}

Apparently, Hillary Likes the Jews

jewish_btn.jpgAccording to the JTA, Susie Stern, the immediate past chair of the board of the UJA, and Steve Grossman, past president of AIPAC, have decided to come out with their support for Clinton’s bid for the presidency. They say that Clinton’s support for Israel has been unwavering.

I already think that Clinton is the best candidate for the Democratic nomination because of her experience, ideas, and determination (and being a Wellesley Woman myself, the fact that she’s an alum definitely doesn’t hurt). But because I know she strongly supports Israel, I’m even more inclined to support her. Clinton embodies the kind of president the US needs.

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42 Comments

  1. Adam Hyman

    1/29/2008 at 4:47 am

    “Clinton embodies the kind of president the US needs.”

    Wow, you really believe that?

    Out of all the amazing Americans, you believe that Hillary Clinton “embodies the kind of president the US needs.”

    Wow.

  2. Tom Morrissey

    1/29/2008 at 6:13 am

    Look at it this way, Adam– John McCain couldn’t get into Wellesley if he tried.

  3. JFH

    1/29/2008 at 9:25 am

    Clinton is by far the best candidate for her ideas AND for her unwavering support of the jews and israel. no one even comes close

  4. Stuart D.

    1/29/2008 at 1:29 pm

    Just out of curiousity, is that button Photoshopped or does Hillary b’Ivrit really exist? It would be a nice accessory for my next Ulpan class, and just in time for our Illinois Primary on Feb. 5th.

  5. AaronfromWG

    1/29/2008 at 2:17 pm

    Hillary loves Jewish votes and Jewish money. She loves power most of all. read this:
    http://noyam.wordpress.com/2007/06/27/which-bothers-you-more/

    and this:

    On November 11, 1999, during an appearance with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Suha Arafat, wife of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat stated: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” Hillary then hugged and kissed her. She could have walked out but no.

    For Hillary to even appear with this women who is known to be even more radical then her husband, Yasir, is a disgrace. If opinion poles change in this country then she will sell out on Israel. She has no ideals except money, votes and power.

  6. montana_urban_legend

    1/29/2008 at 8:13 pm

    Well Aaron, to be fair, she has more than just the ideals of money, votes and power.

    As spawnof6 points out, she also has experience (well not as much as Cheney/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld have. But nevermind that. Her proponents who want to play that quality off as a good thing are not likely to appreciate the comparison [because they usually never think it through]).

    She also has ideas (you know, like race-baiting in S.C. and threatening to “demonize” the Democrats who wouldn’t go along with her health plan in 1993 – until they got routed in the Congress the following year for not distancing themselves more openly from such undemocratic maneuvering).

    And lest we forget, she has determination (like, as in, she’s “in it to win it!”).

    Well, at least she has her priorities straight.

    But getting back to the point. This supposedly unwavering commitment of hers to Israel. Well, again, I think that’s where most of the country is. And you’re right, if it weren’t, neither would she. What she is likely to do is to send that oh-so-recently-statesmanlike Bill over to play diplomacy with the parties – because Hamas really needs our help in seeing the light – so that he can get his Nobel Prize for redeeming terrorists for just long enough to make for a good photo-op.

    There are rumors of Hillary having a rather filthy mouth when it comes to slurs against Jews, and although I usually don’t deal in unsubstantiated things, I think her opportunistic character already rather speaks for itself. And has she ever told the Palestinians that they need to get their act together before expecting anything from the U.S.? I can only think of one Democratic candidate who has. And it’s not the one who says that words don’t matter. Even though he seems more likely than the rest of them to believe that honesty does.

  7. montana_urban_legend

    1/29/2008 at 8:32 pm

    Also, Hillary’s interest in acknowledging the existence of her Jewish grandfather wasn’t always so unwavering. She didn’t do that until running for the Senate seat of New York in 2000. Why not? Was it as impolitic for a white Methodist to do that so in Arkansas in 1978 as she apparently thinks it is for a white female politician in 2008 to acknowledge that civil rights wouldn’t have happened without MLK? I won’t even touch the “plausibly deniable” yet just as misleading comments about Obama’s faith, etc., etc., etc.

    There’s just too much shady stuff there. Most of us didn’t see it in the 1990s. Now is the time to become a little bit less naive.

  8. spawnof6

    1/29/2008 at 8:37 pm

  9. themiddle

    1/29/2008 at 9:37 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Montana, you’ve missed the other conversations regarding Obama and Clinton. With all due respect, the race card was played by the Obama campaign in a disgusting fashion and had nothing to do with what Hillary or Bill said. It was a blatant and successful attempt by the Obama campaign to let the majority African American voters in SC know to whom they would better relate. If there’s anything egregious about this, and in my opinion there is, it is that they took a couple that had spent decades making African Americans their partners and in a few days destroyed that relationship. Disgusting.

    You can make the claim that she is not a friend of Israel if you wish but neither her voting record nor her husband’s administration’s actions over his years as President agree with this claim. If anything, he came very close to bringing peace between the two sides and provided one of the better set of parameters to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    If the rest of your claim is that she’s a politician, then you’re right, she is. So is Obama. In fact, he’s so much of a politician that he doesn’t seem to take sides in votes, merely notes that he’s present. He gives nice speeches but then can’t take sides. I’m sure that qualifies him well for the Presidency. Unlike him, however, she brings decades of experience to the fight in the trenches and will be equipped to deal with the responsibilities and duties of President from Day One. She’ll also be far better equipped to deal with the Republican onslaught that will certainly come starting on Day One.

    Read today’s Krugman editorial to run down memory lane a bit and to recognize just how important her experience is and how it undermines Obama. Even if Kennedy disagrees.

    By the way and totally unrelated, I have written a number of comments over the years that read exactly like Krugman’s editorial. How come he gets to write for the NYT and I am just an anonymous writer on Jewlicious?

  10. Tom Morrissey

    1/29/2008 at 9:44 pm

    Anti-semitism?

  11. AaronfromWG

    1/29/2008 at 10:13 pm

    Dear themiddle,

    Pres. Clinton brought Israel close to peace like bringing a fly to a Venus fly trap. Clinton put Israel in a vulnerable position and surprise: second intifada. In fairness to Clinton, he wasn’t smart enough or Machiavellian enough to see what the Arabs were planning throughout the 1990’s.

  12. montana_urban_legend

    1/29/2008 at 11:27 pm

    we have a history of objective disagreements over certain things TM, and yet, it’s incredibly difficult for me to believe that you would actually buy this idea that Obama is the one playing (how about “instigating”) the race card. i’m just ill equipped to respond given how few credible arguments i’ve heard making that claim. but in the meantime i’ll say that donna brazile, an undecided who had worked FOR the Clintons, was offended – and said so, publicly. i’ll say that it’s pretty odd for someone who had lived through the era of civil rights to go out and belittle MLK’s contribution as a subtle attack on a black candidate, when without MLK civil rights would have probably never happened. i’ll say that it’s pretty short-sighted to think that a lawyer duo – one of whom was so fickle as to quibble over the meaning of the term “sexual relations” and the “meaning of the word is” in order to preserve his political skin for a few months – doesn’t know enough about the effects of the uses of language in politics, let alone in this campaign. Billary’s better half – and let’s not dispute that they function AS A TEAM – was actually disbarred in Dec 2001 for being WILLFULLY MISLEADING. This was the judgment on how he uses language by his peers, other lawyers – members of a profession thought to be as honest as a group as car salesmen generally. And even THEY thought he couldn’t be trusted and disbarred him. This is no small matter. Being disbarred is a big deal. Bill was just lucky in his timing since the attention of the country was overshadowed by a little thing called 9/11 at the time. And whatever Obama’s 2008 win in South Carolina has to do with Jesse Jackson’s in 1984 is anyone’s guess, but I’d certainly have to defer to the one (Bill Clinton) who saw a reason to point that out for some mysterious reason other than to reduce Obama to nothing more than a figure of his race. Even though he won over more white votes.

    But why stop there? We have Dick Morris, who worked for the duo long enough to get them to pretend that they actually agreed with the Republicans – that you seem so interested in stopping – long enough to save his political skin, but not long enough to get anyone to think that they actually made concessions on principle. Yes, politicians are politicians. But honesty and dishonesty are not the same thing. Let’s stop trying to make a reductio ad absurdum out of everything, shall we? And on “Day One” I have much better evidence, based on the history that you overlook and the characters that you are not examining, that Obama will do a much better job of working with Republicans by 1. Letting them know that he respects them intellectually, even if he doesn’t agree, and won’t go along with them. Even if he says so without the “demonizing” that Hillary threatened of a Democratic Congress before they lost control of due to her tactics in 1994, and 2. Having the character and decency to win the Republicans’ respect as a Head of State, and not just as a politician. This is a point many Democrats just don’t seem to understand anymore – even after 7 years of GWB. It’s not all just about hammering YOUR policy preferences over the heads of the opposition. This isn’t a single constituency polity with parliamentary mandates or anything.

    You might not believe that you should have to work with people you disagree with, and neither would someone as partisan as Krugman, but Hillary would have to. End of story. And if you want some links to someone who HAS worked with both, meaning with both politicans of the Billary duo as well as with both parties, I suggest you try Dick Morris’ column in Real Clear Politics on how the Clintons likely calculated to lose S.C. in order to claim that Blacks spurned them despite their overtures, giving them the perfect excuse to scare up white votes as a way of casting Obama as “The” Black candidate. It seems to be working on people like you, but luckily S.C. saw differently, and hopefully, so is the rest of the country.

    Please deal with or address some of these many facts if you’d like to offer me some more penetrating reasons for why I should have been listening to the conversations you were having here over these things instead of the many others that I’ve pointed out above. I do remember having read some of Tom Morissey’s, to be fair, but he seemed to a bit more objective, fair-minded and conversant in more of the issues at stake than you did, frankly, TM. No offense.

  13. montana_urban_legend

    1/29/2008 at 11:40 pm

    And, oh yeah. You’re reading too much of the Clinton campaign spin on Obama’s votes in Illinois. Most of these were done tactically. Too many people who are unfamiliar with the political processes of the state don’t understand this. But the president of NOW in Chicago did. And she changed her vote from Clinton to Obama due to how ridiculously they had spun his stances from reading too much into his voting tactics, especially when it comes to controversial issues, the way you seem to be doing here.

  14. montana_urban_legend

    1/29/2008 at 11:57 pm

    Also, I’ve read the comments on the YouTube. They’re great. It’s amazing how many Republicans would support Obama. Why? It’s not because he’s a secret Republican in Democrats’ clothing. He actually wins their respect as a Head of State. He has the decency and the character to get enough of them to constructively engage and listen to his stances – which are not all that different from Billary’s. Of course, to someone who thinks “a politician is a politician is a lying politician” such things might not mean much, but we shouldn’t assume that everyone has the same priorities as any one of us do individually. I mean after all, according to you, the Republicans don’t have the same priorities politically, which is obvious. So maybe some of them will be won over to him (and many Independents will be) due to his ability to speak to them respectfully. They have different priorities personally. It’s a stretch of perspective, I understand. But then, so too was the “onslaught” of Democrats who defected to Reagan on account of probably not much more than his flowery oratory either.

    Obama has substance and it’s either a canard or a willful oversight to claim otherwise – especially in contrast to Hillary.

  15. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 2:38 am

    Tom, isn’t Krugman Jewish?

  16. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 4:49 am

    Montana, you were doing okay until you suggested that I wasn’t conversant on this topic. Uh, surely you jest?

    Why are you giving Dick Morris more respect than the former President who was disbarred? You mean to suggest that Morris is an honest broker without an ax to grind? You might want to read up a bit on his personal history, not to mention his relationship with the Clintons.

    You mean to say that you actually bought the blow-job impeachment? After 7 years of hounding him over every possible bullshit accusation possible and years of a superstar attorney as special prosecutor, they finally got Bill Clinton on a lie about infidelity and you actually buy the Republican line about his “character?” Please spare me the violins. There was no Whitewater, and no mysterious murders, and no mysterious disappearing files and no mysterious wars in Iraq and no mysterious destruction of the economy and no mysterious destruction of the dollar or the national debt. In fact, all there was were limitless attacks by Republicans – a vast right wing conspiracy, if you like – on a sitting President from Day One. And they never let up.

    Now if you come up with accusations before an event, as did the Republicans, and then spend years and years digging and digging and all you get is entrapment about an instance of infidelity, when what you were really going after was dirty tricks or embezzlement or something politically immoral, it means you got nothing. You simply, eventually, succeeded in finding the skull in the closet. Surely you have a skull in your closet, Montana? I bet you wouldn’t be able to withstand 8 years of scrutiny including a special prosecutor.

    As for Obama, stop following the sheep. It was his campaign that brought up the race card. Suddenly, and I mean days before this important election in a state where half the voters would be African American, a couple that has spent their life working together with that community found themselves under an attack that highlights their supposed differences with that community. What happened? Oh, Dick Morris says it was all masterfully pre-planned. Right! Just like Hillary masterfully planned to be beaten in Iowa.

    They’re just people, Montana. They’re good politicians, but so is Obama. What he did here was turn the tables and use his ADVANTAGE in SC to take a much needed victory. His campaign brought up the attacks. I mean, what the hell is wrong with saying that some politician’s assertions are a “fairy tale?” Absolutely nothing. Yet somehow, it was interpreted as a race issue. Well, that wasn’t coming from the Clintons, that was coming from the Obama campaign and some black voices around the country. And it all happened so quickly and so suddenly that you’d have to be, well, intentionally blind not to see that it was a planned frontal assault.

    It made and makes no sense for Hillary Clinton to alienate black voters. It doesn’t make sense in a national race and it makes far less sense in a heated primary where your opponent is black. It especially makes no sense when your husband retired and opened his office in Harlem. He could have opened it in Martha’s Vineyard and nobody would have peeped. He opened it in Harlem, sending out a clear and vocal signal about who his friends are and whom he wishes to support even as his political career is over. Hillary thought she’d have a serious fighting chance for at least half of the black vote.

    With respect to MLK, stop changing what was said to suit your argument. She didn’t indicate that MLK wasn’t instrumental in getting the civil rights movement going or in its successes. She was clear in saying – absolutely correctly, by the way – that ultimately MLK needed a President to make all the talk of hope actually come into being. If a person wants to play stupid or show a very thin skin, then that person could find a reason to attack that statement. However, in this case, the persons who did find offense had a political assassination in mind and they just played it for all it was worth.

    It was worth a victory in SC for Obama.

    Back to being “conversant.” If you had actually bothered to study what Hillary has accomplished as a senator, you’d learn that she is well and widely respected by Republican colleagues. She works with them often and well and she has proven herself highly influential for that reason. SHE WON THEM OVER.

    She has also served on some of the most important Senate committees when it comes to national security and foreign relations and has served impressively. Obama has not. Maybe he will, but he hasn’t been around long enough. He also hasn’t forged the relationships she has with Republican colleagues because he hasn’t had time. He also hasn’t been party to decades of fighting against Republican majorities and minorities in the House. It doesn’t matter that people say that he doesn’t need the experience. That is wishful thinking. It’s precisely the reason Bill Clinton got burned early in his Administration and never recovered. The Republicans always had him off-balance because he wasn’t a creature of Washington and he actually believed that winning the election was enough to come to DC and change the US.

    Well, the lesson learned was that you need to play by the rules. That Washington is a well established place with lots of powerful people and institutions who can push back pretty hard when they want to. So you have to play by the rules of Washington regardless of what you say in your political speeches.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/us/politics/20obama.html?pagewanted=2

    Now to the issue of votes and substance. Read that NY Times survey carefully. There are other reports that go into more detail, but that one highlights some pretty astounding “present” votes by Obama. Don’t worry about me bringing them up, worry about McCain doing so. There are times when sitting on the fence is the wrong thing to do and I think that article points out at least a couple such instances. Does that mean he’s substanceless? No. It means he’s a politician, and perhaps even a cynical one, no less than the Hillary you hate so much. Except that she seems to take difficult votes, even when her own party pressures her in a different direction. Right?

    I’m not saying that Obama doesn’t have substance. I think he does. He has charisma, charm, intelligence, strong political instincts, a fighter’s personality…the occasional dirty play and an absence of experience in DC. He would make a good President, but only after they clobber him for years. He might or might not catch up – Clinton never did.

    As for Hillary, she has at least as much “substance” if not more. She is willing to speak in specifics instead of generalities. She is willing to offer details instead of “hope.” She is at least as intelligent if not more than he is. She has excellent political instincts, proven over the years she spent as Senator. She has a fighter’s personality. What she doesn’t have is charm or charisma. What she does have is baggage in that people connect her with Bill. So wherever she goes, some people say, “I hate Hillary.” When you ask them why, they bring up nonsense about her that is entirely immaterial and usually relates to her husband. She has successfully contended with that. While she needs him to help her, she is also in a fight not to be cast in his shadow and that is one complicated dance and a dance she cannot avoid because she is married to him.

    Of course, being a woman, she is facing other tough hurdles. All her opponents in both parties are men. There has never been a female President and people attack her in terms they would never use on men. People don’t want to vote for her because she’s “bitchy.” When was the last time somebody didn’t vote for a man because he was an “asshole.” On the contrary, people want their President tough. So she had to give them “tough.” She cannot appear to be “feminine” because she will not get the male vote. She can’t appear to be frivolous or fun, because the hard work she does to gain people’s confidence in her abilities will be undermined. She can’t be the “dumb blonde” in the office because she’ll never get promoted. She has to play by the boys’ rules but be better than them. She has to appear to be tough and determined and able to hold her own on a stage where everybody is taller than she is and speaks in a deep male voice just like every single president to date. She is also the walking target because of her husband and because she is the front-runner. Did you notice how she was vilified for tearing up after she lost Iowa? Crocodile tears, they said. Didn’t your buddy Dick Morris say that was planned as well?

    So you have this woman who has to perform BETTER than her competitors all the time. And you know what, she’s done it. She’s gone toe to toe with them for months and has held her own.

    You know what else? Unlike Obama, what she may lack in charisma and charm, she makes up for in experience and details. Of these two excellent candidates, she would definitely be the better President in 2009. Obama might be in the future, but he’s not there yet. She has much more to offer.

  17. Tom Morrissey

    1/30/2008 at 6:25 am

    Middle, it’s not the Times that’s anti-semitic– it’s the folks who ought to be paying you….;)

    Beyond the matter of who, if anyone, played the race card– what can’t be denied is that the Clintons (plural) decided that Obama had to be taken down, diminished, basically by grabbing him by the ankles and pulling down off the high road. This obviously turned off millions of Democrats. The spectre of Bill Clinton, who’s done so much good work on AIDS and other issues since leaving office, reverting to the role of attack dog, reminded folks of what they haven’t missed about the Clinton Administration.

    This makes Obama’s case for him. The public is tired of Atwater-style politics. (Obama as a Reaganite?) Hillary will not be the nominee if she sticks with this shopworn playbook.

  18. ck

    1/30/2008 at 7:02 am

    This is why I read Jewlicious. Thanks TM. That was awesome.

  19. Chutzpah

    1/30/2008 at 9:43 am

    If Hillary had kept Bill happy during his Presidency, he wouldn’t have been too busy with Monica to notice that the threat of terrorism against the U.S. was building so seriously that it resulted in 9/11. Her “experience” in the White House doesn’t impress me much.

  20. froylein

    1/30/2008 at 10:53 am

    ck, you read Jewlicious?

    I’m trying to get TM to read out his comments to me. 🙂

  21. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 12:36 pm

    Tom, Hillary’s campaign has actually been very restrained. Part of their problem is exactly what happened in SC – they have to be careful not to attack Obama in a way that appears to diminish him. For some reason it’s okay to do it to a woman because she’s a Clinton.

    To remind you, it was Obama who came after Clinton about 3 debates ago when he and Edwards teamed up and were relentless and quite aggressive in their attacks on her. In fact, that was when I realized her vulnerability as a woman and wondered whether they would tackle a man in the same way. I think that was the real turning point in this campaign. Prior to that, both sides had taken jibes at each other but there was no deep animosity. He came out swinging that night and by the end of it, bloodied and bruised, she went home and realized she had a real fight and fighter on her hands.

    I’m not sure what people expect of her? Is she supposed to let others attack her or attack her motives and committment to decades of work? Why should she do that? No male candidate would allow it. Obama was behind and his campaign made a calculated – and correct and smart – move to go on the attack. She has been responding. If anything, her response appears to be modest considering the nature of the attacks on her in SC.

    Regarding Bill Clinton, I think you have a point in that he brings both good and bad. He helps her but hurts her at the same time, even among the Democrats. As I wrote above, there is nothing she can do about it because he is her husband. If he doesn’t show up, people talk derisively about her and if he does show up, people speak derisively about her. Her point about how the other two spouses of Obama and Edwards are also part of the campaign was well made and correct.

    Finally, with respect to Atwater type politics, that’s precisely what Obama did to her in that debate and now in SC. Bringing up his “present” votes is not Atwater tactics. Claiming that somebody has besmirched the African American community after decades that this individual was invested in that community IS Atwater politics.

  22. Tom Morrissey

    1/30/2008 at 2:14 pm

    Look on the bright side, Middle: you don’t have John Edwards to kick around anymore.

    I agree with you that Hillary’s far more qualified than Obama to be president. In particular, you’re quite right, I think, that Obama will face quite a rough shakedown cruise early in his term if he makes it. But your analysis of the politics is wide of the mark.

    Hillary’s done quite well in the debates– defending herself ably, attacking effectively when appropriate. She’s an attorney, after all, a quick-thinking and poised advocate. I’m surprised at your concerns about her deportment. Debates are her strong suit: she’s bested Obama consistently in that setting.

    So– what’s the problem? What’s she to do, you ask? Rein in her husband! Have you seen Evan Thomas’s Newsweek piece on Bill? He decides to label Obama a Reaganite (pissed off that Obama’s compared him to Nixon)– and we spend the crucial run-up to SC on Bill’s charge– a pure canard, one Hillary repeats in a debate.

    When asked about her husband, Hillary spouts some anodyne crap about his passion, right to speak his mind, etc.

    The public is not conned by this ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach. And if this pattern of ‘two for the price of one’ continues, the US public will conclude that it’s being offered a co-presidency. Didn’t work out the first time, did it?

    Politics is about sharp elbows, Middle, and none of these folks are pure as the driven snow. But unlike her competitor, Hillary offers, not a new notion of politics and governance, but more of the same.

    And on race, Middle, it’s hard for me to believe that the perceptions of hundreds of thousands of black South Carolinians, who supported Bill Clinton in droves, are mistaken. I think we have to credit black folks with knowing it when they see it.

  23. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 2:40 pm

    And on race, Middle, it’s hard for me to believe that the perceptions of hundreds of thousands of black South Carolinians, who supported Bill Clinton in droves, are mistaken. I think we have to credit black folks with knowing it when they see it.

    If I’m not mistaken, there were black folks who entirely rejected the attacks on the Clintons. Among them you have Charles Rangel, who isn’t exactly known for holding back when he perceives offense.

    Right now, Bill is being reined in. We’ll see how that goes. As for good cop/bad cop strategies, I’m afraid people fall for them all the time. Just wait until the nomination comes and the vice presidential candidates from both parties go at it.

  24. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 2:57 pm

    Oh, I forgot. Robert Johnson also defended the Clintons.

    At a rally here for Mrs. Clinton at Columbia College, Mr. Johnson was defending recent comments that Mrs. Clinton made regarding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She did not mean to take any credit away from him, Mr. Johnson said, when she said that it took President Johnson to sign the civil rights legislation he fought for. Dr. King had led a “moral crusade,” Mr. Johnson said, but such crusades have to be “written into law.”

    “That is the way the legislative process works in this nation and that takes political leadership,” he said. “That’s all Hillary was saying.”

    He then added: “And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood –­ and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book –­ when they have been involved.”

    Moments later, he added: “That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, ‘I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ And I’m thinking, I’m thinking to myself, this ain’t a movie, Sidney. This is real life.”

    Then, he had to apologize because he alluded to something that was public knowledge and because of the manner he brought up Sidney Poitier – although he was more correct than he thought since Poitier is an African American man who has succeeded in virtually eliminating race in terms of perception by the general population.

    Here are some astute things Johnson said about the Obama candidacy as it goes up against the Clintons.

  25. Tom Morrissey

    1/30/2008 at 3:39 pm

    Johnson should stick to BET. Talk about innuendo! Let me get this straight: cross Booker T. with a crackhead and you get Obama. Not hardly, Robert.

    And you’re really impressed that the likes of Charlie Rangel and David Dinkins (!) are out there campaigning with Hillary? Obviously she has black support (though trotting out the cadaverous Dinkins isn’t reassuring). Black or white or Hispanic, the party apparat supports Hillary. For now.

  26. themiddle

    1/30/2008 at 3:50 pm

    I’m not impressed easily, Tom. 😉

    Although I do like Rangel. Feisty and smart, he is.

    No, my point is to respond to your comment about “people knowing it when they see it” – there are many people who saw it and didn’t feel it was what the accusations were making it out to be.

  27. montana_urban_legend

    1/30/2008 at 6:05 pm

    Wow. Now Middle is quoting to Robert Johnson as an authoritative source for defending the Clintons. I think I’ve heard it all!

    If you need background detail on the sleazy past of Johnson’s priorities, just let me know. I thought it was all out there, but hey – you never know!

    Back to business.

    Middle,

    Paragraph 1. Who says I’m giving Morris respect? I think you are misunderstanding the term “broker”. He’s not a “broker” of anything. He’s a gifted political consultant who has a long relationship with the Clintons. Might he have an axe to grind? Sure. But that doesn’t mean his explanation doesn’t make sense. Why else was Hillary so quick to skip out of town? It’s speculative, but usually free-lance people don’t showcase their talents merely to try deliberately to burn bridges of former relationships. And it doesn’t mean he can’t attempt as clear an explanation as he or anyone else can find for some bizarre behavior on the part of some people he wouldn’t have much reason to further cross without good reason.

    And as it stands, after reading every response here, I still realize that you have no explanation for this sudden series of bizarre, racially oriented comments from the Clintons, all within the course of a few weeks. None. Call it all coincidence, I guess. I wonder what Tom makes of it. You’ve added some later, under the guise of a generic “defending herself from attack”, but without any mention of the racial nature of it all. I know what Brazile made of it. Why did you not mention her? Surely it’s easier to dismiss Morris. But I fully look forward to seeing how you can smack down “race-baiter” Donna Brazile. Good Luck!

    Paragraph 2. You are not reading what I said AT ALL. You are putting your own political leanings into the fact that the Arkansas State Bar Association DISBARRED Slick, and then ignoring that. Why not just claim that the Arkansas State Bar Association is a political tool of the Republicans, because there is no other point to you thinking this paragraph of yours was a meaningful rebuttal to anything unless that is your assertion? Professions have ethical standards for whom they admit to practice, even if you think they must surely just be political ones. Oh, and BTW, he’s also barred from arguing cases in front of the SCOTUS – perhaps you think this was just another political move against him, that?

    Paragraph 3. This has nothing to do with what anyone could find in my past or your past or anyone else’s past, but about lying under oath – regardless of how sleazy and pointless a matter it was. Again, you are making this about Republicans vs. Democrats and where you stood on it in the nineties. But that’s only because you are addicted to casting Clinton under the martyr light that the wiser and more current ones among us don’t have much use for anymore. You are not separating political matters from ethical ones, nor are you separating political matters from matters of character. When you or I are hypothetically convicted for perjury, I’d like to see you try to get off when you say it was a meaningless matter, and politically motivated. It won’t happen. Consult your lawyer for details. Oh, I know you will be tempting to fling some monkey stuff at me for distinguishing between such things, but I suppose that’s the price I must pay for not being addicted to political zeal in merely stating the obvious.

    Paragraph 4. This is just a re-cap of your previous statements, plus a personal attack, plus you vouching for the personal character of Clinton, whom I believe you probably don’t know, based on his previous work. What you are not getting is how naïve you are being. Clinton might have done work for certain communities, he might have even done it sincerely. That doesn’t mean that as a politician he doesn’t value regaining a certain office or winning a certain campaign even moreso, and will use dubious tactics to accomplish that. If you are so naïve as to doubt the degree to which Clinton’s ambitions would get the better of him, then that’s really nice. But don’t pretend it’s an argument.

    Paragraph 5. Obama is just a person, and he is a politician. Again though, tell me what makes you think he could be as dishonest an example of either as the Clintons are? Oh, that’s right. You haven’t.

    Paragraph 6. It doesn’t make intuitive sense to your average observer. But a political strategist needs to not be so superficial in their analyses. Clinton is smart. He is cunning. But just because you think he is also ethically more pure than the Republicans did doesn’t make it so. Hillary knew she had basically lost her presumptively unchallenged “right” to the statewide black primary votes after Iowa. The S.C. polls and Michigan results proved it. So her “fighting chance” was one you saw more of than I think she or anyone else did.

    Paragraph 7. Give me a break. This was a really important time to talk about the relative importance of the virtues of a cowardly LBJ versus the heroic efforts of MLK!? Hahahaha. And still, my point stands. Without MLK, civil rights wouldn’t have happened. End of story. This is January. There is a reason we were celebrating MLK’s birthday and not LBJ’s, and it’s not about political correctness. MLK was a force of history and LBJ was a figure of much less importance to the history of civil rights who basically stamped “approved” onto MLK’s agenda. Now was not the time to change our understanding of the importance of MLK’s actions just so that the Great Big White Benefactor can be awarded his due, allowing Hillary to condescendingly imply to Blacks that she is claiming his (LBJ’s) mantle – and that they need HER, not Obama.

    Maybe she identified with LBJ’s inability to end a war in Vietnam and was sympathizing on two fronts. 😉

    Paragraph 8. Not a paragraph.

    Paragraph 9. You are showing your bias to Hillary here. We are not campaigners, so the exhortation “to study” what she’s “accomplished as a senator” really sounds like a talking point. Of course Republicans praise her. Republicans such as Newt. You are even more naïve than I thought if you think that such is anything other than a way to build her up… so that they can later burst her bubble and tear her down. And with as much of a Republican as she’s presented herself, in her positions, etc., why should they not praise her? Read David Brooks on how the administration basically thinks she’d carry on their legacy. He is a conservative columnist, I understand, but that doesn’t mean that every analysis of his is just an example of stealth Republican maneuvering either. He was hired as a columnist for a reason.

    Paragraph 10. She may have actually served on some committees. Good for her. It must be better experience than what came before – even though she likes to pretend it’s all the same.

    Paragraph 11. Just shows how cynical you’ve become. A corrupt culture is not the same as “rules”. It just means that no one brave enough has had the sack to do something about it. American history is rife with examples of long-accepted instances of out and out corruption – Tamany Hall for instance. The politics of the Missouri Compromise for another. You only have to “play by the rules” if you lack the balls and the brains to stand up to them. If these rules were codified commandments, then it’s hard to see why the Democratic establishment is bolting for Obama’s approach and endorsing him. But again, perhaps you also know something about these “rules” that they don’t?

    Paragraph 12. McCain will bring them up. I think Obama can defend against them. He and his party will also bring up a whole hell of a lot of stuff against Queen Hill. The fact is that McCain will probably look much better in a contest against Hillary. I have heard Republicans who don’t like him and would sit it out, but nothing motivates them like Hillary, and no Democrat earns their respect and cross-over votes like Obama.

    Paragraph 13. Thank you for noting a few of Obama’s manifold strengths. But again, I think you place too much emphasis on “dirty play”. And that’s not just my assessment. Obviously Americans and the parties are picking up on how dysfunctional too great an emphasis on “dirty play” makes our politics.

    Paragraph 14. You are entitled to your opinion.

    Paragraph 15. Oh, right. The gender thing. Yawn… You seem to be a bit more sensitive to this sort of stuff than you are about getting African Americans to bolt for being called “kid”, endlessly expounding on Obama’s long-ago admitted to “skeletons” as if he were a scary crack dealer, etc., putting MLK in his place. And let’s nevermind the fact that you’re wrong about what Morris had to say about Hillary’s tears. He actually recalled her crying to him over the phone in 1994 after she lost the Congress. He thinks it’s an honest, if Nixonian, appeal to the same kind of self-pity that came to him from not being in absolute control, either – or to Tracey Flick, for that matter – on Slate’s “Election” spoof of her. But I’m not getting the impression that being wrong is much of a disincentive to you. Trying to call him my “buddy”, as if a cute little guilt by association thing makes your assertions more respectable certainly isn’t. It just shows your desperation to sound reasonable.

    Paragraph 16. I’m so happy for her. Which is what she (and you) want. But the many and diverse Obama supporters reserve the right to not be much impressed by it. The endless analysis of roles and play-acting becomes as tiresome as listening to her oratorical dullness.

    Paragraph 17. The same was said about Cheney, Rumsfeld,… ad infinitum.

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to see the many reasons some people will give as part of a principled defense of corruption, lying and a dysfunctional political system. I get the script now, politics absolves everyone of everything. I appreciated it! No, seriously.

  28. themiddle

    1/31/2008 at 12:56 am

    Personal attacks? I believe you may have started them…
    At least you’ll walk away thinking I’m “conversant” on this topic.

    Um, why not just come out and admit you’re an Obama partisan?

    Unlike you, I like Hillary, but despite my misgivings about his inexperience and the disgusting attacks on the Clintons, I can see supporting Obama. There’s nothing wrong with biased support for Obama, but at least acknowledge it instead of claiming objectivity or some sort of superior view of this situation. You have neither.

    Your attacks on the Clintons and uncharitable view of Hillary are embarrassing to watch considering that in about a month you may have to support her for President. She won in Florida, as you know, which had something to do with her “skipping out of town.” It’s a good thing your language isn’t too suggestive. Is somebody paying you for this?

    If not, this scorched earth policy that so many of Obama’s supporters are putting on display is a dangerous one because it feeds into a Republican national campaign against her if she becomes the nominee. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because these attacks resemble the same attitude as the lies of Obama’s camp regarding those supposedly racist non-attacks by the Clintons.

    Here is a Youtube video of the Hillary comments on MLK. . I challenge you to find any sort of diminution of King or of African Americans in there. You simply have to twist what she said so extensively that you cannot do it truthfully.

    Here is an ABC report with the “fairy tale” comment by Bill Clinton. I challenge you to tell me where in there you see any hint of racism. It’s a strong attack, but a legitimate one. Furthermore, I challenge you to explain how Obama’s response which follows and where he essentially calls Clinton a liar isn’t offensive by the same standard.

    Maybe you can explain to me what Bazile sees that I don’t see there. He called him a “kid?” Wow, how offensive! Gosh, when those politicians take the gloves off, racist comments sure come flying out. Or is the real crime here the implication that Clinton implied anything of a racist nature? That’s what I think.

    By the by, you’ll also love the part where Edwards, at around minute 2:25 speaks to the show of emotion Hillary exhibited…pretty much in the same context as I discuss above with respect to double standards for women. He would never say what he said in that interview about a man.

    You want to go after Bill? Go ahead all you want. He was already President and a very good one. It’s been an Obama tactic all along to combine Hillary and Bill as if she were the one to get the blowjobs under the desk, so I’m not surprised to see it here from an Obama supporter. He was disbarred? It’s not that big of a surprise. He did lie under oath while he was President and as a trained lawyer he knew exactly what he was doing. Fortunately, Hillary who IS running against Obama has never been disbarred. Did I already mention she never got a blowjob under a desk either?

    My point wasn’t that Bill didn’t do something wrong, my point is that considering the 8 years of attacks on him and his wife, many of which are reprised by, well, by Democrats who prefer Obama to Hillary, the Republicans got nothing on him except this piece of entrapment. And if he had said under oath that he had been unfaithful, he would have been attacked just as severely for it. What’s important for you to note since my point above is that Obama won’t have the tools to fight this onslaught, is that the only reason Bill Clinton was testifying in the first place was because of the very type of Republican attacks that Obama will have to confront if elected. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about Hillary setting up trystes with young mistresses so maybe the Obama camp can tone down all this innuendo and conflation with Bill a little?

    You should also stop attacking Bill Clinton’s accomplishments as President. You see, Montana, if Obama gets the nod, he will have to run for President as a Democrat. At that time, he will realize that he can’t run on Carter’s record but he CAN run on Clinton’s record. All day long. In fact, Obama will seek to have the former Prez go on tour for him because Bill Clinton has a lot more cache than Ed Kennedy. But if Obama’s supporters go around attacking Clinton’s record as President, calling him “Slick” just like the Republicans and basically imitating the Republican attacks on the Clintons, then Obama won’t be able to run on Clinton’s record either and then he’ll have a much tougher time against McCain who will glibly note that Obama can’t point to a single successful Democratic administration in the past 40 years because he’s been attacking the one from ’92-’00.

    What you should also be thinking about is how Obama’s campaign, just as you have done, continues to conflate Hillary with Bill so as to attach his PERCEIVED flaws on to her. It’s a good tactic, so I understand it, but it is also dishonest considering that they could be attacking her health care plan instead. She isn’t him and he isn’t her and yet you feel that it’s fine to claim that she is just like him. You see, this is a bad thing to do and we don’t want to do bad things because then we are being bad ourselves. You don’t want to be bad, do you?

    Well, it’s also kind of bad to compare Hillary Clinton to Cheney and Rumsfeld. It’s also really funny. I hope everybody reading this realizes how ridiculous you sound. Remember what you’ve written here if she does win the nomination.

    Finally, as to the suggestion that I am representative and a defender of the corrupt, lying and dysfunctional political system that we have to endure, I’ve got to hand it to you, you’ve read the Obama manual from cover to cover. In fact, I think you have misnamed yourself. Please do call yourself Montana Mother Theresa from now on because you are truly a good person and I am humbled by your goodness, kindhearted ways and, uh, hygenic views on what politics could be in this country.

    I mean, God, somebody like you really sees the beauty in people, rejects corruption entirely and hates dysfunction and lying…so much so that you will point out non-existent supposedly racist attacks by your political opponents, thus forever besmirching them and the decades of work they’ve done for a minority community, just so Obama can, you know, win an election. And then, according to you, he will be the clean, non-lying and completely functional politician we all know he can be because it’s not like his campaign would ever call two white politicians who have spent decades fighting for black causes, inherently racist. Think about this: if he’s behind these attacks, then your non-corrupt, non-lying and functional Obama is behind the tarnishing of two people in a very ugly way. If he isn’t behind these attacks and on top of that his campaign has supporters like you going out to the Internet to maintain a link between the Clintons and evil, not to mention racism, then he is incompetent and not in charge of his campaign. The former makes him precisely the person you wouldn’t want elected by your own standards, Mr. Hater of Corruption and Dysfunction, and the latter makes him a poor choice for President. Which is it, Montana Mother Theresa?

  29. froylein

    1/31/2008 at 10:05 am

    TM, I want to be your fanclub!

  30. montana_urban_legend

    1/31/2008 at 10:54 am

    In no way are you more conversant on this topic than Tom, and that was precisely what I said.

    Pretty quick of you to realize that I’m partial to Obama. Nothing to “come out and admit”. It doesn’t change any of the observations I’ve made.

    You can start attacking my “biases” once you actually bother to address any of the substantive issues that were raised, rather than diverting them to focus on me instead.

    I may “have to” support anyone I choose to. Or no one at all. You are aware that there isn’t any forced voting in the U.S., are you? Not sure how Hillary’s skipping out of S.C. way before the vote helped her in Florida, but that wasn’t the point anyway, now was it?

    I’m not so ambitious to care more about someone’s party than about the tactics they will use to win, so this ends-justifying-the-means via what the Republicans make of it is laughable. The primary and the general are two different things, and anyway,.. well anyway you’re diverting this by making it more a partisan thing once again than anything else. It’s not my job to whitewash Hillary so that the Republicans will suddenly think “nicely and uncritically” of her, so the question, really, is, who’s paying you?

    What’s obvious is if you had had points to make, you’d have made them, instead of posting umpteen rambling paragraphs of emoting, diversions, cheerleading, demonizing, etc. before getting to what the actual topic was in the first place. It’s not about ad hominems per se. It’s about dwelling on them as if that’s your only point to make. I see that with Tom you’ve stopped addressing what he had to say about the pandering to bigotry. You don’t want to discuss it further, fine. Your mind wasn’t changed, fine. You had no effective rebuttal, ok. No one cares. But quit pretending you’re as “conversant” as he is in these matters when it is plainly evident that you know nothing of the finer details about the history of race in America. You don’t know why African Americans were offended by the use of “kid”, or “fairy tale”, then that’s nice. But it’s an argument from ignorance to say, “Prove to me how it was racist, or else it wasn’t!” If you don’t know about how slaves, former slaves, and their descendants, were referred to as “boy”, by their masters or as a way to exert who was in charge of them politically in the generations that followed, – whether it was under the guise of what was supposedly in their own best intersts, or not – again, that’s nice, but as Tom said, let’s not insult the intelligence of the, by now, vast majority of African Americans who saw it differently with your assumptions that they were apparently just hypersensitive. You didn’t challenge him on that. But again, he’s not me. You’re not reading the arguments and getting bogged down in your obsession with personalizing this.

    After that, your rambling statements have become too convoluted to make any sense of. You seem to think that I need to prove myself to have surpassed some kind of a personal decency threshold before I can dare to criticize the corrupt nature of my elected officials. But I am not running for office. I think that when you do this you are making it clear that you misunderstand both how logical arguments are made (by obsessively relying on fallacies like the tu quoque) as well as how democracy or a free press works.

    I’m not sure why you’re getting bogged down on who criticized Hillary’s showing of emotion. Again, this doesn’t seem to be the point (how familiar). What I do know is that Maureen Dowd, among others, criticized not emotion per se, not displaying it per se, but making a display of self-pity. This is what Nixon did. Not all emotions are the same. Not all displays are the same. But seeing as how fond you are of name-calling, I’d have to wonder if your pseudonym isn’t a reference to the kind of “Muddling” of arguments that it would take to not see the difference. The kind of muddling you’ve done all throughout this exchange. The kind of muddling that happens when you don’t just attack me personally, but make that a bigger point than actually reading what was said – after holding the comments for moderation long enough for you to attempt to figure out what would constitute a relevant response. The manifestoes are nice. But not feeling so overwhelmed by a viewpoint that is not your own, long enough to either address it or not, rather than diverting it, would be even nicer.

  31. themiddle

    1/31/2008 at 2:09 pm

    Oh dear, Mother Theresa, didn’t your mother teach you to read without numbered paragraphs? It doesn’t mean the writer is “rambling.” Your points from the previous comments were answered and some new points were made which you seem to be avoiding.

    If Tom is more conversant than I on this subject, whatever that means, more power to him. We certainly have plenty of fine commenters here and he’s among the finest and his contributions are always welcome.

    Nobody is paying me. I write here for free and this site has not received any support from any political party, politician or entity. In fact, I was a little shocked to see this post here. I don’t even care whether Obama wins because the Democrat running for President deserves the vote after these past eight years and Obama is a strong candidate. Not as strong as Hillary, but strong.

    I have no problem praising Obama. It’s you who can’t bring yourself to say anything positive about Hillary and who tries to paint her as some evil, corrupt political being. You seem to be an operative of his campaign. You have been “on point” with exactly the same issues that his campaign has been raising, you have not been able to bring yourself to praise Hillary or Bill Clinton in any way and your partisanship is a little too sophisticated to think you’re not heavily invested.

    Who’s paying you? Or are you just a volunteer?

    As for the rest of it, I’m afraid you haven’t answered the key questions I’ve asked (and you’ve rambled). I’ve given you a chance to explain the charges made against the Clintons but instead of addressing my questions you’re bringing up the term “boy” and repeating Tom’s comment with a twist that African American voters “know” racism and it is an insult to their intelligence to suggest otherwise.

    Nobody called Obama “boy” and “kid” refers to the Clinton’s theme about Obama that he’s a young politician without the same experience she possesses. I already answered Tom in #23, although you say I didn’t. There are many blacks in this country who didn’t find offense in the Clintons’ comments and in some cases if they did, it related to the strength of their comments and not to their supposed racism. The racism charge that you’re so adamant to protect even if you can’t articulate how it’s there when presented with the videos, was voiced by only a few African American leaders and by no means all of them. You don’t like the founder of BET? Okay, I gave you Charles Rangel. You don’t like him either? Maybe you should stop liking only those people who regurgitate the Obama campaign’s “suggestions.”

    We can also assume pretty safely since Obama had the lead among African American voters in SC before the racism charges, that the 80% of African Americans who voted for Obama there didn’t all vote for him because of these accusations. Many voted for him because he is the first viable African American Presidential candidate ever. Many voted for him because they like him or his politics. Many voted for him because they thought he was the best among the candidates. Some, and we don’t know how many, voted for him because they bought the story that the Clintons somehow said something with racist undertones. How many? We don’t know. We also don’t know from among those how many were convinced without ever seeing the actual clips by the press around this issue or the comments of some of the African American leaders who made the accusations. There appears to be a small army of Internet operatives like you out there trying hard to sell the idea that the Clintons are evil and racist, so maybe you folks were effective in SC.

    Now, again, I challenge you to review the two clips and to show where there is even a whiff of racism by either Clinton. I also challenge you to check out Obama’s response and tell us how it differs in tone and intention than what Bill Clinton said. Otherwise, you have no case.

    Also, try hard to focus on my last two paragraphs in comment 28. You see, if you can’t show the racism but the Obama campaign is putting the accusation out there, then we have a problem with Obama as a candidate, not to mention with cynicism. Reread the paragraphs to see why. You can number them one and two if it helps.

    You are also welcome to show me how Hillary is “corrupt” or “dysfunctional.”

    I’ll wait. I have things to do. I intend to keep myself busy learning about democracy, free press, logical arguments, slavery in America and how to debate with you so that you don’t become too confused. Thanks for bringing my deficiencies to my attention.

  32. montana_urban_legend

    1/31/2008 at 6:24 pm

    Well, in the spirit of making things, shorter, sweeter, less over-complicated, please allow me to condense the ideas that remain in contention, to the following points:

    1. I’m not saying that either of the Clintons, or Bill in particular, is a bigot. What I am saying, however, is that he might not mind pandering to bigotry if he deemed it essential to his/his wife’s campaign. There is a difference. I don’t mind stridently criticizing him on it because I think that the difference is a trivial one in that, if you are pandering to bigotry, you are, in a sense, condoning or legitimizing it. But that doesn’t change the fact that, in the mind of a certain politician, there might very well be a difference. Just like there was a “difference” in his mind, or so he says, between sexual “relations” and sexual intercourse. He just didn’t care to acknowledge that for everyone else, there wasn’t. And while absolute proof is a very rare thing in this lifetime, I do happen to believe that a preponderance of the evidence makes it very unlikely that in this case, it was accidental. There were too many comments that contained subtle, but undeniable, racial elements or overtones for this verbal melarchy of theirs to have been a mistake. This is not only my opinion, but that of many others – African American voters as well as people who understand the “rules” of the political “game”, as you had put it earlier, well enough to have seen a distinct pattern. Could they have all been a coincidence? The more comments there were the less likely that becomes. And the more desperate his campaign became, as it had, the less reason there was to think that he wouldn’t have been tempted to resort to it. And Clinton knows both the “game” of politics as well as how to use language in a manipulative way, well enough – given his history of shaking his finger at the country while demonstrating it – for me, and for all of the aforementioned, to believe that it was. And let’s remember that his comments and behavior didn’t just turn off the African Americans who had defected to Obama after seeing in Iowa that he was “electable”, but apparently larger numbers of white voters in South Carolina than were expected to originally go for Obama in the first place. These were whites who were absolutely disgusted at the way he and his wife’s campaign (for which she is responsible) conducted itself. At some point someone has to assume responsibility for these things.

    2. As far as Obama’s ostensible “problem… as a candidate” – I just contrast this with Hillary. Personal issues do matter in the candidates. It’s not just a gender thing. If a candidate has a history of going after Congress, threatening to “demonize” each of them individually if they don’t go along with a highly secretive plan for changing health care in America – one that would have mandated everything from where doctors could practice to how medical school admissions are structured – and then losing her party’s majority in Congress as a result, then I do think that they have extraordinary personal deficiencies as a politician. Deficiencies that get in the way of their being an effective politician in, you know, a democracy. Maybe she’s learned since then. Maybe she hasn’t. But I would hope that she hasn’t learned to merely be less transparent as a result. I would hope that her lesson wasn’t to learn that her true ideas are so unpalatable to most Americans that she either just won’t reveal them anymore or, worse, pretend that she doesn’t really believe them herself – and just say any old hackneyed platitude instead to get elected. After Bush we realize the need for transparent government. Why won’t she release all the documents from Clinton’s administration outlining what they deliberated over, while serving in that capacity as public servants, together?

    This is a problem. And as someone who lived through Watergate she should really know better. And she should answer questions every now and then instead of just cutting off the media, with repeated retorts of “Tim (Russert),” or by spinning the issue with “You know Bob (Schieffert), my husband is passionate and really loves me… blah blah blah”. And by the way, please absolve me from ever having to honestly answer such apparently difficult questions as this at all.

    Of course, you are free to agree or disagree with all or some of this. Or to just reject it outright with no reason whatsoever. But as an effusive Hillary supporter, it might behove you to understand why your candidate is considered to be among the most polarizing politicans of recent history, rather than just either brushing off the concerns of so many other voters or condescendingly assuming that they are beneath being considered.

    Just a piece of advice.

  33. themiddle

    1/31/2008 at 7:46 pm

    1. Strong opinions criticizing other politicians is what politics are about. If simply going after Obama means that the individual isn’t a bigot but is pandering to bigotry, then I guess Obama is impervious to all criticism. I guess he’s going to be a shoo-in for President if nominated.

    My take on it is very different from yours. I see criticism, some of it strong, but no less strong than Obama’s criticism of Hillary. I’ve given you two opportunities to find the bigotry or even a whiff of bigotry in the Clintons’ statements and twice you’ve come back with nothing. You’ve come back with nothing because there is nothing there. There is only something there if you want to invent that it’s there which is what you’re doing and what Obama’s campaign did. Otherwise, show me.

    It’s interesting that you not only avoid the clips, but that you keep relying on this supposed capability of the public to understand what they are seeing. To remind you, the public re-elected George Bush, so every public can make the wrong decisions with available facts. It takes spin to accomplish this and we’ve just seen some pretty, um, slick spinning by the Obama supporters. You’re doing it here as proven by your inability to give me even one example of explicit or implicit racism.

    I repeat to you that if people don’t like tough politics, they should go back to a few weeks ago when Obama was doing it to Clinton in debates. You’re okay with that for some odd reason.

    2. Nice change of subject. Why are you changing the subject? Can’t prove bigotry, so now it’s secrecy and transparency? Give me a break. The Clintons have been investigated by the government and by the media more extensively than any other politicians in recent memory.

    But you want to change the subject? Okay. You seem to have missed the memo about people learning from experience. You see, Hillary LEARNED from the health care fiasco and actually has a better plan right now than Obama. Not only that, but she has specifics and she knows what she’s talking about. But the most important part of all this that you’ve missed is that Hillary has been a senator for a number of years now and has proven to be extremely capable and able to be effective on a bipartisan basis. Republican senators speak highly of her and her abilities.

    The fact that you keep bringing up Bill’s Administration so you can find the flaws of 13 years ago is what is laughably transparent. Her record is actually quite open and clear and she also has a senate record that is available to all. She also has spent a year campaigning so far and there’s a wealth of information about her goals and beliefs out there. She’s received far more scrutiny than your candidate because she’s a Clinton and because she’s been the front-runner all along. If you’d like to see the deliberations leading up to bills or other political events, I think we should have all the memos and emails from the Obama campaign released now so that we can see whether you folks orchestrated the besmirching campaign against the Clintons.

    3. I told you that I’m not an “effusive” supporter of Clinton. I just think she’s better than Obama for now. Maybe not in 4 years, but definitely right now. If you’re trying to undermine what I’ve written above to criticize your points, why don’t you try to address the videos and the last two paragraphs of comment #28. That might at least convince somebody, even if by now you’ve lost me.

    4. If you think Hillary is a “polarizing” figure, then that’s because you want her to be perceived that way. I think a polarizing figure is a politician who introduces the issue of race in a Democratic nomination process. This has caused a significant tear in the fabric of the Democratic party and it was done, apparently, in order to facilitate a political victory in South Carolina and everything that would flow from that. The polarizing figure, I’m afraid, is the man you’re representing here for free or for pay.

  34. montana_urban_legend

    1/31/2008 at 11:19 pm

    1. Hey, you see what you want to see. Tom doesn’t see it that way. Brazile didn’t. Shirley Franklin didn’t. Whites in S.C. didn’t. I’m not going to argue with you over how you should perceive the world just because you want to believe that everyone else is wrong for perceiving things the way they did.

    2. It’s a different subject, not a changing of subjects; hence “#2”. See how that works? Hillary might have learned from the health care fiasco – key word being “might”, but I’d like to see more transparency and less self-righteousness from her on how she makes her decisions generally before I’m convinced. How about a video from you on Hillary’s mea culpa for setting the cause of health care in this country back by a decade?

    You seem confused about the differences between the records of an administration requiring more open scrutiny than those of a political campaign.

    3. I’ve always lost you. You are convinced of Hillary’s superiority and unconvinced that she or her husband could do anything less than ethical. That’s fine. I appreciate your links to the videos and your assumption that you are doing God’s work on earth by trying to “re-educate” me or proselytize me to your opinion on the matter. But I assure you I’ve read the rebuttals or transcripts, and more importantly, I pored over the primary sources when the original reactions were made. I heard Clinton go out and tell Al Sharpton what he meant. I didn’t find it convincing. The public had its reaction. And I agreed and sympathized with it. I looked at the analysis. I take less for granted with the Clintons than you do. But I don’t understand why you see all that as some great loss. You have the right to try to persuade otherwise, but there’s nothing wrong (with me or you) with conceding that it didn’t work. You don’t think you are so unconvincing that you need others to make your cases for you? 😉 Sometimes things don’t work out and it’s important not to always rely on demonizing people for not agreeing with you or not buying into what you want. It’s a lesson that you say Hillary’s learned, so why not display it here?

    4. This is what the American people think. Again, attack them for being “stupid”, for seeing things you think they have no right to see, etc., etc., etc. This would be perceived as demeaning and tends to cost people elections, but hey – it’s a free country!

    If people paid me for this, I would earn a fortune! It’s not that hard. It just takes an audience of open-minded and reasonable people who don’t have some kind of ulterior interest vested in the candidates. I don’t work for any campaign. I have good friends and acquaintances that do. I like this country and I think Obama better represents what it stands for – not because of any biological attribute about him (although it will help him on the world stage), but because of how he personally approaches things. You are pretty solidly for Hillary. That’s fine. But I think one other place where we differ is more important to note. You state: “but…you keep relying on this supposed capability of the public to understand what they are seeing”.

    To that, I have to respond, that yes, I do. I think it is condescending to trust in your ability to tell people that they are wrong in a democracy. To assume so stridently that they are fools, that they don’t know what’s best for them, that they can’t tell a phony approach when they see one. I certainly don’t agree with every decision “the public” makes, but I understand how un-democratic it is to not try to understand where they are coming from. I certainly do not try to assume to tell them that it’s my job to tell them what’s best for them. I think that this difference also symbolizes, in some small way, a difference between the approaches of the candidates.

    But I will say one thing. I watched some of the debates tonight. I’m getting closer and closer to believing that the two may have to split the difference and cut a deal. They are polling too close to each other. They are respectively symbolizing too strong a deeply committed set of constituencies and ideas and ideals and themes on both sides at this point in the campaign. They both could charitably be said to have a traditional 51/49 shot at the other side.

    But I think together their weaknesses balance out. Hillary finally stopped the haughty attitude tonight long enough for her to appreciate what Obama represents to the Democratic party. Obama emphasized their friendship. Maybe on a joint ticket their weaknesses will balance out. Hillary would get more of the respect you feel she deserves as some sort of “elder statesperson” now that she can prove that she appreciates and can work with what so many other Democrats, Independents and Republicans do about what Obama can bring to the table and the future of this country – a new way of doing things and expressing ourselves politically.

    You heard it here first.

  35. themiddle

    2/1/2008 at 12:59 am

    1. Rangel saw it my way. So did Johnson. And I haven’t bothered to even research who else saw it my way. But hey, keep interpreting what happened as an event to which I’m blind. I’m sure you know better than Rangel. Hell, you can probably teach him a thing or two about racism and civil rights. I’m sure Obama could as well.

    2. Her health care plan is better than Obama’s. Her knowledge is deeper than Obama’s. She’s already proven her ability to learn and improve and move on. And you changed the subject.

    3. What makes you think I believe in god? I provided you primary sources and I’ve read the same transcripts. If there is something in there, you can point to it already. It’s been a day and some pretty long posts and you still haven’t offered anything except your confidence that all those who attacked the Clintons had no motive and are right while the Clintons are evil. You even went from accusations of bigotry to accusations of trying to play on existing bigotry. But you haven’t shown any evidence. Show some proof. Otherwise, this wonderful treatise applies to you:

    You have the right to try to persuade otherwise, but there’s nothing wrong (with me or you) with conceding that it didn’t work. You don’t think you are so unconvincing that you need others to make your cases for you? Sometimes things don’t work out and it’s important not to always rely on demonizing people for not agreeing with you or not buying into what you want. It’s a lesson that you say Hillary’s learned, so why not display it here?

    4. The American people think Obama is a polarizing figure? Not yet. The day it comes out that his campaign orchestrated these ugly attacks using the race card, the American people will think that.

    Your third last paragraph, with the lecture about how one should treat “the public” is one of the finest pieces of nonsense hyperbole I’ve seen on Jewlicious for a while. I’m sorry, but you’re an operative of his campaign. Face it, you’ve been spinning this entire time. I keep asking you direct questions and you keep playing Teflon Man with me. Maybe you’re a volunteer and maybe you’re paid but in either case, you have a single purpose here: spin and talk up Obama. To be perfectly honest, you’re so transparent that it mocks the entire premise of your “I trust the people” paragraph. I trusted the people enough to give them the direct video clips. You trust them so much that you won’t address the clips but want them to believe what the people with whom you agree think (refer back to your paragraph 1)

    6. As to the debate, I couldn’t watch it. Maybe it will play on some cable channel and I’ll get to see it. You’ll understand, surely, if I reject the line about Hillary’s “haughty” attitude, or the suggestion that she can’t work with others in the Democratic party. I guess somebody forgot who the front-runner is and has been all along. Or don’t you trust the people?

    I’m sure you do and that trust will serve you well if Hillary takes the nomination.

  36. montana_urban_legend

    2/1/2008 at 1:26 am

    1. There is probably a split between some in the black establishment who think that they need to rely on white figures to achieve the goals of their community and those who feel they can stand on their own. Rangel is one person, of that establishment, who probably belongs in the former. He knows Clinton. He’s worked with her. They share a constituency to some degree in New York. He has way too many incentives to “support” her. And besides Johnson, he’s the only one you’re referencing. Johnson has little credibility on this – for many reasons. Johnson apologized for his comments. Listen to what Tom wrote.

    2. “Better” is an opinion. The other two sentences are arguments by assertion. The last sentence was addressed.

    3. Apparently one doesn’t have to believe in God to act like either Him or a disciple of a very different sort of theology nonetheless. And regarding your regurgitation of my “wonderful” quote, I apply it to myself in not hammering on in some attempt to get you to change your opinion on things that you will never be convinced of. I can move on. If you can agree to disagree then just let me know, because that’s all the evidence from you I require to not respond to these matters. My cases have been stated for you or anyone else to either reject, engage or accept. I’m confident that a reasonable person would consider them more generously than you have. You’ve made it a point to reject nearly all of them – usually without much of a reason or under what was a blatant misunderstanding of them. You’re free to keep your mind closed. That’s fine. And if words fail you in understanding how to make that evident to me then just don’t respond to them.

    4. Nice insults and nice insinuations. They’re all wrong. For a likely atheist you have a lot of faith in what you have no evidence of.

    5. I trust people to hear out an honest case that is made to them. Not everyone, but enough people. You obviously don’t. That’s your problem, not mine, and it reflects something in your personality, not mine.

    6. There, there now. Did that make you feel better?

    Awww… good luck, good night. And make sure to hold the comment for “moderation” long enough to feel better about not appealing to reason – or any of the other facts that you don’t approve of!

    Everyone is free to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Unless he’s a dictator – which seems to be the sort of approach you endorse with your “nonsense hyperbole” judgment.

  37. montana_urban_legend

    2/1/2008 at 1:39 am

    Oh, and the reason you don’t write for the New York Times? You waste pages trying to regurgitate arguments that were already made or responded to just to try to force people to agree with you, in an apparent display of disbelief, as if insulting them should have been sufficient. Hint: It usually isn’t.

  38. montana_urban_legend

    2/1/2008 at 1:50 am

    Oh, Great One. It’s not as if I feel your easily bruised ego is worth getting in the way of – but I forgot one thing. You don’t challenge people to respond to other peoples’ arguments. This is a basic tenet. You say what it is in the argument that you agree with and/or why and then challenge them. I saw the evidence. I spoke to it. If you had something to bring up that wasn’t addressed here about it then you, uh, bring up what that thing was specifically. You don’t say, watch my indoctrinating video and agree with it. You say what it was specifically that you wanted them to note in the video and respond to. Again, these hints will help you land that vaunted job interview for the New York Times.

  39. Jim R

    2/1/2008 at 7:47 am

    ““Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.” Hillary then hugged and kissed her. She could have walked out but no.”

    Compare this purely political behavior to Rudy Giuliani’ refusal to accept Saudi terrorist money for 911 NYC and his refusal to let Arafat attend an event in NYC.

    There is a difference between professional politicians and professional leadership.

  40. Tom Morrissey

    2/1/2008 at 12:04 pm

    Montana and Middle, take solace from the tone of last night’s debate. Hil and Barack played the nice card.

    Meanwhile, Rasmussen has Barack closing in several of the Super Tuesday states.

    Middle, the reporting suggests that the Clintons decided that the press was too soft on Barack and took the offensive. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but Hillary’s had to live with the results– it turns out Democrats want a different tone this year. Hence, perhaps, the sunny Hillary of Hollywood.

    With any luck, both of these races (sorry!) will entertain us for weeks to come– Chauncey Gardiner v. Nurse Ratched on the Democratic side, Mike Huckabee for veep on the Republican. I suspect Mike’s making his case by staying in through Tuesday, driving a nail through Mitt’s coffin.

  41. themiddle

    2/1/2008 at 12:56 pm

    Hey Montana, thanks for all the hints. Once I learn about democracy and free press, I’ll change my focus to heeding your advice about getting the NY Times gig. Meanwhile, I’ll know to stop waiting for your evidence from the videos. That wasn’t a matter of opinion, that was a matter of evidence. The accusations against the Clintons related to bigotry were unfounded and were a political dirty trick. You came on here and spoke to this as if it were fact. It has taken a while and you haven’t acknowledged it explicitly, but I think it’s clear by now that there is nothing there except for hard political attacks. Hard political attacks are perfectly kosher as long as the Democratic nominees don’t destroy the other candidate’s chances at winning the national campaign.

    I think both candidates hurt the other in this regard and what I’ve heard and read about last night’s debate shows an attempt at healing this serious rift. What I have found most difficult to swallow, and what you’ve shown us here, is that the Obama camp has essentially been quoting the Republican anti-Clinton playbook. You even called Bill Clinton “Slick.” That Democrats would use the ugly attacks of those 8 years against Hillary is extremely unfortunate.

    Tom, it’s going to be extremely close on Super Tuesday and I think the contest may have to continue even after Feb. 5. What is interesting is that Florida’s delegates aren’t supposed to count, but they may play the role of tie-breakers down the road. Hillary won that state so Obama will resist, but a strong argument can be made that this represents the “will of the people.”

    As to your point about the press being soft on Obama, one of my friends suggested the other day that Obama makes a much tougher target than Hillary precisely because he’s African American. I think the Clintons learned this lesson the hard way, but I also think they were aware of it before and simply found that they had no alternative but to fight hard because he was gaining ground and because of his Iowa victory.

    Too bad about Romney. If he had won, the Democrats would have the White House in 2009. With McCain, it will be a toss-up.

    (btw, Montana, just an fyi that if your comment goes into moderation, it happens automatically because the filters caught a word that upsets them. I am one of the posters here who has the ability to release moderated comments and I do so whenever I log into the site. Although I visit the site regularly, I’m not here most of the time and if there’s a delay in having a moderated comment of yours released it is because there was nobody here to release it. I don’t think I need to delay the release of any comment in order to formulate a rebuttal, even if the NY Times doesn’t know I exist.)

  42. Tom Morrissey

    2/1/2008 at 2:46 pm

    And the press disfavors Hillary (and Romney)– that’s also a factor. The press, and maybe many Democrats, have Clinton fatigue. This favors Obama in a big way, though his time for scrutiny will come.

    In light of this and the other recent post on Obama– if you have access to it, last week’s Paris Match dramatizes his background. It’s got a large color photo of a barefoot, older woman sitting on a stool shucking corn outside her hut in a rural village– 86 year-old Sarah Oyango Obama, Barack’s grandmother…. The photoessay is really mind-blowing.

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