More On the Presidential Debates And The Blogs

Digby writes about the Fallows article on the debates I covered the other day. It is a good post. But some of you may be struck by this passage:

Fallows didn't see the debates in real time (he was in China) so he was only able to get the full flavor of what was so wrong with them after the fact, seeing them all at once. Very few people wrote about this while it was happening, even in the blogosphere, until Gibson and Stephanopoulos went over the top on Barack and his online supporters lurched into gear. I consider that our failure too (me included --- I didn't make it the kind of focus of my blogging that I should have) and I hope we've learned our lesson.

(Emphasis supplied.) Digby pulls her punch here. She KNOWS why it was not covered by most of the Left bogs until the ABC debate - for the same reason the Media's bias, sexism and misogyny was not covered by the blogs - because they loved it when it was against Hillary Clinton. The Left blogs failed in the primaries and it is time they owned up to it and why - when it was smears, sexism and silliness against Clinton, all was well. Look at Keith Olbermann for crissakes. Their complaints about McCain favoritism in the Media, to the extent it exists, now rings hollow. Their credibility had been shot long ago. See Corrente's series on the subject.

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    I think Digby also knows (5.00 / 12) (#1)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:12:20 AM EST
    why SHE didn't cover it when she should have....

    oops, you broke a commandment... (5.00 / 6) (#36)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:06:35 PM EST
    Thou Shalt Not Criticize or Question Digby nor Greenwald.

    Both made a choice to completely ignore what was happening in the so-called "progressive" blogosphere, and both are making the exact same excuses ("I wasn't writing about that at the time.")  

    Nevertheless, noticing the self-imposed blinders that both wore throughout the complete breakdown of the progressive critique of the media is forbidden.


    I believe that GG (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:15:23 PM EST
    was writing about "other things".  Frankly, I'd rather he write about FISA than sexism.

    But the bloggers that talk about daily trivia on a regular basis have few excuses other than "I was (deliberately) looking the other way.".


    gg managed to.... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:29:27 PM EST
    ...eviscerate Bill Clinton for noticing that Obama won in South Carolina the same way that Jesse Jackson did...

    ...and he managed to criticize the media's coverage of Obama throughout the primary season -- but after one column on jan 9, the closest he ever came to acknowledging Clinton's unfair treatment was in a piece he did decrying the idea that Obama might be treated as unfairly as Clinton had been.  

    Basically, Greenwald (and Digby) both treated Clinton with the same regard they treated Republicans -- they didn't care how ugly the coverage got -- they just ignored it.


    Digby did do one column (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by nemo52 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:50:07 PM EST
    on the sexism in the media.  But only fter the fact.

    Yes, there have been only too many (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by frankly0 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:22:16 PM EST
    bloggers who stayed entirely away from what they sometimes call the "pie fight" between the Clinton side and the Obama side in the primaries, presumably on the pretext of some kind of high mindedness.

    But you don't stay high minded if doing so requires you not to mention the use of ugly smears and your acquiescence to viciously divisive tactics within the very party you support and clearly see as representing your own values.

    One is reminded of the quote to the effect that all that evil requires for its progress is the silence of good people.


    Yeah, the "pie fight" (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:15:33 PM EST
    term just kills me.

    I wonder (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by Emma on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:12:49 AM EST
    what lesson Digby hopes they've learned?  I'm hoping for "stop hating women."  I doubt that's what it will be.

    When it was Hillary (5.00 / 14) (#3)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    the standard-issue talking point was that the media always goes after the front-runner.  (Utterly debunked by Bob Somerby here.)

    When Obama was unfairly targeted in that one debate - at a time when he was not only the "front-runner," but many supporters had decided his nomination was a mathematical certainty - the screaming from the exact same people was heard far and wide.  Apparently targeting the front-runner is normal and expected, but only when the front-runner is a candidate other than yours.

    "unfairly targeted" (5.00 / 7) (#7)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:29:01 AM EST
    I guess I'd like an example of a question that was asked of Obama that was "unfair".

    Just because Obama fumbled around and had difficulty answering the questions, doesn't mean the questions weren't fair.

    Just because he didn't answer straighforwardly, and the questioners then followed-up to get more info, doesn't make it unfair.

    Yes, Hillary got fewer questions during that debate.  Mainly because Obama kept taking MORE TIME than he should have to answer a question.

    they didn't attack him or ask him anymore follow-ups than the group of moderators did with Clinton when she was attacked over th "driver's license" issue in an earlier debate.  And, if you recall Obama was asked the driver's license question in the very next debate and couldn't answer it.  But, they let him off the hook unlike the way they tretaed Clinton over it.

    The questions in the PA debate that Obama seemed to object to were about Rev Wright and flag pins etc. Obama seemed to think those issues had already been fully addressed.  But, those issues had NEVER beed discussed in a debate before.  So, if you use Obama's criteria for what you can ask about, what would be left?  All issues about the economy, foreign policy, immigration, healthcare had all been discussed before OUTSIDE of debates.  Does that mean you can't ask them in a debate?  Obaam seems to have a lot of new roolz that apply to his candidacy.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    I thought a lot of those questions were slimy and insulting to the viewing audience, frankly.

    Maybe they thought they were providing Obama with a great "opportunity" to address the flag pin issue.  I dunno.  To me it was like they took all the standard GOP attacks and lined them up one by one.

    If you're saying Obama wasn't attacked any worse by the moderators than Hillary was attacked in several of the earlier debates, well naturally I agree with you there.


    I think (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:33:50 AM EST
    it was more about whether he could stand up to attacks. He showed he couldn't.

    I don't understand (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:11:52 PM EST
    Why we keep on reliving the primary?  These politicians get into this to help and because they like power.  They understand what comes with it.  Let's move on and talk about 1) beating McCain (and HOW to do that- no Obama;s inability to do it) and or 2) How, when we get Obama elected, do we keep him accountable and make sure he and congress put forward the changes we want.  

    I would love to see one constructive thread here about obama. Not because I think there needs to be a positve thread, but because there are smart people here that I would like to see what positive ideas we can come up. It doesn't have to be, I love this guy, but if you think he can't get X constituency how can he do it and what can we do to help make it happen.  If you don't want to help at this point, don't, instead imagine he wins and think about how we can keep him accountable.  If you want him to lose, then it seems you need to be honest about that and your reason for writing negative things about him.


    We know how Obama can win. (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Fabian on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:24:25 PM EST
    Spend two hours with a speech coach a day.
    Drill, drill, drill for the debates.
    Suck up to Hillary's supporters like his career depends on it.
    Own The Issues.
    Use substantial, solid statements to define his policies.
    Keep the focus on America and Americans and off of Obama, political rock star.  
    Get off the stage and into the crowds, especially people who need to wooed.

    And stop walking into the right's negative frames.


    ugh (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:26:58 PM EST
    that's so much WORK!  

    Can't he just run a few gorgeously lit commercials, make several Best Speeches Ever, have the Media do his dirty work for him and then, the day before the Election, have McCain graciously concede so Obama can win already and get back to body surfing and those snappy drinks with the cute umbrellas?


    Oh please, (none / 0) (#63)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:13:07 PM EST
    Obama will NEVER do all that stuff.  He's the annointed one, he has no NEED to suck up to anyone or practice anything.  He's THE ONE we've all been waiting for.  He need not be anything else.  

    Haven't you heard?  <snark>


    I think lambert's post at 73 (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by tree on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:31:38 PM EST
    below gives a good answer to your question "why relive the primary". I think its important to understand what happened in order to prevent it happening again (and in this I mean the ugliness and the misogyny).

    If you would look at the posts, from those of us who have a hard time supporting Obama, from the standpoint of an interested observer rather than overidentifying with Obama and feeling the need to defend, I think you would find that we have been offering constructive advice for months. SOme of that advice has been spot-on. Its just that some of us get frustrated because the people in the Obama campaign who need to be listening aren't.

     I know its a difficult thing for people to back away and not feel like a harsh criticism of someone they identify with is an attack on them as well. I've been there. Sometimes, though, in order to truly hear and absorb criticism it is necessary to be a bit less invested, if only when the criticism is given, so that you can evaluate it rationally. Some of it you may decide is invalid but you can't really make that decision until you are really ready to hear it. The fact that you don't recognize that there have been many many constructive threads and comments about Obama makes me suspect that you are still in defensive mode and aren't really listening to what is said.  


    well then by that (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jgarza on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:53:22 AM EST
    logic every quetion asked of Clinton was fair. especially since one of her rationals was that she could stand up to the attacks better than anyone else.

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 7) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:02:27 PM EST
    that's the crap that's politics in this day and age. And yes, she showed that she could handle whatever was dished out. Obama thought "gotcha" politics was great until it started to bite him. Then he got all whiny.

    what issues was the public (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:37:30 AM EST
    actually talking about after the previous debate and BEFORE the PA debate?  Those issues were Rev Wright, bitter, gun-toting voters and flag pins etc.

    Why shouldn't those issues be addressed?

    And, why should it be the media's job to provide "opportunities" for the candidates?

    I thought it was the media's job to provide data to voters?  And honestly, if Obama could learn to answer a question in a normal amount of time, maybe the questioners could move on to other issues


    Well (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:39:08 AM EST
    no one I know was talking about flag pins.  Maybe you hang with a different crowd, but to me, those questions symbolize the media's misplaced notions of what the public wants to hear about.

    "flag pins".... (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:56:06 AM EST
    the whole "flag pin" controversy happened well before the previous debate.  

    One of the things that I found most suspect about the debate was the fact that both of the "citizens questions" were about bullsh*t non-issues -- the 'flag pin' question, and Hillary's "bosnian sniper" question.  The only people who cared about either of those things were those already suffering from CDS or ODS... you ask the average person if they want to ask the candidates a question, and they'll ask about issues that concern their lives.

    The other thing that really bugged me was Gibson's badgering on capital gains taxes -- but Obama's inability to respond to Gibson's false claims about revunue increases from capital gains tax cuts was far more of a problem than the questions themselves.

    The bottom line on the debates is that George and Charlie embarrassed themselves with their questions -- but that (unlike Clinton, who was confronted with equally stupid questions for months at the debate0 Obama embarrassed himself with his answers.  


    So you were fine (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:40:21 AM EST
    with the Media's previous debate vis a vis Hillary then right?

    no, I wasn't...... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:48:02 AM EST
    But, I'm also not fine with two standards.  I want to see that anyone who complained about the way Obama was treated in PA, also complained just as loadly about the way Clinton was treated at the eralier debates.  Or, as far as I'm concerned, they don't have a leg to stand on.

    Then stop applying a double standard (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:53:00 AM EST
    well maybe i wasn't clear enough (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:03:52 PM EST
    I think it was fair to ask a Rev Wright question in a debate, since it hadn't been asked before.

    If Obama couldn't answer it clearly in less than 15 minutes and a few follow-ups, that's his fault for not wanting to actually answer the question.  Same goes for flag pins and bitter, gun-toting voters.

    He could have addressed the Rev Wright issue a long time ago once and for all by simply saying he joined the church for the political assistance it could give him for running for ILL state senate in the future and not because he had any interest in Rev Wright's ideology.  That would have been the honest answer to why he stayed there for 20 years.

    It was also fair for Clinton to be asked about driver's licenses.  It was also fair to point out that she answered the question both ways.  But, when all the other candidates started to pile-on, the moderators wouldn't let her finish her response to a conclusion, others just kept piping up during her responses.  That was unfair.

    Similarly, she was treated unfairly in debates by mostly having to respond to questions first.  Even though the roolz had stated up front that they candidate answering first would be alternating.


    it wasn't fair.... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:14:16 PM EST
    ...for Russert to completely misrepresent her stated position in a 'lightning' round.  Clinton had told an editorial board that she supported the idea behind giving drivers licenses to immigrants as a way of avoiding taking a specific position on the subject.  Russert lied in his question, and said that Clinton's position was that she supported drivers licenses for undocumented aliens.

    When you listen to the question, and Clinton's response, its obvious that she didn't listen to Russert's actual question -- rather she was defending what she'd told the editorial board.  But unless you know that this is what happened, simply reading the transcript or watching the debate makes it appear that Clinton took two different positions at the same time.  

    But no one in the media ever called Russert on his dishonest and cheap tactics, like they did with Stepanopolous and Gibson....


    Heaven forbid people hear about the economy (5.00 / 0) (#16)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:41:48 AM EST
    instead of Reverend Wright's flag pins for Jesus.

    The worst thing they did to Hillary in the debates was having her lead off the questions every time. I believe she even pointed that out once.

    A debate is much like a poker game, you never want to go first. Especially in the game show format debates we had were there were basically no rebuttals.

    By having her go first all the time, Obama was able to foil off of her, but never vice versa.

    As for the Great Jesus Debates over the last weekend, most of the electorate gets it, they both love Little Baby Jesus.

    I would love to see an actual policy debate, say about the various wars we are having, or our crumbling infrastructure from dams to bridges to schools or maybe even something crazy like the economy.

    Heck, a boy can dream.


    If you saw the Philly debate (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by ChrisO on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:48:38 AM EST
    you know that the entire second hour was one of the most substantive discussions of policy of any of the debates. But the crying from Obama's camp was so loud that they managed to obscure the fact that Hillary dominated the policy part of it.

    I was also really amused when Obama started protesting that "this isn't what this campaign's about." I guess he was fine with the treatment Hillary was receiving, from his supporters as well as the media, but when he's in the line of fire, suddenly "that's not what this campaign's about."


    There was a great line after that debate (none / 0) (#28)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:58:24 AM EST
    some congress critter said, "We don't need hope, we need help!"

    And the help came from a policy stand-point, which Hillary was the stronger candidate on. But instead of deflating the primary message of his campaign at the time (devalue "the hope" to more immediate "help" in the minds of the electorate), Hillary took a rather absurd tact of: Those are just words.

    So she used words to say he was using just words. See how silly that is?

    Plus, if you watching the ratings tracker from the Philly fiasco, a majority of viewers had clocked out after the first hour, so Hillary shined when no one was left to see it.

    Hillary lost the primaries not because of her message, but because of the stagecraft needed to get that message out. The first shot across her bow was the 1984 YouTube video, and she never adapted the new media into her stagecraft.

    Basically, Obama put on a greater talent show and thats why he is the nominee, not because of his policy stances.

    And with a character driven instead of policy driven candidate, you have the RIght licking their lips for the General.


    well, he had quite a bit of help (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:11:28 PM EST
    from some red-state caucuses and disproportionate distribution of delegates between large and small states, urban and rural areas, and by congressional districts.  As well as a few well-placed smears along the way...

    Obama may put on a better concert, but let's not forget that ticket sales weren't the only thing in play here.


    Oh agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:39:08 PM EST
    It was Obama, and not Hillary, who destroyed the postracial campaign.

    I am not that naive, nor forgetful.


    That was the worst thing? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:52:30 AM EST
    Sheesh. I hate all kool aid drinkers. You and Tim are mirror images. Just incredible.

    In the debates, my friend. (none / 0) (#29)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    What happened in the Web 2.0 sphere is a whole other can of worms.

    That's where she lost it in my opinion, not in the debates, but in new media message control.


    is saying (none / 0) (#56)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:24:12 PM EST
    that you HATE someone considered a "personal" attack?

    You're banned from my threads now (none / 0) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:52:24 PM EST
    Do not comment in my threads anymore Tim.

    oh crap (none / 0) (#62)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:03:26 PM EST
    i thought I could only get banned by questioning your methods of moderating your threads.

    Well (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:35:10 PM EST
    Now you know.



    first my boyfriend dumps me (none / 0) (#76)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 07:15:00 PM EST
    and now you.  wonder how I'll make it hroughthe night.  LOL

    You will be stuck with your dreams (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by standingup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:01:50 PM EST
    until you take off those blinders.  I don't know which debates you watched but many of the questions put to Clinton were a joke.  As Digby noted, it is the culture of the beltway media putting out these ridiculous debate questions to candidates.  When Democrats accept it when it is directed at one candidate during the primaries because it benefits another candidate, they win the battle but continue to lose the war.  

    I can't believe that all the Democratic online activism of the last four to five years has been for nothing now that Obama is running for President.  It's as if we have forgotten everything we worked to learn and achieve.    


    Obama found people who wrote bigger checks (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:41:35 PM EST
    than all of netroots combined, that is why online activism of the last four to five years has been for nothing.

    If the Hopey takes Biden, the transformation will be complete from faux progressive to backer of the bankers.

    IMG couldnt be happier.


    The money doesn't make any difference (5.00 / 5) (#66)
    by standingup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:17:21 PM EST
    There is no way possible the netroots are ever going to be competitive when it comes to raising money.  The only way to even the playing field in regards to money is to have spending limits for campaigns.  

    But the part where the netroots gave away their power was in the choice to support one candidate over the principles of issues and media bias.  They lost credibility and gave up any moral ground for criticizing the press when they condoned what the press did during the primaries.  


    That was exactly how I felt throughout (4.75 / 4) (#49)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:43:30 PM EST
    the primaries - the liberal netroots totally walked away from probably its most important role which is to level the playing field for all Democrats with the media.  As well as to brea through the media fog and get the Democratic message out to people who've been fed lies for years.

    For years, we were characterized through the lens of outlets like Fox News; then we fought back pretty successfully against the unfair spin; then when Obama entered the picture a large majority of the liberal netroots outlets became just like Fox News.


    yes, Hillary did say something (none / 0) (#20)
    by TimNCGuy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:49:26 AM EST
    about always getting asked the questions first in a debate.  Then the media attacked for for saying that too.....

    It was stupid but (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:02:48 PM EST
    it wasn't "unfair."

    Given the way these media bozos do "debates," that stuff was perfectly within the range of the normal.  If the Obama camp couldn't anticipate those questions and have their candidate prepared with short pithy answers, then shame on them.


    Another reason for this? (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by chel2551 on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:19:59 AM EST
    I didn't make it the kind of focus of my blogging

    Could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that many lefties are more than unhappy with Obama's appeartance here in the fist place?

    Yes, I think that's a real possibility.

    Also, if the left blogs have learned any lessons, few have been willing to admit it.  I,m really disappointed in and angry with so many of them.

    It's hard to sit at the dweeb lunchtable (5.00 / 14) (#6)
    by goldberry on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:25:47 AM EST
    Making fun of Clinton was the popular table's favorite pastime during the primaries.  Hillary routinely crushed Obama in debate even when the going was rough for her but no one wanted to admit that because she was not the flavor of the day.  

    C'mon, how many times have we seen this in high school?  The popular kids pick a cause and no matter how unworthy that person is, they rocket to the top because the clique approves of her/him.  The smart kids and the girls too honest for their own good get shunted to social oblivion.  If you stick up for them, you get sent there too.  

    That's all this was.  The lefty bloggers appear to consist of some extremely insecure people who fear they will be cut off.  So, they toe the line and even convince themselves that they believe stuff they know isn't true.  

    It just wasn't cool to like Hillary this year.  She was like a pair of gap jeans.  

    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:35:20 AM EST
    It's amazing to me how the interpersonal dynamics in the supposedly grown-up worlds of business and politics really are little different from the social interactions we remember from high school.

    In "Nixonland" Rick Perlstein talks about how what you described is the basic GOP narrative ever since the 1960s.  The Democratic candidate is always the popular kid and the GOP - yes, the party of the super-rich and the business elite - somehow becomes the party of the kids who got picked on.  I don't know how they manage it time and time again, but the resentment they exploit every four years is familiar to anyone who got past the 10th grade.


    Not to stray totally into psych-fluff (5.00 / 7) (#26)
    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:56:04 AM EST
    analysis, but my guess is that in high school, the Dems weren't the cool kids, but the sitting alone at lunch kids.  The Rs were always the Big Men on Campus.

    The opportunity (in their own minds, if nowhere else) to be the kool kids now is too overwhelming for them to sacrifice it for anything so pedestrian as doing what it takes to win an election.

    Tinfoily?  Maybe, but doesn't it fit with Obama's skinny kid/funny name riff?

    A few of the sit-alones learned a different lesson though -- that they can thrive outsite the goldfish bowl of 10th grade pettiness politics, and they are the ones that went to be the Clintons, the Rangels, the Rendells, the Clarks.

    The first step isn't admitting you have a problem, it's admitting that you're not a problem.  Hillary doesn't care that she's not a kool kid; she just keeps plugging away on policy, on the good government can do, on how to save this country.

    Some of the rest of us learned that lesson too, which is why we're not slavish admirers of the big orange Cheeto board.


    Very adroit comment (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by eric on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:55:34 AM EST
    I would add one important point that even Obama doesn't seem to get:  You can't argue or explain your way into acceptance with the cool kids.  You might be right - there might be a really good explanation for whatever it is you are being teased for - but it doesn't matter.  You might have a good reason for not doing the "cool" thing.  But it will only makes things worse if you try to explain your way through it.  They'll not only tease you, they'll call you a whiner or say that you just "trying to make excuses".

    I almost wish it were true (5.00 / 0) (#40)
    by brodie on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:12:46 PM EST
    that my candidate "crushed" O in all those debates, but alas it's probably more accurate to say that she did better than him in most of them, on substance, but that's all.

    Because we all know that debates are about far more than just displaying a superior knowledge of the issues which, except for one loudly discussed local matter, she in fact showed.

    Alas indeed that her campaign chose to go the uncool Penn-Thatcher-Senior Citizen route, and to a fault.  Recall the backdrop of one or two-too many older supporters on stage with her as she conceded in IA.  An attempt was made to soften her image and make the backdrop younger, but it was too little too late.


    I agree on Penn's mis-management of (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    her image big time, but I think that the other part of what happened to her in the netroots at least was that people in blog land decided that the only way to win this presidential race was to pick someone who would ruffle no feathers - along comes Mr. Post Partisan - and all of a sudden the conventional wisdom on the liberal internets is that we need a candidate who wants to be BFF with Republicans - it was a gear shift that I found incredibly jolting and confusing having been around for a while and having been attracted to the liberal blogs because it seemed to be the only place anyone would challenge the Republican narrative that had captured the exclusive attention of so much of our country.

    All of the fighters in the race were dispatched quite quickly except who Clinton hung on which really pissed off these post partisan Republican BFF wannabees.  They were so clueless and desperate to win that they could not see any other way to defeat her than to destroy her and the Democratic brand - and some who really annoyed me to no end - were quite vocal about how they'd rather destroy the party than not get their way and have Obama nominated.  I don't know if I think that Clinton's initial image problems hold a candle to the problem she had with a group of so-called Democrats who decided to ally themselves with the kind of people who are still writing dreck about Vince Foster.

    I wasn't even a Clinton supporter in this race, but the anti-Clinton crowd so over-played their hand that I couldn't help but to defend her from the scurrilous attacks launched against her.  I won't forget which people took this primary into the gutter either.  They denied me a good fair fight and delivered a ridiculously low level of debate.  There are some folks that I really think ought to be applying for jobs at Fox News rather than holding themselves out at Democrats, progressives or liberals.


    This is what happens when you go Page 6 (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by ran scot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:30:14 AM EST
    and forget policy.

    That happened in the primaries, it became character over policy. Once this happens, and it always does because a playful mix of news rooms decision (if it bleeds it leads), pundits preferences (much rather talk about themselves talking about people than talk policy where they might wind up on the record) and your basically political tomfoolery were smears bring cheers from the peanut gallery at the political vaudeville show.

    This is how the Republicans get the Democrats every single time, they steer the discussion away from policy where the Right would get slaughtered, to character based mudslinging where the Left is left bloodied nosed on the playground turf.

    And Progressives are the worst at the character game, they would be the crying clown of the vaudeville act, or the straight man in a comedy routine, never realizing everyone else is having a laugh at their expense.

    It's quite a system.

    Boehlert's Revenge. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Faust on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:54:32 AM EST

    After being a Hillary supporter and a woman (5.00 / 12) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    it is almost impossible for me to get upset about Obama being treated unfairly during a debate or by the media.  I have zero passion to express and can't even begin to dig the outrage out from under the layer of indifference I have been forced to cocoon my female cleavage and kitchen sink ridden self in.  Oh well, life goes on....that's my girl leader motto these days.

    Well said (5.00 / 10) (#55)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    I'm with you.  I understand it intellectually and denounce and reject it.  Without raising my blood pressure one tick.

    If Digby and others want to rail about it now, I say go for it - knock yourselves out. Good luck with that. We had a chance to do it as a united front last fall and they were missing in action.


    Different strokes ... (5.00 / 9) (#60)
    by Kate Stone on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:46:53 PM EST
    Remember how the lefty blogs would not let up on Clinton when she met with Richard Mellon Scaife, the man who funded most of the attacks against the Clintons while BC was in office?

    Have you heard those same blogs go after Barack Obama for meeting with T. Boone Pickens, the man who funded most of the Swiftboat Vets for Truth?

    Nope, you haven't have you?


    perhaps some of them will remember (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by cawaltz on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    that alot of us posted this during the primary and stated that the media was treating this as Survivor: Presidential Debates, where one democratic candidate was eliminated each time they debated regardless of the merits.

    In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist(Kuchinich);
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist(Edwards);
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew(Clinton);
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up(Obama)."

    I guess it kinda sucks now that it is their candidates turn.

    When will Democrats learn. Instead of trying to be bipartisan.......let's try partisan first. Let's try sticking up for our own folks instead of stabbing them in the back and then saying mea culpa, can you forgive and forget?

    Heck, SNL wrote about it. (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by lilburro on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:51:09 PM EST
    It's not like Americans weren't paying attention.  

    The media's sexism was seen to be one of the reasons Hillary won NH.  And now we have a contingent of white females that aren't sure they will vote for Obama, which is killing him esp. in Florida.

    Hmm...aren't a few more people going to connect the dots?  Aren't people going to take these older white female voters a little more seriously?  Or are they just going to throw out acerbic mockeries, like Kos, and wait for the third big show of older white female solidarity?

    Which at this point looks like it's going to be a red FL.

    and Ohio (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:36:46 PM EST
    where the PPP poll had him losing 17% of Democrats, many of them middle aged, white females.

    I wonder how many other Dems have decided to sit this one out, but have yet to be counted by a Pollster.


    Thanks for the kind words on PB2.0, BTD (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by lambert on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:00:29 PM EST
    And the link. And also for writing the first post on the topic at Corrente.

    To be clear: What happened to the "progressive blogosphere" in the primaries is the reason we want something better.  Now, we've got to do some looking backward to understand what the f*** happened, but we need to look forward as well -- we need, more than ever, the sort of critique that we all thought that PB 1.0 was capable of: Until the primaries. (Here, I should state that although there are plenty of individual failings to put on the record -- I fail, personally, quite a bit -- the problems are to be understood systematically, and the solutions are to be sought in new systems as well.)

    We're trying to create the kind of space where our discourse isn't toxic -- where truthiness doesn't rule, nor misogyny, and where right wing tropes don't get recycled just because they're good for "our" side.

    I should also state that we don't regard PB 2.0 as a clubhouse for disgruntled Hillary supporters, or as a PUMA endeavor, for example. In fact, there's a strong thread that argues that PB 2.0 should be "party invariant" and that the horserace and electoral politics generally should be shunned (which impacts the business model because that content brings in the hits, but that's another matter).

    We've been having "symposia" on PB 2.0 every Thursday for several weeks. Here's a link to the book, which gives the PB 2.0 posts in order.

    Didn't you get the memo? (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:15:38 AM EST
    The only negativity directed toward Hillary Clinton came from Obama's press releases, and anyway that stopped in February.

    OT...but isn't it about time for (none / 0) (#12)
    by Shainzona on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:35:52 AM EST
    Obama to announce something about his VP?

    If he waits too long this week, a hurricane will knock him off the front page.

    My thinking is that his choice is going to make a lot of people upset and maybe he plans a Friday news dump.

    I'm thinking Thursday (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by cmugirl on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:44:45 AM EST
    It will get played through the news cycle Thursday, Friday, Saturday, then the Sunday talk shows and then it's showtime on Monday.

    This VP thing has already gone ..... (5.00 / 6) (#32)
    by miriam on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:02:30 PM EST
    on way too long.  It resembles nothing so much as a high-stakes, drawn-out-for-audience-ratings, American Idol.  My disgust with the game-show tactics of the Obama campaign is reaching a zenith point and I can't imagine I'm alone in this. A ten-day vacation is the height of self-important arrogance in the middle of the most important election in memory.  Apparently Obama believes he need to do nothing but be Obama...whatever that is. In the meantime, and in contrast, McCain at least looks serious about the presidency.  

    Is anyone else upset? (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:22:44 PM EST
    That the Obama campaign sent out that silly text message, over a week ago, and got everyone thinking that his VP announcement was imminent?  It seems so manipulative.  I know several young people on his list who feel used with that stunt.  Now they don't care who he chooses or when he announces it.  They're rather disgusted by the whole thing.  

    Obama's looking like he can't make up his mind, wishy-washy, and not something people want in a President.  


    I just pray Obama doesn't screw up the debates. (none / 0) (#43)
    by WillBFair on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    It would seem like a slam dunk against McCain, who supports disastrous Bush policies, one after the other after the other.
    But we don't really know what kind of skill or knowledge Obama has. Too much is riding on this. And I can't bear to watch.

    Not sure there are enough prayers in the world (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:25:08 PM EST
    Both of them will make at least one major flub. The media will see to it.

    Why would the media want Obama to flub? (none / 0) (#67)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:20:07 PM EST
    Obama won't be as good as McCain in the debates but the media will still pronounce him the winner of each and every debate.  He will be 'brilliant, decisive, smart, and in command'.   I guarantee it.  The media has chosen Obama, they will do everything in their power to help him win.  They will not accept that they might not be able to control the election, just as they controlled the primaries.  The MSM sees themselves as more important, and more powerful, than anything else in America, and certainly smarter than the voters.  So they will chose our next President. Period.

    Good thing (none / 0) (#69)
    by cmugirl on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:42:25 PM EST
    The voters have shown themselves this election season to be smarter than those in the media.  They will be able to see through the Obama-orgy and decide for themselves who they want to support.

    thank you! (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:14:18 PM EST
    The media's love fest for Obama during the Primaries coupled with their poorly disguised anger and sexist comments about Hillary did the exact OPPOSITE of what it was supposed to do:  people voted for the one "who could in no way possibly win and should drop out immediately" in record-breaking numbers.

    So strong was The One's defeat in the Primaries, the DNC had to break it's own rules and literally drag him over the finish line to secure the Nomination.  And they assumed we'd all fall in line ... somehow.

    The Dem Party is splintered beyond repair this year and the finger of blame is pointed squarely at Obama, his campaign, Dean, Brazile and the spineless, suck-up media.

    There's no WAY the American People are going to fall for that ol' Obama Did GREAT routine when all they see is a stumbling, stammering, inexperienced first term Senator in way over his head.


    Who really can say (none / 0) (#53)
    by rrot on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 01:08:42 PM EST
    why digby didn't adequately cover it?

    I'll only note her blogroll doesn't include corrente (which is at correntewire, where you've linked us for more on this topic) -- instead she blogrolls a different corrrente, which seems to be a split from the former site, and seems to be primarily dedicated to publishing McCain beefcake photoshop works of dubious humor and satirical value.  

    I.e. for some reason, anti-Republican bashing of no merit (however much one may deplore McCain) is preferable to analytical work that may reflect poorly on (certain) Democrats.  Surprising, I know.

    Let's face it (none / 0) (#65)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 02:16:23 PM EST
    The media has decided that Obama is their darling and nothing is going to change that now.  They lurve him and will do anything to help elect him, and that includes continuing to lie and cover up any errors that he might make, just as Andrea Mitchell did yesterday on MTP.   Obama knows that he can count on the press to get him elected.  They've all got their legs atingling over him.  

    won't work (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by ccpup on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 04:17:23 PM EST
    McCain is already calling them on it and many Americans -- having learned to ignore the Obama Love Fest during most of the Primaries and vote for his Opponent in record numbers -- will continue to see right through it clear as day and recognize that, yes, that IS an inexperienced, first term Senator who should be let nowhere NEAR the Oval Office until he's actually done something to earn it and not the "amazing politician" and "experienced foreign policy expert" Keith and Andrea and Wolf, et al keep insisting he is.

    Rick Warren (none / 0) (#77)
    by SueBonnetSue on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:57:51 PM EST
    Said today that the whole thing has backfired on the Obama campaign.  Warren was rather angry that the media has said that McCain cheated and could hear the questions.  Warren insisted that McCain wasn't even in the same building and had no access to any television.  He was with Warren's producers and the secret service and none of them could see any television.  Warren said the accusations were backfiring on Obama.  The media, including MTP and Andrea Mitchell, flat out lied.  Warren was not happy about it and was all over the media today telling the truth about the situation.  He thinks Obama has been hurt by the media's efforts to help him by accusing McCain of cheating.  

    Now we know why Obama didn't want to do any town hall meetings or debates.