Glorious, Gynoparadisiacal West Virginia

Poor, rural, working-class white folks in Appalachia didn’t vote for the rich urban former law professor senator from Chicago. They went for the rich urban former law professor senator born in Chicago instead. But since the vote went so overwhelmingly in one direction rather than the other, and rich urban former law professor senators with Chicago ties are otherwise largely interchangeable, there has to be another controlling factor here. I can’t think what it might be, though. Maybe it will come to me if I think about it.

Oh, wait, I know now. Poor, rural, working-class white folks from Appalachia wanted to strike a blow for feminism. Well, way to go, West Virginia! You’ve certainly done that. And now, clearly, you’ve shown that you’re the most feminist state in all the union.

And to think they once said it couldn’t happen there! They said that poor, rural, working-class folk such as yourself could never vote for a woman to be a presidential nominee, barring something being monstrously and unspeakably wrong with her opponent, perhaps at the genetic level. Well, you showed them, West Virginia. You showed them all.

Your reward is to have Gloria Steinem build a summer home in your borders, possibly in Mingo County, which, with a vote that went 88% for Clinton — a staggering 11 times what Obama got in that county — is inarguably the single most feminist-friendly county in the entire state. Heck, Gloria’s got the U-Haul ready; maybe she’ll live there all the time now. Maybe she’ll bring her friends. Quick, have the menfolk bake a welcoming apple pie. Tell them not to skimp on the cinnamon. You know men. Always skimping, they are.

I’m so proud of you, West Virginia, you glorious feminist paradise, you.

139 thoughts on “Glorious, Gynoparadisiacal West Virginia

  1. See what happens when you give good people a choice between a devil and a demon?

    Vote Cthulu in 2008: the Greater Evil.

  2. I’m really glad to read this note, John. I was worried you would be bitter.

    (Guess now we know why they didn’t interview Ty Willingham to replace Rich Rodriguez…)

  3. John, you push your tongue more firmly into your cheek and it’s going to pop through, all movie-zombie-like…

  4. “A poll of Democratic voters conducted by Edison/Mitofsky for the television networks and The Associated Press found that Mrs. Clinton drew 63 percent of the white vote while Mr. Obama drew 90 percent of the black vote, mirroring a pattern in many other states.

    New York Times, April 24, 2008

    Yep, them black folks sure love them their Hawaiians.

  5. Well, Benedict, I think you’ll see historically that every time a Hawaiian has run for president, they’ve done well in the primaries with the black community.

  6. Oh please Hillary, it’s over, You lost. I like you a lot but please stop. Now. Time Magazine coronated Obama this week.

    One local commentator asked, “What if someone has a primary and no one cares?”

  7. Considering that I was born in Mingo County, and given what the two choices were (i.e., for too many WVaians both of them have something extremely and unalterably wrong), this vote does not surprise at all. But Hillary must be dreaming if she thinks this vote is really going to matter when it comes to the nomination choice. Apple pies or porcupine stew regardless.

  8. Oddly enough, black voters didn’t like Hawaiians nearly as much until the Clintons started their racist campaigning. Before then, the rich urban former law professor senators were splitting the black vote. Hmm,… I wonder why that made such a difference?

    Nice post, John. It’s good to know that West Virginians haven’t been seduced by the ‘candidate for white people vs the candidate for black people’ argument. No, it’s just their intense feminism. Can’t fault that, really.

  9. C’mon, John. We all know the menfolk of Mingo County are just going to buy an apple pie from the Piggly Wiggly.

  10. I usually love reading your posts, but this one sounds more like the typical sexism I’m used to seeing on Fox. I get that you don’t like Hillary — and I agree that she’s stayed in the race too long. Check out this fascinating article called
    “Clinton Campaign Brought Sexism Out of Hiding” at

  11. Gynoparadisiacal?

    I like that word, and I’m going to use it no less than 4 times today in conversation.

    Next up?

    Phalloparadisiacal!

  12. I keep having this nightmare vision of the Star Trek episode “Squire of Gothos” where the petulant, omnipotent child entity stamps his feet and says, “I was winning! I was winning!” only to fade to oblivion.

    Only I see a disembodied Howard Dean talking to Barack Obama, saying, “She is but a child, Senator, and does not understand her power yet. Forgive us.”

    OK, I really need to get back to work and stop flashing back to my Trekkie days. It spoils my love of BG.

  13. I don’t find this post sexist at all. I think the cross over Republicans voted for Ms. Clinton for a one reason—they want HER on the ticket in November. NOTHING will bring out the Republican base like an opportunity to vote AGAINST a Clinton.

    If Ms. Clinton is running against Mr. McCain, Republicans won’t stay home. All of the Republicans running, from local to national races, will benefit from the anti-Clinton vote.

    I’ve said this before—- I would love to see a woman as president, but not THAT woman.

  14. Cathy:

    “this one sounds more like the typical sexism I’m used to seeing on Fox.”

    I’m not at all sure how.

    I like Hillary Clinton just fine, and would have no problem at all voting for her, personally. I think she’s campaigned poorly, which is why, in fact, she is not the nominee.

  15. I usually love reading your posts, but this one sounds more like the typical sexism I’m used to seeing on Fox

    I agree with Cathy. I do not believe that you are personally motivated by sexism, but I don’t like the tone of posts like this one.

  16. So let me see if I have this right, When 90% plus of the black voters in North Carolina vote for Obama, that’s an historic vote that will unite the country and solve all of our racial problems. However, when 90% of the White voters in WV vote for Clinton they are a bunch of racist rubes who deserve to be ridiculed.

    Obama says that he is the one who can unite the country and change. Is this what he means?

    And does this post mean that it’s okay to mock feminists now?

  17. Drew:

    “So let me see if I have this right, When 90% plus of the black voters in North Carolina vote for Obama, that’s an historic vote that will unite the country and solve all of our racial problems. However, when 90% of the White voters in WV vote for Clinton they are a bunch of racist rubes who deserve to be ridiculed.”

    Drew, when you can point out exactly where I’ve ever written (or indeed, even hinted at) the first part of your formulation, you let me know. I would dearly appreciate seeing it. Otherwise, no, you don’t have it right at all, at least as it concerns this site.

    Personally I think it would be lovely if everybody voted in a colorblind fashion, and also, felt they could vote in a colorblind fashion. Clearly, they don’t.

    And if you think I’m mocking feminists with this post, you’re doing it wrong.

    Canfield:

    Well, whatever. You can think it’s sexist if you want.

  18. Well, whatever. You can think it’s sexist if you want.

    I also think this response is condescending, and that the post of mine you’re referring to was a noticeably more neutral statement of disagreement.

  19. Canfield:

    Fine: You thinking the post is sexist is really stupid.

    Hope you like that response better.

  20. But John, you’re a man so you’re not allowed to say meeeen things about women. Now, as a woman, I can say all the same stuff, and I’d be much cooler. ;-)

  21. Nice to see that even if you aren’t a native Buckeye, you sure keep up that Ohio/West Virginia rivalry.

  22. Aelf’en:

    “But John, you’re a man so you’re not allowed to say meeeen things about women.”

    But… but… some of my best friends are women!

    (ducks)

    Cassie:

    The irony there is that a) what little I’ve seen of West Virginia I like very much, and b) Ohio went for Clinton, too, so I’m not sure how much smack one could lay on for that. I couldn’t even do it as a Californian, as Clinton won the popular vote there as well. There is my time in Chicago, but I don’t think anyone counts that.

  23. I can’t see why anyone would take this post as sexist. If anyone were to be offended it would be white West Virginians, because John’s point appears to be: “You’re a bunch of racists.” I don’t see where he’s going after women in any way. Maybe those complaining are missing the point…

    It always seems that there are people who will take any criticism of a member of some group as a *-ist attack. If the situation was reversed, this would be a racist entry. If it involved McCain, somebody would construe it as ageist. (Which always looks like “a-geest” to me and would mean something similar to “aghast.”) You can’t please everybody, it seems.

  24. Would it be naive to suggest that this result has more to do with the fact that certain people (including, but not limited to Hilary Clinton) have done quite a good job of (falsely, in a lot of respects) painting Obama as a do-nothing orator who is far more liberal than Clinton than anything to do with either race or gender?

    I mean come on, I read somewhere (I think Matt Yglesias’ blog, but can’t quite recall) that 30% of WV Democrats voted for George Bush in the last election. If you’re painted as ultra liberal, you’re not gonna do well in WV.

  25. Interesting exit polls.

    One in four Clinton voters and about one in 10 Obama voters said race was an important factor in their vote.

    I’m inclined to think it’s actually higher than that on both sides. But 25% of Clinton voters admitting that race is a factor is kind of scary, really.

  26. I’m not a native Buckeye either, I just play one on TV.

    But the rivalry is there and it has nothing to do with politics.

  27. John, I don’t necessarily think the post is sexist, but I did think it was going a wee bit too far in the sarcasm department. I wasn’t really comfortable reading it, which I usually am, with most of your other posts.

    We all know Obama is going to be the nominee, by pure virtue of the delegate math. At this point, the post comes across like beating a dead horse.

  28. At this point, the post comes across like beating a dead horse.

    Don’t be silly. John didn’t even mention Chelsea.

  29. Jenny Rae Rappaport:

    That dead horse is still on the track and refuses to be dragged off. As long as she’s on the track, she’s eligible for beatings, I’d say.

    That said, the post doesn’t say anything bad about Hillary.

    Eddie Clark:

    Heavy-handed sarcasm aside, I think it’s axiomatic that there was more to the WV vote than simply race.

    Andrew Hackard:

    Now, that was just mean. And in my opinion untrue, since I think Chelsea is actually pretty attractive. Rumor is she’s smart and capable, too. Altogether an excellent package for a human being.

  30. I don’t get it. How can anyone thing the post is sexist? The point of the damn thing is that that the win in West Virginia was likely due to people voting against Obama, as opposed to voting for Clinton. It’s the truth. Yeah, the post’s a bit heavy on the irony. But so what? If you’ve bothered to follow this blog for any period of time, it would be obvious that one thing Scalzi is not is sexist. (Besides, Krissy would kick his ass if he was).

    As for me, I’m sick of “you have to vote for Hillary ’cause she’s a woman.” No, I don’t. And my refusal to do so does NOT make me a traitor to “feminism” or “sexist” (and me, an older, white female) and all the other crap I keep hearing. Don’t tell me who I “have” to vote for. I’ll vote for who I think will do the best job, and if you don’t like it, too damn bad.

    I don’t like Hillary Clinton the candidate. I don’t like the padnering (the shot and a beer clip), many of her positions (if Iran nukes Isreal I’ll nuke Iran, also a pandering statement), her stupid 3 a.m. ad, her vote on giving support the war on Iraq, and so much more. And not ONE of these things have to do with her being a woman.

    And if I end up voting for Obama, it WON’T be because he’s African-American, and if I end up voting for McCain, it WON’T be becasue he’s white or a man.

    Yeah, I’m testy about this.

    John, I usually just lurk, but had to make a comment on what I feel is an unfair attack.

  31. Wait, the primaries aren’t OVER yet? Jesu Christo, how long must they go ON? Hillary just needs to accept that she’s lost and let’s all move on.

  32. Also, does anyone else feel that winning West Virginia is the political equivalent of “the lurkers support me in email”?

  33. That dead horse is still on the track and refuses to be dragged off. As long as she’s on the track, she’s eligible for beatings, I’d say.

    That said, the post doesn’t say anything bad about Hillary.

    I know she’s on the track, which is unfortunate. I like her, I really do, but it’s gotten to the point where the entire democratic race is just depressing to watch. Not because she’s a bad person, but because it’s just going on and on and on. Stick both of them on one ticket, and be done with it.

  34. I’m definitely going to name my next child “Mingo”.

    Still up in the air about “the Merciless” as a middle name.

  35. John,

    This post is clearly stating that the voters of WV are racist for voting aginst Obama. If that’s not the case then you are right, I’m an idiot.

    That said then, the fact that you didn’t have a similar reaction to the last several elections where Obama got 90% of the black vote, at least implies that you have less of a problem with black voters voting as a block for Obama than you do white voters voting as a block for Hillary.

    The mainstream media has been more blunt than you in this area and that is what I was refering to. I apologise if I imputed more of that to you than you deserve.

    If your position is that it is just as racist and reprehensible for blacks to vote as a block for Obama as it is for whites to vote as a block for Hillary you still make my point. Obama claims that he will unite the country and bring everybody together in some mystical undefined way that will end the partisan differences in American Politics. I don’t want to imagine what that would look like (North Korea maybe?).

    Instead, between Barry and Hillary they have managed to define and widen the racial gap in this country in a way that I think is very dangerous and not helpful.

    I live in Wisconsin, and I have always enjoyed watching Chicago politics, in much the same way that many of my friends enjoy watching WWE wrestling. However I am finding it less amusing on the national stage.

    Finally, Bush campaigned as a “uniter” who was going to change the tone in Washington and bring everyone together. He tried to work with Kennedy on the education bill, and he pushed through the last few Clinton judges as a gesture of good will. The result: he has united the country in their hatred and disdain for him and his administration. Now Obama is running as a “Uniter” who can “change” the tone and bring everyone together. I don’t see how it can end any differently.

  36. Now, now. Why all this harshing on the vibe? Scalzi’s only following the Official Democrat Script:

    If Obama wins, it’s because the state was too misogynist to vote for Clinton.

    If Clinton wins, it was because the state was too racist to vote for Obama.

    We must show compassion and pity for people who follow the Official Democrat Script, because they are incapable of thinking of things in any other way. And I mean that literally, because if they dare to have an unapproved thought, their DNC-approved Progressive Politics Cerebral Implant immediately administers a 10,000 volt shock. (This occasionally causes brain damage, which is the origin of the lefty blogosphere, incidentally.) And if someone is so reactionary and bigoted as to have three or more unapproved thoughts, he or she is taken to DNC headquarters, strapped into a chair, and forced to watch a a film strip with images of McCain interspersed with scenes of blood and death, all while “Ode To Joy” plays at deafening volume in the background.

    So when someone says something monumentally stupid like “Clinton won West Virginia because West Virginia is full of dumb racist hicks” just smile and nod, because otherwise there’s an excellent chance their heads will melt ala “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Especially while standing in a puddle.

  37. I don’t think there can be a question that lots of African-Americans are voting for Obama in part because of his ethnicity. But I also don’t think that’s much like white people voting for Hillary because she’s white, any more than I think that the NAACP is the moral or political equivalent of a whites-only country club, as some conservative “colorblindness” advocates like to argue.

    I seriously doubt that African-Americans who take into account Obama’s race think that whites are inherently unsuited by intellect or temperament to be President, or that it is inappropriate for a white person to lead the nation. Similarly, I seriously doubt that white people who consider race in voting for Clinton mean to express pride in whiteness or celebrate that finally there’s a credible white candidate.

  38. “At this point, the post comes across like beating a dead horse.”
    “Don’t be silly. John didn’t even mention Chelsea.”

    Ouch. I hate it when I’m happily reading through an interesting thread and hit a speed bump composed of pure asstardary. Jolts the senses.

  39. OK, as someone actually from WV, I’d like to make a couple of points there.

    First, Hillary wasn’t the only woman to overwhelmingly win her primary yesterday. The second congressional race will be between two women, for the State Supreme Court of Appeals, the female candidate received far and away more votes, we have a female candidate for Secretary of State (to replace the existing female secretary of state) and a fair number of women won other primaries throughout the state. So voting women into office is nothing unusual here in WV.

    But more importantly, your comments completely ignore the main reason Hillary did so well in WV, and that is Bill Clinton. People weren’t voting for her because they liked her policies better than Obama’s they were voting for her because they love her husband. West Virginians *know* Bill Clinton, and they feel like he is one of us. So when he campaigned around the state for his wife, Democrats all over the state listened to what he said.

    Is racism an issue here? Hell yes it is. This state is overwhelmingly white, and unless you live in one of the larger cities, you simply aren’t going to run into anyone who isn’t white. And unfortunately, people fear what they don’t know. Especially when Obama comes off so strongly as an outsider. Why are outsiders so bad? Because for years outsiders have owned WV. They take what they want–coal and cheap labor–and left poverty and environmental destruction in their wake. And it’s still happening (See: Don Blankenship), so there is an inherent mistrust of strangers and outsiders.

    So yes, unfortunately, racism did matter–it mattered far more than it should have. But what mattered more is that Democratic West Virginians love Bill Clinton and see him as one of their own. And when he came to the state (we got a single visit by Obama) and shook hands and told people who his wife was going to make a difference in their lives, they listened to him the same way they would any other friend.

  40. Jenny Rae Rappaport – I used to agree with that idea, but now I see Hillary as far more of a liability than an asset. The way she’s run her campaign is… not good. She’s demonstrated poor judgment numerous times, to the detriment of the party as a whole. Obama can, and will, do much much better.

    I would imagine he will get someone who is very clearly god fearin’ and probably a vet.

  41. Wow, I honestly didn’t know there were so many racists in the Democratic party.

    Can we quantify that? Since West Virginia rejected Obama so handily, 67% to 26%, should we conclude that most Democrats in West Virginia are racists? Is it safe to assume that the reason Dubya beat John Kerry by a wide margin in West Virginia is that Kerry is black?

  42. jm – so the Official Democrat Script is written by the DNC, who is supporting Obama? Despite the fact that the leadership of the DNC includes the former mayor of Little Rock and the EVP of the AFL-CIO? Despite the fact that Hillary has been working with, and creating ties to the DNC for the part decade, while Obama has not? If the DNC wants anyone, it is a candidate, and if you could peer into their heart of hearts, you would see that they wish that Hillary had walked away with it back in February.

    The establishment of the Dem party has always favored HRC, and it is GWB who endorses torture.

  43. Drew:

    “That said then, the fact that you didn’t have a similar reaction to the last several elections where Obama got 90% of the black vote, at least implies that you have less of a problem with black voters voting as a block for Obama than you do white voters voting as a block for Hillary.”

    I’ve noticed that you seem to be very sure about what I imply, Drew. You need to show me the device that allows you to read my mind and lay out such implications with such stunning veracity. I’m sure there’s a market for such a device, as long as it can be used on other people, too.

    Likewise, I’m delighted to hear that you are such an authority of my editorial process that you can winkle from what I choose to write about on any particular day or entry what my true feelings are on any subject. I mean, personally, I thought when I wrote about the North Carolina and Indiana primary results that the big story was Hillary Clinton now being pretty much mathematically disqualified from winning the nomination and chose to write about that. But now I see, thanks to your superior knowledge of my own head, that it was really about that I had no problem with the black voters voting for Obama in mass numbers. It’s all so clear to me now. Thanks for that.

    Meanwhile, aside from implication, there is the minor thing of what I actually wrote, in response to your first comment, which was, to repeat: “Personally I think it would be lovely if everybody voted in a colorblind fashion, and also, felt they could vote in a colorblind fashion. Clearly, they don’t.”

    In the case of black voters and Clinton, call me nutty here, but as others in the thread have noted, Clinton was doing better with black voters before she (and Bill, starting with his rather disastrous misstep in South Carolina) started playing race cards. If a voting block feels that a candidate is triangulating against them, then certainly they can be excused for feeling their vote might be more profitably given elsewhere. Conversely, I’m not aware of Obama’s camp triangulating against white voters. It does suggest a difference in the dynamics of the bloc voting at the very least.

    jm:

    As a voter who has always been registered as independent and unaffiliated, I’m not privy to Democratic party scripts. Nor am I aware of suggesting that Obama won, say, North Carolina because it’s full of women haters, or that Clinton won Ohio because it’s full of racists, although of course I invite you to correct me in either case. I do and quite obviously suspect race was a significant issue in the WV primary, however.

    Random Michelle K:

    As noted elsewhere in the thread, I am absolutely willing to believe the reasons for a Clinton victory are more complex than I have presented here. I was making a single point here, rather than trying to offer a comprehensive overview.

    Aaron:

    Comparing Democratic primaries to national elections is not going to get you good results.

  44. “Your reward is to have Gloria Steinem build a summer home in your borders …”

    Oh, no. I think it should be Gloria Allred, year-round. That would be so much more entertaining for all of us.

  45. Aaron:

    Ha! Nice jab, sir.

    (Let’s also note historically that neither major party has a clean slate on racism, or on using it for it own political ends.)

  46. Mr Scalzi,

    Point taken.

    We West Virginians tend to automatically go on the defensive, because there *are* a lot of things wrong here, yet we love this place deeply in a way that I’m not sure others always understand.

    Kinda like someone picking on your little brother. You can pick on him all you want, but nobody else had better do so or there will be Words and possibly Actions.

  47. Tor: “I would imagine he will get someone who is very clearly god fearin’ and probably a vet”

    That’s something I worry about because I would see that as pandering to the right. Not the veteran part, which I think would be invaluable for Obama, but the god fearin’ part. I’d be very, very wary of choosing someone for their religious appeal, but you should take my statements with a grain of salt, since I’m a happy agnostic Jew here.

    Maureen Johnson: I want Athena to run too! I am secretly convinced that John is grooming her to rule the world. =)

  48. Random Michelle K:

    Oh, certainly. If if helps, you should know that West Virginia has always held a special place in my heart when the counties which comprise it said “Screw you and the Confederacy you’re part of” to Virginia, and broke off to become their own state. If ever a US state began for the right reasons, it was West Virginia.

  49. What I find so interesting in the WV primary is that Mr.Edwards got 7%.

    On the other side, Mr. Huckabee got 10 %.

    I think that says as much about the state’s politics as Ms. Clinton’s win.

  50. So let me see if I have this right

    Just so you know, this is one of those phrases that makes me stop reading the post immediately, because I know what follows after, as inevitably as night follows day: a dishonest re -framing of what was actually said.

  51. John,

    Thanks for clearing that up. The next time you write a sarcastic post in which you humorously say something that you clearly don’t mean, I will limit myself to only a literal interpretation of what you actually wrote.

    I am sorry that you think WV is a hot bed of Feminism, maybe you need to get out more.

  52. Jenny Rae Rappaport – I don’t think that there is any chance of Obama pandering to the right – they aren’t going to vote for him under any circumstances. However, I think there is ground to be made up among the christian centrists who are concerned about the Rev. Wright controversy. That’s an issue likely to be exploited by McCain, as it is one of the few areas he is strong.

    On the plus side, it comes out now, as opposed to in the general election, and Obama can easily address it in his pick. Obama needs someone who has bona fides in both areas, who can get up and say:

    DVPC: I know Mr. Obama, sir, and I can tell you that he is a patriot of the highest order. He may not have had the opportunity to serve his country in the military, but he has been on the front lines in the fight for justice, the fight against poverty and the side of america. And as a veteran myself, and recipient of the _____ star and purple heart, I find your implication that there is some kind of litmus test for military service offensive, and against everything that I fought for in _____, sir.

    and:

    DVPC: I know Mr. Obama, and I have prayed with Mr. Obama. And I know that God has… [whatever christians say about each other].

  53. Good thing she staid in the race. Imagine the slap this would have been to Obama if she had withdrawn after Indiana/N. Carolina. Right now I believe she is campaigning to keep the party from schism (the healing will occur at the convention as either side puts their full force endorsement behind the other) and to secure if not a VP slot, maybe some cabinet or foreign post. My guess, though, is for the VP. And in the much more active VP position ala the first year of GW’s administration. If she drops now, Edwards becomes the strong candidate with his 20 (I think he’s at 20 now, was at 18 when is suspended his campaign) pledged delegates. If she keeps going to the convention, Obama will have to deal with her directly.

    Then there is also the issue of her campaign debt. If she drops now, things get mighty dicey. If she goes to the convention she can use her various funds in all sorts of creative ways.

  54. In my opinion,

    The black vote shifted to Obama when he transitioned from a “novelty” candidate to a “viable” candidate. I know it’s hard to remember all the way back to last year, but Obama was considered to be a token candidate when he started out and even he didn’t seem to be expecting to win the nomination. The Clinton “race card” was a reaction to the shift not a cause, though it may have solidified the move.

    The Clinton’s are a lot of things but they aren’t stupid. They didn’t cry race until it was clear that they had lost the black vote and that it wasn’t ever coming back. To do so when it was still in play would have been suicide.

  55. Ken@42 – Nicely put sir… I was going to attempt to make the same point, but I’ll just second your post. Context matters, people, and pretending it doesn’t (or that you’re too dumb to understand that context) is disingenuous in the extreme.

    I’ll also recommend this post on “ultra-liberal” blog TalkingPointsMemo, which talks about Hillary’s strength not just in WV, but in Appalachia overall, and some of the historic reasons behind it.

  56. Steve @ 62, I have heard some pundits speculate that Ms. Clinton will hold out for the guarantee of a Supreme Court appointment.

  57. Gerard van der Leun of American Digest has the following on his comment page.

    “It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.” — Karl Popper

    With that in mind I have this to say to the bitchers and moaners. You do not have the right not to be offended.

    And let us remember the words of John Adams in the musical 1776, “This is a revolution, dammit. We have to offend somebody!”

  58. I apologize to everyone for the appropriately called-out asstardery earlier. You’re right, I was wrong, and I don’t even have a good excuse for it.

  59. Drew:

    “Thanks for clearing that up. The next time you write a sarcastic post in which you humorously say something that you clearly don’t mean, I will limit myself to only a literal interpretation of what you actually wrote.”

    Well, if you feel that will help your arguments, you are free to do so. An alternate strategy, which I feel will be more fruitful, is to frame your assertions and arguments in ways that neither put words into my mouth nor assumes access to my thoughts that you don’t actually have. The difference between “You are implying” and “It seems to me you are implying” is small, but one annoys me and the other does not. I am perfectly willing to accept that I’ve written something poorly and could have done a better job explaining myself. I’m less willing to believe someone else is reading my thoughts.

    Re: When Clinton started playing the race card: Given that Obama won the Iowa Caucus, i.e., the first primary vote that mattered, if the Clintons waited until South Carolina before deciding Obama was more than a “novelty” candidate, then I’d suggest Hillary deserves to lose, among black voters and everyone else.

    Andrew Hackard:

    Thank you! Good of you to do so, sir.

  60. Actually, now that I look at it, I would change: “He may not have had the opportunity to serve…” to “He may not have had the priviledge to serve…”.

    Steve Buchheit – Any deal that HRC could make at the convention, she could make now. In part, I think she is staying in because she doesn’t really believe she will ever have to pay the campaign debt. She’s spending Obama and the DNC’s money now, as she believes that whatever deal ends up on the table, will include repayment of her debt.

    Obama will *not* take her as VP – she lost that chance when she said that both her and McCain were ready for the stupid 3am phone call, and strongly implied that Obama was not. The republican party would love to take every nasty thing she said about Obama and ask her if she was lying then, or is she lying now. Also, does Obama really want to take the number of voters who will never vote for a black man, and add to them the number of voters who will never vote for a woman and/or a Clinton? When there are tons of people who are qualified to be VP and can move us beyond discussion of the primaries?

  61. Fiona,

    It’s worse than that:

    R JOHN MCCAIN 89,296 76%
    R MIKE HUCKABEE 12,169 10%
    R RON PAUL 5,912 5%
    R MITT ROMNEY 5,185 4%
    R RUDY GIULIANI 2,836 2%
    R ALAN KEYES 1,428 1%
    R JERRY CURRY 722 1%

    McCain only got 76% of the vote compared to Clinton’s 67% against actual opposition.

    Though FWIW, in the past (i.e. every other primary election) I’ve almost never voted for the presumed winner, just on general principles. Kind of our way of saying “screw you and your election that was decided five months ago.”

  62. Random Michelle K @ 70,
    Thanks for the complete list.

    We share some of that “general principles” agenda. I live in MN so I have been able to vote Green Party in the general Presidential election every race except the last one. I’ll vote for whoever the Dems run this go round. Not as much fun, but needful.

    Oh how I wish we had instant run off elections.

  63. Umm… Beats me who Jerry Curry is. Someone who isn’t John McCain, apparently. :)

    One news organization had a very nice site that gave live results, and allowed you to look at results by race and by county (I found that pretty fascinating since I know which are the southern counties) as well as graphs of the various results.

    Which is why I didn’t get to bed until after midnight. :)

    http://www.wvmetronews.com/election/

  64. Jerry Curry is either the inventor of Chicken Curry, or the songwriter for Bruce Springsteen. See below for an excerpt from his site.

    I am entertained.

    “Jerry was born into humble beginnings–the son of a steel worker–and like most Americans has worked hard to better himself. He recognizes that only through the unique opportunities offered by this nation was he able to succeed.”

  65. Is it just me or is their a difference in voting for someone because of their race as opposed to not voting for someone because of their race.

  66. Jeff – there is, if you see a difference between these two statements:

    I am voting for him because I think race and class issues are some of the most important issues facing this country, and as an african-american, I believe that he has the perspective and the motivation to address these very pressing issues.

    I would not vote for him because I don’t think an african-american is intelligent enough to be president.

  67. The problem with citing 90% of blacks voting for Obama as being the same as 90% of white West Virginians voting for Clinton is due to some inconvenient facts.

    1. In Fall 2007, 70% of black voters said they supported Clinton, not Obama. This is when the media kept saying Obama was not black enough. Bunch of race traitors.

    2. The first contest, Iowa, does not have a whole lotta black people. Once Obama won that, it was a sign that whites would vote for a credible black candidate.

    3. In 2004, John Kerry consistently got a majority of the black vote in Democratic primaries, beating Al Sharpton, who, rumor has it, is black. Once again, black voters voting overwhelmingly for a white candidate.

    4. If Clinton improved her standing among black voters to even 20%, she would be the nominee, and not Obama. But, thanks to their attempts to ghettoise him as a new Jesse Jackson, that did not happen.

    5. Can anyone say with a straight face that if the situation were reverse, with Obama constantly moving the goalposts the way Clinton has, that Obama would not have been laughed off the stage?

  68. Jeff and Tor, I am with you…

    There is a difference between voting for your own race, as a show of solidarity of sorts (especially a race that has been so brutally oppressed and finally has a legitimate presidential candidate), and voting against another race. I think this is a nuance that is missed by those saying that the 90% of AA’s who vote for Obama in NC are just as racist as the overwhelmingly white support for Hillary in WV.

  69. Jeff…Yes, there is a difference, big difference. It’s an equivalency game certain people are playing, saying, well if 90% of black people vote for Obama then they must be….rrraaccciiissstttttt!

    To those who’ve suggested that, do you really think that if Condi Rice or Colin Powell were running as Republicans they’d get the same percentage of the black vote as Obama has? They’re loyal but they’re not stupid. And they can tell when they’ve been dissed, which is what the Clintons did to them after Iowa.

  70. Eddie Clark wrote: Would it be naive to suggest that this result has more to do with the fact that certain people have done quite a good job of painting Obama as a do-nothing orator who is far more liberal than Clinton than anything to do with either race or gender?

    Yes. Clinton has been painted as an ultra-liberal for 16 years. As far as conservative-minded folks are concerned both candidates are unacceptably liberal.

    Clinton’s husband was already president and so if Clinton became president people would know what to expect. For some, Obama is simply more change than they can accept. Nobody knows what a black president will be like and a lot of conservative-minded people simply don’t want to to take a chance.

  71. Mike @ 83:

    “Nobody knows what a black president will be like and a lot of conservative-minded people simply don’t want to to take a chance.”

    ………..

    ……………….

    Did you really just say that? Because black skin makes your brain work on a functionally different level than a white person’s brain. And immediately changes your priorities. And Clarence Thomas and Obama are also functionally the same person.

    Here’s a suggestion. A generic black president is likely to be exactly like a generic white president. Some things one likes, some things one doesn’t.

  72. Saw this on another site:

    States & elections won with 60% or more of the vote:
    Barack Obama: 15 States + DC + VI

    * Virgin Islands (89.9%)
    * Idaho (79%)
    * Hawaii (76%)
    * Alaska (75%)
    * District of Columbia (75%)
    * Kansas (74%)
    * Washington (68%)
    * Nebraska (68%)
    * Minnesota (67%)
    * Colorado (67%)
    * Georgia (67%)
    * Illinois (65%)
    * Virginia (64%)
    * Maryland (62%)
    * North Dakota (61%)
    * Wyoming (61%)
    * Mississippi (61%)

    Hillary Clinton: 2 States

    * Arkansas (70%)
    * West Virginia (67%)

  73. 1. Obama visited W.Va twice, summarily writing it off as a lost cause.
    2. Bill Clinton is the most popular President in W.Va since FDR. If Eleanor would’ve campaigned in W.Va for Prez after FDR’s death, she would’ve won in a landslide regardless of the opponent.
    3. The ratio of white working class people who voted for Hillary Clinton was no different than the ratio of african-americans who voted for Barack Obama in South Carolina.

    It’s easy for you true believers out there to write this off purely as bigotry and racism. The narrative works out much more neatly for you that way.

  74. “Clinton’s husband was already president and so if Clinton became president people would know what to expect. For some, Obama is simply more change than they can accept. Nobody knows what a black president will be like and a lot of conservative-minded people simply don’t want to to take a chance.”

    well, as far as the original post goes: LOL!!! thank you for that bit of wry humour. it makes reading statements like the above (if you’re black, like me) easier to stomach.

  75. Call me crazy, but I interpretted the post the same way as Drew.

    I’m as hardcore an Obama supporter as you’re likely to find, but I don’t see much difference between West Virginia and North Carolina, so far as voters voting in blocks based largely on race.

    I suppose it’s slightly more justified for blacks to vote for the non-white candidate, since blacks have been historically under-represented in gov’t. And given the campaign Hillary has won, I don’t blame African Americans for abandoning her. Obama was assured a majority of the black vote, but I’ve got to believe the Clintons’ tactics have something to do with the fact he’s consistently winning 90% of black voters.

    At any rate, Hillary wins whites 60-40 and Obama wins blacks 90-10. I’d say Obama has connected with white voters to a greater degree than Hillary has connected with blacks.

  76. 1. And why was WVA a lost cause for Obama in the first place?

    2. The ‘Wives of Popular Ex-Presidents’ Theory. Which therefore explains why WVA will vote overwhelmingly for Michelle Obama in 2020.

    3. Obama has no problem either winning or running tight in states that are majority white people. He only suffers in states and regions that are Appalachian and/or majority Southern Baptist…wonder why?

  77. It’s easy for you true believers out there to write this off purely as bigotry and racism.

    Well, Jason, it actually is pretty easy when a fifth of white WV Clinton voters openly admit to exit pollsters that race was an impotant factor in their decision.

  78. He tried to work with Kennedy on the education bill, and he pushed through the last few Clinton judges as a gesture of good will. The result: he has united the country in their hatred and disdain for him and his administration

    Yeah. Bush is hated because he worked with Kennedy and pushed through a few Clinton judges. I mean, what else could it be?

  79. Jason,

    1) Obama’s first visit was months ago, a brief stop-off while campaigning in Ohio. He made a single visit in the weeks before the election. Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea were all over the state for the past several weeks.

    2) Eleanor’s popularity in WV was actually quite separate from her husband’s. She came here and did a lot of work for and in the state, including founding a town just up the road from me. You could even say that FDR’s popularity in WV was in part due to Eleanor’s activities.

    3) There are ~1.8 million people in WV. 3.3% of them are black. That’s about 60k people.

    239,381 voted in the WV Democratic & Republican primaries.

    If every African-American man, woman, and child in the state voted for Barak, (regardless of age or party) that still leaves 32,315 people left to vote for him, which would mean that 13% of the rest of West Virginians still would have had to vote for Barak.

    Considering that not all 60k African Americans are eligible to vote, nor are those eligible to vote all Democrats, nor did all eligible Democrats vote in yesterday’s primary, your statement that 90% of all white West Virginians voted for Hillary is fallacious, and I say ridiculous.

    Please do not make up facts and numbers to suit your argument. At least not when it concerns my state.

    (Population data came from the US Census. Election Data came from yesterday’s primary results, which I cited further upstream)

  80. Mr.Obama has picked up four more super delegate today, to Ms. Clinton’s one. He has also gotten the endorsement of NARAL pro-choice America. This, the day after his “loss.”

  81. John,
    Thanks for the laugh….I have been wiping the tears from my eyes since the start of this “section” of todays Blogs.

    I still think the LOLcat blog is the best one….

    But…

    This one allows more bloggers to show thier TRUE political feelings and there true concept of IRONY…

    That I Must Say

    BWHAAA HAHAHA HAAHAAA.

    “Yo John Ya did it”….

  82. I’m surprised by the number of pro-Obama people who say, “I really like Hillary.” This is completely amazing, considering how she has acted during this campaign. The almost total lack of ethics she’s displayed is something that is normally attributed to Republican politicians.

    Her (and her campaign, and groups supporting her) numerous attempts at voter disenfranchisement of groups that support Obama, her numerous deliberate lies about her record and Obama’s record, all point to someone who is completely unsuited for public office (though certainly representative of the type of person normally FOUND in public office), and certainly not someone I’d want as President.

    The spin she’s put on all the primary and caucus losses she has endured is also extremely disrespectful to the people. Her spin on the MI & FL debacle, considering she signed supporting documents in favour of that plan before all this happened, is also quite disgusting to me.

    Considering what John McCain has turned into, I really can’t see voting for him, either, but if Clinton *does* manage to steal the nomination somehow, then I think that after the riots die down, I’d still have a hard time voting for her. I’d probably do it, because she’s marginally better than McCain (her position on health care is certainly better), but it would certainly be yet another case of the lesser of two evils that we’re all entirely too used to having to endure.

    “I like Hillary” is not a phrase anyone who’s paid attention to this campaign should be admitting to in public. It’s okay NOT to like her, really, it is.

  83. 1) Wait, was Sen. Clinton a law professor? I know Bill Clinton was, and Obama was, but was Hillary Clinton? I don’t remember reading about that, and Google and Wikipedia don’t rapidly inform me that she ever taught law. I do know that she failed the D.C. Bar Exam, and that after spending less than two years appearing to start a stellar career just out of law school – advising the Watergate committee and working for the Children’s Defense Fund – she gave it all up to move to Arkansas and practice commercial law, and never after tried a major case or wrote an important paper.

    2) As I’m sure many people who read about politics online know, Clinton has generally struggled to achieve overwhelming wins west of the Mississippi – but has regularly carried rural counties East of the Mississippi by large margins, and Appalachian counties (and especially rural Appalachian counties) by truly massive margins. Without trying to discern why this happens, I can assert that it’s consistent, predictable, and unlikely to change the outcome of the race. For more on this topic, see for example Poblano’s site.

  84. Warren Terra:

    “Google and Wikipedia don’t rapidly inform me that she ever taught law.”

    Actually, her Wikipedia entry notes: “In August 1974, she moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and became one of only two female faculty members in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where Bill Clinton also taught.” The cite is from her 2003 book.

    Tumbleweed:

    “It’s okay NOT to like her, really, it is.”

    Even so, I like her just fine. Her style of campaigning is entirely unsurprising, given that she’s a Clinton, and it’s something you factor in about her going in.

  85. Matt:

    Yes, I saw that. Andrew and I go back a while on the Internets. It was nice of him to link in. It’s also been interesting to see his political positions over the the last couple of years, because he’s been making some tough choices to remain consistent with his philosophy.

  86. “Her style of campaigning”? That’s an interesting way to put it, John.

    Let’s put it another way, “She’s an unethical sleazebag, and it’s something you factor going in.”

    As the blog title says, “Whatever.” Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter much at this point unless there’s some big Obama scandal to take him out of the running.

  87. Your snarky analysis notwithstanding, I absolutely love the semantic tapdance performed by MSNBCNN in an effort to avoid saying that uneducated, Jesus-loving coal miners generally don’t vote for no black guy.

    Side note: Wow, Matt Ruff. “Fool on the Hill” rocked my literary world when I was twenty. You’re at least partially responsible for my idea that yes, people can write great novels at a relatively tender age.

    God, i love the Intarwebz.

  88. It’s a voting bloc damnit! It’s from the French en bloc meaning “as one” or “as a mass” and describes a group of voters with a common interest who vote similarly, thus acting as one or as a mass. A voting block would be, oh I dunno, perhaps a voting block would be what happened if I stood in the doorway of your friendly neighborhood polling place, thus blocking your entrance, and, if you didn’t know how to properly spell voting bloc, repeatedly hit you in the head with a large block of wood until you got it right.

  89. Tumbleweed:

    “Let’s put it another way, ‘She’s an unethical sleazebag, and it’s something you factor going in.'”

    I suspect she believes her agenda as president is important enough to make some ethical compromises to get to the White House in the first place. Unfortunately for her, it’s not working as well for her as she might have hoped.

  90. This analysis doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’ve been hearing constantly that the country just isn’t ready to vote for a black man as president. It’s usually followed by me saying “No, West Virginia isn’t ready for it. Thankfully, we’re not the entire country.”

    Boone County, where I grew up, broke by roughly the same margin as Mingo County.

  91. John, yeah, I’m sure she does think that. That’s one of my problems with her. *shrug*

    Have you read Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope? I’ve only gotten about halfway through it, and my free time is now almost entirely eaten up with a night class I’m taking, but what I managed to get through was pretty interesting reading.

  92. Tumbleweed:

    I’m an Obama supporter overall as well, but repeatedly during the campaign he and his surrogates have made sexist attacks on her, as well as other sorts of nasty and unjustified barbs. In my estimation, neither side comes out looking anywhere near clean, but overall, I still like both of them well enough.

  93. I don’t know. That isn’t on Mr. Obama’s web site. The official endorsement will take place in Michigan this evening. I hope all Mr. Edwards’ delegates will go to Mr. Obama. That should speed the end of this.

  94. Terry,

    That may be so, but I really think it’s more than simply race. I mean, Monongalia county went for Clinton, and we had a female black mayor for years–a woman who was the top vote getter for the House of Delegates. Charlene Marshall got 9369 votes in Mon country. Hillary got 8123 from Mon county.

    Yes, I recognize that Mon county is different from the rest of the state, however, it still went for Hillary, and I don’t think racism is the reason why.

  95. @John Scalzi #106

    So being machiavellian makes it -less- wrong? I would take that as yet further proof that she’s just a hateful human being.

  96. sng:

    “So being machiavellian makes it -less- wrong?”

    Machiavellian maneuvers, in principle, apparently bother me less than they bother other people.

  97. Fair enough. I just look back at the last half of the 20th century and it seems to me that machiavellianism accounts for a lot of our troubles. I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that more of it is going to get us out. By contrast Obama is very much anti the machiavellian mindset and it seems that we really do need a change and that that’s a good place to start. I think this is why she bothers me so much.

  98. West Virginians *know* Bill Clinton, and they feel like he is one of us.

    Are there a lot of Yale lawyers with net worth exceeding $100million in West Virginia?

  99. Note to Benedict: when black people voted overwhelmingly for gore and clinton that was a sign of their normalcy but when they vote overwhelmingly for a candidate that is not hillary clinton, it is unfair and a sign of their racial leanings.

    okay… i can’t breathe I’m laughing so hard at the logic.

  100. West Virginians *know* Bill Clinton, and they feel like he is one of us.

    Are there a lot of Yale lawyers with net worth exceeding $100million in West Virginia?

    No. You have to leave the state to make that kinda money.

    Which is kinda the point. Our sons and daughters have to leave the state to succeed, and we always appreciate it when they return home and remember us.

  101. James in #126

    West Virginians *know* Bill Clinton, and they feel like he is one of us.

    Are there a lot of Yale lawyers with net worth exceeding $100million in West Virginia?

    Random Michelle K in #128

    No. You have to leave the state to make that kinda money.

    Not true, although I’m not sure that the exceptions include any Yale lawyers. For confirmation, take a look at some of the very sizable charitable donations from individuals, such as the tens of millions of dollars from the Clay family that helped enable the construction of the Clay Center for the Arts in Charleston.

    There is no question that there is a lot of poverty in WV, and that the variety of job options are limited compared to many other places. Frex, I moved to California because none of the major contractors on the Apollo program was located in WV. However, when I was growing up there, my family knew several families whose net worth was at the upper end of the national income scale.

    BTW, I strongly agree with your comments above in #44 about Bill Clinton. I’ve lived in California for the last 46 years, but am regularly in touch with old friends in WV. In chatting with people prior to the election, one of the most frequent comments was that they expected a lot of people to vote for Hillary for exactly the reasons you outlined.

    Jason in # 87

    Bill Clinton is the most popular President in W.Va since FDR. If Eleanor would’ve campaigned in W.Va for Prez after FDR’s death, she would’ve won in a landslide regardless of the opponent.

    I agree with your basic premise, although I would quibble a bit about John Kennedy being even more popular in WV than Bill Clinton. The fundamental point is the same however – that there is a long history in WV of favoring national politicians who have actually paid attention to a very small state that is often ignored.

    With best wishes,
    – Tom -

  102. Mr. Scalzi, I think the calls of sexism stem from the second to last paragraph, where you seem to suggest feminism is emasculating. While I recognize the sarcasm, I can see why people would be upset with that.

    On the other hand, no one bothered to actually say that, so maybe it is just me.

  103. I can see why people would be upset with that as well.

    The main reason has nothing to do with what Scalzi wrote, which is a sarcastic look at the inherent racism in NOT voting for a non-white because he is non-white. The people there could not possibly have voted for Hillary because they are racists, so the reason must be that they are feminists, since anyone voting for Hillary is ostensibly a feminist according to FOX news.

    The main reason people are upset is because they would prefer to be knee-jerk reactionary than to actually understand what has been written. Which is indeed their prerogative, but has nothing to do with what Scalzi actually wrote.

  104. Onion:

    “I think the calls of sexism stem from the second to last paragraph, where you seem to suggest feminism is emasculating.”

    Because I tell them to have the menfolk bake a pie? Yes, possibly. On the other hand, I baked cookies with my daughter yesterday and don’t feel less of a man for it.

  105. -et-

    True. I did make a blankey exaggeration. But those millionaires in WV are the exception rather than the norm. And even Clay’s media group spread into other states.

    It is possible to make that kind of money in WV, but for the most part people leave the state, make their money, and then come back to WV.

    FREX, in Morgantown, where I live, aside from WVU, the biggest employer is Mylan–a Pittsburgh based company.

    You look at the biggest employers in WV, and if they’re not health care, they tend to be based out of state. Exceptions are Snowshoe and Mountaineer Racetrack, but those aren’t employers that are going to provide advancement for their employees.

    There are exceptions to every rule, but in general, if you want to make money, you have to leave the state to do it.

  106. Now now, Mr. Scalzi. You know confectioneries and BBQ are exempt from the emasculation rules set forth in Man-Law.

    See also, hot wings.

  107. I am an native of WV and I know why they voted for Hillery. WV women are scary. My great-great aunt Em was married 5 times, had 3 of the husbands abandon her. When she died they found 3 unmarked graves on the farm. Great aunt Tave was known for knocking down men on the street if offended. My paternal grandmother used to call wild birds down from the sky and was able to use the fabled “blood verse”. And my aunts have spent their summers keeping the rattlesnakes out of their yards by going after them with hoes and bare hands. Hell yes I’d vote for woman. I would be afraid not to.

    BTW, the state is not as white as folks think. Just about all folks who have family there over 200 years are part Indian. WV marked the northern edge of the Cherokee lands and was hunting ground for other tribes, notably the Shawnee. Early European settlers found the Indians friendly. And fertile.

  108. John,

    Your criticism of drew in his posts above is disingenuous in the extreme. You chose to write a post which ridicules a subject by exclusion, a fair and time-honored tradition of satire. But when drew called you on it, you fell back to “read what I wrote.”

    Well, what you wrote was 290 words of not saying “WV white voters are racists.” In contrast you wrote exactly zero words which either stated or, as satire, deliberately did not state “NC black voters are racists.” Regardless of what you choose to imply, a reader can certainly (and not without reason) infer, “Based on the amount of work put into these respective opinions, Scalzi thinks whites voting for whites based on skin preference is worse than blacks voting for blacks based on skin preference.” That “John Scalzi, Proprietor” byline up top doesn’t exactly leave a lot of room for editorial cover.

  109. Gerrymander:

    “Your criticism of drew in his posts above is disingenuous in the extreme. You chose to write a post which ridicules a subject by exclusion, a fair and time-honored tradition of satire. But when drew called you on it, you fell back to “read what I wrote.””

    Yes, indeed, he should have read what I wrote, to him, directly, in a comment following up his initial comment (which among other things attributed to me an argument I did not make, satirically or otherwise), because it would have clarified my position immensely. Likewise, Gerrymander, you should have read what I wrote to him, directly, in the comment following up his initial comment, before trying to accuse me of being disingenuous. Because it makes you look a little silly to have missed that.

    Likewise, I’m not responsible for what people infer, because I’m not in their heads and I have no interest in going there. Lots of people infer lots of things about what I write which aren’t the slightest bit correct, as, for example, many folks who infer I am a right-wing paleogogue because they think they have a bead on my real world politics because of Old Man’s War. I’m not responsible for the fake version of me people have in my head, or what he does when people want to play fast and sloppy with my words or arguments.

    Moreover, there is a difference between “I infer” and “you imply,” and it makes a difference in how I respond. I jumped on Drew’s head because he was telling me what I was doing, as opposed to what he assumed I was doing. If you want to say that you think I was trying to do or say something with my words, I’ll say “yes, correct” or “no, not really.” If you tell me that you know what I was doing or thinking, I’m likely to tell you, in so many words, to fuck right off.

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