The Progressive Puritans

Liberals are not judgmental about premarital and non-marital consensual sex. We don’t usually care about extramarital sex either unless it involves public officials and then it’s only relevance is what it tells us of their honesty and judgment.

We basically don’t get involved in condemning conduct on the basis of morality, just legality. If the conduct is legal, it’s nobody else’s business,  That’s what it says on page 47, paragraph 3-A of the Liberal Handbook.

Liberals also believe in the right to privacy. Absent some compelling reason, the state should not stick its nose into the personal lives of anyone. Not only that, but we believe that medical and other records should be confidential, and that no one should be able to see someone private records without permission. Page 83, paragraph 16-B of the Liberal Handbook.

Finally, it is an article of faith among liberals that a woman’s body belongs to her and her alone, and that no one else has the right to make decisions about her body except her. That includes sex, contraception, pregnancy, abortion, childbirth and sterilization, as well as marriage and divorce.  Although we do not approve of underage sex, for pragmatic reasons we believe that minors who are sexually active should have information on and access to contraception, protection and/or treatment of STD’s, pregnancy testing, prenatal care, and abortion, without parental notification or consent. That is on page 3, paragraph 1-A of the Liberal handbook, under the heading “A Woman’s Right to Choose.”

Apparently, progressives do not agree with those ideas. As evidenced by the recent behavior of the “progressive blogosphere” regarding Governor Sarah Palin, her infant son and her teenage daughter, morality will now be investigated and controlled by the Progressive Puritans of the Left. I have here the relevant sections of their sexual morality rulebook:

1. Henceforth, all female candidates for public office will be required to submit detailed sexual histories and all relevant medical records, so that their purity and virtue can be assessed. Any woman who gives birth less than nine months after her wedding day will need her OB/Gyn to certify that the child was premature.

2. Any unmarried daughters over the age of 12 of all candidates will be required to submit to an examination to verify that their hymens are intact. Any candidate whose daughter(s) have been deflowered will be disqualified from office.

3. All newlywed brides who are not widows will be required to produce a bloody bed sheet the morning after the wedding. Any woman who is not pure and innocent on the day of her wedding should be denounced by the groom and the wedding annulled.

4. All women who are visibly pregnant must remain from public view until after the child is born. Breastfeeding in public shall be a crime. Any woman who becomes pregnant from consensual sex outside of wedlock will be required to wear a large red “A” on the outside of her clothing for the remainder of her life.

5. Wanton and/or promiscuous women shall be shunned, and may be banished from the community with their heads shaved as a mark of shame. Woman who dress lewdly or provocatively in public may be whipped by the morality police who shall patrol the streets of our communities. Any woman who exposes more than the minimally necessary amount of flesh shall be deemed to be dressed lewdly, and any woman whose clothes fit snugly so as to reveal the shape of her “humps” shall be deemed to be dressed provocatively.

6. Any woman who dishonors her husband, father or family may be summarily executed without trial by the man she has dishonored or an adult male member of her family.  If a married woman is executed by her father or male family member, the husband shall be entitled to compensation or a replacement wife.  Any woman who has engaged in non-consensual sex with a man other than her husband shall be considered dishonored unless she promptly marries the man.

I was just snarking, there are no Progressive Puritans and no new rules of sexual morality.  However, most of the rules above either were or still are the law and/or custom of a male-dominated culture, including our culture.  Supposedly, we have moved beyond treating women like property and talking about purity, honor and shame in relation to sexuality. 

But then the so-called progressive blogosphere proved that wasn’t true when it put on a disgusting and embarrassing spectacle over the weekend.  I don’t even want to rehash the details, it was so bad.  The National Enquirer, which is the epitome of sleazy tabloid journalism, has never sunk as low as these guys did  Actually, the Enquirer is better than its reputation, and the progressive blogosphere far, far worse than theirs.  Out went ethics, principles and any sense of decency, and in came a fresh batch of sexism and misogyny.

The liberal (PUMA) blogosphere was horrified and outraged, as were non-PUMA feminists, the Republicans and just about every sane person who doesn’t mainline Kool-aid.  Even some hardcore Obama supporters such as John Cole at Balloon Juice (who almost never agrees with me about anything) thought the behavior was out of line.  The rationalizations for Babygate I, II, and III don’t hold water and reek to high heaven.

When Senator Barack Obama was asked on Monday for his reaction, he stated that it was his position that families of candidates, and especially their children, are off limits.  Jake Tapper has more:

 Asked about the insinuation from the McCain campaign that the liberal bloggers trafficking in rumors about Palin write for websites that mention Obama, the senator said, “I’m offended by that.”

The Democratic presidential nominee said, “There is no evidence at all that any of this involved us. I hope I am as clear as can be – so in case I’m not, let me repeat: We don’t go after people’s families, we don’t get them involved in the politics. It’s not appropriate and it’s not relevant.”

Concluded Obama before getting on his campaign bus headed to Milwaukee, Wisc., “Our people were not involved in any way in this and they will not be. And if I ever thought that it was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

First of all, let me say that the fact that he had to say anything at all is disgusting and disturbing.  Mature, sane adults should already know better and not need to be told.  Secondly, I have no evidence to contradict Senator Obama’s denial of involvement.  None.

But the sleazefest began Friday afternoon or early Saturday, and it was prominently discussed throughout the entire blogosphere all weekend, and also in the traditional media.  The blogs and bloggers that were pushing the various Babygate rumors and defamatory accusations are all avid supporters of Senator Obama.  John Avarosis at Americablog, was involved, as was Dailykos and Andrew Sullivan.  They were not the only participants.

The Obama campaign brags about its use of technology and its internet savvy.  They have demonstrated the ability to quickly disseminate their talking points through the internet.  It is rumored (but unproven) that David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager, employs as many as 400 bloggers as part of the campaign.  Axelrod is also know for “astroturfing,” which is when false “grassroots” organizations are created to influence public opinion and/or political decisions.

But Senator Obama made no statement, nor did his campaign, until he was asked about the controversy on Monday.  Is it really possible that he and his campaign were completely unaware of what was happening?  He obviously was informed by Monday, but what exactly did he know and when did he know it?  I find it laughable for anyone to assert that the Obama campaign was unaware.  If they were, they are incompetent,  Monitoring the blogosphere and the media is now standard campaign procedure.

So we can reasonably assume the Obama campaign was aware of the controversy, even if they were completely uninvolved.  But shouldn’t a candidate whose supporters are acting inappropriately, outrageously and offensively take some action to either rein them in or to denounce their behavior when it is done on his behalf, even if their actions are unauthorized?

The reason I mention this is because during the primaries we saw a pattern emerge.  Surrogates and supporters of Senator Obama would make statements regarding something Hillary or Bill Clinton, or one of Hillary’s supporters had allegedly said or done, the media and blogosphere would give it lots of attention, and then as the story was losing steam (or beginning to backfire) Senator Obama would make some pious and tepid statement dismissing the controversy and that everyone should move on.

In the days leading up to the South Carolina primary there was a controversy regarding alleged racist or racially offensive statements made by Hillary and Bill Clinton.  These included her statement regarding MLK and LBJ, and Bill’s “fairy tale” comment.  The story raged through the left blogosphere as Obama and Hillary supporters argued as to the meaning and intent of the statements, and the print and television media gave it lots of coverage.

Then on January 12th, Huffington Post reported:

The Obama campaign recently prepared a detailed memo, obtained by the Huffington Post and made public elsewhere, listing various instances in which it perceived the Clinton’s campaign to have deliberately played the race card in the Democratic primary.

Shortly after news of the memo was reported, the Obama campaign backed off the issue and announced it was time to move on. 

Shortly before the ABC debate in Pennsylvania on April 16th, a controversy erupted over Hillary Clinton’s misleading statement regarding her visit to Tuzla while she was First Lady.  During the debate she was asked about it and she admitted she had misstated events and apologized.  Then the questioning shifted to Senator Obama:

STEPHANOPOULOS:Senator Obama, your campaign has sent out a cascade of e-mails just about every day, questioning Senator Clinton’s credibility. And you, yourself, said she hasn’t been fully truthful about what she would do as president. Do you believe that Senator Clinton has been fully truthful about her past?

OBAMA: Well, look, I think that Senator Clinton has a strong record to run on. She wouldn’t be here if she didn’t.

And, you know, I haven’t commented on the issue of Bosnia. You know, I…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign has.

OBAMA: Of course. But the — because we’re asked about it.

(emphasis added)

A cascade of emails implies internet access, doesn’t it?  Obama denied involvement, but admitted his campaign was involved but blamed the media for asking.  What ever happened to “No comment” in response to questions?  In any event, we heard little about Tuzla after that evening.

Then on May 23rd, Senator Clinton was interviewed by the editorial board of the Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota and was asked why she was continuing her campaign.  In her response, she mentioned the assassination of Bobby Kennedy had occurred in June.  The Obama campaign issued an immediate statement condemning what Hillary had said, and the pro-Obama blogs and MSNBC fauxraged over the statement, claiming the Hillary was hoping Obama would be assassinated, or worse, that she was suggesting that someone attempt to do so.

After two days the story began to lose steam, and on May 25th Obama stated “Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it, and I will take her at her word on that.”   Later it was reported that the Obama campaign continued to circulate commentaries criticizing Clinton even after Obama said he wanted to move on.

So here’s the pattern:

1.  A negative story about Hillary splashes across the blogosphere, usually centered around the pro-Obama blogs and bloggers, and gets picked up my the media, notably but not exclusively by MSNBC

2.  The Obama campaign prepares internal talking points, sends emails to reporters, and/or circulates commentaries regarding the story

3.  Days later, Obama makes a statement regarding the story, downplaying it and stating that everyone should move on.  Not immediately, but days later

4.  In none of the incidents did Obama take action immediately to end the controversy, nor did he specifically denounce or condemn anyone involved.

5.  When the Obama campaign was shown to be pushing a story, Senator Obama acted promptly to put an end to the controversy, but never admitted any wrongdoing

How does that pattern compare to the reaction of the pro-Obama blogs and media to the announcement of Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain’s Vice Presidential nominee? 

I see a pattern here, what about you?  Can you think of any more examples?

“Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.”

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14 Responses to The Progressive Puritans

  1. HT says:

    Excellent summary of one of the most devious, dirtiest campaigns in my long recollection. Obama makes Nixon look like an amateur.
    How vile can they get? Remains to be seen, I suppose.

  2. edgeoforever says:

    Fantastic post! Not for a second do I believe Obama didn’t know what was going on. His lame indignation echoed W’s during the swiftboating. Just as his surrogates continued, so did Donna declare “Bristol Palin is fair game” Ovama;s indignation notwithstanding. They are scum!

  3. Elaine says:

    Not only is Obama’s smear tactic clear in this election; it was a tactic he used back in Chicago. Some very mysterious things happened to his opponents — like sealed divorce records becoming public.

  4. jackyt says:

    In her epilogue to The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood pointed out that every control of women and their bodies described in that “novel” existed somewhere in the world at that time (I think mid-80’s). Now, it seems, the belief in the “rightness” of public ownership of any/every female’s body, life details, reputation is accepted and promulgated in the supposedly “Left” blogosphere and the MSM.

    I think there is an opening for a whole new Left Behind series based on s$$holes purporting to be political progressives.

  5. justus949 says:

    WOW! excellent post! hope this is read far and wide.

  6. merciless says:

    My favorite part of this whole smelly business is how the blogger boyz are feigning complete innocence. On MyDD yesterday, and LGM today (I can’t bear to read the Orange) there was shock! shock! that anyone would insinuate that “liberal bloggers” pushed this story.

    Oh sure, they said, maybe a stray kos diary or some such, and of course Sully (but you know how Sully is, lol), but really, nobody else.

    It’s astonishing, really, that none of them seem to read their own blogs. It’s also astonishing that none of the blogger boyz want to admit that the MSM boyz read them now. They read each other. It’s a game the whole family can play, and they’re in the game now.

    BTD at TalkLeft has bowed out of posting for the time being, because he just can’t bear it any more.

    Molly Ivins once said, about a completely unrelated topic, that it was like opening your refrigerator and finding Fidel Castro inside, smoking a cigar. You just don’t know what to think. Oh how I miss Molly.

  7. sister of ye says:

    Obama’s statement merely mean that his kids are off limits, no matter how many times he put them onstage so show what a fine daddy he is. Just like his medical records are off limits, his birth certificate doesn’t need to be produced, his college record can’t be scrutinized, and on and on.

    Kinda reminds me of missing national guard records and DUI arrests that disappeared off the books. We asked for the Dems to be fighters for our principles; instead they give us Karl Rove: The Sequel.

  8. scoutt says:

    Is this the wonderful myiq2xu that i see at talkleft (i seem to be dropping by there less and less) and corrente?

  9. Sharon says:

    The Obamabots will surely make voters turn away in revulsion.

  10. nwbblu says:

    How can Obama claim ignorance? Just so, Bush protested his ignorance about the outing of Valerie Plame and threatened to fire anyone who had anything to do with it.

    At the moment, we may not have direct evidence for the patterned deployment of forces. It will likely surface one day. Obama rides to the rescue a few days after his wayward spokes-folks have cued the shrieking blast. We deduce the hand of Obama/Axelrod in the pattern because, well, who else could it be? It would be naive and tragic on our parts to think that the shrieking blast doesn’t have handlers. Come to think of it, David Axelrod recently admitted to racializing the Clintons in SC because Obama was in a bit of a fix there.

    Who made the ravening mob’s behavior acceptable in the first place? Obama did. His effectiveness depends upon his real narrative going un(der)reported. Long before the shameful and irrational national gasp at Hillary Clinton’s knowledge of the Civil Rights Act, Obama’s campaign talk was an unremitting drip of ridicule, innuendo, and lies against her. No wonder it became an inundation. His rallies and his campaign’s mailers were stamped with the same brand of political poison. And he has never stopped. Yet his venomous rhetoric toward her, or anyone who gets in his way, melts into the background, a private drone to the public song-and-dance replayed daily by every type of media outlet.

    With each campaign stop he has been courting the worst in us, delivering his battle plan, and maintaining its direction and thrust. He brags about running a huge campaign. In the end, he can’t deny that his role as director of his own campaign is not connected to its patterns. The blanket derogation of Hillary Clinton and her supporters, and now Sarah Palin, has been punctuated by intermittent blameworthy “misstatements”/corrective adjustments or other types of boiling-over in the public view. This is the immanent aspect of a well-tended environment of latent hatred and semantic contagion. IMHO.

  11. orionATL says:

    myq –

    hey you’ve go your own blog.

    nice work.

    this is a fine little essay on obama campaign tactics.

  12. dupager says:

    There’s one more rule that needs to go in the Progressive Puritan handbook.

    A married woman with an unfaithful husband shall be deemed the major cause of his unfaithfulness and her sexual appeal shall be dragged before the public and exposed in the public square to be evaluated and judged by the community just as her sexual orientation shall be called into question and mocked.

  13. dupager says:

    Oh, subclause 1:
    Goes double if the woman seeks high political office and/or her unfaithful husband is a current or former Democratic President loathed by progressives.

  14. bert says:

    I too have observed the same pattern. IF Obama was a statesman each time something came up he could show how Presidential he is, or at the very least how statesman like. For instance, using the Geraldine Ferraro case , he could have said, I know Geraldine Ferraro and I know she is not a racist. So I am asking my supporters to respect Ms Ferraro as I do for her ground breaking run to end racism, sexism, and all ism from our Party and our nation.

    But no, that is nor how Obama behaves. Whether he is or is not behind these lines of attack (and I think he is) he could do a lot to stop them. Yet he chooses not to. That tells me all I need to know about this man’s character.

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