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That's a lot of green
April 4, 2008 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Hillary and Bill Clinton's tax returns 2000 - 2007
posted by blue_beetle (157 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
$50,000 for cigars???
posted by jonmc at 8:57 PM on April 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't give a fuck about the Clintons' tax returns. What's really outrageous is this:

According to the most recent data available from the IRS, in 2005 taxpayers earning $10,000,000 or more paid on average 20.8% of their adjusted gross income in taxes.

What the fuck? Somebody needs to have their tax rate tripled.
posted by Dasein at 9:00 PM on April 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


no, just $49,000 for the humidor.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:00 PM on April 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


She should have listed Rush Limbaugh as a "dependent."
posted by ColdChef at 9:04 PM on April 4, 2008 [12 favorites]


What the fuck? Somebody needs to have their tax rate tripled.

Long term capital gains tax loophole.
posted by delmoi at 9:07 PM on April 4, 2008


Holy shit, these people are RICH!!!!11
posted by dobbs at 9:08 PM on April 4, 2008


Come to Canada, where the taxation comes with lube. How thoughtful.
posted by illiad at 9:11 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Speeches don't put food on the table," my ass, Hillary.
posted by bobo123 at 9:17 PM on April 4, 2008 [28 favorites]


How is saying "We earned 109 million" right now better than saying "We earned 10.9 million" each year and everyone getting quickly bored with it? The initial reports made it sound like the Clintons earned $109 million this year. Just goes to show procrastination doesn't pay off.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:18 PM on April 4, 2008


How is saying "We earned 109 million" right now better than saying "We earned 10.9 million" each year and everyone getting quickly bored with it?

Well, for one thing 109/7 ~= 15.6, and 2000 - 2007 is 7 years, not 10.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dear Hillary;
My vote is for sale for say, one million dollars... cash, small bills.
Let me know
a3
posted by a3matrix at 9:26 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man of the People!
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 9:26 PM on April 4, 2008


They work hard for their money, not that I care either way.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:27 PM on April 4, 2008


In a way, it is good to know that ex-Presidents have this kind of earning potential. It makes corruption while in office seem less attractive.
posted by paperzach at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm convinced. If she really wanted to be president, she'd've loaned her campaign not five million, but a hundred and five million.
posted by waraw at 9:32 PM on April 4, 2008


Just goes to show procrastination doesn't pay off.

I've always figured they were acting all mysterious hoping to be attacked just so they could show that there was nothing interesting, hurray... the Clintons survive unfair attack machine. Except Obama wasn't really biting, just nibbling and mentioning it through surrogates but not making a big deal of it.

Remember: Bill Clinton could have settled the Paula Jones lawsuit easily years before he put the entire country through the wringer. Remember: Hillary Clinton could have killed what turned out to be the Whitewater non-story at the very outset by disclosing everything she could. Remember: the Clintons could have prepared for primaries and caucuses after February 5, as any careful candidate would. They chose not to do any of these things. Not because they are incompetent. But because they live to risk.

They need the drama of crisis.

posted by bobo123 at 9:34 PM on April 4, 2008


They work hard for their money

Funny, with her hardscrabble roots, I would have tagged her as more of a 'Love is a Battlefield' type.
posted by Kinbote at 9:38 PM on April 4, 2008


First I was like, oh, cumulatively about 100 grand.. then I reread it.. Oh.. only about 100 million.
posted by dobie at 9:50 PM on April 4, 2008


Well, that was one fuck of an eyeopener. And I really mean that - I feel like I've been fucked. As someone who makes his living in the publishing trade, I honestly didn't realize that $15,000,000 advances existed.

I also honestly have never in my life had anyone tell me that I should read Bill Clinton's political memoirs at any cost, so that just shows you what kind of sucker I've been . . .
posted by gompa at 9:50 PM on April 4, 2008


Top 5 Reasons for the Friday Night News Dump
posted by patr1ck at 9:57 PM on April 4, 2008


$49,000 for the humidor to keep quiet about it.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:58 PM on April 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've heard people call the Clinton campaign Rove-ian, but just like the Bush admin, they release bad news late on a Friday.
posted by mathowie at 10:00 PM on April 4, 2008


hmm - so how much are superdelegates going for these days?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:02 PM on April 4, 2008


Funny, with her hardscrabble roots, I would have tagged her as more of a 'Love is a Battlefield ' type.

oh, no, i got her song right here
posted by pyramid termite at 10:07 PM on April 4, 2008


It's prosperity progressivism!
posted by washburn at 10:28 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


According to the most recent data available from the IRS, in 2005 taxpayers earning $10,000,000 or more paid on average 20.8% of their adjusted gross income in taxes.

On the $100M, the Clintons paid >$33M tax.
posted by peacay at 10:36 PM on April 4, 2008


Nothing is too good for the proletariat.
posted by Avenger at 10:42 PM on April 4, 2008


Is there something about this that I'm supposed to get all indignant about? Please advise.
posted by padraigin at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I see they made significantly less in 2000 than Obama did last year. Nevertheless, I'm sure Obama will give speeches for free after his tenure as president. Also, I've been drinking.
posted by dsword at 10:45 PM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, for one thing 109/7 ~= 15.6, and 2000 - 2007 is 7 years, not 10.

I'm pretty sure that 2000-2007 is eight years.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:52 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've heard people call the Clinton campaign Rove-ian, but just like the Bush admin, they release bad news late on a Friday.

Huh? You think that started with the current admin? I call bs. I think that's a time honoured tradition in both business and politics.

Also, comparing Rove's tactics to the softball shenanigans of late suggests an attention lapse for the last 8 years.
posted by peacay at 11:05 PM on April 4, 2008


Looks to me like the Clintons paid a lot of tax - $33M, and donated $10M to charity. The Clintons contributed more in payback to the economy, and gave way more in charity than Barack and his wife. I wonder how many 10's of millions Barack will take down if he makes it all the way? Probably a lot more than Bill. I wonder then if all the holier than thou stuff I see on this thread re: the Clintons will still be in play.

If Obama is able to overcome the coming surge by Hilary in PA, and several other states - as well as overcome the almost certain doubts that ifi he gets the Dem nod, he will be smoked by McCain in PA,, OH, and FL.

But let's never mind those inconvenient details; instead, let's look at some things that have been said about Obama's tax returns, just for fun.

"This man wants to handle the budget of our nation ... and from the stand point of his giving to his church and charity and what his savings record reflects (The Obamas' tax returns also show they had little in savings during the same period. They reported no dividends or capital gains over the five years and reported $33 in taxable interest, all of which was received in 2002.) .... does not reflect very well upon him"
---

"Thats great, now I want to see all the other years passed? This doesn't give me a pattern at all. One year is not an adequate sample of his interests."

---

"After listening to the Obamas, their past and present pastor, and their congregation's anti-American screaming and gyrating about the lack of opportunities in America ... the Obamas sure did benefit financially from our American system.

---
"They made MUCH more than the majority of Americans make ... white, or black. And, especially considering the fact that we paid Obama for voting 'present' during most of his time in the senate ... and, since he didn't vote once on the Afganistan committe he chaired."

"Doesn't it bother people that Michelle makes $273,000 as a hospital administrator? Thats more than most of the doctors at U of Chicago - I wonder if she got the job because of skill and experience or political influence? Maybe she will work hard for health care reform, like cutting the administrative waste!"


Another thing: I would love to know how old most of the people who make the negative comments about the Clintons were when Bill was President. It really appears that there is very little political or historical perspective in many of the comments - just venting about the Clinton's income.

Just a little reminder for anyone who was 10 or under when Clinton was in office: he was able to do somethingi that no other president since 1969 had accomplished.

Sure, Bill Clinton was imperfect, and so is Hillary. Hillary supporters accept that. But what we do know is that she's an honest politician who is passionate about helping her fellow Americans. She is the FIRST person to seriously try for universal health care.

The Clintons took away the talking points of the GOP on fiscal matters, and at the same time they took away the talking points of the progressive (so-called) left that is always crying "hope" but doing very little to raise that quality after they get in office.

Thus, the vilification of the Clintons, from both sides.

Hillary has released tax returns in the kind of detail that would make any candidate proud. She should also be proud that she has succeeded materially. Why shuold she or her husband apologize for that?

Hillary is a fighter; she has accomplished a lot for the liberal cause; and, she is going to win this thing. I'm proud to support her.
posted by MetaMan at 11:30 PM on April 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh, my.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:31 PM on April 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'll throw in $5 for a Hillary Blimp.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


"oh, no, i got her song right here"

Really?

Burhanistan - I'm hearing George Takei there. (?)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:40 PM on April 4, 2008


A hilarious comment by MetaMan from just a few weeks ago to this comment:


"many are convinced that the Clintons are untrustworthy, unscrupulous, unprincipled, and ruled entirely by self-interest"


and I quoteth:

That's one of the funniest things I've read on this thread. Will someone tell me what self-interested gains the Clintons have made?
posted by lattiboy at 11:55 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey! The Ozark Mountain Daredevils! I know some of them!

But back to the discussion...
posted by sourwookie at 11:59 PM on April 4, 2008


Yep, had the same reaction too. I read the I'm older than most of you, you young'uns are missing perspective parts and instantly knew who it was.
posted by suedehead at 12:34 AM on April 5, 2008


But what we do know is that she's an honest politician who is passionate about helping her fellow Americans.

Like all wealthy people, she's dedicated to helping her fellows. It's the other 99.9% of us that I'm concerned about.

What's even more hilarious is that you're still fuming about how so many Obama supporters could get smoked by one Hillarian

Do you post as "Paradol Ex" in other places?

'cause it scares me to think theres more than one of you.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:56 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I've never actually met a hillary supporter in real life.
posted by empath at 1:21 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just a little reminder for anyone who was 10 or under when Clinton was in office: he was able to do something that no other president since 1969 had accomplished.

For the record, I was a lot older than 10 when Bill was in power. There are two possible stances to take here, which should be mutually exclusive.

1) "Hillary is her own woman, with her own strengths. Vote for her because she's a great politician!" In which case, extolling what her husband did in office during a boom economy is entirely irrelevant to what she'll do during a recession. In fact, everything Bill did is irrelevent to Hillary's campaign, good or bad. So why bring it up?

2) "Hillary worked closely with Bill in the whitehouse before, and she will again! Vote hillary, get bill for free!" In which case, I bring up the serious misgivings about Bill effectively getting a third pop at the presidency by the back door. That Hillary isn't strong on her own without Bill backing her up? That it's dishonest to vote for one person, to get another one into effective power. That the president of the United States should be so influenced by another person, even if he is an ex-president. It smacks of nepotism and dynastyism.


as well as overcome the almost certain doubts that ifi he gets the Dem nod, he will be smoked by McCain in PA,, OH, and FL

If there's one thing about this campaign, it's that nothing can be taken for granted. How many upsets, changes or overall about-faces have we seen? It wasn't very long ago at all the McCain's campaign was almost dead in the water, and the Hilary was the top dog shoe-in for the dem nomination. Vote for what and who you believe in, not based on what you think someone else might do. It's a long way to the presidential election.

I don't get to vote in the election, being a Brit, but I certainly get to live with the consequences.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:22 AM on April 5, 2008


He's totally going to stretch this thread to 300 comments. With our help and feeding, of course.

WE'RE GOING ON, WE'RE GOING STRONG, AND WE'RE GOING ALLLLLL THE WAAAAAY!!!
posted by aqhong at 1:25 AM on April 5, 2008


One more thing: I am not even close to being a member of any status on this site, but I feel comfortable saying that your political posts just don't belong here. Your posts belong on dailykos or moveon or some other godawful cesspool of "political discourse" that is essentially a collection of a-social malcontents who just want SOMETHING to argue about. Your shrill and juvenile attempts at debate seem downright silly and you invoke this "Team Hillary (!)" bullshit that is just nauseating. She doesn't care about you or your support. She doesn't want to help you. She will never help you. She just wants to get elected (and who could blame her?).
posted by lattiboy at 1:26 AM on April 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I looked at the first line, Senator Clinton's Salary, and saw that it was over $1 million. Sat here stupidly going, wtf, don't Senator's make less than that?

Then I realized it was a cumulative figure over 8 years. Need more coffee, I guess.

It is kind of shocking to think about that much wealth in one family*. On the other hand, I'm not sure that wealth was handed to them on a silver platter, was it? They did the Puritanical thing and paid their dues, I think. I bet if I'd gone into law, I'd be making a pretty good salary myself. Except all that legalese makes me run away screaming after 60 seconds of reading it.

From a business standpoint, she certainly looks qualified to run the country instead of running it into the ground. She has experience in the White House and in the Senate. I think Obama's a decent guy too, but what's the hate-on for Hillary all about?

*I don't normally see tax returns for wealthy people.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:26 AM on April 5, 2008


Please, everyone, stop contributing to the derail and ignore the troll.
posted by nonmerci at 1:44 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Please, everyone, stop contributing to the derail and ignore the troll.

You're right. 1AM angry post to a troll = Metafilter drunk-dialing. I apologize and will now go to bed.
posted by lattiboy at 1:51 AM on April 5, 2008


but what's the hate-on for Hillary all about?
She exudes a kind of insincerity particular to 'career-oriented' people that is quite off-putting, especially in person. I met her maybe five times in her position as the first lady, and she had this fakeness about her that was disconcerting — even to a ten year-old boy.

I never got that impression from her husband, in the many dozens I met him while he was president, he always seemed sincere. Even in the usual situation where he's just trying to leave a room, shaking hands on his way out — there was the sense of mutual acknowledgment about the contrived situation 'but hey, what the hell, we may as well shake hands and share a smile'

Hillary's way of handling that kind of situation reminds me of the kind of douches that work in Marketing — staged sincerity that is transparently false but outwardly unacknowledged.
posted by blasdelf at 2:22 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


When you can fake sincerity, you know you've got it made.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:32 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


"But what we do know is that she's an honest politician"

lol
posted by Spacelegoman at 3:05 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


They chose not to do any of these things. Not because they are incompetent. But because they live to risk.

God, Sully is such an idiot it hurts. The Clintons act this way not because they "live to risk", but because they. are. lawyers. You do not let the other side have "gimmes" during ligitation. You object, fight, block requests like this until you just can't do it anymore (even if the politics dictate that it would just be easier to let your opponents have the documents, which probably don't contain anything of interest in any case). It's not the political thing to do. It's not the smart thing to do. But it is exactly what you do when you're engaged in hostile litigation.

You know I'm not even a Clinton supporter, but the media hate-on for them compounded by the sexist bullshit she's had to wade through makes me want her to win just because I know it will give bobbleheads like Sully aneurysms.
posted by longdaysjourney at 3:06 AM on April 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


blasdelf She exudes a kind of insincerity particular to 'career-oriented' people that is quite off-putting, especially in person.

That's interesting. I myself have never met her in person.

I'm woefully ignorant on all the finer nuances of politics (are there any really honest politicians? I'd like to think so, but I'm skeptical). I like Dennis Kucinich, myself, but he's out of the race. I did see him speak in person once, and I really liked him.

We've got Obama and Hillary and McCain. I'm liberal, so McCain's out for me. I'm just trying to figure out who's the best out of the two Dems to run the country and hoping one of them wins.

I'm off for the weekend, but find this thread interesting, to learn all the viewpoints of people obviously more well-versed than I am in these matters. Will check back with it Sunday night!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:24 AM on April 5, 2008


She exudes a kind of insincerity particular to 'career-oriented' people that is quite off-putting

This kind of thinking is part of what's wrong with America. The mainstream political discourse has been reduced to imagery and gossip rather than important issues. Since the issues aren't what are being voted on, is it any surprise that the most recent presidential elections have resulted in such a close split? It's like flipping a coin. The voice of the people is not being heard.

There are many good reasons to dislike her based on policy positions. My main sticking point with her is that she is so beholden to corporate interests. Her health care plan is exactly what the health insurance industry wants, a far cry from what she was pushing for in 1993 and after the defeat of which she did an about-face. She neglected to show up for an important vote on telecom immunity for wiretapping a couple months ago, which was unforgivable.

Obama is the only one of the main candidates who is even talking about the issue of corporate influence on policy, which is the most important issue for me. If Hillary somehow wins the nom I'll be voting for Nader.
posted by vira at 3:26 AM on April 5, 2008


londaysjourney : "You know I'm not even a Clinton supporter, but the media hate-on for them compounded by the sexist bullshit she's had to wade through makes me want her to win just because I know it will give bobbleheads like Sully aneurysms"

It's not so much the Clinton-hate but the lack of proportionality. Obama is a lawyer/politician too yet seems to be held up as untainted by corruption or greed. I personally hope he wins, he seems an intelligent counterpoint to the previous 8 years, but thinking any modern politician has a fully functional moral compass seems sort of naive to me.

It reminds me of the way John Kerry was being attacked for being aloof and upper-class when compared to the other billionaire skull-and-bonesman.

Or in other words, the way in which Obama is being touted as a man of the people seems similar to the way Bush was. Obama is an infinitely better politican than Bush, but a politician nonetheless.
posted by fullerine at 3:51 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This kind of thinking is part of what's wrong with America.

There are reasons to dislike Hillary, and there are reasons to not vote for her. They are not necessarily one and the same.
posted by aqhong at 3:54 AM on April 5, 2008


I think that's a time honoured tradition in both business and politics.

No, in Republican politics, it used to be Saturday night. In business, it's been Friday, but any time of day that would miss the last edition of the newspapers' Business sections.

No one previous to this administration has worked as hard to make sure that bad news surfaced on the weekend. They now are masters at it, having had so much practice.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:04 AM on April 5, 2008


I'll go further: if you find yourself voting for someone because you like them, you're a sucker and a dupe and a pawn, and you deserve what you get for believing the advertising.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:08 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obama is a lawyer/politician too yet seems to be held up as untainted by corruption or greed.

And surely this is a view that cannot be based on any tangible evidence like, say, a refusal to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists and PACs, or perhaps the sponsoring of extensive legislation for ethics and lobbying reform.
posted by aqhong at 4:11 AM on April 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Clintons act this way not because they "live to risk", but because they. are. lawyers.

they're not just lawyers, they're lawyers in love
posted by pyramid termite at 5:44 AM on April 5, 2008


Am I not allowed to feed the troll? Oh well. From MetaMan's post:

Looks to me like the Clintons paid a lot of tax - $33M, and donated $10M to charity.

Actually, all of their charity donations went to the Clinton Family Foundation. And even though that money then got dispersed to other charities, they were in effect paying their own charity, surely staffing it with friends and acquaintances. So, definitely a good thing to give so much to charity, but at the same time not entirely selfless.

Last year, The Clintons contributed more in payback to the economy, and gave way more in charity than Barack and his wife.

I don't really understand "more in payback to the economy." If you mean that they made more money and then therefore had to spend more money, then obviously they would have also REMOVED more money from the economy. As far as Obama and his wife are concerned, until a few years ago they were, like many of us, still paying off student loans. Obama tells a story about going to the ATM and finding that his savings account was empty. Maybe it's just another Tuzla tall tale, but I would say the Obamas of right now are lot more closely tethered to the realities of working Americans than the Clintons. I doubt many of us here pay 10% of our income to charities, then again, I doubt many of us here are making $15million a year.

I wonder how many 10's of millions Barack will take down if he makes it all the way? Probably a lot more than Bill. I wonder then if all the holier than thou stuff I see on this thread re: the Clintons will still be in play.

I would be very displeased if Obama made hundreds of millions of dollars, some of it from foreign governments, and then used some of that money to fund his wife's campaign for President. I find it be a conflict of interest and an abuse of the power of the Presidency. Had the Clintons never sought the White House again, I wouldn't care an inch what they did with their money or how much they had made.

If Obama is able to overcome the coming surge by Hilary in PA, and several other states - as well as overcome the almost certain doubts that ifi he gets the Dem nod, he will be smoked by McCain in PA,, OH, and FL.

Coming surge? All polls show Obama closing rapidly. And recent Rasmussen polls have both Obama and Clinton beating McCain in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Another thing: I would love to know how old most of the people who make the negative comments about the Clintons were when Bill was President. It really appears that there is very little political or historical perspective in many of the comments - just venting about the Clinton's income.

MetaMan, this to me is the most disingenuous of all of the arguments that the Clinton supporters make. Do you not see that the Clintons of today, with their $110 million dollars and connections to foreign governments and knowledge of the halls of power - that they are not the same aw shucks, bright young things from Arkansas that arrived in 1992? Now, you can argue that their time in the White House and Bill's travels around the world meeting with foreign leaders and their large coffers are actually good things - that if they get in office they can hit the ground running and will know exactly what to do. Just don't act like people who are criticizing the Clintons now are forgetting who the Clintons were in the 1990s.

Hillary is a fighter; she has accomplished a lot for the liberal cause; and, she is going to win this thing. I'm proud to support her.

She is going to win what thing? The nomination? You believe that? Well, good on ya. I like your moxy and your dedication to your gal. I just want to say that I feel like there are actual grievances that some people have with the Clintons, it's not all just made up out of nothing. She would make a much better President than John McCain and I would certainly vote for her. But Obama is not the problem, his supporters are not the problems. We just want a fresh face in the White House - the bright and decent new guy with his all-star team of advisers, his outsider perspective, a new and better way of doing things - you know, the very same things that Bill Clinton brought with him in 1992.
posted by billysumday at 6:10 AM on April 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


There are reasons to dislike Hillary, and there are reasons to not vote for her. They are not necessarily one and the same.

I agree with you. I assumed we were talking about whether she is likeable as a candidate. I am less than interested in whether she's likeable as a person. Personal attacks on her are irrelevant at best and fundamentally counterproductive at worst.

No one who cares about policy should let themselves be swayed by gossip or even their own "gut feelings" about a candidate.
posted by vira at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2008


I despise Hillary Clinton, but this is such a non-issue. Ex-Presidents are celebrities, and they make a lot of money being celebrities. Period.
posted by Legomancer at 7:03 AM on April 5, 2008


I've never actually met a hillary supporter in real life.

I'll go one further--I've actually never seen a Hillary bumper sticker or t-shirt. I've seen more evidence of Giuliani's campaign around here than hers.

I'm having a hard time seeing why I should get so worked up about the tax returns, though. They made a lot of money. It's what powerful, well-connected people do. Would I prefer it wasn't that way? Sure. But it is what it is, and if somebody offered to give me a hundred grand to come give a speech for an hour, heck. I'd do it.

And can we please please please not make this thread about you-know-who? Yes, he's wrong, sometimes hilariously so, to the point of apparently blogging from some nearby parallel universe. BUT YOU WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND.
posted by EarBucket at 7:06 AM on April 5, 2008


Ignore the MetaBot and it will go away.
posted by psmealey at 7:16 AM on April 5, 2008


I despise Hillary Clinton, but this is such a non-issue. Ex-Presidents are celebrities, and they make a lot of money being celebrities. Period.

But, but, but...

Ultimately, I agree that the amount of money a candidate has is of no great concern. Presumably, McCain has much more than either Dem candidate because of his wife's beer fortune. And even though it's common for ex-Presidents to cash in on their reputations and stature, when has a former President ever helped finance his wife's campaign for President? That is what rubs me the wrong way.
posted by billysumday at 7:19 AM on April 5, 2008


Why you kvetchers haven't yet kvetched about the most kvetch-worthy aspect of this whole debacle, the fact that the majority of charitable giving they've done is to their own foundation, is beyond me.
posted by DenOfSizer at 7:19 AM on April 5, 2008


DenOfSizer, I was all over that one, buddy. Like I said, it's great that they gave so much to charity. But the fact that they only gave to the Clinton Foundation? Not exactly selfless.
posted by billysumday at 7:24 AM on April 5, 2008


This made the front page of today's Financial Times, below the fold but still-

To me, a sign that we are in the Silly Season. I mean really, who didn't know that they've been raking it in big time in the last eight years? Or that Mrs McCain is heir to a hundred million dollar fortune? Or that Obama, regardless of what happens in this election, will never have money problems again unless he makes some colossally bad decisions.

And this has what to do with being president?
posted by IndigoJones at 7:29 AM on April 5, 2008


[few comments removed - pre-emptive request: take user callouts to MetaTalk]
posted by jessamyn at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2008


Ron Paul!

(posted for comedic value. I mean, this thread is already derailed, right? I can't push it off that much further, can I?)
posted by jabberjaw at 7:47 AM on April 5, 2008


billysumday already said most of what I wanted to say, so I'll just add this:

MetaMan: Hillary is a fighter; she has accomplished a lot for the liberal cause; and, she is going to win this thing. I'm proud to support her.

Please understand that Hillary is not going to win. She's way behind in delegates and continuing to lose ground with superdelegates. MI and FL probably won't happen for her, and even if they did it's looking like it won't make a difference at this point. For her to win, she would have to convince the superdelegates to overturn the vote of the people – something many have said they won't do – which would destroy the party. The millions of new young voters – a demographic that Barack does very well with– would feel disenfranchised and turned off from the general election and even politics in general.

You could argue the claim that she's only behind 1% in the popular vote and I could argue that Barack has won more than double the amount of contests in this race, but unfortunately neither of these things matter. This is a delegate contest.

Hillary fought a good battle, but this is over.
posted by patr1ck at 7:49 AM on April 5, 2008


Sorry, billysumday, that was pre-coffee of me. But I still think it's outrageous enough to go on: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt pay a third of their income to charity; the moral bar (which they've raised for themselves by writing a book about Giving, e.g.,) on the Clintons is way higher.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:51 AM on April 5, 2008


I mean, this thread is already derailed, right? I can't push it off that much further, can I?

This is not the way to be.
posted by cortex at 9:10 AM on April 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would like to see the media focus more on how much money the mega-wealthy give away, than how much wealth they have.

Giving 40%+ of your income back to others through tax honesty and charity is pretty kick-ass. The Clinton's use of their income should be held up as an exemplar for others.

Taking a quick look at an old Forbes wealth-charity list reveals a lot of America's insanely wealthy people are miserly fucks who should be publically shamed and possibly publically stoned.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:39 AM on April 5, 2008


Another thing: I would love to know how old most of the people who make the negative comments about the Clintons were when Bill was President. It really appears that there is very little political or historical perspective in many of the comments

When you consider the issues that have come into specific relief in the financial markets over the past year or so (as a result of Clinton giveaways to Wall Street and policies that enfeebled market regulators, erosion of Glass-Steagal, etc), as well as the open avenues that Bush had to continue Clinton's efforts to expand the powers of the presidency, Bill Clinton's record starts looking pretty fucking shoddy, and it wasn't all that great while it was going on, either. Clearly, he was a better president than Bush, but I think we should set our sights a bit higher.
posted by psmealey at 10:06 AM on April 5, 2008


the way in which Obama is being touted as a man of the people seems similar to the way Bush was. Obama is an infinitely better politican than Bush, but a politician nonetheless.

This is one of the three most intelligent things I've seen said by posters other than me, on this thread.

Of course, it goes with out saying that what I said resonates powerfully, as it has struck some kind of "Jungian Shadow" nerve in those who are so emotionally wound up in irrational hatred of the Clintons - and other rich people - that they can't see straight.

It's the latter group that worries me the most, because when push comes to shove, it's the latter group that will push its self-prepossessing ideas about what's "right" for America right into your face, without any concern for public probity, or any sense of a world that is more complex than black and white. Shades of grey seem anathema to that bunch. (those who recognize themselves in this description, will self-righteously insult me, to prove my point - while those who simply disagree will raise cogent arguments. It's the latter that's in short supply, here.

It should be of real concern for anyone with perspective that a goodly portion of Obama supporters here (not all) and most of the ones I've met in my community seem wound up about Obama in the way that I describe, above.

It's not difficult to understand the hue and cry for something "different" in Washington. After all, we've just suffered the slings and arrows of the most ignorant President in our entire nation's history; people are hungry for *anything* that looks different than Shrub. But Obama? Really? He's Shrub's polar opposite, in *image and style*. He's a sweet talker whose core is as cold as ice. Obama is a manipulator - far more so than any of the three people left in this race, today.

I watched this last eveningand then read the entire Memphis speech, MLK's last. Obama is not MLK; he's not even close. Nor is he Dwight Eisenhower, who said that..."every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Obama is this year's invention by the media, someone good-looking enough, well-spoken enough, and just-minority-looking-enough to raise a titillating series of pundit-driven-possibilities and ad-baiting-editorial-positions that will keep you watching, hoping, and grasping for the thing that most Obama lovers - indeed, most AMERICANS - want more than anything - i.e. the incarnate, in the flesh "savior", who will deliver us from our self-centeredness, corporate greed, senseless wars, and wasteful way of life, etc. etc.

Guess what folks? it ain't gonna happen. Obama is a politician, through and through. JUST LIKE HILLARY. I know what to expect when I vote for a politician. I expect to get a small turn in the direction of my preferences re: personal political philosophy, and see it applied to our national agenda. I don't expect to see a social revolution, because that's just not going to happen in a centrist, capitalist, nation.

America is losing her hegemony, and cry as all those who think this nation is going to hell in a hand basket, it's going to take more than a poor, political-hack-clone of MLK who can whip up a crowd with sweet oratorical skills (there's a science to this, btw), even as he has disingenuously lied in many ways about his past, and has misrepresented the actions of his competitor, and laid in wait in a most passive-aggressive way as the press and those most in need - spiritually and physically - have savaged the very person of his more-than-worthy political opponent.

Hillary Clinton is not perfect; she has said and done things that I don't like. I haven't heard that from even ONE person here who supports Obama; nor did I hear that here.

Obama may not be a demagogue, but there's something afoot that makes anyone who's been around for a while worry, and that's when a seemingly significant number of a politician's supporters think that that politician can walk on water.

As for Hillary, I hope - as stated prior - that she takes this right to the convention floor. We need to settle this fight for the heart of the Democratic party, right here, right now. Either we're going to get candidates with moderate liberal sensibilities, and a pragmatic sense of how to move America forward, one bit at a time. Or, we're going to have candidates that prey on the hope and dreams of those who are disadvantaged by class and race, and watch them turn to dust in the real world (for the few times those types get elected), or grossly disappoint in office, because they over-promised.
posted by MetaMan at 11:43 AM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


As for Hillary, I hope - as stated prior - that she takes this right to the convention floor.

2000 - "bush stole the election!"
2004 - "bush stole the election in 2000 and i think he stole this one too!"
2008 - "let's help hillary steal the nomination!"

you've got to be kidding
posted by pyramid termite at 11:53 AM on April 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


MetaMan, it would save everybody a lot of time and energy if, instead of writing endless tomes of unsubstantiated conjecture, you merely wrote:

"The devil you know is better than the one you don't."

For all the hundreds (possibly thousands) of words you have posted on the blue on this topic in the past few weeks, you are offering no more insight than just that.
posted by psmealey at 12:07 PM on April 5, 2008


"The devil you know is better than the one you don't."

That's trenchant, but not everyone thinks aphoristically; thank god.
posted by MetaMan at 12:20 PM on April 5, 2008


Apparently you do, because you are wholly unable to make any point other than that, at least as it concerns this year's Democratic Primary elections.
posted by psmealey at 12:31 PM on April 5, 2008


Also,

Obama may not be a demagogue, but there's something afoot that makes anyone who's been around for a while worry, and that's when a seemingly significant number of a politician's supporters think that that politician can walk on water.

Please try to find an Obama supporter which claims that he is Jesus. This is a total straw man argument. Further, many of the Obama supporters I know are over 40, which I think qualifies as having "been around for a while."

Your claims that Obama "has disingenuously lied in many ways about his past, and has misrepresented the actions of his competitor" are baseless. Facts, please. Even if this were true, it surprises me coming from someone who supports a candidate who has done exactly that.
posted by patr1ck at 12:38 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Apparently, the Clinton Foundation has only given away about half the money the Clintons gave to it (and rather recently too): "The contributions went to a family foundation run by the Clintons that has given away only about half of the money they put into it, and most of that was last year, after Mrs. Clinton declared her candidacy."
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:58 PM on April 5, 2008


Your claims that Obama "has disingenuously lied in many ways about his past, and has misrepresented the actions of his competitor" are baseless. Facts, please.

OK - for starters, here and here
posted by MetaMan at 1:18 PM on April 5, 2008


Why can't an ex-president be filthy rich? Which one is living in poverty?
posted by valentinepig at 1:19 PM on April 5, 2008


Oh yeah, and don't try to convince anyone who drinks the Barack Kool-Aid of anything. Those heads are buried too deep. Just give up that fight right now. And prepare for four more years of GOP rule.
posted by valentinepig at 1:23 PM on April 5, 2008


MetaMan, let's have an imaginary argument. No, seriously, it'll be fun.

Me: I like Obama for these reasons: x, y, and z.
You: Well, he's going to disappoint you.
Me: Perhaps. Nonetheless, I like his position on the following issues: a, b, and c.
You: He's just like every other politician.
Me: We'll see. Still, I prefer him over Hillary.
You: But he's just like Hillary!
Me: That's your opinion, but I've given you several examples where I disagree with you.
You: Oh, you are just so young and naive!

At the end, this is why Hillary is losing. She and her supporters offer no real reason why we should vote for her, other than the fact that we all know who she is and the 90's were pretty gravy. Lately the reasons for Hillary's candidacy have stopped completely and in their place have come the attacks on Obama and warnings that he will let us down.

Hillary's problem is that she did run a good campaign. Her "voice" has constantly changed. Is she running as an incumbent candidate? As and agent of change? What's going to be the soundbyte today? Solutions not speeches, ready on day one, commander in chief of the economy, let's have a conversation? Today will she be arguing that every vote counts or that the superdelegates should decide the election? On the other hand, Obama has maintained a consistently positive message from day one of his campaign - here is why you should vote for me, this is what I intend to do. Regardless of your impression of him, this has proven to be a much more successful tactic. He is proving to be a much more capable politician than Hillary by virtue of the fact that he is winning. Today is leading by 10 points in the Rasmussen poll. He is beating her by 23 points in North Carolina. There is no doubt that he will win the nomination and then the general.

Another reason why Hillary is losing this election is because she misjudged Obama's talents and abilities. She thought that the election would be over on Feb. 5. She does not have a consistent message. She doesn't know whether to go negative or to go positive. She does not appear to know how to win. She had every advantage when this election started, including institutional support, money, name recognition, and fond remembrances of the 1990s. However, she miscalculated, and it has cost her. Now she and her supporters are angry, telling others that Obama cannot win in the general, denying the DNC donations, and threatening to sit out the election.

Ultimately, I think you fail in your argument when you claim that Obama is just a politician like Hillary, as though that should be a vote against him. However, by any reasonable standard he is defeating Hillary, which is proof that he is much more capable as a politician. This is how the game is played. You win elections, THEN you get to fix the world. So far, Obama is proving to be better at this game than both Clintons combined. Color me impressed.
posted by billysumday at 1:29 PM on April 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


Er, that she did NOT run a good campaign.
posted by billysumday at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2008


This is one of the three most intelligent things I've seen said by posters other than me, on this thread.

Well I was aiming for your Jungian Shadow Nerve.
posted by fullerine at 1:55 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Funny, with her hardscrabble roots

It was the best of times, 1950, in the best of countries, America victorious, when two offspring of Welsh immigrants moved their little family out of the city of Chicago to the suburb where the white people lived, Park Ridge. It was the right place to bring up their daughter, their pride, their Hillary. She was three years old, and the first of her two brothers was on the way. Hugh Rodham, her driven father, wanted the finest house he could afford, although he was too scarred by the Depression to take out a mortgage. Even if he had to work fourteen hours a day—and he did—he was determined to live on Elm Street in a fine two-story stone house and keep a Cadillac parked conspicuously in his driveway. His daughter would have her own bedroom with a sundeck. -- Hillary's Choice, Gail Sheehy
posted by dhartung at 1:59 PM on April 5, 2008


Neither of the articles you linked to are particularly damning. He oversimplified how is father came to america and had some somewhat differing opinions on a questionnaire he filled out over a decade ago. Somehow I feel that's slightly less criminal than running with platform based on "experience" that you never actually acquired, among other things.

You still haven't addressed how exactly Hillary is going to win without destroying the party.

Also, everything billysumday said. (Again.) He's better at this than me.
posted by patr1ck at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2008


Oh yeah, and don't try to convince anyone who drinks the Barack Kool-Aid of anything. Those heads are buried too deep.

Christ, another one? This is the same sort of empty (ignore the message, attack the messengers) nonsense we got from the right wing for the last eight years. These liberals have an irrational HATRED of Bush, they are crazy, so all of their arguments are crazy --- is now the equivalent of --- Barack's supporters worship him, he can do no wrong in their eyes, and they have an irrational HATRED Hillary. The won't listen to reason. Because, after all, only Hillary who was the *real* President, Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense from 1992-2000, AND the *actual* Governor of Arkansas before that, who saved American's troubled health care system in 1993 and single-handedly defeated the Serbian Army in Kosovo, only she can defeat the powerful John McCain.
posted by psmealey at 2:33 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


clinton on defensive amid colombian trade flap

"How can we trust that a President Hillary Clinton would stand strong against this trade deal when her top advisor is being paid by Colombia to promote it?"
posted by pyramid termite at 3:17 PM on April 5, 2008


From my outsider's perspective, it looks like Obama has at least a chance of attracting dissatisfied Republicans who don't want a McCain repeat of Bush. I don't believe any Republican would ever cross over to Clinton, no matter how awful McCain is.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:34 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, everything billysumday said. (Again.) He's better at this than me.

Better at what, patr1ck, troll-feeding? As an Obama supporter I love billysumday's posts, but for this schmuck it ain't worth the bits.
posted by The Bellman at 4:40 PM on April 5, 2008


Too bad that the crux of the argument I've made here hasn't sunk in

Note what these polls are showing BEFORE McCain's people pgo to work on Obama. And Bellman, perhaps you should resist the impulse to call names, it's doesn't reflect well on your parents.
posted by MetaMan at 5:06 PM on April 5, 2008


I'm fairly sure my parents' reputations can survive any damage they might sustain from my posts in the Blue. Schmuck.
posted by The Bellman at 5:13 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ooh, she's an illuminist, or a phoenix, or the antichrist or a fashion victim or something ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:27 PM on April 5, 2008


Metaman, it really doesn't matter how Sen. Clinton polls in the general election, because she's not going to get there. I know that you are a loyal supporter and really want her to win but she's just too far down in the delegate numbers to ever get enough to get the nomination. I actually like Clinton and was favoring her earlier in the primary season but she's run a pretty inept campaign and unless Obama gets hit by a meteor she's just not going to win.
posted by octothorpe at 5:42 PM on April 5, 2008


yup - things do get out of hand - that's for sure

And, Bellman don't be so sure; and, do take your finger our of daddy's hair
posted by MetaMan at 5:48 PM on April 5, 2008


Uribe had the sense to shitcan Mark Penn in a second. However, he still has a job with Hillary. Stuff like that is what makes people shake their heads when they watch her campaign.
posted by trondant at 7:06 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, MetaMan, that's just Snark.
posted by The Bellman at 7:36 PM on April 5, 2008


Too bad that the crux of the argument I've made here hasn't sunk in

You're quoting the New York Post, which, leaving aside it being the dregs of American tabloid journalism, is also owned by Rupert Murdoch.

For the last four years, Rupert Murdoch has endorsed Hillary Clinton and has committed increasing amounts of money and media influence to assist her senatorial and presidential campaigns.

The crux of it is that you are making your point, here, by ghosting the words of a media magnate who not only stands to gain a great deal with her election, but could give a shit whether you live or die, so long as you help him turn a profit next quarter.

Choose your sources a little better.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:19 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's a nice little tirade from the reliably incendiary Christopher Hitchens on Hillary's Tall Tale of Tuzla

Of particular note:
"...This must mean either a) that she lies without conscience or reflection; or b) that she is subject to fantasies of an illusory past; or c) both of the above. Any of the foregoing would constitute a disqualification for the presidency of the United States."

...and some additional thoughts on Bosnia and the Clintons

She's seeming more electable everyday isn't she?
posted by wabbittwax at 9:12 PM on April 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh noes. It's MetaMan again, spewing absurdities.

I have a new drinking game. Every time MetaMan posts one of his barbaric inanities, I am going to give another $10 to Obama. Every single time.

The dude needs a disincentive.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:11 PM on April 5, 2008


I forgot the other part -- about taking a drink for each superdelegate Obama takes away from Clinton's fading last hopes.

But do watch out for that sniper fire from Team Clinton (TM) as you depart the building. When do we get the part where the little girl with flowers reads us a poem? Is that before or after the corkscrew landing?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:30 PM on April 5, 2008


The crux of it is that you are making your point, here, by ghosting the words of a media magnate who not only stands to gain a great deal with her election....Choose your sources a little better.

Sources? Before you get all in a snit, please refute what the NY Post has said. they're reporting polls. They were reporting the results of polls favorable to Hillary, which the MSM has largely suppressed.

I've never seen anything like this, ever. Obama is the MSM's "anointed one". Democrats are not getting a balanced view of these two candidates, and that is going to come back to haunt this party in November.

Murdock owns the WSJ, which may not be your cup of tea. That's OK. Unless you're reading the Christian Science Monitor as your main source, you have nothing on anyone - and even the Monitor has been schilling for its own various causes, for years.

Perhaps you prefer the NYT; the most prominent newspaper in America, that has seen fit to run a front page story on Obama just about every day (often, more than one (sometimes three - two Sunday editions in raw) - many of them mud balls directed at Hillary?

Christopher Hitchens on Hillary's Tall Tale of Tuzla

I like Hitchens, and resonate with his tone. That said, he is frankly carrying things a bit far by blaming Hillary for the deaths of thousands of Bosnians. He should consider the inaction of his home country, first. And, he should try to refrain from getting uppity, and try to make it a badge of honor that he was unlucky enough to be in the proximity of an exploding artillery shell, and then turn that bit of near bad luck as a badge that somehow gives him the authority to pass judgment on someone who is no better, or worse, than Hitchens himself, as a person.

The sheer, vile, nature of personal attack that has been leveled on Hillary, with nary a peep by most Obama supporters, is astounding - and indicates to me that most of them don't have a sense of history, or appreciation for what a gigantic difference both Clintons have made to the Democratic party, in mostly good ways.

Again, for the nth time, Hillary is not perfect. She has said and done things that I disagree with. What I find astounding is that not ONE Obama supporter I have ever met - or encountered in one of the two blogs I frequent [MeFi is one of those, because it's usually an oasis of sanity and healthy skepticism] - has said that. Why? There's something wrong with that picture; it's just not healthy, and indicates that there is something profoundly wrong with America - u.e. that we should be putting our faith in press-appointed "saints" who use oratorical gifts to cull the cream of memes that were established by REAL heros like MLK, just to gain power, while watching one of their own savaged, for nothing more than ratings.
posted by MetaMan at 10:38 PM on April 5, 2008


Every time MetaMan posts one of his barbaric inanities, I am going to give another $10 to Obama. Every single time.

That's not a disincentive, but I do get satisfaction in knowing that this post cost you a 10-spot.

$10,000.00 would be a disincentive, but calling your bluff in that way would force you to fold; I don't want you to lose face.
posted by MetaMan at 11:02 PM on April 5, 2008


"Hell is other people" --Sartre.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:03 PM on April 5, 2008


Why does it always resort to Hilary bashing here, any excuse to drag her name through the gutter. Why is it that all the arrogant and self-righteous Obama supporters have to post on MeFi? Doesn't this piss off all the rest of the Obama people? A couple of punks going around and giving you guys a bad image.
posted by available at 12:15 AM on April 6, 2008


I like Hitchens, and resonate with his tone. That said, he is frankly carrying things a bit far by blaming Hillary for the deaths of thousands of Bosnians. He should consider the inaction of his home country, first.

I can't read this without hearing it in Bill O'Reilly's voice; the meter is too spot-on.

Why does it always resort to Hilary bashing here, any excuse to drag her name through the gutter.

Because this site is populated almost entirely with liberals.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:25 AM on April 6, 2008


Note what these polls are showing BEFORE McCain's people pgo to work on Obama.

Again as an outsider: who the fuck cares what McCain's people have to say? The man is as appealing as Prince Philip, Duke of Dumbassery, and Ronald Post-Alzheimers Reagan, President of Dementia. The one always sticking his racist, classist foot in his mouth (all the more amazing, because it turns out his head is up his ass); and the other consulting Astrologers on whether or not to bomb the shit out of some third-world country.

And even if McCain weren't a DependsableTM buffoon, the Rovian Swift-Boating fuckwittery is getting old. We've all seen what happens when we let jerks dictate the terms and discussion: we get The Worst President In History, a fucking quagmire that's beyond all redemption, and habeas corpus, ferchrissakes! Torture has been legalized and justified by the very top ranks of the Administration, the citizens are spied upon, and the fucking bad guy is still out there!

I mean, shit, I know Americans are supposed to be dumber than dogshit and all that, but I really do not think they're going to fall for the Rovian play again. The smart young people are politically active again and the middle class conservatives have been burned twice too often. I really don't think the hate vote is going to work for the Conservatives again.

And especially so if Obama continues to hold himself and his team above depraved politicking.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:26 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because this site is populated almost entirely with liberals.

You wouldn't know a liberal if it leapt up and bit you on the ass. France has liberals. Holland has liberals. And even Canada has quasi-liberals.

US America has only conservatives and more Conservatives.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:28 AM on April 6, 2008


US America has only conservatives and more Conservatives.

Hey, buddy, I thumb through the Utne Reader while standing in the queue at my local natural foods store, and I own a US passport.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:34 AM on April 6, 2008


Look, Obama isn't perfect. Any idiot knows that, sees that. They just don't care. and frankly, after that shit that Hillary pulled with the "We were taking sniper fire when we landed" crap", she's SHOULD be tarred and feathered. 'Cause we all know she isn't stupid and that kinda of stunt smacks of the arrogant, vilifying antics of the past fucking 8 years and we're fucking tired of the shit.

Like I said, Obama isn't perfect, he can't be. If he's president, he's bound to screw up something or do things that I will not like or agree with. That's ok. Because what he brings to the table is inspiration and what you've got to understand is how hungry people are for that. God, it feels like we've been in a constant famine in terms of societal inspiration, choking down bullshit 'cause we've got to survive, have to eat something, but hating it every step of the way.

This country did great things after Pearl Harbor occurred. We rationed, and scrimped and saved and our men went off to war and the women stepped up to the plate and goddamn if everyone didn't do fantastic things. No it was all perfect and wonderful, but we had a common focus and the country as a whole felt like it was doing something to help, was actively participating in the process.

After 9/11 we were encouraged by this administration encouraged us to shop more. Yeah, that's right, to. shop. more. While a war was going. After one of the most horrific attacks on America, we were encouraged to whip out the ol credit card. Somehow that just doesn't make a citizen involved and leaves you with that bitter taste of lost opportunity.

Obama's strength is that he inspires people to be better citizens, to make the dream of how citizenship should be into a reality and if you can't recognize that value in that, in what a potentially great leader can do to motivate people to do great things, then so be it. People know he isn't perfect, but they're willing to put with him because it seems like he could put America in better place than it currently is or has been for seeming decades.

The only think Hillary inspires is loathing. Seriously, I came into this election season with more respect and open mindedness about Hillary than I ever thought possible. But her behavior this season has reminded why I've never trusted her or don't want her in the White House anymore.


On preview:

Why does it always resort to Hilary bashing here, any excuse to drag her name through the gutter.

If you're going to start off with that sentence, you shouldn't follow, in the very next sentence, with this:

Why is it that all the arrogant and self-righteous Obama supporters have to post on MeFi?

Speaking as Obama supporter, I don't have a problem with either candidate being called on the carpet, questioned or challenged. It's just that when it happens to Obama, he gives great speeches, that explain his position and also inspires people. When it happens to Hillary, she responds with "if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things—millions of words a day—so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement". If ever there was a clear distinction between the two, it's in those examples, IMHO.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:10 AM on April 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


The sheer, vile, nature of personal attack that has been leveled on Hillary, with nary a peep by most Obama supporters, is astounding - and indicates to me that most of them don't have a sense of history, or appreciation for what a gigantic difference both Clintons have made to the Democratic party, in mostly good ways.

The victim complex is the calling card of the right throughout history, be careful.

But quite honestly, as far as these vile personal attacks, I'm just not hearing them. Either they're happening in fringe blogs and media outlets, or you're making that up. The Bosnia thing is fair dinkum as is her record as a Senator, as well as the lack of policy responsibility she had as First Lady.

Also please cut out the claims that only you understand the historical significance of the Clinton Administration. Many of us here on this thread are in our 30s and 40s, and remember those days very well. We remember the hopeful optimism that we had in 1992, having it shattered during the disastrous mid-term elections in 1994, and seeing the rest of the decade having Bill use his survival instincts to push the party further and further to the right, thereby almost completely disenfranchising the American left and leaving it for dead.
posted by psmealey at 4:21 AM on April 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


and indicates to me that most of them don't have a sense of history, or appreciation for what a gigantic difference both Clintons have made to the Democratic party, in mostly good ways.

they turned the party into republican lite, made a hash out of health care reform, thoroughly embarrassed the country with bill's extramarital affairs, and set the stage for the worst president in history to get elected

and you want 8 more years of that?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:33 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why does it always resort to Hilary bashing here, any excuse to drag her name through the gutter. Why is it that all the arrogant and self-righteous Obama supporters have to post on MeFi? Doesn't this piss off all the rest of the Obama people? A couple of punks going around and giving you guys a bad image.

Insofar as the above is even anywhere near on target, who it actually pisses off is all the rest of the everybody people. Some of the Hillary-vs-Obama discussions we've had lately on the site have been among the most frustratingly insular and entrenched arguments I've ever seen on mefi between people who are otherwise largely ideologically aligned, and that a lot of the folks involved are Obama supporters doesn't make it only an Obama-supporter issue. The arrogance and self-righteousness is pretty much across the board.

I can't say why exactly the portion of the userbase willing to get involved in long arguments about the Democratic primary skews toward Obama, though I'd agree that it seems to do so; there are a lot of little arguments in either direction, but it doesn't really matter to me either way because there's no systematic Mefi-specific recruitment going on and so what it is is an organic skew. So, fine: people who don't like Obama are in a position to be frustrated with the level of Obama support around here, and people who do like Obama are in a position to react in numbers (but not as organized group, generally) to folks who are vocally against him. So it goes with any number of platforms and topics on this site, to varying degrees.

What gives the rest of us a bad image, what pisses me off as a mefite and as a lefty American and as someone who likes good, non-obnoxious, non-asshole discussion between intelligent people in general, are the folks who regardless of whoever the fuck they intend to vote for use that as a springboard for ugly, loud, self-righteous behavior. All the condescension, all the petty sniping and overreaction, all the hopelessly polarized my-way-or-the-highway bullshit that otherwise reasonable kernels of argument and objection get wrapped up in: that shit is candidate independent, and more than anything I wish both sides of these goddam insufferable HC-vs-BO your-candidate-sucks arguments could step away from the mic long enough to realize that and take a long hard look at how they're conducting themselves. It's this kind of tiresome, repetitive back-and-forth that keeps "the rest of" mefites the hell out of these threads, because why get wrapped up in all that crap?
posted by cortex at 5:47 AM on April 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


The New York Times is so pro-Obama that it endorsed Hillary Clinton.

In all seriousness, Meta's main argument seems to be that the right wing will rip Obama apart.

And the option there is . . . Hillary Clinton? Sure, they'll leave her alone out of deep respect for her person and her accomplishments. She's "fully vetted," they say, yet the Bosnian sniper story, and the fact that she never held a security clearance, are just coming out now. And she's had 8 years since she was last "vetted" by the right to make tens of millions of dollars, hundreds of backroom deals, and thousands of new enemies, all while being a pro-war hypocrite and cynic and losing the loyalty of many on the left whose votes, I think, matter quite as much as the mythical "independents" MetaM seems to be worried about losing.

I know there's no point arguing with a fool, but really, it's amazing to see the lengths to which rationalization of prejudice will carry someone.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:14 AM on April 6, 2008


We've all seen what happens when we let jerks dictate the terms and discussion: we get The Worst President In History, a fucking quagmire that's beyond all redemption, and habeas corpus, ferchrissakes! Torture has been legalized and justified by the very top ranks of the Administration, the citizens are spied upon, and the fucking bad guy is still out there!

You forgot about Poland New Orleans.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:19 AM on April 6, 2008


Well said cortex.

I think the web being populated by middle/upper middle class white guys as the largest demographic skews in favour of Obama so the perception is that the anti-Clinton abuse is higher. Here's a recent article purporting to show that the effect has been to drive traffic away from pro-Obama sites while neutral or pro-HRC sites have had static numbers.
posted by peacay at 6:22 AM on April 6, 2008


Oh by the way, that link was via Ben Smith.

And fourcheesemac, your rant was like an exclamation mark to cortex's comment. Repeat your last paragraph out loud while looking in a mirror.
posted by peacay at 6:33 AM on April 6, 2008


it would help considerably if people would come up with an anti-obama argument that didn't boil down to "he's not electable because i say he's not electable"

it seems that those who accuse us of putting him forward as a saint, which i certainly haven't done, ought to be able to come up with something that will take away his halo, if they're so convinced he's flawed - after all, metaman, it's not our job to make your arguments for you - if you think there's something wrong with him, you ought to tell us what that is

and cherry picking poll data that's going to change drastically in a few months doesn't count - that's just the same old empty headed msm analysis we can get 24/7 on the cable channels
posted by pyramid termite at 6:35 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amen, fourcheesemac.

Or to put it more simply, as McCain is the Republican candidate... the general election campaign will come down to three factors:

1. The economy
2. The war
3. Personal attacks

The economy seems pretty much a win for either Hillary or Obama. The GOP has so discredited itself with its incompetent stewardship of the economy, that it's hard to see how it can prevail on this front. McCain is still talking about tax cuts, btw, which are not feasible, given the deficits we are facing.

The War. McCain's military experience, his "experience" and his firm belief in seeing it through to the end. It will be difficult for Hillary to win any points here. She voted for the war, hasn't really articulated anything of substance with regard to what she thinks should happen, and her own party is deeply suspicious of her motives. I think Obama has the edge here, because he was not in the Senate when the vote went down, but he voted against the Iran resolution (Hillary voted aye), and has been pretty clear about a staged withdrawal based on reasonable goals.

With respect to the military, anyone that was alive during the 90s will remember that Hillary is vilified by the military, possibly even moreso than her husband. The stories of abuse and contempt she showed for the members of the military in the White House and on the road are probably apocryphal, but they are part of the right's mythology about the Clintons. Look for all of these stories to re-emerge.

Personal attacks. McCain is somewhat immune for personal attacks because he's generally well-liked by the media, and he pulls the war hero card which always makes the attacker look worse. I don't think the Clintons hard-nosed tactics will work against him. They could try the dottering old guy thing, but McCain is roughly the same age Reagan was at the start of his second term, and that approach never worked with him.

With regard to Hillary, well, there's a long, long history of animosity between Mrs. Clinton and "the vast, right wing conspiracy". The military thing mentioned above, latent misogyny, distrust from her own party, her somewhat schoolmarmish bearing and lack of personal warmth, make her incredibly vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. I think one thing the we should keep in mind, despite all the bullshit mentioned above, is that this campaign has actually been pretty genteel. The personal attacks have actually been pretty mild. No one of any import has mentioned the Lewinsky thing, or anything truly nasty. This will all change if she gets the nomination.

Obama? The great unknown. Does he have any deep dark secrets, any skeletons, and sexual peccadilloes? I guess we'll see. There's no telling... but his youth and lack of track record mean, to me at least, that there's not much there. The longer you are in politics, the more contacts and money you make, the more the chance that you can get into something dirty. I think Obama is at the point in his career where he's really not had many opportunities to become corrupted. The Wright thing was a bullshit scandal, and he turned it into a great opportunity. Obviously, it didn't work with everyone, but I think it worked with enough people to put that one to bed. But again, we'll see.
posted by psmealey at 6:39 AM on April 6, 2008


Repeat your last paragraph out loud while looking in a mirror.

Really, peacay? Glad to know that Miss Manners is on the job, looking out for the decent folks of MeFi.

You don't like me. This is established, and I don't lose sleep over it.. But what to make of *your* comment, carrying on the bitchy tone?

I used the word "fool," it's true, but that's pretty mild medicine, and my comment was otherwise substantive and civil.

So if we can't defend our politics in political threads, I suppose there's no point. Let's go back to discussing YouTube videos of monkeys on bicycles and pretend the world is not at a huge crossroad where we confront the potential end of our species' existence, the death of our planet, and the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocents in pointless, venal wars.

Peace out, man.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:00 AM on April 6, 2008


Well said, psmeasley. I've read Obama's books and have followed the campaign closely for the last 6 months or so, and to be honest, I don't think there's anything left out there to hit him with. I find myself listening to right wing radio on occasion - it was a delight in January to listen Limbaugh spend his entire show attacking McCain - but more generally, I just like hearing what the mouth-breathers have to say, as I think it gives a good indication of how they are likely to frame things in November. And though I don't claim to know everything about Obama, I would say that his biggest vulnerabilities have always been Wright, Rezko, his inexperience, his (perceived) arrogance, and his "patriotism." It was clear about two months ago. The right wing already has their marching orders - they're going to try to paint him as a far-left, America-hating, pompous, black-power, communist, pacifist, empty suit. That's all they got. The guy is damn clean for a politician (so far). And to be honest, I think that that stuff can be countered in the general with Obama traveling around the country with a bunch of old white guys - Webb, Clark, even someone like Hagel.

Ultimately, this again gets into arguments of electability, which I think can be a dangerous metric. Supporters on both sides can claim why the other side will suffer greatly in the general. Personally I think the economy is so shit that either Clinton or Obama will win in November. Even people who just genuinely dislike Obama or Clinton for personal reasons will hold their noses and vote Democrat because of how bad shit is going to be in November.
posted by billysumday at 7:03 AM on April 6, 2008


You don't like me. This is established

Not true at all actually. I mean that in all seriousness.

civil and substantive is not exactly how I would characterise your four comments here. I just like to see discussion and I find this whole primary battle thoroughly fascinating. I'm not overly invested and am closer to a fence sitter than a supporter for either candidate. There is almost noone bothering to go into bat for HRC here because they will get crucified. I don't agree with everything MetaMan has written nor am I particularly entranced by his tone but I think he makes some reasonable points at times. Annnnnyyyyywaaaaaay, I'll leave you to it.
posted by peacay at 7:29 AM on April 6, 2008


One thing that surprises me about the media coverage and adjacent MeFi discussion is that some really big issues: Gitmo & habeus corpus for example, are pretty much forgotten in the flood of Reverend Wright & tax returns nonsense. Not sure if this is because: (1) I am a fer'ner and care about different things, or (2) I am a fer'ner and get a peculiar selection of coverage, or (3) the candidate-candidates are identical in their positions at the quantum level, so there's nothing to talk about. Seems odd, is all I'm saying. (You're not being manipulated into a *bad* decision process by a lazy and issue-averse corporate news media or anything, are you?) (Drat! I hear the sound of CNBCNNFOXABC-emblazened boots in the stairwell!)
posted by ~ at 7:36 AM on April 6, 2008


Don't be surprised at the number, but consider the sources. Old Bill raked in $15.4 million -- or about 20% -- from Yucaipa, whose investors include the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al- Maktoum. Doesn't this seem odd?
posted by VicNebulous at 9:05 AM on April 6, 2008


obama takes lead in pennsylvania
posted by pyramid termite at 9:31 AM on April 6, 2008


Pyramid termite, those results have been contradicted by other polls released at the same time or after. Don't get too excited.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:16 AM on April 6, 2008


that'll teach me to read the comments.
posted by lunit at 10:41 AM on April 6, 2008


Obama and Hillary Spin a 'Big Lie' About Iraq
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2008


Here's a recent article purporting to show that the effect has been to drive traffic away from pro-Obama sites while neutral or pro-HRC sites have had static numbers.

I said it in the comments there, but I think it's worth repeating my alternative hypothesis on this:

As Clinton’s fortunes have waned, her supporters are more likely to leave sites with a strong Obama bias, reading only sites more likely to reinforce their own hopes that Clinton still has a chance. Obama supporters are less likely to refrain from reading Clinton-leaning blogs, as they are more confident that their “side” will win, and so feel less threatened by prominent voices in the blogosphere saying otherwise.

I suspect that if the positions in the race were reversed and Clinton were the frontrunner, you’d see the opposite effect.

It's Morton's Demon, and everyone's susceptible to it. It's just that Clinton's supporters have greater reason to feel insecure about their chosen candidate's chances right now, and are therefore going to have a tighter filter on what they expose themselves to.
posted by EarBucket at 11:35 AM on April 6, 2008


...and more than anything I wish both sides of these goddam insufferable HC-vs-BO your-candidate-sucks arguments could step away from the mic long enough to realize that and take a long hard look at how they're conducting themselves.

I'm not going to respond to anyone who claims - as cortex does - to take a "meta-position" (as s/he is plainly doing) and use that position to argue (in a rather harsh way) that a certain tone (of COURSE, it's cortex' tone) is the way to go on these issues)

Yes, I think my candidate is better than another candidate, and there are lots of reasons for that. Some of those reasons are personal preference, at a gut level; some of those reasons are policy reasons; etc. etc. Campaigns are FIRST, emotional and SECOND, rational.

Without revealing anything, I know one hell of a lot about how brains cognate information (and please, leave off the puns that follow naturally from that statement, because you'd be cherry picking - at least work for your laughs :). Literally, the final pathway that all information on the way to action takes is through "emotional" centers in the brain (without getting into details).

With that out of the way, I have clearly - many times over - given reasons why I don't want Obama in there.

Hillary Clinton is a politician - a successful politician. She's also a woman. Barack is a politician - a successful politician. He's also a black man.

There are dynamic, historical, cultural, personal etc. etc. entanglements - cultural that are so complex *within* the unfolding of each candidate (not to mention *between* them) that would take years to tease out.

Here's where it is for me:

Hillary has been a dependable liberal. She is not a progressive liberal, but she showed great courage and foresight in trying to get us universal health care. She used political muscle to make that happen, and got buried by a $300M campaign created by insurance companies and their paid politicos to destroy her. That campaign largely worked.

From that point on, for reasons that I have explicated above, the personal mistakes of Bill Clinton, added to the fear that Clinton caused in GOP and progressive Democrat circles, lead to a slow growth of a campaign to derail both Clintons, because the way they do politics is sometimes *transparently* unprincipled.

I DON'T like that. BUT, Hillary and her husband ARE liberal in base philosophy, AND they know how to work the system to make things happen in the DIRECTION OF LIBERAL AGENDAS. I trust that history; it's been consistent.

With Obama, I see a duplicitousness that disturbs me. When I first noticed him, I was impressed, but as I looked more into who his advisors were, I began to see a contradiction between what he's been saying (quite eloquently) on the campaign trail, and just what kind of policy we might see if he gets into office, based largely on who he surrounds himself with.

BOTH Hillary and Obama are CENTRISTS, BUT Obama won't say so. Why?

He won't say so because it would compromise his black and youth base, and would alienate the Progressive wing of his own party.

Obama has become "SECOND CHANCE" for people like Kennedy and Kerry. I respect both of those people, but DO NOT respect the way they have gone about playing both sides against the middle, using rhetoric to hide THEIR often centrist positions.

I'm a Dem, and Dem leaders have too long been playing the same kind of shell game with disenfranchised Americans that the right has been playing with the evangelical Christian crowd - i.e. tell them what they want to hear, as long as "I" can get elected, and "then" I'll have the power to create change.

This DOES NOT WORK, because the political center in this nation is what controls policy, ultimately.

So, for me, although Obama and Hillary are both centrists, I DON'T TRUST Obama to deliver on his promises, because he's talking out of both sides of his mouth. He says he's one thing, but he's really another. With Hillary, I know what I'm getting - and I know from time to time I will be disappointed, but at least the odds are with my choice that she will progress our nation in the direction of liberal policy.

I'm not so sure that Obama will be as effective in doing that, but what I do know for sure is that his base will be VERY disappointed when he gets into office and he starts to propose centrist legislation - much of it flying in the face of campaign promises.

Last, any anger and frustration I have in this mostly comes from the unreal bias in the MSM, in Obama's favor. I have never seen anything like this, ever (and I'm somewhat of a news junkie). Democrats have NOT had a chance to properly vet their candidates in an impartial way, because the MSM has been spewing doubt and venom in Hillary's direction since day one.

Some of that perception is surely my self-selected bias, but much of it is just plain truth. Right after Hillary won in OH, and came back, the NYT had THREE articles on it's Sunday edition front page about Obama, two weeks in a row, with nothing about Hillary. This has been happening all over the place. Also, when Clinton does get mention, it's always within the context of how she's struggling, with no mention of her policy issues. Why? Because Obama is a BETTER STORY!

This is about selling our eyeballs to advertisers, folks.

This is why I hope Hillary takes this thing right to the convention floor, because I want the Democrats who are hiding behind the duplicitousness of Obama's message (as eloquent as it is) to be forced out in the open. I want that convention to unpack and deconstruct the Democratic party, so that we casn, once and for all, see how base even a so-called Progressive Democrat can be. Believe me, Evangelical Christians and Neocons don't have a monopoly on bad behavior.

This way, our citizens will have someone to point to besides Hillary and/or Obama, if things go south for the Dems. It's high time that the so-called Progressive wing of the Democratic party - its leadership circle - let the cat out of the bag, and let everyone know that they're just as slimy (because they're politicians, so it's not a pejorative) as all those who they like to present themselves as better than.

Hillary will deliver, and I believe she has a better chance of winning. Go look at her policy statements, and look at her accomplishments - which far outweigh the negative that gets magnified by a press that knows how to titillate, just to keep you looking at the next ad.

Compare that to Obama, who, if he gets the nod, will SURELY adopt some of Hillary's positions (and vise-versa). Look at Obama's record, look at his professed policy positions, and then LOOK at his adviser core. they are PURE CENTRISTS.
Why doesn't Obama cop to that, instead of using his great oratorical skill to dupe voters into believing in some mythical "hope" that has long since fossilized in the complex world of American politics.

The only thing that is going to return the American people to a place that they're used to is centrist policy that unlocks the enormous intellectual and cultural diversity in this nation. Pretty speeches are not going to do it any more. My interest in eloquence decreases to the degree that I'm having a hard time putting food on the table. Speeches, inspiration, and "hope" won't save us.

Hard work, good education, a sense that we're cared for (in terms of basic needs), WILL help. That's what Hillary can deliver, because she's been there, and she does care. Heck, she's rich, she doesn't need any more money. She want to help bring America back; give her a chance.
posted by MetaMan at 2:38 PM on April 6, 2008


That's not a disincentive, but I do get satisfaction in knowing that this post cost you a 10-spot.


MetaMan, you are really flailing wildly, in the absence of any substantive argument other than that you're the only grownup in the room and know better than the rest of us benighted, star struck teenagers who are supporting a Muslim terrorist by mistake over the most experienced military leader/working-class hero of our times (incoming sniper fire alert!). There's no arguing with you on substantive grounds.

So, to be clear, it wasn't a ten spot. Your posts in this thread have led me to make a $150 donation to Obama this afternoon. Don't worry, it's not costing me extra or hurting me much. I give weekly anyway (usually $75) and will eventually give the maximum legal amount to my candidate. It's just a matter of when and for what immediate reason. Today, it's you. The Obama campaign sent me the usual thank you note, but I'd be happy to send it on to you if you'd like to have it framed.

Obama is outraising HRC 2 to 1 over the past few months (simply and factually the best and most accurate measure of "electability," in any election, and the best refutation of your arguments because the numbers do not lie) from many times the number of donors HRC has raised $$$ from. She keeps going back to the same old lobbyists and limousine liberal bundlers who are now tapped out, and half of what she is now raising can't even be spent in the primaries or is needed to cover her growing campaign debt. (I suppose that's why her fundraisers are now threatening the party with taking their marbles home, which is just a stunningly childish development.) Of course, she can always spend some more of her own millions. I hear she has a few now. Thanks, Abu Dhabi! I wonder how many other favors she's promising her lobbyist and foreign government friends just to make the scratch to stay in the race.

The bottom line is that if she were anyone other than Bill Clinton's partner (and I mean that word precisely), she'd be long gone like Romney and Giuliani (whom she resembles to me, and I always regretted that she didn't have a chance to face him in the 2000 Senate race, where they could have destroyed each other and avoided having to put us through their shamefully narcissistic - if entertaining -- candidacies this year). This story only hangs on because it's a media wet dream to pretend she still has a chance. It sells ads.

She's toast, and you're arguing rather incoherently for the only truly lost cause here. And your desperate tone makes that clear enough. Rather like your candidate's tone in recent months.

At this point, it's become sport of a sort for the chattering classes. Like watching Custer's last stand on live television with pundit commentary, without all the dead people. (And with Rush Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch supporting Custer.) Or rather, with most of the dead people in Iraq, thanks to your candidate's fearless support for a criminal occupation.

If we get McCain in the end, at this point it will be Hillary's fault no matter who his democratic opponent may be. Obama was not nearly as "unelectable" before Clinton's camp started trying to make him that way with everything from outright racist slurs to warm praise for the opposition. And if that comes to pass, mark my words: this will make HRC as bad as George W. Bush in the minds of many Americans I know, and it will destroy what little is left of her husband's tarnished legacy as well.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:55 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]



Some of that perception is surely my self-selected bias, but much of it is just plain truth.


Ceiling Heston is watching you damn dirty apes and laughing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:10 PM on April 6, 2008


I'm not going to respond to anyone who claims - as cortex does - to take a "meta-position"

except that you just have

I want that convention to unpack and deconstruct the Democratic party, so that we casn, once and for all, see how base even a so-called Progressive Democrat can be. Believe me, Evangelical Christians and Neocons don't have a monopoly on bad behavior.

excuse me? it's your claim that he's "just as slimy" as other politicians, so it's your job to prove it to us - self-satisfied rhetoric isn't enough

where's the dirt?

Compare that to Obama, who, if he gets the nod, will SURELY adopt some of Hillary's positions (and vise-versa). Look at Obama's record, look at his professed policy positions, and then LOOK at his adviser core. they are PURE CENTRISTS.

he seems to be a more flexible centrist, more willing to abandon the failed political battles of the last 20 years to find non-ideological solutions

i'd prefer a more flexible leftist, but that's not what i'm being offered this year

i find it amusing that you think that i and others have been fooled into thinking he's god's gift to liberalism

Why doesn't Obama cop to that, instead of using his great oratorical skill to dupe voters into believing in some mythical "hope" that has long since fossilized in the complex world of American politics.

why don't you cop to the idea that it's just possible that he might be a better president than the last few were? more honest? more principled? more willing to listen? more willing to lead people than follow polls?

My interest in eloquence decreases to the degree that I'm having a hard time putting food on the table.

my belief in eloquence decreases every time you post
posted by pyramid termite at 3:15 PM on April 6, 2008


MetaMan writes "This is why I hope Hillary takes this thing right to the convention floor, because I want the Democrats who are hiding behind the duplicitousness of Obama's message (as eloquent as it is) to be forced out in the open. I want that convention to unpack and deconstruct the Democratic party, so that we casn, once and for all, see how base even a so-called Progressive Democrat can be. Believe me, Evangelical Christians and Neocons don't have a monopoly on bad behavior."

I can't see how that would turn out well for anyone. I don't believe a drawn-out primary process benefits the party, but if it has to happen, it should be about ideas. Of course that is probably fantasy. Still, picking a fight with a segment of voters on your own side on the night of a nomination convention strikes me as a phenomenally bad idea, in a year when the race is basically the Democrats' to lose. It seems that your problem is less to do with Obama and more to do with a certain segment of the Democratic Party. Strategically, it's probably not the best idea to fragment the party in an effort to prove how correct your side is.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:25 PM on April 6, 2008


She's toast, and you're arguing rather incoherently for the only truly lost cause here. And your desperate tone makes that clear enough. Rather like your candidate's tone in recent months.


Yours are exactly the kind of characterizations that make me hope Hillary takes this thing directly to the convention floor.


Strategically, it's probably not the best idea to fragment the party in an effort to prove how correct your side is.

On the contrary, the Democratic party needs to get "washed out". Moderates in the Democratic party, of which I am one - are sick and tired of what has gone on since Bill Clinton's departure.

We may disagree, but I'm convinced that Obama will lose to McCain. I would love to be wrong about that, but I don't think I am. We'll see.

Hillary is showing very strong in polling that compares her to Obama in swing states, but we see NOTHING about that here, or in the press. Why?

I find it amusing that the dominant group here sees my posts as "flailing attempts" and so on. Funny, I have my own ideas and characterizations about their behaviors, as well, but why go there? It just creates a line that a people are unwilling to cross after a time, in terms of letting bygones be bygones.

Someone above spoke to "Morton's Dilemma". I'm very familiar with that cognitive bias - it's one we all engage in, and it's one that operant in ALL the behavior engaged on this thread (mine, included).

Knowing that, I'm comfortable with the fact that we're going to probably keep disagreeing - although I do find it unfortunate that some here have chosen to use personal insult as they carry forward. That's regrettable, but I understand that passion can often trump reason (no easy puns, please).

I expect Hillary to leverage her popularity - she's within the margin of error in popular vote to an outright win of the nomination, OR leverage it for *considerable* concessions from Obama before she releases her delegates, should she decide to bow out.

So,, like it or not, one way or the other, we are all going to be heavily influenced by Hillary Clinton for some time. Get used to that. (incidentally, that's true for Obama, too - but I don't hate Obama the way some here appear to hate Hillary, so if things don't go Hillary's way, my world isn't going to be turned upside down, as it will for *some*, here, who are impassioned to the point of sheer unreason.
posted by MetaMan at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2008


What bugs me about the vitriol I'm seeing (mostly from MegaMan - and in both my experience and the statistics, Clinton supporters seem to be more likely to throw their toys out of the pram than Obama supporters) is that either Obama or Clinton would make a respectable president and be head and shoulders better than either John McCain or George W Bush.

Regardless of which of the two that win, you are fighting for a centre-left candidate who will be the first ever President from their group and will IIRC have two Supreme Court appointments. Both those are something worth fighting for. And while I believe that Obama would make a better president than Clinton (he is running a much more competent campaign to the point he knew how the Texas system worked well enough to snatch a win there on points, whereas Clinton's campaign stated they found it confusing, and he is far less beholden to big donors), I believe that Clinton will do a job that is head and shoulders above that of McCain (who in turn still has more potential than Bush the Lesser ever had - even if he has less potential than he had 8 years ago).

I also believe that someone should stick a fork in Clinton as she's done. Her next firewall (as if she hasn't already tried and failed that strategy once) is Pennsylvania - in which she's anywhere up to 15 points ahead (with one single outlier poll claiming 26 points). The trouble is that on average she's only 7 points ahead in her best remaining state - and she needs to win by a consistent 20 points in every state including Florida and Michigan order to take a pleged delegate lead - and if Obama can get 44% of the remaining delegates (including superdelegates) and he passes the 2025 mark. 10 points to Clinton in any state is a win to Obama at present - and Penn is Clinton's Great Hope™.

At which point there are three questions left in the Democratic primary: Is Clinton going to get 56% of all remaining delegates? (Almost certainly not - she's unlikely to do that even in Pennsylvania). Is Clinton going to win by a back room deal? (I hope not - it would wreck the party and hand the election to McCain on a silver platter). Is the free publicity from the ongoing battle more useful to the Democratic party's chance of winning than stopping two good candidates feuding would be?

And MetaMan, you claim Clinton is going to win this thing. Would you explain how she is going to win please? If you can explain by any method short of holding the Democratic party hostage, I'll withdraw my objections.
posted by Francis at 4:52 PM on April 6, 2008


On the contrary, the Democratic party needs to get "washed out".

in short, you'd like an party of elitists that dictate from the top down, not the bottom up

Moderates in the Democratic party, of which I am one - are sick and tired of what has gone on since Bill Clinton's departure.

and yet, you were just insisting that obama's really a centrist - which means that you shouldn't have a problem with him at all

make up your mind

I expect Hillary to leverage her popularity - she's within the margin of error in popular vote to an outright win of the nomination

there's no "margin of error" here - the votes in many states have been COUNTED and obama has more of them

elections are not polls

OR leverage it for *considerable* concessions from Obama before she releases her delegates, should she decide to bow out.

that's possible - in fact, it's the only way any of this makes sense

So,, like it or not, one way or the other, we are all going to be heavily influenced by Hillary Clinton for some time.

only if she gets to be v p - any other promises can and may be broken

it will for *some*, here, who are impassioned to the point of sheer unreason.

i thought you didn't approve of insults
posted by pyramid termite at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mark Penn just got shown the door.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:39 PM on April 6, 2008


It's funny to see pyramid so sure of herself.

First, claiming that one is unreasoned in argument could be taken as an insult; it was not meant to be.

Obama claims to be anything BUT a centrist; I don't think he's squaring with the American people, in the the hope that he can "sell hope" as the central meme of his campaign. He has the oratorical gifts that enable a strategy like that, and he has used those gifts well, in service of that strategy.

I'm not gong to let myself get taken in with progressive Democratic claptrap any more; I've been disappointed too many times. If Obama gets the nod and makes it all the way, I'll wait to be pleasantly surprised, if he follow through as a real progressive, and accomplishes an truly progressive agenda.

As for "settling' because I know Obama to be not what he says he is (a progressive) and being happy that he's a centrist (which is my place in the spectrum); I'd rather vote for someone who puts her cards on the table, than someone who is trying to snow me by pushing emotional hot buttons that say "hope" and "change".

And, just fun, anyone who thinks that Obama is not an elitist had better think again. We're talking Harvard Law, and Eastern Establishment might here, people. Obama is NOT someone who identifies with the average Jane (clearly evidenced in the polls).

As for Bill Clinton, I'd rather suffer though 4 years (because that's all the time the next president has; we'll see someone new in 2012) of snafus by Bill, than listening to object lessons about how I need to be a better person and how my country needs blah, blah blah from Michelle Obama, who has evidenced herself thus far as a complete political lightweight, and condescending in her appraisal of this great country, it's history, it's struggles, and its future.

Incidentally, to close this off and relate to the tax reform topic that opened this thread, I want to have all those who have been so self-righteous about the Clinton's income to check in with Obama's fiscal viability 8 years after he finishes his Presidency, if he gets that far - a scenario that is still more in question, than not.

IN any case, Obama is going to be a very wealthy fellow in 10 years, no matter what happens. Maybe the person who posted the link to the Clinton's tax returns will do the same for Obama's, assuming there's fair play about those things in MeFi. :)
posted by MetaMan at 5:46 PM on April 6, 2008


Post it yourself and see.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:19 PM on April 6, 2008


How is a "message of hope" mutually exclusive from a "centrist agenda"? "Hope" is the stock in trade of the kinds of leaders that can motivate and excite people to get things done. That can apply to a leftist agenda, a centrist agenda, a right-wing agenda, or even a fascist agenda. But in no way is Obama being duplicitous by couching his message in terms of a hopeful future while also keeping company with centrist advisers.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:21 PM on April 6, 2008


It's funny to see pyramid so sure of herself.

look who's talking - i'm a guy

First, claiming that one is unreasoned in argument could be taken as an insult; it was not meant to be.

that's just being passive aggressive - as is often the case with you

Obama claims to be anything BUT a centrist; I don't think he's squaring with the American people, in the the hope that he can "sell hope" as the central meme of his campaign.

so only leftists can hope for something? - the problem here is that you're talking in such vague terms, without actually quoting him, that what you say doesn't MEAN anything

I'm not gong to let myself get taken in with progressive Democratic claptrap any more

mr clinton was of course a past master at that - a true double talker

I'd rather vote for someone who puts her cards on the table

she plays her cards badly - first, she makes experience an issue in the campaign - thus giving mccain an opening to talk about how HIS experience is a lot more than hers - second, she goes on about having faced sniper fire when she's planning on facing an opponent who spent years in a pow camp - that's such bad judgment it reeks - then she releases her tax returns, revealing that her husband has an interesting relationship with a dubai sheik - and finally loses a senior strategist because he was working for a trade agreement she'd already spoken against - just as she's said so much against NAFTA when her husband was the one who worked on congress so they would pass it in '93 - just as she wants to "send the troops home" when she's the one who voted for the resolution that sent them there - just as she's claimed to be running against the establishment when she's been first lady and a u s senator

now she's trying to undermine her own party by stealing the nomination and dictating to the DEMOCRATIC party - are they going to change their names to the DICTATOCRATS? the SUPERDELACRATS?

yeah, she puts her cards on the table alright - she spills them all over the place and then tries to tell you that the ace that fell out of her sleeve was really a deuce - she's a bad player and a bad liar - she's run her campaign into the ground and now she wants to have a shot at doing the same to her party and her country

And, just fun, anyone who thinks that Obama is not an elitist had better think again. We're talking Harvard Law, and Eastern Establishment might here, people.

and what are the clintons?

As for Bill Clinton, I'd rather suffer though 4 years (because that's all the time the next president has; we'll see someone new in 2012)

because?

the rest of this is pretty irrelevant to '08 - 10 years from now, i might make more money than both of them combined for all i know

(probably not, but ...)
posted by pyramid termite at 6:26 PM on April 6, 2008


And, just fun, anyone who thinks that Obama is not an elitist had better think again. We're talking Harvard Law, and Eastern Establishment might here, people.

Right, because Wellesley College and Yale Law School are clearly institutions of the hoi polloi.

Honestly, MetaMan, out in the real world, just saying and believing things in your own mind doesn't make them so.

I applaud your stamina here, and on the the Obama speech thread the other week, where you repeated these same claims for more than 30 posts. I say claims, rather than arguments, because you do nothing to substantiate your accusations of and digs against Obama, nor provide any examples of Senator Clintons "many" accomplishments. It's basically all subjective. In a word: bullshit.

Worse than this, your rhetorical skills seem limited to logic that altnerates between unwitting oxymorons ("pure centrist") and circular logic, while you cast off flippant little insults at people to get under their skin, and you seem to be happy with the dust-up this creates. If this is not trollish behavior, it's only because you sincerely believe what you are spewing. It seems utterly pointless, and I can only wonder why you do this, but you demonstrate yourself as a person that I don't regard as being particularly worth knowing, so I'll leave it there.

Obama is an intelligent, eloquent politician who, when posed with a tough question, does not rely on soundbites or cheap pandering to make his views known. He considers it very carefully, and then answers the question directly, clearly and in full. After 8 years of mealy-mouthed pandering (and disappointment) from Bill Clinton, and 8 more years of lies, incompetence and self-dealing corruption, Barack Obama has exactly what I want from my President in 2009 and beyond.

Is he a "centrist"? A "progressive"? A "liberal"? He has policy positions that could fall within the spectrum of those classifications, but at this point in American history, those classifications are meaningless and without import.

Hillary is a fine Senator, but she represents the forces of "business as usual". Business as usual, to my mind, is just not working. We are faced with challenging times where we need creative, empathic and measured leadership, NOT government by soundbite, more giveaways to Wall Street and Pfizer and deciding policy through Monday morning polls are just not going to cut it anymore.
posted by psmealey at 6:28 PM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


i might make more money than both of them combined for all i know

(probably not, but ...)


Good call.


your rhetorical skills seem limited to logic that altnerates between unwitting oxymorons ("pure centrist") and circular logic, while you cast off flippant little insults at people to get under their skin, and you seem to be happy with the dust-up this creates.

You really do need to brush up on inferential thinking; there's a lack there, as well as making assumptions about threads (like the last long one on Obama) that you've not even read. If there's any BS going on here, it's by those - like you - who make negative claims about information that *other people* establish, and call it BS, instead of just seeing it as "different" than what you believe, or know.

As for "business as usual", if you don't think Obama is business as usual, I'll wait for him to develop some history back in the Senate after his loss - one way or the other.
posted by MetaMan at 7:13 PM on April 6, 2008


But the fact that they only gave to the Clinton Foundation? Not exactly selfless.

The fact that they started their own charity is a point against them now? What the hell?

And obviously you don't give away all the money that you put into a charity - you need an endowment and a budget to run the thing. I mean, I haven't looked into the details on this, and maybe someone could make a case that it's a poorly run institution or what have you, but on its face that is a perfectly legitimate way to give a consistent percentage of your income to causes you are personally most concerned about.

I'm seriously depressed by the possibility that McCain will win in the fall because the democrats are just going to tear each other apart to the point where whoever gets the nomination will have such an anti-campaign going against them that all the republicans will have to do is show up, looking sort of civilized and reasonable, and basically tell the squabbling kids to get out of the way. I'd have been fine with either Hillary or Barack, but I'm pretty pissed at a lot of their supporters.
posted by mdn at 8:21 PM on April 6, 2008


MetaFilter: in a word: bullshit.

It is seriously amusing to watch MetaMan self destruct again. His twisted, incoherent arguments, tinged with rage, make the case against Hillary better than anyone else could.

Across the net, this is the way it's going online. As Clinton spirals down to certain defeat -- even if it's "all the way to the convention floor," MetaMan, it's still just as over -- the rage from her acolytes is poisoning every well.

We'll probably be seeing a lot more of Mark Penn MetaMan now that he has been fired from her campaign.

As for the equal opportunity pox-on-both-your-houses opiners, please tell me where you see equivalence here? As in the campaign, so on this thread: there is a rather striking difference between the very worst ad hominem comments addressed to the candidate Hillary Clinton or to MetaMan *specifically* -- infuriating people will bring that out when they refuse to engage in anything but passive/aggressive attacks -- and MetaMan's trashing not only of Obama as such, but of *all* Obama supporters as degenerate, delusional children who don't know what's best for them.

Polling indeed shows HRC supporters are more likely to say they will vote for McCain or no one over voting for Obama (by almost double). What a way to try to win, as HRC and some of her supporters already have, by threatening your own side with destruction. Lovely.

The best answer to MetaMan and his ilk is coming soon. Obama will be the democratic nominee. There's virtually no way iit goes any other way now. So we'll see if the threats are just words, or if the spoilers mean what they say. It will be good to know, too, whether the Clintons were actually progressives or always putting us on.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:59 AM on April 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I just have to add my chuckle at the suggestion that HRC is less "eastern establishment" than Obama. Right. The black guy who grew up poor with a single mother -- partly in the third world -- and worked as a community organizer in Chicago is the eastern establishment candidate because he worked his way up to Harvard Law and a real shot at the presidency.

The white lady who grew up well off, went to Wellesley and Yale, served on the board of Wal-Mart, as the first lady (and I do consider that service, just not experience, and respect her for it), and now lives in a mansion in Chappaqua with servants and a hundred million in the bank while serving as the senator from New York is a blue-collar mama, a true woman of the people who feels your pain.

That was last week's identity. Stay with the program. Now that Mark Penn is gone, the message will shift one more time (watch, it's visionary Hillary, with soaring rhetoric and a human touch) before it's all over next month, or by June at the latest.

You can spin anything for a while. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time. But you can't change your stripes every month and not be thought a hypocrite or an opportunist or both.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:14 AM on April 7, 2008


As for the equal opportunity pox-on-both-your-houses opiners, please tell me where you see equivalence here?

I don't really want to keep hammering on it—my previous comment was an early-morning expression of pure frustration that has a lot more history behind it than the last few political threads we've had, and I don't know that it was anything other that futile to try and make the argument—but, look:

You, fourcheesemac, for one. You and MetaMan have been like a matched pair on this thing: while he's clearly got the posting-in-volume thing in the bag (which I guess might feel like an accomplishment if you don't care fuckall about metafilter other than as a platform for your own political argumentation), you've both been going at this in this rhetorically demoralizing "I am right, you are wrong, and here's a condescending load of contempt to prove it."

It's shitty. It's like you both (and other folks arguing in the same vein) are under this delusion that as long you really, really think you're right, you can't possibly be acting in bad faith. And so we get gigantic grudgematch things where otherwise good arguments or thoughts from both sides get smeared with all this unnecessary gamesmanship crap that's just embarrassing and frustrating to behold.

fourcheesemac I know from his posting history as a smart, friendly, intelligent poster. So I see him get ugly in these threads and on the one hand I know it's not the whole of who he is, so, okay, gets bent out of shape and turns into kind of a jerk when arguing with MetaMan. And I gather he doesn't see it that way, which, you know, again with the sense of futility in making this comment; but as long as you're asking, that's it right there.

MetaMan I don't know, because these threads pretty much are his posting history. I presume he's a good guy, because most people are, and I don't begrudge him having strong beliefs about politics and about the upcoming election, but he's functionally a new kid on the block on Mefi and so far he's coming off as a guy who likes to have longwinded jerkish arguments. That's not something Mefi really needs a hell of a lot more of, and it's dismaying to see him likewise so self-centeredly dedicated to that kind of thing.

State your views, folks. Bring in interesting links. Explain why you disagree with others, civilly and without all the paralepsis and bullshit rhetoric and Mark My Words! and You'll Understand When You're Older! crap, and this could be a discussion that anybody but the have dozen people flinging shit around in it might ever want to read. As it is, these things become conversational ghettos and fast, and every memory of someone telling us in Metatalk that political threads around here are valuable and good and worth keeping around comes flooding back with this aura of, "really? This is what you had in mind?"
posted by cortex at 7:16 AM on April 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


Frankly, MeFi would be better of not letting political posts in during a campaign season. Yes, my posts have been long; it's a personal style - and, more a reaction to vile putdowns and maximum bias against Hillary here, than anything else. I reject cortex' claim that they're self-centered. Not at all; they're impassioned defenses of what I see as the truth.

In the spirit of elevating the conversation, Hiwch looks like it's over, anyway take a look at this bit about political belief, based on some fairly decent cognitive science research.

In all, it's been intense, and educational. I've learned a few things, and hope that others have, as well.
posted by MetaMan at 9:00 AM on April 7, 2008


cortex, I'm genuinely sorry for offending your sensibilities. I think the world of you (and the other mods) and the work you do.

I called myself out for the way I lost it with MetaMan in the earlier thread, and apologized sincerely for it in the MetaTalk thread that generated.

But I haven't lost it in this one. I've been -- in my view -- no more than normally snarky and I've watched my hyperbole meter carefully. So I don't think the equivalence is there. Some of the things I said were things I felt needed to be said, and I still do. But I was trying not to be quite such an ass as I was in the earlier thread, for what it's worth.

There is a world at stake in this election. People are passionate because we're scared shitless of another right wing victory for war and devastation. I even grant MetaMan the sincerity, but not the correctness, of his views. I do not think, however, that I have characterized HRC's *supporters* in this thread in blanket negative terms, only one supporter and his preferred candidate. I will review what I wrote and try to see where I gave offense.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:56 PM on April 7, 2008


Convince a superdelegate.
posted by peacay at 7:03 PM on April 7, 2008


Frankly, MeFi would be better of not letting political posts in during a campaign season.

From my point of view, the USA is always in campaign season. There may be a very brief respite after a Federal election, but there's always a Federal or State, House or Senate election just around the corner, and the party leadership campaigns for same preceding it. The media is simply obsessed with campaigns, and so we never get a moment's peace.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2008


Late to the party here...

All we have to go on with respect to each's ability as a leader/administrator is how each has run his/her campaign, it looks very much like Obama is ready for the Presidency, and Clinton is ready for the Senate.

With all due respect to MetaMan, who has unshakeable conviction, if an inability to be persuasive, I would vote for either and in the long view of history, this contest has not been nasty at all, let alone "vile". If you really want to talk vile, then perhaps it would interest you to know that Senator McCain gathered a mixed-race baby with an unmarried black woman. Seriously, "vile"? Nothing in this race has come close to that. The Wright thing was fair, if overplayed. But Obama addressed it head on. End of discussion. The Rezco thing? The Clintons should know better than to criticize anyone for sweetheart real estate deals.

The Bosnia sniper tale was not a huge deal by itself, but that's nothing we haven't seen before with her. Remember Hillary's 911 story? That she was frantic about Chelsea because she hadn't heard from her and that she lived in TriBeCa, less than a mile away from the WTC. Turns out that CC was out of town and she and mom had been in touch several times throughout the day. Hill was just trying to buy herself a little 911 cred. Still, you have to question her judgment in both cases, does she think she won't be fact-checked.

On Obama's side, there was the "monster" kerfuffle. Obama fired her immediately. I'm not aware of any other "vileness"

For all of Metaman's pompous prattling on about "historical perspective", I suspect he is either in his late 20s or early 30s and that he was a kid or very young adult when Clinton was president. I don't know anyone among my peer group that doesn't view those years as a frustrating collection of wasted potential, missed opportunities, competent governance, but ultimately no vision or courage. Yes, times were good but the president hardly ever should take too much blame or credit for the economy (inlet he starts a needless and expensive war).
posted by Flem Snopes at 8:16 AM on April 8, 2008


At the end of the day... I can't trust the message of any supporter who accuses the supporters of the candidate for being "vile" or slimy, while at the same time, accuses the other candidate of "talking out of both sides of his mouth", "duplicity" or in other words, lying... or in still other words, doing exactly what Hillary Clinton has done for most of her public life.

What I find so irritating about MetaMan, is that he seems completely unaware of his own logical inconsistencies and hypocrisy in his zeal to tear down Obama and Obama's supporters. Such a thing strikes me as juvenile and self-serving. If you accuse the candidate you don't support of engaging in exactly the same behavior that the you candidate you do support is famous for (known as "projecting" in pop psychological circles), then it's unreasonable to pretend to be offended when you get called on it.

Obama is clearly a skilled politician, and while I don't lionize him, I don't see much evidence of any dishonesty or duplicitousness in him (just yet). As for Mrs. Clinton, the same cannot be said. Her record speaks pretty loudly of someone that only speaks with conviction only after all the polling data is in. Not that that's unforgiveable, I just think that the integrity balance tips to Obama. But it could just be that he hasn't had as many years to step in it as Clinton has.

All of which is moot, btw. This whole thing is academic in a few weeks.
posted by Flem Snopes at 8:29 AM on April 8, 2008


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