“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, May 02, 2008

Hillary and O'Reilly

The Democrats may be stuck with Obama, and Bill O'Reilly may have made them regret the choice. Hillary was at the top her game. She listened, talked on point, grasped the details and spoke with clarity and made cogent arguments for her positions. The New York Times noticed:

Democrats and Fox News Make Friends

Published: May 2, 2008

Standing in front of a television camera last week, the chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign, Terry McAuliffe, uttered four words that the Fox News Channel would not soon forget.

“Fair and balanced Fox!,” he exclaimed, noting that the network was the first to project Mrs. Clinton’s Pennsylvania primary win.

Fox executives could not have asked for a more rousing endorsement. The next day it showed up in promotions.

All of a sudden, the once-frosty relationship between Fox News and the Democratic candidates seems to have grown warmer. Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama, who steadfastly refused to attend Fox-sponsored debates last year, are now giving plenty of interviews as they court Fox’s viewers, who are largely white, conservative and undecided.

“It’s probably true that we appeal to white working-class voters,” said Brit Hume, the network’s Washington managing editor and the host of “Special Report.” “The candidates are going where the voters are.”

Conversely, Fox seems to have softened its stance toward the Democrats, mindful of the intense viewer interest in the prolonged primary season. Although Fox News remains firmly in first place among news channels, CNN has crept up in the ratings on primary nights. So Fox wants to appeal to people who might otherwise flip the channel in search of more time with the Democrats.

In short, Fox News and the Democrats abruptly find each other useful.

“I think the candidates are starting to realize that they need to reach the people who we reach already,” said Marty Ryan, the network’s executive producer for political programming.

Last year the Democrats declined most of the network’s interview requests. Barack Obama rejected the network for so long that the show “Fox News Sunday” resorted to a public demand in March, showing a weekly “Obama Watch” clock that counted the days since the senator had promised an interview and failed to make good.

Then the thaw came. Mrs. Clinton has been on Fox 10 times this year, and Mr. Obama has appeared seven times, compared with three times for Mrs. Clinton and two times for Mr. Obama last year. Mr. Obama appeared on “Fox News Sunday” last week, perhaps in pursuit of moderate voters in Indiana and North Carolina.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Mrs. Clinton was questioned for an hour on “The O’Reilly Factor,” whose host, Bill O’Reilly, is something of a poster boy among liberal voters who think of Fox as the media arm of conservatives.

“You’re a polarizing personality,” Mr. O’Reilly chuckled during the interview. “You’re like I am, and I hate to say that,” he said. (Perhaps the same words could have been said to him by Mrs. Clinton, though they were not.)

The first part of the interview set a year-to-date viewership record for “The O’Reilly Factor,” according to Nielsen Media Research, with 3.66 million people tuning in, about one million above average.

Political calculations are evident on both sides. With Fox leading the coverage of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s remarks, it was logical for Mr. Obama to appear on Fox and respond.

“In the end, they don’t do it for us — they do it for themselves,” said Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” referring to the Democrats and their decisions to come on the show. He said that he assumed that Mr. Obama’s “defeats in Ohio and Pennsylvania convinced him that he needs to reach out to blue-collar, moderate and conservative Democratic voters.”
(the rest of the story)


  1. Obama goes on Fox when he's in trouble, to get out of trouble. Hillary goes on Fox to reveal the results of the oppo research she's doing for McCain for free. And the Moveon crowd notices.

  2. Wallace's comments on Obama on Dennis Miller's show were really sad.
    Highly impressed, simply because he seems not to have take the small amount of time it takes to reveal that MOST of what emanates from the Messiah's mouth is pure BS.

  3. Krauthammer at his best:

    The 'Race' Speech Revisited

    Obama's Philadelphia oration was an exercise in contextualization. In one particularly egregious play on white guilt, Obama had the audacity to suggest that whites should be ashamed that they were ever surprised by Wright's remarks: "The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour of American life occurs on Sunday morning."

    That was then.
    On Tuesday, Obama declared that he himself was surprised at Wright's outrages. But hadn't Obama told us that surprise about Wright is a result of white ignorance of black churches brought on by America's history of segregated services?

    How then to explain Obama's own presumed ignorance? Surely he too was not sitting in those segregated white churches on those fateful Sundays when he conveniently missed all of Wright's racist rants.

    Obama's turning surprise about Wright into something to be counted against whites-- one of the more clever devices in that shameful, brilliantly executed, 5,000-word intellectual fraud in Philadelphia -- now stands discredited by Obama's own admission of surprise.

    But Obama's liberal acolytes are not daunted. They were taken in by the first great statement on race:
    the Annunciation, the Chosen One comes to heal us in Philly.

    They now are taken in by the second:
    the Renunciation.

    Obama's newest attempt to save himself after Wright's latest poisonous performance is now declared the new final word on the subject. Therefore, any future ads linking Obama and Wright are preemptively declared out of bounds, illegitimate, indeed "race-baiting" (a New York Times editorial, April 30).

    On what grounds? This 20-year association with Wright calls into question everything about Obama: his truthfulness in his serially adjusted stories of what he knew and when he knew it; his judgment in choosing as his mentor, pastor and great friend a man he just now realizes is a purveyor of racial hatred; and the central premise of his campaign, that he is the bringer of a "new politics," rising above the old Washington ways of expediency. It's hard to think of an act more blatantly expedient than renouncing Wright when his show, once done from the press club instead of the pulpit, could no longer be "contextualized" as something whites could not understand and only Obama could explain in all its complexity.

    Turns out the Wright show was not that complex after all. Everyone understands it now.
    Even Obama.

  4. Somehow Wallace read Barry's "Faith" book w/no sense of irony.
    An innocent, bamboozled by the con artist/messiah.

  5. Doug has bought into the idea this campaign season that a politician must answer for the words and deeds of all his associates. Hillary had to walk away from Geraldine Ferraro and stick a sock in Bubba's mouth. McCain had to disavow the anti-Catholic rants of John Hagee and publicly isolate himself from the NC GOP which ran certain ads. Obama is asked to account for all the lunatic ravings of his pastor. Most people when they speak of their inner circle include their family and best friends, but clergy is usually relegated to the outer ring of relationships. And most people only have to answer for their own words and deeds.

  6. Doug, I'll see your 9:01, and raise you a --Patriotism is not always the last refuge of the scoundrel. Sometimes it's just the last refuge of a frightened politician.

    Barack Obama, hotly pursued by his preacher and the crazy preacher's aggressive racism, has revised his stump speech. His once formidable polling lead over Hillary Clinton has dwindled to the single digits. The man who wouldn't wear a tiny American flag on his lapel is looking for a flag pin the size of a bass fiddle.

    "You want to know who I am?" he asked a crowd in North Carolina this week. "You want to know what's in me? It's a love of country that made my life possible. It's a belief in the American dream."

  7. The nation becomes more Conservative

    wink,wink,nod,nod towards Trish.

  8. mmmmmm, gotta luv Hillary saying such nifty things as “Rich people—God bless us.”

  9. Here you go, Clinton lovers. A flashback.

    We're all niggers now.

    I am beginning to think an error was made in the creation of the Constitution. Too much power was distributed to too few people. The districts are too large, the representatives too few, and democracy, especially today, is lost.

  10. Doug, liked those Kool Aid ads you posted. Never did like to drink the Kool Aid though. Clinton type folk have the taste, not guys like us.

  11. How anybody can take these shitheads seriously is beyond me. What a national farce, a national disgrace.

  12. Labour seems to be taking a thrumping. "Red Ken" Livingstone, may be going down.

    Albion Awakes.

  13. Someone needs to get this story about about Farmer Reparations published in Human Events--in front of Rush & Fox News.

    The story gives a very good picture of Obama and Hillary.

  14. I followed that a little. There were cases that had some merit. On the other hand, there were cases where the guy was absolutely on the last gasp, no one but God could make it go, finally got turned down, and got a lawyer.
    The truth? I think there has been some discrimination, but the claims inflate. The cases I read about were more in the south. This story has been around a long time, reaching way back, before Clinton.

    I can tell you this. If you are at the point where you are having to go to the government farm financial aid of last gasp, save yourself a lot of trouble, and give up it now.

    If you don't like farm subsidies, vote McCain.

  15. Let me amend that. Before these recent price rises, you wouldn't make it. Now? Who knows what tomorrow brings.

  16. bobal: Let me amend that. Before these recent price rises, you wouldn't make it. Now? Who knows what tomorrow brings.

    Don't worry about it, bobal. A storm cannot last forever. These high prices will finally tip us over out of dependence on OPEC. And the investment bubble in oil futures will probably pop in the middle of this summer when people realize there's plenty of supply (due to falling demand) and therefore no more upside to prices.

  17. The Colombians want you to know: They are *worried*.

  18. You mean those simpletons like to eat?

  19. Macho Mexican Morons of Los Angeles

    From the perspective of Mexicans, they don't get Oscar, a Mexican American, walking into the ring with mariachis. . . . It's a combination of national and male pride," he said. "Oscar can't measure up to the 'manliness' of a Mexican man. He's always going to be viewed with suspicion."
    Comedian Paul Rodriguez, a friend of De La Hoya, said the audience that rooted most venomously against De La Hoya was "the Mexican who speaks Spanish and who roots for the Mexico soccer team over the U.S. soccer team, even though it's hard to understand why you're loyal to a country that wasn't loyal to you."
    Lopez, wearing a Mexican soccer club's jersey, also admitted his favorite boxer was Chavez. "I don't like [De La Hoya] much because he claims the American flag and the Mexican flag," he said. "He can't decide where he's from. And he fights like a woman."

  20. The simpletons are worried about the possibility of a deteriorating political relationship (having in turn a cascading effect upon the diplomatic and military relationship) come 09. Truly worried.

    If Americans in general only knew how much these relationships means to them and how proud they are of them and their own stunning progress; how vulnerable they still feel surrounded by enemies.

    And how goddamned serious they are about their own long war, which isn't half a world a away.

    I spent a good portion of last night trying to reassure a dinner companion.

    He was not reassured.

  21. Farmer al-Bob:
    Please explain what you think happened here.
    A high-powered vacuum cleaner?

  22. (Failing that, I should have told him to come have a drink with the undertakers of the EB.)

  23. "He was not reassured."
    Maybe we can get Pelosi, Hillary, and Obama to reassure him.

  24. Join the Mob @ The Mausoleum!

  25. "If Americans in general only knew how much these relationships means to them and how proud they are of them and their own stunning progress; how vulnerable they still feel surrounded by enemies."

    Can you suggest a good book on the situation/insurgency in Colombia, Trish? I read Hunting Pablo a long time back, but that's about all I know. Your posts here have definitely sparked a lot of sympathy for the country's position.

  26. Maybe we can get Pelosi, Hillary, and Obama to reassure him.

    Fri May 02, 05:25:00 PM EDT

    By name, these are precisely the sources of worry.

    If they're saying one thing and intending another, the Colombians have not been informed.

  27. I don't know, cutler, but I'll definitely ask. Amazing country team down here and they'll be pleased to know a young person's interested.

  28. Bluntly, Trish, it seems to me that there are few allies lately who we can be proud of. They seem to be one of them.

  29. You gotta remember, cutler, they've been at it for four decades and do not suffer so many of the severe 'handicaps' of other allies. Which is not at all to discount their achievements.

    But, yeah, one feels almost guilty being here. Dropped in the middle of a suddenly prominent success story.

    Sadly, the mental picture most Americans have of Colombia is fifteen years old.

  30. The US will abandon Colombia, trish.

    Witout doubt, your Colombian dinner companion was right to be worried. That Trade Deal is lifeless. If their hopes are pinned to the passage of that ...

    Could be brought back by late 2009, by a President McCain, but no Dem will push its' ratification.

    The Colombians that have sided with US will learn, first hand, the fate of the Hmong.

    Or even more realisticly, from a cultural basis, how the US abandoned Panama to the Dictators, without a second thought, for decades.

    After a hundred year committment.
    Another Model for Iraq to emulate?

  31. They should be worried, Trish.

    A lot of people should be worried enough come November to hold their nose and vote.

    McCain may not be everything to everyone but if nothing else he may delay a full-out onslaught of repressed lunacy.

  32. WMDD
    Weapons of Masses of Dumbed Down.

  33. Dumbed down masses.

    Two weeks ago, it was all over. Hillary was toast. Finished. Done. Kaput.

    Now, to listen to the media, one would think the nomination is still in doubt. But...I thought Hil had to win every remaining primary by 60%. An impossibility the experts all agreed. What a difference two weeks make. Now the media are gushing over Hillary. The number 3 democrat in the House says that the party will choose the candidate best suited to win the WH. So much for rules.

    Reminds me of Al Gore in 2000. There was no rule he wouldn't challenge or litigate. (BTW - media recounts showed that he would have lost the state even if all the ballots had been counted)

    I think everyone has gone insane.

  34. hmmm, coulda been PowerVac, maybe Roto-Rooter, Doug. Maybe both. My best quess is the Vac got crossed with the Rooter, and sucked him under. Happens all the time in neighborhoods with substandard sewers, where some people are septic. Whata you tink?

  35. Even though I don't like McCain, this is an important election(aren't they all) so I'll go out and vote for him, maybe in Ohio, where it counts. Listening to what Trish says.

    You think liberation theology, Obama and Colombia--you think tragedy.

  36. Tuskegee Here's an article that talks about what happened at Tuskegee. Not good but not as bad as it is made to sound. The men already had the disease, it says. Treatment was with held in an experiment, the truth wasn't told to them, etc.

  37. Whit: Now, to listen to the media, one would think the nomination is still in doubt.

    It's not in doubt, but the media has a goldmine here. They're in the nomination doubting business.

  38. Bobal, where does the war in Iraq rank in your priorities in the upcoming election? More important then free trade with Colombia or less? Have the candidates taken difinitive statements regarding positions on the Colombia free trade agreement?

  39. So now that London has a conservative mayor, we can expect Jimmy Carter to fly out there and announce a finding of systemic election fraud.

  40. Yeah, but it said he was doing "yard work."

    We had an old septic tank consisting of a redwood box in the ground.
    I had to replace the roof when a hole developed.
    Shoulda rerouted the gopher holes into the death trap!

  41. Please excuse my poor writing, but have the candidates made statements regarding their positions on liberation theology? Is it an issue in this eleciton? What is McCain stance? wide??

  42. The Messiah IS the Liberation.
    Viva La Revolucion!

  43. "where some people are septic"
    Olympic Level BO

  44. Mrs. Casey ran out of US/COL flag pins for wounded soldiers.

    Our own good DATT had to run out and break into the embassy store.

  45. dang, life isn't worth living without a flag pin!!

  46. People who aren't voting for Obama anyway can come up with an endless list of things for Obama to repudiate and reject and disown. Liberation Theology. Hammer & Sickle. Symbionese Liberation Front. Palestinian Maoist Falange. You name it. Doesn't matter, Americans are rejecting the politics of "guilt by association" this year.

  47. You know, seriously, I'm glad you brought this septic stuff up, Doug. My wife's little place has a septic tank, and the ground is a little shallowed there. I best check it out carefully. Thanks.

    I can't rate the issues, Ash. They don't seem to have too much to do with one another. I follow what Trish says, as she's there and knows the score. If it's important to the Colombians, it's probably good; we don't want them to go the way of Chavez.

    As to Iraq I think a precipitous withdrawl would lead to a disaster, regardless of whether we should have gone in or not in the first place.

    Liberation theology without the vote = dictatorship. Maybe even with the vote. One man, one vote, one time.
    There's nothing new about liberation theology. When the reformation lifted the lid off in Europe it was immediately talked, and somewhat acted on, there.

  48. Sometimes that flag pin means everything.

  49. Too bad "Sad Sack" was a GI,
    otherwise would make a good nik for Ash.

  50. "the ground is a little shallowed there"
    That's exactly what happened to ours prior to the breakthrough.

  51. Don't forget Eulogizes Racists, T.
    (until he disowns them.
    ...what could force him to disown his typical White Grandmother, I wonder, to complete the deal)

  52. Pressfield said a whole lot of those desert forces were Kiwi Farmers, Albob:

    Had to keep the Chevy Trucks Runnin, and not panic in the middle of nowhere, where neither Rommel's guys, nor Arab Nomads would roam.
    (in order to get behind Rommel)

  53. Don't forget Eulogizes Racists, T.

    I'm old enough to remember this incident, when I was in "A" school, but I said nothing because he was...the Gipper!


    Concentration camp survivor and author Elie Wiesel spoke out on the topic at an unrelated White House ceremony, saying, "I... implore you to do something else, to find another way, another site. That place, Mr. President, is not your place." 53 senators (including 11 Republicans), signed a letter asking the president to cancel, and 257 representatives (including 84 Republicans) signed a letter urging Chancellor Kohl to withdraw the invitation. Former Army S/Sgt. Jim Hively mailed his World War II decorations, including a silver star and a bronze star, to Reagan in protest. The Ramones recorded the song "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)

  54. Quote o' the Day concerning

    "He’s a target-rich environment now", said Steve Schier, a political science professor at Minnesota’s Carleton College.

  55. Wright to Offer Prayer Rebuttal at Democrat Convention

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-05-01) — The Democrat National Committee (DNC) announced today it would allow the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Official Disavowed Pastor of the Obama for America campaign, to deliver the “invocation rebuttal” at the party’s convention in Denver this August.

    “After the traditional opening prayer and the singing of ‘God Bless America’,” said an unnamed DNC source, “the Rev. Wright will have five minutes to call on the Almighty to reject our plea for blessing, refuse to shed his grace on us, and to give our nation what it really deserves.”

    Sen. Barack Obama, who this week rejected his pastor’s racially-charged preaching, protested the DNC move, noting, “I would sooner wish to see my racist, white grandmother on the convention stage doing a minstrel show routine, than to allow that bigoted America-hater even one more minute in my spotlight.”

  56. Trish,
    Why couldn't Bush have Casey come back and address Congress to get the word out about what's really happening down there?

    (why shouldn't he?)

  57. I'm sure he will.

    But you know what? My dad doesn't go before Congress anymore because it's just a losing proposition no matter where you are. Not worth the time and trouble.

  58. If Hill could call Petraeus a liar, who knows what Casey's in for.

  59. Doug: If Hill could call Petraeus a liar, who knows what Casey's in for.

    Hill calling anyone a liar is like Bill standing on Omaha Beach on 6/6/94 and saying he wished he could have experienced D-Day.

  60. If she makes it past the primary, she'll be Michelin Woman by the time November "Rolls" around.
    She should have Barry teach her how to smoke.



    Bill O'Reilly asked Hillary Clinton the key question about the war in Iraq: What happens if we pull out and the Iranians move in? She talked around the issue, but never gave a convincing answer to O'Reilly's question. She said she would replace force with diplomacy. But, as Frederick the Great said, “Diplomacy without force is like music without instruments.” If our troops are long gone from Iraq, the Iranians will snub our diplomacy and laugh at our entireties. They will add Iraq to their other trophies in the region: Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

    Hillary's inability to answer O'Reilly's question reveals a larger flaw in the Democratic arguments as the election approaches. Obama will be the Democratic nominee (take that to the bank). How will the Iraq War play in the race? On the surface, it would appear to be a disaster for the Republicans. With American deaths now over the 4,000 mark and the seriously wounded at around 15,000, we are sick and tired of this war. It has destroyed George W. Bush and could well do the same to John McCain.

    But maybe not. McCain's position is simple: win in Iraq. The experience and the success of the past year indicate that it may be quite possible to do so. But, whatever you may think of it, his is a simple solution.

    What do the Democrats propose? Obama and Hillary both want to pull out as soon as technically feasible. OK. But what happens if Iran moves into the vacuum and takes over Iraq? And what if Al Qaeda takes advantage of the American absence and sets up a permanent base and sanctuary in Iraq, beyond our reach — a situation akin to the Taliban in Afghanistan where they could develop the capacity to hit us on 9-11 in their privileged, protected home territory? And what if hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who used to work with us start to be killed as happened when we pulled out of Vietnam? And what if the Iraqi oil falls into Iranian hands, sending the price even higher? And what if … The list goes on.

    Obama really has no answer for these questions. Once he pulls out of Iraq, it will be politically impossible to go back in. Iran and Al Qaeda both realize this just as North Vietnam knew it when they negotiated an end to American troop presence in the South. In the context of an election debate, Obama is going to look weak and confused and without a clue as he tries to address these “what ifs.” Americans will sense the uncertain hand on the helm and will begin to second guess their decisions and move toward McCain.

    If, by some chance, Hillary is the nominee, then the same problem will land in her lap and she showed in trying to parry O'Reilly's thrust, that she won't be any better at answering the doubts than Obama would be.

    The truth is that the Democrats are cashing in on a mindless impatience with Iraq and an unwillingness to think through the consequences of pulling out. They are capitalizing on an emotional “no” in reaction to the war. But when the alternatives are carefully explained and examined, as they will be in a presidential debate, they are not going to embrace the answers Obama or Hillary will have to the “what ifs.” They will see the Democratic position as extremist and unworkable and will come to see the Democratic candidate who is pushing them as unprepared and unrealistic. If the candidate is Obama, their concerns will resonate with their perception that he is inexperienced and doesn't know his way around foreign policy. This will raise more and more doubts about his ability to lead us in a time of crisis.

    This unholy mess in Iraq, which has almost destroyed the Republican party and has destroyed the Bush presidency, may yet rebound and work against the Democrats in the election this year.

  62. Caption for your picture, Doug--

    "I'm this wide."

  63. For anyone interested, here's a graph of troop placement in Afghanistan. I've been using it for my thesis.

    So I don't go to hell, it's a PDF file, Doug. :)

  64. Here I thought the whole time only my computer had problems with PDFs.

  65. BTW, did I miss a refusal on his point, or was it a sleight of mind that Ash didn't make it on 'the board.'

  66. *with perhaps a purple heart

  67. I nominated Ash in a 'controversial' nomination as I recall, but am uncertain what happened.

    Maybe he told us to shove it:)

  68. Rioting Lesbian Stalinists Shut Down Free Speech--"We're Here, We're Queer, Get Used To It"

    Jail them. But in separate cells, of course. If I did that stuff, they'd jail me. What's good for the gander is good for the goose, and goose.

  69. Saint Paul said, "Examine all things, hold fast to that which is good." One of those dykes in your WND article, bobal, looks like her frying pan gets a lot of use at home.

  70. Bobal: I nominated Ash in a 'controversial' nomination as I recall, but am uncertain what happened.

    I was about to second it at the time, Bobal, but ash declined the honor. Me, I'm just trying to get back the stripes I lost when I threw my fit.

  71. Krauthammer (quoted): "...This 20-year association with Wright calls into question everything about Obama...
    One of the things being mentioned is how Jeremiah Wright would call white Christians the devil. Well the essence of Christianity is admitting to God that each of us (white, brown, black) is indeed the devil, and we are in need of a Redeemer. When Obama's pastor points to others as a group and calls them a devil, that is scapegoating other human beings, which usurps the role as scapegoat taken on by God's only Son. That is the theological error mentioned by Obama. There is also an undeniable racial element, and there is hatred. All of these things about Reverend Wright are on display by Reverend Wright. None of these things are on display by Obama, who insists America needs to overcome the collectivism of racial thinking. But righties insist that Obama must have this mindset after twenty years of listening to Reverend Wright. They deny the ability of humans to render their own judgment, and basically reduce humans to a series of groups being brainwashed by leaders. This is also a form of collectivism and is not a traditionally conservative trait.