April
22nd 2008
Smile-a-while: Howler stomps the “smelly old coots”

Posted under: American history, Gender, wankers, women's history

Here’s a free laugh, from Bob Somerby.  Today’s example of Baby Boomer ressentiment?  It’s the always stupid and always wrong Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen.  You have to laugh about Somerby’s analysis, to keep back the tears you’d otherwise shed on behalf of Cohen’s depraved view of his professional responsibility.  (By the way, that’s a photo of Somerby, not Cohen.  I googled a photo of Richard Cohen, and decided that I didn’t want his smelly old coot mug on my blog.  Somerby is devilishly handsome, no?)

Cohen’s Sermon on the Mount today:  “It is hard to think of anyone who has worked longer or sacrificed more for the presidency [than Hillary Clinton]. She is indomitable, steadfast, gutsy and all those other things we know — smart, for instance. She also can be, in private and sometimes in public, charming and awfully good company.”  And yet, despite these sterling qualifications, “she has gone too far.”  She makes Richard Cohen uncomfortable with her competence and ambition, so for trivial reasons–her comments on the muslim rumor on 60 Minutes, and her Bosnia sniper story–Cohen decrees that she must never be President.  Close your eyes and imagine a male pol being held to the same standard.

Well, it’s certainly not happening in Cohen’s disturbed and tiny little mind.  He admits that McCain and Obama lie too–Cohen writes that McCain has “fudged and ducked and swallowed the truth on occasion — about the acceptability of the Confederate flag, for instance — but always, I think, for understandable although not necessarily admirable reasons.”  Always for understandable reasons, like propping up the flag of racist nationalism.  And Obama?  “[H]e, too, can do the F’s — fudge, fib or forget. I don’t believe him on the Second Amendment — and he says one thing on NAFTA in Ohio and a campaign adviser whispers another to Canada by way of reassurance.”  Lying about policy is A-OK in Cohen’s book, because “these are minor matters, the ‘You look beautiful tonight, dear’ fibs of marriage that have their functional equivalent in politics. They are necessary. They lubricate life itself.”  Lying about policy and pandering to racism?  That’s just politics.  Misremembering something that happened 12 years ago?  She must be stopped.

Somerby’s command of recent history schools the historians (and Historianns).  I especially like the way the Howler suggests that Cohen’s (and John McCain’s) objectification of subordinate young women (and trashing of accomplished, uncompliant women like Naomi Wolf) is somehow connected to his discomfort with Clinton as a presidential candidate.  Watch out, Bob–you’re going to get branded as The Daily Feminazi if you keep commiting thought crimes like that!

5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Smile-a-while: Howler stomps the “smelly old coots””

  1. David on 22 Apr 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    Nice win for your candidate tonight. The NY Times editorial page is coming out tomorrow saying Clinton should leave the race (funny since they endorsed her.) Anyway, there’s no way Clinton should leave the race until Obama scores a big win (North Carolina? Oregon?) Anyway, you can’t tell a candidate to leave after winning a primary.

    What concerns me a little is that NC and IN are open primaries, and I just know Rush Limbaugh is going to go on the radio and tell all his listeners to screw with the Democrats’ process.

    Anyway, I’ve decided no matter what I’ll probably vote for Obama, either as the Dem. candidate or as a write-in. But it will have to be absentee, since I’ve now learned I’ll be leaving the country in October.

  2. Historiann on 22 Apr 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi David–I agree, he’s still got the advantage, but he needs a big win. (Are you serious about the NY Times? I’ll have to go check that out.)

    Actually–I checked it out: that’s an asinine editorial. “The Low Road to Victory?” Please. She’s been a creampuff compared to the way John Kerry kneecapped Howard Dean, or compared to what Obama can expect in a general election. And how can we trust the newspaper of record when it leads its editorial with the phrase, “The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday…”?

    Hmm. Must be that new Clinton math, like Clinton rules for the press. A TEN POINT WIN = inconclusive.

    Open primaries are a drag–but they favor Obama! I hope your being out of the country in November means good news for you.

  3. David on 22 Apr 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Yeah, it is good news. I won a Fulbright, and will be living in Namibia then.

    Listen, just for the record I think Clinton has faced a lot of unfair attacks during this campaign. So has Obama. I think the race has brought out a lot of ugliness in terms of sexism and racism. And I think that, while the math makes a Clinton win look impossible (to me, anyways), Obama can’t “beat” her. Her coalition is very strong. His coalition is very strong. In places where he is favored demographically, he wins. In places where she is favored, she wins. Unfortunately because of the nature of the primaries, I doubt there will be a conclusive end to this that will satisfy people. It’s just a long war of attrition. Everything else is just spin. So I will say with pretty good confidence that, looking at the rest of the schedule, if the race goes through all the primaries Obama will win North Carolina, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, and Guam. Clinton will win Kentucky and West Virginia (both by huge margins). Indiana will be close. Puerto Rico is anybody’s guess, but I’d favor Clinton there.

    In the end Obama will have more pledged delegates (by about 140 or so), and will lead in the popular vote (unless you count Michigan.) If you count Florida the popular vote might be close depending on how Puerto Rico plays out. Ultimately, the supers just aren’t going to defect in large enough numbers to Clinton, not unless Obama falls under indictment or something crazy like that.

  4. Historiann on 22 Apr 2008 at 11:38 pm #

    David–congratulations on the Fulbright! Very impressive.

    I agree with you on your election analysis here–but I think that if she does as well or better than expected, and if she appears to have “momentum,” however you want to define that, the Supers could go either way. 140 delegates is less than 15% of the total needed (using 2025 as the magic number), so it’s not a prohibitive lead, especially considering HRC’s strength in the big states where Democrats live.

    The Superdelegates want to win in November. I think that will be their overriding concern, so that’s who each campaign is really going to be directing their messages to.

  5. David on 23 Apr 2008 at 1:01 am #

    That’s true, but just as people talk about Obama’s problem with blue collar whites, they need to mention that Hillary is getting absolutely destroyed in the AA vote. The exits today had it at 92-8 for Obama in PA. The only scenario under which Clinton wins the nomination is if the supers buy her arguments and overturn the pledged delegate lead. How do you think that narrative would play out for blacks? If the Dems don’t get something like 90 percent of the black vote, and don’t get blacks turning out in huge numbers, they can’t win. Period. Given all that has happened in this race, how would Clinton, should she be the nominee, win back the support of blacks? Bill seems to have lost his Midas touch…