Politics As Usual

In a mailed in column railing at Clinton supporters, Michael Kinsley proves how little he understands about politics and the Obama brand:

[O]ther Democrats are upset at Obama's recent moves toward the center. T[his] complaint is childish. Securing your base and then moving to the center is the fundamental move of politics, like the basic steps of the fox-trot.

(Emphasis supplied.) It is as if Kinsley did not watch the campaign. The one thing Obama ran on was CHANGING politics. Now I thought it was ridiculous - I want him to change the governing policies of the United States, not change politics - but I know what he was selling. He can not now blatantly pretend he did not run on "changing politics." Some of the stuff coming out of the national press is so ignorant it defies belief. And Kinsley says he is arguing FOR Obama here. With friends like these . . .

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    We will NEVER get over it, Michael. (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Angel on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:20:53 AM EST
    All those telling us to "get over it" need to get over the fact that we never will.  God I can't stand all these phony pudints who think they are so smart and know what we should do and try to tell us how to do it.  They and the media are the largest part of the problems in the political process today.  

    Who Is Michael Kinsley? (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by talex26 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:53:27 AM EST
    OK, seriously, who cares what Michael Kinsley has to say? Is he important? Is he thought provoking or has he ever been?

    It really does not matter what he has to say. He was never 'somebody' and never will be.

    Isn't there other things going on in the world that are more important and more worthy of discussion? I think so.


    He was opposite (none / 0) (#122)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:49:28 PM EST
    Buckley for years on Firing Line or the early precursor to the now defunct Cross-Fire.  A Rhodes Scholar, he was a liberal pundit for many years on television.

    I loved him on the Firing Line debates (5.00 / 0) (#181)
    by sj on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:11:28 PM EST
    He was always able to stick a pin in William Buckley's pomposity without being ugly.

    For that reason I read his columns and, for a long time, gave him a pass on some of his more clueless statements.  But with this diary, I just realized I haven't read him for a very long time.


    I nearly had a heart attack (5.00 / 0) (#183)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:12:26 PM EST
    reading this, as I misread your statement to mean 'Buckley was a liberal pundit.'

    racehorses or yachts? (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:44:57 AM EST
    According to Kinsley that is the only alternative decision for Hillary's well -off supporters who don't want to give to Obama because his campaign turned the Clintons into racists.

    Glad to see his insulting 'get over it' message is not just for middle class women like me.


    As Jeralyn (5.00 / 7) (#2)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:21:07 AM EST
    so correctly stated below in taking about his fading glow:

    Personally, I don't think it's due to buyer's remorse or dropping support among liberals. I think it's that his recent changes of position on multiple positions have made people unsure of where he really stands -- and whether his new stands reflect his true beliefs or are caluclated to get votes.

    As many of us have said, he didn't have to move to the right.  People have had it with Bush, reflected in his pitiful poll numbers, and the vast majority think the country is going in the wrong direction.

    Since we never really know where he stood, based on his short term in the Senate, we're seriously concerned about his recent flip flops.  He promised change, but not this kind of change!!!!

    Sorry, Michael.  Your analysis is flawed.

    I love how they all think its..... (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:23:09 AM EST
    ...their job to argue for Obama. It reminds me of when they all thought it was their job to argue for Bush.

    They are in denial the supporters and the media (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:35:21 AM EST
    They don't have the guts to say Yeah he is different now than what we saw him in the primaries.  The media darling has to be rationalized no matter how much he has changed since the media bent over backwards for this guy.

    i wondered if you'd read that. (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:48:44 AM EST
    mr. kinsley has been out of the house for some time now (years, actually), this is merely another in his growing list of "if an animal were this stupid, it would be euthenized, for the good of the species as a whole" columns. this, boys and girls, is what passes for "liberal" journalism/punditry in america today.

    what irks me (and makes me envious simultaneously!) is that mr. kinsley gets paid big bucks to write this drivel. i want that job, dammit! i can pen drivel with the best, just read some of my posts on this blog!

    I know how ya feel brother (none / 0) (#158)
    by SoCalLiberal on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:39:34 PM EST
    I don't know what to say anymore (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:18:33 AM EST
    about men like Kinsley, who consider themselves progressive, reducing the anger and frustration women feel about over-the-top sexism and its casual acceptance in mainstream society to phrases like 'in a snit' and 'overwrought'. I just don't know how to think about it anymore. At first I found it shocking. Then it became revealing.

    Maybe, ultimately, it is just selfishness from a position of privilege - an insensitivity and inability to understand how these things really hurt and affect people when they themselves have never had to experience it. It's sad.

    I'm voting for Obama, but what Kinsley and his ilk don't understand is that the more progressive men demonstrate that they hold these issues in disdain, the more they alienate women away from the party.

    am so tired of hearing about the angry, foolish (5.00 / 7) (#60)
    by kimsaw on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:53:16 AM EST
    Clinton supporters who are spoil sports. The antipathy toward Clinton supporters as shown by writers like Kinsley is a product of arrogant ignorance and their willingness to support the disingenuous words and actions of their selected candidate.

    Moving to the center to create a perception of moderation before the general election is no more than a bait and switch tactic blatantly presented by an inexperienced old style politician claiming to be different.

    Pundits like Kinsley who offer this practice as acceptable for the purpose of a political win are offering that lying to your constituents is an acceptable practice. Compromise is one thing if what you're doing is in the best interest of progress, but capitulation on principles is failure. Obama has failed more than once on this score. Changing how Washington works, is knowing when to compromise and knowing when to stand your ground. The MoveOn.org resolution was a failure of stance in both character and principle, the same can be said of his FISA vote, his present votes and his abandonment of the tenants on the Southside of Chicago. One can claim arguments in defense as strategic or bureaucratic to safe guard candidates position, but offering up such explanations are really an assault on core values. Doing the right thing on behalf of your constituents is really the only thing that matters.

    As a constitutional lawyer (which at this time begs strong question) who fails to offer credible constitutional justification for  his action and offers up an I'll fix it later, is a candidate ready to surrender and not willing to fight. As the presumptive leader of the party he failed to protect the basic tenets of American freedom. Protecting us from terrorism is for our safety, but protecting us from ourselves in the destruction of our foundation is paramount.



    Well said.... (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:55:36 PM EST
    and reflective of what I feel.  I just don't get it.  I wrote a scathing letter to Jonathan Alter for basically the same, his snit of an attitude toward women who support Hillary.  Clearly (many) progressive men, journalists are as threatened by women and women's issues as are neocons.  It shocked me at first.  Now I wonder if men like have ever done anything but give lip service to the issues, feelings, thoughts of women.

    If you thought Alter's attitude to women a shock (5.00 / 0) (#157)
    by DFLer on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:34:52 PM EST
    check out his attitude's towards teachers' unions. Google it for a variety of references.

    He and Tweety's sub, that windbag Barnicle from Boston, were trashing teachers' unions yesterday on Hard[ly-any-]Ball[s]


    One bright spot, (5.00 / 0) (#171)
    by Montague on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:50:09 PM EST
    amid all the sexist talk and behavior, is the number of men I know personally who remain staunch supporters and defenders of Hillary Clinton.  I am inordinately thrilled to hear men (some of them young, some of them retired, most of them just ordinary white-collar types) speak so highly of her.  They voted for her and they truly believe (and know) she would be the best president we could have among those running.

    Kind of amazing (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:28:25 PM EST
    that it's many of the Left side men who so gleefully employed sexist savagery against Clinton, and that all those 'low information' working class men who admire her.

    I think the horrible sexism of the left has been there all along, lurking in those who just mouthed politically correct rhetoric about the importance of women's equality.  It was a tool they used to their advantage, until it wasn't.  Clinton's campaign forced them to declare themselves out in the open once and for all.  And it wasn't pretty.

    Note: I said 'many' and not 'all' or even 'most'.  Unfortunately, the 'many' group was the loudest.


    Yes, I did note that you said "many" (none / 0) (#194)
    by Montague on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:54:04 PM EST
    Sorry if that wasn't clear!  We are in agreement.  The male Hillary supporters I know are by and large long-time liberals and progressives.  Some, though, are more centrist but are impressed by Hillary now that they got a good look at her during the primary.  But yes, that one group was SO loud that even many of these men have talked to me about it quietly.  Our precinct went for Obama big-time, and it's kind of tough in this town to be for Hillary.

    The only problem (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by david mizner on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:29:18 AM EST
    with the Kinsley quote is that Obama has never secured his base.

    "Other" problem is what I meant (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by david mizner on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:37:52 AM EST
    The Carter-Hart-Tsongas-Bradley Base (5.00 / 8) (#13)
    by Petey on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:40:38 AM EST
    "Obama has never secured his base."

    Folks like Kinsley are Obama's base.

    Economically well-off social liberals who are uncomfortable with unions and social insurance programs have always been the core of Obama's support.


    Obama's base (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:06:30 AM EST
    was frail alliance.  

    yup long term i'd say the interests of (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:05:09 AM EST
    the aa community, the young, and the creative class will collide with no real good results. the fantasy of rock star usually implodes with really good lighting.

    Petey nails it (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:14:18 AM EST
    Economically well-off social liberals who are uncomfortable with unions and social insurance programs have always been the core of Obama's support.

    The group Petey identifies is the bane of the Democratic Party, the group that would cast out those grimy bread and butter types and 'change' the party.  A few decades ago the people in this general demographic voted Republican.


    Yes, they ingested (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:08:22 PM EST
    Reagan's anti 'big government' rhetoric and his endless repudiations of FDR social programs.  But because they claim the social-liberal ground for themselves now, they've been able to hold the 'Progressive' umbrella over their heads throughout the campaign and no one called them on it.

    Which is also why one of their key and most strident challenges was 'what a real Democrat' thinks/feels/votes for.  Classic new identity insecurities -- the people who are 'real' anything don't feel the need to squawk about it every 10 minutes.  But the people to whom it is not native do.  Same with the endless claims that everyone else is racist -- the unstated tagline to every accusation is "You are a racist and I'm not.  I'm not I'm not I'm not!."  Also accounts for their poor understanding of what racism is, since it's really largely an intellectual issue for them, and, at times, a political tool, but never an internalized principle.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#130)
    by Jjc2008 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:56:40 PM EST
    Kinsely, Alter even Dionne seem to simply not get it at all when it comes to democratic women, or union democrats.

    He secured A base (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:29:24 AM EST
    but not the base Kinsley is talking about. I believe Kinsley is talking about the wider Dem base that Clinton, Gore, and Kerry held. Obama never locked that up. (Neither did Hillary, but she came just as close) Paul Begala put it rather flippantly, but he was right, IMHO:

    We cannot win with egg heads and African-Americans. OK, that is the Dukakis Coalition, which carried ten states and gave us four years of the first George Bush.

    Obama's 'new politics' call for disregarding the old notion of what the bases were, and redrawing the map using the middle ground.   He would love to win without unifying the traditional base -  and he very much wants to do it without Clinton on the ticket.  That was always his strategy, and people kidded themselves into thinking that one anti-war speech made him some sort of a leftie.  It is hard to identify his 'base' because he has so many deluded lefties on his side, in addition to the centrists. The lefties are going to lose their enthusiasm, but they will still vote for him.


    I don't know (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by ccpup on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:50:31 PM EST
    if the "deluded lefties" will necessarily vote for him, in the end.

    I'm finding more and more people in my fairly large circle seriously considering NOT voting top-of-the-ticket on Election Day.

    This will probably be more like McGovern in 1972 than we're willing to admit:  historically high turnout in the primaries, historically low turnout in the General with a Republican win at the end of it all.  


    JC Superstar (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:36:00 PM EST
    Any Andrew Lloyd Webber fans out there?

    The folks who knew all along that Obama was 'just a pol' but supported him anyway during the primaries are not going anywhere.  There may be a slow leak toward nonvoting there, but it's unlikely to be significant imo.

    But the folks that became true believers are the ones at greatest risk for being lost.  I keep thinking of these lyrics from JCS (disclaimer: I'm not comparing BO to Jesus, it's the point that the lyrics are making that's important):

    You've started to believe
    The things they say of you
    You really do believe
    This talk of God is true

    And all the good you've done
    Will soon be swept away
    You've begun to matter more
    Than the things you say

    You have set them all on fire
    They think they've found the new Messiah
    And they'll hurt you when they find they're wrong

    The only question is whether disallusionment comes in significant numbers before the GE or after.


    Indeed (5.00 / 0) (#144)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:16:43 PM EST
    I've been singing and quoting JC Superstar for a few months now. It was written as commentary on hero worship and pop cult phenomenon, so it is apropos.

    We cynics:

    I'm dying to be shown that you are not just any man


    Hmm, you're on to something here (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:44:49 PM EST
    I don't know how to love him . . .
    What to do, how to move him . . .
    He's a man, he's just a man,
    And I've had so many men before
    <in the White House>
    He's just one more.

    It kind of reminded me of..... (none / 0) (#124)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:53:13 PM EST
    ...Tommy's Holiday Camp. Starring David Axelrod as Frank Hobbs.

    One Newsweek poll (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:53:20 PM EST
    that still shows Obama ahead, and Obama is like McGovern?

    One Newsweek poll (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:14:03 PM EST
    that is smack in the middle of every other daily poll for the last month.

    Ras has Obama and McCain tied today.  Obama up by 1 yesterday.  Gallup: Obama up by 4.  Up by 6 yesterday.


    RCP average (5.00 / 0) (#153)
    by ghost2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    is now +4.2 for Obama, but if they discounted June's results (more realistic), his average lead is only +2.7.  

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:34:02 PM EST
    the Rasmussen poll today shows (with leaners) 47-46.

    And, if you look at Rasmussen in particular, the issue is not so much declining Obama support as increasing McCain support.....McCain is now up to 46%....

    But being ahead is like McGovern???  I know the knives are out for Obama here, and that every possible bit of bad news is cheered with sardonic resentment, but isn't this going a bit far?

    One or two days drop? Let's see what the polls are a week from now......


    Kinsley' formulation... (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:34:06 AM EST
    "Securing your base and then moving to the center is the fundamental move of politics..." So says Kinsley.

    This does accurately describe what Obama is doing.
    He is not securing his base. He is alienating it.

    And, in my opinion, he is not even "moving to the center". He is moving from some ill-defined place to the right.

    IMO this is yet another (5.00 / 9) (#10)
    by suisser on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:34:10 AM EST
    cinder block building up the foundation for the "blame HRC supporters" for Obama's weaknesses and possible loss in Nov. I also resent the reduction of my resentment of Obama's "nomination" to whinny complaints of sexism in the media. I personally an angry with the DNC and the RBC as well as the "media" and to be honest I just don't like/trust the nominee.

    My reasons for not supporting Obama are many and I reject Kinsley's almost infantilizing and encoding, for future use against me, my feelings about him and his candidacy.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:49:14 AM EST
    It was not only the media that was sexist, not by a long shot. The campaign was right there with them.  

    Unfortunately, in the name of unity, Clinton and her official spokespeople have only been willing to list the media transgressions, and not those of the Obama campaign, so the real truth remains to be spoken.


    The Real Truth? (1.50 / 2) (#77)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:26:43 AM EST
    Hahahahaha   That is hilarious..  Considering that the 'real truth' is only the one you want to believe..

    You deny the words and actions (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:29:07 AM EST
    of Obama -- "Dirt Off My Shoulder," etc. -- and his campaign?  Despite the videos, the written record, etc.?

    Only if you grossly (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:55:16 PM EST
    overinterpret what he did and fill in the gaps to support that idea.

    Right, so you're the arbiter of what is sexist? (5.00 / 0) (#193)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:52:14 PM EST
    Heh, you made a mistake (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:13:17 PM EST
    and gave me a three.

    Ah, illiteracy explains it (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:49:14 PM EST
    as I didn't rate you.  But even inability to read the written record ought not preclude ability to comprehend videos.  So there is something else at work here, hmmmmmm.

    Well, that was productive (none / 0) (#174)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:52:05 PM EST
    It was amusing that Psst rated every comment of mine as a 2, then gave me a 3 for this one....

    how do you take (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:23:11 PM EST
    Jesse Jackson III's 'she only cries about her hair, not Katrina victims' statement? Double whammy there- using sexist language to call her a racist. All in a days work.

    JJJr. is a Chicago politician, too (5.00 / 0) (#173)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:50:48 PM EST
    and that explains it all for me.  As you say, all in a day's work for the Daley machine for generations -- and for two generations of the Obamas now.

    Unfortunate (none / 0) (#159)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:40:22 PM EST
    but surrogates do say the darndest things....I could quote from the Hillary side of things....

    And, the III?  Don't think that person has been born yet....

    JJJ is a staunch Obama supporter and even blasted his Dad over the "cutting" remark.....He needs to moderate his reactions.....


    Change does not mean change everything (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:38:47 AM EST
    Securing ones base and then moving to the center - or, to put it another way, energizing your present coalition and then seeking to expand it, is not, nor was it ever, something that Obama sought to change.

    Just because he promises change, does not mean that you get to chase after him, noting everything he does that is in any way similar to what a politician does, and accuse him of hypocrisy because he does so.

    It is the fundamental, unchangable truth of democracies, that you win power by building a majority, or at least a plurality coalition. You cant "change" this truth even if you wanted to, and if you beleive in democracy, why would he even think about wanting to?

    Persuading at least half the country to support your candidacy is simply impossible to do if you do not attempt to appeal to that number of people by expressing at least sympathy to their fundamental political concerns. Lord knows the Clinton supporters who you have been nurturing have no hesitancy to make very loud demands of the candidate in exchange for their supports. Well, so does every other group.

    There is certainly something deeply satsifying about the prospect of winning power without ever having to expand your platform beyond the concerns of the true believers. Maybe, in some contexts - like the reelection campaign of a popular president, something like that might be possible. But it would be absolute suicide for Obama (as it would have been for Hillary) to fail to make the effort required to make people in the center feel very comfortable with him - not necessarily that he would be their champion as a centrist president, but at least that he is listening to them, and has some basic sympathy with their concerns.

    So perhaps you can direct me (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:44:36 AM EST
    to what "change" really means. Or was it always meaningless?

    excuse me? (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:51:34 AM EST
    Are you trying to say that you were under the impression that by "change", Obama meant that he wanted to change the basic arithmatic of democracy - that it would no longer require a majority of electoral votes, or a plurality of popular votes, by state, in order to win power?

    That was, obviously, never his intent. All successful politicians, even in the Obama era, will need to reach out beyond their base and build winning coalitions.


    He claimed he was going to (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:53:53 AM EST
    transform politics. It was one of the most ridiculous things he claimed, but he nevertheless claimed it. Pretending that he did not is silly.

    huh? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:57:38 AM EST
    By "transform politics", you are claiming that he meant it would no longer require a plurality to achieve power? That there would no longer be any need to expand ones base and build a coalition?

    I really do not believe that you ever beleived that.


    What I believed about what he claimed (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:02:06 AM EST
    is different from what he claimed.

    yes, I accept that may be true (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:10:57 AM EST
    I think many people around here have that problem, most likely because they seek out information about him with the motivation of denouncing him in some way, rather than to figure out who he actually is, and what he is actually saying.

    What? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:40:52 AM EST
    Seeking out information about him IS figuring out who he actually is.

    You're suggesting that people accept him without examination.



    What? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:43:44 AM EST
    Seeking out information about a person or a subject that you already have committed to denounce is very different than seeking information for the purpose of actually learning something.

    Your claim about what I am suggesting is downright absurd. How can you possibly construe what I wrote in that manner? It is your charge that is ridiculous.


    How so? (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:13:51 AM EST
    Seeking out information about a person or a subject that you already have committed to denounce is very different than seeking information for the purpose of actually learning something.

    What if the information you find convinces you to change your mind? One would think, if such information actually existed, this would be the result. Or would you prefer that Obama's detractors, like Hillary's, simply denounce her based on NO or BAD information?

    Stranger things have happened; see David Brock's bio of Hillary that was intended to be a hit piece until he couldn't find anything to pin on her.


    you, (none / 0) (#32)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:13:30 AM EST
    and many others.

    united states of china.......... (none / 0) (#84)
    by kelsweet on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:41:29 AM EST
    couldn't agree more, and I hope we're not alone in seeing this.

    Expanding one's base (5.00 / 0) (#161)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:41:13 PM EST
    is not as difficult as Obama makes it seem.   There are 18 million voters who clearly have some disposition to vote Democrat.  

    Do these people want him to forfeit our rights for a horrible new version of FISA?
    Do these people need him to come out for the death penalty?
    To renounce public financing?

    If you want to expand your base, you come up with a strategy that shows how you meet the needs of different demographics.  You don't just cave as current events demand.

    He should pick up with the economy tour again.  And get ready to school McCain in debates.

    What he is doing right now literally has no rhyme or reason.


    No, but if you mean what you say, (none / 0) (#76)
    by Radix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:24:02 AM EST
    then you gain that plurality by demonstrating to people what you mean by "change" and why it's good for them.

    That's a mighty nice strawman you built there. (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:16:34 AM EST
    excuse me back! when you dump the (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    democratic base while chasing repubs, i'd say you have a real problem. but let's wait till november and talk about it. i'll wait.

    I stopped reading your post when.... (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:14:50 AM EST
    ...I got to this part:

    Just because he promises change, does not mean that you get to chase after him, noting everything he does that is in any way similar to what a politician does, and accuse him of hypocrisy because he does so.

    You go on to talk about what you consider to be the fundamentals of democracy and yet you feel that you can tell me what I can or cannot "get" to do. You may not like it, but in a democracy we "get" to do all that and more....including voting for whomever we choose.


    yes, yes (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:19:42 AM EST
    of course you get to do whatever you want in this free country. It is a rather common shorthand to say 'you dont get to do that..." when the complete sentence would be "you dont get to do that and expect to not be called out for it".



    You can certainly roll your eyes but.... (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    ...can you try to wrap your brain around the concept that how you phrase things has a significant impact on how your remarks are received? For the most part I think I recognize when I am being condescending. For example, like now.

    Exactly what does Obama plan on changing? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by leis on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:23:45 AM EST
    I'm confused because I thought it was the politics as usual.  Where does this specific change come in and show itself?

    Perhaps (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:25:11 AM EST
    you can define that 'center' for us.

    While you're at it you might want to consider what leadership means.


    the center (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:40:37 AM EST
    consists of many different people, one group of which would be those who are pragmatic rather than ideological, and who, for whatever reason, are willing to pick and choose policy positions from either side on an ad hoc basis.

    Effective political leadership includes the ability to connect with voters who may only agree partly, or occasionally with you, but to win their overall support by convincing them that their concerns are respected and will figure, to an appropriate extent, in the political calculations that you undertake.


    The Obama is failing the test: (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:16:28 AM EST
    Effective political leadership includes the ability to connect with voters who may only agree partly, or occasionally with you,

    It has to be more than partly occasionally, btw.

    Partly and occasionally is costing him votes.


    That's not (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by cal1942 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:31:44 AM EST
    "the center"

    The center is a general consensus of what government will do or be.

    From the late thirties and well into the seventies the consensus was that government would take an activist role in providing for the general welfare, that government would practice rigorous regulatory functions, would provide a social safety net, etc.

    Republicans had moderates and liberals who more or less went along.  A common Republican election pitch was 'me too, but I'll do it better.'

    In the eighties conservatives gained power and sought to disassemble that consensus, to shrink government, to change what government would do.

    We're still at war over that center.  That's one of the reasons politics has been so contentious in recent decades, a deeply fundamental disagreement over the purpose and use of government.


    Excellently put. n/t (none / 0) (#93)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:20:07 PM EST
    He isn't expanding his base, just his votes. (none / 0) (#83)
    by Radix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:40:02 AM EST
    A person expands their base by having people move to their position, not the other way around.

    in a sense that is true (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:01:49 PM EST
    but not in the sense that you are presenting it.

    You are not going to convince many people who are centrists, or even liberal Republicans, of the brilliance of your progressive ideas, in the course of a year long campaign. What you do is convince those people that your positions were arrived at after thinking through their concerns. Convincing people that you respect them, you listen to what they are complaining about, and that they should give you a chance.

    That is, btw, how Reagan did it. There is no way that the US electorate, in Nov. 1980, was anywhere near as conservative as Reagan was. He did not convince people to become conservative in the course of his campaign. The prime thing that he was able to do in that campaign was to assure enough people that he was not a scary figure, that he had some different ideas from the Carter administration, and that the risk of letting him try them out was low - given the alternatives. It was only once he was in office, having had the chance to make 3000 political appointees to all the real policy making positions in the government, and dominating the news on a daily basis as presidents do - it was only then that he was able to actually convince some segment of the center that his ideas were good ones, and thus move the center rightward.

    Obama has every chance to follow that same model. Once in office, there will be thousands of progressive Democrats in charge of every federal office. Dems will control Congress. Everyone who counts will be a Dem. There will be a wonderful intellectual millieu for progressive ideas. And the point man for taking those progressive ideas, and packaging them into mainstream rhetoric, will be an extraordinarily eloquent leader - every bit the match for a Reagan.

    So yes, for the revolution to have legs, you need to convince people of the superiority of your ideas. You do that though, by governing effectivly, and framing your ideas in ways that inspire buy-in. You may make some progress along those lines in the campaign, but you cant really count on that. People are skeptical, as well they should be. They will be reluctant to stake their flag on your turf till they see you perform, but they can be persuaded to give you the chance.

    Its a back and forth. As we see with the Clinton supporters. Is it theoretically possible that some of the hard line ones will actually move to agree with Obama? Perhaps, but they sure make loud and incessant noises that before that could happen, he is going to have to reach out to them.
    Thats the way everyone thinks to some extent. We all want to feel that the candidate is speaking to us, at least listening to us, before we are even willing to consider moving toward them. That is what Obama is trying to do with the center these days.


    Well since I'm obviously in denial, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:45:12 AM EST
    I'll take the first step by admitting I have a problem: Yeah he is different now than what we saw him in the primaries.

    It's just as bad for some people to assume that Obama supporters think Obama is God, as it is for some people to assume that the HRC supporters are only bitter and angry because of sexism and they're just cutting off their noses to spite their face.

    Now, about the post at hand, since we're all playing the "assume" game instead actually asking someone's opinion about thee underlying issue at hand, I don't care if he's moving to the right. I'm a moderate anyway. I support Obama because I see him of having the best chance of doing what needs to be done to keep my signature from coming true. I've always supported him for this reason, and this reason alone.

    Okay, then as a longtime Obama backer (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:52:50 AM EST
    you must have more insight into other Obama backers.  Would you say the others were so wise and saw him as you did?

    Don't assume (none / 0) (#24)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:58:26 AM EST
    things like that. As McCain so aptly put it, "I speak for me." Not them, not Obama, not anybody. I speak for me. If you want "their" opinion, ask "them". All I'm saying is that is just not right to assume certain things about a group of people that one may not know too much about.

    That is certainly a good point.... (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:19:09 AM EST
    ...and in that respect you seem different to me than many of the Obama supporters that post on blogs, but not that different from most of the Obama supporters I know in real life.

    Ok. (none / 0) (#39)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:23:28 AM EST
    I understand and respect what you are saying.

    I asked for your insight (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:31:11 AM EST
    and I get a reply that I am assuming.  Where did I do so?  Really, you are acting quite out of culture on this blog.

    I'll bite. (none / 0) (#82)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:35:16 AM EST
    "you must have more insight into other Obama backers."

    How do you know that I have more insight into Obama supporters? Do tell. I did, however, answer your question. They don't speak for me, only I speak for me, so I don't have any insight into what other people think.

    What do you mean by out of culture?


    He had a chance to vote for (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:36:18 AM EST
    for the U.S. Constitution and for the people the Constitution protects. He voted against it, imo and that is unforgivable. Someone else said that he voted to allow Bush to spy on him and his campaign. How true!!! Is this the pres. who's going to protect this country from becoming your signature? He isn't even voting to protect your rights. Just my take!

    His vote on FISA has nothing (none / 0) (#52)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:41:05 AM EST
    to do with how he's going to prevent my signature, so to answer your question, no.

    Every instinct I have, (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:46:29 AM EST
    actions he has taken, words he has said, votes he has cast, tells me he is wrong for this country. Some people vote person, some vote party, and some, like me, this year are voting country first. I respect that your opinion is different from mine.

    As Do I. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:51:43 AM EST
    It is everything that he has done, and I mean everything, good and bad, and how he's dealt with it, that has convinced me that he'll prevent my signature from coming true. The way I see it, I am voting country first, I just apparently see taking a different path towards getting to the same general conclusion.

    A toast: Here's to respecting other peoples' opinions!


    One question. If keeping your (none / 0) (#67)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:04:15 AM EST
    signature from happening, are you willing to give up whatever it takes and give a pres. Obama whatever power he wants? If this is so, should we re-write the constitution, the bill of rights and the rules of law to accomplish this? Shall we then call this country, the new, changed us of a?
    And, if this is so, how is a Pres. Obama any different than a Pres. McCain? (I have clinked your glass).

    united states of china..........OOPS (none / 0) (#86)
    by kelsweet on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:48:37 AM EST
    I agreed with you by mistake up thread. My bad.

    S'alright. (none / 0) (#88)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:58:41 AM EST
    I'm glad, though, that someone else can see what's happening.

    also tries to guilt Clinton supporters for (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Salt on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:51:28 AM EST
    a possible Obama loss as the reason little children will starve, women won't be able to abort and old people won't have heath care....also out of touch and simple, the guilt trip is a waste of time as a persuader of this empowered group wrong nose ring and insulting.

    It Gets Worse By the Day for Obama... (5.00 / 7) (#23)
    by bmc on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 09:57:58 AM EST
    Obama AWOL For Military Base Event?  

    07.12.2008 - 10:36 am  

    from: http://www.nytimes.com/

    A coalition of military groups is planning a nationally televised town-hall-style meeting with the presidential candidates near Fort Hood, Tex., the largest active-duty military installation in the country. But so far, only Senator John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican nominee, has agreed to attend.

    CBS has agreed to broadcast the meeting live from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Aug. 11. The candidates would face questions directly from an audience of 6,000 people, made up of veterans, service members and military families from the base.

    Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has not agreed to participate.

    "Senator Obama strongly supports America's veterans and military families and has worked hard on their behalf in the Senate," said Phillip Carter, director of Mr. Obama's veterans effort and an Iraq war veteran. "While we unfortunately had a previously scheduled commitment on the date proposed, Senator Obama looks forward to continuing the dialogue he's been having throughout the country with veterans on how we can better serve our men and women in uniform as they serve us."

    Carissa Picard, managing director of the Fort Hood Presidential Town Hall Consortium, said she had suggested Aug. 11 and asked the campaign to suggest other dates if that was not convenient, but after several conversations she had not been able to work anything out.

    "I'm having extreme difficulty getting the Obama campaign to commit to this event, and we do not understand why," said Ms. Picard, whose husband is deployed in Iraq. "We made it very clear to them that if they would commit to the event, we would work with them on dates."

    The organizers released details about the event in hopes that it would pressure the Obama campaign to agree to the event.

    "This was a decision that was made with tremendous difficulty, to publicize it," Ms. Picard said. "We were at a point where we had no other option. We got the impression that they could talk us to November."




    Hillary Clinton would not have hesitated to be there. She would have prevailed, too; I have no doubt.

    This is absolutely pathetic. The party leadership need to inform Sen. Obama that he doesn't have a choice here; if he wants to be president, he'd better grow up. We've had a poseur as CinC for the past 8 years, and look at what's happened to the military. Obama needs to step up, or he risks looking like a coward.

    And, yes, I've considered the possibility that this is a game of chicken with the GOP. But, that is largely irrelevant now. The fact is, Obama must do this.

    But the GOP had better be careful, because sometimes you get what you wish for, and in this case, they may be surprised if Obama shows up and the audience supports him.

    I'm Just Sayin'

    He has to do this. (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:05:10 AM EST
    He has to show up.

    Stuff like this is going to kill him.

    And it should.


    Yeah (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:50:41 AM EST
    but not having a script to read will kill him too.

    Which death?  Slow death or death by town meeting?


    Wow! (none / 0) (#29)
    by shoulin4 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:06:34 AM EST
    Tell me how you really feel.

    Displaying cowardice (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:12:30 AM EST
    will not enable him to win the presidency.

    Allowing McCain and (2.00 / 0) (#131)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:56:58 PM EST
    Ft. Hood to dictate his schedule and the forum shows weakness.....

    What part of this don't you (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by nycstray on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:01:51 PM EST

    "We made it very clear to them that if they would commit to the event, we would work with them on dates."

    And also the forum, is what I said (1.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:07:36 PM EST
    Ft. Hood area very well.  It is not just military families but very, very consevartive military families.....6,000 cheering Texas voters for McCain?  When Obama would rather talk about the economy?

    Don' take the bait--there will be other debates and forums....This is a mugging designed to make Obama look bad....


    Bwah! (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM EST
    Obama never talks about the economy.

    "Never"? (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:20:31 PM EST
    You really believe that he "never" talks about the economy?

    Mugging? (none / 0) (#205)
    by my opinion on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:34:50 PM EST
    Why not? (none / 0) (#46)
    by leis on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:33:21 AM EST
    It has gotten him thisclose to being the Dem nominee.

    Dem superdelegates (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:36:47 AM EST
    there's a real profile in courage for ya,

    And, I have been told (none / 0) (#142)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    that Hillary suporters are not really trying to get the superdelegates to change their mind...

    Now you have been told (5.00 / 0) (#151)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:28:40 PM EST
    that we are.

    One more person who agrees with me gives you two-to-one on hearsay evidence.


    Well, this is reason (1.00 / 2) (#165)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:44:03 PM EST
    for no roll call vote--cutting of the oxygen to those who would burn down the convention.

    Or, put another way (5.00 / 0) (#172)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:50:13 PM EST
    preventing a last-ditch effort to save this election and the Democratic Party by nominating the right person.

    If there is not roll-call vote, there will be consequences. And you will not like them.


    Consequences (2.00 / 1) (#176)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:56:51 PM EST
    It is time to cut losses.....Some people will never vote for Obama with or without a roll call vote--the sooner the Hillary supporters know it is really over, the sooner that the Democrats can move forward.....

    A roll call vote just allows the venom to foment even further.....


    No roll-call vote (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:55:08 PM EST
    Is what you should fear.

    Trust me on this.


    Do tell (none / 0) (#196)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:59:55 PM EST
    "Burn down the convention"? (none / 0) (#206)
    by my opinion on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:36:29 PM EST
    I sure never told you that (5.00 / 0) (#155)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:33:19 PM EST
    I hope they are- I just don't think it will work. The Dem leadership has a pathological fear of success, I'm my view.

    come back in november after the vote! (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:57:01 AM EST
    talk to us then.

    Some voters (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:19:41 AM EST
    have lower standards than others.

    but he (obama) is available for (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:28:02 AM EST
    big so called rock star events in germany. it appears he doesn't want a conversation but just photo opps where he doesn't answer any questions but just greets the masses. yup that sounds about right when you think about his upcoming dog and pony show at the convention.

    it all sounds pretty pathetic to me. say senator obama, why don't you get out with your fellow country folks and tell what you are going to do to make our lives better. personally senator i don't like big ralleys and devoted fans fainting out of the sheer joy of it all. sounds sorta rock star to me.


    Military and their families don't swoon (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:01:02 AM EST
    and you pegged it right there.  They do like "straight talk."  It's not Obama's forte.

    We had a Dem candidate who could compete on the straight-talk stuff -- and could outwonk and win clearly over the "straight-talk express" guy.

    But Kinsley wants us to get over it.  See, what he doesn't see is that we are seeing ahead.  We can see that we just would have to get over it again in November when the Dems lose.


    "Military families" (2.00 / 0) (#132)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:59:07 PM EST
    Well, it is Ft. Hood, perhaps the most conservative place in Texas....I know for good reason....

    It is a total set-up....It is not designed as a fair cross section or fair forum.


    He should counter (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by waldenpond on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:10:46 PM EST
    with a military base town hall of his choosing.. what base would it be acceptable for him to present himself that would reflect well on him.... this is a critical issue, he can't just say his schedule doesn't allow for it.  If the media wants to, they can dog every fundraiser he goes to and compare it to the events he refuses to attend and make him look bad. The campaign needs to come with something quickly....

    The idea to have a debate on (none / 0) (#146)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:18:37 PM EST
    military issues only is the root problem.  There will be debates perhaps as many as five later in the year.

    To have a two hour debate in front of 6,000 of the most conservative voters of Texas, would let McCain dominate the news cycle for a few days when he otherwise would get no coverage....It is is home field on his issues, and he wins the week it is held on that basis alone....


    Of course, (5.00 / 2) (#180)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:10:27 PM EST
    How silly of me not to realize how much more important it is for Obama to secure that oh so important base of German voters. American military families come and go, unfortunately, but the all-important European voting block will always be there.

    Apparently, I just do not understand the nuances of modern American politics.


    Okay, (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:17:52 PM EST
    so Obama is too afraid to stand up in front of 6,000 "conservative" service people then the meme becomes how can he protect our country? How can a guy who runs from the military be commander in chief. There's a bigger story here and Obama just looks like a chicken with the way he is playing it.

    Then he's a coward. (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:32:50 PM EST
    How many times during the primary did Hillary face unfavorable audiences? I've lost count - there was the Scaife editorial board, the Tavis Smiley event, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Olbermann, the Heartland Presidential Forum, EVERY debate ...

    She not only faced, them she won a lot of them over to her side.

    Why can't Obama cowboy up and face a tough audience?


    Obama (4.00 / 0) (#175)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:53:34 PM EST
    won over audiences in Red State territory. It doesn't get more hostile than that.

    Er, he won over small Dem audiences (5.00 / 4) (#184)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:17:06 PM EST
    in small red caucus states, at best.  And still didn't depart from the unilateral political-rally model, as opposed to the face-the-voter model.

    He did town hall meetings (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:05:30 PM EST
    in a variety of states (red and blue) where the demographics did not favor him. Heck, he was sporting enough to even try bowling (a pastime that he is not good at), talk about his policies and take questions directly from voters in various counties (in western and north eastern Pennsylvania) where people had a lot of suspicions, not just about his policies but even of him as a person (including doubts about his religion) at a time when he was getting lambasted in the media about Reverend Wright and "bitter-cling" faux controversies. He won Iowa simply because of the campaign he ran based on the face-the-voter model (door to door and town hall meetings, example).
    Besides, he did not just win "small Dem audiences" in red states. He won a lot of independent and some Republican support in these states.

    OK, then if he's so courageous and good (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:21:42 PM EST
    in red states, why is he afraid to face McCain at THIS event?

    Yes, this is the last straw? (none / 0) (#169)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:49:17 PM EST
    You didn't feel that way before, and you really wanted him to succeed.

    Scaife, for example, wasn't a 6,000 person crowd....You give McCain a week of free publicity with a Ft. Hood circus.....


    WTF? (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:48:58 PM EST
    I have NO idea what your first kind-of sentence is referring to. I didn't feel what way before what?

    Scaife is the owner of a newspaper with considerably more than 6,000-person readership.

    But my point still stands: displaying courage means facing tough audiences. It's what a good politician who is self-confident is willing to do.

    Haven't wee seen enough of cowardly politics in the past eight years of free-speech zones and hand-picked (to be sympathetic and adulatory) audiences?

    If he is all that and a bag of chips, as he seems to think he is, he should be able to make the week of free publicity favorable to HIMSELF.

    Obama cannot win votes from people who don't favor him if he avoids facing them.


    Same people (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:51:31 PM EST
    who praise his decision to avoid the Ft. Hood event would be praising him just as much if he showed up.  "Brilliant decision! Just look at the political courage!" There's little point in arguing with them.

    Well, why don't you try? (none / 0) (#198)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:01:51 PM EST
    This race was never about (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by ccpup on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:57:53 PM EST
    what HE could do for US.  It's always been about US putting HIM in the history books as the First African American President.

    All the rest of that stuff -- Universal Health Care, ending the Iraq War, jobs, lower gas prices, etc and so on -- was just gravy.  The real prize was being Immortalized.

    Otherwise, it'd be more than just photo ops.  He'd actually display a sincere interest in what our problems are and help us understand how, exactly, he would help to fix them.  

    I've never gotten that from him.  The klieg lights and screams of the adoring "crowds" -- growing smaller by the day -- have been to distracting.


    Interesting point (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Montague on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    Is Obama running (in his mind) for president of the world?  Otherwise, why the rally in Germany but not the military event in the US?  I mean, yeahsure, POTUS is the top job on the planet, but even so, only Americans get to do the voting.

    Townhalls are not a useful (3.00 / 1) (#96)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:31:17 PM EST
    strategy right now.  I would hope Hillary would decline as well if she were the presumptive nominee.  After the convention, Obama will refocus on consolidating the Dem base.  

    McCain already manipulates the press and is being fed answers ala Bush & the wire in the ear.  Next fall, when he faces off against Obama, McSame's inability to address issues facing our country will be evident.

    Here's an article on the McCain campaign's "press management."  In addition to selecting only reporters/bloggers who they know will ask the right questions, the aides  are obviously preparing the answer for McCain as well.  

    (Quick, cut and paste the stock reply to war & terrorism on the screen for the boss!  And for gawd's sake, make sure you don't let him mix up Sunnis & Shiites again!)


    And looking like a coward IS a (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:54:01 PM EST
    useful strategy? Interesting. You are definitely a solid Democrat, with traditional values.

    No need to insult me Mark. (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by MyLeftMind on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:22:52 PM EST
    Obama's not a coward, he's being strategic.  He's not our nominee until after he's selected at the convention.  I would say running for president at such an early point in his political career indicates that he's not only very brave, but willing to take an enormous personal and political risk to try to save our country from the destructive path it's been on for years.  There are people in charge of decisions over our lives who believe the world is supposed to end in Dec 2012 in a blinding flash of light.  Those politicians shouldn't be involved in our foreign policy, and shouldn't be anywhere near the "button."  

    Also, please don't bait me by insulting me.  My account is limited here and I don't want to waste responses on attacks on my character.  I'm a solid Democrat.  You see my support of Obama as contrary to that, but it's not.  I don't want my descendents paying for the Republican fleecing of our country for the next 100 years.  Four more years of McSame will result in the destruction of our economy.  You may want to vote for him, but I'll do everything I can to ensure our Democratic candidate wins.


    Hmmmm. (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by pie on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:30:59 PM EST
    Obama's not a coward, he's being strategic.

    You may believe this to be true, but the electorate, other than his supporters, and the media won't buy it.

    In fact, I can't imagine why you perceive this to be strategic, since you left that part out.


    Fine, he just LOOKS like a coward. (5.00 / 0) (#179)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:10:06 PM EST
    Advantage McCain, then.

    Running over to Ft. Hood (none / 0) (#135)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:02:02 PM EST
    at the beck and call of the McCain campaign and conservatives is showing strength?

    Yeah, actually.... (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    ..It shows you aren't afraid to show up at the "enemy" camp. But really, I think it hurts Democrats to cede military bases as Republican territory. Heck, I don't care if that's what they, in fact, are. But still.

    MKS- I think this event is being put on (5.00 / 1) (#202)
    by kenosharick on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:12:14 PM EST
    by a group of military organizations and CBS news- not the mccain campaign. If he was smart he could have turned this around and gotton his usual glowing press reviews.

    Hillary would have been all over (5.00 / 3) (#120)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:47:03 PM EST
    town halls.  McCain would not have offered nearly so many to her as he has to Obama, she would have cleaned up against him.

    Hey, you brought Hillary up, I didn't.

    I agree Obama is being strategic, but not because he's the great hero of hope and change and (fill in the blank with whatever other superlatives his supporters project onto his blank screen).

    Obama does well in front of big crowds with a teleprompter and no questions from the audience.  He does not do well in interactive settings, and still less well in interactive setting where the audience is mixed.  He does not do well impromptu.  Thus, his strategy is to avoid both.  It is a smart strategy, for him.

    One thing about Clinton and McCain, neither is afraid to stand before a hostile audience.  That's what true experience in politics gives you.  I would not claim that for either of them as particularly courageous, but still, more couragous than Obama's sidling away from as many impromptu and interactive fora as possible.


    Ever feel like France and Germany (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by BarnBabe on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:04:10 AM EST
    Their French flies getting a 'new' name because they did not think it was such a good idea to invade Iraq and topple the government? People complain about that and yet I remember the French Mirages being used every day in Kuwait. So maybe it was not being involved as much as seeing a problem with our information and intelligence which Bush was lacking. Heh.

    So maybe we are just France. We have a problem with what we are seeing in our candidate. We were always good Democrats and participated all our lives but we have been renamed. We are 'angry Hillary supporters' even if I am not angry. I am just questioning if this is the right candidate by looking at the information and intelligence. Maybe Axlerod is Chalabi and the Media is code name Odd Ball or whatever his name.

    French "flies"? (none / 0) (#197)
    by Montague on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:01:14 PM EST
    Made me laugh.

    Strikes me that a lot of French people who voted for Sarkozy are feeling some buyer's remorse right now.


    Kinsley got it backwards (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by OxyCon on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:22:09 AM EST
    Obama isn't just now "moving to the center". He started off there and pandered to the left during the primaries. Now that he pulled one over on the left, he's moving back to where he's always been.
    Give Kinsley and others like him a dunce hat and send them to the corner for not paying attention.
    They could have had Hillary, who stood on her long held principles, but instead the were Hoodwinked and Bamboozled by the Okie Doker Obama.

    not quite bamboozled (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by ccpup on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:02:22 PM EST
    or hookwinked.  We ALMOST were, but smartened up real quick after late-February.

    Had we REALLY been hoodwinked, Obama would have trounced Hillary in CA and NJ on Super Tuesday or later on in OH, PA, TX, etc.  But there was always a part of us that subtly understood that he was not who he was selling himself to be.  Hard to piece it all together over the Media screaming how wonderful he is and how the woman who's actually racking up wins needs to drop out.

    He's only our Nominee because of strongly Red State caucuses and a blatantly undemocratic "assist" from his starry-eyed, greedy friends at the DNC.


    Kinsley's concerns misplaced? (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:43:27 AM EST
    It's interesting that Kinsley's concerns about Obama's chances are directed towards a segment of the democratic base not coming home to Obama. That issue doesn't seem to be very problematic in the recent polls. It seems from the latest polls that the more pressing concern should be the fact that Obama's support from independents is eroding. Independents have gone from favoring Obama to favoring McCain. (I find this fact strange considering Obama's recent rightward moves, which I figured were geared towards winning crucial independent swing voters.)

    they were geared that way (5.00 / 3) (#61)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:55:15 AM EST
    But he seems to not understand that Independents vote more on the perceived strength and character of the candidate than they do on the actual issues.   What is intended as a shift to the right to woo them came across instead as an unwillingness to stand his ground.

    A common myth (5.00 / 4) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:55:22 AM EST
    is that independents are centrist.  I'm independent and I'm not centrist.

    Moving to the center does not necessarily win independents.  I suspect independents are simply looking for certain presidential qualities and are now finding them in McCain.

    Not standing for anything is definitely not a winning strategy with independents.


    This is an often overlooked point (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    Independents are a diverse bunch.  It encompasses people on both the left and the right, folks who have long voted for one party but do not want to politically claim alliance with that party, and disaffected members of both parties.  

    The real question is whether within the Independent label there is a dominant political mindset.  There may be, I don't know and I haven't seen a lot of solid and stable data on the issue.


    Most independents (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:25:05 PM EST
    are independent not only of party, but of ideology, and so most tend to float in that amporphous "center" where one supports policy alternatives from either side, depending on the particulars of the issue.

    If there is a dominant worldview of an independent, it would be a feeling of repulsion at the doctrinaire ideologue of either side. Pragmatism may be the most common attribute...and that is probably why Obama does well with them (though McCain does well too precisely because he also has a reputation of being a "maverick" - ie. someone who puts pragmatism ahead of party or ideological purity).


    But Obama is no longer doing well with them (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:48:42 PM EST
    according to recent polls. That was the point of my original comment. I'm trying to figure out why.

    Because these are "new independents" (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:56:16 PM EST
    now, many of them, as a result of the "new politics"?  All these descriptions and discussions here of independents don't sound like me.  I'm newly an independent now -- but I'm not stupid, ignorant of issues, etc.  It is because of issues.

    Much is different this year, as we saw in the primaries, when attempting to predict based on old models proved useless.


    its relative. as I wrote (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:18:00 PM EST
    McCain has an unusual appeal to independents as well. He is really the best candidate the Repubs could have come up with in terms of running an "appeal to the center" campaign. Unfortunatly for them, he elicits far less enthusiasm from his base than Obama does from ours.

    Perhaps as a demographic (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:18:21 PM EST
    Independents are too diverse a group to poll accurately with the normal pollig sizes.  Both Newsweek polls were only 300-350 Indies.

    Not hardly (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:42:49 PM EST
    he elicits far less enthusiasm from his base than Obama does from ours.

    Obama, during the primary, was NOT the choice of the Democratic base. Hillary was, overwhelmingly.

    Meanwhile, Obama threw huge swathes of the Democratic base away with both hands - Hispanics, seniors, women, working class whites.

    They may, some of them, be planning on voting for him now, but I'd hardly describe people who are settling for their second choice as "enthusiastic."

    What IS it with Obama supporters assuming every Dem is as enthusiastic about him as they are? He had at best not even half of the Dem base before he was handed the presumptive nomination. And that was also before FISA, which dampened the enthusiasm of many hardcore supporters.

    So I wouldn't be counting on widespread enthusiasm if I were you.


    now that is just silly (3.00 / 2) (#185)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:18:03 PM EST
    The most loyal parts of the Dem base, african-americans, and eggheads, were solidly behind Obama. A fair part of Hillary's support came from the least loyal Dems - those Dems that voted in the past for Reagan, and maybe Bush as well.

    This talk of being "handed" the nomination is just so tiring. It really is a symptom of some childish whininess, or lashing out with no interest in dealing with reality. Just cut it out already.

    As for "throwing away" huge swaths of the base, I dont know what planet you have been living on.

    I am not making any assumption, based on wishful thinking here. Just look at the empirical evidence.

    Latest Pew Poll:

    Percent Very Satisfied with the Candidates.
    Repubs - 49  Dems - 74

    Clinton Supportes will vote for:

    May: Obama-59, McCain-28
    June: Obama-69, McCain-17

    If you split the undecideds of that last number-12,(which probably underestimates Obama strength) you probably have Obama with 3/4 of Hillary supporters already. Average that out with 100% support from his own supporters, that means he has 87.5% support amonst Dems TODAY. Thats about what Gore and Kerry got in their elections. And we still have 4 months of unifying, rallying and taking sober looks at the spectre of 4 more Bush years left.

    Other interesting finding:
    "A majority of voters (55%) give Obama a grade of A or B for convincing them to vote for him. That is a higher grade than for any Democratic or Republican candidate in the past three campaigns. By contrast, just 32% give McCain a grade of A or B"

    Clearly the dominant group of commenters here at this site are having a very different set of experiences that most Americans. Maybe y'all should get out more.


    What a bizarre comment (5.00 / 0) (#186)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:23:09 PM EST
    .. and telling. Look what part Tben left out in his description of the Democratic base.
    Hint: Obama doesn't have their support.
    Why don't you just say,"The most important Democrats----the ones who support Obama---support Obama. He has got the base!"
    It would make as much sense.

    What color is the sky in YOUR world? (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by echinopsia on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:07:59 PM EST
    It is established fact that more registered Democrats voted for Hillary in the primaries. In many states her percentage of registered Democrats was 80 percent.


    Clinton support has increased since she suspended her campaign instead of decreasing, with 43 percent of the registered Democrats that were polled saying they would prefer Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for president, which is up by 8 percentage points from the 35 percent that expressed that view in the previous poll.

    In June Barack Obama received support from 59 percent of the registered Democrats that were polled and in the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, that number has dropped by 5 percentage point to 54 percent.


    Are you basing Obama's doing worse (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by Valhalla on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:27:45 PM EST
    with Independents on the Newsweek poll?  I haven't seen other polls reflecting the same movement yet (I may just be out of the loop).  

    The movement among independents in the two Newsweek polls is such a huge swing, I have trouble thinking it's real -- neither candidate has done anything that would reflect such a huge swing (imo).  I still think the earlier poll was a big outlier.

    It would be interesting if both polls did reflect real movement.  Among women, Obama's support dropped from 54% to 45%, McCain gained going from 33% to 39%, and Undecided/Other increased 3 points.  Even his FFing on late term abortion mental distress wouldn't account for such a big swing.  


    yes, the newsweek polls (none / 0) (#121)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:47:20 PM EST
    you could be right - may be too soon to tell anything real.

    Actually the dominant characteristics (1.00 / 1) (#95)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:29:13 PM EST
    of the swing voters are stupidity and ignorance. To suggest that policy drives their voting is ludicrous.

    I assume you are a swing voter Mark? (1.00 / 0) (#98)
    by tben on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:33:08 PM EST
    Only 8 words, and slightly funny (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:38:49 PM EST
    MUCH better than the rest of your oeuvre.  

    Independents and (none / 0) (#110)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:22:01 PM EST
    "swing voters" are way different things.

    But aren't swing voters where its at? (none / 0) (#178)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 03:02:22 PM EST
    I always had the impression that Obama (5.00 / 7) (#69)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:13:42 AM EST
    was more interested in "movement" politics than "coalition" politics - his brand of politics was built around him, and about him being the one - the only one - who could change things.  Those huge rallies were not about the wonky details of fixing the country - they were about getting people to see this particular politician as different from all the others.  And for a lot of people, it worked.  

    These are the people who have been unable to tell anyone what Obama really believes or stands for, other than hope and change.  And they don't care that he is zig-zagging all over the place, that he cannot be pinned down on anything, or that his vote on FISA let the country down - because they trust him and will stick with him no matter what he says or does.  Makes me think that Obama's base is not all that different in nature from Bush's - and look at his numbers.

    As for Kinsley - and way too many others who get paid a lot of money to tell us what they think - he needs to get out more.  Stop going to cocktail parties and only talking to other people who do what he does, or live within an echo chamber; maybe if he did, he would realize that on issue after issue, the majority of Americans hold views that used to be considered on the left side of the spectrum and are now the center.  Obama started in that place - the new center - and now has moved ever closer to the right.

    We don't want to choose between two Republicans who are in different places on the right-hand side of the spectrum - we want a Democrat who stands firmly where most of the rest of us do.

    D-All of the above. (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Radix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:14:57 AM EST
    It's not just a single issue which is causing Obama his troubles, it's all of them. Perhaps some things are hurting more than others? But when you keep tossing straws on the camels back, eventually it breaks.

    Kinsley and the Internet (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by santarita on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:19:35 AM EST
    I was astonished at how superficial his column was.  I've seen much more profound analysis here at TL.

    People like him seem to think that the lack of enthusiasm for Obama is solely the product of sore loser syndrome.  For me and others it is not just that a more qualified (in my opinion) candidate lost, it was how and why she lost.  It was not only the sexism and the irrational hatred of the Clintons but the naivete' and caving into demagoguery of the Obama supporters.  It was not only that the Obama campaign cleverly manipolated the voters but that the media aided in the manipolation so much so that it was a large reason that so much of his program and pronouncements could go unchallenged.  And finally for me at least it wasn't so much that the party leaders promoted one over the other but that they did so in such an open manner that seemed hostile to the notion of democratic choice.  

    For me at least this primary season ripped the blinders from my eyes about the goals and values of the Obama Democratic Party.  And if the only reason I can find to vote for Obama is that he is not McCain, then pardon my lack of enthusiasm for spending time or money on Obama.  I'll use it to fill my compact car with gas instead.

    I won't say it all here... (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by chopper on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:31:22 PM EST
    I won't say it all here because I know this site doesn't like to hear it all, but there are many things that Obama said that were untrue and he knew it.

    There were many things that Obama did that were very wrong and attacked our democratic election system and our democracy.

    I think anyone who was following closely knows what I am talking about.  And, those people are  not surprised to see the bottom falling out of his campaign.

    It may be people opening their eyes or maybe just Kharma.

    I hope the supers at the convention save the Democratic Party, and I think you know what I mean.

    Obama's been at the center the whole time. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by halstoon on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:02:19 PM EST
    Why do so many professional people, who one would assume actually listen to the candidates, or at the very least read their remarks, insist on painting Obama as a shifter? Other than FISA, he has shifted on nothing. He believes the same things now that he believed in November.

    I think what is as basic as the foxtrot is the media's mailing in of the campaign. They write the exact same storyline, whether it applies or not. Obama is not a flopper, and McCain is not a maverick, yet they insist on these predetermined archetypes to write about.

    He is right, though, in telling Clinton supporters/Obama haters that "Now is the time to just get over it."

    Believe me, plenty of people are (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by MarkL on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:03:35 PM EST
    "over" Obama---for good.

    When you've decided (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:24:38 PM EST
    based on a candidacy and the crazy BS the DNC went thru to obtain this candidacy that you no longer feel any loyalty to a certain political party, it isn't a matter of "getting over it".  There's nothing to "get over."  There's nowhere to go, so the solution is to go nowhere.

    Give me a break. (5.00 / 0) (#170)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:49:19 PM EST
    He was not at the center.  Bowers swooned over his amazing net neutrality progressive stance.  Others saw his health care plan as the ideal way to get to single payer.  Progressives hoped he would fight the Republicans by reframing debates.  Progressives were excited he was ditching special interests.

    Well, no.  Eschewing public financing brings bundlers back to the game.  Giving immunity to telecoms is like a sweet kiss on the cheek to their corruptive role in politics.  His talk on abortion sure is at the center though.

    What he is doing now is playing a hug the middle game.  He is being as centrist, if not more conservative, than Hillary Clinton (namely, again, on healthcare, on faith-based programs, on FISA, etc.).

    Show me the speech that outlined these exciting developments before they happened.


    Defying belief... (5.00 / 0) (#112)
    by lambert on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:23:27 PM EST
    BTD writes:

    Some of the stuff coming out of the national press is so ignorant it defies belief...


    Whenever I start to 'get over it' (5.00 / 0) (#160)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:40:29 PM EST
    because I truly do not want a Pres McCain, someone like Kinsley opens his big mouth again. They need to stfu and LET me get over it.

    Michael should (5.00 / 0) (#201)
    by oldpro on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 04:10:19 PM EST
    'tend to his knitting' as my grandma used to say.

    He's not that well, Patty just left her job (as CEO of the Gates Foundation) and there is a lot to think about besides elitist lectures from Michael to the rabble (that would be me and the other Hillary-supporting lifelong Democrats).

    Really, Michael, we've heard enough from the likes of you.

    Fear not BTD (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lahdee on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 08:48:19 AM EST
    Wait a could of weeks, the narration will change, McCain's incredible stupidity will become so blatant not even his adoring mediafans will be able to ignore it, a bored public will look up and voowaala the Statue of Liberty will be gone.

    wow, where do you get that type of (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:58:17 AM EST
    thinking? from the obama campaign? i didn't know they were that out of touch.

    It's the Statue of Liberty's (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Lahdee on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:47:30 PM EST
    fault. She's feeling a little disrespected lately.

    sorry, but tony snow has passed away. (none / 0) (#45)
    by hellothere on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:30:14 AM EST
    rest in peace, sir. my sympathy to the family.

    Yes, I was sorry to hear that (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ruffian on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:40:37 AM EST
    Way too young.

    Dr. Michael DeBakey died today (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by wurman on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:27:35 PM EST
    in Houston TX.  He was 99 years old.
    Houston Chronicle (link):

    I've collected quotations from him over the years.

    "One of the rarest things that we do is think. I don't know why people don't do it more often. It doesn't cost anything. Think about that."

    "In any good society, every member should be interested in the health of every other member. Because if any member is unhealthy, it's a burden on the society."

    "If world leaders were doctors, I think they would be more concerned with the welfare of people. There would be less poverty. There would be medical care for everybody, no matter whether people paid for it or not."

    [Obviously, he was not aware of Sen. Frist when DeBakey made the comment above.]

    "Being compassionate, being concerned for your fellow man, doing everything you can to help people--that's the kind of religion I have, and it's a comforting religion. I don't get involved in discussions of intelligent design. You can't answer those questions, so why fool with them?"

    "You can never learn enough."

    This was a man who changed the world, postively.


    I swore I read his article weeks ago (none / 0) (#81)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:32:26 AM EST
    I don't mean (it sounds like other articles- it does), but I could swear I read these exact words.  
    The thing I find strange is that most people have moved on.  But he still writes a piece that made sense to write a month ago (at least from his perpective).  Those that aren't going to support Obama, aren't going to do it.  He is not going to change their minds. Why get angry or even react to it at this point.

    You're spot on here (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:45:24 AM EST
    as he is saying it's over, but sounding like he's the one who can't get over it -- that was endemic weeks ago, but is past its use-by date.  And it is past time for Obama supporters like Kinsley to stop going negative on potential supporters.  

    When will the beatings stop?


    I think this Kinsley guy (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:42:52 PM EST
    Is more a Kinsley supporter then a Obama supporter.  It is obvious that so called journalists have developed a small cottage industry around analyzing and "knowing" Hillary Clinton and now Barak Obama.  

    Cream City, in a post a few days back I responded that teachers and doctors had similar problems when it came to collective bargaining.  But their was either no response because the threat hit 200 or it didn't warrant one. Are these similar problems, or are they different?


    Yes, the thread ran out (none / 0) (#126)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:53:30 PM EST
    before I got back to it.  I saw your reply, so I saw more of what you meant -- and I have a physician in the family, so I understand the insurance situation that has changed in the bargaining that doctors do.

    But it still is different for most physicians, who still set up on their own or in their own groups for certain tax benefits but still essentially are self-employed.  (This does not include those hired by hospitals in ERs, say, but they are far fewer.)

    That is far, far different from the situation of college and university faculty.  Again, we cannot go set up our own campuses -- not reputable ones vs. the storefront U of Phoenix sorts.  So we still are at the mercy of management, if we do not have bargaining rights as we do not in my state.  That is different from doctors who are management bargaining with insurance companies.

    The similarity, though, is that the business model has made a mess of life for many professions, no question about that.  And for that, we do have a university to blame -- the Harvard MBA model.  It would be a better world had Harvard stuck with the humanities and never had a business school.  See Bush, Dubya. :-)


    What is wrong with the Harvard Model (none / 0) (#162)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:42:35 PM EST
    How has it effected other schools?  The other question, I have only talked to one person affiliated with a school like U. of Phoenix, and I was very disappointed in their instruction.  I read her papers and was shocked that her lack of a thesis went unmentioned.  That being said, she was a single mother of 2 living off the same job I had to get some extra spending money, and the school was giving her the chance to get a "college degree"

    I didn't ask the question- what are your thoughts (none / 0) (#164)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:43:15 PM EST
    On These university of phoenix schools

    I think I disagree with this (none / 0) (#102)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:51:40 PM EST
    Those that aren't going to support Obama, aren't going to do it.  He is not going to change their minds.

    I think many people not currently supporting Obama are actually very hungry to have their mind changed and would happily embrace him if he would only start listening to their concerns.


    I am not sure if you are one of those hungry (none / 0) (#117)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:37:49 PM EST
    But if you are, what are your top 3 concerns (no sarcasm intended), and how can he answer them?

    He has answered some of mine (5.00 / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    recently, and I really don't like the answers.

    He cannot now do anything about other concerns I have about the Dem party.  He used it, he benefitted by abusing it, so he is part of that problem and thus cannot be part of the solution.  Only voters can solve it -- by not donating or voting Dem.


    Not about me (none / 0) (#123)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:52:01 PM EST
    I'll be voting for him in spite of my concerns because I can't even entertain the possibility of a McCain presidency.

    But, from what I hear, there are lots of disaffected democrats who feel alienated and who don't support Obama - working class whites, union members, lots of women, older voters, non-religious voters, serious lefties, etc. I think he should be doing a lot more listening to them and talking to them, rather than to republicans. They feel betrayed. And I can see why.


    What is the difference in message btwn working (none / 0) (#133)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:59:30 PM EST
    Class whites and blacks?   What message should he be talking about to this group (if they are a group?).  Both need jobs, both need better educational opportunities, what difference in lingo between the two groups? (again another serious question).  Does anyone have any surveys on what the top interests are for these groups (I am guessing you would define them as White and Black with 2 years of less of college?)

    Not sure (5.00 / 0) (#138)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:10:25 PM EST
    Obviously working class blacks are on board and working class whites are not according to the polls. I won't try to psychoanalyze it - of course, the Obama blogs and the media chalk it up to hicks and racism. But I don't think that's it. I think it's far more complex than that based on conversations I've heard. I think poor whites feel somewhat left out of the national conversation right now.

    In any case, Obama needs to talk a whole lot more about jobs and the economy IMO.


    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#152)
    by samtaylor2 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:30:11 PM EST
    I would love to see him talk about a huge national works project(s).  This country needs jobs and new infrastructure and would be very popular with me (and hopefully others).

    He already is if you care to watch (none / 0) (#119)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 01:44:07 PM EST
    He has already hired a bunch of senior HRC campaign staffers link to advise him about policies that will aid working class women. They include people such as Neera Tanden (a top policy wonk in HRC's campaign, who was an archietect of her UHC plan) Dana Singiser (Director of women's outreach) and Brian Deese (economics deputy).
    Obama is making enormous efforts to reach out to Latino-Americans linkand Catholics, who provided a huge pillar of support to HRC during the primaries.

    When morale Improves! n/t (none / 0) (#87)
    by kmblue on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:55:59 AM EST

    Yep. Although the model (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 12:04:57 PM EST
    of domestic violence suggests that the only way to make it stop is to admit that we were wrong, wrong, wrong -- and, of course, to express gratitude for the beatings that brought us to our senses.  And only then will we be allowed to come out from under the bus where we wrong, wrong, wrong people belong.

    It makes under the bus feel like a battered women's shelter.  


    Did you read this play, top of the page: (none / 0) (#137)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 02:10:13 PM EST
    Godwin's Law And All That (none / 0) (#207)
    by WakeLtd on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 07:25:31 PM EST
    Just what we need: another charismatic leader known for his oratorical ability to generate an almost cult-like worship among large masses of people at rallies, with promises for dramatic change based on vaguely-progressive slogans grounded in an anti-liberal "pragmatism" that values the core ideas of conservatism & support for governmental internal security measures. Giving a speech in Germany. I don't know,  maybe it's just  me, but I didn't like how that turned out last time.

    This is the same Michael Kinsley (none / 0) (#208)
    by mkevinf on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 11:38:54 AM EST
    who stated that Hillary was not speculating on Obama's assassination in her "primaries that went on into June" comment, but he said she deserved the resulting unfair treatment because, in his opinion, she had behaved so badly during the primary: via Somerby, this quote from the NY Times:

        KINSLEY (6/8/08): The theme of this campaign has been umbrage. The candidates took turns pretending to be offended by something another candidate had said--or the other candidate's failure to denounce what some third party had said.

        All the candidates played this game, but Mrs. Clinton played it with the most unscrupulous joy. The low point was when she piled on during the ridiculous debate about whether Mr. Obama harbored snooty attitudes toward small towns in Pennsylvania.

        So, at the end, when her own clumsy comment about Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June was willfully misinterpreted to suggest that she was wishing that fate on her opponent, it served her right."

    After reading Kinsley's limousine liberal snark in this week's TIME, I said to my wife, "This is sure gonna win over disgruntled Hillary supporters".

    The only way I'm even close to voting for Obama is because I deliberately listen to right wing talk radio, which helps me realize that there are far more dangerous things in America than a flip-flopping Barack Obama.