Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh, the Irony!

 

On the one hand, I don't think that Hillary Clinton's recent gaffe was such a big deal. Maybe she was just tired. On the other hand, I don't think that she can really make the argument that her political campaign is being dragged down by sexism AND that she is the most electable candidate. One argument says that she is weak, and the other one says that she is strong. She wants to get sympathy and be seen as strong. I don't think that you can have both without sending a mixed message.

And as far as Bill Clinton is concerned - I agree with Oliver Willis, "I liked President Clinton a lot more when he was presiding over a good economy and cheating on his wife."
 

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23 Comments:

At Tue May 27, 11:39:00 AM, Blogger BAC said...

Dr. Z, there are compelling arguments for both of her claims. I've posted a lot about the sexism directed at Hillary in this campaign. And it isn't something recent, it's been there from the beginning.

And if you look at polling data, and the electoral college map she's the strongest candidate against John McSame.

The one I find most facinating is the comparison of how many voters are represented by each one of Hillary's pledged delegates, compared with the number represented by Obama's delegates. She's had much more popular support, which I'm sure is hard for some Obama fans to admit.

MyDD has a lot of good stuff on the polling information.

And I don't think it's sympathy that Hillary is looking for, but rather an honest recognition of her accomplishments.

Keep in mind that many of the so-called "progressives" in the blogosphere that keep telling her to "get out of the race" are the same people who were screaming just eight years ago about Gore winning the popular vote.


BAC

 
At Tue May 27, 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Dean Wormer said...

BAC-

I just want to point out that some of the stuff Jerome Armstrong's put up over on MYDD is pretty suspect. The graph you're referring to in which he compares voters per pledged delegates is a case in point. The x axis on that graph doesn't start at 0 but instead in the 10,000 votes range. This gives the impression that's there's a stastistical difference between Clinton and Obama which really doesn't exist.

That's before we even get into the base data as to what is counted as "votes" and how primaries vs. caucuses are counted with regards to votes, etc.

The whole exercise was pretty dishonest by Armstrong who was justly reamed by his readers, but has failed to acknowledge just how tacky this is. I don't know what's going on with that guy but he's been a big disapointment this primary season. Not as a Hillary Clinton supporter but as a political analyst.

(If I'm reading that graph wrong I'd be happy to apologize and acknowledge your point, btw.)

zaius-

I agree that the gaffe wasn't a big deal. I'm tired of all the gotcha crap in this election.

 
At Tue May 27, 01:38:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

BAC: Unfortunately you have not addressed what I wrote in the post in any way shape or form. I wrote:

"I don't think that she can really make the argument that her political campaign is being dragged down by sexism AND that she is the most electable candidate. One argument says that she is weak, and the other one says that she is strong. She wants to get sympathy and be seen as strong. I don't think that you can have both without sending a mixed message."

Talking over what I wrote in a loud voice while ignoring what I posted does not make your words correct, nor does it endear me to you candidate. I very specifically stated that I felt that it was inappropriate to use both arguments at the same time. Ignoring my words with a propaganda steam roller, regardless of whether you like them or not, does not win over apes nor influence orangutans, I'm afraid. Attacking the components without directing your words to what I actually said is not a compelling argument. Some might even say "strawman." :o)

Dean Wormer: Agreed. Gotcha crap is fine, as long as it is directed at McCain!

 
At Tue May 27, 02:13:00 PM, Blogger Bradda said...

It is a bit odd for her to claim to be the most electable in Nov. when she can't even win her own party's nomination. It's hard to mentally grasp that one.

 
At Tue May 27, 04:04:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

HOw very sexist of you to point that out.

 
At Tue May 27, 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Bradda said...

It's true! I'm a SEXIST! Heh...

 
At Tue May 27, 05:31:00 PM, Blogger John J. said...

Yeah, Dean, you nailed the graph. Even giving MyDD the numbers they want to use, a stretch of the imagination at best, it is less than a 5% difference (<1,000 vote difference in a >20,000 total).

The argument also completely ignores what Clinton is trying to do now with electoral votes -- focusing on the fact that this country is a republic, not a mob rule democracy and for a good reason.

As far as the eight years ago argument with Al Gore (yes, I know it's completely tangential), he won the popular vote, AND, more importantly, won the Florida popular vote and so should have won the electoral college.

 
At Tue May 27, 06:27:00 PM, Blogger pidomon said...

that's the second largest iron i've ever seen

i'll leave the political commentary to you pros

 
At Tue May 27, 08:58:00 PM, Blogger fancy freelancer said...

This stuff gives me heartburn.

Hillary is starting to remind me of Jake Blues when the Carrie Fisher character has him cornered in the tunnel with a bazooka...

"I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD."

 
At Tue May 27, 09:25:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

Dean and John, I suggest you look at the follow up post Jerome put up explaining how he arrived at the numbers.

Dr. Z, the mere fact that the pledged delegate count is so close (ignoring that she has received more of the popular vote), in light of the massive amount of sexism directed at her by the MSM is precisely the testament about why she would be the stronger candidate in November.

So yes, she can make both claims.


BAC

 
At Tue May 27, 10:04:00 PM, Blogger Bradda said...

bac: Where are you getting your popular vote count numbers from? Obama leads in every popular count I have seen except if you include Fl and MI. Obama wasn't even on the ballot in MI. I know Hillz claims she has the popular vote count over Obama it doesn't mean it's true.

 
At Wed May 28, 07:01:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Bradda: It is a bit hard to grasp. I know that it's poltics, but her motives seem to be growing murkier by the day.

Dr. Monkerstein: That's Mr. sexist ELITIST to you, pal! :o)

Bradda: So are all of the women that have voted for Obama, apparently. ;o)

John J.: Oh? I am afraid that I did not even look at the graph at first. Good call, Dean Wormer! and John J., you said:

"As far as the eight years ago argument with Al Gore (yes, I know it's completely tangential), he won the popular vote, AND, more importantly, won the Florida popular vote and so should have won the electoral college."

That's brilliantly succinct! Well done, sir.

pidomon: Ack! I am afraid to ask about the first largest iron that you saw! Imagine the size of the trousers they were used on!

Fancy Freelancer: Ha! Good comparison! But... I wonder if Hillary Clinton will go on to be a Jedi Alderaan princess in the future?

BAC: I can't even begin to answer what you say based on what you claim on face value, but that is not even the issue. I am afraid that you still do not understand why I responded to you in the way that I did.

Let give you an example. It is as if I made the argument that "yellow and blue mixed together make green," and you said "Ha! Yellow is not green! Blue is not green!"

Don't you see that claiming that "Yellow is not green! Blue is not green!" does not address the statement that "yellow and blue mixed together make green"? Why I found your words lacking in merit should be very clear. By Attacking the components of what I said without directing your words to what I actually said is a straw man argument. (straw man argument: Person A has position X. Person B ignores X and instead presents position Y.)

I can't really be expected to enter into a discussion with an argumentative response that does reflect what my original statement said. Why should I defend what I didn't say?

Bradda: It doesn't make sense to me, either.

 
At Wed May 28, 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Dean Wormer said...

Thanks BAC-

I read Armstrong's response. He never really addressed the fundamental dishonesty of the graph in the first place.

He basically used a graph that made a 9% difference look like something like a 300% difference. I'm sorry but that's just bush league stuff.

I've been reading that site for years for straight political analysis. Before this election I never expected to find much spin there.

The problems now is that Armstrong is spinning while insisting he's just objectively analyzing the state of the race. That misleading graph is just another example of how Armstrong's hardly the objective political analyst he's been pretending to be.

I'm not going to stop visiting the site but, IMO, Armstrong's burned a ton of confidence among his readership. I can't see myself looking at his analysis of any future race without taking his opinion worth a grain of salt.

Bottom line for me: I don't like being spun.

 
At Thu May 29, 12:51:00 AM, Blogger BAC said...

Let me try once again because I thought I addressed your post, but you don't and perception is reality. You said: "I don't think that she can really make the argument that her political campaign is being dragged down by sexism AND that she is the most electable candidate. One argument says that she is weak, and the other one says that she is strong. She wants to get sympathy and be seen as strong. I don't think that you can have both without sending a mixed message."

We have 1) "dragged down by sexism" and "most electable candidate" ... followed by 2) "one says that she is weak" and "the other says she is strong" ... and 3) she wants "sympathy" and to be "seen as strong." And finally, 4) You see this as sending a "mixed message."

I don't agree, and here is why.

1) What I'm saying is that her campaign has been "dragged down by sexism", yet she continues to win in key states, has received the most popular votes, and continues to hold the Electoral College vote lead over both McCain and Obama. Had she NOT been "dragged down by sexism" I think she might be leading in pledged delegates at this point as well. The media has basically been telling her to quit since New Hampshire.

2) I disagree that "dragged down by sexism" = "weak". What I think it says is that she's faced more obstacles than Obama, and yet has managed to still secure more of the popular vote than he has and at this point would win the general election over either Obama or McCain.

3) Again, I think we have a difference of opinion here. I don't think Clinton is seeking "sympathy," but rather an acknowledgement of the reality. And the reality is that even thought most of the MSM has consistently said she should quit, the voters don't seem to agree. She wins NH, and they call for her to quit, she wins TX and OH, and people wonder when she will quit, she wins PA and IN and they still ask her to step aside. Why should a candidate who is winning quit? And how can that not be seen as "strong?"

4) Clinton is stating a reality, that from the beginning she has campaigned not only against all the other candidates, but also the MSM and so-called progressive blogosphere. And yet she is still strong in key metrics. The whole superdelegate system was designed for this very purpose -- to take a look at the big picture to determine who would be the strongest candidate for a general election. If you look at the map right now, Clinton will win the general election. The situation for Obama is that he can win. There is a big difference.

 
At Thu May 29, 02:11:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Although you do acknowledge what I said in your introduction, "4) You see this as sending a 'mixed message,'" after that you continue to push points that I did not make and completely ignore what I said. Your eventual point #4 is not about my claim of a mixed message as you mention in your introduction, but a claim about the "MSM and so-called progressive blogosphere" and the superdelegate system. #4 is about others outside of the Clinton campaign, and not the Clinton campaign itself. You do not address my claim of a mixed message at all. I was talking about the Clinton campaign's message, not what other people say or do about the Clinton campaign.

Let me repeat: It is as if I made the argument that "yellow and blue mixed together make green," and you said "Ha! Yellow is not green! Blue is not green!"

I can't really be expected to enter into a discussion with an argumentative response that does reflect what my original statement said. Why should I defend what I didn't say?

 
At Thu May 29, 06:27:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

Dr. Z, yellow and blue mixed together make green. Now, please answer this for me: "What do you think Clinton's motivation is for saying her campaign is being dragged down by sexism?" Is your premise that she pulled her comment about sexism out of thin air?

"What is her motivation for saying she is the most electable candidate?" Was that pulled out of thin air as well?

Your premise seems to be that one negates the other, and I disagree.

I could say that in a vacuum, but instead chose to give a rational why I disagree.

So, is green the product of mixing together yellow and blue?


BAC

 
At Fri May 30, 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

My premise was that she is sending a mixed message, a point that you have continued to ignore. By repeatedly ignoring this point and refusing to actually discuss this matter beyond your own interjected propaganda, I can only say that you are being impolite and unfriendly.

 
At Fri May 30, 09:52:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

I've addressed the point with every comment, and in a polite fashion I might add. She is not sending a mixed message. She says her campaign is being dragged down by sexism, which is true, and that she is the most electable candidate, which is also true. One truth does not negate the other.

I find it quite sad that merely pointing out a difference of opinion is deemed "impolite and unfriendly."


BAC

 
At Sat May 31, 03:10:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

"I've addressed the point with every comment..."

No, you haven't. Not even close. I have already pointed this out.

"...and in a polite fashion I might add."

I would disagree. By ignoring my position entirely, disregarding my words and essentially saying that I said things that I did not say was indeed, in my opinion, impolite.

"She is not sending a mixed message."

That one line is as close as you have come to rebutting what I said. Still, your argument remains unchanged. You argue that Statement A is true, Statement B is true, "One truth does not negate the other." But that is not what I said. I did not say that A negated B or vice versa. I did not say that A or B were even true of not. I merely said that for Hillary Clinton to promote both messages sends a mixed message to the audience. I grow weary of explaining what I have already made clear, repeatedly.

"She says her campaign is being dragged down by sexism, which is true,..."

If that were true, and I am not arguing that it is false, why would I want to vote for a candidate whose campaign could be so easily derailed by a perceived weakness? Any example that you can provide will only reinforce this point.

"...and that she is the most electable candidate, which is also true."

Despite the polls and the primary elections? Tell me again about how she is Caucasian.

"One truth does not negate the other."

I never said they did. I never even said that one or both of the messages were false. (Or true.) Why should I defend something that I didn't say? What I said was that both statements said together send a mixed message.

"I don't think that she can really make the argument that her political campaign is being dragged down by sexism AND that she is the most electable candidate. One argument says that she is weak, and the other one says that she is strong. She wants to get sympathy and be seen as strong. I don't think that you can have both without sending a mixed message."

I still maintain that position. Talking over what I said without acknowledging my statement does make you right, it just makes you loud.

"I find it quite sad that merely pointing out a difference of opinion is deemed 'impolite and unfriendly.'"

But you didn't merely point out a difference of opinion. What happened was that you did not acknowledge my position at all, put words in my mouth and went off in other directions entirely. I would assume that you would understand that is highly unlikely that I am going to find your position viable if my own position is not addressed.

I do not like to be put in a position where I am asked to defend something that I didn't say. No one likes that. I am sure that you don't like to be put in that position either.

They call what you said a straw man argument. I explained very clearly why I found your response to be inadequate to the dialog at hand. You chose to ignore not only my initial statement, but also my quite reasonable responses to your false arguments.

I remain unconvinced by your premise, and skeptical of both your methods and motives.

 
At Sat May 31, 03:48:00 AM, Blogger BAC said...

"Despite the polls and the primary elections? Tell me again about how she is Caucasian."

What purpose does it serve to introduce this?

"I don't think that she can really make the argument that her political campaign is being dragged down by sexism AND that she is the most electable candidate. One argument says that she is weak, and the other one says that she is strong. She wants to get sympathy and be seen as strong. I don't think that you can have both without sending a mixed message."

I disagree.


BAC

 
At Sun Jun 01, 02:57:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

"What purpose does it serve to introduce this?"

That is exactly what I said when Hillary Clinton brought it up.

"I disagree."

OK.

 
At Sun Jun 01, 07:27:00 PM, Blogger BAC said...

"What purpose does it serve to introduce this?"

That is exactly what I said when Hillary Clinton brought it up.


We clearly don't always agree, but this is the first time where you have been less than honest. How very sad.


BAC

 
At Mon Jun 02, 03:31:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

"We clearly don't always agree, but this is the first time where you have been less than honest. How very sad."

In my opinion, all of these statements (and others) could be called less than honest:

"the mere fact that the pledged delegate count is so close"
"she has received more of the popular vote"
"the massive amount of sexism directed at her by the MSM"
"She's had much more popular support"

But I didn't say anyhing.

 

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