What’s a “Liberal” Again?


President Obama is considered a “liberal” Democrat in denial by the Village. If you ask Obama about his “shellacking” (can I take the time to point out how lame that word is and how sick I am of hearing it?) two weeks ago he will say that it was a messaging problem. While he was toiling away with legislation trying to help us ingrates he just didn’t have the time to go out and say how all of it was going to benefit our ungrateful behinds so we punished him at the voting booth for not chatting with us enough.
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Is it any wonder they keep winning?

This is what a Democrat looks like


There is another CDS Fest going on over at Ian Welsh’s place:


Gosh , all the partisan BS about Clinton, Hillary and Obama. and ever wonder why the right wing wins ALL the time?

One of my earliest memories was the assassination of JFK – I was only three years old but I remember my mom telling me that our President was dead. Growing up I watched the Vietnam war and the anti-war protests on television.

I remember the Watergate hearings, the Nixon resignation, inflation, oil embargoes, gas lines, terrorism at the Munich Olympics, the Iranian hostage crisis, dead marines in Lebanon, US victories in Grenada, Panama, and Kuwait. I even recall polyester leisure suits, platform shoes and disco.

The Democrats have controlled Congress for most of the fifty years I’ve been alive, but only held the White House for twenty-two of those years, including the first eight.

I recall my thirties as a time of peace and prosperity, a better time than any other period in my life. The guy who was in the White House back then was Bill Clinton. Lots of other people remember those eight years as a positive experience, which is why Bill Clinton still enjoys high approval ratings.
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Dana Milbank: Cheat off the Smart Girl, Bro!

Cross-posted from The New Agenda

Some of you might remember the reprehensible sexism of the repulsive Dana Milbank from back when he suggested that Hillary Clinton should drink “Mad Bitch” beer. Or from when he defended Alan Simpson after he likened Social Security to a cow with 310 million tits. Or perhaps from his numerous previous hit pieces against Hillary Clinton, both as a zombie candidate who just won’t die, and as the Secretary of State who takes on the easy work and demands constant praise. Even if you don’t, what you need to know is that Milbank has a history of bashing women on sexist grounds, and Secretary of State Clinton is one of his favorite punching bags.

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Superman, where are you now?


From Hot Air:

With Barack Obama’s popularity plummeting to the point where a visit does more damage to Democrats than Republicans, incumbent Democrats have increasingly turned to Bill Clinton to rescue them from their own electoral woes. The former President, whose personal popularity remains as high or higher than when he was in the White House, has turned up in House districts where Democrats have rarely needed any help at all, or even much campaigning.


Obama is the political kiss of death while the Big Dawg is CPR for flatlining campaigns. Whodathunkit?

Funny, but I don’t hear anyone screaming “No dynasties!” anymore.

From the comments in Wonk the Vote’s last post:

Clinton was not a Democrat


ORLY?

Well whatever the hell he was we need more of those.




Meanwhile, an “apology” from the Blogstalker Online Forum:

Dear Underachieving Under-Informed Bitter White Women of America: I’m sorry you feel bad about your vaginas.





Why do the Obots pile on Clinton?

It happens all of the time.  Obama does something feeble in terms of domestic policy or extends the unitary executive theory to assassinating Americans who should be tried first and while the comment threads fill up with anger some idiot steps in and says something like, “Yeah, but Bill Clinton was a Republican and a DLC leader and he was a Baaaaaad Dude and we don’t like him.”

And I think, where the Hell did THAT come from?

No president is perfect.  I don’t expect perfection.  And the DLC has been made out to be the equivalent of some Democratic Volturi, complete with glowing red eyes.  Ya’ know, I just don’t buy that.  The DLC has always seemed to me to be some kind of Rotary Club or other organization that you have to check off the list of memberships you need to be successful in Democratic politics.

But, Ok, maybe I’m missing something.  I wrack my brains over what it is exactly that is pissing so many Democrats off about Clinton.  And I come up with… nothing.  Or nothing that makes any damn sense.  I have to admit I didn’t like the results of the deregulation of financials with the termination of Glass-Steagall act. But as I understand it, that deregulation was going to pass with or without Clinton’s support.  And I’m not fond of his former economic advisors like Rubin and Summers.  But somehow, I can’t see the Big Dawg giving into the bankers in a crisis like this one.

In cases such as these,  I do a gut check.  I don’t look at the details.  I look at results.  Did the economy prosper?  Yep.  Did we get into any unnecessary wars?  No.  Were we hit by terrorism?  Yes.  But we also headed off a plot or two.  Richard Clark says by contrast, the Clinton administration was on top of things where the Bush administration was, er, lax.  Were his Supreme Court appointments reasonable?  Yes, he appointed the last liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  to the Supreme Court according to recently retired Justice Stevens (and what does that mean regarding Elena Kagan?)  Did he raise taxes?  Yes, on the wealthy.  That probably resulted in the surplus.  Did he solve the health care debacle?  No, but his wife was instrumental in getting the popular and efficient SCHIP legislation passed.

So, what is pissing off progressives?  I’ve heard a lot of nasty noises about Welfare Reform.  It makes no sense to me.  Nobody wants to be on welfare.  It needed to be reformed and getting people back to work is important.  Yes, the Republicans were shooting for a retributive and mean sprited bill and they voted it in.  But Clinton managed to get it softened.  The other thing that gets progressives’ dander up is NAFTA.  This puzzles me.  What exactly is the problem with free trade between your two closest neighbors?  The problem wasn’t the trade.  It was the labor laws.  From what I recall, the labor protections were stripped out of the bill- by Republicans.  And if you were paying attention back then, something progressives apparently were not doing, you would have known that the biggest threat was from India and China, not Mexico. How many refrigerators do you buy that have “Made in Guadalajara” on them?  Heck, I could see it 15 years ago when I watched a flood of Chinese scientists into the R&D industry.  If China could afford to let their best and brightest go to America, how many more must they have at home?  Millions, as it turns out.  It’s one of the reasons I ran for the school board in my town.  Our standards were abysmally low in math and science compared to China.  But the truth is, if you don’t support labor, the race to the bottom is steep and cruel, regardless of how well you do in calculus.

Now, let’s revisit Obama’s “accomplishments”, shall we?  Um, he doesn’t really have any.  You can pass all the legislation you want but if it doesn’t help people in the end, or worse, makes their economic situations more precarious by making it easier for employers to pass on the costs of health care to their employees and making that insurance more expensive, then the total number of bills passed means squat. If you’re going to get on Clinton’s case regarding welfare reform, shouldn’t you be doubly incensed that in a Mother of all Recessions, you have his administration cutting food stamps to pay for some Race to the Top education plan that very few people want or endorse?  Starve families while you starve their schools.  That’s progressive? Better than Clinton?  Or consider that in spite of the recommendations of some of his economic advisors, his stimulus plan failed to deliver a buzz because it was half the size it needed to be.  And don’t even get me started on Obama’s unitary executive theory stuff where it is OK to keep Guantanemo open, assassinate Americans and announce that you’re ending combat operations in Iraq while you keep 50,000 troops there.

It makes no sense to keep harping on Clinton when Obama isn’t in his league.  I remember the night Clinton won.  The Clintons and Gores stood on the steps of the Governor’s mansion in Little Rock and we were all so happy.  Ding, dong!, the nasty Republican presidents were gone.  Mean spirited Reagan, hiding behind his sunny disposition and sour faced Bush who didn’t bother to hide at all, twelve years of stingy, dispiriting, soul crushing conservative nastiness, to be replaced by a young president and his working woman wife.  The Clintons were who we aspired to be.  Successful, hard working, dedicated public servants.  And for the most part, they delivered.  They gave us 8 years towards the restoration of the American Dream in spite of the screaming banshees of the Movement Conservatives.

If that success invites comparisons between Obama and Clinton and it makes the people who service Obama a tad uncomfortable, that’s not surprising.  What is surprising is that so many people who should know better and know how the Republicans dogged Clinton for 8 years for no legitimate reason, would give in to the propaganda that Clinton is no better than a Republican president and a DLC mastermind.  These little gems, carelessly tossed off by the likes of Big Tent Democrat and cluttering up the comment threads of progressive blogs everywhere are distractions from the fact that Obama’s performance is horrendous in terms of liberal and progressive values.  He is not a friend of the working guy.  Instead of giving him a pass because “Clinton was a Republican president”, why aren’t these people holding Obama to a higher standard of performance?  I mean, compared to Clinton, isn’t Obama a LOT more Republican?

Unless the only point of the comments is propaganda and distraction. Yeah, that’s what I’m going for.  Forget the fact that Clinton is busting his ass for the party that stupidly rejected his more qualified wife for Obama.  Make sure those sheeplike progressives who are leaderless right now don’t start pining for a Clinton.

I got their number.  Do you?

Same planet, different worlds

F**@#$^%%!!


Rebecca Traister comes clean two years too late:

In 50 years it could be a magnificent miniseries or something. What are some examples of big stories that people either don’t remember or weren’t even aware of at the time?

Here’s a thing that I didn’t know at the time. When Hillary won New Hampshire, she became the first woman in American history to win a primary. I mean, I sort of knew that, of course, what she was doing was historic. But this was a massive thing, a change in 220 years of presidential history. I didn’t know, and it was my job to know.

And I went back and looked at the New York Times article that sort of summed up the events the next day: Hillary Clinton and McCain win New Hampshire. The article goes into great detail about her crying and all that. But it doesn’t mention that this was the first time in American history that a woman had won a presidential primary.

There were lots of smaller things, too. When I tell people about the NPR producer who compared Hillary to Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” people would say “What?! Somebody said that?!”

[...]

A lot of the misogyny, as well as the racism. A lot of that stuff on television, because there were so many channels going at the same time, and we were all struggling to keep up, we missed so many of the things that were being said.

[...]

I actually assumed that anti-Hillary misogyny would take the form that it did in the beginning, the Hillary nutcrackers and the “two fat thighs and a left wing” jokes. This loutish, mostly right wing anti-Hillary spew that we have gotten for decades.

The thing that had a radicalizing impact on me began after [Hillary lost in] Iowa. Because there was this pile-on, and to me it was mind-bending. It was coming often from people on the left. It was like something they had been keeping inside as they bit their tongues and covered this woman who had the gall to be the front-runner and the “inevitable” candidate, which was the word that they threw out there. And finally she had shown weakness, and they were just going nuts.

I wrote a piece for Salon about how, despite the fact that I was not a Hillary supporter, had I lived in New Hampshire I would have voted for her that week, because I was so pissed off. I didn’t know it at the time, but Rachel Maddow said something very similar about feeling like she wanted to defend her on air. There was a video made by Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, just laughing, sneering at Hillary for giving a rally where she answered all the voters’ questions and it went on for a long time. Showing these voters yawning and saying, “Whoa, she’s such a snooze.” I began to see in this very active, palpable way how she was being talked about as Tracy Flick, or Margaret from Dennis the Menace, or Hermione Granger — you know, the know it all girl. And that’s when I began to switch.

[...]

Well I was no fan of Hillary going in. For a long time, prior to her campaign, my feelings were negligible. In fact, I felt a kind of embarrassment that women were expected to have such strong feelings about Hillary. I admired her from a distance, but politically I had less and less in common with her as she moved to the center.

I was one of those few, proud, now deeply embarrassed John Edwards supporters. So when it came to super Tuesday I had to choose between her and Obama, about whom I felt roughly equivalent. I wound up almost flipping a coin and voting for Hillary, but I was still completely ambivalent about her.

Eventually I became a lot more aware of the ways in which not only Hillary but also her supporters were being talked about. I became increasingly sensitive to the scorn directed at her, and it built and built as she continued to fight, and it drove me nuts. Because I thought her continuing to fight was awesome and hilarious. I thought it was completely redefining how we view women and our expectations for them in public and political life. She would not comply. She would not give in. She would not do what the pundits wanted her to do, what her opponents wanted her to do, what reporters were insisting that she do, what everyone was telling her was the smart thing to do or, in one case, the classy thing to do. She just kept going.

But the more she did that, the more anger — biting anger — I began to see, both in the media and amongst the people I knew, and amongst Obama supporters, and that was what began to radicalize me in my support for Clinton, so that by the end I was an ardent Hillary supporter. That does not mean that I did not still find fault with her. I did, and I do. And there were a lot of terrible missteps she made during that campaign. But I was a devoted Hillary supporter by the end, so much so that I, with much humiliation, actually wound up crying after she conceded. I was in the [National Building Museum covering the story for Salon], and I had to run out of the press area, and I was trying to find a place behind a column, and I’m, like, choking out sobs, and I realize I’m standing next to Matt Drudge.

Except for the “terrible missteps” that’s pretty much how I saw it at the time, and still do. If you think everyone saw it the same way as us, think again. From the comments at Salon:

Ugh, seriously?

Hillary’s supporters spent the entire campaign season after Iowa complaining that anyone and everyone who won’t vote for her is actually not voting for her because she’s a woman. Don’t say “That didn’t happen”, because I, as an Obama supporter who thought Hillary was ok and would be a good president, got that thrown in my face continuously from January to June. Meanwhile, the Obama camp got a ton of racism thrown their way (often from the Hillary camp itself!) and let most of it go unless it was some serious shit. Guess which one won? The one whose campaign slogan wasn’t “You’re getting in the way of a historical moment, Asshole”.

I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of people who didn’t vote for her for being a woman. I’m not saying there weren’t a LOT of people on the 24 hour news stations making fun of her for being a woman. I’m saying there’s a lot of us Democrats who didn’t vote for her because she wasn’t the best of the two choices given to us. Get over it.
—bffoley

Yeppers, we even started our own blogs so we could host virtual cross-burnings while throwing bogus accusations of sexism into the faces of those poor, mistreated Obama supporters.



(h/t Susie Madrak)

A History Lesson

Miss me?


“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it again next year.”
– Beulah Limekiller, History Teacher, Elmore Blight Junior High

There’s a whole lotta misinformation about the Big Dawg floating around the progressive blogosphere these days. If you believed even half of it you would think the Clinton administration was a disaster for the nation. Here’s Ted Rall for example:

Because of Clintonian triangulation, the liberal base of the Democratic Party saw the 1990s as a squandered opportunity: eight years of unprecedented economic expansion with not one new social program, not even national healthcare, to show for it. They got the message: voting Democratic doesn’t guarantee Democratic policies. Unenthused, liberals stayed home or voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Liberal disgust for triangulation (they called it “selling out”) sufficiently reduced Al Gore’s margin of victory to allow George W. Bush to steal Florida and the national election. It took the Democrats six years to begin to recover.

Let’s jump in the Wayback machine and see what REALLY happened.


"Sherman, set the dial for 1992"


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How did these dumb asses beat Hillary?*

Conan Obama


WaPo:

The president stacked his administration with Capitol Hill veterans to help get the job done. Vice President Biden had served in the Senate since 1972. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had been a rising star in the House. Senior advisers Pete Rouse and Jim Messina, budget director Peter Orszag and legislative affairs director Phil Schiliro had close ties to key lawmakers.

[...]

But Republican votes never materialized — at least not in meaningful form that the White House had in mind. The first hint of GOP obstruction had emerged in January, when Obama made an early trip to Capitol Hill to urge support for his stimulus bill.

[...]

The bill received zero Republican votes in the House. Eight months later, by the time bipartisan health-care talks collapsed in September, the GOP outreach effort was effectively dead.

Democrats blamed the breakdown on Republican determination to undermine Obama. “If there’s a political strategy not to cooperate, there’s not a whole lot that you can do about it,” said White House senior adviser David Axelrod.

Gee Dave, what was your first clue?  When the Republicans pantsed Obama and stole his lunch money?

Seriously, where have these geniuses been the past couple of decades? Republicans not cooperating with Democrats? Whodathunkit?  Next thing you know those GOPers will be trying to undo an election by impeaching a Democratic POTUS for lying about a blow-job.

Here’s what the Dim-o-crats should have done, starting in January 2007 when they took control of Congress:


Try to enact a liberal agenda by introducing simple, popular bills and dare the Republicans to try to block them. If the GOPers succeed at obstructing the bills, use it against them in the next election. If the bills pass, take all the credit.

I know that sounds really complex to low-information types and counter-intuitive to the creative class, but it’s crazy enough it could have worked.



*(They didn’t – he was picked by the DNC)

A Couple of Brave Souls Dare to Praise Hillary Clinton

Ben Smith, a pudgy little man filled with bile

For the past few days, the Villagers and their media buddies have been poring over the trashy new book by John Heileman and Mark Halperin, Game Change. The person who seems to be having the most fun with the book is Ben Smith at Politico, who seemingly has been in the throes of an extended orgasm as gloating again and again in print about the supposed demise of Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Smith’s ravening, slavering hatred of the Clintons reached a climax today when he vomited out this repulsive bile-filled piece: Game over: The Clintons stand alone According to Smith, there is no one left who will stand up and defend either Clinton. They are universally and resoundingly hated and despised by everyone in politics and “journalism.” Here’s an example of Ben Smith’s putrid prose:

“Game Change” peels back a decade of careful renovations off Hillary Clinton’s carefully constructed public face, casting her in the terms that defined her at her lows in the mid-1990s: scheming, profane, sometimes paranoid, often tone-deaf.

The authors report that Clinton and her aides plotted behind allies’ backs to enter the 2004 presidential contest and that Clinton herself favored some of the nastiest tactics, such as suggesting that then-Sen. Barack Obama had been a drug dealer, in the 2008 campaign. And she continued to believe — without evidence, and long after her concession — that he had, in effect, stolen the Iowa caucuses by importing out-of-state voters.

Her husband, the former president, is depicted as canny, but flawed as ever: making key errors, as has been widely reported, in South Carolina, and raising his own aides’ suspicions that he was reprising the extramarital wanderings that exploded during his presidency.

“Everybody talked. Anybody that tells you they didn’t are lying to you,” lamented one former top Clinton aide, who mused that perhaps for the first time in a career of leaks and betrayals, the Clinton’s innermost circle of loyalists been breached.

The result leaves the Clintons exposed and isolated, their darkest suspicions — “us against the world” — validated.

Excuse me for a minute. I think I’m going to be sick.

OK, back. Today a couple of courageous people did come forward to praise Hillary Clinton–and lo and behold, they did it under their own names, rather than hiding behind anonymity, as most of Heilemann and Halperin’s sources did.

First up, Peter Daou, who was communications director of the Clinton campaign.

…this is not about psychoanalyzing Hillary Clinton or probing her personal attributes — others have made a living doing that. It’s not about making her out to be a saint. Nobody is. This is about describing how she ran her campaign and how she treated her opponents when the cameras and microphones were off.

Was I on every call and at every strategy session? No. Can I vouch for every single thing said and done at the campaign. Of course not. But having participated in countless senior strategy meetings, crisis management and rapid response drills and emergencies, “war rooms within war rooms” (a term used by Heilemann/Halperin), debate prep, calls, emails and private conversations with the candidate, and having slept with my BlackBerry under my pillow and been stationed at the center of her communications operation for the duration of the campaign, I can confidently state that Hillary Clinton did not push for ‘vicious’ or dirty tactics against any of her opponents, nor did she encourage or ‘cheer on’ that behavior from her staff. The ethos of the campaign, which she conveyed in word and deed, was that she would win because she was best prepared, worked the hardest and had the most compelling ideas.

She was centered, dignified and focused throughout, although her frustration and pain did show through at some moments. She knew the media environment was stacked against her, against any woman. She knew what she was up against and drove forward into the furious headwinds of sexism and rightwing-fueled Clinton-hatred.

Daou also speaks to the gloating media critics who want to muddy the Clintons while pretending that Obama is pure as the driven snow.

…I have little tolerance for critics who simplify the whole election as some sort of reflection of the supposedly terrible character of Bill and Hillary Clinton, conveniently ignoring the Obama campaign’s brutally effective hardball tactics and overlooking the infinite dimensions — and messiness — of a presidential image/message war.

Next to stand up for Hillary is MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough in a piece called “The True Character of Hillary Clinton.”

…what I saw throughout Hillary’s 2008 campaign was a candidate who kept fighting back even after being badly wounded in Iowa, negligently served by her staff, and treated miserably by a biased press corps….

I thought the 48 hours before the New Hampshire primary were the most humiliating any national figure of Hillary Clinton’s stature had to endure in recent political history. It was a political execution that was broadcast across the world in slow motion. And it was ugly.

But Hillary Clinton had other plans. The New York senator shocked every pundit and pollster from Manchester to Manhattan, outperforming the final NH polls by a dozen points or more.

For the next few months, the Clinton campaign took one body blow after another. The media coverage was deplorable. In fact, it was so biased in some quarters that more than a few living legends of broadcast news privately shared with me the embarrassment they felt toward their own profession.

Still, Clinton kept fighting on.

Scarborough goes on to enumerate the many times Hillary fought back during the 2008 primaries, and finishes with this high praise for Hillary’s character:

Character is rarely revealed in its sharpest contrast after a glorious victory. Instead, you find out what a person is made of after they sustain a soul crushing defeat. In her long, tortured march toward Denver, Hillary Clinton showed more character, more resilience, and more true grit than any presidential candidate I can recall.

And in that losing cause, Secretary Clinton served as a great example of character not only for my young daughter, but for us all. It is that type of strength that we need in our leaders now more than ever.

Thank you Peter and Joe for being unafraid to stand up to the slick, slimy Villagers and their ugly, envious, bile-ridden media courtiers. I salute you both!

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Who ARE these people?

OK, let me get this straight. The guy who is Majority Leader of the Senate talks in private about another Senator like this:

Reid said Obama could fare well nationally as an African-American candidate because he was “light-skinned” and didn’t speak with a “Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”

We know that at least this statement from the soon-to-be-released book Game Change is true, because Reid has already apologized for it.

Saturday, the majority leader said he had used “poor choice of words” and called Obama to apologize; the White House issued a statement indicating that the president had forgiven Reid.

Based on the review in The New York Times and on excerpts of the book that have been published by several news outlets, Game Change, by John Heilemann of New York Magazine and Mark Halperin of Time, apparently focuses almost exclusively on gossip and scandal about the 2008 presidential candidates and their spouses.

What I’ve mostly learned from reading excepts and quotes from the book is that many of the people who are running our country are frighteningly out of touch with modern American culture and language. No wonder they are governing as if we were living in the 19th century rather than the 21st!

Harry Reid is 70 years old–just 8 years older than I am. Yet he apparently uses the term “Negro” in private conversations. As I recall, that term began to be considered inappropriate in the late 1960s, in response to the “Black is Beautiful” movement.

Here is what Matthew Yglesias had to say about this story:

I’m slow on the uptake about this whole “negro dialect” business but it’s a reminder of how weird political apologies get to be. It’s good that Reid apologized, but at the same time you can’t really apologize for being the sort of person who’d be inclined to use the phrase “negro dialect” and it’s more the idea of Reid being that kind of person that’s creepy here than anything else. Doesn’t seem likely to help Reid’s already troubled re-election campaign.

For once I have to agree with Yglesias. Creepy is a very good word for Reid’s behavior. And I recall that this is also the guy who complained aloud about the odor of working class tourists in DC in the summer. This man is creepy as hell. So why is he in charge of the U.S. Senate?

And then we have this:

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a group of other senators who would back Hillary Clinton’s candidacy encouraged Obama to run for the White House as early as 2006. The concern over Clinton was that she would be a weak Democratic standard-bearer while Obama could energize the party. In late summer 2007, Schumer – using an Obama ally, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), as a back channel – pushed the candidate to “take a two-by-four to Hillary,” as the authors put it.

The backstabbing part I can believe. That’s par for the course in politics, but “take a two-by-four to Hillary?” That’s almost worse than Keith Olberman’s advice to Democratic leaders to get Hillary Clinton out of the primary race by finding “Someone who can take her into a room and only he comes out.”

The language attributed to Schumer does seem in character with his recent behavior toward a female flight attendant who asked him to turn off his cell phone during a flight:

Schumer was sitting next to protege Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, gabbing away on his phone, when a flight attendant told him to shut it down.

Schumer turned off his phone, and then argued with the attendant that he was allowed to talk while the cabin door is open. He lost.

He then muttered his complaint about the flight attendant to Gillibrand.

A Republican aide on the plane, who overheard the powerful Democrat, tattled to Politico.com.

“The senator made an off-the-cuff comment under his breath that he shouldn’t have made, and he regrets it,” Schumer spokesman Brian Fallon told Anne Schroeder Mullins.

What is wrong with these people? Is it just because I live in a large urban area in the liberal Northeast and associate with relatively intelligent and sophisticated people that I find all this so shocking? I know we saw incredible misogyny from the news media during both the primary and general campaigns, but somehow it seems even more stunning to me coming from a supposedly liberal Democratic Senator.

Then there is the treatment of Elizabeth Edwards in the Heilemann-Halperin book. I have trouble buying the descriptions of Elizabeth because of the misogynistic nature of the language that the authors paraphrase and quote. For example,

In the wake of the first Enquirer story about Mr. Edwards’s affair, the authors write, Mrs. Edwards “was sobbing, out of control, incoherent,” and vented her fury on the “very aides who had kept the matter from mushrooming” further.

If “kept the matter from mushrooming” means concealing it from Elizabeth and talking about it behind her back, then her furious reaction seems understandable. Frankly, I think fury is understandable just in the context of learning your husband is cheating on you when you have cancer and that he has just flushed both of your futures down the toilet. Heileman and Halperin write that:

…while the aides had sympathy for Mrs. Edwards’s struggle with cancer, they regarded her as a badgering, often irrational presence on the campaign. “The nearly universal assessment among them,” Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann write of the Edwards aides, “was that there was no one on the national stage for whom the disparity between public image and private reality was vaster or more disturbing. What the world saw in Elizabeth: a valiant, determined, heroic everywoman. What the Edwards insiders saw: an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman.”

Apparently there is more gossip about the Clintons in the book than about any of the other participants in the campaign. So what else is new?

Oh, and by the way, the authors of Game Change describe the Obama’s marriage as idyllic.

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