THE YEAR OF THE LIBERAL: Krugman diagnoses Them, maybe goes a bit easy on Us!

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016

The boys and girls in the bubble(s):
Marco Rubio had a strange five minutes last Saturday night.

Derided all week as the heavily memorized "boy in the bubble," he seemed to go out of his way to enact the critique in an exchange with his week-long tormentor, Chris Christie.

What the heck did Rubio do? He stated an ugly claim about Obama, then recited it three more times, almost verbatim, while under attack from Christie. All in less than five minutes!

On this videotape of the debate,
you can see Rubio state his point for the first time at 18:15, roughly ten minutes into the debate. At 22:40, you can see him repeat his point for the third separate time.

Mathematically, that means he stated his talking point four separate times. Four times, in just a bit under five minutes!

It looked even stranger than it sounds; many people noticed. This morning, on Morning Joe, Willie Haskell-Geist Jr. literally said that his eight-year-old daughter looked up from her Legos to remark on the repetition!

Who knows? It could even be true. Warning, though—it's Morning Joe!

(This strangest of all "cable news" programs has been waging propaganda wars against Candidate Clinton and Candidate Rubio, while love-love-love-love loving their Trump. For a report about one possible motive concerning Rubio, you can just click here.)

Should we decide our elections this way? On balance, we would say no, but Rubio did create a strange moment. Equally strange? The difficulty the press corps has had in counting up the number of times the candidate stated his memorized point.

In Sunday's hard-copy New York Times, two different reports gave the impression that Rubio had stated his point just two times in all. Readers might therefore have been puzzled by all the fuss about the flap. But so it goes in the glorious Times, our most hapless Potemkin newspaper.

Candidate Rubio, "the boy in the bubble," authored a rather strange moment last Saturday night. That's where Paul Krugman starts his new column—but doggone it! Even Krugman seems to have counted wrong:
KRUGMAN (2/8/16): By now everyone who follows politics knows about Marco Rubio’s software-glitch performance in Saturday’s Republican debate. (I’d say broken-record performance, but that would be showing my age.) Not only did he respond to a challenge from Chris Christie about his lack of achievements by repeating, verbatim, the same line from his stump speech he had used a moment earlier; when Mr. Christie mocked his canned delivery, he repeated the same line yet again.
From that, you'd think that Rubio stated his point three times in all. If you watch that videotape, you can see that the count is four. (See text of his statements below.)

Whatever! Krugman goes on to offer an insightful column about the current team of Republican candidates, and about the GOP writ large.

Krugman notes the profusion of bogus claims Republican candidates routinely recite in the normal course of debate and discussion—the way they "spout canned talking points that are divorced from reality." By the end of his column, he's using the "bubble" metaphor too, though in a somewhat different way:
KRUGMAN: But don’t all politicians spout canned answers that bear little relationship to reality? No.
Like her or not, Hillary Clinton is a genuine policy wonk, who can think on her feet and clearly knows what she is talking about on many issues.
Bernie Sanders is much more of a one-note candidate, but at least his signature issue—rising inequality and the effects of money on politics—reflects real concerns.

When you revisit Democratic debates after what went down Saturday, it doesn’t feel as if you’re watching a different party, it feels as if you’ve entered a different intellectual and moral universe.

So how did this happen to the G.O.P.? In a direct sense, I suspect that it has a lot to do with Foxification, the way Republican primary voters live in a media bubble into which awkward facts can’t penetrate. But there must be deeper causes behind the creation of that bubble.

Whatever the ultimate reason, however, the point is that while Mr. Rubio did indeed make a fool of himself on Saturday, he wasn’t the only person on that stage spouting canned talking points that are divorced from reality. They all were, even if the other candidates managed to avoid repeating themselves word for word.
As a general matter, we tend to agree with Krugman's analysis. We tend to agree that "Foxification" has helped create a world in which "Republican primary voters live in a media bubble into which awkward facts can’t penetrate."

Having said that, we think he goes a bit too easy on Us—on the ever-growing bubble within which we the liberals function.

Is there any way in which we the liberals "live in a bubble into which awkward facts can’t penetrate?" Increasingly, Krugman has suggested that Candidate Sanders and his supporters live in something resembling a bubble of that type.

In our view, the same is true of Candidate Clinton and her supporters up to some sort of point. More and more, it's plainly true of the liberal world as a whole.

It's always easy to spot the bubble encasing the other tribe. This week, as we finish our current report, we'll make one last attempt at describing our own tribe's growing bubble.

Is our bubble as bad as their bubble? In some ways, our bubble is worse! We say that because the bubble in question is ours, and therefore is our responsibility.

Without any question, the other tribe's bubble is striking, but we have a bubble too. And within that bubble, we live on the fuel known as tribal hatred, as groups have done since we the humans first crawled out of the swamp, emerging up into the mud.

Many academics and scholars are now saying that the year just past was, to use their unpleasant term, a year of liberal loathing. Next week, we expect to open a new pavilion in which we'll be exploring a whole different set of topics.

This week, we plan to make one last attempt to outline our own tribe's unfortunate hatred and loathing. We think that loathing is a bad look. We doubt that it serves the world's interests.

Tomorrow: From December 10, videotape of four voters!

The gentleman's four recitations: Starting at 18:15 on that videotape, you can see Candidate Rubio make the four declarations shown below.

He does so in less than five minutes. In the process, he created a very strange look. Just ask Willie's daughter!
RUBIO (2/6/16): And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country, to make America more like the rest of the world. That's why he passed Obamacare and the stimulus and Dodd-Frank and the deal with Iran. It is a systematic effort to change America.

[...]

RUBIO: But I would add this. Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing. He is trying to change this country. He wants America to become more like the rest of the world. We don't want to be like the rest of the world, we want to be the United States of America. And when I'm elected president, this will become, once again, the single greatest nation in the history of the world, not the disaster Barack Obama has imposed upon us.

[...]

RUBIO: Here's the bottom line. This notion that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he's doing.

[...]

RUBIO: We have to understand what we're going through here. We are not facing a president that doesn't know what he's doing. He knows what he is doing. That's why he's done the things he's done. That's why we have a president that passed Obamacare and the stimulus. All this damage that he's done to America is deliberate.
By our analysts' count, Rubio stated this point four times. As you can see on that videotape, it happened in less than five minutes.

104 comments:

  1. Is part of the divorce from reality among liberals the insistence on discussing policies and programs with no chance whatsoever of being enacted? Or is it promoting a 75-year-old candidate, utterly ignoring his age, as if he had the cognitive wherewithal, stamina and energy to be president for four years, much less eight? Arm-waving looks like energy but when you examine Sanders actual legislative record, he has not been very energetic, even when younger. Why is this being ignored by liberals?

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    1. Glad to have you in the impeach old and addled Ruth Ginsburg movement.

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    2. As of 2/8/2016 Senator Sanders has sponsored or co-sponsored 6,208 pieces of legislation, of which 206 became law. https://www.congress.gov/

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    3. Name one important piece of legislation Sanders initiated. His claim to fame is a bill funding rural community health clinics. Period. Yes, he has attached his name to other bills, as all senators do. This record may sound hefty but it represents modest achievement -- older voters know that but kids don't.

      As to Ruth Ginsburg, she has law clerks who do the heavy lifting. The President has a much more strenuous job. Wisdom is an important quality in a justice. Wisdom alone is insufficient in a president. Ginsburg can retire when she feels herself slipping. A president, not so much. Do you really want the kind of shadow regime an addled president would engender?

      There are no studies showing a lack of cognitive decline among 75+ year olds. Sanders young supporters don't know what it feels like to get old. Clinton's older supporters do. Declines start at age 65 and get worse with each year. Serious health problems become almost inevitable at Bernie's age -- not Clinton's. These are realities.

      I don't know Sanders personally but I would almost speculate that his judgment about running at all would have been different ten years ago. I cannot imagine why he believes running like this is a good idea. Ginsburg isn't showing any evidence of addled thinking. I think Bernie is. For example, why on earth would he call for a recount in Iowa? That makes no logical or political sense.

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    4. You must not be a liberal Gary since you have examined the record.

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    5. See: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/bernard_sanders/400357

      Note that all of his committees and legislation are on domestic issues, including energy, environment, natural resources, and veterans affairs. Only 7% of his bills have been on finance, which is odd given his focus recently on income inequality.

      He has missed a lot of votes in 2015 due to running for president (28% in 2015, 94% so far in 2016). That suggests he is neglecting his senate job in order to run, not doing both. He is either unable or unwilling to engage in the kind of travel necessary to run for office without missing a bunch of votes.

      I don't find his record as reassuring as Gary does.

      In contrast, Clinton missed 77-88% of her votes while running nationally for the nomination. 15% of her bills were on finance. Her committee appointments were more diverse, including foreign relations (cooperation with Europe).

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    6. 3:17 are your really so stupid as to think the comparison you are making will influence a single Democratic primary voter?

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    7. Well, most people buying a car look at MPG, interest rates and odometer miles. Why wouldn't they take the same care choosing a president?

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    8. Ageism is as ugly. Are you asking us to consider the known cognitive differences between races as well? Or ought we focus more on the fact that some members of every group are very intelligent and capable?

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    9. No one escapes the reaper.

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    10. Yes, by all means examine the facts. Look up how many amendments Sanders had passed while a member of the Republican House. Then tell us how little he accomplished. Hint: He earned the informal title of "The Amendment King"

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  2. At least the bubble Republicans live in is based in real facts and truths such as Christians lined up on beaches and executed by savages. The Democrat bubble is based in inventing myths (Trayvon Martin, Hands Up Don't Shoot) and protecting them with lies.

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    1. And where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?

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    2. She took them and is hiding them in the basement with her server?

      Why don't you go back and read what Hillary said at the time, instead of pretending she was for the war?

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    3. Going back and reading is not convenient.

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    4. Reading is hard!!!!!

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    5. Right on, 3:32. Why would anyone assume Hillary was for the war she voted for?

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    6. WMD might have been a myth put forth and then defended, but the truth is known and Republican candidates now avoid the issue and do not suggest WMD existed. Democratic candidates seek endorsements from lawyers and parents involved in their destructive mythologies, hoping to further the useful lie. They even still mention the names of criminals who attempted to murder others, and try to sell them as victims.

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    7. @4:33, she didn't vote for the war. She said so in her statement at the time. Go read it.

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    8. Bob Somerby and Hillary believed the WMD were right where Bush said they were.

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    9. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-marburggoodman/five-myths-about-hillary-iraq-war-vote_b_9177420.html

      Explains Hillary's vote and addresses various criticisms -- for people who can read.

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    10. "Here at THE HOWLER, we’ve never doubted that Saddam had WMDs. In fact, we’d be surprised if he didn’t. We think antiwar types set themselves up for a fall when they crow about the lack of quick discovery."

      Bob Somerby April 22, 2003

      http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh042203.shtml

      "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

      It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

      Now this much is undisputed.

      Hillary Clinton
      Debate on Floor U.S. Senate !0/2/2002

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/12/435624/-

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    11. Yep, Clinton said all that, which only a dope could pretend did not constitute "supporting" war on Iraq.

      The Somerby quote, however, means quite a bit less -- and quite something different -- than his detractors pretend:

      It was indeed foolish to base one's anti-war position solely on the absence of WMD. If active WMD programs had existed, would that have justified the debacle which proceeded in 2003? No. Such active WMD programs were not found, but it was not far-fetched to believe that they might. The war was wrong based on principles of non-agression and principles of minimization of harm.

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    12. The response, Room Nym, was to a statement asking for proof Clinton and Bob Somerby believed, like Bush, that Saddam had WMD.

      You are, however, proving Bob partially correct about "dumb liberals." We've never doubted his truly loyal fans were the models for his "dumb liberal" meme.

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  3. "He stated an ugly claim about Obama, then recited it three more times, almost verbatim, while under attack from Christie. All in less than five minutes!"

    Mathematically, that means he stated his talking point four separate times. Four times, in just a bit under five minutes!

    "The gentleman's four recitations: Starting at 18:15 on that videotape, you can see Candidate Rubio make the four declarations shown below.

    He does so in less than five minutes."

    "By our analysts' count, Rubio stated this point four times. As you can see on that videotape, it happened in less than five minutes."

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    1. It's always easy to spot the bubble encasing the other tribe. This week, as we finish our current report, we'll make one last attempt at describing our own tribe's growing bubble.

      Is our bubble as bad as their bubble? In some ways, our bubble is worse! We say that because the bubble in question is ours, and therefore is our responsibility.

      Without any question, the other tribe's bubble is striking,but we have a bubble too. And within that bubble, we live on the fuel known as tribal hatred, as groups have done since we the humans first crawled out of the swamp, emerging up into the mud.

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    2. It's always easy to spot the bubble encasing the other tribe. This week, as we finish our current report, we'll make one last attempt at describing our own tribe's growing bubble.

      Is our bubble as bad as their bubble? In some ways, our bubble is worse! We say that because the bubble in question is ours, and therefore is our responsibility.

      Without any question, the other tribe's bubble is striking,but we have a bubble too. And within that bubble, we live on the fuel known as tribal hatred, as groups have done since we the humans first crawled out of the swamp, emerging up into the mud.

      Delete
    3. Many academics and scholars are now saying that the year just past was, to use their unpleasant term, a year of liberal loathing.

      Was 2015 really "the year of liberal loathing," as so many scholars are now claiming?

      We think our world is full of liberal loathing, and we think it's ugly, unhelpful and stupid.

      These scholars are tying this alleged liberal loathing to the process of liberal dumbnification, a process no one now really denies.

      For that reason, these experts are increasingly describing the year just past, 2015, as the journalistic "Year of The Liberal." Some of these scholars even refer to 2015 as the year of liberal loathing.

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    4. So, you are saying that it is OK for Rubio to repeat a talking point and thereby demonstrate an inability to think on his feet -- because Somerby is repetitive in his writing on a vanity blog?

      Somerby could be less repetitive if he were to devote time to editing his writing. He doesn't waste his time doing that. He could make his point more effectively without the repetition but that repetition doesn't detract from the sense of his arguments.

      On the other hand, Rubio is supposed to be demonstrating his ability to think and respond to arguments from others -- it was a DEBATE after all. That's why saying the same scripted statement over and over detracted from his performance. It suggested he couldn't think of anything to say that would be more responsive.

      You ignore the two different contexts for the repetition -- in one case a vanity blog and in the other a debate for nomination in a presidential election. Context matters. It changes the nature of what is occurring.

      That you cannot see the difference between Somerby's repetition and Rubio's means you are either dishonest or brain damaged. I have been giving you the benefit of the doubt but I'm reconsidering whether that is warranted. Regardless of the explanation, you are certainly a troll.

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    5. No one would have noticed had Christie not called out Rubio. Everyone repeats and it is an effective propaganda tool. Rubio was employing it well and the reaction is hindsight, after Christie drew attention to it.

      Rubio using this tactic proves absolutely nothing about his verbal agility or intellect. What's more, everyone here knows this.

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    6. Well, I don't agree. I've watched all of the debates so far and Rubios appears least responsive to the questions. He ignores what it is asked in order to give a canned response. It did hurt him that Christie called him on it, but repetition isn't appropriate in a debate. This isn't an ad or a campaign speech or even a town hall -- it is a debate. That means he is supposed to be responsive. So, yes, it does say something about his verbal agility AND intellect. It also says something about his risk-taking. I don't think he wanted to stray from safe statements vetted by his staff, in order to prevent a gaffe. That is pretty chicken, in my opinion -- it means he doesn't trust himself not to say something stupid.

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    7. In agree. Rubio wasn't that bad, and he had a good point to make.

      Which of course was ignored.

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    8. His point being that Obama is trying to change the USA for the better. An odd point for a Republican to be making.

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    9. "So, you are saying that it is OK for Rubio to repeat a talking point and thereby demonstrate an inability to think on his feet -- because Somerby is repetitive in his writing on a vanity blog?"

      Clearly @ 11:57 is saying it is OK for Hillary Clinton to have conducted all her public electronic communication as Secretary of State through a private address on a private system because, after the fact, Colin Powell and Condi Rice may have done a little of the same thing.

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    10. Yes, it was certainly OK. Except she didn't conduct all of her public communication that way. She also used State Department communications for official business and other means for classified communications. There was nothing improper and certainly nothing illegal about what she did. As you correctly note, Powell and Rice and other cabinet members did the same thing. The furor over this is ginned up for political reasons.

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    11. Somerby could be more effective if he cared.

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    12. @4:22 -- Isn't that true of everyone?

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    13. @3:30, here you are talking about Rubio being overly cautious, yet it's in the context of a discussion of hype over a complete non-issue of a politician repeating a talking point. Perhaps he is smartly overly cautious because of the nonsense the media focus on.

      What is real evidence of caution is not releasing one's own words. She's looking into it.

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  4. Should we decide our elections this way? On balance, we would say no.

    Amen. Cruz was a national champion debater at Princeton. So what? Debating skills are less important for a President than intelligence, knowledge, platform, integrity, managerial ability, experience, who s/he would appoint, etc, etc.

    Aside from how they sound, we now choose Presdidents on how they look. E.g., my cousin likes to post on Facebook photos showing that Cruz looks like Grandpa Munster. https://www.google.com/search?q=cruz+grandpa+munster&espv=2&biw=1097&bih=541&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjLm_vU0ujKAhVIGpQKHWpCB-QQsAQIHg

    IMHO judging candidates on how they look and sound is the inevitable result of TV. It started in the Kennedy-Nixon debates. JFK won by being better-looking and by sounding good, although Nixon was a clear winner on content.

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    1. You seem to suggest that debate skills are independent of intelligence, knowledge, etc. They are not -- they reveal those qualities. That's why debates are part of the selection process. They reveal whether a candidate has intelligence, knowledge, a platform, integrity, experience and so on. A candidate without managerial ability and experience will have little to talk about during such a debate -- witness O'Malley's statements, for example. Debates show voters how candidates think, not how they look.

      Nixon's sweating was the problem, not his looks. I think it is fair to judge someone on debate preparation, including knowledge of how TV works.

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    2. Cruz has that creep factor going against him. It might not be altogether fair, but it does stand to work against him as mamy voters will not vote for a creepy candidate.

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    3. If it's "fair" in politics to judge someone on tendency to sweat and read this as lack of preparation for a televised debate and therefore an indication of some kind of mental or moral deficiency, it is also "stupid."

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    4. It wasn't his tendency to sweat. Both candidates sweated under the lights in the TV studio. It was his lack of understanding that powder would be needed to prevent his sweat from being visible to the audience. Someone who sweats will appear less confident, less well-prepared, less competent to viewers. This isn't my judgment. It arises from analyses after the debate about why Nixon didn't get a boost from his debate performance despite being superior on content.

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    5. Have people ever actually watched these 1960 debates?

      Kennedy looked as uptight as could be. Neither came off that great.

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    6. I've seen them. Nixon also had a 5 o'clock shadow (unacceptable in the clean-shaven early 60's). It made him look sinister. I agree that Kennedy looked uptight. They were both very formal.

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    7. Nixon was treated unfairly by Perlstein.

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    8. I always include a candidate's understanding of the effective use of face powder among my voting criteria.

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    9. Well, I am including Rubio's inability to handle money in my voting criteria. I also develop a negative opinion of those debaters who won't follow the rules, who don't respond to the questions, etc. If a candidate cannot hire competent advisors to tell him to take the shine off his face, how will he be in his other staffing decisions.

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    10. It might have been that Nixon thought it too girly to wear makeup on TV. If so, that says something about his own gender identity issues.

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    11. If a candidate doesn't focus on hiring an excellent face makeup applier, perhaps he underestimates the importance a segment of the public places on face makeup or repeating a line a few times in the context of otherwise effective speaking and thinking. Still in all, it's worse to insult the intelligence of voters than fail to pander to the stupid.

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  5. Like hell it was 4 times.

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    1. In less than 5 minutes.

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  6. So Bob spends a week bemoaning that Spike Lee suggested Trump wants to bring back the horrors of Jim Crow. Then Trump gets up at the debate and suggests he wants to take American torture back to Medieval times.

    And Bob writes about Rubio.

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    1. How dare you drop an R bomb on the Bobbubble.

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    2. Greg's Increasingly Disappointed FamilyFebruary 8, 2016 at 2:42 PM

      "bemoaning that Spike Les..."

      No Greg. Not bemoaning what Spike did. Bemoaning the way it was uncritically received. The way it was reported -- and ignored.

      Gott in Himmel son, you are fucking thick!

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    3. What can Somerby say about Trump that isn't already obvious to all here?

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    4. Yeah, I've noticed that Bob and others (like Digby) just aren't as sharp or on top of things media-wise as they used to be. They get easily sidetracked.

      For instance, what about the Matthews craziness that they were once so hip about? Or the media constructing all these phony narratives?

      Even Media Matters ain't behind the 8-ball any more. What's going on? Fatigue?

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    5. "Behind the 8-ball" would not imply savvy, sharpness, or being on top of things -- nearly the opposite in fact.

      But that's exactly the kind of idiotic mixing of metaphors and ham-fisted pretense to intellectual grit we have all come to expect -- and indeed, cherish -- from our Anonymous troll friends.

      So, thanks for another laugh at your expense, chum.

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    6. Matthews was sure floating softballs over the plate when he interviewed Hillary Clinton the other day.

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    7. The Room Nym. Astute observation. Plus what gets me is that liberals should be doing in our liberal candidate.

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    8. Supporters of both liberal candidates feel that way about each other.

      What gets me is that our first female presidential candidate with a real chance of winning is not being seen as historic and being aided by liberals who supposedly value diversity in government and equality of political access. Those liberal values have all gone out the window among 50% of liberal voters (at least in Iowa).

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    9. Good point The Room Nym. Which is why it is good that Hillary is not up against someone else with a hisotric claim on being a "first" this time.

      What gets me is so many young women are not with Hillary.

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    10. ""Behind the 8-ball" would not imply savvy, sharpness, or being on top of things -- nearly the opposite in fact. "

      Do you even know that that expression means?

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    11. Bernie Sanders, being a white male Jew (his only source of diversity) is far less representative of any underrepresented group than Hillary Clinton (given that women are 51% of the population and grossly underrepresented).

      Polls show that milennials support Clinton. It is pundits, like those in the NY Times, who say young women don't like Hillary.

      Young people in general support Hillary because (1) they have little political experience and cannot put Sanders into any perspective, (2) they take campaign rhetoric seriously instead of looking at candidate records, (3) they weren't around to see what Hillary has done all of her career, for women, families and on other issues, (4) they don't understand what it takes to be a viable candidate in a general election, (5) they don't know what it feels like to get old and cannot assess the age difference between Sanders and Clinton, (6) they don't know how to evaluate the unrelenting criticism aimed at Clinton because of her gender and her husband's political success and don't know what the conservative noise machine has been doing to her, (7) they do not have a personal experience of gender-based discrimination and don't know what the bad old days were like for women and why Clinton is a better supporter of rights than Sanders is.

      Putting a diverse candidate into office is important because the views of diverse constituents are neglected otherwise. Putting the needs of <2% Jewish voters up against >50% female voters is ridiculous as a claim to diversity. It is a sad joke.

      If a Sanders supporter is suggesting there is any equivalence between such claims to historicity, it is evidence he or she doesn't get gender issues at all. But Sanders has been repeatedly tone deaf about such things and Sanders bros are sexist jerks, many inherited from Obama's nasty campaign in 2008. So what else is new?

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    12. She's not a billiard's puffer, if that's what you guys are trying to say.

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    13. Correction. 2nd paragraph should say "Young people in general support Sanders" not Hillary. Sorry.

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    14. @ 4:23 were you not reminded on an earlier thread not to do Clinton the disservice of speaking up on her behalf?

      Did you not take to heart Bob Somerby's recent post on liberals costing black actors and Democrats votes?

      Do you not recall Bob Somerby's sage guess?

      "Our guess? Such cluelessness from Clinton supporters may represent her “biggest problem.”

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    15. "increasingly disappointed" So Bob had no problem with what Spike Lee said, but ah, was angry that others didn't have a problem with it? And you ignore my point about Trump? You need to get out the house, you are the KING of thick.

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    16. Greg's Achy FeeFeesFebruary 9, 2016 at 6:57 AM

      wahh

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  7. Anyone else notice that no one in the media -- and I mean NO ONE -- discussed the substance of Rubio's remarks?

    Whether you agree with them or not, at least Rubio's trying to get into a deeper discussion about what he thinks is going on. He's also correct about Obama's general competence.

    Nor did the media address Christie's repeated lies. It's all just absurd score-keeping with them. MSNBC in particular has been just batshit crazy.

    This country's doomed.

    Anyone else wondered as well if NBC has financial dealings with Trump, to this day? Or pegged for the future?

    Nothing else explains they're constant cheerleading for the guy.

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    1. P.s.

      Right now Matthews is treating the in-studio Trump as if he's one of their color commentators. Really incredible.

      And which no one seems to be noticing.

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    2. Coming to a liberal blog and saying Rubio was right about extreme statements he has been making about Obama is kind of a trollish thing to do, don't you think?

      References to Obama making the US like the rest of the world are a clumsy attempt to recruit xenophobia, just like all the other Republicans. Keep America pure from those contaminating foreign influences. Obama is a foreigner. Etc. Etc. Etc. What is there to say about that? He gave no specific examples, just the ugly dog whistle, so what is there to talk about?

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    3. Rubio's "correct about Obama's general competence?"

      Not nearly as correct as we are about yours.

      Not nearly.

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    4. "Coming to a liberal blog and saying Rubio was right about extreme statements he has been making about Obama is kind of a trollish thing to do, don't you think?"

      Coming to a Liberal Blog???? Yeah, especially during the five week expose of dumbnification in the Year of Liberal Loathing! How dare that troll!

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    5. Do you think it benefits liberals to have a range of pundits discussing the year of liberal self-loathing -- a term Somerby did not invent?

      Delete
    6. Rubio was correct about Obama's general competence. Not his supposed motive, or what he's trying to do.

      That's my point. The other point is that no one is discussing the substance of Rubio's comments. Instead, he's being ridiculed for his 4x repeats.

      How does this make sense in any rational world?

      Delete
    7. In his 18 years of self described "futile" vanity blogging, Bob Somerby took the initiative in creating Year of Liberal Loathing.

      As for "Liberal Self-Loathing," he certainly did not invent that. He just embodies it.

      Delete
    8. No one on this liberal blog cares about discussing anything Rubio has to say. No one here will vote for him, no one here cares about him. We liberals here all think he is pathetic, without exception. You make it obvious you are a troll by even suggesting anyone ought to care about Rubio, much less discuss his lack of ideas, his xenophobic appeals to scared Republicans, and his inept attempt to compete with the other Republican sharks on that stage.

      Delete
    9. "No one on this liberal blog cares about discussing anything Rubio has to say."

      Somerby Reader

      "Is our bubble as bad as their bubble? In some ways, our bubble is worse! We say that because the bubble in question is ours, and therefore is our responsibility."

      Sombery Repeating

      Delete
    10. Our bubble, if we have one, is not about whether Rubio says anything worth talking about. Somerby has never suggested that.

      Delete
  8. WARNING:

    Severe concern-troll infection rampant in today's comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Almost as prevalent as the puffers of the vanity blogger.

      Delete
    2. Use your head. Where else would you find people who find Somerby's thoughts interesting but in the comments of his blog? I would imagine all the puffers of Maddow are over at her blog. Why aren't you over at Rubio's blog or wherever your fellow conservatives play?

      Delete
    3. I think 3:47 meant fluffer. Not that 3:51 noticed.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, women don't spend as much time with porn as men do.

      Delete
    5. Puffer is a derogatory English slang term @ 4:07. Unless you are into fish. Of down by the station early in the morning.

      Delete
    6. Replying to @4:02 not whoever said puffer, @4:17.

      Delete
  9. "Rubio's "correct about Obama's general competence?"

    Not nearly as correct as we are about yours.

    Not nearly."

    What Rubio is trying to do is rebut this nutty GOP meme that Obama is some incompetent who doesn't know what he's doing.

    In this he's correct. He's not correct about Obama's supposed political intent.

    Does this go past people? Rubio actually has a point to make, which of course is being completely ignored. I don't agree with it, but he's right about Obama's competence and sense of direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rubio is saying that Obama is trying to remake the good old USA into Kenya or Indonesia. He isn't right about that. He is trying to say that Obama is like the rest of the Democrats who also want to subvert good old American values with their foreign ways (eating French Fries or driving BMWs). Rubio's appeal is time-honored Republican garbage.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. He's saying that Obama knows what he's doing. He's responding to the right-wing meme that Obama is some kind of rank incompetent. He's wrong about Obama's intent of course, but he's at least treating the Dems like they know what they're doing.

      That's the point. And it's being completely missed. There are absolutely no discussions these days about the substance of these debates. For instance, Christie lied through his teeth about the nurse who came back from the Ebola area. And yet, this was completely ignored in favor of some obsession about Rubio's repeated statements.

      Are such things sane?

      Delete
    4. Last I heard, Obama is not running for reelection.

      Delete
  10. How many times has Clinton used "artful smear"? Not rehearsed, no, not at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so what? did anyone say all candidate statements must be spontaneous, unrehearsed?

      Delete
    2. No but it's implied that X number within X time period is unacceptable, which is just nonsense.

      Delete
    3. Do you really not understand the difference between a debate, where candidates are supposed to be responsive and interact, and a speech, where candidates are rehearsed?

      Delete
    4. Yes, "The 80's called and want their foreign policy back" was entirely off the cuff, not a pre-canned and practiced, stale joke. Even if it came out as forced and contrived. At least that's what his adoring fans believed.

      Delete
    5. Well yes, they all repeat themselves. So I have no idea what this obsession with Rubio obsession is about.

      I'm especially concerned too about why this time (as compared to 2008) there's little or no talk about MSM mythmaking. Like what ever happened to analyzing Tweety? He's been as nuts as always.

      Delete
    6. Bob tried knocking Tweety earlier (over 2000 and 2008 stuff)but must have gotten a memo from Camp Clinton to lay off. Tweety is now aboard Team Clinton.

      Oh, and don't call him Tweety. He is supposed to be one of our liberal leaders.

      Delete
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