August 24, 2008

Biden's "I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do" rant ends with by a plea for a Democratic leader with oratorical powers.

We were watching a brief clip yesterday, but here's the longer version, courtesy of Hot Air. Watch the whole thing. A man named Frank asks a question about law school credentials that sets Biden off. Biden spews a list of claimed achievements — some of which turn out to be false — and — this is I want to focus on — concludes with a windy oration about how what this country needs is a Democrat with great powers of oration.

I'm picturing the young Barack Obama, watching this on C-SPAN and a light bulb goes on over his head:



Here's the text of that last part:
It seems to me if you can speak, you're at a liability in the Democratic Party anymore. It seems to me you've all become heartless technocrats. It seems to me that you forget that what happens is we've never as a party, we have never as a party moved this nation by 14-point position papers and 9-point programs.

It seems that when we got involved in the civil rights movement, Frank, nobody asked Martin Luther King what his legislative agenda was. He marched to change attitudes. When the women's movement started, it had not moved with a constitutional amendment. They marched to change attitudes.

And this party better understand full well that it's about time that we change our attitude and we begin to change the attitudes of Americans about what their responsibilities are to the poor, about what their responsibilities are to other people, and about what our responsibility in the world is, and that requires changing attitudes.

But Frank, I promise you'll see my 15-point plans and 19-point position papers and you'll be able to make a judgment when Gary Hart and I stand there — who knows more about foreign policy, Gary or me? — and when you see that Dick Gephardt and I stand there, you'll be able to make a judges about whether Dick Gephardt or I know more about economic policy.

But ultimately, Frank, this country needs a leader, and leaders change attitudes about people, and it's the ironic twist that in the wake of Ronald Reagan that the only one thing he knew how to do was the one thing that is now being... the currency of which is in fact now being devalued so much.
Maybe this was the moment when Barack Obama first envisioned his path to the presidency, first saw how he might be the one who could, like Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King, use the power of speech to change attitudes.

That C-SPAN clip was recorded on April 3, 1987, and in September of 1987, there was some conspicuous apologizing for the factual misstatements he made. The chronology works: Obama entered law school one year later, in the fall of 1988.

Here was Biden, prescribing what the party needed but crumpling when challenged about his law school — the solid but not prestigious Syracuse University College of Law. Obama then went to Harvard, a law school no one can dare disrespect, where he would pick up the credentials that would hush the Franks of this world.

In the fall of 1988, Obama saw the Democratic Party lose with a man who looked for all the world like the heartless technocrat Biden had warned us about:



Did Biden inspire Obama back in in 1987-88? Maybe Biden knew he did, and he was thinking about that — thinking about himself — when he enthused awkwardly about "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Now, Obama enfolds him, and everything comes full circle. The planets align. What was once so wrong is now all right.

ADDED: A commenter doubts that Obama would have seen this video back in 1987. Did people sit around watching C-SPAN back then? I remember the phenomenon of the "C-SPAN junkie" from the 80s. Don't you think Obama is the kind of person who'd have watched "The Road to the White House," that endless feed of presidential campaign events, which was already on in those days? Here's a NYT article by Andrew Rosenthal from October 1987:
C-SPAN's Spotlight Brings Quiet Corners of Campaigning Into View

Bruce Babbitt subscribed to it to help him learn how to look better on television. Tom Rath, adviser to Senator Bob Dole in New Hampshire, uses it to observe campaign rivals with a degree of intimacy unheard of in previous elections. And it played an important role in the disintegration of Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s campaign.

The Washington-based Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network, once known primarily as ''the network that dares to be boring,'' has found new prominence and respect in the 1988 Presidential election season.

C-SPAN still is not considered so influential on the course of the campaign as newspapers and the major networks. But some political operatives believe its blanket coverage has started to change the rules of campaigning, bringing television into areas once shielded from general view and exposing candidates to minute analysis by their opponents and the press....

The power of C-SPAN was dramatically illustrated last month toward the end of Mr. Biden's campaign. Nan Gibson, C-SPAN's press coordinator, says that after publication of newspaper articles about a speech in which the Senator had lifted the family history of a British politician, she received scores of calls from reporters interested in the network's tape of Mr. Biden's remarks.

The major networks' news programs televised the C-SPAN tape in their coverage of the story, and another C-SPAN tape contributed to a subsequent Newsweek article that told of how Mr. Biden, at a New Hampshire campaign event, had misstated his academic record.

''Reporters are using us as a video archive,'' Ms. Gibson said. ''They can't be everywhere at once, so they can watch from here.''...

The network ... has greatly expanded its campaign reporting, mostly through a weekly program, ''Road to the White House,'' on which C-SPAN's political editor, Carl M. Rutan, is host....

''C-SPAN brings everything that the candidates are doing into the people's living rooms,'' said Phil Roeder, executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party. ''It's the high-tech version of retail politics,'' the style of one-on-one personalized campaigning deemed mandatory for success in Iowa and New Hampshire.....

At small campaign events, C-SPAN crews attach a wireless microphone to the candidate's clothing and use a shotgun microphone to reach everyone else. The object, Mr. Rutan said, is to record every word the candidate says and every gesture he makes as he shakes hands, kisses babies and drinks coffee....

But the presence of C-SPAN cameras, political operatives said, also forces candidates to be more careful about such things as efforts to tailor their remarks for different parts of the country. Mr. Rutan, C-SPAN's political editor, said that after Mr. Biden's experience, campaign aides were more wary.

''In the past, candidates have been able to go where they want and maybe stretch the truth just a little bit,'' he said. ''Suddenly what they say in a small Iowa town is on the record, just as if they had said it at the National Press Club in Washington.''
In 1987, C-SPAN was teaching some crucial lessons about the future of political campaigning, lessons taught at Joe Biden's expense, and I'll bet Obama was watching, learning, and — for Joe Biden — empathizing.

101 comments:

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Two empty suits, together at last?

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Zrimsek said...

It seems to me if you can speak, you're at a liability in the Democratic Party anymore.

You can't make up stuff like this.

somefeller said...

The question from Frank, who apparently was a reporter, came off to me like a snide question, and was properly responded to by someone else in the crowd with "who cares?". I suspect Biden saw it for the implicit insult it was (perhaps because others had made such questions in the past as insults?), and responded. His "much higher IQ" response was a little ham-handed, but well within the bounds of a little back-and-forth in a political context.

The rest of his speech is quite good, actually, and on the money. The linkage of liberalism to 14-point plans and to-do lists for the government (a linkage encouraged by liberal journalists and pundits of that era) did nothing to improve the fortunes of liberalism and the Democratic Party, and produced "leaders" like Mondale and Dukakis. Biden was right, leadership involves engaging people emotionally as well as intellectually, and you change attitudes by changing how people viscerally respond to issues as well as how they think about them. Good for him for seeing that two decades ago, in the midst of the Mondale-Dukakis era.

I doubt Obama saw this video back in the eighties, because I don't think this was a very famous video. But there would be an irony if he did watch it and it inspired him to go on the path he's gone on, and that path ended up including Biden as his sidekick.

rhhardin said...

But Obama doesn't have oratical powers. He sucks as an orator.

john said...

Frank is the nom de guerre of Helen Thomas.

Except for

It seems to me if you can speak, you're at a liability in the Democratic Party anymore, it was otherwise a pretty good response.

Ann Althouse said...

"at a liability" is also bad.

It should be "at a disadvantage" or "have a liability."

Ann Althouse said...

rhhardin said..."But Obama doesn't have oratical powers. He sucks as an orator."

Sometimes people to be sucked. It worked, therefore it was powerful.

UWS guy said...

The augurs have run their fingers through the chicken entrails.

rhhardin said...

There's nothing about hope and change in de oratore, for a good reason.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I had forgotten just how stark Biden's lies were in response to that question. And not only is he an egregious liar, but the subject matter of his lies makes him look like an idiot (which he's not, but his law school record is awful). McCain won't make hay out of this because of his relationship with Biden and his own class rank (at a significantly more distinguished institution). But a 527 ad consisting of nothing more than Biden's speech juxtaposed with the actual facts will make him look like a real blowhard, especially if it closes with the IQ comment.

Ann Althouse said...

Dropped a word... should be:

Sometimes people want to be sucked. It worked, therefore it was powerful.

madawaskan said...

Prof-

Sometimes people to be sucked...

To be or not to be of the suckage-that should be the question...

For the voter-and the voter has said-
He is of the suckage!

Now, Obama enfolds him, and everything comes full circle. The planets align. What was once so wrong is now all right.

You know....

I'm trying to have breakfast here...

Jeez!

To be serious for a moment I think Biden has been saying we're going over a cliff since 1987...

madawaskan said...

Well...hmmm...want is the dropped word?

We'll find out-I don't think he's sucked enough people in-and we'll find out in November.

AllenS said...

Some of us just want to be suckled.

bearbee said...

Obama is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee of which Biden is chairman.

Is this another father-image thing?

Interesting that 4 Democrats have made presidential bids with 1 Republican trying.

Biden is Bush's Cheney.

madawaskan said...

Ya but not by Joe Biden!

Gawd.

If Obama was eight or nine that's a crucial age for young boys when they are fatherless-Jeebus-Biden could be dad.

This MoDo moment brought to you by lack of java.

Also I think what th Prof is trying to say is that Obma is like a black hole and is just trying to get one of her more crass commenters to say it-to avert the label of well-you know..

Ann Althouse said...

"Some of us just want to be suckled."

Then you need someone who gives suck, not someone who sucks.

madawaskan said...

Obama is full of holes and Biden fill'em.


Obama to O'Biden-

You complete me...

Aren't they both Irish?

The jig is up!

Lookin' for Pops in all the Good Bars!

madawaskan said...

Democrats-

The Momma Party.

madawaskan said...

Look I'm Black Irish-so I get a pass.

I'm off for coffee and some Bailey's.

Kirby Olson said...

Biden stuttered as a boy and as a young man. I'm not sure how he got over it. He mentioned this on some talk show about two years back. I'm not sure why people stutter. Is there a medical reason? Is it just nervousness?

TmjUtah said...

"...and it's the ironic twist that in the wake of Ronald Reagan that the only one thing he knew how to do was the one thing that is now being... the currency of which is in fact now being devalued so much."

The one thing, eh, Senator?

The Soviet Union folded its tent how many months after that speech was given?

Inflation was what in 88? Unemployment? Marginal tax rates on middle income earners?

What were those figures in say... 1980?

If the Democrats could ever enter into a policy discussion that wasn't preemptively and totally crushed by Teh Political Narrative they religiously perpetuate maybe they might be taken a little more seriously, more frequently, during national elections.


Empty suit and windy coot. I believe Obama's campaign had done a crap job of vetting Biden and is actively lobbying their best friends in the media to do yeoman heavy lifting.

And lauding Biden's "foreign policy credentials" might make an impact in Boston or Berkeley, but out here in the great unwashed middle we've always thought he always picked the wrong side when given the opportunity. Just like his party does.

It's McCains to lose.

Roger J. said...

Damn professor-I love you but you have put far too many posts on to catch up with--you are killing your commentes, girl.

As to Biden: he's foghorn leghorn without the drawl and charm

Slow down please Ann

Kev said...

The Washington-based Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network

Laugh if you want to, but I never realized until now that C-SPAN was an acronym. Maybe I was confused by the placement of the hyphen, but I always thought the C stood for Congress, and the network was touting the fact that its broadcasts spanned an entire session. Even the capital letters didn't clue me in, as I always figured they just fancied themselves among the Big Boys of Broadcasting, even as a fledgling network.

For the voter-and the voter has said-
He is of the suckage!


Or, as the kids would say: He is of teh suck!

EnigmatiCore said...

"Don't you think Obama is the kind of person who'd have watched "The Road to the White House," that endless feed of presidential campaign events, which was already on in those days?"

I am sure that he, Michelle, Rev. Wright, and the Ayers all had tea and crumpets while gathering to watch that show. Why would anyone doubt that?

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Mind you, Biden does have a good point there -- the Dems might have done better with Kennedy in '80 or Hart in '84.

Looking at it from a 1987 perspective, Biden's right on the money.

Ann Althouse said...

"Damn professor-I love you but you have put far too many posts on to catch up with..."

You need to visit the blog a few times a day!

somefeller said...

A commenter doubts that Obama would have seen this video back in 1987. Did people sit around watching C-SPAN back then?

Well, since I am that commenter, I have to respond. While it is certainly possible that Obama saw this video back in the eighties, and we will never really know one way or another unless he says he did, let's remember that this was an obscure video clip. Even C-Span junkies (assuming Obama was one back then) miss political clips, and this was also long before the days of online video, where you could be exposed to lots of video clips you would have otherwise missed if you weren't in front of the TV at the right moment.

Is it possible Obama saw the clip back in the day? Sure. Is it likely he did, given that this wasn't a high-rotation clip? No.

madawaskan said...

Well I think what the Prof is saying is that-Obama lulls voters with his oratory skills.

Look for some damn reason I would like to vote for te guy.
Dont we all want to believe?

I actually fell for that bridge rhetoric-I saved the Newseek that featured him touting bringing the country back together across the divide-from over SIX years ago.

That's why I'm obsessed with who he would pick-and it's very revealing.

Biden is a damn slap in the face. It reminds you that you are a fool to have believed Obama for one damn minute.

If you've ever watched the nastiness that IS Biden in Committee meetings-you know what I am talking about.

What the hell-does Obama want to lose this thing and play for 2012?

It's as if he wants to scapegoat Biden for the loss-without giving a potential future rival the national stage and the future name recognition that would go along with that to challenge Obama in 2012.

I really can't figure this pick out-I think it's that bad.

Roger J. said...

Ann-- I try to--you are just on a roll here girl--I love it--SLOW DOWN so us old farts can catch up

vbspurs said...

Ann wrote:

C-SPAN junkie

In fact, yes, this is why I started watching C-SPAN -- I had read a newspaper article about the trend of C-SPAN "political" junkies, who watched the channel maniacally, and never missed a House vote. This was around 1991, though.

One lady interviewed knew one obscure politician covered nationally, and surprised her friends with insight into his record.

-- Remember, this is the days before the internet, where 90% of US citizens got their political information through the local and nightly news. The other 10% might hunt around for the NYT, and other papers. --

Similarly, when I was a kid, Margaret Thatcher allowed cameras to broadcast from the House of Commons, for the first time ever. It was a BIG DEAL.

Coming on the heels of "Yes, Minister", IMHO the best "Britcom" ever produced, which put politics on the map for the common person, people tuned in by the thousands.

We even had a flurry of "Parliamentary Rules" books published, which loads of people bought in order to understand the stickier points of parliamentary debate. I still have mine.

I'm wondering if there has ever been a political sitcom or similar on US television that might've done the same for C-SPAN in the '80s?

Who knows. Maybe Obama watched that too.

P.S.: "The West Wing" (aka The Left Wing) doesn't count. That was post-Bush blues in the new century.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

What the hell-does Obama want to lose this thing and play for 2012?

If he loses, he won't be back for YEARS, if ever.

Why? Because the Ayers and Wright links have barely been explored.

He's not like Biden. Biden is a knowable, garden variety kind of pol. Obama was an activist in the dirtiest political city in America. You have to know a lot of people to get ahead. It's inescapable. And it seems he didn't escape.

And then there's the Clinton Machine. If he loses in 2008, she will successfully make a case against him in 2012.

She'll say something like:

It's the equivalent of FDR having lost in 1932 to Herbert Hoover. There is NO WAY a Democratic nominee could lose the 2008 Presidential campaign. If he does, it's because the Democrats royally messed up their choice.

Cheers,
Victoria

Roger J. said...

victoria--pardon the personal note but you are a miami lady--have you eaten at the Versailles? yeah its kitschy but their cuban food is top notch

Der Hahn said...

Biden is Bush's Cheney.

I keep seeing people saying this and am really struggling to see what the mean.

I guess except for Biden being a Senator since 1972, and Dick Cheney being a congressman and Minority Whip, Secretary of Defense, and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, they're exactly alike.

madawaskan said...

Victoria-

It's demographics-if one group of people are voting for you by over 90% and they are more heavily weighted in the Democratic party-

That's impossible to overcome-and Ayers won't matter for a hill of beans.

Obama could be the presumptive nominee for beyond 2012.

It's imperative that McCain pick a viable VP that can run in 2012-since a lot of people think one term for him.

An imcumbent, running with a good economy would be an unbeatable combination for decades for the Republicans if they play their cards right.

Right here right now.

This year the VP candidates mean more than they have in the past.

The old media is telling you differently-but this election is a unique offing.

No incumbent, a relative neophyte-Obama, and a potential one termer-McCain.

The VPs matter.

vbspurs said...

Roger, behold! ;)

When McCain made a campaign stop in Miami -- one of dozens so far, with dozens if not more to go -- recently, Miss Ruth Anne forgot to tell me he had a scheduled Versailles stop.

That could've been me at Versailles (pron. Vehr-sah-yes) sipping cafecito next to McCain in the photo.

Nuts.

Zeb Quinn said...

If you've ever watched the nastiness that IS Biden in Committee meetings-you know what I am talking about...

...I really can't figure this pick out-I think it's that bad.


At that Saddleback thing Obama went way out of his way to go off on Clarence Thomas, insulting him, demeaning him, and doing it personally.

The one singuler person responsible for that circus-like Senate Judiciary Committe hearing in 1991 aimed at deconstructing and destroying Clarence Thomas is good 'ol Joe Biden.

Coincidence? You make the call.

Impartial observer said...

Ah, back to 1987! Well, I can't wait for your extended analysis of McCain calling his wife a harlot and a cunt in 1992. You could do such a good job with that--if it had been said by Obama. But of course, under faux neutrality, we'll never hear anything about that or the wealth of other examples of McCain's intemperateness.

Roger J. said...

victoria--thanks for the link.I love you and want to make you my love slave--that said, the versailles some 50 years ago was a hobby shop--I used to go there when I was a kid. down the street from the trail theater on douglas and the trail==right across the street from the douglas apartments which was the entrance to coral gables--I love your miami background--it restores lots of old and very nice memories--please keep it up

William said...

I was struck by the points of similarity between Biden and Wright. They both speak with certainty and bluster about unknowable things. They may have a damaged compass but they steer with certainty. I think Obama is looking more for certainty than for truth.

vbspurs said...

Der Hahn wrote:

I keep seeing people saying this and am really struggling to see what the mean.

It's easy.

Bush didn't go for a regionally important candidate, since Wyoming's 3 little electoral votes didn't make much of a difference in a solidly Republican State anyway.

Same with Delaware, on the Democratic side.

Bush went with a man who shored up his conservative credentials, since he was running as "compassionate conservative" who had worked in a bipartisan manner as Gov of Texas, thus making his more conservative "base" nervous.

Obama went with a man who shores up the traditional lunchbucket vote, since he's seen as an elitist who eats arugulat at Whole Foods.

Regionally, Cheney helped in the South, and Biden is intended to secure the vital Pennsylvania/Ohio corridor. Even Massachussetts was looking dicey, and might yet be in play with Romney.

Then, there's the foreign policy experience. Cheney was a two-fer help there, since he had also been in the private sector, and was seen as pro-business, but he also offered DoD experience, as well.

Biden lacks that, but arguably, the Democratic base doesn't care about the pro-business part.

Remember that Bush was a 2-term Governor, who had never travelled to Europe until he was President (he had to Latin America and China, frequently). He was preternaturally AMERICAN. Cheney no less, but he was more well-rounded and older.

The younger Obama is, in his own words, 'exotic'. An older Biden is an Irish-Catholic who brings much needed Americanness to the ticket.

Now, let's focus on McCain.

If he chooses Jindal, the analogy will be Bush 41 selecting Dan Quayle.

And yes, spare me the "intelligence" protestations, about potatoe, etc. That's not why it's a good analogy.

Cheers,
Victoria

Roger J. said...

oh yeah--at that time calle ocho didnt exist and it was called the trail: from tamiami trail--went to school at auberndale elementary then citrus grove jr hi and on to miami high--wonderful place to grow up

madawaskan said...

Zeb-

What's interesting about that is all these years later-nothing else has ever even been insinuated against Clarence Thomas.

Ironically I was trying to watch footage of that last night-on You Tube. I'm more familiar with Biden's performances elsewhere.

I swear Clarence Thomas must have taken a vow of near silence right then and there during those Hearings...

madawaskan said...

Victoria-

And that's why the-

Barack America-

was the best gaffe they could Hope for...

vbspurs said...

Come to think about it, there's a certain truth to:

Dukakis/Bentsen '88 = Obama/Biden '08

Except that Obama has a more emotionally-driven support, which can cover for the fact that he's a really cold technocrat, just like Dukakis was.

Beldar said...

Remember, Biden was running against those "heartless technocrats." He was trying to use this polite (and obviously disdainful) heckler's question as an opportunity to dis Gary Hart and Dick Gephart, not to impress the young Barack Obamas who might have been watching. He's a man of many flaws, Slow Joe, but at least he's neither heartless nor a technocrat. His comment certainly seems prescient when one recalls (if one's old enough) that the eventual nominee, Michael Dukakis, was thought by some to have lost the election when he gave a clinical and dispassionate answer to a presidential debate question about whether he'd reconsider his opposition to the death penalty if it were his wife who'd been the victim.

I do agree with Prof. A that Obama might well be the kind of wonk who watched a lot of C-SPAN back in 1987, but I find it inconceivable that he could have found Biden an inspiring figure, then or now.

Beldar said...

vbspurs, you've delivered a profound insult to the memory of Lloyd Bentsen, who I'm sure knew Joe Biden as well as he knew Jack Kennedy, and Lloyd Bentsen was no Joe Biden.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"And this party better understand full well that it's about time that we change our attitude and we begin to change the attitudes of Americans about what their responsibilities are to the poor, about what their responsibilities are to other people, and about what our responsibility in the world is, and that requires changing attitudes."

This is what Obama really means by "change"! The same old punitive liberalism wrapped up in a shiny new package.

vbspurs said...

victoria--thanks for the link.I love you and want to make you my love slave--that said, the versailles some 50 years ago was a hobby shop--I used to go there when I was a kid. down the street from the trail theater on douglas and the trail==right across the street from the douglas apartments which was the entrance to coral gables--I love your miami background--it restores lots of old and very nice memories--please keep it up

And

oh yeah--at that time calle ocho didnt exist and it was called the trail: from tamiami trail--went to school at auberndale elementary then citrus grove jr hi and on to miami high--wonderful place to grow up

Wow, I'm totally digging these facts, Roger! I didn't know that one about "The Trail" and the hobby shop.

BTW, that theatre is still there but not operating even as a venue for a Cuban variety group (the famous Tower Theatre IS operating though. I ate in a seafood restaurant yards away from it, on Friday!).

If you're interested, I am going to start a series on Miami diners (the few that still remain) including the most famous extanct one from 1938, at Allen's Pharmacy.

You probably remember that one, real well. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

LOL, Beldar. I could see that coming. ;)

Ann Althouse said...

somefeller: "Well, since I am that commenter, I have to respond. While it is certainly possible that Obama saw this video back in the eighties, and we will never really know one way or another unless he says he did, let's remember that this was an obscure video clip. Even C-Span junkies (assuming Obama was one back then) miss political clips, and this was also long before the days of online video, where you could be exposed to lots of video clips you would have otherwise missed if you weren't in front of the TV at the right moment.

"Is it possible Obama saw the clip back in the day? Sure. Is it likely he did, given that this wasn't a high-rotation clip? No."

How can you read that NYT article and call this an obscure clip?!

Chip Ahoy said...

Great anal cyst. I mean, analysis.

Oratory puts me off. Puts me right off. Like now! Bang. Mute for you. You put on the oratory voice, I put on the mute. It's a Pavlovian response. No wait, faster than that, it's autonomic.

The thing about Reagan's oratory, or however the hell you spell his name, is that his oratory resonated with what a good portion of the electorate felt within their hearts and knew within their minds. He made sense. Obama appeals to emotion so his mad oratory skillz appeal to a reduced portion, that part of the electorate susceptible to emotional appeals. Not me, he's already on mute.

[Low flying helicopters again, in the direction of Pepsi Center. Pepsi. Ha ha ha. That suddenly struck me as funny. Quite the prolonged firework display last night. It was like tens of thousands of Democrats all orgasming at once.]

* Grabs edges of suit jacket*

"Let me be perfectly clear ..."

* Looks out over adoring crowd *

"... As I've said many times, This country is looking for change, and our combined IQs, although according to Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Adult, are one standard deviation below average, but what do those discredited metrics know (?), is still higher than yours by itself, together we can provide the leadership and change America is looking for.

Yesterday I heard Martha Stewart say she's voting for Obama because it's time for a change. Duh! She dropped a notch in respect for that inane platitude.

Damn. Helicopters. The sky is lousy with them. There must be every helicopter in Denver airborne at once. My pictures aren't coming out very good, they look like tiny dragonflies against azure blue. Mi lente del telefoto chupa la iguana muy grande.

vbspurs said...

Madawaskan punned:

Barack America-

was the best gaffe they could Hope for..


Keep the Change...

EnigmatiCore said...

"Biden is Bush's Cheney."

He's an evil Sith lord too?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Wait, I thought Rev. Wright and Ayers were the ones who inspired Barack Hussein Obama to become president? Oh, now I'm so confused.

This post is perhaps more inane than NIG, Onion Rings, and Big Breasted Interns combined. And this blog has now officially jumped the shark. Completely i.n.s.a.n.e.! Love it.

Roger J. said...

OT and sorry: Victoria-- I have a great bunch of old pics of Miami in the 1950s--one of my high school buds sent them--go to my profile and email me, and I will forward them to you--they are priceless Miami circa 1950s--

Roger J. said...

oh--and the love slave thing is still on the table!

TmjUtah said...

"t's demographics-if one group of people are voting for you by over 90% and they are more heavily weighted in the Democratic party-

That's impossible to overcome-and Ayers won't matter for a hill of beans.

Obama could be the presumptive nominee for beyond 2012.
"

So, if I understand you correctly, black folks are going to vote for Obama as far into the future as he cares to run, regardless of his the level of success he may achieve with the electorate at large?

Seems kind of simple. Not saying your wrong. Far from it, actually.

But I still wouldn't bring that up in conversation at the NAACP tea luncheon, if I were you.

I don't think the Democrats will be a presidential threat for the next decade. It's not all Obama's fault; if Hillary was semi-competent we wouldn't be having this conversation at all.

EnigmatiCore said...

"So, if I understand you correctly, black folks are going to vote for Obama as far into the future as he cares to run, regardless of his the level of success he may achieve with the electorate at large?"

Probably true. And it will have one very very positive effect-- the complete marginalization of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and those like them, so long as Obama continues to keep Wright under the bus.

And if we are really lucky, then blacks adopting the post-racial mantle, perhaps more sincerely or authentically than Obama, will begin to dominate the Democratic party.

reader_iam said...

Of course, 1988 was also the year in which the Democratic Convention featured Jesse Jackson's Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive! speech.

reader_iam said...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Kirby Olson said...

Biden probably does have a pretty good IQ.

Gore had a pretty good IQ, too.

What the Democrats need now is someone with a touch of EQ.

Oddly, that's how W. finessed Gore, and then Kerry. W. has EQ.

McCain has it, too.

Obama's very emotional, but he doesn't have EQ. He can't really find a common chord with people that he despises, and it seems that he despises most of America.

I think they are going to return the sentiment in October.

I don't think McCain despises people.

W. actually likes almost everybody.

Kerry and Gore are haters.

Bill Clinton had EQ. He basically likes everybody.

EQ beats IQ.

madawaskan said...

Ya it could be that damn simple.

I don't see any other black candidate-being able to crack through the Obamaness.

The Dems have lived off identity politics for along time, ironic if that's what finally does them -in.

Yes, they will continue to vote for Obama-the reason the rest of the electorate does not vote for him-is because they are racist.

The media told them so...

somefeller said...

How can you read that NYT article and call this an obscure clip?!

Because it wasn't a clip that was shown over and over on mainstream television at that time or later. While I was a teenager in 1987, I was a fairly politically aware one, and come from a politically active family, which discussed these sorts of things around the dinner table. I can easily remember all kinds of clips from that era, from Gary Hart telling the press to follow him around (oops!) to Michael Dukakis's bloodless answer to the question about someone raping and murdering his wife, as well when Biden flamed out because of the Kinnock quote scandal.

This one doesn't register in my memory, and while that isn't dispositive, the fact there was a NY Times article about the incident doesn't mean it was one that everyone knew about, either. Heck, let's put it to a test. Has anyone else posting here seen this clip before Biden became a top contender for Obama's VP nod? Be honest now. I suspect not.

Zeb Quinn said...

Obama's 90%+ support among blacks is interesting. It didn't seem to be that way at the start. It was after Oprah blessed him for the South Carolina primary. It's not just Democrats, either. Colin Powell may be an Obama supporter. Condi Rice too. I heard in an interview JC Watts saying he may back Obama. There's something there, and whatever it is, support for Obama connects across the board. I'd say even if he loses in November he'll be continue to be a major a force to contend with down the road. And if his actual competency and skillsets ever catch up with the rest of his schtick? Look out.

As for the video, I agree with somefeller. Video wasn't ubiquitous in those days. It was catch as catch can, then it went away. Especially C-Span. I'd say it was far more likely that Obama tuned into who Biden was and became a Biden admirer during the Clarence Thomas hearing, which was televised on network TV and was very widely viewed. As a brand new law school grad and given the subject matter, it's a safe bet that Obama watched nonstop. Biden was chair of the judiciary committee and it was all his show to preside over.

Fen said...

Empty suit and windy coot.

Careful. Obama is a Marxist, not just an empty suit. As such, he should be opposed by every method available in a lawful society.

Marxists are slavers. Marxists suck. They should be shot on sight, but we [still] live in a civilized country.

reader_iam said...

I certainly saw it, but then I was a politics junkie, a C-SPAN junkie and living in Delaware (and had started stringing for a newspaper) at the time.

But what I came into the comments section to share was "About that Frank who inspired Biden's IQ defense. It seems that McCain's encountered him, too.

LOL.

(And if any Althouse commenter can find a video clip of the encounter to which I refer, boy, would I appreciate it. It defeated my search skills.)

reader_iam said...

Frank wasn't a reporter, by the way,

AJ Lynch said...

Is Martha Stewart, a convicted felon, even eligible to vote?

I wonder if her public choice of Obiden will cost her sales?

Kirby Olson said...

While we're at it, a fun angle to explore in regards to HIS background is his relationship with the Du Pont family. It's been thirty five years or so but I once painted motel rooms with a guy from Delaware when I was a high school student in the Pocono Mountains (NE Pennsylvania). We had nothing else to do, so I listened to him talk about his life (he was 60, I was about 16), and he talked A LOT about the Du Pont family insane asylum that he had worked at for decades. He said the Du Ponts often intermarried and therefore had lots of loons, and they had a whole insane asylum just for them!

How true is this?

I'm too lazy to research it before posting. I think I'll post and then go and look around and see what I can find, meanwhile when I come back maybe someone will be ahead of me.

What is Biden's relationship to the DuPont's?

I didn't spend a lot of time looking, but came across this webpage claiming that the Du Ponts are Satanists because all Satanists intermarry. That's funny, but nuts, I think. At any rate, that's one theory I've never heard. I thought I had heard all of them.

But he wrote this part, claiming that all governors of Delaware had to be given the ok by the Du Ponts. This will probably come up soon in some book by Jerome Corsi or someone else, so I thought I would be ahead of the 8-ball for once.

At any rate, is the state of Delaware totally controlled by the Du Pont family, or mostly controlled by them? Who are they?

"One detail, that I didn’t mention in the original story on the duPonts was that one of the more recent Governors of Delaware C. Douglas Buck was married to Alice H. duPont. I also left out a great deal of the inside story on the politicking that has gone on in Delaware this century. It is so detailed with so many names that I didn’t want to confuse people with it. Anyway, the bottom line is that behind the scenes, all of the Governors since the 1920s have been approved by the duPonts. I debated whether to include the du Ponts genealogy. I had it, so I decided to give it, on the chance someone might use it. The genealogy shows several things, a. that the duPonts like the Astors repeatedly used the same names over and over, b, that the duPonts like the Rothschilds had a lot of first cousin marriages (marriages between a du Pont and a du Pont are given asterisks-however some of the marriages between people with different last names are also between first cousins and other relation. If it looks like I’ve gone to a great deal of trouble for nothing-I can understand what you’re saying. We certainly don’t need to know every du Pont. But just like in a laboratory one deals with many exact small details in numerous experiments to discover a principle-that is what I am doing here. I am trying to break ground so that people will understand more about how the elite think, etc. I had hoped that I might also be able to track which branches are with the Illuminati and which may have bailed out."

reader_iam said...

Kirby: The heyday of Uncle Dupie is long past. Hell, even the heyday of MBNA, which sorta followed, is over.

XWL said...

Sometimes people want to be sucked. It worked, therefore it was powerful.

Prof, I think a word is still missing after "sucked".

It's a bit ambiguous at the moment, adding in either "off" or "in" just after "sucked" would greatly clarify the precise meaning of your statement.

(and I suspect as many people who chose to be 'sucked in' by Sen. Obama, are also having fantasies of being 'sucked off', if not actually, at least metaphorically, by the senator)

Cedarford said...

Enigmaticore (On blacks voting 90-10 for blacks over candidates of other races) -
And if we are really lucky, then blacks adopting the post-racial mantle, perhaps more sincerely or authentically than Obama, will begin to dominate the Democratic party.

Hard to claim that as "post-racial", unless you are saying that it is blacks voting almost exclusively by race and skin color means they have gone "post-racial" by only voting for blacks claiming to be post-racial.

What "post-racial" appears to mean for Democrats is that hispanics, whites, asians will soon learn that they always lose to blacks if they vote based on the person and split their votes between races. Because blacks win by maintaining racial and tribal solidarity to the black pol wanting election, by their 90-10 vote tilt..
And if they want to get city elections, patronage where blacks are 20-50% of voters, or in Dem Presidential Primaries where blacks are 33% of the vote - they too must also learn to vote for "their people" to best serve their power and self-interest - against the blacks.

That doesn't sound too post-racial. Even if the Dems left in cities and future presidential contests get the eventual black winner who claims to be post-racial, unless other groups also vote by skin color for a post-racial candidate of their own kind.

And key in this is how the artificial race "hispanic" - now well ahead of blacks in demographics - and the large, powerful Asian minority, see themselves. Can they work and prosper under black politicians running the show, or do they need to set up their own racial solidarity politics or form coalitions with each other and whites against the monolithic black vote - in order to get their share of power and city patronage jobs?

madawaskan said...

reader-

Ugh...all I could find was an audio clip-NPR had it and he goes off on a BDS tangent, which makes me want to go off on a rif.

About voters who are invested-and how the 28% probably actually VOTE ..

Anyways here's that link-

NPR

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Then you need someone who gives suck, not someone who sucks."

I love it when you talk dirty to me.

reader_iam said...

Thanks, Madawaskan; I updated with thanks.

AJ Lynch said...

Reader:

That was a funny contrast "I should have called on your wife". Thanks for the tip to the blog post.

And thanks also for clarifying Frank's role. I first thought he was a reporter when I saw Biden's response yesterday.

vbspurs said...

Is Martha Stewart, a convicted felon, even eligible to vote?

As an ex-Clerk of a polling station, I can tell you they are -- if they apply for voting rights re-instatement.

Tangential anecdote:

Every election day, this same black chap (a very polite guy, wearing a mechanic's uni) came to vote, and every time I had to tell him, "you're not on the register. Did you apply for re-instatement?" "Ma'am, that happened years ago. I was a kid. I'm a changed man now. Why aren't you letting me vote?". He looked genuinely aggrieved, and I couldn't make him understand it wasn't my doing.

But I had this conversation 5 times with the guy.

The 2004 Presidential Election was absolute murder for convicted felons wanting to vote (no pun intended). I was accused of every form of racism you can imagine, because I wasn't letting them vote.

So, it all depends if Stewart's voting rights have been re-instated.

What gets me is that famous people, of any political party feel they have to go on record, and tell the rest of the world how to vote.

Who the hell do they think they are?

Cheers,
Victoria

madawaskan said...

reader-

I went to your blog-it looks good. Yet another addiction.

I smoke a lotta blog.

I need to find a twelve step program...

EnigmatiCore said...

"Hard to claim that as "post-racial", unless you are saying that it is blacks voting almost exclusively by race and skin color means they have gone "post-racial" by only voting for blacks claiming to be post-racial."

I didn't claim that would be post-racial.

I said that, if we are lucky, in such a case the ones nominated would be more authentically post-racial in their aspirations than Obama.

Do you feel lucky, punk?

vbspurs said...

Careful. Obama is a Marxist, not just an empty suit. As such, he should be opposed by every method available in a lawful society.

Fen, you know I often agree with you, but not this time, my friend.

Marxism is only truly dangerous in repressive societies.

In a free society, like we have in the West, from France to Italy to the US, Marxism doesn't make a dent. You know why? Because the implementation of its precepts are EVIL, and the results are DUMB. People see that.

Marxists tear out their hair trying to find ways to figure out why they can't make poor people see "the light". They use their flawlessly argued logic, which they are carefully taught, and still nothing.

Now, it doesn't mean we can't be on guard for Marxist creep, including creeps who are Marxists (heh).

But that's not Obama. He's not even close to being a real Marxist, though like every academic, he hasn't escaped the tentacles of political indoctrination at University.

You can say he just hides it better, than, say, Ward Churchill -- and that could be true.

But a Leftist doesn't a Marxist make.

No. Obama just has emotional issues, unresolved as they are because both parents died before making peace with them in his later adulthood. Bush had many of these issues, but he's been blessed with two parents still living in their 80s, who loved him unconditionally.

Cheers,
Victoria

EnigmatiCore said...

"But a Leftist doesn't a Marxist make."

Interesting comment, with which I think I disagree. But I'd like to hear more before I say that I do.

A liberal doesn't a leftist make and a liberal doesn't a Marxist make are two comments I would agree with right away. But can you give me an example of a leftist that isn't a Marxist, or tell me what a leftist that isn't a Marxist would believe?

vbspurs said...

A liberal doesn't a leftist make and a liberal doesn't a Marxist make are two comments I would agree with right away. But can you give me an example of a leftist that isn't a Marxist, or tell me what a leftist that isn't a Marxist would believe?

I know where you are getting at, but first, let me say that I was using "Leftist" as a general rubric for all those left of centre, as we know that to mean in the post-modern age. This includes liberals, although not classic liberals, obviously.

Now, as to your question.

I just mentioned Louis Althusser in another thread. We can still use him in this thread, to highlight what I mean.

An excerpt from his Wiki entry about this:

Althusser conceives of society as an interconnected collection of these wholes – economic practice, ideological practice and politico-legal practice – which together make up one complex whole (social formation). In his view all levels and practices are dependent on each other.

For example, amongst the relations of production of capitalist societies are the buying and selling of labour power by capitalists and workers. These relations are part of economic practice, but can only exist within the context of a legal system which establishes individual agents as buyers and sellers; furthermore, the arrangement must be maintained by political and ideological means.

From this it can be seen that aspects of economic practice depend on the superstructure and vice versa. For him this was the moment of reproduction and constituted the important role of the superstructure.


Marxists concentrate on the superstructures, rather than individuality of people and nations.

That's why post-feudal societies are much more likely to be left of centre, because they understand their history through the superstructure, through narrow governance, through divisive social classes, rather than the USA has been, because this is not a post-feudal society.

Or foundations are populist, and therefore Leftist in expression.

Americans speak the language of the common man.

What is the point of Sacco and Vanzetti, if you have FDR and John Lewis as examples of successful, non-anarchic native leftism?

Tell me if I lost you with my rhetoric. :)

I can talk about this all day, but I'm off to the gym. Yes, even on Sunday!

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

Chaîne Jacques

Gâteau au fromage marxiste de chocolat.

Marxist chocolate cheesecake. I just sent these photo instructions out on my Marxist mailing list to my Party's operatives. Such obedient little onions. I mean, minions.

Veuillez me pardonner.

bearbee said...

He is Marxist in philosophy and he is an emotional authoritarian. He wants to redistribute wealth. He wants a global tax on US taxpayers. He wants mandatory public service. He wants us to speak Spanish. He thinks that we are ignorant and not good enough.

He surrogate has said:

"He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism ... that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

I can hardly wait for the re-education centers to be set up.

Fen said...

Victoria, I'll have to actually think on that for a bit.

My suspicion comes from Obama's political alliance with Ayers re public education, and Ayers's remarks to Chavez that the US public education system is the best tool to bring Change![tm] called Marxism.

EnigmatiCore said...

Victoria,

"Let me say that I was using "Leftist" as a general rubric for all those left of centre, as we know that to mean in the post-modern age. This includes liberals, although not classic liberals, obviously.

Now, as to your question."

No need to go further than that (although I'll consider what you wrote after it) because the part I quoted answered everything-- you were using 'leftist' the way I use liberal.

To me, leftist has a much more severe and negative connotation than left-of-center. A leftist, in my vernacular, is more akin to a radical of the left.

American Democrats are left of center, but not leftist (IMO). Ayers is leftist. Where Obama fits, I am not sure (and my lack of certainty is a big reason, along with my sense of his absolute phoniness, why I will not vote his way).

Kirby Olson said...

Reader Iam, too bad that the Du Ponts won't be secretly pulling the strings on Biden. I'd rather hoped that the Marxist of sorts would be running with a corporate stooge.

That would be fun, the wry looks we could have seen!

Now we're into Althusser (who claimed he had never actually read Marx but was just faking it), and we're into neck-wringing sociopaths, etc.

Oh, my heavens. My heavens.

EnigmatiCore said...

"What is the point of Sacco and Vanzetti, if you have FDR and John Lewis as examples of successful, non-anarchic native leftism?"

Ask Ayers. Why did the Weather Underground feel they needed to exist? What separated them from the liberal left-of-center Democrats?

More importantly, why are they in Obama's orbit?

"Tell me if I lost you with my rhetoric. :)"

Not at all. I find the turn of the century politics to be fascinating, from McKinley and Bryan through Roosevelt and Taft, and the battles on the far left between the communists and the anarchists.

former law student said...

Now, let's focus on McCain.

If he chooses Jindal, the analogy will be Bush 41 selecting Dan Quayle.


Do you think Dan Quayle was an up and comer when GHW picked him? I think Jindal is very much on the fast track. The closest analog to a VP Jindal I can think of would be Theodore Roosevelt.

Ayers's remarks to Chavez that the US public education system is the best tool to bring Change![tm] called Marxism.

Which Chavez?

But if public education succeeds at teaching Marxism the same way it's succeeded at teaching reading and math, Capitalism is safe.

[Obama] wants to redistribute wealth.

How is wealth allocated now?

AJ Lynch said...

FLS asked:
"How is wealth allocated now? "

I'd say the most predictive factors are planning & preparation (make good decisions), individual effort, brains, some luck and good fortune, innate abilities, personal hustle and positive outlook.

Then the guvmint takes a big chunk out of the wealthiest among us and redistributes to others.

FYI - I suspect you really did not want anyone to answer you.

vbspurs said...

Ask Ayers. Why did the Weather Underground feel they needed to exist? What separated them from the liberal left-of-center Democrats?

The separation came via the counter-culture. One important component missing from American leftism (liberalism, using your exact wording) was anti-Americanism.

All Leftist ideologues around the world share anti-Americanism in common.

Until the 1960s, it was possible for a liberal to love his country, and predominate in his/her Party.

Three things changed that: the McCarthy hearings. The Civil Rights movement. And Vietnam.

The fissures of a society turned a generation from minority expression into, well, if not the majority, at least one which more readily accepted that the US was deeply flawed (in their view).

People forget that the 1880s-1900s brought extreme Leftists as immigrants to the US. Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Leon Czolgosz (McKinley's assassin). Trotsky emigrated for a while to NYC.

Italian anarchists, Spanish anti-monarchists, Russian Bolsheviks, every stripe of violent Leftist came to America.

But their children were the Greatest Generation.

That's why I don't fear Marxism and "Marxists" in America.

The foundation of this country is too strong, and there are too many of us who would happily give our lives to assure its continuance.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Well, I've tried to read the rest of the thread, but forgive me if I don't reply tonight guys.

Just came back from watching "Death Race", which apart from the usual anti-corporate, anti-police themes (see "Wanted") was as good an action film as a stupid car race film can be.

Night!
Victoria

EnigmatiCore said...

"All Leftist ideologues around the world share anti-Americanism in common"

Now we are getting somewhere, as our definitions are starting to converge.

I agree that leftism embodies anti-Americanism. Why? Because America most successfully embodies capitalism.

I think that still remains as a useful dividing line between liberals and leftists. The former is not necessarily Marxist and is not necessarily anti-American. The latter will be both, because America is the driving force of capitalism in the world.

Revenant said...

Do you think Dan Quayle was an up and comer when GHW picked him?

Yes, he was. According to Wikipedia, he:

- In 1976, beat the 8-term Democratic incumbent in to win election to the House of Representatives

- In 1978, was relected in a record-setting landslide

- In 1980, beat the three-term Democratic incumbent to win his Senate seat

- In 1986, was re-elected in another record-setting landslide, even as the rest of the Republican Party lost Senate seats.

Prior to the media deciding he was an idiot, Quayle was considered an extremely promising Republican politician. That's one reason Bush picked him for VP.

Revenant said...

I think that still remains as a useful dividing line between liberals and leftists.

Personally I use the term "left-wing" (or "leftist") because the word "liberal" is so inappropriate. Liberals believe in individual freedom; most of the people calling themselves "liberals" do not.

Fen said...

Which Chavez?

Hugo Chavez.

Certainly Ayers' politics remain unapologetically authoritarian. He recently traveled to Venezuela - only the most recent of several such trips - and delivered a speech in front of Hugo Chavez in which he spoke of education as the "motor force of revolution" and his interest in "overcom[ing] the failings of capitalist education" and said he thought Chavez was creating "something truly new and deeply humane." He closed his speech by mouthing typical slogans of the authoritarian left: "Viva Mission Sucre! Viva Presidente Chavez! Viva La Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta La Victoria Siempre!"

http://globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/04/who-sent-obama.html

The Che posters make sense now.

Fen said...

Liberals believe in individual freedom; most of the people calling themselves "liberals" do not.

Echo. I've been lurking on TalkLeft last week. Even known loyalists are "reminded" by admins to avoid certain criticisms of Dem candidates, to use Obama instead of BHO, to retract an unguarded statement or be banned from posting.

Of all the blogs in all the world, you'd think the one where you could freely express your thoughts would be a liberal one. But that word doesn't mean what it used to.

bearbee said...

Marxism is only truly dangerous in repressive societies.

You are correct in that wouldn't easily be accepted by America. We have a two party system - blessed be divided government.

Pre Sacco and Vanzetti, Chicago was a hotbed of anarchism with its Haymarket riots of 1886-87 resulting in 4 hanged anarchists.

As you point out creeping Marxism is a constant concern. In his quest for power we have seen Obama consistently modify his position on taxes, the war, foreign affairs, energy.

But who knows what events will drive people to accept the 'wisdom' of Washington and its never ending desire to central plan.

During the depression of the '30's the FDR administration had many enamored of the Soviet model. One has to wonder if WW2 had not occur what would have been the full direction of economic policy.

Rick Fisk said...

I am shocked that nobody who has commented has noted that this particular "brilliant" moment by Biden was actually what caused him to drop out of the race early.

He told 4 lies in about as many seconds about his academic record. Top half of his class? He finished 76 of 85.