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09 January 2008

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jonst

"he IS the sixties"? Talk about a Rorschach test. What the hell is, or was, the sixties?

It was a priceless night last night to see them wrong. (pundits) But they are similar to the shills who offer their handicapping services for sports events. Every week they KNOW Georgetown, or some such place like it, is going to covered the spread. And x percent of the time, usually, around 65% or up, they are wrong. It does not mean they will refrain from shouting the same thing the next time G-Town is playing. Their bad track record gives them no reason for pause. It is their 'certainty' that they think sells. Often wrong...seldom in doubt.

William R. Cumming

Isn't Chris Mathews the protege of the quintessinal Boston based Irish-American politician Tip O'Nieal who never had the guts to put his hat in the arena but chooses to speak loudly and never really think through what he says? Maybe not.

None-the-less, only have super-Tuesday will there start to be a feel for the deeply running current political currents in the entire US. Unfortunately, the Electoral College and vote fraud may still affect the outcomes.

jamzo

on the msnbc telecast - it seemed to me that obermann and brokaw were going out of their way to handle matthews who seemed to be muzzled and frutstrated

bob somerby (the daily howler) has been writing about matthews and his "thing" for the clintons and gore for a long time

from his pre-new hampshire results post

MSNBC, a cable channel on which Clinton has been mercilessly bashed for the past many years. Chris Matthews, the network’s top political figure, has displayed a loathing for Hillary Clinton (and for Bill Clinton and Al Gore before her) that surpasses the boundaries of comprehension; Matthews and his NBC buddies are major opinion leaders of the mainstream, insider press corps. Meanwhile, Carlson himself has often spoken about Clinton’s castrating ways. (And about what a fake, phony asshole Gore is.) In this conduct, MSNBC has reflected the Clinton-Gore hatred that has driven so much of the mainstream press elite over the past sixteen years.

http://www.dailyhowler.com/index.shtml

Wayne White

This comment comes from someone without any real preference in either the Democratic or Republican primary offerings so far, but I could not agree more with your comments, Pat, regarding Obama.

First off, given his paltry experience in national politics and on the international scene, whatever his "dream" or those of his cheerleaders, his ability to implement policy would likely be severely hampered, unless he were to come up with one Helluva lineup of advisors.

I'm also a bit tired, as we know you are, with the "change" theme picked up by most all condidates, but especially by those with little Washington experience like Obama. This "change" angle comes up in practically every American presidential election. Frankly, it boggles the mind to see so many Americans caught up in it each time around--even millions of older American voters who should know better by now. And, yes, usually what change is to be effected and how that is to be accomplished is left unanswered or remains carefully--and all too deceptively--vague.

Another point Democrats supporting Obama specifically do not appear to get is just how unelectable he might well prove to be. To many of the most reliable registered voters--those over 55 (now including me)--he looks like he could be someone in his late 20's. That will surely hurt him with today's aging electorate in a general election. And getting somewhat more than one-third of the Democratic voters in the Iowa Caucus tells us little about his national electability. Frankly, if they were smart, the most I could see Democrats doing with Obama is perhaps using him as a vice presidential running mate for a considerably more seasoned standard-bearer heading the ticket.

And, regarding the 60's, I believe the U.S. hit some real domestic lows during the late 60's, and, like you, Pat, I was delighted to see much of what made the late 60's so exciting to some people fade away.

Wayne White
Middle East Institute
Middle East Policy Council

W. Patrick Lang

johnst

Seems to me that Matthews imagines himself to be a sort of revolutionary "manque," (accent mark missing)and he think that the Clintons and Gore are somehow traitors to the cause.

As a counter-revolutionary from that period, I find that amusing. pl

Bill W, NH

when my girlfriend went to vote at 7AM she called me afterward to let me know that all the candidates except Guiliani and Paul had supporters with signs at the polling place here. I was a bit dismayed about that but thought, well - all the RP folks are still in Concord and will be here soon. I went to vote around 10AM and found that there were still no Paul folks, nor Guiliani for that matter, at the poll. I had not planned this but went home and got my Ron Paul sign and went back to the polling place and stayed there, except for a lunch break and to walk my dog, until the polls closed at 8PM (most polls in NH closed by 7 but we were open till 8). I have to give a lot, and I mean a lot, of credit to the Hillary Clinton campaign effort. She had folks all over my small town of 16,000 and they were out all day and getting people to the polls. Obama had a similar effort going. Unfortunately, the Ron Paul campaign consists of 1000s of highly dedicated supporters here with less than stellar support from the campaign Hqs. By that I mean they didn't organize, plan, or execute professionally. It was run "willy-nilly". And, with all the contributions donated, the ad money was not effectively used. Very amateurish radio ads I thought that became annoying over time. Quite possibly only the barest of training was provided to these dedicated folks. The thought likely was, "well, this is grassroots and let them run with it". Obama is grassroots as well but his staff understands how to effectively run a campaign and they ran it pretty well here.

I had no illusions about Ron Paul winning here, I just wanted him to at least beat out Guiliani and latently Huckabee. That
didn't happen and it's a damn shame.

We had a record voter turnout here yesterday which shows the people are fed up with the status quo. Women especially were out in force. I spoke with several Edwards and Clinton supporters as I was in their midst. Surprisingly, or not I suppose, their impression of Ron Paul was very favorable, the only Republican they liked on any level. Edwards supporters sympathised with me on the "main stream media" is shutting both candidates out theme. As an aside, one small town here, Sutton, Population 20, has 3 people who will confirm they voted for Ron Paul but in the morning the computer count for Sutton shows zero votes. I don't think there was any hanky-panky here in Exeter, I noted 8 people who spoke to me on the way in saying they were voting for Paul (boy, was that discouraging for me) but in the end 167 folks here voted for him.

Lesson I learned is that many many women are getting out to the polls to vote for Clinton. It's discouraging to me that they are doing so not because of a candidate's positions but soley due to Clinton being a woman. But, that's being simplistic a bit. The big issue for them is health care and so we go on living in the Nanny state. McCain, Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee or Thompson cannot beat Clinton.

wasabi

The New Hampshire results were the best possible outcome for the Democratic Party. No early coronation.

Each of the candidates will continue to hone their skills and thus we will have a better candidate come November.

lina

Yes, it was satisfying to see C. Matthews get his lunch handed to him.

However, Dem. Party activists, please consider: If the Republicans come to their senses and nominate John McCain, Hillary will likely lose in Nov.

She can't win with just Democratic votes. Obama beat her 41 to 31 among Independents in NH.

While we relish the Matthews deflation, anything that makes Sean Hannity gleeful can't be a good thing.

J

jamzo,

msnbc is a corporate owned subsid. nbc is owned by the corporate giant general electric. i i think that the clinton's have had more than a confrontation or two with ge over various legislations. i may be wrong. but its the corporate ownership versus the citizenry. didn't Mussolini call when corporates ran things -- fascism? hmmm.......

PR

Matthews is just one of many who's careers should be over.

Cornfed

A couple of comments. First, I think the last debate helped Sen. Clinton more than people realized. In particular when she was asked her reaction to the polling which seemed to indicate that NH voters viewed her as not very likable, she managed a genuine, self-effacing response that contextualized the absudity and outright meanness of the "issue". And then Sen Obama chimed in with his inexplicable crack of "I think you're likable enough," in a dismissive, peevish tone that reflected very badly on himself. It was strikingly petty and, to me at least, showed a candidate who believed that the outcome was a foregone conclusion and who resented being made to waste his precious time any further with people who had been discarded by History. And yes,the big H is intentional, a key part of the Obama narrative is that unseen hand of History which only the foolish or the mendacious dare oppose.
Second, Matthews started his madness early last night. At one early point in the coverage he began trying to construct a bizarre metaphor between Sen. Obama's campaign and the taking of Aqaba. He refered to the senator as "this modern-day Lawrence." (or was it "Lawrence for our times"? I was so pole-axed by what I was hearing that the fine detail elludes me) It was a spit-take inducing moment. Olbermann tried to walk him back and and eventually decided that the wisest course was just get out of the way and let him babble.
Matthews wants the 60' back - the early 60's with clean-cut hopeful youth marching in unison behind a chraismatic leader. Never mind that that particular vision was undone as much by the simple human weaknesses of its followers as it was by the assasins' bullets. In their minds all we need to is believe hard enough in a new leader and they can have back what they were promised.

Obama gave a well crafted speech last night, expect to hear and see "Yes we can" all over the place. But hoping a new future isn't enough. Faith without works is dead.

JohnS

Chris Matthews didn't just get "mugged by history." Check out this video clip...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/01/rachel_maddow_matthews_to_blam.php

...where Rachel Maddow (of Air America on the radio) tells Matthews right to his face, on-air, that he personally is being blamed in blogland for Clinton's turnaround in NH. She cites Matthews' views, and his being a symbol of what the mainstream media has done to her, as a reason that NH voters voted the way they did. In effect they responded to him (and the other blathering heads we all know and loathe), by rushing to her defense in the voting booth. (Note: Much as I happily did the first time she ran for senator of my state!)

A most satisfying moment. And a pretty "real" one, considering where it happened...

jonst

PL,

Well, that is fascinating to me. If I had to guess, and that is ALL it could be, I would guess that Bill, Hillary, and Gore, reject much of what is the common perception of the 60s. None of them were SDS types. To say nothing of Weathermen. None of them were Easy Rider types, hitting the road, for a drugs/sex dominated sojourn. None of them were the type, I believe it fair to say, who went off to regions south to register voters. None of them were in danger of running of to a commune, the East Village in NYC or an Esalen Retreat in Big Sur. In fact, my general impression is, they were, all three, the high school president type, ascertain what the elders want, and give it to them, type. I don't mean that to sound as pejorative as it may sound. They could be against the 'cause'...or indifferent to it. but certainly not traitors to it. They were never in the camp, to begin with.

On another note...my 'favorite' 60s memory? Coming home on leave from the Corps to Plainfield NJ in the summer of 1968. Driving past APC's to reach my house. Seeing roadblocks manned by National Guard soldiers in full combat gear. Laying down in bed that night, hearing the lone fire of a presumed sniper. Hearing the return fire by some unit in the Guard. Hearing, a day later , that my closest friend had been wounded by random buckshot fired from an unknown party. 'Welcome back home, son' my father grimaced. I turned on the radio to see if I could catch a ball game.

LG

I'm a Bill Richardson supporter and am disappointed that he isn't doing better than he is, but I was glad to see HC pull out a win last night just to see the Clinton-hating pundits with egg on their faces. Matthews made a remark this morning about how Clinton had only won her Senate race and was only a contender in the presidential race because people had sympathy for her because Bill had fooled around. Can you imagine him saying that the only reason that John McCain ever won any political race was because people felt sorry for him because he was a POW?

psd

Although I am semi-Edwards person, I'd have no trouble voting for Hillary. The "boys" sank their own ship when they called her out for her tears, such as they were. She came across as a real person, and it seems that she's able to do that very effectively when she campaigns one-on-one.

As for Obama, I can't help but feel I've heard it all before when I hear his speeches. For me, it's time to just do it and cut the yadda, yadda, yadda. And I'm beginning to think that Hillary can get a lot more done in DC than Obama and Edwards with their rhetoric. And as the press corps jumps on Hillary, it's just convincing me more and more that she might get my primary vote after all. Which is probably playing right into the hands of the Hillary-haters, who are probably painting her as the witch so that we'll all vote for her and she'll be the Democratic candidate. They're absolutely sure she'd get tromped against a McCain or Romney. I wouldn't be so sure of that, guys.

As for the '60s, they sucked overall. I don't want to go back and relive anything. I still think most of the revolutionary aspect of it was just hype. It sure didn't change my worldview, except to confirm that there are a lot of silly people out there who take themselves far too seriously. And I think they all became our current crop of pundits.

jonst

Lina,

I'm not so sure McCain can't be beat. I'd like to run against a candidate that I could say the following about:

'If you want to be in Iraq for a hundred years or so, McCain is your guy!"

1950democrat

Women voted for her in large numbers. You could see it coming the last day. CNN had a bar graph on their set at the beginning last night that showd HC was polling higher than Obama at the end that day.

Huh, first I've heard of that, good point. So maybe the earlier polls were a day out of date, people really were changing their minds at the last minute (from the minor candidates to Hillary, one number wonk said).

Bill and Hillary campaigned for McGovern in 72; McG just endorsed Hillary and told Obama to wait his turn, so maybe they've all learned from their mistake of nominating an unknown candidate too soon, whom the rank and file won't support in Nov. But it's wierd to see people now trying to re-live that energy -- by bashing the Clintons who really were there in 72 and have been working for those aims ever since.

Mr.Murder

Matthews is political theater, albeit in satire of himself.

Quite the self styled Mensch.

W. Patrick Lang

johnst

Matthews' fantasy life about himself is clearly not related to anything real.

Whoever it was that pointed out the participation of the Clintons in the '72 McGovern campaign put his finger on thr truth. They actually were doing something about their convictions. I can respect that. pl

DeLudendwarf

Over at Salon, Glenn Greenwald skewered Matthews and all "the serious people" today, in his inimitable fashion.

OT:

Also there is an interesting article up there today on Damascene steel, for the Crocodile
Dundees and fans of good steel, amongst us.

Jim Schmidt

“Obama is a plausible, grown up candidate for president of the United States. He is fighting a well organized, persistant campaign for the nomination. Maybe he will win or maybe he won't. That is the normal way of things.” PL

Agreed. The adversity of campaigning hones the candidates who go through it. Congratulations to New Hampshire for turning out in large numbers. Congratulations also to Hillary Clinton and her staff. Tough battle but they won.

Chris Matthews? “Revenge is a dish best served cold” but a whiskey accents nicely. Savor the moment.

The sixties disparagement is a bit hard to follow since both Bill and Hillary represent that decade, as well as John McCain. Obama is a product of a different era. I am not looking for a sixties repeat, but I am willing to give credit to those who engaged in solving the problems of racism, sexism and other issues. The hope and idealism of that decade is bearing fruit today.

I disagree with the racial paternalism argument. If this argument is in true, then the appalling sexism and sisterhood argument of Gloria Steinem also holds weight. In hindsight, given HC’s win in NH, it looks like Gloria was wrong about sexism, maybe right about sisterhood, or in a larger context, hopefully wrong about both. Charges of sexism or paternalism denigrate the talents and integrity of both candidates: Is this the point?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/opinion/08steinem.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Gaming electability is a fool’s errand. Pick the candidate you like and vote for them. If enough other people do the same, you win.

Hope and change.

Obama, tongue in cheek, describes himself as a Hope Monger. His argument, stripped of the rock star glamour and moony utopianism, is that the sixties is a frame of mind that has frozen political discourse in time. The "hope" everybody is having fun mocking focuses on countering partisanship as a tool to suppress discussion, to pigeonhole us into choosing sides and accepting the pabulum each party doles out. He is proposing we move on. Nice job if you can get it, but a momentous task given generational inertia and prevailing stake in the status quo. Question is, are we stuck in the sixties? If not, then his remedy is nothing but a gimmick. If so, is his prescription for change effective?

The change moniker is hope directed toward less acrimony, greater comity, more common purpose. However, the image of a national group hug does not appeal to me as realistic remedy for political discord. Nevertheless, having worked with groups in large corporations for a long number of years, I understand the destructiveness of rancor in team dynamics. We even have a cute name for it: Fox Hole Management. Changing the rules to favor harmony and common purpose produces pragmatic, real results. We have all experienced Karl Rove’s play to base factionalism and I welcome less.

I hope the idea of respecting difference and negotiating progress catches on.

Will

je commence à suspecter entre les lignes que notre colonel et patron déteste "l'oiseau tweety."

W. Patrick Lang

will

Ca marche bien, mon vieux lapin. pl

W. Patrick Lang

Jim Schmidt

I lack your reverence for the "idealism" of the 60s.

Ironically, the cause of racial justice in the US owes far more to Lyndon Johnson and the courage of black people who finally stood up for their rights against the cretins who thought otherwise than it does to the scabrous drug soaked bums who used to march around in the streets carrying the flags of the people who were actively engaged in combat against my comrades. "Ho. Ho. Ho Chi Minh! The NLF are gonna win!" "Hey. GI! How many kids did you kill today?" Pacifists? I would have another word for them.

If Americans today to profess to respect soldiers that is good. They have a lot to make up for.

As for the cause of women, it is a good thing that women have much better opportunity today, but do you really think women did not go to college before 1960? I seem to remember a lot of them. I seem to remember women in college. I dated enough of them to remember them.

HC went to college at one of the seven sisters, remember them? When were they founded?

If you want a hero of the women's movement, look at women like Patsy Mink, not at some kids who wallowed around in the mud at Woodstock.

Matthews is just another draft evader who will never forget that. pl

Paul

It is wonderful to witness the meltdown of the media's suits over HC's win in New Hampshire.

I don't know how anyone can rely on random exit polls (btw, there were none at our polling place) but the explanation for her victory may lie in the fact that her organization worked harder.

As registered Democrats, we are on the receiving end of the usual party and candidate mail.

Our telephone number is unlisted but as anyone with fundamental computer skills knows, a person can be matched to a phone with a bit of work.

A couple of things to note: HC sent more mail than any of her competitors. HC's campaign called at least a half dozen times in the week prior to Tuesday's vote. One call even invited my wife and I to an event.

Here is what separates HC from the rest of the pack: Between noon and 6PM, on Tuesday, we received four calls from the HC campaign. Not robocalls, mind you, each had a human (male and female) on the other end. The message was simple: "She needs your help."

Obviously somebody in her camp did the dog work to locate our telephone number. None of the other candidates did that level of work because we did not receive one call from either Edwards or Obama.

Doesn't Matthews and his coterie of empty suits know that hard work pays off?

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