Saturday, May 31, 2008
Today's a big day in Washington, D.C., as the RBC meets (as they are doing as I type). The proceedings can be viewed on C-Span, and a number of outlets are live-blogging (TalkLeft and NoQuarterUSA, to name two). Say a prayer, mediatate, have a moment of silence, whatever works for you - that justice will be done, that the ethical, moral choice will be made. And let us hope and pray that the RBC wil not pass the buck to the Credentials Committee, and prolong the decisions regarding the delegates of both states.
Tomorrow, Sunday, is the primary election in Puerto Rico. Clinton is expected to win there handily. Let's hope so. Please donate. Or call, if you can. The more votes Clinton gets, the better - she has won a NUMBER of primaries of late, and is expected to have a fairly substantial popular vote lead. Frankly, I think that DOES matter. Despite Obama's claims to the contrary, his caucus wins were acomplished with FAR fewer people, as has been discussed in this blog, as well as many others. The popular vote DOES reflect the will of the people, and THAT is not insignificant, in my humble opinion.
It's a big weekend. Send some positive energy Hillary's way, as well as hope for the just outcome by the RBC. Blessings...
Friday, May 30, 2008
May 29, 2008, 11:07PM
An Obama mystery at state meet
By RICK CASEY
Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Roy LaVerne Brooks is a superdelegate who endorsed Barack Obama in March.
The longtime party activist from Fort Worth is also running to unseat current state party Chairman Boyd Richie.
Imagine her surprise Tuesday when she received a disturbing phone call from a national Obama operative who is part of a group that parachuted into Texas to work on this weekend's state party convention.
Roy says the operative, Rudy Shank, told her that unless she drops her candidacy to unseat Richie at the state convention she will not be going to the national convention as a superdelegate.
A deal is offered
She said Shank politely told her that "if there was any way I could not run, it would be appreciated because they would like a convention without hurt feelings."
Shank told her he could make a deal with her. He said Glen Maxey, the former Austin state representative whom the Obama campaign hired as its convention director, told him that if Brooks gave up her vice chairmanship to run against Richie, she would lose her status as superdelegate if she lost.
State chairs and vice chairs are automatically members of the Democratic National Committee, which makes them superdelegates. Brooks' term as vice chair ends this weekend.
A quiet rule change
Brooks said that was news to her. About 20 years ago, then-Chairman Bob Slagle put in a rule saying that while the election for vice chair would take place at the state convention in June, the term would extend until the end of the national convention. The idea was that the vice chair should be rewarded with a national convention at the end of his or her term, not at the beginning of it.
Houstonian Carl Davis, who served as vice chairman from 1998 to 2000, went as a delegate to the convention in Los Angeles that nominated Al Gore.
"I remember seeing the rule in writing," he said.
But apparently the rule has been quietly changed in recent years.
Slagle says he recently learned of the change, though he didn't recall whether the rule was a written one or a "handshake agreement."
Under the new rule, Brooks would lose her superdelegate status if she fails to unseat Richie. But if she backs out, Richie could name her to one of three "add-on" superdelegate slots.
He is required to nominate at least two people for each of the three seats, to be approved by the nominations committee and then ratified by the convention. Traditionally, the nominations committee approves the chairman's first choice of delegates.
There are ironies in the request by an Obama operative that Brooks back off the chairman's race.
One is that she is an African-American. The state Democratic chairman has traditionally been a white male, with an occasional white female slipping in.
Another is that Brooks is casting herself as a "change" from the good ol' boy system, and Obama's campaign is all about changing the good ol' boy system. Brooks' chances of unseating Richie are enhanced by several thousand change-oriented newcomers who will swell the convention to about triple its normal size.
All of this begs the question: Why would the national Obama campaign involve itself in a state race?
Chairman Richie was not available for comment. Maxey promised to ask Shank to call me, but I didn't hear from him.
So I can only go with speculation. One possibility is that the Democratic establishment convinced the Obama folks that Brooks would not be a good enough chairwoman to help them if Texas should come into play. She would contend that Richie isn't a good enough chairman to help.
Another possibility is that a deal has been cut with Richie that could involve both his vote and the votes of the three "add-on" superdelegates.
Do you like conspiracy theories? Thursday night, two nights after Shank made his call to Brooks, Richie announced his endorsement of Obama.
Another possibility involves a "handshake agreement" Slagle put in place in the early 1980s, an agreement that has held ever since. It (accurately) presumed the chairman would be white, and alternates the vice chairmanship and the treasurer's posts between blacks and Hispanics.
"I think this is the year the vice chair is supposed to rotate back to the Mexican-Americans," Slagle said. "If it is a Mexican-American it would be for Clinton. There might be an issue there."
Maybe so, but if they're worried about losing even one superdelegate, manhandling Brooks may not help.
Brooks said she told Shank she would stay in the race.
"I made the comment that I may need to jump over to Hillary's side because I'm not going to be treated like a dish rag," she said.
I asked if she was serious.
"I'm very serious if they keep trying to get me out of the race and I learn that Obama is behind it," she said.
You can write to Rick Casey at P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. LINK:
Editorial: Clinton is top candidate for Dems
Editorial Board • Argus Leader • May 30, 2008
For the first time in memory, every state will play a role in choosing a nominee for the nation's highest office.
Some of those parts are small, but not ours: as one of the last two primary elections, South Dakota Democrats suddenly and improbably find themselves in a starring role.
That's an unlikely turn of events, as our state has improbably become a battleground in the long, hard race between two Senators seeking a spot at the top of the Democratic ticket: Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York.
The process feels similar at times, but the goal of a primary election is different from the race voters will decide in November. Our endorsement also is different. We will judge the candidates in this fall's general election when that time comes.
Obama could certainly become one of those candidates in the days ahead - at the time of this writing, his mathematical advantage is considerable. His appeal also is clear, and his campaign has been strong.
But Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate for South Dakota.
Her mastery of complex policy detail is broad and deep, and her experience as a senator and former first lady matches that.
Measured against her opponent, Clinton is philosophically more moderate. That is likely a good thing for South Dakota.
Clinton's energy policy is forward thinking and wise. She advocates a broad federal research initiative to help solve our looming oil crisis. It's a plan that would join university researchers, private industry and individual inventors behind a common goal.
Is ethanol part of the answer? Clinton believes it is but not necessarily corn ethanol.
That is not precisely the answer South Dakota wants to hear. Corn-based ethanol has been a boon for farmers here. But the simple fact is that she probably is correct. Advances in cellulosic ethanol technologies could render corn ethanol obsolete and wasteful. Happily, South Dakota is poised to be a major player in the push to experiment with other kinds of ethanol.
Clinton has demonstrated a real commitment to Native American issues and will have visited several South Dakota reservations before the race is over. Clinton is precisely correct when she says that people outside the region have a poor understanding of the troubling trends on our reservations. Federal attention could help. That includes but is not limited to higher-ranking posts in the federal bureaucracy.
Her truly universal health care plan would be welcomed by thousands of South Dakotans. Even on reservations, where health care is nominally universal already, such a plan would be welcome. The federal government would never be allowed to subject everyday Americans to the kind of care Native Americans living on reservations routinely receive.
Obama is justifiably credited as a powerful speaker, but Clinton holds her own easily. As those who have attended her South Dakota rallies can attest, she is quick on her feet and energetic. She frames her ideas clearly in speeches and answers questions with genuine directness.
Her resilience and determination never should be questioned. She has met or overcome every challenge or roadblock in her way, and there have been many. Her determination to carry the nomination process through to its real conclusion has perhaps earned her a grudging respect from those who would never support her.
Clinton might not win this race. In fact, it's a long shot. But whatever some might say, the race is not over, and her name is on the ballot. Win or lose, she's also the best Democratic candidate for South Dakota. LINK
This is an outstanding interview of Geraldine Ferraro by Greta van Susteren of Fox News (I know - can't believe it myself). Not only is Greta an accomplished lawyer, but she is a GOOD interviewer - she does not interrupt when the interviewee is responding to a question Greta asked.
The pain this primary season has caused, is causing, especially women, is palpable in Ferraro's responses. Ferraro sums up very well in both parts of this interview what MANY of us are feeling, and about which I have been writing recently.
Ms. Ferraro makes some more great comments, including: the issues of racism, her being called a racist, Bill Clinton being called a racist, the Obama campaign putting her PHONE NUMBER on the internet; and the amount of sexism in this campaign.
This continued pressure from the DNC leadership is ridiculous. The vast majority of people have said they want the nominees to go to the Convention to make the determination of who the nominee for president will be. What the hell is the hurry??? They claim this is being hard on the Democratic Party. Well, as near as I can tell, the only ones making it hard on the Party, and being divisive, are the LEADERS!! Beginning with the sheer and utter DISASTER that FL and MI have become, to trying to push the most qualified candidate out since FEBRUARY, the PARTY has made a huge mess of this whole primary. And people are starting to leave the Party in DROVES - people like me, lifelong Democrats who have never voted for anyone but a Democrat, who have given time and money to the Party, who have stood by it through thick and thin (as in some of the candidates they have put up over the past few elections), and this is how they repay us?? Yeah, Okay. As I have said before, I am not leaving the Party, the Party left me. And while it broke my heart to have to accept that, the leaders are making the pain go away pretty fast with these incredibly out-of-touch demands. They have forgotten who makes up the Party, and have become so self-centered, they can see nothing but dollar signs. Well, they're sure seeing a whole lot less of the dollars as a result of their short-sightedness. Couldn't happen to more deserving people, if you ask me.
So - the leaders, rather than HEARING what the people are saying, keep showing what total narcissistic asses they are. I guess the symbol for the Party was well chosen...
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Action Alert! NEED RESPONDERS' REBUTTAL
San Franscico Chronicle: Pelosi won't allow convention fight
By Carla Marinucci
Our Thoughts: Someone should inform House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that Clinton supporters don’t quit on their candidate. Also, that she should wait on coronating Obama because WE ARE TAKING this election to the convention. And we sincerely thank Speaker Pelosi for being so concerned with all American voters being truly heard at the Democratic Convention.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will step in if necessary to make sure the presidential nomination fight between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama does not reach the Democratic national convention - though she believes it could be resolved as early as next week.
Pelosi predicted Wednesday that a presidential nominee will emerge in the week after the final Democratic primaries on June 3, but she said "I will step in" if there is no resolution by late June regarding the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan, the two states that defied party rules by holding early primaries.
"Because we cannot take this fight to the convention," she said. "It must be over before then."
Pelosi made the comments during a wide-ranging, hour-long session before The Chronicle's editorial board. She talked about the prospects for the election of a Democratic president this fall, the legacy of President Bush and the California Supreme Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
The speaker talked in depth about the party's dilemma as its primary process comes to a close after Sunday's Puerto Rico primary, in which 55 delegates are at stake, and Tuesday's South Dakota and Montana primaries, in which 33 total delegates are up for grabs.
Obama, according to the Associated Press, is within 45 delegates of winning the nomination, a number he could reach by Tuesday. Pelosi said she is confident the Democratic National Committee's rules committee, which meets in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, will resolve the issue of Florida and Michigan.
"For now, 2,026 is the magic number" of pledged and unpledged delegates needed by a candidate to win the party's presidential nomination, she said, but "if they decide to seat (Florida and Michigan) this weekend, there will be a new magic number."
While saying she believes those two states' delegates should be seated, Pelosi added that it must happen ''in a way that is not destructive to any sense of order in the party."
"If you have no order and no discipline in terms of party rules, people will be having their primary in the year before the presidential election," she said.
"So there has to be some penalty."
She said the party committee will come up with a formula that is "fair and accepted by both campaigns," perhaps allowing the states 50 percent of their delegates. But "if the resolution is not appropriate, then it remains for the (Democratic National Convention) credentials committee to resolve it," she said. Then, "it will have to happen by the end of June" or she will intervene, she said.
The Democrats hold their convention in late August in Denver.
Pelosi said she has not been in contact with the Clinton or Obama campaigns on the matter, because "I think it is all going in the right direction" and will be resolved "in an orderly fashion" as early as next week.
Despite the prolonged and often divisive primary process, Pelosi said it has been "a very positive experience" for the Democratic Party because of "millions of people who are attracted to this campaign ... Hillary and her message, and the same thing for Barack Obama and his appeal."
"We will benefit from it in November," she said, predicting the party will be unified behind its standard bearer, whether it is Obama or Clinton. "People are already saying to me: I'll be ready - as soon as we have a nominee - to come around."
"(They) know at the end of the day we cannot have a Republican president, four more years of George Bush, tax cuts for the wealthy, a war without end - the list goes on and on," she said.
Pelosi, the nation's first woman speaker of the House, said she is keenly aware of efforts, reported in The Chronicle this week, of the San Francisco-based political action committee, WomenCount, which is running full-page newspaper ads headlined "Not So Fast!" - warning against what it calls premature efforts to push Clinton from the race and crown Obama the party's nominee.
Susie Tompkins Buell, a longtime Clinton friend and one of the effort's organizers, said Wednesday the committee has raised $400,000 in the past 10 days from women across the country determined to make the case for Clinton all the way to the convention.
"God bless their enthusiasm," said Pelosi of the effort. "These women are fabulous, and I know many of them very well." But she said, while "we all want to see a woman president ... they want me to be the chair of the convention, who is neutral. And yet they want me to be for Hillary Clinton."
But the speaker said that activist women who make up Clinton's supporters, blue-collar voters and Obama backers will come together when they realize they "have the most to lose by a Democratic defeat."
And she said voters, too, will be energized by the party's "progressive economic agenda to grow our economy, for real initiatives on health care," education, infrastructure, housing and other key "kitchen-table issues."
"We just won three special (House) elections that the GOP never thought they would lose in a million years," said Pelosi, referring to recent congressional races in Illinois, Mississippi and Louisiana.
"(Republicans) tried to make it about me and San Francisco values. They don't have a message," she said. "It's going to be a very bad year for Republicans."
Email Carla Marinucci at email@example.com.
Email Nancy Pelosi - AmericanVoices@mail.house.
My Email to Speaker Pelosi:
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
I scarecely know what to say to you after reading today's Chronicle article in which you state you do not want the two candidates to take the nomination fight to the Convention, and that you expect it to be resolved after the last primaries. That is not YOUR decision to make!
Are you THAT out of touch with the American people? We have REPEATEDLY said we DO want this to go to the Convention, if necessary, to determine our nominee. NEVER BEFORE has a candidate been treated like Senator Clinton has been treated in this primary season. She is by FAR the most qualified Democrat, but the way you, Howard Dean, Donna Brazille, and others have treated her, you would think she was just in her first term or something. Oh, no, wait - that's Senator OBAMA who has little experience!!! This is not supposed to be a coronation. The nomiee for the Party is supposed to reflect the will of the people, and the candidate most likely to win the White House. That candidate, by popular vote, and by ALL of the polls, is Senator CLINTON.
And if you care SO much for the Rules, why are NH, IA, and SC not being penalized as well??? There is only ONE reason for it - you, and the DNC leadership, assumed Obama was going to win all three states, and have gamed this nomination. That is why THOSE states, who broke the rules, had ZERO penalties. Meanwhile, two heavily Clinton states, FL and MI were penalized 100% by Donna Brazille and the DNC. That kind of disparate treatment, that VAST disenfranchisement of voters, is reprehensible. The DNP should NOT be the Party of Disenfranchisement, yet that is EXACTLY what it has done. It is staggering to me that this is what the DNC has become.
It is exactly this type of behavior, in addition to your failed leadership in the House (as if ANYONE needed more ammunition that George Bush is a war criminal, McClellan's upcoming book PROVES he intentionally deceived us, but YOU took Impeachment off the table preemptively. This seems to be a PATTERN with you.), that has led MANY of us to leave the Democratic Party. I am a lifelong Democrat, or was, until now - I never thought I would be SO ashamed of my party as I am now. The constant bias demonstrated against Senator Clinton, along with the blatant sexism and misogyny demonstrated by this Party, has made it clear that this is not the organization with which I want to be affiliated. I will continue to support Senator Clinton's candidacy, and I will support individual candidates, but the DNC has lost yet another member, and conributor.
Make no mistake - it is not Senator Clinton dividing this Party - it is you, Howard Dean, and Donna Brazille who are destroying this Party. And allowing the Republcians to keep the White House. You should all be ashamed of how you have acted this primary season.
The Rev. Amy
Action Alert! NEED RESPONDERS' REBUTTAL
Washington Post (DC): Clinton's Two-State Two-Step
By Harold Meyerson
Our Thoughts: It appears that Harold Myerson is taking his journalism cues straight from the Obama campaign. Harold, as a supposedly independent journalist, a little honest research will go a long way.
On Jan 25, 2008, Senator Clinton stated the following in a press release:
“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.
“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.
“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.
“I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.”
She has stated this very same position on numerous occasions:
February 22, 2008:
March 12, 2008:
March 12, 2008:
March 17, 2008:
March 20, 2008:
March 26, 2008:
April 2, 2008:
April 4, 2008:
Harold, please also tell us your source for drawing such an asinine conclusion that “a number of Clinton supporters have come to identify the seating of Michigan and Florida not merely with Clinton's prospects but with the causes of democracy and feminism -- an equation that makes a mockery of democracy and feminism.”
Is fairness in the media too much to ask for? We are pretty clear that independent journalism is out of the question.
On Saturday, when the Rules Committee of the Democratic National Committee meets to determine the fate of Florida and Michigan's delegations to this summer's convention, it will have some company. A group of Hillary Clinton supporters has announced it will demonstrate outside.
That Clinton has impassioned supporters, many of whom link her candidacy to the feminist cause, hardly qualifies as news. And it's certainly true that along the campaign trail Clinton has encountered some outrageously sexist treatment, just as Barack Obama has been on the receiving end of bigoted treatment. (Obama has even been subjected to anti-Muslim bigotry despite the fact that he's not Muslim.) But somehow, a number of Clinton supporters have come to identify the seating of Michigan and Florida not merely with Clinton's prospects but with the causes of democracy and feminism -- an equation that makes a mockery of democracy and feminism.
Clinton herself is largely responsible for this absurdity. Over the past couple of weeks, she has equated the seating of the two delegations with African Americans' struggle for suffrage in the Jim Crow South, and with the efforts of the democratic forces in Zimbabwe to get a fair count of the votes in their presidential election.
Somehow, I doubt that the activists opposing Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe would appreciate this equation.
But the Clintonistas who have called Saturday's demonstration make it sound as if they'll be marching in Selma in support of a universal right to vote. The DNC, says one of their Web sites, "must honor our core democratic principles and enfranchise the people of Michigan and Florida."
Had Florida and Michigan conducted their primaries the way the other 48 states conducted their own primaries and caucuses -- that is, in accord with the very clear calendar laid down by the DNC well before the primaries began -- then Clinton's marchers would be utterly justified in their claims. But when the two states flouted those rules by moving their primaries outside the prescribed time frame, the DNC, which gave neither state a waiver to do so, decreed that their primaries would not count and enjoined all presidential candidates from campaigning in those states. Obama and John Edwards complied with the DNC's dictates by removing their names from the Michigan ballot. Clinton did not.
Seating Michigan in full would mean the party validates the kind of one-candidate election (well, 1.03, to give Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel, who also remained on the ballot, their due) that is more common in autocracies than democracies. It would mean rewarding the one serious candidate who didn't remove her name from the ballot when all her rivals, in deference to the national party rules, did just that.
What's particularly outrageous is that the Clinton campaign supported the calendar, and the sanctions against Michigan and Florida, until Clinton won those states and needed to have their delegations seated.
Last August, when the DNC Rules Committee voted to strip Florida (and Michigan, if it persisted in clinging to its date) of its delegates, the Clinton delegates on the committee backed those sanctions. All 12 Clinton supporters on the committee supported the penalties. (The only member of the committee to vote against them was an Obama supporter from Florida.) Harold Ickes, a committee member, leading Clinton strategist and acknowledged master of the political game, said, "This committee feels very strongly that the rules ought to be enforced." Patty Solis Doyle, then Clinton's campaign manager, further affirmed the decision. "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process," she said, referring to the four states that the committee authorized to hold the first contests. "And we believe the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC-approved nominating calendar."
Not a single Clinton campaign official or DNC Rules Committee member, much less the candidate herself, said at the time that the sanctions imposed on Florida or Michigan were in any way a patriarchal plot or an affront to democratic values. The threat that these rules posed to our fundamental beliefs was discovered only ex post facto -- the facto in question being Clinton's current need to seat the delegations whose seatings she had opposed when she thought she'd cruise to the nomination.
Clinton's supporters have every right to demonstrate on Saturday, of course. But their larger cause is neither democracy nor feminism; it's situational ethics. To insist otherwise is to degrade democracy and turn feminism into the last refuge of scoundrels.
Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
And this is what I wrote to Mr. Meyerson:
Dear Mr. Meyerson:
Is it REALLY too much for the public to expect journalists to fact check anymore? It would certainly SEEM so, at least regarding your article regarding Senator Clinton's "Two-Step" in today's Washington Post. A SIMPLE search would demonstrate that Senator Clinton has been discussing this since JANUARY 25, 2008, in which she spoke out on the importance of NOT disenfranchising TWO STATES.
The level of bias demostrated by your piece is unacceptable. Clinton pushing for ALL VOTES TO BE COUNTED should be seen as a POSITIVE thing, and is something she has done since JANUARY!!! Only the media bias would spin it otherwise. It is not like other states have not had their delegates fully restored by the Rules Committee before, and the "nuclear option" Donna Brazille forced on MI and FL was DISPARATE treatment - IA, NH, and SC ALL broke the rules, received NO punsihment, and only FL and MI - two heavily Clinton states - were penalized in EXCESS of the stated DNC rules (50%). Perhaps if you had enaged in some fact checking, you would have found that Donna Brazille ALSO said on CNN that this has happened before, it gets taken to the Rules COmmittee at the end of May, and that other states had previously had their delegates restored. Gee - too bad THAT didn't make it into your article. No, rather you decided to link this to feminism and to take yet another convoluted route to put down Senator Clinton as a result. This would simply be boorish behavior if you were not a journalist for the Washington Post. As I said above, this level of bias by the media is unacceptable. And your sexist determination that this has lowered the cause of feminisim is ABSURD. It merely highlights your thinly veiled bias.
Senator Clinton is running as an extremely accomplished candidate, and to treat her as anything less than that by trying to diminish her (and other women, for that matter) is reprehensible.
You owe Senator Clinton an apology,. You owe yoru READERS an apology. AND you owe a correction to your factual errors.
The Rev. Amy
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Action Alert! NEED RESPONDERS' REBUTTAL
Mark Halperin and Time Magazine continue with their rampant sexist attitude towards Senator Clinton in this photo: Time Photo
If Time Magazine would have displayed a photo with Senator Obama tied up to railroad tracks all fury would have broken loose in the media. But, apparently it is o.k. by Time Magazine’s standards to doctor an image of Senator Clinton with her hands and feet bound.
The only way to stop this mysognist (sic) and harmful messagin is to tell Time Magazine that this is unacceptable to the American people.
American journalism should mean something more than the degradation of women.
Write letters to Time at email@example.com
And here's my letter:
You allow a doctored photograph of SENATOR Clinton tied and bound, outstretched on RAILROAD tracks in Mark Halperin's article?!?!? Senator Clinton is a Former First Lady of Arkansas, a Former First Lady of the UNITED STATES, and is serving her SECOND term as a US Senator, and you think this is APPROPRIATE?!?! There is NO way that a racially comparable photograph would EVER be allowed of Senator Obama, yet this IS? Has the media lost ALL sense of decency and decorum? From what I have seen this campaign season, the answer is a resounding YES. It has lost ALL sense of decency.
This blatant MISOGYNY is UNACCEPTABLE. There is NO excuse for it. It is reprehensible.
The Rev. Amy
Are you freakin' KIDDING me?!?! When news has leaked about the DNC getting its attorneys together to write a memo* BEHIND CLOSED DOORS to cap the number of delegates from FL and MI at 50% you send out THIS ad? Seriously?!?! I have been a lifelong Democrat - voted straight-ticket - my entire adult life (I'm 50). Until today. Today I have RENOUNCED MY MEMBERSHIP IN THE DNC! I will no longer be a part of a Party that treats women like crap, as mere chattel; that blatantly supports one candidate over another and does EVERYTHING it can, including disenfranchising TWO STATES to make sure that happens; and that has failed MISERABLY in its leadership, both in Congress and in the DNC itself (I'm talking to YOU, Howard Dean and Donna Brazille!). So, count me as another one who feels my party has left me when it decided that our most basic right, the right to vote, should be suspended to shove the most UNQUALIFED candidate down our throats. Thanks to YOU, we will be having another 4 yrs of a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENCY!! TAKE ME OFF THIS LIST!!
*My buddy, The Divine Democrat, mentioned in a comment that this isn't a LAW, and I apologize if I made it sound as if it was. It IS indicative, however, of the further attempts of the DNC to silence people, and to game the nomination for Obama. Yes, Clinton can fight it, and I hope she does - all the way to the Convention (which is why I gave more to her today - and the funds are being matched, so whatever you give, is essentially doubled. Go give.). But, for the DNC to instruct their attorneys to do this memo before the Rules Committee meets at the end of this week to determine this very thing was the final straw for me after a long, long season of one insult after another. It was intended to send a strong message, and it sure did - maybe not the kind they wanted. But send it they did, and I am not the ONLY one today to write about this. SusanUnPc over at No Quarter essentially said the same thing. She has had it, too. So, the DNC can try and spin this latest however the hell they want - but it seems pretty clear to me. And no matter how FL and MI end up working out at this point, I feel as if I have made the best decision for me.
Amendment: See, here's the thing. With the Rules Committee able to correct the incredibly POOR decision on the part of the DNC to strip ALL of the delegates from MI and FL as opposed to the required 50%, there was the possibility of the DNC saving a little face, and having the opportunity to correct its former (overzealous) position. This is especially true for FL since the FL primary was dictated by the Florida REPUBLICAN Party, and had little to do with the Democrats in that state. That is exactly what Floridians have been arguing. So, the error could have been corrected, the DNC could have saved a little face, and the Rules Committee could have decided for ITSELF what it thought best for this election, and for the Party (and Donna Brazille had previously said that this is how these things are handled - by going to the Rules Committee, for which there is precedent to reinstate ALL of the delegates. Just not this time, see.). But no - the DNC INSISTED upon inserting itself AGAIN to make it CLEAR which way THEY want the Rules Committee to go, and that is the problem. They had the opportunity to bring some people back into the fold, restore some confidence that they do believe in counting every vote, and started to heral the anger in FL and MI. But, no. They chose NOT to do that. And that is why I have HAD it with them. The DNC has made it ABUNDANTLY clear that they don't give a shit about the will of the people, or in making sure every vote counts. They want Obama on the ticket, and dammit, they will do EVERYTHING they can to make sure that happens, even if FL and MI never vote for a Democrat again. It is short-sighted. It is stupid. And it is wrong.
One more thing - I have said this before, and Big Tent Democrat makes the same argument today. If the DNC's attorneys are going to insist that this is how the Rules work, then IA, NH, and SC MUST be stripped of half of their delegates, too. They all broke the rules, and received NO punishment at ALL. This is what I meant about disparate treatment. You cannot punish two states beyond what is called for in the Rules, and then allow three other states to go completely unscathed for doing the SAME THING. Even if it DOES mess with your Chosen One's delegate count. Treat all five states exactly the same way. It's simply the right thing to do. Just sayin'.
Another INCREDIBLE video by ShutTheFreudUp Productions!
And timely, too...
What that means is the DNC is continuing to game the system for Obama, and is attempting to make FL and MI pay more than ANY other state, including IA, SC, and NH (all of which had their FULL delegations counted). It is their attempt to thwart any real options this coming Saturday (5/31) when the Rules Committee meets. It is, quite simply, their further attempt to push Hillary Clinton out of the race. It is the unmitigated effort by the DNC to silence the voice of the voters. That is reugnant to me, and unacceptable.
And so it is that I have come to this decision. As I commented at TalkLeft, this does it for me. I am 50, and a LIFELONG Democrat. Until today. I am going RIGHT NOW to change my registration. I will not allow a Party that has consistently acted in such a disparate manner toward certain states and candidates to count me on their rolls. I will not allow a Party that has shown such callous disrgard for the will of its very members to count me on their rolls. I will not allow a Party that has acted with such callous disregard and for, and animosity toward, WOMEN to count me on its rolls. As well as all of the other things people have already mentioned about its complete and utter failures of leadership since the Democrats took over a couple of years ago (Pelosi taking impeachment off the table immediately; continued funding for the Iraq invasion; FISA; and energy issues, to name a few).
I do not say this lightly. It breaks my heart. But I cannot be a member any longer of this Party. Because truthfully, I did not leave it. It left me. No need for it to be able to pad its rolls with my name...
Dear Family and Friends....
Very exciting news from California... I just made this call, it really did take a few seconds.
Governor Arnold SCHWARZENEGGER is receiving large numbers of phone calls from the supporters of "Limitson Marriage" (the pending constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in California) about his comment to a group of Log Cabin Republicans that he wouldn't support a constitutional amendment.
We don't want him to go back on his word.
He must hear from us, too.
To vote in support of the CA Supreme Court's decision on marriage equality/LGBT marriage:
Press 1, 5, 1, 1
(1 = English,
5 = Hot Topic,
1 = Same-Sex Marriage,
1 = In support of it )
After you've done this send it on to all supporters you know.
It couldn't be easier to vote... please take 15 seconds right now to do it!
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER YOU LIVE IN CALIFORNIA OR NOT.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
AxelRove and Co. are doing this based in large part on the success Obama had in the very UNdemocratic caucus states. TalkLeft.com had an EXCELLENT post today on this issue, including some VERY interesting numbers of how few people are determining this election comparatively speaking. The post, Caucuses v. Primaries, focuses on an outstanding report by P. Cronin, and includes data such as:
34 Primary States -32.4 Million Votes
13 Caucus States -1.1 Million Votes
3.2% of the vote controls 15.5% of the delegate selection for the 2008 Democratic Convention
And this from P. Cronin's results: "Washington allocated its 78 pledged delegates at a ratio of 2:1 [67% to 33%] and Obama got 52 versus Clinton’s 26. He gained 26 delegates. If the pledged delegates had been allocated according to the primary results, Obama would have won roughly 41 delegates compared to Clinton’s 37. He would be gained only 4 delegates. Bottom line: The caucus vs. primary election benefited Obama by a net 22 delegates – 14.5% of the 152 pledged delegates separating the two."
That is to say: "35 Primaries with 33.8 million voters have Clinton leading in both votes and delegates.
Caucuses with 1.1 million voters gave Obama 300,000 more votes and 193 more delegates.
....After 47 state elections to date, Obama leads Clinton by 152 pledged delegates. 97% of the difference – 148 delegates – is directly attributable to lopsided victories in caucus contests."
This is a FUNDAMENTAL problem. Clinton HAS won more votes, and has won the big states the Democrats NEED to win to regain the White House. A lot of Obama's caucus wins are in VERY Red states, and states that are highly unlikely to go Blue in November. And those wins are fraught with major problems that I have discussed here before, especially the intimidation and cheating, which compound the problems of having so few people have so much weight in the primary itself. Never mind the people caucuses EXCLUDE - they take a lot of time, and only people who HAVE a lot of time, and are in good enough health, can attend. Wow. Go read the post, and the actual article. Again, here's the link: Caucses b. Primaries It is well worth it.
Just a reminder that May 31st is when the Rules Committee of the DNC will consider FL and MI. It is IMEPRATIVE that the DNC handle this appropriately, or risk losing them both in November. That means, GIVE CLINTON HER DAMN WINS ALREADY!!!!! Anything else is just a sham. Seriously. Obama doesn't deserve a damn thing more than the actual votes cast for him.
Puerto Rico votes on June 1 (a Sunday - gee - think that means more people get to VOTE?!?!). Clinton should do well. This will add to her popular vote total. The SuperDelegates MUST pay attention to this, and to the Electoral College Map. Clinton wins it HANDILY - over 300 votes. Obama? Nope - he cannot hit the 270 number. But McCAIN will over Obama. SUPERDELEGATES - DO YOUR JOBS!! Pick the one who can WIN!!! And who, conveniently, will be the BEST candidate!!!! Just sayin'...
Don't give up on Hillary. She hasn't given up on us.
Monday, May 26, 2008
For all of those who have served our nation; for those who have lost their lives in her service; and for all of the veterans who have passed along...For my father, Tom (Navy), and my uncle, Jerry (Merchant Marines, Marines).
May we remember, and never forget...
Sunday, May 25, 2008
First, let's look at Guam. Yes, Guam. The Obama people were ecstatic that they won by 7 votes out of a couple thousand people. Never mind that there was SUPPOSED to be a recount because of 500 spoiled ballots in - wait for it - heavily Clinton voting areas, the results of which I have NEVER heard. But Hillary just got the vote of a superdelegate down there, and the Obama people are INCENSED!! She was SUPPOSED to vote with the will of the people, dammit!! How DARE she think independently??!?! Oh, but wait - see, that only matters when the SDs go AGAINST the Obama meme!! It is FINE and DANDY for Kerry, Kennedy, and Patrick to thwart the will of Massachussetts. And peachy keen-o for Bill Richardson to thumb his nose at his own people. Or for Rockefeller and Byrd to thumb their noses at the VAST number of people who did NOT vote for Obama. See, that's JUST fine. But let a Superdelegate do what they are SUPPOSED to do - think for themselves (and honestly, not knowing the results of the recount, 7 votes is essentially a tie anyway, which is how the Guam delegates currently stand: 4 - 4), and they go nuts. So, Guam has become VERY important to the Obama camp.
How about Puerto Rico with its four MILLION voters?? No, not so much. Why? Well, because even though they have 55 delegates (compared to Guam's paltry number), Clinton is expected to win there, pretty handily. So, the Obama camp has started this meme that since Puerto Ricans cannot vote for president in November (don't even get me STARTED on that - we take over their country, and then do not allow them to vote in the actual presidential contest?!?!), their votes shouldn't matter. Yes, that is what the Obama people are now saying - PUERTO RICO SHOULD NOT STAND IN THE WAY OF THE CORONATION!!!! It's a popular vote thing, see. Clinton is alrady leading in the popular vote when MI and FL are included, and it wil be a greater lead once Puerto Rico votes. So, Guam, even though it has NO electoral college representation, YES - it is VERY important! Puerto Rico, because it will go for Hillary, NO - don't pay ANY attention to them!!!! Is THIS how the Obama camp has decided to fix its problem with Hispanic voters?!?! Bear in mind, there are quite a few Puerto Ricans who live IN the United States, too. You don't think this might piss them off just a TAD that Obama says their votes shouldn't COUNT?!?!?! Uh, yeah.
Mind boggling. Truly mind boggling. What is even more so are the comments people have posted trying to support this new meme. As I said in the beginning, wow. Just wow. What the hell is WRONG with these people?
Oh, wait - I know what is wrong with them! They have seen the MAPS!! Yes, the maps in which McCain beats the crap out of Obama, and Clinton beats the crap out of McCain in an Electoral College Map scenario. As others have pointed out, for a campaign that claims it has it all in the bag, they are running JUST a might scared!! (Electoral-vote.com is a great resource, by the way - if you wish, add it to your favorite places and check it out regularly!) So, yeah - they are pretty freaked out because it is CLEAR that Clinton will win in the General Election, and Obama?? Not so much. Remember, too, that this is while the MSM is attacking her ferociously day in and day out, and giving Obama constant love. When MCCAIN starts running against Obama, it will be a whole different story, you can count on it. McCain has already fired warning shots across Obama's bow, most recently in the back and forth on the GI bill ("McCain, who had an ugly dustup with Obama last year over judicial appointments, said it was "typical" of his likely November rival to "use the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of." Full Article), but McCain has made it CRYSTAL clear he will not put up with that kind of crap AT ALL. Not from Obama, and not from the MSM. (Remember, McCain wrote Obama a letter a couple of years ago about his disappointment in him not keeping his word - he seems to have seen through Obama some time ago.)
So, yeah - the Obama people seem to be coming apart at the seams a bit here. Obama CANNOT close the deal, with all of the tremendous advantages he has had. Clinton CONTINUES to beat both Obama and McCain in a General Election matchup. His desire to treat Puerto Rico like it was Florida or Michigan (!!!) pretty much says it all. Once again, what it says ain't good...
Viva, Puerto Rico! Go, HILLARY!!!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Once again, the Post and Courier offers skewed coverage of Senator Clinton in the article regarding her marks on Bobby Kennedy. What this particular version failed to include was that Senator Clinton said the SAME THING in Time Magazine back in March, to NO hew and cry from the Obama campaign. What's the difference? A Philadelphia Inquirer article yesterday claiming that Clinton is leading in the popular vote, and Obama saying to a group of Cuban-Americans in Florida that he would visit Communist leaders in Cuba. Have to get THAT off of the headlines, so let's attack CLINTON!!!
Furthermore, the editor# of the Argus paper who was interviewing Clinton released a statement saying that she was talking about historical precedents for staying in the race - that's ALL. Robert Kennedy, Jr., ALSO issued a statement* saying he has heard Senator Clinton make this statement before in terms of highlighting how MANY nomination runs have lasted into June, including his father's, and he did not understand what all of the hoopla was.
Neither do I. It is CLEAR from the video what she was saying. That the media, and Obama's campaign, cherry-picked this one little tidbit COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT, and a comment made in response to a question, which the editor asked SEVERAL times, is completely reprehensible. To even think that she was saying something nefarious is mind-boggling - if anything, she was comparing herself to Bobby Kennedy, who was, if anyone remembers history, BEHIND at the time, but was determined to go all the way to the Convention (and she DOES have his Senate seat, after all, and HAS been endorsed by ALL THREE OF HIS CHILDREN).
That the Post and Courier decided to run with this particular version is mighty telling (the NY Times actually included the above referenced quotes from the editor and Robert Kennedy, Jr.). What was completely missing from that WHOLE story was the extensive amount of time Senator Clinton spent answering indepth questions about her positions and policies. But, hey - why bother paying any attention to THAT when we can find one tiny tidbut out of context on which to attack her?!
Next time, try reporting ALL of the story!
The Rev. Amy
# The Argus Leader’s Executive Editor Randell Beck on the issue:
"The context of the question and answer with Sen. Clinton was whether her continued candidacy jeopardized party unity this close to the Democratic convention. Her reference to Mr. Kennedy's assassination appeared to focus on the timeline of his primary candidacy and not the assassination itself."
* Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s statement:
“It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June. I have heard her make this reference before, also citing her husband's 1992 race, both of which were hard fought through June. I understand how highly charged the atmosphere is, but I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.”
Friday, May 23, 2008
Posted on Fri, May. 23, 2008
In most inclusive count, Clinton has the numbers
By Jonathan Last
Inquirer Editorial Board
Lost in the excitement of Barack Obama's coronation this week was an inconvenient fact of Tuesday's results: Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter.
Real Clear Politics keeps track of six versions of the popular-vote total. They are, in ascending order of inclusivity: (1) the popular vote of sanctioned contests; (2) the total of sanctioned contests, plus estimated votes from the Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington caucuses; (3) the popular vote plus Florida; (4) popular vote plus Florida and the caucuses; (5) the popular vote plus Florida and Michigan; (6) popular vote plus Florida, Michigan, and the caucus estimates. After Tuesday, Clinton now leads in two of these six counts.
If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to "count every vote," then the sixth category is the most inclusive, and here Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes. Of course, this includes the Michigan result, where Sen. Obama had removed his name from the ballot. So while it may be the most inclusive, it may not be the most fair.
The third and fourth counts - the ones which include Florida - seem more fair. Here, Obama is clinging to a slight lead of 146,786 votes (257,008, with the caucus estimates). However, with Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota remaining, he will almost certainly finish behind her in these counts, likely by a few hundred thousand votes.
But could Clinton take over the lead in all of the popular-vote tabulations? Quite possibly. In Puerto Rico's last major election, two million people voted. Let's assume that turnout for this historic vote - Puerto Rico has never had a presidential primary before - will be equal to or greater than that turnout.
If Clinton were to win Puerto Rico by 20 points she would pick up at least a 400,000-vote margin. This would allow her to swamp Obama in the popular-vote counts, which include Florida, making her the leader in four of the six permutations of the popular vote. At that point, Obama would be left clinging to the least-inclusive count, which he now leads by 441,558 votes (551,780, including caucuses).
To understand how razor-thin this majority is, consider that if the Puerto Rico turnout is slightly larger than we have imagined - or Clinton's margin is slightly greater - then Clinton would finish the primary process leading in every conceivable vote count. With two million voters, a 28 percent victory would put Clinton over the top even in the count, which excludes Florida and Michigan and includes estimates for Obama's caucus victories.
It is this looming prospect which explains the tremendous pressure Obama partisans and the media are putting on Clinton to drop out of the race. They want her gone now because they understand that she has an excellent chance of finishing as the undisputed people's choice.
Would it matter if Clinton were the undisputed (or even disputed) popular-vote winner? That's hard to say. The question is, matter to whom? The superdelegates will determine the nominee and there's no telling what will sway them. They have no objective criteria from which to make their decisions. But if they were to deny the popular-vote champ the nomination, there is a real question of whether Democratic voters would reconcile themselves to the decision. As it is, much of the talk about Democratic defections in November has been overstated.
Partisan voters almost always come home after their candidate loses. The problem arises when a candidate's supporters believe that their guy (or gal) didn't lose. Expect the chorus calling for Clinton's withdrawal to grow louder over the next week, with people insisting that she has no "path to victory."
Clinton's path is both obvious and simple: Win the popular vote and force Barack Obama and his cheerleaders to explain why that doesn't matter.
E-mail Jonathan Last at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published 22 May 2008
Gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind has been shamelessly peddled by the US media, which - sooner rather than later, I fear - will have to account for their sins
History, I suspect, will look back on the past six months as an example of America going through one of its collectively deranged episodes - rather like Prohibition from 1920-33, or McCarthyism some 30 years later. This time it is gloating, unshackled sexism of the ugliest kind. It has been shamelessly peddled by the US media, which - sooner rather than later, I fear - will have to account for their sins. The chief victim has been Senator Hillary Clinton, but the ramifications could be hugely harmful for America and the world.
THE REST (click)...
Along those lines, things are heating up in FL and MI. The DNC Rules Committee meets on 5/31 to determine their fate. What many people do not discuss is how much shutting them down in the FIRST place was designed to thwart not only Clinton's momentum, but her fundraising. Candidates often seem to bring in a lot of cash following a win. Clinton SURELY would have made a good bit after winning both those states had the media not treated them as "beauty contests." (And Floridians are pretty ticked off, from the comments I have seen, that OBAMA claimed the only reason Clinton won was name recognition. Whaaa??? The DNC and the media had just been shoring him up BIG time for SC, and there were debates before the FL vote. Oh - and they actually do have tv [on which Obama had ads, despite the pledge], newspapers, and the internet down there.) Never mind their discounting of MI because Edwards and Obama decided to take their names off. It was their choice, dammit, and their stragey. Funny, when that FIRST happened, some of the bigtime bloggers, like Kos, said they were shooting themselves in the foot and insuring Clinton's win, and that they DESERVED it - my how he has changed his tune NOW!!! (TalkLeft had this yesterday - Once Upon A Time ) Anywho - my point is that it seems intentional, and it worked. STILL, the race is not over. There are contest left to run, and 2.3 million people to enfranchise. So, any more talk of who Obama wants for VP is premature, to say the least. It ain't over until it's over, and it ain't over yet.
And that brings me to the Superdelegates. There was an interesting article in the Charlotte Observer today about Superdelegates, and their breakdown. It should come as no surprise that men FAR outweigh women. Anyway, here's the link to the article: "Democratic Party's Process Undemocratic."
It seems that even the SuperDelegates are stacked against Clinton. One thing I was surprised to see was the claim that how the states voted did seem to influence the choice the SDs made - that certainly was NOT the case for MA, WVA, and even some CA Superdelegates. Honestly, I don't know how Clinton sleeps with all of those knives in her back...But she does not allow the betrayals to slow her down - nope - she hasn't given up on us, and we aren't giving up on her!! As people make their voices heard, hopefully, the DNC will actually listen for a change, and seat the FL and MI delegates as is (MI's undecideds can go to the Convention as undecideds, and vote however they please there). Until then, keep giving, keep calling, and keep the faith.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Incredible Shrinking Talking Point
by Todd Beeton, Thu May 22, 2008 at 06:31:21 AM EST
I wasn't around a television Tuesday night so I didn't get a sense at all of how the speeches played or what the media was obsessing over in its coverage of election night. So it was interesting to read this from Poblano on Wednesday:
Last night, Barack Obama clinched a majority of pledged delegates excluding Florida and Michigan, as well as under certain Florida/Michigan scenarios. But, in spite of a big win in Oregon and a well-executed speech in Iowa, the milestone did not quite produce the sense of euphoria and closure that his campaign might have been after. The circumstances of the day -- Hillary Clinton's overwhelming margin of victory in Kentucky, the late hour at which Oregon ballot boxes closed, the subdued tone of the evening necessitated by Senator Kennedy's diagnosis, and some relatively effective pushback from the Clinton campaign on the pledged delegate metric -- conspired to prevent that.
Notice the loaded language..."clinched"..."conspired"...he sounds like he actually thinks a majority of pledged delegates means something concrete as opposed to merely psychological. I mean, the Obama talking point was successful to a point; it got covered by traditional media as though it meant something real and even confused NPR's Michelle Norris who conveniently left off the word "pledged" when describing the delegate milestone Obama would reach Tuesday night. Mara Liasson had to correct her.
Now, I'm not saying the milestone is entirely meaningless, all I'm saying is let's call it what it is: a meme pushed out by the Obama camp to influence superdelegates and the media and to manipulate public perception. I can see how psychologically it would have some power, but let's not pretend the Obama campaign wasn't being manipulative; clearly they were hoping hearing "majority" and "delegates" in the same sentence would confuse people into thinking the race had been won and thus make it so. Alas, it was not meant to be, but good try. It's about time they started playing on that playing field.
Look, the second it became clear that pledged delegates alone were not going to win the nomination for either Obama or Clinton, the use of psychological warfare was fair game; it's superdelegates' jobs to be influenced by things like popular vote, majority of pledged delegates and electability and as far as I'm concerned it's the campaigns' jobs to try to use any argument at their disposal to make the case to them.
What I find remarkable is that the same people who are brazenly spinning this Obama talking point are ridiculing the Clinton campaign for spinning theirs.
Yes, [Byron York] really did make this argument about Hillary Clinton and the primaries:
There have been four quarters in the Democratic presidential nomination battle. We're late in the fourth quarter now, and when it's over, Hillary Clinton will likely have won three of the quarters -- and won the most votes overall -- but lost the game.
Mr. York? Mr. York? There's a Mr. Wolfson for you on line four.
I'm not saying York was entirely artful about expressing it, but that argument is no more absurd or off limits than the majority of pledged delegates thing. The problem for Hillary Clinton, though, is that it's just the latest argument that they've advanced that will fail to sway the superdelegates into shifting her way.
Well, let's hope Mr. Beeton is wrong about that last point...
Oh - and along those lines, I was SORELY disappointed in Sen. Robert C. Byrd of WVA for throwing his Superdelegate support to OBAMA after Clinton blew him out of the water in WVA!! Senator Byrd's logic? The 2002 speech Obama gave to a select group of VERY liberal people in a very liberal district, which he RE-DID for the cameras ('cause no one was following it at the time), and the assumption that Obama will get our troops out of Iraq. OK - the problems with this "logic" have been stated ad nauseum, but briefly - OBAMA HAS VOTED THE EXACT SAME WAY HILLARY CLINTON HAS SINCE HE GOT INTO THE SENATE AND HE WAS NOT IN THE SENATE TO HAVE TO MAKE THAT DECISION IN THE FIRST PLACE. I might add, his plan is nowhere NEAR as specific as Clinton's is for withdrawal, nor his timetable as soon. So, not only did Byrd COMPLETELY disregard the voters in his own state (what else is new - it's okay for SDs to do that for OBAMA, just not for Clinton), but he is choosing the candidate with the less well thought out plan! What the HELL?!?!? I lost a lot of respect for HIM, too, when he made this decision. I remember thinking, after Clinton won SO easily, and after she mentioned going to see Senator Byrd, that an endorsement for HER from him was forthcoming. Sheesh - what the hell does this woman have to DO, anyway?!? Unfortunately, too many of these people seem to be buying into the inevitability meme of Obama (started by his camp and the MSM), and HIS historic run, nevermind HERS. And the fear of being called a racist looms large for many...
Yet, and YET - Clinton continues to do well in the primaries, in fundraising, and in her rallies, in SPITE of the constant attacks. That speaks VOLUMES about her - she does not shy away from a fight worth fighting, and does not allow the (often false) words against her to dampen her commitment to the over 17 million people who have supported her. And don't we WANT a president like that? Who stands in when the going gets tough, who keeps going no matter what the pundits say? For me, the answer is a resounding YES, I DO!!!
How about you?
I was commenting to my Blogger Buddy, the Divine Democrat, yesterday that it really seems like the MSM is trying DESPERATELY to frame the narrative around Clinton and her desire for Florida and Michaigan to be seated BEFORE the nominee is chosen. I had said that they are doing very much the same thing to HER as they did to Gore - trying to make her look bad so that the delegates (super and unpledged) do not feel like they can give her the nomination without being seen as thwarting "the process" or being called racists (the BIG thing the MSM and Obama camp are doing now - who knew that 2/3 of Kentucky and West Virginia, along with majorities of PA, OH, NY, CA, NJ, etc., are raging racists?!?! What else to explain those majorities not drinking the Kool Aide and following The One?? It COULDN'T be his incredible lack of experience, or voting for the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill as gasoline edges up to $4.00 a gallon [and diesel is already above it], or his arrogance, sexism, and denigrating of working class voters! No, couldn't be - they are just all RACISTS!!! Ahem.). Then lo and behold, last night on TalkLeft.com, Big Tent Democrat mentioned that Eric Alterman had an article on this very issue, including a quote from Tim Russert back in 2000:
"Listen to Tim Russert, among the most influential journalists in the entire country, advising Al Gore to be “magnanimous and statesmanlike,” by suggesting he tell the nation, “I won the popular vote. I gave up the presidency, in effect, because of the Electoral College and the Constitution.”
Note the complete absence in Russert’s definition of “magnanimous” and “statesmanlike” of Al Gore’s responsibility to help ensure Americans a fair election. Chris Matthews is reported by Salon.com to have offered up a similar observation that Gore concede for ‘the good of the nation.’ " (Eric Alternman's article, For The Good Of the Nation Interesting piece - check it out.).
So, it's not just me, is my point. It seems the MSM is HELLbent on framing this as a "she should get out for the good of the country" thing, rather than be bothered by pesky little things like VOTES. As Senator Clinton pointed out yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court said that a technicality should NOT stand in the way of the WILL OF THE PEOPLE!!! Now there's a concept!! The will of the VOTERS, like in FL and MI, where they chose HER!!! (I will post her speech below.) And if they want to talk ELECTORAL COLLEGE, Clinton is the one who has the numbers to get to the White House against John McCain, not Obama. Obama isn't even close. Clinton is over 300 in just about every configuration one can imagine.
All of that is to say that Clinton is standing strong in the face of these attempts by the media and Obama's camp to paint her as staying in after the race is COMPLETED (it is not), and to denigrate her (and her supporters) in an attempt to manipulate the delegates (supers and others). Clinton is standing for DEMOCRACY - both with a little "d" and for the DNP. Rather than castigate her for it, Americans, including these pundits, should acknowledge that she is doing what so many of us wanted Al Gore to do - fight for our votes. Isn't that what about what a democracy is? Votes are "The will of the PEOPLE"?? Uh, yeah. Pretty much. Clinton says it much better than I, and here is her excellent speech from Boca Raton, FL:
May 21, 2008
Hillary's Remarks on Counting Every Vote at a "Solutions for America" event in Boca Raton, FL
It’s exciting to be with some wonderful supporters and friends. I thank your senator and my friend, Ted Deutch, he’s a real leader. He and I have talked about the issues that matter to you over many years, and I’m so grateful to have his support. Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who has also led the way in so many important things here in Palm Beach County. I want to thank Jean Enright, one of your port commissioners. I want to thank Anne Gannon, the tax collector who is here, Representative Kelly Skidmore. And I am especially pleased to be accompanied today by a longtime friend of mine, Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who is a real fighter and a champion. She has a tremendously important position in the House of Representatives, where she does work on behalf of veterans and the needs, not only of her constituents in the Jacksonville area, but indeed all of Florida and America.
Now, this year’s presidential election is like none other in history. And we have had more people engaging and volunteering, casting their ballots, than ever before. Everywhere I go, people tell me, "I’ve never given money to a campaign in my life; this year is different. I’ve never followed an election before; this time I can’t stop watching." And there’s a reason for that. With our economy in crisis, and with two wars and our children’s future in the balance, more people than ever before are taking politics seriously.
I happen to welcome that because this is a democracy, and we’ve all got to participate. In fact, we want more democracy, not less democracy. We want more people taking a part in the selection of their president.
Here in Florida, more than 1.7 million people cast their vote, the highest primary turnout in the history of Florida. And nearly 600,000 voters in Michigan did the same. And not a day goes by that I don’t meet someone who grabs my hand or holds up a sign, no matter where I am, in Kentucky or anywhere else, and says, "Please, make my vote count."
I receive dozens and dozens of letters and emails and phone calls, every couple of hours it seems like, all making the same urgent request: please count my vote. We used to be worried about voter apathy, didn’t we? We worried why Americans didn’t participate. Now, people are worried that their participation won’t matter.
I believe the Democratic Party must count these votes. They should count them exactly as they were cast. Democracy demands no less.
I am here today because I believe that the decision our party faces is not just about the fate of these votes and the outcome of these primaries. It is about whether we will uphold our most fundamental values as Democrats and Americans. It is about whether we will move forward, united, to win this state and take back the White House this November. That has to be the prize that we keep in mind.
Because here in America, unlike in many other nations, we are bound together, not by a single shared religion or cultural heritage, but by a shared set of ideas and ideals, a shared civic faith, that we are entitled to speak and worship freely, that we deserve equal justice under the law, that we have certain core rights that no government can abridge and these rights are rooted in and sustained by the principle that our founders set forth in the Declaration of Independence. That a just government derives its power from the consent of the governed, that each of us should have an equal voice in determining the destiny of our nation. A generation of patriots risked and sacrificed lives on the battlefield for that ideal.
The union they ultimately formed was far from perfect. It excluded many of our citizens; people like Congresswoman Brown, me, my daughter. But it was an ideal that set forth a goal that we have consistently worked for.
Fortunately, in each successive generation, this nation was blessed by men and women who refused to accept their assigned place as second-class citizens. Men and women who saw America not as it was, but as it could and should be, and committed themselves to extending the frontiers of our democracy. The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote.
It took more than 70 years of struggle, setbacks, and grinding hard work and only one of those original suffragists lived to see women cast their ballots. There are women here today – as with my own mother – who were born before the Constitution granted us the right to vote. This is not something lost in the mists of memory and history; this is real. The generations here in this room have seen change. The men and women who knew their Constitutional right to vote meant little when poll taxes and literacy tests, violence, and intimidation made it impossible to exercise their right, so they marched and protested, faced dogs and tear gas, knelt down on that bridge in Selma to pray and were beaten within an inch of their lives.
Some gave their lives to the struggle for a more perfect union. There is a reason why so many have fought so hard and sacrificed so much. It is because they knew that to be a citizen of this country is to have the right and responsibility to help shape its future, not just to make your voice heard, but to have it count. People have fought hard because they knew their vote was at stake and so was their children’s future. Because of those who have come before, Senator Obama and I and so many of you have this precious right today. Because of all that has been done, we are in this historic presidential election. I believe that both Senator Obama and myself have an obligation as potential Democratic nominees - in fact, we all have an obligation as Democrats - to carry on this legacy and ensure that in our nominating process every voice is heard and every single vote is counted.
This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic Party, from signing the voting rights act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box, to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their Commander-in-Chief, to fighting for multi-lingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak. I am proud of our work today. We are fighting the redistricting initiatives that would dilute African American and Latino votes. We are fighting efforts to purge voters from the rolls here in Florida and elsewhere. We are fighting voter identification laws that could wrongly keep tens of thousands of voters from casting their ballots this November.
We carry on this cause for a simple reason, because we believe the outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people - nothing more, nothing less.
We believe the popular vote is the truest expression of your will. We believe it today, just as we believed it back in 2000 when right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner. The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear. If any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people is not realized and our democracy is diminished. That is what I have always believed.
My first job in politics was on the 1972 presidential campaign registering African-American and Hispanic voters in Texas. That work took me from home to home in neighborhood after neighborhood. I was determined to knock on every door and sign up every voter I could find. While we may not have won that election, I have never given up the fight. It is a fight I continue to this day.
Because I think it is appalling that in the 21st century, voters are still being wrongly turned away from the polls, ballots are still mysteriously lost in state after state, African-American and Hispanic voters still wait in line for hours while voters in the same state, even in the same county can wait just minutes to cast their votes. That’s why I’ve been working since 2004 with my dear friend Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones to pass the Count Every Vote Act; comprehensive voting rights legislation designed to end these deplorable violations. It will ensure that every eligible voter can vote, every vote is counted, and every vote can verify his or her vote before it is finally cast.
I will continue to fight for that same principle every day in this campaign. The fact is, the people of Florida voted back in January. You did your part. You showed up in record numbers and you made informed choices. But today, some months later, you still do not know if these votes will help determine our party's nominee. You still don't know if this great state will be represented at our convention in August. It is time you knew, because the more than 2.3 million people who voted in Florida and Michigan exercised their fundamental American right in good faith. You watched the news. You went to the candidates' web sites, you talked to your friends and neighbors, you learned about our records and policies so you could make informed voting decisions. You didn't break a single rule, and you should not be punished for matters beyond your control.
Now, I know that Senator Obama chose to remove his name from the ballot in Michigan, and that was his right. But his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let our process rob them and all of you of your voices. To do so would undermine the very purpose of the nominating process. To ensure that as many Democrats as possible can cast their votes. To ensure that the party selects a nominee who truly represents the will of the voters and to ensure that the Democrats take back the White House to rebuild America.
Now, I’ve heard some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules. I say that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country - that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted. I remember very well back in 2000, there were those who argued that people's votes should be discounted over technicalities. For the people of Florida who voted in this primary, the notion of discounting their votes sounds way too much of the same.
The votes of 1.7 million people should not be cast aside because of a technicality. The people who voted did nothing wrong, and it would be wrong to punish you. As the Florida Supreme Court said back in 2000, before the United States Supreme Court took the case away from them, as your Supreme Court said, it's not about the technicalities or about the contestants. It’s about the will of the people. And whenever you can understand their intent, it should govern. It’s very clear what 1.7 million people intended here in Florida. Playing a role in the nominating process in a two-party system is just as important as having a vote in the presidential election on Election Day count.
We know it was wrong to penalize voters for the decisions of state officials back in the 2000 presidential election. It would be wrong to do so for decisions made in our nominating process. Democrats argued passionately. We are still arguing, aren't we, for counting all the votes back in 2000, and we should be just as passionately arguing for that principle today, here in Florida and in Michigan. It is well within the Democratic Party rules to take this stand. The rules clearly state that we can count all of these votes and seat all of these delegates, pledged and unpledged, if we so choose. And the rules lay out a clear process for doing so.
With this process, if hope we will honor the will of those who came out to cast votes. Think of how that day was. Workers who rushed to the polls between shifts; students who came between classes, parents who rearranged their family's schedules, senior citizens who arranged transportation to the polls, all so you could have your votes counted. And whether you voted for better schools for your kids or a secure retirement for your parents, for jobs you can raise a family on, for health care you can afford, to bring your son, your grandson, your daughter or your granddaughter back from Iraq or bring back America’s reputation in the world. Whether you voted for me or Senator Obama or Senator Edwards or someone else, each vote you cast is a prayer for our nation, a declaration of your dreams for your children and grandchildren; a reflection of your determination to ensure that our country lives up to its promise. Each vote is a tool, one used throughout history to break barriers, open doors, and widen the circle of opportunity.
I remember when President Lyndon Johnson addressed the Congress and the nation urging the passage of the Voting Rights Act. He declared, "I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy." It was urgent, elevated language, but it was not hyperbole. Now, as back then, those are the stakes. That's why here in Florida, even when you were told your primary might not count, you voted anyway.
A Floridian I know from Tallahassee told me about his mother's canasta club. It’s a group of women in their golden years who gather every week to play cards and visit. They talked about that Florida primary every week as they gathered around the card table. They followed the news closely. They discussed the candidates and their positions on the issues. They knew about the dispute over the primary schedule and the question of seating delegates. And when it came time to vote, like so many other good citizens of this state, the ladies of the canasta club dutifully cast their ballots for the candidates of their choice. They made informed choices. They did nothing wrong, and they should not be punished for doing their civic duty.
You knew then what Americans know, that this political process of ours is about more than the candidates running, the pundits commenting or the ads blaring. It’s about the path we choose as a nation. If anyone ever doubted whether it mattered who our president was, the last seven years with George Bush should have removed every single doubt from anyone's mind.
That’s why you voted, and that's why I’m running. And that's why you've been organizing and raising your voices, hoping to have your votes count. You refused to stay home then, and you refuse to stay silent now. Because you want to change America’s future and you have faith that your party, the Democratic Party, will give you that chance. I’m here today because I believe we should keep that faith, listen to your voices and count every single one of your votes. If we fail to do so, I worry that we will pay not only a moral cost, but a political cost as well.
We know the road to a Democratic White House runs right through Florida and Michigan. And if we care about winning those states in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send the message that we don't fully value your votes, we know Senator McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them. The Republicans will make a simple and compelling argument. Why should Florida and Michigan voters trust the Democratic Party to look out for you when they won't even listen to you?
Now, if you agree with me, I urge you to go to my website, HillaryClinton.com, and join the more than 300,000 who have already signed our petition asking the Democratic National Committee to count your votes. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the territories will have a chance to play a role in this historic process. Now is not the time for our party to have a dialogue about which states and which votes should count. The people of Florida are all too familiar with where that discussion can lead. In the end, we cannot move forward as a united party if some members of our party are left out. Senator Obama and I are running to be president of all Americans and all 50 states. And I want to be sure that all 50 states are counted and your delegates are seated at our convention.
So will you join me in making sure your voices are raised and heard so that your votes can be counted? Because remember, it's been the mission of the Democratic Party, guided always by the understanding that as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, "the ultimate rulers of our democracy are not the president, the senators, the members of Congress and government officials, but the voters of this country." In this Democratic Party, the voters rule. So let's make sure your voices are heard and your votes are counted.
Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Link
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Clinton had a TREMENDOUS victory in Kentucky last night, cutting into every single one of Obama's core groups (despite what that bonehead, Chris Matthews, said), just like she did in West Virginia. And this is another great speech from Senator Clinton. She had some very nice words to say about Senator Ted Kennedy, and demostrates just what a class act she is. What a powerful speaker she is - and powerful because of WHAT she says, not just how she says it. Hillary Clinton is one impressive woman...
Regardless of Obama's self-coronation, this contest is not over. Until and unless FL and MI are included, this race is very close. In fact, if those two states are included, Clinton leads in the popular vote. Pledged delegates are just that - pledged. But NOTHING is set in stone until the Convention. That's when the delegates are set, and not until then. So, on to Montana, SD, and Puerto Rico - Clinton is in it to win it.
We are with you all the way, Senator Clinton!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Diuguid's column: Memo to Hillary Clinton: Please don't quit
By Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist
Last summer, I shook Sen. Hillary Clinton’s hand and gave her my business card when she met with the Trotter Group of black columnists. I wished her well in her presidential bid.
Ever since then I’ve received e-mails from her, Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, with video links promoting Hillary Clinton’s historic run for the Oval Office. A half-dozen arrived last week.
I hadn’t replied until now.
Dear Sen. Hillary Clinton:
I have greatly appreciated all of the e-mails from you and your family. I have only two words to share with you about your valiant quest to become the 44th president of the United States and the first woman to hold the highest office in the land:
A ton of pundits and political operatives have asked you to give up. Ignore them.
They have asked you to step aside for the good of the Democratic Party and let Sen. Barack Obama stand as the presumptive nominee. His rise to that post would be historic, too, making him the first African American to go that far.
The pundits and political operatives repeatedly have professed that you would be doing more harm than good to the party if you don’t surrender now. But for all of your supporters, the country and our way of life, I say don’t quit.
It doesn’t matter whether women in the United States have seen you in person, heard you in the debates or voted for you in the primaries or not. What matters is every woman who believes in America needs you to stay in the race all the way to the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 25-28 in Denver.
Every girl needs you to go the distance. You have come too far to fold now. For every woman’s and girl’s sake, don’t quit.
Men and boys need to witness your perseverance, too, and know that the force of your will is in the hearts and minds of every female. Such drive, determination, duty and character have helped to make this country a superpower.
Even though no woman has been president up to now, every woman has given endless amounts of sweat, blood and true grit to make this nation what it is today.
There would be no America if women had folded under the strain of child birth or if women hadn’t endured the misery of scratching out a living from the land, traveling across the vastness of our countryside. Women have been treated like chattel and second-class citizens, working in sweat shops, remaining in the shadows endlessly serving others and maintaining the home front while their sons come home from the wars.
Still, women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.
Don’t quit. Our men and boys need to see you go the distance.
Many other countries have had women leaders — Germany, Israel, Argentina, India, the Philippines, Great Britain and Pakistan. For the sake of women and men all over the world, don’t quit.
After eight, long, horribly regressive years of George W. Bush as president, the world needs to see a better image of America. They need to see how progressive the people of this country truly are. For their sake and ours, don’t quit.
People need to see a real convention with all of the political wrangling and elbowing. So many conventions in the last 30 years have been neatly staged.
The power elite control the outcome. Give the convention back to the people. They need to see politics being made like sausage from the squeal to the plate. For America’s sake and our way of life, don’t quit.
Lewis W. Diuguid is a member of The Star’s Editorial Board. To reach him, call 816-234-4723 or send e-mail to Ldiuguid@kcstar.com.
Submitted by LewisDiuguid on May 20, 2008 - 2:21pm. Link to the article.