The Axis of Misogyny
Jake Tapper at ABC reports on Emily's List response to David Shuster (yechh). The David Shuster Coalition is out in force on the net cooking up spurious defenses. I'd hate to be Shuster's psychiatrist. Can you imagine that man's free associations? Yechh.
Shuster is the true face of the 'Obama Movement'--that's Obama's dirty secret. Sure there's the youth vote (which Clinton won in California). But the David Shuster Coalition is the real reason Obama is in this race.
Is Obama to blame? That doesn't matter. There's a tautology between a candidate and the people who push that candidate to power. He loves to talk about 'change', but Obama's real base is the Coalition of Sexists -- and their hangups are the oldest hangups in the world.
Who is willing to join forces with David Shuster?
The Axis of Misogyny is rising up against Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama is their only Hope '08.
Roger Simon breaks down the mind-boggling mess the DNC has cooked up with proportional rep/pledged delegates/superdelegates. Simon's thinking is wrong about Florida and Michigan:
"In Michigan, Hillary Clinton was the only name on the Democratic ballot. In Florida, Democratic candidates were banned from campaigning. Are the Democrats really going to seat them if they could make the difference in who wins and who loses?"
Simon thinks Obama's needs are more important than the voters. Obama thinks the same way. No, Obama's needs are in conflict with Florida and Michigan voters. The voters' needs take priority.
Simon does make the case that DNC mission creep has fucked up our primary process. All the more reason Florida and Michigan voters don't deserve to be disenfranchised by DNC's cross-eyed confusion.
As for not campaigning in Florida, I'm sure Florida heard about Oprahpalooza. I'm sure Florida saw the viral 1984 ad. Florida can watch Chris Matthews slobbering over Obama every night if they want to. And I'm sure Florida has heard 'hope' and 'change' as much as I have, however hard I try to avoid it. Hearing Obama say 'hope' and 'change' another thousand times wasn't likely to change their minds.
"If your vote doesn't matter, I'll count it. If your vote matters, I won't count it." Obama, Hope '08.
The Black Ned Lamont
That's the picture of Obama I get from Super Tuesday -- a specialty candidate who can't claim broad-based victories in any state.
Two things are striking: One, the caucus states broke conspicuously away from the primary states. Why would Obama win bigger in Minnesota than in Illinois?
Here's the caucus numbers (%) from Politico.: Minnesota/Colorado: 67/32. Alaska: 75/25. Idaho: 80/17. Kansas: 74/26. North Dakota: 61/37 (all Obama). The caucus system suppresses and skews turnout, that's clear.
I'm not suggesting Obama's caucus wins are not legitimate--not at all. He won those states. But a caucus win does not prove general election strength. A caucus win does not generate 'momentum'.
Two, primary momentum is an illusion. There's no such thing, at least not for Obama in 2008 against Hillary Clinton. Sweeping black support in Georgia, 'Ned Lamonters' in Connecticut, or a distorted caucus turnout in Idaho, gives Obama wins in the contests for those states delegates. But a narrowcast victory does not infuence voters in other states. Voters are making up their own minds -- there is no state-to-state effect. I think that's partly because of his stark demographics. And it's due to the Clintons' unique immunity to press hostility. A win is a win--that's true in delegate counts. But a win is just a win, and nothing more, if it doesn't sway voters in other states--or the media attention that win generates doesn't sway. The 'February map' may favor Obama, but it won't mean much if it plays out the existing pattern.
I don't know how, but the Clintons have the ability to bypass the mass media. Al Gore and John Kerry needed the media's cooperation to fight back against smears. The Clintons do not need a fair and balanced media to fight back. They don't need Chuck Matthews or Tom Russert or Brian whatshisname, or any of these other heads I read about on blogs but never watch. The pundits can spin Super Tuesday all they want. Nobody cares. Everybody knows they are lying assholes.
Obama the symbolic orator has widespread appeal--what's not to like? But Obama the candidate is narrowcasting. He talks about winning 'Obama Republicans.' He's not even winning Reagan Democrats.
The narrowcast nature of his wins (blacks voting with racial pride, blog lemmings, anti-Hillaryites, Ned Lamonters) pressures Howard Dean to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates. (I'm not interested in technicalities about convention committees -- this fiasco is Howard Dean's fault.) Not seating those delegates is a divisive slur and a punch in the nose to the broad Democratic base that is wholehandedly rejecting Obama. As Dean recognizes, 8 weeks between a convention horror show and the November election is not enough time to heal -- especially with McCain pouring acid into those wounds.
Taylor Marsh takes down this very strange sequence from Harold Meyerson at American Prospect over an anonymous caller using a 'Chris Rock' style voice to phone a pro-Obama message to a white friend of his:
"I cannot empirically verify that the call came from some group backing Hillary Clinton. But based on my knowledge of L.A. elections, I certainly believe it came from such a group, and the odds that it didn't are roughly the odds that O.J. was innocent."
It's that last line--the gratuitous O.J. Simpson remark--that is very weird: 'Oh, by the way, on a completely unrelated topic, the black jury in the O.J. Simpson trial were categorical idiots.'
Very strange. In the context of two dubious posts on Barack Obama, Meyerson throws in the O.J. Simpson case as a benchmark of virtual certainty. But the majority of blacks thought O.J. Simpson was innocent! Now Meyerson might not agree with the verdict. That's a valid opinion. But when he references O.J.'s guilt as an objective benchmark of certainty, he is saying people who thought O.J. was innocent--the large majority of blacks--are morons. Now if he had said that 15 long years ago, when the trial was a fresh memory, I'd say he was just angry because he honestly believed a murderer beat the rap. Even if he said it in a post about O.J.'s recent arrest, I'd say that recent news brought up some old, angry memories.
But when he gratuitously throws out an insult to the intelligence of the large majority of blacks who thought there was at least reasonable doubt 15 long years ago, in a post that has nothing to do with O.J. -- a post in which he throws around racially inflammatory accusations with admittedly no empirical evidence (unlike the 'mountain of evidence' offered in the Simpson trial), I say Meyerson is neurotic.
That's right, neurotic about race. Especially since he's now had a chance to rethink his original post in which he accused the Clinton campaign of the call--on the basis of zero evidence. This is what he comes up with after reflecting on his original outburst. His conflicts about race are irrepressible.
The kicker is that, in the absence of 'empirical evidence' of the source of the controversial call, Meyerson cittes his job as a political writer for the L.A. Times. It's funny that in the current media climate of wildfire bias/Chris Matthews Syndrome, Meyerson cites only his pundit credentials to certify his credibility. 'Pundit' and 'credible' don't go together anymore.
Does Meyerson's expertise in L.A. politics include any memory of L.A. police detective/'genocidal racist' Mark Furhman, since we're dredging up O.J? How does Fuhrman feel about the prospect of President Obama? Does Meyerson think Fuhrman is a 'Clinton supporter'--though Hillary comfortably jokes about her 'inter-racial marriage' to the 'First Black President'? Back when we had a black police commissioner in NYC, some officers broadcast racial slurs anonymously over their police scanners. My first instinct would be to suspect someone like Mark Fuhrman of that call. Meyerson has more in common with Furhman than Furhman has in common with any Clinton supporter I know.
Since Meyerson cites his experience as a pundit, I'll cite my lifelong experience dealing with the racist mindset: it is convoluted, contradictory, conflicted, i.e., neurotic. Supposedly in defense of a black candidate, Meyerson hears the ghosts of Amos 'n' Andy, attributes it in a Rorschach flash of rage to the inter-racial Clintons, dredges up old O.J. Simpson wounds, asserts the metaphysically indisputable credibility of Mark Furhman, and caps it off with a coded swipe at the intelligence of African Americans. That's basically how these thing work.
God, what an ugly episode on Meyerson's part.