November 24, 2007

If "every campaign is... a narrative," what's Hillary Clinton's narrative?

Mickey Kaus looks at John Ellis's idea, which he gleaned from the Nixon campaign. Ellis says:
She knows what it's like to get her head kicked in every day, day after day after day, for months and years on end. She endures....

...I think her narrative is not "she's inevitable because she's experienced and the others are too light." I think her narrative is "formidable, battle-scarred, flawed, but important." I think [Hillary strategist Mark] Penn thinks he can micro-target to victory. I think they need a large macro theme that enables people to vote for Hillary, even though they don't want to.

It's obviously late now. This is work they should have done in 2006 and 2007: setting the context for "understanding" her candidacy ...
Ha ha. They need to explain to us how to vote for Hillary, even though we don't want to

But I'm not really laughing. Actually, I picture myself doing exactly that. I don't like her, and I don't want to vote for her, but somehow, I assume that in the end I will. I'm resisting now — look at all my recent Hillary posts — but it's probably because I see myself ending up doing what I don't want to do.

So Mickey says:
Campaigning as tough, battle-scarred fixture, etc. would certainly serve Hillary better, should she lose Iowa and New Hampshire, than campaigning as "inevitable." It seems entirely possible... that primary voters might feel like resurrecting Ms. Durability after she's suffered a bit by way of a New Hampshire loss. (Making her suffer a bit might even be the point...) But there's no point in resurrecting a failed Ms. Inevitability. ...
So "enduring" is the new "inevitable." It's all "inevitable" can be when you're not — you know — inevitable. Plus, "enduring" seems almost charmingly complex. Which has that pseudo-warmth that's as warm as you can be when you're ... Nixonian.



(By the way, where the video of Rick Lazio invading Hillary's space in that old debate? Is it not available on line? If not, why not?)

ADDED: The video is hard to find, but Ruth Anne Adams found "The Daily Show"'s version of it.

81 comments:

Ron said...

So she's got us all doing what she wants even though we don't want to? Oh, yes, it does indeed sound like Bill's the campaign manager! And she'll love us in the morning after, too!

Ron said...

As they say, Close your eyes and think of HealthCare!

rhhardin said...

What's inevitable about her is the media narrative of inevitability, which in turn is chosen to appeal to their own audience, soap opera women.

This large demographic edits everything except blogs.

Seeing yourself doing it is seeing yourself being attracted to that narrative.

Men are a lot less likely to be attracted, but the media have written them off already.

reader_iam said...

"Soap opera women"?

rhhardin said...

Soap opera women (40% of women) are the audience for media news. They're the only large group that will watch every day, day in and day out, news or not, so long as there is soap opera.

It's the business model. No other business model works, unfortunately.

The desire for hard news is only imagined. Think city council meetings.

That desire is really just an expression of disgust for what's actually available.

Fred said...

That is a really interesting way of putting it. I don't really like Hillary Clinton either, I feel antagonistic towards her and yet I feel my vote going into the Clinton bucket if Edwards or Obama are knocked out in the primaries.

Since I'm a pretty staunch speech, privacy, and anti-War advocate, Ron Paul is my only choice on the GOP side and something tells me he's not going to get a fair shake running as a Republican.

Unlike the majority of people who comment on this blog, I am a huge fan of Bill Clinton. To me, if you take away Monica-gate, he represents everything that a politician should be and more. He is pure political genius, and his acumen is rubbing off on Hillary Clinton re: political sparring.

As much as people here despise Hillary Clinton for not being transparent on policy issues, I can't stand her because she comes closer to resembling President Bush on the issues than any other Democrat running for President. On transparency, I think she is absolutely brilliant with her strategy. If you think about it, transparency on the issues --e.g. not being fake-- tends to leave an opening for the Swift Boat liars of the world to come out and play.

How can anyone wrestle with a pig in the mud? You can try, but you're not going to win. In my opinion, that's what is infuriating to GOP strategists and partisans about Clinton at the moment. It's also precisely why Karl Rove and President Bush are not making nasty public remarks about Clinton the way they did Kerry. Against Kerry it was like taking candy from a baby, against Clinton, it's more like taking steroids from Mike Tyson, you can try.. but he's going to kick your ass if you do.

Fred said...

rhhardin: I don't think it was the media's choice to make Hillary Clinton the "inevitable" candidate. Of course she's going to play to inevitability because it gives her the status of "favorite" and makes her the "man" to beat.

Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but it seemed to me that the idea of inevitability came from the right. It is pure political strategy and through brilliant subliminal political messages, they've managed to make it hit the main stream. To be completely honest, the first time I read this idea of inevitability was in one of Ann's posts. Since then, I've seen it in e-mails from Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter and a few other prominent leaders of the GOP movement.

I'm not privy to any information, but my guess is that by touting Clinton as inevitable... the GOP can then focus on ripping her to shreds with 1) the base 2) voters on the fence. They know they'd have a much easier shot at winning an election against 'Barack Obama' (the black guy) or 'John Edwards' (the 'faggot').. therefore, you create a world for Hillary Clinton to exist and you paint it as a shady, double talking, politics as usual, "waffling", holier than thou, un-American socialist pig.

Mission Accomplished.

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

"the Swift Boat liars"

Another figment of the "reality-based communities'" too fertile imagination.

Tim said...

"I'm not privy to any information,...

Indeed. As if you needed to state the obvious.

joe said...

The narrative that comes to mind is Hillary's sense of entitlement to the job combined with the mainstream media's theme of her inevitability. The major problems she faces is that the MSM no longer has a monopoly on the news and her strong, steady negative numbers among the electorate.

Fred said...

Tim: We all have our biases, no need to get your panties in a bunch.

Tim said...

The Hillary! knows she'll get, as any Democrat nominee for president would, about 90+% of the Democrat vote in the general election. Her biggest problems lies with her unfavorable ratings, Democrat turnout and swing voters. It's much too late to do anything about her unfavorable ratings, as even Dems who concede they'll likely vote for her acknowledge they don't like her (and a quick scan of presidential election results shows the more likable candidate defeats the less likable one every time, save Nixon over Humphrey in '68, but that was a special case).

As for her other two problems, she needs to energize the Democrat base - some of that will come on the natural as loyal Dems see an opportunity to capture the presidency; others will be animated by a pet issue (losing in Iraq, ensuring the Iranians get the bomb, appointing Justices who read unwritten words in the Constitution, nationalizing health care, handicapping productivity to reduce greenhouse gases, redistributing wealth from the productive to the unproductive, re-establishing impoverishing trade barriers, expanding the power of inefficient and feather-bedding unions, etc.), but that comes at a price for the Hillary! Her efforts to drive out the Dem base will cost her swing voters, who aren't as ill informed and unhinged as the typical Democrat voter. The Hillary! will have a series of needles to thread to win; her very best hope, of course, is for the Reps to completely implode as the Dems and Humphrey did in '68.

But that is an awfully thin reed for an unlikable candidate to hang one's hopes on.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

You ask:

(By the way, where the video of Rick Lazio invading Hillary's space in that old debate? Is it not available on line? If not, why not?)

Never say never, but I never see any prompt to the original video. My guess? "Print the legend!"

"Space Invasion”, my foot. The lady's not made of spun sugar. It was just one of those campaign gotchas that her supporters were waiting to invent. Worked well among rhhardin's soap opera women.

I know at least two wives of my friends who got hysterical when they heard the MSM representation of what had happened tho neither had seen the debate itself or any full replay. (Please no nonsense about “mere anecdotal evidence”.)

Her narrative is

"Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive, better able to bear the slings & arrows of outrageous fortune & able to play the victim card when asked an unanswerable question by an impertinent reporter or unworthy opponent. And able to suck on an ice cream corn dog without caring about the irony of it re Bill & Monica. Utouchable, and above all, 'Brilliant' ”.

Tim said...

"...no need to get your panties in a bunch."

You are, of course, welcome to your opinions, such as they are - but not your own "facts."

Fred said...

"Swift Boating" is a partisan phrase, true, so feel free to slam dunk that in the opinion basket. :) Sorry for the panties comment, I get mine in a bunch when I sense I'm being attacked, too!

paul a'barge said...

I see myself ending up doing what I don't want to do

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

I've felt about Hillary exactly as Professor Althouse does.

I've always just assumed I will end up voting for her.  However, I had a rare political discussion with my wife the other day, and I've changed my mind.  I hope you don't mind my little domestic anecdote, leaving snark, statistics and abstractions for others.

My wife is very liberal, and almost always votes a straight Democratic ticket.  She also has an advanced degree in foreign relations and has worked for the State Dept.  Because of her professional past in this area, she doesn't like talking about it with mere amateurs, her husband first and foremost.  Having been at a policy level in Washington, she also doesn't like talking any kind of national politics with dilettantes, either.

But the other morning she was in a relaxed mood. I was sipping coffee with her and saying that Hillary was so experienced, tough, inevitable, etc., etc., but that I just didn't like Hillary.

My wife agreed, and said she couldn't stand her either.

What to do? I asked.

Vote for Rudy, my wife said.

What? I said.  I really like Giuliani, respect what he did in New York, but doubt he could be an effective President for a lot of reasons.  Too much baggage.  The Democrats will control Congress.  The media will be hostile, etc.

My wife said, why not?  He's got much better leadership qualities than Hillary.  Look, she said, we live in dangerous times.  When the next big one happens, whether terrorists or the Big Earthquake in California, or whatever, do you want Hillary Rodham Alexander Haig Nixon screeching on TV?  Or do you want Rudy telling you pretty much everything he can in his straightforward way?  Who could more effectively rally the nation in a crisis?

Think of Herbert Hoover, she said. He was smarter and much more technically prepared to be president than Franklin Roosevelt. But when a crisis hit, Roosevelt brought people together and carried the day.  He did it by being a good communicator, but beyond that he had that ineffable quality called leadership.

The reason you say you like and trust Rudy and want to hear what he has to say, is precisely because he is a leader.  Hillary is tough, experienced, smart, and horrible.  People don't like her.  You can analyze all you want, but I think it's important to go with your gut feelings, because if there's anything we need in this country it's someone who can do something to bring us together. People do not follow a leader because of a laundry list of policy positions. They follow because of their gut. Rudy, as far as I can see, is the best we can do now. Maybe Obama, as a young black Jack Kennedy, can do it next time after he's seasoned a bit more, but this election I'm voting for Rudy.

I sat there, jaw dropped, coffee cup halfway to my lips, hardly able to process what I had just heard.  This from my standard-issue Washington liberal wife.  Okaaay, I said.  I'll certainly think about it.

I've thought.  Barring the unforseen, I'm voting for Rudy.  I have a feeling my Democratic hand will be shaking when I pull that very unfamiliar Republican lever.

ricpic said...

Hillary Halavah

When those thunder thighs slap together
My heart goes pitipat,
Like a zombie I'll walk to the polls:
Cottage cheese is where it's at!

George said...

Formidable, battle scarred, war hardened.

She is positioning herself as Sarah Connor.

And if something like 9/11 or worse happens just before the election, and the GOP puts up a pretty boy nominee, she'll win, because the people will demand blood.

She'll pursue the Crazy Taxi Driver strategy.

Signal that you're turning left, then take a sudden, sharp hard right.

Kirk Parker said...

Fred,

"Ron Paul is my only choice on the GOP side and something tells me he's not going to get a fair shake running as a Republican."

No doubt he won't do well running for the GOP nomination, but (1) what's unfair about it? He is, after all, somewhat of a flake, and certainly a marginal candidate; and (2) you surely don't think he'd do any better for the Democrat nomination, do you? (For that matter, I expect him to do better than Gravel.)

And then this:

"Unlike the majority of people who comment on this blog, I am a huge fan of Bill Clinton. To me ... he represents everything that a politician should be and more. He is pure political genius..."

So you think politics is 100% about image and form, and zero about substance and actual leadership? You may be onto something, as far as our national body politic goes, but how can you look at it and feel like a "fan" of one of the perpetrators, rather than having it fill you with deep regret and foreboding?

Donald Douglas said...

Kimberley Strassel at WSJ yesterday said this about Clinton's "inevitablility":

"Mrs. Clinton has made this tactic a cornerstone of her campaign, and it had been working. During debates she frequently speaks on "behalf of everyone" on the stage. She chooses moments wisely to make statements no Democrat disagrees with ("George Bush is ruining this country"), leaving the competition nodding in miserable agreement. Her insistence that she and her Democratic colleagues should keep this race focused on their arch-enemy was equally savvy. With everyone piling on Dubya, nobody was piling on her.

Add to this Mrs. Clinton's stash of money, the vaunted infrastructure, the endorsements and her superstar status. The Clinton campaign has flogged all of these to leave the impression she's the only player in the game."

Strassel goes on to discuss Clinton's Achilles heel: ethics. It's good stuff.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/kstrasselpw/?id=110010899

Cedarford said...

I am sick to death of lazy journalists and opinion writers having replaced the facts and reportage of a story with the "narrative". "Narrative" and "Meta-NArrative" - formed from "consensus beliefs" which pre-exists the story. Then the story just becomes plugging the "facts" spun as needed or omitted if really at odds with the narrative - - into the approved narrative template that jornalists and news editors agree must exist for a wide range of subject matter.

Beliefs born in Marxist, National Socialist, Socialist, and post-modernist thought that the media, like the legal system, is invaluable tool for achieving the correct progress of mankind and "social justice" if the narratives are followed. Or spreading the "narrative" practice down to local reporting - beliefs centered on a crasser level- that if you start with narratives or slot news into a niche of a meta-narrative - the story basically writes itself with little effort.

BIG stories like:

All conventional global warming stories start with the basic narratives: (1)It is an indictment of our materialism. (2) The USA is mainly at fault (3)Exciting, miracle alternate energy sources and conservation tools are just around the corner. (4)The poor and minorities will suffer the most.

MEDIUM IMPACT Stories:

Hillary is incredibly smart and competent, but sometimes too calculating. Add or discard the narrative of inevitablity - it is optional according to news editors, as is the Hill&Bill narrative. But you must add the "horserace narrative" even if she is inevitable.

LITTLE LOCAL Stories:

Sometimes confused with conventions. Like sports teams stories must always be suspenseful even if a blowout. A deranged angry woman disrupting a meeting is "plucky" and "stands up for herself". All criminals have a sob story..But narratives always seek to explain local events with implications of larger "meta-truths".

1. Serial rapist-murderer stories must always be balanced with interviews with mothers and coaches saying what a "good boy" he was, to remind us that crime is society's failing.

2. Any budget battle in a town must always center on those - who generally pay little or no taxes - who might be "hurt" if government and entitlement growth is checked.

3. Schools always need more teachers, smaller classrooms, bans on candy bars whenever ANY educational deficiency, violence at school story is covered.

4. Any tragedy - person with the disease of the week, auto crash, homeless bum found frozen - must be balanced with a "hero narrative" of the heroes who will keep us all safe...

5. Media work with adverisers to reinforce the "how smart you are! How deserving you are! What high status you will have if you buy X, instead of Z!" narrative to consumers.
Keeping up with the Jones narratives have been around for generations. Stories of how great it is to get ownership of a half million dollar house with only 60K in income, 10,000 down and 3 kids a decade out from college.
You must have an iPOD, and we will run 4-5 approving stories over the summer since it is "newsworthy".

***************
I dislike narratives because they are essentially about propagandizing and manipulating people, and the main purveyors are those that lacked the brains and discipline in college to get a real profession. And because of that, many of the narratives are blatantly obvious.
Others are readily pointed out by people that analyze media editorializing the news over a period of time: (NYTimes writes 164 front page stories on Abu Ghraib and "torture". 26 "War sucks for the men in this platoon" stories. In the same period 3 front page stories on the valor & heroism of soldiers.) Or when every natural phenomenon in California that actually is cyclical in nature is written up as yet more confirmation of global warming.
Sometimes the narratives are horrifyingly off from reality, and that is a cue for journalists and allied academics to put their heads down and bull ahead anyways. The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case being an excellent example.

The solution is people will atomize away from generalist news providers and seek purely factual niches that deal with items of their main interests - or the traditional media will recognize how much these narratives have killed off their credibility and return to objective, factual reporting that established certain news organizations as superior to their yellowsheet competitors in the 1st place.

Cedarford said...

Clang!Honk!Tweet! -

Speaking of narratives, don't get swallowed up with the NYC mainstream media's narrative that "our guys, who we know so well - Hillary&Rudy are the logical choices for all the country, and thus inevitable...unless you want us to throw in our Mayor Bloomberg for a little more Manhattan Elites variety".

Outside the narratives, and name-recognition national polls, the country that has seen a lot of the candidates has rather liked Obama, Romney, and Huckabee. Hillary is still dominant, but Rudy does not top the polls in any Primary state until Florida comes up.

Political insiders now give scandal-free Romney the edge on the Republican side.
And say that Obama would be formidable if he had any executive experience. To which the Obama campaign has finally started to stage-whisper..and what proof of Hillary's vast executive experience as First Lady and alledged Co-President has she provided to the American People?
Where's the beef? (As previous White House insiders have noted, anyone with serious clout - in on the major meetings and decisions -generates an enormous paper trail in Presidential records documenting it. Is she the Empress with no clothes? Should Dems adopt Reagan's motto on Hillary's claimed "First Lady Co-Presidency, Co-Governership" --Trust but Verify?

And Rudy's "leadership" on 9/11 was familiar territory for Rudy in dozens of crisises. Hold press conferences, show your face a lot, speak calmly, let the beloved cops get a semblence of order back, gather the experts. Plug any competent Mayor or Governor with some media savvy in Rudy's place after 9/11 and the result would have been indistinguishable. Many with far less baggage and scandal than Rudy. I don't mind Rudy. I think he did a great job with the cultural, business transformation of the City from a budding New Orleans into a livable place. But all he did on 9/11 was show he was no Ray Nagin...same as Rendell would have if planes had smacked into Philly back then, Dailey in Chicago, Newsome in SF.

Don't be duped with your wife on the media pundits that talk knowingly about the inevitable New York Hillary!-Rudy! maybe Bloomie! matchup just because they are the only candidates they think they "know".

Zeb Quinn said...

Actually, I picture myself doing exactly that. I don't like her, and I don't want to vote for her, but somehow, I assume that in the end I will.

Sorry, but lame. Really lame.

If you end up voting for her it's because in your heart of hearts you really wanted to vote for her, not because you really didn't want to. What you're doing is now looking around for ways to rationalize doing what you really want to do, however irrational that act may be. I'd guess that you are emotionally attached to voting for her. Probably the gender thing.

Fen said...

the Swift Boat liars

No. John Kerry was the one to be found lying, not the Swift Boat Vets. Two purple hearts from self-inflicted injuries, false testimony to Congress about his "mission" to Cambodia, falsely accusing his fellow vets of war crimes, etc etc.

I know the Left wants to spin "Swiftboating" as some kind of ugly smear tactic, but its really nothing more than digging out the truth.

For example, a "Swiftboating of Hillary" would be credible information about how she abused the power of the Executive Branch to trash the women her husband sexually harassed...

Fen said...

I assume that in the end I will.

I'm surprised you would vote for a women who enabled her husband's predatory sexual behavior in the workplace for political gain.

Yes, if I was to vote Democrat it would be Hillary - the only adult in the room, but then I never really considered myself a feminist.

Echo. You don't have to vote.

Kirby Olson said...

Has Hillary ever written a poem? I would like to see one of her poems.

I assume that Rudy doesn't write poems.

W. wrote a few pretty bad poems, but they were in good fun, and I liked them.

Kerry liked poetry, but did he write any of it?

I don't think we're necessarily hiring a poet here but it's still a nice look into someone's soul.

By the way, I wonder if Ms. Althouse has ever written a poem? Please publish one or two, if so.

Paul Zrimsek said...

She knows what it's like to get her head kicked in every day, day after day after day, for months and years on end.

"Christmas, Ted. What does it mean to you? For me, it was a living hell. Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked in the head by an iron boot? Of course you don't, no one does; that never happens. Sorry, Ted, dumb question."
(Airplane!, 1980)

former law student said...

fen -- why didn't the swift boat veterans speak out in the intervening third of a century? Answer: Their charges were based in emotion, not fact. Testimony that old is inherently unreliable; memories fade and are reshaped. People believe what they want to believe -- that's why nobody cared much about W.'s dereliction of duty.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Zeb, millions of Americans voted for George W. Bush or John Kerry not because they liked either one but couldn't stand the other. It might be sad, but that's life and I find it hilarious that some of the most conservative people around here are trashing someone for saying that given that almost all of them are going to vote for someone else who disagrees with them on just about every issue save one.

Bob said...

I, myself, would like Hillary to lose just so I could hear her snarl, "From now on you won't have Hillary to kick around!"

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

I'm surprised you would vote for a women who enabled her husband's predatory sexual behavior in the workplace for political gain.

Why should fred be forced to apply different standards than you, who will blindly vote for a man who abandoned his family not once but twice. At least fred didn't endorse the idea of a military coup d'etat should his candidate not prevail.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

As they say, Close your eyes and think of HealthCare!

That's true Ron, and one of the reasons I may end up not voting at all. Be that as it may, it is interesting to see people use things Clinton said 14 years ago against her, as if she and the nation learned nothing in the intervening years. Had the same rules been applied to George W. Bush, whatever he said way-back-when would have been completely unintelligible as, by all accounts (including his own) he was drunk most of the time.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Cedarford:  Well, we may have gotten too swept up in the MSM's meta-narrative about Rudy vs. Hillary, but I think that is the almost inevitable contest if the Republicans want to try to win.  The same with the Democrats.  Maybe Obama next time, but he is really not ready for prime time this year.

Who knows?   There's a long history of Republican death-wishes, not to mention the sacrificial lambs of both parties.  But '08 should NOT be a year for ritual slaughter.  If the Republicans put up anyone but Rudy, they will be slaughtered. I think most Republicans know that in their hearts of hearts (assuming, of course, that Republicans have hearts).

Romney may appeal to a lot of Republican primary voters, but not necessarily to all of the base, and certainly not to moderate Democrats and swing voters, among which I count myself.  Frankly, none of the other candidates have the money, organization, or just plain juice at this point to be viable nominees for president.

As a Massachusetts resident, I can tell you that Romney is a genuine, certifiable phoney political turd.  He is quite intelligent, decent, and hard-working, but he is a political disaster.  He oozes phonyness, his flip-flopping being an integral part of his personality.  He was a very irritating governor, not doing anything terribly wrong, but obviously using the job as a stepping stone.

I hate that.  I loved Bill Weld, the perfect Republican governor.  Weld was witty, charming, informed, a real mensch (sorry all you Jew-haters out there, but even us Irish Catholics have taken over the term here on the East Coast).   Anyway, Bill Weld lost me when he tried to run for the Senate and grew bored with the mere job of governor and his life here in general.  There's a long story about that, but the bottom line for me and a lot of other Massachusetts people is that if you run for governor, you ought to want to BE governor.  Romney was obviously merely punching his ticket.  Grumble.

Now it could be said that any competent executive would have done what Rudy did.  But the point is that Rudy did it.  He was a calming, reasonable, informative voice, and, to me at least, he had that quality my wife was talking about: leadership.  I look forward to hearing what Rudy has to say.  He makes me feel good to listen to him, and I generally agree with him.  Even when I think he's wrong, I don't dislike him for it.

I may agree with more of Mrs. Clinton's stated policies, but I just don't like her.  So, do I want to spend another four years with a president I really can't stand?  Not at my age, and not if I can help it.

Fen said...

former student: fen -- why didn't the swift boat veterans speak out in the intervening third of a century? Answer: Their charges were based in emotion, not fact.

Wrong. Their charges WERE based in fact, so much so that they produced video and transcripts of Kerry's own words.

And the reason they waited was that they were not interested in revealing Kerry as a fraud until he decided to campaign as a "war hero" seeking to becime CINC.

Fen said...

Randy: Why should fred -

The quote is Ann's, not fred's. My question was for Ann Althouse, Democrat and Feminist.

- be forced to apply different standards than you, who will blindly vote for a man who abandoned his family not once but twice.

Huh?

At least fred didn't endorse the idea of a military coup d'etat should his candidate not prevail.

What?

Fen said...

randy: Why should fred be forced to apply different standards than you, who will blindly vote for a man who abandoned his family not once but twice

BTW, ignoring your confusion and unfounded assumptions for a moment...

Whats with the tu quoque fallacy? Why should Fred define his principles by what I say or do? Do Democrats have ethics of their own, or do they simply define their principles downward according to what they believe the other side does?

rcocean said...

CHT:

You have it completely wrong. Rudy is not a guarantee of victory, he is a guarantee loser. Rudy will split the party and force the pro-lifers and social conservatives to run a 3rd party or stay home.

The Republicans really are the stupid party if they nominate a liberal former mayor of NYC, a man who endorsed Mario Cuomo, is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-gun, pro Affirmative action, pro-NAFTA, pro-Amnesty, made NYC a sanctuary city, has no foreign policy experience, and wants to invade Iran.

Further, nominate Rudy and lots of issues like Clinton's ethical problems and her support for illegal immigration will be taken off the table. Heck, Clinton can run as the "law and order" candidate on Illegal immigration against Rudy.

All Rudy has going for him is talk; much of which is contradicted by his past actions.

Simon said...

rcocean said...
"You have it completely wrong. Rudy is not a guarantee of victory, he is a guarantee loser. Rudy will split the party and force the pro-lifers and social conservatives to run a 3rd party or stay home."

There's a separate thread if you want to talk about people plunging knives into their own flesh and amputating their own limbs.

Fred said...

Fen:

One man's propaganda is another man's truth. What is truth in politics after all, but an attempt to recreate a reality that closely resembles the perspective of the creator?

For you, the voice of Swift Boat Veterans is honorable, heroic even, could be trusted like the gospel. For me, the organization *was* honorable until it became politicized in order to help elect a candidate whom many Americans consider worst president in American history.

In my HIGHLY BIASED opinion (I accept that it is MY opinion) Your heroes have helped corrupt America beyond recognition, the "honorable" voice of these bad boys has helped bring forth the makings of a fascist State. In my view, these men lied like President Bush did to invade Iraq in the wake of September 11th. The voice of the Swift Boaters in 2004 has disgraced the organization the way Bush has disgraced the GOP. Until the group is depoliticized, it will be cast in negative light throughout American history.

For someone who "supports the troops" (tm), you sure have a funny way of showing it.(politicization and therefore trivialization of their service) Did you see the news of John Kerry's exchange with Pickens on the issue of truth and his record? More importantly, did you read it from a less biased source than Newsbusters or DailyKos? Kerry, this week, accepted a one million dollar challenge on his record, promising to give the money to veterans so he could set the record straight.

The Pickens challenge was simple, "if anyone could disprove any of the allegations made by the Swift Boat vets, Pickens would give them a million dollars". Sure, it was probably said tongue-in-cheek, but when called on it.. he backed down from John Kerry.

His excuse, of course, is not wanting to drag the reputation of the veterans through the mud. What kind of happy horse shit is that? Their reputation has already been dragged through the mud, run over by pork, propaganda and "truth," and dragged through some more for good measure. The Boaters are loved by GOP die-hards in a way that only a mother could love a hermaphroditic child.

I know this post may seem harsh, if not reprehensible to some readers, but I'm trying to make a point. American soldiers shouldn't be politicized, but they have been, and that itself is utterly reprehensible. God shouldn't be politicized, but He is. I know it's hard to believe, but I truly mean no offense to men who've served valiantly for America's honor, if anything, (I'll save you the time) in my demented and warped reality.. I'm actually defending their honor by attacking their character. The moment any public figure or organization enters the political arena, they've become fair game for a political mud-bath.

See Valerie Plame, John Kerry, the ACLU, Gen. Wes Clark, George Tenet, General Petraeus, General Batiste, "the phony soldiers", and Swift Boat Vets.

You can challenge my opinion against your interpretation of the facts, but at the end of the day.. Americans are going to believe what they believe. I'd be willing to bet you more than one half of American voters with a fair understanding of politics will define "Swift Boating" using the negative connotation that "the liberal left" has used to smear the "honorable" organization.

Simon said...

Fred said...
"Since I'm a pretty staunch speech, privacy, and anti-War advocate, Ron Paul is my only choice on the GOP side and something tells me he's not going to get a fair shake running as a Republican."

"Not winning" is not the same thing as "not getting a fair shake." Paul is going to lose because he's a fruitcake, not because he didn't get a fair shake. And no, that's not because he's for limited government or any of the usual potted Paulista replies. It's because he's a fruitcake (and a pretend libertarian at that - free trade is the sine qua non of libertarianism, and anyone who tries to sell himself as a libertarian for tariffs is unmasked as a closet populist).


"Unlike the majority of people who comment on this blog, I am a huge fan of Bill Clinton. To me ... he represents everything that a politician should be and more. He is pure political genius...."

Not really helping the Paulista image as a bunch of (in Erick Ericson's phrase) crypto-liberals, there, Fred.

Fen said...

[Rudy]wants to invade Iran.

wants to? Might be forced to, as a last alternative [like Bush/Iraq].

How does Hillary plan to prevent Iran from getting nukes again? Lots of talk? UN resolutions with no teeth? Sanctions that are violated by our allies before the ink is dry?

Fred said...

Before the attacks begin, YES, I AM:

1) a paranoid delusional
2) engaging in conspiracy theory
3) a clear example of the dangers that the vile lies of liberal socialist leftist bloggers pose to America
5) anti-American, un-American
6) a non-supporter of the troops
7) clearly have no understanding of the "real truth".
8) an idiot, a moron, irrational
9) 10000% wrong on everything
10) and much worse....

Oh yeah, don't expect an intelligent response or recognition of your dirty words, because I am incapable of understanding the sheer complexity of your arguments on the issue of patriotism and politicization of the troops.

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

Fred: One man's propaganda is another man's truth.

No. Who taught you such bullshit? Demand a refund.

the "honorable" voice of these bad boys has helped bring forth the makings of a fascist State.

Sure. Swiftboat Vets who were a) mostly Dems and b) mostly supported Edwards, helped bring forth fascism. You are loony tunes.

these men lied like President Bush did to invade Iraq in the wake of September 11th.

Bush did not "lie", and Iraq was not invaded "in the wake" of 9-11. So when you claim the Swiftboat Vets lied like Bush did, its ironic.

Really, this is like attempting conversation with a 9-11 Truther. Let me know when you get back to this reality, and perhaps I'll bother to respond.

Fred said...

Simon: very fair response, I agree with your point on liberal corruption and tainting of Ron Paul's libertarian purity or 'image'. There is something beyond the "wacky fruitcake" theory though. Ron Paul represents a movement against the status quo, a strong movement at that. A certain segment of conservative thought is being challenged by a 'rogue' group of a few legitimate conservative and many pseudo-libertarian and conservative thinkers.

Nevertheless, it represents American (if not World) sentiment on the issue of Iraq, privacy rights, and the Constitution. My question to you is this: doesn't this put you in an interesting quandary? On the one hand, you have liberals who never understood the concept of respecting the Constitution-- suddenly finding the Constitution and reading it. While, by some interpretations, it may be misconstrued as they are 'new' to the area of constitutional thinking, isn't that better than "tax and spend liberals who want the constitution to mean whatever they want it ot mean."

If anything, you should be encouraging and even correcting or helping them understand strict Constitutionalism rather than engaging in partisan warfare that effectively paint them as crazy or stupid. Think about it, it's better for that segment of American society to fall off the fence on the side of 'proper' conservatism rather than liberalism, NO?

Fred said...

Fen: I love you too.

"...like...9/11 Truther... reality".

Well said.

rcocean said...

"wants to? Might be forced to, as a last alternative [like Bush/Iraq].

How does Hillary plan to prevent Iran from getting nukes again? Lots of talk? UN resolutions with no teeth? Sanctions that are violated by our allies before the ink is dry?"

To invade Iran, given our current war in Iraq, seems rather unwise. I can see some Hillary attack ads if Rudy is nominated and continues to play the mad bomber. As for keeping them from having nuclear weapons, We can apply sanctions and apply international pressure if necessary.

Israel and Pakistan have the bomb. And strangely, Russia -right next door -doesn't seem to care. Keeping Iran from having nuclear weapons isn't worth another war, thousands of deaths, and billions of dollars.

Simon said...

From Inwood said...
"'Space Invasion', my foot. The lady's not made of spun sugar."

Yeah, but she's still quite delicious. ;)

paul a'barge said...
"What's the frequency, Kenneth?"

Paul, I always preferred Find the River, myself: "Leave the road and memorize this life that pass before my eyes."

Fen said...

As for keeping them from having nuclear weapons, We can apply sanctions and apply international pressure if necessary

[snicker]

Keeping Iran from having nuclear weapons isn't worth another war, thousands of deaths, and billions of dollars.

Democrat Foreign Policy:

[pre-nuclear] "We can't afford to attack our enemy while he gathers in strength."

[post-nuclear] "We can't afford to attack our enemy, he has grown too strong"

rcocean said...

Interesting. When did Iran become our "enemy"? Are they going to invade the USA? Commit suicide by dropping A-Bombs on the PG oilfields?

And are you going to lead the invasion? I'm sure we can find you a M-16 and put you in the first wave.

Simon said...

Fred said...
"There is something beyond the "wacky fruitcake" theory though. Ron Paul represents a movement against the status quo, a strong movement at that. A certain segment of conservative thought is being challenged by a 'rogue' group of a few legitimate conservative and many pseudo-libertarian and conservative thinkers."

I don't think that's right. Aside from the Bucahanite isolationists, troofers and black helicopter brigade that make up his core, Ron Paul's candidacy is being pushed out into the mainstream by two things. First, he is the only GOP candidate who supports the Democratic strategy of surrender and retreat in Iraq. And second, far from "represent[ing] a movement against the status quo that "challenge[s]" mainstream Republicans, Paul as perceived been the candidate most visbly and consistently willing to (inter alia, and the inter alia part is the real problem) support already mainstream Republican principles, such as limited government, fiscal conservatism, and so forth. The rebellion is not against mainstream conservatism, the rebellion is mainstream conservatism against a Congress and a President that the mainstream perceives as heretics on these points, and so desparate for a leader who shares those principles are they that they've latched onto the first guy who sounds the part.

The problem for Paul is that even though he's right on a number of important principles, he's very wrong on others, and a total loon all around. If I hear one more loon tell me that Ron Paul's the real conservative in the race because he'' bring a revolution, I'm kicking them right in the nuts. Conservatives as revolutionaries? Are you kidding? Did you not read Burke, or did you just not understand?

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

rcocean:  All I can say is that the first and foremost among Rudy's past actions is the cleaning up of New York City.  I saw this myself, not as a resident, but as a frequent visitor, and as someone who has done some business with the City.  I know this wasn't without controversy, but for what I consider normal, middle-class people, New York is a whole hell of a lot better than it was in the early 80's when I first had to go there frequently on business. We can get off into discussions about how much worse off welfare recipients are, etc., but the clean up of New York is, in my opinion, one of the most remarkable actions of government I have seen in my lifetime.

So, if Rudy's attached to this—and there's some debate about how much credit he's really due—he deserves, in my opinion, a lot of serious consideration if he's running for higher office.  His 'colorful' past may take ethical attacks on his opponents off the table, but those are tactics of negativity.  Negative tactics may work in general, but if Rudy plays his cards right, he can run a positive, hopeful campaign, which is what people say they want.

Of course, Rudy's main appeal is one of fear, as my wife's explanation implies. People don't want to be overtly reminded of their fear, so Rudy will have to play that carefully, staying positive and seeming to offer hope in a context of projecting strong leadership.  So far, he seems to have pulled it off.

As I understand it, the hard-core social conservative 'base' of the Republican Party and the Kos Kidz 'base' of the Democrats amount to something like 20-odd percent in each case.  They both deserve each other and can go to Hell, as far as I'm concerned.  I'm looking for someone who can attract a lot of votes from and vaguely unite what Will Rogers called "the normal majority."  That majority may not be a majority any more, but it sure is a plurality, and I think Rudy offers the best chance for the Republicans to derail Mrs. Clinton among these people.  Given the Byzantine politics of appealing to their various constituencies, plus the possibility of a split, the Republicans seem likely to fall short next year.  But from where I sit, Rudy offers them their best chance of making up any shortfall among traditional constituencies by appealing to people like me.

That MAY be a losing strategy, but going with Romney, or any of the other twerps for that matter, WILL be a losing strategy.  Social Conservatism is a spent force.  People are looking for competence, but I think from someone they might like, ergo my switch to Rudy.

I really do want an election, not an auto-da-fé among the flames of ideological purity.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

P.S.--Ron Paul??
Puhleeze!

Simon's absolutely right.

A related question is why does such an obvious nutcase get any attention at all?

Simon said...

Fred said...
"My question to you is this: doesn't this put you in an interesting quandary?"

Not really.

"On the one hand, you have liberals who never understood the concept of respecting the Constitution-- suddenly finding the Constitution and reading it. While, by some interpretations, it may be misconstrued as they are 'new' to the area of constitutional thinking, isn't that better than 'tax and spend' liberals who want the constitution to mean whatever they want it ot mean."

They haven't got God on the Constitution, they're using it as a weapon with which to assail to Bush administation. That's all. They still think it means anything they want it to mean. In every setting except those where it's useful as a weapon against Bush, they are ignoring it just as they used to, often at the exact same time - witness the District of Columbia voting bill, for example.

"If anything, you should be encouraging and even correcting or helping them understand strict Constitutionalism rather than engaging in partisan warfare that effectively paint them as crazy or stupid. Think about it, it's better for that segment of American society to fall off the fence on the side of 'proper' conservatism rather than liberalism, NO?"

(1) To borrow Justice Scalia's rejoinder, I'm not a strict constructionist and no one ought to be. They haven't been converted, and they aren't going to be converted by anything I have to say about the matter. They pay lip service to the Constitution when it serves their purpose, and the rest of the time have reactions varying from benign disinterest to outright contempt and even insurrectionist tendancies (Sandy Levinson et al).

This idea that the barbarians are suddenly going to be converted is, I fear, quite wrong. The common man scarcely understands what a constitution is, never mind what the Constitution of the United States says. The conservative's goal should be to do whatever necessary to keep developments in law careful and cautious so as not to arouse the beast from its slumber, lest in its stirring it roll over and crush the Constitution beneath it. And while Ron Paul's goals vis-a-vis replacing the limits on the federal government may well be laudable, his "poke the bear with a sharp stick" approach to the task is horifically dangerous.

Simon said...

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...
"A related question is why does such an obvious nutcase get any attention at all?"

My theory's in my 8:46 PM commnet. ;)

vnjagvet said...

Fred:

What brought this old veteran of the Vietnam war (1967-1968) into the SwiftVets camp had nothing to do with Kerry's three months in country.

It was that he wanted to have it both ways in time of war, and to appeal to individuals with diametrically opposed viewpoints at the same time.

First, he wanted to garner the support those who served in foreign wars. Second, he wanted the support of those who were against the Iraq and Vietnam wars.

He succeeded with folks in the second camp like you, Fred. He failed with most of the folks in the first camp like me.

The SwiftVets featured Kerry's conduct after he returned from Vietnam. There were no misrepresentations whatsoever of that portion of Kerry's career. He was very public with his opinions in the 1971-1978 period while still a member of the Navy Reserves, and he appeared on national TV. Replaying excerpts of this testimony (which were fully fair and accurate) the conduct that sunk him (no pun) with most veterans who served in overseas wars.

Fen said...

rcocean: When did Iran become our "enemy"?

Are you kidding? They're attacking our troops in Iraq right now. By proxy. And supplying funding, material support and training.

Are they going to invade the USA?

Are you really so dense as to believe US interests end at our borders? The mainland has to be attacked for you to wake up?

Commit suicide by dropping A-Bombs on the PG oilfields?

More ignorance on your part. Iran understand the concept of MADD and would instead attack us in ways that could not be traced back to them with the 100% certainty required for a retaliatory strike. Hint: primitive nukes [like Iran will build] do not have enough of a "fingerprint" to trace back.

And are you going to lead the invasion? I'm sure we can find you a M-16 and put you in the first wave.

I've already served my bit in the Marines. But nice attempt to play the chickenhawk card, weasel. Thanks for surrendering the field.

Lets recap: Theocratic rogue nation state seeks to reinstate Caliphate, build WMDs, sponsor terrorist orgs for proxy attacks against the West. No big deal for Democrats though, at least not until Sharia bans their MTV.

Clang!Honk!Tweet! said...

Well, of course you're right, Simon, but it is sad, isn't it?

I also think your analysis of not disturbing the sleeping beast is an incredibly sad one, but, given the kind of education our citizens have received for quite some time, I'm afraid you may have a point.

Our Constitution is a remarkably flexible document, and could support many things a lot of progressive people want. But the current trend to ignore and ride roughshod over both the plain words and clear principles is a real worry.

That's one of the reasons I read this blog.

Fen said...

/edit

Iran understands the concept of MAD and would instead attack us in ways that could not be traced back to them with the 100% certainty required for a retaliatory strike.

Fred said...

"They pay lip service to the Constitution when it serves their purpose [..] use it as a weapon"

Isn't that an argument that can be made against anyone who uses the Constitution to defend their political views? Is there an objective measure on how to measure whether the constitution is being used as a weapon or 'properly' in defending policy arguments?

I agree with your message to a degree, but I don't think all Ron Paul fans are as sophisticated or as you suggest. Do you believe government in a capital society is like business in that it corrects itself whenever blips occur?

I'm not a fan of President Bush's policy, but I don't think he is an evil human being. I believe he lacks intelligence necessary to properly carry American government, but I don't believe he is a complete dolt. The issue with President Bush, and why he is under siege has a lot to do with his rejection of dissenters. Crushing and humiliating your adversaries often makes them stronger and will often strike when unexpected. I believe that's why some conservatives, like yourself, feel threatened by the barrage of attacks you perceive as coming out of left field.

The resentment is strong, the hostility is obviously there.. that's not a 'made up fact', the political problem that arises is: how do you handle it? You've heard the analogy of holding a wineglass with your hand, if you crush it hard enough it will eventually shatter. When it shatters, the result is ugly, bloody, and commands immediate attention. Will you crush the glass more, now that it has broken, or will you find a way to put the pieces back together again?

How government and politicians respond to the shattered glass, in my view, is the political question that will determine our nation's future. It's much more serious than some people recognize.

Fred said...

vnjagvet:

Thanks for rising above the fray --something I have difficulty doing due to my passion-- I appreciate your explanation.

Fen said...

The issue with President Bush, and why he is under siege has a lot to do with his rejection of dissenters.

What rejection?

Crushing and humiliating your adversaries often makes them stronger and will often strike when unexpected.

When has Bush "crushed and humiliated" his adversaries?

I believe that's why some conservatives, like yourself, feel threatened by the barrage of attacks you perceive as coming out of left field.

No. Can't speak for Simon, but what I'm tired of is bad faith arguments coming from the Left. Lies, distortions, fallacies, unfounded assertions, etc. Just once I'd like to find an anti-war peep to argue with me in good faith. To date, nothing but frothing Moonbats.

Fen said...

rcocean: Israel and Pakistan have the bomb. And strangely, Russia -right next door -doesn't seem to care.

BTW, not that you're clueless re foreign policy or nuclear proliferation [cough] but anyone with a basic grasp of either would have pointed to India & Pakistan instead - since they've almost triggered a global nuclear exchange twice now. And yes, Russia is VERY concerned about them.

Fred said...

Fen: I'm not trying to make a bad faith argument. Look, I respect your political perspective and appreciate your comments, but there is a reason why liberals and (now libertarians) are so hostile towards Bush.

As silly as it sounds, when someone questions your patriotism OR your religion, it's like picking a fight with somebody's mother or sister. If you pick on either or hurt them in any way, I'm going to come at you with a bat, it's really that simple. If you translate that into politics, then the bat that liberals are currently using is made up of very thick rhetoric that is difficult to break.

Call people un-American, Anti-American or Godless and you'll be blitzed by hostile angry Americans. When you attack someone's religion, way of life, invade their homes, or insult their character, you will be met with resistance no matter how right you are on the issue.

With Bush and his " neo-conservative " allies, It's not only a political issue, it's personal. Fen: I'm trying to give you a point of reference from which to understand the hostility and the "beast" that has been disturbed from its sleep. I mean no offense to you, personally, but I don't apologize for feeling the way I do.

Fen said...

Fen: I'm trying to give you a point of reference from which to understand the hostility and the "beast" that has been disturbed from its sleep.

Well, its not working. You appear to imply that you oppose policies because someone[?] has questioned your patriotism? Called you mean names?

Look, people began to question the Left's patriotism when it became obvious they were rooting for military failure so they could turn it into political traction. For them, Party trumps Nation. If you're not one of them, such questions shouldn't offend you.

there is a reason why liberals... are so hostile towards Bush.

Yah, its called the 2000 election. Don't understand why you believe this is some recent development.

Zeb Quinn said...

Zeb, millions of Americans voted for George W. Bush or John Kerry not because they liked either one but couldn't stand the other.

Okay, when the general election comes and the choices are narrowed to two, you hold your nose and go with the least objectionable.

But here we are now eleven and a half months out with no votes yet having been cast, none of the candidates have won anything, and more importantly none have lost anything. In that sense the slate is wide open. Even so, with a veritable smorgasboard of candidates from which to select, Ann is "assuming" that she will end up voting for Hillary. And I'm saying that if she's saying that now, she's saying that because down inside, protests otherwise notwithstanding, she really wants to vote for Hillary.

Fred said...

"If you're not one of them, such questions shouldn't offend you."

That's kind of like saying "if you aren't doing anything wrong, why does it bother you when the government uses wireless surveillance on innocent citizens?"

It's an invasion of my private space, why does it bother you that liberals are being dishonest in their attacks? If it isn't true, what's the problem?

Fen: look, I understand where your hostility comes from. I've been conflicted with similar feelings on politics and partisan warfare that dominates discourse. So no, it's not as simple as me having my feelings hurt by partisans calling me names. It's only part of the problem, there are a number of political questions that need resolution, none of which have simple solutions and then there is the polarization of American politics. Both are working to create very serious tension that can not be solved without concessions on both sides.

I've got some work to, so I'm going to step away from this conversation. Thanks for the discussion, your time is appreciated. Have a good night.

Fen said...

That's kind of like saying "if you aren't doing anything wrong, why does it bother you when the government uses wireless surveillance on innocent citizens?" It's an invasion of my private space -

No. And this is a good example of the hyperbole and distortion from the Left that I'm talking about.

The wireless surveillance is 1) military intelligence gathering, NOT evidence gathering for a courtroom, and 2) only applied to international communications.

For example: some of the servers that Al Queda chats on are based in the US. Jamal is in Berlin, Mohamed in Sudan, but their communication passes through the US. Should we be allowed to listen in?

And again, the only reason your "private space" would be subject to this is if you were talking with a suspected terrorist overseas. If you're calling Jamal in Berlin, I WANT my government to listen in.

All of this has been lost amoung the Left's hyperbole and disinformation campaign. Until the table is cleared of such rubbish, we can't have an honest and enlightening discussion about the actual ramifications of NSA eavesdropping, FISA courts, etc.

Simon said...

"Isn't ['They pay lip service to the Constitution when it serves their purpose [..] use it as a weapon'] an argument that can be made against anyone who uses the Constitution to defend their political views?"

"Anyone" overstates it. The Constitution can and should be used as an argument against policies that genuinely fall afoul of it, and people can in good faith disagree over what the meaning of the Constitution is and thus whether it settles a given question. Nevertheless, it's a written legal document, and words have meaning, which places boundaries on what it can reasonably be interpreted to say. It doesn't answer every question, and provides rules for what happens with questions it doesn't answer. If you think that the chartering of the federal reserve is a terrible idea, or laws against abortion, sodomy, you know, whatever it is that really irks you, fine: take it to the legislature. Argue against these laws on the basis of policy, because some of them may be very stupid. But don't import a constitutional dimension into questions where the Constitution has nothing to say. It seems to me - to borrow from Judge Sack, and with a hat tip to Prof. Graglia - that most people use Constitutional arguments as drunks use lampposts: more for support than illumination. They don't say "these laws against sodomy are really dumb," they say "the constitution protects it, so we have no choice" which not only fails to advance the ball intellectually-speaking, it's cowardly and it's a self-conscious lie. Right now in Indiana there's an argument going on in one city about a law that may be incredibly stupid, allowing the loser of an election to have the election thrown out and himself declared winner based on an allegation that couldn't seriously be thought to have ben unknown to him before the election. To be sure, I think some of my political views are demanded by the Constitution, but only a very few. The Constitution forecloses a lot more than it compells.

"I agree with your message to a degree, but I don't think all Ron Paul fans are as sophisticated or as you suggest. Do you believe government in a capital society is like business in that it corrects itself whenever blips occur?"

I think that people disagree in good faith as to what constitutes a blip. ;)

Simon said...

I didn't complete the thought, what I meant to say about the case going on in Indiana is that I've read commentary from putatively intelligent people saying that this violates the Constitution of the United States. They think that because it's a terrible result it must be unconstitutional. That barely warrants response. The more sophisticated ones say that it violates the right to vote, which does warrant the response that it's total nonsense, because no one has ever thought that the right to vote - assuming for sake of argument the Constitution actually protects a right to vote in anything other than the (non-justiciable) republican form of government clause - prevents states from enacting eligibility requirements and providing mechanisms to enforce them. People have been brought up with a very skewed idea of what the Constitution does and doesn't do, what it is and isn't, so it should be no surprise at all that their first instinct is to use a term like "unconstitutional" in much the same way that the uneducated use "decimated": to mean, as Humpty Dumpty would have said, just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less. Thus "decimated" has come to mean "cut to ribbons" and "unconstitutional" has come to mean "bad." But just because people misuse the term doesn't mean that it's deprived of meaning when used correctly.

Hector Owen said...

That moment from the Lazio v. Hillary debate can be seen here.
Requires Real Player. There is an alert about a missing xml tag at the beginning, but clicking either "OK" or "More Info" makes it play, for me at least.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

The Constitution forecloses a lot more than it compells [sic].

Amen. And in mostly a, well, mostly good way. I can live with that, especially given the alternative.

former law student said...

vnjagvet said...

The SwiftVets featured Kerry's conduct after he returned from Vietnam.


This bit of historical revisionism puts vnjagvet in a bad light. The Republican PAC called the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" featured claims, embodied in a book called "Unfit for Command," that Kerry lied about his service in Vietnam, in particular that he had lied to get his Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Stars. Lying about one's heroism to get medals is perhaps the worst imaginable stain on one's character -- I can picture no scummier human being.

The "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" were later exposed as liars. Fearing the contrast between the candidates' respective war records, Republican dirty tricksters defamed Kerry's service in Vietnam while dismissing Bush's walking away from his stateside duty as unimportant. To pretend that the impact of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" was limited to reviving Kerry's anti-war statements made after his service 35 years ago is shameful.

JohnTaylor88 said...

She does look a bit weak, and he looks a bit too aggressive. Thing is, if someone did that to her today, the reaction would be "Well, good! Take on Hillary!" But he was attacking the First Lady, and he made her look like a defenseless woman. In any reasonable world, that should have won him the debate and the election (most people dislike soft money). But we don't live in a reasonable world.

Fen said...

/unsupported assertion alert

The "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" were later exposed as liars.

I actually saw bullshit similar to that line on NBC, while all the media were waiting on Kerry to respond so they would know what tact to take to cover him:

Anchor: "We're back from our break, what do you have for us on the campaign trail Pam?"

Pamela: "The Swift Boat Vets have been discredited - "

[viewer leans in for detail]

Pamela: "And now lets go to John for your local weather..."

Fen said...

/we can all play that game

former law student has been exposed as a liar.

...no need to back it up with proof, just sling out unfounded assertions until they become conventional wisdom/myth.

former law student said...

fen: there is a meticulously maintained list of lies uttered by the Swift Boat PACmen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry_military_service_controversy

Fen said...

Try again. Wiki is not a credible source. If you can do better, I'll look at it.

BTW, Fred made a big deal about Kerry taking on the $1 million dollar challenge. All he needs to do is find ONE lie by them and he wins.

That was a few weeks ago... nothing from Kerry yet. Think he's given up?