be made against Republicans for what they’ve tried to do to sabotage the economy and prevent any successful legislation that even appears to have come from President Obama, but Obama simply cannot move forward acting like anything’s going to change in the next year. Why should it? As stupid and destructive as it is, the GOP cockblock strategy is hurting Obama’s ratings and that’s all Republicans care about, even if it means cratering their own. Maybe it won’t work for them next year, but there’s no reason for Obama to let them have the chance. He needs to be the guy we elected the next year, the guy who ran on change we could believe in, who ran on standing up for progressive principles, for working families, for all the people the Bush/GOP years left behind.
The most important thing people need to see is that Obama cares and he’s fighting for them. If he fights for them and the Republicans oppose everything he does, then the Republicans are opposing the people. This is already the case, but it needs to be made crystal clear. Republicans are bullies. They will talk shit, they will insult, they will lie, they will make up anything they want about Democrats because they can usually expect Democrats to not fight back, and slowly the taint creeps. But when you fight back, Republicans scatter, whine, cry, complain, and moan about how hurt their feelings are. So Democrats veer between being wimps and, the second they fight back, mean ole’ meanies who are so very cruel and shrill. That’s falling right into the GOP playbook.
No, what you do is keep pressing forward, keep pointing your finger, and keep touting your values, the positive values that lead you to fight for all Americans, not just the wealthy and white. President Obama has actually done some pretty significant things for the poor, most importantly health care reform, but he can’t rest on his laurels and wait for progressives to kiss his ass, as his admin has sometimes signaled they’d like to do. The political capital is burned up. It’s time to earn some more.
Nov 01, 2010 in Election crap
…this election is historically supposed to go this way, following a trend going back to the mid-nineteenth century, but nobody can really take that to heart. Me included. Because this election has been a shell game. The Republicans started campaigning on Jan. 20th, 2009, and couldn’t wait to pin the economy on Obama. Absolutely every single thing he did to help the country was derided simply for being government action.
I mean, you can see here the genuine conservative position before the stimulus:
I honestly think — and remember, I’m in the construction industry — that we’d probably be better off doing absolutely nothing. Let the economy adjust, as the economic actors in the United States take their individual economic decisions concerning what’s right for them. There will be pain, but the economy will recover.
So the Republicans made their position fairly clear: Since doing anything is bad, everything Obama does is bad. Now all we have to look forward to is them stepping into the House and doing nothing. Well, nothing except issue subpoenas for witch-hunts and spend two more years trying to fight anything and everything President Obama and the Democrats, all legitimately elected and likely to still control the Senate, want to do.
But in some little way, I kind of wish Dana had gotten what he wanted the past two years: Nothing. “There will be pain, but the economy will recover.” Would it have recovered by Nov. 2nd, 2010? It would be so amazing to be able to watch these two little competing versions of pre-history play out. I bemoan that the world was not able to watch the Republican wipeout in all its glory.
But so we have it. Obama and the Democrats did most everything they could to undo the damage of the Bush years, and have been pinned with the blame for not delivering a full recovery in two years. Or it didn’t matter and the Republicans were going to gain seats in 2010 regardless of what happened. Either way, onwards we go…
I’ve spent the last two years making a few observations which I find virtually incontestable. By that I mean I’ve found nobody who can seriously debate them, though anybody is welcome to try. Let’s make a list.
1. Obama has essentially done much of what he promised, on the surface, yet has made appalling compromises that have lessened the quality of his achievements. At the same time, he’s done more for Democrat causes than any Democratic president since Johnson. Nevertheless, the air taken out of Democrats’ sails was devastating, and most have had great difficulty getting excited about the good things the Obama administration has accomplished.
2. The “Tea Party” is the re-branding of the GOP base, trying to overcome the complete failure of the Republican politicians they all loved just a few years ago. In doing so, they have managed to avoid nearly all responsibility for the people they so desperately campaigned to elect in 2000, 2002, and 2004.
3. Perhaps it’s fair to say the base has gained complete control of the party, and while they adore most of what Bush/Cheney and the GOP did in the 00’s, they say they’re really different on spending and they really mean it this time, and that’s how they say they want to be judged.
4. They say their concern about spending is primarily reflected in our deficit problems. However, they oppose all tax increases and favor extending the tax cuts that got us into such deep deficits, so they clearly have different priorities. Their proposed spending cuts are largely cosmetic, and many of their candidates still declare military spending to be sacrosanct, so they don’t seem to be very serious about spending. Things like earmarks, the NEA, and defunding NPR get their energy up, little else. They talk about cashing in the last few dollars of the stimulus left over, and gutting the budget-friendly cost-controlling health care reform bill. So they can’t be taken very seriously on spending either.
5. By far their leaders and public faces have been folks who have capitalized on knowing next to nothing and holding extreme and unpopular views otherwise. They have mostly fled the press and anybody else threatening to practice journalism in their vicinity. People on the right who fancy themselves intellectuals rush to make excuses for them, yet we’re supposed to believe that somewhere out there there are serious Republican candidates with good ideas. One would think the GOP would try capitalizing on them, no? Alas, where such “serious” candidates aren’t pleading fealty to the crazy Fake Tea Party people, they’ve still failed to describe any real policy roadmaps that are themselves serious and reflect how to pick up the country’s ailing fortunes.
6. The congressional Republican leaders don’t seem to promise much more than to demand Obama do everything they want, do nothing he wants, start witch-hunt investigations and issue endless subpoenas, and do everything in their power to stop Obama in 2012. The contrast to Democrats who came into office in 2006 with bona fide war criminals in the White House yet backed down from impeachment investigations is palpable.
7. Republicans have claimed not that Obama’s policies didn’t go far enough, as Democrats and polls seem to disagree, but that they were actually really extreme and for all intents and purposes a Communist takeover of the nation’s industry. This description is supposed to describe a giant loan towards Wall Street that has mostly been paid back and may even profit, temporarily taking over GM’s debt obligations and returning it to healthy status, rolling back some of the deregulation of the past ten years that got us into economic trouble, and…yeah, that’s about it. Oh, and a stimulus that was 40% tax cuts along with about 20% emergency relief funds for Medicaid and other state programs. See a breakdown here. The actual direct spending was less than half of what many economists saw as necessary to breathe life back into the economy.
8. On that note, Obama entered office with the economy in freefall, and in two years has returned Wall Street to abundance. Unemployment and wages have stagnated, yet most serious analysis concludes the stimulus made this situation better, not worse. Low demand seems to be at the heart of our troubles, yet any measure aimed at helping the middle and lower class and increasing demand faces stiff opposition from the Republicans.
9. Speaking of stiff opposition, Republicans smashed all records for filibusters into splinters, turning measures into half-measures and stopping the rest. This follows their stated plans at the beginning of Obama’s term.
10. Oh, vague babbling about TEH CONSTITUTION aside, I’ve yet to hear any Constitutional complaints about the Obama administration that betray either any Constitutional misdeeds or knowledge about the Constitution from those yelling the loudest. Betraying the rightwing base’s nature, a lot of this has devolved into further horseshit about the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, from people who usually toss out the Ninth Amendment and complain about judicial activists “finding rights” that aren’t specifically enumerated in the Constitution, like privacy, marriage equality, women’s choice, etc. For those who don’t know, the Ninth Amendment literally forbids reading the Constitution as an exclusive list of rights.
11. Most attempts at taking down the Pseudo-tea-partiers formerly known as the GOP base only inflamed them further, perpetrating a view of themselves as victims. Refuting arguments was treated as counter-productive when it was easier to go back to the base and cite the attacks as further evidence of their martyrdom. The more devastatingly a candidate or somebody like Palin was punctured, the more credibility it gave them in the eyes of the base.
12. The House changing hands this fall is pretty consistent with electoral trends, with the President’s party losing seats. It’s not pretty in the House but potentially better than it could have been, and the Senate situation has improved dramatically, likely leaving Democrats in control.
13. Most populist claims of the GOP base have been followed by their continued insistence, as loyal Republicans, that Wall Street and the wealthy get everything they want. Appease the gods, and they will look kindly upon us!
Given all these things, I have a hard time believing most of the trumpet blaring going on in the rightwing media. Am I supposed to think that this is some great signal that, despite all these things I’ve seen, and despite my inability to find anybody who can seriously challenge me on my observations (Mike Thayer screaming BUT THEY SAID THE UNEMPLOYMENT WOULD BE EIGHT PERCENT and running away does not count), that I’m wrong, just because this election doesn’t go my way?
In logic, an argumentum ad populum (Latin: “appeal to the people”) is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it; it alleges: “If many believe so, it is so.”
Furthermore, a Republican winning of the House doesn’t even translate into a clear statement of “what many believe.” To me, it looks like the Obama administration deflated the left with its compromises and occasional betrayals, taking it for granted, and the right responded to a President Barack Hussein Obama with a mandate to pass Health Care Reform as a fundamental threat to their existence, a sign of their ultimate irrelevance to where our nation was heading, and they exploded into a mass of craziness and blatant dishonesty, refusing to be daunted by anybody pointing out that they were largely full of shit and out of control.
This election stands to be a travesty of justice, ultimately. Despite the flaws of the Obama administration, it still came down to a choice of moving forward or backwards, and the electorate seems to be tainted by the right’s mania into retreating, even though there was nothing good behind them. For all the talk in the 00’s that Democrats had to do more than point out how terrible Republicans were to win elections, it seems that, once again, the rules don’t apply if you’re a Republican. They offered nothing and, regardless of everything I’ve said here, will see the upcoming results as vindication of their efforts, regardless of their likely failure to recapture the Senate.
Theories of reward and punishment certainly apply here, yet as a textbook case of what not to do. Neither Democrats nor Republicans will improve with the GOP grabbing the House. And that being the case, it is very difficult to see how the country can improve.
Instead of baselessly stabbing Nancy Pelosi, whose House passed nearly every bill liberals wanted or had even dreamed of, and running away from being a Democrat, supporters of Jack Conway act like Democrats and stands up for working class Americans:
Democrats were destined to lose seats this election, but many have been too weak to go out fighting. They want to go out looking more GOP-lite. Well, guess what, fuckers? Nobody respects you. Republicans just laugh and Democrats get further demoralized. I dunno, but any election result where Blanche Lincoln, who actually threatened to filibuster the health care reform bill over the public option, loses her job can’t be all bad.
Chickenshit Democrats lose when they win, and brave Democrats win even if they lose. I wish I could say that about Republicans, but people like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell have proven that self-confidence without merit has been accepted as credit for far too long. Democrats have good arguments to make against the Republicans and for themselves, so there’s no excuse for insufficient mettle.
p.s. Edited to reflect that Conway didn’t do the ad himself.
Oct 12, 2010 in Election crap
The House tried to do their jobs and should be treated a bit more nicely than the 41 Republican Senators who have done everything they could to bring the nation’s business to a halt during economically dangerous times:
With only a lame-duck session remaining, the House since January 2009 has passed 420 bills that have sat on the Senate shelf, according to an updated list provided to The Hill.
The gulf in productivity has led to an escalation in tensions between the chambers, culminating in a veritable staring contest last month over the expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts.
House Democratic leaders have frequently griped at the disparity, and the caucus chairman, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), told The Hill last week that the slow pace of legislating in the Senate, where bills can be held up by the filibuster and other rules, “infuriates” members of the House.
Rank-and-file House Democrats said the lack of Senate action on legislation they had cast tough votes on had left them twisting in the wind before an increasingly agitated electorate. At the top of the list was the June 2009 cap-and-trade energy and climate bill, which passed the House by a slim margin but never made it to the Senate floor.
The gap in approved legislation increased by 48 in the three weeks Congress was in session in September, and by 130 since The Hill first reported on the disparity in February.
Okay, Republicans. Have your fun, but without 60 solid votes in the Senate, it’s all wanking. Have fun when that Tea Party rage gets turned back on you because you spent 2010-2012 compromising with Democrats to get anything done.
Oh, you Republican folks think Democrats shouldn’t filibuster everything like you did to them? Shove a copy of the filibuster-less Constitution up your asses and light it on fire.
It’s building. While people have had their fun looking at the trainwreck Tea Party candidates, the thought that they could actually get into office and tear down or freeze in its tracks all the progress Democrats hoped for in 2008 and earned since is getting people out of their chairs. As one billboard said, “I want my country back from Glenn Beck!” Of course, the media never finds liberals as sexy as crazy hopped-up rightwingers, so this event is getting minimal coverage. How many magazine covers has Glenn Greenwald appeared on this year vs. Sarah Palin?
Also, if you missed it, this speech from Obama is pretty goddamn spectacular.
Yeah, it’s not perfect, but you can only critique the man from the left. All Republican complaints about Obama are contrived shite they don’t even believe, and he kicks their asses so swiftly and surely it’s no wonder they hate him so.
Jun 11, 2010 in Election crap
Personally, I couldn’t finish the first 1:30 interview, and made it 56 seconds into the second one. See if you or your friends can survive the challenge without clawing out your eyeballs!
p.s. Obviously, there’s shenanigans going on somewhere here…
You’ll be shocked to hear that Sarah Palin is on the Iowa tea-bagger short list as a favored Republican primary candidate.
Chris Good had to call Ryan Rhodes to find that out?
Mar 31, 2009 in Election crap
So pretty much everybody knows Coleman is just keeping the case going so that Democrats have one less vote in the Senate, right?
I really can’t imagine, especially after Al Gore was pilloried for trying to get one decent recount, that a Democrat could cynically appeal over and over again without the right screaming from every outlet they possess, with the Beltway piling on. Alas, such is the way of things…
Jan 05, 2009 in Election crap
As power slips through your fingers, you may find yourself only able to squeeze tighter.
As we reported last night, the Minnesota recount is now complete. And Al Franken won by 225 votes. The Canvassing Board is slated to meet tomorrow when they’re expected to certify the result. Sen. Schumer (D-NY) just released a statement in which he, not surprisingly, said Franken is clearly the winner and that he should be seated — notwithstanding whatever post-recount legal challenges outgoing Sen. Coleman (R-MN) might attempt. That sets up a probable fight with the Republicans since Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) has promised to filibuster any effort to allow Franken to take his seat.
Dunno, but I would suspect that were the tables turned, Democrats would be slumped over resigned to defeat…being attuned to reality and all, and Republicans would be doing a victory dance. But the votes have been counted, every one scrutinized and contested, Franken is going to be certified, and Republicans are crying shenanigans. Over what? Ah, who knows.
Oct 27, 2008 in Election crap
AKA “Stop me, oh stop me…Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before…”
To get the full effect, you need to speak the following in a monotonous suburban Minnesota accent (only slightly more subtle than the infamous Fargo accent), removing all nuance and punctuation, except to raise the pitch of your voice at the end of the third paragraph to make it sound like a question.
Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC, because you need to know that Barack Obama used his position as a state Senator to give $14 million of our tax dollars to his long-time political donor, convicted felon Tony Rezko.
And Democrats’ solution to the financial crisis is to raise our taxes and give it to those who don’t pay a single penny in federal income tax.
[Ed.: She either said “And Democrats’…”, or really slurred “And, the Democrat…”]
Barack Obama and his Democrat allies lack the judgment to lead our country.
This call has been paid for by the Republican National Committee and McCain-Palin 2008 at 866-558-5591.
This aural gem landed in my cell phone’s voice mail over the lunch hour today. John McCain, thank you for obliging me to pay to hear your lies.
Notice how calmly and logically he responds, if soporifically.
Not surprisingly, AIG gets the golden parachute.
Capitalism, as it is understood in contemporary American society, is a win-win however way you look at it. If there are profits to be made you get to keep them. If you make bad decisions and your company tanks the government will come in and bail you out. I wonder if this is what right-wing mouth-breathers have in mind when they’re constantly preaching their “free market” theology and its figure-head the “Invisible Hand”.
On the bright side we’ve finally shifted the focus of the election from wolf packs, lipstick and pedophilia to the economy; an actual honest-to-god ISSUE. Furthermore, the new penny shine is starting to wear off of Caribou Barbie (What’s the Bush Doctrine again?) because no degree of novelty can cover up her woeful ineptitude forever.
“Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. ‘We want to see Ivana,’ said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ‘because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.’ Ivana Trump, the former Czechoslovakian Olympic skier who found fame and wealth as the wife of the New York tycoon, came to Anchorage Tuesday to push her line of perfume.”
Then there is this from New York Magazine:
After Rudy Giuliani cartoonishly suggested that Wasilla, Alaska, wasn’t “cosmopolitan” enough for Barack Obama, we did some digging into his archives. Despite the air quotes and funny voice he used when saying the word, there was a time when a city’s “cosmopolitan” nature inspired him. From a 1995 address to the U.N.: “After several days of being confronted with New York City’s diversity, any resident or visitor will conclude that our many differences are vastly outweighed by our similarities. That’s why New York is not only the world’s most diverse city, but also the world’s most cosmopolitan and tolerant city.”
The Republican party of George W. Bush was ecstatic last night, once again over fictions that tell them what they already want to believe. Politicians stood up in front of them and freely made things up (or had somebody else make things up for them) and the Bush base went nuts. If you’re a know-nothing with an attitude and can put on some swagger, the Bush base is ready to hand the keys to the country over.
It’s important to keep in mind that without the support of people who still think George W. Bush did a great job, John McCain would have infinitesimal support. Among the ranks of the sane, he has been profoundly rejected.
One can take some potshots at Obama, but he’s an honest individual who is more interested in solving problems than satisfying anybody’s particular ideology. He takes a pragmatic, realistic approach to issues, which means looking at them square on. He doesn’t need to invent long lists of fictions in order to make the case for his election. He is more in tune with the facts than John McCain and, we can now safely say, Sarah Palin. He is more in tune with what Americans want and what they need. McCain has nothing but soundbites and bullet points crafted to mask a package of Bush policies. His best defense is that he took on most of his positions recently, so he’s unlikely to be trusted to enact any of them, expecially with a massively Democratic Congress, with an exception of the policies he’s cribbed from Obama.
It is telling that he’s been forced to mimic Obama’s campaign, an establishment candidate trying to talk about “change” because he tested which way the wind was blowing. His ultimate rudder is whatever it takes to become president. People who want power that badly must be kept from it, and if this nation didn’t learn that lesson from Bush II, we’re going to be stuck with more ineffective leadership and a Republican Party that gave us eight years of the worst president in history, and got rewarded with four more.
Obama raised money 8-to-1 over McCain after last night’s cheap piece of hackery from Sarah Palin. Keep it up. I’m making one more donation in October, and it just got doubled.
Further evidence that if presidential elections had anything to do with policies, Democrats would win every time.
Of course, our presidential elections have become Prom coronations. Republicans are no doubt overjoyed to see Hillary Clinton supporters defecting from Obama to McCain for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and are gladly stoking the fires. Even what Hillary herself says matters no more. The election is now in the hands of a tiny minority of “Democrats” consumed with senseless anger and completely deprived of logic, ready to vote against Hillary’s positions and advice, for John McCain who calls his wife a cunt in public and laughs when somebody calls Hillary a bitch. Are they going to be fooled into thinking that people like Bill Kristol are suddenly feminists who care what they think?
Just witnessed on CNN, Democrat at the convention vs. a Hillaryite ready to burn the house down:
“Democrats like you are the reason we lose elections!”
“Blame the Democrat party for picking losers!”
Well, Hillary lost, you fool. This should have been dead and buried already. By the end of this week, it had better be.
My favorite come back so far:
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in response: â€œDoes a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people â€˜clingâ€™ to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about whoâ€™s in touch with regular Americans?â€
ZING! See how loud they scream when you have the audacity to punch back?
Hawaii is now the destination of the ultra-rich elite and arugula, produce that can be found in even the shabbiest mixed bag of salad greens, graces the palates of kings!
Of course, air-headed, snark-meister Sharon and the Righteous Indignation Brigade are predictably clutching their collective pearls and decrying “LIBRUL HIPPOCRISY!!!” as if the damage hasn’t already been done. The amen corner can wave their arms about Rezko (a sound bite that the networks are already tired of “reporting” on) and try to muddy the waters but the one key bullet-point that voters are going to walk away with is that Obama owns one house and McCain owns enough houses that he doesn’t have the right to lecture anybody on being an out of touch elitist. He’s also a man who isn’t above hiding behind his wife’s skirt when he’s caught in a pinch.
PS – I don’t know whether you folks are aware of this but McCain was a POW! Who knew?
Conservatives, to use the term loosely in describing America’s rightwingers, have seen most of their essential arguments against Barack Obama widely yawned upon and ignored. Very little gets their juices flowing anymore, except one thing nowadays: OMIGOD OBAWMA WILL TAX YOU INTO THE POORHOUSE! If you visit our friends over at Common Sense Political Thought, it’s the only topic they can muster any excitement over.
Now, first of all, it should be a matter of common sense at this point that McCain talks about Barack being all “tax and spend” while his plan is “borrow yet even more and boy I got me some spending plans you wouldn’t believe!” But specifics can help illuminate the scale of this difference.
Hilzoy, my favorite policy wonkster, dives into the Center for Tax Policy analysis of the tax and spend plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama.
The short version: over ten years, the proposals McCain actually makes on the stump would cost $2.7 trillion more than the policies his campaign describes, for a total cost of nearly $7 trillion over ten years. Over the same ten years, the proposals Obama makes on the stump would cost $367 billion less than the policies his campaign describes, for a total cost of a little under $2.5 trillion. (The main difference between what Obama says on the stump and what his campaign describes is his proposal to levy Social Security taxes on income over $250,000/year.)
Here’s a chart showing the effects of both candidates’ tax proposals (the ones they describe on the stump) on people in various income brackets, from p. 46 of the report. Note that while this graph shows taxes going up for people in the top quintile under Obama’s plan, a more detailed breakdown (p. 45) shows that taxes only go up for the top 5% (incomes over $226,918/year.) People in the 95th-99th percentiles ($226,918-$603,402/year) would pay $799 more a year, on average.
Now this is the complete destruction of everything McCain has to say about the economy. Well, as Hilzoy notes, what McCain has to say about his plans vs. the reality is quite a disparity…McCain underrepresents his spending by the total amount of Obama’s spending. That should be front page news, repeated over and over until it registers with our lovely swing voters. There is a choice between McCain’s $7 trillion in extra spending vs. Obama’s $2.5 trillion. What’s the conservative choice there? That should also be constantly repeated until November. And you see that it isn’t until the top 25% of earners where McCain’s plans start to benefit incomes more than Obama. When it comes to the top 1%, of course, we see who McCain is really interested in helping: the same people George W. Bush and his GOP have been about helping all along. Keep lowering taxes on them, keep spending like a drunken trophy wife (or one hopped up on prescription meds, ZING!), and hope that the public never asks, “Who, besides our grandchildren, will be the ones paying for all this?”
Now the problem is that if this analysis actually became mainstream information, the election would skew so far for Obama that McCain would have to shoot somebody to get the public’s attention. No amount of screaming “Wealth redistribution” would cut it, as McCain is continuing Bush’s policy of distributing the wealth of future generations to our fat asses today. People recognize more than ever I think that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, something you learn on your first day in Economics 101. Bush’s policies have a price tag, and McCain’s have an even bigger one. Somebody has to pay for it. And if your remind people they were doing better in the 90’s paying Clinton’s tax rates, it’s a complete no-brainer.
The Republican Party simply has no case for John McCain as president. The best argument for him is that he’s only slightly less insane than the average rightwinger, but from foreign policy to economic policy, he is at odds with the public and all reason. With our nation facing some hard times ahead, putting McCain in office is by far the riskier choice.
p.s. It’s a little known fact that a paper copy of the analysis will actually burn the skin of Grover Norquist.
p.s.s. Despite my poor phrasing, these numbers are about net cost once spending and tax revenue are figured in….those numbers are basically what would be added to the deficit.
…another nugget about McCain that would be a fatal deal-breaker ultimate gaffe for Obama. From his autobiography:
I didn’t decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president.
And it got only worse, since McCain abandoned virtually every position he held before then to be a good and proper George W. Bush Republican candidate to keep the dittoheads calm.
I’m totally digging Balloon Juice nowadays. John lays the fuckin’ facts out on the table:
Forcefully and confidently defining yourself and what you believe in, while defining your opponent and his ideas is not â€œdirty politics,â€ it is politics. Obama did not launch into numerous attacks on John McCain the person, he didnâ€™t raise questions as to whether McCain is in league with the terrorists, he attacked McCain on the issues, over his ideas and his policies. Again, that is not dirty politics, although it is a â€œnew kindâ€ of politics for a party that too often has let the opponent frame the debate with the esoteric hope that â€œthe people are smarter than thatâ€ and â€œwill see through the Republican attacks.â€ Rather than worrying about the Obama campaign, Democrats should be cheering what happened yesterday. It was the first time I remember a Democrat forcefully engaging Republican ideas, explaining why they are wrong, and providing an alternate vision.
Exactly. Exactly. EXACTLY. “A new kind of politics” doesn’t mean Barack Obama has to nod his head and agree with everything John McCain says, triangulate, or timidly demur. It means sticking to the arguments, premises, conclusion and all. It means being unafraid to point the finger, say, “You’re wrong, and here’s why.” Barack Obama pays John McCain the personal respect that he’s due, if not more. And then he goes toe to toe and argues without blinking why McCain isn’t right for the country. John McCain is happy to mutter shit about Hamas loving Obama, or blather about Obama not signing up for the Armed Forces (when there was no war!), or keep calling him inexperienced. All that gets shredded to shit when Obama repeatedly makes the case that McCain has no case. Substance and style vs. no substance and tired, worn out style.
Go watch some UFC, folks. Everybody talks their shit outside of the ring, talks about how fuckin’ badass they are, how they’re going to deconstruct the other guy and become his worst nightmare, etc. etc. But none of that matters once the ref says, “Fight!” And nobody roots for the guy who spent three rounds getting his face pounded to a bloody pulp to win the decision.
I welcome John McCain to try fighting back on the issues, point for counterpoint. I welcome people sitting down, ignoring all the flash, and keeping score. Because I’ve always seen that when liberal/progressive/libertarian types go up against somebody trying to please the rightwinger crowd and don’t back down, the opponent crumbles and runs. McCain can’t stand up in a fight because he’s stuck to Bush, and if he tries dumping Bush his corner will throw in the towel. His argument is fundamentally handicapped, and Barack Obama should use every day from here til November taking McCain on directly, diligently, and fearlessly. McCain will start to whine, the wingers will start to whine, the media will echo the rightwing talking points (“Is Obama unfairly attacking John McCain?”), and some new personal smears will be attempted before the election, but if Obama persists, the crowd will see who is winning, and the media, smelling McCain’s weakness, will go into a blood-frenzy.
This is the simple message I’ve wanted Democrats to get for a long time. When you fight, you win. When you react out of fear, back off and triangulate, you lose. If you think wingers don’t seize on the moment and go for the kill the second they smell blood, you haven’t been paying attention for fifteen years.
If Hillary works as hard to unite the Democratic Party as she did to get herself elected, we’re going to be sitting pretty in November. Today she takes the first step:
“The way to continue our fight now to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States,” she said in a speech before cheering supporters packed into the ornate National Building Museum, not far from the White House she longed to govern from.
“Today as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me,” the New York senator said in her 28-minute address.
All things must end. With grace, endings become beginnings.
Jun 07, 2008 in Election crap
Plot your candidate’s path to great victory! How I’m running it right now: start with the year pulldown (north of Lake Ontario) at 2008 and the starting view (south of the Gulf of Mexico) at “2008 swing states.” Now swing the states you think your candidate will swing. For extra fun, if you’re trying to swing the election blue, as I am, give yourself an additional handicap: presume OH & FL as incontrovertibly red. (And don’t get your damn undies twisted about this handicap, either, it’s just a game.) So your job is to swing enough states blue to get to 270.
How I reached the promised land: first I swung Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all blue. Not so tough there; all of these appear in the map view you can select by toggling “2004 very close.” Per our ground rules here, I gave PA & OH to McCain, and then I did the same with Florida and Michigan: lost causes this year for the Democrats, I’d guess. (NB: how one feels about this isn’t at issue here.) Swing Colorado to McCain (ouch, I know, but let’s be honest), New Mexico to Obama (hopeful, I know, but Richardson will be campaigning nonstop and has pull with the voters there). Now let’s get a little bolder and swing Virginia to Obama, and, hoping as hard as we can, do the same with Nebraska. Give NJ to Obama, the whole state’s sick to death of the GOP.
What’s left? North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Missouri. If McCain’s anti-immigrant politics impacted Nevada, the state’s income would suffer, and everybody there knows it. Swing Nevada blue. I live in North Carolina, and the western part of the state’s going to vote McCain, but the population surge in Raleigh and in the Triangle (and probably in the Triad for all I know) has been huge and the governor’s a fairly well-liked Democrat. I’m marking it blue.
Now swing New Hampshire, who’s voted Democrat the last four elections in a row. That puts the tally at D-264 and R-263, and leaves Missouri as-yet unswung.
I think I speak for all current and former Iowans when I say that if the 2008 election comes down to Missouri, I’m going to stay drunk for the rest of the decade.
Republicans really are stuck with a turd with John McCain. They’re faced with a Democratic candidate who, the popular narrative suggests, is a master of style and presentation, while their man, John McCain, is a wheedling, stilted eyesore feeding off his opponent’s best lines. What to do?
First instincts kick in, and immediately it is concluded that they must turn it into a style vs. substance debate. Every yin must have a yang, no? It must be so. It needs to be so. Rightwingers tell themselves, this is what we want, what we need, what we will do. Initiate action.
Reverse and retreat, MY FRIENDS. Code Red: McCain is the style vs. Obama’s substance.
…in any contest between Obama and McCain, Obama is the substantive, policy-oriented candidate, while McCain is the one offering mostly pious bromides about victory, service and being American. If style often beats substance, Obama is in trouble because, as his supporters tirelessly remind us, Obama does have a substantive policy agenda (even if he doesnâ€™t spend as much time talking about it and a lot of his boosters donâ€™t care what it is) and McCainâ€™s entire campaign has been even more driven by biography and character than Obamaâ€™s.
Daniel Larison feels free to joke about Obama fearing McCain on style. The mis-match is indeed near farcical.
It’s going to be great watching the opposition get buried this coming November. Numbers like this must make the RNC weep:
A review of campaign finance data offers not one ounce of good news and barely any hope for the McCain campaignâ€™s ability to compete with Obamaâ€™s fund raising prowess.
To make matters worse, Obamaâ€™s campaign, which raised $272 million through April for the primary, now is reaching out to Clintonâ€™s fund raisers, who raised another $200 million through April, in an effort to unite forces and bury the historically deep-pocketed Republicans.
Take a look at some of the numbers:
â€¢ If each of Obamaâ€™s donors gave him a modest $250, heâ€™d have $375 million to spend during the two-month general election sprint. Thatâ€™s $186 million a month, $47 million a week.
â€¢ During the same September to Nov. 4 period, McCain will have about $85 million to spend since he has decided to take taxpayer money to help finance his campaign activities.
â€¢ The Republican National Committee, which is charged with closing the gap between McCain and Obama, has $40 million in cash. Obama raised almost as much â€” $31 million â€” from just his small donors in the month of February. His total for the month, $57 million, exceeded the RNCâ€™s cash balance.
Old Man McCain: no momentum, no message and more critically, no money.
We sure would like to move on with the election to Obama smacking McCain around, but somebody keeps insisting it isn’t over yet…though we’ll be blamed and attacked for listening to her, the question must eventually be answered: When is Hillary Clinton responsible for her own actions?
Right now, instead of floating demands in the press and comparing herself to abolitionists and suffragists, she could be telling her supporters that she lost fair and square; that while there was a lot of sexism in the campaign, there was racism as well, and that sexism does not explain why a candidate with literally every institutional advantage over her opponent lost the nomination. She could be reaching out to the voters who supported her in places where Obama has had trouble, and urging them to vote for him. She could, in a word, be doing the right thing: trying to earn that respect she seems to want.
Instead, she’s throwing tantrums, making demands that she has no right to make, and threatening civil war.
I can’t imagine a better demonstration of why she should not be President or Vice President. Nor can I imagine a better demonstration of why some of us who are committed feminists are not happy with her as our standard-bearer. She lost. It happens. If she were an adult or a professional, she would deal with it. Apparently, she is neither.
Feminists should document and take note where Hillary Clinton was subjected to sexism, but this woman is not a victim. She lost on the merits and plenty of women know it too. To be judged on one’s merits rather than one’s sex…what more could one ask for? Hillary’s work for female equality has been done, and if she doesn’t exit quickly and reasonably and unite behind Obama, she risks doing more harm than good for the cause.
May 18, 2008 in Election crap
Says headline on MSNBC.com:
If not now, when can a woman be president?
Women face letdown of seeing Clinton’s shot at presidency fall short…
For clarification, see headline from alternative universe where Clinton won the primary:
If not now, when can an African-American become president?
Blacks face letdown of seeing Obama’s shot at presidency fall short…
It’s very simple…it’s too bad that race and gender got pitted against each other, but it was incredible progress that a woman and a black man were the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nominee. Somebody had to lose, but that didn’t have to mean one was more or less important than the other. And hey, I still see no reason Hillary can’t run in 2016. Or any other woman, perhaps in 2012 if the Republicans dare to enter the 20th century sometime before the 22nd rolls around. The mold has already been broken, and despite Hillary coasting by on being Bill Clinton’s wife, she deserves the credit.
Republicans are getting really nervous lately, for things are not as they have been ad nauseum.
Some analysts suggest that North Carolina and Virginia may even be within reach for the Democratic nominee, and they point to the surprising result in a Congressional special election in Mississippi this week as an indicator of things to come.
With the strong support of black voters, a conservative white Democrat, Travis W. Childers, scored an upset victory in that race, in a district held by Republicans since 1995. Kelvin Buck, a black state representative who helped the Childers campaign, said he saw a â€œlevel of enthusiasm and energyâ€ that he had not seen before from black voters â€” significantly motivated, he said, by a recent Republican anti-Obama campaign.
Supposedly safe Republican elections are falling out of their hands. Bush is trying the usual horseshit and getting clobbered immediately back by Obama, which is fucking terrific news for Democrats in November. The more Obama is seen as running against Bush, the more clearly the lines are drawn for Americans. And John McCain is helplessly pinned, forced to come out defending Bush and making Obama’s case to America that he represents a continuation of Bush’s policies. The election is Obama’s if he can keep talking like this:
“What’s reckless is continuing the Bush-McCain foreign policy that has cost us thousands of lives and a trillion dollars in Iraq, strengthened Iran, enabled Hamas to take Gaza, took our eye off al Qaeda, failed to capture Osama bin Laden, failed to finish the job in Afghanistan, and left us less safe and less respected in the world. No amount of utterly predictable fear-mongering and tough talk can change the fact that John McCain is running to continue the most disastrous foreign policy in recent American history,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.
And, of course, once again McCain is caught doing something the GOP just hates to death, flip-flopping. He simply cannot hide that he did not think a few years ago the things he supposedly thinks today, and that he wants to have it both ways: George Bush’s boy for the base, and the straight-talkin’ maverick for the independents. In the end, he can make neither happy. He can’t escape the fact that a few years ago he thought Bush was dumb as a stump, and now he’s forced to get Bush’s back every time Obama fires off a few shots.
Obama just took down Bill and Hillary Clinton. After that dogfight, taking on Bush and McCain, people he has much sharper differences with and dramatically stronger arguments against, is a fight he’s apparently been eager to dive into.
â€œThe debate weâ€™re going to be having with John McCain is how do we understand the blend of military action to diplomatic action that we are going to undertake,â€ he said. â€œI constantly reject this notion that any hint of strategies involving diplomacy are somehow soft or indicate surrender or means that you are not going to crack down on terrorism. Those are the terms of debate that have led to blunder after blunder.â€
Obama said he found that the military brass thinks the way he does: â€œThe generals are light-years ahead of the civilians. They are trying to get the job done rather than look tough.â€
I asked him if negotiating with a theocratic/ideological power like Iran is different from negotiating with a nation thatâ€™s primarily pursuing material interests. He acknowledged that â€œIf your opponents are looking for your destruction itâ€™s hard to sit across the table from them,â€ but, he continued: â€œThere are rarely purely ideological movements out there. We can encourage actors to think in practical and not ideological terms. We can strengthen those elements that are making practical calculations.â€
In this fight, Obama is able to float like a butterfly and sting like a Gatling gun. As he continues, virtually able to strike at will, I’m suspecting America will enjoy cheering him on greatly.
She makes me yell at the TV like she’s George Bush, and no one other than George Bush makes me yell at the TV – until now. I actually can’t stand her or her husband any more. I defended her. I defended her husband. And now I’m actually wondering if the Republicans weren’t right about them. That’s how bad she has damaged her reputation. People who actually liked you, who actually helped you, who actually defended you, LOATHE you now. Call me a Clinton-hater all you like, but people like me were the ones who had your back. And we never will again.
I will disagree with the last statement. I would again, perhaps. If Hillary Clinton were being attacked unfairly, I would defend her. But she is not being attacked unfairly. She is having the truth told to her, repeatedly.
It saddens me to think of her and Bill Clinton now, and what the future holds for them. I guess I was always neutral towards Hillary, admiring her at her best but never being particularly excited about her. But Bill, whoo boy. That one stings. I still remember the excitement I felt in 1992 when he ran against Bush I. I loved the man. I loved the way he ran the country, although I came to understand later that many of his policy decisions were heavily flawed and sacrificial of what made Democrats different from Republicans. But on the whole, it was good government that looked out for those trying to get ahead, balanced our books with long term prosperity in mind, and didn’t get us into an endless clusterfuck of a war. Bill’s intelligence was dazzling, and the nation was infused with a sense of well-being in no small part due to his skill behind the wheel. Flaws were there to be seen, no doubt, but in the end it was the first Presidency in my lifetime that I felt good about.
I don’t feel that anymore when I look at Bill today. Today he seems irrelevant and obsolete, a gas-station attendant trying to get everybody to remember when he was the Homecoming King who fucked the Prom Queen. And Hillary, who started out passionate and strong, has fulfilled her years-long mission of erasing the scars caused by her honesty and turning into the ultimate robo-candidate, a plastic automaton devoid of integrity, sensibility, or principle, existing only to pursue and accumulate power. While every once in awhile you sense her saying, “But it had to be done so I could get the things accomplished I cared about…” she revealed the damage done once she was cornered and saw defeat approaching. She had made the sacrifices necessary to be comfortable saying whatever it took to get elected, and so it became the path of least resistance.
I want to feel sympathy for Hillary and Bill now, as they look to the future and see their hopes die. I want to think of them possessed of their old humanity, and feel their frustration as they say to themselves, as I’ve often said to myself, “But I did my best…” But they sacrificed that humanity to attempt destroying a candidate who still possesses that quality.
Hillary voters, I do not know how you can continue maintaining any sense of idealism or affection for the Clintons after the past couple months. I do not know how you cannot see how she has offended the majority of Democrats and lost the race. I do not know how you can act indignant about perceived insults from Barack Obama when he has been as gracious and restrained as possible in dealing with her scorched earth campaigning. I do not know how you could let her Republican tactics turn you off on Barack so much that so many of you claim you’ll vote for McCain instead, although that is rather improbable. You people have not explained yourselves well.
But this is the time to put these things behind us. The Clintons can earn some respect back, depending on how they act over the next six months, although Hillary is clearly not ready to rehabilitate herself yet. But Barack Obama has done plenty enough to earn your respect and cooperation to put an end to the ways of George Bush and his adoring GOP. And, having defeated Hillary Clinton while polling consistently ahead of John McCain, he’s done more than enough to assuage your fears that he won’t get the job done. The time to fear and fret is over. If you make the decision to support the Democratic nominee all the way til November, it will happen. Hillary’s claims are self-fulfilling prophecies borne of no rhyme or reason. We must all put at the forefront the mission of getting a Democrat in the White House, so that we can pursue the vital work of remaining vigilant and staying on top of that Democrat to stick by us all until the last day of office.
May 09, 2008 in Election crap
“At the beginning of 2007 there were 38 things candidates could mention in public that wouldn’t be considered damaging to their campaigns, but now they are mostly limited to ‘Thank you all for coming,’ and ‘God bless America,'” ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said on Sunday’s episode of This Week. “There would still be five phrases available to the candidates if the Obama camp hadn’t accused Clinton of saying ‘Glad to be here’ with a little tinge of sarcasm during a stump speech in North Carolina.”
Our world grows increasingly Onion-esque…
Empty crap like this:
Clinton retorted, “Instead of attacking the problem, he’s attacking my solutions,” and ran an ad in the campaign’s final hours that said she “gets it.”
It’s called pointing out that your “solutions” are no such thing. That’s logic, Hillary. You do the same thing every chance you get.
As for what Hillary “gets,” it seems to be only that she can say whatever she wants without paying too many penalties from voters. What she doesn’t get is that it hasn’t been good enough to win, and that the high road was the one to take against Obama. She didn’t get that, and right now Obama is closing in on the nomination and pulling in superdelegates left and right.
Obama only needs a minority of the remaining superdelegates to clinch the victory, and throughout these past few “rough” weeks he’s still been getting the majority. This means Hillary’s hopes are resting upon something so terrible happening that virtually all the remaining superdelegates swing for her.
This isn’t going to happen, and she doesn’t get that either. All the negativity, the slime, the Republican race she’s been running, has been for naught, except to battle-test Obama and see he’s doing just fine. Hillary had her argument, briefly and tenuously, and now it rests punctured and bleeding.
The only question is, when will she get it?
So McCain didn’t vote for Bush. So says Huff, anyway. McCain’s response? He asks us to “consider the source”. Here’s Huff’s rebuttal:
My sentiments exactly — because John McCain has a long history of issuing heartfelt denials of things that were actually true.
He denied ever talking with John Kerry about his leaving the GOP to be Kerry’s ’04 running mate — then later admitted he had, insisting: “Everybody knows that I had a conversation.”
He denied admitting that he didn’t know much about economics, even though he’d said exactly that to the Wall Street Journal. And the Boston Globe. And the Baltimore Sun.
He denied ever having asked for a budget earmark for Arizona, even though he had. On the record.
He denied that he’d ever had a meeting with comely lobbyist Vicki Iseman and her client Lowell Paxon, even though he had. And had admitted it in a legal deposition.
And those are just the outright denials. He’s also repeatedly tried to spin away statements he regretted making (see: 100-year war, Iraq was a war for oil, etc.).
So, yes, by all means, “consider the source.”
I have no doubt that the online devoted are willing to make excuses for any number of verbal blunders that are sure to come out of McCain’s pasty gob during the run-up to his certain defeat in November but how is it going to make them look when the only way out is to tell people that they’re stupid for misunderstanding what he’s saying? Elitist, indeed.
May 01, 2008 in Election crap
If this rebuttal makes sense to you, then you do!
Take, for example, the post-9/11 â€œchickens-coming-home-to-roostâ€ sermon. Wright may have been ill-advised and impolitic in giving this sermon on the Sunday after 9/11, but he certainly was neither wrong nor alone in the view he expressed.
American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, has engendered enormous anger among people who donâ€™t have the wherewithal to fight back on a regular battlefield. Should it surprise us that some of them resort to weapons of the weakâ€”what we call terrorism. (Does an errant bomb dropped from a screaming jet inspire terror?) Do we suppose those fellows released from Guantanamo after years in a Kafkaesque nightmare are all just going to go home and say, â€œLet bygones be bygonesâ€? Do we Americans think we are the only ones who get angry enough to strike back when attacked? Or is it that we think weâ€™re the only ones entitled to get angry enough to kill?
Love harder! Love until your answers are yes, yes, yes, and yes! And don’t you dare think that “love” is more about giving our government carte blanche than actually loving the country and its people.
Hating Newsweek’s cover this week, but the essay within demolishes the madness about “elitism,” both through historical examples of presidents past who served the people fine while having some aristocratic airs, namely FDR, and Obama’s own personal history:
He was raised by a single parent, his mother, who lived on food stamps for a time. He graduated from an Ivy League collegeâ€”Columbiaâ€”but worked as a low-paid community organizer in Chicago. After Harvard Law, he turned down the high-pay, high-prestige jobs in corporate-law firms to work in a small civil-rights firm, mostly on voting-rights cases. He talks about his experiences helping the poor in the shadows of shuttered steel plants in Chicago. “Politics didn’t lead me to working folks,” he says, “working folks led me to politics.” His wife, Michelle, is more emphatic. “I am a product of a working-class background,” she says. “I am one of those folks who grew up in that struggle. That is the lens through which I see the world.” (A close read of her Princeton thesis suggests where her heart lay even after four years in the Ivy League: the paper is a paean to staying in touch with her black working-class roots.) “So,” Michelle recently told a high-school audience in Evansville, Ind., “when people talk about this elitist stuff, I say, ‘You couldn’t possibly know anything about me’.”
Obama’s chief campaign adviser, David Axelrod, bridles at the elitist charge: “In terms of his personal habits, this is a guy who is an ESPN sports fanatic, who plays basketball for relaxation. When he’s out and about, he’s more solicitous of the people around him, the people on the street and the kitchen workers and the police officers than almost any politician I have known. Anybody who advances the argument that he’s an elitist simply doesn’t know the guy. It’s generally the elite who advance the argument.”
Mr. McCainâ€™s plan would appear to result in the biggest jump in the deficit, independent analyses based on Congressional Budget Office figures suggest. A calculation done by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington found that his tax and budget plans, if enacted as proposed, would add at least $5.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
Fiscal monitors say it is harder to compute the effect of the Democratic candidatesâ€™ measures because they are more intricate. They estimate that, even taking into account that there are some differences between the proposals by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, the impact of either on the deficit would be less than one-third that of the McCain plan.
By the numbers, Bill Clinton was one of the most fiscally conservative presidents of the last half century. Both Democratic candidates are more fiscally conservative and more responsible with taxpayer money, than John McCain, who is happy to add $5.7 trillion more to the national credit card.
Why? Because today’s GOP is George W. Bush’s GOP trying to sell themselves with Ronald Reagan’s soundbites. But the two no longer intersect. They have utterly embraced Bush/Cheney’s complete disregard for financial responsibility, and gleefully believe they are avoiding tax dollar waste as long as they can charge it off. Yes, it’s insane, stupid, and reckless, but so it goes when you have a cult of personality around a team of idiots and schemers, and a not-so-principled candidate irrevocably hitched to them.
UPDATE: It’s Bush, stupid!
43 percent of respondents are concerned about the 71-year-old John McCain’s close ties to George Bush.
36 percent have concerns about Clinton’s political opportunism, and 27 percent are concerned about Bill Clinton being back in the White House.
34 percent have problems with Obama’s “bitter” remarks and 32 percent give a damn about Jeremiah Wright.
McCain can’t disown Bush. That’s why he’s still getting beat by either Democrat in most match-ups. Democrats must unite soon and stand up against the past 8 years.
What’s really going on here? Andrew Sullivan says that we’re seeing a subtle weighing of the scales, where the old-timey dynamics come into play: White women trump black men in the pecking order.
I don’t believe that racism explains all of it at all. To my mind, the kind of tactics deployed against someone like Obama were deployed against Kerry and Gore and Clinton. Class and gender and age also weighed in the balance. And the fear of another Carter has motivated some. But the insane hysteria over Wright, the racist incidents in Pennsylvania that are only now being aired fully, the “Hussein” and “Muslim” memes, the sense of white entitlement that is so embedded in the Clintons that they don’t even fully see it: you have to be blind not to see the impact of race. Imagine if John Edwards had achieved what Obama has achieved. Imagine if he had won more delegates, votes and states than Clinton. Would Clinton have ever offered him the veep slot? Of course, race has affected this campaign, if only because the white entitlement that infuses the Clintons is invisible to most.
A reader of his pipes in:
The greatest dogwhistle of the Obama campaign so far is his ability to lay out this urgency to our generation. Viewed in this light, the only thing Obama has to tell me about yesterday’s election is that Pennsylanvia has the second oldest population in the country. After hearing that fact, I get it. He was never going to win.
A lot of statistical games are going on, but the striking differences between the voters over 40 versus the under-40 crowd encompasses a lot of subdivisions. Hillary isn’t just a woman, she’s a boomer, so she gets not only the older more racist voters, but the narcissistic boomers who can’t yet imagine they aren’t the center of the universe. In most states that hasn’t saved her, but it’s frequently created a demographic lump that won’t budge for Obama, and Pennsylvania was just one of them (Iowa, proudly, was not. When will the rest of the nation learn to listen to Iowans who aren’t named Steve King?) Had it been a Super Tuesday state, it would have gotten lost in the mix. Hillary’s had much bigger wins, and Obama’s had many more bigger wins. It’s a strange symptom of our news cycle that every new race is SO IMPORTANT because Hillary’s camp says it is. Is North Carolina important? Unlikely. And with Obama highly favored to win Indiana, Indiana isn’t so important either. Unless Hillary wins it, then it’s tha most important state EVAH!
I guess one could derive all sorts of lessons from Pennsylvania, it’s such a muddled mix…a 9.2 point lead, straddling the line between underwhelming win and double-digit victory…an interminable and stupid length of time until the next primary, when this one will be forgotten except that it gave Hillary license to keep torturing us with her slow loss, hoping somebody’ll just give her the nomination to shut her up…Obama’s need to step up his game fighting gossipy tabloidish junk that has nothing to do with the presidency…
…I mean, honestly. What is crap like Jeremiah Wright and whoever Obama shook hands with? Some image deal? And we’re listening to this after 8 years displaying to the world a President who’d be the loudmouthed guy at the end of the bar sloshed on Budweiser working at the chicken feed plant if it weren’t for his rich daddy? Apparently having a retard as President is okay, but we can’t tolerate one who doesn’t wear his flag pin because he thinks patriotism is something that deserves more than being worn on one’s sleeve!
America has from now until November to grow the hell up, consolidate support behind Obama and give him a nice 5-10 point lead over John McCain. While Republican hacktaculars like Sharon, Dana Pico, and Brian Pickrell are quaking in their boots (and let us not forget the Republican arm-wringing that went on before Bill Clinton won in 1992), in 2012 Barack Obama can run for re-election and we can simply say, “See? He didn’t enslave the white race!”
In the meantime, I’m considering taking up a new hobby, preferably something that involves gin or vodka every night.
Delegate count from the PA primary:
Total delegates for each so far:
And it’s not just the delegate count that clearly spells Hillary’s fate. The popular vote tells the exact same story. It is to be expected that regardless of the margin, the Clinton camp will trumpet tonights win of Hillary’s home state as a devastating defeat. The cable news outlets will play along because the continuation of the Democratic Party candidate selection process affords them a few more weeks of lazy horse-race narration. But at what cost?
Mrs. Clinton did not get the big win in Pennsylvania that she needed to challenge the calculus of the Democratic race. It is true that Senator Barack Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But Mrs. Clinton and her advisers should mainly blame themselves, because, as the political operatives say, they went heavily negative and ended up squandering a good part of what was once a 20-point lead.
On the eve of this crucial primary, Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad â€” torn right from Karl Roveâ€™s playbook â€” evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. â€œIf you canâ€™t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,â€ the narrator intoned.
The pattern has become all too familiar. Clinton is the presumed winner in the upcoming caucus/primary because of wide early margins amongst all demographics. The Obama campaign moves in, organizes, and the gap rapidly narrows leading to either a win or a close second despite the Clinton campaigns repeated willingness to immediately go negative. In contest after contest, Clinton has blown huge margins yet we’re supposed to believe that come November she will not repeat the same performance when facing John McCain? And after putting up with months of the type of abuse from his Democratic rival (the nature of which my eight-year-old niece would be ashamed of) we’re supposed to believe that a knock-kneed Obama, when facing a Republican slime-machine that the Clinton campaign has shown no hesitation in aping, will be too overcome by Rovian shock-and-awe to mount an effective campaign? We already know how the Republican Party is going to attack Obama because we’ve seen it from the Clinton campaign. Obama’s performance in handling Clinton’s slash-and-burn tactics should be more than enough evidence that he’s got what it takes to face a light-weight like John McCain head-on.
I do not want to see Hillary Clinton on television after the November elections explaining that regardless of the fact that she lost the delegate count and the popular vote she is still the best candidate (just like she is doing right now). I would much rather place my bets on a battle-hardened Obama candidacy with a track-record of effective campaigning and driven by a fierce work-ethic.
These are some unlucky times.
It’s unlucky that after 232 years of white male presidents, a political party is forced to choose between a woman or a black man for their first presidential mold-breaking nominee. In a just world we would have had many female presidents and presidents of all races by now. This is not a just world, and our nation has been afflicted with irrational prejudices since before its inception that we have long struggled to shed. Could an atheist Asian-American woman run the country? Of course, to new heights even. Could she get elected? The odds are currently impossible.
Our current female candidate has gotten to her position largely on the coattails of her husband and shamelessly crass triangulating plastic politics. Our current black candidate rose to the top through powerful virtues few presidents have been lucky enough to possess, and has faced an onslaught of racially tinged attacks from every direction (amazingly, much of it from the campaign of the female candidate). It is progress that they are here, but as prevalent are the signs that we haven’t quite gotten “there” yet.
I feel that given the choice between a female candidate and a black male candidate, one must turn the question to their merits and leave the identity politics behind. Either one would be a historic president breaking a centuries-old pattern of injustice, paving the way for future candidates. Either one benefits the other’s cause, because our nation will now recognize that things need not remain the way they were. If we can elect a female president, then we can also elect a non-white one, and vice versa.
Sadly, this idea has not caught on. Some have simply gravitated to the candidate most like them, understandably since that’s what people do. However, some have chosen to take sides and argue that gender trumps race or vice versa. This conflict was avoidable, yet we did not swerve away. (more…)
The battle lines are drawn, says Andrew Sullivan:
Last night (at the debate) was not Obama’s finest hour. But when you look back and see what he has already accomplished by the manner and content and care of his campaign, he is obviously on the right side. Key elements of the MSM establishment, the political establishment and the ideological right and cynical left know how big a threat he is to them. That’s why Hannity can join forces with Stephanopoulos and Clinton can channel Rove. Because in this issue, they are all on the same side.
They’ll call the candidate funded by the people elitist, they’ll portray the biracial man who tries to bring blacks and whites together as a Black Panther, they’ll call a champion of America’s greatness unpatriotic. They’ll do it because they think you’re stupid, not because they believe it. And then they’ll tell you Obama thinks you’re stupid.
The wagons are circling. Do we give up?