Friday, June 13



Dead of a heart attack. My heart goes out to Big Russ and the family.



Must-read for the day.

So Obama's taking over the DNC. Moving its headquarters to Chicago. Assigning state party staffers to his presidential bid (wonder how the down-ticket pols in those states will appreciate THAT). Demanding that all fundraising be coordinated through the Obama campaign. Removing elected convention delegates who initially supported other candidates and replacing them with Obama loyalists.

Look, I'd love to be shed of all this worry. I'd love to come back to the Democratic Party, support its presidential nominee, and work to defeat John McCain and the Republicans. But I'm not in a place where I can do that. Every day new evidence surfaces that suggests Obama is an authoritarian with a hidden agenda, backed by a DNC that will no longer tolerate dissent in the ranks, that devalues traditional Democratic voters in preference for a "new coalition" of youths, AA's and the "creative class." The shrinking of the Big Tent is troublesome to me, and the consolidation of power in the hands of one man is antipathetic to the grassroots tradition and strength of the Democratic Party.

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Thursday, June 12


Violet speaks, you listen.

I've said repeatedly on this blog that one of my greatest disappointments and sources of anger of late has been the insistence of the DNC and party leaders that we Hillary supporters just give in, buckle under and unite the party, despite the treatment we and our candidate have received. Hillary is virtuous enough, and loyal enough to the party, to do just that. Many of us are not. We have waited a very long time for women (a majority of Democratic voters and of U.S. citizens in general) to have some leverage within the Party, only to be asked to take it in the a** as usual while we and our standard-bearer continue to be demonized and discredited. Sorry, folks. If Obama wants my vote, he has to earn it. I say again, I will never vote for John McCain, but I desperately hope that millions of Hillary supporters will continue to say, "Convince me" before surrendering their vote to someone so arrogant as to believe it's his due and prizes the votes of Rethuglicans and Indies over loyal Democrats. Anyone who disparages my vote, I assume, just plain doesn't want it.

And that's the bottom line. I'm convinced that party leaders want to rid us of any vestige of Clintonism -- and that surely includes us Hillary voters.

You know, I was actually excited about Obama's candidacy at one point. It takes a lot to alienate a party loyalist like me.

Now my friend Sally opines that it's the media and the bloggers who are at fault, and that Obama didn't contribute to the fray. I don't buy it. Obama is every bit as responsible -- it's HIS campaign that says he's not going to waste time courting Hillary voters. It's HIS campaign that spread the lies about the Clintons' alleged racism and contacted the media to accuse Hillary of wishing for his assassination (her RFK remark). It's Barack himself who said, "You're likable enough, Hillary" and repeatedly conflated the failures of the Bush administrations with the Clinton years. Obama benefited from the media's misogynistic flaying of Hillary and her women voters, and he NEVER SAID A WORD.

No, Obama HAS to come courting if he expects my vote. I want a good, solid reason why I should reward him and the DNC for their bad behavior.

And the John-McCain-as-the-alternative scare tactic ain't it. That dodge has been successful too many times. It's lost its punch for me.


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This is the kind of thing that has made me absolutely nuts this primary cycle.

Kevin Drum:

Obama has been consistently good on domestic issues, but he's also been thoroughly mainstream. There's never been anything boldly innovative or risky about his domestic proposals.

But that's OK. It's not 1932 and the public isn't calling out for a complete re-ordering of the political system. What's more important than Obama's general direction, I think, is understanding what his priorities are. What's he going to fight for starting on Day 1? And I have to confess that I don't have much of a handle on that.

If, for example, Obama successfully withdraws from Iraq, passes a climate plan that looks something like his campaign proposal, and implements his healthcare plan, that would constitute a stunningly successful first term even if you think he's too much of a milquetoast in every one of these areas. But are these the three things he's most likely to fight hardest for? I don't know. He's consistently solid in almost everything, but that very consistency makes it hard to figure out what he's really passionate about. Now that the primary is over, maybe we'll start to find out.

How, I ask, can an intelligent, insightful person such as Kevin Drum used to be, justify supporting a candidate who, he admits, hasn't made it clear what he's passionate about, what he would fight for? "Consistently solid in almost everything," while not "boldly innovative"? You bet. He's solid because in almost every instance he's taken Hillary Clinton's or John Edwards' policy positions and tweaked them to make them LESS innovative, LESS risky -- and less effective. He's advanced not a single original idea or concrete plan to meet the challenges that we face. And that inspires the kind of devotion to his cause that Obama has reaped?

I just don't get it. But then, I'm one of those "old politics," "old Democratic coalition" types that actually value a candidate who can think for her/himself and offer solutions, not just recycle other people's ideas. I just spoke with a lifelong Dem friend who supports Obama, and his response to that thought was, well, that's what appeals about Obama. He may not have the original ideas, but he has the charm and postpartisan support to enact policy that a Hillary wouldn't be able to achieve because of her unlikeability.

If that's the case, where's his legislative record to prove it?

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Today's must-read.

For anyone who still doubted that we wuz robbed.

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Wednesday, June 11


I just responded to an email from MoveOn asking me to participate in a bake sale for Obama (more sweeties?). I finally (should have done it long ago) sent back a reply asking to be removed from the mailing list and spelling out my reasons for doing so.

What I got back was an automated reply headlined, "Don't Go!" It included a comments box and asked for the reason I'm quitting. The "reason" box was a drop-down menu, where one of the options was, "MoveOn's endorsement of Obama."

Think they've lost more than a few subscribers/members because of that?

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Tuesday, June 10


I'm doing almost nothing but. I'm ready to switch my registration from Democrat to Independent, but I believe I may wait until after the convention JUST IN CASE.

No, I don't harbor any illusions that by some miracle Hillary will become the nominee. But I somehow sense that this thing has not totally played out yet.

"They also serve who only sit and wait."

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