Friday, January 11, 2008

Lawrence O'Donnell Is A Wanker

Don't you just love it when you're busy doing something and some half-wit comes along and starts telling you all the things you're doing wrong and wonders aloud why you're bothering, but doesn't offer to help? Today, that person is Lawrence O'Donnell, at least as far as anyone who's interested in John Edwards being President is concerned:

John Edwards is a loser. He has won exactly two elections in his life and lost 31. Only one of his wins and all of his losses were in presidential primaries and caucuses. He remains perfectly positioned to continue to lose with a Kucinich-like consistency. Nothing but egomania keeps Edwards in the race now. All presidential candidates are egomaniacs but some of them have party status worth preserving that forces them to drop out when they hit the wall. A loser like Edwards has no status or dignity to lose. Campaigning and losing is his life. So, he will continue his simple-minded, losing campaign and deny Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton the one-on-one contest they deserve.

John Edwards Is A Loser

So, let me get this straight, after coming in second in his first run at the Presidency, with only one term under his belt as a U.S. Senator, the guy is a loser, by O'Donnell's definition? "To lose with a Kucinich-like consistency"? In case you hadn't noticed, Kucinich has been in government for most of his adult life. I'd say he knows how to win some political campaigns. How many have you won, Larry?

By my definition, O'Donnell is a wanker.

By the way, Larry, Edwards has won a lot more cases than you have, too.

As if he didn't embarrass himself enough already, O'Donnell goes on to observe:

If John Edwards stays in the race, he might, in the end, become nothing other than the Southern white man who stood in the way of the black man. And for that, he would deserve a lifetime of liberal condemnation.

John Edwards Is A Loser

Well, let me see. Who is that black man running against? The first woman to win a Presidential primary, that's all. So, yes, it would be a real shame if that nasty old white dude made the Democrats' nominee the first woman to run for President for a major party, wouldn't it? But let's forget all that for a moment - why the hell is either a woman or a black man automatically better for this country? What kind of ass-backwards bigotry is that? I don't give a crap what Barack Obama's melanin content is, and I don't care what kind of genitals Hillary Clinton has. What I care about is whether they'd be a better choice to do one of the most difficult political jobs on the planet, and do it in a way that improves the country. Why isn't that the most important issue, for crying out loud?

As Kevin Hayden observes, O'Donnell seems to have more bigotry issues than Edwards does:

And to suggest that Edwards is running to represent the bigotry of the Old South - with zero evidence - is itself an odious bigoted assertion, typecasting someone because of where he was born or currently lives instead of, you know, what he’s done and stood for.

I recall Edwards doing hands on rebuilding in New Orleans. Where was Larry O’Donnell?

Larry o’Dious, the bigot

A month doesn't seem to pass by when some self-styled liberal doesn't make the observation that Edwards is a white Southerner who sometimes makes appeals to other white Southerners, and he's therefor a racist:

Edwards is talking as a college educated white guy to other college educated white guys. It's the white man's burden, and while well-meaning, it's a little racist and annoying.

What Bugs Me About John Edwards

Yeah, because, as we know, most poor people aren't white, right? Oh, wait, point that out is racist, too:

I don’t blame John Edwards for this, it’s just hard for a rich, white man to talk about poverty and not seem condescending. This kind of racism is just too hard for one man to combat. He can’t help who he is, and if I were to hold it against him that would be discrimination too. I like his ideas and I like his message. However, I think his worldview and this subtle racism could be the reason he’s more popular among whites than minorities.

John Edwards and Subtle Racism

Taylor Marsh gets in on the action here:

SEN. EDWARDS: Here’s what I think. I am the candidate running for president on the Democratic side who’s actually won an election in a red state running against the Jessie Helms political machine. I know what you have to do to win in battleground states, and to win in tough, tough congressional districts, and what you have to do to put out your message that works in those kind of places. People—I understand people who vote in those places, and they connect and relate to me. So I do believe when I am the Democratic nominee for president that there is no place in America that I can’t go and campaign and help our congressional candidates and help our Senate candidates.

I guess that means southerners won't vote for a woman, an African American or a Hispanic? Winning "everywhere" seems to be the latest in a cavalcade of reasons to vote for Edwards. It's dizzying.

Edwards Channels Mudcat

No, it means he knows how to find and appeal to the kind of people who aren't sure they want to vote for Jessie Helms.

Then there's this genius:

I've believed from the beginning that the reason Edwards is being 'kept around' is so that, if the voters just can't bring themselves to 'vote for history', they won't look absolutely absurd in voting for the Closest White Male they could find. They will try to say with a straight face: ' We've been thinking about John Edwards all along'.

Why is nobody calling the Edwards Campaign on their recent racial ploys?

Yes, that's certainly been my strategy. I've just been kidding you about him being the most progressive candidate, and you caught on, didn't you, rikyrah? How could he be the most progressive? He's a white guy!

I try to let people be defined by their actions, and the decisions they make. Edwards spent much of the time between the two Presidential elections forming and running One Corps, the volunteer organization that is both a political and a community service organization. Maude Hurd, the president of ACORN, an anti-poverty alliance, wrote:

While Senator Edwards could have chosen to do anything else with his time, he chose to spend it on the road with low-wage workers and their allies who were fighting to lift workers out of poverty. Edwards worked directly with grassroots community-faith-labor coalitions on the ground, leading rallies and press conferences to galvanize public support and working outside the spotlight to help organize support and raise funds to bring wage increase proposals to the ballot.

ACORN President Says Edwards an Ally in Struggle Against Poverty

Edwards announced his candidacy while helping to rebuild communities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Jane Smiley observes:

O'Donnell attacks the only candidate in the race with explicitly progressive policy positions, and the only candidate in the race who hasn't accepted corporate money, and the only candidate in the race who understands how corporations are poisoning American politics and American life with their unrestrained power and influence.

Shut Up, Larry

Somehow, that never seems to get the sort of attention that his support from Cooter did.

Edwards doesn't have much support among black people, that's for sure. I'm sure that part of the reason is that Bill and Hillary Clinton are highly thought of by African-Americans. Barack Obama is the first viable black candidate in decades. That has to be a little bit interesting, too. But whatever the reason is, I'll just make a couple observations:

- First, it doesn't help when every few weeks somebody in the "left blogosphere" gets it in his (or her) head that Edwards is a racist because he's white and he doesn't turn his back on the rural white vote, and

- Second, if I wanted to know why Edwards wasn't popular among blacks, I wouldn't ask these people. I'd go find some black people and ask them.

So, to recap, Edwards, who wouldn't want to be accused of being a racist by all these white people, should drop out of the race so the candidates favored by these folks can divide up the delegates. That's because they deserve to be in this race, and Edwards, not to mention all those other candidates, don't. At least, that's what Lawrence O'Donnell thinks.

I say it would be just wonderful if the nomination wasn't sewn up by the end of February. Maybe we could test Obama's and Clinton's political skills by having them negotiate with the guy (or guys) who can get them the nomination. I may not be much of a football fan, but one thing I do like to see in a game is, umm, how do I put this, suspense about the outcome.

What do you think?

UPDATE (Jan 13): Michael Fauntroy discusses the debate among African Americans over who is the best candidate.

I had the temerity to suggest that we shouldn’t overreact to [Obama's] Iowa win. I reminded listeners that Jesse Jackson won Vermont – a state every bit as White as Iowa – 20 years ago and that many White Democrats have been voting for Black candidates for years, so we shouldn’t jump up and down over Obama’s caucus win. I knew I was in trouble, though, when the music bump before the interview began featured a caller who said she supports Obama “100 percent” and would vote for a Black man over a White woman every time. I thought: “wow, by that logic, you’d vote for Ike Turner, Alan Keyes, and Clarence Thomas over Hilary Clinton.” How ridiculous.

Lambasted for Not Drinking the Obama Kool-Aid

Ridiculous, indeed. I hope someday we reach an awareness in this country that it's hard enough to find someone who can be a good President, without also expecting him (or her) to be of a particular ethnic group or religion.

I'd say we have a long way to go before we're there.

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