The Public Figure

The latest manifestation of the fascination with the private lives of public figures got me to thinking how bizarre it really is that people seem to think they know or have some type of relationship with public figures, particularly politicians. It is the strangest of conceits among political commentaters and voters because it is, to me at least, so utterly ridiculous.

Ed Kilgore wrote a good piece about this about a week ago, before the latest brouhaha broke out:

Salon's Joan Walsh published a sound rebuttal of Brooks' suggestion that successful American politicians are those who are unambiguously rooted in a clearly defined geographical, cultural, or temperamental mileiu. She cites John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and most of all, the synthetic cowboy George W. Bush, as presidents with complex and often self-contradictory backgrounds that rival anything "rootless" or confounding about Barack Obama.

Walsh could have gone further, insofar as complicated people have been the rule more than the exception among residents of the White House. There was Richard Nixon, whose entire career (as best documented by Rick Perlstein's brilliant book Nixonland ) involved an endless ambivalence towards the elite circles he despised and longed to join. There was LBJ, who aside from the ambiguities involving his views on race and economics, was a pathologically domineering personality whose political ascent was based on playing the submissive son to a series of powerful father figures (FDR, Rayburn and Russell most notably). Even an ostensibly "simple" figure like Eisenhower was actually a master Machiavellian who deliberately cultivated the false image of a genial and apolitical national father-figure. . .

We do not know these people who run our country in any way and we should stop pretending that we do. We know what they say and do in their public lives and that is what we can judge and comment on. And do what we can to make them do what we want them to do. The rest of the psychobabble and hero worship is all rubbish.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    And yet, does anyone doubt that (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:33:46 PM EST
    elections are won and lost on "psychobabble and hero worship?" Campaigns are about culture and comfortableness first, and issues second. It's maddening, I know, but essential for understanding politics.

    Well (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:38:26 PM EST
    Part of politics is leading people to believe that you are not just Senator Obama, candidate for office, but Barack, their cool friend who probably enjoys a lot of the same stuff they do.

    If you were running for office, you'd probably do well to create that kind of personal impression as well.  But for those of us on the other end of the relationship, it's important to stay grounded and remember that, in fact, there is not actually a relationship.  I think BTD's post is a useful reality check.


    Indeed (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:42:46 PM EST
    I don't think we disagree.

    Gosh (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 05:19:21 PM EST
    If that statement were even remotely close to being true... it still wouldn't be relevant to anything.

    Did you learn nothing from your suspension the other day?  Are you really still holding a grudge that I mocked you for claiming that gossiping is just as bad as cheating on your wife?

    You need to cool it and refrain from randomly lashing out like you did in this post.


    I'm keeping my psycho babble and (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:42:11 PM EST
    hero worship focus on the issue though......not the man or woman or person making the speeches.  It is hard to not look kindly upon a political leader though who always seems to champion and lead on the issues that matter to me.

    Well, issue advancement (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:48:30 PM EST
    is supposed to be what we get out of a healthy relationship with a politician. The problem (or advantage, depending who you are) is that the image/psychobabble stuff can stand in the way of issue discussion.

    And most often seems to (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:52:46 PM EST
    It is sometimes hard to discuss issues when others are smitten with the image/psychobabble stuff.....and if a lot of the base is smitten a candidate need not discuss much of anything at all. Those voters who do want to talk issues may find themselves talking to themselves and uninvited to any parties before, during, or after ;).

    I'd add that (none / 0) (#56)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 07:02:48 PM EST
    very often the image/hero worship is expressed through issue discussion, tangling up the relationhips between the two even further.

    It wouldn't be so bad if all the image/psychobabblers would stand in one corner and the issue-discussers in another.   Some are egregiously obvious (Dowd, eg), and easy to avoid/dismiss.  But others aren't so obvious.

    But then again, it's difficult to wholly separate out personality from issues for each person.


    True (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:55:16 PM EST
    It was the elicitation and successful obtaining of hero worship that made me say that I'd never in a million years vote for Obama.

    I don't want hero worship.  I want concrete policy.


    You yourself are using personality issues (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:03:43 PM EST
    to reject Obama.

    I fail to see how (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 07:11:53 PM EST
    It was the rock-star thing that initially made me nervous about Obama.  

    First, anyone commanding that sort of teen idol infatuation from significant numbers of people can do anything without reprisal; that's one of the lessons of history, both of the last 8 years and the last 800 years.  So however good their policies may be now, the potential is frightening if they were to change course (and all politcians lie to some extent anyway).

    Second, it's fairly reasonable to shy away from anyone whose support is largely cult-like.  I really don't want to be the sort of person who takes my cues on voting from the psychobabble/fainting hysterical crowd.  It's not the only factor, and not a determinative factor, but you have to wonder about a candidate who attracts supporters based not on policies but on religious-type fervor.


    I think it is not the rockstar status that (none / 0) (#61)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 09:08:19 PM EST
    is potentially corrupting, but instead a politician's buyig into or making that status the goal of his/her campaign; didn't the Kennedy's each have his rockstar status (or the 1960s equivalent thereof) and use it to promote policies which -- for the most part (yes, I'm generalizing here), they would have promoted without it?

    Good point n/t (none / 0) (#66)
    by Valhalla on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:26:32 PM EST
    If McCain is elected (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by DemForever on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:58:01 PM EST
    you will get concrete policy, but you won't like it

    But you're still reacting to (none / 0) (#20)
    by lilburro on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:00:09 PM EST
    personality issues by saying that.  Obama does have concrete policy ideas and cannot get through four years in the WH without implementing some of them.  

    I would say that Obama (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:04:24 PM EST
    has plaster policy ideas, and no he won't be able to get through four years in the WH without implementing some but he hasn't lined out too much he's going to have to be accountable for because he hasn't needed to.  If people had worshipped less we could have actually had some concrete policy out of him to be excited in real life about.  I'm still impressed with his going to Iraq recently and how he played that by the way, but that's about it.

    I aqgree with your thoughts (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:31:05 PM EST
    It isn't that he hasn't put up laudable policy statements on his website and done so in his speeches.  I still can't get over the idea that he had no real core politically and because of that I have no idea where he will go.

    You wanna read some psychobabble? (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by litigatormom on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:29:35 PM EST
    Read this article in Newsweek about Rielle Hunter and what she told to a Newsweek reporter about her relationship with Edwards while it was happening.  Nothing scandalous in what she said at the time, except at the very end, and in retrospect, but that Edwards chose this woman to have an affair with says more to me about his leadership capabilities than I ever wanted to know.

    puhleazzzzzzzzze! (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 05:45:26 PM EST
    someone asking for privacy doesn't ordinarily then go making a huge post about the whole thing. personally, i couldn't give two nanny goat sh*ts about "le affair des edwards", that's between the parties themselves.

    however, for ms. edwards, who was very, very public with her husband's candidacy, to now lay claim to a magical veil of privacy, is hypocrisy in the extreme.


    My post wasn't about Elizabeth (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by litigatormom on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 07:11:03 PM EST
    or her privacy.  I'm not flying a helicopter over the Edwards' house.

    My point was simply that Edwards' choice of the women with whom he chose to have an affair is more important than the fact that he chose to have an affair in the first place.  The fact that he paid her PAC money to make a series of idiotic web videos while she tried to get him to channel his inner power, and then looked the other way while his friends took the fall for her pregnancy, paid her to relocate AND paid her a monthly stipend, bothers me much more than the simple fact of infidelity, which is bad enough and for which Elizabeth has my total sympathy.

    It's his fault that Elizabeth's privacy has been invaded, and no one else's.


    I can't help but notice (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 11:02:19 PM EST
    that, for someone merely commenting on a blog, you sound way over the top with your defensiveness regarding Edwards.

    ITA - true psychobabble that is .... (none / 0) (#64)
    by bridget on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 01:11:30 AM EST
    Who do any of us really know? (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:40:02 PM EST
    Haven't our own parents, spouses, and children been able to even shock us at times?  So to think anybody knows someone as distant as our politicians is silly.  Politics wasn't always so clear to me though.  Because of how I was raised I was emotionally attached to some political figures, but growing up is always possible so I've grown how I could.  It is also silly to go on and on about how complicated our leaders are or have been like it is something special.  I can't really think of one person I know on a personal level that I can say is "simple", every human being seems to be "complicate".  I have learned it is about the issue(s), not the person!  I have learned that the hard way.

    It's projection and transference (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:40:59 PM EST
    that's what it's all about. That's why it will never stop. It's people projecting their own needs/fears/desires/beliefs onto largely empty screens.

    And may I add (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:45:22 PM EST
    George Elliot:

    For surely all must admit that a man may be puffed and belauded, envied,ridiculed, counted upon as a tool and fallen in love with, or at least selected as a future husband, and yet remain virtually unknown--known merely as a cluster of signs for his neighbors false suppositions.

    Surely twice as true for those who live in/on the grid mass percpetion.


    Is it really projection though (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:47:29 PM EST
    when you are a single mom and you need leaders making social and economic changes that enable a life with a little now and then for you and your children?  Is it projection if you are gay and you need leaders who will enact and enforce policies that will not enable the clubbing to death of gay people by those who "hate" gays and will deter such happenings?  It can be about projection, but sometimes it is only about survival.

    Insofar as policy is concerned (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:55:11 PM EST
    no it's not projection. One attempts to determine, as best one can, what policies a given politician will be mostly likely to back/push/implement/champion/defend.

    The bulk of our narritives do not concern policy, however, they concern personality, authenticity, and what the candidates are "really" like. What their "true" motivations are.

    If the ridiculous democratic primary taught us anything it taught us that. The insanity exibited by Obama and Clinton cultists is explicable in no other way.


    I think the bulk of our narratives (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:00:57 PM EST
    are as you explain because the bulk of those listening wants it that way.....likes it that way.  I guess it meets their needs, this projection - while others who need a real life result are often the last to get their needs met.

    yes (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:09:23 PM EST
    I do think that most people like it this way. It's "exciting" and "interesting" and so forth. Part of the reason the media does what it does is because they are simply serving up what people want, what is purchasable, profitable.

    It just so happens that a bland and tepid (and stupid) policy discourse coupled with a huge dallop of infotainment/political tabloid/narrative also happens to serve the status quo.

    Virtual blood and circus.


    Even people who could (none / 0) (#34)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:13:19 PM EST
    make policy discussions exciting and fascinating are easily upstaged by the latest Celebrity Scandal(defined however you want).

    I want Al Franken to win his race because I adored his show.  Al obviously read up on the issues of the day, week, year and decade and sought out guests who were well versed as well.  In the realm of AM talk radio, he was a rarity.  I should have loved to hear his take on this election season!  (The rest of AM talk has been an extreme disappointment this election.)


    Didn't Obama say very early on (none / 0) (#10)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:43:52 PM EST
    that he is the "blank slate" that the voters can project whatever they want to on?

    All politicans function this way (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:45:55 PM EST
    Obama is simply more explicit about it.

    No. (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 07:18:58 PM EST
    All politicians may function that way, but the degree varies.  Some politicians stand for some things, regardless what they would like people to believe about them, and some (a few) even stand for a lot of things.  Russ Feingold would never have voted for FISA/telco immunity.  Hillary would never have flipped to arguing against UHC.

    Some stand for nothing, though, and take maximum advantage of what is really a very normal human tendency to project one's wishes on another person.


    Yes, democrats do tend to get emotional and (none / 0) (#39)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:49:13 PM EST
    To fall in love with candidates.  When we fall in love we project all kinds of things on to the object of our affections.  We do the same with our politicians.  We get emotional and project and transfer.  Not a good way to elect someone to run our country.  

    The reason people are so angry and hurt by Edwards is because of their emotional attachments and their projects on to him for what they thought their love object was.  

    I hate to say it, but republicans are better at not getting so emotionally attached, tad more logical and less emotional.


    Heartily agree, but the term psychobabble... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dadler on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:41:54 PM EST
    ...is one of those "words" that have no meaning, except to further erode what tiny respect we have for the brain/mind and its impact on our daily lives, specifically the subconscious.  I'd suggest using something like "analysis without an ounce of informed psycholgical opinion".  Psychobabble just rubs me the wrong way.  I know, I know, I sound like I'm not just coming from left field, but actually reside there permanently.  So be it.    

    maybe we could figure (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:42:50 PM EST
    out a way to make elections totally anonymous from both sides.  

    The candidates would just be know as candidate X or Y and we would not know anything about them except for position papaers and answers they provide to voters' questions

    And the origin of the voters' would not be known to the candidate either so they wouldn't know what audience they are trying to pander to.

    We wouldn't know their race, gender, religion etc.  Just their positions on issues.

    Yes, we could if we simply (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:36:08 PM EST
    elected the party slate.  The policy would be imbedded in their platform and they would be held accountable for it.  Sounds like one more good thing from abroad that we dismissed as so "old school"  This format would diminish the personality cult and stupidity our elections have given us.

    Except (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Nadai on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:51:36 PM EST
    that position papers are essentially meaningless.  What I want is a record of votes - what issues does a particular politian stand firm on and what ones does she jettison when the going gets tough?  Where is she willing to take risks?  Is she willing to take risks?  I don't care about words.  I care about the record.

    We are all one news cycle away (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:44:03 PM EST
    from learning something disturbing or worse about our favorite politician.

    Something to keep in mind going forward.

    That's the scary part (none / 0) (#40)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:50:22 PM EST
    and why thorough vetting is so important.  

    Well I do try my hardest (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:52:47 PM EST
    to put myself in someone else's shoes, and ask "what could be the motivating force".  In John's case, it could be he doesn't love the wife anymore, but had to stay with her.  It could be that he's just a narcissistic jacka*s.  Or it could be that he's exhibiting his own version of insanity, after the death of the son, and the wife's diagnosis.

    In the end, what I want to know is what political figures will do for me -- policy-wise.  I think it's awful when people cheat on other people.  I wouldn't do it myself.  But I consider myself a flaming liberal, and I don't consider myself the judge and jury of their behavior.  And I try like heck not to feed into that mentality.

    In the end, we're all flawed.  Determining someone else's motives or possible outcomes of x based on things we don't have enough information to speculate is also a flaw.  

    the public's right to know has (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by hellothere on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:14:40 PM EST
    limitations. i prefer the bad ole days when we weren't told fdr and fjk had mistresses. yup, i read some of the mags like the rest, but the degree of personal invasion is just too much.

    It's a bit of a vicious circle (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by DemForever on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:03:35 PM EST
    at a personal level, I dont care about personal lives

    At a political level I care for the very reason that personal lives have been made an issue, and I dont want my candidate to be the one that has his or her candidacy undermines because of it.  Look at all the press when he dropped out months ago.  Imagine the impact if he had won.  

    We may not like, but candidates know that these types of issues now matter, and if they insist on engaging in this type of behavior, then they need to stay out of national politics.

    It aint right, but it's reality.  


    It's not the knowing (none / 0) (#37)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:25:46 PM EST
    it's the obsessing.  If every public figure came clean with their legal extra-marital canoodling, there wouldn't be enough air time or headlines to cover them all!

    The transference and projection is all over the blogs.  "JE betrayed us!".  Who's "us"?  I don't count myself as part of that group.


    He betrayed those who loved him (none / 0) (#41)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:55:23 PM EST
    That's exactly the problem, the man they loved betrayed them.  People are always hurt when their loved one betrays them.  That's the problem, democrats fall in love with their candidates, they get emotionally attached.  It makes us feel good to love our candidate and then it hurts when he isn't faithful to us, when he turns out to be another cad who we shouldn't have fallen in love with.  

    So many people felt that way about Clinton.  He was/is such a smooth talker, he makes us WANT to believe everything he says is true.  Just ask Hillary.  


    Hillary? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:32:21 PM EST
    I think Hillary is in the position to know exactly the person Bill is and was.

    Politicians are salespeople.  It's part of the job description.  Egotist is also usually part of the package.  Politicians are people who think they are hot stuff and have the means to convince voters that they are hot stuff as well.  Depending on the voter, some may believe it.  I'm so cynical now that I suspect that every politician lies about some things.  What things they deliberately misrepresent about themselves and their positions are what interests me.   If they had an affair is not something I think is significant to me as a voter.  If they talk big on an issue important to me, but later back down on a vote or walk back a previously strong position is far, far more important to me.


    I am not sure I agree (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:15:17 PM EST
    I think there is enough information to read every candidate like a book.  There it all is, neat little story of who.  Then of course, you need to choose the one who is the least dysfunctional first and supports your policies second. Or maybe the other way around.

    Not to make excuses... (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by ctrenta on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:38:11 PM EST
    ... for this meaningless kind of journalism but the thing is, if Edwards, Clinton, Obama, et al don't want their private lives under the microscope, then perhaps they shouldn't be public figures. If they are, then they'll have to sacrifice some of their private lives, deeds, etc. No other job in America is scrutinized like the president of the United States (unless you're a famous entertainer of some sorts, let's not forget that).

    As much as this kind of journalism stinks, if they don't want their private lives examined, then perhaps they should remain private citizens and/or not run for elected office.

    Just a thought.

    I think it is laughable at this (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:41:20 PM EST
    point to think that the arrogance of the new nominee might not also lead him into similar waters.  What do we know is that arrogance and hubris have predictable outcomes for most.

    Politicians feed the public's delusion (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:53:53 PM EST
    that they really know them, and one of them, at least, seems to have made it his mission - those two books Obama wrote were pretty much all about letting the public in on his life and making them believe they really knew Barack Obama - and he reinforces it every time he tells us about his single mother and his devoted grandparents, every time he talks about his search for faith and his quest for identity.  

    Every time John Edwards reminded the voters that he was the son of a millworker, he was feeding into the public's desire to know him.  Every time he talked about his marriage and his wife and their deep and abiding love, he let the public in and allowed them to believe they knew him, recognized themselves in him.

    When Michelle Obama told us about Obama's morning breath and his stinky socks, she was humanizing him, yes, but she was also giving people the kind of inside info that people think gives them insight into the person.

    And that's really what it's all about - making the connection.

    It's politics, and celebrity and the way people begin to expect to know these larger-than-life people that caused a lot of people to think Hillary was cold and brittle because she wasn't out sharing the details of her personal life.  She was deemed somehow defective because she wanted to separate her personal life from her career.

    If politicians want to be judged on the issues, they need to leave the personal details out of it.

    And the point is that people ... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    don't seem merely interested in people's private lives.  They seem interested the most embarrassing and ridicule-inducing aspects of their lives.

    It is not, for example, the kind of interest that leads people to read serious biographies.

    But it is the kind of interest that has made a lot of Reality TV so popular. Most of those shows are about embarrassing people in public.

    It is one of the uglier parts of human psychology which makes many of us want to part of the group pointing and laughing, rather than part of the group being laughed at.

    People (none / 0) (#55)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 06:47:31 PM EST
    Reality TV is popular, apparently.

    But I nevertheless feel that it is the press and the rest of the media that foists this garbage upon us. It is to the interests of their sponsors to keep us distracted while they pick our pockets.


    I suppose their charisma (5.00 / 0) (#35)
    by lilburro on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    consists in their ability to portray the geographical temperament of their choosing.  

    Obama has crafted an image of a sojourner as a positive thing.  It is one of his foreign policy cred claims.  Brooks stretches the image and doesn't like it, but many do.

    To me, Kilgore and Walsh are being a little too prosaic though Walsh importantly corrects Brooks' on many points.

    As far as the private life goes, it seems as though the private life being at the very least stable is important for a politican.  It allows them to continue seducing the public, making them assume the best about them as a whole.  Of course people want to know the public concern is foremost as well for the pol, and they want to believe that the private life "won't interfere."

    But it is hard to say what their failures teach us about them.  Because as you say, we don't know them at all.  Maybe more forgiveness is what we need.

    Very smart observation. (none / 0) (#1)
    by coigue on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:31:43 PM EST

    Bravo BTD (none / 0) (#36)
    by Lahdee on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:16:22 PM EST
    Well said!

    I'm with Walsh on this one.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:47:31 PM EST
    Because while the politicians Kilgore mentioned were just as "rootless" as Obama in fact, they had all extablished clear identities (even if those identities were at odds with reality.)

    Because Obama is so new, and arrived on the scene with a completely non-specific message, his background is a crucial consideration for people.  And when people can't identify things that they can relate to in a candidate's background, that candidate has a problem.  

    I agree. Bravo BTD. (none / 0) (#54)
    by WillBFair on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 06:06:54 PM EST
    It's worse than rubbish, in my opinion, because it wastes time that should be spent discussing policy issues, in a neighborly and respectful way.

    " psychobabble and hero worship " (none / 0) (#63)
    by bridget on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 12:08:11 AM EST
    Most of what I read on the liberal blogs for the last two and a half years straight were exactly that: unified psychobabble and hero worship of the candidate of their choice. Example: John and Elisabeth Edwards - practically "sainted" by their  fans.

    This was
    Propelled forward by Clinton hate. "Anyone but Clinton" was the rule on every blog I every visited. And this was long before the primaries. But it was in full out preparation for the primaries 2007. And bloggers knew exactly what was going on.

    It was all rubbish, but nobody said it then ... in fact the same folks who now say its rubbish gave me a troll rate (my first ever on dkos) when I politely pointed it out in 2006.

    The straw polls were such a joke as well. Net polls always are. But on the liberal political blogs like dkos you saw polls like: Edwards 10 000 votes, Clinton what? 30? Now that was more than childish.

    It really was true hero fanatism combined with Kindergarten-type arguments.

    Rubbish? Most definitely.

    Well, I think we can agree that at least (none / 0) (#65)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 12:09:46 PM EST
    one person knew or had some type of a relationship with this particular public figure.

    She seems pretty handy with a video camera, I wonder if there are tapes...