Lying down with dogs

Geraldine Ferraro, please shut up.

The first link there is to the Daily Breeze article in which former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro said this:

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”

Being black in America is all win, see? There’s no downside. No obstacles to overcome. No Bradley effect. Nothing but benefit. Racism? A thing of the past. White people wish they had it so good.

At best that’s monumentally ignorant, at worst it’s blatantly racist crap. Either way, it’s indefensible. And unspinnable.

Yet there’s a whole lot of spinnin’ goin’ on.

The first line of spin defense is that this was an ad hoc comment, taken out of context, made during an informal interview with a small-circulation paper in off-the-beaten-path Torrance, Calif.

Except no, it wasn’t. The Daily Breeze interview was last week. This is a shtick, a bit, a scripted piece of boilerplate that Ferraro’s been rehearsing and refining much longer than that.

The second link above is to the audio of Ferraro saying the same thing — nearly verbatim — on right-wing radio host John Gibson’s show in February:

“John, between me and you and your millions of listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential real problem for Hillary?”

Gibson — John Gibson of Fox News — suggests that this sounds like she just “playing the race card” and Ferraro responds that she’s just telling “the truth” because “you know how honest I am.”

This we’ve heard before, a thousand times. The boasting of courageous honesty from someone unafraid to tippy-toe around with politically correct niceties, preferring instead the unvarnished honesty of asserting that black people are “very lucky” to enjoy all the privileges that come with being black in America.

In that third link above, Will Bunch explains the target audience for this shtick: the Archie Bunker demographic. The fourth link looks at Ferraro’s attempts to defend her comments when she got called on this stuff — which includes her complaints of “reverse racism” and other wretched silliness.

It’s possible to view this all in the abstract and thus to draw a distinction between pandering to the bigotry of racist voters in order to win an election and actually sharing the beliefs of those racist voters. I’m just not sure that such an abstract distinction really matters in the real world.

A bit of history: In 1988, Michael Dukakis’ primary strategy relied on his being the last white guy left against Jesse Jackson, which he gambled (correctly, if not admirably) would ensure him the nomination. You’ll recall how that worked out for him come the general election.

  • balt

    Obama claims not to be able to tell whether he’s running against Hillary or Bill: and of course that periodically feeling down comment and his “You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out”.
    All three of these are really pushing, but especially the first. Similar complaints were made by various candidates about Elizabeth Edwards campaigning for her husband.
    I also think that the “periodically feeling down” is reading a lot into what he said. And actually fabricates the most damning portion (that it’s periodic).
    The claws coming out? How exactly is that supposed to be anti-women?
    For the second two, I can see some critique that it uses language that may be more generally used to describe women, and is therefore sexist. But it still seems pretty tame.
    Of course, so does Ms. Ferraro’s comment, which I originally interpretted in the opposite manner than was apparently intended: that Obama wouldn’t be in this position of not yet having the nomination wrapped up if he weren’t black.

  • damnedyankee

    It’s foolish to insist that the U.S. is the source of all the tension there, just as it’s foolish to ignore the tension we are causing.

    I’m not saying “that the U.S. is the source of all tension there”. I’m saying that we can do nothing to relieve the tension (or possibly even keep a lid on it) because we’re the ones who broke their country and brought all of this hell down on them. We delivered them from a dictatorship and into chaos. Yes, Sunni and Shi’a are killing each other as they have been for centuries, but we cleared the way for this current orgy of violence and damn few are the Iraqis who do not know this.

  • damnedyankee

    The claws coming out? How exactly is that supposed to be anti-women?

    I would take it as implying that it would be “fighting like a girl” (scratching instead of punching). It is an odd phrase to use in connection with a campaign. If it were in reference to another campaign (one headed by a man), I think “claws” would have been replaced with “knives”.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Yes, Sunni and Shi’a are killing each other as they have been for centuries, but we cleared the way for this current orgy of violence and damn few are the Iraqis who do not know this.
    Meh – there’s certainly a lot of blame in allowing this ethnic violence to be started off again, but that hardly equates to the presence of the U.S. exacerbating ethnic tension. We need to get out, period – but it needs to be done as gracefully, carefully, and prudently as possible. I just don’t see how our leaving ASAP doesn’t create any less number of problems than it solves.

  • Lauren

    I would take it as implying that it would be “fighting like a girl” (scratching instead of punching).
    I took it to mean “Catfight!” but that’s another possibility.
    But I think if it were refering to a man’s campaign, the comment would have been “taking the gloves off.”

  • Cowboy Diva

    I think “claws” would have been replaced with “knives
    damnedyankee,
    are you bringing phallic symbols into the conversation on purpose?

  • damnedyankee

    Meh – there’s certainly a lot of blame in allowing this ethnic violence to be started off again, but that hardly equates to the presence of the U.S. exacerbating ethnic tension.

    We invaded and destroyed the local power structure. We allowed chaos to thrive in the streets while making sure the oil ministry building was secured. We then put ourselves in the role of aiding one side of the religio-ethnic divide over the other (de-Baathification, anyone?). That’s exacerbation in anyone’s book.

    We need to get out, period – but it needs to be done as gracefully, carefully, and prudently as possible. I just don’t see how our leaving ASAP doesn’t create any less number of problems than it solves.

    Which is why they call it a quagmire. Staying and going are both bad solutions. But going is the slightly less worse one.

  • Wogglebug

    “The claws come out” isn’t a reference to cats per se. It’s a reference to catfights, a description used to put down women’s conflicts.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Lauren: Obama accused HRC of having “claws” and emotions. On my sexism-o-meter that ranks about a 1.02.
    If it was being said about you by a man with whom you were in direct competition for a job that you both wanted very much? Hm?
    Robb: but that hardly equates to the presence of the U.S. exacerbating ethnic tension.
    The US is arming and training Shi’ite militia units: of course that’s “exacerbating ethnic tension”. There is a civil war between ethnicities going on in Iraq, and the US is taking sides in it.

  • damnedyankee

    damnedyankee,
    are you bringing phallic symbols into the conversation on purpose?

    Haha, no, I didn’t even think of that until you mentioned it. Goddamn Freudian slips.

  • Rosina

    Goddamn Freudian slips.
    How dare you refer to Mrs Clinton’s underwear like that!
    And ‘claws’ does seem to refer either to women, or to effeminate men. Rather like ‘handbags’, although that’s usually used in relation to footballers scuffling after a foul.

  • damnedyankee

    How dare you refer to Mrs Clinton’s underwear like that!

    Oh, let’s us not even go there…

  • Lauren

    If it was being said about you by a man with whom you were in direct competition for a job that you both wanted very much?
    My friend’s husband went for a job interview where the applicants had to interview each other, then report on each other to the prospective employer. My friend and I both thought it was the strangest and most stressful-sounding interview process we had ever heard of. I bring it up because I have never been in in interview process where I knew the other candidates, let alone was expected to comment on them. Running for public office ain’t like most “competitions for a job.”
    If I were in a competition like that, I would try to slip in as many backhanded compliments as I possibly could, and then I’d feel hurt and mistreated when he did the same thing to me. Emotions are irrational like that.

  • http://ksej.livejournal.com Nick Kiddle

    “The claws come out” looks to me like a pretty clear case of someone who was raised in a sexist culture, absorbed some of it and emitted it without much conscious thought.

  • damnedyankee

    Rather like ‘handbags’, although that’s usually used in relation to footballers scuffling after a foul.

    And yet, sadly, my mind takes me immediately not to footballers, but elsewhere in the storied tapestry of English culture.

  • Anonymous

    “The claws come out” looks to me like a pretty clear case of someone who was raised in a sexist culture, absorbed some of it and emitted it without much conscious thought.
    Or maybe he’s a fan of Dinosaur Comic. It would put the “Hillary is a monster” quote in context, wouldn’t it?

  • Jeff

    8:12 PM was me.
    I hatessss Typepad. I hatestesesessss it!

  • Jeff

    I don’t know who reads “indexed”, but I’d like to get the Catholics reaction to this:The Vatican announces 7 NEW flavors of sin! (larger version here). I like BC and, even more, AG.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    The US is arming and training Shi’ite militia units: of course that’s “exacerbating ethnic tension”. There is a civil war between ethnicities going on in Iraq, and the US is taking sides in it.
    (sigh) No, it’s more complicated than that – the US military is assisting with training of the Iraqi army, which is primarily made up of Shiites, and is directly supported by the Shiite gov’t. They’re also now working with several groups that were far too quickly labeled “terrorists” by G Dub & his cronies, including the Mehdi army – which they are tolerating & congratulating on the ceasefire, but are not actively training. Then there’s the overwhelmingly Sunni Iraqi Freedom Council (or whatever the English term is), made up of Sunni tribal leaders who are wanting to get rid of Al Queda, and thus gladly work with the US.
    Again, I think it’s foolish to say there isn’t loads of tension caused by the U.S. military presence, but it’s just not so simple as “America is causing all the problems and leaving will make everything better” – not that you’re even saying that, but your statement a gross simplification of the situation there.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    but it’s just not so simple as “America is causing all the problems and leaving will make everything better”
    You are the only person who is saying that, Robb: if you think it’s wrong, why are you saying it? Why not respond to what people are actually saying, instead?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Amazing. Scott gets booted, and now we’ve got a new Factory Extruded Republican posting here. Is there some kind of monitoring/dispatching service for these guys, making sure that every Liberal website has at least one of them?

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    You’re right, no one is explicitly saying that. . . here, but that is a common sentiment among the left. When I was at the caucus for my precinct, I can’t say how many times I heard variations on those exact words: “Once we’re out of Iraq, the ethnic tensions will ease down” or somesuch. It’s not an uncommon opinion. It’s also not far from what is being said here – am I to take it that you & damnedyankee are arguing that the U.S. is a negligible factor in the various political & ideological tensions that fuel the violence in Iraq?

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Robb – Just so you know, McCain isn’t any sort of a liberal, or even a moderate. ISTR he’s a serious antiabortionist, for one thing. He’s just less insane than the Bush Junta.
    Apropos of everyone who’s pointed out that leaving Iraq immediately would result in all-out civil war: I can’t help thinking that BushCo made a huge, huge mistake hanging Saddam Hussein so quickly. We could have solved SO many problems if they’d just put him back in charge….

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    … now we’ve got a new Factory Extruded Republican posting here. Is there some kind of monitoring/dispatching service for these guys, making sure that every Liberal website has at least one of them?
    Um. . . if you’re referring to me, 1) I’ve been here a while, I just don’t feel like commenting all the time 2) Are you reading what I’m saying? I’m trying to provide a more balanced view to what is a very complicated situation – I like playing Devil’s Advocate sometimes, but moreso than that, I like seeing things fair. I tend to be in the middle on a lot of political positions, so if you’re on the left, and you’re being lazy, I can see how you could mistake me for someone on the right. I don’t think the political spectrum should be viewed so one dimensionally.
    Don’t misrepresent me – I said I’d be ok with John McCain: there are plenty of things to admire about the guy, and he wouldn’t be a terrible Prez. But I didn’t vote for him – I registered for the Democratic party just so that I could caucus for Obama, because I really want him to be my President.
    I can’t help thinking that BushCo made a huge, huge mistake hanging Saddam Hussein so quickly. We could have solved SO many problems if they’d just put him back in charge
    Again, my goal isn’t to say (as our dear departed Scott would) “You filty leftist, you’ve got it wrong again”, but rather to correct a slight error – Saddam’s death was entirely an Iraqi thing. I strongly suspect Bush would have wanted him alive much longer to parade around & make people forget how badly he’d screwed up not catching bin Laden.
    More importantly – Saddam Hussein was a mass murderer. He was rather convenient from the standpoint of keeping a lot of ethnic tension under wraps, but that he is dead is a good thing for damn near everyone. It’s just a shame he couldn’t have been removed by his own people in an organized coup.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    On the subject of Saddamn, I’m reminded of this. Not a terribly pleasant thought, but something that should be kept in mind when talking about the “good ‘ol days” in Iraq. It’s horrifying that the U.S. has screwed up everything there so badly that people actually look favorably on the days of his rule.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    [ducks to computer with Lost on a commercial]
    So. . . am I the new Scott, then? I realize I hold a few views that could qualify me as one of the most “conservative” commenters, but do I need to adopt a belligerence toward “Compassionate Liberals”TM and talk about how everyone would be better off without a government? Can I have my very own tale of woe?
    The hell with that, if I’m the new antagonist, I want a cape, an army of ninjas, and a bad-ass lair/headquarters on a Deception Island. And Elizabeth Mitchell.

  • damnedyankee

    It’s horrifying that the U.S. has screwed up everything there so badly that people actually look favorably on the days of his rule.

    People will take the certainty of a dictatorship over the absolute uncertainty of utter chaos. That’s how people are.

    “Once we’re out of Iraq, the ethnic tensions will ease down” or somesuch. It’s not an uncommon opinion. It’s also not far from what is being said here – am I to take it that you & damnedyankee are arguing that the U.S. is a negligible factor in the various political & ideological tensions that fuel the violence in Iraq?

    I never said that. I said that leaving was, of two bad choices that will not end well, the less bad choice. “Less bad” does not equate with “good”. Death and horror are fait accompli with any action we take. If we stay or if we go, Iraq will not end well. That is the nature of the quagmire.
    The wheels are about to fly off of the American military as soldiers get sent in for tour after tour with brutally short breaks in between spent back home. Suicide rates in the military are climbing. Desertion is on the rise for the first time in decades. The US military is BREAKING DOWN because of Iraq.
    Add to that the costs. Estimates are now talking in the trillions.
    We invaded their country on the premise of lies. Now, having entirely botched the job and reneging on all promises, all we can do is pull out our own and stop the bleeding of lives and resources.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Hmm . . . there ain’t nothing in the comment above I disagree with.

  • Spalanzani

    Well, if there ain’t nothing, there must be something you disagree with, right? Because the absense of nothing is something. Unless it’s super nothing.
    Maybe it’s time for bed…

  • ako

    You’re right, no one is explicitly saying that. . . here, but that is a common sentiment among the left.
    Robb, some advice. Either argue against positions people here actually take or make it clear you’re not arguing with them. If you want to rant about something that annoying you which no on Slactivist has said, by all means. But do your best to make sure people don’t think you’re attributing the argument to them.
    It doesn’t sound like an intentional strawman, since you readily admit that no one here’s said that. But it can easily be read as one, and people tend to argue less intelligently and respectfully if they think you’re attributing fictional positions to them.

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  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Robb: Saddam’s death was entirely an Iraqi thing.
    Hardly. Saddam Hussein was legally in the custody of the “interim Iraqi government” – that is, the US-appointed and US-supported puppet show – at the time he was tried, sentenced, and executed. The trial lasted, as I recall, only weeks, and its validity was dubious. Saddam Hussein remained physically in the custody of the US throughout, and at any point the US could have declared that they did not believe he was receiving a fair trial – which he wasn’t – and transferred him to a neutral venue such as the Hague.
    I strongly suspect Bush would have wanted him alive much longer to parade around & make people forget how badly he’d screwed up not catching bin Laden.
    Oh, come off it. You can’t be that naive.
    George W. Bush himself might not have cared one way or the other, but most of the worst crimes of which Saddam Hussein stood accused were committed during the Reagan administration; and Saddam Hussein’s testimony, had he been fairly tried in open court, would have damned many people who are now – or who were at the time of Saddam Hussein’s execution – senior in the Bush administration. (Donald Rumsfeld, for example.) During the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein was committing atrocities for which he fully deserved to be imprisoned in a small cell for the rest of his life, Iraq was the US’s ally and trading partner: Saddam Hussein was regarded as a useful partner in the Middle East.
    Further – and specifically damning to Dick Cheney – the Oil for Food financial scandal implicated many big US corporations, among them Halliburton at a time when Cheney was its CEO. Put Saddam Hussein in the dock with nothing to lose, being questioned about financial irregularities in this enormous scandal? This is a huge motivation for Cheney – and other former Reaganites – wanting Hussein executed.
    And so he was, after a brief trial during which he was questioned primarily about a crime committed in 1982, before Reagan took Iraq off the list of terrorist nations. This has never become much of a scandal, because no one argues that Saddam Hussein wasn’t a terrible person who, if you support the death penalty at all, merited death. But it bears every hallmark of it being arranged that he should be killed before he could talk – and the notion that this was just an all-Iraqi affair, my god we had no idea our puppet government would hustle him to his death?
    No, I don’t believe that. Nor do I understand altogether why you are that naive, Robb.

  • Jeff

    Not a terribly pleasant thought, but something that should be kept in mind when talking about the “good ‘ol days” in Iraq.
    Too bad it’s no longer valid. We crossed Hussein’s total quite a while ago.
    Elizabeth Mitchell? Even limiting your choices to Craphole Island, why would you want a woman with no facial expression whatsoever? Yunjin Kim is a 1000 times prettier (and can act, which makes her all the more attractive to me). Of course, Mitchell and Lily seem to have a clause in their contratc that anyone prettier (or better at acting) — which is almost any woman — is killed. So no Maggie Grace, or even Michelle Rodriguez.

  • Jeff

    Going back to the original topic, I’ve not seen anyone defend Clinton’s action with regard to Michigan. I say that they make her a liar and a cheat, and a clumsy one at that. We’ve had 8 years of clumsy lying and cheating — why would we want 4 more?

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Saddam Hussein was legally in the custody of the “interim Iraqi government” – that is, the US-appointed and US-supported puppet show – at the time he was tried, sentenced, and executed. The trial lasted, as I recall, only weeks, and its validity was dubious. Saddam Hussein remained physically in the custody of the US throughout, and at any point the US could have declared that they did not believe he was receiving a fair trial – which he wasn’t
    Puppet show that the Iraqi govt may have been/still is, he wasn’t tried by U.S. lawyers (though he did have some defending him, apparently), didn’t have a bevy of U.S. experts lined up against him, and was tried for what he did to the Iraqi people. The antipathy towards him was entirely genuine, despite the gross disregard for procedural justice in the trial. It was a show trial, but it was largely an Iraqi show – but you’re right in that the U.S. did hardly anything to stop it.
    Were there reasons the Bush goon squad wanted him dead? Of course! I’m not being naive about that: I’m aware of the amoral fiends that run the White House and have done so in the past, and I don’t think it would have been too much different if it had been a U.S. run trial. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t killed (as he should have been) by his own people. He also had plenty of opportunities to talk at his trial, and he did – he criticized the U.S. & the puppet Iraqi gov’t!
    That he could have been more explicit about the previous help he received from the U.S. is frustrating, because it would have reminded people of how downright villainous Reagan was and Cheney is.

  • http://accidental-historian.blogspot.com/ Geds

    Can I have my very own tale of woe?
    I dunno. I’m pretty lazy these days. Busy. I mean busy.
    I want a cape, an army of ninjas, and a bad-ass lair/headquarters on a Deception Island. And Elizabeth Mitchell.
    We can get you the old sets for Temptation Island and Elizabeth Dole. How’s that work for ya?
    Elizabeth Mitchell? Even limiting your choices to Craphole Island, why would you want a woman with no facial expression whatsoever?
    Hey, now. She has facial expressions. They’re limited to “smirk,” but you can always tell if she’s smirking in anger, deception, or sympathy…

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    I say that they make her a liar and a cheat, and a clumsy one at that. We’ve had 8 years of clumsy lying and cheating — why would we want 4 more?
    That’s why everyone NEEDS to vote for Barack Obama.
    please!

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    So no Maggie Grace, or even Michelle Rodriguez.
    WHAT?!?! You’re favorably comparing the acting skills of Michelle Rodriguez? She has the same character in everything she’s in! “Ooh, I’m Michelle Rodriguez, brooding badass girl! Look at me, I’m tough, but like, damaged!”
    I’ll grant that Elizabeth Mitchell isn’t the most expressively wide ranged actress out there, but there are many better comparisons out there than Michelle Rodriguez.
    As to the prettiest: to each their own, let’s leave it at that.

  • DMD

    Ferraro’s argument is essentially the same as Rush Limbaugh’s in the Donovan McNabb flap a couple years ago. He’s had is easy because the media wants a black man to win. Such BS.

  • Froborr

    Honestly, if there’s any “ism” in my support of Obama over Clinton, it’s ageism. I was originally extremely dissatisfied with the Democratic pool — the only one who appealed at all, Kucinich, was too liberal and (possibly more damagingly, in the shallow world of American celebrity politics) too short to stand a chance — but at the first debate, everyone except Obama was talking about how they would be the best choice to repair the damage done by Bush and restore the golden age of the 90s.* Obama alone was talking about moving into the future and creating something better. I immediately, albeit only semi-consciously, tied this to the fact that he was 46 — barely older than my oldest sibling! — and everyone else was in their 60s or older.
    Clinton was always the one I most disliked, however. Economically, she’s a neocon. On social and foreign policy, she’s a weathervane. Also, as I believe a commenter here, or possibly Fred himself, pointed out, she has been confronted with countless, heartbreaking stories of suffering on the campaign trail (I recall several from the AFL-CIO debate, for starters), and yet the time she chooses to cry is when *she* is losing. Comparisons to Bill are inevitable, just as are comparisons between Bush I and Dubya, or John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Inevitably, when I compare the two Clintons, I see all of Bill’s flaws in Hillary (except his excessive enjoyment of the perquisites of power) and none of his undeniable charisma or genuine (I think) empathy. She’s a cold-hearted, self-centered, privileged New England WASP, and we’ve had quite enough of *those*, thank you very much.
    Frankly, in a choice between McCain and Clinton, I’m not sure who to vote for. Universal health care will never happen under either of them. Clinton is (today, at least) closer to my views on Iraq, and marginally less likely to start another stupid war. On the other hand, under either, we’re going to see more decay of Social Security, more corporate tax breaks, more steal-from-the-poor-to-give-to-the-rich economics, more censorship, more secrecy, and more lies. There’s no guarantee we won’t see these things with Obama, of course, but at least with him (much as I hate to say it)… there’s hope.
    ————-
    *My own view of the 90s may be distorted by the fact that I was distracted by being a hyper-emotional, irrational adolescent.** Anybody want to confirm my memory that the economy was lousy and social issues, especially gay rights, were stalling?
    **See? Ageism. Fortunately, unlike most other isms, regarding adolescents as subhuman has the advantage of empirical support.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Robb: Puppet show that the Iraqi govt may have been/still is, he wasn’t tried by U.S. lawyers (though he did have some defending him, apparently), didn’t have a bevy of U.S. experts lined up against him, and was tried for what he did to the Iraqi people.
    None of the above is relevant to the point I was making – that Saddam Hussein was wholly in the power of the US government, several senior members of which had good cause to want him killed before he could talk, when he was executed.
    But your last point is particularly egregious: he wasn’t tried “for what he did to the Iraqi people”. He was put on trial for a specific crime committed against a specific village in 1982 – a crime chosen primarily, I suspect, because the trial for it could not embarrass any of the senior members of the US government. Saddam Hussein was guilty of many more crimes against Iraqis – some much worse than the massacre of an entire village – but he was not tried for any of them.
    The antipathy towards him was entirely genuine, despite the gross disregard for procedural justice in the trial. It was a show trial, but it was largely an Iraqi show – but you’re right in that the U.S. did hardly anything to stop it.
    The US had the authority to stop the trial entirely when it was clear that it was not going to be a fair trial. As this was not done, it’s hard to see how you can claim even that the US did “hardly anything to stop it”: the word you’re looking for is nothing. And as killing Saddam Hussein fast was so beneficial to those who could have stopped the trial, nothing is what a cynical person would expect.
    Were there reasons the Bush goon squad wanted him dead? Of course! I’m not being naive about that
    You were naively claiming the exact opposite at 12:17 AM. *ho hum* Oh well.
    But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t killed (as he should have been) by his own people.
    Oh, come off it. This is ignorance. He wasn’t “killed by his own people”. He was executed by his ethnic and religious enemies, on a day intended to violate Sunni religious beliefs. He was killed after a show trial orchestrated to benefit the foreign military dictatorship running the country, without procedural justice for either his victims or himself.
    That he could have been more explicit about the previous help he received from the U.S. is frustrating, because it would have reminded people of how downright villainous Reagan was and Cheney is.
    Wow – it doesn’t take much for you to come round to my way of thinking and repeat what I told you as if you’d thought of it for yourself! Yes: this is why Saddam Hussein should have been tried at the Hague, for all his crimes, beginning to end. It would have taken years, and it would have implicated Cheney, Rumsfeld, probably other senior members of the Reagan/Bush/Bush administrations, and because of that it was never going to happen.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    @Jesu-
    I’ll leave aside the further arguments & say just this: I maintain that Bush & co would have wanted as much political capital from Saddam’s trial as possible. Yes, as you assert (and I’m not disagreeing), there were very good reasons to want him dead. But that doesn’t mean (as you seem to be implying) it was a blatant U.S. manipulated murder – they little/nothing to stop it from happening is different from conspiracy. See here.
    Then, here.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    I maintain that Bush & co would have wanted as much political capital from Saddam’s trial as possible.
    And they got what they wanted. No argument from me.
    But that doesn’t mean (as you seem to be implying) it was a blatant U.S. manipulated murder
    Of course it wasn’t blatant! If it had been blatant, how would they have got their desired political capital out of it?
    But when they had strong motivations to want him dead as fast as possible, with as much political capital as possible, and when exactly what they had strong motivations to want is exactly what happened – with the minor exception of someone present having a mobile phone with a sound recorder, I don’t suppose that was wanted – well, you have to be fairly naive to believe that this was all just “hey, we looked the other way and then they killed him, we were as surprised as you are!”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    Robb, I think my “factory-extruded Republican” crack was referring to Yawzoa, who started this thread off with a round of “Clinton Did Worse!”-isms, then vanished.
    In regards to Hussein’s death, I have to admit I’m somewhat amazed he wasn’t shot on the spot when they captured him.

  • Jeff

    Anybody want to confirm my memory that the economy was lousy and social issues, especially gay rights, were stalling?
    The ecomony was failing in the early 90′s (which is why Bush Sr was destroyed by “Read my lips — no new taxes”, then (W) Clinton could say “It’s the economy, stupid”. By the mid 90′s, the economy turned around (how much of that was Clinton’s doing is hard to say), and did pretty well until the dot-com bubble burst.
    Gay rights were doing fairly well at the local and state level — same-sex marriages and unions weren’t yet legal as I recall, but more states were putting anti-dicrimination laws on the books. A tidewater came when Disneyland (hardly a bastion of fiery liberals) adopted same-sex anti-discrimination policies. The Southern Baptists threatened to take their business elsewhere, and Eisner (I’m pretty sure he was in charge at the time) said “buh-bye!”
    Nationally, it was not so good, with the rise of the DOMA and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
    I was 40 in ’92, so my memory is **pretty good**.

  • Hoozit

    Alice Walker proposed “womanist” as a term for black women working for equality.
    She also just endorsed Obama and pretty effectively demolished the sex-based case for HRC leading feminists have made:
    http://www.theroot.com/id/45469


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