December 20, 2007

"I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim."

So said Bob Kerrey:
"It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim... There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."
Underhanded? Should he apologize for saying that? He did:
"What I found myself getting into in Iowa - and it was my own fault - it was the wrong moment to do it and it was insulting... I meant no disrespect at all."
It was the "wrong moment" because he was in the middle of endorsing Hillary Clinton. So whose idea was it for him to say it? His own?
Kerrey's mention of Obama's middle name and his Muslim roots raised eyebrows because they are also used as part of a smear campaign on the Internet that falsely suggests Obama is a Muslim who wants to bring jihad to the United States....

The Clinton campaign has already fired two volunteer county coordinators in Iowa for forwarding hoax e-mails with the debunked claim. Last week, a national Clinton campaign co-chairman resigned for raising questions about whether Obama's teenage drug use could be used against him, so Kerrey's comments raised questions about whether the Clinton campaign might be using another high-profile surrogate to smear Obama.
Joe Gandelman writes that to take him at his word, you have to believe that Kerrey is terribly naive. It makes more sense to think he deliberately "injecti[ed' info and innuendo into the press and key news cycles," both with his original statement and with the apology.
To some voters, the image of the Clintons as political victims is being replaced by the image of the Clintons as political predators.

If there’s another “mistake” by a major Clinton supporter, it will mean there is a clear cut strategy to hit hot button issues and drive up Obama’s negatives no matter what the risk is to the campaign.
Do you need one more "mistake" to convince you that it's a Clinton campaign strategy?

ADDED: "Dropping the phrase 'Islamic manchurian candidate' in the midst of his 'apology'? C’mon."

96 comments:

ricpic said...

You know that Obama doesn't want to bring jihad to the United States? I don't. As of this moment no one knows much of anything about what makes Obama tick. Could he be the Manchurian candidate? At this point maybe is the only plausible answer.

dax said...

"it was insulting... I meant no disrespect at all."

Nah, of course you didn't!
How do people make those comments with a straight face?? I guess that with a face like Kerry, you can probably do anything. Even scaring little kids!

Zeb Quinn said...

Do you need one more "mistake" to convince you that it's a Clinton campaign strategy?

No. I recognized their capacity for such back in 1992. It's one of the big reasons why I couldn't vote for Bill, even though I was dissatisfied with Bush 41 and was looking for an alternative to him.

To me the interesting thing is the way that many of those who enabled the Clintons through two administrations, marvelling at their political skills, no longer do so. All of a sudden they are now fair game to those who voted for him twice, defended the indefensible, and otherwise carried their water.

Meade said...

Did Bob Kerrey say "head birth?"

Roger said...

While I am ordinarily quick to suspect the Clinton campaign of dirty tricks, I think this is just a case of Bob Kerrey inserting foot into open mouth. The fact that it gets into two news cycles says more about the news cycles than it does this statement.

Doyle said...

Should he apologize for saying that?

Of course. Why do you think it's a close call?

Meade said...

"I'm Hillary Clinton and you can't prove that I approve this message."

mtrobertsattorney said...

How do people make those comments with a straight face? They don't. Go back and take a look at that recent photo of Hillary.

Sheepman said...

Do you need one more "mistake" to convince you that it's a Clinton campaign strategy?
I'm waiting for the next HRC surrogate to say that they like the fact that "Osama" was candid about smoking pot and doing Coke when he was young.

Roger said...

Obama only experimented with coke in the madrassa--no harm no foul.

OOPS

I apologize to Senator Obama for suggesting Barack HUSSEIN Obama, who has MUSLIMS in his family, actually did COCAINE while attending a school for JIHADIS..

Ann Althouse said...

"Why do you think it's a close call?"

If he weren't associated with the Clinton campaign and weren't out there stirring up people, that is, if he were talking privately with me, I wouldn't think he'd said anything offensive. But he is, so it's not a close call at all.

LarsPorsena said...

Same Kerry who called Bill Clinton
"..an unusually good liar".

B. Y. Clark said...

Seems all politicians memories are too short to remember what they said or why it was insulting.

Eli Blake said...

Reger:

Yesterday it was the National Enquirer article and their attempt to kneecap Edwards.

There seems to be a pattern here, and it just doesn't make sense that Kerrey would on his own do exactly the same thing that Mark Penn did, fumble during the apology.

zeb quinn:

I am one of those who voted for Clinton twice, and as I've said before, even though Hillary is my last choice as a nominee (and yes, I'm fully convinced that she is behind this stuff) I will vote for her if she is in fact the nominee.

Why is that?

Simple. The things which are important to me are that I believe that 'shrinking' the government by slashing programs that help ordinary people, irresponsible tax cuts that balloon the deficit, ignoring the damage we are doing to the planet and its ecosystems, giving tax breaks to giant corporations so they can ship jobs to Asia faster, writing laws that benefit banks, pharmaceutical companies and energy corporations at the expense of the American consumer, throwing our military around and getting American kids killed for what I consider no justifiable reason, increasing the government's power to spy on you, doing nothing about health care, pushing a right-wing social agenda that wants to force women to make a reproductive decision they may not want, force abstinence-only education into the classroom (thereby leaving kids woefully unprepared for what happens after they do lose their virginity) and teaching creationism masquerading as science is stupid public policy.

My biggest complaints with Hillary are frankly that she's been too far to the right on a number of these issues, especially Iraq, government spying (where we've had nothing but a continual stream of Presidents who've all increased the domestic surveillance and police powers of the Federal government since Reagan and the so-called 'war on drugs') but with the possible exception of Ron Paul I've not seen any Republican candidate who would be a better choice for me to vote for.

Further, let's be honest here: people like to claim they make their decisions on who to vote for based on personal ethics, BUT THEY REALLY DON'T.

There were once two elections, both of which pitted one candidate, who was among the most immoral, unethical and untrustworthy men ever to run for President against opponents who were both highly ethical, motivated by a deeply held personal sense of belief, and whose colleagues in the United States Senate, even across party lines, held them in the highest regard. And both of them highlighted the 'character issue' as a reason to vote for them. And both elections ended in historic landslides. 1964 and 1972. 'Character' lost.

I rest my case.

Tim said...

"To some voters, the image of the Clintons as political victims is being replaced by the image of the Clintons as political predators."

From this we know some voters are unusually slow (see comment above) to clue into reality, even when it's broadcast over sixteen years. Other voters always knew the Clintons as political predators.

former law student said...

Why vote for Hillary? She's more right wing than Giuliani; she's running a smear campaign against a clean-cut articulate multiracial man too honorable to respond in kind; in six decades of life her most notable achievement is graduating from Yale Law School.

Everything she's got today she got by virtue of marrying Bill Clinton. If I'm going to vote for a politician's wife, I'd rather vote for Laura Bush -- she appears to be a woman of character and integrity.

Rather than vote for Hillary I'd vote for any Republican but the equally (but in a different way) odious Huckabee.

rhhardin said...

I enjoy all these kneecappings. I'm surprised they haven't sent Tonya Harding in.

Doyle said...

I knew it! It's not that Kerrey smeared Obama for his middle name and his parent's religion, all in the guise of a patronizing compliment. Or that he repeated the long-debunked FoxNews nonsense about his having been schooled in a madrassa.

It's that he did those things in the service of Hillary Clinton's campaign that makes them inexcusable.

I expect if/when Republicans start lobbing this racist garbage, we won't hear peep from you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The things which are important to me are that I believe that 'shrinking' the government by slashing programs that help ordinary people,

Define ordinary people because I consider myself an ordinary person and don’t seem to recall any slashed programs that were helping me. If those programs were welfare, I think majority of people saw those as failed policies which did nothing more than create generations of couch potatoes and a dependency on the state.

irresponsible tax cuts that balloon the deficit,

Actually the tax cuts generated more tax revenue. It was irresponsible spending which ballooned the deficit.

ignoring the damage we are doing to the planet and its ecosystems,

Whose we? China and India are pumping out far more pollution than ‘we’ are and not surprisingly are exempt from Kyoto, Bali or the proposed ‘global carbon tax’. When everyone is subject to the same rules, I’ll be more amenable to the argument.

giving tax breaks to giant corporations so they can ship jobs to Asia faster, writing laws that benefit banks, pharmaceutical companies and energy corporations at the expense of the American consumer,

Think Hillary will change any of that? Bill signed NAFTA.

throwing our military around and getting American kids killed for what I consider no justifiable reason,

Those in the military are ADULTS. I grow weary of the infantilization of people who choose to wear the uniform.

increasing the government's power to spy on you,

But you have no problems with increasing the government’s power to take more of my earned income for what I consider no justifiable reason.

pushing a right-wing social agenda that wants to force women to make a reproductive decision they may not want,

Don’t women make a reproductive decision when they have sex? Nobody forced them to get pregnant in the first place.

force abstinence-only education into the classroom

As opposed to forced sex education in contrast to a parent’s wishes and handing out birth control to children.

and teaching creationism masquerading as science is stupid public policy.

And teaching global warming as science amounts to nothing more than fear mongering.

That’s why I’m voting Republican.

Roger said...

Doyle: republicans wont have to use such tactics--Democrats seem to setting the pace on this one. I am SHOCKED SHOCKED that democrats would stoop to such tactics.

Doyle said...

republicans wont have to use such tactics--Democrats seem to setting the pace on this one.

No I meant if/when it's a Republican campaign doing these things. And the only "if" is whether Obama gets the nomination.

Fox News and wingnut radio/email chains have been on this attack for ages. Didn't you see that (horrible) WaPo article on the subject?

former law student said...

the tax cuts generated more tax revenue
I love magical thinking like this. Can I interest you in a copy of my latest book, Eat Yourself Slim?

Zeb Quinn said...

Eli Blake:

Contrary to the enduring leftard meme, the accusation of "immoral, unethical" doesn't really fit Nixon. Over-the-top paranoid, yes. A bare-knuckles politician to a fault too. But honesty and ethics? Nixon never lined his own pockets, and he certainly wasn't spending public time diddling the interns. "Untrustworty"? That's purely a subjective value judgment.

Nixon could be counted on to do the right thing when it had to be done for the better good. Such as in 1960 when he had solid grounds to assert election fraud in Illinois and Texas, and thereby challenge the overall result, but he opted not to, recognizing the deleterious toll and it would take on public perception of and the longterm damage to public faith in the integrity of the system. And in 1974, he had the good sense to resign rather than continue the fight. He had those in his inner circle and family members urging him to fight impeachment, but he decided not to put the country through that. It's easy to take shots at him after the fact, but he was a principled man. Probably also the most competent president of the 20th century to boot.

Contrast all that with Bill in 1998 and Al Gore in 2000. Uncaring and shameless they were.

AlphaLiberal said...

Bob Kerrey is an asshole.

antiphone said...

Zeb Quinn is insane.

Danny said...

You know that Obama doesn't want to bring jihad to the United States? I don't. As of this moment no one knows much of anything about what makes Obama tick. Could he be the Manchurian candidate? At this point maybe is the only plausible answer.

Did people ignore this comment because it's stupid? Or is there some sort of silent agreement I didn't pick up on?

antiphone said...

Did people ignore this comment because it's stupid? Or is there some sort of silent agreement I didn't pick up on?

It’s a thought provoking comment. We really do need to find out what makes Obama tick. Maybe he’s a time bomb.

Mortimer Brezny said...

If he weren't associated with the Clinton campaign and weren't out there stirring up people, that is, if he were talking privately with me, I wouldn't think he'd said anything offensive. But he is, so it's not a close call at all.

Fact-based negative campaigning is entertaining. Think of Mitt Romney's lawn or Huckabee's pardon bonanza. But racism and slander are bad.

That Obama is a Muslim is slander. That Obama attended a madrassa is slander. Insinuating that Obama was a crack-dealer is racist. Setting up a website to paint Obama as a coward is morally repugnant.

It is one thing to campaign negatively. It is something else to slander and race-bait. No one else, on either side of the aisle, has sunk this low.

Why is Hillary Clinton so evil?
Our politics is better than this.
Hillary must go.

antiphone said...

Our politics is better than this.

Actually our politics have always been just like this. How do you think Bush beat McCain in South Carolina?

Mortimer Brezny said...

I actually anticipated that comment.

Our politics is better than this; and Hillary isn't one of us. Therefore, Hillary must go.

Ahem.

Invisible Man said...

I hate to tell you people to hold the phones, but if you don't think that the Romney or Rudy campaigns would make these "Manchurian candidate" claims by Hillary look like child's play by comparison your fooling yourself. This type of politics disgusts me personally, but the lecturing from Republicans, who elect candidates that have surrogates making claims about black love children and support Swift Boat ads, is hypocrisy at its finest.

Ann Althouse said...

Mortimer: "That Obama is a Muslim is slander. That Obama attended a madrassa is slander."

But Kerrey didn't say that. He said something true: that Obama's father was Muslim. It's actually rather disgusting that we consider that to be an insult. I think there is some potential for Obama's connection to Islam to be helpful in diplomatic relations with other countries. (Or not: since he didn't keep his father's religion.) But obviously, Kerrey used it to stir up prejudice.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I love magical thinking like this. Can I interest you in a copy of my latest book, Eat Yourself Slim?

No thank you but I might recommend this.

Tax revenue grew, period. I know the concept of more disposable income creates economic growth is an alien concept but it doesn't make it any less true.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But obviously, Kerrey used it to stir up prejudice.

I didn't say that calling someone a Muslim is slander per se. "That Obama is" refers to the ultimate inference.

My point is that stating the fact that his father was a Muslim is an obvious technique to race-bait and suggest that that apple doesn't fall that far from the tree. So the accurate translation is, "Obama is pretending to be a Christian." Which is an insult designed to destroy Obama's reputation.

Not slander per se, but slander if you can prove damages. (Of course, I was using plain language, not being legalistic, anyway -- statements that air on television are libel, and at best this is libel per quod.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think there is some potential for Obama's connection to Islam to be helpful in diplomatic relations with other countries.

It depends on the country. Some may actually see him as an apostate since he chose not to follow his father's faith.

antiphone said...

Invisable Man, hypocrisy at it’s finest? How about Zeb Quinn's argument above that Nixon’s failure to challenge a supposedly rigged election for the sake of appearances was a sign of moral integrity while the fact that he --while president-- sent thugs to break into the offices of his opponents is immaterial because he resigned rather than face impeachment.

Ann Althouse said...

How can it be slander if it's true?

Doyle said...

It's actually rather disgusting that we consider that to be an insult.

First there's the fact that it's false, and you shouldn't make false statements about people regardless of the subject.

Secondly, there's the fact that while one party is appealing to voter's sense of a war on radical islam (and you can absolutely drop the "radical" for the purposes of the Republican base) it feeds into the Democrats-as-traitors rhetoric that has served the Right so well these last 7 years.

This stuff should be condemned. You seem to understand this, but are trying to make it look more innocent than it is.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But Kerrey didn't say that.

Kerrey did say Obama attended a madrassa. Which is indistinguishable from calling the man a sleeper al-Qaeda agent. I imagine that is libel per se, as it relates to Obama's fitness for his chosen trade or profession, given the oath he had to take to be sworn in as a Senator. Obviously, actual malice and so forth come into play, blah blah. Though literalism may be a defense to perjury, it doesn't really work in the civil context. Hence, this idiotic apology. Obama could sue.

Kirk Parker said...

Eli,

Can I assume you love the Hillary! Christmas-present ad, then?

LarsPorsena said...

Invisible:

"...black love children" ??
Okay, you got me. Who is that about??


And as far as 'Swift Boat' ads there's a million easy dollars out there for you to pick up. All you have to do is show one error of fact in the ads and T. Boone will cut you the check. I gave early and often to that campaign.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How can it be slander if it's true?

It isn't true that Obama is faking a belief in Christ. Nor is it true that he attended a madrassa. Nor is it true that he is an al-Qaeda sleeper agent who lied when he took his oath of office.

Good faith is not a complete defense to libel per quod. And a literally true statement that necessarily implies there are hidden facts or the speaker has more information is not adjudged on its face, but rather by its inferences.

antiphone said...

…Kerrey didn't say that. He said something true: that Obama's father was Muslim.

According to Snopes.com Obama’s father was agnostic or atheist by the time he married Obama’s mother. So there’s very little to base claims that he has a Muslim cultural background on, other than a name.

Kirk Parker said...

Hoosier,

"It depends on the country. Some may actually see him as an apostate since he chose not to follow his father's faith."

I think you can make a far stronger statement than that. There are plenty of moderate leaders in the Muslim world who have perfectly unexceptional diplomatic relationships with us--the present and former Kings of Jordan come immediately to mind, but there are many others too. So your statement might be better put, "Those in the Muslim world to whom it would make a big difference are almost certain to view him more negatively (as an apostate) than they would a mere infidel."

antiphone,

Nobody with the slightest knowledge of the facts thinks that Nixon planned the Watergate breakin.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So there’s very little to base claims that he has a Muslim cultural background on, other than a name.

So it isn't even in good faith!

jeff said...

"I expect if/when Republicans start lobbing this racist garbage, we won't hear peep from you."

What racist garbage are you talking about? Where did race come into this?

jeff said...

"(and you can absolutely drop the "radical" for the purposes of the Republican base) it feeds into the Democrats-as-traitors rhetoric that has served the Right so well these last 7 years.

This stuff should be condemned. You seem to understand this, but are trying to make it look more innocent than it is."

Yeah, it should be condemned. Including the part where you just slandered the republican base.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are concerned more with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today. Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.

We are sorry if this impression has come across.

(Monty Python, 1972)

Mortimer Brezny said...

Including the part where you just slandered the republican base.

While I support group libel laws, most modern day conservatives, including much of the Republican base, rejects them. So your gripe is likely incoherent.

garage mahal said...

And as far as 'Swift Boat' ads there's a million easy dollars out there for you to pick up. All you have to do is show one error of fact in the ads and T. Boone will cut you the check. I gave early and often to that campaign.

Really.

John Stodder said...

I hate to tell you people to hold the phones, but if you don't think that the Romney or Rudy campaigns would make these "Manchurian candidate" claims by Hillary look like child's play by comparison your fooling yourself.

Weakest. Rationalization. Ever.

It's amazing how Hillary's tactics are putting supposedly enlightened people (at least in their own minds) in the position of defending Nixonian sleaze.

I know, you don't think you're defending it, but you're wrong. Saying what you said -- guaranteeing Republicans will do worse things in the future -- gives Hillary's campaign a green light to continue what by now is clearly a deliberate and scurrilous tactic.

Condemn it, period. Say what's true -- this is the worst campaign crap to come out this year so far. Don't give her an easy out. Don't pretend to condemn it but then launch into other candidates who are not implicated by her campaign's actions.

Here's the cold fact: A candidate many of us had hoped to be able to support has established a truly devious way to drag her rising opponent into the mud. Do you favor it or not? Are you willing to condemn it or is it okay with you? Which side are you on? And what are you going to do about it?

Doyle said...

Saying what you said -- guaranteeing Republicans will do worse things in the future -- gives Hillary's campaign a green light to continue what by now is clearly a deliberate and scurrilous tactic.

I don't give Hillary a green light for this stuff, but I don't think the expectation of worse from the Republican nominee is tantamount to doing so. Nor do I think said expectation is unreasonable.

John Stodder said...

I don't give Hillary a green light for this stuff, but I don't think the expectation of worse from the Republican nominee is tantamount to doing so.

Sure it is. You're accepting a further lowering of standards, and sloughing responsibility for it off on people who have nothing to do with the case before us.

I'll condemn Giuliani or Romney or whoever on the GOP side when and if they engage in this kind of McCarthyism. But I think it's disgracefully disingenuous to invoke them now as if they have set this new low standard. Hillary's campaign did that all by themselves. Against a fellow Democrat. Who happens to be a member of the most loyal group of Democratic voters.

To react to this by saying, "Yeah I'm bothered by it, but I'm more bothered by what in my fevered imagination I think a Republican might do later," is tantamount to giving her a pass. If you can live with that, if you can sleep at night, more power to you. But don't go braying here or anywhere else about what "thugs" GOP operatives are. The moral high ground does not belong to Democratic partisans who won't enforce their own alleged moral standards.

garage mahal said...

Here's the cold fact: A candidate many of us had hoped to be able to support has established a truly devious way to drag her rising opponent into the mud

Oh please. The punditcracy has been begging Obama to fight with Hillary for months. He does. She responds. Seriously, Obama is completely clueless if he thinks this is anything remotely as bad as when the Right let's all the ghouls out of their cages if he were to get nominated.

Change the tone in Washington? Can you be anymore naive about Republicans than that? The party of Tom Delay Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich? Good God.

jeff said...

"So your gripe is likely incoherent."

My gripe is the statement that Republicans support war against all Muslims, rather than the radical ones. Which part of that do you find incoherent?

Sigivald said...

What's wrong with "Hussein"?

The King of Jordan not good enough for him?

Hussein is a staggeringly common name in the Arab world, after all.

jeff said...

"And as far as 'Swift Boat' ads there's a million easy dollars out there for you to pick up. All you have to do is show one error of fact in the ads and T. Boone will cut you the check. I gave early and often to that campaign.

Really."

Oh? Kerry did turn over all the documents? Because last I looked his proof was "because I said so". The moving of the goalposts in your link seem to be him asking for, you know, proof that swiftboats were lies.

Doyle said...

Jeepers, John. If you want to pretend it's impossible to say that a given attack is both a disgusting smear AND possibly a precursor to future, even more disgusting smears, you go ahead.

But there's no logical conflict there at all.

jeff said...

"The party of Tom Delay Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich? Good God."

Right. All one sided. The democrats are as pure as the driven snow. The only reason they are turning on each other is because the Republicans will be worse during the general election. Got it.

John Stodder said...

Jeepers, John. If you want to pretend it's impossible to say that a given attack is both a disgusting smear AND possibly a precursor to future, even more disgusting smears, you go ahead.

Okay, let's turn it around. Let's imagine the media and the Democratic party reacting to this by calling on Hillary to drop out of the race because she is morally unqualified for the office based her use of this tactic to "remind" everyone of things that aren't true -- that Obama is a Muslim, and that he might have dealt crack.

Wouldn't that have a salutary effect on future campaigns, Republican and Democrat? If a candidate really had to pay a price? Instead of what you're doing, temporizing by essentially saying, "This is how the game is played?"

Roger said...

The party of James Carville, Lanny Davis, and Sid Blumenthal......OK, you're right--those republicans are dispicable and the dems never engage in character assassination--all that stuff you're seeing are republicans masquerading as dems.

antiphone said...

republicans masquerading as dems

That's about right.

Invisible Man said...

It's amazing how Hillary's tactics are putting supposedly enlightened people (at least in their own minds) in the position of defending Nixonian sleaze.

C'mon John, I'm not defending this bs one bit. As a person who would have considered Hillary as the nominee, this severely downgrades her in my eyes, but this type of politics needs to stop on all sides not just to take a shot at Hillary. You can't rip her for this bs, and then sit idly by when Fox News and other Republicans do the same thing. If you can't distinguish between calling for people to lay their arms down and defending Hillary, then flogging Hillary is really your only goal.

Doyle said...

John as I understand it the crux of your point is "You can only be against dirty politics if you first agree that Hillary Clinton is the worst practitioner of it."

I'm not sure I agree.

SteveR said...

Don't forget Paul Begala.

John Stodder said...

You can't rip her for this bs, and then sit idly by when Fox News and other Republicans do the same thing. If you can't distinguish between calling for people to lay their arms down and defending Hillary, then flogging Hillary is really your only goal.

Fox News isn't running for office. Their handling of the madrassa story was truly shameful. I don't watch Fox except in hotels.

"Other Republicans?" I'd like a list of Republicans or Democrats in the current campaign who have done anything like this. As I think back, the closest similar event I can recall is John Edwards' oily, repeated references to Cheney's "lesbian daughter" during the debate.

Flogging Hillary is something I'm doing with a deep sense of regret. Six weeks ago, I was almost certain she would get my vote. It is sad to watch what has happened here.

Calling on "all sides to lay down their arms" presupposes that Hillary's tactics are common. I want to shine a spotlight on this tactic so it stops. I'm flogging the tactic, and only incidentally Hillary.

Analogy: If I accuse Joe of stealing my wallet, I'm not "flogging" Joe. I'm flogging the concept of wallet-stealing. But my concern about it would be pretty empty if I let Joe off, saying "other people are going to steal wallets with more money in them in the future."

Blake said...

But my concern about it would be pretty empty if I let Joe off, saying "other people are going to steal wallets with more money in them in the future."

See, this is why I tend not to vote either for Dems or Reps any more. They're all going to steal my wallet.

John Stodder said...

John as I understand it the crux of your point is "You can only be against dirty politics if you first agree that Hillary Clinton is the worst practitioner of it."

I'm not sure I agree.


Not quite.

This tactic strikes me as especially low. I accuse you of being a drug dealer. Then I apologize publicly for accusing you of being a drug dealer, with emphasis on repeating the words "drug dealer." Then I do it again, only this time claim you practice a religion you don't practice, followed by an apology in which I repeat "Muslim heritage, Muslim heritage" a few more times.

Hillary's campaign manager, Mark Penn, is the chairman of one of the largest PR firms in the world, Burson-Marsteller. He is a renowned scientific opinion researcher. He knows that repetition works. That's part of the craft of PR. He knows that for all the people like us who see through it, there are thousands who only pay partial attention, who are going to start associating Obama with these allegedly inadvertent allegations.

It's really evil and calculating, but Hillary won't even own up to it.

Obviously, Hillary isn't the only practitioner of "dirty politics." But she's setting a new low. I want to make sure that low is not accessed again. If she gets away with it, it will be.

The only way to ensure a future Republican won't do the same thing in 2008 is by smacking it down forcefully now. Sadly, it won't happen because partisans don't want to see it happen -- to her. They want to decry the tactic without decrying the person responsible for it. I predict before the Iowa caucus, her campaign will keep pushing the envelope, because today's comments from people like you will embolden her campaign, and demonstrate that she will pay no penalty for it.

I hope I've finally made myself clear.

jeff said...

"James Carville, Lanny Davis, and Sid Blumenthal" Are actually republicans? Is that what Antiphone believes?

Eli Blake said...

zeb quinn:

Nixon's dishonesty and lack of ethics was well-known, and went all the way back to the 'Checkers' speech. You may not be old enough to remember but those who wanted to capitalize on it in the 1968 election even had a slogan for it, a picture of Nixon with the caption "Would you buy a used car from Richard Nixon?" (slogans were a bit more quaint but to the point in those days.)

Nixon was well-known to be dishonest and dishonorable. But in 1972 people voted for him because of a good economy, America committed to leaving Vietnam, his opening the door to China and concerns about McGovern's policy, especially his foreign policy and whether we would be willing to defend S. Korea and/or Israel. There was also the unfortunate matter of Senator Eagleton, who was McGovern's original running mate. It turned out that he had been to see a psychiatrist and had been treated for a mental condition, and in those days people were so frightened of mental illness that Eagleton had to resign after being portrayed as a wide-eyed, foaming at the mouth raving lunatic who would blow up the world in an instant if he ever got his finger near the nuclear button.

I wasn't old enough to vote in those days but I did follow the election quite closely. But yes, Nixon's history of questionable ethics dogged him long before he ever became President.

amba said...

It corresponds to Huckabee saying "innocently," "Don't Mormons believe Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

jeff said...

"But yes, Nixon's history of questionable ethics dogged him long before he ever became President."

In what way? I was too young to remember first hand, but it seems like he got a bad rap over the Alger Hiss thing, which was what propelled him into the national spotlight. There were questions about ballets when he ran against Kennedy, but it was on the other side. The checkers speech along with his wifes "republican cloth coat" was to keep him on the 56 ballet with Eisenhower, he was accused, but no actual proof of anything, he gave the speech and was kept on the ballet. What specifics of dishonesty or lack of ethics are you refering to?

amba said...

And Dax, it's not Kerry, it's Kerrey.

Eli Blake said...

Oh, and zeb:

Nixon DID try to change the 1960 election results, even going to the extent of involving the FBI.

See this link

John Stodder said...

But in 1972 people voted for him because of a good economy,

...which had been artificially inflated by his economic team...

America committed to leaving Vietnam

...although bombing resumed weeks after his re-election, and as it turned out, he agreed to the same deal with the North Vietnamese he could have gotten four years earlier -- at the cost of tens of thousands of American lives...

his opening the door to China

...an important achievement, granted, but one that diverted attention from the amoral way in which he ran foreign policy generally...

and concerns about McGovern's policy, especially his foreign policy and whether we would be willing to defend S. Korea and/or Israel.

...McGovern being the candidate Nixon's campaign surreptitiously helped with the nomination by playing dirty tricks on more centrist Dem candidates...

I guess I'm not arguing with you here, but it's important to also note that Nixon ran the country as if he was still in a sleazy campaign.

jeff said...

sorry, the '52 ballet

antiphone said...

James Carville, Lanny Davis, and Sid Blumenthal… Republicans?

I apologize. Apparently I misspoke.

John Stodder said...

In what way? I was too young to remember first hand, but it seems like he got a bad rap over the Alger Hiss thing...

It wasn't just Alger Hiss. Nixon was the champion red-baiter til Joe McCarthy came along. His worst campaign was in 1950 against Helen Gahagan Douglas, who he called "the pink lady...pink right down to her underwear," and said her voting record made her a Communist "fellow-traveler."

I feel fairly certain Nixon would have been out there along with Joe McCarthy had he not been VP under Eisenhower, who found this kind of red-baiting horrific.

Mortimer Brezny said...

My gripe is [blah blah].

It would be arguably inconsistent to oppose group libel laws while bemoaning the group libel or a particular group. It would be arguably incoherent to ignore that a group you were defending against group libel was inconsistent in the foregoing manner.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Condemn it, period. Say what's true -- [Hillary's nastiness] is the worst campaign crap to come out this year so far.

Yes, yes. Preach, brother.

Smilin' Jack said...

Last week, a national Clinton campaign co-chairman resigned for raising questions about whether Obama's teenage drug use could be used against him....

This may be a bit tangential, but I really don't see why Obama's teenage drug use shouldn't be used against him. He's applying to head the executive branch of the federal government, which is responsible for using lots of teenagers' drug use against them, putting them in prison for it. One can make a goose/gander/sauce argument that he needs to be "rehabilitated" by a good long stretch in the slam before he's qualified to become president.

Invisible Man said...

Jack,

The problem is that if you hold everything that people did wrong when they were a teenager against them, then Mormons might be the only people worthy of seeking higher office.

former law student said...

One can make a goose/gander/sauce argument that he needs to be "rehabilitated" by a good long stretch in the slam before he's qualified to become president.
By his own admission, W. took cocaine well into adulthood (1974 was his cutoff date). W. also walked away from his National Guard committment. Considering W.'s far greater transgressions, I'm sure you'll agree it's not too late for W. to be rehabilitated by a good long stretch in the slam for drug use as well as desertion.

Smilin' Jack said...

To my knowledge, W has never admitted using coke.

Obama's hypocrisy is that he admits he got away with it, but one of the responsibilities of the job he's applying for is preventing other people from getting away with it.

R.W. said...

I admired Bob Kerrey, but to see him revealed as a Hillary attack surrogate is really disillusioning.

Trooper York said...

Wasn’t Bob Kerry the one who told Linda Ronstadt that he would love her forever because she had a heart like a wheel, but after she had one too many chaulpas and got an ass like a ferris wheel, he dumped her so fast her head spun like a wheel. Allegedly.

Balfegor said...

This reminds me of John Kerry's GAY DAUGHTER!!11 schtick during the 2004 election.

Blake said...

His worst campaign was in 1950 against Helen Gahagan Douglas, who he called "the pink lady...pink right down to her underwear," and said her voting record made her a Communist "fellow-traveler."

His record not being much different from hers.

But, I recall being told by someone who recalls the election, that Nixon came out a day or two before the Tuesday saying he had incontravertible proof that she was a commie? And then, after the election said, "Oops..."?

Blake said...

Trooper,

Bob Kerrey or Tom Hayden?

Fen said...

Mortimer Brezny: Our politics is better than this; and Hillary isn't one of us. Therefore, Hillary must go.

*stunned speechless*

Ahem.

Indeed. First time I've heard a Dem [I hope your are?] essentially say: "it doesn't matter what the other side does, we shouldn't define our principles by what they do".

Thanks for the shot of Faith, Mort.

Fen said...

So there’s very little to base claims that he has a Muslim cultural background on, other than a name.

Thats too bad. I think having a TRUE Muslim as POTUS would be useful in influencing/aligning the moderates against the radicals. Imagine some 10 yr old Osama-wanna-be first glimpse of the most powerful Muslim in the world - President Barack Obama.

Fen said...

I admired Bob Kerrey, but to see him revealed as a Hillary attack surrogate is really disillusioning.

He really had no choice - she has a copy of his FBI file. Expect to see more of the same from people you respect.

Fen said...

But I think it's disgracefully disingenuous to invoke them now as if they have set this new low standard. Hillary's campaign did that all by themselves. Against a fellow Democrat. Who happens to be a member of the most loyal group of Democratic voters.

Not "new" for Hillary. She's accustomed to smearing fellow Democrats for political gain - she sharpened her claws on Paula Jones, Kathleen Wiley and Monica Lewinksy. Sure, she wasn't running for office then - actally wait - she probably was.

Trooper York said...

Blake, it was Bob Kerry while he was the cheif executive of Nebraska. In fact they used to say the best way to tune a car was to use Linda Ronstadt because she always had a governor on her.

Trooper York said...

That's chief, chief. Sorry about that teacher. Too much eggnog.

Blake said...

Fen, not just Mort, but John Stodder have been restoring my faith in the sinistrosphere these past couple of days. (Balanced out by some bad behavior seen in the dextrosphere, unfortunately.)

Trooper, really? You know, you can forgive one youthful indiscretion. But dating TWO politicians? That's incorrigible!

Joanna: How dare you judge me? I mean what are you? You think you're some kind of, like, angel here? No, you're just this penny-stealing... wanna-be criminal... man.

Peter Gibbons: Yeah, well, that may be. But at least I never slept with Lumbergh.