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February 12, 2008



What? No McCarthy?

What evah Nona wants.


On Planet Krugman, Hillary hired Joe McCarthy to blacklist Obama in Hollywood because he framed The Rosenbergs (they were innocent, you know!) on a rap for forcing Dick Nixon to establish wage and price controls.

See? It's all so simple!


It's Potomic Tuesday where Obama will sweep and Hillary will weep.

Poor Hillary who yesterday declared Fox News is more "fair" than MSNBC.

WAKE UP Clarice. It's time to vote!


Ring Lardner, Jr., when asked to reveal the names of fellow travelers replied that he could do so, but would hate himself in the morning. That crack earned him jail time for Contempt of Congress.

Rich Berger

Doesn't he have any close friends who could take him aside and tell him, very gently, that he is making a fool of himself?

OTOH, he is entertaining.


I'm wide awake Jane. Does anyone at Princeton have the lights in the attic on?

Patrick R. Sullivan
Krugman's latest column is a laugher...

Let me know when he writes one that isn't.

Appalled Moderate

Ross Douthat, former intern at National Review, is "left"?


I wouldn't call Douthat a "liberal", but I think he is correct that most democrats would happily support either choice.


Can she bake a cherry pie, Charming Bill, Charming Bill
Can he wake and smell the rose, Charming Billy?


Going to vote in a minute. I don't like any of the remaining candidates. Maybe I will cross over.


No, I'm not a huge fan of Douthat, but I never have thought of him as a lefty.

Appalled Moderate


My own thought is that if Clinton wins the nomination, she will brass knuckle her way to a 50.5%, 49.5% victory (assuming no Bloomberg -- wheich, with Hill in the race, it might not be wise to assume). She will have few coattails, and turnout will be low. Then she will display the Clintonian magic of electing Republicans for the next four years. And there will be a Bill Clinton problem which will, in its essence, be strikingly similar to the Dick Cheney problem.

If Obama wins, we have a bit of an untested situation. There is a potential downside with him -- he may wither under pressure or something. Though this primary has really tested his mettle as candidate, and he reallly has done better than anyone really expected back in Jamuary. But the upside with Obama is larger -- I think he has coattails with an electorate who just really, really, really, really wants to get past our garbage politics of the last 20 years...


It only appears to have been garbage politics, AM, because the media held their noses and the toilet paper for a shitty chief executive and trashed the garbage collector who followed him. Wake up and smell the kindersheissened Rose of Texas.

Appalled Moderate


I'll agree the media is part of the problem, though the real bias that causes it is the desire to pose issues in a way that heighten conflict and to go overboard on scandal reporting.


Krugman brings out the funny-

I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality.

I'm sure everyone around Team Clinton couldn't be considered a cult. Jacob Weisberg wrote "Clincest" in the TNR in 1993 and I was looking for a copy-wonder if Krugman has ever heard of it.

“Clinton rules” — the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.

When I go to VRWC conferences, I'm always amazed at the number of MSM members in attendence. Its true.

Racism, misogyny and character assassination are all ways of distracting voters from the issues...

I wonder if he would extend this to Pres. Bush and VP Cheney and the Iraq War-doubtful.

too cute by half:

One of the most hopeful moments of this presidential campaign came last month, when a number of Jewish leaders signed a letter condemning the smear campaign claiming that Mr. Obama was a secret Muslim. It’s a good guess that some of those leaders would prefer that Mr. Obama not become president; nonetheless, they understood that there are principles that matter more than short-term political advantage...

Maybe for the next trick Team Clinton could get a bunch of drug dealers together [Bill Clinton has pardoned enough of them] to sign a letter rejecting the scandalous accusations that BHO was a drug dealer-we need to elevate the campaign and can't have Rovian dirty tricks like an unresponded to accusation that Hussein dealt blow in Chicago. Drug Dealers for Better Campaigning Unite: Defend BHO from those Rovian charges.

Is Krugman a paid consultant for Team Clinton or does his hero worship not require payment?


There is a lot of media"pimping" of rather meaningless caucus and primary results to make everything seem more contested than is true..and that worked to McCain and Obama's advantage.
Meanwhile here's my report from voting in D.C.'s primary. First, a word on DC residential zoning --tha main thoroughfares are zoned for small shops, restaurants and apt dwellings. Behind them are the houses which in my neighborhood are often very substantial.
Voting is in a neighborhood congregational church. In the designated areas just beyong the polling area were about 10 Obama signs and 2 Hill signs. BUT more telling, on the laws of the very substantial houses surrounding the church there were ONLY Obama signs. And on the drive home I saw a number of Obamas ==no Hills. Voting was light. (Voters have the option of touch screen or optical scanners and the poll workers said virtually everyone picked the former--simple, easy and cheap.)

Rick Ballard

From Byron York at the Corner

A few days ago, I asked an experienced Democratic strategist this question: Given everything that has happened in the campaign so far, is there any foreseeable scenario under which Hillary Clinton wins the nomination and black Democrats say, 'Well, Obama ran a good race, but she won it fair and square'"? The strategist said, no, there is no such scenario. The damage has already been done, and if Obama is defeated by the votes of superdelegates loyal to the Clintons, Democrats will be a party plagued by divisions far more serious than anything Republicans are experiencing now.

Dean's Revenge (my hypothesis) consists of removing the heaping pile of stink that attachs to all things Clinton from national politics. BHO runs - and loses - but cements the black bloc to the Dems for the forseeable future. Dean can count on them 100% for his run in 2012.

If the hypothesis is true then how will BHO's run affect down ticket races? In the Democrat segregated black CDs it will have no impact. It may have an impact in in 20-30 CDs where the R/D division is under 60/40 and it may certainly have an impact on some Senate races.

I don't see BHO Fever holding up for nine months but his candidacy will certainly have an impact on turnout. It's one of those double edged swords though and I can't guess as yet which direction of swing will cut the deepest.


Can you imagine Singer and Krugman wandering around the Princeton campus together discussing whether to invite Szasz for a symposium on ethics? Does the university issue students Hazmat suits?


I think it is just quid pro hope quo, or BDS. I wouldn't put it past the New York Times to let him have two masters, though.

Or would it be two mistresses, The Grey Lady and the Red Witch.


Paul Krugman fights fire with fire. In yesterday’s NYT Krugmans takes aim and fires at venom, character assassination, slander, scare, sly innuendo, and the poisonous pen that he blames for the Nixonization of the Democratic party.

In this unbiased piece Krugman points out that although Barrack Obama is naive and he has “staked out positions that will undermine his own efforts,” he is a smart and appealing candidate. Krugman goes on to warn about some scary things going on in the highly venomous Obama campaign, namely a “cult of personality.”
Further, (yep further) Mr. Krugman says that he is saddened by Obama supporters because they take the slightest evidence that Mr. or Mrs. Clinton may have “evil intent” as evidence that they may have “evil intent.” He calls this behavior Clinton rules.

I just hope that Obama supporters will take heed of Mr. Krugman’s warnings before something terrible happens.


I'll give the next kid I know who's going to Princetin a T Shirt saying "At Least it's not Duke".What an embarrassing couple of nutters on one campus.

I don't know how this will play out either, Rick,I think Hill will get the nomination--media aside--but I think the "unfair" meme which the Dems play to a fairthewell will persuade many Black voters that "the man" kept him out of the WH and will nto come to the polls.
Of course, whatever happens, I do wish the Reps would put Steele on the ballot. I saw him again last night and he is so spectacular. And in the vent that Obama doesn't get the nomination the Reps should try to recapture Black voters, who once were in their campp. (When I first moved to Washington all prominent Black officeholders here were Republicans or appointed by Republicans.)


I think it is forlorn to expect blacks to not vote Democratic. I do not think it is forlorn to expect the Latina to vote Republican. This is not racist; I blame the Democrats for the pitiful plight of the blacks.



I suspect we are going to be in a 50.5 – 49.5 electoral environment for some time to come – regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination. Rove pulled a victory in 04 by ignoring the center and increasing the turnout on the right. That’s going to be a lot harder for McCain. If the far right doesn’t turn out, its a battle for the center and, for that reason, I would prefer that Obama get the nod. Hillary will, IMHO, bring out people to vote against her that Obama won’t. (OTOH, there is the Bradley effect –which will probably show up mor in a general than in primaries)


Sort of on topic - bio mom commented about turnout the other day, so I thought she might want to see this from David Freddoso at the Corner. Excerpt:

In the open election of 1988, 23 million Democrats voted in primaries, as did 12 million Republicans. Yes, you're reading that correctly. Nearly twice as many Democrats voted. That was a precursor to President Michael Dukakis's election.

In 1980, Democrats actually had an incumbent president, who was challenged by Ted Kennedy. Republicans, meanwhile, had a competitive primary between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Democrats cast 16.1 million votes in their primaries that year, compared to just (corrected) 12.7 million for Republicans. We all know what happened in Jimmy Carter's second term, don't we?

The only times Republicans have outnumbered Democrats in primaries in the last 35 years were 2000 and 1996 — both years when Republicans were sick of being out of power. Even in those years, Republican turnout was only slightly higher than Democratic turnout.

He offers some good links to follow as well. Worth reading if the turnout meme is getting you down.

Other Tom

Douthat has been writing movie reviews for National Review for some time now. I've never detected any political leanings one way or another.

I don't see any way the Repubs avoid a bloodbath in the congressional races, although they might hold the White House. For one thing, it happens that they have many more Senate seats to defend (it's something like 22 out of the 33; I'm sure someone will supply the real numbers). And about twenty representatives have announced they won't seek reelection. Put that together with a very nasty mood in the electorate and the likely absence of anything like the GOP's get-out-the-vote effort in 2004, and the results might well be pretty revolutionary--I'm just hoping we don't get a Dem president with a fiibuster-proof Senate.

A big Q on my mind is whether either of these Dems will select the other as VP (and, if so, whether the other would take it). I would think that both of them would want to select someone who would provide some defense/national security cover.

Other Tom

Thanks very much for those curious data, Porchlight--quite reassuring in the very area where I was in need of some reassurance.

Please, friends, let us all pause to gloat lewdly over yesterday's sentencing of Bill Lerach. Two years in the federal pen, the max allowable under the plea deal. The judge read him the riot act, saying he was tempted to reject the plea and send the case to trial so he could get a much longer--and richly deserved--sentence.


Anybody thought that Nixon was simply the worst person Krugman could think of? Mao,Pol Pot,et al being good guys,thus no use for an analogue.

Appalled Moderate


I just don't see either Dem taking the VP position. In Hillary's case, it would not be the precursor for a run at the Presidency (she'd be 68), and the feeling would be that she had her chance and came up short. Given that, she's better off staying Senator, where her Presidential run gives her some additional gravitas.

As for Obama, there's nothing in the position for him. He would be competing against Bill Clinton for attention and power, and would likely lose the contest.

Other Tom

Anybody who takes the job as Hillary's VP is going to face that problem--kind of makes me wonder what kind of wuss would even consider it. But you know they're out there.

I simply cannot imagine any way that Hillary ends up with the nomination without the black community almost universally believing that the fix was in, and that Obama got done in by The Man. The ramifications in November could be titanic, particularly if McCain selects either Michael Steele or J.C. Watts.

Fasten your seat belts...


I think Krugman (or his source) got the year of the quote wrong. I recall it being from the 1952 election.


Sorry, I gotta unfasten mine; too many Oreos.


Mind you, that is not my opinion, but how MSM will characterize them to the black community. They'd both be great candidates, but probably drawing more of the middle than of Black America.

Appalled Moderate


If Ms. Hill wins, the veep will be Edwards.

Hillary is the candidate of those Dems who are tired of the politics of the last 20 years, and want revenge. Edwards v 2.0 taps into that mindset.


You're welcome, Other Tom. They reassured me, too.

Also, Freddoso doesn't mention this, but what else do 1996 and 2000, the only primaries in 35 years where the GOP beat the Dems in turnout, have in common? A Clinton in the White House.

HRC's nomination may be all the GOTV effort the Republicans need. Combine that with the possibility of disaffected Obama voters staying home, and it could get interesting.


Well, Pigilito, that would fit better with McCarthy and Helen Gahagan would have been fresher.


Hillary is the candidate of those Dems who are tired of the politics of the last 20 years, and want revenge.

That is brilliant.


Right, Kim. This would have been soon after Nixon's commie baiting strategy of defeating Helen Gahagan Douglas in the 1950 Senate race. In any case, she got a measure of revenge by naming him "Tricky Dick".


Why is that brilliant ? It was the Clinton's with their never ending campaigns and politicizing everything and filthy campaign tricks that turned me into a Republican. If people want revenge for that odious behavior voting for her seems an odd way to go about it.

I still think she wants Evan Bayh for her veep--he's attractive,young,male, centrist, with a good record on foreign policy and defense.And she won't have to worry about him plotting against her.


I had completely forgotten about this - UC Berkeley paper student journo's blow-up about Chelsea at Stanford...but I did not know what Hil had done to him

The comments made their way to Mrs. Clinton, who asked the Secret Service to search my apartment and quiet me down, according to Chris Von Holt, one of the nice agents who visited. The Clintons later denied any involvement, but I did manage to get the agent's claim otherwise on a tape recorder I had with me. The message to 21-year-old me and the rest of the press was clear: Stay off Chelsea...

Man, talk about a chill wind in 1997!

Appalled Moderate


You seem not to have noticed that my line was meant as a wisecrack.

I really have no use for Hill and Bill, Part II ("Now The Fun Part Begins")


Oh, Pooch, I wonder how von Holt's career went after he was taped.



No kidding.



"The Senate voted Tuesday to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 a move to strip away a grant of retroactive legal immunity for the companies."


If people want revenge for that odious behavior voting for her seems an odd way to go about it.

Actually I think there is a rather large segment on the left that is only in it for revenge. They don't care about issues - they will simply take the opposite stand from the right regardless of the position or in many cases the hypocrisy. Their only goal is to keep the feud going. It's a violent video game to these folks. To hell with the nation.


Oh, Pooch, I think there is a story there. Google (Secret Service Agent 'von Holt').


Why is that brilliant ? It was the Clinton's with their never ending campaigns and politicizing everything and filthy campaign tricks that turned me into a Republican. If people want revenge for that odious behavior voting for her seems an odd way to go about it.

Clarice- I think it is brilliant because it is from their point of view. I, like you, see the Clintons as being a huge player in the ugliness of politics of the past 20 years. They undoubtedly were. I saw the "revenge" as being a bit facetious, meaning that they these people really just want more of the same in the name of revenge. An excuse to keep behaving the same way.
Maybe that isn't what AM meant, but that's why I thought it was brilliant.


OK, good. Now that I've refreshed I see that AM meant it as I took it. I loved it.


I'm hoping there a lots of 'appalled' moderates.


Apparently, that is what she meant and it went over my head---probably a result of reading and listening to too many cockamamie voters who say such thinks with all seriousness.


I thought it was brilliant, too, because 20 years rewrites history so blithely. "These are not the droids you are interested in."


Other Tom

My money says Hillary's VP is almost anybody but Edwards, and I think both she and Obama will want somebody with street cred re national security. I've seen Wes Clark's name bandied about, but the man is such a loose cannon and a fool that it would be dangerous.

But all the insiders say the Veep choice never makes a difference anyway...

Appalled Moderate


Hillary has her husband for foreign affairs. He's probably available for domestic ones, too.

Seriously, I don't think "looking tough" is something Hillary is going to feel the need to do -- in Democratic world, she's considered a hawk. Obama might go for a national security sort.


Can you see the gab in the smoke-filled back room? "We need a loyal party hack, an insider from the heartland with credentials fighting against waste and corruption, and who won't kick up a fuss. How about that senator from Missouri, Harry Truman."

Cecil Turner

Hillary has her husband for foreign affairs. He's probably available for domestic ones, too.

His availability for affairs was never in question. It's his competence on national defense that's at issue. And if he's her best expert on that score . . .


Oh, c'mon Cecil, you forgot Madeline. And 'Socks'.

And with Joe and Val installed in Paris, American culture can sweep Western Europe.

Jim Glass

Anyone else remember way back when Krugman was lamenting that we no longer have Nixonian politics?

"Is this the same country that we had in 1970? I think we have a much more polarized political system ... we're probably not the country of Richard Nixon ..."

"I was born in 1953 ... the political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost..."

Maybe he meant this "Nixonian" business as a compliment?

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