Hillary Clinton for President

Journalism is dead, folks. Start with that. Can you point to a single mainstream media outlet, whether a cable news channel or network news broadcast or newspaper or newsmagazine, that you trust to give you the basic facts about anything? Cable news is now almost wall-to-wall gossip shows, where right-wingers and properly housebroken liberals gather together to explain how the latest statements from the candidates show that the Republicans are courageous truthtellers, while the Democrats are unprincipled wimps. The sole execption, Keith Olbermann, provides some blessed relief, but even he is not beyond exaggerating and straining a point.

For those who have been paying attention, this has been obvious for quite some time. I recommend reading The Daily Howler every day, which for many years has been doing yeoman’s work documenting the gory details. But things have really reached an absurd degree in the coverage of Hillary Clinton. Forget about the right-wing pundits, the creepy thing is how the supposedly liberal pundits have all gotten and absorbed the memo that anything done by a Clinton must be presented in a negative light, even if that means distortions or outright lying. Here are just a few examples:

Writing in Slate, Dahlia Lithwick tells us what’s really scary about Hillary Clinton:

One of the qualities in Hillary Clinton that scares me most is her lack of a fixed sense of self. She has invented and re-invented her public persona dozens of times over the years — often to contrast with Bill’s — and you can’t really blame her for that. She’s had to figure out what this country wants from its women as she goes along, and if this campaign has revealed anything it’s that we no more agree on what we want in our women than we agree on how to get out of Iraq.

Yeah, that’s real terrifying that absence of a fixed sense of self. Changing her public persona to fit the times is something that really distinguishes her from every other politician. Keen insight from Ms. Lithwick; it would never have occurred to me to be scared of such a thing. Personally what scares me is the idea that we will elect another Republican, who will pursue the same irresponsible and ill-considered policies of the Bush administration, and the Gingrich Congress before that. I worry about more of our sodliers getting killed in wars that ought never have been started and were conducted ineptly after the decision was made. I worry about economic policies designed to redistribute wealth from the poor and middle-class to the rich. That’s what I find scary. Shows you what a dumbass liberal I am.

Here’s Frank Rich who, after days of cogitation no doubt, noticed a disturbing possibility if Hillary wins the nomination:

Amazingly, neither party seems to fully recognize the contours of the road map. In the Democrats’ case, the full-throttle emergence of Billary, the joint Clinton candidacy, is measured mainly within the narrow confines of the short-term horse race: Do Bill Clinton’s red-faced eruptions and fact-challenged rants enhance or diminish his wife as a woman and a candidate?

Absent from this debate is any sober recognition that a Hillary Clinton nomination, if it happens, will send the Democrats into the general election with a new and huge peril that may well dwarf the current wars over race, gender and who said what about Ronald Reagan.

Let us leave aside the blatant sexism of merging Bill and Hillary’s names, as if the fact that Bill Clinton is campaigning for his wife means she is just an appendage of her husband. Let us leave aside the fact that the red-faced eruptions Rich describes are a media fiction, and that the real story, as Jon Stewart pointed out last week, is Clinton’s incredible patience in the face of relentless, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” style questions. Let us even leave aside that Rich provides not a single-example of anything Clinton said that qualifies either as fact-challenged or a rant.

No, let us instead ponder what Rich finds “amazing.” No one’s noticed that Hillary is a divisive figure who could energize Republicans? Really? It takes a social commentator of Rich’s piercing insight to notice such a thing?

Sorry, but everyone has noticed that. It’s hard to imagine a more banal and cliched bit of CW. You’ve heard it daily on every television news broadcast for two years. But this was all Rich could think of for his 1,500 word column.

Meanwhile, Jon Chait can’t stands no more:

The big turning point seems to be this week, when the Clintons slammed Obama for acknowledging that Ronald Reagan changed the country. Everyone knows Reagan changed the country. Bill and Hillary have said he changed the country. But they falsely claimed that Obama praised Reagan’s ideas, saying he was a better president than Clinton — something he didn’t say and surely does not believe.

This is a lead-in to a column decrying the fact that the Clintons are — gasp! — playing hardball with Barack Obama.

Let us begin by noting that Chait is simply lying about what Obama said. There were two statements made by Obama that have attracted all the press. First:

I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people–he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

Is Obama praising Reagan there? Of course he is. He is strongly implying that Reagan gave everyone clarity, optimism and a sense of dynamism. In political campaigns, describing someone as an agent of change is always meant positively. Has anyone ever campaigned on a platform of maintaing the status quo? And the fact is that if Obama were simply making a historical point, it would have been the most natural thing in the world to add a caveat that he does not like the change led by Reagan, but that he is simply noting a historical fact in acknowledging it. But Obama did not do that.

Mind you, I don’t think Obama has any sympathy for Reagan’s actions as president. I think he was simply playing a standard game in which a candidate tries to look sophisticated and above it all by praising someone from the other side.

Here’s the second quote:

I think it is fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, and it’s all tax cuts. Well, you know, we’ve done that, we tried it. That’s not really going to solve our energy problems.

Both of these quotes are obvious swipes at the Clinton administration. The Clintons responded not by slamming Obama for “acknowledging that Reagan changed the country.” Rather, they were slamming him for his lack of acknowledgement of what really happened in the eighties and nineties.

But Chait goes on an on in this vain, pointing to every bit of negative campaigning on the part of the Clintons as indicative not simply of what every modern politician interested in winning inevitably has to do, but something that gives us a unique insight into what a sordid character she is. Chait is playing a game of his own. The one in which a liberal pundit desiring to be taken seriously must, at a minimum, show that he hates the Clintons.

Examples like this could be multiplied endlessly. But while all of these empty-headed, dim-witted, gossip columnists are busy excoriating Clinton for anything their warped and sordid minds can conjure up, true or false, not one of them has been able to write a column saying that Hillary Clinton would be a bad president. No one is saying that she would follow irresponsible policies, or make bad decisions, or be less able than her competitors to deal with the problems the country will face in the next four and eight years. They can’t say that, because it is obviously false. Hillary will govern very much like Bill did, which is a considerable improvement over Reagan or the first Bush, and a dramatic, orders of magnitude improvement over the second Bush.

I am supporting Hillary Clinton because I believe that among the remaining candidates she will make the best President. Of course I understand that the political right will be completely unscrupulous in attacking her and that the media will happily parrot their talking points. But they will do that regardless of who the nominee is. Of course I understand that she is a polarizing figure who is unlikely to heal the wounds of division that plague the country. I just also recognize that that ship has sailed. In its current form the Republican Party has shown that it has not the slightest interest in working with Democrats on anything. Do you think Obama could change that? Do you really think the Republicans will suddenly show an interest in comity and good sense if Obama is elected?

Who knows? Maybe Rich is right and Clinton will so energize the right that the Republicans manage to win in 2008. If that happens, so be it. If this crazy right-wing country of ours can look at the last eight years and say, “Give us more of that!” then who am I to stand in their way?

Comments

  1. #1 trrll
    January 27, 2008

    I actually rather like Hillary, and most of the attacks on her are blatant spin. I’d like to support her, but I’m troubled about some things that she has done and said that give me grave doubts about her judgement. She supported a federal law to fine videogame store owners $1,000 or 100 hours of community service if they mistakenly sell an inappropriate game to an underage customer. And she recently reiterated that support, claiming that “we know that violent video games have an impact on children.”

    In reality, of course, we don’t know any such thing. Despite some pretty shaky academic research that attempts to correlate “aggression” with game playing, the fact is that rates of violence have been falling steadily as videogames have gotten more popular and more realistically violent. Yet she seems to be so convinced that videogames are dangerous that she is not even willing to leave it to the states–she wants the federal government to step in and single out video games for harsh penalties that are not imposed on other types of media, such as movies.

    I can’t help be reminded that once before she was convinced by shaky evidence of harm–that Iraq posed such an imminent threat to the US that she was willing to vote to cede to George W Bush (who was pretty obviously an idiot, even then) the power to make war on Iraq.

  2. #2 Michael Ralston
    January 27, 2008

    I like Obama the most. But I like Hillary and Edwards too.

    From my point of view, the only way I can REALLY lose is if the Republicans win somehow.

  3. #3 Evan Bell
    January 27, 2008

    If Hillary is a polarizing figure it is because the Right spin machine has been working her over since 1991. Does anyone remember White Water? Where the spent many years and many millions of dollars trying to find criminal mischief in a deal the Clintons lost money on.

    Why can’t we just have a Hillary/Obama ticket. Then eight years on nobody could criticize Obama for lack of experience. Win Win in my book.

    As a game programmer I find the attention paid to video games by Hillary and other public figures very uncomfortable. Can’t they go back to worrying about heavy metal music or My Space.

  4. #4 SLC
    January 27, 2008

    Re Evan Bell

    The right wingers are not the only Clinton haters around. There are plenty of left wingers who hate Ms. Clinton. If Mr. Bell doesn’t believe it, I suggest he go over to Matthew Yglesias’ blog where he will find the left wing hate to be as vicious as the right wing hate.

    http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/

  5. #5 Ken Shabby
    January 27, 2008

    “… a single mainstream media outlet … that you trust to give you the basic facts about anything? ”

    One. Comedy Central.

    End of list.

  6. #6 albion tourgee
    January 27, 2008

    Wow! A “science” blogger turns to politics, and is offended that, for example, Frank Rich has noticed that Bill Clinton is playing the most extreme role a presidential spouse has ever played in an American campaign, but, according to our “science” blogger, that’s sexist, because, hmm, well, hard to say, but maybe because we need to cut Bill & Hill some slack because he speaks with such authority, having done his little bit to degrade American politics by let’s see, was it, hmm, lying very publicly about a legal proceeding, or maybe having sex in the White House with a woman the age of his daughter, or maybe, bombing a few countries on the first day of the impeachment hearings, or those pardons, or … (okay, not so much as Mr. W, of course, but every little contribution helps). Hey, when are we going to learn about the contributions to the Clinton library that Bill says we aren’t entitled to know about, or what about the papers telling of Hillary’s role in the Bill administration that they are hoping not to release any time soon?

    And our “science” blogger rants about Obama having recognized that Reagan changed the country. Perhaps our “science” blogger has never heard of the Reagan democrats or maybe he thinks, well, the way to get Reagan democrats to change their views is to rant at them about how utterly stupid and wrong they’ve been. What an effective strategy that would have been. Almost as effective as having Bill play the attack-dog in Hill’s campaign, or the Bill & Hill claim that Lyndon Johnson was more to credit for the civil rights movement than Dr. King (oh, yeah, I know, they retracted it). Yeah, those strategies really worked well for Hill & Bill in S.C. — and Obama’s Reagan remark really drove away the voters, huh?

    Hmm. Our “science” blogger is a big fan of Hillary, who I don’t think would be too bad myself, actually, but please, why not some science instead of fatuous political blatherings?

  7. #7 Meng Bomin
    January 27, 2008

    I’m not one who had very strong opinions about the Clintons previous to this race…and for good reason. I’m currently 20 years old. I had virtually no political awareness during the Clinton Presidency.

    However, after seeing her tactics in Iowa and reading about them in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, I can say that my vague rosy vision of the Clintons has gone to a more negative vision. If how she has run her campaign has any reflection on how she will run her Presidency, I have strong doubts of your assessment that she will be a good President of the United States.

    Do you remember the question planting scandal in Iowa? Big deal right? That’s what I thought when I read about it in the national media. But the national media got the story third hand. It was published first in my college’s student newspaper, the Scarlet and Black, and I can tell you that the full story is a true example of campaign arrogance. Rather than let a student ask Hillary compare her environmental plan to the other candidates, the campaign told her to ask a question from a binder with differently worded questions listed for different demographic groups. They apparently used the same tactic on other questioners at the same event, though that was not reported.

    I have no doubt that Hillary is experienced…as a politician, but her experience is becoming outmoded by the much quicker information age that the Internet has brought, which is part of the reason that she has been unable to sweep the early states even as the overwhelming frontrunner.

    Now, what attracted me to Senator Obama over Senator Clinton was actually the difference between their level of discourse. While Clinton is good at throwing out crowd-pleasing platitudes while often distorting what her opponents said, starting with the spat after the CNN-YouTube debate, Obama stuck to the facts and focused more on pragmatic solutions to problems. I always found the accusation of Obama being substanceless or an empty suit funny because the most obviously substanceless candidate 3 months ago was Hillary Clinton.

    Now given that, I would still vote for Senator Clinton above any of the Republicans running. The Democratic platform is clearly superior to any of the platforms offered by the Repbublican candidates. But you won’t see me volunteering for her, which I would do if Senator Obama were to win the nomination. I suspect that many people of my age who do not have a strong affinity to the Clinton years or the partisan mindset they seem to have incubated have similar feelings. If the Democratic Party has a future as the majority party of the United States, it will be with a President Obama. If Senator Clinton wins the nomination, I can assure you that “youth voter apathy” will return. This isn’t about right vs. left. I can assure you that my fellow Obama supporters at Grinnell College are some of the most liberal Americans you can find. This is about how politics is run in this country, and I can assure you that while Senator Obama is not perfect, his campaign style has been a helluva lot better than that of Senator Clinton and that style is a reflection of how they’ll govern.

    In the end, this election isn’t just about the one person we’ll be putting in the Oval Office but also the people surrounding that person and the way the White House is run. Senator Clinton would probably be a competent executive, but given the advisors she surrounds herself with and the style by which she runs her campaign, I’d say the Barack Obama is clearly a better candidate for the Presidency.

  8. #8 trrll
    January 27, 2008

    Bill & Hill claim that Lyndon Johnson was more to credit for the civil rights movement than Dr. King (oh, yeah, I know, they retracted it).

    As I noted before, I have my doubts about Hillary Clinton; I’ll likely vote for Obama. Nevertheless, I’m a bit uncomfortable calling her by her first name, which seems slightly disrespectful; I do so only because when I hear “Clinton,” I still think first of Bill. Do you really have the kind of personal relationship with her to justify calling her by a nickname?

    Using flip nicknames for people you don’t know is a kind of spin; it is an attempt to diminish their stature, and to do so in an underhanded way–by creating an impression in people’s minds that has nothing to do with their actual accomplishments or views.

    I don’t understand why people cannot discuss issues, policies, and actions, rather than indulging in the kind of dishonest spinning of a candidate’s words that you engage in above. Here is what Clinton actually said:

    Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done

    Where, specifically, in that quote do the words “more to credit” appear? Can you direct me to any quote from Hillary Clinton in which those words appear, or indeed, in which she ranks the importance of the contributions of Dr. King and Pres. Johnson in any way? Can you point to anything in her statement that was not historically accurate? Can you cite any historian who seriously believes that the Civil Rights Act would have come about when it did without the actions of a President with a commitment to push it forward?

  9. #9 Patrick Baroco
    January 27, 2008

    Hmmm… I thought this was a science blog. Oh well, one less RSS feed to read.

  10. #10 Lettuce
    January 27, 2008

    I’m for Edwards…

    But this waylaying of Hillary has almost got me to the point of voting for her. And I don’t want to vote for her (I WANT to vote for Edwards, dammit.)

  11. #11 lolife
    January 27, 2008

    Hmmm… I thought this was a science blog. Oh well, one less RSS feed to read.

    Oh boo fucking hoo. I am quite sick of people who think bloggers need to speak to one and only one topic at the expense of all others. Methinks though must be a Republican? They are prone to whining.

    I’m sorry, Hillary
    Don’t be irrate
    Obama in two-thousand-eight

  12. #12 Jason Rosenhouse
    January 27, 2008

    Just to clarify, I like Obama and Edwards quite a lot and would vote for either one of them if they got the nomination. And I don’t especially care for the Clintons’ tactics. But for the last twenty years I have watched one Democratic candidate after another, starting with Mondale and Dukakis and more recently with Gore and Kerry, try to be high-minded and principled only to get demolished by conscienceless Republicans and their media enablers. Politics is so ugly and divisive today primarily because the Republicans have made it so. Our choices are to be noble, principled losers, or to get down in the mud with them and coopt the tactics they have used so successfully. It’s not pretty, but then neither are Republican administrations.

    Patrick-

    Sorry you didn’t like the post. I would have thought, though, that the title would have alerted you to the fact that this was a political post and not a science post.

  13. #13 Meng Bomin
    January 27, 2008

    Hmmm… I thought this was a science blog. Oh well, one less RSS feed to read.

    Comments like these make me question whether some people understand the nature of blogs. Blogs are personal write-ups and thus will often present personal opinions, even when they are not directly related to the main issue of the blog. Personally, I find blogs that diversify more interesting.

  14. #14 Chris Bell
    January 27, 2008
    You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the presidential candidates, and it’s all tax cuts. Well, you know, we’ve done that, we tried it. That’s not really going to solve our energy problems.

    Both of these quotes are obvious swipes at the Clinton administration.

    I thought the second one was a swipe at Republicans, which can think of no problem a high-income tax cut can’t solve. (“Bleeding? Try a tax cut?”) Obama wants a middle-class tax cut, so I don’t think he was referring to a Hillary plan here.

  15. #15 Meng Bomin
    January 27, 2008

    But for the last twenty years I have watched one Democratic candidate after another, starting with Mondale and Dukakis and more recently with Gore and Kerry, try to be high-minded and principled only to get demolished by conscienceless Republicans and their media enablers.

    It may be true that those candidates have tried and failed, but I don’t think that going for the gutter is going to get us much further if at all nor do I think that more partisanship is healthy for the country. 2004 was the Presidential race where I paid most attention (this one excluded), and I can tell you that Kerry didn’t get many people excited. The meme that permeated in my hometown was “I may not like Bush, but why would I vote for Kerry?”

    Now, to some extent, this was from negative advertising and Kerry’s inept parrying of it. But part of the problem was that there was confusion among the Democratic ranks and the main unifying issue was that Bush was bad. Now it’s the Republicans that are having that problem and Obama’s big strength comes from the youth vote, a demographic that often stays home come election time. In Iowa, where I was caucusing, the 18-29 voter turnout matched the 65+ turnout and young people were actually voting in proportion to their representation in the population of Iowa. Kerry didn’t get young people to the polls. Obama will, and I think that will make a huge difference.

  16. #16 chezjake
    January 27, 2008

    So, here we have an election which should be basically a gimme for the Democrats. The main consideration any sane liberal should have is coming up with an *electable* candidate who will, among other things, hopefully ensure that we keep some liberal/moderate thinkers on the Supreme Court maybe even get back a majority some day. We also need bigger majorities in both houses of Congress, and especially in the Senate to get rid of Republican obstructionism.

    So how is it that the two strongest candidates we have now both have inborn characteristics that are guaranteed to automatically turn off a significant number of voters? I’d be glad to have a black woman president — I wanted Barbara Jordan to run years ago. But let’s face it; there a great number of people out there who simply won’t vote for either a woman or an African American. And then there’s all the preexisting anti-Clinton-of-any-ilk hate machinery on the far right.

    If the Democrats lose this election, it’s their own fault. And it will be the end of any hope for liberalizing this country for quite some time to come.

    I thought Richardson was the best qualified, but the media steadily ignored him. Now, Edwards is the best chance we’ve got.

  17. #17 Pierce R. Butler
    January 27, 2008

    Of all the Democratic candidates, “major” or “minor”, Clinton is the most Republican.

    She’s given the most support to the Bush agenda, collected the most and biggest bribes, used the most Rovian tactics, pledged allegiance to the most retrograde institutions (from the Israeli lobby to the insurance-finance and military-industrial complexes), shown the least integrity or consistency.

    In a(nother) year in which the Democrats have given us only poor choices, she, as the worst of that ever-failing party, seems destined to represent it. That she is indeed the victim of slimy sexist slander in no way indicates that she has the inclination to even begin necessary reforms.

    Somewhat tangentially, I would ask those who support Clinton because of her gender whether they think Margaret Thatcher left Britain in better shape than she found it.

  18. #18 Chris Rowan
    January 28, 2008

    Somewhat tangentially, I would ask those who support Clinton because of her gender whether they think Margaret Thatcher left Britain in better shape than she found it.

    She did. Whether that was because of her policies, or despite them, is another matter…

  19. #19 Duncan Cairncross
    January 28, 2008

    Hi Chris,
    Britain after Maggie Thatcher was better than before because of 60 million people working away,
    The question is would it have been even better without her!
    As a result of Maggie’s economic miracle the UK moved from near the top of the EU to near the bottom.
    There was a major silver lining – Ireland
    There is no way a rich minority (the north) would vote to join with a poor majority (Eire), Maggie made the UK (and the north of Ireland) poorer than the south.
    Enabling the Northern Ireland good friday agreement

  20. #20 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 28, 2008

    There is no need to lie about Hillary. The truth (about the Clintons and their supporters) is enough.
    1. 900 FBI files. The FBI as their own private police force. Where did they come from? “I don’t remember” was her response. Really, now.
    2. Monica was part of the “vast right wing conspiracy”? Like we made it all up to discredit Bill. Right.
    3. Hillary (per her book) was unfamiliar with Bills “activities”? This is the woman who hired private investigators to follow him around Arkansas years earlier. She’s a calculated liar.
    4. Communist fund raising. Chung. Hsu. Think about it.
    5. Now let’s “MoveOn” past perjury, past 900 FBI files, past the lies that got us into the war in the Balkans, past all of the crime.

    There’s no need to lie about Hillary. Facts are adequate.

    Collin
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/

  21. #21 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    The fact that Mr. Brendemuehl doesn’t like Ms. Clinton should come as no surprise, given his conservative political and religious views. However, I find that the liberals who hate Ms. Clinton are behaving in a childish manner. Thus they bash her for allegedly being beastly toward Senator Obama. I have news for these folks. Compared to what the Rethuglicans will throw against Senator Obama if he wins the Democratic nomination, these are love taps. The Rethuglican goons have no shame. Consider their smear campaign against Senator Kerry in 2004 relative to his Vietnam War record. This coming from a party that had two draft dodgers on its ticket.

  22. #22 csrster
    January 28, 2008

    I’m old enough to remember that back in ’92 a lot of liberals were enthusiastic about Bill because they liked Hillary. I’m not sure, in fact, that Bill has been more active in support of Hillary than she was in support of him. They’ve always been a team which is why the “Billary” tag goes back to the days of Bill’s administration.

  23. #23 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 28, 2008

    SLC,
    Let history speak. Her machine is Rove’s equal.
    As Brent Bozell said a couple of weeks ago, ALL of the candidates deservea great deal more scrutiny than they are being given.

    Collin

  24. #24 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    January 28, 2008

    Let us leave aside the blatant sexism of merging Bill and Hillary’s names

    That’s alongthe lines of celebrity gossip, lie Brangelina and Bennifer. Tres clever.

  25. #25 Fastlane
    January 28, 2008

    One less RSS feed to read? Because he had the audacity to post on his personal blog about a political topic?

    Door..ass….way out.

    Cheers.

  26. #26 J. J. Ramsey
    January 28, 2008

    Jason Rosenhouse: “Our choices are to be noble, principled losers, or to get down in the mud with them and coopt the tactics they have used so successfully.”

    Shame on you for such a blatant false dichotomy! The problem with those you called “noble, principled losers” was that they didn’t fight back hard enough against the mudslingers, not that they failed to sling mud.

  27. #27 Andrew
    January 28, 2008

    Here’s my take.

    I think it is perfectly fair game to engage “go negative” against your rivals during a primary, and I think it’s good for Obama to have some mild trial-by-fire now to prepare him (in some small way) for what’s to come. So I’m not opposed to Clinton for her behavior in going negative, although I do think she’s done so rather incompetently, as the results in SC show.

    I am strongly opposed to having Clinton as the nominee for two reasons:

    1. It’s strategically stupid. Hillary Clinton’s negatives — whether they’re her own fault or not — hover somewhere between 48 and 52%. And those aren’t typical partisan “soft” negatives; those are hard negatives of people who will NEVER vote for her, no matter what. So as a tactical matter, Clinton as the nominee (a) forces you to allocate campaign resources (i.e., money) defending states that should otherwise be solidly blue — states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, for example — thus taking away your opportunity to spend those resources in swing states or red states that could shift Democratic. And (b) she’s a down-ticket drag on Democratic House and Senate running in red and purple states.

    All of the trends show the potential for a Democratic landslide in 2008. Why nominate the person who’s guaranteed to blunt that possibility and might even lose?

    2. Worse, I *am* concerned about how Hillary Clinton will act as President. Unlike Edwards and Obama, Clinton has not repudiated the Bush doctrine and has not repudiated her idiotic vote for war in 2002. (I don’t think I need to repeat her obvious red-faced lie about how that was a vote “for inspectors”; if that’s true, she’s too stupid to be President. EVERYONE knew that vote was a vote to let Bush go to war. But she’s not stupid, just a liar.)

    This next election, to me, *must* be about repudiating the Bush doctrine and restoring America’s credibility around the world. Have you ever listened to a Hillary Clinton answer about 9/11? To say she’s Bush Light is an understatement; she endorses the (patently absurd) concept of the so-called “war on terror,” and I do not have the confidence that she’d repudiate it as President.

    Of course, I’d vote for Clinton over any of the Republican candidates. But I hope that it won’t come down to that.

    -Andrew

  28. #28 jeffk
    January 28, 2008

    Of all the Democratic candidates, “major” or “minor”, Clinton is the most Republican.
    I think it’s probably true that she’s the most moderate, but then, Obama is quite moderate as well. The difference is I image if she’s president she’ll hold her ground more or less where she is and not take any shit, wheras Obama will roll over for the Republicans in fear if he doesn’t, they won’t like him. He wants to hold hands and sing Kum-Ba-Ya with conservatives; I want someone who will treat them like the petulant children that they are (or as my friend’s dad said, “I don’t want any goddamn bi-partisan bullshit, I want a goddamn murderer!”)

    But I prefer Edwards, as the most progressive of the three. in an election where the Democrats can’t possibly lose, why not elect someone more liberal? Why not make a killing while we have the chance?

  29. #29 Kevin W. Parker
    January 28, 2008

    The Clintons responded not by slamming Obama for �acknowledging that Reagan changed the country.� Rather, they were slamming him for his lack of acknowledgement of what really happened in the eighties and nineties.

    More accurately, they blatantly lied about what he said. Here’s a verbatim quote of Hillary Clinton, as released by her campaign:

    “I have to say, you know, my leading opponent the other day said that he thought the Republicans had better ideas than Democrats the last ten to fifteen years. That’s not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years.”

    Do you really think that’s a fair characterization of what Obama said?

  30. #30 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    For Mr. Brendemuehl to compare the Clintons with the Bush administration is like comparing the fellow who steals a little silverware from the restaurant with the fellow who sticks up a bank. The Bush administration is, beyond all doubt, the most fascist and corrupt in the history of the US. President Clinton was impeached for lying about sex; President Bush should be impeached and convicted for lying us into war. Here’s a couple of links to threads on Ed Braytons’ blog concerning the Bushies associations with the murderous thug, Eric Prince and his Blackwater corporations of goons and their associations with Barrett Moore.

    http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2008/01/blackwater_a_subsidiary_of_bus.php#more

    http://www.michiganmessenger.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=727

  31. #31 ks
    January 28, 2008

    “I am supporting Hillary Clinton because I believe that among the remaining candidates she will make the best President.”

    I would gladly tell you why this is not the case, but the only rationale I can gather from your post is that she’s being picked on by the media. To me, that is not a good reason to support her. One area where she is not as strong as Obama is the Iraq war. While he has laid out a 16 month phased withdrawl (1-2 brigades per month), she has refused to commit to any hard numbers or a complete withdrawl. She’s said she will withdrawl “responsibly” and I believe she made a comment that it will “begin” within a couple months of her taking office (without a constant or end timeline). However her comments amount to pandering on the issue and add on her vote to label the Iranian national guard a terrorist organization (which has the potential to allow Bush to authorize military action in another country) and you should see that HRC is much worse on Obama when it comes to the middle east.

  32. #32 Epistaxis
    January 28, 2008

    Let us leave aside the blatant sexism of merging Bill and Hillary’s names, as if the fact that Bill Clinton is campaigning for his wife means she is just an appendage of her husband.

    Not to nag, but you really should have read the following paragraph of Frank Rich’s column before you ran over to the keyboard to complain about him. Here it is, minus the hyperlinks to news coverage of the incidents he’s referring to:

    What has gone unspoken is this: Up until this moment, Hillary has successfully deflected rough questions about Bill by saying, “I’m running on my own” or, as she snapped at Barack Obama in the last debate, “Well, I’m here; he’s not.” This sleight of hand became officially inoperative once her husband became a co-candidate, even to the point of taking over entirely when she vacated South Carolina last week. With “two for the price of one” back as the unabashed modus operandi, both Clintons are in play.

    How is that “sexist” anyway? Are you saying Rich wouldn’t have used that kind of wordplay if the Clintons were a gay couple? Or are you just saying he should have put Hillary’s name first and Bill’s second (“Hillbilly”)?

    You seem divided between your cynicism about politicians and your pessimism about voters, which makes me wonder why you deign to support any candidate at all. I agree some people usually vote Republican no matter what, but there are other Democratic candidates whom, according to the polls, those people would support. I also agree the Republican slime machine is going to run full blast regardless of the nominee, but I don’t want to give it as many open wounds as Billary (sorry, I mean The Clinton Dynasty) already has.

    P.S. I don’t share the Clintons’ reading of Obama’s quote on Reagan. Substitute “Hitler” for “Reagan,” “1920s and 1930s” for “1960s and 1970s,” etc., and it still makes logical sense. He’s simply finding the positive things to say about a historical figure without explicitly endorsing the rest of his legacy. Some would call that “diplomatic,” not treasonous to his party.

  33. #33 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 28, 2008

    SLC,
    I didn’t compare the Bush and Clinton administrations.
    You lie again.

  34. #34 Jason Rosenhouse
    January 28, 2008

    J.J. Ramsey-

    You say fight back harder, I say get down in the muck and start slinging. po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.

  35. #35 J. J. Ramsey
    January 28, 2008

    Jason Rosenhouse: “You say fight back harder, I say get down in the muck and start slinging. po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to.”

    Generally, when I think of mudslinging, I think of the politicians slinging something that, well, only looks like mud. There is a huge difference between slinging B.S. and calling someone on B.S.

  36. #36 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    “SLC,
    I didn’t compare the Bush and Clinton administrations.
    You lie again.”

    Fair enough. I concede the error. Mr. Brendemuehl merely bad mouthed the Clintons. However, given that I acknowledge that I was mistaken about his comment, will he now concede that the Bush administration is far worse then not only the Clinton administration but even the Nixon administration in terms of corruption and lying in order to distinguish himself from the neocons who are not real conservatives?

  37. #37 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    Re ks

    “However her comments amount to pandering on the issue and add on her vote to label the Iranian national guard a terrorist organization (which has the potential to allow Bush to authorize military action in another country) and you should see that HRC is much worse on Obama when it comes to the middle east.”

    Does Mr ks mean that Senator Clinton, unlike Senator Obama has the temerity to support the State of Israel?

  38. #38 spooj
    January 28, 2008

    Wow.

    I’m going to guess that all of you that support Hillary Clinton are against the Iraq War, The Patriot Act, and the loss of habeas corpus via the Military Commissions Act.

    Yet, you all support Hillary Clinton and/or John Edwards. Some of you are even convinced that Obama is anything but a DLC-type in the mold of Bill and Hillary themselves. Talk about cognative dissonance.

    I often wonder if we’ll ever be a free country, and then I come across mindlessness like this and I realize that at this rate, we’re fucking doomed.

  39. #39 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 28, 2008

    SLC-ResidentTroll,

    I will not admit to anything to which I do not agree.
    Nor will I participate in troll games.

  40. #40 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Fair enough. Mr. Brendemuehl considers the Bush administration less corrupt and malicious then the Clinton administration. I can only conclude, then, that he considers lying about sex to be more serious then lying about weapons of mass destruction for the purpose of starting a war. By the way, I find it illuminating that Mr. Brendemuehl cites an antisemitic right wing nutcase like Brent Bozell as a font of wisdom. I must say that I find it amusing that he considers me a troll. It takes one to know one I guess.

  41. #41 Roy Niles
    January 28, 2008

    There seems to be a dynamic developing where the Obama faction sets up a remark that he knows Bill Clinton can’t help but take a whack at, and knows that the press will then take a whack at Bill and Hillary for having taken that whack back at Obama, and knows that in the process another anti-Hillary spin will be put on the whack back at the Clinton whack-back generated by the initial Obama curve ball. And then Obama repeats what the press said as if astounded by the injustice of it all. Do the word disingenuous fit here somewhere?
    Reminding us, in case we wanted to forget it this time around, that strategy in politics has less to do with getting out the truth than with obscuring it.

  42. #42 J. J. Ramsey
    January 28, 2008

    “There seems to be a dynamic developing where the Obama faction sets up a remark that he knows Bill Clinton can’t help but take a whack at …”

    I don’t think Obama is prescient enough to do the kind of Xanatos Gambit that you suppose. That said, if Bill Clinton has enough lack of integrity as to twist Obama’s words, why is this Obama’s fault? The strategy that you impute to Obama would only work if the Clintons were being less than honest.

  43. #43 Roy Niles
    January 28, 2008

    What Obama has actually done is play the race card in such a subtle manner that Bill Clinton was suckered into pointing out the subtlety of that use, and did it through the press, which predictably jumped on this chance to pump it up into a racial issue – since a story that Clinton was now using the race card made a lot more “news” than an unvarnished recital of events would have. Obama has maneuvered the Clinton camp in between a rock and a hard place where race is concerned, and if you think he’s not “prescient” enough to play that game, think again. (My son attended the same school with him, and no lack of such prescience was evident then – or now.)

  44. #44 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 28, 2008

    SLC-Trollmeister,
    I’ve not read so many conclusions without evidence since Descent of Man.

  45. #45 SLC
    January 28, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    I have a flash for Mr. Brendemuehl. Humans and apes have a common ancestry. Mr. Brendemuehl doesn’t like it. Tough bananas.

  46. #46 J. J. Ramsey
    January 29, 2008

    Roy Niles: “What Obama has actually done is play the race card in such a subtle manner that Bill Clinton was suckered into pointing out the subtlety of that use”

    Evidence?

  47. #47 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 29, 2008

    Nice to see the local troll supporting the racist Darwin.
    Which candidate do you want to tie to Darwin? All three of them seem to evolve weekly! ;)

    Collin

  48. #48 Roy Niles
    January 29, 2008

    J J Ramsey asked for evidence. The evidence is the totality of the latest news from various media sources. But it’s the analysis of that news that I expect you don’t agree with, because you seem to think only a dishonest man can be suckered, and if he is, he deserves it.
    But all politicians are playing a game that no honest man could win, so in a way all players deserve what they get, if one follows your logic. And you have more or less conceded that the analysis could be correct. But any such analysis can do no more than point out the probable, so as far as I’m concerned, my work here is done.

  49. #49 J. J. Ramsey
    January 29, 2008

    Roy Niles: “J J Ramsey asked for evidence. The evidence is the totality of the latest news from various media sources.”

    That’s just hand waving on your part. If your claims are supportable, then someone should be able to point out something reasonably specific, rather than vaguely saying that the evidence is all around.

  50. #50 Roy Niles
    January 29, 2008

    I’m not going to cut and paste every news article involved that when put together will show the pattern that you probably wouldn’t be able to recognize to begin with, since you didn’t recognize it first time around, and still don’t.

    I’m very familiar with the dirty tricks aspect of politics, having been a professional investigator for more years than you have probably lived – and having worked on aspects of the Watergate case in DC, among others. I’m not saying that anything like that is going on here – only that I can recognize the patterns involved with political chicanery fairly easily.
    If you don’t believe your man is either capable or knowledgeable in this area, then you won’t believe the pattern says anything about him even if you were able to recognize it to begin with.

  51. #51 J. J. Ramsey
    January 29, 2008

    Roy Niles: “I’m not going to cut and paste every news article involved …”

    You wouldn’t have to. A few links and some excerpts would be enough to sketch out a case.

    Roy Niles: “I’m very familiar with the dirty tricks aspect of politics, having been a professional investigator for more years than you have probably lived …”

    That’s all well and good, but that is no substitute for evidence. You have hand waved twice now.

  52. #52 Roy Niles
    January 29, 2008

    I like both candidates and have no interest in making a case against either. What I saw was a clever stratagem that people who look for that kind of thing might have otherwise missed. These are people that know the game is more about strategy than about an objective evaluation of the contenders – you may not be one of them.

    If you interpret what you don’t understand as hand waving, I would like to assure you that this is really me now waving goodbye.

  53. #53 J. J. Ramsey
    January 29, 2008

    Roy Niles: “What I saw was a clever stratagem that people who look for that kind of thing might have otherwise missed.”

    And you have not once said what you saw.

    Roy Niles: “If you interpret what you don’t understand as hand waving …”

    No, I interpret resorting to evasion instead of backing up your claim as hand waving.

  54. #54 SLC
    January 30, 2008

    Re Collin Brandemuehl

    “Nice to see the local troll supporting the racist Darwin.
    Which candidate do you want to tie to Darwin? All three of them seem to evolve weekly! ;)”

    Mr. Brandemuehl, showing his true colors, engages in one of the oldest canards in the creationist playbook, namely attempting to discredit the theory of evolution by proclaiming that Charles Darwin was a racist.

    1. In the first place, Mr. Darwins’ attitudes on race have nothing whatever to do with the truth or falsity of the theory of evolution. As a for instance, the fact that the late William Shockley was a racist had nothing to do with his scientific achievements relative to his contribution to the development of solid state electronics, for which he won a Nobel Prize in physics. The fact that Johannes Stark was an antisemite and supporter of Hitler had nothing to do with his discovery of the Stark Effect for which he won a Nobel Prize in Physics.

    2. In the second place, Darwin, for his time, was rather liberal in his views on race. For instance, he was a vigorous opponent of slavery.

    Attached are some links to information on the Talk Origins web site which refute the kind of crap Mr. Brandemuehl is dishing out.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_1.html

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005.html

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_2.html

    Just as a matter of curiosity, what does Mr. Brandemuehl think about the scientific achievements of those who are declared atheists. For instance, does he consider that the scientific achievements of such individuals as in the following list of Nober Prize winners in physics are bogus?

    Werner Heisenberg
    Paul Dirac
    Richard Feynman
    Murray GellMann
    Julian Schwinger
    Steve Weinberg

  55. #55 slpage
    January 30, 2008

    Collin writes:

    I will not admit to anything to which I do not agree.
    Nor will I participate in troll games.

    and then

    I’ve not read so many conclusions without evidence since Descent of Man.

    First, I sincerely doubt you’ve read it.

    Second, well, no need for a second. The irony is clear.

  56. #56 SLC
    January 30, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    “Nice to see the local troll supporting the racist Darwin.
    Which candidate do you want to tie to Darwin? All three of them seem to evolve weekly!”

    1. Mr. Brendemuehl shows his true colors by repeating the old creationist canard relative to Darwin being an alleged racist. Just for the information of Mr. Brendemuehl, whos’ ignorance of science is profound consider the following.

    1. Mr. Darwins’ views on race is of no relevance in considering whether the theory of evolution is correct or not. For instance, the fact that William Shockley was a racist has no bearing on his scientific contribution, which earned him a well deserved Nobel Prize in physics, relative to the development of solid state electronics. The fact that Johannes Stark was an antisemite and Nazi sympathizer has no bearing on his scientific contribution, which earned him a well deserved Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of the Stark effect.

    2. Actually, Mr. Darwin, who by the way in the opinion of virtually all historians of science, if not Mr. Brendemushl, was one of the three most important scientists who have ever lived, the others being Issac Newton and Albert Einstein. For the time in which he lived, his racial views would be considered rather liberal. Thus, he was a vigorous opponent of slavery.

    Since a previous attempt to respond to Mr. Brendemuehls’ canard is apparently stuck in the approval queue due to multiple links, I will provide one link on this subject here and others in future comments.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA005_1.html

  57. #57 Collin Brendemuehl
    January 30, 2008

    slpage,
    You’re correct. I did jump back in. My bad.
    Resident trolls like SLC are tough to avoid …

    Collin

    ps, I have read it.

  58. #58 Eric Thomson
    January 31, 2008

    Pretty good examples in the original piece.

    My logic is thus:
    1. Any present democratic candidate is better than any present republican candidate.
    2. I will pick the democrat with the best chance to win in the presidential election.
    3. Hilary is divisive, not attractive to indy’s and moderate republicans.
    4. Obama is not divisive, and has a better chance to win in the general election.
    5. Therefore, vote obama.

    If I thought Kucinich would be the best president (which I probably do think), I still wouldn’t vote for him in a primary. Politics is much more than voting for who you think would be best. It is a more complicated constraint satisfaction problem, where the objective function is not simple. I am very very dismayed by the typical cluelessness of the democratic party machinery, pushing Hilary mindlessly but not looking forward to the general election in a realistic politically sensitive way. It’s not the 90s anymore. Let’s get some fresh blood without all the accretions of hate from the past.

  59. #59 Roy Niles
    January 31, 2008

    Your minor premises #3 and #4 are flawed. Plus you didn’t take into consideration the likely Republican nominee – McCain. Consider that he is being chosen as the nearest one to the center of the electorate as a whole, and consider that Hllary is in fact the nearest to the middle on the Democrat side (which has always been part of a Clintonesque strategy) and you may see that Obama (who in fact IS more divisive simply because of his race) is not the most electable vis a vis McCain.
    Both parties have been more keenly aware of the importance of getting the end game right since they have seen that simply winning has unexpected consequences up the gazoo.

  60. #60 Eric Thomson
    January 31, 2008

    Roy: Just to give you a chance to highlite and defend this: you are really saying that Obama is more divisive than Hillary because he is black?

    This is claiming two things: 1) Obama is more divisive than Hillary (this seems patently false), so we can ignore your second claim 2) This difference in divisiveness can be explained by the fact that Obama is black.

    People who think Clinton isn’t divisive are just being ignorant. This is exactly what I was criticizing in the democratic party. They are like ostriches. I spend a lot of time with independents and moderate REpublicans all over the country, and it is hard to describe the animosity they have toward what they would call ‘Billary’ as mentioned in the post). I don’t understand it, but I see it, and know it is there and know it is reflected in polls. It saddens me greatly that we may end up with McCain because of this ignorance and lack of realpolitik which continues to plague the Democratic party.

    On substantive policy issues, there is little difference between Clinton and Obama, so I don’t buy the whole ‘dance with the right’ argument. This isn’t the 90s. Every democrat has danced to the right. That is no longer a distinguishing characteristic of the Clinton gang.

  61. #61 Eric Thomson
    January 31, 2008

    Another point about the previous poster who said Obama was divisive because he was black.

    He said Hilary would have a good chance with moderate Repubs and independents because she is to the right of Obama. In my last post, I pointed out that if it is true, it is negligible. All viable democrats are moderates.

    Also, that perfectly displays the naivete I pointed out in my original post. People don’t vote (solely) based on policies. Until the democrats realize that, they will continue to spit out nominations for people like Kerry and Gore. It just frustrates me to no end. Policy doesn’t matter, they are all pretty much the same and better than the Repubs. The person absolutely must be likeable, must have charisma. There is no way around that. Cry and whine about it all you want, you will not change it.

    I mean, this country elected a charismatic and likeable idiot to be president for 8 years. Will the democrats never learn that form is at least as important as substance? I would have thought they had learned the lessons of JFK.

    God it drives me nuts. This is much more complicated a constraint satisfaction problem than most democrats realize, and until they do they will continue to throw elections.

    Luckily McCain isn’t very charismatic so this election it might not matter as much.

  62. #62 Roy Niles
    January 31, 2008

    Eric: It comes down to you asserting your opinion of Hillary as a fact and my asserting it’s not a fact. But all I have to counter you with is an opinion as well.
    And it’s also my opinion that being black – which to me is a plus, all other things being equal – will not be a plus in a general election. It’s still an unfortunate truth in America that if you are black, you must be better in every other way to qualify even as equal. Being black in politics is de facto divisive. So is being a woman, although perhaps less so (as we all had mothers, some of whom were quite equal).
    Maybe all viable democrats are moderates in your eyes, but not from where the majority stands. Just because you or I don’t believe anything espoused by professional idiots like Limbaugh and O’Reilly, the fact remains that too many others do.
    Yes we did end up with an idiot last time, but not by popular vote. Even so, it looks like the Republicans in general understand that idiots don’t always make the best puppets.
    They have yet to discover that true believers don’t either.
    Also, you need to take a better look at your syllogistic style. You can’t argue that more attention should be paid to a charismatic candidate and then point out that charisma was given far too much weight in Bush’s case. You can’t talk about form over substance and at the same time advocate substance over form. Can’t turns to “cant” in the process..

  63. #63 Roy Niles
    January 31, 2008

    I’m a bit slow in realizing that you are one of those “constraint satisfaction” converts – sort of like a “game theory” geek. You tinker with the system until things come out the way you predicted, rather than the trusting the systems to give accurate predictions on their own.
    You add the emotional brain’s input to the system that was designed to adjust for that bias to begin with.
    All of your positions taken in your posts are replete with emotional content. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that per se.

  64. #64 Eric Thomson
    January 31, 2008

    Roy:

    Your second post doesn’t make sense, and is basically an ad hominem. To ignore emotional inputs is a mistake, to go just by who has better policies on paper is a big mistake. E.g., it would be a mistake to go cast a vote for Kucinich, as he is unelectable. This doesn’t mean you vote for Hitler just because he is charismatic, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore personal likability and charisma. This is the weakness of the Democrats. They don’t realize the importance of the subjective factors.

    I am basing my views on Hillary versus Obama not on theory (e.g., that he is black versus she is annoying), but polls consistently show that she is more disliked (and, admittedly, this is a pathological thing in the electorate) than any other candidate. So I’m not basing this on my like or dislike, or anecdotes, but data (for example here is one representative result, see page 9). That kind of thing is important. 43 percent of people had an unfavorable opinion of Hillary, versus 27% for Obama. 17% were not sure how they felt about Clinton, versus 32 for Obama. These are important data.

    My argument is simple. Everything else being equal politically, go with the candidate more likely to win. Many things go into what makes a candidate more likely to win, such as likability, charisma, strength, whatever. Hillary is less likely to win the general election because she is despised by so many people. I don’t like that she is despised by many people. I don’t despise her, but that is the political reality.

    Please, cut the ad hominem crap.

  65. #65 Roy Niles
    January 31, 2008

    Ad hominem, schmominem. I was “attacking” the statement you made that: “It is a more complicated constraint satisfaction problem, where the objective function is not simple.” That’s just gobbledygook and fair game for the alleged ad hominism. Probably my designated naivety was a contributing factor.

    And the poll you cited is not compelling evidence of what the general public will actually do when push comes to shove. Admittedly I have to resort to speculation, but relying on such evidence at this point can only be a product of wishful thinking. People being polled tend to say what they believe is politically correct, and hope they will act on principle when the time comes. Yet more often than not, other hopes- and especially other fears – take precedence in the voting booth.

    Anyway, we aren’t going to agree, and relative naivet is not going be the determining factor as to the validity of our positions.

  66. #66 Eric Thomson
    January 31, 2008

    Thanks Roy for the insights. I learned a lot. Namely, choosing the candidate most likely to win isn’t a constraint satisfaction problem, taking into account present data to help make decisions on electability is just wishful thinking, Barack is actually more divisive than Hillary because he is black.

  67. #67 Roy Niles
    January 31, 2008

    Nice spin. Ad hominism by stealth attack.
    You CAN make a choice using your system, but the accuracy (or inaccuracy in this case) of your premises still affects the accuracy of the predicted outcome. Relying on the data you cited to the extent that you wanted to is clearly wishful thinking. And yes, in this case, it’s my “opinion” the electorate will be divided more by his blackness than by Hillary’s alleged lack of charisma or likability.
    You can fool only yourself by using the word “divisive” as if it is a quality resulting only from ignorance or intention. Obama is not ignorant, and not divisive with any negative intent at least. Unfortunately, the negativity is in the eyes of the beholders.

    And is it not true that those who live by the spin die by the spin? Rhetorical question just to afford you a last word,

  68. #68 SLC
    February 1, 2008

    I have attempted to post twice in response to Mr. Brendemuehls’ comment that Darwin was a racist. Apparently, because links were attached, they got lost in the approval queue. Therefore, I will refer the reader to the talkorigins web site where the creationist canard that Darwin was a racist is discussed and discredited. However, even if Darwin were a recist, that has no bearing on the truth or falsity of his theory.

    1. The fact that William Shockley was a racist is irrelevant to his scientific achievements relative to his contributions to solid state electronics, one of the most important technological achievements of the 20thy century, for which he receive a Nobel Prize in physics.

    2. The fact that Johannes Stark was an antisemite and admirer of Hitler is irrelevant to his scientific achievement in discovering the Stark effect for which he received a Nobel Prize in physics.

  69. #69 Eric Thomson
    February 9, 2008

    Data on Hillary or Obama versus McCain.

    I can sum up my above argument as follows: voting based only on the candidates’ policies is foolish. Other factors such as likeability need to be weighed in when selecting the best candidate to run in the general election.

  70. #70 royniles
    February 9, 2008

    The summation of your argument is supported more by the “duh” factor than anything else you wrote. Which is a priori less than conclusive.
    If you (which of course you don’t) thought Hillary would be a better President AND could also beat McCain, even if “likeability” polls also told you Obama would beat McCain by a bigger margin, would the WISEST course nevertheless be to vote for Obama to win the nomination of his party? Would this not be voting for likeability over policies? Could one really calculate rationally that this was worth the risk? Would you also have to delude yourself along the way that Obama had the better polices after all?

    Of course I don’t expect an objective analysis here for a number of reasons, the principal one being that nobody really knows what factors they are considering from an emotional standpoint. And voting for policies above all else may well be the least foolish.

  71. #71 royniles
    February 10, 2008

    It seems from recent events that the “inspirational” factor has been underemphasized as a component in our analysis. My self-deluding process seems to be well underway as well.
    I’m reading different things into what both are saying, and starting to regard Hillary’s image as an unfortunate waif caught up again in the alien world of us men.

  72. #72 Eric Thomson
    February 17, 2008

    The summation of your argument is supported more by the “duh” factor than anything else you wrote.

    So my argument is specious, as you first claimed above, but also trivially true.

    Thanks for your continued penetrating analysis, troll.

  73. #73 royniles
    February 18, 2008

    Troll? Well, isn’t that precious, you little twit. Trivially true? You can’t make yourself right be editing a quote that says you weren’t. Oh, I forgot, it’s that constraint satisfaction technique again. Spin a bit here, twist a bit there. You don’t need to be right, if you can simply appear to be. You’re in sync with your candidate on that score.
    Stay away from political analysis. You’re a fish out of water, gasping out the truly trivial.
    Speaking of trolling, try to learn more about avoiding the hook, sucker.

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