Monday, May 26, 2008

Paul Krugman, What Happened?

I used to love New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, but he has had seriously too much of the Clinton Kool-Aid.

Consider this from today's paper: "So what should Mr. Obama and his supporters do? Most immediately, they should realize that the continuing demonization of Mrs. Clinton serves nobody except Mr. McCain."

Leaving aside that you can't find a single instance of the Obama campaign "demonizing" Senator Clinton, she's doing a pretty damn good job of ruining her own reputation (or, confirming it, depending on your point of view).

The Clintons are traveling around the country, continually peddling the 100% bogus claim that she leads in the popular vote, which, even if it were true, wouldn't matter. But it does matter because it's not true, and yet they persist in pushing the dangerous fairy tale that Obama is taking away the nomination from the rightful candidate, even though he's the one with the most delegates, the most states, and -- if you count his votes the same way Hillary counts her own -- the popular vote.

At least he concedes that "Mr. Obama will be the Democratic nominee," but as an economist he's supposed to be able to recognize fuzzy math. Instead, he pushes some of his own: "The only reason I can see for Obama supporters to oppose seating Florida is that it might let Mrs. Clinton claim that she received a majority of the popular vote." Well, actually, no. Obama's lead is so substantial that the Florida votes won't overturn his popular vote lead. In order to surpass him on that meaningless standard, you have to include her Michigan votes, but not give any of the Michigan "uncommitted" votes -- some of which at least were presumably for him -- to Obama. You'd think Krugman could have crunched those numbers, or at least referred to RealClearPolitics.com. But the real reason to oppose seating Florida is that Florida violated the rules and deserves to be sanctioned for screwing up the primary calendar. Mrs. Clinton has of late trotted out several examples of primary seasons that lasted into June, but none of them started on January 3.

"Mainly it’s up to Mr. Obama to deliver the unity he has always promised — starting with his own party," huffs Krugman. Uh-huh. Well, that job would be a heckuvalot easier if Senator Clinton's surrogates would cease chanting the mantra that an affirmative action candidate is stealing the nomination from the real winner. How is he supposed to heal the wounds if Clinton is going around throwing salt on them?

"What about offering Mrs. Clinton the vice presidency? If I were Mr. Obama, I’d do it." Oh, give me a break. What on earth has she done to deserve that? The vice presidency shouldn't be held out as a bribe to get someone to stop lying and hop back on the reality wagon. As Hilzoy smartly observed last week, "Note what's missing here: any sense that Clinton herself is a responsible moral agent. People are writing about her as though she were a bomb that needed to be expertly defused, as opposed to a person who can govern her own life, and is responsible for her own choices." She's made Obama out to be Bush 2000, delegitimizing his historic candidacy by suggesting he won on a manufactured technicality. And then she floated the assassination possibility.

Of all the many silly, credulous things Krugman writes today, this one takes the cake: conceding that once the nomination is settled Hillary will have to campaign hard for Obama, he adds, "She has said she’ll do that, and there’s no reason to believe that she doesn’t mean it."

She also said she supported stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

A. "Florida violated the rules and deserves to be sanctioned for screwing up the primary calendar"

Fact: 5 states violated DNC rules by moving up primaries--IA, NH, SC, FL & MI. Only 2 were penalized by the DNC.

This blog cuts off addresses that are too long, paste the following 2 together:

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/

gellersuit.pdf

B. "Obama's lead is so substantial that the Florida votes won't overturn his popular vote lead. In order to surpass him on that meaningless standard, you have to include her Michigan votes"

NOT REALLY: If Clinton were to win Puerto Rico by 20 points she would pick up at least a 400,000-vote margin. This would allow her to swamp Obama in the popular-vote counts, which include Florida (not MI), making her the leader in four of the six permutations of the popular vote.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080523_In_most_inclusive_count__Clinton_has_the_numbers.html

Obama won't
1. debate
2. allow you to use his middle name
3. let you talk about his wife except to praise her
4. allow votes in FL & MI

Obama says:

1. he is a Christian not a Muslim--even though his pastor of 20 years could be a Muslim (certainly has ties to Muslims), Obama has been endorsed by Hamas

http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/04/25/mccain-hits-obama-over-hamas-endorsement/

2. his grandmother is a typical racist white woman
3. if you are from a small town you are bitter, cling to guns & religion and are racist--but I want your votes.

He addmitted to using illegal drugs including cocaine, and you can bet there are many more things to come out later. Why use your good stuff until he has secured the nomination?

He has gotten his ass kicked by voters since the world discovered Rev. J. Wright who hates rich white people but is moving into a rich white people gated golf course community:

The 10,340-square-foot home, apparently planned for Wright's retirement, sits on land purchased by the pastor in 2004 for $345,000. In September 2006, the church applied for a building permit, and in December 2006 he sold the land to his church, which took out a $1.6 million mortgage on the property.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-wright-house_29mar29,0,4722362.story

It funny that 93% OF BLACKS VOTE FOR OBAMA & they are NOT RACISTS, BUT IF 70% OF WHITE PEOPLE VOTE FOR HILLARY THEY ARE RACISTS BACKWOOD REDNECK HICKS FROM WV, KY OR RURAL PA.

You Obama supporters are living in a dream world. YOU ONLY SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE AND IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE. You are giving the election to McCain. I could really care less. I will probably vote for Bob Barr. However, it is funny to watch.

Jeff said...

Krugman's column riled me up this morning. I left a comment on his blog, but it apparently takes something like 12 hours for comments to appear on NY Times blogs because they have to be approved.

First he slimes those of us who voted for Obama -- approximately 50% of all Democratic voters -- by accusing us of "demonizing" Hillary Clinton. He's apparently blind to the way the U.S. media works, with its motivation for pushing the most inflammatory news stories. No, it couldn't be that a news media focuses on eyeballs and page views likes playing up scandals and gaffes! No, it's all an evil plot pushed by "Obama and his supporters." It's surprising that Krugman, an economist, would have no understanding of complex systems like the U.S. media.

And while we're apparently to blame for any negative Clinton stories, apparently "Clinton and her supporters" aren't to blame for the Obama scandals. I'm not saying they are to blame, but there's a double standard here so obvious that even a Fox News viewer could probably see it.

But what *really* pisses me off is when he says, "it's up to Mr. Obama to deliver the unity he has always promised." As if unity is a unilateral enterprise. He doesn't say that Clinton voters have any responsibility to work toward unity as well. He doesn't urge Clinton voters to grow up. No, apparently they're allowed to just sit on their hands and make Obama come to them, instead of doing some actual *thinking* and realizing that Obama is much more in line with their interests and beliefs than McCain. Does he think Clinton voters are too stupid and racist to know any better? Because that's what I get from his column.

Just as it's tarnished my opinion of Princeton professor Sean Wilentz, this intramural Clinton/Obama struggle has also tarnished my opinion of Princeton professor Paul Krugman. This race has blinded both men to rational thought. It's sad.

Andy said...

Wow...Anon, geez. It's hard to take you seriously when you get so much wrong.

5 states violated DNC rules by moving up primaries--IA, NH, SC, FL & MI. Only 2 were penalized by the DNC.

Iowa and New Hampshire each have state laws requiring that they hold the first caucus and primary in the nation, respectively. Florida and Michigan forced Iowa and New Hampshire to be earlier than ever. South Carolina was actually moved with the DNC's blessing, to bring some racial diversity to the early voting. So, that's not breaking the rules, when the people who make the rules say "Okay."

As far as Puerto Rico goes...she can go ahead and collect all the votes she wants there. Popular vote does not determine the nominee, the delegates do. There are only 86 pledged delegates left to be won in the primaries; Obama needs 49 and Clinton needs 246. If she got 100% of the remaining pledged delegates (and she won't; in the late polls Obama leads in Montana 52-35 and in South Dakota 46-34), she's still behind on the only measure that matters. Hey, in the future, let's pick the nominee using the popular vote. No objection here. But that's not the way we do it this year.

Barack and Hillary have debated 21 times. Are you f'n kidding me? And what do you mean Barack won't let "you" use his middle name? When did he say that, and by what right could he make that argument? I think what's been agreed upon is that it's in bad taste to use his middle name TO SUGGEST THAT HE IS A MUSLIM. But, his middle name is what it is, we all know about it. Non-issue, nothing to see here, move along.

Barack has objected to what many consider unfair attacks on Michelle, but he's never said you can't criticize her or talk about her.

It wasn't HIS decision to punish Florida and Michigan, it was the DNC's, a decision all of the Democratic candidates supported, including Hillary. The decision will have to be made by the DNC next Saturday, as Hillary well knows. It's not up to him.

Obama says:

1. he is a Christian not a Muslim--even though his pastor of 20 years could be a Muslim (certainly has ties to Muslims), Obama has been endorsed by Hamas


LOL!

Um, no.

You know, there are some things I'm happy to debate, many things that should be debated. But the Muslim thing, dude: reality check. His pastor of 20 years could be a Muslim? That's fucking laughtacular. I'm going to have to guess you don't know a single Muslim. They have a tendency not to preach from the Bible, celebrate Christmas and Easter, or baptize in the name of the Trinity. Also, Pastor Wright is no longer affiliated with the campaign and isn't running for office, anyway.

The grandmother reference...wow, way to take a sensitive, carefully nuanced observation and make it crass.

Barack apologized for "bitter-gate" (more than Hillary has done for any of her bejillion mistakes) and has said several times that he chose his words poorly and regrets them.

Yeah, he admitted drug use IN HIS PUBLISHED BEST-SELLING MEMOIRS. He didn't have a "Leave it to Beaver" adolescence, okay? I think the point is that he took control of his life and went to Harvard and became a senator and is now the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party.

and you can bet there are many more things to come out later

Ummm...gonna say no. In their desperation, if the Clintons could find anything they'd have used it by now. Instead they're resorting to lies and pushing bullshit conspiracy theories.

He has gotten his ass kicked by voters since the world discovered Rev. J. Wright -- except in North Carolina and Oregon, with expected wins in Montana and South Dakota. You might also note that NC and Indiana came right after the Wright scandal hit its zenith, and he lost Indiana by less than 2%.

Rev. Wright is not running for office. Man's got some baggage, but he does not hate white people, rich or otherwise.

Racism: we're talking here about the voters in West Virginia and Kentucky who openly proclaimed to the press that they wouldn't vote for a black man or a "Muslim." It's a known factor. Stats here.

We know from historical precedent that black voters will turn out for white candidates; as late as October 2007, Hillary led Barack 57-33 among African Americans. She lost their support.

YOU ONLY SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE AND IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE.

Then how come the facts are on my side?

I will probably vote for Bob Barr.

Good.

Jeff said...

Anonymous totally got pwned.

Anonymous said...

"Barack and Hillary have debated 21 times. Are you f'n kidding me?"

The last time Obama debated was in PA. They asked him unfair questions about Rev Wright & he took his ball & went home. No more debates, no more bowling & no more tough questions. I taking my basketball & going home. No more Redneck states with guns, bowling & white people churches.

FL, this is what FL thinks of Barack:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/florida.html

Hil beat MAC by 3, Mac beats O by 8.

You know FL voters probably don't care whose decision it was (like you do)--they want their votes counted. Obama likes it the way it is now. He won't like in Nov.

"Barack has objected to what many consider unfair attacks on Michelle"

UNFAIR, that would be you & your Obama friends

"His pastor of 20 years could be a Muslim? That's fucking laughtacular."

Lets see, Wright went with Farrakhan to Libya in the 1980's to see Qudaffi. The Trinty Church (Wright) gave Farrakhan an award. The Trinty Church also published an article by Hamas on why it is ok to kill Jews. Oprah had enough sense to quit--not Obama.

Oh, I have not even brought up the mad bomber who is Obama's bud--had a fund raiser for O at his house.

Oh, I guess I can't bring that up. Yea, that was the same shit that was brought up in the PA debate. No more of those!

"The grandmother reference...wow, way to take a sensitive, carefully nuanced observation and make it crass."

Yea, that was from the greatest speech since JFK or Churchill as the media reported it. He couldn't disown Rev. Wright no more than he could his uncle. A few weeks later, he threw Rev. Wright under the bus like he did granny. May be that speech was not so great?

"if the Clintons could find anything they'd have used it by now."

Newsflash, Hillary actually has been somewhat muted. She is smart enough to know she would need O's voters in Nov.

"You might also note that NC and Indiana came right after the Wright scandal hit its zenith, and he lost Indiana by less than 2%."

Obama lost by 41!!! in WV & 35!!! in KY--Bill Clinton won both of those states twice. THAT IS AN ASS KICKING!

You have proven my point with the following writing of yours:

"Racism: we're talking here about the voters in West Virginia and Kentucky who openly proclaimed to the press that they wouldn't vote for a black man or a "Muslim." It's a known factor." USA of KKK?

93% of Blacks voting for O is not racist?

"I will probably vote for Bob Barr. Good."

If it is close (which I doubt)I'll vote McCain. My wife who has never voted for a Repub said she is voting McCain (he is a RINO) as well as my TYPICAL WHITE WOMAN mother-in-law from a small bitter racist town in PA. Her husband was a local Dem politician.

"Then how come the facts are on my side?"

The facts that are on your side are before Rev. Wright & the PA primary.

Anonymous said...

From Gallup: Though Obama's nomination as the Democratic presidential candidate seems highly likely, Clinton actually is running better versus presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in general election...May 21-25 Gallup Poll Daily tracking, shows Clinton with a 3-point advantage (48% to 45%) over McCain, while Obama trails McCain by the same 3-point margin (47% to 44%).

That net difference of six points in the gap (+3 for Clinton and -3 for Obama) is typical of what Gallup has observed in the last four releases, and rank among the largest net differences...since Gallup began tracking general election preferences in mid-March.

Similar results from Rasmussen: Hil 48% MAC 44%; MAC 47%, Obama 44%

Andy said...

Well, if you go over to RealClearPolitics and look at the average of the national polls, factoring in the Gallup figures, overall Obama leads McCain by 2.4%, Clinton leads McCain by 1.4%.

When Barack Obama was here in Portland, among the many things he said that stuck with me was this comment: we need to stop worrying about how to win, and start worrying about why we should. And yes, at a certain point, pragmatism enters into it -- you don't want to throw your lot in with a sure-fire loser, especially after 8 years of Bush.

The remaining superdelegates can take whatever factors they wish into consideration, since almost certainly the ultimate decision will be theirs. I would caution them against speculating too much on "electability," because that's what sunk us with John Kerry. And really, it's way too early to have a sense how either candidate would fare against McCain. McCain is so inept and so wrong on so many things, and Obama and Clinton are both so sharp and so eloquent (um, most of the time...) that I think when the general campaign begins in earnest, you will see the numbers tilt much more in favor of the Democratic candidate. McCain is saddled with an unpopular war and a bad economy, both of which he thinks are doing just fine.

But going back to Obama's point: for me, Hillary Clinton is not why we should win. She represents the politics (if not the policies) that have gotten us into this bitterly divided red/blue landscape. We're talking more about who can carry which state in the general than we are about who is truly going to make the better president. I know, I'm gonna get called out for naivete, but I really truly believe Obama is going to change that. I believe that the gross mismanagement of Clinton's campaign shows she is not as competent as she would have us believe; she certainly has very little foresight, nor is she good with contingency plans. She is also plainly dishonest. I'd still prefer her to McCain, but I'll take Obama's humility and candor and the mistakes he's been honest about over Clinton's charade and clinical denial any day.

Anonymous said...

Don't trust Obama. Only 2,3 years in the Senate and he feels he's ready for the presidency? Dude, pay your dues first...

Hillary O8...