Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hypersensitivity

Gaffe of the day that was being covered on the Sunday shows was Hillary Clinton's latest "offensive" comment:

The former first lady made the original comments during an interview with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader editorial board, as she attempted to deflect calls for her to bow out of the race.

“My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June,” she said. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.”

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said the remark “was unfortunate and has no place in this campaign.”

Clinton later addressed the comment, saying “I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation and particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive — I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever.”

It took a couple of reads to absorb and figger out what was so offensive here. But I got there eventually. It reminds me of a comment I made on another blog, that the best hope for conservatism was a conservative VP, a McCain victory, and a heart attack. To clarify, it's not something I would want to see happen, but if it did....

So, here's the question of the day for all of you to ponder: Why is every statement made in politics immediately analyzed for who it might offend?

There's many things that contribute to this. First of all, it's standard politics. Find a statement you think makes your opponent look bad and shamelessly exploit it like a 6-year-old who just learned the name song (Let's do Buck: Buck, buck, bo, buck......).

Also, part of the issue is that there are way too many talking heads trying to fill an assload of space since the first of the year (Ironically, that includes me as well). One of the weaknesses of the information age is that we went from trying to fill a limited number of papers and magazines, about an hour of news shows (local and national) and a couple of radio minutes to the same amount of papers and magazines, 24 hour news channels, more news/talk radio stations, AND the virtually unlimited amount of space (print, podcast, and video) on the unlimited and unfiltered internet (again, note the irony).

But in the end, it comes down to the simple fact that people are hypersensitive, seeking something that offends them in every statement ever uttered by anyone remotely near anyone who might have worked for someone that once was temporarily working for an assistant to someone who married someone who was a staffer on any potential candidate for the presidency (I know, excessive, but you get the point and the joke (as in I love well constructed run-ons (and parentheses (ok, enough, right?)))).

All the candidates have exhibited it. McCain's worst was his whining about the North Carolina ad. Hillary, has played the vag card, whining sexism through her surrogates. And Obama? The list of shit he's hypersensitive about is endless: Ears, Michelle, J Wright, race, liberalism, and so on, and so forth.

So let's stop the whining and figure out what the candidates will do rather than the blather tat passes for their political speech. After all, Politicians Say the Darndest Things.

18 comments:

Beth said...

Reading this was a good start for the new work week, thanks!

Name: Soapboxgod said...

"So let's stop the whining and figure out what the candidates will do...

Frankly, I'd be perfectly content with a candidate who even knew what it was that they ought to even be doing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RUSH: With Obama we started out, we couldn't talk about his big ears 'cause that made him nervous. We've gone from that to this: Not only can we not mention his ears...

We can't talk about his mother.

We can't talk about his father.

We can't talk about his grandmother unless he does, brings her up as a "typical white person."

We can't talk about his wife, can't talk about his preacher, can't talk about his terrorist friends, can't talk about his voting record, can't talk about his religion.

We can't talk about appeasement.

We can't talk about color; we can't talk about lack of color.

We can't talk about race. We can't talk about bombers and mobsters who are his friends. We can't talk about schooling. We can't talk about his name, "Hussein."

We can't talk about his lack of experience. Can't talk about his income. Can't talk about his flag pin.

This started out we can't call him a liberal.

It started out we just couldn't talk about his ears.

Now we can't say anything about him.


Actually, as usual, Limbaugh is full of what FAUX NOISE wallows in.

He and the Republican Noise machine have talked us senseless over all of that since Senator Obama entered the race.

In fact, it is usually the ONLY thing I read on right wing blogs or hear when I accidently surf the teevee channels and land on FAUX.

So what the heck is Limbaugh gassing on this time?

Anyway. Who cares. Americans like measels more than they like Republicans at this point, so Limbaugh can rant and sweat all he likes over this nonsense.

But I think you're wrong, here, Patrick.

The conservative noise machine started this sort of hypersenstivity politics with Newt Gingrich--actually farther back in history, Pat Buchanan working for Richard Nixon.

Now the conservatives can inherit the wind.

Beth said...

I think Patrick was being pretty fair in saying that all the candidates have made gaffes, but it's people being oversensitive to all the stupid stuff that distracts from the real issues.

It's true that Obama's ears don't matter, but not being able to talk about them was the start of him deciding that everything was off the table when it comes to things that do affect our perception of him and his character and judgments, and honesty (or lack thereof).

Patrick M said...

Soapboxgod: You're referrring specifically to McCain, aren't you?

Shaw: You can't see them message because the messenger happens to be Rush?

The problem is not just candidates twisting and hyperananlyzing words (as both sides do to gain a win), it's the amount of time we spend picking apart every little thing, and every candidate having to watch every statement they've ever made, then having to weasel or wiggle or redefine what they mean. And how whiny the candidates, especially this year's thin-skinned crop, have really become.

But then, you have a candidate you're trying to prop up, don't you? Gonna need a bigger stick, especially with the wind drag on them ears (kidding).

Beth: You go girl.

Also, do you think it would be easier to draft on motorcycles behind Hillary or Obama? Especially if Obama doesn't wear a helmet and deploys the ears.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

I'm talking about all of them.

It used to be that Republicans were our best hope at living and existing within the confines of Constitutional Doctrine (though they've continued their portside drifting away from it). The Democrats always owned the market with respect to distorting it for social engineering. Republicans used to be the opposition party. Now, they're succumbing to a sort of watered down version of the Democratic party.

We've gotten so far off the reservation on what the legitimate functions of government even are that it pains me to no end.

Patrick M said...

SBG: That's why I'm looking at Bob Barr. More to come.

Name: Soapboxgod said...

Ditto here.

Shaw Kenawe said...

If Obama let his hair grow, those ears would not look so big. They are actually small in relation to the rest of him.

And, yes, you're spot on about my prejudice against Limbaugh. I fully admit to that.

Patrick M said...

The problem is that your prejudice against Rush (and Fox News, for that matter) tends to dull your ability to argue a point because you immediately turn the people you're arguing with against you personally, as opposed to on the ideas. Especially when what I cite has some truth and you know it.

Toad734 said...

And yet I am somehow a dick for stating the obvious fact that a gun had finally been pried out of Charlton Hestons cold dead hands.

Talk about Hypersensitivity.

Patrick M said...

Toad: You're not a dick for stating it. You're a dick for doing so at a time and place that shouldn't be used for it, namely at a time of mourning.

In his otherwise lackluster Memorial Day speech, Barack Obama (yeah, I'm using the words of the Obamessiah) mentioned something about not allowing protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers. This is a difference you fail to grasp. It's not your message, which I will find a time to debate you on eventually. It's the idiotic way in which you fling it.

For everyone else: Here's the posts that Toad is referring to. I'll reference them when I post on this another day, But read the comments and make your judgment (and the deleted comments were simply Toad being redundant):
Charleton, Get Your Gun
Too Many Things For an Extended Rant

Toad734 said...

No, they were toad defending himself and explaining why the death of some people can be a relief to the others he oppressed.

What about funeral protests?

Patrick M said...

Toad: You didn't listen to the Obamessiah speech? I did. Twice.

He said something about banning them. I'm sure it was in reference to the kook church that's been protesting funerals because the military doesn't shoot gay people in theree ranks or something, but it's a good idea. Not in a Memorial day speech, though.

Now I'll give you the chance to explain how you can piss on the dead when I get around to writing the post. Until then, I'll let all the readers decide based on what we've already written.

Dee said...

While I agree that 95% of the time everyone is being hypersensitive I was in shock when I heard Hillary had said this. Come on!!

You say that one of the Kennedys wasn't assassinated until June, basically implying that hey, Obama could still get shot and I could still get the nomination and oh, by the way, the last Kennedy brother was just diagnosed with fatal brain cancer. Oops, sorry!!

It was a HUGE GAFFE, and one that a seasoned politician should never, ever make. You can't run for President and say outlandish things. There is a thing called sensitivity and while I agree that we have become way too hypersensitive, this is one time that she went way too far and to be honest I can't believe she got as much of a pass as she did. Had she been a Republican, she would no longer be in the race, I guarantee it!!!!!!!

Patrick M said...

Dee: it was a gaffe. But it's still par for the course to overreact to everything a candidate says, even when they have corrected themselves.

For example, the focus on Obama's Memorial Day speech was his ability to see dead veterans in the office. In reality, he was trying to engage soldiers in the audience who were not dead and just said something that came out stupid.

I give Hillary the benefit of the doubt that she's not hoping someone will snuff Barack and really did just misspeak. Too bad it wasn't a funny one.

Toad734 said...

What better way to get veterans on your side on a Memorial Day speech than to say you want to protect their dignity and the family’s privacy by banning funeral protests?

Right, they should show the dead and their family some respect but assuming they aren't doing it on the cemetery's property, I would assume they have the constitutional right to do so. Now, if they are on cemetery property that’s a different story.

Patrick M said...

Toad: At least you agree in theory with respecting the mourning. There might be hope (other than the Obama kind) for you yet.