Hilzoy on Bill and Hillary’s Lying About Obama

Hilzoy has some interesting commentary (that I basically agree with) about what it means that Hillary (and/or Bill) have chosen over the last few weeks to make what are essentially dishonest attacks on Barack Obama: Lies And Democracy.

When politicians lie… they raise the amount of time it takes to do one’s job as a citizen adequately, and they raise it dramatically. It’s as though they walked up to people and said: if I weren’t around, you might be able to fulfill your civic obligations by reading the papers, but thanks to my lies, in order to exercise your right to vote responsibly, you will have to spend hours Googling and going over long-forgotten articles in order to find out the most basic facts. If you don’t, I’ll be able to deceive you. Ha ha ha!

People who do that have no respect for voters, no respect for their right to make up their own minds, and no respect for our democratic system. The only way they will stop is if we stop tolerating it. In a democracy, we get the leaders we deserve. I very much hope we deserve better than the Clintons.

49 Responses to “Hilzoy on Bill and Hillary’s Lying About Obama”

  1. ymatt Says:

    Word to that.

  2. TeacherVet Says:

    The passage that immediately caught my eye:

    “Lying in an election is basically a way of saying: we know how you ought to vote, and if we can’t get you to vote that way by presenting you with facts and arguments, or even with truthful but emotionally shaded appeals, then we will get you to vote our way by telling you things that are not true. It’s hard to see what could be more profoundly disrespectful of people’s right to decide for themselves whom to vote for.”

    My memory flashes back to the disengenuous “playing of the race card” that always, predictably surfaces in the last weeks before every presidential election, although my counterpart partisan tools will see it from another perspective.

  3. ymatt Says:

    What exactly are you referring to?

  4. shcb Says:

    I was in the grocery store the other day and the young lady sacking my purchases said “did you know that Clinton and Obama won in California?” I was torn, on one hand this young woman met all the requirements to vote and breed, kind of scary, on the other hand she is more involved, and better informed on political matters than a large percentage of the population.

    Obama seems like a good man, neither of the Clintons are.

  5. NorthernLite Says:

    That snippet above reminds of how Bush and Rove used their “Swift Boat” strategy in 2004. Pretty clever from a strategic political standpoint ( I would call it devious, but that’s probably why I’ll never work for a campaign, well, maybe Obama’s), but I think it pointed to a bigger problem of powerful people playing on an ill-informed electorate. I’m mean, somehow they were able to convince voters that a person, who for whatever reason (and I have my own), got out of serving in Vietnam is more honourable than someone who actually served his country courageously.

    It’s pretty sad when you have to take what your leaders say during an election with a grain of salt and the need to have “truth squads” exists.

  6. TeacherVet Says:

    Matt, I’m referring to the statement I quoted from the referenced link. From my perspective, my mind immediately flashed to the “Bush stole the election” and “Bush lied” mantras that have been repeated ad nauseum, and with such success. Those who endorse/practice those mantras (counterpart partisan tools), and must rely on the subjectivity of the mantras, will read it and flash back to opposite opinions.

    As a famous man once wrote in his autobiography: Success comes from unleashing “a veritable barrage of lies and slanders against whatever adversary seems most dangerous, until the nerves of the attacked person break down.” This tactic is most successful against “the bourgeoisie [Republicans], which is neither morally nor mentally equal to such attacks.”

  7. TeacherVet Says:

    opps, I forgot the “Swift Boat” mantra – “…flash back to opposite opinions” …exactly as our good northern neighbor just did.

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    TeacherVet, unlike the “Bush stole the election” mantra, the Swift Boating of John Kerry and the assertions it contained are now widely known to be a complete fraud.

    That’s how we got a new term in our political dictionary: “Swift Boating”

    I imagine you still believe everything that was in those ads, which is fine. I would expect nothing less. It actually validates the point I was making. I was just drawing a parallel between the last election and the current primaries.

    You might even think Barack Obama is a Muslim, too.

  9. ymatt Says:

    TV, sorry, I meant what were you referring to with respect to predictable playing of the race card. Not saying you’re wrong, it’s just not something I’d particularly noticed and would be curious to hear examples.

  10. TeacherVet Says:

    ymatt, too many examples to cite here, probably the most notorious of which were the political ads trying to tie GWB to the James Byrd incident. I’ll give you the most recent example when it airs in early October 2008 – and if history is an accurate predictor, it will.

  11. TeacherVet Says:

    Also, consider the quadrennial “If you elect ______ (fill in Republican candidate name), another black church will burn.”

  12. enkidu Says:


    Seems Saint Obama isn’t quite as holy as everyone would like to pretend (doesn’t change that I think I am still voting for him in the primary).

  13. TeacherVet Says:

    Yes, I do give credibility to Kerry’s fellow Swift Boat vets, even if they are now widely, subjectively discredited by partisan tools. Swift Boating, getting Borked, etc. are terms that were coined for political convenience, not for their validity.

    Kerry’s DD-214, as shown on his website, is quite certainly a forgery. He was awarded a “Silver Star with Combat ‘V'” (Combat Distinruishing Device), the actual wording on the DD-214 shown. But a combat “V” (for valor) is never awarded with the Silver Star – it would be redundant to embellish an award for gallantry with a “V” for valor, so it is never done.

    By law, the “V” is authorized for 10 different awards, not including the Silver Star. Also by law, the “V” may only be worn on any award if specifically authorized in the citation, and the citation for Kerry’s Silver Star (as shown on his website) does not even mention the “V” for valor.

    The evidence is conclusive – not subjective as with evidence leading to allegations made about his other awards – and forgery is evident. Kerry even betrayed his fellow anti-war activists in the “throwing awards over the wall” incident one hour before giving his impassioned, rehearsed speech before the Senate committee, as evidenced by the wall decorations in his office.

    His self-serving dishonesty is exposed in both instances, but his fellow Swift Boat vets were fraudulent? Okay. He finally (supposedly) kept his promise to sign Form 180, releasing his records to The Globe, but after-action reports that are required to justify the awards were missing. Hmmm, strange.

  14. NorthernLite Says:

    Just as I thought, you find it completely okay for a group to trash a war hero’s service on behalf of someone who used his family’s connections to get stay out of war.

    Like I said, I expected nothing less.

  15. NorthernLite Says:

    Also, you may want to refer to this site.


    Notice the name of the site. Happy reading.

  16. theronsian Says:

    Based on this preliminary analysis, Barack Obama is the definitive winner of the Web 2.0 game, engaging voters on multiple platforms to a much greater degree than opponents from either side of the aisle. In Web 2.0 land, Obama has already overtaken Clinton. So traditional polls seem to indicate just the opposite of what we have uncovered.


  17. ymatt Says:

    ymatt, too many examples to cite here, probably the most notorious of which were the political ads trying to tie GWB to the James Byrd incident. I’ll give you the most recent example when it airs in early October 2008 – and if history is an accurate predictor, it will.

    I guess I don’t remember that, but I’ll take your word for it. Certainly disgusting stuff. Hillary’s tactics (including plausible-deniability Bill) in the primaries suggest she wouldn’t be above that stuff in the regular campaign.

  18. TeacherVet Says:

    Choice of beliefs, simply put. Bush’s commander says that Bush requested, twice, to serve in Vietnam, and was rejected both times because no position was available. (His mother also reportedly interfered, so I probably won’t vote for Barbara in the future.) Kerry, the war hero, petitioned for exemption from service, was rejected, then volunteered for swift boat duty at a time that such duty was not exposed to combat. As I said, choice of beliefs – as you said, completely expected choices. My choice is personal, since I was still serving when Kerry carelessly denigrated the service of all servicemen in 1970 with blatant lies. Your choice can only be partisan, and you’re welcome to it.

    On the other hand, the Silver Star forgery charge is more than a belief. That, combined with his betrayal of fellow anti-war activists, was not addressed – as I expected.

    Perhaps factcheck.org could check the Silver Star controversy – if they are bipartisan – or if the necessary documents were available – or perhaps not. Kerry is the only person who could still clear up the controversy by providing the after-action reports missing from his records, and it’s in his best interests to do so (if they reveal nothing damaging), but he has consistently refused. I’m suspicious; you’re not – expected.

  19. ymatt Says:

    Oh lord. And now she’s campaigning in Florida, against party rules, and arguing that delegates from Michigan and Florida should be seated…. after having conveniently been the only Democratic candidate in Michigan to not remove their name from the ballot.

  20. shcb Says:


    I think even us seasoned veteran cynics will be shocked by the dirty pool Hillary will unleash in the coming weeks.

  21. enkidu Says:

    actually, I have repeatedly learned to NOT take tv’s word
    for anything

    The ad he references was put out by the NAACP
    It (rightly so) fingers gwb for letting a anti-hate crime bill die in committee
    he refused to pass stronger penalties for hate crimes
    so, how is this inaccurate exactly?

    no it is tv who inaccurately accused the ad of tying shrubbie to the murder (its not an “incident”, it is a hate crime murder… racially motivated… horrific)

    the man’s daughter says “when gwb refused to sign hate crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again” That is her feeling, her opinion “it was LIKE….”

    watch it yourself
    (scroll down to the black and white picture, click to download the .rm file)

    and never take a right wing extremist’s word for anything
    I strongly suggest you DON’T watch the liars on fauxNEWS try to spin this as anything other than what it is: gwb refused to sign tougher hate crime legislation
    it is the truth

    only in Texas

  22. shcb Says:

    But Bush was governor of Texas, how could he let the bill die in committee? He wasn’t in the Texas congress, unless they do things differently down there. He is against hate crime legislation as am I, but the perpetrators of this crime received the stiffest penalty allowed, would you have tortured them before you killed them? Had them drawn and quartered?

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    TeacherVet, I think I’ll trust the good folks over at factcheck.org to help me come to my conculsions on this, since they basically debunk everything you say with sources. No offence.

  24. TeacherVet Says:

    Sorry, I was mistaken, it was that right wing organization, the NAACP, who aired the ad. Huh? You’re right, though, that it was a horrific, racially motivated hate crime deserving of the death penalty – and Gov. Bush certainly didn’t impede the carrying out of that just sentence.

  25. TeacherVet Says:

    No offense taken, NL, but the offer remains open, complete with examples and sources.

  26. TeacherVet Says:

    incident n. A definite and separate occurrence; an event; something that happens.

    Inky, are you sure that James Byrd’s murder wasn’t an incident?

  27. Steve Says:

    I think someone is impersonating shcb. He posted over 60 words without any rightwing fantasy content.

    Even worse, I find myself in agreement with much of what he wrote. There’s just no way to get tougher than the death penalty.

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    Fear not, one can always find fault with shcb. Look no further than Plato’s Apology, it describes Socrates cheerfully submitting to his execution (for the crime of his ideas being a corrupting influence on youth!) in anticipation of personally discovering what lies beyond instead of remaining on this earth under conditions that would compromise his integrity (e.g. permanent exile from Athens.) Obviously I’m not equating a murderer with Socrates, the point is that many, many people and cultures do not consider death to be the worst thing that can happen.

    For example, I would suggest that rehabilitating the murderer and forcing him to read everything that shcb has ever written would be a fate far worth than death.

  29. shcb Says:

    My wife argees with you Knarly. The only problem is that if he read everything I have written, would he be rehabilitated?


    Our mutual libertarianism just met briefly out behind the barn, nothing to worry about, I doubt they even kissed.

  30. NorthernLite Says:

    “If you don’t stand for anything, you don’t stand for anything!”

    George W. Bush
    Austin-American Statesman, November 2000

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, knew you’d take it in the spirit intended. In answer to your question, I was clear that the rehabilitation had to come first because then the reading would be worse than death, if the reading was to occur before the rehabilitation well then he might enjoy it especially the inane arguments over whether there are tens of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq or hundreds of thousands (to a rational person both are virtually identically obscene.)

    NL, I look forward to tomorrow’s enlightening quote from the American Commander.

    Steve, you’re excused if you need to take a few days away for sick leave.

  32. shcb Says:


    Of course every Iraqi death is a personal tragedy to several if not many good people, just as it is to every American killed on 911 and every soldier killed since. Analyzing the numbers is only to establish the credibility or lack there of of the person citing the statistics. I would be just as critical of someone saying 30,000 people were killed on 911.

  33. knarlyknight Says:

    There ya go, I always suspected there was a bit of humanity in you somewhere. Keep taking those medications.

  34. NorthernLite Says:

    Still tying Iraq and 911 together, eh?

    Brainwashed. Thought you were smarter than that.

  35. enkidu Says:

    Look tv, describing a horrific racially motivated hate crime as an “incident” is intentionally misleading, if not an outright ‘un-truth’ (ok a lie). I know you love love love w, but the daughter of that man has every right tell voters about her feeling re: w and his stalling anti-hate crime legislation in Texas.

    And yes, dear Canadian (the nation, not the code word) readers, many Rs still think 9/11 was perped by Saddam, that we found the WMDs, and gwb is a competent, effective, smart leader for the free world.

    how many days left?

    go obama! (pls edwards, throw in with CHANGE!)

  36. TeacherVet Says:

    James Byrd’s murder was not an incident?

    Any statement referring to it as an incident is misleading, a lie?

    There are stonger penalties than death for hate crimes?

    The NAACP has no connections to the DNC?

    Careful, Inky, or someone might make a calendar dedicated to you…

    356 – Still time for impeachment hearings!

  37. enkidu Says:

    ummm, so you deny you weren’t trying to pimp gwb’s ride just a little bit by referring to the whole thing as an incident, just something that happened, ya know, stuff… instead of a racially motivated hate crime, a horrific murder

    his daughter has every right to express her feelings about gwb

    so tv, where are all those WMDs you found?

  38. NorthernLite Says:

    “Keep good relations with the Grecians”

    George W. Bush
    The Economist – 1999
    (Speaking about the Greek)

  39. enkidu Says:

    tv, so you are now saying you didn’t say this:

    “Democrats… Cowards, yes. Filled with rage and hatred, yes. Running campaigns of lies, slander and libel, yes. Short-sightedness, yes. Patriotic, no. Willing to sacrifice national security, if necessary to win an election, yes. Using government dependency to keep the slaves on the plantation, yes. Endorsing and applying Margaret Sanger’s dreams of eugenics, yes.”

    scroll to TV’s comment on sept 27 8:19

    I later named it your “Dems is Evil™” screed
    I should use the exact quote from now on, but the shorthand is just so much easier to type. I think of it as a more condensed version of your Christmas Eve rant from 05 (and the image of you pounding out another hate filled diatribe on Christmas Eve is really very sad… but true)


  40. TeacherVet Says:

    Since you wish to re-hash our personal differences: Yes, over time in ’04 & ’05 (it was a mini-series of “screeds”) I said that Democrats’ choices of behavior placed them in those categories, and I justified the formulation of my opinions. I stand by those opinions and observations today – only more strongly.

    It was purposefully done, and it was (and still is) funny because you took personal offense – while claiming you weren’t a Democrat. I characterized their behavior; you added the “evil” tag. My “Christmas Eve Rant of ’05” – what preceded it / prompted it? The image of you beginning a multi-page defense of your opinion – suddenly interrupted by an explosion of rage and hatred of maniacal proportions in bold-face type (off-topic & completely out of context), probably with hands flailing wildly like a distraught female – then returning to the topic with a pretense of sanity and logic, is seared in my memory. It was really very sick… but it was truly you.

    You’re still stuck in ’04-’05. I realize the injuries I inflicted by daring to challenge you were devastating, but it’s now ’08 – join us here, in the future. Whether WMDs ever existed in Iraq is a moot issue today (unless impeachment hearings occur; please) – time to move forward to the present. For the umpteenth time… the intelligence sources of virtually every country in the world, both friends and foes, were wrong, and we didn’t find the expected WMD in Iraq. Move on, or remain stuck in the past – choices…..

    Your anticipated response… What about teh WMDs? (the only response you ever gave to “rebut” my various opinions about Dem behavioral choices)

  41. enkidu Says:

    you have a vivid fantasy life
    all the histrionics seem to be yours dear rightwingnutjob
    I wasn’t up on Xmas eve writing a missive of hate and dipshittery

    shall we review?

    Dems r cowards – John Murtha would feed you your teeth if you said that to his face – John Kerry has more courage in his smallest toe than you do in your whole body – my personal favorite? I helped elect Jim Webb while you wasted your time defeating that loser Ford

    Dems r liars – wow do you ever look in the mirror? evidently not
    there are nearly a thousand documented lies about Iraq from dear misleader and co. but you won’t believe a single one.

    Dems r unpatriotic – you are ridiculous as usual dear rwnj

    Dems r nazis – because they support a woman’s right to choose?
    wow, you DO live in a fantasy world of rightwing hate and stupidity

    shall I go on? You certainly go on and on and on with this sort of drivel.

    I learned long ago that ‘debating’ right wing nut job extremists (so you) is like whipping the sea: a good work out, but it doesn’t change a thing. Lie n deny, lie n deny.

    Now it is all about, can’t we just have a nice civil discussion about how great george (worst president ever) bush is? Your repeated statements about the entire world thinking Iraq had WMDs are just plain wrong. But that is you: wrong. Lying to get us in to a war in Iraq is moot, huh. We’ll see what history has to say about that (and it won’t be kind to dumbya).

    I am looking forward to voting for Obama (since Edwards is out) to defeat McCain’s “bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran” bullshit. I especially love how McCain suddenly switched to southrn baptist to get the gullible dumbass vote.

    The choice is clear: change or more wars of needless aggression. I know which side you are on: the 20%ers, the neocons, the jingoists, the morans stuck in the past. The rest of America is going to kick your failed ideology to the curb.

    Have a nice day!

  42. NorthernLite Says:

    “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere.”

    George W. Bush
    Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner
    March, 2004

    (I think he’s still looking)

  43. TeacherVet Says:

    Inky, wrong as usual. You certainly were up early on Christmas Eve writing a missive of hate and dipshittery – it’s the missive that prompted my response. Yeah, I know, your special calendar apparently doesn’t label Dec. 24th as Christmas Eve.

    Dems are cowards – Murtha might have had the kahuna’s to try defending himself at one time, but not since he left the military. Even then, he would have had a helluva time with me. John Kerry would shoot some bamboo shoots and get a splinter in his butt to get even with me – scaaary.

    Dems are liars, regardless of distractions from a Soros-funded “non-profit study group” has to say. They prove it every day that they refuse to pursue impeachment hearings.

    Dems are unpatriotic – “you are ridiculous as usual dear rwnj” – great defense there, lwsnj.

    The American Nazi Party is “committed to bringing American National Socialism” into the 21st Century, and is devoted to anti-capitalism. Those goals don’t seem to correlate closely with RNC goals, and I have no idea where you got the “women’s right to choose” correlation. (straw man stuff?)

    Yes, I go on and on and on – in response when you go on and on and on. As always, you may continue to do so.

    “Lie n deny. Lie n deny.” – Sounds like an official Clinton policy statement.

    I had a great day… thanks!

    NL – Out-of-context quotes are (and are usually intended to be) misleading (some might call them lies). That one was part of a humorous script that was appropriate for the particular event, and it resulted in the expected laughter. It was funny, and that was the intent.

  44. enkidu Says:

    sweet jesus but you must be clinically insane

    do I really have to go back and dig up your post from 05 Christmas Eve?
    You know, from the evening when most folks are at church or enjoying a quiet moment with the family… there you are alone in the double wide pounding out (yet another) screed of hatred, anger and wingnuttery.

    I didn’t read it until a couple days later, but after a great Xmas with my family and friends, reading your revolting screed – your wingnut hysterics – made me feel kinda sad.

    But today you are just pathetic. I expect tomorrow you will be even more unhinged and pathetic.

    I have better things to do with my time than rebut your nonsense point by sickening point, but here is one that is just too easy:

    tv screetched “Endorsing and applying Margaret Sanger’s dreams of eugenics, yes.” This refers to your unusual theory that supporting a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body is a equivalent to the eugenics programs of the nazis, ergo all libs/dems who support choice are nazis. And btw the nazis were intensely capitalistic. Indeed one of their bankers was shrubbie’s gran pappy Prescott Bush.

  45. NorthernLite Says:

    TV, that quote was NOT taken out of context. Thos are his exact words. Bush was trying to make a joke about the fact that no WMD were found in Iraq.

    I don’t think the families of 4000 dead Americans and tens of thousands of maimed Americans found it all that funny.

    I’m glad you did though.

  46. TeacherVet Says:

    Inky: Sanger’s eugenics dreams was adopted by the nazis, and later by Democrats, but thanks for drawing the parallel. If you don’t have the time, ignore… and dig up any old bones you want if you wish to prolong your “sadness” as expressed in response. I’ll be more than happy to return the favor, including your “hateful screed” earlier in the day that prompted my post.

    NL: Spin away; apparently you’re unaware of the percentage of military families support the war effort in Iraq, and we certainly hadn’t lost 4000 Americans at that time – try 374 combat-related casualties. Obviously still too many to lose for the purpose of removing a scum-bag who should have been removed a decade earlier, but try to deal with realistic figures without inflating for dramatic effect, lest we confuse you with InkyDude.

  47. NorthernLite Says:

    Good grief. Since those are the numbers and WMD haven’t been found, it’s pretty safe to say they wouldn’t find it funny.

    Only assholes think that’s funny. The fact that you think its okay for a lier to joke about the lie that caused the deaths of 400 or 4000 troops is pretty strange, coming from a veteran and all. But then again, nothing much you say makes any sense.

    So if you don’t like seeing stupid/ignorant/mind-puzzling quotes from Dumbya, I suggest you don’t read my posts for the next 353 days. In fact, every time you write something completely absurd (e.g. post above) I will simply reply with another stupid/ignorant/mind-puzzling quote from your imbecile of a president.

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    NL- amazing how you manage to hit the bongo and still kick TV’s sorry sober butt by illustrating his sick twisted beliefs.

    Ink, TV – its probly best to stay away from the eugenics blame game, at the time the concept became a common wisdom, sort of like the idea held now by most RWA’s that Muslims are an enemy and are less civilized than Christians or Jews.

    By the way, there are videos showing the sicko’s laughing at Bush’s WMD jokes. When I ignore the utter distastefullness of the jokes (as aptly explained by NL) and just look at the jokes on their own merits, they are still far from funny. They are lame and profoundly unclever – perhaps Bush’s poorest performance as a joker. Half of the audiences’ reaction seemed to be a nervous, embarassed laughing at the POTUS acting in such a juvenile manner, and less than half seemed to be small brained sickos who also probably thought that Gilligans Island was the greatest TV show ever, and there was a contingent in the audience who did not appear to find it very funny at all.

  49. enkidu Says:

    save your electrons boys, tv is a sad and hopeless case
    it’s like trying to get Osama bin Forgotten to appreciate the joy of Hanukkah (another quote from president dumbshit)

    please do go waste your time finding that exchange: to my recollection on the 23rd or 24th in the AM (not Xmas eve, see it says eve as in ‘evening’) I sent a post that hoped everyone might find some measure of peace and understanding (even Rs) in the spirit of the season. You went hysterical in your usual sick and twisted extremist way on Christmas Eve (you know, the night before Christmas and all thru the house only the rightwing nutjobs were up pounding out their hate-filled diatribes and oiling their many boomsticks). I didn’t read your nutjobbery for a couple days, but my reply was one of sadness for you tv: you are a disturbed and disturbing person.

    Please seek help, up your antipsychotics and consider an intervention.
    Before you go postal.

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