Every once in a while, even I am wrong

I never thought Obama would do this well, and he now appears more invincible today than Hillary Clinton appeared six months ago. I truly believed she was going to wipe him out, and I was completely wrong. Of course, now that his star is in the ascendant it is only a matter of time before the honeymoon ends and the media and the Republicans go after him with everything they’ve got. This is a familiar refrain in US politics. Let’s hope Obama gets through it in one piece, and with enough strength left to beat McCain, the only Republican who could conceivably win in November.

I am in another crunch period where posting will be next to impossible, at least for the next two days. Apologies for the unanswered emails and relative silence. No choice. And big thanks to Jeremiah, Sonagi and Raj, etc., for filling in.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 32 Comments

So as Americans, we get to choose between an Allah-loving red-diaper baby and Juan McBaston? It’s like a sick, twisted God is tormenting us. Hillary, don’t leave us when we need you most! Cry us a river! Use that defense industry dough to bribe some delegates! Don’t let a sexist nation take away your dream.

February 20, 2008 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

Wow… not sure how to follow that one up. You literally blew my mind Peter.
What does red diaper mean by chance?

February 20, 2008 @ 11:23 pm | Comment

And who’s Juan McBaston?

Richard, love you much but I called it after Iowa… Obama vs. McCain. McCain wins the general election.

What’s not to love about a guy who has a navy destroyer named after him (well, his namesakes anyway)? I want one too!

February 20, 2008 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

Peter, congratulations. You have the unique honor of being the one commenter here whom I truly loathe. I dislike a few others and love a whole lot. But there’s no one else I intensely loathe. That prize goes to you. As I’ve asked before, would you consider hanging out at stormfront or frontpage, where you truly belong? Please?

February 20, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Comment

Now, I know how many American “Red Necks” are actually reading this blog :P ?

February 21, 2008 @ 2:42 am | Comment

heh. I’ve said from the very beginning that Hillary is unelectable; at least as POTUS. It’s really in the best interest of America that she doesn’t get the nomination, imo. Not because she’s a cold, calculating and conniving POS, but because the wrath Republicans would have surely unleashed upon her would have only continued to divide Americans even further.

Now that Obama has pulled so far of Hillary in the quest for the Dem. nomination, I look for her to start showing her true nasty colors.

February 21, 2008 @ 3:05 am | Comment

I guess at this point I should be surprised that I haven’t been blocked or something.

A red-diaper baby is someone who was brought up as a communist from childhood, for example Clinton-era civil rights nominee Lani Guinier. It’s a reference to the story that Obama had a communist mentor named Frank Marshall Davis when he was teenager in Hawaii. (In his memoirs, Obama refers to Davis mysteriously as “a poet named Frank”.) This doesn’t quite bring us back to diapers, so I was taking a bit of license.

“Juan” is Spanish for John and a “baston” is a cane, for those of you who didn’t figure that one out.

February 21, 2008 @ 3:34 am | Comment

I think Obama will wish his wife hadn’t said this was only the first time in her adult life she felt proud of her country!

Whatever she meant, it wasn’t a smart comment – insensitive and self-centred at best.

February 21, 2008 @ 6:40 am | Comment

I’m among the conservatives who mancrush on Obama.

It’s simple, really. If Obama gets the nomination, I vote Obama.

If Hillary succeeds in crushing Obama to get what she wants, I vote McCain–along with all the right-wing nutjobs who will eventually be reminded by their GOP thought-leaders that the only thing they hate more than a moderate Republican is a Clinton.

February 21, 2008 @ 7:18 am | Comment

Raj, you’re right about that. Then again, Obama’s voting record won’t do him any favors either – he has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. Hard to believe, but Obama is further left than Hillary. Gasp! I know that doesn’t bother most readers of this site, but I don’t fall into that category.

February 21, 2008 @ 7:37 am | Comment

Richard:

You are wrong “once in a while”? hahaaaaahaha!

@Peter:
I suppose the only people you’d vote for is fear mongering “9-11″ Gulliani or that psycho right wing nut job flaming bible thrower who wants to rewrite the constitution…something that libertarian conservatives would literally be up in arms about.

Of course, I think that McCain may have to bring in Huckabee to consolidate the nut job wacko base so that they don’t stay at home in November, which would guarantee an Obama victory.

Say, for fun, someone ought to start a thread about who would be in the line up for Obama’s official inauguration party.

February 21, 2008 @ 8:22 am | Comment

Consider how much the CONSERVATIVES have screwed up our country, I think been a very liberal person is not a bad thing after all because opposite of bad must be good right :P .

Obama! Obama!! Obama!!!

February 21, 2008 @ 9:20 am | Comment

Just read about this bomb from Drudge about McCain’s alleged affair w/ a lobbyist:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us/politics/21mccain.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

February 21, 2008 @ 9:41 am | Comment

Arty said:

Consider how much the CONSERVATIVES have screwed up our country, I think been a very liberal person is not a bad thing after all because opposite of bad must be good right :P

Arty, George W. Bush is a Republican, not a Conservative – the two are not synonymous.

February 21, 2008 @ 9:54 am | Comment

Obama v. McCain is going to be better than the Olympics. I’ve never had a sense of what a difference the outcome of a US election could mean before. I’d turn to religion if I thought it would help Obama.

February 21, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Comment

Peter: I guess at this point I should be surprised that I haven’t been blocked or something.

I never block commenters because they hold a point of view different from my own. if I did, this place would be lethally dull. However, I may make an exception one of these days and block you for crimes against humanity.

February 21, 2008 @ 10:31 am | Comment

Richard:

You are wrong “once in a while”? hahaaaaahaha!

I remember once I was wrong in the spring of 2003, though circumstances later proved I was at least half-right. A very rare occurrence.

February 21, 2008 @ 10:40 am | Comment

Is it the red diaper baby bit merely “a bit of license,” or a quotation from that Lisa Schiffren column that everyone’s been talking about the past two days?

February 21, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Comment

The Republican attack machine might very well be lethal, but at this point you can expect a preview of it from the Clinton campaign, and I would expect them to pull out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to crush Obama. After all, when have the Clinton’s ever played nice in an election?

As for formulating a strategy contra McCain, attacking his perceived strengths is the solution here. For some odd reason, he got the support of the majority of anti-war Republicans despite running on a platform of intensifying Bush’s foreign policy. Also, his whole “maverick” shtick doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

Two concerns: can Obama get down and dirty when he needs to? And can he cultivate a chummy relationship with the media? I’ve heard he keeps the press at some distance while McCain invites them onto his bus for a chat- this is the sort of thing that can turn press coverage around.

February 21, 2008 @ 11:18 am | Comment

As for formulating a strategy contra McCain, attacking his perceived strengths is the solution here.

Yeah, one of the talking heads on CNN’s post-Wisconsin primary coverage referred to it as the “Lombardi strategy”: Attack your opponent’s strongest points rather than where they are the weakest.

Regarding the Clinton’s, that particular comment came, and I have to confess I wasn’t paying the closest attention as it was on in the background at my office, as part of a discussion on the Clinton campaign lambasting Obama as an empty orator. A strategy that seems to have been adopted by the McCain’s as well.

On another level, listening to Bill Clinton criticize a candidate for relying too much on rhetorical flourishes in their campaign speeches is a bit like Mao telling Gandhi to ‘lighten up and lay off the broads.’ But no matter…

February 21, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

Oh, come on, you guys. How can you resist all that Changyness and Hopeitude? I may just have an Obamagasm.

February 21, 2008 @ 12:10 pm | Comment

Arty, George W. Bush is a Republican, not a Conservative – the two are not synonymous.

Whatever :P

Born-again Christians are not conservatives?

Republican is not a conservative party?

Being a right-wing fascist is not conservative?

Started his run for Presidency in Bob Jones University is not conservative move (maybe not because it looked more like a racist than a conservative)?

Although it’s true, a conservative shouldn’t use so much alcohol and nose candies until he cannot even speak properly, and like you said Bush is not a conservative. That’s fine. I can always blame the conservatives for supporting him and voting him in (not once but twice) while the Republicans also control both houses for 6 years. Now who can you blame :) ?

February 21, 2008 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

I doubt that a Communist would use the color red for his or her diaper. I’ll have to ask Jiang Zemin. He wears his pants so high that I can never sneak a peek!
Or perhaps they still have Mao’s in a museum exhibition entitled: “Red Diapers from the Might Glorious Chairman Mao’s Heroic and Patriotic Struggle Against the Imperialists and Revisionists in his Pants in Later Years.”

On a more serious note, although both of the Democrats that I supported (Edwards and Clinton) seem to have fallen by the wayside, I’m not really disappointed. Obama’s great as well.

February 21, 2008 @ 1:33 pm | Comment

Obama may be more than an empty orator. I would not know though since I haven’t heard him say anything of substance. Oh, change is needed certainly. But saying it is needed and coming up with a workable plan are two different things. McCain is spot-on in his criticism here.

There will come a time where Obama will have to provide a bit more detail about what change he can really offer. And what he offers, besides his looks and eloquence, will indeed have to be a change.

Mania usually doesn’t last for the space of months. It follows fads. And there are only so many Operah Winfreys who can stand up and defend his character before the act begins to grow stale. The presence of several primary elections against a plastic-looking Hillary have helped extend his 15 minutes into 30. But once those elections stop, he will have to offer more. If the flesh stays absent, McCain will clobber him.

February 21, 2008 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

Crimes against humanity? I believe in law and order. I favor legislation that would make membership in the al-Qaida or the Taliban a death penalty offense. There would also have to be special tribunals with streamlined proceduces so that heads would start to roll before the war is over. It’s an outrage that all these years after 9/11 so little progress has been made in punishing the guilty. The NYT reported a few days ago that the government plans to ask for the death penalty in six cases, so maybe that will start to change.

The threat of the death penalty will loosen tongues a lot faster than the CIA’s wussy version of torture. The Iranians train their Iraqi militia allies to apply electrical drills to Sunni foreheads and knees. Saddam had a guy’s tongue pulled out right on Iraqi TV. Our worst is waterboarding? I bet Bin Laden laughed when he heard about it.

February 21, 2008 @ 8:04 pm | Comment

Crimes against humanity? I believe in law and order. I favor legislation that would make membership in the al-Qaida or the Taliban a death penalty offense. There would also have to be special tribunals with streamlined proceduces so that heads would start to roll before the war is over. It’s an outrage that all these years after 9/11 so little progress has been made in punishing the guilty. The NYT reported a few days ago that the government plans to ask for the death penalty in six cases, so maybe that will start to change.

Democracy without respect for the individual rights leads to populism. Populism leads to tyranny. However, I don’t expect people like you actually know half what our founding fathers are trying to prevent. You can’t not legislate anything that is against our constitutions and our principles. Oh, those so called “terrorists” are innocent until proven guilty. I think you will want the same rights if someone accuse of you being a terrorist or a big fat American redneck :P sorry can’t resist.

Also, if your name links to the real you, I think its time to lose some weights and stop dressing like a gringo.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:43 am | Comment

I know you’re being facetious when you say you’re rarely wrong, Richard, but you know the old proverb – man thinks, God laughs. ;-)

February 22, 2008 @ 6:57 am | Comment

“The threat of the death penalty will loosen tongues a lot faster than the CIA’s wussy version of torture.”

Yeah, right. Another remarkably egregious remark from Gaulieter Kauffner.

Dread of the death penalty is REALLY going to loosen the tongues of terrorist suspects who welcome martyrdom and the prospect of being served by a hundred virgins in Paradise, not to mention their willingness to strap explosives around their waists and fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

February 22, 2008 @ 11:32 am | Comment

“strap explosives around their waists and fly airplanes into skyscrapers.”

Strap explosives & kill indiscriminatedly yes, but fly airplanes into skyscrapers and the Pentagon? I don’t think so. Check this out:

http://www.rense.com/general64/moss.htm

Exclusive to American Free Press
By Christopher Bollyn

U.S. investigators and the controlled media have ignored a preponderance of evidence pointing to …. being involved in the terror attacks of 9/11.

From the very morning aircraft smashed into the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon, news reports have indicated ……. being involved in the events of 9/11 – and the planting of “false flags” to blame Arab terrorists and mold public opinion to support the pre-planned “war on terror.”

February 22, 2008 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

Peter, the great wish of any jihadist that engages in terrorism is to be martyred in battle, so how would threatening to kill them do any good at all?

February 22, 2008 @ 12:19 pm | Comment

HKSojourner: Most of the 9/11 hijackers had no idea it was a suicide mission. There’s a video of Bin Laden laughing it up after someone explains to him how the hijackers were tricked into going on the mission. A bunch of them went to a strip joint in Vegas and drank alchohol, so not all of them were even religious. There were news stories just recently about how al-Qaida is recuiting mentally ill people from psych wards in Baghdad to do suicide bombings. And what about the Palestinians? They’ve been noticably less eager to martyr themselves since Saddam stopped paying huge bonuses to the families.

February 23, 2008 @ 1:41 am | Comment

A friend of mine pointed out that in a still overall conservative state Virginia, the Democrat primary turnout was much larger than the GOP turnout. Anecdotal evidents suggested sizable cross-party votes for Obama. The latest from Texas is also that Obama will get a good chunk of GOP votes. The key question is, when the November election comes, will these Republicans,

1. stay home.
2. vote for Obama.
3. Yeah right, are you kidding me?

From a strategic standpoint, the best way to ensure a GOP president, is to vote for the weaker Democrat presidential candidate.

March 1, 2008 @ 1:04 am | Comment

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