August 24, 2007

"The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale. The Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent."

The sly new form for anti-Hillary campaigning. Don't name her. Just refer to something we'll understand, something that will stimulate us to think of the negative side of the Bill Clinton presidency. Set off that virulent thought process: We can't have the Clintons back in the White House.

This new example is from John Edwards. But he got the idea -- I think -- from Michelle Obama:
One of the things, the important aspects of this race is role modeling what good families should look like. And my view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House.
That was extra-sly, because it was deniable that it referred to Hillary, which gave her not only the benefit of being able to deny it but the intense and ongoing press (and blog) coverage as everyone had to talk about it all the more.

Does it refer to Hillary? Let's explain -- over and over again --
what it would mean if it did refer to Hillary? Now, considering that it would mean that if it did refer to Hillary, do you think that she meant to refer to Hillary?

Oh, she meant it. And she meant us to do that, and for us to keep doing that for months. And we know we will.

CORRECTION: I apologize for the horrifying Freudian slip, now expunged!

59 comments:

knoxwhirled said...

The system in Washington is rigged, and I'll say it again, it's rigged and it's rigged by greedy powers,"

said the multimillionaire.

rdkraus said...

You're not saying that a black woman is mud-slinging, or playing dirty.

Uh, I don't think you're allowed to say that about black women in America anymore. Let me just check my Constitution; where is that thing? Gone.

Roger said...

For those worried about the Rs using nasty tactics on the Ds, looks to me like all they have to do is sit back and collect sound bites for the general. Its great when the other party does your oppo research! This long campaign season is going to really surface some dirt, I suspect.

hdhouse said...

a true Rovian delight...Democrats eating their own.

She should send this on to Mr. Bush...."better the Lincoln Bedroom than Dick Cheney's office".

reader_iam said...

Michelle stumping:

"[O]ne of the most important things that we need to know about the next President of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House. So, so we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he's traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I'm home before bedtime. So the girls know that I was gone somewhere, but they don't care. They just know that I was at home to tuck them in at night, and it keeps them grounded, and, and children, the children in our country have to know that they come first. And our girls do and that's why we're doing this. We're in this race for not just our children, but all of our children."
***
And then there's this, addressing interpretation.

Roger said...

Off topic, but kudos to all the commenters for a really interesting and invective free thread on the california initiative/electoral college topic yesterday. Genuinely enjoyable to read and participate in. Thank you all.

SteveR said...

Too little, too late. They are doing the work for the GOP now. "See even John Edwards called this into question, your own party"

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Oops, I did it too.

Matt Brown said...

"Now, considering that it would mean that if it dead refer to Hillary..."

One of the most intriguing Freudian slips ever, Professor.

B said...

From I Timothy, St Paul on one of the requirements for any position of church leadership:

"For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?" (I Tim:5)

This point is that "he who is faithful in the little is also faithful in the much". Meaning why do you give a big responsibility when someone has demonstrated a lack of mastery in the basics?

We saw this basic principal worked out the last time someone got distracted by poor family relations - not the least of which was the strengthening of Osama Bin Laden on that person's distracted watch. Bin Laden would have been dead or captured - meaning we would have most assuredly been spared 9/11 - if the American people had considered the last Democratic jackass' family history before buying it.

AllenS said...

Politics has always been a dirty business. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised for someone to say: "Do we want Bill Clinton splashing his sperm all over the oval office again"?

LOL, Hillbilly.

ricpic said...

Virulent thought process? I'd say it's the essence of a healthy thought process to ponder the return of the wall to wall lying Clintons to the White House.

Cedarford said...

Off topic as well.

Yesterday, Aug 23rd Brian May of Queen defended his long time a' coming PhD dissertation in Astrophysics at Imperial University in London.

From BBC:

"Queen guitarist Brian May was on Thursday awarded a doctorate, more than 30 years after he first began studying a highly specialised area of astronomy.

May first started his thesis - titled, "Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud" - at Imperial College London in 1974, but abandoned it when Queen's prospects began to brighten.

He finally dusted off his notes last year and handed in his 48 000-word doctoral thesis about three weeks ago to Imperial's head of astrophysics Professor Paul Nandra."

"Dr." May at 60 is a man who has all the fame and fortune anyone would want, but he wanted to finish going down the road of one of his great passions.

A great example to all students - education - in Mays case, for math and scientific research, writing, and teaching is a reward unto itself, no matter how well your Day job goes.

May's Website:

http://www.brianmay.com/index.html

P. Rich said...

It is somewhat ironic for a black woman to issue a thinly-veiled criticism in that particular manner when it's the absence of fathers in the family setting that is destroying the black community.

Trevor said...

Knoxwhirled said, "said the multimillionaire."

Does that make him wrong? Does that make him incapable of proposing or effecting a change? How does his wealth make him a hypocrite? Should he give it away or use it to get in a position to make the kind of change he believes needs to happen? Which would be more effective?

Who could change the system where only the most money gets the ears of government? Should Zombie St. Francis of Assisi run? I'd totally vote for Zombie St. Francis.

Trevor said...

P.Rich, it's only ironic when you think that anytime a member of a certain race opens their mouth their comments have to be viewed through some sort of race-filter.

MarkW said...

Does that make him wrong? Does that make him incapable of proposing or effecting a change? How does his wealth make him a hypocrite?

It makes one suspect that dedication to the problems of the downtrodden hasn't been his life passion all along. It makes one suspect, too, that his railing against the 'greedy rich' comes more from opportunism (a recognition of a promising opportunity in the political market) than principle. And lastly, it might lead one to suspect that were he in power, it would result in the lining of the pockets of a slightly different class of rich people (trial lawyers, in particular).

But fortunately, he's running a distant 3rd...

bill said...

Why not rent out the Lincoln bedroom? I'd think it would make for an excellent bed and breakfast.

Doyle said...

It is somewhat ironic for a black woman to issue a thinly-veiled criticism in that particular manner...

It's ironic that such an ignorant comment would show up in this thread... Oh, wait, not only are these threads full of people like P. Rich, that's not even what the word ironic means!

MadisonMan said...

the return of the wall to wall lying Clintons to the White House.

Well, more liars in the White House wouldn't exactly be a change from the present administration.

Does anyone really expect the Executive Branch to tell the truth any more?

Doyle said...

How does his wealth make him a hypocrite?

I've stopped even trying to disabuse the wingnuts of this attack. They're just convinced rich people are required to be unabashedly greedy and corrupt (i.e. Republicans).

Doyle said...

It makes one suspect that dedication to the problems of the downtrodden hasn't been his life passion all along.

There it is: "Because he made money, he can't possibly be genuinely concerned about people who don't have money."

They must know this is bulls---, but don't care.

Trevor said...

It makes one suspect that dedication to the problems of the downtrodden hasn't been his life passion all along.

So what? Whether it's five years or fifty years, a platform is a platform. I recognize that it is easy to get jaded in the face of broken "uniter/divider" and "compassionate conservative" promises, but our vote is always a bit of a wager that a candidate plans to pursue the agenda they say they believe in, isn't it?

It makes one suspect, too, that his railing against the 'greedy rich' comes more from opportunism (a recognition of a promising opportunity in the political market) than principle.

Isn't that what every candidate tries to do? Isn't Giuliani capitalizing on his "luck" of being mayor of New York? Isn't Romney capitalizing on his ability to appeal (or pander, as others may see it) to moderates and liberals in previous elections? It's up to us to decide whether they actually intend to follow through on their promises.

Saying it's tough to believe Edwards because he has wealth is maddening. Because what this does is make it impossible for a candidate EVER to be believed when they say they care about and want to enact an agenda that helps poor people. So, what, the poor are always screwed? No candidates for you, poor people!

And lastly, it might lead one to suspect that were he in power, it would result in the lining of the pockets of a slightly different class of rich people (trial lawyers, in particular).

But, for the first time, you have a candidate saying that he won't take a dime of federal lobbyists' money in exchange for legislation that allows corporations to profit before the people. Here's a "read my lips" moment that some people may want to wager on.

But the "multimillionaire" charge is what bothers me most. It is ultimately a critique that disenfranchises millions of Americans.

Roger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trevor said...

"But fortunately, he's running a distant 3rd..."

Not in Iowa, he's not.

Roger said...

Why is a candidate's wealth an issue. Almost every candidate running is a multi-millionaire. Edward's attempt to do the two America's schtick is simply a losing political strategy: class warfare does not resonate among most Americans. All most people want is a chance to get their piece of the pie. I don't question Edwards personal commitment; I do question his political judgment.

Trevor said...

"I do question his political judgment."

All the more reason to assume this platform and the rhetoric must come from principle rather than calculation.

Roger said...

Trevor: exactly. Lest I be asked to support my assertion, here is the latest Gallup Poll on attitudes toward wealth in the US. Read the implications section: http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=27208

Trooper York said...

It's a great counterintuitive campaign strategy…..sort of like Rudy asking: "Why doesn't anyone ever ask how much my haircuts cost"…...or Fred Thompson's new slogan "You get two to look at for the price of one"...something even Bill would probably support...in a non-partisan sort of way of course.

Doyle said...

class warfare does not resonate among most Americans.

Yeah most Americans are really happy with the economy and how much they're benefiting from it, and have been totally convinced by the Laffable curve that the Bush tax cuts were a win for everyone.

We are all Larry Kudlow now.

Roger said...

Doyle: where did I talk about the economy or the laffer curve? My point was about class envy which, although you might be consumed with it, most Americans are not. Don't take my word for it: Read the poll.

David said...

I think that it benefits the Democrats for the primaries to get heated. One of the (many) things that went wrong for the Dems in 04 was that the candidates treated each other with kid gloves in the primaries. As a result, the voters didn't see that John Kerry would fold under pressure.

hdhouse said...

I find it irksum that some commentators pooh pooh Edwards because he has a fair amount of money and spends but also helps the poor...or for heaven's sake the stuff heaped on Kerry and Teresa Heinz for their wealth (not to mention Gore/global warming/private plane).

I don't admire conspicuous wealth..I think it is in bad taste and those who have it should be a bit more mindful, but it shouldn't be the disqualifier...it is only one step up from "what does she know, she is a woman" or "what does he know, he's black".

besides, and just to be equally petty, should we never listen to dick cheney because he has grown incredibly wealthy while in office?

PatCA said...

Edwards seems to be a stealth attacker. Wasn't he the first candidate to slip in a reference to the Cheneys' lesbian daughter in his first campaign?

I'm sure he will come out with a correction soon, just like he did then, after the damage is done.

vet66 said...

The problem with John Edwards is that he obtained his millions through strong oratory skills during trial and channeling dead children and those born with Cerebral Palsy.

Doctor caused cerebral palsy occurs very rarely if at all. Giving a C Section instead of vaginal birthing would do nothing since most cerebral palsy occurs through genetics and infections that induce premature births.

Edwards is for the little guy as long as the little guy gives up a third of the settlement to Edwards. He is a mercenary playing on the ignorance of the little guy and jurors. Ask Edward's neighbors how he treats the little guy.

Seven Machos said...

Doyle: Are you going to deny the existence of the Laffer Curve.

Let's review. In a free society...

1. If income tax rates are zero, the government will collect zero revenue.

2. If income tax rates are 100 percent in a free society, no one would work. Thus, there would be no income tax.

That's it. That's the Laffer Curve. Plot it yourself. (It works no matter what you make the x and y axes).

You can argue about the shape of the curve. Try that.

MadisonMan said...

Ask Edward's neighbors how he treats the little guy.


Such sentences are pretty meaningless. Ask Giuliani's neighbors how often he beats his wife. Ask John McCain's neighbors about his dark-skinned child! If you have proof that John Edwards treats little guys poorly, then produce it. Death by innuendo is so year 2000.

Trooper York said...

Madison man you are very confused….it's Giuliani's children that beat his wife...please stay focused on the minutia of the campaign.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Isn't it possible that Michelle Obama was actually talking about Rudy Giuliani? His children are certainly not helping his campaign.

Also, a little history about opposition research: Al Gore was the one who unearthed Willie Horton against the Dukakis campaign.

mgarbowski said...

Prediction:
1. Hillary we be the Democratic nominee.
2. Some clever/devious Republican will say these exact things during the general campaign.
3. Obama and Edwards will rip the Republican a new one.

knoxwhirled said...

John Edwards' #1 mantra is The Two Americas. i.e. the inequalities of the rich-vs-the poor.

Everything about the way he lives belies this. Yeah, I'd call it hypocritical, and it's patently absurd to act like it's ok and that he should get away with it.

How is it acceptable for him to say "I'm not willing to sacrifice my own riches to further this passionate cause of mine--just everyone else's." ???

It's exactly the same reason why people object to the jet-setting Gore's call for conservation and the like.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Michelle Obama said: "And my view is that if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House."

I think President Abraham Lincoln's personal life and presidency would refute that.

I also think President Bill Clinton's presidency would refute it, to a lesser degree.

Original Mike said...

Vet66 has a good point. I'm less offended with Edward's hypocrisy than I am with how he got his money.

Trevor said...

How is it acceptable for him to say "I'm not willing to sacrifice my own riches to further this passionate cause of mine--just everyone else's."

First off, that's not what he's saying and I don't think he's "trying to get away with" anything. If Edwards agrees that the tax cuts of 2001 should be allowed to sunset as they were intended (which allowed Bush to fudge the numbers at the time), then wouldn't Edwards be sacrificing his wealth in the same way he believes other wealthy Americans should for the greater good of the nation?

Why do you think he expects to be exempt from taxes?

Or are you talking about the fact that he's not sold his worldly possessions to pay for the things he thinks a moral government should provide its citizens? Again, I fail to see how someone could ever campaign for president on a populist platform and expect to win in this view.

Poor people don't get to be president. A rich person has to take up their cause. This is part of the very "rigged system" that he's talking about.

If you don't like him, say you don't like him, but you can't judge his willingness to actually try and create change for that second America based on the fact that he has money.

blake said...

Length of time matters to the extent that it reveals a serious intention to do something.

Nothing keeps a multi-millionaire (any of 'em) from working on their pet projects while NOT the President. John Edwards' claim rings false precisely because there's no public awareness of a vigorous attempt to change the situation he's decrying using his vast wealth. (I'm not saying he hasn't done anything, mind you, just that there's no awareness of it.)

It's not hypocrisy, either, really. Laurie David, with her conspicuous consumption on the one hand, and her demand that everyone else reduce consumption--that's hypocrisy. At the same time, one has no doubt that she's serious, just that she's given herself a special exemption.

How else does one determine whether a politician is serious, if topics only come up during campaign season?

Of course, if you look at it that way, what have any of them done?

blake said...

As for being exempt from taxes, don't the fabulously wealthy set up foundations that basically allow them to acquire and transfer money while avoiding taxes on the bulk of it?

Seven Machos said...

Poor people don't get to be president.

1. Ronald Reagan
2. Richard Nixon
3. Lyndon Johnson
4. Bill Clinton
5. Harry Truman

Bullshit. None of these people were born wealthy, some not even relatively so.

John Edwards is a malignant trial lawyer who most recently worked for a hedge fund. His father was a plant manager. He was never poor. I would hazard to guess that he grew up richer than all five of the above, in real terms relative to the society around him.

It's certainly possible to be wealthy and to work on behalf of the poor. But you simply cannot live in a mansion and fly around on private jets and do so. It's obscene. It's rude. People who want to work for the poor must be themselves modest if they want to be taken seriously.

This is why no one takes Edwards seriously.

Trevor said...

(I'm not saying he hasn't done anything, mind you, just that there's no awareness of it.)

Whose fault is that? Edwards'? The media's? Yours? Mine? Are you sure he's done nothing except in service of his campaign? Have you bothered to find out before accusing him of being opportunistic?

And how long would it take before you were satisfied of his "serious" commitment: ten years? twenty? Has he already wasted too much time?

don't the fabulously wealthy set up . . .

Do you have some evidence that Edwards hasn't paid his fair share? Now who's engaging in class warfare? If you want to reform the tax code so that everyone pays their share, who should get your vote?

Original Mike said...

Blake said: Nothing keeps a multi-millionaire (any of 'em) from working on their pet projects while NOT the President.

But the really cool thing about being President is you can get the whole country working on your pet project (at least you can try).

Trevor said...

I think it's clear what I meant, Seven. It takes a lot of money to be president and if you're going to tell me that anyone you listed didn't have a lot of money when it came time to campaign, then I'm the one calling bullshit.

People who want to work for the poor must be themselves modest if they want to be taken seriously.

So, I repeat, no one will ever be president who wants to help the poor. I'm glad we've got that settled.

Seven Machos said...

As a rule, Trev, conservatives don't want to reform the tax code so that everyone pays their "fair share."

The key word is "fair."

Are you a plant from the Edwards campaign sent here to defend the man? If so, I commend your efforts. If not, why are you wasting your time. The man's claim to fame is that he shifted considerable wealth from doctors and hospitals and their insurance companies on sketchy if not faulty, emotional-laden, pseudo-science premises.

Further, why is the burden on anyone to here to demonstrate that Edwards hasn't done enough for the poor? We ain't running for president. He is. Ergo, it's his burden.

Off the top of my head, here are three Edwards has dome that show that he doesn't care about the poor:

1. Build a 20,000+ square-foot house.

2. Fly around in private jets.

3. Work for a hedge fund after already accumulating enough money for 1000 people to live comfortably on for 100 years.

4. Fail to do anything as a senator to advance the cause of ending poverty.

Finally, the war against poverty is a ruse. It always will be. The poor will always be with us because some people will be richer than the poor. In our country, every kid has a winter kid or can get one at the Good Will or for $100 at Old Navy. We all have color televisions. We all have clean water. Our poor people tend to be obese, which suggests that malnutrition is not a problem.

Seven Machos said...

Corrections:

1. That's four things.

2. Coats cost $10 at Old Navy, not $100.

Trevor said...

I don't work for him nor have I necessarily decided to vote for him, I just think that the charges of hypocrisy are foolish and say little to me about his worth as a candidate.

Did FDR live in a shack? And yet no president has done more for the poor. Would you say he was a hypocrite for having servants all his life?

As for poor people's obesity, that IS a sign of malnutrition. Many eat diets heavy in saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup because that is in food that is cheaper. Education and the luxury of exercise are also factors, but mostly it's the food that's no good for you that's cheaper. I recognize that this was just a cast-off joke for emphasis on your part, but it bears challenging as an idea. It's particularly odious to me.

Trevor said...

No one has to demonstrate anything to me about what Edwards has done for the poor, I'm willing to listen to what he plans to do if elected president. I was suggesting that Blake's being unaware of what Edwards may have done for "the cause" may not be exactly Edwards' fault. Media and blogs seem much more willing to comment on the horse race and the hair and whether such-and-such was a jab at so-and-so. I mean, have any of you actually sat down and read any of the candidates' websites? Instead, we let the filters tell us what to talk about. It's frustrating. It happens everywhere: "Policy is boring. Tell me about the fight."

Seven Machos said...

If malnutrition is when you are fat, then I chose my word poorly. Starvation isn't a problem in this country. Nobody is dying from lack of food. People who eat poorly are choosing to do so. It's that simple. Our food stamp program works for fruit and chicken just as well as Fritos, and there's a Subway just up the street from the McDonalds.

"Two Americas" is substantially different from "a chicken in every pot." Moreover, FDR was trying (and I'd argue failing) to resolve a serious economic crisis. Here, now, there is not a crisis. See my points above.

Moreover, FDR didn't have 60 years of failed FDR-like policies to learn from. Bill Clinton didn't argue for the kind of policies Edwards is arguing for, because they are stupid and they don't work.

I'm not calling Edwards a hypocrite. I'm calling him an idiot who is way, way out of his depth, and who makes Hillary Clinton -- the maven of that odious national health care scheme -- look like a wise political sage. That's not easy.

Seven Machos said...

On a different note, Trevor, to respond to your comment above: I very much want all news filtered. For one thing, it's all filtered, anyway. Newspapers are filtered through the act of choosing which facts and quotes to report. There is no way not to have filtered news unless you are there to watch the thing happen that's reported.

Have you been to any candidates' websites recently. It's dumbed-down propaganda of the sort that would make Lenin blush.

I proudly get all my news through my favorite bloggers and my favorite political magazines. My filters are people I trust to add value and insight to facts.

Peter Palladas said...

it's Giuliani's children that beat his wife

Rudy's children assault Rudy's wife? Wow that's weird. You people.

Trevor said...

Arguing about whether he's an idiot is different from whether he's a hypocrite, which is where this began for me. I'm not here to change anyone's minds about the idiot part. I know what I'm capable of.

As for the websites and the details of policy positions, I'm including myself in that crowd of people who probably could stand to expose themselves to some different filters and do some thinking for themselves. You've found what you're looking for, Seven Machos. Good for you.

Cedarford said...

John Edwards' #1 mantra is The Two Americas. i.e. the inequalities of the rich-vs-the poor.

Everything about the way he lives belies this. Yeah, I'd call it hypocritical, and it's patently absurd to act like it's ok and that he should get away with it.

How is it acceptable for him to say "I'm not willing to sacrifice my own riches to further this passionate cause of mine--just everyone else's." ???


As smarmy a lawyer as Edwards is, his critique of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy is no different than Warren Buffett's. Buffett famously noted that the Club for Growth and the Flat Taxers were just deceitful shills for the Rich, that the bottom line truth was that as the 2nd Richest man in America, he paid less taxes on each dollar he earned than his secretary or any factory worker did.

And that the inequities got worse when you looked at disposable income, what was left after all the obligatory living expenses were paid for, FICA, minimum living expenses done.

Buffet said he pays FICA off his 1st day of work, while his secretarial pool is hit on it for each dollar they make. His income is mostly investments and options, taxed at lower rates than his secretary's incomes are. His sewer tax, insurance on his Buick, electricity bill same as everyone else's, less actually with his employee insurance discounts. As a member of the Corporate Owner Class, he can make his health and dental insurance fully tax-deductable, while a non-union worker buying their own health insurance get no tax deduction.

And, what Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy did was basically shift a huge amount of costs back to the States that dumped the costs onto the working man in the form of higher regressive state and local fees, sales taxes, and property taxes.

The Republican refrain that Edwards and Buffett and anyone else that bitches that a Fatcat pays less in taxes and has significantly more left of each dollar in disposable income can always give their own away if they dislike how the system now favors the Very Rich and the welfare class completely miss the point. Besides being as slimey as anything Edwards ever did.

The system now has significant inequality that screws the middle class out of more in each dollar they earn than the billionaire and Owner class pay. It is the system that was a problem even before Bush gave even more to the wealthy and Slick Johnny Edwards saw votes in the screwing.

And by now the American public has learned that there is no rising tide lifting the dinghies at a rate equal to the humongous yachts in the harbor, and that trickledown is the urine descending from the castle walls onto the necks of the peasants.

As slimey and hypocritical as Edwards is, his "Two Americas" theme has lasted since 2004's election and grown in influence because it is absolutely true. Wealth created in America IS concentrating in the hands of a few, the Owner Class is destroying America's better jobs and careers for Outsourcing, Immigration to hold wages down - all to create great profits from those lost American jobs.

It's the #1 Reason why the Reagan Democrats and traditional middle class have begun to leave the Republicans despite them not standing Democrats on cultural or security issues - the corruption and pillaging by the Rich and their destruction of worker job security and decent wages has grown too much to stomach.