What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 17, 2008

Clever Dennis Roddy, Very Clever

An astute reader posted a comment today that I had to (just had to) expand into a full fledged blog posting of it's own.

I'm ususally a big fan of Dennis Roddy. He's usually spot on - factwise.

Not today - not really. Take a look at this article. Specifically, this passage:
A pro-life Casey Democrat talks rapturously of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband Bill kept the city's standard-bearer, Gov. Robert Casey Sr., off the platform at two conventions.
And this one:
Scranton has for 35 years been the epicenter of Pennsylvania's anti-abortion movement. Its most famous hometown boy was Gov. Robert P. Casey Sr., an ardent liberal who found himself on the outside of his own party because of his ardent pro-life stand. It was the Clinton forces in 1992, and again in 1996, who denied Mr. Casey the right to speak at his own party's national convention where he wanted to deliver a pro-life speech.

And this:

"I'm a Catholic and I'm still a Roman Catholic," Mrs. Vancosky said. "I'm older and I have older views. And I was for Clinton, even though he didn't let Casey have the podium. I am definitely a Hillary girl."
Take a look at he says (and more importantly, what he doesn't say). Our astute reader pointed out that Roddy was repeating the "tired old lie" that Casey, Sr was denied a spot at the Democratic Convention because of his pro-life views.

Our astute reader, though, is wrong. Take a look again, very closely, at what Roddy wrote. He never gives a reason for Casey being denied a spot at either convention does he?

The story about the '92 convention has been around for a long long time. I am hoping that Roddy isn't looking to his readers will "fill in the blanks" of what he didn't write with enough bits and pieces of the false story to continue it's lifespan. That way he can say still he never said what everyone thinks he said.

We even wrote about this "story" almost a year ago. We quoted:
According to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Casey was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket. "It's just not factual!" stammers James Carville, apoplectic over Casey's claims. "You'd have to be idiotic to give a speaking role to a person who hadn't even endorsed you."
There's more. Digby dug up the original New Republic article (it's behind a subscription wall) and typed out this:

The man best able to explain the decision was the late Ron Brown. He addressed the topic during a roundtable discussion of Clinton campaign veterans (published as Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '92). He explained:

We decided the convention would be totally geared towards the general election campaign, towards promoting our nominee and that everybody who had the microphone would have endorsed our nominee. That was a rule, everybody understood it, from Jesse Jackson to Jerry Brown.... The press reported incorrectly that Casey was denied access to the microphone because he was not pro-choice. He was denied access to the microphone because he had not endorsed Bill Clinton. I believe that Governor Casey knew that. I had made it clear to everybody. And yet it still got played as if it had to do with some ideological split. It had nothing to do with that.

And then there's this:
Besides, Casey repeatedly bashed Clinton during the primaries, calling Clinton's success "very tragic." Less than three months before the '92 convention, he urged, "Convention rules provide for the selection of an alternative candidate. Let's pick a winner." Why would Clinton invite him to speak?
Sorry Dennis, your tellytubby impression was sublime, but you got this one wrong.


Patrick said...

Dayoe, it is you who are deceived.

Jesse Jackson and Jerry Brown did NOT endorse Clinton prior to securing a speaking slot. But their, shall we say, "constituencies", were in the process of being wooed and courted by Bill Clinton into his (43%) winning coalition, while Casey's (pro-lifers) were in the process of being shown the door - in favor of pro-choice Republicans. They could have easily put Casey on at 2pm when no cameras or delegates were around, and all he could complain about was not getting enough tv time.

Democratic National Conventions do three things: 1) nominate a candidate for President; 2) nominate a candidate for Vice President; and 3) adopt a platform.
Casey wanted to address the convention with regards to the pro-choice plank in the platform, not the nominee for President or VP.

As a practical matter, national party platforms are rammed through the convention to fit the particulars of that year's presidential favorite, and are routinely ignored by voters and down-ticket candidates alike. But Casey was from a generation that remembered platform fights (civil rights being a notable one), and wanted pro-life language in the platform.

It was a conscious choice by the Clinton camp to curry favor with pro-choicers by "holding firm" in the face of pro-lifers, even those in the Democratic party. They figured if it cost them only few pro-life votes in the future, it would be cancelled out by pro-choice voters who were impressed by Clinton's stand vs. Casey. They even trotted out Republicans who supported Hafer (who Casey beat 2 to 1, and by over a million votes in 1990) onto the stage at the convention just to rub his nose in it.

In the end, Casey, a pretty good politician in his own right, outmanuevered Clinton in their game of chicken - and Clinton ended up with a lot more egg on his face than anticipated. Hence Clinton's henchmen Carville and Ron Brown began to spin the BS that it was all about Casey's refusal to endorse Clinton prior to the convention, not about a "gag rule" or a limit on contrary views in the party. Bunk!

Yep, Ray Flynn, John Breaux and other pro-life Dems DID speak in 1992 - but not about their pro-life views, or about any differences they had with the platform. Ron Brown wanted a scripted convention with no dissent, and he got it. And with it, he got a lot bad press for Bill Clinton - highlighting characteristics we came to know (intolerence of dissent and disagreement, vindictiveness, paranoia, etc.).

Anonymous said...

he didnt endorse clinton ( a sexual predator and a serial rapist) because he supported murder (i.e abortion). at least when consertives support executing someone it is because of their crimes not because, as democrats do, an innocent child (not a fetus, that is a term the liberals love to use to make themselves feel good about murdering a human being ).

infinonymous said...

How many cells are required to constitute a human being? Are zygotes persons? Is a morning-after pill a murder weapon? Is a condom a weapon of mass destruction?

Conservatives don't deserve the flattery concerning the death penalty. They're for killing anyone who is convicted, regardless of whether the defendant committed a crime, and routinely resist attempts to disprove guilt scientifically. They're not much on "right to life" among innocent Iraqis, either, perfectly willing to sacrifice plenty of Iraqis in service of their foolish ideology.

I liked conservatives better when they didn't elevate dogma over science.

Anonymous said...


You missed these sentences from Digby's quotation of the NR article:

Casey doesn't dispute that he refused to endorse Clinton. Instead, he notes that Jerry Brown and his sister, Kathleen, also did not endorse, yet were both allowed to speak. Theirs, however, were special cases: Jerry Brown had won several hundred delegates in the primaries, and under convention rules was allowed to speak because his name was placed in nomination. Kathleen Brown, then a candidate for governor of California, was one of the party's highest-profile women (and, though she didn't endorse Clinton, she didn't endorse her own brother, either). Even a reluctant Jesse Jackson was coaxed into backing Clinton in exchange for his speaking slot. Furthermore, a slew of pro-life Democrats, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Jr., Senators John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five governors, did address the delegates in 1992. Though the speakers didn't dwell on abortion, party officials say they weren't barred from mentioning the issue.

So I guess you're wrong, huh?


"Fair and Balanced" Dave said...

While we're on the subject:

Can any of our resident wingnut trolls name even ONE speaker at any Republican convention who a) is Pro-Choice and wished to speak about it and b) refused to endorse the Republican Presidential ticket?

Patrick said...

You're missing my point. Casey, in perhaps and old fashioned way, wanted to actually debate the abortion plank in the platform. Those other speakers, while sharing his pro-life views, did not want to address that plank in the platform. They were there to speechify and get on TV for the folks back home, not debate intra-party controversies. All of those speeches are pre-approved in one way or another to try and keep the convention "on message". Casey wanted to go off message, so he was denied. Plain and simple.

Subsequent quoting of Ron Brown and Carville doesn't change what happened: they began spinning the refusal to let Casey speak once it became a political liability, and kept up the act after the fact.

Schmuck Shitrock said...


As you probably know, my dislike for Hillary Clinton is visceral. So it is without an agenda that I ask you this question:

- Did Casey support the ticket?

If "yes," you have a point.

If "no," it doesn't matter whether Not-Me is missing YOUR point or not. You're missing THE point.