Call Me Karl Rove

Given the crap I have taken for pointing out that “lofty” rhetoric and “elevating the spirits” of a few excitable people is not enough to win a general election, I enjoyed reading this prevew of what is to come from Karl Rove should Obama win the nomination:

The fourth and biggest reason why Mrs. Clinton won two nights ago is that, while Mr. Obama can draw on the deep doubts of many Democrats about Mrs. Clinton, he can’t close out the argument. Mr. Obama is an inspiring figure playing a historical role, but that’s not enough to push aside the former First Lady and senator from New York. She’s an historic figure, too. When it comes to making the case against Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama comes across as a vitamin-starved Adlai Stevenson. His rhetoric, while eloquent and moving at times, has been too often light as air.

Mr. Obama began to find his voice at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, when he took four deliberate swipes at the Clintons. He called for Democrats to tackle problems “that had festered long before” President Bush, “problems that we’ve talked about year after year after year after year.”

He dismissed the Clinton style of campaigning and governing, saying “Triangulating and poll-driven positions . . . just won’t do.” He attacked Mrs. Clinton on Iraq, torture and her opposition to direct presidential talks with Syria and Iran. Then he rejected a new Clinton era by saying, “I don’t want to spend the next year or the next four years re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s.” It deftly, if often indirectly, played on the deep concerns of Democrats who look at the Clinton era as a time of decline for their party and unfulfilled potential for their cause.

But rather than sharpen and build on this message of contrast and change, Mr. Obama chose soaring rhetoric and inspirational rallies. While his speeches galvanized true believers at his events, his words were neither filling nor sustaining for New Hampshire Democrats concerned about the Clintons and looking for a substantive alternative.

Flame away, but I am not out in left field when I point this out. This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friends are taking notes and loading up. Although I suppose what you will really do is ignore everything and just accuse me of parroting GOP/Clinton talking points.






220 replies
  1. 1
    Billy K says:

    John Cole + Karl Rove = BFF

  2. 2
    in canaduh says:

    can i buy a vote from someone for Clinton? is it legal?

  3. 3
    AkaDad says:

    Even after this, I still support Obama and I’ll still keep visiting John Rove’s Balloon Juice.

  4. 4
    merciless says:

    You should read Wolcott’s take on the subject.

    I’m with you, John; it makes me feel like an old woman yelling at the kids to get off my lawn, but for pete’s sake, cheerleading and rhetorical flourishes are not going to cut it. I don’t want to be inspired. I want revenge.

  5. 5
    Ron S. says:

    Because, obviously, if Karl Rove is giving the democrats advise, it must be correct.

  6. 6
    Ron S. says:

    er… advice

  7. 7
    Cassidy says:

    I want revenge.

    I want good sound policy that tackles the domestic issues that have long lain idle. Why waste time on revenge?

  8. 8
    Jeff Hebert says:

    The problem with all of the “But the Republicans will say THIS about that candidate, oh noes!!” school of thought is that the Republicans are going to come up with bad things about ANY Democratic candidate. That’s why they’re the opposing party.

    Allowing the nominee to be chosen based on what critiques Karl Rove or other Republican strategists might make is the kind of thinking that got us John Kerry (“He’s a veteran, they can’t attack him for that!”). Pick the best nominee based on the nominee, not on what the other side is going to say about him. You can’t let fear of the other side determine your own choices.

  9. 9
    annagranfors says:

    let me respond with a spiritual of my own:

    “aaaa–men. aaaa–men. aaaa–men, amen, amen.” (you all remember Sidney Poitier’s annoying-but-hopelessly-catchy musical turn in Lilies Of Teh Field, right?)

  10. 10
    Buck says:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet…

    It’s one thing to find yourself in the middle of an unexpected train wreck. It’s quite another to be on board and know the tressel is out a few miles ahead.

  11. 11
    Billy K says:

    I don’t want to be inspired. I want revenge.

    God…I’m risking sounding like Sullivan here, but…Hillary is not going to carry out vengence for you. She’s not in this to right wrongs or put balance back. She in this because she wants to win.

    I want revenge against these assholes, too. But the rational voice inside keeps telling me this will only make things worse, and I need to let it go.

  12. 12
    TheFountainHead says:

    Karl Rove is the biggest “concern troll” of them all and conniving snake to boot. Why you would lend credence to his thoughts here is beyond me. The man should be in jail and we all know it. I’ll get my analysis of this race elsewhere, thanks.

  13. 13
    RC635 says:

    As I discovered yesterday on another web site, Bush=Clinton and Clinton=Bush. You can’t tell the terms apart one bit and Hillary will just continue it. I suddenly remembered all the domestic spying, the countries invaded and occupied, the soaring budget deficits, the falling dollar, the inflation, the loss of spending power, the soaring health care costs, and how America became know for torture under Bill. Yep, I remember all of that happening.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    Karl Rove is the biggest “concern troll” of them all and conniving snake to boot.

    Karl Rove slipped W past half of America. I wouldn’t quite relegate him to nothingness, yet.

  15. 15
    TheFountainHead says:

    Karl Rove slipped W past half of America. I wouldn’t quite relegate him to nothingness, yet.

    That’s a statement about the spinelessness of the Democratic party and the ignorance of the American people more than anything else. Still doesn’t change the fact that he’s made a living out of being a concern troll and belongs behind bars for all the “service” he’s rendered this country.

  16. 16
    Buck says:

    Karl Rove slipped W past half of America.
    -Cassidy

    You’re forgetting that lowbrow, thirty-something-percent crowd. They would have voted for W even if Karl cheerleaded against him. Karl only needed to slip W past a few.

  17. 17
    Jen says:

    Defensive much, JC?

    I can’t possibly think of a reason why Rove would want Hillary instead of Obama as a foil, he should definitely be taken at face value…

    I’m not going to flame you and you’re not in left field and I take your point about the substance of their message. But before the election we had the inaccurate polls, and we had all the pundits telling us why Obama was surging. Now that the votes are in, we have the Monday morning quarterbacks telling us not just why Clinton won, but precisely what those voters who broke for her in the final days were thinking when they did so. C’mon! It’s guessing. Everyone who puts forth a reason is guessing based on what seems to make sense to them. And the problem with doing that is that it is very much like saying why Obama is going to win by double digits in the NH primaries — it’s unreliable.

  18. 18
    Bombadil says:

    I want good sound policy that tackles the domestic issues that have long lain idle. Why waste time on revenge?

    Since the Republicans have pointedly dismissed domestic issues and spent money elsewhere, I’d consider instituting that “good sound policy” a form of revenge and take it as a bonus.

  19. 19
    Doug says:

    This is a weak point for Obama

    Rove doesn’t go after weak points; he goes after strong points, poisons them, and turns them against the person. He’s like the Lord Foul, the Despiser of American politics.

    Lord Foul the despiser is the Bad Guy in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. But he isn’t just your bog standard fantasy novel evil guy who everyone must get together to defeat. Although he has the trademark destroy the world aims in life, his method of operation is slightly more complex. His success will be complete when you become that which you hate and give in to despair.

    Sounds like Rove to me.

  20. 20
    4tehlulz says:

    Given Mr. Rove’s track record over the last couple of years, I think this is a sign that Obama might do fine, thanks.

  21. 21

    Now where did I put that white gold ring of mine?

  22. 22
    Krista says:

    Allowing the nominee to be chosen based on what critiques Karl Rove or other Republican strategists might make is the kind of thinking that got us John Kerry (“He’s a veteran, they can’t attack him for that!”). Pick the best nominee based on the nominee, not on what the other side is going to say about him. You can’t let fear of the other side determine your own choices.

    Exactly! The Republicans have even been very vocal about what they think the Democrats should be doing. “Criticisms of the war won’t fly well with the American public, you know.” “Pursuing this investigation during war-time is just going to make you look partisan and petty.” And so on and so forth.

    Perhaps I’m simple, but why in the flying fuck would the Dems take advice from the very people who WANT them to fail?

    Rove can say whatever he wants about the Dem candidates, but we’d all do well to remember precisely WHOSE best interests he has in mind.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    According to the polling data everyone has seen, of course Karl Rove does not want to face Obama and would prefer Hillary winning.

    That doesn’t mean the weaknesses he and I both discussed are not weaknesses, though.

  24. 24
    myiq2xu says:

    Obama is a blank slate to most Americans. If he hasn’t defined himself by the time of the general elections, the GOP will do it for him, and it won’t be pretty. They are already defining him to their authoritarian rank and file. “HUSSEIN” Obama is just the beginning.

    Hillary, at least, is already well known. Love her or hate her, there are few “undecided.”

    But why do the wingnuts ignore Edwards? Ever since Mann Coulter’s attacks helped Edwards raise money they quit talking about him completely. Things that make you go . . .well, you know.

  25. 25
    John Cole says:

    And bonus points to Doug for the Thomas Covenant reference. I still have Lord Foul’s bane, the Illearth war, and others somewhere here at home.

  26. 26
    Joshua says:

    This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friend are taking noted and loading up. Although I suppose what you will really do is ignore everything and just accuse me of parroting GOP/Clinton talking points.

    Speak for somebody else, I have exactly the same problem with Obama. Although it concerns me for a different reason. I don’t care what Rove thinks about Obama’s chances in the general election (because, as other people have mentioned, Rove basically just got lucky in 2000 and 2004), however wishy-washy, vague, abstract message of “change” leaves me completely cold. (I mean, what freaking change are we talking about?)

    This is why I support Edwards, because he’s not as insipid as Hillary and not as vapid as Obama.

  27. 27
    RC635 says:

    the spinelessness of the Democratic party

    Interestingly enough, when Obama talked about the “failures” of the Clintons and Bill’s term, he could very easily be talking about just that. Bill’s biggest enemy was his own party knifing him in the back every time the scary Republican’s said anything. Lofty rhetoric about hope and change isn’t going to cut it against the right. I like both Obama and Hillary and I’ll vote for whoever gets the Democratic nomination. I know Hillary can take it but we’ll have to see if Obama can. And so what if the “crying” incident was staged or not. It’s politics. Most everything is stage and calculated, and believe it or not (anti-Hillary crowd) even Obama and Edwards stage anything and everything.

  28. 28
    Buck says:

    myiq2xu, on Edwards, good question.

  29. 29
    myiq2xu says:

    He’s like the Lord Foul, the Despiser of American politics.

    Corruption is what the Bloodguard called him.

  30. 30
    Justin says:

    You’re changing what you initially said. You’re original point was that Obama didn’t have substance, and Hilary did.

    But whatev. Bloggers are as bad as the mainstream media when it comes to admitting mistakes.

  31. 31
    Jen says:

    According to the polling data everyone has seen, of course Karl Rove does not want to face Obama and would prefer Hillary winning.

    That doesn’t mean the weaknesses he and I both discussed are not weaknesses, though.

    Sure. They could be. Or they could be, as I think, possible weaknesses for winning a NH primary, probably not weaknesses in general unless the debates are not substantive. But I’m just guessing. And given the choice between what Rove would like Obama to do, and something else, I’ll go with something else, since he is inherently untrustworthy but he’s also savvy and he knows he’s a snake and so maybe he’s putting forth exactly what he doesn’t want Obama to do knowing that Obama will do exactly the opposite and I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me and never get involved in a land war in Asia, whew.

  32. 32
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I want revenge.

    Are you too old to realize that’s why Republicans have been raping you against the wall. Because “you started it first”.

    Why is it the kids like me are the cooler heads in this matter? If the young kids are trying to stay calm, you should question what you’re doing.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    Flame away, but I am not out in left field when I point this out. This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friend are taking noted and loading up. Although I suppose what you will really do is ignore everything and just accuse me of parroting GOP/Clinton talking points.

    Correct, John. You’re not off in left field at all. You are off in right field. If you’ll remember Karl’s modus operandi, he likes to take a guy’s strength and turn it into a weakness. Here he’s going for a two-fer. Obama’s public speaking skills are now a detriment, not an asset, because he’s got no beef. And his policy is none existent because… well… because we say so.

    Ignore his reams of white papers online. Put aside his discussions of economic policy (fighting Chinese currency manipulation) and education (his first senate bill was to increase Pell Grant from $4,050 to $5,100). Ignore his entire platform of civil rights. Barak Obama doesn’t have a platform. He’s got no plan. He’s not “brainy” enough to be President.

    This may be a vast, 180 degree shift from the 2000 election, when Al Gore was the unelectable policy wonk and George Bush was the charismatic, like-to-have-a-beer-with nominee. But who the fuck cares?! GOP talking points ALWAYS WIN!

    Let’s set aside the fact that whatever policy Obama may have will ultimately be in the hands of the Senate and House. All the white papers in the world won’t mean a damn thing if he’s elected in ’08 because it’ll be Hillary Clinton – as the lead Senator on the case – writing the damned bill anyway.

    No no no. We need a man with a plan. An Imperial Presidency needs a single all-knowing policy wonk to micromanage the entire legislative process on top of running the executive branch. That’s what Karl Rove and Dick Cheney want you to believe because that’s their ideal Presidential Candidate anyway.

    If you really are afraid of the next incarnation of Karl Rove talking points, you shouldn’t worry. They’ll come in whatever guise best fits, and all the lying and fudging of numbers and bullshitting and blatant mischaracterization won’t be moved a fraction of an inch by which candidate the Democrats choose. So who gives a flying fuck what Karl Rove is going to say?

  34. 34
    myiq2xu says:

    Meanwhile, at C&L, “English Only” Rudy is running ads in Spanish.

    At least he didn’t say nueve-once in the ads.

  35. 35
    Punchy says:

    JC, you’re quoting the freakin DubEssJ. They WANT Clinton to win…they NEED Clinton to win…

    Listening to local Riecht Wing Radio, some clown noted this rather succinctly: people will fucking VOTE for Osama, just to be a part of history in the making. People enjoy being “hip” and crave the ability to take credit for such a landmark move as a Black president. Even fencing Rs and Indys will vote O-face.

    Clinton, OTOH, will rile up the Rs to vote against her and even moderate Ds may balk. So if the Rs have any chance (they dont) of winning the Preznitcy, it’s with the Clagina. Osama as the nominee gives them zero shot.

    Therein lies the moto of the WSJ and their editorial board.

  36. 36
    TheFountainHead says:

    I have no problem with some people not “getting” or not “relating” to Obama’s message (though I think the turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that this message is one that works, as a majority of the first time voters in those states voted for Obama) and if you don’t get warm and fuzzies about Obama then he and his campaign will just have to work harder to get your vote. What I can’t stand is letting Karl Rove continue to stroke himself and in so doing fuck the American public. Rove is a rat and his only angle is whatever gets the most neo-conservative fascist elected. His worst nightmare is an Obama nomination and I hope we give it to him.

  37. 37

    I think there’s a point there. I agree that Obama didn’t go into enough substance in the closing days of New Hampshire. He did going into Iowa which is why he won. But NH, he tried to take a safe path.

    That being said.

    Why the fuck should I care what Karl Rove has to say about Democrats?

    Why doesn’t Karl Rove spend a bit of his time critiquing Republicans? Wouldn’t that be more useful all around?

  38. 38
    Bombadil says:

    Why is it the kids like me are the cooler heads in this matter? If the young kids are trying to stay calm, you should question what you’re doing.

    “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t understand the situation.”

  39. 39
    LiberalTarian says:

    The candidates are going to have to deal with criticism, and if they are tough and smart, they’ll take it constructively.

    That being said, this meme where Clinton=Bush is a big old sack of horseshit. If Clinton wanted the Bushistas, all she’d have to do is change parties. The woman is a hawk, no doubt about it. But she’s also been a political player her whole life, and according to people who know she’s done a good job for her state.

    I’m with the domestic revenge crowd (as opposed to idiots who want to wage war overseas), which is my primary beef with Obama. As a domestic revenge voter, I want to know what is going to be done to eradicate the Bush scourge and who is going to do it. I am not merely anti-corporate, which I think is what finally aced Edwards out (people need jobs, and historically corporations have provided them), but I am against public-as-prey for corporations, so they are going to have to be regulated (and for fucks sake, they need to pay taxes). Obama might get some of these things accomplished, but I’ve seen Clinton’s toughness and resolve, and I have not really seen his. Maybe it really is just that he has not lead on the national stage long enough.

    Ah, my first rant of the morning. Cheers!

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    I think there’s a point there. I agree that Obama didn’t go into enough substance in the closing days of New Hampshire. He did going into Iowa which is why he won. But NH, he tried to take a safe path.

    Quoted because it needs more exposure. Repeated exposure.

  41. 41
    Jake says:

    Fuck.
    Karl.
    Rove.

    Fuck him. We should worry about how Mr. Purple Heart Band Aid is going to attack a Democratic candidate? We should imagine that Mr. The Math won’t find some way to attack any Democratic candidate? We should close our eyes and pray that there is now or will ever be anyone so perfect that Mr. When in Doubt, Make Shit Up will throw up his hands in defeat?

    That’s … cute.

    Or do I mean abso-fucking-lutely stupid?

  42. 42

    I want accountability (not revenge) and want Democratic policy outcomes like national health care. (And the restoration of Constitutional government would be a big plus.)

    Anybody who thinks Obama’s magical unity pony is going to achieve those outcomes hasn’t been paying attention, and will be sorely disappointed.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    the fucking policies are right there to read. if he was talking about them in speeches, people would complain that he’s another Kerry with a 10 point plan.

  44. 44
    caustics says:

    On one hand, I think chaining the GOP to a stump in the backyard and throwing them scraps for the next eight years or so is only going to make them even more psychotic and insular in the long run. Which isn’t something we’re going to want when the wheel turns again.

    Yet when I think about how they repaid Hillary’s key adviser for ‘reaching across the aisle’ in subsequent years, I say fuck ’em. And maybe they will too. Who knows.

  45. 45
    myiq2xu says:

    Correct, John. You’re not off in left field at all. You are off in right field. If you’ll remember Karl’s modus operandi, he likes to take a guy’s strength and turn it into a weakness. Here he’s going for a two-fer. Obama’s public speaking skills are now a detriment, not an asset, because he’s got no beef. And his policy is none existent because… well… because we say so.

    Ignore his reams of white papers online. Put aside his discussions of economic policy (fighting Chinese currency manipulation) and education (his first senate bill was to increase Pell Grant from $4,050 to $5,100). Ignore his entire platform of civil rights. Barak Obama doesn’t have a platform. He’s got no plan. He’s not “brainy” enough to be President.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken (there’s a first time for everything) but I think John’s point is that when Obama gives speeches they sound really pretty but don’t contain much of substance. Yes, he does have a record and has some detailed policy positions, but he doesn’t talk in specifics about them.

    The Gobama crowd says we should do the research, but if he wants the job, he needs to tell me why I should vote for him.

  46. 46
    myiq2xu says:

    Who posted the giant link and fucked up the page?

    Thanks for nothing lamebert

  47. 47

    Karl Rove slipped W past half of America. I wouldn’t quite relegate him to nothingness, yet.

    And he didn’t do it by using substance.

    Instead he had the guy build a dude ranch in Crawford and pretend he was a cowboy.

    Hmm… What’s Karl Rove really saying here?

  48. 48
    TheFountainHead says:

    The Gobama crowd says we should do the research, but if he wants the job, he needs to tell me why I should vote for him.

    And that’s why we elected Chimpy twice…nobody looked, nobody cared, they just stared at the boobtube.

  49. 49

    Let’s critique the Republicans shall we?

    How many of them refuse to give us their honest opinion on the issues of religion in the public square, gay marriage, tax policy, immigration, Iraq war, foreign policy… any other hot button issues?

    It appears all of them, except for Ron Paul and he’s a crackhead on half the issues.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    can anyone give one example of where Hillary has gone after Bush ? or where she has gone after a political opponent outside of this election ? or where she has demonstrated even the slightest hint of interest in prosecuting any of the Bush gang ?

    WTF do you “revenge” people think Hillary is going to do ?

  51. 51

    And that’s why we elected Chimpy twice…nobody looked, nobody cared, they just stared at the boobtube.

    But… But… He was the kind of guy you could have a beer with.

    Even though he’s a drunk whose been on the wagon for 20 years.

  52. 52

    can anyone give one example of where Hillary has gone after Bush ? or where she has gone after a political opponent outside of this election ? or where she has demonstrated even the slightest hint of interest in prosecuting any of the Bush gang ?

    You’re kidding me, right? You’ve never heard Hillary criticize Bush?

    Are you like the bubble boy or something?

  53. 53

    Rove doesn’t go after weak points; he goes after strong points, poisons them, and turns them against the person.

    Not quite. Rove goes after perceived strong points.

    So, in the case of Obama, his perceived strong point is his ability to inspire. So you go after him on the negative side of that strong point: that he is weak on substance.

  54. 54
    Jeffro says:

    Totally o/t (or is it?): I LOVED those books and still have them at home, too.

    Rove = Lord Foul? I can get behind that. I wish more people had read the books, I could use it in my next op-ed for my local paper!

  55. 55
    Zifnab says:

    Anybody who thinks Obama’s magical unity pony is going to achieve those outcomes hasn’t been paying attention, and will be sorely disappointed.

    Obama is trying to retake the middle ground for the Democrats. For years, “Meeting in the middle” somehow always ment bowing to Republican Talking Points. When it came to Iraq, we could pull out, stay forever, or give it six more months. When it came to taxes, we could scrap the IRS, restore the capital gains tax to a sane 25%, or make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. When it came to health care, we could descend into National Socialism, ignore the problem entirely, or give people a big tax credit to pay for premiums. Somehow, the middle ground always ended up being exactly what the Republicans always wanted.

    Now Obama is trying to turn the tables and reverse that trend. With a half dozen more Senators on his side come ’08 and solid policy of his own, suddenly that 51+ vote majority starts looking pretty middle-of-the-road no matter what he says. Clinton is fighting on the gritty policy front, like Gore did in 2000. But Democrats already have good policy. Claiming that our positions on energy or taxes or the environment need to be somehow fine-tuned turns a blind eye to every piece of legislation that’s been proposed since Nancy Pelosi picked up the gavel in ’06.

    We have stockpiles of good bills waiting to be passed. We don’t need more ideas, we need more votes. Obama will get us those votes in a way that Hillary just can’t.

    Bottom line, like TZ is always saying, it’s about the votes. Who can rally them together. I’m betting that an Obama Presidency will be harder to demonize and fight against than a Hillary Presidency. Obama will get the bills to his desk that Bush has persistently vetoed. Obama will break the triple digit filibusters in the Senate. Obama will win over the majority of Americans when he wants to reform the military or the judiciary or implement universal medicine.

    He’s got it. Hillary doesn’t.

  56. 56
    myiq2xu says:

    I’m with the domestic revenge crowd (as opposed to idiots who want to wage war overseas), which is my primary beef with Obama. As a domestic revenge voter, I want to know what is going to be done to eradicate the Bush scourge and who is going to do it.

    I don’t want revenge, I want justice. I want the abuses of power investigated punished. Torture, wiretapping, subverting the DOJ, Valerie Plame, WMD’s, NOLA, Halliburton, Enron, etc, etc, etc.

    I want steps taken to prevent these things from happening again. I don’t want the same evil scheming bastards popping up in the next GOP administration (which, God willing, won’t be until 2040)

    I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK, DAMMIT!

    I don’t want to hold hands with the Republicans and sing Kumbayah.

  57. 57
    Scotty says:

    This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friends are taking notes and loading up.

    Good point. But are democrats willing to overlook this to avoid anti-Clintonism that has existed in politics since Bill was president, has carried over during the time he was out of office, and would certainly dog Hillary if she was to be elected? So even though Hillary has more substance in her ideas than Obama does that mean she will be able to carry through on any of it if she wins the general election? Unless there is a massive democratic majority in Congress I can envision republicans working against Hillary just because of who she is.

  58. 58

    Ignore his reams of white papers online. Put aside his discussions of economic policy (fighting Chinese currency manipulation) and education (his first senate bill was to increase Pell Grant from $4,050 to $5,100). Ignore his entire platform of civil rights. Barak Obama doesn’t have a platform. He’s got no plan. He’s not “brainy” enough to be President.

    Be snarky all you want but the problem for Obama is not whether he is lacking substance but whether he is perceived to be lacking substance. His emphasis on lofty rhetoric and can’t-we-all-get-along appeals to post-partisanship just encourages this perception.

    And it is that perception that could be his downfall.

  59. 59
    Frank says:

    I think Rove is lying when he says he prefers a Hillary candidacy. If the Republicans had 60% of America believing Iraq had something to do with 9-11 then, and they did, then that same 60% is going to wonder why the Democrats nominated a muslim terrorist named Iraq Hussein Osama as their presidential candidate.

    They’ve spent the past 15 years trying to destroy Hillary and havent managed it yet.

    Besides there are at least a couple of million hard core racist white trash in this country who don’t usually bother to vote, but who will damn sure show up at the polls to
    stop a black man from becoming president.

    I’d prefer Barack but I think Hillary is the better bet.

  60. 60
    Face says:

    I cant wait for Obama to be sworn in on a coversleeve of “Straight Outta Compton”, demand huge subsidies for growers of okra and collard greens, and install a basketball court and craps table on the WH lawn.

  61. 61
    myiq2xu says:

    Rove = Lord Foul?

    Rove = Raver (I’m guessing Satansfist Soulcrusher)

    He’s not the real power, just one of the evil servants.

    Lord Foul = Bill Gates?

  62. 62
    Ash says:

    From Dennis Perrin:

    Reading about this endless election is a lot like crawling through wet sand with a cement block on your back. Apart from the wonk takes, where the tiniest policy position is pure mother’s meth, accounts about the remaining candidates range from the semi-religious to the snarkiest celebrity dish, all of it mind-numbing.

    You wouldn’t know how deeply buried in corpse-choked shit we are, rattling about in our respective veal crates, looking for any distraction from the slaughterhouse on the hill. Right wingers are divided, awaiting to see how the post-Bush fall out will affect them. Liberals are anxiously dreaming, insisting that it’s their birthright to have a Dem prez elected this year, and when that happens — and it must happen, do you hear, it MUST HAPPEN — the universe will begin to right itself. At least, they hope that’s the case. Contemporary American liberalism is all about hope. They turn their sad cow eyes to their keepers, trusting that the blades being sharpened aren’t intended for their throats.

    Little wonder that Obama has most of them spellbound. His oratory is sweet music among the crates, bovine heads bobbing to the beat. Hillary simply spooks the room, putting everyone on edge, even though, if it comes down to it, the veal libs will take her over any GOP keeper. But Uncle Barack spins a much gentler yarn, elevating captive moods while keeping all in place. He’s the most logical choice to run the abattoir for the next four-to-eight years.

    To those who admonish me for being so pessimistic, what can I tell you? I didn’t chose this mood, for it eats away at me and drains my creative energy. If I truly believed that there was a real chance for change in this election, brothers and sisters, I’d be out there waving my placard. But our imperial system does not require change, merely an executive who can help run it more efficiently. Obama is emerging as that executive. Like Reagan and Bill Clinton, Obama becomes who you want him to be, at least in your own head. That’s an important political gift. Bush was and is too polarizing. A system based on lies, theft, alienation, and murder needs a steadier hand. That’s what the Obama campaign is all about. He has arrived at the perfect time. The guy may very well pull it off.

    http://dennisperrin.blogspot.com/

  63. 63
    cleek says:

    You’re kidding me, right? You’ve never heard Hillary criticize Bush?

    standing in front of a microphone, giving sternly-worded condemnations… that’s the kind of “revenge” people are expecting?

  64. 64
    Krista says:

    Bottom line, like TZ is always saying, it’s about the votes. Who can rally them together. I’m betting that an Obama Presidency will be harder to demonize and fight against than a Hillary Presidency.

    Good point. There are obviously people who have qualms or doubts about Obama. But when it really comes down to it, on election day, if Obama IS indeed the candidate, would those people stay home rather than vote for him? They might grumble, but I still think they’d much rather have Obama than any Republican.

    My concern is that with Hillary, there are not just people on the Dem side who have reservations about her, there are people who actively loathe her, and who really WOULD stay home rather than vote for her on election day. Conversely, I fear that a Hillary nomination would bring out Republican voters in record numbers – they just hate her that much.

    The most important thing is that a Democrat is elected president. Full stop. It’s time to clean house and make the Republicans clean out their house before they’re given the reins again.

    Obama, Clinton, Edwards — any of them are capable, and any of them would do a better job than Bush (Hell, my 10-year-old nephew would do a better job than Bush. Kid’s got more money invested than I do.) The question is: who’s going to bring out the most voters on the Dem side?

  65. 65
    TheFountainHead says:

    I think Rove is lying when he says he prefers a Hillary candidacy. If the Republicans had 60% of America believing Iraq had something to do with 9-11 then, and they did, then that same 60% is going to wonder why the Democrats nominated a muslim terrorist named Iraq Hussein Osama as their presidential candidate.

    They’ve spent the past 15 years trying to destroy Hillary and havent managed it yet.

    Besides there are at least a couple of million hard core racist white trash in this country who don’t usually bother to vote, but who will damn sure show up at the polls to
    stop a black man from becoming president.

    I’d prefer Barack but I think Hillary is the better bet.

    People who won’t vote for a black candidate because he’s black won’t vote for Hillary either, therefore, for the purposes of the Democratic party, they might as well be living on the moon and fuck ’em.

  66. 66
    Pb says:

    Rove prefers a Hillary candidacy because they like their chances against Hillary bettter–at least Hillary will get out their base and have them voting for the Republican in the race. But really, this is rich. Karl Rove opining on who is or is not substantive? Pfffft.

  67. 67
    cleek says:

    My concern is that with Hillary, there are not just people on the Dem side who have reservations about her, there are people who actively loathe her, and who really WOULD stay home rather than vote for her on election day. Conversely, I fear that a Hillary nomination would bring out Republican voters in record numbers – they just hate her that much.

    exactly.

  68. 68
    Buck says:

    Besides there are at least a couple of million hard core racist white trash in this country who don’t usually bother to vote, but who will damn sure show up at the polls to stop a black man from becoming president.

    I was stunned when I first heard this line of reasoning but I have heard it more and more recently. That Obama cannot win because he is black. Forget about white papers and policy and change and love and laughter. He will lose purely and simply because he is black.

    I do not believe he can win the south not because he is black but because he is a democrat.

    But I am interested in hearing whether or not others think the color of his skin will be a determining factor on whether he wins or loses.

  69. 69
    ThymeZone says:

    Karl Rove is a brilliant political strategist.

    So was Richard Nixon.

    I rate the two of them as having the most destructive influence on the country’s politics in my lifetime.

    But anyway, it’s easy to pick out the weaknesses in these various campaigns. As soon as a campaign points itself in one direction, there are six other directions that represent weak points.

    Once any particular campaign is under way, and the opposition gets its talons into you, then the choice is always between shifting gears and responding or countering, versus staying on message.

    That’s the stuff of politics. Nothing new about it.

    If Rove really wants to help his party, he’ll focus on how they are going to elect a 71-year-old guy with a long rap sheet of lies, malapropisms and skeletons in the closet, whose face looks like a badly carved pumpkin, and whose claim to the job he seeks is that he can run a war better than George Bush can.

  70. 70
    Mike P says:

    John,
    Speaking for myself as an Obama supporter, I know what you are saying and appreciate it. I just think a lot of this is going to play out naturally. Had Obama beaten Clinton in N.H., I think you would have seem him try to stick to the high road and let her go on the attack. That way he could stress his message and let her look bad for trying to tear him down. However, since he lost, he’s going to have to fight. His own campaign released a memo saying that he’s going to have to contrast his stances more sharply with her, so I expect that while he will try to remain upbeat, he will not be afraid to make an affirmative case for his election that doesn’t rely just on rhetoric.

    But, oh yeah, Rove is concern trolling. Big time.

  71. 71
    sparky says:

    if enough people regurgitate the CW-in-development about Obama (fluffy!) it will (Rove hopes) become the CW.
    what’s the one thing that’s most important to the GOP? keeping turnout down. Obama has shown that he’s good at raising turnout, and Rove has always counted on the abysmal turnout rate in the US. one way to keep turnout down is by dumping on enthusiasm. this experience (what experience, BTW?) v. hope meme is just a GOP voter suppression exercise. don’t fall for it.

    ps: another reason to get Obama to “say more” is that the more specific he gets, the more ammo the GOP has. remember that their stock in trade is distortion, not debate. so whatever Obama (or Clinton) says will be twisted. so far they haven’t been able to do it (cf. Rommney and “change”).

  72. 72
    myiq2xu says:

    You just have to ignore Turdblossom. If you let him get inside your head he wins.

    “He says they are most afraid of Obama, so they must really be afraid of Hillary.”

    “That’s what he wants you to think, because they really are most afraid of Obama.”

    “But he didn’t mention Edwards, so that’s who they worry about the most, not Hillary or Obama.”

    “Everything I say is a lie.”

    “I’m lying.”

  73. 73
    sparky says:

    shorter and clearer me: what Krista and TZ said.

  74. 74
    Tom Hilton says:

    This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friends are taking notes and loading up.

    I think it’s an open question whether Obama has the stomach for gutter-fighting, but I think you err in taking his “positive message” stuff as evidence that he isn’t. The point of the “positive message” message is to reduce the rhetorical territory from which he can be attacked, to pre-discredit attacks before they happen (because of course they’re just part of that old divisive partisan politics). Were I in his place I would follow exactly the same rhetorical strategy…and I would have my surrogates ready to beat the living shit out of the GOP attackers.

  75. 75
    ThymeZone says:

    Another thing I would add here is that Rove is wrong about Obama being a “vitamin starved Aldai Stevenson.”

    I am, alas, old enough to remember Stevenson quite well, and saw him in person at the 1960 Democratic Convention. I was an impressionable kid in a rabid Dem family, and Stevenson was a real hero of mine. Maybe the most intelligent human I ever saw in politics, and maybe the most gentlemanly.

    Obama has those qualities of intelligence and gentleman-ness too, but …. he’s better than Stevenson. His speeches are better, and his political shrewdness is more sharply honed. I think Rove greatly fears Obama, and that’s why he is trashmouthing him now.

  76. 76
    Zifnab says:

    I was stunned when I first heard this line of reasoning but I have heard it more and more recently. That Obama cannot win because he is black. Forget about white papers and policy and change and love and laughter. He will lose purely and simply because he is black.

    Tell that to Iowa. Seriously, Black = FAIL is perhaps the worst logic ever. A state 96% white gave it to this guy in a near landslide. I seriously doubt he’ll have problems nationwide. At the very least, we’ve got a 15% black population in this country. I’m betting we don’t have a 15% racist vote to cancel it out.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    myiq2xu says:

    But anyway, it’s easy to pick out the weaknesses in these various campaigns. As soon as a campaign points itself in one direction, there are six other directions that represent weak points.

    Once any particular campaign is under way, and the opposition gets its talons into you, then the choice is always between shifting gears and responding or countering, versus staying on message.

    That’s the stuff of politics. Nothing new about it.

    In a way it’s like a football game. Your team has it’s strengths and weaknesses, and so does theirs. You both have game plans, which include strategies to stop the other guys.

    You want to stick to your plan, but if it’s not working then you have to adapt. If you planned to run the ball and control the clock but find yourself down 21 points at halftime, you better pull out some pass plays and start throwing downfield.

    But you can’t plan for some things, and the best team doesn’t always win.

    But I’m not gonna choose my starting quarterback based on who I think the other team would rather face.

  79. 79
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Camille Paglia nails it

    I was just reading that now. Good lord, she wails on her.

  80. 80
    Frank says:

    Zifnab- Thats just dumb. Obama didn’t win a general election in Iowa, he won among Democratic voters.

    Maybe America has trancended racism, I really hope so.

    Maybe I’m too cynical. But In my experience I’ve never been quite cynical enough.

  81. 81
    Cassidy says:

    Frank Says:

    I’d prefer Barack but I think Hillary is the better bet.

    Krista Says:

    The question is: who’s going to bring out the most voters on the Dem side?

    Well, I’ll be damned. Call me crazy, but I recall a few threads back getting jumped all over because I stated that the Democratic voters will fall back on electability.

  82. 82
    cleek says:

    Camille Paglia nails it ?

    Hillary’s willingness to tolerate Bill’s compulsive philandering is a function of her general contempt for men. She distrusts them and feels morally superior to them. Following the pattern of her long-suffering mother, she thinks it is her mission to endure every insult and personal degradation for a higher cause — which, unlike her self-sacrificing mother, she identifies with her near-messianic personal ambition.

    WTF?

    man, i hate pop-psychology.

  83. 83
    Scotty says:

    Obama has those qualities of intelligence and gentleman-ness too, but …. he’s better than Stevenson. His speeches are better, and his political shrewdness is more sharply honed. I think Rove greatly fears Obama, and that’s why he is trashmouthing him now.

    I would have to agree with you on the fact that Rove is fearful of Obama, as well as the fact that Obama gives great speeches and is politically shrewd. This is especially true with in overly dramatized media based politics. However, it goes both ways as demonstrated with Rove’s writings and all those big headed loudmouth pundits.

  84. 84
    myiq2xu says:

    Dreggas Says:

    Camille Paglia nails it

    Uh. . . no, sorry.

    That’s the worst piece of long distance diagnosis since Bill Frist declared Terri Schiavo able to walk.

  85. 85
    ThymeZone says:

    Camille Paglia nails it

    Well no, I don’t agree that she does. I think she’s full of shit. But damn, she is one entertaining writer. I have always enjoyed reading her work.

    BTW, going back to the recent discussion of use of the word “bitch?” Paglia is what I think of when I hear that word. A brilliant, talented, funny, interesting bitch.

  86. 86
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    man, i hate pop-psychology

    Yeah, it’s pop-psych, but her graph on Steinem was a much needed tonic to that retarded op-ed of hers.

  87. 87
    Dreggas says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Dreggas Says:

    Camille Paglia nails it

    Uh. . . no, sorry.

    That’s the worst piece of long distance diagnosis since Bill Frist declared Terri Schiavo able to walk.

    Maybe she doesn’t know the cause (then again most of this is probably taken from Clinton’s book or books about her) but the end result is pretty spot on. Sorry that’s exactly how Hillary comes off.

  88. 88
    Frank says:

    The fact that Obama has the support of Republican third columnists like Camille Paglia only serves to deepen my unease.

  89. 89
    Punchy says:

    I’m betting we don’t have a 15% racist vote to cancel it out.

    You haven’t been to Mississippi, Alabama, or many parts of Tennessee, have you?

  90. 90

    If you vote – either party, actually – solely on “electability” you’re in real trouble.

    Seriously, it’s hard enough reading the minds of the people on YOUR side. And you’re trying to pick the person you think most of your side will turn out for in the nationals. Hint, folks – that person will be the same person who got the most votes BEFORE the nationals.

    “If we elect so-and-so they’ll fire up the opponent’s base and depress our own.” Bah. Oh, it’s there to a limited degree, but it’s LIMITED. And frankly, it is a LOT harder to get people to turn out in opposition than it is in support. Some fairly canny operatives – on both sides – have said it time and again: you depress the other side with their negatives, you enthuse your side with your positives. “At least my candidate isn’t HIM,” is not a reason to get out and vote.

    One solid fact to keep in mind. The number of times the turnout for the main election has been less than that for the primaries have been, well, they’re rare enough they provoke investigations for mis- or mal-feasance. I realize it’s only been two states, but look at voter turnout – not just the independents voting Dem, but actual Dem turnout. If this trend keeps up – and there’s little reason to doubt it at this time – the national elections are going to show Bush what a true mandate looks like.

  91. 91
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    BTW, going back to the recent discussion of use of the word “bitch?” Paglia is what I think of when I hear that word. A brilliant, talented, funny, interesting bitch.

    You, sir, are obviously a sexist.

    You see, enunciation of the “tch” sound releases male anti-estrogens into the air. These hormones waft around and cause numbers on paychecks of female workers to decrease.

    Therefore, you hate and despise women. And probably rape them.

    Why do you want to punch your mother’s vagina?

  92. 92

    BTW, loved the Lord Foul reference. That is how Rove operates.

    Thinking about this some more. I’d say that Karl Rove is trying to turn Obama’s strength against him. The inspiring speeches, claiming they lack substance. Rove knows that the Democrats tend to care more about substance than perception, which is why they lose in the general elections where perception carries over substance.

    Again, I do think Obama had less substance in the days from Iowa to NH then he did in the final days of Iowa. That doesn’t mean he lacks substance, it just that was his delivery in NH.

    Tom Hilton is right, that anybody thinking Obama’s rhetorical speak shows he is weak against attack is a Dr. Phil idiot. Obama is using his rhetoric to destroy the attacks before they are launched.

    I actually think both candidates are incredibly strong in different ways. Hillary is very competent campaigner. Obama is a very moving campaigner.

    The reason why I prefer Obama over Hillary, is because every election Democrats have lost has been by having a competent politician.(Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, Humphrey, Stevenson, etc.) Nearly every election Democrats have won has been by having a moving campaigner.

    The moving campaigners also tend to be competent Presidents, so I don’t know what the problem is.

  93. 93
    Scotty says:

    You haven’t been to Mississippi, Alabama, or many parts of Tennessee, have you?

    I doubt those states will swing to the democratic anyway.

  94. 94
    ThymeZone says:

    That’s the worst piece of long distance diagnosis since Bill Frist declared Terri Schiavo able to walk.

    Good line. But wasn’t Terri trying to play Sudoku when they took her food away?

  95. 95

    You haven’t been to Mississippi, Alabama, or many parts of Tennessee, have you?

    Honestly, I’ve written off those states as being able to win. What we can do, is cause the Republicans to blow their wad trying to defend them.

  96. 96
    Dreggas says:

    Frank Says:

    The fact that Obama has the support of Republican third columnists like Camille Paglia only serves to deepen my unease.

    Yes heaven forbid that a candidate unites people, oh I forgot, everyone wants to just piss all over the other half of this country, all the talk about republican hypocrisy especially vis-a-vis religion and here we are doing the exact same thing.

  97. 97
    Scotty says:

    You haven’t been to Mississippi, Alabama, or many parts of Tennessee, have you?

    I doubt those states will swing to the democratic side anyway.

  98. 98

    Isn’t Camille Paglia a Republican?

  99. 99
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    The fact that Obama has the support of Republican third columnists like Camille Paglia only serves to deepen my unease.

    The fact that Obama has the support of any Republicans whatsoever should make you squirm with delight. Could you imagine a solid Democrat having Republican support 4 years ago?

    Remember, the guy in the office still gets to call the shots, even if the voter disagrees with him.

  100. 100
    libarbarian says:

    EVIL!!!!

    Seriously though, I agree that while his message of “hope” and “change” may be inspiring to some people it also can be a weakness if people get tired of it and there is nothing behind it.

    The problem is that there is stuff behind it, but Obama maybe isn’t doing the best job brining it out. If he is the candidate I think he is, however, he will respond to this and wont keep banging away with the same old speeches.

  101. 101
    Brachiator says:

    The fourth and biggest reason why Mrs. Clinton won two nights ago is that, while Mr. Obama can draw on the deep doubts of many Democrats about Mrs. Clinton, he can’t close out the argument. Mr. Obama is an inspiring figure playing a historical role, but that’s not enough to push aside the former First Lady and senator from New York. She’s an historic figure, too. When it comes to making the case against Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama comes across as a vitamin-starved Adlai Stevenson. His rhetoric, while eloquent and moving at times, has been too often light as air.

    Of course, neither Karl Rove, nor anyone else, really seems to know why Mrs. Clinton won. The lazier aspects of the media are simply doing their usual political kabuki, substituting punditry and “analysis” for actual reporting in which they ask voters why they decided to vote the way they did. The New York Times, for example, has an article in which reporters actually, gasp, talked to people (“Clinton’s Message, and Moment, Won the Day, January 10, 2008). One note from the article:

    “Among the pivots from Iowa, where Mrs. Clinton came in third, was her decision to take question after question from voters at her New Hampshire events, a break from her past appearances. Several female voters interviewed this week said it showed grit. In Iowa, she devoted far more time to acting like a celebrity on the rope lines, shaking hands and taking pictures with voters, because some of her advisers believed that Iowans wanted those up-close encounters.”

    Rove’s crap is useful for its hints about GOP counter-strategy against Obama, but that’s about it.

    This is a weak point for Obama, and while all of you are high on the ether of his “positive message for change,” Karl Rove and his friends are taking notes and loading up.

    This is an absolutely fair point; if Obama cannot expand upon his message, both Clinton or the eventual Republican, might easily clean his clock .

    On the other hand, it is interesting to see that we have been here before, in some ways. Here is the first question from the Kennedy/Nixon debate of 1960:

    MR. FLEMING: Senator, the Vice President in his campaign has said that you were naive and at times immature. He has raised the question of leadership. On this issue, why do you think people should vote for you rather than the Vice President?
    It’s déjà vu all over again.

    By the way, Kennedy won.

  102. 102

    Yes heaven forbid that a candidate unites people, oh I forgot, everyone wants to just piss all over the other half of this country, all the talk about republican hypocrisy especially vis-a-vis religion and here we are doing the exact same thing.

    Actually what’s nice about getting all this praise from Republicans now… is that when the general election occurs, you just sling it back in their faces when they turn to attack mode.

    “I don’t understand David Brooks. Just 3 months ago he was signing praises. Why the attacks now?”

  103. 103
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    everyone wants to just piss all over the other half of this country, all the talk about republican hypocrisy especially vis-a-vis religion and here we are doing the exact same thing

    but, but, they started it!

    I’m just going to repeat that over and over again, see if their mothers telling them “two wrongs don’t make a right” happens to kick in.

    or for that matter “139,452 wrongs don’t make a right.”

  104. 104
    Walter Mondale says:

    When I hear your new ideas, I’m reminded of that ad, ‘Where’s the beef?’

  105. 105
    Zifnab says:

    Zifnab- Thats just dumb. Obama didn’t win a general election in Iowa, he won among Democratic voters.

    Right, but the Dems who voted for Obama exceeded the Republicans who voted for Huckabee by about 2:1. Obama didn’t have a burning cross planted in front of his campaign headquarters or guys in white sheets running around the polling booths.

    Sure, wingnut pundits are trying to pull shit out of their asses about “people only supporting Obama out of white guilt” and other such garbage. But even the most blatant attack on Obama’s race is heavily veiled as a concern troll or a victimized sisterhood complaint.

    Republicans are dancing the fine line between being racists and being called racists. It’s actually really fun to watch, because of the incredibly impact it isn’t having on Obama’s support.

    Dreggas, as for Camille Paglia, I think she’s got a bad case of the CDS. Seriously, that girl has all the depth and insight of a Chris Mathew’s brainfart.

  106. 106
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I was stunned when I first heard this line of reasoning but I have heard it more and more recently. That Obama cannot win because he is black. Forget about white papers and policy and change and love and laughter. He will lose purely and simply because he is black.

    Tell that to Iowa. Seriously, Black = FAIL is perhaps the worst logic ever. A state 96% white gave it to this guy in a near landslide. I seriously doubt he’ll have problems nationwide. At the very least, we’ve got a 15% black population in this country. I’m betting we don’t have a 15% racist vote to cancel it out.

    Iowa is different, because it was a caucus and not a secret ballot.

    No one wants to look like a racist; and in the Democratic caucuses you had to stand up in front of your peers for your vote.

    NH– secret ballot. High poll numbers for the black guy before the vote… the black guy loses.

    Maybe it’s because most of the posters and commenters here are white and just don’t want to believe it, but– The Bradley Effect is real.

    If Obama were to go into the November election with a 25% margin in the polls, then he just might win. Less than that? I wouldn’t bet my life savings on it.

  107. 107
    ThymeZone says:

    Why do you want to punch your mother’s vagina?

    Um, unwanted imagery there, but …. AAMOF, Paglia reminds me a lot of my mother. My mother has that same devastating acid-tongued way of ripping her imagined adversaries apart.

    I employ some of that in my character TZ here, when necessary, but I am not nearly as good at it as either Paglia or my mother are. Is. Whatever. Whoo-ee, that’s all I can say.

  108. 108
    Robert Johnston says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Dreggas Says:

    Camille Paglia nails it

    Uh. . . no, sorry.

    That’s the worst piece of long distance diagnosis since Bill Frist declared Terri Schiavo able to walk.

    That’s not a surprise. “Camille Paglia nails it” is either an announcement of the most unlikely Sybian™ commercial to date or a gross misevaluation of the facts. While not as odious a person as, for example, Bill Kristol, she’s got about the same intellectual rigor and accuracy of prognostication as he does.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    EdTheRed says:

    Not sure how much nastier Rove will be than, say, Andrew Cuomo:

    ”It’s not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference,” he added. “All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”

    http://blogs.timesunion.com/capitol/?p=6127

  111. 111
    ThymeZone says:

    I doubt those states will swing to the democratic Confederacy anyway.

    Really, do we need those states? What for?

    I have always thought that if states act like a foreign country, we should just let them be one.

  112. 112
    Dreggas says:

    That’s not a surprise. “Camille Paglia nails it” is either an announcement of the most unlikely Sybian™ commercial to date or a gross misevaluation of the facts. While not as odious a person as, for example, Bill Kristol, she’s got about the same intellectual rigor and accuracy of prognostication as he does.

    Actually I was going to say “Camille Paglia puts on a strap on and nails her” but…

    Anyway, sorry you can shoot the messenger all you want on this (I had no idea who she was until I got the link from rawstory) I think she is spot on about Hillary Clinton. I’ve seen it close up and real life before. Hell the only reason I read the article in the first place was the S&M part of the title but in the end I agree that that is Hillary’s persona.

  113. 113
    ThymeZone says:

    that girl

    Heh. Assuming facts not in evidence.

  114. 114
    Punchy says:

    Good line. But wasn’t Terri trying to play Sudoku when they took her food away?

    More like pining fer some Gatorade and Fatburger.

    Therefore, you hate and despise women. And probably rape them.

    Why do you want to punch your mother’s vagina?

    I think, after long last, we finally see what going a little overboard with the snark looks like. “Punch”? Really? Wouldn’t “sniff” or “shave” been much funnier and less graphic?

  115. 115
    Dreggas says:

    Oh and props to you for the Sybian reference RJ!

  116. 116
    Jay says:

    I don’t think I could read or quote from a book that has the supremely unclever character name “Lord Foul”. That’s like Jon Voit’s line in the trailer for “National Treasure 2”: “We’ve got to get to it before they do!!!” Well no shit, Jon. How ’bout making it a little bit interesting for us.

    As far as Obama’s substance, I agree that it remains to be detailed, but there is the concept that the longer a candidate’s positions are out there the longer they can be twisted and lied about. I think that’s one of the causes of “Peaking To Early” and Obama would be wise to ride the charisma train as long as possible.

    Remember, it’s all about timing.

  117. 117
    Robert Johnston says:

    The fact that Obama has the support of Republican third columnists like Camille Paglia only serves to deepen my unease.

    He doesn’t have their support. They’re playing along with Obama’s feel-good bipartisan schtick for the time being because that is the best way for them to help turn the Democratic primary into an expensive and ugly fight that drains campaign coffers and alienates Democrats from one another. Their “support” for Obama is all about weakening the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever he or she ends up being.

  118. 118
    Dreggas says:

    Punchy says:

    I think, after long last, we finally see what going a little overboard with the snark looks like. “Punch”? Really? Wouldn’t “sniff” or “shave” been much funnier and less graphic?

    I know a girl…oh never mind you know where this leads and you know me.

  119. 119
    wasabi gasp says:

    A brilliant, talented, funny, interesting bitch.

    I bet she also irons a great shirt. And, that shit just burns her up.

  120. 120
    Horselover Fat says:

    Andrew Kohut has a slightly different take on the NYT op-ed today – that the people most likely not to be willing to talk to pollsters are also less likely to vote for a black guy – thus, sampling bias.

  121. 121
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Punchy Says:

    Why do you want to punch your mother’s vagina?

    I think, after long last, we finally see what going a little overboard with the snark looks like. “Punch”? Really? Wouldn’t “sniff” or “shave” been much funnier and less graphic?

    You may disagree with the choice of words, but my emotional resolve is starting to crumble. I’m getting sick of finding Hillary unstable and then, when expressing such, being accused of being sexist. Like being unstable is suitable for the Presidency.

    I can’t believe the base-line answer to all issues on Hillary is: “She’s not doing well, but she can shape up and keep competing until the convention”

    but, noooooo, Hillary is ambrosia and I beat my girlfriend apparently.

    /seething

  122. 122
    Jen says:

    I don’t know who Lord Foul is but my feelings are hurt that no one spotted the Princess Bride reference. And Cleek and Krista are my soulmates.

  123. 123
    Dreggas says:

    Robert Johnston Says:

    The fact that Obama has the support of Republican third columnists like Camille Paglia only serves to deepen my unease.

    He doesn’t have their support. They’re playing along with Obama’s feel-good bipartisan schtick for the time being because that is the best way for them to help turn the Democratic primary into an expensive and ugly fight that drains campaign coffers and alienates Democrats from one another. Their “support” for Obama is all about weakening the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever he or she ends up being.

    Actually I disagree, maybe that’s the case with the pundits but a lot of the old guard republicans I know (mainly family members) like Obama and plan to vote for him. It’s not an attempt to weaken the dems on the ground level anyway.

  124. 124
    Zifnab says:

    NH—secret ballot. High poll numbers for the black guy before the vote… the black guy loses.

    By 2 points! And it wasn’t because people were scared away by his skin tone. Clinton went on a townhall blitz, wonking out on policy. She’d been leading the state until right before NH, and was only narrowly behind on election day – according to the polls. Is it possible that Clinton won purely on the merits of her skill and savy? Or is it because some 4% of the population walked into the polls and said, “Oh wait! Barak Obama is black! Can’t vote for him after all.” As likely as anything, it could have been because Obama was 18th on the ballot while Clinton was 4th(?).

    I think she is spot on about Hillary Clinton. I’ve seen it close up and real life before. Hell the only reason I read the article in the first place was the S&M part of the title but in the end I agree that that is Hillary’s persona.

    I still don’t get this rabid dislike of Hillary. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the Hill live and in concert. But I have seen her husband and he was the most entrancing politician I’ve ever heard speak. Honestly, if on election night ’08, I’ve got to choose, I’ll just close my eyes and pretend its 1992. I can’t possibly see it getting any worse than that.

  125. 125
    Krista says:

    Cassidy Says:

    Well, I’ll be damned. Call me crazy, but I recall a few threads back getting jumped all over because I stated that the Democratic voters will fall back on electability.

    I think that is because “electability” tends to be a code word for “safe”. An “electable” candidate is the middle-aged white guy who tries to cover all the ground and please everybody, but who inspires and motivates exactly nobody. “Electable” is why John Kerry got the nomination. But I ask this: did they pick Kerry because they actually wanted HIM, or because they figured he had the best chance of beating Bush?

    I don’t think Obama is “electable” in that particular sense of the word. But do I think he has the best chance of actually mobilizing the Dems to get to the polls in record numbers? Yeah, I do. And that’s how I think the election has to be won — by the people coming out and overwhelmingly voting FOR a specific candidate. And if the candidate can’t inspire that kind of response, then the people won’t come out in the numbers needed.

  126. 126
    myiq2xu says:

    “If we elect so-and-so they’ll fire up the opponent’s base and depress our own.” Bah. Oh, it’s there to a limited degree, but it’s LIMITED. And frankly, it is a LOT harder to get people to turn out in opposition than it is in support. Some fairly canny operatives – on both sides – have said it time and again: you depress the other side with their negatives, you enthuse your side with your positives. “At least my candidate isn’t HIM,” is not a reason to get out and vote.

    Anger and hate are the mother’s milk of the GOP base. Read up on authoritarians and you’ll see that “the other” is a necessary part of their mindset.

    As for enthusing people with positives, I’ve never heard of a business with a “compliment department.” Complaints, on the other hand . . .

  127. 127
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I still don’t get this rabid dislike of Hillary. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the Hill live and in concert. But I have seen her husband and he was the most entrancing politician I’ve ever heard speak. Honestly, if on election night ‘08, I’ve got to choose, I’ll just close my eyes and pretend its 1992. I can’t possibly see it getting any worse than that.

    That rushing sound you hear is the Obama left coming to remind you that Bill and Hillary are two completely different people.

    And they’re EAGER to tell you.

  128. 128
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Or is it because some 4% of the population walked into the polls and said, “Oh wait! Barak Obama is black! Can’t vote for him after all.”

    Got it in one.

  129. 129
    Stephen says:

    John,

    At the Battle of the Wilderness, Grant, turned to his over-wrought generals, and said “Bobby Lee this, and Bobby Lee that! You think he’s going to do double somersaults and outflank us on both sides and the rear. Stop thinking about what he’s gonna do to us, and think about what we’re gonna do. Get some guns up here.”

  130. 130
    ThymeZone says:

    I still don’t get this rabid dislike of Hillary.

    It’s called CVDS: Clinton-Vagina Derangement Syndrome.

    She’s a woman, and she’s a Clinton.

    For me, it’s about policy and the fact that her voice just drives me up the fucking wall. That’s ain’t about the womaniness, I have the same problem with Fred Thompson’s voice. I can’t stop thinking about Mister Ed when he speaks.

    But anyway, the third thing for me is, in fact, CVDS … the fact that other people have it, and that makes her a flawed candidate AFAIC.

  131. 131
    Frank says:

    I don’t think Camille’s support is any more real than David Brook’s would be, and I think most people wouldn’t know what you were talking about when you try to throw their former positions in their faces. Media personalities aren’t held to any standard of consistancy, or for that matter any standards at all.

  132. 132
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    I think that is because “electability” tends to be a code word for “safe”. An “electable” candidate is the middle-aged white guy who tries to cover all the ground and please everybody, but who inspires and motivates exactly nobody. “Electable” is why John Kerry got the nomination. But I ask this: did they pick Kerry because they actually wanted HIM, or because they figured he had the best chance of beating Bush?

    EX ACT LY.

    Kerry was safe. A war vet. Look at what his safety got us: more brush cleared off of the Crawford Ranch (officially: “The Western White House”)

    Safe didn’t work last time. The Republican machine can easily hit a target that stands still.

    Probably time to get some republicans in front of our candidate, as hostages.

  133. 133
    Dreggas says:

    Zifnab says:

    I still don’t get this rabid dislike of Hillary. Admittedly, I’ve never seen the Hill live and in concert. But I have seen her husband and he was the most entrancing politician I’ve ever heard speak. Honestly, if on election night ‘08, I’ve got to choose, I’ll just close my eyes and pretend its 1992. I can’t possibly see it getting any worse than that.

    She comes off to me as Leona Helmsley in a pant suit, utter disdain for anyone “beneath” her, which in her world everyone is beneath her. You think bush acts like Emperor? She’d be the Emperess if allowed.

  134. 134
    Punchy says:

    And Cleek and Krista are my soulmates

    /gently wipes eye moisture, crosses Jen off “Seems Like a Cool Chick” list, calls Mom, confirms I’m a great guy

  135. 135
    Jen says:

    More on this electability thing, in Obama’s case it doesn’t seem like the compromise issue it was with Kerry. Obama is, if anything, more liberal than Hillary (although I don’t see dramatic differences in what their policies would be except maybe Hillary being more hawkish), but because the right and many independents have CDS and because Obama is something of a rock star, he seems to have more crossover appeal — but without compromising any core Democratic values, which is what is so cool. He is both good and electable, I think.

    On a related topic, I’d be interested to know what you guys think so I can evaluate how weird I am. When I look at the R contenders, to me they just stand for quite different things. A Huckabee administration would look really different from a Guili administration would look really different from McCain, etc. Okay, maybe not “really” different, but the bully pulpits that they chose and the international relations aspects I think would be quite different. Whereas I don’t see that nearly as much with the Democrats. They seem much more unified, somehow, they would all be acceptable to most Democrats. I am accustomed to feeling like a disorganized party doing battle with a much more homogenous party. Am I crazy, or is that the basic lay of the land now?

  136. 136
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I don’t think Obama is “electable” in that particular sense of the word. But do I think he has the best chance of actually mobilizing the Dems to get to the polls in record numbers? Yeah, I do.

    J’suis d’accord. The Bradley effect is real, but it can be beaten– else Doug Wilder would never have become governator of Virginia.

    This, to me, helps to explain Obama’s “Hope/Change” rhetoric– inspire enough people and neither the Bradley effect nor Rovian rat-f*cking can beat it. Keep that “magic Negro” vibe humming enough to offend as few white Americans as possible while “dog-whistling” about the change that most of us want, and maybe, just maybe…

  137. 137
    ThymeZone says:

    Safe didn’t work last time. The Republican machine can easily hit a target that stands still.

    Yes, actually I think our problem was that we had no machine, and they had one.

    The Republicans employed all the components of their machine. We just had a “Kerry Campaign.”

    If I had to pick one reason why we lost, that would be it.

  138. 138
    Krista says:

    Jen Says:

    I don’t know who Lord Foul is but my feelings are hurt that no one spotted the Princess Bride reference. And Cleek and Krista are my soulmates.

    Can’t believe I missed that. Then again, I have the attention span of a gnat, and on long threads tend to sometimes miss a comment or two.

  139. 139
    myiq2xu says:

    I don’t think Camille’s support is any more real than David Brook’s would be, and I think most people wouldn’t know what you were talking about when you try to throw their former positions in their faces. Media personalities aren’t held to any standard of consistancy, or for that matter any standards at all.

    Paglia is an older version of Mann Coulter. They are antifeminist trolls who’s schtick is to say outrageous and inflammatory things.

    Kinda like Stephen Colbert, but without the wit and humor.

  140. 140
    Pb says:

    Andrew Kohut has a slightly different take on the NYT op-ed today – that the people most likely not to be willing to talk to pollsters are also less likely to vote for a black guy – thus, sampling bias.

    Brilliant! Now all we have to do is get a representative sample of the people who are most likely not to be willing to talk to pollsters… wait…

  141. 141
    cleek says:

    Sullivan just got whalloped for his CDS.

  142. 142
    Frank says:

    Robert Johnson- Yeah thats what I think too.

    Obama courts the support of people who don’t have our (dems) best interests at heart. For example; he regards Lieberman as his mentor. Camille Paglia claims to be a Democrat and is exactly like Joe Klein is a liberal.

  143. 143
    Ed Drone says:

    I’d say that Karl Rove is trying to turn Obama’s strength against him.

    Everyone says Rove & Co. use a person’s strength against him/her, and this is true. However, there’s nothing to keep them from using a weakness, too. A weapon is a weapon.

    What we need is to find a way to use reality as a weapon in a political fight, which has its own high unreality quotient. Having facts on our side hasn’t helped that much in the past, so we need to convert facts into feelings, into emotions, and Obama’s rhetoric is capable of doing that. How to convince him to use it as an offensive weapon — to turn “feel-good” into “feel angry at the enemy” — is what we need.

    Obama seems unhappy going on the attack. And when he does, it isn’t in the soaring syntax of his “follow me” speeches, and it falls flat. What he needs to do is to make destruction of the wrongness in the other side’s positions into a crusade, into a mission, for our side. Note that I said “the wrongness in the other side’s positions,” not “the other side,” since his “working together” rhetoric is ill-suited to attacking other people.

    But it is not ill-suited to attacking positions, to attacking attitudes, to attacking world-views. Using his verbal abilities to right wrongs can bring us together; simply attacking others doesn’t work.

    So, during the primaries, he should point out what’s wrong about Hillary’s positions, what’s wrong about her proposed solutions to our problems, what’s wrong about her approach, but never attack her, herself. It’s hard to do this, but I think he can do it and make it stick.

    When it comes time for the actual campaign, it’s also the way he — or any progressive candidate — can — and will — defeat the Rovian robots of Republican rot.

    These are just some thoughts on the subject.

    Ed

  144. 144
    Jen says:

    Punch, you seem like a cool whatever you are, too.

    I shoulda been more obvious with the Princess Bride thing. But I do literally feel like Vizzini every time I read something of Rove’s (not too often.)

    To be perpetually outsmarted by Karl Rove, it is not a good feeling.

  145. 145
    Hubris says:

    What makes everyone accept the conventional wisdom that Obama’s speeches contain any less substance than other candidates? Is it because he includes the general change rhetoric (in addition to the other stuff he talks about), or is it because he doesn’t mention that poor 51-year-old bastard with the cleft palate?

  146. 146
    Face says:

    Can someone explain this “dog-whistle” stuff I keep seeing on lefty blogs? What is it? A tactic by the right, an image used by the left, something racist, sexist, or dogist?

  147. 147
    Jen says:

    In electability news, Kerry endorsed Obama. I guess he’s toast now.

  148. 148
    Buck says:

    NH—secret ballot. High poll numbers for the black guy before the vote… the black guy loses.

    That is what I am talking about. It is hard for me to believe but there just might be something to that.

    A candidate does not need the south to win an election. And it is for sure that a democrat, be it a he or a she or a black or a white, will not win in the south.

    Does New Hampshire show that it is more than just a southern thing?

    Maybe we will find out.

    If Rove really wants to help his party, he’ll focus on how they are going to elect a 71-year-old guy with a long rap sheet of lies, malapropisms and skeletons in the closet, whose face looks like a badly carved pumpkin, and whose claim to the job he seeks is that he can run a war better than George Bush can.

    Absolutely wonderful.

  149. 149
    ThymeZone says:

    What makes everyone accept the conventional wisdom that Obama’s speeches contain any less substance

    It’s because he doesn’t talk about Chuck Norris.

  150. 150
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    They are antifeminist trolls who’s schtick is to say outrageous and inflammatory things.

    err, just because you rail against the establishment does not mean you’re against what the establishment is for. She thinks she’s assisting the feminist cause, it would look silly to declare her opposite to that. She might be “reckless”…

    However, she is a troll. A damn funny troll.

  151. 151
    Llelldorin says:

    You just have to ignore Turdblossom. If you let him get inside your head he wins.

    “He says they are most afraid of Obama, so they must really be afraid of Hillary.”

    “That’s what he wants you to think, because they really are most afraid of Obama.”

    “But he didn’t mention Edwards, so that’s who they worry about the most, not Hillary or Obama.”

    “Everything I say is a lie.”

    “I’m lying.”

    This is exactly right. Don’t try to play this sort of game with Karl Rove. Your time would be better spent building up a resistance to iocane powder.

  152. 152
    Jen says:

    Keep that “magic Negro” vibe humming enough to offend as few white Americans as possible while “dog-whistling” about the change that most of us want, and maybe, just maybe…

    This sounds kind of ominous to me. Is the revolution coming, and will I be spared?

  153. 153
    myiq2xu says:

    Can someone explain this “dog-whistle” stuff I keep seeing on lefty blogs?

    Dog whistles make a sound only dogs can hear. When a politician uses terms that sound innocuous but trigger a reaction in a certain segment of society, it is a “dog-whistle.”

    Example: Huckabee talks about “vertical” leadership. To most people, that means nothing. To the Fundamentalist base it makes reference to a popular theme in Christian teachings. (God on top, Satan at the bottom, mankind in between)

  154. 154
    les says:

    This is just 2006 redux. What do refuckingpublicans always say about Dems–“They don’t have any plans/ideas/positions!!!!” And the concern trolls and the wimpies eat it up, the Dems get nervous, blah de blah. Didn’t work so well in ’06; the lies that are coming about how Dems couldn’t accomplish anything once elected won’t work if we don’t let ’em; and, please the FSM, the no ideas lie about Obama won’t work. Instead of climbing on the bandwagon, give Karl’s readers the links; show he’s lying, don’t help him out.

  155. 155
    ThymeZone says:

    Example: Huckabee talks about “vertical” leadership

    Excellent example.

    Hucksterbee’s famous Christmas ad was pure dog whistle all the way.

    Stop and think, how many candidates for president have you ever heard say the words “Jesus Christ” in a campaign commercial?

  156. 156
    Dracula says:

    OT:

    Holy WOW

    What the FBI and an old roomate have in common. This is simply incredible. How many billion a day spent in Iraq, and yet this happens?

    Is it possible to both laugh and cry?

  157. 157
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Can someone explain this “dog-whistle” stuff I keep seeing on lefty blogs? What is it? A tactic by the right, an image used by the left, something racist, sexist, or dogist?

    Just look up Lee Atwater, Rove’s godfather. He said:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ – that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

    The dogwhistle is how the Republicans generally and movement conservatism particularly say “nigger nigger nigger,” without ever mentioning the “n-word.”

  158. 158
    Sinister eyebrow says:

    Somewhat OT but the “Domestic Revenge” idea is not something that a president would have to have his/her hands in at all. It’s as simple as appointing a solid, honest Attorney General, saying “you have a mandate to clean up corruption and malfeasance in government, create a DOJ task force to accomplish same” and then refusing (as any President should) to interfere with the workings of the justice department. The crimes and misdemeanors of the clown-car administration we’ve had for the past 7 years are not hard to spot, particularly when those same jokers are not in a position to assert executive privilege or state secrets to conceal their malfeasance.

    When competent, honest people are in charge, the cleanup will be self-sustaining.

    And Rove’s comments should only be used to prepare for the line of attack that the right will use, nothing more. He attacks strengths, and his criticism of Obama is born of his perception that Obama’s speaking skills are his great strength. Once a general candidate is settled on, it isn’t hard to retool in order to deliver both stirring oratory to inspire and well-crafted policy speeches to inform. Happens every election to one degree or another.

  159. 159
    ThymeZone says:

    The dogwhistle is how the Republicans generally and movement conservatism particularly say “nigger nigger nigger,” without ever mentioning the “n-word.”

    Yes. And “faggot faggot faggot” and “spic spic spic.”

    Whatever needs to be scapegoated, whatever is powerless, and needs to be coded.

  160. 160
    Horselover Fat says:

    Other examples of dog whistling would be George W. Bush talking about “Dred Scott,” “wonder-working power,” etc.

    Prior to this election cycle, it has gotten attention mostly in the context of the Christian Right.

    This time around, there are other groups getting dog whistled to, can’t think of examples offhand though.

  161. 161
    Zifnab says:

    OT:

    Holy WOW

    What the FBI and an old roomate have in common. This is simply incredible. How many billion a day spent in Iraq, and yet this happens?

    Is it possible to both laugh and cry?

    In a strange way, it gives me comfort to know that a government so horribly corrupt and inept cannot perpetually exist exactly because of this kind of shit happening.

    This is the sort of thing that spelled the end of the Soviet Union. “Haha! Tanks and bombs! We’re going to take over the world! Oh shit, forgot to pay the water bill. Aaaaaaand, Russia is fucked.”

  162. 162
    myiq2xu says:

    Just look up Lee Atwater, Rove’s godfather. He said:

    Rove goes farther back than that. Turdblossom was one of Nixon’s “ratfuckers.”

  163. 163
    Face says:

    thanks, mynumberslettersjumbled.

  164. 164
    ThymeZone says:

    Oh shit, forgot to pay the water bill pave the roads we use to get the food from the farms to the cities.

    Those buttheads couldn’t get anything right.

  165. 165
    myiq2xu says:

    This time around, there are other groups getting dog whistled to, can’t think of examples offhand though.

    Ron Paul was making dogwhistles to the militia movement with some of his references to the IRS and the constitutionality of the income tax.

  166. 166

    Iowa is different, because it was a caucus and not a secret ballot.

    No one wants to look like a racist; and in the Democratic caucuses you had to stand up in front of your peers for your vote.

    I guess they voted for McCain because they’re anti-Mormon and anti-Christian, right?

    Wow, people are really misinterpreting New Hampshire.

    The history of New Hampshire is one of “Oh go fuck yourself” when told how they should think. The news media was riding into NH saying Obama was going to win. And the NH Voters said “Oh go fuck yourself”.

    There are a lot of reasons for that, all related to media coverage of one sort or another. But New Hampshire has almost always bucked the trend and voted for someone else just to be different.

  167. 167
    Tsulagi says:

    Mr. Obama chose soaring rhetoric and inspirational rallies. While his speeches galvanized true believers at his events, his words were neither filling nor sustaining for New Hampshire Democrats

    He is a turdblossom, and much worse, but he can get some things right.

    I like Obama. Seems like a decent guy. I’d give my left nut to buy half his public charisma and speaking ability. Not buying the other half with my right because some things are more important. But I’m not rushing to pull a lever for Obama.

    A number of his speeches have said he would lead as a uniter. Reach across the aisle to build bipartisanship. And more feel-good bipartisan stuff. But where have I heard that before?

    If you’re thinking Lieberman, you’d be correct too, but I’m thinking the Decider Uniter. Who for him and his playmates defined bipartisanship as shutting out the Democratic party, marginalizing them, and still calling them names when they voted with the Pubs.

    Oddly enough since the midterms, in practice, that seems to be exactly the Dems’ definition. As they’ve rubberstamped/reaffirmed damn near every retarded/asshole thing the Pubs came up with in the previous six years. Call them the Lieberman party. Obama, as well as Hillary, have been on that ride. These assholes got me to open up my checkbook and vote for Bush. Bravo. Fool me once…

    So, yeah, I want a little more than Sermons from Mt. Rushmore.

  168. 168
    myiq2xu says:

    Dogwhistling is getting harder now that the left is paying more attention to everything the GOP candidates say. Josh Marshall and kos are both good at parsing the language of the right-wing.

  169. 169
    Mark from Cleveland says:

    Allowing the nominee to be chosen based on what critiques Karl Rove or other Republican strategists might make is the kind of thinking that got us John Kerry (“He’s a veteran, they can’t attack him for that!”). Pick the best nominee based on the nominee, not on what the other side is going to say about him. You can’t let fear of the other side determine your own choices.

    I have been reading the new book on George McGovern called The Liberals Moment and last night I got to a part where the guy who ran that real conservative New Hampshire newspaper was the conduit/front to run exactly the same attack against McGovern’s war record as Rove ran against Kerry on his war record (the Swift Boat attack). I don’t know why I was amazed, but I was amazed. It was exactly the same attack. If I had the book here I would type in the passage. The only weird thing is the attack seemed to have come before the end of the primaries and the author does not seem to attribute it to anyone other then the guy who ran the newspaper.

  170. 170
    4tehlulz says:

    Well, now we know why the Telecoms are so hard for immunity. Their cutoffs for nonpayment may end up getting people killed.

    Profits before patriotism. It’s the American way.

  171. 171
    Horselover Fat says:

    There is dogwhistling on the Dem side also.

  172. 172
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Dogwhistling is getting harder now that the left is paying more attention to everything the GOP candidates say. Josh Marshall and kos are both good at parsing the language of the right-wing.

    I didn’t know that Democrats had the power to make them stop. Do that have the power to make them be honest, share?

  173. 173
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Do that they have the power to make them be honest, share?

    gah, I suck

  174. 174
    Mark from Cleveland says:

    well I screwed up the block quote thing, but I think everyone gets the idea

  175. 175
    troglaman says:

    Those familiar with behavioral sciences are aware that the inspirational ‘high’ lasts about 2 weeks. Those of us who have attended inspirational gatherings remember that it felt good…and that’s about it. The substance, if there was any in the first place, doesn’t stick.

    Obama is truly inspiring. But Mr. Cole is right, at this point there’s not much to hang your hat on. Don’t get me wrong, I like Obama and would rather see a herd of cattle running the country instead of this current bunch of cabbages, but he needs to find the beef. If he finds his balance of inspiration and substance, watch out.

  176. 176

    I am sure that there are two folders on someone’s desk in Roveland, one for the gal and one for the black guy, and depending on who ultimately gets the nomination they go with that game plan for the general election (they have a revolver in the drawer in case Edwards or Kucinich get within sniffing distance).

    Also, just a reminder for those of you weak and fallen prey to the bloviating heads “explaining” Clinton’s surprise victory: She won the Diebold-counted election and lost the hand-counted election in New Hampshire. These were the same kind of hackable Diebolds that have been reviled by Democrats until Tuesday night. Suddenly now they’re the Registrars of Democracy.

    Expect this, Clinton-supporters: If she does win the nomination there will be a heavy drumbeat that she stole the election and America will be asked, “Are you going to vote for a thief or a patriot?” Ignore this at your own peril. Quietly, Diebold has helped to make Hillary unelectable.

    Just telling you folks.

  177. 177
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    I guess they voted for McCain because they’re anti-Mormon and anti-Christian, right?

    What?? McCain is black? Jesus, I need new glasses.

    BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS– McCain won because he’s merely a panderer.

    The rest of the Republican field is made up of war-mongers, used-car salesmen, militia crazies, 9/11 fetishists, and other assorted flat out nutjobs.

    If you were a Republican (no offense intended), wouldn’t you choose McCain over anyone else in that field?

  178. 178
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    Sully is saying he’ll throttle-down on Hillary

    Foo. I emailed him last night on that Clinton comment that he said had the gender card in it, telling him he should take a one day break from her…

    I wanna take credit, but he didn’t cite my email. I feel so unlistened to.

    /me fakes crying.

  179. 179
    Zifnab says:

    If you were a Republican (no offense intended), wouldn’t you choose McCain over anyone else in that field?

    Nope. After eight years of the clusterfuck that is BushCheney, I’d be voting for Ron Paul or – assuming I’d had a religious experience – Huckleberry McHuckington. I’m a little shocked that Paul didn’t do better in NH than he did. That was, ultimately, his own firewall. If the libertarians of NH won’t have anything to do with you, then you are well and truly dicked.

    But after 8 years of BushCheney, I know more than a few people who have just given up on the GOP entirely. I have no idea what would compel people to half-ass it by picking a guy like McCain who stands with all the consistency of Mitt Romney, but tends to be quieter about it.

  180. 180
    myiq2xu says:

    Horselover Fat Says:

    There is dogwhistling on the Dem side also.

    Citation please

  181. 181
    LarryB says:

    John Cole Says:

    And bonus points to Doug for the Thomas Covenant reference. I still have Lord Foul’s bane, the Illearth war, and others somewhere here at home.

    Thomas Convenant really frosts my chaps. Here is a guy who goes through 3 FAT novels being totally stuck, psychologically. He finally manages to pull his head out at the end of the 3rd book, then — WAMMO! Goes right back to stuck at the beginning of the next llooonngg book cycle. At this point, I realized that Stephen Donaldson is one of those authors who is working out his “issues” in print…over and over again. Other examples from the SF&F world include Tanith Lee (a bitter feminist) and Terry Godkind and John Ringo (both serious B&D fetishists). This kind of writing is an acquired taste, I guess.

  182. 182
    myiq2xu says:

    I didn’t know that Democrats had the power to make them stop. Do that have the power to make them be honest, share?

    The power to make them stop or be honest? ROFLMAO

    (wipes eyes, cleans up coffee off monitor and keyboard, resumes typing)

    What I meant was that dogwhistling is most effective when no one knows they are doing it. That’s why it’s important to pay attention and call them on it when you catch them.

  183. 183
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    myiq2xu Says:

    Horselover Fat Says:

    There is dogwhistling on the Dem side also.

    Citation please

    Off the top of my head, “corruption”, “incompetence”, “fear-mongering”, “propaganda”, “torture”, “war-criminal”, among others.

    Because apparently this shit flies right over the heads of the knuckle-dragging 30%

  184. 184
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    What I meant was that dogwhistling is most effective when no one knows they are doing it. That’s why it’s important to pay attention and call them on it when you catch them.

    Dogwhistling is still effective. It’s still up to the opposing side to put a negative value to it. Meanwhile, the targeted group will give 100% of the response, because they hate the groups that “don’t get it”.

    I don’t mean to be hammering on you, I’m just pointing out that there’s really no defense to it.

  185. 185
    myiq2xu says:

    This kind of writing is an acquired taste, I guess.

    Check out Tim Powers. He does a mix of history with magic/mythology for some interesting stuff. His best are Anubis Gates and Last Call. Skip The Stress of her Regard though, he must have been doing really bad drugs when he wrote that mess.

  186. 186
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    If you were a Republican (no offense intended), wouldn’t you choose McCain over anyone else in that field?

    Nope. After eight years of the clusterfuck that is BushCheney, I’d be voting for Ron Paul or – assuming I’d had a religious experience – Huckleberry McHuckington. I’m a little shocked that Paul didn’t do better in NH than he did. That was, ultimately, his own firewall. If the libertarians of NH won’t have anything to do with you, then you are well and truly dicked.

    Ron Paul, eh? Well, I must say, he does talk a good game.

    There’s this thing about his history, though. He had years of publishing a newsletter popular among the far-right militia krewe. Here’s an example of dog-whistling with a defective dog whistle:

    One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis” were better alternatives.

    You’d choose him over McCain?

    Swell.

  187. 187
    Cassidy says:

    “magic Negro” vibe

    Pretty sure I saw this on HSN during the wee hours of the night.

  188. 188
    Larv says:

    Does New Hampshire show that it is more than just a southern thing?

    Look, this fretting over whether losing NH means that americans won’t vote for a black guy is just silly. Does Hillary’s 3rd place in Iowa mean we won’t vote for a woman? Obama lost NH by two freakin points. What’s more, polls pretty accurately predicted his support. It simply wasn’t the case that 37% of poll respondents said they’d vote for Obama but only 30% of actual voters did. His actual totals were within a few points of poll predictions. What happened was that the polls underestimated Hillary’s support. There could be any number of reasons for this, but none of them have anything to do with this Bradley effect bullshit.

  189. 189
    Cassidy says:

    I think that is because “electability” tends to be a code word for “safe”. An “electable” candidate is the middle-aged white guy who tries to cover all the ground and please everybody, but who inspires and motivates exactly nobody. “Electable” is why John Kerry got the nomination. But I ask this: did they pick Kerry because they actually wanted HIM, or because they figured he had the best chance of beating Bush?

    I don’t think Obama is “electable” in that particular sense of the word. But do I think he has the best chance of actually mobilizing the Dems to get to the polls in record numbers? Yeah, I do. And that’s how I think the election has to be won—by the people coming out and overwhelmingly voting FOR a specific candidate. And if the candidate can’t inspire that kind of response, then the people won’t come out in the numbers needed.

    Okay good response, but here’s the rub. As I’ve said before and been argued with about, if you take this comments section as a cross section of Democrats from moderate to liberal…check that. If you take this comments section as a cross section of politically educated Democrats, from moderate to liberal, we are already eating our own candidates. Two good ones have stepped out because our Primary system sucks. On several threads, the platitudes vs. substance of Obama is being debated, and while this is a good thing, in the end, it will lead the party to the same conclusion:

    Don’t vote for who you want, but for who can beat the Republicans.

    If we/ you, collectively, are discussing electability, what do you think the average voter is doing?

    In the end, we are already heading towards electability. This is what aggravates me. The party, all of us collectively, aren’t voting our principles. We’re playing the same game of politics, and until that changes, we won’t get the candidate in place who will restore the values of the Democratic Party.

  190. 190
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Look, this fretting over whether losing NH means that americans won’t vote for a black guy is just silly. Does Hillary’s 3rd place in Iowa mean we won’t vote for a woman?

    Absolutely not! As evidenced by the plethora of black and female Presidents over the last two hundred years.

  191. 191
    Larv says:

    I’m with those who think Hillary is a bad strategic candidate. The dominant theme of this election is the relative strength of the Dem field versus the weakness and disunity of the Republicans. All of the Dem candidates are pretty similar on policy grounds, and none of them are unpalatable to a major portion of the Dem base. Not so with the Repubs. The evangelicals don’t trust Romney or Giuliani, the business cons hate Huckabee, and large numers of hardcore Repubs despise McCain for a variety of reasons. Further, the national Republican party is saddled with a deeply unpopular president, an unpopular war, and generally terrible approval ratings. No matter who their candidate is, they’re going to have trouble getting some portion of their electorate to show up on election day. Given all this, why would we gift the Republicans with a candidate they can rally against? The one thing that most Repubs can agree on is…Clinton hatred! They’ve been demonizing Hillary for so long that it’s a reflex now, and many of the memes have sunk in simply by virtue of repetition. Look at any Republicans email inbox, and I guarantee you’ll find several Hillary jokes and scare stories. Sure, you’ll find a Barack Hussein Osama one or two also, but there just hasn’t been time for those to sink in like the anti-Hillary stuff has. Plus, it’s so transparently ridiculous that I can’t see significant numbers showing up to vote against a sekrit Black Muslim terrorist. But they will show up to vote against Hillary. It’s like rooting against the Yankees; it doesn’t matter who their opponent is, I just like to see them lose. As an Orioles fan, I can admit that my team sucks and doesn’t stand a chance, but my hatred of the Yankees can still motivate me. That’s Hillary to the current Republican party. Even disaffected Repubs who think their candidates all kind of suck will still agree that Hillary is worse. Obama and Edwards don’t have that downside, and I just don’t see a specific asset Clinton has that can outweigh that.

  192. 192
    Larv says:

    Ivan,

    Absolutely not! As evidenced by the plethora of black and female Presidents over the last two hundred years.

    So your argument is that nobody should ever nominate a black or a woman because they obviously aren’t viable candidates?

  193. 193
    Krista says:

    …On several threads, the platitudes vs. substance of Obama is being debated, and while this is a good thing, in the end, it will lead the party to the same conclusion:

    Don’t vote for who you want, but for who can beat the Republicans.

    If we/ you, collectively, are discussing electability, what do you think the average voter is doing?

    In the end, we are already heading towards electability. This is what aggravates me. The party, all of us collectively, aren’t voting our principles. We’re playing the same game of politics, and until that changes, we won’t get the candidate in place who will restore the values of the Democratic Party.

    Good point. Does it have to be either/or though? Why not vote for the person who you think has the principles and who you think can win the opportunity to put those positions in place? Right now I think it’s that many of us disagree on who precisely that person IS. But, I’m really, really hoping that WHOEVER the Dem candidate winds up being, that Democrats will come out en masse to vote for him or her and to turn the Repubs out of office. I have no control over this, as I can’t vote in your country, but your political climate has a lot of influence over ours. A lot of it. And a lot of us here are disturbed by the rightward swing in our government — a rightward swing that definitely would not have been as pronounced had the climate in “the States” been less militaristic and regressive.

    As I’ve said before and been argued with about…

    Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. And your anti-civilian comments have won you a lot of antipathy on this site, so don’t be surprised if any of your other arguments, even if correct, don’t meet a warm reception. It’s human nature, and it transcends political boundaries.

  194. 194
    Krista says:

    Sorry about the excess usage of the phrase “a lot”.

    I can has thesaurus?

  195. 195
    Cassidy says:

    Why not vote for the person who you think has the principles and who you think can win the opportunity to put those positions in place?

    Because it’s usually not the same person.

    But, I’m really, really hoping that WHOEVER the Dem candidate winds up being, that Democrats will come out en masse to vote for him or her and to turn the Repubs out of office.

    This isn’t the issue. The voters will show up. The problem is will enough voters show up to beat the R’s. When we run on “electability”, then you quickly have holes punched in your campaign.

    Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. And your anti-civilian comments have won you a lot of antipathy on this site, so don’t be surprised if any of your other arguments, even if correct, don’t meet a warm reception.

    War changes people. Try it and then tell me you don’t feel the same way about the people who sit home and criticize/ complain about everything. After a while, it gets really old.

  196. 196
    Harley says:

    Ahh, I’m sorta late to this. But there’s something inherently funny about quoting Karl Rove as if his opinions about the Democratic race were in any way helpful, truthful, accurate, or worth our time.

    What’s next? Andrew Cuomo?

  197. 197

    Damn, there is something to hang hats on, Hillary has a bit of a Senate record and Obama has his Senate and Illinois record. Neither promises anything other than old time Republican politics, these people would have been moderate or left Republicans 30 years ago. WTF has the Democratic Party become?

    Per polling (which I only take as a trend indicator) Hillary is the least electible of the three in the General. I don’t care about triangulating or kissing Republicans, I care about something being done to change the status quo of the last 20 years not to mention the last 7 and, well, damn.

    If I didn’t have 4/5 of our state Reps and Senator and two candidates for the other Senator I’d walk away from the Democratic Party over this Primary. If Obama and Clinton are the best we can do to represent the regular American I have no idea what an answer is.

    In the face of these two corporate Democrats we’ve got the Ben-gay crowd? WTF do they want? How are Hillary and Obama leftwing dividers? Either one makes the corporate/plutocratic interests swoon compared to any Democratic agenda.

    Since the Independents seem to be splitting between Clinton and Obama, I’m beginning to have real serious doubts about letting those ‘tards vote in Democratic Primaries. They can’t in OR. Oh well, hell, if I had all the answers I’d be running the show instead of bitching.

  198. 198
    Jake says:

    His best are Anubis Gates and Last Call. Skip The Stress of her Regard though, he must have been doing really bad drugs when he wrote that mess Earthquake Weather and Three Days to Never, they are teh suck.

    Fixed.

    And what list of SF/F authors with issues would be complete with out giving R.A.H. a big old … middle finger?

  199. 199
    ThymeZone says:

    will enough voters show up to beat the R’s

    Yes. This has been SATSQ volume 135.0.1.5

  200. 200
    Z says:

    All the Hillary haters I know hate her for her personality. They don’t trust her. They think she is unethical. They just have this irrational seething hatred of her (see Sullivan, Andrew). How do you work with that? How do you get people to sit down and get things done? Frankly, a lot has to get done! I don’t want a fighter in the oval office. Our country is already so ridiculously divided, we can’t get anything done! I want a negotiator. I want someone who will bring both sides to the table and hammer out something that will work. The politics of I wants mine and screw yous is how we got in this mess to begin with.

    Plus, I am sick of conservative and liberal baby-boomers fighting over the 60’s and 70’s. Why don’t you people retire out of politics and bankrupt us with your healthcare, already? /snark

  201. 201
    Ike says:

    Cole,

    I enjoy your blog and will continue to do so, but in my opinion, you’ve absolutely lost the plot on this one.
    Obama has plenty of substance, its printed in black and white in the transcripts of his speeches, it’s in the videos of his townhall discussions, it’s present in his given answers during debates.

    In fact, I challenge people to find a national policy issue (one of the one’s established as being relevant to the primaries, i.e. Healthcare, not my Aunt Pookie’s cat can’t get access to a good education) in which he’s hasn’t articulated a policy position as detailed as any of the other major candidates.

    Feel free to disagree with those positions, mock them even, but to claim that they don’t exist is entirely off base.

    As I see it, the perception of him having no substance is a complete and utter fabrication, that is bouncing around the echo chamber of Mainstream Media and the Tucker Carlson Show. If one only broadcasts the speeches from the political rallies at which Obama speaks, then there is a tendency to believe that he only gives speeches which, while inspirational, lack substance. However if one were present at the ‘Chicago Council on Public Affairs’ for this speech – http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/fpccga – one might get a different impression. (This took me twelve seconds to find!)

    Now I like Hillary Clinton. I think, she’s more than capable of serving as President, and I also think it’s a bit unfair that she should be made to serve the penalty for enormous resentment of her husband. If she is nominated for President, I will not have to hold my nose and vote for her, but will do it with Pride at having cast a vote for, potentially, the first female POTUS. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like I want to press the ‘Pause’ button on my own personal rat-race and do something for the country. That’s because of Obama. For the first time since 1980 it feels like if we can get elected, my efforts to help others will not be in vain, but will be augmented by a leader that will look to support us in those types of endeavors. For the first time in 20 years, it seems like this country will remember how to, actually, get something accomplished. Yes, it is a lot of lofty rhetoric, but football coaches wouldn’t give fiery half-time speeches if they lost every time they gave one either.

    I’ve long since stopped being angry at the machinations of this President’s Administration, and for awhile felt nothing more than despair. This despite knowing that Hillary was going to enter into the race for President and had a respectable sot at winning.

    Now I’m a realist, a pragmatist, a cynic and a skeptic, so despite there inspirational nature, if Obama had no sound policy behind his speeches, I wouldn’t be on this train. But it’s there, even if you’ve got to press a couple of keys to find them — because they won’t make it to television without being chopped into 10 second sound bites. (Who can blame them? Despite being very informative, policy speeches can be quite dull.)

    So for all of you posters out there, you can keep your revenge, and your anger, I’m done with it. This is the first candidate in a long time that has put him/herself out there for the public to evaluate and make a choice. No focus groups, no triangulated opinions, just his own carefully considered and potentially-flawed views. But more importantly, he has injected passion, compassion and, dare I say it, ‘soul’ back into the equation for the Democratic Nomination, a typically soul-less, gut-less process of elimination and mistake-avoidance. And damn-it, even if it might not last, it feels good.

  202. 202
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    So your argument is that nobody should ever nominate a black or a woman because they obviously aren’t viable candidates?

    What I say is that I believe the Bradley Effect is real; and that for a black candidate to overcome it (as I pointed out before, if it were impossible Doug Wilder would never have become governor of Virginia) he has to beat the point spread. That is, if the polls show that he’s less than 10 percentage points ahead, he’s in trouble. If the polls show that he’s less than five points ahead, he’s gonna lose.

    I don’t know that there is a female equivalent (and note, we’re talking about statewide races here– senatoter and governator) there have been far more white women elected governator and senatoter than blacks of any gender.

    For a black man to win statewide office, he has to be way ahead in the polls leading up to the election.

    I’ve no reason to believe things are different for nationwide office.

  203. 203
    jcricket says:

    Our country is already so ridiculously divided, we can’t get anything done! I want a negotiator. I want someone who will bring both sides to the table and hammer out something that will work.

    It’s only negotiation when both sides agree to the basic rules and are actually willing to compromise. The Republicans have, for the last 20 years, been ignoring rules (ethics committee, filibuster agreements, etc.) whenever it suits them, so there’s hardly any of them to negotiate with. Plus, when the Republicans do “compromise” it’s on meaningless side issues.

    The idea that what we need is more sitting down and talking is utter crap. What we need is for the Dems to forcefully stand up for their issues, and challenge Republicans to the same thing they’ve been claiming they deserved when in power (“up or down votes”). If nothing gets done because of Republican obstructionism, make that the issue and then get a bigger majority.

    30 or more years ago I might have agreed that someone with a feisty style was unnecessary, but to think that lofty rhetoric and inspiring speeches by any Democrat (Edwards, Obama, etc.) are going to get Republicans to actually compromise.

    I’m all for an open exchange of ideas and negotiating with people in good faith, so please get back to me when all the current Republicans are voted out of office.

  204. 204
    Larv says:

    Ivan, you’re free to believe whatever you like, but nothing in this race so far supports you. You claimed that there was a discrepancy between polling and voting in terms of support for Obama, but that just wasn’t the case in NH.

  205. 205
    D-Chance. says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Safe didn’t work last time. The Republican machine can easily hit a target that stands still.

    Yes, actually I think our problem was that we had no machine, and they had one.

    The Republicans employed all the components of their machine. We just had a “Kerry Campaign.”

    If I had to pick one reason why we lost, that would be it.

    Hell, TZ, haven’t you figured this one out, yet? The Dems didn’t expect and really didn’t want Kerry to win. If he had, Hillary couldn’t be running now because they’d have to support a Kerry reelection campaign instead. It’s all about timing, and Bush still had the big Iraq stick in ’04. Now, that weapon is useless and there’s no heir apparent (thankfully), so Hillary’s in with both hands. This is the right time in history for her to seize the moment…. HER moment. As I said in the other thread, Hillary IS the machine, she’s the dynasty. The Democrats had a machine in ’04… Hillary simply refused to plug it in and turn on the juice full power for Kerry.

    The Republicans do the same thing… no machine or huge push for Dole in ’96, he was simply a life-long loyal guy getting the grand tour on his way out to pasture. I’d wager that McCain will find himself getting the Dole treatment should he get the nomination. He’ll tour and people will glad-hand him and smile and thank him for his years of service to our country; but everyone knows he’ll have no chance and they’ll do little more than go through the motions for him. Instead, they’ll already be planning for ’12 or ’16.

  206. 206
    Tsulagi says:

    War changes people. Try it and then tell me you don’t feel the same way about the people who sit home and criticize/ complain about everything. After a while, it gets really old.

    Boo fucking hoo. Engaging in a little “Not My Fault!” and victimhood?

    My mother is the type in a family who tries to keep extended family in touch and keeps track of the who begat whom and what they’re doing. Last year she told me of a somewhat distant cousin I didn’t even know I had. She wanted me to get in touch with her in Iraq.

    A SSG who was awarded a Purple Heart and CAB. Truth be told, if she didn’t have three strikes against her (Reserve, pogue, and female) she merits a Bronze for her actions. She may be a pogue (not meant in any derogatory sense), but the bullet comes out of her barrel just as fast as from an 11B, an 03, or even an 18. Her only mission one day was to get from Point A to Point B without being blown up. Didn’t happen for some.

    So far I’ve only been able to email and talk to her on the phone. I’ve been trying to get her to come out and stay with us for a bit before her next deployment. Probably going to happen. She has got to be one of the most positive, actually bubbly people I’ve ever talked to. She has the voice of a teenage girl. She cracks me up.

    She said she had been deathly afraid of what did happen happening. She was worried how she’d respond. She said when her head cleared after the IED and she realized she was in one piece, and they were being fired upon, her only thoughts were of those in her unit. She said she spent countless hours preparing one not-so-quick guy for boards and she was not going to let it or him go to waste. She gushed “I forgot I was a girl!” She cracks me up.

    Like I said, she still has a positive attitude. She doesn’t have an “Us vs. Civilian” attitude in any way. In large measure she’s volunteered for her next deployment. Like me she believes this is a war that shouldn’t have started, civilian leadership fucked it up, but she believes we have a duty to make it right. She wants to make it better. I may think she’s a bit naive, but I got nothing but respect for her opinion. She’s earned it.

    So Cassidy, maybe you need to get in touch a little with your female side, like that SSG. Yeah, war sucks, but you decide how it affects you.

  207. 207
    Tax Analyst says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    Another thing I would add here is that Rove is wrong about Obama being a “vitamin starved Aldai Stevenson.”

    I am, alas, old enough to remember Stevenson quite well, and saw him in person at the 1960 Democratic Convention. I was an impressionable kid in a rabid Dem family, and Stevenson was a real hero of mine. Maybe the most intelligent human I ever saw in politics, and maybe the most gentlemanly.

    Garsh…I was in L.A. then…but I was only 10. I remember my folks were excited about it, so I was excited about. At the L.A. Sports Arena – pretty much brand-new, State-of-the-Art back then. A dump today.

  208. 208
    Z says:

    jcricket,

    Negotiation isn’t just talk. It isn’t holding hands and singing happy songs together. And when you act like it is, you are absolutely parroting Repub talking points. In order to successfully negotiate, you have to be bargaining from a position of strength. You have to have something to hold over the head of the people you are negotiating with. You have to be willing to filibuster if you’ve got the votes, and you have to be willing to veto. You also have to be willing to call people on the carpet for being obstructionists. The problem we’ve had is that the Repubs knew their power and have used it ruthlessly. Democrats have been too scared or been too outnumbered to effectively use their power. Repubs haven’t needed to play nice or negotiate because they knew they had the Dems over a barrel. But look at where it got us, and consider how much faith has been lost in the political system. You act like it is Us vs Them, but the truth is it is Them vs Them, with most of the American people caught in the crossfire, divided, confused, and angry. I don’t want a warrior who is going to pick my side and start lobbing grenades. I want a negotiator, someone who has the charisma to make a strong reasonable case to the PUBLIC. I want someone that my parents might not agree with, but who nonetheless, won’t send them into angry, Rush & Savage loving spasms of hysteria. That is what’s missing here. The true partisans will continue to jerk off to their angry rhetoric, no matter who gets elected. What I want is get someone in office who will stop inspiring the folks in the middle to side with the partisans. Hillary is definitely not it.

  209. 209
    Ivan Renko says:

    And who knows? Perhaps I am wrong.

    I only have the last forty years or so of history to inform me.

    Perhaps we witness the dawning of a new era. Perhaps now, we see historic change.

    History indicates that it isn’t the way to bet.

  210. 210
    ThymeZone says:

    Garsh…I was in L.A. then…but I was only 10. I remember my folks were excited about it, so I was excited about. At the L.A. Sports Arena – pretty much brand-new, State-of-the-Art back then. A dump today.

    I was a few years older, and completely agog. My adventures and misadventures that week would fill a good made for tv movie. I will tell you about them sometime. I had a childhood of political action and education that honestly amazes the hell out of me, and I have had a long time to look back on it.

    Yes, the Sports Arena was quite the thing then.

  211. 211
    Ivan Renko says:

    I will definitely grant you this– in this case the Bradley effect was small; perhaps nonexistent.

    It was, after all, a Democratic primary; the part with women, blacks, Latinos, Jews and damn near everybody else.

    In the general, though…

  212. 212
    Zuzu says:

    I thought Kerry would have been a good President and was happy to vote for him based on substance.

    There’s a part of me that always wondered if the Hillary folks didn’t undermine his campaign in some ways.

    I was going to compare the Obama/Hillary thing with the 2004 surge for Howard Dean, complete with endorsements, etc. … I don’t think Dean had the substance in the end, and I’m not sure Obama really does either.

    On the other hand, I notice Kerry has just endorsed Obama.

  213. 213

    Let me see if I’ve got this right, Karl Rove is a political genius because he’s brought the Republican Party and BushCo to its current state? Generally genius brings about the ends it was aimed at. It is not genius to play at being nasty and unethical, it is simply convenience and a short term outlook.

    Is Hillary a corporate whore? Sure. Is Obama’s rhetoric empty, sure – the record says something else regarding change. Does this require genius? Well it might require a little vote research, but…

  214. 214
    Silver Owl says:

    LOL! Karl Rove was extremely active in creating the Bush administration. That does include the lies, the substandard behavior and the inability to actually do a job in just about every single department of the executive branch.

    The majority of the American people despise what Karl Rove helped create. It is a disaster, much like the man himself.

    Obama needs to find his style and niche and stick with it. Listening to the advice of a thing like Rove is accepting failure and emulating the seediest side of human nature.

  215. 215

    Are we saying that here Obama is short on detail? Would that be what “substantive alternative” means?

    Well, I too wish that Obama would start giving some details. But who gives details? Clinton? She’s just got a different rhetoric with different empty phrases. The farther to the left you go the more substance you get, but any stump speech is short on detail. The same on the right. Okay, Tancredo was going to throw all immigrants out of the country. That’s a detail. How’s he doing?

  216. 216
    LiberalTarian says:

    Ya blah blah blibby blah blah blah.

    I may prefer one candidate over the other now, and my boy looks to be pushing up daisies anyway, without some miraculous turnaround, but come post-primaries I’ll be out there pushing the Dem Candidates with all the wherewithall I can muster. This repartee is useful in that respect–if Obama becomes the candidate I expect to come back to these threads and find the language of his best defenders and go with it. Same for Clinton. Anyone to keep another bullshit Republican out of the Whitehouse. Moreover, to get out the vote and push Congress further to the left (which means right now supporting primary challenges against the blue dogs).

    In the meantime, I raise my bottle of beer to y’all. Sweet, lovely, bubbly beer. Ahhhhh.

  217. 217
    ikl says:

    John,

    This is disappointing. I don’t know why you fall for this Rove concern trolling. He is pushing Clinton talking points to stir up negativity in the Dem primary and trying to weaken a possible opponent in November.

    Obama is a really sharp guy with plenty of policy substance. Ike made the case for Obama pretty well in his comment above, so I won’t repeat all that. The Democrats all have pretty similar positions on most major policy areas, so that sort of stuff has not been in the foreground in the primary campaign. You can bet that Obama will be drawing strong contrasts with Republicans on all sorts of issues if he is the Dem candidate. The Clinton people have almost nothing to attack Obama with so they fall back on this pathetic and false “he has no substance” talking point. There is no reason for you to fall for this.

  218. 218
    Cassidy says:

    Boo fucking hoo. Engaging in a little “Not My Fault!” and victimhood?

    Nope, just the facts. I have nothing to be faulted for in this regard anyways.

    A SSG who was awarded a Purple Heart and CAB. Truth be told, if she didn’t have three strikes against her (Reserve, pogue, and female) she merits a Bronze for her actions. She may be a pogue (not meant in any derogatory sense), but the bullet comes out of her barrel just as fast as from an 11B, an 03, or even an 18. Her only mission one day was to get from Point A to Point B without being blown up. Didn’t happen for some.

    Power to her. Outside of screwing with people, I don’t engage in prejudice against other MOS’s or the Reserves/ NG. Everyone has a job and everyone does it well, for the most part. The screw-ups are the exception to the rule. I’ve also been a consistent supporter of women in the military. Now I will admit to believing women shouldn’t be Combat Medics, but it has nothing to do with job performance. I know many women who are great medics. Unfortunately, the Military’s rules on women and combat zones create an disparity between what the men do on a regular basis and what the women do on a regular basis.

    She said she had been deathly afraid of what did happen happening. She was worried how she’d respond. She said when her head cleared after the IED and she realized she was in one piece, and they were being fired upon, her only thoughts were of those in her unit. She said she spent countless hours preparing one not-so-quick guy for boards and she was not going to let it or him go to waste. She gushed “I forgot I was a girl!” She cracks me up.

    I would expect nothing less. This is an example of why I am prejudiced against civilians. When the smoke clears, we all thought the same thing.

    Like I said, she still has a positive attitude. She doesn’t have an “Us vs. Civilian” attitude in any way. In large measure she’s volunteered for her next deployment. Like me she believes this is a war that shouldn’t have started, civilian leadership fucked it up, but she believes we have a duty to make it right. She wants to make it better. I may think she’s a bit naive, but I got nothing but respect for her opinion. She’s earned it.

    Different strokes for different folks. A couple of things to keep in mind. 1) As a Reservist, when she comes home, she gets to have a sense of security about her next activation. 2) As a woman, while I applaud her for her reaction in combat, she is unlikely to be placed in that scenario every day for 12-18 months. Being on that kind of edge for that that long, really has a profound effect.

    So Cassidy, maybe you need to get in touch a little with your female side, like that SSG. Yeah, war sucks, but you decide how it affects you.

    I’ve earned my opinions as well.

  219. 219
    Tsulagi says:

    Look, I realize being a Combat Medic is one tough ass job. I wouldn’t want it. Sometimes having to turn your back to fire so you can do your job has got to be hard as hell. If there’s a sniper out there or one sticks around, I’ve heard medics are a favorite target. That’s got to play head games.

    I got nothing but respect for combat medics. Just your “Us vs. Civilian” prejudice bugs me a little. But I’m far from perfect, I have my own prejudices. Whenever I meet a zoomie, especially a cocky one, they start off on the wrong side with me. Through no fault of their own, so I adjust. If you know AF has got the call for CAS, take a picture of your ass because it may be the last time you see it.

  220. 220
    Cassidy says:

    Just your “Us vs. Civilian” prejudice bugs me a little.

    You don’t think it hasn’t bugged me? The hardest part of war is coming home. It’s easy to go to war. You eat, sleep, go on missions, stay angry, stay on edge…you get to shut down everything else. You don’t need it. The hard part is coming home and hearing all these people with half-assed opinions on whether you should be doing your job, or whether it’s right or wrong, and in the end, all you can think is they just don’t get it. They, civilians, don’t understand, nor will they ever understand what it’s like.

    If you know AF has got the call for CAS, take a picture of your ass because it may be the last time you see it.

    I’m not an ally nation…(bad joke, I know.)

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