Saturday, March 15


It's the last straw. I am truly, deeply concerned at what's happening among Democrats in the presidential primary race. Daily, we are finding out more disturbing qualities of Barack Obama, his surrogates and advisers, and the kind of support he generates among his followers. That support resembles nothing so much as the Bush/Cheney/Rove lovers, a "you're with us or you're against us" mentality, accompanied by threats of violence at the convention if Obama doesn't win the nomination (shades of the Florida recount). The unsupported, vitriolic attacks against Hillary Clinton and anyone who favors her as the nominee that abound through the so-called progressive blogs and the mainstream media, the race-baiting among those same outlets, has reached a point that I feel a frisson of fear that half the Democratic electorate have truly lost their minds and adapted the tactics and mindset of the enemy.

I have read and admired Josh Marshall daily for years now, but he's a good example of what I'm talking about. His recent post blaming Hillary for Obama's pastor problem is beyond nuts:

If Obama's the nominee, we will see no end of this kind of stuff. And there's probably some small benefit of getting a preview. But the simple fact is that we wouldn't be seeing this stuff now if it weren't for the fact that this is the kind of campaign Hillary Clinton's campaign has decided to wage -- often directly and at other times indirectly by not reining it in in her supporters when it crops up on its own.

Is he kidding? Hillary is responsible for the fact of Obama's close, 20-year relationship with a flaming racist pastor who has often, and repeatedly, expressed from the pulpit his hatred for whites, his conviction that America deserved 9/11, has cried "God d--n America" and many, many more exclusionary screeds aimed at dividing us? She's to be blamed for Jeremiah Wright's associations with Gaddafi and Farrakhan, and Obama's relationship with domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn? I suppose it's also her fault that Obama spoke one thing to Ohio Democrats about NAFTA and then channeled an opposite message to Canada. But that's the situation we're faced with. The Obama rules have been accepted and advanced.

It's not good enough, for me, for Obama to say he doesn't agree with all of Jeremiah Wright's opinions. I was raised a Southern Baptist -- my husband even attended Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary -- and devoutly believe basic Baptist theology. But we left that church because we could not sit in the sanctuary and listen to pastors who decried the humanity and rights of homosexuals, who praised Bush's war policies. It would have been, in my mind, tantamount to a declaration of agreement with or tolerance of those views. When I go to church I go to receive spiritual guidance and Bible teaching -- and I reject that kind of guidance. There are other churches, and pastors, that preach the love of Christ, and that's where I find a home.

For Obama and his supporters to suggest that he could sit in the pew week after week for 20 years and listen to the most divisive kind of rhetoric, yet stand for "unity" and "hope" is, at the least, questionable.

But to get back to my original subject.

The language of the Obama campaign, suggesting that Hillary Clinton is running a racist campaign and denying her very real contributions to human rights and dignity, the use of Limbaugh/Hannity talking points against her, the irrational hatred of all things Clinton, the sexist and superficial slurs against her and, for that matter, all women, that has exposed the essential misogyny of the media and the progressive movement, has turned my stomach. I can't sustain the kind of anger and sorrow that has characterized my days for the past couple of months without suffering physical and emotional consequences. But I don't know how to get past it, and maybe I shouldn't.

I don't fit the usual demographic ascribed to Hillary supporters. I'm a college-educated, executive woman (though white and over 50). I don't ascribe to identity politics -- I fervently supported John Edwards until he dropped out of the race.

I spent several months being SO proud of our candidates, all of them, as I compared the Democratic debates to the Republican. How the race has degenerated into such a miasma, I don't exactly know. What I do know is that as a diligent observer of politics, I cannot ascribe it to Hillary. Rather, I believe it is a result of a credulous media and progressives who have repeated the mistakes of the 2000 presidential race -- accepting the specious claims of a relatively unvetted, un-Clinton-related candidate, to "a new kind of politics, "a gentler, kinder" rhetoric, a Reaganesque character who talks about "hope" and "unity" while practicing the very same brand of political machinations we decried in Richard Daley's Chicago machine and Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.

As a veteran civil rights activist from way back in the '60s when it was both dangerous and unpopular for a white teenager in the South, I was both delighted and inspired by the notion that we could have a viable black candidate for the presidency, so don't throw any charges of racism at me. I have written repeatedly on this blog that if Obama won the nomination, I'd not only vote for him but support him in every way possible. But I've concluded in recent days, as have so many others, that if Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee I will sit this race out. I will never vote for John McCain, but I will also not vote for Obama. Nothing that I have learned so far gives me confidence that an Obama presidency would be superior. So I'll vote for every Democrat possible on the down slate, but I won't endorse a movement so wrong-headed and wrong-hearted.

My heart is breaking. I truly thought that after two terms of the Bush administration, that Democrats were ready to lead the nation in another, better direction. I feel lost among my own party. But I'm a patriot above all, and I don't like what I see happening. God help us.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! We need all the help we can get.

1:04 PM  
Blogger YAB said...

I know how you feel. All the pride I felt as Obama and Clinton walked out on the stage for their first 2-person debate, knowing one of them would be our nominee, has fled with the vicious attacks that if not instigated by Obama are supported by him.

But, I beg you, if he gets the nomination, vote for him.

Liberals have done way too much harm to this country over the past 50 years by refusing to vote for a less than satisfactory Democrat,in order to "send a message".

The message they sent when they couldn't vote for Humphrey, was Richard Nixon and Vietnam and Cambodia and the Republican Southern Strategy and Watergate which indirectly led to Clinton's impeachment as old-time Republicans found a way to make Dems. pay.

And if just a few of we liberals had held their noses and voted for Gore rather than Nader in Florida, we would not be in the mess we are.
If a few more had voted for Kerry, there is a chance things would have gotten better.

So, I'm not asking you to contribute money to Obama or campaign for him, but if he wins the nomination, vote for him.

I have grave doubts today, that I did not have 3 months ago, about the kind of administration he would run. But I know for sure what McCain would bring us: a Conservative SCOTUS opposed to women and liberty that will be in place for the entire 1st half of this century.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous CognitiveDissonance said...

What I've found unforgiveable is that Obama's main campaign strategy seems to be to ruin Hillary Clinton and make her a racist in the public's eye. The fact that any Democrat would ever, EVER do that to another is so repugnant to me that I simply can't vote for him for any reason. That is the very antithesis of what it means to be a Democrat.

Which also convinces me that he would be no better at appointing SCOTUS judges than McCain would be, or at getting us out of Iraq, or any other progressive goal. He has done nothing and said nothing that I can believe in, as he doesn't seem to believe his own rhethoric. The past 10 years of his life seems to have been only about becoming President, not supporting Progressive causes. This is all about him, not about what good he can do for the country. Because of that, I actually trust McCain more, as horrible as it is to feel that way. I do know that McCain cares about this country. Sad to say, I don't know that about Obama.

That's why I just have to shake my head at all those people who tell me to hold my nose and vote Democratic, no matter who the candidate. I've done that a lot in my life (I'm 54). And with 99% of the people the Democrats could have run this year, I would have no trouble doing that. But Obama is the exception. I believe he is tearning this party apart. And not for any good reason, as happened when Civil Rights legislation finally got passed in the '60's. Johnson knew he had lost the South, but did it anyway. No, Obama is deliberately tearing the party apart just so he can win. That is what is truly repugnant, and why I will never vote for him under any circumstances.

1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a terrific essay--says everything I have been thinking, but with more depth and grace. I don't know what is going to happen if Obama gets the Democratic nod--I worry about 4 more years of living in a nightmare.

We have no perfect candidate in this race. Perfection is beyond us all. But we do have one who does share our Democratic values and who has learned a lot from past mistakes. I pray that somehow Hillary Clinton pulls this out.

10:25 AM  
Blogger susanclare said...

Thank you. I totally support and reiterate the previous comment. You have echoed my sentiments, and have done it with such dignity and grace. Sadly, I too have a broken heart because I will not and cannot support a BO candidacy. I do not trust the man, his message nor the tactics of David Axelrod...and the MSM collusion in all of this has taken me beyond the pale...and I, too, am praying that Hillary can pull this thing out.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Motherlode said...

Thanks for the kind words. It's a hard time for progressives, and those of us who find ourselves on the opposite side of the KOSsacks and OTPM (Obama Talking Points Memo) et al need to keep our spirits up as best we can.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support you completely and feel the same way.

I think there are a lot of us. I wonder if we could get that through to the DNC.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous DisenfranchisedVoter said...

I agree with you 100%. I will not vote for Obama and even though I have also decided not to vote for McCain, he's looking better each day compared to Obama. In my short life I've always vote Democrat (occasionally Green in local elections) but I refuse to vote for Obama. I will write in Hillary Clinton on my ballot and vote for Democrats down the slate as well. I wonder why our leaders do not see what we see. Are they so disconnected from their constituents or do they believe that African-American and youth voters are their most important constituents that they cannot take for granted in this race? Have they forgotten the rest of us? Do they not care or do they think we'll just fall in line while Obama's supporters might revolt. All of this disgusts me so much.

1:47 AM  
Blogger StatBabe said...

I TOTALLY agree with you! As much as I detest racism in ANY form, it is even MORE despicable when it comes from the pulpit! Your account of your experience with Southern Baptists reminded me of something that occurred to me when I was married to my first husband almost 25 years ago. The only church that my husband would attend was this small Southern Baptist church down the road from our house. I did not always agree with things that the minister said in his sermons, but because I wanted to keep peace in the family, I went along to this church with my husband--at least, for a while. The straw that broke the camel's back was the Sunday that the minister decided to give a sermon on the evils of interracial dating and interracial marriage. When I left that church that Sunday never to return, I felt more like I was just leaving a Klan meeting than a church! After that, I made a commitment to myself that I would never again compromise my values like that. Hence, I simply refuse to be a member of any church that espouses hate or bigotry in any form or fashion. Hence, there is NO WAY IN HELL that I believe Barack Obama was unaware of the incendiary nature of Reverend Wright's sermons all along! In this case, Obama is guilty by association. I've been a Democrat for the past 20 years, but if Obama is the Democratic nominee for president, I will not be able to support the ticket--not after the vitiolic rants from Jeremiah Wright!

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Charles Lemos said...

Well said. I too won't vote for Obama either in California and I have at least a dozen friends with the same view. I think him dangerous. Not just from an inexperience and naive point of view but also very politically ambitious with a nebulous outline of what he intends to do with that power.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lambert, in the comments at Talk Left:

I think the other issue is Shock Doctrine (5.00 / 3) (#128)
by lambert on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 12:02:56 AM EST
If you read Naomi Klein, you know how our winger billionaires take advantage of economic shocks to ram through programs people would otherwise not support -- for example, privatizing the pension scheme in Chile.
Since by all accounts we have shocks coming, it behooves us to think which candidate is going to sell us out the least.

I think the only answer there is Hillary; whatever else one might say about her, she's not weak, and she works like a dog. And, if she wins, she will get there without any help from the Village, and so won't be beholden to them, as would Obama.

The same cannot be said of Obama, and I thought immediately of Shock Doctrine when he put Social Security in play during Iowa -- he would put a smiling face on whatever shocks were to come. [end quote]

This is what I'm afraid of—he'll further the privatization agenda.
I also can't stand that he's fostering racism to tear Democrats apart. I don't know what I'll do if he heads the ticket.


2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking the truth about Obama.

Based on what I've researched about Obama and, in particular, those who support his candidacy, indicates to me that Obama is nothing more than another front man covering for the true power behind the presidency.

He's the same horse, but of a different color. No pun intended. Sadly, he has taken what could have been an historic moment of the first viable AA presidential candidate and turned it into something ugly. I didn't think that was possible, but overgrown egos and a sense of entitlement are dangerous mixes in the awful world of politics.

He unashamedly as exploited his race and has ridden on a wave of misognysim to obtain the presidency and has done exactly what he said Hillary is doing - he will say and do anything to get elected.

I will not be part of that. I cannot. Instead, I will do whatever I can to ensure that Hillary gets the nomination.

Enough is enough!

4:05 PM  
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