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January 8, 2008

Early-evening observation
Posted by Patrick at 08:56 PM * 291 comments

You know, if Hillary Clinton does better than expected tonight, or even (it’s possible, based on the early results) wins, I’ll bet lunch it’ll because a bunch of last-minute deciders were terminally pissed off by the ridiculous media frenzy over her “emotional display.” And while she’s not my favorite candidate, it would be a fine poke in the eye to the national political reporters who have, as a class, always hated her and relished the prospect of her defeat.

There are a thousand things wrong with American public life, but I’m pretty sure our citizens are, on average, ten times as grown-up as our political reporters.

Comments on Early-evening observation:
#1 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:11 PM:

I suspect they were also pissed off at the media creating "Obamamania" and just about daring those pesky, arrogant voters to choose a different candidate. Don't the voters understand? The Kewl Kids rule! (This populist shit could get out of hand... We don't want the people thinking they actually have the power to name their representatives. Next thing you know they'll want us to take our jobs seriously!)

#3 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:16 PM:

Oh, and I would be totally jazzed if Mitt Romney or Giuliani or any of the Republicans were to roar out of Loserville and upset McCain. I don't particularly want Romney to win NH, but the arrogance of the media and pollsters is breathtaking. I'd love to see their world turned upsidedown.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:17 PM:

WMUR has called the Republican race for McCain.

#5 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:18 PM:

MSNBC seems to have the quickest counts here. They update every five minutes.

MSNBC and CNN have called it for McCain on the R side.

HRC 40%
BHO 36%

with 36% of precincts counted.

#6 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:20 PM:

Jim, at that MSNBC site you can look at results sorted by county. Since you know the state, is there an urban/rural split apparent?

#7 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:21 PM:

I'm not sure even my animus toward the political media would be enough to make me welcome a good showing by Rudy "War With Everyone, As Soon As Possible" Giuliani. Fortunately, he appears to have come in a distant fourth, just a few hundred votes ahead of Ron Paul.

#8 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:24 PM:

I don't think I've ever seen McCain give an actual speech before. He's terrible.

I'm glad to see the Demo race tighten up. I'd hate to think this thing was over before the second week in January.

#9 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:27 PM:

Honestly, I've been rooting for Hillary Clinton, in part, because the national press has been laying out the narrative of her defeat in advance of the actual facts. Watching political coverage feels like watching professional wrestling. It doesn't matter what actually happens in the ring. The writers have already scripted the narrative. They'll force fit the events to accommodate. So, I'd love to see an event like a convincing Hillary victory just to see how they'll explain how it's really a defeat for her. (I suspect it'll be something about how she didn't win by as much as they'd expected. That they'd called the race convincingly for Obama will be conveniently forgotten.)

The article about the primary at the Washington Post web site was clearly written in expectation of a convincing Obama victory. It's been interesting watching them revise it. (It's gotten a new headline, and a new first paragraph acknowledging that Clinton and Obama are in a tight race. It doesn't mention that she's currently leading.)

In any case, it was weird listening to coverage on NPR on Monday. The local station felt compelled to do extra NH primary
coverage. (After all, their signal reaches into NH.) The national reports kept harping on Obama's lead in the weekend polls. The local reports would then follow, talking about the latest tracking poll which had them in a statistical tie. (Apparently, the local NPR station didn't get the memo about the predetermined narrative.) The juxtaposition was very odd.

#10 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:32 PM:

John @ #9, yes, and they still can't get entirely past the narrative. The subhead of the main Post story reads:

"the Democratic race seems headed down to the wire with results showing a surprisingly tight contest between Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.)."

"Surprisingly", huh?

#11 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:38 PM:

The other thing to notice is that when you look at the numbers of total votes cast, the Democrats cast 59% of them, versus the Republicans 41%. As before in Iowa, look at the turnout. One article I read claimed that registered Republicans still outnumber registered Democrats in the state. If that's true, then the independents are clearly breaking Democratic, and even if it isn't, the difference is one hell of a turnaround.

#12 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:42 PM:

Patrick called it.

Quoted on TPM, from a reader: I have always had somewhat lukewarm feelings about Hillary Clinton. It took me years to forgive her for her "baking cookies" comment. At the time I had just given birth to my first child and decided to leave my job as an attorney to stay home and take care of my baby. I have been on the fence throughout this campaign, liking John Edwards more than the others. The media coverage of Sen. Clinton has caused my blood to boil. I can not bear to witness blatant misogyny. Gloria Steinheim's article in the NYT this morning was so on the mark. If I lived in New Hampshire, I would have voted for Sen. Clinton today. I would not allow the talking heads to tell me who to vote for or declare this race over. And I certainly was not going to participate in the sexist bs that has been spewing out the mouths of the likes of Chris Matthews.

#13 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:43 PM:

I agree that is the real news here -- Democrats are hot to vote, and Republicans are holding their nose, in both Iowa and NH.

#14 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:44 PM:

Actually, when I saw news coverage of this incident, I figured it would help Hillary not just because of the media overkill but because voters who think she's a robotic cold machine would see that she's an actual person with emotions who does care about the country. I haven't decided whether she's my candidate (I tend to think she's probably not cross-party electable) but there's no question that the media coverage of her campaign has been a sexist, hounding disgrace.

#15 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 09:56 PM:

Edwards is expected to arrive at his HQ in Manchester in the next ten minutes to make an announcement.

His campaign manager says that he made over 250,000 calls.

Most of them were to me....

#16 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:00 PM:

At Hanover (home of Dartmouth college), they expected a turnout of 4,000 people. 6,000 voted.

#17 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:07 PM:

One nice thing about watching tight election results come in... With the Republicans staying on their side of the fence, no worries about voting machine fraud!

Kind of relaxing to just sit back and watch the fair race go on.

#18 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:09 PM:

#6 Linkmeister Jim, at that MSNBC site you can look at results sorted by county.

Those aren't sorted by county. Those are individual towns, and mostly it's the south and east that have reported in -- the parts closest to Massachusetts. That's going mostly to Hillary. The more rural areas and the Connecticut Valley haven't come in yet. But the parts that have reported represent about 75% of the state's population.

#19 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:23 PM:

Giuliani conceded and flew to Florida a little after 8:00.

Edwards is congratulating Senators Obama and Clinton even as I type.

#20 ::: A.J. ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:24 PM:

Patrick,

I'd like to think that Hillary's surprise showing is largely attributable to people saying "Screw you, Mysogynistic Media". But I think there's at least one other factor: Hillary's moment of humanity reminded a lot of people that she's actually got some convictions. I still don't like her tactics -- e.g. I think she voted for the Iraq War because she was afraid of looking weak on "security" -- but it's good to know that there's something behind the poll-tested public persona.

#21 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:29 PM:

I'll take the people--even the crazy ones--to the Kewl Kids any day.

#22 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:32 PM:

AP has called New Hampshire for Hillary.

#23 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:33 PM:

MSNBC just declared for Hillary. Chris Matthews and Brian Williams are beside themselves.

"The polls were wrong!! OMGWTFBBQ!!111!!!!!!"

(Olbermann, bless him, remains his snarky self. He's the only reason we even have the TV on tonight, honestly.)

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:43 PM:

The big college towns (Hanover and Durham) still haven't reported in.

But lots of the students there will be absentees from their home states, not voting here.

#25 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:49 PM:

So, damn, it's still a race after all.

For me, it's no so much the misogynistic harassment of the Clinton campaign, or the gross ignoration of the Paul campaign, or any of the other incidents of personal disrespect. It's the insistence of the broadcast medium, and to a lesser extent, the press, to create a media frenzy about the early campaigns, and then to try to "call" the entire nomination process ten months before the election. The overweening arrogance just fries my ass.

I hope the nomination process continues until the conventions, and look forward to seeing the humbling of the broadcast mavens. I seriously dislike seeing our elections taken away from us, and strongly believe a hearty national debate is just what our country needs. (Followed, of course, by the exile of our current "leaders" to Mauritania.)

#26 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:54 PM:

Obama is congratulating Hillary right now.

#27 ::: Andrhia ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:55 PM:

LMB MacAlister @ 25: What did Mauritania ever do to you?

#28 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:57 PM:

MSNBC's front page has a giant, giant picture of Obama from his victory speech in Iowa (or at least it looks like it) with a headline calling it for Clinton.

#29 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 10:59 PM:

I tell you what, though. Nobody can give a speech like Obama can give a speech.

That matters to me a lot, and I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to say it.

#30 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:12 PM:

#28: The headline at MSNBC as of right now is "Obama Vows to Push On." Clearly, the important story has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, who is relegated to the small print immediately below the headline.

CNN actually has a picture of Hillary up on their web site, with the headline "Clinton will win N.H. primary, CNN projects." They also list those two candidates total delegate count. They both got 8 delegates from NH. Obama has a total of 24. Clinton has a total of 23.

I suppose, delegate-wise, neither Obama's victory in IA or Clinton's in NH is really all that big a deal. For all the talk of Obama's decisive IA victory, he received only one delegate more than Clinton.

#31 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:22 PM:

I just listened to Hillary give her victory speech.

I like her a LOT better than I did half an hour ago. That might change again, but right now I'm firmly in her corner.

#32 ::: CaseyL ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:23 PM:

I tell you what, though. Nobody can give a speech like Obama can give a speech.

Here's the thing: I like them both. A lot. I'm happy neither one has an insuperable lead, because I really don't look forward to either of them having to bow out. Whoever it is won't deserve to be hurt like it'll hurt.

I really, really wish it were possible to have someone with Clinton's stamina and grit, and with Obama's personal flair and oratory.

#33 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:24 PM:

I unfortunately turned to Faux News first and got the demographic breakdown about how single mothers, poor people, and old people voted overwhelmingly for Sen. Clinton. Where as higher educated, young, and Yuppies voted for Sen. Obama. No such breakdown for the Republican race. Gee, I wonder what the wackjob rightwing emailers will make of this?

I expect to get the first email calling Sen. Clinton the Queen of Welfare Queens sometime before Thursday's lunch.

And now in the background I can hear the pundits on CNN talking about their reaction to watching Sen. Clinton's acceptance speech when "it should have been Sen. Obama's speech."

Can we bring W. Cronkite out of retirement and get sensible news again.

#34 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:24 PM:

Heh. I guess Senator Clinton ironed that dumbsh*t's shirt. Hee-hee.

Not a bad speech from her, either. My only disappointment was seeing Bill up there at the beginning. He needs to stay in the back room from now on.

#35 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:26 PM:

Darn. I was hoping Paul would edge ahead of Giuliani. It would be tough for them to ignore that.

#36 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:31 PM:

Andrhia @ #27: Not one thing. I was thinking it was the country Ted Rall suggested as W's refuge. My bad. It was Namibia. I fully realize Mauritania is blameless in this situation. I hope no Mauritanians were harmed in the correction of this episode.

#37 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:33 PM:

Great Hastur's Ghost, I've never seen a more messed-up post! Does ML not support Firefox in attempts to include links? Or is it just me?

#38 ::: Clifton Royston sees unclosed tag ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:34 PM:

Moderator: broken (unclosed) <a> tag in post # 36. (Feel free to delete this when it's fixed.)

#39 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:36 PM:

Cliff Royston, I retyped that three times, but each time it posted in that unformed state.

#40 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:38 PM:

p.s.--I'm really much more careful that that. And I've been typing HTML tags for many years.

#41 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:47 PM:

Hillary isn't my first choice, but kudos to her for proving the prognosticators wrong. Voters. You can't really tell what they'll do until they actually, you know, vote.

#42 ::: John Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:53 PM:

(The upfront disclaimer: I prefer Obama to Clinton but if she wins I'll vote for her and I won't have to hold my nose to do it.)

While I think Obama is probably better able to pull votes among the general electorate, the Clintons OWN the democratic party machine. Thus it doesn't surprise me that Obama can pull off a victory in a process as wide open and quirky as the Iowa Caucuses, but I still think Hillary's the most likely nominee. I never bought that "Obama by double digits" poll and couldn't believe it this morning when democratic blogs were openly wondering whether Hillary should stay in the race past NH. WTF??

NH is an open primary, but even here I was surprised that Obama did as well as he did. Going down the road, Hillary's access to the levers of party power is just going to wear Obama's numbers down. Wait until we get into some closed primaries.

But I think it's notable that this was for all practical purposes a tie. A couple percentage points might give her the perception of a win (and that's worth something) but they evenly split the delegates. And I think it's especially notable that John Edwards is doing as well as he is. If he can swallow his pride and accept that he's not going to be President, I think he becomes the kingmaker at the convention with a real good chance of being VP.

The big question is which candidate does he throw in with? Obama seems a more natural choice for him, but I can't see the Clinton camp letting him just run off and do that. If they've got the momentum going in, they've got to be looking at ways to get his supporters on their side.

#43 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:54 PM:

During the coverage on CNN, one of the talking heads starts going on about how terrible Bill C's campaigning for Hill C was, and how it was probably going to turn off lots of voters. He then went on to say:
"Maybe lots of people in the real world like Bill Clinton, despite how we feel about him."

He seemed shocked.

I was shocked that maybe someone actually got it -- that the highest-approval president of the last two decades was actually liked by the American people.

#44 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 08, 2008, 11:59 PM:

The link in #36 has been fixed. LMB MacAlister, for whatever reason, your "http" statement wasn't enclosed in double quotes, per the usual HTML spec.

#45 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:02 AM:

As for the question "Does ML not support Firefox", pish and also tush! I'm typing this in Firefox on my Thinkpad. Teresa is in the next room reading the web in Firefox on her Intel MacBook. The media-server G4 in the dining room has Firefox on its dock. We're all Firefox all the time, here at Casa NH.

#46 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:03 AM:

Thanks, PNH. I'm surprised you could find what I was trying to link to, considering what I was given on each preview page.

#47 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:15 AM:

But my question remains, why couldn't I simply type in the appropriate html tags? (Well, I did, but they seemed to have been ignored.)

#48 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:23 AM:

LMB MacAlister, have you considered that it might be something at your end?

#49 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:38 AM:

Does anyone else find it odd that for the last 2 years, all the major media have clearly been working from a script that said Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in, and now all of a sudden they've decided she doesn't exist and gone over to Obama? Could this be a "leading a pig" sort of tactic to push a Clinton nomination by way of just that kind of voter reaction?

#50 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:44 AM:

Avram: Except that I haven't had any problems anywhere else. I certainly don't mean to cast any aspersions toward this esteemed blog, or its creators.

#51 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:49 AM:

Lee @ 49, I don't think they're that smart.

I was watching the News Hour and it was highly amusing to see David Brooks completely dumbfounded by the results (this was before it had been called for Hillary, with about 43% of precincts counted). He first said he thought the numbers were a mistake.

I heard some member of the chattering class (maybe Brokaw) saying Hillary had revived her campaign with this win, and I thought to myself "it wasn't two months ago you were saying she was the inevitable nominee, and suddenly she needs to revive her campaign after one caucus and one primary?"

Then the media wonders why it's held in disdain.

#52 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 01:21 AM:

Jim @ #18, thanks. The MSNBC page calls them counties (I imagine that's a template it throws up for lots of elections), so that's what I called 'em.

#53 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:28 AM:

Well, it's a little late, but Google has a map of what I think is county by county results.

#54 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:32 AM:

ooh. My post with a link to the Google Map of the NH primary results just got held for review.

High in the glass-and-steel tower that is Making Light Headquarters your post is being examined under criteria both Mysterious and Arcane. Soon, if it passes High Level Review by our Gnomes, it will be released.


abi never mentioned Gnomes. Wowee. Gnomes

#55 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:39 AM:

Michael Weholt @17:
With the Republicans staying on their side of the fence, no worries about voting machine fraud!

I wish I shared your confidence. But if you're trying to engineer a plausible Republican victory, surely some component of the process is to manipulate the choice of opponent?

I'm not saying any hanky-panky occurred, but I can't rule it out from lack of motive.

#56 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:49 AM:

Tania @53 54:

Well, what do you know? I had not seen that message before. Talking about strange messages, have you seen the "not found" haiku? Going on for more than two years since I first saw that and I still love it.

*walks away, whistling*

#57 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:00 AM:

LMB, I've had that happen a couple of times and I just go back to the comment page and original comment box, fix it there (where it hasn't been half-lost) and then click Preview again.

#58 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:49 AM:

Lizzy L @ 11: "The other thing to notice is that when you look at the numbers of total votes cast, the Democrats cast 59% of them, versus the Republicans 41%."

CNN doesn't have any info on the overall vote, so I had to add it up myself. Here are my numbers, with 96% of precincts reporting:

Total Democratic turnout: 279,276
Total Republican turnout: 228,531
Total total turnout: 507,807
Democratic percent of total: 55.00%
Republican percent of total: 45.00%

According to Ezra Klein, pollsters were predicting a turnout of 500,000, with 260,000 in the Democratic primary and 240,000 in the Republican. Projecting out from the current 96%, 100% turnout will be roughly 530,000 voters, with 290,00 Democratic voters and 240,000 Republicans. Looks like they underestimated the Democratic turnout.

CaseyL @ 32: "I really, really wish it were possible to have someone with Clinton's stamina and grit, and with Obama's personal flair and oratory."

Yeah, each of the leading candidates has such a unique set of strengths that I fantasize sometimes about cobbling together a perfect Frankenstein candidate. Built from Hilary's political know-how and endurance, Obama's rhetoric and vision, and Edward's deep populism and will to fight. That would be a candidate I could really get behind.

*Paging Dr. Heterodyne, paging Dr. Heterodyne--your patients are ready for you in Surgery One*

#59 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 05:53 AM:

I don't like half her political views, but damn I hope she wins the presidential race. "Don't like half the political views" is about the best I think the US is willing to elect, and it would set a marvelous precedent in gender politics -- and that'll have an impact on actual lives in the country's future, whatever she does in office.

And Bill should make an awesome, uh... First Gentleman? Someone has to have figured out what the proper thing is to call a male First Lady by now, no? I think he might do better at it than he did as President, frankly. And I liked him fairly well as President.

Has anyone engendered (no pun intended) a discussion about the terminology involved in a man being married to the President? It seems like it should be a fascinating curiosity of language development.

#60 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:38 AM:

Someone asked Miss Manners about that very thing in today's Washington Post.

#61 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:48 AM:

I kept reading all those "Obama landslide" articles leading up to last night, how Obama was going to wipe away any chance that Clinton could make the nomination, beat her by 10 points or more, yada yada yada.

So I was pleased to see that the wannabee kingmakers were wrong. I'd vote for Clinton before Obama, but either one of them before any of the Republican candidates. This from a registered Republican who voted for their candidate from 1980 to the first Bush Sr administration, but not since.

#62 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:51 AM:

heresiarch @ 58... Paging Dr. Heterodyne, paging Dr. Heterodyne

Meanwhile, across the aisle, it's...
"Paging Dr Howard, Dr Fine, Dr. Howard!"

#63 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:54 AM:

Tania @ 54... abi never mentioned Gnomes

I've been told by court lawners that their function is purely gnominal.

#64 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:11 AM:

Abi #56: You left out the fnords....

#65 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:12 AM:

Serge #63: O gnomon, gnomon, gno.

#66 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:15 AM:

Michael Weholt (#29): Nobody can give a speech like Obama can give a speech.

Except maybe Bill :->

Regarding the more general topic of the appalling Hillary media coverage, as usual a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case, a picture by editorial cartoonist Tom Toles: http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/uc/20080109/ltt080109.gif

#67 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:40 AM:

Fragano @ 65... Humph. And there I was, thinking that my gnomic pun would elvate the level of discourse...

#68 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:41 AM:

Serge #67: You were hoping to dwarf the opposition, were you?

#69 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:47 AM:

A gnostic gnome meets a norn in a fjord. Comedy ensues.

#70 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:00 AM:

Serge #69: Who drives a Fjord these days?

#71 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:03 AM:

#63 Serge, I thought their function is purely gnomaniacal?

#72 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:04 AM:

#70 Fragano Ledgister, that would be the people who drove Gremlins back in the 70s.

#73 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:13 AM:

A.J. Luxton @ 59: Well, Bill has weighed in in favor of "First Laddy."

#74 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:41 AM:

#42: I find the statement "in a process as wide open and quirky as the Iowa Caucuses" amusing. I remember, in 1988, when Dick Gephardt won the Iowa Caucus, the press attributed it to his masterful handling of the Democratic machine. i.e., he was able to get his supporters to the caucuses more effectively than anyone else. (This isn't to say that Obama couldn't have won it some other way. This is merely to testify on the self-validating nature of belief. i.e., Gephardt had a reputation for being a party insider. Obama has avoided this.)

I'll also note that Clinton and Edwards were in a statistical tie coming out of Iowa, but people keep insisting on referring to Clinton's "third place showing" in Iowa. If Clinton placed third in Iowa, then Obama placed second in NH. Using the delegate count as a measure, Obama got only one more delegate than Clinton. This is hardly the resounding win the press made the IA victory out to be, right? To be fair, minimizing Clinton's win in NH requires one to also minimize Obama's win in IA.

I'm extremely uncomfortable with the narrative in this way: Obama gets full credit for all of his accomplishments. Clinton, on the other hand, does not. The so-called machine gets credit for her accomplishments. (She, of course, gets full credit for her failures.) Why is that, I wonder?

Obama is a highly skilled and polished politician. It's inconceivable to me that he got to where he is with no support from the Democratic party faithful. (If the Washington Post is to be believed, he raised 5x as much money in NH than Clinton.)

Likewise, absent allegations of voter fraud, I don't see how Clinton could have won any elections without actually appealing to the general populace. If the party machine is so powerful, why is there even a close race to begin with? If it's because the party machine isn't that powerful, then why even bother bringing it up?

As I've written before, I'm tired of the press crafting these large scale narratives which don't seem to have much basis in fact. (I love fiction, but not from my newspapers and news programs.) However, I have to wonder if all political narratives are self-validating. Maybe that's why they live on.

#75 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:54 AM:

heresiarch @58. Now there's a candidate we can ALL rally around!

I didn't realize this yesterday, but today I find that I'm rather pleased that Hillary won. Mainly because of the bug "phlbbttt!!!" it sends the to the MSM, and also because, you know, girls rule! (as my 6yo would say). Plus her policies are closer to Edwards.

#76 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:08 AM:

#55 abi:

Yep, the ability to fix the nominations in one or both parties would give you more power than the ability to just fix the final election. (You can't practically tamper with elections where the race is too one sided, because the tampering is obvious. Twice as many elections means twice as much opportunity to have close enough elections to fix. Besides, the spread out way the nomination is done probably lets you tamper with results in more subtle ways--say, changing the totals in the early primaries without changing the winner, so that the candidate who scares you the most comes in third or fourth instead of second, thus denying that candidate donations and media attention.)

I'll admit I find the underlying assumption that only Republicans would tamper with elections pretty amazing. That doesn't track with historical election fraud, nor does it track with unethical but legal crap like 30 second attack ads and gerrymandering, both of which are enthusiastically done by both parties. If elections can be fixed, folks in either party will happily fix them.

#77 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:13 AM:

AJ #20:

Choosing a candidate based on who doesn't like them seems like it puts an awful lot of power in the hands of the bad guys. If Osama Bin Laden endorses the Democrat in the election, will you vote Republican?

Similarly, Ron Paul has been treated abominably by a bunch of the powers that be. But you may still want to look at his stand on the issues before you vote for him!

#78 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:22 AM:

So who do you think is going to get the gnomination?

#79 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:23 AM:

Fragano @ 70:

The Illuminati! Oh, wait...

#80 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:25 AM:

How my town voted:

Democratic primary:

Barack Obama 134 40%
Hillary Clinton 115 34%
John Edwards 50 15%
Bill Richardson 18 5%
Chris Dodd 2 1%
Mike Gravel 2 1%
Dennis Kucinich 2 1%
Joe Biden 0 0%

Republican primary:

John McCain 178 46%
Mitt Romney 67 17%
Mike Huckabee 59 15%
Ron Paul 35 9%
Rudy Giuliani 29 7%
Fred Thompson 2 1%
Duncan Hunter 1 0%

#81 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:28 AM:

heresiarch @ 78... So who do you think is going to get the gnomination?

The one who's the least ignoble?

#82 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Oh, somehow I missed that this digression started with fnord. Now I feel like a fool.

Oh well. That just means I should be sleeping. It's final exam season here.

On the title for husband-of-president: Miss Manners' answer lacked something... I rather like "First Laddy", but on some reflection I hope the media settles for "First Gentleman." It would bring the word 'gentleman' back into play and optimistically I imagine that would incline people to act as such more often.

#83 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:43 AM:

#82 AJ:

I have to say, I expect Bill Clinton as First Gentleman will behave in ways rather like wealthy, powerful gentlemen have traditionally behaved. But I'm not sure that's quite what you had in mind....

#84 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:44 AM:

albatross @76:

I don't deny the desire of either party to manipulate voting results. Power attracts crooks the way flies attract vultures.

But my own views would be a lot less partisan if the CEO of one of the major electronic voting systems were a lot less partisan himself. Or if his company - which makes ATMS I have worked with, so I know they can do better - were producing somewhat less exploitable voting machines.

As it stands, means and opportunity for result manipulation are not evenly distributed between the parties. That kinda biases my evaluation of the possible.

#85 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:51 AM:

#78 heresiarch

The candidate with the best gnomenclature?

#86 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:55 AM:

heresiarch @ 58

Gives the term "political operative" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

The only problem is that you might not get a surgeon with Agatha's ability, and end up with a candidate who has Obama's grit and agressiveness and Clinton's progressive vision. Then you'd have to cut large chunks off of Richardson to balance the stew out again.

#87 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 10:13 AM:

Abi @ 84... Back when problems with electronic voting machines became obvious, I remember reading an article that described the extensive process that casino machines go thru. To put it mildly, it is far more thorough than with voting machines. Maybe the makers of casino machines are more scared of unhappy owners of said devices.

"Ma Clinton is very unhappy, and she wants us to take you for a ride."

#88 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:30 AM:

Interesting juxtaposition in CNN today (well, there are lots of them, starting with "How the campaign is like a NASCAR race"): The lead headline is "Clinton, McCain take the lead" but when you look at their charts of delegates, you find that McCain is in 3rd place by delegate count. Bad headline writing, or bias? You make the call.

#89 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:38 AM:

albatross, #76: That doesn't track with historical election fraud

Historically, the Democrats of the post-Depression years were arguably the worst of the election-fixers. But as the Civil Rights movement gained strength, that Democratic machinery defected whole-hog to the Republican side, especially after Strom Thurmond's infamous speech -- and they took all their corruption with them. Today's Republican elite are the direct descendants of those "yellow-dog Democrats" and share all their main characteristics. So saying that historically the Democrats have been just as corrupt as the Republicans misses an important point: it started out being the same people involved on both sides.

#90 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Now that the pollsters have been proven wrong about Obama/Clinton, they are now running around trying to figure out why. ABCNews has their "chief pollster" discussing the various reasons (including 'we were just wrong'), but points out that ALL the other predictions were spot on. Only the Obama/Clinton numbers were off.

Obama wins in Iowa and everyone falls over themselves to praise him. Clinton wins in NH and everyone runs around trying to figure out how that happened. I've even heard the fraud scenario brought up, just not from the MSM yet.

#91 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:49 AM:

Lee, that's only partly accurate, because it leaves out big city political machines like Tammany Hall in New York and Daley's Chicago/Cooke County. In the dire old era of big-city machine politics, which party was fixing elections depended entirely on which party was in power in a given city or state. A lot of western states had Republican machines, for example.

In terms of political machines in the Southern US, you are pretty much right on target, which is one of the reasons for the fear and loathing Certain Parties feel for the Civil Rights Act's voting provisos.

#92 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:16 PM:

I think Paul the K has possibly the ultimate comment on this upset.

#93 ::: robert west ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:33 PM:

I'm getting a great deal of amusement out of the fact that Dennis Kucinich got more votes than Fred Thompson.

This is the same Fred Thompson whom conservatives were claiming would be the Republicsn savior, who would rescue them from all of the bad candidtes on the Republican side.

Hah!

#94 ::: Laurie D. T. Mann ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:40 PM:

The Hilary-haters are out in force today, and completely irrational as usual.

Yep, they're already claiming voter fraud, which for a state like New Hampshire seems really, really unlikely.

Oh, and the guy who was harassing Clinton with the "Iron my Shirts" sign is clearly on Clinton's payroll.

Oh, and those of us who complain about the sexism around the coverage of Hilary are, of course, wrong.

Grrr....

I agree with the "give me a candidate who's like Obama and Clinton." I could vote for either of them. Clinton's done some things I don't like, but I'd still like the chance to vote for her.

#95 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:44 PM:

The problem is that people are desperate to know who's going to win in November. So we get the "It's Clinton!" "No, it's Obama!" "No, it's Clinton!"

"Impossible to tell at this point" is the closest to the truth, but it's not what people want to hear.

#96 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:51 PM:

I'm just enjoying the fact, this morning, that my vote in my primary (NY) is actually going to matter this time around. The night of Tuesday Feb 5 should be a fun... no, incredibly fun... no, cosmically fun evening, watching the returns come in... hmm, may have to plan something... gluten-free beer and chips for all, maybe....

#97 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 12:59 PM:

A.J. 59/Debbie 60/others: I think the press will decide that he's the First Gentleman. Myself I think it should be First Lord, but that would cause a LOT of trouble. Come to think of it, that's part of what I like about it.

It's unprecedented (npi) for the spouse of a POTUS to be a former POTUS. But that's not even the leading thing that makes HRC unique.

#98 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 01:00 PM:

Here's what happened to the polls: The polls were of "likely primary voters."

But around 100,000 more voters turned out than ever before.

This primary was decided by unlikely voters.

(Oh -- and some folks who are being polled lie to the pollsters, as a matter of principle....)

#99 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 01:14 PM:

Michael at 96, I'm right there with you. California hasn't had a say in choosing the candidate since I don't know when (Reagan?) and that's ridiculous, considering that it's the most populous state in the union. February 5th should be a blast. I am stocking up on chips. James at 98, that's exactly what happened, you got it. I expect it to keep happening, at least on the Democratic side. A big confounding PFUI to the media.

#100 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 01:41 PM:

So if Obama is the Democrat's Reagan, as some pundits have suggested, does that mean Bush is the GOP's Jimmy Carter?

#101 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:02 PM:

Serge @ 81

Only gnominally.

#102 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:10 PM:

#98: And, once again, the press enforced narrative doesn't work out. Unlikely voters were supposed to break for Obama. However, the unlikely voters decided the race for Clinton.

#100: Well, Jimmy Carter is an intelligent man.

#103 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Good article by Rebecca Traister in Salon.com

Check it out.

#104 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:29 PM:

Steve C #100: No, Carter goes around the world making sure elections are open and fair. Unless we're talking, like, complete mirror world, in which case, yes, Bush is the Republican Carter.

#105 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:44 PM:

When I'm comparing Carter to Bush (43), it's politically - I know that the two are nothing alike as people.

But as Presidents, both were undone by the Mideast and both have had similar approval ratings at the end of their terms.

No doubt Carter is a much better former President than W will be.

#106 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 02:58 PM:

ethan, 104: This can't be the mirror universe--nobody's got those little goatees.

#107 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:03 PM:

albatross wrote: Similarly, Ron Paul has been treated abominably by a bunch of the powers that be. But you may still want to look at his stand on the issues before you vote for him!

I have, here. And if even half of these quotes reflect his views, I wouldn't vote for him for dogcatcher.

#108 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:07 PM:

TexAnne @106:
nobody's got those little goatees

O RLY?

#109 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:27 PM:

abi, 108: Clearly, Patrick is the evil twin! Serge, too, for that matter.

#110 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:33 PM:

Ahem... First, TexAnne, I prefer thinking of myself not so much as evil but as ethically attenuated. Besides, whose twin am I? Abi?

#111 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:38 PM:

Michael Weholt @ 29:
I tell you what, though. Nobody can give a speech like Obama can give a speech.

That matters to me a lot, and I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to say it.

I agree. The speech he gave last night moved me. I'd spent the evening rooting for Hillary and felt just a touch of regret. As somebody said earlier, it's too bad one of them has to lose.

It'd be amazing to have a president with that kind of oratorical power. I want him to be elected president in 2016. I want him to be elected vice president in 2008. I'm hoping for a Clinton/Obama ticket. As much as I like Hillary, she's not a good orator. Having Obama stumping for the ticket would be huge. Bill could stay home.

I've never been so happy with the choices. I like all four of the leading dems, counting Richardson as the fourth.

#112 ::: Laurie D. T. Mann ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:44 PM:

#107 JaniceG

But, you know how the Paul apologists are all saying "someone else wrote these essays..."

*sigh*

But when your name is on some garbage like that... He was pandering to the nutjobs in southern Texas. If he believed this crap, he's unfit for office. If he merely allowed his name to be used, he's just too cynical to be believed and is unfit for office.

#113 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 03:53 PM:

Just amazing how much racism bothers the folks at Pajamas Media and TNR when it's coming from someone they want out of the primaries.

Bet Fox is gonna decide this is a dealbreaker too.

#114 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:00 PM:

#111: Yeah, I'd be happy with a Clinton/Obama ticket too. I don't know how happy Obama would be though.
[I also think there must be some way to use Bill...]

#115 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Laurie,

or too incompent and unable to run an organization to be elected as president.

#116 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:03 PM:

#109 TexAnne: Clearly, Patrick is the evil twin!

I don't know about "evil", but for some time now I've been alarmed by the striking resemblance (except for the hair color) between Patrick and MSNBC's Political Director, Chuck Todd.

The similarities are even more striking when Todd is talking on the TV.

It could be an Anti-Christ doppelganger type deal going on there, or something, I dunno.

#117 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:12 PM:

Oooh: votes for Democrats and Republicans broken down by their response to exit poll questions (McCain blew them all away in the angry or dissatisfied w/Bush demographic and iced Romney with college graduates and postgraduates?)

#118 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:27 PM:

I always did wonder if a doppelganger was someone who ran in a doppelgang...

#119 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:32 PM:

They rule doppelgangland. The mirror police are powerless to control them.

#120 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:32 PM:

#110 Serge, my money is on a transporter malfunction.

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:39 PM:

Steve Buchheit @ 120... Or Good Lazarus and Bad Lazarus?

#122 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:40 PM:

Abi @ 118... I always did wonder if a doppelganger was someone who ran in a doppelgang...

And their mortal ennemy is the appelstrudelgang.

#123 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:43 PM:

#121 Serge, you got a ship? To do the Lazarus thing you need the ship (if I remember my Trek correctly).

Now transporters, sometimes the Hiesenberg Compensators compensate one way, sometimes they go the other.

#124 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:49 PM:

What I hate are the transporters with the Hindenberg Compensators.

#125 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 04:57 PM:

abi @ 124 -

The Hindenberg Compensators are there to handle the inflammable gas that's emitted by the transportees.

#126 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 05:21 PM:

abi #124: Without the Hindenburg compensators, the transporter room ends up in a superposition of blown up and not blown up states, and we don't find out which till Kirk opens the door.

#127 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Ethan, #119: They rule doppelgangland.

Does that mean they're all vampires?

#128 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 05:33 PM:

That being said, I still haven't heard whose twin/alterego/whatever I am supposed to be.

#129 ::: Stu Shiffman ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 05:52 PM:

A lot of Americans are pissed off at the big corporate media telling them/us who we want to be our candidate.

#130 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:44 PM:

#112 Laurie D. T. Mann: But, you know how the Paul apologists are all saying "someone else wrote these essays..."

Agreed that either he did write them, in which case he's a racist and anti-Semite, or he didn't write them but allowed his name to be used without any oversight and then blamed the text on underlings, in which case I wouldn't want to put him in charge of anything important like, say, the US government!

#131 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:57 PM:

@98

I know I do.

I also believe that election results in the general election should not be posted until all the states have closed their polls.

#132 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 06:59 PM:

#130 JaniceG: ...without any oversight and then blamed the text on underlings, in which case I wouldn't want to put him in charge of anything important like, say, the US government!

But the Republicans are The Adults. They take responsibility. They never blame anything on their underlings.

I can't imagine what might make you suspect otherwise.

#133 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:16 PM:

I've been thinking about NH, Hillary Clinton, etc. and reading a lot of blog comments, especially about stuff I didn't see or hear, such as Chris Matthew's comments. The sexist subtext is really clear. These guys (you can fill in the names as you think appropriate) cannot deal with a 60 year old woman who has never gotten a Botox injection and doesn't give a flying fuck what the (especially) male media members think of her hair, her voice, or her legs. The idea that this female person might be President of the United States is intolerable to them. Deep down inside they think that Eleanor Roosevelt, Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, and Golda Meir are figures of fun, or of contempt. They are ugly old woman. Only virile men, or men they define as virile, (Bush, McCain) are permitted to have real power.

I was not planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, and may not, ever. But I am really angry on her behalf.

#134 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:27 PM:

Lizzy 133: I'm planning on voting for her on February 5. And I hope to vote for her again in November.

And I think a country run by "ugly old women" would be a better nation than we have now. But then I'm a Wiccan, and perhaps I overestimate the wisdom of Crones.

#135 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 07:49 PM:

If nothing else, Obama and Hillary Clinton are raised middle fingers at the old-style establishment and the smug media.

You know what I'd like to see? A return to the old-style news conferences that FDR had. No TV, just the reporters around the desk. Then they can go out and by God write what they learned, instead of trying for a juicy gotcha or a sound-bite.

I know. Won't happen.

#136 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:05 PM:

Steve Buchheit #70: As long as they didn't drive Edsels in the 50s.

#137 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:21 PM:

Lizzy @133,

You said exactly what I didn't know I was noticing.

I also think they appear to have a bias against partnerships, i.e. a couple with each person being friends with the other--loving the other--based on the other's thoughts and actions and goals, but not looks (and adherence to traditional gender roles).

It's as if they think powerful men should be rewarded with supermodels, and that powerful women... powerful women should try to look like rewards too.

(Although there are the Doles (Robert and Elizabeth) and other power couples in DC one hears about.)

Still, I'd have thought that by the 21st century this stuff would have gone away more than it has.

#138 ::: Scott D-S ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:46 PM:

[disclaimer: I am an Obama supporter]

I am thoroughly pleased to see the national news media - not to mention the clowns who call themselves pundits - made to look like the idiots they are. I am glad to see that Hillary's victory is going to (for the moment) make the media treat this like the race it is.

Ultimately, I am hoping that Obama wins the nomination (or is part of the ticket at the very least). But I can't see how it will be anything but beneficial for the party to keep this a race as long as possible IF they can manage to avoid providing a road map for the Republinazis to beat them in the fall.

It is going to be up to every Democrat of whatever stripe to make damn sure that the "SwiftBoaters" and the media don't steal yet another election.

#139 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:57 PM:

Kathryn @ 137... I'd have thought that by the 21st century this stuff would have gone away more than it has

Is it my imagination, or do a woman's looks matter even more now than even in the 1960s?

#140 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 08:59 PM:

In the mirror universe, Serge doesn't like puns at all.

Ron Paul has become a real internet phe-gnome-non.

Xopher @ 134: I had a sudden image of President Clinton striding into a Cabinet meeting, hands covered in blood and clutching an obsidian blade. "The signs point towards raising the Federal interest rate .05%. Anyone feel like arguing?"

#141 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:12 PM:

#138 Scott D-S: I can't see how it will be anything but beneficial for the party to keep this a race as long as possible IF they can manage to avoid providing a road map for the Republinazis to beat them in the fall.

Well, that's the danger I see. The closer the primaries are and the longer and harder the slog, the more Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are likely to campaign on negatives of the other candidates' ideas and qualifications. And the more they do that, the more they provide the eventual Republican nominee with ammunition against the eventual Democratic nominee during the actual election.

#142 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 09:35 PM:

heresiarch @ 140... In the mirror universe, Serge doesn't like puns at all.

You wish.

In the Evil Universe, he ties people down to chairs and forces them to listen to one pun after another, each lamer than the one before, for hours, like in Clockwork Orange.

#143 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 10:11 PM:

Per Google, it's methylsulfonylmethane. Or, per mayakda@75 and others:

... today I find that I'm rather pleased that Hillary won. Mainly because of the bug [big] "phlbbttt!!!" it sends the to the MSM.

What is MSM?

#144 ::: JaniceG ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 10:27 PM:

I blinked at "MSM" too but finally figured out from context that it probably means "mainstream media"

#145 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 10:48 PM:

JaniceG @144: Aha! I think you've got it. I'll add this to my list of modernities. Thanks for the tip.

#146 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:21 PM:

#138: Sadly, the Democrats have a track record of wanting to be the Democratic nominee so much that they scuttle their chances of actually winning the White House. i.e., they attack each other so much that whoever ends up being the nominee is damaged goods.

For some reason, the Republicans usually avoid this.

#147 ::: Jim Satterfield ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:31 PM:

First, if Ron Paul did simply let someone write these horrible things in his name, he let them do if for years and supposedly never noticed. And some people want this guy at the head of the government? Of course it should be remembered that Ron Paul is philosophically close to the folks at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, many of which don't believe in any government at all. Then you can always read what he wrote at www.lewrockwell.com. But if you do the latter, don't stop at just one. Oh, no. When I see people claiming that Ron Paul believes in personal freedom and has no bigotry I suggest they do a search on "Ron Paul" "Lawrence v. Texas".

#148 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:35 PM:

Serge@87: It's not a matter of fright; I'd guess that the mobsters who play in casinos rather than running them mostly don't play the slots. Most of the rules about slot machines are a matter of state law, since the states see an interest in making the games look fair; there's no obvious financial win to fair elections.

Jim@98: IIRC, "likely" reflects what the pollees say, not how they were chosen. Which suggests that even more people were lying to pollsters, or got interested very late, or got encouraged by the record warm weather, or . . . .

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 09, 2008, 11:38 PM:

143-145

Yes, but methylsulfonylmethane sounds so much more interesting than mainstream media. It's probably a lot better for you, too.

#150 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:15 AM:

Janice G @ 130: Sounds like a remarkably accurate description of the responses of Alberto Gonzales. Not to mention our Very Own Commander in Chief. "What, me, take responsibility???!!?" (with apologies to Alfred E. Neumann).

#151 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:04 AM:

Jim Satterfield @ #137: Oh, gosh! I always knew I liked his politics, but of course I love his architecture!!

#152 ::: Jonathan ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:10 AM:

At some point, it seems inevitable (though perhaps I'm projecting) that Edwards will finally throw in the towel. I'm guessing most of his supporters will go to Obama at that point, perhaps with Edwards as Obama's VP candidate. I don't buy the idea that the Clintons control the Dem Party. Dean is no fan of the Clintons, and the Democrats want the presidency, and know that Hillary won't go over well in a general election.

#153 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:41 AM:

Jonathan @152: ...know that Hillary won't go over well in a general election

*Who* knows this, exactly? I hear this hoary old chestnut repeated a lot, but I never hear *who* won't vote for Hillary in the general election who would have voted for some other Democrat, and I never hear a good reason *why* these hypothetical people won't vote for her. The head-to-head polling data I've seen (flawed though it must be) suggests that Hillary isn't quite as strong as some of the other candidates, but she's by no means unelectable. A part of me thinks we Democrats have internalized the right-wing nutjobs' baseless criticism of Hillary a bit too much.

#154 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:07 AM:

Jonathan, #152: Edwards has already been thru one campaign in the VP slot; I'm not sure he'd settle for being a bridesmaid a second time. He might prefer to play kingmaker in exchange for a Cabinet seat.

Kevin, #153: It's not that we've internalized the nutjobs' views, it's that we know there are a LOT of people out there who are nutjob sympathizers on this one issue. And it's not that they'd vote for a Democrat who wasn't Clinton (although I suppose some of them might, the national mood being what it is) -- it's that they would vote against her even if the opposition was someone they personally disliked. The anti-Clinton rabies is not rational.

OTOH, it does occur to me that a Clinton/Obama ticket, if they could mount a strong enough campaign to actually get elected, would have one major advantage: impeachment insurance. A lot of the people who hate Clinton the most are closet (or not-so-closet) racists. And the cream of the jest would be that, unlike the last couple of Republican "impeachment insurance" choices, Obama would actually be qualified to take over if anything happened to Clinton.

#155 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Lee #154: The anti-Clinton rabies is not rational.

I don't know that I'd consider my position rabid, but the reason I don't think Hillary Clinton should hold public office is that I believe she should have been jailed for lying to the GAO and withholding evidence of her complicity in the Travelgate scandal. I'm a little surprised that none of her political competitors have used that blemish against her in the current presidential race. It would make a fairly plausible attack ad.

#156 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:24 AM:

Gene Lyons (of "Hunting of the President" fame) has some advice he thinks Hillary ought to give Obama.

Everybody’s sickened by Washington-style partisan warfare. We all have Republican friends and relatives whose ideals we value. It’s never been true that all the good ideas belong to one faction or party.

But when I cross party lines, they call it cynical ‘triangulation.’ When you do, it’s praiseworthy ‘bipartisanship.’ Until you’re nominated, that is. That’s when the GOP smear machine will start on you. It’s a Washington thing, run by paid political operatives who have browbeaten and bribed much of the Beltway media into seeing things their way.

There's more.

#157 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:36 AM:

Earl @ #155, Joe Conason wrote an 1996 article about Travelgate which is a pretty convincing tale of that affair, which left no one including the White House press corps looking very admirable.

From Wikipedia, with all the usual caveats,

Moreover, Ray determined Hillary Clinton had given "factually false" testimony[46] when questioned by the GAO, the Independent Counsel, and Congress[44] about the travel office firings, but reiterated that "the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that she knew her statements were false or understood that they may have prompted the firings.[46]" My italics.

Your statement above seems inaccurate.

#158 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:03 AM:

Inaccurate? No, I think I presented an accurate description of my opinion on the matter. I disagree with the special prosecutor's assessment that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the case. Ultimately, I do not think that Hillary Clinton is honest enough to be allowed to hold public office. You are, of course, free to disagree with me. I don't mind at all; I realize that she is popular, and that there are many much, much worse choices for President than she.

#159 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:27 AM:

Earl, if this is strong enough evidence to go after Hillary, shouldn't Bush be on trial too?

#160 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:36 AM:

Yes, of course. But always remember: Cheney first, then Bush. There's still time to impeach.

#161 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:56 AM:

I just found some annoying R*n P*ul product placement: a political poster that players of the PC edition of The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion game can upload to appear at various billboard locations in their game world. I'm not going to provide a link, but it can be googled easily enough with the keywords "oblivion revolution arena poster".

#162 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 06:50 AM:

CHip @ 148... there's no obvious financial win to fair elections

Kind of sad, isn't it?

#163 ::: Scott "the nihilist" H ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 08:38 AM:

Kevin Riggle @ 153but I never hear *who* won't vote for Hillary in the general election who would have voted for some other Democrat

She does seem to be a catalyst for an unusually emotional response. I know a whole lot of people who openly loathe her. On a number of occasions I've asked such folks to explain their reaction, which seems disproportionate to me. I've never--not once--gotten a coherent answer. The root of the loathing she sometimes inspires seems to me to be quite visceral. You either get it or you don't.

Full disclosure: I love her, not particularly because of what she's done or not done, but because all the right people hate her. I send money to her campaign. I hope to vote for her for president.

Another data point: while commuting home yesterday, I saw something like the following written in soap(?) on the back windshield of an SUV:

Intelligent hardworking Taxed To Death citizen
terrified by the socialist presidency of Hilary Clinton
[1]

I'm quoting from memory, so the above probably isn't 100% accurate, but it's reasonably close. The local (suburban Atlanta) outpouring of anti-Hillary vitriol is the closest thing I've ever seen to one of those "spontaneous uprisings of the people" that Mao and Giap were always yapping about. I've long suspected such phenomena were mythical. Now I'm not so sure.

I really, really hope she wins.

#164 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 08:53 AM:

Brenda @143, Janice is right.
MSM stands for mainstream media. Also known as the SCLM (so-called liberal media), or, as I've come across more recently, COM (corporate-owned media).

Linkmeister @156. Thanks for linking to that -- he's right. They all think they're Simon Cowell now, except that's being unfair to Cowell. What boggles me is how anyone can still read jerks like Dowd et al, after how they sneered at Gore in 2000.

#165 ::: Scott D-S ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:15 AM:

Kevin @ 153:

To me, it isn't so much a matter of the Democrats who would NOT vote for Hillary - I am sure there are a number of these, but I don't know how many, and I suspect no one else does, either. I don't much like Hillary, but I will vote for her if she is the nominee.

The real crux of the matter is that Hillary is [rationally or not] truly disliked, if not hated, by a pretty significant portion of the Republican electorate. Some of that assessment is based on polling, some of it is anecdotal. My fear is that her nomination will unite the Republicans in a way that another Democratic candidate would not. I think that the Democrats are going to need to make sure that they don't find a way to unite what is an increasingly divided Republican party (the same problem that has cost the Democrats in the last two Presidential elections, and in others before that). It may not be rational. But it doesn't have to be. Since when have the American voting public really been rational (taken as a whole)?

An interesting case study in this situation is to look at the state of Kansas. Kansas has been getting steadily more conservative for 30-40 years. In fact, there are essentially 3 political parties in Kansas - Conservative Republicans, Moderate Republicans, and Democrats. Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930's. Yet they have a two-term Democratic governor who happens to be a woman [Kathleen Sibelius]. How? The Conservatives and Moderates don't trust each other, and Sibelius split the Republican vote, painting the Conservative Republicans as not representative of the entire populace while appealing to the Moderates to prevent the lunatic fringe from getting/keeping power (sound familiar?) She won her second term with over 55% of the vote, and more Democrats got elected statewide in 2006.

Don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty conservative state, on the whole. But it is an excellent example of how a Democrat can use the fractures in the Republican party against it - just as Republicans have always tried to do to Democrats.

#166 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:20 AM:

Scott D-S @#138: But I can't see how it will be anything but beneficial for the party to keep this a race as long as possible IF they can manage to avoid providing a road map for the Republinazis to beat them in the fall.

I can -- in fact, I immediately flashed to the "keystone" motif of M.A. Foster's Morphodite. By maintaining an artificial balance among their own competitors, the Dems risk leaving their entire party in a fragile balance, which can then be exploited by their true enemies.

By contrast, the "traditional" back-room settlements have this advantage: they let the party emerge into public as a unified bloc, ready to stand together for the real fight. (Interestingly, that process also seems to have broken down for the Rethuglicans this time around.)

#167 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:27 AM:

Lee @154

OTH, I can see an advantage to an Obama/Clinton ticket. It's nearly as good impeachment insurance as Clinton/Obama given the spread of infection of the Clinton rabies, and they would make a fantastic good cop/bad cop team. Obama makes statesmanlike speeches that persuade people to cooperate with him, and Clinton gets to say the things about their opponents that "bipartisonship"* won't let him say. Hell, the Clinton haters already treat her like a junkyard dog, might as well act the part to them.

Say, remember how Bill C made a big deal of using "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" as his theme song? Hillary should use "You Don't Mess Around with Jim":

"You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind ..."

* What a truly ugly word. It looks like it should mean something like "having a tendency to go down with the ship".

#168 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:41 AM:

I don't see an Obama/Clinton (or Clinton/Obama) ticket happening. I can see Obama/Edwards or Clinton/Edwards, but if Clinton had Obama as a running mate, she would worry about being uptaged by Obama's charisma and oratory, and if Obama had Clinton - no, I just don't see that happening.

Massive egos are a prerequisite for running, but with Clinton and Obama, the clash would be unworldly.

What the hell, I could be wrong.

#169 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:28 AM:

Earl, #158: I realize... that there are many much, much worse choices for President than she.

That statement alone separates you from the people with anti-Clinton rabies. See Scott @163 for examples of the sort of thing I include under that heading.

#170 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:36 AM:

Scott D-S @ 165: So you think we should select the candidate who is viscerally hated by the least number of people? You think more people would go to the polls to vote against Hillary than would go to the polls to vote against Obama? Hm. Either way, we could make ourselves crazy trying to decide which candidate would bring more vermin crawling out from behind the woodwork. No matter who the candidate turns out to be, at most they'll win a little over 50% of the vote, and the best we can hope for is that the haters are concentrated in the states that will almost certainly vote republican no matter who the candidate is on either side.

#171 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:36 AM:

Travelgate scandal

Oh please. Dead horse costume, not even a dead horse.

#172 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Today, our very own linkmeister posted on his blog an excerpt from Gene Lyons about Clinton and Obama. The bottom line is that, no matter who we choose as our Candidate, whether or not he/she might polarize the other side or the undecided, it won't make a difference. In other words, there's no point in letting 'them' choose for us.

#173 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Hmmm

http://truthseeds.org/2008/01/09/errors-transposing-votes-and-diebold-machines-removed-votes-from-obama-and-paul/


http://truthseeds.org/2008/01/09/errors-transposing-votes-and-diebold-machines-removed-votes-from-obama-and-paul/

"‘Errors’ Transposing Votes and Diebold Machines Removed Votes From Obama and Paul

"Allegations of vote fraud in New Hampshire’s primary are growing. In what was advertised as a fair and open election in the Live Free or Die state, it appears that concerns of the fraud and data manipulation are viable.

"The data from Diebold Accuvote optical scanner electronic voting machines is up to 5% points different than the hand-written ballots that were cast. Sutton Town has now reported an error in transposing votes and an employee of LHS Associates, whom counted 81% of the vote, has a criminal record.

"Township clerk Jennifer Call of Sutton, New Hampshire has confirmed that ‘31′ votes were in fact cast for Ron Paul in Sutton when ‘0′ votes were initially reported...."

#174 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:03 AM:

Bruce S-t-M @167

The sort of thing you suggest there reminds me of a tactic used by Ned Ray McWherter, when he was speaker of the Tennessee House, back these many years ago. When a legislator (especially those in his own party) was being recalcitrant about supporting a bill McWherter wanted to see passed, he's invite them to come by his office. Once there, he'd draw their attention to a picture he had on the wall of a piece of heavy highway-construction equipment (usually the newest, shiniest, most impressive piece currently available), and go over some of its features--then lean in and say "If you don't get in line and vote right on this thing, you're as close to one of those things, or any other piece of highway equipment, as anyone is your district is going to get for the rest of your term."

#175 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:38 AM:

Paula @ 173 -

That Truthseeds site you link to also has a number of posts dealing with the "truth" of 9/11, which is more of the same stuff about it being an inside job.

#176 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:48 AM:

Paula @ 173:
Hi Paula--interesting, but the logic is flawed. With regard to the democratic results, they're not claiming that any ballots were counted first by machine, then by hand (or vice-versa) with different results. They're saying that Hillary won a larger percentage of the votes in precincts in which the votes were counted by machines. The assumption that her machine-counted percentages should have matched her paper-ballot percentages would follow only if the distribution of voting machines was random among the precincts. Based on the detailed results, it looks like the small towns had almost entirely hand-counted paper ballots, while the larger urban areas had machines. Since Hillary won in the large urban areas, the discrepancy between hand-counted and machine-counted ballots follows. The exit polling showed her winning big among women, people without college degrees, and union members. I tend to believe the results if they're in line with the exit polling (which is why I'm still suspicious of the 2004 results.)

#177 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:14 PM:

176 Mary

I agree with your logic, actually--different populations don't necessarily have the same preferences for candidates, food, jewelry, artwork, etc.


Regarding conspiracy theories in general--I still want to know what happened above the level of the FBI field agents, that was involved in -squelching- all investigation by said field agents, into foreigners taking passenger jet flying lessons who had no apparently legimitate reasons for being interested in learning how to fly big passenger planes, especially given that they weren't interesting in learning how to land them. I have yet to see any Reporter going in and doing any investigation, much less any federal oversight action digging in for real....

#178 ::: Jim Parish ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:14 PM:

Bruce Cohen @167:

Hillary should use "You Don't Mess Around with Jim"

You do remember how that song ends, don't you?

"You better believe they sung a different kind of story when Big Jim hit the floor"

#179 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:32 PM:

Sorta re: #177, Paula Lieberman -

It occurs to me just now - I think how to land a plane is the last skill you're taught, because it is the most tricky. If the people in question said, "Oh, no, I don't care to learn how to land," that's extremely suspicious. If they said, "Oh, dear, I'm sorry, I can't finish the course right now. I'll restart later," that's much less so, and it would make sense to me that no one would think twice.

Not really arguing for or against the whole thing, just something that I thought of just now.

#180 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:38 PM:

Landings are taught early on, and the student pilot is expected to get the basics down by the fifth or sixth lesson.

When I took my flight training, I enjoyed a good landing even more than a good takeoff - it seemed a perfect coda to the flight.

#181 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 12:52 PM:

Steve @ #180, "I enjoyed a good landing even more than a good takeoff"

Um, well, one would, wouldn't one?

#182 ::: Hugh ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:04 PM:

Tanya @53

Just for a bit of trivia, that's a much too fragmented map to be counties. I'm afraid I don't remember how many counties exist in NH - I last learned them in the fifth grade, many, many years ago - but it's something under 20. That looks like towns to me.

In general, I'm unsurprised by the NH election results. NH tends to be a conservative state, and Hillary is the more conservative candidate. Just my opinion, of course.

#183 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:05 PM:

Linkmeister @ 181 -

Well, they say any landing you can walk away from...

By good landing, I meant a textbook stabilized approach, any crosswind handled perfectly, touching down on the mains just as the stall warning horn sounds, the nosewheel settling to the centerline of the runway, and a smooth roll down to the taxiway. In real life, most landings will be less than perfect, but they will be absolutely safe.

While were on the subject, if you've ever felt a particularly firm landing in a jetliner, in most cases, that's a good landing. If the winds are dodgy, the runway short, the approach constrained because of traffic, the pilot will like to have the beast on the ground definitively. A "greaser", where you don't know for sure when you've stopped flying and started landing, is not always a good way to go.

#184 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:29 PM:

#180, Steve C -

Ha! That blows that theory out of the water. Thanks!

#185 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:35 PM:

I'm an Edwards fan. I have friends who dislike Bush, intensely.

One of them was explaining she couldn't vote for Clinton, because Clinton was... well it boiled down to, "icky".

She said her biggest concern was Healthcare, and that was why she couldn't vote for her, then it was income issues; and a general support for unions, and a whole lot of other things I wish Clinton was more supportive of.

When I pointed out that my friend; who is, philosophically, a semi-liberal Republican, had the most in common with Clinton, the response was an even more visceral repudiation.

I think she'd vote for Tancredo, or Brownback, or Santorum before she'd vote for Clinton. If Clinton gets the nod, the best hope is my friend is so disgusted she stays home; because she won't vote for her.

I think I've convinced my housemate to change his affiliation and vote for Edwards... shocked, I tell you, shocked. What he really wants is a Goldwater, or even a Rockefeller. I don't know that he won't vote for a third party candidate before he'll vote for a Clinton.

I'm not voting for her on Feb. 5 because I don't think she's the best candidate. If she wins the nomination; she gets my support; unswerving, and as a unqualified as I can make it.

#186 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:40 PM:

180: in my aviation days I was told "if you think the three finest things in life are a well-executed landing, a profound sexual climax and a satisfying bowel movement, you should join the Fleet Air Arm, because a carrier landing is the only opportunity you'll get to experience all three simultaneously".

#187 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:43 PM:

Terry Karney @ 185... Santorum? AKA man-on-dog Santorum?

#188 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:43 PM:

R. M. Koske:

I don't know if it holds true today, but when I took flying lessons, you started out flying single engine planes (prop jobs) and worked your way up to jets. (I didn't get THAT far, I didn't have the money.)

Licensing used to run: Single engine, Twin Engine, Multi-engine...etc.

On my first flying lesson, the instructor made the landing but had me rest my hands lightly on the stick and my feet on the rudder pedals so I could feel what a correct landing was like.

So I'm very puzzled about the "didn't want to learn to land bit" as you have to learn to land every type of plane as you worked your way up through the system. So the terrorists taking flying lessons would have had to have had SOME practice landing smaller planes.

(Note: I'm not recommending trying to land a 757 without the appropriate training!)

#189 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:45 PM:

ajay @ 186 -

I love it! I'm going to forward that to my niece's husband, who's a naval aviator.

#190 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:51 PM:

#185: I really wish the Democratic candidates would point out that they have more in common than they have differences. I wish they'd point out that any one of them would be vastly better than any of the Republican candidates.

Unfortunately, saying that doesn't really help make you the Democratic nominee.

Honestly, I'm not sure ultimately I care which one of them becomes the Democratic nominee. I do believe that a Clinton administration would be different from, say, an Obama administration. But, in comparison to a, say, Huckabee administration, those differences seem minor. (If we go by the issues, I think I have the most in common with Kucinich. I'm hardly going to stay home, just because he's not the nominee.) I'd just like the Democratic candidates to stop beating each other up. Save the fire for the Republicans.

#191 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 01:59 PM:

#188 Lori:

That's presupposing that they had done the/been required to "learn in SEL first" stuff. I have no idea what the training syllabi in use for the passenger liner plane training was--with modern flight simulators one can do essentially -all- the training in the simulators for the purposes of "learning to fly." Getting certified to fly is a different issue. Regarding props versus jets, props don't have the delay between pilot action and engine response, that jets have--time in a single engine prop plane is really only a screen regarding flying jets, to wash out people who e.g. have inner ear issues that make them unsuitable as flight crew (I knew at least one person who washed out of flight training because of insurmountable airsickness--he had had a guaranteed assignment IF he could have gotten through flight school, and if his body had cooperated. But that was not to be....) or who have other issues that it's cheaper to find out about and wash the person out in low cost per hour flying.... but with modern simulators, again, if the object is to learn to fly specific classes of plane and expense isn't an issue, presumably one can skip the screening at the smaller planes levels, and go straight to flight school, equipped with the $$$ to pay.
learning to fly a single engine

#192 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:04 PM:

Serge: Yes, "Man on Dog" Santorum.

Clinton hatred (which seems stronger in the reaction to Hillary) isn't rational. I've heard direct, and sincere, comparisons to Stalin, and veiled ones to Hitler, and Pol Pot.

It makes no sense to me.

#193 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Paula @ 191 -

No flight school that I know will start a student out in anything more than a single-engine aircraft. Now, flight sims are another matter - there, the sky's the limit.

#194 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:13 PM:

Terry Karney... Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot? Do I hear "Bingo!" ? I don't get this whole hatred either, this fear of women. (I also don't get their obsession over intercourse with non-human mammals either.)

#195 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 02:15 PM:

All this talk about flying makes me want to watch my DVD of The Right Stuff tonight. The scene with Sally Rand has nothing to do with that, of course.

#196 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:00 PM:

re 172: I'm not sure I would agree with your interpretation of Linkmeister's blog entry, but in any case I think Scott up in 165 has a better picture of the dynamics.

Right now Clinton is the establishment candidate for the Democrats, as testified to by the superdelegate counts if not by press coverage. The superdelegates, after all, were introduced to bias the system in favor of the Democratic establishment. Meanwhile, people in this blog demonize Republicans routinely, to the point where I tend to just discount it all.

Part of Clinton's "problem" in this isn't so much that some (or even many) people hate her; it's that she's someone that people in general have had a lot of time to make up their mind about. For better or worse, she stands in perhaps a majority of voters' minds for "four more years of Clinton." It is possible that she could remake this image, but to do so she would have to swim against a strong current of political reporting that as we all know likes to stick to script. So picking her likely means living with however much absolute support/opposition she has, and hoping the Republicans pick someone too distasteful for the swing vote. Obama is not nearly so much a fixed quantity.

#197 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 03:06 PM:

people in this blog demonize Republicans routinely

Oh really?

Part of Clinton's "problem" in this isn't so much that some (or even many) people hate her; it's that she's someone that people in general have had a lot of time to make up their mind about.

Oh really? She was being demonized while Bill Clinton was president. Most of those who 'hate' her have had years of practice, and they won't change their minds now.

#198 ::: VictorS ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:00 PM:

P.J. -- On the Clinton-hating question, you seem to be in angry agreement with C. Wingate. Is that the case?

On the other question: Yes, really.

I'll assert that the Republicans, of late, have been highly demonizable -- or perhaps self-demonizing -- but yes.

#199 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:02 PM:

Jim Parish @ 178

Yeah, I forgot that. Well, sounds like the song needs some judicious editing before use. Thing is, I thought of that song by association from the comment about a junkyard dog to "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown", which I somehow conflated with "Don't Mess Around with Jim". Maybe what Clinton needs is a mashup of the two.

#200 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:05 PM:

Man, Richardson is dropping. He was the best. I was just looking at the California rules for who gets delegates, and it's only people who get more than 15% of the vote in a district, so I was probably not going to vote for him anyway (because I doubt even the Fruitvale voters in Oakland are enough to push him over that barrier)... But still, too bad.

I'm guessing his best bet for a VP slot is if Clinton is president, and then he might have some influence on foreign policy, which he's great at... But my vote's swinging to Obama, I guess, because I'm tired of two-family rule. On the other hand, I was hearing that Obama was courting Wes Clark for VP, and I'm pretty damn disgusted by people like Clark who only want to take part in politics if they can start at the top.

#201 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Scott "the nihilist" H #163, "spontaneous uprisings of the people" might possibly occur, but something like you describe is very dependent on a deep foundation of propaganda and rumour, peddling hate, suspicion and riducule, often over years, so that certain attitudes, assumptions and reactions become 'natural' and unthinking.

Think of things like lynching and other intercommunity violence in the US and around the world, built on sometimes centuries of such stories like layers of encrusted paint, ready to push our primitive hot-buttons. (See also Quatermass and the Pit.) I also think of the constant streams of anti-gay, anti-equal women, anti-environment, anti-supportive society memes I hear and see repeated and repeated in so many places.

#202 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Scott "the nihilist" H #163, "spontaneous uprisings of the people" might possibly occur, but something like you describe is very dependent on a deep foundation of propaganda and rumour, peddling hate, suspicion and riducule, often over years, so that certain attitudes, assumptions and reactions become 'natural' and unthinking.

Think of things like lynching and other intercommunity violence in the US and around the world, built on sometimes centuries of such stories like layers of encrusted paint, ready to push our primitive hot-buttons. (See also Quatermass and the Pit.) I also think of the constant streams of anti-gay, anti-equal women, anti-environment, anti-supportive society memes I hear and see repeated and repeated in so many places.

#203 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:30 PM:

VictorS: C. Wingate's claim, I believe, was that people hate Clinton so strongly because she's been in the public eye long enough for them to form that opinion about her based on her actions. PJ's claim, on the other hand, was I think that she was hated the instant she came into the public eye, and the reasons for hating her haven't changed since, no matter what she's done.

I think there are perfectly reasonable reasons to hate her, but that that fact is covered up by all the irrational reasons that people actually hate her for.

#204 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:36 PM:

Oh dear. Apologies. Not enough oxygen leads to not enough sleep, and mistakes. Looking forward to another lung drain in a few days, miserable tho' the experience is.

#205 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:44 PM:

ethan

I don't hate Clinton ... but I won't vote for her (or Obama either) unless she's actually nominated, because she's too conservative for me.
I want better Democrats, not just more of them.

#206 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:53 PM:

#193 Steve
But I think that those were for profit training institutions which got lots of money from foreign students sponsored by foreign corporate entities.

There is a lack of information regarding who sponsored the 9/11 murderers' presence in the USA and at flight school. Most of them were Saudi Arabian and the junta that's been monopolizing the US Executive Branch and which had the allegiatnce of a monopolized Congress for most of the 1990s through the end of 2006, blocked all attempts to look critically at people with Saudi Arabian passports and their sponsors.

Regarding profit-making training institutions, consider e.g. University of Phoenix and its often worse-than worthless certificates of training--the institutions' been convicted among other things of fraud in its promotions of the value and validity of training that it provides.

PS, I have had a private pilot certification (it did get mentioned some weeks back, that I was one of the pilots flying a plane from LA to Denvention and back, in 1981. But, the way things were done a quarter century plus ago, versus today....

#207 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 04:55 PM:

ethan @ 203... PJ's claim, on the other hand, was I think that she was hated the instant she came into the public eye

Yeah... I seem to remember reading that, within a few weeks of Bill Clinton's first won-fair-and-square election, impeach Clinton bumper stickers popped up even before he had the chance to do his evil deeds (whatever those were). I don't know how long it took before variant sticker impeach Clinton - and her husband too made an appearance. The point is that, from the word go, the Republican Party never could swallow that Bill Clinton was a legitimately and democratically elected President, or that it was his right to have his smart wife participate.

#208 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 05:48 PM:

I have several things against Clinton, but none of them rise to the level of a reason to hate her. She's too conservative for my taste, but then so was Bill (the DOMA and DADT spring to mind).

ethan, I'm curious what you thing the reasonable reasons to hate her are. Early support for the war? I didn't agree, even then (in fact I opposed the first Gulf War, which I was right about, and the invasion of Afghanistan, which I was wrong about), but the fact is, the Bush Administration lied to Congress about the WMDs. If they'd told the truth ("We wanna have a war so Dubya can swing his dick on an aircraft carrier, just as if he were an actual warrior, and to prove he's got bigger balls than his dad"), then I'd hate anyone who voted for it; but back then there were still people who believed that the Bushistas were capable of telling the truth—say, if it were shoved down their throats with a crowbar.

With 20/20 hindsight, we know they lie even in their sleep. But to hate someone for believing their evidence (and they used up their one honorable member to present it, to make it more credible) seems odd to me.

Are there things I'm just not thinking of?

#209 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 05:58 PM:

Madeline @ 200: Richardson was my first choice too. I think he'd be a great choice for VP.

#210 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 06:05 PM:

P J Evans @ 205
I won't vote for her (or Obama either) unless she's actually nominated, because she's too conservative for me.

Precisely my problem with her. As far as I can tell her stance on the Iraq war is "I'm not soft on terrorism, so the war must go on", which is not an acceptable position to me. My guess is that her position is based on the surge having "worked", and therefore not being politically expedient to attack.

#211 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 06:07 PM:

Xopher @ 208... the DOMA and DADT spring to mind

Remember though that, when he tried to fix health care, everybody fell on him like a ton of bricks. Democrats certainly didn't show him any support when the DOMA and DADT came up. If I were him, I'd probably have said "F*ck you" and told them to take the job if they thought he was so bad at it. But that's just my opinion.

I wish Gore had run this year.

#212 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 06:44 PM:

C. Wingate: It took me a long time to come to the level of dislike, antipathy; and in some cases borderline hatred, of the present actors in the Republican Party.

They worked at it, with things like Gingrich shutting down the Gov't., the unending attempts to get the Clintons; married to a complete lack of attention to the acts of those who are on their side of the aisle (and that matters because we were lectured to about the need to uphold the rule of law. I'm just trying apply the standard they set). We heard all about Whitewater... but nothing about Harkin. Clinton's use of pot in England, but not anything about Bush's boozing and; probable, snorting.

Clinton, "dodged" the draft; and we can't be allowed to forget it. Gore served in Viet-nam, but had, "a cush job.", and so it doesn't count. Bush's failure to complete his obligation (of which the AF reducing him to Airman is presumptively dispositive), however, isn't important.

Hillary had Vince Foster killed, but Laura's hitting a guy while she was drunk isn't looked at.

Those are the double standards the party has for scandal. They say Clinton committed perjury (which he didn't) about a blow-job, and ought to have been turned out of office.

Libby did commit perjury, in way which harmed the national (and world) interest in the slowing of the spread of nuclear weapons, and they say he didn't do anything wrong, was the victim of a witch hunt and deserves a pardon.

Those are the easy things to explain.

Abramoff, Alberto, "It's only torture if they lose a limb" Gonzales, Duke Cunningham, Tom Delay, Ted Stevens, John, "if the president says so, it's legal," Woo, and I forget who all else are the support team.

"Dick, "I'm a fourth branch of Gov't, and no one gets to oversee my actions" Cheney, and George, "I'm breaking the law, and I'll keep doing it," Bush are the Varsity.

Until, and unless, they can clean house, they deserve more scorn than I heap on them.

I am appalled that anger, based on evidence, is something you, "tune out," because the things about which the people here are angry are the fundamental issues of the day.

Do we keep the rule of law, or give over, completely, to the rule of men and money.

#213 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 06:57 PM:

Terry Karney @ 212... And this is why we are the demonizers. (At least we don't try to run someone off the road if we don't like their bumper stickers.)

#214 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 07:10 PM:

Terry @ #212, John Yoo, not Woo. And why Berkeley accepted him back as a prof is beyond me.

Let's not forget David Addington, Cheney's lawyer and now chief of staff (replacing the now-pardoned Libby). Addington's the biggest proponent of the Unitary Executive Theory there is.

And then there's the judiciary. Don't leave Roberts and Alito out of your indictment.

Oh, and all the moles from the Federalist Society and the right-wing think tanks at sub-cabinet levels in the government agencies who have replaced the career people who've quit in disgust.

#215 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 07:29 PM:

re 203: I wouldn't say that reasons for disliking Hillary are necessarily rational-- indeed, often quite the opposite, and also simply that she personifies Liberalism in the same way that Dubya personifies Conservatism-- which is to say, inaccurately but inevitably. My point was only that people have had a long time to make up their minds, for whatever reason; it's irrelevant that those reasons may be irrational.

I don't think she was hated as soon as she came onto the scene-- remembering that she has been on the scene a very long time, and well before 1992. She was badly hurt by the health insurance debacle.

Terry, both sides have double standards for scandal. It's all part of the game.

#216 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 07:36 PM:

Linkmeister #214: John Yoo, not Woo

Ah, that's a relief; for a moment, there, I was chagrined that the maestro of ballistics ballet had gone political.

#217 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 07:37 PM:

Linkmeister: No, Libby wasn't pardoned. Better yet he was commuted, without a day served.

So he can't be compelled to testify.

#218 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 08:33 PM:

Terry, right. Commuted, my mistake.

#219 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 08:39 PM:

At #215, C. wrote, "I don't think she was hated as soon as she came onto the scene-- remembering that she has been on the scene a very long time, and well before 1992."

I didn't know that she was on the national scene before then. What are you remembering?

#220 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 08:42 PM:

I seem to recall that the right-wing hatred of Mrs. Clinton turned blatant following her remark that she chose not to stay home to bake cookies which, I believe, she uttered during the first campaign (though I could be misremembering).

#221 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:28 PM:

I haven't heard a rational remark about the Clintons (either of them) from the conservative side for years. Even before that, you had the remarks - especially those in televised speeches - about the ACLU and liberals being unAmerican, and some of those remarks used the word 'traitor'. Those remarks were made before the Clintons were residents of Washington, and should have gotten a lot more unfavorable attention than was then given them. But George and Barbara were such nice people [/snark], and beside they'd been there a long time, so they got a free pass on being nasty to about half the people in the country.

This has been going on for a lot longer than fifteen years.

#222 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 09:55 PM:

Paula #177:

A big problem with investigating that is that anyone who squelched those investigations for any reason--deep dark conspiracy, office politics, didn't like the annoying squeaky voice of the FBI agent who wanted to investigate further--has the best imaginable motive to cover their ass with bogus explanations, dodge questions, etc.

My sense is that the FBI is rarely held to account for screw ups like this, or the attempted framing of Richard Jewel (which would have left Eric Randolph off the hook), or any number of other things. A cynical person would suspect that the tradition of keeping extensive files on lots of powerful congressmen didn't die with J Edgar Hoover, but I'm sure the real explanation involves patriotic congressmen who just have a deep and abiding trust for G-men.

#223 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 10:40 PM:

mary@176: your report of more urban votes for Clinton lines up with a discussion on NPR; a pollster said it looked like more poor people voted for Clinton and admitted that polling doesn't adequately represent more people -"because more of them don't respond"-.

various on Hillary-haters: IMO, what they hate is that she might actually make something happen. cf the nasty comments about Roosevelt (at least nobody can call HRC a traitor to her class), or the hatred directed at WJC (IMO) because he was just as effective a schmoozer as Reagan, thereby undercutting Republicans who could only do well against old pols, policy wonks, geeks, ...

Xopher@208: the evidence was clear that Bush was lying by the time of the resolution; see for instance the alleged centrifuge tubes. IMO, no Democrat has an excuse for voting in favor -- but the real debit against HRC is she still won't admit that history has made it clear she voted the wrong way.

Wingate@215: your claim that the two sides have different standards for scandal does not hold up even to the facts Terry presented. Care to try again?

re the FBI not examining who squelched the investigation of questionable pilot trainees: was it squelching or simple incompetence? Today's NPR news included a report of at least one top-secret wiretap that was shut down because the office running it was massively behind ($10e5?6?) on its phone bill, and it wasn't the only one that was deep in the hole.

#224 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:01 PM:

Forgive me if I've mentioned this before, but...

I was recently surprised by a bit of right-wing propaganda insisting that a Hillary Clinton presidency would in fact be a 3rd term of Bill Clinton, because he'd be the one really running things.

My surprise comes from presuming that this sentiment comes from the same faction who sported Impeach Clinton - And Her Husband Too bumper stickers during Bill's two terms.

Strikes me as slightly inconsistent, really. I mean, if they think Hillary was a scary, powerful, shadow puppeteer pulling Bill's strings from '92 to '00, what makes them think she'd spend her own presidency being manipulated by her former puppet? Is she the mastermind or the foil? Will these people please make up their minds?

#225 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:10 PM:

#224 Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little: I mean, if they think Hillary was a scary, powerful, shadow puppeteer pulling Bill's strings from '92 to '00, what makes them think she'd spend her own presidency being manipulated by her former puppet?

Yeah, well, I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but this hatred and fear of Senator Clinton is not a narrative that has to make any sense. Do our worst nightmares tell us sensible stories? Do our primal phobias make any sort of narrative sense?

It is an astonishing thing to see. Something very primitive and reptilian brain about it. Hillaphobia.

#226 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:43 PM:

The latest wingnut spin is that Hillary got her win in New Hampshire by busing in fake voters from out of state.

No, really, I'm not kidding.

#227 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 10, 2008, 11:57 PM:

Xopher #208: "Hate" might have been the wrong word, at least in the context I used it in. My problem with Clinton is that, like many Democrats, her tendency towards warmongering corporate imperialism is only a more restrained version of the Republicans'. I have trouble believing she was fooled by Bush on Iraq (I never was, and she's a lot smarter and privy to a lot more information than I am), and her husband's policies on Iraq were nearly as deadly as Bush's*, if over a longer period of time, for instance.

That said, I have similar problems with Obama and Edwards. What pushes Clinton to the bottom of the heap for me is that her recent rhetoric is the most war-happy of the top three Democrats.

Don't get me wrong; if she's the nominee I will most certainly vote for her against whoever the Republican is, because as I think I remember you saying, things getting bad slow is better than things getting bad fast. But I have a whole lot of trouble believing that any of the Democrats will do anything other than slow down the bad.

*It may be wrong to use Bill Clinton's record against her, seeing as they're two different people, but she is using his administration as part of the "experience" she's campaigning on.

#228 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 12:52 AM:

Mr. Macdonald @ #226: WTF??!! Um, I've always been under the impression that doing that in NH would be like doing that here - not very effective, because the towns and such are small enough, that people know each other.

Some people need to put their foil beanies back on their heads.

#229 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 01:11 AM:

CHip 223:

Incompetence or malice, either way the management overseeing

(or failing to exercise oversight, such that the 9/11 mass murderers were -allowed- to freely continue taking flight lessons unimpeded by any impounding and examination of their possessions including computer systems, and ones on the watch list were allowed into the country despite being on the watch list, etc., with the end result being the atrocities which could have been and SHOULD have been averted... a "competent" administration looking out for the wellbeing of the public would have had people in charge who respected the ability and judgment and experience of their subordinates, and would have provided them the go-ahead to investigate as they exhorted to be allowed to investigate. Note that there WERE terrorist plots that got -stopped- on December 31 1999 by the Clinton administration's federal bureaucracy, note also when the Clinton administration left, it keep TRYING to get the incoming assholes to heed the warnings that the outgoing administration kept trying to provide that were being summarily deaf-eared by the incoming arrogant [more opprobrius termsm deleted] regarding the threat posed by Al Qaeda. All that stuff is on record. Be it incompetence, arrogance, deliberate malfeasance/conspiracy as the more extreme conspiracy theorists would have it, or a mix of such things, the bottom line is that the people at the top bear the responsibility for the actions, or inactions, of the bureaucracy as a whole--the commander is SUPPOSED to be RESPONSIBLE for what happened under his or her command, and if the appartchiks;' performance is miserable, the people who put them there and KEPT THEM there, bear at least equal amounts of culpability for the end results.)

those whose actions/failures resulted in the 9/11 atrocities, are responsible for having failed to take measures which were available which the high probability was would have uncovered the plots, and thus would have prevented their going forwards so lethally and destructively.

And furthermore, the actions of the misadministration in blowing off Al Qaeda and Taliban and failing to rebuild Afghanistan as opposed to promoting a slightly different set of intolerant misogynistic murderous fanatics as warlords to oppress the populace to be in charge, and instead playing "let's invade Iraq, let anarchy and looting replace the police force and government operations that used to be in the country, and let's chase down Saddam! Don;t bother putting any security details out in the streets, or on museums, schools, any government offices except the oil ministry, don;t bother rounding up the armed forces members and securing the records on the personnel to be able to separate out the murderous thugs of the Revolutionary Guard from 18 year olds doing service who in the USA would be conscientious objects, and do orderly out processing of sane decent folks and keep the murderous crazied locked up and prepare lawsuits for atrocities against them, don't bother restarting the local economy and ensuring that the huge percentage of the population of teenage to early adulthood males (and females) would have jobs or be in school to keep them occupied and with incomes so that they didn't turn into disaffected militants with nothing to lose that they hadn't already lost--provide someone with an economic and social position in society where the person sees worthwhile economic and personal reward and a feeling of accomplishment for participating, and you get a stable society. Deny them income and a place and a feeling of belonging and value, and it;s a breeding ground for rioting, looting, robbery, violence, rape, murder, etc."... anyway, the results have been abominable, murderous, resulted in untold numbers of dead civilians, millions of displaced persons, worldwide economic pain, hatred and loathing for the United States...

#230 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 01:27 AM:

Mr Macdonald @ 226: well, at least it's a traditional canard. It always warms my heart to see wingnuts return to their roots. I can't wait for them to trot out her undoubted card-carrying-Commie status.

#231 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:09 AM:

pericat, don't forget the "she'll take your guns away" trope.

#232 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:04 AM:

James D. Macdonald @ 226

No, really, I'm not kidding.

Sadly, neither are the wingnuts.

#233 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 10:24 AM:

ehtan #227:

I wonder how much of Hillary's warmongering streak is simply something she thinks she *has* to do, in order to be seen as tough enough to be president despite being a woman.

#234 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 10:35 AM:

Yeah, well, I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but this hatred and fear of Senator Clinton is not a narrative that has to make any sense. Do our worst nightmares tell us sensible stories? Do our primal phobias make any sort of narrative sense?

Yeah, I know... but I think part of me, the part that continues to have faith in humanity despite all evidence (otherwise why go on?) keeps trying to find reasons for the unreasonable. Or else it's the writerly part of me that wants characters to be internally consistent.

I mean, as far as I can tell, my nightmares make consistent sense on a psychological level, if not a literal one...

I suppose these people's bogeyman isn't actually Hillary or Bill specifically. It's simply Clintonphobia, and they'll seize on any narrative that's handy at the moment to support it.

#235 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:16 AM:

Terry Karney @212:

Thank you for stating clearly and briefly the crimes of the GOP and the current Mal-Administration.

If a Democrat had done the same things they would have executed him.

Nixon was impeached for a whole lot less. (And in other exciting news, it seems the FBI hasn't been paying its' phone bills for wiretaps!)

#236 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:22 AM:

Pericat @230:

That they can't do -- Hillary Rodham Clinton was a "Goldwater Girl." Once upon a time, Hillary was a Republican.

#237 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:23 AM:

And now, Dennis Kucinich, Democratic Also-Ran, is seeking a recount in the NH Democratic Primary.

#238 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:25 AM:

Lore, 236: Oh, so you're saying she's a flip-flopper!

#239 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:48 AM:

TexAnne, that's one way of looking at it!

IF she wins the nomination, it will be "hold my nose" and vote Democratic in the general election. My candidate is Edwards, and I wouldn't trust Obama as far as I can throw him. He's way to fond of the possibility of using nukes...

#240 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:53 AM:

Just saw on the news that Arizona's governor has endorsed Obama.

#241 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 01:12 PM:

albatross #233: Regardless of why she does it, it's how she votes.

#242 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 01:40 PM:

#237 Jim: Ideally, they'd be doing recounts on randomly sampled precincts to keep their opscan machines honest all the time. I wonder if he has some reason to suspect some kind of fraud or other trouble....

#243 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 01:58 PM:

Lori #235:

Nixon wasn't impeached, because he resigned first. But the Republicans in congress weren't willing to vote in a bloc to keep him from being impeached and convicted, which is why he resigned. There's a famous quoted conversation between Nixon and Goldwater in which Nixon asks how many congressmen were going to vote to impeach on various charges, and at some point, Goldwater responds "I'm afraid I'm going to have to vote to impeach on that one."

The two major differences I can see between Bush's situation and Nixon's:

a. A lot of Bush's major misdeeds (like massive wiretapping in violation of FISA, authorizing torture of prisoners, etc.) plausibly link to him trying to do his job, rather than just some kind of personal power grab.

b. The Republicans have been willing to fight to protect him, I think largely because of (a). Indeed, I'm pretty consistently amazed at how willing congressional Republicans are to sacrifice their political futures to stand up for Bush. I'd love to understand the reasons for that better.

My cynical assumption is that your chances of getting impeached at this point depend much less on what you do than on how the votes fall out in Congress.

IMO, the day after the administration made their breathtaking claim of the power to disappear US citizens off US soil and hold them incommunicado indefinitely, the congress should have started up impeachment proceedings. I don't recall anything before that which rose to the level of impeachment to my mind, since dumb decisions, cherry-picking the advice you want to follow, etc., are bad but not criminal. There have been a couple of things after that which would have risen to that level, though--the wiretapping scandal and the revelation of a network of secret prison/torture chambers are pretty obvious examples.

I also wonder how much of the crap that came out in the Cointelpro investigation is being done now; there are certainly plenty of allegations along those lines.

#244 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:26 PM:

plausibly link to him trying to do his job

A lot of them are just simple power grabs ... or out-and-out misreadings of what he's allowed to do. "The President says it's legal" is not a valid reason to break laws, or to tell other people to break them, because his job is not deciding what the laws mean.

#245 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:36 PM:

re 229: A quick check shows that the 9/11 hijackers were using simulator time in December 2000, which is a little early to be hanging blame on the Bush admin. Really, the whole "why wasn't it stopped?" issue is easy. It wasn't stopped because it wasn't what anyone was looking for, because people were still acting on a different paradigm for what terrorists might do with airliners. A really smart guy might have figured it out, but seeing as how the info was spread out over a lot of people, a lot of whom didn't really see themselves as having the responsibility of being suspicious, it's unclear how that person could have directed them all to be on the watch.

re 220: The "cookies" remark was condescending and set a lot of people's teeth on edge; she rightfully earned some of the anger directed at her for saying it. Note some; not all. And agrees with that assessment, and said so, just as she had regretted an earlier remark about Tammy Wynette.

Actually, let me jump back to #212 at this point: I missed the Laura drunk driving thing--

Back up again. Even if you don't like Wikipedia, it is useful as a pointer to sources. Let's recap the accident: she was two days past her 17th birthday when she hit the car her boyfriend was driving. Acto the AP story recounting the accident report, police reported that neither driver had been drinking. So now that we've gotten that 44 year old slur on her character out of the way--

The thing is that all of this stuff was discussed, at length. The Wash. Post had a long series, in detail, about the military service of the various candidates in the two campaigns. And you know, part of the reason I voted for Kerry was because of that coverage.

And I live in the state that had Spiro Agnew(R) and Marvin Mandel(D) as successive governors. Look, I have no love lost for the current administration; I think they have bungled almost everything they've touched (and have been rather aggressive about touching things that should have been left alone, to boot). You can find a lot of conservatives out there who think this too, if you step away from the neocon mouthpieces. Even Dubya's own father thinks his mideast adventures were ill-advised. But I can say all this without open-ended attacks on Republicans.

#246 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:45 PM:

Albatross @243: True, I should have said "almost impeached." The votes were there, which is why Nixon resigned.

I think destroying an entire covert operation* by outting Valerie Plame could be accounted treason, and justifies impeachment of a goodly portion of the Bush regime -- starting with Cheney.

Isn't it interesting that Bushwacko was claiming that Iraq had nukes, and when Ambassador Wilson refuted those claims in print, they scuttled the CIA division that investigated that very thing?


*Plame worked for the Nuclear Non-proliferation arm of the CIA.

#247 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:48 PM:

Nicole #234:

The big question to me is how much effect Clintonophobia (quite different from just not being too impressed with her as a candidate) will have on the election. There seem to be three ways this might work that would affect the election outcome:

a. Democratic voters who are offended by her might stay home.

b. Swing voters who are offended by her might vote Republican or (less damaging) stay home.

c. Republican voters who are offended by her might come to the polls.

In each case, the relevant question is about the sizes of these effects with respect to Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. But I suspect that (b) and (c) could be pretty important this year, because so many Republicans and Republican-leaning voters are completely disillusioned with their party.

Voters who often or usually vote Republican may have a big impact on the outcome of this election, largely by whether they go to the polls. If Hillary brings lots of them to the polls to vote against her, this might change the outcome of the election.

#248 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 02:54 PM:

re 226: If we're talking about this story, that's a rather inaccurate version.

#249 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:00 PM:

A co-worker has just made what may be the Best.Campagin.Contribution.Law.Reform.Suggestion. EVAH.

NASCAR drivers sell space on their fireproof suits and cars to various sponsors, with size of logo and placement dictated by amount paid.

Require candidates to do the same, so everyone can see, without any effort, where the money comes from.

Small donors may be represented by little polka dots, he adds.

#250 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:15 PM:

fidelio 249: I'd vote for the candidate who looks most like a Seurat painting.

#251 ::: Lis ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:36 PM:

C. Wingate @245--If Hillary Clinton had had that exact same accident, it would be exploited endlessly by the Republicans as "proof" that she was a murderer. And considering that it was Laura's ex-boyfriend, there's a plausibly coherent story to be built around that--if you're motivated primarily by the need to destroy anyone uppity enough to disagree with you. But since Laura's a Republican, and her husband's opponents are Democrats, the matter is rarely mentioned, and we don't get ominous "some people suggest" stories from the MSM.

The cookies comment--HRC was responding to a hostile question that demeaned her for making the choice to continue her career. And at the time, she was a lawyer, not a politician. She'd probably still be a lawyer, and not a politician, if like Cherie Blair she'd been able to continue her career largely undisturbed while Bill was president, or even if she and he hadn't been subjected to an unrelenting campaign to destroy them both, personally and not just politically. I mean, really, one of the things the wingnuts hold against her is the fact that they weren't able to destroy her marriage, that she chose to stick with her imperfect, unfaithful, but personally supportive husband and the father of her child, rather than turning against him and siding with the people who claimed she was a lesbian who was having an affair with Vince Foster, and collaborated with Bill to kill him...

They hate Hillary as much for the ways in which she is a traditional wife, as for the ways in which she isn't.

As for HRC having been nationally prominent before 1992--not so much. She was frequently listed in Best Lawyers in America, and she was involved with the Children's Defense Fund and the Legal Services Corporation, as well as being on a number of corporate boards of directors. She was a fairly prominent lawyer; she was not someone whose name hit the national news or that the average politically aware person would be familiar with. People in general didn't have an opinion of her prior to 1992, because people in general, including politically aware people, had never heard her name or had at most heard it in passing. When Bill ran for president, the general reaction was, "the governor of Arkansas", not "Hillary Clinton's husband." She came into the general consciousness as his wife, not the other way around.

This is not a tit-for-tat, "everybody does it" situation. The Democrats have simply not attempted to personally destroy their political opponents and their families they way the Republicans have, and no fact-based account of the last fifty years in political history can support a claim that they have. And while the Democrats have often been frighteningly indifferent to civil liberties and personal privacy issues, they have not been actively hostile to them in the way the Republicans have.

The distrust and dislike I feel for any politician who still chooses to be a Republican is hard-earned, and not something I felt when was eighteen and watching Nixon's resignation speech.

#252 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:51 PM:

Albatross @ 243:

The Republicans have a reason for protecting Bush that has nothing to do with his motivation for breaking the law. The 1974 midterm elections were held in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Republicans in both the senate and the house didn't think the electorate would punish them for Nixon's misdeeds, especially since many of them had taken a principled stance by not defending him. They were wrong: voters tarred the entire party with the same brush. Democrats picked up a net gain of 4 seats in the senate, with a couple of Republicans winning re-election with extremely narrow margins. The house elections were a bloodbath: Democrats picked up 49 seats, giving them a 291 to 144 veto-proof majority.

Nixon brought the whole party down with him. It's unlikely that either party will vote to impeach its own president in the future.

#253 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:53 PM:

lis 251: Brava! And hear, hear! And stuff.

#254 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 03:59 PM:

Here's a wonderful script of what might have happened in a New Hampshire voting booth and a subsequent conversation with an exit pollster. Via Shakespeare's Sister.

#255 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 04:18 PM:

re 251: I can't find a complete transcript of the exchange, and on one level I'm sure the question was hostile, because most press questions are. But the problem with the statement was her equation of not working as a lawyer with empty bourgeois (and low, at that) womanish socializing. I think people would have accepted a flat statement that she would continue her career; it was the belittling of other choices that made people angry. And Clinton herself eventually made the same analysis.

As far as "if Hillary Clinton had", you are doing exactly what you are complaining about. She didn't have the accident, so your speculation is no more than sweepingly imputing the worst on the opposition. And anyway, we already have the untruth about LB being spread around. It's not a tit-for-tat; but it is an "everybody does it." The best we can do is try and stand clear of it and not add to it.

And I don't know, maybe it's political fatalism on my part. I have a combination of views that neither party officially represents well, so I know I'll never get things the way I want them no matter who gets elected. The best I can get is damage control; the best situation on Capitol Hill is a split congress or one opposed to the president, so as to limit their ability to take drastic action. I assume that politicians are power-hungry and easily tempted, because that's what my cynical look at history tells me.

As for what the Democrats have or have not done: the political world is a lot bigger now, what with blogs and every other means of passing the word around. What gets said here counts too. The democratic party apparatus doesn't have Karl Rove (for which, at least, they should be commended, for he is truly despicable), it is true. But they have plenty of other people with excessive rhetoric to take up some of the slack.

#256 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 04:53 PM:

C. 255: You keep saying you're not trying to equate what the Rethuglicans have done with what the Democrats have done, but then you say things that sure sound like you're trying to equate them. Perhaps I'm hypersensitive to this because of the right-wingnut "Clinton did it too" bullshit, of which I am so sick that I just really want to tear the head off the next asshole who says it to me. But many of your posts are beginning to smack of it.

I speak only for myself. Just feedback from one reader.

#257 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 05:14 PM:

I don't think this is worth it, Xopher.

#258 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 05:19 PM:

I think it is very easy, in discussions like this, to take comments personally that are not meant so. For instance, I suspect that many of the people on the thread have used "Republican" in the sense of "Republican elected official" or "Republican party official" rather than "Republican-registered voter."

It's worth keeping this distinction in mind, in both reading and writing, because we do have some of the latter category in the community. And whatever the former category has done, there is really no cause to permit the two to become conflated.

If I might quote Teresa, Verbal attacks hurt people. The older I get, the surer of that I am.

Use care in writing, guys, and charity in reading. This is the beginning of a long year.

#259 ::: Lis ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 05:50 PM:

As far as "if Hillary Clinton had", you are doing exactly what you are complaining about. She didn't have the accident, so your speculation is no more than sweepingly imputing the worst on the opposition. And anyway, we already have the untruth about LB being spread around. It's not a tit-for-tat; but it is an "everybody does it." The best we can do is try and stand clear of it and not add to it.

We do have the very personal tragedy of Vince Foster's suicide, endlessly, repeatedly investigated due to Republican officials' and activists' refusal to accept that it wasn't a murder committed by the Wicked Hillary. And those "questions" still get repeated in the MSM as if they were legitimate questions that Bill & Hillary need to answer, or that raise legitmate doubts about them.

Meanwhile, Laura's accident, in which she killed, not her boyfriend, but her ex-boyfriend, barely got mentioned, ever, by the MSM, is not in fact pushed by liberal or leftwing blogs as genuinely likely to be a murder.

Vince Foster's suicide is proof that Hillary is a lesbian, who was having an affair with him, and then killed him in collaboration with Bill. That's the wingnut line that still gets treated as worthy of serious discussion by the mainstream media. Meanwhile, even mentioning the simple, incontestable fact that Laura Bush did, in fact, kill her ex-boyfriend in a car crash when she was seventeen, proves that Democrats are both crass and vicious, far more nasty than the people who won't let Vince Foster rest in peace, who thought it was cute to make jokes about Chelsea being "the White House dog" when she was twelve or thirteen, who obsessively and publicly speculate about the sex life of a married couple whose marriage they quite deliberately tried to destroy. Sorry, I'm not buying it.

#260 ::: mary ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:00 PM:

Lis: I agree with everything you say, and more.

#261 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:09 PM:

Me too.

#262 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:17 PM:

Me too, Xopher, believe it or not.

#263 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:33 PM:

I've been following the "Hillary Haters" thread and something occurs to me that may at least shift the focus of the discussion a little. It seems to be that one thing that's coming out of this discussion is that why various Republican extremists hate Hillary Clinton, there do not seem to be parallel Democratic extremists who hate Laura Bush. Note: I said "Laura," not her husband. While Clinton may have been more of a target due to her political activism early in her husband's presidency, it still doesn't change the fact that she, personally, is passionately hated and has been vilified to an extreme that most First Spouses or even First Family members have not been, over the years.

Which is my point, sort of. Like it or not, presidents and prominent politicians are often hated, both rationally and irrationally. But Hillary Clinton fairly early became a symbol for something "evil" in the mind of a certain segment of the population--prior to her running for political office in her own right at all.

The parallel for Clinton during her husband's presidency probably shouldn't be Laura Bush. Maybe Eleanor Roosevelt? I've read a bit about the attacks on FDR, but to what extent was ER attacked in her own person, in the early years of FDR's presidency? Does anyone know some specifics? Because right now it is a bit difficult not to read some specific, even anti-female (notice, I didn't say anti-feminism, necessarily) hysteria in the more vicious emotional responses to Clinton . . . and I'm curious.

#264 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:34 PM:

Serge 262: I believe it. Why wouldn't I?

#265 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 06:55 PM:

In #249, fidelio writes:

A co-worker has just made what may be the Best.Campagin.Contribution.Law.Reform.Suggestion. EVAH.

NASCAR drivers sell space on their fireproof suits and cars to various sponsors, with size of logo and placement dictated by amount paid.

My mind leapt ahead of these sentences, and concluded that NASCAR drivers would now wear the names of candidates on their suits, hoods, doors, etc.

I was wrong.

But Ron Paul has an advertising blimp, and you can now get Goodyear-Blimp-style animated displays for your hubcaps, so perhaps I may be forgiven my error.

#266 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 07:30 PM:

Abi #258: I live in the Great State of Jawjuh, where the difference between 'Republican voter' and pudendum is vanishingly small. For examples, I'd suggest reading the 'Vent' on AJC.com, but I don't know what your blood pressure is like.

#267 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 07:35 PM:

Lis #259: Hear, hear!

#268 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Bill H – BJ; Oh my G-d. The animated hubcap displays !??!?!! Human … ingenuity? – human something – has no bounds. Well, maybe. There do seem to be boundaries I'd rather not have on some areas, and on others where you'd hope there were some, an unfortunate elasticity.

Then there's the little story they tell in the video. I suspect Mr Macdonald (& others) would have something to say about the driving in that. Must be satire. Writing messages as you drive, for instance, surely should be discouraged.

#269 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 07:58 PM:

Xopher @ 264...I only wanted to make sure my earlier comment wasn't misinterpreted.

#270 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 08:31 PM:

#94 - It did cross my twisted little mind that "iron my shirt" might have been a dirty trick by the Clinton team. But, I'm writing from Canada where we've had a female PM (albeit briefly) and have had a female head of state for the last 54 years(*).

(*) and H Current M is not the first, either.

#271 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 08:59 PM:

Henry @ #270, I think it's since come out that the "iron my shirt" clowns were emissaries of a radio shock jock for his show, not political moles.

#272 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 11, 2008, 11:10 PM:

albatross@247: the question is how many of the Hillary-haters are in categories (a) and (b)? My suspicion is not many; there's a virulence about the rhetoric which belies the capacity to make a choice, suggesting instead that the haters are hoping to drag people to their end of the plank. I think it's anybody's guess whether HRC will lose more votes from the right-wing rhetoric Wingate is somehow missing than she will win from the {un,mis}polled turnout she got in NH.

#273 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 01:43 AM:

Me, when it comes to Laura Bush, and the car ex-boyfriend... I think of the difference in treatment between her, and Teddy Kennedy.

Both were absolved, in the law, and one is still being tarred with it.

I brought it up, because people were tarring Hillary with things which happened before she was First Lady, as in trying to get charges brought for overbilling.

On the confessional level... I am turning in my voter registration tomorrow. For the first time in 22 years, I will be a registered member of the Democratic Party.

So the feeling I have for the people presently in power is one of those things which can't really be painted as someone who was, ipso facto predisposed to the visceral loathing I presently have.

Yes, I registered Republican in large part because I cared more whom they ran (wanting to keep the Ron Pauls, and David Dreiers out of the running), and figuring the Dems would be able to shift for themselves.

I always counted myself centrist, with a leaning to the left; but strong streaks of the right (pro-choice, pro-guns, pro-bill of rights, I donated to the ACLU and the NRA).

It happens I was writing on politics before I could vote (column my HS school paper... the Monroe Doctrine), and my views now, are about what they were then. Nowadays I am seen as a leftist, then I was often excoriated for being a right-winger (I got the hate mail to prove it).

I think I've been careful to say that my critiques have been of the people in office, but when the "everyone does it" meme comes up... well the Dems told Jefferson (the Rep from Louisiana, who was hiding bribe money in the freezer) that he had to step down from his committees, or they were going to strip him.

The Republicans passed a change to the rules saying that DeLay didn't need to step down from his leadership positions, after he was indicted for felonies.

That's not the same treatment of scandals.

#274 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 07:38 AM:

Terry Karney... For the first time in 22 years, I will be a registered member of the Democratic Party.

Welcome.

Turning in my Democratic Party registration card was the first thing I did as soon as I was back home from the swearing-in ceremony thta made me an American.

#275 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 08:16 AM:

Last night I heard part of an NPR interview, about the film Taxi from the Dark Side.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0854678/

"Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

"An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002"

"User Comments (Comment on this title)

"Impacting film that stands as a good summary of the issue, 11 December 2007

"Author: bob the moo from Birmingham, UK

'In 2002 taxi driver Dilawar was picked up by US forces with his passengers in the desert and taken to Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Five days later he was dead. Injuries to his legs were compared with those he would have sustained if he had been run over by a truck – had he lived it was likely that his legs would have had to have been amputated due to the damage. With this as the starting point, this documentary tells the story of the role of "torture" in the war on terror, from Abu Ghraid to Guantanamo...."

The relatives of Dilawar couldn't read English. The Army MD who determined the cause of death, wrote "homicide" on the piece of paper... there have been at least 29 other deaths of people in the custody of the US military, which were outright homicides, and a lot more other deaths (I heard a number but don't remember what it was, the number 30 for ruled homicides I do remember, though).


========

WHY haven't the heads of the US Government being called to account for policies which systematically directed torture and consequent murder, why is the Republican Party protecting murderers and those who directed murderous torture use and who interfered with investigation and continue denying their guilt.

Impeachment is not enough. Conviction and application of justice would be a -start-.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Malfeasance... how can ANYONE who has the slighest bit of conscience and integrity, stand up and proclaim affiliation with the Republican Party which continues to perpetuate a regime responsible for torture and murder consequent from torture, arrests without warrants and indefinite incarcations of arrestees on not necessarily even flimsy "evidence," responsible for mass murder in Iraq and the displacement of millions of people, responsible for draining the US economy of vigor and living wages jobs (promoting the export of manufacturating jobs to countries with horrendous records for labor safety and environmental protection--how many species are going extinct in China, besides a river porpoise? and how unbreathable is the air in the heavy industry belt there?--and treatment of workers; and with polities which demand that software development be done in Asia or eastern Europe because the programmers there cost a fraction of what US ones do--despite have productivity rates which make it 50% more expensive per line of usable code--that is, the project costs 50% MORE at least, done in India!) and promoting environmental destruction worldwide (with the removal of polluting factories from the USA and their setup in other parts of the world, ending their polluting the sky overhead in the USA and the soil in the USA and moving their polluting operations to somewhere else, polluting the air and contaminating the soil...)

what else--oh, replacing information with sectarian screed about Abstinence, rising rate of unwanted abused children who have a much higher rate of growing up to be criminals than wanted children raised by responsible adults, removal of labor protection laws and enforcement of the ones still technically on the books.... mass death in New Orleans from a combination of incompetence and malice (the calling back of that Navy landing boat full of clean water and supplies from going to the aid of the city being one example, the Schmuck grandstanding and not even sueaving the generator behind after the photo op with power and light supplied by generator brought in to do the photo op...

The Schmuck makes Mafiosos look like desirable benevolent dictators....

#276 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 09:19 AM:

Terry #273: One thing I'm noticing here is that the specific scandals you're talking about w.r.t. Republicans happened long before they were in positions of power. So the cases aren't quite parallel.

That said, it seems to me that the Republicans have been a lot more nasty in the last 16 years or so than the Democrats. I'm neither, so maybe I'm not too biased in one direction or another. The Democrats have also managed to be nasty on occasion (the attacks on Gingrich in 94 were amazing), but that isn't the pattern I mostly noticed. One really telling thing is that entirely within the Republican party, there have been some remarkably nasty attacks--the attacks by the Bush folks on McCain for the 2000 Republican nomination were really evil. (I particularly like the push-polling "black love child" question, which managed to turn McCain's adoption of a very poor kid from Bangladesh with health problems into something to attack him for.) It's like those tools are in the toolbox, and the Republican campaign folks use them pretty regularly. From the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" to the whispering campaigns alleging Hillary had Vince Foster murdered, this looks like a pattern to me.

#277 ::: Richard Brandt ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 11:02 AM:

John Chu @102: Well, Jimmy Carter is an intelligent man.

So are they all, intelligent men.

Scott "the Nihilist" H @ 163, re Hilary: She does seem to be a catalyst for an unusually emotional response. I know a whole lot of people who openly loathe her. On a number of occasions I've asked such folks to explain their reaction, which seems disproportionate to me. I've never--not once--gotten a coherent answer. The root of the loathing she sometimes inspires seems to me to be quite visceral. You either get it or you don't.

Maybe it's the same visceral, furious reaction I got when suggesting to some folks (my gf at the time f'rinstance) that the ending of The Empire Strikes Back made abundantly clear that Leia was the "there is another" Jedi. I couldn't get a clear answer why that was impossible, either; could it have been because Leia was a Girl?

C. Wingate @ 196: For better or worse, she stands in perhaps a majority of voters' minds for "four more years of Clinton."

Versus eight years of W? I'll take twelve.

Terry Karney @ 273: On the confessional level... I am turning in my voter registration tomorrow. For the first time in 22 years, I will be a registered member of the Democratic Party.

Woo hoo!

#278 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 11:08 AM:

Richard Brandt @ 271... the ending of The Empire Strikes Back made abundantly clear that Leia was the "there is another" Jedi

I had heard that Han Solo was supposed to be the other Jedi, but Ford and Lucas apparently had a falling-out. As for their not doing anything with Leia-as-a-Jedi in the 3rd movie, it was such a frigging mess anyway. (I see SW7 beginning the day after, with radioactive debris from the Death Star raining down on the ewoks.)

#279 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 11:43 AM:

The virulence of the Hilary-haters (including some of the Change Uber Alle! Dems) dismays me, and I'm not too happy about my governor's support for Obama. Is the primary season over? It's starting to seem like it. If pragmatism demands that we dismiss Hilary now, as unelectable, I'll agree with great reluctance.

I would have preferred a genuine three-way race that lasted at least a few more months, as long as it didn't get so nasty that the Republicans could exploit it. (And so many of us haven't had our chance to vote yet....)

#280 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Serge @278: (I see SW7 beginning the day after, with radioactive debris from the Death Star raining down on the ewoks.)

There have been some mindboggling displays of both geekage and countergeekage on that subject

#281 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 12:23 PM:

Julie L @ 280... Heheheh... By the way, I didn't go far enough into either to see if there is an explanation about something. In SW4, Darth Vader denigrates the original Death Star and goes on about how its power is nothing compared to the Force. So what does the Emperor, who has a lot of Force mojo, do in SW6? He builds another Death Star. Maybe he owed favors to the military-industrial complex. Or it was a make-work program for the Empire's welfare-state mentality(*)? That'd make the Emperor a Democrat in serious need of dental care.

(*) Except when it blows up planets.

#282 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 03:59 PM:

I'm tired of two-family rule.
I've heard this in a couple places, but who started it and why? The "two families" have very little in common with each other. For my money William Jefferson Clinton, sexual blunders, right-wing attack dogs immovably attached to his ankles, and all, was still the best President we've had in 25+ years (and anything older than that I suspect revisionist rewriting to turn humans into heroes, anyway). What the hell is so wrong about more of the same of *that*?

Even if you grant that Hillary Clinton's administration would be just like her husband's - which isn't necessarily true, but for the sake of argument - doesn't recent history prove that we could do a hell of a lot worse?

P.S. Perverse though it may be, I don't want a charismatic candidate. Charisma is the ability to make your audience overlook the fact that what you're saying doesn't make sense and/or is a pack of bald-faced lies. People who have it should be kept to something relatively harmless like used-car sales; selling someone a car they don't need is bad, but not nearly as bad as selling them a war they don't need. Every time I find myself agreeing with a charismatic person I have to second-guess myself and try to see whether they're right or just convincing. That's a headache in any context and a disaster waiting to happen in a politician.

#283 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2008, 04:45 PM:

Chris@282

Here's the thing though. While charisma can indeed be useful in pushing through a bad idea, it can also be useful (even essential) in pushing through a GOOD idea against organized resistance. Charisma isn't good or bad in itself. It's a tool. What matters is what it's used for.

#284 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2008, 12:09 PM:

#280: "geek" is not a sufficient word for those two. I gave up shortly after the respondent said "95% confidence interval".

281: That's easy to explain after the performances in SW 2&3; Vader is still a petulant kid with no judgment and a "My dad can beat your dad" attitude. Further, he's still just the student, and probably such a difficult one that Palpatine has often regretted choosing him. Even before taking the throne, Palpatine had some idea of when the Force was useful and when something more broadly impressive was necessary; AFAICR the Force has never been shown to be wholesale (if it were, \one/ Jedi could have performed the rescue in #3 instead of getting most of them slaughtered), let alone of the scale to blow up a planet.

The analogies and counter-analogies to the current candidates' political stances "are left as an analysis for the student". (For a counterbalance, read Wolfe's latest on the economics of piracy, or Hamilton's Fallen Dragon on the corporate analogy and its difficulties; destruction is easy, but making it pay is at best very difficult.)

#285 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2008, 01:55 PM:

Chip- making destruction pay is easy, if you are only interested in wealth transfer, eg from the taxpayer to the manufacturer of munitions or the companies who do the reconstructions.

#286 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2008, 09:59 PM:

#285: as conservative economists love to tell us, redistribution is not generation. (Do read the Hamilton if you haven't--he tosses all the optimism of his previous novels and makes the result at least as plausible.)

#287 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2008, 11:49 AM:

re #263: I'd go for the Eleanor R. parallel myself.

re #277: All things considered, so would I. For all my distaste for Al Gore, I think we would have been better off with him. (And my vote said that I thought would have been better off with Kerry.) The thing that bugs me here is the disproportionate rhetoric. I voted republican in the last governor's race here, and I don't regret doing so, and given the nasty tax increase we just got, with cries for more programs to jack that up further, I'm likely to do so again. The evil of Karl Rove isn't going to figure in that.

#288 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2008, 12:34 PM:

albatross: Terry #273: One thing I'm noticing here is that the specific scandals you're talking about w.r.t. Republicans happened long before they were in positions of power. So the cases aren't quite parallel.

I'm confused, the only things I mention at 273 is why I brought up Laura's wreck; which was the parallel to things the Hillary was alleged to have done before Bill got into office.

If you go back to #212, where I actually listed Republican scandals, they were all about things done while the people were in power (I can't say office, because I included Abramoff, though the fallout of his disgrace has hit sitting pols).

I didn't go into the, apparently systemic, problems we've seen in previous Republican Administrations. No going back to Teapot Dome, or the pathetic oversight Grant had on his cabinet. I like to think the way we view our politicians has changed.

But the sheer number of people who had to leave the Reagan administration, and the pardons Bush pere issued (and honestly, I think those were worthy of impeachment, because they sure as hell seemed to me to be an attempt to prevent investigations. They subverted the idea of the rule of law. If Wienberger, and Abrams; McFarlane, Clarridge, Fiers, George, had been tried, we'd know better what had happened.

Since the evidence implies either Reagan, Bush; or both, had to know something, it didn't look kosher.

Add the justification (they were breaking the law out of a sense of patriotism, "I am pardoning him not just out of compassion or to spare a 75-year-old patriot the torment of lengthy and costly legal proceedings, but to make it possible for him to receive the honor he deserves for his extraordinary service to our country," is what he said about the Weinberger pardon.

Well, I don't want someone who breaks the law; especially one who breaks so specific a law as the Boland amendment was, to get honors. I want them to be punished, the same way I wan't those who violate Geneva punished. Laws matter, and patriotism is no excuse for shredding laws.

I also think that had such trials gone forward, the insanity of a sitting president saying, "I broke the law. I know I broke the law. I'm going to keep breaking the law," wouldn't be something we were dealing with now.

If the people in power are to be accountable, someone has to hold them to account. I think part of the heat on the part of those who are unhappy has to do with that lack of accountability. If we thought something was going to happen to those who engage in that sort of contempt we might not blame the party which is defending them.

But what we get, instead, is IOKYAR, and the proof of the pudding is right there in the Libby situation.

When Clinton was being accused we heard that "Lying under oath is the worst thing someone can do, it completely overturns the (sacred) rule of law."

Clarifications about what perjury actually entails (lying about a material aspect of the case) were brushed aside.

But Libby... he was just mistaken, and it wasn't that big a lie anyhow.

That sort of thinking (and the entrenchment of it, see DeLay, and the attempted change to the Ethics Rules) is why I hold the people running the Republican Party in contempt. That level of hypocrisy is why I stopped keeping silent when I overhear people saying that since Clinton "got away with it," it's not so bad that "x" gets away with it.

That erosion of trust in the system is part of the legacy the present people in power on the Right have done. The false equivalence between scandals is part of it. The system is in trouble, and they, in my opinion, are the greater part of the cause.

So they get the greater part of my ire.

#289 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2008, 12:56 PM:

Chris #282:

The issue with n-family rule would exist if it seemed that family connections were becoming a major part of what made it possible to run for office. That is, if it turned out that only a few families ever elected a president, or whatever. I don't think we're in that position, though it's very clear that Bush would never have been so successful without his family's influence. I have a very hard time seeing another Bush in office anytime soon, though. There's certainly not a Clinton dynasty threatening to take over the levers of power. The two families we're looking at are potentially getting power in this sequence because of a historical oddity, not a pattern. (Note that Gore was also from a family with politics running in it.)

So the "two family rule" thing doesn't strike me as very important, either. One thing I *do* find kind of disheartening is that Hillary Clinton is probably the best chance for a female president we've ever had, and yet she is in that position largely because of who she married. This strikes me as being a lot more in the Corazon Aquino mold of powerful women than in the Margaret Thatcher mold.

#290 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2008, 01:57 PM:

For a little Demo slur, we have an attempt to paint Bobby Jindal (R-La) as an anti-Protestant nutcase in the governor's race down there.

#291 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: January 14, 2008, 10:06 PM:

C. Wingate at 290, don't you think you should have used the past tense, since you pointed to a rather thin article from August?

(I take it you didn't notice my question at 219.)

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