Melissa McEwan is making sense

OK, confession time:

The reasons I decided to support Obama in the primary were two-fold.

First, I thought he was the least likely to get us involved in another war. Hillary’s views on foreign policy have bugged me for a long time, and I wanted to support someone who had been against the Iraq disaster from the outset.

Second: Obama was a media darling during the early part of the primary, whereas the press corps hated Hillary’s guts. Because I’m a complete idiot, I assumed that Obama’s charm would be a stronger bulwark against the press corps’ sickening McCain man-love.

Welp, I’m still standing by the first reason. The second reason is obviously in complete tatters and I’m a moron for not seeing it coming. I’d forgotten that our press corps at its heart has nothing but contempt for any politician to the left of Joe Lieberman, and that they love to paint them all as great big elitist phonies. The belief that Obama could somehow get past this shows a remarkable naiveté on my part. But that’s not the worst bit.

While I think I’ve been justifiably pissed off at some of the shenanigans that the Clinton campaign has pulled against my preferred candidate, I’ve also turned a blind eye toward some of the really horrible and sexist bullshit that our press corps – and even some progressive bloggers – have been propagating against Hillary Clinton. Just take a look at this astounding collection that Melissa McEwan has compiled. Click through all 75 of those links and be utterly appalled at some of the misogynistic garbage that’s been uttered about Hillary. Hell, you don’t have to sympathize with any HRC’s policy positions to realize that this sort of crap should be completely out of bounds to be used against any woman. Some lowlights:

  • Ariana giving Mickey Kaus’ brother space to accuse anyone who was upset about David Shuster’s “pimped out” comment of lacking a sense of humor.

And so on.

Melissa also writes:

I mean, how great has it worked out for conservatives that the reality-based community has failed utterly to perceive a comprehensive reality about either of its remaining candidates, not to mention cast aside all that rigorous adherence to fairness, accuracy, and cynicism about the media and rightwing frames on which the leftwing blogosphere was ostensibly built?

Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have been so quick to stomp the shit out of her, or slay the golden calf for him—and hand to conservatives the perfect opportunity to make us look like we got it backwards, even if we didn’t.

We’re going to go into the general election with what looks to be a weak candidate either way, when we had the chance for the total opposite. And that won’t be Barack Obama’s fault, and it damn sure won’t be Hillary’s, no matter how many of the numbskulls who got us here try to blame her for their own idiocy.

And you know what? Yeah. I buy that.

Unless a Democrat is an asshole of Joe Lieberman proportions – that is, unless they repeatedly throw everyone in the party under the damn bus – then they deserve to be defended from BS right-wing attacks, no exceptions. While I’ve rightly come down hard on HRC’s campaign for employing hard-line tactics against Obama, I haven’t properly called out the Obama campaign for some of its dishonest BS, most notably this nonsense that fed into the worst wingnut memes about the Clinton health care plan. Also, dude, it might be unwise to knock Clinton for her ties to lobbyists since you don’t exactly have Russ Feingold-type credibility on that issue.

So here’s the deal: there’s nothing I can do to make up for being a dumb-ass in the past except to apologize and to try to do better in the future. Thus from now on, I’m going to call out both campaigns when I see them engaging in dumb bullshit that hurts the party’s chances in November It does none of us any good to positively hate either of these two candidates because both of them are very close on policy issues and neither of them is nearly as wacky as St. BBQ. None of this changes the fact that Armando is a prick, incidentally.


Comments: 44


there’s nothing I can do to make up for being a dumb-ass

purrrhaps if la blogosfera were to attempt focusing more on pissing off McCain and less on critiquing our candidates, it may not be too late o have a beneficial effect on the process.


Very true.

I dunno, I’ve just gotten so damn sick of this primary that I don’t care who wins anymore. Bigger fish need to be fried. Desperately.


I wonder how long it’ll be before the haters on both sides come here to call you out for offering to criticize their chosen candidate? It’s happened every time before…




We’re just getting to the point where this stuff just doesn’t matter anymore. We need a nominee. If it comes down to flipping a coin to pick one of them and having the other be the VP, I’ll take it. This primary simply needs to end, though, before the press corps gives St. BBQ anymore donuts.


Dude, don’t worry so much. All this bullshit that’s being bandied around in the blogosphere and on the bobblehead shows? Most voters are too busy working to give a shit.

Seriously. Watch how confused the political junkies get when the polls really don’t show much of a change even when shit like Bittergate or the sniper story come out.

So relax. It’s gonna be okay.


Why all the fuss over a penny ante election in a third-world country? I don’t remember anyone squawking this much over last year mayoral elections in Rome. What’s the difference?


DA- thanks. I need to stop paying attention to politics for a few days. The BS “We blue-collar millionaire pundits are so so offended!” attacks plus the giving donuts to McCain has driven me completely over the edge, though. Please be a little understanding.

But yes, I need to take a break from reading the news.


Don’t. There’s enough smear being thrown at these people from the right. Focus on the wingnuts and pray that this “self-destruction” meme dies.


If it makes you feel any better, I think we can pretty safely say that a lot of the media detrius around any election basically gets swept under the rug by history. While it’s easy enough to misconstrue a candidate’s position on policy issues, I don’t think enough people are stupid enough to actually go to the polls and vote based on the puerile idiot wind ephemera we seem to anticipate them to.

Fume though we may about the media inexplicably working full-steam to make a homo out of tall, rugged, patrician Kerry, the election seems to have been lost primarily under the far more dangerous national delusions about the Iraq war – that is, that it was necessary and that Bush was doing the better job of it. Kerry never effectively dispelled (on the right) the profound faith a pro-war electorate will have in the standing leader, no matter where he stands politically, nor (on the left) the sinking suspicion that the debate had degenerated into something as horrifying as administrative bickering at Birkenau.

Drudge and his dittoheads haven’t made us all retarded, and as much as I love Glenn Greenwald’s line of critique he does point out himself – and fairly frequently – that the politically engaged public is increasingly angry at the political gossip cycle and actively disdaining the noise machine’s ridiculous contrived freshman-film-student narrative.

There are people who, in November, will believe that Barack Obama was being an elitist by talking to Iowa farmers about one of their chief crops with an I-talian sounding name. Those people are, in general, the least likely to take the time and effort to vote.


Yes, yes and yes. I know this isn’t the popular line, but in the end the American people are smarter than they are given credit for by the media and, yes, by us, and when things have gone completely off the rails like they have in the second term of the Bush Administration, all of the personality bullshit in the world doesn’t move the needles one half of one iota as much as the economy and Iraq and all the issues that people, real people, actually care about.


Incidentally, the self-destruction meme deliberately ignores one of the more harrowing facts of recent political history for the Republicans: they’re facing either of two candidates who, all things considered, got more people out to vote than their super-majority leader did. Even if Edwards somehow won the primary, he’d be in a position roughly equal to McCain’s from the get-go, and things would only get worse as St. BBQ shrank under the harsh limelight of good-faith scrutiny.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again, McCain’s priority in this election isn’t winning, it’s keeping the GOP together at all. In another eight years it could honestly be that the like of Clinton and Obama would spearhead different parties, and the like of McCain and Romney would be but an unpleasant Paul-esque skeleton in the closet of the former.

It’d take both Democrats cripple-fucking a puppy to put McCain in the running for real again. And I don’t think even a pug would do – it’d have to be adorable.


I’m amazed that Democrats can’t/don’t/won’t understand that either candidate is a better choice than allowing another Bush-esque Reign of Error. It’s an insane and, relatively speaking, uncharacteristic bit of tribalism and candidate myopia: “Screw the nation! What’s important is that my candidate is President!”

Haven’t we witnessed and suffered enough Party over People! “governance” from the Republicans to realize that it doesn’t work? Yet some of us are perfectly willing to substitute “My candidate” for “Party”, then work up a lather of self-righteous indignation when anyone dares to point out a flaw in their candidate’s position or campaign practices. Aren’t we better than this? At the very least, aren’t we better than the Republicans? I thought we were…

From a viewpoint of social progress, I’m thrilled to have a woman and a black man as two leading candidates for President. Seriously, it blows my mind that we’ve come this far, especially in the same election. A decade ago – hell, four years ago – I wouldn’t have dreamed we’d see this kind of progress. And maybe it’s a fluke and we’ll never see it again, but it’s fucking History, man – mind blowing, optimistic, “Yes, Virginia, there is Hope!” History! And it will overshadow whatever positive chaff might spill out of the mill of George Bush’s legacy.

I think if Hillary were smart, she’d tell her supporters to stop, umm… supporting her so adamantly on the blogs. They’re not doing her any favors, imo. I respect her as a person and (for the most part) as a Senator. As a candidate, she’s losing me with every passing week. If she wins the nomination, I’ll vote for her because she’s a better choice than McCain. I might knock down a few beers first, but I’ll vote for her.

Btw, I think it’s important to remind people that even if their Presidential choice doesn’t win the nomination, they need to vote. There are a lot of Democratic candidates, at many levels downstream, that need votes. Sitting out the election because your Chosen One didn’t win is no excuse for not supporting local candidates.


Fuck you Word Press!

Nice post Brad-


I don’t think dittoheadism made us all retarded, I think a lot of what’s caused the progressive left’s tribulations that we’ve gotten so used to the snark, we’re losing any other form of political expression. Snark has become the lingua franca of the Left blogosphere, and not without good reason. Watching the disaster of the last eight years roll on and on, the only way to preserve one’s sanity is by laughter. And that’s not a bad thing, because laughter is a powerful political weapon.

What the Left would destroy, we first make ridiculous. And it’s proved to be a useful weapon, judging by the popularity of this august web log, Sadly No. We’ve managed to make Dubya into a colossal joke. While it sucks to know the leader of your country is a blithering idiot, laughter is the only sane response to an insane world.

But now we’ve turned our guns on “our own”, the famous circular firing squad. It would have been wiser, more effective and less damaging to have debated only the actual policies of the Democratic candidates in left blog land, and reserved the flame-throwers of snark for the Republicans and their lackeys (IOW the same targets as before.)

Instead, we’ve been eating each other, like it’s the only thing we know how to do. There’s been way too many pixels spilled trying to make the Democratic candidates and each other look ridiculous. I think we shall regret it.


Unless a Democrat is an asshole of Joe Lieberman proportions – that is, unless they repeatedly throw everyone in the party under the damn bus – then they deserve to be defended from BS right-wing attacks, no exceptions.

So if Hillary was enough of a bitch it would be okay to make empty, sexist attacks on her?

To me, the issue here is not that these attacks are being made against a semi-defensible woman, it’s that they’re being made at all. They’re attempts to make sure nothing important is ever said in the American political discourse, so that way the assholes have an easier time fucking us over.

Meanwhile, I think it’s ridiculous to say that a Democrat should be defended if they’re actually being stupid. The party doesn’t give us enough to deserve our undying loyalty.

If Obama says

[Reverend Wright’s remarks] expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country… a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

Then he should be excorciated for talking like an idiot. Yeah, the only reason Iranians got mad that we toppled their elected government is their perverse and evil religion.

Is he excused because he’s better than McCain? Is America excused from torturing people because we’re better than Nazi Germany?

The problem here is not that liberals have attacked a Democrat, it’s that liberals have acted like sexist dolts. Period.



I’ve been puzzled, dismayed, perplexed by the misogyny, the vicious attacks against Hillary Clinton. I sort of like her but can’t vote for her. Some of the criticisms are valid. Yet, she is more progressive than Barack Obama and would be a better choice for the Democrats this year.

I’m more disappointed by Barack Obama’s supporters. I wish they would do their homework: how has he voted? What are his priorities? I didn’t know anything about him, so I read his books, listened to his rhetoric, was definitely persuadable – no sale! I’m convinced Democrats are in for a rude awakening a year or two into his first term when he isn’t what they thought he would be. He is more centrist than Clinton. His foreign policy is Roanald Reagan/George Bush I republican-lite. He lacks passion AND vision. He has good rhetorical skills, yes, but to what end? He is a pro-war hawk (a wolf in sheep’s clothing). His supporters where I live, when asked what he has accomplished as a U.S. senator and where has he provided leadership stare at me blankly and change the subject to his charisma & his “blackness” (citing historicity).

I think an Obama presidency will make it harder for progressive policies to ever take root in our lives. We need to support leaders who will enact our policies! This insane idea that once he is elected we can then persuade him his false, it will be too late. He is a nice person, but his civility will inevitably lead us rightward (it always does).

That survey illustrated for me that Clinton is far more progressive than Obama. I was surprised to learn my positions are closest to Mike Gravel’s; I never got to know him as a candidate because the media simply didn’t cover him.

I am asking that Obama supporters take a closer harder look at his candidate and to not get so caught up in the rhetoric. I don’t trust Obama and believe there will be tremendous “buyers remorse” a year or two after he starts his first term (if he wins). Do I want John McCain to win? NO! Esp. since I think he will choose my least favorite politician as his running mate – Mitt Romney. But ultimately I care more about getting progressive policies enacted, so it is important that a REAL progressive be the leader. It may take time but we have to concentrate on our real longterm goals. I am torn between Nader and McKinney as far as my one presidential vote goes; but I’m excited about other races. Let’s support true progressives regardless of their party affiliations.



my problems with Obama. I don’t want to go on partinship “witch hunts” we need to work with the Republicans.
Makes pretty speeches and still votes to fund the Iraq War.
Endorsed Lieberman over the Democratic Lamont for the Senate.
Can’t get elected.


I don’t want to go on partinship “witch hunts” we need to work with the Republicans.

Why don’t you go work with them, then?


not me dumbfuck, Obama said that, pay attention.


I’m sure what Obama said actually made grammatical sense.


D. Aristophanes said it best. No. One. Cares. Imagine that you’re trying to figure out how to buy food and pay that month’s bills when the phone rings. It’s ABC asking you some gibberish survey question about Obama and bitter and some bullshit. You wouldn’t care and you’d think the people at ABC were out of their fucking minds.

Essentially, some parts of the press are like that little twerp in grade school who ran around trying to pick fights for other people. “OooooOoOoooO, Timmy said your mama’s ugly!”

How come no one ever punched that kid in the face?

How come WordPress sucks and not in a good way?


Brad, I know the stupidity of it all burns, but take heart: It’s April. People aren’t thinking of November. People are thinking of spring, and of summer. If politics is crossing their mind, they’re worried about the cost of gas, whether they’ll have a job next week, the price of food, the war… Definitely not the wingnut/msm screech of the week. And I think that the Democratic Party tends to be incompetent at politics, but not suicidally stupid. There will be a nominee by late spring, even if there has to be a coin toss.

Honestly, while I like Obama more (mainly because he got Iraq right), I fundamentally believe that a Clinton Administration wouldn’t be much different than an Obama one. I don’t think that Clinton got a fair shake by the media, but then neither did Obama (Is he a stealth Mooslim?). We live in the system we have though. Certainly we can push back against stupid narratives and do our best to treat candidates fairly. Past that, we don’t know what would have happened if both candidates had been treated more fairly by the media. Maybe Clinton would have won the nomination for her superior health care plan. Maybe Obama would have won the nomination by now because he rallied the 65% of the American people who oppose the war to his side. Maybe it still would be deadlocked because of two fairly powerful candidates. Hell, maybe Mike Gravel would be the presumed nominee.
All I know is that if both Democratic contenders show as much tenacity going after McCain as they do each other, the country ain’t doomed yet.

Incontinentia Buttocks

What Christopher said.

To me this is all really straightforward.

First, there’s no excuse whatsoever for the misogynistic attacks on Clinton. They’re offensive and demeaning. They harm our political discourse. And they harm women in general. People like Molly Ivors and Melissa McEwen have done yeoperson’s work calling out the McDowds, Tweetys, and many others for this crap. They deserve credit for that. It should go without saying that, incidentally, that similar attacks would be just as unacceptable if the target were Cynthia McKinney or Angela Davis, Condi Rice or Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Second, Obama and Clinton, on the issues, are nearly identical centrists. Neither will do nearly enough to change our foreign policy. Neither has a serious plan to provide national health insurance. Both will put Wall Street before Main Street. Iraq does provide a serious area of policy disagreement that clearly favors Obama. And needless to say, despite both their inadequacies, either would be significantly less bad president than John McCain.

Finally, though Obama’s campaign has been far from perfect, Clinton’s campaign has been much more cynical and amoral. Unlike Obama, Clinton has significantly lowered the tone of our political discourse. And to the extent that the Democratic Party is in danger of being torn apart, the responsibility lies firmly with the Clinton campaign. Saying that the length of the nominating process is itself the problem is obfuscatory at best.


Yes, I also think (and hope) that D. Aristophanes is right. There is very little evidence that all this bullshit about ‘elitism” is having an effect. BTW, My morning paper greeted me with Jonah Goldberg’s column about him being the Yuppie candidate, which I didn’t read all the way through. He’s apparently too cowardly to call Barack and Michelle Buppies.



I have your solution: simply post a planning thead for the Boston-area Sadly-thon using the helpful text I’ve provided, wait for me to get the event arranged, then attend to vent/get advice from all your fans!

Easy as pie!


“Meanwhile, I think it’s ridiculous to say that a Democrat should be defended if they’re actually being stupid. The party doesn’t give us enough to deserve our undying loyalty.”

Potentially FOUR Supreme Court seats in the next term isn’t enough for you?

Also, fuck WordPress


And to the extent that the Democratic Party is in danger of being torn apart, the responsibility lies firmly with the Clinton campaign.

There’s always some damn nominee threatening to tear the party apart, isn’t there? Howard Dean, anyone?

Saying that the length of the nominating process is itself the problem is obfuscatory at best.

Owing to the pre-primary scramble for states to assert their au-thor-i-tah and establish a new pecking order, the length of the primary certainly has pointed out the problem with the Democratic nominating process, what with its differing standards for primary and/or caucus, its Byzantine ruleset for determining the number of nominees awarded per state, with its super-delegation, and with the incumbency within the DNC itself.


Is it rotten of me to feel a certain sense of joy (and a sort of electorial middle finger at those bitter people Obama spoke of) that someone who isn’t white might possibly become President? Other than Alan Keyes, that is? I don’t want to seem racist or anything, but the Gary Rupperts out there who think there’s no problem whatsoever with an unbroken reign of white men in the White House are a problem for me.


Furious sez–

“but in the end the American people are smarter than they are given credit for by the media and, yes, by us”

Isn’t it pretty to think so. I would have agreed, however dutifully, until 2004. The fact that Chimpy got re-elected (what’s the opposite of “on the merits”? despite the demerits), Kerry aside, left/leaves me cynical.

That said, I can agree with D. Aristophanes, that it’s just too soon to evaluate and then despair. Whatever non-rational elements come into play when the public picks a Prez make it possible for everyone to forget all this current broohaha (“Broohaha? Ha ha ha…”) when the time comes and the World Series has just ended. For better or, yes, for worse, but still.

Now I’m going to Copy this for possible Pasting if WP pulls a fast one.

(Which it just did. Again.)


Misogynistic attacks are not excusable.

That said, Hillary’s a bigger disater than Barack. His record is questionable; hers is terrible.

No sexism required.

slippy hussein toad

I had a comment typed out. WordPress ate it. WordPress sucks.

Incontinentia Buttocks

I completely agree, Andy Axel, that the Democratic Party’s nomination process is crazy. But it’s always been, as are the nomination of process of every other party (and I include my own). The only really sensible way to nominate a presidential candidate is with a closed, national primary decided by some system of single-transferable voting.

However, the unfairness and complexity of the system is not what threatens to tear the party apart (though I honestly think that fears of the party being torn apart are greatly exaggerate). To the extent anything threatens to tear the party apart it’s intraparty wedge issue politics, trying to overturn the rules in the middle of the game, and putting forward arguments that the will of Democratic-primary voters and caucuses ought potentially to be disrespected (though to be fair, this last maneuver is exactly what the superdelegates were designed to do). And those are all strategies being pursued by one, and only one, campaign. I don’t think any of them will bear fruit, however, which is why I think the concerns voiced by Melissa about the Democrats’ weakening themselves in this campaign are largely misplaced.

The Democratic presidential candidates this year were never as strong as Democratic boosters suggested, and the Republicans’ situation was never quite as dire as many said. An honest assessment of how November looks today isn’t all that different from an honest assessment of how November looked six months ago: the Democrats ought to do very well, but nothing is a sure thing.


Welp, I’m still standing by the first reason. The second reason is obviously in complete tatters and I’m a moron for not seeing it coming.

I’ll have to check the numbers, but Obama’s favorables/unfavorables haven’t really gone down…have they? Apparently, Clinton’s have nose dived amongst Democrats (still held in esteem but no where near what she was before this began). But, Obama is still pretty well liked even after Wright and bitter gate and all that bullshit. I don’t know if that will continue. And we can sure as hell expect the media/McCain man love to escalate to Obama’s detriment, but I’m not sure if it’s the case that Obama has been that severely hurt by the media as of yet.


OK…the MSM newspersons & talking heads perpetuating insignificant bullshit and calling it news I can understand. They are just corporate puppets (whores), that’s what they get paychecks for.

What has really pissed me off is the people in the blog-sphere who I had previously viewed as progressive and reasonable. I can’t understand that in bleating, kvetching and whining about the slights of the “other” Democratic candidate and their supporters they don’t see they are doing exactly what the MSM & dittohead crowd is doing. Namely, perpetuating the right wing framing of the Democratic candidates by blathering bullshit in the guise of important policy positions. Both camps have these people on board.

I support Obama but I will happily vote for Hillary if she wins because the prospect of a 3rd bush43 term makes me physically ill. Well…really I can also say that because Hillary doesn’t have a chance in hell of winning at this point.

There’s only one group out there that I despise even more than anyone I mentioned so far. There’s only on bunch that deserves every bit of ire, spite and abuse and that’s the Nader people. What? Did you idiots sleep through what Ralph brought us in the 2000 and 2004 election? Jeez you are morons.


I’m going to call out both campaigns when I see them engaging in dumb bullshit that hurts the party’s chances in November

Sure, call out both campaigns. But one of these campaigns leads in delegates and has a clear path to being the nominee even if he never wins another primary outright. The other’s only chance of winning is to convince enough superdelegates that her opponent has been irreperable damaged for the general. So, yeah call them both out but understand that reinforcing righty attacks on a fellow democrat is the only hope one of these campaigns has.



wordpress is the dingo that ate my baby!!!!

Doctorb Science

My method (and I’m not saying it’s terribly clever or anything) is to select and copy the comment I’ve written, reload the page, and paste it back into the box before the page times out. What I think is happening is that a new comment (posted in between the time I load the page and the time I post) interferes with the posting, but I’m not sure.


cut & paste people!! It’s the only way!


My own feelings about this primary are almost exactly the same as those in the original post. The only thing I would add is this: I’m not voting for anybody, just like most elections I vote in. I’m voting against, and this year the guy I’m voting against isn’t even on the ballot.

This puts Senator Clinton in an impossible situation with people like me– two impossible situations, actually. First, as outraged as I an about mysogenistic attacks on her in the press, I’ve got no reason to think they won’t be worse in the general election. And second, if she tries negative campaigning, I get outraged since I’m more interested in one of them winning in November than in a particular one being nominated. (which is why I get outraged when he is critical of her, too). I don’t think that by the standards of an election she has been unduly negative, but any criticism of a Dem hurts our chances of beating Bush, and that I’d something I can’t have.


I’m mostly sad that the satirists here are missing the golden opportunity in the recent Clinton campaign antics. If you step away from the primary to and fro, it’s incredibly funny to see a presidential candidate pretend that she’s cleaning her guns while praying to Jesus and doing shots in the duck blind.


Did you see Megan McArdle’s post today where she not only makes sense, she makes a feminist argument and doesn’t spell anything wrong.


A moment of clarity reminding me she’s not totally nuts.


Crissa: the sun shines on a dog’s ass every once in a while, as they say in the Heartland.


Sorry, I vigorously disagree.
McEwan wrote: “Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have been so quick to stomp the shit out of her, or slay the golden calf for him” and all I can say is “who is this we you are talking about?”
This really comes down to a completely false narrative that has been accepted lock, stock and barrel by Clinton’s supporters: people who support Obama (“Obamamaniacs” anyone? – his supporters come complete with a taunting school-yard level nickname) are mindless robots following an empty suit leaving behind them a stream of subtle and overt sexism, whilst Clinton supporters are head-headed realists merely working to ensure a bright future for us all. And to that I call bullshit.
If a left wing blog is going to catalog every instance of sexism used against Clinton, is it asking to much, in the name of liberalism and all, that they do the same for racist undertones in the coverage of Obama? You know, apparently inconsequential statements like Bill Clinton comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson. That’s not dog-whistle politics; that’s screaming from the rooftop politics.
I mean, this is a blog which printed a “Guest Blogger” arguing, seriously – not tongue-in-cheek, not exaggerating to make a point, but quite seriously – that Obama saying in a health care speech that if we could reduce obesity levels to what they were in 1970 costs could be cut meant he was calling for concentration camps and the “disappearing” of the obese among us. Be honest: if Jonah Goldberg had written one of his “parodies” and said the exact same thing we’d all roll our eyes and say “what a jackass.” What happened at Shakesville? The comments ran overwhelmingly in favor of the piece, and many of the regular contributors chimed in to defend it. Obama is in favor of “disappearing” the obese. Forget for a second how obscene it was to co-opt that word – ask the families of those “disappeared” in Guatemala or El Salvador how they feel about that – isn’t that a childish argument? If one of my kids had said something like that at the age of 6 I would have delivered a lecture. This was an adult, on a blog which routinely criticizes the press for unfair coverage of Sen. Clinton.
And yet, when such lies and distortions are your default position that really isn’t over the top. If pointing out there may be some costs associated with obesity equals a demand for an Auschwitz for the overweight you have reduced complex problems to a level of inanity that makes meaningful discussion impossible.
And that makes the cataloging of every example of sexism leveled at one candidate while claiming the candidate who is African-American, attended a madrasa!!!! and has a Muslim-sounding name is getting a free ride sound perfectly reasonable. McEwan’s argument only holds water if you believe sexism is a problem in this country but racism is all but gone. As one who believes sexism and racism remain huge problems to this day I’ll pass on signing up for her absolution tour.
And before the flame war begins, I want to make one thing perfectly clear; not for one second do I deny sexism in America or in the coverage of Sen. Clinton. It exists, it is real, it is wrong, and it needs to be stomped out.
Nor for one second am I accusing Melissa McEwan or any of the writers at Shakesville of racism. I am saying they are so attuned to sexism they see it immediately in a way they simply fail to see the racism Obama routinely deals with.
It’s possible the real problem is age. At 50 I’m old enough to recall walking through Riverview Park in Chicago and seeing the “Dunk-A-Darkie” booth. Racism is every bit as ugly and damaging as sexism but in recent years it really isn’t at the top of the Democratic Party’s agenda. To claim a black man – named Obama – is getting a free ride shows more ignorance and tone deafness to racism than the average pro-Obama blog ever exhibits towards sexism.
“Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have been so quick to stomp the shit out of her…”
We weren’t. Next time don’t presume to speak for me or 99% of the Obama supporters who back him for reasons having nothing to do with sexism.


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