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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Clintons and Loyalty

It appears increasingly that the concept of loyalty is of the utmost importance to the Clintons. Their little attack viper Carville called Richardson all sorts of names after he endorsed Obama; I think Bill was quoted as speaking out as well, in essence complaining about being betrayed; and now, for the second time, Hillary has been very reluctant to be honest or engage in any kind of confrontation with a loyalist.

Which raises the question; which people (or companies, or countries) do the Clintons have loyalty to, and do those loyalties run counter to the interests of American citizens? You simply have to assume that if such relationships and loyalties exist, that the Clintons will repay them (a la BushCo & Big Oil).

Penn ousting follows months of bad blood - CNN.com
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Mark Penn's decision to step down as Hillary Clinton's chief strategist comes after months of bitter campaign infighting over disappointing performance and questionable judgment.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Clinton campaign surrogate, told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that there were a "lot of issues" which might call for the senior adviser's resignation.

Penn was widely criticized after acknowledging Friday he had met with the Colombian ambassador to the United States earlier in the week to discuss the pending U.S.-Colombia trade pact, which Clinton has criticized on the campaign trail.

Penn said he was meeting on behalf of his public relations firm.

In the days between the first reports of that session and his resignation Sunday night, Penn was conspicuously short of defenders from the Clinton camp, some of whom had been openly anxious to see his exit for months.

The dynamic within the campaign had devolved to the point where senior staffers got into shouting matches with Penn, all sides hurling profanity at each other in exchanges that made their way into news accounts.

Penn, who had guided former President Bill Clinton's re-election bid to victory in 1996, was serving as both chief strategist and chief pollster -- an unusual dual role that translated into million-dollar paydays some months. Watch what the resignation could mean for Clinton ¬Ľ

Drawing even more grumbling from within the Clinton team: Penn never gave up his day jobs as CEO of public relations giant Burson-Marsteller and president of Penn, Schoen and Berland, his political consulting firm. Senior Clinton advisers derided him publicly -- both anonymously and openly -- after Clinton fell short in Iowa.

Penn's strategy, which emphasized Clinton's experience, toughness and inevitability, was heavily debated within the campaign, with many supporters blaming it for Barack Obama's emergence as the candidate of "change." This approach met stiff resistance from other aides, who said voters were instead looking for hints of warmth from Clinton.

Penn also pushed the "big states" strategy that essentially ceded smaller states and caucuses to Obama. Some say this enabled the huge victory margins that translated into what is now a nearly-insurmountable pledged delegate lead for Obama.

After Clinton didn't do as well as she hoped on Super Tuesday -- a date when staffers had long predicted she would virtually wrap up the nomination -- campaign senior adviser Harold Ickes told the New York Observer that Penn's claim that he did not bear responsibility for her performance didn't hold water, and that the strategist was "the single most responsible person for this campaign" besides the candidate herself.

But after Clinton bounced back with strong showings in Ohio and Texas on March 4, some staffers insisted Penn did not deserve the credit for those victories.

Like Patti Solis Doyle -- another longtime Clinton adviser who kept her post as campaign manager despite harsh criticism within the ranks -- Penn stayed on for months as the internal discord became a constant theme in campaign coverage.

His departure followed the same arc as Solis Doyle's: Clinton was reluctant to cut ties to the longtime loyalist, despite persistent grumbling from some of her team over lackluster campaign performance.

Donors began to complain loudly, followed by the hiring of a replacement -- ostensibly in an advisory role. In Penn's case, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin was brought in to plot long-term strategy along with communications director Howard Wolfson. Finally, a crisis moment led to a transition from leadership to an "advisory role."

Penn and his political consulting firm will continue to advise the New York senator's Democratic presidential bid, but Penn will give up his job as chief strategist, campaign manager Maggie Williams said.

Penn called his meeting with the Colombian ambassador "an error in judgment that will not be repeated," and apologized. That prompted Colombia's government to fire the company Saturday, calling the remarks "a lack of respect to Colombians."

Penn said Friday that Clinton's opposition to the U.S.-Colombia pact, which the Bush administration is trying to push through Congress, "is clear and was not discussed" during his meeting with the ambassador. And Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said Penn's meeting was "not in any way done on behalf of the campaign."

Clinton did not answer reporters' questions about Penn's exit during a campaign stop in New Mexico on Sunday.

Sources in the Clinton campaign said Penn realized this weekend he needed to step aside, and Clinton was disappointed he met with the Colombians.

Clinton's campaign paid Penn, Schoen and Berland more than $6 million by the end of February and owed the firm $2.5 million, according to her campaign finance reports.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 02:32 PM
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After 500 yrs, we are still a feudalistic society , if not by law, by common practice.
The vassals proclaim loyalty and subservience to the king and in return,
the king provides protection and share common benefits.

Well, the Clintons are desperate enough now to say it loud. I am waiting for the upcoming
racial bomb (the final nuclear option).

Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
It appears increasingly that the concept of loyalty is of the utmost importance to the Clintons. Their little attack viper Carville called Richardson all sorts of names after he endorsed Obama; I think Bill was quoted as speaking out as well, in essence complaining about being betrayed; and now, for the second time, Hillary has been very reluctant to be honest or engage in any kind of confrontation with a loyalist.

Which raises the question; which people (or companies, or countries) do the Clintons have loyalty to, and do those loyalties run counter to the interests of American citizens? You simply have to assume that if such relationships and loyalties exist, that the Clintons will repay them (a la BushCo & Big Oil).
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 02:40 PM
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Personal loyalty is in direct conflict with public service. The suggestion is that if Bush or Clinton favor personal loyalty, that loyalty is at the expense of loyalty to their country.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Personal loyalty is in direct conflict with public service. The suggestion is that if Bush or Clinton favor personal loyalty, that loyalty is at the expense of loyalty to their country.


That's the most prolific thing I have read on OT this month, of course it is only the 8th of the month.....................
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
Personal loyalty is in direct conflict with public service. The suggestion is that if Bush or Clinton favor personal loyalty, that loyalty is at the expense of loyalty to their country.
^^^^ What he said ^^^^

McBear,
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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 06:49 PM
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That's the whole point of living in a culture of law rather than connections. The mention of feudalism is an excellent one. We have pretty much left our clan/tribal affiliations back in the home country. We haven't quite succeeded in ridding ourselves of this personal loyalty stuff. We also have to work on the ethnicity/religion things.

It takes a lot of work to get there, but at least this country is trying, though we stumble and screw it up with depressing frequency.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2008, 07:42 PM
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Culture and Conflict in the Middle East
By Philip Carl Salzman
Humanity Books
224 pages, $34.95

On the morning of August 29, 1911, a half-starved Indian stumbled down from a remote canyon near California's Mount Lassen and surrendered at the corral of a nearby slaughterhouse. Reluctant, in accordance with tribal custom, to divulge his personal name, he called himself simply "Ishi," or "Man." It took an anthropologist working with phonetically transcribed records of historic Indian languages to establish communication and identify Ishi as the last-known member of the Yahi tribe.

The Yahi were fierce predatory raiders--as were hill tribesmen the world over with their remote sanctuaries and a lack of property to defend. Lowland Indians feared them, and the Yahi offered the stiffest resistance to the flood of settlers who entered California during the 1850s Gold Rush. In the end all but a few dozen of the several hundred Yahi were killed, and the survivors vanished into the remotest parts of their mountain territory, living a life of concealment, at bare subsistence level, for 40 years. The renowned anthropologist Alfred Kroeber dubbed this refugee group "the smallest free nation in the world." Ethnologists of the day considered the Yahi way of life during the four-decade concealment "the most totally aboriginal and primitive of any on the continent."

I thought of Ishi while reading Philip Carl Salzman's new book, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East (Humanity Books, 224 pages, $34.95). It is a major event: the most penetrating, reliable, systematic, and theoretically sophisticated effort yet made to understand the Islamist challenge the United States is facing in cultural terms. A professor of anthropology at Montreal's McGill University, Salzman specializes in the study of Middle Eastern nomads. He, too, is something of a last survivor of a once proud band. What Salzman has managed is to have preserved, nurtured, deepened, and applied to our current challenge a once-dominant anthropological perspective on tribal societies: the study of tribes organized into "segmentary lineages." It was one of the great achievements of modern anthropology. Yet, over the past 40 years, scholars have largely rejected and forgotten the study of segmentary lineage systems.

Nearly a century after Ishi's surrender, the United States finds itself locked in a struggle with fierce jihadi warriors shaped by the pervasively tribal culture of the Islamic Near East. Whether hidden in the mountain sanctuaries of Waziristan or in the fastness of the Iraqi desert, the heart of the jihadi rebellion is tribal. The classic tribal themes of honor and solidarity inspire and draw recruits to the cause--from among lowland peasants and educated urbanites as well. Yet tribalism has been vastly overshadowed by Islam in our attempts to understand the jihadist challenge.

The anthropological understanding of tribal social structures--especially in Africa and the Middle East--has been shunned for 40 years as exaggerating the violence and "primitivism" of non-Western cultures, discouraging efforts at modernization and democratization, and covertly justifying Western intervention abroad. Decades of postmodern and postcolonial studies have conspired against the appearance of books like Salzman's. That an academic, "on the inside," could have worked in relative concealment long enough to produce this book is testament to the possibility of cultural survival. Indeed, fully appreciating what Salzman has to teach us will first require us to dust off our records of his all-but-forgotten language, and trace the trajectory of its destruction.

As with other fundamental sociological terms like "state" or "class," it is difficult to provide a precise meaning for the word "tribe." Whatever their similarities, there are important differences between relatively small hunter-gatherer Indian bands in the California hills like the Yahi and large Middle Eastern tribes professing a world religion and interacting in complex ways with nearby states.

In the Islamic Near East, however, the term "tribe" has a fairly specific meaning. Middle Eastern tribes think of themselves as giant lineages, traced through the male line, from some eponymous ancestor. Each giant lineage divides into tribal segments, which subdivide into clans, which in turn divide into sub-clans, and so on, down to families, in which cousins may be pitted against cousins or, ultimately, brother against brother. Traditionally existing outside the police powers of the state, Middle Eastern tribes keep order through a complex balance of power between these ever fusing and segmenting ancestral groups.

The central institution of segmentary tribes is the feud. Security depends on the willingness of every adult male in a given tribal segment to take up arms in its defense. An attack on a lineage-mate must be avenged by the entire group. Likewise, any lineage member is liable to be attacked in revenge for an offense committed by one of his relatives. One result of this system of collective responsibility is that members of Middle Eastern kin groups have a strong interest in policing the behavior of their lineage-mates, since the actions of any one person directly affect the reputation and safety of the entire group.

Universal male militarization, surprise attacks on apparent innocents based on a principle of collective guilt, and the careful group monitoring and control of personal behavior are just a few implications of a system that accounts for many aspects of Middle Eastern society without requiring any explanatory recourse to Islam. The religion itself is an overlay in partial tension with, and deeply stamped by, the dynamics of tribal life. In other words--and this is Salz-man's central argument--the template of tribal life, with its violent and shifting balance of power between fusing and fissioning lineage segments, is the dominant theme of cultural life in the Arab Middle East (and shapes even many non-Arab Muslim populations). At its cultural core, says Salzman, even where tribal structures are attenuated, Middle Eastern society is tribal society.

In reviving and updating classic anthropological studies of tribal kinship, Salzman is implicitly raising one of the great unresolved problems of political philosophy--one whose implications in today's environment are anything but theoretical. When anthropologists first decoded the system by which lawless and stateless tribes used balance-of-power politics to keep order, they quickly recognized that their discovery cast new light on Thomas Hobbes's "state of nature" theory.

From one perspective, Middle Eastern tribal structures completely contradict Hobbes's notion of what life in stateless societies must be like. Far from being "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short," life outside the state turns out to be collective, cohesive, and safe enough to generate a stable and successful world-conquering civilization. Man as such is not, therefore, inherently individualistic, as Hobbes, the founder of modern liberalism, presumed.

Yet scholars have noted continuities between Hobbes's account and the conditions of life in segmentary tribes. Edward Evans-Pritchard (1902-73), the anthropologist who first described these societies, called them systems of "ordered anarchy," implying that, kin-based organization notwithstanding, life in segmentary systems necessitates endemic, often preemptive, low-level violence and neverending mutual distrust: what Hobbes might have recognized as the state of nature's "perpetual and restless desire of power after power."
More at PREVIEW: I and My Brother Against My Cousin

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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