If I had a nickle...

Back in 2006, before any Democrats had announced their intentions to run, I was cheering the quality of our potential field, which included such top-notch Democrats as Gore, Edwards, Clark, Clinton, and Obama.  I also wrote:

I hope that having such a high-quality field won't, perversely, lead to a greater-than-normal number of gratuitous potshots being taken by Democratic bloggers and diarists

Well, if only I had a nickle for every one of those gratuitous potshots!

Today we have a recommended diary on MyDD which charges a Democratic presidential candidate with lying (in capital letters, no less!) - and the charge is so cockamamy that even to call it cockamamy is to elevate it too much. Yet, alas, the diarist is not too embarrassed to pen it in his diary, and the recommenders are not too embarrassed to press the Recommend button.  

The issue? Obama has more than once said he was "a law professor" or "a constitutional law professor" at the University of Chicago. He did indeed "serve as a professor of law" at this university, according to the university, but his staff title was "Senior Lecturer," not "Professor."  Thus he was a small-p professor, not a big-P Professor.

Did Obama nefariously imply that he was a big-P professor? Should he have been very careful, as the diarist argues, to say "I taught law" rather than "I was a professor of law".  After all, people may not hear the a and may well conclude in any event that he was a big-P and not a small-p professor.

As if it needed to be stated:  this Democratic presidential candidate has a great deal of expertise in the field of constitutional law, which is what allowed him to be hired to teach constitutional law at a prestigious law school.  Thus, no one who has come to believe that this Democratic presidential candidate has a great deal of expertise in the field of constitutional law, has formed a false belief.

Giving the diarist the benefit of the doubt, I would assume he is a fine and loyal Democrat.  Nonetheless his diary unfortunately exhibits the characteristics of both trolling and concern-trolling.  Trolling because the title of the diary makes a completely over-the-top charge that a Democratic presidential candidate is guilty of "lying", and concern-trolling because the diarist asserts that if Obama wasn't fibbing, then in the best case he was foolishly careless to use the word "professor"since it could be used against him!

Tags: presidential primaries (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

Sooo...

Without this fortune in nickels, and because of that other diarist you feel you've been hoodwinked. You've been had. You've been took. You've been led astray, led amok. You've been bamboozled. In sum, you've been okie doked!

Correct?

Or, in other words: what's your point?

by DemAC 2008-03-30 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Sooo...

I'm not following you either.

by Rob in Vermont 2008-03-30 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: If I had a nickle...

Not like the Obama Campaign hasn't accused Hillary of being a serial lyer.  For awhile, their whole campaign against Clinton had been one of character assasination.

The left blogosphere has become what I used to hate about the right wing sites.  

by Dave B 2008-03-30 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: If I had a nickle...

The difference, of course, being that she is, and he isn't.

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-30 10:37AM | 0 recs
Re: If I had a nickle...

ka-ching!

by Rob in Vermont 2008-03-30 11:50AM | 0 recs
Point well-taken.

As if it needed to be stated:  this Democratic presidential candidate has a great deal of expertise in the field of constitutional law, which is what allowed him to be hired to teach constitutional law at a prestigious law school.  Thus, no one who has come to believe that this Democratic presidential candidate has a great deal of expertise in the field of constitutional law, has formed a false belief.

recc'd.

by a gunslinger 2008-03-30 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Pray Tell...

What is this "great deal of expertise in the field of constitutional law?"

Some people must think that lecturing in Constitutional Law makes them an expert, "with a great deal of expertise in the field."

I beg to differ. Here is an example of a man with a "great deal of expertise" in Constitutional Law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Abram s

It is said:

"Ask someone to name a First Amendment lawyer. If they answer, one-hundred percent of the time the answer will be the same: Floyd Abrams. Then ask them to name another such lawyer. The answer: silence. It is a sign of the times that the name Floyd Abrams is synonymous with the First Amendment in a way that virtually no other name is." First Amendment Center.[8]

"[Floyd Abrams is the] most significant First Amendment lawyer of our age." Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.[9]

Again. Where is Barack Obama's "great deal of expertise in the field of Constitutional Law?"

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at Occidental College for two years.[12] He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.[13]

Obama received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group before moving to Chicago in 1985 to take a job as a community organizer.[14][15] He entered Harvard Law School in 1988.[16] In 1990, The New York Times reported his election as the Harvard Law Review's "first black president in its 104-year history."[17] Obama completed his law degree magna cum laude in 1991, then returned to Chicago where he headed a voter registration drive and began writing his first book, Dreams from My Father, published in 1995.[18][19] As an associate attorney with Miner, Barnhill & Galland from 1993 to 1996, he represented community organizers, discrimination claims, and voting rights cases.[20] He was also a lecturer of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1993 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, holding the professor-level title of Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.[21][22]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obam a

by Tennessean 2008-03-30 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Pray Tell...

OMG the facts...

Someone help Obama he is melting.....

by DTaylor 2008-03-30 10:46AM | 0 recs
I didn't think I was going out on a limb

to assert

1) that a person who is hired to teach constitutional law at a prestigious law school is likely to have a great deal of expertise about constitutional law

2) that the University of Chicago is a prestigious law school

Your quibble is over the phrase "a great deal of expertise".  I meant that in the sense that, you know, a regular viewer of Law & Order probably has picked up some knowledge of constitutional law, but that doesn't make that person an expert by any means; a high school civics teacher can certainly teach students about the Constitution at an introductory level; but someone teaching this subject at a law school - and a prestigious law school in this case - would be very learned in the subject.

Is that assertion really going too far?  You think it would disturb Pat Monihan's sensibilities, if he were around to be disturbed?

by Rob in Vermont 2008-03-30 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: If I had a nickle...

Can't have it both ways

Obama wants to sharpen his pencil about Hillary in Bosnia

Then the pencil get sharpened about his lies regarding his resume.

Hillary went to Bosnia.  There was a threat of sniper fire.  There was some level of briefing on that sniper fire and likely corrective action of some form.  Remember she was the first lady and the secret service is pretty careful about the first lady even before considering it was a recent war zone.  Her memories of something 10 years ago got jumbled.

Obama had a part time job teaching law.  He didn't make the tenured track.  He may have forgotten that he didn't make the tenured track.  Even with his "great deal of experience" he didn't make the tenure track.  Maybe he forgot...

If you look at the one case and say lie lie lie then its fair to look at the other side and examine the many lies of Obama.

1)  I was not raised muslim- contradicted by his sister

  1.  I didn't hear Wright preach against America - contradicted by his book
  2.  I had only limited dealings with Rezko and didn't do any favors- contradicted by a letter asking for Rezko and Obama's old boss's company to get a multi-million dollar land deal involving buying the land for $1
  3.  I will finish my first term as senator because I would be unprepared if I started campaigning after only 1 year in senate
  4.  I have only 2 years senate experience but I am qualified to be commander in chief
  5.  My health plan covers everyone
  6.  I am for revotes in Michigan - then he blocked them
  7.  I think the superdelegates should vote with the pledged delegates - but only if you don't count the state where is lost by the largest margin

etc etc etc  

by DTaylor 2008-03-30 10:43AM | 0 recs
I'm calling BS on you, DTaylor

You are exactly the kind of troll mentioned by the OP. In fact, I'll even say that you are lying more than either candidate has to date. There, how does that feel?

On the specific issue of being a professor: he definitely was a law professor. He did not have the title Professor of Law, but he never claimed to either.

I happen to be a Professor (yes, the capitalization is accurate and hard-earned) and I do not consider his use of the term "professor" to be mis-used. That's what we call anyone who teaches a course, even if they do not (yet) have a PhD or equivalent terminal degree.

You also bring up the issue of tenure-track versus non-tenure-track. This is a complete non-issue. Besides, even if it were, professor Obama was offered a tenure-track position but turned it down (several times) because he had better things to do than hang out all day with people like me.

Please get over yourself. You're not helping. In fact, it's pretty insulting to those of us who really do care about the difference between Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor.

Hearing HRC supporters harp on this only makes people like me even less likely to listen to your arguments in the future. I suggest you look up "bozo bit" in wikipedia to see what I mean. ;-)

by professor 2008-03-30 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: If I had a nickle...

That the Diary based on an RNC lie about Obama made the Rec. List shows the large number of knee jerk Obama haters there are on this site.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-03-30 11:40AM | 0 recs
University of Chicago statement ... AGAIN!

One more time ... there was no exaggeration.

The University of Chicago issued a statement. It said:

"The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as 'Senior Lecturer.' From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

Now, what part of "Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School" is so hard to parse? If the University at which he taught says he was a professor, who here is qualified to disagree?

This is quite unlike claims of semi-combat experience that have been publicly de-bunked by the pilot, the entertainers and the reporters that were there also.

by Juan4All 2008-03-30 11:40AM | 0 recs

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