A Quarter-Century of Feminazi

So I have this theory:

White dudes. 

25 years of brain washing looks like this:

Clinton detractors are about equally likely to give a reason falling into one of the three broad categories of responses described above — basic dislike of her or her husband (35%), policy disagreements (39%), and character concerns (34%).

So seriously, do we get the respect of at least admitting that this brain washing happened? That we’ve lived through a quarter-century of anti-Hillary propaganda, and it colors everybody’s perceptions of her just a little bit? Can we at least question that our discomfort stems, in part, from that never-ending parade of character attacks and investigations and calls for investigations?

This matters; it’s my single biggest concern with her as POTUS. Not what she’d do, but what the brainwashed mob might do.

Do me the honor of at least recognizing that some of your brethren have been brainwashed and that a lot of what we discuss, when we discuss Clinton, needs to be sanitized of that brainwashing; at least if you want me to take you seriously.

I respect you all. And I hear that a lot of you are just like that 30-something % in the gallup pole; vague unease. Please examine your own feelings and recognize if it comes, in part, from that quarter-century of anti-Hillary propaganda.

Is it a conditioned response? Were you brainwashed, too?

And no fair taking pot-shots at me for being a Clinton Sheeple if you haven’t done the serious soul-searching first. Points will be taken against your house.

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126 thoughts on “A Quarter-Century of Feminazi

  1. No, zic. “You have to agree with me on this theory just in order to respect me or show me sufficient honor” doesn’t really fly around here. People are entitled to having their own views on things (within reason) without merely that constituting disrespect of others around here.

    Beyond that, that people’s view of HIllary Clinton necessarily exist (in any degree) because brainwashing rather than legitimate character assessments etc is, itself, disrespectful to everyone’s ability to see what’s to be seen and assess it with clarity. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong that it’s the case that some are brainwashed about Clinton. But it can be the case that respect requires you to give people credit for things that actually aren’t the case about them in every instance. And you’re failing to do that here. It would be respectful to allow that everyone thinks about Hillary Clinton what they do out of clear-eyed assessment; it’s disrespectful to say they are brainwashed. So you are saying that respect for you requires us to agree with your decision not to accord people that respect.

    Nope. That doesn’t fly here. You’re entirely in your rights to just say that you think they’ve been brainwashed; you can disrespect them as much as you want. But just say that’s what you think. (You can totally do that! Why didn’t you just do that?) Don’t say that we have to go along in order to have respect for you. That’ simply not true; at least, that’s not the way it works around here.

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    • Don’t say that we have to go along in order to have respect for you. That’ simply not true; at least, that’s not the way it works around here.

      You flipped that. I said if you want me to respect your criticisms of Clinton, you’ll at least consider the notion that an endless drumbeat of ‘clinton scandal’ has colored your perceptions of her.

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      • do we get the respect of at least admitting that this brain washing happened?

        Do me the honor of at least recognizing that some of you’re brethren have been brainwashed

        I got what you said right.

        Also, the existence of propaganda isn’t the same as brainwashing. Major political figures have opponents field campaigns of negative information about them; it’s what politics is. No one should deny there is propaganda out there about Clinton, but this merely makes her a major politician. I don’t deny it’s at a different level with Clinton than with a lot of politicians, but, still, I don’t know what I’m being asked to agree to with this “brainwashing” claim. Negative political campaigns about politicians have effects. That doesn’t mean people have been “brainwashed” (whatever that means). Maybe if we defined what that means, we could say whether it’s true (and when).

        But I, but more to the point everyone here, certainly doesn’t owe it to you out of simple respect or honor to agree with you that people have been brainwashed wrt to HRC. If you want to say you don’t respect our views or take us seriously f we don;t and leave it at that, that’s fair enough (extreme, but fair enough). But you didn’t leave it at that. You said respect and honor for you demand that we agree that people have been brainwashed. And maybe they have, but it’s something people can disagree with you about without disrespecting you. If only because it’s so unclear what it is you’re demanding people agree to by agreeing with what you’re positing. Who knows how much prerogative to form our own opinion of her you are trying to claim from us hereby – because whether someone has been “brainwashed” and what that means for what we can legitimately think of her is completely unexplained. It could be you’re looking to discredit any negative view anyone has of her. You probably aren’t, but it’s entirely unclear that we’re not agreeing to that by agreeing that “some people (meaning maybe us, maybe not) have been brainwashed.”

        What you really have here is the basic fact of the broad corpus of 25 years of anti-Clinton invective. No one can seriously deny that (though it’s not particularly helpful to make that about respect for you.) But there’s not much oomph to that; no one is going to disagree it’s there, because it’s obvious. So you move to the undefined “brainwashing” effect, which you can use to discredit people’s views on the basis not of what they think, but of what’s out in the world that they might have encountered. Some people surely believe some false things about Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t mean that we have to agree that an undefined number of people distributed over an undefined group have been “brainwashed” (so in fact you’re extending the claim to presumptively everyone, which you explicitly do), which itself has an undefined meaning for the legitimacy of whatever view we may hold about her. And then you turn that into a matter of minimum respect for you. That doesn’t fly.

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    • Granted Zic didn’t go into all the ways people have been brainwashed about Hills. I agree with her, but we’ve also been having this conversation over the last several days. I think, although you can disagree, the brainwashing has been shown in the various threads. There is major mistrust without being able to point to many specific evil deeds. Hillary is far from perfect but i haven’t had anybody show me how she is worse or different then any other pol.

      Sure she fibbed or lied or whatever about being shot at by snipers in Bosnia. I guess we must agree than that Ronnie Reagan is a complete sociopath given all the terminological inexactitude he engaged in. Is Hillary ambitious. Well exactly what prominent prez candidate isn’t ambitious. Rand Paul has been …ummm…shaping some of his views over the past couple years, Ben Carson has been less than precise about fetal tissue use, Walker has flipped on immigration, etc etc.

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    • “People are entitled to having their own views on things (within reason) without merely that constituting disrespect of others around here.”

      Err no. That “within reason” has to go. I’m entitled to think anything I damn well want to. If I want to think that Hillary is an alien from the lizard planet, well, that’s my own damn choice. You, you’re entitled to think I’m an idiot. See how both sides can be happy. :)

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  2. Zic

    What are you saying? Are any of the criticisms of the Clinton’s valid? If so, are those people who base their dislike on the valid criticisms “brainwashed.” It sounds like you are brainwashed in your own way.

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  3. Hillary’s just like any other politician, but I don’t see that as necessarily a point in her favor. She’d be a very effective and shrewd executive, but not of the policies I’m down with. She was certainly one of the more hawkish elements in the Obama administration, and for that reason alone I couldn’t vote for her without holding my nose pretty damn tight. Add in the fact that she represents the corporate wing of the party, and I really don’t think I can rule out voting third-party.

    That said, pretty much all the stuff conservatives are slinging at her is total bullshit. The people who think there’s nefariousness behind the events in Benghazi just don’t live in the same universe as the rest of us. She stored her State Department e-mails in a way that by all appearances was perfectly in line with what most other people in government were doing at the time, and because the statute for leaking classified documents ordinarily requires intent, a criminal investigation would go nowhere. She clearly gives 100% of herself in her work, which is really admirable. I want to see the first woman president as much as the next feminist, and I’d be pretty surprised if Hillary isn’t it (Rubio’s the only one who could beat her this cycle), but I think we could have done much, much better.

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    • She was certainly one of the more hawkish elements in the Obama administration, and for that reason alone I couldn’t vote for her without holding my nose pretty damn tight.

      Yes, but ‘hawkish’ for Democratic presidents is ‘some military intervention’. It’s a hell of a lot better than ‘hawkish’ Republicans.

      I disapprove with how we’re using our military randomly in all sorts of places as much as the next person, but it’s not the utter disaster Iraq was.

      Add in the fact that she represents the corporate wing of the party, and I really don’t think I can rule out voting third-party.

      The fact she’s the corporate wing of the party is the reason I have problems with her…but, OTOH, that’s why I had problems with her last time, why I liked Obama instead, because I thought that if she got into office she might pass another trade bill like NAFTA to remove control of multinationals even further from…wait, what did Obama just sign? DAMMIT!

      So I’ve pretty much given up on that. Pretty much anyone *in* the Democratic establishment is going to be part of the ‘corporate wing of the party’. I mean, it’s why I like Sanders instead, but Sanders might not actually be an option.

      Also, at some point I’m not quite sure if that’s her or her husband’s policies. I thiknk we all, slightly sexistly, assume they’re the same thing, but she’s already gone more populist than he ever did, and even more populist than she did last election.

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      • I’m definitely still listening to hear what she has to say, and maybe she can make a sensible argument that deep down she’s more of a dove than her SecState tenure would suggest. But I really doubt it. The only thing I can sort of understand is her calls for intervention in Libya, which I also supported at the time because it seemed pretty amenable to surgical military involvement, but even that has turned into a clusterfuck. Since then, she’s been pushing for more Western military involvement in Syria, which I can’t logically distinguish from the rationale for the War in Iraq. She’s said some worryingly-hawkish things about Iran, and although I’m heartened that she’s endorsed the recent deal, she’s also been pretty vocal in her skepticism that the deal would even work. Her staffers (and probable appointees) also tend to be the most hawkish of the Democratic foreign policy establishment. I just don’t like what I see there.

        The same really goes for economics. Obama has been pretty disappointing on this score, but at least going into his election we had some signs that he might have been willing to think outside the neoliberal box: He didn’t just listen to the Larry Summers and Robert Rubins of the economic sphere, like Hillary did in 2008, but drew from a pretty ideologically-diverse set of economists for advice. I’m glad that Summers seems to have learned a few lessons in the last few years, but given that Obama’s been disappointing and that Hillary has given little indication that she’d better than Obama has been, I think it’s fair for me to have reason to worry.

        Now that I’m looking into it, it looks like Hillary is indeed drawing on a more leftish set of economists for policy prescriptions this go-’round, and this is being reflected in her more populist stance on the campaign trail. It’s a hopeful sign, to be sure.

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    • because the statute for leaking classified documents ordinarily requires intent, a criminal investigation would go nowhere.

      Are you able to link or quote and cite the specific statutory language or an authoritative discussion of it? Would be useful info for anyone wanting to pursue this question, since many experts or supposed experts on this matter loosely state that “mishandling” classified info is or can be criminal in itself. There is a difference between “leaking” and “putting at risk of exposure,” and it’s also not clear to me what would distinguish the “ordinary” from the “ordinary” cases.

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      • There are two statutes I know of that could come into play. (There may be more that could apply, but these are the ones I’ve seen Hillary accusers focus on.) First is 18 USC 798, which always requires intent, so I think that one’s right out. 18 USC 793 does not require intent where there has been “gross negligence”, but that also seems hard to prove if Hillary’s actions were really par for the course with government officials at the time, which from what I’ve seen looks true. There’s also some uncertainty over whether the classified documents Hillary alleged mishandled actually related to the national defense or if they were perhaps classified for some other reason (I’m not totally clear on how that would work, but I don’t think it matters given the difficulty of proving gross negligence in this case).

        I’m not an expert in this area of law, but if the anti-Hillary crowd doesn’t have more to hang their hat on than these statutes, I can see why the Department of Justice is apparently declining to prosecute.

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        • Thanks. That is useful, though, politically, it’s inconvenient for the Hillary-ites to say, “She mishandled classified info.. a lot… but had no bad intentions!” Her opponents will say, as they are already saying but even stronger, “So and so Marine or CIA analyst was drummed out of the service for a lot less.” Instead, her defenders say, “This is all political,” which is true, but leaves the field open, especially while her accusers go searching for any evidence of a cover-up or any harm done from an actual leak, though to my knowledge no one has even hinted at anything on the latter.

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    • OK, that was a bit outa line. Sorry.

      Here’s the thing, zic. If you accuse me of being brainwashed you’ve proposed an account of my dislike which I cannot possibly refudiate since any answer I give you will either be consistent with or entailed by your theory. On the other hand, tho, clinging to the minuscule scrap of reality that connects us on this issue, we could just agree to disagree about all this. I mean, you’ve proposed a theory that a large section of the anti-Clinton brigade is brainwashed, yeah? Seems like I could play tit for tat here and propose an alternate theory: that pro-Clinton Forces have been brainwashed themselves. Bit of a stalemate there, eh?

      So what evidence or argument would decide the issue one way or the other? At what point do we just agree to disagree in good faith?

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  4. I feel thoughtfully uneasy at the idea of calling it brainwashing.. more like branding, frankly, but one could argue that branding is itself simply a different word for the same thing. Still everyone is suggestible; that is kind of the point of marketing but doesn’t make advertising companies in of themselves deplorable.

    Hillary has been the subject of an enormous amount of efforts to brand her, partially successful in both directions and what we have now in the popular collective consciousness is an odd mishmash… a ferocious ambitious woman who will cynically craft her policies and principles to what the masses demand as a going concern. Yet also a capable woman who has endured the slings and arrows of innumerable foes and emerged intact if wounded, a strong person, a capable person but also a secretive person and a wary one.

    And now we have the election. Hillary’s strength and her perseverance has captured the imagination of her party. Moreover a lot of her criticisms of Obama’s posture during the primary have turned out to be salient; there’s a sense that Obama was over the top with the hope and change, that he either underestimated or ignored the incentives his stance presented for the GOP to embrace the full bore partisan opposition they did. That he didn’t fight, that he folded too much early on, that he got taken for a ride. In the end he prevailed but there remains a sense that Hillary had a cynical and sardonic point back in 2008 and that she is due (a very odd sentiment that for this party but then conservatism and preservationism against the newly enthroned radicalism of the GOP project is also new for the Democratic Party).

    But there remains the electorate. It is an electoral no brainer that likability, a sense of honesty, approach-ability and such soft characteristics are important to low information voters. Hillary comes off as strong but does she come off as likable? A fearless openness, the happy political warrior mein, a willingness to assist in feeding the insatiable hunger of the daily scoop is longed for by the press and harshly criticized when absent. Hillary has adopted a thick shell and a suspicion of the media (one that the media has richly earned) and the media resents it and punishes her for it. Are her upsides worth the downsides? Or would the notoriously feckless media merely turn on any Hillary alternative if they managed to vanquish her?

    The question of the GOP’s attitude, at least, can be retired. The GOP will react with equivalent vitriol to any Democratic nominee. Anyone suggesting this candidate or that would sooth right wing fury and enable a reach-across-the-aisle atmosphere of bipartisanship to reign would be understandably laughed off as a naif or an insincere troll. The Risen Christ could be the Democratic nominee and the GOP attack adds about the religious fundamentalist Palestinian with his communist socialist economic manifesto would flow like water.

    And of course there’s the question of alternatives. The Clintons have capably amassed political capital, goodwill and establishment favor to a historic degree for our fractured and factional party. That is, in of itself, an indication of political skill. Can they be set aside without damaging the party’s prospects in 2016? Are any of the alternative options sufficient? Hillary is steel, we know she’ll endure what comes though we don’t know if we’ll like what emerges from the fire. Do the alternatives offer more? Can they survive the crucible this campaign will be?

    I think Hillary is our best bet, but I admit I have some branding myself. A good third of my support is raw spite, to put someone the right has reviled so entirely into office, to demonstrate to them their impotence. Still, on balance I think Hillary will be a sufficient if not shining candidate. I think she’ll be a dogged fighter for locking in the accomplishments Obama has managed to secure. Do I think she’ll be a great achiever in her own right? I do not, I am skeptical of her inclinations there and I’m skeptical of the power of her office considering the forces she will have arrayed against her but quixotically we don’t need another major reformed in the White House; we may need a fighter and a road block and I think Hillary will fill those roles well.

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    • Moreover a lot of her criticisms of Obama’s posture during the primary have turned out to be salient; there’s a sense that Obama was over the top with the hope and change, that he either underestimated or ignored the incentives his stance presented for the GOP to embrace the full bore partisan opposition they did. That he didn’t fight, that he folded too much early on, that he got taken for a ride. In the end he prevailed but there remains a sense that Hillary had a cynical and sardonic point back in 2008 and that she is due (a very odd sentiment that for this party but then conservatism and preservationism against the newly enthroned radicalism of the GOP project is also new for the Democratic Party).

      Are you ever going to let up with this stuff, with your resentment over the outcome of that primary? Obama’s tenure in office and tack in voicing a uniting aspiration actually turned out to be pretty effective in terms of accomplishments in office, in fact. Hillary isn’t saying any of this stuff now, and I have seen literally no one other than you saying that it has anything to do with why they do or don’t support her in this primary. You articulate this feeling quite well, but you never stop doing so, and at this point from where I sit as you continue on with this complaint about Obama you are flat-out projecting your resentments of Obama on a party that has moved on to other concerns and reasons to support Hillary (which include in large part the experience she gained in Obama’s administration).

      Are you ever going to let up reminding us how you felt about 2007 Democratic presidential primary, North? Because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t have any relevance beyond that anymore – how you, on person, felt about that contest.

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      • You seem particularly incensed by the notion that much of our perceptions of Hillary are false, creations of the right-wing media machine, that’s trained us to react to her suspiciously. A lot of people spent (spend) many thousands upon thousands of hours spent watching FOX and listening to talk radio and hearing the smear of Hillary played on loop.

        Me, I think it’s a case of National PTSD; particularly since I stopped watching Cable News a few years ago. I believe that consuming too much can injure the brain. When it comes to Hillary, we’ve been given lots of memories we can’t wipe from our collective hippocampus, built layer upon layer. Heighten the fear, wash, rinse, repeat.

        I do not see anything wrong with questioning that, with asking others if it’s shaped their perceptions of her to some degree.

        I have absolutely no problem with anyone disagreeing with her because, say, she’s pro-life. I have no problem with someone thinking she’s a hawk, I worry about that, too.

        But vague suspicion, suspicion without founding seems really common; and it often is vapor.

        Now maybe we’re all independent-enough thinking, maybe we’re all self-aware enough, not to be influenced and manipulated by that repeat brainwashing or, to comfort North, negative branding. But that’s not generally how people plot on on a chart.

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        • What is it about the comment you respond to here that suggests I’m incensed by the notion that much of our perceptions of Hillary are false? This comment doesn’t even address our perceptions of Hillary.

          For that matter, what is it about my other comments that suggests that? I’m open to the notion. But you, pointedly, don’t characterize the notion in that objective kind of way (“much of our perceptions of Hillary are false”) in the OP; you characterize it as brainwashing. We have false perceptions about every manner of thing in the world: it’s hard to come by true belief in this world of ultra-ubiquitous information. That’s not all brainwashing.

          But I’m not incensed that you call it brainwashing, either. That’s fine; just call it that in your voice. I’m not incensed about that; I’m not incensed about anything. But I am telling you that there’s no argument that you may bring here and declare that people must agree with you about it or you will deem them not to respect or honor you. If there are points you feel that way about, don’t bring them here. This place is about discussion and disagreement based on an assumption of respect. If you have a point of belief that others can’t disagree with you about without you feeling disrespected, just don’t bring it up for discussion here. Because people are entitled to disagree with you about it under the assumption you won’t take it as a lack of respect, so long as the disagreement is respectfully expressed.

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        • I note, from my longer comment above (you know, the one written with the most pique about your unfortunate “can we get the respect of you all agreeing with me please?” gambit):

          Some people surely believe some false things about Hillary Clinton

          I wrote that.

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          • And that’s what I’m trying to talk about; you want to talk meta, how we talk; I obviously offended you.

            This thing happened. Rush happened. Bill O happened. Ken Starr happened.

            To me, considering if that shaped how I respond to Hillary Rodham Clinton would be a matter of personal integrity; because than I’m responding based on someone else’s designs; I’ve been manipulated.

            Now I may have asked my question — have you been influenced by this repeated smearing to feel vague discomfort — inartfully. But I felt it important to ask it forcefully. I’d think, if you recognize that you have been conditioned to respond specific ways to her, that knowing that about yourself would be a good thing; a good filter to pass your thoughts through if you consider yourself an independent thinker.

            So it would be helpful to me to engage the question and forgive any perceived insult in how I phrased it; brainwashing was chosen because of the last link.

            This is, in some ways, opposing propaganda:

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            • I’m more interested in your massive faux pas, tbh, zic, sorry. We don’t demand agreement as a matter of simple respect here. Respect is presumed to come along with agreement and disagreement alike. That’s the only way it works.

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              • I am truly baffled.

                I just had dental surgery. Talk to me like I’m stupid. What’s my faux pas?

                You keep going back to this: I’m not incensed about anything. But I am telling you that there’s no argument that you may bring here and declare that people must agree with you about it or you will deem them not to respect or honor you. and But I, but more to the point everyone here, certainly doesn’t owe it to you out of simple respect or honor to agree with you that people have been brainwashed wrt to HRC. –people respecting and honoring me. That was a request, and one that I said would help me listen to other’s anti-Hillary arguments with more respect.

                How that’s a faux pas is beyond me to comprehend.

                I asked you each to consider that a long-term media campaign of smears, decades of insinuation and twisted half-truths, clouds emotional responses, that’s what branding’s all about, and to consider if that’s been happening to you. On the planet I live on, that’s an honorable challenge; it’s not a condemnation, it’s granting the respect that we’re responsible-enough people to be introspective.

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                • No, you did not ask us to “consider” how the campaign against Hillary has affected our thinking. You asked us whether you would get the respect of us *admitting* that brainwashing had happened, and you asked us to do you the honor of *recognizing* that “some of []our brethren”(!?) have been brainwashed, and you strongly implied that this also meant that, in order to honor you as you should be honored (because none of us can remotely allow that you should be honored any less than the maximum you might remotely think you deserve, by all means no less than you ask to be), this likely means that we must “recognize” (not just consider) that many of us, or what we think, need to be “sanitized of brainwashing” as well:

                  So seriously, do we get the respect of at least admitting that this brain washing happened?

                  Do me the honor of at least recognizing that some of your brethren have been brainwashed and that a lot of what we discuss, when we discuss Clinton, needs to be sanitized of that brainwashing; at least if you want me to take you seriously.

                  You say “at least” if we want you to take us seriously. That means, though, that in fact you are also asking for the honor of us recognizing those things just generally. The thing with honor is that if you ask for it in so many words, we’re obliged to give it to you. But asking us to recognize substantive things that make up an argument you want to discuss here is an abuse of that archaic custom.

                  But had it in fact been about asking us to *consider* these things, I don’t know that it gets that much better. Generally, I’m stunned that you’re asking for the respect or honor of these things. You can’t ask us to agree with you as a condition of respecting or honoring you, as you did. But neither is there any reason for you to ask us, as a condition of respect and honor, to *consider* what you say. That is because we do respect you; therefore, if you say it, we will consider what you say. There’s no reason to put respect and honor so formally on the line for that purpose. If you say that people (including us, if that’s what you think) have been brainwashed, or think that the media campaign against Hillary Clinton has had a massively outsized effect on people’s views of her compared to the size of the effects of other such campaigns against other politicians on views of them, just say so. We will consider your view in due course, because we respect you (we asked you to contribute here!), and because that’s just what we do. We *consider* each others’ arguments in due course. It’s automatic: you don’t have to ask. But we don’t necessarily agree, despite continuous respect in all directions.

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                  • So what’s my faux pas, I’m still waiting for you to talk to me like I’m stupid.

                    You say “at least” if we want you to take us seriously. That means, though, that in fact you are also asking for the honor of us recognizing those things just generally. The thing with honor is that if you ask for it in so many words, we’re obliged to give it to you. But asking us to recognize substantive things that make up an argument you want to discuss here is an abuse of that archaic custom.

                    Perhaps you should tell me more about this archaic custom I’m abusing? Can we talk about some of the other archaic customs I see coming into play here?

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                    • The faux pas was to say that to respect you we must agree with you (“admit” to what you say). I’ve been perfectly clear about that; your pretending otherwise is embarrassing.

                      Women asking men to do them the honor of this or that, the whole premise of which is that it’s then something men can’t refuse to do, else be a scoundrel? (The thing which you asked for there again being substantive agreement in an argument you were making, by the way.) Tbh, I’ve never experienced it in my life in a real way, only heard about it. It’s a cliche. Yes, it’s archaic.

                      Talk about whatever else you wish; I’m done.

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                      • Ahh. women asking men.

                        I thought it might be something like that.

                        Really, I said what I intended: It would honor me if you would consider the impact of a quarter-century of feminazi branding on your perceptions of Clinton. That’s a request; and there’s nothing in that request that compels, other than my own regard. You’re welcome to not consider my regard.

                        Does that comport with archaic honor standards better?

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                        • Whether you said what you intended or not, what said was not “It would honor me if you would consider…”, it was, “Do me the honor of at least recognizing that some of your brethren have been brainwashed and that a lot of what we discuss, when we discuss Clinton, needs to be sanitized of that brainwashing; at least if you want me to take you seriously.”

                          And, as much as we would like it otherwise, mostly it’s a bunch of men here. It;s an archaic phrase, and you know it, and you were clearly deploying it in a context in which it was a woman asking mainly men to do her the honor of… That’s archaic, and binding in its way, whther or not you deny it. To men, but, honestly, to women too. Presumably women won’t want to deny you an honor you see fit to request either. Whether it’s particularly binding on men coming form a woman or not (it is and you know it, and you knew what you were doing there), you shouldn’t be asking for agreement as a matter of getting honor from your readers. You shouldn’t be raising the notion that you won’t be getting an honor you are in apposition to request if you don;t get agreement on a substantive point. And that is what you asked for: recognition of a substantive truth you were advancing, not just consideration of what you were saying.

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                          • And, as much as we would like it otherwise, mostly it’s a bunch of men here. It;s an archaic phrase, and you know it, and you were clearly deploying it in a context in which it was a woman asking mainly men to do her the honor of… That’s archaic, and binding in its way, whther or not you deny it.

                            So I’m using my feminine wiles, and not asking as a fellow thinking person? Something like that?

                            Really? The first link is to voting patterns. Would you like me to start digging up talk radio and fox news demographics?

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                            • You’re asking for agreement as a condition of honoring you. Whether we see asking to be done an honor as the archaic, gendered custom that it is or not, this is more than just making an argument and asking that it be considered (the latter which you don’t even have to do, since we will consider your argument as a matter of course around here). There’s no need to implicate our honor of you in the question of whether we will consider your arguments, and it is false to try to implicate our honor of you in whether we agree with what you say.

                              You seem to think that because you also have some arguments for what you’re asking for agreement to (on the overwrought terms of honor and respect for you riding on agreement with you), therefore this can’t be the case or isn’t a problem. That’s fanciful.

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                          • And, as much as we would like it otherwise, mostly it’s a bunch of men here. It;s an archaic phrase, and you know it, and you were clearly deploying it in a context in which it was a woman asking mainly men to do her the honor of… That’s archaic, and binding in its way, whther or not you deny it. To men, but, honestly, to women too.

                            What. The. Hell. Are you talking about?

                            ‘Do me the honor’ is a pretty common expression, used to ask something extremely politely or formally. It is, in fact, the *most* formal way to ask someone to do something in English that doesn’t sound absurd.

                            It isn’t ‘binding’ in whatever nonsensical way you’ve come up with, and it’s perfectly permission to turn down requests to honor someone by doing something.

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                    • …The sentence after I referenced your faux pas as such, I said what it was:

                      I’m more interested in your massive faux pas, tbh, zic, sorry. We don’t demand agreement as a matter of simple respect here.

                      If you needed me to tell you that that was me telling you what your faux pas was, then you really did need me to talk to you like you were stupid. But, really, you didn’t.

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      • I’m commenting on an article about Hillary and in that part of my comment I was trying to analyze how it is that Hillary has assumed the position of next in line and why she commands the support in the party that she does. To that end the comments you’re complaining about are relevant and as accurate as any other opinion. I don’t resent Obama in the least for his victory nor do I disapprove of his performance in the presidency; in fact I consider him an above average president at this point, B+ or even A- performance. Charitably Obama was idealistic, uncharitably he adopted an excellent and necessary strategy in 2008. In the end he reverted far more to the mean whether because charitably he accepted the reality of his opposition or uncharitably because he had “tried sufficiently” to win the GOP over that the moderates accepted his adjustment as reasonable.

        To your last question? I’ll probably bring it up when the subject of 2008 comes up, I firmly believe everyone is entitled to my opinion Drew.

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  5. I respect you all. And I hear that a lot of you are just like that 30-something % in the gallup pole; vague unease. Please examine your own feelings and recognize if it comes, in part, from that quarter-century of anti-Hillary propaganda.

    That sounds a little as if after examining my own feelings, I have to come up with a recognition that they arise from that quarter century of propaganda, and if I don’t come up with that recognition, then I won’t be taken seriously. That’s not exactly what you said there, but it seems implied.

    That said, I do recognize a lot of my feelings about Clinton are non-rational, although I’m not inclined to blame propaganda (perhaps because I want to believe I’m not as affected by it as I may have been) and like above, brainwashing strikes me as the wrong word. Maybe it meets the technical definition of brainwashing, but the aura of “education camps” and 1984 seems missing from the (often hysterical) anti-Clintonism.

    I think part of the answer, and speaking for myself although I can’t believe I’m the only one, is sexism. I would probably feel a little less uneasy if the Dem’s presumptive candidate were a man and had all the faults and foibles and strengths of Clinton.

    But “less uneasy” and not “not uneasy.” The veto points in our political system, the incentives to warmonger and drug war, and the sanctimonious posturing of some in the Democratic party would make me uneasy of any next great hope for the republic coming from that quarter. I’m even more uneasy about the Republican party. Most of the bad things I can imagine from a Democratic president in 2016 would be worse from a GOP president.

    But back to Clinton. Yes, I admit that I have an unease against her that can’t be explained solely by policy disagreements or by rational fears about what I believe her leadership style will be like. I’m not sure where to go from there.

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  6. Feminazi? I’m sure it’s happened to some extent, but I have very little recollection of criticism of Hillary Clinton along those lines. I could be wrong, but my sense is that to the extent that as far as feminism goes, she’s pretty moderate. Note that “too feminist” didn’t even show up on the list of reasons for not voting her that you linked to.

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    • There’s a memory hole here,

      Internet archives generally go back to 2005, and then they get sketchy. I heard Rush call her a feminazi twice on the radio early in the first Clinton admin., and he’s been banging that drum ever since. Yes, I use the term symbolically; it’s best illustrates the point.

      Here’s Rush, in April:

      You and I have known this since the nineties. She’s a phony. There are no coincidences with the Clintons. Nothing just spontaneously happens. Everything is orchestrated; everything is planned; everything is staged — that is, everything that’s intended for public consumption. Her spontaneous road trip in the van is phony. Her unscripted sit-downs with, quote, unquote, everyday Americans, are phony. They are Democrat operatives who are being driven to the events. They are Hillary donors in some cases. They are Obama donors in other cases.

      They have worked on Obama or other Democrat candidate campaigns. But they are not everyday people. They didn’t just happen to be wherever Hillary just happened to decide to stop. And then just happened to stroll in. While just happening to wear dark glasses. Just happening and hoping not to be recognized — with 15 cameras in tow. Her claim to care about everyday Americans is phony, as evidenced by, well, her life. The way the Clintons have been reported to treat White House staff, uniformed military people at the White House, stories from the nineties are legion about that.

      He gets to feminazi later in the transcript, call’s her supporters feminazis; sort-of guilt by association. I picked this quote because he goes to the history — back to the ’90’s. The bolding is mine, the kind of language I’m suggesting equates to brain washing, also going back to the ’90’s.

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      • And another:

        BREAK TRANSCRIPT

        RUSH: Here is Victor, Silver Spring, Maryland, great to have you, sir. You’re next on the EIB Network. Hello.

        CALLER: Hey, Rush.

        RUSH: Hey.

        CALLER: I remember something you said back in the nineties, and I have never forgotten it, and it affects me. Hillary reminds every divorced man of his ex-wife. And that is absolutely true. I cannot stand to hear her voice, because she reminds me of my ex.

        RUSH: Yeah, I remember that, Victor. I think I said second ex-wife, but it works either way.

        CALLER: It really does.

        RUSH: Especially when you hear that screeching, “I am tired of hearing people say that we are not patriotic!” That kind of screeching and caterwauling, exactly right. Every guy has heard it at home.

        CALLER: Yeah. That’s what Ms. Mary did all the time, because she was never satisfied.

        RUSH: Ms. Mary?

        CALLER: Yep, that’s what Tom Marr calls her.

        RUSH: Oh. Oh, oh. Okay. Okay. Ms. Mary. Well, nevertheless, that statement does go way back to the nineties, you’re right. I haven’t used that statement in a while. So I’m glad you dredged that up there from the Grooveyard of Forgotten Favorites.

        CALLER: Thank you for talking to me today.

        RUSH: You bet, Victor. Thank you very much. Yeah, first or second ex-wife right now. I did. I said Hillary Clinton reminds every divorced man of his ex-wife, or second ex-wife, or both, or what have you. Yeah, the feminazis didn’t like that. They hated that line. That line, they said that was a sexist, bigoted, typical thing that would come out of my mouth. They just hated it.

        The brainwashing’s again bolded, Clinton’s your hated ex-wife, and the feminazi’s hate that. He even went to penis size here; she’s shrinking your dicks, dudes.

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  7. , I believe there’s definitely something to what you’re saying here. The demonization of all things Clinton has been a constant for practically as long as I’ve been seriously paying attention to politics. And as much as the RWMM has had it for Bill, Hillary has had to suffer from a whole lot of not-so-subtle sexism as well.

    And the thing is… as much as I hate to admit it, a certain kind of sexism is REALLY easy to invoke, even among those of us who consciously adopt a feminist worldview. For example, the navigation/messaging/logging/etc system in my truck has a text-to-speech system built-in. I’m not sure if it’s specific to Qualcomm, the hardware/system vendor, or Microsoft, the supplier of the operating system. In any case, the voice is a female nicknamed “Jill.” Now don’t ask me how they pulled this off, but “Jill” has a rather imperative, authoritative, demeanor and somehow comes off as indeterminately middle-aged. To my ears — and I’ve checked this with other drivers — the voice reminds me of nothing so much as a middle or high school teacher.

    And I can’t stand it. Seriously, it grates like nails on a chalkboard. When it informs me that, “You are out of hours-of-service driving time,” it feels like being scolded by a schoolteacher. And of course, that’s totally irrational. It’s just a synthetic voice generated by a computer program.

    I think a lot of male discomfiture with Hillary, as well as other female politicians like Nancy Pelosi, is at least partially that same sort of visceral reaction against female authority figures that’s inculcated in childhood.

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  8. I think there are plenty of principled reasons to oppose Hilary Clinton for the presidency. My opinion has long been that anyone who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq is not qualified to be the chief executive.

    She’s an accomplished politician and there’s no denying she has a certain type of competence but her brand of liberal interventionism is in practice neoconservatism-lite. I don’t care about the idiotic theories spouted on talk radio. Its quite clear that she would carry the torch for everything that is wrong with American foreign policy and for me that’s a dealbreaker.

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        • If we can forgive ourselves for supporting the war – or for authorizing those responsible for the final decisions – then we can forgive politicians for doing so, and, if we can’t forgive them – including the current VP and SoS, as well as both the top and bottom of the 2004 Democratic ticket – then how can we forgive ourselves?

          Perhaps Americans need to be declared disqualified for democracy and placed under some kind of UN or other international mandate for a generation or three.

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          • People can be forgiven for mistakes and put into potions of power if they have learned some lessons from their mistakes. Everybody makes errors and sometimes it is the people who have made them that are the best at avoiding them in the future. If they haven’t learn squat, like Jeb!, then they should be in the food service industry or a motivational speaker. Of course Jeb wasn’t in power and isn’t responsible for his bro. But he didn’t seem to learn anything from his bro.

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          • I’m happy to forgive them personally, but I won’t vote for anyone who supported that war at any point, especially for an office in which he or she could make other such horrible decisions.

            I imagine that includes plenty of people here.

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                • Once we’ve established that your and InMD’s personal feelings are not matters of great public moment, then I suppose one way of putting the question would be whether the theory underlying de-Baathification turns into a good theory when applied in reverse against the American political class in relation to the same war.

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                  • I figure if you voted of otherwise supported a war of choice that resulted in massive death and destruction, based on flimsy evidence sold by political actors explicitly tying the war to unrelated terrorist attacks, evidence challenged by inspectors on the ground, and even without that challenges deeply insufficient, I want you no where near the next decision if whether to go to war. It’s less Debathification, since political disagreement is tolerated here, than removing people who’ve demonstrated horrible judgement from positions that require good judgement.

                    And to I protested Kosovo and Afghanistan. I was anti-war it was cool to be anti-war I supported before it went horribly wrong.

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                    • Chris,

                      Needless to say, those who voted Yea would not have described their votes that way.

                      For better or for worse, explanations they offered subsequently, especially after mass opinion had turned against the war, will be “political” explanations – shaped for effect, in other words, but not necessarily incredible or unsympathetic. What HRC (like Kerry, Biden, and many others) has said is, if I’m not mistaken, that when she voted in favor of the Iraq AUMF, she was not voting in favor of the war as the Bush Administration prosecuted it. Her mistake would therefore have been to extend trust to the President and the whole Administration and alliance, from Cheney to Tenet to Powell to Blair and beyond, about a year after the 9/11 attacks, so understandably and excusably (even unavoidably).

                      I think this perspective mirrors the perspective of large to very large majorities of the American citizenry, as well as of the American political class, during that period and in some ways up to the present day. That doesn’t, of course, make that perspective correct, but it is something for any political movement that wishes to be taken seriously to take into account. Failing to do so really does put the Chomsky-vicinity American left in a position similar – intellectually, though never yet practically – to that of Paul Bremer running the occupation, trying to foist an alien ideology on recalcitrant natives because as far as he can tell it’s the good and right ideology, whether or not it has a chance of working.

                      (Since the question of “where we stood” comes up below, I’ll just add that your description of the war rationale at most only partly intersects with my view of the matter, either then or now. I don’t, for instance, believe that “war of choice” is an adequate description for a conflict that was at least equally a re-escalation within a pre-existing state of war, and I do not and did not believe that the reductive terms of the public discussion – or what Wolfowitz fairly early on described as the “bureaucratic reason” for going to war – explain what took place. To say much more would be to stray very far from the original topic, and I don’t personally feel able to conduct a new “serious discussion of the Iraq war.” Just collecting and reviewing everything I’ve already written on the subject would be a major distraction.)

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                      • It seems obvious that the people who supported the war at the start would not feel this way. However, I’m unmoved by their different perspective, specifically since that perspective very often mirrors the perspective the anti-war folks were pushing at the time. As I sometimes quip, the post-war expressions of regret usually go like this:

                        “If I had known then what I know now, I would have been anti-war.”

                        “But we told you then what you know now.”

                        “Yes, but I didn’t listen because you were anti-war.”

                        Like I said, for me it is an unforgivable mistake, politically at least. My vote doesn’t matter to any of them, however, and I am as you note in an extreme minority, so life goes on.

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                • By the way, I mean supported in ’02 and ’03. If you still thought it was a good idea by late ’04, say, I not only wouldn’t vote for you, I’d prefer you not be allowed to operate heavy machinery.

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                  • I was appalled we went into Iraq, though I did believe there were probably WMD there. I believed, and still do, that it was the worst path to good outcomes for women in Afghanistan; now I’d say the worst path for women in the region.

                    I also subscribe to the 10,000 hours theory that you get better at doing things by actually doing things; and I think one of the hallmarks of a deeply intelligent, well-formed mind is the ability to learn from mistakes and reconsider in light of new information.

                    Right now, my take on global (let alone local) politics is that bettering the lot of women the world over is the most responsible path forward in the world, it’s the path of avoiding the most catastrophe; the path that minimizes climate change, resource shortage, violence. There’s a lot of talk on war and its impact on people; there’s a lot of global violence on women that’s, daily, equally as evil.

                    So I want to know what Hillary’s learned, and where she’ll go, most particularly on women’s health care.

                    I don’t see anyone else at the table who even understands the problem.

                    I can see not voting for her because of her vote on Iraq; I spent a lot of years feeling pissed about that. Kerry, too. (And I know Kerry; I used to live down the street from Dukakis, same time Vikram lived in the same town.)

                    But I think it’s hubris to only consider her in terms of what she did vs. what she’s learned, and how she’ll deal with this going forward. My sense is she’ll approach it in terms of economic growth, because women in developing countries are the low-hanging fruit for stimulating growth. And that requires trade treaties.

                    This is from 1998, in Uruguay, but she’s been doing this work since she was First Lady of Arkansas.

                    She has been the world over, talked to women everywhere, seen what war does, seen what poverty does, and seen how countless different efforts to address the barriers women face in fully participating both succeed and fail.

                    But I agree with Bill Nye

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                    • I’m not sure how hubris enters it. Iraq was a monumental mistake, of historical proportions, one that we are still dealing with both in Iraq and throughout the region. I can’t vote for anyone who would make a mistake that large and costly, as I would never be able to trust them to make such decisions in the future, regardless of what they say they’ve learned (and I would not, of course, believe anything she said in that regard, nor would I believe anything any major politician said in that regard).

                      I think you are right that one of the most important issues on the planet is improving, in some areas radically, the plight of women, and pushing toward global gender equality. War, however, really is the worst path toward such things, particularly given its effects on women and children. I’m not a consequentialist, so steps toward better lives for women is not for me a sufficient justification for years of suffering and death for women.

                      As for her taking the SOS position, I figured it was a political consolation, keeping her in the spotlight for her 2016 run, but I’m a cynic.

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          • I don’t agree with where that logic leads. These people who run our government are given a lot of power and with that power comes responsibility.

            I won’t disagree with you that American democracy is flawed. Our citizenry is far too susceptible to propaganda and fear mongering. We aren’t as sophisticated as we should be. We’re fickle and short-sighted. None of that means we shouldn’t strive for something better, even if we’ll never have providence. That war killed 100,000 people, resulted in catastrophe for an already troubled region, damaged our international reputation in ways that are hard to reverse and cost a trillion dollars.

            You shouldn’t be able to give your approval to a disaster of that magnitude and still have a career, much less be rewarded with even more power.

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      • Most people are only against the Iraq War in hindsight, because the war (and specifically the post invasion occupation) was bungled so thoroughly.

        Bush junior toppled one too many authorotarian governments by force og arms on his watch. Nobody gives a second thought to Poppy deposing Noriega, Bill deposing Milosovec, or Barrack deposing Qaddafi. W should have been content with Mullah Omar, and everyone would have been fine with his foreign policy.

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  9. There is a lot of basically, Hillary doing things many politicians do (and currently don’t get hit for at all), but when she does them, it’s obviously the worst thing in the world and proof she can’t ever be President – and that’s just from the center-left people I know.

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    • Odd, from my perspective the foundations of Hillary’s support rest on the center left and the criticisms and challenges of her come primarily from the further and purer left rather than vice versa (this is ignoring the right of course which uniformly loathes her unless they can use her as a cudgel to attack Obama with).

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    • Next time you want to leave a comment with a link in it, look above. See the “link” button?

      Just write a phrase like “read the story here” or something and highlight it and past the URL into the box that pops up.

      Then think to yourself “thanks, CK. Thanks a buttload.”

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  10. Zic:

    Ok, I will do you the honor (whatever that is) of recognizing that some of my brethren are brainwashed against her. I hope you will do me the honor of recognizing that some of your brethren are brainwashed in her favor. Now that we’ve honored each other, where does that leave us?

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  11. Here’s Molly Ivins from 1995: to show that this really has been a 25-year war:

    The reason I take Rush Limbaugh seriously is not because he’s offensive or right-wing, but because he is one of the few people addressing a large group of disaffected people in this country. And despite his frequent denials, Limbaugh does indeed have a somewhat cultlike effect on his dittoheads. They can listen to him for three and a half hours a day, five days a week, on radio and television. I can assure you that David Koresh did not harangue the Branch Davidians so long nor so often. But that is precisely what most cult leaders do—talk to their followers hour after hour after hour.

    A large segment of Limbaugh’s audience consists of white males, 18 to 34 years old, without college education. Basically, a guy I know and grew up with named Bubba.

    Bubba listens to Limbaugh because Limbaugh gives him someone to blame for the fact that Bubba is getting screwed. He’s working harder, getting paid less in constant dollars and falling further and further behind. Not only is Bubba never gonna be able to buy a house, he can barely afford a trailer. Hell, he can barely afford the payments on the pickup.

    And because Bubba understands he’s being shafted, even if he doesn’t know why or how or by whom, he listens to Limbaugh. Limbaugh offers him scapegoats. It’s the “feminazis.” It’s the minorities. It’s the limousine liberals. It’s all these people with all these wacky social programs to help some silly, self-proclaimed bunch of victims. Bubba feels like a victim himself—and he is—but he never got any sympathy from liberals.

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  12. WaPo’s Corrine McConnaughy has an excellent piece on the Trump/Kelly controversy that matters here. She discusses the socialization that discourages women from participating in the political process; the quarter-century of feminazi-brainwashing is very much what she’s discussing here:

    What seems more important is what the Trump-Kelly interaction and the relentless ensuing media-covered controversy as “politics” are telling us about who belongs in politics and who does not. The episode is almost a textbook example of a number of the dynamics that push women away from political involvement—many of which take root in early political socialization.

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  13. So, a note.

    The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1966.

    The Government in the Sunshine Act was passed in 1976.

    Executive Order 12356 was signed by Regan in 1982 and roundly (roundly!) criticized by the Democrats.

    Internet acceptable use policies have existed in business and academia since the early 90s. Computer acceptable use policies predate them. I haven’t worked or gone to school anywhere in my life that didn’t have an acceptable use policy, and email is not exactly a new technology.

    The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments were passed in 1996.

    In 2007, we had the whole “I lost an Exchange Server” line of hooey by the GWB administration. Remember that? I do, I was pissed.

    Of all things, Brietbart to the rescue (to remind me of the details): “In 2007, at the “Take Back America,” event held by the Campaign for America’s Future, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, criticized George W. Bush’s administration for so-called “secret emails.”

    Clinton said, “We know our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps, the secret military tribunals, the secret White House email accounts.””

    The OGIS was founded in 2007 (the irony of GWB signing it into law is not lost upon me).

    The idea that “everybody does this” or “some folks are being held to account more than others” isn’t relevant.

    Hilary Clinton decided – on her own – to use a different email service other than the one provided to her officially. As Secretary of State.

    I can understand this, it’s annoying as hell to get emails from folks sent to accounts other than the new one that you’re supposed to be using for the new job.

    I can understand that the security question is a red herring, really… email is stupidly insecure no matter who is running it.

    But none of that is the point.

    If you’ve just spent the last twenty-plus years involved in government, you cannot possibly disclaim that you didn’t know that this was a very bad idea and that if you choose to do this anyway, you’re going to get criticism for it if you get caught. And that you will eventually get caught. Particularly if you just made exactly this behavior a campaign point yourself.

    That is one of the data points that make me not trust Hilary Clinton.

    That has nothing to do with brainwashing. It has to do with the fact that she constructed her own crisis situation and then sat in it.

    That says nothing about whether or not I’d still vote for her over whatever candidate the GOP puts up (spoiler alert: she’ll probably be a better candidate and no less corrupt than any of those bozos).

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    • Excellent comment,

      And good work, too.

      But I don’t think this was secret — it’s the account she used; she just kept it on a private server.

      Does that distinction matter here?

      She’s talking about accounts that are hidden from the apparatus of security; she wasn’t hidden.

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      • The distinction matters only to the extent that she (likely) wasn’t breaking any laws at the time.

        It’s still a bad idea. The optics of it are bad. The practicals of it are bad.

        Jesus, you’re using the SoS server and it gets hacked, you fire your IT guy and you make a public statement about how the budget for SoS has been cut by the stinky GOP and you get a political win and you don’t lose any face. You run a server (even if it’s run by folks more competent than the government guys in your own department) and it gets hacked, you got nothing but egg on your face.

        Choosing to do that is a bad sign. It’s a signal that you’re liable to construct other crisis of your own making. And it’s not her first.

        Look, this is the thing about being an elected official. The number of things that you could be accused of having a conflict of interest in are legion. You avoid as many of them as you can. You don’t make additional things for folks to make up rumors about.

        Whitewater was if nothing else an appearance of impropriety. You want to make real estate investments and you’re a governor, you open a company in another state, not your own, and you buy property in another state, not your own… or you’re making a future mess for yourself, even if you’re on the up-and-up the whole time and you never abuse your authority. Or you put money in a blind trust until you’re out of office. Or any one of a number of things that don’t *look* bad.

        You don’t make potential crisis for yourself.

        Now, the number of politicians who make potential crises for themselves is probably within a reasonable delta of the total number of politicians. This is easy to screw up.

        But there’s a lot of lifelong politicians (including, as near as I can tell, likely the entire current crop of Presidential candidates) who have terrible crisis management skills because they not only don’t protect themselves from future crises, they’ve actually got a demonstrated track record of falling into the same hole.

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        • This. For someone intending to run for President, the decision to use a private mail server shows horrible political judgement. For Colin Powell or Condi Rice it was no big deal — neither of them appeared to have aspirations to be President or VP. For Hillary, who clearly did, it’s just dumb, no matter how legal it was or how you spin the decision to do so.

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          • It’s one thing to use a personal email but then to do it from your own server. Then you decide which emails are responsive and wipe the server afterwards. That doesn’t look shady at all. What do I know b/c I’m brainwashed?

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        • You don’t make potential crisis for yourself.

          Everything she’s done is examined in hopes it will provoke a crisis for her.

          Personally, I think it suggests, most of all, that when she accepted the gig, she didn’t really wasn’t planning on running this cycle yet; and her actions weren’t calculated by the cynicism her fishing bowl must provoke.

          But she didn’t break any laws, as I understand it; she asked for tech simple to use of the people who’d been providing tech to her husband who was, let’s not forget, himself a US President and no stranger to security.

          But this never ending optical illusion that she should have known better when, in fact, she didn’t violate laws and seems to have tried to carry out her job? When does it end.

          You haven’t convinced me that you’re not brainwashed; only that you’re smart-enough to rationalize it.

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          • First day of school board duties, the board attorney gave us the run-down of what not to do and the operational guideline was “just avoid even the appearance of impropriety”.

            Which is sort of my rule of thumb for politicians post 1996.

            I will grant you (again) that nobody in the field is really killing it, here. Maybe Bernie just because nobody has bothered to publish his iffy decisions yet (and I haven’t bothered to look them up because I don’t think he is a solid contender for the nomination).

            So, I am not really sure why you’re saying that I am rationalizing… but I am not going to play the moving goalposts game, so you’ll have to tell me what you’d consider sufficient evidence to move forward, really.

            I am not saying she is *particularly* untrustworthy, mind you.

            Just that she seems to have achieved a pattern of making what I would call bad decisions.

            The fact that she has particular scrutiny bothers me only in the sense that I think our national dialogue will certainly suck if she wins… but it is very, very likely to suck whoever wins so this is largely irrelevant.

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            • See, now we’ve gotten to this place where I feel comfortable arguing — we can actually discuss how this server decision reflects upward through her decision-making process.

              My guess (and it’s only that,) is that she surrounds herself with a small team of loyal people; and the decision making is done within that circle. She’s definitely smart enough to know when she’s got to rely on someone else’s knowledge. My concerns are her choices of people; Mark Penn, for instance; that’s such an obvious looking-for-a-luntz that it still pains me. George Lakoff is an another example; the left thinking it needed to fix itself by copying the right instead of recognizing what a liability Luntz actually is. I hope Trump destroys what little credibility he has left in much the same way Megan Kelly took down Karl Rove.

              But I keep getting into these discussions where the critiques of Hillary are based on vapor ware, and there are a few other liberals here who recognized the same thing; I didn’t imagine this. Given the costs to my ideological priorities if the GOP wins this election, it creates a place where I don’t feel comfortable criticizing Hillary because of fears of that fog over there.

              My only goal in all of this exercise, is to help others be aware that we all have these vague feelings of yuck about her that aren’t justified by her actions; and to at least feel somewhat confident that when you and I or Tod and I or Stillwater (Tod and inspired this post) and I discuss and criticize her, that we can at least do so recognizing that fog and blow it away.

              As to the term brainwashing; I know its harsh; but I think it’s a good meme for the times. We’ve been brainwashed about Hillary. About drugs and thugs and crime. It effects who we hire, how we pay, who we give loans to, who we put in jail, who we help through school.

              So though it’s harsh and overbold, it’s a good term for identifying when we’re discussing reality vs. appearances of reality.

              I posted another thread on the server issue where I have been trying to explore my discomfort with the whole email scandal. I don’t think it reflects well on Clinton, either. And I’ll go to what I said above: the people around her matter here a lot, because she will seek a protective shell. From what she’s actually done, that’s a lot of lawyering up with the letter of the law closely adhered to, though not necessarily the spirit. That’s been her pattern for 25 years.

              But given the microscope she’s lived under; I think you’ll find your answer to the server ownership right there. That doesn’t speak well of her, no. But the mitigating circumstance is the quarter-century of calling her a nazi and issuing warrants to ruffle through her underwear draw.

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              • My guess (and it’s only that,) is that she surrounds herself with a small team of loyal people; and the decision making is done within that circle. She’s definitely smart enough to know when she’s got to rely on someone else’s knowledge. My concerns are her choices of people; Mark Penn, for instance; that’s such an obvious looking-for-a-luntz that it still pains me. George Lakoff is an another example; the left thinking it needed to fix itself by copying the right instead of recognizing what a liability Luntz actually is. I hope Trump destroys what little credibility he has left in much the same way Megan Kelly took down Karl Rove.

                Yes, that sounds about right.

                I’ll engage in some also-guessing: the Clintons have had such an adversarial relationship with their political opponents that they’ve been trained by adversity to keep the inner circle small (most of the adversity is due to the opponents operating in bad faith, but that’s a side conversation), and the primary ticket to get in is loyalty. They can’t have a turncoat situation ten years down the line.

                While this is understandable, it’s a disaster in the long run. It’s what led to the Bay of Pigs, and the Iraq War, and many if not most of the worst policy decisions in the last hundred years.

                You don’t have to seek out your political enemies and plunk them all in your cabinet, like Lincoln did… but that’s a better strategy than culling your advisory herd down to the point where groupthink is inevitable.

                It’s important to have a really healthy culture of argumentation in your political machine, or you’re really likely to hit the policy equivalent of thermal runaway sometime soon.

                Again, I don’t blame the Clintons for this, per se. I don’t see this as Hillary’s “fault” so much as what appears to be the regrettable but predictable consequence of forty years of political hardball.

                But it’s still *very* problematic, to me.

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      • zic,

        In my mind, two things need to be distinguished about the current Email Crisis. One is just the facts on the ground: that she chose (for whatever reason!) to conduct State Department business on a private server; that she (for whatever reason!) chose to wipe the contents of that computer after she forwarded all the relevant emails to State; that she’s currently under political as perhaps legal scrutiny for engaging in both activities and perhaps sending/receiving classified content; and so on. The other is how she handles the politics of this situation. For example, that just yesterday, I think, her response to a question regarding wiping her computer was to say “what, like with a cloth?”, and to then go on to say that she has no understanding of what’s involved in that process.

        The facts are what they are, be they substantive or political. But how she handles the politics of this situation is, as Patrick said, pretty much entirely of her making. Eg, she could have used the government account. She could have addressed the issue seriously way back when rather than attempting to downplay it by saying she didn’t want to carry two devices (as if that addressed any of either the strictly political or substantive issues in play at the time). She could have taken the question regarding wiping the computer seriously and responded with an appropriate level of candor rather than effectively insulting the intelligence of anyone who attributes to her enough intelligence to know what that term means and why that topic is currently politically relevant.

        And so on.

        As I said earlier, my beef with her isn’t that she did something wrong by using a private server. It’s that her handling of the politics of it all leads me to question her abilities to conduct politics at the very highest levels. (Which isn’t to say, of course, that I won’t vote for her.)

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  14. Reuters is reporting that the argument that the stuff was classified after it was discussed might not, in fact, be technically accurate.

    The statements that Hillary herself did not send or read any of these email but these emails were the acts of staffers might not, in fact, be technically accurate either.

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