Fri
Feb 22 2008
09:58 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Barack Obama was right. There have been enough debates. They are starting to sound like broken records and it's making them both look ineffectual.

And they frequently echo each other almost word for word. For example:

Clinton: We need comprehensive immigration reform. I have been for this. I signed on to the first comprehensive bill back in 2004. I've been advocating for it. Tougher, more secure borders -- of course. But let's do it the right way: cracking down on employers, especially once we get to comprehensive immigration reform, who exploit undocumented workers and drive down wages for everyone else.

Obama: So we need comprehensive reform, and that means stronger border security. It means that we are cracking down on employers that are taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can't complain if they're not paid a minimum wage, they can't complain if they're not getting overtime, worker safety laws are not being observed.

And:

Clinton: I think it is important though that English remain our common, unifying language because that brings our country together in a way that we've seen generations of immigrants, coming to our shores, be able to be part of the American experience and pursue the American dream.

Obama: Well, I think it is important that everyone learns English and that we have that process of binding ourselves together as a country. I think that's very important.

(Memo to the candidates: Learning English is already a requirement for citizenship.)

They did manage to differentiate themselves in rehashing the health care debate. But we've heard this over and over. And, sorry, Clinton won that part of the debate. Again.

So it's the same old same old, despite CNN's attempts to start a fight. But at least the goading produced a zinger from Clinton: "...lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox."

And someone should monitor Limbaugh and O'Reilly today to see if they picked up on this remark by Obama:

"...if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time, and I think that it's important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step."

No doubt there's a lot of damage to be undone, but suggesting that we don't stand above the rest of the world is probably not the best election strategy.

P.S. Hillary's problem is that she's not Bill. I thought, even hoped, that she would bring on the wonk to expose Obama's lack of depth on policy. Bill would have had him on the ropes in the first ten seconds of the first round, dizzied by a flurry of facts and figures and reeling from pointed questions that reveal a lack of knowledge that can't be read from a card (watch it sometime). Hillary either doesn't have that ability or she just doesn't know how to go in for the knockout punch.

124
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gonzone's picture

Lord Knows

And someone should monitor Limbaugh and O'Reilly today to see if they picked up on this remark by Obama:

"...if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time, and I think that it's important for us, in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step."

No doubt there's a lot of damage to be undone, but suggesting that we don't stand above the rest of the world is probably not the best election strategy.

Lord knows the right wing nuts aren't talking about Dubya making a trip to the heart of darkness 'cause it ain't right for him to be socializing with such kind. That's why his ratings fell to a new low of 19% when he went to Africa. That's all die hard supporters dropping Dear Leader due to his diminishing the "Master Race" by visiting there. At this rate he'll never make Grand Cyclops at the local chapter of the brotherhoods.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

JMG's picture

You're right. it seemed like

You're right. it seemed like they were in agreement more often than not and I thought walking on eggshells to be civil to one another, other than hillery's jab about xerox. I'm looking forward to the debates once the picks have been made.

Andy Axel's picture

Hillary's problem is that

Hillary's problem is that she's not Bill.

Randy, that's been a lot of Democrats' problem. Anyone who's tried "the third way" of Clinton's politics quickly discovered that they weren't Bill Clinton. Ask Harold Ford about that one.

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

Somebody's picture

Re: English as a

Re: English as a prerequisite for citizenship

They were responding to a question about whether or not a bilingual America is o.k., thus the response that everyone should learn English.

R. Neal's picture

They also mentioned as part

They also mentioned as part of the path to citizenship for "illegals" a fine, paying back taxes, and learning English.

Clinton: And finally, we need a path to legalization to bring the immigrants out of the shadows, give them the conditions that we expect them to meet: paying a fine for coming here illegally, trying to pay back taxes over time, and learning English.

Obama: We have to require that undocumented workers, who are provided a pathway to citizenship, not only learn English, pay back taxes and pay a significant fine, but also that they're going to the back of the line, so that they're not getting citizenship before those who have applied legally, which raises two last points.

bill young's picture

1 in ohio

i think a debate next week in ohio

Sean_Braisted's picture

You Can't Expose A Lack That Doesn't Exist

I thought, even hoped, that she would bring on the wonk to expose Obama's lack of depth on policy

That is the problem Neal, Obama doesn't lack policy depth. Ya'll can keep pretending he is some shiny fairy tale, but he is real, his policies are real, and it is a fantasy to believe that he doesn't have a firm grasp on policy.

You disagree with his ideas on Health Care; all well and good, we'll see what the American people say. As for his comments on foreign policy, yes, the Republicans will attack him (and Hillary) on foreign policy, but the truth is we shouldn't hold a Presidential visit as some kind of reward or blessing...waiting for all of our terms of negotiation to be settled before we negotiate is not leadership.

Brian A.'s picture

I thought, even hoped, that

I thought, even hoped, that she would bring on the wonk to expose Obama's lack of depth on policy.

Perhaps it's not going to be exposed? Obama has been out there campaigning for a year now, and hasn't made any major mistakes. Moreover, he appears to be running a much better campaign operation than Clinton does.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

R. Neal's picture

Moreover, he appears to be

Moreover, he appears to be running a much better campaign operation than Clinton does.

That's for sure.

Elrod's picture

Hillary's valedictory

Most telling to me was Hillary Clinton's quasi-concession at the very end that we need to rally the Democratic Party around Barack Obama.

Here's what I think happened. There's been disagreement in the Hillary camp between Mark Penn who wants to go hard negative and Howard Wolfson who wants to preserve her legacy no matter what. She tried the Mark Penn route with the Xerox comment and got literally booed for it. I noticed her voice got shaky and she looked truly rattled the next 20 minutes like I've never seen her before. Then I think she made peace with it all and realized that the negative route is destructive to her and to the party. She also realized that the math is basically impossible and let out her emotions of empathy in the very. And in a very resigned tone she gracefully passed the torch to Barack Obama.

R. Neal's picture

I did find it interesting

I did find it interesting that she got to go first, and never once mentioned Obama in her opening remarks that I recall.

tgirsch's picture

Citizenship

Learning English is already a requirement for citizenship.

Not if you were born here, it's not. Nor is it one if you're a minor whose parents came here and got citizenship.

[/pedant]

bill young's picture

tx ohio

clinton must win ohio primary

but if clinton wins the tx primary then loses
that night in the state senate delegate caucus

does the nomination battle continue till pa?

Pam Strickland's picture

P.S. Hillary's problem is

P.S. Hillary's problem is that she's not Bill. I thought, even hoped, that she would bring on the wonk to expose Obama's lack of depth on policy. Bill would have had him on the ropes in the first ten seconds of the first round, dizzied by a flurry of facts and figures and reeling from pointed questions that reveal a lack of knowledge that can't be read from a card (watch it sometime). Hillary either doesn't have that ability or she just doesn't know how to go in for the knockout punch.

Try being a reporter who's arguing with Bill about, well, anything. He keeps you on your toes, and in the resources double checking.

Hillary has her moments, but I think that as far as this campaign is concerned they've passed.

Pam Strickland

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be." ~Kurt Vonnegut

Factchecker's picture

We tuned in about 9:18 (near

We tuned in about 9:18 (near the end) and the first words heard out of Obama's mouth were about Hillary making that big monumental mistake to authorize Bush's war. Boy, is that getting old. Poor Hillary just sits there smiling as best she can while he describes all of Bush's Middle East failures, as if by extension Hillary is responsible for all that.

She should have said something like: Yes, I made a mistake. Like many fine and loyal Americans, I trusted the President of the United States to keep his word not to march to war unless it really had been the last resort, a necessity. My lesson, sadly, was not to trust our current President.

I think both of them understand why Obama has to keep going to that same well, but it's sad for her and I'll be awfully glad when we have a nominee.

rocketsquirrel's picture

did Hillary get permission

did Hillary get permission from Xerox to lift their brand? Or did she steal that? or maybe she's on their board, too.

bizgrrl's picture

the first words heard out of

the first words heard out of Obama's mouth were about Hillary making that big monumental mistake to authorize Bush's war.

I tire of this particular meme of Obama's as well. After hearing him say that, I was hoping Clinton would come back with a statement that Obama wasn't in office at the time, thus was not on the Congressional record for the vote. Saying he was against the war when he was not involved in the vote is much easier than being there. Of course, if he was there, who knows, maybe he would have voted "present".

Sean_Braisted's picture

Or maybe he would've joined

Or maybe he would've joined the 21 other Democrats who stood up and voted against the War, instead of trusting Bush's word over that of people like Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold.

Hillary stood with Bush.
Obama stood with Russ.

R. Neal's picture

Did y'all vote for Kerry

Did y'all vote for Kerry last time?

captainkona's picture

He admitted

He admitted his error just like Edwards did.

Hillary doesn't have the courage to face the truth. The fact that she hasn't owned up to her error is tantamount to approving of the war.
Thus, her hands are as covered in blood as Bush's. The only difference is that Bush got splattered with blood in the initial attack and Hillary got hers by cleaning his jacket.


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

bizgrrl's picture

And who was overlooked?

And who was overlooked? General Wesley Clark, Bob Graham, and Howard Dean. All did not support the Iraq War.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Yep, and I'd support Hillary

Yep, and I'd support Hillary in the general...but I'd rather not have to settle this time.

bizgrrl's picture

Yeah, well. The only time I

Yeah, well. The only time I haven't "settled" was when voting for Carter, Bill Clinton, and maybe McGovern. You get used to it.

McGovern was giving a speech and a Nixon admirer kept heckling him. McGovern called the young man over and said "Listen you son of a bitch, why don't you kiss my ass!"

captainkona's picture

Exactly right...

Hillary stood with Bush.
Obama stood with Russ.

Exactly right. Hillary knew Bush was an idiot from his miserable stint as Gov. of Texass.
Feingold, Lahey, Byrd, Levin, Stabenow....
They all knew Bush couldn't tell the truth if he sat on it.

Clinton and the like were just bending over for AIPAC/PNAC influence and the fear of being seen as soft on defense.
No one that puts politics before humanity is worthy of being President.

As for the ridiculous assertion that Obama not being a senator when the vote was cast has anything to do with anything, that doesn't clean the blood from Hillary's hands. She had a chance to do that and she chose not to because of politics. Now, she's being rejected for her deceit and rightfully so.

Obama's early speech on the war is a solid reflection of his true feelings. The war still had much support from the public when he gave it. He risked being on the unpopular side of the issue and that proves he has the kind of courage no one named Clinton has ever had.

She's finished, everybody get used to it.


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

Sarge's picture

Look, if you people are

Look, if you people are tired of the fact that Clinton and others voted to allow Bush to invade Iraq, think how all of the families of the people that have been killed, and wounded in this disaster. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Saddam did not pose a threat to the United States at the time. Just exactly what was the threat to the United States, the BS about WMD want never made any sense because of the following:

1. The Iraqi Air Force could not fly out of a designated area for fear of being shot down.
2. Iraq did not have ICBM's capable of reaching America.
3. Iraq did not have a Navy with submarines and aircraft carriers.
4. Even if they had poisonous gas, how were they going to delivery it effectively to the U.S., by FedEx or
UPS?

captainkona's picture

yep

Those are the facts. Hard facts.
Just like the fact that Hillary Clinton approved the war when she knew (from what I've gathered) the intel was bullshit. At least she should have known since she constantly spews this crap about being "experienced".
She can't see past the White House tea parties and the corporate funds. The sooner people realize that the better off this party will be.


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

captainkona's picture

???????

Anyone in your family had their legs blown off or died in Iraq?


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

gonzone's picture

Yup

She should have said something like: Yes, I made a mistake.

Exactly what I've been saying for months. Problem is, she won't say that and apologize for her vote like Edwards did. I've had enough of never admitting being wrong from Dubya. I consider it a strength that someone can admit being wrong and then apologize.

Being from the DLC I can see how she and Lieberman would trust Bush about the check being in the mail and all. I never fell for his lies myself. Does that make me more qualified than Hillary to be president? :-)

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

captainkona's picture

excellent

Harold Ford Jr and the DLC and everyone involved with it exist only to subvert the progressive movement.

That diaper clad goofball, Chris Jackson, at the Ford Report just posted some shit about Ford being pro Iraq war and wrote like he was all proud of it.

Fuck the DLC and anyone and everyone that has anything to do with it.

And yeah, 'zone. You are obviously more wise or honest or both, than Hillary Clinton.
My roommate and I stared at the TV in disgust as the invasion commenced then looked at each other, both of us veterans, and said "that ain't right" at the exact same moment.

So if you decide to run, I'll be your VP. ;)


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

Factchecker's picture

DLC ballerinas

Being from the DLC I can see how she and Lieberman...

Reminds me it's been too long since I last visited BartCop. He doesn't currently have the ballerina pic up, though.

gonzone's picture

I always

I always loved old Bartcop. He was a ray of sunshine during some very dark days of movement conservative rule and DLC "triangulation."

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Bbeanster's picture

Kind of an ominous-sounding

Kind of an ominous-sounding Hillary interview conducted this morning in Austin:

(link...)

KC's picture

No one that puts politics

No one that puts politics before humanity is worthy of being President.

So, if Pres. Obama puts politics before humanity during his first 100 days, you'll be calling for his impeachment?

Please.

Andy Axel's picture

Or maybe he would've joined

Or maybe he would've joined the 21 other Democrats who stood up and voted against the War, instead of trusting Bush's word over that of people like Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold.
Hillary stood with Bush.
Obama stood with Russ.

Fucking facile load of crap. Obama stood on the sidelines. His vote against the war counted just as much as mine, i.e. not at all.

"Maybe" doesn't matter and you know it. "Maybe" is spin.

Let's hear some more about these vaunted principles. Please. Feel free to explain why Obama's record on Iraq while in the Senate is identical to Clinton's and then we can talk "maybes."

ETA: I will support Obama in the general, but it won't be because of his record on the war. If it was, I'd stay home.

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

R. Neal's picture

What I don't get is it's OK

What I don't get is it's OK for Obama people to trash Clinton and call her all kinds of names and criticize her record (which Obama doesn't have), but if a Clinton supporter says one thing, anything, about Obama the attacks come in force.

Last time I checked there was still a primary going on and Democrats are still choosing a nominee. Clinton has not been able to seal the deal, but neither has Obama. If Democrats can't have a civil discussion about the relative strengths and weaknesses of two good candidates, what's the point?

Sean_Braisted's picture

Randy, Criticize all you

Randy,

Criticize all you like, its your blog, feel free to do as you please; but when your criticism isn't factual (as in he lacks policy depth) then people are free to respond with a counter-argument.

There isn't any double standard here...you are free to criticize the arguments of Obama supporters, as we are free to be critical of the arguments of Hillary supporters.

Andy Axel's picture

Among those counter

Among those counter arguments:

Clinton stood with Bush, Obama stood with Feingold.

Really.

Why don't you go ask your buddy Jim Cooper why he has "consistently stood with Bush" when he casts votes in the House? You know who I mean. You remember, the Jim Cooper that voted all of those times to reauthorize Iraq funding? You might recall the Jim Cooper that consistently voted with the Republicans to kill amendments to investigate things like Halliburton gouging, CIA intelligence tampering, and to praise the heckuva job GWB was doing? Oh, yeah - he just so happens to be the same Jim Cooper who's now heading up Obama's campaign for Tennessee. Hm. How do you stand in the same room with such an "unprincipled" person?

Do you want the specific votes to ask about, some factual history from the voting record of Obama's campaign chairman? Try these for starters:

Look at all those times that he could have taken a principled stand but didn't.

And in every case I've listed here, he voted with the GOP to help them win or to defeat measures that the Republicans didn't want. Cooper is an elected official with a long record. And I'll bet you voted for him. I would have if I'd lived in the 5th. (I live about a mile from TN-5.)

So - do you think he "stood with Bush" on Iraq? Is he just a big ol' Bush fan at heart? Is he just part of the functioning Republican majority in the House since 2006? Does he stand for you?

Assuming that your answers are "no, no, and yes" what else could explain his behavior? (I'll bet you know this answer.)

Maybe then you can figure out how some people can temper their support for Clinton, even given her record. And by record, I mean "votes she was actually in office to cast."

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Andy, Yes, he stood with

Andy,

Yes, he stood with Bush on Iraq and a whole host of other issues, are you challenging him in the Democratic Primary? If so, maybe I'll consider voting for you.

Rachel's picture

What I don't get is it's OK

What I don't get is it's OK for Obama people to trash Clinton and call her all kinds of names and criticize her record (which Obama doesn't have), but if a Clinton supporter says one thing, anything, about Obama the attacks come in force.

Me either. And it's one of the reasons I've just about quit posting on the subject. I'm tired of being insulted because I voted for a candidate who substantively differs little from the one I didn't vote for.

bill young's picture

jim cooper

old friend..met him in '81..in '82 beat cissy baker
for congress in the old 4th district.

never have agreed with all his votes & i dont agree with those you site...but he's better than a republican congressman.

i do agree with his support of obama.

ya know that '82 was a interesting year for me

Hamblen Co Tyree for Tennessee volunteer
Tyree running in 08

Helped Bill Nolan who ran for democratic nomination state house

lost to pete drew..who just ran for the 1st commission seat.

Helped Jim Cooper for congress..running this year

met joe armstrong..who won a county commission seat..running this year.

old friends..we all still at it

Andy Axel's picture

Yes, he stood with Bush on

Yes, he stood with Bush on Iraq and a whole host of other issues

That isn't even half an answer. But I didn't expect you to admit that you got my point.

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

Sean_Braisted's picture

What is your question? I'm

What is your question? I'm not holding Hillary responsible for the actions of her supporters, I'm asking that she be held responsible for her actions. What Jim Cooper has to do with anything is beyond me, unless we are talking about his re-election.

Andy Axel's picture

I'm not holding Hillary

I'm not holding Hillary responsible for the actions of her supporters

I get that. Rather, you berate and browbeat and bully people for supporting her because of her record - and compare that to a record that Obama, frankly, doesn't have.

What Jim Cooper has to do with anything is beyond me

My point is that you support him despite his pathetic policy positions on Iraq because you have some common cause. You don't recognize that?

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

Sean_Braisted's picture

Jim, What you don't get, is

Jim,

What you don't get, is this is a primary. We have two different Democratic options, and I choose one over the other. Does Jim Cooper have viable primary opposition? If so, I'll consider supporting him or her.

I am not brow beating Clintonistas, I'm simply pointing out disagreements with the way you frame this debate and election.

Andy Axel's picture

I am not brow beating

I am not brow beating Clintonistas

Oh? What's the proper dismissive term *I* should use? Should I start referring to you and your sort as Obamaniacs?

____________________________

With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

Sean_Braisted's picture

If you so choose.

If you so choose.

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