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Friday, February 15, 2008

Christine Flowers is a Hack

Christine Flowers has an Op-Ed in the Daily News today where she joins in the longtime hack tradition of asking a candidate a series of "hard" questions and declaring that the candidate can't answer them. Of course, like all hacks, the question becomes "Lying or stupid?"

Will Bunch does a great job of directing Flowers to the answers, and suggests that she learn to use the google before sitting down to make an ass out of herself in front of the entire city of Philadelphia. Frankly, I think that Flowers was genuinly ignorant of the abundance of policy papers and proposals that have been producded by the Obama campaign. Anyone familiar with even their existence, let alone their substance, would be too embarrassed to write the column that she did.

I want to discuss this phenomena a little more broadly than just as it pertains to the shameful Christine Flowers. I have heard more than once that because Obama is an inspiring speaker but an empty suit. In fact, in our debate with the College Republicans, Mulgrew kept whining "Where are his ideas? Democrats have no plans!"

As I pointed out to Mulgrew, just name the issue and it takes all of 0.04 seconds to google the information you're looking for. Or better yet, go to the candidates websites, and click the buttons that say "issues." I mentioned this in the debate, but if you go to Barack Obama's website and click on the Energy page, a topic important to me personally, you see a detailed overview of his plan. Sen. Obama has an 11 page pdf that you can download that highlights the points of his plan is significant detail. Similarly for the environment page, which offers an 8 page pdf plan.

When you click over to McCain's page, you can find only a single page that covers both energy and the environment, and it is indeed filled with empty platitudes. It contains five short paragraphs that offer no specifics, only vague generalities about protecting the environment and becoming energy independent. I ask you, who is the more serious candidate with the serious plans?

Of course, Mulgrew ignorantly snorted that you "shouldn't use candidates websites for research" (about where the candidates stand? Can someone explain that to me? Mulgrew? wtf?)

Even allowing for Mulgrew's virulent ignorance, I've heard this basic sentiment expressed before. I've even whined about it before on this blog. The bottom line is that when you whine that a candidate doesn't offer enough specifics in a particular speech, you sound like an idiot for not doing some basic research to discover what the candidates positions are. Sen. Obama has a 64 page "Blueprint for Change" that outlines his major policy proposals available to download right there on his website. In fact, here, download it now.

So please, don't let me catch you saying that Obama (or Hillary, but I havn't heard anyone say that) is long on rhetoric but short on details. It only betrays ignorance, and if I catch you, I will call you out! Right Will?

P.S.- I noticed that at the bottom of all of Christine Flowers' op-eds it says "Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer." Does anyone else remember SNL when Tracy Morgan would play Star Jones on The View? "Did I mention I'm a lawyer?!"

Click "There's more..." and I'll explain why that's such an infuriatingly ignorant sentiment.