We America-Haters

[editor's note, by shef]Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

I recently re-watched Aaron Sorkin's ill-fated Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a show, by the by, that comes off much better the second time around). One line in particular, spoken by Matt Albie (Matthew Perry), has been banging around my head as I've watched and read some of the Republican flailing during the last couple of months: "If I have contempt for my government, it's nothing compared to the contempt my government has for me."

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Sweet Hypocrisy

Crossposted atIch Bin Ein OberlinerandBig Orange Satan.

Pointing out politicians' personal flaws and hypocrisies is too easy. Lazy, really. Petty, you might say. But, this recent statement by John McCain got a little under my skin. Here's the quote, from The New York Times (h/t Tristero and TP):

Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McCain: I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don't believe in gay adoption.

Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

Q: But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple --

Mr. McCain: Yes.

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Bambi No More

Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

Writer, blogger, and Atlantic associate editor Matthew Yglesias has a fascinating look at Obama's foreign policy out in this month's Atlantic. It's called--for those too lazy to click on the link--"The Accidental Foreign Policy, and it's billed as "How an early gaffe and an excruciatingly long primary season helped Barack Obama find a distinctive voice on foreign affairs."

Yglesias focuses on Obama's willingness to meet with foreign leaders--something widely lambasted by the Serious class on both sides of the aisle as dangerously naive. That is to say, it was widely lambasted by the two big centers of establishment foreign policy: neo-conservatives (i.e. President Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, McCain, etc.) and moderate hawks (i.e. Senator Clinton, Broderites post-partisans, Friedman, etc.).

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The Sun Rises, the World Turns,


Crossposted atIch Bin Ein Oberliner.

The ever-Responsible and Important Joe Klein has a post up at Time Magazine's politics blog, Swampland. In it, he praises the new New York Times columnist William Kristol's idiotic rant, "What Obama Left Out". Klein's post is titled "Kristol's Right", which, I suppose, should have been a dead giveaway that, yet again, Klein's Wrong. Alas, I never was good at ignoring people I didn't agree with.

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Thank You, Senator Clinton

Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of reading, thinking, and writing about the Democratic primary. I'm sitting outside, having my morning coffee (and, yes, I know it's about 3 o'clock...), and thanking my stars that one way or another, this thing is going to be over soon. But, if I could say a few last words.

There are plenty of good things about long primaries. I like the increased coverage. I like the organization and fund raising. I like the fleshing out of policy proposals. I like that states (and territories) that don't normally get attention are getting their two cents in about this process. I like primaries. They're good for the party, good for the candidates, and good for the health of our civic fabric.

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Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

Senator Clinton's buzzword in her losing battle to convince super-delegates to support her campaign has been electability. Mostly, she--and her supporters--rely on a supposed demographic strength (for example, "hardworking Americans, white Americans" etc.) and polling data to show just how strong she would be in the general election versus Senator Obama. Here's my argument: Senator Clinton is probably less electable than Senator Obama.

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White Guilt

Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

Tracy Jordan, a character on 30 Rock, played by Tracy Morgan, convinces Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) that he can't read in order to get time off from the show. Tina Fey's character, outraged, says (and I'm paraphrasing) White Guilt should be used for good, like over-tipping or voting for Barack Obama. Fey makes this point, of course, in jest, but it highlights a certain kind of attack that's been made on Senator Obama, his candidacy, and his supporters.

This charge is that he plays on white people's guilt, and his supporters support him because they are feel guilty, not because he deserves to be president. This scurrilous reasoning reared its ugly head in the abominable comments of Geraldine Ferraro, and one's head would have to be in the sand not to see it elsewhere; it's an undercurrent to the attacks on any number of policies designed to benefit minorities.

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The Demo

Crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner.

Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again ... ."

This has already been written about ad nauseam. But it isn't this quote in particular that bothers me: it's the sentiment behind it.

Also, it was the last straw.

More on the flip.

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Joe Klein's Journalism

Crossposted atIch Bin Ein Oberliner.

Time Magazine's Joe Klein got his undies in a bundle when a commenter on his group blog, Swampland asked him to discuss the nature of his military sources. The commenter wrote:

Of course, it is very likely that Joe Klein's sources include many of the retired generals mentioned in the NYT article - the ones who spread disinformation to United States citizens over the public airwaves. And there is no reason to expect them to be more truthful to Joe Klein than they were on the air. So what about Klein's other sources? I am not asking him to name them, rather I am requesting that he engage us in a short discussion about how he views the information being fed to him in light of the recent verification of a program that many of us have suspected for a very long time. I realize that one must trust somebody in order to form an opinion so lets talk about how that trust is established.

(More after the fold)

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The Watchmen: a vapid media fiddles while America burns

This was published originally this week as a long-lead feature piece in Wilder Voice, a publication at Oberlin College in Ohio. It is crossposted at Ich Bin Ein Oberliner. I know it's long, but I think it's worth it.

At a recent campaign stop in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama went bowling. He only played seven frames. He scored a 37. This abysmal score did not go unnoticed in the media. The major papers and news services--AP, Reuters, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post--and a host of minor ones all printed stories. The big television news networks--CNN, MSNBC, FOX--not to be left out, ran their own segments. It was a column after column, day after day, Obama bowl-a-thon.

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