Even Doris Kearns Goodwin Is For The Politics Of Contrast

While Digby is infuriated by the blatant, shameless hypocrisy of Doris Kearns Goodwin, I personally am happy to see that she has decided to plagiarize some of us on the blogs and has decided to embrace the Politics of Contrast:

GOODWIN:[W]hat FDR did was to say this isnt just an election between two men. It is between two doctrines. He laid out the difference between the Republican and the Democratic party, one concerned about government favoring the few and the other one wanting the masses to be sound and that would help the country.


It seems to me Obama is missing a chance. Ive thought that all along [Goodwin is lying here, at least based on her public pronouncements before today, she has fought for High Broderism forever]. My husband is arguing that all along, as an old Democrat. To not argue about the doctrine of the Democratic party. Yes, he wants independents. Yes, he wants to be post-partisan after wins. But right now is the time when the Republican-Democratic brand is so contrasting and I think he has desired to not be in that fight. Its not helping him in a certain sense.

Welcome to the Contrast movement Doris (and thank you for agreeing with me that Cass Sunstein does not know what he is talking about when it comes to FDR (among other things).) You finally plagiarized the right idea.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    That was mean (3.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:31:37 AM EST
    You could have said "plagiarize" once and just been sharp-tongued.  But saying it twice is overkill, hehe.

    I personally can see a way to harmonize the "team of rivals" approach with the politics of contrast.  Like, when you co-opt the occasional "good Republican," you make it clear how broad the consensus is for your way of doing things.  And of course, Lincoln is the role model for both theories!

    But she doesn't even seem to be making that case.  Instead she's just acting like she's always been in favor of drawing this sharp contrast, which I can't say I've ever heard from her before.  Maybe she should just stick to pitching her book.

    What do you mean? (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:35:49 AM EST
    Has Doris Kearns Goodwin had some plagiarism issues in her past? I never hear that on the teevee when she is trotted out on Meet The Press.

    Hee hee (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:38:45 AM EST
    You are on a roll!

    You missed my adding in (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:41:22 AM EST
    another shot at Cass Sunstein.

    You never hear it (none / 0) (#17)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:05:39 PM EST
    (any more) about Joe Biden on the teevee either.

    Both are members of 'The Hall of Shame' but there is a difference...Biden is a multiple offender since his college days and admits it.  Goodwin has always denied it with lame explanations.

    I think it was mean and seems out of character of you.  Usually you are more even handed.

    Now that Biden is the nominee I suppose all is forgiven...or at least ignored.  Kinda chancy to bring up plagiarism at all though, since Obama chose Biden while having plagiarism accusations of his own...which also seem to have disappeared into thin air.

    Sauce.  Goose.  Gander.


    My question (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:29:43 AM EST
    is how does this work after a year of post partisan unity schtick? How does it work after months of blaming both Dems and Reps for the mess we are in?

    IMO, the time for Obama to brand himself as a fighting dem has passed.

    OT, but did you see Bill on Larry King last night?

    Nope (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:36:21 AM EST
    I did not watch Bush last night either.

    My husband watched (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:39:46 AM EST
    Bush. It royally ticked him off. Frankly, I didn't watch because I don't need the rise in blood pressure.

    Bill was shopping the idea that "Bush's third term" is a loser strategy basically. People who are losing their houses don't care about that. The winning strategy is telling "people in ten words or less how you are going to make their life better." Or so my husband paraphrased this for me.


    Ah well (3.50 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:40:55 AM EST
    That just proves even Bill Clinton can get it wrong.

    I think (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:45:05 AM EST
    that the third term thing only sells to the converted. Of course, Obama has been doing better lately in trying to make a case against conservatism. What does Bush's third term say to people that are losing their houses? Not to vote for McCain but it also doesn't give them any reason to vote for Obama either. It's hoping to win by default not with a mandate. Obama seems to be replaying Kerry's "playing not to lose" campaign from 2004.

    Yeah well (2.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:48:51 AM EST
    That proves that you can get it wrong too.

    Sure (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 07:51:15 AM EST
    we all can get it wrong right?

    I agree (none / 0) (#15)
    by ricosuave on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:37:18 AM EST
    I think that the Democrats have little choice but to continue saying the "McCain = Bush III" but I also think it will have little effect.  Obama has never positioned himself as a fighter, and it is too late to start now.  He's still trying to walk the line between praising/trusting Bernanke and criticizing everyone for getting us here.  The fighter would be hammering the republicans on this and not just talking about how generally awful the situation is.

    I know we are supposed to be critical of McCain's decision to leave the campaign trail, but he (again) caught the Obama campaign by surprise.  I think he is setting himself up to lead some lame bipartisan compromise bailout effort (he already arranged a phony bipartisan presidential meeting) while Obama continues to criticize him for wanting to cancel the debate.

    My prediction: it doesn't matter what the substance of the bailout is (ie how much money or whether it gives the Fed full discretion of which companies get bailed out and for what reason).  McCain will include something that kills the executive bonuses or requires pay equity and he will be praised by everyone on TV except Rachel Maddow.  Obama will be playing catchup yet again and (worse) will be forced to endorse the McCain compromise (or, at least, vote on it in the Senate) and will have to reconcile it with his 4 principles speech.  At the end of it all, McCain will have taken the "post-partisan" ground away from Obama.

    Of course, I could be wrong.  Obama could surprise me with some show of leadership and upstage McCain.  Any evidence he's been holed up with Dodd and Barney Frank to get in front of this legislation before McCain gets there?


    Contrast has always been (none / 0) (#20)
    by Miserere mei on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:33:07 PM EST
    Obama's weakness as a candidate even before he announced running. And it remains his weakness. Post-partisanship is 180 degrees from contrast.

    And for those who don't know it, the internet did not invent the politics of contrast. The concept is as old as man himself in every facet of life including politics. Even high school students running for class president practice contrast without even knowing that they are. Contrast is inherit in our human DNA.


    Never too late to become a fighting Dem! (none / 0) (#12)
    by gtesta on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:13:45 AM EST
    Beautiful.  Now Obama needs to demonstrate that he has the political skills and saavy needed to put this thing away.  Also, as the new leader of the Democratic Party, I think that he has an obligation to down ticket races all across the country to fully exploit the politics of contrast here.

    Obama should be leery of photo ops today... having him sit at a conference table with Bush and McCain, smiling and discussing "our" economic problems.

    My view is that what is in the bill (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:15:59 AM EST
    will dictate the politics. Sitting there is not the issue. NOT buying into the Paulson proposal is the key.

    The Dodd proposal must be done.


    Agreed. (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by gtesta on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:44:17 AM EST
    I'm loving the Republicans selling out their platform and ideology.  I'm just cautioning against the politics of this being portrayed as the McCain-Dodd rescue bill.  

    IIn defense of Doris Kearns Goodwin, (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 11:38:22 AM EST
    her memoir Wait Till Next Year is an excellent read and, to my knowledge, no one has accused her of plagiaring anything in it.  Note:  I'm standing by Wallace Stegner and Steven Ambrose too.  

    Wallace Stegner... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:10:12 PM EST
    Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety are near the top of my recommended list.  Just wonderful.

    Agree re Goodwin.


    How I miss Stegner. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:11:46 PM EST
    Yup. Met him once (none / 0) (#21)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 01:44:07 PM EST
    by happenstance, in the Elliott Bay Bookstore in Seattle's Pioneer Square.  Remarkably, I was holding a paperback of one of his books which I was purchasing to give to a friend.

    Dang.  If I'd splurged for a hardback I could've asked him to sign it!


    Wonderful. The first book of his I (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 10:14:00 PM EST
    read was Angle of Repose.  Then, one day, I was listening to an opera broadcast from San Francisco Opera, which was performing Angle of Repose.  Not sure who wrote the score and I've never heard of it being performed elsewhere.  

    I agree with Doris (and her plagiarized sources) (none / 0) (#22)
    by kempis on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 02:06:59 PM EST
    If this election is a popularity contest, McCain has a chance to win it.

    If this election is referendum on the GOP--the party of a few bad ideas--then Obama wins easily.

    The problem is that the Obama wing of the Democratic party seems unclear about what it thinks about some issues. It's all about Obama--and Obama is not as well-defined a character as he needs to be. (Who really has a firm sense of who he is?)

    This vagueness hurts his chances if the election comes down to a popularity contest, and it hurts the Democratic party if it is now merely the Obama party.

    I would like for the Democrats to get on the same page (even the embarrassingly wayward Biden) and in unison start contrasting their principles with the GOP's.  

    I just don't know if they can. I don't know if they know what they stand for....

    But they at least know that they are not Republicans, and, honestly, that should suffice this year.