Saturday, March 22


There's so much pressure from the Obamabots for Hillary to drop out of the race to "save the party" or "save the general election," that I thought I'd post a few brief remarks about why we Hillaryites think it's important that she not only stay in, but win.

(1) Obama doesn't stand as much of a chance to win the general election as Hillary. He'll never win most of the states in which he won the Democratic primary or caucus -- no Democrat could. He's discarded Michigan and Florida, two must-win states for a Democratic nominee, and disaffected their voters by blocking a revote. And Hillary's base, women and seniors, are reliable voting blocs that have given little evidence that they will transfer their affections from Hillary to Obama if he is the nominee.

(2) Hillary's renowned toughness and resilience are exactly the kind of qualities we need in a candidate to face the Rethuglicans in the fall. She's a fighter, not a talker, and she's proven she speaks to and for the bread-and-butter Democrats, the kind who voted for Reagan and Bush.

(3) Sorry, but Obama and John McCain have a long way to go in educating themselves on foreign affairs and policy. Hillary is not "Mamie Eisenhower," as Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Morning Joe crowd the other morning to great hilarity. She is not comparable to his travel agent, as he also infamously declared. Her dozens of trips around the world were not mere tea parties, they were serious contacts with foreign leaders throughout the world, and they were substantive in nature. Her mastery of the nuances of foreign affairs has brought her the endorsements of dozens of military flag officers and diplomats.

(5) We simply loathe the sexism and misogyny Obama and his supporters have displayed during this campaign. It's not the direction we want to see the Party take. And we want to send that message loud and clear to the DNC, the media, and the Democratic Party convention.

I don't believe we need to encourage Hillary to stay in the race. She'll do it because her commitment is not to power, as so many of her detractors claim, but to the good of the country. If all she wanted was power, she could bargain her way out and receive the plum Senate Majority Leader role, a vice presidency, any number of prestigious positions. That's not Hillary. She's in this because she believes, and rightly so IMHO, that she's best equipped to defeat the Republicans, get us out of Iraq, improve the economy, achieve universal healthcare, secure the borders, create jobs, address climate change, and advance the interests of Americans and their families.

Thank you, Kevin Drum, for inserting a bit of reason and fairness into the otherwise irrational CDS among the left blogosphere:

So fine: Hillary's chances are slim and maybe it's time to withdraw. But how do we hop from there to an out-of-the-blue factual assertion that Hillary would just as soon see Obama lose in November? That's crazy. There's just no evidence that anyone in the Clinton campaign actually thinks this way. It's like the 90s all over again and it's driving me nuts.

My fellow Obama supporters need to get a grip. I know that resistance to CDS seems futile these days, but resist anyway! Hillary has a long, long history as a partisan animal. She'd no more root for a McCain victory than she would for another attack by al-Qaeda. What's more, on the level of pure political tactics, she knows perfectly well — and so should we — that if she loses neither she nor Bill will control anything and she'll have no future presidential prospects in 2012 or any other year. It's either 2008 or nothing for Hillary.

And if she gave even a hint of not supporting Obama wholeheartedly during the fall campaign? Not only would she have no future presidential prospects, she'd be lucky to escape being tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail. She'd be the most reviled Democrat on Capitol Hill. She knows that too.

Hillary's running a very tough campaign, and she might be making a mistake staying in the race. But she's not rooting for John McCain and she's not secretly plotting Barack Obama's downfall.


The greatest irony of Obama's political strategy, for me, is that people like me, who fought for civil rights (I was the only white teenager in my southern town who marched with my black friends and boycotted the local soda shop because they wouldn't seat blacks); who actually have AA friends; who've HIRED AAs when others whispered that it was risky because you can never fire them if they don't work out; and never allow a racial slur or prejudice in their hearing to go unchallenged; who have been excited and rejoiced that a black could be a viable presidential candidate; are now being challenged as racists because we select our candidates on issues rather than being swept away by a soaring rhetoric that seems unaccompanied by a record or concrete ideas that would give meaning to the words.

I define myself as a populist and progressive. I supported John Edwards and now support Hillary because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool "do something for the working man" Democrat. I believe in government as a force for the common good.

We know Hillary, we know her commitment, her heart and her history, so we feel safe that under her leadership, life for the majority of Americans will improve. It has nothing to do with race, but we are being bombarded with suggestions that yes, it does. And just as we rebelled against institutional racism, we are rebelling against the notion that because we prefer another Democratic presidential nominee, we are somehow tainted with a kind of internal racism ourselves. Nothing could be more divisive than to label lifelong Democrats in such a manner.

Today's must-read. And I mean, read it in its entirety!

His speech the other day had a peculiar theme: America's racist past can only be laid to rest by voting for Obama, which would prove that his accusations aren't true. What Obama does with his rhetorical strategy is turn something salutary - a proud vote by the African American population for a competitive AA candidate - into something corrupting - that a failure to vote for him is nothing less than an expression of (white) racism. The fundamental reason you typical white folks aren't voting for me is because you are driven by racism. He presented a peculiarly bastardized version of John Edwards' Two Americas; the enlightened one who will vote for him and the retrograde one which will not. And, by virtue of this speech being made in a primary campaign, the division is one that runs through the Democratic Party, not a marker of distinction between Democrats and Republicans.
This corrosive narrative is a cold and brutal campaign calculation in accord with Obama's continually demonstrated contempt for anything or anyone who denies him what he wants. He has accomplished what the Republicans alone could not do, split the party itself on race.

UPDATE: Who's negative and enabling the Republicans in the GE?

Labels: , , ,


Okay, you're going to hear about this -- I expect the media, the Obamabots and their so-called "progressive" blogs to be screeching about it all over the place. So I want you to hear the truth and decide for yourself whether or not their "new kind of politics" is real, or just an illusion, as they stretch the truth in every possible way.

Here's what happened and what was said:

CHARLOTTE, NC -- At a small VFW hall in Charlotte, NC, today, former president Bill Clinton contemplated a McCain/Clinton general election matchup, saying that it would one between "two people who loved this country" without "all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."

Reading this, it sounds to me as if The Big Dog was telling the 80 people who attended this invitation-only event that a McCain-Clinton campaign would be a civil one about the issues. The friendship between Hillary and McSaint is well known, and since they differ so greatly on the issues, that would be the substance of the election, not the "politics of personal destruction" that has characterized so many of our election cycles over the past 40 years or so.

But NBC had to go further than just recording Bill's words. They had to speculate on what else he MIGHT have meant:

In the wake of controversy over comments made by Barack Obama's former minister, Clinton's comments could be seen as an effort to draw attention to the issue of patriotism in a state with a high population of veterans.

NBC couldn't wait for reactions to set in, and THEN report on them. No, in this new era of journamalism they had to INVITE others to agree with their own interpretation.

Sure enough, others followed the call to read Bill Clinton's mind. Daily KOS:

Bill Clinton Wants Two People Who Love Their Country...and Obama Isn't One of Them
Leaving aside the irony of Bill Clinton talking about "stuff" intruding on our politics, what in the hell was he thinking? Tearing down Barack Obama with rightwing talking points while praising John W. McCain is showing devotion to the interest of one thing and one thing only...and it's not our country.

KOS is being quoted everywhere, spreading the vile misinterpretation of Clinton's statement. Oliver Willis says "[T]he candidate who doesn't love his country is Bill Clinton."

Unfortunately, Bill has already gone on record (during the New Hampshire primary" as saying that ALL the Dem candidates love their country.

"This is crunch time in this election," Clinton said. "These people are smart, honest, good. They love their country. They've done their best to address the challenges of the day. You just have to figure out who would be the best President, and I don't think it's close."

And the MSM is eager to spread NBC's speculation, too. There's this, on the NYTimes. Other media outlets are sure to follow. They love to put the hate on Bill.

I don't see why anyone would suppose that Clinton was implying that Obama doesn't love his country, unless they're deliberately trying to stir up another hornet's nest and a reason to be angry with the Clintons ... or maybe trying to distract the voters from Obama's negative news cycle.

UPDATE: Alegre has more.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, March 21


Craig Crawford has an interesting observation on the Michigan-Florida debacle:

How amazing that Democrats have a frontrunner who is seemingly afraid to allow re-votes in Michigan and Florida. Or at least that is how Barack Obama is allowing it to appear.

Obama is all that stands in the way of letting voters try again in those battleground states. That’s probably a winning strategy for the party nomination. But the general election is another story.

For what it’s worth to Democrats, only Hillary Rodham Clinton has ended up with the political incentive to seat the convention delegates from Michigan and Florida. Obama sees no such advantage.

A Democratic national convention without Florida and Michigan suggests the need for an Electoral College strategy that contemplates victory without either state in the party’s November tally.

Yes, the woman who's accused of being willing to do "anything to win" is facing a candidate whose memes of hope, unity, change, and a "new kind of politics" don't prevent him from disenfranchising more than two million voters if they weren't HIS voters.

It's politics, folks. And Obama clearly is as strategic and willing to do "anything" to win as he accuses Hillary of being.

UPDATE: The invaluable Eriposte crunches the numbers of the popular vote and concludes that Hillary could wipe out Obama's popular vote lead with impressive wins in the next primaries:

In other words, given some of Sen. Clinton's current polling leads in PA, it is difficult but not implausible or impossible to see her wipe out Obama's adjusted popular vote lead - including FL/MI, with all of MI's "uncommitted" assigned to Sen. Obama entirely - just in PA alone (setting aside the other contests). She is also on track to end the primary with the popular vote lead amongst primary voters who are Democrats. These are just a couple of reasons why Sen. Clinton is on entirely legitimate grounds in continuing to stay in the primary race and in not listening to the MSM-like blowhards and haters spewing bile at her day in and day out.

Nobody ever won by counting out a Clinton before the fat lady sings.

Run, Hillary, run!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, March 20


I'm watching the ground-breaking musical South Pacific. I have long known all the songs by heart, and most of the dialogue, but this is a different version. I'm astonished to find a Glenn Close/Harry Connick adaptation, which I never knew existed, and it's glorious. (BTW, did I ever mention that I was Glennie's understudy at age sixteen -- and she was only a few years older -- in the cast of "Up With People"? Who KNEW?)

But having just written about the race element of this presidential campaign, it's especially relevant. Nothing defines this courageous Rodgers-Hammerstein musical so much as its attempt to address racial fears and prejudices. And there is no greater capsule of the whole musical, and our continuing race divide, as the song, "You've Got to be Carefully Taught."

Let's remember the lyrics:

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

And that's the crux of the matter. We have to teach our children, and their children, something different. We have to elevate our daily dialogue to a level that excludes not only racial and gender epithets but also stereotypes. It's time that we simply delete these from our speech and attitudes.

I'm not naive. I've been robbed at gunpoint by black thieves. I've been devastated by white female executives who thought their best chance at professional advancement was to join the boys' club and discredit all other women. I have tried my whole life to transcend such ugliness and teach my five children that the teachings of the Bible are sacred and not to be violated because of adverse singular personal experiences, that our Constitution is the best and greatest modern human attempt to institutionalize proper behavior among the people of a common nation. I don't know what else we can do, other than the simple things. For each of us, we must protest or refuse to passively consent to racial and gender slurs or jokes when we hear them. We must speak out when we hear them. And we must be courageous enough, though in a non-judgmental manner, to point out the truth when prejudice and bias rears its head in our presence.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I had a dearly beloved Dad, who died a dozen years ago (a career military officer and local John Kennedy campaign manager), and still have my precious Mama, who has spent a lifetime doing good deeds among the poor and disadvantaged. Mama regularly conducted what she called "beauty parlors" among the poor districts when I was a child and teenager and insisted that I and my friends participate. We washed the gnarly hair of kids who hadn't seen a brush or shampoo for months while Mama and her older friends primped the elder ladies of the International Paper Company labor neighborhood. We'd also bathe the children, and while all this transpired, we'd share the Gospel of Christ with them, not in a heavy-handed way, but as a response when they'd ask, "Why are you always coming here to help?" Later, and for her past twenty years, Mama has headed her church's vast, almost Target-sized thrift shop, where she's ministered to such as hookers and the homeless. I mention these things only to impress upon you how dear and kind my parents were and are. But yes, they were born into a Southern tradition and mindset that was not conducive to racial reconciliation.

I have two stories to tell.

When I was seven years old we lived on an Air Force base in England. My parents, as was their wont, were pillars of the base Christian chapel, Daddy being a deacon. One night I woke, hearing a group of men discussing the fact that a black Chaplain was being transferred to our base and church. I crept out and hearing them talk, understood that the deacons were going to boycott the next day's (Sunday) services to protest a black Chaplain being installed. After the men left, I went into the kitchen of our home (several quonset huts combined to serve as such) and asked Daddy why we weren't going to church the next day. Daddy stumbled in his explanations, but when I innocently asked why the Chaplain's skin color mattered, I was sent to bed. See, even in those late fifties, I'd been raised in what was for our country an unusual environment -- an integrated U.S. military abroad, where my second grade class president was a popular and charming black child. Even as the product of a Southern family, I just hadn't learned that race mattered.

The next morning, our whole family dressed and appeared in church as was our practice. Daddy was the only deacon in attendance. The Chaplain became a lifelong friend of my parents.

The second story took place much later, when I was married and The Sage and I had five young children. We had recently moved to Dallas (so The Sage could attend seminary), and our youngest daugher's best friend was the little girl across the street. My Bible-believing Christian Mama and Daddy were visiting and noticed that she was what they still called "high yaller," meaning mixed-race. When they made some slightly derogatory remark about her race, I (deliberately) off-handedly remarked that they had better be careful with such attitudes in light of what God's attitude had been when Moses' older sister Miriam had made similar remarks about his wife, an Ethiopian. What did I mean? they asked. I referred them to Numbers 12, where the Bible tells us that God made Miriam leprous because of her criticisms.

I have been so proud for years that that incident, because Bible-based, caused my folks to radically change their opinions.

I've often, through the years, thought about these two seminal incidents in my life. I've been so proud that my parents, both born and raised within the most traditional deep South traditions and attitudes, when faced with reason, morality and Biblical truth, were able to transcend their upbringings and accept and put into practice new attitudes, despite their "generation" and age. And that has given me faith and hope that our nation, guided by the principles of good will and the common good, can eventually overcome the race divide.

In the matter of gender equality, I think we have a greater challenge, but even then, my parents' example give me hope. I remember that when I decided to pursue my career, my folks had two reactions: my Dad was so proud of my initial accomplishments -- after all, he had four daughters and no sons, and he'd always been my strongest supporter, hoping the Air Force Academy would admit women in time for me to attend (it didn't). My brilliant and accomplished Mama, who stayed busy with a myriad of activities but never worked professionally, said to me at one point, "I guess you girls think I don't have a real life," and I realized she was experiencing and taking personally the generational divide between the traditional woman's role and the world that her daughters could embrace. Now she is my greatest admirer, and as I watch my three daughters live their lives, I have great hope that they will not be limited by the kind of discrimination and exclusion that I have experienced in my professional life.

It's long past time that we stop characterizing in our minds and actions people by their identities, whether race-, gender- or sexually oriented identities. Haven't we matured enough as a nation to just see one by one as characters rather than characteristics?

Labels: , , , ,


Geraldine Ferraro doesn't appreciate being referred to repeatedly in Obama's speech on race, and I don't blame her. Immediately after listening to it, I made several points to The Sage:

(1) It was, in the main, an eloquent and meaningful attempt to offer a bridge of understanding between the races. That is, I give him the benefit of the doubt that that was his intent.

(2) If it was meant to counter the controversy about Jeremiah Wright, it failed. It's hard for me to understand the Obamas choosing to attend for 20 years a church in which the pastor regularly spewed invective against our nation and all white people (for me, church should be an opportunity to celebrate the love of Christ), but that alone does not shock me so much as disappoint me. But I cannot comprehend a man who says he wants to help heal the racial divide, exposing his two young daughters to the most bigoted, hateful kind of rhetoric. If we are to finally put an end to racial tensions, we must educate each succeeding generation in the evils of discrimination and, as MLK dreamed, that our people "will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

(3) I could not understand why, if Obama's intent was to put an end to race baiting, he would invoke Ferraro's name and comments ("Ferraro, the only woman to ever run on a major party presidential ticket, sparked a controversy when she told the Breeze that 'what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama's campaign - to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against,' she said. 'For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign. If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position'") not once, but several times. And in fact, she was likely right:

And she appears to have company in that view. According to a new CBS News poll, voters see gender as more of a barrier in presidential politics than race. Thirty nine percent of registered voters said a woman faces more obstacles in a presidential race while 33 percent said a black candidate does. More to the point, 42 percent of voters said they felt Hillary Clinton has been treated more harshly because of her gender while just 27 percent felt Obama has been treated more harshly because of his race.

When it comes to judging perceptions of attitudes, voters say more people they know would be likely to vote for a black candidate than a woman. Fifty six percent said that “most people” they know would vote for a black candidate for president while just 46 percent said the same of a woman candidate. A full 45 percent said “most people” they know would not vote for a woman. Yet the poll also shows that racism (42 percent) is considered a “more serious” problem in the nation than sexism (10 percent).

Surely this man who champions "a new kind of politics" knows that Ferraro's words, which have been echoed almost exactly by Obama endorser John Kerry and by Obama himself:

Obama acknowledges, with no small irony, that he benefits from his race.

If he were white, he once bluntly noted, he would simply be one of nine freshmen senators, almost certainly without a multimillion-dollar book deal and a shred of celebrity. Or would he have been elected at all?"

And certainly Ferraro's statement cannot reasonably be equated with Wright's screeds, so why juxtapose or equate them? Sounds like the old kind of politics to me, the Chicago machine-type.

(4) Like Ferraro, I was disturbed by Obama's public revelations about his grandmother -- "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." Again, it's more than a stretch to equate his grandmother with Wright. Jesse Jackson himself once said, "There is nothing more painful to me ... than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." As I lunched this week with several fellow Democrats (all who voted for Obama in the Texas primary), they all agreed that this was the most distressing part of his speech. We all have elderly parents/relatives who have, in many years past, expressed racial sentiments that they would probably not ascribe to today. And while we may share them with others privately in the context of a conversation about race, we would NEVER expose them publicly to ridicule or disdain.

I would be very glad to have an honest discussion about race in this country -- not a politically motivated justification for some position or other, but a true attempt to share experiences and feelings. I think Obama did well in some respects. But he ruined it by injecting political self-justification into the equation.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 19


Well, I'm flummoxed. I guess I'm not a progressive, after all (though I've lived and voted my entire adult life thinking that I was liberal aka progressive). Here's news from the Take Back America conference. "A whopping 72% were for Obama, compared to 16% for Clinton, with just 12% saying they’d be happy with either."

Add this to MoveOn's endorsement of Obama, it seems that while he's split the union vote with Clinton, he's winning the progressive vote. Though living up to their expectations might be easier said than done, they are realistic about what the president might be able to do right off the bat: asked what he expected the next president to do when he/she takes office Hickey said the first priority should be a plan to end the war in Iraq "or face a revolt from the left." But second, he said, would probably have be an economic stimulus package and he said that universal healthcare would likely have to be a longer term goal.

See, from what I can tell, Hillary Clinton has already formulated a responsible plan to extract us from the war in Iraq, while Barack Obama has floated a "hard date" for withdrawal that one of his top foreign policy advisers calls a "best case scenario" that he won't necessarily follow once he's POTUS. Hillary's plan is so sensible that she's received the endorsement of anti-war Congressman John Murtha (and isn't it interesting that this is despite the fact that his good pal, Nancy Pelosi, has been sending unmistakable signs that she supports Barack?).

Fool that I am, I thought universal health care was a top priority for progressives. After all, aren't liberals supposed to be the ones who care most about the interests/concerns of the working man? An economic stimulus package is an important issue, agreed, and Hillary has proposed an impressive program to create jobs and at the same time reduce America's dependence on foreign energy sources and address the global warming crisis. Obama, also, has addressed the economy and its impact on American families. But his health care proposal is hardly "universal," and he has repeatedly voiced the Republican talking point about "fixing" Social Security. As Paul Krugman said, "Progressives who fought hard and successfully against the Bush administration’s attempt to panic America into privatizing the New Deal’s crown jewel are outraged, and rightly so." I guess a lot of progressives weren't so outraged after all.

I think the "progressives" have left me behind. I'm no young, elite movement maker-and-shaker. No, I'm just a 50-something lifetime Democrat and liberal, who has been as anti-war as anyone (hey, I made my bones in the anti-Vietnam War days and spoke out against the Iraq invasion from the very beginning and never waivered). I'm also one of those despised Baby Boomers who still believes that real solutions take hard work and the courage to fight for the rights of Everyman. I still cry, "Union! Union!" and believe that ordinary Americans deserve a president who listens and responds to the needs of the working poor and middle class. And I want to see proof that that's been their agenda and life's work before I fall in line.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 18


Read it all for the details. -- Even as she is involved in an exhaustive campaign for the nomination, she's working and planning for the best interests of the nation.

Now, withdrawal is not risk-free, but the risks of staying in Iraq are certain. And a well-planned withdrawal is the one and only path to a political solution. The only way to spur the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future and to ensure that we don't bear that responsibility indefinitely. The only way to spur other countries to do their part to help secure stability in the region. The commitment to staying in Iraq has driven President Bush's foreign policy. It looks like it would drive Senator McCain’s foreign policy as well, but it will not drive mine. My foreign policy will be driven by what is in America’s national security interests.

So it is time to end this war as quickly and responsibly as possible. That has been my mission in the Senate, and it will be my mission starting on day one as president of the United States.

For the past five years, I have served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan three times. I have met with our soldiers and military leaders. I have met with Iraqi, local, regional, and national elected and other influential officials. Here at home I’ve attended countless meetings and committee hearings where I have challenged high-ranking Pentagon officials and military leaders investigating the situation in Iraq, probing the facts presented, and demanding real answers to tough questions. And I am honored that more than 30 of America’s most esteemed former admirals and generals, including two former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and five retired officers of the four-star rank have endorsed my candidacy.

The American people don't have to guess whether I’m ready to lead or whether I understand the realities on the ground in Iraq or whether I’d be too dependent on advisers to help me determine the right way forward. I’ve been working day-in and day-out in the Senate to provide leadership to end this war. That’s why I cosponsored legislation with Senator Robert Byrd to reauthorize the war, legislation that would actually end the president's authority to fight it.

That’s why I’ve started laying the ground work for a swift and responsible withdrawal beginning in early 2009 by demanding that the Pentagon start planning for it now. I’ve introduced legislation ensuring that Congress would be briefed on those plans and that's also why I’m working to block President Bush's effort to keep this war going after he leaves office. I’ve introduced legislation banning him from unilaterally negotiating a long-term security commitment to Iraq, including the possibility of permanent bases.

Here's more.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 17


I don't have a problem with this. In fact, it speaks to my heart as a woman. It is perfectly understandable that Michelle Obama has wrestled with the conflicts between her affinity for her ethnic community and the desires of anyone to achieve the best standard of living possible for herself and her family.

We are all faced with choices in our lives -- and we have to decide between various competing loyalties: our families, our own futures and prospects of prosperity, which offers us even more choices. As a woman, mother and executive, I can identify with Michelle's own internal conflicts. I remember when I finally reached a six-figure salary, my youngest son asking me, "Mom, will you still be a Democrat?" Even as a pre-teen, he had enough knowledge and experience to understand that financial comfort often leads to a protectionist sort of politics. When I replied, "Of course not. Dad's and my philosophy is what it is, whether we're struggling or succeeding financially," he was demonstrably proud and relieved. His parents, in his mind, had proven they weren't hypocrites.

I don't fault Michelle Obama for wrestling with her ties to her community versus her opportunities for success in the larger world -- I just wish our society didn't make those kinds of struggles inevitable among our best minority (and other disadvantaged) youths. My only problem with this insight into what has motivated Ms. Obama is that, in her forties, she still seems not to have reconciled herself to her choices. She too, as she suggests to others, could have chosen to be a teacher, a social worker, a nurse. She did not. She opted for the corporate world and a very fat salary. There is nothing at all wrong with that. We all want the money to be able to give our children the best opportunities, the best education, adequate healthcare. But Michelle seems to be still blaming a society that has afforded her unusually privileged opportunities for the fact that others may not have shared the same. That's understandable. A John Edwards, who has made a fortune by his own talent and hard work, may want desperately for others of his birth class to have a chance to attain the same, and fight for that. That's not only understandable, it's admirable. And if that is Michelle's goal, I can only applaud her.

But I haven't seen any evidence that Michelle has spent any great effort towards that aspiration. She has enjoyed a privileged education, a superior economic status in the corporate world she now decries. I understand that she is still conflicted. And so are many of us progressives for whom "making it" isn't enough if we can't take others with us.

But where does she get off disparaging this nation, which with all its faults, has a history of gradualism, that is, the inexorable forward movement towards social equity. Yes, at times it makes me crazy to view all the social problems with which we're beset. Of COURSE, progressives want to see Martin's vision executed NOW, we want an end to war and racial divides, we want a leveling of classes and a social safety net that will eliminate hunger, poverty, and all inequities in our society. But we know who the opposition to those aspirations is -- not our fellow progressives, not a different race -- white, black, Asian, or Latino -- it is the Republicans, the conservatives who believe "I've got mine -- now you're on your own."

For the Obamas, who we now know have been sitting at the feet of Jeremiah Wright for two decades, it seems that an entire race, white Americans, is to be blamed for all their sorrows. For all my life I have been ashamed of the wrongs perpetuated against African Americans (I hate that term; to me, Americans are Americans). But the hero of our family (including our children), Martin Luther King, demonstrated an extraordinary spirit of love and reconciliation, a courage that transcended race to embrace all that is good and decent and Christian, and he dreamed of a day when character would be more important than color, and that is the vision I have carried for the past 40 years. Anything less would be a betrayal of Dr. King.

Labels: , , ,


Okay, I confess. I continue to peek at Daily KOS. And each time I do, I ask myself if I'm just sado-masochistic. This latest just knocked me off my metaphorical feet:

First of all, the only path to victory for Clinton is via coup by super delegate.

She knows this. That's why there's all the talk about poaching pledged delegates and spinning uncertainty around Michigan and Florida, and laying the case for super delegates to discard the popular will and stage a coup.

"Uncertainty" around Michigan and Florida, two states Hillary won fairly and decisively, and which we will need to win in the general election. Yes, there's plenty of uncertainty, but it can't be laid at Hillary's doorstep. She kept her pledge not to campaign in Florida (Obama didn't, buying cable ads in Florida). Credit Howard Dean and the DNC for the "uncertainty."

Yet a coup by super delegate would sunder the party in civil war.

Clinton knows this, it's her only path to victory, and she doesn't care. She is willing -- nay, eager to split the party apart in her mad pursuit of power.

Hillary looks pretty darn cheerful and calm to me, not loony at all. If she's in pursuit of power, it's in order to make real change for ordinary Americans, part of her lifelong dedication to improving the lives of children and families. Where was Obama when his poor constituents were having their heat turned off by his good pal Tony Rezko? Is it not at least possible for Markos to concede that Hillary might have motives more pure than his amateurish attempts to psychoanalyze her might suggest?

If the situations were reversed, and Obama was lagging in the delegates, popular vote, states won, money raised, and every other reasonable measure, then I'd feel the same way about Obama. (I pulled the plug early on Dean in 2004.) But that's not the case.

It is Clinton, with no reasonable chance of victory, who is fomenting civil war in order to overturn the will of the Democratic electorate. As such, as far as I'm concerned, she doesn't deserve "fairness" on this site. All sexist attacks will be dealt with -- those will never be acceptable. But otherwise, Clinton has set an inevitably divisive course and must be dealt with appropriately.

Oooh, again. Hillary must be shaking in her boots. "Dealt with appropriately?" That sounds like something a prison warden or high school principal would spout. And it's ridiculous to accuse Hillary of "fomenting civil war" by staying in the race. Let all the whiny little KOSsacks consider, she MIGHT just be acting as a patriot, convinced that Obama is not ready to be the leader of the free world and/or that if he is the nominee, Democrats will have to suffer another four years of Bush policy under John McCain. But KOS would never ascribe such motives to a Clinton. For heaven's sake, they're associated with the despised DLC! Never mind that Obama's entire campaign is based on exactly the "unity" schtick that the DLC has been pushing for ages.

To reiterate, she cannot win without overturning the will of the national Democratic electorate and fomenting civil war, and she doesn't care.

That's why she has earned my enmity and that of so many others. That's why she is bleeding super delegates. That's why she's even bleeding her own caucus delegates (remember, she lost a delegate in Iowa on Saturday). That's why Keith Olbermann finally broke his neutrality. That's why Nancy Pelosi essentially cast her lot with Obama. That's why Democrats outside of the Beltway are hoping for the unifying Obama at the top of the ticket, and not a Clinton so divisive, she is actually working to split her own party.

"Earned" his enmity? Enmity: a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism. Now I don't know any Hillary supporters who have ENMITY for Obama. We'd like more time to see what he's made of, yes, and some of us have decided that we're not ready to take a chance on him. But hatred? Hell, no! Hillary has wrecked Markos' pretty little party in which he and his buddies get to pick the candidate for the rest of us Democrats, and he pure-en-teen (as they used to say in the rural South) hates her for it. I'd like to see Kos explain why he thinks he has the right after a few short years in the Democratic Party (a converted Republican, you know) to try to destroy one of our most stalwart and effective leaders. His arrogance and conceit know no bounds.

And another oh please. KeithO's "neutrality" has been questionable for quite some time now and in recent weeks his favoritism has been so thinly veiled as to make him appear nakedly in the tank for BO. Pelosi, too, has greatly disappointed me. What, exactly, does Barack Obama bring to the table to stir up such fervent discipleship? Unity? Unity with whom, exactly? Hope? Hope for what? I never seem to hear that explored. Change? Change from what, to what? Please, someone explain to me why so many of our Democratic leaders have embraced a man they know little about, who speaks against "politics as usual" while practicing Chicago machine tactics, who has spent almost half his life under the tutelage of a hate-filled, divisive character like Jeremiah Wright. Barack has got some 'splaining to do before I'm ready to support him, but I don't even DISLIKE him, much less hate him!

You know, I used to say, often in my younger years, that if I'd been born black, I'd have been an angry activist. I never ascribed to violence or hate, but I understood anger on the part of black Americans and sympathized with it. I was also an angry young Vietnam War protester. But as we mature we learn to move forward, to seek solutions, not retaliation for past grievances; and especially as Christians we learn to forgive, seek reconciliation, and try to correct the mistakes we've made. Jeremiah Wright hasn't learned to do that, and apparently, neither has Markos.

It's the "Obama Rules" in action again. And it's not just Obama who practices them.

Labels: , , , ,


Wow. What an insightful post. New discovery Anglachel's Journal speculates on the reason so many progressive bloggers are dripping with vitriol about Hillary and clinging to Obamamania:

It's all about Iraq and their own guilty consciences.

Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Mark Kleiman, Kevin Drum, and any number of other high profile bloggers were all rah-rah war supporters when it first began. They had no real reason to support it besides wanting to kill people and get some revenge. They were reading the New York Times and Judith Miller and gulping the White House kool-aide as avidly as they gulp Obama's kool-aide today. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, we gotta get Saddam! They swore by Colin Powell. If Powell said there was proof, well, by golly, that was good enough for them.
Anyway, Hillary acts with others to authorize force if Saddam does not comply with the terms of the UN deal for reasons that have to do with politics, rule of law, and trying to put limits on Bush, as well as being under enormous public pressure to kill some towel heads as revenge for 9/11. Like pressure from the Blogger Boyz, who were slobbering and bouncing up and down in anticipation of a glorious little war, bitching about the UN's attempt to slow things down, and really wanting to go get Saddam. Bush thumbs his nose at the COngress and the UN and orders an invasion anyway. The boyz all cheer.

Then the war goes tits over teakettle and they realize that they are on the losing side of the argument. They are guilty as hell for having brought their considerable intellectual talents to bear on promoting an unjustified war and they want to blame someone else for their bad judgment. I know, Hillary made me do it! She should have been a better mommy and kept me from indulging in my murderous desires! Bad Mommy! Bad!

I spoke out about the Iraq invasion for months before it actually occurred, and had to listen to the "What if Saddam has even an ounce of biological weapons he could use to poison our water system?" meme ad infinitum. The Sage and I would listen to Saddam's mouthpieces deny having WMD and say to one another, "The funny thing is that for once they're most likely telling the truth." Hans Blix and the U.N. inspectors were clearly not finding any evidence of WMD, and it seemed the simplest and most rational thing in the world to give them time to finish their job and report to the U.S. and the world their findings before invading Iraq and starting a Middle East conflagration. As a couple of 50-somethings who once protested the Vietnam War and witnessed just what a CF and quagmire it was, we're always on the side of verification and validation before military action. But we found ourselves, even among progressives/liberals, in a very small minority.

Even so, we haven't been angry with those who rushed to judgment, or arrogant about our own prescience. The only people we've blamed have been those who lied to the American people and the world to justify a military action they'd been itching to launch since before Bush/Cheney took office. And that's George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz et al.

Read the whole thing. You'll recognize many of those you know -- not just bloggers, but media figures and even friends and relatives -- in the description Anglachel paints. The motivations he/she ascribes to the Hillary-haters may be speculative, but they sure ring true.

Labels: ,