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The Candidate on the Edge of Forever

vastleft's picture

I see that Driftglass has just used the title above in the subheading of a recent Hillary-bashing post (which — with no apparent irony — describes Hillary on the wrong end of this transaction: "And where there is no villain, one must be created, and imbued with motives sinister enough and powers wicked enough to explain why the hero is losing," a phrase which could scarcely better capture The Unityville Express, circa post-NH primary).

For me, this title invokes a nightmare. And here's why....

Call me a liar, because after all, I am a Hillary supporter, but I've had a draft post titled "Candidate on the Edge of Forever" kicking around for over a month now, one of several items I've left unpublished while trying in vain to extricate myself from this FSM-forsaken primary.

For those who don't remember "City," it's one of the most famous first-gen "Star Trek" episodes.

In it, Captain Kirk falls in love with a pacifist woman in the 1930s. In the timeline that we all live in, she is hit by a car and dies. In the timeline where Kirk intervenes to save her, she convinces America to delay its entry into WWII... and the Nazis win. (Harlan Ellison-fan prophylactic: he was most unhappy with the script revisions, but that's a rough synopsis of the episode as shot, IIRC).

This narrative calls to mind the devastating inaptness of running on a "post-partisanship" frame at a time when the disastrous Reagan Revolution, a movement that has cost us so incredibly much was finally beginning to be repudiated.

In the abstract, a farewell to "partisan bickering" sounds just lovely. But how anyone who's been blogging against Bush these many years doesn't feel sick to his or her stomach while listening to a candidate spew pretty, disempowering lies about the causes of America's current decay is just beyond me.

Yes, I know that Hillary, too, is a centrist who prides herself on "reaching across the aisle." It's why she was not my first choice in this campaign. But when she speaks, she speaks with pride of FDR's party, while Obama so often defers to the other party's "ideas."

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I've been thinking about, but haven't quite been able to write in a way that I want. It has to do with bigger issues about the Democratic Party and what does it mean if a party embraces the talking points and framing used against it. Because an Obama victory won't be one propelled by the people, he won't win by running the primary table as party leaders look on. If he's the nominee, it'll be because party leaders - that's what SDs are - chose him.

So what does it mean for a party if it has two candidates with roughly the same level of support and goes with the one who actively uses the last 20 years of opposition talking points against it. What kind of Democratic party goes with the guy who praises Republican deregulation, lectures pro-choice forces on the morality as expressed by the forced birth zealots and claims to want to return to the foreign policy of Nixon and Reagan?

It seems to me that, on some level, it's the ultimate embrace of the media by the Democratic party. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And then, of course, hope that the same media points out all the failings of McCain in November. But would the media, who've you just said is right about everything, now say it's been wrong about McCain?

Aside from the effectiveness of such a strategy, what does it mean in historic terms. I do think this election is important in terms of the political history of this country. Going in, I had presumed the important part was November because the democratic candidates were all so much alike. But now I think that may be wrong. November is still important, but maybe it isn't just November. Not to sound too dramatic about it, but perhaps this is the last temptation of the Democratic Party. Having caved on so many things these past several years, do Democrats cave on their own identity, too?

I keep going back to that term CD used the other day for Paul - resistance historian. Perhaps what we're seeing is a confrontation of histories. I know sometimes I feel as though I've lived in a different world the last 20 years than what I see reported and discussed. This entire campaign has been that same experienced, distilled. Only this time the ones creating their own reality are the folks I used to rely on to help me see my own.

Seeing it this way, the battle isn't between Universal Healthcare and not. Or between economic classes. It's between those of us who think it's important to continue to see history a certain way, to maintain a record of what we believe is the truth, and those who have decided to move on. And that's why there's so much bitterness. It's not just that we're being asked to support a candidate we may not like, it's that we're being asked to sign on to a "truth" about the last 20 years that we believe is false.

And at the edges of my thoughts are some ideas about a culture sick with misogyny. Some breakdown in male identity that I can't quite yet describe but that's mixed into the idea of being willing to accept alternate history if it mean you can be seen as a winner or at least not a loser.

Again, I'm still trying to figure out how it ties together in my own mind but I can't shake the feeling that something is going on that relates to resistance history, maleness (or more accurately the fucked up cultural ideas around maleness) and the decline and perhaps fall of the Democratic Party over the past 20 years.

I don't know, it's stll very amorphous. But I can't shake the feeling that something big and important is happening in this election, even if I'm not sure what it is or what it means. Or maybe I'm suffering from delusions of grandeur and this is nothing but a hiccup on this country's long decline into corporatism and there isn't really much at stake at all. The difference between all of the candidates, even McCain, an illusion.

I like your reference to The City, VL. Because that's the feeling I get. That what happens will matter in ways we don't yet understand.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It is simply mindboggling to me that this hopey hokum is so magical that the likes of George Lakoff have repudiated everything they ever knew and said about framing.

I'm just so old-school. I think encouraging the public to have accurate and constructive ideas about government is important, whereas encouraging them to slide back into the destructive lies that have done them wrong is to be avoided.

What a dope and h8r I am to feel that way!

Submitted by lambert on

Anybody who's pushing that one is FITH. And that includes most of the press, and with varying degrees of tactfulness, a lot of the A list, along with everybody in the fever swamps. And who's calling bullshit? About the same number of people who called bullshit on Iraq, I would say. Who could fall for it? Yet many seem eager to sign onto it. There are times when I think that Anglachel's riff on The Precious is not exaggeration at all, but sober truth.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

See >Here. FITH....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

See Here. FITH....

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by gob on

because we have two utterly different candidacies here:

Clinton supporters want to hire someone to do a job.

Obama supporters want to anoint him for a sacred role. Only he can fill that role, because of his simultaneous whiteness and blackness, which makes him indeed Precious. When something is uniquely precious, it's possible to be both hypersensitive to any possible threat of losing it, and willing to trump up charges against any enemies.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

It's not old-school or an illusion. Obama's attempt to form a new coalition, new network and usurp all voices into one, his own, is a clear manifestation of two goals. The first is clear, start from new and ignore the old. This is evident in throwing out the FDR coalition and putting in a "new coalition." And the claim that the young are with him implying that the old are with Hillary.

As any previous attempt to cancel history, this one as well will end up badly for the people.

The second goal is an sort of an authoritarian Obama administration/regime where there is a single voice, its supporters are goons (in this case educated ones) and a promise of nirvana (hope and change).

History is littered with Obamas who cause nothing but devastation, death and misery.

Submitted by lambert on

That would put Obama about on a par with Napoleon III. Which is about right, seems to me.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

The second goal is an sort of an authoritarian Obama administration/regime where there is a single voice, its supporters are goons (in this case educated ones) and a promise of nirvana (hope and change).

more and more I have been thinking of this. Post-partisan unity means we all agree with Obama.

but this too is typical of revolutions, though more Thermidor than revolution.

Submitted by lambert on

That was the overthrow of Constitutional government and the rule of law.

And if my thesis that Obama will govern from the center right is true -- even more influence from the Blue Dogs, and lots from former Republicans, and Tom Daschle defining how far left it's OK to go -- that would make the Obama administration Thermidor.

The prediction would be that Obama will be about consolidating and rationalizing the new powers of the executive that were seized by Bush. More Shock Doctrine.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

In addition to my other musings, I've been trying to figure out the source of it all. The source of the anger and the hysteria that seems to have engulfed previously reasonable people (and admittedly some who were not ever so). Why is it suddenly so imperative that Hillary Clinton be destroyed? From where spews such hatred?

I don't think it can just be about taking over the mechanisms of the party. Sure, that explains some of it, but it doesn't explain the depth and breadth of the hysteria. Obama has tapped into it, deliberately or not I'm not sure, but he's tapped into it nevertheless - some sort of deep-seated anger. But the target of that anger - Hillary Clinton - is so mainstream, so ordinary as to make very little rational sense.

And the people who are so angry are the ones who have the least to be angry about. Sure, all Americans have a reason to be angry, but the privileged white men - whether it be Olbermann or some Blogger Boi - have the least to complain about as things go. They have good jobs and access to power. Maybe not as much as they want, but compared to others they have relatively little to complain about. And what they do have to complain about is not any more Hillary Clinton's fault than it is any other political leader. It's, in fact, less than many other Democrats given that she opposed the Military Commissions Act, was not one of the gang of 14, etc.

Which is why I keep getting back to something larger happening here and not quite being able to see it. It's like seeing pieces of a mosaic but not being able to stand far enough back to see the whole picture.

It's tied in some deep way to misogyny, but it isn't just about that. Perhaps Anglachel was right all those weeks ago and it is the equivalent of an honor killing. With the idea being that some Democrats need to be "winners" and the media narrative deprives them of this time and again and so they have decided to adopt the narrative that makes them a winner. That, in turn, makes the other Democrats the perennial losers (the old generation, not the new one), the wimps that the SCLM have spewed about for the last 20 years. Turns out the SCLM was right, but that doesn't matter because it was right about them and not about us. This is where the movement idea is so critical - you're either in the movement or you're not, it establishes the us/them dynamic.

Now, tie it in to the point about post-partisanship really being about agreeing with Obama and, by extension, his supporters. This is why it's not enough simply to win, they must also be recognized as having been right. Because that's what Obama is promising them - that their intelligence and judgement will be vindicated as having been right all along. They are not losers. They are smart and they are right and they win.

Or something. Like I said, I still can't quite pull together what I'm trying to say. But there's a connection between the old men of the FLDS and their grasps for power and control and the emerging Obama movement.* Not literally, but culturally.

* NOTE - Obama movement does not necessarily mean Obama himself. What's going on in the culture is bigger than one person.

Submitted by lambert on

... and deserves its own post. SOON, while it can make a difference, eh?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Who owns us, now? The Chinese, Arabs, various international lenders, all cultures who keep their women bound by forced abortions, forced births, forced work, forced sex, forced enclosures. People who have been patient with us as we tried to get past our feminist movement, all the while giving us goods that we didn't have the money for. Now the bill is due. The price to pay is the destruction of feminism.

The fastest way to do this? Normalize women and girls as permanent sex objects. Make toddler clothes with SLUT on them; kindergarten padded bras; push our tackiness back on us, until we don't recognize what we design and what we accept as design from others.

Next, keep the pressure on regarding child pornography. Traffic in one's own children as much as you like (child camel jockeys, anyone?), and allow US sex tourists to flourish, but don't let any politician paid with your cash to attack the root causes of it: Allowing US companies to buy goods from countries that don't give a damn about its women and children, thus building men who naturally exploit anyone they can. Hatred keeps profits up.

Lastly, use the media you own or influence to attack the strongest symbols of feminism in the culture. First, Hillary; then all those bitches who are depriving boys of college educations, by testing better and being accepted in larger proportions. (You thought Girls Gone Wild had no social purpose? A drunk girl is a stupid girl, and making drunkenness a college requirement lowers the playing field to boys' levels.)

Then up the stakes for women in media, until the Sex and the City movie, instead of being marketed as a female blockbuster, gets derided in the gossip columns because of one bad premiere viewing, until movie execs can say openly how their studios won't make movies with female leads, because they don't open strong.

There's a reason the Taliban came back; there's a reason Iraq became a Taliban-like environment for women; there's a reason why buses don't run well at night, and women are encouraged to use their own cars for safety; there's a reason the Women's Summit in Beijing seems a million miles away. As soon as oil became the most treasured commodity for our government, our cultural and financial leaders chose to push America into a friendly cultural attitude with our creditors. We no longer fight sex segregation, as long as the women have veils. I'm just waiting for the day I'll have to wear one.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That makes sense, lambert. If you think about the people behind the "conservative movement" as recognizing that it's exhausted and been taken as far as it can go, then you need a new movement to consolidate the new order you put together under Bush. Who better than a guy like Obama - he looks progressive, but lacks the national identity and experience to be able to defy the people behind him. And you don't need to think Obama has bad intentions to think that. Obama strikes me as an ambitious guy who doesn't necessarily question why so many people on Wall Street or K Street would pluck him out and want him to be president. But I think that's a question worth asking.

And it's particularly worth asking following George W. Bush.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

I am no expert in politics, sociology or philosophy. I do, however, have an explanation I am satisfied with. We all know that Clinton hate is not new. Even the Republican claimed the most terrible things about the Clinton, e.g. they murdered people such as Vince Foster, they were greedy, corrupt, etc.

On the left people disliked the Clintons. Just go back to Mark Kleiman and Adriana Huffington. What is new now is the degree not the attitude.

I believe it's all simple, downright racism. The poor well paid educated guys cannot hate blacks or Hispanics anymore, that will give up their real motivation, their real thinking, their real slave owner mentality. Oh no, their conscious denies they are all that. Here we have the Clintons, what a marvelous solution, a great outlet.

No one, except me, calls their FITH racism. Just get used to it. Indeed, it's racism.

Submitted by lambert on

The "creative class" (well paid educated guys) hate Clinton because of racism??!?! Where's the logic here?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

To hate black people for being black, or hate brown people for being brown.

But it is perfectly acceptable to hate the low class white guy, and his stuck up wife.

More bigotry, than racism, as Mandos was so kind to point out.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by lambert on

Fixed.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

This is why it’s not enough simply to win, they must also be recognized as having been right.

actually I think there is some legitimate desire for that. The people Atrios bitterly refers to as the very serious people and the wise men of Washington have been very wrong for a very long time and a lot of people are dead because of that. There is a legitimate desire that those previously marginalized, who consistently got things right, be brought into the mainstream. That is much of what is driving Obama.

Obama was against the war from the very beginning, and he is the only candidate who has talked about war crimes trials. There is a reason he has so much support, maybe he isn't worthy, but there is a reason he has it.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Blackwater, and is for expanding the military.

Can't they see that they are just being pandered to.

OT but, I've seen Clinton get knocked around for Kyl-Lieberman. Didn't Obama cosponsor something that was worse?

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

That I could get behind. I don't think this has very much to do with the war. I mean, sure it does for individual supporters and it's those supporters whose motivations I most understand (even if I think they overstate the case for Obama). But looking at the mass anti-Clinton hysteria, I think it has virtually nothing to do with the war.

When you look at the hatred and the need to destroy Clinton, it seems to me the war - to the extent it's even still mentioned - is mostly a cover. It falls away quickly in the discussion of the latest Evil Thing she's done and most of those things have to do with primary process or some out-of-context statement. The RFK insanity cannot be explained by the war, IMO. Neither can the embrace of right-wing talking points. It's those points that made it easier for Bush to roll the Democrats, including on Iraq. And, of course, those points are tied to the SCLM narrative. One that not only hurts Democrats, but helped lead to the Iraq fiasco. So I don't think the embrace of the SCLM by so many in the Obama movement is related to a need to be declared right about the war. It undermines that very objective.

When I say they need to be recognized as right, I don't mean on Iraq, I mean about Obama. That's the right we're all going to be expected to embrace. We were wrong for every doubting him, ever doubting them. They are the smartest guys in the room and when they take control of the country, everyone will agree with them because of it. And then we'll have Unity. Because, really, why wouldn't we?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

With the Village, who was wrong about everything, to get Obama elected, disqualifies that too.

If they wanted to slap the Village in the face, they'd be backing Clinton, just to watch their heads explode.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

isaac's picture
Submitted by isaac on

against this travesty. it's like the iraq war, even if they had some chem/bio weapons leftover, it was still a mistake. even if bho wins, we will regret it. and all these bloggers saw it long ago, this lieberesque need to hold out bipartisanship above all other dem values. fuck them

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

even if they had some chem/bio weapons leftover

As far as I know, there was absolutely nothing biological, and 20 year old binary artillery shells buried in the desert aren't weapons anymore, they're just toxic waste.

Submitted by jawbone on

if Obama wins nom and presidency. Where will the poor, the working class, those not favored by the magic hand of the market turn?

Then, listening to a discussion of the Next Big Economic Meltdown -- which Roger Lowenstein, the author of While America Aged, said will very possibly be Americans' pensions, affecting anyone still eligble for a pension, which now is down to 18% of employees (!) if I heard right -- I wondered what Obama really will do about SocSec. This author pointed out that right now SocSec is the only thing American workers can depend on. He mentioned the three plans of our remaining candidates: McCain, probably cut benefits; Obama, make 401K's automatic with an opt-out, which he says will get the inertia on the side of people contributing to 401K's; and Hillary, who wants to create a sliding scale of government matching monies for those earning below a certain level (up to $1000 sliding down to matching $500 for the middle class, but I heard only a quick summary).

Voters: It's nearly the end of the Democratic Primary. Do you know where your candidate stands on New Deal programs?

Especially SocSec? And, the great unachieved program, Healthcare?

Podcast of whole program is at link, second segment.
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episode...

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

And the people who are so angry are the ones who have the least to be angry about. Sure, all Americans have a reason to be angry, but the privileged white men - whether it be Olbermann or some Blogger Boi - have the least to complain about as things go. They have good jobs and access to power. Maybe not as much as they want, but compared to others they have relatively little to complain about. And what they do have to complain about is not any more Hillary Clinton’s fault than it is any other political leader. It’s, in fact, less than many other Democrats given that she opposed the Military Commissions Act, was not one of the gang of 14, etc.

Truthfully, a lot of the frothing reminds me of the Men's Rights Activists who show up at feminist blogs to complain about their unfair treatment at the hands of women. Nothing is ever their fault, and everything is a conspiracy to keep them down. Women are just out to trap them into marriage, but once they're married, they just want to walk out and take the kids and get the child support. They typically want shared custody not because they want to see their kids, but because they want to hurt their ex-wives. They're also very big on controlling the exes after the divorce by advocating for rules forcing the ex to account for every dime of the child-support payments, and for every dime of her own money she spends. And if you women don't get in line and appreciate them, they'll go off to Russia and get a mail-order bride who knows how to treat a man, unlike you Ameriskanks!

It's about getting the upper hand. These guys are just frantic about anything that might threaten their privilege.

A lot of the formerly-sensible types who have just pretty much lost it remind me of the MRA trolls.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I don't know either what this all means, but the questions you describe and flesh out are the ones that my meager brain also chase.

I agree with your feeling that something seismic is happening, intentional or not, and I think it is larger than when Reagan was elected. My opinion is that it is the complete repudiation of the Democratic party as the party of the working class without regard to race or education. The change sought is for the party to represent the educated and specific ethnic groups regardless of income level or "class".

That may be wrong, I'm throwing it out there.

-----------------------------

Good night and good riddance!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

There is definitely something threatening about Clinton to these guys and they are mostly guys. And lately, my thoughts on all kinds of things - not just this primary - keep coming back to the idea of a broken culture, specifically as it refers to maleness. Whether it's the primary or the FLDS or the street gangs here in Los Angeles, it seems like something has gone very wrong, violently wrong in the culture and that seems tied to some idea of maleness (as opposed to actual maleness). It certainly hasn't infected all men or even most men or - lord knows - only men, but I don't think elections take place in a vacuum, detached from the wider culture. This one has touched on things already there.

What got me thinking about it was the post I was going to write about soap operas, believe it or not. Because that was an entertainment form dedicated mostly to a female audience (although gay men have always been an important audience segment as well). And the decline of soap operas mirrors in some way the decline in women's roles in films and has come as women have increased their importance and roles in the working world. General Hospital has sunk to incredible levels of violence and misogyny, barely touching on the hospital, even as women make up a much higher percentage of doctors than they used to. In contrast, women doctors in the 1970s and 80s were common on the show and at its height, while not free of sexism, it was definitely big on strong women and women's friendships (an aspect all but extinct in its current incarnation). Whatever problems it had, women were it's focus. They aren't any more, which is weird if you think about the audience it's supposedly trying to attract. Kind of like how you can watch terrific movies with Katherine Hepburn or Myrna Loy from the 1940s playing strong career women who were few and far between in real life then, but now that they exist in real life, women in movies seem often to be weak or barely there at all.

Again, just things that I've been trying to pull together, but can't quite. I think there's too much going on - between the misogyny and the class issues and the race issues and the old party establishment/new coalition issues and added to it all is the simple desire to get and maintain power. It's all in there. I didn't expect it. I thought the important stuff would be decided in the GE, but in some ways it's the primary that's tapped into the primal stuff.

And herb, I too believe somewhere in all of it is the desire by some in the party to finally jettison the working class. If that happens, then I'm not sure I'd still be a democrat. What would be the point?

Submitted by cg.eye on

it touches on the same apprehension about crowding out women from their own spaces.

For soaps, it started with the advent of fascist secret spy orgs (which began with GH, I think, during the Scorpio era), which justified their use of greater violence, serial killers, and overall macho activities. For guys, in old school soaps, their job was to react to what women did; with more violence, they reacted to the bad guys, while the women became dependent and clingy to the cop-that-saved-them-from-being-raped. Again.

I stopped watching soaps when every sweeps period a new rapist would come into town. One would be a credible cross-dresser, to get close to his victims; one could be transgender. All would hate women, until it was expected that each little hamlet in soap opera land would need a profiler, a kinky FBI agent, or a person with A Secret, all in their way policing the boundaries between sexual variety and evil, until that boundary became paper thin.

I don't think a producer could make a soap last for one year, anymore, without a heroine or slut teen getting raped. It's their go-to vulnerability moment for bitches. Who knew I'd be nostalgic for a simple kidnapping/demonic possession plot?

Submitted by lambert on

That kind of critique is exactly what we look for. Please, have at it!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

The “creative class” (well paid educated guys) hate Clinton because of racism??!?! Where’s the logic here?

Does this mean that only the "uneducated" can be racists? (You really don't want to say that.)

Historically, hate of minorities always involve well educated people. In Europe racism targeted gays, gypsies, Jews, etc. There are and were many localized racism targets. The Nazis hated the Slavs, Russian hated the Armenians, etc.

In this country, I heard the nicest and well educated people harangue about Hispanics. The support of the creative class is racism is wide, old and persistance.

If the complaint is that racism targets races and not individuals, it's easy to recognize that the "creative class" targets Clinton and the uneducated blue collar workers as well as women and even Hispanics.

Submitted by lambert on

Koshembos, you write:

it’s easy to recognize that the “creative class” targets Clinton and the uneducated blue collar workers as well as women and even Hispanics.

And how is that racism? Where's the race, as the central unifying theme?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Hope's picture
Submitted by Hope on

I wonder if people have thought this through. Post partisanship means working with the other side right? Well the last ten years of the other side was the Neo-Con ultra right, would Obama have worked with them? He wants to implement some McCain stuff? Which bits does he like?

I think this mindset internalises losing the election. Because if you win the election, why pander to the Republicans?

And what exactly does Obama think he will gain by pandering to tinpot dictators?

Let's imagine him going to Raoul Castro. What concretely will they talk about? What does Obama have that Castro wants? the end of the embargo? In exchange for what? Nothing? Political reform? But the end end of the embargo etc is ALREADY on the table for political reform. So what's different?

And the Nixon China/ Reagan Soviet Union analogy is rubbish. These are significant world powers, past and future. The US NEEDS working relations with these powers. The US does not need relations with tinpot despots. The truth is the US needs Iran contained without nuclear weapons. anything else is icing on the cake.

The Bush attitude with Iran hasn't worked so badly at the end of the day. Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Whoa. Internalizing losing the election, hmmm.

Why the fuck should I have to settle for a faux-Republican when I can get the real thing? It's the choice Republican, moderate and independent voters have made for decades, when a Democrat is ashamed of his party, and decides himself to run to fail, in the guise of a post-partisan leader. The Neo-Cons will still be in the House, Senate, Supreme Court, DOJ, and every other agency where Bush has politically vetted them. You think they won't push and push hard anyone weak enough to be post-partisan? Jesus, Mary and Joseph....

And excuse me, missy, but have you noticed that the powers with which the US needs working relations *are* headed by tinpot dictators, or did you NOT notice the shock troops of Chinese security goons muscling protestors aside, *in countries not their own*, during the world tour of the Olympic torch? Tiananmen Square mean anything to you? Bush going hat in hand to Saudi Arabia -- the place where women still can't drive? Where immigrants have no rights as they do all the country's work except make money?

And Bush's attitude with -- HAVE YOU NOTICED HE WANTS TO GO TO WAR WITH THEM? HELLO? IF IRAN ATTACKS ISRAEL IN RETALIATION, WE WILL HAVE A NUCLEAR WAR?

(the stupid, it burns and burns and burns...)

Hope's picture
Submitted by Hope on

I won't call you "missy or "boy", so please don't do the same.

If you have issues with what I write, good, please argue.

To be perfectly honest, I don't get the feeling you have read what I wrote.

The whole point of my post was that if one wins the election, there is no need to pander. which seems to be the thrust of your first argument, it seems we agree on that. But Obama seems to disagree, since he wants to be post partisan.

Also, yes the US has to treat countries like China and Russia differently to places like Iran, because to put it bluntly, they have power over it. It's a fact of life. These people are not tinpot dictators, they are big shot dictators. They have the nuclear weapon. Which is part of the whole point of preventing Iran from getting the bomb. I am not American, but the idea of living in a world where the president of the United States goes cap in hand to Ahmedinejad scares the shit out of me.

Extreme leftists have a history of preferring "purity" to winning elections. I have heard it many times this cycle in the primary,many people would rather lose with Obama than win with Hillary.

Submitted by cg.eye on

This is what I got from it:

1. We haven't thought things through. Dumb, experienced posters! Naughty hundreds of comments and posts, this month alone!

2. You believe that in victory Obama won't have to work with the other side... success will make the Other Side docile... even though they've spent the time since Reagan building up their strengths... even though Obama's all about being post-partisan. Right.

3. Even though Obama's been criticized for having a more logical and open approach to diplomacy, you project that he won't have much to gain by approaching 'tinpot dictators'. Even though the one pandering act he could do to save his ass in Florida is present a comprehensive glasnost plan that Raoul Castro would have a hard time objecting to. If embargo's finally on the table for political reform, well, somebody's going to have to meet with him, and if a treaty is involved, that person will be the President, for respect alone. For renegotiating the Gitmo lease, alone?

4. The US does not need relations with tinpot despots... even though these despots control strategic resources, or have bigger allies that could start more Vietnams, if pissed. Our Army is so overused that one more flareup could collapse it. Diplomacy has a purpose, for countries big or small. It's the soft power we've nearly destroyed this decade.

5. And, Bush's attitude with Iran is *swell*... even though he's feeding their suicidal posturing toward Israel, which Israel will take as a threat requiring a nuclear response. *Israel* will bomb regardless of what Iran has. I can't say it any clearer, so you're not getting that is disingenuous. And Obama would be smart enough to go through diplomatic channels to the real rulers of Iran -- the clerics. You didn't know Iran's president is a figurehead?

6. We curse here. And, using an exclamation point, when you want to be taken seriously = Trollish.

Post with clarity, and you'll earn respect with me. Hey, I'm nobody, but I tried to read your post and unpack it, which was hard. I doubt no one else will be as hard on you, but it was too early in the morning, so clarity helps a lot.

Submitted by cg.eye on

That's the phrase that changes everything in that episode.

Wonder if Driftglass will be accused of desiring Clinton's assassination? Because using that title implies that she should die, for the good of all mankind.

And, again, all that framing they wanted us to pay attention to? Makes us inconvenient, when we actually pay attention to *theirs*.

Rain's picture
Submitted by Rain on

I was recently reading The 'Hitler Myth': Image and Reality in the Third Reich , by Ian Kershaw, which is actually more about the sociology/culture of the German people in the 1930s, than about Hitler himself.

From a review: "...The source of Hitler?s popularity can be found in the people ?who adored him,? against all reason and sense, rather than in the man Hitler himself, or his policies.

"One of the most fundamental factors which helped Hitler?s popularity was the ideal of a F?hrer, someone who could boldly and heroically lead them into a glorious future. The F?hrer-principle already existed in Germany well before Hitler came on the stage, and in other cultures and societies throughout history, there is a similar ideal, and Germans actively desired someone who could rise above the political parties, above ideology, and above historical constraints in order to unite them behind a single cause."

"We can find similar desires elsewhere, as well, Germany under the Third Reich is but one well-documented well-studied example ? people who tire of political conflict and ideological strife in their society may wish for someone to rise up, unite the factions, and lead the nation to its divinely-mandated destiny as One People."

" Rather than - imposing - ideas upon people, truly successful propaganda efforts take advantage of -- what people already want to believe-- in order to manipulate it for other purposes.

"Hitler even rose in popularity above the Nazi party itself ? however much people grumbled about the Nazi party and its various functionaries, they never believed that Hitler had anything to do with the problems. It was common for people to say that if only Hitler knew about what was going on, he would set things right, but his subordinates are keeping the truth from him. Even after the war and after all the horrors had been brought to light, some continued to insist that Hitler couldn?t have known about it, and that it was all the responsibility of lower-level bureaucrats."

Some of the characteristics of playing on "what people already believe", is in manipulating mass hatred and fear, against any and all groups who don't belong (for whatever reason), or are seen by common belief or perception as being the ones "to blame" for whatever social/cultural and/or economic ills have befallen them. While some the hated, or blamed, sub-groups may vary in time and place, women have been universally hated, and blamed, and targeted, by all of them.

eg the 200-year European witch-craze, when a minimum of 1.25 million women and 175,000 men(documented fully still in the Vatican archives, who knows how many more were not documented?) were publicly burned at the stake - at the same time, the Christian Church "movement" was sweeping Europe, anti-Jewish pogroms, anti-islam and whoever else they didn't like, because they didn't want to become christians, and the story of Jesus etc, just didn't quite grab their imagination. For many women in pre-christian Europe, christian dogma was a heavy demotion in social status, so I could imagine they were common dissenters. Took awhile, but they eventually learned the lesson the hard way, that "Tis better to marry, than burn".

The second strand of the common theme is in silencing conflict and dissent. No public dissent, conflict or strife, means blessed peace and quiet, and an illusion of peace - and is an ideal or a goal in itself that many people "want to believe in". Some people become frightened to dissent, terrified of what might befall them in response.

Like the Obama supporters, with 'just get over it', attitudes, STFU, stop arguing, stop dissenting, you're talking emotional BS, just go with the flow, and we'll all be OK, ignorance is bliss - lets just restore the "natural order" - especially between the sexes. back in the 50s, or whenever, we didn't know about DV, or child sexual abuse, or prisons like Gitmo, and we all had white-picket fences and drove Fords, and all men were honorable and all women enjoyed subservient, but respected, servant status -- all the nasties of social life could be hidden, and out of sight, out of mind. We could all pretend we were living the good life where nothing really bad happened.

Like someone above said about the Men's Rights groups tactics, and just look at the statistics of women dying from male violence. Those numbers swamp the Iraq war. Message being: If you just STFU, we'll treat you right. And that goes for anybody else too - hispanics or gays or whoever ...

Like that old Suzanne Vega song, 'My Name is Luka' - "you just don't argue any more".

Obama does best in the primaries so far, when turn-out is low, ie - when dissent/opposition is silenced. I suspect that is how he would manage the GE too. If so, in that scenario the only way to bring him down will be to actively vote against him. Sheeit, talk about being between a rock and a hard place! Another scenario is for an historic election, ie the lowest turn-out ever, and its won, by competing voter suppression tactics!!

The irony, this primary season might never have raised this disquiet or disturbance amongst some of us,a disquiet we have had trouble articulating or pinning down - if there hadn't been the stark contrast of Hillary Clinton.

I really love this thread for the fantastic consciousness-streaming! *hugs* all

murphy's picture
Submitted by murphy on

BDB's comments, and now CG's, have my head spinning. BDBlue, you can stop saying that you're having trouble pulling it all together -- you are doing an Amazing job of doing just that. Your comments are fascinating and mind-blowing. I hope you post some of them on the front page.

I'm finding myself going back and rereading the entire post and thread.

Honestly, where have all the tough, independent on-screen women gone? What's the closest we have now -- Gilmore Girls? I dont watch TV, but I'm not completely unaware. The only thing I can think of from the recent past is Buffy the Vampire Slayer but that's been off the air for years now.

When I was a kid we had Wonder Woman, That Girl, Isis, even The Partridge Family for goodness sakes. Mrs. Partridge was COOL! Even Dallas was kinda kick-ass. The women on that show ruled the roost, no doubt about it. There is nothing like that today.

The culture HAS normalized misogyny. I dont think CG.Eye overstates the case at all.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

If you liked Buffy, Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku have a new series coming this fall I think to FOX, called Dollhouse.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

murphy's picture
Submitted by murphy on

It must have been my reference to TH's that got me caught.

murphy's picture
Submitted by murphy on

To the barricades, Lambert, to the slums -- where the barricades always are.

The threat the Obama Movement represents is the final consolidation of corporate power in this country, perhaps globally as CG.Eye implicated above. They already have the republicans. Now they are skmming deep into the "cream" of the democrats -- the educated, the elite, the insured, in short -- the rich. Manipulating the AA vote by forcing and propping up a figure-head (half) black leader was the master stroke. With that, they may actually succeed in putting themselves in power and locking the poor and vulnerable out. Permanently.

The movement we should realize we are already a part of is not, as I said above, simply an effort to elect Hillary Clinton -- merely to succeed in pushing our identity politician into office instead of theirs. That misconception on our part works in their favor.

Our movement is to hold by force a place at the table of government for the poor, the old, the young, and the vulnerable in all forms (women, gays, minorities, immigrants).

If we allow the Oborg to take power our country will be Feudalized -- all those with resources will have power. All those without resources will have no political home, no political voice, and no political willpower.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

But it gets swamped by other things and then becomes a sprawl, going in all directions with no real focus. What I need is time and I haven't had that so all of this stuff has been cooking in my subconscious. I'm hoping to get some time in the next few days to sit down and see if I have anything else to add to my quick and dirty stuff here.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"The movement we should realize we are already a part of is not, as I said above, simply an effort to elect Hillary Clinton — merely to succeed in pushing our identity politician into office instead of theirs. That misconception on our part works in their favor."

Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.

Hillary Clinton is the better candidate and certainly will win in November and there is that too, but the primary danger in Obama's candidacy (more than the man himself who is just a vessel for the candidacy) is precisely the Unity Pony that his handlers want to realize. This gives away the keys to the sliver of legitimacy the Democratic Party has remaining as distinquishable from the Republican Party. Both parties then uninterested in anything aside from not rocking the boat for Big Business.

All the gentry so smug they were able to hoodwink a win for "The One", not realizing they just sold their own asses down the river for the $$$.

-----------------------------

Good night and good riddance!

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

The Unity Pony is dangerous and the main reason why I became an Obama skeptic. Clinton's biggest selling point to me is precisely that she has Enemies, despite her numerous flaws and that [i]some[/i] of the emnity towards the Clintons is justified---in that it is justified towards most of the US political elite.

That said, I think it's really stretching it to suggest that her campaign vs. Obama is *really* a campaign for traditional (D) economic values. Also, I agree with whoever suggested wayyy above that the Obama Movement is motivated by some very genuine political frustrations, legitimate or no. For example, a lot of the (D) party has felt that they were the *real* Smartest Guys In The Room, but ended up the ignored and misunderstood and unpopular nerds. Obama really stands for them. The Zbigniew vote.

Submitted by lambert on

... of the "creative class" are frustrated. In fact, I hope they remain frustrated, since they've sold me out on universal health care, not to mention destroyed the media critique.

And whenever they're frustrated, they can always work it out with another circlejerk, eh?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

My point is merely to suggest that a belief that the Obama movement is motivated by some special elite plan (as opposed to Clinton) stretches even my Chomskyan willingness to accept that sort of thing. That seems to be what some people here are suggesting: that the Obama movement is a hollow shell.

I've said from the beginning that my reasons to believe that Clinton is a better candidate than Obama are marginal ones. I also believe that a misapprehension of the nature of the Obama movement is dangerous in itself.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

I am not American, but the idea of living in a world where the president of the United States goes cap in hand to Ahmedinejad scares the shit out of me.

The Iranian government is many years from being able to build a fission bomb. Even if they start development today, Ahmedinejad will be out of office and forgotten by the time they have a gadget.

They have legitimate needs for fission power -- their natural gas production is in depletion and they have a population bomb coming in a decade or two. They need fission plants and will have them.

There's nothing we can do to stop the Iranian government from building nuclear weapons if they want them bad enough. And so far, the Bush administration has given them every incentive to obtain nuclear weapons ASAP, and McCain is all set to continue that program.

All we can do is discourage them from wanting nuclear weapons through promises of security and threats of force. An example of this is when Sen Clinton said she would retaliate against Iran if it used nuclear weapons against its neighbors.

Finally, even if the Iranian government had nuclear weapons, why do you think that would be a bigger disaster than the current nuclear-armed Pakistan?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Where?

Where are the perverse leftists who fit with Obama's words from Audacity? (The parenthetical notes are mine).

And yet publicly it’s difficult to find much soul-searching or introspection on either side of the divide, or even the slightest admission of responsibility for the gridlock. What we hear instead, not only in campaigns but in editorial pages, on bookstands, or in the ever-expanding blog universe, are deflections of criticism and assignments of blame. Depending on your tastes, our condition is the natural result of radical conservatism or perverse liberalism, Tom DeLay or Nancy Pelosi, big oil or greedy trial lawyers, religious zealots or gay activists, Fox News or the New York Times. (Let’s take stock of this. The “cannot win” Democrats are as bad as the lying, “cannot govern” Republicans. Today’s Democrats are as extreme on the left as the Repubs are on the right. Tom Delay vs. Nancy Pelosi, oil execs vs. trial lawyers, religious obsessives vs. equal-rights gays, and Fox News vs. the New York Times are fair match-ups of disreputable, polarized extremists. And there’s more, after saying “I won’t deny my preference for the story of the Democrats,” he equivalates once again by comparing the right and left as mirror-image conspiracy theorists, as if the Democrats are routinely as radical on the left as the folks who brought us the last seven years are on the right).

Please list the extreme leftist agendas that are being advocated in any quasi-mainstream part of American politics, agendas that are the equal of the radical neo-conservatism of Bush and the 21st century Congress?

Submitted by cg.eye on

I knew I forgot something.

Nice to know my betters catch these things in time.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The right of people to be secure in their persons.

Just to name a couple.

Vile leftists; what can they be thinking?