The Alan Grayson Page

The Anthony Weiner Page

Guest Contributors

Note

  • BN-Politics' administrators respect, but do not necessarily endorse, views expressed by our contributors. Our goal is to get the ideas out there. After that, they're on their own.
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2007

Blog Catalog

  • Liberalism Political Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Blogorian!

Blogged


« (Update) A Reply by the Liberal Journal to a Note from the Pro-Hillary Blogs to the Pro-Obama Ones | Main | GAO Slams Administration over Costs and Performance of Defense Contractors »

April 01, 2008

Comments

Fleaflicker

The Democratic party has already divided. It isn't something I was interested in seeing happen initially. But I think for the sake of the party in the long run, the split up is necessary.

If Hillary isn't the nominee than I am going to become an Independent until I know whose side people are really on. I have had it with people like Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Leahy and Dodd. And a slew of others. And I will not be a part of their party any longer.

I realize some will say that I am a turncoat. But the way I see it the "party" is the one that has been the turncoat here.

D. Cupples

Hi Fleaflicker,

I don't think you're a turncoat. I understand your angle.

The fact is that a small group of prominent Dems are now trying to take the nomination process out of the voters' hands -- ignoring (perhaps taking for granted) about 50% of the party.

That's no way to "win friends and influence people." What has our party become?

Many of them are following Obma's lead and not even counting Florida's popular vote (which they should weigh as a factor, because there was high turnout and Obama and Hillary had equal advantages or disadvantages).

All they have to do is wait and stay silent. Yet, they're tearing the party asunder. Apparently, these people are not long-term thinkers.

Adam

Even a racist could have supported Obama's campaign against Keyes, right? Sorry, I'm just being snarky...

Obama has been consistently fair to the Clintons every time he's been asked directly about any of the negative media coverage. He completely squashed the "dressed picture" story at the Ohio debate, for instance. He supported Hillary staying in the race just a few days ago. He's said without prompting that Hillary would be a much better president than McCain.

What you're expecting of him - going out of his way to defend Clinton from attacks - is something no candidate does. Clearly, Hillary has not done it, and indeed she manufactured ways to try to amplify the Wright story and the "just words" speech story. And she's been, to be charitable, inconsistent at comparing Obama favorably to McCain.

You can put together long lists of complaints about comments on blogs, or in the media, or even from some Obama campaign surrogates, that bash Hillary. The mirror image is true as well. The only double standard in media coverage is the one John McCain enjoys.

As Carville said, this primary campaign has not been as negative as some past ones have been. What's set it apart, really, is the "umbrage wars" between the supporters on both sides. It may be a Republican symbol, but the way the Obama and Clinton supporters are harboring resentment over every past slight of this campaign is positively elephantine.

Eight weeks ago, it was all over the media (old and new) that McCain was unacceptable and the Republicans needed to unite around Romney to save the party. Now, there's not a peep from those same people against McCain, and it's presumed that every conservative will happily pull the lever for him. And these people actually had legitimate policy beefs! The Romney/McCain divide, from a policy perspective, was much more significant than the Obama/Clinton divide.

The winner of the nomination should be able to unite the party. It shouldn't require "ADD-afflicted adolescents" to vote for Obama. It just requires people who can drop the emotional baggage of the primary campaign and just look at the issues. (Just speaking for myself, though, being ADD does makes switching candidates a little easier.)

Or, if you prefer, stay home and enjoy the Iraq war. That's not snark. That's the choice you make.

D. Cupples

Adam,

I didn't mean that only ADD-adolescents would vote for Obama. I meant that only ADD-adolescents would forget their displeasure and resentment. I'll edit that to remove ambiguity.

I don't think you see how big Hillary supporters' wounds are, because you're in a different arena.

Hillary DID defend Barack: re: the Muslim issue on 60 minutes: 1 "of course not" and 3 "no"'s.

I wanted Obama to defend Hillary on only one front: the racist accusations. It was important for THE PARTY.

Obama's saying he's ok with Hillary staying in the race: he appeared disingenuous: 1) because of the timing, and 2) because his OWN campaign advocated that she drop out in early March.

Obama didn't speak up until after he'd benefited from his supporters' shrieks. But the damage was already done a few weeks ago.

I think you're overlooking stuff when saying that the media has been even-handed re: Hillary and Obama.

I doubt I'll be able to convince you of that.

I believe that Obama HAS been fair when directly asked about the Clintons: I object to his stealthy efforts through others.

I wouldn't object to them, if 1) he hadn't marketed himself as above such tactics, 2) if the media had called him out and he'd suffered some consequences in real time, and 3) if Hillary had been able to fight effectively early on (i.e., if the racism accusations hadn't tied her hands).

But this is my whole point: Obama WILL suffer the consequences of stuff that the media gave him a pass on -- only it won't happen until November.

This means that the party and the nation will likely suffer -- all because many media outlets gave Obama a pass, and Obama's strategists took advantage of that.

Anyway, my post was merely an attempt to describe a very real and very risky situation that has emerged since January.

The party big-wigs are making a mistake.

Adam

I knew what you meant about ADD. My point was that it doesn't require ADD to forget about past slights and vote for the candidate who would best represent your interests. (Although, as I joked, having ADD makes it easier.)

Yes, Hillary did defend Barack on the muslim "issue" (really just a smear), when asked the question. There's no problem there. But she came up with a snarky soundbite to try to stir up the plagiarism story, and she engineered a situation where she could try to re-ignite the Wright controversy.

I don't have much of an issue with this stuff - it's not wonderfully virtuous, but it's standard issue negative campaigning and not worth taking umbrage over. I just don't see why Obama should be expected to act differently.

Did anyone actually ask Obama to comment on accusations of racism? Did the neutral observes like Pelosi, Reid, et al, defend the Clintons on that front? I understand that you hold Obama to a higher standard, but was his failure to get out in front of Clinton either unusual or surprising from any normal standard of judgement?

I disagree with your chronology of the "drop out" talk. The discussion was at its absolute peak when Obama spoke directly to it, and it has subsided since then.

"I wouldn't object to them, if 1) he hadn't marketed himself as above such tactics, 2) if the media had called him out and he'd suffered some consequences in real time, and 3) if Hillary had been able to fight effectively early on (i.e., if the racism accusations hadn't tied her hands)."

(1) is a standing disagreement we have which is not going to get resolved. I don't see his "new politics" message as being about campaign tactics.

(2) is not Obama's fault insofar as it is true. However, whenever someone directly connected to his campaign has said anything negative, it's gotten run through the media cycle. Comments of Power, McPeak, and Michelle Obama all come to mind.

(3) I reject wholesale. Hillary has had many avenues for attacking Obama that have not been vulnerable to accusations of racism (which haven't been coming from Obama's campaign anyway), and she has used them.

Tactics Obama has used in the campaign don't provide any fodder for attacks in the fall. The only way they can hurt is if Hillary supporters decide all the negativity of the primary process is more significant than whether we end the war in Iraq or not. I'm oversimplifying, of course, but my point is that the spring has been about personality and experience and emphasis, but the fall is about policy.

If your post is merely an attempt to say that the talk of trying to end things before the next round of primaries is silly and divisive, then I agree with you. Nobody voluntarily gives up a 5% chance of being the most powerful person in the world. The time for serious talk about whether Hillary should get out comes, at the earliest, after NC/IN, and that's only if the superdelegates commit en masse to Obama and eliminate her chances. Otherwise, it's all the way into June.

But don't muddy that legitimate message with all the unrelated attacks on the Obama campaign. At least, don't do that if you want me to interpret your message as something other than an attack on the Obama campaign.

D. Cupples

Adam,

I'm so glad that you understood the ADD thing. I have close friends (and colleagues) who support Obama. I would NEVER insult someone for supporting a different candidate than I do.

RE Hillary supporters' resentment: it's not just "slights" that have upset H-supporters. It's an accumulation of stuff including the Party's (and Obama's) handling of Michigan and Florida, which inflicted deep wounds.

Bush's handling of 2000 was too horrifying for many Dems to not be horrified that one of their own was against seeing two large states (or any states) get a chance to vote.

The message I'm hearing from a lot of H-supporters is that they feel that their votes don't matter to the DNC or Obama -- when in fact their votes will be necessary in November.

Again, I think a joint ticket (whoever's on top) is the only chance the Dems have of beating McCain.

I DON'T mind that Obama pointedly questioned Hillary's experience claims or voting record (or even if he'd slammed her on Bosnia). Truth is truth -- and perfectly within bounds.

I'm talking about the other stuff that I've written about over the last few weeks (and today).

How can you disagree about the drop-out chronology? I have a link to blog post I did on Feb 25 on Jonathan Alter's calls for her to drop out BEFORE Ohio and an Obama campaign email dated March 5 (which I'll happily fwd to you).

True, you and I won't agree on Obama's having created a higher standard for himself -- but his "higher" standards WERE a major plank in his campaign platform.

We disagree on other stuff, why not this?

For example, I disagree that she made a point of bringing up Wright again: I've been the target at editorial board meetings. The editors ask pretty much whatever they want.

Even if she had, it's a part of his record and evidence of questionable political judgment.

As for racism: NO white person could have effectively defended Hillary. Even a black Hillary-supporter would have fallen short. Obama (or his wife) was the only one who could have effectively saved us a few weeks of racism accusations.

Even at the time, I remember commentators pointing out that Hillary had to watch her negative statements against Barack, so that she wouldn't be viewed as the racist beating up the black candidate.

It passed, but it took a couple of weeks, and Hillary was harmed by that few weeks. The media was totally complicit (NOT necessarily Obama's fault).

Adam

I've read the e-mail (also a memo posted on the campaign website). My point was that I don't think Obama, in any sense, waited until the "damage was already done" before he spoke up on the drop-out meme.

First, what damage? Did that story hurt Hillary? Her numbers held just fine while that story was simmering; they dropped when the much more damaging Bosnia story hit. Clinton did a perfectly fine job of defending herself in the MSM. This sort of metapolitical story doesn't seem to have much of a real impact in polling numbers.

Second, the story hadn't passed off the front page when Obama spoke up. In fact, it was at its absolute peak when Obama spoke up. It started to die down AFTER Obama spoke. You can attribute that to Obama's comments and/or the lack of additional high-profile calls for Hillary to drop, or to general media boredom. Take your pick.

As for the Obama camp memos - yes, they were negative. Yes, they made it clear that they didn't like Hillary continuing an increasingly negative campaign, which was absolutely what she was doing. I think the memos were unnecessary, and I'm glad the Obama campaign has stopped putting them out, and has stopped engaging in the daily conference call bash-the-other-candidate wars.

But there is a huge difference between indirectly saying that you don't like Hillary's campaign continuing, and explicitly calling for her to drop out. The former requires reading between the lines, which means it won't get twisted into a headline that gets splashed all over the MSM. And sure enough, the Obama memos remained mere blogosphere fodder and never turned into a major story.

It was only when prominent figures (more prominent than Jonathan Alter) started explicitly saying "Hillary should drop out" that it became a big, nightly news-level story. And when that happened, Obama spoke out and the story started to fade.

D. Cupples

Adam,

Part of the damage was that Obama-friendly media (and some of the larger, more ardent anti-Hillary bloggers) gave the calls volume -- which gave some big Dems that impression that the calls were coming from far more ordinary voters than actually agreed with the drop-out calls.

The story started in February, then disappeared, then came back again. Obama's statement stopped the calls but only after a number of big Dems had already been convinced that the calls truly reflected the majority. Damage done.

I get that you think Obama went negative only recently (and that Hillary made him do it).

I think that he went negative from the start (January) in a stealthy and two-faced way.

We will likely continue to disagree about that.

Adam

I don't think Obama only went negative recently. Actually, I think he has really toned down all attacks on Hillary recently (as in, in the last week or so). I think Obama did attack Hillary starting in January, but in a fashion that was well within the bounds of what you expect from a trailing candidate who attacks the front-runner. I don't think it was two-faced although I understand why you do. In my mind there's a difference between an attack being spurrious or subtle, and an attack being dirty or two-faced.

I would say more or less the same about Hillary's negativity, except that I objected to the early March tactic of comparing Obama negatively to John McCain.

Rannah

Hmmm.... John Kerry, McGovern, Ted Kennedy, big endorsers. Candidates that could not win an election, yet the super delegates are listening to them. The tone has been for Barack for months, since South Carolina. Boy this country and super delegates are short on memory when we forget all the good things the Clintons did for this country. They have been abused by the media, and now their own party. What a shame. I just do not want the Obama campaign to start pandering for my democratic vote (I'll bet you know my race and gender and status). I am one of the 28% or greater who will vote for McCain.

D. Cupples

Rannah,

I've been very disappointed by the media's treatment of Hillary AND of Obama (they've let him get away with so much).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)