Third Party & Independents Archives

Framing the Debate

For the past several months we have seen many stories in the press about Senator Barack Obama and how he has wide appeal among voters. He is seen as someone who can unite those on both sides of the aisle and independents as well. Or, so the press would have you believe. But is this the truth or just another example of how the media is trying to frame the debate once again.

A quick look at the past few months of polling at RasmussenReports, the most accurate independent polling firm for the past several elections, tells us that Senator Obama is viewed favorably by 50% of Americans. His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Hillary Clinton, is viewed favorably by 52%. We have heard a lot about this race, as if the one who is nominated here will be our next president in 2008.

But what I find interesting is the complete lack of any reporting on Rudy Giuliani and Senator McCain. While McCain is viewed favorably by 54% of Americans, Rudy Giuliani’s rating puts him over 70%. That is over 70% of Americans have a favorable view of Rudy Giuliani. And in all polls with Giuliani running against ANY democrat, he would win in every one of those races right now. My question is, why aren’t we hearing about this? Why does this news completely fly under the radar while we are continuously told that Obama is the golden child, the man who can unite us all? It would appear to me that Giuliani is the man that currently fits that bill. At least it would if the media were being honest with the American public.

The media in this country have been behind determining what we talk about for decades. They determine who is considered electable, who is not and who should be invited to the presidential debates. However, with the continued advancing of ‘other’ journalism, either alternative media or independent bloggers, maybe we can see a change in this trend. Maybe this story itself tells us that even though we are repeatedly being told one thing that Americans are holding on to their own beliefs and not falling for it this time.

I am not in any way naive enough to think that the polls in February 2007 are going to be what happens in November 2008 and I certainly am not optimistic enough to think that the media attempt to frame the debate for better ratings or a more favorable candidate will not have any effect. But I suppose I am hopeful that we are coming to a point in the near future where it will be harder and harder for the media to be the political informational monopoly that they have been for decades. And if the quality reporting that we’ve seen from them over the past several years (up to and including wall to wall Anna Nicole Smith coverage) continues, it will force those who want to be informed to other avenues for information.

The very bright prospect is that perhaps, within the next 20 years, someone not of the two major parties might be able to use these avenues to get their message out to the American people. The large media organizations currently block access to these now but by forcing individuals to go elsewhere for news perhaps the realization that they have been led by sheep for so long might come to the voters in this country.

Posted by Rhinehold at February 28, 2007 2:16 PM
Comments
Comment #209957

Well.. those that I have spoken to don’t have a very high opinion of Obama.
In fact - all but one have said the ‘right’ candidate hasn’t arrived on the scene.
McCain was the one… though I have images of Dole when I think of McCain… does he do viagra commercials??

The media - television that is - rely on the fact that people don’t have time to sit and do research on their own - or simply don’t care to.

Many people make choices based on soundbites, video clips, or the best commercial - OR the candidates HAIR.

It would be interesting to see the results of a multiple choice test, based on who is running, given to voters at the ballot box.
I could almost start a movement to do the test - just for the FUN of it…
I wonder who would sponsor such a thing????

Posted by: dawn at February 28, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #209965

Rhinehold,

The reason the press gets away with what they are doing is that we the people do not demand that they actually do their homework. We do not demand that our MSM “talking heads” quit pulling punches when interviewing persons whose political views are the same as the interviewer. We do not demand that networks discontinue the practice of “sound bytes” and institute a policy of extended interviews. We do not demand that the MSM discard their political agendas and just objectively report the news.

Why does the MSM get away with what they do?

We do not demand better and we do not hold them accountable.

We are the reason the MSM gets away with what they do.

Posted by: Jim Thomas at February 28, 2007 5:32 PM
Comment #209966

Rhinehold,

What? Don’t you think the voters can decide for themselves who to listen to?

Posted by: gergle at February 28, 2007 5:45 PM
Comment #209967

Another Liberal Media Conspiracy theory. In the very same polls about Obama and Hillary, I DID hear of Guiliani’s and McCain’s numbers as well. So what? They are all meaningless at this point.

There are many factors which go into what MSM covers, not the least of which is the campaign stops and news emanating from them for each of the candidates. The flack between Obama and Clinton, whether staged or not, was prime stuff for advertising revenues. Americans love a good fight.

With 100’s of millions of dollars already at candidates command, many events which the MSM will cover can be bought (staged), which is one huge argument for public financing of campaigns.

BTW, to be fair and honest, it would be good to put in quotes the questions used to poll the public on these candidates. The framing of the polling questions often dictate the polling results.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 28, 2007 5:45 PM
Comment #209970

PollingReport.com has O’Bama beating any Republican candidate at this point, though I really think it’s too early to be doing this sort of polling.

If Guiliani is the contender, then don’t worry, you’ll hear plenty about him. His personal and political life is riddled with scandal. He not only has no international experience, he has no domestic experience. His only qualification for office is that he was well poised during 9/11, which means he probably plans on using the tragedy as a political tool. He is brash, arrogant, inexperienced, and full of the kind of hubris people now associate with Bush. You’ve got more than enough information about Rudy Guiliani coming your way, and five minutes after it hits he’ll no longer be a viable candidate.

Posted by: Max at February 28, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #209979

Um, Max, The only poll at pollingreport.com that has Obama beating Giuliani was a Zogby poll and I don’t think I have to tell you how flawed Zogby has been in recent history… The other polls all have it the same as Rasmussen who I think most would agree is the most accurate at the present time.

David,

I am not saying it’s a liberal media conspiracy, I am saying it is a ‘push the best story so that we can have more to report on’ conspiracy. The major news outlets have their own interests at heart, not the American public or even their readers. In that regard, if they can drum up a great story they are going to push it, which is another reason why the media is trying very hard to get Gore back into the race. Does anyone REALLY want Gore to run for president?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2007 6:49 PM
Comment #209996

Al Gore doesn’t want to run. That is the only poll that counts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 28, 2007 8:35 PM
Comment #209997

People massively overestimate the effect that Guliani’s personal life might have on the campaign.

For one thing, it’s hardly some deep dark secret. Guliani has been a high-profile figure for a very long time, and the stuff about his divorce and mistress has been all over the media for years. And he’s still leading in the polls. And thanks in no small part to Clinton, the public’s tolerance for such stuff is much greater than it used to be.

Frankly, I don’t think Guliani has the potential for falling in the polls nearly as much as Obama does. Obama is practically a blank slate in comparison, and enjoys high poll numbers at a time when he’s not even begun to take firm stands on the issues.

Guliani has no “international” experience? Compared to who? Certainly not Obama. And Bush, Clinton, Carter, and Reagan all had arguably less international experience when they were elected than Guliani did as mayor of a major world city.

He may take some heat initially from the Republican base for some of his socially liberal to moderate stances, but he benefits greatly from not having to run against any strong socially conservative candidate. McCain has far worse problems with the Republican base, and Romney will be dealing with the same problem as Guliani with their former stances on abortion. All Guliani has to do is keep doing what he’s doing and say that he’d nominate Roberts-Alito type judges, and then he’ll be fine.

And if Guliani has political scandals in his background, so does everyone. Hillary has more significant (from her eight years of association with her husband’s administration) and the surface has just been scratched with some of Obama’s shady real estate deals.

Yes, Guliani has liabilities. But unlike some, he’s already been under the microscope for a very long time and much of that is out there already and has been for a very long time. And he doesn’t have to be perfect anyway. He just has to be better than whoever his opponent is, and his opponent isn’t going to look “perfect” either after standing the heat of a presidential campaign.

Also, let’s face facts here. Guliani leads Obama in four out of five polls on pollingreport.com (the one exception being the notoriosly bad Zogby).

But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Look at the electoral map. There’s just no way that Guliani, scandals or no scandals, loses to Obama in a head-to-head national campaign.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 28, 2007 9:02 PM
Comment #209998
But what I find interesting is the complete lack of any reporting on Rudy Giuliani and Senator McCain.

Is this supposed to be a joke?! I just now went to CNN.com and the lead story was about McCain. They have a story about him almost every day. Ditto for Giuliani. Here are some recent headlines on CNN.com.

“Analysis: Outsiders Obama, Giuliani surging in 2008 races”

“Schneider: Giuliani’s got the ‘Big Mo’”

Wow, these liberals at CNN are positively trying to bury Giuliani. ;)

You should really do a few minutes research before you start pointing fingers.

Also, let’s face facts here. Guliani leads Obama in four out of five polls on pollingreport.com (the one exception being the notoriosly bad Zogby).

But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. Look at the electoral map. There’s just no way that Guliani, scandals or no scandals, loses to Obama in a head-to-head national campaign.

Dukakis had a 17 percent lead over Bush in the summer of 88. We are still almost two years out. ‘Nuff said.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 28, 2007 9:15 PM
Comment #209999
Look at the electoral map. There’s just no way that Guliani, scandals or no scandals, loses to Obama in a head-to-head national campaign.

I guess that would depend on how many people in the red states you think will vote for a man that cheated and lied to his wife for years with multiple partners, and then told his wife for the first time he was divorcing her on T.V. during a press conference.

Or how about in 1999, when four white policemen shot dead an unarmed African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, and Guiliani spoke out in support of the NY police department and offered no sympathy to Diallo’s family.

I could go on…. How many people just had their stomachs turn?

Posted by: Max at February 28, 2007 9:25 PM
Comment #210000

Woody, you’re absolutely correct that things can change dramatically before an election. Perhaps Obama and Guliani won’t even get their respective nominations, though I think Guliani stands a lot better chance against the Republican field than Obama does against the Hillary juggernaut.

But having said that, even if polls will change, what won’t change? I’m not saying it’s fair, but let’s be realistic. Obama will still be a liberal African-American candidate from a liberal blue state who has less than one term in the Senate, and Guliani will still be a moderate white man widely believed to have been a successful mayor of a deeply liberal city, not to mention the hero of 9-11 with enormous cross-over appeal to not only moderates but a fair number of Democrats.

No matter what the polls do, does Obama have the potential to cut into the Republican vote the way Guliani could cut into the Democratic vote (even a small bit could make a huge difference in swing states)? No way.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 28, 2007 9:30 PM
Comment #210003

Max, people in the red states might not like that about Guliani, but adultery just doesn’t have the legs it used to, not after Clinton, and who are they going to vote for instead? A liberal African American? Hillary?

And anyway, this information about Guliani is very much out there already and Guliani is much further ahead in the red states than he even is nationally.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 28, 2007 9:35 PM
Comment #210005

LO,

Wow, you make Republicans and the American people sound so high-minded: It’s OK for Giuliani because Clinton did it. Obama won’t get elected because he’s Black. Maybe that should be on the bumper sticker, “Giuliani - He’s white”

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 28, 2007 9:42 PM
Comment #210009

I’m just acknowledging facts here, Woody.

It’s not “OK” for Guliani to do it—I’m just saying that its not the campaign-killer it used to be. As far as I know, Guliani has never lied about it, certainly not under oath, and I just don’t think people are as prudish about such matters anymore.

Disagree if you like, but I think the evidence is there in Guliani’s poll numbers, even more in the red states than the blue states.

It’s not just that Obama is black, but let’s not sit around and pretend that that isn’t a factor. And a factor for a great many Americans, not only Republicans. In fact, some of the most racist people I’ve ever spent time around were blue collar union workers who were also hard-core Boston Democrats.

It’s not just that he’s black. It’s also that he’s liberal and black, and will probably be running against a Republican moderate if he survives Hillary.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 28, 2007 9:55 PM
Comment #210011

Woody,

I’ve been watching CNN and MSNBC just tonight, on the segment that MSNBC had about the 2008 race, they spent

For the past 2 months I’ve seen show after show about Obama, especially after Oprah’s annointment of him. Specials, interviews, etc.

I’m glad that CNN.com is doing the reporting that it should be but I think that is starting to prove my point. The internet sites, even those of the large media outlets, are led by different people and know that they have to provide more detailed and accurate information. The TV news shows are become more and more ‘whack’ every week.

Btw, that 15 minutes provided to the 2008 campaign was during a night of ‘Anna Nicole’ reporting… 3 hours and counting…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 28, 2007 10:11 PM
Comment #210016


The Republicans are very hopeful of winning the presidency in 08. A white man against a woman or a black man, seems like a no brainer. I don’t care how much the polls say that America is ready to elect a woman or a black man, there are several million people who voted for Bush and swear they didn’t. However, the Republicans still have a major problem with the Christian right. It seem to me that for a conservative Christian to vote for Guliani or Rommney would be like spitting in Gods face.

Posted by: jlw at February 28, 2007 10:47 PM
Comment #210020
Max, people in the red states might not like that about Guliani, but adultery just doesn’t have the legs it used to, not after Clinton, and who are they going to vote for instead? A liberal African American? Hillary?

It’s not just adultery. It’s also racism, draft dodging, and more. But the adultery is worse than Clinton’s infidelity - it was ongoing with multiple partners for years. When caught, he told his wife for the first time he was divorcing her on TV. And finally, I love the hypocrisy. You’re saying that all this time Republicans have been running on “family values” and bashing Clinton it was all a bunch of bull? You can’t have it both ways. Pick a demographic - if you’re a woman, black, gay, or religious you have good reasons not to vote for this man. If you’re anyone else, there’s only one reason, 9/11, and I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people that are sick and tired of Republicans beating that drum. I don’t care what the polls say - he’s unelectable.

Posted by: Max at February 28, 2007 11:10 PM
Comment #210031

Rhinehold,
I have to agree with Max. Guiliani will be eviscerated by Republicans if he makes it past the first two primaries. If he ever receives really critical reviews, and feels the full heat of a close primary, between his temperament and his past he will come apart like a cheap watch. McCain is the institional candidate of a fundamentally institutional party. He has been scrutinized, and he has felt the experienced the heat of a dirty primary. While I do not think he is the sharpest knife in the drawer, is he is very competent politician. As a political junkie, I like a good horse race as much as anyone. But personally, I do not think it is worth getting excited about a Republican race for the nomination, for the simple reason that McCain is a lock.

The same cannot be said for the Democratic race. There is a real potential for an upset. Hillary is the institutional candidate, but Obama Barack represents something extraorinary: alone among Democrats & Republicans, he is a candidate with tremendous charisma. Like him or not, the guy has “it.” It would be remarkable for a charismatic candidate to push out the institutional one, but it happened in 1976 with Clinton, in 1980 with Reagan, and in 1992 with Clinton.

Posted by: phx8 at March 1, 2007 1:17 AM
Comment #210038

Rhinegold; You went so far as to ask the question, WHO runs the media? The glaring ignorance to this question is at the very heart of “What the HELL is going on here?”. It’s great that ya ask the question, but that seems to be the end of anyone’s curiosity. Just WHO does run the media, and further, what agenda do these people have? Is it consistent with your particular idea of what this country should be ? So, before you ask why “they” aren’t offering objective reporting, find out who “they” are. Rather than fretting about whether this “commie” or that “nazi” is destined to be the curse of civilisation for the next five to ten years,try to internalize the fact that if the media reports it, there HAS to be a reason. And that reason rarely has anything to do with objective debate. You point out some very deserving questions, but pursue none to their answer. I would consider it a safe assumption that the “media” is an entity, capitalized and controlled by individuals that know full well the benefits of their ability to manipulate public opinion. And just as it was in Guttenburg’s time, this is not an uncontested arena by those seeking or maintaining power. Some things never change. This is especially true in this game. Most of the really good stuff was figured out long before you ‘n’ I. Whoever controls the debate, controls the people. I’m confident you won’t like the answers you get, provided you have the will to pursue the question. I didn’t. But I learned that the question no one wants to ask is usually the one most deserving an answer. So, treat yourself to an answer. Hopefully, you will be on better ground.

Posted by: William Sell at March 1, 2007 4:35 AM
Comment #210043

LO, the opposition to Guiliani is going to have a field day with him. If the man can’t keep a commitment to at least one 3 wives, and his judgment is so bad as to not be able to discern who would make a good wife for him, do we really want to believe his campaign commitments or trust his judgment in appointing a cabinet?

A field day. Guiliani does not have a prayer given this early entry. He might have, had he come into the primary race very late. But, not now.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 1, 2007 6:38 AM
Comment #210045

William Sell:

O.K. I’ll bite. Tell us ignorant fools who runs the media.

Posted by: gergle at March 1, 2007 7:14 AM
Comment #210046

Rhinehold,
Since media bias is something the public will see past and seek out in 20 years, why is this an issue to you?

Also, why will it take twenty years?

Posted by: gergle at March 1, 2007 7:16 AM
Comment #210049

Rhinehold,

There is no way I can win here. You said there was a “complete lack of any reporting”, a statement that I objectively disproved by with links of stories about Giuliani. You argue that that my evidence proves your point. Well, what WOULDN’T prove your point then?

I completely agree about the Anna Nicole mania, but that is not a matter of bias. Actually, I was kind of annoyed that the media are more interested in the mindblowingly trivial issue of where her earthly are interred than in the trial of Scooter Libby. Republicans should be thankful Scooter Libby isn’t a blonde with a big rack. Then it would be all Scooter, all the time.

LO,

I think if anything adultery is more of an issue now than it was in 1992, because it almost brought down Clinton’s presidency. But if you guys want to be completely hypocritical and give Giuliani a pass, it’s OK with me. He’s not as crazy as most of the alternatives.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 1, 2007 8:09 AM
Comment #210052

Another story about Giuliani, from Time:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1594847,00.html?xid=site-cnn-partner

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 1, 2007 9:05 AM
Comment #210055
but that is not a matter of bias.

It was exactly a matter of bias. The media is trying to push stories that they think will give them the most ratings. So they are sensationalizing and ignoring other stories that are not as lurid and instead going around the clock into this one. They are not doing so because they think it is the most ‘important’ story, only because its the one they think will sell the most advertising.

The same with Obama vs Clinton. To them this is a ‘GREAT’ story. The republican campaign is boring to them, even to the point they are misrepresenting what the story means in order to advance their story and sell more advertising. Giuliani being as popular as he is doesn’t create a conflict and pit people against each other.

Now Woody, are you going to stand by your argument that the news reporting of Giuliani vs the news reporting of Obama/Clinton has been even and unbiased? As I point out, lip service is given to Giuliani and McCain, but they aren’t the interesting story to the media, so the media focuses on what is. Because of this, however, they give false representations to the viewers and readers who only listen in or read a bit here or there. They are going to be exposed more to the stories that the media wants them to be interested in instead of the stories that they do report but do not feel are ‘interesting’…

Does that make sense or do we need to get down to the number of articles comparison and airtime, etc…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 1, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #210059

The present media focus is a function of their inbred biases. They will always tout those who espouse their worldview. That applies both to Democratic, and to a lesser extent, Republican candidates.

My hope is that the person who is the eventual nominee for the Republican side has not surfaced yet. I do not presently see one worthy of support, on either side of the spectrum.

Posted by: Seminole 6 at March 1, 2007 9:58 AM
Comment #210061

Rhinehold,

I don’t think there is a formula that says how much time a candidate should get. Obama gets a lot of attention because he is a fresh face and the first viable Black prez candidate. Hillary gets a lot of attention because her husband was the president and people all over the political spectrum are obsessed with her. It doesn’t hurt that Obama and Clinton have been openly sparring lately. Giuliani and McCain get a lot of attention, too. If they criticized each other they would get even more press.

The argument about “favorability” is bogus. What is this, high school? Laura Bush is probably as popular as any of these people, but that doesn’t guarantee her a certain amount of air time.

“Lip service” is all the media gives anybody or anything. I call it coverage, you call it lip service. Just a semantic game.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 1, 2007 10:29 AM
Comment #210068

Oh, I do so hope that Rudy becomes the front runner for the GOP!!! There’s just so much the Left would have to work with there. Not Swiftboating and Lies mind you, but numerous, embarrassing, inconvienient truths.
For one spectacular instance, does anyone actually believe that the evangelical/ dominionists are going to vote for Rudy the Transvestite? The guy who was married to his second cousin, who told that cousinly wife they were going to be divorcing via television? Who felt confortable enough to move in with a gay couple after one of his divorces? Just the tip of the enormous Rudy iceberg…

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #210072

The media did not make Obama a legitimate prospect. He is a force because he is a politician who also happens to be a regular guy and very smart.

Posted by: Schwamp at March 1, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #210075

Who cares what the MSM says (except Bill O’Reilly)? The only poll that counts is the O’Reilly Factor poll!

Posted by: Kim-Sue at March 1, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #210080

Rhinehold,

It was exactly a matter of bias. The media is trying to push stories that they think will give them the most ratings. So they are sensationalizing and ignoring other stories that are not as lurid and instead going around the clock into this one. They are not doing so because they think it is the most ‘important’ story, only because its the one they think will sell the most advertising.

You are close to getting it, but you are still wrong about one thing…
You are still under the delusion that we have a news media in this country. We don’t.

What we have is an infotainment industry. They present their own political views as facts, none of them are “fair and balanced” in any way and they all put sensationalistic crap ahead of real news.

I’ll go so far as to say that any network that ever ran a story about Anna Nicole Smith does not deserve to call itself a news channel.

News is boring. Sensationalism gets viewers and sells advertising time. “Reporters” these days don’t report news. What they do (to use an internet term), is flamebait. This is especially true with political stories. They ignore issues in order to cover the most controversial (and usually irrelevant) crap they can find.

Posted by: TheTraveler at March 1, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #210088

I have noticed that younger people seem to take to Obama very well. In talking to my sons and some of their friends I am of the impression that they like the idea that just about anyone who is not stuffy and dressed in corruption looks better than the usual candidates. They all greatly enjoy listening to him talk and feel that he is genuine in his presentation. I think it is that aura of genuineness that attracts them the most. Lets face it, it is really difficult nowdays to find a politician that one feels is speaking from the heart as opposed to simply pandering to whatever notion they feel might elicit a vote. I personally have not decided who will get my vote. It is much too early in the process to make such a rash decision.

As for the msm I have to say that I have probably heard McCain’s name mentioned no less than a dozen times since waking this morning. I have probably heard Giuliani’s name a half dozen or so times. I have not heard the name Obama once today. None of it has been negative press. I am sorry but I do not see the msm shaping the form of elections to determine who will be our next president. If the republicans get bad press it is because they have performed poorly at their jobs, same for the dems. If one can not find an unbiased media source then they are not looking too hard. In this day and age most people have a vast multitude of news avenues available to them. Find a few that are reasonaably fair and make an educated attempt to seperate the truth from the crap. But please stop trying to blame the msm for all your problems. They are not forcing anyone to favor their particular outlet.

Obama draws huge crowds because people like what they see or want to see if what they hear about him is genuine. The press follows him because he draws huge crowds and yes that sells air time. McCain and Giuliani are old dudes related to old news with nothing new to offer. Hardly a good sell in the airtime market.

Posted by: ILdem at March 1, 2007 2:31 PM
Comment #210105

Adrienne, it would be an interesting spectacle indeed to see the left attacking Guliani for having gay griends, getting divorced, or dressing up like a woman at a party.

As for the right’s reaction, the left just doesn’t get it. They honestly seem to believe their own stereotypes about people in the red states being nothing but narrow-minded bigots and prudes.

As if evangelicals themselves and their friends and family members have never gone through ugly divorces. Evangelicals supported Reagan, didn’t they? A divorcee who had a number of gay friends from his Hollywood days.

It’s really quite remarkable that the left persists in believing that these are all deep dark secrets about Guliani that nobody knows about and which can be unleashed down the road at some opportune moment. It’s all out there, has been out there for years, and has done little to diminish Guliani’s huge popularity.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 1, 2007 5:01 PM
Comment #210116

Loyal Opposition.

You said:

It’s not just that he’s black. It’s also that he’s liberal and black, and will probably be running against a Republican moderate if he survives Hillary.

Then you said:

As for the right’s reaction, the left just doesn’t get it. They honestly seem to believe their own stereotypes about people in the red states being nothing but narrow-minded bigots and prudes.

Really? Because your opinion of Americans doesn’t seem so high either…

Posted by: Max at March 1, 2007 5:55 PM
Comment #210121

Loyal:
“Adrienne, it would be an interesting spectacle indeed to see the left attacking Guliani for having gay griends, getting divorced, or dressing up like a woman at a party.”

Who is attacking? Just putting the truth out there for all who don’t know those particular details. And don’t you think it would be a far more interesting spectacle to watch the Christian Right finding themselves having to do a total about face on their religious opinions and supposedly bone-deep convictions against gays to begin defending those things simply in support of Rudy?
Might make for some serious “back-sliding”, no?

“As for the right’s reaction, the left just doesn’t get it. They honestly seem to believe their own stereotypes about people in the red states being nothing but narrow-minded bigots and prudes.”

I never made any general statements about people who live in the red states being narrow-minded bigots or prudes. I specifically said evangelicals/dominionists — where in my opinion, that certainly does apply.

“As if evangelicals themselves and their friends and family members have never gone through ugly divorces.”

Oh I know all about that hypocrisy. In fact, did you know that more evangelicals divorce than do atheists and agnostics? According to a study done a while back it’s true.

“Evangelicals supported Reagan, didn’t they? A divorcee who had a number of gay friends from his Hollywood days.”

True, but Reagan had only one divorce. Rudy married his second cousin for fourteen years, then annulled that marriage. Then he married again, for almost twenty, had two kids, then started cheating on her openly with one of his aides, then told the second wife he wanted a divorce via television, and immediately started appearing around town with his current wife well before the divorce to the second one went through. I think that’s going to be a whole lot for the evangelicals/dominionists to have to overlook — and that’s before having to excuse the gay friends and the cross-dressing antics.

“It’s really quite remarkable that the left persists in believing that these are all deep dark secrets about Guliani that nobody knows about and which can be unleashed down the road at some opportune moment. It’s all out there, has been out there for years, and has done little to diminish Guliani’s huge popularity.”

Yeah, it may be out there, but lots of people haven’t heard about it. And the real bombshell that is sure to come if he’s the front runner is just how many people who lost loved ones on 9/11 can’t stand Rudy — and think that the fact that he located the emergency command and control center for the entire city of New York at the WTC AFTER the first bombing was totally moronic. The fact that he did so completely against the advice of his security team, the police dept. and the fire dept. only makes this much worse, and more likely to become an issue when people start considering him to the next president in charge of protecting America against the threats of terrorism.
I mean, haven’t we had enough of leaders who don’t listen to good advice, and who display such poor judgement?

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #210127

Yes… it is quite unfortunate that the media does indeed frame the debate in this way. Obama seems like a nice enough guy, and he is being jammed down our throats. The agenda of the mainstream media is simply to have us either elect a woman or a black man. Personally, I think it is high time for either, or even both (a black woman? gasp!). But I would like to see this because they are the right person, and not because the media tells us it is time.

Because the mainstream media tells us who the only candidates with any chance of winner are, we dutifully march to the polls and push the button on one of those two names. Ask the average person objective questions in an issue-by-issue format and well over half of those to which you speak will come down more aligned with the libertarian (yay!) or green (bleh!) parties than with the republicans or democrats. But because we are told that only the republicrats are electable we vote for the lesser of those two evils.

The single biggest problem in America is this… the American people vote their fears and not their hopes. We vote for Bush because we can’t stand the thought of Kerry winning, even though our personal ideology is more in alignment with Badnarik. When we are no longer afraid to use our vote for good we will be truly a free people.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at March 1, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #210149

Adrienne, I don’t think you really understand the religious right, its issues with gays, or the way in which their values are reflected in their politics. A lot of liberals make this mistake, as we saw in the 04 election when both Kerry and Edwards kept bringing up Cheney’s gay daughter as if they thought that would make people turn against Cheney. Fact is, though, that the religious right was and is still among (if not at the top of the list) of Cheney’s supporters and nobody cares that his daugher is gay.

Not being a member of the religious right myself but one who interacts with a lot of them, I admit that there really are a small minority of them who actually hate gay people and would despise anybody associated with them. But I’m sure that this percentage is that much higher than among secular people or even many Democrats. Which population in America, after all, is most hostile to gays? The answer: African Americans, and most of those are Democrats.

Religious conservatives get angry about what they call the “gay agenda” of forcing approval of their lifestyle, especially in the schools and when it comes to gay marriage. Being friends with gays, having gay family members, etc may not be a bonus, but it isn’t that big of a deal and a good many religious conservatives themselves associate with gays on a social or professional level with no trouble at all.

Rudy’s cross-dressing? Give me a break. He dressed up as a woman for a party. It’s not as if he’s some kind of flaming drag queen riding around on a gay pride float. The teenage son of my evangelical Christian neigbor dressed up as a woman for Halloween a couple years ago. It’s downright hilarious that you think that fundamental Christians are going to be manipulated into thinking that Guliani is some kind of transvestite drag queen.

Now, perhaps it really would be the kiss of death for a Democratic candidate to dress up in drag. But that’s because it would play to political stereotypes about Democrats being soft sissies. Whatever people think about Guliani, even those who hate him—nobody thinks the man is a soft, week-willed feminized male.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 1, 2007 10:20 PM
Comment #210151

Loyal:
“Adrienne, I don’t think you really understand the religious right, its issues with gays, or the way in which their values are reflected in their politics.”

Actually Loyal, because the radical religious right views people like myself as their enemy, I’ve forced myself to read a lot about them, especially the evangelicals and dominionists. I do understand how their values are reflected in their politics, and if you believe that they’re going to enthusiastically vote for a pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, pro-choice on abortion guy with a long and sorted history of scandals and multiple divorces, I think it’s you who are truly failing to understand the situation. Now, I realize that Rudy could probably do well in a general election, simply because of the myths of his great heroism on 9/11, but first the man has to win the Republican primary, and it seems crystal clear to me that he doesn’t stand a chance of doing so without the support of the religious right.

“Rudy’s cross-dressing? Give me a break. He dressed up as a woman for a party. It’s not as if he’s some kind of flaming drag queen riding around on a gay pride float.”

I honestly couldn’t tell you one way or another. Did you watch the video? He sure seemed extremely comfortable sashaying around in that blonde wig, lavender frock and heels to me! Almost as though he’s had a quite a bit of practice… ;^)

“Whatever people think about Guliani, even those who hate him—nobody thinks the man is a soft, week-willed feminized male.”

I think most women see him as a swaggering macho jerk who has demonstrated a serious lack of respect for his wives, women in general, and who would be hell on wheels for any of us to have to work for.
Moreover, since Bush is also a swaggering macho jerk, I think America is going to want to steer clear of that sort next time around.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 1, 2007 11:24 PM
Comment #210154

Adrienne, I think you’re absolutely right up to a point, but you have to look at the whole picture.

Guliani will indeed encounter some troubles with the religious right—no argument there. It’s just like Hillary will (and is) encountering trouble from the left for refusing to offer apologies for her vote on the war. Every candidate has obstacles to overcome, but simply having obstacles doesn’t mean they’re doomed. There’s a lot more to think about.

The real question is: who are those who raise those objections going to vote for instead, either in the primaries or the general election? Are Democrats going to nominate Kucinich or someobdy like him because he was against the war from the beginning?

I suspect not: that Democrats would still prefer Hillary, in no small part because like Guliani’s party, her party wants to WIN the election and will set aside some ideological preferences to give themselves a better chance of achieving that goal.

I think the jury is still out on that as far as Hillary goes (and perhaps, being on the left, you have better insights into her troubles).

So it’s not enough to point out Guliani’s troublesome issues. You have to come up with a candidate who could potentially defeat him in the primaries, and take a hard look at the electoral map and primary schedule.

Guliani has the good fortune of having no popular and feasible socially conservative opponents in the primaries. His only real adversary is McCain, and in case you don’t this, McCain has FAR worse troubles with the conservative base than does Guliani. Also there’s the factor of the California primary being moved way up, and California Republicans (Arnold Republicans) are not nearly as socially conservative as some others.

On some level, I suspect that liberals are whistling past the graveyard here. They know how difficult Guliani would be to defeat in a general election and try to convince themselves that he’ll be finished off by conservatives in the primary. But Guliani’s history is no secret at all, and he’s still way ahead in the polls, even among the hard right.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 1, 2007 11:55 PM
Comment #210164

Loyal,
As I see it, Rudy’s got quite a lot more than just the religious right to worry about. Here’s a few of the things I’m thinking will give him big trouble, besides the fact that he’s pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay rights, and pro gun control and the religious right hates all of that:

Draft questions cloud Giuliani’s chances.
And a woman named Sally Regenhard who lost her firefighter son on 9/11, has sworn to bring Guiliani’s failures to light.
Also, I hear that his campaign is worried about what his second wife will come out and say, due to the humiliating, nasty and very public nature of their divorce.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 2, 2007 2:54 AM
Comment #210170
Are Democrats going to nominate Kucinich or someobdy like him because he was against the war from the beginning?

They wouldn’t have to dig that deep. Barack Obama publicly opposed the war from the beginning. Yes, I do realize that he is an African-American…

Adrienne,

I don’t know why you are so eager to discredit Giuliani. First of all, conservatives have their own goons to do this. Secondly, why stop the GOP from nominating him? He’s probably the least crazy guy in the bunch. He even nominated liberal/moderate judges.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 2, 2007 8:32 AM
Comment #210175

Woody:
“I don’t know why you are so eager to discredit Giuliani.”

Because I realize that had he taken other actions in the city of New York after the 1993 bombing of the WTC, a lot more people would have been saved on 9/11. Also, I’m sick of giant egos paired with gross incompetence, which afterward is lionized and heavily propagandized as good decision making and judgment.

“First of all, conservatives have their own goons to do this. Secondly, why stop the GOP from nominating him?”

Because as much as McCain has come to be a Bush supporter, at least he used to show some independence of thought. And while I am disgusted that has changed, and that he has become a supporter of Bush’s insane and failed Iraq War, I fear giving him the reins of power and being tasked with protecting this country much less than I do Giuliani.

“He’s probably the least crazy guy in the bunch. He even nominated liberal/moderate judges.”

Is he less crazy? I don’t know about that.
Check out this personality profile that was written for the New York Observer
Rudy plays dirty and vindictively politically and has always surrounded himself with a lot of unqualified but loyal cronies, as many liberal New Yorkers can attest. That reminds me too much of Bush. At least we know that McCain had the good sense to become good friends with a smart guy like Russ Feingold.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 2, 2007 10:38 AM
Comment #210657

It doesn’t matter who is nominated on the Democrat’s side; they’re (all) against the Iraq war and seen as “Weak” on National Security. You have to be “Strong” on National Security in order to be President nowadays. The dems just don’t have anybody.


Posted by: rahdigly at March 6, 2007 9:09 AM
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