March 16, 2015

Maybe she said "Oh, Todd."

But it's in the "Meet the Press" transcript as "Oh God."
[Former press secretary to Hillary Clinton] KAREN FINNEY: It's crazy, you just can't imagine. The real problem, it's not the letter, it's whom it was addressed to. You don't send a letter to the Ayatollah...

CHUCK TODD: All right, I'm going to hit the pause button there, because we're going to have more fireworks, I have a feeling.

KAREN FINNEY: Oh God.
Finney is a former Hillary Clinton press secretary. It was only 2 weeks ago that the Democratic Party strategist Maria Cardona blurted out "Jesus!" on "Face the Nation." I'm keeping an eye on these female Democratic Party spokespersons. I think they are being misprepped for these Sunday shows. They're making a terrible impression... and not just for the fleeting expletives. Emotive emptiness like "It's crazy, you just can't imagine" is crazy. I just can't imagine why I am listening to her.

Finney was on the show to interact with Matt Bai, who was lively, articulate, and substantive:
CHUCK TODD: Matt Bai... [y]ou wrote something interesting this week.

MATT BAI: For once
See that's funny... silly, self-deprecating. It sets Todd up to be a little funny too:
CHUCK TODD: It was literally the only reason I brought you on. I'll set you up a little bit. You wrote, "It wasn't that [Hillary Clinton] couldn't answer the questions coming at her, it was that she didn't think she should have to. If I'm a Clinton advisor, that's a problem for me because this isn't 1992, when politics could be staged for the evening news. Transparency and authenticity are paramount in the social media culture and a lack of them is fatal, ask Mitt Romney."...

MATT BAI: ... Look, there are great advantages to being in the public arena as long as the Clintons have been. Organization, allies, experience, all of it. The disadvantage I think is that when you're there that long, you can miss changes in the political culture. You can fight the same battle you fought 20 or 30 years ago. But by the way, this happens to reporters too. I mean, we are not immune to missing changes... and you don't see what's in front of your face, somebody younger comes along and gets it. So I think she needs to change as a candidate and change her perspective in order to be successful, especially if you're running against a Jeb Bush, who makes openness obviously such a theme, a Rand Paul, who talks about civil liberties and secrecy in government. That's a sharp contrast with her approach.
Now, it's Finney's turn, and she's there to defend Hillary, but she's not flexible enough to pick up on any the things Bai just threw out (even though she'd obviously had the chance to read what Bai had written).
CHUCK TODD: Go over to Matt's point here a little bit. You know, did Secretary Clinton have "been there, done that" disease, where she assumed it was the '90s all over again and maybe was overly defensive?

KAREN FINNEY: You know, I don't think so. I thought she was trying to be sarcastic with her first answer. 
We had to pause the recording there. Sarcastic??!! Hillary was being sarcastic?!! Talk about unimaginable craziness! But what was Hillary's "first answer"? Finney doesn't remind us. I'm checking the transcript. I think it was her response to the question: "if you were a man today, would all this fuss being made be made?" Her answer was "Well, I will — I will leave that to others to answer." Is that what Finney was referring to? Did Finney really mean "sarcastic," implying that Hillary was mocking and contemptuous? Why throw that out first after the interesting things Bai said? And wouldn't sarcasm at the first question be "overly defensive," which would mean that her answer to Todd should have been "yes," not "You know, I don't think so"? Maybe Finney's first answer was intended to be sarcastic. I don't know.

Finney continues:
And I think also the fact that she went out there and did it, and also said, "Look, if I had it in hindsight, I would've done it differently." 
Also the fact what? This is Hillary's spokesperson?!  Not even speaking in sentences!
For all of those who criticized how slow she was, I think she also deserves credit that she went out there and did it.
We should give Hillary credit for showing up at all?! Also, what's with the "also"? What was the other thing she deserves credit for? Finney is a terrible spokesperson!
Because that's been the other criticism, right, that you wanted to see her come out. I don't think she in any way, shape, or form thought, and I think given your interview with Trey Gowdy it's quite obvious, this is not going away. This was not intended to end the conversation. 
So... the point is, I think, that Hillary did come out and speak and she wasn't trying to lay the controversy to rest? She's just beginning a conversation?!

After that less-than-worthless filler, Finney addresses what Matt Bai had written:
But I also thought, you know, Matt made an interesting point in his piece, also more broadly, about Hillary and this sort of thematic about Hillary in terms of the time at which she became first lady.
That sentence is a monument to stalling for time. Look at that phrase: "this sort of thematic about Hillary in terms of"! Is "thematic" even a noun? Yes, it means "a body of topics for study or discussion." Yeesh! Again with the endless conversation. I feel a sense of dread. This is what we'll get for 8 years with President Hillary — a sort of thematic about Hillary in terms of a conversation that never approaches the answer to the question we want answered (until it's gone on so long that it becomes possible to say we've already talked about it so long that you think you can look at us and say this has gone on too long and it's nothing but a partisan attack).

Finney continues:
And when that narrative about her and the Clintons were set...
The verb should be "was" and who are "her and the Clintons"? Finney is babbling.
... the country was not ready for someone like her. 
Like it's our fault?!
And so I think she's being held to a different standard. 
Oh, here it seems as if she's back to that first question about which Hillary was supposedly sarcastic — whether Hillary is being treated differently because she's a woman. I only understand that now because I looked up the press conference transcript. Anyone watching "Meet the Press" is thinking about whether they want to make the effort to extract the answer to the original question about whether Hillary can meet the transparency and authenticity demands of our social media culture.

Ironically, Finney's inane blabbing is answering the question. The answer is: no.

And I'm saying that from my little outpost in the social media culture.

70 comments:

gspencer said...

Hey,

What about "spokes entities" Lucy and Ethyl over at the State Dept?

Laslo Spatula said...

Using words like a squid uses ink.

I am Laslo.

Tank said...

We should give Hillary credit for showing up at all?!

Well, duh, she's "just a girl," and what else has she ever done? In any positive sense? It's remarkable, with her record of nothing and failure, that anyone would consider her as a candidate for President. Yiii. What a low bar that is now.

Imagine four or eight years of Begala, Lanny Davis, Finney and Carville with their "nuts and sluts" routines, their legalisms, their obfuscations, etc etc etc.

It sure has been a long time since the giants who created this country. A long, long time.

============================

On the other hand, how would you like to be the person they trot out to defend various Zero actions or Clinton actions which are so obviously BS? How do those people sleep at night? I mean literally (yes). I could not. You have to be a certain kind of person to lie and distort and mislead on a daily basis, and not have it bother you. What would you call that person?

Kinney doesn't even do it well. So that's a double fail. If you want competent BS, stick with Lanny Davis.

Dale said...

Wow! Literally the best overall analysis of Hillary Clinton. I have ever seen.

Seriously (no sarcasm).

RazorSharpSundries said...

It's not like Finney's a newbie at the talker game either. She had her own show on MSNBC, where she kept up an histrionic presence for far too long. According to Google she served for FOUR years as Director of Communications for the Democratic National Committee! This kind of flustering blabber that she presented in the transcript is how she has THRIVED as a COMMUNICATOR for quite a long time. I think it's more important that she's a female of color and stood up so bravely against the two white males of whiteness. This is the war that's being fought people!

traditionalguy said...

Finney is showing proper deference to the elderly President Hillary Clinton. Do we want Finney fired and replaced with boring filibusters on Sunday Morning. She is sending the clear message that the election is over so far as the Clinton Administration is concerned.

YoungHegelian said...

Of course, HRC's handlers and spokes-people are hemming & hawing. What else has she given them to work with?

Think of all the pressure they are under. Hillary is the Great White Hope of the Democratic Party, and she drifts from crisis to crisis. So what do they do now? Do they circle the wagons? Do they dump her now & look for other candidates without the name recognition? Or, do they go into 2016 with a candidate that has more baggage than LAX in tourist season?

You're going to see more spokespeople fold under the pressure as the campaign advances until all that's left will be the ones who actually believe in their heart of hearts that Hillary is the Second Coming. But, those folks are all insane....

dbp said...

The follies of Hillary Clinton's spokespeople brings to mind the central plot device from Weekend at Bernie's

tim maguire said...

Hey, 80% of life is just showing up.

MayBee said...

This seems to be the current trend with spokespeople.

Harf at State is the same way.
Follow any of Obama's superstars on Twitter- like Tommy Vietor- and you quickly see what sarcastic jerks they are.

They want to shame people who might start to suspect their bosses of not being perfect.

Anonymous said...

Addressing someone by their last name isn't all that common outside the armed forces.

BarrySanders20 said...

At this point . . . nobody even needs to say it.

Will said...

Please keep doing the analysis of the Sunday shows! I trust you to be fair but unsparing in your scorn of sloppy speech and thinking!! It is a real public service. Especially to those of us who can no longer stomach the depths to which these formerly useful shows have fallen.

I also read Hugh Hewett online transcripts of his radio show and I've noticed whenever I read Chuck Todd interviews that Todd is almost unintelligible in transcript form. It doesn't sound as bad as it reads. Not sure if it soundbite-syndrome, or a generational thing or whatever, but Todd does not speak clearly in well-thought ideas and sentences. This impacts MTP and my ability to tolerate it.

I really enjoy your deconstruction of guests thought process and its implications. Thank you!!

Ann Althouse said...

"I think it's more important that she's a female of color and stood up so bravely against the two white males of whiteness."

She's a female of color? That is news to me. I watched the show, and it never once crossed my mind to "read" her as nonwhite.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Will.

I appreciate the encouragement.

I hesitate to go this long, so knowing that some people like it makes a difference.

I usually try to pull out one especially striking thing, but when it's somebody filibustering and blowing smoke, there's no way to do that.

Big Mike said...

The way you get an important job for Hlllary Clinton is by demonstrating your absolute loyalty and devotion. Competence is at best a tertiary consideration.

Which is why, despite the State Department employing some of the best translators in America, the person she trusted to handle the translation on her "reset" button didn't know how to translate the word "reset" into Russian.

RazorSharpSundries said...

Yes, it would've never occurred to me but evidently she is 1/4th African American and the only reason I know this is because she was lording it around how she had a different perspective being an oppressed minority, blah, blah, blah. I remember going out of my way to google her picture because the Karen Finney mouthpiece I knew certainly didn't seem to be Black. But now I know and will be on my guard to not sing any fraternity drinking songs in her presence if ever faced w/ said dubious prospect. Although there's always the chance I'll panic and start spouting profanities against my will.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, add my vote to Will's. Thank you.

Michael said...

Althouse:

I will second Will and add that when the word "conversation" falls from the mouth of a politician or a "spokesperson" it proceeds bullshit. Some polling somewhere has found that "conversation" is a soothing word to stupid people and gives them the impression that the person calling for the "conversation" is reasonable and sane. When the opposite is true.

cubanbob said...

Its this house-organ drivel that keeps me from watching the Sunday Morning Funnies. Thank you Ann for your heroic work in watching this for us. Not that there is anything new to be learned from them; its always Republican's bad, Democrats good but sheer effort on the part of the shills and the hacks to somehow spin this is impressive in a strange way.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... "the country was not ready for someone like her."
Like it's our fault?!


This point is central--one might say thematic--to arguments the Left has made for years now, Professor, against people who oppose the current Administration. It's used to imply racism and sexism as well, of course; those backwards non-Leftists just can't handle a non-white person/woman in charge, that's why they dislike policy xyz.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...She's a female of color? That is news to me. I watched the show, and it never once crossed my mind to "read" her as nonwhite.

Maybe it's intentional, but this is a gigantic setup for a "check your privilege" attack.

Anonymous said...

Is "Oh God" really still considered an expletive?

Texas Annie said...

Add my vote in with Will, Mike and Michael. I could actually hear your frustration in your writing. You really got down to the meat with this one.

Skeptical Voter said...

The Democrats have suffered from a recent run of "Valley Girl" types as their spokescritters. To suggest that Mesdames Harf and Psaki are airheads is to denigrate actual functioning airheads.

Oh My God or "OMG" is. for a certain class of Valley Girl types, a verbal punctuation that comes without thought--but then I repeat myself.

Still as Tank correctly notes, these Democrat distaff defenders are faced with an awesome task. They have to defend and explain the inexplicable.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is "Oh God" really still considered an expletive?"

Here's the OED definition of "expletive":

"Serving to fill out; introduced merely to occupy space, or to make up a required quantity or number... An expletive word or phrase, one used for filling up a sentence, eking out a metrical line, etc. without adding anything to the sense.... Often applied to a profane oath or other meaningless exclamation."

Ann Althouse said...

Your question really should be whether it makes any difference if someone, filling in the space, says "Oh God" instead of "oh my" or "Jesus!" instead of "gee."

If you're on a TV show with a general audience, you are a fool if you don't know that there's a difference that matters.

Personally, I have a particularly strong opinion on these religious expletives, because they have a different burden on different persons, so there's more disrespect than in saying, for example, "shit."

No one ever says "shit" on "Meet the Press."

David said...

The Clintons have an entire hive of reliable drones instinctively dedicated to protection of the Queen. They are not chosen for character, originality or intelligence. Dedication to the protective task is the trait they seek. As individuals they are not impressive or dangerous, but the swarm can overwhelm.

damikesc said...

The real problem, it's not the letter, it's whom it was addressed to. You don't send a letter to the Ayatollah...

Hasn't Obama sent letters to the Ayatollah?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/06/362050069/report-obama-wrote-letter-to-irans-ayatollah-khamenei-about-islamic-state

Apparently.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

Your question really should be whether it makes any difference if someone, filling in the space, says "Oh God" instead of "oh my" or "Jesus!" instead of "gee."

If you're on a TV show with a general audience, you are a fool if you don't know that there's a difference that matters.

Personally, I have a particularly strong opinion on these religious expletives, because they have a different burden on different persons, so there's more disrespect than in saying, for example, "shit."

No one ever says "shit" on "Meet the Press."


If Althouse was a Republican, this would be construed in the media as "Althouse compares God to shit."

Brando said...

At some point the other shoe will drop--the shoe of Obama finding another candidate to back. Clearly there's no love lost between him and the Clintons, and he'd be better off being succeeded by either a Democrat loyal to him and sharing his values, or by a Republican who at least could take the economic fallout and handle the unresolved issues of the ACA, immigration and foreign affairs (plus massive debt!). Either way, Hillary in office does him no good and likely does him (and his party) harm.

Obama can't be public about it, but I can't imagine that his people aren't putting out feelers. I know that's what I'd be doing in his shoes.

Virgil Hilts said...

To be fair - the transcript is wrong. Its Andrea Mitchell that actually says -- "It's crazy, you just can't imagine. The real problem, it's not the letter, it's whom it was addressed to. You don't send a letter to the Ayatollah-"

Big Mike said...

No one ever says "shit" on "Meet the Press."

Perhaps not, but maybe an occasional "you're just making shit up" would work just fine.

Anonymous said...

Tank wrote;

If Althouse was a Republican, this would be construed in the media as "Althouse compares God to shit."

I would love a website dedicated to media tricks like this. And I know there are websites sort of like that, but none that focus completely and all the little tricks the media uses to point the finger at Republicans and never at Democrats.

The above is a really good example though.

Drago said...

You have to remember that the Billy Clinton administration came about at the intersection of media proliferation and major media more openly identifying with the dems.

The media had for decades been with the dems but the Clinton admin was an inflection point where it went over the top.

With that in mind, you'll need to think back just a bit to recall the absolute joy the major media radiated at how fantastically wonderful Clinton, Carville, Begala, Stephanopolous et al were at the "Spin game". It was nearly orgiastic at times.

The media was especially overjoyed when it was obvious the Clintons were spinning themselves out of "trouble", which they always were and always with the help of the media.

Finney, as with so many other dem spinsters came of age then and the lessons they internalized then have become hard-wired.

They think the hilariously over the top spinning, non-sequitoring, changing the subject-ing etc will fly today as it did back then.

From their perspective, how could it not?

The media itself is even further down the road in the lefts pocket than it was in the '90's, there is a ready-made audience of Gruber-types who are ready and willing to lied to openly over and over again (witness garage), and the republicans/conservatives have never been more ostracized in the popular culture.

So what's going wrong?

The one thing that Clinton's never counted on (despite the lesson taught to them in 2008): they've been "out-lefted".

And obama, after having defeated Hillary and then securing her (thru gritted teeth no doubt) cooperation in the obama admin for quite a long time, is now treating Hillary the way the dems overall are treating blacks vis a vis hispanics: Thanks alot for your service in the revolution. Your services now, of course, are no longer required.

You can pick up your "Trotsky" card on the way out.

And stay the heck out of Mexico.

EDH said...

I liked her better when she'd get naked and smear herself with chocolate.

Balfegor said...

Honestly, the Clinton spokespeople are kind of embarrassing at this point. Frankly, they have the raw materials for a story that isn't great but is better than blustering about how it's totally reasonable that Clinton would want to evade Congressional oversight (e.g. Carville). The basic points would be as follows:

1. Admit that it's a security risk to move work-related emails off of the "secure" State department server. Say you took precautions to minimize any risk, but really, just admit that you introduced a security risk here. You're not going to win this one so just apologise.

2. Highlight that you used search terms to filter email, and turned over literally everything with a positive hit (if that is in fact true). If possible, state that (a) the search terms were overbroad, and (b) the search terms were vetted with the State department. Because let's face it -- which process are people going to trust more? Individual document review by Clinton's own people (or State department bureaucrats, for that matter) or search terms? Especially if constructed with a modicum of outside input (a big "if" to be sure), search terms are obviously more credible in this circumstance.

3. Point out -- and I believe this is correct -- that the State Department didn't have an auto-archiving system in place but instead relied on individual custodians to determine what should and should not be archived. If individuals chose to delete emails, those deleted emails are gone. If anything, Clinton is providing a fuller email record than she might have done through the State site. The article linked notes the paltry number of emails actually archived by State department employees -- about 0.006% of emails sent! Use that contrast! 30K emails isn't nothing.

Obviously, none of this is a great story, but at least it's understandable and -- I think -- puts brackets around the dimensions of the problem.

Balfegor said...

The other thing is that there was someone -- and it's probably not Clinton herself -- who was in charge of the archive/delete process. Who was that person? Why isn't that person getting interviewed? He (or she) is the one who would actually know what was and was not captured, and if it's her IT staff, he might be able to talk intelligently about what (if any) security measures were in place. And frankly, the nerdier and more awkward he is the better -- a welcome contrast from the smoothies.

Texas Annie said...

Professor Althouse said; "No one ever says "shit" on "Meet the Press.""

But they do spread it.

Revenant said...

"You don't send a letter to the Ayatollah"

They didn't send a letter to the Ayatollah. They didn't send the letter to anymore, actually.

Brando said...

Clnton is counting on a few things to survive this:

1) Supporters seeing this as merely a technical snafu, in that she did turn over all her work e-mails so there's nothing actually missing. Those supporters have to not ask who decided what got turned over, and why that person should be trusted to turn over everything.

2) Supporters willing to take a bit of corruption if it means bringing back the glory days of the 1990s because of course Hillary can do that.

3) Supporters thinking Hillary is their best chance of holding the White House against a GOP that could end up with control of all three branches of government, so her being ethically compromised is a small price to pay.

4) The GOP overplaying their hand on this scandal, and not doing politically wise things like giving more Americans reason to vote for them in 2016.

5) The media seeing this as "old news" and moving on to something else.

damikesc said...

They didn't send a letter to the Ayatollah. They didn't send the letter to anymore, actually.

True. And it is a bit sad to hear Obama's flacks criticize the GOP for not helping the moderate Iranians against the hardliners when, you know, we had a great chance to do so during the Iranian student protests back in 2009.

Joe Schmoe said...

Oh God is not only an expletive, but it's disrespectful. It implies that the questioner is an ass, or obtuse, or both, for making such an idiotic inquiry. What follows after the Oh God is usually richly-coated in a condescending tone.

Mary Beth said...

For all of those who criticized how slow she was, I think she also deserves credit that she went out there and did it.

To me, the "also" is saying that she deserves credit along with the criticism. Yes, she was slow, but, by golly, she went out there and did it. Hooray for Hillary! What a trooper!

Maybe we could send her a participation trophy.

damikesc said...

And I think also the fact that she went out there and did it, and also said, "Look, if I had it in hindsight, I would've done it differently." Also the fact what? This is Hillary's spokesperson?! Not even speaking in sentences!
For all of those who criticized how slow she was, I think she also deserves credit that she went out there and did it. We should give Hillary credit for showing up at all?! Also, what's with the "also"? What was the other thing she deserves credit for? Finney is a terrible spokesperson!


They don't have high standards.

I also notice age is not a big concern. I mention it because it was a huge concern back in 2008.

David said...

Finney can do unchallenged talking points but not informed debate. Here is the time she hung up on Hugh Hewett rather than engage a simple point in the discussion regarding whether Alger Hiss was a communist. (She had been engaged in a talking point about McCarthyism but clearly knew next to nothing about the McCarthy era.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n261lrtEpU

UNTRIBALIST said...

Flustered MSNBC Anchor Hangs Up on Conservative Radio Host in the Middle of Explosive Debate

Brando said...

"And it is a bit sad to hear Obama's flacks criticize the GOP for not helping the moderate Iranians against the hardliners when, you know, we had a great chance to do so during the Iranian student protests back in 2009."

What could we have done at the time, though? Overt support may have made things worse for them, by letting the regime paint the moderates as tools of a foreign power rather than a grass roots movement against the tyrants. It would have felt nice to do it, but sometimes there are situations where we don't have good options and we can't make the situation better (similar to Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968).

Maybe we could have provided some covert support to the moderates, and maybe we actually did. But I'm not sure what more we could have done that would have improved the situation.

damikesc said...

What could we have done at the time, though? Overt support may have made things worse for them, by letting the regime paint the moderates as tools of a foreign power rather than a grass roots movement against the tyrants. It would have felt nice to do it, but sometimes there are situations where we don't have good options and we can't make the situation better (similar to Hungary in 1956 or Czechoslovakia in 1968).

Doing nothing was a worse option as there is no actual credible opposition to the regime.

The regime will paint any critics as tools of the US.

Maybe we could have provided some covert support to the moderates, and maybe we actually did. But I'm not sure what more we could have done that would have improved the situation.

Obama even saying a single word of support may have helped as he hadn't demonstrated himself to be the utter imbecile he is...yet.

Mountain Maven said...

It's time for all female spokespersons

Zach said...

Matt Bai is very perceptive, but I think it's simpler than that.

I think the Clinton machine is built around having Bill as the frontman. He goes out early in the story cycle and tells a nonspecific lie with great conviction, then the minions attack people for not believing it.

Hillary was never the front man, and she was never the minion. She was a role player who was brought on at specific times to do specific things.

She might think of herself as the "serious one" in the partnership, but the machine doesn't need a serious one. It needs a front man.

m stone said...

I think Matt Bai's analysis was only trumped by Ann's. I also agree with Will.

The "person of color" identifier is really becoming a badge to some people. It's use somehow demonstrates empathy for minorities--all minorities--and knows no minimum ancestral percentage.

Bob Ellison said...

These women are not showing women well.

harrogate said...

Oh, God.

averagejoe said...

So Cuck Tard says this:"Transparency and authenticity are paramount in the social media culture and a lack of them is fatal, ask Mitt Romney."

Right Cuck, ask president Romney, because he's been so deceptive and dishonest. Mitt Romney, that notoriously underhanded guy, always hiding his history and denying knowledge of the activities of his underlings in his administration, and promising one thing and breaking that promise as soon as it's safe for him to do so. Yeah that Mitt Romney just can't be trusted. Unlike, you know, the guy who actually is president, the straight-shooter who oversees "The Most Transparent Administration Ever". Yeah, don't ask him about transparency and authenticity... Meanwhile, back in reality, Cuck Tard vomits some anti-republican dogma on Sunday, and on Monday morning, America gets this:
From USA Today:

"The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject all requests for records to that office."

Most Transparent Administration Ever!... Because, Bush!

Michael K said...

I happen to be reading another book on American history, this one by Conrad Black whose POV is always interesting. It occurred to me just now that Hillary is the modern (and female) equivalent of William Jennings Bryan. He was a perennial Democrat candidate and a famous populist. He didn't run in 1912 and, in Black's opinion, if he had done so he might well have been elected with huge changes in American history since he was a pacifist.



Anyway, Hillary is all the Democrats have, just like all they had for decades around 1900 was Bryan. The parallel with Hillary is pretty interesting I think.

n the intensely fought 1896 and 1900 elections, he was defeated by William McKinley but retained control of the Democratic Party. With over 500 speeches in 1896, Bryan invented the national stumping tour, in an era when other presidential candidates stayed home. In his three presidential bids, he promoted Free Silver in 1896, anti-imperialism in 1900, and trust-busting in 1908, calling on Democrats to fight the trusts (big corporations) and big banks, and embrace anti-elitist ideals of republicanism. President Wilson appointed him Secretary of State in 1913, but Wilson's strong demands on Germany after the Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915 caused Bryan to resign in protest.

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

"Finney can do unchallenged talking points but not informed debate."

An exceedingly common Democratic trait.

narciso said...

Matt Bai works for Media Matters, so that tells you where he's coming from.

Michael K said...

"Flustered MSNBC Anchor Hangs Up on Conservative Radio Host in the Middle of Explosive Debate"

Hewitt does that all the time. With a new guest to interview he asks a series of questions, like whether they have read "Looming Tower" and whether Hiss was communist. It sort of sets the scene and the ones who hang up (She's not the first) have just outed themselves as hacks.

I listen to him for the interviews and am furious that the local LA station has dropped his live show for the blowhard Mark Levin. Fortunately the San Diego station still carries it live and I can get that station. I don't listen to the old station anymore.

Michael K said...

"What could we have done at the time, though? Overt support may have made things worse for them, by letting the regime paint the moderates as tools of a foreign power rather than a grass roots movement against the tyrants. "

Ask the Soviet dissidents who cheered Reagan's naming the USSR the evil empire.

narciso said...

I would disagree, Bryan was perfectly sincere, often wrong on economics and foreign policy,

FullMoon said...

Will said...

Please keep doing the analysis of the Sunday shows! I trust you to be fair but unsparing in your scorn of sloppy speech and thinking!! It is a real public service.


Yeah, me too.

Smilin' Jack said...

Also the fact what? This is Hillary's spokesperson?! Not even speaking in sentences!

Spokeswoman, actually. Grammar, like math, is hard.

richard mcenroe said...

This is how all revolutions but one (so far) have ended up in raw, ragged totalitarianism.

You can NEVER be left-enough. Once you start down that blood-soaked path, someone can ALWAYS out-left you.

richard mcenroe said...

"For all of those who criticized how slow she was, I think she also deserves credit that she went out there and did it."

'Showing up' for a job you are not prepared to does not deserve credit, it is dishonest and an offense against your employer.

RecChief said...

the left is becoming more unhinged and unable to carry on a discussion of differing ideas. They've convinced themselves that you must be stupid or evil not to see the Mensa-like intelligence of their positions. That's why they talk to anyone not of their tribe as if they are recalcitrant children. They're losing patience, hence the outbursts.

james conrad said...

And I'm saying that from my little outpost in the social media culture.

Yeah, I watched about 3 mins of that Hillary presser, it was painful & embarrassing. I started to feel sorry for her, she seemed tired and looked old. I do not think this is going to end well for dems in the 2016 cycle.

narciso said...

you give her, the benefit of the doubt,
she does not reciprocate:

https://twitter.com/finneyk/status/76644633064640512

Bai should be understood as a regime instrument, not a member of the press,

EMD said...

I wonder if more of this will turn Hillary into an also ran.