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"The Battle for America 2008"

The Fix had a chance to sit down recently with the Post's senior political reporter Dan Balz and Pulitzer Prize winner Haynes Johnson to discuss their new book: "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election".

Our discussion -- a must-watch for those who followed the ups and downs of the 2008 campaign -- is broken down into four parts: the rise of President Barack Obama, the Democratic primary campaign, the Republican primary and a broader look at the state of the country during the contest.

You can also read an extended excerpt here.

The book comes out on Tuesday. We'll have a fuller review of it in this space next week but do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 1, 2009; 12:02 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Morning Fix: The Mac Attack is Back

Comments

vbhoomes: "I believe [conservative] people call Obama the mesiah because [conservative pundits repeatedly tell them that] a lot of liberals worship him as a diety"

just had to clarify your [purported] thought for you

Posted by: nodebris | August 3, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

does anyone else gag on the irony of someone who signs himself "reaganitepublican" complaining about a "Dear Leader?"

And they wonder why intelligent people don't take them seriously . . .

Posted by: nodebris | August 3, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

jaked, i'd agree that the palin comments were off-topic; unfortunate that you've disqualified yourself from credibly raising that point of order, isn't it?

I was in the er, or i might have.

Posted by: nodebris | August 3, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Nice book, but this seems like ancient history. We're already seeing the decline and fall of the great one. How about books on that?

Posted by: kenpasadena | August 3, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Barack Was Hand Picked by Kissinger. What is strange about that? Not Nothing.

Dwight Baker
dbaker007@stx.rr.com

Posted by: dbaker00711281944 | August 3, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Where Will really jerks on my chain is that matter-of-fact presumptuousness thing he does. "Now that we know about markets ... " he's one of the most zombied of the free-market true believers, he probably wanted to hand Social Security to the investment caste. I think people who believe in the marketplace belong in mental hospitals sharing rooms with those guys who think they're Napoleon. What absolute tripe that stuff is.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: but as a writer, whose job is not just to write sentences but to structure what he writes to create a point, Will is just deplorable. His historical side trails serve no purpose most of the time, they're only to create an impression of a man who has a vast store of available knowledge. Whether he does or doesn't, he has no ability to synthesize ideas into a whole.

For many years now I've been offended by the fact that Will gets *paid*, never mind the fact that he's actually respected. He deserves neither.

Krauthammer is a lot uglier than Will in what he writes, but if one read Krauthammer all the time there would be one column per year so simply good that you have to know the rest of the time he's choosing to write filth because it gets -- got -- him invited to cocktail parties at the Bush White House. The rest of the year would just be depressing.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

"You LIKE George Will because he sneers at things you don't like. If you think he's a good writer, you're not paying attention to his writing in your zeal to read his bitter sarcasm."

I actually kind of LIKE his sarcasm. That bothers me a lot less than the inaccuracies and being wrong about everything.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 2, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

For my money, George Will writes the best columns. David Brooks in his previous life was a conservative but since then he has sold his soul to write for the NY Times and be accepted at their cocktail parties.

==

You LIKE George Will because he sneers at things you don't like. If you think he's a good writer, you're not paying attention to his writing in your zeal to read his bitter sarcasm.

George Will is an AWFUL writer.

He writes like someone who'd got narcolepsy, or who tries to write while he's talking on the phone. He'll be chugging along sneer-quoting and being sarcastic and then the next paragraph is some irrelevant and unsupportive piece of history or baseball lore that doesn't have squat to do with anything. Given a thesaurus to dress up the language, there are kids in high school who could do a better job.

As for David Brooks, someone should wash your mouth out with soap for saying that. Brooks is a fine writer who happens to have an honest bone or two, and I can see how a contemporary "conservative" and yes that is a sneer would hate him for the honesty.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox, I believe people call Obama the mesiah because a lot of liberals worship him as a diety.

==

Perhaps the respect and admiration accorded to Obama, who has earned it, looks like worship to you by comparison to the lack thereof that Bush got, but that's not because anyone repeat anyone "worships" Obama, rather it reflects the great difference in stature between the two men.

Bush is an insecure worm.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"Chrisfox, I believe people call Obama the mesiah because a lot of liberals worship him as a diety."

I think it's mainly conservatives who think they are clever, so they copy other conservatives who think they are being clever.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 2, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"@DDAWD re: while shirted .. you're tơo young to have seen underground comix, but see if you can google up anything by "R. Crumb" that shows Mickey Rat."

Haha, does kind of look like Phelps, doesn't he?

http://artbackwash.blogspot.com/2009/01/mickey-rat.html

Posted by: DDAWD | August 2, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@BB: Didn't hear about anything getting yanked.

Kindle has an offline mode, so yes it can be used during takeoff and landing.

With books I need glasses now. With the Kindle I can just change the font size, and it never snaps shut when I put it down. I'm crazy about it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Chrisfox, I believe people call Obama the mesiah because a lot of liberals worship him as a diety. I know as an aethist, that doesn't apply to you but it does to a lot of your comrades. For my money, George Will writes the best columns. David Brooks in his previous life was a conservative but since then he has sold his soul to write for the NY Times and be accepted at their cocktail parties.

Posted by: vbhoomes | August 2, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

CF8 wrote: "Kindle is much better than paper (unless there're equations)"

I'm not terribly comfortable with the publisher being able to yank back my books at will. Sure, Amazon apologized, but I'll take the real thing. Plus, I can read it during take-off and landing (the Blade just finished his 6th leg of the week).

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 2, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I don't think the blog spam we get here is very clever either. Kinda repetitive in a mind-numbing sort of way.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE SEEKING INSIGHT INTO THE TRUE, OFTEN DISTURBING STATE OF THE AMERICAN BODY POLITIC:

Comments sections at http://theroot.com

(That is the site edited by Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates, now under blog spam attack similar to what constantly goes on here, but much more racially-charged and not very clever...)

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 2, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe: for my money Rich is the best columnist in print. He has an arch and scope to his writing, developing his themes and illuminating them with one great turn of phrase after another. And he pulls it off with a wry wit, and he does it every single week.

Thomas Friedman may golf with presidents and premiers but I think only about one of his every five columns is really great. Mostly I think he's full of himself.

David Brooks is the only conservative writer I would call great and whom I read without fail even when I completely disagree. WaPo should dump Will and Krauthammer and those hacks and find someone like Brooks.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Kristol already had a gig at NYT. Then one day he wasn't there. I read his first column there, it was a typical two handed shove to the chest sort of writing. I skipped him after that and I bet most people did too. William Kristol in the same paper as Frank Rich and David Brooks? That's just wrong.

What I found most illuminating in the excerpt was Obama's extraordinary candor. He's almost compulsively honest and revealing and he doesn't erect myths around himself, there's none of that "Messiah" thing that the trolls are always sneering about.

And I didn't know David Axelrod was so very sharp.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@cf8: I think Balz got the facts right, I guess he typed up his interview notes from the campaign basically. That's important and worth credit.

But he missed the specialness, the excitement, the magic because he himself, and people in his insider world, didn't feel it. He really didn't get it--what it meant. When BHO won, there was world jubilation, folks were jumping up and down in Paris and Kenya. You don't get that from the Balz excerpt I read. I know BHO had himself as a 30% likelihood, but he was more like a 1000 to 1 shot and he ran the table. Again I give Balz a solid B. Good workmanlike stuff.

PS: The Frank Rich you referred us to is the best column I have read maybe since Gene Robinson's "Where Wright Went Wrong." Unbelievable insight. Thought-experiment: Can the Post trade Parker and Kristol to the NYT for him and Bob Herbert?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 2, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"Balz, I think, missed all that because, as a Washington BroderWorld insider didn't feel "it" the way folks did in Arlington and Norfolk and Davenport and Paris and Kenya as they screamed and hollered and partied in the streets when BHO won."

==

That was a very good post, broadwayjoe, and that one paragraph was very VERY good. Megakudos

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

No wonder the far-left moonbats -along with Team Obama’s David Plouffe and his internet squads- are out to destroy her.

==

As if Palin needs any help destroying herself.

Her own words and actions needs no parody or embellishment, they're perfectly damning all on their own.

And about the Reagan reverence .. you're clearly lacking any sense of history. Reagan rode to power on the simultaneous peak of two unlikely waves: a period of social shallowness and a time of badly hurt feelings. The hostage crisis finished what Vietnam started, America's sense of invincibiity and exceptionalism.

We don't remember Reagan for great speeches, much less great initiatives, we remember Reagan for pithy little quips. Tear down this wall, I'm here to help, government IS the problem. And let's not forget "mistakes were made."

Those stars are not going to align again. In case you haven't noticed, the solid phalanx of hate and fear and doubt aren't touching Obama. People aren't sponging it up anymore. We're in a thoughtful period now, the antithesis of the "Get Stupid" age of disco and sitcoms that Reagan won in.

It was thirty years ago. It's over. Deal.

And oh, he didn't end the Cold War.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz did a great job pushing his book on MTP this morning.

Posted by: JakeD | August 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Anybody spreading this rumor is a tool- and should be ashamed of themselves. Talk about desperate- hard watching the Dear Leader crash-n-burn, I guess.

Palin’s resignation obviously puts yet more pressure on Obama to finally get some results, as the soaring rhetoric isn’t hypnotizing the plebes like it used to. There’s another viable alternative waiting in the wings now... just as we hear the first stirrings of Obamania's death-rattle.

Alaska was a pretty corrupt system until she stepped in. Her reforms took on entrenched politicians (inc. Republicans), a mafioso-style union boss, and Big Oil.

Wouldn’t it have been nice if Obama had been principled and brave enough to confront the corrupt Chicago Democratic Machine? Or shady political operators like Tony Rezko? Racist preachers? Instead of doing business with every last one of them?

IMO Palin could trounce him in 2012, when Americans would vote for the Gipper-in-Heels in droves- they’ll surely being looking for such an antidote to the Bolshevik con-artist who’s taken a wrecking-ball to this society.

No wonder the far-left moonbats -along with Team Obama’s David Plouffe and his internet squads- are out to destroy her.

Go get em ‘Cuda-

http://reaganiterepublicanresistance.blogspot.com/

Posted by: ReaganiteRepublican | August 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I read the excerpt from the Balz book in the Post this morning.

It's very professional and well sourced, a lot of BHO and insider quotes. And it does capture the intelligence, wisdom, and grace of our 44th President. BHO's gracious take on Hillary after what she did to him in the primary was remarkable. His worldview, thoughtfulness, and sense of history (see the part on Lincoln and FDR) were extraordinary.

What's missing from the piece, however, is the magical sense of history, the absolute miracle of BHO's election, a 100 to 1 shot against the two biggest machines of our lifetime (the Clinton machine and the GOP attack dogs), against Fox News and hate broadacsting (attacking him 24/7), and against this country's ugly and continuing racial history. BHO won VA (the seat of the Confederacy) and NC for goodness sake; he transformed the electoral map, reducingthe GOP to a regional party--a black guy did it.

Balz, I think, missed all that because, as a Washington BroderWorld insider didn't feel "it" the way folks did in Arlington and Norfolk and Davenport and Paris and Kenya as they screamed and hollered and partied in the streets when BHO won.

It was also interesting to revisit the media's foolish obsession with Reverend Wright which would foreshadow its later obsessions with a series of so-called "proxy issues," stand-ins (as Rachel Maddow called them) for overt racial attacks on BHO (he is Muslim, flagpins, WH dress codes, BHO's middle name, Gates-gate, birth certificates, and so on). You would have thought the MSM would have learned something about the politics of division and distraction, but the recent fake controversies (see, e.g., the birthers) suggest otherwise.

I give the Balz excerpt a solid B.

BWJ

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 2, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD re: while shirted .. you're tơo young to have seen underground comix, but see if you can google up anything by "R. Crumb" that shows Mickey Rat.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 2:51 AM | Report abuse

If the Palin divorce story is true then it has incredible political junkie potential. Does anyone think it would be a sedate and civil affair?

Au contraire.

It'll be trailer trash ugly, with tit for tat, escalating betrayals, yelling genital references in public. Things will Come Out In The Wash. And it will leave us all feeling a little shabbier, and little lower, a little lower in our expectations for the comportment of our fellow citizens, just like everything connected with this woman since John McCain saw fit to drag her into the light.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 2, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"Those who persist in relentless name-calling should we be warned.

Thanks in advance,
Chris"

Perhaps you can name names of those you feel are in violation? I have a feeling that the violators don't know they are violators.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 2, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

"Why does Michael Phelps' reaction to triumph always look like murderous rage? Could it be the body shave?"

My girlfriend says that he is ugly when he's wearing a shirt. I'm a straight guy, but I see what she means.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 1, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz' book is being simultaneously released on Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Battle-America-2008-ebook/dp/B002IPZBLI/ref=ed_oe_k

Kindle is much better than paper (unless there're equations)

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the Posey bill is off topic.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 11:09 PM

My "point" has always been that the Constitutional requirement to become President includes natural-born citizenship. Obama has not proven that he is a natural-born citizen. If he is not, he is not legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:43 PM

Tattle away

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Chris: If you can't keep jaked off these boards, your boards will become a joke. They probably are already, in fact. It's a shame; your posts are good. But the comment section is pathetic. This out-of-work nutjob posts incessantly.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 1, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Are we back in grade school now?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

"As Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and Helene Cooper of The Times have pointed out, a lot of today’s variation on the theme is class-oriented. Some whites habituated to a monopoly on the upper reaches of American power just can’t adjust to the reality that Obama, Sotomayor, Oprah Winfrey and countless others are now at the very pinnacle, and that they might sometimes side with each other just as their white counterparts do. Threatened white elites try to mask their own anxieties by patronizingly adopting working-class whites as their pet political surrogates — Joe the Plumber, New Haven firemen, a Cambridge police officer. Call it Village People populism.

Sometimes the most revealing expressions of this resentment emerge in juvenile asides — Bill Kristol (on The Weekly Standard’s blog) ridiculing Gates for writing a flowery travel magazine article about his privileged vacation home of Martha’s Vineyard, or Heather MacDonald (in National Review) mocking Gates as a “limousine liberal” for his supposedly hypocritical admission that he has a “regular car service” and a “regular driver” to fetch him at the airport. Who does Henry Louis Gates Jr. think he is, William F. Buckley Jr.?"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the Posey bill is off topic.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Birthers, teabaggers, Palinites... the GOP base. Freaks, geeks, and minds that are weak.

So much for the prestige of a Stanford Law degree. It's now worth bupkis.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 1, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Birthers, teabaggers, Palinites... the GOP base. Freaks, geeks, and minds that are weak.

So much for the prestige of a Stanford Law degree. It's now worth bupkis.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 1, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

The incomparable Frank Rich weighs in on the birther hysteria:

"It’s against this backdrop that 11 Republican congressmen have now signed on to a bill requiring that presidential candidates produce their birth certificates. This bizarre “birther” movement, out to prove that Obama is not a naturally born citizen, first gained notice in the summer of 2008 when it was being advanced by the author Jerome Corsi, a leader of the Swift boat assault on Kerry. That it revved up again as Gatesgate boiled over and Sotomayor sped toward Senate confirmation is not a coincidence.

Obama’s election, far from alleviating paranoia in the white fringe, has only compounded it. There is no purer expression of this animus than to claim that Obama is literally not an American — or, as Sarah Palin would have it, not a “real American.” The birth-certificate canard is just the latest version of those campaign-year attempts to strip Obama of his American identity with faux controversies over flag pins, the Pledge of Allegiance and his middle name. Last summer, Cokie Roberts of ABC News even faulted him for taking a vacation in his home state of Hawaii, which she described as a “foreign, exotic place,” in contrast to her proposed choice of Myrtle Beach, S.C., in the real America of Dixie.

Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter have condemned the birther brigades and likened them to “the truthers” who accused the Bush administration of engineering the 9/11 attacks. But those conspiracy theorists couldn’t find 11 congressmen willing to sponsor a bill supporting their claims. Even Liz Cheney has publicly refused to dispute the libels on Obama’s citizenship."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/opinion/02rich.html

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I take it that's a no

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Careful, chrisfox8.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

There remains no basis for those doubts. Do you really think .. I mean really .. that Obama could get all the way into office without his eligibility having been legally verified? This is a fantasy. As for your support, dottydo is an undisguised racist and "Lisa421" is just you posting under another moniker.

More to the point: you divert any thread where "President Obama" is mentioned into another discussion of this dead issue. You have disrupted conversation in dozens of threads with the same stale and ridiculous argument. Many have asked you to quit it, nobody buys it, it's off-topic 100% of the time, and you seem to think that refraining from name-calling, all the while engaging in every other possible hostility that can be expressed in print, somehow gives you an out.

I don't suppose asking nice would do any good but what the hell, please, pretty please, stop posting this crap.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Cillizza. I seriously tried to keep this on topic too. If he keeps up the name-calling, please ban him.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I am not caving, nor am I going nuts. Lisa421 and dottydo are just two examples of people who post here who have similar doubts about Obama's birthplace -- doesn't it hurt to be proven wrong every single time you post to me -- regardless, you've never heard of the Silent Majority before? I don't expect many REAL, hardworking Americans to waste their time posting here, especially not to those like you.

Seriously, yesterday you were urging everyone to ignore me again. Can you even follow your own advice for longer than one day?!

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Folks,

Again, we have resorted to name-calling among a very small group of commenters on a subject that is barely on topic.

I don't want to ban IP addresses but, as I have said before, I am committed to making the Fix community a civil one.

Those who persist in relentless name-calling should we be warned.

Thanks in advance,
Chris

Posted by: Chris_Cillizza | August 1, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

There is zero actual doubt about Obama's eligibility, Jake. And what I meant, and everyone but you understood, is that in this forum you are all alone with you whacko conspiracy fantasy. Even king_of_zouk, possible second only to scrivener in unhingetude here, isn't on board with you on this. It's your own personal little hobbyhorse and nobody wants to read it.

Of course you'll keep posting it, as a proxy for your stupid cracker racist hatred of our black President. And "we" recognize it for what it is, however much you want to bob and weave.

There is zero actual doubt. But yes, you have a lot of nutty company among the angry bedwetting crybabies whose whole world has collapsed. Your religion has failed you. You're hurt. And you're not handling it with dignity, you're caving and going nuts.

Bloody pest.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

nodebris:

I certainly hope that you are taking note of all the OFF TOPIC (and in-civil) posts. I tried.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8:

You were the one who claimed ZERO actually doubt and that I was "all alone" so don't get mad when I disprove your claim. Yes, I know, I am being a "literal autistic" or some other "brain-less" ad hominem. We all get your schtick.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

You do that. While you're at it you can say if he doesn't FedEx you personally the original copy of his LONG FORM birth certificate, you'll hold your breath until you turn blue.

Your side lost, and lost hard. Try to deal with it in a more dignified way, would you?

Bloody pest.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Once Obama gives away "free" cars and healthcare, can we all get "free" attorneys? I have a quo warranto action I want to file against him.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

58% of 19%? You mean the science deniers and other grand masters of logic and reason?

Those people?

Let me introduce you to another logical fallacy, genius:

http://www.onegoodmove.org/fallacy/pop.htm

Who cares what some ignorant angry people believe? A majority of those people also believe steadfastly in an invisible cosmic spirit who can sometimes be wheedled into doing favors for people who contact him telepathically. So, like, what?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

58% of Republicans (and smaller percentages of Independents and Democrats) have actual doubts -- so it's not ZERO, and I am not alone -- you already forgot the ad hominem attack that we are all racists.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Why does Michael Phelps' reaction to triumph always look like murderous rage? Could it be the body shave?

Anyway, the clunkers program got another two large from the House but might not get through the Senate. That's a shame, because it's gotten lot of new car sales. And replacing low-mileage with high-mileage, which is good in many ways. Gotta wonder why "conservatives" are getting their undies in a bundle over it ...

... oh, of course. It's an Obama initiative so they have to oppose it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You're all alone in this one, kook

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else?

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Bububububut how could a racist vote for Alan Keyes?!?

Yeah now there's a real dilemma

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Virtually all the legitimate journalists and politicians recognize the claim that BHO is not a citizen is, as Rachel Maddow put it, a "stand-in" for an overtly racist attack on our president. I will not debate whether water is wet and I will not debate whether 44 is a citizen. Only an idiot...or a racist would waste time doing that. Even Boehner last week acknowledged the stupidity of this line of attack.

BTW, the Post reports today the economy is turning around and the clunkers for cash program is a resounding success despite what Drudge is fronting.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama has not proven that he is a natural-born citizen.

==

If you actually believe that then you have so poor an understanding how the world works that you could probably make better use of your "brain" by feeding it to goldfish.

There is zero actual doubt about Obama's birthplace. You're just a racist jerk.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, I have a brain, or I could not type this sentence.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

My "point" has always been that the Constitutional requirement to become President includes natural-born citizenship. Obama has not proven that he is a natural-born citizen. If he is not, he is not legally President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

The ad hominem fallacy:

http://www.onegoodmove.org/fallacy/attack.htm

Note that all three versions presume that the person being attacked has endeavored to make a point.

That is not true in this instance.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahaha

Is that the kind of brain-charred "logic" they teach at Stanford Law?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I think today's reporting on Phalin MAY be true--who knows?--but she may back off going through with it to milk more publicity out of it, IMO. It feeds her "the press is makin' up stuff" theme. Her 15 minutes elasped a long, long time ago...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

While I agree that racists are latching onto the natural-born citizen issue, not everyone who asks that question is a racist. Guilt by association and ad hominem attacks are logical fallacies. For instance, some racists want universal healthcare via a single-payer government system. That doesn't make "chrisfox8" a racist too.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone here require an invitation to discussion before posting? Is there anyone out there holding back from posting here until receiving some prompting? No?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

No, I meant somebody with a brain

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

cf8, does what Charley James reported last year about Alaskans' opinion of her sound a lot like what your friend at the gas station had to say about her? :)

http://www.laprogressive.com/2008/09/05/alaskans-speak-in-a-frightened-whisper-palin-is-%E2%80%9Cracist-sexist-vindictive-and-mean%E2%80%9D/

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

And if pigs had wings they'd be birds. But the don't so they aren't. And Obama is the President of the United States. Don't like it? Jump out a high window and put your trust in the marketplace.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the USA would survive.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I remember long before he got "Moneyline" and he was just an anchor on CNN, Dobbs was a real pro. One time CNN lost its feed for regular programming, there was some dead air, and Dobbs comes on, straightening his tie and adjusting his seat .. a few uncertain words about the technical difficulties and then he filled the time reading the headlines. It was a SERIOUSLY class bit of live professionalism, and I bet Ted Turner called him afterward to read him kudos he definitely deserved. Not long after that he got "Moneyline."

What the hell happened to him? Now he's a racist swine and should be fired.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe: imagine if she did get interviewed by a real journalist, not some celebrity-fawning bimbette with a pallet of softballs. Palin wouldn't study up, she never does, she would deliver a series of completely incoherent non-sequiturs. Maybe the interviewer would press her, maybe he'd let the babble go by .. in either case she would make a perfectly deplorable impression.

Now, imagine the following day, and the following weeks. Imagine the babblous and drivelous spin we would read right here in these pages (and we both know who'd be posting it). No, she didn't say what the video shows, no, it made perfect sense, no, she didn't say that, and hey she's SO MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED THAN SOME COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.

I don't think she avoids a real interview because she's aware of her own limitations. I bet she, like Bush, regards herself as a maligned genius. No, she avoids a real interview because of her deep contempt for educated people, for the press, for tolerance and humanity.

Does anyone think the USA would survive a Palin presidency intact?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Actually, if he wasn't born in the United States, that is a question. Does anyone else want to discuss the Balz book?

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

There is no "question" about whether or not Obama is legally the president. That's a paranoid conspiracy fantasy being bandied about by racists who just can't deal with the fact that a nonwhite man is the president of the United States.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 6:56 PM
_________
Dobbs's ratings have plummeted since he started obsessing over this bigoted junk.

What was the "debate" about? Can you "debate" whether the sun is bright or any other objective fact? And if you do, aren't you an idiot?

Last week, the MSM relentlessly pushed: Gates-gate, birth certificates, Obama care will kill seniors, BHO shouldn't have worn jeans at the All Star game, cherry picked anti-BHO polls (mostly from Fox News favorite, Rasmussen) that didn't say what they said they did. None of it mattered.

The people aren't going for the okey-doak this time: BHO approval 62% (Daily Kos).

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Really, honest to goodness off-topic: the Shell station had a window sign promising "great coffee ... no, really!"

It was not a lie. Excellent percolated, nice and full-bodied. But then this is the Seattle area.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

One thing he was really mad about: Palin promised that if elected she would see to it that a road was built from Juneau to Haines (sp?). Three weeks after winning she said there would be no road .. but she got a jet to travel around in.

What he had to say about "Bristol" was five letters long, differing from "whole" by only one letter.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

@cf8: Agreed. It speaks volumes that she still has yet to subject herself to a live extended interview by a legitimate news journalist. I also find it ironic that her biggest fans trashed Judge Sonia (summa cum laude at Princeton, editor of law review, etc. etc.). It took Palin five tries to get one college degree. Oh well...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

There is no "question" about whether or not Obama is legally the president. That's a paranoid conspiracy fantasy being bandied about by racists who just can't deal with the fact that a nonwhite man is the president of the United States.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe: I wouldn't worry too much about Palin fooling anyone. She's a strongly repellent person and she's far too stupid to hide it. Playing her up in the press as wholesome and Christian will only work on the people determined to believe and as we all know they are at most 25 million.

It's not only dishonest to play her up as a decent human being, and as someone with the intelligence and temperament to be president .. it deeply insulting to the intelligence.

Let the trolls play around with comparing experience .. mayor of a small town of trailer trash to a US Senator .. but then she opens her mouth and the ruse is over.

She babbles incoherent nonsense with a little girl's voice. Daddy's little princess.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else want to discuss Dan Balz's new book (any thread that mentions "President" Obama necessarily involves the question whether he is legally President or not, and I have never asked that question on any thread where it was not previously brought up). I am sure, if Gov. Palin's divorce is true, Mr. Cillizza will have a thread on that soon enough.

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

"Stopped at a Shell just now for a giant Gatorade and the guy in back of the counter had just moved here from Alaska. I mentioned their ex-governor. His face went beet-red, he glanced around to see if anyone else was around, and gave me an earful.

In a nutshell, he hates her guts. Said she campaigned on a series of promises and rescinded all of them once she'd won."
________

cf8, what you said completely tracks with the earlier reporting of Charley James, who was the only journalist to actually go to Alaska and interview real Alaskans. And it's not like it's hard to find Alaskans to talk about her. Her neo-con neo-seg fans in the media still hope they can keep her 2012 "candidacy" alive (BTW, how many "Palin in 2012" have we had in this space?) so she can front for a pretty scary extremist agenda.

The MSM's false depiction of Palin as a Klondike Mary Tyler Moore is tiresome. She is every bit as extreme and dangerous as her heroes Pat Buchanan, whom she campaigned for (as we understand it), and Westbrook Pegler, the late antisemitic icon she quoted in her GOP convention acceptance speech. Ugh.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

All you can blather about is "extraordinary" - first black President, etc. What is depressingly ordinary about this election was that nothing changed that matters. Our chief export is still our jobs and factories. We still practice the same free trade nonsense that has resulted in the outsourcing of 40 million jobs. We haven't done anything about being overwhelmed by illegals that bust unions and have pitted American workers against them in a race to the bottom. They call themselves "transnationalists", but Obama's drooling fanatics are no different than Bush's "Neoconservatives". Both answer to Wall Street and corporate executives and represent their interests over that of ordinary working men and women. The Democrat's take bribes and do the bidding of the same business interests as their Republican predecessors and both are dooming this country to riots, social unrest, starvation, insurgencies, and failure. Barring a miracle, the wheels fall off this winter and these fools, these self serving gas-bags, in Washington don't have a clue.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 1, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The base isn't concerned with competency, but I wonder how they feel about divorce.

==

As long as she keeps on with the dog-whistle racism, well ...


Gooble gobble, one of us!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Stopped at a Shell just now for a giant Gatorade and the guy in back of the counter had just moved here from Alaska. I mentioned their ex-governor. His face went beet-red, he glanced around to see if anyone else was around, and gave me an earful.

In a nutshell, he hates her guts. Said she campaigned on a series of promises and rescinded all of them once she'd won.

So she's getting divorced?

Nostradamus gazes into the mists and sees a series of increasingly short-lived marriages of opportunity .. ending up with, yupper, that donkey act in Tijuana.

As for this being "off topic." that's kind of funny coming from the booger-boi who hijacks every damned thread here with his fantasy about Obama not actually being president.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Even if it's true, Phalin may back off from going forward for awhile just so she can say the press is "makin' stuff up," a theme I understand has already gotten started. More Sarah dramah. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Haha, I can't honestly say I trust NE more than MSM. Makes for nice hyperbole, but no.

But there just isn't enough here. Even if all the stuff about tensions were true, tensions don't necessarily mean divorce. It's a part of every marriage.

I just saw this on Howard Kurtz twitter, that's why I brought it up. It would have interesting political implications, though. The base isn't concerned with competency, but I wonder how they feel about divorce.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 1, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but the Palin divorce is not "on topic".

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

@DDAWD:

Additional data.

http://faithfulprogressive.blogspot.com/2009/08/palin-divorce-rumors-from-alaska-report.html

I'd trust National Enquirer's sourcing more than the MSM, which usually spends its energy spiking stories (see Edwards).

But we'll see...With this development, any chance Fix'll have a 37th "Palin in 2012" post? Perhaps not.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The sourcing is certainly pretty sketchy on this. I wonder if the people who lambasted the press for not following up on the Enquirer's story on John Edwards feel the same way about their story on Palin's affair.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 1, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

If Mrs. Palin changes her, uh, personal "policy" (see Charley James article), is there any chance she'll give Gregory Charles Royal another chance?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

speaking of ex-governor Palin, anyone else hear that she is getting divorced?

Posted by: DDAWD | August 1, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

BULLETIN TO BALZ AND JOHNSON:

THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING RE-ELECTED.

Please wake up and smell the police state that is making a mockery of democracy and the rule of law at the GRASSROOTS...

...an extrajudicial, GPS-activated Gestapo that's been institutionalized in EVERY county in America -- a federally-overseen, secretive "multi-agency coordinated action program" directed out of the executive branch, under POTUS' radar, that has co-opted local authorities to seize hold in America...

...as Washington-based journalists delude themselves into thinking that POTUS and Congress have a handle on this -- making the Fourth Estate the naive enablers of a police state:


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is extrajudicially sabotaged):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | August 1, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

choskasoft, Gator-ron, in words of the great Sam Kinison, I like the way you think. I'm gonna keep my eye on you two.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an uplifting person. He has diverse opinions and can not be easily categorized The Republicans and other fringe right groups call him a socialist. Anyone who does not want a fascistic relationship between government and business would be that when seen through their distorted prism.

Have you ever noticed that Obama talks about building in the future and the fringe right talk about destroying in the future. hat a morbid existence.

Posted by: Gator-ron | August 1, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Just read some of HuffPo's 462 comments on "Mouthpiece Theatre." 462! They are brutal.

I have never seen the Hillarians (who have been good guys this year, IMO) so steamed. Fix and Milbank are definitely on Hillary "list." Right after Patti Solis Doyle.

Congrats, Dana and Chris...I guess?

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

choskasoft posted: "Chris, loved your spoof with Milbank. Calling a former Senator and our current Secretary of State a b!tch - HILARIOUS!!! You guys should do Saturday Night Live."
___________

HuffPo, HillaryWorld, and Post management were none too pleased with Chris's and Milbank's performance...to put it mildly. From HuffPo:

"As many of you know, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank used to do respectable journalism, back when I was six years old or something. But lately, he's basically been reduced to whispering off-camera expletives to Huffington Post National Editor Nico Pitney and performing in inane videos with Chris Cillizza, called "Mouthpiece Theatre." These videos are basically leaden, universally idiotic, and barely worth mentioning. But that all changed today, when Milbank told a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was, on its own merits, newsworthy."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/31/dana-milbank-suggests-hil_n_248889.html

Ouch.

No comment here since I didn't see it. BWJ

Posted by: broadwayjoe | August 1, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama hates clunkers. If we all run our engines out of motor oil, the federal government will give us $4,500 for a new car payment to keep Fiat in business. Let's dig our own graves next. What idiots.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 1, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Nancy Pelosi are decent and warm human beings. Sarah Palin is a stupid and vicious harpy whose entry into the national stage was a snotty and nasty speech loaded with dog-whistle and put-downs. Her entire political shtick is limited to stroking the insecurity and conceit of small-town bigots.

Happily for us, her political career is now over.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | August 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

choskasoft:

As if "Arctic Devil" was much better as to Gov. Palin?

Posted by: JakeD | August 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris, loved your spoof with Milbank. Calling a former Senator and our current Secretary of State a b!tch - HILARIOUS!!! You guys should do Saturday Night Live.
.
Seriously, why should we take anything you say seriously anymore? How are you any different than Andrew Dice Clay or Rush Limbaugh, except that those guys are better paid?

The good news for you is that while your readers know that you and Milbank are jokes who have flushed your reputations down the drain, your employers at the Washington Post are probably delighted at your little stunt. A link is a link, right?

Plus, you won't have to worry about Howard Kurtz or the WaPo "ombudsman" getting on your case. Kurtz doesn't cover truly damaging incidents in the media, and your ombudsman will surely flack for you.

And I'm sure that Sally Quinn, the arbiter of good taste and morality at the Post, as well as the Graham family are delighted to know that two of their colleagues/employees think that referring to Hillary Clinton as a b!tch is HILARIOUS. After all, it isn't like you spoke ill of Laura Bush or Barbara Bush. That would probably get Broder, Will, and Krauthammer demanding that you be fired like Dan Froomkin.

But I do wonder how the Kaplan folks, who probably have more than a few government customers including a few in the State Department, feel about an employee for a money-losing affiliate like the Post putting their profits at risk.

Happily for you, your job is safe. There is nothing that one can say about Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or any other Democratic woman that will get one fired from the mainstream media. Everyone in DC knows that if a liberal is a woman she is a shrew, a harpy, and a b!tch.

The day when the Kaplan folks sell the Post to Murdoch can't come soon enough. At least then the destruction of the Washington Post brand as a newspaper will be complete and clear to everyone.

Posted by: choskasoft | August 1, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

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