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Lambert endorses Hillary

[I have dear friends who will vehemently disagree with me about this. But so be it; I have to make a choice!]

Now that Edwards is out of the race I find myself, like VastLeft, surprised, even chagrined, to find myself endorsing Hillary. But there it is. I wish this could be something other than a rambling, impressionistic post, but heck: Maybe that's how we all make decisions anyhow.

My bottom line is this:

I feel that I know Hillary. For all her faults, I know her.

I want to entrust the very challenging future of our country to someone I know. Simple as that.

I don't feel that I know Obama, and the more I learn about him, the less I like.

When I think about Hillary, I think of incredible discipline, focus, courage, and endurance in the face of constant, manufactured hatred by the same people and institutions who are also assaulting our Constitutional form of government. Her ability to "work every day" in the face of all that tells me a lot--and maybe all I need to know--about her strength of character.

When I think about Obama, I think of great oratorical gifts combined with a cool--perhaps even a chilly--intelligence; a man who is a little detached; a man who has risen very far, very fast, but whose achievements are much more potential than actual. I also see a man who hasn't really been tested: He hasn't lost a child, like the Edwards; or had marital difficulties, like the Clintons; or served in the military and been tortured, like McCain.

And needless to say, Obama hasn't been tested in the arena like Hillary has. Not yet.

So, if I ask myself what personal qualities I want in a candidate--especially if things are going to get as bad as I think they are--then discipline, focus, courage, and endurance weigh a lot more heavily in the scales for me than oratory, intelligence, and great (though untested) potential.

If this were 1960, it might make sense to elect a JFK (though, in retrospect, Camelot was never Camelot). But it isn't 1960. It's more like 1929. I want someone who believes in government, who wants to make government work for us, who enjoys making government work, and that can only be Hillary.

Now, I originally started out in "we've got three good candidates" mode, and didn't see much difference between Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. Then I began to get the Edwards message about overweening corporate power; it seemed to me, still seems to me, that if you can't state the problem clearly, you'll never come to a solution.

But I also looked at Obama, and the more I saw, the less I liked. What drove me away was his language* (and language is one of the things that Corrente is all about: Inventing language, critiquing languge, propagating language, listening for language). I say "drove me away" quite deliberately: From Iowa onward, Obama sent dogwhistle after dogwhistle to tell me that he didn't really want my vote--or those of people like me, despite all the fine talk about Unity. Obama dogwhistled Social Security "in play" when he didn't have to, muddied the waters on privatization, and never unmuddied them. His economic advisors dogwhistled tax cuts as a panacea, another Conservative talking point. I suppose, these days, it's necessary for politicians to pimp their faithiness, so I don't hold that against Obama (much), but a dogwhistle like sharing the same stage with gay-hating Donnie McClurkin hurts my ears. And now Obama's dogwhistling the right again by recycling the same Harry & Louise ad that helped destroy universal health care under Clinton (and butchering his own plan, too.) And each dogwhistle has been followed, as the night the day, by another round of What Obama Really Meant. Send the dogwhistle; issue the clarification. We know the drill. I finally decided that the true meaning of Obama's rightward slide was the simplest; he's not dogwhistling to me because he doesn't think he needs my support and doesn't want it, probably because progressives, being policy driven, aren't especially malleable.** Obama's appealing to the right by using right wing talking points because he intends to win and govern from the center right. And he's excluding me and mine because we'd only get in his way. Obama just won't be that progressive. Or that much of a Democrat.

But even leaving aside the right wing talking points, what really frosts me about Obama's language is the vacuous buzzwords--buzzwords that have all the depth of a ringtone and which, when examined, turn out to be either morally corrupt or intellectually dishonest. Take Unity--please. Unity for what? Yes, we can what? What can Unity possibly mean in practice except continuing to give the same party that turned us into a nation of torturers and is still busily trying to destroy the Constitution veto power over all our policies? That's immoral. What we ought to be hoping for is that Republicans face justice, that their brand is destroyed for a generation. We shouldn't be re-legitimizing them after they've done so much to delegitimize themselves. Or take Transformational, which seems to be replacing Unity, now that it's worn out. Transform to what? Is the idea that America's first woman President wouldn't be (somehow) transformational? If so, that's intellectually dishonest.

Finally, a word about the OFB. I've seen the point made that it's not fair to judge a candidate by their supporters, and indeed there are (no doubt) many Obama supporters who have thoughtfully considered their choice*** (and are not leaping onto the bandwagon because everybody loves a winner). In fact, the reverse is true. It was highly relevant information about Bush that his supporters ("the base") were Christianist lunatics who believed that God was in the White House. Similarly, it's quite relevant that the OFB -- having matured in an environment where full spectrum dominance by right wing media was the unquestioned norm -- are quite comfortable with right wing talking points like "trial lawyers," private accounts for Social Security, virulent Clinton hatred. (I hadn't thought of TravelGate, a ginned up pseudo-scandal if ever there was one, in years; until, in fact, the OFB recalled me to it.) Right wing talking points are, as they were designed and paid for to be, poison pills for progressive policies. Surely, therefore, the OFB would be a drag on whatever progressive policies, if any, Obama sought to adopt?****

So, in summary, I think Hillary's a known quantity and I trust her to do the best job possible in hard times. I think Obama's not tested, and he's lost my trust with his right wing dogwhistles. (On policy, putting Social Security in play, and coming out with a poorly conceived health care policy didn't help either.)

He hasn't asked for my vote, so he's not getting it.

[Some notes on the Iraq, Endorsements, and our famously free press in follow in Appendices.]

NOTE * In other words, the very thing Rove would attack, since oratory is Obama's strength. You know, we've been able to come up with some reasonable attacks on this blog, with no money at all and in our spare time, though I say it. I shudder to think what a well-funded Republican attack machine could do. If there's anything we've learned from the dominance of the Conservative Movement, it's that language is the terrain on which political battles are fought, and that--as Orwell knew, a corrupt language means a corrupt polity.

NOTE ** It's the same deal with Obama not working with the netroots, and building his own Internet organization; which was itself built by wresting control of of a MySpace page built by a genuine fan and putting it under the control of the campaign. The OFB should reflect, if they could reflect, on the chilly intelligence at work there.

NOTE *** Without resorting to the functional equivalent of a farcical aquatic ceremony.

NOTE **** It also really bugs me that after both NH and NV the OFB eagerly attempted to delegitimize an election result with baseless charges. That is extremely short-sighted, bad for the party, and bad for the country, because it poisons the well for the general, where we have hard evidence that in both 2000 and 2004 the Republicans engaged in wholesale theft, and there’s no reason to believe that it’s not in their playbook still.

ON METHODOLOGY: I don't worry about the candidates' web sites or position papers, because in a year, nobody will remember them. Please don't paste material from such into the comments section. I focus on the talking points and the rhetoric--anything with a transcript or a YouTube--because in a year, or ten years, that's what people will remember. "Read my lips; no new taxes." "It's the economy, stupid." "Compassionate conservatism." It's the talking points and the rhetoric that lead to the mandate, not the position papers.

Appendix I Iraq
I know that for many people, the defining issue is Iraq, and that issue made me hesitate for a long time, since I wasn't sure how it weighed in the balance. This is where I finally came down.

First, the election is about the future, not the past. I don't think Hillary's going to get us into a second Iraq (Kyl-Lieberman notwithstanding), and I think she's going to get us out as fast as she can. I don't think Obama is going to be able to do any better, and--especially when you take into account his desire for Unity and conciliation--might very well do worse.

Second, I think Obama is getting way too much mileage out of a speech he gave in 2002, at the state level, when he had no skin in the game. I'm glad he made the speech, but it's a form of "cheap grace" to stand up for the right thing when there's no political cost to doing so. I'd be a lot more impressed by the 2002 speech if Obama had used Senate Foreign Relations subcommitee chairmanship as a bully pulpit on Afghanistan and Iraq. He did nothing.

If the choice were between and end to our imperial project, or going on with it, my choice would be clear. But that's not the choice on offer, sadly. Obama wants 100,000 more troops. For what?

Appendix II Endorsements
[To come]

Appendix III Our Famously Free Press

A salient feature of the last two Presidential election cycles has been that the Village, acting through our famously free press, has selected our Presidents for us, by giving favorable coverage to their candidates of choice, and unfavorable coverage, or no coverage, to the candidates they oppose. In 2000, they brought Gore down to where the margin was close enough for Bush and the Supremes to seize power. In 2004, they allowed the Swiftboating of Kerry to proceed unchecked. Meanwhile, the issue of Bush's "missing year" in the Texas Air National Guard was studiously ignored. The press also fully cooperated with the Bush administration in politicizing the terror "alert" system.

Now, we should not think the the press always gets behind one single candidate, but they are always restricting our spectrum of choices. This year, they refused to cover either John Edwards or Ron Paul (going to so far as to deny Paul a debate slot when his numbers both financial and polling showed he deserved it). And although they prefer Hillary to Edwards, in the same way that high schoolers prefer someone in their clique that they hate to an outsider, they have always given Obama totally uncritical coverage, while slamming Hillary on a daily, even an hourly basis. As they have been doing for the last ten years.

Alas, there is a direct corellation between favorable coverage from the Village and the degree to which The Covered One will Fuck the American people. We have only to look back at the Bush administration to see this immediately. Sure, the wheels are coming off the wagon now, but sweet Jeebus, think what it took!

Of course, when McCain comes along in the Straight Talk Express, we will see how fickle, and how juvenile, the press can be. One pleasant scenario for a Hillary nomination and campaign would be direct action against the press....

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Simply wow.

Submitted by Jimbo (not verified) on

Lambert's endorsement of Hillary-- wrong-headed as it is-- makes two good points: (1) we should KNOW the candidates we vote for; (2) language IS important. The Billary that I know must not be the same Clinton twins that Lambert knows! I think back to the early days of the first Clinton admin, when the Billary not only let the Rightwing eviscerate [his own nominee] Lani Guinier as the "Quota Queen," but also REMOVED her name from further consideration-- not allowing her to make her case before the Senate. (Bill-dear even issued a statement saying that he would NEVER have nominated her [for Assoc Atty Gen for Civil Rights] if he had read her "dangerous" articles. See her "dangerous" ideas in "The Tyranny of the Majority".)
Yes, Lambert, language is important! Read Angie-Marie Hancock's book, "The Politics of Disgust," about the 1996 Welfare Reforms put forward by Bill-dear and the Republicans. Yes, they changed forever "welfare as we know it," at the expense of all them damn "Welfare Queens."
The Billary have the interests of ALL African-Americans at heart-- as long as they don't get too uppity, like Civil Rights Lawyers...Guinier and Obama.

Submitted by lambert on

Thank you for commenting, markg8. Your comment is very important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Thank you for commenting, markg8. Your comment is important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again. —CorrenteBot

Submitted by lambert on

.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

phat's picture
Submitted by phat on

You really realy do hate the Unity Pony, don't you.

phat

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

my friend. this is dishonest. despite what else is in here, are you really "surprised" to find yourself endorsing hillary? realllllly? because i could have told you you were for hillary if you ever had doubt! really, lambert. that's been evident a long time. nothing wrong with that. but "surprised"?

also, every time you mention the iraq vote you say something to the effect of "hillary wont get us into another iraq" as if that solves the whole issue of her disastrous judgment. can you please just admit that this is not something that can be glossed over? but you dont care and are endorsing her anyway? because come on. we dont know what she'll get us into in the future. OR obama! all we can go by is their past. and her past sucks on the war vote. period.

but listen. i know as well as anyone that many many reasons fold into supporting one person over the other. if i were for hillary or against obama enough, i would stuff that vote in the sock drawer too, and fuck anyone who had a problem with it. but you canNOT pretend that any comfort lies in the future due to that vote. that vote only portends warranted insecurity in the future.

all that said, i'm sure you and i want many of the same things. so here's to those things, the end result. whichever way takes us there, no matter.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Until last week, we were active supporters of Edwards. Then we were suddenly put into play by the media's demand that this be a two-horse race.

Yes, Obama's dogwhistles had been increasingly getting not the dog, but our goat. So, perhaps over the last few days, it was not-so-unexpected that we would net things out this way, now that the electoral beast had coughed up JRE. But even still, we pondered (and I think some Correntians will be) voting for Edwards anyway tomorrow.

Speaking for myself, I began watching the campaign with centrist Hillary as my officially least-favorite candidate, so I found myself confounded that things had changed so much for me.

As for the war vote, the point has been made here variously (including in the OP) that Obama's criticism of the war was "a cheap grace," since he was not then living the lot of a Democratic Senator, being lied to and threatened. Once Obama got to the Senate, he fell right in line with the war funders, so how sure can we be that he would have opposed the AUMF?

Submitted by nancy (not verified) on

Time and time again, the blogs ultimately deciding in favor of Hillary continue to remind me why I'm proud to be a Democrat. They share in common all the qualities we need to finally take this country back: rational, wise, thoughtful, and BRAVE. Thank you, Lambert!!!

Submitted by lambert on

If you'd asked me before Iowa, Nezua, absolutely ("I originally started out"). This post describes a process, not an instant Pauline conversion on the road to Damascus.

So I'd appreciate it if you would modify "dishonest" appropriately. If I want to be called a liar, I can go over to Kos for that. (As I asked earlier today: "What is it about Obama that causes believers to resort to the claim that anybody who questions him has no intellectual honesty?") Is it the casual poetry I hear so much about?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Bruce F's picture
Submitted by Bruce F on

Obama's a lost cause for me. If I play the game, Clinton wins by default.

You mention that Edwards was able to name the problem: overweening corporate power. Also that you want to support someone who believes in government. It's not clear to me that Clinton will use the power of the government to address the problems that Edwards outlined. Maybe you could spell that out for me.

I agree with you about his language being a huge clue as to his priorities. I can't remember where I first saw it, but the phrase The Black Tony Robbins comes to mind.

Submitted by lambert on

We don't get to raise that with Hilbama.

If you buy the idea that he's written us off, then getting it back on the table is marginally more likely with Hillary. I mean, Rupert Murdoch didn't endorse her....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by Stellaa (not verified) on

Phew, now I don't have to figure out how to put all my reasons in one letter, just linking to your blog is great. You hit all the points. Wonderful.

hypnot's picture
Submitted by hypnot on

Looks like you have made your choice, Lambert, and with your eyes wide open. You have made a strong case, but I can afford to hold on to my reservations: My primary comes after Super Tuesday. My problem is, I can support either Clinton or Obama, but what you say about Obama--"the more I saw, the less I liked"--applies to both candidates, from where I sit. I have known more about Clinton than about Obama, and for many more years, but I don't pretend that I know either candidate, and certainly not enough to predict their future actions beyond what they promise.

Iraq isn't the defining issue for me, but it's at the top of my list. There are overwhelming moral reasons why the decision to attack Iraq and the subsequent decisions to extend the occupation are unconscionable. But the practical reasons should carry some weight:

* Nothing is bankrupting this country faster than the war in Iraq, and we won't have improved health care, education, or a non-war economy if we don't leave Iraq (and Afghanistan and environs).

* If the Democratic candidate cannot find a way to repudiate the war in Iraq and present a plan to end it, he or she concedes the issue. If Mad-dog McCain wins the Republican nomination, can the Democrats pass up the chance to take the moral, fiscal, and foreign-policy high ground by tying the Iraq war around his neck? The Democrats can't do it safely if they're tangled up in the rope. I'm suggesting that if the Democratic candidate can't bring him/herself to present a plan and a commitment to end the war immediately, the Republicans will not only enjoy immunity from attack on their most disgusting offense but also turn around and taunt the Democrat for his or her complicity in it.

That said, if Clinton wins the nomination, I hope you are right about her, and I will try with all my might to believe you.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

sorry, my friend. i cannot modify and be true to myself. its been VERY clear to me that you have been anyone-but-obama for quite a while. again, that's fine. but i refuse to agree that it hasn't been obvious.

___________________________

.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

You write:

Quite a while...

I write:

If you’d asked me before Iowa...

Seems like the same thing to me. Of course, since I'm on here like 24/7, it may seem more gradual to me than it does to you.

So, how would you rewrite my first paragraphs so that I appear to you as an honest person instead of the liar you know me to be?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

why do you feel the need to inject hypberbole?

listen. i'm not here to fight you. and certainly not insult you. i have nothing to gain from that.

all i can say is that when i read you write "Now that Edwards is out of the race I find myself, like VastLeft, surprised, even chagrined, to find myself endorsing Hillary" it rings false to me.

you can deny that. your denial will stand in your house. and i won't push it further. but i cannot retract my statement. i dont agree that it's a surprise. at least it's not for me. nor others who visit your site who have spoken to me.

whether or not you perceive it, the aura of the site is one that is anyone-but-obama. you can accept that feedback or reject it. either way, i don't mind. and either way, i still think you're a cool cat.

'night.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

"Rings false" isn't the same as "dishonest," eh? The one is a statement about your perceptions; the other is a statement about the writer. In my experience, dishonest people (liars) tend not to be "cool." YMMV.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

ai yi yi. bueno! whatever bro! you decide who you are! not me. i'm just giving feedback on the post. ultimately, it's only my opinion. i'm just saying i'm not surprised one bit. not at all. not for a second. using the word "surprised" in that setting seemed comical! there's a new word! comical!

tu eres muy chido, bro. way cool. no sweat.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

perhaps it is just a matter of time, and time perception, as you say.

but i cannot remember a time, i suppose, when it wasn't clear to me that you were not vehemently against obama. so i suppose for me to read now that it is a "surprise" just seemed...untenable. and i'll leave it at that.

because perhaps my perception is off. and mostly because i think there are certainly more imporrtant fights.

peace.
___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lily15 (not verified) on

What a thoughtful, smart endorsement...striking the perfect balance between common sense and critical assessment.

I especially agree with your point about the psyche of those devotional followers, both the Bush and Obama kind...that reflect their leaders so well. (I especially agree with your "chilly" view of the candidate). So tell me...what does this say about the future of the progressive movement when it has been hijacked by the Obama movement so effortlessly? What does this say about those too numerous "liberal" blogs who fanned the flames of hope and transformation without regard to anything approaching intellectual honesty? Why, instead of fired up, am I so absolutely depressed at the state of intellectual discourse in this country...and feel only rage towards those who know what they are doing when they hype bullsh*t? And I haven't even begun to talk about the sexism yet...But reading your post today lightened my mood...What have we come to when sanity is in short supply? Sincerely, I do want to chill...but after Gore 2000, I wonder what some people are thinking. We really don't have the luxury of another mistake.

How interesting it is I actually read all that! What an interesting blog entry, very insightful and appears to have taken some deep inner searching. What interesting pontificating by it's commentors too (except the blah blah remark with the (picture) which is repetitive whining imo. That's one thing about young people. They are too simplistic and one dimensional, "she voted for the war" and they can't seem to get any deeper to search for the depth of that topic instead of a commericalized one liner to bring her down. If I didn't know better, I'd think she was the only person in all of Congress and the Senate who voted for the resolution and it was her sole vote that sent us to Iraq!

Cheers, tomorrow (today) is a big day.

P.S. I didn't enter a name because I can't top the entry that's already in the box!

kelley b's picture
Submitted by kelley b on

While I agree with everything you've said about Obama, I have to respectfully disagree about Hillary.

I don't think she's a known quantity.

The Hillary I thought I knew would have never signed on to Iraq. The Hillary I knew would have never been seduced by Lieberman to go along with the dismantling of the New Deal and the United States Constitution. The Hillary I knew would be aiming all her guns at the Rethuglican iron triangle that pretty much runs everything these days.

Since Obama became assimilated, yes, he's been a progressive in nebulous speech but a conservative in actual vote. So has Hillary. While I don't see either precipitating world war in the Oval Office- unlike McCain or Hucklebee- I don't see them stopping up the D.o'D.'s black hole that's collapsing a Republic into an Imperial event horizon.

I will vote Democratic this November to buy time, because time is all we can hope for, and the only thing that may give us a chance to act on the problem. But, seriously, knowing what I know you know, do you think it's going to be counted? One way or the other?

No Hell below us
Above us, only sky

Submitted by BernieO (not verified) on

I disagree that the media likes Hillary more than Edwards. In fact some have openly said that they hate her. For example, Dana Milbank told Howard Kurtz that journalists had a personal animosity towards Clinton.
I think, however, they really liked the idea of a horserace between a black man and a white woman so pushed Hillary-Obama over Edwards. They treat politics as if it were a sporting event, not something that deeply affects our lives, so they like to stir things up.
As for direct action against the press, this needs to come from us voters. No candidate can afford to go after the media, but the public can do so effectively. Just look how NBC forced Matthews to apologize after people complained about his sexism. Not that he will change much, unless we keep the pressure on him and others like him. Republicans successfully do this all the time, but Democrats just sit passively by and let their candidates get trashed. Worse, a lot of them believe what they are hearing. Look how many Dems derided Gore and voted for Nader! Look at how many hate Hillary because they have been bamboozled by the media and right wing trashing her. I thought after what happened to both Gore and Kerry that Democrats would have finally wakened up to the fact that the media cannot be trusted, but I am afraid I was wrong. Until we do, our candidates will continue to be unfairly damaged.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

although i don't want to step in it, i have to say i think a better way to express n's point could be "it's long been obvious that some edwards supporters would be forced into the hillary camp."

if you a. always intended to cast a vote in november and b. tend to fall on the more fact-based, less emotion-based side of your political analysis, hillary has been the obvious end to a depressing journey of decreasing choice.

i have known for a long time that hillary would be at or near the top for most of the primary season and would have to work hard but has a strong chance of winning in the general. well before my support of edwards became an active thing, and it remains now that he's gone.

elephant in the room: edwards hasn't been clear to me what he wants me to do, as a supporter. "suspended" is a bad word to apply to a campaign, like gore's flirtatious and almost promiscuous speaking habits on the same subject, jonny is holding his cards close. so shy can believe there's a good reason to vote for him in CA, while lambert can come down on the side of "let's get behind the more known and more experienced centrist sooner rather than later" and xan and i can say, "just vote for what you think is right" and nezua can say "have some hope in the future and see the incredible transformation of america in post-first black president time." no one is exactly "wrong," nor are any of the justifications that much more compelling than any other.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

all the endorsement threads are really great. thanks so much for creating a space where we can hash out the facts and keep the bullshit to a minimum. i don't see that at most other places around the tubes today.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

i'm the Concilliator today, Looking Forward to our Common Future in which We Must Work Together. tomorrow i'll be a divisive, annoying bitch again, no doubt. ;-)

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

not that you refer directly to it, CD, but this is one of the reasons i think obama is important. he encourages a vibe of positivity. i've seen it working in my life as well as in others'. already. i'm not going to argue with anyone on this (or try to bat down cynical interpretations of this vibe, aka "cultish", we all have our way of seeing eveything), but this to me, while somewhat less tangible and more DFH-ish a selling point than stark policy discussions, is a powerful, powerful thing that can do a lot for a society, if it spreads and catches up many in its....sway. :)

a lot.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

Unfortunately, Nezua, I think the country needs a fighter.

Hillary's still standing after everything the right could throw at her.

For all I know, Obama has a glass jaw. It's going to be a little late to find that out in the general.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

So excuse my naivety, but could one of you geniuses explain to me the root of Clinton hatred? Certainly they are not the most moral family, but seem in line with most presidential aspirants? What gives?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Corrente has documented at length the rise of the Conservative Movement. Another good resource is, I don't know, paying attention to the behavior of the news media since the death of the Fairness Doctrine and the rise of Cable News.

The Clintons reached the White House just as the conservative machine was starting to have fun, after 12 years of Reaganomics. No goddamn DFH and his lesbian wife were going to come in and ruin everything.

So, a triangulating Centrist and his former Goldwater Girl wife were truthily transmogrified into the traitorous target of a, how do you say, vast rightwing conspiracy.

Thanks for asking.

Hey, MacArthur Foundation. We're over here!

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

and you are correct, more people respond to it than to 'cold' policy discussions (although i'd call the ones around here pretty hawt). it's ironic though; i'm being positive today because i find so little positive in your candidate, and i want to form a coalition with the other groups of voters who didn't support him initially. but it's all good, other edwards' supporters are making different arguments, and in the end we'll all do our parts.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

VL. please read my comment again. i said THE POST WAS DISHONEST. "this is dishonest." NOT "you are dishonest." lambert offered the interpretation that i was calling him a liar. wrongo. and you choose to read it personally. wrong. i never put it that way.

and dont get me wrong. i can fight like anyone. in fact, i love to fight. but i like to fight in person. box or spar. physically. i dont like to fight on threads just like i dont windowshop. its a waste of my adrenaline.

you read my shit with the lens you choose. dont talk to the reflections and ask me to account for fractured vision.
___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

Unity doesn't mean that we all get along or don't have any differences. Unity means that we think through our differences. The unity of the Constitution means that various interests are held in balance. Some of these interests, like continuing to hold slaves, were morally bad. However the Constitution provided a framework for people to eventually work out their moral convictions and to return to unity later. Of course Obama has less than 60 years for this to happen. But Obama's rhetoric is consistent in the sense that he wants to provide a space for people to voice their moral convictions about core Democratic themes such as fairness and inclusion. The Donnie McClurkin issue forced him to speak out in no uncertain terms in favor of tolerance for gays, because people who wanted to support him would not take this kind of thing.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

and VL, you think you can take apart my honest and heartfelt message to chidyke by snickering an pointing to a confrontational comment i made? you dont ask me how i've seen it play out in my life. you dont earnestly approach me to see what i mean. you get snippy and snotty and petty. that is disengenuous.

better?
___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by anonymous coward (not verified) on

Lambert, I thought you were sticking with Edwards until the end?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But saying that a heartfelt opinion post is dishonest is calling its author dishonest. We can split hairs, but you're doubting the writer's sincerity and thereby doubting the writer.

My read of the current situation is that Obama has created this emotional bond among people that's making anyone who harshes the obamellow into an enemy.

Allow me to stand on emotion, if I may. That's how it feels to me, and I feel that it sux.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

nope. its not the same. its not splitting hairs. one is personally directed. one speaks to the message written as framed and presented.

but i will modify it to "disingenuous." and if the author can't handle that critique, he is welcome to use his free speech and speak to me. as he did. he's a grown man and i'm sure he can handle his business.

you are welcome to your read on obama. its fine with me if you have one and we differ.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

and i hate to bust your well-defined bubble. but i am NOT the enemy of people who dont feel as i do about obama. stop repeating it in the general as if you can blanket all obama supporters with it. you aim to MAKE a cult with such statements. its YOUR lens. you are not my enemy. lambert is not my enemy. CD is not my enemy. i dont think you are deficient or stupid. or blind. i just think i see something that works for me in my worldview. and i think we have different views. so stop pasting your one size fits all bullshit on me. please.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... to see one come back.

I fight the way I think is fair, and I assume you do, too. But we don't agree on what's fair.

We've been through a few of these go 'rounds, and this is how they look to me.

* You say something provocative
* Someone objects
* You say that it's an emotional thing, and we wouldn't understand
* You cap it off with an "it's all good" comment, making anyone who is still bothered by what you said look quarrelsome

Either you stand by your words or you don't. But don't expect to have it both ways.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

it IS all good! come ON. this is a fucking thread on a blog. please. it is alllll good. no matter how it ends. if someone "looks" quarrelsome, is that my fault? jeez.

i stand by my words. as stated here. what the problem bro? whats unfair? tell me. what about our exchange right here is unfair. tell me.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

you say we "fight fair." but i havent been fighting. just commenting.

and i dont have time for this. i dont have time to hang out on a thread and bicker. i have like ten projects i'm on. but i do have a headset. if you want to come to an understanding with me, email me and i'll give you my phone number. but really, all this threadwar bullshit doesnt turn me on. maybe thats why i split all the time. its bullshit to me. it doesnt really do anything as i see it. but seriously, if you are interested in communication, lets take it into realtime. IF you are interested in COMMUNICATION.

a lot of time when i stop posting its because i think that is no longer the goal, or no longer possible. youve made up your mind about what it means, and you presume too much.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by lambert on

Nezua:

Speaking of COMMUNICATION....

Since blogging is all about the voice of the individual writer -- one might even think of it as developing a brand -- it's very difficult to separate the post from the poster.

The difficulty increases when words like disingenous ('lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity') or dishonest ('disposed to lie, cheat, or steal'), which speak, exactly and precisely, not to the content of the post, but rather to the intent of the writer. One can only wonder how many other of my 10,000 or so posts in my oeuvre were animated by the same bad personal characteristics. All of them, perhaps?

In scholarly controversies, one often sees phrasing like "the author must not have been aware," for example, which removes the personal element that, despite protestations to the contrary, has so clearly been introduced here -- and even, with "disingenuous", reinforced.

Too bad, but there it is. I think it's probably time to bring this portion of the comments to a close; it's simply cross-talk. Besides--who knew--I have projects of my own, besides providing this platform, of course....

Like the old Stan Mack Funnies, all dialog guaranteed verbatim, or almost:

OBAMA DISCLAIMER Yes, I am paid by the Hillary campaign. Yes, I hope to get a job in Hillary’s administration. Yes, I am a shill. Yes, I am a hack. Yes, I am a liar. Yes, I am a racist. Yes, I am a purist. Yes, I am a troll. Yes, I am ignorant. Yes, I hate Obama. Yes, I ignore all facts that don’t square with my [lying|racist|purist|shilling|hackish|trollish] preconceptions of Obama. Yes, my reading comprehension is poor. Yes, I have twisted Obama's words, not only in this [post|comment], but often in the past. Yes, I have a hidden agenda: I hope that the Democrats lose, and to that end I support [not Obama]. Yes, I could be older than you. Yes, I think all young people are stupid. Did I mention I’m a shill and a hack? Good. Anything else?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But you're identifying with the pervasive "feel-good" movement, which is -- from what I've seen -- really "feel good only if you're with Obama." (Except for the Republicans, who are expected to play nice, once he's in power).

To quote you, "you dont ask me how i’ve seen it play out in my life. you dont earnestly approach me to see what i mean. you get snippy and snotty and petty. that is disengenuous."

As someone who reads and contributes to this blog, you might have noticed how regularly we've experienced remarkable nastiness and illogic from the Obama Fan Base, especially if we venture out into sites like DailyKos and DU, and which we've described here in some detail.

This hopey-change-pony fantasy is theirs. If you want to praise Obama's "vibe of positivity," I think it's fair game to raise the worrisome side of that groupthink. You don't want to think about the cultish implications, but I do. And I do because I've seen some of the most ignorant, kneejerk hate I've ever seen among progressives come from the OFB and directed at anyone who dares criticize the New Jesus.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

i dont read the threads, VL. so i dont know the ins and outs of your combat.

and i still dont hear any concession on your part about blanketing all obama supporters. that is not an intelligent move, surely you agree. nor accurate. and it is insulting to me and really, the same thing that you claim to be against. you claim that obama supporters bunch everyone up who opposes them but YOU JUST DID THAT!!! to me. and you guys even do that with your "O.F.B." thing. have you thought about that, and how it hurts/helps your cause? or makes your friends feel who like obama?

irony, anyone?

you want to reduce my feelings on obama from a quick comment i made to CD. you want to group them into your prevailing view. i'm okay with that. know why? because i know what i am. even when you do not.

it's all good! :)

lambert,

clearly, i'm not scholarly. but judging by the fallout, i should have taken more time to word what i did. i'm trying to think of a less offensive way to say that i didnt buy the line at all. not from reading here every day.

and i'd like to remind you that i've already conceded that it could be a timing thing as you pointed out. ("for a long time" etc) but that concession on my part has been lost, and what has been remembered are statements that can be used to bicker further and prove VL or you right.

so maybe i just sensed your vote choice before you did. you are not dishonest, so maybe i am just intuitive. or maybe there's a third choice. either way, i do have respect for you. so please dont lose that part. ultimately, i too, have to hope that you, knowing who you are, dont need to be yanked off course by some loudmouth nezua with a comment you dont agree with.

i'm out. really i have to do some things. peace.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez's picture
Submitted by nezua limón xol... on

lambert, to edit your comments after someone else has replied to them with no mention or indication of what has been added after the ensuing comments were made...well. i dont want to call it dishonest! but this doesnt present an honest view of the conversation to those who come later, wouldnt you agree?

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

___________________________
.delusions of un mundo mejor.

Submitted by anonanomie (not verified) on

If you're going to say something as provocative as that, at least be so good as to provide a good example or three.

For mature writers, The form you say it in, whether "This statement doesn't ring true with your prior writing" or "You're a fucking godawful liar" doesn't matter so much as the fact that you're casting aspersions on their honesty at all. It leaves them looking for answers, for meaning in your words, questioning themselves about what they could have written that gave you that impression, and then when you refuse to back it up with a shred of evidence (By pretending to refuse a confrontation you already started)...

It makes you a dick.

Frankly, your philosophy on discourse is lacking. The best conversations I ever have are with people who can convince me to change my opinion on something, or I can convince them to change their opinion on something.

The worse are when I explain my position, and the person glares at me and walks away or uncomfortably changes the subject (in an anti-confrontational way) without giving me so much as a hint as to what I said wrong.

The political blogosphere is not the place for "But it's politics... it's too divisive to have discussions on, it'll just turn into a flamewar" whine I've encountered elsewhere.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I will say just one thing. I have not ever intentionally said anything dismissive of people who support Obama for legitimate reasons (and yes, there is room for debate on what those are), who don't pretend (or believe) that he's some kind of second coming, and who know that "hope" for "change" is no substitute for good governance, clear thinking, hard work, and fighting back the Conservative Movement.

When the dust settles, if you feel there's some unfinished business from this that needs attending, I'd welcome that phone call.

In the meantime, good luck with the MTV stuff and all.

Submitted by 4jkb4ia (not verified) on


Ezra rocks!
I have been trying to feel my way to the idea that Obama has been spending his whole life dealing with government, esp. when he was not an elected official. Therefore it is more important to him to make government open and accessible.

if the slagging of "liberal blogs" for their support of Obama is justified. Pre-Iowa much of the blogosphere support was swinging toward Edwards, and this shift has really only occurred in the past week. I think the 'sphere basically got this right, supporting Edwards and pushing his ideas into the primary conversation, giving him much more impact that the traditional media ever would.

I think it's clear to me that we're choosing between two fairly cautious centrists who are empowering two different sets of new voters and new converts to democracy participation. For me, the answer lies in what they will do with those new voters; how will they employ them to help pass an agenda, if at all? Will they be empowered enough to hold the leaders accountable? Will they build an organization that lasts beyond November? Will it be self-sustaining or deflating after the first capitulation or compromise?

Those are the questions I asked myself in making my choice. I have to say that when Hillary Clinton said in a debate, kind of in response to these questions, that "the American people shouldn't have to work so hard to get a President that cares about them," that really depressed me.

Would happily support anyone in the general, etc. This idea that people won't support the nominee is claptrap. Regular people who aren't online all day are really excited about both these candidates.

Submitted by lambert on

And if I blow past putting in an UPDATE or a strike when I do an edit, then you can just deal. Notice the "to come" up in the original post? I haven't had time to write that because of this nonsense. Or I can install versioning control and give you privileges. You were doing pretty good there, 'til you threw gasoline on the flames again.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

Chris Bowers points out that Super Duper Tuesday probably won't decide anything because primaries are not "winner takes all", delegates are assigned proportionally even to the candidate who comes in second:

From this point, quick math shows that after Super Tuesday, only 1,428 pledged delegates will still be available. Now, here is where the problem shows up. According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama.(In all likelihood, the winning margin will be lower than this, but using these numbers helps emphasize the seriousness of the situation.)

The Obama vs Hillary thing is going to continue for a few months at least. So it might be a good thing to remember that at some point everyone is supposed to support the D in the general. And remember to respeck fellow bloggers who may be rooting for the other candidate, even if you might not like what they say or how they say it.

[steps out of firefight]

Submitted by blindjoedeath (not verified) on

Lambert is for the war in Iraq.
Lambert approves the troop surge.
Lambert is in favor of Kyle/Lieberman.
Lambert is for bringing Colin Powell back to the Whitehouse.
Lambert is for big money.
Lambert is for pro lobbyist in the Whitehouse.
Lambert is a joke.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

But not as much as I love ponies!

And who is Colin Powell "excited, impressed, and happy for"?

Lambert, can you pass that bucket of big money over here?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I appreciate you taking time away from your work on Obama's Unity campaign to come by with a nice word.

Submitted by Mike in SLO (not verified) on

If you want to make a serious argument, fine. But starting anything with "The Billary" just shows you to be petty. When you can debate without using right-wing frames I'll actually take your argument seriously.

Submitted by Jimbo (not verified) on

Your response-- labeling "The Billary" usage as right-wing-- tells me that you have (rather uncritically, perhaps) accepted "their" frame. Bill & the Hill against the "vast right-wing conspiracy." (Even vast wants to be awoken when Obama repeats that phrase!]
The Clintons are neither right nor left...they simply use those terms to further their own cynical ambitions. Again, go back and read the accounts of what THEY-- along WITH that so-called r-wing conspiracy-- did to Guinier. Then, read a few articles from her book...and then come back and tell me which of her ideas are "dangerous"...and just WHO is actually manipulating r-wing frames! Bill and The Hill went along with the r-wing...THEN...and throughout his presidency...on ALL issues important to the marginalized, the non-elites...welfare...NAFTA...you name it! [It would be ironic, wouldn't it, if The Billary was actually coined by one of their own apparatchiks, furthering the promise of "dynasty"!]
So, don't bother trying to awaken vast on this one. An old Navajo proverb goes: It is impossible to awaken one who is pretending to sleep.

Submitted by blindjoedeath (not verified) on

Your candidate Via Spencer Ackerman
Clinton’s statements during October 2002 have received much attention. But what she’s said in the intervening years demonstrates a vertigo-inducing lack of clarity. Her position tracked the political zeitgeist elegantly: cautiously in favor of the war before it started; enthusiastically in favor of it during its first year; overtaken with doubt during 2004; nervously against withdrawal in 2005; cautiously in favor of withdrawal ever since—and all without so much as an acknowledgment of her myriad repositioning. At no point did she challenge the prevailing assumptions behind the war.

Submitted by Colin Powell (not verified) on


Your candidate reaches out to Powell

“I won’t even wait until I’m inaugurated, but as soon as I’m elected I’m going to be asking distinguished Americans of both parties — people like Colin Powell , for example, and others — who can represent our country well, including someone I know very well,”
Happy Colin Powell day Lambert. Hope you like the next war as much as you like this one.

Submitted by Davidson (not verified) on

http://ruralvotes.com/thefield/?p=443

It'll be just a matter of timing.

As a tremendous admirer of Gore, I'm pissed: the voters should decide, especially considering this is the first serious woman presidential candidate. Obama will be more than fine after today; he'll probably even have major momentum. He can close the deal on his own, but for Gore to just step in would be just too much.

Could Gore hate the Clintons that much? Damn and here I thought Hillary might hold off Obama today. What's the point if she'll just be knee capped later?

Submitted by lambert on

One should never say never, but it could also be disinformation.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by TonyRz (not verified) on

Both of you guys (gals?) have been churning out awesome posts these past couple of weeks. My "political blog" bookmark folder is heavily populated, with URLs for thirty or forty progressive places, but the number I can stand to visit these last few weeks is down to about one tenth of that. All thanks to the nasty and mostly stupid parts of the OFB which are making for an overwhelmingly bleak outlook.

Anybody remember the "Reagan Pod" sketch from one of the last SNLs with the original cast - before the 1980 election? (Green gift pillows with the word "Reagan" on them sprouted at night and caused formerly liberal people to mindlessly spew right-wing talking points...)

intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

Give the choice of Obama and Hillary I'm not sure what is surprising. Maybe it is surprising how much you support her, but certainly reading your insightful and deserved criticism of OFB, I can't see why you would support the candidate moving the fastest toward Reagan. Just from the Overton window viewpoint, Obama is a bad choice, even is he is more left on most issues, he is being pulled and pushing the window right.

So, it's not surprising to me.

But I do have a question. In all fairness from day one you have made this about choosing between whoever is left standing. Not the VL version of more and better, but similar proposition. My question is who would you choose between Obama, Hillary, and None of the Above.

Sure, it's irrelevant, but I think it is interesting question to at least leave NOONE in the running, because that is a valid choice still. And by none of the above, that could mean throw away Edwards vote or not being motivated to vote.

Anyways, I'm sure from what you wrote that Hillary passes the None of the above threshold, but still think that it is interesting how often the race is positioned as A vs. B when it really isn't.

Submitted by Ddawg (not verified) on

I have been searching the progressive blogs for a cogent defense of Clinton and fair analysis of Obama (aside from a few kos notes).

Singing kumbaya will not reverse 12 years of destruction.

Thanks.

Submitted by Buzzcook (not verified) on

I wish that there were more positives for Hillary that went beyond workhorse and battle scared veteran.

I do see Clinton as more liberal than Obama. But that's more due to Obama's embracing right wing rhetoric than any big policy difference.

It's Rhetoric that keeps me away from Obama. I don't have much problem with the hive mind thing, I was a Deaniac after all.
Last year when Obama condemned Democrats for being mean to Christians was the first straw. The last was the party of ideas remark.

Obama's behavior surrounding the media's falsification of Clinton's remarks regarding LBJ, was also deeply disturbing.
It is in no democrats interest to allow the media to fabricate stories. It is decidedly worse to play up those media scripts.

Batocchio's picture
Submitted by Batocchio on

You make a good, pretty fair case, or at least offer a good explanation. You've hit most of my concerns about Obama. However, I've very concerned about Hillary's hawkish stances and rhetoric, I'm uncertain where she really stands on the growing surveillance state, and she's used some awfully Orwellian rhetoric (I'll have more on my blog in the next few weeks). Regardless, I'll support the Dem in the general,

Submitted by Max Power (not verified) on

very concerned about Hillary’s hawkish stances

Hillary justified her 2002 vote to authorize force on Iraq according her principle that the President should have all the power he or she requires.

It's still her justification today. I don't think we'll see a great rollback of the "unitary executive theory" under President Clinton.