Author Topic: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes  (Read 13718 times)

Greg Davidson

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History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« on: September 17, 2016, 06:44:30 PM »
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As he was running for president, Al Gore said he'd invented the Internet; announced that he had personally discovered Love Canal, the most infamous toxic-waste site in the country; and bragged that he and Tipper had been the sole inspiration for the golden couple in Erich Segal's best-selling novel Love Story (made into a hit movie with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal)... Could such an obviously intelligent man have been so megalomaniacal and self-deluded to have actually said such things? Well, that's what the news media told us, anyway. 

Eight years ago, in the bastions of the "liberal media" that were supposed to love Gore—The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNN—he was variously described as "repellent," "delusional," a vote-rigger, a man who "lies like a rug," "Pinocchio"... Eight years later, journalists, at the prompting of Vanity Fair, are engaging in some self-examination over how they treated Gore.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/10/gore200710

Read the article - if you have memories of that election you can see where false memes were created, there's (some) acknowledgement of the soft expectations that led us to President George W. Bush. But mostly, it seems to echo the dynamic today where storytelling is really the core value of the media.   

[Note: this is not about the current state of the polls. As I think I have shared here earlier, I expect there to be multiple up-and-down cycles in polling, and after the date of the first debate there will be a whole new dynamic in play. I'd still bet strongly on Clinton beating Trump. But this does provide insight into one set of reasons as to why the election is so close)

Fenring

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 12:53:59 AM »
But mostly, it seems to echo the dynamic today where storytelling is really the core value of the media.

You've got my full agreement on this one, although I prefer to call it 'narrative creation.' The main distinction I have in mind being that storytelling tends to require a beginning, a middle and an end, whereas narrative creation requires no structure; only the putting out of a simple idea and repeating it.

TheDrake

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 09:52:03 AM »
From the article, in the Gore case, the media didn't create the narrative, Dick Armey and other Republicans did. They knew it would resonate with their base, who thinks government only stifles innovation and for whom the arrogance of a politician claiming any amount of credit would translate into campaign contributions.

It is interesting that the media wholesale substituted "invented" rather than using the original "created", but they are synonyms.

I think it is true that media can focus and reinforce one bad moment in a campaign, like Howard's Scream, that doesn't reflect an accurate portrayal of the candidate overall.

But of course there is going to be a narrative, otherwise we could all just read transcripts of speeches. Media will pick and choose which 15 seconds of an hour long speech to air.

The narrative in this case wasn't entirely wrong in my opinion. Gore did, and does, have a tendency to brag about his accomplishments. Now, that's certainly not unusual in a campaign, but it is his wording and delivery that led to the narrative. I don't think you could have just picked another politician and created that same narrative. It has its seeds in reality, despite the distortion.

John Kerry being asked about sports in his election was another narrative. He proudly claims to be a Red Sox fan but then names a fictional player mangled from the names of two different players "Manny Ortiz". You can take the treatment of that two ways.

1. The media pounced on Kerry for a simple slip of the tongue on an issue unrelated to his actual merit.
2. The media exposed some of Kerry's fundamental elitist character and caught him trying to pander.


rightleft22

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 02:01:27 PM »
Just finished reading seveneves by Neal Stephenson

One of the themes running though the book was the role narrative plays in control/politics and our future

Even with less than 1000 human survivors left in the world the control of narrative ends up playing a crucial role and arguably responsible for dropping that number to 7.

What I found interesting was that the engineers, scientists, and intellectuals that were in charge of the space station and keeping everyone alive saw the issue but did nothing about it which ending up costing a lot of lives.

They saw and experienced the power of narrative but a part of then was never able to believe that the majority of people would fall for an illogical reasoned narrative especially as the survival of the human race was at stake. They were wrong.

Neal also recognized a kind of fatalism from the engineers and scientist with regards to narrative as something that could not be fought against with reason.   

When it comes to narrative the ones that can disconnect themselves from fact, scientific method and reason have the advantage.

Fenring

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 02:26:15 PM »
Orwell gives us the nuts and bolts of 'narrative', along with a view of how it looks from the outside. Although the story is a first-person perspective the reader is always seeing the events that occur as an outsider, always aware of how absurd or disturbing those events are even if Winston doesn't. In that sense we are observing his experiences, but are not experiencing them ourselves.

For a different type of approach to narrative that gives a look at it from the inside, rather than the outside, I cannot recommend enough "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" by Robert Anton Wilson. The book's structure is considerably more sophisticated than Orwell's, as instead of a treatise we are actually subjected to the experience of narrative shifting on a continual basis, in a process Wilson himself called 'guerrilla ontology.' I will admit that reading it requires some patience, since its structure is non-linear and does not begin by explaining itself, and also requires some tolerance of a certain raunchiness and sexuality. However for a crash course in how much narrative is connected to sense of reality, and even world view, this book is one of the great teachers. It goes far further than the mere claim that a 'narrative' can convince people to believe something that's incorrect. In a sense that's just a minor special case of what narrative really does in the human mind. More properly, all of life is more or less interpreted through the lens of narrative, and a shifting narrative is literally a case of shifting reality. This is one reason why practitioners of magick (with a k) can correctly make the claim that they alter reality; it doesn't require Gandalf-type fireballs, but only the ability to influence how people perceive and understand things.

I think our general understanding of 'narrative' is woefully weak right now. Back in WWII the allies understood perfectly well that the fluid nature of one's sense of reality would allow them to undermine German intelligence by removing their ability to tell the difference between information and disinformation. The double-cross system was a success, and even with what they knew then they were far ahead of what the public today understands about what a person (or a group) requires as 'solid ground' on which to have some sort of trust in reality. Propaganda is an important, but still a small, part of what can happen when control of narrative is an unseen battle being fought without anyone being aware of it. "Is it true or is it a lie" is only one issue to tackle when presented with a 'story' being put out, and honestly it has as of now ceased to be even the most important issue.

Seriati

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2016, 03:22:42 PM »
Thanks for the laugh Greg.  Wow, what is that 100k words on how hard it was on Gore to be treated a little bit like a Republican.  Somehow, it was unfair that the press didn't throw away 8 years of him being a Vice President, and large public service before that and immediately allow him to reinvent himself.  Then of all horrors, they actually ran with his quotes (or things reasonably close to them)!   Sure, they got overplayed and even humorously exaggerated, but the one thing they have in common is that they were the kind of thing that a "Sanitation Engineer" puts on a resume to avoid saying they were a garbage collector. 

It's not like the press in real time wasn't even harsher with Bush, which completely undermines the reflective argument and revisionist history that the press failed to do its job by not protecting him (leading to the implied horrible consequence that we were treated out of a President we should have had).  This article is a bit of a joke on this point, it ignores how often comments on Gore were sarcasm and apparently anything negative about Bush (funny how I can remember it from the time though), and says such helpful things as, "...76 percent of stories about Gore in early 2000 focused on either the theme of his alleged lying or that he was marred by scandal...," without mentioning the context that Bill Clinton's Presidency ending in scandal was the most talked about topic of the political day.  Of course, they were discussing the taint on Gore as his Vice President, do you remember how many words were written on whether Gore should try to keep Bill at a distance?   

If you really believe this is an issue (and not just a situational issue when its applied to Democrats) then how do you take this CNN headline: "Trump says ‘racial profiling’ will stop terror,” which is based on this quote, "Israel has done an unbelievable job and they’ll profile. They profile. They see somebody that’s suspicious, they will profile. They will take that person in."

That's unbelievably further off than what you imply was misattributed to Gore, and that's only one of dozens of such manipulations in the last month.

velcro

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2016, 07:35:26 AM »
Seriati,

Great narrative.  Here are the facts about "inventing the internet".

From snopes:
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When asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied (in part):

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

They go on to say that if Eisenhower claimed to have taken the initiative in creating the Interstate Highway System, nobody would say he claimed to have invented the highway.  It was a gross distortion.  In fact, the people who actually contributed most to inventing the internet agree.

Can you point out a single instance of when George W. Bush was ridiculed by the press for something he didn't say?

velcro

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2016, 07:39:22 AM »
Oh, and by the way, Israelis use racial profiling.  They pretty much admit it, even if Trump won't.

velcro

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2016, 07:57:12 AM »
Just to clarify, can you point out a single instance of when George W. Bush was ridiculed by the press during the election season for something he didn't say? Just to be fair, we will use the same time frame as was used for Gore.

Seriati

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2016, 09:38:05 AM »
Velcro, I don't have much interest in playing a game where I spend hours looking for a white elephant.  You completely missed the point.  The media roasted Gore on that point, because Gore was a smarmy fellow that projected he should be elected because he was so much smarter than everyone else.  He self aggrandized repeatedly.  That's why these jabs by the media playing on his misstatements were so effective.

Bush on the other hand is one of the least articulate public speakers I've ever seen hold high elected office.  He virtually literally could not string together 3 unscripted sentences without making a misstatement or gaffe.  The press rightfully ridiculed him, mocked him and tore him apart on those points.  Bush got ridiculed for things he said but clearly didn't mean to say.  Not to mention, being panned real time for being a reckless party boy with a history of alcohol abuse and a questionable service record.

Why would anyone think the same style of attack is appropriate for different people? 

My objection is to the new concept that media has a duty to pursue their own biased versions of the truth (including treating their opinions as facts from which to spin their coverage) rather than to report on the facts and let others reach their own conclusions.  It reflects a disturbing belief by self-appointed elites that regular people can't understand the issues or can't be trust to reach the "correct" right thinking solutions.  It's not even one step away from the philosophy behind 1984.  This Gore piece is just an attempt to reinvent history in that model.

velcro

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 12:31:06 PM »
Seriati said
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The media roasted Gore on that point, because Gore was a smarmy fellow that projected he should be elected because he was so much smarter than everyone else.  He self aggrandized repeatedly.

Again, wonderful narrative, zero facts.  Your opinion of Gore is unproveable, because it consists solely of subjective impressions.  Your argument is that Gore was smarmy so the media was justified in "roasting" him by propagating complete misrepresentations of the truth.

"Inventing" the internet, discovering Love Canal, and the Love Story incident were proven to be substantive misquotes, taken out of context, or blown completely out of proportion.  You seem to think that there is a kernel of truth that Gore actually behaved as was reported, when in fact there is none.

You also said
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My objection is to the new concept that media has a duty to pursue their own biased versions of the truth (including treating their opinions as facts from which to spin their coverage) rather than to report on the facts and let others reach their own conclusions.

I agree.  Tell the facts about what Gore actually said, not the factually incorrect and biased versions that the media reported in 2000.  That's exactly what the Vanity Fair article did.

As far as the white elephant, you made a claim that Bush was treated more harshly than Gore.  I believe that calling out someone for something stupid that they did not do or say is harsh treatment.  That is what happened to Gore.  Calling out someone for something stupid that they did do or say is not harsh treatment, it is journalism. That is what happened to Bush, as you admit.  I asked for examples of harsh treatment, not reporting on actual shortcomings.

So if you don't have much interest in backing up your claim about Bush being treated more harshly, I won't ask you again.  But don't expect anyone to believe your claim if you refuse to back it up.



Seriati

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2016, 01:14:25 PM »
Seriati said
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The media roasted Gore on that point, because Gore was a smarmy fellow that projected he should be elected because he was so much smarter than everyone else.  He self aggrandized repeatedly.

Again, wonderful narrative, zero facts.  Your opinion of Gore is unproveable, because it consists solely of subjective impressions.

And?   You seem to think that other people shouldn't have or express opinions.  I don't care if you accept my analysis of Gore, or can't even comprehend why it could be true, or more significantly could have been the impression people had.  You're certainly free to reach a different conclusion.  The point on this one, was to explain why that specific tactic was effective against Gore, but would not have been as effective against Bush, not to make substantive arguments of fact about Gore. 

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Your argument is that Gore was smarmy so the media was justified in "roasting" him by propagating complete misrepresentations of the truth.

Except I never made any argument about anyone being justified.  That's just you projecting your own wishes about a strawman to argue against.

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"Inventing" the internet, discovering Love Canal, and the Love Story incident were proven to be substantive misquotes, taken out of context, or blown completely out of proportion.  You seem to think that there is a kernel of truth that Gore actually behaved as was reported, when in fact there is none.

You should limit yourself to what I said, rather than projecting about what I believe to be truth.  The vagueness in his own words is what led him into trouble, that's not a claim by anyone that the misquotes represented reality.

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I agree.  Tell the facts about what Gore actually said, not the factually incorrect and biased versions that the media reported in 2000.  That's exactly what the Vanity Fair article did.

And generally speaking, it was obvious at the time.  I read his actually quotes in real time.  The Vanity Fair puff piece didn't add anything substantive on how his quotes were used and misused.  What it did was try to use that as argument that the media should be manipulative and protect someone like Gore from his own decisions with respect to positioning himself.

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As far as the white elephant, you made a claim that Bush was treated more harshly than Gore.

Which is true.  But since you'll have a conniption over that statement, I'll add, "in my opinion."

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I believe that calling out someone for something stupid that they did not do or say is harsh treatment.  That is what happened to Gore.  Calling out someone for something stupid that they did do or say is not harsh treatment, it is journalism. That is what happened to Bush, as you admit.  I asked for examples of harsh treatment, not reporting on actual shortcomings.

Lol, you asked me, and doubled down on it, to specifically find an identical example to what happened to Gore in the world of Bush, which is exactly why I stated you completely missed the point and responded as I did.  It's a white elephant challenge, nothing more, nothing less.  Bush was treated worse, as is virtually every Republican candidate, but in completely different specific ways.

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So if you don't have much interest in backing up your claim about Bush being treated more harshly, I won't ask you again.  But don't expect anyone to believe your claim if you refuse to back it up.

I've never had any illusion that you'd believe any claim I make.  Nor when I back it up would you believe it.  Largely why I have no interest in pulling research to "prove" my own impressions from years of consuming media coverage in politics.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 01:16:32 PM by Seriati »

Fenring

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 02:45:59 PM »
Again, wonderful narrative, zero facts.  Your opinion of Gore is unproveable, because it consists solely of subjective impressions.  Your argument is that Gore was smarmy so the media was justified in "roasting" him by propagating complete misrepresentations of the truth.

To be fair, I was massively in favor of Gore winning at the time - to the point where I was stunned and outraged when Bush won - and even I will say 'smarmy' isn't such an inaccurate term to use about him. It's more or less commonly accepted by now that Gore blew his own election by being a 'smarty-pants'; not outrageously so, but he completely misunderstood the way the public would receive a guy showing off his own intelligence. In this sense, I can see the media trying to hoist him on his own petard as being directly correlated to his claim to being smart. That doesn't make it nice, but it explains why they went after him in that particular way.

TheDeamon

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 03:37:42 PM »
Just to clarify, can you point out a single instance of when George W. Bush was ridiculed by the press during the election season for something he didn't say? Just to be fair, we will use the same time frame as was used for Gore.

Off hand, I know Sarah Palin was creamed in 2008 over "I can see Russia from my back yard" and that was a statement from a celebrity impersonator on Saturday Night Live. Most people still attribute that line to Palin to this day.

AI Wessex

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 03:42:00 PM »
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It's more or less commonly accepted by now that Gore blew his own election by being a 'smarty-pants'; not outrageously so, but he completely misunderstood the way the public would receive a guy showing off his own intelligence.
I think rather he lost because 95,000 people voted for Nader in Florida and Gore lost by less than 600 votes.  The sad outcome of that tale is that we ended up with Bush and the unprecedented disasters he produced.  That's not to say that Republicans wouldn't have hated every minute of a Gore presidency, but consider how he might have acted differently and had different outcomes in foreign, domestic, military and economic areas.

The moral of the 2000 election is that a protest vote for a 3rd party candidate can have extremely dire consequences.  Instead of seeing an imperfect candidate you may generally agree with take office, you may get your worst nightmare.

Fenring

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2016, 04:05:09 PM »
The fact that it was that close to begin with was Gore's fault entirely.

TheDrake

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2016, 04:52:48 PM »

The moral of the 2000 election is that a protest vote for a 3rd party candidate can have extremely dire consequences.  Instead of seeing an imperfect candidate you may generally agree with take office, you may get your worst nightmare.

The moral of the 2000 election has been largely ignored by the Democratic Party. Find leaders who better represent the views of your base, and aren't disliked by the masses. If they had learned that lesson, Bernie Sanders would be their nominee this year.

With respect to Palin, the exchange that inspired the skit went like this:

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GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

I don't think she understood what an insight is, let alone have one. That's what made Tina Fey's representation funny as hell.

For more laughs, read through the transcript

AI Wessex

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2016, 06:12:33 PM »
The fact that it was that close to begin with was Gore's fault entirely.
Fenring, I really don't get you.  That sounds like the sort of thing you'd hear from a surrogate for Nader. It's Gore's fault that he didn't get enough votes to avoid having a 3rd party candidate take some of his potential supporters?  What exactly did he do/not do that you are blaming him for doing/not doing?

AI Wessex

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2016, 06:44:15 PM »
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The moral of the 2000 election has been largely ignored by the Democratic Party. Find leaders who better represent the views of your base, and aren't disliked by the masses. If they had learned that lesson, Bernie Sanders would be their nominee this year.
I think you have to take a bunch of immense leaps of political logic to come to that conclusion.  Until the day he announced his candidacy he wasn't even a Democrat, and continued to refer to himself as sometimes a Democrat and sometimes as an Independent.  He had no connection to the Democratic Party apparatus and effectively ran as an outsider to the Party, which he only joined to avoid the stigma of being labeled an irrelevant 3rd party candidate.  He made no attempt to align with the Party's positions and failed to gain more than a smattering of endorsements from any sitting Democrat in either the Senate or House.  So, instead of blaming it on the Party for not supporting him, I would say at least as much of the "blame" goes to Bernie for not working with the system.  If you don't do that, The System Strikes Back.

velcro

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2016, 09:45:50 PM »
Seriati wrote:

“You seem to think that other people shouldn't have or express opinions.”
You have no evidence to support this, and you really have no idea what I think, other than what I post.  Please stop assuming that you do. It is offensive behavior.

“But since you'll have a conniption over that statement”  Please stop being condescending and predicting that I will behave childishly. It is rude and obnoxious behavior.

“I've never had any illusion that you'd believe any claim I make.  Nor when I back it up would you believe it. “  Please stop claiming that I refuse to acknowledge facts when they are properly backed up.  That is a lie.  If you can find one single case of me refusing to acknowledge a fact when a reliable source is provided, I will donate $20 to the charity of your choice.  If you can not find one case, then retract your false claim.  Call that a conniption if you choose.  I call it refusing to be mislabeled by you.

Back to the facts.   Your post of 3:22 claims that the false quotes are reasonably close to accurate, that they are “overplayed” and “exaggerated”.  A reasonable person would assume that you thought they were essentially correct.

I pointed out that the quotes, specifically about inventing the internet, were not overplayed or exaggerated, or reasonably close, but completely different than what the original quote was.

Your response of 9:38 then explains that the media roasted Gore for a reason.  I assumed that since you thought the quotes were essentially accurate, that you agreed with that reason.  If you were simply saying that the media distorted the quotes because it fit the caricature that they already had, then you are absolutely correct and I agree with you.  I do find it interesting that you don’t condemn this, merely point it out, but I don’t have a problem with that. I concede that you explained why that tactic was used, and were not trying to justify it.

However, your previous statements implied that you thought the quotes were essentially true.  They are not.  Do you hold that opinion, or did I misinterpret your statement about “overplayed” and “exaggerating” meaning “true but stretched”?  There is no truth to them.  Words were substituted that drastically changed their meaning.  The words were not vague, ready to be misunderstood.  They were twisted.  And despite your comment, many claimed that the misquotes represented reality.  Read the Vanity Fair article.

“What it [Vanity Fair article] did was try to use that as argument that the media should be manipulative and protect someone like Gore from his own decisions with respect to positioning himself.”  No, it never said the media should protect Gore from his own decisions.  Please provide a quote from the article to support that.  What it did say was that the media was biased, and that the quotes were false.

You then insist that Bush was treated more harshly than Gore.  Say it all you want, but when asked for evidence, you provide nothing but insults that I won’t believe it if you provide it. 

Yes, Bush was treated differently.  Bush was mocked for things he said and did, and Gore was mocked for things he did not say or do.  You seem to claim they are equally harsh treatment, or actually Bush’s was worse, which defies all logic and reason.  If I am misinterpreting this, please correct me.

But in any case, you mention “specific ways” that Republican candidates are treated worse.  That means nothing, unless you provide facts or sources, or as you refer to them “white elephants”.  Please provide examples of how Republicans, in particular George Bush in 2008,  are treated worse than Gore was.  And if you claim that pointing out factual shortcomings is harsh, you really need to explain that.

DJQuag

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2016, 04:22:04 AM »
The fact that it was that close to begin with was Gore's fault entirely.
Fenring, I really don't get you.  That sounds like the sort of thing you'd hear from a surrogate for Nader. It's Gore's fault that he didn't get enough votes to avoid having a 3rd party candidate take some of his potential supporters?  What exactly did he do/not do that you are blaming him for doing/not doing?

I don't find it that hard to understand,  myself. It's pretty self evident. If it was a lack of Green Party votes that cost Gore the election, then he probably should have done more to work  for their votes. Of course, he didn't have to do that,  but it cost him the election.

DJQuag

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2016, 04:30:57 AM »
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The moral of the 2000 election has been largely ignored by the Democratic Party. Find leaders who better represent the views of your base, and aren't disliked by the masses. If they had learned that lesson, Bernie Sanders would be their nominee this year.
I think you have to take a bunch of immense leaps of political logic to come to that conclusion.  Until the day he announced his candidacy he wasn't even a Democrat, and continued to refer to himself as sometimes a Democrat and sometimes as an Independent.  He had no connection to the Democratic Party apparatus and effectively ran as an outsider to the Party, which he only joined to avoid the stigma of being labeled an irrelevant 3rd party candidate.  He made no attempt to align with the Party's positions and failed to gain more than a smattering of endorsements from any sitting Democrat in either the Senate or House.  So, instead of blaming it on the Party for not supporting him, I would say at least as much of the "blame" goes to Bernie for not working with the system.  If you don't do that, The System Strikes Back.

I think you're missing the point. The DNC chose in 2000 a candidate that was pretty disliked by the masses and who didn't raise much enthusiasm even in his own base. They lost because of it.

In 2016 a candidate comes along whose ability to inspire the base (and a voting bloc that almost never takes part, young people) hasn't been seen in a long time. A man who is respected even by people who don't agree with his positions. But because the DNC had already coronated Clinton as the next president a year or two ago, they tried to ignore him, and when that didn't work, they actively sandbagged him.

It's an absolute joke. If Clinton wins - if - it will be because she's running against a dumpster fire named Donald Trump. Against almost any other candidate she'd have been annihilated

AI Wessex

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2016, 05:22:51 AM »
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I don't find it that hard to understand,  myself. It's pretty self evident. If it was a lack of Green Party votes that cost Gore the election, then he probably should have done more to work  for their votes. Of course, he didn't have to do that,  but it cost him the election.
How much more work should Gore have done to whittle away at Nader's 2%?  Bush was obviously the formidable opponent Gore had to defeat.  There is also reasonable speculation that Gore lost because of Democrats who voted for Bush as a protest against Bill Clinton.  Gore wasn't a perfect candidate (no one is, including Saint Bernie), but with political races and parties being what they are (and they are what they are, not what people wish they would be), but blaming him for either of those groups of voters who didn't vote for him is just after the fact finger-pointing.

Wayward Son

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2016, 12:47:43 PM »
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If it was a lack of Green Party votes that cost Gore the election, then he probably should have done more to work  for their votes. Of course, he didn't have to do that,  but it cost him the election.

I don't think that is really a fair criticism, DJQuag.  The Green Party votes to Nader didn't make that big a difference.

I checked out the results on this map.  Among the states that Bush won, I found that the Green Party vote only made in difference in two states: New Hampshire and Florida.

Gore lost to Bush in New Hampshire 46.80% to 48.07%.  Nader's 3.90% of the vote would have tipped the scales.  But New Hampshire is only worth 4 electoral votes, which wouldn't have been enough to win.

So it still all came down to Florida.  Sure, if Gore had pulled off a few hundred of Nader's 1.63% of the votes, he would have won.  But he also would have won if he had gained a few hundred Buchanan votes, or Harry Browne votes, or even the Other votes.  Or if Bush had grabbed some of those, there wouldn't have been a Supreme Court case to decide.  Or if Bush had looked funny at the Marlins' pitcher.  Or if Gore had kissed one more baby in Florida.

When the vote count differs by 537 votes (+/- 1000 votes or so), you can assign the blame to just about any reason.  (Including butterfly ballots. ;))  There is no reason to assign it to Nader's votes over any other reason you can think of.

Wayward Son

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2016, 01:08:37 PM »
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But New Hampshire is only worth 4 electoral votes, which wouldn't have been enough to win.

Oops.  :-[

I double-checked the total electoral votes, 271 to 266.  The 4 votes from New Hampshire would have tipped the balance, to 267 to 270.  Just enough for Gore to win. :(

So gaining the Green Party would have won him the election by gaining him 1 or 2 more States.  I retract my point.  (Although the butterfly ballots still might have given Gore the win, too ;)).

Fenring

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2016, 01:59:48 PM »
So gaining the Green Party would have won him the election by gaining him 1 or 2 more States.  I retract my point.  (Although the butterfly ballots still might have given Gore the win, too ;)).

The irony being that with his subsequent work on climate change he basically did become a Green spokesperson.

TheDrake

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2016, 02:30:06 PM »
It is worth pointing out that Gore lost progressives (leftists, communists, what have you), but could have back filled with independents and centrists. He simply didn't appeal to enough people, and it is unclear that many of those people would have come out to vote for Gore - they might well have just stayed home.

If Trump loses, many will say that Gary Johnson cost him the election - possibly taking votes in Texas or other close states. I will say, however, that I'm a Johnson supporter and there's no way that I would support Trump. Or Hillary for that matter.

Many other countries really don't have this same concept of "wasted vote" - those with multiple parties regularly participating or who have parliamentary systems.

As far as Bush's treatment, there was that little chestnut from Dan Rather who propagated falsified documents about Bush going AWOL. The "awol" cry was started, continued and repeated by DNC and other outlets. This is similar to the Gore treatment, in that there was a nugget of truth behind it, but exaggerated to make him look far worse.

DJQuag

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2016, 02:53:40 PM »
I see your point, Wayward.  I guess I just get a little fed up with seeing Green voters and Nader blamed for Bush. It was Gore's job to convince enough voters to vote for him, and he failed. If, god forbid, Clinton loses, it will similarly be her fault.

AI Wessex

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2016, 04:39:01 PM »
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If Trump loses, many will say that Gary Johnson cost him the election - possibly taking votes in Texas or other close states. I will say, however, that I'm a Johnson supporter and there's no way that I would support Trump. Or Hillary for that matter.
The other day he couldn't come up with a single foreign leader that he admires.  He tried to name Shimon Peres, but Chris said it had to be somebody still alive, which stumped him.  Are you sure he gave up smoking dope for the duration of the election like he said he did?  His Aleppo moments are climbing up the ladder of signature events like Perry's 3 departments of government he would eliminate. I'm waiting for Weld to bail on him. 

Seriati

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2016, 03:36:28 PM »
Back to the facts.   Your post of 3:22 claims that the false quotes are reasonably close to accurate, that they are “overplayed” and “exaggerated”.  A reasonable person would assume that you thought they were essentially correct.

Depends on the quote, but no generally, I wasn't claiming they were "essentially" correct.  Gore's choice of words and phrasing contributed directly to the problem, as did his apparent desire to self promote. 

His quote on Love Story, appears to confirm the statement the way someone trying to be modest might do so.  Is it really odd, for someone to read that and see it as a confirmation by Gore? 

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I pointed out that the quotes, specifically about inventing the internet, were not overplayed or exaggerated, or reasonably close, but completely different than what the original quote was.

His internet quote?  "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."  Is clearly self aggrandizement, and an exaggeration of his role (not to downplay what he did).  How can you claim its not?  The direct quote was used against him, the twist to the misquote of "invented" was definitely more malicious/humorous and was also used against him.  Both his statement and the sillier misquote were untrue exaggerations.  I definitely grant you that the misquote was believed to be what he actually said by some people.

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However, your previous statements implied that you thought the quotes were essentially true.  They are not.  Do you hold that opinion, or did I misinterpret your statement about “overplayed” and “exaggerating” meaning “true but stretched”?  There is no truth to them.

Well, you have to be generous on the Love Story quote, since it was used without any changes.  The Love Canal one on the other hand had a clear change in meaning where it was misquoted (by the way there was no misquote on the "discovering" part, just a poor choice of wording that could be easily sound-bited, which happens to all politicians).

The Internet one was not true.  But then again, neither was the correct quote.

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Words were substituted that drastically changed their meaning.  The words were not vague, ready to be misunderstood.  They were twisted.  And despite your comment, many claimed that the misquotes represented reality.  Read the Vanity Fair article.

By the way, in the three I just referenced for you, a total of two words were changed.  In Love Canal that was a drastic change in meaning.  I'm not convinced that "taking the initiative in creating the Internet" is drastically different than "invented the Internet," though it's definitely different, the former might be the quote of the guy for whom a scientist that says the second works.  You'd still expect a causative role.  They are both overstatements of Gore's role in the process.

TheDrake

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2016, 12:10:19 PM »
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If Trump loses, many will say that Gary Johnson cost him the election - possibly taking votes in Texas or other close states. I will say, however, that I'm a Johnson supporter and there's no way that I would support Trump. Or Hillary for that matter.
The other day he couldn't come up with a single foreign leader that he admires.  He tried to name Shimon Peres, but Chris said it had to be somebody still alive, which stumped him.  Are you sure he gave up smoking dope for the duration of the election like he said he did?  His Aleppo moments are climbing up the ladder of signature events like Perry's 3 departments of government he would eliminate. I'm waiting for Weld to bail on him.

I'd have a hard time coming up with a foreign leader that I admire, or a domestic one for that matter. Given that Gary is an isolationist, it isn't too surprising. His recent statements clarify that he's skeptical of all politicians and he realises that as soon as he names someone he will be put on the spot to defend their least admirable actions and policies.

I like "none of the above" better than Trump's presumed answer - Vladimir Putin.




D.W.

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2016, 12:16:51 PM »
Depends on HOW you answer and not WHAT you answer (or don't).  If it comes across as "I'm flustered and can't name any..." that's bad.  If it's as you suggest and you dodge with, "I don't look to politicians for my role models" that's a good answer.  :)

TheDeamon

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Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2016, 05:18:48 PM »
I like "none of the above" better than Trump's presumed answer - Vladimir Putin.

I think probably the better option, rather than opting to decline(and be claimed as ignorant), is to instead assert that "Nobody is perfect, and most people will have at least one trait people should find admirable. That doesn't mean everything about them should be admired. That said, I admire (insert name) for his/her (insert trait here)."

Which would actually allow Trump to claim Putin, depending on which traits he finds admirable in Putin. It also makes it harder for people to counter-attack the claim, as they're then having to demonstrate why that particular trait, as demonstrated by that leader, is NOT admirable. Rather than leaving an opening for people going over that leaders life history and coming up with some obscure trivia item to bushwhack you with.