Somerby: incomparable! Ehrenreich: now comparable to Dowd.

Very foolishly, I posted today before reading Bob Somerby’s The Daily Howler.  Go read now.  Money quote:  “Eight years ago, [Barbara] Ehrenreich was getting good solid laughs with her comments about how wooden Gore was. Today, Gore holds the Nobel Peace Prize, and the dead of Iraq stare up from the ground. And Ehrenreich has moved on-to talk about Clinton’s vile haircuts.”

What a disappointment that Ehrenreich, a feminist who has written some very intelligent and important books, has typed up a screed so full of cliches about Hillary Clinton that I would have deemed it worthy only of Maureen Dowd.  Despite the troubling prayer meetings and hairdos (both of which were no doubt carefully designed to conceal her sprouting devil horns), Clinton appears to be up 1215 points in Pennsylvania, and a whopping 28 points in West Virginia.  It must be witchcraft, or something.  Poor deluded fools–I guess they don’t spend enough time reading the prestigious, peer-reviewed internets, otherwise they would know that “that stupid bitch” doesn’t have a chance!  She should quit now, before Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Oregon, and Montana hold their primaries.

Democracy is so divisive!  We should just all unite now behind St. John McCain, because the Republicans are threatening to vote for him instead of the Democratic nominee.

0 thoughts on “Somerby: incomparable! Ehrenreich: now comparable to Dowd.

  1. Imagine if college was like Democracy, and on the exam the two kids who finished first were totally expelled (for starting first). Then the kids who handed in their papers in February–presuming they got the right answers, of course–made the (“Screamin'”) Dean’s List. Then right after the March 4 primary there was Spring Break. Then, the hard-toiling kids from places like, say, Pennsylvania, who couldn’t afford to come in at night for three-hour, caucus-like group presentations, were being nagged by the proctors to just finish up and hand’emin, because the train was leaving the station, and there wouldn’t really be time to grade them anyway, before summer. Things seem pretty stable here in the Keystone State. Lots of students at the registration tables in the campus center signing up or maybe changing parties, and the CNN Election Bus swung through a few days back. But no fevered atmosphere in classes or hallways. The margin Historiann offers seems maybe a tad conservative by the way things feel on the ground. Four more weeks to go and then we’ll know for sure. Hopefully the Uniters will allow it to still matter.


  2. The truth is that she does have very little chance, something that her own campaign undoubtedly recognizes by this point. She doesn’t have zero chance, but it’s more like 10 percent, tops, regardless of the polls in PA and WV. There are all sorts of reasons why this is so, and not worth going into now.

    But I would say that her campaign, if it hopes to win, should be shooting for a victory in Pennsylvania that is more than 10 points, and wins (by any margin) in North Carolina and Indiana two weeks later. Anything less than that, and her odds drop even further.

    But as to your other point, this isn’t really democracy, and Clinton’s only shot at victory at this point is doing well enough to convince superdelegates to vote for her. The purpose of nominating a candidate is not just to make sure everyone votes, it is also to advance the interests of the party, however that is defined. That is why the superdelegates are there. The party wants to win in November, and riding out the nomination battle to mid-summer doesn’t make that task any easier.

    And of course, if the situation were reversed, the pressure on Obama to leave would be infinitely greater than what Clinton has received.

    Finally, regarding Michigan and Florida, I predict that their delegations will be seated at the convention, but it won’t affect the outcome.


  3. Thanks for the report from the front lines, Indyanna. And David–you may not care about the queer faculty vote in Florida and Michigan, but GayProf and I still do! You know that old expression from American political history: as the LGBTQ faculty go, so goes the nation!


  4. I’m thinking we need to take a hard look at how humanities double-majors and/or the graduate schools’ legendary dissertation “measuring ladies” are breaking. And I’m here proposing a new metric that looks even better for Hillary than the very sensible “electoral votes” rubric proposed by Evan Bayh. It’s called “Sea to Shining Sea.” Whoever stitches together a tier of contiguous state victories, by any margin, whereby you could drive from the Atlantic to the Pacific (or vice versa) without crossing into territory held by my honorable friend from IlliYorka, is the standard-bearer. By this hashmark, as far as I can see, Hillary needs either Kentucky or North Carolina to go into balloon-drop mode. Obama, it looks to me, anyway, is totally boxed out by this method, so it may be over. Maybe I’ve misplaced a state somewhere, but this is almost as much fun as playing “Game of the States” wayback.


  5. Indyanna, I like it! It turns Democratic electoral politics into a game of Risk, crossed with the game of Life. Excellent!

    For 2012, let’s figure out a scheme that would work like Hungry, Hungry Hippos!


  6. Unfortunately, I just “(re)did the geography,” and it turns out that either candidate could probably “close the sale” with Kentucky. Assuming that Obama won Kentucky and Clinton got North Carolina, the proverbial seventeenth tie-breaker might be the greatest, or smallest, number of state lines you would have to cross to go sea-to-sea. It looks like six for each one, but this is getting to be like the NFL Wildcard Game.

    This is why, when a six year old used to beat me regularly in Oregon Trail back in the early ’90s, she chose the tombstone (somewhere west of Chimney Rock, I think) “….Shouldn’t have let [Indyanna] drive the wagon train!”


  7. I’ve been wondering who is behind the Rev Wright reruns. The McCain people? The Clintons? Dirty tricks? Now I’m starting to wonder — did you have anything to do with that, historiann?

    I kept telling the Obama supporters inside of my house that The Man is never going to permit the election of a black candidate. After all, this is still the US of A – or KKK of A, as the good reverend likes to say. I’m glad Senatorella is still in, my vote aside, because there is no telling what could happen between now and August. And I would still put my money on the Clintons in the backrooms.


  8. Rad–are you kidding me? I agree with Reverend Wright! His sermons are available for purchase publicly, so there wasn’t any espionage going on. And I don’t believe that Clinton had anything to do with it–the potential costs of those kinds of “dirty tricks” would be ruinous to her, whereas for Republicans, there’s no down side. (White racists vote GOP for the most part anyway–there’s no constituency that the Republicans might offend by passing on the Wright videos to the media.)

    White people are always so suprised to learn that black people see the world differently–again and again. (It’s really annoying that they’re surprised over and over again–aren’t they paying attention?) Wright’s analysis of the history of this country is one that I mostly agree with, but it’s also one that runs contrary to what white people want to believe.


  9. I agree with Historiann. And actually, I think in the end the Wright thing helped Obama. See if you can follow my tortured logic. By this point, the Clinton campaign has basically acknowledged that they can’t overtake Obama in pledged delegates, and probably not by the popular vote either. So in order to win they need to convince superdelegates to break for her by a considerable margin. This will be tough because the narrative will be that they will be “going against the popular vote” and so forth.

    So, that’s the plan. And the way they could do it would be to say that they won the “bigger” states, had momentum coming out of the last states, and that Clinton was more “electable.” Fine.

    The problem is, if the Wright thing becomes a big deal, the perception could well be that the superdelegates went to Clinton because of racial fears concerning a black preacher. If that was the narrative, the Democrats would be destroying their own coalition. The Democrats can’t win elections nationally without 85-90 percent of the black vote, which they also need to turn out in large numbers. They cannot afford, under these circumstances, to punt on the Wright thing and forfeit their status as the racially progressive party. It’s just suicide. The better option for them would be to nominate Obama, defend him against right-wing smears, and if he fails, he fails, but at least you keep the coalition and in 2012 Clinton could come back and run again.

    This, I think, is perhaps why Richardson endorsed Obama last week, after the Wright thing. Which is why I think the Wright controversy didn’t come from Clinton. It simply wasn’t in her interests to give Obama a major opportunity to define his own faith and steer the conversation away from her own campaign.


  10. Yes, David–we agree! (For a change?) Obama’s speech last week was great–I hope it puts the Wright so-called “controversy” to rest. I think that McCain’s crazy preacherman, John Hagee, is of greater interest to, say, working-class Catholics in Pennsylvania and Ohio than Rev. Wright is, because of Hagee’s insane anti-Catholic screeds worthy of Cotton Mather. (Hmmmnnn…I’m getting an idea for a post: John Hagee versus Cotton Mather, the grudge match of Catholic-haters!)


  11. David and Historiann, you are missing an important point. Obama’s popularity was based in part on the notion of postethnicity, and the feeling among whites (including certain elites) that he transcended race. I think Maureen Dowd might be right on this. The Rev. Wright thing calls attention not only to Obama’s race but everyone else’s. All of a sudden we are all racialized again, including Bill Richardson, who looked a little more Latino with that beard. (Latino ultimately devolves into a racial category) You are right, historiann, about different perspectives. I think blacks have seen Obama as a black candidate rather than a postethnic figure.

    My sense is that Obama did not want race as a major issue in this campaign. Now it has become that, with a little anti-Americanism thrown in. The question is not whether we disagree with Wright –the question is how this plays, and I don’t think it’s only a matter of white racists. This is going to pull some votes away from Obama. My fear is that this Wright thing is starting to look like the clip of Howard Dean saying “yahoo.” Fear because if he does indeed get the nomination, he will go in wounded.

    And Senatorella is still hanging on. What if she runs the table from here on? What if something or someone else comes up? I think this is still a toss up.


  12. Rad–I agree with you, too–the Wright issue is not over, and Republicans will have no doubts whatsoever about using it to their advantage. But I don’t think that Wright’s point of view is wrong–it’s just further evidence (as you write) of the different world views inhabited by most African American people and white people.


  13. There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today based on reporting from a string of small towns in mostly Central Pennsylvania, including Dover, the town that’s trying to move beyond the fight over Intelligent Design in the school curriculums from a few years ago. Every kind of alienation is expressed from every sort of person, “framed,” as the writer notes, into more coherent left and right-leaning tropes. This all goes well beyond what any one presidential campaign, however polarizing or cathartic, can probably absorb. Indeed, whoever prevails in this contest will be managing a vast, somewhat inherently lumbering Federal enterprise that may by its nature have more capacity to exacerbate or aggravate these alienations than to redress or overcome them. This is a major problem likely to be measured in generational scale. For what it’s worth, the Times Op-Ed page today reads like it came straight off of the Obama daily conference call, and the problem of analytical balance in the public prints continues.


  14. I don’t think it’s a toss-up, but I do think that, if she can’t win, Clinton would prefer Obama to lose in November so that she can run again in 2012. In fact, it would not entirely surprise me if this is exactly the point of her campaign now. She is not stupid, she knows she is facing long odds.

    But I still doubt the Wright thing came from Clinton, mainly because this stuff was always out there. In fact, what surprised me was that it took as long to come out as it did. Anyone who knows Obama and his background has been expecting this for months.


  15. And I would add that in that sense, if Obama is the nominee, it is better that the Wright stuff came out now, as opposed to in September or October. He’s already bounced back in the polls from it, and having it come out now gave him a great opportunity to deal with the issue during a relative lull in the campaign season.

    I also think there is danger here for Republicans. If they make too much of an issue out of this, they stand the chance of losing critical support from moderates who might otherwise swing to McCain. The fact that Jack Kemp had to go on Hannity the other day and basically tell Hannity to stop it with the ad hominem attacks on Obama indicates that not all Republicans agree with this kind of politics.


  16. Well, um, however…. it has to be understood that “relative lull in the campaign season” is an Obamian term of art, not a Democratic one. Here on the ground in the land of the Three Great Rivers, it seems less like a lull than another Gettysburg moment; an opportunity to hurl back an intruder who’s not even taking the place seriously enough to campaign all out.
    [Except to the extent that the flag-bedecked and gardeniad National Constitution Center is maybe your basic local plant gate]. This may not be an uplifting perspective in some elite precincts, but in a confederated polity, local places like to take themselves and their delusions seriously and to be taken so. The assumption that unifying for November will automatically be the transcendent objective may or may not play out in some of the byways and hollows. Amateurs (in the fullest sense of that term) rushing along in the thump-thump-thump of amor may be missing some important signs on the trailside that Clinton’s much-eviscerated tired old hacks wouldn’t have done.

    This impatience to get things wrapped up may also produce more Floridas and Michigans next time out. It hardly rewards states that played by the DNC’s much-trumpeted “rules.” We have two euthanized states, a bunch more big coastal ones that “are going to vote Democratic anyway” and so don’t need to have their Super Tuesday decisions heeded, and dutiful truants like Pennsylvania whose insistance on not “doing the math” and accepting that “its over” are a threat to Party fortunes. We’ve heard this crafty spin since at least mid-February. It may take a candidate more hallowed than merely transcendent to put this particular Humpty together again.


  17. I’m not sure I follow. It is a lull in the campaign season because there are no primaries from March 11 to April 22. Obama is about to do a major bus tour of Pennsylvania, and Clinton has already started shifting much of her attention to North Carolina and Indiana. Both candidates recognize that Pennsylvania is important, but it doesn’t all come down to Pennsylvania either.

    Anyway, I don’t think there is much doubt at this point that McCain has benefited tremendously from the ongoing Democratic campaign. His positive ratings are way up. The question isn’t whether PA should vote but whether Clinton should continue with a hard-hitting campaign style that hurts Obama but doesn’t really improve her own chances either.

    Ah, and it was nice to see Clinton attack Obama over Wright today. She sure is a class act.


  18. Although it’s completely in the realm of speculation, I think Hillary’s latest salvo on Wright (which keeps it in the news) is an indication that her people might have pushed the Wright story. I’m getting increasingly disgusted by the level of the discussion — stupid comments on Bosnia, what “my” pastor says.

    But did you hear? Mc is back — he did a speech yesterday saying the government shouldn’t help people with default mortgages. That should play well in economically distressed areas — might be the best comment since the 100 years in Iraq.


  19. Historiann,

    I love your blog. It makes me laugh out loud. But I cannot understand how you can continue to support Hillary after all the dirty tricks her campaign has engaged in. OK, forget about Hillary and her campaign, whatever it has or hasn’t done, forget about her support for the war and her inability to take her lumps for this mistake. Obama’s speech on race was path-breaking. As Historiann, don’t you agree? When someone can write and deliver such a thoughtful speech in the teeth of so much negative campaigning, he essentially has my vote. It shows me that he can think through complex issues and truly try to find some kind of way forward.

    OK, but I must return to Hillary for a moment. I was a huge supporter in the beginning but she just continues to lose credibility with me as events transpire. The fact is that her campaign is not just bloodying Obama during this fight for the Democratic nomination (this is politics as usual, unappealing as it may be), but worse, from where I sit, is it is bloodying Hillary herself — with lies about what happened in Tuzla (OK, it’s funny with Sinbad and all, but really worries me when our current administration plays so fast and loose with the truth), with her ridiculous phone call at 3:00 in the morning advertisement, and all the rest. The fact is, the more she takes the low road, the more beat-able she will be by McCain if the unthinkable happens.

    Setting aside all the unsavory moments in her campaign and with those associated with her campaign — Geraldine Ferraro’s statement, the release of picture of Obama in Kenyan garb to the Drudge Report, her “as far as I know Obama’s not a Muslim” statement, Bob Kerrey’s “Barack HUSSEIN Obama will have an advantage in foreign policy when dealing with the Muslim world,” let’s return to Obama again. How great is it that, instead of casting aside Reverend Wright and denying his importance in Obama’s life and religious development, Obama OWNS his relationship with the Rev. and has the balls to say that he cannot disavow the relationship? Contrast that with the Clintons’ shucking off inconvenient attachments and relationships (can you say “Lani Guanier”?).

    Anyway, I apologize for my fervor here. I haven’t been reading this blog regularly of late so I may have missed important points raised on your ever-interesting and thought-provoking site, so if I am out of line here, I apologize.



  20. Hey LT–thanks for stopping by and commenting. No need to apologize for your fervor–I respect your decision to support Obama. I don’t dislike him or think he’s the devil, but I’m saddened that many Obama supporters think that about Clinton. I think the nastiness of this campaign is due to the fact that there’s very little room between HRC and BO ideologically or politically. I support Clinton because of her health care plan (Obama is running to Clinton’s right on health care), and because of her greater experience. I just think she will be better politically and strategically in dealing with U.S. politics as it is now.

    There’s a surprising amount of Clinton hatred taken from 1990s right-wing talking points that many Democrats have been too happy to claim and make their own in making the case against Clinton, and the media and left blogosphere have been very effective in painting Devil horns on a person who has devoted her life to public service. She has to run a campaign, after all, but she’s being judged much more severely for this than any man has ever been. I guess I’m not surprised, but I’m very resentful. I wish the candidates would do a 3-hour long town hall on health care reform, and stop feeding the media’s frenzy for conflict. Bore everyone to death, please, rather than fight over these stupid side issues of who called whom a monster, etc.

    I think the effort by Obama supporters to make George Bush’s war in Iraq all Hillary Clinton’s fault is foolish and short-sighted. Yes, she voted for the AUMF in 2002, but SO DID EVERY SINGLE MAN WHO WAS IN THE SENATE IN 2002 AND RAN FOR THE PRESIDENCY IN 2004 AND 2008 WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BOB GRAHAM. Where were the Grahamiacs, and why isn’t he president now, if the AUMF vote that so many Obama supporters cite as their reason for not supporting Clinton are *really* so up in arms over Iraq? John Kerrey won the support of every Democrat in 2004, and no man has been so demonized or villified for that vote the way Clinton has been for that vote. Let’s not forget who is really to blame for Iraq: Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. Also, please note that since he joined the U.S. Senate in January 2005, Obama’s voting record on Iraq issues has been identical to Clinton’s.

    Democrats should be very wary of falling for this analysis, but they seem to have forgotten what happened in 2000. We had an excellent candidate in Gore, but we allowed the media to beat him up, portray him as a serial fabulist, and tell us that he and Bush were really the same Corporate America candidate. The same script is being run on Hillary Clinton, so I don’t mind it at all that she’s pushing back and fighting hard. I know many people are offended because it’s not ladylike or becoming of a proper woman, but I think that we Democrats need someone who’s going to kick ass and take names. Isn’t that what many of us would have preferred in Gore and Kerry–a little more fight?

    I really liked Obama’s speech on race–it was brave, smart, and sophisticated. I fear that it may have been a little too sophisticated, but I really appreciate that he took the high road although it may yield fewer immediate political rewards. I still think Clinton would be a better President because of her policies and her experience. Obama hasn’t had to fight the way Clinton has–he cleared the field for his one race for the U.S. Senate, and he’s coasting on a wave of love from a media that hates Hillary Clinton. He benefits from being the not-Clinton, but sadly I think his luck will run out when he becomes the not-McCain. The real McCain says the unbelieveably stupid things like RadReadr cites, and the press spins it for him to say that “he really didn’t mean that,” or “it was just a McCain moment.” No matter what, McCain wins the news cycle, every time, and it won’t matter if the candidate is Clinton or Obama.


  21. p.s. Some links from Talk Left with interesting data points and arguments:

    In sum, the nastiness of the campaign seems to be turning more Clinton voters off of the notion of supporting Obama, not vice-versa; and there are equal numbers (although still a minority) of Democrats who want Obama to drop out of the race as want Clinton to drop out. So, it looks like the fun will continue, LT, David, and Rad! Yay?


  22. Interesting how Donna Brazile noted today that when Bill was in deep trouble over the Ken Starr report, Jeremiah Wright stood by him and supported him. But, of course, as soon as it is in Clinton’s interest to say so, she throws the guy under the bus and acts as if he’s the black David Duke. As I said, she’s a real class act. I’d be so honored to have her as my president.

    And please, enough with the toughness and experience arguments. Her major foreign policy decision was wrong. Her major domestic policy initiative was an unmitigated disaster. What has she actually accomplished in the Senate to merit running as the “experience” candidate?


  23. Interesting how Hillary Clinton never brought up Rev. Wright until specifically asked about it in a newspaper interview yesterday. Interesting how she only said “he wouldn’t be my minister,” instead of attacking Obama. Interesting how she answered probably 20 questions in that interview, and that’s the only answer she gave that got airplay. Interesting, isn’t it?

    I understand that you support Obama, David. Why are you so evangelical in your hatred of Hillary Clinton that you won’t accept that some of us still admire and support her, no matter how hard you stamp your feet?


  24. Hi Historiann,

    Glad to see you are holding down the Clinton fort! I don’t know if you’ve been to these 2 sites, but they are pro-Clinton

    (The correntewire is a group blog where most but not all are pro-Clinton.)

    What do you think of Obama’s positions against the revotes in Mi and Fla? While politically this helps him in the short term since he would have been whumped by the evil Hillary, I think it could hurt him in the general election. For me, blocking the revote is close to a dealbreaker as far as I supporting him. Before he block the vote, I was prepared to vote him, albeit reluctantly. Now, I may sit out the election or vote Green. I did see the Prohibition party got 100 votes in the 2004 election so that is a possibility as well.

    What do you think?


  25. Hi BEW–I’ve been reading Correntewire, but I didn’t know about NYCweboy–thanks! has been good on the MI/FL disaster. I was optimistic that there would be a fair and square re-vote a few weeks ago, because I agree that seating Clinton delegates based on the earlier votes would have been unfair. (Moreso for MI, where Obama wasn’t on the ballot, less so for FL, where everyone was on the ballot.) I can’t totally blame him for pursuing what’s in his political best interests, but think it’s a stunning admission of weakness of the “inevitable” “frontrunner” candidate that he’s fearful of a re-vote. If the media weren’t so in love with their anti-Clinton, they might get around to asking him why he’s willing to throw away and/or suppress the votes in Michigan and Florida. And, because those states are going to be key in November, I think it’s monumentally stupid for the DNC and Obama to say to Michigan and Florida voters that they can go pound sand. (Just ask GayProf–the second comment in this thread.)

    But: I think it’s too extreme not to vote for Obama in November. He would be infinitely preferable to McCain, and that’s who we all have to remember is the real foe of all Democrats. I don’t agree with Obamaphiles who threaten not to vote for HRC if she’s the nominee, and I can’t go along with it the other way. (But, if you live in Florida or Michigan, can I say that “I feel your pain?” My mother’s vote got tossed in Michigan, and she’s angry too.)

    This mess all gets back to the DNC’s inexplicable protection racket for vainglorious politicians, innkeepers, and restauranteurs in Iowa and New Hampshire. What gives with that? I say in 2012, let the FIRST states to vote be Michigan and Florida. Make candidates campaign in at least one state that has a complex, diverse, and significant population. I don’t get how Iowa and New Hampshire get to be first among equals to the point that we’re going to toss votes out. Dumb, dumb, dumb.


  26. Of course she will want Obama to win–because she’s spent a lifetime in the Democratic party! Because her health care plan is almost exactly like his! Because they’d appoint the same kinds of people to the Supreme Court! Because she loves her country and her party, despite the fact that people like you continue to question that!

    Really, all of this conspiracy theorizing about her secret movtivations and her undercover interests is outrageous, and calls to mind the rantings of Rush Limbaugh about how she murdered Vince Foster, and how she used to run drugs out of the Little Rock airport in the 1980s. Why are Democrats so eager to adopt talking points from the right wing about Clinton? No other democratic contender in my memory has been subjected to such suspicion, hostility, and calumny, and that includes Al Gore who was raked over both as a primary contender and as the party nominee. It’s insinuations like this that just reinforce my deeply held view that a man with her exact voting record would never be subjected to the same level of hostility and suspicion that she is now.

    The reason she is fighting now for the nomination is that she’s fighting to win the nomination. This is her one shot, and she thinks she’s a better bet than Obama. Obama thinks he’s a better bet than Clinton. That’s all there is to it. Neither one of them should drop out of the race. Too many people have yet to vote. Then, let the chips fall where they may.


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