Elusive Trope's picture

    2008 Flame Wars Redux

    Bernie Sanders seems to be gaining some traction for the Democratic nomination and pits himself against the front runner Hillary Clinton. I doubt her campaign staff will be caught flat footed as they were in 2008 when Obama seemed to come out of nowhere. Already we see Clinton steering her rhetoric to left to counter Sanders. How much of it is just smoke to get through to the nomination we may or may not find out. Sanders has been consistently in his positions and voting. He is after all an Independent Socialist.

    I started getting involved in the political blogosphere during the Clinton vs. Obama fight for the nomination. On the blogosphere it definitely was a fight between the supporters of the two candidates. People became right down nasty and vicious towards "the other side." Racism vs. Sexism. No Experience vs. Dynasty.

    Over at Talking Points Memo's Cafe, the Obama camp swamped those who were in the Clinton camp. As I remember, the became so bad most of the Clinton supporters went elsewhere to put their two cents out into blogosphere. It seemed as soon as one Clinton supporter spoke up, ten or twelve Obama supporters to say the person was absolutely wrong. Like I alluded to before, in the back and forth neither side as a whole were civil in the way they expressed their disagreement.

    The Iowa Caucus isn't until February 1, 2016, and New Hampshire on February 9. That means we have about seven and a half months of campaigning before we get any voting results. The veterans of the 2008 Clinton campaign probably still feel some bitterness from those days and I've already heard people say Sanders is the person we thought Obama was.

    A lot of words will written and statements voiced between now and February 1st. The get-out-the-vote volunteers will try to rally the troops, while the conservatives and Republicans blast every side (when they're not distracted by their own nomination process). Politics is a brutal game and if one steps into it, one better have some thick skin. Yet I am hoping that as we approach February 1st and afterwards if it turns to out to be contest to the end that we dan give some effort to be civil in our disagreements about who should receive the nomination of Democratic Party. Heck, who knows, the person who gets nominated maybe someone who no one is talking about now.


    On May 12th the Roosevelt Institute published a paper.Rewriting the Rules American Economy.


    Joseph Stiglitz is the author of this pamphlet.  He is also the economic advisor to Clinton's campaign. They had a big roll out of this report before the Democrats got their campaigns rolling.  It is really a blue print and definition of what this election will be about this cycle.  I have been so pleased that the Democratic candidates are defining their campaigns from this report. 

    I think I may have posted this video in a comment last month.  This is the panel at the kick off of Rewriting the Rules.  The video is 2 hrs long but the first hour is very interesting because there is a second adviser to Clinton is on the panel with Stigliz. You will see that Sanders and Clinton is on the same sheet music.  



    I remember the cafe during the 2008 campaign.  I was too chicken to comment.  I am seeing it at Kos right now repeating that divide between Sander's supporters and Clinton supporters. While they are arguing over the candidates they miss a very important point that is going on. That point is the Democratic Party is united like they have never been in a very long time. This is defining the major issues in this campaign.  

    They are now the party of ideas and the Republicans are in chaos with too many candidates going in different directions of nuttiness. Rinse and Spin (because I can't spell his name) is in a battle with Charles Koch over ownership of Republican contact voter national list.  Koch has the computer system that it is in and refuses to return the data. The Heritage Foundation has lost it's creditability as a intellectual think tank that it once was for conservatives now under the leadership of De Mint. That organization has become as nasty as it's leader. Iowa has canceled their Republican straw pole because the serious candidates don't want to attend and waste campaign time and money. Some of the states that are being run into the ground by Republican governors are split on Medicaid and now finding out that they can't balance their budgets with out it.  

    If Charles Koch completes his take over of the GOP it will split that party.  Koch tried to start a libertarian party but that failed in 1980 when he ran for office. The Cato Institute at that point cut ties with Koch. Koch gave up on having a third party. Now he is very close to being the puppet master of the GOP because he didn't give up on his politics. 

    I am happy with all the large crowds that Sanders and Clinton are drawing.  The issues are just the right ones because of the crowds that are showing up at events. There is no Republicans at this point that is drawing these kinds of crowds. Sanders is even polling higher than the top Republican right now. That is a sign of a shift away from the conservatives.

    It is a waste of time to bash Democratic candidates on a blog that has many readers because it don't help who ever the favorite candidate that is being pushed.  We should all be positive about the candidates to convince marginal voters that stumble on to a liberal site that we as a party is a good thing.    

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. From my point of view, I totally agree with you about about America's political landscape. I don't think states like Oklahoma are going to turn blue, but Obama won in Indiana in 2008 before it turning back to Republicans and Romney in 2012. 

    Ronald Reagan made the Republican Party the powerhouse it become because of two things. First, he pushed the idea that Republicans never say a bad word about another Republican. I think this is wat too extreme and turns individuals into robots for the Party. This is how they can get all the Republicans to block legislation that they came up with before Obama. Second, he simplified the message down to basically three themes: Smaller government getting out of the way of capitalism, family values, and a strong military.

    Now as you say the Republicans are all over the place. A broad generalization is they are split between catering to the people who lean towards the "Tea Party" and those trying to go after the moderates. It is likely in the general election, the moderates will turn more towards the left on economic issues and health care (and the connection between the two. I will say that Sanders' calling himself a Socialist is going to be a hurdle in the General Election, but Clinton has a lot of nonpolitical baggage, including her husband, that will be hurdles in a General Election.

    One last thing: I steer clear of Daily Kos because it seems to have a lot of individuals who are just out to argue with everyone, commenting with their anger towards their father or some institution when they were a child and with which they never made peace.

    The absurdity that Bill Clinton is "political baggage" is just 1 example of why I have trouble understanding Democrats or the left or something. Gore ran against Clinton's administration and that worked out really well...

    I don't think he is either.  He is still a rock star in politics and will keep the tabloids entertained. He will breath new life into Fox reporters. He is actually well liked in the South.  I also think Hillary will do well in southern states.  

    I meant to point out that he would be political baggage in the general election, the reason being it allows the conservatives to talk about something other than the issues that should be the focus. I think he was baggage in the 2008 primaries, especially after that statement he made in I think South Carolina. But this time around he is kind of plus in the primaries.

    The statement in South Carolina was about Obama's anti-Iraq AUMF speech in 2003 being a fairy tale, and after 6 years of surge and re-engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq and other armed intervention in Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc., yes, we can confirm Obama's speech was a finely-honed detached-from-reality fairy tale that wrapped AUMF around Hillary's neck and gave Obama the luster of being a peacenick (where convenient).  [they then used the "fairy tale" comment to wrap "racist" around his neck & hers, but after 7 years most everyone's forgotten the details of that play]

    All election campaign are pretty much a play. "All the world's a stage." (Although he meant that to be a metaphor and not to be taken literally.) Heck, one of Hillary's staffer found some second grade paper about how he wanted to be president as if this was to scare people, as if it wasn't true that anybody who wants to be president of the United States is someone who is power hungry with a huge ego.

    Bernie Sanders gains some traction and suddenly Clinton makes a speech about fighting the wealthy stealing elections. Co-incidence? Pandering? Who knows.

    This is another great example of pinning some conspiracy on Hillary's team.

    Reporters ran around Indonesia as soon as Obama announced and interviewed anyone who knew Obama for multicultural filler. A quick Google finds a reference to Obama's first grade paper wanting to be president (unknown which country) back in March 2007.

    Whether Hillary's team tried to make fun of this, I'm sure they did - the backdrop was that a guy with a Kenyan father and who lived from ages 6-10 in Indonesian was able to bring all nations of earth together in peaceful harmony. I haven't witnessed such mythic hopes exploded out of proportion since Elian Gonzalez was lifted onto our shores by God-sent dolphins and a host of angels.

    A lot of supporters for Obama from have acknowledged they projected onto him what they hoping fhe would be. But the fact is someone from Hillary campaign staff dredged up that school paper in order to make some kind of smear on Obama. A kind of Dr. Strangelove meets Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. Yet most of Obama supporters got sucked into a mythical reality: (But before I put in the video, I would say that majority of Americans believed the recession at the time would turn into another depression)


    If it's a "fact" that Hillary's campaign dredged it up, please give a reference.

    I have trouble believing that before March 2007 when the LA Times story came out, back when Hillary was "inevitable" and Obama hadn't even officially declared (May 2007), that she'd have someone down in Indonesia going Obama-acquaintance to Obama-acquaintance introducing themselves in schoolyards as "hey, you used to have a little Bule boy here 35 years ago and we were wondering if he said or did anything embarrassing?"

    Yeah, the bitch is evil, but is she that efficient? Do her tentacles reach that far?

    Okay I'll admit it was wrong about the Clinton discovering the information, but it is a fact that they returned to the issue and tried to make it a smear (so in a sense they dredged up something written before that everyone forgot about if they were one of few Americans to have actually read it.

    But basically I saw in multiple places what this assertion made on Daily Kos:

    Thanks to the sleuth reporting by the Clinton campaign, we find out that this third-grade essay was part of an even older plot:

    In kindergarten, Sen. Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want to Become President'.

    So they weren't the original discoverers of the paper. But they yanked it out of the news dustbin and put a spotlight on it. Prompting this:

    By trying to deflect and at the same time preempt the next Clinton attack:

    Obama spokesman Bill Burton responds: "I'm sure tomorrow they'll attack him for being a flip-flopper because he told his second grade teacher he wanted to be an astronaut."

    I'm not going back to Google, but in 1 quick search I saw Mar 2007, and another Dec 2007 (Bloomberg), so I don't think they dredged up anything anyone had forgotten - "dustbin" as you put it - the Obama team was putting out feel-good stories left and right. Yes, it's stupid to focus on whatever any of the candidates did at 8 years old, but that's the crap that fills the news pages, and that's the stuff that wins elections. Nobody elected Bush because of his Social Security plan, because it didn't add up and he lied about it and the press simply found it too complicated. But hey, he gave them a nickname and had once got drunk to go "mano-a-mano" with his father, and that made him a good guy to have a beer with.

    So what do you expect the Clinton or any other campaign to do about fluff PR that's way out of whack - ignore it? McCain spent several years as a POW - while I respect and appreciate his service, it doen't have fuckall to do with being president or Senator, unless you think sitting on the Senate floor is torture - but every campaign, they wave the flags and he's such a maverick because he almost flunked out of the academy and then got shot down - and that's all that anyone knows about John McCain aside from singing "Bomb bomb Iran" - and that's all he needs. So what's a campaign to do, aside from try to deflate the irrelevant patriotism bubble somehow.

    In an ideal world, candidates will talk poverty and economic programs and serious foreign policy points, etc. In 2012, it all revolved around whether Mitt Romney put his dog on a car roof more than him gutting people's retirement as the axeman for Bain Capital.

    I guess the flame wars have begun. In what way did I imply "the bitch is evil." Wasn't it her husband that made the famous statement about it depends on what you mean "is" means. If someone writes an incriminating email and sends it to someone, who then throws the email into the garbage, we say "the detectives discovered the email in the trash dumpster."

    There you go again - the bitch dug stuff out of the dumpster this time - an Indonesian dumpster even, going back 35 years in the wayback machine. Too funny.

    Now try this - 

    Third-grade teacher Fermina Katarina Sinaga, now 67, has perhaps the most telling story. In an essay about what he wanted to be when he grew up, Obama "wrote he wanted to be president," Sinaga recalled. "He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

    Was this Chicago Trib story dug up from the trash?

    But the reality of 's narrative is not that simple.

    More than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors in his childhood homes of Hawaii and Indonesia, as well as a review of public records, show the arc of Obama's personal journey took him to places and situations far removed from the experience of most Americans.

    At the same time, several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them. Some seem to make Obama look better in the retelling, others appear to exaggerate his outward struggles over issues of race, or simply skim over some of the most painful, private moments of his life.

    40 interviews later, eh? And that was March 25, 2007. Here's how they wrote the Washington Post story on Jan 24, 2007, 2 months earlier - different grade & teacher:

    Iis Darmawan, 63, Obama's kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. "He wrote an essay titled, 'I Want To Become President,'" the teacher said.

    More Hillary oppo research? but for some reason the stories are positive, not negative - and were released as part of showing Obama didn't attend radical Muslim madrassas.  Probably another Hillary hit job. Yeah, it's going to be a wonderful trip down nostalgia lane.

    First I admitted I wrong about the dredging up thing, but the point I think is that her campaign actually tried to turn that part about wanting to be president into a negative narrative about Obama. The fact they tried to back fired on them and the blame if I remember correctly was put, by the Clinton campaign, on some young staffer.

    I would also add that Obama tried to close but Gitmo but was blocked by Congress, and one needed not a majority in the Senate but super-majority to get something just on the floor to vote. Obama has done what he can do with Executive Privilege, maybe too much if the wrong person takes his place. And as much as one can be against the wars in the Middle East, Bush turned the Taliban into a global threat, not just a local issue, and IS is truly a threat to global stability.

    Yet, and I don't know who first posted this at TPM, but I blogged it more than once regarding life after Obama was elected president.



    This is an excerpt that appeared in the New York Times:

    “There’s nothing fairy tale about his campaign,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s real, strong and he might win.”

    Mr. Clinton’s fairy-tale line and a comment by Senator Clinton that was interpreted by some as giving President Johnson more credit than the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for winning changes in civil rights laws have disturbed African-Americans who saw them as unfair and diminishing the role of civil rights activists.

    The frustration came as a Jan. 26 primary loomed in South Carolina, where up to half of the Democratic electorate could be black, followed by voting in other Southern states.

    The NYT article notes Obama's response

    It is a little frustrating for the president to _ the former president _ to continually repeat this notion that somehow I didn’t know where I stood in 2004 about the war. He keeps on giving half the quote. I was always against the war. The quote he keeps on feeding back was an interview on Meet the Press at the National Convention when Tim was asking, `Given your firm opposition to the war, what do you make of the fact that your nominee for president and vice president didn’t have that same foresight.’ And obviously I didn’t want to criticize them on the eve of their nomination. So I said, `Well, I don’t know what _ you know, I wasn’t in the Senate. I can’t say for certain what I would have done if I was there. I know that from where I stood the case was not made.’ He always leaves that out.

    The article includes statements from African-Americans supporting the Clintons. Hillary Clinton served as President Obama's Secretary of State. I think they both have gotten over 2008. In 2016, the majority of Black voters will support the Democratic nominee because the Republicans have gone crazy. 

    I'll quote the Fairy Tale segment as reported at the time (Jan 2008) and then drop out. Pull out your Rorschach Meter and find the racism.

    “It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years, and never got asked one time — not once, ‘Well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn’t know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war. And you took that speech you’re now running on off your Web site in 2004. And there’s no difference in your voting record and Hillary’s ever since.’

    “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairytale I’ve ever seen.

    I don't think it was racist. This little started because I made the point Bill was baggage on her campaign in 2008.

    In this particular case had he just said what is in the first paragraph, probably it wouldn't be a big deal (although there would have been some who would call it racist on some blog. His political mistake was using the phrase "This whole thing..." What whole thing? Was he just referring to the who Hillary voted for war? Probably. But he could have had when he had a brain fart out of frustration and the whole thing could have meant Obama's entire campaign to get the nomination and all the positive narratives around him.

    Even if he did the latter it still wasn't racist. But in politics perception is everything. How many points did he get for going on the Carson show and playing the sax? I think the "Give me a break" followed by that statement is what really did him in. And the little dust up Hillary made with comments about Johnson and King was added to it and suddenly they had a PR issue on their hands.

    The comment was attacked as racist at the time.

    Gore's sighing during a debate was a minor annoyance at the time, compared to Bush's lies about Social Security. But after the talk shows got through bashing him on this issue, "perception" or conventional beltway wisdom changed to Gore losing the debate.  The press could have focused on the policy fallout of underfunded Social Security, but instead chose to react in horror to personal mannerisms. Bush of course would act like an asshole, but call someone by an affectionate nickname afterwards like "fart blossom" and life was then rosy again.

    I wrote in the blog that politics is a brutal game, and in presidential race part of that brutality is dealing with a [insert derogatory adjective] media, or should I say MSM. Both Clintons knew this and seemed to be bumbling about against the lean, mean fighting machine that was Obama's team.

    Bumbling along - lessee, like trying to win in Michigan & Florida despite the efforts to disqualiy?

    Like going for the tainted white vote instead of the vaunted black vote?

    Like the "fairy tale" comment we already discussed?

    Both Clinton and Obama did their share of bumbling, but it's also easy to backseat a campaign that could have turned out quite differently had a few pins fallen the other way, such as Michigan and Florida's votes counting. Sarajevo was a big unforced error, while Solis-Doyle was a legacy mistake especially but not only budgeting & as Kos notes was emblematic of other internal problems, and without doubt Clinton learned a whole lot the 2nd half of the campaign, and Obama was a bit lucky the campaign didn't last longer. Axelrod took a lot of his techniques from Mark Penn, but likely Penn could have been a better data vizier. The Obama team did a better job counting actual delegates vs. just winning the popular vote (e.g. caucuses vs primaries), but I can imagine the outrage if Hillary had won on delegates and lost the popular vote - i.e. there are Clinton rules that don't apply to anyone else.

    I am not fearful of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She is her own person and this is not the 1990's. The country has moved on and now knows the conservative economical ideology is a failure. She saw first hand the mistakes that was made in the current administration. 

    Bernie is a breath of fresh air that this country needs to remind us that it is ok to take care of each other.  It is ok to let the middle east take care of their own fights. and it is ok not to worship at the alter of capitalism. I want him in the primary as long as possible to keep that message out there.  He may even prove that we don't need corporations to finance a good campaign. I don't underestimate him as a serious player in this election. 

    I am hoping this all spills over into the down ballot races in this country. 


    Both Hillary and sanders serve as reminders of what Republicans have in store for us. There is very little difference between the viable Republican candidates views on handouts to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class. There is little difference in the ideology of voter suppression or waging war, The viable Republican candidates march in lockstep on a Conservative view of Christianity. If the challenge to Obamacare is upheld by the Conservatives on the Supreme Court, there is even more reason for Democrats to show up on Election Day.

    Well when these kind of videos are out there, the Republicans know they're going to be in serious trouble, especially because their primaries are dominated by the extreme right voters and they have to make statements to pander to them that will come back to haunt them in the general. And this Extra tv show, not MSNBC or some more obscure lefty outlet!





    Some of the actions taken by Republican governors probably are not setting well with the moderates, As Nixon basically said, tilt right in the primaries and then toward the center in the general. The moderate and independents (who lean up and down the political spectrum) are the group both parties will be courting. And the Right knows that whoever gets the Republican nomination will scare the bezeeus out of those who tilt just a little bit left that they'll come out to vote. Since people tend to vote for the same party down the line this will surely impact the state and local elections. I say "tend to" because in the Indiana county I lived in swung to Obama, but the re-elected, now Governor, Mike Pence.

    "The country has moved on and now knows the conservative economical ideology is a failure."  If your evidence for this statement is the currently stalled push to pass the TPP, on which Hillary refuses to take a position, I'd say it's pretty weak.

    "She [Hillary] saw first hand the mistakes that was made in the current administration."  The two "mistakes" Hillary has identified are Obama's 1) refusal to send troops to help defeat Assad and 2) allegedly too abrupt withdrawal from Iraq. 

    Given this record It's hard to be optimistic about her as a President.

    LOL...I know you don't like her. TPP will probably be dead in the water by the time the next president takes office.  I am smart enough to know if she is the nominated that I better vote for her because the Republican idiot that might get elected (because I didn't vote for her) will be sure to jump right into the middle east with bombs and troops.  Also the that idiot will give away all our manufacturing in some trade deal and let the corporations do what ever they want internationally which won't be pretty. So...I am glad she and Bernie Sanders is running.  I also like the rest of the bench. I am thrilled that they are drawing big crowds. 

    What we need to worry about is the Senate and the House.  Down ticket is were Koch and the assorted money bags are going to buy the election.  They know they have lost the Whitehouse but wants to render the next Democratic President null and void.

    So true. As I mentioned somewhere else in 2008 my Indiana district voted for Obama and near-evil Mike Pence as Congressional representative (talk about cognitive dissonance), who now is Governor of Indiana. We need to rally the troops especially in the purple districts, especially after all gerrymandering.

    I will have to watch the video sometime soon when I can give it undivided attention.

    I just ran across this.  I guess Reince Priebus just said this last week on Laura Ingraham radio show. I don't know if this is fear mongering or if he sees the writing on the wall. GOP has some big in house problems. I just pointed out some up thread.


    The kicker is that there was a banner ad after the video: "Should the GOP fight Obama on gun control?" Like what has he done to curtail guns (and bullets)? Nothing as far as I know. Some states have tighten down on the sale of guns to make it harder for criminals and mentally unstable to build up an arsenal. If he has can someone let me know. Just more fear mongering.

    But the Republicans I think do see this as a do or die situation. Eventually GOP congress people are going to break ranks. And I noticed he said we can't lose the White House for 16 years, not 12. That says to me he assumes, whatever Dem gets in is going to get re-elected in 2020. (Wow I'm old enough to remember when we thought by 2020 there would be space colonies). Or was it just more fear mongering?

    [I've got to start really proof reading my posts before I post.]

    Actually it is a do or die situation.  Mostly they are dying into a minor roll. History is now on the progressive/liberal Democratic side.  A 40 year run is all you get in this country do to generational changes. We are transiting into our 7th political realignment.  RNC has no teeth at the present and it shows. 

    This is why the Kochs are sending Americans For Progress to states in an effort to bankroll the crazies at state levels to keep their ideology going. AFP has been passing out money like candy in this state and was able to kill Medicaid in the lower chamber.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out because it is not economically sustainable in this state. 

    The Republicans are winning. They've got the Supreme Court and most of the judicial branch, and they've conquered most of the legislatures over the last 2 decades. And of course they have both houses of Congress. If history gets any more on our side we'll be extinct.

    The makeup of SCOTUS can flip with another two-term Democratic President.

    A Democratic Senate in 2016 is within reach


    The.House will remain Republican.

    I was speaking in broad historical terms. The GOP knows their base is shrinking. 

    Okay that was pretty hilarious, esp the PowerPoint presentation. I guess we can do the same with non-Independent Socialist districts. I have completely forgot about the whole super-delegate issue. Or should I say war? Obama's nomination squashed by non-democratic means. Oh, the outrage directed toward the (white) belt-way insiders! In fact, I can't remember when I saw the acronym MSM. By now it just an understood fact that MSM is conservative, just not as conservative as Fox News.

    Yeah, these things contain so many inside jokes and references to long-forgotten current events that even I can't follow them easily. Too bad all the TPM comments are lost.

    I may have an archive if anyone cares. Did a dump at one point, but may have been lost in a disk crash. Let me know & I'll give a look.

    Of course some people might use that to smear some person as a flip flopper: "But in 2008 you wrote...." and pushing the whole thread off track

    I took the question mark off the title since we already have someone stating "Yeah, the bitch is evil..." I have a feeling this is going to get nasty. All the rage against government from local to national is going to get projected on both the primaries and the general elections.

    From the Washington Post:

    In 2010, then-Secretary Clinton's financial disclosures revealed a net worth totaling between roughly $10 and $50 million. In 2012, the last year for which she disclosed finances, Clinton's net worth was estimated to be between $5 million and $25 million.

    Clinton deflected a question about her net worth during an interview with Fusion's Jorge Ramos that aired Tuesday night. Asked if she knew the figure, Clinton replied, "Within a range, yeah. I mean, we have two very nice houses, which we're very proud of and not selling anytime soon." When Ramos asked if it was millions, she said, "Yes indeed."

    Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders' net worth according Ballotpedia was in 2012 $460,506.

    So when it comes to asking who is more likely to take on the uber rich it is going to be more tough for Clinton to say she is going to go after the economic class she belongs to. Don't get me wrong, most Americans can only dream of having a net worth close to a half million.But there is a difference between 6 figures and 7 figures net worth. I would compare it to a household making 70K (with health benefits) mingling with a household that made 30K( with little or no health benefits). Their view of world, especially through the economic perspective is vastly different.

    In other words, compared to 2008, this primary season may turn out to be a class war.

    I have a feeling this is going to get nasty.

    Nah, the animosity of 07-08 was not driven Hillary Clinton's likability (or lack thereof). It was the result of several factors that aren't present in 15-16.

    1) It was a very tight, very long race. Ordinarily, primary voters tend to coalesce around a frontrunner, and the hostility dissolves. In '08, that didn't happen until very late in the game.

    2) Democrats were in the pole position. With congressional dominance, a strong Democratic field, and weak opponents, we had a historic opportunity to win big and pass landmark legislation, so there was a lot riding on the winner. Now we're more desperate just to block the Republicans from eviscerating the state.

    3) Race. Race is still the most explosive issue in the country, way more than gender, and class barely registers on the scale. Call someone classist or elitist, and they'll look at you funny. Call someone sexist, and they'll be indignant. Call someone racist, and a major flamewar ensues.  (Anyway, Clinton and Sanders don't come from such different classes. Their policies differ, but identity is far more combustible than policy. Clinton and Obama did not have different race policies. They had different races.)

    Other factors that helped Obama were: 1) Clinton's poorly explained and tardily repudiated vote to give W the authority to use force against Iraq. 2) Clinton's misrememberance of her landing in Kosovo.  3) Clinton's slightly more conservative views on several other issues.

    The political campaigns and how people respond is fascinating (and depressing). I think the whole Kosovo thing did more than almost anything else to bring her just behind Obama in getting the nomination. Nothing about race or gender in the story.

    Actually Hillary won the vote in the primary. Axelrod is a genius at manipulation equal to Karl Rove and with the same ethiccal standards. Not only do I blame him for most of the viciousness of the campaign but he also looked at the rules and figured out how to game the system to win while getting less of the votes. It was another Gore v Bush moment.

    Pulling out the "sexist card" is almost as bad. Her supporters pulled that card a lot. This time around it may not be so bad, but I remember someone mentioning there were nut crackers out there made in her image. Call someone sexist is just a notch below calling the sexist, esp if that other person considers him or herself a liberal.

    And I would say thT while race is more "explosive" than gender, gender like race is a big issue to a lot of people from abortion rights to equal pay to childcare (the single parents tends to be female).

    A core facet of Sanders' campaign rhetoric is about going after corporation and the very wealthy. Clinton, given her wealth and involvement with corporations (which has generated some of her wealth), is going to have a harder time sounding sincere. And then someone on a thread she isn't sincere and then someone else calls that person a sexist and then...

    The big issue that 2007/2008 didn't have was a nomination campaign like the 2007/2008 lurking in the background, with one of the participants running again. As I implied, all we will have until Feb. 1 is polls and pundits and people on blogs. I personally think there are a lot Clinton supporters who have a severe bitterness that is just beneath the surface. If the polls start showing Sanders as having momentum, it's going to be a long seven and half months.

    The "bitterness" from my perspective is the absurdity of most of these points. John Edwards, a rich trial lawyer, ran his campaign based on "poverty", and then when his campaign self-destructed in 2008 (2007?) due to infidelities, he rolled up his poverty PAC and that was it. Few complained about Edwards' wealth in 2004 or 2008. Few complained about Kerry and Edwards and Lieberman voting for Iraq AUMF, but somehow it was a tragic flaw in Hillary. Few people bother to compare corporate donations to Obama and Hillary, but just seemed to assume that Obama was a less corporate candidate. I don't recall so much horror about Ted Kennedy running as a "Dynasty" brother as there was for Hillary as a spouse, nor Sargent Shriver as VP. (when Sonny Bono's spouse took his seat, I think people thought that a fitting thing). The Bayhs seemed to have a good 1-2 punch, as did the Jerry Browns.

    Howard Dean - who launched the first really successful internet/social media campaign - was also quite outspoken about the war, but he got knocked out for buggering a 13-year-old  stealing several million from his campaign coffers  promoting the stupidest environmental policy ever  yelling "aarrggghhh" at the end of a rousing defeat-but-let's-regroup campaign speech that CNN then pumped up  during replays to be more embarrassing.

    I am simply unconcerned that we're going to face a substantive campaign season based on real issues. There's a bigger chance I'll be attacked by vampire penguins on roller skates.

    Vampire penguins on roller skates are a huge problem where I live when you're trying drive at night down a two-lane highway. They might have roller skates but they're as stupid as deer and just stand there caught in the headlights.

    The one intriguing part will be if Sanders does become a true legitimate contender in MSM eyes and how they deal with the "Socialism" issue.

    If you are looking for a pure campaign where only issues are discussed, you can give up now. John McCain faced a whisper campaign suggesting that he fathered a black child. Smear campaigns are a feature of politics, not a bug. Smears have always been around. The media reports the smears and rarely provides detailed analysis to refute the smear. At the end of the torturous political campaign, voters choose the person they trust the most. No candidate can accomplish everything that they lay out as goals during the campaign or stated in the party platform. You pick the candidate you think is most likely to do the right thing. The smear nonsense and horse-race mentality presented by the MSM is not going to change.

    Bad, good, whatever, I'm not making judgments. I'm just saying that race is the most divisive issue in American politics (and has been since the nation's founding). We never fought a civil war over women's rights or lynched female activists. Gender conflict has never incited violent riots or even large-scale civil disobedience.

    In other words, my point is not that racism is more heinous than sexism. It's that race is more combustible.

    I totally agree with what you said, but (there's always a "but") the struggle for women's right to vote to the movement in 70s, it has been quite the divisive and at time combustible. I think the tv show Mad Men was so popular because there are a lot of people (which includes some women) that want to return to the days when (white) men were the ones in charge and (white) women (or "the girls") were their secretaries. I saw this even in younger generations that were born decades later. This has to do with the confusing roles and lines when comes to the interaction between the genders. Right now an issue that is getting some media light is problem of rape on college campuses (they're more important than the women who work hourly wage jobs).

    There was never a burning of Watts over women nor a million woman march nor female MLK/Malcolm X killed or dobermans sicced on marching women. Michael wins hands down.

    I said it was a notch down from racism. But how many black men are raped? How many black men are victims of domestic violence? There's a reason there's a legal defense of battered wife syndrome. So the violence happens behind closed doors or in parking lots that means we don't count that?

    What can't you get from Michael's comment? Large-scale mistreatment of women has still not prompted large-scale protest, much less massive destructive riots - unless you want to count Lysistrata.  We get outraged (these days) with racism - we more or less accept sexism.

    First lets look at what Michael said [emphasis mine]

    3) Race. Race is still the most explosive issue in the country, way more than gender, and class barely registers on the scale. Call someone classist or elitist, and they'll look at you funny. Call someone sexist, and they'll be indignant. Call someone racist, and a major flamewar ensues.  (Anyway, Clinton and Sanders don't come from such different classes. Their policies differ, but identity is far more combustible than policy. Clinton and Obama did not have different race policies. They had different races.)

    I guess I took explosive figuratively and you took it literally. You and others might accept sexism, but other including myself (and I'm a male) don't accept it. It was one of reasons, if not the main, for intensity of support  for Clinton; and by that I mean there's outrage about sexism. Clinton mentioned the glass ceiling when Obama won the nomination.

    So I guess I can now start calling you a "sexist pig." Do you have all the Mad Men  on DVD?

    And I would disagree that calling me sexist is less of slam than calling me racist. Or homophobic etc.

    Yes, you accept it. You're not doing anything Herculean to combat it (nor am I), and it's in the background, and women will still be clutching their keys and holding onto their pepper spray crossing a dark parking lot 100 years from now., or dealing with the same immature boys club exclusion in the work place. Expect maybe a 5% improvement. Meanwhile, racism is outed as unacceptable, and we have national dialogs on race. Jokes about ethnicity are off the table in any polite society. Sexual and sexist jokes are the core part of the kit.

    Try this, and imagine it happening in a racial context:

    QuoTW This week, the science world was shocked to its dorky core after one of its own attempted to tell a joke. In public.

    Step forward Sir Tim Hunt and hang your head in shame.

    The Nobel Laureate, who has been a Fellow of the Royal Society for nearly 25 years, royally cocked up a speech to a group of senior female boffins at a conference in South Korea, where he uttered the nowinfamous remarks:

    Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.

    It got worse for Hunt as his brand of humour failed to entertain the gathered crowd, some of whom tweeted the sorry affair. After his sexist anecdotes fell flat on the audience, Hunt added that he was "in favour of single-sex labs".

    Hunt resigned as a result of his sexist statements. Wouldn't we have the same if he made a racist statement? When you tell an edgy joke, you have to hope the audience is going to laugh along with you. Hunt had a free speech right to tell a joke. The audience had a free speech right to be truly offended. (See Don Imus).

    Remind me to tell you the one about the 3 kinds of Negroes. I'm sure you'll break out in stitches. Of course it's not quite the same as telling it at an academic conference, but I'm sure you can compensate.

    The great thing about the post Civil rights era, is tha I don't have to compensate. i can voice my objection. In thee good old days, a guy could show up in blackface and sing "Mammy". We can now have discussions about whether is 'black enough". We can argue if Tom Hank's son can say "nigger" or if Rachel Donazel has performed as a black leader. We can object to jokes considered sexist or racist.. Before white guys set the rules. They got to ridicule other ethnic groups and women. Times have changed. Andrew Dice Clay's style of comedy fell by the wayside.

    The only thing different is he was at a conference, and lately even geeks have had to clean up their sexist framing at the podium and they even have explicit rules. Back at the Institute? Not so much.

    The backlash to the joke is part and parcel of a movement. Chauvinists are going to have a harder time. A reviewer for a respected journal was removed after advising that two female scientists find a male co-author to make their paper more acceptable. The letter suggesting the male author addition was publicized and the journal ousted the chauvinist. Change is coming. The Nobel Prize winner is on the losing side in this battle.


    I don't think anyone would consider, "Let me tell you about my trouble with black people" to be an "edgy" joke, especially if he used a more derogatory term than black people.

    Agreed. The statements were offensive and the backlash was appropriate.

    Trope, I think you're missing the point. It's not the violence per se, it's the psychology. Americans across the political spectrum have a hair trigger when it comes to race. So when a white cop beats a black man on camera, it can easily lead to marches and riots across the country. When a husband beats his wife on camera, you will probably only know about it if he's a celebrity, and even then, there will be only verbal outrage, not riots. Or consider the movie Entourage. People complained that it's sexist, and I don't doubt that it is. But imagine if it were racist instead. There would be a national boycott. Another telling example: I didn't hear anyone accuse Eric Casebolt of sexism when he pushed a young woman's face into the dirt. Race trumps gender every time.

    To bring it back to context, Bill Clinton's vague "fairy tale" remark infuriated Obama supporters because of America's hair trigger on race. And the accusation that Bill was playing "the race card" infuriated Hillary supporters because of America's hair trigger on race. Flame war ensues.

    Compare that controversy to Sanders' rape fantasy, which was much more explicit than Bill's fairy tale remark. Ho hum, we've already moved on. But imagine if Sanders were running against a black candidate and had written something that seemed to glorify lynching.

    Of course, sexist remarks can and do spur outrage, but they have to be far more egregious to elicit a commensurate reaction because we don't have the same hair trigger when it comes to gender. It's not a "notch" down, it's a different league.

    Where do you see the riots? In Iowa? Nevada? Don't they have black people. I'm sure if we had neighbor hoods in that were 95% and composed of women who make minimum wage or just a little better, you'd see some riots.

    I agree that in this country racism is more of a hair trigger around race. Yet I don't think the internal outrage in individuals is in "different league."  Just because they don't riot means it's in a "different league" There is a glass ceiling and there is a wage discrepancy. You're a single mom trying to make ends meet in a patriarchy. How do you begin to approach taking that on. And how effective are the riots? They just increase the racism in racists.

    There are times when a woman who is white has more privileges than either a black woman or a black man. But how do you measure oppression? Daycare costs are outrageous.

    What I'm really saying is that the non-acceptance" of sexism is going to come out swinging this time. They don't have to worry about being called racists.

    And watching NFL games, how many time did I see that commercial "No More" [domestic violence]. In this country I can't think of a parallel to racism. But world soccer [football] they have had a no racist campaign.

    The riots are not about effective politics. They are expressions of rage. The lynch mobs were also expressions of rage but on the other side. So is the race-driven right-wing hatred of Obama.

    It's the rage that sets race apart from gender and class. Yes, there are angry feminists and angry misogynists, angry workers and angry capitalists, but that rage has never approached the depth or breadth or social impact of race-rage in America.

    Ex-presidents make millions, all of them. The first thing Obama will do after he leaves the White House is write his memoirs and he'll get at least as many millions for it as Bill and Hillary did. Then he'll start doing speeches for pay. He'll get more than Reagan got or Dubya gets and the millions they got are not trivial. He'll get as much or more than either Clinton.

    Ah, the Obama/Clinton wars.  The funniest part, in retrospect, is how little distance there was between the two candidates.  In the end, Hillary served ably as his Secretary of State because the two of them agreed on just about everything other than who should be president.  The Hillary/Obama schism melted away for the same reason.  There wasn't all that much left to argue about.

    If Bernie's name is on the New York primary ballot, I am going to vote for him.  But there's no animosity in that decision.  I think a vote for Bernie is a message worth sending to party leaders who might want to pivot back towards the Third Way.  I'll gladly vote for Hillary in the general.

    I'm the same way, vote for Sanders in Washington state, but will be a hardcore supporter for Clinton in the general.

    I do have bring up the most funny thing from that whole time period. I think it during the general election and John Steward on the Daily Show threw up a graph of the responses on a poll about Obama's religion. And as Stewart point out, it was either 1% or 2% who said he was Jewish. Probably some of them were just yanking the chain of the pollsters, but, seriously where did some of these pick up the"He's one of those Jews" meme? Like Stewart I really wanted to talk to these people.

    I think it's unfair to just say she agreed just because she served without fighting. She's a team player, something many people couldn't anticipate. I'm still conflicted on where she actually agreed with Obama's tack and where she differed, but I would guess that the differences start much earlier in the game, not "how many troops should we send?" details.

    If she were to design her own policy without limitations of a boss, I'd guess it would look significantly different. Note the word "guess".

    I think you're right about it being significantly different, exactly how I don't know and we'll never know because the global landscape (and American perceptions of it) in 2017 will be completely different than it was in 2009.

    On foreign policy, it seems to me that Obama depended on a lot of former Clinton hands (and, what other Democrats had the experience, particularly when he was starting?) It seems to me that they shared an approach (nuanced application of Responsibility to Protect) and were able to work together.

    On domestic policy, the differences between them were really hard to find. That's why, at a certain point when Hillary seemed to have no path to the nomination I found it really easy to throw in the towel.  "Oh, you guys want that left of center moderate instead of this one?  Okay..."

    I remember one reporter standing outside the building where he had his first security briefing after he was elected, and the reporter, rightly or wrongly, said Obama looked visibly shaken as he left.

    I am going to vote the same way.  I want to send a message that we need to get rid of Citizens United and many of us will support someone that is not beholding to the corporations and lobby. I also want the Democratic Party to stay on the left and this is a good way to add a little fear to them by voting for Bernie in the primary. It is like having a chance to hammer a nail into the conservatives' coffin. I know if Bernie does well and takes a big bite out of Hillary's base here in Florida, that it will shake up the old conservadem party that we have running elections for the Democrats.  He don't have to win but give Hillary only a small margin. Maybe they will stop supporting right of center candidates that can't win in South Florida in midterms.  I am not the only one here in Florida thinking that. 

    The people surrounding and supporting Bernie just may the left's version of the Tea Party which had its biggest impact on the primaries, which is why so many of the Establishment Republicans starting talking gibberish.

    I would add one bit gasoline that will be poured into the fire: The lefties who are bitterly disappointed with who President Obama turned out to be and see Sanders as the one who will take us to the mountain top. The person standing in his way right now is Clinton, who I believe called a "corporate puppet" by the Berniebots. Eventually a few of the more crass ones (even sexist) will call her a "corporate whore." And the flames get higher.

    And while we're at it, I just received an email from Bernie:

    One of the biggest mistakes President Obama made once he was in office was, after mobilizing millions of Americans during his brilliant 2008 campaign, to basically tell those supporters, 'Thank you, I’m going to sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and take it from here.’

    I will not make that mistake.

    So he's slamming Obama. Does that make him a racist? Vermont is 95.2% white, and you can't get any whiter than Bernie. So he's disparaging a black man and standing in the way of a woman to break that glass ceiling.

    Yes, but Bernie doesn't have a slammy demeanor.  He's like a socialist Warren Buffett.

    I agree. I was trying to be sarcastic. I remember one woman at woman at my community college who said in class she liked Reagan because he reminded her of her grandfather. It was fascinating watching the professor try to let the outrage go and calmly respond to her, implicitly telling her she was an idiot.

    Sanders looks like a harmless old man, probably a math or classic literature professor. Then he starts talking like a populist and I think just chuck the whole "socialism" thing out the window.

    Say what you want about classism being an issue, but this is not going to help Hillary [emphasis mine]. From The Hill

    Hillary Clinton
    Bill and Hillary Clinton earned about $30 million over the last 16 months, according to financial disclosures filed with election officials in May.
    The bulk of the Clintons’ income came from speaking fees, many of which came at more than $200,000 a pop. The Clintons earned $5 million from Hillary’s Hard Choices book deal, and forms also note a bank account that contains between $5 million and $25 million.
    Bill Clinton has been under pressure to stop giving paid speeches while his wife runs for president to avoid the appearance of impropriety. He has said if his wife is elected president, he’ll most likely

    Bernie Sanders
    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) had a minimum net worth of $175,786 in 2014, according to personal financial forms filed with the Senate.
    In addition to that wealth, Sanders earns $174,000 a year as a senator.
    He donated the speaking fees he accumulated last year, totaling less than $2,000, to charity.

    Sanders is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

    But Obama's 2 book deals at what, $5mill?, were A-OK along with Michelle's sudden VP bonus. Our 2004 nominee was married to the Heinz fortune with his trial lawyer VP, and our 2000 nominee was a dynasty kid (son of a senator) whos now worth some $200 mill. Now we're going to play the poverty game with the Clintons again. Tell me how poor Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are, or the Kennedys, along with Soros who backed much of the progressive initiatives over the last 2 decades. But I guess the new black is Elizabeth Warren. Y'all keep searching for your poster child impoverished voice of the people - I'll just sit here and eat some nuts.

    The difference between the Clintons and all the rest is that they've been dealing damage control on where they're money is going, how they made their back to Bill's day. Already there has been a spotlight shown on their money trail. If Clinton hems and haws now when asked what her truth worth is, each time people will be more and more convinced she and Bill are trying to hide shenanigans. The little yahoo digest of news that I get over my phone has even brought it up in one of their featured headlines. Heinz had a lot of money, but people didn't perceive them as being crooked. Perception is everything.

    Remember, too, this is going to be a more populist primary - the war and Bush dominated the 2008, people figured once the economy got back on track they'd go back to making what they making and have all these benefits, now they're experiencing the reality of the new normal.

    Both Sanders and Clinton are rich, but if her net worth and income is closer $25 million that puts her in "another league." Sanders can paint her as corporate puppet pandering to the unwashed masses.

    At the end of the day, Hillary will get about 40-45% of the white vote. Black voters will go for Hillary or any other Democratic nominee at the 90% or above level. The bulk of Latinos will go for the Democrat. Republicans have angered Blacks and Hispanics and will pay at the polls. The Presidential electoral map favors the Democrats.

    Totally agree. And regarding the first part about white voter percentage that would be mean it's close race and anything like she's hiding some financial dealing is going to take her down a notch in the view of the voters in the primaries.

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