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Campaigning Like it’s 2008

More Trump via the Politico:  Donald Trump: How did Barack Obama get into Ivies?

Donald Trump is upping the ante against President Barack Obama’s legitimacy, raising questions on Monday night about how the president was admitted to two Ivy League schools.

Trump openly questioned how Obama, who he said had been a “terrible student,” got accepted into Columbia University for undergraduate studies and then Harvard Law School.

“I heard he was a terrible student, terrible,” Trump told the Associated Press in an interview, a claim he’s made in the past but one he doubled down on by suggesting he’s probing that area of the president’s life.

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim.

Several thoughts:

1.  If biography-based attacks were going to work, they were going to work in 2008.  In other words, when one runs for the presidency for the first time, one’s biography gets special scrutiny but when one runs for re-election the main issue is one’s record.   Indeed, in a re-election campaign the incumbent gets to run on a record in office while it is the challenger who tends to get the microscope on their bio (and often what seems like a biography-based strength can be turned into a weakness, see Swift Boat Veterans for Truth).

2.  Attacks on academic records are weak anyway.  Since when do we, as a public, actually care about academic achievement in our presidents?

3.  Trump appear to be pulling these claims out of his posterior.  “I’ve heard”?  What kind of claim is that?

4.  Quite frankly, this strikes me as a not especially subtle racial jab.   Specifically, when one says about a person of color that they weren’t good students and then asks how they got into a good school, the suggestion is that the student in question was an affirmative action admission, and an undeserving one at that.

5.  Trump’s main campaign strategy seems to be that Obama is some sort of cypher:

“We don’t know a thing about this guy,” Trump said. “There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”

Again, quite the claim, given that we know quite a bit about the president.

First the birther bit, and now the academic record bit:  this all seems aimed at casting Obama as “the other” and it has a clear racial component to it.  I don’t see how one gets around that fact.  Clearly this is not a new theme in our politics, but it is one that Trump clearly thinks he can exploit, which is an unfortunate commentary on a certain segment of the GOP base given his popularity at the moment.

Related Posts:

About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Janis Gore says:

    I sort of like that, “vulgar son-of-a-bitch.”

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  2. […] Campaigning Like its 2008 […]

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  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Trump is quite cleverly attacking Obama’s ego, trying to get him to go off message where he has shown to be laughable. Obama has shown that he has a very thin skin and Trump is attacking that part of him.

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  4. Janis Gore says:

    Trump is not clever. Trump is an egotistical jerk. Now, I say that as a natural and abiding brunette.

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  5. Michael says:

    I don’t think it’s intended to be racial, I think that Trump’s strategy is to put up a relentless offense in the hopes that he won’t have to ever play defense. Trump’s public image is largely an illusion of he own making, and it wouldn’t take much to reveal the man behind the curtain. All of this is nothing more that a diversion.

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  6. Janis Gore says:

    That sounds about right, Michael. In other words, “a vulgar son-of-bitch.”

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  7. […] Doug Mataconis has five points about this: 1. If biography-based attacks were going to work, they were going to work in 2008. In other words, when one runs for the presidency for the first time, one’s biography gets special scrutiny but when one runs for re-election the main issue is one’s record…. […]

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  8. anjin-san says:

    Obama has shown that he has a very thin black skin and Trump is attacking that part of him.

    ftfy

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  9. Franklin says:

    Obama has shown that he has a very thin skin

    Maguire – You’re a regular comedienne. Tell me, how did all those exact same attacks work on Obama in the 2008 election, considering he beat the Clinton juggernaut and then won in a landslide in the general? They never appeared to shake Obama at all, that’s how it worked.

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  10. Franklin says:

    anjin-san: I bow to your superior comeback.

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  11. Alex Knapp says:

    I don’t think that a guy who got rich by inheriting Daddy’s wealth, whose personal companies have gone through several bankruptcies, and whose primary marketable skill is being an asshole should be allowed into a discussion about “merit.”

    But I’m old fashioned, I guess.

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  12. Janis Gore says:

    Once upon a time they would have called us “conservative, ” Mr. Knapp.

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  13. mantis says:

    Quite frankly, this strikes me as a not especially subtle racial jab.

    Foul! Don’t you know there’s no racism or appeals to racism on the right? That’s all an invention of leftist socialist communist fascist islamist gays. By even alluding to racism on the right, you have shown yourself to be the true racist. Umm, something about a plantation, or something. QED.

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  14. jwest says:

    Everyone here must have been asleep during the 2008 presidential campaign.

    There has never been a presidential candidate who received less scrutiny than Obama. No one knew anything thing about him. Obama is without a doubt the least qualified individual ever elected to the office.

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  15. JKB says:

    Trump is doing a service by blowing tubes to clear them out for the coming campaign by more likely candidates.

    However, based on the recently issued Obama campaign plan, he seems to be planning on running as the mysterious unknown and we sure didn’t get a good vetting by the MSM last time around. So looking at his past is still appropriate. (to be fair, President Obama has been quite often diametrically opposite of candidate Obama so a successful candidate running against a president much like the last one he beat is not to surprising)

    As to the college grade record, it is true the Republicans don’t run as being the smartest guy in the room, they run as the guy who can select and herd the smart guys. But the Dems with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton touted their reputed “smart” credentials. And they were in many respects. Obama as been pushed as being very smart but that has not been supported by experience. So, were his grades to be proven to be mediocre, that would be a blow to the Democrat sensibility.

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  16. Best I can figure, the “insufficient vetting” thesis is simply another way of saying “the guy I didn’t like won.”

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  17. Plus from a matter of practicality, let alone tactical and strategic wisdom, the whole “he’s so unqualified!” bit is rather anemic (insofar as at this point, it is utterly unimportant). You can argue you all you like about his pre-2008 qualifications, the bottom line is that the top line of his resume says “President of the United States”–and that is where any attacks have to start.

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  18. Janis Gore says:

    I agree, jwest. I thought that that the 2008 campaign was dry run after his successful speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

    And I was surprised that President Obama was elected, and a tad chagrined. I’m not used to having presidents younger than I am. My dentist and doctor are younger, too. I ditched the gynecologist who looked like a high-school drum major. Not for any faults in his practice, though.

    But I didn’t vote for Mr. McCain because I think we have become too warlike. He likes that role. Ms. Palin seems to, too.

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  19. mantis says:

    There has never been a presidential candidate who received less scrutiny than Obama. No one knew anything thing about him. Obama is without a doubt the least qualified individual ever elected to the office.

    How do you know he’s the least qualified? We know nothing about him!

    Moron.

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  20. Janis Gore says:

    None of that, of course, excuses Mr. Trump for being a vulgar SOB.

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  21. Boyd says:

    I just wonder how Trump’s supposed racism became a “fact,” Steven. The idea of there being a racial element to Trump’s vulgarity (perfect choice of word, Janis!) never occurred to me before you claimed your opinion was a fact.

    Look, there are plenty of things for conservatives and libertarians (and liberals, for that matter) to not like about President Obama that have exactly zero to do with his race. And anyway, accusing racists of being racist never seems to accomplish much. How about we just stick to facts instead of digging into some bag of insults and calling our opinions “facts,” when, in fact, they’re not?

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  22. JKB says:

    Really, “the best you can figure” is that people are carping about the guy they didn’t like won? Well, then perhaps you will enlighten us with a short history of Barack Obama?

    I was unaware of the political bent of Obama’s parents (although there we some hints) and grandparents as laid out by Bill Whittle here. Perhaps, I just didn’t delve into the body of knowledge offered by the media.

    With the plethora of law bloggers about, I’ve seen no posts dissecting Obama’s scholastic papers and writings on the law, either from his time as Editor of the HLR or when he was an lecturer in Constitutional law.

    I’ve seen no interviews with college roommates, friends, enemies or even teachers.

    So yes, Obama has been president but we still have little idea how he might meet a profound test of character that often comes with command. We are slowly discovering some hints, though.

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  23. hey norm says:

    it’s funny that the least qualified guy for the office got health care reform passed after president – both republican and democrat – had been trying for 40 or 50 years. funny the least qualified guy for the office got russia and china to agre on sanctions for iran. funny how the least qualified guy got the international community to act in libya instead of the us being the only player – norway bombing qaudaffis compound is a lot better, pr speaking than the us bombing quadaffis compound. funny that the least qualified guy for the office got the republicans to agree to 38 billion in spending cuts that were really only a few hundred million. i could go on…but its too funny.

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  24. Janis Gore says:

    Bill Whittle is a blowhard. Never say in 500 words what you can say in 5000.

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  25. jwest says:

    As Trump mentioned, how did Obama get into Columbia and Harvard?

    If the press and semi-influential blog authors hadn’t swooned in instant acceptance of a clean, articulate black person, perhaps this type of question would have been asked prior to the election. Steven is taking the circuitous route around the question (by jumping over the shark) because he and a others who insisted Sarah Palin wasn’t qualified to be president could never explain why she wasn’t or why Obama was.

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  26. Janis Gore says:

    He got into Columbia the same way I got into Reed. He tested well and came from a “disadvantaged” class.

    Next.

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  27. Janis Gore says:

    Geographical diversity might have had play, too. I know that my “Texaness'” had some heft in the choice. Hawaii is pretty damned exotic.

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  28. ponce says:

    “I sort of like that, “vulgar son-of-a-bitch.””

    The best description I’ve read of Trump is “short fingered vulgarian” in the late Spy magazine.

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  29. Janis Gore says:

    Oh my, Ponce, that’s good.

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  30. @Boyd:

    This is commentary and analysis–I never claimed fact, per se, since the only person who can fully speak to Trump’s true motives is Trump.

    However, help me out with an alternative explanation if you don’t like mine. Trump is suggesting a black man got into Ivy League schools despite being unqualified (in Trumps’ crypto-opinion). What else are you suggesting he is highlighting? Moreover, given that Obama graduated magna cum laude and was editor of the law review, Trump’s claims fail on purely empirical grounds as well.

    Further, while I tried for a while to dismiss the notion that the birther business was motivated by something other than racial discomfort and a little xenophobia, it is getting difficult to continue to do so.

    Trump is trying to pain Obama as the mysterious other. How that can not include race is beyond me,

    If Trump wants to criticize policies, he can have at it and I won’t have to assume other motivations.

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  31. Look, there are plenty of things for conservatives and libertarians (and liberals, for that matter) to not like about President Obama that have exactly zero to do with his race.

    No doubt. But that’s not what Trump is focusing on here, now is it? And I am not talking in this post about a vast universe of people, I am talking about Trump.

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  32. mantis says:

    Trump has taken on uber-birther Joseph Farah as an advisor. Farah has long called Obama the “affirmative action president.” Trump is just taking advice from his advisor in pushing this blatantly racist and counterfactual line of attack.

    I, like Steven, await Boyd’s cogent explanation of how such smears could be anything but racist in nature.

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  33. bandit says:

    Have fun at your Klan meeting. Did Trump say anything about Obama being black? I have a suggestion – maybe since he refuses to release his transcripts or LSATs? Maybe his complete lack of achievement? Maybe his glaring ignorance of anything other than the kind of warmed over leftism you here from a sophomore dorm room? Maybe his utter incompetence?

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  34. Boyd says:

    I read your final paragraph as portraying Trump’s racism as a fact. I can see that you may have been referring to the facts of Trumps attacks, while opining on whether it’s racism. If that (or something similar) is the case, I offer my apologies.

    So, getting back to the point, though: I think jumping to the claim of racism is a little too facile. But then again, I don’t hang around with many racists, so I may be unfamiliar with common aspects of their behavior. At any rate, I honestly don’t think you’ve got enough justification for accusing Trump of racism.

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  35. Janis Gore says:

    And I say there’s nothing wrong with being an “affirmative action” student. Just a remind, y’all, it applies to women as well. Being the big ole’ mean patriarchs that y’all are.

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  36. mantis says:

    But then again, I don’t hang around with many racists, so I may be unfamiliar with common aspects of their behavior.

    Here’s a hint: when they see a successful black person, they scream “affirmative action!”

    Here endeth the lesson.

    At any rate, I honestly don’t think you’ve got enough justification for accusing Trump of racism.

    Then again, why don’t you posit a motivation for his lies?

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  37. Alex Knapp says:

    Bandit, JKB, and anyone else who wants to see Obama’s grades, papers, etc:

    If you provide me with your college transcripts, I’ll be happy to post them at OTB for you. If you’d like a dissection of papers you wrote for classes in college, I’d be happy to do it for you gratis.

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  38. Boyd says:

    Nice try, mantis, but I’m not going to let you get away with trying to get me to prove a negative. Someone who makes the claim of racism must make their own case. It’s not up to others to disprove the hypothesis.

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  39. Janis Gore says:

    Well, if you’re big enough he’ll just come along and say. He’s noted things at Vanity Fair and Salon.

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  40. @Boyd: Please don’t take my tone to be overly confrontational, but how else do you explain Trump asserting out of thin air that Obama was a “bad student” and yet got into Columbia and Harvard? What is his point, do you think?

    In regards to my final paragraph, are you going to argue that race has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion?

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  41. Boyd says:

    Steven, I just resist the idea that “I can’t think of any other explanation, and since Obama is black, it must be racism!” If Trump (being Trump, and for the sake of argument, a non-racist) plans to run for President against Obama, he’s naturally going to find negative things to say about Obama.

    And, still being Trump, he’s going to focus on flashy, non-substantive things that are practically inconsequential. He’s a showman, he’s not going to get bogged down in boring things like policy (beyond the usual political crap about “I’m going to make your life better”).

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  42. @Boyd,

    First, that’s not what I said.

    Second, this is not just about saying negative things.

    You have not offered, by the way, an alternative explanation for the statements quoted above.

    If Obama was white and named John Smith, we would not be having this conversation about birth certificates or wondering how in the world he got into the Ivies.

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  43. mantis says:

    Nice try, mantis, but I’m not going to let you get away with trying to get me to prove a negative.

    I didn’t ask you to prove a negative. I asked for what explanation you think is likely, since you dismiss racism or appeals to racism as a motivator.

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  44. And to clarify: I have never argued, or even thought, that policy or even generic partisan opposition to Obama is about race.

    I do think, however, that the following are motivated, at least is part if not in whole, by issues of race and xenophobia:

    1. Birtherism
    2. The notion that he is a secret Muslim
    3. That he can’t possibly be a Christian
    4. The emphasis on his middle name, like it is some sort of epithet
    5. The suggestion that he actually has loyalties to Kenyan
    6. The idea that it is suspicious that he went to school in the Ivy Leagues, as though he was undeserving of getting to attend said institutions.
    7. Talk about his passport and where he may or may not have traveled.
    8. I will leave it at that.

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  45. Boyd says:

    Okay, Steven, you didn’t say those words. That’s how your words sound to me, though.

    And regarding a white John Smith, I’m not saying that the origin of these silly objections to Barack Obama aren’t racist. But I don’t believe that everyone who espouses them is, by definition, a racist.

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  46. mantis says:

    Okay, Steven, you didn’t say those words. That’s how your words sound to me, though.

    Yet you jump all over everyone for saying how Trump’s words sound to them? Pot. Kettle.

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  47. @Boyd,

    Well, I said:

    Quite frankly, this strikes me as a not especially subtle racial jab.

    And:

    this all seems aimed at casting Obama as “the other” and it has a clear racial component to it.

    What is your specific beef with those two statements?

    And, again, if you think that the first one in particular is off base, what is your alternative explanation for what Trump is trying to say?

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  48. Janis Gore says:

    In other words, Boyd is saying that Trump is a vulgar son-of-a-bitch.

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  49. In other words, Boyd is saying that Trump is a vulgar son-of-a-bitch.

    But that begs the question as to what makes his utterances vulgar, yes?

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  50. Boyd says:

    When you accuse (or imply, or however you choose to characterize your claim) Trump of racism, you’re addressing motivations, not an “explanation for what Trump is trying to say.” And I’ve already addressed that: he’s a showman who thinks he’s going to run for President against Barack Obama. He’s jumped on the populist anti-Obama themes of the day.

    If the big, loudmouthed anti-Obama crowd were saying “we hate him because he’s a secret smoker,” then that’s the bandwagon Trump would be trying to drive. He doesn’t care what the story is, or if it’s true, or even if it’s crypto-racist. He’s going to shout the popular anti-Obama themes, whatever they may be.

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  51. Janis Gore says:

    Not really. The man likes applause and will do what is necessary to get it. He’ll say what it takes, not that he necessarily means it. Not from the heart.

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  52. Boyd says:

    Also, I’m not saying that Trump’s motivation isn’t racist. I’m just saying that I don’t believe that what he’s said (so far) isn’t enough to throw the race card at him. He could well prove himself to be a racist in the future, no doubt. I just don’t see the evidence for it yet.

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  53. mantis says:

    He’s jumped on the populist, and some racist, anti-Obama themes of the day.

    FTFY. It doesn’t really matter if Trump is a racist at heart. He’s deliberately appealing to racists with his blatantly racist message implying, without any facts, that the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, who graduated magna cum laude from that institution, was a bad student who only got into good school because of affirmative action.

    I’ll never understand why people like you will go to so much trouble to convince us all that plain-as-day racism in this country does not exist. It does, pal. Open your eyes.

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  54. Rick Almeida says:

    If the big, loudmouthed anti-Obama crowd were saying “we hate him because he’s a secret smoker,” then that’s the bandwagon Trump would be trying to drive.

    I’m not sure how much water that holds, Boyd. There are literally dozens of reasonable criticisms that can be leveled at President Obama like they always are against Democrats – tax & spend liberal, abortion, gay rights, big government, etc.

    Yet Trump has chosen this particular vector of allegations – ones demonstrated false again and again, and ones with racial overtones. These are the criticisms he chooses to level, and the faction of the Republican camp he appears to be choosing to align with.

    You claim Trump is agnostic about the substance of his attacks against Obama, and that may be true. If it is true, however, than it is also possible that Trump would be willing to level racist attacks if those will advance his candidacy.

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  55. @Boyd,

    What do you think Trump, the showman, blowhard, whatever, is trying to appeal to with these statements? That is the real issue as far as I am concerned.

    I think it is all quite cynical, and it would hardly surprise me if Trump actually thought everything he was saying was nonsense. And yet, why is he saying it in terms of what response is he looking for?

    Are you going to tell me that these are utterly race neutral comments? Are you going to tell me there isn’t some “othering” going on here?

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  56. jwest says:

    Here’s a unique question….

    How did Obama get into Columbia and Harvard?

    Although there has been some indication (not backed up with any documentation) that Obama was granted good grades at Harvard, he doesn’t even pretend to have done well at Columbia or Occidental. Also, just to put things in perspective, this was the same point in history that Princeton was giving Cornell West a PhD in “black studies” and Harvard hired him.

    I’ll bet the Harvard professors were lined up to give our clean, articulate and not-so-bright budding president the grades that someone who was the same color as people who had experienced oppression some centuries back deserved. Each “A” was like striking a blow for freedom. Why, the people who voted him into the editorship of Harvard Law Review probably felt like they were standing on the bridge in Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King.

    Steven may see racism is just about everything conservatives say and do, but to deny what is clearly obvious in Obama’s obscured background is blatant racial condescension.

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  57. @jwest;

    It would be nice if you had any, you know, evidence for your scenario.

    Steven may see racism is just about everything conservatives say and do, but to deny what is clearly obvious in Obama’s obscured background is blatant racial condescension.

    Two things:

    1) I am not even sure the last time I mentioned race prior to this post, so I am not sure what your point is.

    2) I would note, however, that your last two comments in this thread have some fairly racially-charged statements in them, but whatever.

    3) I am not even sure that Trump is a “conservative” so, again, I am not sure what your point is.

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  58. Michael says:

    I’ll bet the Harvard professors were lined up to give our clean, articulate and not-so-bright budding president the grades that someone who was the same color as people who had experienced oppression some centuries back deserved.

    So your theory is that the entire admissions office at two different Ivy League schools, plus countless faculty and staff, were all involved in a grand conspiracy to pluck some know-nothing black kid from obscurity and turn him into a know-nothing President? The plot of Austin Powers (any of them) makes more sense than that.

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  59. 1BIG BISCUIT says:

    FOLKS– IF DONALD TRUMP MISSES OUT ON THIS PRESIDENCY –WE ARE ALL AS GOOD AS DEAD!

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  60. Rick Almeida says:

    he doesn’t even pretend to have done well at Columbia or Occidental.

    Evidence?

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  61. mantis says:

    I’ll bet the Harvard professors were lined up to give our clean, articulate and not-so-bright budding president the grades that someone who was the same color as people who had experienced oppression some centuries back deserved.

    Hey Boyd, want to tell us how jwest isn’t trafficking in racist bullshit?

    jwest, DIAF.

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  62. Janis Gore says:

    Who he is appealing to is another question, Dr. Taylor. I won’t argue with you there.

    And jwest, I already answered that question upthread.

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  63. Pug says:

    If you provide me with your college transcripts, I’ll be happy to post them at OTB for you.

    Bandit, JKB and the rest should also provide their Certificates of Circumcision to be posted on the Internet, just so we know they were really born in America.

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  64. Janis Gore says:

    The title for this thread is wrong. It should be “Campaigning like it’s 1955.”

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  65. Boyd says:

    mantis, I’m not about to defend jwest.

    I had a brilliant comment (trust me, it was!) but then I fat-fingered one of my F-keys and obliterated it. At any rate, Steven, it’s apparent that you believe that Trump’s statements are based in his racism, and I believe that you’re leaping to that conclusion without sufficient evidence. Neither of us is remotely likely budge the other on these points.

    And since the discussion is bringing out some pretty clear racism from others, I’m choosing to not participate anymore.

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  66. @Boyd:

    By way of clarification: I never actually accused Trump of being a racist. I said that what he is saying is a “racial jab” and that this message has a “racial component” to it.

    I really don’t know if he believes a word of it. He is clearly, however, trying to use the racial component in question to garner support. Although if you have an alternative theory, I’d be willing to listen to it.

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  67. mantis says:

    mantis, I’m not about to defend jwest.

    What’s the difference between what he’s saying and what Trump has said?

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  68. Janis Gore says:

    jwest believes it.

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  69. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Trump is implying that Obama’s “achievements” are more due to affirmative action policies and sentiments than actual intelligence and actions. I have made the case that in that particular moment in American history, the Ivy League colleges were filled to the brim with liberal professors racked with white guilt and swept up in the notion that all the wrongs of previous generations could be righted by advancing people of color (and women, Janis) as fast as possible without regard to actual achievement.

    The only evidence anyone can present of Obama’s alleged intelligence is his first book (of questionable authorship). Some have pointed to how well he speaks in front of a teleprompter, but that perception is quickly lost in his unscripted moments when he umms and ahhs his way through rambling, self-contradicting “let me be clear” statements.

    Obama would be just as unimpressive and unaccomplished regardless of his race, but the circumstances of the myth building wouldn’t have existed without the benefit of his skin color. There is nothing “racially charged” in any of my statements, I am simply exposing the absence of any evidence that Barack Obama has achieved anything through intellectual merit.

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  70. TG Chicago says:

    If the big, loudmouthed anti-Obama crowd were saying “we hate him because he’s a secret smoker,” then that’s the bandwagon Trump would be trying to drive. He doesn’t care what the story is, or if it’s true, or even if it’s crypto-racist. He’s going to shout the popular anti-Obama themes, whatever they may be.

    Oh, so he’s not racist, he’s just a race-baiter. That’s much better!

    Boyd, you’ve been asked multiple times for an alternate explanation that doesn’t involve race. You don’t seem interested in providing one. Perhaps because it’s difficult to come up with one. Perhaps because it doesn’t exist.

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  71. mantis says:

    I have made the case that in that particular moment in American history, the Ivy League colleges were filled to the brim with liberal professors racked with white guilt and swept up in the notion that all the wrongs of previous generations could be righted by advancing people of color (and women, Janis) as fast as possible without regard to actual achievement.

    You haven’t made that case. You’ve made an unsupported assertion based entirely, apparently, on the fact that Cornell West has a job.

    The only evidence anyone can present of Obama’s alleged intelligence is his first book (of questionable authorship).

    Bullshit.

    Some have pointed to how well he speaks in front of a teleprompter, but that perception is quickly lost in his unscripted moments when he umms and ahhs his way through rambling, self-contradicting “let me be clear” statements.

    Bullshit.

    You’re all racist bullshit, jwest. Please, DIAF. Now.

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  72. Michael says:

    I have made the case …

    No, I don’t believe you have. You see, “making the case” means doing more than simply spewing some poorly conceived ideas in the form of words.

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  73. jwest says:

    Mantis,

    Anyone who pretends Cornell West is anything but an idiot is the true racist.

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  74. Joel says:

    For a long time I was dismissive of the idea that opposition to Obama was racially motivated beyond perhaps a small fringe. But I’ve gradually had to ugly truth that a lot of it (probably not the majority, but a substantial amount) is. Is there really any other way to explain the unprecedented birther controversy, or even more blatantly the idea that he’s a secret Muslim? It’s obvious that if he had white skin and an Anglo-Saxon sounding name, no one would say he’s actually a Muslim.

    This is not to say, of course, that there is not room for legitimate criticism of his policies, or that everyone who dislikes him as a president is racist.

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  75. Michael says:

    stacy, why does the Revolution 2.0, which purports to be “a revolution in ideas and technology”, have a website that looks like it was made by a 10 year old in 1995? They’re not off to a very good start from the looks of it.

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  76. Janis Gore says:

    So you took Obama and I both down in one graph, jwest?

    Never mind. I’ll not need to wash your sheets anyway.

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  77. Michael says:

    For those who don’t want to waste their time on stacy’s link, it can all be summed up as: http://xkcd.com/592/

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  78. wr says:

    jwest — Thank you for confirming what everyone already suspected about you — that you’ve never been anywhere near a college. Only someone whose sole exposure to academia comes from watching Community would posit this ludicrous fable.

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  79. sfp says:

    8. I will leave it at that.

    I have one more!

    9. Calling him “arrogant” and “narcissistic for, you know, thinking that anyone cares about what he thinks like he’s President of the United States or something. The word you’re looking for is “uppity”, guys.

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  80. Janis Gore says:

    Um hmm. What we got here is a n8888r in the woodpile.

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  81. Janis Gore says:

    What’s worst of all is that I’d bet 10 to 1 that he can’t dance. It was bred out of him by the woodpile.

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  82. wr says:

    The White House only has a woodpile because Reagan ripped out Carter’s solar heating panels.

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  83. Janis Gore says:

    To whom is he appealing, Dr. Taylor.

    There’s your problem with a fancy education. You took it forty years ago.

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  84. steve says:

    “I have made the case that in that particular moment in American history, the Ivy League colleges were filled to the brim with liberal professors racked with white guilt”

    Not how I remember it when I attended and for the brief period I was faculty. None of the black students in my Ivy League medical school were in the top ten. A couple of Chinese were, but I dont think white guilt goes out to Asians much.

    Steve

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  85. An Interested Party says:

    How can racism not be part of the equation when you have the argument being made that the president only succeeded in his academic career because of affirmative action? People making this argument look just as ridiculous as the birthers…but I’m sure the president considers himself blessed with the collection of political enemies that he has acquired…

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  86. Janis Gore says:

    I think people misunderstand how inexpensive top schools were in the seventies and early eighties. When I went to Reed, the cost was about $2000 a semester, then there were books, living expenses, etc. A waitress could do it.

    I was on scholarship, and pursued transferring to Columbia. I was accepted, but because I was a scholarship student, I was wait-listed.

    So it’s not improbable at all that Mr. Obama went to Columbia. With his grandparents’ finances, I could have , too.

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  87. Trust me guys, stuff like this is a gift wrapped present for the WH. Without blaming anyone (Bush, Obama, Lyndon Johnson, whoever), unless the economy improves the last thing the WH wants is a referendum on the past (soon-to-be) 4 years.

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  88. Janis Gore says:

    Just for kicks, there were two girls in my physics class. I was white and she was black, She did well, too. She wanted to go into the the Merchant Marine. Her father was a military man.

    I can’t remember her name. I wonder how she did.

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  89. anjin-san says:

    unless the economy improves

    The economy has been improving pretty much since the day Obama took office. What are you talking about?

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  90. deedee says:

    I am a black woman, but I am a great American first, and “Yes, I did not vote for Obama”. I have been waiting for obama to answer the same questions that Trump has been asking. The race card hs no place in this conversation. The media is in the bed with Obama and did not ask the right questions in 2008 due to fear of being labelled “racist”. So to me, Obama is a made up man and I have always questioned is love ofur our Country. I will vote for Trump over Obama any day of the week

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  91. deedee says:

    While we are talking about Obama’s secret life, Let’s demand to have the calls from his private Blackberry reviewed. No US President needs to have a private blackberry. In my opinion, there is something fishy about that.

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  92. […] Campaigning Like its 2008 (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

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  93. anjin-san says:

    I will vote for Trump over Obama any day of the week

    Good for you. Fools play a part in God’s plan too, though I am not sure exactly what it is…

    In my opinion, there is something fishy about that.

    Yea, he is probably, gasp, calling his wife and kids. Not like a good Republican family values guy who would be banging his next trophy wife on his desk at lunchtime.

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  94. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    I’ll bet the Harvard professors were lined up to give our clean, articulate and not-so-bright budding president the grades that someone who was the same color as people who had experienced oppression some centuries back deserved. Each “A” was like striking a blow for freedom.

    You’re obviously ignorant of the fact that Harvard Law School uses a system of blind grading:

    http://www.hlrecord.org/2.4463/grading-the-curve-at-hls-1.579572?pagereq=2

    The only evidence anyone can present of Obama’s alleged intelligence is his first book

    Take that up with Jim Lindgren, who said this about Obama:

    Barack Obama is smart enough and writes well enough to be a tenured law professor at any law school in the country.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1217470913.shtml#408078

    Anyone unclear about Lindgren’s conservative credentials should just read some of his posts at volokh.com.

    ===================
    JKB:

    With the plethora of law bloggers about, I’ve seen no posts dissecting Obama’s scholastic papers and writings on the law

    Is your google broken? You obviously haven’t looked very hard. Just google obama law review article.

    Also see here:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1219415466.shtml

    Volokh says “the article is quite good — well-written and well-reasoned.” Let us know if I have to explain Volokh’s conservative credentials to you.

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  95. jukeboxgrad says:

    Janis:

    Bill Whittle is a blowhard.

    Whittle is worse than that. He’s a transparent liar. Take a look at his video here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aVgRRbDuZvY

    That’s the same video that JKB linked. Jump ahead to watch this segment: 2:30-2:45. Whittle says this:

    John Stenhouse … testified … that he had been a member of the Communist Party, and that there were several Marxist professors on staff at Mercer Island.

    While he says those words, he displays this link on the screen:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-0703270151mar27-archive,0,5853572,full.story

    Here’s what that link actually says:

    … consistent with the 1950s, there were undercurrents of turmoil. In 1955, the chairman of the Mercer Island school board, John Stenhouse, testified before the House Un-American Activities Subcommittee that he had been a member of the Communist Party.

    At Mercer High School, two teachers — Val Foubert and Jim Wichterman — generated regular parental thunderstorms by teaching their students to challenge societal norms and question all manner of authority. Foubert, who died recently, taught English. His texts were cutting edge: “Atlas Shrugged,” “The Organization Man,” “The Hidden Persuaders,” “1984” and the acerbic writings of H.L. Mencken.

    Wichterman taught philosophy. The hallway between the two classes was known as “anarchy alley,” and students pondered the challenging notions of Wichterman’s teachings, including such philosophers as Sartre and Kierkegaard. He also touched the societal third rail of the 1950s: He questioned the existence of God. And he didn’t stop there.

    “I had them read ‘The Communist Manifesto,’ and the parents went nuts,” said Wichterman, adding that parents also didn’t want any discussions about “anything to do with sex,” religion and theology. The parental protests were known as “mothers’ marches.”

    “The kids started questioning things that their folks thought shouldn’t be questioned — religion, politics, parental authority,” said John Hunt, a classmate. “And a lot of parents didn’t like that, and they tried to get them [Wichterman and Foubert] fired.”

    Yes, “John Stenhouse … testified … that he had been a member of the Communist Party.” No, he did not testify “that there were several Marxist professors on staff at Mercer Island.” Whittle pulled that claim out of his butt.

    Yes, there were two controversial professors. Yes, one of them assigned The Communist Manifesto. And guess what the other one assigned: Atlas Shrugged. Yup, real Marxists.

    Now scroll to 5:13. Whittle says this:

    she was, by many independent well-sourced accounts, a radical, a marxist, and an atheist. a rebellious, resentful young woman.

    Whittle provides citations to this many sources that describe Dunham as “radical” or “marxist” or “resentful:” zero. Yes, there is some evidence that she was rebellious and an atheist (although she also attended services at Unitarian church). Big deal. I think there is also some evidence that our Founding Fathers were, um, rebellious.

    There are lots of other examples of Whittle inventing his own facts.

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  96. jukeboxgrad says:

    JKB:

    I was unaware of the political bent of Obama’s parents (although there we some hints) and grandparents as laid out by Bill Whittle here. Perhaps, I just didn’t delve into the body of knowledge offered by the media.

    Exactly. You “just didn’t delve into the body of knowledge offered by the media.” Did you even bother to notice what Whittle’s sources are? I couldn’t stand watching more than the first 6 minutes. In those minutes, Whittle cites exactly three sources: Dreams from My Father, and these two articles:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-0703270151mar27-archive,0,5853572,full.story
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004334057_obama08m.html

    So 100% of what Whittle says falls into these two categories:

    A) True facts that he knows only because they were reported by Obama himself or “the media.”

    B) Complete bullshit that he invented to fool ignorant viewers like you.

    And just like all smooth, accomplished liars, he’s highly skilled at mixing A and B together in such a way that it’s hard to tell them apart. Nice.

    And then people like you come along and complain that we don’t know anything about Obama’s past because the media didn’t look into it. Meanwhile, we actually know a lot about Obama’s past, precisely because the media did look into it. 100% of what you’re learning from Whittle that happens to be true you could have learned more directly from Obama himself and from “the media.”

    What a joke.

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  97. jukeboxgrad says:

    Taylor:

    Trump is trying to pain Obama as the mysterious other. How that can not include race is beyond me.

    The GOP has a long history of pandering to racists. Trump is just following in that fine tradition:

    “George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice.” … ” … racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, ‘This takes me aback,’ they are ignoring a huge volume of research.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/29/AR2006012900642_pf.html

    And this is why the 2008 GOP convention was only 1.5% black:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/03/AR2008090303962.html

    I don’t see this changing much anytime soon.

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  98. @anjin-san I would concede that pessimism over the economy is worse than the economy itself, buy that doesn’t change the political realities. Also unemployment is what most middle class people are looking at, not the Dow Jones and that number is still stubbornly high. Irregardless, the politics of a referendum on the economy w/o much change aren’t good for the WH, but the politics of bat shit crazy is.

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  99. jwest says:

    Ace weighs in.

    http://minx.cc/?post=315296

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  100. Terrye says:

    Just popular with the GOP? There was a report yesterday of some floozie from Air America getting hauled out of a townhall put on by an African American Republican named West…was that racist?

    I don’t like Trump, I think he is a conman. I would not vote for him, if you put a gun to my head. However, I know a lot of Democrats who have the same sort of questions about Obama, they just tend to vote for him any way, because he has a D behind his name.

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  101. jukeboxgrad says:

    Ace is a worthless hack just like you. He writes 1800 words about HLS grading policies without managing to mention that HLS uses blind grading. Instead, he cites Alamo saying this:

    30 years ago I witnessed minority students whose class discussions and projects, no matter how lame or illogical, were given accolades by predictably leftist professors. The grading itself was many times subjective.

    And then Ace says “Yes of course.” No, not “yes of course.” Alamo’s speculation about “the grading itself was many times subjective” does not apply in a system of blind grading.

    And Ace also says this:

    No wonder he won’t release the grades

    No mention of the fact that no president or candidate has ever released their grades. Lots of people think Bush and Gore did, but that’s wrong. That information was leaked, not released by Bush and Gore.

    You, Whittle and Ace are all cut from the same cloth. Completely full of shit.

    And of course you’re not going to take responsibility for your false claim, even though I’ve proven it’s false. Which is a replay of what happened here:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/hawaiian-official-again-confirms-obamas-birth-records-calls-birthers-ludicrous/#comment-1394488

    Only a fool would take you seriously. On the other hand, it’s obvious that the GOP is packed with fools.

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  102. jukeboxgrad says:

    Hopefully it’s obvious that my comment is directed at jwest, not Terrye (who posted exactly a minute before I did).

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  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    Terrye:

    I know a lot of Democrats who have the same sort of questions about Obama

    There are racists everywhere, and there are racists in both parties. Nevertheless, they generally prefer to vote R, not D. It’s not an accident that the 2008 GOP convention was only 1.5% black.

    The GOP becoming more and more the party of the South is also not an accident.

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  104. jukeboxgrad says:

    Terrye:

    There was a report yesterday of some floozie from Air America getting hauled out of a townhall put on by an African American Republican named West…was that racist?

    No, it wasn’t. Why did you imply that it was?

    That report is here:

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/health/west-like-republicans-at-home-district-meetings-nationwide-1435526.html

    Maybe I missed it, but I see no evidence that Sandler did anything racist. Why did you imply that she did?

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  105. jukeboxgrad says:

    Here’s some more evidence that Ace has no idea what the heck he’s talking about. Here’s what he said about the meaning of Obama’s magna cum laude at HLS:

    I expect that the cutoff for Magna Cum Laude was 50% … Yes, I suspect that too.

    http://minx.cc/?post=315296

    Let’s compare what Ace said to what Jim Lindgren said:

    At the top 5 law school I talked about (not Harvard), the dean in the early 90s said that no African American had ever gotten (very) good grades at that school. Although the dean didn’t put it in these terms, his comment would imply that up until that time, no African American at his school had ever graduated cum laude. I expect that, because Harvard and Yale skim off many of the very top minority students, the experience at that school might have been different than at other top law schools, even twenty years ago.

    This emphasizes just how extraordinary Obama’s graduating magna cum laude at Harvard is. In traditional academic terms, Obama did better in school than any president in the last 40 years. And he writes extremely well, better than most of us Volokh Conspirators.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1216449447.shtml#402826

    And let’s take a look at what Orin Kerr said:

    If you don’t know how Obama performed academically, then you’re not paying much attention.

    At Harvard Law School in the 1990s, magna cum laude was awarded to students with grades above a specific cutoff: a 5.8 on Harvard’s 8 point scale, or basically an A-. Approximately 15% of the class had grades that high, and it was considered an extremely significant accomplishment among students to graduate magna: In a class of academic gunners, who were stars enough to get into Harvard, students who graduated magna cum laude were in the top 15% of the class.

    Barack Obama went to Harvard Law, and in addition to being elected President of the Law Review, which must have been extremely time-consuming, he also graduated magna cum laude. So we know he was somehere in the top 15% percent of Harvard Law students just based on his grades.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1232395994.shtml#519388

    And recall that Obama achieved those grades at HLS, which uses a system of blind grading.

    If anyone needs any help understanding that Lindgren and Kerr both have deep credentials as conservatives and legal scholars, just ask.

    For example, Kerr was hired by Sen. Cronyn to help Cronyn prepare for the Sotomayor nomination hearings:

    http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/06/gw-prof-to-advise-cornyn-on-sotomayor-nomination.html

    Ace’s claims are pure 100% baloney. Therefore it makes perfect sense that he would be cited by jwest.

    Ace and jwest: you’re doing a great job of proving how ignorant and untrustworthy you are. Please keep up the good work. Your inadvertent public service is considerable.

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  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    Oh yeah. Ace also says this:

    These honors, it turns out, are easily procured at Harvard Law.

    Never mind that Kerr said “it was considered an extremely significant accomplishment among students to graduate magna.” And Lindgren said “this emphasizes just how extraordinary Obama’s graduating magna cum laude at Harvard is.”

    Ace is a joke.

    (I have a comment awaiting moderation because of a link it contains. If this comment seems out of context, that’s why.)

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  107. jwest says:

    This entire episode illustrates the immeasurable damage liberals have inflicted on African Americans.

    By implementing their ill-conceived policies intended to “help” blacks, they have denigrated institutions and accolades that previously had held positions of honor and achievement. Because liberals hold a racist view of blacks, instead of programs designed to provide additional assistance to promising people they lowered standards, implemented quotas and issued meaningless awards.

    Apparently, the idea that if the intention is good, their culpability for the disastrous results is absolved. Liberals are obtuse to the condescension of their actions and how their rush to assuage their white guilt through heaping undeserved praise on people of color is placing every achievement by any black in question. How disgusting to the memory of people who earned Nobel Prizes through lives of action like Mandela and King for a pretender like Obama to given the same honor.

    No KKK group or other race haters could possibly bring the devastation to the integrity of an entire race than that imposed by liberals.

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  108. jukeboxgrad says:

    placing every achievement by any black in question

    Even if it’s the case that certain policies have had the result of “placing every achievement by any black in question,” you are still a lying racist ignoramus for placing these particular achievements by this particular black in question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  109. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    Obama is a person totally devoid of achievement.

    Let’s hope that at some point in your life, you reach a level of intellect that allows you the capacity to realize the devastation you and other liberals have inflicted on blacks. I have no doubt the tears will be real and you will truly be remorseful of pain, poverty and hopelessness you’ve caused.

    I don’t believe you’re evil, but I do wish you could see the evil your beliefs cause.

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  110. @jwest:

    Obama is a person totally devoid of achievement.

    He was elected President of the United States, which is the most powerful single office in the world. There have only been 42 holders of said office.

    That alone makes your statement utterly absurd in the extreme.

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  111. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Obama is also the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor he deserved about as much as the presidency. He was totally unqualified for either but the myth prevailed.

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  112. @jwest:

    As usual, you don’t actually address the issue before you: you cannot claim the man is without achievement. It is ridiculous. You might as well claim that he’s a zombie or a Cylon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  113. Alex Knapp says:

    jwest,

    I’m happy to post your college transcripts, review your college papers, and post your CV online here at OTB, so that we all here know what you’ve accomplished in your life that enables you the credibility to pass judgment.

    You can just email ’em to me.

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  114. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Obama won the presidency on the basis of his educational resume. He had no executive experience, his legislative tenure was a series of “present” votes and the only other qualifier was his skin color.

    Since the academic record is so central to the Obama myth, any inquiry into the specifics is well founded. If you are optimistic, think of how proud people in this country will be once it is shown Obama was accepted to Columbia and Harvard on merit and showed remarkable work in both institutions.

    If you’re not so optimistic, you could spend the next few months making excuses why there is no reason for Obama to release such records.

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  115. @jwest:

    The problem may well be, as they say, a failure to communicate.

    You made a claim.

    The claim is demonstrably false.

    This has nothing to do with your preferences (or mine).

    Defend your position or stop making absurd assertions.

    You have to find a way to explain how getting elected president isn’t an accomplishment. I have made it very simple by focusing on one issue and one issue alone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  116. jwest says:

    Steven,

    I will concede that being elected to the presidency is an accomplishment if it turns out that Obama wasn’t elected on the basis of a fraud perpetrated on the voting public in regards to his resume.

    You can use your position as an author here to push the administration to release the proof that Obama deserved the resume he foisted on voters.

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  117. @jwest:

    I am unaware that a) the election was predicated on an educational resume or b) that Obama doesn’t, for example, have a law degree from Harvard.

    But thanks for the acquiescence.

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  118. jwest says:

    Steven,

    So the election was predicated on Obama’s……smile? His unimpressive stint as a state legislator who couldn’t take a position on any issue or his few weeks as a U.S. senator doesn’t seem like it was the focus of the campaign.

    Concerning your Harvard law degree straw man, yes indeed Barack Obama has such a degree. What we need to know now is if that degree was deserved or not.

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  119. @jwest:

    I am fairly certain that the election was predicated on a lengthy campaign and then some voting. But then again, what do I know?

    I don’t remember the part where the candidates had a smack down about their respective educations.

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  120. mantis says:

    Steven,

    Is it really worth your time to wrestle with this racist little shithead?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  121. jwest says:

    Steven,

    Well, of course you’re right. In fact, I can’t remember anyone ever bringing up the subject. As far as most the electorate knew, he was just a young guy off the streets of Chicago who made good in the community organizer business.

    I’m certain that since Obama has proven his abilities to fix the economy, bring peace to the world and achieve full employment no one will have any further questions into his background.

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  122. @mantis:

    “Argue” may be too technical a word, to be honest.

    And the answer is probably “no”–although sometimes I can’t help myself.

    @jwest: as you wish.

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  123. @mantis: nevermind, you said “wrestle”

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  124. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    Since the academic record is so central to the Obama myth, any inquiry into the specifics is well founded.

    Do you know who Jim Lindgren is? He said this:

    Obama did better in school than any president in the last 40 years.

    http://volokh.com/posts/1216449447.shtml#402826

    According to him, we already know enough about “the specifics” to reach that conclusion. So what else could we possibly need to know?

    Hopefully you can explain why you’re right and Lindgren is wrong.

    think of how proud people in this country will be once it is shown Obama was accepted to Columbia and Harvard on merit and showed remarkable work in both institutions.

    According to Lindgren and Kerr, we already know enough to conclude that Obama “showed remarkable work in both institutions.” Kerr said “it was considered an extremely significant accomplishment among students to graduate magna.” Lindgren said “this emphasizes just how extraordinary Obama’s graduating magna cum laude at Harvard is.”

    So hopefully you can explain why you’re right and Lindgren and Kerr are wrong.

    I will concede that being elected to the presidency is an accomplishment if it turns out that Obama wasn’t elected on the basis of a fraud perpetrated on the voting public in regards to his resume.

    You are saying it’s a “fraud” to claim that Obama did excellent academic work. So why are Lindgren and Kerr committing fraud?

    Concerning your Harvard law degree straw man, yes indeed Barack Obama has such a degree. What we need to know now is if that degree was deserved or not.

    According to Lindgren and Kerr, that degree was indeed well-deserved. So hopefully you can explain why you’re right and Lindgren and Kerr are wrong.

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  125. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    You rely on secondhand accounts and generalities to prove Obama’s academic prowess. If the man is as brilliant and skilled a thinker and writer as he is made out to be, why not release his records and college writings so that we can all bask in the glory that is Barack?

    It is undeniable that the prevailing attitude of the time at the Ivy League colleges was one of aggressive affirmative action. Due to liberal policies of lowering standards and race-based grade inflation, the burden of proof of intelligence and achievement falls on the graduate.

    Come back when you have some evidence that this person is who you believe he is.

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  126. An Interested Party says:

    You rely on secondhand accounts and generalities to prove Obama’s academic prowess.

    As opposed to what you are relying on to make your ridiculous claims?

    Come back when you have some evidence that this person is who you believe he is.

    You would do well to follow your own advice…

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  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    You rely on secondhand accounts and generalities to prove Obama’s academic prowess.

    Uh, no. I am relying on certain known facts, like this one: Obama graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude. Even though you have no idea what this means, there are certain people, like Kerr and Lindgren, who do. I’m still waiting for you to explain why you’re right and they’re wrong.

    If one is looking for proof of “academic prowess,” it doesn’t get much better than Harvard Law School, magna cum laude. I realize you don’t understand this, but that’s your problem and no one else’s.

    If the man is as brilliant and skilled a thinker and writer as he is made out to be, why not release his records and college writings so that we can all bask in the glory that is Barack?

    Here’s one reason: beacuse no candidate or president has ever released “his records and college writings” (even though lots of ignorant and/or dishonest people repeatedly claim otherwise). So there’s no reason why he should.

    And here’s another reason: because we already have enough information to conclude that “Obama did better in school than any president in the last 40 years.” Any further release of “his records and college writings” is not going to tell us anything important that we don’t already know.

    And here’s another reason: because racist bullshitters like you are going to continue inventing their own facts, ignoring evidence, and promoting the same racist bullshit, no matter what he releases.

    In particular, even if his transcripts showed perfect grades, you would just dismiss this as “race-based grade inflation.” Right?

    Due to liberal policies of lowering standards and race-based grade inflation

    You have excellent timing. Thanks for this perfect example, just the latest in an endless series, of how you consistently ignore all facts and evidence that you find inconvenient. As I have already explained, HLS uses blind grading. Come back after you scrounge together enough brain cells to comprehend what this means, and how it makes your mantra about “race-based grade inflation” completely irrelevant.

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  128. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    This is so typical of liberals. Remember back when your side insisted John Kerry and Al Gore were “intellectuals”?

    You don’t want to suffer the same embarrassment, do you?

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  129. anjin-san says:

    Remember back when your side insisted John Kerry and Al Gore were “intellectuals”?

    Funny, I don’t remember anyone saying that. The consensus among Democrats is that Kerry and Gore are both bright guys. That’s it. They both have intellectual curiosity, which may explain why they are so hated on the right. Of course being a bright guys makes them intellectual giants compared to what the GOP has been serving up in the 21st century…

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  130. jwest says:

    Ace nails it again:

    http://minx.cc/?post=315337

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  131. Michael says:

    Remember back when your side insisted John Kerry and Al Gore were “intellectuals”?

    I’m pretty sure John Kerry was never accused of being an intellectual. Al Gore is a very smart guy, but he sucks at communicating it.

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  132. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    This is so typical of liberals. Remember back when your side insisted John Kerry and Al Gore were “intellectuals”?

    You don’t want to suffer the same embarrassment, do you?

    Wow, another vivid example of how terminally clueless you are. OK, I’ll try to make this so simple that even the likes of you will be able to grasp it.

    There are basically two sets of transcripts: college (Occidental and Columbia) and grad school (Harvard Law School). (Yes, I know that World Net Daily is also demanding his kindergarten records, but please don’t make me laugh.)

    Let’s talk about HLS first. Let’s say that tomorrow his HLS transcript is leaked. Do you know what it will show? High grades. Do you know how I know that? Because there is only one way to get magna cum laude at HLS: high grades.

    So if his HLS transcript were to be leaked or released, there is zero chance that anyone other than the likes of you will “suffer” any “embarassment.” Because we already know what that transcript contains: high grades.

    OK, now let’s talk about college transcripts. Let’s say your pathetic wet dream comes true. Let’s say tomorrow his college transcripts are leaked. And let’s imagine that they show horrible grades. That matters exactly this much: not at all. Do you know why? Because we already know that Obama achieved great success at HLS. So if he got lousy grades in college, no one will give a shit. Those grades could mean he was distracted, or unmotivated, or bored, or that he had a bad attitude at the time, or that he was in bad relationships. They could even mean that he was spending too much time smoking dope. But here’s what they don’t mean: that he’s not smart and not capable of great academic success. Because we already know that he is smart and capable of great academic success, because of what he did at HLS.

    Every parent in America would be thrilled if they knew that their kid was going to get Ds at Columbia, if they also knew that this would be followed by magna cum laude at HLS. When you make it work in the end, the rough start doesn’t matter.

    Yes, the Ds at Columbia followed by admission into HLS would prove that he got in on AA. So what? Who cares? The point is that he deserved to get in, despite the Ds. How do we know he deserved to get in? Because of what he achieved after he got in.

    Everyone except racist assholes like you understands that AA is a good thing if the person proves that they were worth helping, and deserved the help they got, and in the end earned the help they got. Obama’s HLS success proves that any AA help he was given getting in was appropriate and well-deserved. Because the blind grading at HLS demonstrates that his high grades there were a result of merit, not AA.

    So your statement about “don’t want to suffer the same embarrassment” shows your complete failure to understand how things work. As usual.

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  133. anjin-san says:

    jukebox… you could have a more rewarding conversation with a dirt clod.

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  134. jukeboxgrad says:

    To even make the comparison is somewhat insulting to dirt clods, but of course you’re right.

    I realize that jwest is going to go on being jwest. That’s the best he can do. But I’m not really addressing jwest. I’m addressing lurkers.

    So I’m counting on him to continue doing exactly what he does. I know he will keep up the good work. His inadvertent public service is considerable.

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  135. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    I thank you and I’m sure Doug, James and Steven thank you too.

    You’ve saved us countless hours pounding out arguments of Obama’s early years by laying out the immunization of the eventual release/leaking of his academic records. By basically admitting that Obama will be found to be a mediocre student at best throughout his life and that his admission to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard were all race-based, we can move along to discussing your final conclusion that none of that matters. As you say, since he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, it proves his superior abilities.

    Let us save this portion of the discussion for a new thread. I look forward to it.

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  136. jukeboxgrad says:

    By basically admitting that Obama will be found to be a mediocre student at best throughout his life and that his admission to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard were all race-based

    Thanks for doing such a great job of being a bad liar. But could you try to be just a little less obvious? You’re making it so obvious that people are going to think you’re my sockpuppet.

    I didn’t admit, basically or otherwise, “that Obama will be found to be a mediocre student at best throughout his life and that his admission to Occidental, Columbia and Harvard were all race-based.” What I said is that even if those things are true, and if they are revealed, no one but racist assholes like you are going to give a shit.

    The word “if” appears in that sentence twice. It’s a small word. See if you can figure out what it means.

    And by saying “throughout his life,” you escalate your bullshit to an even higher level than usual, because I also explained that while it’s possible that he was a poor student pre-HLS, it is known beyond any doubt that he was an excellent student at HLS.

    The fact that you and Trump and the rest of the buffoons are barking up this fruitless tree just demonstrates how desperate you all are.

    As you say, since he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, it proves his superior abilities.

    Indeed. And it’s not just as I say. It’s as all sane Republicans say. As sane Republicans like Orin Kerr and Jim Lindgren understand and have said, the fact that “he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard” Law School (not just “Harvard;” I guess you don’t grasp this significant difference) is indeed more than enough to prove “his superior abilities.”

    Trust me when I tell you that Kerr and Lindgren wish that people like you would shut up, because you are an embarrassment to them.

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  137. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    Let’s get this straight.

    Are you saying that everything ever written by Kerr and Lindgren is the absolute truth and that you agree with every position they have ever taken on every subject.

    Or are you saying that in this one particular instance, on this one particular subject, you are advocating that everyone should accept the opinion of Kerr and Lindgren but on everything else they have ever written or said they could be lying or totally misinformed?

    Which one is it?

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  138. mantis says:

    jwest,

    Do you ever get tired of being a lying little racist shit? You must know there are better ways to go through life.

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  139. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    It takes a special kind of person to pack so many ignorant fallacies into one short comment. This one is in there:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    You also managed to hit this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

    People who never learned how to get past grade-school level argumentation use those two all the time, so they’re not that interesting to discuss. What’s a bit more interesting is your failure to understand this important and simple concept:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statement_against_interest

    Now I’ll explain how this applies to your foolish argument.

    are you saying that in this one particular instance, on this one particular subject, you are advocating that everyone should accept the opinion of Kerr and Lindgren but on everything else they have ever written or said they could be lying or totally misinformed?

    The Kerr situation is different from the Lindgren situation, for reasons I’ll omit just for the sake of brevity. Let’s focus on Lindgren for a moment. Here’s what I think of Lindgren: he’s an extreme partisan hack. He is well-known for repeatedly attacking Obama, often in an unfair, dishonest manner. He’s been doing this for years.

    You’re asking me if I think “everything else [Lindgren has] ever written or said … could be lying or totally misinformed.” Can you guess the answer? It’s yes, pretty much. Are you started to catch on? See, that’s the whole point. The whole point is that even Lindgren, who has practically made a career out of trashing Obama, is forced to admit that Obama’s HLS magna is an extraordinary achievement. That is, he’s an extreme anti-Obama hack, but he’s not quite extreme enough to deny that bit of undeniable reality. He would have been laughed off various islands (like VC) if he did.

    This is the concept of statement against interest. It is precisely the fact that Lindgren is generally a dishonest anti-Obama hack that makes this statement by Lindgren so credible.

    His lack of credibility in general has the effect of adding to, not reducing, his level of credibility regarding this particular statement.

    Have I made this simple enough to get this through your thick, ignorant skull? Let me know if I need to try again with thicker crayons.

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  140. jwest says:

    Jukeboxgrad,

    If Lindgren had made a career out of trashing Obama, he would probably know that only 24% of the Harvard Law grads didn’t receive an honor. That’s a pretty low bar to hurdle.

    “In traditional academic terms, Obama did better in school than any president in the last 40 years”

    What kind of craziness is this statement? The magna designation at Harvard during the time Obama was a student was so degraded that mediocre performance would rate the honor. There is no evidence that Obama did any better than Clinton or Bush.

    Here is a little better source – the NY Times:

    “Professors and students at the law school reacted cautiously to Mr. Obama’s selection. ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”

    If Obama had been such a brilliant student, people who knew him wouldn’t have been so tentative in their remarks about the first black editor of Law Review.

    “Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”

    Quite a ringing endorsement by Mr. Yu (the former editor of LR)

    Any fair reading of this contemporaneous article will show that Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/06/us/first-black-elected-to-head-harvard-s-law-review.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm

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  141. mantis says:

    For racist shitbirds who never went to college: there are three levels of honors: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude, roughly translating to “with honors,” “with high honors,” and “with highest honors.” Summa, at most any school, is extremely hard to achieve, usually requiring you to ace everything throughout your entire college career. Magna is slightly less difficult, but still usually only consists of a very small portion of the graduating class. Cum laude can be a large portion of the graduating class, depending on the school’s requirements for that honor. Obama graduated magna cum laude, and no matter what school you are at, or what decade you graduated in, that’s hard to come by.

    From the article you linked in another thread, it sounds like Harvard Law reined in the cum laude from 50% of the graduating class to about 30%. This does not diminish Obama’s honors at all.

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  142. slimslowslider says:

    I literally laughed out loud at the awesome Jukebox take down of jwest. Hahaha. Best thread ever!

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  143. jukeboxgrad says:

    hi slim, thanks for the compliment!

    jwest:

    only 24% of the Harvard Law grads didn’t receive an honor. That’s a pretty low bar to hurdle

    You’re trying to muddy the waters by bringing up something totally irrelevant. The relevant number is not how many received an honor. The relevant number is how many received this honor: magna cum laude. Please tell us how many there were, and please tell us your source for that claim.

    The magna designation at Harvard during the time Obama was a student was so degraded that mediocre performance would rate the honor.

    There you go again, trying to muddy the waters by bringing up something totally irrelevant. “The magna designation at Harvard” has no relevance whatsoever. What has relevance is the magna designation at Harvard Law School. These two things are quite separate. You seem to not grasp this simple fact. Would you like me to grab some large crayons and try to explain it to you?

    ”For better or for worse, people will view it as historically significant,” said Prof. Randall Kennedy, who teaches contracts and race relations law. ”But I hope it won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement.”

    You’re such an ignoramus that you can’t comprehend that this statement is a compliment. “Won’t overwhelm this individual student’s achievement” means this: ‘even though lots of people will view this as a historical marker for blacks in general, everyone should remember that this is really about this one guy, and the fact that he earned this achievement; i.e., view him as an individual, and not just a symbol of a group.’

    If Obama had been such a brilliant student, people who knew him wouldn’t have been so tentative in their remarks about the first black editor of Law Review.

    Except that you’ve cited zero examples of anyone being “tentative in their remarks.” You’re just proving that your reading comprehension sucks.

    “Mr. Yu said Mr. Obama’s election ”was a choice on the merits, but others may read something into it.”

    Quite a ringing endorsement by Mr. Yu (the former editor of LR)

    Exactly. It is “quite a ringing endorsement.” What do you think the words “a choice on the merits” means? And when he says “others may read something into it,” that word “others” is a reference to racists like you. And you are conveniently proving how prescient and correct Yu was. You’re ignoring the fact that it “was a choice on the merits,” and instead you are trying to “read something into it” that simply isn’t there.

    If Yu had written a script for you, you could hardly be doing a better job of proving him right.

    Any fair reading of this contemporaneous article will show that Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.

    I’m waiting for you to show us the unredacted version of the article. You know, the one that actually contains statements which support this claim you are making. Because no such statements can be found in the article you actually cited.

    Anyway, I think you’ll probably enjoy reading about some other people who believed “Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.” Like Bradford Berenson, who served in the GWB White House, as associate White House counsel. He was a classmate of Obama’s. They served together on the Harvard Law Review. Berenson said this:

    You don’t become president of the Harvard Law Review, no matter how political, or how liberal the place is, by virtue of affirmative action, or by virtue of not being at the very top of your class in terms of legal ability. Barack was at the very top of his class in terms of legal ability. He had a first-class legal mind and, in my view, was selected to be president of the Review entirely on his merits

    Yup, there’s no question that “Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.”

    Here’s some more evidence that “Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt:”

    Apparently, while [Obama] was an editor of the Law Review, he was involved in the editing of a piece by Michael McConnell, who was a conservative constitutional law scholar who later was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Federal Court and was considered as a Supreme Court nominee, or was one of the people listed around the time of [Justice Samuel] Alito and [Chief Justice John] Roberts’ appointments.

    According to a professor at the University of Chicago, Douglas Baird, he got a call, or got a note, from Michael McConnell, who … was definitely an alumnus of the University of Chicago Law School, saying, “I encountered this really remarkable, brilliant guy at Harvard Law Review when they were working on my piece, and you should have this guy on your radar.” And so it was this very conservative legal scholar who brought Obama to the attention of the University of Chicago.

    So Douglas Baird called Obama up at Harvard Law School — I guess it must have been in his last year — and said, “Do you have any interest in teaching?” Because, Baird said to me, “We rarely get that kind of unqualified endorsement, particularly from someone as well-known and respected as McConnell.”

    And Obama said, “Well, no, actually. What I want to do is write this book.” This was at the moment where the newspaper articles and everything about his election had attracted the interest of publishers, and he’d gotten a book contract. So his first contact at the University of Chicago, which was where he later ended up teaching, was an attempt to just bring that guy there, since he was thought to be so sharp and worth following.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/choice2008/obama/harvard.html

    And this is aside from what I already cited. Kerr said “it was considered an extremely significant accomplishment among students to graduate magna.” Lindgren said “this emphasizes just how extraordinary Obama’s graduating magna cum laude at Harvard is … In traditional academic terms, Obama did better in school than any president in the last 40 years.

    Yup, there are some serious heavy hitters out there who are on record backing up what jwest said: that “Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.”

    Seriously man, I can’t fathom how anyone, even someone as terminally clueless as you, could decide this is the right way to attack Obama. You obviously think it’s a good idea because you see Trump doing it. It’s hard for me to pick one way to describe this dynamic. The blind leading the blind? The clueless leading the even more clueless?

    If there is one chapter in Obama’s life where there is a crystal-clear track record of outstanding performance, it’s his time at Harvard Law School. And that track record is documented in the form of numerous statements from all sorts of nationally known conservative law professors, judges and attorneys. Conservative lawyers who hate his guts (like Lindgren) realize that they still have to admit that Obama did a great job at HLS.

    But I’m sure lots of people are going to ignore all this evidence because jwest, world-famous right-wing internet wackjob and serial dissembler, thinks that “Obama’s abilities and qualifications were in serious doubt.” Actually, there are a lot of people who are going to ignore the evidence, but they’re the ones who are already members of your wackjob club. If you want to preach to that choir, have fun.

    Anyway, please don’t stop, whatever you do. You’re putting on a great show for us. My biggest problem is making sure I have enough popcorn.

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  144. wr says:

    Who are you going to believe — a famous right wing intellectual or an anonymous blog commenter who probably quit when middle school got too hard?

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  145. jukeboxgrad says:

    I know that might seem like a simple question to you, but jwest isn’t quite sure how to answer. But it’s OK, because he’s sure that Trump will know the right answer. So please sit tight while jwest tries to get through to Trump. Once he gets the correct answer from Trump, he’ll be getting back to us as soon as possible.

    Hey jwest, while you’re at it, I have a few questions about the hair. Would you mind passing them along for me? I don’t want to get into the details until I know that it’s OK with you and Mr. T.

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  146. […] not that new, it dates back to the 2008 elections, but its emphasis is new (apparently, thanks to Trump): Mr. Obama’s hostility to openness drives the public’s curiosity about the most basic […]

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