Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Odds and Ends

A few reads:
  • Hillary Clinton is 20 Million dollars in debt. Hilarious. Not being able to manage a campaign without resorting to lending yourself millions, and yet still finding yourself in massive debt. Now that's someone who should be running a country!
While the Daily Kos diary in question is specifically arguing that the Cooper plan was great (although that is implied), it does take as its main point that health care reform failed in 1993-1994 because Democrats, specifically Hillary Clinton, weren't nice enough to conservatives. If only Hillary Clinton had been nicer to conservatives, then we could have had great health care plans like Jim Cooper's. Hell, Jim Cooper himself says so. And look, David Brooks agrees, so it much be right.
This is a very disturbing argument. The moment when dislike of Hillary Clinton is combined with calls for Democrats to compromise in the manner of Jim Cooper, and it is all justified by citing David Brooks, is a moment when I really fear for the internal logic of some Barack Obama support.
Jim Cooper=Bad. Check out the rest of the post for the full story and background.
  • Paul Krugman once again lets his feud with Obama get the better of his judgment:
Discussions of how and why Mr. Obama’s support narrowed over time have a Rashomon-like quality: different observers see very different truths. But at this point it doesn’t matter whose fault it was. What does matter is that Mr. Obama appears to have won the nomination with a deep but narrow base consisting of African-Americans and highly educated whites. And now he needs to bring Democrats who opposed him back into the fold.
I've defended Krugman before during the primary because he was right in his policy criticism of Obama, and instead of responding to the criticisms, Obama's team put out a factually inaccurate hit piece on him. Here he moves away from issue based critiques, and on to utter bullshit. One Drop from Too Sense has a great response:
Not to get all racial up in here, but have any of you noticed how quickly white folks start talking about "it doesn't matter whose fault it was" . . . when the responsible party is white? You hear the same kind of rhetoric whenever the uncomfortable topic of race comes up, "Let's not go pointing fingers now," or "Playing the blame game isn't going to help anyone." Those statements, and similar ones, are really just euphemisms to avoid saying "Now, let's not go blaming white people for anything!"

In Krugman's case, I can't say that he's trying to deflect blame away from white people in general. He's definitely trying to deflect blame from Hillary and her campaign, though. If Krugman had any plausible way to put the entire blame for the recent racialization of the Democratic primaries on Obama, "It doesn't matter whose fault it was" is the last sentence he would have written.

So who is responsible for the increase in racial tension? Well, did Obama go on tour in front of exclusively black audiences and tell them that Clinton does not care about "people like you?" Has Obama ever gone before a black audience and told them that Hillary, the white candidate, was making fun of them for supporting him? Has Obama ever referred to "hard working Americans, black Americans" or stated that Clinton has no support among black voters?


Okay, next question: Has Clinton done the reverse?
Few things piss me off more than a whitewashing (no pun intended) an event and pretending there was equal blame to go around. It's always important to understand who is to blame for what and why, for the simple reason of not repeating your mistakes or trusting people who should not be trusted or listened to.

And just for the record, the first paragraph of One Drop's response is also describes what's wrong with the current discussion of colonialism. "Look, it's not about assessing blame, its about what we can do now" is the most common response from European powers when it comes to issues of the developing world. Ok, it's about right now, but how the hell can you understand what's going on now if you don't acknowledge how we got there, who got us here and why?

On another note, it'll be fun to see how Hillary Clinton responds tonight after a win in West Virginia. Her speeches have really been comedy gold recently, with all her talking of "winning" and "being the nominee". It's a level of delusion that would be hard to keep up, and it'll be interesting to see how she plays it. Interesting enough to watch during one or two commercial breaks of the Spurs-Hornets game.
If it's a blowout.


  1. Horrific death toll in Burma? Please, friend, the junta is doing all it can, as my post above conclusively proves. Any deaths which may have occurred are likely the fault of Buddhist monks or Aung San Suu Kyi.

    Also, I think you meant to say "Hillarious" instead of "hilarious."

  2. its clearly the apocalypse in Asia. maybe i should scrap those plans for a visit to Tokyo (ah hell, who am i kidding?). incidentally, i'm feeling this Canadian band called Tokyo Police Club, check em out if you get a chance.

    as for Obama, i've always felt that he could retain more Clinton voters in the general than she could retain Obama's had she won the nomination. maybe this is because i'm in the tank for the Black guy (nudge nudge, wink wink) but what do y'all think?

  3. Hill-arious? I think were gonna be seeing a lot more of that word during the next couple of weeks as she continues to losing the support of her Hill-raisers (Actual term her campaign used for young supporters) and her campaign descends further into self parody.

    I agree about who keeps whose voters though. I've always felt that the left of the democratic party wouldn't turn out and vote for her, just because of what's she's done. This primary proved me wrong in that there is a substantial section of the party that strongly supports her for reasons I'll never understand.

    The good news is that she has run such a hateful campaign, at least now a large majority of the online left feels about her the way I felt before the primary! So that's good, I guess. The more she's exposed for who she is and not held up as a hero because he name is clinton, the better.