The double-standards of some Obama bloggers

I am continually amazed by the pretzel logic displayed by some bloggers who support Obama. No, these people are not crackpots; their work is enthusiastically recommended and praised by their fellow travelers.

A few days ago Hillary Clinton unambiguously confirmed that she will be 100 percent behind Obama if he wins the nomination:

Clinton was asked by a questioner in the audience here what she would tell frustrated Democrats who might consider voting for McCain in the general election out of spite.

"Please think through this decision," Clinton said, laughing and emphasizing the word "please."

"It is not a wise decision for yourself or your country."

The crowd applauded loudly.[...]

Clinton stressed that there are "significant" differences between her and Obama, but said "those differences pale to the differences between us and Sen. McCain."

"I intend to do everything I can to make sure we have a unified Democratic party," she said. "When this contest is over and we have a nominee, we're going to close ranks, we're going to be united."

If you only read blogs that take their cue from the Obama campaign's talking points of the day, you missed this story.

I didn't see jubilant front-page posts and recommended diaries about it at Daily Kos either.

On the other hand, every offensive statement made by some supporter of Clinton becomes a federal offense, one that must be denounced by all who back Hillary.

I'll continue this discussion after the jump.

Obama supporter "Geekesque," one of the most celebrated Obama diarists at Daily Kos, has a diary on the recommended list right now condemning a post by Larry Johnson on his blog, No Quarter. Geek demands that all bloggers who support Clinton

MUST denounce, reject, and delink Larry Johnson and his blog.  

Or, they must be considered complicit in his toxic racist agenda.

In case you are not familiar with Geekesque's work, this is the blogger who told us all that it was fine for Obama to be associated with Donnie McClurkin, because there's a lot of homophobia in the black community, and we need the Democratic Party to be a big tent.

From Geek's diary Your problem is with black people in South Carolina:

Let's stop dancing around the fringes of what's going on with the Donnie McClurkin story.

He's said some really offensive, really ignorant, really appalling, and totally unacceptable things about LGBT folks.

So, the theory goes, this guy should be publicly repudiated by the Obama campaign.  

This, quite frankly, is nuts.  If you believe in a big tent.  

The cold splash of reality below the fold.

   * Geekesque's diary :: ::


If this is the test, that Barack Obama--or any other Democrat who really cares about gay rights--needs to publicly denounce and personally repudiate anyone with Donnie McClurkin's views about homosexuality, then you are essentially calling for a purge of African-American voters in the South from the party.

Obama fans put 150 tips in the tip jar of that diary, by the way.

So, Clinton supporters are obliged to denounce and reject offensive statements by some blogger who has no connection to the campaign. On the other hand, if Obama stands to benefit politically from associating with someone who makes derogatory statements about a different group, that is all part of the "big tent" strategy.

Here's another example of the Obama fan logic at work:

Hillary would lose the general because she's a lying, conniving cheater, as the Obama campaign and its surrogates routinely point out (and as Obama bloggers eagerly pass along).

Those also happen to be the Republican talking points against Hillary, but we can use them, because they're true--the Clintons really are evil liars who would do anything to win.

On the other hand, Obama would crush the Republicans in the general. The only thing standing in his way is Hillary, who by dragging out the nomination battle is hurting Obama's favorables and using lines of attack the Republicans will use in the general.

As if the Republicans wouldn't come up with this stuff on their own.

Anyway, we can conclude that Hillary would lose to McCain because of her flaws, and Obama might lose to McCain, but only because of Hillary's moral failings and cheating.

Either way, if we have a bad election outcome, Obama couldn't possibly be to blame.

Last week I decided not to write here about the controversy over Gordon Fischer's post referencing the stain on Monica Lewinsky's blue dress, but I changed my mind today. Here is the post Gordon deleted and apologized for:

"B. Clinton questions Obama's patriotism.  In repsonse (sic), an Obama aide compared B. Clinton to Joe McCarthy. This is patently unfair.  To McCarthy.

"When Joe McCarthy questioned others' patriotism, McCarthy (1) actually believed, at least aparently (sic), the questions were genuine, and (2) he did so in order to build up, not tear down, his own party, the GOP.  Bill Clinton cannot possibly seriously believe Obama is not a patriot, and cannot possibly be said to be helping -- instead he is hurting -- his own party.  B. Clinton should never be forgiven.  Period.  This is a stain on his legacy, much worse, much deeper, than the one on Monica's blue dress."

My problem with this post, and with the apology, is that the uproar over the Monica reference obscured the distortion at the heart of Gordon's analysis: Bill Clinton did not question Obama's patriotism.

I read the transcript of the remarks, and I watched the video, which you can find in this diary. Here is what Bill Clinton said:

I think it would be a great thing if we had an election year where you had two people who loved this country and were devoted to the interest of this country and people could actually ask themselves who is right on these issues, instead of all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics.

The Obama campaign was quick to put the most malicious interpretation possible on these remarks and send out a surrogate to denounce Bill's "McCarthyism."

I found the Clinton campaign's interpretation of the remarks much more plausible:

Actually, as is indicated by the quote itself, President Clinton was talking about the need to talk about issues, rather than falsely questioning any candidate's patriotism.

He was lamenting that these kind of distractions "always seems to intrude" on political campaigns. This is consistent with his criticism of the "politics of personal destruction," which dates back 16 years.

I admit that what President Clinton said was ambiguous, but it's ridiculous for every Obama blogger to substitute the Obama campaign's talking points for reality. I am tired of reading again and again about how Bill questioned Obama's patriotism.

Final note: don't approvingly quote posts depicting Bill and Hillary Clinton as "sociopaths" if you want to be taken seriously as an analyst.

This comment at Daily Kos calling Hillary a "sociopath" was recommended by 11 Obama supporters. Some people are so unhinged from reality that it's embarrassing.

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