Early Morning Open Thread: Same Drama, Different Day

Jamelle Bouie at the Washington Post explains that “No, Obama’s campaign wasn’t all that negative”:

At this point, the conventional wisdom about President Obama’s reelection campaign has solidified: Obama ran a relentlessly negative campaign that said little about his agenda or presidency, and a whole lot about his opponent, Mitt Romney. Some critics have used this to tarnish the legitimacy of his victory.

At New York Magazine, Jason Zengerle cites this conventional wisdom when he writes that Team Obama is re-framing its victory by focusing on the tech aspects of its reelection effort, and downplaying the extent to which it ran a highly negative campaign. But the truth of the matter is that Obama’s effort was — in all likelihood — no more negative than previous campaigns.

In general, presidential elections are not positive — indeed, that’s to be expected, given the high stakes for both the parties and the country. Every election cycle, there’s a cottage industry of journalists and pundits bemoaning the negativity of that particular contest…

The question isn’t whether Obama’s effort was a “grinding, joyless slog,” it’s whether it was more grinding and more joyless than previous presidential campaigns. When you consider Palin’s “palling around with terrorists” or the Willie Horton ads of 1988, I’m willing to bet that it wasn’t.

I take credit for pointing this out all the way back in July:

Every American election is the ugliest election ever, because the grievances never change and the technology continually improves…

By 2016, we’ll probably be able to download a Red or Blue TruGanda Facts-ion-aid™ dataset directly into our retinal implants, but the base script won’t change—our opponent is a member of That Tribe We Hate, who eats unclean foodstuffs and sleeps with taboo partners while worshipping false gods and using more than his share of the common resources. All else is commentary.

The real difference in 2012, as some of you pointed out, was that Romney’s handlers had to invent calumnies about President Obama, whose team had merely to remind voters what Mitt had actually done and said!

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77 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemizel says:

    They had used up all the “good” smears in ’08. They tried to hang the economy around his neck and it might have worked had the chosen someone that appeared to be a populist to run against him. But who the hell does the GOP have that looks like that? Maybe Rev. Huckleberry but he would have had the Xianist stink on him, or Snoot if he could tweak his message.

    Instead they chose Mr. One Percent of the 1% Club For Men. Meanwhile President Obama’s team ran a very good campaign in all aspects. Not being a battleground state I saw no negative ads against Rmoney & only a handful of ones against the Prez. Victory has a thousand fathers and pundits will all chose the one that suits their BS nozzel. Defeat is an orphan but not to worry, it will be baptized post mortem in Salt Lake City.

  2. 2
    amk says:

    The dood won. Convincingly. By nearly 4.8 million votes with 51% of PV. End of story.

    The beltway inc*st mob can go fuck itself.

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    The Republicans also love to complain that Obama raised about a billion dollars, never mind the fact that Romney raised about as much.

    The people that screamed loudest that money=speech were the ones complaining the most about Democrats getting to use it.

  4. 4
    amk says:

    Also. Too. fuck the mod.

  5. 5
    Mino says:

    The remnants of the Gang of 14 in the Senate are SWEARING this time the Republicans will REALLY, REALLY keep their word. Just don’t make them have to actually work to obstruct everything.

  6. 6
    Schlemizel says:

    I have a question & hope someone can suggest a solution.

    The boy & his main squeeze were doing some housekeeping & bagged up about 100 DVDs. Rather than toss them in the trash they are looking for someplace that might be able to use them. They tend to young guy/Adam Sandler type comedies(although I saw Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory in there) and action films like the Hurt Locker & No Country for Old Men.

    They talked about taking them to the pawn shop but probably wouldn’t get anything for them – anyone have ideas for a group that might want them & benefit from the donation?

    Thanks

  7. 7
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Defeat is an orphan but not to worry, it will be baptized post mortem in Salt Lake City.

    Brilliant! If I had an internet, I’d give it to you.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @Schlemizel

    Public library.

    If not the one in your town, must be one nearby that rents DVDs.

    (Also a tax deduction.)

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    @Schlemizel: When we switched to DVDs we gave all our VHS movies to the local library. They took some for their collection and sold the rest to raise money.

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    @Schlemizel: Most charities will probably just sell them in the thrift shops.

    For the PG rated movies[1], how about asking the local children’s hospital? The Penny Arcade charity, Child’s Play, buys new toys and video games every xmas for children’s hospitals. They won’t want your stack of movies, but they have a handy map of hospitals looking for entertainment.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    I don’t watch the MSM much anymore, but every once in a while I catch a glimpse, and it’s just as awful as people say.

    And fuck Chuck Todd.

  12. 12
    Napoleon says:

    @Schlemizel:

    A library that lends DVDs?

  13. 13
    'Niques says:

    @Schlemizel:
    Your library might be happy to take them, if you’re willing to donate.

    ETA: Yes, they lend DVD’s just like books.

  14. 14
    Face says:

    Has anyone ever heard/used the expression “palling around” before Palin did? Besides the inaccuracy of the statement, shouldnt we also mock its inanity and inartfullness?

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Face: Sure. Beaver Cleaver. Golly gee, that’s standard Republican shtick.

  16. 16
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    today in extinct lizards: Obamadon!!

    ROAR! !

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....sident?m=1

  17. 17
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    At this point, the conventional wisdom about President Obama’s reelection campaign has solidified: Obama ran a relentlessly negative campaign that said little about his agenda or presidency, and a whole lot about his opponent, Mitt Romney.

    Where do they get this conventional wisdom? I don’t recall that being “conventional wisdom” at all. More like GOP talking points. I wonder what color the sky is in the village of Conventional Wisdom.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Suffern ACE says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: yep. Before the 47 percent video, I remember the negative campaign consisting of Romney’s camp whining a lot about everything. Whining. I believe “Leave Mitt Romney Aloooooone!” was kind of a slogan that the GOP hoped would propel them to victory. Of course it looked super negative to them.

  20. 20

    This is just the flip side of the “both sides do it” coin. I sure do miss Molly Ivins.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    NotMax says:

    @arguingwithsignposts

    Yup. And yup again.

    Responding scrupulously to negativity doesn’t make one negative any more than debunking lies makes one a liar.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    @Raven

    Ack. Crescent moon.

    Mooooslim propaganda!

    :·)

  24. 24
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Schlemizel: I saw an ad on TV a while ago for a charity that sends used DVDs to troops overseas. Might be worth looking into.

  25. 25
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Sure would like to be up on the House of the Sun this morning.

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    It never really occurs to the village that Obama might not need a bold plan. But they find the lack of a bold plan a problem. Of course they would hate any plan that solved any problems. But goddammit, the president needs a grand plan! And it needs to be at least as unpopular as the republican plan or he’s just pandering.

  27. 27
    FMguru says:

    These every-four-years complaints about negativity always make me wonder if these people had ever experienced a positive election. I have, and they’re terrible. Utterly contentless, with both candidates trying to explain how much they love America and are hopeful for the future. A positive 2012 campaign would have resulted in the same sort of articles being written, except complaining about vapid and content free the whole exercise had been. At least negative campaigns are about something, even if only to draw a sharp distinction between the candidates. A positive campaign would just be pictures of sunrises, smiling babies, and flags flying over amber fields of grain.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @Raven

    Probably between 40 and 45 degrees at the summit right now.

  29. 29
    Paul says:

    At this point, the conventional wisdom about President Obama’s reelection campaign has solidified: Obama ran a relentlessly negative campaign that said little about his agenda or presidency, and a whole lot about his opponent, Mitt Romney. Some critics have used this to tarnish the legitimacy of his victory.

    This is rather appalling considering that the only reason Romney became the GOP nominee was to run a relentlessly negative campaign. Newt Gingrich had the lead early on, when Romney decided to go extremely negative on Gingrich.

    Apparently it is OK to negative for anybody except for the non-white guy.

    Furthermore, considering the unprecedented crap Obama has had to take from lunatics and a pathetic media from birth certificate to being called a muslim, it is safe to say that Obama has earned every fricking right to go negative.

  30. 30
    weaselone says:

    From the party that brought you such classics as Swift Boating and Purple Heart Bandaides, The Hanoi Hilton Made Him Crazy, The Double Amputee War Veteran is Anti-american and The Commie Muslim Atheist Socialist Kenyan Angry Black Affirmative Action Diabolical Genius Terrorist Sympathizer comes a new instant classic, OMG Obama is soooo Like Totally Mean you Guyz.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    It cracks me up every time I hear the negative-campaign whine repeated. Mitt says or does something asinine, Obama points it out, he’s being negative. Mitt says he’s running on his record of doing so-and-so, Obama says “OK, let’s look at that record — hey, whaddya know, it sucks,” and whaaaaa, he’s so negative. Obama touted his own record every time he opened his mouth; the Republicans and their media fluffers were all just butthurt that he didn’t roll over and join in the coronation of their Great White Hope. Pro tip, guys: You want the opponent to say nice things about your guy? Don’t run an asshole.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    Here ya go, Raven.

    Video

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    Lets see. Didn’t voters in Ohio receive a DVD from citizens united in which they portrayed Obama’s mother as kind of a whore? Yep. I believe that happened. But no, no. I must be mistaken. Those negative democrats were drowning all of that out.

  35. 35
    mai naem says:

    @Schlemizel: look up the association of retarded citizens(that’s the term they use here) or whatever developmental disablities groups your area has and ask them if there are any day programs around(they should.) They’ll appreciate them and use them and the young guy kind of ones are usually the ones they seem to like.

  36. 36

    I do believe that the media is still angry at Obama for winning the election in a landslide and making them look like idiots for their ‘too close to call’ narrative. Still, there’s more than that. Even when they were on the outs with Romney they ate up the ‘Obama’s message is purely negative’ line. The consistency through Obama’s whole presidency is that the media has been blind to his message. I don’t think they’re even aware it exists, because Obama’s message is that public policy can directly help the poor and middle class. To the Punditocracy, this is a lie as obvious and meaningless as Romney’s 12 million jobs, and can be ignored.

  37. 37
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Raven: Great picture.

  38. 38
    Trakker says:

    I’m astonished at how Fox News/Drudge still drives the MSM’s themes. The people are now ahead of the press in understanding what is really going on.

  39. 39
    Wag says:

    @Raven:

    Nice shot!

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @Schlemizel: Mail them down range. I’m sure some servicemembers would love those DVD’s.

  41. 41
    magurakurin says:

    @Raven:

    nice photo.

  42. 42
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Schlemizel:
    The Red Cross will also take movies for their apheresis department. I donate platelets about once a month or so, and it’s a 2-hour process where you’re stuck laying down.

  43. 43
    magurakurin says:

    Can I just say that I think the Nexus 7 rocks. I just got one last week and it’s really groovy. Of course, I don’t have a smart phone, so a lot of the stuff I’m discovering many people have been using for some time now. But I just turned 50 and smart phones are just too damn small for my eyes.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    I don’t know why, but the name Obamadon makes me think of Japanese food.

  46. 46
    J. says:

    On a totally unrelated note, this may be the funniest football-related video I have ever seen. (Also, is it just me or did the Texans look like the Jets last night?)

  47. 47
    J. says:

    @gnomedad: @gnomedad: That is awesome. More proof the Brits are quackers?

  48. 48
    magurakurin says:

    @Amir Khalid: Sounds a bit like Udon, or maybe Gyudon. It does have the same sort of syllables as a Japanese word though, doesn’t it?

    Of course what it really sounds like is Ramadan.

  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gnomedad:
    Uh-oh. Any day now, a very tall man covered in soap is going to come splashing up the Thames, looking for that duck.

  50. 50
    Schlemizel says:

    Thanks for all the suggestions – can’t link to each of you cuz I’ll end up in moderation hell!
    1
    I had not considered the library as I think of these films as mostly low brow but thats my problem. I’ll ask around here (When I lived in Fl. the local library existed entirely on donations so you could always get 5 copies of the last Danielle Steel or 14 copies of Mush Lamebrain’s Why I’m right and you are all commie simps – it put me off donating books to the library)
    2
    I did not know that the services would take DVDs like that. I have connections, Ill see what they say
    3
    @mai naem:
    We have a large home for disabled just a couple blocks from me & I didn’t even think of them – thanks (I’m not surprised to hear that Adam Sandler type movies are big amongst folks with cognitive disorders, I thought they were written by them!)
    4
    @Jay in Oregon:
    Well this is one I have never heard of & def worth looking into.

    I don’t want a gift to be a burden to whoever gets it, if they have to spend hours sorting or tossing its not that nice a gift. I’ll follow up on these suggestions & any others that come along & update everyone in case someone cares about the ultimate disposition – thanks all!

  51. 51
    PurpleGirl says:

    @gnomedad: A fifty-foot yellow duckie. I love it. What a great mascot.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    @magurakurin:
    I heard there’s a Japanese fishing village named Obama, where there was much rejoicing after the US presidential election in 2008.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @NotMax: It was 27 in July but no wind!

  54. 54
    jeffreyw says:

    Just when I thought everything was turning to shit. Thanks, Youtube.

  55. 55
    Cassidy says:

    @magurakurin: Coincidence with the new Kaiju movie coming out?

  56. 56
    The Red Pen says:

    And now, your moment of zen:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M7RR4A/

  57. 57
    amk says:

    @gnomedad: Great pics.

  58. 58
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @Schlemizel:
    Freecycle; just google it.

  59. 59
    PurpleGirl says:

    @jeffreyw: Thanks for posting this. The kids and their music are beautiful.

    @The Red Pen: I don’t know what to say… Which company had the idea for the doll’s name and the connection to Oreo recipes? Kraft or Mattel?

  60. 60
    Schlemizel says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    Interesting – looks rather chaotic but I’ll do more looking thanks

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    Is it negative campaigning to tell the truth about your opponent, and do the work our “free press” is disinclined to do?

  62. 62
    different-church-lady says:

    At this point, the conventional wisdom about President Obama’s reelection campaign has solidified: Obama ran a relentlessly negative campaign that said little about his agenda or presidency, and a whole lot about his opponent, Mitt Romney. Some critics have used this to tarnish the legitimacy of his victory.

    Which is mostly because a whole lot of “journalists” and “reporters” are still addicted to being stenographers for GOP operatives. They just cannot stop the grand circle jerk, even after the election has been long decided.

    The really weird thing is the way Jamelle Bouie manages to do exactly the same thing, only in stealth mode: rather than calling it the bitter grapes of GOP failure, Bouie instead attributes it to “conventional wisdom”, legitimizing the way the GOP is controlling that “wisdom” in Punditstan.

  63. 63
    different-church-lady says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I wonder what color the sky is in the village of Conventional Wisdom.

    Pundistandians live under a blood red sky.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    I’ll be blunt.

    I don’t give two shyts if POTUS had run the most negative campaign in the history of man.

    He was up against a bunch of sociopaths that thought THE TRUTH was expendable.

  65. 65
    Redleg says:

    I agree completely. Journalists are relying on the “false equivalency” part of their brain when they state that Obama ran a mainly negative campaign (by telling truths about Romney) while letting Romney off the hook for almost constant, blatant, and disproved lies about Obama.

    Furthermore, while Obama’s campaigning didn’t really warm up until early summer, there had been a veritable mountain of anti-Obama bullshit coming out of the Republicant primaries for at least six months prior.

    Mann and Ornstein were absolutely right in their criticism of the press. Worthless.

  66. 66
    piratedan says:

    @Schlemizel: just t give you more options, your local Ronald McDonald house… something for the families to watch while they stay with their kids getting their medical treatments and procedures.

  67. 67
    DaveJ says:

    This new repub meme of the day that Obama won as a result of negative campaigning is just one more flailing attempt to delegitimize the president’s decisive win while giving cover to a candidate and policies that are (for good reason) unpopular.

  68. 68
    redshirt says:

    WAAAH! That meanie Obama pointed out the Republicans suck! WAH!

  69. 69
    JasonF says:

    @Schlemizel: In terms of your son’s DVDs, check this out:

    http://www.amvets.org/programs/task-force-dvd/

  70. 70
    different-church-lady says:

    @Schlemizel: Got a Goodwill anywhere nearby? (I’d rec the Salvation Army but their well-documented bias against gays means no stuff for them.)

  71. 71
    weaselone says:

    @Schlemizel:

    (When I lived in Fl. the local library existed entirely on donations so you could always get 5 copies of the last Danielle Steel or 14 copies of Mush Lamebrain’s Why I’m right and you are all commie simps – it put me off donating books to the library)

    Wouldn’t that be a good reason for donating books to the local library so as to add a little variety to the standard diet of trashy romance novels and the dumpings of conservative groups pushing Rush, Savage, Coulter and their ilk up the best sellers list?

  72. 72
    Mike in NC says:

    @redshirt:

    WAAAH! That meanie Obama pointed out the Republicans suck! WAH!

    Remember back when Willard was trying to get traction in the media by telling Obama to “take your campaign of hate and divisiveness back to Chicago”? The first of so many dog whistles that would be trotted out.

  73. 73
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mike in NC: It was brilliant the way the Romney campaign kept trying to mine these heretofore unknown mines of resentment against Chicago lying untapped under every town and hamlet in real America. I just can’t understand how the heck it didn’t play.

  74. 74
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Obama’s “attacks” can be summed up in three words: “Please continue, governor.”

  75. 75
    JustRuss says:

    I suppose pointing out that Romney wouldn’t release his damn tax returns is “going negative”, but it happened to be true, and if Romney got tired of hearing about it all he had to do was release them, just like the last 50 or so presidential candidates have.

    But yeah, Obama was mean for pointing that out. Thank god our press was too polite to mention them.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    The real difference in 2012, as some of you pointed out, was that Romney’s handlers had to invent calumnies about President Obama, whose team had merely to remind voters what Mitt had actually done and said!

    This pretty much says it all. The most negative aspects of the 2012 campaign came from Romney himself. He was helped immensely by the dumb and hateful stuff said by other Republican candidates. And the coup de grace was his 47 percent crack.

    The media seem to be saying that it was bad form for Team Obama to point out the crazy shit that Romney and the Republicans were spewing.

  77. 77
    J R in WVa says:

    I just want to say that our local county public library would sh*t the bed if anyone gave them books with facts in them! Because facts are well known to have a communist pressure behind them, and might tend to support freedom for all, and justice for non politicians.

    I know most libraries aren’t like this. It’s so sad that our librarians fear that kids might be exposed to Darwin, or facts that don’t support Christianism.

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