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« The Coming Military Technology: Cyber-Soldiers | Main | Does Obama Dislike the Taste of his Own Medicine? »

April 17, 2008



Or perhaps Obama staffers feel, as I have explained several times, that there is a distinct difference between taking PAC/lobbyist money and taking money from people with industry ties. As I have pointed out many times, those contributors that I have looked into have also given enormous amounts of money to progressive causes.

If this is such a big deal, then why doesn't Hillary Clinton talk about it, in stead of bringing up those "elitist" comments at every campaign stop? If she mentioned this as part of her stump speech, then the media would pick up on it. If there's one thing Hillary's campaign has done better than Obama's overall, it's control the media cycle. Perhaps Hillary does not raise this because she feels that a comparison of Obama's and Clinton's finances reflects poorly on her.

Overall, worst debate of the year, hands down. The current top story on memeorandum is "The Debate: A Shameful Night for the U.S. Media". I couldn't agree more.


Actually, this is astounding. I've never seen memeorandum's front page so dominated by one story. And, praise the lord, it's the media bashing itself for tabloid-style journalism.

The Rational Republican

The frustrating thing about Obama and his camp is that there are legitimate issues he should be addressing, like Wright and like lobbyist connections, but anytime someone brings them up they're shouted down by his supporters as "part of the political machine that's holding the country back". They are so caught up in his unity and change messages that no one can dare speak against him.

D. Cupples

Rational Republican,

You raise some very good points!


One of the biggest concerns I have with Obama is....does anyone remember Hitler?
If you read Hitler history, the comments about him certainly fits this guy.
Some of it reads:

"people wound up a wide-eyed, screaming, frenzied mass that surrendered to his will and looked upon him with pseudo-religious adoration."

Another statement is:
"Hitler offered something to everyone; work to the unemployed, prosperity to failed business people, profits to industry, expansion to the Army, social harmony and an end of class distinctions to idealistic young students, and restoration of German glory to those in despair. He promised to bring order amid chaos, a feeling of unity to all and the chance to belong."

Should we just change the word German to American?

Hitler also promised to:

"deal harshly with the Jews"

I am not against a black president but I am against this black man for our president. I do not beleive that he is trustworthy, nor do I believe his wife to be so either.


DC, you REALLY think TRR raised good points? I mean, if he did, he picked legitimately bizarre examples.

If Obama's supporters have been shouting down anyone bringing up the Wright controversy, they haven't done a good job of it. It's been brought up ad nauseum. There's basically no new angles to address on this, and claiming Obama hasn't addressed this adequately is absurd. Is there a single person in the country who has followed the campaign who is thinking "I'm not sure what I think about this Jerimiah Wright thing, I wish I had heard more about it"? I want to meet that person...

Lobbyist connections? No Obama supporters have been shouting that down, because nobody is bringing it up! If Hillary thinks this is worth talking about, she should bring it up in a speech. Her campaign has been pretty effective at inserting stories into the media cycle when they want to. She probably does not because she thinks a comparison of Obama's financial support to her own reflects poorly on her. This has nothing to do with Obama's supporters.

In sum, I don't see what issue has been suppressed by Obama supporters. There aren't any, really. The idea that his supporters have control over the media cycle is ridiculous.

Patricia, I don't need to waste my time dealing with your hatred.


Adam, It is not hate, you can't hate someone you don't know. All I did was state my opinion. What is so wrong with my opinion? Are you thinking that maybe the difference between the two of them isn't that different at all?
Quite frankly the race speech was one of the most uplifting I have ever listened to. But talk is cheap, and I have listened to him alot. I want to believe in him being smart enough, caring enough to be truthful and honest with us. But one thing I find missing from him, regardless of all his words for unity is...he talks of black americans, he talks of white americans but I want to hear about americans. I am tired of this spilit. I am sick of hearing how blacks feel. I am sick of hearing how whites feel. Truth be known, in my opinion, it isn't black or's green.

D. Cupples

Hi Adam,

It' s not about whether one "feels" that Obama is connected to the same special interests he has claimed to be divorced from. [And you looked up only 2, big oil-related donors -- not all of his donors.]

Facts: 1) he let Greenberg Traurig hold fund raisers for him; 2) he's taken $ from lobbyists' spouses.

Not just the one spouse. As Damozel covered four days ago:

"State lobbyists and non-wage-earning spouses of lobbyists and lobbying firm employees have contributed $115,163 to Obama's campaign through March 20, according to the center."

That Obama has taken even more pharma-connected money than Hillary means something to me.

If you want to believe that Obama really is divorced from lobbyists/special interests because he technically doesn't take checks that they sign, I can't change your mind.

As for TRR's points: I don't think that Wright should continue to be an issue, but I DO think that Obama's technically-not-lying about campaign donations SHOULD be an issue.

I agree with TRR that some Obama supporters (not you) TRY to shout down anyone who says anything negative about Obama. They just don't always succeed (e.g., the MSM liked the Wright story so it ran).

Ordinary Obama supporters can't effectively keep MSM from running stories. But Obama Supporters who have powerful positions in the MSM certainly can -- and they have.

I said it in the post:

"This story should have broken widely back in January, as Obama gathered momentum partly based on claims that he was divorced from special interests."

The Hill ran a similar story a year ago. Again, at least as far back as January, evidence existed that Obama takes special-interest money, though he claims not to.

THAT's newsworthy: the public deserves to be able to consider the evidence and compare it to Obama's campaign claims.

Obama's media-fans CHOSE to not focus on it, which is why you're not hearing much about it.

About the Debate: I was baffled to see the reactions.

When I watched, I thought: Ok, they must be trying to clear the BS stuff out of the way up front (Bosnia and Wright), then they'll go on to substantive issues.

I thought Charlie and George spent too much time on the BS, but they went after BOTH candidates.

I don't think Obama "lost" the debate. I saw it as a draw.

The people protesting the debate on Memeorandum tend to be Obama supporters: it's a shame that they weren't bitching about Tim Russert or some of the other debate "moderators" who went after Hillary.

Now, they have no moral ground to criticize the media for perceived bias.

[Though, again, I don't think that ABC singled out Obama: I cringed several times as one of the moderators nailed Hillary.]

That's why I saw it as a fair debate (though a little too chock full of BS).

I would have liked to have seen ABC ask about the lobbyist money, health care plans, real details about Iraq, more about Iran....



Gibson and Stephanopoulos went after both candidates, with questions slanted this way (in order):

1) Neutral
2) Anti-Obama
3) Anti-Obama
4) Neutral
5) Neutral
6) Anti-Obama
7) Anti-Obama
8) Anti-Obama
9) Anti-Obama
10) Anti-Obama
11) Anti-Clinton
12) Anti-Clinton
13) Anti-Obama
14) Anti-Obama
15-27) Neutral

You may have cringed there while they brought up Tuzla or honesty, but the vast majority of that first 45 minutes was forcing Barack to defend himself against every BS story of the last month. Then they spent most of the debate trying to make time up to Hillary by giving her more time to speak on the real issues.

To claim that that series of questions was balanced is insane, but that's not really the point anyway. The point is that they were carrying water for the right-wing attack machine that is getting ready to fight Obama this summer and fall. Stephanopoulos got a question DIRECTLY from Sean Hannity, for goodness sake. They are bringing it up because they think it will be an important issue, because it gets brought up in the press all the time. Their justification for the focus on BS character attacks is dizzyingly self-important.

Again, nobody's shouted down the lobbyist stories. They simply haven't been brought up, most notably not by Hillary. She has conceded this issue to Obama by avoiding challenging his claims on it. You are free to speculate as to why Hillary doesn't make this an issue. My speculation is that she feels that a comparison of their finances reflects poorly on her. She's still stinging from that soundbite at an early debate, where she defended lobbyists as representing real Americans.



Not sure why I'm responding, but OK.

You listed a whole bunch of things about Hitler, but you seem to miss that most of them don't apply to Obama. As far as I can tell, the common threads are:
- Lots of adoring supporters
- Promises to restore the economy and national pride

Aside from that, let's take a look at a few differences:
- Obama blames our problems on the current administration. Hitler blamed problems on unpatriotic traitors, foreigners, and Jews.
- Obama wants to withdraw from Iraq and pursue a more peaceful and multilateral foreign policy. Hitler was explicitly militaristic and agressive.
- Obama constantly speaks of unity across racial, religious, cultural, party, and class lines. Hitler spoke exclusively to ethnic Germans and sought to scapegoat problems on those outside that set.

If you really think Obama only speaks seperately to black and white, then you have a highly warped view of his campaign. Before the Wright controversy broke he had quite intentionally avoided bringing up race in nearly ANY context in the campaign.

Basically, it looks like you don't have the slightest clue about Obama, and you haven't followed his campaign closely at all. Nevertheless, you don't like him for some poorly-expressed and inaccurate reasons. You assure us that you're "not against a black president", though, so I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

Oh, and not only do you compared him to Hitler, but you throw in a non-sequitur about how Hitler promised to "deal with the Jews". Thanks, I almost forgot that a large part of my family was killed in the holocaust. Now I remember!

Most hate in this world is not expressed toward people we know, but rather, toward people we don't know, because we are ignorant about them and fill in the blanks with our own fears. Your particular feelings about Obama seem to fit the bill.

D. Cupples


You may be right about ABC's going after Obama more than Hillary at the last debate. I didn't analyze the transcript, and I was doing a round of yoga a I watched/listened.

If your analysis is accurate (and I suspect that it IS), what can I say? This is precisely what Hillary has been facing since even before January.

No Quarter has some transcript excerpts from ABC's August debate, in which Stephanopolous starts off with a Hillary-unfriendly question citing Karl Rove on Rush Limbaugh (and similar stuff from a Feb debate).

If you want more evidence, check out Damozel's piece and the Left Coaster piece that she cited today:

Many Obama supporters (not you) are NOW outraged that the media beast has done some of the same things to Obama that it repeatedly did to Hillary for months.

They weren't so outraged when the beast did it to her.

If more viewers had protested months ago (instead of cheering), Obama likely would not have faced what he did on Wed.

Media balance isn't about being nice to one candidate over another. If viewers keep cheering when media outlets bash one candidate like it's a blood sport, Media will likely take it as a sign that they should continue brutally campaigning for and against candidates. Period.

As for the right-wing attack machine: ABC didn't give the RWM anything new. RWM is just waiting for a strategic time to use it all.

About lobbyists: Adam, I've said this repeatedly: the issue Is NOT whether Hillary took more or less special interest money.

The issue is that Obama FALSELY represented that he is divorced from special interests (that goes to his honesty about a major campaign-platform plank).

Hillary has already been called out for having taken special interest money. She likely does have more special-interest money (except Pharma, which gave more to Obama).

The reason you're not hearing more about it (as I said above) is that many Obama-favoring media folks have chosen to not make it an issue.

But it IS an issue -- especially when a good paper like USA Today does a piece on it that involved some real investigation and analysis.

I haven't speculated on why Clinton hasn't yet made an issue of it. I really don't care.

Her campaign's failure to bring it up Does NOT make it any less important an issue to voters who care about stuff like that. It just makes it so that many voters aren't hearing about the issue or getting an opportunity to assess the info for themselves.

What bothers me is that Obama supporters (even you this time) are up in arms over it, but you weren't up in arms when ABC or other debate hosts treated Hillary in an un-evenhanded way.


I don't have time to respond now; really I would have to respond to 5 different posts on your blog if I wanted to comprehensively defend Obama at this point. So, just two very brief points:

1) It's fair to say that I am angry about the way the media is treating Obama right now. But I have never denied that Hillary got a raw deal from the press. In fact, this has been my point, which I have been consistent on from the start. The Republican attack machine inserts character attacks on the leading Democrats into the narrative, and the mainstream media dutifully parrots those attacks. Now that Obama appears to be the nominee, the Republicans are much more interested in attacking him.

I'll admit that I was less viscerally upset by it when it was Hillary being attacked, but I have never condoned this sort of coverage or said that it is OK. It's not, and it's just two examples of precisely the same issue.

2) As I've pointed out, both Obama and Hillary have had enough time in this campaign that the haters can put together pretty impressive litanies of bad things they've done. Here's one for Hillary (which is now quite out of date):

In both this litany and the one from talkleft, two errors are made:
- conflating things done by supporters with things done by the campaign itself
- taking umbrage over issue-based attacks, which, unless they are blatantly false, are part of the campaign.

I have much more to say, but that will have to do for now.

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