Stop, please. Consider the context: For as long as I've been alive, one singular demographic has been considered the ultimate, uber-awesome, keystone and most-important demographic in any election without which no one could ever win: White males.
You see why breaking the media of this particular narrative would be good for the nation as a whole? This is not a wish for death and damnation upon all white men. Nor is it a rejection of white men as an important demographic. This is a wish--and a way to implement that wish--for politicians and the media to stop kow-towing to everything that is white and male, and quite often racist (speaking demographically, not individually). Why? Because America is a more tolerant and diverse place than that.
Black and white morality is part of the nature of strict father morality. Strict father morality, in turn, is the basis of the conservative world-view. It's also the basis of much of the authoritarian mindset.
When speaking in terms of demographics, the underlying assumption is that you are speaking in generalities. This means none of the conclusions at a group level are necessarily applicable at an individual level, or even a sub-group level.
This statement sounds like a standard whisper campaign, never proven, but full of completely impossible to disprove claims. So, proof or it never happened.
A story from your "friend" in Minnesota who has a sister (who obviously doesn't like Franken) who hosted a failed house party is not proof. Then you add the bonus, "Dad later ran into him the next day and he was a dick" routine. Really? What are the chances?
Your story is hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay, filled with coincidence, happenstance, private events, private conversations, and few or no confirming witnesses and absolutely no supporting documentation or even a measly link. It doesn't help that you are also asking us to believe something completely contrary to what people who have a long history of knowing Al Franken actually say about him. And it doesn't help that you obviously have an ax to grind.
So, do you really believe this crap, or are you just full of crap?
"[T]he target for that comment were media types. The only reason it is conventionally assumed that a terrorist attack is good for Republicans is that Republicans keep saying it, and when they say it, the media listens."
There are several things I want to say about this.
One, this reminds me of the bitch-slap theory of politics. The theory states that you should bitch-slap your opponent, and if they don't respond exactly as you have taunted that person to respond, then they are weak. See Digby, referencing John Kerry, Al Gore, etc. Just reading that missive from the McCain campaign got my back up. It was purposefully made to be pushy and in many ways over the top, so that capitulation would be seen as weakness, and rejection would be seen as weakness.
All these factors undermine McCain's claim to moral superiority in this missive. Luckily, the Obama campaign, as noted above, has done a good job of responding to this aspect of the proposal.
Two, yes, as everyone has said, these debate formats favor McCain, to the best of his strengths. In particular, the small numbers, the limited time, the number of debates, the free publicity, the fact that it's limited to debate, without set pieces, etc. Change a few of those parameters, and I'd be gun-ho for this.
For example, imagine if the debates were held in an auditorium or stadium capable of holding 20k people. Obama would simply say, "These debates are for history. As many people as possible should have direct participation. We should open up the gates to all who wish to enter, at large venues, with no checking of partisan affiliation." It'd be over before it began.
Also, the number of debates is ridiculous. I'd say three of these would be more than generous. This cuts down on free publicity, but also cuts down on needless repetition. It would also better fit into a larger debate / campaign cycle much, much better, with other debate formats and still time to actually campaign, and perhaps attend the Senate periodically.
Finally, push more towards what commenters above have described as similar to the Lincoln-Douglas debates, where both set pieces and debate are allowed, and this would be great not just for Obama, but the national discourse as a whole.
Three initial matters. One, the post is comparing the anti-government rhetoric coming out of Obama's website to something that would come from Karl Rove. Honestly, if you look at it, it seems an apt comparison. That doesn't mean they equated Obama with Karl Rove. By those standards, you just admitted that Obama is a Republican Party operative, because he criticizes Clinton's healthcare with Republican talking points. I don't think any of us here think such things.
Two, as for what Krugman wrote, the last line in the linked article says, "If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance -- nobody knows how big -- that we'll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won't happen." Krugman didn't say "healthcare won't happen," he said "universal healthcare won't happen." That's true almost by definition with Obama's plan.
Three, Krugman passionately believes in Universal Healthcare. I think his criticisms come from that perspective, not from some dislike of Obama.
For your argument, we should separate passability from what is a "better plan." You make good arguments on passability, within the given context. I simply disagree on whether the plan itself is better. I also think it's a strategic mistake to compromise before the sh*t hits the fan. Ask for a lot, then compromise later. Honestly, Obama should simply go for the brass ring. He can negotiate down later, if forced to.
Now, incidentally, I think this is especially tragic because I bet Obama would bring in bigger majorities in both houses of Congress at the top of the ticket. I also think Obama will do better in terms of leading the nation towards a more liberal / progressive agenda. I also think Obama is simply better at oratory and communication. It's tragic because I think, if Obama would just embrace mandates, he will have a far better chance of bringing in universal healthcare than Clinton does, due to all of the above.
B.S. Paul Krugman has repeatedly said that Obama's plan is better than anything the Republicans can put together, and it's far better than nothing. It just looks bad in comparison to Clinton's because it's missing mandates. There is no doubt in my mind that Paul Krugman would happily vote for Obama.
You start with some seriously distorted facts. One, no one seriously claims that Obama's plan is "pathetic" without mandates. Go read the post again. Go read Krugman again. Go read the comments again. Two, Krugman never said Obama will never pass his version but Clinton will pass hers. That's not the argument. The argument is, Clinton's plan is better. Three, the post does not claim that Obama is less progressive than Hillary. Few people would make that argument. The criticism is directed at Obama's HEALTHCARE proposal.
As for your argument, it seems that you support disseminating dishonest arguments about healthcare proposals. You admit that Obama's Harry and Louise ads are taking a page out of the Republican playbook. Come time for the general election, the Republican Harry and Louise ads will only be ever more effective because they also came from Obama. The ads are dishonest. They also position Obama in such a way that he can not propose mandates, ever, if he were President.
And no, the candidates DO NOT have the "same damned plans." That's the whole point here. Mandates v. No Mandates is a very, very big difference.
Finally, do you really think Republicans will find it impossible to slander Obama's plan? That's ridiculous. Republicans are the masters of smear.
Well, Clinton's disenfranchising argument is rather disingenuous, considering that Clinton's name was the only one on the Michigan ballot, despite a clear agreement by the candidates to not do that. I think TPM has a good post on the problem.