Clinton Obama Filter redux May 23, 2008 7:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm sorry. I (really do!) hate it when this happens, but I unfortunately feel the need to both dip into the ugliness of U.S. politicsfilter and second-guess our moderators at the same time.

I wonder whether this post about Hillary Clinton's comments earlier today should be reinstated. It's turning into a major story, and it will, I am sure, eventually show up again on the blue. No, it wasn't a great post, but I don't know how it could have been presented any better, and if it's something that is going to be discussed anyway, it may be better to have it discussed when it first comes up.
posted by yhbc to MetaFilter-Related at 7:23 PM (353 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I dunno. I don't think that a single statement from Hillary Clinton is worth a post unless that statement is "I quit."
posted by Bookhouse at 7:29 PM on May 23, 2008 [14 favorites]


Hillary's a loudmouthed idiot who just killed her chances at a VP position. She'll soon be yesterday's news because of it, thank God. What more needs to be said, really?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:29 PM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


Or maybe, "Goddamn, do I love Hitler."
posted by Bookhouse at 7:30 PM on May 23, 2008 [9 favorites]


No, it wasn't a great post, but I don't know how it could have been presented any better

Seriously?! It starts off with "Oh No She Di'n't! '" and you can't figure out how it could have been presented better? Nothing comes to mind?

Then you're not qualified to post this complaint to Metatalk and I'm worried about leaving you home alone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on May 23, 2008


my wife is upstairs and I've got a cat right ... over ... there ...

Okay, it could have been worded better, but the presentation - that is, "Here's a post about a breaking story in the U.S. election, specifically, the Democratic primary race" couldn't be made appreciably better with additional links, commentary, etc. It is a freaking one-link ELECTIONFILTER post no matter how it's presented, that's what I meant.
posted by yhbc at 7:38 PM on May 23, 2008


Probably not worth trying again, but if you did you might want to mention this as well.
posted by Artw at 7:39 PM on May 23, 2008


I can't imagine a good, balanced discussion coming out of this.
posted by ColdChef at 7:43 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let's put it this way: She has made herself yesterday's news because of this. During the big tagging fest, I found that four of five old tagless Metafilter posts contained dead links because posts containing news links were rendered dead. Ultimately, she's caused her own career extinction and a newsfilter post about her will contain dead links in four years or less. So there's little or no value in having a Metafilter post about it. She's made herself political toast. She's done. Time for the country to move on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:44 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


And, hell, why not be even handed and include the links from this as well?
posted by Artw at 7:44 PM on May 23, 2008


couldn't be made appreciably better with additional links, commentary, etc.

I disagree. The insistence on excusing a crappy post just 'cause it's A Very Important Breaking Story does nothing but lower the bar for the next Really Important Story.

Christ people, if it's so damn important, take 10 minutes and put some decent content in the post as opposed to some lame ass snark.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay. I just thought it was a Major Milestone, maybe even a Turning Point, and as such would eventually be addressed on MetaFilter proper, so I wondered if the original post about it (which I didn't make, by the way) shouldn't be the proper place to do so. I may have been incorrect in any number of my assumptions, and I can accept that.
posted by yhbc at 7:50 PM on May 23, 2008


...a newsfilter post about her will contain dead links in four years or less...

Oh dear, if dead links within four years is a reason to not post something, I reckon there's loooots of FPPs that shouldn't happen. The link deathrate is going up, up up.

Not saying this particular Hillarypost should've stayed, BTW.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 PM on May 23, 2008


Eh, there was nothing in that post that I couldn't have gotten from CNN. It needed more content and fleshing out, IMO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM on May 23, 2008


It is a freaking one-link ELECTIONFILTER post no matter how it's presented, that's what I meant.

And this is an argument against deleting it?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:00 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Reinstatement" is such a wrong word here...
posted by Burhanistan at 8:11 PM on May 23, 2008


In 6+ months, when whoever (please please please be Obama) has been elected President, someone can do an aftermath analysis of the whole democratic campaign. In that post, a link to a well written article on the fallout and scare tactics of Clinton mimicking those of the standard Rove attack ads can be included. In that article, Clinton's remarks will be highlight, and hell, you could even use her statement as the linked text to said article.

Until then, this post probably doesn't need to be resurrected.

Or after the DNC and it is clear Obama is the Dem. Candidate, it could be added as a footnote pointing out that Clinton's prophesy did not come through.

But really, I prefer the first one.

I just trained my computer that Obama is not a spelling mistake for Abeam, ABM or IBM
posted by mrzarquon at 8:13 PM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]




Keith didn't pull any punches on that commentary.
posted by iamabot at 8:16 PM on May 23, 2008




Lay off HRC, please.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 8:28 PM on May 23, 2008


Lay off HRC, please.

Naw, bash her more, but at least make decent posts about it when you do. HRC supporters are confused.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:29 PM on May 23, 2008


Keith Olbermann

Oh Jesus, that's just what we need. Just because it's a non-issue about a non-candidate doesn't mean good old Keith can't do 20,000 self-important words on it.

it's interesting to see how much people rant about American politics without actually, how do you say, paying attention to it? Obama is running against McCain now- Clinton has lost this election and everyone knows it. But to say her "career is over" is ridiculous- she has a big future in the senate; she's running for majority leader right now.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:35 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's the high silly season and all the wraiths and dingdongs are at play.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:36 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Her campaign will not be over until he's lost, one way or another.
posted by Artw at 8:37 PM on May 23, 2008


Lay off HRC, please.

as soon as she lays off our country - she shouldn't even be senator
posted by pyramid termite at 8:37 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan- I agree. I want my anti Clinton FPP posts to have more substance than one link. I need at least two or three angry editorials, a Daily Show clip and Keith Olbermann's special tonguelashing to call it a worthy FPP. Also, choice embarrassing photos of Clinton, maybe her at a rifle range or something.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:38 PM on May 23, 2008


Apologies in advance, but it seems inevitable:

Metatalk: all the wraiths and dingdongs are at play.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on May 23, 2008


BrooklynCouch is ParisParamus.

For those who aren't long-term MeFi members, suffice to say he was such a troll that he gained the "honour" of being one of the few people perma-banned from MeFi—quite a feat, given there've been more than 60000 people sign up, yet less than a dozen perma-banned.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:50 PM on May 23, 2008


I agree - with the original poster's use of the word 'unfortunately'.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:52 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


^ ericb: "Keith Olbermann's "Special Comment" about Hillary Clinton invoking Bobby Kennedy's assassination."

Thank you for that. His concluding remarks were absolutely devastating.
posted by self at 8:53 PM on May 23, 2008


You could seriously power a small town with Keith Olbermann's nightly indignation.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:02 PM on May 23, 2008 [10 favorites]


Let's just all agree to not use the words "lay" and "HRC" in the same sentence.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 PM on May 23, 2008


God help me I've discovered Finntroll.
posted by Sailormom at 9:10 PM on May 23, 2008


If we all ignore her, she'll go away.
posted by empath at 9:15 PM on May 23, 2008


BrooklynCouch is ParisParamus.

Awesome. No, seriously, this is awesome.

Next time we have an FPP on, I dunno, Agriculture Subsidies, he'll jump in and say "We wouldn't need to subsidize agriculture if it wasn't for those atheist lesbian environmentalists!!!" -- and then leave the thread without a trace.

The man is a fucking drive-by thread assassin -- possibly the most skilled that I have ever seen.
posted by Avenger at 9:23 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ding Dong (disambiguation)
posted by lukemeister at 9:27 PM on May 23, 2008


Zowie. Worth watching right to the end, and that's a long rant.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:27 PM on May 23, 2008


Passionate commentating is great. Wish we'd had a lot more of it this past eight years. Olbermann has been great at lots of critical moments, though.

The "assassination" comment is interesting, and I was glad I caught the link before it was deleted. At the time my opinion formed thusly: it's not a great example of Clinton's nefariousness or subtly evil machinations. I honestly don't think she meant to evoke a threat.

What it is, though, is an excellent example of the tone-deafness that has characterized her campaign from the beginning.She should have known better; she should have been aware of how this would be recieved (and it indicates a lack of connection with minority communities that she didn't). She (or her advisers) haven't been able to understand the zeitgiest or navigate the sensitive field of American identity politics safely. She's asking for her voters to believe she can lead everyone, while at the same time being very clear to her audiences that some voters are more important than others. Olbermann's "forgiveness" portion of this is very strong and hard to contest. Her message does not play equally well to all audiences, and that, finally, is the art of politics.

Still, I agree with those who say the post itself probably wasn't so great. It could only devolve into Your Favorite Candidate Sucks. The post-event analysis once nomination is done would make the better post. This is one sentence in a much bigger story.
posted by Miko at 9:50 PM on May 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


I really don't think this will end up a big blow for Clinton. It was tasteless, but harmless. It was a minor gaffe and will be mostly forgotten when she returns to the Senate. She wasn't getting the VP nomination anyway.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:32 PM on May 23, 2008


BrooklynCouch is ParisParamus... he was such a troll that he gained the "honour" of being one of the few people perma-banned from MeFi

Well, that makes sense.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:44 PM on May 23, 2008


Hillary in a judicial role would be interesting.

The always-present 20% will think its armageddon, but then they always do. Meanwhile the majority of you would perhaps find your right to habeus corpus restored, drug laws made sane, equality made real. And she'd be able to cement her name in history, which is something she craves, and she'd be able to really make change, which is another thing she craves.

Of course, she also seems to crave power and money, two things one really doesn't want one's judges to be craving. Herein lies the flaw with my ideaI suppose...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, the BC alias has not yet posted so many trolling messages as to be particularly noteworthy. It was premature of me to taint the BC alias with the regrettable history of the PP alias.

Please make your own evaluation of BC's participation/behaviour on MeFi, and do not let the users' past history influence you. It's been a good long while. People can and do change.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:50 PM on May 23, 2008


Nah, these people never change. Nuke from orbit.
posted by Artw at 10:51 PM on May 23, 2008


Gah! No!

There are many, many sites that already do American politics where this will be discussed to death.

It was a crappy post, and it should stay dead. "But it's important!" is a terrible excuse. I understood Metafilter was about interesting, not important.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:54 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Another assassination another show, pink ribbon slip of the tongue .
posted by hortense at 11:14 PM on May 23, 2008


Hillary simply reminded people that it isn't over until it is over. She referred to the fact that Bill Clinton and Bobby Kennedy and their opponents were were still campagining in June.
The haters looking for any excuse to vilify her deliberately misinterpreted her remarks.
Why?
Not on her merits. She tried to bring adequate health care to the US. She has been attacked as Eleanor Roosevelt was for daring to speak out. I fail to understand the knee jerk hatred from those in her own party.
posted by Cranberry at 11:30 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hillary simply reminded people that it isn't over until it is over. She referred to the fact that Bill Clinton and Bobby Kennedy and their opponents were were still campagining in June.

Surely the difference is that in those cases, the California primary and its massive delegate contribution was still up for grabs in June, whereas now, she is counting on the less massive contribution of Puerto Rico and one of the Dakotas..... So the comparison, apart from being insensitive, is superceded by history. Rather like her.
posted by Rumple at 11:35 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's about time Obama stops dipping into the fray. Wouldn't it be great if his campaign released an official statement saying, "I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it"? When he tries to capitalize on her gaffes he admits that she still has a chance. Instead:

The campaign of her rival for the Democratic nomination for president, Sen. Barack Obama, reacted quickly.

"Sen. Clinton's statement before the Argus Leader editorial board was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign," it said in a statement.

posted by wemayfreeze at 11:36 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Cranberry- Olbermann made a very specific point, which was she didn't mention assassination the second time around when she was making the statement (as she had first done in March) and had not said it since until yesterday. Why would she make a slip of the tongue when she had repeatedly said the same sentence or similar phrases numerous times before without having to mention assassination.

Also, one would argue that her merits are flawed, and her actions (including wanting to bring Fl and MI delegates back into the fold, even after she agreed that they should be counted in the first place) shows that she will do anything to be president.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:40 PM on May 23, 2008


It's turning into a major story

Kind of early to determine that, no?
posted by deern the headlice at 11:42 PM on May 23, 2008


should be counted

should NOT be counted

Also, yes to bring up the other issue: if you wish to ignore history, then June makes sense in the past because of california. But California happened, she won it, AND IT STILL DOESN'T MATTER.

So now she is waiting out June because she is planing on a coup? on obama being taken out? or as people are now fearing, an attempt to run in 2012?
posted by mrzarquon at 11:45 PM on May 23, 2008


I've got such serious respect for yhbc...

Let's consider this. If it turns into a major story, it's gonna be here anyway.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:48 PM on May 23, 2008


BrooklynCouch is ParisParamus.

No. ParisParamus was totally Manhattan, and not into the Jesus shit. BC has been putting out some homophobic stuff that ParisParamus (who I kinda miss) wouldn't have brooked.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:50 PM on May 23, 2008


Then it would have to be an even more elaborate troll.
posted by Artw at 11:54 PM on May 23, 2008


Well, fuck me.

I dunno what to say. I should read MeTa more often, obviously.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:00 AM on May 24, 2008


oh yeah, what kinda cat is there with you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 AM on May 24, 2008


The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton, you cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!

KO, on the other hand, clearly has a special licence not only to invoke it, but to harp on it.
posted by flabdablet at 2:28 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


wemayfreeze: "It's about time Obama stops dipping into the fray. Wouldn't it be great if his campaign released an official statement saying, "I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it"? When he tries to capitalize on her gaffes he admits that she still has a chance."

Are you kidding? Responding to a statement by calling it "unfortunate and has no place in this campaign" is the weakest, most boilerplate message that an opposing campaign can send while still making it unambiguously clear that they completely disagree with the statement itself (and want no part of the fallout). Obama's camp did not make a sideshow to, as Hillary would say, "reject and denounce" her words, nor did they take the opportunity to grab a soapbox and elaborate on their answer (they had responded with a very terse statement). If you want to see "capitalizing on her gaffes", look to Clinton losing no time in calling Obama's "bitter" remarks as "elitist", or Obama accusing McCain of having poor judgment and understanding of foreign policy after McCain's gaffe in confusing Shia and Sunni. The statement from Obama's camp in this case is simply political speak for "go hang yourselves with your own rope, we want no blood on our hands." Far from "dipping into the fray" here -- the Obama people aren't touching this with a ten-foot pole, even though the media obliged them to release a response on the incident.

Making the mistake in appearing to sympathize with Clinton's remarks would only leave an opening for Obama himself to get dragged down by this. It would be exactly the kind of political naivety that he is accused of, not to mention how patronizing such a gesture would appear to be. And why is it that people are always asking for Obama or Dean or some other figure to intervene on Clinton's behalf (for example, asking Dean and other party elders to denounce sexist remarks from certain media commentators)? Did Obama ask Clinton or Dean to defend him from, say, false Muslim smears? Nevermind that having someone else fight her battles would only undermine her carefully-crafted image of toughness. If you want to see sexism in this campaign: why do people keep asking the other principle players to help Hillary? It's demeaning to make the suggestion. She can defend her own words, just as everyone expected Obama to defend his own "bitter" remarks.

The main sin of Clinton's remarks: it's completely tone-deaf. In the context of Huckabee's joke during a recent NRA speech about someone pointing a gun at Obama, Kennedy's cancer diagnosis this past week, and the ongoing concern about the safety of black presidential candidates (concerns that, for instance, led Colin Powell's wife to forbid him from ever making a presidential run and led the Secret Service to start protecting Obama far earlier than usual due to death threats), what Clinton said was astoundingly careless coming from a seasoned pol with an iron media discipline. And while Huckabee to his credit apologized to Obama fully and sincerely in subsequent interviews, Clinton's non-apology looked like it was more aimed to placate the Kennedy clan rather than smooth things over with Obama himself. All this has probably cast some serious doubts among the big donor-types as to whether Clinton still has "it" to play the political game on a national level. That famed Clinton mojo is fading, fast.

What one should really be mad about is how incredibly weak on the facts Clinton was in citing evidence for her argument. Bill Clinton's last nomination contest was on June 2, 1992 (not mid-June as Hillary stated), but the nomination was already decided in March when Paul Tsongas dropped out. As for RFK, it's true that his last race in California during June was closely contested and pivotal, but there were only 13 primaries in 1968 and it was only 12 weeks from the first contest (New Hampshire on March 12th) to June 4th. So her bringing up RFK might've said something about how late on the calendar it's getting, but nothing about how long the primary season has dragged on: it's been almost twice as long since the first contest this year. If she were writing an essay and chose to use the 1968 and 1992 contests to support her thesis that "primary contests used to last a lot longer," she'd receive a D+ for this effort.

If Clinton were really trying to be intellectually honest in discussing extended primary contests, she'd be citing 1972, 1980, and 1984 as examples instead. And the track record there is dismal for the Democratic party. Despite having clinched the 1972 nomination, McGovern faced having his two opponents staying in the contest all the way until the convention while trying to peel away his delegates; on the Colbert Report, McGovern recalls his nomination struggle where he and his team spent the weeks before the convention on the phone with his California delegation instead of vetting his VP candidate, leading to the Eagleton fiasco. Democrats were obliterated that year. 1980? Ted Kennedy lost in delegates but took the fight all the way to the convention, getting no closer but forced Carter to chase him down on the stage when it came time to lift their hands together in a sign of party unity, demonstrating the exact opposite. Another Democratic loss. And 1984? Hart fell behind frontrunner Mondale but kept fighting until the bitter end under the premise that "unpledged superdelegates that had previously claimed support for Mondale would shift to his side if he swept the Super Tuesday III primary." (Sound familiar?) And yes, yet another Democratic loss in a landslide. With the protracted nomination record like this, you can see why the Democratic party is trying so hard to wrap the nomination up and move on to the convention. Had Hillary Clinton wanted to talk about extended nomination fights, she should have been discussing McGovern and Mondale, not RFK and Bill Clinton whose fights weren't nearly as long nor contested by historical standards. So that's not why she brought up Bill Clinton and RFK.

No, Hillary Clinton didn't simply "referred to the fact that Bill Clinton and Bobby Kennedy and their opponents were were still campagining in June" when she chastises us by saying "people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer." To take that at face value and actually believe her rationale is to drink her Kool-aid, because those nomination battles weren't the real long, protracted primary fights when you look at things in a historical perspective. No, she had invoked Bill Clinton and RFK to place herself in the same narrative that she was just like them, a deliberate spin implying that she was also a nominee who fought the Democratic establishment and eventually won the heart of the party, despite the fact that she herself was the DLC establishment candidate. Her followers aren't rooting for a charismatic underdog like Bill Clinton or RFK -- they're rooting for an "inevitable" frontrunner who bungled her campaign badly and lost. And with her latest RFK assassination remarks, she delivered her campaign spin completely ham-fistedly and wound up being hoisted by her own petard. Schadenfreude, anyone?

Anyway, the media will be playing her remarks non-stop over the weekend (just as they did with Wright, etc.), but it isn't even one of the top two real nomination stories leading into the weekend. The biggest is "The Cardoza 40", a group of largely California superdelegates who have previously endorsed Clinton but will be defecting to endorse Obama in the coming weeks. (Al Giordano who broke this story also broke Obama's Kerry, Kennedy, and Edwards endorsements before the MSM did and has had two superdelegates contributing to his site in the past, so he is considered a credible source and this story has been hitting the political blogs big.) Cardoza declared in his endorsement: "I am deeply concerned about the contentious primary campaign and controversy surrounding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan – two states Democrats need to win in November. I will not support changing the rules in the fourth quarter of this contest through some convoluted DNC rules committee process." It's a signal that rather than winning her more superdelegate support, Clinton's powerplay for Michgan and Florida has instead closed her final "path" to the nomination with the superdelegates (which was alway an illusion, since superdelegates won't overturn a pledged delegate victory). The other story is Obama's major policy speech in Miami on his Cuba and South American policies, which will have a large reception in the Spanish-language media. "Assassinate-gate" isn't really news -- it's just the noise of the MSM gawking at what is increasingly becoming a Hillary Clinton trainwreck. Before this primary season had begun, I doubt anyone had predicted that this would be the way she'd be ending her campaign. It's going to be a very long summer for her and her supporters.

Obama, on the other hand, has slowed his superdelegate endorsements down to a trickle in recent days, leading to the speculation that he's gaming the delegate count so that the pledged delegates from final June 3rd primaries will be what finally pushes him over the post-Florida/Michigan pledged+unpledged delegate "magic number" to officially seal the nomination. This would be understandable, considering that the Obama campaign would prefer not to appear that it was superdelegates who pushed him over the top (even though he's already won a majority of the pledged delegates) and no superdelegate wants to be the one to do it, either. If Obama does indeed work the numbers to make this happen according to the alleged script, then it'll be a fitting capstone to his primary campaign and yet another masterful piece of political stagecraft that would make the "Mission Accomplished" people seethe with jealousy. Then the rest of the superdelegates will endorse en masse between June 4th and June 10th (including the Pelosi club and the remainder of the Cardoza 40) in a sign of rallying around the nominee, and Clinton will choose how she makes her exit -- or not, if she decides to hopelessly continue by appealing the May 31st ruling. Whether Obama nails the delegate totals on the nose on primary night or not, I'll be saving some popcorn for his speech marking the end of the primary season. Instead of Chicago, perhaps he'll have the chutzpah to deliver the speech from Denver itself. It promises to be a good one.
posted by DaShiv at 3:33 AM on May 24, 2008 [182 favorites]


Wow DaShiv.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 3:46 AM on May 24, 2008


When he tries to capitalize on her gaffes he admits that she still has a chance.

The point of capitalizing on her gaffes now is not to continue to fight the nomination battle, but to blunt the controversy when he asks someone else to be the veep.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:46 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you DaShiv
posted by adamvasco at 5:08 AM on May 24, 2008


she had invoked Bill Clinton and RFK to place herself in the same narrative that she was just like them

Balderdash. I watched her interview with the newspaper editors live. It was date-stamping June in the primary race in historical/precedent terms within the wider (and the most sane of her remaining arguments) observation that it's strange and unwarranted that so many people and news outlets are calling for the race to be ended when it is so close and within 2 weeks of the final primaries.

Have at her for the real gaffes and tactical errors, the incredibly poor advice given by Mark Penn that will ultimately be seen as the root cause for her (almost certain) loss, but these incidental asides from which mountains of speculative rhetoric about ridiculous subtextual meanings are being built are of zero significance.
posted by peacay at 5:28 AM on May 24, 2008


Hey DaShiv, can I canvas for you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:34 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Make a better post if you think the topic needs discussing, that one sucked.

If you guys are so far gone that you think "Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Presidential Candidate?" is an appropriate way to lead off a political post on MeFi six months before the election then you should go canoeing instead of commenting here.

yhbc, I love ya, but 1) we almost never reinstate posts and we won't be reinstating that one and 2) that post was bad but removing it didn't mean there was a kibosh on the topic, more like saying "hey make an effort please? please?" I know I'm late to the game here and that this is likely to become another situation where the MeTa thread itself becomes the discussion the yanked MeFi post didn't [and I'd love to see that trend not continue] but I figured it might be good if one of us chimed on.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2008


oooh ah obama !
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:00 AM on May 24, 2008


this is likely to become another situation where the MeTa thread itself becomes the discussion the yanked MeFi post didn't [and I'd love to see that trend not continue]

Sorry, jessamyn. It's only interesting in that she said the same exact thing to Time magazine, but got a pass. I guess she was taken at face value then, making a comment about a temporal matter. Or maybe nobody reads Time magazine?

Now, slow news day coupled with cellphone video + Teddy's got cancer = front page everywhere.

Bobby Kennedy, Jr. (who yes, is a Clinton supporter) absolved her.
posted by fixedgear at 6:28 AM on May 24, 2008


If Clinton were really trying to be intellectually honest in discussing extended primary contests, she'd be citing 1972, 1980, and 1984 as examples instead.

1976 on the republican side is the model she seems to be emulating - the only problem being is that she's no ronald reagan
posted by pyramid termite at 6:56 AM on May 24, 2008


She was "date-stamping" June with respect to the historical length of the nominating process. Perhaps you missed the part where I quoted her when I cited the two sentences immediately preceding her RFK reference: "People have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer." Clinton knows full well that: a) this year's primary season started earlier than any other, resulting in a January-to-June schedule and thus the longest primary calendar ever; b) Bill Clinton's nomination battle effectively lasted less than 3 months, being decided after Tsongas dropped out in March and Brown could not attain anything close to a plurality that might threaten Bill Clinton's delegate count; and c) RFK's nomination battle also lasted less than 3 months since it didn't start until mid-March. Thus, the only primary seasons that lasted "a lot longer" were ones that weren't finalized at the end of voting and were finally decided by a convention floor vote. Those are the historical facts, but she chose to use Bill Clinton and RFK instead of McGovern and Mondale as her examples.

Which means either:

a) She is flat-out ignorant about the history of the Democratic nomination process when she said "primary contests used to last a lot longer" by using historically inaccurate examples like Bill Clinton and RFK when accurate examples like McGovern and Mondale exist -- and she is certainly not ignorant; or
b) She's fudging the veracity of her examples in order to paint a more positive picture of protracted nomination battles instead of being tarred with the disasters of McGovern and Mondale's party disunity, which is what I had argued.

Or to put it differently: while discussing protracted nomination battles, a historian would cite McGovern and Mondale as the most historically accurate and relevant examples. A politician invested in prolonging her own nomination battle would cite Bill Clinton and RFK to justify her own protracting of the process even when it's less factually correct and less tenable because those nominations weren't very protracted (by historical standards). Clinton partisans defended her words by justifying it as the former -- a mere historical observation -- when in fact, the only plausible explanation (outside of ignorance of the history and/or being flat-out wrong in her assertion) is that she's playing hard and loose with the facts in order to frame her nomination battle favorably alongside those of Bill Clinton and RFK. (Which favorable qualities she's trying to compare herself to is up to you; I mentioned what I felt were most plausible.) It's an argument by association, and it's no different from when Obama in his stump speech characterizes the Democratic party as "the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy" rather than "the party of Cleveland and Carter."

It's not nefarious, it's just politics. And her carefully-constructed argument (which she had previously used) blew up in her face.

By the way, I erroneously implied that all superdelegates would declare the week following the last primary. I meant the Pelosi club and other superdelegates who were waiting "until the voters have spoken", "until we have an nominee", etc. The vast majority of them will be declaring for Obama within a week, or before the end of June at the latest (as per Dean's instructions). On the other hand, some from conservative districts may never endorse, to keep their distance from the national party. In any case, there will be enormous superdelegate movement after the last primary.
posted by DaShiv at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2008 [12 favorites]


DaShiv covered every single point I was going to make, better than I could.
posted by Busithoth at 7:06 AM on May 24, 2008


It's only interesting in that she said the same exact thing to Time magazine, but got a pass.

It's also only interesting if the minutiae of this particular horse race matters to you, every back and forth, every misstep and misspeak and gaffe and videotaped nosepick. I know that the issue of "who is going to become president of the US" is a topic that is of interest to people outside the borders of the US and I too am interested in how this goes. That larger issue is serious and I don't claim otherwise. But this particular sentence is TRIVIA in that larger serious issue. HRC -- who, like every other candidate, has every word she utters publicly gone over with a fine-toothed comb to probe for offense and character flaws and hidden meaning -- said something that could be given an uncharitable reading and even a totally charitable interpretation is maybe a little bit of a stretch. People then flip out and act like she reversed her opinion on roasting babies alive.

We do a disservice to the issues that really matter in this campaign and in politics in general when we act like this sort of thing is the pivotal moment in this whole larger campaign. It's all reflecting an embarassing media frenzy for conflict, in my personal opinion, and none of it has fuckall to do with whether the war will end or I'll get decent health care or whether local and global poverty will be alleviated at all. I'm fine with the fact that this is a topic that people want to discuss, and equally fine with the fact that this is a topic people want here on MetaFilter, but people should make the smallest effort to make posts that have a chance of appealing to people who aren't living and breathing Election 2008 every waking moment. Some context maybe, or some backstory, or something that isn't just a link to the New York Post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on May 24, 2008 [27 favorites]


God help me I've discovered Finntroll.

I have no idea why that comment is in this thread, but:

Fucking SWEEEEET. Finnish metal can indeed provide a refreshing palate-cleanser in the midst of all these American political arguments.

So for those of you who feel bogged down and tired as a result of all this Obama/McCain/Clinton foofaraw: take a deep breath, watch this video, and then spend some time quietly thinking about how the American political system would be different if all the candidates were ancient Nordic mythical humanoid warrior creatures.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


none of it has fuckall to do with whether the war will end or I'll get decent health care or whether local and global poverty will be alleviated at all.

of course it does - a president who doesn't say dumb alienating things that offend people is going to be much more effective than one who does - for example, i think hillary will have some difficulty talking to the iranians now that she's talked about obliterating them

the ability to persuade is important and difficult to exercise with one's foot in one's mouth

which is not to say this was fpp-worthy
posted by pyramid termite at 7:37 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think both Hillary and Obama need a hug. I am sending them a big canadian hug.
posted by ddaavviidd at 7:46 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


My comment was more like 'why is this MSM story-worthy now when she said essentially the same thing in March?' We're not gonna hear about the issues because the coverage isn't structured like that. It's horse race pure and simple.
posted by fixedgear at 7:53 AM on May 24, 2008


it's not worth having as a post because it won't be a big story next week, and the readership here has already made clear their distaste for HRC. It isn't worth going through it every time something happens. Personally, I must suffer from the same tone deafness Miko suggests is at fault for Clinton here, as I just don't understand the uproar, and honestly that Olbermann video seemed liked a parody.

He is literally getting himself worked up into a crazy outrage knot over her having said a particular word. He thinks it's fine for her to be in the race, to make this statement about why she is staying, to compare herself to the winning candidates rather than the losers (as Dashiv points out), so long as she does it the way she did it the last two times she's been quoted on the topic, without using the word "assassination" - saying "tragedy" or "loss" or something is ok, but once you say "assassination" it's like the magic password that flips the switch on all the racistbots lying in wait or something... Is this for serious? We can't say a particular word to describe an actual event in history because it might give people ideas that they otherwise would just not have come up with? I don't understand.

She isn't going to get the nomination, but I really don't think most people outside of the super revved up political/media community give much of a shit about this particular comment.
posted by mdn at 7:54 AM on May 24, 2008


Having watched the clip, the statement in context is bizarre. It just comes up as a complete non-sequitir, the way she slides it in there. Yes, we all know the RFK was assassinated 40 years ago next month, but why even bring it up at all. She knows that people have been joking about Obama getting assassinated for months now on late night tv, and that it's a genuine fear among African-Americans. Maybe she mixed up the talking points memo with the "Hillary's List of Words She Must Never Say to the Media" memo?

Based on the clumsy way she blurted it out, I have to say that it was calculated. But whatever it was she was trying to effect, she blew it up the minute the words left her mouth.

Again, what's with all the Hillbots screaming foul about Obama's very mild rebuke? It almost as if Hillary has a messianic like sway over her supporters. That she can do absolutely no wrong in their eyes. Scary stuff.
posted by psmealey at 8:02 AM on May 24, 2008


My comment was more like 'why is this MSM story-worthy now when she said essentially the same thing in March?' We're not gonna hear about the issues because the coverage isn't structured like that. It's horse race pure and simple.

I think it's because of her continued slide into Will Say Anything To Get Elected land. After running an incredibly disciplined (if wooden) center-right Democratic campaign, she's turned into Huey Long. In the past few weeks, she's reached out to "hardworking Americans, white Americans", stumped for McCain's pandering gas tax holiday, took the MSM to the woodshed on misogyny and sexism, and now this.

I don't think anyone is going to be willing to cut her any more slack at this point.
posted by psmealey at 8:08 AM on May 24, 2008


I don't think anyone is going to be willing to cut her any more slack at this point.

I'd bet against that, actually. Somewhere in America there are still some die-hard Hillbots screaming bloody sexism. They'd do it even if she "reversed her opinion on roasting babies alive". Srsly.
posted by WalterMitty at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2008


I meant the media, but I agree with you. I ended up surfing to here accidentally this morning. It is a very hardcore pro-Hillary site. The degree to which her people have willingly and shamelessly adopted the tactics of the right is stunning. I'm sure that there are Obama supporters that have posted hateful things here and there, but I cannot imagine a lot worse than I saw on that site.

I had no idea that she inspired such passionate support. But when you make direct appeals to people's fears and baser impulses, there's no difference between Republicans and Democrats. The sort of anger, hatred and bitterness she's stirred up, is (charitably) an unintended consequence of her tactics.

That's a lot of toothpaste to try to shove back into the tube.
posted by psmealey at 8:29 AM on May 24, 2008


of course it does - a president who doesn't say dumb alienating things that offend people is going to be much more effective than one who does - for example, i think hillary will have some difficulty talking to the iranians now that she's talked about obliterating them

That there has ever been an elected president who has managed never to say a dumb alienating thing that offended people seems like a flight of imagination. Being very good != being perfect.

Anyway, late in responding to this, but yes: minutia-filter chucked out just for the sake of consuming and arguing once again over minutia is just not a great way to make a post. There's a lot of time left until November, and no doubt a lot of posts on the primary season and the election and the candidates, all heading our way still.

If this verbal faceplant is in fact a story a week from now—if there's something lasting and profound that comes out of it—then a post with substance on the subject would be understandable. But this was total water-cooler stuff. It was a lazy, oops-of-the-minute excuse to talk politics.

And, as Jessamyn pointed out, here we are having a thread that's turned into an excuse to talk politics, and at this point it seems like maybe we need to start closing these things as asked-and-answered early on if the trend keeps up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:40 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shiv's commentary properly chopped up may have been the FPP this should have been.
posted by iamabot at 9:15 AM on May 24, 2008


That there has ever been an elected president who has managed never to say a dumb alienating thing that offended people seems like a flight of imagination. Being very good != being perfect.

but she's not very good - or good - she's mediocre tending towards terrible

she's making a habit of it

And, as Jessamyn pointed out, here we are having a thread that's turned into an excuse to talk politics,

people will just find another thread to discuss it in
posted by pyramid termite at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2008


Let's see, if Barack Obama = RFK, the candidate of hope, then Hillary Clinton becomes Hubert Humphrey, who is tarred by his association with a discredited president presiding over an unpopular war. Clinton/Humphrey is nominated at a convention marred by violence, and then McCain/Nixon is elected president. In 2014 a scandal which begins as a 'third-rate burglary' brings down McCain.
posted by lukemeister at 9:49 AM on May 24, 2008


which is not to say this was fpp-worthy

I initially read that as 'fap-worthy', which it isn't either.
posted by lukemeister at 9:51 AM on May 24, 2008


Christ I hate to argue with Jess, but:

We do a disservice to the issues that really matter in this campaign and in politics in general when we act like this sort of thing is the pivotal moment in this whole larger campaign.

Except that, you know, these things often are the pivotal moments.
The Duke in a tank? Silly, stupid meaningless photo op gone wrong. But that, combined with another trivial moment - his debate answer about Kitty being raped - elected Bush I. Ditto Gore's sighs and Kerry's windsurfing.
It would be nice to live in a country where people voted based on which candidate would best handle the economy, foreign policy and health care. But it aint this one. And to pretend otherwise is ignoring reality.
And I would argue most strenuously that a candidate saying she's still running because hey, Bobby wasn't killed until June, is not at all comparable to a mere "nosepick."
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:53 AM on May 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


People then flip out and act like she reversed her opinion on roasting babies alive.

So... she was for roasting babies alive before she was against it?
posted by languagehat at 11:18 AM on May 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Nah CL I think we agree on the points you make, I just think we don't know beforehand which of the turning points in any race will really truly matter and which are just the other side trying so desperately to fan the flames and say "THIS is the one that matters"

A whole bunch of people eye-rolling and chest-beating about how something MAY be the crucial turning point is less interesting to me (and a less good post for MeFi imo) than an analysis of why it actually is or better yet WAS important. Until election time, this is all various houses of cards that many people are watching and stomping on the floors next to trying to see which ones topple and which ones remain.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:21 AM on May 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


And, as Jessamyn pointed out, here we are having a thread that's turned into an excuse to talk politics, and at this point it seems like maybe we need to start closing these things as asked-and-answered early on if the trend keeps up.
posted by cortex at 8:40 AM on May 24


I'm not at all certain, but there seems to me to be the very faintest whiff of an adversarial attitude toward members generally in this comment, and insofar as I may have contributed to opening the way even to the possibility of such a development, I repent abjectly and promise to go and sin no more.
posted by jamjam at 11:25 AM on May 24, 2008


It's...nauseating to watch Drudge manipulate the press and thereby the word. One weird dude, with undeniable genius, controls the political news cycle. And people who claim to loathe the man listen to what he says is important.
posted by dawson at 11:37 AM on May 24, 2008


word=world, or maybe logos...cosmos, I'll have a cosmo.
posted by dawson at 11:38 AM on May 24, 2008


I repent abjectly and promise to go and sin no more.

You are doomed to walk the archives 'til the end of time with the mark of ceiling cat upon your forehead.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does Drudge really have all that much influence?

Also, I suspect a lot of the HRC foofoo is all about Republicans who, knowing they need to jump ship on the party because Bush/Cheney/Rove have made it so utterly, thoroughly poisonous to the American public, have latched on to her as the next-best-thing.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:04 PM on May 24, 2008


You are doomed to walk the archives 'til the end of time with the mark of ceiling cat upon your forehead.

Unless and until a restless, questing hero born among the MetaDanes shall come to sleep in mathowiegar's great Metatalk hall and rip my typing arm off when I creep in to drink the favorites lifeblood of his doughty longboat Metathanes, sending me down to MetaHell at last.
posted by jamjam at 12:09 PM on May 24, 2008


undeniable genius

Drudge is nothing of the sort.
posted by trondant at 12:29 PM on May 24, 2008


Drudge is nothing of the sort.
well, I'm no apologist for the man, but how else can one explain his playing of the print and broadcast sycophants and his obvious impact? It's senseless, but there it is. He matters in that game.
posted by dawson at 12:43 PM on May 24, 2008


Do you really think the press would have ignored Hillary's comment if Drudge hadn't headlined it? He linked to a New York Post story and other outlets were preparing stories too. I'm not going to disagree that Drudge has an outsize influence, but it's foolish to dismiss this growing flap as merely a creation of his.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:54 PM on May 24, 2008


DaShiv's comment should be an FPP
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:20 PM on May 24, 2008


CL, I may be wrong and hope I am, but yeah, I think those rags do the story in order to get linked. Who reads the NY Post, really? I just see him as a supersized drama queen, buzzing around stirring the shit, making things appear worse than they are. I'm for free speech and against the Fairness Doctrine, so good for him, but I do tend to think he has more leverage than any one man should. Again, I'd love to be shown to be wrong.
posted by dawson at 1:57 PM on May 24, 2008


sorry, I think I was sorta talking over you, I agree more than disagree with yr statement. My answer, I think this story would be a lot less dramatic and probably never linked here sans Drudge's breathless coverage.
posted by dawson at 2:01 PM on May 24, 2008


Impact and influence, sure. But it doesn't take anything nearing genius when all you really do is lend a helping hand to people already devoted to self-deception. Any asshole can do that.

I think it would've wound up here anyway; people have been waiting for the misstep that makes it OK to bay for her withdrawal. I've been waiting for that misstep for quite some time myself.

The reason this story is getting so much attention is simply that it isn't every day that someone hands your their own head on a stick.
posted by trondant at 2:14 PM on May 24, 2008


Well, MetaMan must be grieving, I'm sure not.
posted by dawson at 2:20 PM on May 24, 2008


This thread introduced me to Finntroll, whose bombastic stupidity I find momentarily enchanting. Thanks, MetaFilter.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:05 PM on May 24, 2008


You are doomed to walk the archives 'til the end of time with the mark of ceiling cat upon your forehead.

this is what happens when you go with cut-rate trepanners - the migranes continue and a little cat pops his head out from under your hat brim - then the cat has kittens and they all pop out of your forehead mewling for milk right as the sun's about to rise

there's even a song about it called "a brimful of cats all on at four to five"
posted by pyramid termite at 4:20 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Keith Olbermann is at least 10% as annoying as Hillary Clinton. Yes, it was an unfortunate and even shocking statement, but K.O's commentary is just way over the top.
posted by delmoi at 6:01 PM on May 24, 2008


I've always liked Hillary. Back in the day I used to argue to my American friends that she could win a general election and that she'd make a fine president. But her primary campaign has felt like a Shakespearean tragedy. Back when she joined the senate she judged her greatest future liability for a presidential run to be whether voters would trust a woman to be the commander-in-chief of the U. S. military. So she joined the armed services committee and supported the war in Iraq and so on. People smarter than me predicted that the 2008 Democratic primary would come down to a contest between her and someone who had opposed the war from the start and that the other candidate would win. And so it went. She misjudged the ebb and flow of society and thus her ambition and dream ran aground. This speech by Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar sums it up perfectly:

Under your pardon. You must note beside,
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The enemy increaseth every day;
We, at the height, are ready to decline.
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 PM on May 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


Now that I think about it, K.O is probably only about 1% as annoying as Hillary, over all.
posted by delmoi at 6:17 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm, here is an diary on Talking Points Memo talking about how Hillary never really faced a tough election herself before.
posted by delmoi at 7:31 PM on May 24, 2008


"That there has ever been an elected president who has managed never to say a dumb alienating thing that offended people seems like a flight of imagination."

William Henry Harrison?

"I just think we don't know beforehand which of the turning points in any race will really truly matter and which are just the other side trying so desperately to fan the flames and say "THIS is the one that matters""

We've had nearly eight years of constantly thinking, "Surely this … !" We're primed for it.
posted by klangklangston at 8:00 PM on May 24, 2008


Well, I'm glad it got posted, then deleted, then MeTa'd because DaShiv has laid the smack down, and given me a real history lesson. I wish I had an nth of his knowledge of political history, and wherewithal to build thoughtful, reasoned posts like that, all choc-full-o-links.

In the smaller context of the use of the word "assasination," the best I can muster for Clinton is "ham-handed." I don't think she wants anyone killed, but She could have used the word "nominated," which RFK was, the day before, and made the same point. It still would have been specious, but at least it might not have been pernicious. Yes, personally, I'd like her out of the race, by losing fair and square and withdrawing, rather than imploding, or through the media manufacturing a "Dean Scream" moment. The Democratic party needs neither of the last two.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:15 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The turning point came at least a month ago, when it became obvious to everyone except apparently Hillary that she wasn't gonna get the nomination. I'm not sure what this is. I think most people are just really fucking sick of her, and it's only gonna get worse from here until she comes to her senses and just goes the fuck home already.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:35 PM on May 24, 2008


pb for President!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 PM on May 24, 2008


Hell, at this point the only interesting question remaining is, 'will DaShiv's comment make the sidebar?' It's probably the single most intelligent political comment we've had all year, and will certainly get over 100 favorites, but it comes in a MeTa about a crappy thread that was rightfully deleted, and sidebarring it will probably just ncourage more crap political posts.

Yep. That's a toughie right there.
posted by mediareport at 8:43 PM on May 24, 2008


Metafilter: whose bombastic stupidity I find momentarily enchanting.
posted by 31d1 at 9:25 PM on May 24, 2008


I can hardly believe it. If, in January, you would have told me that Hillary would exit the campaign in this fashion ... Who'd have thunk it?

After all her talk, after all her shapeshifting, after playing the lowest common denominator time and again.... She turned out to be Fredo??

And what happened to Fredo? He went fishing.

Hillary showed she's just not that smart. Ode to Fredo.

Seems almost poignant.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 9:52 PM on May 24, 2008


Yes, personally, I'd like her out of the race, by losing fair and square and withdrawing, rather than imploding, or through the media manufacturing a "Dean Scream" moment. The Democratic party needs neither of the last two.

How about we just buy her a MeFi account? Dollars to doughnuts she self-links in a day and a half and flames out spectacularly in the ensuing MeTa.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:11 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can hardly believe it. If, in January, you would have told me that Hillary would exit the campaign in this fashion ... Who'd have thunk it?

No kidding. I was expecting to go from mild dislike and anger about her war vote to grudging acceptance and even defense the way I did with Kerry in '04. Instead she not only feel behind but started acting in a totally obnoxious way.

What this really illustrates is that she's just not that great of a politician. In fact, she's not even that good at actual campaigning. She could probably do an OK job as president, better then bush. But she has really displayed the exact same kind of inability to deal with failure and defeat. She thinks she can just keep fighting and fighting, and being totally dishonest with everyone about her chances. Just the same way Bush has been fighting in Iraq.
posted by delmoi at 10:22 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe most of you all are fucking sick of her, but you're not in the majority.

Friday, May 23, 2008
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 32% of Democrats now think Clinton should withdraw from the race. [..] As for Barack Obama, 23% of Democrats say he should drop out. That number has remained quite consistent through all surveys on the topic. Three percent (3%) want both candidates to drop out and 48% aren’t ready for either to leave.
posted by citron at 12:35 AM on May 25, 2008


Jessamyn for Joint Chiefs of Staff! She'd give war the banhammer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:16 AM on May 25, 2008


As for Barack Obama, 23% of Democrats say he should drop out.

Wow. I wonder what their, uh, reasoning is?
posted by languagehat at 8:12 AM on May 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow. I wonder what their, uh, reasoning is?

Interesting Newsweek cover story this week: A Memo to Senator Obama -- "Given his successes, it's easy to argue that Barack Obama doesn't need advice. But how he'll handle race going forward is by no means a settled issue. Our open letter."
posted by ericb at 8:44 AM on May 25, 2008


New York Times' political blog The Caucus has a good piece on the effect of the Kennedy remark on Clinton and her campaign, On the Road: Clinton’s Very Bad Day.
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 AM on May 25, 2008


Or maybe, "Goddamn, do I love Hitler."
posted by Bookhouse at 7:30 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


Well, if that post didn't Godwin the thread, maybe this one will.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:11 AM on May 25, 2008


well, this ought to godwin it if that doesn't - (did you know who get a youtube account?)
posted by pyramid termite at 10:56 AM on May 25, 2008


he'll jump in and say "We wouldn't need to subsidize agriculture if it wasn't for those atheist lesbian environmentalists!!!" -- and then leave the thread without a trace.

The man is a fucking drive-by thread assassin


well, we wouldn't need to assassinate threads either if it weren't for those atheist lesbian environmentalists.
posted by quonsar at 11:01 AM on May 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


So "Barack Obama Is The Next Adolf Hitler" is the new slogan of the Hillary campaign? Hey, it might just work!
posted by languagehat at 11:02 AM on May 25, 2008


David Axelrod on the issue, from here:
As far as we're concerned ... this issue is done. It was an unfortunate statement, as we said, as she's acknowledged. She has apologized. The apology ... is accepted. Let's move forward.
It loses some power because of their earlier statement, but I'm glad they're trying out the high road.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:03 AM on May 25, 2008


Maybe most of you all are fucking sick of her, but you're not in the majority.


I'm pretty sick of her, but I don't want her to drop out of the race. I want her to stay in until she has made herself good and irrelevant. Since the time to bow out with grace and sportsmanship has long past, I imagine her like the Red Queen at the end of Through the Lookingglass, shrunk to the size of a doll and running round and round chasing after her own shawl.

What a disappointment she turned out to be. I feel like somewhere in there was the making of a good politician. I don't think she ever felt she could just be herself and make it in politics, and that's sort of depressing. I have to say that if she had kicked Bill to the curb back in the day instead of clinging to him in an attempt to somehow represent Clinton Whitehouse Redux in her path to the presidency, she might have emerged as a far stronger, more focused and sincere candidate. It's sort of the same thing that helped sink Gore; tie yourself to the Bill Clinton machine for the power it represents, but distance yourself from the Slick Willy Circus. It can't be done.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:28 AM on May 25, 2008


she keeps fucking up, and this time it was by apologizing. she'd have gained tons of support by coming out and refusing to apologize, saying something along the lines of "get a fucking brain people! it's clear what i meant. stop letting breathless media clowns do your thinking for you and you might get the nation you want instead of the one you deserve!"
posted by quonsar at 11:29 AM on May 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Language Log analyzes Hillary's apology and this is the conclusion they come to:

"From this perspective, an important part of the public ritual of political apology is the question of which feelings of offense (however allegedly misguided) the politician feels compelled to mention. The apologizer's goal is to cite the narrowest possible range of offended people and reasons for offense. Thus it's not an accident that Senator Clinton mentioned the feelings of the Kennedy family and others about mentioning RFK's assassination, but not the feelings of those who were shocked by the implication that she should stay in the race in case her opponent is killed."
posted by Kattullus at 11:45 AM on May 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


On a less-about-Clinton note, I happy she's stayed in because way more people have registered to vote, far more state's issues are being brought up and debated in those states as they actually become sort of relevant, and we haven't had the truncated primary season we've become accustomed to. The states jostling to go first in order to be relevant have learned a small lesson, as well. In short, the process is playing out like it's supposed to, and I think that's a good thing.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:54 AM on May 25, 2008


Late to the discussion, but I feel I really must say: Obama/DaShiv '08!
posted by scody at 1:39 PM on May 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now that I think about it, K.O is probably only about 1% as annoying as Hillary, over all.

I have faith that were he to run for office, he'd rapidly undo that 99% annoyance gap.
posted by Drastic at 1:49 PM on May 25, 2008


Hillary needs to apologize to everyone who supported her six months ago. They're the ones she has really let down.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:30 PM on May 25, 2008


Clinton Still "A Fighter", Not Going to Quit

NEW YORK, NY, November 5, 2008 - On the day after Barack Obama became President-elect of the United States, Hillary Clinton held a news conference announcing that she "was a fighter and I owe it to the people who have been campaigning for me to continue my fight to be President at the earliest possible date."

"Sooner or later, it's going to be my turn," she said, "if not in 2012, than in 2016. If not in 2016, then 2020. If not 2020, than 2024. We are in this thing until we get what we want."

Neither President-elect Obama, Don Quixote or the Energizer Bunny could be reached for comment.
posted by pyramid termite at 3:01 PM on May 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joking aside.

Liz Trotta, former New York bureau chief of the Wahington Times in reference to assassination,
"Osama, uummm, Obama, well both if we could".

Fox News.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 5:33 PM on May 25, 2008


The fact that Fox News doesn't joke about Hillary Clinton being murdered as well is just one more shameful example of how the media refuses to take her seriously due solely to her gender. Will Obama's free ride never end?
posted by scody at 6:09 PM on May 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


The fact that Fox News doesn't joke about Hillary Clinton being murdered as well is just one more shameful example of how the media refuses to take her seriously due solely to her gender. Will Obama's free ride never end?

Scody, god help me, this is your fault. I said no joking aside and then you post that. I laughed and spit out some cheap Memorial weekend beer all over my keyboard. Damn you Scody!
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 6:20 PM on May 25, 2008


Wait, "I said no joking aside...". Should it be "I said joking aside..." I need an editor.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 6:28 PM on May 25, 2008


Wait. I don't need an editor. I need an editrix. That's the ticket.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2008


Hold on, let me swap some parts around.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2008


scody,

Alas, DaShiv isn't old enough to be on the ticket yet. I'm registering dashivin2016.com right now!
posted by lukemeister at 8:01 PM on May 25, 2008


Three percent (3%) want both candidates to drop out

What the hell? To make room for Edwards, or are these the closeted Republicans in the poll?
posted by jacalata at 11:45 PM on May 25, 2008


Hi. After reading this thread, I'd like to make an appeal to Obama supporters on behalf of what is, I think, in the best interests of your candidate.

At some point, most likely in the next few weeks, Obama is going to secure the nomination. If, at that point, Clinton decides to try for a credentials fight over Florida and Michigan, or take it to the convention, I guess (at least as far as I'm concerned) feel free to continue to say whatever you want. But if at some point she drops out, whether gracefully or otherwise, I'd like to ask you a favor.

Drop it. Please.

If that comes to pass, please don't gloat. Please don't go on and on about how relieved you are that she won't be president, or won't be the candidate. Please don't talk any more about what a horrible person she is. Celebrate your candidate's victory, absolutely, but as for the rest of it, drop it.

I'm a Clinton supporter. There are lots of us. You wouldn't know it from here, but millions of people voted for her, across the U.S. The majority of us don't regret it. The majority of us aren't racists. The majority of us aren't even second-wave feminists. The majority of us certainly aren't MetaMan. Many of us are people who, after weighting the issues, decided that Clinton was the better candidate.

In the fall, you will need us.

I think Clinton was a good candidate who arguably ran a bad campaign. I also think, as do many Clinton supporters, that every word she has said throughout the campaign season has been run through a microscope and put in the worst possible light by an often hostile press and by the often hostile supporters of her opponents, democrat and republican. As I think is the case with the subject of this thread.

Her candidacy meant a lot to a lot of people, and you are doing yourselves no favors by this.

When Obama clinches the nomination, I intend to support him. I intend to send money his way. I intend to vote for him. Please make it easy for me.

Because I will also be said that a candidate I thought was a good one crashed burned. Please let me mourn that without seeing (for the millionth time) what I consider to be unfair or out-of-proportion attacks on her. While she's your opponent, sure. But once she's not, please drop it. Think it, sure, if you want, but you needn't broadcast it to the world. Let us feel good about your candidate instead.

Because millions of people *don't* agree with you about her. And Obama needs their votes.
posted by kyrademon at 5:03 AM on May 26, 2008 [9 favorites]


(apologies for typos. 2 AM here.)
posted by kyrademon at 5:03 AM on May 26, 2008


Many of us are people who, after weighting the issues, decided that Clinton was the better candidate.

I don't think anyone doubts that, at least up until March. Since then, your candidate decided to rely on the all-too-familiar tactics of pandering to classist and racist spite. As a result, a lot of us got very frustrated that Clinton wasn't being held to account by people in her own camp who, apparently, can never admit that she might have done anything wrong.

By contrast, you heard a lot of Obama supporters complain very vocally when, after his brilliant speech on race in Philadelphia, he did renounce Wright a couple of weeks later.

So, when we heard Clinton supporters go on about Obama's "messiah complex", and that his supporters were all "drinking the kool-aid", we couldn't help but feel a little put off that those accusations were coming from people who were trying, transparently to transfer their own issues onto us.

Whatever your views on Obama's qualifications, we've heard an awful lot of people just toss out names like Ayers, Wright, Rezco, and thinking that by merely uttering them and not explaining what the nature of these accusations is, Obama gets put in the same "just another politician, he's as tainted as anyone else", when it seems, by anyone's standard for present day politicians, he's as clean as a whistle, the guy is practically an Eagle Scout.

I don't think you'll see much gloating kyrademon, I think what you'll see is relief in that Obama cleared a major and very, very difficult hurdle.

I'd like to credit Senator Clinton with that, and for a time, I was tempted to. But the way she exploited the racial divide in order to run up the score in West Virginia and Kentucky, and bolster her case for "electability", was something that Richard Milhous Nixon would have been proud of. It was a shameful moment for her, and really, for all of us. But the Democrats who supported her and refused to see that she caused injury in doing this, they have earned our mistrust.

I still think we can win on the issues in the fall, but Obama's going to have do more than just win the election, he needs to carry a message to all of us that what we've been doing is hurting ourselves, and affecting our ability to accomplish anything. So long as it's possible to divide the body politic with racism and sexism, and class jealousies and resentment, nothing will get done, and the power elites will continue to sell us a bill of goods so that they might continue to loot the Treasury.

For my own part, I will support Hillary if she manages to game the system and get the nomination. But once she's installed in the White House, I don't really expect to see much beyond a continuation of the failed policies of the last 16 years.
posted by psmealey at 5:37 AM on May 26, 2008


But the Democrats who supported her and refused to see that she caused injury in doing this, they have earned our mistrust.

See, by writing that, you're saying to kyrademon and many, many others: "Fuck you, we don't consider you worth paying attention to; we expect you to suck it up and vote for our guy despite the fact that we're jeering at you all the way, and be grateful for the privilege." If you think that's a smart policy, please continue with your partisan venom.
posted by languagehat at 6:02 AM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mistrust is not the same as "fuck you, we don't consider you worth paying attention to...". It means a whole lot of work needs to be done to fix what's been broken. What I was trying to do was to explain the source of the frustration, which is too often attributed to unthinking partisanism itself.

But if you think it's a smart policy to ascribe methods and motives that aren't there to people you don't know, please continue with your snarky blindside hits.
posted by psmealey at 6:22 AM on May 26, 2008


I think Clinton was a good candidate who arguably ran a bad campaign. I also think, as do many Clinton supporters, that every word she has said throughout the campaign season has been run through a microscope and put in the worst possible light by an often hostile press and by the often hostile supporters of her opponents, democrat and republican.

And the great difficulty about all this is that it's a flip of the coin or a chance of luck or history or circumstance that the race and the local mood have been for the one candidate or the other—everything you're saying here has applied at times to Obama too. Which is not an "oh, but, but" thing: my point is exactly that I think it's too easy for folks to be upset by what's been thrown at their own favorite, and too easy to not feel real sympathy for the folks on the "antagonistic" side of the race. It sucks to lose, but it sucks more to get so mired in winning and losing that you lose a sense of context and just try to eat each other alive.

So I agree with you a lot, kyrademon, and I hope you get your wish.

If I was feeling foolish, I'd extend the idea to national politics across the board, but I think that the inter-party gap at this point is kind of helplessly canyonesque compared to the Democratic split, and this doesn't seem like a race to make bridging that possible.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 AM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you think that's a smart policy, please continue with your partisan venom.

and if you think it's a smart policy to base your political views on what a bunch of random people write on the internet, go ahead

we're NOT that important and therefore what you or kyrademon or anyone else thinks about us isn't all that important, either
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 AM on May 26, 2008


But the way she exploited the racial divide in order to run up the score in West Virginia and Kentucky

Even if you don't mind about it being an offensive and poisonous accusation as regards Sen. Clinton.. voters in West Virginia and Kentucky are not all racist.. and exploiting divides, were that the case, is a great way to lose an election. She was favored anyway at this point but was able to run up the score because Obama barely took the trouble to campaign there and ask for their votes. I think he made perhaps one stop in West Virginia around the time of the primary, maybe two. I don't like seeing a Democratic candidate not even trying to win support in the region - what happened to 50 state strategies and unity and no Red America and Blue America? Harold Ford Jr. won 48% of the vote in the Senate race in Tennessee in 2006 so was extremely close to victory, and that was in the general election, not the Democratic primary (which he won by a very wide margin). Obama should've actually campaigned hard there, perhaps he expected that the media declaring the race over would've depressed the vote..
posted by citron at 11:14 AM on May 26, 2008


I imagine her like the Red Queen at the end of Through the Lookingglass, shrunk to the size of a doll and running round and round chasing after her own shawl.

Ah, SexismFilter! What's been remarkable about this primary is that otherwise reasonable people online and in real life have declared open season on this woman. No cheap shot is ever off the table, is it? If Obama is the presumed nominee, shouldn't yall try and resist taking yet another cheap shot that is only going to drive away people you need to win in the fall, and maybe consider attacking John McCain for a while? But then, I guess it's harder to get your kicks painting a man as an absolute monster.
posted by citron at 11:22 AM on May 26, 2008


I haven't been a Democrat for about a decade now, but I've grown more and more enthusiastic about Obama over the past few months, and have never been much of a fan of either Clinton. That said, I agree with kyrademon's central point wholeheartedly. Please, Dems... when Obama ties up the nomination, don't do the douchey finger-pointing thing. Gloating is counterproductive and lame, and November's a long way off.
posted by the_bone at 11:57 AM on May 26, 2008


"But then, I guess it's harder to get your kicks painting a man as an absolute monster."

Oh, bullshit. Clinton is not being painted as an absolute monster, and the fact is that while some folks support her, she's run both a bad campaign and a damaging campaign. That the Democratic party is going to have a hard time going forward, that her supporters are alienated from the likely nominee, that's significantly her fault.

Yes, the biggest challenge for Obama is going to be bringing Clinton supporters back into the fold, and I hope heartily that she's able to be gracious in defeat. I fear she won't be—I fear she'll be Ted Kennedy on stage, unable to let go of "her moment."

There are a handful of great reasons to vote for her based on her proposals and policies. I don't think that Obama is any great shakes beyond her, and it's a damn shame that there's no way in hell she'd be offered the veep slot. But she's run a campaign of scare-mongering and petty grasping, and even her supporters should be able to acknowledge that. The 3AM phone call was bullshit. The Robert Kennedy remark was bullshit. These things have nothing to do with sexism—it's entirely possible to acknowledge that she got a raw deal from a lot of folks because she was a woman. But she also got a raw deal because she was contemptuous of the press, hostile to the left-leaning part of the Democratic base, and that for every moment of genuine sympathy she earned, she pissed it away.

And to be told that all of my opinion is just sexism, something that seems to be the go-to defense for her, is bullshit. She can be both an unfortunate victim of social mores and less qualified to be president, AND a venal, clawing politician. That there is a language of stereotype that is easy to retreat to (harridan, harpy, etc.) does not mean that those charges are undeserved.

Would I have supported her had she garnered the nomination? Yes, of course. But I supported Kerry too, and Kerry had better policies (at least regarding health care, what with Clinton's proposed unfunded mandate) than Clinton.

So, yeah, I realize that this comment may be further driving people away, but I also feel like at some point, it's those people's responsibility to realize that Obama's their best hope come November, and that because I'm not a politician, it's not my job to make sure that I don't drive people away. Especially when they toss out presumptive and insulting accusations of sexism to mask the fact that they backed the wrong candidate, and especially when a significant portion of that backing came through sexism too.
posted by klangklangston at 12:01 PM on May 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Please, Dems... when Obama ties up the nomination, don't do the douchey finger-pointing thing. Gloating is counterproductive and lame, and November's a long way off."

No, the immediate goal should be to co-opt Clinton supporters as much as possible, ideally with the help of Clinton. But good winners require good losers.
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 PM on May 26, 2008


But then, I guess it's harder to get your kicks painting a man as an absolute monster.

A brief perusal of the Mefi archives regarding general sentiments toward Bush and Cheney should undermine that accusation. Painting them as monsters has traditionally been one of our favorite collective pastimes.

Look, no one denies that there is grotesque gender-based vitriol that's been used in popular sentiment toward Clinton, and that there should be no place for it. At the same time, you know, as folks on the left were also fond of saying about Thatcher: there are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose her, and being a woman isn't one of them.
posted by scody at 12:37 PM on May 26, 2008


we're NOT that important and therefore what you or kyrademon or anyone else thinks about us isn't all that important, either

So it's OK to insult and piss off kyrademon and other Hillary supporters on MeFi because they're not important (hell, they probably don't even vote, amirite?)... but by god, if you run into somebody important, you'll make an effort to be diplomatic. Gotcha.
posted by languagehat at 1:12 PM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


So it's OK to insult and piss off kyrademon

if you have to resort to blatant lies to argue with me, you've lost

you're coming off like an utter idiot here
posted by pyramid termite at 1:53 PM on May 26, 2008


No, the immediate goal should be to co-opt Clinton supporters as much as possible

Um, yeah. I don't see how anything I wrote contradicts that statement. The fact is, people are taking this election very personally, and if Obama supporters can avoid being dicks in victory, that would go a long way toward "co-opting" Clinton voters.
posted by the_bone at 3:18 PM on May 26, 2008


I'd be happy with less geneder specific ways of calling her a total dick and an asshole, but I'm pretty unlikely to pretend that she's not a terrible person and a wellspring of utter dickishness.
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on May 26, 2008


No, I was agreeing with you, though I can see how it read the other way. But I tend to think that it will make more of a difference to have the head of the United Farm Workers endorse Obama than it will to have people on Metafilter not get fingerpointy. Further, I'd say that Obama supporters will be more likely to be in "Fuck McCain" mode, rather than dwelling on a race that most of, well, us, think has gone on long enough already. It's not Obama supporters that are prolonging the process (and, as I've mentioned before, having the process prolonged could be a good thing if Clinton could be brought back to the type of campaigning she was doing before Super Tuesday, and position herself as fighting for the contest and fighting for the party instead of fighting against Obama. That would, as a tactical matter, largely concede the race, but it'd be the best thing for the party. But "Stay in and stop fighting" is a hard message to send someone, especially when it's millions of their own money).
posted by klangklangston at 3:40 PM on May 26, 2008


Oh shit, do you know what this means? It means that, in 2008, the part of Ralph Nader will be played by Hillary Clinton. I. Fucking. Love. It.
posted by stet at 4:17 PM on May 26, 2008


oh, then ralph nader must be playing pat paulsen this year
posted by pyramid termite at 4:30 PM on May 26, 2008


if you have to resort to blatant lies to argue with me, you've lost

I didn't realize there was a competition. But maybe you should consult kyrademon rather than your gut as to whether she might be insulted by this (which, let me remind you, is what I was responding to):

But the Democrats who supported her and refused to see that she caused injury in doing this, they have earned our mistrust.
posted by languagehat at 5:21 PM on May 26, 2008


But maybe you should consult kyrademon

maybe you should consult an expert on language to help you parse simple english
posted by pyramid termite at 5:48 PM on May 26, 2008


Ah, ok. And you're absolutely right; over time the high-profile Clinton backers will have to come around with something beyond a tepid endorsement if they really want to do anything more than pay lip service to the idea of party unity. And hopefully Clinton will bow out with some modicum of grace if Obama hits the magic delegate number after June 3rd.

But it seems to me that the rank-and-file Clinton voters are going to be just as affected by the little kindnesses they receive from people online as by heavy-hitter endorsements. These are people who have poured a lot of time and money into a cause they really believe in, and ultimately they're the folks Obama and the Democrats will have to rally in November. The ability to visit MeFi/HuffPo/Atrios/[insert your fave A-list political site here] and not have their noses rubbed in the fact that Clinton didn't prevail will go a long way toward helping with the reconciliation that will have to happen in order for the Democrats to not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.
posted by the_bone at 5:51 PM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


if Obama supporters can avoid being dicks in victory, that would go a long way toward "co-opting" Clinton voters.

I think they will. As far as it goes, I don't see any signs of it yet. I've seen a bunch of premature (and childish) nyah, nyah, nyah type stuff in some forums, but none of it can be taken seriously.

My point, which languagehat paternalistically decided to take issue with on kyrademon's behalf, was that Senator Clinton chose some very regrettable tactics that re-opened some very old wounds. Many of Clinton's more vehement supporters not only denied it, they bizarrely accused Obama and his supporters of doing the same or worse.

So when Clinton's supporters call on Obama's supporters not to gloat (which is appropriate, as any kind of gloating is poor form in the best of circumstances), there also has to be some recognition on their part that their candidate went a little too far, and did some damage to the party (and the country) in the service of her own agenda.

I don't know what form this recognition should take, but perhaps a conciliatory word or two from the candidate herself might be a step in the right direction. None of this is to deny that the careless misogyny during the race has been vile and disgusting, and I hate having been associated with it. I loathed even more being accused of it, unjustly in my view, for merely criticizing Clinton's tactics. But enough about me, I'll get over it.
posted by psmealey at 6:16 PM on May 26, 2008


If that comes to pass, please don't gloat. Please don't go on and on about how relieved you are that she won't be president, or won't be the candidate. Please don't talk any more about what a horrible person she is. Celebrate your candidate's victory, absolutely, but as for the rest of it, drop it.

If Clinton can smile, and heartily endorse her competitor in anything that resembles sincerity, I think it's the least that people can do to swallow a far smaller bit of pride and welcome her supporters into the fold gracefully.

Though whether the former will come to pass, I don't know, judging by her behaviour so far. As klang says, good winners require good losers.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:30 PM on May 26, 2008


You know what I think is cool--the Phoenix Lander landed safely on target on Mars--the equivalent of hitting a golf ball in New Yrok City and having it make a hole in one in Sydney, Australia, or so they said on NPR--and the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment onMars Orbiter took a photograph of it on the way down. Now, how cool is that ?

Derail aside, I must admit that I am of no fixed opinion in regards to this matter and on a very low horse about it as well.
posted by y2karl at 8:37 PM on May 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, but do you have a dog in the race and/or irons in the fire? Any hoes to row? What is your position on line-toeing? Bandwagon jumping? How many figs, approximately, do you give?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 PM on May 26, 2008


How many figs does any man have?

Two, I reckon, just two.

Neither of which I'd care to give, much less give to a politician.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 PM on May 26, 2008


How many figs does any man have?

newton's got a shitload
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 PM on May 26, 2008


Oh, bullshit. Clinton is not being painted as an absolute monster

One of Obama's top advisers was forced to resign after calling her an absolute monster on the record.

In my experience, Obama supporters have been pretty smug and superior all around, not just on Metafilter. Here's a hint: if you want to deny that you're insulting Clinton supporters, try to avoid comments like these:

--Oh, bullshit
--the Democrats who supported her and refused to see that she caused injury in doing this, they have earned our mistrust.
--if you have to resort to blatant lies to argue with me, you've lost. you're coming off like an utter idiot here
--maybe you should consult an expert on language to help you parse simple english


posted by msalt at 9:13 PM on May 26, 2008


What is your position on line-toeing

I was for it before I was against it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:22 PM on May 26, 2008


Many of Clinton's more vehement supporters not only denied it, they bizarrely accused Obama and his supporters of doing the same or worse.

Like your previous comment, you don't seem to realize this is an opinion. Obviously Clinton supporters don't see it the same way. It is tough to read personality, motivation, intention and character from mass speeches and media reports; it is hardly surprising that competing versions come out about the candidates (there are often even competing versions about someone you know personally).

Are these differences in opinion due to racism or sexism? Possibly in part... Are they due to partisanship? Almost certainly - you choose a team, you stick with them, and the other guy gets made into the bad guy in every possible way. (When you're rooting for the Yankees, there is no way that Red Sox player was safe on second!) It's unfortunate that we've gotten so split over this and I hope the nominee is able to unite the party.
posted by mdn at 9:24 PM on May 26, 2008


Any hoes to row?

Arrrgh, forgive me, I can't let that one go without saying something. It should be "rows to hoe" (that is, unless you've got some hoes to deliver to a farmer up the river, and the only way to get there is by rowboat).
posted by amyms at 9:55 PM on May 26, 2008


Fact: Obama has won this race. The numbers don't lie.

If Hillary supporters refuse to unite with the Democratic Presidential Nominee in the fall, then so be it.

We will get the country we deserve. I'm ready to eat bitter if you are.

Instead of hell in a handbasket, we will just take a long rowboating trip. It will be fun.

I like rowboating. Farmers too.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 10:10 PM on May 26, 2008


There was a time where I thought HRC might be a good VP pick, but at this point, no. And I could really care less about the hurt feelings of her supporters. At some point they need to face reality. Nobody went out of their way to make me Dean supporters feel welcome in the party after he lost. If the Clinton people want the party back, they can do what the Dean people did, what the netroots did, and what Obama did. Inspire passion, inspire volunteers, inspire people to donate money, and inspire people to organize. Strangely enough, I don't think a movement anything like that is likely to coalesce around the ashes of Hillary's campaign. She surrounded herself with lobbyists, liars and haters. I don't think they're going to stick around once the Clinton gravy train goes off the tracks.
posted by empath at 10:11 PM on May 26, 2008


I thought it was "ho's to roe"...

I get the "American politician" vibe from Clinton, and that isn't a good feeling. I expect her to be every bit as sleazy as any of your bought-and-paid-for bastards. Cut from the same fabric as the ones who've brought America to its knees this past decade or so. And lately she seems really, really angry that she's been challenged. That doesn't seem healthy to me.

Also, I'm not a big fan of the family dynasty plan. Enough with that: America isn't supposed to be a monarchy. Or duo-archy, for that matter.

Obama gives me happier feelings, but that's probably because he seems to be a newbie, and isn't so tainted by the corrosive, corrupting legacy of the mainstream parties. If he were running independent I could actually believe he was in it for the people. As-is, he's probably going to turn out to be yet another asshole politician who's only out for number one.

The real solution is to kick the whole lot of those scum-sucking maniacs out of office. Start over again. Reboot America. Start with a fresh slate. Flush the toilet.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 PM on May 26, 2008


For the benefit of the independents running in this election, I offer you a new campaign slogan:

"American Politics: It's Time to Shit or Get Off the Pot.
Wipe the Taint, Flush the Toilet, and Elect a Newbie!"
This Message Paid for by American Standard

posted by five fresh fish at 10:26 PM on May 26, 2008


i'll vote for any newbie who promises to invade canada
posted by pyramid termite at 10:33 PM on May 26, 2008


--If Hillary supporters refuse to unite with the Democratic Presidential Nominee in the fall, then so be it. I'm ready to eat bitter if you are.
--I could really care less about the hurt feelings of her supporters.


Boy, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner. That's a stunning lack of graciousness.
posted by msalt at 10:36 PM on May 26, 2008


I thought it was "ho's to roe"

That's an anti-abortion slogan.
posted by msalt at 10:37 PM on May 26, 2008


When global warming really takes hold, and the American Midwest is practically a desert, I'm moving to Canada. Along with millions of other Americans. I will be neighbors with fresh fish five. Howdy neighbor! Yeehaw!
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 10:45 PM on May 26, 2008


I had actually meant to type "Hose Turow", which is the name of a really excellent Can-Can group that does choreographed interpretations of legal thrillers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:53 PM on May 26, 2008


mdn: "It is tough to read personality, motivation, intention and character from mass speeches and media reports; it is hardly surprising that competing versions come out about the candidates (there are often even competing versions about someone you know personally)."

So true, mdn, and all the more reason to keep an open mind and an eye to the issues, as I'm sure we have much more to learn about all the nominees between now and November.

mdn: "you choose a team, you stick with them, and the other guy gets made into the bad guy in every possible way."

This kind of thinking is just plain wrong. It's wrong in sports; it's wrong in politics. Sure there are competing entities in both, but that's no reason to give up sound, objective reasoning, for as personal as that exercise will always be. The candidates ALL have their strengths and weaknesses, and to only choose to look at your preferred candidate's strengths and the other candidates' weaknesses isn't really what this process should be about. Yes, I know that's how it is here on the internet, and now openly so even in newspapers or on tv. Still doesn't make it right. We have a lot of time between now and November to do better for ourselves.
posted by LiveLurker at 10:56 PM on May 26, 2008


When global warming really takes hold, and the American Midwest is practically a desert

What are you talking about? When global warming takes hold, and all the coastal cities are under water (from the ice caps melting) the American Midwest will be beach-front property, baby! *dons sunglasses and inflates floatie toys*
posted by amyms at 10:59 PM on May 26, 2008


Boy, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

No way. Sore losers like Geraldine Ferraro will destroy this country. We just don't have the luxury of trying to survive another four years of a Republican, just so Hillary can soothe her hurt feelings with another campaign attempt in 2012. We just don't have time for her nonsense, and her followers need to wake up because time is running out to fix this country.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:30 PM on May 26, 2008


Boy, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner. That's a stunning lack of graciousness.

That's just silly considering the present state of the primary.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 11:58 PM on May 26, 2008


I doubt Canada's going to fare much better than the USA when it comes to climate change. Especially as the geological weather pattern appears to be a burst of global warming followed by an ice age.

Life anywhere much north of the 50th can best be described as ten months of winter and two months of damn poor sledding. It ain't gonna get better. :-(
posted by five fresh fish at 12:06 AM on May 27, 2008


i'll vote for any newbie who promises to invade canada

Just invade five fresh fish and leave the rest of us out of it.
posted by timeistight at 12:10 AM on May 27, 2008


So why all this hostility, folks? Politicians aren't generally sleazy, self-interested bastards who'd stab their own mother in the back if it'd make them a buck?

Gosh sakes, so sorry to have offended. I didn't realize Hillary and Obama were so different from every other career politician out there.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:37 AM on May 27, 2008


mdn summed up the problem rather nicely.

Clinton supporters haven't been saying those things because we're big meanies who are mean because we like being mean. We *disagree* with you. When people say things like, "she exploited the racial divide in order to run up the score in West Virginia and Kentucky," we consider that so obviously and bizarrely untrue that we assume it can't be anything other than an intentional insult. When people posit that her reference to RFK was a veiled threat against Obama, we feel we have little choice other than to assume that such people are functionally insane.

Much as, you know, you probably felt about some of the shit you've likely heard people saying about Obama. It's the SAME THING, except that you may be the one doing it, and you don't even realize it ... because in your case, of course, you are simply saying the obvious and literal truth, right?

Look. I'm not asking you to like her. I'm certainly not asking you to vote for her. I'm just asking you to take a breath and move on when the time comes to move on ... and maybe, I guess, realize that if you are waiting for an apology from the other side before you can express unity with almost half of the democratic party, you might be waiting a very long time, because just like you, they do not think they have much to apologize for.


(On a different note, of course Metafilter per se does not matter very much in the grand scheme of things, but I have to say that for me personally, the endorsement of the head of United Farm Workers matters a whole heap less than the conversations I have here. Obama's and Clinton's policies matter a whole heap more, of course, but perspectives vary, you know.)
posted by kyrademon at 2:15 AM on May 27, 2008


When people posit that her reference to RFK was a veiled threat against Obama

Uh, no one said that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 AM on May 27, 2008


Really, Blazecock Pileon? Gee, let me see what happens when I google "Clinton Obama RFK veiled threat" ...

Hmm:

"Hillary Makes a Lightly Veiled Threat On Obama’s Life ... Is there anyone on the planet who can’t read between the lines here? She’s talking about history repeating itself, in fact, she seemed to tip-toe around the phrase. Hillary Clinton just went on record saying she won’t drop out of the race until we’re sure Obama can get out of California alive ... Is Hillary Clinton aware of a plot to assassinate Barack Obama? ... If I had to guess, Hillary’s got a very powerful little bird sitting on her shoulder telling her to stay in the race because Obama will not be the nominee."

"It was nothing less than a veiled threat ... look at the apology ... she can't even look at the camera."

"This should be interpreted by Obama's secret service as a veiled threat!"

"In the estimation of this author her statement and veiled threat shows the true colors of this dispicable human being."

Etc., etc., etc. and that was on page one. Sure. No one's been saying that at all.
posted by kyrademon at 2:45 AM on May 27, 2008


(Or did you mean in this particular thread, or on metafilter? Because I wasn't limiting my references that way, if that's what you thought.)
posted by kyrademon at 2:50 AM on May 27, 2008


I'm just asking you to take a breath and move on when the time comes to move on ... and maybe, I guess, realize that if you are waiting for an apology from the other side before you can express unity with almost half of the democratic party, you might be waiting a very long time, because just like you, they do not think they have much to apologize for.

I liken this situation to a group of friends wanting to go out for dinner: it's pretty evenly split between those who want Italian and those who want Chinese, we're just waiting on Steve to answer the damn phone, even though Steve loves Chinese and has always preferred it over Italian. It's getting late, we're all hungry, but the Italian lovers keep insisting that we wait on Steve, 'cause " hey, he might choose Italian, you never know!" and then try to convince Steve to get Italian by reminding him of that crazy Italian chick he dated who cheated on him and wound up setting his car on fire.

Then Steve chooses Chinese and then the Italian lovers complain all the way to the restaurant and during the meal and afterwards, while demanding that the Chinese lovers put up with their bitching, because....oh who cares, they're acting like jackasses. Just get in the damn car so we can go get something to eat, ok?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:59 AM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm just asking you to take a breath and move on when the time comes to move on ... and maybe, I guess, realize that if you are waiting for an apology from the other side before you can express unity with almost half of the democratic party, you might be waiting a very long time, because just like you, they do not think they have much to apologize for.


You got it. I will take the time to take a breath when the time comes. I'm easy. And that time will be? June 3rd? The convention? Inaurguration Day? 2012? Please say when.

I understand that some people are resentful about the way their candidate has been treated. It's a matter of opinion you say. Fine. I grant you that.

Now what? What happens this fall? You are still talking about things that, in the real world, are done and gone.

Obama wins this race by the sheer numbers. And one more time, what now?

The Presidential campaign this fall, as of right here and now, should be front and center.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 3:20 AM on May 27, 2008


.... Whatever. I already said I would vote for him, send him money, and campaign for him, and all I ever said was that maybe it wasn't in your best interest to complain all the way to the Chinese restaurant *you* picked that the person who voted for Clinton was Italian. I mean, that the person eating Obama really wanted to set Steve's car on fire. Or something.

Screw it. Silly argument anyway. I said what I said, like it or don't, agree or disagree, I'm done trying to explain myself, have a nice night y'all.
posted by kyrademon at 3:24 AM on May 27, 2008


(PS on preview, TrolleyOffTheTracks, I already gave my answer that question in my very first comment on this thread, and this is exactly why I get real tired of these arguments real fast. Night.)
posted by kyrademon at 3:29 AM on May 27, 2008


all I ever said was that maybe it wasn't in your best interest to complain all the way to the Chinese restaurant *you* picked

You said we can't go without you, that we need you, so would you please. just. get. in. the. car.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:01 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher -- see: my comment of 3:24 AM, May 27, first 16 words.

Hmm, that's a lot easier. Maybe I don't have to throw up my hands, here.

TrolleyOffTheTracks -- see: my comment of 5:03 AM, May 26, second paragraph.

(I'm not trying to be obnoxious, I really just hate saying the same things over and over and over.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:10 AM on May 27, 2008


When people say things like, "she exploited the racial divide in order to run up the score in West Virginia and Kentucky," we consider that so obviously and bizarrely untrue that we assume it can't be anything other than an intentional insult.

Obviously and bizarrely untrue? You honestly think that someone so disciplined and savvy let drop with the whole "hardworking Americans, white Americans" comment out of sloppy fatigue, or that her intention in saying such a thing was really so innocent?

In my view (yes, my opinion, mdn) if she had had any integrity whatsoever, she should have said something to the effect that, "if you are voting for me out of bias, hatred or fear, I do not want your vote." The result might well have been the same, but at least she could have gone on record being decent.

If you truly think there was nothing untoward in that comment, and quite a few others like it she made, than I believe you. But, surely, my interpretation of it is not so bizarre that you cannot see your way through to admitting that a reasonable person might conclude the same thing I did.
posted by psmealey at 4:41 AM on May 27, 2008


Kyrademon, FYI we appear to be in different timezones, so I'm not seeing a comment from you at 3:24am. There is one at 6:24am though, which is easier to find since it's been hyperlinked.

As for the rest, such as this statement: Please don't talk any more about what a horrible person she is. Celebrate your candidate's victory, absolutely, but as for the rest of it, drop it.

I'm gonna channel a few Obama supporters here and say no. Hillary (and Bill) shat all over Obama, acted like a jackass and ran a shitty campaign and now wants to act all self righteous when losing? Yeah, not gonna happen, to some extent. That's just human nature at work there, a person starts handing out lumps, they better be prepared to take'em in return, especially if they're losing.

I know, I know, this isn't helping the party, we have to stick together, the real enemy is McCain, Hillary voters are needed to win the election, blah blah. Just think of it as me vetting the party, to make sure it really is as tough as it needs to be, ok? I'm sure you agree. Hell kyrademon, you called some Obama supporters insane earlier today. Charity starts at home, you know?

Look, it's your vote and you can do with it what you want, but people shouldn't have to beg or plead for it, ok? If Hillary supporters, en masse, decide they'd rather not support Obama, well...uh, ok. I just don't want to hear any bitchin' about how awful those nasty Republicans are, mmm'kay?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:49 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


But beyond all the word-mincing, why does Hillary get a pass on her Iraq and Iran war votes? This part confounds me. Her rationale for casting those votes, as well as her attempts to defend them have struck me as anti-Democratic, to put it mildly.

I am far from a hard left winger. I am a senior manager at large enough company, I am pro business, pro growth and believe that we should have a strong military with which to defend ourselves from the likes of the sanctimonious, demented bastards that attacked us on 9/11. But as for authorizing this imbecile of a president to use force not once, but twice, and never recanting? That is a very, very serious thing that requires serious examination of her character.

If she had made a stand against Iraq resolution in 2003, there is no question in my mind that she would have been my favorite candidate, and I would have volunteered for her again, as I did in 2000. Even if she had recanted, I might have forgiven it. But to not do so, and again in 2007, to authorize force against Iran?

Unforgivable in a Senator, unacceptable in a Democratic candidate for President.
posted by psmealey at 4:53 AM on May 27, 2008


Really, Blazecock Pileon? Gee, let me see what happens when I google "Clinton Obama RFK veiled threat" . . . . .

(Or did you mean in this particular thread, or on metafilter? Because I wasn't limiting my references that way, if that's what you thought.)


Dang, Kyrademon, that was positively Clintonian, the way you reframed the discussion and moved the goal posts!
posted by LarryC at 5:34 AM on May 27, 2008


Brandon Blatcher - yeah, that was the one. Sorry, didn't know time stamps were different -- it doesn't stamp in my time zone, and never did, so I just assumed that everyone saw the same thing. My bad.

But seriously. Read what I said in my various posts, not what you think I said. I neither asked you to beg and plead for my vote, nor did I say that you shouldn't say whatever you wanted about Clinton while she was still running. You are arguing against points I never made, and I find it frustrating.

psmealey - I agree with you on an awful lot of issues about this election. I certainly think that you personally believe that what you are saying is true. But I, and I suspect a lot of other Clinton supporters, feel like she's gotten the full "Al Gore is a liar" treatment throughout the primary process, with large groups of people sifting through everything she's said over a period of months to find anything that sounds untoward. YMMV, obviously. Obama's gotten some of the same treatment, too, obviously. But it's kind of beside the point of what I was ultimately trying to say.

A lot of this is beside the point of what I was trying to say. I find these discussions very frustrating, because I keep getting cast into the role of "generic Clinton supporter", and suddenly find myself embroiled in all of these arguments about the candidates that had little or nothing to do with the point I wanted to make. And I get sidetracked into them, and now I've called some Obama supporters insane because they think Clinton wants to assassinate Obama, and then that becomes the topic, and suddenly we're on to Iraq and Iran, and ...

So. Let me try one last time.

I don't care if you hate Clinton as a candidate. I don't care if you hate Clinton personally. I don't care if you think Clinton eats babies.

My one and *only* point was, since there are many democratic voters who do not believe that at all, for whatever reason, if you dance on her political grave *after she withdraws from the race* (please note the timing there), you will be harming *Obama's* chances, by unnecessarily alienating potential Obama voters, by continuing to angrily fight a battle you will not only have already won, but which the other side will not even be fighting anymore.

Some people on this thread have answered, "Well, duh, of course." Great. Others have not. It kind of sounds "Well, duh" phrased this way, but I think there's a big risk of it happening. I think when Clinton finally drops out, there's going to be a lot of gloating. And I think it won't be good for the dems. That's all.
posted by kyrademon at 5:57 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


LarryC - huh? What are you talking about? I was asking for a clarification, because I thought I might have misunderstood what he meant.

You know what? Never mind. Dropping it. Breathing deeply. Ah.
posted by kyrademon at 5:59 AM on May 27, 2008


kyrademon: You made your point well; the sad truth is that a lot of people are so invested in the bickering they can understand your point and even sort of agree with it ("I know, I know, this isn't helping the party, we have to stick together, the real enemy is McCain, Hillary voters are needed to win the election, blah blah") but still go "fuck it, I want to gloat." Nothing to be done about it.
posted by languagehat at 6:30 AM on May 27, 2008


I keep my gloat on a tether in the back yard. He's an angora. Today he found a pumpkin in the long grass and ate half of it. He bleats a fair bit. Sometimes I worry that he's got worms.
posted by flabdablet at 6:36 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I neither asked you to beg and plead for my vote,

Yet, you dropped this little number:

In the fall, you will need us.


which comes across as "be nice to me, you need me", which is not what I heard Clinton doing to Obama during the campaign.

nor did I say that you shouldn't say whatever you wanted about Clinton while she was still running.

My overrall point here is that Clinton doesn't get to mouth off at every opportunity and then when she loses, pull the "No gloating, group hug now" card. That's not how people work. She wanted to play rough, she lost, expect some people to kick dirt in her face.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 AM on May 27, 2008


but still go "fuck it, I want to gloat." Nothing to be done about it.

If I see or hear any Obama supporters gloating, I will be happy to tell them to STFU. The really hard part lays before us.
posted by psmealey at 6:51 AM on May 27, 2008


But beyond all the word-mincing, why does Hillary get a pass on her Iraq and Iran war votes?

as long as they get a candidate who will vote the right way on their cultural lifestyle issues, a lot of democrats don't really care what happens with the war or even the poorer half of the country

that is not necessarily confined to clinton supporters, btw
posted by pyramid termite at 6:57 AM on May 27, 2008


Obama: It's what's for dinner.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2008


still go "fuck it, I want to gloat." Nothing to be done about it.

You've got to be kidding.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:54 AM on May 27, 2008


Jesus, even the New York Times is throwing schoolyard taunts at Clinton.

"As Race Wanes, Talk of Clinton as No. 2 Grows"

I didn't read the article or anything, but that's just uncalled for.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:23 AM on May 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Heh.

The VP slot stuff is all baseless speculation anyway - McCain would never pick her, no matter how much she helps.
posted by Artw at 9:31 AM on May 27, 2008


So, what's for breakfast then?
posted by yeti at 9:36 AM on May 27, 2008


My overrall point here is that Clinton doesn't get to mouth off at every opportunity and then when she loses, pull the "No gloating, group hug now" card. That's not how people work. She wanted to play rough, she lost, expect some people to kick dirt in her face.

Clinton supporters <> Clinton. Obama supporters <> Obama. I really think that's the problem here -- people on both sides of this primary fight are identifying so closely with their candidates that they take everything personally, and can't get over it.

You know what? Obama and Hillary are both big kids, playing the biggest game of hardball there is. They can both handle anything thrown their way.
So smile, shake hands, say "Well fought" even if you don't believe it, and move on.
posted by msalt at 9:39 AM on May 27, 2008


I didn't read the article or anything

Sexist!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 AM on May 27, 2008


You know what? Obama and Hillary are both big kids, playing the biggest game of hardball there is. They can both handle anything thrown their way. So smile, shake hands, say "Well fought" even if you don't believe it, and move on.

That, and the fact that we're all still responsible for our own vote. The Supreme Court alone would determine my vote this time around; there will be no psychological gaming with my vote, and no vengeful or resentful element to it. It's a vote I feel morally obligated to make, no matter how I feel about the eventual Democratic nominee and how they got there.
posted by Miko at 9:47 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did Hillary stay in too long?
"Given the thud with which Clinton's RFK flub was received, it's starting to become clear that perhaps she erred in deciding to stay in the race this long. Imagine had she suspended her campaign and still won primaries. Wouldn't that have put her in an even stronger position than now? Obama hasn't run a campaign against her for the last few weeks and, in turn, it's helped Clinton prop up her personal standing. But wouldn't she be winning over the support of some in ObamaNation if she were sort of returning the favor by getting out and suspending the campaign? And that's the rub: At some point for her political future, she has to win back the support of Obama's supporters. And they don't seem to be very forgiving of her right now. The Clinton campaign may believe these folks are being irrational, but it's the state of play right now. It's interesting -- Clinton partisans are mad at a lot of folks, but Obama isn't at the top of the list. For Obama partisans, Clinton (or the Clintons) is at the top of their anger list. As for Clinton, she really hasn't given a good reason for staying in (versus suspending her candidacy while keeping her delegates) for any set of voters other than those folks in Michigan and Florida or for the folks in Puerto Rico. If she were in suspension mode, she could be focusing on legacy restoration. Instead, everything she says is viewed through the prism of angling for a longshot 1% chance at the nomination. Whatever the outcome at this point, Clinton's folks may wish they had suspended their candidacy a few weeks ago. In this case, short-term gain could end up being long-term political pain."
posted by ericb at 10:40 AM on May 27, 2008


So smile, shake hands, say "Well fought" even if you don't believe it, and move on.

It's a long time between now and November and I suspect most of us how are arguing about this shit will become rational and vote along party lines.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:39 AM on May 27, 2008


One of Obama's top advisers was forced to resign after calling her an absolute monster on the record.

THANK HEAVEN WE HAVE CHASED THAT POISONOUS MONSTER SAMANTHA POWER AWAY FROM OUR PUBLIC DISCOURSE!
posted by homunculus at 11:51 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sore losers like Geraldine Ferraro will destroy this country.

Ironically, sore losers like Ferraro may help McCain's Supreme Court finally overturn Roe v. Wade. Heck of a job, Ferraro.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on May 27, 2008


"One of Obama's top advisers was forced to resign after calling her an absolute monster on the record."

Yeah, and that was also some trumped-up bullshit which Clinton proxies used to distract during a media lull.

Sure, granted, this is all a matter of opinion, right. But the two things that are galling me here are that first, Obama supporters are somehow responsible for the actions of all other Obama supporters, and second, that Clinton was somehow this naif in the woods, unable to understand the rhetorical fire she was playing with by attempting to emphasize her support amongst white, rural voters and the necessary racial tension there. Frankly, she should have dropped out or run a conceded race rather than stooping to that sort of campaigning, and when I hear Clinton supporters deny that there was anything troubling there in her campaign's use of race (or anything untoward in her remarks regarding RFK—for a further analysis, you really should see Da Shiv's excellent comment), I'm astounded. It's like dealing with the "opinion" that we're safer for having gone into Iraq, or the "opinion" that oil woes can be solved by going to Alaska, or the "opinion" that if you're not with us you're against us, or even just the "opinion" that the Goo Goo Dolls are better than the Replacements.

From what I've seen, I think Clinton would be a fairly good president, and at least an order of magnitude better than the one we've had these last eight years. When she gets wonkish, she's got an amazing analytical mind, and she can grasp complexities of large systems pretty well. What she is not good at is being a politician, something that both Obama and Bush are very good at. And that lack of acumen politically makes her prone to missteps, prone to pandering and prone to making choices based on ambition rather than principle. Many of those faults would be minimized by her actually being president, but to be president she has to win elections.

Not only that, but she shares most of the faults that Obama has—a poor (public) understanding of globalization, a less-than-progressive view of homosexuality, a tendency to over-estimate the relevance of limited experience. The distance between the two is slim.

Look, frankly, she'd be the nominee if not for the retarded historical anomaly that happened with Florida and Michigan. She would have won small-to-moderate victories in both, she would have been able to keep raising money and able to maintain her momentum, and she'd have victories in two key swing states in a way that she just doesn't now. The people of Michigan and Florida screwed her, and it sucks to lose essentially by that fluke. But it's similar to Al Gore or John Kerry in that it should never have been that close in the first place. If she'd run a decent campaign, or if Penn hadn't been such an idiot (a fair amount of blame should go to the people she had as her staff, as they both emphasized her worst characteristics and failed to capitalize on her positive attributes), Michigan and Florida wouldn't have mattered.

But that's not what happened. Instead, it feels like watching a hockey game right before the playoffs, where the team that's already out of contention is laying on a lot of cheap shots and getting chippy. It's like watching the old Blackhawks with Bob Probert willing to check people from behind in the third period, down by three goals.

So yeah, expect people to be a little annoyed when it looks like Clinton's only after hurting Obama, with no possible gain on her part. And acknowledge that it's happening, that it's not just "opinion," and don't pretend that all opinions are equally valid.
posted by klangklangston at 12:10 PM on May 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


it looks like Clinton's only after hurting Obama, with no possible gain on her part

If she has her lapdog Ferraro endorsing McCain, as a bizarre statement on behalf of all pro-Hillary feminists, and then she describes herself as a candidate representing working-class white Americans, it's pretty obvious Hillary wants to hurt Obama's campaign enough so that she can run against McCain in 2012.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2008


Hillary is now a Republican, and Obama is the new Bill Clinton; someone who can do no wrong. G-d, that guy better lose.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 12:30 PM on May 27, 2008




Funny, but not true.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 12:39 PM on May 27, 2008


I'll have the vodka martini, very dirty with extra olives, double shot of the well. (pls hurry up 4/november)
posted by dawson at 7:31 PM on May 27, 2008


>>One of Obama's top advisers was forced to resign after calling her an absolute monster on the record.

-Yeah, and that was also some trumped-up bullshit which Clinton proxies used to distract during a media lull.
-THANK HEAVEN WE HAVE CHASED THAT POISONOUS MONSTER SAMANTHA POWER AWAY FROM OUR PUBLIC DISCOURSE!


Damn, you guys are so defensive. I was simply responding to this: Clinton is not being painted as an absolute monster.

Well, yes, she is, by Powers and by many here. Maybe it's even fair. But you don't have to fight and scrabble over every little point. Show some magnaminity.
posted by msalt at 9:46 AM on May 28, 2008


"Damn, you guys are so defensive. I was simply responding to this: Clinton is not being painted as an absolute monster.

Well, yes, she is, by Powers and by many here. Maybe it's even fair. But you don't have to fight and scrabble over every little point. Show some magnaminity.
"

And I was responding to Citron's bullshit, where she was using a straw man to attack discourse here.

But really? Many here? I haven't seen that in this discussion. I've seen a fairly reasoned appraisal by some folks who happen to support Obama, and a wash of straw-men, bad faith argumentation, fallacies and outright bullshit from a few Clinton supporters, including you.

Perhaps this will make it more clear—I have no problem with Kyrademon over this, and think she presented her case fairly and with grace. She's not putting forth personal attacks on other members and then asking for magnanimity when she's called on it. That's actually a pretty clear example of the behavior of SOME Clinton supporters (especially her quasi-official proxies) that disgusts me, this tu quoque viciousness that's replaced by a retreat to blaming all critiques on sexism when she reaps the returns.

I mean, you can't even get the quote right: "In a March 6 interview with The Scotsman, she said: "We fucked up in Ohio. In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win." "She is a monster, too -- that is off the record -- she is stooping to anything... You just look at her and think, 'Ergh.' But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.""

She got called a "monster" (not an "absolute monster") over a quote that in context makes it clear that she's objecting to Clinton's duplicitous campaigning in Ohio, where Clinton really did argue that Obama's economic policies—even as they are almost exactly the same—were going to cost jobs.

And without getting too much into the politics of essentialism, the claim above was that it was due ONLY TO HER SEX that she was being demonized, when this comment came from a woman (let alone that "monster" isn't particularly gendered language).

Look, Clinton is fighting and has been fighting a scorched-earth campaign, and it's a little fucking galling to be blamed even ancillarily for the collateral damage that she is responsible for.
posted by klangklangston at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


let alone that "monster" isn't particularly gendered language

Oh, it's all gendered, as we found out this spring. Fuck, even heretofore innocuous phrases like "likeable enough", and using a candidate's first name (even if it's all over her promo material) are now dripping with misogynistic overtones.
posted by psmealey at 11:36 AM on May 28, 2008


And I was responding to Citron's bullshit, where she was using a straw man to attack discourse here.

OK. I guess you confused me by quoting my words when you were referring to Citron. I plead guilty to fudging the difference between your phrase "absolute monster" and Powers' simple "monster". Is that the "straw-men, bad faith argumentation, fallacies and outright bullshit" you accuse me of? Seems like a pretty harsh description, especially when you go on about "scorched-earth campaign", etc.

Would you have been happy if I had said "OK, no one is calling her an ABSOLUTE monster, but they are calling her a monster."? Seems like kind of a petty point.
posted by msalt at 2:06 PM on May 28, 2008


Msalt: We started here, with Citron. That's where the absolute monster thing came up. I called bullshit, and still would argue that the statement was overblown by Clinton proxies, and that her statement was directly arguing that sexism was responsible.

But you not only said that one of Obama's proxies was referring to Clinton as an absolute monster (which is wrong, but quibbling), but also that many here were as well. I took, and still take, "here" to refer to this discussion, and I simply have not seen it. That's what I mean by straw-men, bad faith argumentation and outright bullshit, especially when coupled with a plea for graciousness.
posted by klangklangston at 3:24 PM on May 28, 2008


Clinton '08: Bad faith argumentation and outright bullshit, especially when coupled with a plea for graciousness.
posted by psmealey at 6:26 PM on May 28, 2008


klangklangston -- I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. That people haven't used the word monster here? They've said Hillary is a "loudmouth idiot", "shouldn't even be a Senator", that Nixon would be proud of her, etc. and got favorited for it. If that is way different than "monster", I stand corrected.

I agree this was a weak FPP. I really like this comment of yours. I'm not even a Clinton supporter, more of an Obama skeptic. She failed, clearly, though it's the closest primary battle I know of in US history. I want Obama to be all that his fans think he is, I really do, but I think the naive faith and bitter recriminations of many his supporters against anyone who dares to challenge his godliness will hurt us in November.

And your slams on my comments are a good example of what krydaemon's warning against. Here's what I said: -- 1, 2. 3. 4. 5. I think the harshest thing I said was that many people here call her a monster. Do you really think that's "bad faith argumentation and outright bullshit"? That I'm the one personally attacking members here, not you?
posted by msalt at 6:36 PM on May 28, 2008


If that is way different than "monster", I stand corrected.

I never called her a monster or anything close to it. Please do not put words in my mouth. Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:50 PM on May 28, 2008


OK, sorry. I stand corrected. The worst you said was personally was "complete idiot," though of course I wasn't singling you out.
posted by msalt at 11:31 PM on May 28, 2008


Msalt—I'm sorry. I saw you as ignoring my legitimate complaints and as attempting to buttress Citron's bullshit. I still disagree with your characterization of the thread, especially in that I think that the negative comments made about Clinton here were pretty specific—she's a loud-mouthed idiot because she said something stupid and desperate, as opposed to just being condemned ad hominem. But I do apologize for using heated language, and I hope you can understand what my complaints were.
posted by klangklangston at 1:55 PM on May 29, 2008


Sure, and nice of you to say that. I mean, yeah Hillary has been pretty awful in this campaign, I would never dispute that.

I think a lot of us (including me) are conflating what the candidates and their off-Metafilter fans say with people here and that's no good. There has been sexism against Clinton -- more than racism against Obama, to my eye -- but not here, much. Even Citron I think was only talking about oneirodynia's "Red Queen" comment, not anything you said.

My theory is, the most important campaigning is really done person to person by supporters. My Obama skepticism doesn't come from him or his record (not that much info to go on, really) -- it's more of a reaction to my (offline) friends who are obnoxious Obamaniacs, kinda like Grateful Dead fans or acidheads in their smug, "you just don't understand" kind of attitude.
posted by msalt at 3:25 PM on May 29, 2008


That's a thoroughly retarded reason to be skeptical. But I think you probably recognize that.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 PM on May 29, 2008


Just being honest. I don't know that it's especially retarded in this particular case, since no one really has any idea what Obama would do as president. He's largely a social phenomenon at this point. And mob-like hero worship of politicans is not one of my favorite things.
posted by msalt at 9:18 PM on May 30, 2008


no one really has any idea what Obama would do as president.

And that's different from any other non-incumbent how? In 2000, did anyone predict that George Bush was going to take us into a war using false justification or disable the federal government to the point where our reponse to a natural disaster left thousands of people in danger?

You can judge non-incumbents on only two things: character and record. To say that Obama (or HIllary) is a "social phenomenon" is to minimize both and to dismiss the judgments of serious people who have examined both. To some extent, support for any candidate capable of getting enough votes to be noticed is a "social phenomenon;" that says nothing about their ability to govern, in and of itself.
posted by Miko at 9:26 AM on May 31, 2008 [1 favorite]




different from any other non-incumbent how? ...You can judge non-incumbents on only two things: character and record.

Different from H. Clinton and McCain because they have very long histories in the public eye, we know how they think and react and who they make deals with, etc. They have baggage.

Obama has essentially no record. 2 years in the Senate marked by doing very little (and fair enough, no Senator accomplishes much in their first two years, the place doesn't work that way.) Illinois State Senate is so far removed from the presidency that it doesn't really tell us much. He also has not been in the public eye that long before that, so we don't have much basis for judging his character. He doesn't really have a very specific platform he's running on, either.

Essentially, all we have to go on are 1) his books (well received,tl/dr) 2) his speeches (universal acclaim), and 3) how he has handled this campaign (I would say, pretty damn well, though not perfect by any stretch.)

He's a gamble, just as much as say Clarence Thomas was for the Supreme Court. I feel pretty good about this gamble, but if I was say, a Midwestern 60ish farmer suspicious of both parties and generally aggrieved with the world, I'm not sure what I'd make of him. And I would draw some conclusions from the people going on and on about him -- what do I think of those folks?
posted by msalt at 12:23 PM on May 31, 2008


Illinois State Senate is so far removed from the presidency that it doesn't really tell us much.

Why not? Here's an example of his work in the Illinois State Senate which I think speaks quite well of him.
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on May 31, 2008


Just out of curiosity, 'cause it has nothing to do with Obama or Clinton, but is it really OK to say 'retarded?' Gay is out, but retarded is OK? I think if you had a special needs child or relative you might think differently.
posted by fixedgear at 12:47 PM on May 31, 2008


is it really OK to say 'retarded'?

In this case it seems pretty apt, both in the original sense -- insufficiently matured or developed, mentally -- and with the cute Genx kiddish talk inflection. (Except that FFF is wrong, of course, but that's not a language issue.) Do stupid people take offense when someone is called stupid? It's just an extreme of that.

his work in the Illinois State Senate

Interesting, thanks. 2 good bills. But it's a bit like saying "Sure this kid can play in the NBA. One time, in high school, he scored 46 points in a game!" In fact, Obama is very analogous to a college freshman leaping to the NBA, except in his case he was a capable but unremarkable bench player in his only college year (metaphorically speaking).
posted by msalt at 2:02 PM on May 31, 2008


And I would draw some conclusions from the people going on and on about him -- what do I think of those folks?

they can't be any worse than THESE folks
posted by pyramid termite at 2:24 PM on May 31, 2008


I have mentally handicapped family.

The words "stupid", "idiot", and "retard" are all words used in the past to classify the mental capabilities of people. Now they are not.

Language changes.

There certainly are going to be people who somehow construe the word as being a personal insult to their kith and kin. These same people don't seem to have a problem with the word "idiot," though, so I'm disinclined to believe their offense has any real grounding.

Certainly when I hear someone use language like that, it never for a moment crosses my mind that they are disparaging the character or quality of my handicapped family. For the life of me I do not see how they could be: they don't know my family and they're not using it as an epithet against the "class" of people who constitute my handicapped uncle's population.

I very much want it to be taken back into the language, because I feel that separates it even further from the old usage. I want the old discriminatory power of that word to be neutered.

So I use the word. It's a great word for describing some behaviours.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:30 PM on May 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting link, termite.

I wonder if Hillary represents the new right wing.

This would be a wonderful thing for the USA. It would certainly bring your wonky politics back toward the center. Compared to other nations, the left wing isn't left wing at all. Having the democratic party split, to become the new left- and right-wing would help fix that.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:35 PM on May 31, 2008


On the other hand, there's the distinct chance that America might shoot itself in the foot again.

I'm sorry, but McCain is simply the worst possible choice for President. Heck, out of all the candidates that ran, he's one of the worst choices. The man is not going to be able to do what it takes to bring the USA back from the edge of disaster.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:00 PM on May 31, 2008


Well, I think McCain is better than, say, every other Republican. But that doesn't matter, nor do Hillary's supporters. Those candidates are toast.

It's Obama vs. McCain now. (And Bob Barr! Yay! And maybe Ron Paul too? Can I hope? And, pathetically, Ralph Nader.) Don't be a dick to anyone who might vote for Obama, in such a way that they might not. Is that asking so much? Or is your anger more important than control of the Supreme Court?
posted by msalt at 2:09 AM on June 1, 2008


Or is your anger more important than control of the Supreme Court?

I think that may be a question better posed to Clinton supporters.
posted by scody at 2:11 AM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


no one really has any idea what Obama would do as president.

Get used to seeing that, because it will be repeated about 30 times per day from now until the election (most often by people that don't care about policy 3.5 years of every 4, and don't really have much of a grasp of it). It will be used as a tool to assail his inexperience, his youth, his lack of knowledge of "how things work" inside the Beltway, and that he's likely a crypto-Muslim waiting to enslave God-fearing Christian Americans and will supplant the Constitution with Shari'a.

It's also total bullshit.

Hillary Clinton has been so hawkish and anti-Democratic in so many of her foreign policy votes and pronouncements, I don't have any idea what's she'd do as President either, but at least I know enough to NOT WANT. Same with McCain.
posted by psmealey at 7:25 AM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I think McCain is better than, say, every other Republican.

Other than he's likely to cack it before the term is up, and he's apparently suffering senile dementia.

I thought there were more minor candidates, but it appears I'm mistaken. So I guess the selection is one of three truly awful candidates.

I don't understand why the Republican party would choose to self-destruct in this manner. McCain is the best they've got to offer? Unpossible.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 AM on June 1, 2008


McCain is the best they've got to offer? Unpossible.

Their party's empty of ideas at this point, and no one wants to go onto the chopping block. Most of the thinkers behind the Bush regime have taken their profits and decided to sit this one out. The right wing of the Republican party has controlled the government for a long time, but their policies haven't worked well, and we've now deficits, spiralling debt, a foreign policy mess with no easy way out, looming healthcare and social security crises - and these are things they really have no ideas for. Looks like they're going to throw this one, for the most part, and if McCain by some miracle got elected, they'd at least get a Supreme Court nomination or two out of him, likely. But the powerful and tightly organized and radically ideological Republican Party of 2000 or 2004 definitely is no more.
posted by Miko at 2:59 PM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


But the powerful and tightly organized and radically ideological Republican Party of 2000 or 2004 definitely is no more.

Very interesting article by George Packer in the New Yorker last week on exactly this topic:
Only a few years ago, on the night of Bush’s victory in 2004, the conservative movement seemed indomitable. In fact, it was rapidly falling apart. Conservatives knew how to win elections; however, they turned out not to be very interested in governing.
posted by scody at 3:11 PM on June 1, 2008


>>Or is your anger more important than control of the Supreme Court?
I think that may be a question better posed to Clinton supporters.


Wow, bitter much? However made you might be at Hillary for her campaigning tactics, that is her, not her supporters. They do not deserve bitterness on her behalf, and it certainly is no way to make sure they sure they vote for Obama.

"no one really has any idea what Obama would do as president" is total bullshit.

Which response do you think is more useful? WHAT YOU SAY IS BULLSHIT, or "Here's what Obama would do...?" I've been asking his supporters this question all year, and it's very rare than any of the many Obama supporters I know have an answer beyond "make it all better." I don't think that will cut it in November with swing voters.
posted by msalt at 3:36 PM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dude, I'm not bitter. (Hell, I'm not even a Democrat.) I'm just being realistic: some (many?) Hillary supporters are so angry about the outcome of the primaries that they are threatening to vote for McCain. Your question -- is your anger more important than control of the Supreme Court -- is therefore more directly pertinent to ask of them.
posted by scody at 3:40 PM on June 1, 2008


msalt at 6:36 PM on June 1 [+] [!]

.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 3:49 PM on June 1, 2008


Yes, clearly there is no confluence between Clintosn desire to see McCain elected and that of her supporters.
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on June 1, 2008


Assuming HRC doesn't get the nomination (at least two data point upticks in that hope today), her hope is for BHO to lose, and for her to give it a go in four years.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 4:16 PM on June 1, 2008


Which response do you think is more useful? WHAT YOU SAY IS BULLSHIT, or "Here's what Obama would do...?" I've been asking his supporters this question all year, and it's very rare than any of the many Obama supporters I know have an answer beyond "make it all better." I don't think that will cut it in November with swing voters.

Look, you get that answer, because at its heart, it's a bullshit question. What will I do if it rains the day after tomorrow? I don't know. What if it doesn't rain? Maybe there will be a hurricane, or an earthquake, or maybe it will be a beautiful day and we'll be attacked by terrorists.

It's a question that's mostly asked by people that can't be bothered to read up on, or learn about policy. It was repeated often in 1992. What? Bill Clinton? He's too young, the governor of a tiny state. Smart guy, Rhodes Scholar, but cheated on his wife and didn't go to Vietnam. He says he'll make things better, but what am I to believe? Fast forward to 2000, Bush speaking of "humble foreign policy", no nation building, blah, blah, blah.

You can't predict the future, and you would do ever worse trying to predict another person's responses to future events. That's why it's a bullshit question.

You can read up on all his policy positions, you can understand his voting records, and trace his through process through his many, many writings over the years, but you cannot know "what he would do" any more than you can know what Hillary would do.

And finally, make up your own mind, do your own research. If you demand from random Obama supporters to make the case for you, you're probably not going to get a satisfactory answer regardless.
posted by psmealey at 5:18 PM on June 1, 2008 [2 favorites]


They do not deserve bitterness on her behalf

You think?
posted by psmealey at 5:27 PM on June 1, 2008


You think?

Damn, those folks goin' downright boinkery!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 PM on June 1, 2008


psmealey -- I have spent quality time with Obama's website, and it seems unusually vague and generic even for a politician. We have his health plan, and a promise to start pulling out of Iraq right away (which gets a bit vaguer as you look more closely.) And a bunch of platitudes. "Obama believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security." etc.

Interesting you should mention Bill Clinton. He was infamously wonky and had an incredibly detailed platform when he ran. People had a very clear idea of what he would do. Or look at the "Contract With America" in 1994. Republicans took Congress by having a very clear list of proposals that resonated with people.

If neither Obama nor his (very fervent) supporters can articulate what his plan is, that's a problem. And insulting those who ask isn't going fix it.
posted by msalt at 5:52 PM on June 1, 2008


Dude, I'm not bitter. (Hell, I'm not even a Democrat.) I'm just being realistic: some (many?) Hillary supporters are so angry about the outcome of the primaries that they are threatening to vote for McCain.

OK, sorry. I took your comment to be an Obama fan saying "WE don't need to reconcile, THEY need to reconcile." I stand corrected.

All I'm saying is that the Democratic party is very closely divided. Now that Obama has won, both sides need to reconcile. There is a haughty, aggrieved tone from many Obama supporters, in my opinion, that helps only McCain. Ditto the angry, "we got screwed" tone of many Clinton supporters. We don't have the luxury of "she hit me first", "his supporters are sexist", etc.
posted by msalt at 6:03 PM on June 1, 2008


No one has won yet; not until the superdelegates vote; they are free to switch until then.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 6:17 PM on June 1, 2008


Given that enough Rushbots went out and did their dark master's bidding, ie. posed as Democrats so as to throw the primary votes, it wouldn't surprise me that a good number of the near-hysterical Clinton criers are not long-time Democrat voters, but recently-recanted Republicans or even Republican posers.

I think it's a shame Edwards isn't in the race. The guy had some very decent ideas about social responsibility.

Why can't Hillary run in the primaries next time around? Is there some sort of weird "one strike, you're out" rule?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:18 PM on June 1, 2008


(vote in Denver)
posted by BrooklynCouch at 6:19 PM on June 1, 2008


msalt, you're either lazy or disingenuous, but that particular line of bullshit that you're slinging is infuriating to deal with for a supporter of any candidate.

Here's a question for you -- who do you support?

Then we can put you on the spot with bullshit hypotheticals and ask you a bunch of questions that could have been easily answered by spending 10 minutes on the candidates website.
posted by empath at 6:35 PM on June 1, 2008


Obama-Edwards--probably even a better way than Obama-Clinton to elect McCain.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 6:35 PM on June 1, 2008


hasn't this thread become Chatfilter?
posted by BrooklynCouch at 6:37 PM on June 1, 2008


Assuming HRC doesn't get the nomination (at least two data point upticks in that hope today), her hope is for BHO to lose, and for her to give it a go in four years.

Excellent analysis, BPPC.
posted by homunculus at 7:36 PM on June 1, 2008


You need to read the right-of-center blogs to know what is going on. Neither Huffington Post and Kos, nor television news has a clue.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 7:45 PM on June 1, 2008


Check this out. It's a tie. Denver will be Circus City.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 7:49 PM on June 1, 2008


You somehow must have gotten the mistaken assumption that the primary was based on the popular vote. It's not. It's based on delegates. Under that measurement, Obama has a clear lead.
posted by empath at 8:04 PM on June 1, 2008


I know it's based on delegates, but I don't think that will be enough to avoid a 1968-ish Convention.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 8:06 PM on June 1, 2008


who do you support?

For US president in 2008? Obama. I don't see another reasonable choice. However, I do not know, and can not honestly tell anyone who asks me, what he will do (or try to do) if elected. Which puts me in an awkward spot as a supporter, and makes me worry that undecideds will decide he's a no-substance trendy politician, and they've known John McCain for decades and will go with him.

Why is it so angering that someone would ask what your candidate's big issues are? I've spent a lot of time on his website, it's not at all clear to me. You can call the question bullshit all day and night, but it doesn't change the fact that you can't answer it.
posted by msalt at 8:11 PM on June 1, 2008


It's an easily answered question.

His big issues are a more humble foreign policy, getting out of Iraq, making the tax code more progressive, making college more affordable, encouraging national service, and expanding health care. It's right on the website, and in most of his speeches.
posted by empath at 8:22 PM on June 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


You need to read the right-of-center blogs to know what is going on

Yeah, blogs are an awesome source of unbiased fact!

It's an easily answered question.


Absolutely, and to put the responsibility on others to educate yourself about a candidate you might support is nothing more than lazy. This "Obama is vague" thing is a message developed by those who oppose him, and just untrue. I'm looking at Obama's website right now, the Issues section, and thinking that you're probably just reading the introductory summary blurbs if you think there's no deatil. I'm wondering if you've downloaded the Blueprint for Change. What are your thoughts on his plan to address the mortgage loan crisis? What about the details of his energy policy? What do you think about the employment eligibility program he's developing with Sen. Grassley to require employers to document their applicants' INS status? Where are things too vague for you?

I mean, let's be honest - we're going into this election with far, far, FAR more information about all the candidates' plans than ever before in human history. The degree of detail and number of specific issues addressed is astounding - it's a campaign for the information age. The problem is, the detail is boring, which is why I suspect you aren't raising a single question about the detail, msalt - only saying "there isn't enough." Well, what do you want? Can you pull out a few segment where you feel there's a goal that's unsupported by the accompanying plan? If there's not enough, have you written the campaign to ask? You can.

We don't elect presidents on plans. That would be utterly foolish, since there are far too many unpredictable variables to a presidency. They can't possibly know what the true condition of the budgets they'll be working with is. They can't predict the national and international crises that might occur. They can't know whether they'll have legislative support from the Congress or be working within a hostile environment. All of these are the things that break presidential plans, as we have seen in every single adminstration in living memory. No - though we might support particular plans, it's not the plans themselves we should be voting on - it's the positions, the philosophical orientations of the candidates. Once in office, they'll have to prioritize. They'll have to assimilate information and parameters we really can't imaging. They'll put their hand-picked, hopefully talented appointees in important offices and give them directives to move programs forward, and those programs will be shaped by changing realities. So don't vote for the plan. Vote for the person. What kinds of people will they appoint? What will they be putting first on the priority list? How much do you trust them? Do you think they have the ability to lead others - the others who are going to write the detailed reports and do the data analysis? That's what to vote for. I believe in learning plan specifics because they are important clues to beliefs, priorities, and the depth of understanding a candidate has on each of the major issues. But not because I'm naive enough to think that it's all going to unfold just as written on the paper. It's important that the plans have been thought through, but on election day, I'm not voting for a specific plan. I'm voting for a leader.
posted by Miko at 9:01 PM on June 1, 2008 [7 favorites]


Good luck with that.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 9:12 PM on June 1, 2008


And good luck with your bitter and cynical attitude, BrooklynCouch.

Keep reading your right-wing blogs, though. And, er, good luck with that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:25 PM on June 1, 2008


We don't elect presidents on plans. That would be utterly foolish, since there are far too many unpredictable variables to a presidency.

That, and they tend to be absolute liars.

So you're left with electing them based on character and on the party's overall philosophy.

The Republicans know they are unelectable. Bush not only screwed the pooch for them, but had it waterboarded and then put on a prison ship to be disappeared.

BC was a staunch Republican (read: Bush) supporter in past years. Now he's cheering for Hillary. Just like Rush told him to do.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 PM on June 1, 2008


FFF, I am afraid to respond publically, so I sent you a private mefimail.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 10:39 PM on June 1, 2008


Can you pull out a few segments where you feel there's a goal that's unsupported by the accompanying plan?

Yes, and I did, quoting the Blueprint for Change.

So don't vote for the plan. Vote for the person. What kinds of people will they appoint? What will they be putting first on the priority list?

The priority list? I call that a plan. What they put on their priority list is crucial.

Well, what do you want?

I want exactly what empath said. A short, clear summary of what Obama will push for. And it seems like a pretty reasonable request.

Empath is the first of a dozen Obama supporters I've asked who have given me any answer at all (and it was a good one.) How much common sense do you need to realize that "Your question is BULLSHIT and you're lazy!" is not a good answer? That insulting people for daring to ask makes both you and your candidate look bad?
posted by msalt at 10:39 PM on June 1, 2008


I want exactly what empath said.

But... no: you previously implied you wanted more detailed position papers, a la Bill Clinton in 1992. (A few of which Miko supplied -- including, for example, an 11-page paper on his energy plan -- which you, in turn, neatly sidestepped.) Now you say all you wanted was a one-sentence summary of Obama's entire platform? Which you were presumably unable to come up with by yourself even after "spending quality time" on his website?

As others have said, this is either disingenuous or lazy. After all, you can't honestly mean to suggest that empath's 30-word précis is, in fact, the first time you've been informed at any point in the past year that Obama's platform includes getting out of Iraq, expanding health care, making college more affordable, encouraging national service, a less aggressive foreign policy, and instituting a more progressive tax code.

Throw in a fairly obvious penchant for moralizing lectures as to how Obama supporters "should" behave (towards you, towards Clinton supporters, etc.), and it seems unsurprising to me that numerous people find your comments insulting. As always, YMMV.
posted by scody at 12:31 AM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


Interesting you should mention Bill Clinton. He was infamously wonky and had an incredibly detailed platform when he ran. People had a very clear idea of what he would do. Or look at the "Contract With America" in 1994. Republicans took Congress by having a very clear list of proposals that resonated with people.

Actually, that's exactly why I mentioned Bill Clinton. Despite Clinton's exhaustively detailed answers to policy questions on the campaign trail in 1992, there still was the whole whisper campaign that he had to fight with "this guy keeps talking about change, what's he going to do anyway". Same with Obama. Obama has given similarly detailed answers in debates, and in the policy papers on his site, yet, it's still easy for people to say "I don't know who he is, don't trust him" instead of evaluate for themselves.

Yes, Hillary Clinton has an extraordinarily detailed grasp of the nuts and bolts of policy, but then so did Nixon and Carter. Doesn't necessarily translate into great leadership.
posted by psmealey at 3:47 AM on June 2, 2008


The difference is that the aforementioned candidates had a siginificant track record. Obama is something a little better than student government. Sure, you can place faith in his ethos, but that's not reassuring to many people.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 4:18 AM on June 2, 2008


McCain has a track record of voting with the right wing of his party better than 92% of the time, and has more or less endorsed the main policy planks of the current administration (indefinite war in Iraq, permanent tax cuts).

Clinton won two terms as Senator (against two incredibly weak rivals) based largely on her spouse's political connections. She flubbed and still continues to fudge her most important vote, and has been notoriously slippery on all of her other actions in that most deliberative of bodies.

Obama's lack of track record may or may not be a point against him, but it's pretty clear that he's devoted the last 20 years of his life to public service, and he's one of few candidates that came all the way up from the minors, succeeded at every level, and has put together a very well functioning and effective national campaign. The "student government" crack is hyperbolic nonsense.

Funny, for decades we were talking about the fact the Senatorial experience was by and large, terrible experience for a President to have (too much "inside the Beltway", too much talk, talk, talk, not enough action and direct accountability), and now our guy is being pilloried for not having enough experience in the Senate. If you ask me, two years in the Senate is just fine. Any more than that, and he starts talking out of all sides of his mouth, just like his impressive rival.
posted by psmealey at 4:42 AM on June 2, 2008


I am not arguing the merits of Obama (and definitely not on a branch of Metafilter!); just the analysis by which Obama is feared by many, both those who voted for HRC, and those who have/will vote for McCain.

Hey, I nearly cried when Romney bowed out.

PS: remember, while President Bush has a 30% approval rating, the Democratic-controlled Congress has one of 18.7%.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 4:49 AM on June 2, 2008


Yes, it's mediocre experience. And two mediocres don't make a Wright.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 4:52 AM on June 2, 2008


PS: remember, while President Bush has a 30% approval rating, the Democratic-controlled Congress has one of 18.7%.

Couple of things about that: overall approval rating doesn't mean much, you have to break it down race by race. Even if it is an indicator, there are more GOP incumbents this time around than Dems.

"Democratic-controlled Congress" is a neat talking point, but the fact of the matter is that the Senate has been 49-49+Lieberman for almost the entire term (Tim Johnson on leave since Dec 06), and that the majority has not been enough to override a Presidential veto. Particularly this President, who has gotten very veto happy in the last two years.
posted by psmealey at 5:00 AM on June 2, 2008


Hey, I nearly cried when Romney bowed out.

Wow, as much as I have criticized HRC for being insincere/inauthentic, Romney makes her look Patti Smith by comparison.
posted by psmealey at 5:06 AM on June 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


That insulting people for daring to ask makes both you and your candidate look bad?

Scody's response said everything mine would have in beautifully concise and direct form. The last piece I want to address is this one. I don't believe in conflating supporters with candidates. Anyone who's ever become President has been supported by deeply intelligent and thoughtful people and also by ignorant people making a fairly shallow decision. It takes a lot of people to elect a President, and no one in their right mind would like all of them. Each of us has one vote, and a responsibility to use it in the way we believe would best improve the country. I can't imagine voting for a candidate for any other reason than that I believe s/he is the best choice to lead the country, based on platform and character. That person's supporters might vex me, irritate me, please me, make me proud, make me cringe, whatever - but it's not going to affect my vote much. You don't need to go far beyond the candidate

In this campaign I'm hearing hear many more challenges of this "convince me" sort - accompanied with the underlying threat "and if I don't like your attitude, I won't support your candidate." That kind of thinking is not about the candidate or policy or about leading the country. It's about something else.

I think maybe the consumer/advertising emphasis in our culture has encouraged a lot of people to consider the choice of political representatives as a product that they're being sold - which means they think they should be able to sit back and have the Three Majors clamor for their attention with a simple, repetitive pitch like an ad for a Kia Sportage or Taco Bell. Or that campaign workers should be acting like car salesmen: "What can I do to get you behind the wheel of a John McCain today?" Even though campaigns have always embraced advertising-world tactics, the degree to which the public sees themselves as consumers of a candidate rather than voters acting for the good of their country, is starting to be disturbing. The candidates do of course have a responsibility to articulate their position, and campaign workers to educate voters about their candidate. But basing a vote on another person's supporters is reactive and misses the point. The miscellany of supporters in the world aren't responsible for your vote. If you have concrete questions or concerns about a candidate, get informed! Call the local campaign office. Write to the campaign itself. Do some research - not just on the candidate's website, but in other places like Election Guides and VoteSmart. Endorsements can help: Obama, Clinton, McCain. Identify some causes you care about and see who advocacy and education groups working in that cause have endorsed, and why. Look at Congressional endorsements. See who your local paper endorses and why. There are a lot of good sources for helping you determine whom to support.

Blaming random people on the street for not representing their candidate to you in a way that makes things easy for you is no way to go about an election decision (and you claim not to want that, since that's what the website pages are designed to do). It's not their job to convince you, a stranger on the internet, to vote one way or another. If someone else's opinion has some sway with you, so be it, but it's not their job or their responsibility to capture your vote. And it's not your best way to determine who represents what you really believe in. If you care about knowing the candidates and making an informed vote, only you can do the research and thinking you will need to do to come to a decision.

Now, if you are interested in asking why others support who they support, and in discussing the details of the plans and how you think they would work or not once put into effect, I am fairly sure you could get an excellent and insightful conversation here. But asking people to make a case for your vote based on information readily available elsewhere is a good use of nobody's time and a loosey-goosey way of deciding who to vote for.
posted by Miko at 8:58 AM on June 2, 2008 [6 favorites]


Holy crap. I can't believe this thread isn't dead. I'd like to direct a hearty "shut the fuck up you fucking albanian" to Bill O'Reilly up there, an "omigod are you fucking insane" to anybody who is seriously contemplating voting for McCain now that Hillary's campaign is a crispy critter, and bid all and sundry a pleasant afternoon where you guys it is really nice outside.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:13 AM on June 2, 2008


Patti Smith? You're showin your age, sir...
posted by BrooklynCouch at 10:52 AM on June 2, 2008




You can't predict the future, and you would do ever worse trying to predict another person's responses to future events. That's why it's a bullshit question.

You can read up on all his policy positions, you can understand his voting records, and trace his through process through his many, many writings over the years, but you cannot know "what he would do" any more than you can know what Hillary would do.


This is absolutely true, and I can't believe anyone takes seriously politicians' statements of what they'll do if elected, which are entirely driven by the political currents of the campaign. FDR promised to balance the budget, Johnson to save us from a land war in Asia, Nixon to end the Vietnam War, GWB to practice "compassionate conservatism"... the list is endless. You vote for the person who seems, on the whole, least likely to fuck the country up, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.

Also: BrooklynCouch, didn't you promise to stay out of political discussions?
posted by languagehat at 11:09 AM on June 2, 2008


It's ok. I'm going to murder everyone who plans to vote Republican in the presidential election before November comes. Paypal me some cash for bullets, garrotes, explosives, etc if you think this is a worthy cause.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:12 AM on June 2, 2008


Patti Smith? You're showin your age, sir...

Well, to be fair, Ian MacKaye is more of a contemporary of mine than Patti, but she was the most famous person I could think of that wasn't totally full of it. Also, that's the great thing about turning 40. Once it happens to you, you just don't care about showing your age.
posted by psmealey at 11:14 AM on June 2, 2008


Languagehat, I thought it over, and decided I am capable of limiting my tendancy to go extreme rhetorically. Also, I switched meds, and MH needs to increase page views.
posted by BrooklynCouch at 11:31 AM on June 2, 2008


(besides, with comments like that of Burhanstan's, above, I will start seeming more and more reasonable to you)
posted by BrooklynCouch at 11:32 AM on June 2, 2008


Your meds must've not kicked in in time for that Obama apostasy thread earlier, hmm?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2008


Murdering GOP supporters is eminently reasonable. And fun!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:33 AM on June 2, 2008


languagehat: FDR promised to balance the budget

Wait... wasn't FDR famously a deficit-hawk? New Deal historian Eric Rauchway said this the other day on his blog:
Remember, FDR remained, throughout the New Deal, a fiscal conservative leery of deficits and of direct payments to citizens.
And this, from a Time Magazine profile of John Maynard Keynes:
As the Depression wore on, Roosevelt tried public works, farm subsidies and other devices to restart the economy, but he never completely gave up trying to balance the budget. In 1938 the Depression deepened. Reluctantly, F.D.R. embraced the only new idea he hadn't yet tried, that of the bewildering British "mathematician." As the President explained in a fireside chat, "We suffer primarily from a failure of consumer demand because of a lack of buying power." It was therefore up to the government to "create an economic upturn" by making "additions to the purchasing power of the nation.
All that aside, I have to say that it's very novel to me to witness a US presidential election between, one the one hand, a candidate I think highly of but disagree with, and another candidate which I think highly of and agree with. My vast reserves of jaded cynicism seem to be pumping dry this season.
posted by Kattullus at 11:46 AM on June 2, 2008


So long BrooklynCouch, thanks for all the fish endless frustration.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:53 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


But the page views! The PAAAGE VIEEEEWS!
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:54 AM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, this certainly cured my longing for the supposedly civil good ol' days of MetaFilter. Maaaan, ParisParamus was in a class of his own.
posted by Kattullus at 12:10 PM on June 2, 2008


"BrooklynCouch's profile
This account is disabled. "

When I wished for him to be 'taken out' this wasn't what I had in mind, but it'll do.
posted by mullingitover at 12:17 PM on June 2, 2008


Well, that's one way to control your rhetoric.
posted by Miko at 12:20 PM on June 2, 2008


He seemed to be getting better, or was that just MeTa?
posted by klangklangston at 1:44 PM on June 2, 2008


He seemed to be rampin' back up in the last 24 hours. Waiting for him to hit the highwater mark again wasn't really feeling like a great plan. He (oh wait I'm sorry HIS ROOMMATE PARISPARAMUS, WHO HE IS NOT AND WHO IS NOT HIM FOR REALLY REALS) has been acting like a dingus in #mefi too, which is, y'know, fine, because #mefi can do whatever it likes.

But as far as even managing to go a week abiding by his thinnest of pledges to not stir shit, he was already going off the rails, and fuck that noise. From some one new and untested and potentially genuinely naive and trying to find the culture here? Maybe. From him? No.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:50 PM on June 2, 2008


It was just an improvement over being turned into a newt.
posted by scody at 1:51 PM on June 2, 2008


Blaming random people on the street for not representing their candidate to you [sucks] Now, if you are interested in asking why others support who they support, and in discussing the details of the plans and how you think they would work or not once put into effect, I am fairly sure you could get an excellent and insightful conversation here.

I'm mystified why you thinking I'm doing the former and not the latter. Obviously I think I AM asking why others support him. I have also looked at his websites, and I'm pretty much of a political junkie news fan. I am not ignorant or lazy or "bullshit".

But instead of "excellent and insightful conversation", I have been repeatedly attacked and insulted. Yes, Miko threw 3 links at me (but needed to insult me as lazy first) without answering the question. (The "10 page energy plan" consists of tons of blather, claims of future success (reduce oil imports by 35% by 2020 - but how?), and only 2 points of substance - a cap and trade system (which all 3 candidates support), and spending $150 billion on a laundry list that includes "clean coal" and biofuels. I'm sure McCain would support that too.) That's a perfect example of the vagueness.

So I ask people I know who strongly support him, "what's the story with this guy? What's he got?" Not random strangers on the street, but personal friends, who are lawyers, computers folk, teachers, etc., and folks on Metafilter -- who are all way above average in reading, political interest, love of Obama, ability to write, etc.

And what's the response? Anger! Bullshit! How dare you ask you lazy disingenous moralizing asshole! Not only here, but offline too. I've been into poltiics for 30 years and have never had such a negative reaction before to this simple question. "What's he stand for?" It's not a crazy Republican talking point, it's a common sense query.

And I'm already going to vote for the guy! How do you think this attitude you all are sporting plays withn independents, or bitter disappointed Clinton fans?
posted by msalt at 2:15 PM on June 2, 2008


Answer my question! Don't do it that way! ANSWER MY QUESTION! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on June 2, 2008


How do you think this attitude you all are sporting plays withn independents

I'M an independent, and I've got no problem with hardcore Obama supporters. On the other hand, your comments come off to me as both willfully obtuse and irritatingly smug.
posted by scody at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2008


msalt, your first comment in this thread called Obama supporters smug and superior." Having lobbed the first stone, I hardly think you have room to blame others for "attitude".

"what's the story with this guy? What's he got?"

And to such a vague question, what other response could you expect than "Read his platform"? Isn't that the best possible answer?

If you really want to know why people support Obama, why not try a question like this: "I'm curious as to why you all support Obama. Can anyone tell me what it is that convinces you he's the best candidate?"

If you are worried that his supporters are going to harm his chances, why not say something like "One thing that concerns me about Obama's supporters is that they tend not to talk enough about his policy. I think they should reference his plans more often."

For someone so concerned with tone, you've been acting tone-deaf in this thread.

And still, it doesn't look like you've done a lot of thinking about his record or platform. You say "I'm sure John McCain would support this too," but have you checked? For heaven's sake, it's not as though these candidates are identical. Did you notice that John McCain's website does not present a platform paper at all on energy policy? (He views it as a national security issue). More.

The one actual question you've articulated after finally looking at one of the plans is this: "(reduce oil imports by 35% by 2020 - but how?),"

In the plan, it says:
Increase Fuel Economy Standards: Obama will double fuel economy standards within 18 years. His plan will provide retooling tax credits and loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that they can build new fuel-efficient cars rather than overseas companies. Obama will also invest in advanced vehicle technology such as advanced lightweight materials and new engines.

Set National Building Efficiency Goals: Barack Obama will establish a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral, or produce zero emissions, by 2030. He'll also establish a national goal of improving new building efficiency by 50 percent and existing building efficiency by 25 percent over the next decade to help us meet the 2030 goal.

Establish a Grant Program for Early Adopters: Obama will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps to implement new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency.

Invest in a Digital Smart Grid: Obama will pursue a major investment in our utility grid to enable a tremendous increase in renewable generation and accommodate modern energy requirements, such as reliability, smart metering, and distributed storage
There is more detail on reducing dependency"Relieving the Pressure of Rising Energy Prices".

So what other questions do you have?
posted by Miko at 2:52 PM on June 2, 2008




The Comeback Id - that's a pretty awesome epithet right there.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on June 2, 2008


How do you think this attitude you all are sporting plays withn independents, or bitter disappointed Clinton fans?

Oh, and just to follow up on this point re: Clinton supporters, too.

One of my best friends is a strong Clinton supporter. She and I went out on Saturday night following the DLC decision. The following dialogue is word for word:
She: "You know, I'm just so damned disappointed."

Me: "Why's that?"

She: "I'm so disappointed in Hillary Clinton for behaving so dishonorably. I wanted more than anything in the world to vote for her this fall, but even I can see that she's just trying to cheat at this point. The only thing that should matter now is making sure McCain doesn't win."
So can we officially retire the patronizing finger-wagging to spend the rest of the election cycle tiptoeing around the delicate sensibilities of millions of Clinton supporters and independents? Speaking on behalf of the grownups in both categories who can cope just fine with political disagreements and disappointments: thanks.
posted by scody at 4:29 PM on June 2, 2008


So long BrooklynCouch, thanks for all the fish endless frustration.

I wish you'd left the messages that resulted in his being dismissed, because as it stands now I can't see any reason why he'd have been toasted.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:35 PM on June 2, 2008


NA NA NA, NA NA NA, HEY, HEY, HEY... just kidding. I have nothing but respect for Senator Clinton, she is a tenacious candidate who deserves nothing but the best life and politics have to offer.
posted by psmealey at 6:19 PM on June 2, 2008


Wow. As the instigator of this whole thread, I'd like to say I'm glad I did it for DaShiv's comment, but now I've got mixed emotions about the rest of - well, everything. On the one hand, it seemed to bring PP/BC out into the open, where he could be dealt with appropriately. On the other hand, it seemed to bring PP/BC out into the open.
posted by yhbc at 6:34 PM on June 2, 2008


er, for DLC above, read DNC.

And for "read," read reed.

posted by scody at 7:38 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Miko - I'm glad you managed a reply with only 2 insults ("tone-deaf" and "it doesn't look like you've done a lot of thinking"). I still don't see why you, psmealey and scody need to insult at all.
Obama will double fuel economy standards within 18 years. OK, I missed that one. 3 points of substance in 10 pages of vague goals. That he wants more efficient building codes says nothing. They are being upgraded for energy efficiency all the time.

Have I checked McCain's platform? Yeah just did. He does support cap-and-trade, and investment in new energy tech, just like Obama -- so what's your point? In fact, his platform is notably greener than that of Obama, who emphasizes "clean coal" and biofuels. McCain prefers nuclear power, which I don't support but has a global warming case to be made for it.

Did you notice that John McCain's website does not present a platform paper at all on energy policy?

Weak point. He puts energy under "Climate Change". You could also argue that Obama's Blueprint for America doesn't have a chapter for Climate Change, where McCain does. But it's all just quibbling over chapter headings.
posted by msalt at 4:32 AM on June 3, 2008


I still don't see why you, psmealey and scody need to insult at all.

Mostly because your many of your initial musings and questions came across as disingenuous, condescending and obnoxious ("And mob-like hero worship of politicans is not one of my favorite things", is just one of several examples here*) and combining that with an apparent persecution complex rubs people the wrong way.

I do not know if this was intentional or not, but when you complained about being insulted, you persisted in the same sort of behavior above. I'm not sure why you are so mystified that a few of us have taken it to you, but feelings being somewhat raw after 6 months of battling, it shouldn't really surprise you.

* That one particularly strikes a nerve with Obama supporters, as this was the a pat insult they have endured from HRC supporters since early on, when it looks - based on recent events - quite like they are more guilty of it themselves.
posted by psmealey at 5:11 AM on June 3, 2008


And I'm already going to vote for the guy!

if you don't know why you should vote for him, why are you voting for him?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:36 AM on June 3, 2008


you persisted in the same sort of behavior above. I'm not sure why you are so mystified that a few of us have taken it to you

Way to disprove that comment about mob-like behavior! (I only started commenting in this thread at all to point out several unnecessary insults of Clinton supporters earlier.)
posted by msalt at 7:15 AM on June 3, 2008


msalt: The reason you drew fire is this:

OK, I missed that one...Have I checked McCain's platform? Yeah just did.

You came into the thread accusing Obama supporters of not having information about the candidates and Obama's platform of being "vague," when it was clear that you yourself hadn't looked at the detail of the platform, mentioned no specific area in which you felt the need to know more, and seemed to be frustrated that other people weren't explaining it to you. Can you see why that irritated people?

Now that you have begun to look at the platform papers, if you're still finding areas you think are too vague for you, then you need to take it to the next level. Have you written to the campaign yet with your question? Have you called your local campaign office? Have you checked for the endorsements of organizations you support so that you can determine whether the rhetoric of his platform matches the goals of watchdog groups? Have you looked at his Congressional record on votes in your major areas of concern?

his platform is notably greener than that of Obama,

That's really debatable. McCain is definitely the greenest Republican we've probably ever seen, and Obama is not the biggest tree-hugger ever. But their records tell a more complicated story that really doesn't give McCain a significant advantage. This piece was interesting:
Comparing Obama vs. McCain on the Environment...

  • In 2004, both Obama and McCain were endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters (a pro-environment organization) over their Senate race opponents.

  • Both Obama and McCain support a cap-and-trade system to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by factories.

    ***...McCain and Obama's cap-and-trade proposals are very different. McCain's does not include an auction component to sell credits to emitters, Obama's does. This is important because Obama's plan will create revenue to fund education and innovation in green technology.

  • McCain and Obama oppose oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Both candidates support expansion of liquefied coal and ethanol energy technology.
    Obama and McCain have supported expansion of nuclear power plants. Obama switched his position slightly between July 2007 and December 2007, explaining in December that until we can solve the storage and safety issues associated with nuclear power, we should not expand its use.

  • Both agree that humans contribute to global climate change.

  • McCain and Obama agree that the U.S. should have signed the Kyoto Treaty.

    Contrasting Obama vs. McCain on the Environment...

  • The League of Conservation Voters gave McCain's environmental record a score of 53% while Obama has scored in the high 90's.

  • McCain opposed Dick Cheney's 2005 Energy Bill that included huge tax giveaways to oil companies with record revenues. Obama supported the bill.

  • Obama supported a law that required 25% of U.S. energy come from renewable sources by 2025, McCain opposed a similar federal law.

  • McCain opposed the 2007 Energy Bill written by Democrats which mandated improved vehicle fuel economy standards by 2020, Obama supported the bill.

  • Obama did not join McCain and 44 other Republican and Democratic Senators in urging the Environmental Protection Agency to draft stricter Mercury restrictions.
  • Grist, the (very reliable) environmental news blog, said of McCain's plan on May 11:
    "it's better than expected, somewhat short of Lieberman-Warner, and far short of what Obama has proposed. It should comfort us that a McCain presidency will mean real action on climate change, not the shell game Bush is engaged in. But it's hard to see how McCain can claim the allegiance of voters who rank climate change as a top concern. He's still behind the curve."
    Grist also goes into great detail on Obama's environmental platform here,: and (even before the latest fine-tuning by Obama) provides an analysis of Obama's plan here, saying:
    It's a deft mix of good politics and strong, substantive policy. Here are what I see as the three headlines:

  • 100% auction of cap-and-trade credits. This is a home run, a real act of standard-setting boldness (the kind that Obama always promises but rarely delivers). The green community should immediately use it to push Clinton and Edwards into making the same commitment, insuring that it's the new baseline for any cap-and-trade program.

  • Smart investment. The revenue from auctions will be considerable, up to $50 billion a year, and Obama's smart about putting it to work, dividing it between energy R&D, protections for low-income workers, and market deployment of existing clean tech.

  • A focus on efficiency. Clearly Obama gets that efficiency is the easiest route to emission reductions, and he's got a set of thoughtful, detailed initiatives to make it work.
  • So I still think there is puh-LENty of information out there for those who go looking for it.

    And this doesn't even take up the question of why people support a candidate. I think all this is very interesting, and am a sustainability junkie, but honestly, it is not among the most important reasons why Obama has my support. I'm not a single-issue voter and I think that all three of the majors' plans are a lot better than our current environmental policy; there's no way the details of anyone's plan on this issue - or on many other issues - would be enough to sway my vote. This is why I say that plans are of very limited use when choosing a candidate. The reality of their policy will be something different than what we're reading today. Plans can change, so I prefer to vote on something more consistent: philosophical orientation.

    There is a set of issues I'm deeply concerned about (the direction of the Supreme Court, the need for a new approach to foreign policy, a rapid end to the Iraq War, a workable health care plan that doesn't garnish the wages of those who can't pay, and a strong defense of abortion and net neutrality). I also have strong opinions about the type of person it takes to lead the country (especially in times of great polarization) and I esteem Obama's judgement and character highly. Now, I think Obama's plan to end the Iraq War needs a whole lot of work. I think it's far too optomistic. But I know that once in office, he will have a wealth of resources of intellect and experience and strategy that are far beyond the reach of a political campaign. Those will help to craft a stronger and more realistic plan. What I don't expect to change is the "vague goal" of ending the hostilities. And since that "vague goal" is extremely important to me, it makes sense to choose the person most philosophically committed to that goal, and then give him the resources to make it happen. Whether or not it happens according to the plan he currently has on the website is relatively unimportant to me. The committment matters.

    In the end, detail is terrific and informative and important, but it doesn't take a tremendous amount of detail to perceive the differences between Obama and the other three candidates on what I believe are the most important issues of our day. I don't want to vote only for the best plan. I want to vote for the best person.
    posted by Miko at 7:19 AM on June 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


    msalt, if you reread everything I wrote, I am not insulting you personally. I have been careful to call out your comments, which have appeared patronizing and often disingenuous. You may not make that distinction, but it's one that's pretty central to this community.

    For the record and despite the nonsense purveyed by certain trolls (note: that does not refer to you, msalt), political agreement is not a prerequisite for me -- or for most of us -- to get along here; there are scores of us who are friends (online and off) with Mefites who don't share our political views. The issue at hand is that most eight-year-olds don't appreciate being spoken to the way you've done here (as has been repeatedly pointed out to you), much less a group of adults. If you continue to keep your blinders on regarding your part in engaging in good faith debate, you'll probably continue to draw fire round these parts. Just a word to the wise.
    posted by scody at 9:28 AM on June 3, 2008


    I've also tried very hard not to insult you, msalt. I've definitely addressed some of your behaviors as things I don't respect and my tone has been pretty aggressive, but I've stayed pretty factual and straightforward and have been careful to call no names. I stand by every phrasing I've used in this thread, and have just been over it to check . The closest I came was "tone deaf," which I do think factually describes your approach in this thread.
    posted by Miko at 9:42 AM on June 3, 2008


    Miko: You came into the thread accusing Obama supporters of not having information about the candidates and Obama's platform of being "vague,"

    No, I came into the thread supporting krydaemon's point that unnecessary attacks on Clinton supporters were counterproductive to victory in November. 1 2 3 4.

    The vagueness was a tangent, as I explained my misgivings about Obama in terms of my interaction with OFF-LINE Obama supporters, which I conflated with these online attacks. This resulted in insults like "your bad faith argumentation, fallacies and outright bullshit." I don't much care for ad hominem attacks or bullying; in case you haven't guessed, it makes me dig in more than back off.

    I don't know what ploy or strategy you think I'm up to here. I'm telling you honestly what I think about these issues, and I have some experience (from being 46 and a political junkie, if nothing else) in what works and doesn't work in a campaign. I love the promise of Obama, the concept of him, but it's hard for me to see a guy my own age with very little national political experience and what I see as vague positions as a successful candidate (or president). (I do appreciate your considerable effort here to edumacate me.) That said, what are the options? McCain? Barr? Ron Paul? Nader? No. Obama's the obvious choice.
    posted by msalt at 9:48 AM on June 3, 2008


    Ha ha!
    posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 AM on June 3, 2008


    Miko: on McCain and the environment

    (I appreciate and enjoy your redirection of the discussion into details, by the way.)
    I would never think or claim that McCain is actually better on the environment than Obama. Re-reading my comment, I used the word "platform" which was totally misleading. I was referring to his proposal for spending cap-and-trade proceeds on new energy technologies, compared to Obama's similar list. On that narrow point, I actually do think McCain's list is better (if you accept nuclear power, which I don't.)

    Your point about me not having checked McCain's platform before; I have known all 3 major candidates support cap and trade for months. No I did not know exactly which technologies McCain supported, but I admitted as much and my educated guess was right. So I'm not sure what your point is. Really, had you read McCain's entire platform? Did you know Obama is a big supporter of "clean coal"? That actually stuns and dismays me.

    Perhaps my point about vagueness is better stated this way: in my subjective opinion, neither the Obama campaign nor my many friends who are fervent supporters of his have succeeded in communicating a concise summary of what he stands for, what his major priorities are. I do think platforms are important. Republicans have cleaned Dem's clocks for years with simple, clear platforms. Instead of insulting people who ask for one (especially ME), we would all do well to work out the answer ourselves, the way Empath did, for when skeptics ask. That is my goal here.

    How's my tone, coach?
    posted by msalt at 10:03 AM on June 3, 2008


    "your bad faith argumentation, fallacies and outright bullshit."

    That wasn't me, so I can't take responsibility for that.

    came into the thread supporting krydaemon's point

    yes, by calling Obama supporters "smug and superior."

    I don't know what ploy or strategy you think I'm up to here.

    I don't think you're up to anything. I think you entered a thread, took a nasty tone, got into a dustup because of it, and when faced with the fact that you couldn't back up a statement you made, started to complain that you were being attacked.

    That said, what are the options? McCain? Barr? Ron Paul? Nader? No. Obama's the obvious choice.

    Okay, that's your rationale for support. So it seems like you aren't that interested in the specifics of his plans either, which is all I wanted to bring out. The things you've been attacking some Obama supporters for are things you embody yourself. That's what's been bothering me.

    I hope I've shown that there is a lot of detail available. You, as a voter, are responsible for gathering your own information and for pressing your candidates and representatives if you think they need to give you more. If you're planning to support Obama but worried that his campaign is vague, you could either get much better informed on the issues in his platform and start talking about them here and elsewhere, withdraw your support, or press him and his campaign for more specifics. That's about all I'm saying here.
    posted by Miko at 10:07 AM on June 3, 2008


    redirection of the discussion into details, by the way.

    Ha! It was you who redirected, by challenging me about lack of specifics. Now the details are important, now they aren't. We need specific plans and data, and then we need "simple, clear platforms." Which is it? Whatever you want, we can find it online.

    Did you know Obama is a big supporter of "clean coal"? That actually stuns and dismays me.

    Yes, I did know. Being a New Hampshire person, I've been active with his campaign since I had the chance to hear him speak and to meet him in December and chose to support him over the many other Democratic candidates. I support him because of the issues I mentioned. You seem to really want to believe people aren't talking about what concerns them. It starts with you. Talk about why you support him. Write to the campaign to ask about why he has taken this stance and what you would prefer to see. Take some action on it - don't settle. Lukewarm support seems to be what you object to; don't adopt it yourself.
    posted by Miko at 10:15 AM on June 3, 2008


    unnecessary attacks on Clinton supporters (are) counterproductive to victory in November.

    Fixed that for me.

    It is mean (and stupidly delivered, sorry about that) but true. This race has been over for fucking MONTHS. I can almost forgive Senator Clinton for holding on to the fool's hope because tenacity and a misproportioned ego are requirements for political life. But her supporters, though, have basically been egging on someone who can't stop fighting, when it has long since past time for her to bow out.

    Why? Because they think she is going to win? I doubt it. The reality of the situation has called it an extremely long shot at best, since what, Texas and Ohio? Because they think she has the FAR superior platform? Again, I doubt it, and objectively the platforms are a lot more alike than different. So why? I'm serious. Because the more people throw around this vague and disingious, "Oh, well, you know, he's a good speaker, but I don't know enough about him" line, the more ingrained and REAL that becomes.

    Choose a better narrative. Show a little pragmatism. Excuse the people who chose the person who ended up ahead.
    posted by dirtdirt at 10:17 AM on June 3, 2008


    Pretty fucking patronizing, still.

    Regarding what I said, as you referenced it again there, my apology was for whipping myself into a fervor and being more nasty than was called for, not for my sincere disagreement with you. I do feel that you have argued fallaciously, I do think you have moved the goalposts (PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE MEAN to EXPLAIN ME TEH OBAMA to NO BUT SIMPLER to THAT'S VAGUE to NO BUT SIMPLER) and engaged in bad-faith argumentation, and I do think that your conflation of this discussion with any others you may have had is bullshit.

    It's delightful that you consider yourself savvy and experienced, but then you demand that people who are making complex arguments distill them into sound bites. That and an uncritical adoption of a flawed metanarrative regarding US elections? Or even the sarcastic "How's my tone, coach?"

    You're not savvy and experienced. You're old. Shut up and try to learn something from Scody and Miko—it'll keep you young.
    posted by klangklangston at 10:26 AM on June 3, 2008


    There's not much more to say that won't boil down to an interpersonal issue, I think. So msalt: I'm glad we support the same candidate and I'm confident he'll make an excellent president. I'd be delighted to talk more with you in concrete terms about why I strongly support his candidacy, so feel free to MeMail me. I think you might also be really interested in reading this thread on the Lawrence Lessig video about why he supports Obama, where I and many others share some consideration of his campaign and discuss his strengths and weaknesses.
    posted by Miko at 10:36 AM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Miko: It was you who redirected, by challenging me about lack of specifics.

    I didn't challenge you -- I expressed my personal misgivings about Obama. But I've happily considered your responses and pointers, without calling you lazy or tone-deaf or any such.

    Now the details are important, now they aren't. We need specific plans and data, and then we need "simple, clear platforms." Which is it?

    It's both of course -- either by itself fails. It's like the classic inside/outside strategy in basketball: you want a big guy who pound it inside, and 3 point shooters to kick it out to when they collapse in on him. You want a candidate with depth who can articulate a concise set of priorities. Jimmy Carter had policy depth but couldn't communicate his priorities -- and it didn't work out so well.

    I appreciate the links and suggestions you've made. When I pursued the energy policy though, I found 3 substantive proposals in a 10 page report, 2 of which McCain agrees with. Neither deep nor clear. I will MeMail.

    Meanwhile, the insults continue, and I don't want to beat a dead horse or make this about me. I've reread my comments in this thread a couple times, and I can see where a couple have pushed buttons, but they seem pretty reasonable in whole. I apologize for my unproductive comments. Maybe I am just tone-deaf; maybe I spent too much time on Wikipedia this winter and picked up that awful passive/aggressive tone. And maybe one or two who are so angered by me could benefit from a bit of reflection themselves. Yelling at people is not a good way to convince them. That's the original point of this thread (since kyrademon).
    posted by msalt at 12:12 PM on June 3, 2008


    Maybe I am just tone-deaf; maybe I spent too much time on Wikipedia this winter and picked up that awful passive/aggressive tone.

    Oh god. I didn't know. I'm so sorry.

    I've been mum for a while in here, because I don't really like getting myself involved in political arguments and I get the feeling that I pretty much agree with everybody who has been talkative, fine details aside, but I kind of wanted to pop in and say two things.

    1. msalt, honestly I think that, yeah, there's a combination of mild tone-deafness at least in the context of mefi/metatalk at work here. I really enjoyed meeting you at the meetup recently, and you struck me as a willful, passionate, good guy, and I'm having a pretty easy time viewing your words in here through the separate lenses of That Guy I Met (with the grounding, extra-generous benefit-of-the-doubt that comes with a human connection) arguing the points he wants to make, and of Argumentative Newish Guy In Metatalk, which is more of a cypher and hard to read.

    And pretty much everyone else in this thread only has that second lens to look through, which may help explain why you're getting more and longer reaction than you may feel you deserve for the button-pushing you have done; Miko is one of the most restrained and thoughtful and respectful political debaters on this site, in my experience, and I'd measure her characterizations of the more negative aspects of how your comments have been perceived and received as unusually gentle for a Metatalk argument. For whatever that's worth.

    Aside from which, though,

    2. This has also been, for whatever sniping and unpleasantness and I think mostly just misunderstandings of one another that has been threaded through it, one of the most civil "heated" arguments about the primary that I've seen on the site (let alone elsewhere) in a while. So way to not flip your shit, people; and if it's any further help in contextualizing things here, msalt, please understand that what snark you've received is historically pretty mild.

    Also,

    3. Hugs.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 12:31 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]




    That said, what are the options? McCain? Barr? Ron Paul? Nader? No. Obama's the obvious choice.

    It's looking like you could also throw your vote away on daffy ol' Cynthia McKinney, if the Green nomination keeps going the way it's going. Between her and Barr this is shaping up to be one of the shittiest third party slates in decades.
    posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:45 PM on June 3, 2008


    I appreciate cortex's vote of confidence, but I also got kinda hot under the collar, and for that I apologize because it probably ramped up the discord. Still, the thread caused me to write a long position statement to msalt about why I support Obama, which was an awesome exercise. So that was good.

    MeFi is hands down my favorite place to hear about and talk politics, and I'd hate to see it devolve, so it's good when it can stay on the rails.
    posted by Miko at 2:15 PM on June 3, 2008


    I heartily recommend Miko's Obama-mail if anyone wants a good explanation of his strengths; she has basically much won me over singlehandedly. (I trust people's personal experience of a candidate over pretty much any other source of information, on top of which she really has done her homework.)

    Sometimes it's just important to step out of a group argument and talk to somebody, one to one.
    posted by msalt at 4:35 PM on June 3, 2008


    so miko, where do we sign up to start the grassroots swing state obama information sessions with miko tour?
    posted by mrzarquon at 4:54 PM on June 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


    where do we sign up to start the grassroots swing state obama information sessions with miko tour?

    I'd sign up for one of those, especially if I knew it would include a live performance of miko's excellent Women Drinking Whisky. Cause remember, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:00 PM on June 3, 2008


    Miko, I am also very intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
    posted by psmealey at 6:15 PM on June 3, 2008


    GAH... WHEN WILL IT BE OVER?
    posted by Artw at 7:22 PM on June 3, 2008


    I think that Miko and DaShiv should form some sort of political consulting/teaching...thing. Firm. Force for good. Something like that. Wouldn't that be an awesome pony?
    posted by rtha at 9:00 PM on June 3, 2008


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