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Full disclosure: In the primaries, I am not a Clinton supporter. I believe Edwards (or even Obama, despite all the overwhelmingly and also somewhat over cannibalizing press he has received on here lately) brings needed change, a fresh perspective, and has the best chance of winning the general election. And Biden would also make a good candidate in the general election, and an extremely good President.

Yet the widely circulated Edwards Campaign Clinton video was misleading, and played right along with Right Wing and Media spin.

Hopefully when the general election comes, the Edwards Campaign will illustrate this same ability to powerfully illustrate a case, without having previously been handed the roadmap, directions and content by the media and GOP.

While there may be nothing necessarily wrong with an Edwards making his case against Clinton, why has there been such an overwhelming effort by Democrats as a whole to focus on our own candidates publicly, rather than, more meaningfully, on the Republican field?

More importantly in terms of overall election strategy, why aren't Democrats focused on insisting that the level of scrutiny (and standards used) being applied by the media to Clinton, be applied to the Republican frontrunners?

On Friday, a front page post consisted of almost nothing but the video. It received close to 1400 comments, many of which ripped into Clinton; applying standards of logic that Democrats renounce when the Far Right applies it to us.  A recommended diary the same day, of the video, received almost 650. Many of which reached the same conclusion.    

Yet Clinton’s answers, contrary to some of the intensely derogatory things that were written, were consistent on two of the three topics presented in the video. And reasonably understandable with respect to the third.

There was also an exceptional opportunity for Clinton (or even any one of the other candidates) to turn the entire debate around, provocatively illustrate the media’s role, and center the focus on the right topics. An exact illustration of this is provided below, in an answer to perhaps Clinton’s most difficult question.  

Consider the video's text, keeping in mind that much of it was spliced together in non sequential order. Also note that it starts off with a question by Tim Russert, who in his tone and manner is far more hostile than Edwards, who then cuts into Clinton himself.  Yet Edwards is supposed to distinguish himself. Russert is the one who is supposed to remain objective. None of the candidates, including Edwards, should have tolerated the fact that he was not, and that he repeatedly used the debate as a platform to get in his own Right Wing talking points.

(No scene, white on black background)  "Why do you have one public position, and one private position. (Russert, somewhat condescending voice)

(No scene, white on black background) "Unless I missed something, Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes." (Edwards)

(New scene, not in response to prior statement or question above) "I stand for ending the war in Iraq. Bringing our troops home." (Clinton)

(New scene) "We are going to have troops remaining there protecting our embassy. We may have a continuing training issue. And we may have a mission against al-Qaeda in Iraq." (Clinton)

(New scene) "But on specific issues, I have come out with very specific plans. With respect to Social Security, I do have a plan. But personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility." (Clinton)

(No scene, white on black background) "Do you, the New York Senator, Hillary Clinton, support the new york govornor's plan to give illegal immigrants a drivers license." (Russert)

(New Scene, does not appear to follow preceding question)"I did not say it should be done.  But I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it." (Clinton)

(New scene, but seems to follow prior one) "No no no, you said yes, you thought it made sense to do it. (Chris Dodd)

(Same scene) "No, I didn't Chris." (Clinton)

(New scene) "It makes a lot of sense...  (thought not finished)...what is the Governor  supposed to do.  Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No."

There were three issues presented, and the conclusion that was overwhelmingly drawn was that in all three, Clinton completely contradicted herself. (And that was some of the nicer "framing" of it in many of the comments.)  

Let's briefly look at all three. But keep in mind as we do, that this is the image that the Far Right has worked very hard, for a very long time, to cultivate about Clinton.

The most problematic of the three is addressed first. The New York Driver's license program.  To illustrate how difficult the question was -- one of the most difficult I've heard in a debate -- here is my non political answer to the question: "I do not agree with the program. I do not think that we should provide drivers licenses to illegal immigrants."

Now, how many people immediately have categorized me because of that answer? How many immigrants or ethnicities has that now alienated? How many of my own party's base have I alienated, when I need to win the nomination, when my position actually happens to concur with a majority of Americans -- but yet may not even be the right answer for New York facing its specific problem in the here and now.  And can we really get into the details of all the considerations here in three minutes? Maybe there are reasons why the program makes more sense in New York, to suit New York's needs, even if I am opposed in general to the concept.  

At the same time, the reality, is that a lot of Americans, Republican and Democrats, are tired of excessive illegal immigration. Is it sensible to harp on this issue now, in the primaries, and show that I am in accord with most Americans using the very poor vehicle of New York's own unique circumstances and present needs?  As a candidate, I wouldn't.

It is a lose lose issue in the primaries for Democrats, with very little upside.  There are also few easy answers. Candidate Tom Tancredo, and others on the Fox channel, almost sickeningly made illegals a scapegoat by picking on crimes by an extremely small percentage in so called sanctuary cities, when the issue was entirely a crime issue and had nothing to do with immigration. (In fact, if that is the argument, then Tancredo should have been supporting more illegal immigration. But logic rarely exists on Fox.)

Yet one possible answer to the question is; "That is what Governor Spitzer, whom I respect immensely, feels is in the best interests of New York. I am not in a position to second guess his judgment." Russert would continue to hammer away about how she "did not answer the question" even though Republican candidates routinely do the same. So, in response; "Am I big supporter of it, no. But I do understand why Governor Spitzer did so." It’s not really that far from what Clinton said. But she got pushed on it.

For a presidential nominee, as opposed to the question of waterboarding for an attorney general, it really was a hypothetical and somewhat irrelevant question. Yet Russert would probably still not let up (as it appeared he did not).  So the next response would be;

"There are national policies, and there are state policies.  The issue of Drivers licenses with respect to people driving and residing in that state, is a state issue. Is there a reason you are not only asking me about it, but continuing to hammer away at it? This is a presidential debate, so why are we focusing on things that don't have anything to do with being President of the United States? (pause) Yet I have also not yet heard you once ask me, or any of the other candidates, even one question about one of the most pressing issues of our times;  big, secretive, intrusive government and the subversion of our Nation's basic founding principle of separated and checked powers under our Constitution. Why is that?"  

Followed by, after Russert's inevitable twisting response:

"I'm not turning it around on you at all. What is your role here? You're over focusing on a hypothetical question, that doesn't have much to do with anything (slight pause), that is entirely a state's issue, and that I've already answered three times now. And I'm turning it around by not answering it a fourth time and focusing instead on a pressing national issue that (emphasis) has been largely ignored? Or by asking why YOU have not asked one single question, to any of us, on one of the more important questions of our times, (pause) yet instead want to continue to hammer on a largely irrelevant state driving issue that has nothing to do with the President?  Perhaps you should rethink your role as moderator, and what you are trying to accomplish in these debates."

Note; It doesn’t normally help to alienate a moderator, but Russert already is;  it would show a lot of good qualities; isolate the key issues; turn the hammering into an advantage without seeming to complain or whine about it; and use Russert’s illogic, which has been used for months to attack and twist, into an advantage.  Aside from the fact (long shot that it is) that he might actually do his job a little more correctly as a result.

As for the specific issue, Elliot Spitzer has often exhibited sound judgment, and there may be strong arguments in favor of the program. let's also again assume that I am a Senator from the state where he is Governor, running for President, and I want his support and I support him. Suppose I think that in general it is not a direction we want to move in, but that in New York as Governor it made sense for him to institute the program to try and get some control over our streets. There are pros and cons both ways. How is this accurately assessed in three minutes?  

It is true that Clinton did not handle the question as well as she could have. (Compare that tendency to the individual who was declared the winner of the past two presidential elections.) But at the same time, our sound bite format in the present age is leading to an excessive dumbing down, and that standard was applied here to Clinton.  

The first two issues in the video were each presented on a white on black screen with the silent text "On Iraq," and then "On Social Security," immediately following. On each, Clinton was not inconsistent. Yet the out of context statements in the beginning of the video, by Russert and Edwards, implied the opposite. And hundreds of commenters piled on Clinton as if she was wildly pandering and contradicting herself, when she was doing nothing of the sort. To wit:

"I support bringing our troops home." How many troops do we have there? 130,000? 160,000 to be brought down to 130,000 next spring?  Is that "protecting our embassy"? No. Is that "battling the al-Qaeda element there"? No. Is that "providing some ongoing training for Iraqi forces"? No.  That is an all out war effort.  Against what?  Insurgents who may be insurging because we are there?  The war as presently configured is an all out combat attempt to rectify something which is only in part military. Bringing our troops home means ending that. It means ending The war.

Remember the Pottery barn rule? "You break it, you bought it"? Is it a good idea to leave some units there to train Iraqi forces?  Maybe. Is it relevant to the issue of "ending the war"? No. Likewise with protecting our embassy. And isn't al-Qaeda our enemy?  Isn't that who we need to eradicate? We should be working to eliminate al-Qaeda elements wherever they are. (And that includes what may have been our biggest problem for several yeas now, and I suggested this a few years ago as well -- Pakistan. Iran has an average age of 25, they want to be more like the West, they don't like the authoritarian Mullahs, and all we are doing is encouraging reunifying nationalism directed against us.)

Nothing Clinton said in that first sentence is contradictory to her next assertion regarding the potential need to guard our embassy and continue training some forces there, or continuing to fight against a very small band of largely sovereignless al-Qaeda cells.  

What about Social Security? While the Iraq issue does leave some room for varying interpretations, this one does not.

Examine our fiscal situation; our exploding national debt in the past six years.  Examine the not immediately upcoming, but well into the future predicted Social Security crisis.  Presently, fancy accounting is being done to use Social Security savings to pay for other parts of the budget, and mask the true size of our debt. At the same time, under current projections, almost all experts agree that down the road, there is going to be a tremendous shortfall (one of the many reasons why using these funds now while continuing to add to the overall debt level is imprudent.) In order to address that, at some point either benefits will need to be somewhat reduced, Social Security taxes will need to be increased --  or, instead of greatly supplementing our aleady strained treasury, Social Security as presently configured will in the future present an enormous additional strain upon it. It's not at heart a Social Security crisis, it's a fiscal crisis, of which Social Security in the future is projected to play a very detrimental role, and which fical problem exists now.

So what did Clinton say? She noted she has plans, including one for Social Security. I have a lot of plans too. Do you? Does that mean that every one of your plans gets instituted this instant? Or that you are a double talking pandering hypocrite if they do not?  Are there other considerations for your plans? Maybe you need to get X done, before you implement plan Y?  So what did Clinton say.  She said "I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility."

Not only is that completely consistent, but it is probably the most sensible approach. And one that many economists support. That is, right now we have a tremendously exploding debt. Social Security is running a surplus. Is it that beneficial to artificially increase that surplus now if we are just going to continue to use it to mask, and thus perpetuate, the present fiscal mess? No. Not at all.

Those are the three issues.  The first two Clinton was consistent on, the third she clearly did not do a great job with a difficult question, where it seems she understands why her own Governor, whom she greatly respects, implemented the program he did, but does not necessarily fully agree with it. Beyond that, does it matter that much?

Watch the video carefully. The words in white slowly focus into view on a black background: "Was it Tim Russert?" followed by Russert's ill toned, and antagonistically phrased question. "Was it something we said?" followed by Edwards suggestion that "unless I missed something, we just heard two different things in..."  Followed by, "Was it doubletalk?" All just before the word "On Iraq" appears on the screen, followed by the Iraq references by Clinton, followed by "On Social Security," in words on the screen, etc.  Then,  the screen again goes black, and "It was a yes or no question" appears in white text, just before the immigration issue. At the end, the words "We still don’t know the answer" (which we actually do. She understands it, is not going to condemn it, but would not have done it herself). And multiple almost identical images of Clinton throughout, except for differing expressions -- often captured at their worse, which are then frozen on the screen while another image plays, to further the "saying different things" suggestion. All set to very well chosen music.

If one had the technological know how, one could produce the same type of video regarding John Edwards, or any of the other candidates.

The power of suggestion is greatly exhibited. Notice how (particularly with the use of the question marks in this context -- if you don't see this go back and view the video again) it allows viewers to feel as if they are reaching their own conclusions -- while powerfully giving the leading suggestions and support to accomplish it. This is something that the Democratic Party has been notoriously poor at in recent years. And it is what the Right Wing has been doing for years.

It is time that Democrats, instead of simply uttering conclusions, used examples and the power of suggestion, to make the case against their Republican counterparts. At least as aggressively as we have been against our own candidates. If not far more so.  

Take a cue from them. They are focused on Clinton, not each other.   This does not mean that we should be as similarly focused on Clinton as they are. Remember, we are on the other side. And Clinton may well be the nominee. If one can not see the broad and critical differences between Clinton and Giuliani, for instance, well -- then one has bought into all the hype. Which is just what Republicans, even while convincing the so called "undecided middle" of the country that Clinton is really a "Liberal" -- precisely want.

Originally posted to Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can the (8+ / 0-)

    Edwards Campaign be this effective in the General election if he wins the nomination? Can the other campaigns?

    How can we help them now?

    How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

    by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:22:04 AM PST

    •  Debate transcript (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...
      ... may be helpful in parsing out how deceptive the Edwards video really was.

      We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

      by RonK Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:48:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On Social Security: (4+ / 0-)

        Hillary, in the Edwards ad:

        But on specific issues, I have come out with very specific plans. With respect to Social Security, I do have a plan.

        [--cut--]

        But personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility.

        In full debate context:

        Edwards: ... she said in our last debate that she was against any changes on Social Security -- benefits, retirement aid, or raising the cap on the Social Security tax -- but apparently, it's been reported that she said privately something different than that.

        Russert: You stand behind the word "doubletalk"?

        Edwards: I do.

        Clinton: ... I've been standing up against the Republicans and everything from preventing them from privatizing Social Security to standing up against President Bush's veto of children's health. ...

        But on specific issues, I have come out with very specific plans. With respect to Social Security, I do have a plan. It's called, "start with fiscal responsibility." That's what we were doing in the 1990s, and we had Social Security on a much better path than it is today because of the irresponsible spending policies of George Bush and the Republican Congress.

        If there are some of the long-term challenges that we need to address, let's do it in the context of having fiscal responsibility, and then let's put together a bipartisan commission and look at how we're going to deal with these long-term challenges. But I am not going to balance Social Security on the backs of seniors and hardworking middle-class Americans.

        Let's start taking the tax cuts away from the wealthy, let's take away the no-bid contracts from Halliburton before we start imposing a trillion-dollar tax increase on the elderly and on middle- class workers. I don't think that's necessary, so I have a very specific plan. My friends may not agree with it, but I've been saying it and talking about it for many months. ...

        Russert: Senator Clinton, I want to clear something up which goes to the issue of credibility. You were asked at the AARP debate whether or not you would consider taxing, lifting the cap from $97,500, taxing that, raising more money for Social Security. You said, quote, "It's a no." I asked you the same question in New Hampshire, and you said "no."

        Then you went to Iowa and you went up to Tod Bowman, a teacher, and had a conversation with him saying, "I would consider lifting the cap perhaps above $200,000." You were overheard by an Associated Press reporter saying that.

        Why do you have one public position and one private position?

        Clinton: Well, Tim, I don't. I have said consistently that my plan for Social Security is fiscal responsibility first, then to deal with any long-term challenges which I agree are ones that we are going to have to address.

        We would have a bipartisan commission. In the context of that, I think all of these would be considered. But, personally, I do not want to balance Social Security on the backs of our seniors and middle-class families. That's why I put fiscal responsibility first, because we have to change the Bush tax cuts, which I am committed to doing.

        We have to move back toward a more fair and progressive tax system, and begin once again to move toward a balanced budget with a surplus. You know, part of the idea in the '90s was not just so Bill would have a check mark next to his name in history, but so that we would have the resources to deal with a lot of these entitlement problems.

        George Bush understood that. The Republicans understood that. They wanted to decimate that balanced budget and a surplus because they knew that that would give them a free hand to try to privatize Social Security.

        I am not going to be repeating Republican talking points. So when somebody asks me, would something like this be considered, well, anything could be considered when we get to a bipartisan commission. But personally, I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility.

        Russert: But you did raise it as a possibility with Tod Bowman?

        Clinton: Well, but everybody knows what the possibilities are, Tim. Everybody knows that. But I do not advocate it. I do not support it. I have laid out what I do believe, and I am going to continue to emphasize that.

        I think, for us to act like Social Security is in crisis is a Republican trap. We're playing on the Republican field. And I don't intend to do that.

        Russert: You call it a Republican talking point. Georgetown University, February 9, 1998: "We are in a -- heading to a looming fiscal crisis in Social Security. If nothing is done, it will require a huge tax increase in the payroll tax or a 25 percent in Social Security benefits," Bill Clinton, 1998.

        That's recent history. Only two years to go in his term. Is that a Republican talking point?

        Clinton: No, but what he did was to move us toward a balanced budget and a surplus. And, if you go back and you look at the numbers, they really took off starting in '98, '99, 2000, 2001.

        And that would have given a president who actually believed in Social Security -- which George Bush does not -- the resources and the options to make decisions, but not the kind of draconian decisions, and certainly not the move toward privatization, which is what the Republicans have been advocating for as long as I can remember. ...

        Russert: But when asked by The New York Times whether Senator Clinton has been truthful, you said no.

        Obama: What I said is that she has not been truthful and clear about this point that I just made, which is we can talk about fiscal responsibility and all of us agree with that. All of us oppose privatization.

        But even after we deal with those issues, we are still going to have an actuarial gap that has to be dealt with. It is not going to vanish and if we have a moral responsibility to the next generation to make sure that Social Security is there, the most successful program to lift seniors out of poverty that we've ever devised, then we need to start acting now and having a serious conversation about it.

        Clinton: Tim, I don't see any difference here. You know, my view is we go towards fiscal responsibility, which is hard. It's not going to be easy inheriting what we're going to inherit from Bush and the Republicans.

        And there are some long-term challenges. I have no disagreement with that.

        But I think the best way to handle them is within the context of a bipartisan commission. That's what worked in 1983 when Social Security was on the ropes. Our colleagues in the Senate had a hearing today talking about how they could move toward a bipartisan commission.

        Study questions:

        1. Did Hillary ever say, anywhere, anytime, that she opposed all changes to Social Security?
        1. What was cut out of the first excerpt, taht would have made it crystal clear that it was fully consistent with the second excerpt?
        1. Who is really talking the doubletalk in this exchange, and in the "Parsing" ad?
        1. Who do you trust?

        We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

        by RonK Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:32:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ghost2

          Russert her opponent in the debate? I hadn't realized that he was running for President on the Republican ticket.  Maybe MSNBC should get the memo. (I don't mean that as snark, either).  

          Again, if the case about the media is not effectively made, Democrats are going to have the same difficult time in 2008, as they did in 2000, and in 2004, regardless of who the candidate is. Yet now that there is a slight Democratic majority in Congress, Democrats have still not tackled the necessary, if not critical, issue of media deconsolidation.  

          But then again, they haven't even stood up to the excesses of the Bush administration, either. Is it because they really are that bad, or is it because Democrats have become accustomed to Republicans framing the debate, and now play right into it? How substantially, has this case, for instance, which is largely taken for granted on here, actually been made in the mainstream.

          I know this seems a little off topic, but it all ties together.  This election, to get our Democracy back to a real Democracy with our Consitution as its basic framework, should already be heavily lopsided. Instead, we have the nomination of an Attorney General who disagrees with our Nation's founding principle, about to be confirmed because "it's as good as we can expect." Yet almost no one is making the point, particularly in Congress, that goes to the heart of this supposed "debate," and which is what those that support the present expansion of power, are largely missing.

          How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

          by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:53:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Russert has HUGE impact on SocSec debate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ghost2, Ivan Carter

            Just as candidates have to pass the Iowa primary's "ethanol test", they either have to pay tribute to Timmy's misconceptions on Social Security or get whacked as "not credible" on Sunday morning talk.

            We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

            by RonK Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:12:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Cutting a rebuttal video?? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            phoenixdreamz

            such a video already exists.  It is devastating for Edwards.  It's an interview by George Stephanopoulos, who hammers him on his continuous changing positions.  Watch the list he puts on the screen at about 2:30 mark.  

            Sometimes, a cackle is the best medicine!

            by ghost2 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:46:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Another illustration of why HRC so bad. (0+ / 0-)

          Drowned in all the HRC gooblygook of her statments are two things: she's not yet serious about the issue and has no intention of being so soon, and her first instinct is to punt the wildly popular democratic signature program to a committee half full of republicans.

          What kind of democratic candidate is she supposed to be, when she states that it's off limits for her to take any stand on the most popular program ever?

          What kind of wifflewaffle is she, if she finds the most popular program ever too hot to handle without first convening a bipartisan comittee?  What wouldn't she punt and CYA if she can't deal with that one?

          Really, she'll never be president.  Nobody wants to  electing somebody to an executive office that is incapable or unwilling to take a stand on anything.

          Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

          by Inland on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:33:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No doubletalk, no gobblygook. Krugman ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ghost2, Ivan Carter

            ... (and anyone else with a sound grasp of the Social Security situation) recognizes that it's the wrong time to do anything, that we may not have to do anything, and it's absolutely wrong to commit now to a specific course of action.

            Clinton has the right answer ... Russert and the rivals are yankin' your chain.

            We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

            by RonK Seattle on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 05:13:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  doubletalk indeed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phoenixdreamz

              I especially hate Edwards' doubletalk and parsing here. The whole ad is lies after lies.  He wants to win at all costs.  Reminds me of Gephardt in 2004.  Gephardt didn't take a lot of flak for how he was running, and he was bland.  But he and Lieberman stood in the Rose Garden with Bush, and that gave Bush the visual he needed to call Daschle an obstructionist and ask him to bring the lieberman bill to a vote.  I never forget that.  There was this small chance that Daschle could hold on, and bring an alternative resolution to force Bush to come back to congress.

              You were there, I don't need to say much.  Gephardt did that, and then when he was running, he kept critizing Bush on running the war.  No one questioned him on his role.  He also had cozied to the unions in Iowa, and the stategy was win Iowa and get momentum. In other words, no conviction, but win at any cost.  When I was watching that primary war, I was thinking, where is the spine when they need to really go after Bush.  

              When voting public sees behavior like this, they see democrats as a bunch of losers without the team mentality to win.  And people don't vote for losers.  Yes, George Bush attacked McCain, but he went with similar ruthlessness against democrats.
               

              Sometimes, a cackle is the best medicine!

              by ghost2 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 09:34:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  On Drivers Licenses: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ivan Carter

        Hillary, in the Edwards ad (with excerpted utterances numbered for convenience in reconstructing the rearrangement:

        [3](No scene, white on black background) "Do you, the New York Senator, Hillary Clinton, support the new york govornor's plan to give illegal immigrants a drivers license." (Russert)

        [1](New Scene, does not appear to follow preceding question)"I did not say it should be done.  But I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it." (Clinton)

        [2a] (New scene, but seems to follow prior one) "No no no, [2b]you said yes, [2c]you thought it made sense to do it. (Chris Dodd)

        [2c](Same scene) "No, I didn't Chris." (Clinton)

        [4a](New scene) "It makes a lot of sense...  (thought not finished)...what is the Governor  supposed to do.  [4b]Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No."

        In full debate context:

        Russert: ... Senator Clinton, Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer has proposed giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. He told the Nashua, New Hampshire, Editorial Board it makes a lot of sense.

        Why does it make a lot of sense to give an illegal immigrant a driver's license?

        Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. We know in New York we have several million at any one time who are in New York illegally. They are undocumented workers. They are driving on our roads. The possibility of them having an accident that harms themselves or others is just a matter of the odds. It's probability.

        So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum. I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform.

        Russert: Does anyone here believe an illegal immigrant should not have a driver's license?

        (Unknown): Believe what?

        Russert: An illegal immigrant should not have a driver's license.

        Dodd: This is a privilege. And, look, I'm as forthright and progressive on immigration policy as anyone here. But we're dealing with a serious problem here, we need to have people come forward. The idea that we're going to extend this privilege here of a driver's license I think is troublesome, and I think the American people are reacting to it.

        We need to deal with security on our borders. We need to deal with the attraction that draws people here. We need to deal fairly with those who are here.

        But this is a privilege. Talk about health care, I have a different opinion. That affects the public health of all of us.

        But a license is a privilege, and that ought not to be extended, in my view.

        Clinton: Well, I just want to add, I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do [1]...

        (Unknown): Wait a minute...

        Clinton: And we have failed. We have failed.

        Dodd: No, no, no.,[2a] You said -- you said yes...[2b]

        Clinton: No.

        Dodd: ... you thought it made sense to do it.

        Clinton: No, I didn't, Chris.[2c] But the point is, what are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving...

        Dodd: That's a legitimate issue. But driver's license goes too far, in my view.

        Clinton: Well, you may say that, but what is the identification?

        If somebody runs into you today who is an undocumented worker...

        Dodd: There's ways of dealing with that.

        Clinton: Well...

        Dodd: This is a privilege, not a right.

        Clinton: Well, what Governor Spitzer has agreed to do is to have three different licenses, one that provides identification for actually going onto airplanes and other kinds of security issues, another which is another ordinary driver's license, and then a special card that identifies the people who would be on the road, so...

        Dodd: That's a bureaucratic nightmare.

        Clinton: ... it's not the full privilege.

        Russert: Senator Clinton, I just want to make sure of what I heard. Do you, the New York senator, Hillary Clinton, support the New York governor's plan to give illegal immigrants a driver's license?[3]

        You told the New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?

        Clinton: You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays "gotcha." It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do?[4a] He is dealing with a serious problems. We have failed. And George Bush has failed. Do I think this is the best thing for any governor to do? No.[4b] But do I understand the sense of real desperation, trying to get a handle on this? Remember, in New York, we want to know who's in New York. We want people to come out of the shadows.

        He's making an honest effort to do it. We should have passed immigration reform.

        These utterances are edited not just out of context, but out of sequence. [They apparently are edited artfully enough to camouflage jumps, and to remove Clinton's voiced objection to Dodd's (erroneous) interjection.

        We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

        by RonK Seattle on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:38:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  On Iraq: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ivan Carter

        In the ad:

        I stand for ending the war in Iraq. Bringing our troops home." (Clinton)

        (New scene) "We are going to have troops remaining there protecting our embassy. We may have a continuing training issue [sic - "mission"]. And we may have a mission against al-Qaeda in Iraq." (Clinton)

        In debate context:

        Clinton: ... I have stood against George Bush and his failed policies.

        They want to continue the war in Iraq; I want to end it. ...

        Russert: ... Senator Clinton, do you oppose the war in Iraq?

        Clinton: Absolutely. But I do not -- and I don't think any of us do -- oppose the brave young men and women who have fought this war with such distinction and heroism.

        You know, I have said, repeatedly, that I will begin to bring our troops home as soon as I am president, because it is abundantly clear that President Bush does not intend to end the war while he is still president.

        In order to do that, we're doing to have to get the Joint Chiefs and my secretary of defense and advisers together to start the planning to move as quickly as possible, because I don't believe that the planning has been sufficiently undertaken in the Pentagon under this administration.

        But we've got to do more. We have to try to get the Iraqi government to understand its obligations, because there is no military solutions. And they have, thus far, failed to do so.

        And, finally, we need to engage in diplomacy, with respect to Iraq. You know, we have a big diplomatic apparatus. This president doesn't use it. He relies on a very small group of people. I think that's a terrible mistake.

        In addition to the foreign service officers, I would bring in a lot of other distinguished Americans who have experience -- people, you know, like my colleagues, Bill and Joe and Chris. We need a lot of Americans trying to fan out across the world following President Bush, because he's going to leave so many problems.

        His policies have alienated our friends and emboldened our enemies. And Iraq and Iran are tinder boxes -- the Middle East, Pakistan.

        I agree with Joe -- the Afghanistan situation.

        Everywhere you look in the world we've got work to do, and I think we've got to do more than just send our young men and women out. That is not an appropriate use of their power.

        Williams: Senator Obama, was Senator Clinton's answer to the opposition of the Iraq war question consistent, in your view?

        Obama: I don't think it's consistent with the Iran resolution, for example, which specifically stated that we should structure our forces in Iraq with an eye toward blunting Iranian influence. It is yet another rationale for what we're doing in Iraq, and I think that's a mistake. ...

        Williams: Senator Edwards, same question.

        Edwards: Well, here's what I want. I want to make certain that voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and all across America, Democrats and Independents, understand that you have choices in this election, very clear choices.

        If you believe that combat missions should be continued in Iraq over the long term, if you believe that combat troops should remain stationed in Iraq, and if you believe there should be no actual timetable for withdrawal, then Senator Clinton is your candidate.

        Edwards: I don't. I think that we need to end combat missions; we need to get combat troops out of Iraq. As president of the United States, I will do that. I think it's a requirement of leadership, as president. And I will do it in my first year in office: combat missions ended, combat troops out of Iraq, period. ...

        Williams: Senator Clinton, 30-second rebuttal.

        Clinton: Well, I need to rebut this. I don't know where to start. Number one, when we talk about combat missions in Iraq, my understanding is that we had the same agreement -- most of us on this stage -- that we would bring out combat troops but we would pursue a mission against Al Qaida in Iraq if they remained a threat.

        Now, I don't know how you pursue Al Qaida without engaging them in combat. So I think we're having a semantic difference here. I think we should get as many of the combat troops out as quickly as possible.

        If we leave any troops in, like special operations, to go after Al Qaida in Iraq, I assume that we don't want them just sitting around and watching them. We want them to engage them. That is a very limited mission. That is what I have said consistently.

        And you know, when it comes to where I stand, I have been explaining that to the American people. I stand for ending the war in Iraq, bringing our troops home.

        But I also know it's going to be complicated, and it's going to take time. And I intend to do it in a responsible manner that is as safe for our troops as possible.

        We're going to have troops remaining there, guarding our embassy. We may have a continuing training mission, and we may have a mission against Al Qaida in Iraq. So that's a very big difference than having the 160,000 troops that George Bush has there today.

        Williams: [longwinded wind-up to Giuliani quote at length] ... "So I'm trying to figure out where the experience is here," end of quote.

        Senator, how do you respond to the former mayor of New York?

        Clinton: [long answer] ... We've got to turn the page on George Bush and Dick Cheney. In fact, we have to throw the whole book away. ... That means ending the war in Iraq ... [long answer, cont'd] ...

        Clinton: ... You know, we've not been asked to sacrifice anything. You know, young men and women wearing the uniform of our country are dying and being maimed. ...

        Study questions:

        1. Which of the other candidates has committed NOT to protect the US embassy (or alternatively, not to have an embassy)?
        1. Which of the other candidates has committed NOT to conduct training?
        1. Which of the other candidates has committed NOT to engage "al Qaeda in Iraq" (in the hypothetical situation that it presents an ongoing threat to US interests)?
        1. How are these positions consistent or inconsistent with their positions on getting troops out of Iraq?

        We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

        by RonK Seattle on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 06:16:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  uh - because this is primary season (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lanikai

      While there may be nothing necessarily wrong with an Edwards making his case against Clinton, why has there been such an overwhelming effort by Democrats as a whole to focus on our own candidates publicly, rather than, more meaningfully, on the Republican field?

  •  Look. (8+ / 0-)

    But keep in mind as we do, that this is the image that the Far Right has worked very hard, for a very long time, to cultivate about Clinton.

    The reason for that is quite simply that there is an abundance of material to work with. It's practically a sitcom joke at this point, for crying out loud.

    "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

    by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:24:28 AM PST

    •  This is what I don't get (9+ / 0-)

      why rally around such an easy target?  Her "record" stretches back and back and is manna for Oppo.

      My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

      by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:29:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (4+ / 0-)

        It's about Hillary's issue positions, a great sucking void of nothingness if ever there was one.

        Hillary - the Seinfeld candidate. That's a diary right there.

        "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

        by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:32:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You keep stooping to lower levels (6+ / 0-)

          each day.  If Hillary is so void, why aren't you talking about your candidate instead?  

          •  Blah blah blah (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cookiesandmilk, lenzy1000, wmacdona66

            As long as I don't plumb the depths of asininity you explored in your well-received diary earlier today, my friend, I think I'll do just fine, thank you.

            "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

            by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:38:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Like wingnuts of previous decades, (4+ / 0-)

            he has learned to define who he is by his dislike of the Clintons. He hates the Clintons therefore he is favor of change. He hates the Clintons therefore he is anti-war. He hates the Clintons therefore he has personal integrity.

            Weird but true.

            Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

            by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:04:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lorelynn... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bumblebums, Inland, lenzy1000, wmacdona66

              ...if you think it aids your case, such as it is, to classify your opponents as hateful wingnuts, then by all means proceed.

              I invite the audience, in evaluating your fitness to make such claims, to have a gander at your trollrated comments, which tell a tale of wingnuttery all their own.

              As to your spurious charge that I define myself by hatred, I laugh in your face. You probably don't even realize how much more that says about you than it does about me.

              "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

              by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:16:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And a scroll your comments reveals a (3+ / 0-)

                marked obsession with attacking Clinton. That's not healthy nor is it good for Democrats.

                Scroll through my comments. As much as I dislike Obama, I have a fraction of the number of anti-Clinton comments you have.

                And that's the difference between you and me.

                Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

                by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:31:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Problem is, sweetness (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bumblebums, Inland, lenzy1000, wmacdona66

                  that my aversion to The Dynasty isn't the wingnuttery you claimed it is, whereas your compulsive hatred of Barack Obama speaks volumes about your fitness to pick at the mote in the eyes of others.

                  I'm quite comfortable with where I stand. And I do know for a fact that you are the last person here who's qualified to call me a wingnut.

                  Physician, heal thyself.

                  "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                  by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:39:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, you should just stop with the non-stop (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    randomperson26, JamesBrown4ever

                    attacks and when you do, then you'll be fit to call other people out. As it is, you're just one more person who has no idea what her voting record (oh, I know you think you do, but you don't) or what positions she's taken in her campaign. And that's what makes you no different than the wingnuts.

                    I think I'll scroll through your comments later today and come up with a Greatest Hits proof that you really don't know what you're talking about.

                    Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

                    by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:48:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  His/her candidate is a loser (0+ / 0-)

                      that is why they focus on Hillary so much.

                    •  By all means, please do. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Inland

                      Because I really care when someone with your track record of trolling gives me lectures on what's appropriate or observes that I don't know what I'm talking about.

                      And to spare myself a further entry here, the same level of interest applies to randomperson26, that sparkling conversationalist, immediately above.

                      "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                      by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:32:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Wow you have a lot of time on your hands (0+ / 0-)

                        To go all the way back to a comment I made in May!  Wow.  Notice too, all the troll ratings came from rabid Obama supporters.

                        All lorelynn's TR's came from rabid supporters too.  Not much to see here.

                        •  Dude... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...it's called a search string.

                          author="randomperson26" not ntroll = 0

                          Yeah, and only rabid Obama supporters find it offensive when someone calls people who disagree with them mentally ill, or simply liars. That unfortunately seems to be Lorelynn's stock in trade.

                          As to you, feh. Hillaryis44.com isn't sending over their better material, obviously.

                          "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                          by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:47:15 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Yes, and I was proved right, wasn't I? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        randomperson26

                        Again, that's another difference between you and I.

                        It remains that the bulk of your comments are attack comments. You're must less interested in getting Edwards elected than you are in preventing Hillary from getting elected.

                        Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

                        by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 02:05:23 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Snort. (0+ / 0-)

                          That's right, I'm all about attacking, and you're all about dynastic succession and strangling actual democracy.

                          Mind-reading. Simple, fun and productive. So easy, even a Hillary supporter can do it. Kids, do try this at home.

                          "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                          by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 02:28:13 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  The HRC supporter argument to cure everything: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      MBNYC

                      Just stop talking about it and start pretending that HRC is the bestest candidate EVAH.  Like lorelynn.  It's the Koolaid approach to politics, and it'll work so well in the general.

                      Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

                      by Inland on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:36:19 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  lorelyn is the finest here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                randomperson26

                We all get carried away at times. It gets frustrating seeing so many smears and outright lies against such a fine woman by so many Dems. I can't help but suspect these lies are planted and replanted by someone other than good, decent Democrats. I said SUSPECT!! Not ACCUSE!

                I just hope I live to see Bush suffer many years of contemptuous mockery once he's out of power. The new and improved Nixon.

                by JamesBrown4ever on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:03:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Conversely (0+ / 0-)

                  there's also the possibility that high-UID Hillary boosters are nothing but Murdoch plants sent here to protect his investment. Considering the rightwing memes often enough spread by said boosters, that theory certainly deserves as much, if not more, thought than yours.

                  "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                  by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 04:21:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm a "high-UID Hillary booster" (0+ / 0-)

                    Am I a "Murdoch plant"? If you believe that you need to get out more. Have the ward nurse roll you out for some fresh air.

                    I just hope I live to see Bush suffer many years of contemptuous mockery once he's out of power. The new and improved Nixon.

                    by JamesBrown4ever on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 07:02:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Edwards has very strong positions (7+ / 0-)

          They're just as strong as the entirely different set of positions he had before.  It reminds me of Mitt Romney:

          Romney sells himself as a true convert. He not only shifts positions; he often claims to be the most passionate advocate of his new stances.

          I think that describes Edwards pretty well on issues like health care, Iraq, nuclear waste, consumer protection...

          •  Snort. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Persiflage, lenzy1000

            It's a good sign, to me at least, that instead of defending the Seinfeld Candidate™, her supporters inevitably go the route of mischaracterizing the positions of other candidates.

            Perhaps this is driven by envy of candidates who actually have positions, a practice eschewed by Hillary, who studiously avoids same.

            "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

            by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:44:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  You didn't mischaracterize anything. (7+ / 0-)

                It's an automatic response he has because he's got nothing else.

                Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

                by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:04:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Edwards has actually been (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lenzy1000

                remarkably consistent. Then again, given that the man takes actual positions, something certain other candidates avoid like the plague, it's not surprising to me that he has evolved on some. It speaks to growth, not the stunted clinging to a convenient fiction, such as the one that voting Yea on the AUMF was not a catastrophic mistake.

                Oh, right, that's Hillary's position.

                "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:19:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Consistent positions? (7+ / 0-)

                  He called universal health care unaffordable and irresponsible in 2003.  Now he's the biggest advocate for it.

                  He voted to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.  Now he's Mr. Environmentalist

                  He not only voted for the bankruptcy bill that Clinton rightly vetoes, he also voted for the 2001 bankruptcy bill the next year.  He also voted against several amendments that would have protected people who had medical debt or otherwise insufficient means.  Now he's the champion of the little guy against special interests.

                  He wrote his own campaign a $7 million check to win a Senate seat, but now he says elections aren't an auction.

                  •  And he campaigned (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lenzy1000

                    on workers rights in 1998, has been a solid advocate for middle-class issues since long before then, ran on a Two Americas platform in 2004 - when Bill and Hill were really breaking a sweat to get Kerry elected, well, no, they weren't - not to mention that he's been walking picket lines for years, while your average Clintonista like Mark Penn was collecting filthy lucre for union-busting.

                    He even campaigned against impeachment in 1998. Clearly, there's no gratitude from Camp Clinton.

                    "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                    by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:33:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Campaigning doesn't equal action (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gabriele Droz, randomperson26

                      He's been running on the same basic theme since 1997, but his positions have changed drastically.

                      Yes, he ran on a Two Americas platform in 2004.  Apparently, one of those Americas didn't deserve health insurance.

                      As for impeachment, what kind of prize are you looking for?  Not a single Democrat voted guilty on either charge.  He did give a nice speech, though.

                      •  Precisely. (0+ / 0-)

                        Campaigning doesn't equal action

                        At which point I refer you to the laughable claims that Hillary leads on much of anything.

                        "Listen here, my little Bolshevik cabin donkey" - Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

                        by MBNYC on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:41:54 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Impartial (2+ / 0-)

                    Again, this site tends to be fairly insular with respect to the bankruptcy bill.  I have always thought that a safety net for our poorest was fair.  But I have always thought that they should contribute in return.  And I have always been oppposed to the idea of someone being able to simply wipe out debt, then two years later be able to qualify for a mortgage, where someone who had not taken that road, bud instead of having all their debt wiped out, struggled to pay some of it back, could not.

                    Debt is a responsibility.  Sometimes people can't pay it, but it shouldn't be like a game of monopoly or parcheesi where someone can simply declare bankruptcy and go "okay, no more debt." There has to be some responsibility to pay it back to the extent that that person is subsequently able.  

                    Some of our bankruptcy "protections" allowed many to shirk that responsibility. The bill that tried to address this was not perfect, and it would be interesting to know more about the Amendments you are referring to. In fact, it may not have been a good bill, as written. But the issues that it tried to address were legitimate, and not at all inconsistent with believing that the enormous and growing equity gap -- along with the shrinkig middle class that serves as the back bone of our society, is a legitimate concern, or of wanting to make sure that the poor have ample opportunity and fairness afforded them.

                    As for Yucca mountain, based upon what small information I do know, I would have voted against it. But there were considerations the other way, and someone could have voted for it and be environmentally conscious and in favor of sensible, even strong, overall environmental policy.

                    But I can see your points.

                    Where I really disagree is on the idea that Edwards can not be an advocate for fixing our campaign finance system, if he wrote himself a check to help with his Senate race. I don't believe problems can necessarily be fixed in politics by reducing our own oppportunities. Things don't simply work that way. That is why we need enivornmental laws.  It is why we need campaign laws, unfortunately. If I was running, I would want to use what money is available. I don't think one has to fix the system by not using any of its oppportunities to be in a position to address it.

                    How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

                    by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:49:18 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks for the response (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gabriele Droz

                      My point wasn't as much that Edwards was wrong on all these issues before (though I think he was).  My point is that he's now come 180 degrees on each of these issues, and he's acting as if he's leading the charge on all of his newly found policy positions.

                      Where I really disagree is on the idea that Edwards can not be an advocate for fixing our campaign finance system, if he wrote himself a check to help with his Senate race. I don't believe problems can necessarily be fixed in politics by reducing our own oppportunities. Things don't simply work that way.

                      I agree, which actually points to another policy switch from Edwards.  He was running on private money until he realized he couldn't raise enough of it.  He then tried to claim that he was taking public money because of his integrity, and he claimed other candidates should do the same if they actually care about campaign finance reform.

          •  I can understand you can't see anything when your (0+ / 0-)

            head is where it is....but how do you keep typing?  Must be very uncomfortable to be all twisted around like that.

            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

            by Persiflage on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:51:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Haters say we should nominate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          randomperson26

          someone who will cause a less extreme reaction from the right, then claim she has no policy and that she should expose her positions more. This is the Dkos Hillary dilemma in a nutshell, and it shows that what she believes matters little to her haters because they have a whole other agenda that simply cannot include any consideration of Hillary. What that agenda is is your guess.

          I just hope I live to see Bush suffer many years of contemptuous mockery once he's out of power. The new and improved Nixon.

          by JamesBrown4ever on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:59:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not entirely (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz, Lying eyes, kck, cpresley

      Remember that the Far Right cultivated an image of Gore as a liar, and many Democrats bought into it. It was untrue.

      The Far Right cultivated an image of Kerry as a flip flopper, and many Democrats bought into it.  It was untrue. (Or untrue at least in comparison with his opponent, who ran on a campaign platform of "at least you know I mean what I say.")

      Now take this latest video, which many have interpreted as more evidence that Clinton Flip flops or contradicts hereself.  Three issues. One she tried to give the correct answer,which was not get drawn into a lose lose hypothetical by Russert, and the other two, she was consistent on (whether you agree or disagree with her positions). Many of the other characterizations of her are similar.

      It is true that she sometimes does not commit, or tries to explain nuances. But her Republican counterparts contradict themselves far more frequently. This is not known because it is not made into as big or frequent an issue in the national pysche, with everyone constantly running around making the case. (As was done with Gore, then Kerry, and now, for years, with Clinton.)

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:41:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The higher you go in any system (0+ / 0-)

        the bigger the frame you get exposed to, the larger and more diverse of a population you must represent, and the less you use simple yes/no answers. The most successful people tend to leave their options open when in discussions. Especially when the discussions are not going to result in a product, like a vote.

        She's asked complex questions and gives answers respecting the intelligence of the voters.  

        That some of her opponents use the Republican taunts of "flip-flopper" and "doubletalk" are predictable and they fell off her back like water on a duck. She's has made it serve her.

        Decided to be an undecided Democrat until December. It's still early...

        by kck on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:54:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's a bundle of "things to work with" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz

      with anyone. They choose Hillary because she is viable, and she is far to their left. She stands AGAINST the rich who would cut our throats for a dollar. Her history proves it to anyone who looks with an open mind.

      I just hope I live to see Bush suffer many years of contemptuous mockery once he's out of power. The new and improved Nixon.

      by JamesBrown4ever on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:31:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Edwards video (6+ / 0-)

    is just crazy, and voters will see it for what it is.  In the end its a non issue.

    •  everything related to clinton (6+ / 0-)

      will be a non-issue after her third-place finish in Iowa.

      Capitalism is the most barbaric of all religions. - Mark Stewart

      by RabidNation on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:27:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dismissing it as a "non-issue" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan Carter, MBNYC, lenzy1000

      is not a smart strategy. The reason the video went viral is because it struck a chord.

      I agree the video was not entirely accurate and made a fuss over (some) responses that were intelligent and not necessarily as incoherent as implied (and I say that as someone who plans to vote for Edwards) but this is a frame Hillary MUST confront and defeat before it becomes the story of the general election.

      when you say

      "The Edwards video is just crazy, and voters will see it for what it is."

      you are giving voters far too much credit. Recent presidential elections don't warrant that faith in the American electorate.

      "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you" ~ Pericles

      by Chrispy67 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:33:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is the problem right there (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz, kck, cpresley, greyroadster

      In a nutshell. Voters won't see videos for what they really are. These types of things, as the two prior posts "exploring" the Clinton video illustrated, work.  

      There were many tactics engaged in by the Bush Campaign in 2000, and in 2004, which many Democrats, including their campaigns, dismissed by saying "voters will see through that," instead of showing why. As a result, voters did not.

      Unless and until such statements, sound bites, characterizations, pronouncements, etc. that mislead or misconstruct issues are turned into the story which then harms the dissembling party more than the target party, these types of approaches --predominantly, and often masterfully, employed by the Far Right -- will continue to play an overwhelming role in shaping the national debate, and informing the national psyche, just like the did in 2000, and 2004.

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:47:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are making a mistake. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, 123Mary123, lenzy1000, wmacdona66

    She walked into the fist of the #1 Republican issue in the 2008 cycle--Immigration.  She lead with the chin right into Lou Dobbs stomping ground.

    It was amateurish.

    My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

    by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:28:02 AM PST

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz, cpresley

      That she did not handle that issue well. It was a difficult question.  Did you read what is written in the diary about it?

      What you are also missing is that it is an issue that a lot of Americans feel the same way about. This may not be realized, but there is sometimes an insular view with respect to certain issues that can emerge on what are popular, largely political, polarized webblogs, even the most popular one in America.  

      Many Democrats (myself included) feel that excessive illegal immigration has gone too far. Those Democrats may not be overwhelmingly represented on this site, but it is the case. Depending upon how one  handles it, in the general election, the issue need not be as problematic as in the primaries.  And in the primaries, the jurisdictional question of New York's licensing problem was particularly irrelevant. Yet Russert hammered on it.

      Again, I believe that Democrats need to turn things like that around, so I will empyhasize the relevant portion from above:

      For a presidential nominee, as opposed to the question of waterboarding for an attorney general, it really was a hypothetical and somewhat irrelevant question. Yet Russert would probably still not let up (as it appeared he did not).  So the next response would be;

      "There are national policies, and there are state policies.  The issue of Drivers licenses with respect to people driving and residing in that state, is a state issue. Is there a reason you are not only asking me about it, but continuing to hammer away at it? This is a presidential debate, so why are we focusing on things that don't have anything to do with being President of the United States? (pause) Yet I have also not yet heard you once ask me, or any of the other candidates, even one question about one of the most pressing issues of our times;  big, secretive, intrusive government and the subversion of our Nation's basic founding principle of separated and checked powers under our Constitution. Why is that?"

      Followed by, after Russert's inevitable twisting response:  

      "...What is your role here? You're over focusing on a hypothetical question, that doesn't have much to do with anything (pause), that is entirely a state's issue, and that I've already answered three times. I'm not turning it around by not answering it a fourth time and focusing instead on a pressing national issue that (emphasis) has been largely ignored Or by asking why YOU have not asked one single question, to any of us, on one of the more important questions of our times, (pause) yet instead want to continue to hammer on a largely irrelevant state driving issue that has nothing to do with the President?  Perhaps you should rethink your role as moderator, and what you are trying to accomplish in these debates."

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:16:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so vote for her. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, lenzy1000

        No problem.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:19:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you've invested time in creating an (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lenzy1000, wmacdona66

        imaginary debate that took place in your own head.  Vote for Clinton if that turns out to be your preference.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:21:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Salo (6+ / 0-)

          I think that you actually do more harm to Democrats than good.

          I have actually been very respectful to your comments, but they are inane.  What is the imaginary debate?

          Go ahead, explain.

          AS for my preference, I made it clear at the outset.  I also made it clear that I dont try to twist things, as you do to an extreme degree (much likd the Far Right wing tendency, convincing yourself of whatever you want to believe in the process) simply because of my own preference.

          But go ahead, explain. I doubt you can.  

          How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

          by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:26:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Don't expect many recommends, (5+ / 0-)

    though I gave you one.

    Thoughtful and interesting.  Thanks.

    A different kind of experience, a better kind of politics. Obama '08

    by keeplaughing on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:28:08 AM PST

    •  I'm recommending - even as an Edwards guy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ivan Carter, lenzy1000

      I think the diary makes many valid points.

      The Edwards campaign has shown it knows how to play politics in the 24-7 news cycle and can harness the viral craziness of the new media. This skill is essential to winning in 2008.

      Now, can Team Hillary do the same? Let's hope so, especially if she become the nominee.

      "Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you" ~ Pericles

      by Chrispy67 on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:38:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz

      It's too bad. Because I think there are many points here worth considering.

      Most of the diaries on here are by someone who supports one candidate or another, trying to help their candidate by ripping into one of the others or promoting their own candidate. This hasn't necessarly produced great messages for those outside of this site, or great strategies.  It has also led to too much negative focus on the Democratic candidates, instead of focusing on ways to illuminate the reality of the Republican candidates -- and what the Republican party has become -- to a larger proportion of America.  

      I also think there is a dismissal of the need for Democrats to accurately illustrate the media's role in all of this. It is what the Far Right managed to do the past twenty years; it has changed the media, and it has tended to lessen the media's impact when the facts are presented, by creating this false perception in the public mindset of "liberal bias."  

      Remember that John Edwards himself has gotten almost no press, except for the dominant idea a while back that since he thought that the large and growing gap between the rich and poor, and the shrinking middle class, and the issue of poverty ought to be addressed, that he somehow is not allowed to spend the money that he himself made.  That was the media response to John Edwards.

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:55:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Quoting you here (6+ / 0-)

    If one had the technological know how, one could produce the same type of video regarding John Edwards, or any of the other candidates.

    Yes, if you went back and forth over a few years and picked clips from a variety speeches events and used sentence fragments. You would also need to find anonymous (Shrum) quotes about dead sons, strategy sessions and what not like Pinche Tejano's diary to do it--also it would need to rely on Dick Durbin's reccolooection of events.

    This video was culled from one debate.

    You couldn't do the same thing with Obama or Edwards or Biden or Dodd from a single debate.

    I challenge anyone to take quotes from a single debate and have the candidates make contradictions like that.

    My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

    by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 10:35:33 AM PST

    •  Heh (4+ / 0-)

        I take it that John Edwards' crazy, tangled response on gay marriage has been forgotten.

    •  You missed (3+ / 0-)

      One of the main points.  

      I quote from you:

      I challenge anyone to take quotes from a single debate and have the candidates make contradictions like that.

      The point is they were not contradictions. Here is the relevant part (with emphasis):

      The first two issues in the video were each presented on a white on black screen with the silent text "On Iraq," and then "On Social Security," immediately following. On each, Clinton was not inconsistent. Yet the out of context statements in the beginning of the video, by Russert and Edwards, implied the opposite. And hundreds of commenters piled on Clinton as if she was wildly pandering and contradicting herself, when she was doing nothing of the sort. To wit:

      "I support bringing our troops home." How many troops do we have there? 130,000? 160,000 to be brought down to 130,000 next spring?  Is that "protecting our embassy"? No. Is that "battling the al-Qaeda element there"? No. Is that "providing some ongoing training for Iraqi forces"? No.  That is an all out war effort. Against what?  Insurgents who may be insurging because we are there?  The war as presently configured is an all out combat attempt to rectify something which is only in part military. Bringing our troops home means ending that. It means ending The war.

      Remember the Pottery barn rule? "You break it, you bought it"? Is it a good idea to leave some units there to train Iraqi forces?  Maybe. Is it relevant to the issue of "ending the war"? No. Likewise with protecting our embassy. And isn't al-Qaeda our enemy?  Isn't that who we need to eradicate? We should be working to eliminate al-Qaeda elements wherever they are. (And that includes what may have been our biggest problem for several yeas now, and I suggested this a few years ago as well -- Pakistan. Iran has an average age of 25, they want to be more like the West, they don't like the authoritarian Mullahs, and all we are doing is encouraging reunifying nationalism directed against us.)

      Nothing Clinton said in that first sentence is contradictory to her next assertion regarding the potential need to guard our embassy and continue training some forces there, or continuing to fight against a very small band of largely sovereignless al-Qaeda cells.  

      What about Social Security? While the Iraq issue does leave some room for varying interpretations, this one does not.

      Examine our fiscal situation; our exploding national debt in the past six years.  Examine the not immediately upcoming, but well into the future predicted Social Security crisis.  Presently, fancy accounting is being done to use Social Security savings to pay for other parts of the budget, and mask the true size of our debt. At the same time, under current projections, almost all experts agree that down the road, there is going to be a tremendous shortfall (one of the many reasons why using these funds now while continuing to add to the overall debt level is imprudent.) In order to address that, at some point either benefits will need to be somewhat reduced, Social Security taxes will need to be increased --  or, instead of greatly supplementing our aleady strained treasury, Social Security as presently configured will in the future present an enormous additional strain upon it. It's not at heart a Social Security crisis, it's a fiscal crisis, of which Social Security in the future is projected to play a very detrimental role, and which fical problem exists now.

      So what did Clinton say? She noted she has plans, including one for Social Security. I have a lot of plans too. Do you? Does that mean that every one of your plans gets instituted this instant? Or that you are a double talking pandering hypocrite if they do not?  Are there other considerations for your plans? Maybe you need to get X done, before you implement plan Y?  So what did Clinton say.  She said "I am not going to be advocating any specific fix until I am seriously approaching fiscal responsibility."

      Not only is that completely consistent, but it is probably the most sensible approach. And one that many economists support. That is, right now we have a tremendously exploding debt. Social Security is running a surplus. Is it that beneficial to artificially increase that surplus now if we are just going to continue to use it to mask, and thus perpetuate, the present fiscal mess? No. Not at all.

      Nutshell: You may disgree with her. But she was not inconsistent on Iraq. She was not inconsistent on Social Security.

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:01:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is called a tell. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lenzy1000

        You have to demonstrate it.  

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:04:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, you aren't showing no consistency (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lenzy1000, wmacdona66

        You're showing a more gradual slide from one inconsistency to the next so it's not quite as JARRING as it is in the video.  

        It's what HRC does: she fills time with statements and concerns and denoucing of extremes and qualifiers to the point where she's ground down her points to nothing.  Because she congenitally unable to take a posistion, so much so that when she does, as with the NY licenses, she has to take it back two minutes later.

        Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

        by Inland on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:06:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)

        ...for doing such a good analysis of this.

        It's Reality Based vs. Looking for Magical Contradictions.

        •  he created an imaginary hypothetical debate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lenzy1000

          who's being magical here?

          My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

          by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:24:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Another point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lenzy1000, wmacdona66

        Clinton's numbers in Iowa are going up because Mittens and Giulliani and McCain are attacking her relentlessly.

        I strongly believe that they are targeting these ads at her so that she is more likely to be supported by Democrats who wish to display a misguided sense of loyalty.

        Clinton simplifies the election for them.

        My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

        by Salo on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:18:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I looked at the transcript thinking about doing (3+ / 0-)

      an Edwards video - I could easily make the case that he doesn't talk about what he intends to do, all he does is insult other candidates.

      Is Hillary a corporate Democrat? A non-supporter answers: http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/011131.php

      by lorelynn on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 11:07:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And when does Clinton's KARMA come into play? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lenzy1000, wmacdona66

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Seems to me she has some dark days ahead of her.

    http://www.depauw.edu/...

    http://www.cnn.com/...

    http://www.tpmcafe.com/...

    Seems to me that TeamClinton has NOT really been on our side as much as some Dems want to believe.

    •  Very interesting links (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gabriele Droz

      Thanks.

      I understand Bill Clinton's statements on Bush and Iraq. I think this administration has been the worst, and the most extreme, in history. But I also do not believe that they went into Iraq because of imperialist ambitions (the reality of what this administration is doing, overriding perceptions aside, is a different matter) or for oil.

      It was interesting to see that Clinton in fact said:

      Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material.

      In a letter to Washington Post Editor Fred Hiatt (and also in open form at least, to John D. Rockefeller, IV) several days ago, I wrote:

      What many critics of the administration do not understand, is that the administration in many instances may believe it is actually doing the right thing.  There was tremendous angst over our responses prior to September 11, the underlying cause of which, once again, was similarly, barely covered by your newspaper:

      In essence, similar to what Clinton suggested.  The events of that day were devastating, and the Administration had in essence ignored the issue, in the face of repeated warnings, including from the prior administration.  

      Clinton also said that they needed to have waited until the inspectors had finished. Kerry had said, in his support of that same overemphasized Iraq Resolution, that

      "Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies."

      And that "in order to force inspections, you need the [legitimate] threat of force," which the resolution provided.

      The relevance of that, and of the situation in March '03 as opposed to October '02, can not be overstated, particularly in light of the almost completely ignored facts. Yet Democrats in 2004 did not pay much attention to it, while the media typically either misrepresented it, or ignored it altogether as well.  

      That TPM memo is pretty interesting also. Woodward is fairly credible, but is there more on that elsewhere? Regarding the issue, advance notice or not, the Kerry Campaign should have pursued the issue further. See also Robert Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone on the election issue, overstated or not.

      The bottom line is that if the situation had been reversed, the Right would not have let up for two years on the issue.  And in this instance, frankly, given the importance of the actual vote in a democracy, rightly so.  

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 12:32:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except both Clintons supported Bush's DECISION to (0+ / 0-)

        invade while Kerry spoke against invasion BECAUSE the weapon inspections were proving force was not needed.

        Clinton continued to support Bush's decision on terrorism and Iraq war throughout his June2004 book tour - and NEVER ONCE voiced support for Kerry's position on Iraq and seemed to forget that Kerry was the leading lawmaker in DC on the tracking of terror networks and their funding.

        Forgot? Deliberately forgot. He refused to even mention one word about BCCI in his book.

        Taken together it is obvious that Hillary2008 deemed it necessary to firmly support Bush on the two most important matters of the 2004 election.

        Both Clintons knew damn well that no one in DC knew more about tracking terror networks than Kerry did and Bill could have brought that up during his book tour since the American public knew he was privvy to the information they needed to make their decisions on the terror issue.

        Instead, Bush ended up getting all the god headlines from Clinton's interviews.

  •  Both HRC and JRE triagulate (0+ / 0-)

    Edwards is does it over time, and trains (probably rehearses in front of a mirror :)) his words to look like he believes what he says.

  •  Americans understand nuance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gabriele Droz

    Thank you for helping to make this clear.

  •  This may well be a case... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gabriele Droz

    ...of the American people being ahead of the politicians and (perhaps) John Edwards overplaying his hand. I saw the Edwards video, and it made me wonder what point Edwards was trying to make. I watched the debate and the Edwards ad, and if he was trying to make Hillary look like a flip-flopper or one trying to take both sides of issues, he failed badly. While I have my disagreements with Hillary on Kyl-Lieberman and her earlier vote for the Iraq war, I think Hillary didn't do as bad in the debate as her opponents, mainstream media pundits, and the GOP blowhards would lead folks to believe.

    •  Interesting take (0+ / 0-)

      I thought the video was very effective (and the two posts, with over 2000 comments between them referenced at the outset, I thought illustrated that as well). But I also thought it was misleading.

      One of the bigger issues/challenges for Democrats is, and has been, the tendency to underplay the impact of these types of carefully crafted sound bite characterization's on the national dialogue and perception. We saw it in 2000, we saw it in 2004, and the same pattern is going to repeat itself if the tendency to underestimate the effect of (typically right wing) misleading, but carefully crafted, packaged and constantly "supported" rhetoric and constructions, is continued.

      From the parts of the debate I have read so far, Clinton could have approached some of the issues a bit differently.  As for policy points you note, I also strongly disagree with Clinton on the Kyl Lieberman Amendment, I don't think it accomplished anything positive. And while I don't think it remotely authorizes a military action against Iran, for an administration which has taken an overly broad view of its own power to go against the will of the American people (as expressed through their duly elected representatives in Congress), it doesn't help in that area either.  (As for the Iraq issue you raise, that is slightly more complicated.)

      I also thought Russert's question about a pledge on Iran during the debate was pretty interesting. Perhaps fair as a platform to actually discuss the issue, but as a question to be directly answered, it was rather inane. Yet Clinton (going first) made the mistake of actually trying to answer it, and partisan pit bull Russert hammered her on it.  

      Note to Russert: If any candidate pledges that Iran won't get a nuclear weapon, that would be tantamount to pledging a war if we can't fully control what Iran does (which, with 100 percent certainty, we can't.)

      I also agree with Biden, as noted above, and have for some time, that Pakistan is and has been a larger problem. And I agree with Kucinich, that until nuclear non proliferation is pursued a bit more legitimately, our hand is somewhat weakened in the area of telling other states what to and what not to do.  

      How can one get democrats to focus on fixing the engine, or the foundation, instead of always arguing about the roof?

      by Ivan Carter on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 01:25:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats eat their own (0+ / 0-)

    I'm from over the pond, and it seems to me that you Dems prefer to die from friendly fire than from the enemy, and if you can't do that, then you'll at least gladly hand them some ammo.

    For change to occur there's a point where idealism needs to meet pragmatism, and too many democrats, particularly in the netroots, seem to refuse to accept that reality.

    Give us back the America we trust and respect!!!

    by icerat on Sun Nov 04, 2007 at 03:29:24 PM PST

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