GOP Ideas Revisited: Context

Speaking for me only.

As I have seen the context of Barack Obama's infamous remarks regarding the GOP being the party of ideas, I believe I was unfair to both Barack Obama and TPM. While I do believe Barack Obama does too much unity schtick and is entirely too easy on Republicans and their ideas, the context of his remarks makes his statement much more defensible than I originally thought.

Below the fold is the relevant portions of the text:

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that, for example, the 1980 election was different. I mean, I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not, and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path, because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like, you know, with all the excesses of the '60s and the '70s, you know government had grown and grown, but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating, and I think people just tapped into - he tapped into what people were already feeling, which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism, and, and, you know, entrepreneurship that had been missing.I think Kennedy, 20 years earlier, moved the country in a fundamentally different direction. So I think a lot of it just has to do with the times. I think we're in one of those times right now, where people feels like things as they are going right now aren't working, that we're bogged down in the same arguments that we've been having, and they're not useful.

And the Republican approach, I think, has played itself out. I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now, you've heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they're being debated among the presidential candidates, it's all tax cuts. Well, we know, we've done that; we've tried it. That's not really going to solve our energy problems, for example.

So some of its the times and some of it I do think, there is a, there's maybe a generational element to this partly in the sense that I didn't come of age the battles of the sixties. I'm not as invested in them. And so I think I talk differently about issues and I think I talk differently about values. And that's why I think we've been resonating with the American people. And by the way, when I say this sometimes it's interpreted as I don't think that anybody who is a baby boomer should be president. That's not what I'm saying. But what I'm saying is that I think the average baby boomer has moved beyond a lot of the arguments of the sixties, but our politicians haven't, we're still having the same arguments. It's all around culture wars and it's all you know even when you discuss war you know the frame of reference is all Viet Nam. Well that's not my frame of reference. My frame of reference is what works. And even when I first apposed the war in Iraq my first line was "I don't oppose all wars." You know specifically to make clear this is not just a anti-military you know seventies love in kind of approach. It was rather that I thought strategically it was a mistake for us to go in.

Now this is STILL a terrible answer and Obama SHOULD catch a lot a flak for it. BUT, he certainly expressed some critique of Republican ideas. It was weak criticism and somewhat endorsing of the efficacy of those ideas PRIOR to the current time, but it was criticism.

My apologies to Barack Obama, his supporters and TPM.

< Damning with Faint Praise | Unhelpful Remarks From Obama Supporter >
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    Apology accepted. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by georgeg1011 on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:09:05 PM EST

    It is good to see that after reviewing the text of Obama's statement and putting it in it's proper context, your opinion has changed. thanks for taking the time to put up Obama's comments in their entirety.  I also agree that it was probably not the wisest comment.  However I am glad to see that people on our side of the aisle will are open to reason.  Hopefully the campaign can continue and there can be meaningful substantive debate on policy issues.  Hopefully we will continue to be the party of tolerance, discussion and reasoned debate. thanks again.

    Thank you (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:24:47 PM EST
    do you really mean this? (none / 0) (#65)
    by diplomatic on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 08:56:41 PM EST
    or is this an olive branch to get along with your fellow blog brethren?  I really don't think Obama deserves any apology on this.

    He brought up Reagan and in the same sentence managed to link Nixon and Clinton together while putting them down.

    This makes you seem like you care about being fair of course, but sometimes I think we go too far in trying to prove that.


    I made a factual error (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:14:27 PM EST
    Of course I mean it.

    allright (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by diplomatic on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:41:16 PM EST
    Factual error, I accept that.  But Obama made the political error.

    This is a credit to you. (none / 0) (#72)
    by fullcircle on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:59:38 PM EST
    I have read this site for a whopping 2 days and I had already picked up that you are not exactly a huge Obama fan, but it is good to see that you are not so set in your opinion you can't see when you may have jumped the gun a little.

    One of the great failures of political discourse these days is the frequency with which people quickly people become entrenched in a poorly thought out or poorly supported position.

    I think in several cases Bill Clinton shined his brightest by taking ideas that Republicans had talked about for years and actually doing something with them, albeit in a much more balanced way than the Republicans would have done things if they had ever gotten off their duffs (welfare reform is a good example).

    I think Obama is drawn toward the administrations of Kennedy and Reagan because, should he win the election, his presidency would be based on the same usage of presidential power. Obama would influence with speeches and stories, he would make America feel the things that he needs them to feel.Hillary would be more of an LBJ, pushing and pulling initiatives through congress. Crafting policy and law to fit her goals.

    I understand why you think Obama's answer is terrible, and from a substantive view you are probably right, but in a way I think he has no choice. Kennedy and Reagan both spent little time publicly criticizing opponents, their style required a positivism that precluded that sort of thing. I think that is the key to Obama's current run, he can't talk about negatives, he can't roll in the political mud. Every time Obama has gotten off of his rainbow and flowers "politics of change" track, either to defend himself or to criticize an opponent, his momentum has slipped.


    If you can locate it, you'll be surprised (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:05:02 PM EST
    bya video BTD posted a few weeks ago of JFK going off on the Republicans.  

    jfk was a partisan campaigner. (none / 0) (#77)
    by hellothere on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 11:16:51 PM EST
    bobby was his tough side and did the heavy lifting. nothing nonpartisan about our dear jack.

    Well... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by OrangeFur on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:14:52 PM EST
    As you say, it's still a terrible answer.

    No, he doesn't say straight out that the Republican ideas were the better ideas, but he doesn't say that they were wrong either. The most he can bring himself to say is that they're played out, and for example, won't do much about energy.

    Does he say they created a huge deficit? No.

    Does he say they led to a big increase in economic inequality? No.

    Does he say they were unfairly tilted toward the rich? No.

    Does he say the money should have been used for other things? No.

    Does he actually criticize any of the ideas at all? No.

    If the Republicans were the party of ideas, doesn't that imply the Democrats didn't have any ideas? Of course. And coming right on the heels of what he said about Ronald Reagan, is it wrong to infer that he was saying that in an approving way? No.

    Also, what arguments about the 60's are we supposed to be moving beyond now?

    After a week of pounding on him (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:18:23 PM EST
    you now give him this half-as*ed apology.

    Would you and other Obama-bashers had done half as much a week ago (like, maybe, starting from the transcript so everyone would have had what he said in front of them*), we'd all have saved a lot of bile, and not given the Repugs a lot of entertainment.

    Let's all step back.  There are three things going on here.
    1.  Obama gave a nuanced, careful answer to a broad question.
    I guess we don't do nuance any more.

    2.  What Obama said didn't condemn Reagan as the Antichrist and, to some eyes, that was essential to prove Democratic bona fides.
    [To digress:  I remember watching Ronnie's first inaugural on TV, between my lunch and afternoon classes, where Nancy was wearing screaming red, and a classmate remarking she was dressed as something bad out of Revelation.  Then, when Ronnie announced the hostages being freed, we both started riffing on 444 days of hostages' captivity being 2/3 (.666) of 666, so that simply confirmed Ronnie was the Antichrist squared.  About as silly and as sensible as some of the discussion has been around here, if you ask me.]

    3.  Because of 1. and 2. above, Obama must be condemned and no explanation or fact-checking will stop that imperative.

    One might think this were a Republican site, or FauxNoise, circa 2002, and Obama someone questioning the propriety of just nuking Baghdad and the rest of Iraq so as to make sure the WMDs and Sadaam wouldn't get away.  The frenzy was that bad, that silly, and that wrong.  The discussions have made the lockstep personal-loyalty-oath praxis of the Bushies taking on Democrats look positively like a discussion at high tea in some English manor house costume drama.

    Would that half the energy expended in building up or knocking down HRC or Obama had been spent on beating Harry Reid and the capitulating Senate Democrats over the head re the Telco/Bush Amensty.  We might actually stand a chance of winning that fight again if it had been so directed.

    Which might have been the objective of the exercise, after all.  Get the blogosphere diverted, engaged, preoccupied and consumed in some meaningless, tendentious, furball frenzy of a fight and all the while, continue gutting the Constitution.

    And, BTD - you bear no small share of the blame for that.  Every time it started to die down, you stirred it up.

    Thanks, pal.

    * Chirst, you're a lawyer, and you know all the deficiencies of hearsay "evidence" and why there is a Best Evidence Rule.  And you waited until now to put the text up.

    I did not have access to it (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:21:34 PM EST
    Did you?

    BTW, the apology is half a**ed because?


    The video was up a week ago (none / 0) (#15)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:32:22 PM EST
    and I watched it then and commented on it then.  I even got a 5.0/3 rating for that comment.  If you wanted to lead a discussion on that Q&A, you could have transcribed it.  I do it all the time when I put up clips from German radio news.  And, I'm sure there are and were any number of transcriptions of the whole Q&A available - it's not like it was something obscure.

    And, while I stand by my rejoinders in that comment directed to Obama that (a) he needed to take the lead by actually leading (rather than talking about it) and that (b) he was to the right of Nixon in his policies and proposals (and, I imply, a good Dem would be to Nixon's left) a couple things need also be noted about my rejoinders.

    1.  All the Democratic candidates (with the clear exception of Kucinich and the possible exceptions of Dodd and Edwards on some issues) are to the right of Nixon.  So, my rejoinder is more aspirational than anything else - trying to shove the discussion.
    2.  None of the presidential candidates (with the exception of Dodd on new FISA and Kucinich on impeachment) have really undertaken to actually lead, rather than talk about it.

    So, IMHO, you got the word from HRC HQ that it was time to move on from this topic, and you dutifully, unquestioningly comply.

    There were none I could find (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:36:23 PM EST
    No "what" that you couldn't find? (none / 0) (#24)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:40:51 PM EST
    The video was linked through this site!

    You put the post and the YouTube up on the site.

    I'm not going to say you're trying to insult my intelligence, but you're acting like Rumsfeld did when confronted with the hillbilly MPs he assigned to Abu Ghraib torturing prisoners there.  In so many words:  "I had nothing to do with it.  I'm just as surprised and shocked as you are."  


    Not the entire context (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:57:38 PM EST
    Not on the GOP ideas part for sure.

    Not the full GOP ideas part (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:58:24 PM EST
    Heck, people could not find me a transcript easily today.

    Who needs it, when (none / 0) (#44)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:04:23 PM EST
    (a) you could have done it yourself and
    (b) you have no need to further poke this issue, now that NPR is running with it as their lead.  You get to move on to an alleged Obama supporter allegedly comparing Slick Willie to Lee Atwater.

    Are you trolling for a job in the HRC admin?  'Cause that's what your fealty looks like.


    come on scribe (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by along on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:11:43 PM EST
    there is no fealty on Big Tent's part except to the truth.

    You know what? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:09:28 PM EST
    Now you are just being a jerk.

    I am done with you.



    The apology is half-as*ed because (none / 0) (#19)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:37:19 PM EST
    in the last two paragraphs (below the blockquote) you first say "he's still wrong, and should get a lot of flak for it", then say "I'm sorry he got flak."

    That's not an apology.  That's an apologia*.

    *In short, "I was right, but you've beaten me into submission, so I'll say I'm sorry and hope you go away."


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:56:51 PM EST
    But that is wrong.

    My crique was factually wrong IN THAT Obama DID have some mild criticism of the GOP ideas.
    But the thrust of the problem is still there.

    It is true that my critique is quite tarnished by my mistake, but it still holds validity.


    BTD doesn't need my help here (none / 0) (#35)
    by Klio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:55:57 PM EST
    but you're just plain wrong.  Frankly it's a very gracious apology, goes well beyond what might perhaps be merited, and is really a decent, stand up thing.

    Oh, and apologia doesn't mean what you think it means.


    Ack! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:21:30 PM EST
    Every time I read the full comments, I am struck anew by how shallow and MSM parroting his comments are.  Not to mention the generational arrogance that comes through (which is weird given that he is a baby boomer, just a late one).  

    Honestly, I like him more when the quotes are reduced to the Reagan crap.  He sounds more conservative, which I don't like, but at least he doesn't sound so fricking shallow and arrogant.

    And, yes, that third paragraph is the most insulting of them all.  Culture wars?  Isn't that rightwing speak for little, unimportant things like affirmative action and abortion rights?  And weren't the arguments of the 1960s about economic justice, civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights?  I mean, I'm glad that Obama thinks we've moved beyond those, but honestly what world is he living in?

    And if you want to know why he isn't getting older voters, I'd say that this interview is a pretty good indication of why he isn't connecting.  He seems to think because he's younger, that he's somehow untainted by the past or above it or something.


    I will give Obama this.  I never thought I'd be defending baby boomers. That Barack Obama, a baby boomer, has has got me doing that is, I guess, a victory of sorts.  Hey, maybe he is a unifier.

    Well gee, remind me to never (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:46:01 PM EST
    apologize to you guys. Not very gracious to BTD. Obama left himself open for this and paid a price. I do agree it's time to let it go though.

    As far as I'm concerned, this (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:56:25 PM EST
    is no longer about Obama - rather, it's about BTD.

    He stirred up a week - with probably 1000 comments - worth of debate over Obama's comments.  Then he came in with an apologia and, at the same time, was moving on to another attack on Obama and hiding from having to respond to having bullsh*t called on himself for his own handling the issues.

    He's been unstinting in both his adulation for HRC and criticism of Obama, and I'm doubting BTD's own bona fides as a result.


    Thast's your perogative (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:59:59 PM EST
    I have no further comment on this.

    Not All of Us (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:11:07 PM EST
    Relied on BTD's summary of Obama's comments.  I read Obama's comments in the full context at the time and I still think BTD is right on the merits. Obama did mildly rebuke Republican ideas, but the entire passage is still insulting to the Democratic party of the last 30 years.  In fact, I think that's one of the reasons that Clinton has been able to use her quote about Republican ideas - she knows that, contrary to what she might be suggesting, there is some denunciation of Republican ideas, but she also knows even in cotext his comments are likely to turn off liberal voters, at least those of us over 35.

    I think Digby put it best when she tried to explain how Obama's comments sound to older Democrats.  She came up with this analogy, imagine George W. Bush said this in 2000:

    We're still having the same arguments. It's all around regulations and smaller government and it's all ... even when you discuss traditional values the frame of reference is all around abortion. Well, that's not my frame of reference. My frame of reference is "what works." When I first came out against abortion, my first line was I don't oppose all abortions, specifically, to make clear that this is not a theocratic, you know, snake-handling prayer vigil kind of approach.

    I think Lyndon Johnson changed the trajectory of the country in a way that JFK did not and Nixon did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of racism and anti-communism and government refusing to raise taxes to care for the poor and the elderly, I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was, we want a return to that sense of community and compassion that had been missing.

    Now, admittedly this does not have Bush saying that Democratic ideas had run their course and didn't work as Obama says in the extended quote.  But even if it did, do you honestly think that would've saved him in the Republican primary?

    I don't because Republicans don't malign their past, they embrace it.  Even though Goldwater got crushed, they still embraced him and his ideas.  Ronald Reagan talked him up, not down.

    Obama's comments are an insult to an entire generation (maybe two) of democratic activists and politicians.  Barney Frank is right to take offense, Obama is dismissive of the battles he fought or why he might still think he needs to fight them.  

    At some point, Obama is going to have to decide whether he wants to be a political leader or not.  Political leaders do not float above all the nasty partisanship.  They are in the fight.  If Obama wants to be president, that's what he needs to do.  Join the fight, instead of acting like the fight is beneath him.


    Well then, please explain this: (none / 0) (#49)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:18:04 PM EST
    Hillary Clinton (in Tom Brokaw's book "Boom! Voices of the Sixties"):
    When he had those big tax cuts and they went too far, he oversaw the largest tax increase. He could call the Soviet Union the Evil Empire and then negotiate arms-control agreements. He played the balance and the music beautifully.

    Is that not praise? (none / 0) (#50)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:18:43 PM EST
    On the same level of the "Obama praise."

    You Miss My Point (none / 0) (#57)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:38:21 PM EST
    It's not just the praise of Reagan, it's the dismissive way he talks about progressive battles of the 1960s and 1990s.  As I said, I like him more when I only read the quote with the Reagan praise.  In context it's worse because he not only appears to praise Republicans, he dismisses Democratic battles that, frankly, are the reason he - and Hillary Clinton - are even in contention for the presidency.

    His entire discussion is insulting.  That's why Clinton has been able to get away with playing games with his 'Republican ideas' quote.  She knows that however upset I might be that she's taken it out of context, I'm likely to be more upset by what Obama said.  In other words, she might be wrong on WHY what Obama said was objectionable, but she isn't wrong that it IS objectionable.  


    welcome to (none / 0) (#40)
    by athyrio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:59:54 PM EST
    the circular firing squad that is the democratic party....if this keeps up, McCain will indeed win the election....one look at history tells us that....

    good grief, scribe... you accused him (none / 0) (#51)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:18:45 PM EST
    of trolling for job in the Clinton admin. He apologized for a small part of what was wrong with his earlier belief in what Obama had said. The rest of what he (Obama) said speaks for itself and doesn't sound too good to me. But we're not accusing of Obama of being a Republican. We just want him to be more proud of what the Democratic party stands for.

    I'm probably going to vote for Clinton, but BTD's posts (not on this subject) have made me feel better about Obama if he wins. It hasn't all been bad. BTD is the most objective blogger we have left and I think you should just accept his apology and forget it.


    I agree and (none / 0) (#53)
    by athyrio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:24:07 PM EST
    think that you owe BTD an apology as well

    I agree and (none / 0) (#54)
    by athyrio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:24:24 PM EST
    think that you owe BTD an apology as well

    GIVE IT A REST! (none / 0) (#61)
    by hellothere on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 07:46:30 PM EST
    you are doing your candidate no good with your extremely self righteous taking on and on and on.

    Scribe give it a break!!! (none / 0) (#66)
    by ConcordiaDem on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:07:49 PM EST
    Gosh, scribe this is a joke... the man apologized give him a break...

    and further furthermore ... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Klio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:50:09 PM EST
    [sorry for ranting, but I am worked up into a lather about this]

    Obama's chronology is such slap at WJClinton -- by periodizing the era of flourishing Repub. ideas as concurrent with his administration.  Originally, I thought it was just a slip of the tongue, but apparently Obama is much more explicit in making this dig in Audacity of Hope.    {per Bob Somerby who's read it; I have not}  

    Amazing how the salience of those ideas is suddenly at an end now that Obama's on the scene.  

    And finally:  it does frost me when Obama says he's just not "invested" in the battles of the civil rights era, "the sixties," in the same way as the old fogies.  Aaargh!

    Not that I'm an old fogie, mind you :-)

    Classy (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Eva on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:27:44 PM EST
    Thanks, BTD.

    Subject closed? (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:04:04 PM EST

    For me yes (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:06:42 PM EST
    I felt fairness and honesty demanded I write this in a spearate post.

    Too Kind (none / 0) (#12)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:27:20 PM EST
    I think you're being too kind to Obama, as I explain below his comments are worse, IMO, in context.  Maybe a tad bit less Reagan loving, but wholely dismissive of progressive battles of the past and those who fought them.  

    I do, however, appreciate your trying to be fair.  It's why this site is one of the ones I still frequent.  I can't even stand some of the posts that I ostensibly agree with at other sites.

    I honestly cannot wait for this primary to be over.


    I was unfair (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:30:49 PM EST
    on the GOP ideas part.

    HE clearly DOES express some rejection of those ideas.


    Some Rejection (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:47:19 PM EST
    I agree he expresses some rejection, but it's awfully mild and you sure do have to look for it. But, yes, it's there.

    But whatever good it does is, IMO, immediately undone by all the crap that follows.  I disliked him more when I read the full remarks last week.  Honestly, I'd feel better about him if all he'd said was Reagan was a transformational president and the Republicans have been the party of ideas.  It would be wrong and a stupid thing to say in a primary, but not nearly as disturbing as his recitation of the last 40 years of political history as if he learned it from a Joe Klein column.  


    well done (none / 0) (#69)
    by Judith on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:22:04 PM EST
    a winner can admit to making mistakes because s/he knows it does not define him or her.  

    You were only partly wrong anyway.


    Class act. (none / 0) (#78)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 12:22:20 AM EST
    The third paragraph has always (none / 0) (#3)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:09:04 PM EST
    bothered me worse than the other. He didn't come of age in the 60's so he isn't as invested in them. Well neither did I (I was just very young then) but I sure can appreciate and be thankful for those who fought for what we did achieve or at least tried to achieve in those years.

    I also think we compare this war to Vietnam for a reason. You don't see anyone comparing it to WWII. Of course it is our frame of reference.

    Great point. (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:39:50 PM EST
    My 83 y/o WWII Naval Officer Dad compares Iraq to WWII all the time, and not in ways that would be well received on this site.

    How so? I've never met anyone who (none / 0) (#29)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:48:57 PM EST
    was involved in WWII but I would love to have had that opportunity. I never knew my grandfathers and they were both part of it.

    He compares those saying (none / 0) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:01:18 PM EST
    "Bring the boys home" today in a very unfavorable light to those who were saying the same exact thing during WWII - and saying it long before we succeeded in that war.

    Well sorry, suo, my nephew is over (none / 0) (#52)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:23:21 PM EST
    there on his third tour. I want him home. Like he says, we don't have an enemy in a uniform over there. He doesn't know who he is fighting. And he's a Republican.

    I didn't realize people said that about WWII though. That surprises me a lot.


    It surprised me as well, I had no idea.

    Do you get to turn back the clock and (none / 0) (#7)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:18:29 PM EST
    undo the damage?  You launched a full frontal assault on Obama, based on shady evidence. I was wrong only works if you don't do it again in the future.

    You did spend days telling me how wrong and naive I was, though.  Turns out I wasn't.

    I do not know what you would have me do? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:20:39 PM EST
    This is an apology and a publishing of the full text.

    I can not go back in time and rewrite my posts.


    You could have gone to the video, (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:33:38 PM EST
    transcribed it, and posted the transcript.


    Best Evidence Rule.


    Um (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:35:42 PM EST
    Would you have me do that for all things I write about?

    Not at all (none / 0) (#25)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:41:37 PM EST
    In this instance it appeared to me that the accusations were entirely unfounded.  I repeatedly make that claim and was repeatedly mocked on this site for doing so.  Or just scorned.  Whatever.  Everyone was right and a small number of us were wrong.

    Now it turns out the opposite is true.  I think you need to re-evaluate how your bias is effecting your writing.  You have wanted to prove this particular point about Obama for a while now.  And, while I find it a legitimate argument to make, you only do damage to yourself and this site by seeking it, rather than discovering it.


    I certainly regret (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:55:16 PM EST
    But you are now going too far. The EXACT opposite?

    So there was a strenuous denunciation by Obama?

    See, you hurt YOUR argument now.


    I didn't use the term "Exact" (none / 0) (#45)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:05:41 PM EST
    Opposite was the wrong term.  Should have used "opposing" view.  The opposing view was correct.

    Only when you (none / 0) (#26)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:42:28 PM EST
    But it did not contain the full context (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:54:00 PM EST
    Responsible journalism? (none / 0) (#20)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:38:11 PM EST
    That would be a start.

    I consider publishing a correction (none / 0) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:53:08 PM EST

    Certainly I regret the error. But I can not undo the error. I can only correct it.


    Yeah, I get it (none / 0) (#43)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:02:44 PM EST
    I've had to do the same.  You just have to be more careful with these sorts of accusations in the future.  I find most of your posts to be well thought out.  But when we make mistakes as writers, we cannot just apologize, but have to do a little internal searching to understand why we took the action we did.

    obama is the one who will (none / 0) (#73)
    by hellothere on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 10:15:28 PM EST
    win or lose this race. the second thing that could cost him the race are over zealous followers who turn everyone off to him.

    This is very decent of you (none / 0) (#13)
    by Klio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:27:54 PM EST
    but you weren't as wrong as you make yourself out to be, imo.

    If you have the time, you might read what Joan Walsh at Salon had to say.

    Klio (none / 0) (#22)
    by athyrio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:39:17 PM EST
    You are right, that Walsh article in Salon is a great read....Thanks....

    Salon/Walsh article (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Kathy on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:53:01 PM EST
    Wow, no kidding.  Got me all worked up again and I stand by my earlier words.  I freely admit bias toward Hillary, but especially that comment Walsh made about gay rights in the context of Reagan, whose hands-I feel-are bloodied with many good people who died in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic, got me good and mad.

    On a personal note, I think it is highly magnanimous for Mr BTD to apologize and incredibly ungracious that some are not not taking it at face value.  You do not see many personal apologies on TPM or DailyKos or even HuffPo, which is why I no longer peruse some of those sites.


    and furthermore ... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Klio on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 05:38:39 PM EST
    despite what Obama says in the text quoted above, Richard Nixon did change the "trajectory" of America in ways -- dreadful, hurtful ways -- we still have not managed to work ourselves free from.  Without denying the sunniness of Reagan's rhetoric, at bottom he built his majority on the deep-seated and unspoken stew of racial animus fomented by Nixon's Southern Strategy.  

    I can't find the transcript. I do remember (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 06:49:05 PM EST
    reading a summary of the interview on line, followed by what I thought was the complete transcript.  Where is that "hit" now?  No idea.  I've checked MyDD, Digby, and Newsday and googled obama reno transcript interview.

    Peter Daou at DK: (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 07:14:45 PM EST
    And the Obama posters come out to (none / 0) (#62)
    by Teresa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 08:35:56 PM EST
    troll rate him. I certainly hope they lose their ratings ability.

    Highly unlikely. No one is watching the store. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 08:41:12 PM EST
    Yep (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:12:20 PM EST
    DK also has a "nothing to see here" (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 08:42:49 PM EST
    diary going on about Rezko/Obama relationship.  This is as pervasive as the madrassa rumor.

    Hey, (none / 0) (#60)
    by DA in LA on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 07:18:51 PM EST
    I'm just glad we're arguing about whether or not Obama praised Reagan, instead of the issues.

    Seems it can only benefit us.

    You Want to Know Why (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by BDB on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 09:57:10 PM EST
    We're still arguing about this?

    Because Obama sucks at defense.

    Here he is this morning trying to explain his apparent change on single payer.  I'm honestly shocked that he didn't have an answer to this.  This couldn't have possibly been a surprise.  And, no, I don't buy he had no idea what Meredith Veira was talking about because he couldn't hear the video.  Who is he, Ronald Reagan?

    But then this isn't the first time he's been lame explaining something when pressed.  He was also bad on his present votes.

    You know, none of these things make Obama unacceptable to me as a candidate.  I happen to prefer Clinton, but I don't think any of these things in and of themselves is a big deal.  His inability to deal with these things, however, is starting to drive me crazy.  

    None of these things is that hard.  The appearance of flip flopping on single payer and the Republican ideas stuff - those are politics 101 attacks by Clinton, contrast two apparently different positions on an issue or take a sentence your opponent says and replay it to imply something larger about their position on the issues.  If he can't respond to that in an effective way, what is he going to do when things really get tough?  These attacks are the equivalent of the Republicans clearing their throats.

    I think he's improved a great deal at debating and become quite good at going on the attack.  But he needs to learn to play defense because right now he sucks at it.


    eight years of practice at veep (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by hellothere on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 10:17:49 PM EST
    would get him the experience he needs.

    Not the transcript the whole video (none / 0) (#75)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Jan 23, 2008 at 10:20:10 PM EST
    The transcript is not what matters, watch the whole video.  

    Watch the Hillary and Obama Videos.  

    it was beyond a half-assed answer, (none / 0) (#79)
    by cpinva on Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 04:35:53 AM EST
    it made little, if any sense at all. noone who castigated obama for it owes him diddly, certainly not an apology. i could spend hours shredding it, almost line-by-line, but that would be a waste of valuable time, time i'd never recover.

    on its surface, it appears inane; not merely impolitic, just flat out stupid. frankly, if he felt just absolutely compelled to make reference to a president with new ideas, for moving the country forward, he should have gone with FDR; someone with an actual functioning brain, instead of a script. a president who succeeded in actually helping the little guys, in the midst of a horrific, world-wide depression.

    worse yet, his comments about the republicans being the party of ideas, for the past 15 years (which includes both clinton administrations) is downright laughable. what cave was he living in during the 90's?

    if i had no other reason to not vote for sen. obama, this idiotic statement would be sufficient.

    Glad you finally admitted this, BTD (none / 0) (#80)
    by robrecht on Thu Jan 24, 2008 at 05:42:40 AM EST
    If you had listened better to the comments in your initial discussions of Obama's comments you would have realized your error much sooner.  Someone, I forget who, posted a link here to the entire video early on--the volume was very low and it was hard to hear but the context was there if you had paid attention and tried to be more fair and less argumentative.

    BTW, I come here to learn and I agree with many of your points and am interested in your perspective, but there's always room for improvement.