March 28, 2011

In which I respond to the sophisticates, both left and right, in re: Bill Ayers and Dreams [updated]

Look → I don’t think there’s any doubt that Ayers was involved in the writing of Dreams. The book was an essential part of the fashioning of the candidate, “Barack Obama,” and so, though presented as a memoir, it is more a foundational document upon which the Obama mythos was to built. As I noted back when this story was hot and Cashill was pursuing it in earnest, it could very well be the case that Obama simply plagiarized the tropes, or “borrowed” liberally from Ayers, in which case Ayers’ involvement is tangential. But it’s certainly no conspiracy to detail the very real similarities between the works of Ayers and the (supposed) writings of Obama — while also noting that Obama and Ayers knew each other, and that Ayers had helped launch Obama’s political career. Pretty soon, it seems to me, the persistent dismissal of this compelling body of circumstantial evidence — in an effort to avoid looking like a conspiracy kook — is where the real conspiratorial kookiness rests. It’s just more “good man” posturing. It’s a skeptic’s affectation for the sake of appearing nuanced.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see that Rick Moran is still counseling us on how to look refined and in the know while we’re being bent over the setee for our “historical” buggering. How’d that work out for McCain again?

As someone who knows a thing or two about interpretation, I don’t need John Hawkins or Rick Moran to point out Ayers’ tone of sarcasm. What I’m interested in is the rather pointed tone of the sarcasm — it’s too deliberate, and the question seems too staged — and I’m suggesting that, while Ayers wants to joke it all away (to provide himself an out), he also very much wants credit. It’s who he is. It’s who they all are.

And honestly, would this be the first time in history someone used sarcasm to sustain plausible deniability? Is it really nuanced thinking to believe Ayers is just going to openly and without irony admit to his role in Dreams?

The left (along with certain “pragmatists” on the right) will label me a nut no matter what I posit. I’m not looking for their approval, so I don’t much care how they try to ironize evidence away. It’s predictable. And boring, frankly. Jon Stewart and Bill Maher have made careers out of it; yet who believes them anymore aside from those other leftists who share that same insular worldview and who adopt that same sneering posture as a rhetorical tool?

Yet here we are 3 years past the 2008 elections and certain “conservative” opinion drivers are still terrified of looking like “fringe” players. It’s sad, really.

Or pathetic. You decide.

****
update: Writes Moran, “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

So — and forgive me here if I miss the mark (I’ve a reading comprehension deficit, it seems) — the argument on offer is that McCain would have lost anyway, but (and here’s where it gets curious) he could have lost while sticking to conservative principles and arguing for conservative policy — while perhaps encouraging (or even pressuring) the media to vet Obama more rigorously?

I’m sorry. I’m having a hard time understanding how this is a bad thing. But then, I admit the difficulty I’m having is colored by the November elections and the overwhelming success of the TEA Party, particularly on the local and state levels.

I must lack the requisite nuance.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:02am
131 comments | Trackback

Comments (131)

  1. I’m getting closer to thinking it pathetic for many of them. Then again, I was closer to them a few years ago, but I lost my pragmatism because I realized it hasn’t worked so far and is not likely to work in the future.

    Eventually they will come around, but it will probably be too late when they do.

  2. Pingback: Paging SEK… [updated]

  3. Sarcasm? To sustain plausible deniability? Who does THAT??

  4. I’ve already clicked over to the sneering blog more than I ever have. Clearly I need to go to the gym and then do some work.

  5. mr.moran, mr. hawkins and mr. drew@ ace, these aren’t opinions i care much for because of their pantywaists attitude when dealing with street thugs.

  6. What bothers me, Carin, is that Moran linked here to suggest we just aren’t smart enough to locate sarcasm in Ayers’ remark. Rick Moran must wade in to save conservatism from the nutters, showing the folks at LG&M that he’s not so easily duped, and that his skepticism remains healthy.

    And why not? We keep rewarding this type of thinking while marginalizing as “extremist” anything that the left can pretend to laugh at. Have we learned nothing?

    I’m still the same person I was back when the right fully embraced me for skewering the left’s assumptions and assertions. But clearly there are plenty of people on the right who don’t much like when you examine their assumptions and assertions.

  7. Look man, you need to just accept the fact that Theodore Sorensen did not write that book!

  8. What bothers me, Carin, is that Moran linked here to suggest we just aren’t smart enough to locate sarcasm in Ayers’ remark.

    the internet (at the American Thinker piece did suggest that some were taking it as a flat-out admission on Ayer’s part. I don’t believe the Cashill piece did that – but the headline was a bit tawdry. His opinion, I think, is summed up in the concluding paragraph, which you quoted in your first post.

    If Moran wanted to link some nutter that didn’t recognize the nuance of Ayer’s “joke”, he should have looked a bit further.

  9. Part of my comment didn’t show up. Oh well. I think my point is in there mostly. Interpreting what I’m trying to say through my typos and poor editing is a time honored tradition, amiright?

  10. I was once asked a direct question by my late father about pot use.

    In my most sarcastic voice, I replied “Yeah, Dad, I smoke it all the time.”

    I gave Dad an accurate answer delivered in a manner designed to create disbelief.

    As Robert Heinlein once wrote: (I read Heinlein as a teenager, hence the form of my answer to dad) “There are two ways to lie, one is to tell the truth, but only so much of it, the other is to tell the absolute truth, but in such a manner the questioner is sure you’re lying.”

    The quote probably isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s close.

  11. You decide

    Awww, do I haveta? Can’t we just feed them all into the big memory hole and start over?
    I mean, seriously: Billy The Bomber? “Guilty as hell, free as a bird ’cause Daddy’s got bucks” Ayers?

    Fuck him and his whole family.

  12. Ah, so. Moran’s position, then, is that for McCain actually to run against Obama would have been a bad idea? Really?

    It wouldn’t have helped to make clear that Obama was lying his ass off during the whole campaign to appear “centrist?” To make an actual case for his leftiness based on his associations? Maybe this is hindsight talking, but I’m not buying it.

    Ayers definitely left himself an out, with the royalties joke. Plausible deniability. And actually, who wrote the damn book is a lot less important than what ill-considered, ass-backwards, totalitarian policies the Obama administration intends to implement now or in the future.

  13. Is it really critical to know who exactly wrote Dreams From Mein Kampf?

    As for Moran — his ancestors favored greatly from one of the English language’s great vowel shifts.

  14. Moran:

    I (and almost everyone who has commented on Cashill’s evidence) am not qualified to judge the relative merits of Mr. Cashill’s arguments.

    Also Moran:

    Cashill believing that Obama didn’t write Dreams is a stretch beyond reason.

    WTF is that, Rick?

  15. he also very much wants credit. It’s who he is.
    That is Billy Ayers. Shockingly, he seems to have put the needs of the revolution ahead of his personal ambitions – it must be killing him.

  16. Is it critical? Probably not. But so what? It certainly speaks to character, and sheds light on how political candidates are created, groomed, and sold.

    If that leads to a tempering of credulity when it comes to the political class and the press trying to put someone over, I submit that what we have a net good.

  17. I fear that there are a number of things about this President that we will be entrusted by our betters and the Media to know only after his term(s) in the office has ended.

    Had there not been film of Jeremiah Wright emphatically saying what he said, references to Trinity United as a den of racial hatred would now be considered an out-of-bounds hobby-horse of the fringe – to the extent that it is not now so regarded. Even clear and convincing evidence of same would have been characterized as conspiracy theorizing.

  18. Cashill believing that Obama didn’t write Dreams is a stretch beyond reason.

    Because, as we all know from his transcripts and his published writings as editor of the Harvard Law Review, Obama got straight As in English Comp and is a brilliant and accomplished writer.

  19. Another day, another accusation that Jeff is an “internet tough guy.”

    At the end, you get this little gem:

    “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.

    :

    As for the internet tough guy accusation, just who's coming off tough here, Mr. Moran? You really think the phrase "reading comprehension deficit" is playing nice?

    Moran obviously doesn't think much of his own side, either.

  20. Crap, blew the

    formatting.

  21. Why is this video resurfacing again, now? Or did Ayers repeat the very same lines in the very same place as he did in the past? I know for a fact I have seen this video or one really close to it a year or more ago.

  22. But when the shoe is on the other foot, when a progressive is looking for something damning in something written or spoken by some political target, ironic or sarcastic context is stripped away to create the desired evidence, without a second thought.

    Winning, duh.

  23. Is it critical?

    It is critical insofar as it is of a piece of a shift in the self-regard of the Media. They not only decide what is news and what is not news, but they’ve arrogated to themselves the right, power, and authority to decide for the masses what true and relevant information they can handle, and what information must be withheld so that their base impulses will not lead inevitably to the wrong conclusion. That’s why the Wright matter was embargoed until the Media could no longer ignore it, at which time they accepted Obama’s deflection to his grandmother and declared a “Reverend Wright Free Zone,” telling the electorate that the story was over and that Obama had elegantly accounted for anything that would inure to his detriment. He actually emerged from the Wright affair having had the Media bolster his “Post-racial” bona fides, rather than having to answer the challenging questions about race which would have served as a preview of, for example, his DOJ’s policies.

  24. Why is this video resurfacing again, now? Or did Ayers repeat the very same lines in the very same place as he did in the past? I know for a fact I have seen this video or one really close to it a year or more ago.

    This one’s new. The one a year or so ago was someone who saw him at Reagan National and had a chat with him.

  25. The earlier time Ayers said it was linked to in the previous post.

  26. Moran obviously doesn’t think much of his own side, either.

    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

  27. It ain’t just progressives, Wm T Sherman. Trust me.

    I’d hate to see some of our pragmatic conservatives trying to teach Swift. Textualism is notoriously harsh on attempts at irony.

  28. Do politicians often have memoirs ghost-written?
    Did Obama have “Dreams from My Father” substantially ghost-written?
    If not, where is a comparable sample of writing from him?
    If so, who did the writing?

  29. “It ain’t just progressives”

    Yes, recent events etc.

  30. Yep, just crazy wingnut ramblings, from just another crazy wingnut:

    In his new book, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” Best-selling celebrity journalist, Christopher Andersen, has blown a huge hole in the Obama genius myth without intending to do so.

    Relying on inside sources, quite possibly Michelle Obama herself, Andersen describes how Dreams came to be published — just as I had envisioned it in my articles on the authorship of Dreams. With the deadline pressing, Michelle recommended that Barack seek advice from “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.”

    To flesh out his family history, Obama had taped interviews with various family members. Andersen writes, “These oral histories, along with a partial manuscript and a truckload of notes, were given to Ayers.” Andersen quotes a Hyde Park neighbor, “Everyone knew they were friends and that they worked on various projects together. It was no secret. Why would it be? People liked them both.”

    Andersen continues, “In the end, Ayers’s contribution to Barack’s Dreams From My Father would be significant–so much so that the book’s language, oddly specific references, literary devices, and themes would bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’s own writing.”

    Racist!! Don’t you people know sarcasm when you see it?

  31. on the birther front:

    Donald Trump, who has been making television appearances calling for President Barack Obama to release his official birth documents, on Monday released his birth certificate exclusively to Newsmax.

    “It took me one hour to get my birth certificate. It’s inconceivable that after four years of questioning, the President still hasn’t produced his birth certificate. I’m just asking President Obama to show the public his birth certificate. Why’s he making an issue out of this?”

    link

  32. I should try harder not to be a hater. I hardly ever make a cogent or nuanced argument any more.

  33. I can’t understand anything you’re saying, what with all that hate in your words.

  34. I like how Moran is such a prognosticator that he knows for a fact that if McCain had gone after Obama he would have lost even worse than he did.

    That’s some top-shelf thinking.

  35. One cannot ironize sarcasm, the suggestion seems to be. Somehow, that’s far more layered and cogent analysis than my suggestion that Ayers, who has made a career of taunting society with his very freedom, might be up to something similar here.

    And of course, dismissing evidence out of hand (as if ghost writing or plagiarism is solely the province of the Illuminati) is the height of critical thinking.

    Sigh. We wonder why we’re where we are.

  36. I like how Moran is such a prognosticator that he knows for a fact that if McCain had gone after Obama he would have lost even worse than he did.

    If only there were some way to disprove his assertion. If only there were an example of a groundswell of public resistance to the statist status quo, of a popular revolt against Business As Usual in Washington. As things stand, I guess we just have to accept Moran’s ‘proof’ that America really just wants to lick the hands that feed it, and to wear its chains as gently as it can.

  37. “If only there were an example of a groundswell of public resistance to the statist status quo”

    after palin was announced as vp grandpa was either tied or slightly ahead in polls. grandpa then threw it away with the meltdown thing.

  38. If only there were an example of a groundswell of public resistance to the statist status quo, of a popular revolt against Business As Usual in Washington.

    If there really were a groundswell of public resistance that wasn’t being funded by the Koch brothers (they’re big business, so they’re anti-government… it’s a fact!) you might have something. As it is, with no real public outcry, it’s obvious that everyone who matters wants more of the same.

  39. Cranky, another example of risible thinking in Moran’s piece:

    Despite what many conservatives might believe, McCain’s team were not a bunch of dummies.

    I submit McCain’s team was a bunch of dummies. McCain was smart enough to name Sarah Palin as the VP candidate. Picking Sarah Palin scared the Obama campaign to the point of knocking the Obama campaign off messsage. The Obama campaign started running against Sarah Palin, not McCain. This was pointed out by Sarah Palin, yet McCain’s team did nothing to exploit that opening.

    That’s just one example of how poorly the McCain campaign was run. It’s actually surprising McCain didn’t lose by a wider margin, considering just how bad a candidate McCain was.

  40. And of course, dismissing evidence out of hand (as if ghost writing or plagiarism is solely the province of the Illuminati) is the height of critical thinking.

    It’s beyond reason, Jeff. Because I said so.

  41. Granpa threw it away when he dropped trou, bent over and spread ‘em for Obama in the debates.

  42. “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

    It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – the Joker’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had dispensed with the puns and gotten serious with Batman.

    It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – that a bald assertion of a pure hypothetical remains a bald assertion no matter how forcefully it is asserted.

  43. Moran, claiming to be responding to this:

    Nice to see that Rick Moran is still counseling us on how to look refined while we allow the left to run roughshod over us. How’d that work out for McCain again?

    As someone who knows a thing or two about interpretation, I don’t need John Hawkins or Rick Moran to point out Ayers’ tone of sarcasm. What I’m interested in is the rather pointed tone of the sarcasm – it’s too deliberate, and the question seems too staged – and suggesting that, while Ayers wants to joke it all away, he also very much wants credit. It’s who he is. It’s who they all are.

    …writes this:

    I can be as hard and as tough on the left as anyone – and I have about 3,000 blog posts to prove it. I’ve even resorted to polemics on occasion – just to show that I can be as unreasoned and illogical as Goldstein or any other right wing blogger out there.

    This appears to be a definitional dispute. Goldstein seems to equate writing exaggerated, over the top rhetorical stink bombs with being tough. I say it shows weakness.

    This would probably be working out a lot better for Rick and I if one of us knew what the fuck he’s talking about.

  44. Despite what many conservatives might believe, McCain’s team were not a bunch of dummies.

    Mr. Moran,

    It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – that McCain’s team was a bunch of dummies.

    In fact, it bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would not have been as large if he had hired Gilbert Godfried to run his campaign.

  45. His whole update — which doesn’t link this follow-up post — is just another attempt by a “pragmatist” GOP lackey to marginalize me as an “extremist” and a “hater”. I froth, you see. I didn’t use to. But now that’s all I do.

    Coincidentally, my path to pedestrian thinking seems to have started when I began criticizing those pragmatists who, though spectacularly wrong, nevertheless continued to presume to lecture us on how we need to behave.

    Me, I advocated speaking plainly and going outlaw — and in so doing anticipated the Tea Party movement. Whereas others, well, they were busy reminding us that a guy who speaks of redistributing wealth — and who Stanley Kurtz was able to detail as being thoroughly trained in movement socialism — is not a socialist. Then they got to work making fun of the burgeoning Tea Party movement, and downplayed as insane and paranoid the conservative understanding of just who Obama is and what the leftwing Dems were up to.

    Chalk one up for the unnuanced hyberbolic haters.

  46. I made the mistake of replying to timmy over there. I will probably regret it.

  47. …just to show that I can be as unreasoned and illogical as Goldstein or any other right wing blogger out there.

    Yep, your whole post shows just how unreasoned and illogical you are, Mr. Moran.

  48. Of course Ayers gave himself cover with a veneer of sarcasm. But for all his collective bullshit and revolutionary zeal, Ayers has quite the individual ego and you know he just barely contain himself. He wants to take credit for Dreams of My Father. And if Obama veers off the reservation, Ayers will be quick to remind him of how things are.

  49. Unreasoned and illogical = disagrees with Moran.

    Q.E.D.

  50. mr. moran’s prob. is that he’s a roverthedog type who only wants just enough to win. pale little men who’ve got no bold colors to show nor new ideas to offer.

  51. Writes Moran, “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

    When did he get access to the alternate universe that demonstrates this?

    Despite what many conservatives might believe, McCain’s team were not a bunch of dummies.

    At least one of them — and likely more — were less interested in the campaign than in burnishing their invitations to the cocktail circuit. Who was that guy who declared he could never go along with an actual campaign against Obama?

  52. To me this topic (Ayres level of involvement in Obams second autobiography) is like pointing out the emperor isn’t wearing socks when his dick is hanging in your soup.

    Not that his smelly feet are not part of the general nakedness, just saying…

  53. Forgive me, as I spend as little time in the blogosphere as I can:

    A freelance writer with more than 15 years experience in grass roots political action, Moran has worked for a number of business trade associations running programs that teach local businessmen how to become active in the political process. Among the trade associations he has worked for at both the national and local level are The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) , the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), and the Painting and Decorating Foundation (PDF).

    Yeah. This is really not a guy who needs to be talking down to the people around here.

  54. Moran is not getting it (and neither is Hawkins). The point is Ayers has an insufferable ego and really wants to be the center of attention. And he is pissed off at Obama over Afghanistan and now Libya. It was a signal.

    Ayers will not admit to writing the book unless he really wants to hurt Obama. The threat of waiving that around plays better for Ayers than merely admitting he wrote the book (or significantly assisted). You know if Ayers did participate (which is strongly believe he did), he has copious notes and proof to back up the claim. That is what makes the threat real. The sarcasm is just window dressing for plausible deniability.

  55. The 2008 election was lost long before the general. Could McCain have gone on the offensive and turned that election? A better candidate could have, but not John McCain. The problem is the second and runner up probably could not have done it either. That race was lost when the only choices were Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and John McCain. Perhaps, because of his business back ground, Romney could have given a better run than McCain in the general. I still suspect he would have lost.

    That is why we need better candidates in the primaries.

  56. Dude…..”Barack Obama” in quotes.

    I am so using that from now on.

    Subtley brilliant.

  57. subtly

  58. Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

  59. Here’s the thing. I posted a snarky comment up top about Ted Sorensen. For years if you believed that Sorensen ghostwrote “Profiles In Courage” you were some kind of crazed conspiracy theorist. Kennedy got the Pulitzer Prize for the damn thing… it was about “political courage” for chrissake, and no one who got the Pulitzer for writing a book on “political courage” would accept the Pulitzer for a book they didn’t write.

    Well guess what, Kennedy did. Sorensen admitted ghostwriting the book and accepting money for it… in 2008.

    I guess in 40 years people will have the “political courage” to ask questions about the PR myth that’s been built up around “Candidate Obama”, but I doubt it.

  60. Oh No! More sarcasm!

    Imam Rauf Boasts that He Wrote Obama’s Muslim Speech in Cairo

  61. Moran has demonstrated time and again that he is not a conservative.

  62. Moran has demonstrated time and again that he is not a conservative.

    Whether he is or isn’t, what I don’t understand is why it is off-sides to disagree with “our” side. I mean, Moran linked to me. I responded. Isn’t that how debate works?

    Instead, I’m an illogical hater and frother. For explaining my position more thoroughly.

    It’s surreal.

  63. I think Moran’s remark about McCain’s numbers when he went “brutally” negative on Obama could use some illumination. What were these occasions and what did they entail?

    I’m inclined to believe a deeper examination of the events might contradict somewhat the notion that members of McCain’s team weren’t dummies. After all, they ran his campaign for the nomination based on the idea that Hillary Clinton would be the opponent in November. They struck me at every turn as fundamentally unprepared to campaign against Obama. I’d say it wasn’t that McCain went negative, but how he did it — “brutally,” as Moran concedes — that explains the poll results.

    Perhaps Moran should consider that we over here aren’t simplistically wishing McCain had gone negative more, but that he’d done so more effectively.

    Which he couldn’t do because the people on his team were dummies.

  64. And of course, had the nominee not been McCain in the first place, McCain’s Dummies wouldn’t have been a factor in the fall campaign.

  65. This shit is bananas, s’all I’m saying.

  66. I think Moran’s remark about McCain’s numbers when he went “brutally” negative on Obama could use some illumination. What were these occasions and what did they entail?

    Yeah, that must have been when the mother ship beamed me up for 6 months of intensive probing. I’m kind of hazy on the “McCain Brutally Negative” period.

  67. “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

    Yeah, because Sarah Palin, who unlike McCain has had the cahones to criticize Obama, has no political clout whatsoever. That’s why her books haven’t sold, her TV show was ignored, and she can’t get anyone in the media to pay attention to her facebook posts and tweets.

  68. It’s surreal.

    Only if you’re playing the game from the perspective of one who wants to get to deeper truths and communicate them to others. That’s not Moran’s game. As with so many others, the point of his game is to assert his position of authority, and to make sure that the game, such as it is, is played by his rules.

    All of the experts — the scholars, the pundits, the Nobel Prize-winning economists who churn out hundreds of columns having little to do with economics, the Beltway veterans — they see the machinery coming apart around them. The money’s running out; the peasants are revolting; the unions are threatened; the Leftist coalition is in disarray. Each of these facts is an existential crisis for the Washington dinosaurs. When your whole existence is based on the status quo, then you’re going to go out of your way to maintain it. If that means pretending everything is okay and kissing Obama’s ass, so be it. If that means ignoring or marginalizing the Tea Party, then so be it. If that means ignoring or marginalizing John the Baptist Jeff the OUTLAW, then so be it.

    Obama is a centrist, a bipartisan coalition builder, and a Good Man. McCain ran a good campaign and showed graciousness in defeat. Palin is an ignorant snowbilly hicktard breeder. The news media does a fine job of honest, comprehensive news reporting. There’s nothing wrong with Social Security. ObamaCare is going to be successful and popular. The Tea Party are misguided rednecks whose moment has passed.

    GOP, Dem, or independent — if your continuing relevance is based on the status quo, then these are the assertions you need to defend against any who dare question them. It doesn’t matter who is doing the questioning, they need to be written off as kooks and crazies, and if you can come up with a way to link them with the real kooks and crazies, then by all means get busy.

    Here, let me get you started: the Birthers are paranoid schizophrenics (never mind that it started with Hillary’s people). The Tea Party are ignorant crazies (never mind the demented signs were from LaRouche’s party crashers). Breitbart is a racist. Goldstein is a violent psychopath. Walker is a silly puppet, and the Koch Brothers are pulling the strings.

    Now, just keep up the hand-waving, and maybe we can keep this house of cards from falling down ’til after we’ve cashed out. No matter that we’ve condemned everyone’s children and grandchildren to misery; the important thing is that we’ve got ours, and we can take care of our own. Until then, shut up with all the unhelpful observations and analysis!

  69. All of which is a long-winded way of saying — they know they’re losing the arguments on the merits, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they work so hard to keep the focus on personal attacks and generalized distractions.

  70. McCain’s people had nothing to do with why he lost. He’s a doddering old man who ran into a buzz saw. Palin helped initially, but feeble senior and inarticulate base rally girl don’t equal win when you have Bush fatigue, a massive spending disadvantage and a media which has shed any pretense of impartiality.

  71. please grandpa was a doddering old maverick

  72. The geniuses and defectors that ran McCain’s campaign never effectively contrasted McCain’s positives with Obama’s negatives.

    That said, Obama was the historic moment candidate and is more charismatic than McCain by a factor of 100.

    So, McCain opted to have Sarah Palin do all the heavy work. Which showed me that McCain would have been a weak President because his leadership skill set wasn’t up to it.

    The word craven was rattling around in my head when I read Moran’s response… as in I wonder if lessons on how to become craven is taught somewhere, or is it just absorbed?
    I also felt a dose of scorn and condescension mixed with a sneer.
    Interesting. Craven and scorn. Huh.

    I also noticed Ayers was playing foil to Donald Trump’s birth certificate schtick. Obama must have pissed in Trump’s cheerios somewhere along the line.
    Ayers is a guy who wants to take credit… even if it is for something he didn’t do. And yes he is probably pissed at Obama’s warmongering, and his ineffectiveness on Guantanamo.
    And by the way… Ayers is not Geraldine Ferraro… it is OK to frame the fight for the direction of the country as being against what people like Ayers are and do. Them. They.

  73. I also noticed Ayers was playing foil to Donald Trump’s birth certificate schtick. Obama must have pissed in Trump’s cheerios somewhere along the line.

    Nah. Trump is just laboring under the illusion that birthers and tea-partiers are all the same (i.e. little people) and as quick to be moved by empty sloganeering as are their counterparts on the Left. Poor Donald.

  74. “if your continuing relevance is based on the status quo”

    yea bushman little petey wehner develops the vapors:

    Contentions
    Anti-Muslim Bigotry
    Peter Wehner 03.28.2011 – 4:11 PM

    Here is an excerpt from Herman Cain, who was asked if he would be comfortable appointing a Muslim either in his cabinet or as a federal judge. His answer:

    No, I would not. And here’s why. There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.

    This is an ugly and undiluted form of bigotry

    link

    is it really? these girly men rethuglicans are something to behold.

  75. I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion the birth certificate issue is important. If it turns out President Obama is ineligible to be president, then Obama needs to go.

    We either respect the Constitution or we’re pragmatists not willing to accept the price of fidelity to the rule of law.

    There’s a lot of handwaving about the “distraction” of the birth certificate issue. The real distraction is the distraction.

  76. Blake,

    Obama’s mother was a natural-born US citizen, therefore, so is Obama. Full stop.

  77. I’m still not getting it. Let’s try this:

    “MCCAIN’S MARGIN OF DEFEAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LARGER IF HE HAD GOTTEN ‘TOUGH’ ON OBAMA!”

    Still nope.

  78. “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

    Makes no sense to me, either.

    Let me guess, Moran is one of those “staunch” conservatives who believe the GOP would have won far more in 2010 if it weren’t for the damn “Teabaggers”, right?

  79. John McCain, his own self, said that Obama was qualified to be president during the campaign. At the very least, this shows that McCain did not have the judgment to be president.
    As to the Moran’s reply, he’s really going to tell us how smart the McCain campaigners were after getting rolled by someone with all of two years as a US senator?

  80. I think Spiny has the right of it for Obama. Sure, there were some funny things about the mother’s age, etc, that one could take into account, but I think that is unworthy. She was a natural-born citizen, so he is as well. Anything else is nit-picking.

    I think it likely that there is something else on his birth certificate he doesn’t want out there. I would not be surprised if his religion were listed as Muslim. I don’t think he is one, because a baby cannot choose his religion, and his religion now is faith in the guy he sees in the mirror. However, it could hurt him politically if his religion were listed that way.

  81. Personally, I’m content to let Rick Moran heap the epithets upon himself in his private moments when he contemplates how starkly his assertions differ from what really happened. If I call him names he can simply dismiss me for being an unhinged member of the Protein Wisdom commentariat.

    The names he must call himself, if he has any self-awareness at all, are not so easily waved away.

  82. I think it likely that there is something else on his birth certificate he doesn’t want out there. I would not be surprised if his religion were listed as Muslim.

    I’ve seen reference to this before and I’m mystified. Whose birth certificate, filed in 1961, lists the infant’s religion? Mine, filed in 1961, doesn’t even list those of my parents.

  83. Well, Mr. McGehee, since you’re such a smart guy, what is his problem with his birth certificate? Huh? Tell me. TELL ME!

  84. “I’ve seen reference to this before and I’m mystified”

    he was adopted when mom married the indonesian and the previous bc was sealed. the guys legal name is barry soetoro or some such goes the theory. i report you decry

  85. FULL DISCLOSURE!

    I had my original birth certificate folded up inside of my (expired) passport that I used to get into bars because I had lost my original Driver’s License and the fascists in charge of PA college bars (that actual girls would go to) would balk at a duplicate. At some point, shortly before I wised up and left the land of State Stores, found that I had put both documents through the washer. My original BC is now either TP or still floating around in the dryer vent of my shitty crack den of a rental house if it hasn’t burned to the ground.

    None of this bothers Glen Beck. Even though I am a Muslim*.

    *not really, but I did mark my ethnicity as Aleutian Islander on a standardized test once while in High School, and actually got detention for it, months later.

  86. i report you decry

    I like that.

    ;^)

  87. Everyone that gets a passport, must show a legal (embossed) birth certificate to prove you are an American citizen. It ain’t no big deal.

    The constitution, unique to the job of president, requires he be a citizen, one of the few requirements. What’s the big deal? the question shouldn’t be why do you want to see it, but why won’t he show it?

    Maybe he lied about his age. He doesn’t act like a grown up.

  88. “I like that.”

    fyi ’cause i guessed:

    de·cried, de·cry·ing, de·cries
    1. To condemn openly.
    2. To depreciate (currency, for example) by official proclamation or by rumor.

  89. i decry rick moran as a moron. just testing.

  90. “And of course, dismissing evidence out of hand (as if ghost writing or plagiarism is solely the province of the Illuminati) is the height of critical thinking.”

    It’s a disgrace.

  91. It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.

    It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – that you get some kind of bonus points in the next election for a narrow margin of victory.

    Not.

    Seriously, this one had me in WTF-land for quite a while. It’s better if you still lose, only by less?

  92. Spiny, admitting that President Obama should prove he’s eligible to be president isn’t something I take lightly. That’s why I said “reluctantly.”

    President Obama proves he’s eligible, everyone who questioned Obama’s citizenship winds up with a bit of egg on their face, apologizes and we move on to the serious crap.

    I’m not real wild about the crisis that would be ensue if it turned out President Obama is not eligible to be president.

    No matter what, the whole birth certificate controversy is just more of the same from President Obama.

    What were Obama’s SAT scores? Grades? What did President Obama publish during his tenure as president of Harvard Law Review?

    The birth certificate thing is one more item on a long list of questions that should have been asked by MBM.

  93. I stopped reading Moran’s blog long before I stopped reading Frey’s blog. I can’t stand “conservatives” who will visciously go after the side they are supposedly on, but give the benefit of doubt to the other side over some controversy. He seems like he’s intentionally trying to be like Brooks and Frum so he can get a high paying gig. Just sayin’.

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  95. President Obama proves he’s eligible, everyone who questioned Obama’s citizenship winds up with a bit of egg on their face, apologizes and we move on to the serious crap.

    Sadly, no.

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

  96. I took the liberty of editing your post:

    Abe Froman posted on 3/28 @ 3:35 pm
    McCain’s people had nothingsomething to do with why he lost but not the primary reason. He’s a doddering old man who ran into a buzz saw. Palin helped initially, but feeble senior and inarticulate and unprepared base rally girl don’t equal win when you have Bush fatigue, a massive spending disadvantage and a media which has shed any pretense of impartiality.

    But regardless, McCain’s staffers were falling apart at the end. Granted, when a team is falling apart you have to blame the guy in charge of that team. But would you recommend any GOP candidate put their hopes on Nicole Wallace or Steve Schmidt as senior staffers in 2012?

  97. See, I wasn’t really paging SEK. Yet he seems to think I was.

    Maybe because he took my sarcasm at face value.

    There’s a lesson in there. Raise your hand if you’ve figured it out!

  98. SEK takes himself very seriously. That rarely works out well for anyone.

  99. Well, Mr. McGehee, since you’re such a smart guy, what is his problem with his birth certificate? Huh? Tell me. TELL ME!

    I think it lists his race (as birth certificates might actually do, even in 1961) as “white.”

    And that just wouldn’t be acceptable.

  100. Wait a moment, I know.

    Slower and louder, only in Morse Code!

    - – -.-. -.-. .- .. -. …
    - – .- .-. –. .. -.
    - – - ..-.
    -.. . ..-. . .- -
    .- – – - – ..- .-.. -..
    …. .- …- .
    -… . . -.
    .-.. .- .-. – -. . .-.
    .. ..-.
    …. .
    …. .- -..
    - -. – - – – – . -.
    - – - – ..- – -. ….
    - – - -.
    - – - -… .- – - .-

  101. Pablo, I’ve got egg on my face, thanks for the link. Oddly enough, I’d not seen that one before.

  102. Moran writes…

    Despite what many conservatives might believe, McCain’s team were not a bunch of dummies. They won the nomination for God’s sake.

    Not for God’s sake, Moran; McCain won the election because the New York Times &c. gave him the necessary boost over other marginal Team R candidates, then they turned on him as soon as he got the nod. Remember, McCain was ready to leave the Republican party after he lost the nomination to GWB back in 2000. If if 9/11 hadn’t happened, McCain probably would have tried to run against Bush in 2004 as either an Independent or a Democrat. McCain was then, and remains to this day, a lukewarm, marginal Republican in Name Only, and undeserving of any more attention.

    Oh, speaking of lukewarm and marginal…Mr. Moran’s ‘qualifications’ include…

    He has been involved in more than 20 political campaigns as both a volunteer and paid staffer, having sat on a dozen or more steering committees as well as acted as speechwriter for a number of local candidates.

    Moran’s style of writing to me reads like I’m sitting in a bathtub full of warm, soothing, chocolate pudding; so drowsy and uninspiring.

    No wonder Moran lauds the failed McCain team; they were as sleep-inducing as is he.

  103. Pablo,

    What continues to drive the birthers around the bend is that document is not the original “Birth Certificate”, but a “Certification of Live Birth” – an extract produced upon request: if you requested a copy of your birth certificate from the State where you were born, that (or something very similar) is what the state would issue to you. It’s a new document based on the information contained in the original birth certificate (not, for example, a photocopy of the original). In reality, it’s a distinction without a difference, because one would have to assume that the State of Hawaii itself is party to a conspiracy to hide Obama’s “true identity” to believe there is anything false on that document.

    Plus, the birth announcement in the Honolulu newspaper from 1961 is confirmation enough, unless someone wants to claim all the old copies of that issue were faked, or someone in 1961 submitted a false birth announcement to be published (what the hell for???).

  104. I hadn’t seen that either Pablo.

    Some one outta tell Trump.

  105. McCain’s team were not a bunch of dummies.

    Indeed, they were the whole damn coconut patch.

  106. Obama has as valid a BC as I do, what with my parents’ original copy being God only knows where. I know we couldn’t find it 25 years ago. On the bright side, my COLB equivalent has a copy from microfiche of my original. Yay! Original Hawaii BC’s from that era are utterly uninteresting, as is mine. There’s nothing he’s afraid of on his.

    When either side dismisses or refuses to look at evidence out of hand, we are all diminished. Ain’t that right, Scott?

  107. BTW, my BC is perfectly sufficient to get me whatever federal job I’m after, as is Obama’s.

    “This document serves as prima facie evidence of the fact of birth in any court proceeding.”

    Sumbitch says it right there.

  108. So in short, the reason Obama doesn’t release a photocopy of the actual original of his birth certificate is… pretty much the same reason I wouldn’t do it if I were put in that position.

    Plus, the more people focus on that, the less likely they are to ask about his college transcripts or whether he really wrote Dreams from My Father.

  109. So in short, the reason Obama doesn’t release a photocopy of the actual original of his birth certificate is… pretty much the same reason I wouldn’t do it if I were put in that position.

    It’s easier than that. He doesn’t have one. Nor do I. And we’ve both got second best which is plenty good, legally speaking.

  110. Moran’s style of writing to me reads like I’m sitting in a bathtub full of warm, soothing, chocolate pudding; so drowsy and uninspiring.

    So, apparently Moran’s writing makes you feel like Ace’s scrotum…

  111. Jeff – I commented that Moran had repeatedly shown that he is no conservative. It would have been better for me to have written that he is an opportunist with no discernible principles. As`a result, he is baffled and infuriatd by people who put principle ahead of what he calls “pragmatism,” which is actually an amalgam of cowardice, self-interest and a desperate need for approval. He’s the guy who would have said, “I’m NOT Spartacus!”

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  113. Writes Moran, “It bears repeating – slowly for those with a reading comprehension deficit – McCain’s margin of defeat would have been larger if he had gotten “tough” on Obama.”

    Jeff, I truly thought you were making a joke here at Moran’s expense. Even though I’ve read Moran off an on for a long time, I found it hard to believe that anyone with an actual functioning brain could make a statement so far removed from reality. Of course, the preceding sentence contains the answer to my question, so it’s best just to point, laugh and move on.

  114. Spiny, you’ve made a thinking error there. Birth announcements, (like obits) in newspapers have a purpose, as keepsake and information for interested friends and acquaintances, published where people are most likely to give a rats ass. For example, I gave birth in Sweden I would announce in my Richmond hometown. Birth announcements are sometimes published where the grandparents reside. That does not require such an announcement to be FAKE. So that is a straw condition.

    I can even offer up a personal example – My mother died here but her obituary appeared in her hometown and a community where she had worked for a number of years. Not here.

    Also, the birth notice might have been automatically generated (as I’ve read was the case in Hawaii) when a birth was registered. There is no question that the birth was registered in Hawaii, but birth in Hawaii is not required for a birth to be registered in Hawaii.

    That last bit is why anyone can entertain a doubt about his birthplace.

    I’ve seen some speculation that O’s mother was in Canada – she was there just prior to the birth and began classes in Washington state less than two weeks after the birth. If not proven, or even if not likely, it is PLAUSIBLE.

    Coupled with the inconsistent stories from O’s people about which hospital he was born in ( he probably could not have been born in two hospitals at the same time) and assorted other quirky facts, most notable is the effort to conceal that which need not be concealed, gives rise to doubt and speculation.

    I don’t know where Obama was born. Probably Hawaii since he says so but I have no way to know for sure and he won’t provide access to his records. Other candidates have; McCain did. Rather than pretending insult, It would be more logical just to open the records.

    If he had not hidden so many other things I probably wouldn’t want to see it. I don’t necessarily believe O has even anything embarrassing on his birth certificate, let alone some indication he was born out of the USA. I want to see it all the same.

  115. But Pablo, its with the department of vital record, people are never given the original. So if you couldn’t find it around the house, you could go visit it, or a microfiche of it, unless it was destroyed

  116. The problem is the whole birth certificate thing smells like a cover-up. In any case, it’s really a waste of time. It’s more of a data point on a chart of opaqueness.

  117. But Pablo, its with the department of vital record, people are never given the original. So if you couldn’t find it around the house, you could go visit it, or a microfiche of it, unless it was destroyed

    Not in Hawaii. They digitized everything and locked the originals away. You cannot go visit your original. And I don’t know that RI has my original, only that they’ve got a microfiche copy. And you know what? I couldn’t care less.

    It’s a profoundly boring document. There’s just no “there” here.

  118. I think it’s dumb because if there was any legitimate problem they would have sent in a G. Gordan Liddy type to slip a forgery in the system already.

    CONSPIRACY!!

  119. And if the state of Hawaii held a press conference and produced it for examination tomorrow, those who refuse to believe would be suggesting just that. But it probably would be a reverse Sandy Burglar as opposed to Liddy.

  120. SarahW

    I don’t know where Obama was born. Probably Hawaii since he says so but I have no way to know for sure and he won’t provide access to his records. Other candidates have; McCain did. Rather than pretending insult, It would be more logical just to open the records.

    The State of Hawaii says categorically that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Do you believe the State of Hawaii produced a false document about this, or that one can claim to have been born anywhere one chooses and that State will go along with it?

    My “Certification of Live Birth” (my copy of the original was misplaced more than 20 years ago) states that I was born in Lakewood, California on December 12, 1961, but we have no way of knowing this for sure?

    Think about what you’re saying.

  121. If my birth certificate lies, then so did both my parents. Of course, Obama may so pollute the reputation of people born in 1961 that I may retroactively relocate my birthdate to Jan. 1, 1962. It’s less than two weeks, so what the frack?

  122. “Think about what you’re saying.”

    Eh, I say let’em speculate. I don’t think anyone is clinging to the birther lifesaver in the sea of treachery here.

    It’s more like wondering how much of Dreams of My Father was actually written by Obama. Not important in the big picture, but odd enough to generate interest.

    Who really cares. The guy don’t need to be proven unfit, it’s very apparent.

  123. Spiny, as I noted, there is no question that the birth was registered in Hawaii, but birth in Hawaii is not required for a birth to be registered in Hawaii.

    The certification of live birth does *not* mean he was born in Honolulu, it is suggestive but not dispositive.

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  126. Also, setee can be spelled with one t [sic] or two.

  127. Hah!

    He also seems to have missed this bit:

    So — and forgive me here if I miss the mark (I’ve a reading comprehension deficit, it seems) — the argument on offer is that McCain would have lost anyway, but (and here’s where it gets curious) he could have lost while sticking to conservative principles and arguing for conservative policy — while perhaps encouraging (or even pressuring) the media to vet Obama more rigorously?

    I’m sorry. I’m having a hard time understanding how this is a bad thing.

    Which seems in direct contradiction of his:

    Goldstein proves himself not to be much of a political analyst if he thinks McCain lost because he was not ‘tough’ enough on Obama. In fact, whenever McCain and his team played one of the canards so popular amongst right-wing bloggers (e.g. Ayers, socialist etc.), they lost support.

    It’s almost as if he was trying to not understand what you were saying.

  128. It’s almost as if he took his cues about what I was saying from others who characterized it in such a way and didn’t bother reading it himself.

    My money is on Lawyers Guns and Money. I know they linked several times, but I didn’t bother reading what they had to say. I just assumed they’d do their best to mischaracterize what I wrote.

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