Friday, April 25


I had a big thrill today. My oldest daughter (of three, plus two sons) is getting married in exactly one month from yesterday. She's a beautiful (not just my opinion!), brilliant, successful young businesswoman, she sails competitively, has produced indy movies and continues to pursue that interest, raises horses for endurance racing, and is generally an amazing young woman. Now in addition to all her extracurricular interests she's completely engaged in planning her wedding to a young man we love and welcome as a son. Along with all that praise, I have to add, she has never been very engaged politically.

Till now. And today, in the midst of managing myriad wedding details, she called me on the phone at work. She said, "Mom, I'm in the car. Can you Google a number for me? I want to call the Hillary Clinton campaign and get a huge yard sign." She went on to explain that after I commented last night that I'd never donated so much to a political candidate as I have to Hillary (with the complete agreement of The Sage), she began to wonder what she could do to contribute.

Now, she lives within shouting distance of the famous Southfork Ranch (of the TV show Dallas), a rural-suburban area outside Dallas that is made up of two-to-five acre ranchettes. Most of her neighbors, like her, have 70's-era, moderately sized (2500-3500 sf) ranch houses with swimming pools and barns or stables for one, two or three horses. They all have HUGE frontage on Parker Road, a heavily traveled byway, and as my daughter told me, there was a plethora of McCain and a few Obama posters in their front yards.

So Daisy decided she wanted a HILLARY sign.

I'm not sure what caused the sudden spurt of Hillary love. I do talk to my daughter (as with all my children) a good deal about my political thoughts. But I'm going to guess that at least part of it was her own life experience. She's been a star in business from the time she was fifteen, when the CEO of Bank of America Texas Operations spotted her potential when she waited on him at a Plano, TX yogurt shop. From there she went on to graduate with a triple major from one of the most prestigious (and expensive -- totally on scholarship) Texas universities, to a lucrative career in banking.

But during those years she's experienced egregious sexual discrimination and harassment, which to a great extent she's passed off as business reality. She's a realist in her business life and an idealist in her personal life. But I think that she's believed that once she was "established" as an executive that things would improve.

It can't have escaped her notice that Hillary is, for the umpteenth time, undergoing the same kind of treatment, which is not temporary or ephemeral but a lifelong reality. She recognizes that, like her, Hillary has never played the victim card but as any worthy activist has had the courage to call out prejudice when she sees it.

And she knows that Hillary has spent her entire adult life defending and fighting for the rights of women to be treated as people, not as a separate and unequal species, and for the well-being and protection of children. Hillary hasn't let any obstacles divert her from her mission of public service. And my daughter has never let anything stand in the way of her achieving her goals.

My daughter recognizes a kindred spirit when she meets one. So there's now a great big Hillary for President sign on Parker Road.

Boy, do I feel good right now.

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This is the most important post of the day. Read it all, including the links.

It's why Democrats have lost so many presidential elections, why Bill Clinton won them, and why Obama is going the way of the losers. It's about the unreality of "progressives" supporting Obama, who uses the rhetoric of Joe Lieberman and the strategy of the "hated" DLC. It's about why Hillary Clinton would be by far the most electable Democratic candidate in the GE.

We can't afford to dismiss fully half the voting population. It's a losing strategy. It's wrong. And it's contrary to the principles and future of the Democratic Party.

Hillary Clinton is outperforming Obama among working class Democrats because she is addressing the issues that most matter to them. They believe she cares because she never stops talking about them. Obama and his surrogates, on the other hand, have plainly written off that 50+% of American voters as rubes, racists or Reaganites, who don't deserve a Unity Pony.

Read it. Absorb it. And spread it around. Before it's too late.

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I've somehow missed Keith Olbermann's "final solution" for Hillary Clinton. And it's totally reflective of the attitudes so many of the out-of-the-closet misogynists this election cycle.

I probably wouldn't go so far as to say, as did Anglachel did, that Keith has effectively called for Hillary's murder. But let's think about that for a minute. Keith suggested that to bring her campaign to an end, some unnamed superdelegate (but definitely male -- "he") take Hillary into a back room, from which only one of them would emerge -- and it wouldn't be Hillary.

This scenario sounds disturbingly like the words of an abusive husband/partner/boss who does his ugly business in the dark corners where nobody can observe. It reeks of violence, of coercion, of the insecure but domineering male who, when challenged by a female, interprets that as an attack upon his masculinity for which he is justified in whatever action he decides to take in order to "put [her] in [her]place" (shades of enabler Maureen Dowd!)and set his world aright.

How many wife beaters actually intend to murder their spouses from the outset? I would venture to guess that the great majority tell themselves they're doing the world, their wife, and/or their family a service by maintaining what they believe to be the correct order of things (i.e., man on top, woman subservient). But while society looks the other way, their violence escalates, and at the end, when the wife is dead, society cries out, "We didn't know!"

This is what is happening now. The media and political opponents have treated Hillary Clinton like a punching bag for so long and so incessantly, with hardly any consequence, that they now feel as if they have a right to do so. And as their anger/outrage builds up as a result of her successes, their rhetoric and attacks increase in fervor until it seems completely acceptable in their little Village to call her a murderer, or suggest that she deserves a good whacking.

So maybe Anglachel is correct after all. After all, it's an oft-heard refrain of the murdering husband who cries out in his defense, "She wouldn't stay down after I hit her!" and not so very different from what KO was suggesting ON THE FACE OF IT, without any analysis of his deeper meaning.

Who would have thought that the "progressive" movement would have taken us so many steps backward? I'll never use the term to refer to myself again. I will not be associated with a movement so wholeheartedly in favor of the sexism of a century ago.

I think it's about time we women (and the admirable men who support gender equality) begin our own protest, our own boycott. Maybe we could call it, "A DAY WITHOUT A WOMAN."

See what that gets you, boyz.

UPDATE: Chilling commenter on Anglachel's Journal.

From a perspective that isn't very familiar with Olbermann, other than from quotes, I could try to express my "he said 'what'?" reaction, but I find words fail me, except for these four:

Benazir Bhutto
Indira Gandhi

Yes indeed, a very funny, witty observation from mr. Olbermann...

UPDATE #2: Was listening to the Hugh Hewitt show on my commute home tonight (yes, I know, but I'm obsessed with right-wing talk radio -- it's like spying on the enemy), and he had two guys on his show (Jim Geraghty of NRO and someone else, I forget because right after this I had a flat tire ... but that's another story) talking about KO's remarks. One of the two guests said he'd written about a UK (I thought it was The Economist, but I can't find any reference) journal in which someone suggested that (this is from my pretty reliably accurate memory) "Hillary should retire to a dark room with a glass of wine and a gun."

Never in my memory has a viable OR unviable presidential candidate been subject to repeated suggestions in the MSM that he (never been a she before) should be subjected to intimidation, probably violent, in order to force him out of the race.

Maybe it's only come up now because we HAVE a she.

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Obviously, Violet and I are of the same generation. We learned the same political lessons:

One of the first political facts I learned was this: winning the California primary in June 1968 meant Robert Kennedy had a serious shot at taking the nomination, even though he’d entered the race late and was behind in delegates.

But of course Bobby was murdered a few hours later, so that was the end of that.

I learned about this as a child because my parents were trying to explain to me why another Kennedy had been killed and what it meant for the election.

“Why did California matter so much?” I asked them. “How could he have gotten the nomination if Humphrey already had the party behind him? And what about McCarthy?”

It was thus that I learned about the realpolitik of nominating contests. A lot has changed in the process since 1968, and all to the good. More actual voting, fewer smoke-filled rooms. But what hasn’t changed is the purpose of the whole thing: to settle on the candidate with the best chance to win in the general election.

If I had a time machine and could go back to 1968 or 1972 to chew over a thought experiment with one of those old pros, the conversation might go like this:

Violet: Okay, hypothetical situation. Let’s say we’ve got two strong candidates. Candidate A wins the Iowa caucus. Candidate B wins New Hampshire. Then Candidate A catches fire and in February wins a bunch of caucuses and small primaries in mostly Republican states. Racks up the lead in delegates. But then Candidate B comes roaring back and wins New York, California, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania. Who’s the front-runner?

Old Pro from 1968/72: Are you kidding me?

Violet: No, really — who’s the front runner?

Old Pro: Candidate B, of course. What’s the matter with you?

Violet: But Candidate A leads in pledged delegates!

Old Pro: Candidate A is the guy who had a good February? But then loses in all the big states?

Violet: Right.

Old Pro: You’re actually asking me this question?

Violet: But don’t the pledged delegates count?

Old Pro: You’re talking about nominating the guy who lost New York, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Florida? Jesus! You’re outta your mind!

Violet: But what about his delegates?

Old Pro: Fight it out at the convention if you have to. Geez. That’s what conventions are for. Look, you don’t get to be the nominee because you were popular in February in Utah. For chrissake, if you can’t win the Democratic primaries in California or New York or Massachusetts or Florida or Texas or Ohio or Pennsylvania, you don’t get to be the Democratic nominee. Unless you’re Hubert Humphrey. Wait a minute, Humphrey isn’t still alive, is he?

Violet: No. But the party bosses really love Candidate A. They say Candidate B needs to drop out so Candidate A can be the nominee.

Old Pro: They want the winner of all the big states to drop out so the party favorite from February can be the nominee? Goddamnit, it is Humphrey, isn’t it? Christ, he must be like 100 now.

Violet: No, he’s dead. See, the two candidates we’ve got are both strong. They both have a lot of devoted supporters and they’re really close in pledged delegates and popular votes.

Old Pro: What do their numbers look like against the Republican?

Violet: Close, though when you look at the state-by-state polls and the exit data, Candidate B looks stronger in a match-up against the Republican than Candidate A.

Old Pro: And you’re still asking me who the party needs to nominate?

Violet: Well, the supporters of Candidate A say that if Candidate B will just drop out, then the party will be able to get behind Candidate A.

Old Pro: It is Humphrey!

And so on.

Look, I’m not ignoring the fact that Obama has fervent support. I’m just trying to get at the sheer freak factor of the insistence that he is the de facto nominee, even after losing all the big states. I’m too old and my head is too full of memories for me not to recognize the surpassing strangeness of it.

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Thursday, April 24


H/t to commenter GeekLove 08.

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Wednesday, April 23


Boy, she's got them running scared. The NY Times printed a despicable, one-sided screed against Hillary's "negativity" and decried her "responsibility" for the "spectacle" of two strong candidates battling for the votes of Democrats. Why does the Times hate democracy?

It is getting to be time for the superdelegates to do what the Democrats had in mind when they created superdelegates: settle a bloody race that cannot be won at the ballot box. Mrs. Clinton once had a big lead among the party elders, but has been steadily losing it, in large part because of her negative campaign. If she is ever to have a hope of persuading these most loyal of Democrats to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs.

Last I looked, there were quite a few states who have yet to vote. What's the rush?

And of course, MoDo has to weigh in with her standard sexist flippancy [emphasis mine]:

“Why can’t he close the deal?” Hillary taunted at a polling place on Tuesday.

She’s been running ads about it, suggesting he doesn’t have “what it takes” to run the country. Her message is unapologetically emasculating: If he does not have the gumption to put me in my place, when superdelegates are deserting me, money is drying up, he’s outspending me 2-to-1 on TV ads, my husband’s going crackers and party leaders are sick of me, how can he be trusted to totally obliterate Iran and stop Osama?
The Democrats are eager to move on to an Obama-McCain race. But they can’t because no one seems to be able to show Hillary the door.

She's wrong, of course, as is her paper. Democrats aren't eager to move on, they're eager to vote and have those votes counted. And since the race so far is split almost fifty-fifty in popular vote and delegates, who can fairly claim to speak for "Democrats" -- except the elites, of course?

Hillary knows better than to listen. She's been here before. The elites were astounded and outraged that a hillbilly like Bill Clinton and his too-smart wife occupied "their" White House for eight years, and they never gave the Clintons credit or slack. They are not, and never will be, representative of the party or supportive of populist candidates. They are the Kool Kidz, the most popular clique in town, and they don't like the nerds or the smart kids winning the Student Council election. They'll never grow up, and they despise and resent real grownups such as Hillary. She knows where her support comes from -- ordinary Americans who are worried about their mortgage payments, getting and keeping healthcare insurance for their families, preserving Social Security and Medicare for themselves and future generations, and recognize the global threats, both man-made and natural, that confront us now and may escalate in the near future.

So you go, Hillary! Keep listening to the people who count -- the voters -- and ignore the pundits and plutocrats who are so anxious to push you out of the race so they can turn their attention to getting John McCain elected, just as they did George W. Bush. And we saw how well that turned out.

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Tuesday, April 22


John Aravosis of AmericaBlog has thrown down the gauntlet. If Hillary wins the nomination (and he makes clear that can only happen if she steals it), 50% of Obama voters won't vote for her.

No Unity Pony for him.

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So she did it, she got her double-digit win over Obama. Like so many of us, I'm very nearly drained. Almost every ounce of energy has leeched from my body. How Hillary does it, I don't know. Well yes, I do. She does it for us.

But then, that's why I want her for my president. I know she will rise every day, rise to the challenge, deny herself a normal person's respite because of her abiding sense of responsibility to the nation and to the people.

This race is not yet done. Hillary won Pennsylvania decisively despite a huge spending imbalance. Obama threw everything he had into this one primary, and again, he exhibited an inability to connect with rank-and-file Democrats. The media is speculating on whether or not he's "peaked," his lack of accessibility to them seeming to begin to disillusion, and his lack of energy and increasingly toxic comments about Hillary are beginning to pall with voters. Hillary, on the other hand, is proving fearless with the media, exposing herself and her ideas to virtually any audience that invites her, giving evidence of a complete mastery of the issues. Her resilience is winning the respect and admiration of former foes and critics.

I'm so proud of her. Hillary reflects the best of womankind. We who treasure her don't see her as an icon or a personality -- we see her as a completely human woman, mother, wife, and dedicated public servant, a woman who has made a significant difference in real people's lives. She is the mother, daughter, big sister, dear friend we've seen make the most of her potential, become the kind of person we'd most want in our lifeboat. She has our confidence, our trust.

On to Indiana and North Carolina!

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... read this. My sentiments, exactly:

"Seven months ago … I organized all of the women in my family for a photo of “Four generations of women for Hillary Clinton.” … Hillary was to be our first woman president, and my now adolescent daughters and I agreed with their cousins and aunts and grandmothers and great-grandmother that it was finally time.


… "I wish the Clintons well and like many of their friends and allies I hope they don’t think I am betraying them, but I am voting for Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary."

"I responded at length:

… You are betraying them, and profoundly.

You are endorsing “I’m Barack Obama, running for President and I approve this message. … Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected.”

You are endorsing the candidate who claims the middle class lost ground during the Clinton years.

You are endorsing the candidate who successfully framed the Clintons on accusations of race-baiting, through an elaborately orchestrated race-baiting campaign of his own.

You are endorsing the candidate who later claimed in passive voice that racial tensions just “bubbled up” between the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries … and who preposterously asserted that America can’t make any progress on jobs, health or education without his admittedly incremental contribution to America’s admittedly residual racial divide … who frames his campaign in grossly counterfeit histories of the civil rights movement of the 60’s, the Reagan years of the 80’s and the Clinton/Gingrich years of the 90’s … who inspired you with a speech that claims a Clinton presidency would leave us in racial “stalemate” analogous to the slave state versus free state stalemate at the Constitutional Convention.

You are endorsing the candidate who gave Hillary the finger last week in Raleigh NC.

You are endorsing the candidate who says Hillary represents the status quo, and whose surrogates constantly drum the message that both Clintons entire lives in public service have been motivated solely by self-interest.

You are endorsing the candidate who claims Hillary has been bought by special interests … “bought” for a fraction of a percent of her campaign budget (an amount smaller than lobbyist contributions to his own presidential exploratory committees and FEC-exempt expenditures). That’s the same candidate who with no track record in major-league politics claims he can end politics as we know it simply by restricting a few hundredths of one percent of federal lobbyist budgets.

You are endorsing the candidate whose chief adviser on entitlements tried to resuscitate Bush’s Social Security privatization initiative in 2005 after the netroots and unions joined forces to beat it to death … whose chief health care adviser believes the push for universal coverage is misplaced (along with virtually all mainstream progressive health care concerns) … whose Chicago/DLC/neoliberal chief adviser on trade says “there is nobody more in favor of open markets than me”, and believes our 900-page trade agreements should be reduced to a libertarian two pages each.

You are endorsing the candidate who promises you a whole new world, but avoids describing it or disclosing how he will deliver it — whose entire appeal rests on the premise that special interests and partisan opponents will evaporate when he takes the oath of office.

You are endorsing the candidate whose appeal depends largely on his endorsement of traditional talk radio tropes of the Arkansas Project.

You are endorsing the candidate of make-believe — who looks at governance the way a 12-year-old looks at Playboy — over the candidate who has seen the world as it is, and is prepared to govern there.

If that’s not betrayal enough, we could get into the misogynist double standards, but I think you get my drift. All this betrayals are MINOR compared to the betrayals of hope and trust and progressive possibilities that an Obama presidency would bring … dashed hopes that would immunize two generations against Hope itself, doing for the Democratic/Progressive alliance just as much as Herbert Hoover did for Republicans and Conservatives.

Here’s another betrayal. You’re probably old enough to remember when women beat down the Equal Rights Amendment. If this uncommonly qualified, uncommonly equipped woman at an uncommonly opportune time is beaten down by your double standards, we will not live to see any woman taken seriously for POTUS … and prospects are dim for our daughters and nieces and granddaughters.

But you like the goosebumps and the lines engineered to trigger sentimental tears? So do I, even as I recognize the cheap tricks that cheap tricksters use to evoke them. Fine. Go your way, and I’ll go mine.

Just do me one favor. I’ve done my time, sweeping up after LBJ’s war, and Nixon’s perfidies, and the idealists who brought down Carter and gave us twelve years of Reagan/Bush, and idealists who brought down Clinton and gave us six years of Gingrich/Delay and eight years of Bush.

I will stop Obama before the convention if I can, and after the convention if I have to. If that means supporting McCain, so be it. If that means backing an independent candidate in a key state and throwing the election into the House of Representatives, so be it.

If you do get your Unity Pony — along with the pro-lifers, the Naderites, the Friedmanites, the Lieberman Democrats, the Bloombergers, the theocrats, the Federalist Society and everybody else who thinks Obama is their free ride — just don’t expect me to sweep up after it. I’ll do what good I can in other pursuits, including deep reflection on the defects of media-age democracy that re-elected Bush, and that enabled a major faction of a major party to fall for Obama."

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This is the day. I have all fingers and toes crossed (and I'm getting a cramp in them) that Hillary wins by 10 or more.

Hillary was fantastic on Countdown last night, and KO appeared subdued when confronted with her mastery of the issues and her ability to address any gotcha questions he could throw her way. She particularly showed her stuff when Keith asked her if there is really anything a president can do about about high gas prices, and she just rattled off a LITANY of actions a president can take! She's a can-do, not a wishful thinker.

But all the morning talk shows are buzzing about her statement on Iran -- that if Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel, that she'd retaliate with nuclear force. The Morning Joe crowd was saying that we don't have a treaty relationship with Israel, so how could we do that?

I'm confused. I thought that defending Israel had pretty much been our policy for decades. Is Hillary's position that such a threat would be a deterrent such as was used to good effect during the Cold War, really that surprising?

UPDATE: Big Tent Democrat at Talk Left has more here and here.

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Monday, April 21


What is it with this guy? He seems determined to undermine/destroy the good will generated for Democrats by Bill Clinton's successful presidency. Now he's saying that Clinton and Bush waited too late to push for a Middle East peace. Bush, sure, yeah, of course he did! But Clinton? Did I hallucinate all those ME peace initiatives he pushed dating from the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 through the Rabin assassination in 1995 to the Wye and Camp David attempts? No American president since Jimmy Carter has tried so hard to solve the "unsolveable" Middle East crisis. For a fairer reading of the situation, see the State Department's history.

White House hopeful Barack Obama on Sunday criticized both President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton for waiting too long to make a big push to achieve Middle East peace.

Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, said he would pursue an active diplomacy from the beginning to try to reach a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.
"On the other hand, what I also disagree with is a habit of American presidents which is every president in their last year, they finally decide, we're going to try to broker a peace deal," Obama added. "Bill Clinton did it in his last year and he ran out of time. George Bush tried to do it."

I'm getting to seriously dislike this man.

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Sunday, April 20


Thanks to Susie for directing us to this astoundingly correct analysis of Obama as a presidential candidate. It's written by David Sirota, who has, since he wrote this, drunk so much of the BO kool-aid that it dribbles out of the sides of his mouth when he talks. And he quotes Ezra Klein along the same lines -- Ezra, one of the foremost supporters of universal healthcare, who nonetheless backs Obama, who is not.

What, I wonder, has Obama done in the sixteen or so months since Sirota penned this column to change his mind?

I suspect it's not be Hillary Clinton.

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