The Wave

One must tip the hat to the Crown Prince. For good (and we suspect) or for ill, empty phraseology of ‘change’ may well hynoptize the nation. So the pablum pendulum swings from ‘evil doers’ to ‘change and hope’. The only real significance the Stiftung can see is that it is now “our” empty suit without any real experience over “their empty suit smirking chimp”. Naturally, “our” empty suit is not inherently ignorant nor prone to malignant assistants like Cheney et. al.

What do the signs tell us? No good omens. The declining WaPo via Kurtz gives Tweety a get out of jail free pass at this critical juncture (and while David Shuster languishes in media limbo). Now empowered, today Tweety feels unleashed to re-assert his misogyny and low brow chauvanism at the same time. If one has not seen the mash note, voila.

Having said all of that, the Stiftung feels and sees the tide fleeing rapidly away from the shore. Look at all the shiny shells at the college rallies ! Out as far as the eye can see ! All labelled “change”. Only a few see the thin dark line looming on the horizon, accompanied with a deep rumble. As a tactical matter, we are not sure the HRC disavowal of rhetoric will yield success. At least enough to sustain her until March. Offering an uninspiring laundry list of policy depth is a hard sell in American Idol besotted nation.

She must be willing — however phrased, to let the gloves come off. The Crown Prince can not (nor should he) be allowed to ride into the White House without every really undergoing the fire of a contested election. No matter how much the netroots, some in the media and the Usual Gang wish it to be. All these fine sentiments count for nothing in Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and host of others; they could care less about his audacity. Unless HRC begins to counter punch beyond the delicate “we are substantive”, their stand in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania will recede further into the dark line on the horizon.

Odd? We still think it will be unlikely. The Penn-Grunewald tension Tweety revels in discussed today a natural outgrowth of tension, long hours and different visions.

The American people embraced the empty, ill-defined Warlord to our mutual near destruction. He laughed well. Handled an awkward Gore at the debates. And did not, according to the press “claim to have invented the Internet”. Now Americans embrace empty rhetoric from the other side. Intentions may be well be different, but a calamitous outcome is by no means ruled out, by merely a different path.

Let’s be *audacious* and *hope* that we can survive an inexperienced law review geek as well.


  1. Anon says

    Here’s another example of something that will happen over and over again because these folks can’t help it – Bill O’ today re M. Obama “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless …”

    Lynching? Bad metaphor choice – Bill got hassled over his ill thought out attempt to complement civilized black restaurant diners. Should be funny to see him clarify this.

  2. Anon says

    This is pretty funny, imo – We think this is an example of something that people like Matthews cannot help doing no matter how they try and so something that normally would hurt Obama will end up helping him by creating backlash and media unease. Tweety is already on the defensive and his mojo and psyche is out of whack. He’ll be making all sorts of unintentional “errors” going forward when the prospect of an actual Obama candidacy replaces the HRC bashing theoretical construct in his mind. His own guilt re Vietnam will act up again and his show will have many train wrecks:

  3. Comment says

    Doc, do you have any thoughts re Blu-Ray V. HD-DVD? Which was better? Will anything be lost with no HD-DVD?

  4. Comment says

    Obama’s biggest strength going forward will be Gee Dubs — Dubya cannot help himself because he also lacks levels of self awareness re Iran and Pakastan.
    McCain seemed surly today when he was questioned about Pakistan since he happened to attack on Obama on this point at precisely the wrong time when a widely reported news story appears of Bush launching strikes inside Pakastan himself. McCain dug himself in deeper trying to make jesuitical distinctions between good attacks (Bush/McCain) v bad attacks (Obama) on tribal areas. But the reasons he listed will all backfire because they only make sense in a PNSS context and are impossible to explain to swing voteres.

    Bush has also been conducting semi quite negitiations with Iranians in Baghdad – Bush is embracing Ahmadinejad – quietly

  5. Comment says

    Ok – we saw the clip of Matthews that Olberman was alluding to last night. Some unprepared Obama supporter came on the show with Keith and Tweety and Tweety gave him a hard time. It was bizarre – Tweety appeared to be enraged for little or no good reason and this guy evidently came on the show expecting just to revel in Obama’s victory – He was nervous and puzzled by what seemed to be a Matthews ambush.
    Matthews obviously will be a covert/overt McCain supporter in the campaign. He likes Obama only for purposes of HRC attacking.
    Common sense would suggest that Matthews would oppose McCain – because Matthews has said he opposed the Iraq war and McCain explicitly backs that war and confrontation with Iran.
    So this cognitive dissonance bubbles inside Tweety and explodes from time to time – His rational breakdown is amusing to watch live.

  6. says

    I think if they try to push the kind of goo Schiffren has laid out, it’ll be more than moderates that go “ick”.

  7. Jon H says

    The Schiffren thing is the kind of rehashed Civil Rights Era Klan crap that will make moderates go “Ick”.

  8. Anon says

    re Tweety – We tuned in late, but we saw Keith arguing with him about something and Matthews replied “That’s why they call it Hardball,” Then Olberman snapped back “This isn’t Hardball , it’s the election results.”

    Not sure what they were talking about – But good to see some tension on the set.

  9. Anon says

    Obama is clearly liberal – probably to the left of the nation’s center (though Jonah & Co have prematurely tried to abandon this linear metaphor). But it’s unconvincing when people like Frum use terms like “hard left.” Even if Obama was “hard left” he could get away with it just as Bush was able to get away with lots more by callling himself “compassionate”. But Obama’s health care plan – the example Frum used – is the same as the GOP alternative to HRC’s health care plan. Obama basically used Doles’ plan – It’s only a matter of time when Dole forgets this and someone will point it out when he critcises Obama.

    But the war trumps == Frum and his “axis of evil” crowd jumbled the whole game – They blew the whole right left narrative for at least a few cycles/

  10. Anon says

    Frum just said that Obama knows he won’t win Texas , but is just being shrewed and Rovian by going to Houston. It’s hard to know if Frum is being sincere or just in his own silo, but we are pretty sure that Obama thinks he can win Texas in the primary and that he has a shot at winning it in the general (in any event he will try and it will benefit him elsewhere)

  11. Anon says

    ” … had close relations with a known black Communist intellectual … ”

    Schiffren’s quote could be interpreted as pro miscegenation law. That’s how it would be read by many on black radio. She probably didn’t mean that = But the neoconish view she assumes w/ respect to marraige is just not how most people interpret love.

    That whole Schiffrin quote is a riot. We knew this would be a line against Obama, but it’ll never gain any traction. There will be a big WTF when the VRWC tries to roll out this attack – partly because Obama is a beneficiary of some of the emotional politics that Bush & Co. cultivated.

  12. Anon says

    Raising lots of money from small donations is the opposite of elitist fundraising. Frum knows that and just meant he was insincere when he raised that issue. Incidentally, Frum is a well off himself and since when do rich ideologues get away with being populists. Huckabee he ain’t.

  13. Anon says

    Frum WAS!….Canadian. Just saw Frum on Larry King trying to mock Dems fundraising advantage, as if to say this means they are now the party of the rich. All kidding aside – Frum is very bright so it’s worth noting when he can only come up with Tucker-esque level crack – Now he is calling Obama condescending to McCain – Sorry, but this level of insicerity is not gonna help McCain. It’s good inside baseball neocons stuff, but McCain is the sanctimonious one and the condescending one. For what it’s worth, Frum is one of the most condescending commentators on TV – Which is a shame since Canadians are supposed to be modest.

  14. Jon H says

    “David Frum is incredibly patriotic and as such he is very sensitive to any slight against the nation, real or perceived.”

    Isn’t he Canadian?

  15. A Random Quote says

    I don’t know how Barak Obama’s parents met. But the Kincaid article referenced above makes a very convincing case that Obama’s family, later, (mid 1970s) in Hawaii, had close relations with a known black Communist intellectual. And, according to what Obama wrote in his first autobiography, the man in question — Frank Marshall Davis — appears to have been Barack’s own mentor, and even a father figure …
    Political correctness was invented precisely to prevent the mainstream liberal media from persuing the questions which might arise about how Senator Obama’s mother, from Kansas, came to marry an African graduate student. Love? Sure, why not? But what else was going on around them that made it feasible? …. Before readers level cheap accusations of racism — let’s recall that the very question of interracial marriage only became a big issue later in the 1960s … It was, of course, an explicit tactic of the Communist party to stir up discontent among American blacks, with an eye toward using them as the leading edge of the revolution … To their credit, of course, most black Americans didn’t buy the commie line … Time for some investigative journalism about the Obama family’s background …”
    ~Lisa Schiffren
    NRO, The Corner 2-19-08

    (Leo, re Obama’s luck –
    if someone’s gonna redbait you in
    the middle of an election, it helps if
    it comes from a neocon.

  16. Anon says

    David Frum is incredibly patriotic and as such he is very sensitive to any slight against the nation, real or perceived. Indeed, he regards perceived slights as just as and or worse than real ones because he is an intellectual and deals in the world of peceptions and conceptions. So it came as no surprise when he express concern about a Michelle Obama gaffe yesterday. The gaffe was real – though we very much doubt that she meant it to be what Frum would like to think. In any event, we had heard a while back from some folks who had worked on the campaign how gaffe prone Michelle Obama was and how she often did not realize how poorly many of her comments translated when coveyed to the wider whiter world. But they were surprised how disciplined she became about this problem until now.

  17. Aldershot says

    I looked up a clip of Rove on Fox and had a little trouble categorizing him…sort of a modest Rush on Thorazine?

  18. Jon H says

    HRC’s incompetent:

    Supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are worried that convoluted delegate rules in Texas could water down the impact of strong support for her among Hispanic voters there, creating a new obstacle for her in the must-win presidential primary contest.

    Several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning of the state’s unusual provisions during a closed-door strategy meeting this month, according to one person who attended.

    What Clinton aides discovered is that in certain targeted districts, such as Democratic state Sen. Juan Hinojosa’s heavily Hispanic Senate district in the Rio Grande Valley, Clinton could win an overwhelming majority of votes but gain only a small edge in delegates. At the same time, a win in the more urban districts in Dallas and Houston — where Sen. Barack Obama expects to receive significant support — could yield three or four times as many delegates.

    “What it means is, she could win the popular vote and still lose the race for delegates,” Hinojosa said yesterday. “This system does not necessarily represent the opinions of the population, and that is a serious problem.”

    These fools planned to use Texas as a firewall without knowing the Texas system first?!

  19. A Random Quote says

    “The reason Israelis agonize so much about turning over the West Bank and its defenses to a possible Palestinian state isn’t because they fear the Palestinians themselves, or the Jordaniana; they fear Iraqi tanks coming accross the Jordan Valley. A peaceable Iraq would make concessions far easier.

    Nor have Iraq’s missles and weapons of mass destruction obviated the need for strategic depth. On the contrary, they raise the spector of forward deployment.”
    ~Wall St. Journal
    Editorial 11-20-01

  20. Comment says

    Does Bill Clinton regret the Telecom Act of 96? Doubtful – But if he does, he must have greater regret signing that law allowing women greater avenues of discovery in harassment litigation – That was supposed to be for the benefit of an upscale feminist constituency and it ended up being used by the VRWC and Paula Jones. Ultimately leading to Dubya.
    Dereg led to Enron – By far the largest conrtributor and validator of Bush in his early campaign. Enron gave some chump change to Texas Dems to give a bipartisan gloss, but Bush really has to than Paula-Monica-Ken Lay, then Rove. The mess in Iraq begins ..

  21. Rick says

    There’s a great deal of truth in this thread, so I’ll just add this:

    These candidates are running campaigns that our current politico-media environment demands: promises made behind closed doors, while the “little people” are treated to empty, even vapid rhetoric. This is the natural result of 25-ish years of the neo-liberal privatizing of power. It’s inherently anti-democratic. It’s also proof of a deeply corrupt political system, at least with regard to federal races. Think of corruption in this case as a system of duplicitous exclusion, in which the subjects (formerly known as citizens) are simply denied any real connection to power by phony politicians and the media that serves them.

    The advantages of presenting empty rhetoric are that everyone can simply project their own wishes on Candidate X. It’s working brilliantly for Obama, who has really done little more than out-Clinton the Clintons. He’s taken triangulation and carried it to the pinnacle of vagueness and it’s working for him. No small wonder then, the Clintons are furious about this dynamic!

    But in the end, our fellow citizens are still stuck with a big pile of nothing. We are supposed to support or oppose candidates on this basis? Our electoral system has been reduced to group therapy as denuded political process.

    It’s not all their fault we no longer live in, or even value, a democracy. It’s taken us many years, through many policy changes, to get here. The public square and the marketplace of ideas are now officially off-limits to mere mortals. The corporate infotainment industry has made sure of that.

    I wonder if Bill Clinton now regrets his fervent pushing of the Telecom Act of ’96? It seems the industry is no longer loyal to the one that made their monopolization of the public square possible!

    On the flip side of this, we see voter turnout smashing records on the non-GOP side. We also see establishment media continuing to lose readers/viewers. So perhaps this movement to privatize power is on the ropes.

  22. A Random Quote says

    “It is indeed too true, that the present days are soft, and that the spirit of endurance is low among us. Men have been unnerved by tranquility, and by a dangerous love of peace.”
    ~Cardinal Manning (1855)

  23. Lagavulin says

    Did I miss HRC defining clearly her own vision of change? The doctor is correct that she would be a more convincing foil to the Sino-Russo-Farsical axis of oppositional national interest, but from my vantage HRC’s alternative to Obama’s ‘I’m entitled to be president because you like me’ is her own ‘I’m entitled because I lived with a man who was president.’

    Yet as for actual plans for change, I haven’t seen much from either candidate in any form, at least none more compelling than demographically calibrated boilerplate on their websites.

    So to me the choice comes down to a black man who is good for everyone – including our enemies, vs a white woman who is good for no one – including ourselves. A rising tide lifts all boats, sort of thing I guess.

    The decision then becomes about whose capabilities we trust more: our own or our opponents’. I vote for ourselves, but not without reservation.

  24. A Random Quote says

    “… there is a legitimate concern over the zeitgeist around the [Obama] campaign.”
    ~Malcolm Hoenlein
    (Ironically pinpointing
    Obama’s greatest strength)

  25. A Random Quote says

    “All the talk about change {Obama’s campaign], but without defining what that change should be is an opening for all kind of mischief.”
    ~Malcolm Hoenlein

  26. Comment says

    We think HRC still has a shot if she does well in Ohio, Texas, and Penn – She would have won all the must have states, plus Texas. Indeed, we think McCain could still win – there is a feeling out there that McCain could tap into of being a more worthy Warlord who could tie up lose business etc – It’s the spectre of warmonging and elderlyness that is hurting McCain’s chances.
    Ben Stein was just apopletic at Obama on Kudlow today, so that’s a good sign for Barack,

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