This morning I’m having flashbacks to 2006. Democrats had just retaken the House and Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker. But even before she took the gavel, she announced that “impeachment is off the table.” Never mind that Bush and Cheney had lied us into an endless war.
The New York Times, November 8, 2006: Pelosi: Bush Impeachment `Off the Table.’
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi promised Wednesday that when her party takes over, the new majority will not attempt to remove President Bush from office, despite earlier pledges to the contrary from others in the caucus.
“I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference.
She said the GOP, which frequently excluded Democrats from conference committee hearings and often blocked attempts to introduce amendments, would not suffer similar treatment.
“Democrats pledge civility and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here and we pledge partnerships with Congress and the Republicans in Congress, and the president — not partisanship.”
She also extended an olive branch to Bush on the war in Iraq, saying she plans to work with him on a new plan but will not support the current strategy and supports beginning redeployment of troops by the end of the year.
Pelosi also said she supports the idea of a bipartisan summit on the war.
Now Pelosi is once again Speaker of the House and she’s doing a repeat performance with an even worse “president.” Until recently, I thought her arguments about “getting the facts” by holding hearings before rushing into impeachment made sense.
But the situation with Trump become an emergency. He is stonewalling any and all efforts to question witnesses in Congressional Committees. He is using mob tactics to force a foreign country into helping him get reelected. We can’t wait for the 2020 election to get rid of him, especially because there’s no guarantee that he won’t successfully win by cheating.
Please check out this piece by Tom Scocca at Slate: Someone Should Do Something.
After seeing the events of the past few days, in the light of the events of the days before those, in relation to the events that took place in the weeks, months, and years before that, I am strongly considering writing something that would address the question of whether Nancy Pelosi is bad at her job. If I did, I would argue that the House of Representatives, under Pelosi’s leadership, has come to function as a necessary complement to the corruption and incompetence of President Donald Trump—that a lawless presidency can only achieve its fullest, ripest degree of lawlessness with the aid of a feckless opposition party, which the Democrats are eager to provide.
My editor thinks that I should write this article. I understand that in a week when one of the president’s most dedicated flunkies went before Congress to openly sneer at the idea that he should answer questions, making a show of obstructing what was supposed to be an investigation into obstruction of justice—a week now ending with reports, confirmed by the president’s jabbering ghoul of a lawyer on television, that the president tried to force a foreign country to act against the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate—there is good reason to feel that something needs to be written. It is certainly the sort of situation that someone could write about: the opposition party sitting on its hands and issuing vague statements of dismay while the entire constitutional order is revealed to be no match for the willingness of a president and his enablers to break the law.
At some point, in the future, it will probably be necessary to publish an article pointing out the terrifying mismatch between the ever-increasing speed with which our political system is falling apart and the slow trudge toward November 2020, when the Democratic Party hopes that voters will do what current elected Democratic officials will not do and take action to remove our visibly degenerating president from office. If someone did write an article like that, they could point out that by allowing Trump to remain in office unchallenged until the election, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership are saying that, although they hope the voters decide Trump is disqualified from office, they themselves do not think he has done anything wrong enough to merit his removal. If he had, they would do something, and they have not.
Scocca continues in this vein for several more paragraphs, ending with this conclusion:
Everyone in our democracy—citizens and officials alike, voters and writers, marchers and starers-at-screens—has a role to play, or to consider playing. If I were going to write about this, I would say that it might be time to plan on doing something.
Meanwhile, Jerry Nadler is supposedly thinking about maybe holding Corey Lewandowski in contempt for his disgraceful “testimony” several days ago.
We’re screwed, folks.
Yesterday it became clear that the New York Times is likely to do to Joe Biden what they did to Hillary Clinton and other media outlets will follow suit. Trump actually tweeted a video that featured NYT reporters arguing that Trump’s and Giuliani’s charges about Biden are legitimate.
And Trump (and the media, especially the NYT) will do the same thing to any Democratic candidate who ends up running against him.
We can see the future right now. It’s 2016 all over again.
Look at what happened to Kamala Harris at a forum on LGBT issues. Tommy Christopher at Mediaite: WATCH: ‘Biased’ LGBTQ Forum Question for Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren Goes Viral, Not in a Good Way.
On Friday, Democratic candidates participated in an LGBTQ forum in Iowa, moderated in part by Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Lyz Lenz. Her first question to Senator Harris was about a case in which, as attorney general of California, she defended the state corrections department against a lawsuit seeking gender reassignment surgery for a transgender woman inmate named Michelle-Lael Norsworthy.
“During your time as attorney general in California, you did send a brief seeking to deny gender-affirmation surgery for trans inmates,” Lenz said, adding “You stated that at the time you were just enforcing the existing law.:
“But with this history, the question is, how can trans people trust you will advocate for them, and not just enforce discriminatory laws?” Lenz asked.
Harris responded by noting the support she has received from LGBTQ organizations in her home state, and said “When that case came up, it was because as attorney general, I had clients, and one of them was the California Department of Corrections, and it was their policy. When I learned about what they were doing, behind the scenes, I got them to change the policy.”
And here is how Lenz treat a nearly identical question to Elizabeth Warren:
But when Lenz brought up an arguably more damaging stance on the same issue with Elizabeth Warren, it wasn’t framed as a matter of trust, or even as something for which Warren should answer.
“In 2012, you wrote that you did not support gender-affirming surgery for trans inmates,” Lenz said — to a “Yeah” from Warren — then added “In January of this year, you reversed your opinion and said you had changed on this issue.”
But instead of asking Warren how she could be trusted on an issue that she just got right on (checks notes) 8 months ago, Lenz said Warren’s change “is great,” then asked “So you just said we have to get everybody on board, how do we even do that?”
“So, the way I think about this, and America, equal means equal,” Warren said, but did not address her prior comments in the remainder of her answer.
I guarantee you that if Warren is the nominee, she too will get the Hillary Clinton treatment from the media while Trump mocks her “Pocahantas” on an hourly basis.
Here is what the U.S. media should be doing about Trump.
Lenore Taylor at The Guardian: As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump’s press conference.
…watching a full presidential Trump press conference while visiting the US this week I realised how much the reporting of Trump necessarily edits and parses his words, to force it into sequential paragraphs or impose meaning where it is difficult to detect.
The press conference I tuned into by chance from my New York hotel room was held in Otay Mesa, California, and concerned a renovated section of the wall on the Mexican border.
I joined as the president was explaining at length how powerful the concrete was. Very powerful, it turns out. It was unlike any wall ever built, incorporating the most advanced “concrete technology”. It was so exceptional that would-be wall-builders from three unnamed countries had visited to learn from it.
There were inner tubes in the wall that were also filled with concrete, poured in via funnels, and also “rebars” so the wall would withstand anyone attempting to cut through it with a blowtorch.
The wall went very deep and could not be burrowed under. Prototypes had been tested by 20 “world-class mountain climbers – That’s all they do, they love to climb mountains”, who had been unable to scale it.
It was also “wired, so that we will know if somebody is trying to break through”, although one of the attending officials declined a presidential invitation to discuss this wiring further, saying, “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing it”, which the president said was a “very good answer”.
The wall was “amazing”, “world class”, “virtually impenetrable” and also “a good, strong rust colour” that could later be painted. It was designed to absorb heat, so it was “hot enough to fry an egg on”. There were no eggs to hand, but the president did sign his name on it and spoke for so long the TV feed eventually cut away, promising to return if news was ever made.
He did, at one point, concede that would-be immigrants, unable to scale, burrow, blow torch or risk being burned, could always walk around the incomplete structure, but that would require them walking a long way. This seemed to me to be an important point, but the monologue quickly returned to the concrete.
In writing about this not-especially-important or unusual press conference I’ve run into what US reporters must encounter every day. I’ve edited skittering, half-finished sentences to present them in some kind of consequential order and repeated remarks that made little sense.
But instead of focusing on Trump’s obvious ignorance, incompetence, and actual psychopathy and dementia, the media with focus on tearing down whichever Democrat wins the nomination. If it’s a black woman it will be even worse.
Finally, here’s the latest on the Ukraine scandal.
The Washington Post: How Trump and Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate the president’s rivals.
Three Republicans call for impeachment.
Tom Nichols at The Atlantic: If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is.
George Conway III and Neal Kaytal at The Washington Post: Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But the Ukraine allegations are over the top.
Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread below. Have a nice weekend Sky Dancers!!
I would like to say that the primary season is totally over and that we can move on to more important things like destroying Donald Trump’s chances for getting near the White House but, not so fast. Bernie Sanders just will not concede to Hillary Clinton. The media opened up a a window for him to “address his supporters” hoping he’d go quietly into that great night. Once again, we got his stump speech. There was one big difference. The media cut him off after it was clear it was the same old stuff and the same old Bernie. He didn’t drop out but the media dropped him. THUD!
In his 30-minute speech live-streamed to his supporters and also shown on cable news channels, Sanders slammed Democratic leadership but said defeating Donald Trump in November was his top concern. The senator also said he would be announcing how he would be participating in the general election “at some point very soon.” This marked the point at which the news nets began to tune out.
The Democratic Party’s convention will be held in Philadelphia from July 25-28. The Obama- and Biden-endorsed Clinton is expected on the first ballot to be the first woman nominated by a major American party for President.
Sanders’ speech comes on a day that saw the President and Vice-President in Orlando meeting with victims of the fatal shooting at the Pulse nightclub saw 49 people killed. The speech also comes as the NBA Finals gets down to the near-wire with the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers facing off in what could be a clinching Game 6 for the defending champions.
The Sanders speech was short for him, and he reiterated the issues his campaign has long been focused on and urged supporters to keep fighting until the convention.
Clinton has been the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee since winning the California primary on June 7. At the time, Sanders vowed to keep campaigning to force a contested convention. As part of that, the Vermont senator played hard to voters in Washington, D.C. in advance of the final Democratic primary held there Tuesday, coming out in support of statehood for the U.S. capital. Clinton still decisively won the D.C. primary.
At last, the bloom is off the rose. I’d like to share this Harvard study with you that was released this week by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. It basically proves what we’ve known all along. The angry white dudes were beloved by the media. They picked on the girl.
A new report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzes news coverage of the 2016 presidential candidates in the year leading up to the primaries. This crucial period, labeled “the invisible primary” by political scientists, is when candidates try to lay the groundwork for a winning campaign—with media exposure often playing a make or break role.
The report shows that during the year 2015, major news outlets covered Donald Trump in a way that was unusual given his low initial polling numbers—a high volume of media coverage preceded Trump’s rise in the polls. Trump’s coverage was positive in tone—he received far more “good press” than “bad press.” The volume and tone of the coverage helped propel Trump to the top of Republican polls.
The Democratic race in 2015 received less than half the coverage of the Republican race. Bernie Sanders’ campaign was largely ignored in the early months but, as it began to get coverage, it was overwhelmingly positive in tone. Sanders’ coverage in 2015 was the most favorable of any of the top candidates, Republican or Democratic. For her part, Hillary Clinton had by far the most negative coverage of any candidate. In 11 of the 12 months, her “bad news” outpaced her “good news,” usually by a wide margin, contributing to the increase in her unfavorable poll ratings in 2015.
The Shorenstein Center study is based on an analysis of thousands of news statements by CBS, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. The study’s data were provided by Media Tenor, a firm that specializes in the content analysis of news coverage.
The invisible primary is the stage of the campaign where journalists have the most latitude in deciding what and who to cover. It’s also the stage where the press forges its “metanarratives”—its dominant personal narratives of the leading contenders. The term was devised by former journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel to describe what they saw as the tendency of reporters in the 2000 campaign to portray the party nominees in simplified terms—“Bush is dumb,” “Gore is a liar.” They deplored the tendency, arguing that, once a metanarrative is in place, it’s hard for journalists to argue to the contrary and equally hard for them not to play up trivial developments that align with the stereotype.
Even if metanarratives are not as self-fulfilling as Kovach and Rosenstiel suggest, there is no question that journalists create and apply them as a shorthand way to describe presidential candidates. In 2008, for example, journalists early on embraced the idea that Barack Obama represented hope and change and could deliver it through his charismatic leadership and communication skill. It was a narrative that carried all the way to the November election.
Whether the metanarratives that emerged during the 2016 invisible primary will persist is a yet unanswered question but the outlines of these early narratives was unmistakable. Trump was the shoot-from-the-lip bully, given to braggadocio and insulting and outrageous comments. Yet, he also had a finger on the anger felt by many middle- and lower-class white voters. As regards Clinton, she was the candidate best prepared for the presidency as a result of her experience and detailed knowledge of policy issues. But this positive metanarrative competed with more frequently employed negative ones—that she was difficult to like, overly calculating, and hard to trust. As for Sanders, the storyline was that he means what he says—that he speaks, not from what the polls say is expedient, but from what he believes.
The candidates’ metanarratives, along with the contours of the news media’s 2016 election coverage, will be the subject of subsequent Shorenstein Center reports.
Notice the graphic showing Trump’s positive coverage by the media including WAPO which Trump says covered him unfavorably right before he removed their credentials. Even Paul Ryan thought that was an over the top reaction.
In a news conference Thursday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was asked about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s move to deny press credentials to The Post. His immediate answer was unspectacular: “Don’t think I’ve ever heard about it before. I think that’s a new one. I don’t know a whole lot about it. I hope and assume this will get worked out.”
Then he did something that tells us what he really thinks about Trump and The Post. “Who’s with The Post here, by the way? Is [Mike] DeBonis here? [Paul] Kane’s here. Okay, last question.”
DeBonis proceeded to press Ryan on . . . Donald Trump: “This morning, Mr. Speaker, you rolled out your plan to . . . rein in executive power. Mr. Trump yesterday said this, addressing congressional leaders like yourself — ‘Be quiet. Just please be quiet. Don’t talk.’ What is your reaction to that and . . . how do you have any confidence that this is a guy who’s gonna have respect for separation of powers.”
“You can’t make this up sometimes,” responded Ryan, in part. He left the podium after riffing on the importance of “government by consent” and advising the press corps to call their fathers this weekend.
Point made: Ryan isn’t blacklisting The Post or any other media outlets. Since Trump clinched his status as presumptive nominee, his relationship with the House speaker has seesawed. For weeks, Ryan held off on endorsing Trump, only to declare that he’d vote for the longtime real-estate mogul. Following Trump’s comments doubting the ability of federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel — born in Indiana and of Mexican heritage — to adjudicate lawsuits affecting Trump University, Ryan blasted away, saying Trump had made the “textbook definition of a racist comment,” while still affirming his support of Trump over Hillary Clinton. Now we have Ryan repudiating Trump on The Post thing, not with his words, but with his actions.
The moment on Capitol Hill provides a good opportunity to check in on how Trump’s action against The Post is working. As the Trump campaign made clear on its website: “We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for ‘clicks’ above journalistic integrity.” That meant that the Trump people had, in effect, pulled the newspaper’s rally badge
The role of the media in this election has been as perplexing as the look on their faces and the words from the keyboards over the last year. We’ve got a serial liar as a major party candidate that no one even took seriously last year. We’ve got another one that has lost by every meaning of the word and will not concede. We’ve got right wing conspiracy theories flying around in the main stream press as if they’re as serious as our real issues. Here’s some further analysis by Carter Maness.
Though 28 percent of Clinton’s coverage was about issues, 84 percent of those stories were negative in tone. To compare, Trump only notched 12 percent on issues, with 43 percent negative in tone. That’s much heavier accountability for the Democratic nominee in a race that received less than half the coverage of the Republican contest. But, for Clinton, it’s easy to see the negative trend reversing as we enter the general election.
“The tide may be shifting as the campaign focuses on Clinton vs. Trump and she takes advantage of the focus and the contrast to strike a more ‘presidential’ tone,” said Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “If the recent Bloomberg poll is substantiated elsewhere, the narrative will likely shift to Hillary as frontrunner, which will produce some more sharp coverage—and Trump will never let up in his attacks—but also more positive coverage that reflects the shifting sands.”
Given that poll, which found Clinton with a commanding 12-point lead in the general election, the frontrunner scrutiny won’t let up. But increasingly negative coverage of Trump, whose private jet might finally be plummeting back to earth, will likely become a big positive for Clinton.
Her greatest asset as a candidate will be her opponent. Trump’s recent slate of controversies—from lambasting a federal judge’s Mexican heritage to his tonedeaf reaction to the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando—has kept his name on front pages, but the stories are much harsher in tone than when he was battling Ted Cruz for the nomination. Media coverage is becoming more concerted in its effort to debunk Trump’s lies and question his more outrageous statements.
Bill Jasso, professor of practice at the Newhouse School of Public Relations at Syracuse University, believes the media will start holding candidates to higher standards. “The most significant societal question for me is: Will the American news media—both traditional and new digital—hold the candidates accountable for the veracity of their statements and positions, or will they continue to cover the presidential campaign like it was a UFC cage match? I have faith that most journalists realize ‘the fun’s over’ and are ready to embark on the hard work of reporting on substantive issues and real-world solutions.”
A focus on real solutions should benefit Clinton, as should the competition in unfavorability ratings. Trump is currently receiving yet another round of negative coverage from a new ABC/Washington Post poll which shows he is disliked by 94 percent of African-Americans, 89 percent of Hispanics, 77 percent of women, and a whopping 70 percent of all adults. For at least the time being, nobody is talking about Hillary Clinton, which, for her, is positive coverage.
That study actually just verifies some earlier analysis done by a socia media software analytics company and covered by Vox and Media Matters. Clinton received the most negative stories.
A newly released media analysis found that the “biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015.” The study, conducted by social media software analytics company Crimson Hexagon, also found that “the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her.”
As Media Matters has noted throughout the primary campaign, the coverage of Hillary Clinton has tended to focus on fake scandals such as her use of a private email server while her Republican counterparts have enjoyed more positive characterizations. This criticism has been backed up by a former New York Times editor who agreed that the publication has given the Clinton’s “an unfair ‘level of scrutiny.’”
Crimson Hexagon’s analysis, reported by Vox’s Jeff Stein, “shows that the media has battered Clinton more than any other candidate, perhaps because of the ongoing controversy over her emails.” Accusations of “the media being in the tank for Clinton,” Stein notes, simply “may not square with reality.” Crimson Hexagon’s analysis — which examined reporting from The Washington Post, Politico, Fox News, the Huffington Post, and CNN — ultimately found that more “negative stories” were published about Clinton than any other presidential candidate, and that Clinton herself received “the smallest proportion of positive stories.”
I’ve been hoping some of this will turn around now that we know that Bernie is delusional and Trump suffers from what appears to be a major Personality Disorder or three. However, BostonBoomer pointed out to me yesterday that Howard Kurtz and other pundits continue their sexist and misogynistic coverage of Clinton. Again, this is from a last month’s analysis done by Media Matters that points out Kurtz and his use of sexist tropes.
Gender bias and sensationalism in the media is something political figures like Hillary Clinton simply need to “deal with,” according to Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz.
In a May 28 column, Kurtz highlighted a newly released excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s upcoming book, Hard Choices, in an attempt to analyze Clinton’s purported wariness of the press. He gave particular attention to aNew Yorker article, published the same day as the book excerpt, which detailed the media’s obsessive focus on Clinton. While the New Yorker noted that Clinton supporters attribute “some of the negative” coverage she has faced to sexism, Kurtz offered an alternate take:
My take is this: Let’s say Hillary’s people are right and that the press is petty, sensationalist, often unfair and sometimes mean to women? Deal with it. It’s like complaining about bad weather. Every candidate has to cope with an adversarial media, and Democrats usually get a break at least on social issues.
Media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign was a gender debacle. Press featured “news” segmentson Hillary’s hair style, examinations of the Clinton “cackle,” and even a 750-word rumination on the “startling” amount of cleavage then-Sen. Clinton “displayed” on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
In recent months, right-wing media have worked overtime to stir up concern about Clinton’s age, an effort led in part by conservative strategist and Fox contributor Karl Rove in anticipation of a possible 2016 presidential run. The conservative bubbled first encouraged the media to revive old conspiracy theories about Clinton’s health,relentlessly hyped their own attack, and then demanded that Clinton respond with evidence to their specious claims. Far from subtle, as recently as May 27 Fox News painted Clinton “old and stale,” amplifying an affront first used by Rove.
Clinton’s age has long been a focus of right-wing media’s ire. Last year The Washington Times claimed that Clinton’s age by 2016 is “not particularly old for a man,” though at her age “a woman in public life is getting past her sell-by date.” Fox’s Erick Erickson asserted that by 2016, “I don’t know how far back they can pull her face.”
Gender bias is definitely at play here as is general CDS as stoked by the right. However, the unMerry Band of Bernie and his Dead-Enders continue to sally forth with less media hooplah than before.
SANDERS WILL JOIN EFFORT TO DEFEAT TRUMP IN A ‘VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME:’Bernie Sanders did not formally concede or back his primary rival Hillary Clinton during a live online address to his fans last night, despite Clinton last week securing enough delegates to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. Sanders did, however, promise to join her and the Democratic party in a more active role in their effort to defeat Donald Trump. “The major political task that together we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly, and I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time,” he said in his remarks, which he filmed in a television studio in his hometown and read off of a teleprompter. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS has more.http://abcn.ws/1Uz6NOh
What the hell does join the effort mean to Sanders? That’s wtf I would like to know. He’s weakening every position he may have had with the Democratic Party. Exactly what kind of leverage does he have other than threatening to turn the Dead-Enders into violence Zombies at the convention ala Trumpsters? Dudes, you lost!! You’re LOSERS!!!
Leverage: it’s the one thing Bernie Sanders’ advisors and aides consistently point to when asked why, exactly, he’s formally staying in the Democratic primary race that he’s lost to Hillary Clinton.
But it’s the one thing he’s been bleeding every day ever since he dropped California’s primary by a much wider-than-expected margin last week. Sanders’ summer was supposed to be all about building leverage for the Democratic convention, providing him with a better hand to play as he presses Clinton to accept his policy positions and party reform suggestions. Now, the people closest to him aren’t sure how exactly to get it back.
His first and most prominent endorsers have jumped off the bandwagon, congratulating and in some cases endorsing Clinton — from Sen. Jeff Merkley to Rep. Raul Grijalva, and from the Communications Workers of America to MoveOn.org.Each of the big-name Democrats and groups who steadfastly remained neutral in the primary have flocked to Clinton over the past week, from President Barack Obama to Sen. Elizabeth Warren to the AFL-CIO. Even Sanders’ highest-profile congressional endorsee, Nevada’s Lucy Flores, lost her primary bid on Tuesday despite his cash injection into her campaign.
Yet on Thursday night, speaking to over 200,000 viewers who tuned into his live-streamed video address, Sanders vowed to press on — pledging to fight to defeat Donald Trump but refusing to formally back Clinton and insisting his army of supporters isn’t going anywhere.
“We must continue our grassroots efforts to create the America that we know we can become,” he said, nearly acknowledging defeat but making a point not to concede while reading from a prompter in a cramped television studio deep in his hometown. “And we must take that energy into the Democratic National Convention on July 25 in Philadelphia where we will have more than 1,900 delegates.”
I’ve been told that we still have to pay attention to the Bernmeister because he got so many passionate voters. Trump has passionate voters too. Lots more of them. Whose crazy, delusional base deserves more coddling these days? I’m sure Hillary’s Veep pick and her general election strategy to include her recent ad buys are finding tranches of voters that outnumber BernieBros easily. I mean Utah is in play. FUCKING UTAH!
I can’t imagine most of the journalists in this country are big Trump fans. I’m pretty sure the ones that were slobbering all over Bernie have gotten sober. But, I’m certain that will see the gender bias, the sexism, the misogyny and the CDS carry on in media outlets beyond Fox. As long as Maureeen Dowd and Howard Kurtz can still get jobs, we’re in for a long summer and fall.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
I’ve been struggling all morning over writing this post. I knew that if Hillary ran for president again we would face unprecedented sexism and misogyny from the media and from many people who claim to be Democrats. But I never imagined it would be this bad. It was bad in 2008, but in 2016 the CDS is magnified beyond belief.
Since I was a child I have had a difficult time understanding why people hate those who are different from themselves. It was around 1956 when I noticed the prejudice that black people have to deal with. I just couldn’t make sense of it. I was 8 years old.
Later I followed the Civil Rights Movement closely and again I was mystified by the hatred of Americans for their fellow Americans. I could empathize and feel rage at the injustice perpetrated against African Americans, but of course I couldn’t really comprehend what it felt like to be the targets of so much ugly, vicious hatred.
As someone who has dreamed her whole life that women might finally achieve equality, and who believes that electing a woman president would go a long way toward making that dream a reality, I am beginning to truly understand how it feels to be hated and reviled by the culture I live in. It is exhausting.
It requires superhuman strength and courage just to get up every day and keep trusting my inner voice no matter what other people say and do, and internally trying to counter the ugly attacks on the first woman to have a real chance to win the Democratic nomination and perhaps to become the first woman President of the United States.
The only thing that gives me the strength to keep believing is the the example set by Hillary Clinton. I don’t know how she does it, but I think she has the courage and the competence to keep fighting for us all the way to the White House.
Last night in the CNN Democratic Town Hall, I saw a woman who is comfortable with herself, who believes in her ability to pull this off, and who has truly found her voice as a candidate. I have never seen a better performance by Hillary Clinton in any debate or forum. She was magnificent.
But don’t expect the media to report that. They’re busy praising Bernie Sanders, the man who answered every question by returning to his boring stump speech far outshone the woman who following him (why does Bernie always get to go first, by the way?) according to the largely white male Washington press corps.
You know what? I don’t care. Hillary is speaking to the voters and I think enough of them will hear what she is saying.
Last night Bernie got mostly softball questions from Anderson Cooper and the audience. Hillary got mostly tough questions, and she rose to the occasion. She never whined or complained. She was humble and she listened carefully to what she was asked.
Bernie on the other hand did his usual nodding and waving–he doesn’t seem to listen to the questions at all. He makes up his mind what the question is while the person asking it is still talking. Hillary doesn’t do that. She actually cares about the person who is talking to her. It’s amazing that so many people can keep right on hating her even after they watch her be so open, so willing to listen, to learn, to get better as a person and a candidate. But that’s what hate is about–hence the cliche “blind hatred.”
Just for today I’m going to leave aside the many media arguments for why Hillary Clinton just isn’t good enough and why she can never be good enough in their minds. There’s another debate tonight, and I need to psych myself up; because I am determined to watch it no matter how exhausting it is to see the irrational hatred my candidate has to face.
First, a couple of positive moments from last night:
From a mostly negative article by Eric Bradner at CNN, a wonderful quote from Hillary Clinton after she was asked for the umpteenth time why younger voters like Bernie Sanders so much and why they are rejecting her (although I see so many young women and men on line and on TV who do like her):
“I’m impressed with them, and I’m going to do everything I can to reach out and explain why good ideas on paper are important, but you’ve got to be able to translate that into action,” Clinton said.
“Here’s what I want young people to know: They don’t have to be for me. I’m going to be for them,” she added.
Could Bernie Sanders have been that humble and non-defensive? Not from what I’ve seen so far.
From Maxwell Tani at Business Insider, here’s another sincere and humble moment from Hillary last night.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton delivered a deeply personal answer to a question about how she stays self-confident while being conscious of her ego and staying humble.
Responding to a question from a rabbi at a CNN town-hall event, Clinton seemed to allude to damaging past public scandals, saying she kept a parable from the Bible in mind during tough situations.
“It’s not anything I’ve ever talked about this much publicly. Everybody knows that I’ve lived a very public life for the last 25 years. So I’ve had to be in public dealing with some very difficult issues,” Clinton said.
She continued: “I read that parable and there was a line in it that became just a lifeline for me. It basically is, ‘Practice the discipline of gratitude.’ Be grateful for your limitations, know that you have to reach out to have more people be with you to support you advise you. Listen to your critics, answer the questions, but at the end, be grateful.”
I thought that was straight from the heart. But it will be minimized and then brushed aside by the haters.
In Michael Moore’s Casual Chauvinism, Michael Tomasky writes about the endorsement of Bernie Sanders by the liberal icon. In a letter, Moore lists a series of historical “firsts” in the history of presidential campaigns. The first Catholic, JFK. The first president from the deep South, Carter. The first divorced man, Ronald Reagan, and so on up till the first black president, Obama.
But Moore never mentions women at all. He doesn’t think the first woman president would be important. No. He’s thrilled by the idea of the first socialist president–ignoring the fact that Sanders would also be the first Jewish president if elected. Sanders clearly agrees with him.
Here’s what’s weird and gobsmacking about this endorsement. In a letter that is almost entirely about historical firsts—it goes on to discuss how “they” used to say we’d never have gay marriage and other changes—Moore doesn’t even take one sentence to acknowledge that Clinton’s elevation to the presidency would represent an important first.
I mean, picture yourself sitting down to write that. You’re a person of the left. You are writing specifically about the first Catholic president, the first black president, the first this, the first that. You want people to believe that if those things could happen, then a “democratic socialist” could win too. Fine, if that’s your view, that’s your view.
But it’s also the case the other candidate winning would make history in a way that is at least as historically important from a politically left point of view—I would say more so, but okay, that’s a subjective judgment—and it’s not even worth a sentence? I wouldn’t expect Moore to back Clinton or even say anything particularly nice about her. But he can’t even acknowledge to female readers that this great progressive sees that having a woman president would be on its own terms a salutary thing?
I obviously have no idea whether Moore contemplated such a sentence and rejected it or it just never occurred to him. Either way, it tells us something. To a lot of men, even men of the left, the woman-president thing just isn’t important.
Please read this magnificent essay by Melissa McEwan at Blue Nation Review: I Am a Hillary Clinton Supporter Who Has Not Always Been One.
I am a Hillary Clinton supporter who has not always been one. She was not my first choice in 2008.
But it was during that campaign I started documenting, as part of my coverage of US politics in a feminist space, the instances of misogyny being used against her by both the right and the left, amassing a “Hillary Sexism Watch” that contained more than 100 entries by the time she withdrew from the primary. And it was hardly a comprehensive record.
I have spent an enormous amount of time with Hillary Clinton, although I have never spoken to her. I have read transcripts of her speeches, her policy proposals, her State Department emails. I have watched countless hours of interviews, debates, addresses, testimony before Congress. I have scrolled though thousands of wire photos, spoken to people who have worked with and for her, read her autobiography, listened to her fans and her critics.
And what I have discovered is a person whom I like very much.
Not a perfect person. Not even a perfect candidate. I am not distressed by people who have legitimate criticisms of Hillary Clinton and some of the policies she has advocated; I share those criticisms.
Is any person or candidate perfect?
What is distressing to me is that I see little evidence of that person in the public narratives about Hillary Clinton. Not everyone has the time nor the desire to deep-dive into documents the way that I have. If I hadn’t had a professional reason to do so, I may not have done it myself.
I may have—and did, before I was obliged otherwise—relied on what I learned about Hillary Clinton from the media.
Which, as it turns out, is deeply corrupted by pervasive misogyny.
The subtle misogyny of double-standards that mean she can’t win (even when she does), and the overt misogyny of turning her into a monster, a gross caricature of a ruthlessly ambitious villain who will stop at nothing in her voracious quest for ever more power.
Please go read the rest. I only wish I could quote the whole thing.
Emily Crockett at Vox: This awful Morning Joe clip shows how not to talk about Hillary Clinton.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday featured a tone-deaf discussion of Hillary Clinton’s tone, which you can watch in full here.
“She shouts,” journalist Bob Woodward said of Clinton. “There is something unrelaxed about the way she is communicating, and I think that just jumps off the television screen.”
That kicked off an eight-minute, slow-motion train wreck of a conversation that used Clinton’s alleged problems with volume to support arguments about how voters find her untrustworthy — and even to suggest that Clinton doesn’t know or trust herself as a person.
“I’m sorry to dwell on the tone issue,” Woodward said later, “but there is something here where Hillary Clinton suggests that she’s almost not comfortable with herself, and, you know, self-acceptance is something that you communicate on television.”
Host Joe Scarborough compared Clinton unfavorably to 1980s conservative icons Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, both of whom were apparently self-confident enough to keep the noise down.
“Has nobody told her that the microphone works?” Scarborough said. “Because she always keeps it up here.” The “genius” of Reagan, Scarborough said while dropping into a deep baritone for emphasis, is that Reagan “kept it down low.”
The panel also included Cokie Roberts talking about how people think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and dishonest. Gee I wonder where they got that idea, Cokie?
I’m running out of space already. I’ll put some more links in the comment thread. We’ll have a live blog tonight for the MSNBC Democratic Debate.
As always, I spend my morning cup of coffee with the NY Times, my favorite blogs, and links that others offer up like the latest on line issue of Newsweek. My end of the day reads include the WSJ and Market Watch and anything new that has popped up on The Economist. I read the NYT’s coverage of the Obama presser with more than passing interest. They lured me over with this description: “answers were purposefully crisp — and, at times, laced with humor”. I had to read through the first dog conversation and the Nancy Reagan gaffe and apology before getting to the supposed purpose of the entire event: What Will an Obama Administration do with the current economic situation? Let me just highlight a few more of those ‘purposefully crisp’ answers which appears to be the Times new metaphor for no comment.
- No NEW specifics, stagecraft
Mr. Obama, who stood a few feet in front of an array of economic advisers as well as Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Rahm Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff, offered no new specifics about what he intended to do to curb the economic crisis. But the stagecraft of the news conference, held after a closed-door meeting of Mr. Obama’s economic advisers, was intended to show that he was hard at work in search of solutions.
- Little Guidance, Saying only, narrow window of room to adjust
Mr. Obama offered little guidance on how he wanted the Treasury Department to carry out the $700 billion government plan to stabilize the financial markets, saying only that he would review any decisions made by the Bush administration.He suggested that he intended to move ahead with his campaign pledge to take away tax cuts for upper-income Americans, but seemed to leave a narrow window of room to adjust his proposal.
- imprecise campaign pledges have caused some confusion
Mr. Obama’s imprecise campaign pledges have caused some confusion about when he would repeal the Bush tax cuts on Americans making more than $250,000 a year.
- left unclear
He left unclear whether a tax bill signed into law next year would make the repeal effective retroactively for all of 2009 as well as 2010.
- did not claify
Mr. Obama did not clarify his intentions Friday.
One thing was clear. President Elect Obama just loves those Possum Seals.
The session carried the trappings of an official event, with eight American flags lined against blue drapes, and a freshly made seal on the lectern: “The Office of the President Elect.”
The Office of the President Elect is still considering Larry Summers. Let me highlight from that article.
CHICAGO — Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, a member of the new economic advisory board that met with President-elect Barack Obama here on Friday, is also a leading candidate to be the next Treasury chief.
Reaching back farther, other Web sites have resurrected a 1991 memorandum that Mr. Summers signed as an economist at the World Bank that suggested parts of Africa could be repositories for toxic waste.
Mr. Summers, 53, left the meeting on Friday with Mr. Obama without answering a question about the controversies, and Obama advisers declined to discuss them.
That prospect has critics of Mr. Summers, particularly on the Democratic Party’s left, reviving old controversies in hopes of dooming his chances. In the days since Mr. Obama was elected, liberal bloggers have sought to ignite an online opposition by recalling the rocky five years Mr. Summers spent as president of Harvard, where he angered many women and blacks before resigning in 2006.
If any of your Obot friends are suggesting you start celebrating with them, just remind them that there appears to still be a huge bus fleet around the country with a large entourage under the bus. If Prop 8, continual misogyny, FISA reversals, the Easter lecture to black men, or being told you need a committee to decide if you’re just having one of those third term abortions because you’re “blue” didn’t put you there, perhaps the latest set of okie dokes just did. Be sure to check for tire tracks on your back. That’s a purposefully crisp sign. Oh, and I’ve decided to let Former First Lady Nancy Reagan pick out our under the bus China.
Imagine you’re two HUGELY successful journalists. Imagine ONE of you has been hosting MEET THE PRESS since AUGUST, then quit imagining and read this exchange between Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose from last Friday night’s “The Charlie Rose Show”.
ROSE: I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.
BROKAW: No, I don’t either.
ROSE: I don’t know how he really sees where China is.
BROKAW: We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.
ROSE: I don’t really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?
BROKAW: You know that’s an interesting question.
ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches, two of them.
BROKAW: I don’t know what books he’s read.
ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?
BROKAW: There’s a lot about him we don’t know.
I could go on and on about this, but since Shtuey brought this to my attention and his blog already does, I’ll just ask you all to go CHECK IT OUT. Then come back here with a big ol’ shot of something with a HUGE alcohol content and tell me what you think. I’ll be the one with the Patron and the limes in the corner.
And to think just a thread ago I thought that the equity markets and the Russians and ME were the only ones that thought he was a cipher.