Sunday, April 27, 2008

Oh My, Darling

(Updated at end)

There is a kind of seemingly pro-Obama argument that is actually nothing but Hillary bashing. It is the specious claim that Obama is "more electable" because too many people hate, hate, hate Hillary (Really! They *hate* her!) to allow her to win the general. So many people hate her, they are going to flood the polls for the chance to defeat her.

Most of this is based on "polls" somebody kinda sorta remembers reading sometime last year that conclusively proved that her "negatives" were sky high and insurmountable. In truth, Gallup came out with a poll in November of last year looking at the base of support for each candidate and found that Hillary had the largest dedicated base of any candidate in either party. Obama had the highest postive ratings, but most of it was soft support, that the respondent "would consider" voting for him. Another part of this argument is that Obama could expand the base and pull in Indpendents and moderate Republicans who would never consider voting for Hillary.

With Hillary currently showing herself to be highly competitive with McCain in battle ground states and wiping the floor with him in blue states, while Obama is losing ground in recent polls and showing himself to be less than appealing to many voting constituencies, it becomes harder and harder to sustain the argument that she is too divisive and polarizing to win. She is doing so quite handily in large state primaries while running a shoestring campaign, being outsepnt 4 and 5 to 1, and being pummeled unmercifully by the press and Blogger Boyz.

As Hillary supporters have patiently told her detractors on the left since Day One, her negatives will not go up, they will only come down. Those record turnouts in the primaries have been just as much for her as for Obama. Even contests where she was second, she usually garnered more votes than the Republican winner and several times with numbers larger than all Republicans combined. I suspect she has more people voting for her in this campaign than Bill did in 1992, but have not been able to track down state by state voting breakdowns. In short, there is nothing about the phenomenal turn out that indicates she has anything but enthusiastic support from millions of voters who will also show up at the polls in November. Obama's high levels of support are not depressing her levels of support, except among AA voters who, all campaign posturing aside, do not appear to be casting votes against anyone, but in proud support of Obama.

In short, the claim that Hillary can't win is being overturned by the fact that she is winning big and is fully competitive in one of the biggest, most energized, most expensive, most engaging primaries ever held. Ten million viewers on the last debate! A primary turn out in Pennsylvania that rivaled the Democratic turn out in the last gneral election! This is not the campaign of someone who is hated by voters, no matter what WKJM would like to argue.

The only valid version of the "high negatives" argument is the one put forward by BTD of TalkLeft, who makes a refreshingly cold and cynical claim - the constituency who matters most is the MSM, they hate Hillary and they love Obama; he is their Media Darling. Because they won't attack him the way they attack her, he may survive the general election battle and win. To the degree that BTD focuses on the actual source and distribution mode of most CDS, his argument has salience that simple assertions that Everybody Hates Hillary cannot. I've offered my own argument pointing out the fatal flaw of this one, namely that Obama is a media darling only as long as he can be used to defeat Hillary in the primaries and will revert back to being just another Democrat to bash once he's declared the nominee. *

Well, courtesy of SusanUnPC of No Quarter, I now have solid evidence for my argument and then some. She has posted a video clip from Lou Dobbs This Week along with excerpts and a link to the full transcript showing Dobbs and his guests discussing why it was a strategic error for Republicans to roll out anti-Obama ads in North Carolina because they needed him to take out Hillary, and then he'd be easy pickings in the general. The money quote is:

“DOBBS: I have to say that what I don’t understand. … With the antipathy towards Senator Obama that has built up over the last few weeks, for the life of me, I don’t understand why the … Republicans aren’t doing everything they can to get this man the nomination.”
Hello? Democrats? Left Blogistan? This is the MSM announcing that they are fully aware of Obama's weaknesses and that they are counseling the Republicans to not just hold their fire but to directly assist Obama to defeat the candidate who is a bigger challenge in the general.

The give away here is joining the growing antipathy towards The Precious with Republican strategizing for how to best position themselves for the general. Lou Dobbs put the right wing cards on the table by making it clear that Obama is the weaker candidate with high negatives who will be an easy target in the fall. The MSM has just confirmed that Obama is in truth what Hillary is alleged to be - unelectable. Read the entire post for a very succinct presentation on exactly how the campaign to take down Obama will be run in the fall. The narrative is ready to go, and the MSM will be only too happy to help spread it around.

Media darling? Hardly.


*I also disagree with BTD's unfounded assertion that Hillary is not electable merely because the MSM will attack. There is no evidence that their attacks can be effective. Why do I say that? Because they are already throwing everything at her and she is still winning and getting more popular the more she is attacked. Call it the Tweety Effect.

Update - I come back from dinner and find this posted by Jeralyn: Another Republican Attack Ad Airs Against Obama. This is the other part of Obama's electoral claim, that he would be better for downticket candidates. His political mistakes are going to be used directly and savagely against all Democrats. The day the Wright videos came out, Obama should have been invited to leave the race.

Allegedly, Donna Brazile said today that "there would be blood" if Obama was not handed the nomination. (I say alleged as I do not have a citation, only a comment in passing.) Update of update - commenter wasabi_cat says that Brazile did not state "there will be blood," in an interview, but that she made a reference to the *movie* There Will be Blood, after saying there would be problems if the nomination were given to Hillary. To which I respond, if the nomination is given to anyone, it is extremely problematic. However, since neither Obama nor Clinton can win the nomination in pledged delegates, the decision will be made by super delegates. This is part of the nomination process, and means that the final votes are cast by unpledged delegates who are supposed to vote in the best interests of the party. Dean himself stated that electability is a valid criterion for making that decision.

To repeat: The winner of the nomination will be decided by the super delegates. Their votes are as valid as those cast by pledged delegates.

The remainder of my comment remains. The Obama forces are the ones hinting at violence and bloodshed at the convention if the vote should not be in his favor. Her reference to the movie introduces the specter of violence should the nomination process not go as she desires. And what, exactly, does she expect that will do to the party's prospects (let alone The Precious) in November if there are thugs in the streets of Denver roughing up residents, smashing windows (think the anarchists in Seattle) and trying to turn over police cars? If the only way Obama can win is through threats, well, that kind proves that he hasn't really won, doesn't it?


Pat Johnson said...

I can only relate that in my small corner of the world people who I know are telling me that they are becoming sick to death with being labeled racist because they have qualms about Obama as a candidate. Because they disagree with him on issues they are feeling the brunt of this by being labeled racist. This creates a quandry because being called a racist is equivalent to being called a child molester. It is difficult to disprove.

Obama may lose simply because the base of supporters are tired of the race baiting and may choose to either stay home or vote for McBush.

Anonymous said...

*I also disagree with BTD's unfounded assertion that Hillary is not electable merely because the MSM will attack.

It's only men who say the country's too sexist to elect Hillary because they either identify with it or know men like that. She doesn't care about the conservative white male vote because the unmarried women, working class, Latino, non college educated, etc. demographics are much bigger. Reminds me of what you said here:

Hillary is the opposite of a media darling. She's the voters' darling, and that is how you win elections.

orionATL said...

not to worry.

here's the real dope for that dope howard dean, and the "uncommitted" superdelegates:

women rule american politics

(if they stay together).

according to dr. josh marshall, ph.d:

you know josh,

- the guy who bob somerby recently identified as having been kidnapped by someone -
probably arachne huffington or reed hunt carrying a roll.

- the proprietor of TPM (talking propaganda memo).

josh writes about the recent unpleasantness in pennsylvania.

the money quote:

[ "white women went for Clinton 68% - 33%. And they made up 46% of the electorate. Meanwhile, white men went for Clinton 57%-43% and made up only 33% of the electorate.]

woah! did i read that right?

howard dean, did you read that right?

the above quote is part of the following post dr. josh marshall, KDP

("kdp" is an honorary title in sophisty and stands for "kidnapped"):

[ ... Better For All Concerned

I've gotten a sense of this looking over the exit polls over the last couple months. Now Jonathan Tilove of Newhouse News Service has put it together in an article. The issue of race and whether that is what has prevented Barack Obama from cutting into Hillary Clinton's vote totals in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania has been a dicey and toxic question in this primary campaign -- and one that's not good (though in different ways) for either candidate.

But what Tilove points out is that at least a very substantial part of what's going is not whites voting against Obama because of race but women, particularly white women, voting for Hillary because of gender. This is something that shows up not only in the breakdown of the white female vote but the turnout of female voters in this year's primaries.

Tilove has various data points. But in Pennsylvania, for example, white women went for Clinton 68% - 33%. And they made up 46% of the electorate. Meanwhile, white men went for Clinton 57%-43% and made up only 33% of the electorate.

There are some questions the numbers themselves won't tell you. Is Hillary's still-strong showing among white men nonetheless an example of white resistance on the basis of Obama's race? While I think race is and will continue (if Obama's the nominee) to play a key role in this campaign, there's simply no basis to infer this just on the basis of the number spread.

But I see no reasonable argument that white women are more resistant to voting for a black man than white men. So in this case, I think we can reasonably infer from the poll numbers what common sense would likely tell us is obvious: that a big factor in this contest is women voting for Hillary because of her gender -- whether in the sense of identifying with her and her take on key issues or because of the historic nature of her candidacy.

This doesn't rule out racial voting -- but it does narrow the potential scope of it. And, as I alluded in the title of the post, it's one of these facts that has the virtue, in addition to being true, of casting the whole process in a much less toxic, divisive light.

--Josh Marshall ]


since having been identified as having been kidnapped, josh marshall has graciously released his employee, greg sargeant, from solitary confinement, allowing greg to comment, under guard, on "the clinton matter".

Anonymous said...

I say again, in agreement with you, that Obama will be dropped the second Hillary Clinton is no longer a player in the election. Like a hot potato. Assuming she doesn't win, which is looking less and less like a shoe-in as she racks up wins in large states.

BTD refuses to see what most women know -- Obama is being used as a bat with which the white male power elite (and the women who identify with them, Nancy that means you) can beat the bitch.

The minute the bitch is beaten, they'll drop the bat. Why else would frat boys and other young white male 20-somethings be supporting this guy? No, I don't think it's because of his transformative anything. I think that the Obama signs are going up along fraternity rows across the country because he's beating the bitch.

Again, there are two parties in this election, thanks to one of the candidate's being a woman:

1) the party that hates women, and
2) the party that does not.

They are seeing the defeat of the bitch as the endpoint toward which they are struggling. Once she's out, they are done with Obama, and it's time to turn on him.

If BTD doesn't see that, he's out of his mind or naive. Or both. When you want to beat the bitch, you pick up the bat. When you're done, you drop it. Obama will be dropped like a diseased carcass by all of these misogynist posers the second after the convention, if he gets the nom. Count on it.

AA male Obama supporters, that means you, too -- don't for one second think that these white boys are suddenly your friend and You've Arrived. They aren't.

Anonymous said...

Donna Brazille is the most destructive Democrat I've ever seen. Why is anyone even listening to her? She screwed over Gore and now she wants to destroy the entire party just to get Obama nominated. I am not surprised that she is now resorting to threats of riots and violence. She is only making things worse for herself, Obama, and the perception of African Americans in this country. If Dean had any balls he would tell her to step down from the DNC immediately. Pelosi has done enough damage with her comments.

The MSM is so going to turn on Obama. I can already see it. That Lou Dobbs clip summarizes everything Obama and his endorsers can look forward to in the general election. Anyone who isn't an Obamabot like Brazile and Olbermann sees the writing on the wall. People like BTD who think Obama can simply win because a few people in the media elite are enamored with him are fooling themselves. There will be enough in the media who will love McCain and MSNBC isn't powerful enough to give Obama a win. Olbermann and Tweety won't be able to stop the 527s from swiftboating Obama with Wright and Ayers. Wright will be the downfall of the Democratic Party whether he likes it or not. Wright's media blitz isn't helping Obama. As long as he is in the media, FOX and the GOP can continue to air clips of Wright saying G-d D*mn America.

You can be sure that every superdelegate who has endorsed Obama, especially those in red states, are sweating like pigs in heat. Not only have they realized that Obama is unelectable but their own political careers are hanging in the balance. Just wait until there is a Rev. Wright television ad in every state in the country. Thanks to Obama, an election that should've been in the bag for Clinton has now divided Democrats and might destroy the careers of every downticket Dem who has endorsed him. Unbelievable.

gendergappers said...

What did you think - did the Rev have the Wright stuff? Did he help BO.

I noticed that with all his different, not deficient examples, he never mentioned how men have and do consider women deficient thus the reason for the superiority of man.

No doubt what women are deficient in - external genitalia. How about those ornamaental bull testicles hanging on the boyz pickups - tell you anything?

So like all the other misogynists,the Rev intentionally left out women, thus slamming Hillary and all women.

CMike said...

Anglachel writes:
Allegedly, Donna Brazile said today that "there would be blood" if Obama was not handed the nomination. (I say alleged as I do not have a citation, only a comment in passing.)

Please consider dialing it back. Bob Somerby has pointed out for years how Keith Olbermann plays it fast and loose with the facts. (Somerby would point out from time to time that Olbermann, a bit too frequently, got his facts wrong when smacking down President Bush and his gang.)

Did Al Sharpton say there would be "trouble" in Denver if Sen. Obama was denied the nomination? Yes. Though I'm not finding the exact quote, Sharpton's comment has been reported in stories discussing Rush Limbaugh "dreaming of riots."

Is Donna Brazile a divisive figure? Yes. However, until there is a reliable source for the "there would be blood" quote, it should not be cited.

Fox and MSNBC are purveyors of biased narratives which they are forever advancing with "not caught on tape" quotes and the fruit of their commentators' alleged ability to read minds.

From what I gather, Anglachel's Journal is intended to serve the fact based community.

Anonymous said...

It's worth remembering that the MSM was vehemently and toxically against Bill Clinton from the very beginning. It didn't affect his standing with the American people. The more they attacked the more popular he became.

Obama's problem will not be the MSM; his problem will be with Democrats and the GOP (and in this order).

Speaking for myself, the racial attacks by Obama are dwarfed, in my opinion, by his enthusiastic support for the hate campaign against HRC. I don't vote for hate mongers.

Unknown said...

Donna said that it would be a problem if the nomination would be given to Clinton. Then she referenced the movie "There Will Be Blood". I heard it, and I'm reliable.

Shainzona said...

wasabi...what were you listening to when you heard that comment?

I am outraged at the reference and plan to call the DNC...but I would like a specific reference to where it was said.


CMike said...

I see what Wasabi Cat wrote and I found this. But I'd still need to pin down the time and place of that Brazile quote before I would use it.

Peregrine said...

OT, but you will want to see this, Anglachel. It's a longer piece that I cut after the sentence that caught my attention:

April 28

FROM CNN’s Jack Cafferty:

Lincoln-Douglas made it famous…a debate with no moderator…but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen between Obama and Clinton.

With just over a week to go before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, and the two candidates running virtually neck and neck in Indiana, Clinton wants to debate Obama in both states, as a means of picking up votes in a race that he currently leads overall.

She says that she will debate him any place at any time, adding that it could even be done on the back of a flat-bed truck. He would probably prefer to run over her with a flat-bed truck at this point.

Matt said...

In my corner of the world many Democrats I know [women actually] hate Hillary. They find her conniving and manipulative. They voted for Obama. What can I say? I like both candidates but I can see how both can become unelectable by November. Let me just add that if Clinton ONLY wins due to the Super Delegates [no matter how fair game that is] the MSM and many voters will feel she got it through back room deals. Voters will also feel disenfranchised. That happens and she is done. McCain will easily win.
She needs to find a way to get the popular vote inher favor without counting FL or MI. I know, I know, all Hillary supporters think FL and MI count. In the eyes of most they do not count [never did actually]. So she needs to get votes in the remaining states that cannot be denied by anyone. She does that she may get the nomination and she may win.

Anonymous said...

Please do not answer Matt. He is a troll for Obama. There is no point in arguing here. This is a place for Clinton supporters to discuss what realistically is going on in this campaign, not what is going on in the minds of Hillary haters and Obama trolls who are deseperately trying to get Clinton supporters to like Obama and vote for him if he manages to steal this nomination by disenfranchising FL and MI.

Matt said...

This isn't the schoolyard so ease up on the taunts.
You know and I know that Hillary didn't care about these so called disenfranchised FL and MI voters back in Aug 2007 when she signed an agreement to not recognize their votes and not campaign there. If she cared she would have made a stink about it then.
The FL and MI primaries ARE problematic - but they WILL be seated at the convention. It is then up to each individual delegate to decide who to support. If Hillary can convince them - good for her.
But, if Hillary wins ONLY with super delegate votes many people will view this as unfair - even if it IS fair under the rules. She NEEDS to run up as many votes as possible. I speak the truth on this. That is not my opinion.
And as I told you before I WILL vote for Hillary if she is the nominee. I don't want 4 more years of Republicans in the WH.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Matt = scared shitless Obama supporter who's starting to realize that the little wimminz ain't gonna come play kissy-nice make-up like he expected.

I truly delight in the fear that is coming over them now: "Oh shit, ladies really get pissed off when we call them bitches and sluts."

Their new thinking: "no problem, we'll just turn on that ol' 'progressive guy' charm to woo 'em back."

hehe. Fucking amateur hour over in camp Obama.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Typical Obama Moron = "The precious RULZ say that MI and FL should not count."

Hillary Response = "OK. The precious RULZ also say that the superdelegates can vote however they want based on what they think is best and based on which candidate can best beat McCain. The superdelegates need not follow the pledged delegate score."

Typical Obama Moron Response = "NOOOO. THAT particular rule is bad. You need to think beyond the RULZ. Can't overrule the will of the pledged delegates!"

Hypocritical fucking morons.

Anonymous said...

ChinaberryTurtle: I've found that the best thing for my health is to ignore Obama talking points. It amazes me the excuses I've heard to justify not counting MI and FL voters as if the people who live in those states don't have a right to choose our nominee. Obama was given the opportunity to agree to a revote in those two states but he's too chicken to want to fight Hillary and end up losing like he's done in almost every crucial state we need to win in November. Well, if he decides to disenfranchise us now he can be sure that he won't be able to count on MI and FL in the general election. My mother lives in MI and she'll slam the phone down if the Obama campaign dares to call her asking for her support. Karma sucks when you've thrown millions of people (along with women, granny and Rev. Wright) under the freight train.

I also find it amusing that Obamabots are popping up all over pro-Hillary sites ever since TX and OH. They know the Messiah is in trouble and will have problems winning over Clinton supporters if he is the nominee. They weren't worried about dissing us back in January and February when they were arrogant enough to believe Obama had the nomination in the bag and could easily win over the stupid, uneducated Clinton supporters. It really is amateur hour over at places like DKos. and the leftist blogosphere are whining because their Messiah went on FOX News. Boo fucking Hoo. Maybe they'll learn what we've known all along: Obama is not a fighter. He's an opportunistic coward. Maybe they should've waited for him to actually be vetted before endorsing him and slamming Hillary and her supporters with insults and threats.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me the excuses I've heard to justify not counting MI and FL voters as if the people who live in those states don't have a right to choose our nominee.

And as if the people in those states will totter up and hand over their vote in November with the greatest cheerfulness.

It's crazy, absolutely crazy. To a large extent, I don't CARE whether Teh Rulz "allow" you to disenfranchise FL and MI. If we do, we will pay the price in November. That is the ONLY rule that counts.

These are childish little twerps who can't grasp the fact that if they flip up two middle fingers in several million people's faces and go, "UR PWNED, LOSER!!!!!!!" those people will not like them very much. The concept of consequences hasn't gotten through to them.

The ONLY rule that counts is the rule of life and basic human psychology that says if we permit the disenfranchisement of two entire states, those states will go redder than Bettie Page's lipstick in November.


"But that's not faaaaaaair! We gamed teh rulz and that counts!"

It counts in video games, but welcome to real life, kids.

Gary McGowan said...

Re Lou Dobbs - Looked to me like a set up piece ... I mean, it's not like the viewers are flies in the wall overlooking a conversation in a beer hall or across a coffee table or something.

Gee, there's Dobbs just sittin' there thinkin' out loud , having revelations about how "the media" has been covering Obama-Clinton... gimme a break... Oh, Sheinkopf, what a coincidence you are here. Could you give us a spontaneous unexpected reaction on these totally fresh revelations that are passing through my brain and out my mouth?

Here is what I'm presuming to be a somewhat more truly spontaneous conversation with Mr. Sheinkopf-

Remember it as we continue down the road.