Sunday, May 25, 2008

In which the author humbly requests that someone stage an intervention, or, um, something.

No, I mean for me, actually, though it might appear--stop me before I post this, I--





Dear Violet, and no doubt a bunch of other similarly inclined people that I don't "know" as well, by proxy more or less:

You know, I know it's been a hell of a long time since we've really been on speaking terms, and I realize we disagree on, well, a whole shitload of things.

It's just, well, I kind of had this idea that whatever else, you were always kind of ironically self-aware. Level headed. Wry. With a sense of humor, and proportion, and stuff.

So, well, I, I, I just don't really know what to make of, say, this entry:

I still don’t have regular internet access and I don’t watch TV, so
I’m out of the loop. But I hear things — weird, disturbing, almost
unbelievable things — and so I’m grabbing a few minutes here on my
Dad’s computer before a family birthday party for this brief announcement:

When I wrote this post on Democratic party history back in April, I was not calling for the assassination of Barack Obama. Just thought I’d get that out there now before the Gestapo shows up at here at the house.

Sorry to post and run, but I’ll leave you with something to think
about: if the collusion between the Obama campaign and the media
continues like this, will that pose the most severe threat to free
speech in this country since a) the Alien and Sedition Acts, b) the
1917 Espionage Act, c) the McCarthy era, or d) the Patriot Act of
2001? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Update: Over at the Mighty Corrente Building, FrenchDoc is facing a
fork in the road:

"There is no question that a line was crossed yesterday, by the
media and the so-called progressive blogosphere. Personally, it has
put me on the fence: if Senator Obama becomes the nominee, do I take a
break from politics until November or do I actively campaign against

I’ve been wrestling with the same issue, but I know now what my answer
is. Barack Obama has run the dirtiest, most dishonest campaign I’ve
ever seen from a Democrat on the national level. His mob-like
supporters terrify me. And his media enablers are catastrophically
dangerous. They must be stopped. Must be.

You know, and it's not as though the "media enablers" aren't also getting a tad, shall we say, melodramatic. Admittedly the only one I just really paid attention to is/was Keith Olbermann, who is also beginning to wear on my nerves, something I never thought I'd say--all RIGHT, we GET it, it was a stupid fucked up thing of her to say,** we're all vicariously cringing and were already beyond sick of the whole goddam thing, really, and yeah, I'm sure not exactly what either the Obamas or the Kennedy family really needed to hear, not to mention the rest of us; still, considering a) Obama himself just basically said 'let it go,' as did whichever the hell youngish Kennedy's still out there, I can't keep track b) she herself didn't actually KILL anybody, can we maybe stop with the Hercule Poirot GOTCHA routine?

...But, really. "They must be stopped?" THEY MUST BE STOPPED?

"...but how?" -bites knuckle-

I mean, fuck knows it's not like we had craptacular sensationalistic media before, EVER. Damn you, Barack Obama!

Okay, so at this point I realize that my little "y'know, there's this other dude McCain, and actually some of us think his presidency WOULD be more "dangerous" than that of Obama, even though I get that the latter seems suspiciously charismatic and that's automatically a Very Bad Thing and so on, well, I think basically at this point those who have ears to hear, you know. You'll live and die for Hillary (or Obama), for to save us from those other fanatics, yer fighting tooth and claw to the bitter bitter end; okay, I get it, wouldn't try to say you nay. Mostly because I'm on my very last pair of eyeballs, I don't get another prescription till next month.

But would it be too much to ask for people to, I don't know, consider getting a petit grip?

Just asking.

I mean, I understand, really. Well, sort of. God knows I've had plenty of rants, for far less than this, even, that probably led a number of people to the conclusion that I'm basically Time Cube guy at a John Birchers convention.

And having said that (I am large, I contain platitudes), I hereby request of all concerned friends and loved ones, that if I ever end up getting quite this um well apocalyptic about an electoral campaign, particularly a bleeding primary in which it's blatantly obvious to most of the non poliwonk-as-football-fan world that there's really not all that much difference between the candidates in question? that they beat me about the head and shoulders with a wet halibut until I damn well come to my senses.

Thank you.

**ETA and then, too, there is also this (thanks, Kevin):

I was not alive when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Yet, when I hear the words “1968″ and “assassination” in the same sentence, I cannot help but to think of Martin Luther King, Jr. I cannot help but to think of the racial unrest of the period. I cannot help but to think of the struggles that my people have had to undergo in order for a black person to be seriously considered for the Presidency of the United States of America. I cannot help but to think of the numerous civil Rights leaders slain.

This is my history.

And let it be known that this is not solely the history of black folks. People of Color across the board share this history in the United States. We may be invited to the dinner table now and again, but don’t even think we will get anything until the establishment has had their fill.

I don’t think that Sen. Clinton’s statements can be divorced from several events that occurred in 1968:

The assassination of Robert Kennedy.

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The riots at the Democratic National Convention.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I learned of her remarks (which she has made before, but I was unaware of), that’s what came to mind. It was offensive to the Kennedy family, especially given Ted Kennedy’s illness (Sen. Clinton did apologize for that, however). It unnecessarily brought up the specter of black folks getting killed for being black and standing up for their humanity; and it also, for me at least, brought up the 1968 Democratic Convention riots, given all the talk these days about a “civil war” at the Convention, talk that I’m sure she is aware of.


Kristin said...

This post is hilarious. Love the part about the wet halibut, I have to say.

And, yeah, I don't really understand this...Lack of Perspective issue. Seems like it's happened in lots of Semi-Progressive-Liberal sorts of settings lately...

I mean, really... Why are some folks more worried about Obama than they are about McCain??? And how is it possible to be *so* passionately involved when, as you point out, there are so few substantive differences between them?

Anyway, did everyone just *forget* about the fact that there was going to be a general election? In NOVEMBER. People have seriously lost perspective. You're right on about this. It's... Embarrassing. Aren't the Democrats supposed to be a little less apocalyptic in general?

Kristin said...

Ooops, few substantive differences between HRC and Obama, that was meant to say...

belledame222 said...

it's the PRINCIPLE of the thing, dammit!

belledame222 said...

and, see, WE'RE not being unnecessarily fire-and-brimstone pulpit-pounding, irrational, any of that; it's those OTHER terrible people. We're just trying to SAVE US ALL from THEM, DAMMIT, -seizes you by lapels-, can't you SEE?!?!?!?!

belledame222 said...

(bloody Judean Peoples' Front -spits-)

Jeff Fecke said...

Is the primary over yet?

And if not, what's the best way to induce a temporary coma until it is? Because, y'know, I'm willing to try it.

Tom Nolan said...

It's just, well, I kind of had this idea that whatever else, you were always kind of ironically self-aware

No, she isn't - that's the bizarre thing. She doesn't lack intelligence, far from it, and she can be a very funny writer; but she doesn't have a sense of her own absurdity. Behind the faux-academic point-scoring and the waspish derision (both carried off with aplomb) there lurks a characteristic white-knuckled righteousness which she brings not only to her radical feminism but also to her mainstream politicking. In the same way that feminists like Heart are really just hell-fire preachers against moral contamination in their little communities, so feminists like Violet are really just ambitious Daughters of the American Revolution in a women's-studies context.

She's more fun to read than Heart, but she's no more interested in real debate. I remember that there used to be a libertarian right-winger who commented regularly at Reclusive Leftist. Violet organized a referendum a la Twisty to determine whether he should be allowed to stay or not. Surprise! Most people said he was harmless or even entertaining. She yielded to public opinion and conceded that he could stay, excusing herself before the goddess by claiming that the apparent miscreant was, in fact, just pretending to be a libertarian right-winger (something he was always at pains to deny). Then, not long after, his posts mysteriously ceased to appear. What a relief for all concerned!

Sarah J said...



and yet in none of those posts do I ever see good reasons why Obama is the devil, just "this collusion with the media"!

Um, yeah.

I hope my political posts don't sound like that.

belledame222 said...

Jeff: if you find anything, let me know. all I can tell you is that headdesking, while a temporary relief, doesn't work, and in fact merely leads to a pounding migraine.

Tom: yeah, you may have a point there. And I mean, the whole "sexism's more acceptable than racism! who are these women of color on my blog all of a sudden, saying me nay? o right, they must all be in cahoots, cut their mike"--well, both a foreshadowing of erm some of the other themes here which I didn't even have the heart to get into this time and the point where I was like, right, that's it, enough.

But, well--am I completely off in thinking at least she used to sound less, well, um, uhh, uhh, whatever this is?

Sarah: yeah, I am trying to figure this out. And I mean, in the earlier post--this is what I mean--she was like, no, he's not like Bush, he's not the Messiah either, he's just this politician, you know? which, that much, I'm down with.

but then, well,

a) Hillary seems curiously exempt from the "just another politician" thing, in this world, which I do not understand why since she's at least as calculating and self-aggrandizing as he is; -my- whole point is that he's apparently better at the Teflon thing, ergo, yep, he wins; it's how things work, and no, her policies aren't -so- much better (if even at all) that I'm willing to go to the mat for her for the sake of -principle- (which I might be more inclined to do if they actually remotely were)


...which, I'm not saying there aren't people who are probably equally headdesky, I just don't mostly happen to be reading them (the feminist 'sphere seems to lean more toward Hillary Or Bust than anywhere else, although not universally, and I don't really read the Big Prog Blogs, and I've stayed well away from this shit everywhere else irl as much as possible); yesterday I snapped at some random person calling her "Hellary," because, you know, WEAK and -shut up, I hate you all-;

but uh, really? The whole gist of the argument is that Obama and his minions MUST BE STOPPED because...unlike y'all, they're irrational, fanatical, and ruining it for everybody. See.


she'll be channeling Althouse next. "Partisan! That's the trouble with politics: everyone is just so -partisan-. Unlike me."

and, yeah, okay, one is just a tad cynical about the whole URGENT URGENT thing when it's basically, like,


or, well, I don't know. eat, drink and be merry, I guess...just, I'm a bit tired of the whole Chicken Little routine overall, I must say, I mean for the past -eight years-, now.

belledame222 said...

...for that matter; yeah, this is what it is: I was never even all that jazzed about the whole "(all those other) people are stupid sheeple, and/or there's an Insidious Plot, else why would Bush be president again? -no other reason.-"

I mean, yes, in that case, there -were- at least some Insidious Plots, and yeah, the whole post 9/11 era: kind of not our finest hour, on the whole. Yeah, Bush scraped a second win in large part due to fearmongering and dirty tricks. (The first one, I can't even blame that, I still remember all those commercials wrt "Bush, Gore, six of one, half a dozen of the other," and I KNOW that at least some of these latter day Democrat Chicken Littles are the same ones who voted for Nader the first time around).

But: it wasn't all of it, and it's frankly stupid to act like it was.

a) Kerry fucked up. The DNC fucked up. Yes, they did. Not to the point that in a just world, Kerry would have gotten most of that slime: the Purple Heart crap really was a propaganda machine and foul; but, fact of the matter is, he -didn't- handle it well, he should have known what he was up against, he fucked up. Understandable--this isn't playtime, you only get one chance, hindsight ain't foresight--but, guess what, it (among other factors, yes, but it tipped the balance) cost him the election. He was mediocre and charismaless and he played it safe. Dean was mediocre and had some charisma, which is why I supported him to begin with; then he lost the plot. I switched to Kerry, when he got the nomination, with regrets. -Because I'd been living here the past four years-. And, I'm still not at all sure that a Kerry win wouldn't have been really Pyrrhic in many ways, and we might well be facing something much nastier now. I still would've gone for it; Bush has been a disaster, WHICH VIOLET AND THE OTHER OBAMA DOOMSAYERS FUCKING WELL KNOW, THEY'VE BEEN SHOUTING IT ALL THIS TIME.

And McCain will be yet more of the same.

And, you know, here's the thing, right, putting policies aside for just a moment, and hell YES Obama, while far from perfect, would be rather markedly different from McCain or Bush:

He's -not- fearmongering, okay. That's the difference. He's doing what Bill did, ironically enough: feelgood, hope, etc. etc. Do I buy it wholesale? No; but I don't scorn the people who do, either.

Because, I buy it enough to think it's important.

Because, there's a REASON why people are responding to this, even as there was a -reason- why they responded to the kneejerk patriotism before.

Because, -this is how people work.-
We aren't dispassionate logicbots, and if any more proof were needed, hi! look at people like Violet here: -just as caught up in passion and spittle and irrationality as the rest of us.- Plant a foot, stay a while.

Me, too, hello.

Difference is: I own my own irrationality. I own my own lizard brain, okay.

And what I am saying -now- is, frankly, we -need- some optimism right now, something to get excited over other than OH SHIT WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE, because that shit just makes people numb and wears them out. It is -anti-democratic-, much more so than just, y'know, large gatherings of people, cheering. Yeah, that was Nuremberg? but it was also Woodstock, and MLK rallies, and even a random Pride parade, okay.

-People need that shit sometimes.-

That's -why- demagogues can capitalize on it. Appeals to peoples' hardwired needs. But it doesn't make the people wrong or stupid or weak for -having- those needs, any more than appealing to peoples' fear of attack after they've just been attacked makes them stupid or weak, or promising a chicken in every pot when they're hungry makes them stupid or weak.

It just makes them human. Us.

The real question isn't whether the leader appeals to deep-seated needs; the question is, a) can they deliver, if they even have any intention of doing so? b) are they going to exploit those needs toward Sinister Ends?

and yes, there are ways of telling, at least a little bit.

So far, what I get from Obama, based on his track record in office as well as his current campaign, is that he's basically a charismatic personality who, once in office, will/would probably be a fairly conservative-to-moderate Democrat; and that the excitement which bore him into office will probably fizzle out as reality sets in.

I'm not sure why I'm supposed to be committing hara-kiri over this; or why I'm supposed to imagine that any drastically different/more scenario is likely to take place.

More than that, I -really- don't understand why, after YEARS' worth of scaremongering and doomsaying, ("He'll Keep Us Safe From The Jihadist Threat/This Is The Last Chance For Democracy") I'm supposed to go for yet -another- round, in the name of -sobriety-, no less, for the sake of yet another mediocre self-preserving politician with a chronic foot in her mouth.

Celia said...

There are people at places like crying that they'll surely vote for McCain if Clinton isn't the Democratic nomination. As someone on another forum said, it's like threatening suicide when you get served strawberry ice cream instead of Rocky Road. Some people need to get a serious grip, although many of them probably don't have anything to grip to any more. I hope they're not a majority, because seriously.

PhysioProf said...

I sure hope this wackaloonery fades the fuck away once the Democratic nominees is selected. It's like these fuckers never heard of a fucking political party before.

I posted on this earlier this month.

belledame222 said...

or, and this was the point, I did have one:

we all have our misanthropic moments? but if you really are in -such- a state of despair about the working braincells of your fellow citizenry (else they'd agree with you), you might want to rethink this whole "democracy" concept, because it's really a deeply anti-democratic impulse, that.

or, well, as VS said herself:

"Maybe we don't deserve democracy anymore"

--which nearly sent me into apoplexy when nothing else of hers did. fuck OFF.

belledame222 said...

It's like these fuckers never heard of a fucking political party before.

i know, right? and that's what really gives me the shits: it might be excusable in the eighteen year olds, but Violet here has been around the block way too many times to be trumpeting this bullshit, and so have way too many other people.

and it's like: well this time we're not hearing about Diebold or so on, and gosh, I guess we're actually having an election at all, some people were -worried- there for a while, you know (some, again, of the same goddam people), Bush as Dictator for Life and all (and yeah, personally I believe he would if he could);

but, apparently, we're STILL doomed. by OBAMA, now, not even the Republicans, yet. or the Foreign Menace--no, wait! they're all in it together! that's it!

-deep sigh-

see, people think I'm mean because I make this shit personal, but honestly, it's the only way I can think to keep sane. I mean I'd much rather look closely and go "you, you, and oh yeah: YOU are being a gibbering fucknut; knock it the fuck off" rather than handwringing about The Masses. I mean -seriously-. I mean, I do that -too-, but that's mostly because I'm a cantankerous fuck; realistically it says more about me than it does about anyone else when I'm in that state, I know this.

belledame222 said...

p.s. Tom: speaking of Heart wrt all this, dunno if you saw this thread wherein she gives a hoo rah ray and a tiger for Rev. Wright (Obama's now-infamous preacher):

but VS shows up in comments and the results are, well. about what you'd expect. :facepalm: :looks between fingers:

Ilyka said...

and yet in none of those posts do I ever see good reasons why Obama is the devil, just "this collusion with the media"!

Yeah, and about that: What? Does she refer perhaps to this collusion with the media? Or maybe this?

The part of Socks' post that thoroughly fucks me off is this bit of smarm:

I was not calling for the assassination of Barack Obama. Just thought I’d get that out there now before the Gestapo shows up at here at the house.

You know, just don't. Don't compare someone upset about Clinton's assassination remarks to the fucking Gestapo, okay? PLEASE DIAL DOWN THE DRAMATICS. It's offensive.

ballgame said...

I don't read ReclusiveLeftist, but I read the two posts that were relevant here. I don't think you're being entirely fair to Violet's POV, belledame.

I agree with your assessment of Obama's likely performance in office. And I think it's pretty nuts to think Obama's (or Hillary's) campaign tactics justify being indifferent to the prospect of another four years of rule by the War Crimes and Constitutional Subversion party. But I think many people who still support Hillary are doing so not because they're worried about Obama winning the Presidency, but because they're worried about Obama not winning the Presidency. And here I think Violet's point about Obama losing most of the large states — particularly those that will be crucial in November — is absolutely valid. I also think her point about 'media collusion' with the Obama campaign is also valid ... though I don't think it has as much to do with being 'pro-Obama' as it does being 'anti-whichever Democratic candidate most threatens the War Crimes and Constitutional Subversion party.'

Four years ago, I thought early on that of the three then-potential Democratic nominees (Kerry, Edwards, Dean), that Kerry was clearly the weakest, being the most 'charisma-challenged'. Surprise! Kerry was pushed by the media as the 'most electable' and won the primary largely on that basis ... and ended up losing.

This time I thought that Obama was clearly the weakest of the three potential candidates (though I think that he, Hillary, and Edwards all carry the potential for being truly great Presidents) due to large swathes of the American electorate still being unwilling to vote for an African American. So what happens? Surprise! The media starves the Edwards campaign of oxygen, and then begins a months-long savaging of the Hillary campaign, and studiously ignore the 'electability' factor until the smearing of Hillary has had sufficient impact to make the 'electability' argument appear (erroneously) to be a coin toss. (Not factored into the media's current 'electability' stories are the months-long savaging of Obama that I believe will occur once he's nominated.)

or, well, I don't know. eat, drink and be merry, I guess...just, I'm a bit tired of the whole Chicken Little routine overall, I must say, I mean for the past -eight years-, now.

If you don't think that the past eight years have been an absolute disaster for American and world history (the undermining of our most basic constitutional protections, an invasion of another nation under false pretenses, the indifference to our approaching the 'point of no return' wrt global warming), then I respectfully submit that, despite your manifest intelligence and talent as a blogger, belledame, you are profoundly mistaken about what our situation is.

Ilyka said...

people think I'm mean because I make this shit personal, but honestly, it's the only way I can think to keep sane. I mean I'd much rather look closely and go "you, you, and oh yeah: YOU are being a gibbering fucknut; knock it the fuck off" rather than handwringing about The Masses

Yeah, me too. Besides, if I thought that post represented any kind of "typical" feminist view on the election I'd kill myself. Would much prefer to think, "No, it's just this particular feminist," and back away slowly.

belledame222 said...

ballgame: the latter paragraph is precisely why Violet's stance here bewilders the shit out of me, because I thought that was basically hers. and yes, thank you, I live here too. what I am saying is, running around screaming ZOMG THE SKY IS FALLING!! doesn't. help. even if it IS. ESPECIALLY if it is, but people have been relentlessly screaming that for so long that you've gone -deaf- out of sheer self-preservation. "hey, anyone want to help me with this Prop Up The Sky With Long Pointy Sticks?" might be a better way to go at this point? just, you know, -novelty-, and all.

as for not being entirely fair to her POV: have you read many of her posts? specifically the bit in this one where she seems to be saying she's seriously considering actively campaigning against him, should he win the nomination? she may not think he's the devil, but she's sure demonizing his supporters (not just the media), and I see no sign at all that she's worried about his -not- winning. She wants Hillary. I mean, she REALLY wants Hillary. Which, okay, but hi realpolitik time. Which -includes- yep the sucky media. Which Obama seems to be better at Tefloning (no, despite some enemy-of-my-enemying by some sources, the NY Post for one, he really hasn't been off the hook all this time either, honestly); guess what, as far as I'm concerned, that makes him a better candidate for the general.

Because yeah, I don't doubt for one second that as soon as Hillary's out of the picture the real joy will begin. Likewise, if she won the nomination, she'd get the full unadulterated blast. If she's getting this ragged around the edges at this point, what's she gonna do when it's just her against McCain? I mean, I'm sorry, but it's not -just- the media's fault with the assassination remark: she's the one who said it, and you know, it was a -really- stupid and fucked-up thing to say. I'm not saying this to be punitive; I'm saying, "wtf is she smoking??" is not something I want to be constantly worried about from the nominee, thanks.

Obama's made some fuckups, but thus far, again, you know, some credit where it's due: I really think on the whole, he's handled the media better. Does that make him a better person? A better candidate, issues-wise? No, but it makes me feel a little better about the Republican machine going at him full force.

(and it occurs to me: hey, maybe on second thought we should be glad of the primaries stretching out this long; maybe it's some elaborate plot to lull the R's into a false sense of security...

maybe my cat will learn to play the piano)

and no, handwringing about how the media is awful and the caucus system sucks and it really should be the popular vote and this and that: doesn't matter, doesn't help. Yeah, it's all true, and it's -been- true, and it's not gonna change in the next few months, so who's gonna be best at surfing all that shit?

There was a time when I thought Hillary probably would be. Based on the evidence, I have changed my mind.

And, see--and call this unfair to Violet if you want--blaming this on everyone and everything BUT Hillary and/or her campaign her/itself is, well? Not very rational. Even with things as fucked up and -unfair- as they are, yes.

belledame222 said...

as far as being unwilling to vote for a black man: yeah, well, you know, I'm sure racism will play a part in the general, even as sexism would've had it been Hillary; and hey, btw, to hear Violet tell it, sexism is more acceptable than racism these days; how is this compatible with "but Obama can't possibly win on account of his race but Hillary can transcend the gender issue?

...but, you know what: he's not the weakest candidate. If he were, he wouldn't be getting shitloads of rallies and the scary SCARY excitement from the "Obamabots."

if one were to argue that Kerry in fact was the weaker candidate on account of less charisma than Dean, and that the media savaged him as soon as Dean was out of the way, I'd agree, at least with the latter part.

on the other hand: I can't and don't blame it all on the media either. Dean's campaign made some fuckups as well, and he paid for them.

also, if anything, Obama is the equivalent of Dean this time around, whereas HRC would be Kerry (fresher, younger, more "exciting" and charismatic, arguably slightly -more- conservative in some ways policy wise if anything, vs. the rather charmless Establishment candidate).

the fact that he's ahead this time, suggests to me that gosh, maybe it's -different- this time; and that the media, while very instrumental, is not in fact the all-powerful Matrix puppeteering us all and robbing all but the most trenchant Diogenes of their free will and good sense; otherwise we might as well just give it up and go home anyway, neh?

belledame222 said...

...and you know what: actually, I take it back: Dean really wasn't the stronger candidate, in fact, or, umm, well, he wouldn't have lost.

cause, see, all the same factors that play in the primaries are gonna be there in the general. see.

if Obama thinks it'll be clear coasting once Hillary's out of the way, I'll be very surprised.

I think part of the reason HRC is fighting tooth and nail here is the same one that led Kerry to be, well, less canny about the lengths the R's would go to than he should have been: entitlement. Dean, like Obama, was the upstart; HRC, putting gender issues aside, should've been the "safe" candidate, the "establishment" one, the heir apparent, even as Kerry was last time. The real problem then was, Kerry was very "is that all there is?"

but you know, I think anyone who's come as far and as fast as Obama has these past four years: well, Violet herself said it: he's a "canny politician." One of the few points I agree with her.

guess what. "canny" + "charismatic"="good candidate to win an election."

ballgame said...

bd, it sounds like we agree on how Wonderful Bush II has been, but possibly disagree on whether Passionately Pointing It Out is particularly effective. I mean, I see your point about the latter; glad we (seem to) agree on the former. I certainly disagree with Violet that it makes any sense at all to campaign against Obama in the general. But then it also doesn't make sense for black voters to sit at home should Hillary pull out a nomination at this late date, though I suspect some of them will do so to 'punish' the Democratic party for 'ignoring' them again.

I don't agree with you on the relative treatment of Hillary and Obama by the media. FTR, I thought much of the purported 'racism' of the Clintons' campaign maneuvers was media spin. I know we deeply disagree there, and by extension, I see much of Obama's strength as deriving far more from the media greasing the skids for him than his political acumen. I fervently hope that I am wrong about this and you are right, though ... certainly he's a brilliant and charismatic speaker.

and it's like: well this time we're not hearing about Diebold or so on, and gosh, I guess we're actually having an election at all, some people were -worried- there for a while, you know (some, again, of the same goddam people), Bush as Dictator for Life and all (and yeah, personally I believe he would if he could);

but, apparently, we're STILL doomed. by OBAMA, now, not even the Republicans, yet. or the Foreign Menace--no, wait! they're all in it together! that's it!

Actually, Obama is the 'perfect' candidate for the War Crimes and Constitutional Subversion party in this situation. An overt theft of the presidency may have unexpected political and economic consequences. I think the WCCS party would steal an election if they have to — I think they already have — but I think they believe it's important that they 'cover the spread' so to speak so as to avoid a mass rejection of the electoral results. Obama offers the perfect quality for when the election results are clearly incongruent with the opinion polls:

"So, Brit, why do you think Ohio went for McCain despite the polls giving Obama an eight point lead?"

"Well, I think it's as simple as this. Many white Americans will say they'll vote for a black candidate, but when they get inside the election booth..."

It's a storyline that will be made completely compelling by actually being true with some people. (BTW, I think this storyline also works with Hillary, though not quite as well.)

belledame222 said...

don't have time for the rest of it right now, but as for the perfect cover up: y'know what though, I don't actually think they need an excuse. certainly I don't see why it's that much more compelling for Obama than for HRC.

"well, gosh, I guess they just weren't ready to vote for a woman after all, and/or you know, Hillary carries a lot of baggage..."

mostly, I think if people are concerned about Ohio, it would really behoove them to drop this primary shit and take a good hard long look at Rod Parsley again, even if he is now officially excommunicated from the McCain campaign.

belledame222 said...

and ultimately, if you recall, they didn't -need- a storyline of that sort when it came to Kerry (solid mainstream white male), did they? or Gore, for that matter.

Alon Levy said...

No, Clinton ran a pretty sleazy campaign herself, far beyond what McCain and Obama have done. She's adept at message control; if she wanted, she could've prevented her surrogates from saying Obama wouldn't have been at the campaign if he weren't black. The denounce/reject flap was pretty bad, too.

Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daisy said...

Anyone who prefers John McCain, votes for him or in ANY WAY makes it possible for him to be elected, is supporting his genocidal plan of 100 years of war (excuse me, an "ongoing military presence in the Middle East over the next century") and is therefore NO progressive or feminist. Period. They should not be allowed to delude themselves that they are.

Great post.

belledame222 said...

you know, if there's any "talking point" I'd use as a soundbite, it's this:

McCain: 0% rating by NARAL (based on his VOTES, people, not what he spouts on the campaign trail).

Obama: 100% rating by NARAL for the past few years running, even before the endorsement.

Questions? Comments? Hey, -feminists-, I'm talking to -you.-

Rosalba said...

Latent Racism. I don't think they're aware of it. Any progressive should be thrilled with any political advancement of a woman OR a black man. I'm going to be thrilled if either one of them wins.

belledame222 said...

Any progressive should be thrilled with any political advancement of a woman OR a black man. I'm going to be thrilled if either one of them wins.

well, um, yeah, hello, there is also that. again: just per representation, it's kind of awe that even the top two primary contenders are HRC and Obama in the damn first place. why can that not be enough? why does one or the other (depending on who you ask) have to come away with the gold for it to mean anything breakthrough-wise at all?

and I gotta say, it's entirely possible I'm just not looking in the right places, but I've yet to see anyone pulling the race-related equivalent of Violet's "if HRC doesn't win, it spells SEXIST DOOM for the Democratic Party and probably the entire galaxy" wrt Obama. I expect this has as much to do with my hanging around white feminist blogs more than I do MOC/POC not-particularly-feminist prog blogs as anything else. and/or it could also be more because he -does- seem to be winning; the "go back to the kitchen, Shillary!" crap I've seen here and there at whiteboy progblogs is quite enough, thanks.

still, though. seriously, include me out, okay? In some ways I think it'd have been swell and all; it's just not -enough-, of itself, really it's not, and neither are her policies -or- her sparkling winner persona, so...remind me again, -why- am I supposed to be holding my breath until she wins?

belledame222 said...

and then, too, the whole "it is a TERRIBLE INSULT to have insinuated Hillary is being racist, how very DARE they!" i noticed in comment threads at VS' and elsewhere, not to mention the whole (cringe) "haka" business, and well...yeah. I mean: yeah.

vey iz mir, I dunno.

Kevin Andre Elliott said...

"But would it be too much to ask for people to, I don't know, consider getting a petit grip?"

As far as I can tell, yes.

Mandos said...

Violet used to be very open-minded about what went on at her place, but at some point she decided to shift gears. I remember we used to chuckle together over my IBTP exploits. Then some point after my IBTP banning and the Anonymous Storm, she decided she hated me. I can't even tell when. I was sad about it, but oh well---she had decided to take a different road, fair enough.

I largely agree with ballgame about Obama. I don't think that he can win in the general, and I think that Hillary probably could. The general election is not a primary. The Obama campaign is fine-tuned precisely to take down Clinton during the primary campaign, but it is not well-designed for the general and we're going to find that out soon enough.

I hope I'm wrong.

belledame222 said...

I had the idea that none of them were particularly fine-tuned except insofar as they had to wing it as they went along, but I could be wrong. at any rate, I didn't expect him to get anywhere near this far this soon either, so hey, never say die. and frankly Hillary's got plenty of baggage; she was never a shoo-in; the Clinton legacy and and her own rep is a hindrance as well as a help.

and usually yeah, it's the Establishment that wins; this however is a year where we're -really fucked off- with the Establishment.

the only things McCain really has going for him over Obama for anyone who wasn't already a die-hard Republican are:

1) he's supposed to be a "moderate," a "maverick," a small-c conservative

2) as Establishment and a relatively known quantity, he's "safer" (i.e. experience)

3) war vet

4) sadly: he's white, and yeah, racism is a factor.

There's nothing anyone can do about 4) other than try not to fan the flames any worse than they already are/will be (once again, thanks Hillary & campaign).

as for the other three:

1) He is in fact none of those things. The real challenge there is whether Obama and the campaign will be able to shift the media perception of both himself (scary radical leftist Moslem and/or Christian "godbag") and McCain (no, he's NOT a moderate or a libertarian in any sense; yes, he really IS gonna be much like Bush, with slightly better syntax and slightly worse hair).

2) again: people do get cold feet? and of course there's always the War Drums to bang; but barring anything new and drastic (which I certainly would not rule out, things being what they are), people are really, really, REALLY over the Bush administration and everything it represents.

In that regard Obama has the advantage over HRC; he's a relative newcomer, he's got "fresh" energy, he's neither a Clinton or a Bush, either of which we've had for the past -twenty years-. The time really is ripe. Doesn't mean anything's guaranteed, of course, but it's definitely a solid opening.

3) Yeah; on the other hand, well, there's some real ugly shit coming out about that as well, not so much his time served, but just how good he's been to the current vets. Again, it's up to the campaign and the media how much play this gets. People are however a tad numb from all the terrorist/war banging these past seven years, although it is true that that button still can always be pressed for a chunk of the populace, can't be helped. And they'll be trying to make the "terrorist sympathizer" thing stick to him as much as they possibly can.

There is also the point that McCain is not particularly popular with his base, either; in fact, unlike with Obama, who is genuinely raising excitement, it's pretty much a case of "hold your nose and vote for him to ward off the alternative" among--well, pretty much everyone, as far as I can tell.

McCain himself is old news (maybe twenty years ago he would've been more attractive with the "maverick" thing; these days it feels more like "sellout" to anyone who's been paying attention), and, well, again, never underestimate the Democrats' capacity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but the R's really are box-office poison right now. They're expecting a rout across the boards, actually.

and if McCain does pull it out somehow, it's not gonna be pretty for him, I don't guess, although of course it'll suck worse for the rest of us.

mostly, energy-wise it feels very Kennedy vs Nixon, at least at the moment.

belledame222 said...

The other potential real liability McCain has, one that hasn't come into play much yet but could well do once they hit the primetime with the general debates and constant post-nomination press hoopla: he's got a thin skin, and a nasty temper; and unlike some other people who have these, (Buchanan, say) he doesn't seem (to me, admittedly I am biased, but again, he's not exactly beloved by much of anyone, on the whole) to have the charm or charisma to offset it.

and is one area in which Obama may well have the advantage over him (I do believe in fact that it has a lot to do with why he's edged Hillary out; again, he's better at -looking/sounding- calm and reasonable and affable, on the whole). if he can play Bugs to McCain's Yosemite Sam (or Elmer, really), it could be rather splendid, actually. we shall see, though.

Tom Nolan said...

Just got round to reading the Heart/Violet contretemps. Good stuff.