Reactions To "The Fairy Tale Revisited"

My post, "A Fairy Tale Revisited" has elicited reactions from some quarters. The interesting reactions are the ones that insist that the Clintons are racists and that rejection of the Clintons is the way for Obama to go. August J. Pollak writes:

Jesus Christ, someone save us from the stupid. . . . Because the Obama campaign had the audacity to be upset about veiled racist attacks made against him in the primary, now it's already on the table for McCain to use. See, Obama only had one "race card" in his Magic: The Election deck, and he should have saved it for McCain. A smart candidate would have simply held off from responding to six months of suggesting that the black guy can't actually win.

. . . Armando and the rest of the baby brigade truly embody the most disgraceful and arrogant remnants of the Democratic Party. It's Obama's fault, you understand, that Clinton ran a disgraceful . . . campaign. . . . [I]t's Obama's fault that Hillary Clinton spent the last six weeks of a primary she was already statistically incapable of still winning having her surrogates practically write half of McCain's campaign ads for him.

(Emphasis supplied.) More . .

Heh. Yep, the Clintons are racists, their supporters are racists, I am a racist. That is the Obama supporter plan on responding to the McCain race baiting attacks. Good plan.

See, what August seems not to understand is that it was just this type of thing that has opened the door wide open for McCain. McCain is not using what Clinton said. He is using what people like August Pollak did - smear the Clintons, as a political weapon.

These disgraceful, false and inflammatory attacks on the Clintons are why McCain is pushing this button. August and Obama supporters like him did and continue to do a great service for McCain. Even at this late date, they do not get it. The blind hatred for all things Clinton means more to them than their desire to have Obama win. It is a pretty remarkable phenomenon. With supporters like these, Obama hardly needs opponents.

Update [2008-8-3 16:7:49 by Big Tent Democrat]: Digby writes:

I have no doubt that the campaign has learned the proper lesson from all this. McCain and his nasty surrogates can dogwhistle themselves hoarse all the way to November and nobody can call them on it. If the "liberal" media does, they will be portrayed as in the tank for Obama and part of the problem. It's a brilliant inoculation. Indeed, it may be such a thorough inoculation that it means that Obama is now in a bit of a straight jacket, having to second guess all criticism of McCain to ensure that it can't be taken as "racist."

All true. But Digby chooses to ignore the Clinton smear part of the equation. That's fine. I'll tell the truth about it.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Amen! (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by JoeCHI on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 01:57:21 PM EST

    well, btd, i suppose we knew how (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:01:58 PM EST
    some folks would respond. at least they spelled your name right. i continue to appreciate your pointing out those hard things that need our attention.

    i have seen your name and comments in other blogs with a more favorable slant. overall i think you get very good press.

    Extremely well said BTD (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by athyrio on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:03:27 PM EST
    and I concur fully!!! Bravo to you!!

    Yes, some people are indeed stupid. (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    Those people don't get to post at TL.

    I dunno (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:06:13 PM EST
    For people who 100% convinced that Hillary ran  racist campaign, it's a predictable response.

    They are wrong, of course.

    Absolutely not surprising (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by pie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:07:47 PM EST
    at all.

    Even more telling that these a$$hats continue to bash the Clintons.

    Good grief.  Obama can't win on the merits, so his supporters must keep banging the drum.

    (Hmmmm Is drum banging considered a racist remark!?)

    I am still puzzled... (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Marco21 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:09:08 PM EST
    by the highlighted commenter and like-minded others.

    Bill's fairytale comment was clearly not racist. Why can't those who pushed it as racist back in the primaries at least come out and admit they used it to further their candidate?

    They stripped it of context to get their guy ahead. Obama is the nominee. I guess the realization that they'd do anything to win - the same thing Hillary Clinton was accused of and attacked - is too much to handle.

    Just when you thought CDS was at least contained, the disease continues to morph and infect.

    Many of them are really, really stupid. (5.00 / 0) (#10)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:14:45 PM EST
    No, I have a reason for saying this.. it's an evidence-based comment.
    After Hillary was beaten by Obama, several changes occurred in Obama bloggers and pro-Obama commenters.
    First, many of the most virulent Hillary hater were suddenly talking nice about here. There was also a since-discarded charm offensive, in which Obama supporters went to pro-Clinton blogs and tried to praise her. They were so horrible the effort backfired (BTW, the timing and preponderance of such efforts suggests they were organized by the Obama campaign).
    After that, there was a rash of character attacks on McCain---vicious, nasty stuff. When I confronted some of these people about their tone, they assured me that character assassination was essential to modern campaigns...
    There's the stupidity---thinking we can't put 2 and 2 together.

    the irony is that the same folks (5.00 / 9) (#13)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:19:31 PM EST
    want and need those racist clintons to campaign for obama.

    Ding Ding Ding! (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:28:12 PM EST
    Yes, and when members of the "baby brigade" and other racists do not vote for Obama (as I will not), these same people will be scratching their heads and wondering how anyone could not look at the halo around his head and think him the greatest.

    I can't imagine the amount of bile Hillary must have to swallow to go out and campaign for him.  


    Yet she does... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Marco21 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:35:15 PM EST
    and I will, too. Well, vote for him, not campaign (kind of useless in Illinois).

    i am not sitting this one out to McCain's benefit.


    Me either (5.00 / 11) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:39:01 PM EST
    But I will tell you what I think - about Obama, his supporters, the Media, bloggers, etc.

    And yes about McCain too.

    I will not be shut down by the BS attacks.

    I will confront them head on.


    As well you and... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Marco21 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:50:18 PM EST
    everyone should. BS is still BS and needs to be pointed out.

    Blind support of any candidate doesn't help. Clinton and Obama have faults. How could they not? For all their faults, Hillary was and Obama is a better choice than what the GOP offers.


    You go boy! (none / 0) (#27)
    by cmugirl on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:47:01 PM EST
    To quote those great philosophers, Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merryweather (from "In Living Color":

    You get "the around the world and back snap!"


    You are surprised? (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by miguelito on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:11:15 PM EST
    According to them, exactly what was going to happen happened. Those racist Clintons made it possible for McCain to be racist openly too. Except it wasn't true the first time (THAT is the part the keep forgetting---that nothing the Clintons did actually WAS racist) and it's not true now. I'm glad McCain called them out on it. I'm glad because it made me sick when they attacked the Clintons with this and it made me happy that at least McCain isn't too chicken to call a spade a spade when it comes to this.  Obama worshippers will remain so forever. They are invested. They cannot admit they were wrong now nor do they believe they ever were before. They are behaving now exactly how they behaved then. Like Democratic Bushies.  Blindly loyal and using the things their candidate did to paint the other candidate as such. The same way that Republicans that don't serve in wars manage to make Dems look like cowards. Same thing.  

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by IzikLA on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:19:26 PM EST
    McCain has been waiting to call Obama and his campaign out on it.  He knew he was going to do it and he knew Clinton supporters would be sympathetic.  

    I'm glad BTD that you are not backing down on what you believe in.  I will be voting for Obama in November but I will not forget what he, his campaign, and the media did to the Clinton's.

    By the way, picking Clinton as VP is the only way he can begin to make amends.  In addition, it would help blunt McCain's attacks and help to stop these silly commentaries.


    Clinton as VP (none / 0) (#23)
    by horseloverfat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    Picking HRC for VP would be too practical, too pragmatic.  Obama is a risk taker, he does stuff because he can, not because it would be wise.

    this type of thinking leads me to believe (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:20:44 PM EST
    they and the obama campaign will never entertain the idea that hillary be on the ticket.

    I told everyone in another post that my close (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Angel on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:13:07 PM EST
    friend the Obama supporter has now admitted that he was wrong and wishes he had supported Hillary.  This man has a son who is married to an AA woman, they have a child together, and she has an AA child that she brought into the marriage.  My friend has bailed on Obama because he is not what he said he was.  Period.  Just one very good example of why Obama is losing his supporters.  And the reasons have nothing to do with race.

    So? (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by horseloverfat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:30:37 PM EST
    If the McCain campaign, the Clinton campaign, BTD or  anyone at all says anything critical about Obama, that will be characterized as a "racist attack?"  Why?  He gets a pass on being criticized for anything whatsoever because his absentee father was Kenyan?  What meat was he raised on that He has grown so great?

    BTD, as for this:  "The blind hatred for all things Clinton means more to them than their desire to have Obama win."  The actual problem here is Obama's character, not his supporters'.  Obama likes to do stuff "because he can,"  not because such is wise or prudent as a course of action.  This is a huge vulnerability that can and will be exploited, and part of where hubris gets a person.  

    Racist card (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by StevenT on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:32:38 PM EST
    The one advantage that Mc Cain has as opposed to Hillary is that he can actually play the race card and Hillary could not. With an expectations of 93% blacks supporting the democratic party this year as opposed to supporting the republican party, it is clear that the only way Mc Cain can win those swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and such is to exploit racial sentiments as much as possible. Not to say that many very pro-Clinton folks will not be able to unite because of surrogates of Obama like this one who still insist that Obama good, Clinton devil.

    I' having a hard time reconcilizing (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:32:50 PM EST
    the views of the other two FPers here with the view expressed here.  Yes, each poster speaks for him/herself.  But, IMO, it is healthy to observe Obama and his campaign and to discuss perceived flaws in same.  Doesn't necessarily equate to a bitter Hillary Clinton supporter who'll vote for John McCain.  

    Um (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:36:09 PM EST
    Not sure why you would want to try and reconcile them.

    I speak for me only.

    Says so write in the post.


    Self defense, I suppose. (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:40:15 PM EST
    August's emotional IQ of a pickle (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by nellre on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    I don't know why we even respond to this drivel.

    Wow-- (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by stxabuela on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:13:41 PM EST
    Am I part of the disgraceful remnant, the arrogant remnant, or both?  


    I like being a remnant (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:21:36 PM EST
    I'm all for this party being in tatters at this point.  Let's start over.

    We did predict this (5.00 / 7) (#39)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:54:41 PM EST
    although we predicted that the blaming of Hillary Clinton and the Hillary supporters and Hillary defenders would happen after the election, not before it.

    I suppose it helps to get the narrative groove going so they can have it carved in granite by November.

    Washington Post reporter (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 04:32:26 PM EST
    who is accompanying Bill Clinton in Africa.  She says Bill "mused" on racial issues re primary campaign.  Reporter doesn't elaborate and Bill says we'll all discuss the truth later.  j

    I must say, Bill Clinton's approach to solving health care issues seems much more practical than that of the Dem. platform committee.

    Bill Clinton

    I wonder if.. (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:56:43 PM EST
    ..there are people out there who will claim that Bill Clinton's travels around Africa to battle AIDS are some sort of evil racist plot against Obama.

    I bet there are.


    The Rev. Wright? (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:32:29 PM EST
    What I'm anticipating is the only part of this interview that will catch the media's attention is the part on race in the primaries.

    Shorter August (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:06:18 PM EST
    "A noun, a verb and you're a r*cist if you don't bow and kiss Obama's ring or have the nerve to run in a political contest against him or support such opponent".

    Does anyone think this is good for Obama, for the Democratic Party, for the country, or for the serious *and real* racial issues AA's face?

    Thanks for that (none / 0) (#48)
    by pie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:50:23 PM EST

    No.  It's not good.


    This was always going to happen. (5.00 / 7) (#46)
    by Avedon on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 06:36:39 PM EST
    Obama needed to bleed Democratic whites off from Clinton, and thus smearing Clinton and her campaign with false charges of racism was necessary.  Once this happened, he sensitized people to the fact that his campaign cries racism a lot.

    He used a tactic that can only work on Democrats and now he thinks he can use it against Republicans, and of course it's not working because they don't care, and they're prepared to be hypercritical of any racism charge.  Is comparing Paris Hilton's celebrity status with Obama's racist?  A lot of people can and will argue that it's not.  That makes Obama a "race-carder" rather than a legitimate critic of racism.

    And given his behavior during the primaries, that's a fair charge. He's actually immunized the Republicans against legitimate charges of racism.

    What he did to the Clintons was nasty and reprehensible, but he didn't just do it to them - he did it to the entire Democratic Party and to the entire black civil rights movement.  He gave the Republicans what they've been salivating for all these decades - he has turned everyone who supports civil rights legislation into Al Sharpton's Tawana Brawley moment.

    What Obama was doing (4.92 / 13) (#11)
    by OxyCon on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:16:00 PM EST
    I'm nowhere near as articulate as BTD, but I think I fugued out the race baiting game Obama has been playing . In effect he was planting a race bomb, to be detonated at a later, appropriate time. This is how he got the Clintons.
    When Obama accused McCain, by name, of going to bring up Obama's skin color (AKA, he doesn't look like other Presidents), what he was doing was setting the bomb, and it started working just as it did on the Clintons.
    Once Obama lays his race bomb, then the rabid morons like Josh Marshall, Eugene Robinson, August Pollock, Bob Herbert all go sifting through every word and comment from McCain and his campaign to see if they can find at least one word that they can take out of context and accuse McCain of racism. Next thing you know, there are blog postings and articles all over the place accusing McCain of racism, thereby proving Obama right. This is how Obama got the Clintons.
    He gets to keep his hands clean, but he's the guy who set the race bomb. Then when the media asks him if McCain is a racist, he gets to act like he is above the fray when he says "There does seem to by some kind of pattern, but no".
    Good thing for McCain that they discovered the race bomb in time to dismantle it, as Marshall and the usual suspects were cranking up their "McCain is a racist" crap, right on Obama's cue.

    Clinton could not fight back (5.00 / 9) (#34)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:18:09 PM EST
    without risking alienating African-Americans. McCain has nothing to lose on that front.  If this race bomb was a strategy as you suggest, I don't think it will work as well on McCain as it did on Clinton.

    That's right. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by pie on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 07:47:55 PM EST
    And he can play to discontent among the populace.


    Nice going, dems.


    Excellent summation of what happened. (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Roz on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:10:52 PM EST
    It is why I will not vote for Obama. It is an automatic disqualification, just as race baiting and racism would be. So, if BTD cares to substantiate his assertion that McCain is playing the race card, I'd like to hear it. (I don't consider ingenuously dismantling a race bomb that someone sets for you the same as playing the race card.)

    good point. (none / 0) (#15)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:22:26 PM EST
    Tactically, it is rather brilliant, IMO (none / 0) (#16)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 02:26:19 PM EST
    I agree 100% (2.00 / 6) (#30)
    by inkybod on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:08:55 PM EST
    with "Hillary Clinton spent the last six weeks of a primary she was already statistically incapable of still winning having her surrogates practically write half of McCain's campaign ads for him."

    Hell even Edwards called out Hillary when she started saying that mess about how only she can get the white, blue collar vote.  That's when Edwards endorsed Obama, when her mud-slinging became too much.

    Funny, the Democratic voters were (5.00 / 8) (#31)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:10:48 PM EST
    not bothered by her campaign in the least. They loved her.

    Cept (5.00 / 8) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:12:16 PM EST
    you are wrong on all counts.

    Especially on this point, where it was Obama fans like yourself who have given McCain the ammo he needs to race bait.

    Hilarious how obtuse some Obama supporters are on this point.


    You really think McCain would not have thought (5.00 / 11) (#36)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:25:31 PM EST
    to call Obama inexperienced without Clinton's help?



    Yeah, McCain would NEVER have (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by MarkL on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:28:01 PM EST
    thought of questioning Obama's CIC credentials without Hillary!

    Just imagine if Hillary had won (none / 0) (#50)
    by Knocienz on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:31:00 PM EST
    I'm sure we'd be hearing that by complaining about sexism during the primary, Hillary's supporters had made it impossible to call out McCain on his campaign's (inevitable) sexism.

    In fact, I bet if we look hard enough in the archives, we'll see lots of warnings "Don't call Obama's campaign sexist! That will make it too easy for McCain to ask sexist!"


    Meanwhile, in the real world (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Steve M on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:47:41 PM EST
    Hillary's campaign had no more interest in calling McCain sexist than they did in calling Obama sexist.

    Hillary understood the sad reality of politics, that sometimes you just have to let the other side have their little dogwhistles.  It's too distracting from your message to waste time trying to call them out.


    But the discussion was about supporters (none / 0) (#52)
    by Knocienz on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 11:59:37 PM EST
    All the dirty work these folks did during the primaries to slime Bill and Hillary Clinton is now fodder for John McCain. Of course he was going to going dirty, ugly, negative and would race bait. The wonder is none of these folks realized that when they said and did anything about Bill and Hillary Clinton to favor Obama that all of it would come back to haunt Obama in the general election.
    was a reference to pro-Obama bloggers, media etc.

    Without going into discussion of the validity of said accusations, Can we not agree that there were plenty of Hillary supporters who felt perfectly comfortable accusing Obama (and his campaign) of sexism? Had Hillary won, she would have been unable to call McCain out on it, just as Obama can't call him out (something which has nothing to do with the primary as they couldn't have done it in any case)


    Again, more slowly (none / 0) (#53)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:15:53 AM EST
    Hillary wouldn't have been interested in calling McCain out on sexism, so it makes no difference if bloggers made it harder for her to do so.

    So is there a point or is this just a declaration (none / 0) (#54)
    by Knocienz on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:47:54 AM EST
    Is this just a statement about what you see as a difference between Obama and Hillary or is there an secondary point you are trying to make?

    It certainly seems that the implication is that Obama (and his supporters) should follow this course of action and that they too "shouldn't be interested in calling out McCain on his racism so it should make no difference if bloggers made it harder for him to do so."

    So no harm done to his campaign by those Obama supporters after all?  In fact, making it harder for him to follow this strategy may have done him good!

    My only point is that these arguments, right or wrong, are symmetrical. Either supporters should let perceived sexism and racism go for tactical reasons or they shouldn't. (Personally, I recall the error that Kerry made in letting attacks go unanswered and think you need to smack them down without looking like they hurt you.)


    Yes (none / 0) (#55)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:29:41 AM EST
    I believe Obama should resist the temptation, no matter how much his supporters egg him on.

    I sort of regret how the lesson people have taken away from the Kerry campaign is that you need to respond to every attack with overwhelming force.  You still need to use good judgment, or else you're handing your opponent a license to knock you off message at the drop of a hat.


    This is a false comparison (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Roz on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:59:48 AM EST
    Among other things, you are assuming that Obama was subject to racism and race baiting by political opponents, their surrogates, and the media to the same degree Clinton was subject to sexism and misogyny. You are also assuming that the culpability for "race card" and "gender card" are the same. Not so.

    Could someone clue me in? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 03:52:35 PM EST
    WTH is a "baby brigade"?

    I'm usually good at working out context and word play, but I'm really lost on "baby brigade".

    I don't understand (none / 0) (#42)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 05:49:41 PM EST
    how these full on-Clinton haters don't see the mistakes the Obama camp made.  Who can look at the SC memo put out by the Obama camp and not see that half of it was completely scurrilous accusations?  I mean, one of the examples was that Bill Clinton would choose Hillary over NELSON MANDELA.  That was supposedly part of a larger pattern.

    They (Brazile, bloggers, Obama supporters, all at times incorporated into the official campaign events and press releases) went into overdrive defeating Hillary.  That's the problem.

    As far as digby's Jackie Robinson comparison goes, I see the point.  But is that really what's happening?  The primary was certainly not like that.  Hillary's MLK comments were certainly not left to stand in silence by the Obama camp.  

    All in all, Obama is a shrewd enough politican to understand that their current tactics aren't working and that he will need to try another approach in the coming weeks to discuss his campaign, persona, and his race.  Weeping liberals can cry their tears, but I think the Obama people are smarter than that.

    all true but when a train is going full steam (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by hellothere on Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 08:04:43 PM EST
    down the track, it is hard to stop and not get run over in the process.